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O'Rourke's 'hell yes' vow to take away rifles worries U.S. lawmakers pushing for gun limits

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 17:00

Former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke did not hesitate during Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate when asked whether he would confiscate assault-style weapons from Americans. "Hell yes, we're going to take away your AR-15, your AK-47," he said, instantly creating a viral moment – and potentially a fresh headache for lawmakers trying to persuade reluctant Republicans to pass new gun limits in Washington. Opinion polls have found that tackling gun violence is increasingly a top priority for voters.

Democratic senators seek to block Trump administration end-run on ICE funding

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 16:32

A group of Senate Democrats are seeking to prevent the Trump administration from unilaterally moving appropriations around to fund immigration detention and border enforcement operations.

Israel's F-35s Are the Uncontested Kings of the Middle East's Skies

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 16:00

Israel's enemies can't even see them coming.

'Difficult to see' if Iran breached Syria oil sale agreement, Gibraltar chief minister says

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:45

Gibraltar’s leader attempted to deescalate the crisis with Iran over the fate of an oil tanker on Friday, saying it was “difficult to see” whether Tehran breached an agreement not to sell its oil to Syria. Iran made assurances to a court in Gibraltar that it would not deliver the seized supertanker’s two million barrels of crude oil to the Syrian regime in order to secure its release. After it was freed on Aug 18, the renamed Adrian Darya 1 sailed around the eastern Mediterranean for over a week before heading towards the Syrian coast and turning off its transponder on Sept 2.  Iran claims it sold the oil to an unnamed private company. Maritime trackers say it is likely the Adrian Darya 1's contents were off-loaded to Syria through smaller vessels. Britain and the US have said such a move is in violation of European Union and US sanctions and breaches the agreement. Fabian Picardo, Gibraltar’s chief minister, however, said on Friday that “it is difficult to see whose word you’d take for it”.   The British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero is still being held by Iran Credit: Morteza Akhoondi/Tasnim News Agency via AP “You can see from the images that the oil has ended up in Syria but that’s not to say that there’s a breach of the undertaking [by Iran],” Mr Picardo said. “We did not have an undertaking that the oil would not end up in Syria. We had an undertaking from the Iranian government that they would not sell the oil to any EU sanctioned entity,” he said. British commandos on July 4 seized the vessel, then called the Grace 1, on suspicion that it was en route to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. Officials claim Iran gave as many as five separate undertakings that it would not proceed with its original sales plan. Iran’s envoy to the UK, who was summoned by the British foreign ministry over the matter, on Wednesday said Adrian Darya 1’s oil cargo was sold at sea to a third party, denying Tehran had broken assurances it gave. He also said the private buyer of the oil “sets the sale destination”.  "It is now clear that Iran has breached these assurances and that the oil has been transferred to Syria and Assad’s murderous regime,” a Foreign Office statement said. “Iran’s actions represent an unacceptable violation of international norms and the UK will raise the issue at the United Nations later this month.” The development came amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf. EU diplomats warned yesterday that Britain's decision to join a US-led naval mission in the Gulf has delayed European efforts to set up a maritime force to ensure safe shipping in the Strait of Hormuz separate from American patrols. British-Australian citizen Jolie King and her boyfriend Mark Firkin are currently detained in Iran Credit: Instagram Britain and France proposed a European-led maritime force in July that was to be independent of the United States. They won support from Denmark, Italy and Spain, who were wary of an American mission for fear of making US-Iranian strains worse. The proposal was announced after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait, in what was then widely seen as retaliation for the seizure of an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar by British marines. The British-flagged Stena Impero is still being held by Iran, although Tehran has signalled it could release it soon.  Relations between the UK and Iran have worsened in recent days amid the news two dual British-Australian nationals have been arrested in Iran. Jolie King, a dual citizen, and her Australian boyfriend Mark Firkin, were travelling from western Australia to London through Iran when they were arrested for reportedly flying a drone. A third detainee, a former Cambridge-educated academic, has not been named.  Miss King is being held in the same ward of Evin prison as Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker charged with espionage. Richard Ratcliffe, husband of Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, told the Telegraph: “She has been there for a few weeks. She came in from solitary very scared. As that is a very traumatic experience.  “She’s gradually learning to trust the others. Nazanin told her family that she has a very good sense of humour.”

Every top Democrat can beat Trump. Their unique strategies will determine who gets that shot

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:43

Each of the five leading 2020 Democratic candidates can beat the president in a general election, according to the latest national match-up polls. But first, they will need to secure the party’s nomination in a hotly contested primary season that started with more than two dozen hopefuls. They're each using very different tactics to do so.Those five candidates — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg — joined each other on Thursday night for the third Democratic debates, along with five additional candidates currently polling beneath them: Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro.

Father of Colorado State student in blackface says his daughter is 'not a racist'

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:41

Les Kaplan said his daughter, Leana, has been fired from her job, received death threats since an Instagram post of her wearing blackface went viral.

Court revives suit alleging Fox News inflicted 'emotional torture' on Seth Rich family

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:33

A federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit against Fox News brought by the parents of slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, concluding there are plausible claims that the network was party to a “campaign of emotional torture.”

NRA board gathers for meeting at crucial time for gun debate

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:32

With the country at a critical juncture in the gun debate, a normally routine meeting of the National Rifle Association has taken on greater significance as its board of directors gathers near the nation's capital this week. President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress are weighing stricter gun measures in the aftermath of mass killings in Texas and Ohio. Corporate America also has been increasingly pushing back against the NRA.

US couple 'abandon 11-year-old daughter' and move to Canada

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:25

Indiana prosecutors have charged a couple with abandoning their adopted daughter in 2013 and moving to Canada, renting an apartment in Lafayette for the then-11-year-old girl but otherwise leaving her to fend for herself.Prosecutors in Tippecanoe County, where Lafayette is located, have filed neglect charges against 45-year-old Kristine Elizabeth Barnett and 43-year-old Michael Barnett.

US officials warn of danger of feral hogs heading across the border from Canada

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:14

US officials have warned that feral hogs heading across the border from Canada may pose a danger to the local environment. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that sightings of the feral animals on the US-Canadian border have increased in recent years.  At least eight of the wild animals have been sighted just north of Lincoln County, Montana, this summer, officials said.  Several agencies, including Wildlife Services, the Montana Invasive Species Council, the National Feral Swine Program and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department fear the wild pigs could cause significant damage to the landscape. Officials warned the animals can often be aggressive, breed rapidly, and difficult to catch.  The feral pigs pose a risk to the local agriculture industries as they often destroy farm land and crops as they root for food. They also have the potential to spread diseases to domestic livestock, although no disease has been detected in the team in Canada. Female hogs typically have more than a dozen piglets in each litter and full grown hogs can weigh anywhere between 120lb to 400lbs.  Dale Nolte, from the USDA’s National Feral Swine Program, described the prospect as “a disaster”. “Multiple people say that if we were to design an invasive species that would do the most widespread damage, feral swine aren’t too far off from being the perfect specimen,” he told local newspaper Daily Inter Lake.      Ryan Brook, an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, blamed the southern migration of the feral pigs on poor monitoring systems in the province, which are allowing numbers - and the spread of the animals - to grow unchecked.  “Saskatchewan is a very high functioning pig factory and the populations are exploding with very minimal efforts to control them,” he told the Daily Inter Lake. “Lack of serious action in Saskatchewan is the single greatest threat to Montana.” Legit question for rural Americans - How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?— Willie McNabb (@WillieMcNabb) August 4, 2019 The warning of a potential hog invasion prompted amusement on social media, with users highlighting a viral tweet last month by a man arguing assault weapons were necessary to manage the feral populations. “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?” he asked on Twitter, prompting widespread mockery at the time.

What were those protesters saying? Joe Biden's final answer interrupted during debate

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:05

Protesters crashed the final minutes of Thursday night's debate in Houston, though people on Twitter had a tough time understanding what was said.

Church sex abuse 'far-reaching' in Missouri: attorney general

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 15:01

The attorney general in the US state of Missouri on Friday accused the Catholic Church of turning a blind eye to church sex abuse and referred a dozen former clergymen for criminal prosecution. "Sexual abuse of minors by members of Missouri's four Roman Catholic dioceses has been a far-reaching and sustained scandal," said the Midwestern state's top prosecutor, Eric Schmitt, after a year-long investigation. "For decades, faced with credible reports of abuse, the church refused to acknowledge the victims and instead focused their efforts on protecting priests," Schmitt told a news conference.

US-trained bomb-sniffing dogs sent to Jordan are living in horrible conditions and dying from improper care

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:38

More than 10 have died in recent years from potentially preventable health issues. Others were found to be living in "disturbing" conditions.

Tomi Lahren: We Need Guns to ‘Defend Ourselves’ From Immigrants

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:31

Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren declared on Friday that Americans need guns in order to potentially fight off unlimited immigrants coming into the United States, adding that citizens need the ability to “defend ourselves” because “we don’t know” who is coming into the country.Appearing on Fox Business Network’s Varney and Co., the conservative firebrand reacted to Democrats’ calls for stricter gun control in the wake of several mass shootings. Specifically, she took issue with Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s call for mandatory buybacks of assault-style weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47.“I would also remind those that might not have a use for a gun or don’t feel they have a use for a gun, many Americans do,” Lahren told Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney. “Many Americans don’t live in the suburbs, who are far away from where police can respond, and so that’s why that self-defense is so important.”And then she brought the threat of “open borders” immigration into the mix.“And all the things the Democrats want to put in place—my goodness, if they want to open our borders, you better be sure the people in Texas, the people in South Dakota, the people in the middle of this country, we are going to be armed and ready,” she exclaimed. “Because we have to have a means to defend ourselves from—who knows who’s coming in? That’s the thing, we don’t know, and we have to be able to protect ourselves.”The right-wing provocateur’s insistence that guns are needed to stave off migrants heading into the U.S. comes barely a month after the El Paso mass shooting that left 22 dead. The suspected shooter admitted that he was targeting “Mexicans” and apparently posted a racist manifesto in which he decried the “Hispanic invasion” of America.This also isn’t the first time that Lahren has fear-mongered over supposed “open borders” immigration. Earlier this year, she devoted a monologue to warning Fox viewers that an extremely high border wall was needed because immigrants are “shifty and adaptable.”After her remarks faced intense backlash that included Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro personally calling her out, Lahren took to Twitter to "apologize" for how her comments "came out."“Not what I meant & I apologize for the way it came out. I simply mean without a secure border we don’t know who is coming into our nation & those who wish to do us harm will exploit it,” she wrote Friday afternoon. “I’m NOT advocating for violence against any person, regardless of race or immigration status.”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.

US Navy sails ship close to islands claimed by China

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:24

The US Navy said that one of its destroyers had sailed close to the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Friday, asserting international freedom of navigation rights in the contested waters. The USS Wayne E. Meyer guided-missile destroyer passed through the area of the Paracels east of Vietnam and South of China's Hainan Island without requesting permission from Beijing, or from Hanoi or Taipei, which also claim ownership of the archipelago. The move could add to the tensions between the US and China, now bogged down in a grinding trade war, as Beijing pushes to expand its military reach globally.

2020 Vision: A burning AOC offers a scary preview of next year's attack ads

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:12

In a likely preview of Republican messaging for the 2020 election, an ad from a GOP PAC that aired during Thursday night’s Democratic debate showed a photograph of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her face engulfed in flames.

Greta Thunberg marches in front of White House with American students over climate change crisis

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 13:12

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has taken her fight for the planet’s future to Donald Trump’s front door, marching along with American students outside the White House in Washington with fellow students as a part of a weekly school strike.Ms Thunberg, a 16-year-old who arrived in the US last month on a carbon emission free sailboat, joined her American peers in a demonstration that at one point included an 11-minute “mass extinction” die-in to highlight the dire predictions of the changing climate.

In era of legal pot, can police search cars based on odor?

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 11:37

Sniff and search is no longer the default for police in some of the 33 states that have legalized marijuana. Traditionally, an officer could use the merest whiff of weed to justify a warrantless vehicle search, and whatever turned up — pot, other kinds of illegal drugs, something else the motorist wasn't allowed to have — could be used as evidence in court. The result is that, in some states, a police officer who sniffs out pot isn't necessarily allowed to go through someone's automobile — because the odor by itself is no longer considered evidence of a crime.

Cold case solved 22 years later after Google Earth satellite image shows missing man's car

Fri, 09/13/2019 - 11:00

After the vehicle was discovered, a local resident used a personal drone to confirm its location before calling authorities.