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Updated: 18 hours 4 min ago

Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes may erupt on southern edge of snowstorm

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 13:41

The same storm poised to unload up to 2 feet of snow and create blizzard conditions over the north-central United States also has the potential to bring severe weather, including tornadoes, farther south.The area at greatest risk will extend from north-central Texas to southwestern Iowa and includes central and eastern Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas, eastern Kansas, western Missouri and southeastern Nebraska. However, locally severe storms may erupt over areas to the north and south of this zone as well due to the presence of plenty of warm and humid air. Cities at risk for severe storms include Topeka, Kansas; Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.AccuWeather Local StormMax™ wind gusts of 70 mph are predicted with this event. Gusts of this strength can break large tree limbs, knock over poorly rooted trees, trigger power outages and cause minor property damage."There may be a few-hour-window during Thursday afternoon and early evening where the setup is conducive for supercell thunderstorm formation and hence a risk of tornadoes," Jake Sojda, AccuWeather meteorologist, said.As the event unfolds into Thursday night, thunderstorms are likely to organize into a solid line, of which the greatest threat will be from strong wind gusts. If this line of thunderstorms remains intense through the night, the severe weather risk may extend farther to the east on Friday.Flash flooding could occur in any severe thunderstorm or where downpours linger for more than a few minutes. The severe thunderstorms may also bring the risk of hail. "The severe weather risk on Friday may extend across part of the lower Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley in the form of damaging wind gusts," he added.The period from Thursday to Friday is a classic autumn setup for severe weather with surging warm and humid air, charging cold air and a strong jet stream overhead.Download the free AccuWeather app to see when severe weather could impact your area and to keep alert for severe weather bulletins. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


U.S. Confirms Killing of Al-Qaeda’s South Asia Chief

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 13:32

U.S. officials confirmed Tuesday that a joint U.S.-Afghanistan commando raid on Sept. 23 killed Asim Omar, the head of Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), along with six other Al-Qaeda members in the southern Helmand province. News of the raid was first reported by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency.Special forces struck a compound in the Musa Qala district, a Taliban stronghold, and took out Omar and six other Al-Qaeda fighters, including a courier for Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Umar, a Pakistani, headed AQIS from its inception in September 2014. Along with the initial statement, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) shared pictures showing Umar both alive and dead. > 1/2: BREAKING: NDS can now confirm the death of Asim Omar, leader of Al_Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), in a joint US-Afghan raid on a Taliban compound in Musa Qala district of Helmand province on Sep. 23. pic.twitter.com/sFKi38M6MC> > -- NDS Afghanistan (@NDSAfghanistan) October 8, 2019U.S. air strikes from an Air Force AC-130 gunship followed the raid to level the compound, but resulted in collateral damage, with Afghan officials telling the Associated Press that 40 people attending a wedding party in the area were killed. The operation also killed 22 Taliban fighters, the ADF reported. 14 people were arrested, including five Pakistani nationals and one Bangladeshi. The statement said a large warehouse of supplies and equipment was also destroyed.News of Omar’s death comes on the 18th anniversary of the first American airstrikes in Afghanistan, and several weeks after President Trump confirmed the death of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza in September. U.S.-Taliban peace talks are currently tabled.


Russia warns against actions that 'inhibit peace process' in Syria

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 13:30

Russia's security council said on Tuesday it was important to avoid hindering the peace process in Syria, following discussions with President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The influential council discussed the creation of a constitutional committee in the country and "remarked that at this stage everyone should avoid any actions that can inhibit the peace process in Syria," he said. Peskov said earlier Tuesday that Russia "is following very closely how the situation is developing" and was not informed about the withdrawal of the United States from the region -- something that has sparked fears of a Turkish attack on Kurdish forces.


Judge clears record of 21-year-old jailed 10 days for oversleeping jury duty: 'Totally rehabilitated'

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 13:17

Deandre Somerville, 21, spent 10 days in jail after he overslept and missed jury duty. The Palm Beach County Circuit Judge since cleared his record.


One Day after Announcing Syria Withdrawal, White House Confirms Turkish President Will Visit U.S.

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:39

The White House confirmed Tuesday that President Trump will host Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a state visit next month, just one day after Trump confirmed that the U.S. would be pulling forces out of northern Syria in the face of a potential Turkish invasion. The initial decision was released by the White House Sunday night, after a phone call between Trump and Erdogan Sunday afternoon.After receiving bipartisan backlash for the decision, which Pentagon sources say “blindsided” the Department of Defense, Trump defended the move on Twitter Tuesday morning. “So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the United States, in fact they make the structural steel frame for our F-35 Fighter Jet. They have also been good to deal with,” Trump said, before mentioning Turkey’s good standing in NATO and announcing that Erdogan will be visiting on Nov. 13.The U.S. has continued to attempt to dissuade Turkey from invading Syria and attacking the Kurds, with U.S. troops in the area serving as a buffer between the hostile forces. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the withdrawal is not an abandonment of Kurdish allies, “who are special people and wonderful fighters.” Trump also cautioned Turkey against any potential aggression on Tuesday, stating “any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency.” That tweet came one day after Trump said that he would “totally destroy and obliterate” the Turkish economy if Erdogan crossed a line.On Tuesday, Turkish military forces struck the Syrian-Iraqi border to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria in preparation for an invasion. In the wake of the U.S. withdrawal, Kurdish forces said they may open talks with Damascus and Russia to fill a security vacuum in the event of U.S. military absence, according to Reuters.


Elon Musk paid convicted fraudster to spread false paedophile claims about British cave rescue hero, court documents allege

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:33

Elon Musk paid a convicted fraudster to smear a British diving hero who he baselessly called a paedophile, according to court documents.The billionaire technology entrepreneur allegedly orchestrated a “malicious, false, and anonymous leak campaign” in a bid to trash the reputation of Vernon Unsworth, who helped to rescue a schoolboy football team trapped in a cave in Thailand last year.


US F-16 warplane crashes in Germany with pilot taken to hospital

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 10:58

An American F-16 fighter jet crashed Tuesday near the city of Trier in western Germany, the German air force told AFP, with the pilot surviving after using the ejector seat. After multiple emergency calls around 3:15 pm local time, emergency services reached the scene near the village of Zemmer, police said in a statement. The airman was taken to hospital. Police said it was not immediately clear how seriously he was injured in the crash. Authorities blocked off a large zone around the crash site including several roads, the police statement added, urging drivers to avoid the area. A spokesman for the nearby US military airbase at Spangdahlem told AFP he had no further information about the crash, its causes or the health of the pilot. Germany is no stranger to military aircraft crashes, including in its own shortage-plagued Bundeswehr armed forces. In June this year, two of the air force's Eurofighter jets crashed after colliding in mid-air in northeastern Germany. One of the pilots was killed, while the other ejected to safety. Less than a week later, a helicopter pilot died when his aircraft crashed near an army training centre. The last American military crash in Germany dates back to 2015, when one of the Spangdahlem base's F-16 fighters went down in northern Bavaria. In that incident, the pilot surviving after ejecting from the plane.


'They told me that I was going to die': The US says El Salvador is safe for migrants, but transgender women living there fear for their lives

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 09:35

A transgender woman living in El Salvador says MS-13 killed her friends and went after her next. She's been waiting for the US to grant her asylum.


Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she isn't ruling out Chinese military intervention as the city's violence appears unending

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 08:25

Lam said the government hopes to resolve the crisis itself but not would not rule of Beijing's involvement if the uprising "becomes so bad."


Trump Gives Swing-District Democrats New Cause to Back Inquiry

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 08:01

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump has erased any lingering doubts among the swing-district Democrats who galvanized the House impeachment move two weeks ago despite the risks to their re-election chances in 2020.The decision by seven first-term Democrats elected in Trump-leaning districts to back an impeachment inquiry after months of resisting the idea tipped the balance in the House and helped spark Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to announce the investigation.Now they are back home during a congressional break, facing voters as well as a concerted effort by Republicans to make them pay. At town halls and in interviews, members of the group express no regrets.“I did the right thing, and I will be able to look in the mirror 30 years from now and say I was on the right side of history,” Virginia Representative Elaine Luria told a packed town hall in her coastal district last week that’s home to Naval Station Norfolk.Luria and the six other freshmen lawmakers who announced their support for an impeachment inquiry in a Sept. 23 opinion essay in the Washington Post are crucial to Democrats’ chances of holding the House in 2020 and to the party’s hopes of making inroads in former Republican strongholds in the presidential election. They won in 2018 by playing up their military or national security backgrounds and offering a moderate counter-balance to the Democratic Party’s liberal wing.Backing an impeachment inquiry gives Republicans an opening to tie them to the progressive Democrats who’ve been calling for Trump’s impeachment for months.“Make no mistake about it: backing impeachment will cost the Democrats their majority in 2020,” Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer, head of the House GOP’s campaign arm, said in a statement.Counter AttackThe campaign against them has already begun. Vice President Mike Pence in planning trips in the coming weeks to the districts of four Democratic freshmen who defeated Republican incumbents.Since swinging to support an impeachment inquiry, several of the vulnerable Democrats said at meetings with voters and in interviews that the events since then have only solidified their decision. Those include the White House releasing a rough transcript of Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president, a whistle-blower’s complaint and the president himself publicly calling on Ukraine and China to investigate a Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.“There is a national security threat in addition to the illegality of a president of the United States allegedly asking for election assistance from a foreign government,” said Virginia Representative Abigail Spanberger, one of the Democrats being targeted by Pence.“If calling that out is wrong and gets me into political trouble, then why am I here if I’m not here to stand up for the Constitution? Why am I in this role if I am not supposed to call out things that are endanger us and are a threat to our country?” she said.Luria also said she wasn’t deterred by political threats.‘The Right Thing’“I have to tell you I did not do it in regard to any political consequences. I did it knowing that in the past the district I represent has been held by a Republicans and people may say ‘why would you do that? You might not be re-elected.’ I don’t care because I did the right thing,” said Luria, a Naval Academy graduate who spent 20 years in the service.The line earned Luria a standing ovation and a smattering of boos, reflecting the political divide in her district, which she won last year with 51% of the vote against Republican incumbent Scott Taylor.Luria said of the 420 calls she’s received from constituents on impeachment in the last week and a half, about two-thirds were supportive. At her town hall last Thursday, those who spoke were more evenly divided.“There is no evidence so far as I’m concerned, in my option, that warrants it. They have been trying to impeach this president from Day Two,” said Jim Tarr, 65, a federal geologist, echoing other Trump supporters in the audience.Many attendees interviewed said that they respected Luria’s judgment, as a former naval officer, about whether Trump may have imperiled national security by withholding aid to Ukraine.“I think she is a taking a political risk but I like that she said she is not worried about her re-election,” Conrad Schwab, who was among the crowd, said.“I just think it is a waste of their time. Our health care needs to be fixed,” said Marsha Spain, a self-described independent.Plea to ChinaLuria told the Virginia Beach crowd that she “didn’t go to Washington to impeach the president,” but that Trump’s public suggestion earlier that day that China investigate Biden and his son Hunter reinforced her decision.“It was even more brazen this morning when he stood on the White House lawn and an asked China to meddle in our election,” she said.Trump’s decision late Sunday to abandon U.S.’s Kurdish allies in Syria -- from which he is backpedaling -- also bolstering the view by Democrats that his foreign policy presents a national security risk.Spanberger, a former CIA operative, said that while the decision is itself not impeachable, there are similarities between the Ukraine call, the televised plea to China and the Syria decision.“They show a president who doesn’t understand foreign policy whatsoever, who doesn’t understand the lines between what is appropriate and what is not,” she said.Other Democrats who flipped last month in favor of impeachment also suggested parallels, including first-term Minnesota Representative Dean Phillips.At a Friday town hall event in Rochester, Michigan, an affluent town in a GOP-leaning District, Representative Elissa Slotkin defended her support of an impeachment inquiry.She told a mostly supportive crowd that she changed her mind when Trump acknowledged that he asked for information from Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about Biden. While most of the audience clapped in approval, Slotkin was subject to frequent heckling from about a dozen Trump supporters in the crowd.“I did not take this decision lightly,” she said. “It’s not something I wanted to do.”Slotkin was asked if she thought Trump was doing his duty by investigating the accusation that Biden helped his son avoid investigation in Ukraine.“You go to the American FBI,” the former CIA analyst said. When the Trump supporters responded with boos, she said, “You can boo the FBI. I will not boo the FBI. You do not go to a foreign leader if you’re concerned about corruption, especially to ask about a political rival.”Colorado Democrat Jason Crow, a former Army Ranger who also signed the essay with Slotkin, Spanberger and Luria, spent the last week on a delegation to Afghanistan and the Jordan-Syria border. He said in an interview Monday that he has no second thoughts.“Our concerns continue to be re-confirmed,” he said. “More and more information is emerging about his fast and loose approach to American foreign policy and his abuse of presidential authority.”Crow said that he has found support in his community for his decision but that it was important that the inquiry stay focused and proceed efficiently.“I think the process is really important here,” he said. “You don’t make conclusions until you have reviewed the evidence.”Speaking on MSNBC Tuesday, Crow said Trump’s actions represent a national security risk and have damaged U.S. credibility abroad. He declined to say whether he thinks the House will ultimately impeach Trump, adding that’s it’s “inappropriate” to prejudge the end result.“That’s why we’re making sure we’re following the steps right now,” Crow said. “We have to make sure we’re doing it the right way.”(Updates with lawmaker quote beginning in the 35th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Wasson in Washington at ewasson@bloomberg.net;David Welch in Southfield at dwelch12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna Edgerton, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Ex-U.S. envoy Huntsman urges rethink of Russia sanctions in WSJ op-ed

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 07:51

Days after ending his term in Moscow, former United States ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has urged Washington to review its sanctions-dominated approach to Russia, questioning its efficiency and calling for dialogue. The U.S. has placed multiple layers of sanctions on Russia, its senior officials and largest companies, as well as businessmen it views as connected to the Kremlin, the bulk of them linked to Moscow's role in the Ukrainian crisis which began in 2014 and has yet to be resolved. In a column https://www.wsj.com/articles/america-needs-dialogue-with-moscow-11570488054 for the Wall Street Journal published on Monday, Huntsman argued that "sanctions have become our go-to foreign policy tool to admonish misbehavior" but not all of them are having the desired effect.


Polish politician rescues child and father from burning car

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 07:45

A left-wing party leader in Poland has rescued a 2-year-old boy and his father from a burning car, winning praise across the political spectrum days before a national election. The car collided with a truck and began to burn Monday evening in Tabor, south of Warsaw. Robert Biedron witnessed the crash and helped the father and child until rescue officials arrived, fire officials reported.


Air Force unveils next-gen 'Whiskey' helicopters to replace Pave Hawks: 'A beacon of hope'

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 05:26

Officials with Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, showcased the next-generation HH-60W "Whiskey" helicopter Monday in Jupiter.


UFO seekers are flocking to a huge Buddha statue in Thailand saying it is home to a wormhole that aliens use to travel to different dimensions

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 05:19

A group of Buddhist worshippers on a remote hilltop in Thailand believe that aliens from Pluto communicate with people in the area.


One U.S. Battleship Fired Nearly 6,000 Massive 16-Inch Shells During Vietnam War

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 04:43

Over the course of her relatively short Vietnam patrol New Jersey fired 5,688 16-inch gun rounds and 14,891 five-inch gun rounds, far more than she fired during World War II and the Korean War combined.


Doomed Kiribati ferry crew drunk, victims died horribly: official report

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 03:33

Crew members of an overloaded Kiribati ferry which sank in the Pacific claiming 95 lives were drunk, leaving passengers to die slow deaths from starvation and hypothermia, a damning report has found. "Most, if not all, victims died from hunger, dehydration and hypothermia," it found. The deaths of 84 passengers and 11 crew was the worst maritime disaster ever in Kiribati, a collection of 33 atolls and reefs scattered over an area the size of the continental United States.


EU tells British PM Johnson to stop playing 'stupid' Brexit blame game

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 03:17

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union accused Britain of playing a "stupid blame game" over Brexit on Tuesday after a Downing Street source said a deal was essentially impossible because German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made unacceptable demands. With just 23 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the bloc, the future of Brexit remains deeply uncertain as both London and Brussels position themselves to avoid blame for a delay or a disorderly no-deal Brexit.


China Knows It Can't Protect Every Island It Builds (Think South China Sea)

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 23:15

But Beijing is building them anyway.


Chicago teens stage 'die-in' to demand action on climate change; one man arrested

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 22:24

Dozens of Chicago teens gathered across from Trump International Hotel and marched to City Hall Monday to demand action on climate change.


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