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Shanann's Dad Thanks Community-Keep Praying update
hilaryl
2018-08-20    2K views
Shanan Watt's father/Frank Rzucek: We would like to thank everyone in the Frederick Police Department and all the agencies involved for working so hard to find my daughter, granddaughters, and ?Nico?. Thank you everyone for coming out to the candlelight vigil and saying all your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. And keep the prayers coming for our family. Thank you very much.
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Shanann's Dad Thanks Community-Keep Praying
hilaryl
2018-08-20    0 views
Shanan Watt's father/Frank Rzucek: We would like to thank everyone in the Frederick Police Department and all the agencies involved for working so hard to find my daughter, granddaughters, and ?Nico?. Thank you everyone for coming out to the candlelight vigil and saying all your prayers. They are greatly appreciated. And keep the prayers coming for our family. Thank you very much.
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Chris Watts Charged-Charges Read
hilaryl
2018-08-20    596 views
Michael Rourke/District Attorney: Three counts of murder in the first degree after deliberation. One count naming Shanann Watts. One count naming Bella. One count naming Celeste. Each of those as a class one felony. We also filed two counts of first degree murder of a child under the age of 12 by a person in a position of trust. Obviously you can tell based upon the elements of those in the description that those counts named Bella and Celeste as victims. Those are both also class one felonies. We filed one count of unlawful tampering, excuse me, unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the first degree which is a class 2 felony as a result of Shanann being pregnant at the time of her death. We filed three counts of tampering with a deceased human body each of which is a class 3 felony. Each of which count obviously names Shanann, Bella and Celeste as victims.
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Asia Argento Reportedly Abused, Paid Off 17-Year-Old
hilaryl
2018-08-20    636 views
Actress Asia Argento reportedly paid off a 17-year-old actor after having consensual sex with him in a California hotel room in 2013.

According to documents sent to the New York Times, the 42-year-old actress had an encounter with 17-year-old actor and musician Jimmy Bennett at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey, California. Argento was 37 at the time.

Based on a letter of intent to sue sent to Argento’s lawyers by Bennet’s lawyer in November 2017, the young man sought $3.5 million for the intentional infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery. The age of consent in California is 18 years of age.

The pair had known each other for a decade at the time. Bennett played Argento’s son in the 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, when Bennett was 7-years old.

The documents claim that Argento paid the actor #380,000 as per an agreement reached between Bennett and Argento’s lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, in April, 2018

Niether Argento, her lawyers, not Bennet would consent to an interview. Bennet’s lawyer, Gordon K. Sattro, emailed the Times saying “In the coming days Jimmy will continue doing what he has been doing over the past months and years, focusing on his music.”

Video Credit: Hollywood Reporter
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Miss America: Leadership Bullied, Manipulated, Silenced Me
hilaryl
2018-08-17    23 views
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—The reigning Miss America says she has been bullied, manipulated and silenced by the pageant's current leadership, including Gretchen Carlson.

In a letter sent Friday to former Miss Americas, Cara Mund says she decided to speak out despite the risk of punishment.

Her letter is reminiscent of the movie "Mean Girls," in which characters Gretchen and Regina bully the heroine and make her life miserable. That's what happened to her in real life, Mund wrote. Gretchen Carlson is chairwoman of the Miss America Organization; Regina Hopper is its CEO.

Her letter exponentially increased the turmoil surrounding the pageant three weeks before the next Miss America is to be crowned in Atlantic City.

"Let me be blunt: I strongly believe that my voice is not heard nor wanted by our current leadership; nor do they have any interest in knowing who I am and how my experiences relate to positioning the organization for the future," Mund wrote. "Our chair and CEO have systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis. After a while, the patterns have clearly emerged, and the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion has taken a serious toll."

Bullied and Manipulated

Mund said she's been left out of interviews, not invited to meetings and called the wrong name. When she obliquely hinted at trouble with pageant leadership in an interview earlier this month with The Press of Atlantic City, Mund said she was swiftly punished by having her televised farewell speech cut to 30 seconds, and was told a dress she had been approved to wear in the traditional "show us your shoes" parade cannot be worn.

This year's competition will not include swimsuits, and pageant officials from at least 19 states have called for the current leadership to resign.

There was no immediate response from The Miss America Organization or from Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper, who were singled out in Mund's letter.

"Right away, the new leadership delivered an important message: There will be only one Miss America at a time, and she isn't me," Mund wrote.

Mund, who was Miss North Dakota and won the crown on a platform of increasing the number of women elected to political office, said she was treated better by the previous Miss America leadership that was forced from power after sending emails ridiculing the appearance, intellect and sex lives of former Miss Americas.

She cites examples of mistreatment including being excluded from the nationally televised announcement that swimsuits were being eliminated—even though she was with Carlson at the TV studio where it was made. She says pageant handlers ridiculed her clothing choices and chided her for wearing the same outfits too often. When she reached out to former Miss Americas to see if they had been treated similarly, "I was reprimanded by Regina who told me that problems and concerns had to be kept 'in the family.' "
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South Korea Government Bans Uninspected BMW Vehicles
hilaryl
2018-08-15    0 views
South Korea is banning some 20,000 BMW vehicles, as public fears rise over engine fires in the vehicles.

A series of 27 engines inside the German vehicles have gone up in flames between January and July this year.

BMW says it has found the root cause of the fires, and its Korea unit apologized last week.

The company said in a statement that the fires stem from an Exhaust-Gas-Recirculation (EGR) module malfunction. The malfunction “may, in rare cases, cause fires in some BMW diesel vehicles,” it stated.

“Part of this EGR module is the EGR cooler. In some cases, small quantities of the glycol coolant can escape and build up in the EGR module. When combined with carbon and oil sediments, this deposit can become combustible. With the high temperatures of the exhaust gases in this unit, these deposits can ignite. In rare cases, this may cause melting of the intake manifold and in extreme cases a fire may result.”

The company announced a planned recall of 106,317 diesel vehicles beginning next week, including its 520d model, reported Yonhap.

The German carmaker had not been able to complete inspection of 27,246 of the models as of midnight Aug. 13, South Korean officials said.

“With concerns over additional engine fires in BMW cars increasing, the central government has requested regional authorities issue an order to suspend the operation of uninspected BMW vehicles starting Wednesday, together with an order to put them under safety checks,” Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee said in a publicly broadcast press conference.

“I am asking owners of the BMW cars subject to the recall to actively cooperate to prevent bigger accidents, despite your inconvenience.”

The South Korean government said they’re running their own separate probe into the defects, and owners hit by the ban must be off the road once a notice arrives in the mail. They can only drive the vehicles for the purpose of inspections.

In the European market, the malfunction affected the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, X3, X4, X5, and X6 vehicles with 4-cylinder diesel engines (production from April 2015 until September 2016) and 6-cylinder diesel engines (production from July 2012 until June 2015).

South Korea is a relatively small auto market, but it sees major sales for premium cars.

BMW is the second-most popular foreign brand of vehicle to Mercedes in the country and has seen its sales in 2017 more than double from five years ago.

Audi Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz are expected to gain market shares in South Korea due to concerns over the fires.
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Youths Set Fire to Cars in Violence Across Southwest Sweden
hilaryl
2018-08-14    12 views
STOCKHOLM—As many as 100 cars have been burned in southwest Sweden in what both police and witnesses have described as a coordinated operation.

Most of the cars were torched in two different suburbs of Gothenburg on Monday, Aug. 13, but a group of youths also set fire to cars, tires, and pallets, and blocked passages and threw rocks at the police in the city of Trollhättan further north. There were also minor incidents in other southwestern cities.

So far, two young men have been arrested and a third person is wanted by the police, Dan Windt of the South Gothenburg police told Swedish Television (SVT). Three minors who participated at the Trollhättan incident have also been identified.

The motives are as yet unclear. The summer has been relatively calm so far, with no major incidents that required police intervention. Previous similar attacks have often been a response to police action against local gang activity.

“We cannot link tonight’s events to any specific action. Neither can we link the events to any particular gang. At first glance, it seems like a number of individuals decided to intentionally burn the cars of locals,” South Gothenburg police wrote on their Facebook page.

The most serious incident happened at Frölunda torg in the southern part of Gothenburg. Several people filmed and photographed a small group of masked individuals who systematically burned cars at a shopping mall parking lot. They also set off firecrackers.

“I saw three or four black-clad guys. One of them threw a Molotov cocktail at a car, which lit up instantly. Then I heard a loud bang,” an eyewitness told Göteborgstidningen.

Car torchings have become a fairly common phenomenon in Sweden, particularly in certain crime-plagued suburbs of major cities, but Monday’s attacks were an extreme event.

“[We] cannot rule out that there is a connection between these incidents,” South Gothenburg police wrote on their Facebook page. Several police spokespeople and politicians have also noted the apparent coordination, but it is unclear which of the different incidents might be coordinated, how, and to what end.

The apparent coordination, and the fact that the attacks come amidst a heated and bitter election campaign, sparked online speculation about political provocations or even some kind of “false flag” operation. Theories ranging from neo-Nazis to Russian provocateurs have been aired, but police spokesperson Ulla Brehm told SVT that they currently don’t believe the attacks were organized by anyone other than local youths.

Burning cars in suburbs with high crime rates and a high migrant population have become something of a symbol of Sweden’s immigration-related problems. Immigration and crime are high-profile issues in the upcoming general election on Sept. 9.

Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven condemned the “thuggish behavior” of the perpetrators at a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 14 and promised a tough government response. In an interview with Swedish Radio he said, “My question to these people is: What the hell are you doing? … You’re ruining things for yourselves, your parents, the whole area, and your neighbors.”
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Residents of Paris Neighborhoods Voice Outrage Over Very Public Eco-Friendly Urinals
hilaryl
2018-08-14    23 views
Paris: the Eiffel Tower, historic streets, tourists and now bright red street urinals.

It was meant to be Paris' environmentally-friendly solution to a problem plaguing many cities.

But this new style of street urinal has residents of one upmarket district well … pissed.

The bright red 'Uritrottoir' - a French contraction of urinal and sidewalk - is being trailed across Paris.

It's the city council's response to the scourge of public peeing.

The device, essentially a planter with an opening in the front and a floral display on top, contains straw which transforms into compost for later use in parks and gardens.

But Ile Saint-Louis locals and tourists alike say the receptacle, with no stall around it of any kind, could blight the ultra-chic neighborhood.

SPANISH TOURIST AND PUBLICIST, ANTONIO, SAYING:

"I have some doubts about the fact that it's not very private. And also I don't know how they are going to solve the issue of the smell."

(SOUNDBITE) (French) 28-YEAR-OLD DEVELOPMENT MANAGER AT A PRODUCTION COMPANY, MOUNIA, SAYING:

"It is definitely a desirable and historic neighbourhood but seeing people urinating right in front of your door is not the nicest thing."

The local council, under pressure to remove the Uritrottoir, told French media Tuesday (August 14) that the suitability of this particular location would be reviewed in September.
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First Lady Melania Trump’s Parents Are Now US Citizens
hilaryl
2018-08-10    154 views
First Lady Melania Trump’s parents were sworn in as U.S. citizens on Aug. 9.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, both in their 70s, took the citizenship oath in New York City, their lawyer confirmed. The couple had been living in the U.S. as permanent residents. Viktor, 74, previously worked as a car dealer, while his wife Amalija, 73, worked in a textile factory.

“They have travailed a wonderful journey, like most have, millions have in getting citizenship and waiting the requisite period of time,” the couple’s lawyer Michael Wildes told reporters.

“The application, the process, the interview is no different than anybody else’s other than security arrangements to facilitate today.”

The couple was escorted from the ceremony at a Manhattan federal building by Homeland Security police.

There was speculation about the couple applying for citizenship in May after being seen at a building which houses offices for federal immigration officials with their immigration lawyer.

The First Lady was not present at her parents’ citizenship ceremony. Her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, declined to comment, saying Viktor and Amalija “are not part of the administration and deserve privacy.”

The Knavses raised Melania, who was named Melanija at birth, in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under Communist rule.
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Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private in tweet, shares rise
hilaryl
2018-08-07    0 views
Elon Musk is considering taking Tesla private, the electric car maker's chief executive tweeted on Tuesday (August 7).

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk said.

At $420 per share, a deal would represent a 22.8 percent premium to Tesla's closing price on Monday (August 6), making it one of the biggest go-private deals with a price tag of about $72 billion.

Tesla's shares were up 6.5 percent at $363.46. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close. Musk owns nearly 20 percent of the company.

Separately, Financial Times reported on Tuesday Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has built an undisclosed stake of between 3 and 5 percent stake in Tesla.
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3 Moms Arrested After 11 Children Found in ‘Filthy’ New Mexico Compound
hilaryl
2018-08-06    1K views
The three mothers of the 11 malnourished children found living in a filthy New Mexico compound were arrested and charged along with two men described as heavily armed” Muslim “extremists” after authorities raided the property in search of a 4-year-old boy.

Five people, including three mothers, were charged with child abuse after officials rescued 11 children from a makeshift compound in New Mexico, according to local officials.

Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, in an Aug. 4 statement, said that officials found the “occupants were most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief.” The children, who were aged 1 to 15, looked like “third-world-country refugees” and had only “dirty rags for clothing,” said Hogrefe.

Three women who are believed to be the mothers of the 11 children were arrested. They were identified as Jany Leveille, 35; Hujrah Wahhaj, 38; and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35.

“I believed this would most likely be the path that we would take and stand by my original decision to bring charges after CYFD investigators had an opportunity to conduct their independent investigation, which included interviews and obtaining information such as health and medical needs of the children from the three mothers,” said Hogrefe on Aug. 6.

Two males, Siraj Wahhaj and Lucas Morton, were also arrested in connection with the incident.

No Food, Water, Shoes
The sheriff said that only a few potatoes and a box of rice were found in the “filthy” compound. Officials described it as a travel trailer buried in the dirt, covered in plastic, and ringed with tires. There was no plumbing or electricity on-site.

The people in the compound had “no shoes, personal hygiene, and basically dirty rags for clothing,” Hogrefe said.

“We all gave the kids our water and what snacks we had–it was the saddest living conditions and poverty I have seen,” he continued.

The search of the property took place as part of a search for 4-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, who vanished last year. His mother reported him missing after Siraj Wahhaj took the child to a park in Clayton County, Georgia, and did not return home, according to The Albuquerque Journal.

The boy wasn’t located at the New Mexico compound.

Hogrefe said the move to search the facility came after a Georgia investigator forwarded a message to him in which someone at the compound told another person that people there were starving and needed water.

“The message sent to a third party simply said in part, ‘We are starving and need food and water,’” Hogrefe said. “I absolutely knew that we couldn’t wait on another agency to step up and we had to go check this out as soon as possible.”

Wahhaj, meanwhile, was armed with an “AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket” when police arrived, according to Hogrefe.

Credit: CNN
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The First Ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom Inspires Hope
hilaryl
2018-07-31    12 views
The freedom of belief was at the center of the United States’ founding. It’s at the center of the U.S. constitution. And the Trump administration has put it as a top priority in its foreign policy agenda.

[[Mike Pompeo, State Department ZaSecretary]]
“The United States advances religious freedom in our foreign policy because it is not exclusively an American right. It is a God-given universal right bestowed on all of mankind.”

In an effort to promote that right, the State Department held its first Ministerial on Religious Freedom July 24 to 26 in Washington, D.C.

[[Mike Pence, US Vice President]]: [[7:55-8:06]]
“As President Trump has said on many occasions, the United States of America is a “nation of faith,” and religious freedom is a top priority of this administration.”

[[Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State]]:
“When religious freedom flourishes, a country flourishes.”

Representatives from over 80 countries attended the event, including victims of religious persecution who shared their stories.

Marziyeh Amirizadeh [[11:27-
“We spent 259 days in Evin prison, one of the most notorious prisons in Iran.”

[[Monir Khanjani, Niece of[Jamaloddin Khanjani]] [6:03--6:12]]
“We would hear regularly of arrests, executions, and looting of Baha’i homes and businesses.”

Maryam Rostampour [[16:23--16:26]]
“All the Iranians are experiencing different forms of persecution and suffering.”

It wasn’t just Iran that was highlighted though. The governments of Russia, Iraq, Nicaragua, Sudan, Turkey, North Korea, and particularly China were held up as violators of religious freedom.

[[Mike Pence, U.S Vice President]] [[14:50 -14:56]]
“For nearly 70 years, the Tibetan people have been brutally repressed by the Chinese government.”

[[Frank Wolf, Retired U.S. Representative]] [[55:06-55:17]]
“Falun Gong are facing severe persecution and there are actually reports of organ harvesting where they kill him and they take your organs for sale.”

[[Mike Pence, U.S Vice President]] [[15:32--15:42]]
“Sadly, as we speak as well, Beijing is holding hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions, of Uyghur Muslims in so-called “re-education camps.”

[[Frank Wolf, Retired U.S. Representative]] [55:43-55:51]]
“For me as a follower of Jesus scripture gives little choice but to respond to the oppression.”

Regarding Turkey, news of a positive development came out on the last day of the ministerial.

[[Sam Brownbeck, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom]]
[[00:17--00:28]]
“Well, you’re already having an impact it appears. Reuters is reporting that an American Pastor who has been detained in Turkey for nearly 2 years has been put out on house arrest.”

Secretary Pompeo said that the U.S. is in conversation with Turkey to bring Pastor Andrew Brunson home.

[[Mike Pence, U.S. Vice President]]
“If Turkey does not take immediate action to free this innocent man of faith and send him home to America, the United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free.”

Day one of the Ministerial was about learning how to tap into government and private sector resources. On day two, participants shared stories, advice, and expertise. And day 3 was about identifying barriers to religious freedom and how to overcome them.

USAID Administrator Mark Green said that by merely holding such an event, it spreads hope to those persecuted for their faith around the world.

[[Mark Green, USAID Administrator]] [[36:25-36:32]]
“Of course, hope is insufficient if it is unaccompanied by action.”

There were several concrete actions the U.S. will take announced at the ministerial.

[[Mike Pence, US Secretary of State]]
“It’s my privilege as vice president to announce today that the United States of America will establish the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response Program, effective today. Under this new program, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development will closely partner with local faith and community leaders to rapidly deliver aid to persecuted communities, beginning with
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EU Slaps Sanctions on Six Russian Firms Over Crimea Bridge-Update
hilaryl
2018-07-31    3 views
The European Union has imposed asset freezes on six Russian firms for their involvement in the construction of a new road-and-rail bridge linking Russia to the annexed Crimean Peninsula, which the bloc says is illegal.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 after Ukraine's pro-Russian president was toppled in an uprising. The West condemned the seizure as an illegal annexation and retaliated against Moscow with sanctions.

After the annexation, the Kremlin ordered the building of a $3.6 billion bridge to link the peninsula to Russia.

The bridge, part of which was unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin in May, has drawn strong rebuke from the EU, which calls it a further violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.
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EU's Moscovici says trade differences persist after G20 talks
hilaryl
2018-07-22    0 views
European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday (July 22) that differences of position on trade tensions remained after talks among G20 finance ministers in Argentina but the meeting was not tense.

Moscovici said that global trade tensions were high and threatened to escalate further, placing the multilateral system under significant pressure. He said, however, that the economic impact had been limited so far.

"The meeting has not been tense and we were in mutual listening mode and I hope that this is the beginning of something," Moscovici said. "But still the positions are not similar."

Also during the meetings, finance ministers and central bankers from the world's largest economies meeting in Argentina said heightened trade and geopolitical tensions pose an increased risk to global growth and have called for greater dialogue, according to a draft communique from the meeting.

The draft reviewed by Reuters, which is still subject to possible revisions, also noted that emerging market economies are better prepared to adjust to external shocks but they still face challenges from market volatility and reversals of capital flows.
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Syrian "White Helmets" evacuated to Jordan
hilaryl
2018-07-22    4 views
A group of Syrian 'White Helmet' rescue workers has been evacuated to Jordan.

They're among 800 people the Kingdom is allowing in temporarily before they're settled in Western countries.

Israeli officials said they helped facilitate the mission because there was a "immediate threat to their lives and families."

Damascus forces are advancing against rebels in southwest Syria, and the White Helmets work to save civilians in rebel-held areas.

On Saturday, Israeli security forces closed down roads in the occupied Golan Heights on the Syrian border, ahead of the operation.

A spokesperson for the Jordanian Kingdom said it had allowed the UN to arrange the entry for the Syrian refugees.

He added that Britain, Germany and Canada had agreed to resettle them within three months.

The White Helmets are credited with saving thousands of lives and were nominated for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.
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Pompeo Warns Countries Against Abandoning North Korea Sanctions-Update
hilaryl
2018-07-21    0 views
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today that while the United States is committed to maintaining sanctions on North Korea until it dismantles its nuclear arsenal, some countries have broken agreed-upon sanctions by providing petroleum to the rogue regime above and beyond what is allowed.

Speaking in New York on Friday, he briefed the U.N. Security Council on his trip to North Korea earlier this month. He also met with South Korea’s ambassador to the U.N. and Japan’s foreign minister at the South Korean Mission to the U.N.

At a joint press briefing with U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Hayley, Pompeo said that they will continue to press other countries to uphold the sanctions until North Korea makes good on its promises.

“We must also crack down on other forms of sanctions evasion, including the smuggling of coal by sea, smuggling by overland borders, and the presence of North Korean guest workers in certain countries,” he said. “North Korean cyber thefts and other criminal activities are also generating significant revenues for the regime, and they must be stopped.”

The United States tried to stop further shipments of refined petroleum products to North Korea, but the measure was blocked by Russia and China, which are also U.N. Security Council members, Hayley said.

“For China and Russia to block it, what are they telling us?” she said. “Are they telling us that they want to continue supplying this oil?”

Neither she nor Pompeo named the countries accused of skirting the sanctions, but Hayley did say they have images of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum, the primary way North Korea is getting around the sanctions, Pompeo said.

“These transfers happened at least 89 times in the first five months of this year and they continue to occur. The United States reminds every U.N. member-state of its responsibility to stop illegal ship-to-ship transfers, and we urge them to step up their enforcement efforts as well,” he said.

In February, the U.S. government released an advisory that listed 27 businesses it said were involved in illegally supplying oil to North Korea, mostly through ship-to-ship transfers. The countries where those ships were either flagged, registered, or caught are North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama, and Comoros.

Citing a China-based source, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Thursday that China has nearly doubled its exports of crude oil to North Korea since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited there in June.

That report follows remarks by President Trump, who said that China may be loosening its border in respect to North Korea, bringing fears in the international community that China could be giving North Korea a lifeline that would scuttle international efforts at denuclearization.

“China must continue to be strong & tight on the Border of North Korea until a deal is made,” he tweeted in May. “The word is that recently the Border has become much more porous and more has been filtering in.”

After Pompeo’s visit to North Korea earlier this month, an unnamed official with the foreign ministry was quoted by state-run KCNA as saying that the United States was using “gangster-like” tactics to get North Korea to stop its nuclear program, adding that the United States’ attitude was “extremely troubling.”

Pomeo has repeatedly brushed off those remarks, and Trump has suggested they may have been instigated by China, which is smarting from tariffs the U.S. recently imposed on Chinese goods.
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New Law in Baltimore Bars Sodas From Kids' Menus
hilaryl
2018-07-21    0 views
Restaurants in Baltimore are now officially barred from including sodas and other sugary drinks on kids' menus, according to a city ordinance that went into effect Wednesday.

Baltimore is now the biggest U.S. city and the first on the East Coast to pass this kind of measure, said Shawn McIntosh, director of the Sugar Free Kids Maryland advocacy group. Seven California cities and Lafayette, Colorado, have enacted similar ordinances, according to health officials.

Milk, 100 percent fruit juices, water, and flavored or sparkling water without added sweeteners must now be the default beverages for kids' meals at Baltimore eateries. Mayor Catherine Pugh signed the legislation earlier this year.

The ordinance is intended to stop youngsters' overconsumption of sugary drinks, perceived as a key factor in high rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

"Taking out empty calories from sugary drinks is a powerful lifestyle change we can make to help our children to get and stay healthy. This law will help families make the healthy choice the easy choice," Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said in a statement.

One in four Baltimore children currently down at least one soda each day, according to Sugar Free Kids Maryland. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in three school-aged kids in the city is obese.

Baltimore restaurants that don't comply with the ordinance will be faced with a $100 penalty, McIntosh said. She said eateries "have hopefully gotten on board" already and changed their printed menus for kids, but they're not expected to have fully made that switch by Wednesday.

"They have to at least put a sticker on, have signage. Their online menus have to be changed because that's an easy fix. So they're not expecting them to print all new menus by today," she said.

Youngsters can still drink soda at city restaurants if an accompanying adult orders it for them.

The "Healthy Beverages for Children's Meals" ordinance was opposed by the Restaurant Association of Maryland. In a Wednesday email, association vice president Melvin Thompson said "public policy that interferes with the minutiae of restaurant operations exacerbates the business challenges already facing city restaurants."
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Pompeo Warns Countries Against Abandoning North Korea Sanctions
hilaryl
2018-07-21    2 views
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said today that while the United States is committed to maintaining sanctions on North Korea until it dismantles its nuclear arsenal, some countries have broken agreed-upon sanctions by providing petroleum to the rogue regime above and beyond what is allowed.

Speaking in New York on Friday, he briefed the U.N. Security Council on his trip to North Korea earlier this month. He also met with South Korea’s ambassador to the U.N. and Japan’s foreign minister at the South Korean Mission to the U.N.

At a joint press briefing with U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Hayley, Pompeo said that they will continue to press other countries to uphold the sanctions until North Korea makes good on its promises.

“We must also crack down on other forms of sanctions evasion, including the smuggling of coal by sea, smuggling by overland borders, and the presence of North Korean guest workers in certain countries,” he said. “North Korean cyber thefts and other criminal activities are also generating significant revenues for the regime, and they must be stopped.”

The United States tried to stop further shipments of refined petroleum products to North Korea, but the measure was blocked by Russia and China, which are also U.N. Security Council members, Hayley said.

“For China and Russia to block it, what are they telling us?” she said. “Are they telling us that they want to continue supplying this oil?”

Neither she nor Pompeo named the countries accused of skirting the sanctions, but Hayley did say they have images of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum, the primary way North Korea is getting around the sanctions, Pompeo said.

“These transfers happened at least 89 times in the first five months of this year and they continue to occur. The United States reminds every U.N. member-state of its responsibility to stop illegal ship-to-ship transfers, and we urge them to step up their enforcement efforts as well,” he said.

In February, the U.S. government released an advisory that listed 27 businesses it said were involved in illegally supplying oil to North Korea, mostly through ship-to-ship transfers. The countries where those ships were either flagged, registered, or caught are North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama, and Comoros.

Citing a China-based source, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported on Thursday that China has nearly doubled its exports of crude oil to North Korea since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited there in June.

That report follows remarks by President Trump, who said that China may be loosening its border in respect to North Korea, bringing fears in the international community that China could be giving North Korea a lifeline that would scuttle international efforts at denuclearization.

“China must continue to be strong & tight on the Border of North Korea until a deal is made,” he tweeted in May. “The word is that recently the Border has become much more porous and more has been filtering in.”

After Pompeo’s visit to North Korea earlier this month, an unnamed official with the foreign ministry was quoted by state-run KCNA as saying that the United States was using “gangster-like” tactics to get North Korea to stop its nuclear program, adding that the United States’ attitude was “extremely troubling.”

Pomeo has repeatedly brushed off those remarks, and Trump has suggested they may have been instigated by China, which is smarting from tariffs the U.S. recently imposed on Chinese goods.
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US left UN Human Rights Council
hilaryl
2018-07-20    48 views
"We are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, an organization that is not worthy of its name." -- Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN
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Seventeen dead after Missouri tourist boat sinks in storm
hilaryl
2018-07-20    10K views
Divers on Friday pulled the last four bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank in a storm in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest U.S. tourist incidents in recent years.

The World War Two-style amphibious vehicle was filled with 31 passengers including children when a microburst storm hit Table Rock Lake outside the tourist city of Branson, Missouri, on Thursday. A video of the incident showed it battered by waves.

Wendy Doucey, an office manager at the Stone County sheriff's office, said that divers had recovered the four bodies from the sunken duck boat. The vehicle was 80 feet under water.

"It's important that we find out for sure what events did occur," Governor Michael Parson said at a Friday morning news conference. "Today it's just still early."

The incident began around 7 p.m. on Thursday after thunderstorms rolled through the area, when two duck boats were out on the lake, officials said. Both headed back to shore but only one made it.

"From what I understand there was life jackets in the duck," Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told the press conference. He declined to answer questions about whether passengers on the duck had been wearing them at the time.

The National Transportation Safety Board and U.S. Coast Guard are investigating, officials said. Rader noted that the boat's captain survived the sinking but the driver did not.

Officials did not comment on the identities or ages of the other people who drowned.
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Seventeen dead after Missouri tourist boat sinks in storm
hilaryl
2018-07-20    8K views
Divers on Friday pulled the last four bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank in a storm in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest U.S. tourist incidents in recent years.

The World War Two-style amphibious vehicle was filled with 31 passengers including children when a microburst storm hit Table Rock Lake outside the tourist city of Branson, Missouri, on Thursday. A video of the incident showed it battered by waves.

Wendy Doucey, an office manager at the Stone County sheriff's office, said that divers had recovered the four bodies from the sunken duck boat. The vehicle was 80 feet (24 m) under water.

"It's important that we find out for sure what events did occur," Governor Michael Parson said at a Friday morning news conference. "Today it's just still early."

The incident began around 7 p.m. (0000 GMT) on Thursday after thunderstorms rolled through the area, when two duck boats were out on the lake, officials said. Both headed back to shore but only one made it.

"From what I understand there was life jackets in the duck," Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told the press conference. He declined to answer questions about whether passengers on the duck had been wearing them at the time.

The National Transportation Safety Board and U.S. Coast Guard are investigating, officials said. Rader noted that the boat's captain survived the sinking but the driver did not.

Officials did not comment on the identities or ages of the other people who drowned.

Credit: AP, Storyful
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Tornadoes in Iowa leave trail of destruction
hilaryl
2018-07-20    0 views
A slew of tornadoes hit Iowa towns on Thursday (July 19), injuring at least 17 people, according to local news reports.

Video obtained by Reuters showed the tornadoes as they formed near Pella and Marshalltown. Marshalltown, a city of 27,000 people about 50 miles (80 km) from Iowa's state capital Des Moines, was one of the hardest hit.

Videos from residents also showed the aftermath of a tornado at a local HVAC plant in Marshalltown.

Tornadoes also hit nearby Bondurant, where a tornado damaged several homes and caused a gas leak, according to local authorities.
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At Least 14 Injured After Suspected Knife Attack on German Bus
hilaryl
2018-07-20    2 views
BERLIN—At least 14 people were wounded, two of them seriously, in a suspected knife attack on a bus in the northern German city of Luebeck on Friday, the local Luebecker Nachrichten newspaper reported, adding that the attacker had been arrested by the police.

Police spokesman Dierk Duerbook told Bild newspaper nobody was killed in the attack. An area surrounding a bus stop in the Luebeck neighborhood of Kuecknitz had been sealed off.

"One of the victims had just given up his place to an older woman, when the attacker stabbed him in the chest," Luebecker Nachrichten quoted a witness as saying.

"He is said to be in his mid-30s and is in police custody," the newspaper reported.

Earlier, police in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where Luebeck is located, tweeted that there was a major police deployment under way in the city.

"We are examining the situation and will give more information later," the tweet said.

Luebeck police were not immediately available for comment.

By Thomas Escritt
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Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten killed
hilaryl
2018-07-20    80 views
ALMATY, Kazakhstan—Denis Ten, an Olympic bronze medalist figure skater, was stabbed to death on Thursday in his native Kazakhstan.

Police in Almaty said Ten, 25, was knifed during a struggle with two men he had caught trying to steal the mirrors on his car. Police have opened a murder investigation.

The International Skating Union (ISU), the sport’s global governing body, said it was “deeply saddened” by the death of Ten who won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Ten finished 11th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and four years later in Sochi became the first skater from Kazakhstan to win an Olympic medal.

He was then dogged by injury, but competed this year at the Pyeongchang Olympics where he was cheered by local fans because of his Korean roots.

He finished 27th at those Games, after having only been able to train at low intensity in the run-up.

Kazakhstan’s Sports and Culture Minister Arystanbek Mukhamediuly called Ten’s death an irreplaceable loss for the country.

“This is terrible and unjust,” he was quoted as saying by RIA news agency. “It is huge grief for his parents, tears for everyone who knew Denis. They all loved him so much and respected him.”

Figure skaters around the world mourned his death.

Spain’s Javier Fernandez, who won bronze in Pyeongchang but finished fourth in Sochi, published a picture of himself and Ten on Twitter and wrote “rest in peace.”

“Unbelievable. He was so young and full of life,” former Canadian pairs skater Meagan Duhamel tweeted.
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Four hurt in Pennsylvania army depot blast
hilaryl
2018-07-19    0 views
A small explosion Thursday in a vehicle shop at an Army depot injured four workers, leaving at least three with burns, officials said.

The blast occurred at Letterkenny Army Depot about 7:15 a.m. Army Depot officials quickly posted on social media that the blast was contained, that operations elsewhere on the base would not be affected and that there was no suspicion of terrorist activity.

Col. Stephen Ledbetter, the depot commander, said three victims were flown to Baltimore area hospitals and the fourth left in an ambulance.

A fire company said three had burns. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Ledbetter said the explosion occurred in the painting area of a vehicle shop.

Both the Army and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will investigate, he said.

The depot, located 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Philadelphia, or about 55 miles (88 kilometers) southwest of Harrisburg, employs about 3,600 people. The depot's website says work there focuses on air defense tactical missile ground support equipment, mobile electric power generation equipment, Patriot missile recertification and route guidance vehicles.
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Airbus and Boeing announce more than $10 billion worth of deals at the Farnborough Airshow
hilaryl
2018-07-16    0 views
Planemakers racked up over $20 billion in deals on the opening day of the Farnborough Air Show.

Boeing said DHL had placed a $4.7 billion order for 14,777 freighters.

It also landed a $3.5 billion deal for 30 737 MAX 8 aircraft with U.S. Jackson Square Aviation.

Airbus announced a MoU with Taiwanese StarLux Airlines to buy 17 A350 worth around $6 billion,

and another MoU for 80 A320neo single-aisle jets worth about $8.8 billion.

Concerns that demand may slow stem from higher oil prices, rising interest rates, and Brexit uncertainty.

The Farnborough Air Show is the industry's biggest event this year.
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Botched Hit Job in the Bronx Caught on Camera
hilaryl
2018-07-13    0 views
Credit: NYPD
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"Whatever you do is okay with me" - Trump to May on Brexit
hilaryl
2018-07-13    20 views
"Well I also want to thank Prime Minister May for pursuing fair and reciprocal trade with the United States. Once the Brexit process is concluded and perhaps the UK has left the EU - I don't know what they're going to do. But whatever you do is okay with me. That's your decision. Whatever you're going to do is OK with us. Just make sure we can trade together that's all that matters. The United States looks forward to finalising a great bilateral trade agreement with the United Kingdom. This is an incredible opportunity for our two countries and we will seize it fully. We support the decision of the British people to realise full self-government and we will see how that goes. Very complicated negotiation and not an easy negotiation that's for sure. A strong and independent United Kingdom like a strong and independent United States is truly a blessing on the world. Prime Minister May I want to thank you again for the honour of visiting the United Kingdom - a special place. My mother was born here. So it means something maybe just a little bit extra - maybe even a lot extra. And we had a wonderful visit. Last night I think I got to know the prime minister better than at any time. We spent a lot of time together over a year and a half. But last night, we really I was very embarrassed for the rest of the table, but we just talked about lots of different problems and solutions to those problems and it was a great evening. As we stand together this afternoon at Chequers we continue a long tradition of friendship collaboration and affection between ourselves and also between our people. The enduring relationship between our nations has never been stronger than it is now. So madam prime minister thank you very much. It's been an honour. Thank you."
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Illinois Judge Charged After Appears to Drop Gun in Courthouse Lobby
hilaryl
2018-07-13    148 views
A judge was charged with a misdemeanor after dropping his gun in a courthouse in Cook County, Illinois, on July 3. Security footage from the courthouse shows 70-year-old Judge Joseph Claps dropping the gun in front of two Sheriff’s deputies.

Clap was reassigned to non-judicial duties until further notice, according to local reports.

The judge was carrying the gun under his left arm when he dropped it. He then picked it up and put it in his pocket. He can later be seen taking it out of his pocket and putting it back under his arm.

Credit: Cook County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful
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Australian diving doctor praised for role in Thai cave rescue
hilaryl
2018-07-13    0 views
Australian authorities praised their contingent of divers and support crew involved in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from inside a flooded Thai cave on Wednesday (July 11, 2018).

Australian doctor and experienced cave diver, Richard Harris, who was reportedly one of the last divers to leave the cave, was told after completing the rescue that his father had died in the early hours on Wednesday. Medstar colleague and friend Andrew Pearce said that Harris would be supported through this difficult time.

Australian Federal Police Commander Glen McKeown said seven specialist divers and around 10 support crew assisted the rescue effort in chambers two and three of the cave complex near Chiang Rai. The Australian team spent 75 hours at the cave and moved 20 tonnes of equipment during that time.

Thais reacted with relief, gratitude and exhilaration after the last group of the "Wild Boars" soccer team was rescued from the Tham Luang cave, near the border with Myanmar, on Tuesday night (July 10), ending an ordeal that gripped Thailand and the world. The group was rescued after 17 days inside the vast cave complex in northern Thailand where they had ventured after soccer practice on June 23.
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Thai Navy SEALs Receive a Hero's Welcome Following Cave Rescue
hilaryl
2018-07-12    110 views

The head of a Thai navy SEAL diving team that helped lead 12 boys and their soccer coach through a flooded cave complex to safety urged the boys on Thursday to "live their lives worthily" and be a force for good.

Thirteen foreign divers and five Thai Navy SEALs guided the boys and their coach out in a complicated three-day operation in Tham Luang cave that ended on Tuesday. Footage released by the SEALs showed parts of the perilous rescue operation that captivated the world.

The Navy SEALs left the northern province of Chiang Rai on Thursday and returned to a hero's welcome at an air base outside Bangkok. Those involved in the rescue were given large garlands made from marigolds as navy officers and proud civilians stood by. Some well-wishers at the air base brought red roses for the team.

"I would like to tell the kids to live their lives worthily and make their lives useful for the country. Their adventurous story can inspire the younger generations," Rear Admiral Arpakorn Yookongkaew, who led the Thai navy SEAL diving team in the ordeal, told Reuters after touching down at the air base.

Health officials said the boys would spend at least a week in the hospital and around 30 days recovering at home following more than two weeks trapped inside the flooded cave complex. Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said on Wednesday the operation was nothing short of a miracle.
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Hurricane Chris Swirls Away from US East Coast
hilaryl
2018-07-12    27 views
Chris strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on Tuesday, July 10, but it remained well away from the US East Coast on Wednesday.

Chris was forecast to travel northeast, away from the US coast, brushing near Newfoundland, Canada, by the weekend. The storm was generating rough surf and rip currents as it spun offshore.

This footage shows Chris on Wednesday and also a timelapse of the storm off the coast of the Carolinas over several days.
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U.S. leaving UN human rights council
hilaryl
2018-07-12    2 views
Donald Trump, US President
"If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph."

Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State

"Every individual has rights that are inherent and inviolable. They are given by God, and not by government. Because of that, no government must take them away.

President Trump wants to move the ball forward. From day one, he has called out institutions or countries who say one thing and do another. And that’s precisely the problem at the Human Rights Council.

We have no doubt that there was once a noble vision for this council. But today, we need to be honest – the Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights."

Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations

"For too long, the Human Rights Council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.

Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on and be elected to the council.

The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny, and the council continues politicizing and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks.

Therefore, as we said we would do a year ago if we did not see any progress, the United States is officially withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council.

We did not make this decision lightly.

Instead, we made a good-faith effort to resolve the problems.

Meanwhile, the situation on the council has gotten worse, not better.

In the past year, the Democratic Republic of Congo was elected as a member. The DRC is widely known to have one of the worst human rights records in the world. Even as it was being elected to membership in the Human Rights Council, mass graves continued to be discovered in the Congo.

The council would not even have a meeting on the human rights conditions in Venezuela. Why? Because Venezuela is a member of the Human Rights Council, as is Cuba, as is China.

The council failed to respond in December and January when the Iranian regime killed and arrested hundreds of citizens simply for expressing their views.

And then, of course, there is the matter of the chronic bias against Israel.

The council is motivated by political bias, not by human rights.

Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic human rights.

Such a council, in fact, damages the cause of human rights.

If the Human Rights Council is going to attack countries that uphold human rights and shield countries that abuse human rights, then America should not provide it with any credibility. Instead, we will continue to lead on human rights outside the misnamed Human Rights Council.

America has a proud legacy as a champion of human rights, a proud legacy as the world’s largest provider of humanitarian aid, and a proud legacy of liberating oppressed people and defeating tyranny throughout the world.

That is why we are withdrawing from the UN Human Rights Council, an organization that is not worthy of its name."
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Rapper Cardi B Gives Birth to Girl With Husband Offset
hilaryl
2018-07-11    12 views
LOS ANGELES—Rapper Cardi B has given birth to her first child, a baby girl, with her rapper husband Offset, according to an announcement she posted to Instagram on Wednesday.

The parents named the child Kulture Kiari Cephus, Cardi B said on an Instagram post.

The baby's name is an apparent nod to albums Culture and Culture II from Migos, the rap group of which Offset is a member. His real name is Kiari Cephus.

The birth came just weeks after Cardi B confirmed in a statement that she and Offset, 26, had been secretly married in September.

Cardi B's real name is Belcalis Almanzar. She announced that she was pregnant during an appearance on "Saturday Night Live" in April.
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