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Updated: 13 hours 27 min ago

Banning Bikinis Won't Fix Miss America

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:00

In 1922, Margaret Gorman, who had won the Miss America pageant's very first

Clapper: 'We had a suspect' in Kremlin-WikiLeaks transfer

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:41

U.S. intelligence officials last year identified a “suspect” who served as the “cut-out” for Russian intelligence to funnel thousands of DNC emails and documents to WikiLeaks, according to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

911 Call Released From Moments After 12-Foot Alligator Dragged Shizuka Matsuki to Her Death

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:35

"I think an alligator got this lady."

Vladimir Putin accused of using World Cup to bury bad news after raising pension age on opening night

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:26

Vladimir Putin’s government has been criticised for using the World Cup to bury bad news after it announced a rise in the pension age in the wake of Russia’s first victory of the tournament.  The announcement, which came immediately after Russia’s 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on Thursday evening, is likely to prove widely unpopular among the Russian public, who opinion polls show are deeply opposed to adjustments to the welfare state.  Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister, said the proposed adjustments to the law would see the pension age for men raised from 60 to 65 and for women from 55 to 63.  There will also be an two percent increase on VAT from 18 to 20 percent.  Alexei Kudrin, a former finance minister widely seen as a leader of the liberal economic camp in the Kremlin elite, welcomed the news.  Пенсионная реформа назрела давно. Наконец, решение принято. Это выгодное для граждан решение, оно позволит повысить пенсии— Алексей Кудрин (@Aleksei_Kudrin) June 14, 2018 “Pension reform is long overdue. Finally, the decision has been made. This is an advantageous solution for our citizens, it will increase pensions,” he wrote on Twitter. But the announcement drew a critical reception from some Russian papers, with some columnists suggesting the whole point of the World Cup was to distract the public while the government launched painful economic policies.  Moskovsky Komsomolets, a pro-Kremlin tabloid, noted that the plans had been announced without prior discussion, despite previous promises that such an unpopular move would be the subject of public debate.  The announcement came as millions of Russians were watching the World Cup opening ceremony Credit: MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP Maxim Topilin, the minister of labour, said the measures would be discussed with trade unions and employers. Opposition figures mocked the way Mr Medvedev made the announcement while Mr Putin presided over a footballing victory, in an apparent bid to distance the president from unpopular measures.  "Putin is actually in favour of lowering the retirement age. And increasing pensions. And cutting the price of petrol. But Medvedv and Kudrin have conspired and are plotting," wrote Leonid Volkov, an advisor to the opposition leader Alexei Navalny.  Economists have been urging Mr Putin to launch far-reaching but painful economic reforms for nearly a decade, but he has previously resisted such advice because of the danger of a public backlash. A recent opinion poll published by state media showed that 92 percent of Russians oppose pension reform. Mr Putin built much of his political brand on a social contract which guaranteed jobs and pension security for much of the population.  Millions of pensioners rely on Russia's welfare state Credit:  Stanislav Krasilnikov/Tass Mr Medvedev said actual pension ages would be raised gradually at a rate of 6 months per year, meaning the retirement age of 65 for men will be reached in 2028 and 63 for women in 2034. The state-owned Gazprombank said in a note to clients that the reform is one of the most gradual scenarios the government had considered and that it might only bring in 25 to 30 percent of the savings it is theoretically meant to achieve.  Russia's state pension fund is running a deficit equivalent to around 3.1 percent of GDP. 

US citizen detained during violent Vietnam protests

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:06

The US has urged the Vietnamese authorities to release one of its citizens who was among dozens of people arrested during violent protests last week.  Will Nguyen, 32, a Yale graduate who comes from Houston, Texas, was visiting Ho Chi Minh City, en route from the US to Singapore, where he was due to graduate from a master’s programme in July.  According to a statement released on Thursday on behalf of Mr Nguyen’s family and friends, he was “beaten over the head and dragged into a police truck” after joining a rare demonstration on June 9 against proposed special economic zones that have raised fears of Chinese encroachment.  A video linked to the statement allegedly shows Mr Nguyen being dragged along the street with blood streaming from his face. He is later shown standing on the back of a police pickup truck.  This is #democracy in— Will Nguyen (阮英惟) (@will_nguyen_) June 10, 2018 Vietnam’s Communist government bans anti-government protests and public gatherings must be approved by the authorities.  However, demonstrations erupted over the weekend over planned special economic zones that would give leases to foreign investors with less red tape, stoking fears that national security would be undermined by giving China control over Vietnamese territory.  Before he was arrested, Mr Nguyen was live-tweeting from the protest, revealing that events had taken a nasty turn after police had allegedly struck a man, who was seen in lying motionless on the ground. The statement released on Thursday said that he had been taken to a police station and accused of “causing a scene and destroying public property.” Police struck a protestor and chaos has broken out— Will Nguyen (阮英惟) (@will_nguyen_) June 10, 2018 It said the authorities had confiscated his laptop, passport and credit cards from the AirBnB property where he had been lodging, and that he had been falsely accused of being a member of the reform-focussed Viet Tan political party, which is banned in Vietnam.  This was “not plausible” said the statement. “The diplomatic protocol is that the Vietnamese have 48 hours in which to notify the US embassy that one of its citizens has been detained, but this has not been adhered to in the current situation,” it alleged.  “The state of his health and his whereabouts are currently unknown.” Pope Thrower, a US embassy spokesman told the New York Times that the embassy was “aware of media reports that a US citizen was arrested.”  He added: “When a US citizen is detained overseas, the US Department of State works to provide all appropriate consular assistance.” 

Everything You Need To Know About The DOJ Report On The Clinton Investigation

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 06:20

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China Said It Will "Immediately Respond" To Any U.S. Trade Actions

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 05:57

China warned on Friday that Beijing will "immediately respond and take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests" if the US takes actions that harm Chinese interests.

The United States Has A World Cup Team. It's Mexico.

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 05:45

Sergio Tristan couldn't believe he was alone. His beloved Mexican national

Starbucks Discriminates Against Older Workers, According To Former Employees

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 05:45

Andrea spent a recent 13-hour shift at Starbucks, where she works as a

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani Praises Taliban Ceasefire in Eid Holiday Address

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 04:53

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Friday touted a three-day cease-fire with the Taliban in an address to the nation heralding the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Boy Killed, His Brother and Mom in Critical Condition After Denver Shooting

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 02:57

One boy died and his brother and mom were in critical condition Thursday following a shooting in a suburban Denver parking lot, according to police.

Disgraced comedian Cosby changes lawyer ahead of sentencing

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:35

Disgraced US comedian Bill Cosby, who was convicted of sexual assault in April, has changed his lawyer ahead of his sentencing, a spokesman said Thursday. "Mr. Cosby has replaced his legal team with Attorney Joseph P. Green Jr (Philadelphia)," a spokesman for Cosby said, without offering further details. Green will replace Tom Mesereau, who has represented numerous celebrities and was Cosby's lawyer for his second trial which resulted in his conviction on three counts of sexual assault on April 26.

Black hole eats and destroys hapless star which wandered too close

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:32

Beware of the hungry black hole. Astronomers tracked a supermassive black hole, 20 million times larger than the sun, which ate up and destroyed a star that came too close. SEE ALSO: Three baby planets hanging around a star discovered by astronomers Located nearly 150 million light years away from Earth, scientists theorise the star swirled around the black hole, emitting intense x-rays and visible light, as a jet of material spat out at a quarter of the speed of light. Such an occurrence, called a tidal disruption event (TDE), has been rarely spotted. But scientists think they happen more often. In the case of this stellar death, astronomers used radio and infrared telescopes, such as New Mexico's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), to keep an eye on the event which happened in a pair of colliding galaxies called Arp 299. "Never before have we been able to directly observe the formation and evolution of a jet from one of these events," Miguel Perez-Torres, from the Astrophysical Institute of Andalusia and who published a report in the journal Science, said in a statement online. Artist's rendering of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole, which reacts by launching a relativistic jet. It zooms out of the central region of its host galaxy, Arp299B, which is undergoing a merging process with Arp299A (the galaxy to the left).Image: Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF; NASA, STScIPerez-Torrez and Seppo Mattila, of the University of Turku in Finland, got their first indication something was going on in January 2005. Astronomers noticed a bright burst near Arp 299, and kept track of the occurrence over a decade, which revealed a jet of electromagnetic waves going in one direction from the black hole. A black hole is an area of space which has such strong gravitational pull that nothing can escape from it, including light. Although most galaxies have black holes, they're not necessarily out there actively eating everything up. Mattila said the discovery might just be the "tip of the iceberg" for TDEs, with the potential for more discoveries ahead. "By looking for these events with infrared and radio telescopes, we may be able to discover many more, and learn from them," he added. WATCH: These trees have lived for 2,500 years. Now they're suddenly dying

Donkeys stolen, skinned in Africa to feed Chinese demand

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:16

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Dawn was just beginning to break when Joseph Kamonjo Kariuki woke to find his donkeys missing. The villager searched the bush frantically for the animals he depends on to deliver water for a living, but they were nowhere to be found.

Parts of Yemen missiles fired at Saudi Arabia were Iranian-made: UN report

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:50

Some components from five missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen's Huthi rebels were manufactured in Iran but UN officials are unable to determine when they were sent to Yemen, according to a confidential UN report seen by AFP on Thursday. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council in the 14-page report that debris from the missiles fired since July 2017 "share key design features with a known type of missile manufactured" by Iran. The report, sent to the council on Tuesday, added that "some component parts of the debris were manufactured in the Islamic Republic of Iran" but it remained unclear whether the transfer was in violation of UN restrictions.

Arizona Officers Seen Beating and Mocking Hospitalized Suspect on Video

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:46

Suspect Jose Luis Conde said doctors had to sew part of his ear back on

Hundreds Protest In Cities Across U.S. Against Trump's Immigrant Family Separations

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 21:22

Hundreds protested across the country on Thursday against the Trump

White House Says Trump Would Sign House GOP's Immigration 'Compromise' After All

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 20:47

President Donald Trump threw House Republicans' immigration compromise into

Hillary Clinton Needed Only 3 Words To Respond To James Comey Report

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 20:23

Hillary Clinton could have written a book on former FBI Director James Comey