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Boris Johnson Furious as Parliament Refuses to Be Bounced Into Brexit Deal

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 10:07

REUTERSLONDON—Boris Johnson was left raging on Saturday as lawmakers forced the prime minister to seek yet another Brexit delay from the European Union. The extremely rare parliamentary vote taken on a Saturday did not reject Johnson’s compromise deal with the EU outright, it merely demanded more time for the deal to be examined and inserted an additional failsafe to stop Britain from slipping out of the EU without an agreed deal on Halloween.No. 10 was furious because Johnson has repeatedly promised to leave the EU by October 31, and that will now become more difficult. Brexit campaign insiders lamented the destruction of Johnson’s “head of steam,” and an end to the momentum created by his unlikely success in securing a deal from Europe. After another vote that went against Johnson last month, the prime minister is now legally mandated to write to the EU asking for an extension to January 31. The government formally asked for the extension Saturday night, but also sent a letter from Johnson arguing against the delay.EU Council President Donald Tusk said in a tweet that he had received the request. “I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react,” he said.Johnson is expected to bring the withdrawal legislation to the floor of the House of Commons early next week, so he may only have to wait a few days to secure victory but Labour opponents—and nervous No. 10 insiders—believe that potential support for the deal may ebb away once lawmakers get the chance to fully examine the fineprint.Just two days after Johnson was back-slapping European counterparts and clasping hands with fellow leaders, his precarious grip on power was underlined once again in a vote that went against him by 322 to 306.In response, Johnson stood up and said he would refuse to “negotiate” a further extension with the EU. He stopped short of saying he would refuse to comply with the law and send the extension letter, although he reiterated his hopes that the EU would not immediately grant an extension. “I don't think they'll be attracted by delay,” he said.As lawmakers continued to debate the result, Johnson sat slumped on the frontbench shaking his head. It was a sharp contrast to his mood two days earlier. Tickled pink with the deal he had unexpectedly secured from the EU, Johnson had sought to rush back to Westminster and bounce parliament into agreeing. One of his own long-term colleagues, Sir Oliver Letwin, had other ideas. Letwin is a veteran Conservative right-winger who has been in the heart of Conservative thinking for decades. He was a member of Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street policy unit in the 1980s and entrusted by David Cameron to write the Tory manifesto in 2010.He was kicked out of the party last month by Johnson after voting to ensure there wouldn’t be a No Deal Brexit. He exacted his revenge on Saturday by wrecking Johnson’s chance for a victorious homecoming. 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.


The U.S. Army And Marines Have a Plan To Take On China and Russia's Navies

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 09:00

Dispersed attacks from land and sea.


Egypt unveils biggest ancient coffin find in over a century

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 08:53

Egypt on Saturday unveiled the details of 30 ancient wooden coffins with mummies inside discovered in the southern city of Luxor in the biggest find of its kind in more than a century. A team of Egyptian archaeologists discovered a "distinctive group of 30 coloured wooden coffins for men, women and children" in a cache at Al-Asasif cemetery on Luxor's west bank, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement on Saturday. "It is the first large human coffin cache ever discovered since the end of the 19th century," the Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany was quoted as saying during a ceremony in Luxor.


How Bernie Sanders' heart attack helped convince Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to publicly endorse him, after months of indecision

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 07:00

AOC was torn between her longstanding allegiance to Sanders' political revolution and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's record of building power in DC.


The Endgame in Syria

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 06:30

"The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence. It's a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president of American allies and American values."      —Pete Buttigieg, October 15Mr. Mayor has a point. For 75 years, from Fulda Gap to the 38th parallel, the American soldier has been the last line of defense against violence, chaos, and oppression. From Kosovo to Anbar, he has kept a lid on cauldrons of bloodlust. Remove him, and the poison boils over.That is what happened when Congress reduced aid to South Vietnam in 1975. It is what followed U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. It is happening now in northeast Syria, and it will happen again when Americans leave Afghanistan. Our forces depart; our allies collapse; our adversaries take command.The pattern was established well before Donald Trump took office. It will persist after he departs. There is nothing so consistent as American ambivalence toward our superpower status. Most great powers covet hegemony. We hate it. The costs are too high, the demands too stressful."For every exercise of the great power's prerogative, there has been an equally strong recoiling from the use of power," wrote Robert Kagan in A Twilight Struggle (1996). "While the United States cannot escape behaving as the hegemonic great power, it is also a great power with a democratic conscience, a strong anti-imperialist streak, and an unwillingness to adopt the role of policeman anywhere for more than a brief time."Kagan was describing U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. He might as well have been talking about the Middle East.Trump is getting America out of a country we were never really in. Our presence in Syria was not enough to deter Turkey. One thousand troops do not constitute a tripwire. They are chips in a high-stakes game. Erdogan called the bluff.Our footprint was light because the last two administrations wanted it that way. That is why criticism of Trump's policy from left-wing non-interventionists and former Obama officials is ridiculous. Where were they when Assad killed hundreds of thousands of people, when he and Erdogan used migration to Europe as a weapon, when civilians were gassed, when ISIS formed, when Russia moved in? Did they think Syria was peachy keen up until Sunday, October 6? Are we really to take lectures from them on the value of forward presence?Americans have wanted out of the Greater Middle East for over a decade. Barack Obama promised to leave both Iraq and Afghanistan. He said Special Forces and drone strikes would maintain global security. It didn't work out that way. Terrorism spiked. The Arab Spring erupted. Obama was forced to intervene, leading from behind in Libya and desultorily aiding some rebel groups in Syria.Obama ended Moammar Qaddafi's regime but shied away from Bashar al-Assad's. The difference? Assad was an ally of Iran and Russia. To bring Damascus to heel would have endangered the chances of a nuclear agreement with Tehran.Obama was consistent in one respect. In Libya, Syria, and Iraq, American involvement was kept to a minimum. The results were the same in all three countries: state failure and civil war.The seeds of Trump's hasty exit from Syria were sown when the uprising began in 2011. The moment to act decisively was then. We did not. And we did not because there was no appetite, in either popular or elite circles, for another war in the Middle East. Political leadership followed public opinion.What a superpower does not do is as important as what it does do. America was content to fund a few rebels but otherwise leave Syria in the hands of others. Assad turned to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah, and Iran. Russia saved him from reprisal after the gas attack in 2013 and again when rebels neared Damascus in 2015.By then, Obama had been forced to intervene against the caliphate established by ISIS in eastern Syria and western Iraq. But some red lines he stuck to. In his speech announcing the counterterrorism campaign in September 2014, Obama pledged, "We will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq." Our presence would be limited, our footprint light. Enough to defeat the terrorists, but not enough to make us targets. Or decisively affect the outcome of the Syrian war.If there is a place where America blinked, where America chose decline, where America's allies began to worry and America's retrenchment from Eurasia and pivot to East Asia began, it is Syria. We did so with open eyes and, until the last two weeks, an untroubled conscience. Not wanting to commit the resources necessary to build functioning states, we left Iraq, abandoned Libya, and turned a blind eye to Syria. Not willing to sacrifice Americans on additional fields of battle in the Long War against Islamic terrorism and the religious-political cultures that breed it, we withdrew that presence which guarantees the security of our partners.Pete Buttigieg is right to say that what is happening in Syria is a consequence of American withdrawal. But if what's happening is a betrayal of American values, it's one Americans voted for.


The Chicago teachers' strike shows how to go on offense against neoliberalism

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 06:00

Chicago teachers led the battle against destructive reforms seven years ago – now they’re showing all working people left behind by cuts how to fight‘Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population.’ Photograph: Xinhua/Barcroft MediaIn 2012, when Chicago teachers walked off the job in their first strike in 25 years, the cards were stacked against them, nationally and locally. Today, they’re on strike again – and on the offense against austerity.Seven years ago, Rahm Emanuel had just been elected mayor and was looking to deal the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), who he saw as a barrier to privatizing the city’s education system, a crushing defeat. That agenda was shared by both Republicans and Democrats across the country, with a barrage of attacks on teachers’ unions, devastating budget cuts to schools and charter school networks – intended to undercut public schools and do an end run around their unions – rapidly multiplying.Yet after electing a new militant leadership in 2010 that pledged to fight not just for bread-and-butter issues like higher pay but a broad agenda of “educational justice” and opposition to austerity, Chicago teachers won that strike, inspiring educators and workers of all kinds across the country – and planting the seeds of future unrest in schools across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Oakland, Denver and elsewhere, in the teachers’ strike wave that kicked off last year.Chicago teachers are again on strike, now against the recently elected mayor, Lori Lightfoot. As in 2012, their demands are focused on burning issues in their schools and the city as a whole rather than simply wages and benefits (a strategy that has been called “bargaining for the common good”). And they’re waging that fight alongside another striking union, SEIU Local 73, which represents bus aides, janitors, classroom assistants and other school staff – many of whom earn below-poverty wages.CTU’s staffing demands are straightforward: a nurse, counselor, librarian and social worker in every school. The current ratio of students to counselors, nurses and social workers in Chicago public schools (CPS) far exceeds professional association recommendations. The National Association of School Psychologists recommends one psychologist for every 700 students; last year, each CPS psychologist served 1,760. For nurses, the ratio is four times what is recommended; for social workers, nearly five times. The union is also demanding enforceable caps so that classes aren’t overcrowded, which CTU says is the case in nearly a quarter of all Chicago classrooms.The union is also connecting its bargaining to the city’s affordable housing crisis, demanding housing assistance for both its members and its students, nearly 16,000 of whom experience homelessness. The op-ed pages of the city’s newspapers have upbraided this proposal, but CTU argues that “to fully support our public schools, we must address the lack of sustainable, affordable housing in our city” – a problem faced by cities throughout the country.CTU is breaking new ground, both in the kinds of broad working-class demands it is putting forward and by striking alongside SEIU Local 73. Together, the coordinated strikes have put more than 30,000 workers on the picket lines – more than 1% of the city’s population. Yesterday, a sea of CTU red and SEIU purple swarmed the city’s downtown in the afternoon, with thousands on the streets for a mass march after morning school pickets.The union is up against Lightfoot, a political newcomer who won office earlier this year by campaigning as a progressive and running on an education agenda that borrowed heavily from CTU’s: an elected school board rather than one appointed by the mayor, a freeze on charter expansion and major investments in public schools. But Lightfoot’s progressive posturing is now running up against tens of thousands striking Chicago teachers and staff who want more than progressive rhetoric – they want hard commitments, put in writing and legally enforceable through their contract.If she continues to balk at union demands at the bargaining table, Lightfoot will probably see the goodwill she has maintained from average Chicagoans since taking office disappear. The signs don’t look good for her: a Chicago Sun-Times poll conducted just before the strike shows that the public is backing the CTU over the mayor and school board. The same was true for Rahm Emanuel in 2012.Critics on the school board and in mainstream media have responded with the common refrain that Chicago is broke and can’t afford such demands. But Chicago is awash in wealth – enough for Lightfoot to approve the giveaway of $1.3bn in public money to luxury real estate firm Sterling Bay for the mega-development project Lincoln Yards. CTU has long argued that the way to pay for their demands is clear: end these corporate giveaways and tax the rich.The nationwide neoliberal education reform movement was on the march when CTU struck in 2012. But after numerous corruption scandals, growing charter school unionization and strikes, and teacher walk-offs in states throughout the country, that movement is on its heels. Just as the Democratic party has been forced to at least feint left on issues like Medicare for All and free public college tuition because of Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns, the party has been forced to back off of its most fervent support for corporate education reform.Chicago teachers led the way in the fight against these destructive reforms seven years ago. Today, they’re showing educators around the country how to fight not only for themselves, but for all working people who have been left behind by budget cuts and the dismantling of the public sector.The education policy scholar Pauline Lipman once described Chicago as “the incubator, test case and model for the neoliberal urban education agenda”. This week, teachers are working to make sure Chicago is where that agenda ends. * Miles Kampf-Lassin is an editor at In These Times. * Micah Uetricht is the managing editor of Jacobin and host of its podcast The Vast Majority. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity and coauthor of the forthcoming Bigger Than Bernie: How We Go From the Sanders Campaign to Political Revolution in Our Lifetimes


Why Did 3 U.S. Navy Submarines Surface In The Pacific In 2010? China.

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 06:00

Submarines are useful for signaling intent.


U.S. Proposed to Help North Korea Build Tourist Area: Report

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 05:17

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials proposed a long-term plan to help North Korea construct a tourist area in return for denuclearization during recent working-level talks in Stockholm, Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported.U.S. negotiators prepared plans on the development of the Kalma tourist area, the paper said, citing an unidentified senior South Korean diplomat familiar with the talks in Stockholm. The paper didn’t say how North Korea reacted to the proposal.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been pushing to complete a resort construction in the Wonsan-Kalma coastal area. In August, Pak Pong Ju, a key member of the ruling party’s politburo, visited the region to encourage workers to make the area “a scenic spot” on the east coast.The talks in Stockholm earlier in October were the first in about eight months between the U.S. and North Korea, but ended with little agreement about what was even on the table. North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil said the U.S. arrived “empty-handed” to the meeting, a point disputed by State Department officials.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Atomwaffen Division’s Washington State Cell Leader Stripped of Arsenal in U.S., Banned from Canada

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 05:13

Police HandoutKaleb James Cole, the 24-year-old leader of Atomwaffen Division's Washington State Cell stripped of his firearms by a “red-flag law” late last month, was deported and banned for life from Canada earlier this year, according to court records, which also showed that he had been previously interrogated by American border agents about his extremist views.Cole, a National Socialist black metal enthusiast who goes by the alias “Khimaere,” was first identified as a member of Atomwaffen Division in a 2018 ProPublica investigation. He played a key role in organizing “hate camp” trainings for the group's members at an abandoned building known as “Devil's Tower” in Skagit, Washington, and in Nevada's Death Valley. Cole also helped craft the group’s eye-catching propaganda.Atomwaffen Division is an underground neo-Nazi guerrilla organization which had 23 chapters throughout the United States as of mid-2018. Since its inception in 2015, Atomwaffen members have been implicated in five homicides and several bomb plots, and are the subject of an intensifying national investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It makes common cause with other militant fascist groups like the Base and Sonnenkrieg Division in the United Kingdom, where authorities have charged a number of members with terrorism-related offenses.As The Daily Beast reported, the Seattle Police Department obtained an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” against Cole on September 26 to confiscate his concealed carry firearms permit and any firearms he owned for at least a year. That same day, SPD seized five rifles, a shotgun, three semiautomatic handguns and four lower receivers (the firing mechanism of a rifle that can be used to craft untraceable ‘ghost guns’) from Cole's father's house outside Arlington, in Washington State's Snohomish County.According to court records, none of the guns or the lower receivers seized from Cole were registered in Washington State's licensed firearms database.“Law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about the respondent's access to firearms and his involvement in the Atomwaffen Division, a known terrorist group,” Seattle Police Sergeant Dorothy Kim wrote in a petition for an Extreme Risk Protection Order. As further evidence, Sgt. Kim cited Atomwaffen Division propaganda calling for “Race War Now,” and the group's adherence to “acceleration theory,” which urges actions that undermine the existing social order to “exacerbate the feeling of alienation among white supremacists and a greater impulse to engage in violence or destructive behavior.”Cole's “words, actions and behavior suggest he has taken additional steps towards a plan with his ideologically motivated violence. Specifically, the coordinated camps with firearms training, overseas travel with Atomwaffen paraphernalia-flags/skull masks, threats to kill (gas the Kikes) and the possession of firearms, suggest an imminent risk to public safety if Cole is permitted to continue to purchase or possess firearms,” Sergeant Kim wrote.The request to seize Cole's guns was reportedly made to Seattle Police by the FBI, which did not have enough information to file criminal charges but believed Cole posed a serious threat to public safety.Multiple law enforcement sources told The Daily Beast that Cole had been the target of an FBI investigation following his February 2018 identification by ProPublica. However, law enforcement made no contact with him until December 28, 2018, when Cole landed in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on a flight from London. Customs and Border Protection pulled Cole aside for secondary screening. Records of that interview were included by the Seattle Police Department in their emergency risk petition last month.During the interview, Cole told CBP agents he had traveled to the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine with two friends from Washington State, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh and Edie Allison Moore. The trip, Cole said, was to “see the historic architecture and museums in Eastern European countries.” The three also attended a heavy metal festival while in Kyiv. The 2018 edition of Asgardsrei, a festival several National Socialist black metal bands have played in the past, was held in Kyiv from December 15-16 last year. Photographs from the concert posted to social media show an Atomwaffen Division flag brandished by individuals in the crowd. According to information obtained by The Daily Beast, Aidan Bruce-Umbaugh is a member of the Washington State cell of Atomwaffen Division, and goes by the moniker “Nythra.” The drummer for Kaleb Cole's old metal band, Operblut, is listed as “Nythra” on music websites. In the CBP interview, Cole told federal agents he and Bruce-Umbaugh had been friends since grade school.Border agents searched Cole's luggage, and found a skull mask balaclava and an Atomwaffen Division flag inside his bag. When questioned about press reports tying him to Atomwaffen Division, Cole admitted to his involvement with the group and stated that he “shares a Fascist ideology, 'strong dominate the weak'.” He also admitted he owned an AK-47 and multiple handguns “for his own protection.”Cole's phone was also searched by border agents, who downloaded several images from the device. Amongst them are a photograph of Cole and another man wearing skull mask balaclavas in front of the gates of Auschwitz, the death camp where the Nazis murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews. Images of him posing with other Atomwaffen members, firearms, and the group's flag were also recovered from Cole's phone.According to multiple sources close to law enforcement, Cole previously attracted the interest of Canadian authorities by frequently driving across the border to British Columbia, sometimes several times a week. In late May, Cole was detained by the Canadian Border Service Agency because of press reports linking him to Atomwaffen Division, as well as “his overseas travel to Ukraine,” where several right-wing extremists have traveled to fight with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion against Russia-backed separatists.According to court records, he was held by Canadian authorities and placed into deportation proceedings due to his involvement in “an organization that may engage in terrorism,” per Section 34 [1][F] of the Canadian Immigration Code. According to records prepared by the Seattle Police Department, Cole was deported in July and “barred from Canada for life.”The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police both declined to comment on Cole's deportation, the Atomwaffen Division or its affiliated organizations in Canada, citing the restrictions of Canada’s Privacy Act. Earlier this year, Patrik Mathews, a master corporal in the Canadian Military Reserve went AWOL after being identified as a recruiter for the Base. Mathews—who reportedly came to the attention of multiple Canadian security agencies because racist material was previously found by the Canadian Border Services Agency in his car while crossing the border with the United States—is still at large.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. Learn more.


Boeing Pilot Complained of 'Egregious' Issue With 737 Max in 2016

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 04:30

For months, Boeing has said it had no idea that a new automated system in the 737 Max jet, which played a role in two fatal crashes, was unsafe.But on Friday, the company gave lawmakers a transcript revealing that a top pilot working on the plane had raised concerns about the system in messages to a colleague in 2016, more than two years before the Max was grounded because of the accidents, which left 346 people dead.In the messages, the pilot, Mark Forkner, who played a central role in the development of the plane, complained that the system, known as MCAS, was acting unpredictably in a flight simulator: "It's running rampant."The messages are from November 2016, months before the Max was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. "Granted, I suck at flying, but even this was egregious," he said sardonically to a colleague, according to a transcript of the exchange reviewed Friday by The New York Times.The Max crisis has consumed Boeing, and the revelation of the messages from Forkner come at a particularly sensitive time. The company's chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, is scheduled to testify before two congressional committees, on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30, the first time a Boeing executive has appeared at a hearing related to the crashes. Boeing's stock lost 7% of its value Friday, adding to the financial fallout.The existence of the messages strike at Boeing's defense that it had done nothing wrong regarding the Max because regulators had cleared the plane to fly, and potentially increases the company's legal exposure as it faces civil and criminal investigations and multiple lawsuits related to both crashes. Facing competition from Airbus, Boeing worked to produce the Max as quickly as possible, striving to minimize costly training for pilots. Last week, a task force of 10 international regulators released a report that found that Boeing had not fully explained MCAS to the FAA."This is more evidence that Boeing misled pilots, government regulators and other aviation experts about the safety of the 737 Max," Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said in a statement Friday.Boeing has maintained that the Max was certified in accordance with all appropriate regulations, suggesting that there was no sign that MCAS was unsafe.That contention was central to the company's rationale in not grounding the Max after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 last October, and in waiting days to recommend grounding the plane after the second crash, of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March.It was only after data suggested that MCAS played a role in the second crash that Boeing and the FAA decided to ground the Max.Forkner was the chief technical pilot for the Max and was in charge of communicating with the FAA group that determined how pilots would be trained before flying it. He helped Boeing convince international regulators that the Max was safe to fly.In the messages, he said that during tests in 2016, the simulator showed the plane making unexpected movements through a process called trimming."The plane is trimming itself like craxy," he wrote to Patrik Gustavsson, a fellow 737 technical pilot at Boeing. "I'm like WHAT?"Forkner went on to say that he had lied to the FAA."I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly)," Forkner says in the messages, although it was not clear what he was specifically referring to.Lawmakers, regulators and pilots responded with swift condemnation Friday."This is the smoking gun," Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., said in an interview. "This is no longer just a regulatory failure and a culture failure. It's starting to look like criminal misconduct."Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said he expected answers from Boeing's chief executive and board of directors."They must be held accountable if Boeing was deceptive or misleading in failing to report safety concerns," Blumenthal said in an interview. "What these reports indicate is that Boeing's own employees lied and concealed the truth."The FAA administrator, Stephen Dickson, sent Muilenburg a letter Friday morning demanding that the company account for why it had not provided the messages to the agency earlier."I expect your explanation immediately regarding the content of this document and Boeing's delay in disclosing the document to its safety regulator," Dickson wrote.A Boeing spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said the company was "voluntarily cooperating" with the congressional investigation and provided the messages to lawmakers as part of that process. He noted that the company gave the messages to the Department of Justice, which is conducting a criminal investigation into Boeing, earlier this year.A Boeing spokesman said the company did not give the messages to the FAA earlier because of the ongoing criminal investigation.The Max has been grounded for more than seven months, and airlines do not expect to fly it again this year. The FAA and Boeing have repeatedly pushed back the expected date of the plane's return to service as regulators and the company uncover new problems with the plane.The crisis has already cost Boeing more than $8 billion. It has disrupted expansion plans for airlines around the world, which have had to cancel thousands of flights and lost hundreds of millions of dollars in sales.The Times, which was the first to disclose Forkner's involvement in the plane, previously reported that he had failed to tell the FAA that the original version of MCAS was being overhauled, leaving regulators with the impression that the system was relatively benign and would be used only in rare cases.Eight months before the messages were exchanged, Forkner had asked the FAA if it would be OK to remove mention of MCAS from the pilot's manual. The FAA, which at the time believed the system would activate only in rare cases and wasn't dangerous, approved Forkner's request.Another exchange, in a batch of emails among Forkner, Boeing colleagues and FAA officials, was also reviewed by The Times on Friday. In one email from November 2016, Forkner wrote that he was "jedi-mind tricking regulators into accepting the training that I got accepted by FAA."A lawyer for Forkner downplayed the importance of the messages, suggesting Forkner was talking about issues with the simulator."If you read the whole chat, it is obvious that there was no 'lie' and the simulator program was not operating properly," the lawyer, David Gerger, said in a statement. "Based on what he was told, Mark thought the plane was safe, and the simulator would be fixed."Flight simulators replicate real cockpits and are used to test planes during development. They can sometimes behave unpredictably, depending on their configuration.Forkner, who is now a pilot for Southwest Airlines, and Gustavsson did not respond to requests for comment.Boeing provided the transcript to lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Friday morning, in advance of the hearings this month at which Muilenburg will testify about the crashes for the first time. Reuters was first to report on the existence of the transcript.DeFazio, who as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is overseeing the investigation into the crashes, said he had reviewed other internal Boeing documents and emails that suggested employees were under pressure to produce planes as fast as possible and avoid additional pilot training."Boeing cannot say this is about one person," DeFazio said. "This is about a cultural failure at Boeing under pressure from Wall Street to just get this thing out there and make sure that you don't open the door to further pilot training."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


Russia's Stealth Su-57 Is a Beast, But Can Russia Afford It?

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 04:00

It's pretty expensive for Russia's flagging economy.


South Korean Students Break Into U.S. Ambassador’s Residence

Sat, 10/19/2019 - 01:27

(Bloomberg) -- A group of South Korean students broke into the residence of American ambassador Harry Harris on Friday, in a protest against Donald Trump’s campaign to get the Asian nation to pay more for U.S. military support.Nineteen students, who described themselves as members of a liberal university students’ group, were detained by police after staging a protest against plans to impose a bigger financial burden for the stationing of U.S. troops in the country, the Yonhap News Agency reported.The students used a ladder to climb the walls of the ambassador’s residence, next to an old South Korean palace, and urged Harris to leave the country.The incident happened days before officials from the U.S. and South Korea are due to meet in Honolulu for the next round of talks on sharing defense costs.After the incident, Seoul police dispatched 80 more officers to beef up security of the envoy’s home, according to Yonhap.Earlier this year, the two allies reached a one-year cost-sharing deal for maintaining about 28,500 American troops in South Korea. That deal expires at the end of 2019.The relationship between the two allies soured after Seoul abruptly announced the termination of a three-year-old pact with Japan -- another U.S. key ally -- for exchanging classified military information. That was in response to Japan’s move to restrict exports of key materials for the manufacture of semiconductors to South Korea.To contact the reporters on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.net;Jihye Lee in Seoul at jlee2352@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Marcus Wright, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Could France and Germany Jointly Build an EU Aircraft Carrier?

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 23:00

All in all, a European carrier will only come about in a world where Germany is willing and able to commit far more resources to defense than it currently does; and can arrive at a joint vision with France on how to use such an expensive vessel to project force abroad. That’s not the world we live in yet.


High-profile cases turn spotlight on domestic violence in Russia

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:34

Natalia Tunikova's partner pushed her towards the open balcony in their high-rise Moscow flat, before punching her to the floor. A Moscow court later ruled that her use of force in self-defence was not justified. Cases like Tunikova's are ever more widely reported in Russia, leading to a public outcry in a country that has no specific law on domestic violence and where feminist movements like #MeToo had little impact.


Atatiana Jefferson’s Funeral Cancelled Amid Family Feud

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 22:17

FacebookAtatiana Jefferson, the black woman shot dead in her home by a white Texas cop who didn’t identify himself, was supposed to be laid to rest this weekend.But the funeral—which was to feature prominent civil rights activists—was cancelled Saturday amid a family legal battle over the arrangements.Local news outlets reported that Marquis Jefferson, who is identified on on her birth certificate as Atatiana’s father, went to court and got a judge to issue a restraining order to stop the burial. The service has not yet been rescheduled, according to the Associated Press.Jefferson claims that Atatiana’s aunt, Venitta Body, cut him out of the funeral planning and that he will suffer “immediate and irreparable injury” if it goes forward.“I believe that there's enough people who are looking for you people to show up so they can lift their platforms,” Marquis Jefferson’s spokesman Bruce Carter told reporters.“They may roll in an empty coffin, who knows. They’ll sing songs. They’ll dance around. They’ll fall out. They'll go back, and it’ll be over with. So when you ask me about the things people do for you to show up, they’ll continually do it as long as you show up.”Texas Police Officer Fatally Shoots Black Woman Inside Her Own Home During Welfare CheckLee Merritt, the attorney representing some relatives, said on Twitter Friday night that the Saturday memorial service would still happen, but it was ultimately delayed until later in the week.“Atatiana’s family is mourning. They’re looking forward to getting through this really difficult process of grieving and memorializing their sister,” Merritt told KDFW. “This is a bit of a distraction. It’s unfortunate, but they are trying to stay focused and stay together during this time of bereavement.”Atatiana’s aunt claims that Marquis Jefferson is not Atatiana’s legal or biological father, the Dallas Morning News reported. Both sides are due in court Monday morning for a hearing.Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was gunned down in her Fort Worth home on Oct. 12 after a neighbor called police to check on an open door in the dead of night.Her 8-year-old nephew told authorities she heard someone outside, got a gun out of her purse and pointed it at the window, fearing an intruder, according to court documents.Bodycam footage shows Officer Aaron Dean shouting at her to put her hands up before opening fire within seconds; it’s not clear if he saw the weapon.Texas Cop Who Fatally Shot Black Woman Charged With MurderDean resigned from the police force the next day and has since been charged with murder.“I get it. We are trying to do better... anyone who had looked at that video saw it was wrong,” Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus told reporters earlier in the week.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. Learn more.


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