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New Mexico Democrats hold up Trump judicial appointments

3 hours 1 min ago

New Mexico Democrats hold up Trump judicial appointmentsNew Mexico's Democratic senators have placed the judicial confirmations for two U.S. District Court vacancies on hold until after the Nov. 3 election. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall interrupted the vetting of two possible lifetime appointments in response to a White House news conference — prior to the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18 — in which Trump invoked the president’s authority over hundreds of recent and future federal judicial appointments as a rallying cry to political supporters.


‘I’m very ashamed’: Argentine lawmaker suspended after kissing woman’s breast during virtual session of congress

4 hours 16 min ago

 Argentine lawmaker suspended after kissing woman’s breast during virtual session of congressJuan Emilio Ameri faces potential expulsion following the ‘serious offence’ on Zoom


Kremlin says EU move not to recognise Lukashenko amounts to meddling in Belarus

4 hours 36 min ago

Kremlin says EU move not to recognise Lukashenko amounts to meddling in BelarusRussia said on Friday that the European Union's decision not to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus contradicted international law and amounted to indirect meddling in the country. Lukashenko, in power since 1994, was inaugurated on Wednesday in a secretive ceremony after weeks of huge protests. Russia is a close ally of Belarus and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the move not to recognise him would complicate the EU's dialogue with Belarus, but not affect Belarusian ties with Moscow.


Hotel Rwanda 'hero' admits forming armed group behind deadly attacks

6 hours 17 min ago

Hotel Rwanda 'hero' admits forming armed group behind deadly attacksPaul Rusesabagina, the polarising hero of the "Hotel Rwanda" film, admitted to a Kigali court on Friday that he had formed an armed group but denied any role in their crimes. Mr. Rusesabagina is famed for his depiction in the movie in which he is shown to have saved hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide, which left some 800,000 dead. After years in exile, where he has become a fierce government critic, he appeared under arrest in Rwanda last month, after apparently being lured into a private jet under false pretences. In recent years Mr Rusesabagina co-founded the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), an opposition party based abroad. While he has previously expressed support for the National Liberation Front (FLN), which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Nyungwe, near the border with Burundi, his exact role has been unclear. "We formed the FLN (National Liberation Front) as an armed wing, not as a terrorist group as the prosecution keeps saying. I do not deny that the FLN committed crimes but my role was diplomacy," he said. "The agreement we signed to form MRCD as a political platform included the formation of an armed wing called FLN. But my work was under the political platform and I was in charge of diplomacy." This is a breaking news story. More to follow.


China says WHO gave blessing for coronavirus vaccine emergency use programme

6 hours 42 min ago

China says WHO gave blessing for coronavirus vaccine emergency use programmeThe World Health Organization gave China its support and understanding to start administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to people while clinical trials were still underway, a Chinese health official said on Friday. China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June, according to Zheng Zhongwei, a National Health Commission official. Hundreds of thousands essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety had not been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials were incomplete.


'Smoke with freedom': Mexicans get high in marijuana garden outside Senate

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 23:27

 Mexicans get high in marijuana garden outside SenateA cannabis 'garden' sprouting next to Mexico's Senate building has become a smoker's paradise, with Mexican stoners lighting up joints without fear of arrest. The cannabis seeds sowed in a plaza by Mexico's Senate by pro-marijuana activists in February have mushroomed into strikingly large plants, and become symbolic of a drive to legalize marijuana in a nation riven by drugs-related violence. "Being able to smoke here (in the garden) in freedom is very important to me," said Marco Flores, a barista sitting on a bench overlooking the Congress building.


A voting advocacy group recorded over 40,000 new voter registrations in the 2 days after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 22:27

A voting advocacy group recorded over 40,000 new voter registrations in the 2 days after the death of Ruth Bader GinsburgVote.org saw a 68% increase in voter registration the Saturday and Sunday following Ginsburg's death compared to the prior Saturday and Sunday.


The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 20:49

The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents revealThe Pentagon is weighing a dramatically different fleet that relies heavily on unmanned ships and submarines.


American consumers are paying the price for Wall Street’s profiteering in China | Opinion

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 20:09

American consumers are paying the price for Wall Street’s profiteering in China | OpinionChina was America’s whipping boy again this week. President Trump used his United Nations General Assembly speech to accuse and to threaten Beijing for its role in covering up the early stages of the pandemic. He said that the U.N. “must hold China accountable for their actions.”


FBI Docs: Primary Sub-Source for Steele Was Suspected Russian Agent and ‘Threat to National Security’

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 19:27

 Primary Sub-Source for Steele Was Suspected Russian Agent and ‘Threat to National Security’The "primary sub-source" for the Steele dossier was suspected of being a possible Russian agent and a "threat to national security," according to newly declassified FBI documents.Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) announced the revelations on Thursday after the Justice Department declassified a footnote of the DOJ Inspector General Report on FISA abuse by the FBI. That report focused on efforts by FBI agents to obtain FISA warrants to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, and concluded that two applications to renew such warrants were not valid because of "material misstatements and omission" of evidence.FBI agents on the Crossfire Hurricane probe, who investigated alleged contacts between the Trump-campaign and Russian intelligence, were aware that the Primary Sub-Source was a suspected Russian spy by December 2016. However, the FBI did not share this information with the FISA court in their applications for warrants against Page.According to footnote 334 of the Inspector General Report, the "Primary Sub-Source was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 that assessed his/her documented contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers."At the request of Attorney General William Barr, the FBI made available a declassified summary of that counterintelligence investigation."[T]he FBI commenced this investigation based on information by the FBI indicating that the Primary Sub-Source may be a threat to national security," the summary states. The Primary Sub-Source was an employee at a "prominent U.S. think tank," and "in December 2016, the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation identified the employee as Christopher Steele’s Primary Sub-Source."The documents are the latest disclosures in an ongoing investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Senator Graham, into the FBI's probe of the Trump-campaign. In a statement, Graham characterized the newest documents as "the most stunning and damning revelation the committee has uncovered.""It’s stunning to be told that the single individual who provided information to Christopher Steele for the Russian dossier used by the FBI on four occasions to obtain a warrant on Carter Page, an American citizen, was a suspected Russian agent years before the preparation of the dossier," Graham said. "The committee will press on and get to the bottom of what happened, and we will try to work together to make sure this never happens again."


How polls are reacting to Trump, Biden campaign styles

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 19:21

How polls are reacting to Trump, Biden campaign styles'The Story' panel debates which candidate is better for America on the economy, coronavirus


CDC: A salmonella outbreak tracks to ramen and a restaurant food recalled in 32 states

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 18:41

 A salmonella outbreak tracks to ramen and a restaurant food recalled in 32 statesAn imported brand of wood ear mushrooms — also called dried fungus, black fungus or kikurage — got recalled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced a 10-state salmonella outbreak to them.


Africa's week in pictures: 18 - 24 September 2020

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 18:05

 18 - 24 September 2020A selection of the week's best photos from across the continent and beyond.


Trump unveils his America First Healthcare Plan

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 17:08

Trump unveils his America First Healthcare PlanIn a speech delivered in North Carolina on Thursday, President Trump outlined his "vision" for affordable, high-quality health care called the America First Healthcare Plan.


US hits Iran court, judges with sanctions over wrestler

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 16:24

US hits Iran court, judges with sanctions over wrestlerThe Trump administration on Thursday hit an Iranian revolutionary court and several judges with sanctions in part for their role in the conviction and execution of a young wrestler. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed the sanctions on two judges with Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz as well as three prisons where he said human rights abuses were rampant. Pompeo said Judge Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati was being hit for his involvement in the case of 27-year-old wrestler Navid Afkari who was executed earlier this month despite worldwide appeals for clemency, including from President Donald Trump.


Breonna Taylor: What happened on the night of her death?

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 16:23

 What happened on the night of her death?The 26-year-old was killed by police in her Louisville home, sparking protests and calls for justice.


GOP Sen. Cory Gardner stayed mum on meatpacking coronavirus outbreaks as he received industry donations

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 16:14

GOP Sen. Cory Gardner stayed mum on meatpacking coronavirus outbreaks as he received industry donationsSome of the biggest and most deadly COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S. stemmed from the meatpacking industry. But Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) was reluctant to call for accountability, including when it came to a Colorado-based plant Gardner received donations from, Business Insider reports.Early in the pandemic, meatpacking factories' close quarters became home to massive COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the country. An outbreak at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colorado led to at least 291 confirmed cases and six deaths — the biggest localized outbreak in the state. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) explicitly called for an investigation at the facility, as did a JBS employee union, which called out Gardner for failing to provide promised coronavirus tests for workers. But Gardner wouldn't discuss the situation with Business Insider, and similarly avoided questions about JBS in a local radio interview.Throughout his Senate career, Gardner has been one of the top recipients of donations from JBS; He has received $24,000 from the company over the years. This election cycle, he received the second most money from JBS of any senator, as well as the second largest contribution total from the meatpacking industry as a whole. Gardner is considered one of the most vulnerable senators this fall as he faces former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).More stories from theweek.com America needs to hear the bad news first A mild defense of Republican hypocrisy on the Supreme Court Trump is the only one being honest about the Supreme Court fight


Who Invited the Far-Right Oath Keepers to Downtown Louisville?

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 16:00

Who Invited the Far-Right Oath Keepers to Downtown Louisville?LOUISVILLE—On Wednesday night, at least 20 members of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group, were observed guarding storefronts in downtown Louisville amid sometimes violent unrest over the lack of charges in the police killing of Breonna Taylor. The businesses included Bader’s Food Mart—which is also a Shell gas station—Stewart’s Pawn Shop, and Hampton Inn Downtown Louisville, all at or near the intersection of Jefferson and South 1st Street. All of the businesses, besides the hotel, appeared to be closed at the time.The heavily armed men—many bearing rifles, night-vision goggles, and wearing camouflage—were seen on the roof of Stewart’s Pawn Shop, the perimeter of the Shell station, and in the Hampton Inn parking lot. When asked why they were present, one militia member, who gave his name only as Angry Spongebob, said the owner of the Shell had received threats against the business.“She was told that people wanted to burn it down to the ground,” he told The Daily Beast. “We know her and so we came out to help protect it, because if it goes up, then it takes a significant portion of this block with it.”He didn’t clarify who “she” referred to, but records filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office list Paula T. Bader as the president, secretary, and treasurer of Bader’s Food Mart, and she has been identified as the owner in local media reports. In a telephone conversation Thursday, a purported leader of the Oath Keepers on the ground in Louisville, who gave his name as Mike Whipp, said they had been invited by Bader to keep tabs on her business, as well as the pawn shop.According to Whipp, “[Bader] told us she was targeted by activists.”The Far Right Gives Jake Gardner the Kyle Rittenhouse Hero TreatmentBader could not immediately be reached for comment, but the food mart does have a history of violence—and of drawing activist ire.In July, an employee was reportedly shot during an armed robbery attempt. And early this month, an employee reportedly shot a customer after a verbal altercation, according to local police. The individual was fired and later charged with assault.On Sept. 4, a day after the employee allegedly shot a customer, activists with megaphones entered the store, leading Bader to close the place for several days."He was wrong," she told local outlet WDRB of her fired employee. But she also seemed to take umbrage at the prospect of being targeted by local activists."They were waiting on customers," she said. "The next thing they know, the store is full of people with the megaphones.”That day, an account listed under Bader’s name posted on Facebook, “This is the damage, looting and peaceful protesting that occurred at my store. Bader's Food Mart last night. Do you notice the small children. SMH.”When asked Thursday about the presence of a far-right militia group, a man who identified himself as the manager of Stewart’s Pawn Shop and gave only the first name Jeremy told The Daily Beast, “I just work during the day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and have no idea if our owners made a deal with those guys.”When asked about the Shell station, he added, “I do know if it burns, it will harm a lot of people in the city.” Shell corporate did n0t immediately respond to a request for comment.Reached for comment Thursday, Stuart Stein, who is listed in state records as an incorporator of the pawn shop, confirmed he was an owner, but told The Daily Beast, “No comment, talk to someone at the store.” Attempts to reach other individuals listed on incorporation paperwork were unsuccessful.For her part, Mindy Wilson, general manager of Hampton Inn Downtown, told The Daily Beast of the militia, “We don’t know anything about them, so you can stop calling.” Hilton Corporate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Oath Keepers are a virulently anti-government group founded in 2009 by Stewart Rhodes, a former Ron Paul aide. They have been a fixture at protests and political hot spots in recent years, from Ferguson to Trump rallies, and have been banned from Twitter after peddling conspiracy theories expressing thirst for Civil War.Followers have also been implicated in a slew of violent crimes in recent years, from bomb scares to threats against the government to rape, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.Members of the Oath Keepers group in Louisville claimed they were made up of patriots, Kentuckians, Louisville residents, former and retired members of the military, firefighters, and law enforcement who were merely trying to protect their community. The member who identified himself as Angry Spongebob expressed condolences to the family of Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was fatally shot during a botched attempt to serve a warrant on her home.Spongebob said burning the city down was misguided and unfair to the public. There was no evidence of this taking place, despite sporadic small fires in garbage cans on Wednesday.“Go to Frankfort, go to City Hall, don’t take out frustrations on private business owners,” Spongebob told The Daily Beast, blaming the lawlessness on elected officials like Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who declined to charge any cop for killing Taylor.As they often have at protests in recent weeks, the militiamen seemed to operate without harassment from local law enforcement, at least in the hours The Daily Beast observed them after the 9 p.m. curfew on Wednesday. Louisville Metro Police and the Kentucky National Guard did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Meanwhile, police said they made 123 arrests, mostly for unlawful assembly and curfew violations, on Wednesday. At least three journalists were reported to be among them. At least two officers were also shot during the chaos.Whipp, the Oath Keeper spokesperson, suggested there was no reason for his group to catch flak for being out past curfew. This despite increased scrutiny of the seemingly cozy ties between armed vigilantes and police after 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse—who allegedly shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August—walked by cops unbothered shortly afterward. On the streets that night, Rittenhouse had attached himself to what amounted to an armed gang of militiamen.“We generally don't have trouble from the police,” Whipp told The Daily Beast. “Police did perceive one of our members as a threat, but we calmed them down, and stated our purpose.”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.


‘They cover my shrapnel wounds’: Veteran Senate candidate responds to critics using photo of her tattoos

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 15:36

 Veteran Senate candidate responds to critics using photo of her tattoosAfter a Republican super PAC in Texas posted a photo of Senate candidate MJ Hegar featuring her tattoos and calling her a “radical,” Hegar had a quick response on Twitter: the tattoos covered shrapnel wounds she received as an Air Force helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. A pro-Cornyn Super PAC is using a photo of my tattoos to make me seem "radical."


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