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|Trump news: Witnesses describe 'improper' Ukraine call as president mocks veteran's military uniform
The third day of public testimony in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump yielded witnesses who largely propped up Democrats' allegations that the president sought to use his public office to coerce the Ukrainian government into investigating Joe Biden — and even some testimony from witnesses seen as sympathetic to Republicans saying that Mr Biden was not known to have done anything wrong.Throughout the marathon of hearings, Washington heard from National Security Council official and Army veteran Lt Col Alexander Vindman, Mike Pence staffer Jennifer Williams, former ambassador Kurt Volker, and Tim Morrison.
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 5:07 PM
|Russia offers job to Maria Butina, woman convicted by U.S. of being an agent
In her first public appearance since being deported by U.S. authorities who had jailed her for being a Russian agent, Maria Butina was on Monday offered a job by Moscow to defend Russians imprisoned abroad. During an event for the media, Russia's human rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, offered Butina, 31, a job working for her commission. Butina, who flew back to Russia on Oct. 26 after being deported, did not say whether she would accept the offer made at what she called her first public appearance since she was mobbed by wellwishers in front of the media at the airport on her arrival home.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 2:25 PM
|Cuomo Blasts Syracuse U Leadership After White-Supremacist Manifesto Allegedly AirDropped to Students
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty ImagesNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday blasted leadership at Syracuse University for its handling of ongoing hate speech and racist harassment on campus, which escalated overnight when a white-supremacist manifesto was allegedly AirDropped to some students’ cell phones.The university’s Department of Public Safety announced in a campus-wide email early Tuesday morning that it was investigating reports that the hate manifesto, which students told The Daily Beast was the same one used by the Christchurch mosque shooter, was sent to student phones at Bird Library at around 1 a.m. It was also posted in an online discussion forum about Greek life just after 10 p.m., The Daily Orange, the student newspaper, reported.“The hateful activities at Syracuse University are most disturbing, not only to the Syracuse University community, but to the greater community of New York,” Cuomo said in a press release on Tuesday afternoon. “They have not been handled in a manner that reflects this state's aggressive opposition to such odious, reckless, reprehensible behavior. That these actions should happen on the campus of a leading New York university makes this situation even worse.”Earlier this month, Cuomo ordered state agencies to investigate hate speech on the upstate school’s campus.The university’s DPS is working with the Syracuse Police Department, New York State Police, and the FBI to investigate the quickly escalating situation on campus, but the university’s DPS said there was no “specific” threat to the school Tuesday, The Daily Orange reported.In response to the events overnight, protesters have asked that the administration cancel classes and campus events.“Students are scared for their own safety,” tweeted Josh Meyers, a Syracuse student journalist, on Tuesday morning. “Campus is looking extra empty this morning.”“Students are truly terrified here,” he told The Daily Beast.The screed shared on Tuesday marks the 11th racist incident reported on campus since Nov. 6, including the Saturday night harassment of a black student by members of a fraternity who allegedly yelled the n-word at her as she waited for a bus. Others have included anti-Semitic and anti-Asian graffiti in the form of a swastika and slurs. The n-word was also reportedly found scribbled in residence halls and a physics building. In another incident, a student loudly yelled a racial slur against black Americans. Separately, a Chinese freshman reported a racial epithet being used against him.University Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a letter to students and staff Sunday that he was “deeply angered by these events” and hours later announced a $50,000 reward for any evidence that leads to “the apprehension of the individual or individuals responsible for these heinous acts.” The money came from a “generous” donor, he said. Otherwise, anyone with relevant information about the spate of incidents is encouraged to contact the Department of Public Safety directly.But Cuomo said Tuesday, after hours of silence from the university administration in the wake of the manifesto’s alleged release: “Despite his efforts, I do not believe Chancellor Syverud has handled this matter in a way that instills confidence.”“As we have learned repeatedly, these increasing exhibitions of hate and bigotry must be handled strongly, swiftly and justly,” said Cuomo, who also called for the school’s board of trustees to install a monitor. “That must be both the reality and the perception. Syracuse University and its leadership have failed to do that. It is your obligation to remedy the situation immediately.”The monitor, Cuomo said, must “effectively investigate these incidents, clearly communicate the facts with the board and to the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force and recommend a decisive strategy to address both the specific incidents and behavior.”Syracuse University Offers $50,000 Reward for Information About Racist Incidents on CampusEarlier this week, after it became clear that one of the hate incidents originated from a fraternity on campus, Syverud suspended Alpha Chi Rho and—in one fell swoop—directed the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs to suspend all social activities of fraternities for the remainder of the semester.“While only one fraternity may have been involved in this particular incident, given recent history, all fraternities must come together with the university community to reflect upon how to prevent recurrence of such seriously troubling behavior,” Syverud said.An ongoing campus sit-in has been staged by black students leading a movement called NotAgainSU, which also organized a boycott of Syracuse basketball games. The sit-in began last Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., and dozens of students have joined the effort inside the school’s Barnes Center at The Arch—a brand-new $50 million recreational complex. Participants have been holding signs that read “Black Safety Matters” and sharing their frustration on social media.Early Tuesday morning, demonstrators asked the administration to cancel all classes and campus events until further notice. “These active threats targeting students should be taken seriously and handled with a sense of urgency,” said a statement from the group on Tuesday. “We believe that students should stay in spaces where they feel the most comfortable, as safety is paramount.”The demonstrators have vowed not to end the protest until all of their demands—including the expulsion of students involved in what they’ve called the “November Hate Crimes”—are met. “The safety of students on this campus—specifically the safety of underrepresented and underserved students—is paramount,” the group said Monday in a press release.“I’ve never felt less safe on campus than I do right now,” said Claire Bauerle, an 18-year-old Syracuse freshman. Bauerle told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that she, a white student, wants students of color to know they are supported.“People aren’t involved just to be involved,” the Chicago native said.“It’s awful,” Bauerle added, emphasizing that students are afraid that it will escalate into a shooting. “It doesn’t feel real. It’s like walking through an awful nightmare.”“Whether or not tonight’s threat is credible, it’s tremendously irresponsible if Syracuse doesn’t cancel classes,” broadcast journalism major Sam Gelfand—a native of Parkland, Fla.— tweeted just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday.“People on this campus, myself included, are shaken, frightened, and fatigued. This is no environment for academics right now. Just let people go home,” he added.Gelfand, a sophomore, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that he was “down the street from the Stoneman Douglas shooting while it occurred”—when 17 people died in one of the nation’s most harrowing school shootings in February 2018—and that while on campus at Syracuse today he found himself “drawing parallels.”“I was terrified last night,” Gelfand, who is Jewish, said. “These hateful incidents have consumed our lives; it’s all we can talk about.”The “lackluster response” from the administration and the DPS is, Gelfand added, “inexcusable.”Professors, meanwhile, were not immune to the campus tension. Several tweeted that they had either canceled classes or would not penalize students who chose not to attend Tuesday.“I will support and advocate for any students who choose not to go to class today,” Prof. Genevieve García de Müeller tweeted. “I support the students protesting and I urge the chancellor to uptake their demands in a serious and systemic way.”She added: “Most of my students have said they are not going to campus today. As a Mexican and Jewish woman I don’t feel safe going to campus. This is a direct attack. First and foremost I care about the safety of my students.”Late Tuesday afternoon, after days of intense national scrutiny, leaders at the university released a detailed, 11-page list of proposed campus changes, including a $1 million commitment to implement the responses over the next year. After meetings with a group of international students and protesters, Syverud said administrators have promised specific responses to each of the concerns voiced by students, including revisions to the student code of conduct, curriculum changes, increased access to resources, and better security. “As Chancellor, I take very seriously these immediate priorities, and commit to promptly achieving them, as well as to supporting the other important measures in the responses,” said Syverud. Kathy Walters, chair of Syracuse University’s Board of Trustees, later praised the plan’s comprehensiveness. “What he and members of his leadership team put forward is a plan with actionable solutions with real timelines, real deliverables, real resources and real accountability,” she said. “That’s what our students are asking for, that’s what our students deserve.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 9:08 AM
|Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fast
Qantas has $100 flights to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago, but seats and dates are limited.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 2:55 PM
|Embattled Illinois prosecutor announces bid for reelection
A prosecutor who came under harsh criticism when her office suddenly dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett and is now the subject of a court-ordered investigation announced Tuesday she is running for reelection. In her news release saying she’s seeking the position again, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx addressed the Smollett case and the furor over the handling of it. “Four years ago, I ran for State’s Attorney to change criminal justice in Cook County,” said Foxx, who grew up in Chicago’s crime-ridden Cabrini Green housing project.
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 10:20 AM
|7 Amazing Facts About Jaguars, One of the World's Coolest Cats
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 6:04 PM
|Three Iran security personnel killed by 'rioters': reports
Three members of the Iranian security forces have been stabbed to death by "rioters" near Tehran, the ISNA and Fars news agencies reported late Monday. The assailants wielding knives and machetes ambushed the three -- a Revolutionary Guard and two members of the Basij militia -- west of the capital, the news agencies reported. The deaths take to at least five the number of people confirmed to have been killed in violent demonstrations that erupted across Iran on Friday against a surprise petrol price hike.
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 2:12 AM
|Hong Kong protests: Fears of brutal end to university siege as hundreds remain trapped
Despair, frustration and fear set in among the last remnants of student protesters in Hong Kong’s besieged Polytechnic University on Tuesday, but a flicker of defiance still ran strong among the small group, as they vowed to continue their four-day standoff with the police. In the trashed campus canteen, plastic litter and uneaten food strewn on the linoleum floor, some half dozen young men and women still wore black body armour and talked in hushed tones while one repeatedly punched a pillar and another toyed with a bow and arrow. In another corner, Mark Wong, 21, his face covered with a white dish cloth, sat with two female companions, hunched over their phones as they plotted potential escape routes. They appeared to have lost their moment. Several dozen are believed to have escaped on Monday by climbing over walls, abseiling down ropes to waiting motorbikes or laying low in nearby buildings before blending into the crowd. By 11pm on Tuesday, around 800 people had voluntarily surrendered, said the police. Most were arrested, but some 300, all minors, had their information recorded by officers but were allowed to go home after successful negotiations by school principals. Anti-government protesters wait to be seen by medics at Hong Kong Polytechnic University Credit: Laurel Chor/Getty Images For Mr Wong, surrender was not an option. “I’d rather die than get caught,” he said. “It’s not about the long prison sentence but we fear what the police may do to us.” The softly spoken young man admitted he was afraid to be on the frontlines of the almost six-month long pro-democracy movement in defiance of Chinese rule, but after three nights of no sleep, no shower, and anxious about the coming hours, he said he had no regrets. “My family are worried about me and I feel guilty about that,” he said. “On the other hand, I can’t stop coming out to the protests. We desire freedom and if we don’t have our freedom then we are just surviving.” Other youngsters, mainly in their teens and early twenties looked lost as they wandered through mounds of debris, past smashed windows and trampling over discarded clothing, helmets and goggles. Between 30 to 100 are believed to still be holed up on the now eerily quiet campus. The Telegraph saw about 40, late last night. The atmosphere was calm, but scorched paving stones and the burnt-out shells of tables and chairs are testimony to fierce battles fought with riot police over the weekend. “Dear World, Be Aware or Be Next” and “Give me liberty or give me death” are among the dark messages scrawled in black on the brick walls, offering a hint of the nihilistic desperation driving many of the city’s youngsters to risk their lives or to face long prison sentences. Hong Kong’s worst political crisis in decades began over angry opposition to a controversial extradition bill but has now snowballed into a wider cry for democratic elections and rights, and has seen increasingly violent clashes with the riot police. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets over the past three days to try to rescue those in the university, prompting intense battles with the police who have used tear gas and rubber bullets to repel them. Hong Kong campus siege More than 1,000 people have been arrested since Monday, and almost 300 injured. Parents of trapped students have been spotted pleading at the gates for their freedom. “Don’t condemn them as rioters, just encourage them to come peacefully,” said one frantic father. However, Kwok Ka-chuen, a police spokesman, said it was “alarming that universities... have turned into weapon factories.” At a Tuesday briefing, he stressed the police were “searching for a peaceful resolution” and had only used force as a last resort. “Over the past few days, we repeatedly appealed to the rioters to surrender their weapons and leave the campus,” he said. For some still within the campus walls, the fear leaving in handcuffs to face a ten-year-prison sentence on rioting charges has rooted them to the spot. As the police cordon tightens around the property, others have sought more creative routes of escape. According to one report, several people attempted to flee down a sewer on Tuesday. At around 11pm, about 10 masked protesters attempted a more brazen escape from the main entrance and were quickly surrounded by police. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. SOSHK Listen to urgent cry of protestors in PolyU! Running out of food & medical supply, starving & injured protestors counting down to confront hkpolice bullets with bare hands. Is the world going to witness bloody crackdown w/o stopping ruthless regime? pic.twitter.com/szkxxICLDF— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 �� (@joshuawongcf) November 18, 2019 Isaac, a 17-year-old escapee, told The Telegraph how he had gestured his phone number to observers in a nearby building, who then told him when it was safe to make a dash for the entrance. The teenager made it inside through a barrage of teargas and rubber bullets, and sheltered in an office for nearly 24 hours before mingling with employees and walking to safety. However, Paco, another 17-year-old school student, remained trapped in the university canteen. “My family is just saying just be safe, I’m so worried. They want us to come out and surrender, but I can’t do it, because when you admit you joined the protest, they will judge you as rioting, that’s 10 years,” he said. “If I had to choose again, I’d still come here,” he added. “Hong Kong people are afraid of China’s governance because of Tiananmen, and the government won’t listen to other people’s opinions.”
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 2:15 PM
|Stephen Miller covertly directed Breitbart to attack Marco Rubio and Fox News, new emails reveal
White House adviser Stephen Miller was in deep with Breitbart.Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center published emails sent from Miller to the right-wing publication during the 2016 race showing how he directed white nationalist viewpoints on the site, and how those views "became policy" in the Trump White House. A second batch of emails now shows there's more to Miller's back-door Breitbart publication, including how he fed the site attacks on then-presidential candidate Marco Rubio.The new round of emails obtained via former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh shows even more news stories, opinion pieces, and other comments Miller suggested the site could turn into new articles. For example, as a communications director for then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, he sent over at least 10 attacks on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that fueled Breitbart's attempts to "harm his candidacy," McHugh said. And when Fox News and other conservative outlets said anything positive about Rubio, he suggested Breitbart take them down as well. In some cases, he explicitly said his suggested articles should be published under the nondescript byline "Breitbart News."McHugh was sent many of these emails, but Breitbart editor turned White House adviser Stephen Bannon and other editors were copied on the emails too. McHugh was a young editor at the site at the time, and said "no one at Breitbart ever raised a question about whether this was ethical." The White House and Bannon did not respond to a request for comment, while Breitbart said Miller's "pitches" were "not exactly a newsflash." The White House previously said "The SPLC … is an utterly-discredited, long-debunked far-left smear organization" in response to reporting about Miller.More stories from theweek.com The potential lie that could actually destroy Trump The coming death of just about every rock legend Everyone will eventually turn on Trump. Even Steve Doocy.
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 1:15 PM
|Kurt Volker completely reverses his previous impeachment testimony and now says he thought discussions about political investigations were 'inappropriate'
Volker has been accused of working with Rudy Giuliani and the US ambassador to the EU to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents.
POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 5:30 PM