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Forget Glock or Sig Sauer: This 100 Year Old Gun Might Be Better

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 01:00

 This 100 Year Old Gun Might Be BetterThe response of some weapons designers might have been to develop a fully automatic gun. If one bullet wouldn’t stop the enemy, three might. That would be the argument of a disposable, consumerist culture of overabundance, but we weren’t there yet. The 1911 was frugal with the bullets, but the ones it dished out really did the job.The 1911 is one of the most notorious handguns in history and easily the most famous in America, having seen action in every U.S. conflict since World War I. One of the most successful product designs ever, the 1911 has achieved something rare in the world of machines: immortality. Over a hundred years old, it remains largely unchanged.What Apple is to consumer electronics, John Browning was to late 19th and early 20th century firearms. The 1911 is his most famous design. The typical 1911 is 8.25 inches from tip to tail and weighs 2.49 pounds empty — about as much as a trade paperback book. The 1911 is made of steel, steel and more steel, and takes a magazine that holds seven bullets.The 1911 has seen service in World War I, Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic (twice), Lebanon, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iran, Grenada, Panama, the Gulf War, the Iraq War and Afghanistan. It has chased bad men from Pancho Villa to Osama Bin Laden.


Duterte Stands by China, Doubts Own Fishermen in Sea Collision

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:51

Duterte Stands by China, Doubts Own Fishermen in Sea Collision(Bloomberg) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is standing by China over a collision involving the two nations’ boats in the South China Sea, with his spokesman casting doubts on local fishermen’s accounts of the incident.In his first public statement about what he described as a “maritime incident,” Duterte said China’s side should be heard on the collision that resulted in a Philippine vessel carrying 22 fishermen sinking in disputed waters on June 9. The crew were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat and a Philippine Navy ship.“It is best investigated. I don’t issue a statement now because there’s no investigation and no result," Duterte said in speech at a Philippine Navy event on Monday night. "The only thing we can do is wait and give the other party the right to be heard.”The Philippines will not escalate tensions with China by sending military ships to the South China Sea following the collision, he added, reiterating his nation isn’t ready to go to war with Beijing.At a briefing Tuesday, Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said there are "circumstances that give doubt to the version" of the Filipino fishermen, including how most of them were asleep when the collision happened.“The President doesn’t want this to be blown into an international crisis,” Panelo said. “We are being careful because there will be repercussions if we make the wrong move.”‘Passive’ PolicyDuterte stuck to his pro-China stance despite calls from the opposition, led by Vice President Leni Robredo, to change his “passive” China policy by actively asserting the nation’s rights in the disputed waters. Robredo, in a Facebook post Sunday, also called on Duterte’s government to demand the Chinese fishermen’s trial in the Philippines.Duterte now has to convince the public that friendly ties with China is still the way to go, said Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea.“Between the Philippine government and the Chinese government the friendship policy has been set, but this incident has happened and casts doubt on the sincerity and wisdom of it to the Filipino people,” Batongbacal said.The Philippines’ long-term position in the South China Sea dispute may be weakened if Duterte maintains his pro-Beijing stance after the incident, said Professor Jeffrey Ordaniel, a fellow at Hawaii-based foreign policy research institute Pacific Forum. “The Duterte administration’s China policy is unfortunately helping the Chinese pursue their maritime ambitions.”Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang described the incident as an “accidental collision" at briefing on Monday, adding that politicizing the collision “is not appropriate.” Beijing’s embassy in Manila earlier said the Chinese vessel’s captain tried to rescue the Philippine fishermen after bumping into their boat, but was afraid of being "besieged" by other Filipino fishing boats.The incident took place near Reed Bank, an area claimed by both Manila and Beijing where there’s a pending oil exploration plan by Philippines company PXP Energy Corp.\--With assistance from Dandan Li and Philip J. Heijmans.To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net, Ruth Pollard, Caroline AlexanderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Vulnerable Trump begins 2020 campaign amid boasts and backlash

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:00

Vulnerable Trump begins 2020 campaign amid boasts and backlashWith poor poll numbers against Democrats, president faces coordinated opposition – but history may be on his sideDonald Trump campaigns in Florida in 2016. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesDonald Trump will formally launch his 2020 re-election campaign on Tuesday in one of the weakest positions of any incumbent president in modern times.Trump will seek to project self-confidence and portray himself as a winner when he takes the stage at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, before a typically raucous 20,000-capacity crowd more than 16 months before election day in November 2020.The rally “looks to be setting records”, he claimed in a tweet on Monday, adding: “We are building large movie screens outside to take care of everybody. Over 100,000 requests. Our Country is doing great, far beyond what the haters & losers thought possible – and it will only get better!”But beneath the surface self-congratulation, there is cause for panic in Trumpworld. Democrats will seek to undercut the show of strength by staging a counter-rally outside the stadium, featuring speeches from Floridians who say they have been personally hurt by the president’s policies. Protesters are lining up a giant, nappy-wearing baby Trump balloon.The ferocity of the backlash is evident all over America: in protest marches of “the resistance”, in progressive grassroots organisations mobilising voters, in multimillionaire donors vowing to spend what it takes to defeat Trump, in steadily growing demands for impeachment, in hard-hitting newspaper reports and editorials and in constant lampooning by late-night comedians.Potential match-ups with Democratic rivals show the president in trouble, according to polls. He is lagging behind Joe Biden 53% to 40%, Bernie Sanders 51% to 42%, Kamala Harris 49% to 41%, Elizabeth Warren 49% to 42%, Pete Buttigieg 47% to 42% and Cory Booker 47% to 42%, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released last week.A leak of internal polling from the Trump’s re-election campaign also showed him trailing Biden in several battleground states, including by double digits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The president was reportedly furious and severed links with three of his five pollsters.John Zogby, a pollster, author and founder of John Zogby Strategies, said: “At the moment he is on the ropes. His job approval rating has settled down to 42% or 43%. He’s down in every one of those key battleground states – New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa.”But in 2016, Trump defied the polls and conventional wisdom to beat Hillary Clinton in the electoral college, though he lost the popular vote by nearly 3m ballots. He goes into 2020 with economic growth above 3% and unemployment at its lowest rate for half a century.Zogby said: “The economy is good; it’s not sputtering. We can talk about the ‘real economy’ but the fact is Americans feel pretty good right now about it. He’s down among millennials but, at the same time, there’s a slight uptick in his support because they’re working.”History is also on Trump’s side: no incumbent president has lost an election since George HW Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton in 1992. Zogby added: “There are always advantages to being the incumbent. You can raise money.“Unlike George HW Bush, he has 94% support among self-identified Republicans: that’s high. There is a real intensity among his supporters. It’s not enough to win but it’s enough to say, ‘Hey, there’d better be intensity on the other side too.’Trump launched his 2016 campaign in New York, descending a golden escalator to the basement of Trump Tower, having paid people $50 to attend the event. He filed for re-election on the day he was sworn into office, but is officially launching his 2020 bid in his other spiritual home, Florida. Trump has made more visits there as president than to any other state. Mar-a-Lago, his so-called “winter White House”, is in Palm Beach, while he also owns several golf clubs in the Sunshine State.Florida is also a critical swing state, the decider in the disputed 2000 election between George W Bush and Al Gore. Trump beat Clinton in the state by nearly 113,000 votes, or 1.2 percentage points, setting him on his way to the White House. The first Democratic primary debates also take place in Florida – in Miami – next week.First, on Tuesday, Trump will announce his second-term presidential run along with the first lady, Melania Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence. The outdoor “45 fest” for the overflow crowd will feature food trucks, live music from the Guzzlers and big screens showing his speech.Among those who would like to attend, but are daunted by the prospect of a long queue, is Melanie Parham, a 59-year-old author from St Cloud, Florida. “I have been very pleased with the things that President Trump has accomplished so far, but I am totally disgusted with the Democrats and how they have constantly fought him on everything since they won the House,” she said.“They are determined to prevent him from accomplishing anything else as they are still sore losers of the 2016 election and they do not want him to have any more positives in his column.”But Democrats in Florida are launching a counter-offensive, holding a “DefeatTrumpFL” rally of their own outside the Amway Center. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) will run a live factcheck of Trump’s claims during his event. Priorities USA, a political organizing group known as a Super Pac, will run a six-figure digital advertising campaign to “help cut through his noise and give voters a look at the truth about Trump’s policies”.Daniel Wessel, deputy director of the DNC’s “war room”, told CBS News: “New campaign, same broken promises. Trump will say anything to win an election, and then he never follows through.“Look where we are today - healthcare costs more, prescription drugs cost more, and all Trump’s done is help the rich and big corporations. The question voters need to ask is: what’s he done for me? For working people, the answer is nothing.”


Don't open 'Pandora's Box' in Middle East, China warns

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 23:57

Don't open 'Pandora's Box' in Middle East, China warnsThe Chinese government's top diplomat warned on Tuesday that the world should not open a "Pandora's Box" in the Middle East, as he denounced U.S. pressure on Iran and called on it not to drop out of a landmark nuclear deal. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, more than a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.


Waves of Chinese tourists invade North Korea

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 23:38

Waves of Chinese tourists invade North KoreaDecades later, the monument is a regular stop for new waves of Chinese going to the North, this time as tourists. Hundreds of soldiers and workers have been sprucing up the obelisk and its grounds in recent days ahead of a state visit to Pyongyang by Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. An inscription on it lauds "the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, who fought with us on this land and smashed down the common enemy".


Russia's 1st 5th Generation Stealth Fighter: Meet the Secret MiG 1.44

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 23:00

 Meet the Secret MiG 1.44Over the prior decade, Russia’s foray into fifth-generation jet fighter development has become synonymous with the upcoming Su-57. But the Su-57 was only Russia’s second attempt at developing a fifth-generation aircraft, preceded by several decades with an altogether different project.This is the story of the ill-fated MiG 1.44.In 1979, Soviet high command determined that a new generation of fighter aircraft was needed to ensure the competitiveness of the Soviet Air Force (VVS) into the 1990’s and beyond. The timing could not have been more apt; it was only several years later that the US air force began researching and developing what would become the highly capable F-22 fighter.The project, which became known as MFI or “Multifunctional Frontline Fighter,” established a set of core design criteria roughly corresponding with the Soviet and early Russian understanding of what makes a fifth-generation fighter: supermaneuverability, supercruise capability (sustained supersonic speeds without the use of afterburners), low radar cross-section, integrated avionics system, and substantially improved landing/takeoff capability.


Authorities ID man allegedly behind Ortiz plot

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 22:55

Authorities ID man allegedly behind Ortiz plotDominican Republic authorities identified the man they believe led the plot to assassinate former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, but they did not have him in custody as of Monday. Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota was identified in court documents as the man who intended to pay 400,000 Dominican pesos, roughly $7,800, to hire people to kill Ortiz, multiple media outlets reported. According to the Boston Globe, Mota is charged with attempted murder.


Exclusive: President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack on Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 22:41

 President Trump Calls Alleged Iranian Attack on Oil Tankers 'Very Minor'President Trump said that he might take military action to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but not to protect oil supplies.


Mexico's crackdown on migrants sends some heading south

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 22:00

Mexico's crackdown on migrants sends some heading southMexico's efforts to slow Central American migration across its territory showed some bite Monday as some people turned around to head south in the face of increased enforcement, while government officials said they would target human smuggling rings. One government official announced that the 6,000 National Guard members who officials had repeatedly said would be sent to the southern border will actually be distributed across the northern border and other areas as well, while another suggested measures were showing results. A senior Mexican official, who requested anonymity to discuss negotiations with the U.S., said that three weeks ago about 4,200 migrants were arriving at the U.S. border daily and that now that number has dropped to about 2,600 per day.


New York Man Dies in Dominican Republic After Plastic Surgery

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 21:44

New York Man Dies in Dominican Republic After Plastic SurgeryA New York man died in the Dominican Republic after going to the island nation for a liposuction procedure.


DR officials identify man believed to have paid Ortiz hitmen

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 21:17

DR officials identify man believed to have paid Ortiz hitmenDominican authorities on Monday identified the man they believe paid hit men to try and kill David Ortiz, adding that they were closing in on the mastermind and motive behind the shooting of the famous slugger who is recovering at a hospital in Boston. The man was identified as Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, whom authorities say is a fugitive. The announcement was made as a judge held a hearing closed to the public for another suspect nicknamed "Bone." Officials did not release details, but according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press, the man, whose real name is Gabriel Alexánder Pérez Vizcaíno, is accused of being the liaison between the alleged hit men and the person who paid them.


DR officials identify man believed to have paid Ortiz hitmen

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 21:17

DR officials identify man believed to have paid Ortiz hitmenDominican authorities on Monday identified the man they believe paid hit men to try and kill David Ortiz, adding that they were closing in on the mastermind and motive behind the shooting of the famous slugger who is recovering at a hospital in Boston. The man was identified as Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, whom authorities say is a fugitive. The announcement was made as a judge held a hearing closed to the public for another suspect nicknamed "Bone." Officials did not release details, but according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press, the man, whose real name is Gabriel Alexánder Pérez Vizcaíno, is accused of being the liaison between the alleged hit men and the person who paid them.


Why are we headed for a blowup with Iran? It began when Trump scrapped the nuclear deal

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 21:05

Why are we headed for a blowup with Iran? It began when Trump scrapped the nuclear dealAt minimum, Iran and America need a hotline to deconflict their military forces and avert a serious escalation. But that has been rejected before.


Gunman dead, 2 injured in second California Costco shooting in three days

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 20:34

Gunman dead, 2 injured in second California Costco shooting in three daysA gunman shot two people in a Costco parking lot Monday afternoon in Southern California before turning his weapon on himself.


China's Xi to visit North Korea as US nuke diplomacy stalls

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 20:01

China's Xi to visit North Korea as US nuke diplomacy stallsChinese President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to North Korea this week, state media announced Monday, as U.S. talks with North Korea on its nuclear program are at an apparent standstill. Xi will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during the visit on Thursday and Friday, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said. North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency also announced the visit, but provided no further details.


Earthquake in southern China kills 11 people, injures 122

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 19:53

Earthquake in southern China kills 11 people, injures 122A strong earthquake that hit Sichuan province in southern China late Monday night killed 11 people and injured 122, the local government said. The Yibin city government posted the casualty toll on its social media accounts Tuesday morning. Xinhua news agency said rescue efforts were underway in the stricken area.


Accidental cat filter turns press conference live stream into a meme

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 19:08

Accidental cat filter turns press conference live stream into a memeIn something of a ridiculous and yet lighthearted story, a Pakistani politician's press briefing with journalists recently became comedic fodder after a cat filter was applied to the faces of individuals being recorded via Facebook live. The incident, which was attributed to human error, showcased regional minister Shaukat Yousafzai -- and others -- with cat ears and whiskers while talking about otherwise serious topics.The cat filter was live for a few minutes before someone noticed it and promptly removed it. But for a few glorious minutes last Friday, viewers were witness to an event seemingly lifted out of a kids-version of Black Mirror.The Guardian reports:> It was several minutes before organisers realised that the minister had acquired pointy ears. When one of his moustached party colleagues began to speak, looking earnest and holding a pen, he too was transformed into a cat.> > Party followers watching online immediately started making jokes at the expense of Pakistan's provincial Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. They offered up a whole series of feline puns.Hardly a surprise, folks on Twitter had a field day with the minor debacle. And truth be told, using photo filters during all political events might actually persuade more people to become politically active.https://twitter.com/nailainayat/status/1139583166115540992All told, it's been interesting to see how quickly filters have evolved. Back during the early days of Instagram, for example, photo filters were relatively straight forward and simply involved adding some nice tonal effects to photos. These days, with Snapchat leading the way, photo and video filters have transformed dramatically. Today, filters have become incredibly quirky and now exist across a multitude of social networking sites and apps.


Death toll from China quakes rises to 11

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 19:07

Death toll from China quakes rises to 11BEIJING/SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - The death toll from two strong earthquakes in China rose to 11 on Tuesday, with 122 people injured, state media said, adding that rescuers pulled some survivors from rubble in a part of the country that often suffers strong tremors. The quakes, roughly 30 minutes apart, hit the southwestern province of Sichuan late on Monday, with shaking felt in key regional cities, such as the provincial capital of Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing. People rushed into the streets and cracks were left in some buildings by the quakes, pictures posted on the social media accounts of state media showed.


Oklahomans Fall Mysteriously Ill While on Trip to the Dominican Republic

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 19:04

Oklahomans Fall Mysteriously Ill While on Trip to the Dominican Republic47 out of 114 people traveling to the Dominican Republic with an Oklahoma City travel agency became sick during their vacation. One person said they lost 14 pounds, and others were unable to get out of bed.


US restores some aid to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala

Mon, 06/17/2019 - 18:22

US restores some aid to El Salvador, Honduras, GuatemalaThe Trump administration said Monday it is easing previously announced cuts in hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Central American nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala but will not allow new funding until those countries do more to reduce migrant flows to the United States. The State Department said that after a review of more than $615 million in assistance that President Donald Trump ordered in March to be cut entirely, it would go ahead with $432 million in projects and grants that had been previously approved.


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