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Houthis Have an Arsenal of Ballistic and Cruise Missiles (Some from North Korea)

Yahoo News - 22 hours 24 min ago

Houthis Have an Arsenal of Ballistic and Cruise Missiles (Some from North Korea)Know this: The Houthis inherited from the defunct Yemeni military a large number of Soviet-exported Scuds as well as North Korean-made Scuds called “Hwasong-6s.

Taiwan loses biggest Pacific ally as Solomons embraces China

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 23:15

Taiwan loses biggest Pacific ally as Solomons embraces ChinaTaiwan has lost its largest ally in the Pacific after the Solomon Islands confirmed Tuesday that it is switching diplomatic allegiance to China, and observers say other Pacific nations may soon follow. The switch has geopolitical significance that will be felt as far away as Washington because the Solomon Islands are located directly between Australia and the U.S. and were the site of fierce battles during World War II. Alex Akwai, a spokesman for Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, said the government's caucus took a poll on Monday, with 27 lawmakers voting in favor of switching allegiance to China and six abstaining.

Divided Fed set to cut interest rates this week, but then what?

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 23:04

Divided Fed set to cut interest rates this week, but then what?Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that began on Tuesday. An oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness. At one end of the Fed's large boardroom table sit St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who are expected to argue for a steep reduction in borrowing costs to counter low inflation and an inverted Treasury yield curve.

20 arrested, 18 charged in Minneapolis beatings

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 22:59

20 arrested, 18 charged in Minneapolis beatingsMinneapolis police chief, assault victim talk to Fox News about arrests in downtown beatings; Matt Finn reports.

Foxconn Billionaire Terry Gou Drops Taiwan Presidential Bid

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 22:34

Foxconn Billionaire Terry Gou Drops Taiwan Presidential Bid(Bloomberg) -- Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn Technology Group, pulled out of next year’s presidential election in Taiwan, a move that may help unite the opposition Kuomintang party.Gou apologized to his supporters in a statement on Facebook Tuesday outlining his decision to withdraw from the race as an independent. After he quit the KMT last week, he had come under pressure from opposition leaders, including former President Ma Ying-jeou, to drop out of the race and support their nominee to help return the China-friendly party to power.“With this poor election climate and prevailing populism, I’m not willing to participate in this political farce, not only for my own personal and factional interests, but also because class struggle is tearing Taiwan apart,” Gou said in a video released Tuesday.Gou could still run as a candidate for one of Taiwan’s established political parties.Shares in companies controlled by Gou slumped Tuesday. FIH Mobile Ltd. was the worst performer on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Composite Index, tumbling as much as 23.2%. His flagship Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. fell 2% in Taipei.Gou had been widely expected to run for the presidency after publicly flirting with the idea since losing the KMT primary to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu in July. Gou’s candidacy threatened to sap support for Han who will challenge President Tsai Ing-wen in the Jan. 11 election.Gou trailed the two candidates from the main parties by at least seven percentage points, according to a survey released by TVBS last week. In a two-way race, Tsai leads with 49% of support, compared with 42% for Han.What had been shaping up as Taiwan’s most competitive presidential election in decades could end up being essentially a straight fight between Tsai and Han. Another prospective independent candidate, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, said he had no intention of running for president, according to a report by TV news channel TVBS on Tuesday. Still, Tsai could face increased competition for voters who favor a stronger push for the island’s formal independence. Former Vice President Annette Lu announced her intention to run as an independent. Lu served as vice president under Chen Shui-bian between 2000 and 2008.(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix spelling of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Tony Jordan.To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Samson Ellis, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Putin Loses Legendary Approval-Rating Crown to His New Neighbor

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 22:00

Putin Loses Legendary Approval-Rating Crown to His New Neighbor(Bloomberg) -- Vladimir Putin takes great pride in his sky-high approval rating. But with Muscovites rising up and a new government instilling hope in Ukraine, he’s being outshone by the president next door, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.It’s still early days for the administration in Kyiv. While pushing a raft of popular reforms, Zelenskiy, 41, remains in his honeymoon period, while cries he’s too close to a local billionaire grow louder.The 66-year-old Putin, meanwhile, is approaching two decades as Russia’s leader. Economic expansion has fizzled out, and along with it the spending largess that kept the masses happy.The last time his popularity sagged meaningfully, Putin famously got a boost after annexing Crimea from Ukraine and fomenting a war between the two former allies.Zelenskiy has a long way to go to match the 89% rating Putin reached back then.To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Langley in London at alangley1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at adudik@bloomberg.net, Gregory L. WhiteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

The New York Times faces questions over Kavanaugh story

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 21:09

The New York Times faces questions over Kavanaugh storyBetween an offensive tweet and a significant revision, The New York Times' handling of a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh attracted almost as much attention as the accusation itself. The story also gave President Donald Trump and his allies fresh ammunition in his campaign against the media, where the Times was already a favorite target. The revelation that led several Democratic presidential contenders to call for Kavanaugh's impeachment came in the 11th paragraph of a story labeled "news analysis" that ran in the Sunday opinion section.

In leaderless Hong Kong movement, Joshua Wong just 1 voice

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 21:02

In leaderless Hong Kong movement, Joshua Wong just 1 voiceOverseas, Joshua Wong has emerged as a prominent face of Hong Kong's months-long protests for full democracy. While not diminishing the importance of that role, other protesters say Wong does not speak for what is purposefully a leaderless movement. "Not that nobody cares about what he says, but it's just that Joshua Wong alone cannot represent the whole of Hong Kong," said Sean Au, a 17-year-old student.

India Is Dangerously Close to Becoming an Also-Ran

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 21:00

India Is Dangerously Close to Becoming an Also-Ran(Bloomberg Opinion) -- India’s government will shortly find itself at a fork in the road. Will it choose globalization and export-oriented growth? Or will the isolationists in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party win, and keep India out of a giant Indo-Pacific trading bloc?This weekend, New Delhi hosted negotiators for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – from the 10 members of ASEAN as well as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and China – in the hope that it could swing last-minute safeguards for some of its producers. Indian officials have stalled RCEP’s progress as much as they could, and the others are now losing patience. One way or another, the deal will have to be concluded by November, when the leaders of the 16 RCEP countries will meet in Bangkok. Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohammed, not a man known for patience, said in June that the other countries could go on without India, if necessary.Many in New Delhi, even within the commerce ministry, would be relieved to see that happen. The belief that India has “lost” in most of its trade agreements is pervasive here. Influential lobbies tied to the country’s laggard producers are happy to remind officials how trade deficits soared with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations after a free-trade agreement was signed some years ago, for example. And there has always been a strong isolationist wing within the Hindu nationalist BJP – right-wing ideologues don’t just want India out of RCEP; they would prefer existing agreements with Japan, Korea and ASEAN be renegotiated, if not abandoned.Of course, India can only be said to have “lost” if you ignore the considerable gains to consumers from cheaper imports. Once upon a time, Indian households had to worry constantly about high and variable prices of cooking oil. That’s no longer a concern, thanks to imports of palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia, in spite of the steep duties permitted by the Indo-ASEAN free-trade agreement. And when producers’ lobbies complain about losing market share to Southeast Asia, they merely underline how uncompetitive Indian industry has become.There is, in fact, a far better reason than any of these for India to feel doubtful about RCEP, and it’s geopolitical more than economic. For Beijing, the trading bloc is just another method to ensure that the People’s Republic embeds itself as the hub of Asia’s economic geography. That’s not something anyone in India is comfortable with. India runs a massive trade deficit with China, of course; but, even more than that, officials here are conscious that concluding RCEP in the middle of the Sino-U.S. trade war would be a boost to Beijing. The problem is that all options for New Delhi are unappetizing. If only there was a large and comprehensive alternative to the RCEP that excluded China — but, of course, President Donald Trump has killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaving Beijing in control of the future of Asian trade.In the end, though, it’s hard to see how India would be best served by turning its back on RCEP. In spite of his pro-trade rhetoric at places like Davos, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has started putting up tariff walls in recent years, as early attempts to boost Indian competitiveness failed to show quick enough results. This turn to protectionism needs to be reversed, if India has any hope of employing the millions of young people graduating its schools every year.It’s true that signing a sweeping free-trade agreement would be a significant change in direction for a government that is most comfortable speaking a 1970s-vintage language of import substitution, industrial policy and protective tariffs. But Indian negotiators have already moderated their demands considerably. New Delhi has made it clear that it would be satisfied with a two-track agreement that keeps some walls up against Chinese imports while opening up to the other RCEP countries.I’m still hopeful that, come November, Modi’s signature will be on this agreement. If nothing else, it would be a massive humiliation on the international stage for him to stand aside as all the other leaders of the Indo-Pacific come together to declare a new era is dawning. So much of Modi’s domestic popularity is wrapped around the carefully constructed myth of his international importance, that this might be seen as an unacceptable political hit. At least that’s what we should hope the calculations within New Delhi’s corridors of power are – because, if not, then India is condemned to long decades of being an also-ran on trade and growth.To contact the author of this story: Mihir Sharma at msharma131@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mihir Sharma is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was a columnist for the Indian Express and the Business Standard, and he is the author of “Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Amazon deforestation is driven by criminal networks, report finds

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 21:00

Amazon deforestation is driven by criminal networks, report findsCriminals threaten and attack government officials, forest defenders and indigenous people, Human Rights Watch findsDeforestation in the Amazon basin in Colniza, Mato Grosso state, Brazil, on 29 August. Photograph: Mayke Toscano/AFP/Getty ImagesDeforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is a lucrative business largely driven by criminal networks that threaten and attack government officials, forest defenders and indigenous people who try to stop them, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch.Rainforest Mafias concludes that Brazil’s failure to police these gangs threatens its abilities to meet its commitments under the Paris climate deal – such as eliminating illegal deforestation by 2030. It was published a week before the UN Climate Action Summit.Ricardo Salles, Brazil’s environment minister in the government of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, has argued that poverty drives degradation, and that development of the Amazon will help stop deforestation.But the report’s author, Cesar Muñoz Acebes, argues that Amazon needs to be better policed.“As long as you have this level of violence, lawlessness and impunity for the crimes committed by these criminal groups it will be impossible for Brazil to rein in deforestation,” he said. “These criminal networks will attack anyone who stands in their way.”The report documents 28 killings in which it found evidence that “those responsible were engaged in illegal deforestation and saw their victims as obstacles”.Victims included indigenous people, forest residents and environmental agents, and only two cases went to trial. It cites “serious flaws” in investigations of six killings. More than 300 killings were counted by the Pastoral Land Commission, a not-for-profit group connected to the Catholic church, over the last decade in the Amazon, of which just 14 went to trial.An aerial view of deforestation taken on 22 September 2017. Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty ImagesOfficials and environmentalists told the Guardian the report echoed their experiences working in the Amazon.“There is a lack of people, a lack of resources, a lack of logistics and a lack of will,” said Antonio de Oliveira, a retired federal police officer previously seconded to indigenous agency Funai. He worked with the Guardians, a brigade of Guajajara indigenous people who forcibly expel loggers from their heavily depleted Araribóia reserve in Maranhão state on the east of the Amazon.Oliveira received several death threats and came under fire from loggers during one operation, when an environment agency official sitting next to him was hit in the arm. Nobody was jailed.He agreed with the report’s assertion that illegal loggers have become more brazen since Bolsonaro launched a strong series of attacks on environmental agencies for levying fines and destroying loggers’ equipment, and promised to develop protected environment areas.“The situation has got worse,” he said. “There is a sort of encouragement to people to enter, to invade.”Paulo Bonavigo, president of Ecoporé, a not-for-profit group in Rondônia working on sustainable forest projects, said loggers operate freely in one protected area his group monitors. “There are lookouts, there is a radio network. These guys are organised,” he said.Speaking anonymously because environment agencies officials are banned from talking to the media, an employee from the Chico Mendes Institute who worked in Pará state said the men working on illegal deforestation and mining in the forest are badly paid, poorly educated and exploited by rich bosses. “Deforestation is not exactly slave work but it is not far off.”Bolsonaro has promised “zero tolerance” of environmental crime. But he and his ministers also called international concern over the Amazon an attack on Brazilian sovereignty, rubbished official government data as lies, and said they will counter deforestation by developing the Amazon.Many involved in land grabbing, illegal mining and deforestation in protected areas voted for Bolsonaro – including a group of gold miners who recently blocked an Amazon highway recently and called on him for support after a recent crackdown by environmental agencies.On Friday the foreign minister, Ernesto Araújo, and the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, agreed to promote private sector development in the Amazon and announced a $100m biodiversity conservation fund led by private sector.The same day, the finance minister, Paulo Guedes, told foreign reporters that “there is still a precarious scientific basis” to climate change science. “We will sustainably develop the Amazon,” Guedes said.

Donald Trump says it is 'looking like' Iran was behind Saudi Arabia oil attack

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 20:42

Donald Trump says it is 'looking like' Iran was behind Saudi Arabia oil attackSaudi Arabia and the United States claimed they had evidence Iran was behind the weekend attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities on Monday. Col Turki al-Malki, Saudi’s military spokesman, said Iranian weapons were used in Saturday’s strikes on the Khurais oilfield and the Abqaiq refinery, the world’s largest petroleum processing plant. However, he did not openly blame Iran for the attack – which has knocked out five per cent of global crude oil production – suggesting the Saudis are trying to calm the increasingly tense situation before it spills into war. Instead he said Riyadh would investigate where the drones were launched as he did not believe the Iran-backed Houthi militia who are fighting the Saudi-backed government in Yemen, was responsible for the attack as they had claimed. “This strike didn’t come from Yemen as the Houthi militia are pretending,” Col al-Malki said. “It was a massive and highly sophisticated attack.” A satellite image shows an apparent drone strike on an Aramco oil facility in Saudi Arabia Credit: Planet Labs Experts also said it was unlikely to have been the militia. “This wasn’t done by an amateur, to put it very mildly,” tweeted Carl Bildt, co-chairman of the European Council on Foreign Relations. At a press conference on Monday night, Donald Trump, the US president, said “it certainly would look” like Iran was behind the attack but added “we’ll let you know” as “that’s being checked out right now”. "I'm not looking to get into a new conflict but sometimes you have to," he added. Asked if a "lethal" US military strike would be a proportional response against those responsible, Mr Trump replied: "I would say yes." "I'll have a stronger message, or maybe no message, depending on the results. There's no rush," he said. "Personally, I'm not concerned at all, we have military power the likes of which the world has never seen." Strikes against Saudi oil plants Severe damage to the Abqaiq plant has halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day briefly causing the biggest jump in oil prices since the 1991 Gulf War. On Sunday, Mr Trump had tried in vain to reassure Americans there would not be a knock-on effect. “PLENTY OF OIL!”, he tweeted, followed by, “We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!”. He warned Iran that the US was “locked and loaded”, although he said he would take his cue from Saudi Arabia on how to respond. The US later downplayed the president’s comments, with a White House official saying “locked and loaded” was “a broad term” that referred to protecting the US from energy dependence. Mr Trump has said he does not want war with Iran, despite pursuing a “maximum pressure” policy towards the nation which is refusing to sign a new treaty that would place indefinite curbs on its nuclear programme. Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq Credit: Reuters Britain condemned the attack on the oil facilities as “a wanton violation of international law” but said it was necessary to determine the facts before pursuing a response. Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, said: “In terms of who is responsible, the picture is not entirely clear.” Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, clearly placed the blame on the Yemeni rebels. “The people of Yemen have been forced to respond, they are only defending themselves,” he told the Turkish media.

Hong Kong faces commuter chaos after rare train derailment

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 20:39

Hong Kong faces commuter chaos after rare train derailmentA rare train derailment disrupted services in Hong Kong on Tuesday, train authorities said, threatening commuter chaos during rush hour in the heart of the Asian financial hub. The disruption to a usually seamless network used by nearly 6 million people every weekday happened after a train derailed while leaving a station in the city's Kowloon area, rail operator MTR Corp said. Hong Kong's rail system has been a target of vandalism during recent pro democracy protests in the city with activists angry that MTR has closed stations to stop protesters gathering.

Artists refusing to make gay wedding invitations win US legal battle

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 20:00

Artists refusing to make gay wedding invitations win US legal battleTwo Arizona artists who refused to create invitations to same-sex weddings due to their Christian beliefs were within their legal rights, the US state's top court ruled Monday. The state Supreme Court's decision invalidates previous judgments against the two women for violating a "human relations ordinance" introduced by the southwestern city of Phoenix to safeguard LGBTQ rights. According to their lawyers, the two artists could have faced up to six months in prison and a $2,500 fine each time they refused to make invitations to gay weddings.

'Evil needs to pay': Missing Florida mom Casei Jones and her four children all found dead in Georgia

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 19:26

 Missing Florida mom Casei Jones and her four children all found dead in GeorgiaCasei Jones, 32, and her four children, were found dead in Georgia and a warrant has been issued for Casei Jones' husband, Michael Wayne Jones Jr.

Half of the 147 tigers rescued from Thai temple have died

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 18:43

Half of the 147 tigers rescued from Thai temple have diedMore than half the tigers rescued three years ago from a Buddhist temple in Thailand where they served as a popular tourist attraction have died of disease, wildlife officials said Monday. The tigers were vulnerable to illness because of inbreeding, leading to laryngeal paralysis causing respiratory failure, said national parks official Patarapol Maneeorn. The DNA of all 147 confiscated tigers could be traced to six tigers who were the original breeding stock, said Patarapol, head of the department's Wildlife Health Management Division.

Team Trump: Saudis See This Attack as Their 9/11

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 18:08

 Saudis See This Attack as Their 9/11Mark WilsonA top State Department official told Congress Monday evening that the Saudis view the massive attack on their oil infrastructure as their 9/11, according to two congressional sources.After a national security meeting this morning, President Donald Trump told reporters that it was “looking” like the attack over the weekend emanated from Iran but that the U.S. would wait for Saudi to conduct an investigation into the strikes. Brian Hook, the Trump administration’s special representative for Iran, made the 9/11 during a telephone briefing on Capitol Hill about the administration’s latest thinking on the attack. Hook communicated the reaction from Riyadh and said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would be headed to the country soon. Several individuals on the call said Hook’s update was thin, but said the administration had made available to lawmakers intelligence about the attack that they could review under a classified setting. CNN first tweeted that Hook told Congressional staffers that the Saudis view this as “their 9/11.”The 9/11 reference, made less than a week after the 18th anniversary of the attack which killed over 3,000 Americans, came despite the uncomfortable fact that 13 of the 19 hijackers who attacked the U.S. on that day were Saudi citizens. Last week, the Trump administration pledged to reveal the name of a Saudi official investigated by the FBI for a possible role in the 9/11 attacks. “From an American perspective, it seems like a trivialization of the tragedy of 9/11, and perhaps offensively so, but from a Saudi point of view it is a way of explaining their shock to Americans,” said Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute. We’re a Lot Closer to War in the Middle East Than You’ve Been ToldThe White House did not provide comment for this story. However, a source with direct knowledge says that Trump was briefed on the situation in Saudi Arabia with an official using the same 9/11 comparison. Trump appeared “unmoved” by the analogy, the source noted. The National Security Council declined to comment when reached by The Daily Beast.Hook’s call comes as President Trump grapples with how to respond to the attacks. That decision is confused, in part, because of the departure of his former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Bolton, one of the main architects of the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran, was an advocate for maintaining a tough stance with Tehran. Pompeo and Hook, too, are known to favor exerting both economic, political, and possibly military pressure on Tehran. Trump has long said he does not seek war with Iran, but has not said definitively what he envisions as the best way to move forward. The strikes on the Saudi infrastructure have set off a sense of chaos inside the White House and in the halls of the Pentagon as officials draw up proposals for the president on how to respond.  Despite the 9/11 rhetoric, the kingdom isn’t matching the apparent behind-the-scenes alarm with a similar tone in public. On Monday, the Saudi foreign ministry said it would invite experts from the United Nations to investigate the site of the attack. “I think there is a clear argument to be made that Iran’s attack was an act of war. But, at least in public, Saudi Arabia has been very cautious, going out of their way to involve the international community and buy time,” Aaron Stein, director of the Middle East program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told The Daily Beast. “I can imagine there are many war decision makers in the kingdom, concerned the air strikes won’t solve their problem and just escalate things further.”The light touch in public appears to be a stalling move, according to Dr. Afshon Ostovar, a scholar at the Naval Postgraduate School. “Riyadh's somewhat muted statements so far seem designed to to give it time and space to think through its options, both military and diplomatic,” Ostovar said. “A military engagement with Iran would inexorably lead to more insecurity, a weak response would embolden the culprits. That’s the heart of the Saudi's dilemma. In some sense, that's also the dilemma for Washington.”The attack on Saudi oil facilities comes as the Kingdom increasingly finds itself surrounded by Iranian missile capabilities. To the south, since the Saudi-led military coalition first intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, Iran has equipped Houthi rebels with short-range ballistic missiles, which the insurgents have used to rocket Saudi territory as far away as the capital in Riyadh. To the north, Shia militias reportedly launched Iranian drones from southern Iraq in attacks against Saudi oil infrastructure back in May and a number of reports have pointed to Iranian ballistic missiles stored in Iraq. And to the east, Iran has continued to develop both its ballistic and cruise missile capabilities despite the “maximum pressure” campaign to squeeze Tehran launched in May of 2018.Houthi officials claimed that the group had carried out the attack on the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field using 10 drones along with help from an unnamed source of “cooperation from inside the Kingdom.”But a number of reports, along with photos of apparent missile wreckage at the scene of the attacks, point to the use of cruise missiles for the attack with Iran, and not Houthi rebels, as the attackers.On Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack and tweeted that Iran was responsible and that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen”—a point echoed by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry in a speech on Monday. Satellite imagery released by the Trump administration also appears to contradict the Houthi account of a 10-drone attack. The photos show at least 17 different impact points at the oil facilities struck over the weekend.Experts also say wreckage found in Saudi Arabia points to a cruise missile attack potentially leveraging Iranian technology. “We have broad reason to suspect that the pictures of debris in the Saudi desert show a Quds 1,” says Fabian Hinz, an expert on Iranian missiles at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. “The Quds 1, a potentially Iranian-designed cruise missile was first seen with the Houthis and likely does not have the range to reach Abqaiq from Yemen.”—with additional reporting by Asawin SuebsaengRead 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.

Democratic challenger criticizes Susan Collins after new Brett Kavanaugh allegations

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 17:51

Democratic challenger criticizes Susan Collins after new Brett Kavanaugh allegationsSara Gideon, a Democratic challenger of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has repeatedly criticized Collins for voting last year to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanuagh.

90% of the world's population just experienced the hottest summer on record

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 17:09

90% of the world's population just experienced the hottest summer on recordThe Northern Hemisphere, which holds 90% of the world's population, just experienced its hottest meteorological summer on record, tied with 2016, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday.For the year-to-date, 2019 is the third-warmest year on record after 2016 and 2017.According to NOAA, nine of the 10 highest June-through-August global land and ocean surface temperatures have occurred since 2009.> The Northern hemisphere had the hottest summer (June to August) on record. It was 2nd hottest at global level. The last five June-August periods are the five hottest on record, per @NOAANCEIclimate ClimateAction https://t.co/p2I6NC9KYJ pic.twitter.com/JC6D20nWAr> > -- WMO | OMM (@WMO) September 16, 2019It was the second-hottest summer at a global level, according to NOAA, along with the second-hottest August on record for the planet.There have been around 40 child hot car deaths this summer, but that number is still behind last year for the summer. There was roughly 31 from June to August in 2018 and around 29 from June to August in 2019. A bird sits on a straw bale on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, as the sun rises during an ongoing heatwave in Europe on July 25, 2019, (AP Photo/Michael Probst, FILE) South America, Africa, Europe, the Gulf of Mexico and the Hawaiian region had a temperature departure from average for the summer months that ranked among the three warmest such periods on record. Africa, for example, had its warmest June-through-August period on record, according to NOAA's report.Europe was baked by multiple scorching heat waves throughout the summer that spread record high temperatures across the continent, making Paris surpass its hottest temperature ever recorded. Germany and France had their third-warmest summers on record, while Austria had its second-warmest summer.In July, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom all set new all-time high temperature records."Paris had at least 14 days this summer with temperatures above the 90s. Their highest 'normal' high all summer was 77 degrees," AccuWeather Meteorologist John Gresiak said. An annotated map of the world showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in August 2019. (NOAA) Alaska is one area that has suffered the most from the heat. Eight of Alaska's top 13 warmest days on record were in 2019."The Anchorage airport reached 90 degrees for the first time in that weather station's history on July 4. Anchorage also topped 80 degrees eight times this year, the most ever since record keeping of the weather began there in 1917," Sojda said.According to Sojda, Anchorage also had a problem with smoke this summer from huge wildfires that burned near the area. Alaska's fire season typically ends by Aug. 1, but the Swan Lake Fire has not been contained yet."Over 2.5 million acres have burned in Alaska this year. While that's still nowhere near the record of over 6.5 million acres from 2004, it's still considered a 'major fire year' which is a year when over a million acres is burned," Sojda said."The last major fire year was 2013 when 1.3 million acres burned. You have to go back to 2009 to find more acres burned than this year, when 2.9 million acres were burned," Sojda said.

London Zoo discovers largest amphibian in the world, which they unknowingly exhibited for 20 years

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 17:01

London Zoo discovers largest amphibian in the world, which they unknowingly exhibited for 20 yearsA salamander that lived at London Zoo for 20 years has turned out to be a new species which could be the largest amphibian in the world. The animal, which was kept at the zoo in the Twenties and later preserved at the Natural History Museum, was thought to be a Chinese giant salamander, but tests from 17 specimens held at the museum showed it was completely a new species that was actually bigger than its cousin. The amphibian, which has been called the South China giant salamander, was held by the museum for 74 years and is presumed to still live in the wild. When it lived at London Zoo, scientists in the 1920s had abandoned proposals that it could be a new species. The same salamander has now been used to define the characteristics of the new species. A new species of giant salamander - possibly the largest amphibian in the world - has been identified from a dead specimen that has been on display at the Natural History Museum for 74 years. Credit: SWNS/ZSL  The South China giant salamander can reach nearly two metres and is the largest of the 8,000 amphibian species alive today, scientists from ZSL and London’s Natural History Museum said. Analysing tissue samples from wild salamanders and the DNA specimens scientists revealed three genetic lineages. These were from different river systems and mountain ranges across China and could have diverged more than three million years ago. Professor Samuel Turvey, of the ZSL and lead author of the study published today in Ecology and Evolution journal said: “The decline in wild Chinese giant salamander numbers has been catastrophic, mainly due to recent overexploitation for food. “We hope that this new understanding of their species diversity has arrived in time to support their successful conservation.”

Agency could keep Three Mile Island nuclear debris in Idaho

Yahoo News - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 16:52

Agency could keep Three Mile Island nuclear debris in IdahoThe partially melted reactor core from the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history could remain in Idaho for another 20 years if regulators finalize a license extension sought by the U.S. Energy Department, officials said Monday. The core from Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania partially melted in 1979, an event that changed the way Americans view nuclear technology. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined there would be no significant impact from extending the license to store the core at the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) site that includes Idaho National Laboratory.


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