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Evidence from ex-Dallas police officer's murder trial fuels mistrust

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 17:18

Evidence from the trial of a former Dallas police officer convicted of killing her neighbor has fueled new questions about whether accused officers are treated differently than other suspects, including testimony that a camera in the cruiser where the officer sat after the shooting was flipped off and that her sexual text messages with her partner were deleted.

WWII Lesson for Trump: Turkey Was in Bed With the Nazis

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 16:42

The Nazis melted gold dental fillings from concentration camp victims and found the best price for it was in neutral Turkey.At the same time, Turkey kept selling Germany the chromium ore it needed to build weapons and continue the war. But in harkening back to World War II in an effort to justify giving Turkey a green light to crush the Kurds, President Donald Trump ignored such damning truths. He instead said of the Kurds, “They didn't help us with Normandy.”Never mind that present day Kurds have suffered thousands of casualties as our most effective allies against ISIS.Trump’s Crazy Syria Move Will Wipe Out America’s Allies and Set Up a Big ISIS ComebackNever mind that the Kurds of 1944 were scattered across a half dozen countries in the Middle East and were in no position to help even themselves.And never mind that Turkey started out World War II pledged to support the Allies only to suddenly switch when it looked like the Nazis would win.“Turkey began World War II bound to Britain and France by the military alliance of October 1939, moved to non-belligerency in June 1940 after the fall of France, and adopted a policy of ‘active neutrality’ in the spring of 1941 after German occupation of the Balkans and the conclusion of a German-Turkish Treaty of Friendship in June 1941,” notes a 1998 report on Holocaust restitution by the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services. The report cites a November 1943 assessment by German Munitions Minister Albert Speer “that much of Germany's manufacture of armaments would come to a halt within 10 months if Turkey's chromite exports to Germany were ended.”In the meantime, the Germans sold ingots of absolute evil in Turkey.“Two German banks with branches in Turkey, the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank, took advantage of the high prices on the Turkish free gold market to sell looted gold provided by the Reichsbank in return for foreign currency, particularly Swiss francs,” the report says. “Some of the gold provided by the Reichsbank came from the infamous ‘Melmer account’ in which the SS deposited the gold jewelry, coins, bars, and dental fillings robbed from its victims at the killing centers and concentration camps.” The Reichsbank was the central financial institution of Germany. Deutsche Bank would go on to become the lone financial institution in the 1990’s willing to risk making huge loans to Donald Trump. Even as he condemns the Kurds for failing to do what they could not possibly have done at Normandy without a nation-state of their own, Trump says nothing about Deutsche Bank’s Nazi past or about Turkey’s continued sales of chromium ore to Germany until April 1944. Turkey finally returned to our side in August 1944—two months after Normandy—when it appeared that the Nazis were going to lose after all.U.S. forces that fought their way from Normandy into Germany recovered ledgers showing that Deutsche Bank had sold at least 998 kilograms of what the congressional report terms “gold looted from individual victims of Nazi persecution.”The report adds, “Other German gold acquired by Turkey during and after the War included coins and ingots from the account of German Foreign Minister Joachim Ribbentrop at the Reichsbank, which had been stocked with gold looted from occupied Europe.”At war’s end, Turkey had done exactly nothing to assist the Allies besides no longer selling chromium to the Nazis. Turkey nonetheless argued that since it had been at war with Germany, it should not be expected to turn over whatever Nazi wealth it retained.“Turkey, an 11th hour ally, returned no looted gold… and turned over no money,” the report notes.Turkey also kept the money it made selling the Nazis chromium ore that kept the war going. The report says Turkey only stopped after President Franklin Roosevelt threatened Turkey with “economic war.”Our current president made a similar threat this week, when he tweeted, “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”The major difference is that this threat seems to be having no effect.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.

Outrage in Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo over Handke's Nobel win

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 16:05

Austrian writer Peter Handke's Nobel literature prize win on Thursday sparked outrage in Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, where he is widely seen as an admirer of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic. In the 1990s, Handke emerged as a vocal defender of the Serbs during the bloody collapse of the former Yugoslavia, even comparing them to Jews under the Nazis, a remark he later retracted. "Never thought would feel to vomit because of a Nobel Prize," Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on Twitter.

Powerful Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey of New York to retire

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 15:40

Rep. Nita Lowey, the first woman to lead the powerful House Appropriations Committee and a 31-year veteran of Congress, announced Thursday that she will retire at the end of next year. Lowey is a longtime ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and is one of Capitol Hill's old-school dealmakers. "Frankly to have a job that I love so very much made this a very difficult choice," Lowey said in an interview.

Activists Can't Agree on How to Fight Climate Change. The IMF Says Just Do Something.

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 15:34

The IMF says a carbon tax is best to fight climate change but says countries should do what works best for them — so long as they do something.

The Royal Caribbean has named the world's next biggest ocean liner, set for China

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 15:31

Make that five: Royal Caribbean's Oasis class, which is synonymous with some of the biggest cruise ships in the world, will officially welcome in 2021 its newest creation, the name of which was unveiled on October 10, during a keel-laying ceremony held at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. Come 2021, the Royal Caribbean cruise line will be the proud owner of a new ocean liner, dedicated to the Chinese market. It will also be the first of the Oasis class to cruise the waters of the Asia-Pacific.

Trump defends diplomat's wife who killed teenage Briton in crash: 'It happens'

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 15:22

President Trump has defended the wife of a U.S. diplomat who killed a British teenager in a road accident, suggesting it is difficult to drive on the other side of the road and that "we've all done it."

UPDATE 2-GM CEO Barra takes role in talks to end UAW strike

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 15:09

General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra met with senior United Auto Workers officials to discuss the No. 1 U.S. automaker's most recent proposal to end a more than three-week-old strike that has cost it over $1 billion, a union spokesman said on Thursday. Barra met with UAW President Gary Jones and senior union negotiator Terry Dittes on Wednesday at a time when GM had not yet received a formal response to a new offer made on Monday morning, sources briefed on the matter said. GM declined to comment on the meeting, but said progress was being made in the talks.

Ukraine's Zelensky 'breaks record' for world's longest press conference

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 14:57

Volodymyr Zelensky, a popular comedian before he was elected president of Ukraine this spring, promised to bring a fresh kind of politics to the ex-Soviet nation. Around eight hours into the marathon event, Zelensky's first major press conference since coming to power in May, a representative of the agency stood up to deliver the news. The previous record was held by Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, with a press conference that lasted over seven hours, Ukrainian media reported.

A White House adviser is flip-flopping on whether China gave him information on Joe Biden's son after Trump asked Beijing to investigate the Bidens

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 14:45

Michael Pillsbury, an informal White House adviser on China, keeps changing his story about whether Beijing gave him information on the Bidens.

Egypt discovers archaeological industrial zone in Luxor's 'Valley of the Monkeys'

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 14:39

Egypt on Thursday unveiled two archaeological discoveries in Luxor including an industrial zone at the southern city's West Valley, also known as the Valley of the Monkeys. Egyptian archaeologists have discovered 30 workshops in the industrial area, the Ministry of Antiquities said in a statement. The area is "composed of houses for storage and the cleaning of the funerary furniture with many potteries dated to Dynasty 18," the excavation team's leader, Zahi Hawass, said in the statement.

Swath of Atlantic still at risk for tropical development into next week

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 14:19

While the window for tropical systems to brew will soon be closing for some zones in the Atlantic, the risk of tropical development is shifting southward into next week."Two areas we have been monitoring for tropical or subtropical development just off the East Coast of the United States to east of Bermuda are running out of time," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski explained. This image, taken on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, shows much of the tropical Atlantic Basin. There was a non-tropical swirl of clouds well east of Bermuda and a weak, broad area of showers and thunderstorms over the western Caribbean Sea. (NOAA/GOES-East) One such area is a storm located southeast of the New England coast, which has strengthened some Thursday night. Should it continue to gather tropical characteristics into Saturday, it could briefly become a subtropical storm.More long-term, meteorologists are also watching areas in the Caribbean and off the coast of Africa over the next week for possible tropical trouble.Tropical disturbances, or tropical waves, continue to move westward off the coast of Africa every three days or so.These waves make up the Cabo Verde season, which is named for the disturbances that originate near the Cabo Verde Islands just off the west coast of Africa.Even though we are past the peak of the Cabo Verde season and the hurricane season in general, these disturbances and other areas can still evolve into tropical depressions, storms and hurricanes over time."A somewhat stronger tropical wave is forecast to move off the Africa coast this weekend and move westward," Kottlowski said. "There is a low chance this becomes an organized system next week," he added.There remains a broad area of weak counterclockwise winds over the western Caribbean and Central America. This feature is called a gyre.Occasionally, as tropical waves move into this gyre, they have a greater chance at becoming a tropical depression or storm, since there is extra moisture in place and there already is a weak circulation to begin with."As a result, the area from the western Caribbean to Central America, including adjacent eastern Pacific waters, could give birth to a tropical system or two through next week," Kottlowski said."However, the chance of tropical storm formation is probably significantly higher on the Pacific side as opposed to the Caribbean side," Kottlowski added. Hurricane season continues until the end of November, and Kottlowski feels there will be another named system or two over the Atlantic Ocean before the season comes to a close. Download the free AccuWeather app to see the exact forecast for your area. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

'Trey is a joke among us': Gowdy is a divisive addition to Trump's legal team

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 14:08

The president’s decision to bulk up his legal team with former Rep. Trey Gowdy amid a widening impeachment inquiry is drawing criticism from one of his high-profile supporters.

Germany probes synagogue suspect, pledges better security

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:59

German investigators puzzled Thursday over how the suspect in a botched attack on a synagogue on Judaism's holiest day managed to amass at least 4 kilograms (nearly 9 pounds) of explosives and acquire four firearms, an arsenal they said he planned to use in a massacre. While many questions remain about the suspect, German officials sought to reassure a shaken Jewish community after Wednesday's attack in the eastern city of Halle. The attacker, a German identified by prosecutors as Stephan B., tried but failed to force his way into the synagogue as up to 80 people were inside.

Thousands of tarantulas are emerging from the ground in the San Francisco Bay Area, looking for mates

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:51

Each year, tarantulas emerge in the Rockies and California to look for mates. A spate of warm weather in the Bay Area has extended that mating season.

Nobel literature pick heartens liberal Poles in populist era

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:47

The Swedish Academy's decision to bestow the 2018 Nobel Prize in literature on Polish author Olga Tokarczuk has given a rare morale boost to liberal Poles only three days before a national election that is likely to be won by the country's right-wing populist party. Some of her works have celebrated the rich ethnic heritage of Poland, which was a cultural and religious melting pot before the Nazi German genocide during World War II and the postwar resettlement of ethnic populations.

Pence attempts to explain away what the world heard Trump say on White House lawn

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:42

“The president said it on the lawn,” replied a reporter, referencing Trump's call on the White House lawn last week for China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

Warren Calls for Imprisoning Trans Inmates with Biologically Female Inmates in New LGBTQ Rights Plan

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 13:41

Senator Elizabeth Warren called for placing transgender prisoners in detention facilities designed for the opposite biological sex in a new LGBTQ rights plan released Thursday."I will direct the Bureau of Prisons to end the Trump Administration’s dangerous policy of imprisoning transgender people in facilities based on their sex assigned at birth," Warren wrote in the plan.Under the plan, transgender inmates would be placed in detention facilities that correspond to their gender identity rather than their biological sex, and would be entitled to tax-payer funded gender transition surgeries.Both Warren and fellow candidate Joe Biden have expressed support for tax-payer funded transition surgeries before. At a September 20 Iowa LGBTQ conference, Biden said that the surgery should be covered by Obamacare.In January of this year, Warren changed her stance on government-funded transition surgeries after it emerged that she had dismissed the notion that taxpayers should fund the cosmetic procedure in a 2012 interview."I have to say, I don’t think it’s a good use of taxpayer dollars," she said at the time.Bill de Blasio also declared his support for tax-payer funded gender transition surgery in July during his own presidential bid. De Blasio has since dropped out of the Democratic primary field following lackluster poll results.Warren has consistently run to the left of the Democratic field on social issues since beginning her candidacy. On Wednesday she released a plan designed to combat climate change and "climate injustice," pledging to invest $1.5 trillion over a decade to stop global warming and to help minority communities allegedly disproportionately affected by the warming."Our crisis of environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long," the plan states.

500 Years Later, MIT Proves That Da Vinci's Bridge Design Works

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 12:59

If accepted at the time, the design would have likely revolutionized architecture.

Migrant protesters occupy U.S.-Mexico border bridge, close crossing

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 12:53

MATAMOROS-BROWNSVILLE BRIDGE, U.S.-Mexico border, Oct 10 (Reuters) - U .S. asylum seekers camped out in a dangerous Mexican border town occupied a bridge to Brownsville, Texas on Thursday, leading to the closure of the crossing, witnesses and authorities said. Hundreds of the migrants have been camped for weeks on the end of the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, a city known for cartel control of people trafficking and gang violence. Many of those camped out are awaiting court dates for hearings in the United States weeks or months later under a U.S. policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).