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Amanda makes landfall, threatens major flooding in Central America

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 11:29

Amanda makes landfall, threatens major flooding in Central AmericaAfter making landfall as a tropical storm on Sunday, Amanda turned deadly, and will continue to threaten the region with widespread flooding and dangerous mudslides as it nears the Atlantic Basin into midweek.Before making landfall Sunday morning, the system strengthened into a tropical storm and was given the name Amanda, making it the first-named storm of the 2020 East Pacific hurricane season. A new round of torrential rainfall arrived in El Salvador and southern Guatemala on Sunday as Amanda moved inland. Officials in El Salvador issued an "Red Alert" and extended the state of emergency due to this surge of heavier rain.As of late Sunday morning, there are reports of at least 11 deaths in El Salvador due to impacts from the then Tropical Storm Amanda.> Nuestro despliegue a nivel nacional redobla sus esfuerzos ante la AlertaRoja por la TormentaAmandaSV. > > Haz tu parte, sigue las indicaciones de @PROCIVILSV, QuédateEnCasa. pic.twitter.com/331gKMKwAf> > -- Ministerio de la Defensa Nacional (@DefensaSV) May 31, 2020By Sunday afternoon, Amanda was downgraded to a tropical depression.Amanda is forecast to continue tracking to the northwest across Guatemala into the beginning of the week. The rugged terrain will help to rip the storm apart, but the remaining tropical moisture will continue to fuel heavy rain and thunderstorms across Central America through the beginning of the week.Reports of flooding are already emerging from Costa Rica to end the weekend. "Heavy rainfall will be the greatest threat over Central America, particularly in the higher terrain or Guatemala and El Salvador where rainfall totals of 18-24 inches are possible," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Randy Adkins said.The highest terrain could pick up an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 800 mm (30 inches).CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP"Heavy rainfall from Amanda will likely trigger not only flooding threats, but serious mudslides as well for portions of Guatemala and El Salvador early this week'" stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Mary Gilbert. "These mudslides can be very destructive and even life-threatening in nature as heavy rain continues to pound the area." While Amanda will continue to lose wind strength, any locally strong wind gusts can knock over trees or power lines due to the saturated ground.Adkins added, "Amanda is forecast to be a 1 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes due to the risks posed by very heavy rainfall."Amanda is forecast to move into the Bay of Campeche before the middle of the week and depending on the strength of the storm, it could set records."If Amanda were to survive and make it into the Bay of Campeche as a named system, it would be unprecedented," stated AccuWeather Meteorologist Courtney Travis. "The only tropical system to cross from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean Basin since 1950 was Hermine in 2010.""However, Hermine was named in the Gulf of Mexico, having only reached tropical depression status in the East Pacific," she added. This satellite image shows Amanda tracking across Central America as a tropical storm on Sunday afternoon, local time. (Photo/RAMMB) Although tropical systems are usually shredded by the rough terrain of Central America when traveling from the East Pacific Basin to the Atlantic Basin. Several storms have made this trek and dissipated then redeveloped once in the Atlantic Basin, according to Travis.AccuWeather forecasters will be monitoring Amanda into the middle of the week and will continue to watch for potential tropical development through the early part of June as the developing weather pattern may keep the region active.The same gyre that generated Amanda could be powerful enough produce additional tropical activity in the coming weeks."A tropical gyre is just a large slowly spinning area of disturbed weather, that can be as wide as a 1,500 km (1,000 miles) in diameter. When they form over Central America, they can create extra moisture to spawn tropical development on the Atlantic side or the Pacific side or sometimes both," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.Because of this, AccuWeather meteorologists will also be monitoring the waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean very closely for tropical development through the middle of June.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


The coronavirus has killed over 100,000 people in the US in just 4 months. This chart shows how that compares to other common causes of death.

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 11:29

The coronavirus has killed over 100,000 people in the US in just 4 months. This chart shows how that compares to other common causes of death.Heart disease typically kills about 200,000 Americans between February and May each year, but COVID-19 has been deadlier than other common causes.


Mail carrier in West Virginia election fraud case says he was ‘playing joke’ on Democrats

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 11:14

Mail carrier in West Virginia election fraud case says he was ‘playing joke’ on DemocratsReaction and analysis from West Virginia attorney Patrick Morrisey on ‘America’s News HQ.’


Amid protests, Trump says he will designate Antifa as terrorist organization

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 11:08

Amid protests, Trump says he will designate Antifa as terrorist organizationThe announcement, made by Trump on Twitter, comes amid violent nationwide protests about police brutality following the death of a black man in Minneapolis seen on video gasping for breath as a white police officer knelt on his neck. Several top officials from the Trump administration, including U.S. Attorney General William Barr, have blamed Antifa and other "agitators" for taking over the protests in U.S. cities. "The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly," Barr said in a statement on Sunday following the president's tweet.


Sen. Johnson: Obama administration totally corrupted the transition of power

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 11:04

 Obama administration totally corrupted the transition of powerWisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, joins ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’


Israeli forces shot and killed an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem as he walked to special needs school

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 10:57

Israeli forces shot and killed an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem as he walked to special needs schoolIsraeli forces shot and killed an unarmed autistic Palestinian man on his way to a special needs school in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday, prompting comparisons to the police violence in the US and accusations of excessive force by Israeli forces. In a statement, Israeli police said they spotted a suspect “with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol” and opened fire on 32-year-old Iyad Halak, when he failed to stop. No weapon was found on him. Israel’s Channel 12 news station said members of the paramilitary border forces fired at Mr Halak’s legs and chased him into an alley. A senior officer was said to have called for a halt to fire as they entered the alley, but a second officer ignored the command and fired six or seven bullets from an M-16 rifle. Mr Halak’s father told AP that police later came and raided their home, but didn’t find anything. The shooting has caused widespread outcry on social media with many comparisons to the racially-charged shooting and killing of George Floyd in the US last week. Benny Gantz, Israel’s ‘alternate’ prime minister and defence minister apologised for the death of Mr Halak in a cabinet meeting on Sunday morning. Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, made no mention of the incident in his opening remarks. Both officers were taken into custody and interrogated for several hours and an investigation has been opened. “We must resist the expected cover-up and make sure that the police will sit in jail,” Ayman Odeh, the leader of the main Arab party in parliament, wrote on Twitter. “Justice will be done only when the Halak family, their friends and the rest of the Palestinian people know freedom and independence.” Mr Halak had been on his way to the school for students with special needs when he was shot and killed, a trip that he made every day. According to the Times of Israel, his father told public broadcaster, Kan, that he suspected Mr Halak had been carrying his phone when he was spotted by the police. “We tell him every morning to keep his phone in his hand so we can be in contact with him and make sure he has safely arrived at the educational institution,” his father reportedly said. In west Jerusalem, about 150 protesters, some pounding drums, gathered to demonstrate against police violence on Saturday. “A violent policeman must stay inside,” they chanted in Hebrew. At a smaller protest in Tel Aviv, one poster read “Palestinian lives matter.”


Iran suggests up to 225 killed in November protests

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 10:46

Iran suggests up to 225 killed in November protestsIran's interior minister has suggested that up to 225 people were killed in November protests sparked by a petrol price hike, ISNA news agency reported on Sunday. Officials in Iran have yet to issue an overall death toll for the unrest, while London-based human rights group Amnesty International has put the number at more than 300. The protests erupted on November 15 in several cities and rapidly spread to at least 100 cities and towns, with petrol pumps torched, police stations attacked and shops looted, before being put down by security forces amid a near-total internet blackout.


'They didn't start the situation': NYC mayor defends police after NYPD trucks drive into protesters

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 10:43

 NYC mayor defends police after NYPD trucks drive into protesters“If a police officer is in that situation, they have to get out of that situation,” di Blasio said.


Video shows NYPD SUVs ram into crowd protesting George Floyd killing; mayor's comments criticized

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 10:42

Video shows NYPD SUVs ram into crowd protesting George Floyd killing; mayor's comments criticizedTwo NYPD vehicles plowed into protesters Saturday as the crowd pushed a barricade against one of them and pelted it with objects.


Thousands of Complaints Do Little to Change Police Ways

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 10:27

Thousands of Complaints Do Little to Change Police WaysIn nearly two decades with the Minneapolis Police Department, Derek Chauvin faced at least 17 misconduct complaints, none of which derailed his career.Over the years, civilian review boards came and went, and a federal review recommended that the troubled department improve its system for flagging problematic officers.All the while, Chauvin tussled with a man before firing two shots, critically wounding him. He was admonished for using derogatory language and a demeaning tone with the public. He was named in a brutality lawsuit. But he received no discipline other than two letters of reprimand.It was not until Chauvin, 44, was seen in a video with his left knee pinned to the neck of a black man, prone for nearly nine minutes and pleading for relief, that the officer, who is white, was suspended, fired and then, on Friday, charged with murder.His case is not unusual. Critics say the department, despite its long history of accusations of abuse, never fully put in place federal recommendations to overhaul the way in which it tracks complaints and punishes officers -- with just a handful over the years facing termination or severe punishment.Even as outrage has mounted over deaths at the hands of the police, it remains notoriously difficult in the United States to hold officers accountable, in part because of the political clout of police unions, the reluctance of investigators, prosecutors and juries to second-guess an officer's split-second decision and the wide latitude the law gives police officers to use force.Police departments themselves have often resisted civilian review or dragged their feet when it comes to overhauling officer disciplinary practices. And even change-oriented police chiefs in cities like Baltimore and Philadelphia -- which over the last few years have been the sites of high-profile deaths of black men by white officers -- have struggled to punish or remove bad actors.The challenge has played out against and reinforced racial divisions in America, with largely white police forces accused of bias and brutality in black, Latino and other minority communities. Floyd's death came just weeks after Ahmaud Arbery, a black man in southeast Georgia, was pursued by three white men and killed, and after Breonna Taylor, a black woman, was fatally shot by police in Kentucky.Their deaths have unleashed a wave of tremendous protests across the country, extending far beyond Minneapolis on Friday, with protesters destroying police vehicles in Atlanta and New York, and blocking major streets in San Jose, California, and Detroit -- all cities that have wrestled with accusations of police misconduct.In Minneapolis, authorities took quick action against Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd's death, firing them one day after a graphic video emerged of the encounter. But that does not mean the officers are gone for good. Public employees can appeal their dismissals -- and in scores of cases across the country, the officers often win.The St. Paul Pioneer Press analyzed five years' worth of such appeals and found that between 2014 and 2019, Minnesota arbitrators -- a group that hears a range of public service complaints -- ruled in favor of terminated law enforcement and correction officers 46% of the time, reinstating them.In three terminations involving law enforcement officers that were reviewed this year, two were overturned.Dave Bicking, a board member of Communities United Against Police Brutality, a Twin Cities advocacy group, said many disciplinary actions are overturned because they are compared to previous cases, making it hard for departments to reverse a history of leniency or respond to changing community expectations."Because the department has never disciplined anybody, for anything, when they try to do it now, it's considered arbitrary and capricious," he said.Bicking described a history of attempts to clean up the Minneapolis police force, which is overwhelmingly white and for decades has faced accusations of excessive force, especially by African American residents.In Minneapolis, a city heralded for its progressive politics, pretty parks and robust employment, the racial divide runs deep. From education to wages, African Americans are at a disadvantage, graduating at much lower rates and earning about one-third less than white residents.And while black residents account for about 20% of the city's population, police department data shows they are more likely to be pulled over, arrested and have force used against them than white residents. And black people accounted for more than 60% of the victims in Minneapolis police shootings from late 2009 through May 2019, data shows.When there was a civilian review board to field the complaints, it would recommend discipline, but the police chief at the time would often refuse to impose it, said Bicking, who served on the board.Across the country, civilian review boards -- generally composed of members of the public -- have been notoriously weak. They gather accounts, but cannot enforce any recommendations.In 2008, the Police Executive Research Forum issued a report on disciplinary procedures in Minneapolis, at the department's behest. It recommended resetting expectations with a new, matrix specifying violations and consequences. But Bicking said the department soon fell back to old ways.In 2012, the civilian board in Minneapolis was replaced by an agency called the Office of Police Conduct Review. Since then, more than 2,600 misconduct complaints have been filed by members of the public, but only 12 have resulted in an officer being disciplined, Bicking said. The most severe censure has been a 40-hour suspension, he said."When we say there's a failure of accountability and discipline in this city, it is extreme," he said, adding that the City Council had promised to review the board, but has yet to do so.Any member of the public may file a complaint, and experts say that the volume of complaints may reflect a host of issues other than actual misconduct, such as the level of trust the community has in its department.Maria Haberfeld, an expert on police training and discipline at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said Chauvin's complaint tally averaged to less than one a year, not unusual for a street officer, and probably not high enough to trigger an early warning system.But the patchwork nature of the city's disciplinary tracking was clear in Chauvin's case. The city released an Internal Affairs summary with 17 complaints. The city's police conduct database listed only 12, some of which did not appear to be included in the summary, and Communities United Against Police Brutality, which also maintains a database, had yet more complaint numbers not included in the first two sources.The nature of the complaints was not disclosed.Chauvin was one of four officers who responded to a call on Memorial Day that a man had tried buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill. The other officers, identified by authorities as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, also were fired and remain under investigation. The county attorney said he expected to bring charges, but offered no further details.Neither Lane nor Kueng had misconduct complaints filed against them, according to the department. But Thao faced six in his career and also was the subject of a lawsuit that claimed he and another officer punched, kicked and kneed an African American man, leaving the man with broken teeth and bruises.According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred in early October 2014, when the man, Lamar Ferguson, then 26, was walking home with his girlfriend. A police car approached and Ferguson's girlfriend kept walking.The lawsuit states that Thao asked Ferguson to put his hands on the roof of the car and then handcuffed him. The complaint said that the other officer then "falsely stated there was a warrant out" for Ferguson's arrest regarding an incident involving family members. Ferguson told the officers he had no information to tell them.During the encounter, "Officer Thao then threw" Ferguson, "handcuffed, to the ground and began hitting him."Patrick R. Burns, one of the lawyers who represented Ferguson, said in an interview Friday that the city settled the case for $25,000."What I learned from that case and several others I have handled against the department is that some of the officers think they don't have to abide by their own training and rules when dealing with the public," he said.The head of the police union, Lt. Bob Kroll, is himself the subject of at least 29 complaints. Three resulted in discipline, The Star Tribune reported in 2015. Kroll was accused of using excessive force and racial slurs, in a case that was dismissed, and was named in a racial discrimination lawsuit brought in 2007 by several officers, including the man who is now the police chief.Teresa Nelson, legal director for the ACLU of Minnesota, said attempts by the city's police leaders to reform the department's culture have been undermined by Kroll, who she said downplays complaints and works to reinstate officers who are fired, no matter the reason.She said that in a 2015 meeting after a fatal police shooting, Kroll told her that he views community complaints like fouls in basketball. "He told me, 'If you're not getting any fouls, you're not working hard enough,'" she said.Kroll did not return several messages seeking comment this week.Changing department policies and culture can take years, even when there is a will to do so.In 2009, the Minneapolis department instituted an Early Intervention System to track red flags such as misconduct allegations, vehicle pursuits, use of force and discharge of weapons. Such systems are supposed to identify "potential personnel problems" before they become threats to public trust or generate costly civil rights lawsuits.In a case similar to the death of Floyd, David Cornelius Smith, a black man with mental illness, died in 2010 after two officers trying to subdue him held him prone for nearly four minutes. The chief at the time defended the officers, and they were never disciplined, said Robert Bennett, a lawyer who represented Smith's family.In 2013, the police chief at the time, Janee Harteau, asked the Department of Justice to review the department's warning system. A federal report found that it had "systemic challenges" and questioned its ability to "create sustainable behavior change."Early warning systems are considered a key part of righting troubled departments, criminologists say. Most cities that have been found to have a pattern of civil rights violations and placed under a federal consent decree, or improvement plan, are required to have one.Harteau, who left the top post in the wake of a 2017 fatal police shooting, said she took many steps to reform the department, including training officers on implicit bias and mandating the use of body cameras. But the police union, she said, fought her at every turn.In 2016, the department updated its use of force policy to hold officers accountable for intervening if they see their fellow officers using excessive force, Nelson said.The new policy, made in the wake of previous fatal shootings, was part of an effort to reform police culture in the city."It's why you saw four officers fired," in Floyd's case, she said.It's not clear whether an improved early warning system would have flagged Chauvin, who also had been involved in at least three shootings in his career, or the other officers involved in Floyd's death. Departments choose from a number of bench marks, and from a range of responses when they are exceeded.Haberfeld, the training expert, said police departments will not change until they invest significantly more in recruitment and training, areas where the U.S. lags far behind other democracies.Otherwise, she said, "There is a scandal, there is a call for reform -- committees and commissions and nothing happens. Nothing."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


In Sudan, traced Bashir regime assets 'tip of iceberg'

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:59

In Sudan, traced Bashir regime assets 'tip of iceberg'Sudanese authorities have begun to recover billions of dollars of real estate illegally amassed by deposed dictator Omar al-Bashir's regime, but other assets will be difficult to seize, experts say. "Initial estimates indicate that the real estate and properties owned by the former regime... range (in value) from $3.5 to $4 billion," said Salah Manaa, a spokesman for a committee tasked with fighting corruption and dismantling the old regime. "This is only the tip of the iceberg", in terms of the total assets illicitly accumulated and hidden under Bashir's rule, Manaa told AFP.


Season's 1st tropical storm drenches part of Central America

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:50

Season's 1st tropical storm drenches part of Central AmericaThe first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific season drenched parts of Central America Sunday and officials in El Salvador said at least seven people had died in flooding. President Nayib Bukele decreed a 15-day state of emergency to deal with the rains that began pounding the country on Friday ahead of Tropical Storm Amanda's landfall on Sunday. “The situation in all of the country and especially in the metropolitan area of San Salvador is grave.”


Emirates Airline says must cut jobs over virus crisis

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:47

Emirates Airline says must cut jobs over virus crisisEmirates Airline said Sunday it will have to cut jobs after being forced to ground its fleet during the coronavirus crisis, but did not specify the extent of the layoffs. The airline industry plays a key role in making Dubai a global hub for tourism and transport.


Bindi Irwin explains why she's won't change her last name after wedding

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:44

Bindi Irwin explains why she's won't change her last name after weddingIn a recent Instagram post, she also shared how paparazzi made planning her wedding during the pandemic even more stressful.


#JusticeForUwa trends in Nigeria after student murdered in church

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:42

#JusticeForUwa trends in Nigeria after student murdered in churchThe hashtag JusticeForUwa is trending after the killing of the 22-year-old woman.


Bangladesh lifts virus lockdown, logs record deaths on same day

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:24

Bangladesh lifts virus lockdown, logs record deaths on same dayBangladesh lifted its coronavirus lockdown Sunday, with millions heading back to work in densely populated cities and towns even as the country logged a record spike in deaths and new infections. "The lockdown has been lifted and we are heading almost towards our regular life," health department spokeswoman Nasima Sultana said, calling on those returning to work to wear masks and observe social distancing. The lifting comes as Bangladesh -- which on Friday took an emergency pandemic loan from the International Monetary Fund -- reported its biggest daily jump in infections Sunday, with 2,545 new cases and a record 40 deaths.


Burkina Faso gunmen 'kill dozens' at cattle market in Kompienga

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:22

Burkina Faso gunmen 'kill dozens' at cattle market in KompiengaThe gunmen arrived on motorbikes, shooting into the crowded market, reports say.


George Floyd protests: Woman who ‘lost eye’ tells people to keep demonstrating

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 09:17

 Woman who ‘lost eye’ tells people to keep demonstratingA woman who says she lost an eye during a protest over George Floyd’s death has urged people to keep demonstrating.Linda Tirado, a journalist and photographer covering the protests in Minneapolis, the city where Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes, told people to “stay in the streets” for her.


As Australia clashes with China, the European Union lays low

Yahoo News - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 08:52

As Australia clashes with China, the European Union lays lowA trade war with Beijing is no fun for anyone, but it’s especially problematic for Canberra.


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