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Tripoli forces push opponents back slightly south of Libyan capital-witnesses

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 14:50

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government have pushed their eastern opponents back on parts of the frontline south of Tripoli, despite the attackers flying overnight air strikes on the capital, witnesses said on Sunday. The Libyan National Army (LNA) force loyal to commander Khalifa Haftar allied to a parallel government in the east started an offensive more two weeks ago but has been unable to breach the southern defenses of the Tripoli government. The latest flare-up in the cycle of anarchy gripping Libya since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 threatens to disrupt oil flows, foment migration across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, and allow jihadists to exploit the chaos.


Easter Carnage Threatens to Breed More Violence in Sri Lanka

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 14:50

More than 200 people, including as many as 30 foreigners, were killed in a series of coordinated explosions on Easter Sunday at churches and luxury hotels across the country, including the capital Colombo. Several Americans are among the dead, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said. Some of the explosions were suicide bombings, Information Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said.


British woman killed, three other people kidnapped in northern Nigeria

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 14:34

Kidnappings are rampant in Nigeria, where both locals and foreigners are targeted — mostly for ransom. The British High Commission named the woman as Faye Mooney and said it was aware of the incident that happened late on Friday but added it would not speculate on the motive or nature of attack. Mooney was employed in Nigeria by a non-governmental organization called Mercy Corps.


'House of horrors': California couple sentenced to life in prison for torturing their children

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 13:49

David and Louise Turpin, who pleaded guilty in February to torture and false imprisonment, are eligible for parole after 25 years.


Last laugh: Ukraine comedian who became president

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 13:32

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has been elected president of Ukraine twice -- first as a character in the popular TV show "Servant of the People", now for real. Supporters see the political novice as a breath of fresh air but critics say he is a puppet of powerful rivals to Ukraine's outgoing leader Petro Poroshenko. As a candidate, Zelensky has blurred the line between politics and entertainment.


Giuliani rails against Mueller report as Democrats mull Trump impeachment

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 13:11

* Trump lawyer: ‘Nothing wrong with information from Russians’ * Teflon Don: how Trump the mafia boss fought the law … and won * Opinion: Moral squalor, not impeachment, will remove TrumpDonald and Melania Trump arrive at the Bethesda-by-the-Sea church for Easter services in Palm Beach, Florida. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty ImagesAs the White House mounted a furious assault on the Mueller report and critics of a president not found to have conspired with Russia but not cleared of obstruction of justice, the chair of the House judiciary committee said obstruction, if proven, “would be [an] impeachable” offence.Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani toured the Sunday talk shows, arguing with interviewers in a series of chaotic encounters.On Fox News Sunday, he claimed Robert Mueller’s 448-page report, which was released with redactions on Thursday, was full of “calumny, lies and distortion”.On CNN’s State of the Union, the former New York mayor called one of Mueller’s lawyers a “hitman” and claimed the special counsel’s team “came close to torturing people” in questioning and confining Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who was convicted and sentenced on financial charges.Asked on NBC’s Meet the Press why Trump was so angry at Mueller and former White House counsel Don McGahn, a key witness, Giuliani replied: “Because they tried to frame him.”> There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. It depends on where it came from> > Rudy GiulianiThe first volume of Mueller’s report concerns Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s warm reception to “offers of assistance” including an infamous June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer offering “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.Giuliani told CNN: “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians. It depends on where it came from.”On ABC’s This Week, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, who previously called the inquiry a “a political proctology exam”, took a different tone, saying: “The campaign I managed in those last few months did not welcome help from Russia. In fact, I don’t recall getting, being offered help from Russia. It would have been a ridiculous prospect.”In his second volume, Mueller considers potential obstruction of justice by Trump or his campaign, of which 11 instances are listed. He passed judgment on the issue to Congress.House judiciary committee chair Jerrold Nadler told NBC that if evidence shows Trump obstructed justice, “some of this would be impeachable, yes”. He added that Democrats plan to “go where the evidence leads”.Democrats remain split on impeachment, which would begin in the House they control but almost certainly fail in the Republican Senate. Some fear it would galvanise Trump’s supporters and win him sympathy among independents.On Fox, House intelligence chair Adam Schiff said to impeach or not to impeach was “going to be a very consequential decision and one I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to fully deliberate on it”.Oversight chair Elijah Cummings told CBS’s Face the Nation he could “foresee [impeachment] possibly coming”. But he said: “We have to be very careful here. The American people, a lot of them clearly still don’t believe that President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy and has done a lot of things very poorly.”He also said he thought “history would smile upon us for standing up for the constitution”.> The American people, a lot of them clearly still don’t believe President Trump is doing things to destroy our democracy> > Elijah CummingsGiuliani fiercely attacked McGahn, who is cited by Mueller in descriptions of orders from Trump to fire the special counsel, which McGahn did not do.McGahn’s recollections were “wrong”, Giuliani said on CNN, claiming the experienced lawyer was “confused [and] cannot be relied upon”. Mueller depicts McGahn taking notes of meetings with Trump, a practice Trump is said to have questioned. The Trump campaign has severed links with the law firm to which McGahn returned.An incensed Giuliani made the “hitman” claim about Andrew Weissmann, a prosecutor Trump allies claim is too close to the Clintons.“I have no problem with investigating Russian interference in the election,” Giuliani said, adding: “The reality is, you think this is the first time the Russians have interfered with a presidential election?”Special counsel Robert Mueller and his wife Ann Cabell Standish leave St John’s Episcopal Church in Washington. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/APGiuliani was pressed on criticism of Trump by the 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, who said he was “sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president”.“Stop the bull, stop this pious act,” Giuliani said, adding: “Who says [taking information from Russians is] even illegal? … And then does the information turn out to be false, by the way?”Referring to Democratic party emails hacked by Russia and obtained by WikiLeaks, he said: “The information that was gleaned and disseminated, every newspaper printed it. Why did the Washington Post print the information that came from a foreign source, when they knew it was hacked? Aren’t they just as wrong for doing that as the campaign wanting to use it?”Of Giuliani’s claim there was “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians”, former US attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump in 2017, told CNN: “That’s an extraordinary statement and I would hope he would retract it.”Giuliani ran against Romney for the 2008 Republican nomination, both losing to John McCain. Asked if he would have accepted such information, Giuliani said: “I probably wouldn’t. I wasn’t asked. I would have advised, just out of excess of caution, don’t do it.” He also accused Romney of doing “things very similar”, although he did not elaborate.Asked if Trump thought Russian interference helped him win, Giuliani told NBC: “Whether he did or he didn’t, I think it’s quite clear that there are a lot of factors that go into any election and the reality is he was elected president.”Conway told ABC Trump “didn’t need WikiLeaks. We had Wisconsin. He won because he was the better candidate”.Trump has repeatedly claimed Mueller’s investigation exonerated him, which it did not, and called the inquiry a “hoax”. He continued to tweet on Sunday, from his club in Florida.Attending church, the president was asked if he felt betrayed by staffers who spoke to Mueller. According to the White House pool report, he “clearly heard the question” but “just smiled and turned away”.


Islamic State behind attack on Saudi security north of Riyadh: Arabiya TV

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 12:14

The assailants who attacked a state security building northwest of Riyadh on Sunday are Saudi militants who belong to Islamic State, Saudi-owned Arabiya TV said in a tweet, citing its own correspondent. Saudi state media said authorities thwarted the attack by four militants targeting the Mabaheth (domestic intelligence) station in Zulfi, a small city about 250 km (155 miles) northwest of the capital Riyadh. There has been no Islamic State claim of responsibility for the attack so far, and the authorities did not officially identify the assailants.


Khamenei appoints new chief for Iran's Revolutionary Guards

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 12:03

Iran’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has replaced the chief commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards, state TV reported on Sunday, days after the United States designated the group a foreign terrorist organization. The TV station did not give a reason for the change when it announced the appointment of Brigadier General Hossein Salami. "The Supreme Leader has appointed Salami as the new commander-in-chief of the Guards, who will replace Mohammad Ali Jafari," it said.


Trump lawyer Giuliani says 'there's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians'

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 12:03

Defending President Trump’s campaign for its willingness to accept help from Russia in the 2016 presidential election, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said there was “nothing wrong” with a campaign taking information from foreign sources.


Rep. Dan Kildee: The crisis in Central America is appearing at our border

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:45

As monthly apprehensions of illegal immigrants on the border hits a 12-year high, Chief Deputy Whip Dan Kildee urges comprehensive reform of the immigration system.


Top US Democrat says party will decide soon on impeachment

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:20

Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, said that since Republicans control the Senate -- and would likely block an effort to oust Trump -- Democrats face a quandary after special counsel Robert Mueller found no coordination between Russia and the Trump election campaign but cited 10 episodes of potential obstruction involving Trump. The mixed message from the 448-page Mueller report has left Democrats weighing difficult options.


Schiff Says Democrats Will Debate Impeachment

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:15

(Bloomberg) -- House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Sunday that the Democrats will discuss whether to begin impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump after progressives ratcheted up the pressure on a reluctant party leadership.


Paris prosecutors probe 'suicide' taunts targeting police at protest

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 11:14

Paris prosecutors have launched an investigation after French anti-government protesters in the latest of a series of demonstrations shouted slogans mocking police over a spate of recent suicides in the force, judicial sources said Sunday. The "yellow vest" protesters took to the streets of Paris Saturday for the 23rd weekend to protest against the policies of President Emmanuel Macron, again clashing with police in a tense standoff. France's national police force has been troubled by a worrying increase in suicides within its numbers this year, with 28 officers taking their lives so far in 2019.


The 8 best deals and sales you can get online this Sunday

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 10:32

What better way to relax and recharge than with some retail therapy?


Authorities say investigation into murder of two Indiana schoolgirls is going in 'new direction'

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 10:13

Indiana State Police say they will announce new information about the deaths of Abigail Williams and Liberty German who were found dead on a hiking trail in Delphi, Indiana in 2017.


SpaceX test accident in Florida sends a massive plume of smoke into the sky

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 10:08

A SpaceX Crew Dragon experienced an "anomaly" during ground tests that manifested as a column of smoke rising from the spacecraft's thrusters. The Crew Dragons were expected to fly with astronauts aboard later in the year, and it is currently unclear whether recent tests could delay that.> Smoke seen for miles as SpaceX Crew Dragon suffers anomaly at Cape Canaveral https://t.co/W4Cj2bcN6y via @Florida_Today> > -- Code Tripping (@Code_Tripping) April 21, 2019Though few details are available, SpaceX did release a statement to SpaceNews confirming the incident."Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida," a spokesperson told SpaceNews. "The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand."Images from Cape Canaveral show a column of smoke visible from local beaches. The ground test anomaly came from an engine test, specifically the SuperDraco engines which provide power for astronauts to get to safety during an aborted launch. Beyond fire and smoke, the anomaly even showed up on radar:> Dragon's static fire anomaly was big enough to show up on radar! ☁️SpaceX CrewDragon FLwx LowCC (Non-meteorological radar signature) pic.twitter.com/WpebHEo6Az> > -- Jabes (@GISRockstar) April 20, 2019NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine also shared a statement to Twitter:> NASA has been notified about the results of the @SpaceX Static Fire Test and the anomaly that occurred during the final test. We will work closely to ensure we safely move forward with our Commercial Crew Program. pic.twitter.com/yE2J5yGzA7> > -- Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 21, 2019 WATCH: NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine warns India's anti-satellite test could be dangerous for the ISS


IS claims deadly attack on Afghan ministry

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 09:36

The Islamic State group Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 people and trapped around 2,000 for hours inside the communications ministry in the Afghan capital the previous day. Four IS jihadists detonated explosives near the ministry, then entered and "battled Afghan security forces with machine guns and hand grenades for numerous hours", the group said in a statement on its social media channels. The attack in central Kabul killed seven civilians and three members of the security forces, the interior ministry said on Sunday, in a new toll after three people died of their wounds.


Former Joe Biden aide trashes former vice president's 2020 campaign preps

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 09:13

Is Joe Biden serious about running for president again?


Easter Sunday Bombs in Sri Lanka Target Christians and Tourists, Kill Hundreds

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 08:23

REUTERS/Dinuka LiyanawatteA series of coordinated bomb blasts at churches and hotels across Sri Lanka killed more than 200 people and left hundreds more injured on Easter Sunday in one of the worst bouts of violence in the island nation since civil war ended a decade ago.Four luxury hotels and three Catholic churches were among the highly populated areas that were targeted, according to the Associated Press. Officials told the AP that at least two of the blasts were carried out by suicide bombers. Late Sunday, Sri Lanka’s Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena said authorities apprehended several people suspected of being involved in the attacks, according to the Associated Press. Three police officers were reportedly killed during operations to arrest the suspects.A further improvised device was found at Bandaranaike International Airport by the Sri Lankan Air Force overnight Sunday. “A PVC pipe which was six feet in length containing explosives in it was discovered,” Air Force Spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told Sri Lanka’s main newspaper the Sunday Times.Two senior intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that a Sri Lankan police official had alerted security officials in an advisory ten days ago about a threat on churches though it remains unseen what, if any, safety measures were taken to protect worshipers. The document, which has been reviewed by The Daily Beast is written in Sinhala, but is dated April 11 and clearly states in English in all caps, “Information of an alleged plan attack.”  Sri Lanka’s prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, said he had not been informed, underscoring tensions within the government, the New York Times reported. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the calculated attacks.Both the Associated Press and AFP quoted local Sri Lankan intelligence officials that they had received warnings that “terrorist elements, including the radical Islamic organization NTJ, would carry out a suicide attack in certain churches during Easter.” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement Sunday confirming that “several Americans” had been killed in the attacks. “While many details of the attacks are still emerging, we can confirm that several U.S. citizens were among those killed,” he wrote in a statement. “These vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism.”Officials told the Associated Press that at least nine foreigners are among those killed in Colombo, including two people who are dual citizens of the United States and the U.K. At least one American is among those reported missing, the news site said citing the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dead include one Portuguese citizen and two U.K. citizens, the ministry said. Chinese State Media has confirmed death of one of its citizens, per the AP. All of the foreigners were killed in attacks on hotels.Emergency officials were still combing through the bomb sites for victims as night set in Sunday, but more tourists and foreign nationals are considered to be among the dead. The New York Times reports that the deadliest attack occurred at 8:45 a.m. at the St. Sebastian Catholic Church in the city of Negombo about 20 miles from the capital city of Colombo. Survivors posted photos on social media and described seeing bodies blown to bits, with flesh splattered on the church walls. “It was a river of blood,” a witness named N. A. Sumanapala, t0ld the Times. “The priest came out and he was covered in blood.”The Catholic churches of St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and the Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern side of the island were also bombed, according to reports. Pope Francis, who visited the country four years ago to minister to the island nation’s Christian minority, expressed his condolences in his Easter Sunday mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. “I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” he said. “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”Local media showed images of damage at the Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-La and Kingsbury hotels. One report showed the second-floor restaurant of the Shangri-La gutted. Sri Lanka has not seen such violence since the end of a 26-year civil war that ended over a decade ago. Then, rebels from the Tamil Tigers sought independence from the country’s Sinhala Buddhist majority. Sri Lanka’s prime minsiter Ranil Wickremesinghe called for calm on Twitter. “I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today. I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong,” he wrote. “Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation.”The BBC reported that British nationals were among the injured. Prime Minister Theresa May called the attacks “truly appalling” adding “no one should ever have to practice their faith in fear”.U.S. President Donald Trump also tweeted his condolences, “The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!”The attacks sent officials around the world into high gear taking precautions at churches in preparation for Easter celebrations. A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed to The Daily Beast that the department has ramped up domestic security measures in the wake of the attacks, and that officers will be visiting all houses of worship, with a focus Sunday on those offering Easter services. —With reporting from Pervaiz Shallwani and Victoria AlbertRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast here


Why the Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard .380 Is Tough to Beat

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 07:00

Newfound consumer interest in the subcompact handgun has led many gun manufacturers to introduce smaller––but still potent––pistols that can be carried discretely as a backup gun or concealed carry piece.But which ones are worth your time and money? One such example is the Smith & Wesson M&P; Bodyguard 380. One of the best of the new generation of subcompact handguns, it also has the most favorable dimensions and weight for those requiring packable firepower.The Smith & Wesson M&P; Bodyguard 380 is a second generation subcompact pistol that takes over from––and is functionally identical to––the first generation Bodyguard. The pistol is a small frame, double action semi-automatic designed for concealed carry. Unlike the larger M&P; handguns it is not a striker fired weapon, instead using a more traditional hammer and firing pin operating system. The gun lacks an external hammer, making it incapable of single action fire and the lighter trigger pull that entails. The double action hammer pull is rated by reviewers at 9.5 pounds and is described as “smooth” and “easy to use.”


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