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|Trump disputes North Korea: Joe Biden 'somewhat better' than a 'rabid dog'
President Trump came to the defense of his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden on Sunday, disputing a characterization of the former vice president as a “rabid dog” who “must be beaten to death with a stick.”
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 10:44 AM
|French interior minister blames protest violence on 'thugs'
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner blamed "thugs" and "bullies" on Sunday for the violence that hit demonstrations the previous day marking marked the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" protests. "Yesterday, what we saw were few (legitimate) demonstrators but thugs, bullies and morons," Castaner told Europe 1 radio when asked about the violence in Paris on Saturday. Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon during the rallies to mark a year since the birth of the anti-government yellow vest movement.
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 10:22 AM
|Ukraine ex-president named witness in power abuse probe
Ukraine's former president Petro Poroshenko has been designated a witness in a criminal investigation related to the nomination of judges, the state investigation bureau said on Monday. Poroshenko has been embroiled in a number of investigations since leaving office in May. "His status is that of a witness," a spokeswoman for the state investigation bureau, which handles high-profile cases, told AFP.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 12:33 PM
|Elephant dies in captivity after killing villagers
An elephant named after Osama bin Laden, the late al-Qaida leader, has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday.
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 1:33 PM
|The Problem with Hypersonic Missiles: "None of this stuff works yet."
Don’t get too excited about hypersonic weapons, one prominent U.S. defense journalist advised. According to him, we still don’t know for sure whether the Mach-5-plus munitions actually work.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 2:26 AM
|Spanish court says wanted Venezuelan spy still missing
A Spanish National Court official confirmed Monday that a former Venezuelan spymaster accused of attempting to "flood" the United States with drugs remains missing since an order for his arrest pending extradition was issued this month. The official said the order for Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal’s arrest in Madrid was issued Nov. 8, after the court reversed an earlier ruling that rejected the U.S. extradition request for allegedly being politically motivated. Carvajal was for over a decade the eyes and ears in the military of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 10:15 AM
|This Decision Could Be Bigger Than Impeachment
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastOverlooked as the nation was riveted by the opening days of the televised impeachment proceedings was an appeals court decision that started a clock ticking for the Supreme Court to finally pick a side in what Attorney General Bill Barr has called a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred war” between Congress and a president who has categorically refused to cooperate with its investigations into his misconduct.Unless the Supreme Court acts, Trump’s taxes—which he has fought furiously to keep hidden since beginning his campaign for the presidency— will be turned over to Congress as soon as Wednesday.Thus, the nation will soon begin to learn whether the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is, as Trump himself hopes, composed of “Trump judges” willing to side with the president in cases where lower courts have shrugged aside the president’s weak arguments for stonewalling investigations into his misconduct.SCOTUS’ Choice: Trump or the Rule of LawOn Wednesday, the full District of Columbia Court of Appeals refused to rehear an Oct. 11, 2019, decision ordering Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars, to turn over his tax returns and other financial records to the House Oversight Committee. On Friday, Trump made an emergency stay application to Chief Justice Roberts, which he is likely to refer to the full Supreme Court. Therefore, unless five justices vote Trump’s way, the tax returns that Trump has hidden for years could be handed over to the Democratic-controlled House in a matter of days.Meantime, on Thursday, Trump filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a New York federal appeals court requiring Mazars to provide the same financial records to a Manhattan grand jury, although that proceeding will be stayed by agreement of the parties while the case remains pending before the court.Neither of these cases is expressly about Congress’ pending impeachment inquiry. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court’s response to Trump’s petitions could well signal if the court is willing to provide support and legitimacy for Trump’s sweeping declaration, yet to find acceptance in the lower courts, that the inquiry is “constitutionally illegitimate.” Indeed, the two cases are reaching the court at a linchpin moment. Trump continues to withhold the testimony of his closest aides from Congress even as he asserts that the evidence of other witnesses should be ignored as “hearsay.” If the Supreme Court fails to support Trump’s categorical stonewalling, his claim that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, and with it his rationale for withholding witnesses and evidence, could lose much of its already weakening political, as well as legal, force.The battle lines have been drawn sharply, both by recent Trump judicial appointees, as well as by Trump’s chief law enforcement officer, and assiduous protector, William Barr. Only three members of the D.C. Circuit dissented from the full appellate court’s refusal to rehear the Mazars decision. Two of them were Trump’s own appointees: Neomi Rao and Gregory Katsas. Katsas, a former Trump administration official, absurdly asserted that Congress’ subpoena for Trump’s wholly personal business records (many of which predate Trump’s presidency) presents a greater “threat to presidential autonomy and independence” than the subpoena for White House tapes the Supreme Court upheld in United States v. Nixon. Just how obtaining presidential tax returns could threaten the autonomy of the president went unexplained.In an extraordinary speech on Friday to the conservative Federalist Society, Barr offered a further explanation of what the president believes is at stake. The attorney general declared that the Democratic Party is now part and parcel of a “Resistance” force, engaged in a “war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.” According to Barr, the “Resistance” force that now controls the House (that is, duly elected representatives) is rallying “around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of [Trump’s] administration.” Barr’s message is clear: Because Trump is the putative victim of an “incendiary” “insurgency” that has declared war on his presidency, the president must be afforded wide latitude in his efforts to resist the “Resistance”—including by outright defying Congress.Neither of the cases now before the Supreme Court are squarely about the House impeachment investigation. The House issued its subpoena to Mazars before commencing the inquiry, and the lower court decisions addressed the power of Congress to obtain presidential records in connection with normal “legislative” oversight, not impeachment. Did Kavanaugh’s Replacement, Neomi Rao, Show the Supreme Court a Path to Justify Trump’s Defiance of Congress?Yet Judge Rao (also a former Trump administration official), who dissented from the initial D.C. Circuit panel decision, has made it extremely clear that the president’s battle against impeachment was at the forefront of her mind. Rao endorsed Trump’s wholly baseless claim that he has “due process” rights in connection with the House impeachment investigation. Rao’s “due process” rationale gives rise to an implication that courts could well back Trump’s efforts to stonewall what the White House has declared to be a “constitutionally illegitimate” impeachment inquiry by refusing to enforce impeachment subpoenas on the ground that Trump’s “rights” have been violated. In their Supreme Court stay petition, Trump’s lawyers echoed Rao’s logic, warning that, “[g]iven the temptation to dig up dirt on political rivals, intrusive subpoenas into the personal lives of Presidents” could “become our new normal in times of divided government.” It is particularly audacious for Trump—who faces impeachment for trying to extort a foreign country into manufacturing dirt on a political rival—to be warning the Supreme Court about the supposed dangers of Congress using formal, legal tools to obtain evidence regarding potential presidential misconduct. But to Trump’s partisans, such congressional intrusions simply cannot be tolerated, given that Congress is, in effect, a battlefield adversary.In his Federalist Society speech, Barr complained about an “encroaching judiciary” that he claimed has improperly taken it upon itself to resolve “turf disputes between the political branches.” But, as the current litigation before the Supreme Court demonstrates, Trump has no problem asking the federal courts to step in to wholly insulate him from congressional oversight, or from the prying eyes of state law enforcement agencies. In fact, Trump’s clear hope is that he can enlist the Supreme Court as his ally in a battle with the “insurgency,” as his attorney general now calls a duly elected house of Congress controlled by a different political party.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.
POSTED NOVEMBER 16, 2019 7:51 PM
|TikTok is reportedly considering a rebrand in the US to shed its Chinese roots
ByteDance, the company which owns short-form video app TikTok, has recently come under fire due to the fact that it is headquartered in China.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 7:31 AM
|Three family murder-suicides within ten days shock Turkey as the country faces record unemployment
The deaths of three separate families within ten days have shocked Turkey as the country struggles with mass unemployment and a financial crisis. On Friday, authorities confirmed that a family of three had been found dead in their home in the central Istanbul district of Bakırköy, poisoned by cyanide. Police had entered the house after neighbours complained of a chemical smell. Bülent Kerimoğlu, the local mayor, said that the father, a jeweller, had financial troubles, and had poisoned himself, his wife, and his six-year-old child. It follows two similar stories involving cyanide. Earlier in the month, police discovered the bodies of a family of four, including a nine year-old daughter and a five year-old son, in their home in the southern city of Antalya. According to reports in local media the father, Selim Şimşek, left a note explaining he had been unemployed for nine months, adding: “I apologise to everyone, but there is nothing I can to any more. We are ending our lives.” On Nov 5, four siblings aged between 38 and 50 killed themselves in their shared flat in Fatih, a conservative district in Istanbul, after leaving a note taped on their door reading: "Beware of cyanide. Call the police, do not enter." Turkish lira crisis sends shock waves on markets as defiant Erdogan prepares for more 'economic attacks' They were reportedly unable to pay their debts. Turkish media has discussed the incidents at length even though conversations about suicide are usually taboo in the predominantly Muslim county. The opposition Republican People’s Party has said the suicides are the human cost of the country’s slow recovery from its economic crisis last year, during which the lira plunged 30 per cent in value. Fuat Oktay, Turkey’s vice president, said there was not enough evidence to link the suicides to unemployment, and pro-government media warned about the risk of news reports fuelling copycat incidents. Unemployment is still near record levels, and according to official statistics published last week, the rate rose to 14 per cent for August, or 4.5 million Turks, with youth unemployment at 27 per cent. Şeyfettin Gürsel, the head of Bahçeşehir University’s Centre for Economic and Social Research Centre, describes the current rate of unemployment as "a real threat to the stability of Turkish society." This is the first time Turkey has faced such a sustained period of high unemployment.
POSTED NOVEMBER 17, 2019 12:31 PM
|The real danger of impeachment for Trump and Dem candidates: It's the calendar
The real problem for President Trump and his would-be 2020 rivals is the loss of something even more precious and irrevocable than polling percentage points: time.
POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 11:39 AM