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The New York Times report on China's mass detention of Muslims seems to have broken through Beijing's internet firewall

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 13:07

The New York Times report on China's mass detention of Muslims seems to have broken through Beijing's internet firewallThe Great Firewall may have been breached.Beijing doubled down Monday after The New York Times published a report on over 400 leaked documents that provided a look into China's mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang region, though the government didn't dispute the authenticity of the documents."It is precisely because of a series of preventative counterterrorism and de-extremism measures taken in a timely manner that Xinjiang, which had been deeply plagued by terrorism, has not had a violent terrorist incident for three years," said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Geng added that the Times took things out of context in an attempt to "smear and discredit China's antiterrorism and de-extremism capabilities."But aside from Geng's comments, the Times reports that Chinese state media said little else about the issue, which is not surprising given the sensitive nature of the issue. But there were signs that at least some aspects of the leak snuck past Beijing's internet firewall, which blocks access to the Times. One user on Chinese social media platform Weibo reportedly posted about Wang Yongzhi, an official cited in the report who initially helped implement China's harsh measure, but eventually ordered the release of more than 7,000 detention camp inmates before he was arrested. "History will not forget this person and this page of paper," the Weibo user wrote, indicating that the documents might have made their way through. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The potential lie that could actually destroy Trump The coming death of just about every rock legend How China can win a trade war in 1 move


Death sentence switched to life for man guilty of murder

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:56

Death sentence switched to life for man guilty of murderA Kentucky man on death row for murdering a student has worked out a deal to convert his death sentence into a life sentence without parole. Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman approved a motion Friday to set aside 69-year-old Roger Dale Epperson’s death sentence and re-sentence him to life without parole, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Epperson was convicted of murdering 23-year-old Tammy Dee Acker in August 1985 in her father’s home during a robbery.


Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fast

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:55

Dreaming of traveling to Australia? Qantas offers $100 flights — but you have to book fastQantas has $100 flights to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago, but seats and dates are limited.


Mueller secrets would help determine whether Trump lied, Democrats tell court

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:36

Mueller secrets would help determine whether Trump lied, Democrats tell courtHouse Democrats made it clear on Monday that Donald Trump’s presidency isn’t just on the line over Ukraine. Doug Letter, the top lawyer for House Democrats, reminded a federal appeals court panel that the Democrat’s impeachment investigation against Trump is investigating whether the president lied or gave misleading written answers to the special counsel.


Biden Fundraises at Home of Top Amazon Lawyer As Other Dems Denounce Big Tech

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:35

Biden Fundraises at Home of Top Amazon Lawyer As Other Dems Denounce Big TechPhoto by David Becker/Getty ImagesTo presidential hopefuls in the leftmost wing of the Democratic party, Big Tech is a late capitalist Superfund site begging to be dredged. But Joe Biden is cheerfully wading right into the muck.On Friday, Biden appeared at the home of David Zapolsky, Amazon’s general counsel, to drum up funds for his centrist gambit for the presidency. “I'm in the House of Amazon here," Biden said at the fundraiser, his second of the day in the Seattle area. He offered a mild critique of Amazon’s sweeping transformation of global commerce—a stark contrast with anti-corporate crusaders like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.“Seriously, think of the change that is taking place and why people are frightened. Nothing bad — you’ve done good things. But 200,000 salespeople are out of work because people are shopping online now,” Biden said, according to reporting from The Seattle Times. The publication described the former vice president’s tone as “more pleading than scolding.”Biden later moved on to more comfortable topics under the roof of Amazon, revisiting his own credentials and again making the argument that Republicans, out from under Trump’s thrall if Democrats win in 2020, would be more likely to cooperate on bipartisan efforts.Zapolsky, his host, served as Amazon counsel for 20 years, steering Amazon through various regulatory hurdles and navigating the legal intricacies of the nearly trillion dollar company’s notoriously thorny labor and employment practices. In May, Zapolsky and four other Amazon executives donated to Rep. David Cicilline, a major tech critic and chair of the House antitrust subcommittee, two months before Amazon appeared before the committee as part of a House antitrust probe into big tech companies.While Warren has made taking Big Tech down a notch a cornerstone of her campaign, Sanders also has a long history of Amazon-specific ire. Last year, Sanders invited Amazon workers to share their experiences working for the company, criticizing one of “the wealthiest corporations in the world” for low wages and unjust labor practices. He even introduced legislation to tax corporations for the federal assistance their low-wage workers seek to make ends meet, a bill he named the “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies” (BEZOS) act in a pointed dig at Amazon’s chief executive—the second richest man in the world.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.


Straight pride event attracts just three people

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:35

Straight pride event attracts just three peopleA “straight pride“ event gathered just three supporters in Dallas, who waved their flag and argued with counter-protesters nevertheless.Two members of Super Happy Fun America (SHFA), a group advocating for “straight rights”, turned up to protest after claiming the original event had been postponed in a series of Facebook videos.


US cancels civil nuclear cooperation waiver for Iran

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:34

US cancels civil nuclear cooperation waiver for IranSecretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday he is canceling one of four sanctions waivers that had allowed foreign companies to work with Iran's civilian nuclear program without U.S. penalties. Pompeo also warned Iran’s leadership not to crack down on protests that recent fuel price increases have sparked. The waivers are among the last remaining components of the 2015 nuclear deal the Trump administration withdrew from last year.


Three dead in Oklahoma Walmart shooting, including gunman

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:26

Three dead in Oklahoma Walmart shooting, including gunmanThree people were killed in a shooting early Monday outside a Walmart store in Oklahoma, including the assailant, police said -- the latest in a string of deadly gun attacks at the popular supermarket chain. Danny Ford, the police chief in the town of Duncan, said the shooting -- an apparent domestic dispute -- took place shortly before 10:00 am (1600 GMT) in a parking lot in front of the store. Family members at the scene said the shooting was a domestic dispute between a husband and his wife, a local Fox news affiliate reported.


PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protesters

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:26

 Hong Kong police storm university held by protestersPolice breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons. Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days.


Russia offers job to Maria Butina, woman convicted by U.S. of being an agent

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:25

Russia offers job to Maria Butina, woman convicted by U.S. of being an agentIn her first public appearance since being deported by U.S. authorities who had jailed her for being a Russian agent, Maria Butina was on Monday offered a job by Moscow to defend Russians imprisoned abroad. During an event for the media, Russia's human rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, offered Butina, 31, a job working for her commission. Butina, who flew back to Russia on Oct. 26 after being deported, did not say whether she would accept the offer made at what she called her first public appearance since she was mobbed by wellwishers in front of the media at the airport on her arrival home.


Brooke Skylar Richardson: My Biggest Regret Is Not Telling Anyone I Was Pregnant

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:19

 My Biggest Regret Is Not Telling Anyone I Was PregnantAlbert Cesare/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP, PoolIt’s been nearly three years since 18-year-old Brooke Skylar Richardson gave birth alone, in her family home, and buried the baby in her backyard. She’s been through a grueling trial—charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangerment—and endured a national media circus. But to this day, Richardson says her biggest regret is not telling someone when she discovered she was pregnant.Richardson was acquitted of the most serious charges against her last month, in a trial that transfixed her small town of Carlisle, Ohio, and made headlines across the country. Critics dubbed the teenager a “baby killer” and started Facebook groups calling for her murder, while supporters claimed her case set a dangerous precedent for pregnant women..In her first interview since the trial, Richardson told Cosmopolitan she spent much of that time agitating over what happened to her baby, whom she named Annabelle. Every night, she told Cosmo, “I would lie down and wish that I could have died in place of Annabelle.”“I wish I would have done it differently,” she added. “I’m plagued by guilt every day for not telling someone.”Ohio Cheerleader Found Not Guilty of Murdering Her Newborn BabyRichardson discovered she was pregnant in April 2017, at a gynecologist appointment her mother had arranged to get her birth control. Instead of prescribing the pill, however, the doctor informed her she was 32 weeks along. Then 18 years old, and focused on finishing her senior year of high school, Richardson told no one.Weeks later—on her senior prom night, weeks before the baby was due—Richardson gave birth in her family bathroom. To this day, she maintains it was a stillbirth. (“I did not hurt, harm, or kill Annabelle,” she told Cosmo.) Panicked, she ran outside and dug a shallow grave in her backyard. She covered it with pink flower petals.Months after, when Richardson finally told a doctor the outcome of the pregnancy, the doctor reported her to authorities for suspected child abuse. Police assigned to the case questioned her for hours, until she admitted to trying to cremate the remains. Later, her defense team would say this confession was coerced, and the prosecution’s own expert witness would also say there was no evidence of burning.But as news of her story spread, people in Richardson’s town and beyond started calling her a monster. Friends and classmates lined up in front of her house to take pictures, and commenters on social media called for her death.“It was the worst nightmare,” her mother, Kim Richardson, previously told 48 Hours. “Purgatory every day. Our lives have been completely turned upside-down.”Brooke told Cosmo that she felt “like I was dying” during the trial. “Very few things have been harder than having to listen to prosecutors allege horrible, unthinkable things of me and put countless photos of my daughter’s bones on a big screen,” she said.Cheerleader Accused of Murdering, Burying Newborn Goes on TrialEven now, after a jury found her not guilty on three different charges, the scrutiny on Richardson remains. Hours after her acquittal, when she went to a gathering with friends, someone sent pictures to the media. In October, relatives of her baby’s father organized a candlelight vigil for Annabelle at a local community center. Now 20 years old, Richardson has been unable to join her friends at college or even find a job beyond a part-time role with the law firm that represented her. Her eating disorder—which became a fixture of the dramatic coverage around her case—has persisted, and she has also been diagnosed with mild PTSD and severe depression.“I’m still living with a lot of fear,” Richardson told Cosmo. “The past two years have been nothing short of a nightmare. After being constantly afraid and paranoid of everyone and everything around me, I’m having a hard time letting that go.”Richardson will still have to serve three years on probation for the one charge on which the jury found her guilty—gross abuse of a corpse. Still, she has signed up for paralegal classes at a community college, and says she plans to seek treatment for her eating disorders. She hopes to eventually work for the Ohio Innocence Project.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.


Texas A&M marks 20 years since bonfire collapse killed 12

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:05

Texas A&M marks 20 years since bonfire collapse killed 12More than 1,000 people attended a memorial Monday to honor the 12 people who died when a tower of logs collapsed at Texas A&M University 20 years ago. The Bonfire Remembrance Ceremony was dedicated to the 11 university students and one former student who died on Nov. 18, 1999, when a 40-foot bonfire structure holding about 5,000 logs collapsed while under construction. Janice Kerlee, whose son was killed in the collapse, called the 12 who died “extraordinary young people” as she spoke during the memorial.


U.S. backs Israel on settlements, angering Palestinians and clouding peace process

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:04

U.S. backs Israel on settlements, angering Palestinians and clouding peace processThe United States on Monday effectively backed Israel's right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning its four-decade-old position that they were "inconsistent with international law," a stance that may make Israeli-Palestinian peace even more elusive. The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is struggling to remain in power after two inconclusive Israeli elections this year, and a defeat for the Palestinians. Pompeo said U.S. statements about the settlements on the West Bank, which Israel captured in 1967, had been inconsistent, saying Democratic President Jimmy Carter found they were not consistent with international law and Republican President Ronald Reagan said he did not view them as inherently illegal.


Democrats’ Southern victories could affect redistricting

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 12:03

Democrats’ Southern victories could affect redistrictingThe re-election victory by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards over the weekend has assured Democrats of an all-important place at the table when political maps are redrawn after the 2020 census for future elections to Congress and the state Legislature. Edwards’ narrow triumph on Saturday marked the third significant win in a Southern state in two weeks for Democrats, following their takeover of both legislative houses in Virginia and the defeat in Kentucky of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. The recent Southern state elections provided a preview of the battle over redistricting power that is to come next year in many states.


Israel’s New Way of War

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:57

Israel’s New Way of WarCommuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police and Israeli Home Front Command units came and cordoned off the sidewalk, and drivers went about their day. Twenty-five miles south of where the rocket landed, other rocket teams from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iranian-backed terrorist group, were preparing to fire more than 400 rockets at Israel during a brief flare-up in fighting. Most of them would be intercepted by Israel’s high-tech air defense.The ability of millions of Israelis to mostly go about their day while Israel’s air force carries out precision air strikes nearby is due to Israel’s latest achievements in fighting war. It also comes with questions about whether Israel is being effective and what this latest revolution in military affairs means in the long term.A week after the November 12 clashes, they had faded into the background, one day of battle among dozens since March 2018, when Hamas launched a series of protests called the Great Return March. More than 2,000 rockets have been fired, many of them in short spurts. Several times, Israel almost launched a major ground operation. But it has held back. Its Iron Dome air-defense system, which looks like a giant green pack of cigarettes mounted on a truck, intercepted 90 percent of the rockets in the battle with Islamic Jihad. The sophisticated system, developed with U.S. support, not only targets incoming projectiles by firing a missile at them; it even calculates precisely where the threat might hit and works accordingly with a separate system of sirens that warn Israelis to seek shelter.As in almost every attack since Israel pulled its forces from Gaza in 2005, I went down to the border. The area has changed dramatically over the years. In 2008, before Operation Cast Lead, areas of Sderot, a border town, were dilapidated and depressing. Under fire, without any protection, the people were traumatized. Now there are new parks and shopping centers. Israel didn’t go to war on November 12 because it didn’t need to, and it sees diminishing returns in entering Gaza and getting bogged down in fighting. It also knows that civilian casualties would result. In Cast Lead, around 1,400 Palestinians were killed; in the Gaza war in 2014, more than 2,400, according to estimates. Gaza is densely populated; imagine trying to fight a war in Manhattan. Civilians will suffer.However, the volume of rocket fire from Gaza in the past year and the extent of Israeli airstrikes are as large as in previous wars. In July 2018, Israel struck 40 targets in what it said were the largest strikes since the 2014 war. In November 2018, around 500 rockets were fired. In response, Israel struck 160 targets that month. In May 2019, more than 600 rockets were fired at Israel. In the recent battle with Islamic Jihad, Israel hit around 20 PIJ targets. A mistaken airstrike also killed eight civilians from one Palestinian family.Israel dubbed its recent operation “Black Belt” and aimed it at deterring PIJ, which poses a challenge for Israel if there is also conflict with Hezbollah in the north. Delivering a blow to the organization by killing a senior commander to “stabilize the situation” is what Jerusalem hoped to achieve. “Our assessment shows we dealt a significant blow to PIJ’s capabilities,” an IDF spokesman said in a press briefing.This is Israel’s new way of war. It mirrors a type of war that most advanced Western countries, particularly the United States, now fight. It involves precision airstrikes or special forces and complex intelligence-gathering through the use of satellites, cyber technology, and other sources. Gone are the days of heavy armor, of Israel’s Moshe Dayan or America’s George Patton and all that. This “revolution in military affairs” that was unveiled in the early 1990s mandates the use of technology and now involves “asymmetry,” which basically means that on one side you have an F-35 and on the other you have a guy with an AK-47. It’s not simple in reality, because groups such as Islamic Jihad have developed long-range rockets, with Iran’s backing.Nevertheless, in the overall picture, Israel has reached extreme precision in its airstrikes, putting a missile in a bedroom rather than taking out a whole house. Air defense, including Iron Dome and other systems such as the U.S.-made Patriot, enable Jerusalem to avoid a ground war and to focus on the Iranian threat. This is a major revolution for Israel. Thirteen years ago the country was dragged into a conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon and suffered many early setbacks on the ground. That war taught Israel that its decade and a half of fighting Palestinian terror in the West Bank and Gaza had degraded the army’s ability to engage in a larger complex conflict.Now Israel prefers to prepare for the larger conflict with Iranian-backed groups while managing the conflict in Gaza and carrying out airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets that are largely shrouded in secrecy. These precise strikes, such as one on a Hezbollah “killer drone” team in August, could lead to a larger conflict. As it faces a variety of threats, from Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed groups, Israel will have to use its air defense against major rocket threats, relying on the tactics it honed in the precision strikes. New technologies enabled Israel to refrain from major conflicts with the Palestinians. In the next war, they will be tested on a much larger scale, on multiple fronts.


Warren Calls Out Blackstone for ‘Shameless’ Profits From Housing

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:56

Warren Calls Out Blackstone for ‘Shameless’ Profits From Housing(Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren called out Blackstone Group Inc. for its real estate practices as she laid out her tenants’ rights plan, accusing the company of “shamelessly” profiting from the 2008 housing crisis.Her criticism on Monday was the latest instance of the Democratic 2020 presidential candidate singling out Wall Street companies and investors by name for actions she says contribute to inequality.In a Medium post where she laid out proposals to strengthen tenants’ rights, Warren assailed Blackstone for going on a “shopping spree” in the wake of the 2008 crisis and buying apartments and single family homes that had been foreclosed. She also took aim at Colony Capital Inc. and Cerberus Capital Management.“Some of the same Wall Street firms that tanked the dream of home ownership for millions of American families are now the country’s biggest landlords - profiting off the destruction they caused,” Warren wrote in her post.“Though we are only a tiny percentage of the housing market, we are proud of our investments, which are helping address the housing shortage by adding high-quality, professionally managed rental housing, while contributing to local economies and creating jobs—all on behalf of our investors, which include retirement systems for millions of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other pensioners,” said Jen Friedman, senior vice president for global public affairs at Blackstone.Blackstone is one of the world’s largest real-estate investors, and has about $554 billion in total assets under management. The business is so profitable it has made both founder Stephen Schwarzman and president Jonathan Gray, who oversaw Blackstone’s massive real estate growth, billionaires several times over.In 2012, the firm was racing to acquire single-family homes, spending as much as $150 million a week.Warren has singled out some of the largest U.S. corporations, including Facebook Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., Walmart Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co., as she campaigns for the Democratic nomination by championing working- and middle-class families. She’s promised to break up big corporations, crack down on their political influence and enforce strict regulations on Wall Street.She has also engaged in fights with such Wall Street figures as Lloyd Blankfein and Leon Cooperman.Warren’s latest attack comes in a policy proposal to withhold federal funding from corporate landlords with a history of “harassing” tenants. Corporate landlords would be required to publicly disclose data like median rent, the number of tenants they’ve evicted and building code violations, as well as the names of any individuals with an ownership interest of 25% or more.Warren also pointed to Blackstone’s $5.3 billion deal to buy New York’s Stuyvesant Town, an 80-acre Manhattan development with more than 11,000 apartments. Under the terms of the deal, about 5,000 of those apartments would remain “affordable” for 20 years, according to an announcement by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.Warren has proposed spending $500 billion to build about 3 million housing units in the U.S., and also said her administration would provide a nationwide right-to-counsel and establish a federal grant program aimed at benefiting low-income tenants facing eviction. She said she’d create a federal Tenant Protection Bureau, modeled after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a key component of the 2010 Wall Street overhaul legislation that she advocated.To contact the reporters on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.net;Heather Perlberg in Washington at hperlberg@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Sam MamudiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Mexico, Uruguay and Caribbean Community reject use of force in Venezuela: statement

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:48

 statementMexico, Uruguay and representatives of the Caribbean Community on Monday rejected the use of force and human rights violations in Venezuela, urging a peaceful and democratic solution to solve the crisis in the troubled South American nation. The group issued the statement after Venezuela's opposition staged nationwide protests against Nicolas Maduro on Saturday and called for a new wave of demonstrations to revive stalled efforts to topple the deeply unpopular ruling Socialist Party.


The New Formula to Calculate Your Dog's Age in Human Years

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:29

The New Formula to Calculate Your Dog's Age in Human YearsIt's much more accurate than multiplying by 7.


Mexico, Uruguay and Caribbean Community reject use of force in Venezuela -statement

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:26

Mexico, Uruguay and Caribbean Community reject use of force in Venezuela -statementMexico, Uruguay and representatives of the Caribbean Community on Monday rejected the use of force and human rights violations in Venezuela, urging a peaceful and democratic solution to solve the crisis in the troubled South American nation. The group issued the statement after Venezuela's opposition staged nationwide protests against Nicolas Maduro on Saturday and called for a new wave of demonstrations to revive stalled efforts to topple the deeply unpopular ruling Socialist Party.


Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

Yahoo News - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 11:23

Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacierAn avalanche on Monday hit an Indian patrol in the world's highest militarised zone in the Himalayas, killing four soldiers and two porters, an army spokesman said. The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 metres (16,500 feet) that is claimed by India and rival Pakistan. Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate in the region over the past three decades.


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