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Russian doctor has trace of radiation after explosion

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 11:12

More than 100 Russian medical workers who helped treat victims of a recent mysterious explosion at a military testing range have undergone checks and one man has been found with a trace of radiation, officials said Friday. It was followed by a brief rise in radiation levels in nearby Severodvinsk, but the authorities insisted it didn't pose any danger. The Arkhangelsk regional administration said Friday that 110 medical workers have undergone checks that one man was found with a low amount of radioactive cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.


A man with schizophrenia was found guilty of murdering a Saint Augustine's University student in 1979. 40 years later, a panel of judges decided he's innocent after all.

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 11:05

Blackmon's lawyers argued he was tricked by police and prosecutors into falsely confessing to a crime he didn't commit.


The Latest: Cleric issues edict forbidding US troops in Iraq

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 10:42

A leading Shiite Muslim cleric followed by some Iraqi militants has issued a public religious edict forbidding the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. The fatwa issued Friday by Iran-based Grand Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri comes after Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Iraq accused the United States of being behind recent attacks on their bases and weapons depots in Iraq.


Ex-wife, children of Atlanta surgeon Christopher Edwards found dead in apparent murder-suicide

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:43

Authorities say they believe Marsha Edwards shot Christopher Edwards Jr. and Erin Edwards before turning the gun on herself.


Trump claim doctors treating mass shooting victims 'were coming out of operating rooms' to meet him dismissed by hospitals

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:35

Two hospitals have denied Donald Trump’s claim doctors “were coming out of operating rooms” to meet him when he travelled to Texas and Ohio to console victims of two mass shootings."At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” University Medical Center (UMC) spokesperson Ryan Mielke told local TV station KVIA. “Our priority is always patient care."


Russia's Chechnya inaugurates what it says is Europe's largest mosque

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 09:33

Authorities in the Russian region of Chechnya on Friday inaugurated what they said was the largest mosque in Europe in a pomp-filled ceremony attended by local and foreign officials. Named after the Prophet Mohammed, the marble-decorated mosque has capacity for more than 30,000 people and has been described by the Chechen authorities as the "largest and most beautiful" mosque in Europe. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, said the mosque -- located in Shali, a town of 54,000 just outside the regional capital Grozny -- was "unique in its design, and majestic in its size and beauty".


Metal detectorist finds £10,000 gold ring in garage 40 years after discarding it as worthless

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 08:46

A metal detectorist who discarded a gold ring in his garage for 40 years after a museum told him it was worthless has discovered its real value is £10,000. Tom Clark, 81, dug up the buried treasure while scanning an area of farmland near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, in 1979, then put it inside a metal tin and forgot about it. But the retired leather craftsman came across the rare seal ring eight years ago while sorting through items from his mother's house after she passed away. He got the item valued and was astonished to discover that it was actually a 670-year-old medieval artefact dating back to 1350. It is due to be auctioned off in Derbyshire on Tuesday (Aug 27) and is expected to sell for between £8,500 and £10,000. The turn of events is similar to the plot of BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses, when brothers Del and Rodney come across a watch in their garage which is then auctioned off for millions of pounds. Mr Clark said: "I had completely forgotten about it. At the time I'd only been metal detecting for 10 years and didn't realise the ring was anything special. It was all twisted and broken when I dug it up." He took the rare ring along with some others to a museum to have them valued at the time, but was told they were all fairly modern. "I put them all in a tin and left them in the garage at my mother's house," he said. "A few months ago, I was sorting through some stuff in my own garage that had come from my mother's house and there it was - the tin with the rings in it." Tom is auctioning off the ring, which is expected to make between £8,500 and £10,000 Credit: Hansons / SWNS/Hansons / SWNS Mr Clark, now a much more experienced collector, said he instantly knew it was a seal ring dating back to the 1300s and would have belonged to someone important given its decoration and quality. He added: "It's rare and elegant. I'd love to know who it belonged to." A Latin inscription on the ring translates as 'I hide the true message'. Mark Becher, Historica expert at auctioneer Hansons, said: "It's a fascinating piece of medieval jewellery and I'm delighted Tom rediscovered again after all these years."


The Latest: Baltic protest inspires Hong Kong human chain

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 08:30

Supporters of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement are linking hands across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, inspired by a historic protest 30 years ago in the Baltic states when nearly 2 million people formed a human chain to protest Soviet control. It was the latest protest in a nearly 11-week-old movement that began with calls for the government to scrap an extradition bill and has widened to include demands for full democracy and an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality at protests. China has derided Canada by saying that only those with "ulterior motives" should fear for their safety when traveling in the country.


Trump dismisses recession warnings: 'I always find a way to win'

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 08:19

The president has crowed about the state of the economy despite words of caution from within his administration.


Sitting Pretty

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 08:00


2020 Toyota GR Supra vs. 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350: Which Is the Better Driver's Machine?

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 08:00

Vastly different yet similarly capable, one of these rear-drive sports coupes begs to be driven harder than the other.


Make sure you save your data before deleting an Apple ID account

Macworld - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 08:00

Apparently, one piece of online folk wisdom goes as follows: If you’re having trouble with your Apple ID, just create a new one and abandon the old one. This actually isn't a good idea in most circumstances. It usually makes a bad situation worse.

Apple IDs can be a problem, especially if you have legacy accounts from pre-iCloud Apple cloud services. Apple has made it easier over the years to use one Apple ID for purchases and another for iCloud, which was a big help. The upcoming macOS 10.15 Catalina rejiggers account management so your various Apple IDs are consolidated into a preference pane that replaces the iCloud one, very similar to iOS’s Settings app.

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Putin Needs to Bury This Relic of Stalin

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 07:52

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As Europe marks 80 years of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which carved up eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Russia is trying to defend the agreement again. There is no political benefit to doing this. President Vladimir Putin needs to abandon his Stalinist inheritance of a foreign policy based solely on national interest.If Moscow needed any reminder that many in eastern Europe still hold the treaty against it and still consider it a threat, plenty came on the anniversary. The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania – the countries directly affected by the pact’s secret protocol – issued a joint statement saying the document “sparked World War II and doomed half of Europe to decades of misery.”More than a million people gathered to celebrate the Baltic Chain, the 419-mile (675 kilometer) long line of people who protested Soviet rule on Aug. 23, 1989. The demonstrators didn’t pick that day at random – they, too, were making the point that the subjugation of their countries by the Soviet Union began with the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.Russia is fighting back. In Moscow, the original of the treaty is now exhibited alongside documents relating to both the 1938 Munich Agreement, where British and French leaders sanctioned the Nazi annexation of the Sudetenland, and Poland’s subsequent invasion of part of Czechoslovakia.At the opening of the exhibition earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of Britain and France’s treachery: By cosying up to Hitler, they forced the Soviet Union to sign a deal with the Nazis to ensure its own security, he said. Had the Western Europeans listened to the Soviets and set up a collective security system, the bloodshed of World War II could have been averted. Lavrov was making a clear analogy with Russia’s efforts to build an alternative security architecture in today’s Europe – an idea the Kremlin hasn’t abandoned despite the rest of Europe’s lack of interest.For its part, the Russian mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the group the Kremlin sees as the foundation for its alternative security architecture, tweeted on Aug. 20 that lots of other countries had signed pacts with the Nazis before the Soviet Union did.Kremlin officials can say all this until they go hoarse, but that can’t erase the undeniable fact that the Soviet Union’s security didn’t require it to grab the Baltics and parts of Poland and Romania. Poland, which tried to benefit from the Nazis’ aggression, has admitted it was in the wrong when it invaded part of Czechoslovakia. President Lech Kaczynski apologized for it in 2009.In 1989, the Soviet Union, too, officially condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – but subsequent Russian communications about it, including an entire article signed by Putin himself in the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, have come with the caveat that lots of others were at it, too.These excuses are a major reason other European countries don’t trust Russia: To them, Putin and his subordinates are saying that Moscow would do something like this all over again if its interests dictated it, small countries be damned.Concern this might happen was what drove eastern Europeans into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The reality of the annexation of Crimea – another opportunistic move dictated ostensibly by Russian security considerations – is pushing Ukraine in the same direction.If Putin’s goal was to inspire trust and start a meaningful conversation about collective European security in an age of increasing global competition, an unconditionally apologetic stance would work much better. Refraining from invading neighboring countries would be an even more meaningful step.I suspect, however, that Putin doesn’t really believe in such goals, because, like Stalin, he thinks a deal with the devil, based on common interest rather than trust, is the best.My epiphany about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact came when I read the long-lost diary of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi ideologue and Hitler’s one-time minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Rosenberg was skeptical about the deal and recoiled in horror when fellow Nazi Richard Darre told him of Joachim von Ribbentrop’s comment that he had “felt as though among old party comrades” when meeting the Soviet leadership.Incredulously, Rosenberg recounted that during Ribbentrop’s visit, Stalin raised his glass not just to Hitler but also to Heinrich Himmler, the Nazi security chief, calling him “the guarantor of order in Germany.”“Himmler has eradicated communism, i.e. those who believed in Stalin, and this one – without any need for it – raises a toast to the exterminator of his faithful,” Rosenberg noted.For Stalin, any kind of ideology took a back seat to expediency. He was a man of interests, not values. In that sense, Putin, an avowed anti-communist who has condemned Stalin on many occasions, is following the dictator’s realpolitik. His adherence to his current Orthodox Christian brand of social conservatism is as flimsy as Stalin’s link to leftist idealism was. If Putin can do a deal that will promote what he sees as Russia’s interests, he will do it with anyone. He will wear any hat required of him while doing so, and raise any toast. He is oblivious to Molotov-Ribbentrop’s biggest lesson of all: That such agreements don’t hold.That’s why eastern Europeans, and especially Ukrainians, are so worried about the possibility of a grand bargain between Putin and a U.S. president, most recently Donald Trump. The consequences for them could be comparable to those of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.What’s needed from Russia isn’t an apology for carving up Europe with Hitler, but a different foreign policy is – one in which principles trump interests. Only such a change can bring closer the idealistic vision of a Europe that stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a goal to which both Russian and European leaders still like to refer. And that shift shouldn’t come at a moment of weakness, as it did in the waning years of the Soviet Union. Restoring trust should be a conscious process. It will take some time.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Apple TV+ FAQ: Cost, release date, supported devices, and more

Macworld - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 07:00

This fall, Apple will make a risky venture outside its familiar spheres of hardware and software when it launches Apple TV+. The new service features a wide assortment of TV shows funded by Apple’s mountainous cash pile, and the Cupertino company is sparing no expense in its attempt to lure viewers with some of the best-known actors, writers, and directors.

Below, you’ll find a compendium of everything we know about the ambitious service so far, and we’ll keep it updated as we encounter credible rumors and get news from Apple itself.

How will you access Apple TV+?

Once it launches, you’ll sign up for and watch Apple TV+ content through Apple’s recently redesigned TV app, which will be available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and the Mac—in addition to some supported third-party smart TVs.

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Huawei Puts a Price on Trump’s Aggression

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 06:19

(Bloomberg) -- Huawei Technologies Co. expects U.S. export restrictions to reduce annual revenue at its consumer devices business by about $10 billion, as the company is banned from buying American components like semiconductors and software.China’s largest technology company is seeking ways to replace key U.S. suppliers such as Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Synopsys Inc., Deputy Chairman Eric Xu said Friday. The overall damage to the company will be a “little less” than billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei’s initial estimate, Xu added.Huawei is seeking to develop alternatives after coming under intense pressure from the Trump Administration, which has argued its technology represents a security threat. On Friday, it introduced its most powerful artificial intelligence chipset, the Ascend 910, which is poised to rival some of the best offerings from Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp. Earlier this month, it offered the first glimpse of an in-house software -- HarmonyOS -- that may someday replace Google’s Android.The company is also researching ways to replace chip-design software tools offered by Cadence and Synopsys, Xu told a news briefing in Shenzhen without elaborating. “There were no chip design tools 10 years ago, but the industry still developed chips,” said Xu, who argued that Cadence and Synopsys were not must-haves for design. “Intel started to develop chips in the 1970s, when those companies didn’t exist.”Since May, Huawei has occupied the uncomfortable position of being both an established global brand and a member of the U.S. Entity List, which bars it from trading freely with American suppliers. Despite a series of 90-day reprieves, the latest of which came this week, the uncertainty caused by American sanctions has already cost the company a great deal.Even if Huawei is eventually brought in from the cold, the impact of this summer’s upheaval will be widespread and painful. Already, it reported slower sales growth in the second quarter compared to the first as the ban started to bite, especially into a consumer business encompassing smartphones and laptops. That in turn is accelerating Huawei’s effort to become self-reliant.One area in which the Chinese company is rapidly developing in-house expertise is semiconductors, propelling Beijing’s ambitions of weaning itself off foreign chips. HiSilicon -- Huawei’s chip design subsidiary -- has been developing its capabilities for a long time, and it’s recently grown into the second largest customer (after Apple Inc.) for the world’s biggest chip manufacturing contractor Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Huawei has also elevated the presence of home-grown technologies throughout its product line -- from base stations to smartphones and servers -- as a key step to limiting the damage of the U.S. ban.The Ascend 910 processor unveiled Friday is a show of technological prowess. It will be used for AI model training, and Huawei says it outperforms all existing competition. Xu proclaimed that “without a doubt, it has more computing power than any other AI processor in the world.” The company also unveiled MindSpore, an AI computing framework that -- along with the 910 -- is supposedly twice as fast as Google’s TensorFlow.”The May 16 sanctions incident had no impact on the execution of Huawei’s AI strategy nor commercialization of AI products,” said Xu. “Our R&D project related to AI is building up steadily.”(Updates with Ascend’s specs from the third paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin Chan, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Shoot to thrill: Three camera features the iPhone should add

Macworld - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 06:00

In the era of the personal computer, we worshipped at the altar of processor speeds, RAM capacity, and hard drive space. But in the era of the smartphone, none of these items are as important as they once were. Instead, we are more concerned about what their devices can do, and chief among those capabilities is taking great pictures.

Look back over the past few years of smartphone announcements from industry leaders like Samsung, Google, and, of course, Apple, and you’ll see cameras occupying a lot of time in onstage demos as well as a prominent position in smartphone marketing and ads.

With the unveiling of Apple’s 2019 iPhone line-up a matter of weeks away, many anticipate a big improvement in the devices’ cameras. That’s no surprise: every time a new phone rolls around, Apple always touts it as featuring the best camera ever. Because as good as the current iPhone’s camera is, there’s always room for improvement.

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Smoke forces Hawaii Airlines Airbus to make emergency landing

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 05:43

A Hawaiian Airlines jetliner made an emergency landing in Honolulu on Thursday after smoke filled the cabin and cargo hold, and seven people were taken to hospital, officials said. Hawaiian Airlines Flight 47, an Airbus A321neo flying from Oakland, California, was about 20 minutes away from its scheduled noon landing in Honolulu when an emergency was declared, officials said. There was no official explanation of the cause of the incident but Hawaii News Now, citing an airline spokesman, said online that a seal on the left engine failed and leaked oil onto hot engine parts.


Family of detained UK consulate worker rejects 'made-up' report

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 05:27

The family of a staffer at the UK consulate in Hong Kong have rejected a "made-up" report by Chinese state media that he was detained in the mainland for visiting prostitutes. Simon Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since. The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen, which lies on the China-Hong Kong border.


Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 03:01

Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region. Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia. Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.


Joe Biden inspires no one – not even his own wife

Top Stories - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 03:00

Can we stop pretending that Joe Biden is the inevitable 2020 candidate?‘Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0.’ Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/APMuch like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.Biden’s fundraising picture also looks less rosy than it did back in May. He’s still the preferred choice of big party donors, but grassroots enthusiasm is receding. After raising an impressive $4.6m online on this first day of his campaign in April, things have slowed to a trickle. As Politico reports, Biden’s median online daily fundraising by the end of June was just $67,000 a day, considerably below Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.> The case for Biden’s invincibility is baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 80sSanders is an especially important benchmark for Biden. They seem to be competing over much the same base – working class, diverse, not college educated – and either would benefit from the other’s downfall. Despite a narrative earlier this summer of campaign dysfunction and imminent collapse, recent polls have showed that the Vermont senator in a steady position within striking distance of Biden. Sanders has a rabid base of volunteers, superior online fundraising infrastructure, and his existing support may even be undercounted by most polls.Yet the media narrative continues to paint Sanders as a fringe pariah and Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate. It’s reminiscent of the 2016 Republican primaries, in which Donald Trump was considered an unserious candidate whose support was continually underestimated. The serious commentators kept waiting for an establishment wave of moderate Republicans to make first Jeb Bush, then Marco Rubio, and then even Ted Cruz happen.The case for Biden’s invincibility is especially baffling – he’s been running for the Democratic nomination (and losing) since the 1980s. It simply boils down to Obama coalition supporters (particularly black and brown voters) going with the most familiar face to rid of Trump era upheavals.But electability is just one element of what voters are looking for, and Biden is running on nothing else. He has failed to adequately address his past positions in favor of Medicare and Social Security cuts, his engineering of loathed free trade deals, or his opposition to important desegregation measures.While other candidates are galvanizing people around Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and calls to redistribute wealth and power from the 1% to working Americans, Biden is offering nothing. Poke one hole in his electability bubble and his campaign looks ready to implode.This early in the race things are constantly changing – many people are still undecided and won’t start paying attention until much later on – so we would do ourselves a lot of good not to live and die with every poll. However, if there is one lesson from the 2016 general election worth remembering it’s this: most people might have not liked Donald Trump, but he gave those who did a real reason to turn out on Election Day. He was a candidate with very obvious convictions running against someone who seemed to focus group and triangulate her every position.Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton 2.0. Perhaps Trump’s time in office has been enough of a disaster that idea-avoidance will work this time. But if voters want to be inspired, they’ll turn elsewhere or just stay at home again. Who knows, Jill Biden might even join them. * Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor of Jacobin magazine and a Guardian US columnist. He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality


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