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India toxic alcohol: Dozens die in Punjab poisoning

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 12:12

 Dozens die in Punjab poisoningPolice make arrests and confiscate supplies of bootleg alcohol which killed at least 86 people.


Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina declare emergencies as Hurricane Isaias hits the Bahamas and barrels toward the east coast

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 11:48

Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina declare emergencies as Hurricane Isaias hits the Bahamas and barrels toward the east coastThe governors of Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared an emergency for some counties.


A 54-year-old New Jersey woman was hospitalized after a violent confrontation in Staples over a face mask

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 11:31

A 54-year-old New Jersey woman was hospitalized after a violent confrontation in Staples over a face maskAccording to police, the victim who walked with a cane was "violently" thrown to the ground after she pointed the cane inches from another woman's chest.


Crashed plane packed with cocaine was bound for Australia, police say

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 11:02

Crashed plane packed with cocaine was bound for Australia, police sayThe overloaded plane - which had over 500kg of cocaine on board - crashed shortly after take-off.


UK lobbies US to support controversial new nuclear warheads

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 10:48

UK lobbies US to support controversial new nuclear warheadsLetter from defence secretary seen by Guardian draws Britain into debate pitting Trump administration against many DemocratsThe UK has been lobbying the US Congress in support of a controversial new warhead for Trident missiles, claiming it is critical for “the future of Nato as a nuclear alliance”.A letter from Britain’s defence secretary, Ben Wallace, seen by the Guardian, urged Congress to support initial spending on the warhead, the W93.The letter, sent in April but not previously reported, draws the UK into a US political debate, pitting the Trump administration against many Democrats and arms control groups over whether the the $14bn W93 programme is necessary. The US navy already has two warheads to choose from for its submarine-launched Trident missiles.The close cooperation on the W93 casts further doubt on the genuine independence of the UK deterrent – parliament first heard about it when US officials accidentally disclosed Britain’s involvement in February – and the commitment of both countries to disarmament.The UK is also supporting the administration’s efforts to speed up work on the warhead and its surprise $53m request for initial weapon design work in the 2021 budget, two years ahead of the previous schedule.Sceptics believe the rush is intended to lock in funding before the election. A Biden administration would be likely to review or even cancel the W93 programme.“These are challenging times, but it is crucial that we demonstrate transatlantic unity and solidarity in this difficult period,” Wallace told members of the House and Senate armed services committees. “Congressional funding in [2021] for the W93 program will ensure that we continue to deepen the unique nuclear relationship between our two countries, enabling the United Kingdom to provide safe and assured continuous-at-sea deterrence for decades to come.”The British intervention comes as the initial funding for the warhead hangs in the balance. It was approved by the House and Senate armed services committees but blocked at least temporarily, by a House energy and water subcommittee last month.Congressional staffers said they could not recall such a direct UK intervention in a US debate on nuclear weapons.“We’ve never had a letter of this sort before, so it was a little bit surprising that this is the issue that they chose to weigh in on,” a committee aide said. The UK insists its Trident nuclear deterrent is autonomous, but the two countries share the same missiles and coordinate work on warheads. The current UK Trident warhead, the Holbrook, is very similar to the W76 warhead, one of two the US navy uses in its own Trident II missiles.The US and UK versions of the W93 are also expected to resemble each other closely. Both countries will use the same new MK7 aeroshell, the cone around the warhead that allows it to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, which will cost another several hundred million dollars.Little has been disclosed about the W93, but it is thought to be based on a design that was tested during the cold war but not made part of the US stockpile at the time. It will potentially be the first new warhead design in the US stockpile since the cold war and is expected to be of considerably higher yield than the current W76, which is already six times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima 75 years ago next week.The demand for funding for the W93 is particularly controversial in the US as the W76 and a higher-yield submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warhead, the W88, have already been subject to multibillion-dollar upgrades.“This is excess on top of excess,” Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said. “We already have two SBLM warheads. The W76 just went through a major life extension programme and is slated to be good into the early 2040s, and the W88 is going through a major alteration.“The US can continue to assist the UK’s arsenal without rushing the development of an unnecessary, at least $14bn new-design, third SLBM warhead,” Reif added.The total cost of the US nuclear weapons modernisation programme is expected to be far in excess of $1tn.The US and Russia, which is also upgrading its arsenal and developing new weapons, together account for more than 90% of all the nuclear warheads on the planet, and both countries are putting increasing emphasis on them in their rhetoric and defence postures.Under Donald Trump, the US has now left three nuclear agreements and his administration is reluctant to extend the last major arms control deal with Russia, the 2010 New Start treaty, which is due to expire in February.The bonfire of nuclear accords, combined with the huge amounts spent on weapons like the W93, are a threat to the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the fundamental bargain by which countries without nuclear arms pledged not to acquire them on condition the recognised nuclear powers (the US, UK, France, Russia and China) took steps to disarm, under article six of the treaty.“When I look at something like the W93, it’s not, in and of itself, a violation of article six,” said Daniel Joyner, a University of Alabama law professor specializing in nuclear treaties. “It’s just a further data point to evidence, the current non-compliance of the US and UK with article six.”In his letter to the congressional committees, Wallace wrote: “Your support to the W93 program in this budget cycle is critical to the success of our replacement warhead programme and to the long-term viability of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and therefore, the future of Nato as a nuclear alliance.”Alexandra Bell, a former state department official and now senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said the US-UK special relationship had shown greater solidarity in promoting new weapons than in arms control.“The UK is noticeably missing when it comes to emphatic support for New Start extension, but yet at the same time it feels comfortable directly telling members of Congress what they should do about our own modernization plans,” Bell said. “I think that’s weird.”Asked about the purpose of Wallace’s letter, a UK defense ministry spokesman said: “The UK’s existing warhead is being replaced in order to respond to future threats and guarantee our security. We have a strong defence relationship with the US and will work closely with our ally to ensure our warhead remains compatible with the US’s Trident missile.”According to official figures, the US W76 warhead is viable until 2045 at least - and the UK version is expected to last until the late 2030’s, so there is no urgent technical need for replacement.Greg Mello, executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group, said nuclear weapons hawks at the Pentagon, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Los Alamos National Laboratory were pushing to lock in spending in case there is a change of administration.“They would like to get this program endorsed by Congress this year, and they’re very close to it,” Mello said. “Once it is a programme of record, it will take more for a future administration to knock it out.”


Record spikes in Asia as WHO issues grim virus warning

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 10:41

Record spikes in Asia as WHO issues grim virus warningSoutheast Asian countries reported record rises of new coronavirus cases on Saturday as the WHO warned the effects of the pandemic would be felt for decades and the scramble for a vaccine heated up. Six months after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, the novel coronavirus has killed more than 680,000 people and infected more than 17.5 million, according to an AFP tally. As countries across Western Europe announced new lockdowns and reported historic economic slumps, the World Health Organization said the pandemic was a "once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come."


Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence overturned, new trial ordered for sentencing phase

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 10:32

Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence overturned, new trial ordered for sentencing phaseA federal appeals court said the new trial for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will only decide whether he's executed. He remains in prison for life.


Tenant arrested for allegedly decapitating landlord with a sword over rent dispute

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 10:31

Tenant arrested for allegedly decapitating landlord with a sword over rent disputeA Connecticut man allegedly decapitated his landlord after he was told he needed to move out over overdue rent, police said.Jerry David Thompson was arrested and charged with murder for allegedly beheading his landlord, Victor King, who rented him out a room in his home in Hartford, Connecticut.


A protester says California police forced her to drink cold water to lower her temperature so she could be put in jail

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 10:13

A protester says California police forced her to drink cold water to lower her temperature so she could be put in jail14 protesters have accused jail staff in Sacramento of unhygienic practices, citing clogged toilets, cramped cells, and no sanitation.


Deserted beaches, free Covid tests - and no masks: Europe's 'safest' destinations lure British tourists

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 09:39

 Europe's 'safest' destinations lure British touristsNorway has more coastline than Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Sweden and France combined and ten times as many islands as Greece, the country's tourism agency is boasting in its new advertising campaign for British holidaymakers forced to rethink travel plans in light of Europe's 'second wave'. Space to social distance rather than sunshine is at the core of the new marketing campaigns launched by a string of unusual holiday destinations competing to lure Brits taking last-minute summer breaks. With just three cases per 100,000 people over the last fortnight, and a population density of less than six people per square mile, Norway has a good claim to being both the safest destination, and the most unlikely to see Britain impose surprise quarantine rules. It is 2nd only to Estonia in the number of Codiv-19 cases. Estonia has registered even fewer infections, 2.6 per 100,000, making it is the safest destination in Europe currently completely open to British tourists. Finland and Hungary, on 2.6 and 2.4 respectively, still impose restrictions. There is a caveat, however: it's worth remembering that if the UK's 14-day cumulative rate of new infections rises from today's 12.6 per 100,000 to 16, visitors to Estonia will face quarantine, and if it hits 20, visitors to Norway will.


The USDA has identified some of the mystery seeds sent unsolicited from China as herbs like rosemary and sage

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 09:34

The USDA has identified some of the mystery seeds sent unsolicited from China as herbs like rosemary and sageAn official with the USDA said 14 species of seeds were identified as herbs and plants like hibiscus, mint, and sage.


Record coronavirus case rises reported as U.S. faces stark death toll projection

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 09:20

Record coronavirus case rises reported as U.S. faces stark death toll projectionJapan, Philippines, Poland all report spikes as countries clamp down on social distancing.


Portland protesters burn US flags, police arrive

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 09:19

Portland protesters burn US flags, police arriveA US flag was set on fire and police were deployed in the early hours of Saturday morning, as protests in Portland Oregon continued. (August 1)


Marine Corps Plan to Ditch Tanks Could Burden the Army, Experts Say

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 09:14

Marine Corps Plan to Ditch Tanks Could Burden the Army, Experts SaySome Marine Corps tank companies have cased their colors, winding up decades-long missions.


Staples customer who told woman to wear mask is thrown to ground, has broken leg

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 08:51

Staples customer who told woman to wear mask is thrown to ground, has broken legMargot Kagan, who recently had a liver transplant and was walking with a cane, was thrown to the ground by another customer she had told to wear a mask.


Chinese nuclear power plant near Battle of Britain tribute 'insensitive to war dead'

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 08:01

Chinese nuclear power plant near Battle of Britain tribute 'insensitive to war dead'The Chinese takeover of a nuclear power station near a tribute to Battle of Britain pilots is “insensitive” to their memory, it has been claimed. China General Nuclear (CGN) and EDF want to build the Bradwell B site in Essex, covering around 500 hectares and producing enough electricity to power around four million homes. CGN is the largest constructor of nuclear power stations in the world and would hold a 66.5 per cent majority share in the project, which would take up to 12 years to complete. However, the plans have been criticised as not only a "potential security risk", extending the reach of Chinese influence on UK business, but also disrespectful to Second World War veterans. It is feared the development could limit access to the memorial on the land built to honour airmen who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain - the heroic 1940 military campaign by the Royal Air Force, which defended the UK from Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe. This was the first major battle fought entirely in the air, and Nazi Germany’s first major military defeat. Sam Armstrong, from the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank, said: “It’s hard to think what the Battle of Britain heroes — who flew so bravely from RAF Bradwell Bay — would make of their runway being torn up and their memorial being obstructed to make way for a nuclear company owned by a state that is transporting a million members of a religious minority to modern day concentration camps. "CGN Bradwell B is not just a potential security risk, it is also plain insensitive to our history." CGN and EDF did not respond when contacted by The Telegraph. The official website for Bradwell B states: "The war memorial would remain in situ, following the recent restoration work that the Bradwell B team contributed towards. "If it becomes apparent that temporary restrictions to access might be required for safety reasons during construction, we will engage with the community first. Additionally, we will look at ways to enhance its setting, in consultation with the community." Bradwell B was designated by the Government in 2011 as being potentially suitable for nuclear new build. It is located near the existing Bradwell power station, which is being decommissioned. The plans are currently at the consultation stage. A figure of how much the project would cost has not been released.


Less than half of US colleges are now planning for in-person classes

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 07:45

Less than half of US colleges are now planning for in-person classesThe Chronicle of Higher Education's reopening tracker finds just 49% of schools are planning on in-person instruction in the fall, versus 65% in June.


Thousands march in Berlin against coronavirus curbs

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 07:38

Thousands march in Berlin against coronavirus curbsThousands marched in Berlin on Saturday to protest against measures imposed in Germany to stem the coronavirus pandemic, saying they violated people's rights and freedoms. The gathering, estimated by police at 17,000, included libertarians, constitutional loyalists and anti-vaccination activists. There was also a small far-right presence with some marchers carrying Germany's black, white and red imperial flag.


Sen. Tammy Duckworth: America's Moms Are Running on Empty. We Need to do More to Support Them.

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 06:00

 America's Moms Are Running on Empty. We Need to do More to Support Them.Senator Tammy Duckworth on her fear that she's letting down her daughters and how we need to support American mothers with more help.


‘We don’t need someone distracted with Twitter’: Ilhan Omar fights off tough primary challenge

Sat, 08/01/2020 - 06:00

 Ilhan Omar fights off tough primary challengeThe Minnesota freshman and "Squad" member faces criticism that she’s too divisive to effectively represent her district.


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