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FaviconChinese sentences ex-boss of Interpol to 13 years for bribes 21 Jan 2020, 11:42 am

Chinese sentences ex-boss of Interpol to 13 years for bribesChina has sentenced the former president of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, to 13 years and six months in prison on charges of accepting more than $2 million in bribes. Meng was elected president of the international police organization in 2016, but his four-year term was cut short when he vanished after traveling to China from France in late 2018. Interpol was not informed and was forced to make a formal request to China for information about Meng's whereabouts amid suspicion he had fallen out of political favor with Chinese President Xi Jinping.




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FaviconIran confirms two missiles fired at Ukraine airliner 21 Jan 2020, 11:35 am

Iran confirms two missiles fired at Ukraine airlinerIran has confirmed two missiles were fired at a Ukrainian airliner brought down this month, in a catastrophic error that killed all 176 people on board and sparked angry protests. The country's civil aviation authority said it has yet to receive a positive response after requesting technical assistance from France and the United States to decode black boxes from the downed airliner. The Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines plane was accidentally shot down shortly after takeoff from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on January 8.




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FaviconS. Korea naval unit to expand operations to Strait of Hormuz 21 Jan 2020, 10:22 am

S. Korea naval unit to expand operations to Strait of HormuzA South Korean anti-piracy unit has temporarily expanded its mission to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital global oil route at the center of soaring tensions between Iran and the United States. South Korea’s Defense Ministry announced the expansion Tuesday, saying it was meant to help ensure the safe passage of South Korean vessels and nationals through the waterway. South Korea has conducted anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden since 2009 and is expanding to the strait that connects the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf.




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FaviconSending back climate refugees may violate right to life: U.N. body 21 Jan 2020, 9:45 am

Sending back climate refugees may violate right to life: U.N. bodyGovernments need to take into account the climate crisis when considering the deportation of asylum seekers, the United Nations said in a landmark ruling that could pave the way for future climate refugees. The ruling by the U.N. Human Rights Committee was given in the case of Ioane Teitiota, from the Pacific nation of Kiribati, who brought a case against New Zealand in 2016 after authorities denied his claim of asylum as a climate refugee. Teitiota migrated to New Zealand in 2007 and applied for refugee status after his visa expired in 2010.




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FaviconMountain lion attacks, injures 3-year-old boy in California wilderness park 21 Jan 2020, 9:05 am

Mountain lion attacks, injures 3-year-old boy in California wilderness parkThe attack occurred in Whiting Ranch, where a mountain biker died in a similar attack in 2004. The adult female lion was shot by authorities.




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FaviconPhotos of starving lions in Sudan spark campaign to save them 21 Jan 2020, 7:05 am

Photos of starving lions in Sudan spark campaign to save themOne of the five lions at Khartoum's Al-Qureshi Park is believed to have died.




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FaviconAttorney: Due to a conflict of interest, William Barr must recuse himself from Lev Parnas' criminal case 21 Jan 2020, 7:05 am

Attorney: Due to a conflict of interest, William Barr must recuse himself from Lev Parnas' criminal caseAn attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Monday, requesting the he recuse himself from Parnas' criminal case.Parnas was arrested last October and charged with campaign finance violations. In the letter, which was also filed in New York federal court, attorney Joseph Bondy said Barr has a conflict of interest and asked that a special prosecutor from outside the Justice Department handle Parnas' case. "Federal ethics guidelines bar federal employees from participating in matters in which their impartiality could be questioned, including matters in which they were personally involved or about which they have personal knowledge," Bondy wrote.Bondy cited several reasons why Barr should recuse himself, noting that the reconstructed transcript released by the White House of President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump telling Zelensky that Barr could help him facilitate an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Last week, Parnas told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that Barr knew about efforts in the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, saying, "Attorney General Barr was basically on the team." Read Bondy's letter here.More stories from theweek.com Dershowitz tells CNN he wasn't wrong about Clinton's impeachment but is 'far more correct' defending Trump The strongest case for Joe Biden Under McConnell's rules, Trump's impeachment trial could last well past midnight or end immediately




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FaviconDouble trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowding 21 Jan 2020, 6:46 am

Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowdingThousands of twins packed two-by-two into a stadium in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday - so many that officials struggled to count them in time to prove they had organised a record-breaking gathering. Huge queues built up at the open-air venue in Colombo as sets of siblings waited to get their birth certificates checked. The last record was set in Taiwan in 1999, when 3,961 sets of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets gathered outside Taipei City Hall.




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FaviconHow Trump Twisted Iran Intel to Manufacture the ‘Four Embassies’ Threat 21 Jan 2020, 5:34 am

How Trump Twisted Iran Intel to Manufacture the ‘Four Embassies’ ThreatWhen President Donald Trump publicly claimed earlier this month that he had seen intel showing Iran’s now-deceased top military leader Qassem Soleimani was plotting attacks on “four [American] embassies,” senior officials in Trump’s national security apparatus shook their heads. They weren’t sure exactly why the president leaned on that particular talking point, and scrambled in the following days to formulate answers to a barrage of questions from the media on exactly what the president had meant. Other officials wondered aloud whether the president had misrepresented the intelligence. “There were definitely questions [at the time, internally] about whether he had just made it up on the spot,” recalled one White House official.It turns out Trump—technically—didn’t get his eyebrow-raising claim out of nowhere, The Daily Beast has learned. According to three sources familiar with the matter, the president had simply seized on a small part of what he’d heard in private briefings, exaggerated that aspect of the intelligence, then began sharing the inflated intel to the American public during his post-Soleimani victory lap. In doing so, President Trump generated yet more confusion and discord among the national security brass that had already struggled to sell the American people on its case for the strike that just brought Iran and the United States to the precipice of all-out warfare. For weeks the Trump administration had struggled to get on message in talking about why the U.S. decided to strike Soleimani and what it would do in the future to manage any diplomacy with Tehran. Trump’s embassy claim didn’t help, officials said.The White House did not comment on the record for this story.Shortly before he began announcing to the media and rally-goers that the Iranian general was planning assaults on multiple U.S. embassies, the president received briefings at the White House from both national security officials and communications staffers. The purpose of some of these meetings were to prepare Trump on how best to talk to the press regarding his administration’s justifications for killing Soleimani. The president received a briefing shortly before he entered the Roosevelt Room Jan. 9 and said Iran was “looking to blow up our embassy.” According to two people familiar with this briefing, Trump was told that following the killing of Soleimani, Iran could retaliate against American assets in the region. The president was again told this in a subsequent briefing that day, one of these sources added. However, embassies were a part of a long list of American outposts and bases potentially under threat from Iran but sources familiar with those internal briefings do not remember the number four ever being specified, and they certainly do not recall any imminent danger to those embassies.When administration officials briefed Trump, they mentioned possible targets for Iranian retribution; they were not discussing intel on what anyone in the regime was actively plotting against U.S. interests, the sources noted.However, the moment he heard the word “embassies,” Trump immediately chimed in, interrupting the meeting to grill his briefers on that issue, according to one U.S. official. From there, he began to treat this possible threat as a near-certain danger. Trump received another intelligence briefing shortly before his interview with Fox’s Laura Ingraham Jan. 10 where he repeated the claim that Iran probably would have attacked four embassies. When the president started publicly trotting out his claims of “four embassies,” national security aides were dumbfounded. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that Trump’s “four embassies” talking point clashed with intelligence assessments from Trump’s own officials. CNN also reported that security officials at the State Department weren’t even notified of an imminent danger to any specific set of four American embassies.Secretary of Defense Mark Esper himself admitted during an interview on the CBS Sunday show Face the Nation that while “the president said that he believed that it probably could have been attacks against additional embassies,” Esper personally “didn’t see [a specific piece of evidence] with regard to four embassies.”Esper added, “What I’m saying is I shared the president’s view that probably, my expectation is they were going to go after our embassies.”At that point, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad had of course already been stormed by an Iranian-supported militia, but that was prior to Soleimani’s death.Senior Trump administration officials have canceled several of their past scheduled briefings with Congress on specific threats to U.S. embassies pre-Soleimani strike. Briefers were also supposed to delve into more detail about what exactly U.S. intelligence said prior to the strike. The administration has held two briefings so far with both the House and the Senate, but sessions left lawmakers frustrated and overwhelmingly uninformed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rescheduled his briefing on the embassy threats with the House Foreign Affairs committee for next week.‘OK, Now What?’: Inside Team Trump’s Scramble to Sell the Soleimani Hit to AmericaBut people close to Trump say his embassy fixation lies in his obsession with avoiding the kind of catastrophes that befell his predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush. President Trump, who has long bashed Obama for the 2012 Benghazi attack and Bush for the Hurricane Katrina response, is particularly concerned with opening himself up to accusations of having suffered “Trump’s Benghazi” or “Trump’s Katrina,” according to two sources who’ve spoken to the president about this. “Multiple times I’ve heard him talk about how you don’t want a Katrina moment,” said a former senior White House official. “You can’t do anything about what weather is going to do, but you can certainly manage the response and the optics of what you’re doing in addition to the substance of what you’re doing.”With Trump’s shambolic, even scandalous, handling of the response and relief efforts to the hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico, this president seems to have already had his “Katrina.” He is, however, determined not to experience a direct parallel to Benghazi. Indeed, on New Year’s Eve, the president took to Twitter to enthusiastically brand the embassy attack that occurred on his watch “The Anti-Benghazi!” 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.




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FaviconSweden Readies for Diplomatic Crisis With China Over Free Press 21 Jan 2020, 2:30 am

Sweden Readies for Diplomatic Crisis With China Over Free Press(Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s government has demanded a meeting with the ambassador from China after he lambasted Swedish media.Ambassador Gui Congyou caused a diplomatic furore over the weekend after giving an interview to Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, in which he said that some local media representatives “have a habit of criticizing, accusing and smearing China.” He then went on to compare the relationship between Swedish media and China to one in which “a 48kg weight boxer keeps challenging an 86kg weight boxer to a fight.”Three parties in Sweden’s parliament have now called for Gui Congyou to be thrown out of the Nordic country, adding to tensions ahead of a meeting scheduled to take place with the ambassador at the foreign ministry in Stockholm on Tuesday.Sweden’s foreign minister, Ann Linde, has already ruled out the option of expelling Gui Congyou. But she also made clear Sweden won’t accept veiled threats from China. Relations between the two countries have soured recently over jailed Chinese-born Swedish publisher Gui Minhai, who was honored last year by the Swedish chapter of PEN International with its annual Tucholsky Award.Gui Minhai, who has written several books that are critical of China’s leadership, has been detained since late 2015 by Chinese authorities, who accuse him of crimes including “operating an illegal business.” Gui Congyou says Minhai is a “lie-fabricator” who “committed serious offenses in both China and Sweden.” He also said Swedish media “is full of lies” about the case and that the Tucholsky Award, which was handed out by Sweden’s minister of culture, would result in Chinese “countermeasures.”The spat comes amid a more assertive diplomatic stance from China, which dominates global export markets and is one of Sweden’s most important trade partners. In neighboring Norway, the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 to Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo led to a deep-freeze of diplomatic relations that lasted more than half a decade and hurt trade. In 2018, Sweden exported goods and services to China worth 67 billion kronor ($7 billion), making it the Nordic country’s eighth-largest export market.Gui Congyou, who was appointed ambassador to Sweden in 2017, has repeatedly angered lawmakers in the country with his remarks over the years. Commenting on Swedish media’s coverage of Gui Minhai, Gui Congyou in December cited a Chinese proverb: “We treat our friends with fine wine, but we have shotguns for our enemies.”The ambassador’s latest remarks prompted the nationalist Sweden Democrats as well as the Christian Democrats and the Left Party to demand that he be thrown out.To contact the reporter on this story: Niclas Rolander in Stockholm at nrolander@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Hanfi Brögger at tbrogger@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




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FaviconWe met as doctor and patient, but a life-saving abortion was the start of our friendship 21 Jan 2020, 2:08 am

We met as doctor and patient, but a life-saving abortion was the start of our friendshipPatients can't fight for their rights in court if they're fighting for their lives. Doctors must be able to advocate for them every step of the way.




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FaviconHomeless moms evicted from Oakland home may return 21 Jan 2020, 12:17 am

Homeless moms evicted from Oakland home may returnHomeless mothers who were evicted last week from an Oakland, California, house where they were squatting plan to move back after speculators agreed to sell the property to a nonprofit organization, it was announced Monday. Wedgewood Inc. will sell the home to the Oakland Community Land Trust, which buys and fixes up property for affordable housing. The group plans to allow women from the group Moms 4 Housing to return, Mayor Libby Schaaf announced.




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FaviconClimate crisis could justify asylum claims: UN committee 20 Jan 2020, 10:50 pm

Climate crisis could justify asylum claims: UN committeeGovernments that send refugees back to countries severely affected by climate change could be in breach of their human rights obligations, a UN committee said on Monday. The independent experts on the Human Rights Committee issued a non-binding but closely watched ruling in a case brought by Ioane Teitiota from the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Several Pacific island nations including Kiribati are seen as among the most vulnerable in the world to climate change as they are just a few metres above sea level.




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FaviconDeadly NJ police chases kill innocent victims, catch few crooks 20 Jan 2020, 10:41 pm

Deadly NJ police chases kill innocent victims, catch few crooksMany police pursuits across the nation end tragically and disproportionately affect black people. Chases often start with a traffic violation.




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FaviconTroops fire gas as migrants try to storm into Mexico 20 Jan 2020, 9:55 pm

Troops fire gas as migrants try to storm into MexicoHundreds of Central Americans from a new migrant caravan tried to force their way into Mexico Monday by crossing the river that divides the country from Guatemala, prompting the National Guard to fire tear gas. The Central Americans, from the so-called "2020 Caravan" of around 3,500 undocumented migrants, gathered on the Guatemalan side of the Suchiate River at dawn, demanding migration authorities let them continue their journey to the United States.




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FaviconIran Could Still Strike Back at the U.S. 20 Jan 2020, 9:48 pm

Iran Could Still Strike Back at the U.S.How might Iran respond to the death of Qasem Soleimani? Ever since the Trump administration’s January 3 killing of Soleimani, the Islamic Republic’s top military commander, that question has been on the mind of policymakers in Washington and the American public at large.Iran’s January 8 rocket attack on U.S. military bases in Iraq clearly constituted part of its response, but Iranian leaders quickly made clear that more retaliation is forthcoming. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei himself has said that, while the rocket attack was a “slap” at the United States, it was “not enough,” and the Islamic Republic will continue its opposition to the United States with the ultimate goal of driving America out of the Middle East altogether.Doing so, however, is likely to prove difficult for Iran. As a recent analysis by CNBC notes, sanctions leveled by the Trump administration over the past two years have inflicted extensive damage on the Iranian economy. The country’s GDP shrunk by nearly 10 percent last year, and its exports of crude oil declined from a peak of 2.5 million barrels per day to less than 500,000 daily.Domestic conditions, meanwhile, are deteriorating. Inflation is on the rise within the Islamic Republic and is now pegged at over 30 percent. So, too, is joblessness; nearly a fifth of the country’s workforce is currently estimated to be unemployed. Meanwhile, governmental expenditures have surged as Iran’s ayatollahs struggle to keep a lid on an increasingly impoverished, and discontented, population.All of this, according to CNBC’s analysis, profoundly limits Iran’s ability “to fund a war” against the United States. But that doesn’t mean the threat from Iran is nonexistent. Iran still has the ability to “ramp up its aggression against the U.S.” through the use of its network of proxy forces in the region.That network is extensive — and lethal. It comprises not only Iran’s traditional terrorist proxies, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and the Palestinian Hamas movement, but also assorted Shiite militias in Iraq (the so-called “Hashd al-Shaabi”) and even Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Recently, it has also made use of the “Shi’a Liberation Army” (SLA), a group of as many as 200,000 Shiite fighters — drawn from Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere — that has been trained and equipped by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and deployed to foreign theaters such as Syria.Notably, these forces appear to have been thrown into chaos, at least temporarily, by the killing of Soleimani. Reports from the region suggest that Iraqi militias are “in a state of disarray” after the death of the Iranian general, and aren’t currently ready to strike U.S. or allied targets. Over time, however, we can expect Tehran to regain control and direction of its troops and weaponize them anew against the United States and regional U.S. allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. That is doubtless the top priority of Soleimani’s successor as head of the Quds Force, Esmail Ghaani, who has already commenced outreach to Iranian proxies in an effort to reinforce Tehran’s support for “resistance” activities.Tehran likewise has another potent tool by which to target the United States: cyber warfare. Over the past decade, the Iranian regime has made enormous investments in its cyber-war capabilities and carried out a series of demonstration attacks on targets such as Saudi Arabia’s state oil company and various U.S. financial institutions to showcase its newfound technological prowess. In the wake of President Trump’s pullout from President Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal, Iran reshaped its cyber-activism against the United States, focusing less on offensive attacks and more on gathering information about potential policy from the notoriously opaque new administration in Washington.But Tehran’s potential to do significant harm to the U.S. in cyberspace remains. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned publicly that Iran could carry out a cyberattack against critical U.S. infrastructure in the near future, with potentially significant “disruptive effects.” And so far, neither the Pentagon nor the State Department has articulated much by way of a strategy to deter Iran from carrying out such attacks, or to mitigate the damage they could do. (In the aftermath of Soleimani’s killing, that lack of strategy has become a matter of growing concern on Capitol Hill.)Perhaps the most compelling reason to expect an asymmetric Iranian response to Soleimani’s killing, however, is that asymmetric warfare plays to Iran’s inherent strengths. Ever since the regime’s grinding eight-year war with neighboring Iraq in the 1980s — a conflict that Iran lost handily — its leaders have exhibited a strong penchant for military asymmetry over direct confrontation. This preference has only been reinforced by persistent Western sanctions, which have eroded the country’s conventional military capabilities and made the acquisition of spare parts and matériel considerably more difficult.Soleimani was the regime’s principal architect of asymmetric war, and had devoted nearly a quarter-century to building up the Islamic Republic’s asymmetric potency. That is precisely why his targeted killing by the Trump administration represents such a significant blow to the integrity of Iran’s proxy network — and to the prudence of its time-tested asymmetric strategy. Going forward, Tehran may well have to rethink its approach, and could conclude that the potential costs of continuing its campaign of aggression against U.S. forces in the region are now simply too high. If it doesn’t, however, the very capabilities that Soleimani spent his career cultivating will remain the most potent weapons the Islamic Republic has to wield against the United States.




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FaviconBiden campaign warns media against spreading Trump misinformation 20 Jan 2020, 9:40 pm

Biden campaign warns media against spreading Trump misinformationThe memo represents an especially strong rebuke of the GOP-backed conspiracy theories.




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FaviconTrump's legal team calls on Senate to dismiss impeachment charges 20 Jan 2020, 8:46 pm

Trump's legal team calls on Senate to dismiss impeachment chargesPresident Trump's lawyers filed a brief on Monday urging the Senate to dismiss the impeachment charges against him and calling the House's impeachment process a "perversion" of the Constitution, The Associated Press reports.The 110-page brief calls the House's impeachment case "flimsy," insists Trump did "absolutely nothing wrong," and says he has "been the victim of an illegitimate partisan effort to take him down," The New York Times reports. The House filed two impeachment articles against Trump — abuse of power for withholding aid to Ukraine in order to pressure that country to investigate his political rivals, and obstruction of Congress for blocking the House's impeachment inquiry. The brief "does not deny that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to open investigations into Democrats," the Times writes. Instead it argues that this was within Trump's rights as president. As to the obstruction of Congress article, the lawyers say the president has a right to confidential deliberations. The Senate trial on Trump's impeachment begins Tuesday. He is just the third sitting president to face such a trial. The Republican-controlled chamber is unlikely to convict him. More stories from theweek.com Dershowitz tells CNN he wasn't wrong about Clinton's impeachment but is 'far more correct' defending Trump The strongest case for Joe Biden Under McConnell's rules, Trump's impeachment trial could last well past midnight or end immediately




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FaviconYou Should Get an Electric Fireplace 20 Jan 2020, 8:30 pm

You Should Get an Electric Fireplace




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FaviconHypersonic Missiles? The Old Supersonic Ship-Killer Missiles Are Just As Deadly 20 Jan 2020, 8:02 pm

Hypersonic Missiles? The Old Supersonic Ship-Killer Missiles Are Just As DeadlyDespite all the fuss about hypersonic weapons being game-changers, the older, slower supersonic weapons are still a menace to surface ships.




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زمان ايجاد صفحه 0.781 ثانيه.