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AOC explains why she won't go on Fox News: 'Unmitigated racism'
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:38:28 -0500

AOC explains why she won't go on Fox News: 'Unmitigated racism'Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., lashed out at Fox News hours after host Tucker Carlson and a guest had criticized her climate policy proposals, while suggesting her district is “dirty” due to its immigrant population. 


Yes, China's New Submarine-Launched Nuclear Missiles Could Destroy America
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 10:00:00 -0500

Yes, China's New Submarine-Launched Nuclear Missiles Could Destroy AmericaBut that's why we have M.A.D.


How 16-year-old Greta Thunberg — Time's 2019 person of the year — became the face of climate activism in just one year
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 12:31:00 -0500

How 16-year-old Greta Thunberg — Time's 2019 person of the year — became the face of climate activism in just one yearGreta Thunberg has met with world leaders, led climate strikes, sailed across the Atlantic, and been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.


Texas inmate executed for killing prison supervisor in 2003
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 00:03:58 -0500

Texas inmate executed for killing prison supervisor in 2003A Texas inmate was executed by lethal injection Wednesday evening for killing a supervisor at a state prison shoe factory in Amarillo nearly 17 years ago. Travis Runnels, 46, was convicted of slashing the throat of 38-year-old Stanley Wiley on Jan. 29, 2003. Runnels was executed at the state penitentiary in Huntsville.


Washington state seeks to ban sale of 'assault weapons,' high capacity magazines
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 19:46:12 -0500

Washington state seeks to ban sale of 'assault weapons,' high capacity magazinesIf successful, Washington would become the seventh U.S. state to ban assault weapons, which it defines as semi-automatic rifles with at least one military feature, and the ninth to limit the capacity of ammunition magazines. "We should be making it harder for those who want to inflict mass violence and destruction upon innocent people," Governor Jay Inslee said in announcing the gun-control push.


Grandfather charged in girl's cruise ship death speaks out
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 22:00:05 -0500

Grandfather charged in girl's cruise ship death speaks outSalvatore "Sam" Anello said he blamed Royal Caribbean for the death of his granddaughter in an exclusive interview with CBS News.


Russia Retaliates by Expelling Two German Diplomats Over Berlin Murder Probe
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 05:00:51 -0500

Russia Retaliates by Expelling Two German Diplomats Over Berlin Murder ProbeThe Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was making the move “due to the reciprocity principle”


Saudi Family of Pensacola Gunman: 'Even We Don't Know the Truth' of Motive
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 15:10:48 -0500

Saudi Family of Pensacola Gunman: 'Even We Don't Know the Truth' of MotiveAL AHSA, Saudi Arabia -- Not long before a 21-year-old Saudi Royal Air Force trainee shot and killed three American sailors Friday at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida, he called his mother and his brother back home.The trainee, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, was wearing his uniform, they could see on the video call -- the uniform he had always wanted to wear as a child, when he dreamed of becoming a pilot.With his elder brother, Abdullah, he joked around on the call: "You're the eldest," Alshamrani teased, "but I'm going to get married first." Talking to his mother, he promised he would be home as soon as he finished his training. "Just a few more months," he said.What was missing was any hint of what was to come: opening fire in a classroom building at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, shooting three fatally and wounding eight more before being killed by a sheriff's deputy.Alshamrani seemed utterly normal in that last conversation, his family insisted in interviews this week in Saudi Arabia. Four days later, they are still baffled."He never had a secret, he was never hiding anything," Saeed Abdullah Alshamrani, 55, the lieutenant's father, said at the family's home in eastern Saudi Arabia on Tuesday evening. "It's such a mystery. Even we don't know the truth.""Are you sure he's dead?" his father asked during the interview, surrounded by several relatives, acquaintances and others whose relationship to the family was not clear. "We haven't even been given any proof of whether he's dead or alive."No motive for the shooting has been determined, although the FBI is treating it as a presumed terrorist attack. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it was suspending operational training for all of the nearly 900 Saudi military students in the United States.Among the few clues to emerge was a tweet from an account that may be connected to Alshamrani, which condemned United States foreign policy decisions in the Middle East, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist activity online. There was also a complaint the lieutenant filed earlier this year against one of his instructors for mocking his mustache in class.But in Saudi Arabia, the American focus on possible radicalization has left family and acquaintances bewildered, forced to answer for their son and friend to other Saudis.Sensitive to Western stereotypes that often reflexively brand Muslims as terrorists, and aware that the kingdom cannot afford to lose Washington's support, many Saudis have been eager to portray the lieutenant as a monstrous outlier. A hashtag declaring that he "does not represent" Saudis has dominated Twitter in the kingdom, and the media has echoed the point."This work can only be done by a cowardly villain," Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political scientist, wrote in the Arab News, a Saudi newspaper. "He has betrayed his country, which trusted him and spent millions on his education. Instead, he stabbed her in the back."The Saudi government is also extremely sensitive about the case, fearing it could jeopardize a relationship already frayed by criticism in Washington over the war in Yemen and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year. King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other top officials have all condemned the shooting. Alshamrani's family has said they were questioned by government officials.In interviews, his father, brother, cousins and a family friend said that Alshamrani had always seemed content to be in the United States, working toward his longtime goal, never mentioning difficulties."Since he was a kid, he'd dreamed of being a pilot, and he worked so hard for it," said his brother, Abdullah Alshamrani. Once he arrived in the United States, "he loved it so much, really," his brother said. "He was amazed by America's military force, just really impressed by the military."The third child in a family from Tabalah, a farming town in southern Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Alshamrani grew up in Al Ahsa, not far from the Saudi Aramco compound in eastern Saudi Arabia. His father had moved there to work in the local airport, eventually rising to be a security official.The family spent summers with extended family back in Tabalah, with its date farms nestled amid the undulating desert and stark mountains. They built another house there and frequently came back for weddings and other family events. On summer evenings, with other entertainment scarce, young men like Alshamrani and his brothers and cousins would gather at rented guesthouses in the desert to play cards and watch soccer on TV late into the night.Alshamrani always seemed more serious and less boisterous than the other young men, recalled Galat bin Mitshoosh, a retired longtime detective with the local prosecutor's office in Tabalah who knows the family."I never heard anything political from Mohammed," he said. "He was quiet, just a normal guy. He might talk about sports sometimes."The Alshamranis were observant Muslims who prayed, he said, but their practice of Islam was not considered especially strict.A person familiar with the investigation in the United States has said that friends and classmates told investigators that Alshamrani seemed to have become more religious when he returned from his last visit home in February.During that visit, relatives said, he took his mother to the holy city of Mecca to perform the umrah, a type of pilgrimage that many Muslims routinely undertake. In his relatives' eyes, however, they said there was nothing to indicate his Islamic beliefs had changed or hardened. He did not seem different, they said, except that he had shaven his chin clean.Always a good student, Alshamrani cemented his place as the pride of his family when he became one of the two students picked from his air force academy class of several hundred to enter the training program in the United States on a scholarship. Saudi Arabia has sent hundreds of thousands of young students overseas to study in Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States in recent years, but it was so rare for someone from rural Tabalah to study in the United States that the last young man from the town to do so before Alshamrani is locally famous."I was so proud of him. He's the role model of the family," his brother Abdullah said. "I'm the eldest son, but Mohammed is a big deal."Starting in August 2017, the Saudi government paid for him to spend a year learning English at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio before he moved to Pensacola for military training. He had already received weapons training at his academy in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, the family said. But he did not appear to acquire a gun in the United States until July, when he legally purchased a Glock 45 9-millimeter handgun in late July, shortly after obtaining a state hunting license, the FBI said Tuesday.Over his years in the United States, he shared with his family pictures of himself smiling in Times Square and in uniform with one of his American trainers.A video he took in Florida showed friends splashing around in kayaks, as he laughed behind the camera. When he called home -- almost every day, his father and brother said -- he talked about traveling around the United States, hanging out with his Saudi roommate and coming home after graduation. He was counting down the months.So was his family. His father had told neighbors and friends in Tabalah that he would throw a huge graduation party for his son when the family visited next summer, according to bin Mitshoosh, the retired detective. All the men from all six of the town's tribes would be invited.When he called his family Friday, Alshamrani offered to send his brother some extra money. He promised to be home soon."I'll call you later," he told Abdullah.Only hours later, that night, would they learn the news.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


The Real Locations That Inspired 13 Famous Paintings
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:31:09 -0500

The Real Locations That Inspired 13 Famous Paintings


US military releases photos showing Bagram Air Base damage following brazen Taliban assault
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 16:22:19 -0500

US military releases photos showing Bagram Air Base damage following brazen Taliban assaultA source on the ground detailed to Military Times that a firefight between the Taliban and Afghan and U.S. forces lasted nine to 10 hours.


The farm goods at the heart of the US-China trade war
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 13:53:49 -0500

The farm goods at the heart of the US-China trade warIn trade negotiations with China, President Donald Trump has made it a priority that the Asian giant buy tens of billions of dollars in US farm goods. - How much do the US and China trade? From 2008, China was either the largest or second-largest importer of American agricultural products.


Rep. Adam Schiff turns over Pence aide's classified letter to Judiciary Committee
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 17:54:32 -0500

Rep. Adam Schiff turns over Pence aide's classified letter to Judiciary CommitteeHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) has submitted to the Judiciary Committee a classified letter from an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.


Oink oink, cha-ching: $3 million found in barrels of pork
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 08:28:25 -0500

Oink oink, cha-ching: $3 million found in barrels of porkBarrels of raw pork shoulder were riding fat in a tractor trailer pulled over by North Carolina deputies. Approximately $3 million in cash was recovered from the barrels Saturday, the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post Tuesday. The driver of the tractor trailer was accused of failing to maintain his lane and impeding the flow of traffic on Interstate 85.


The parents of the toddler who fell from the 11th floor of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship are suing the company
Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:47:53 -0500

The parents of the toddler who fell from the 11th floor of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship are suing the companyThe lawsuit, filed Wednesday, reportedly alleges that Royal Caribbean was negligent by leaving open the window the girl fell through.


Israel bars Gaza's Christians from visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 14:12:43 -0500

Israel bars Gaza's Christians from visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem at ChristmasJERUSALEM/GAZA, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Christians in the Gaza Strip will not be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas this year, Israeli authorities said on Thursday. Gazan Christians will be granted permits to travel abroad but none will be allowed to go to Israel and the occupied West Bank, home to many sites holy to Christians, a spokeswoman for Israel's military liaison to the Palestinians said.


How an Obscure Part of the Paris Climate Agreement Could Cut Twice as Many Carbon Emissions — Or Become a 'Massive Loophole' for Polluters
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 12:43:41 -0500

How an Obscure Part of the Paris Climate Agreement Could Cut Twice as Many Carbon Emissions — Or Become a 'Massive Loophole' for PollutersAn obscure part of the Paris Climate Agreement could cut more carbon emissions — or make them worse. Here's what you need to know about controversial carbon markets.


Meet the Navy's Small Warships That Help to Deter Iran
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 04:45:00 -0500

Meet the Navy's Small Warships That Help to Deter IranSpunky and important little boats.


Canada Conservative leader resigns amid reports he used party funds for private school
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:23:31 -0500

Canada Conservative leader resigns amid reports he used party funds for private schoolAndrew Scheer announced intention to step down shortly before reports he used funds for his children’s eductionThe leader of Canada’s Conservatives has resigned, following mounting frustration over a disappointing performance in October’s general election and reports that he used party funds to help pay for his children’s private school education.Andrew Scheer announced his intention to step down at an emergency caucus meeting on Thursday morning. Shortly after news of his resignation broke, however, Global News reported that he had used party funds to pay for his children’s private school education – allegedly without knowledge or approval from the funding board.Party officials said that the use of party funds to partially cover the cost of private school in Ottawa was a “normal practice” for political parties and denied the issue was linked to Scheer’s resignation.In an emotional speech to the house of commons early Thursday afternoon, Scheer thanked his party and family for their steadfast support.“In order to chart the course ahead, this party needs a leader who can give 100% to this effort. So after a conversation with my kids, my loved ones, I felt it was time to put my family first,” he said.Scheer, who is also head of the official opposition, received a standing ovation from parliamentarians following his speech.Justin Trudeau, whose Liberals defeated the Conservatives in October’s bitter general election, praised Scheer’s dedication.“I want to thank him deeply for his service to Canada on behalf of all Canadians, on behalf on all Liberals, and I know there are many more conversations to have,” said Trudeau, as the two shook hands. The NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh, and the Bloc Québécois leader, Yves-François Blanchet, thanked Scheer for his service.Scheer – who won the popular vote on 21 October but failed to gain enough seats to form government – was unable to resist a parting shot at the prime minister on Thursday.“I believe I’m the first person in history to get more votes for Trudeau,” he said to laughter.Scheer, who was once speaker of the house under former prime minister Stephen Harper, won leadership of the party in 2017. In the months leading up to the election, his Conservatives had polled ahead of Trudeau, but the party was unable to capitalize on a prime minister beset by scandals, leaving many frustrated with Scheer’s performance.In the weeks following the election, Scheer has become the target of scathing editorials from conservatives, most notably over his stance on LGBTQ+ issues. Sheer has refused to march in any Pride parades and has declined to give full-throated support for gay marriage – positions his critics say risk further alienating voters in much of the country.Scheer will stay on until a new leader has been chosen, and asked the party’s governing council to immediately begin the search for his replacement


Republican women launch 'Conservative Squad' to take on AOC, progressives in D.C.
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 15:15:24 -0500

Republican women launch 'Conservative Squad' to take on AOC, progressives in D.C.Four Republican women running for Congress have launched the Conservative Squad, aimed at taking on progressives in D.C.


China to buy $50 billion in U.S. farm products in return for tariff concessions-U.S. sources
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 02:31:28 -0500

China to buy $50 billion in U.S. farm products in return for tariff concessions-U.S. sourcesThe White House has agreed to suspend some tariffs on Chinese goods and reduce others in return for Beijing's pledge to hike purchases of U.S. farm products in 2020, sources said on Thursday, taking a step towards de-escalating the trade war between the world's two biggest economies. A sourced briefed on the status of bilateral negotiations said the United States would suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods expected to go into effect on Dec. 15 and roll back existing tariffs.



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