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Pakistan reopens airspace, ending months of flight restrictions

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 23:28

Pakistan reopens airspace, ending months of flight restrictionsPakistan on Tuesday fully reopened its airspace for all civilian traffic, ending months of restrictions affecting major international routes including from India after clashes between the nuclear-armed rivals brought them to the brink of war. "With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic," the state-run Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said. A CAA spokesman confirmed to AFP that the eastern airspace along the border with India had been reopened.


At least 1 dead, 15 injured — including 3 firefighters — in California house explosion

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 21:21

At least 1 dead, 15 injured — including 3 firefighters — in California house explosionA California gas company reports one of its employees died in an explosion Monday afternoon in Murietta, California.


Indiana police officer who fatally shot black man resigns

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 21:03

Indiana police officer who fatally shot black man resignsA white Indiana police officer who fatally shot a black man, sparking protests and roiling the presidential campaign of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, has resigned, the local police union announced Monday. The Fraternal Order of Police said Sgt. Ryan O'Neill's resignation from the South Bend Police Department was due to stress and media attention given to last month's shooting of Eric Logan.


Iran's top diplomat warns US is 'playing with fire'

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 20:47

Iran's top diplomat warns US is 'playing with fire'Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Monday that the United States is "playing with fire," echoing remarks by President Donald Trump as the two sides are locked in a standoff over Tehran's nuclear program. The United States quit an international deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program last year, hitting Tehran with crippling sanctions.


Pakistan reopens airspace for civil aviation after India standoff

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 20:29

Pakistan reopens airspace for civil aviation after India standoffPakistan's airspace has been reopened to civil aviation with immediate effect, its aviation authority said on Tuesday, following months of restrictions imposed in the wake of a standoff with neighboring India earlier this year. "With immediate effect Pakistan airspace is open for all type of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes," according to a so-called Notice to Airmen (NOTAMS) published on the authority's website.


The Latest: California home gas blast kills 1, injures 15

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 20:27

 California home gas blast kills 1, injures 15Authorities say everyone has been accounted for after a natural gas explosion that blew apart a Southern California home and killed a gas company worker. Authorities say a contractor who hadn't called Southern California Gas to determine where gas lines were buried struck and damaged a line.


Teen girl brutally killed before photos of her body posted on social media, New York police say

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 19:51

Teen girl brutally killed before photos of her body posted on social media, New York police sayThe brutal killing of 17-year-old Bianca Devins is drawing international attention after her alleged killer shared images of the slaying online.


New Zealand PM 'utterly' disagrees with Trump tweets

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 18:15

New Zealand PM 'utterly' disagrees with Trump tweetsNew Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday joined international condemnation of US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen. Ardern, the charismatic young leader who has been hailed as "the anti-Trump" by US media, said she proudly celebrated her country's diversity. "Usually I don't get into other people's politics, but it will be clear to most people that I completely and utterly disagree with him," Ardern told Radio New Zealand.


Police: A 69-year-old Arizona woman is missing in California's Mojave Desert without supplies, cellphone

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 18:12

 A 69-year-old Arizona woman is missing in California's Mojave Desert without supplies, cellphoneAuthorities in California are searching for Barbara Thomas, a 69-year-old woman who went missing while hiking in the Mojave Desert.


Michael Flynn’s Ex-Business Partner Points the Finger at Him in Court

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 18:07

Michael Flynn’s Ex-Business Partner Points the Finger at Him in CourtPhoto Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/GettyIf there is a question of who worked on behalf of the Turkish government to influence the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, then the court should look no further than former national security adviser Michael Flynn, lawyers for Bijan Kian, the Iranian-American businessman and former Flynn partner, told jurors in the Eastern District of Virginia Monday. Kian is charged with two felonies—illegally lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government and conspiring covertly to influence U.S. politics about Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish cleric who is now living in Pennsylvania. He faces a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted. But Kian’s team of attorneys said in their opening statements Monday that their client “did not conspire with anyone” to work on behalf of the Turkish government in the U.S. When questioning the Turkish government’s influence operations in the U.S., the jury should look at the newly announced cache of evidence the government has on Flynn, said attorney Bob Trout. Kian isn’t referenced in any of it, Trout said. Michael Flynn Putting Mueller Deal at Risk in ‘Dangerous’ New TrialIn the opening statements Monday the Kian legal team spent the majority of their time arguing that their client did not work on behalf of the Turkish government when he attempted to influence public opinion in the U.S. about Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen currently lives in Pennsylvania and is wanted by the Turkish government for allegedly planning a military coup in the country in 2016. Kian instead worked on behalf of a Turkish-Dutch businessman named Ekim Alptekin, Trout said. (Alptekin is named as a defendant in the Kian case but will likely avoid appearance because he is living in Istanbul.) Toward the end of his statements, Trout tried to create a degree of separation between Kian and Flynn who is currently awaiting sentencing in Washington for crimes carried out during his time working with the Trump team. He pointed to the government’s evidence, which was mentioned in a hearing last week, and said that prosecutors had all but conceded that Kian was not involved. The jurors have not seen the evidence yet and the details of what the government currently has in its position is unclear.According to a government indictment filed last year, Flynn and Kian worked together throughout the fall of 2016, when Flynn was an advisor to then candidate Trump, on a project to try and extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Prosecutors said the two took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Turkish government to execute the plan. Flynn was also at the time accused of lying about his communications with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. He entered into a cooperation deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and admitted to lying about the communications and about his consulting firm’s business with the Turkish government. He said that the registration he filed for the Turkey-focused project in 2017 contained several inaccuracies, though his lawyers maintain that Flynn did not intentionally lie on the documents. As part of his deal with the government, Flynn was supposed to testify against Kian and his sentencing in Washington was postponed so he could appear as a witness in Virginia.That all changed last week when the government removed Flynn from the witness list and instead named him as a co-conspirator in the case. The government also said it had extensive information that the Turkish government attempted to influence the Trump campaign through Flynn. It was the first mention of an additional set of materials that show how Flynn was being extensively involved in the Turkish lobbying.It’s that evidence that lies at the heart of who really committed the crime of illegally lobbying for Turkey, Kian’s lawyers said Monday. Kian “didn’t know” about the alleged separate communications between Alptekin and Flynn that are in the government’s possession, Trout said.For its part, the government in its opening statement barely mentioned the former national security adviser, instead referring several times to Kian’s business team members as “associates.” The government focused on Kian’s email correspondences, including with Flynn, about the Gulen project and attempted to lay out for the jury how the money that flowed into Kian’s account for services rendered connected back to the Turkish government.After nearly an hour and a half of opening statements, both of which were at times tangled and difficult to follow, the jury seemed to fade by 5:30 p.m. Several individuals closed their eyes and appeared to be sleeping.They’re due back in court Tuesday morning for testimony, including evidence to be entered into the record and for witness examinations.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.


Man sentenced to 2nd life term in Charlottesville car attack

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 16:23

Man sentenced to 2nd life term in Charlottesville car attackAn avowed white supremacist was sentenced to life in prison plus 419 years Monday for deliberately driving his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters during a rally in Virginia, killing one woman and injuring dozens. James Alex Fields Jr., 22, remained stoic as Circuit Court Judge Richard Moore formally imposed the recommendation of a state jury that convicted him in December of murder and malicious wounding charges for his actions in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. Fields showed no visible emotion as victims of the car attack described severe physical and psychological injuries — broken bones, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression — inflicted by Fields when he plowed his car into them.


SpaceX: Leaky valve caused crew capsule to explode in test

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 15:55

 Leaky valve caused crew capsule to explode in testA leaky valve caused a SpaceX crew capsule to explode during a ground test back in April, destroying the spacecraft and dealing a blow to the company's effort to launch astronauts. SpaceX's crew Dragon capsule had just returned, minus astronauts, from a successful test flight to the International Space Station and was undergoing a ground test April 20 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Hans Koenigsmann, a SpaceX vice president, said a check valve allowed a slug of liquid oxidizer to leak into the high-pressure abort system.


White-Nationalist Charlottesville Killer Given Extra Life Sentence Plus 419 Years in Prison

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 15:31

White-Nationalist Charlottesville Killer Given Extra Life Sentence Plus 419 Years in PrisonThe man who killed one woman and injured dozens of others when he rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at a 2017 white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. has received an additional life sentence.Twenty-two-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville two years ago, when he deliberately accelerated his car into a crowd protesting the neo-Nazi event. Judge Richard Moore of Virginia sentenced fields on Monday to life imprisonment plus 419 years and a fine of $480,000, following the recommendation of a state jury.> Heather Heyer's mother Susan Bro said she feels James Fields life plus 419 year sentence will send message to other white supremacists that it's unacceptable in Charlottesville and elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/LfD4Tgtk2q> > -- Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) July 15, 2019“Today’s verdict is based on what you did,” Moore said to Fields. “It was not a spur-of-the-moment action.”Fields was found guilty of murdering Heyer in Moore's court last December. In March, he pled guilty to 29 federal hate-crime charges as part of a plea deal that allowed him to avoid the death penalty. Last month, he was sentenced in connection with that federal case to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Vaping may aid smoking cessation but also boost relapse risk

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 15:20

Vaping may aid smoking cessation but also boost relapse risk"Among adults, electronic cigarette use by never smokers is extremely rare - most users are smokers who want to quit or reduce their tobacco consumption or former smokers who want to prevent a relapse," said Ramchandar Gomajee, lead author of the study and a researcher at Sorbonne University in Paris.


An anonymous Democratic group leaked a poll that shows swing voters deeply dislike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the left wing, widening the party's rift

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 14:59

An anonymous Democratic group leaked a poll that shows swing voters deeply dislike Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the left wing, widening the party's riftThe poll found that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a 22% approval rating among 1,003 white non-college-educated voters who knew of her.


Iran Loves This: The Royal Navy Doesn’t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian Gulf

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 14:56

 The Royal Navy Doesn’t Have Enough Ships to Patrol Persian GulfThe Royal Navy plans briefly to double its number of warships in the Persian Gulf following an attempted attack by Iranian forces on a British oil tanker on July 20, 2019.But the temporary increase in British warships in the region, from one to two, underscores just how few ships the Royal Navy can deploy even in an emergency.Iranian boats tried to “impede” the British oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz, the BBC reported. HMS Montrose, a Type 23 frigate, “was forced to move between the three boats and the tanker,” according to the BBC.The British government claimed the attacking boats belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia. The IRGC also allegedly was behind several recent bomb attacks targeting oil tankers in the Gulf and surrounding waters.Tensions have escalated in the Middle East following U.S. president Donald Trump decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program. After Trump restored economic sanctions, Tehran resumed stockpiling uranium.The July 2019 tanker incident compelled the Royal Navy to accelerate by several weeks a planned deployment to the Gulf by the Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan. Montrose and Duncan together will patrol the Persian Gulf before Montrose returns to U.K. waters for maintenance.Duncan sailed south through the Bosphorus on July 13, 2019. The destroyer had been in the Black Sea region for NATO exercises.


Lone Black Republican Senator Condemns Trump’s ‘Racially Offensive’ Tweets

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 14:47

Lone Black Republican Senator Condemns Trump’s ‘Racially Offensive’ TweetsSenator Tim Scott (R., S.C.) on Monday condemned the weekend Twitter tirade that President Trump directed at Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and her fellow freshman progressive lawmakers.Scott, the only African-American senator in the Republican caucus, criticized Trump's attack on Omar on the grounds that it was “racially offensive,” and also seemed to suggest that it was politically costly, in that it unnecessarily disrupted what was an ongoing internecine dispute within the Democratic caucus.“Prior to this weekend, we saw the Democratic Party embroiled in racial controversy. From Kamala Harris attacking Joe Biden on segregationists, to four black and brown women chastising Democratic leadership for attacking women of color, it is clear the Democratic Party has serious issues along these lines,” Scott said in a statement.“Instead of sharing how the Democratic Party's far-left, pro-socialist policies — not to mention the hateful language some of their members have used towards law enforcement and Jews — are wrong for the future of our nation, the President interjected with unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language,” Scott's statement continued. “No matter our political disagreements, aiming for the lowest common denominator will only divide our nation further.”On Saturday, Trump instructed Omar to direct her desire for revolutionary political change toward her birth country of Somalia and counseled her to display respect and gratitude for the country that rescued her from civil strife there. Trump also appeared to direct his comments at Democratic representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who, along with Omar, collectively refer to themselves as “The Squad.”> So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019> ….it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019A number of House Republicans, including Representatives Pete Olson of Texas, Mike Turner of Ohio, and Elise Stefanik of New York, have joined Scott in condemning the president's charged remarks.Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also chastised Trump, calling his tweets “absolutely unacceptable” on Monday morning.> We have enough challenges addressing the humanitarian crises both at our borders and around the world. Instead of digging deeper into the mud with personal, vindictive insults –we must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency.> > -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) July 15, 2019


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