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Updated: 15 hours 28 min ago

Is 'The Big One' next? California was shaking again Tuesday, with four earthquakes of 3.5 or greater

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 21:37

Multiple earthquakes rattled California on Tuesday, but  the U.S. Geographical Survey quelled fears of "The Big One."


Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 19:44

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned Tuesday to the exact spot where he flew to the moon 50 years ago with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Collins said he wished his two moonwalking colleagues could have shared the moment at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, the departure point for humanity's first moon landing. "Wonderful feeling to be back," the 88-year-old command module pilot said on NASA TV.


US bans Myanmar army chief over Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 19:07

The United States on Tuesday banned visits by Myanmar's army chief and three other top officers due to their role in the "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya minority, urging accountability for their brutal campaign. The State Department said it took action against army chief Min Aung Hlaing and the others after finding credible evidence they were involved in the violence two years ago that led about 740,000 Rohingya to flee across the border to Bangladesh. "With this announcement, the United States is the first government to publicly take action with respect to the most senior leadership of the Burmese military," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.


Royal Caribbean cancels Puerto Rico cruise stop amid protests

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 19:05

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship opted to skip a Puerto Rico call as San Juan protests against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló continue.


Judge formally bans citizenship question from 2020 census

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 18:40

A federal judge formally banned the citizenship question from the 2020 census on Tuesday, days after President Donald Trump announced his administration would no longer seek to add it. Judge Jesse Furman signed an order after New York State Attorney General Letitia James and the American Civil Liberties Union told him in a letter that defendants including the Commerce Department didn't oppose their request for an order. The Justice Department declined to comment.


'What am I supposed to do with you?' Judge bars Roger Stone from social media for breaking gag order

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:40

A federal judge ordered former Trump adviser Roger Stone to stop using social media after saying he had violated a gag order in his criminal case.


Landlords Sue NYC Over New Rent Caps on a Million Apartments

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:13

(Bloomberg) -- New York City’s rent-stabilization law is under attack after a group of real-estate trade groups and landlords sued to overturn regulations that cover more than 1 million apartments.The decades-old law that limits rent increases violates the U.S. Constitution by placing an unfair burden on property owners, particularly those who own pre-1974 buildings with six or more units, according to the suit, filed Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.The state legislature, now under full Democratic control, adopted sweeping tenant protections in June that further cap rent increases and restrict landlords’ ability to evict residents. The massive rewrite of the rent rules, which cover about 2.4 million residents, aimed to preserve affordable housing by eliminating tools landlords used to remove units from regulation. The package also abolished a “vacancy bonus” that allowed property owners to raise rents 20% when a tenant left.The plaintiffs say the update further eroded their rights and that the law’s “irrationality and arbitrariness” and “web of restrictions override core rights of property owners.”Read More: NYC Tenants Get a Rent-Law Blessing That Landlords See as CurseThe landlords claim the rules have morphed over the years so that they benefit too many higher earners, while renters who make less than $35,000 a year account for just 38% of rent-stabilized renters. The breakdown is about the same for unregulated apartments, the groups claim, suggesting the law isn’t much different from the unregulated market.The trade groups claim that 22% of rent-stabilized tenants make more than $100,000 a year and that married couples without children are over-represented in rent-stabilized apartments despite being less likely to suffer rental hardship than couples with children.The city said the suit threatens ordinary New Yorkers.“Dismantling rent stabilization would be a devastating blow to everyday New Yorkers who are working hard to call this great city home,” Jane Meyer, the mayor’s deputy press secretary, said in a statement. She said the city would review the suit and continue to “fight to protect affordability, prevent harassment and keep this a city for everyone.”Supreme Court SnubTenants-rights groups argued the changes were needed to counter decades of abuse by some landlords and a shrinking supply of affordable housing. Tens of thousands of apartments have been removed from rent-stabilized status, sending rents higher as neighborhoods are gentrified. The effort won support from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, as well as New York City mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Bill de Blasio.The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the city’s rent-stabilization system in 2012, turning away an appeal from landlords who said the city had violated their constitutional rights by limiting rents on three one-bedroom apartments in their Upper West Side brownstone. The state of New York defended the statute, citing previous Supreme Court decisions that judges “should not sit as super-legislatures reviewing matters of economic policy, but should ask only whether a legislature’s policy judgments are rational.”Among the plaintiffs is the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. When the law was amended, the landlords said it would cause buildings to fall into disrepair because owners wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain them.The case is Community Housing Improvement Program v. City of New York, 19-cv-4087, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).(Updates with second paragraph under Supreme Court Snub)\--With assistance from Gerald Porter Jr..To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net;Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


U.S. Justice Department asks appeals court to pause antitrust ruling against Qualcomm

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 17:10

"For DoD, Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm's critical role in 5G technology in the short term," Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary for Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, wrote in a filing made in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Qualcomm, the largest supplier of modem chips that connect smartphones to wireless data networks, on May 21 lost in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year.


Iran Says Missing Tanker Had Problems and Was Towed for Repairs

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 16:09

(Bloomberg) -- A small oil tanker that had gone missing in the Persian Gulf had technical difficulties and was towed into Iranian waters for repairs, an Iranian foreign ministry official said, according to the ISNA news agency.Further details on the ship, the Panamanian-flagged Riah, will be announced later, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-offficial ISNA. Iran responded after a request for assistance from the tanker, the report said.The Iranian comments did little to clarify exactly what happened to the Riah. The vessel was passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the Gulf, before it went silent more than two days ago in unexplained circumstances, according to the Associated Press. The news agency said the U.S. “has suspicions” that Iran took control of the tanker, citing an unidentified defense official.The disappearance was first reported by CNN, which said U.S. intelligence increasingly believed the tanker had been forced into Iranian waters by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps but that some Gulf sources suggested the ship simply broke down and was towed by Iran.Earlier, a United Arab Emirates official said the ship isn’t owned or operated by the U.A.E. and hadn’t sent out a distress call.While details are unclear, if the Riah was seized, it would seem an unusual target for Iran. The vessel is 30 years old and tiny. Its capacity is 2,000 dead weight tons, according to the MarineTraffic website. That’s only a fraction of the almost 160,000-ton capacity of the British Heritage, the U.K. oil tanker harassed by Iranian ships last week while exiting the Persian Gulf.Why Tanker Attacks Raise Fears Over Strait of Hormuz: QuickTakeWhile Iran has been blamed for attacks on merchant shipping in recent months, it has denied responsibility. The main threats it has made in the past few weeks have been against the U.K. after British Royal Marines helped authorities in Gibraltar seize the supertanker as it carried Iranian crude in the Mediterranean Sea seemingly bound for Syria.In May and June, six tankers were attacked just outside the Gulf. A British Navy frigate intervened this month to stop Iranian boats from blocking the BP Plc-operated British Heritage as it was exiting the waters.U.K. Navy Intervenes After Iran Tries to Stop British Oil TankerThe U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.\--With assistance from Anthony DiPaola and Golnar Motevalli.To contact the reporters on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.net;Verity Ratcliffe in Dubai at vratcliffe1@bloomberg.net;Zoya Khan in New York at zkhan79@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Bill Faries, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Hooked great white shark drags fishing boat across San Francisco Bay

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:47

A group of fishermen who were on a trip on the San Francisco Bay hooked an unexpected catch and were taken for a ride last Saturday. 


Boxy and Beautiful: 2004 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:45

Tear up the urban jungle in this high-powered SUV!The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was born from a rugged, off-road military truck, but today's versions of this legendary SUV are more likely to terrify unsuspecting sports cars than to traverse rugged terrain. That's especially the case when it comes to the AMG-tuned G-Class SUVs, which is what Dallas Motor Collection is offering up for sale with this lovely 2004 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG.Although the G-Wagen dates back to 1979 and the second-gen model went into production in 1990, the U.S. market didn't get the G-Class until 2002. At the time, the G55 AMG represented the pinnacle for this SUV's performance with a 354-horsepower, 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 under the hood allowing for acceleration times of 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The G-Class may have had a throwback design, but it was ahead of its time when it came to performance. And those side-mounted quadruple exhaust outlets leave no guesswork that this was the ultimate performance SUV of its time.The best part about AMGs is opening the hood and seeing the small plaque on the engine cover, which was signed by the craftsman who hand built the engine. Mercedes-AMG continues this impressive trend today. As the G-Class continues to age, it's getting more difficult to find these in such great shape with low mileage. This particular G55 AMG shows just under 100,000 miles on the odometer, and the interior looks as clean as it did back in 2004.This is a super-clean example of a 15-year-old G-Class, and it's hard to beat that classic look, luxurious interior and powerful engine. This G55 even comes with all of the original documentation and two key fobs. Don't miss your chance to own one of the fastest off-road SUVs ever created!Read more about Mercedes-Benz:\- Mercedes-Benz G-Class At 40: Off-Roading the German Way\- All-Terrain Benz: 1965 Mercedes-Benz Unimog


European sites where US nuclear weapons held inadvertently revealed in Nato-linked document

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 15:34

The European sites where America's nuclear weapons are stored has been inadvertently revealed in a document published by a Nato-linked body, according to Belgian media reports.  The document written by for the Defense and Security Committee of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly made passing reference to the roughly 150 US nuclear weapons being stored in Europe. “These bombs are stored at six US and European bases - Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in The Netherlands, and Incirlik in Turkey,” one line read, according to the Belgian newspaper De Morgen.  The reference was reportedly contained in the original version of the document which was published in April but has since been removed in a final version which went out last week. The document, titled “A new era for nuclear deterrence? Modernisation, arms control and allied nuclear forces,” was written by a Canadian senator.  A Nato official told The Washington Post the document was not from Nato itself - it was published by the group’s parliamentary assembly and added: “We do not comment on the details of Nato’s nuclear posture.” The presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe acted as a deterrent to the Soviet Union during the Cold War and also meant European countries would not need to develop their own versions. However for years the exact locations of the weapons have been a secret - though experts said their presence was widely known in the international community.  The faux pas was picked up by the European press. Dutch broadcaster RTL News ran an article headlined: “Nato reveals the Netherlands’s worst-kept secret.”  The reporting from De Morgen read: “Finally in black and white: There are American nuclear weapons in Belgium.”


What first-hand government reports say about conditions at migrant detention centers

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 14:38

USA TODAY assembled accounts from government officials as well as pediatricians who have toured border facilities. Here's what they said.


Odd Man Out: How the Independent Justin Amash Could Shake Up the 2020 Presidential Election

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 13:24

Washington circles are abuzz with the suggestion that Justin Amash, the ex-Republican congressman from Michigan, may mount a third-party presidential campaign in 2020. In the few days since leaving the GOP, he’s talked about “room for a third party” and refused to rule out running for president. But sources close to Amash and the Libertarian Party deny that a presidential run is in the works—although the door is still open. For the time being, the Libertarian-leaning representative is looking to build a fiscally conservative, pro-restraint coalition across party lines.Michigan representative Justin Amash has made waves in recent weeks with his challenges to the Republican establishment. He first suggested that President Donald Trump should be impeached, then he contested the president’s authority to attack Iran without congressional approval, and finally left the party.Amash seemed to send mixed signals about his next move, telling CNN that he’s planning to run for re-election to the House of Representatives, but confirming that he still “wouldn’t rule anything like [a Libertarian presidential run] out.”


Afghanistan Isn't Worth Dying For

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 13:13

Army Sgt. Maj. James Sartor was killed in action in Afghanistan’s Faryab Province on Saturday. He was “only” the twelfth soldier to die there this year. That makes his death no less inexcusable, no less an unacceptable sacrifice for Washington’s failed foreign policy.What do we tell Sartor’s family? That he heroically “gave the last full measure” for the defense of our nation? In some conflicts in American history, that might have been true. But in Afghanistan, it is a trite and insulting bromide.This man, like the eleven that preceded him this year, sacrificed his life in an operation that provided no benefit to our country. America is not safer because of this supreme, excruciatingly painful sacrifice. The truth is that hardly any Americans pay any attention to our war in Afghanistan and fewer still genuinely care that another trooper has tragically been killed.Instead, the entire burden of the grief—the unquenchable, searing pain of loss—falls to a tiny number of family members and close friends of those who died. My blood boils in anger when I hear—as I have many times—some callously claim, “Hey man, nobody forced them to sign up. They volunteered and knew what they were getting themselves into.” This implies that we service members forfeit the value of our life once we raise our right hand.


Israeli NGO seeks sale of seized Iranian tanker over attack

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 11:34

An Israeli NGO petitioned Gibraltar's top court Tuesday to sell an impounded Iranian oil tanker to compensate parents of a child allegedly killed by Iran-backed Hamas. Shurat Hadin, which wages legal battles worldwide against what it calls "Israel's enemies", says it won a $178.5 million US court judgement against Iran and Syria in 2017 over the death of an American infant killed in an attack in Jerusalem. The Iranian tanker Grace I, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was seized on July 4 by police and customs officers in Gibraltar -- a British overseas territory on Spain's southern tip -- with the aid of a detachment of British Royal Marines.


There’s a huge iPhone bug in the latest iOS 13 beta that you really need to know about

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:35

The latest iOS 13 beta has a serious security bug that will allow access to your stored passwords by anyone with access to your device. For someone to get to your passwords, they need to know how the bug works, and they need to get their hands on your iPhone or iPad. The good news, however, is that this bug will almost certainly be fixed in the coming weeks, maybe as soon as the next iOS 13 beta release.As you'll see in the video at the end of this post, all you have to do is go to the Settings app of an iPhone and then tap on the Website & App Passwords menu inside the Passwords & Accounts section repeatedly until the passwords show up. Ignoring the Touch ID or Face ID authentication prompts that appear should prevent you from seeing the passwords. In the latest iOS 13 beta, however, that doesn't happen and access is granted.Apple will fix whatever is causing the bug soon since the company has been notified about the issue according to a Reddit thread. Even if the upcoming iOS 13 beta update doesn't deal with the matter, you can rest assured that the final release, due in mid-September, will not have this serious security issue.iOS 13 is currently on beta 3 (developers) and its equivalent beta 2 (public), but both releases offer the same set of features and they obviously both have the same bugs. Apple should release iOS 13 beta 4 soon, followed by the iOS 13 public beta 3 with more fixes and improvements.The iOS 13 beta rollout hasn't been as smooth as was the case with the iOS 12 beta last year. The current beta release delivers a far less stable experience, riddled with app crashes and performance issues. But beta releases aren't supposed to be as stable as the final product, and that's what testers sign up for. If you want to roll back your iPhone or iPad to iOS 12.3, that will continue to be possible until Apple releases the final version of iOS 13.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_rlN2IIbyM


U.S., Iran send conflicting signals on their disputes

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:11

Tensions have risen since U.S. President Donald Trump last year abandoned the major powers' nuclear deal with Iran under which Tehran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for the lifting of global sanctions crippling its economy. Washington has since reimposed draconian sanctions to throttle Iran's oil trade in a "maximum pressure" policy to force Tehran to agree stricter limits on its nuclear capacity, curb its ballistic missile program and end support for proxy forces in a regional power struggle with U.S.-backed Gulf Arabs.


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