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Updated: 17 hours 41 min ago

Now Even National Anthem Singers Are Taking A Knee In Protest

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 22:43

Both the Titans & Seahawks remained in their locker rooms during the national anthem while the singer took a knee during her performance. No players from either team were on the field during the anthem.

Saints Players React to Donald Trump's Comments

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 18:22

New Orleans Saints players respond to Donald Trump's comments following their Week 3 game against the Panthers.

White House Aide Struggles To Defend GOP Bill's Pre-Existing Conditions Loophole

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 16:48

A top Trump administration official ended up conceding on Sunday that individuals with pre-existing medical conditions might end up with higher premiums under the latest effort by Senate Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

1st cruise ship since Irma docks in Key West

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 16:29

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Royal Caribbean International's Empress of the Seas docked in Key West on Sunday - the first cruise ship to visit since Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys earlier this month.

Germany's Syrian refugees celebrate Merkel win but fear rise of far-right

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 16:19

By Joseph Nasr BERLIN (Reuters) - Syrian refugees rejoiced on Sunday at the news that Angela Merkel had secured a fourth term as German chancellor, but said they were alarmed by the rise of the far-right AfD party, which they feared could push her to tighten asylum rules. "We prayed that Merkel would win," said Fatima al-Haidar, a mother of two from Damascus. The conservatives bled support to the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), which entered parliament for the first time as the third-biggest party, cashing in on anger at Merkel's decision to welcome more than 1.3 million refugees.

Iraqi Kurds to go ahead with independence vote despite threats

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 15:47

Iraq's Kurds said Sunday they will hold an independence referendum "whatever the risk and price", despite threats of retaliation from the country's central government on the eve of the vote. Massud Barzani, the leader of oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan, said his people's partnership with Baghdad had failed and that the plebiscite would proceed as planned on Monday. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking on television soon after, threatened to take the "necessary measures" to protect Iraqi unity, and his government urged all countries to deal only with it on oil transactions.

Kurdish president defiant over referendum in face of war games and flight suspensions

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 14:53

Masoud Barzani, president of Iraqi Kurdistan, was last night defiant over his decision to hold a controversial referendum on independence, even as its neighbour Iran mounted pressure by closing its airspace and launching military drills on the border. Tehran announced on Sunday it was blocking all flights to and from Kurdistan at the request of ally Iraq, which has described the secession vote as “unconstitutional” and warned that it could fan the flames of tensions in the Middle East. Some five million Kurds will go to the polls today in the three provinces that have since 2003 formed the autonomous region of Kurdistan, but also in territories disputed with Baghdad such as the oil-rich province of Kirkuk. Mr Barzani, a 71-year-old guerilla leader-turned-politician who enjoys something of a cult of personality in Kurdistan, has mustered huge popular support for the vote. The streets of Erbil, Kurdistan’s capital, are festooned with red, white and green Kurdish flags and large crowds holding nightly rallies. The Kurds - more than 30 million people spread across Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria - have long sought a state of their own. The result seems a foregone conclusion. A woman flashes the V-sign as Iraqi Kurds take part in a rally to urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum Credit: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images But with not just Baghdad, Iran and Turkey but also the US and UN opposing the vote, there is little hope that dream will be quickly realised in Iraq. Instead, observers say, Mr Barzani is using the referendum as leverage in the Kurdish Regional Government's longstanding disputes with federal authorities. “Our relationship with Baghdad is over, it is no longer working,” Mr Barzani told reporters during a press conference at the presidential palace in the mountains outside Erbil. Supporters wave flags and chant slogans inside the Erbil Stadium while waiting to hear Kurdish President Masoud Barzani speak Credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images “Iraq has humiliated our people (…) They have galvanised the Iraqi people against Kurdistan." He said he had hoped for a better relationship with Baghdad after the fall in 2003 of the late iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who arrested, tortured and killed tens of thousands of Kurds during his rule. “We had a hope our relationship with Baghdad would improve, based on pluralism and democracy. But it didn’t take us long to realise that while the faces of the politicians changed, their mentality was the same,” he said. When asked why the vote could not be delayed, as the international community has repeatedly requested, Mr Barzani said: "We cannot wait another year, they will not change their mind, it will only strengthen their position." Some Kurds the Telegraph spoke to said they were planning to vote “yes” at the polls today, but worried about the consequences. “Our course we want our own country, to stand on our own, but I am scared about how our neighbours will respond,” said student Ahmed Rasol. “We will not have security in the future if we have no friends.”

Thousands greet Qatar's emir on return home

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 14:37

Thousands of Qataris lined the streets of central Doha Sunday to welcome back the emir as he returned from his first trip abroad during the ongoing Gulf diplomatic crisis. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani travelled to Turkey, France, Germany and the US -- where he addressed the UN General Assembly -- his first overseas engagement since Qatar was isolated politically by neighbouring states. The emir was greeted by crowds numbering in their thousands as his car, part of a large convoy, wound its way slowly through the capital, said an AFP correspondent on the spot.

One Killed, Several Wounded in Church Shooting in Tennessee

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 14:26

The shooter was also reportedly shot and taken into custody.

Nashville church shooting: 'One dead and seven wounded' in incident at Tennessee chapel

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 13:56

One person was killed and seven others were wounded after a gunman open fired at a church in Antioch, Tennessee, according to a local police department's Twitter account. The gunman shot and killed one woman in the parking lot as the church service was ending. All six patients are adults, the Tennessean reported.

Alabama Senate primary: A proxy battle between Trump and Bannon for heart of Republican party

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 13:27

In recent days, what would otherwise have been a straightforward – albeit colourful – contest between two candidates vying to fill the seat vacated by former Jeff Sessions, has turned into an increasingly bitter proxy war between Mr Trump and some of his formerly closest aides, who fear his anti-establishment instincts are being diluted by mainstream Republicans. Last week, at a rally for the “insurgent” candidate Judge Roy Moore, a 70-year-old religious conservative who sought to have a statue of the Ten Commandments installed in his courthouse and who lost his job as Alabama’s top judge after telling his colleagues to ignore a Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said voters needed to fight for their ideas.

US strikes IS camp in Libya, killing 17: official

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 12:16

US forces carried out six "precision air strikes" against an Islamic State camp in Libya, killing 17 people, the US Africa Command said Sunday. The command said the air strikes were conducted on Friday, in coordination with Libya's Government of National Accord, hitting a desert camp 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of the city of Sirte. The air strikes were believed to be the first in Libya by US forces since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

German election 2017 polls and odds tracker: Will Angela Merkel remain as Chancellor?

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 11:38

The German election takes place this Sunday, with Chancellor Angela Merkel heavy favourite to defend her position against Martin Schulz for a fourth term in power. Polls currently show that Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party - with its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU) - will be the largest party after the Bundestag election on 24 September, but they will fall short of a majority. This is common in Germany, and so the resulting parliament is in part determined by how the smaller parties perform, and which coalition possibilities will be born. German election poll tracker How does the German voting system work? Each person casts two votes in the Bundestag election, to allocate a total of 598 seats. Half of these are to elect a local MP by constituency, in a first-past-the-post fashion. The remaining 299 votes are elected via party lists, allocated near-proportionately to the party vote share in each of Germany’s 16 federal states. To be included in this seat allocation process, a party must achieve five per cent of the national vote.  2013 German Federal Election Results Map This second round of seat allocation also means that the total number of MPs can be higher, with politicians elected in "overhang seats" in order to balance the state- and constituency-level votes. The most recent parliament had 32 overhang seats, taking the total up to 631 MPs. This allows voters to represent their interests locally through their chosen representative, as well as nationally in the party they feel will be strongest in the Bundestag. In the end, the seat share for each party ends up very similar to their vote share - unlike the system used in the UK's parliamentary elections. Graphic: The German electoral system So who will win the German election and when will we know the results? Merkel's CDU is looking most likely to win the most seats in the Bundestag - for the fourth election in a row.  The SPD, led by former President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, is in second place in the polls - securing around a quarter of the vote. The AfD - the far-right Alternative for Germany party - had enjoyed a slight rise in the polls in 2016 but have since collapsed into in-fighting and unpopularity. German election projected seat share In reality, the CDU will have to seek a coalition agreement with the SPD or one of the other minor parties to form a government.  We should know who has won the election by 6pm BST this Sunday, when voting ends and the exit poll is released, although it won't be several more weeks until a coalition government is officially agreed. The return of the far-right A late surge in support has propelled the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party into third place in the opinion polls with just days to go before the ballot. Last time around the party, fighting in it's first federal election, failed to win a constituency outright and fell just short of the five per cent required in order to secure MPs via the secondary proportional representation stage of the election. The rise of the AfD This time however they seem guaranteed to win representation in the Bundestag with the latest polling average putting them at slightly over 10 per cent. YouGov's Multilevel Regression with Poststratification model puts them on 12 per cent. Were the AfD to secure a third place finish they could find themselves becoming the main opposition party in Germany if Merkel's CDU/CSU party decide to extend their Grand Coalition with the SPD. AfD support mapped Potential coalitions The centre-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) has been in coalition with centre-right CDU in this current government, as well as in Merkel's first term. These two parties are Germany’s biggest, leading to a union dubbed the "Grand Coalition". The polls are currently suggesting that Germans are content with their current government, which means a Grand Coalition could happen for a third time in just four elections. Another option is a Black-Yellow coalition, consisting of Merkel's CDU party propped up by the smaller Free Democratic Party (FDP). This would take Merkel over the target needed for a majority, and was the option the party opted for in 2009-2013.  The only situation that poses a risk to Merkel’s leadership is a left-wing "Red-Red-Green" coalition, led by the SPD's Martin Schulz. For this, he would have to gather enough seats together alongside the Linke (Left) and Grüne (Greens) parties. German election coalition scenarios What do the parties stand for? The main parties standing in the election are as follows: Christian Democrats (CDU): The leading party in Germany, headed by Angela Merkel. The centre-right group - made up of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) - they have employment, tax cuts and ongoing public investment at the forefront of their manifesto. Social Democrats (SPD): Led by Martin Schulz, the centre-left are vying to make another Grand Coalition to remain in government. The party polled well following the election of their new leader, but then suffered once again in regional polls. The SPD is a traditionally working class party, pledging investment in education and infrastructure, funded by higher taxes for the rich. Left (Linke): Led by Sahra Wagenknecht and loosely descended from the East German communists. This small party, often used as a protest vote, is campaigning for a rise in national minimum wage, a rejection of military missions abroad and the dissolution of NATO. Green (Grüne): Led by co-chairs Katrin Göring-Eckardt and Cem Özdemir, this party could be the coalition kingmakers. They rely on educated, urban citizens, focusing on the environment, taxes and social policies. Free Democratic Party (FDP): Led by Christian Lindner, the party was Merkel's junior coalition party in her second term. It failed to reach five per cent of the vote to allow another coalition in 2013. The party campaigns for tax cuts and to remain in financial markets - particularly within the EU. Alternative for Germany (AfD): A right-wing populist party lead by Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland. The party's hardline anti-EU, anti-immigration views have attracted voters from almost all of the other parties, especially among lower income households. Graphic: Germany’s political spectrum What are the betting odds for the German Bundestag election? Political pollsters have taken a beating recently after failing to predict a British Hung Parliament in 2017, a Leave vote last summer and a Donald Trump victory in November. For those who have lost faith in polling, there is another way of predicting electoral outcomes: ask people who are prepared to put their money where their mouth is. Many now believe that political betting markets can better predict elections, relying on the wisdom of a crowd of punters to sort and weigh all the probabilities. Coral's latest odds for the election have Mrs Merkel as most likely to continue as Chancellor after the election. The latest odds for the party to emerge with the most seats are: CDU/ CSU - 1/100 SPD - 16/1 AfD - 100/1 Die Linke - 100/1 Greens - 100/1 FDP - 100/1   Our poll tracker takes in national polls from a range of German pollsters: INSA, Infratest Dimap, Emnid, Forsa, Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, Allensbach and IPSOS. Their individual polls, while of different sample sizes, use nationally representative samples. Our seat share projection is based on the average of the last eight polls, excluding any parties that are polling at under five per cent, as the German proportional top-up system does.

GOP Health Care Bill on Life Support as More Senators Reservations

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 11:37

Senator Susan Collins of Maine said Sunday she had “serious reservations” about the bill as Senator Ted Cruz told a Texas audience that he, too, isn’t yet ready to vote for the bill.

Steven Mnuchin Says NFL Players Can 'Do Free Speech On Their Own Time'

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 11:21

Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday echoed President Donald Trump’s criticism of professional athletes who protest racism, saying that the players kneeling or making other gestures during the national anthem can “do free speech on their own time.”

Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 11:12

Hillary Clinton told MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid that she believes German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the most important leader in the free world ― an extraordinary assessment by a former presidential candidate, U.S. secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady, and a remark likely to be seen as an affront to President Donald Trump.

Saudi Women Allowed into Sports Stadium for First Time

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 11:01

For the 87th anniversary of its founding the Islamic kingdom lifted strict rules banning women mixing with men at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.

Donald Trump Repeats Call For NFL Boycott To Stop Anthem Protests

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 10:26

In a pair of early-morning tweets, President Donald Trump once again encouraged football fans to boycott the NFL if the league does not “fire or suspend” players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racism.

Aid begins to flow to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:25

GUAJATACA, Puerto Rico (AP) — Large amounts of federal aid began moving into Puerto Rico on Saturday, welcomed by local officials who praised the Trump administration's response but called for the emergency loosening of rules long blamed for condemning the U.S. territory to second-class status.

Forget Cheat ‘Sheet’ — Student Outwits Professor With Enormous 'Cheat Poster'

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 09:01

When Professor Reb Beatty of Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College arrived at his accounting class to administer a test last week, he hardly could have imagined that he’d be the one getting outsmarted. In a Sept. 20 Facebook post that’s since gone viral, Beatty explained that he’d told his students that they were allowed to bring in a “3x5” cheat sheet to use during the test. Beatty, however, failed to specify the unit of measurement he was referring to.