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Buttigieg, O'Rourke clash over assault-rifle buyback planAt Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate, presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg escalated their disagreement over O’Rourke’s proposal for mandatory buybacks of assault weapons.


10/15/2019 8:57:41 PM

China detains 2 US citizens who ran teaching programChina said Thursday it detained two U.S. citizens on suspicion of organizing others to illegally cross the border, amid sharpening tensions between the sides over trade, technology and other sensitive issues. Police in the eastern province of Jiangsu arrested Alyssa Petersen and Jacob Harlan on Sept. 27 and Sept. 29, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. "The department handling the case has informed the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai in a timely manner, arranged U.S. diplomats to conduct consular visits and protected the legitimate rights and interests of the two," Geng said at a regular press briefing.


10/17/2019 7:37:47 AM

Parents of Dead Teen Compare Trump Cronies to ‘Henchmen’ at Meeting Britain Denies Asking ForCarlo Allegri/ReutersThe grieving family of 19-year-old Harry Dunn have spoken out about their ill-fated meeting with Donald Trump at the White House in a new interview. Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn told CNN on Thursday morning that the president “doesn’t understand” how the accident that killed their son has “broken” their family. Dunn was killed when 42-year-old American Anne Sacoolas, who is married to an intelligence officer who was working at a spy base in Croughton, England, hit his motorcycle head-on while driving down the wrong side of the road on Aug. 27. Sacoolas initially cooperated with authorities, but then left the country under diplomatic-immunity protections in early September before authorities could formally investigate her or charge her with a crime. Dunn’s parents had only hoped to convince Trump to send Sacoolas back to the U.K. for justice, not to meet her in person. Radd Seiger, the family spokesman, who appeared on CNN with the family, added that during the visit, new National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien “snarled” at him and jeered that Sacoolas “would never return” to the U.K. “I used to look up to that institution,” Seiger told CNN. “But it’s a bunch of henchmen trying to make him look good.”During the White House meeting, Trump surprised Dunn’s parents with the announcement that Sacoolas, who they had made clear they would only meet on U.K. soil if she returned to assist the investigation, was behind a door waiting. Grieving Parents ‘Ambushed’ by Trump, Who Had Teen’s Killer Waiting at White HouseIn an email to The Daily Beast on Thursday, Seiger shot down White House denials that photographers were present for the supposed meetup. “We do not know who the photographer(s) were or which organization they were from,” the family spokesman said. “But they were there and had cameras and were clearly poised to grab that “poster picture shot” in the event that the president’s callous plan had come off.”Seiger continued: “Further, if President Trump really had Harry’s best interests at heart and really only wanted to comfort them he would have a) given advance notice of his intention to convene such a meeting with Mrs Sacoolas b) sought consent from us instead of springing it on us c) arranged for it to take place in a neutral and controlled environment with mediators and therapists around and out of the glare of the media spotlight [and] d) called off his attack dog Robert O’Brien who snapped, snarled and intimated his way through the meeting within feet of grieving people.”On Wednesday, Trump said he arranged the meeting at the request of U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been very vocal about Sacoolas returning to England. Johnson had earlier insisted Sacoolas return and promised he would take the matter up personally with the president.But on Thursday, Downing Street denied it had asked for such a meeting between Sacoolas and Dunn’s parents to take place and had not been informed or involved in the planning. “The P.M. and the president spoke last Wednesday and the P.M. asked the president to do all he could to resolve the issue,” a spokeswoman for the prime minister’s office told The Guardian. “During the conversation, the president raised a possibility of a meeting with Anne Sacoolas at the White House, but at that stage we weren’t aware of any plans for the family to go [to the U.S.], so it wasn’t discussed further.”The Sacoolas family, who have assembled a team of lawyers versed in international diplomacy and extradition, are expected to return to the U.K. this weekend. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.


10/17/2019 8:07:47 AM

One dead in strong 6.4-magnitude Philippines quake: mayorA child was killed in a strong 6.4-magnitude quake that hit the southern Philippines on Wednesday, a local mayor said, as houses collapsed, power was knocked out and a shopping mall burst into flames. Residents evacuated homes and buildings across the Mindanao region including a mall that caught fire in the city of General Santos shortly after the quake struck in the evening, officials said. The child died in a house collapse in the town of Datu Paglas, while four residents of nearby Tulunan town were injured when at least two other houses fell down, Tulunan Mayor Reuel Limbungan told AFP.


10/16/2019 10:45:06 AM

A 75-year-old cruise ship passenger jumped overboard a Carnival-owned ship between Portugal and Spain (CCL)A Costa Cruises representative said the woman "voluntarily" jumped from the balcony in her cabin on the Costa Pacifica ship.


10/15/2019 12:14:47 PM

Hong Kong Activist Renews Call for March After Hammer Attack(Bloomberg) -- One of Hong Kong’s most prominent protest organizers -- including a march planned for Sunday -- was recovering after being attacked on the street by men wielding hammers.Jimmy Sham -- convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, which has organized many of the city’s largest peaceful protests -- issued a plea from his hospital bed Thursday for police to allow the march go ahead in the Tsim Tsa Tsui area as planned. Sham was assaulted by four to five men Wednesday while on his way to a meeting in nearby Mong Kok -- the second time he’s been attacked since August.“When Jimmy was at his street counter, many of the citizens expressed that they really hope there will be a safe march on Sunday,” the Civil Human Rights Front said in a statement Thursday. “Jimmy therefore urges the Police to issue Letter of No Objection, so that Hongkongers can express their views.”The Civil Human Rights Front has helped organize several of the largest protests ever held in the former British colony, including two largely peaceful marches in June that drew more than a million people. The demonstrations have since mushroomed into a broader push for greater democracy, leading to regular clashes between protesters and police and occasional incidents of mob violence.On Thursday, Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, was forced to repeatedly halt a question session in the city’s legislature as opposition lawmakers demanded her to step down and address other protester demands. The coming weekend will be the Asian financial center’s 20th-straight weekend of unrest.See also: Hong Kong Police Targeted With Remote-Controlled ExplosiveNg Tak-nam, chief police inspector for the Mong Kok area, condemned the attack on Sham, which he said appeared to have been premeditated. “The police will investigate impartially and seriously, regardless of the person’s background and identity,” Ng told reporters.Sham, who is planning to join the district council elections next month, was attacked in August by two masked men with a baseball bat and knife. Police have arrested three men in connection with that earlier case, charging two of them with conspiracy to assault causing bodily harm. The third is on bail pending further investigation.The Civil Human Rights Front said that the assailants in the latest attack appeared to be aiming for Sham’s head, elbows and knees. The group said he suffered several wounds, but had no broken bones.“The Civil Human Rights Front strongly condemns the acts of the perpetrators,” the group said. “It is not hard to link this incident to a spreading political terror in order to threaten and inhibit the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights.”(Updates with recovery in headline and first paragraph)\--With assistance from Justin Chin.To contact the reporter on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Ben SharplesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


10/17/2019 1:41:10 AM

Mystery as plane carrying Russian arms smugglers crashes in CongoThe Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world’s worst aviation safety records, so reports that an aircraft had tumbled into a remote forest last week caused few international ripples. Since then, however, a deepening mystery over the nature of the cargo and the identity of those on board has left the Congolese government facing awkward questions. The fate of the stricken plane, a mysterious Antonov-72 so far only identified by its former registration number, EK-72903, may also provide a glimpse into the murkier side of Russia’s attempts to reassert its influence in Africa. The details remain scant. Last Thursday, the plane crashed 59 minutes after taking off from the eastern city of Goma bound for the capital Kinshasa. None of the eight people on board survived, officials said. The passengers were identified as the personal chauffeur of Felix Tshisekedi, Congo’s president, and three of his bodyguards. An armoured vehicle used by the president was also on board. A more troubling disclosure followed when two of the four-strong crew were identified. Vitaly Shumkov and Vladimir Sadovnichy, the plane’s pilots, were not only Russian nationals, they both appeared to have a background in gun running. The plane, too, has a murky past. EK-72903 was once owned by an Armenian company whose proprietor has been linked to arms smuggling elsewhere in Africa. Whether the crew were somehow furthering Kremlin interests remains unknown. However, there is no secret that Russia hopes to regain the influence the Soviet Union once wielded in Africa by wooing its leaders with arms sales, private security and “political technologists” adept at winning elections. Such attempts have often been linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin who has been accused of masterminding attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. Mr Prigozhin allegedly had Congo in his sights after Russia announced in May that it was sending a team of army specialists to the country. Some Russia media outlets speculated that Mr Prigozhin, was on board the plane ahead of a meeting with President Tshisekedi. That is almost certainly untrue. Slumming it on an Antonov is generally not Mr Progozhin’s style. “He wouldn’t get into a plane like that,” a Congolese government official said.  “This gentleman is an oligarch and if he travels then he travels on his own plane.” The official said that while Mr Prigozhin had not been scheduled to meet President Tshisekedi, other Russian government representatives had requested a meeting to discuss the upcoming summit. It is unclear if any were on board. At least two people described as being “of eastern European origin” were also on the plane. They have not yet been identified, adding to the intrigue surrounding the flight. For the moment, whoever else was on board the plane remains unknown. With some sources saying there may have been 11 people rather than eight on board, UN officials were attempting to identify the remains of the dead — some of whom had been hastily buried — last night. Even that might not put an end to the intrigue of what happened aboard EK-72903. Congo rarely gives up its mysteries. In 1961, a plane departing the country with then UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld on board crashed.  Three inquiries failed to determined the cause of the crash and Hammarskjöld’s death remains a mystery to this day.


10/16/2019 1:43:21 PM

California's Outages Show How Climate Change and Corporate Accountability Are EntangledPublic officials' rush to condemn PG&E was the latest sign of how climate activists have adopted populist language in recent years.


10/16/2019 7:02:56 PM

School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullyingA 15-year-old girl was suspended for bullying after trying to draw attention to what she believed was an unaddressed problem of sexual assaults involving students at her high school. Aela Mansmann, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School outside Portland, has been at odds with Cape Elizabeth Schools for a month after posting a note in a bathroom that said: "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is." She and two other students who left similar notes were ordered suspended. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is taking on Mansmann's case and calling on federal court to stop her suspension.


10/15/2019 3:38:19 PM

Rep. Tlaib denies endorsing Sanders, contradicting Omar's earlier announcementRep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on Wednesday afternoon contradicted earlier reports that she was set to join two fellow members of “the Squad,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., in endorsing Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.


10/16/2019 5:36:38 PM

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