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More than 50 former intel officials signed a public letter saying they believe the Hunter Biden story has 'all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation'
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 01:54:38 -0400
The former intel officials wrote they believed the arrival of emails to the New York Post, which they dubbed a "laptop op," was a cause for suspicion.

Tennessee poll worker fired after turning away voters in Black Lives Matter shirts, masks
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:30:03 -0400
A poll worker at the Dave Wells Community Center in Memphis was fired after turning away voters wearing 'Black Lives Matter' gear. Another worker quit shortly afterward.

Danish sub killer arrested after failed prison escape
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 07:53:12 -0400
The Danish man sentenced to life in jail for the murder of journalist Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine was arrested on Tuesday after a failed prison escape bid led to a standoff with police.

Analysis: France's Muslims fear further isolation amid calls for tougher action on militant Islam
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 07:30:41 -0400
The beheading of a teacher has prompted calls for tougher action against militant Islam from the French Right and Left, but it has also deepened a sense of alienation among the country’s Muslims. Most unreservedly condemn the killing and other acts of terrorism, but many do not understand why teachers need to show what they see as gratuitously offensive cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in classes about freedom of expression. Jacques Thomas, a teacher at a technical college in a predominantly immigrant, blue-collar suburb of Paris, said many of his students believe Muslims are often unfairly singled out for insults in the media. “Last month one teenager asked me why ‘you French’ don’t want to let Muslims live as Muslims in France. He was talking about bans on the full-face veil in public and headscarves in schools, and the row over Muslim women going to beaches wearing the burkini [a swimsuit that covers most of the body]. But he also asked me why it was OK for [the satirical weekly] Charlie Hebdo to publish ‘vulgar’ cartoons of the Prophet when any depiction of Muhammad is considered blasphemous by Muslims.” Mr Thomas, 54, said he felt that he was walking on eggshells when discussing such subjects with students who see themselves as victims of a two-tier education system: “They are being taught to become technicians and many will end up as plumbers or electricians, so they’re not used to abstract concepts. Freedom of expression is difficult for them. They think children in more affluent areas get a different kind of schooling that positions them for higher-status jobs in the professions. They feel like outsiders in a culture that leaves little place for them.”

Heartbreak in the Magic Kingdom: Laid-off Disney workers turn to food banks as coronavirus devastates Florida tourism
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:19:49 -0400
The coronavirus has led to thousands of layoffs at Disney in Orlando, and devastated the local economy, reports Richard Hall

The ‘siege’ of Phil Collins’ Miami Beach mansion continues: His ex wife just got served
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:22:31 -0400
She got served.

Journalists Share Deceptively Edited Clip of GOP Michigan Senate Candidate John James’ Answer on Health Care
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:28:45 -0400
A number of prominent journalists shared a deceptively edited video that purported to show Republican Michigan Senate candidate John James fumbling his response to a question about protecting patients with pre-existing health conditions."I don't see a full health care plan on your website. What do you want to replace it with?" anchor Devin Scillian of Detroit's Local 4 News asked James during an interview on Sunday."So here's the thing. I'm not a politician," James begins his response, at which point the video ends.During the rest of his answer that was not included in the clip, James goes on to outline his vision for health care and the proposals he believes could replace the Affordable Care Act."Health care is unaffordable for too many Americans, and I believe that by increasing competition, increasing choice, increasing quality of care, lowering costs, I think we can do that with some of the ways I proposed," James said.The Michigan Republican said he proposes "broadening the risk pools across state lines," as well as reforming the tort and regulatory hurdles that raise costs and allowing business association health plans "so people can make their own choice.""Those are the types of things through a legislative requirement that must protect preexisting conditions," James said.The video was put out by Michigan Democrats and subsequently shared by several prominent journalists and others with large Twitter followings.CNN White House correspondent John Harwood shared the video, as did Emily Singer and Oliver Willis of the American Independent and veteran broadcast journalist Soledad O'Brien. Several former government officials and entertainment personalities also shared the video along with Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's communications director and incumbent Gary Peters, James's opponent in the Senate race.The Michigan Senate race is now considered a toss up between James and Peters, according to RealClearPolitics.James has been advocating for replacing Obamacare since his first unsuccessful run for Senate in Michigan three years ago.In November 2017, James called the Affordable Care Act a "monstrosity" and declared Washington needs "someone who will go and work their tail off" to repeal and replace it.“Our failure to repeal and replace Obamacare is the surest sign that we need new conservative leadership in Washington,” James said at the time.

Fake naked photos of thousands of women shared online
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:40:05 -0400
Fake naked images of thousands of women are being made from social media photos.

Trump's recycled attacks from 2016 fail to land on Biden
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 07:02:58 -0400
President Trump is attempting to recycle attacks he used on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, but they are failing to land on Joe Biden.

Expect a price jump, and new COVID-19 rules, when booking your next cruise
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 09:45:27 -0400
Cruise companies say pent-up demand, once the U.S. no-sail order is lifted, will lead to higher ticket costs.

TikTok users are super-gluing vampire fangs to their teeth, and struggling to get them off. Dentists are not happy about it.
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:18:00 -0400
Users are posting videos, yanking furiously on their fangs to try to remove them. Dentists say it could cause permanent damage.

Chipotle is killing one of customers' favorite ways to get free food
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 09:37:57 -0400
The era of the free Chipotle tortilla has come to an end. The chain is now charging $0.25 for a side tortilla.

12 Everyday Household Items That Are Worth the Investment
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:31:33 -0400

Joe Biden supporter who was installing BLM sign arrested for allegedly shooting at passing Trump supporter and son
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:12:36 -0400
Neighbours said the political signs supporting Democrats had been previously pulled down on multiple occasions

Anti-Trump group targets Rubio with $450,000 ad buy in Florida on Supreme Court
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:02:48 -0400
Republican senators against the nomination of a Supreme Court justice during an election year but support Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment are a target.

Fears of ecological disaster grow over stricken oil tanker in Caribbean
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:05:44 -0400
Lawmakers from the National Assembly called on the country's government to urgently unload oil from Nabarima to avoid a spill.

Ireland Goes Into Total Lockdown in Desperate Bid to Save Christmas as Europe’s Second Wave Gathers Force
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:28:38 -0400
COUNTY CARLOW, Ireland—Sunday two weeks ago, my wife and I joined four friends for a birthday dinner, making up what was then the maximum sized legally-permissible group, six.An opportunity to forget about the coronavirus for a few hours turned into anything but when one of our host’s kids came into the room where we were eating and told us that they’d heard on TikTok that the country was moving to “level five.”We all understood.It was soon established that Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency team, NPHET, had written to the government, urging a move from the then-current patchwork of “level two” and “level three” restrictions to a super-strict “level five” lockdown across the entire country.At levels two and three of the government’s five-level plan for “living with COVID,” which was launched last month, something resembling normal life in Ireland is just about possible.Hunting Season Exposes the Hypocrisy of Governors Fighting Mask MandatesLevel five, by contrast, is essentially a total lockdown with restaurants (and our famous pubs) only open for takeaway; non-essential shops closed; hairdressers and salons closed; all social visits banned; weddings and funerals limited to 25 guests and individuals prohibited from traveling farther than 3 miles from their homes. The following day, Monday, Ireland’s government did something extraordinary; it rejected NPHET’s advice. It said the entire country would move to level three instead.Ireland’s deputy leader, tanaiste Leo Varadkar, went on radio and publicly chastised NPHET members. Varadkar said they were civil servants who had no conception of what it meant to be facing unemployment or having “to shutter a business for the last time.”Varadkar added, “I’m not talking about the economy, I’m talking about something that could have happened to half a million human beings tomorrow and the reason why politicians make these decisions is because we’re the ones who can see the bigger picture.“It’s not just about a virus and statistics around a virus. It’s not about a death rate. It’s about real people, and how it impacts on so many different people, and so many different communities, in so many different ways.”Exactly two weeks after Varadkar made his defiant stand, the Taoiseach (prime minister) Micheál Martin stood on the steps of government buildings Monday night and performed a stunning u-turn. A grim-faced Martin announced that the entire country would indeed go into level five restrictions beginning midnight Wednesday, after infections among Ireland’s 5 million people surged to over 1,000 a day. The government expects some 200,000 people will lose their jobs. The only chink of light is that schools are staying open, for now.A key factor in the government decision was that NPHET indicated that a six-week lockdown would suppress the virus to as few as 50 cases a day by December, allowing reopening in time for Christmas.Martin sought to tap into the national obsession with Christmas in his televised address, saying, “Every Christmas is important, but this year it is particularly so. Each of us have our own rituals for Christmas, and they will take on extra poignancy this year as we remember those who didn’t survive 2020. Not only those who have been taken by the virus, but also all those others who passed away this year and didn’t get the wakes and funerals and goodbyes that we as a people are so good at, and which they deserved.“It won’t be the same Christmas that we have enjoyed in years past, but if we all pull together and follow the spirit of these new rules, it will be a very special time and will give us all some respite from the hardship of the last seven months.”The resurgence of the virus has shocked many Irish, who congratulated themselves this summer after daily cases fell to the low twenties.However, the reality is that Ireland is merely part of a vast new coronavirus wave sweeping across Europe.And while Irish people are now living with the toughest official national restrictions in the world, it seems inevitable that much of the rest of Europe will follow.Indeed, many European countries, including Spain, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Luxembourg all have 14-day cumulative numbers of COVID-19 cases per 100,000, one of the ECDC’s favored measures, above Ireland’s figure of 253. Many of those countries have severe regional or city-specific lockdowns and curfews already in place.America is unlikely to be spared a second wave either; the state of Arizona, for example, has 7.2 million residents compared to Ireland’s 4.9 million and is seeing a similar number of cases of around 1,000 per day, and the Arizona number is on a sharp upward trajectory.While Martin tried to hold on to the promise of Christmas, he also admitted in his address that the country was effectively set for a cycle of yo-yo lockdowns.He rejected goals of zero COVID, and herd immunity, instead saying, “We work to suppress the virus when it is growing, and we work to reopen as much of our society and economy as possible when it is safe to do so. Until we have a safe vaccine, we must continue in that pattern.”It’s a deeply depressing message. It’s also the truth, and not just for Ireland.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.

The clock is ticking on Republicans' Senate advantage
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:45:00 -0400
For years the conventional wisdom has been that Republicans enjoy a healthy structural advantage in the race for the U.S. Senate. It's how Republicans were able to expand their majority in that chamber despite a brutal national environment in 2018, and it's how senators representing a minority of the U.S. population will be able to plow forward with Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination before the election, confident that even if they kick away the Senate this year, it won't be long before they are back in power. That edge is one of the many reasons I've long advocated for making Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico the 51st and 52nd states as the first order of business should Democrats ever recapture the House, Senate, and presidency at the same time.The conventional wisdom is due for a revision either way. Unfortunately for Mitch McConnell and his allies, the same demographic trends that threaten to relegate the national Republican Party to long-term minority status are coming for the GOP's Senate power too. All over the country, young people are in open revolt against the GOP. Tired of the racist culture wars, furious with an economic system that has failed to deliver prosperity to the millennial and 'Zoomer' generations, and disgusted by the GOP's climate denialism, the youngest voters have broken for Democrats by double digits more than the electorate as a whole since 2004. The trend long predates the rise of the odious Donald Trump, but it has certainly been exacerbated by his ugly antics.Republicans have now spent a decade governing and campaigning as if they don't have any interest in winning a national majority and clearly believe that the long-run redoubts of their power are in the U.S. Senate and the federal court appointments it controls. They may receive a wake-up call in two weeks, but even if they don't, their long-term outlook is grimmer than is commonly understood. Judging by the 2018 exit polls and the numbers we see so far this year, some of the states they take for granted as part of their minoritarian hold on the Senate are slipping away.Take Montana. In a state that Donald Trump carried by more than 20 percent, 18-29 year-olds saved the seat of incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2018 by giving him a 38-point margin in a race he won by fewer than four. In Texas, Democrat Beto O'Rourke did 45 points better with the youngest cohort than the 2018 electorate as a whole, which narrowly voted for Republican Ted Cruz. In Missouri, Claire McCaskill did 20 points better with this group. In Mississippi, a low-profile Democratic Senate candidate named David Baria outperformed his statewide margin with these voters by 25. These are all states that are currently out of reach for Democrats but form a critical part of the GOP's Senate majority.The first two columns in the chart below show the 18-29 split for the 2018 Democratic and Republican Senate candidate. The third shows the overall Democratic margin in the race, and the fourth calculates the 'swing' away from the results and toward Democrats for the youngest voters. As you can see, Democrats did better with 18-29 year-olds than the electorate as a whole in every 2018 Senate race for which there is exit polling, ranging from 7 points in Ohio to nearly 50 points in Tennessee.Source: CNN exit pollsIf it was just one age bloc of voters tilting Democratic, Republicans might be tempted to dismiss it as the product of President Trump's unique repulsiveness. But in most of these states, Republican candidates lost the 30-44 cohort as well, comprised of millennials and younger Gen Xers. In Tennessee, Democrat Phil Bredesen won them by 15; in Texas it was Beto O'Rourke by 4, and in Missouri, it was Claire McCaskill by 7. The Arizona data is not broken down by cohort, but Democrat Kyrsten Sinema beat Republican Martha McSally by 21 points overall among voters under 45. In fact, the only race where the GOP won 30-44 year-olds was in North Dakota. Not to belabor the obvious here, but the Republican Party cannot survive as any kind of national force if its candidates continue to decisively lose two generations of voters with no sign that they are making inroads with rising 18-year-olds.The trends of 2018 look like they will repeat themselves in a similar national environment this year. A recent New York Times/Siena poll of the South Carolina Senate race has Democrat Jamie Harrison leading Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham by 27 points with 18-29s. A Quinnipiac poll of Iowa had Democrat Theresa Greenfield leading Republican incumbent Joni Ernst by 19 points with 18-34 year-olds. A Civiqs poll of North Carolina had Democrat Cal Cunningham leading Republican Sen. Thom Tillis by 19 points with voters under 35. I'm not intentionally cherry-picking — it's just that there's no good news for Republicans with this age group. Not in the Sun Belt. Not in Alaska. Not in the Midwest. Not anywhere. It really raises the question of whether any states at all are trending red.Republicans might be tempted to laugh their struggles off with some recitation of the old nostrum that "if you're not a liberal at 25 you have no heart and if you're not a conservative at 50 you have no brain." There is a widespread and mistaken assumption that young voters have always been more liberal than the rest of the electorate only to shift right when they have families, acquire property, and start resenting their tax rates. But there is almost no data to back this presumption up — just a handful of high-profile left-to-right party switchers that happened to include the most renowned Republican president of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan.In fact, Reagan won the youngest voters in 1984 by a much larger margin than he tallied overall against Walter Mondale. Republicans were competitive with young voters throughout the second half of the 20th century, and as recently as 2000, there was no meaningful difference between age cohorts for Al Gore and George W. Bush. It was the twin policy disasters of the Bush years — the Iraq War and the financial crisis — that turned millennials into a solidly Democratic cohort. And President Trump was repulsing 18-year-old voters even before the COVID-19 nightmare, suggesting that the GOP's inability to appeal to young people on a variety of policy issues was more important to them than the relatively strong pre-virus economy.There's no sugarcoating how terrible this is for Republicans. The balance of the scholarship on this questions suggests that partisanship tends to harden with age, and that only major life disruptions like a divorce or a move to an area with dramatically different partisanship can shake adults out of their party preferences. As Pew puts it, "generations carry with them the imprint of early political experiences." How do you think today's high schoolers and young adults are going to feel about the Trump era?Of course, millions of people will still change their ideas and ultimately their party preferences, but that movement happens in both directions. The best data you can find for the GOP is that perhaps a slightly larger number of people turn conservative as they age rather than the other way around. But that's not going to put much of a dent in a 30-point deficit. And it means that the aggregate commitment of millennials and Zoomers to voting for Democrats (if not identifying as such) is unlikely to shift more than a few points right in the coming years.That's why Republicans are gravely mistaken to think that they can lock in their power through the federal judiciary long after their ill-gotten 'majority' has vanished. Without an ongoing advantage in the Senate, that project will come to ruin.More stories from Will Kansas go blue? What happened to third party candidates? If Roe falls

Killer dubbed ‘Black Widow’ gets prison release 30 years after hit on estranged husband
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 18:50:02 -0400
Barbara Kogan organised killing to secure life insurance payout

7.4 earthquake shakes near Sand Point, Alaska
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 17:27:29 -0400
The Monday afternoon quake that hit hundreds of miles southwest of Anchorage has prompted a tsunami warning.

A US lab used rockets to launch a semi-truck into a new tractor trailer built to transport nuclear weapons
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:53:25 -0400
"You've got to be able to ship nuclear assets safely and securely or you don't have a deterrence program," a lab project manager said.

‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris was warned before child porn arrest by the owner of a gym featured on ‘AGT,’ lawsuit claims
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 17:18:12 -0400
Cheer Athletics co-owner Angela Rogers warned 'Cheer' star Jerry Harris about a possible investigation into his conduct, according to a lawsuit.

Meadows Warns of Lawsuits against Social Media Companies over Censorship of Hunter Biden Reports
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:13:35 -0400
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows warned Monday of “additional lawsuits” against social media companies over their censorship of political material including news articles on Hunter Biden's business dealings.“They have two standards: one for one campaign, one for the other. But I do believe that additional lawsuits will be filed perhaps as early as today to go after that,” Meadows said during an interview on Fox News.“Listen, it’s not just the campaigns,” Meadows continued. “They’re now starting to censor, actually, reporters. That’s a dangerous place for them to go when they’re the arbiter of what they deem to be the truth.”Meadows's remarks come after Twitter on Wednesday blocked users from tweeting out the link to a New York Post story detailing leaked emails revealing high-dollar negotiations between Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and foreign companies, although the authenticity of the Biden emails has not been independently confirmed.In leaked emails from 2014, Biden appears to try to leverage his influence with his father, then vice president, in negotiations regarding his lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. He refers to his father, who was heavily involved in U.S. policy on Ukraine at the time, as “my guy.”The younger Biden also entered into a consulting contract with China’s largest private energy company that initially earned him $10 million a year “for introductions alone,” according to the emails.The leaked emails and other data were found on a MacBook Pro laptop that was dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop in April of last year but was never retrieved, according to the owner of the shop, and has since been seized by the FBI.On Thursday, Twitter also suspended the Trump campaign’s account for attempting to tweet out a video calling Joe Biden a “liar” and citing Hunter Biden's emails.President Trump last week also warned of consequences and said that he expects the controversy to trigger a lawsuit against the social media giant.“It’s going to all end up in a big lawsuit,” Trump said."There are things that can happen that are very severe that I’d rather not see happen,” the president continued. “But it’s probably going to have to.”Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey acknowledged Wednesday before the Trump campaign's account was locked that, “our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable.”A group of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said last week that they would subpoena Dorsey for his testimony on the decision to censor the Post article/

Florida agency: Flying squirrels illegally shipped to Asia
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:40:42 -0400

Supreme Court justices chastise Vermont on the limits of police power in 'deer jacking' case
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 11:40:00 -0400
Vermont's high court ruled that game wardens had a legal right to wander around the land of a homeowner suspected of illegally hunting deer at night.

Gunfire, racist threats reported against Indiana candidate challenging Pence’s brother
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:27:31 -0400
“It’s terrifying to me,” Jeannine Lake said.

Senate GOP whip doubts 13 Republicans would vote to pass White House COVID-19 stimulus bill
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 02:47:07 -0400
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for about an hour Monday as they scrabble to reach agreement on a COVID-19 stimulus package before Pelosi's Tuesday night deadline. They reported some progress. "We have finally in the last 24 hours ... come to a place where they are willing to address the crisis," Pelosi said on MSNBC Monday night. She laid out the sticking points with the White House in a private call with House Democrats on Monday."I want this as soon as possible because I don't want to carry over the droppings of this grotesque elephant into the next presidency," Pelosi said on the call, Politico reports. "We've got to get something big and we've got it done soon and we've got to get it done right." The financial markets seem skeptical. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 411 points, or 1.5 percent, on Monday as hopes faded for a deal.President Trump also says he wants a big deal, but if Pelosi and Mnuchin manage to negotiate one, he will have to lean on Senate Republicans for them to even take it seriously. "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said only the Senate would 'consider' any such agreement, with no promise of a floor vote or whether it would have his support," Politico reports. A significant number of Senate Republicans are balking at the price tag, between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, and "if all Senate Democrats supported the legislation, it would still need more than a dozen Republicans to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster."Republicans' "natural instinct, depending on how big it is, and what's in it, is probably going to be to be against it," Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said Monday. "I think we're going to have a hard time finding 13 votes for anything." Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said the package "would divide Republicans if it's anything like the kind of contours we hear about.""Given the number of Republican senators in tough re-election races, it's conceivable that some of them would support a massive spending deal," Politico notes, but Senate Republicans would clearly prefer that negotiations fail. "You'll lose a lot of Republicans on whatever that is," said Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). But "If they bring it up for a vote, I'm guessing there will be enough to get it across the finish line."More stories from Will Kansas go blue? What happened to third party candidates? If Roe falls

Florida company warns employees they might lose jobs if Trump doesn’t win
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:52:45 -0400
Boss has given hundreds of thousands to Republican political causes

Infectious diseases specialist challenges airlines' COVID safety analysis
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 08:50:45 -0400
A campaign by coronavirus-stricken aviation giants to persuade the world it's safe to fly has been questioned by one of the scientists whose research it draws upon.

The 2021 IKEA Catalog Is Finally Here!
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 17:31:03 -0400

Televangelist Pat Robertson predicts Trump win, then chaos, then the end of the world
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 20:27:38 -0400
Pat Robertson has made similar predictions about the end of the world before and been wrong. This time, he foresees "some kind of asteroid strike."

Aeroflot Airlines crew members suspected of helping smuggle $50 million worth of stolen iPads, iPhones, and more into Russia
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 15:16:21 -0400
The US State Department has revoked 113 visas of Aeroflot employees in connection to the smuggling allegations.

Taiwan and Chinese diplomats injured in fight in high-end Fiji hotel
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 05:37:48 -0400
Taiwan and China have become embroiled in a diplomatic spat on the Pacific island of Fiji, after government officials from both sides were allegedly injured during a fight at an event in a high-end hotel to mark Taiwan’s National Day. The incident occurred amid growing tensions between Beijing and Taipei over Taiwan’s global status, and as both sides vie for diplomatic and economic influence in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Monday that it had asked the Fijian police to investigate the October 8 incident. The fight resulted in a Taiwanese diplomat being sent to hospital after trying to prevent two Chinese embassy officials from entering the venue to photograph people who were attending. The Chinese Communist Party claims Taiwan - a democratic island of 24 million which it has never ruled - as its own territory. It tries to undermine Taiwan internationally and strongly objects to Taipei having independent ties with any other nations. Taiwan, a strong US ally, has formal relations with four countries in the region, although not with Fiji. According to the Taiwanese foreign ministry, two Chinese diplomats stormed into a celebration marking Taiwan’s national day to “harass” their guests.

Unmasked man in Washington grocery store speaks out after video goes viral
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:39:53 -0400
In the viral video, an employee confronts Scott, who said his medical condition prevents him from wearing a mask.

These men tried to break into two homes within minutes. Here’s what it looked like
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:36:46 -0400
The Broward Sheriff’s Office released video on Tuesday of two men they say tried to pull two burglaries from homes within minutes of one another.

Justice Department Announces Rule to Bar Some Criminal Illegal Immigrants from Asylum
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:34:26 -0400
The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security on Tuesday announced new regulations barring illegal immigrants who have committed certain crimes from obtaining asylum in the U.S., part of the Trump administration's ongoing effort to prevent bad actors from gaining entrance to the country."To ensure that criminal aliens cannot obtain this discretionary benefit, the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security have exercised their regulatory authority to limit eligibility for asylum for aliens who have engaged in specified categories of criminal behavior," the DOJ said in a statement.Under the new rule, immigrants who are convicted felons, have been convicted of smuggling or harboring other illegal immigrants or reentering the country illegally, committed certain drunk driving offenses, committed a crime involving gangs, received government benefits illegally, committed drug trafficking or possession offenses, or committed offenses related to false identification will not be eligible for asylum.Notably, immigrants who have committed certain domestic violence offenses, such as battery or extreme cruelty, will also be barred from asylum even if they were not convicted.Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said Tuesday on a call with reporters that the rule aims to "bring some sanity to the asylum system and our legal immigration system" and to "get the charlatans out of the system and preserve it for those who are deserving of America's tremendous generosity."Cuccinelli said that he expects the rule to help "speed the process along" of vetting asylum seekers, potentially easing the asylum program's current backlog of over a million cases.Asylum seekers who are currently waiting on their cases in the U.S. but are now ineligible for asylum under the new rule "will be deported" when their cases come up, Cucinelli said.The new rule will take effect 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.Last year, the administration attempted to deny asylum to all migrants who failed to enter the U.S. through a legal port of entry but that policy was struck down by more than one federal judge, who said it was “inconsistent with” the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison in deadlock in South Carolina Senate battle
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:55:51 -0400
Senator Lindsey Graham and his Democratic opponent this autumn, Jaime Harrison, are in a statistical deadlock, recent polling in the Palmetto State has found. A new poll conducted by liberal writer and strategist Cornell Belcher and his consulting outfit Research and Strategies found Mr Harrison, the challenger, with a 2 percentage point lead over Mr Graham as the race enters its final two weeks. Mr Harrison led Mr Graham 47-45 per cent in that poll, with 5 per cent of respondents undecided.

McConnell reportedly warned White House against passing stimulus bill before the election
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 17:34:24 -0400
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has reportedly shut down all hope of passing a COVID-19 stimulus bill in the next two weeks.Discussions regarding the next relief bill have gone on for months with no actual results after the last package — and the boosted unemployment insurance that came with it — expired after July. But despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continuing discussions Tuesday, people familiar with the discussions say McConnell has called the whole thing off, The New York Times reports.Mnuchin and Pelosi have been in talks for weeks, with Pelosi setting Tuesday as a deadline for both sides getting their "terms on the table." Yet negotiations didn't end as Democrats try to work at least $2 trillion in funding from the White House; Mnuchin offered up a $1.8 trillion package on Monday. McConnell meanwhile said Tuesday "if a presidentially supported bill clears the House at some point we'll bring it to the floor." But behind closed doors in a lunch with Senate Republicans, McConnell reportedly said he told the White House not to accept anything until after the election. He's looking to avoid making Republicans up for re-election avoid the "difficult choice of defying the president" by voting against the bill or "alienating their fiscally conservative base" by approving it, the Times reports.President Trump had previously said he was ending the stimulus talks until after the election, only to change his mind just a few days later. McConnell has been pessimistic about negotiations for weeks.More stories from Will Kansas go blue? What happened to third party candidates? If Roe falls

U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:52:00 -0400
U.S. fighter jets intercepted four Russian military aircraft in international airspace near Alaska, NORAD said.

Ratcliffe: No proof foreign actors tied to 'Biden' laptop. Officials: FBI is probing
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:49:00 -0400
Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI counterintelligence chief, said it's possible the laptop was the product of a political dirty trick by domestic actors.

Vietnam faces deadly flooding disaster - Red Cross
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:02:46 -0400
Floodwaters have killed over 100 and left homes submerged, crops destroyed and livestock swept away.

Watch the US Navy stealth destroyer Zumwalt fire off a missile for the first time
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:10:56 -0400
USS Zumwalt went years without a working combat system, but now the Navy is starting to put its weapons to the test.

A Texas woman in her 30s died of COVID-19 earlier this year while waiting for her plane to take off
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:28:43 -0400
The woman reportedly had trouble breathing and required supplemental oxygen before she died while her plane was on the tarmac in Arizona.

Someone stole my American Airlines miles! What can I do?
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:00:00 -0400
Q: Someone stole 50,000 miles from my American Airlines AAdvantage account. The points were redeemed for a flight.

We analyzed a conservative foundation's catalog of absentee ballot fraud: It's not a 2020 election threat
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:56:02 -0400
President Trump has said absentee ballot fraud is a threat to the 2020 election. A review of alleged ballot fraud cases shows why that's not true.

Hundreds of Chinese fishing vessels ‘target’ Galapagos Islands
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:52:08 -0400
Huge fleet evaded trackers on edge of protected zone

Pakistan army to probe troops' role in arrest of politician
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:34:05 -0400
Pakistan's army chief Tuesday ordered an investigation into allegations that a provincial police chief was kidnapped by army troops to force him to order the arrest of the son-in-law of exiled former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. In a statement, the military said army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa ordered the military commander in the port city of Karachi to begin a probe into the accusation. The development comes a day after Sharif's son-in-law, Mohammad Safdar, was briefly arrested after opposition parties held a rally protesting the administration of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Trump supporter launches furious rant at Starbucks barista
Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:53:55 -0400
This week a Trump supporter went viral for all the wrong reasons after video surfaced of her yelling anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric at a Starbucks barista in Santee, California. The clip – which was taken by a concerned customer – shows the agitated woman getting into a heated war of words with barista Alex Beckom, 19, after being politely asked her to wear the Trump 2020 mask under her chin, correctly over her face. Instead of leaving quietly, the woman then accused the coffee shop employee of discriminating against her for her political views as a supporter of the president.

Trump reportedly invited a waiter into a top secret intelligence briefing room to order a milkshake
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 10:57:00 -0400
Look, sometimes a man just needs a malted milkshake. Admittedly, there are less opportune moments to indulge in such a craving — say, when you're in a highly classified briefing about Afghanistan with your country's senior defense and intelligence officials.Nevertheless, President Trump reportedly brought such a huddle to a halt a few months after he took office in 2017, Politico reports. "Does anyone want a malt?" the commander-in-chief supposedly asked the top-ranking officials who'd assembled for the briefing at his New Jersey golf club, including the head of the CIA's Special Activities Center, "a little known unit" that is "responsible for operations that include clandestine or covert operations with which the U.S. government does not want to be overtly associated," Spec Ops Magazine explains.Trump urged, "We have the best malts, you have to try them," before inviting a waiter into the code-word-secure briefing room to satisfy his sweet tooth. "The malt episode ... became legendary inside the CIA, said three former officials," Politico writes, explaining that "it was seen as an early harbinger of Trump's disinterest in intelligence, which would later be borne out by the new president's notorious resistance to reading his classified daily briefing." (That is to say, pictures were added to the briefings to help keep him engaged).Still, this is a man who has flexed the power of the nation's highest office to … install a button on his desk in the Oval Office that summons a butler to bring him a Diet Coke. The briefings can wait! To paraphrase a queen of France who was similarly burdened with the trivialities of running a country when there were sweets to consume, let them drink milkshakes.More stories from Will Kansas go blue? What happened to third party candidates? If Roe falls

Early voting begins in crucial Florida as election nears
Mon, 19 Oct 2020 08:39:08 -0400
Early voting began in battleground state Florida on Monday, with just two weeks to go until the election.


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