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Here's how Democrats will elect their presidential nominee over the next several months

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 12:38

The Democratic nominee will be officially selected at the DNC in July, but we'll probably know who wins the nomination much earlier than that


Trump attorney Robert Ray: No new evidence needed for ‘standardless impeachment’

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 11:19

Robert Ray, a member of President Trump’s impeachment defense team, tells Yahoo News Editor in Chief Daniel Klaidman and Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff that despite polls showing a majority in favor of allowing new witnesses and evidence in the impeachment trial, the upcoming Senate vote to allow or deny new witnesses and evidence “will be the end of it.”


Female prisoner dies after guards ‘did not stop her being beaten with soap bars’

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:52

A female prisoner died after guards did not intervene while she was being beaten with a sock filled with bars of soap, it is claimed in a lawsuit set to be heard in the US.Nicole Rathmann was attacked by another inmate as she lay on her bunk at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.


AOC and Michael Moore urge Iowa voters not to 'play it safe' as they stand in for Sanders

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:22

Two of Bernie Sanders’s highest-profile allies, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, filled in for him on the campaign trail Friday night, speaking to a rally here at the University of Iowa, as the Vermont senator participated in the impeachment trial in Washington, D.C. 


Racist threats rattle students, faculty at university

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:21

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Three months after a set of anonymous, threatening, racist, antisemitic and homophobic emails sent a wave of fear through the sociology department at Wake Forest University, the department chairman says he's still waiting for university leaders to announce a meaningful response. Alarmed by what he deemed white supremacist terrorism, chairman Joseph Soares canceled sociology classes for a week. When they resumed, Wake Forest police officers were stationed outside classrooms and the building itself.


'I really hope she is the future': AOC's support of Sanders fuels 2024 speculation

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:15

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s aid of Bernie Sanders’ campaign is raising talk of the possibility she might run for the White House herselfIt was billed as a rally for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. But the only aging white man on the platform was the film-maker Michael Moore, and attendee Brittany Springmeier wasn’t there to see him.She was in Iowa City for real star of the show, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.“She’s speaking for us. She’s speaking for the people. She has a passion for the millennials. She’s speaking for everyone in America who doesn’t have a voice,” said Springmeier, a millennial herself who is unable to work because of a disability.With the Vermont senator trapped in Washington DC by the impeachment hearings, Ocasio-Cortez was fronting for him at the University of Iowa on Friday evening in the last days before the Iowa Democratic caucuses.Much of the crowd had already made up its mind to back Sanders, which was just as well because the New York congresswoman gave a 26-minute speech without once mentioning the man she was ostensibly there to promote. A passionate discourse on healthcare and the case for comprehensive public insurance, a cause at the heart of Sanders campaign, then gave way to a rousing appeal to build a movement to transform “a nation in decline”.Ocasio-Cortez disparaged the Democratic leadership in Congress as fearful of any radical policies that might cost votes and called on supporters to “come together and organise” to repeated cheers.But through it all, even as Sanders picture stared down on her, his name did not once cross the congresswoman’s lips.Ocasio-Cortez has been unstinting in her support of Sanders’ presidential bid but Friday’s rally will only reinforce the perception that his campaign also provides her with a platform to push a more visionary agenda. That in turn has fueled media speculation about the extent of the 30 year-old’s ambitions, and the possibility she might run for the White House herself in 2024 – should Trump win a second term.Whatever her plans, the congresswoman will not have been discouraged by the reception in Iowa City, where she was greeted with an enthusiasm bordering on adulation.Jonathan Katz, a high school math teacher from New York City who travelled to Iowa to canvass for Sanders, was at the rally specifically to see Ocasio-Cortez.“When she showed the courage after Bernie’s heart attack to say ‘I’m going to be supporting Bernie’, my respect went up 1,000%. Because here’s someone at Bernie’s most difficult moment in the campaign saying ‘I’m with you Bernie’,” said Katz.Ocasio-Cortez’s backing has meant more than throwing her weight behind Sanders’ positions. She has amplified some of them, not least on the environment with her push for a Green New Deal, and injected a much greater diversity of voices into the Vermont senator’s campaign, which he has frankly admitted were lacking in his 2016 run.“She’s been very important to Bernie, bringing people in, especially young people,” said Springmeier. “She’s helped bring in minorities, bring some light to the fact that they don’t really have a voice. I think a lot of people are drawn to her who may not otherwise have been interested in politics, and that helps Bernie.“I really hope she continues on the politics. She’s a force to be reckoned with. I really think she’s going to do great things for the people, for we the people. She’s working in the establishment but I think she’s going to be speaking for us.”If Ocasio-Cortez has reinforced the Sanders campaign, it’s clear she can also draw from that enhanced strength. For some of Sanders supporters, she offers a vision beyond his presidential campaign. Wendy Stevenson, a librarian who caucused for Sanders four years ago, came to the rally with her 11-year-old daughter, Estelle, who wanted to see Ocasio-Cortez after watching a Netflix documentary about her.“I love her vision. I love her guts to go in first term as a representative and propose the Green New Deal. It changes the way our economy will work. It’s exciting. You need that kind of energy and ideas out there. And she’s not scared to challenge the establishment. Even the Democrats, she’s pushing them further than they feel comfortable going. I love having that voice,” she said.But for all that, Stevenson is not sure on where Ocasio-Cortez should set her sights. For now she wants to see her remain in Congress, where she thinks she could rise to great heights and have real power and influence over the policies that matter most.“I hope she’ll be a powerful future politician that can change the way things are done. I feel like she really feels strongly about representing her people in her district. She’s still young. I’m excited that things are moving further to the left with a lot more fresh ideas. I really hope she is the future.”


The US government will reportedly evacuate its diplomats and citizens from Wuhan on a chartered plane amid the coronavirus outbreak

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 10:13

A chartered Boeing 767 will transport US diplomats, citizens, and their families from Wuhan to some location in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal.


A 62-year-old Chinese doctor in Wuhan 'at the front line' of the coronavirus outbreak has died after treating patients

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 09:55

Chinese state media confirmed that Liang Wudong, an ENT specialist who retired in March 2019, died after treating coronavirus patients in Wuhan.


NASA is hiring someone to help figure out how to get Mars rocks back to Earth — and the position pays at least $182,000

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:31

The Mars Sample Return mission aims to get pristine rocks from the red planet back to Earth, perhaps by the end of the decade.


Biden picks up another high profile endorsement in Iowa as voting nears

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 08:15

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden picked up another high profile endorsement on Saturday in Iowa, where the party’s nominating contest kicks off in nine days, after U.S. congresswoman Cindy Axne said she was backing the former vice president. Axne, a freshman U.S. lawmaker and moderate, is the latest in a slew of big-name endorsements for Biden in Iowa which could have an impact on undecided voters as caucus day nears on Feb. 3. Two former Iowa Democratic governors, Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver, have backed Biden, as has another U.S. House member, congresswoman Abby Finkenauer.


Pope backs Iraqi call for its sovereignty to be respected

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 07:56

Pope Francis met Iraq's president on Saturday and the two agreed that the country's sovereignty must be respected, following attacks on Iraqi territory this month by the United States and Iran. President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican's two top diplomats, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, its foreign minister. The talks "focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favor of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty," a Vatican statement said.


Iranian FM: Tehran still willing to negotiate with US

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 07:26

Iran is not ruling out negotiations with the United States even after an American drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, the country's foreign minister said in an interview released Saturday. Mohammed Javad Zarif told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine that he would “never rule out the possibility that people will change their approach and recognize the realities,” in an interview conducted Friday in Tehran. There has been growing tension between Washington and Tehran since in 2018, when President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran.


U.S. to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan, China - WSJ

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 07:01

The plane, with around 230 people, will carry diplomats from the U.S. consulate as well as U.S. citizens and their families, the Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the operation. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said that on Thursday, the State Department had ordered the departure of family members and all U.S. government employees at its Wuhan consulate, but declined to comment on the report that other U.S. citizens would be evacuated from the city.


'Kids are taking the streets': climate activists plan avalanche of events as 2020 election looms

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 06:00

Young demonstrators aim to make the climate crisis a central issue of the presidential campaignOrganizers in the youth climate movement plan an avalanche of activities beginning next week, determined to make the future of the climate the major issue of the 2020 election.Capitalizing on turnout in the September climate strikes, when 6 million people worldwide turned out to demand urgent action to address the escalating ecological emergency, young US organizers are making the leap from mobilization to demands. They’re planning widespread voter activation in the 2020 US presidential election as well as direct action targeting the fossil fuel industry and the banks and politicians that enable it.“The headline message of the strikes in 2020 is: the kids are taking to the streets to strike for climate and they’re asking you to vote,” said Katie Eder, the executive director of Future Coalition, a communications and training hub for youth climate groups.There are more than 300 organizations involved in the efforts, Eder said, including some of the largest youth and adult coalitions in climate movement: Fridays for Future, the Sunrise Movement, 350.org, Zero Hour, Extinction Rebellion.“We’re starting to have the conversation within the strikes about how we’re balancing both the political targets and the financial targets,” Eder said, calling power and money “really key to the root causes of why we’re not addressing climate change”.Activists have planned widespread voter mobilization campaigns; three days of national strikes, marches, and direct action against politicians and banks beginning on Earth Day (22 April); regular strikes on Fridays and additional strikes targeting primary elections in every state; plus an international day of action, college divestment campaigns, and a huge push by the Sunrise Movement to turn out the vote for Bernie Sanders and a Green New Deal.Stories of climate awakening are a universal truth for young Americans living in the age of worsening climate conditions. Isabella Fallahi, who has asthma, for example, has lived within 14 miles of a coal-burning generating facility all of her life.“A lot of people don’t think of Indiana, or the midwest, for that matter, as frontline communities,” she said. “We face the silent killers. The terrible air quality because of mining projects, the terrible water quality because of mining projects, the health effects associated with both of those, droughts that cripple the agricultural economies that we’re based off of.”But Fallahi, like many other young organizers, is also galvanized by the tech proficiency of her generation, born into the era of hashtags and the ubiquitous touchscreen. She was a speaker at the UN climate change conference in Madrid (COP 25) in December 2019, when she and other youth were nearly ejected for protesting against the fossil fuel executives on panels and in negotiations.Approximately 200 young people in 40 countries, many of whom were at the conference, organized a response called Polluters Out. In 20 days, they had a website, a multilingual launch video, a press release in seven languages, and a list of demands. In actions set for March, they will call for the exclusion of fossil fuel interests at COP26 and transparency in the UN framework on climate change, as well as inclusion of indigenous and human rights in the Paris agreement. Regional efforts in the US will also call for a Green New Deal, a halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure, divestments from fossil fuels by universities and campaign funds, and the targeting of specific banks for fossil fuel investments.The groups stay in touch through conference calls, Slack, Zoom, and Google Drive. Activists in Cuba – who can’t download the apps because of the US trade embargo – tune in through WhatsApp. There’s a Slack channel for supporting scientists, too. And meetings wait for organizers in the Amazon who need to travel to towns for internet access.For all of them, there is community. People to cry with over the photo of the bay in Australia, so covered in smoke that it is hardly visible.“Overall, I think the way to look at this perspective on the youth movement is: it is cohesive in that they do communicate, but the orgs are not all the same,” said Natalie Mebane, associate director of US Policy for 350.org and an adult mentor for Zero Hour, both organizations intensely focused on voter turnout for climate for 2020. “We want to make sure that climate becomes the number one issue on voters’ minds.”The Sunrise Movement, like 350.org and Zero Hour, has taken that to a grassroots level. That is how Naina Agrawal-Hardin ended up in the guidance office at Washtenaw high school outside Ann Arbor, Michigan, for an interview. She’s a leader for the Ann Arbor hub of the Sunrise Movement. And she’s 16, a junior. Her school, she said, was supportive.“Whenever I have to take conference calls or interviews during school hours, they usually will write me a pass to get out of class,” she said.Agrawal-Hardin is planning a watch party at her home – a sneak peek at the forthcoming documentary Generation Green New Deal and a video about the Sunrise Movement’s 2020 campaign, as part of its annual kickoff. Sunrise provides the documentaries, discussion questions, and near-daily training on organizing and recruitment techniques. When Agrawal-Hardin hosts her event on 29 January, she’ll be one of more than 2,000 hosts nationwide.Through 2020, the Sunrise Movement will similarly activate its 300 chapters in support of Bernie Sanders, leveraging 10,000 volunteers in most of the 50 states for door knocks, voting pledges and climate education. Sunrise endorsed Sanders as the best-positioned candidate to lead a Green New Deal and address income inequality.“By primary/caucus day in Iowa and New Hampshire, we are going to have over 20,000 young people who have signed pledges to vote for Green New Deal champions” in the two states, said Sofie Karasek, a Sunrise Movement spokesperson. “What we’re really expecting to see in 2020 is Young Green New Deal voters really become the margin of victory for whoever becomes the Democratic nominee.”


Bloomberg Offers Few Details to Back Up Trillions in Spending

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 06:00

(Bloomberg) -- Ask Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg how he’ll pay for his plans to create jobs, provide health insurance and repair roads and bridges, and you get the same answer: Wait until you see my tax plan.Bloomberg has released almost 20 proposals since joining the race on Nov. 24: $1.2 trillion for infrastructure. $70 billion of federal spending in low-income neighborhoods to aid black homeownership. Another trillion and a half for health care. He hasn’t detailed where the money for the ambitious proposals will come from.If Bloomberg comes out of Super Tuesday among the Democratic race’s top tier, there will be increasing pressure on him to explain how he’s going to pay for his policies, said Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who hasn’t endorsed a 2020 candidate.“There will be a great hue and cry for him to add substance to his proposals and do it very quickly,” Fowler said.Bloomberg’s campaign says that it plans to release further details about the tax proposal as soon as next week and that it will show how he plans to pay for his proposals.That would mean details come out before 14 U.S. states vote March 3 on Super Tuesday, the contests on which Bloomberg is staking his campaign. But until then, voters have only heard him say he supports “taxing wealthy people like me” to pay for a growing list of policy proposals.The approach is at odds with Bloomberg’s pitch -- that his three terms as New York mayor and in building the company that bears his name show he’s a practical problem solver, someone who takes a data-driven approach to running government efficiently.It’s also at odds with his Democratic rivals who often explain revenue streams when they propose big programs. No one does that more thoroughly than Elizabeth Warren, whose plan to pay for her $20.5 trillion health care plan ran 19 pages.Not that their estimates have always had pinpoint accuracy. Warren’s and Sanders’s Medicare For All cost estimates differ by $10 trillion. And academics have found Warren’s, Biden’s and Sanders’s revenue estimates from their tax plans overly rosy.The lack of details hasn’t stopped the Bloomberg campaign from rolling out the proposals in his campaign’s earliest days, sometimes at a clip of two or three a week. The media has started to notice, as one recent Associated Press article led off by noting the lack of details about paying for a promise to create millions of new jobs.Bloomberg’s plans on health care, the economy, climate change and other issues where he specifies costs total more than $3 trillion over 10 years. Many more don’t list a cost.Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.His campaign has said it’s hard to determine cost estimates because plans are related, and the cost or savings in one proposal can affect another. But the campaign has consistently said that Bloomberg’s tax plan will pay for the policies he is releasing.Bloomberg himself has said little about his tax plan other than he supports increasing taxes on the rich but not with a wealth tax. He opposes the wealth taxes proposed by Warren and Bernie Sanders, which would place a tax on the fortunes of millionaires and billionaires.In a Jan. 11 interview, Bloomberg said the corporate tax rate cut in the Republicans’ 2017 tax overhaul was necessary for competitive reasons but was too deep, and he opposed the measure’s cuts in income-tax rates.“I’ve said I didn’t need the cut, and that was the money that we needed for infrastructure,” Bloomberg said. “You can expect me to try to rectify that in our proposals.”As New York’s mayor, Bloomberg increased property taxes by 18.5% in 2003 – the largest in the city’s history -- to generate $837 million to plug budget deficits. His poll numbers suffered but he was re-elected in 2005.Other Democratic presidential candidates have released cost estimates and funding sources for their plans in varying levels of detail. Joe Biden has said he would pay for $3.2 trillion in proposals with new and higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, including a minimum federal levy targeting companies that have reported paying no federal income taxes in recent years.Sanders has said his Medicare-for-All plan alone would cost more than $30 trillion over a decade but hasn’t fully detailed how he’d pay for it except to say taxes would go up while out-of-pocket health costs would go down.Leonard Burman, a fellow at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan policy research group in Washington, said he would expect Bloomberg “to put out a package where the revenues could cover the costs, but it’s just really hard to tell what it would look like without knowing the exact price tag and the details.” Burman co-founded the Tax Policy Center, which analyzes candidate tax plans.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Craig GordonFor 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.


China is Expanding into the Indian Ocean—Here Are Five Things the Indian Navy Can Do About It

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 03:00

Two emerging superpowers square off. Who wins?


Chinese people are turning on the government as the coronavirus outbreak spirals into the Lunar New Year

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 01:04

An unprecedented quarantine during the biggest festival of the year is proving a breaking point, as a fearful public faces the spreading virus.


Photos from the Lunar New Year show how coronavirus turned China's biggest party into a washout

Top Stories - Sat, 01/25/2020 - 00:55

Here are photos comparing last year's celebration — complete with Chinese lions, historical dances, and family time — to this year.


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