Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion

Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosionMore than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.


Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'

Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'"There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves," Gingrich argued.


Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife

Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wifeCan we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality


Police are trying to arrest their way out of a mass shooting epidemic, and experts warn it could have dire consequences

Police are trying to arrest their way out of a mass shooting epidemic, and experts warn it could have dire consequencesThe arrests won't fully or permanently stop a person determined to inflict mass death — and the US is nowhere near close to tackling the root causes.


Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warningsRussia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.


2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?

2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?Vastly different yet similarly capable, one of these rear-drive sports coupes begs to be driven harder than the other.


Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meeting

Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meetingThe move sparked loud and angry backlash from climate change activists who believe the Democratic Party should change the rules to allow for a debate focused solely on climate issues.


Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show

Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents showJair Bolsonaro hopes to sabotage conservation efforts in the Amazon, leaked documents show.A series of powerpoint slides reveal that Brazilian government officials intend to build a bridge, motorway and hydroelectric plant through the rainforest.


Iranian oil tanker pursued by US says it is going to Turkey

Iranian oil tanker pursued by US says it is going to TurkeyAn Iranian-flagged oil tanker pursued by the U.S. amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington changed its listed destination to a port in Turkey early Saturday after Greece said it wouldn't risk its relations with America by aiding it. The crew of the Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, updated its listed destination in its Automatic Identification System to Mesrin, Turkey, a port city in the country's south and home to an oil terminal.


Oil dragged into U.S.-China trade war, prices slump

Oil dragged into U.S.-China trade war, prices slumpChina threatened to impose tariffs on U.S. crude oil for the first time in the escalating bilateral trade war, sending prices to two-week lows on Friday as that compounded worries about a slowdown in global oil demand. China said crude would be among the U.S. products hit by tariffs of 5% as of Sept. 1. U.S. President Donald Trump said he would offer a response later on Friday.


Hong Kong protesters form human chains to call for democracy

Hong Kong protesters form human chains to call for democracySupporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement lined the streets and part of the city's harbor front Friday, inspired by a human chain in a historic Baltic states protest against Soviet control 30 years ago. It was the latest protest in a nearly 11-week-old movement that began with calls to scrap a now-suspended extradition bill and has widened to include demands for full democracy and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality at protests. In a protest dubbed "The Baltic Way," nearly 2 million Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians formed a human chain more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) long on Aug. 23, 1989.


Trump fumes over emissions deal between automakers and California

Trump fumes over emissions deal between automakers and CaliforniaThe president decried a deal between the most populous U.S. state and four major automakers.


Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in Washington

Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in WashingtonAn ambitious agenda by the March for Our Lives activists may be the first time the majority of Americans get real representationA young girl looks on as she attends a vigil for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMarch for Our Lives, the national youth gun violence prevention movement founded by survivors of last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, released a sweeping gun reform agenda this week.The agenda calls for significantly raising the standards for gun ownership in America, and reducing by about 100m the total number of guns in circulation.It’s a dramatic, ambitious plan. And it may represent the first time in decades that the majority of Americans will get any real representation in the gun control debate in Washington.March for Our Lives’ young activists endorsed an Australia-style mandatory government buyback and destruction of “assault weapons”. They want to decrease the number of guns in circulation by 30% – which would mean roughly 100m fewer firearms in American hands. They proposed regulations that would dramatically raise the bar for who is allowed to purchase a gun, putting US law much more in line with European countries. And they want to revisit the 2009 supreme court decision, District of Columbia v Heller, which enshrined a pro-gun interpretation of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms.These proposals are substantially more aggressive, and more ambitious, than anything the Democrats in Washington have fought for in years. In fact, for decades, gun control groups and progressive politicians have done a poor job at representing the majority of Americans in Congress when it comes to gun control. A surprising voidDemocrats have fought for minor new restrictions on gun buying – and been defeated by the Republican party’s gun absolutists – but, fundamentally, the Democratic party has remained supportive of gun ownership.Democratic lawmakers’ efforts to “ban assault weapons”, for example, have not meant an actual ban on these guns, but only a ban on future sales, meaning that Americans could keep the millions of military-style rifles they already own. President Obama’s signature gun control legislation after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a compromise bill that would have closed just a few of the gaping loopholes in the nation’s background check system – a measure so weak it’s doubtful whether it would have had any effect on gun violence at all.The country’s largest gun control groups, too, have made great efforts to portray themselves as pro-“gun safety”, not anti-gun. They routinely advertise themselves as supporters of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms. And they have focused on “commonsense reforms”, such as getting what activists see as particularly extreme weapons off the streets, or requiring a criminal background check before every gun sale.This lack of any explicit anti-gun side in the American gun debate is strange.Although many Americans may not realize it, gun owners are a minority in the United States. American civilians overall own an estimated 300m to 400m firearms, more than one gun per person. But this frequently cited statistic obscures how concentrated American gun ownership is.In recent surveys, roughly 70% to 80% of Americans said they do not personally own a gun, and a majority said that nobody in their household owns a gun. Just 3% of American adults own half the country’s guns, according to a definitive 2015 survey. This small group of gun super-owners have an average of 17 guns each.Gun absolutists – the activists who oppose any gun control measures, who want Americans to be able to own any kind of gun, and carry them everywhere – are a minority within that minority. According to the best available estimates, fewer than 10% of American gun owners overall are members of the National Rifle Association.There appear to be at least as many Americans who are vehemently anti-gun as there are NRA members.Recent Gallup polls have found that 28% of American adults say they would support a law banning handgun ownership, except by the police and other “authorized persons”. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that 9% of American adults believed that “almost no one” should be legally allowed to own guns – about the same proportion as the number of adults who believed that “almost everyone” should be able to own them.A coalition of 9% of American adults would translate into more than 20 million people. That’s a group four times larger than the NRA, which claims between 5 million and 6 million members.Only a minority of Americans oppose most private gun ownership. But there’s strong majority support for much tougher gun control laws than the ones currently on the books.A 2017 Pew survey found 68% supported banning assault-style weapons. Seventy-one percent supported having a federal database to track all gun sales. A 2018 Gallup survey found 68% of respondents supported raising the legal age to buy certain guns. A Quinnipiac poll in May found 77% of respondents were in favor of requiring people to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun.It’s not hard to find Americans who oppose the country’s current gun culture. They show up at gun control rallies, holding signs that say things like “Repeal the Second Amendment”. They live in neighborhoods burdened by decades of daily gun violence. They’ve lost family members or friends to shootings. They keep asking: why can’t we just get rid of the guns?But for years, these Americans’ views have not been well represented by America’s “gun safety” groups, and they have had virtually no representation in Congress.This may finally be starting to change. Moving the gun debateIn 2016, a progressive activist launched Guns Down America, a small organization that advocates not simply for “gun sense laws”, but for “a future with fewer guns”. Following the Parkland shooting, the young March for Our Lives activists have advocated unapologetically for bold reform, though they, like other American gun control activists, say they’re not anti-gun and their proposals for stricter regulation represent the interests of “responsible gun owners”.It’s not yet clear how much the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will move towards embracing these majority opinions on gun control policy. But there’s already been movement towards the actual middle of the debate.In 2016, Obama argued in a CNN Town Hall that “issues like licensing, registration, that’s an area where there’s just not enough national consensus at this stage to even consider it”. This year, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker made gun licensing the center of his 2020 gun control platform.After the mass shooting targeting Latino families in El Paso, the former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said he endorsed not just an assault weapon ban, but a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons. On Wednesday, he became the first Democratic 2020 candidate to tweet that he supported March for Our Lives’ new policy agenda.O’Rourke’s campaign did not back away from the most controversial elements of the youth activists’ plan, including their desire to revisit the supreme court’s current interpretation of the second amendment, enshrined in the Heller decision.“While Beto agrees with the court’s holding that the second amendment allows for regulation, he does not agree with the entirety of the Heller decision,” said Aleigha Cavalier, O’Rourke’s national press secretary. “One piece of the Heller case Beto believes should be revisited is the court’s decision to strike down DC’s safe storage requirements.”America’s gun debate may soon actually have two sides.


Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin

Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As Europe marks 80 years of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which carved up eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Russia is trying to defend the agreement again. There is no political benefit to doing this. President Vladimir Putin needs to abandon his Stalinist inheritance of a foreign policy based solely on national interest.If Moscow needed any reminder that many in eastern Europe still hold the treaty against it and still consider it a threat, plenty came on the anniversary. The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania – the countries directly affected by the pact’s secret protocol – issued a joint statement saying the document “sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.”More than a million people gathered to celebrate the Baltic Chain, the 419-mile (675 kilometer) long line of people who protested Soviet rule on Aug. 23, 1989. The demonstrators didn’t pick that day at random – they, too, were making the point that the subjugation of their countries by the Soviet Union began with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.Russia is fighting back. In Moscow, the original of the treaty is now exhibited alongside documents relating to both the 1938 Munich Agreement, where British and French leaders sanctioned the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland, and Poland’s subsequent invasion of part of Czechoslovakia.At the opening of the exhibition earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of Britain and France’s treachery: By cosying up to Hitler, they forced the Soviet Union to sign a deal with the Nazis to ensure its own security, he said. Had the Western Europeans listened to the Soviets and set up a collective security system, the bloodshed of World War II could have been averted. Lavrov was making a clear analogy with Russia’s efforts to build an alternative security architecture in today’s Europe – an idea the Kremlin hasn’t abandoned despite the rest of Europe’s lack of interest.For its part, the Russian mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the group the Kremlin sees as the foundation for its alternative security architecture, tweeted on Aug. 20 that lots of other countries had signed pacts with the Nazis before the Soviet Union did.Kremlin officials can say all this until they go hoarse, but that can’t erase the undeniable fact that the Soviet Union’s security didn’t require it to grab the Baltics and parts of Poland and Romania. Poland, which tried to benefit from the Nazis’ aggression, has admitted it was in the wrong when it invaded part of Czechoslovakia. President Lech Kaczynski apologized for it in 2009.In 1989, the Soviet Union, too, officially condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – but subsequent Russian communications about it, including an entire article signed by Putin himself in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, have come with the caveat that lots of others were at it, too.These excuses are a major reason other European countries don’t trust Russia: To them, Putin and his subordinates are saying that Moscow would do something like this all over again if its interests dictated it, small countries be damned.Concern this might happen was what drove eastern Europeans into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The reality of the annexation of Crimea – another opportunistic move dictated ostensibly by Russian security considerations – is pushing Ukraine in the same direction.If Putin’s goal was to inspire trust and start a meaningful conversation about collective European security in an age of increasing global competition, an unconditionally apologetic stance would work much better. Refraining from invading neighboring countries would be an even more meaningful step.I suspect, however, that Putin doesn’t really believe in such goals, because, like Stalin, he thinks a deal with the devil, based on common interest rather than trust, is the best.My epiphany about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact came when I read the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi ideologue and Hitler’s one-time minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Rosenberg was skeptical about the deal and recoiled in horror when fellow Nazi Richard Darre told him of Joachim von Ribbentrop’s comment that he had “felt as though among old party comrades” when meeting the Soviet leadership.Incredulously, Rosenberg recounted that during Ribbentrop’s visit, Stalin raised his glass not just to Hitler but also to Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi security chief, calling him “the guarantor of order in Germany.”“Himmler has eradicated communism, i.e. those who believed in Stalin, and this one – without any need for it – raises a toast to the exterminator of his faithful,” Rosenberg noted.For Stalin, any kind of ideology took a back seat to expediency. He was a man of interests, not values. In that sense, Putin, an avowed anti-communist who has condemned Stalin on many occasions, is following the dictator’s realpolitik. His adherence to his current Orthodox Christian brand of social conservatism is as flimsy as Stalin’s link to leftist idealism was. If Putin can do a deal that will promote what he sees as Russia’s interests, he will do it with anyone. He will wear any hat required of him while doing so, and raise any toast. He is oblivious to Molotov-Ribbentrop’s biggest lesson of all: That such agreements don’t hold.That’s why eastern Europeans, and especially Ukrainians, are so worried about the possibility of a grand bargain between Putin and a U.S. president, most recently Donald Trump. The consequences for them could be comparable to those of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.What’s needed from Russia isn’t an apology for carving up Europe with Hitler, but a different foreign policy is – one in which principles trump interests. Only such a change can bring closer the idealistic vision of a Europe that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a goal to which both Russian and European leaders still like to refer. And that shift shouldn’t come at a moment of weakness, as it did in the waning years of the Soviet Union. Restoring trust should be a conscious process. It will take some time.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


An innocent man spent months in jail after customs officials thought honey he brought back from Jamaica was liquid meth

An innocent man spent months in jail after customs officials thought honey he brought back from Jamaica was liquid methLeon Haughton told The Washington Post he was jailed for 82 days after customs officials in Baltimore alleged that the three jars of honey were meth.


L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off

L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off


Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute plea

Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute pleaA serial killer who admitted killing six gay men in just eight-months in the US east coast has been executed.Gary Ray Bowles was given a lethal injection in Florida late Thursday after more than 20 years on death row.


Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New Hampshire

Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New HampshireThe campaign manager for Bernie Sanders emphasized Thursday that New Hampshire is a critical presidential primary state he expects Sanders to win, but he's leaving room for a scenario in which Sanders falls short. Faiz Shakir said he doesn't "like the language of must-win," though he does believe it is an important early voting state.


Pompeo meets Trudeau, says China detention of two Canadians 'wrong'

Pompeo meets Trudeau, says China detention of two Canadians 'wrong'American officials are working to secure the release of two Canadians held by China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday as he sat down with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two Canadians -- former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor -- were detained in December and accused of espionage. The detention came nine days after Canada had arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.


Psychologist approved Jeffrey's Epstein's removal from suicide watch

Psychologist approved Jeffrey's Epstein's removal from suicide watchA psychologist at the federal detention center in New York City where financier Jeffrey Epstein was jailed on sex-trafficking charges had approved his removal from suicide watch before he killed himself, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The disclosure came in a letter dated on Thursday from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd and addressed to the leaders of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, seeking details about the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death earlier this month. Epstein, who was 66, was found dead Aug. 10 in his cell inside a segregated housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan.


Poll: Majority of Americans don't want Trump to be impeached and removed from office

Poll: Majority of Americans don't want Trump to be impeached and removed from officeA majority of Americans oppose impeachment of President Donald Trump and his removal from office, according to a poll out Thursday. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., also asked other House committee chairs Thursday to provide records that would help in making a decision whether to pursue impeachment.


20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever

20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever


Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade

Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbor after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated to the ruling party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said in an interview Thursday.“Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecom,” Mahajan said by phone. “Not just in consumer goods, they’re a threat in telecom because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure.”The group met Indian telecom companies on Aug. 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. The organization had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mahajan said. Calls made to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking comment went unanswered.This isn’t the first time that the Swadesh Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders had called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the U.N. Security Council.A ban called by both organizations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn’t successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30%, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over $53 billion with China.To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


A Beverly Hills realtor has been charged with burglarizing the homes of celebrities — including Adam Lambert and Usher — while hosting open houses

A Beverly Hills realtor has been charged with burglarizing the homes of celebrities — including Adam Lambert and Usher — while hosting open housesRealtor Jason Yaselli and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman face 50 felony counts, and could spend more than 31 years in state prison if convicted.


Hotline for detained migrants featured on Orange is the New Black shut down

Hotline for detained migrants featured on Orange is the New Black shut downHotline shut down by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement connected detained migrants to an advocacy groupFounded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the Netflix production and was named in the show. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesUS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has shut down a national hotline that connected detained migrants to an advocacy group, a month after the hotline was featured in a storyline in the hit TV series Orange is the New Black.Founded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants in the world’s largest immigration detention system with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the award-winning Netflix production and was named in the show.Freedom for Immigrants runs and supports visitation programs in detention centers. It sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ice, alleging the government agency was retaliating and violating its right to exercise free speech after its profile grew.“Ice is attempting to silence its critics and block people in immigration detention from connecting with communities on the outside,” said Christina Fialho, the group’s co-executive director. “It’s disappointing, but not unexpected, that Trump’s Ice would engage in such cruel and undemocratic behavior.”Shawn Neudauer, an Ice spokesman, said all Ice facilities provide detainees with reasonable access to phones and that detainees are allowed to make free calls to an Ice-approved list of free legal service providers.“Pro bono organizations found to be violating [Ice] rules may be removed from the platform,” Neudauer said. “However, removal from this platform in no way limits the ability of an Ice detainee to phone such an organization directly should the detainee wish to do so.”The Ice phone system is operated by Talton Communications, which is mandated to provide free extensions to groups such as the UN refugee agency, consulates and Freedom for Immigrants.Freedom for Immigrants had three pro-bono extensions operating in detention centers when Donald Trump took office. Ice shut down two of the extensions before the final one was closed on 7 August.Fialho said the cease-and-desist letter was the first step in potential litigation, though the group was hoping to avoid court.“We very much hope we can resolve this amicably, but our team is also ready to enforce our rights under the constitution,” she said.Before Ice shut down the hotline it closed more than a dozen of Freedom for Immigrants detention center visitation programs. They were ultimately reinstated.The final season of Orange is the New Black focuses on the immigration detention system, which is run by Ice, and highlights how difficult it is for people in prison to contact family or friends because of the high cost of making phone calls in detention.In one scene, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) tells Maritza (Diane Guerrero) about the hotline and warns: “You gotta be careful, though. Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”Fialho said the hotline was important for helping migrants connect with the outside world.“We would get calls from people who hadn’t been able to communicate with family members to tell them they’ve been taken by Ice, that they are in this particular immigration detention facility,” she said.While the extension number was supposed to be written on a sheet available to migrants in every detention center, Fialho said Ice had never made it easily available and people learned about the hotline through word of mouth instead.Now that the extension is gone, detained migrants can still use the Freedom for Immigrants hotline, but the group will have to shoulder the cost. The extension was also supposed to be unmonitored. Ice can listen in on a normal call.Orange is the New Black actors including Guerrero, Emily Tarver and Laura Gómez signed a letter to Ice demanding the hotline be restored.


Paul Whelan: US marine held on spying charges claims he was injured in Russian jail

Paul Whelan: US marine held on spying charges claims he was injured in Russian jailA former US marine who was arrested on charges of spying in Russia claims to have been “injured” in prison by the guards detaining him while he awaits trial.Speaking to journalists during a court appearance in Moscow, Paul Whelan said: "I was injured in the prison... the prison doesn't want to tell you."


Rep. Steve King wants to make abortion point in 'softer way'

Rep. Steve King wants to make abortion point in 'softer way'Backed by supporters at a news conference in Des Moines, the Iowa Republican affirmed his belief that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions for rape or incest. King faced criticism for his comment Aug. 14 that questioned whether there would be "any population of the world left" if not for births due to rape or incest. The remarks were condemned by numerous groups and individuals, including Republican and Democratic candidates seeking to oust King, Democratic presidential candidates as well as the Iowa Republican Party and Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in House leadership.


China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm Products

China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm ProductsChina purchased a comparatively small amount of U.S. soybeans several days ago after promising to boycott U.S. farm products amid deteriorating trade negotiations with the Trump administration.Beijing reached agreements last week to buy 9,589 metric tons of American soybeans for the current marketing year and 66,000 metric tons for the following year, which starts September 1, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released Thursday.An August 5 statement from China's Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies would boycott American farm products in response to the Trump administration's heavy tariffs on Chinese products. In May, the White House upped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, claiming Beijing had reneged on the previously agreed terms of a trade deal. The U.S. also currently has a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese high-tech products.In response, China has slapped 25 percent tariffs on tens of billions in U.S. goods, including cars, planes, propane, soybeans, beef, and whiskey. The duties caused a steep drop in American farm exports, and the Trump administration has since compensated farmers up to $28 billions for their losses.Despite apparently breaking its boycott, China, which is the world's largest soybean importer, is still not purchasing anywhere near as many American soybeans as it has in the past. Last year, American sales of soybeans to China dropped 74 percent as Beijing gave its business to South America.President Trump has long complained about China's trade practices, accusing the country of contributing heavily to the U.S. trade deficit as well as stealing intellectual property from American companies.“Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!” the president wrote in a tweet around the time of China's retaliatory tariffs.The administration had said it planned to impose tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods by September 1, but later said it would delay imposing them until December."Despite the U.S. decision to delay tariffs on some Chinese goods . . . if the United States rides roughshod over China’s opposition and imposes any new tariffs, China will be forced to adopt retaliatory actions," Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.


Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' report

Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' reportThe family of a staffer at the UK consulate in Hong Kong have rejected a "made-up" report by Chinese state media that he was detained in the mainland for visiting prostitutes. Simon Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since. The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen, which lies on the China-Hong Kong border.


Judge hurries U.S. naturalization as pregnant woman gets contractions

Judge hurries U.S. naturalization as pregnant woman gets contractionsA judge in California had to speed up the naturalization of a pregnant immigrant on Thursday when the woman, anxious to become a U.S. citizen because of President Donald Trump's immigration policies, started experiencing contractions. The 31-year-old Armenian-American woman, who was scheduled to give birth to her second child next week by cesarean section, said she started to feel contractions after a walk to a Los Angeles convention center where the judge was naturalizing about 3,200 immigrants.


Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016Bradley Moss and John Yoo weigh in on a federal court ruling in Colorado on the Electoral College that could make its way to the Supreme Court.


More than 6,100 flights delayed across the US over thunderstorms in the Northeast

More than 6,100 flights delayed across the US over thunderstorms in the NortheastThe Northeast is being hit with heavy rain, causing a flurry of flight delays and cancellations


A woman caught a fish with two mouths and the photo is just as shocking as you would expect

A woman caught a fish with two mouths and the photo is just as shocking as you would expectA woman in upstate New York surely found the "catch-of-the-day" when she reeled in a fish with two mouths. A photo of the fish has since gone viral.


Released from death row, then returned — forced to prove race discrimination a second time

Released from death row, then returned — forced to prove race discrimination a second timeCases before N.C. Supreme Court show link between slavery, Jim Crow and modern death penalty is as connected as 'ropes of the lynch-man's noose'


The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health Care

The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health CareThe Hyde Amendment keeps women of color, young people, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and lower-income people from accessing abortion care, writes Congresswoman Barbara Lee. She says it's time for Congress to repeal it.


Suspect in California campus killing was co-worker

Suspect in California campus killing was co-workerA man arrested in the stabbing death of a retired administrator at the California State University, Fullerton campus was a co-worker, police said Thursday. Chuyen Vo, 51, was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Huntington Beach, officials announced at a news conference near the killing scene in a campus parking lot. Lt. Jon Radus, however, declined to elaborate on Vo's work relationship with the victim and whether it was current or in the past.


CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as Contributor

CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as ContributorFormer FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is joining CNN as an on-air contributor, the network's media reporter Oliver Darcy announced Friday.McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 after the Department of Justice's inspector general revealed that he'd repeatedly lied under oath to investigators about his role in leaking information on the bureau's Clinton Foundation investigation to the Wall Street Journal. The Inspector General referred the matter to the U.S. attorney's office for investigation and McCabe may still face criminal charges.The 21-year FBI veteran maintains his innocence, arguing that he was misunderstood and tried to correct the record. He filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in Washington earlier this month, alleging that his dismissal was “politically motivated and retaliatory.”President Trump routinely disparaged McCabe as a political partisan during his time in the administration, often invoking his wife, Jill McCabe, who ran unsuccessfully for state senate in Virginia as a Democrat in 2015.Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) mocked CNN's commitment to honest journalism in response to McCabe's hiring.> The guy who DOJ inspector general found committed federal crimes & is a serial liar? Good work, CNN. Love to see that commitment to serious journalism https://t.co/rHfBB9aLVW> > -- Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 23, 2019The news of McCabe's hiring comes just one day after CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter chastised Fox News for hiring former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.“The Trump White House has a record of misleading the public. All administrations spin. This administration lies consistently, whether it's Sanders, or Spicer, or other White House aides. And it’s all led from the top by a president who lies even about the weather and the time of day. That, I think, is why this deserves outrage and backlash,” Stelter said.


Overstock CEO resigns over relationship with Russian 'spy'

Overstock CEO resigns over relationship with Russian 'spy'The chief executive of the e-commerce firm Overstock.com stepped down Thursday over his relationship with an alleged Russian intelligence operative jailed for meddling in US politics. Patrick Byrne only recently admitted that he had a close relationship with Maria Butina for three years, during the period when she beguiled top Republican and National Rifle Association officials with talk of strengthening Moscow-Washington relations and her flair with guns.


More is More

More is More


Le Brexit breakthrough? Europe says "Nein", "non", "no"

Le Brexit breakthrough? Europe says "Nein", "non", "no"LONDON/PARIS/BERLIN, Aug 23 (Reuters) - After sterling soared and some British newspapers roared at a supposed Brexit victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Europe's power brokers had a more sobering message: the basic divorce deal is not changing. Enter PM Johnson, an avowed Brexiteer whose bet is that the threat of a disorderly 'no-deal' exit will convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron that the EU must grant him the divorce deal he wants.


Trump claim doctors treating mass shooting victims 'were coming out of operating rooms' to meet him dismissed by hospitals

Trump claim doctors treating mass shooting victims 'were coming out of operating rooms' to meet him dismissed by hospitalsTwo hospitals have denied Donald Trump’s claim doctors “were coming out of operating rooms” to meet him when he travelled to Texas and Ohio to console victims of two mass shootings."At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” University Medical Center (UMC) spokesperson Ryan Mielke told local TV station KVIA. “Our priority is always patient care."


After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plastics

After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plasticsMount Everest has become littered with trash and bodies as more adventurers try their luck at scaling the natural wonder.


3 Russian teen sisters on trial for killing their father, citing years of horrific abuse, put a spotlight on domestic violence in the country

3 Russian teen sisters on trial for killing their father, citing years of horrific abuse, put a spotlight on domestic violence in the countryKrestina, Angelina, and Maria, Khachaturyan stabbed their father 36 times. Their lawyer says they suffered years of abuse, and acted in self-defense.


Cathay Pacific cabin crew union leader fired as Hong Kongers warn of spread of 'white terror'

Cathay Pacific cabin crew union leader fired as Hong Kongers warn of spread of 'white terror'Cathay Pacific fired a cabin crew union leader on Friday, the latest casualty in a fast-spreading “white terror” as mass protests in Hong Kong continue into their third month.  Rebecca Sy, head of the Cathay Dragon flight attendant’s association, said she lost her job of 17 years, without explanation,  after managers saw and confirmed her Facebook account,  which included messages in favour of the protests. “All the employees are being frightened, not just cabin crews, but even the management,” Ms Sy told reporters. “My colleagues are all terrified because of its white terror.” “White terror” is a term used to describe a slew of events that create a climate of fear particularly as companies and employees worry of serious repercussions for voicing their views. Her departure follows a surprise resignation last week by CEO Rupert Hogg, reported first by Chinese state media, underlining the political nature of the decision. Cathay has borne the brunt of Beijing’s anger as authorities look to punish companies with any link to the Hong Kong protests - a direct challenge to the power of the Communist Party. Rebecca Sy was dismissed from her position as flight attendant for Cathay Pacific's subsidiary Cathay Dragon Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images In the crackdown, companies and employees could face serious repercussions for voicing their views. Hong Kong subway operator MTR has also come under fire for arranging additional trains to allow protesters to travel home, accused of “colluding with rioters” in Chinese state media.  Beijing authorities have long put the squeeze on companies over political issues by encouraging its 1.4 billion citizens to snub various brands or by throwing up a number of regulatory roadblocks – a move that can have devastating consequences for even the biggest firms. Simon Cheng, 28, a British consular official in Hong Kong and permanent resident of the city has been detained for two weeks in mainland China for allegedly visiting prostitutes.  Under Chinese law, Mr Cheng should have been released today after a 15-day administrative period but at time of publication he was still in detention. Hong Kong police said on Friday that they did not know Mr Cheng's whereabouts.  Protests in Hong Kong first kicked off over an extradition proposal that would have exposed people to China’s murky legal and judicial system, where authorities have also in the past detained foreigners to express political displeasure. Two Canadians - Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur - were detained in China last year during Beijing’s diplomatic dispute with Ottawa over its arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. It is widely viewed that both men - who are still being held and have been charged with spying – are being used as political pawns. Hong Kong protests | Read more A number of multinationals operating in Hong Kong have sought to stress their political neutrality to avoid their businesses being targeted and to protect staff from arbitrary detention.  Earlier this week, the world’s “big four” accounting firms came under attack after an anonymous group claiming to be made up of their employees took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to express support for protests in Hong Kong and condemn the firms for remaining silent on the issue. Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers all sought to distance themselves from the advertisement, saying it didn’t represent the companies’ views. But Chinese state media had already seized on the situation, calling for the firms to identify and sack the employees behind the ad. FinnAir has also issued a warning to staff to remember to “keep work and politics separate,” reported the South China Morning Post, over concerns that any link to the protests might lead to a customer backlash or flight cancellations in China, its second-largest market for long-haul travel.   “China is obviously putting pressure on companies to ensure that they all hold the same political views,” said Keenan Chuk, 30, a finance manager who attended a lunchtime rally or accountants in Hong Kong’s central business district Friday.  “I am concerned that I will be fired,” he said, adding that “we still have to fight for our rights.” Even universities have warned students against discussing politics and participating in rallies.  “In a modern society, education should be free from politics so as to alleviate the escalation of anxiety and avoid the divisive society caused by chaos,” according to a statement from the City University of Hong Kong issued earlier this month. A woman said she experienced at a police station during her detention in Hong Kong Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Peter Some banks are also now taking precautionary measures, purchasing full page ads in newspapers to affirm their support for the government. Edwin, 26, an accountant who declined to give his last name, said senior partners in his firm had invited junior employees to lunch that day in an attempt to dissuade people from attending Friday’s protest.  But he participated in the demonstration anyway, turning up again in the evening to join a human chain meant to evoke the Baltic Way, when two million lined up across three countries to protest Soviet rule in 1989.  “In the industry, we switch firms quite often,” he shrugged. Hong Kong police came under renewed pressure on Friday when officers were accused of conducting an unnecessary strip search on a female protester. The alleged victim appeared at a press conference dressed in all black with a black face mask, cap and sunglasses. Facing the cameras in front of a "MeToo" sign, she claimed she was arrested weeks ago at a protest against the now-abandoned extradition bill and was admitted to hospital for injuries she suffered that night. By her account, one officer patted her thighs with a pen, instructing her to open her legs wider after ordering her to take off all her clothes in a police cell. The police said their body search procedures had not changed during the recent outbreak of citywide protests.


Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail

Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jailRussian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released on Friday after spending a month in jail for calling for an unsanctioned protest. Navalny, along with several opposition activists, has led a protest movement earlier this summer against Russian election authorities' decision to bar nearly two dozen independent candidates from running for the Moscow city legislature in the Sept. 8 election. One of these rallies was the largest anti-government protest that Moscow had seen in eight years.


Brexit Held at the Border

Brexit Held at the BorderIn the last two days Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed that Ireland temporarily leave the European Union to align with the economic rules of a post-Brexit U.K. German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested, somewhat flippantly, that the U.K. could figure out a special trading arrangement for itself and Ireland in the next 30 days. And French president Emmanuel Macron has said that there’s still room for negotiation between the U.K. and the EU, but he’s willing to be “the hard boy.” Maybe Macron is taking the EU marriage metaphor a little too personally . . .What on earth is going on?It’s been three years since a majority of the U.K.’s electorate voted to leave the European Union. And so far, all that Brexit has generated is a great deal of nearly incomprehensibly vocabulary. First we got Theresa May’s red lines, her attempt to define how it was exactly that Brexit means Brexit, and what the future relationship, if any, the United Kingdom would have with the EU. These red lines, an end to freedom of movement from EU member states into the U.K., and an exit from the EU’s customs union ruled out the Norway option but not Canada Plus Plus. Or Canada Plus Plus Plus. Yes, I’m serious.According to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Theresa May and the rest of the EU, that future relationship has to be figured out in the transition period. That’s a two-year window after the U.K. leaves the EU in which it would continue to follow EU rules until they came to a trade agreement. That is, unless there is a no-deal Brexit and the U.K. simply exits the European Union on October 31 and conducts business with the world based on World Trade Organization rules. Got it? Well, sort of.The focus is now on the Irish-border backstop. Basically, the backstop is a promise that there will be no hard border — a customs border across the island of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Irish public officials have argued (with the support of the EU) that a frictionless border is necessary for economic and political reasons. The frictionless border is understood there as part of the the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. So too the “all-island economy” that it creates. The backstop is a promise by the U.K. to keep Northern Ireland following a number of regulations and customs rules that match it to the Republic of Ireland.This promise became the focus of Tory and Brexiteer anger at Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. First, because it created what seemed like a negotiating trap for the U.K. during the transition period. Having already agreed to keep Northern Ireland (and the rest of the U.K. with it) aligned with the EU’s rules as part of a backstop, the EU would have less incentive to come to another, different trade relationship to supersede that agreement. The price to be paid for testing and pushing the EU might carve up the United Kingdom itself. If Great Britain diverged from the EU at the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland would be partially politically detached from the Union, and perhaps its citizens would have to go through customs to travel within their own country, from Belfast to Birmingham.Recently Johnson has begun calling the backstop “undemocratic” and hinting that it violates the Good Friday Agreement. He has a point. The backstop would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU rules and regs in which they have no say. It would deprive Northern Ireland’s elected ministers to Parliament of any voice on matters that would be routine for MPs in any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. That seems quite a lot like a partial form of Irish unification. But the Good Friday Agreement ensures that Irish unity can be achieved only by a majority vote for it in the six counties and another one in the Republic of Ireland.Proponents of the backstop hold that this measure would merely be the decision of a sovereign Parliament over a part of its territory. It is an agreement between Parliament and the EU and doesn’t legally touch Ireland. That’s true. But, the reality is that it would create checks between constituent parts of the U.K. that normally exist between two different countries. It does so in order to prevent those checks on the island of Ireland. And it does so to meet the expectations of the Irish government based in Dublin. To whom would Northern Irish people turn when trade policy affects them? Nobody they directly elect would have a constitutional say.Effectively these economic rules would be imposed on Northern Ireland as if it were a kind of EU colony, and done in the interests of the Republic of Ireland. This may satisfy the historical imagination of Irish nationalists. (Believe me, there is a delicious irony to be savored here.) But it is hard to argue that such a result is consonant with the Good Friday Agreement. Or a wise way to endear Northern Irish unionists to the Irish government.All of this confusion is the result of a kind of gamesmanship. The EU and U.K. each want to use the Irish border as a reason to crack the other’s negotiating position. The EU would like to see the U.K. bounced into a permanent customs union in which it has no say, effectively maintaining the economic size and power of the EU while reducing the political influence of Eurosceptical Britannia. On the other side, the U.K. would like to see the Irish-border issue work in the opposite way, forcing the EU to strike an especially good and liberal trade deal with the U.K. that comes with fewer strings attached than those on Norway or other states that have non-standard arrangements.The lesson is rather obvious. You cannot predetermine what kind of infrastructure will be at a border and what laws will be enforced at it, in the absence of a durable agreement on trade in goods and materials. The EU and the U.K. have been trying to resolve questions in the wrong order. Both have done so out of a reasonable fear of loss.But the hour is late, and the real work must be done.


Syria regime forces surround Turkish army post: monitor

Syria regime forces surround Turkish army post: monitorSyrian government forces surrounded a Turkish observation post in the northwest Friday after overrunning nearby areas, a war monitor said, while Ankara vowed not to withdraw from its position. "Regime forces have surrounded the Turkish observation post in Morek after capturing other towns and villages in this pocket," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Syrian regime has upped the stakes with Ankara in its months-long Russian-backed offensive against the jihadist-ruled Idlib region, which borders Turkey.


Google the latest company to face worker revolt over immigration policy

Google the latest company to face worker revolt over immigration policyEmployees urged the tech giant not to work with US agencies involved with the separation and detention of immigrantsHundreds of Google employees on 14 August called on the firm to avoid working for US immigration officials until they stop ‘engaging in human rights abuses’. Photograph: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty ImagesLast week, Google became the latest company to be publicly lobbied by its own employees specifically because of US immigration policy.More than 1,300 Google workers have signed a petition demanding the company publicly commit to not support government agencies involved with the separation and detention of immigrants until those agencies “stop engaging in human rights abuses”.Google employees timed the petition to coincide with US Customs and Border Protection’s bidding period for a cloud computing contract, which Google could provide. The petition was also signed by 79 people outside the company, including several former Google employees and current Amazon employees.While these efforts – taking place at tech giants as well as furniture retailers – have yet to make a significant change, analysts expect employees will continue to speak out at companies that help prop up the US immigration system.“The workplace is radically changing,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at public relations firm Weber Shandwick, which found that four in 10 employees said they had spoken up to support or criticize their employers’ actions over controversial issues.The Google petition comes after a summer in which the US government was found by its own auditors to have kept child migrants in egregious conditions; a senior immigration official blamed a father for drowning with his daughter; and the Trump administration introduced a rule that medical bodies warned jeopardizes the health and safety of legal migrants.The tech industry, from CEOs to staffers, have led a new wave of workplace activism in areas beyond immigration, but employees in more traditional industries are also starting to speak up. Walk outsIn June, employees at online furnishing retailer Wayfair walked out of its Boston headquarters in protest against the sale of furniture to migrant child detention facilities at the southern border. The company donated $100,000 to the Red Cross after the backlash, though protesters argued it should have been donated to a group providing care to migrants at the border.There is no indication, however, that Wayfair has declined orders from US immigration agencies.Whether or not employee activism moves companies to shift their business practices, it shows no signs of slowing down.Millennials are most likely to raise concerns about their employers, with 82% of them saying they have a right to speak out against their employer, according to the May study by Weber Shandwick. In the survey, 76% of Gen X workers and 65% of Boomers said they felt they had that right.“Society is so polarized that I think it has heightened many employees’ attitudes towards what’s going on and made them question what is right and wrong – and how far they are willing to go in terms of what they are willing to say,” said Gaines-Ross.This increase is led by the tech industry, but Gaines-Ross said the Wayfair protest in July showed employee activism is moving into mainstream industries. “It’s definitely on the move and heading towards other sectors,” she said.As employee activism moves to other industries, it is also revealing how the US detention system – which detains more migrants than any other country – is entrenched with US businesses.After Donald Trump took the unusual step in July of announcing planned immigration raids which would use hotels to house people arrested in the round-up, major hotel chains released statements saying they didn’t want to detain migrants, according to the AP.Hotels faced pressure from the main hotel workers union, Unite Here, as well as customers.Major banks have said they would no longer lend money to private companies which run immigrant detention centers and American Airlines and United Airlines said last year that they didn’t want to fly children separated from their parents.The global public relations firm, Ogilvy, said it would continue to work with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after facing criticism from employees over a multi-million dollar contract with the agency.“Some of you feel strongly that we should stop working for CBP,” Ogilvy chief executive John Seifert said to employees in a July memo, obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “While I do understand and appreciate this point of view, I have concluded that our work for CBP is genuinely intended to improve the quality of this government agency’s public services.”Pressure from workers on political issues comes as the bosses of major US companies have signaled a shift in their guiding principles.Earlier this month, the bosses of 181 US companies changed the definition of the purpose of a corporation to “improving our society” instead of making the most money possible.


Russia's Chechnya inaugurates what it says is Europe's largest mosque

Russia's Chechnya inaugurates what it says is Europe's largest mosqueAuthorities in the Russian region of Chechnya on Friday inaugurated what they said was the largest mosque in Europe in a pomp-filled ceremony attended by local and foreign officials. Named after the Prophet Mohammed, the marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the "largest and most beautiful" mosque in Europe. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the mosque -- located in Shali, a town of 54,000 just outside the regional capital Grozny -- was "unique in its design, and majestic in its size and beauty".


Man arrested after using Band-Aids and gauze to repair flat tires

Man arrested after using Band-Aids and gauze to repair flat tiresDeputies arrested a man who was allegedly under the influence of drugs, using Band-Aids and gauze to repair flat tires.


Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion

Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosionMore than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.


Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'

Newt Gingrich says slavery needs to be put 'in context,' calls 1619 project a 'lie'"There were several hundred thousand white Americans who died in the Civil War in order to free the slaves," Gingrich argued.


Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife

Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wifeCan we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality


Police are trying to arrest their way out of a mass shooting epidemic, and experts warn it could have dire consequences

Police are trying to arrest their way out of a mass shooting epidemic, and experts warn it could have dire consequencesThe arrests won't fully or permanently stop a person determined to inflict mass death — and the US is nowhere near close to tackling the root causes.


Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warningsRussia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.


2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?

2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?Vastly different yet similarly capable, one of these rear-drive sports coupes begs to be driven harder than the other.


Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meeting

Chaotic scene as DNC votes down climate change debate at San Francisco meetingThe move sparked loud and angry backlash from climate change activists who believe the Democratic Party should change the rules to allow for a debate focused solely on climate issues.


Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents show

Amazon fires: Bolsonaro actively trying to devastate rainforest, leaked documents showJair Bolsonaro hopes to sabotage conservation efforts in the Amazon, leaked documents show.A series of powerpoint slides reveal that Brazilian government officials intend to build a bridge, motorway and hydroelectric plant through the rainforest.


Iranian oil tanker pursued by US says it is going to Turkey

Iranian oil tanker pursued by US says it is going to TurkeyAn Iranian-flagged oil tanker pursued by the U.S. amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington changed its listed destination to a port in Turkey early Saturday after Greece said it wouldn't risk its relations with America by aiding it. The crew of the Adrian Darya 1, formerly known as the Grace 1, updated its listed destination in its Automatic Identification System to Mesrin, Turkey, a port city in the country's south and home to an oil terminal.


Oil dragged into U.S.-China trade war, prices slump

Oil dragged into U.S.-China trade war, prices slumpChina threatened to impose tariffs on U.S. crude oil for the first time in the escalating bilateral trade war, sending prices to two-week lows on Friday as that compounded worries about a slowdown in global oil demand. China said crude would be among the U.S. products hit by tariffs of 5% as of Sept. 1. U.S. President Donald Trump said he would offer a response later on Friday.


Hong Kong protesters form human chains to call for democracy

Hong Kong protesters form human chains to call for democracySupporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement lined the streets and part of the city's harbor front Friday, inspired by a human chain in a historic Baltic states protest against Soviet control 30 years ago. It was the latest protest in a nearly 11-week-old movement that began with calls to scrap a now-suspended extradition bill and has widened to include demands for full democracy and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality at protests. In a protest dubbed "The Baltic Way," nearly 2 million Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians formed a human chain more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) long on Aug. 23, 1989.


Trump fumes over emissions deal between automakers and California

Trump fumes over emissions deal between automakers and CaliforniaThe president decried a deal between the most populous U.S. state and four major automakers.


Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in Washington

Radical gun reform may finally have a voice in WashingtonAn ambitious agenda by the March for Our Lives activists may be the first time the majority of Americans get real representationA young girl looks on as she attends a vigil for the victims of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesMarch for Our Lives, the national youth gun violence prevention movement founded by survivors of last year’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, released a sweeping gun reform agenda this week.The agenda calls for significantly raising the standards for gun ownership in America, and reducing by about 100m the total number of guns in circulation.It’s a dramatic, ambitious plan. And it may represent the first time in decades that the majority of Americans will get any real representation in the gun control debate in Washington.March for Our Lives’ young activists endorsed an Australia-style mandatory government buyback and destruction of “assault weapons”. They want to decrease the number of guns in circulation by 30% – which would mean roughly 100m fewer firearms in American hands. They proposed regulations that would dramatically raise the bar for who is allowed to purchase a gun, putting US law much more in line with European countries. And they want to revisit the 2009 supreme court decision, District of Columbia v Heller, which enshrined a pro-gun interpretation of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms.These proposals are substantially more aggressive, and more ambitious, than anything the Democrats in Washington have fought for in years. In fact, for decades, gun control groups and progressive politicians have done a poor job at representing the majority of Americans in Congress when it comes to gun control. A surprising voidDemocrats have fought for minor new restrictions on gun buying – and been defeated by the Republican party’s gun absolutists – but, fundamentally, the Democratic party has remained supportive of gun ownership.Democratic lawmakers’ efforts to “ban assault weapons”, for example, have not meant an actual ban on these guns, but only a ban on future sales, meaning that Americans could keep the millions of military-style rifles they already own. President Obama’s signature gun control legislation after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a compromise bill that would have closed just a few of the gaping loopholes in the nation’s background check system – a measure so weak it’s doubtful whether it would have had any effect on gun violence at all.The country’s largest gun control groups, too, have made great efforts to portray themselves as pro-“gun safety”, not anti-gun. They routinely advertise themselves as supporters of Americans’ second amendment right to bear arms. And they have focused on “commonsense reforms”, such as getting what activists see as particularly extreme weapons off the streets, or requiring a criminal background check before every gun sale.This lack of any explicit anti-gun side in the American gun debate is strange.Although many Americans may not realize it, gun owners are a minority in the United States. American civilians overall own an estimated 300m to 400m firearms, more than one gun per person. But this frequently cited statistic obscures how concentrated American gun ownership is.In recent surveys, roughly 70% to 80% of Americans said they do not personally own a gun, and a majority said that nobody in their household owns a gun. Just 3% of American adults own half the country’s guns, according to a definitive 2015 survey. This small group of gun super-owners have an average of 17 guns each.Gun absolutists – the activists who oppose any gun control measures, who want Americans to be able to own any kind of gun, and carry them everywhere – are a minority within that minority. According to the best available estimates, fewer than 10% of American gun owners overall are members of the National Rifle Association.There appear to be at least as many Americans who are vehemently anti-gun as there are NRA members.Recent Gallup polls have found that 28% of American adults say they would support a law banning handgun ownership, except by the police and other “authorized persons”. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey found that 9% of American adults believed that “almost no one” should be legally allowed to own guns – about the same proportion as the number of adults who believed that “almost everyone” should be able to own them.A coalition of 9% of American adults would translate into more than 20 million people. That’s a group four times larger than the NRA, which claims between 5 million and 6 million members.Only a minority of Americans oppose most private gun ownership. But there’s strong majority support for much tougher gun control laws than the ones currently on the books.A 2017 Pew survey found 68% supported banning assault-style weapons. Seventy-one percent supported having a federal database to track all gun sales. A 2018 Gallup survey found 68% of respondents supported raising the legal age to buy certain guns. A Quinnipiac poll in May found 77% of respondents were in favor of requiring people to obtain a license before being able to purchase a gun.It’s not hard to find Americans who oppose the country’s current gun culture. They show up at gun control rallies, holding signs that say things like “Repeal the Second Amendment”. They live in neighborhoods burdened by decades of daily gun violence. They’ve lost family members or friends to shootings. They keep asking: why can’t we just get rid of the guns?But for years, these Americans’ views have not been well represented by America’s “gun safety” groups, and they have had virtually no representation in Congress.This may finally be starting to change. Moving the gun debateIn 2016, a progressive activist launched Guns Down America, a small organization that advocates not simply for “gun sense laws”, but for “a future with fewer guns”. Following the Parkland shooting, the young March for Our Lives activists have advocated unapologetically for bold reform, though they, like other American gun control activists, say they’re not anti-gun and their proposals for stricter regulation represent the interests of “responsible gun owners”.It’s not yet clear how much the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will move towards embracing these majority opinions on gun control policy. But there’s already been movement towards the actual middle of the debate.In 2016, Obama argued in a CNN Town Hall that “issues like licensing, registration, that’s an area where there’s just not enough national consensus at this stage to even consider it”. This year, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker made gun licensing the center of his 2020 gun control platform.After the mass shooting targeting Latino families in El Paso, the former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke said he endorsed not just an assault weapon ban, but a mandatory federal buyback of assault weapons. On Wednesday, he became the first Democratic 2020 candidate to tweet that he supported March for Our Lives’ new policy agenda.O’Rourke’s campaign did not back away from the most controversial elements of the youth activists’ plan, including their desire to revisit the supreme court’s current interpretation of the second amendment, enshrined in the Heller decision.“While Beto agrees with the court’s holding that the second amendment allows for regulation, he does not agree with the entirety of the Heller decision,” said Aleigha Cavalier, O’Rourke’s national press secretary. “One piece of the Heller case Beto believes should be revisited is the court’s decision to strike down DC’s safe storage requirements.”America’s gun debate may soon actually have two sides.


Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin

Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As Europe marks 80 years of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which carved up eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Russia is trying to defend the agreement again. There is no political benefit to doing this. President Vladimir Putin needs to abandon his Stalinist inheritance of a foreign policy based solely on national interest.If Moscow needed any reminder that many in eastern Europe still hold the treaty against it and still consider it a threat, plenty came on the anniversary. The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania – the countries directly affected by the pact’s secret protocol – issued a joint statement saying the document “sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.”More than a million people gathered to celebrate the Baltic Chain, the 419-mile (675 kilometer) long line of people who protested Soviet rule on Aug. 23, 1989. The demonstrators didn’t pick that day at random – they, too, were making the point that the subjugation of their countries by the Soviet Union began with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.Russia is fighting back. In Moscow, the original of the treaty is now exhibited alongside documents relating to both the 1938 Munich Agreement, where British and French leaders sanctioned the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland, and Poland’s subsequent invasion of part of Czechoslovakia.At the opening of the exhibition earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of Britain and France’s treachery: By cosying up to Hitler, they forced the Soviet Union to sign a deal with the Nazis to ensure its own security, he said. Had the Western Europeans listened to the Soviets and set up a collective security system, the bloodshed of World War II could have been averted. Lavrov was making a clear analogy with Russia’s efforts to build an alternative security architecture in today’s Europe – an idea the Kremlin hasn’t abandoned despite the rest of Europe’s lack of interest.For its part, the Russian mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the group the Kremlin sees as the foundation for its alternative security architecture, tweeted on Aug. 20 that lots of other countries had signed pacts with the Nazis before the Soviet Union did.Kremlin officials can say all this until they go hoarse, but that can’t erase the undeniable fact that the Soviet Union’s security didn’t require it to grab the Baltics and parts of Poland and Romania. Poland, which tried to benefit from the Nazis’ aggression, has admitted it was in the wrong when it invaded part of Czechoslovakia. President Lech Kaczynski apologized for it in 2009.In 1989, the Soviet Union, too, officially condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – but subsequent Russian communications about it, including an entire article signed by Putin himself in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, have come with the caveat that lots of others were at it, too.These excuses are a major reason other European countries don’t trust Russia: To them, Putin and his subordinates are saying that Moscow would do something like this all over again if its interests dictated it, small countries be damned.Concern this might happen was what drove eastern Europeans into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The reality of the annexation of Crimea – another opportunistic move dictated ostensibly by Russian security considerations – is pushing Ukraine in the same direction.If Putin’s goal was to inspire trust and start a meaningful conversation about collective European security in an age of increasing global competition, an unconditionally apologetic stance would work much better. Refraining from invading neighboring countries would be an even more meaningful step.I suspect, however, that Putin doesn’t really believe in such goals, because, like Stalin, he thinks a deal with the devil, based on common interest rather than trust, is the best.My epiphany about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact came when I read the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi ideologue and Hitler’s one-time minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Rosenberg was skeptical about the deal and recoiled in horror when fellow Nazi Richard Darre told him of Joachim von Ribbentrop’s comment that he had “felt as though among old party comrades” when meeting the Soviet leadership.Incredulously, Rosenberg recounted that during Ribbentrop’s visit, Stalin raised his glass not just to Hitler but also to Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi security chief, calling him “the guarantor of order in Germany.”“Himmler has eradicated communism, i.e. those who believed in Stalin, and this one – without any need for it – raises a toast to the exterminator of his faithful,” Rosenberg noted.For Stalin, any kind of ideology took a back seat to expediency. He was a man of interests, not values. In that sense, Putin, an avowed anti-communist who has condemned Stalin on many occasions, is following the dictator’s realpolitik. His adherence to his current Orthodox Christian brand of social conservatism is as flimsy as Stalin’s link to leftist idealism was. If Putin can do a deal that will promote what he sees as Russia’s interests, he will do it with anyone. He will wear any hat required of him while doing so, and raise any toast. He is oblivious to Molotov-Ribbentrop’s biggest lesson of all: That such agreements don’t hold.That’s why eastern Europeans, and especially Ukrainians, are so worried about the possibility of a grand bargain between Putin and a U.S. president, most recently Donald Trump. The consequences for them could be comparable to those of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.What’s needed from Russia isn’t an apology for carving up Europe with Hitler, but a different foreign policy is – one in which principles trump interests. Only such a change can bring closer the idealistic vision of a Europe that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a goal to which both Russian and European leaders still like to refer. And that shift shouldn’t come at a moment of weakness, as it did in the waning years of the Soviet Union. Restoring trust should be a conscious process. It will take some time.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


An innocent man spent months in jail after customs officials thought honey he brought back from Jamaica was liquid meth

An innocent man spent months in jail after customs officials thought honey he brought back from Jamaica was liquid methLeon Haughton told The Washington Post he was jailed for 82 days after customs officials in Baltimore alleged that the three jars of honey were meth.


L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off

L.L. Bean's Huge End-of-Summer Sale Is Taking Up to 70% Off


Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute plea

Gary Ray Bowles: Death row serial killer executed by lethal injection despite last-minute pleaA serial killer who admitted killing six gay men in just eight-months in the US east coast has been executed.Gary Ray Bowles was given a lethal injection in Florida late Thursday after more than 20 years on death row.


Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New Hampshire

Sanders campaign boss concedes he may not win New HampshireThe campaign manager for Bernie Sanders emphasized Thursday that New Hampshire is a critical presidential primary state he expects Sanders to win, but he's leaving room for a scenario in which Sanders falls short. Faiz Shakir said he doesn't "like the language of must-win," though he does believe it is an important early voting state.


Pompeo meets Trudeau, says China detention of two Canadians 'wrong'

Pompeo meets Trudeau, says China detention of two Canadians 'wrong'American officials are working to secure the release of two Canadians held by China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday as he sat down with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two Canadians -- former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor -- were detained in December and accused of espionage. The detention came nine days after Canada had arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.


Psychologist approved Jeffrey's Epstein's removal from suicide watch

Psychologist approved Jeffrey's Epstein's removal from suicide watchA psychologist at the federal detention center in New York City where financier Jeffrey Epstein was jailed on sex-trafficking charges had approved his removal from suicide watch before he killed himself, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The disclosure came in a letter dated on Thursday from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd and addressed to the leaders of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, seeking details about the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death earlier this month. Epstein, who was 66, was found dead Aug. 10 in his cell inside a segregated housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan.


Poll: Majority of Americans don't want Trump to be impeached and removed from office

Poll: Majority of Americans don't want Trump to be impeached and removed from officeA majority of Americans oppose impeachment of President Donald Trump and his removal from office, according to a poll out Thursday. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., also asked other House committee chairs Thursday to provide records that would help in making a decision whether to pursue impeachment.


20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever

20 of the Craziest Pickup Trucks Ever


Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade

Modi Ally Calls for Boycott of China Companies on Kashmir, Trade(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbor after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated to the ruling party’s ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said in an interview Thursday.“Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecom,” Mahajan said by phone. “Not just in consumer goods, they’re a threat in telecom because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure.”The group met Indian telecom companies on Aug. 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. The organization had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mahajan said. Calls made to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking comment went unanswered.This isn’t the first time that the Swadesh Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders had called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the U.N. Security Council.A ban called by both organizations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn’t successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30%, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over $53 billion with China.To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


A Beverly Hills realtor has been charged with burglarizing the homes of celebrities — including Adam Lambert and Usher — while hosting open houses

A Beverly Hills realtor has been charged with burglarizing the homes of celebrities — including Adam Lambert and Usher — while hosting open housesRealtor Jason Yaselli and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman face 50 felony counts, and could spend more than 31 years in state prison if convicted.


Hotline for detained migrants featured on Orange is the New Black shut down

Hotline for detained migrants featured on Orange is the New Black shut downHotline shut down by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement connected detained migrants to an advocacy groupFounded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the Netflix production and was named in the show. Photograph: Handout/Getty ImagesUS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) has shut down a national hotline that connected detained migrants to an advocacy group, a month after the hotline was featured in a storyline in the hit TV series Orange is the New Black.Founded in 2013, the hotline connected migrants in the world’s largest immigration detention system with advocates at Freedom for Immigrants, which also consulted for the award-winning Netflix production and was named in the show.Freedom for Immigrants runs and supports visitation programs in detention centers. It sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ice, alleging the government agency was retaliating and violating its right to exercise free speech after its profile grew.“Ice is attempting to silence its critics and block people in immigration detention from connecting with communities on the outside,” said Christina Fialho, the group’s co-executive director. “It’s disappointing, but not unexpected, that Trump’s Ice would engage in such cruel and undemocratic behavior.”Shawn Neudauer, an Ice spokesman, said all Ice facilities provide detainees with reasonable access to phones and that detainees are allowed to make free calls to an Ice-approved list of free legal service providers.“Pro bono organizations found to be violating [Ice] rules may be removed from the platform,” Neudauer said. “However, removal from this platform in no way limits the ability of an Ice detainee to phone such an organization directly should the detainee wish to do so.”The Ice phone system is operated by Talton Communications, which is mandated to provide free extensions to groups such as the UN refugee agency, consulates and Freedom for Immigrants.Freedom for Immigrants had three pro-bono extensions operating in detention centers when Donald Trump took office. Ice shut down two of the extensions before the final one was closed on 7 August.Fialho said the cease-and-desist letter was the first step in potential litigation, though the group was hoping to avoid court.“We very much hope we can resolve this amicably, but our team is also ready to enforce our rights under the constitution,” she said.Before Ice shut down the hotline it closed more than a dozen of Freedom for Immigrants detention center visitation programs. They were ultimately reinstated.The final season of Orange is the New Black focuses on the immigration detention system, which is run by Ice, and highlights how difficult it is for people in prison to contact family or friends because of the high cost of making phone calls in detention.In one scene, Gloria (Selenis Leyva) tells Maritza (Diane Guerrero) about the hotline and warns: “You gotta be careful, though. Apparently as soon as Big Brother figures out you’re using the hotline, they shut it down.”Fialho said the hotline was important for helping migrants connect with the outside world.“We would get calls from people who hadn’t been able to communicate with family members to tell them they’ve been taken by Ice, that they are in this particular immigration detention facility,” she said.While the extension number was supposed to be written on a sheet available to migrants in every detention center, Fialho said Ice had never made it easily available and people learned about the hotline through word of mouth instead.Now that the extension is gone, detained migrants can still use the Freedom for Immigrants hotline, but the group will have to shoulder the cost. The extension was also supposed to be unmonitored. Ice can listen in on a normal call.Orange is the New Black actors including Guerrero, Emily Tarver and Laura Gómez signed a letter to Ice demanding the hotline be restored.


Paul Whelan: US marine held on spying charges claims he was injured in Russian jail

Paul Whelan: US marine held on spying charges claims he was injured in Russian jailA former US marine who was arrested on charges of spying in Russia claims to have been “injured” in prison by the guards detaining him while he awaits trial.Speaking to journalists during a court appearance in Moscow, Paul Whelan said: "I was injured in the prison... the prison doesn't want to tell you."


Rep. Steve King wants to make abortion point in 'softer way'

Rep. Steve King wants to make abortion point in 'softer way'Backed by supporters at a news conference in Des Moines, the Iowa Republican affirmed his belief that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions for rape or incest. King faced criticism for his comment Aug. 14 that questioned whether there would be "any population of the world left" if not for births due to rape or incest. The remarks were condemned by numerous groups and individuals, including Republican and Democratic candidates seeking to oust King, Democratic presidential candidates as well as the Iowa Republican Party and Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in House leadership.


China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm Products

China Buys American Soybeans after Vowing to Boycott U.S. Farm ProductsChina purchased a comparatively small amount of U.S. soybeans several days ago after promising to boycott U.S. farm products amid deteriorating trade negotiations with the Trump administration.Beijing reached agreements last week to buy 9,589 metric tons of American soybeans for the current marketing year and 66,000 metric tons for the following year, which starts September 1, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released Thursday.An August 5 statement from China's Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies would boycott American farm products in response to the Trump administration's heavy tariffs on Chinese products. In May, the White House upped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, claiming Beijing had reneged on the previously agreed terms of a trade deal. The U.S. also currently has a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese high-tech products.In response, China has slapped 25 percent tariffs on tens of billions in U.S. goods, including cars, planes, propane, soybeans, beef, and whiskey. The duties caused a steep drop in American farm exports, and the Trump administration has since compensated farmers up to $28 billions for their losses.Despite apparently breaking its boycott, China, which is the world's largest soybean importer, is still not purchasing anywhere near as many American soybeans as it has in the past. Last year, American sales of soybeans to China dropped 74 percent as Beijing gave its business to South America.President Trump has long complained about China's trade practices, accusing the country of contributing heavily to the U.S. trade deficit as well as stealing intellectual property from American companies.“Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!” the president wrote in a tweet around the time of China's retaliatory tariffs.The administration had said it planned to impose tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods by September 1, but later said it would delay imposing them until December."Despite the U.S. decision to delay tariffs on some Chinese goods . . . if the United States rides roughshod over China’s opposition and imposes any new tariffs, China will be forced to adopt retaliatory actions," Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.


Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' report

Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' reportThe family of a staffer at the UK consulate in Hong Kong have rejected a "made-up" report by Chinese state media that he was detained in the mainland for visiting prostitutes. Simon Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since. The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen, which lies on the China-Hong Kong border.


Judge hurries U.S. naturalization as pregnant woman gets contractions

Judge hurries U.S. naturalization as pregnant woman gets contractionsA judge in California had to speed up the naturalization of a pregnant immigrant on Thursday when the woman, anxious to become a U.S. citizen because of President Donald Trump's immigration policies, started experiencing contractions. The 31-year-old Armenian-American woman, who was scheduled to give birth to her second child next week by cesarean section, said she started to feel contractions after a walk to a Los Angeles convention center where the judge was naturalizing about 3,200 immigrants.


Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016

Federal appeals court rules Colorado was 'wrong' to force electors to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016Bradley Moss and John Yoo weigh in on a federal court ruling in Colorado on the Electoral College that could make its way to the Supreme Court.


More than 6,100 flights delayed across the US over thunderstorms in the Northeast

More than 6,100 flights delayed across the US over thunderstorms in the NortheastThe Northeast is being hit with heavy rain, causing a flurry of flight delays and cancellations


A woman caught a fish with two mouths and the photo is just as shocking as you would expect

A woman caught a fish with two mouths and the photo is just as shocking as you would expectA woman in upstate New York surely found the "catch-of-the-day" when she reeled in a fish with two mouths. A photo of the fish has since gone viral.


Released from death row, then returned — forced to prove race discrimination a second time

Released from death row, then returned — forced to prove race discrimination a second timeCases before N.C. Supreme Court show link between slavery, Jim Crow and modern death penalty is as connected as 'ropes of the lynch-man's noose'


The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health Care

The Hyde Amendment Denies Women Health Care. Yes, Abortion Is Health CareThe Hyde Amendment keeps women of color, young people, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and lower-income people from accessing abortion care, writes Congresswoman Barbara Lee. She says it's time for Congress to repeal it.


Suspect in California campus killing was co-worker

Suspect in California campus killing was co-workerA man arrested in the stabbing death of a retired administrator at the California State University, Fullerton campus was a co-worker, police said Thursday. Chuyen Vo, 51, was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Huntington Beach, officials announced at a news conference near the killing scene in a campus parking lot. Lt. Jon Radus, however, declined to elaborate on Vo's work relationship with the victim and whether it was current or in the past.


CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as Contributor

CNN Hires Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as ContributorFormer FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe is joining CNN as an on-air contributor, the network's media reporter Oliver Darcy announced Friday.McCabe was fired from the FBI in March 2018 after the Department of Justice's inspector general revealed that he'd repeatedly lied under oath to investigators about his role in leaking information on the bureau's Clinton Foundation investigation to the Wall Street Journal. The Inspector General referred the matter to the U.S. attorney's office for investigation and McCabe may still face criminal charges.The 21-year FBI veteran maintains his innocence, arguing that he was misunderstood and tried to correct the record. He filed suit against the Trump administration in U.S. District Court in Washington earlier this month, alleging that his dismissal was “politically motivated and retaliatory.”President Trump routinely disparaged McCabe as a political partisan during his time in the administration, often invoking his wife, Jill McCabe, who ran unsuccessfully for state senate in Virginia as a Democrat in 2015.Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) mocked CNN's commitment to honest journalism in response to McCabe's hiring.> The guy who DOJ inspector general found committed federal crimes & is a serial liar? Good work, CNN. Love to see that commitment to serious journalism https://t.co/rHfBB9aLVW> > -- Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 23, 2019The news of McCabe's hiring comes just one day after CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter chastised Fox News for hiring former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.“The Trump White House has a record of misleading the public. All administrations spin. This administration lies consistently, whether it's Sanders, or Spicer, or other White House aides. And it’s all led from the top by a president who lies even about the weather and the time of day. That, I think, is why this deserves outrage and backlash,” Stelter said.


Overstock CEO resigns over relationship with Russian 'spy'

Overstock CEO resigns over relationship with Russian 'spy'The chief executive of the e-commerce firm Overstock.com stepped down Thursday over his relationship with an alleged Russian intelligence operative jailed for meddling in US politics. Patrick Byrne only recently admitted that he had a close relationship with Maria Butina for three years, during the period when she beguiled top Republican and National Rifle Association officials with talk of strengthening Moscow-Washington relations and her flair with guns.


More is More

More is More


Le Brexit breakthrough? Europe says "Nein", "non", "no"

Le Brexit breakthrough? Europe says "Nein", "non", "no"LONDON/PARIS/BERLIN, Aug 23 (Reuters) - After sterling soared and some British newspapers roared at a supposed Brexit victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Europe's power brokers had a more sobering message: the basic divorce deal is not changing. Enter PM Johnson, an avowed Brexiteer whose bet is that the threat of a disorderly 'no-deal' exit will convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron that the EU must grant him the divorce deal he wants.


Trump claim doctors treating mass shooting victims 'were coming out of operating rooms' to meet him dismissed by hospitals

Trump claim doctors treating mass shooting victims 'were coming out of operating rooms' to meet him dismissed by hospitalsTwo hospitals have denied Donald Trump’s claim doctors “were coming out of operating rooms” to meet him when he travelled to Texas and Ohio to console victims of two mass shootings."At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” University Medical Center (UMC) spokesperson Ryan Mielke told local TV station KVIA. “Our priority is always patient care."


After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plastics

After 11 tons of trash taken off Mount Everest, officials ban single-use plasticsMount Everest has become littered with trash and bodies as more adventurers try their luck at scaling the natural wonder.


3 Russian teen sisters on trial for killing their father, citing years of horrific abuse, put a spotlight on domestic violence in the country

3 Russian teen sisters on trial for killing their father, citing years of horrific abuse, put a spotlight on domestic violence in the countryKrestina, Angelina, and Maria, Khachaturyan stabbed their father 36 times. Their lawyer says they suffered years of abuse, and acted in self-defense.


Cathay Pacific cabin crew union leader fired as Hong Kongers warn of spread of 'white terror'

Cathay Pacific cabin crew union leader fired as Hong Kongers warn of spread of 'white terror'Cathay Pacific fired a cabin crew union leader on Friday, the latest casualty in a fast-spreading “white terror” as mass protests in Hong Kong continue into their third month.  Rebecca Sy, head of the Cathay Dragon flight attendant’s association, said she lost her job of 17 years, without explanation,  after managers saw and confirmed her Facebook account,  which included messages in favour of the protests. “All the employees are being frightened, not just cabin crews, but even the management,” Ms Sy told reporters. “My colleagues are all terrified because of its white terror.” “White terror” is a term used to describe a slew of events that create a climate of fear particularly as companies and employees worry of serious repercussions for voicing their views. Her departure follows a surprise resignation last week by CEO Rupert Hogg, reported first by Chinese state media, underlining the political nature of the decision. Cathay has borne the brunt of Beijing’s anger as authorities look to punish companies with any link to the Hong Kong protests - a direct challenge to the power of the Communist Party. Rebecca Sy was dismissed from her position as flight attendant for Cathay Pacific's subsidiary Cathay Dragon Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images In the crackdown, companies and employees could face serious repercussions for voicing their views. Hong Kong subway operator MTR has also come under fire for arranging additional trains to allow protesters to travel home, accused of “colluding with rioters” in Chinese state media.  Beijing authorities have long put the squeeze on companies over political issues by encouraging its 1.4 billion citizens to snub various brands or by throwing up a number of regulatory roadblocks – a move that can have devastating consequences for even the biggest firms. Simon Cheng, 28, a British consular official in Hong Kong and permanent resident of the city has been detained for two weeks in mainland China for allegedly visiting prostitutes.  Under Chinese law, Mr Cheng should have been released today after a 15-day administrative period but at time of publication he was still in detention. Hong Kong police said on Friday that they did not know Mr Cheng's whereabouts.  Protests in Hong Kong first kicked off over an extradition proposal that would have exposed people to China’s murky legal and judicial system, where authorities have also in the past detained foreigners to express political displeasure. Two Canadians - Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur - were detained in China last year during Beijing’s diplomatic dispute with Ottawa over its arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. It is widely viewed that both men - who are still being held and have been charged with spying – are being used as political pawns. Hong Kong protests | Read more A number of multinationals operating in Hong Kong have sought to stress their political neutrality to avoid their businesses being targeted and to protect staff from arbitrary detention.  Earlier this week, the world’s “big four” accounting firms came under attack after an anonymous group claiming to be made up of their employees took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to express support for protests in Hong Kong and condemn the firms for remaining silent on the issue. Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Pricewaterhouse Coopers all sought to distance themselves from the advertisement, saying it didn’t represent the companies’ views. But Chinese state media had already seized on the situation, calling for the firms to identify and sack the employees behind the ad. FinnAir has also issued a warning to staff to remember to “keep work and politics separate,” reported the South China Morning Post, over concerns that any link to the protests might lead to a customer backlash or flight cancellations in China, its second-largest market for long-haul travel.   “China is obviously putting pressure on companies to ensure that they all hold the same political views,” said Keenan Chuk, 30, a finance manager who attended a lunchtime rally or accountants in Hong Kong’s central business district Friday.  “I am concerned that I will be fired,” he said, adding that “we still have to fight for our rights.” Even universities have warned students against discussing politics and participating in rallies.  “In a modern society, education should be free from politics so as to alleviate the escalation of anxiety and avoid the divisive society caused by chaos,” according to a statement from the City University of Hong Kong issued earlier this month. A woman said she experienced at a police station during her detention in Hong Kong Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Peter Some banks are also now taking precautionary measures, purchasing full page ads in newspapers to affirm their support for the government. Edwin, 26, an accountant who declined to give his last name, said senior partners in his firm had invited junior employees to lunch that day in an attempt to dissuade people from attending Friday’s protest.  But he participated in the demonstration anyway, turning up again in the evening to join a human chain meant to evoke the Baltic Way, when two million lined up across three countries to protest Soviet rule in 1989.  “In the industry, we switch firms quite often,” he shrugged. Hong Kong police came under renewed pressure on Friday when officers were accused of conducting an unnecessary strip search on a female protester. The alleged victim appeared at a press conference dressed in all black with a black face mask, cap and sunglasses. Facing the cameras in front of a "MeToo" sign, she claimed she was arrested weeks ago at a protest against the now-abandoned extradition bill and was admitted to hospital for injuries she suffered that night. By her account, one officer patted her thighs with a pen, instructing her to open her legs wider after ordering her to take off all her clothes in a police cell. The police said their body search procedures had not changed during the recent outbreak of citywide protests.


Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jail

Russian opposition leader Navalny released from jailRussian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was released on Friday after spending a month in jail for calling for an unsanctioned protest. Navalny, along with several opposition activists, has led a protest movement earlier this summer against Russian election authorities' decision to bar nearly two dozen independent candidates from running for the Moscow city legislature in the Sept. 8 election. One of these rallies was the largest anti-government protest that Moscow had seen in eight years.


Brexit Held at the Border

Brexit Held at the BorderIn the last two days Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed that Ireland temporarily leave the European Union to align with the economic rules of a post-Brexit U.K. German chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested, somewhat flippantly, that the U.K. could figure out a special trading arrangement for itself and Ireland in the next 30 days. And French president Emmanuel Macron has said that there’s still room for negotiation between the U.K. and the EU, but he’s willing to be “the hard boy.” Maybe Macron is taking the EU marriage metaphor a little too personally . . .What on earth is going on?It’s been three years since a majority of the U.K.’s electorate voted to leave the European Union. And so far, all that Brexit has generated is a great deal of nearly incomprehensibly vocabulary. First we got Theresa May’s red lines, her attempt to define how it was exactly that Brexit means Brexit, and what the future relationship, if any, the United Kingdom would have with the EU. These red lines, an end to freedom of movement from EU member states into the U.K., and an exit from the EU’s customs union ruled out the Norway option but not Canada Plus Plus. Or Canada Plus Plus Plus. Yes, I’m serious.According to the withdrawal agreement negotiated between Theresa May and the rest of the EU, that future relationship has to be figured out in the transition period. That’s a two-year window after the U.K. leaves the EU in which it would continue to follow EU rules until they came to a trade agreement. That is, unless there is a no-deal Brexit and the U.K. simply exits the European Union on October 31 and conducts business with the world based on World Trade Organization rules. Got it? Well, sort of.The focus is now on the Irish-border backstop. Basically, the backstop is a promise that there will be no hard border — a customs border across the island of Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland. Irish public officials have argued (with the support of the EU) that a frictionless border is necessary for economic and political reasons. The frictionless border is understood there as part of the the peace settlement in Northern Ireland, following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. So too the “all-island economy” that it creates. The backstop is a promise by the U.K. to keep Northern Ireland following a number of regulations and customs rules that match it to the Republic of Ireland.This promise became the focus of Tory and Brexiteer anger at Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. First, because it created what seemed like a negotiating trap for the U.K. during the transition period. Having already agreed to keep Northern Ireland (and the rest of the U.K. with it) aligned with the EU’s rules as part of a backstop, the EU would have less incentive to come to another, different trade relationship to supersede that agreement. The price to be paid for testing and pushing the EU might carve up the United Kingdom itself. If Great Britain diverged from the EU at the end of the transition period, Northern Ireland would be partially politically detached from the Union, and perhaps its citizens would have to go through customs to travel within their own country, from Belfast to Birmingham.Recently Johnson has begun calling the backstop “undemocratic” and hinting that it violates the Good Friday Agreement. He has a point. The backstop would keep Northern Ireland subject to EU rules and regs in which they have no say. It would deprive Northern Ireland’s elected ministers to Parliament of any voice on matters that would be routine for MPs in any other constituent nation of the United Kingdom. That seems quite a lot like a partial form of Irish unification. But the Good Friday Agreement ensures that Irish unity can be achieved only by a majority vote for it in the six counties and another one in the Republic of Ireland.Proponents of the backstop hold that this measure would merely be the decision of a sovereign Parliament over a part of its territory. It is an agreement between Parliament and the EU and doesn’t legally touch Ireland. That’s true. But, the reality is that it would create checks between constituent parts of the U.K. that normally exist between two different countries. It does so in order to prevent those checks on the island of Ireland. And it does so to meet the expectations of the Irish government based in Dublin. To whom would Northern Irish people turn when trade policy affects them? Nobody they directly elect would have a constitutional say.Effectively these economic rules would be imposed on Northern Ireland as if it were a kind of EU colony, and done in the interests of the Republic of Ireland. This may satisfy the historical imagination of Irish nationalists. (Believe me, there is a delicious irony to be savored here.) But it is hard to argue that such a result is consonant with the Good Friday Agreement. Or a wise way to endear Northern Irish unionists to the Irish government.All of this confusion is the result of a kind of gamesmanship. The EU and U.K. each want to use the Irish border as a reason to crack the other’s negotiating position. The EU would like to see the U.K. bounced into a permanent customs union in which it has no say, effectively maintaining the economic size and power of the EU while reducing the political influence of Eurosceptical Britannia. On the other side, the U.K. would like to see the Irish-border issue work in the opposite way, forcing the EU to strike an especially good and liberal trade deal with the U.K. that comes with fewer strings attached than those on Norway or other states that have non-standard arrangements.The lesson is rather obvious. You cannot predetermine what kind of infrastructure will be at a border and what laws will be enforced at it, in the absence of a durable agreement on trade in goods and materials. The EU and the U.K. have been trying to resolve questions in the wrong order. Both have done so out of a reasonable fear of loss.But the hour is late, and the real work must be done.


Syria regime forces surround Turkish army post: monitor

Syria regime forces surround Turkish army post: monitorSyrian government forces surrounded a Turkish observation post in the northwest Friday after overrunning nearby areas, a war monitor said, while Ankara vowed not to withdraw from its position. "Regime forces have surrounded the Turkish observation post in Morek after capturing other towns and villages in this pocket," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Syrian regime has upped the stakes with Ankara in its months-long Russian-backed offensive against the jihadist-ruled Idlib region, which borders Turkey.


Google the latest company to face worker revolt over immigration policy

Google the latest company to face worker revolt over immigration policyEmployees urged the tech giant not to work with US agencies involved with the separation and detention of immigrantsHundreds of Google employees on 14 August called on the firm to avoid working for US immigration officials until they stop ‘engaging in human rights abuses’. Photograph: Amy Osborne/AFP/Getty ImagesLast week, Google became the latest company to be publicly lobbied by its own employees specifically because of US immigration policy.More than 1,300 Google workers have signed a petition demanding the company publicly commit to not support government agencies involved with the separation and detention of immigrants until those agencies “stop engaging in human rights abuses”.Google employees timed the petition to coincide with US Customs and Border Protection’s bidding period for a cloud computing contract, which Google could provide. The petition was also signed by 79 people outside the company, including several former Google employees and current Amazon employees.While these efforts – taking place at tech giants as well as furniture retailers – have yet to make a significant change, analysts expect employees will continue to speak out at companies that help prop up the US immigration system.“The workplace is radically changing,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at public relations firm Weber Shandwick, which found that four in 10 employees said they had spoken up to support or criticize their employers’ actions over controversial issues.The Google petition comes after a summer in which the US government was found by its own auditors to have kept child migrants in egregious conditions; a senior immigration official blamed a father for drowning with his daughter; and the Trump administration introduced a rule that medical bodies warned jeopardizes the health and safety of legal migrants.The tech industry, from CEOs to staffers, have led a new wave of workplace activism in areas beyond immigration, but employees in more traditional industries are also starting to speak up. Walk outsIn June, employees at online furnishing retailer Wayfair walked out of its Boston headquarters in protest against the sale of furniture to migrant child detention facilities at the southern border. The company donated $100,000 to the Red Cross after the backlash, though protesters argued it should have been donated to a group providing care to migrants at the border.There is no indication, however, that Wayfair has declined orders from US immigration agencies.Whether or not employee activism moves companies to shift their business practices, it shows no signs of slowing down.Millennials are most likely to raise concerns about their employers, with 82% of them saying they have a right to speak out against their employer, according to the May study by Weber Shandwick. In the survey, 76% of Gen X workers and 65% of Boomers said they felt they had that right.“Society is so polarized that I think it has heightened many employees’ attitudes towards what’s going on and made them question what is right and wrong – and how far they are willing to go in terms of what they are willing to say,” said Gaines-Ross.This increase is led by the tech industry, but Gaines-Ross said the Wayfair protest in July showed employee activism is moving into mainstream industries. “It’s definitely on the move and heading towards other sectors,” she said.As employee activism moves to other industries, it is also revealing how the US detention system – which detains more migrants than any other country – is entrenched with US businesses.After Donald Trump took the unusual step in July of announcing planned immigration raids which would use hotels to house people arrested in the round-up, major hotel chains released statements saying they didn’t want to detain migrants, according to the AP.Hotels faced pressure from the main hotel workers union, Unite Here, as well as customers.Major banks have said they would no longer lend money to private companies which run immigrant detention centers and American Airlines and United Airlines said last year that they didn’t want to fly children separated from their parents.The global public relations firm, Ogilvy, said it would continue to work with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after facing criticism from employees over a multi-million dollar contract with the agency.“Some of you feel strongly that we should stop working for CBP,” Ogilvy chief executive John Seifert said to employees in a July memo, obtained by the Wall Street Journal. “While I do understand and appreciate this point of view, I have concluded that our work for CBP is genuinely intended to improve the quality of this government agency’s public services.”Pressure from workers on political issues comes as the bosses of major US companies have signaled a shift in their guiding principles.Earlier this month, the bosses of 181 US companies changed the definition of the purpose of a corporation to “improving our society” instead of making the most money possible.


Russia's Chechnya inaugurates what it says is Europe's largest mosque

Russia's Chechnya inaugurates what it says is Europe's largest mosqueAuthorities in the Russian region of Chechnya on Friday inaugurated what they said was the largest mosque in Europe in a pomp-filled ceremony attended by local and foreign officials. Named after the Prophet Mohammed, the marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the "largest and most beautiful" mosque in Europe. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the mosque -- located in Shali, a town of 54,000 just outside the regional capital Grozny -- was "unique in its design, and majestic in its size and beauty".


Man arrested after using Band-Aids and gauze to repair flat tires

Man arrested after using Band-Aids and gauze to repair flat tiresDeputies arrested a man who was allegedly under the influence of drugs, using Band-Aids and gauze to repair flat tires.