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Britain's Astute-Class Submarines Are A Big Headache For Russia's Navy

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 05:00

And they aren't going away.


Trump's Nightmare: Could North Korea Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier?

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 04:00

Perhaps more of one than you think.


By jumping bail, fugitive Ghosn burns bridges to Japan

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 03:28

By jumping bail, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who had long insisted on his innocence, has now committed a clear crime and can never return to Japan without going to jail. “So he now has burnt his bridges to Japan,” Stephen Givens, a lawyer and expert on Japan's legal and corporate systems, said Wednesday. How exactly Ghosn fled surveillance in Japan and popped up in Lebanon, or who might have directed the dramatic escape, remains unclear.


Russia’s Hypersonic ICBM Is Operational. So What?

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 03:00

Moscow might not even need them. Here's why.


Algeria's richest man walks free on time served

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 02:44

Algeria's richest man Issad Rebrab walked free on time served early Wednesday after a court sentenced him to six months for tax, banking and customs offences. Prosecutors had sought a one-year prison sentence for the 74-year-old head of Algeria's biggest privately owned conglomerate Cevital, who was one of several tycoons arrested in April as part of a sweeping corruption investigation. The probe followed the resignation of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika after weeks of mass protests against his 20-year rule.


Japan Eyes New Tech Law to Fend Off Chinese Influence, Yomiuri Says

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 02:17

(Bloomberg) -- Japan is planning a law to provide incentives for companies to use domestic parts in high-tech equipment to increase local competitiveness and fend off Chinese influence in security-related infrastructure, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, without citing how it obtained the information.The Japanese government plans to introduce the bill in the ordinary Diet session and have it in effect by this summer, according to the Wednesday report. The government sees the incentives initially being used with the introduction of 5G telecommunication equipment and drones, the Yomiuri said.Private companies can apply for tax subsidizes or government aid when installing high-tech equipment and will be judged on factors including safety, supply stability and international compatibility, the Yomiuri reported.China has said restrictions on Chinese technology could damage bilateral ties, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have to tread carefully as he looks to host President Xi Jinping for a state visit planned for the spring of this year. If Xi makes the trip, it would crown Abe’s drive to restore a relationship between the two largest economies in Asia that was in a deep freeze when he took office in 2012.Japan’s sole military ally, the U.S., has been pushing for countries to ban equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Japan has said it will exclude equipment with security risks without making an official decision on Huawei.To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Du in Tokyo at ldu31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at wchang98@bloomberg.net, Jon Herskovitz, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Financial tug-of-war emerges over fire victims' settlement

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 02:00

A financial tug-of-war is emerging over the $13.5 billion that the nation's largest utility has agreed to pay to victims of recent California wildfires, as government agencies jockey for more than half the money to cover the costs of their response to the catastrophes. Pacific Gas & Electric declared bankruptcy nearly a year ago as it faced about $36 billion in claims from people who lost family members, homes and businesses in devastating wildfires in 2017 and 2018. PG&E settled with the insurers for $11 billion.


Giuliani Says He’s Prepared to ‘Do Demonstrations’ at Trump’s Impeachment Trial

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 00:01

Rudy Giuliani is prepared to do more than just testify at President Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial. The former New York City mayor made clear in comments to reporters on Tuesday night that he’s ready to pull out all the stops to defend his client—and that apparently includes giving “lectures” and doing “demonstrations.” Asked if he would testify at the trial, Giuliani appeared unable to settle on a single, coherent answer. “I would testify, I would, um, do demonstrations. I’d give lectures, I’d give summations. Or, I’d do what I do best, I’d try the case. I’d love to try the case. Well I don’t know if anybody would have the courage to give me the case, but, uh, if you give me the case, I will prosecute it as a racketeering case, which I kind of invented anyway,” Giuliani said at a New Year’s Eve gala at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. He also dodged a question about whether he had any plans for another trip to Ukraine, an activity that has been at the center of the impeachment proceedings against Trump, which center on allegations he abused his power to pressure Ukraine to do him political favors. Giuliani, accused of hijacking American foreign policy to run a dirt-digging mission in Ukraine that would boost Trump domestically, returned from his latest trip earlier this month claiming to have boatloads of evidence to exonerate Trump and incriminate Trump's political foes, including former vice president Joe Biden and many Democrats. So far, however, despite Trump claiming Giuliani would be filing a report with the Justice Department on his Ukraine findings and Giuliani saying he planned to brief the Senate on the matter, his findings have apparently not been embraced as the smoking gun against Democrats that he believed they would be. As The Daily Beast reported earlier this week, some Republican senators have actively avoided Giuliani ahead of the impeachment trial over concerns that his Ukraine findings may be mingled with Russian conspiracy theories. Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who first called on Giuliani to share his findings, has urged him to “make sure it’s not Russian propaganda.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.


PHOTOS: #MenToo: The hidden tragedy of male sexual abuse in the military

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 19:53

Award-winning photojournalist Mary F. Calvert has spent six years documenting the prevalence of rape in the military and the effects on victims. She began with a focus on female victims but more recently has examined the underreported incidence of sexual assaults on men and the lifelong trauma it can inflict.


U.S. Taking Democracy for Granted, Chief Justice Roberts Says

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 18:00

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. has “come to take democracy for granted,” Chief Justice John Roberts said, urging his fellow judges to keep educating the public about the workings of the federal government and the Constitution.Roberts, who is slated to oversee the Senate‘s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the coming weeks, used his year-end report Tuesday to laud the federal judiciary’s work on civic education, while issuing a thinly veiled warning about the fragility of American democracy in a fractious time.“We have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside,” Roberts wrote. “In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital.”Roberts described a 1788 riot that incapacitated John Jay while he was working with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison on the Federalist Papers, a series of articles published to promote the ratification of the Constitution. Jay was hit in the head with a rock while trying to quell the riot, which was sparked by a rumor that medical students were dissecting the body of a recently deceased woman. Jay later became the first U.S. chief justice.“It is sadly ironic that John Jay’s efforts to educate his fellow citizens about the framers’ plan of government fell victim to a rock thrown by a rioter motivated by a rumor,” Roberts wrote.Roberts has become the nation’s leading champion of judicial independence since being appointed to the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush in 2005. In his new report, the chief justice called the judiciary “a source of national unity and stability” but added a cautionary note.“We should also remember that justice is not inevitable,” Roberts wrote in a passage directed at his judicial colleagues. “We should reflect on our duty to judge without fear or favor, deciding each matter with humility, integrity, and dispatch.”Roberts, 64, is in the middle of a challenging Supreme Court term that includes cases on LGBTQ discrimination, abortion and gun rights. In late March or early April the court will hear arguments on Trump’s effort to prevent his financial information from being turned over to Congress and a New York grand jury.Roberts released the report three days after his mother, Rosemary A. Roberts, died at age 90. Her obituary said she was surrounded by her family when she passed away.To contact the reporter on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


6 suspected gang members arrested in shooting in Fresno backyard that killed 4

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 17:59

The Fresno Police Department arrested six people in a mass shooting that killed four and injured several others during a backyard party.


FBI Agents: McCabe Apologized for Changing His Story on Leak

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 17:03

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe faced scorching criticism and potential criminal prosecution for changing his story about a conversation he had with a Wall Street Journal reporter. Now newly released interview transcripts show McCabe expressed remorse to internal FBI investigators when they pressed him on the about-face. The FBI released the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). They provide fresh details about the investigation into a leak to the Journal, McCabe's role in it, and the reaction of agents who investigated it.In the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, the Journal broke news about an FBI investigation involving then-candidate Hillary Clinton, describing internal discussions among senior FBI officials.Emails Show McCabe Scrambling to Handle Stories About Hillary ProbeThe apparent leak drew scrutiny from the bureau’s internal investigation team, which interviewed McCabe on May 9, 2017, the day President Donald Trump fired James Comey from his post as FBI director. The agents interviewed him as part of an investigation regarding a different media leak to the online publication Circa, and also asked him about the Journal story. In that interview, McCabe said he did not know how the Journal story came to be. But a few months later, his story changed after he reviewed his answer. On Aug. 18, FBI officials met with McCabe in an attempt to work through what they said was “conflicting information” they had gathered about the possible leak to the Journal.“I need to know from you,” an agent said he told McCabe in a sit-down meeting, “did you authorize this article? Were you aware of it? Did you authorize it?” McCabe then looked at the story he had reviewed months earlier. The FBI investigator described his response this way: “And as nice as could be, he said, yep. Yep I did.”Ex-FBI Head Andrew McCabe Sues, Says Trump Ordered His FiringThe investigator then said that “things had suddenly changed 180 degrees with this.” The interviewers stopped taking notes on what McCabe was saying, and the agent indicated their view of McCabe had changed: He was no longer a witness or victim. “In our business, we stop and say, look, now we’re getting into an area for due process,” the agent said.But the agent said that the team did not raise that line of thought with McCabe. “I was very careful to say… with all due respect, this is what you told us. This has caused us some kind of, you know, sidetracking here now with some information other people have told us.”The agent’s next comments to McCabe took on a frustrated tone.“I remember saying to him, at, I said, sir, you understand that we’ve put a lot of work into this based on what you told us,” the agent said. “I mean, and I even said, long nights and weekends working on this, trying to find out who amongst your ranks of trusted people would, would do something like that. And he kind of just looked down, kind of nodded, and said yeah I’m sorry.”McCabe’s lawyer has said his story changed because in the initial interview he wasn’t prepared for the question. The question surprised him, and he didn’t give his answer a second thought because Comey was fired shortly after the interview concluded and his world turned upside down. McCabe, who became acting director of the FBI after Trump fired Comey, was fired in March 2018, two days before he was expected to retire. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was axing McCabe because of the leak investigation’s findings. McCabe, who had been assailed by Trump over and over again on Twitter over the Russia investigation, denied wrongdoing and alleged his firing was politically motivated. In August, he sued DOJ for wrongful termination and has since accused the Trump administration of withholding evidence that would help his case.The DOJ Inspector General, meanwhile, later accused McCabe of lying to investigators multiple times. After that report came out, McCabe’s lawyer said it was “far less fair than he deserved,” and “utterly failed to support the decision to terminate Mr. McCabe.” Lying to federal investigators is a crime, and the Inspector General referred its investigation of McCabe to the U.S. Attorney’s office for Washington D.C. McCabe has not been charged with any crime––despite numerous Trump tweets calling him a criminal. 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.


Lawyers: Robert Durst wrote incriminating 'cadaver' note

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:49

Lawyers for New York real estate heir Robert Durst acknowledge he penned a note tipping off police to the location of the body of a friend he’s accused of killing, according to court documents. In a court filing last week in Los Angeles Superior Court, lawyers for Durst conceded he had written the note directing police to the home where his best friend, Susan Berman, was shot point-blank in the back of the head just before Christmas of 2000. Durst, 76, pleaded not guilty to murder in Berman's death but told a documentary film crew that the letter could only have been sent by the killer.


Protesters burn security post at U.S. Embassy in Iraq in new foreign policy test for Trump

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:33

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Protesters angry about U.S. air strikes on Iraq hurled stones and torched a security post at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, setting off a confrontation with guards and posing a new challenge for U.S. President Donald Trump. The protests, led by Iranian-backed militias, prompted the United States to deploy additional U.S. Marines to protect embassy personnel who were huddled inside the facility. Trump threatened to retaliate against Iran.


Jury awards $4 million to Disney Cruise worker

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:07

A Florida jury has decided that a Disney Cruise Line worker deserves $4 million from the company based on her claim that she got inadequate medical care from ship doctors after she was hit by a car during a port of call.


GOP Sen. Collins is open to calling impeachment witnesses

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:07

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she’s open to calling witnesses as part of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, but she says it is “premature” to decide who should be called until senators see the evidence that is presented.


An Officer Admitted Making a Racist Threat. He Still Has a Job.

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 14:54

Michael J. Reynolds, a New York City police officer, landed in Nashville, Tennessee, on a Sunday morning in July 2018, court records show. He and six other men, two of whom he later identified as New York City officers, were on what was supposed to be a three-night bachelor-party junket.About 18 hours later, Reynolds, who is white, kicked in a black woman's door in a drunken rage, threatening her and her sons with a racist slur and obscenities."I'll break every bone in your neck," he said in a rant that included two expletives. He then fled to his nearby Airbnb rental just before police arrived.This month, he was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation after pleading no contest to four misdemeanors as a result of the episode, court records show.As of Monday, though, he remained an officer, stirring a growing backlash against the New York Police Department. More than 10,000 people signed an online petition demanding his dismissal and supporting the woman whose home he invaded, Conese Halliburton."Michael Reynolds is a violent and dangerous racist who has no business carrying either a badge or a gun," her lawyer, Daniel Horwitz, said via email. "Ms. Halliburton wants the NYPD to fire him immediately so that he can't hurt anyone else."The Police Department said last week that Reynolds was on "modified duty" and that the disciplinary process was awaiting the Nashville case's conclusion. Asked about the matter again Monday, a top department official said the process "was moving forward and questioning will take place imminently."Reynolds, 26, apologized in court for the episode and claimed that he had no memory of it because he had been drinking heavily."I'm sorry," he testified. "I made a mistake. I consumed too much alcohol."Edward Yarbrough, Reynolds' lawyer, said that because of the jail time, "We think his job is in jeopardy." Yarbrough had sought a sentence that could have allowed his client to keep his job and have his record expunged in several years.The case of Reynolds is again focusing scrutiny on the pace of the Police Department's disciplinary process. In a prominent example of how it can drag on, five years passed before Officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose use of a prohibited chokehold contributed to the 2014 death in police custody of Eric Garner, was fired and stripped of his pension benefits in August.The police commissioner has the ultimate say over firings, but police unions typically fight such moves. Officers who are ousted sometimes sue to try to get back their jobs and benefits, as Pantaleo is doing.Reynolds' crimes did not occur in the line of duty, nor did he cause physical injuries. But Halliburton testified that he had done significant psychological damage."My kids want to move," she said at the sentencing Dec. 6. "They don't want to be in that house anymore. We don't have peace. To know that you've been living somewhere all your life, and you don't have that anymore, and where would you go, it's not fair."In court, Halliburton, the prosecutor, the judge and Reynolds' own lawyer all used the same term -- terrorize -- to describe what Reynolds had done to Halliburton's family that night.The episode, some of which, including audio of Reynolds' ranting, was captured by a neighbor's security cameras, began shortly after 2:30 a.m. on July 9, 2018.At the time, Halliburton testified, she was lying in bed talking with her youngest son in her house in Nashville's 12 South section."I could hear, like, someone, like, yelling," she said.Looking out a window, her son saw a man who turned out to be Reynolds in the yard. Halliburton called 911. While she was on the phone, she said, she heard "like a boom, boom, boom.""It sounds like he's trying to come in my house," she recalled telling the 911 operator.Moments later, she said, Reynolds was inside. Her two dogs ran to protect her, barking and biting at his shorts. He tried to fight them off."He just kept coming down the hallway," she said.Halliburton said that her two eldest sons, who were 17 and 20 at the time, tried to stop him from coming any farther into the house. He did not budge."He was in the house for, like, seven, eight minutes," Halliburton testified.It was during this time that security cameras captured Reynolds screaming a racist slur at Halliburton and her family and threatening them with violence.He left, she said, after appearing to comprehend that the police were coming.When officers arrived, she described the intruder to them and suggested they talk to the men staying at the Airbnb two doors away.Before storming into Halliburton's house, Reynolds testified, he and his friends had been drinking in Nashville's Lower Broadway area. He said he did not know how much alcohol he had consumed.The only thing he remembered, he testified, was identifying himself as a police officer when speaking to a Nashville officer who answered Halliburton's call. He said he learned about what he had done from his friends later.Halliburton and two neighbors confronted Reynolds and his friends later that day in the street.Halliburton and the neighbors testified that the men, including Reynolds and a man he identified as a fellow New York City officer, apologized.Reynolds said he had gone into the home by mistake, thinking that it was their rental.But Halliburton and the neighbors also testified that the officers were laughing at the same time, saying that they had "immunity" because they were law enforcement officers.Nashville detectives later tracked down Reynolds, and Halliburton and her sons identified him from a photo array.After being charged with aggravated burglary and assault, he pleaded no contest in September to aggravated criminal trespassing and three counts of assault. He is to report to jail Jan. 15 if he does not appeal his sentence before then.In arguing that Reynolds, a five-year Police Department veteran previously assigned to the 33rd Precinct in Upper Manhattan, deserved jail time, Brian Ewald, the prosecutor, said Reynolds and his friends had tried to "bully their way through this or out of this.""Keep quiet, don't tell anybody a thing and we'll get out of this," Ewald said in describing the men's attitude. "You know, we went, we cut up in another city, what happens in Nashville stays in Nashville, let's get out of town early and live our lives."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


MSC Cruises' new and largest ship, MSC Grandiosa, crashes in the port of Palermo, Sicily

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 14:13

MSC Cruises' new ship experienced a collision on Monday morning. MSC Grandiosa collided with the dock in Palermo, Sicily, a spokesperson confirmed.


USA TODAY's guide to cruise ship gratuity fees and service charges

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 13:57

In the world of cruising, gratuities and service charges are the apex controversy. Check out these fee listings on major cruise lines.


Judge orders Alex Jones to pay $100,000 in Sandy Hook case

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 13:43

A Texas judge ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $100,000 in another court setback over the Infowars host using his show to promote falsehoods that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax. Jones is being sued for defamation in Austin, Texas, by the parents of a 6-year-old who was among the 26 people killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, attack. State District Judge Scott Jenkins ruled on Dec. 20 that Jones and his defense team “intentionally disregarded” an earlier order to provide witnesses to attorneys representing a Sandy Hook father who brought the lawsuit, Neil Heslin.


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