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Supreme Court won't halt challenged border wall projects

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 17:03

Supreme Court won't halt challenged border wall projectsThe Supreme Court declined by a 5-4 vote Friday to halt the Trump administration's construction of portions of the border wall with Mexico following a recent lower court ruling that the administration improperly diverted money to the project. The court's four liberal justices dissented, saying they would have prohibited construction while a court challenge continues, after a federal appeals court ruled in June that the administration had illegally sidestepped Congress in transferring the Defense Department funds. “The Court’s decision to let construction continue nevertheless I fear, may operate, in effect, as a final judgment,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in a brief dissent for the four liberals.


U.S. to hike fees for immigration benefits

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:53

U.S. to hike fees for immigration benefitsUnder the new rule, the U.S. will start charging for asylum applications for the first time in its history.


Trump news: President threatens Portland protesters with ‘strong offensive force’ as White House condemns delay of Hong Kong elections

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:45

 President threatens Portland protesters with ‘strong offensive force’ as White House condemns delay of Hong Kong electionsDonald Trump has threatened Portland protesters with "very strong offensive force" as the federal government and residents continue to clash in the liberal city. The president warned he might send the National Guard to stop the "terrorists" in the city.In Albuquerque, meanwhile, activists vowed to meet federal agents with peaceful protests and civil disobedience as Trump said the government's response would expand to more cities, including Detroit, Cleveland and Milwaukee.


DC releases police footage from 2018 deaths of 3 Black men

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:33

DC releases police footage from 2018 deaths of 3 Black menUnder pressure from the D.C. Council, Washington's Metropolitan Police Department on Friday released long-sought body camera and security footage from the 2018 deaths of three young Black men in 2018. The release was compelled by an emergency police reform bill that Mayor Muriel Bowser criticized as rushed. “The council has determined that this is the statute, that’s the law of the land and we’re going to abide by it,” said MPD Chief Peter Newsham.


Hurricane Isaias updates: The storm is battering the Bahamas as it moves toward Florida

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:32

 The storm is battering the Bahamas as it moves toward FloridaHurricane Isaias is headed toward southern Florida. The storm already caused power outages and flooding in Puerto Rico.


James Murdoch Quits News Corp Board Over Editorial Disagreements

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:31

James Murdoch Quits News Corp Board Over Editorial DisagreementsJames Murdoch has resigned from the board of his family’s news behemoth, News Corp, due to disagreements over editorial content published by the company’s notoriously right-wing outlets, The Daily Beast has confirmed.“Mr. Murdoch informed the Company that his resignation was due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” a company statement said. He was immediately scrubbed from the company’s online list of board directors.The move comes a little over six months after Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son issued a stunning rebuke of his family’s media empire and its promotion of climate-change skeptics during Australia’s bushfire crisis.James Murdoch Slams Fox News and News Corp Over Climate-Change Denial“Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” a spokesperson for the couple exclusively told The Daily Beast at the time as wildfires raged in Australia.“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”In contrast, James’ brother Lachlan, News Corp’s co-chairman, personally okayed Tucker Carlson’s recent non-apology for racist rants penned by his top writer.In a brief resignation letter dated July 31 and addressed to the board of directors, James wrote, “I hereby tender my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors of News Corporation (the “Company”), effective as of the date hereof. My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.”The board of directors will be reduced to 10 members as a result, headed by Murdoch’s father, Rupert, and Lachlan.Rupert and Lachlan offered a brief statement in response to James' decision: “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”James, 47, often considered the rebel in the infamous Australian media family, had made several less-than-subtle moves away from News Corp’s brand of inflammatory and populist journalism in recent months. Last year, the Financial Times reported that he was planning to invest $1 billion in a portfolio of media companies that could include a liberal-leaning news outlet. In March, he reportedly made a large investment in start-ups aimed at tackling fake news. His private investment company, Lupa Systems, partnered with startup incubator Betaworks to fund efforts to fight disinformation and create a “more sustainable news ecosystem,” a report said.People who know James were not surprised by Friday’s development, which seemed inevitable after he was relieved of his executive responsibilities as CEO of Twenty-First Century Fox—which largely involved the entertainment assets that were sold to the Walt Disney Co. but not the right-leaning, Trump-friendly cash cow Fox News—and began carving out an independent identity from his older brother, Lachlan, and the Murdoch empire.He was increasingly alienated from the Trump administration and the role of Fox News and the New York Post in propping it up. In August 2017, for instance, as Rupert was negotiating the Disney deal and anti-Semitic incidents were on the rise in the United States, James pledged a $1 million donation to the Anti-Defamation League.However, climate change skepticism run in News Corp’s right-leaning Australian newspapers and on Fox News in the U.S. brought the long-simmering family rift over climate change to the fore in January with James and wife Kathryn’s blistering statement to The Daily Beast.“They are pissing inside the tent and that’s unusual. It’s evidence of how high tensions are within the family over climate change,” one News Corp executive told The Daily Beast at the time.James and his activist wife have long been passionate about the environment and climate change. They’ve donated to U.S. organizations targeting electoral interference, climate change, anti-Semitism, and bipartisan unity, as well as the presidential campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden.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.


Boeing wins $265 million to build more special ops Chinook helos

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:24

Boeing wins $265 million to build more special ops Chinook helosArmy has minted another deal with Boeing for more Chinooks for special ops.


Philippines' police have arrested 76,000 people for breaching lockdown as Duterte wages war on COVID-19 just like his war on drugs

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:15

Philippines' police have arrested 76,000 people for breaching lockdown as Duterte wages war on COVID-19 just like his war on drugsPolitical science professor Aries Arugay told the Washington Post Duterte's government was a "one-trick pony."


Kamala Harris is reportedly losing favorite status in the tumultuous Biden veepstakes. Here's why.

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:09

Kamala Harris is reportedly losing favorite status in the tumultuous Biden veepstakes. Here's why.Skepticism around Harris from Biden's inner circle of family and elder statesmen like Chris Dodd all goes back to her big debate moment.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ popularity plummets amid widely panned coronavirus response

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:01

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ popularity plummets amid widely panned coronavirus responseIn the span of a few months Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has gone from one of the most admired state leaders in America to one of the most disparaged.


Here are all the famous people Jeffrey Epstein was connected to

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 16:00

Here are all the famous people Jeffrey Epstein was connected toOne of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers testified in court that Bill Clinton visited Epstein's island, unsealed documents show.


Woman who filmed Florida police officer drawing gun during pullover arrested after failing to return vehicle

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:58

Woman who filmed Florida police officer drawing gun during pullover arrested after failing to return vehicleJoneshia Wilkerson, 23, was arrested on suspicion of failure to return a leased vehicle and fraudulent use of a credit card.


Hong Kong 'seeking arrest' of fleeing activists

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:48

Hong Kong 'seeking arrest' of fleeing activistsSix activists, including some now in the UK, are reportedly wanted under the new security law.


Ex-Weinstein Attorney Lisa Bloom Loses Money Grab in Autistic Kid’s Settlement

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:45

Ex-Weinstein Attorney Lisa Bloom Loses Money Grab in Autistic Kid’s SettlementA federal magistrate on Friday denied attorneys’ fees to camera-ready victims’ rights lawyer Lisa Bloom, who had tried to block a multimillion-dollar settlement for a sexually abused autistic teenager who was briefly Bloom’s client.San Francisco-based U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler instead invalidated Bloom’s lien on the settlement from the West Contra Costa Unified School District and awarded $2,250,000—a figure which includes costs and attorneys’ fees—to “Brennon B.,” a severely disabled student who was repeatedly sexually assaulted on school property by fellow special needs students and a staff member.“In light of the benefits that the plaintiff has received in the litigation…the court finds that the settlement is reasonable and that the attorney’s fees are reasonable and appropriate,” Beeler ruled, while denying Bloom’s request to maintain her lien on just the attorneys’ fees.Former Harvey Weinstein Attorney Lisa Bloom, Angling for a Hefty Payday, Now Faces Fraud AllegationsBrennon B.’s longtime attorney, Micha Star Liberty, who had a joint venture agreement with Bloom to assist with the case for seven months until Bloom abruptly withdrew in late March 2020, had alleged in court filings that The Bloom Firm had violated terms of the agreement and forged documents and signatures in an unjustified money grab.“My client and I are pleased with the court’s ruling,” Liberty told The Daily Beast, referring to Brennon B. and his mother and legal guardian, Bellinda B. “Lisa Bloom has shown once again that all she cares about is money, and will do anything to get it, including calling the mother of her own former client, a special needs sexual assault victim, a liar in a publicly filed document. Through her disparaging words and her attempt to profit by fraud, her lack of moral compass has yet again been revealed to the world through her own unethical actions.” The Bloom Firm, in a statement that said it was “pleased that Brennon B. will receive his portion of the settlement and the justice he deserves,” fired back: “This is and has always been an attorney’s fees dispute between The Bloom Firm and Liberty Law, that should never have included the clients... Ms. Liberty has gone to great lengths to avoid paying money she is contractually obligated to pay, even using her own clients as pawns, despite knowing that The Bloom Firm’s lien could not and would not affect the client’s portion. Ms. Liberty also appears intent on using the media to defame and ridicule Ms. Bloom. The Bloom Firm will not stoop to Ms. Liberty’s level and has no further comment on her or this matter.”Friday’s ruling—which is expected to cause the settlement payment to be disbursed by next week—is likely a bad omen for Bloom’s attempt to collect a hefty slice of a second multimillion-dollar settlement, also won by Liberty.In that case, “I.V.,” a 7-year-old autistic girl, sued the Vacaville Unified School District after her physical and emotional abuse by a school bus driver was caught on video and received intense media coverage.Bloom, whose feminist reputation suffered a massive blow with revelations that she had been secretly helping convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein trash his accusers, has until midnight Friday to file a motion to Sacramento-based U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller.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.


Boston marathon bombing: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence overturned by appeals court

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:43

 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s death sentence overturned by appeals courtA federal appeals court has overturned the Boston Marathon bomber’s death sentence.The decision by a three-judge panel says that the judge that oversaw the original case did not adequately screen the jury for potential biases.


U.S. makes deal for 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, deaths expected to rise

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 15:02

U.S. makes deal for 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine, deaths expected to riseThe agreement calls for the U.S. government to pay French drug maker Sanofi and British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline up to $2.1 billion to supply it with enough vaccines for 50 million people, with the option to buy another 500 million doses. The purchase falls under the Trump administration's so-called Operation Warp Speed, intended to rush a COVID-19 vaccine to the market by the end of 2020. "Today’s investment supports our latest vaccine candidate, an adjuvanted product being developed by Sanofi and GSK, all the way through clinical trials and manufacturing, with the potential to bring hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people," Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in announcing the deal.


"There's a complete disconnect": Florida's school digital divide

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:30

 Florida's school digital divideWith school set to restart in the coming weeks, education leaders and local stakeholders have had to assess the internet and technological gaps facing students who can't afford technology or live outside of the range of internet connectivity.


Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence overturned by appeals court

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:29

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence overturned by appeals courtA federal appeals court on Friday overturned Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's death sentence for helping carry out the 2013 attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. Tsarnaev and his older brother set off a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line of the world-renowned race, tearing through the packed crowd and causing many people to lose legs. A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld much of Tsarnaev's conviction but ordered a new trial over what sentence Tsarnaev should receive for the death penalty-eligible crimes he was convicted of.


Former U.S. Ambassador Labels Pompeo Speech on China a ‘Psychotic Rant’ in Interview with Chinese Propaganda Outlet

Fri, 07/31/2020 - 14:28

Former U.S. Ambassador Labels Pompeo Speech on China a ‘Psychotic Rant’ in Interview with Chinese Propaganda OutletCharles "Chas" Freeman, a veteran U.S. diplomat who served in East Asia and as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, slammed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a "psychotic rant" in an interview Wednesday with a Chinese propaganda outlet.In his July 23 speech at the Nixon Presidential Library, Pompeo said, "Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it because our founding principles give us that opportunity."The U.S. is upping its hostility toward China "as outlined in Pompeo's psychotic rant of last Thursday," Freeman told Chinese state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday. "China policy is now made by notable anti-China elements, who will have agreed with the many falsehoods and distortions of Pompeo's rhetoric."Freeman has a long history of service in the State Department, and he was President Nixon's Chinese interpreter during his visit to China in 1972. The former diplomat drew controversy in 2009 when he was nominated to be chairman of the National Intelligence Council, after Freeman wrote in an email leaked to the Weekly Standard that China was too restrained in its crackdown of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests."The Politburo's response to the mob scene at 'Tian'anmen' stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action," Freeman wrote at the time. "I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be."


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