Sign In   |   Sign Up   |   Contact Us

Gaming News

  • Regime returns to northeast Syria to halt Turkey assault on Kurds

    Golocal247.com news

    The Syrian regime deployed troops near the Turkish border and entered a key city Monday to contain Ankara's deadly offensive against the Kurds, stepping in for US forces due to begin a controversial withdrawal. The army has kept a presence in Kurdish-controlled Qamishli and Hasakeh in Syria's northeast since the 2011 outbreak of the country's war, and deployed a limited number of troops around the strategic city of Manbij last year at the request of Kurdish forces.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 16:00:36 -0400
  • 'It's got to stop': Superintendent condemns teacher's racist rant in school parking lot

    Golocal247.com news

    A teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Pennsylvania has been placed on administrative leave after she used racial slurs in a viral Facebook video.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:19:40 -0400
  • British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prison

    Golocal247.com news

    One of Britain's most prolific child sex offenders, Richard Huckle, has died three years into a life sentence for abusing Malaysian and Cambodian children, Britain's Ministry of Justice said on Monday, with media saying he had been stabbed to death. Huckle, 33, who abused children and babies during a nine year period, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 offences. Dubbed the country's worst paedophile by Britain's media, he was found stabbed to death in prison on Sunday after being attacked with a makeshift knife, the BBC reported.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:29:41 -0400
  • The Army Wants Laser-Armed Drone Killers for its New 'Fighting Vehicle'

    Golocal247.com news

    But will it happen?

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 03:55:00 -0400
  • Climate change researchers recommend banning all frequent flyer reward programs to cut carbon emissions by targeting jet-setters

    Golocal247.com news

    A report commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change says that just 15% of the entire British population take 70% of all flights from the country.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:20:55 -0400
  • Anthony Scaramucci is desperately trying to recruit Mitt Romney for a 2020 run

    Golocal247.com news

    Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is running for president again -- at least in Anthony Scaramucci's dreams.The famously short-lived White House communications director has since turned on the president who appointed him, and has publicly said he's trying to knock President Trump off the 2020 ticket. Now, it seems Scaramucci has decided on his dream candidate, and has launched a website and line of T-shirts to persuade him to run.Scaramucci started making his support for Romney known earlier this month, tweeting a poll that showed the 2012 GOP nominee beating the presumptive 2020 nominee in a hypothetical primary. He then revealed last week he'd launched Mitt2020.org, and on Sunday night, showed off that the site was offering "commit to Mitt" campaign T-shirts. They are being sold at $20.20 each to "test demand," and so far Scaramucci has seen an "overwhelming" response, he told ABC News.> You may be proud of your "Where's Hunter?" T-shirt...but we're really proud of ours...You see, we know where Mitt is...he's listening, he's hearing, he's seeing, he's reading and he's coming.... https://t.co/sCUTWW6IHA committomitt mitt2020 @MittRomney MittRomney pic.twitter.com/gpgTdL33UY> > -- Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) October 12, 2019While Romney hasn't even hinted at granting Scaramucci's wishes, the "Mitt Happens" shirt is sure to be a collector's item in a few years.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:02:37 -0400
  • Police officer stabbed in the neck in latest Hong Kong clashes

    Golocal247.com news

    A Hong Kong police officer was stabbed in the neck on Sunday in one of the worst acts of violence against the authorities during the 19th straight weekend of civil unrest in the global financial hub. Graphic footage emerged of the policeman being stabbed in the neck from behind with a sharp object as his team retreated towards Kwun Tong metro station.  The police confirmed that two people had been arrested at the scene and the officer had been transferred to hospital “in a conscious state” and was stable.  A police source said that the officer had sustained a 3cm cut to his neck, and while it was still hard to confirm the extent of his injuries, that the attack was “one of the worst” when seen “in terms of malice, in terms of an attempt to kill the officer.”  Flash mob-style protests had initially peacefully in multiple locations with small groups of a few hundred people chanting “Free Hong Kong” slogans but soon developed into chaotic clashes with the riot police as more radical black-clad activists trashed shops and erected barricades on busy roads.     Anti-government protesters in Tai Po, Hong Kong Credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters Dozens were reportedly injured, numerous arrests were made and tear gas was deployed to disperse protesters, although the police said “minimum force” was used. As night fell, about 20 Molotov cocktails were thrown at a police station in Mongkok in Kowloon.  Earlier in the day, protesters played a game of cat-and-mouse with riot officers in Mongkok’s busy shopping district – blocking roads with metal railings and bamboo sticks, only to disappear into a warren of side streets when police vans arrived to clear the way. The Telegraph witnessed at least two rough arrests and an injured officer on the ground on the main thoroughfare of Nathan Road. One bystander claimed that a young man had been detained simply for being alone in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Crowds of residents surrounded the police, hurling insults and accusing them of being “mafia,” jeering as the vans pulled away and giving officers the finger. Video footage of an officer being floored by a protester’s flying kick during another attempted arrest in the area went viral. Elsewhere, the ongoing anti-government protests, which began in opposition to a controversial extradition bill but have now widened into an appeal for universal suffrage and greater democracy, played out more peacefully.  Alan Fung, 62, is taking part in a 48-hour sit-in outside the main police station on Hong Kong island Credit: Michael Zhang On Saturday night, pro-democracy demonstrators performed the exhausting feat of hauling a four-metre statue called “Lady Liberty” to the top of the Lion Rock, a 495-metre peak overlooking Kowloon’s skyscrapers. The statue, which has become one of the many symbols of the movement, was left watching over the city wearing a gas mask, protective goggles and a helmet, proclaiming the slogan "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times". Meanwhile, as younger protesters tried to taunt and out-run the police, the older generation were staging their own rebellion.  About 100 “silver hair” protesters gathered for a 48-hour sit-in outside the main police headquarters in Wan Chai on Hong Kong island this weekend, chanting anti-government slogans and making protest banners. A masked old man took out a black marker pen and wrote insults against the police on the barriers surrounding the station before running away giggling.  About 100 older Hong Kong citizens are staging a "silver hair" rally this weekend Credit: Michael Zhang The group’s presence was a sign of the city’s continuing widespread anger over the government’s handling of the worst political crisis in decades. Although the summer’s mass rallies have largely been led by the young, support for their pro-democracy demands crosses generations.   “We want to say we are the silver haired coming together. We are old but we want to support the younger people. We can’t go to the frontlines but we are in the back to support them,” said Mr Yip, 73, who had come with his 70-year-old wife and two small picnic stools. “I support democracy, I hate the government now.”  Alan Fung, 62, was one of about a dozen pensioners who had braved the humidity as they huddled through the night under a bridge next to the station.  He admitted that he had not got much sleep but said he wanted to camp outside to “protect the young people” and prevent more clashes in the area with the police. “We don’t want it to be dangerous for them again,” he said.  “If we are noisy the government will see that it’s not just the young people who support the campaign but we are too.”

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:14:11 -0400
  • Pope Francis's main bodyguard resigns over a leak

    Golocal247.com news

    Domenico Giani, the Vatican's longtime security chief and Pope Francis's main bodyguard, resigned on Monday over a leak of information from an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing in the Vatican.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:52:17 -0400
  • Poland's ruling party declares victory in divided nation

    Golocal247.com news

    Poland's conservative governing Law and Justice party won the most votes in Sunday's election in the deeply divided nation and appeared, according to an exit poll, to have secured a comfortable majority in parliament to govern for four more years. The exit poll, conducted by the research firm Ipsos, projected that Law and Justice won 43.6% of the votes. The poll said a centrist pro-European Union umbrella group, Civic Coalition, would come in second with 27.4%.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 18:10:22 -0400
  • Kurds 'may be releasing' IS prisoners in Syria to get US involved: Trump

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump suggested Monday that Kurdish fighters may be releasing imprisoned Islamic State group jihadists to bait the United States into remaining involved in northeastern Syria. The Pentagon said Sunday Trump had ordered the withdrawal of up to 1,000 troops from northern Syria -- almost the entire ground force in the war-torn country -- amid an intensifying Turkish assault on Kurdish forces. Trump's decision last week to pull out of the area -- clearing the way for the Turkish incursion -- has been attacked at home as a betrayal of America's Kurdish allies, that risks triggering a resurgence of IS.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 20:52:49 -0400
  • An American Airlines pilot gifted his wings to a 2-year-old passenger for this sweet reason

    An American Airlines pilot passed on his wings to a passenger with Down syndrome on his final flight.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 15:01:47 -0400
  • Special Report: The hunt for Asia's El Chapo

    Golocal247.com news

    He is Asia’s most-wanted man. Tse Chi Lop, a Canadian national born in China, is suspected of leading a vast multinational drug trafficking syndicate formed out of an alliance of five of Asia’s triad groups, according to law enforcement officials. The syndicate, law enforcers believe, is funneling tonnes of methamphetamine, heroin and ketamine to at least a dozen countries from Japan in North Asia to New Zealand in the South Pacific.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:59:08 -0400
  • Meet the Massive Ordnance Penetrator: The Air Force's Newest Bunker Buster Bomb

    Golocal247.com news

    Huge and very powerful.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:00:00 -0400
  • States are cutting university budgets. Taxpayers aren't interested in funding campus kooks

    Golocal247.com news

    University campuses have abandoned their central mission in their pursuit of utopia. The American public has had enough.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:22:08 -0400
  • Cyber-bullied K-pop star found dead at her home

    Golocal247.com news

    A popular K-pop star who had long been the target of abusive online comments was found dead at her home Monday, South Korean police said. The body of Sulli, a former member of top girl group f(x), was discovered by her manager at her home on the outskirts of the capital, Seoul. Police said in a statement that the 25-year-old had been suffering from "severe depression".

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:37:21 -0400
  • Booker Scolds Buttigieg for Referring to Gun ‘Buybacks’ as ‘Confiscation’: ‘Doing the NRA’s Work for Them’

    Golocal247.com news

    Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) admonished fellow presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Monday for referring to a mandatory gun buyback proposal as "confiscation" on the grounds that doing so propagates a right-wing talking point."Calling buyback programs 'confiscation' is doing the NRA's work for them," wrote Booker on Twitter, "and they don't need our help."Buttigieg insisted on referring to buybacks as "confiscation" in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America. Previously, the South Bend, Indiana Mayor shied away from such comparisons."As a policy, it’s had mixed results," said Buttigieg during an October 2 interview. "It’s a healthy debate to have, but we’ve got to do something now.”O'Rourke subsequently condemned Buttigieg's comments, saying Buttigieg was "afraid of doing the right thing" by supporting mandatory buybacks."[O'Rourke] needs to pick a fight in order to stay relevant," Buttigieg commented on Good Luck America.O'Rourke has previously pushed the issue of mandatory gun buybacks and outright confiscation, declaring at the third Democratic primary debate in September that he supports taking away certain semi-automatic rifles from their legal owners.“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47. We’re not going to allow it to be used against a fellow American anymore,” O'Rourke said at the time.Buttigieg is currently polling at five percent while O'Rourke stands at just 1.8 percent. The former Texas congressman has struggled to gain more than two percent of the vote, but has captured attention for radical policy proposals on gun rights and issues of church and state.During a CNN Townhall on October 11, O'Rourke called for institutions that don't support same sex marriage, such as churches, religious schools and charities, to be stripped of their tax-exempt status.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:05:06 -0400
  • Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm 1 Person Injured

    Golocal247.com news

    Authorities have not yet identified the circumstances which led to the shooting

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:06:02 -0400
  • View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:59:00 -0400
  • The Latest: Australia says Turkey to blame for IS escapes

    Golocal247.com news

    Australia's foreign minister says Turkey is solely responsible for the escape of Islamic State group fighters from custody in Syria. Foreign Minister Marise Payne was commenting in the Australian Senate after hundreds of Islamic State families and supporters escaped from a holding camp on Sunday amid fighting between Turkish forces and the Kurds. Opposition lawmakers argue that Turkey's military incursion has been enabled by the U.S. decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 01:22:19 -0400
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faces backlash over haircut

    Golocal247.com news

    This week, the Washington Times published a story saying that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., had spent $80 on a haircut and $180 on color at a Washington, D.C., salon, a choice the newspaper presented as hypocritical, given she “regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway.”

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:46:35 -0400
  • Son of sheriff who called immigrants ‘drunks’ at White House event arrested for public intoxication

    Golocal247.com news

    The son of a Texas sheriff who used a White House press conference to describe immigrant offenders as “drunks” likely to repeatedly break the law has been arrested for public intoxication.Sergei Waybourn, 24, faces a count of indecent exposure as well as public drunkenness just days after his father, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, was criticised for the comments.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 08:04:35 -0400
  • Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still down

    Golocal247.com news

    Mobile phone networks were restored in Indian Kashmir on Monday after a 72-day blackout, authorities said, but the internet remains off-limits to the region's seven million-plus people. India cut access to mobile networks in the restive Kashmir Valley in early August citing security concerns as it scrapped the region's semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown. The easing on Monday covers around four million post-paid mobile phone contracts, but only for calls and text messages.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 04:08:04 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

    In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolise their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London's century-old Science Museum in the city's upmarket Kensington district. "We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law," said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 07:53:22 -0400
  • In 1986, a Russian Submarine with 27 Nuclear Missiles Sank (And Exploded)

    Golocal247.com news

    "Seawater combined with missile fuel to produce heat and toxic gases. Despite a crewman venting the tube, an explosion erupted in the silo, ejecting the missile and its warheads into the sea."

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:00:00 -0400
  • The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds, Former Top Official Says

    Golocal247.com news

    Ismail Coskun/APABU DHABI—Abandoned by the Americans, their former allies, Syria’s Kurds reportedly are allowing troops from the Assad regime to enter territory they had under their control. The Kurds also are putting out feelers to Russia for support against an onslaught by Turkish troops and Turkish-supported militias.A return of Bashar al-Assad’s forces to northeastern Syria for the first time in seven years would make visible the end to the bitter, controversial U.S. mission there against the so-called Islamic State. That’s not because of any concerted decision to withdraw by President Trump, whose antiwar rhetoric obscured his vacillation about leaving. It’s because Assad will deny his American adversary the room to operate that the Syrian Kurds had provided their deceitful American partners. “We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them,” the Kurdish commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) wrote in an op-ed published Sunday in Foreign Policy. “But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.”More in sorrow than in anger, the commander, Mazloum Abdi, wrote, “When the whole world failed to support us, the United States extended its hands. We shook hands and appreciated its generous support.”But under Turkish pressure, at Washington’s request, the Kurds “agreed to withdraw our heavy weapons from the border area with Turkey, destroy our defensive fortifications, and pull back our most seasoned fighters. Turkey would never attack us so long as the U.S. government was true to its word with us.”Or so they believed. “We are now standing with our chests bare to face the Turkish knives,” Mazloum wrote.Brett McGurk, who resigned as the presidential special envoy to the coalition against ISIS last December, told The Daily Beast on Sunday that such a move by the Syrian Kurds was predictable under the circumstances. Even last year, when McGurk was still serving, Kurdish leaders in Syria were telling the Americans that if support for them and deterrence against a Turkish attack was not going to continue, they needed to make a deal with the Assad regime and Russia for protection. “We have given our road map to the Russians. We are just waiting on a decision,” one senior Kurdish official told The Washington Post.McGurk said he supported that idea at a time when Trump already was talking about pulling out of Syria, but he met firm opposition within the administration. (Special Representative for Syria Engagement Jim Jeffrey, for one, “told the Kurds on multiple occasions, ‘we’ll manage Turkey, don’t make a deal with the [Assad] regime,’” according to a source familiar with the matter.) Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and crew insisted the U.S. must stay in Syria until Iran was out, or at least on its way. (Representatives for Bolton, whom Trump fired last month, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Neither did State Department spokespeople.)Since McGurk’s resignation, he has stayed in touch with the members of the SDF and some contacts in the U.S. departments of state and defense. He says the Kurds asked repeatedly if the support and protection of the United States could be relied upon, and they were told repeatedly that the Americans had their backs. But that was not the case. McGurk told the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi that when the Russians first got heavily involved in Syria in 2016, an oft-repeated truism about Kremlin duplicity was, “Everybody knows not to get into a well with a Russian rope.”“But now what I hear,” McGurk told the audience, “is that nobody should get into a well with an American rope.”In other words, once it became clear in 2018 that Trump was hostile to the open-ended U.S. presence in Syria he inherited, the Kurds had options to help ease the end of their relationship with the Americans. But Trump’s State Department and Pentagon, unwilling to face up to a final withdrawal—and the unequivocal loss of U.S. influence in a part of the Middle East where it is increasingly impotent, if not irrelevant—convinced the Kurds not to plan for an American departure. Had the Kurds done so, their new Russian and Syrian partners might have been able to spare them the devastation that Turkey is now wreaking as the U.S. pulls back and stands by. And now that the slaughter has begun, Mazloum has made clear that his forces and his people have no choice but to look to Russia and Damascus for support. Unfortunately for the Kurds, as McGurk points out, after Trump’s betrayal dramatically weakened their position, when they call the Russians or the Syrian regime it’s not clear that anyone is picking up the phone.Meanwhile, mass escapes of ISIS prisoners and alleged war crimes by Turkish-backed militia members in northeast Syria reflected the mounting chaos as Ankara drives ahead with an assault that already is deeper into Syria than originally announced.“I think we are likely to see a significant comeback by ISIS,” McGurk told the audience in Abu Dhabi. In Washington and in the field, confusion among the Americans is rampant. Ever since last Sunday’s phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the administration has aggressively insisted that its green light to Erdoğan, complete with a presidential invitation to the White House next month, was really a red light.Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria. It’s Not True.On Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS, “Look, it's a very terrible situation over there. A situation caused by the Turks, by President Erdoğan. Despite our opposition they decided to make this incursion into Syria.” Trump has escalated his rhetoric about the generation-long disaster of the U.S. military in the Mideast, but he has still yet to withdraw from Syria–and has in fact deployed 14,000 new troops to the Gulf region in the past six months. Incoherence, deceit and betrayal are now the most conspicuous characteristics of U.S. policy. Esper said that because the Kurds are looking to cut a deal if you will with the Syrians and the Russians to counter-attack against the Turks in the north, American troops could find themselves “caught between two opposing advancing armies and it's a very untenable situation. So I spoke with the president last night after discussions with the rest of the national security team and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria.”But as it dawns on Trump that his “end endless wars” mantra could ignite a new endless war, he is reluctant to carry out a full troop withdrawal. Esper spoke about withdrawing from “northern Syria” two days after he and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted there were “no additional changes to our force posture.” Two knowledgeable U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the U.S. planned to remain in Syria, just further away from the Turkish fighting positions. Some undisclosed hundreds of the 1,000 U.S. forces currently in Syria will indeed leave the country—for elsewhere in the Mideast, however, not home. U.S. ‘Withdraws’ as Kurds Strike Deal to Let Assad's Forces Into RegionBut all of that improvisation, the consequence of senior officials attempting to salvage something after the Trump-Erdogan accord, may now be overtaken by events. Assad’s forces are unlikely to permit continued U.S. operations. The end of a war never declared by Congress may come not by American decision, let alone negotiation, but by American adversaries seizing the initiative that Trump has been comfortable abandoning. Already reports are coming in from Syria of ISIS fighters breaking out of their Kurdish detention facilities as the Kurds fight for their lives. According to the New York Times, the rapid pullback, sometimes under fire from their Turkish NATO ally, has cost the Americans their plans to move a handful of senior ISIS detainees to U.S. military custody in neighboring Iraq. All of it raises the prospect of ISIS grabbing victory—meaning a new lease on life—out of the jaws of defeat after the Kurds, sponsored by the U.S., finished off the Caliphate in 2018.Meanwhile leaders in the Middle East are trying to come to terms with the fact that the Americans have proved to be fatally unreliable allies.Hoshyar Zebari, the former deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Iraq, told the Beirut Institute Summit in Abu Dhabi that in the Syrian war, “The Russians did not walk away from their partners. The Iranians did not walk away from their partners. But the Americans did.”“Definitely the Turks will be emboldened,” Zebari told The Daily Beast. “We expect about 50,000 refugees to cross the border,” he said, mostly into the Kurdish region of Iraq.  Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 20:06:52 -0400
  • Disney World retesting Skyliner after malfunction grounds cable cars, reports say

    Golocal247.com news

    Disney World's Skyliner system is back up and running, but without passengers, as the park begins testing the system before reopening to guests.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:54:11 -0400
  • China Built a Flying Saucer

    Golocal247.com news

    The UFO is still on the ground—for now.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 09:55:00 -0400
  • The Latest: UN: Syria fighting worsens humanitarian crisis

    Golocal247.com news

    U.N. officials say the latest fighting in northeast Syria is compounding an already dire humanitarian situation. According to U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, at least 160,000 civilians have been displaced since the Turkish offensive began on Oct. 9. Northeast Syria was already facing a humanitarian crisis before the Turkish offensive, with 1.8 million of the 3 million women, children and men in the region in need of assistance, "including over 910,000 in acute need," Dujarric said.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:54:20 -0400
  • Russia's submarines are getting harder to find, and the Navy is sending more people to keep an eye on them

    Golocal247.com news

    Russian naval activity around Europe is a growing concern, and the US Navy is reactivating command units to help manage its own forces in the region.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 13:51:23 -0400
  • Man Convicted in Murder of Law Professor Locked in Family Feud

    Golocal247.com news

    MIAMI -- The killing shook Florida's capital and stunned the international legal community: A prominent law professor locked in a rancorous battle with his ex-wife and in-laws was gunned down in his garage, in what prosecutors depicted as a murder-for-hire plot.State prosecutors charged three people with the murder of the professor, Dan Markel, hoping to pressure them into revealing whoever may have financed the murder.Two of the accused, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua, maintained their innocence and went to trial late last month, five years after the professor's death. Over 11 days, the case played out inside a courtroom in Tallahassee, the state capital, revealing a web of tumultuous relationships around Markel's murder.On Friday, a jury found Garcia, 37, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and not guilty of solicitation of murder. He faces the death penalty, and sentencing will begin Monday.After more than 11 hours of deliberation, jurors told Judge James C. Hankinson that they were unable to reach a verdict on the same charges against Magbanua, 35. Hankinson declared a mistrial.The other man charged with the murder, Luis Rivera, a close friend of Garcia and a former leader of the North Miami Latin Kings gang, cooperated with law enforcement. In exchange for testifying against Garcia and Magbanua, Rivera, 36, was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and avoid the death penalty. He received a 19-year sentence instead, and is concurrently serving a 12-year sentence in an unrelated federal racketeering case.After a contentious divorce in 2013, Markel, 41, a professor at the Florida State University College of Law who had helped build a network of online legal scholarship, and his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, were given joint custody of their two young sons.Prosecutors argued that Markel was murdered because a court order prevented Adelson from relocating to South Florida with the children. They said her brother and mother then got involved, and arranged for Magbanua, Garcia and Rivera to carry out the murder for $100,000."What enemy or enemies had Mr. Markel made that set into motion such a brutal act?" Georgia Cappleman, the lead prosecutor in the case, asked during closing arguments Thursday. "The answer: his own family."Markel was shot twice in the head on the morning of July 18, 2014, shortly after he pulled his car into the garage -- his keys were still in the ignition. A neighbor thought he heard a gunshot and saw a light-colored Toyota Prius drive away.From cellphone records and surveillance footage, investigators determined that a light green Prius had followed Markel the morning he was killed. They found that Rivera had rented the Prius in Miami. On the rental contract, Rivera listed cellphone numbers for himself and Garcia, his best friend since childhood.Toll transponder data showed the Prius making the 450-mile-plus trip from Miami to Tallahassee and returning after the murder. That night, the men stopped at a drive-through ATM in South Florida, where they were photographed with Rivera behind the wheel and Garcia in the passenger seat.Finding Rivera and then Garcia led investigators to Magbanua, with whom Garcia has two children and an on-again-off-again relationship. At the time of the murder, the couple was broken up, and Magbanua was dating Charles Adelson, Adelson's brother and Markel's former brother-in-law.Magbanua did part-time clerical work at a Miami Beach dental office where she met Adelson, 42, a periodontist.Her finances improved considerably after Markel's murder. Bank records showed she began receiving regular checks from a different dental practice, owned by Adelson's parents in Broward County. The checks were handwritten and signed by Adelson's mother, Donna Adelson.Two assistants who worked at the practice testified that they did not know Magbanua to be an employee. A few months after the murder, Magbanua paid a plastic surgeon $4,000 in cash for breast implant surgery.In April 2016, police tapped the cellphones of Garcia, Magbanua, Charles Adelson and Donna Adelson. To get them to talk to one another, an undercover FBI agent posed as a member of the Latin Kings gang and asked Donna Adelson for more compensation for the family of Rivera, who was in prison. Garcia was arrested the following month, and Magbanua some months later.None of the Adelsons have been charged. For years, as Markel's sensational murder has been dissected in news articles, blog posts, a popular true-crime podcast and episodes of "Dateline" and "20/20," lawyers for the Adelsons have maintained their innocence.Donna Adelson, 69, had figured prominently in her daughter's divorce. About a year before the murder, she suggested that her daughter pretend the couple's sons had converted to Catholicism -- Markel was an observant Jew -- to pressure Markel to agree to the children's relocation. Donna Adelson also floated offering Markel $1 million to allow the move.The day of the shooting, the police brought in Wendi Adelson, 40, a former clinical law professor at Florida State, to tell her what had happened to her ex-husband. She cried and buried her face in her hands, according to police video of the interview. She also mentioned that her brother, after buying her a television as a divorce present, had joked, "I looked into a hiring a hit man and it was cheaper to get you this TV.""But he would never," Adelson added. "It's such a horrible thing to say."Wendi Adelson testified at the trial that she had no knowledge of the murder. She moved her sons to South Florida a few days after Markel was killed.Magbanua took the rare step of testifying in her own defense. She said she began receiving the checks from the Adelsons after she asked Charles Adelson to hire her as his assistant -- a favor so she could qualify for state health insurance for her children. The money for her surgery, she added, had been saved up from cash tips she made working in nightclubs.Magbanua denied any part in the murder but said she believed that Charles Adelson was involved. Her defense lawyers suggested that Garcia, the father of her children, agreed to kill Markel in exchange for Adelson to stop dating her. Garcia briefly confronted Adelson 17 days before the murder."The only thing she's guilty of is terrible taste in men," Tara Kawass, one of Magbanua's lawyers, said during opening arguments.Rivera testified that Magbanua had served as the conduit for the murder plot, and that Garcia had pulled the trigger.Garcia's defense posited a different theory: that Rivera must have been the shooter because Garcia disliked Adelson too much to kill someone for him. Saam Zangeneh, Garcia's lawyer, argued that Adelson had bought drugs from Rivera and hired him directly to commit the murder."I don't think that you can believe anything that he says out of his mouth," Zangeneh told jurors of Rivera. "Do you think he would have gotten the deal that he got if he admitted to being the shooter?"Investigators found no direct link between Adelson and either Rivera or Garcia. David Oscar Markus, a lawyer for Charles Adelson, said the mistrial against Magbanua showed why prosecutors have never charged the Adelson family."The case simply isn't there," Markus said in a statement. "Professional prosecutors rightfully understood that they couldn't prove a case against Charlie before this trial. After the hung jury, their prospects have gone down, not up."Lawyers for Markel's parents said they expect a new trial against Magbanua."After waiting five long years, we are relieved that at least one of the people responsible for Danny's murder was convicted today," their statement said. "Yet justice was only partially served."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:02:51 -0400
  • U.S. Gets Final OK to Hit EU With $7.5 Billion Airbus Sanction

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- The World Trade Organization on Monday formally authorized the U.S. to impose tariffs on about $7.5 billion worth of European exports annually in retaliation for illegal government aid to Airbus SE.Members approved this month’s arbitration award -- the largest in the trade organization’s history -- at a special meeting of the dispute settlement body at the WTO’s headquarters in Geneva. The development marks the final procedural hurdle before the U.S. can retaliate against European goods, which it plans to do on Oct. 18.The EU made a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. over the weekend to thwart the tariffs, seeking a negotiated settlement that would avoid the economic harm a tit-for-tat escalation would cause both parties. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told her U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, that his tariff plan would compel the EU to apply countermeasures in a parallel lawsuit over aid the U.S. provided to Boeing Co.“I strongly believe that imposing additional tariffs in the two aircraft cases is not a solution,” Malmstrom said in an Oct. 11 letter to Lighthizer seen by Bloomberg News. “It would only inflict damage on businesses and put at risk jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time.”‘Short-Sighted’U.S. Ambassador to the WTO Dennis Shea said at Monday’s meeting in Geneva that the Trump administration’s preference is to “find a negotiated outcome with the EU that ends all WTO-inconsistent subsidies,” according to a copy of his remarks obtained by Bloomberg. Malmstrom said last month that the EU had reached out to the U.S. with a “detailed proposal,” but that the U.S. wasn’t willing to negotiate.The EU said that it would be “short-sighted” for the U.S. to impose retaliatory tariffs on European goods and urged the U.S. to find a “fair and balanced solution” to the dispute, according to a statement delivered by Paolo Garzotti, the EU’s deputy head of delegation to the WTO.“Both the EU and the US have been found at fault by the WTO dispute settlement system,” Garzotti said. “In the parallel Boeing case, the EU will in some months equally be granted right to impose additional countermeasures. The mutual imposition of countermeasures, however, would only harm global trade and the broader aviation industry.”The EU has already published a preliminary list of U.S. goods -- from ketchup to video-game consoles -- it will target in a $12 billion plan for retaliatory levies related to the Boeing case. The WTO will issue an arbitration award next year. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative previously said it would impose a 10% tariff on large civil aircraft from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. The U.S. will also slap 25% levies on a range of other items including Irish and Scotch whiskeys, wine, olives and cheese, as well as certain pork products, butter and yogurt from various European nations.(Updates with U.S. comment in the fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns.To contact the reporter on this story: Bryce Baschuk in Geneva at bbaschuk2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 05:49:06 -0400
  • Malaysia to study impact of India's planned trade action

    Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his government will monitor the trade situation with India, which is reported to be considering trade curbs on the Southeast Asian nation over his criticism of actions in Kashmir, news wire Bernama reported. Government and industry sources told Reuters last week that New Delhi is looking for ways to limit palm oil imports and other goods from Malaysia, in retaliation for Mahathir's speech at the United Nations in September when he said India had "invaded and occupied" Jammu and Kashmir. Malaysia had said it did not receive "anything official" from India.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 22:13:14 -0400
  • A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken Seriously

    Golocal247.com news

    And why countries love to buy them.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:00:00 -0400
  • Donald Trump: xenophobe in public, international mobster in private

    Golocal247.com news

    The founding fathers said betraying America to foreign powers was an impeachable offense. The president must goDonald Trump exits after speaking at a campaign rally in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Friday. Photograph: Gerald Herbert/APThe most xenophobic and isolationist American president in modern history has been selling America to foreign powers for his own personal benefit.Trump withdrew American troops from the Syrian-Turkish border, leaving our Kurdish allies to be slaughtered and opening the way for a resurgent Islamic State. Trump’s rationale? He promised to bring our soldiers home.There could be another reason. Trump never divested from his real estate business, and the Trump Towers Istanbul is the Trump Organization’s first and only office and residential building in Europe. Businesses linked to the Turkish government are also major patrons of the Trump Organization. Which may be why Trump has repeatedly sided with the Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been intent on eliminating the Kurds.Back home, Trump has separated families at the border, locked migrant children in cages and tried to ban Muslims from entering the country. He says he wants to protect America’s borders.> Under Trump, thuggery has replaced diplomacyBut guarding America’s geographic borders isn’t nearly as important as guarding the integrity of American democracy, which Trump has repeatedly compromised for personal political gain. He did this on 25 July when he asked the president of Ukraine to do him a personal “favor” by digging up dirt on Joe Biden, his most likely 2020 opponent.Trump justifies his trade war with China as protecting America from Chinese predation. But he asked China to start an investigation of Biden, and last week his adviser on China conceded he spoke with Chinese officials about the former vice-president.During the 2016 election, Trump publicly called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails. Within hours, Russian agents sought to do just that by trying to break into her computer servers.Special counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia sought to help Trump get elected, and Trump’s campaign welcomed the help.Now Trump is playing at being a double foreign agent – pushing the prime minister of Australia, among others, to gather information to discredit Mueller.Rudy Giuliani is Trump’s international thug, arranging deals with foreign powers. On Wednesday, two of Giuliani’s business associates were arrested in connection with a criminal scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for office, including donations to a Super Pac formed to support Trump.Under Trump, thuggery has replaced diplomacy. On Friday, in an opening statement for congressional impeachment investigators, Marie Yovanovitch, former US ambassador to Ukraine, said people associated with Giuliani “may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine”.> You don’t have to be an originalist to see the dangers when a president seeks personal favors from foreign governmentsMeanwhile, even as Trump spews conspiracy theories about the Biden family, his own children are openly profiting from foreign deals. Eric and Don Jr have projects in the works in Ireland, India, Indonesia, Uruguay, Turkey and the Philippines.Trump is pocketing money from foreign governments eager to curry favor by staying at his hotels. The practice has become so routine that during Trump’s 25 July phone call, the Ukrainian president assured him that the “last time I traveled to the United States, I stayed in New York near Central Park and I stayed at the Trump Tower”.According to a former Trump Organization official, foreign governments spent more than a million dollars at Trump businesses in 2018, mostly at the Trump International hotel in Washington. Trump will make even more money if he carries out his plan to host next year’s G7 meeting at his Doral golf resort, in Florida.All of this is precisely what the founding fathers sought to prevent.When they gathered in Philadelphia 232 years ago to write a constitution, a major goal was to protect the new nation from what Alexander Hamilton called the “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils”.To ensure no president would “betray his trust to foreign powers”, as James Madison put it, they included an emoluments clause – barring a president from accepting foreign payments.They also gave Congress the right to impeach a president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. During the Virginia ratifying convention, Edmund Randolph confirmed that a president “may be impeached” if discovered “receiving [help] from foreign powers”.You don’t have to be an originalist to see the dangers to democracy when a president seeks or receives personal favors from foreign governments. There is no limit to how far a foreign power might go to help a president enlarge his political power and wealth, in exchange for selling out America.Donald Trump is a xenophobe in public and international mobster in private. He has brazenly sought private gain from foreign governments at the expense of the American people.This is shameful and criminal. At the very least, it is impeachable. * Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 01:50:14 -0400
  • Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air show

    Golocal247.com news

    The remaining festivities associated with the annual air show were cancelled following the crash

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:54:44 -0400
  • Newly discovered comet is confirmed as an interstellar visitor – with a surprisingly familiar look

    The comet is only the second interstellar comet ever detected in our solar system and the first that looks like a traditional comet.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 15:39:43 -0400
  • Kurds announce deal with Damascus as Turkey pushes deep into Syria

    Golocal247.com news

    Syria's Kurds have announced a groundbreaking deal with Damascus on a Syrian troop deployment near the border with Turkey, as Ankara presses a deadly cross-border offensive that has sparked an international outcry. The announcement on Sunday came as the United States ordered the withdrawal of almost its entire ground force in Syria. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move to withdraw 1,000 US troops came after Washington learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than expected.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 23:58:10 -0400
  • Pope's bodyguard resigns over new financial leaks scandal

    Golocal247.com news

    The Vatican's latest leaks scandal claimed its first victim Monday, as Pope Francis' chief bodyguard resigned over the leak of a Vatican police flyer identifying five employees who were suspended as part of a financial investigation. The Vatican said its police chief, 57-year-old Domenico Giani, bore no responsibility for the leaked flyer but resigned to avoid disrupting the investigation and "out of love for the church and faithfulness" to the pope. Giani, a 20-year veteran of the Vatican's security services, has stood by Francis' side and jogged alongside his popemobile during hundreds of public appearances and foreign trips.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 11:26:59 -0400
  • Porn Producers Are Charged With Sex Trafficking

    Golocal247.com news

    In a case that could test the online pornography industry, the owners and two employees of two popular pornographic websites were charged this week with sex trafficking and other crimes, accused of coercing several women to engage in sex videos that were posted on the internet.According to a criminal complaint, the owners and employees "used deception and false promises" to lure women who had answered modeling advertisements on Craigslist to participate in the videos, telling them that their identities would be shielded and that the videos would not be posted online.The owners, Michael James Pratt, 36, and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, and one employee, Ruben Andre Garcia, 31, were each charged with three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.A second employee, Valorie Moser, 37, who the authorities said helped recruit the women, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.Wolfe, Garcia and Moser pleaded not guilty. Wolfe and Garcia were being held in federal custody Friday and the authorities said Pratt had left the country and was considered a fugitive.Pratt, Wolfe and Garcia are currently on trial in a civil case in San Diego Superior Court that mirrors the criminal filing. In that case, 22 women said they were tricked into performing in internet pornography.Ed Chapin, the lead trial lawyer representing the 22 women, called the alleged scheme "outrageous.""It is despicable," he said, "and I am glad that the feds are stepping up and that they've seen it and are doing something about it."Corey D. Silverstein, a First Amendment lawyer based in Michigan whose practice is focused on issues of pornography and similar entertainment, said this was the first case he knew of in which a content producer was prosecuted under these types of charges."The government has a pretty high burden," he said. "They have to be able to show that someone knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored and patronized a person and then gained value from it." He said he was "not convinced the government has a case," adding, "Was the line crossed from content production to sex trafficking?"In court filings, Pratt and Wolfe, who own the websites GirlsDoPorn and GirlsDoToys, said the women had signed contracts that stated the videos they appeared in could be "used anywhere, anyhow, for any purpose."The women also recorded videotaped statements stating that they consented to the videos being used in any way and were not under the influence of drugs or mind-altering substances, according to civil filings from the defendants.Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami who is the president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, said many women in the pornography industry have lodged similar complaints of coercion but have not felt comfortable telling anyone. Or, she said, they were afraid that complaints would lead to their not working again."There's just a massive amount of fraud and coercion," said Franks, who coproduced a documentary about the world of amateur pornography. "It's a very welcome development that all porn companies will be put on notice that there is an appetite to investigate these cases."Significant criminal charges have not been brought by federal authorities against pornography producers for more than a decade. In 2008, Paul F. Little was sentenced to 46 months in jail after being convicted on multiple obscenity charges.Last year, a federal law strengthened the policing of sex trafficking online.Southern California, especially the San Fernando Valley, has historically been home to major pornography studios and producers, but the internet has made it possible for anyone with a cellphone camera to produce and upload explicit content. And the internet involves interstate commerce, which is regulated by the federal authorities."Traffickers use many ways to trick, coerce and manipulate," said Samantha Vardaman, vice president of Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to rescue victims of sex trafficking. "These brave women suffered exploitation and exposure but they are using the legal remedies to get control back. With the extraordinary abuses of the internet, we will surely see more criminal activity like this."Mike South, a former pornography producer who has chronicled the inner workings of the business for his blog MikeSouth.com, said he hoped the case would encourage young women to exercise caution before answering online advertisements in the future."There might be a few girls that will read about it and take heed," he said.Brian Gross, who has worked closely with pornography producers and actors for more than two decades, applauded the criminal charges."I hope it makes people take this industry as a legitimate business," Gross said. "If you think you're going to come in here and behave in this kind of manner you know there will be consequences."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:02:50 -0400
  • $20,000 worth of ride props were reportedly stolen from Walt Disney World

    Golocal247.com news

    The Orlando Sentinel reported on Thursday that the items were taken from a shed behind Test Track in Epcot.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:03:59 -0400
  • Deadly Los Angeles wildfire burns with subdued fury after change in weather

    Golocal247.com news

    Firefighters have tightened their grip on a deadly Los Angeles wildfire burning with subdued fury on Sunday after extremely dry desert winds that had stoked the flames gave way to moister, gentler breezes blowing in from the Pacific. The so-called Saddleridge fire, which erupted Thursday night and raced across the northern edge of L.A.'s San Fernando Valley, had scorched nearly 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) by Sunday but was mostly confined to foothills and canyons away from populated areas, fire officials said. As of Sunday morning, firefighters had managed to carve containment lines around 41% of the fire's perimeter, more than double the containment level reported a day earlier as authorities lifted all remaining evacuation notices.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:45:34 -0400
  • Can The U.S. Army's Latest Air Defense System Handle 21st Century Warfare?

    Golocal247.com news

    A demonstration might give us hints.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 16:37:00 -0400
  • China’s Xi warns efforts to divide China will end with ‘crushed bodies and shattered bones'

    Golocal247.com news

    China’s president Xi Jinping has warned efforts to divide or destabilise China will end with “shattered bones,” as international pressure mounts over the government’s handling of protests in Hong Kong and a widespread crackdown on Muslim minority groups.  “Anyone attempting to split China in any part of the country will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones,” Mr Xi said, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.  “And any external forces backing such attempts dividing China will be deemed by the Chinese people as pipe-dreaming!” he was quoted as saying to Nepal’s prime minister KP Sharma Oli during China’s first state visit to the South Asian country in two decades. Mr Xi’s comments come ahead of a potential flashpoint on Wednesday, when the Hong Kong government will reconvene its Legislative Council for a fall session. Embattled chief executive Carrie Lam is also scheduled to give a speech, and is expected to formally withdraw the extradition bill that sparked the protests. With violence escalating, foreign governments including the US and UK are putting more pressure on Beijing to act humanely and hold up its end of the Sino-British Joint Declaration – an agreement meant to protect freedoms in Hong Kong when the former colony was returned to China. China: Beijing celebrations mark 70 years of Communist rule in pictures American politicians have also introduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would mandate an annual review to determine whether Hong Kong remained sufficiently autonomous to justify unique treatment by the US. It would also sanction individuals over human rights violations and bar them from entering the country. The bill has drawn bipartisan support and is scheduled to be considered in the House this week, after sailing unanimously through earlier committees. Protesters first took to the streets over concerns that suspects extradited to China would not receive a fair trial, as Communist Party control contributes to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate.  Hong Kong protests | Read more But after a summer of unrest, a pledge Ms Lam made last month to officially axe the legislation wasn’t enough to appease protesters. Activists have expanded their demands to include Ms Lam’s resignation, an independent probe into police handling of the protests, democratic election reforms, and for all rioting charges to be dropped as the offence carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.  Police have fired live rounds, sometimes as a warning, hitting at least two teenage protesters. Activists are also increasingly aggressive, hitting police officers with sticks, throwing petrol bombs and setting fire to road barricades. Over the weekend, the back of a police officer’s neck was also slashed. China is also battling foreign scrutiny in Xinjiang, a land-locked western province where millions of Muslim minorities have been locked up and tortured in “re-education camps.” Last week, the US Commerce Department also announced sanctions on 28 public security bureaus and companies in China implicated in human rights violations in Xinjiang.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 05:37:57 -0400
  • Water Finds Its Level as Fox News Hires Dictator-Loving, Deep State-Loathing John Solomon

    Golocal247.com news

    Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyOver the weekend, Fox News announced that it had made a new hire: John Solomon, the self-proclaimed journalist at the heart of the unfolding scandal involving Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani, and the impending impeachment of Donald Trump. It’s not hard to see why Fox executives may have wanted to bring him aboard. Solomon’s work has underpinned the entire cascade of lies the White House and Trump in particular have pushed over the past few weeks. Solomon’s writings—including those most recently at The Hill, where he worked until last month—are drenched in innuendo and mischaracterizations, all in service of attacking Trump’s political opponents. Solomon is already a regular Fox News fixture. He appeared on Fox News’s The Story show last week to claim that he was being victimized by “McCarthy-like” attacks. As Mother Jones noted on Solomon’s hiring—which coincided with Giuliani claiming that the man deserves a Pulitzer—Solomon’s “alliance with pro-Trump forces” is now “official.”Leaked Memo: Colleagues Unload on John Solomon, the Journo Who Kicked Off Trump’s Ukraine ConspiracyFor many, Solomon remains far from a household name: a relatively obscure journalist who worked until recently at a relatively obscure outlet pushing relatively obscure stories about relatively obscure countries. But for those who’ve followed his work (which includes a long-ago stint at Newsweek and The Daily Beast), his role in the entire unfolding national nightmare—and the fact that he provided a willing platform to lies and half-truths coming out of Ukraine—wasn’t a surprise. This is a man, after all, about whom the Columbia Journalism Review wrote not one, not two, but three separate takedowns. (One headline: “John Solomon Gives Us Less Than Meets the Eye — Again”). The most recent topped out at nearly 5,000 words, highlighting Solomon’s “history of bending the truth to his storyline,” as well as his “hyping [of] petty stories” and his outsized habit of “massaging facts to conjure phantom scandals.” Complaints from colleagues tailed Solomon wherever he went; as one former co-worker said about Solomon’s work, “Facts be damned.” Small wonder that, as The Daily Beast reported last week, staffers at The Hill were “enraged” by his presence at the publication. But there was one kind of friend on whom Solomon could always count, and who could always count on Solomon’s support in return: post-Soviet officials, oligarchs, and lobbyists looking to launder their image and spin their narrative. We’ve seen this most clearly over the past few months, as Solomon’s coverage of Ukraine has gained a national audience—and completely fallen apart under the most basic scrutiny. To take one example, Solomon’s writing lent credence to the notion that the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, had given a Ukrainian prosecutor a “do-not-prosecute” list. One problem: there’s no evidence the list ever existed, and the prosecutor himself eventually walked back the claim entirely.But the damage was already done: The White House this year canned the ambassador, who’s since been personally targeted by Trump as some kind of henchman in former Vice President Joe Biden’s machinations. (For good measure, Solomon this weekend described Ukraine’s successful 2014 revolution to oust corrupt strongman Viktor Yanukovych as a “coup.”) But Ukraine was far from the only post-Soviet state where crooked actors and dirty money looked for, and found, help from Solomon. A couple years ago, while I was a graduate student at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, focusing on post-Soviet affairs, I patched together a Master’s thesis on how post-Soviet kleptocrats whitewash their reputations for American audiences. And there, in the middle of a lobbyist-led campaign to clean up the image of Azerbaijan—one of the most heinous, most kleptocratic governments in the world—sat none other than John Solomon. In 2015, Solomon was an editor at The Washington Times. His tenure there just so happened to coincide with the paper becoming one of the go-to outlets for Azerbaijan’s lobbyists to lie about the brutal Azeri regime’s supposed graces—including pieces that failed to disclose that the authors were on the Azeri dole, like one column by former GOP Congressman Dan Burton, written while he was lobbying for Azerbaijan. Solomon took some responsibility in that case when contacted by The Washington Post, claiming the lack of disclosure was just an oversight. And when I spoke with Solomon in the context of my research, telling him that one of the pieces—which claimed that “few places in the world… are as welcoming to Americans as Azerbaijan”—still didn’t note it was written by a pro-Azeri lobbyist, he told me that he’d add the disclaimer in. But four years later, the article remains unchanged—and anyone reading it would think the author was simply interested in the pleasures and pastimes of Azerbaijan, and not that he was a paid-off hack. In the years since, I—like many familiar with his work—have looked askance at anything that Solomon has published, never taking it at face value. And rightfully so, as we’ve recently seen out of Ukraine. Solomon is still massaging facts, and he’s still conjuring phantom scandals. And now he’s been hired by Fox News for his efforts. And federal filings may provide a hint of who Solomon might help whitewash next. According to documents filed with the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) database, Solomon’s 2015 push to include a raft of pro-Azeri material in The Washington Times just so happened to coincide with his meetings with Azeri lobbyists. (The subject of those 2015 meetings: “Azerbaijan public relations.”) Fast-forward to 2019, and as FARA further outlines, Solomon was also in contact with Lanny Davis—a man who, until recently, was working on behalf of Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash. Accused by American authorities of massive bribery and described by the DOJ as an alleged “upper-echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime,” Firtash is currently fighting extradition from Austria to the United States. For help, Firtash recently hired conspiratorial pro-Trump lawyers Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova – both of whom have joined Rudy Giuliani in working to dig up Ukrainian dirt on Biden. (Firtash also just so happens to publicly loathe Biden.)There are no FARA filings yet listed on any communications between Toensing, diGenova, and Solomon. But we already know that Solomon was emailing at least some of his stories before publication at The Hill to Toensing and diGenova—as well as to Lev Parnas, the now-arrested bagman and associate of Giuliani, who also happens to be working for Firtash. So if you see Solomon, whom Politico recently described as an “all[y]” of the two lawyers, beginning to spin Firtash as some kind of wronged businessman—someone unfairly targeted by the Obama administration, perhaps—don’t be surprised. After all, something like that would fit squarely within Solomon’s track record as a kleptocrat’s favorite spin-man, no matter the cost—and no matter the consequences. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:45:11 -0400
  • Billionaires Could Face Tax Rates Up to 97.5% Under Sanders

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Billionaires may have much more to fear from a Bernie Sanders presidency than they do from an Elizabeth Warren administration, according to two economists advising both candidates.That’s one of the conclusions of a new interactive website developed by University of California, Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.If Sanders had his way, they calculate that the 400 richest Americans, on average, would have an effective tax rate of 97.5%. That includes not only their income, but also a wealth tax that whittles away at the family fortune.The 97.5% average effective tax rate under his plans compares with 23% now and 62% under Warren’s proposals, according to the two economists. Sanders and Warren have both pitched wealth taxes, which is a key reason that their plans tax billionaires so much more. Warren’s wealth tax places a 2% levy on fortunes above $50 million and a 3% levy on assets more than $1 billion. Sanders’ plan goes further, and starts taxing wealth of $32 million at 1%, increasing to an 8% tax on fortunes above $10 billion.“With the wealth tax, you get directly at the stock instead of hitting the flow of income, making it a much more powerful de-concentration tool than income taxes,” Saez said in an email about Sanders’ tax, which Sanders has said would cut the number of billionaires in the country in half in 15 years.The calculations by Saez and Zucman cover state, local and federal taxes and also treat health insurance premiums that individuals pay as a tax, arguing that they are one of main drivers of inequality in the U.S.If a Democrat wins in 2020, wealthy Americans would fare best if it were Joe Biden, even though the former vice president would hit the rich with a markedly bigger tax burden -- an effective average rate of 30.6%, or more than 7 percentage points higher than they face now under President Donald Trump.Read More: Why Taxing the Rich Is Popular But Isn’t Always Easy: QuickTakeLarge tax increases on the rich have been a key topic in the 2020 Democratic primary as candidates have looked for proposals that would lessen inequality and raise lots of revenue to pay for expensive social programs, such as expanded health care and free college tuition.The economists released an interactive website Sunday that lets users select different tax rates to see how levies on various income groups are increasing. Saez and Zucman are also releasing a book on Tuesday, “The Triumph of Injustice: How the Rich Dodge Taxes and How to Make Them Pay,” making the case for large tax increases on top earners.All major Democratic candidates have called for higher taxes on the wealthy, including raising the income tax rates or increasing levies on capital gain income. Sanders, Warren and Senator Kamala Harris have also floated levies on stock and bond trades.Taxes on the wealthy have historically been popular with voters. For decades a majority of polls have shown that people think the wealthy pay too little in taxes. Gallup found in April that 62% of people say that “upper-income” individuals pay too little in taxes.To contact the reporters on this story: Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.net;Laura Davison in Washington at ldavison4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 23:00:00 -0400
  • Thousands of Ukrainians march against a troop pullback

    Golocal247.com news

    It was the second of two marches in Kiev on Monday, a national holiday designated "Defenders Day". October 14 also marks the anniversary of the foundation of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a group of nationalists who fought against Soviet troops in World War II alongside Nazi forces, and are accused of slaughtering Poles and Jews. Protesters chanted "No to capitulation!", "Ukraine above all" and "Russian language today, Russian tanks tomorrow".

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 14:46:29 -0400
  • Family ends search for missing CEO after a body is found

    Golocal247.com news

    The family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off a search for her after police reported that a body was found inside a parked car in the San Francisco Bay Area. Police in San Jose said the body was discovered Saturday in an area where Erin Valenti's family had been searching. "While we were praying for a different outcome, we are so appreciative for the help and support you have given," according to a Facebook post by the group Help Find Erin Valenti.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 16:13:57 -0400
  • Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police say

    Golocal247.com news

    City’s antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not ‘related to fascist activity’ and police did not specify a motiveThe Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/ReutersA Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city’s anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland police bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates. The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward. Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities. Rose City Antifa, the city’s longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealiher’s death that it “was not related to fascist activity”. Police did not specify a motive. Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler ,and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site. Six men, including the Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May. In an affidavit in support of Gibson’s arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot “in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation”. Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra. More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.Cider Riot’s owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others. Goldman-Armstrong’s lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to “homophobic and antisemitic” harassment since the suit was filed.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 11:40:37 -0400
  • CNN’s Anti-Religious Town Hall

    Golocal247.com news

    LGBT activists gathered last week for CNN’s “Equality” town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates. The advocates present were, in the words of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, the “tip of the spear in our fight for full equality.”The “spear” metaphor grew more apt as the night went on.Religious freedom was the second-most-popular whipping post. The candidates talked about the concept with palpable derision, as if religion — save Islam, which they predictably if incoherently exempted — were a ruse used to cement old prejudices. No one actually believes those folksy things about God, heaven, and hell, right? Never considered was the notion that people hold earnest religious beliefs that in turn inform their views on sexual morality.The town hall was also evidence that the LGBTQ movement has grown more jaded and contemptuous, even as it has achieved more and more of its ostensible aims. If conciliation was ever the preferred tone, it is no longer. Instead, it is now increasingly unashamed and vituperative scorn.How would Elizabeth Warren, for instance, respond to someone on the campaign trail who said that they believed in the traditional definition of marriage? “Well, I’m gonna assume it’s a guy who said that,” she said. That elicited a laugh from the audience, men being the only acceptable punchline to the humorless scolds in the crowd. She continued, “I’m gonna say then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that." Then, after a pause: "If you can find one.”(Social science notwithstanding on that last jab.)Beto O’Rourke piled on further, affirming his belief that “freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it should not be used to discriminate.”You are, in other words, “free” to practice your religion, so long as you practice it in a manner that Beto O’Rourke — the skateboard-wielding ex-congressman who posts videos of his dental visits on social media — sees fit. Some animals are more equal than others: O’Rourke will be happy to “discriminate” against your church if it happens to hold an unpopular position on sexual ethics. He literally said so seconds later, when asked by Don Lemon if religious institutions should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same sex marriage.” O’Rourke’s response:> There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone, any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we are going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.What “human right” are religious organizations “infringing upon” when they “oppose” same-sex marriage? Do people have a “civil right” to have their sexual preferences validated by private religious organizations? Is there a “human right” to have your particular sexual union baptized by religious traditions with centuries of contravening theological directives?Pete Buttigieg took this same tack, insisting that “the right to religious freedom ends where religion is being used as an excuse to harm other people.” Which of course depends entirely on what Buttigieg means by “harm.” There is certainly “harm,” for instance, in mutilating the genitals of a young girl — a more ecumenical venture than progressives care to admit — but does a baker’s refusal to bake a cake that violates his religious convictions “harm other people”? What if a church refuses to host a ceremony that offends its moral precepts? Does “religious freedom end” when someone refuses to grant moral approbation to someone else’s choices and behavior?Indeed, that was the Freudian subtext of the entire town hall. “Equality?” That has, even on activists’ own terms, been long achieved. Notice, Alphonso David didn’t simply want “equality” — whatever that means — but “full equality”: your approval. Not simply your toleration, but your moral assent and your unhesitating affirmation. It’s not enough to live and let live. You will, in Erick Erickson’s words, “be made to care.”First, we were told that good sense held that we ought to allow two consenting adults to do as they wished in the privacy of their own bedroom. Fair enough — what business is it of ours? Next came civil unions. Fine. Then, marriage was redefined at a federal level on the basis of specious legal reasoning. Next, religious florists, bakers, and caterers were asked to violate their consciences and dragged before the courts if they declined. And now, at long last, the public exercise of religious faith, and the very belief itself, the very notion that one has rights to “oppose” practices that violate their private conscience, are under siege.All of which, we were told, would “never happen.” As the town hall put on display, it’s not for want of trying.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 11:41:48 -0400
  • California becomes first state to ban fur

    Golocal247.com news

    California has become the first U.S. state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products. On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law to prohibit residents from making or selling items such as clothing, shoes or handbags made of fur.

    Mon, 14 Oct 2019 10:20:17 -0400
Data by Localeze
Powered by Intelligenx