- Israel eyes Dubai expo as 'portal' to Arab worldon 15/12/2019 at 3:43 am
With the world's largest trade fair opening in an Arab country for the first time next year, Israel is stepping up preparations, hoping to boost nascent ties with regional neighbours. The Dubai Expo 2020 trade fair will gather nearly 200 countries vying for the attention of a projected 25 million visitors over nearly six months from October. Like most Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates has no diplomatic relations with Israel.
- Decades on, Soviet bombs still killing people in Afghanistanon 15/12/2019 at 3:26 am
Gholam Mahaiuddin sighs softly as he thinks of his 14-year-old son, who was killed in the spring by a bomb dropped last century in the hills of Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan. "We knew the mountain was dangerous," said Mahaiuddin, who found his son's remains after he didn't come home one day. Forty years after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan -- and three decades since the conflict ended -- the war's legacy continues to claim lives across the country.
- Bolivia's interim leader says arrest warrant to be issued against Moraleson 15/12/2019 at 3:07 am
Bolivia will issue an arrest warrant in the coming days against former leftist President Evo Morales, accusing him of sedition, interim Bolivian President Jeanine Anez said on Saturday. Morales is in Argentina, granted refugee status this week just days after the inauguration of new President Alberto Fernandez. Peronist Fernandez succeeded outgoing conservative Argentine leader Mauricio Macri, who lost his bid for re-election in October.
- The CEO of a Silicon Valley startup was quietly fired after allegedly spending over $75,000 at strip clubs and charging it to a company credit cardon 15/12/2019 at 12:25 am
Turvo named a new CEO in November named Scott Lang. The company was last valued at $435 million, according to Pitchbook.
- Lindsey Graham Invites Rudy Giuliani to Push Biden-Ukraine Conspiracy Theories in Senate Committeeon 15/12/2019 at 12:00 am
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has invited Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to present information he claims to have dug up in Ukraine—even though the details of Giuliani’s self-directed investigation raise serious doubts about the credibility of any information he presents.“Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Graham said in an interview for CBS’ Face the Nation set to air Sunday. “I don’t know what Rudy found, I don’t know what he was up to when he was in the Ukraine.”Giuliani traveled to Hungary and Ukraine earlier this month with a camera crew from One America News, a pro-Trump cable network that has eagerly courted the president’s approval in its rivalry against Fox News. Giuliani and OAN White House reporter Chanel Rion interviewed former Ukrainian prosecutors who repeated widely debunked claims that former Vice President Joe Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to drop investigations into a Ukrainian energy company that had hired his son to sit on its board.While Giuliani told Trump he had uncovered “plenty” on his Ukraine dirt-digging mission, his sources alone have raised red flags. Several of Giuliani’s witnesses are widely seen as discredited in Ukrainian circles, while OAN reporter Rion is a conspiracy theorist whose botched reporting on another story recently prompted a retraction from her network. OAN has had other questionable ties to Ukraine. The network tried to get a United States visa for a Ukrainian millionaire who had promised dirt on the Biden family. Before that could happen, though, the millionaire was arrested on a warrant issued by Ukrainian anti-corruption prosecutors. He’d been wanted on embezzlement charges for years and was accused of treason. Graham’s offer also comes as Giuliani is reportedly the subject of multiple federal investigations aimed at his foreign ties. Two Giuliani associates involved in his Ukraine crusade are facing campaign finance charges.Giuliani, who was spotted at the White House on Friday, claims that he returned from Ukraine with a suitcase full of documents about the Bidens. Graham said he’s open to hearing from Giuliani at a hearing separate from impeachment.“We can look at what Rudy's got and Joe Biden, Hunter Biden and anything else you want to look at after impeachment,” Graham said in his Face the Nation appearance. “But if Rudy wants to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify about what he found, he's welcome to do so.”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.
- Israel welcomes Belgian parade's removal from UNESCO liston 14/12/2019 at 7:35 pm
Israel on Saturday welcomed a decision by the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency to drop a famous Belgian carnival off its heritage list after protests over displays of anti-Semitism. Israel’s rare appreciation of UNESCO came a day after the organization removed the Aalst carnival from its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
- Why Trump's Senate GOP allies are pushing accusations of Ukraine election meddlingon 14/12/2019 at 6:00 pm
Republicans are warming to a Ukraine election meddling narrative as they mount a defense for Trump against the fast-moving impeachment proceedings.
- Joe Biden told a protestor at his Texas campaign rally that he's 'just like Donald Trump' for asking about corruption in Ukraineon 14/12/2019 at 5:13 pm
At a campaign event in San Antonio, Joe Biden was interrupted by a protestor. Biden told the crowd not to hurt him, because it wasn't a 'Trump rally.'
- Body of 21-year-old vet recovered from volcano island as family fight for survival in hospitalon 14/12/2019 at 5:02 pm
Krystal Browitt, an Australian veterinary student from Melbourne who had just turned 21, was sightseeing with her sister and father on the island of Whakaari when toxic ash clouds spewed rocks and dust high into the air. Her mother stayed on the cruise ship, safe from the hot blanket of fumes and stones that rained down on the group of tourists hoping to see inside the crater of one of the country's most active volcanoes. The body of Ms Browitt was finally recovered from the island in a daring mission by elite military bomb squads on Friday. She was formally identified as among the 15 to have died so far on Saturday morning. The closure is likely to be little comfort for her mother Marie who was on Saturday keeping a bedside vigil for her surviving daughter, Stephanie, 23, and husband Paul fighting for their lives among the critically injured in hospital. Fourteen people remain hospitalised in New Zealand, 10 of whom are in critical condition with horrific burns. Thirteen others have been transported to Australia for treatment. One person succumbed to their injuries on Saturday morning, officials said. Police divers prepare to search the waters near White Island off the coast of Whakatane Credit: NZ Police Some patients have burns to up to 95 per cent of their bodies. Surgeons ordered 1.2 million sq cm of donor skin from the US earlier in the week in a desperate attempt to keep victims alive. It is understood that two British women are among the injured in hospital. The nature of the gas meant that survivors were found with third-degree burns to their skin but their clothing largely intact, and many suffered burnt lungs from inhaling the superheated gas, made up of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen chloride. Dr Watson said the gases would have reacted with the eyes, skin and mucous membranes, causing agony to the victims. Two people are missing, assumed dead, on the island itself. A team of nine from the Police National Dive Squad resumed their search at 7am on Saturday for a body seen in the water. Deputy Commissioner Tims said the water around the island is contaminated, requiring the divers to take extra precautions to ensure their safety, including using specialist protective equipment. "Divers have reported seeing a number of dead fish and eels washed ashore and floating in the water," he said. "Each time they surface, the divers are decontaminated using fresh water."
- A Mobster's Murder, and the Jockeying to Move Up the Hierarchyon 14/12/2019 at 3:20 pm
NEW YORK -- On a quiet night in March, a mob leader was executed in New York City for the first time since 1985. The body of Francesco Cali, a reputed boss of the Gambino crime family, lay crumpled outside his Staten Island home, pierced by at least six bullets.Hours later, two soldiers in the Gambino family talked on the phone. One of them, Vincent Fiore, said he had just read a "short article" about the "news," according to prosecutors.No tears were shed for their fallen leader. The murder was "a good thing," Fiore, 57, said on the call. The vacuum at the top meant that Andrew Campos, described by authorities as the Gambino captain who ran Fiore's crew, was poised to gain more power.Cali's death was just the beginning of surprises to come for the Gambino family.Last week, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Fiore and 11 others in a sprawling racketeering scheme linked to the Gambinos, once the country's preeminent organized crime dynasty. The charges stemmed from a yearslong investigation involving wiretapped calls, physical surveillance and even listening devices installed inside an office where mob associates worked.As part of the case, the government released a court filing that offered an extremely rare glimpse at the reactions inside a Mafia family to the murder of their boss -- a curious mix of mourning and jockeying for power. The case showed that life in the mob can be just as petty as life in a corporate cubicle."Mob guys are the biggest gossips in the world," said James J. Hunt, the former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's office in New York. "You think they're tough guys, but they're all looking out for themselves. The only way they get promoted is by a guy dying or going to jail."While Fiore initially plotted how Cali's death would help him and his faction, he adopted a different tone when calling his own ex-wife a few days later, prosecutors said. He warmly referred to Cali as "Frankie" and seemed to mourn the boss as a man who "was loved." He speculated about the killer's motive, saying he had watched the surveillance tape from Cali's home that captured the murder.Vincent Fiore appeared ambitious, court documents showed, eager to reveal his connections to other gangs and organized crime families. About two weeks after Cali's death, Fiore bragged in another wiretapped conversation about how he could take revenge on students who had hit his son at school, a government filing said.Fiore talked first about sending his daughter to beat the students up.But he also had other options, he said on the call. His ex-wife's father was a Latin King, her nephews were Bloods, and her cousin was a member of the Ching-a-Lings, the South Bronx motorcycle gang.Vincent Fiore and the other defendants have each pleaded not guilty to the charges. A lawyer for Fiore did not respond to a request for comment.Despite decades of declining influence in New York City, the Gambino family, led by the notoriously flashy John J. Gotti in the 1980s, is still raking in millions of dollars, according to the government. Prosecutors said they had evidence that the family had maintained its long-standing coziness with the construction industry, infiltrating high-end Manhattan properties.The indictments accused Gambino associates of bribing a real estate executive to skim hundreds of thousands of dollars from New York City construction projects, including the XI, a luxury building with two twisting towers being built along the High Line park in West Chelsea.At the height of their power in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Gambinos and other organized crime families had a stranglehold on New York City construction, through their control of construction unions and the concrete business.Some of the defendants charged last week operated a carpentry company called CWC Contracting Corp., which prosecutors said paid kickbacks to real estate developers in exchange for contracts.Despite the scramble after Cali's death in March, the Gambino crime family continued to thrive through fraud, bribery and extortion, investigators said.The wiretaps quoted in court papers hinted at the crime family's capacity for violence. One of the defendants was recorded in April claiming that he had a fight in a diner and "stabbed the kid, I don't know, 1,000 times with a fork." Inside another defendant's home and vehicle, agents found brass knuckles and a large knife that appeared to have blood on it.Among the notable names in last week's takedown were two longtime Gambino members, Andrew Campos and Richard Martino, who were once considered by Gotti to be rising stars in the Mafia, according to former officials."John was enamored by these guys," said Philip Scala, a retired FBI agent who supervised the squad investigating the Gambino family. "He couldn't believe what they were doing. These kids were making millions of dollars as entrepreneurs."In particular, Martino has long been viewed by mob investigators as somewhat of a white-collar crime genius, former officials said. Prosecutors have previously accused him of orchestrating the largest consumer fraud of the 1990s, which netted close to $1 billion. One part of that scheme involved a fake pornography website that lured users with the promise of a free tour and then charged their credit cards without their knowledge.Campos, 50, and Martino, 60, each pleaded guilty in 2005 to their role in the fraud and served time in federal prison.But as soon as they were released, the government said, they returned to the family business.Martino is now accused of hiding his wealth from the government to avoid paying the full $9.1 million forfeiture from his earlier case.After Martino's release from prison in 2014, he still controlled companies that conducted millions of dollars in transactions, using intermediaries to obscure his involvement, the government alleged. This included investments in pizzerias on Long Island and in Westchester County, according to a person familiar with the matter.Martino's lawyer, Maurice Sercarz, said his client fully paid the required forfeiture before reporting to prison. He added, "The suggestion that Mr. Martino concealed his ownership of businesses and bank accounts to avoid this obligation ignores or misrepresents his financial circumstances."Campos, meanwhile, climbed the ranks to become a captain inside the Gambino family, according to prosecutors.Henry E. Mazurek, a lawyer for Campos, said the government's photos and surveillance footage of his client were not evidence of a crime. "The government presents a trumped-up case that substitutes old lore for actual evidence," Mazurek said.After searching Campos' home in Scarsdale, New York, a wealthy suburb north of New York City, investigators found traces of a storied mob legacy. In his closet there were photos taken during his visits with Martino to see Frank Locascio, Gotti's former consigliere, or counselor, in prison.Locascio is serving a life sentence. He was convicted in 1992 alongside Gotti by the same U.S. attorney's office that brought last week's indictment. Gotti, who died in prison in 2002, was found guilty of, among other things, ordering the killing of Paul Castellano in 1985, the last time a Gambino boss was gunned down in the street.On March 14, the day after Cali's death, Campos drove into Manhattan around 5:50 p.m. to discuss the circumstances of the murder with Gambino family members, seemingly unaware that law enforcement was tracking his every move.He parked near a pizzeria on the Upper East Side, according to a person familiar with the matter. As the night progressed, he met with Gambino family captains on the Upper East Side and near a church in Brooklyn. They stood in the street, chatting openly, but law enforcement officials could not hear the conversations.Several days later, Campos and Fiore drove to Staten Island for a secret meeting. A group of about eight high-level Gambino lieutenants gathered to discuss Cali's murder, a court filing said. In a wiretapped call the next day, Fiore complained that he had stayed out past midnight.Fiore said on the call that a woman had been at Cali's home the night of his death, pointing to her as a possible connection. Court papers do not reveal the woman's identity.Nobody within the mob family seemed to suspect the person who was charged: a 25-year-old who appeared to have no clear motive.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company
- An exclusive fundraiser reveals Pete Buttigieg is being backed by some of Silicon Valley's wealthiest familieson 14/12/2019 at 3:05 pm
Buttigieg has come under fire from rival Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for his ties to big tech.
- Johnson's win may deliver Brexit but could risk UK's breakupon 14/12/2019 at 2:30 pm
Leaving the European Union is not the only split British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has to worry about. Johnson’s commanding election victory this week may let him fulfill his campaign promise to “get Brexit done,” but it could also imperil the future of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland and Northern Ireland didn’t vote for Brexit, didn’t embrace this week’s Conservative electoral landslide -- and now may be drifting permanently away from London.
- Report: The U.S. Could Run Out of Smart Bombson 14/12/2019 at 2:30 pm
And you can't fight a modern war without them.
- Johnson’s Big Win Threatens to Disunite the Kingdomon 14/12/2019 at 2:00 pm
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Boris Johnson’s sweeping election victory is a very English revolution.The prime minister trounced his biggest opponent by luring traditional Labour Party voting heartlands in northern England to his Conservatives for the first time in generations, in some cases ever. Voters clearly rejected Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s throwback socialist agenda, but they just as clearly rallied to Johnson’s pledge to “get Brexit done.”At least, they did in England. Scotland and Northern Ireland, both of which opposed leaving the European Union, chose a very different path. In each case, the result is friction with London that looks set to intensify once Brexit happens. That doesn’t bode well for the future of the union, regardless of Johnson’s majority at Westminster.“We are heading towards a new constitutional crisis, which won’t be resolved easily in the next few years,” said Simon Hix, professor of political science at the London School of Economics.Questions over the integrity of the three-centuries-old United Kingdom have been at the forefront of British politics since Scotland’s independence referendum five years ago. It took late intervention from London-based politicians and a raft of new promises for autonomy to avoid the breakup of a nation state that was often heralded as a model of stability. Brexit then upended the concept of union once again. There’s no denying Johnson’s achievement at the ballot box on Thursday in the largest nation in the U.K., but move further to the periphery and it’s a different picture.He successfully extended the Conservatives’ appeal in England across the Brexit-supporting belts of the disaffected—voters identified in surveys as mostly living outside the big cities and who feel ignored by and resentful of their multicultural, cosmopolitan capital. Johnson also did well in Brexit-backing Wales, gaining seats in what was once solid Labour territory to match his party’s performance in 1979.Read More: The End of the United Kingdom May Be NearingIn Scotland, Johnson’s pro-Brexit message was a turn-off to voters who strongly opposed leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum. They’ve never warmed to the prime minister’s bumbling, upper-class Englishman persona, and he hardly featured in Scottish Tory campaign leaflets. Instead, the Scottish National Party increased its dominance.SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon interpreted her party’s thumping win, taking 48 of 59 districts available, as a mandate for a second referendum on independence from the U.K. The last ballot in 2014 was won by the “No” campaign 55% to 45%.Johnson has said he won’t grant the legal power to hold another one. He can continue to do that, but the issue is unlikely to go away. In 2021, Scotland holds its own elections for the semi-autonomous legislature in Edinburgh and the SNP looks set to bolster its hand again.Sturgeon says Brexit turns that stance on its head, and justifies a rerun. For Scottish nationalists, the election results render Johnson’s position untenable. “It is clear that the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is different to that chosen by the rest of the U.K.,” Sturgeon said in a televised speech on Friday.In Northern Ireland, pressure looks set to grow for a referendum on unity with the Republic. Nationalists who want to bring the island of Ireland together made advances in the election while unionist parties that want to remain in the U.K. lost their majority.The key here too was Brexit, with Johnson’s deal seen by unionists as weakening ties to Britain. In the most high-profile loss, the Democratic Unionist Party’s deputy leader, Nigel Dodds, succumbed to Sinn Fein in north Belfast. Sinn Fein, formerly the political wing of the Irish Republican Army and the DUP’s most bitter adversary, campaigned under the slogan “Time for Unity.”The Good Friday Agreement, the 1998 accord that largely ended the decades-long violent sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland, states that there can be a vote if the U.K. minister in charge of the province sees a likely majority in favor of a united Ireland.There seems little prospect of a vote anytime soon, as both London and Dublin fear the destabilizing effect such a referendum might have on the region’s peace process. Instead, the focus will likely move to restarting Northern Ireland’s power-sharing assembly, which remains suspended after Sinn Fein brought it down in 2017.“Now is not the time for a border poll,” Ireland’s Europe Minister Helen McEntee said in an RTE radio interview Friday.Read More: Johnson Urges Healing After Winning Election That Upends BritainYet here too, Brexit may alter the dynamics.Bill White, who runs Belfast-based polling company Lucid Talk, said before the election that events in Scotland as well as the impact of leaving the EU will affect sentiment on Irish unification. He sees a border poll as “inevitable,” with any hint of Brexit turmoil meaning “it could be incredibly tight.”Johnson isn’t blind to the cracks appearing in the union, and stressed the need for unity in his victory speech. Neither are the mechanisms for a break-up of the U.K. clear so long as Johnson refuses to play along.What is evident is that Brexit is only now about to happen and the strains are already being felt in Belfast and Edinburgh. The risk for Johnson is that his pursuit of Brexit at the head of a Conservative Party now unbound widens those splits between England and the U.K.’s other constituent nations.To contact the authors of this story: Alan Crawford in Berlin at [email protected] Doyle in Dublin at [email protected] contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at [email protected], Rodney JeffersonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- The 25 Best Survival Gameson 14/12/2019 at 2:00 pm
- Why is the president of the United States cyberbullying a 16-year-old girl?on 14/12/2019 at 11:15 am
What it says to girls is: no matter what you do, no matter how much you achieve, powerful men will try to cut you downThe morning after election day 2016, I got a call from a girls’ school in New York where I was scheduled to speak. “We have to reschedule,” said a representative from the school. “The girls are too upset.”Girls across the country were upset when Trump was elected, but not simply on partisan grounds. They were upset because Donald Trump was a bully, a cyberbully, and he bullied girls and young women like them – women like the former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who revealed that, when she was 19, he called her “Miss Piggy,” a dig at her weight.In a New York Times poll in the run-up to the election, nearly half of girls aged 14 to 17 said that Trump’s comments about women affected the way they think about their bodies. Only 15% of girls said they would vote for him if they could.And now Trump has a new target for his bullying: Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist. Thunberg seems to be really making Trump upset, without meaning to. She doesn’t fit into any of his ideas of how girls are supposed to act. She isn’t trying to be a contestant in one of his beauty pageants. She’s too busy trying to get world leaders like him to do something about the climate crisis. She’s too occupied by giving speeches at places like the UN – where Trump was laughed at, when he gave a speech in 2018, and Thunberg was met with respect, despite slamming the entire body for “misleading” the public with inadequate emission-reduction pledges.In the last couple of weeks, while Trump was seemingly mocked by his peers at the Nato summit in London, and impeachment hearings against him began, Thunberg was named Time’s person of the year, an honor Trump reportedly wanted. And so he did what he always seems to do, on Twitter, when he’s upset: he lashed out by accusing the person upsetting him of the very things he’s feeling, or is guilty of.“Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “Chill Greta, Chill!”Poor Trump. This tweet didn’t sound very chill. And Thunberg knew it. Like the majority of girls growing up in the digital age, she has been cyberbullied before – by Trump himself, who, after her celebrated speech before the UN General Assembly, sarcastically tweeted, “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”Both times Trump has tweeted about her, Thunberg’s responses have been jocular, and sarcastic in kind. This week, she changed her Twitter bio to: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”In her handling of being cyberbullied by the president of the United States, at age 16, Thunberg has become an inspiration for girls two times over – first as a climate activist, then as a social media ninja.But that doesn’t mean that Trump’s cyberbullying of Thunberg is any less despicable, or dangerous. What it says to girls all over the world is: no matter what you do, no matter how much you achieve, powerful men can and will try to cut you down.This message is depressing, scary and not without potentially dire consequences. It’s a message that has contributed to a precipitous rise in the suicide rate among girls. It’s a message that has contributed to rising anxiety and depression among girls and young women. It’s a message that Trump’s wife, Melania, is supposed to be combatting, with her campaign against cyberbullying.But girls don’t need Melania Trump to be their role model in fighting against online harassment. They have each other, and they have Thunberg. * Nancy Jo Sales is a writer at Vanity Fair and the author of American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers
- Anger erupts at U.N. climate summit as major economies resist bold actionon 14/12/2019 at 10:28 am
Major economies resisted calls for bolder climate commitments as a U.N. summit in Madrid limped toward a delayed conclusion on Saturday, dimming hopes that nations will act in time to stop rising temperatures devastating people and the natural world. With the two-week gathering spilling into the weekend, campaigners and many delegates slammed Chile, presiding over the talks, for drafting a summit text that they said risked throwing the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle global warming into reverse. "At a time when scientists are queuing up to warn about terrifying consequences if emissions keep rising, and school children are taking to the streets in their millions, what we have here in Madrid is a betrayal of people across the world," said Mohamed Adow, director of Power Shift Africa, a climate and energy think-tank in Nairobi.
- Kamala Harris flames out: Black people didn't trust her, and they were wise not toon 14/12/2019 at 10:00 am
Younger blacks and black progressives took a deeper, dispassionate dive into Kamala Harris’ real-world record. They didn’t like what they found
- Cholera kills over 27,000 pigs in Indonesiaon 14/12/2019 at 9:56 am
More than 27,000 pigs have died in a hog-cholera epidemic that has struck Indonesia, with thousands more at risk, an animal welfare official said. Thousands of pigs have died in more than a dozen regencies across North Sumatra over the past three months, and the pace of deaths is increasing, authorities said.
- 2 children dead after being swept away in Arizona floodwaterson 14/12/2019 at 8:34 am
The bodies of two children were found about three miles from the crash scene.