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|Can Pete Buttigieg win the presidency?
A poll released earlier this week showed Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential primary pack in Iowa for the first time. Can he really win the presidency?
POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2019 10:15 AM
|Trump hosts White House screening of 'Joker'
A senior White House official confirmed to Yahoo News that Trump screened the movie for guests including “family, friends, and some staff.”
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 11:28 AM
|China carrier fleet passes near rival Taiwan
A Chinese aircraft carrier fleet passed near Taiwan on Sunday, prompting the self-governing island to scramble ships and jets to monitor the situation.
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 7:57 AM
|Chile police stopped rescue workers helping dying protester: human rights watchdog
Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.
POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2019 7:45 PM
|Nuclear missile bunker: yours for less than $400k
Decommissioned nuclear silo accessed 40ft staircase leading underground was once home to US’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever deployedAll this can be yours for $395,000. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyOne local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate.The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force.The inside of the decommissioned Titan nuclear missile silo in southern Arizona. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyThe silo’s owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he’s “bored”.Ellis said he originally bought the silo to turn into a commercial data storage center because it is shielded from electromagnetic pulses that can scramble electronics, but his plans were waylaid by the economic recession. So far, he said he has rejected serious offers from a buyer who wanted to turn it into a greenhouse for medical marijuana and another who planned to use it as a porn studio.The threshold to tour the property is much higher than for a typical open house. Interested buyers must prove they have the money to cover the $395,000 cost and sign a liability waiver before descending a 40ft staircase into the bunker to tour the property.An aerial view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty Photography“Private yet not too remote,” says the listing for the property, which includes more than 12 acres of desert.There are 18 decommissioned nuclear silos which surround Tucson and were operational from June 1963 into the 1980s. They were on alert to launch, or respond, to nuclear attacks with the Titan II missiles, which carried warheads with nine megatons of explosive power – the equivalent to a yield 600 times that of “Little Boy”, the bomb dropped over Hiroshima.When the bunkers were decommissioned, the government demolished them, filled them with rubble and sealed the entrances with concrete.Another view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyEllis took on a major excavation after purchasing the property, which still includes some original equipment such as floor-to-ceiling springs which isolated each level of the basement from seismic shocks and signs revealing the bunker’s designated smoking area.Premier Media Group created a 3D tour of the bunker which showcases pools of stagnant water and the 6,000lb blast door which can be closed with one hand.For those who can’t provide the paperwork necessary to tour the property, realtors Grant Hampton and Kori Ward recommend a visit to the nearby Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Arizona, which is inside a decommissioned silo.
POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2019 1:03 PM
|'Funny, loyal, light of our lives': Santa Clarita mourns victims of Saugus school shooting
The community of Santa Clarita is remembering Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Muehlberger, two students killed in the Saugus High School shooting.
POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2019 1:10 PM
|This Is Why You Can See Russia's Aircraft Carrier Coming From Miles Away
A smoke signal.
POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2019 7:00 AM
|Leading Muslim groups to challenge India holy site court ruling
Two leading Muslim groups said Sunday they will file petitions in India's top court challenging its decision to award Hindus control of a bitterly disputed holy site that has sparked deadly inter-religious violence. The Supreme Court ruled on November 9 that the holy site in Ayodhya, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, must be managed by a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple. A separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to a Muslim group to build a "prominent" new mosque.
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 12:25 PM
|Child abuse victims should have right to sue paedophiles caught with images of them, children charities say
Child abuse victims should be given new rights to sue paedophiles caught viewing or sharing indecent images of them, children charities have said. The Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the initiative arguing it would act as a deterrent for offenders, who now know they are unlikely to go do jail, as it could mean potentially losing their homes and pensions if caught with abuse material. The CCCIS, which represents charities such as the NSPCC and Barnardo’s, said those convicted of indecent images should also face a new automatic surcharge to fund the treatment and therapy costs of victims of abuse. The call comes as police have previously said they are struggling to cope with the now more than 5,000 arrests being made for indecent images every year. Police chiefs have argued that some paedophiles caught with indecent images could be dealt with by conditional cautions to lighten the caseload. John Carr OBE, Secretary of the CCCIS, said : "If you assume these offenders are rational, they must know that the chances of them being caught, convicted and sent to jail are very close to zero. "But if they knew that if they were caught their house, their car, their pension, their assets could be at risk as they are obliged to pay compensation to the victims, that would act as a major deterrent. "Why should the taxpayer pick up the entire bill (for victim treatment) if the guys who are responsible can fund it? We’ve got the phrase ‘the polluter pays’ - here we want the abuser to pay." Victims of child abuse can currently sue their abusers through the civil courts, however their rights regarding people caught with images or recordings of their abuse are far less clear. The CCCIS, said that explosion in abuse images being shared on the internet was causing long-lasting trauma to victims whose abuse had been recorded. Last year the US-based watchdog, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said it received reports of 18 million images worldwide being shared across major tech platforms, including 16 million just from Facebook. The CCCIS also argued an automatic surcharge should be levied on the growing numbers of people caught with images, on top of the current victim surcharge, which would fund care for victims. Currently all people convicted in UK courts pay a victim surcharge of up to £181, the proceeds of which are dispersed among various victims' charities. Mr Carr added: "The victims of sexual abuse are completely clear and know that those images are circulating on the internet and being downloaded. Some of these young people will have that pain and burden the rest of their lives. "That is a huge source of stress and anxiety for them, and so the who business of downloading needs to be discouraged and stopped."
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 4:30 PM
|Lebanon’s Protests Divide Hezbollah. Will It Strike Back?
Marwan Naamani/APBEIRUT—He has fought Israel since the 1990s and killed many fighters in Syria’s civil war, but the increasing difficulty of working-class life in Lebanon and a popular revolt against the country’s leaders has forced Abu Hussein to reevaluate his decades-long service to Hezbollah. The group whose name translates as “the Party of God” has been branded a terrorist organization by the United States since the 1980s. Backed by Iran, it is more powerful than Lebanon’s military and holds a political veto on state policies. The Trump White House has made Hezbollah a prime target in its “Maximum Pressure” campaign against Iran, which seeks to squeeze the Islamic Republic economically until it signs a new, Trump-approved deal covering not only nukes, but ending Iran’s support for militias like Hezbollah. Sanctions have targeted the party’s members in Lebanon’s parliament and a Lebanese bank accused of involvement managing Hezbollah accounts. Lebanon’s Wild ‘WhatsApp’ Revolution Challenges Hezbollah and the Old ElitesBut the U.S. efforts have only added pressure to Lebanon’s economic crisis. And Iran has many ways to fight back.“Iran sees Lebanon as an important arena in the duel with Washington and will not sacrifice its prize horse Hezbollah no matter the cost,” says Raghida Dergham, founder of the Beirut Institute, an independent think tank. The cost to the country of an effort to crush the uprising could be enormous, and some Hezbollah fighters want no part of it.* * *ABU HUSSEIN* * *I have met Abu Hussein several times over the last four years, but this conversation in the southern suburbs of Beirut is like none we’ve had before. Regardless of how grim the fighting had been in Syria, when he came back home Abu Hussein was always unwaveringly loyal and ideologically committed to the party. (He uses a pseudonym here because Hezbollah fighters are barred from speaking to Western media.) Now he is frustrated with Hezbollah’s response to the widespread discontent in the streets by masses of people fed up with corruption, austerity and the high cost of living. After years fighting abroad as the commander of a rapid response unit that numbered as many as 200 fighters, it is domestic rather than regional issues that pushed him to abandon the movement.Hezbollah first built its strength and reputation fighting the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. “Am I a member of Hezbollah against the Israelis? Yes I am,” says the weathered officer. “Am I member of Hezbollah when it’s against the people in the streets? No!” Two months ago, as Israel and Lebanon stood on the brink of war after an exchange of cross-border fire, Abu Hussein was part of redeployment from Syria, leading patrols and reconnaissance missions on Lebanon’s southern border with Israel. But then, last month, working- and middle-class people from across Lebanon took to the streets condemning a ruling political class still lingering since the 1975-1990 civil war and enriching itself as the country’s economy collapsed. Rather than the traditional hurling of blame across the sectarian divide of Lebanon’s confessional political system, this time Christians, Druze, Shia and Sunni Muslims condemned the failures of their own leaders, and for Abu Hussein, something changed. Now he says he refuses to go back to Syria, has not gone on patrol in the south since the protests started, and won’t be mobilized in Beirut. “The protesters’ demands are 100 percent legitimate and they have no other choice to get their demands met,” he says of a movement that calls for an end to the sectarian system that Hezbollah relies on to leverage power. He contends that a growing number of his comrades in arms support the demonstrations and roadblocks where people chant “all of them means all of them.”It’s a rebuke to all of the country’s political leaders: Sunni Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Maronite Christian President Michel Aoun, Shia Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, the powerful Druze leader Walid Joumblatt—and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.“Hezbollah made a major mistake; they thought they were too big for Lebanon,” says Abu Hussein of a movement focused on expanding regional military influence while its Shia working class base endured some of the worst of the country’s economic pain. “They never thought people would rebel against them with this force and now they feel the heat.”For Hezbollah, a movement inspired by the Iranian revolution and loyal to the Islamic Republic, this loss of confidence is a problem its military successes can’t solve. In southern cities like Nabatieh and in Bekaa valley towns where Hezbollah competes with Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri’s Amal movement for Shia support, demonstrators have cursed both Berri and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Young people from the low-income Shia-majority Beirut suburb of Dahieh have joined the protests in the capital center around Martyrs’ Square. “There were the kids of Hezbollah MPs telling their fathers that the people’s demands should be heard,” says the commander, emphatically describing the mood among Hezbollah’s core constituents. He is careful to keep Nasrallah above reproach, blaming those around him and his tenuous ally, Berri, who went from warlord to parliamentary speaker in 1992 and has held the position ever since.But Abu Hussein does not mince words about Nasrallah’s response to the uprising. In a televised addresses broadcast across the country on Oct. 25, Nasrallah tried at first to dismiss the protests as a hostile foreign plot while claiming he would not accept the government or president’s resignation. Three days after the government collapsed, on Nov. 1, he went on air again, this time to begrudgingly accept the reality of the Hariri led cabinet resignation. He tried to distance himself from his previous comments about the protests being a Western and Israeli plot and called for dialogue. Unable to to appear in public because of the threat of Israeli assassination, the long serving secretary general always makes his televised addresses from an undisclosed location.“Hezbollah can say what it wants,” the commander tells me, annoyed by the allegations of foreign interference. He says he knows many people who have been joining the protests and that the demonstrators are changing people’s minds. “Every time they reach a point they feel they are in trouble with their own people, they blame someone else,” he adds. “They are in trouble and don’t know what to do.”* * *PARADIGM SHIFT* * *The clanging of pots and pans echoing nightly off apartment buildings across Beirut has become the latest sound of discontent ringing out here, a month into the country’s popular revolt. Lebanon’s economic crisis continues to deepen, with banks restricting withdrawals and transfers abroad while the gap between the official and street-traded exchange rate of the Lebanese lira, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar, grows wider. As protests and political stagnation add to the economic crisis, faith in the established parties continues to dissipate, even among core supporters.This erosion is not unique to Hezbollah but rather seems to be happening across the establishment’s political divide, threatening the future of all parties, whether allied to Iran and Syria or the West and the Gulf. It is discontent with a system of proxy politics that exploits sectarian divides while ignoring the basic needs of people that is threatening to upend politics and power in Lebanon. The Master Terrorist Behind America’s Blood Feud With Iran“There is a paradigm shift in the way people are thinking. People have been able to move away from the traditional parties that they have been attached to and there is a general dislike of party partisanship,” says Ahmad Mousalli, a political science professor and specialist in Islamic movements at the American University of Beirut. “Most of the people on the ground these days have not been through the civil war in Lebanon, but they have known nothing but these corrupt cronies,” he continues.At the same time, the parties have continued to fight over which of their traditional blocks will dominate in the new government, each claiming to carry the street’s anti-corruption, economic reformist goals and demands for a secular civil democracy. “They are trying to ride the wave in one way or another,” says Mousalli before adding, “I don’t think the population at large want this anymore.” Mousalli notes that this trend has impacted Hezbollah, but argues that the intense ideological conviction of its members, especially its fighters, puts it in better shape than other established parties in a political system where loyalty is usually based on patronage. While Abu Hussein says he is among an increasing number of fighters leaving the organization, Abu Abdullah, who also declines to use his name because of Hezbollah’s restrictions on its fighters talking to the media, is unwavering in his support. He fought Israel in 2006, then bolstered the Assad regime in Syria’s civil war, and now he trains fighters. Describing Hezbollah units across the country as on “full alert,” he says they are looking out for American or Israeli acts of destabilization through the protests. Abu Abdullah also knows people from Dahieh going to the protests and hears about discontent with Hezbollah along with the rest of the political class, but he has listened to Nasrallah’s accusations and is convinced that the protests are the result of foreign agitation. “The Israelis and Americans feel they can enter through these protests and we aren’t going to let them,” he says decisively.In 2008, Hezbollah fighters took over the streets in Beirut in a display of their military dominance and effective control of the country, but Abu Abdullah states univocally that Hezbollah has no intention of doing that at the moment. Mousalli concurs, saying that any military action against Lebanon’s people would likely only create bigger problems for Hezbollah, exacerbating internal divisions and alienating its base. Still, Abu Abdullah contends Hezbollah will not allow the collapse of a sectarian system that it uses to secure its interests while avoiding the international isolation for Lebanon that would come from a party the U.S. has long labeled a terrorist organization officially running the country. It’s a position he’s willing to kill for and he says he’s ready to do whatever his commanders deem necessary.“If I get an order and a fatwa to shoot the people,” he says, “then yes, I’ll shoot my brother.”For Abu Hussein, there is no order or religious decree that could make him turn on his people and he would sooner abandon his post than help Hezbollah use its might against its own. For Hezbollah, concerns that the number of Abu Husseins is growing in its ranks may be one reason its reaction, so far, has remained political.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. 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POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 4:53 AM