Conspiracy-mongering Republican seeking John Lewis seat gets social media boost from Trump
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 11:47:02 -0400

Conspiracy-mongering Republican seeking John Lewis seat gets social media boost from TrumpBesides parroting many of President Trump’s talking points, Angela Stanton-King, a Republican congressional candidate, has frequently repeated ideas related to the conspiracy theory QAnon.


After fatal great white shark attack in Maine, debate intensifies over culling seals
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:06:02 -0400

After fatal great white shark attack in Maine, debate intensifies over culling sealsSome business owners and politicians in the Northeast, worried that more shark sightings and beach closures could lead to a downturn in tourism, want the seal population culled, but not everyone thinks that’s the answer.


Former US soldiers sentenced to 20 years for bungled Venezuelan coup plot
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 01:35:20 -0400

Former US soldiers sentenced to 20 years for bungled Venezuelan coup plotA Venezuelan court sentenced two former US special forces soldiers to 20 years in prison for their part in a failed beach attack aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro, prosecutors announced late on Friday. Former Green Berets Luke Denman and Airan Berry admitted to taking part in the May 4 operation orchestrated by a third ex-US soldier who remains in the United States, Venezuelan's chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced on Twitter. "THEY ADMITTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FACTS," Saab wrote, adding that the case will continue for dozens of other defendants. He did not offer details. "Operation Gideon" was launched from makeshift training camps in neighbouring Colombia and left at least eight rebel soldiers dead while a total of 66 were jailed. Former Green Beret Jordan Goudreau, who operated a private, Florida-based security firm called Silvercorp USA, claimed responsibility for the failed attack. Venezuelan prosecutors announced that Denman and Berry, both decorated former US service members, were found guilty of conspiracy, trafficking in illegal arms and terrorism.


Biden met with Michigan Gov. last Sunday about VP spot
Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:07:00 -0400

Biden met with Michigan Gov. last Sunday about VP spotThis is the first known meeting of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee with a potential vice presidential partner.


Should Judge Sullivan Be Disqualified from Flynn Case? An Appeals Court Is Asking
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 06:30:59 -0400

Should Judge Sullivan Be Disqualified from Flynn Case? An Appeals Court Is AskingMaybe Judge Luttig was right all along.I had the misgivings you’d expect back in late May, when I disagreed with J. Michael Luttig, the stellar scholar and former federal appeals court judge, regarding how the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals should handle the Flynn case.At the time, that court’s three-judge panel had not yet heard oral argument on Michael Flynn’s mandamus petition — i.e., Flynn’s request that the panel find that federal district judge Emmet Sullivan was acting lawlessly. Sullivan had not only failed to grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn; he had appointed a former federal judge (the overtly anti-Trump John Gleeson) to posit the argument abandoned by DOJ — to wit, that Flynn should proceed to sentencing because he had pled guilty to a false-statements charge, waiving his right to contest the case any further in exchange for the government’s agreement not to file any other charges. Basically, Flynn was asking the appellate court to order Judge Sullivan to dismiss the case.In a Washington Post op-ed, Luttig contended that “there are ample grounds in the actions the district court has already taken for the appeals court to order that the government’s motion to dismiss be heard by a different judge, and it should so order.”It is interesting to revisit this assessment in light of an order issued by the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday. The Circuit directed that the participants in the dispute over Judge Sullivan’s actions, including Judge Sullivan himself, must address the question of whether Sullivan should either recuse himself or be disqualified by the Circuit. Arguments in the case will be heard this coming Tuesday, August 11, in a rare en banc review by the full Circuit (i.e., all active judges who have not taken senior status, minus one who has recused himself, so it will be a ten-judge panel).Let’s back up for a moment.Back in May, I disagreed with Luttig because I thought the more important issue was prejudice to Flynn, not the harm Sullivan’s apparent bias was causing to the court’s integrity. At the time, the D.C. Circuit had given Sullivan ten days to respond to Flynn’s mandamus petition. I argued that, rather than reassigning the case to another judge, the Circuit should give Sullivan a chance to explain himself. If he was unable to do that to the Circuit’s satisfaction, I posited that the Circuit should then order him to dismiss the case.After Luttig and I, among other commentators, weighed in on what the appellate court should do, a three-judge panel heard argument. The panel granted Flynn’s mandamus petition and ordered Sullivan to dismiss the case. The 2–1 majority reasoned that, with possible exceptions that do not apply in Flynn’s case, the Justice Department’s discretion to end a prosecution is unreviewable. A dissenting opinion countered that mandamus, which is an extraordinary remedy disfavored by courts absent truly egregious judicial lawlessness, was premature — i.e., that Sullivan should be permitted to conduct a hearing and, if he decided not to grant dismissal, Flynn could then appeal. That would be the normal route to appellate review in a criminal case.After the panel ruled for Flynn, Judge Sullivan asked the Circuit to rehear the case en banc. Sullivan’s petition was remarkable because he is not a party in the case. The only parties in a criminal prosecution are the government and the accused. The judge is the arbiter, not a litigant. The court is not supposed to have a stake in the outcome. It is unseemly for a judge to act as if he has become invested in the outcome of a case the way a party is. It strongly suggests a loss of judicial perspective.Nevertheless, the D.C. Circuit granted Judge Sullivan’s petition. It vacated the panel’s ruling and agreed to full-court review.At first blush, this seemed like doom for Flynn. After all, the full court skews heavily Democratic: seven of the ten judges who will hear the case were appointed by Democratic presidents. There are only four Republican appointees, and as noted above, one (appointed by President Trump) has recused himself. In modern times, there are enough blatantly politicized judicial decisions that people can be forgiven for assuming that partisanship always trumps law. Indeed, in the three-judge panel decision, the two majority judges who ruled in Flynn’s favor were Republican appointees, while the dissenter was a Democratic appointee.Nevertheless, the mandamus litigation in Flynn’s case is not a brute political matter. Anyone who listened to the oral argument could tell how reluctant the judges seemed about issuing a mandamus writ against Judge Sullivan, even if they were convinced that he was wrong on the law. Furthermore, the main Circuit precedent, United States v. Fokker Services B.V. (2016), which clearly indicates that the Justice Department’s dismissal motion should be granted, was written by Chief Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan. He is often touted as a potential Supreme Court nominee in a future Democratic administration. For him, then, the case is a Catch-22: Walking away from his own reasoning in Fokker would be a bad look, while ruling in Flynn’s favor would be very unpopular among Democrats. In addition, we should note that any of the Circuit’s judges could have asked for en banc review by the full court. None did. The case is being heard because Sullivan himself pressed the issue.The complications presented by the mandamus dispute were evident in the Circuit’s initial order scheduling the rehearing en banc, which added an intriguing directive: “The parties should be prepared to address whether there are ‘no other adequate means to attain the relief’ desired” (quoting from the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Cheney v. U.S. District Court). I interpret this somewhat cryptic assertion to indicate that, while the Circuit judges have agreed to reconsider the panel’s ruling because courts are generally hostile to mandamus, that hardly means the judges approve of the circus that Sullivan has made of the Flynn proceedings.The judges seemed to be signaling that they know the case should be dismissed, but they’d prefer not to slam a longtime district judge if there is some way to avoid doing so. Perhaps they could deny the writ, but couch the denial in a way that reminded Judge Sullivan that a court must neither take over the prosecutor’s role nor probe the executive’s decision-making in a matter that the Constitution commits to executive discretion.That is what makes Wednesday’s subsequent order regarding the en banc proceeding so interesting. The Circuit instructs counsel for Flynn, the Justice Department, and Judge Sullivan to consider the effect of Congress’s disqualification statute (Section 455 of Title 28, U.S. Code). Specifically, the participants in the mandamus dispute are told to address the law’s mandate that a judge be disqualified “in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” particularly if the judge “is a party to the proceeding.”Manifestly, at least some of the Circuit’s judges (I’d wager most of them) are disturbed by the degree to which Judge Sullivan has exhibited bias and become invested in Flynn’s case. This is exactly the problem on which Judge Luttig focused back in May.It could thus turn out that Luttig presciently homed in on the dispositive issue. I believe, though, that it’s more a matter of new developments breaking, perhaps inevitably, in favor of disqualification. At the time Luttig wrote his op-ed, I still think it would have been premature for an appeals court to jump in and disqualify Judge Sullivan. The parties were not pushing for Sullivan to be removed, just that he be directed to grant the dismissal motion. And even in making his disqualification argument, Luttig conveyed some hesitation. He said the Circuit panel should grant the mandamus but in a more limited way than Flynn was suggesting: Have Judge Sullivan pick a different adviser (someone other than the explicitly biased Gleeson), then promptly rule on the motion to dismiss, explaining his reasoning in full so the appellate court could review it.That is not consistent with Luttig’s other suggestion of having the case reassigned to another judge. But it was right: As things stood back in May, Sullivan should have been given an opportunity to do the right thing. Most of us were hoping he’d correct himself, rather than need to be corrected by a higher court.Plus, let’s put personalities aside, as well as the understandable distaste judges have for mandamus (which essentially asks them to dress down a colleague). A federal appeals court also has very practical reasons for discouraging mandamus. The regular appellate process calls for a criminal case to be appealed only at the end of the lower court proceeding. At that point, the trial or plea is over, sentence has been imposed, the judgment has been entered, and the appeals court can deal with all the claims of error at once, with finality. Courts do not want to encourage litigants to start viewing mandamus as a way to appeal to the higher court in the middle of the lower court proceedings, any time a party claims a judge has made an error. Chaos would reign and cases would never end.That said, things have significantly changed in the nearly three months since we analysts first opined on the mandamus dispute.For one thing, Judge Sullivan retained his own counsel to argue the case on his behalf before the panel, as if he were a party. Then, when the panel’s decision did not go the way he wanted it to go, he took the highly unusual step of seeking en banc review. As the Justice Department pointed out, Sullivan did not have standing to seek reconsideration; he is not a party and did not comply with the rules government officials are supposed to follow before seeking a rehearing.More to the point, by seeking full-court reconsideration of the mandamus matter when both the Justice Department and Flynn are seeking dismissal of the case, Sullivan is both causing prejudice to the defendant and stoking suspicion about the executive branch’s motives. How, then, could Sullivan continue to be considered a fair and impartial judge, fit to rule on the Justice Department’s dismissal motion?That question may signal something about the wisdom of the D.C. Circuit judges that I previously failed to appreciate. The Justice Department’s contention that Sullivan lacks standing seemed compelling to me. I was surprised when the Circuit appeared to ignore it in granting Sullivan’s request for full-court review; I thought they’d deny it and let the panel’s ruling stand. But is it possible that the Circuit saw this as a graceful off-ramp? When none of the Circuit’s judges asked for full-court reconsideration, that signaled to Sullivan that if he wanted it, he would have to ask for it himself. The Circuit judges probably calculated that if the irascible Sullivan made a formal application for rehearing en banc, it would be manifest that he had transformed himself into a party in the Flynn case. Then the Circuit could use the disqualification rule to nudge him aside for the sake of maintaining the judiciary’s reputation for objectivity. That would avoid all the downsides of issuing a mandamus writ while gently reminding lower court judges that they are supposed to remain umpires in these contests, not become one of the players.To sum up, whatever one may have thought about the gravity of Sullivan’s irregular behavior back in May, he has now clearly crossed the Rubicon. It is incumbent on him to recuse himself. If he can’t bring himself to do that — a failure that would further demonstrate a lack of judicial detachment — the D.C. Circuit should disqualify him. Either way, the case should be reassigned to a new judge, who should promptly grant the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss.I’ll conclude with a verity that seems sadly lost on Judge Sullivan: Granting the Justice Department’s dismissal motion would not be a judicial endorsement of the motion, much less a court ruling that Flynn is not guilty. Judge Sullivan is absolutely entitled to believe the Justice Department is wrong to dismiss the case, and that Flynn is as guilty as the day is long. What a judge is not entitled to do, however, is substitute his view for the prosecutor’s on the question of whether a prosecution should continue. In our system, separation of powers principles make that the Justice Department’s call.


Litman: New York wants to dissolve the NRA; it will probably decapitate it instead
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:00:26 -0400

Litman: New York wants to dissolve the NRA; it will probably decapitate it insteadEven if the NRA survives New York's lawsuit, dethroning its CEO and heaping it with humiliation and penalties will be a victory.


Gov. Mike Huckabee weighs in on religious voters, 2020 election
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 10:36:15 -0400

Gov. Mike Huckabee weighs in on religious voters, 2020 electionFox News contributor and former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee joins ‘Fox & Friends Weekend.’


Back to school and COVID-19: Everything to know as students head back to class
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 14:02:07 -0400

Back to school and COVID-19: Everything to know as students head back to classAs students head back to classes this fall – online, in-person or a hybrid of the two – check back here for back-to-school resources, tips and tricks.


A father, a sister, a son: Beirut blast takes a heavy toll
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 03:03:50 -0400

A father, a sister, a son: Beirut blast takes a heavy tollA close twin sister, now separated forever. Tuesday's enormous explosion that killed scores of people, injured thousands and caused widespread destruction across Lebanon's capital touched off widespread mourning for the victims.


The Trump administration reportedly quashed part of an intelligence report that showed Russia is helping him win the 2020 election
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 13:08:35 -0400

The Trump administration reportedly quashed part of an intelligence report that showed Russia is helping him win the 2020 electionPrevious reports from the FBI, CIA, and NSA concluded that Russia attempted to help Trump win in 2016, but Trump has denied those reports' accuracy.


A woman claiming to be from the 'Freedom To Breathe Agency' filmed telling a grocery employee that she could face legal action for making people wear face masks
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 07:51:14 -0400

A woman claiming to be from the 'Freedom To Breathe Agency' filmed telling a grocery employee that she could face legal action for making people wear face masksThe mask-less woman gave the employee a piece of paper claiming she could go to prison for up to five years for telling customers to wear a face mask.


French passengers sue Costa Cruises over virus ship ordeal
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 20:04:09 -0400

French passengers sue Costa Cruises over virus ship ordealAround 850 French passengers who were onboard a coronavirus-riddled cruise ship that was turned away from numerous ports in March have filed a collective suit in Paris with 180 complaints, including manslaughter, against Costa Cruises, their lawyer said Sunday. The class action, which includes complaints from the families of three passengers who died of COVID-19, accuses the Italy-based cruise giant of negligence and various faults during their trip on the Costa Magica. In the absence of stopovers, the crew encouraged the passengers to use the ship's shops, spas, restaurants and casino without sufficiently putting health measures in place -- or informing them there were suspected infections onboard -- the complainants said in their suit.


She Was Charged With Murder After Her Baby Was Stillborn. Now California’s AG Has Stepped In.
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 15:55:04 -0400

She Was Charged With Murder After Her Baby Was Stillborn. Now California’s AG Has Stepped In.For more than nine months, five of them during a global pandemic, a 26-year-old woman named Chelsea Becker has been sitting in Kings County Jail, under a $2 million bail, for giving birth to a stillborn baby.Becker has been there since November, when police arrested her and prosecutors charged her with murder. The District Attorney argued that Becker’s methamphetamine addiction had caused the stillbirth, citing a 50-year-old law that civil rights advocates say was never supposed to apply to pregnant women. It has put Becker at the heart of a national debate over criminalizing fetal death. On Friday, however, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra intervened. In an amicus brief to end the case against Becker, Becerra argued the prosecution’s legal interpretation would lead to “absurd—and constitutionally questionable—results.”“We believe the law was misapplied and misinterpreted,” Becerra said in a statement about the brief. “Our laws in California do not convict women who suffer the loss of their pregnancy, and in our filing today we are making clear that this law has been misused to the detriment of women, children, and families.” An American Surrogate Had His Baby. Then Coronavirus Hit.Back in September, Becker, then 25, was eight and a half months pregnant when she thought her water broke, only to discover it was blood. Becker’s mother called an ambulance to her home in the San Joaquin Valley, according to The Los Angeles Times. Three hours later, Becker gave birth in Adventist Health Hanford hospital to a boy with no pulse, whom she had planned to name Zachariah.Suspicious that the fetus suffered from drug exposure, hospital employees alerted the Kings County Medical Examiner’s Office, which conducted an autopsy. The exam found methamphetamine in the fetus’ system, a Times report states, that amounted to more than five times the level thought to be toxic. They ruled the case a homicide. Becker had grown up in Hanford, a working class town in Kings County, that serves as a trading hub in the agrarian San Joaquin Valley. The nearly half Hispanic town recently made headlines when 183 meatpacking workers came down with COVID-19. According to the Census Bureau, 18 percent of residents live below the poverty line. Before the pandemic, county unemployment levels hovered at 7.9 percent—they have since soared to 14.6 percent.Becker told the Times that as a teen, she spent some time living with her father in Minnesota, where she became addicted to methamphetamine. She came home to Hanford at 19, where she had two other children, both of whom were removed from her care. In early November, prosecutors charged Becker with murder, holding the mother on a $5 million bail, later reduced to $2 million. Their case hinged on an amendment, passed in 1970, to the state’s murder statute: Penal Code section 187. Earlier that year, the California Supreme Court had overturned the murder conviction of man who had assaulted his pregnant wife, causing the death of their fetus. The code, the court had concluded, only addressed the killing of “a human being,” making the man ineligible for a murder charge. In response, the legislature amended the statute to include the “unlawful killing” of a “fetus.” That was the language prosecutors seized on to charge Becker with murder.“The conduct of the defendant resulted in the death of a fetus, which is a crime in California,” said District Attorney Keith Fagundes told The Los Angeles Times. He did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Saturday.At her arraignment, Becker pleaded not guilty, and later filed a motion calling the code’s application to a pregnant woman unconstitutional. The amendment had been made to protect victims of domestic violence, Becker’s lawyers argued, not criminalize women who miscarried, had stillbirths, or sought abortions. “Penal Code 187(b)(3) by its own plain terms,” they wrote, “precludes the prosecution of a woman for the consensual acts in which she may engage while pregnant.” Becker’s attorney, Roger Nuttall, and Becerra did not immediately return requests for comment. “Ms. Becker had experienced a stillbirth that the prosecutor claims (without scientific basis) was caused by her methamphetamine use during pregnancy,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women wrote in a statement on Becker’s case. “Ms. Becker was charged with this crime despite the fact that §187 does not authorize, nor has it ever been interpreted to authorize prosecution of a woman in relation to her own pregnancy or any outcome of a pregnancy.”https://www.facebook.com/NationalAdvocatesforPregnantWomen/photos/a.190808107181/10157715445342182/?type=3&theaterIn the decades since 1970, California prosecutors have tried to charge women for stillbirths, but none has secured a conviction until 2018, when another woman was arrested for the same crime in the same town of Hanford.Like Becker, Adora Perez was in her late 20s and addicted to methamphetamine when she gave birth to a stillborn baby at Adventist Health. Also like Becker, hospital employees alerted the Medical Examiner’s Office when the fetus tested positive for the drug, according to reports in The Fresno Bee. Fagundes charged her with murder. Perez, however, took a plea deal. Now 32, she is serving an 11-year sentence in state prison for voluntary manslaughter—the first time in decades that a charge of this kind ended in jail time. The unprecedented charges against Becker and Perez have alarmed pregnancy advocates, medical professionals, drug policy organizations, and civil rights groups across the country. In April, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in support of Becker. The same day, a coalition of 15 organizations, from the Drug Policy Alliance to California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, filed another.“Broadly accepted medical, public health, and scientific evidence supports the Legislature’s drafting of the statute to avoid criminalizing women with respect to their pregnancies,” the coalition wrote. “Pregnancy and use of controlled substances is a medical and public health issue, not an issue that should be subject to state intervention and control.”Attempts to criminalize pregnant women who suffer from addiction have backfired in the past. In 2014, Tennessee passed a wildly controversial bill, attempting to target what they called “fetal assault.” The bill allowed prosecutors to bring charges against women with drug addictions, if their fetuses were born still or disabled. It proved so polarizing that it was given a two-year trial phase and then, in 2016, deemed a failure and discontinued. “As a result of the law,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women wrote in a statement, “women steered clear of prenatal care and drug treatment and avoided delivering their babies in hospital settings.”Nevertheless in June, the superior court denied Becker’s motion to have the case declared unconstitutional. The next month, she filed a writ of prohibition––a motion to stop the court proceedings––arguing that “a woman cannot be prosecuted for murder as a result of her own omissions or actions that might result in pregnancy loss.” In his amicus brief on her case, Becerra agreed: “The superior court erred in concluding otherwise.” “The Legislature’s purpose in adding the killing of a fetus to Penal Code section 187 was not to punish women who do not—or cannot, because of addiction or resources—follow best practices for prenatal health,” Becerra wrote. “The courts should not assume that the Legislature intended such a sweeping and invasive change to the criminal law affecting women’s lives without clear evidence of that intent. And such evidence is absent here.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Hong Kong hits back at 'shameless' U.S. sanctions on leader Carrie Lam
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 07:29:47 -0400

Hong Kong hits back at 'shameless' U.S. sanctions on leader Carrie LamThe Hong Kong government said it was being used as a "pawn" in the U.S.-China relationship.


Susan Rice: Let Republicans use Benghazi as a 'political distraction'
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 11:28:00 -0400

Susan Rice: Let Republicans use Benghazi as a 'political distraction'The emergence of Susan Rice, a former national security adviser in the Obama administration, as a leading candidate to become former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate has led to a renewed focus on the 2012 attacks against U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the deaths of 11 people, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stephens. Rice, though, called the criticism of her role in the aftermath of the event a "political distraction" amid the coronavirus pandemic.In an interview with The Atlantic, Rice did express regret about agreeing to represent the Obama administration on news shows where she announced that the attacks were part of a spontaneous protest in response to an anti-Muslim video. The information relayed turned out to be inaccurate, and the attacks were premeditated. Rice told The Atlantic her mother warned about going on the shows, especially since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined, but said she ultimately accepted the task because she consider herself a "team player." Now, she says, she wishes she had listened to her mother's advice and has since learned that tragedies like Benghazi almost always get politicized.But she isn't too bothered by the efforts of people like Fox News host Tucker Carlson to amplify her role in the event. Rice noted there has been "no investigation, no outrage, not a boo out of Congressional Republicans" over the Pensacola air base shooting that left three Americans dead or the four American service members who were killed in a terrorist attack in Niger, both under President Trump's watch. She also doesn't think focusing on Benghazi in 2020, when more than 150,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, makes much sense. "They're going to talk about Benghazi?" she said. "I say fine, let them." Read Rice's full interview at The Atlantic.More stories from theweek.com 5 scathing cartoons about Trump's 'it is what it is' COVID response QAnon goes mainstream 4 surprising reasons scientists think asymptomatic coronavirus cases are so common


Niger attack: French aid workers among eight killed by gunmen
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 16:54:55 -0400

Niger attack: French aid workers among eight killed by gunmenThe attack happened in a region which draws visitors to the last giraffe herds in West Africa.


Ecuador navy surveils large Chinese fishing fleet near Galapagos
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:04:45 -0400

Ecuador navy surveils large Chinese fishing fleet near GalapagosEcuador's navy is conducting surveillance of a large Chinese fishing fleet that is operating near the protected waters of the Galapagos Islands, amid concerns about the environmental impact of fishing in the area of the ecologically sensitive islands. The fishing fleet has since 2017 been arriving in the summer months and fishing just outside the Galapagos territorial waters, drawn by marine species such as the endangered hammerhead shark. Such fishing is not illegal because it takes place in international waters.


Mauritius scrambles to counter oil spill from grounded ship
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 10:17:33 -0400

Mauritius scrambles to counter oil spill from grounded shipAnxious residents of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius stuffed fabric sacks with sugar cane leaves Saturday to create makeshift oil spill barriers as tons of fuel leaking from a grounded ship put endangered wildlife in further peril. The government has declared an environmental emergency and France said it was sending help from its nearby Reunion island. “When biodiversity is in peril, there is urgency to act,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted Saturday.


France and Germany pulled out of talks to reform the WHO because the US was trying to take control, according to a report
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 07:58:50 -0400

France and Germany pulled out of talks to reform the WHO because the US was trying to take control, according to a reportThe US, who said last month that they will leave the WHO in July 2021, is trying to dictate the terms, according to several European officials.


Teachers unions, progressive groups want demands met on housing, standardized testing before schools reopen
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 16:53:07 -0400

Teachers unions, progressive groups want demands met on housing, standardized testing before schools reopenJeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform, weighs in on 'Journal Editorial Report.'


New 'threat' against former Saudi spy in Canada: media
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 16:53:34 -0400

New 'threat' against former Saudi spy in Canada: mediaA former senior Saudi intelligence official who has accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of trying to have him assassinated in 2018 has been placed under heightened security after a new threat on his life, a Canadian newspaper reported. The Globe and Mail said Canadian security services had been informed of a new attempted attack on Saad Aljabri, who lives at an undisclosed location in the Toronto region. Aljabri served as a counterespionage chief under a rival prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, who was ousted in 2017 by Prince Mohammed.


Man who was given life sentence for $30 marijuana sale to be freed
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 09:32:57 -0400

Man who was given life sentence for $30 marijuana sale to be freedA man in Louisiana serving a life sentence for selling less than a gram of marijuana is due to be released from prison, his lawyer has said.Derek Harris, who is a military veteran, was arrested in 2008 for selling 0.69 grams of marijuana — an amount worth less than $30 (£23) — to an undercover officer who came to his door.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive, then negative for COVID-19: 7 questions you might have about testing
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 13:14:28 -0400

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tested positive, then negative for COVID-19: 7 questions you might have about testingNot all tests work the same way, nor do they always provide identical results. Even the same test — taken twice — can show contradictory outcomes.


Three parks and wildlife employees die in helicopter crash during bighorn sheep survey
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 14:53:51 -0400

Three parks and wildlife employees die in helicopter crash during bighorn sheep surveyOfficials say the pilot survived the crash in south-western Texas and cause of crash is under investigationThree Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) employees have been killed in a helicopter crash while conducting aerial surveys for desert bighorn sheep in the south-western part of the state, according to officials.The crash happened on Saturday in the remote wilderness of Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, which is adjacent to Big Bend National Park, on the Rio Grande that marks the border with Mexico.The victims of the crash were identified as wildlife biologist Dewey Stockbridge, fish and wildlife technician Brandon White, and state wildlife veterinarian Bob Dittmar, according to the TPWD.Officials said the pilot survived the crash and was taken to El Paso, the most westerly city in Texas, on the border with New Mexico, for further treatment, and the patient’s condition is currently not public.“No words can begin to express the depth of sadness we feel for the loss of our colleagues in this tragic accident,” said Carter Smith, TPWD executive director, in a statement.Smith said they were “highly regarded … for the immense passion, dedication, and expertise they brought to their important work in wildlife management and veterinary medicine” and that they were carrying out “their calling to help survey, monitor and protect the bighorns of their beloved west Texas mountains”.The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, asked Texans to pray for the families of the victims of the crash, adding as part of a statement that “our hearts ache today”.Details of the crash are so far limited and an official investigation by the authorities is underway, according to local media reports.Desert bighorn sheep are carefully studied in the wildlife management area. They were a ubiquitous native animal in previous times and were successfully reintroduced after being hunted out by the 1960s for their meat and to reduce competition with farmed sheep.


Explosives expert: It's only a matter of time before human error leads to another Beirut blast
Sat, 08 Aug 2020 13:57:37 -0400

Explosives expert: It's only a matter of time before human error leads to another Beirut blastOne of the world’s leading experts on ammonium nitrate told The Daily Telegraph: “It’s only a matter of time before something similar happens again.” Vyto Babrauskas, a fires and explosives forensics expert based in New York, said that there were tens of thousands sites around the world where the chemical was stored unsafely. He carried out an investigation into a disaster seven years ago in West, Texas where 15 died. About 2,750 tonnes ignited to devastate Beirut on Tuesday. In the UK, it is legal to store up to 1,250 tonnes. In the Texas disaster, only 30 tonnes went up.


Japan's Abe to avoid visit to war-linked shrine on 75th war anniversary: Jiji
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 01:59:42 -0400

Japan's Abe to avoid visit to war-linked shrine on 75th war anniversary: JijiPrime Minister Shinzo Abe will refrain from visiting the Yasukuni shrine for war dead on the 75th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War Two, Jiji news agency said on Sunday, but will make an offering on the emotive day, as he has done in the past. The shrine, dedicated to Japanese who have died during past wars including World War Two, is seen as a potent symbol of the controversy that persists over the conflict's legacy in East Asia. "He will make a ritual offering to the shrine out of his personal expenses as the leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as he has done in previous years," sources close to the matter said, according to the report.


Puerto Rico halts primary voting in centers lacking ballots
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 09:35:08 -0400

Puerto Rico halts primary voting in centers lacking ballotsPuerto Rico on Sunday was forced to partially suspend voting for primaries marred by a lack of ballots as officials called on the president of the U.S. territory’s elections commission to resign. Meanwhile, Vázquez called the situation “a disaster” and demanded the resignation of the president of the elections commission. “They made the people of Puerto Rico, not the candidates, believe that they were prepared,” she said.


Pelosi says Trump's new executive orders on coronavirus relief are 'unconstitutional slop'
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 13:02:57 -0400

Pelosi says Trump's new executive orders on coronavirus relief are 'unconstitutional slop'Nancy Pelosi said President Donald Trump's executive orders called states to help cover the costs even though state budgets are already falling short.


A body was recovered from the wreckage of the New Orleans Hard Rock hotel 10 months after it collapsed
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 11:30:47 -0400

A body was recovered from the wreckage of the New Orleans Hard Rock hotel 10 months after it collapsedThe hotel collapsed last October. It killed three construction workers, including 36-year-old Quinnyon Wimberly, whose body was recovered on Saturday.


Chicago's Montrose Harbor blocked by police, fence after Mayor Lori Lightfoot shuts down large beach party: 'It's being addressed'
Sun, 09 Aug 2020 17:07:00 -0400

Chicago's Montrose Harbor blocked by police, fence after Mayor Lori Lightfoot shuts down large beach party: 'It's being addressed'CHICAGO - For months, memes have appeared to show Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot watching for crowds and threatening to close parts of the city if residents don't abide by orders and closures during the coronavirus pandemic. But on Saturday, Lightfoot herself - not just an edited photo of her, like those used in such memes - apparently had a hand in breaking up a large gathering at Montrose ...



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