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Trump angers Republicans by firing top immigration officials including Homeland Security chief

Top Stories - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 06:31

Donald Trump’s purge of top officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has alarmed congressional Republicans, who warn the president’s immigration shake-up is creating a “growing leadership void”.The president’s allies fear further sackings are on the cards following the ousting of a string of senior figures including homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.The overhaul has been fuelled by Mr Trump's frustration with the increasing number of migrants at the US-Mexico border and was reportedly orchestrated by his adviser Stephen Miller, the impetus behind some of the administration's most controversial policies.Ms Nielsen submitted her resignation on Sunday after meeting with the president at the White House. Three days earlier, the administration withdrew the nomination of Ron Vitiello to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement.The head of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Lee Francis Cissna, and homeland security general counsel John M Mitnick are also expected to be forced out of their positions, officials told Associated Press.Other long-time civil servants in agency posts also face the chop, said the officials, who spoke to on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly.Court challenges, immigration laws and Mr Trump’s own advisers have blocked several of his proposals as his re-election campaign looms.But Republicans said a new immigration team was likely to face the same obstacles.“It’s a mess,” Texas senator John Cornyn told Politico. “Strikes me as just a frustration of not being able to solve a problem. Honestly, it wasn’t Secretary Nielsen’s fault. It wasn’t for lack of effort on her part. I don’t know if there’s anybody who’s going to be able to do more.”Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, said: "I am concerned with a growing leadership void within the department tasked with addressing some of the most significant problems facing the nation."Democrats have also voiced alarm over the dismissals."The purge of senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security is unprecedented and a threat to our national security," said Dianne Feinstein, of California. "President Trump is trying to remake DHS into his own personal anti-immigration agency."Beyond changing senior personnel, Mr Trump is also considering resuming the separation of migrant parents from their children at the border, a policy which provoked outrage before it was scrapped last year. That could mean he would have to violate his own executive order and possibly run afoul of a federal judge overseeing reunifications. Gil Kerlikowske, who led Customs and Border Protection from 2014 to 2017, said: "I don't envy anybody in that position because these are policies that are White House policies, not DHS."


Apple TV+ doesn’t need to be innovative to be a huge success

Macworld - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 06:30

When Apple announced its new TV+ service (coming this fall at an unspecified price), it trotted out a parade of celebrities from Steven Spielberg to Jason Momoa, and made me feel ill with a very overwrought trailer about the all-important impact of storytelling. What it didn’t do is show us more than a few scant seconds of any of its many, many original TV shows and movies. It was as if Apple was less concerned with letting us see what we’d be paying for and more concerned with presenting Apple TV+ as a service that would change the world.

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Sinopé Sedna water-leak protection kit review: This electronic valve is less expensive, but only semi smart

Macworld - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 06:00
This electric valve can’t analyze your water system the way some of its competitors will, but it might react to a leak more quickly than those smarter devices.

Fluance Fi20 Bluetooth speaker review: Stylish good looks and rich sound unfortunately marred by boomy bass

Macworld - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 06:00
The price is delightful, and it looks great, but those two pluses can't overcome this speaker's overblown low end.

US election polls: Joe Biden opens up sizable lead over 2020 Democrat rivals despite claims of unwanted touching

Top Stories - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 03:44

Joe Biden has established a sizable lead in polls of Democratic presidential contenders despite allegations of unwanted physical contact with women.The former vice president had the support of 32 per cent of voters, according to a Morning Consult survey.He was nine points ahead of Bernie Sanders, who had 23 per cent of support.It was the first national poll conducted after several women came forwards to accuse the 76-year-old Democrat of unwanted touching.In response, Mr Biden pledged in a video to be “more mindful” of respecting “personal space”.Mr Biden has said he has “95 per cent” decided to run for the White House for a third time.He is likely to face questions about his age – at 76 he will be the second oldest candidate after Mr Sanders – and his Senate record, which has been criticised for his authorship of the 1994 crime act that led to increased incarceration rates.At least four women have come forward to accuse him of uninvited physical contact, including Lucy Flores, a Democrat who served in the Nevada State Assembly, former congressional aide Amy Lappos, Caitlyn Caruso and DJ Hill.The women claimed he touched them or hugged them in a manner which made them feel uncomfortable.Mr Biden also appeared to make light of the allegations by twice claiming he “had permission to hug” people he put his arms around on stage.Donald Trump, who himself has been accused of sexual harassment of assault by around two-dozen women, used the allegations to mock Mr Biden by tweeting a doctored video showing the former vice president appearing to caress his own shoulders.The Morning Consult poll was conducted between 1 and 7 April and included 13,644 voters.


Shake-up at Homeland Security goes beyond Nielsen's exit

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 22:50

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and White House allies pressing for a harder line on immigration sped up their campaign Monday to clean house at the Department of Homeland Security with a mission far wider than just the departure of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.


Trump: Uganda must capture kidnappers of freed US tourist

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 21:07

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday urged Uganda to find the kidnappers of an American tourist who has been freed amid conflicting reports over whether a ransom was paid for her release.


Nipsey Hussle memorial service Thursday at Staples Center, ticketing details announced

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 20:40

Timing and ticketing details were announced for Thursday's memorial service for slain rapper Nipsey Hussle at Staples Center in Los Angeles.


Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions cheating scam; 'I am ashamed,' she says

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 19:22

The Oscar-nominated actress is among a group of parents who were accused of bribery and test cheating to get their kids into elite colleges.


The Latest: Salvadorans tell Gov. Newsom of fleeing to US

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 18:59

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The Latest on California Gov. Gavin Newsom's trip to El Salvador (all times local):


Secret Service chief to leave in Trump security shake-up

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 18:41

The Secret Service said Randolph "Tex" Alles would depart his job next month. The announcement came a day after Trump ousted Alles' boss, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, with whom he had clashed over immigration issues. "No doubt you have seen media reports regarding my 'firing.' I assure you that this is not the case, and in fact was told weeks ago by the administration that transitions in leadership should be expected across the Department of Homeland Security," Alles said in a message to Secret Service agents.


U.S. tourist, guide kidnapped in Uganda freed after 'settlement': tour firm

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 18:27

Amid fears the incident could deter tourists from visiting the East African country, U.S. President Donald Trump called on Twitter for the kidnappers to be found. Ugandan authorities said on Sunday that Kimberley Sue Endecott, 35, and her driver, Jean Paul, had been rescued unharmed after being seized by gunmen in Queen Elizabeth National Park, near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo, on April 2. "I don't have details of the final settlement" New Vision reported on Monday, citing undisclosed sources, that a ransom of $30,000 had been paid.


The 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 Is the Curvier Choice among Entry-Level AMGs

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 18:01

Everything that's great about the A35 sedan but with a prettier shell and a premium price.


In unprecedented move, U.S. names Iran's Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 17:44

The action by Trump, who has taken a hard line toward Iran by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-imposing broad economic sanctions, marks the first time the United States has formally labeled another nation's military a terrorist group. The U.S. step, which takes effect on April 15, prompted an immediate response from Iran, whose Supreme National Security Council in turn designated U.S. military forces as a "terrorist organization," Iranian state-run TV reported. "The U.S. military bases and their military forces in the region will be considered terrorist bases and terrorist forces that will be dealt with and confronted accordingly," Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state TV, calling the U.S. decision "a major strategic mistake." "The IRGC is the Iranian government's primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign," Trump said in a statement.


Mueller report: Attorney general William Barr set for grilling by Democrats amid calls for special counsel to testify

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 17:05

Attorney general William Barr is set to appear before Congress for the first time since he received Robert Mueller's Russia report — and Democrats say they plan on grilling him on it as soon as they have the opportunity.The eyes of Washington - and of observers around the world - have been fixed on Mr Barr since last month when the special counsel submitted his report to the justice department after nearly two years of investigating Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.Democrats have already indicated that they are planning a push beyond Mr Barr’s testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday, and say they want to bring in Mr Mueller himself at some point to explain his findings.“In order to ask special counsel Mueller the right questions, the committee must receive the special counsel’s full report and hear from attorney general Barr about that report on May 2. We look forward to hearing from Mr Mueller at the appropriate time,” tweeted House judiciary committee chairman Jerry Nadler.Shortly after Mr Barr received the Mueller report last month, he penned a short letter to Congress indicating that Mr Mueller’s team had found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. In that letter, Mr Barr also said he had determined not to prosecute Donald Trump for obstruction of justice.In the time since, though, reports have surfaced indicating that members of Mr Mueller’s team felt as though the attorney general let the president off easy, leading to demands among Democrats for the report to be released in full.“Certainly the Mueller report will come up," congressman Matt Cartwright, a Democrat, told Fox News, while discussing Mr Barr’s planned testimony.“I may ask about that, but probably not,” the Pennsylvania politician continued. “Until the actual redacted version of the Mueller report comes out, we’re all just kind of stabbing around in the dark about what’s going to be left out.”Mr Barr’s visit to Capitol Hill comes as the justice department’s budget is being considered in Washington, although that process is likely to be overshadowed by the Russia questions that have captivated the US for much of the Trump presidency.While Mr Barr can expect some tough questioning from Democrats in the House and Senate appropriations committees, the forums are not known for the kinds of political grandstanding that was seen during the testimony of other key players in the Russia investigation like Michael Cohen or James Comey.The House’s committee is chaired by Representative Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat who is rarely featured in national press reports. Her Republican counterpart is representative Kay Granger.The Senate committee, meanwhile, is chaired by senator Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama. The top democrat on that committee is senator Patrick Leahy.Mr Barr has indicated he plans on sending a redacted version of the Mueller report to Congress sometime later this month, and that the Justice Department is currently working to ensure that sensitive information — like grand jury information and information related to ongoing investigations — is redacted.It is unclear how satisfied democrats in Congress will be with the report, and many have already made demands for the entire, unredacted report.


Libya clashes over Tripoli escalate as city's airport is hit

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 15:37

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Clashes between rival Libyan forces for control of Tripoli escalated on Monday as the death toll from days of fighting rose to at least 51, including both combatants and civilians, and the city's only functioning airport said it was hit by an airstrike.


Narendra Modi Kashmir election pledge woos Hindu nationalists and risks Muslim backlash

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 15:25

India's ruling party on Monday attempted to woo Hindu nationalists by unveiling a last-ditch manifesto pledge to end Kashmir's special autonomous status. With his popularity falling to an all-time low after failing to deliver on previous economic pledges, Narendra Modi, the prime minister, is instead appealing to rising anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan sentiment among India's electorate to secure his second term. The world's biggest democracy heads to the polls on Thursday with Mr Modi expected to scrape a narrow victory when ballots are counted on May 23. Kashmir saw a huge escalation of tension in February, when a Pakistan-based Islamist group killed dozens of Indian troops and India responded with airstrikes.  In front of a crowd at the the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi yesterday (MON), Mr Modi declared he would scrap the autonomous status Jammu and Kashmir has had since 1954. BJP supporters have long petitioned for its removal arguing that it allows the state claimed by both India and Pakistan to resist central rule from New Delhi. Profile | Narendra Modi Mr Modi also controversially vowed to reverse a law forbidding anyone who is not a permanent resident of the state from owning property or obtaining a job there. This move is seen as an attempt to dilute Kashmiri identity by encouraging Indians from elsewhere in the country to move to the region.  However, his pledge has sparked fears that it could lead to further unrest "If this happens then not only Kashmir but the country and the region will burn," said Mehbooba Mufti, president of the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party. The leader of the National Conference Farooq Abdulla said if the articles were repealed it would lead to the state seceding from India. On Sunday, Mr Modi tightened his grip on the state by banning Kashmiri civilians from using the 170-mile highway – the only way in and out the region – for two days a week to allow easier access for his military personnel. Local politicians compared the decision to policies implemented by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.


Lords Move to Prevent No-Deal as Talks Stumble: Brexit Update

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 14:56

Theresa May is trying to find a new Brexit compromise with the opposition Labour Party, and officials from both sides will hold “technical talks” talks on Monday evening. House of Lords approves a bill aimed at stopping a no-deal Brexit.


An "Entry Level" Ford Mustang Performance Model Is Coming to Battle the Four-Cylinder Camaro 1LE

Top Stories - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 14:40

We expect this sharpened Stang variant to bring extra performance goodies to the four-cylinder EcoBoost car.


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