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South Korea becomes biggest coronavirus centre outside China

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 23:05

South Korea becomes biggest coronavirus centre outside ChinaSouth Korea reported 161 more coronavirus cases Monday, taking the nationwide total to 763 and making it the world's largest total outside China. The country has seen a rapid surge in the number of coronavirus cases -- adding more than 700 cases in less than a week -- since a cluster of infections emerged from a religious sect in the southern city of Daegu. Most of the country's cases are connected to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, including 129 of Monday's confirmations, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.


Malaysia in turmoil as Anwar denounces bid to bring down govt

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 21:50

Malaysia in turmoil as Anwar denounces bid to bring down govtMalaysian politics was in turmoil Monday after leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim denounced a "betrayal" by coalition partners he said were trying to bring down the government, two years after it stormed to victory. Anwar's "Pact of Hope" alliance was thrown into crisis after his rivals within the coalition and opposition politicians met at the weekend reportedly to try to form a new government. Speculation is mounting that Anwar, who had been the presumptive successor to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, and his lawmakers would be left out of any new coalition, ending his hopes of becoming premier any time soon.


South Korea on frontline as coronavirus spreads

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 21:33

South Korea on frontline as coronavirus spreadsThe deadly coronavirus epidemic spread further outside China on Monday as a surge of infections in South Korea made it the biggest hotspot abroad, while authorities in Europe and the Middle East battled to curb outbreaks. The number of fatalities in China also continued to soar, with 150 more confirmed deaths taking the official death toll to nearly 2,600. Chinese authorities insist they are making progress in containing the virus, citing slowing infection rates thanks to unprecedented travel lockdowns and quarantines in or near the outbreak's epicentre.


Probe into abuse at America's oldest deaf school finds 'appalling truths'

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 21:21

Probe into abuse at America's oldest deaf school finds 'appalling truths'Officials apologized for the "inexcusable actions" of staff and faculty members and the "fact that the school did not prevent or stop them."


Trump set for his biggest rally crowd yet in whirlwind visit to India amid trade friction

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 20:03

Trump set for his biggest rally crowd yet in whirlwind visit to India amid trade frictionTrump is expected to be feted in a two-day diplomatic spectacle aimed at highlighting U.S.-Indian relations amid escalating trade frictions.


RESULTS: Bernie Sanders wins the Nevada caucus, follow the full vote count and delegate race here

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 20:01

 Bernie Sanders wins the Nevada caucus, follow the full vote count and delegate race hereSanders has now won the popular vote in the first three primary contests and holds his biggest lead yet in the diverse state of Nevada.


CDC: Re-test confirms Westerdam cruise ship passenger 'never had coronavirus'

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 19:53

 Re-test confirms Westerdam cruise ship passenger 'never had coronavirus'After Holland America's MS Westerdam disembarked, a passenger tested positive for coronavirus. Following a re-test, the CDC says she never had it.


Federal judge rejects Roger Stone's request for her recusal

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 19:52

Federal judge rejects Roger Stone's request for her recusalStone's request was nothing more than an attempt to "to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the words 'judge' and 'biased' in it," the judge wrote.


A California man drove his Jeep off the roof of a six-level parking garage and crashed into a McDonald's, police say

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 19:49

A California man drove his Jeep off the roof of a six-level parking garage and crashed into a McDonald's, police sayPolice say a California man drove a Jeep off a parking garage and into a McDonald's. Two people dove out of the car before it crashed.


Nevada caucus results delayed for hours, Buttigieg camp claims 'irregularities'

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 19:02

Nevada caucus results delayed for hours, Buttigieg camp claims 'irregularities'Buttigieg's campaign raised questions about the results of Saturday's contest.


Officials announced new measures to stifle concerning coronavirus spikes in Iran, Italy, and South Korea

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 19:02

Officials announced new measures to stifle concerning coronavirus spikes in Iran, Italy, and South KoreaNew cases outside China have caused global concerns that more major regions were at risk and the outbreak could reach pandemic status.


Fear of coronavirus pandemic grows but China eases curbs as new infections fall

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 18:49

Fear of coronavirus pandemic grows but China eases curbs as new infections fallBEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) - Fears of a coronavirus pandemic grew on Monday after sharp rises in new cases reported in Iran, Italy and South Korea but China relaxed restrictions on movements in several places including Beijing as its rates of new infections eased. The surge of infections outside mainland China triggered steep falls in Asian shares and Wall Street stock futures as investors fled to safe havens such as gold. South Korea's fourth-largest city Daegu became more isolated due to a rapid increase in cases of infection, as Asiana Airlines and Korean Air suspended flights there until next month.


Virus pushes beyond Asia, taking aim at Europe, Mideast

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 18:32

Virus pushes beyond Asia, taking aim at Europe, MideastThe new virus took aim at a broadening swath of the globe Monday, with officials in Europe and the Middle East scrambling to limit the spread of an outbreak that showed signs of stabilizing at its Chinese epicenter but posed new threats far beyond. In Iran, a report of dozens of deaths in a single city emerged as infections were reported to have spread for the first time to Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and Afghanistan. “The past few weeks has demonstrated just how quickly a new virus can spread around the world and cause widespread fear and disruption,” said the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.


Trump administration backs off sending coronavirus patients to Alabama -governor

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 18:25

Trump administration backs off sending coronavirus patients to Alabama -governorThe news came as worry grew over the spread outside China of the sometimes fatal virus, with a spike in the number of cases found in South Korea, Iran and Italy. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey tweeted that she had thanked Trump during a separate phone call.


Bloomberg Killed the Best Chance at Justice for the 9/11 Attacks

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 18:14

Bloomberg Killed the Best Chance at Justice for the 9/11 AttacksIf it wasn’t for Mike Bloomberg, the alleged perpetrators of the worst terrorist attack in American history would likely have been convicted of mass murder by now.According to all the evidence available both at the time and in the nine years since Bloomberg’s intervention, a federal court almost certainly would have convicted the five co-defendants. A judge would have had to reckon with the torture the CIA inflicted on them, barring the prosecution from using tainted evidence—and showing, for the record, how torture jeopardized the case. Most importantly, there would have been closure, provided in open court and displaying the inheritance of centuries of jurisprudence, for the atrocity of 9/11 and the brutality America chose when confronting it. All that was why Eric Holder, then the attorney general, announced in November 2009 that the Justice Department would bring criminal charges against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ammar al-Baluchi, Ramzi Binalshibh, Walid bin Attash, and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, who—then as now—were detained at Guantanamo Bay. The venue for the trial was to be the federal courthouse in Manhattan, a short walk from the former site of the World Trade Center. It was an even shorter walk to City Hall, where Michael Bloomberg presided as mayor. Bloomberg at first backed trying the 9/11 conspirators in the city. But the NYPD and the big real estate developers central to Bloomberg’s vision of New York as a “luxury brand” viewed the trial as a national-security version of a Not-In-My-Backyard concern—all as a broader backlash to Barack Obama’s handling of the war on terror was brewing. By January 2010, Bloomberg reversed himself, and his opposition doomed the trial. “I remember the hopes I had that there would be a federal trial, and I remember when Bloomberg and others came together and said it wasn’t going to happen,” said Terry Rockefeller, whose sister died in the World Trade Center and who apportions blame for the trial’s collapse on Holder as well. “It’s just been the most frustrating reflection on what we’ve done as a nation that this many years later we can’t have a trial.” The episode is less remembered than Bloomberg’s defense of racist policing, his accommodation of police Islamophobia, his history of misogyny and his affinity for foreign authoritarians, all of which Bloomberg shares with the occupant of the White House he seeks to dislodge. But it had a devastating effect on the Obama administration’s ambitions for emptying the wartime prison in Cuba and proving the merits of civilian courts over military tribunals for what Holder had called the trial of the century. Eighteen years after 9/11, justice for the attack remains locked away in Guantanamo.“It’s hard to overestimate the damage that Bloomberg’s opposition to holding the 9/11 trials in New York federal courts caused,” recalled Karen Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University. “The inability to have closure on the 9/11 attacks, which this country is still owed; the lack of trust in the federal criminal justice system; and the perpetuation of Gitmo—it is an incalculable misstep, and it pulled the rug out from under Obama and Holder’s conviction that the 9/11 trials needed to be held in federal court on federal soil, just as [international terrorism cases] had always been prior to 9/11.”Joseph Marguiles, attorney for Abu Zubaydah, another Guantanamo detainee tortured by the CIA, said Bloomberg’s rejection of the trial showed the same “fear-mongering and bone-headedness” as his embrace of stop-and-frisk. “It’s all of a piece: a mindless, reflexive cowardice,” Marguiles said. Representatives for Bloomberg’s campaign did not respond to messages seeking comment. Holder, through a spokesperson, declined comment. So did Holder’s national security adviser at the time, Amy Jeffress. Barack Obama came into office pledging to close Guantanamo Bay, but quickly alienated civil libertarians by his parsimonious definitions of what closure meant. Rather than forsake military detention away from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama sought to replicate it at an Illinois prison that critics derided as “Gitmo North.” By the spring of his first year in office, he proclaimed himself open to indefinite military detention for the “toughest” cases, even as he pledged he would seek civilian prosecutions for terrorist suspects “whenever feasible.”The centerpiece for that feasibility was the 9/11 trial. For years, the 9/11 co-conspirators had languished in unofficial CIA prisons known as black sites where they faced torture so extreme that one of them, Hawsawi, experienced a rectal prolapse. Holder called prosecuting them in federal court the “defining event” of his tenure atop the Justice Department. He had support from important New York politicians. “New York is not afraid of terrorists,” boasted Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat representing Manhattan. Bloomberg, at first, joined the chorus. “It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered,” he said the day of Holder’s announcement. Doing so was entirely feasible, he noted, as proven by the federal trial for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Bloomberg said he had spoken to Holder and pledged city support “in any way necessary.” He expressed confidence in the NYPD’s “experience dealing with high-profile terrorism suspects and any logistical issues that may come up during the trials.”But he quickly developed other ideas. By the time the Justice Department announced its intended 9/11 trial, a backlash to Obama was coalescing around the country. One of its focal points was Obama’s emphasis on using the criminal justice system for terrorism cases, which the right interpreted as a five-alarm fire. Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, led an early charge warning “how dangerous closing Guantanamo could be.” Then, weeks after the Justice Department announcement, FBI agents read a Miranda warning to a Nigerian jihadist named Omar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried and failed to blow up a civilian airliner as it descended into Detroit. Abdulmutallab extensively cooperated with investigators, but to the right, it crystallized a danger Obama allegedly posed. Rudy Giuliani wailed, “Why in God’s name would you stop questioning a terrorist?”   The 9/11 trial suddenly had a new, hysterical context. A rally at Foley Square in December, featuring relatives of 9/11 victims, denounced the attorney general. It was organized by a group led by Islamophobic 9/11 widow Debra Burlingame, future Rep. Liz Cheney and neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol, called Keep America Safe—explicitly meaning safe from terrorism and, tacitly, from Obama. Accordingly, the crowd around or passing by Foley Square yelled “traitor” and “lynch Holder!” Then there were more parochial concerns. The NYPD began worrying aloud that the trial would be a logistical snarl, and ratcheted up their estimates of its cost. Commissioner Ray Kelly briefed community officials with intimidating projections about blanketing downtown Manhattan with police checkpoints and intrusive searches. The police weren’t the only influential constituency that blanched. The New York Times reported that Bloomberg got “an earful” of opposition to the trial when he attended an annual gathering of the Real Estate Board of New York; its president warned “it would destroy the economy in Lower Manhattan.” Jane Mayer of The New Yorker noted that “companies with downtown real-estate interests had been lobbying to stop the trial.” The chairwoman of the downtown-Manhattan community board wrote an op-ed opposing having the trial “in the midst of a dense residential and office neighborhood.” Bloomberg’s Money Won’t Right the Wrong of ‘Guantanamo-on-Hudson’By early January, weeks after supporting the trial, Bloomberg reneged. In a letter to the White House, Bloomberg asserted a security threat to the trial that he felt no political pressure to explain. Now the trial would cost the city over $200 million annually, largely due to reallocating police officers, who would accrue “significant overtime.” Bloomberg, backed by Kelly, expected federal reimbursement—something he insisted would not be a “blank check.” Bloomberg was backed by his home-state senator, now-Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, who insisted that “not a nickel of these costs should be borne by New York taxpayers.”It happened that there was a test case undercutting Bloomberg’s argument in real time. In June 2009, federal prosecutors in New York indicted a different Gitmo detainee, someone whom the CIA also tortured in the black sites. The trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani wasn’t on the scale of the 9/11 trial—he was indicted for his role in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania—but it featured no security disruption from terrorists, no abnormal police presence, and no economic disaster. Its judge, Lewis Kaplan, refused the government one of its desired witnesses, someone whom Ghailani named during his black-site interrogations. A jury acquitted Ghailani of all but one count of conspiracy, but it was enough to sentence him to life in prison in 2011, a sentence that has survived Ghailani’s appeals. His trial took a month.  But by then, the 9/11 trial had long been a lost cause. At a press conference on a Wednesday in late January, fueled by a nonbinding community-board vote against the trial, Bloomberg said that his “hope is that the attorney general and the president decide to change their mind” and hold the trial elsewhere. Two days later, Justice Department officials conceded to Times reporters that it was now “obvious” the trial couldn’t happen in New York.“If these trials were going to take place anywhere, they’d take place in New York, and the mayor of the largest city in the country said they can’t handle it. Well, if you can’t do it there, you can’t do it anywhere,” Marguiles said. “It was just nonsense. Of course they could have done it. These cases would have been resolved 10 years ago.” That November, before the Justice Department could salvage the prosecutions and indict Mohammed and his co-conspirators elsewhere, the Republicans won control of Congress. Once in office, the new GOP majority spearheaded legislation barring the Pentagon from spending money to move Guantanamo detainees onto mainland American soil, effectively killing any federal criminal indictment of anyone held in the wartime prison, a prohibition that continues to this day. Conceding defeat, the Obama administration in 2012 re-indicted the five co-conspirators in a military commission held at Guantanamo.The death of the 9/11 trial didn’t stop Obama from prosecuting terror suspects, something Donald Trump’s Justice Department has pursued as well. “It just became impossible to resolve the stain of 9/11 and the reality of Guantanamo,” Marguiles observed. “Everything about the show trial taking place down at Gitmo is inferior.”Indeed, the 9/11 military tribunal has lasted almost eight years without proceeding to trial. It’s been beset by a baroque series of setbacks, including accusations of government spying on the defense attorneys. Its new judge has set a trial date for 2021, some 20 years after 9/11, but that target is, as ever, in doubt. This week, one of Binalshibh’s attorneys, James Harrington, sought to remove himself from the case on health grounds. To keep the trial date alive, the prosecution took the extraordinary step of motioning to keep Harrington involved.Like many attorneys—including Holder—Greenberg and Marguiles believe the abundance of evidence about the 9/11 plot obtained outside of torture is sufficient to secure a federal conviction for the accused co-conspirators. As well, Marguiles said the 9/11 trial would have provided a way to “reckon with the legacy of torture.” Without a trial, New Yorkers and Americans generally lack the “closure and a narrative” that court cases provide, Greenberg said. “This country continues to live inside the post-9/11 moment,” she said, “in a way that didn’t need to happen.”No one continues to live in that moment more than the thousands of people like Rockefeller, who lost their loved ones on 9/11. “It was a crushing failure of will to actually do the right thing, to try the [accused conspirators] in a federal court,” said Rockefeller, who is affiliated with Sept. 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. “That would have been to say that our pride in our rule of law, and our belief in our legal system, is what makes us different from terrorists.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Bernie’s Bros Say He Will Boost Turnout to Beat Trump

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 17:36

Bernie’s Bros Say He Will Boost Turnout to Beat TrumpBernie Sanders has a succinct and biting response to all the establishment Democrats who are freaking out over the prospect of a cranky socialist leading the party into battle this November. They are wrong, he says. Indeed, only he can be the savior of the party.“The only way that you can beat Trump is by having an unprecedented campaign, an unprecedentedly large voter turnout,” he says. Faiz Shakir, his campaign manager, claims that Sanders has such a great appeal to young people and alienated voters that they “will vote in percentages that they have never voted before.”That’s just swamp gas, counters James Carville, the now retired Louisiana political consultant who helped engineer Bill Clinton’s 1992 election by summarizing his strategy as “It’s the economy, stupid.” Carville isn’t mincing words when he says that Sanders is peddling a turnout theory akin to a belief in unicorns. “If you’re voting for him because you think he’ll win the election, because he’ll galvanize heretofore sleepy parts of an electorate, then politically, you’re a fool,” he told MSNBC on Saturday as Sanders was sweeping Nevada.Ruy Teixeira, a voting specialist at the Center for American Progress, agrees. “It is truly magical thinking to believe that, in a highly polarized situation, only your side gets to increase turnout,” he wrote in the Washington Post this month.Indeed, a new study of non-voters by the Knight Foundation looked at 12,000 “chronic non-voters in America, across the country, and in key battleground states.” They concluded that if they all went to the polls, Democrats would increase their popular-vote margin and lose the Electoral College even more decisively than they did in 2016. Most of the untapped vote in such states as Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and Arizona consists of white voters who have little to no college education. Many like Trump’s blowtorch rhetoric and anti-elitist attitude and are suspicious of left-wing social planners.Bernie supporters say that all of this is theory; on their side, they cite the 2018 midterm elections, which saw the highest voter turnout of any off-year election since 1914. Democrats gained control of the House by winning 40 seats, and they captured then–GOP governorships in swing states that Trump had carried, including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maine.But Teixeira says this analysis is electoral fool’s gold. “The overwhelming majority of the Democrats’ improved performance” in the midterms did not come from “fresh turnout of left-of-center voters,” he wrote. Catalist, a respected liberal data center, found instead that 89 percent of the improved performance by Democrats came from Trump voters who switched to their side. But they switched their vote to Democrats not because they favored radical change but because they didn’t like Trump’s “tax cuts for the rich” and attempt to gut Obamacare.“Sanders’s bouquet of unpopular positions hardly seems likely to help the Democrats make up ground among these voters,” Teixeira concluded.The problem that establishment Democrats face in making the argument that Sanders would lose to Trump is simple. Bernie’s base of supporters simply can’t bring themselves to accept that their guy’s positions on issues could be less popular than those of Trump The Fascist. “Even if people give credit on the economy to Trump, his personality disorder will draw people to Bernie,” Alice Charters, a New Hampshire Democrat told me this month.The problem with that is that a lot of Americans think that Bernie Sanders has a personality problem, too. He comes across as an irritable, red-faced scold, waving his arms while he calls for revolution, sort of the crazy uncle of American politics. Trump may come across as the neighborhood bully, but that persona is probably more appealing for many voters as long as they think he will protect their interests.I am inclined to welcome a matchup between Sanders and Trump, not because I’m enamored of either of them but because the campaign would be fought over an important issue: Should America move rapidly toward socialism? That’s an important debate to have, and in between the name-calling, perhaps the country would render a useful and definitive answer.


U.S. judge rejects Roger Stone's request she be kicked off his case

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 17:35

U.S. judge rejects Roger Stone's request she be kicked off his caseA U.S. federal judge on Sunday denied a request by Roger Stone's lawyers that she be removed from the case in which she last week sentenced the long-time adviser to President Donald Trump to three years and four months in prison. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson had been accused of bias by Stone's attorneys in a filing on Friday that called for her recusal. Stone, 67, was convicted on Nov. 15 of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness tampering.


Wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 in Georgia kills 6 people, including Virginia parents and their 3 children

Yahoo News - Sun, 02/23/2020 - 17:35

Wrong-way crash on Interstate 95 in Georgia kills 6 people, including Virginia parents and their 3 childrenSix people, including three children, were killed early Sunday in a head-on crash on Interstate 95, according to the Georgia State Patrol.


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