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Did a Russian-Made Submarine 'Sink' A U.S. Navy Nuclear Attack Sub?

Yahoo News - 15 hours 56 min ago

Did a Russian-Made Submarine 'Sink' A U.S. Navy Nuclear Attack Sub?Back in 2015, Indian media claimed that one of New Delhi’s Russian-built Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines managed to “sink” a nuclear-powered U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class attack submarine during exercises in October of that year.


CORRECTED-WRAPUP 8-Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensions

Yahoo News - 16 hours 6 min ago

CORRECTED-WRAPUP 8-Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensionsWASHINGTON/DUBAI, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters on Tuesday, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East. Three officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the attacks involved both cruise missiles and drones, indicating that they involved a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.


House of Ukraine's former top central banker set on fire

Yahoo News - 16 hours 11 min ago

House of Ukraine's former top central banker set on fireThe home of Ukraine's former central bank chief has been burned to the ground, the third chilling incident involving the banker over the past few weeks. Police said in a statement Tuesday that they are investigating a suspected arson attack late Monday on the house of Valeria Gontareva outside the capital, Kyiv. Gontareva has said she has received threats from Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who lost his PrivatBank to a government nationalization that was carried out while Gontareva was at the helm of the central bank in 2016.


NYC to Allow 1.1 Million Students to Skip Class for Climate Protests

Yahoo News - 16 hours 19 min ago

NYC to Allow 1.1 Million Students to Skip Class for Climate ProtestsNew York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students  to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned "climate strike" ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit.The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people.Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S.“This completely changes things, and it’s our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times. Some teachers at her school were planning to accompany students to the protests even before the school district granted permission to do so.“We’re not against the school system,” she said. “We need the schools to work with us because our larger goal is to stop the fossil fuel industry.”


A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport and realized he had lost his passport

Yahoo News - 16 hours 49 min ago

A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport and realized he had lost his passportT'Way Air said it was investigating the incident and how the pilot lost his passport, and that it put passengers in a hotel and fed them breakfast.


Ilhan Omar: Trump admin can't be trusted on Iran if it ' lies about weather maps or crowd sizes'

Yahoo News - 16 hours 51 min ago

 Trump admin can't be trusted on Iran if it ' lies about weather maps or crowd sizes'Omar said that the administration could not be trusted to "give us the full information" on Iran because of past falsehoods about "weather maps."


Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensions

Yahoo News - 17 hours 23 min ago

Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensionsGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for a return to an international deal curbing Iran's nuclear activities as the only way to defuse tensions in the Middle East. "We believe that the deal to stop Iran from acquiring military nuclear capabilities is a building block we need to get back to," Merkel said during a news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah. "But there is also a long list of other burdens coming from Iran like the ballistic missiles program and its engagement in Syria," she said.


Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensions

Yahoo News - 17 hours 54 min ago

Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran, U.S. official says, raising tensionsWASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East. The officials did not provide evidence or explain what U.S. intelligence they were using for the evaluations. Such intelligence, if shared publicly, could further pressure Washington, Riyadh and others to respond, perhaps militarily.


20 dead as truck falls off cliff in southern Philippines

Yahoo News - 17 hours 56 min ago

20 dead as truck falls off cliff in southern PhilippinesTwenty villagers were killed and 14 others were injured when the truck they were riding in lost control and fell off a cliff Tuesday in a remote mountain village in the southern Philippines, police and the Red Cross said. Provincial police chief Joel Limson said the truck was negotiating a downhill road in Tboli town in South Cotabato province when its brakes apparently failed and plummeted down a ravine, pinning 15 people to death. Police, Red Cross volunteers and villagers retrieved the 15 bodies from the wreckage at the bottom of the ravine.


Teen climate activist to urge climate action on Capitol Hill

Yahoo News - 18 hours 9 min ago

Teen climate activist to urge climate action on Capitol HillSwedish teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg will join other youth leaders to urge U.S. lawmakers to support “transformative climate action” during two days of meetings and speeches on Capitol Hill, starting on Tuesday. The events are intended to drum up support ahead of a global “climate strike” on Friday in which students and workers around the world will walk out to demand more action to fight global warming, and to heap pressure on leaders attending a United Nations climate summit in New York later this month. Democratic Senator Ed Markey, chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force, will host a news conference kicking off the meetings with the activists on Tuesday morning, before including them at the task force’s weekly meeting.


Book Review: Justice Neil Gorsuch’s A Republic, If You Can Keep It

Yahoo News - 18 hours 39 min ago

 Justice Neil Gorsuch’s A Republic, If You Can Keep ItJust over 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan nominated a former Yale law professor, then serving as a D.C. Circuit judge, to the Supreme Court. His views on the meaning of the Constitution were considered by some of the political class to be iniquitous. The nominee’s constructive criticism of the mainstream of legal analysis was its failure to show allegiance to the actual language of the Constitution. “I don’t think the Constitution is studied almost anywhere, including law schools. In law schools, what they study is what the court said about the Constitution. They study the opinions. They don’t study the Constitution itself.”Of course, the nominee was Robert Bork. His view that the Constitution had an ageless meaning was cruelly savaged by Senator Ted Kennedy. “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids,” and other shameful regressions would exist. Critics condemned Bork’s view that the words in the Constitution mean now what they meant when written in 1787. No living, breathing, mutating Constitution for Bork. At his death in 2012, some labeled him the “original originalist.”The Senate rejected Bork’s nomination, but his approach to constitutional interpretation has thrived — though by no means has it conquered. Justice Neil Gorsuch in his new book explains and vigorously promotes originalism. The significance of that form of analysis is indicated by the title he chose for his book: A Republic, If You Can Keep It. Those were the words of Benjamin Franklin in explaining what the Constitutional Convention had created. The centrality of originalism to the survival of the Republic, Gorsuch writes, arises from separation of powers. If judges abandon their constitutional role of simply interpreting (though often it is not so simple) what the political branches have done, they are assuming the roles that the other branches are to perform.Gorsuch says the book is for the general citizenry, not academics. He wants to revive and encourage “interest in the Constitution of the framers’ design and the judge’s role in it.” Even with that goal, the author gives those who are knowledgeable, imperfectly so like this subordinate federal judge, a lot to ponder. A significant part of Gorsuch’s book reprints speeches, court opinions, and other prior writings. Much new is interspersed, though.This is not a memoir. Readers who want the details of his selection and confirmation for the Supreme Court will not be sated. One’s appetite is whetted at the beginning of the book, when Gorsuch discusses receiving the White House call, being interviewed, and being announced. Then the book’s final chapter, as the author previews it, “collects some of the statements I made during and shortly after the nomination and confirmation process.” That’s it. Justice Gorsuch may have decided that persuasively presenting his principles about the judicial role was both more appropriate and more important than recounting a recent political battle. Clarence Thomas is the one current justice who has written extensively about his confirmation controversies, but he waited 17 years to publish. As a personal aside, I too wrote about the pains and sufferings of a difficult confirmation, mine merely for a circuit court.  I waited six years until the wounds had (mainly) healed.There is just a little about his personal background. What is recounted can be charming. Gorsuch quickly describes several ancestors, including a grandfather in Denver who was a trolley-car driver, then a lawyer. This is the ancestor who had an awful voice but enjoyed using it to sing — loudly. A grandmother’s family built a small hotel near a railroad depot in Wyoming, which still stands and is used by the current generation during visits to the area.Mom and Dad were both lawyers, though the father little enjoyed being one. What he passed on to his son was a love of the outdoors, of camping, hunting, and skiing, but of fishing most of all. Gorsuch’s mother graduated from college at age 19 and from law school at 22. She became the first female assistant district attorney in Denver, and later was a state legislator. Gorsuch’s wife is a native of England. He gives a brief description of her background and their meeting while he was studying for a doctorate in England.  She agreed to marry him and move to Colorado, then fell in love with the West.Introduced to fishing by his father, Gorsuch has considerable knowledge of its mysteries. He recounts an amusing episode with a possibly novice fly-fisherman, Justice Antonin Scalia. There was no calm casting of lures for Scalia during a visit to Colorado — “he would storm over in his waders” to a spot Gorsuch thought was promising, surely scaring any fish. An affecting photo of the two, a Supreme Court justice and his not-yet-successor, is included, neither man in waders but a lake and a boat behind them.In Justice Scalia’s defense, he was an able hunter. The head of an elk he named Leroy which once adorned his chambers is now on the wall in Justice Gorsuch’s.The book is divided into only seven chapters. Within most of them are previous writings by the author, including lengthy excerpts from judicial opinions. He analyzes the importance of separation of powers in one chapter and of originalism and textualism in another. A chapter on the “Art of Judging” focuses on the need for courage to strive for the correct result and not the comfortable, easy one. He argues that good intentions have led to the worst Supreme Court decisions, such as Dred Scott, which found constitutional protection for slavery in 1857, and Korematsu, which in 1944 found no constitutional barrier to imprisoning American citizens during wartime if their country of origin, Japan, had started a war with the United States. He argues convincingly that the two decisions resulted from the Supreme Court’s seeking what appeared to be the best policy results at the time, as opposed to applying the plain language of the Constitution.It is an optimistic book, urging the avoidance of cynicism and promoting reasonable discourse on the issues that divide us. One way he has literally taught such perspectives is in a class on ethics at the University of Colorado. He asks, over at least the silent groans of many students, that they write their own obituary. Their written responses often show they are receiving what he is trying to give them, which is an understanding that what most of us, on reflection, will want to be remembered for are such things as kindness, love of family, a contribution to the world around us.Gorsuch’s writing style is conversational, as are many of his court opinions. He leavens his descriptions of legal debates with asides such as, after admitting that letting courts update the Constitution to reach the best results was not “completely insane,” saying that many things might not be insane but are still ill-advised — a point he often makes to his teenage daughters.In addition to using originalism to interpret the Constitution, Gorsuch promotes adoption of its close relative, textualism, to interpret statutes. Both approaches rely on the words of the relevant text as they would have been understood at the time of their creation. He acknowledges that these tools do not always provide a clear answer. Revising a Churchill quote about democracy as a form of government, he says that at the very least, originalism “is the worst form of constitutional interpretation, except for all the others.” It provides considerable determinacy; as much as humanly possible, it leaves out of judicial analysis the policy desires of judges; it allows the compromises inherent in our form of government to be upheld — Congress decides what statutes are to do, and the difficult method to amend the Constitution remains the only way revisions are made. The fact that judges are largely expected to wander free of such texts was recently, and startlingly, made apparent to me when an attorney in his oral argument stated dismissively that the only thing the other side had to support its position was the statute, while his side had the case law.Those whom the justice most admires are identified along the way. Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, for whom Gorsuch clerked, are among them. A long-ago Tenth Circuit judge, Alfred Murrah, is another, highlighted for his tireless work ethic and as a representative of the people who toil quietly in the service of country. Also receiving considerable praise are such historic figures as George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Theodore Roosevelt. Gorsuch quotes the segment of TR’s speech about credit belonging not to the critic but to the person in the arena, with “face marred by dust and sweat and blood,” who, through defeat or victory, is not to be found among the “cold and timid souls.” By praising both the tireless Judge Murrah and this part of TR’s legacy, Gorsuch is urging his citizen audience to strive mightily, and as he emphasizes, also calmly and respectfully, to preserve this Republic.Three years after his confirmation defeat, Robert Bork wrote a book detailing his disagreements with the direction of the Supreme Court and explaining the benefits of originalism, closing with a lengthy narrative of his blocked path to the Court. Fortunately for Gorsuch and for the nomination process more generally, his selection was not met with the hyperbolic condemnation that Bork’s invoked. His book about originalism comes two years after his confirmation victory. Justice Gorsuch has written a temperate book, with civility shown to all. Such fairness, though, does not reduce the fervor with which he urges that we keep this country a republic.


The Attack on Saudi Arabia Is the Crisis Iran Was Waiting For

Yahoo News - 18 hours 39 min ago

The Attack on Saudi Arabia Is the Crisis Iran Was Waiting ForA  sophisticated drone and cruise-missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil-processing facility on Saturday has sent shock waves through the world’s oil markets and leaves the U.S. and allies at a crossroads about how to deal with a growing threat from Iran and its supporters. This is the crisis Iran has been waiting for, with pro-regime media tweeting about the “unprecedented attack” and parroting the threats of Yemen’s Houthi rebels against Saudi oil infrastructure.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said Iran was behind the attack, and U.S. officials have released satellite images and spoken to media about details of the sophisticated assault. The attack showcases Iran’s precision weapons guidance. This is a threat that has been increasing for years. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act apprised Congress of Iran’s ballistic-missile program and drones. Israel also warned about similar threats in early September, asserting that Iran was transferring precision missile guidance to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran has been boasting about its drone, cruise-missile, and precision munitions since a large drill it undertook in March.However, Tehran has also been stymied in how to employ its arsenal, weighing the responses it wants to give in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran deal, in May 2018. For a year Iran used its good-cop, bad-cop routine, threatening to walk away from provisions of the deal if European and other countries didn’t work to get around Washington’s sanctions. But in May Tehran changed tactics. As sanctions took a bite, Tehran intimated that if Iran couldn’t export oil, neither would others. Washington has accused Iran of being behind the sabotage of six ships in May and June as well as the downing of a U.S. drone in June. Rockets also fell near U.S. bases in Iraq. Iran has also worked through its Houthi rebel allies in Yemen to supply know-how behind drone and air-defense technology. Pompeo says Iran is behind at least 100 attacks originating in Yemen.All this was window dressing for the more massive long-range attack that was to come this week. Two previous long-range attacks had targeted oil facilities west of Riyadh and near the border with the United Arab Emirates. In the latter attack, Iran’s Press TV claimed ten Yemeni drones had been responsible. The early hours of September 14 showed fires and explosions at Abqaiq. Satellite images revealed damage to almost 20 buildings, including liquified-natural-gas storage tanks. The damage wasn’t chaotic, as it would have been if someone tossed explosives and hoped they would hit their mark. Rather it was precise; one image shows four storage tanks hit in the same location.This level of precision is important. As salient was the ability of a force purported to include dozens of drones and cruise missiles to evade air-defense systems in eastern Saudi Arabia near Bahrain. This should be an area, not far from the U.S. naval base in Bahrain and the Al-Udeid base in Qatar, as well as U.S. bases in the UAE and Kuwait, that would be well defended. Whether the attack originated directly from Iran or from Iran-backed Houthis, either scenario shows how extremely proficient Iran and its allies have become with drones and missiles. This is an indigenous weapons program that outpaces Iran’s nearest neighbors, with the exception of Israel. It is a threat that requires U.S. air defense and radar to help confront. The larger question for the Trump administration is not just about defending allies, but also about whether it wants to try to deter Iran. Despite warnings since May that Iranian actions would meet with retaliation, Washington has been reticent to retaliate militarily, preferring a campaign of “maximum pressure.” It is hard to ignore the Iranian regime’s pronouncements on September 10 that the departure of National Security Advisor John Bolton showed that the U.S. had failed in its pressure campaign. It is also hard to believe that the sophisticated Abqaiq attack was planned in only four days.Tehran would have known that an unprecedented attack on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities by so many drones would raise eyebrows about claims that the poor and isolated Houthi rebels were behind it. The attack sends a clear message: This can get worse; end the sanctions and don’t risk the world’s oil supply. Iran thinks that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies won’t risk a conflict, and the Iranians think they called the Trump administration’s bluff in June. September 14 was a gamble but also a clear message felt across the Middle East. The era of Iran’s sophisticated precision-guided drone and cruise-missile attacks is here.


20 killed as truck plunges down ravine in Philippines

Yahoo News - 18 hours 41 min ago

20 killed as truck plunges down ravine in PhilippinesTwenty people, including children, were killed Tuesday in the southern Philippines when the flatbed truck they were riding in plummeted into a ravine, police said. The dead included children aged between one to six years old, with the driver among those injured, he added. Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines, where inadequately maintained buses and poorly trained drivers form the backbone of land transport options.


Ex-campaign chief Lewandowski 'excited' to defend Trump at impeachment hearing

Yahoo News - 19 hours 3 min ago

Ex-campaign chief Lewandowski 'excited' to defend Trump at impeachment hearingCorey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager and close confidant, said he was "excited" to have an opportunity to defend his former boss in testimony later on Tuesday to a Democratic-led U.S. congressional panel considering impeaching Trump. The White House on Monday told Lewandowski not to discuss conversations he had with Trump after he became president including an exchange that Democrats view as evidence that Trump committed obstruction of justice by trying to interfere in a federal investigation and may need to be impeached. Lewandowski is set to become the first impeachment witness to appear before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee since former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified in July about his inquiry that detailed Russian 2016 election interference and Trump's actions to impede the investigation.


A flight in India was delayed when a swarm of angry bees covered the cockpit window and attacked staff who tried to remove them

Yahoo News - 19 hours 15 min ago

A flight in India was delayed when a swarm of angry bees covered the cockpit window and attacked staff who tried to remove themFirefighters were eventually brought in to get the plane, with 135 passengers and Bangladesh's information minister on board, to take off.


Air Force crews stayed at Trump’s Turnberry resort for days at a time

Yahoo News - 20 hours 8 min ago

Air Force crews stayed at Trump’s Turnberry resort for days at a timeVIP pins, Scottish shortbread and plush surroundings greet officers who choose Trump Turnberry for their layovers.


UN experts urge probe of Rohingya killings in Bangladesh

Yahoo News - 20 hours 18 min ago

UN experts urge probe of Rohingya killings in BangladeshUN human rights experts have raised new concerns about the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh following a deadly backlash over the killing of a ruling party official. The experts called for an "impartial" investigation into the deaths of at least six Rohingya men in gunfights with police after they were named as suspects in the killing of Omar Faruk, a youth wing official of the ruling Awami League. In a statement released late Monday in Geneva, the six specially appointed UN experts on rights issues backed Bangladesh's probe into the murder of Faruk.


Police clear major migrant camp in northern France

Yahoo News - 20 hours 36 min ago

Police clear major migrant camp in northern FranceGrande-Synthe (France) (AFP) - French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard. The mayor of Grande-Synthe in December 2018 opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold. Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with around 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the crammed gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach Britain, had been sheltering.


Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rules out negotiations with US

Yahoo News - 21 hours 17 min ago

Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rules out negotiations with USIran will never hold one-on-one talks with the United States but could engage in multilateral discussions if it returns to the 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday, according to state television. US President Donald Trump has said he could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, possibly at the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. "Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials ... this is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran ... their policy of maximum pressure will fail," state television quoted Khamenei as saying. Khamenei said Iran's clerical rulers were in agreement on this: "All officials in Iran unanimously believe it. "If America changes its behaviour and returns to (Iran's 2015) nuclear deal, then it can join multilateral talks between Iran and other parties to the deal," Khamenei said. Trump has stepped up sanctions against Iran since last year when he withdrew from the nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions that were lifted under the deal in return for Iran curbing its nuclear programme. In retaliation for the US "maximum pressure" policy, Iran has gradually scaled backed its commitments to the pact and plans to further breach it if the European parties fail to keep their promises to shield Iran's economy from U.S. penalties. "If we yield to their pressure and hold talks with Americans ... This will show that their maximum pressure on Iran has succeeded. They should know that this policy has no value for us," said Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have spiked following a weekend attack on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that sent oil prices soaring and raised fears of a new Middle East conflict. Trump said on Monday it looked like Iran was behind the attacks but stressed he did not want to go to war. Iran has denied any involvement. Iran's regional rival, Saudi Arabia, said the attacks were carried out with Iranian weapons and it was capable of responding forcefully. Saudi Arabia urged U.N. experts to help investigate the raid.


Earth to warm more quickly, new climate models show

Yahoo News - 21 hours 22 min ago

Earth to warm more quickly, new climate models showGreenhouse gases thrust into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels are warming Earth's surface more quickly than previously understood, according to new climate models set to replace those used in current UN projections, scientists said Tuesday. The new calculations also suggest the Paris Agreement goals of capping global warming at "well below" two degrees, and 1.5C if possible, will be harder to reach, the scientists said. "With our two models, we see that the scenario known as SSP1 2.6 -- which normally allows us to stay under 2C -- doesn't quite get us there," Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, told AFP.


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