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2020 presidential race: Top Democrats support Iran's hopes instead of promising sanctions

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 04:00

 Top Democrats support Iran's hopes instead of promising sanctionsIran’s leaders are more convinced than ever that relief from the Trump administration’s policies could be right around the corner with 2020 Democrats.


Thousands attend New Zealand vigil to honor 50 mosque dead

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 01:30

Thousands attend New Zealand vigil to honor 50 mosque deadCHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Thousands of people gathered in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Sunday to listen to prayers, songs and speeches at a vigil to remember the 50 people killed in a terrorist attack on two mosques.


Sen. Bernie Sanders holds rally in downtown LA in front of thousands of supporters

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 01:25

Sen. Bernie Sanders holds rally in downtown LA in front of thousands of supportersPresidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders held a rally in downtown Los Angeles for the second of three campaign stops in the state.


Israel strikes Gaza after border bombs

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 00:53

Israel strikes Gaza after border bombsIsraeli aircraft targeted Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip early Sunday after Palestinians there threw explosive devices at the border fence during "riots", the army said. Also Sunday, the health ministry in Gaza announced the death of a Palestinian wounded previously in clashes with Israeli forces. Palestinians in Gaza had thrown a number of explosive devices toward the border fence with Israel, one of which set off air raid sirens in the south of the country late Saturday, the army said.


Three of four engines on stricken Norway cruise ship restarted

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 00:32

Three of four engines on stricken Norway cruise ship restartedA cruise ship that broke down in rough seas off the Norwegian coast with some 1,300 passengers and crew on board has restarted three of its four engines and will be towed to port, emergency services said Sunday. "Three of the four engines are now working which means the boat can now make way on its own," emergency services spokesman Per Fjeld said. The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday about two kilometres (1.2 miles) off More og Romsdal in dangerous waters and high seas, prompting the captain to send out a distress call and trigger a massive airlift operation.


Viking Sky: Passengers airlifted to safety after cruise ship breaks down off Norwegian coast

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 00:30

 Passengers airlifted to safety after cruise ship breaks down off Norwegian coastA cruise ship that broke down in rough seas off the Norwegian coast with some 1,300 passengers and crew on board has restarted three of its four engines and will be towed to port, emergency services said Sunday. "Three of the four engines are now working which means the boat can now make way on its own," emergency services spokesman Per Fjeld said. The Viking Sky sent out a mayday signal on Saturday, after it began drifting towards land, prompting a huge evacuation operation in which rescue helicopters evacuated passengers and crew to safety. Among those airlifted were believed to many British tourists.  The airlift was continuing in the early morning, Fjeld said. Nearly 338 of the 1,373 onboard were evacuated by helicopter by early Sunday morning. They were flown to a village just north of the town of Molde, on Norway's west coast. According to the latest figures from the rescue services, 17 people had been taken to hospital with injuries. We’re waiting for evacuation by helicopter VikingSkyMaydaypic.twitter.com/rqSYaWGi0k— Alexus Sheppard ��️‍�� (@alexus309) March 23, 2019 Earlier on Saturday lifeboats were forced to turn back en route to the ship due to the "brutal" conditions. Later, reports emerged that a cargo ship with nine crew members was in trouble nearby, and the local Norwegian rescue service diverted two of the helicopters to that rescue. Two hundred Britons were believed to be among those on board the Viking Sky ship with Norwegian media suggesting the majority of  passengers were British and American tourists.  Derek and Esther Browne, from Hampshire, said the "whole boat was swaying, it was very rough" before they were airlifted to safety. Mr Browne told BBC Radio 5 Live's Stephen Nolan: "We had a few people on stretchers, several with cuts, two with broken limbs, but fortunately we were alright. We were airlifted onto the helicopter which was quite a frightening experience." He added: "I'd never been in a helicopter before, there were a lot of high winds, hovering overhead and the winchman came down and we were then collected up and so I shut my eyes as we arrived into the helicopter and there were 15 of us for about a 20-minute ride." Norway cruise rescue, in pictures The stretch of water known as Hustadvika is known for its fierce weather and the shallow waters are dotted with reefs. The Norwegian government is currently deciding whether to build a giant ocean tunnel through a nearby mountain to improve safety. The Viking Sky, built in 2017, belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises, part of the Viking Cruises group founded by Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen. Several vessels and four helicopters took part in the rescue and extensive facilities were set up on land to receive passengers. All search and rescue teams in the region were mobilised, including 60 volunteers from the Norwegian Red Cross, a spokesman said. Passengers on board the Viking Sky, waiting to be evacuated, off the coast of Norway on Saturday Credit:  Michal Stewart The ship, built in 2017, belongs to Viking Ocean Cruises, part of the Viking Cruises group founded by Norwegian billionaire Torstein Hagen. According to the company website, its passenger capacity is 930. Several vessels and four helicopters took part in the rescue and facilities to receive passengers have been set up on land, the rescue service said. Wind was blowing at a speed of 38 knots, police told Norwegian newspaper VG. All search and rescue teams in the region are mobilising, including 60 volunteers from the Norwegian Red Cross, a spokesman said. A Viking Sky spokesperson said: "We can confirm that as of 10am (Norwegian time) today, 24 March 2019, the vessel, Viking Sky, is safely travelling to Molde under its own power. The ship is being  accompanied by two offshore supply ships and one tug assist vessel. The evacuation of passengers has ended and there are currently 436 guests and 458 crew onboard.   "The 479 passengers who were airlifted from the vessel are currently on shore and arrangements have been made to fly them home, with the first passengers leaving today. Currently we understand 20 people suffered injuries as a result of this incident, and they are all receiving care at the relevant medical centres in Norway, with some already having been discharged.  "Throughout all of this, our first priority was for the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and our crew. We would like to thank the Norwegian Redningssentral and the Norwegian emergency services for their support and skill displayed in managing the situation in very challenging weather conditions. We would also like to thank the local residents who throughout the whole process have been extremely supportive and hospitable. "We are in the process of updating the website with the latest information.  If you have questions or concerns about any guests, please visit  https://www.vikingcruises.com/ oceans/my-trip/current- sailings/index.html" Family members search for passengers on board As the phone batteries of passengers dwindled and died, and some on board were injured and taken to hospital, the relatives anxiously waited for news. Many used Twitter in the hope of contacting missing loved ones. While some remained missing:   Our Mom and Aunt (twins) are aboard vikingsky and we haven't been able to contact them. If anyone on board has seen Marcy Bell or Mary Fislar please let us know they are OK.— shannon milton (@shanhawk2) March 24, 2019  Others were found safe and sound, and were enjoying free wine and food in a local hotel as they made plans to return home after the ordeal: My dad and stepmom just took their helicopter ride off of the VikingSky and are safe and sound at a hotel in Molde as of a few minutes ago, where there is free food and wine apparently. She said “the hoist up was something.” VikingSkyMayday— @DaniTal (@DaniTal54803917) March 24, 2019 There were complaints about lack of information from the cruise operator, as family members of passengers complained that they were not told about the injury status of their loved ones: I cannot thank the Twitter community enough. We had a happy ending, with both of my parents recovering at a hospital. Based on my moms texts, I knew they were injured; hence my frantic tweets. My best wishes are with all those who are still waiting for news VikingSky— rebecca (@rebeccasunshine) March 24, 2019 Dear @VikingCruises, you can’t even begin to “appreciate” my “concern” abt my parents’ condition aboard your ship. Your canned response is cheap & your fake care is revolting. Thanks for telling me my parents were on the non-injured list AFTER they were med-evac’d off. VikingSky— rebecca (@rebeccasunshine) March 24, 2019  Passengers show chaos on the ship Pictures posted to social media show the chaotic sleeping arrangements as passengers curled up in life jackets to try to get some sleep as they waited to be airlifted to safety. Battery dying and people sleeping everywhere. Probably my last tweet of the night. VikingSkyMaydaypic.twitter.com/ouzegYmHOD— Alexus Sheppard ��️‍�� (@alexus309) March 24, 2019 Destruction on the ship was also plain to see, with broken glass on the floor and doors torn off their hinges. My sister send me some pictures from inside of the ship . She can see the boat that is going to pull them over vikingskypic.twitter.com/Fsbc5EKy3i— VERONIKA (@VERONIK57881586) March 24, 2019


Lake Elsinore super bloom draws thousands amid new regulations

Yahoo News - Sun, 03/24/2019 - 00:17

Lake Elsinore super bloom draws thousands amid new regulationsSaturday saw another day of massive crowds in Lake Elsinore, where thousands of people are flocking to see the super bloom of poppies.


Powerball jackpot now $750M after no winning ticket drawn

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 23:00

Powerball jackpot now $750M after no winning ticket drawnAfter no winner claims the prize Saturday, Powerball jackpot increases to fourth-largest in U.S. history.


'It was like Woodstock': inside the town hit by super bloom mania

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 23:00

 inside the town hit by super bloom maniaAn influx of visitors, eager for Instagram fodder, prompted Lake Elsinore’s mayor to shut down access to a flower-covered canyon A crowd poses for a selfie among the wild poppies blooming in Walker Canyon in Lake Elsinore. Photograph: Gregory Bull/AP The town of Lake Elsinore sits at the edge of a canyon newly bursting with color. Fields of poppies, lupins and other wildflowers spill across hillsides – usually covered with brown, scrubby plants – as though poured from a bucket of paint. In the last few weeks, large swaths of southern California have been transformed into a colorful canvas of flowers. This type of “super bloom” has happened before, but this year is especially intense – an unusually wet winter following years of drought, combined with the aftermath of a brutal wildfire season, has set the stage for what many predicted would be the best bloom in years. But the pretty picture has a dark side: the hordes of super bloom tourists overwhelming small towns without the infrastructure to handle the sudden influx. This season, Lake Elsinore has become the poster child for the super bloom tourist invasion. On a recent Sunday, the town more than doubled in population, bloated with an estimated 100,000 visitors hungry to see the flowers. “It was like Woodstock,” says the city’s mayor, Steve Manos. “An absolute apocalyptic scenario.” Manos, a second-term mayor with a gap between his teeth and a warm smile, has a good sense of humor about the ridiculous situation he’s found himself in, where fury over the influx of tourists has prompted some residents of his town to threaten – albeit, maybe in jest – to burn the fields of poppies to the ground. Speaking from his modest office, a whiteboard covered with traffic-planning scribbles hung on one wall, Manos lays out how his town’s poppy fields went viral – attracting Instagram influencers and even celebrities such as Michael Jackson’s son, Prince Jackson. “It became a social media frenzy,” he says. The fields of poppies in Lake Elsinore attracted crowds including Instagram influencers and even celebrities. Photograph: Gregory Bull/AP The mayor has become an unsuspecting celebrity in his own right. A Facebook and Instagram video of Manos standing in front of the canyon, cheerily pleading for the crowds to stop coming to Lake Elsinore was widely shared, and also ignored. Last Sunday’s influx of visitors at Walker Canyon, about five miles from the city center, brought traffic to a halt on the freeway and on the streets of the city. Poppy tourists began leaving their cars on the shoulder of the road, climbing over the guard rail, and walking directly into the canyon. The city scrambled to provide enough shuttle buses and parking for the masses. Manos says they eventually made the call to shut down access to the canyon over public safety concerns. Clearing the mountainside was nearly impossible, he says, but officials did their best by shutting down freeway off ramps. “It was a terrible scenario,” Manos says. Since then, the canyon has reopened, with the local transit authority intermittently closing and re-opening certain freeway exits. But the unpredictable situation hasn’t deterred visitors. On a recent weekday, while the streets of Lake Elsinore are mostly empty, Walker Canyon is buzzing with a mix of families and hip young people. Liann Walker, 44, brought her son to see the flowers. She home schools him, and says the super bloom is an educational opportunity. “I told him it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says. “It didn’t matter how many people were here, we were gonna come.” The entrance to the canyon, a narrow dirt road just spitting distance from the freeway, has become a busy thoroughfare choked with traffic and snaking lines of parked cars. Local officials strung up makeshift fences along the canyon trail in the form of fluorescent pink and yellow police tape. But visitors seem unencumbered by the barrier, cheerfully stepping off the dirt path to take pictures with the flowers and pluck poppies to place behind their ears. Despite a chill in the air, fashionably-dressed visitors traipse up the canyon in summer dresses and sandals. Renee LeGrand takes a picture among blooming wildflowers in Lake Elsinore. Photograph: Gregory Bull/AP Bettzaira Hernandez, 20, came for the selfies. She says she saw the super bloom on Instagram, “so I dragged my boyfriend to take pictures of me”. Her boyfriend stands beside her, holding a poppy in his hands. “I picked it for my girlfriend,” he says sheepishly. Hernandez says they’d heard about the crowds over the weekend, and empathized with the locals. “But then again, they’re not gonna stop us, there’s way too much of us, so we might as well just come,” she says. This super bloom is one of the most intense in recent memory, mostly thanks to the drought, which was declared officially over this year. Wildflowers used to bloom across the state but were pushed out by European grasses about 100 years ago, explained Richard Minnich, a professor in the earth sciences department of the University of California, Riverside. “Drought is our friend when it comes to wildflowers,” he said. “When we have wet years the area gets dominated by these grasses, which choke out the flowers. And the way you get rid of the grasses is through an extreme drought.” While there are plenty of places for tourists to see the super bloom – Palm Springs, the Borrego Desert, Joshua Tree, Carrizo Plain – it’s Lake Elsinore that’s been hit with the lion’s share, though no one knows exactly why. Manos blamed a combination of traditional media and Instagram. “Local media picked [it] up. And then it went international.” Manos paused. “And then it went up online,” he said gravely. For some locals, the experience has been taxing. Samantha Tapia, an 18-year-old resident, is fed up with the traffic, and with people “taking nude pictures in the flowers”. The location tag for Lake Elsinore on Instagram – usually filled with photos from local businesses or community organizations – has been transformed. “Now it’s just poppies, people, and nudes,” Tapia says. Wild poppies blanket the hills of Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images The situation has sparked a debate in town about increasing tourism, an important pillar of the platform that got Manos elected as mayor. “Lake Elsinore is very small,” says Tapia while standing in the parking lot of the local outlet mall with her friend, Adriana Vasquez, also 18. “I don’t want Lake Elsinore to grow,” Vasquez chimes in. “I like the no traffic and getting places quick.” Yet other residents remain unphased. Dina Thaler, who owns a gift shop, says that even though her shop in the city center is several miles from Walker Canyon, on the biggest poppy days the number of customers coming in has tripled. “Whatever we get, we love,” she says. Residents like Thaler will be pleased to learn the super bloom is likely to continue for weeks. As for the immediate crisis, Manos has chosen a middle-of-the-road approach: gently, graciously imploring people to go elsewhere. The city has placed a warning about super bloom crowds, emblazoned in orange, on every page of its official website. A list of other places to see the super bloom sits at the top of the city’s Instagram page. But people just keep coming – in ever increasing numbers. “This Monday was worse than the last Monday,” Manos says. “Tuesday was worse than the last Tuesday.” He’s not sure what to expect this weekend, but he’s preparing for the worst.


A look at some unanswered questions of the Mueller probe

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 22:31

A look at some unanswered questions of the Mueller probeWASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller has wrapped up his investigation, but whether the public will get answers to consequential questions about President Donald Trump and Russia remains to be seen.


Timeline: Key events since Thailand's last general election

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 21:44

 Key events since Thailand's last general electionBANGKOK (AP) — Thailand on Sunday held its first general election since the military ousted the elected government in a coup nearly five years ago.


Possible scenarios after Thailand's junta-backed election

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 20:07

Possible scenarios after Thailand's junta-backed electionA coup leader emerges as a civilian prime minister, pro-democracy forces unite to thwart the junta's ambitions, a stalemate or another putsch resets the political landscape -- Thailand's cliffhanger of an election Sunday could result in a number of outcomes. Thailand's junta stands a good chance of emerging victorious. It allows the junta to appoint a 250-member Upper House, meaning Prayut's Phalang Pracharat party needs only 126 of the Lower House's 500 MPs to select the premier.


The Latest: 2nd ship needs rescue off Norway's western coast

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 20:00

 2nd ship needs rescue off Norway's western coastHELSINKI (AP) — The Latest on the Viking Sky cruise ship, which is having engine problems off the coast of Norway (all times local):


Fix to 737 MAX anti-stall software is ready: industry sources

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 19:27

 industry sourcesA fix to the anti-stall system suspected in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet that killed 189 people in Indonesia is ready, industry sources said Saturday, as the company tries to avoid a lengthy grounding of its planes. Boeing was due to present the patch to officials and pilots of US airlines -- American, Southwest and United -- in Renton, Washington state, where the plane is assembled, other sources said. "Boeing has already finalized the necessary corrective measures for the MAX," an aviation sector source told AFP on condition of anonymity.


The Latest: Barr decision on report to cause fireworks

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 19:08

 Barr decision on report to cause fireworksWASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation (all times local):


Protests held in Pittsburgh after cop cleared in shooting

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 18:48

Protests held in Pittsburgh after cop cleared in shootingPITTSBURGH (AP) — The father of a slain black teenager pleaded for peace Saturday after the acquittal of a white police officer triggered an apparent retaliatory shooting at the defense attorney's office and touched off protests in the streets of Pittsburgh.


Flooding impairs drinking water treatment for Kansas City

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 18:39

Flooding impairs drinking water treatment for Kansas CityFlooding along the Missouri River has impaired treatment of drinking supplies in Kansas City, raising health risks for infants, the elderly and others.


Harsh rules, violent punishments under IS rule

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 18:17

Harsh rules, violent punishments under IS ruleFor the millions forced to endure the Islamic State group's brutal rule, life in the "caliphate" was a living hell where girls were enslaved, music was banned and homosexuality was punishable by death. The jihadists applied an ultra-conservative interpretation of Islamic law across the swathes of Syria and Iraq that they captured in 2014, torturing or executing anyone who disobeyed. The fall of the last sliver of IS territory in eastern Syria marks the end of their proto-state, once the size of the United Kingdom and home to more than seven million people.


Search continues for Indianapolis baby Amiah Robertson

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 18:14

Search continues for Indianapolis baby Amiah RobertsonThe FBI has joined Indianapolis police in investigating the disappearance of an 8-month-old baby.


Massive pileup shuts down all southbound lanes on the I-5 Grapevine

Yahoo News - Sat, 03/23/2019 - 18:12

Massive pileup shuts down all southbound lanes on the I-5 GrapevineSouthbound traffic on Interstate 5 at the Grapevine has been shut down after a major crash involving as many as 50 vehicles, Caltrans reports.


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