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Struggling in White House bid, Democrat Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump country

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 04:23

Struggling in White House bid, Democrat Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump countryU.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand rolled through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan last week on a bus emblazoned with "He broke it, we'll fix it," as part of a campaign tour highlighting what she called President Donald Trump's "broken promises" to the region. Gillibrand told laid-off auto workers in Youngstown, Ohio, and healthcare workers in Pittsburgh she would repair the damage of Trump's presidency if voters choose her as the Democratic nominee to take him on in November 2020. Posing for selfies with voters after a town hall on gun violence in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on Friday, Gillibrand said she needed thousands more supporters to qualify for the third Democratic primary debate in mid-September.

Everything to Know About July's Full Buck Moon — the First Full Moon of Summer

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 04:00

Everything to Know About July's Full Buck Moon — the First Full Moon of SummerThe full moon also brings a partial lunar eclipse to many parts of the world

In McConnell’s boyhood town where his family owned slaves, the reparations debate thrives

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 04:00

In McConnell’s boyhood town where his family owned slaves, the reparations debate thrivesNewly obtained records show that Sen. Mitch McConnell's family benefited from slavery for generations, helping them build lasting wealth.

To Defeat Trump, Democrats Should Nominate Michael Bennet

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 03:30

To Defeat Trump, Democrats Should Nominate Michael BennetWashington -- With a disgust commensurate with the fact, Michael Bennet, the Colorado Democrat, says that during 40 percent of his ten Senate years the government has been run on “continuing resolutions.” Congress passes these in order to spare itself the torture of performing its primary function, which is to set national priorities. Bennet is too serious a person to be content in today’s Senate, and if Democrats are as serious as they say they are about defeating Donald Trump, Bennet should be their nominee.The painfully revealing first phase of the Democratic presidential sweepstakes culminated with two remarkably efficient debates. This phase clarified the top four candidates’ propensity for self-inflicted wounds. When replayed in Trump’s negative ads, what they have already said might be sufficient to reelect him.Bennet checks a requisite number of progressive boxes: He is impeccably (as progressives see such things) alarmed about the requisite things -- the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, climate change, Mitch McConnell, etc. And he has endorsed -- perfunctorily, one hopes -- other candidates’ gesture-legislation to “study” reparations for slavery (Senator Cory Booker) and for same-sex couples who lived in states where same-sex marriages were legal but who could not file joint tax returns before the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (Senator Elizabeth Warren).Bennet has, however, refrained from frightening and mystifying voters with plans (Senators Harris, Warren, Sanders) to eliminate their private health insurance. Or with nostalgia for forced busing that shuffled children among schools on the basis of race (Harris). Or with enthusiasm for the institutional vandalism of packing the Supreme Court. Or with disdain (expressed by advocating decriminalization of illegal entry) for the principle that control of borders is an essential attribute of national sovereignty. And because Bennet, 54, was eight when Joe Biden came to the Senate, Bennet has not had to conduct a Bidenesque Grovel Tour to apologize for deviations, decades ago, from today’s progressive catechism.If, as Bennet believes, the Democratic nomination competition has become “more fluid,” it is because Harris, Sanders, Warren, and Biden have imprudently spoken their minds. And they probably are not done shooting themselves in their already perforated feet.Unlike them, Bennet has won two Senate races in a swing state that is evenly divided between Democrats, Republicans, and independents. He can distinguish between what he calls “the Twitter version of the Democratic Party” and the “actual” version.Bennet’s father, a descendant of a Mayflower passenger, earned a Harvard Ph.D. (medieval Russian history), and was an aide to a U.S. ambassador to India, and later worked for Democrats Hubert Humphrey, Ed Muskie, and Tom Eagleton. Bennet’s mother, who survived the Holocaust by hiding in a Warsaw suburb, reached New York -- via Stockholm and Mexico City -- where her parents opened an art gallery. The city was the center of the postwar art world, and they did well. Bennet says that in second grade he won both ends of the competition to see who had the oldest and newest American family branches.He edited the Yale Law Journal, became an associate at the Washington firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, then prospered working for a Denver investment firm before entering public service, which included four years as superintendent of Denver’s public schools, in which 67 percent of the pupils were poor enough to be eligible for free or subsidized lunches.Bennet believes that Trump is more a symptom than a cause of political dysfunction, and he regrets that “the capitalists have lost control of the Republican party,” which now is controlled by Trump cultists. China’s perfection -- and exporting -- of the “surveillance state” makes American democracy more important, and therefore its current degradation especially alarming. American politics has become a dialectic of “preemptive retributions” of “do it to them before they do it to us.” Trump’s politics of “I alone can fix it” has, Bennet says, “stripped the American people of their agency.”In his new book (The Land of Flickering Lights: Restoring America in an Age of Broken Politics), he quotes Thucydides on the civil war in the city of Corcyra: “With public life confused to the critical point, human nature, always ready to act unjustly even in violation of laws, overthrew the laws themselves and gladly showed itself powerless over passion but stronger than justice and hostile to any kind of superiority.” Such hostility is the essence of populism. Fortunately, the Democratic field includes one person familiar with Thucydides’ warning and who is unafraid to assert its contemporary pertinence.© 2019 Washington Post Writers Group

Storm Area 51: US military 'ready' to confront 600,000 alien-hunters threatening to break into top-secret base

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 03:12

 US military 'ready' to confront 600,000 alien-hunters threatening to break into top-secret baseThe Air Force has issued a stern warning to the over half of million people planning to storm a top-secret US military base in the Nevada desert who are on a hunt to “see them aliens."Over 600,000 people have signed up to an event called “Storm Area 51, they can’t stop all of us” which invites attendees to gather en masse before going into the air force base, which has long obsessed alien conspiracy theorists.The satirical event, which is organised on Facebook and is scheduled to take place on 20 September, appears to be a joke given the high security and heavily guarded nature of the base.The organisers said: “We can move faster than their bullets. Let’s see them aliens."But Air Force spokesperson Laura McAndrews has released a warning to potential trespassers. “[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” she said. Ms McAndrews added: “The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets”.But she failed to elaborate on specific details around how officials would react to potential intruders. “We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the event description reads. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”The "Naruto run" is a reference to a Japanese manga-inspired running style featuring arms outstretched backwards and heads forward. It is inspired by the running style of Naruto Ozumaki – title character in the Japanese anime series Naruto. Conspiracy theorists have long believed the US government holds secret information about aliens and UFOs at Area 51 and believe it is used to stow captured UFOs or alien remains and technology. But the US government categorically denies the existence of such objects.While it featured in the 1996 alien invasion film Independence Day as an alien testing laboratory, the base’s actual main function continues to be unknown.The base, which has been the focus of conspiracy theories for decades, was only formally recognised as a military base in 2013 after a 2005 Freedom of Information Act request. The perimeter of the base is constantly patrolled by armed security guards and CCTV and motion-sensor cameras are also in use – with signs around the base warning intruders could face “deadly force”.Conspiracy theorists allege the area has been the site of frequent UFO sightings.

How a Modified Iraqi Falcon 50 Business Jet Nearly Destroyed a US Frigate

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 03:00

How a Modified Iraqi Falcon 50 Business Jet Nearly Destroyed a US FrigateFollowing a series of training flights, on the morning of May 17, 1987 Suzanna’s crew received the order to load two Exocets and then transfer to Wanda AB for an operation over the Persian Gulf.​All through 1985 and early 1986, director of the Iraqi Air Force (IrAF) Intelligence Department, Brigadier-General Mudher al-Farhan, was collecting intelligence about the work of the Iranian tanker-shuttle (‘shuttle tankers’ were oil tankers equipped with upgrade fire-fighting equipment operated by specially trained crews, they made way in convoys of four ships escorted by warships of the Islamic Republic if Iran Navy). Every day at 1800hrs, he would brief Major-General Sha’ban about related developments.

Malaysia seizes $240 mln from Chinese state firm's bank account -paper

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 01:38

Malaysia seizes $240 mln from Chinese state firm's bank account -paperMalaysia has seized more than 1 billion ringgit ($243.25 million) from a bank account of state-owned China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Ltd (CPP), the Straits Times newspaper said on Saturday. The seizure comes nearly a year after Malaysia suspended two pipeline projects, valued at $2.3 billion, on which CPP was the lead contractor. The Malaysian government this month ordered HSBC to transfer the funds held in the Chinese firm's account to Suria Strategic Energy Resources, which is wholly owned by the Malaysian finance ministry, the Singapore-based newspaper said.

Get Ready, NATO: Russia's S-500 Is Coming Soon to a Battlefield Near You

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 01:33

 Russia's S-500 Is Coming Soon to a Battlefield Near YouFollowing months of radio silence and scattered leaks by anonymous sources, top Russian defense industry officials are finally going on record about Russia’s upcoming S-500 missile defense system—and it may be coming sooner than expected.Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Russian defense conglomerate Rostec, kicked off a new round of speculation when he recently told Russian media that the S-500 will enter service “very soon”: "New state-of-the-art weapons are being developed. So, once we can already sell S-400 systems, we now begin to manufacture S-500 systems. These are more updated systems. I’d prefer not to tell [you] about them now, they are not yet operational. I think they will enter service very soon."Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov went even farther than Chemezov in asserting the S-500’s readiness: “development of the Prometheus S-500 missile defense system is in its final stage. The S-500 has completed state trials, and is now undergoing systems refinement. The missile system’s primary specifications were verified during the course of the tests, and the system is ready for serial production. On the whole, development is proceeding according to plan, and the first S-500 units will be delivered to the Russian armed forces within the timetable set by the state armament programme 2027,” Chemezov said to the Russian Interfaks news agency.

War Talk: Turkey Has Fired Ballistic Missiles Into Iraq

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 01:23

 Turkey Has Fired Ballistic Missiles Into IraqAs if the Near and Middle East needed more ballistic missiles, now Turkey has fired one in combat.Turkey fired a Bora – a ballistic missile based on a Chinese design – at Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.“Turkey’s domestically-produced tactical ballistic missile BORA successfully struck its target after it was used for the first time in actual combat within the scope of Operation Claw in northern Iraq,” according to Turkey’s Yeni Safak news site. “Bora was developed by Turkish defense giant ROKETSAN; its export version is called Khan.”Yeni Safak displayed a video of a Bora being fired. The target was reportedly in the Hakurk region of northern Iraq, which Turkish ground and air forces hit in an operation against bases belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an independence movement that fought against Turkey for decades. There was no word on whether the missile inflicted any damage on its target.

UPDATE 1-Huawei plans extensive layoffs at its U.S. operations - WSJ

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 01:14

UPDATE 1-Huawei plans extensive layoffs at its U.S. operations - WSJHuawei Technologies Co Ltd is planning extensive layoffs in the United States as the Chinese telecoms equipment company grapples with its U.S. blacklisting, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The layoffs are expected to affect jobs at Huawei's U.S.-based research and development subsidiary Futurewei Technologies, which employs about 850 people in research labs across the United States, the Journal said https://www.wsj.com/articles/huawei-plans-extensive-layoffs-in-the-u-s-11563071144. The layoffs could be in the hundreds, one person told the Journal.

Hong Kong extradition protesters escalate fight in suburbs

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 00:16

Hong Kong extradition protesters escalate fight in suburbsTens of thousands rallied in a large Hong Kong suburb on Sunday, driven by abiding anger at the government's handling of an extradition bill that has revived fears of China tightening its grip over the former British colony and eroding its freedoms. Millions have taken to the streets over the past month in some of the largest and most violent protests in decades over an extradition bill that would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party. Clashes broke out as protesters hurled umbrellas and plastic bottles at police who retaliated by firing pepper spray amid chaotic scenes inside a shopping mall that houses some of the world's biggest luxury brands.

Meet the Powerful German G3 Assault Rifle

Yahoo News - Sun, 07/14/2019 - 00:00

Meet the Powerful German G3 Assault RifleBut what has made the G3 design so much more enduring than the FAL and M14? Is it actually a better rifle?After World War II, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization collectively decided to adopt a new class of infantry weapon.(This first appeared in May 2019.)The new battle rifles would arm almost every NATO nation by the 1950s were lightweight, box fed, and chambered in 7.61x51mm NATO. The Belgian FN FAL dominated this class of weapon, proving to be the most popular once also adopted across the Commonwealth and by many other nations in the third world and Europe. But it had two primary competitors, the German/Spanish G3/CETME and the American M14.But all of these weapons, the only one that has “survived” in first-rate militaries to 2019 is the G3. The FAL and M14, even in their upgraded forms, have finally been retired from the front line of most militaries. But the G3 manages to soldier on and continues to see service in many larger militaries.But what has made the G3 design so much more enduring than the FAL and M14? Is it actually a better rifle?In stock configuration, the G3 is probably worse than the FAL and M14 for the shooter. Both the M14 and FAL have last round bolt hold open devices (in most configurations), the G3 does not. The G3 is notorious for a “violent” action, which beats up brass and the shooter’s face with how the stock is laid out. The charging handle on the G3 requires quite a bit of force to cock and open the action compared to the FAL and M14, due to having to unlock and open the rollers in addition to having to fight the recoil spring.

Taiwanese president courts ally Haiti during Caribbean tour

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 23:27

Taiwanese president courts ally Haiti during Caribbean tourPort-au-Prince (AFP) - Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen made a brief visit to Haiti on Saturday without unveiling new spending commitments, as she courts Taipei's dwindling allies in the Caribbean in a diplomatic struggle with China. Since Tsai became president, Beijing -- which considers Taiwan part of its territory -- has poached five of the island's shrinking roster of allies, including Haiti's neighbor the Dominican Republic. Taipei has allocated $150 million to the country to help electrify its territory but the funds have not been allocated because they have yet to be ratified by the Haitian parliament.

After Taiwan buys arms, China holds military drills on southeast coast

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 23:18

After Taiwan buys arms, China holds military drills on southeast coastChina's military recently carried out air and naval drills along its southeast coast, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday, following the latest arms sales from the United States to self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as a renegade province. China's southeast coast is one of the country's most sensitive regions as it faces Taiwan across the narrow Taiwan Strait. China deems democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province, to be taken by force if needed.

Former Bangladesh military dictator Ershad dies at 89

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 23:08

Former Bangladesh military dictator Ershad dies at 89Former Bangladesh military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad died Sunday aged 89, after weeks in a Dhaka hospital, officials said. General Ershad ruled Bangladesh for nearly a decade before being ousted from power in a pro-democracy upsurge in 1990 and was jailed for years on corruption charges. Armed forces spokesman Abdullah bin Zaid confirmed the death.

‘Is Bernie going to come?’ Warren seizes on Sanders' Netroots absence

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 23:00

‘Is Bernie going to come?’ Warren seizes on Sanders' Netroots absenceThe gathering of political progressives found itself almost spoilt for choice by the Democratic presidential field for 2020Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks at Netroots. Photograph: Elizabeth Robertson/APAmong nearly 4,000 progressive activists and organizers gathered in Philadelphia this week for the 14th and largest Netroots Nation convention, the 2020 presidential race felt like a turning point. Between Elizabeth Warren’s policy plans and Bernie Sanders’ grassroots energy, progressive ideas are dominating the Democratic primary.“We’re tired of waiting for change,” said Yvette Simpson, chief executive of Democracy for America. “We’re tired of talking about compromising with the other side when it always requires us to compromise our values. I do believe we are ready for a bold champion.”At panels, breakout sessions and happy hours, attendees marveled at their options: two uncompromising liberal senators in the top tier of a crowded primary, flanked by other candidates who have warmed to progressive ideas. Several attendees said they would be equally pleased if Sanders or Warren were the nominee.But lines were nonetheless being drawn.> Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate I truly support. Wall Street is scared shitless of her> > Arlene Geiger, New YorkArlene Geiger, from New York, said she wanted to elect the “smartest person in the room”.“Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate I truly support,” she said, adding: “Wall Street is scared shitless of her.”Geiger supported Sanders in 2016 but said Warren’s journey from midwestern college dropout to Harvard law professor and pre-eminent scholar of bankruptcy law, all before entering politics, showed her grit and intellectual capacity.“She cares deeply about the issues from a progressive’s point of view that she came to not through ideological conviction but through her own life experiences and her own research,” she said.More than two dozen attendees cited Warren as a top choice, though they hadn’t made up their minds. As alternatives, they mentioned California Senator Kamala Harris and, occasionally, the former housing secretary Julián Castro.Sola Adenekan, a first-time attendee, said she was impressed by Warren’s work on behalf of victims of predatory lending practices, which disproportionately affected people of color.“She’s had the most thought-out, well-laid-out policies of all the candidates,” she said. “And that has forced the other candidates to come to the table with policies of merit.”Sanders supporters were harder to find. Several said they would welcome a Warren administration.Mark Schaeffer, an activist in Albany, New York, and a member of Democratic Socialists of America, which has endorsed Sanders, said the Vermont senator has the “clearest analysis of the need to change the system”. But he liked Warren too and believed she had adopted Sanders’ bold stance on climate issues.“I think she has a lot of good immediate proposals but I think she’s less oriented toward system change,” he said. “And that is what we need to face a threat that is bigger than the current threat to our democracy – which is very, very serious – the threat of catastrophic global overheating.” ‘He’s letting Warren have the conversation to herself’Warren, attending her ninth Netroots, participated in the presidential forum on Saturday. Sanders did not, his absence a source of some tension.“Is Bernie going to come here tomorrow to talk to us?” one activist asked Nina Turner, the former Ohio state senator who is a co-chair of Sanders’ campaign, during a Friday panel titled Black, Brown and In Charge: New Movement Leaders and the Future of the Left.“That’s not really the topic of this panel,” the moderator said.“I’m here,” Turner said.> His presence is here. What he’s standing for is here. And then I am here> > Sanders co-chair Nina TurnerThe conference’s third presidential forum featured only a handful of candidates for the Democratic nomination, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Castro and Washington governor Jay Inslee joining Warren.Organizers called Sanders’ absence a “missed opportunity”.“It’s 3,500 of the most engaged progressives in politics and he has decided that he is not going to talk to them,” said Carolyn Fiddler, spokeswoman for the Daily Kos website, a major sponsor. She added: “He’s letting Warren have the conversation to herself … and I don’t know why he would do that.”In Phoenix in 2015, Sanders and Martin O’Malley – but not Hillary Clinton – participated. Both were interrupted by Black Lives Matter activists. This year, Sanders received a mixed reception at a She the People event in Texas.Markos Moulitsas, the founder of Daily Kos who moderated the presidential panel, has been publicly critical of Sanders. “Bernie Sanders goes on Fox [News], but he’s afraid of ME?” he tweeted. “Sheesh.”The campaign said Sanders’ absence was due to a scheduling conflict. Turner rejected any suggestion the senator was “ceding” ground.“His presence is here,” she said. “What he’s standing for is here. And then I am here. Progressives should feel very confident and assured that the senator is rooted in this movement and that is going to change the dynamics of this country.”Warren was welcomed to the forum with deafening applause and the crowd chanting her name – a noticeably more enthusiastic response than the other candidates at the forum. Netroots 2019 began after the first debate reshaped the race. In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Warren surged to second behind Joe Biden with the support of 19% of likely voters compared with 26% for the former VP. Sanders tied Harris at 13%. Warren raised $19m in the second quarter. Sanders raised $18.2m.The Sanders campaign has emphasized his role in pushing policy ideas like Medicare for All and free college into the mainstream. Warren has grabbed attention with proposals including an immigration plan. Groans and eye rollsNetroots also provided a pulse check on progressive support for the other presidential hopefuls. Unsurprisingly, there was not much love for Biden. On Friday, dozens of immigration activists held a demonstration at his campaign headquarters in the city with family members of people deported by the Obama administration.Activists protest immigration policy in Philadelphia on Friday. Photograph: Jarrett Renshaw/ReutersOn a wall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, attendees could bet on who will drop out next, an exercise seemingly based more on wishful thinking than reality. As of Saturday morning, Biden and Sanders led the way. No one was betting on Warren or Harris.Any mention of Tom Steyer, the billionaire who jumped in this week, elicited groans and eye rolls. There was little patience for candidates like the Montana governor, Steve Bullock, or former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, moderates who some urged to run for the Senate instead.The conference also took place amid a bitter row between the House Democratic leadership and a group of newly elected members known as “the Squad”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. Netroots welcomed Pressley, Tlaib and Omar with applause and a standing ovation.“The women of color who entered Congress – they’re more than four votes,” said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People and moderator, referring to comments Pelosi made to the New York Times about the political influence of “the Squad”.“For millions of us, these women of color in Congress represent generations of blood, sweat and tears and struggle for us to have representation. And yet, if you’ve read the news, they’ve faced attacks all year from the right wing and from Democratic party leadership.”That prompted boos.Omar referred to “a constant struggle with people who have power about sharing that power” and said: “We are not really in the business of asking for the share of that power. We’re in the business of trying to grab that power and return it to the people.”In a session titled “Why Biden Is The Least Electable Major Democrat in 2020”, one audience member asked: “Would you support Biden if he were the nominee?” All of the panelists emphatically agreed that they would.But they said there was little evidence that nominating an “older white man who appeals to moderates” would help beat Donald Trump.“What are we so afraid of?” said Rebecca Katz, a New York-based progressive strategist. “Every time we show someone who is Republican-lite, we lose.”

The Latest: National Guard trying to rescue family of 5

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 22:44

 National Guard trying to rescue family of 5Authorities are trying to rescue a family of five who are trapped by high water in a south Louisiana home. The Shreveport television station reports that the National Guard had to halt its initial rescue mission because waters were too high to safely reach the family. Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging residents to stay "vigilant" as forecasters expect life-threatening flash floods to occur across parts of south Louisiana overnight.

America Used to Promote Photojournalism. Now It Bans It.

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 22:17

America Used to Promote Photojournalism. Now It Bans It.Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/APJulia Le Duc’s photo of a drowned migrant father and his 23-month-old daughter lying face down on the bank of the Rio Grande after trying to cross into the United States doesn’t have a title and may never get one. But Le Duc’s photo, which shows the daughter tucked inside her father’s shirt, is already informing the debate over the Trump administration’s harsh immigration policies.The Trump administration has done its best to make sure photographs are not taken inside immigration detention centers, and the last thing it wanted was a photo as revealing as Le Duc’s.Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) displayed a blown-up version of Le Duc’s photo on the Senate floor when he challenged President Trump to change his immigration policy. “President Trump, I want you to look at this photo,” Schumer declared. “These are not drug dealers or vagrants or criminals; they are simply people fleeing a horrible situation.”Le Duc’s photo belongs to a documentary tradition that has its modern roots in the iconic photographs Margaret Bourke-White took of the liberated Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald for the May 7, 1945, issue of Life magazine.  “Dead men will have indeed died in vain if live men refuse to look at them,” is the telling caption Life used for Bourke-White’s pictures. How Great Would It Be if America Had Its Own Photo Album?For Le Duc, as it was for Bourke-White, the challenge as a photographer is making sure people previously written off as faceless—refugees, survivors, immigrants—are seen as individuals. What still photos like Le Duc’s and Bourke-White’s do that television does not is create a calm moment in which viewers can think about a single image and the back story it evokes.“I was drawn to the girl’s arm on her father,” Le Duc, a photojournalist for the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, said in an interview published the day after her picture gained world-wide circulation.  “It was something that moved me in the extreme because it reflects that until her last breath, she was joined to him not only by the shirt but also in that embrace in which they passed together into death.”Mexico US Border Migrant DeathsJulia Le DucLe Duc’s empathy with the father, Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez, and his daughter Valeria goes to the heart of what actually happened.  Over the weekend the Salvadorian family tried to apply for asylum at the international bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, but they found the offices closed and many waiting ahead of them. Their best alternative, they concluded, was to try to cross the Rio Grande where it seemed swimmable.On their first try father and daughter made it.  Martinez then went to help his wife get across, but Valeria, not understanding that her father would be coming back, jumped in the Rio Grande after him. An exhausted Martinez now had to go back for his daughter, and at this point the Rio Grande’s current proved too much for him.Le Duc’s photo has been compared to the 2015 photo by Nilufer Demir of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian Kurdish boy who was discovered washed up on a beach in Turkey after a tragic attempt by him and his family to get to Europe and from there to relatives in Canada. “It is our version of the Syrian photograph—of the three-year-old boy on the beach, dead. That’s what it is,” Texas Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro has charged.486224578Nilufer DemirIt was like a “children’s graveyard,” Demir, who at the time was working for Turkey’s Dogan News Agency, later observed of the scene that she had photographed. In her refusal to distance herself from the death of Alan Kurdi, Demir, like Le Duc, showed an engagement that is intensely personal.How intense such engagement can get was reflected during the Vietnam War with the taking of the photos that let the public see what happened at the My Lai massacre of March 16, 1968, when American troops killed hundreds of unarmed villagers in the hamlet of My Lai.The military did what it could to hush up the massacre, which was brought to light by the freelance journalist Seymour Hersh, but it was the photographs of the massacre that finally made it impossible for the military and the Nixon administration to deny what had happened at My Lai.The photographs of My Lai that the public saw were taken by Army combat photographer Ron Haeberle with his own camera, and in 1969, following his honorable discharge from the Army, Haeberle sold the photographs to his hometown paper, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and subsequently to Life magazine.50465292Ronald L. Haeberle“I kept thinking, ‘This is not right,’” Haeberle would say of a massacre that he as an Army photographer had witnessed but had been unable to stop. As a civilian Haeberle had a chance to achieve with his photos a measure of the justice he had been powerless to bring about as a soldier, and he did not hesitate to act.           How much more attention will Le Duc’s photo gain in the coming weeks? The answer will depend on the use the Trump administration makes of the $4.6 billion humanitarian-aid bill that Congress has just passed to help deal with the immigration crisis on our southern border.We are at this point a long way from a decade like the ’30s, when the Roosevelt administration made a point of hiring, among other photographers, Dorothea Lange—soon to be known for her “Migrant Mother” portrait—because the administration wanted a visual record of its efforts to alleviate rural poverty. These days the photographers Le Duc’s work puts her closest to are, more often than not, in conflict with governments.   Library of CongressRead 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.

In 1981, A British Submarine Smashed Into a Russian Sub (Armed with Nuclear Weapons)

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 21:30

In 1981, A British Submarine Smashed Into a Russian Sub (Armed with Nuclear Weapons)On May 23, 1981 the Soviet submarine K-211 Petropavlovsk cruised quietly at nine knots, one hundred and fifty feet below the surface of the Arctic Barents Sea. The huge 155-meter-long Delta III (or Kalmar)-class submarine was distinguished by the large boxy compartment on its spine which accommodated the towering launch tubes for sixteen R-29R ballistic missiles, each carrying three independent nuclear warheads. K-211’s mission was hair-raisingly straightforward: to cruise undetected for weeks or months at a time, awaiting only the signal that a nuclear war had broken out to unleash its apocalyptic payload from underwater on Western cities and military bases up to four thousand miles away.British and American nuclear-power attack submarines (SSNs), or “hunter-killers,” were routinely dispatched to detect Soviet ballistic missiles subs (SSBNs) leaving from base to discreetly stalk them. The quieter SSNs also awaited only a signal of war, an event in which they would attempt to torpedo the Soviet subs before they could unleash their city-destroying weapons.Mindful of this threat, at half past seven that evening K-211’s commander halted his sub and pivoted it around so that its MGK-400 Rubikon bow sonar array could attempt to pick up any submarines sneaking behind it in the ‘blind spot’ of its wake—a maneuver known as “clearing the baffles.” However, the SSBN’s hydrophones did not report any contact.

Agony of Yazidi women torn between IS kids, or return home

Yahoo News - Sat, 07/13/2019 - 20:32

Agony of Yazidi women torn between IS kids, or return homeFreed after years in jihadist captivity, Jihan faced an agonising ultimatum: abandon her three small children fathered by an Islamic State fighter or risk being shunned by her community. "How could I, when my three siblings are still in IS hands?," she added, highlighting the harsh reality that the children serve as constant reminders of the brutalities inflicted on the closed, tight-knit Yazidi community by the so-called Islamic State group. Dozens of Yazidi women and girls systematically raped, sold and married off to jihadists after being abducted by IS from their ancestral Iraqi home of Sinjar in 2014 have faced the same gut-wrenching dilemma.


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