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  • Michael Avenatti Arrested by Feds at California State Bar Hearing
    on 15/01/2020 at 2:41 am

    LOS ANGELES—Ex-Stormy Daniels lawyer and Trump antagonist Michael Avenatti was led out of the State Bar Court in Los Angeles by federal agents on Tuesday evening.  The arrest occurred outside the disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California has accused the hard-charging, tough-talking attorney of using a doctored document to scam a client out of nearly $840,000, funneling money from a lawsuit settlement fund to his own personal use.The State Bar of California, the official attorney licensing agency, has sought to put Avenatti on “involuntary inactive status,” setting in motion a timeline for disbarment proceedings.During a break in testimony, members of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, who are prosecuting Avenatti in a separate criminal matter in Orange County, parleyed with Avenatti's team of lawyers and took the lawyer into custody. "I understand that Mr. Avenatti has been arrested by the federal authorities for violating the terms of his release," said attorney Steven Bledsoe, who represents the alleged Avenatti victim in the State Bar case and was present when the arrest occurred. Avenatti was taken into custody at around 6 p.m. PST. When the court resumed, his lead counsel in the disciplinary case, Thomas Warren, told the court that in connection with a criminal matter in Santa Ana, Avenatti was unable to return to court. As he was being led out of the courthouse, the normally garrulous lawyer said simply, "Completely innocent."  This story is developing. Michael Avenatti Lived the High Life While Owing Millions to IRSRead 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.

  • Trump Privately Obsessed With Bernie Sanders’ Popularity and Socialism’s Appeal
    on 15/01/2020 at 2:04 am

    In public, President Donald Trump has fixated on mocking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as “crazy” and has focused on assuring supporters of how badly he’d crush the left-wing senator in a general election and protect them from Sanders’ creeping socialism.In private, Trump has often expressed different worries about the 2020 candidate.In the past two months, the president has repeatedly asked advisers, in and out of the White House, about how Sanders polls, or would likely perform, in critical battleground states, specifically Pennsylvania, according to two people who’ve independently heard him ask about it. At times, Trump has asked about Sanders’ prospects even in the absence of a current public or internal poll on the matter.It’s hardly the first time Trump has talked to his friends and top lieutenants about Sanders’ potential formidability heading into an election year. As The Daily Beast reported last year, Trump had on multiple occasions told longtime associates and Republican donors that running against “socialism” in 2020 may not be “so easy” due to its populist appeal. At a private event with donors late last year, the president said, according to a source in the room, that “you can have someone who loves Trump, but many people love free stuff, too,” adding that if Sanders or other “socialist” candidates promise U.S. voters—particularly young voters—that they will cancel their debt, “that’s a tough one [to run against].”But at Tuesday night’s rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the president stuck to the crowd-pleasers when it came to Sanders. “Bernie is surging, Bernie is surging,” Trump said, eliciting lusty boos from the audience. In several recent surveys, including a Des Moines Register poll, one of the few released out of the first caucus state in the lead-up to the Feb. 3 event, Sanders came out on top. In New Hampshire, he’s been a leading neighboring state contender for weeks. Trump also couldn’t resist referencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) claim this week that Sanders told her a woman couldn’t defeat Trump in 2020.“I don’t believe that Bernie said that,” said Trump. The Sanders campaign has long had their candidate polling ahead of Trump. According to data from an internal April 2019 poll obtained by The Daily Beast, the last time the campaign said they tested in Pennsylvania, the senator was winning in the state by 8 points at 51 percent to Trump’s 43 percent.That lead has dwindled over time, and now according to Real Clear Politics polling average, is just under 4 percent, half of the lead former Vice President Joe Biden 8-point lead over the president, according to the same average. Still, those numbers haven’t diminished Trump’s concerns about the senator. Trump’s team has repeatedly declined to share their internal polling data with reporters and the public. Indeed, the president instructed his aides last year to tell reporters that his campaign’s internal numbers didn’t show him polling behind Biden in critical states—even though that same internal polling had him trailing Biden, then the clear national Democratic frontrunner.Still, taken together, Sanders’ top aides and outside surrogates still believe the durability of his figures, and his recent traction in the Democratic primary, can help poke holes in Trump’s electability argument, portraying him as dishonest, especially to workers’ best interests.Trump’s senior staff is, of course, reliably projecting calm at the thought of running against Team Bernie.“We have no preference among the Democrat candidates because President Trump would beat any of them handily,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump’s re-election campaign. “Over the last year, the campaign has engaged various Democrats when the opportunities have presented themselves. In Sanders’ case, his surge in the polls coincided with his emergence as the chief apologist for the Iranian regime. We needed to point out that he would be dangerous as president since he made clear he would appease terrorists and terror-sponsoring nations.”Still, no one in Sanders-world interviewed by The Daily Beast said they were surprised that Trump has been privately expressing concerns about the appeal of Sanders and the senator’s brand of Democratic socialism, particularly in several states he won.  “I’ve always thought he would be obsessed with the senator,” Nina Turner, a senior Sanders adviser and his campaign’s national co-chair, told The Daily Beast about Trump. “He knows that he is the true progressive and the right person to go up against his faux populism.”Sanders’ communications director Mike Casca put it another way: “They should be very worried.” Others in Sanders’ circle point to his strength with working class voters, in part, who first voted for him in 2016 and swung to Trump in the general election. Multiple sources said they have worked to expand that base of support in the 2020 cycle.“Bernie’s appeal,” Jim Zogby, a national surrogate for Sanders, said, “is to multi-ethnic and white working-class voters across the board. That is the crowd that the [Democratic] Party handed to Trump on a platter and Bernie is in effect saying, ‘Thank you, I’ll take that.’” 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.

  • AP EXCLUSIVE: Northam to ban guns from Capitol grounds
    on 15/01/2020 at 2:01 am

    Fearing a repeat of the deadly violence that engulfed Charlottesville more than two years ago, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam plans to declare a temporary emergency Wednesday banning all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square ahead of a massive rally planned next week over gun rights. Northam's planned announcement comes days after Democratic leaders used a special rules committee to ban guns inside the Capitol and a legislative office building.

  • Makeshift koala hospital scrambles to save dozens injured in bushfires
    on 15/01/2020 at 1:18 am

    Dozens of injured koalas arrive at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park's makeshift animal hospital each day in cat carriers, washing baskets or clinging to wildlife carers. Injured in bushfires that have ravaged the wildlife haven off the coast of South Australia state, there are so many marsupials currently requiring urgent treatment that carers don't have time to give them names -- they are simply referred to by a number.

  • Why Andrew Yang thinks candidates of color have been shut out of the Democratic debates
    on 15/01/2020 at 1:15 am

    Andrew Yang has a theory for why there are barely any candidates of color left in the Democratic primary race.After Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) dropped out earlier this week, Yang remains the only person of color in the Democratic race with a solid base of support. And as he tells Politico ahead of Tuesday night's Democratic debate, that dilemma stems from "inequities and financial realities" that affect people of color outside of politics, too.While Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made the December debate stage, she dropped out of the 2020 race due to a lack of financial support beforehand, leaving Yang the only person of color in that debate. That left him feeling "a bit of extra pressure" to talk about race both in the debate and in his campaign in general, he told Politico. "Race has not been the central theme of my campaign from the beginning," Yang said, but added "it's more natural to talk about it when you're literally the only person of color on a national debate stage."Now, Yang has been barred from Tuesday's debate after he failed to make the Democratic National Committee's polling threshold, leaving six white candidates on the stage. This, Yang says, "reflects the realities of our society where being able to run for office and contribute to political campaigns requires a degree of disposable income. If you're black or Latino in the country, you are much less likely to have disposable income."DNC Chair Tom Perez defended the thresholds as a "remarkably inclusive and frankly low bar" which have resulted in "the most diverse field in American history."More stories from theweek.com Ken Jennings is officially Jeopardy!'s Greatest of All Time Bernie Sanders wordlessly disagreed with Amy Klobuchar's climate plan Every top 2020 Democrat is backing big changes to child care in the U.S.

  • A GOP lawmaker and Purple Heart recipient gave Congress the 2-minute silent treatment over Iran
    on 15/01/2020 at 12:57 am

    Brian Mast, a bomb disposal expert who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, used the silence to focus on US soldiers killed by Iranian proxies.

  • Students back in court over Confederate statue case
    on 14/01/2020 at 11:18 pm

    A national civil rights organization filed an appeal Tuesday on behalf of University of North Carolina students who want to intervene in a settlement that gives $2.5 million and a Civil War commemorative statue to a Confederate heritage group. “We have been told repeatedly that this settlement was negotiated in the interest of student safety - but truly what safety is there in empowering a group rooted in racism and violence?” UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore De’Ivyion Drew said in a news release from the Lawyers’ Committee.

  • The 11 Most Anticipated Buildings of 2020
    on 14/01/2020 at 10:52 pm
  • Exclusive: 'I'm happy he did it' - in Beirut, wife of fugitive Ghosn slams Japanese justice
    on 14/01/2020 at 10:00 pm

    Carlos and Carole Ghosn, the former first couple of carmaker Nissan, are united again in Beirut. "I'm done with Japan," said Carole Ghosn in an interview with her husband in a private house in Beirut. Two weeks ago, Carlos Ghosn made a dramatic escape from house arrest in Japan, where he was awaiting trial on charges of under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds.

  • Syria says its air defenses intercept attack on airbase
    on 14/01/2020 at 9:42 pm

    Syria’s air defenses confronted an aerial “aggression” from Israel that targeted an air base in the country's center late Tuesday, state media reported quoting a military official. The official quoted by the state news agency SANA said the attack targeted the T-4 air base in Homs province shortly after 10 p.m. local time. Israel has carried out dozens of airstrikes on Syria over the past years but it rarely comments on what it targets.

  • If a Second Korean War Happens, These Are the Weapons America Would Need to Win
    on 14/01/2020 at 9:30 pm

    Let's hope it never happens.

  • Black prosecutors back Gardner, say they've faced resistance
    on 14/01/2020 at 9:13 pm

    One day after St. Louis’ top prosecutor filed a federal lawsuit alleging a concerted and racist conspiracy to push her out of office, other black female prosecutors from across the U.S. defended Kim Gardner, saying they’ve faced the same resistance in their own communities. Six prosecutors, already in St. Louis for a university’s panel discussion, joined a rally Tuesday at a downtown courthouse to show support for Gardner. The St. Louis circuit attorney on Monday filed what she called an unprecedented federal civil rights lawsuit accusing “entrenched interests” including the city, the police union and others of intentionally impeding her efforts to reform racist practices, in part by seeking her ouster.

  • Body of missing Ohio teen found in neighbor’s chimney 'appears to be an accident,' police say
    on 14/01/2020 at 9:01 pm

    The body of Harley Dilly was found in the chimney of a vacant house, and his death appeared to be accidental, Port Clinton police said.

  • I flew Spirit Airlines and had a nightmarish 34-hour delay with terrible customer service, and I'll never use the airline again
    on 14/01/2020 at 8:31 pm

    I've flown Spirit Airlines three times and have been consistently disappointed. My most recent trip was the worst travel experience of my life.

  • U.S. Tariffs Set to Remain in Place Until After Election Under Trade Deal with China: Report
    on 14/01/2020 at 8:01 pm

    The U.S. will keep billions of dollars of tariffs on Chinese goods in place until after the 2020 election as leverage to keep Beijing from violating a phase-one trade deal, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.The $360 billion in scheduled tariffs is slated to be kept in place and only reviewed for potential trimming after the election — a detail that is reportedly not specified in the text of the agreement.The U.S. currently has heavy tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, while China has tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.“The only non-public component of the agreement is a confidential annex with detailed purchase amounts, which has been previously described,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Bloomberg in an email. “There are no other oral or written agreements between the U.S. and China on these matters, and there is no agreement for future reduction in tariffs.”A deal is expected to be signed in Washington on Wednesday, with the U.S. dropping its designation of China as a currency manipulator ahead of the deal. The two countries have been locked in months of back-and-forth negotiations after a deal was principally agreed to in October.The initial deal included China purchasing $40 to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency. It also included a provision that addresses China's history of intellectual property theft, specifically as it pertains to the forced transfer of American technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market. But impending U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods caused Beijing to stall signing the deal.U.S. agriculture and manufacturing have been hit particularly hard by the longstanding trade war, with farmers receiving $30 billion in compensation to offset losses, and manufacturing hitting its lowest level in more than a decade.

  • Mexico Doesn’t Know What to Do With Its Presidential Dreamliner
    on 14/01/2020 at 7:40 pm

    (Bloomberg) -- A state-of-the-art $130 million presidential Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner is becoming a headache for the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.Mexico is flying back the luxurious aircraft from California after failing to sell it for over a year, Lopez Obrador said Tuesday in his daily press conference, adding that they are rethinking options to get rid of the plane that he has deemed as too ostentatious.AMLO, as the Mexican president is known, put the Dreamliner on the block right after his inauguration in December 2018, choosing to fly commercial airlines instead to make a point about his frugal government style. The plane was flown to a Boeing hangar in Victorville, where the government has been paying maintenance and rent fees while trying to sell it.A dozen potential bidders surfaced last year but no deal was closed, Jorge Mendoza, chief executive officer of state bank Banobras, which is overseeing the sale process, said at the same conference. The plane has a market value of $130 million, Mendoza said, down from the $219 million that Mexico agreed to pay when it ordered it in 2012.Read More: Mexico Set for Loss on AMLO Sale of $219 Million DreamlinerLopez Obrador said he even offered the plane to U.S. President Donald Trump and agreed to receive goods in exchange, to no avail.“We give them the plane, they can pay us in kind. We need X-rays, ambulances, tomographs, laboratories,” he said. “We didn’t get an answer.”The government is now open to renting the plane or splitting ownership among 12 holders, AMLO said, urging Mexicans to make offers for the plane and other aircraft, including helicopters and Gulfstreams, that the government is auctioning. In the meantime, the Air Force will keep the Dreamliner in custody.AMLO has repeatedly criticized the purchase of the plane as too lavish for the leader of a country with millions living in poverty. The president, who has yet to make his first international trip as head of state, also recently argued that the aircraft is too big and expensive for his traveling schedule, given that he can reach most locations in Mexico in less than two hours with commercial flights.\--With assistance from Lorena Rios and Andrea Navarro.To contact the reporter on this story: Cyntia Barrera Diaz in Mexico City at [email protected] contact the editor responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at [email protected] more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tens of thousands face uncertainty as Philippine volcano spews lava
    on 14/01/2020 at 7:32 pm

    Taal volcano in the Philippines could spew lava and ash for weeks, authorities warned Tuesday, leaving tens of thousands in limbo after they fled their homes fearing a massive eruption. The crater of the volcano exploded to life with towering clouds of ash and jets of red-hot lava on Sunday, forcing those living around the mountain south of Manila to rush to safety. Many people abandoned livestock and pets as well as homes full of belongings after authorities sounded an alert warning that an "explosive eruption" could come imminently.

  • Florida's 'Python Bowl' brings hundreds together for one goal: Catching huge snakes
    on 14/01/2020 at 6:50 pm

    Hundreds of people registered for the Florida Python Challenge to capture invasive snakes in the Everglades in a 10-day event.

  • Why Andrew Yang Has Endured While Traditional Democratic Candidates Have Not
    on 14/01/2020 at 6:27 pm

    At one point, nearly 30 men and women had entered the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. As of this week, only a dozen of them remain. Among those who have exited the contest are three sitting U.S. senators, five current or former U.S. representatives, and three governors. Among those still standing is an entrepreneur whom nobody in the political world had ever heard of until early last year: Andrew Yang, the only non-politician left in the race aside from Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge-fund manager bankrolling his own campaign.Why has Yang succeeded where so many more-experienced Democrats failed? In a sea of candidates whose rhetoric offers only familiar, talking-point-laden jargon, Yang sticks out like a sore thumb, and that’s to his advantage. He built his campaign from the bottom up, starting with no political experience or name recognition to speak of and rising from there chiefly by embracing his status as a little-known outsider.Likely because he faced a stiff challenge in gaining any public attention at all, Yang began his campaign willing to go anywhere and talk to anyone, and he remains that way even after having outlasted half the field. His first chance in the spotlight came last February, when he joined Joe Rogan’s immensely popular podcast for a two-hour chat.This was a preview of things to come for Yang. Embodying one of his slogans, “Not Left, Not Right, Forward,” he hasn’t shied away from granting access to conservative outlets. He did a lengthy interview on The Ben Shapiro Show last April and, later that month, gave a lengthy interview to National Review. As I noted in the resulting profile, my conversation with him gave me an immediate sense of why his campaign was already resonating with voters, especially younger ones who had never before been interested in politics:> Talking to Yang is like talking to your undergraduate economics professor in office hours as he tries to find a way to communicate with students who were too bored to pay attention the first time he explained something in class. He thinks he gets it, and he wants you to get it, too.In other words, Yang is unconventional, and that’s the secret to his success. He talks like a person, not a politician, and he talks to voters as if they’re people, not potential votes.Just this morning, for instance, amid the brewing spat between Senators Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Yang tweeted, “Watching this Elizabeth – Bernie dynamic is upsetting. We have big problems to solve and both want to solve them. I’m sure that’s where they would want our attention focused too.”While other Democratic campaigns likely would be paralyzed with indecision at the sight of two front-runners dragging each other into the mud — either remaining cautiously silent or gaming out a detailed strategy for a precisely worded, carefully evasive comment that might redound to the benefit of their own polling numbers — Yang just says what he thinks.The core of his platform, the “Freedom Dividend” — a universal basic income of $1,000 per month for every American adult — is an excellent example of how Yang’s routine willingness to flout customary political tactics has contributed to his rise. When Yang announced during the September debate that his campaign would give away $1,000 per month for a year to ten American families, he was met with audible laughter from several contenders on stage, including California senator Kamala Harris. Four months later, Harris is out of the race, and Yang is still standing.Yang’s ability to come across as less programmed than his opponents is apparent in nearly everything he does. Last month, for instance, he announced that anyone who donated any amount to his campaign would be entered for a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to see the newest Star Wars movie with Yang after the debate. “Yes I am that candidate,” he acknowledged in the tweet, followed by a smiley face and a thumbs-up emoji.What I wrote in my profile of Yang last April is still true: He won’t be the Democratic nominee. But several of the things he told me at the time have been proven true as well:> “Most Americans are still going to be finding out about me when they watch these debates,” he goes on. “They’re going to see me. They’re going to Google me. They’ll be like, ‘Who’s that guy?’” He pauses to chuckle at his own comment. “Then the more people dig into my vision for the country, the better I’m going to do.”Given that he’s managed to stick around longer than many veteran politicians whose campaigns were boosted by constant media acclaim, it seems that Yang was right.

  • 29 bodies unearthed from Mexican mass grave
    on 14/01/2020 at 5:54 pm

    The bodies of at least 29 people have been unearthed from a mass grave on a property outside Mexico's western city of Guadalajara, local authorities said Monday. The grim site was discovered in Jalisco -- a state hard-hit by violence linked to organized crime, and the same area where authorities have found a total of 80 bodies since November. The local prosecutor's office said that four of the dead had been partially identified and corresponded with open missing persons investigations.

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