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Top House Armed Services Republican: Trump's Ukraine call was 'inappropriate' but not impeachable

Top House Armed Services Republican: Trump's Ukraine call was 'inappropriate' but not impeachableRep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said President Trump's call with Ukraine's president was "inappropriate" — but it did not warrant his impeachment.




POSTED NOVEMBER 10, 2019 11:57 AM

At an Iowa rally, progressive voters already talk about an Ocasio-Cortez presidency

At an Iowa rally, progressive voters already talk about an Ocasio-Cortez presidencyAs she took the stage in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday night, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted it was her “first time” in the key presidential primary state. But many of the thousands of people who came to see her campaign for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were confident it wouldn’t be her last visit. 




POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2019 9:18 AM

Swedish police set up task force to combat gang violence

Swedish police set up task force to combat gang violenceSwedish police said on Monday they would set up a special task force to deal with a wave of shootings and bombings linked to criminal gangs following the fatal shooting of a 15-year old in the city of Malmo at the weekend. Sweden has long held a reputation as being one of the safest countries in the world and while overall crime and murder rates remain low, gang wars in major cities have claimed an increasing number of victims in recent years. On Saturday, two 15-year-olds were shot outside a pizza restaurant in Malmo in what police said appeared to be a gang conflict over control of the drug trade in the area.




POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2019 7:12 AM

Zimbabwe says 200 elephants have now died amid drought

Zimbabwe says 200 elephants have now died amid droughtMore than 200 elephants have died amid a severe drought, Zimbabwe's parks agency said on Tuesday, and a mass relocation of animals is planned to ease congestion. Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo said at least 200 elephants have died in vast Hwange National Park alone since October and other parks are affected. Many animals are straying from Zimbabwe's parks into nearby communities in search of food and water.




POSTED NOVEMBER 12, 2019 9:11 AM

Gender reveal parties turn deadly: The trend has killed, ignited massive fires

Gender reveal parties turn deadly: The trend has killed, ignited massive firesWith the trend of gender reveal parties filling up Pinterest and other social media, sometimes expectant parents' celebrations can go wrong.




POSTED NOVEMBER 12, 2019 6:14 AM

With Rising Violence, China Pushes Hong Kong Toward Civil War

With Rising Violence, China Pushes Hong Kong Toward Civil WarA traffic police officer in Hong Kong shot an unarmed 21-year-old pro-democracy protester at point-blank range on Monday. on Monday. Hours later, a man was set on fire after defending Beijing in an argument. Both individuals were listed in critical condition.Over the weekend, wide-scale disturbances scarred the territory, a semi-autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. There is essentially a rebellion in Hong Kong. Riot police in green uniforms are doing battle with youthful demonstrators dressed in black. How Hong Kong Protesters Show Which Businesses Are Friend or FoeProtests began in April after Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s top official, proposed legislation authorizing the extradition of fugitives to various jurisdictions, including Mainland China. Starting June 9, when an estimated one million Hong Kongers marched in the streets, demonstrations have been almost continuous. Lam has since permanently withdrawn the extradition bill from consideration, but the protests have not abated. Especially this week. Hong Kong braced for a weekend of disturbances after Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died on Friday after falling from a car park the preceding Sunday while running away from police tear gas. Many have accused the police of delaying medical assistance to the mortally injured Chow.Chow has been called “the first fatality linked to police action during a protest,” but many believe the police have killed others. Demonstrators believe three of their number were beaten to death on August 31 in the Prince Edward Mass Transit Railway station in Mong Kok. Since then, the above-ground entrance to the station has become a shrine, protestors have repeatedly rallied in front of the adjacent Mong Kok police station, and youth have continually trashed MTR trains and stations because they believe management of the rail system has withheld surveillance-camera footage.Even a single death creates a cycle of revenge and retaliation that is almost impossible to control. Chow’s passing sparked a weekend of rage.Moreover, Chief Executive Lam added to the tensions. In her most recent press conference, held Monday after the shooting and burning incidents, she called protesters the “enemy of the people.” Her provocative Cultural Revolution-speak comment came on the heels of her November 4 meeting with Chinese ruler Xi Jinping. China is apparently controlling events, and either out of obliviousness or maliciousness it is making the situation worse. Beijing has been doing that by forcing Lam to take a hard line. Apart from the withdrawal of the extradition bill—doomed because the normally pro-Beijing business community came out against it early on—she has been intransigent. That intransigence was evident from her Monday remarks. She said she would not yield to violence, but she had previously left Hong Kong people no choice. She had, with her stubbornness, earlier foreclosed the possibility of peaceful change.Hong Kong people may not be able to change her mind, but she cannot change theirs either. The army in black—as well as many other people in the territory—have continued to protest.Analysts say Beijing will eventually lose patience and use force. “This kind of extreme, violent, and destructive activity would not be tolerated or accepted in any country or society in the world nowadays,” said Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng as he met with Lam early this month in Beijing.Han’s words were taken as a threat to formally deploy units of the People’s Liberation Army or the People’s Armed Police to the streets of Hong Kong to “crush” the protests and reestablish order. Beijing could move in troops, but the move is unlikely to work. Hong Kong, after all, is ideal territory for defenders, like guerilla fighters supported by an overwhelming portion of the public. Every apartment building there is a fort where hostiles can rain down explosives or petrol bombs on Chinese troops and then disappear into their homes or back alleys. Xi Jinping surely does not want his first war to take tens of thousands of soldiers, last years if not decades, and end in a loss for China.In the meantime, there is credible evidence suggesting Mainland Chinese personnel—troops or police—are now operating on Hong Kong streets in police uniforms. This sly tactic is not working, however. Why not? The Hong Kong police department, once considered the most professional force of its kind in Asia, has lost discipline, something evident from the shooting of the protester Monday and countless other incidents. The breakdown in discipline roughly coincides with early evidence that Chinese forces were mixed in with the Hong Kong police, and the resulting rough tactics have resulted in a loss of support of ordinary residents tired of being tear gassed, clubbed, and manhandled. All this raises the question whether Beijing has given the green light to police officers to act as brutally as they want. Yet whether China did so or not, harsh action by the police is sustaining support for the protesters. Demonstrators this past weekend were chanting “Revenge.” Hong Kong is now at war with itself. There is no end in sight to the fighting.LeBron James Bends the Knee to China, Fails His First Big Test as the NBA’s ConscienceRead 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.




POSTED NOVEMBER 12, 2019 5:21 AM

A black man was put in handcuffs after a police officer stopped him on a train platform because he was eating

A black man was put in handcuffs after a police officer stopped him on a train platform because he was eatingBay Area Rapid Transit police said Steve Foster, of Concord, California, violated state law by eating a sandwich on a BART station's platform.




POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2019 5:06 PM

See Photos of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel

See Photos of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel




POSTED NOVEMBER 12, 2019 12:01 AM

South Korea President’s Biggest Headache Is Prosecutor He Picked

South Korea President’s Biggest Headache Is Prosecutor He Picked(Bloomberg) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in -- swept into office on a vow to clean up government after his predecessor was ousted for graft -- wanted a prosecutor who wouldn’t hesitate to go after the most powerful.Problem is, Moon may have gotten what he wished for in Yoon Seok-youl.Almost immediately after being appointed as the nation’s chief prosecutor in July, Yoon launched a series of probes that have rocked Moon’s two-year-old administration. The scandal has forced one justice minister to resign and helped push Moon’s approval rating to a record low -- just as he girds for an April parliamentary election that will shape the second half of his term.The investigations are only the latest in string of high-profile cases brought by Yoon, 58, over the years, including probes of two former presidents, a chief justice and the heads of Samsung Electronics Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. After then-President Park Geun-hye demoted Yoon, he joined the special prosecutor’s team whose findings laid the groundwork for her impeachment and removal.“I’m not loyal to anyone,” he famously told lawmakers when asked about one such probe in 2013.Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Yoon’s latest case involves a man whom Moon once predicted would make a “fantastic duo” with the chief prosecutor: Former Justice Minster Cho Kuk. Last month, Cho was forced to resign after just five weeks on the job amid investigations into whether members of his family inflated college admission applications and improperly benefited from investments in a private equity fund.While Cho has denied wrongdoing and hasn’t been accused of any crimes, his wife and nephew have been indicted on various charges while his brother has been detained for questioning. Any expansion of Yoon’s probe to implicate him personally would pose problems for Moon, who decided to force through Cho’s appointment even after the investigations began. “I don’t know what allegations I’ll be charged with but it seems like the indictment against me has already been planned,” Cho wrote on his Facebook page late Monday.“Moon’s presidency was empowered by high public expectations for clean government,” said Park Sung-min, head of MIN Consulting, a political consulting firm in Seoul. If Cho “faces additional allegations related to his duty as part of the prosecutor’s probe into his family, Moon and the ruling party will receive a megablow,” he said.The investigations add a new worry for Moon on top of a slowing economy and a North Korean regime that has mocked his efforts to play a mediating role in nuclear talks with the U.S. The opposition Liberty Korea Party has drawn almost even with the ruling Democratic Party in some polls, raising the prospect that it could gain control of the National Assembly in April and stymie Moon’s agenda.Moon’s office declined to comment Monday, referring to remarks he made in Yoon’s presence Friday praising the prosecutor’s progress toward “political neutrality.” Moon said it was important to establish a fair anti-corruption system that could endure after “Yoon leaves office and regardless of who replaces him.”When announcing Yoon’s appointment, Moon praised him as “a man of integrity who’s not swayed by pressure from power.” Still, the Yonhap News Agency quoted a Moon administration official in September as saying that the investigation was on a scale that would only be necessary for “probing a conspiracy of a rebellion or completely mopping up the mafia.”The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office declined a request for comment. When asked about the investigation during a parliamentary hearing last month, Yoon vowed to follow the facts: “We prosecutors are not swayed by circumstances. We process the case only in accordance with principles and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”Yoon’s reputation for challenging authority goes back at least to his time in law school when he was forced to flee Seoul after participating in a mock trial in which he sought the death penalty against former coup-leader-turned-president Chun Doo-hwan. Back then, Yoon was known for belting out “Ave Maria” and “American Pie” in karaoke sessions, according to a person who has known him for more than 40 years.Yoon became a prosecutor at the relatively late age of 33 after failing the now-defunct annual bar exam eight times. His age and penchant for making bold speeches against powerful elites earned him the nickname “Big Brother” among his fellow prosecutors.In 2006, Yoon displayed characteristic bravado in seeking the arrest of Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Mong-koo -- one of the country’s most powerful corporate titans, who was later convicted and pardoned. Yoon is someone who wouldn’t let a friend get away with wrongdoing, according to the person who has known him for more than 40 years.The investigations into Cho’s family have dealt a blow to Moon’s plans to overhaul a prosecutorial system that long been seen in South Korea as a tool for the country’s political elite to suppress dissent. While Moon had hoped Yoon would help push through legislation to weaken his own office, the chief prosecutor has publicly disagreed with a key part of the plan: delegating more investigative decisions to the police.Shortly after Yoon took office, the welcome note on the Supreme Prosecutors’ website was revised to include a pledge to “always serve the public by sternly holding those who wield power accountable for their abuses and violence.”In remarks that take on new significance in light of Yoon’s subsequent investigations, Moon urged the incoming chief prosecutor in July not to shy away from inquiries involving his own administration.“I want you to be really strict, even should there be influence-peddling and corruption within my office, government or the ruling party,” he told Yoon. “Thankfully, unlike the past, there hasn’t been a big, contemptible corruption case within my office, government or the ruling party yet.”(Adds comment from Cho in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jihye Lee.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Pae at ppae1@bloomberg.net;Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED NOVEMBER 11, 2019 9:00 PM

Democrats need to stop being such babies about Barack Obama

Democrats need to stop being such babies about Barack ObamaPete Buttigieg got in hot water with many loyal Democrats on Sunday when the Los Angeles Times reported that he cited the "failures of the Obama era" as part of why Trump's election happened. This inspired furious outrage from liberal partisans and party apparatchiks -- only soothed (and tweets deleted) when the reporter said he had misquoted Buttigieg, who was then quick to lavish praise on the ex-president.But as it turns out, Buttigieg previously said almost the exact same thing in a recent interview with Showtime's The Circus. "I don't think there's going back to Obama... the American political world we've been in from the day I was born, has been blown up," he explained, "[thanks to] its own failures which culminated in Trump. Look, if the old way worked, something like Trump would never have been possible."So this recent flap sure looks like another flip-flop from Payola Pete, mayor of Indiana's fourth largest city. But at least in his beta release form, I have to admit that Buttigieg was completely correct. Democrats really need to get over this worshipful reverence of Barack Obama.For one thing, it is simply beyond question that the Obama years were a political disaster. From having commanding majorities in both the House and the Senate, Democrats lost first the former, then the latter, and finally the presidency, as the candidate running as Obama's successor bobbled perhaps the easiest lay-up election in American history. Meanwhile, the party all but collapsed in many states, as devastating national defeats translated into the loss of over 1,000 state legislative seats.As I have written before, the primary reason for the Obama-era Democrats' initial crushing loss in 2010, which locked in Republican gains for a decade at least through their ensuing control of the state gerrymandering process, was policy error -- undershooting the size of the economic stimulus in response to the Great Recession on the one hand, and secretly using homeowner assistance money to bail out the banks on the other. The former was not entirely Obama's fault, as he had to get congressional approval for the stimulus, but the latter was entirely under his control. Millions were left out of work, and about 10 million people losing their homes wreaked further economic devastation. As any historian could tell you, being in power during a huge economic disaster is the surest possible way to get blown out of the water in the next election.If you take Obama out of the equation, what Buttigieg was saying before it looks like folks might stop sending those fat campaign checks is all but conventional wisdom even among liberals. Obama himself reportedly has grave doubts about what Trump means for his legacy. Clearly if the party could lose to the most unpopular major party nominee in the history of polling, whatever was happening before 2016 was not exactly working out.And from the other side of the fence, Obama has shown no inclination to fulfill the sort of leadership role loyal Democrats clearly crave. Despite the shattering national crisis that Trump presents, he has not gone on to a different office -- unlike, say, John Quincy Adams, who returned to the House after his presidency and fought slavery literally until his dying breath. Obama is not out there mobilizing day and night against Trump's migrant concentration camps, or his Muslim ban, or his blatant abuses of power.Only occasionally will Obama pop up to endorse candidates, often centrist or center-right white men like Emmanuel Macron or Justin Trudeau. He largely avoided campaigning in 2018 until the last few weeks before the election. He's mainly keeping to himself, hanging out with rich tycoons and celebrities, and making eye-popping sums giving paid speeches before big corporations and banks.He appears in public only occasionally -- and when he does, he has a tendency to indulge in get-off-my-lawn youth scolding that, as Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote back in 2013, was offensive and out of date when he did it as president. "This idea of purity and you're never compromised and you're always politically 'woke' and all that stuff," he said at a recent Obama Foundation summit. "You should get over that quickly. The world is messy, there are ambiguities." Just like the time when "we tortured some folks," but it was still important to "look forward as opposed to backwards" instead of enforcing the law, I suppose.Jokes aside, this almost beggars belief. President Trump is flagrantly stealing money from the American state, attempting to get foreign countries to gin up political persecutions of Obama's own vice president, and Obama is out here raising worries about exaggerated nonsense from America's most dimwitted and gullible columnists, and earning praise from loathsome trolls:> Good for Obama. (Not sarcastic!) https://t.co/cwq5mcDc7V> > -- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) October 30, 2019Now, let me be clear: All this is, of course, Obama's complete right as a private citizen. It is, at least for the moment, still a free country. But Democrats should not follow the advice of the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who argues that "it is unheard of for a party following a two-term president not to run on his achievements," in part because "Republicans did that with former president Ronald Reagan for 30 years." She would know, from her previous incarnation as a prolific and absolutely shameless propagandist for Mitt Romney. But the grim fate of the GOP is precisely the problem.We see today what you get when a party loses the ability to think critically about its history, and treats its leaders as infallible saints no matter what they do: Donald Trump.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com The coming death of just about every rock legend The president has already confessed to his crimes Why are 2020 Democrats so weird?




POSTED NOVEMBER 12, 2019 5:50 AM

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