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FBI agents visited the home of the Robert Hyde, the Giuliani associate who said he surveilled former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:30

Hyde claimed to have been surveilling former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, according to a trove of messages turned over to Congress.


Bureaucracy to brutality: New evidence reveals IS hierarchy

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:13

Documents compiled by a U.S.-based Syrian rights group reveal how Islamic State militants used one of their most powerful bureaucratic bodies to regulate daily life and impose and execute penalties. The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.


Many ‘No’ Votes on Trump’s Trade Deal Came From Presidential Hopefuls

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 14:04

(Bloomberg) -- Nearly half of the Senate Democrats who voted against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement share one thing in common: They ran, or are still running, for the 2020 presidential nomination, leaving every vote subject to extra scrutiny for national political implications.Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders were among the nine Democrats who on Thursday voted against the trade deal. Sanders, who is still in the presidential race, is near the top of many primary polls. The other three have dropped out but may still harbor hopes of a spot on the 2020 ticket as the vice presidential pick or even ambitions for another presidential bid in 2024 or 2028.While the final version of the agreement included additional measures to protect U.S. labor that were negotiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and endorsed by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, critics argue those protections are insufficient for American workers. Environmental groups, meanwhile, have universally panned the deal.“We can do much better than a Trump-led trade deal,” Sanders said during Tuesday’s presidential primary debate in Iowa. Another Democrat still in the race, Elizabeth Warren voted for the deal, arguing that it will “give some relief” to workers and is better than no action at all. Amy Klobuchar also backed it.The three senators who’ve dropped out of the race are all in their 50s and could have more chances at the White House, and a vote for a trade agreement could backfire if it leads to job losses or, in the case of the new deal, new environmental problems. Joe Biden, a former longtime Delaware senator, has faced criticism from opponents – especially Sanders – for his support of trade agreements, including the USMCA predecessor Nafta.Harris said she was opposing the deal because of its lack of environmental protections. Gillibrand said she was voting against it because she didn’t think it did enough for the environment, drug prices or New York state’s farmers and producers. Booker has not yet explained his vote.To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Epstein in Washington at jepstein32@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Magan CraneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Therapist charged with killing family faced fraud probe

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:28

A physical therapist charged with killing his wife, three children and dog in a home near Walt Disney World and leaving their bodies there for days was being investigated in Connecticut for health care fraud motivated by his need to pay off personal loans, according to court documents unsealed this week. Anthony Todt was being investigated for submitting fraudulent claims for physical therapy by the FBI and agents with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to an affidavit and criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Connecticut. According to agents, the allegations involved Todt and his Colchester, Connecticut-base clinics submitting claims to Medicaid and private insurers for physical therapy services that weren't given to patients.


France to deploy Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to support Middle East operations

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:17

France will deploy the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and its battle group from January to April to support French military operations in Middle East, Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday. "The aircraft carrier will support Chammal operations (in the Middle East) from January to April 2020 before deploying to the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea", Macron said at a New Year speech to the French military.


Marine Corps could use the Navy's new Naval Strike Missile for use as a shore battery

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 13:14

The Marine Corps could soon get the Navy’s new Naval Strike Missile for use as a shore battery, according to the Navy’s acquisitions chief. “Just yesterday [Jan. 14] we had the team in that has the Naval Strike Missile on LCS [littoral combat ships] working hand-in-hand with the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps does ground launchers, we do command and control," Assistant Navy Secretary James “Hondo” Geurts told reporters after his Jan. 15 speech at the annual Surface Navy symposium. “We’ll make that immediately available to the Marine Corps.”


Egypt and Ethiopia reach deal on Nile 'mega dam' that brought threats of war

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:35

Egypt and Ethiopia have struck a preliminary deal to end a row over the construction of a giant dam on the Nile, potentially averting a war between two of Africa’s biggest military powers.  Following talks in Washington brokered by the US government, Egypt agreed in principle to drop its opposition to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam after receiving assurances that its water supply would not be threatened.  The breakthrough follows years of recrimination, with both countries periodically resorting to threats of war ever since Ethiopia announced plans to build the dam in 2011.  With 95 percent of its population living in the Nile Valley, Egypt has always been acutely sensitive about the flow of a river on which it has depended for its very existence since the dawn of civilisation 5,000 years ago. The world’s longest river is the source of nine-tenths of Egypt’s fresh water.  Arguing that it was granted ultimate control of the Nile under safeguards implemented by Britain in 1929, Egypt says the Renaissance Dam — which will be the world seventh largest on completion — could cause vital downstream reservoirs to dry up.  Ethiopia, in whose highlands the Blue Nile rises before meeting the White Nile in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, argues that the dam will transform the lives of its 110m people, providing many of them with electricity for the first time and allowing the country to industrialise.  Hopes for a resolution to the crisis were raised last year after Ethiopia, which had previously resisted international mediation, agreed to US involvement after Egypt’s president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, made a personal appeal to Donald Trump, his US counterpart.  Mr Trump instructed the US treasury department to work with the World Bank to find a solution.  Following talks in Washington, officials from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed to allow the dam, which has largely been completed, to be filled in stages every July and August, the Ethiopian rainy season, so long as the impact on downstream reservoirs is monitored.  “The subsequent stages of filling will be done according to a mechanism to be agreed,” the US treasury department said in a statement.  A final deal could be signed at the end of the month, although analysts warn that differences between Egypt and Ethiopia remain, particularly over how long it should take to fill the dam’s reservoir, which will be the size of Buckinghamshire.  Sudan has sided with Ethiopia in the row, believing the dam will help regulate the flow of the Blue Nile and reduce downstream flooding.


'Hazardous' travel ahead: Weekend winter storm to wallop Midwest and Northeast with snow and ice

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:35

A winter storm will dump snow and ice across a wide swath of the northern USA on Friday and into the weekend.


US military training for Saudi students could resume soon

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:30

U.S. training for more than 800 Saudi Arabian military students could be restarted "in the coming days," the Pentagon said Thursday, nearly six weeks after a shooting by one Saudi trainee killed three sailors at a Florida base. The Pentagon had stopped all flight and field training for the approximately 850 Saudi students amid fears that others may have known about or been involved in the shooting at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Jonathan Hoffman, chief spokesman for the Defense Department, said officials probably will have an announcement soon about the training resumption.


Impeachment and a path to redemption for Trump

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:23

President Trump’s most effective path forward, not only to prevail in the impeachment proceedings but to end this ordeal and create a strong position from which to govern, is to follow the Clinton model rather than the Nixon path. 


Wealthy CEOs complain about feeling 'unsafe' because of homeless people in San Francisco

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 12:01

A major healthcare conference in San Francisco this week has sparked a debate about the California city’s homeless crisis as wealthy executives and investors complain of feeling 'unsafe'.The city rakes in $51m (£39m) each year from the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference despite growing concerns about the city’s homeless population among attendees of the healthcare industry’s leading conference, according to Bloomberg News.


USC officials doubted Lori Loughlin's daughters were 'serious' athletes, according to newly released emails in the college admissions scandal

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:50

Federal prosecutors released dozens of emails and call logs between Rick Singer and parents accused of taking part in the college admissions scandal.


Is There a Hidden 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet Orbiting Our Closest Stellar Neighbor?

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 11:31

A new exoplanet only 4.2 light years away would prove that there's plenty left to discover in our own cosmic backyard.


Texas carries out first U.S. execution of 2020, putting man to death by lethal injection

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:54

Texas on Wednesday carried out the first execution of the year in the United States, putting to death by lethal injection a man convicted of killing his wife 15 years ago because she wanted a divorce. John Gardner, 64, was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing his fifth wife, who had left him after multiple incidents of physical violence and filed for divorce.


This Harvard-educated, NASA-qualified, Navy SEAL gives his kids this simple advice every day

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:29

"It wasn't as simple as, 'I want to do this because it's an accomplishment,'" Jonny Kim told Insider. "It's never been that shallow for me."


Camera Captures the Moment a Deer Sheds Its Antlers in the Middle of the Night

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 10:21

If you blink you might miss it


'Pence had to know': Vice president dragged into Trump impeachment scandal by indicted associate

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:59

A Soviet-born associate to Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has directly implicated Mike Pence in the Ukraine scandal, insisting the vice president was aware of demands for political investigations that sparked the president's impeachment.Lev Parnas, a key subject in the impeachment saga who has been accused of working with Mr Giuliani to remove the former US ambassador to Ukraine from her post, said Mr Pence “couldn’t have not known” about the administration’s demands in a new interview.


Germany’s $6.7 billion frigate deal with Dutch shipbuilder Damen may be the last of its kind

Thu, 01/16/2020 - 09:41

A new policy, up for a Cabinet decision within weeks, would favor German vendors in building naval surface ships.


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