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Harvard professor charged with hiding China ties, payments

Harvard professor charged with hiding China ties, paymentsA Harvard University professor was charged Tuesday with lying about his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program and concealing payments he received from the Chinese government for research. Charles Lieber, chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology, is accused of hiding his involvement in China's Thousand Talents Plan, a program designed to lure people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property to China. Lieber was arrested early Tuesday at his office at the Ivy League university, officials said.

The helicopter that carried Kobe Bryant and 8 others before crashing on a hillside did not have a black box on board, investigators say

The helicopter that carried Kobe Bryant and 8 others before crashing on a hillside did not have a black box on board, investigators sayThe National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday that investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.

Mother of Jailed Israeli Backpacker Hopes for Russia Pardon

Mother of Jailed Israeli Backpacker Hopes for Russia Pardon(Bloomberg) -- The mother of an Israeli woman imprisoned on drug-smuggling charges in Russia said she’s hopeful President Vladimir Putin will pardon her daughter.Naama Issachar, a 26-year-old U.S.-born Israeli army veteran, was sentenced in October to 7 1/2 years for carrying a small amount of hashish in her luggage on a transit flight via Moscow after a backpacking trip to India. Her plight has become a cause celebre in Israel, where it’s widely seen as politically motivated.Putin met with Issachar’s mother, Yaffa, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday, on the sidelines of an international forum on the Holocaust. He assured her that “everything will be all right,” and on Sunday, Naama Issachar applied for a presidential pardon, her lawyers said.When asked in a text message exchange whether she expects her daughter to return to Israel soon, Yaffa Issachar replied: “I hope so.” The request for a pardon has been received and “all necessary legal procedures are being carried out at the moment so the president can take a decision on this issue in the nearest future,” Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on a conference call Monday.A decision to free Issachar, who’s been in detention since April, could bolster Netanyahu, who’s been indicted on corruption charges and is fighting for his political survival at the country’s third election in less than a year in March.The Kremlin said last week that Israel and Russia are also making progress in settling a dispute over the ownership of Russian Orthodox Church property in Jerusalem, which Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said could form part of a quid pro quo to secure Issachar’s release.The Russian leader has previously rebuffed multiple pleas from Netanyahu for Issachar’s sentence to be commuted.Her case for a time became entangled with that of a Russian national, Alexei Burkov, whom Israel extradited to the U.S. in November on charges including hacking and credit card fraud. Russia had offered to swap the two, according to Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and Israeli politician.(Adds Putin spokesman’s comment in 4th paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at;Irina Reznik in Moscow at ireznik@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory L. White at, Amy Teibel, Tony HalpinFor 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.

Palestinians reject Trump peace plan, throw in 'dustbin of history'

Palestinians reject Trump peace plan, throw in 'dustbin of history'Palestinian leaders on Tuesday rejected US President Donald Trump's peace proposal as an unacceptable capitulation to Israel that tramples on the long-standing aspirations of their people. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas vowed the initiative unveiled in Washington would fail. Trump's proposal included a long list of measures directly in line with Israeli interests, notably recognition of Jerusalem as the "undivided capital" of the Jewish state.

U.N. criticizes Iraq trials of ISIS 'members', including human shields

U.N. criticizes Iraq trials of ISIS 'members', including human shieldsThe United Nations raised "serious concerns" on Tuesday about the trials of hundreds of alleged Islamic State members in Iraq, some of whom merely prepared meals, offered medical services or even acted as human shields for the jihadist group. Iraq has processed thousands of cases under its anti-terrorism law - including of detainees from outside the Middle East transferred from neighboring Syria - in the aftermath of a 2014-17 war against Islamic State militants.

Fox's Lou Dobbs declares John Bolton, veteran of 4 GOP administrations, a 'tool for the left'

Fox's Lou Dobbs declares John Bolton, veteran of 4 GOP administrations, a 'tool for the left'The John Bolton who worked in the Reagan administration probably never saw this coming.According to Fox Business' Lou Dobbs, Bolton, who has never drifted from Republican politics in his 40-plus years in Washington, D.C., is now "a tool for the left." That's what a graphic on Dobbs' show declared Monday night, while a zany web connected Bolton to "foreign policy RINO" Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and former FBI Director James Comey.Bolton was Romney's foreign policy adviser during his 2012 presidential run, and through Bolton, Romney is apparently connected to Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother Col. Yevgeny Vindman, Dobbs' very simplified web map showed. Yevgeny Vindman is an attorney for the National Security Council, so Dobbs mirrored right-wing publications in alleging Vindman may have leaked the chunk of Bolton's book that reportedly implicates Trump in a Ukraine quid pro quo. Bolton also shares a book agency with Comey and fellow former Trump official Cliff Sims, which somehow apparently furthers the case that Bolton "has been reduced to a tool for the radical Dems," Dobbs said Monday.Bolton, of course, was also Dobbs' Fox colleague for more than a decade before he left the network to become Trump's national security adviser. He worked in the three prior GOP administrations before that, and as The New York Times' Maggie Haberman noted, Fox owner Rupert Murdoch helped push Bolton over the edge when Trump was considering him for the national security spot.More stories from John Bolton just vindicated Nancy Pelosi All the president's turncoats It's 2020 and women are exhausted

Iranian general warns of retaliation if US threats continue

Iranian general warns of retaliation if US threats continueThe chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Monday that it will retaliate against American and Israeli commanders if the U.S. continues to threaten top Iranian generals. The U.S. killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who headed the expeditionary Quds force, in a drone strike outside of Baghdad's airport in Iraq on Jan. 3. Five days later, Iran retaliated by launching ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American troops, causing injuries but no fatalities among soldiers there.

Historians unveil rare photos of Sobibor death camp

Historians unveil rare photos of Sobibor death campHundreds of newly discovered photographs, including some taken at the Sobibor death camp, represent a "quantum leap" in research into Nazi crimes against humanity, historians at the Berlin museum Topography of Terror said Tuesday. Historians said the "exceptional collection" provided unprecedented insights into the Sobibor camp in German Nazi-occupied Poland, about which little is known even 75 years after the end of World War II. The trove, consisting of 361 black-and-white photos and several written documents, also includes photos believed to show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who denied ever being at Sobibor.

British man dies in US immigration detention in Florida

British man dies in US immigration detention in Florida* Death of man, 39, initially attributed to hanging * UK Foreign Office said to be in touch with man’s wifeA British man has died while being held in US immigration detention in Florida, the Guardian has confirmed.The death was first reported by BuzzFeed News, which said the man was 39 years old and that the cause was initially attributed to asphyxiation due to hanging. The incident was reported to have occurred on Saturday last week.“Our staff are in contact with the US authorities following the death of a British man in Florida,” said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London.Foreign Office officials are understood to have been in contact with the deceased man’s wife, as US officials investigate the circumstances of the death.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Guardian.In a statement to BuzzFeed, the agency identified the deceased man as Ben James Owen and clarified he had died at the Baker county detention center in Macclenny, Florida. Officials said Owen had entered the US on a temporary visa in July and had been arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated stalking, felony false imprisonment, domestic assault, and violating the conditions of his pre-trial release. The agency said the case remained under investigation.The incident marks the fifth death at a detention centre in the 2020 fiscal year, which begins in October 2019. There were eight deaths in Ice detention in the 2019 fiscal year.The immigration detention population in the United States has soared under the Trump administration. Last year Ice detained 510,854 people, compared with 396,448 in 2018. The administration has also increased its use of detention facilities, mostly run by private security companies, with a new concentration of detention centres opening in the deep south.Medical provision and mental health care at detention facilities has come under increased criticism under the Trump administration after a spate of high profile deaths since 2017.At the end of last year House Democrats on the oversight and reform committee launched an inquiry to investigate a “troubling pattern of abuse and poor treatment” of migrants in custody.

Idaho Nurse Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Helping Cover Up Kelsey Berreth’s Murder

Idaho Nurse Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Helping Cover Up Kelsey Berreth’s MurderA former Idaho nurse was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday for helping Patrick Frazee cover up the murder of his fiancée last Thanksgiving.Krystal Lee, 33, was sentenced after pleading guilty in February to evidence tampering and testifying against Frazee, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, who was convicted of killing 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth.“I know that saying sorry is not good enough,” she told a packed Teller County courtroom on Tuesday, before receiving the maximum sentence. “And I don’t even know what the right word would be to describe the remorse that I feel.”Patrick Frazee Convicted of Murdering His Missing Fiancée With a Baseball Bat, Burning Her BodyFrazee, a 33-year-old cattle rancher, was convicted in November on all six charges against him for the slaying and disappearance of Berreth and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 156 years. Berreth, a flight instructor at Doss Aviation, was last seen at a Safeway grocery store near her Woodland Park, Colorado, home on Nov. 22, 2018. Prosecutors say later that day, Frazee fatally beat his would-be wife, with whom he shared a child, with a baseball bat before burning her body and the murder weapon at his family’s ranch. The cattle rancher then enlisted the help of Lee, his secret girlfriend, to clean up the crime scene, Lee said.During her emotional two-day testimony, Lee described her troubled relationship with Frazee—which began as an affair several years ago while she was married and included a secret abortion. While the nurse has denied participating in Berreth’s murder, she later admitted she witnessed him burn the evidence of his crime.“She shouldn’t have received the plea deal that she did,” Berreth’s parents, Darrell and Cheryl, wrote in a letter read aloud in court Tuesday, according to The Denver Post. “She was an active participant in the murder. The only thing she didn’t do was swing the bat.”‘Calculating Manipulator’ Patrick Frazee Murdered Kelsey Berreth With Help From Secret Girlfriend: ProsecutorsLee recounted that in 2018, Frazee asked her three times to kill Berreth on his behalf, claiming she was abusing their 1-year-old daughter and needed to be stopped. The nurse said while she initially agreed to help, she backed out before each murder attempt. “His little girl is being abused,” Lee testified. “I understand if it was wrong. I didn’t know what to do so I didn’t make correct decisions.”Prosecutors said when Lee failed to help Frazee murder Berreth, the “cold, calculating manipulator” took matters into his own hands. Afterward, Lee said Frazee told her: “I need your help, and I need your help now. You have a mess to clean up.”Lee said during their frantic clean up of Berreth’s apartment, Frazee told her to “get the candles wiped up, get the bathroom done, and wipe up the footprints,” and threatened to kill her if she failed to do a sufficient job. Kelsey Berreth Murder Suspect’s Secret Ex: He ‘Told Me to Take Care of the Problem’“He asked me if I got it done. I told him the best that I could do. He said ‘You better hope you did, because your life depends on it,’” she said during the trial, according to The Gazette.After the Nov. 24 cleanup, she said the two went to Frazee’s ranch, where the 33-year-old set Berreth’s body on fire, along with several trash bags. To further trick authorities, Lee said she took Berreth’s cellphone to Idaho—nearly 800 miles away from the missing mom’s home in Woodland Park—for the signal to ping before burning it. 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.

'My alarm bells went off': One witness offers his account of Kobe Bryant's helicopter crash

'My alarm bells went off': One witness offers his account of Kobe Bryant's helicopter crashScott Daehlin, who witnessed Kobe Bryant's fatal crash, said he heard the helicopter hovering in low cloud cover seconds before it crashed.

Get Early Access to Backcountry’s Big Winter Sale Right Now

Get Early Access to Backcountry’s Big Winter Sale Right Now

Biden says Ernst ‘spilled the beans’ with caucus comments amid impeachment fight

Biden says Ernst ‘spilled the beans’ with caucus comments amid impeachment fight“Iowa caucus-goers take note,” the former vice president tweeted.

China Demands Apology From Danish Newspaper Over Virus Cartoon

China Demands Apology From Danish Newspaper Over Virus Cartoon(Bloomberg) -- The Chinese Embassy to Denmark wants the newspaper Jyllands-Posten to apologize for publishing a drawing that depicts China’s flag with virus symbols instead of five stars.“We express our strong indignation and demand that Jyllands-Posten and [cartoonist] Niels Bo Bojesen reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologize to the Chinese people,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its website.When asked to comment, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen avoided any direct reference to Jyllands-Posten’s cartoon.“I have nothing to say on the matter other than [to note that] we have a very strong tradition in Denmark not just for freedom of speech but also for freedom of satire, and we’ll continue to have that in the future,” she said, according to multiple news media including Politiken. “This is a well known Danish position and we’re not going to change it.”Denmark’s largest newspaper has faced international backlash over its cartoons in the past. In 2005, the paper printed 12 drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, which angered many nations in which Islam is the main religion and sparked a diplomatic crisis. Back then, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen also defended freedom of speech and said governments had no place telling newspapers what to write.The Chinese flag was printed in the opinion section of the newspaper’s Monday edition with a caption titled “Corona virus”.Editor-in-Chief Jacob Nybroe said the paper won’t apologize.“We can’t apologize for something we don’t think is wrong,” Nybroe told news agency Ritzau. “We have no intention to demean or mock but we don’t think this drawing is doing that.”(Updates with comment from Denmark’s prime minister)To contact the reporter on this story: Morten Buttler in Copenhagen at mbuttler@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at, Tasneem Hanfi BröggerFor 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.

Venezuelan police capture fugitive Colombian senator who fled via dentist's office

Venezuelan police capture fugitive Colombian senator who fled via dentist's officeVenezuelan special police detained a fugitive Colombian former senator who had illegally crossed the border, the force's chief said, four months after she escaped custody by climbing out of her dentist's office in Bogota. Aida Merlano, a former Conservative senator who was imprisoned last year for vote buying, made her theatrical escape in October, lowering herself with a rope and fleeing on the back of a delivery motorcycle. Jose Dominguez, head of Venezuela's FAES Special Action Force, wrote on his Instagram account late on Monday that officers detained her in the city of Maracaibo, capital of western Zulia state by the Colombian border.

Remains of 2 US troops recovered from Afghanistan crash site

Remains of 2 US troops recovered from Afghanistan crash siteU.S. forces on Tuesday recovered the remains of two American service members killed in the crash of an Air Force plane in Afghanistan, the U.S. military command in Kabul said. The statement from Kabul said the cause of the crash is under investigation, but there are no indications that it was downed by enemy fire. Monday's plane crash there is not expected to derail U.S.-Taliban peace talks if the crash investigation determines, as expected, that it was not the result of hostile action.

How the world discovered the Nazi death camps

How the world discovered the Nazi death campsImages of what the Allies found when they liberated the first Nazi death camps towards the end of World War II brought the horror of the Holocaust to global attention. Many of the ghastly pictures were at first held back from the broader public, partly out of concern for those with missing relatives. The concentration and extermination camps were liberated one by one as the Allied armies advanced on Berlin in the final days of the 1939-1945 war.

Taliban says it gunned down U.S. military plane in Afghanistan, killing all personnel onboard

Taliban says it gunned down U.S. military plane in Afghanistan, killing all personnel onboardThe Taliban said it had shot down a U.S. military plane in the central Afghan province of Ghazni on Monday, killing all personnel onboard.

The Israeli Army Is Unprepared for a Ground War with Iran and Hezbollah

The Israeli Army Is Unprepared for a Ground War with Iran and HezbollahIf Israel has to go to war tomorrow against Iran or its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, there’s a problem. The Israeli mechanized division that would defend Israel’s northern border, or enter Syria or Lebanon to eject Iranian and pro-Iranian forces, are in bad shape.

Mexico deports 2,300 Hondurans who crossed illegally in '2020 Caravan'

Mexico deports 2,300 Hondurans who crossed illegally in '2020 Caravan'Mexican migration authorities said they have deported 2,300 Hondurans who illegally crossed over from Guatemala with a caravan heading to the United States.

The USS Ford is in the Atlantic for first-of-its-kind aircraft testing — here's what the Navy is learning about its new carrier

The USS Ford is in the Atlantic for first-of-its-kind aircraft testing — here's what the Navy is learning about its new carrierFour kinds of Navy aircraft are getting their first go-round on takeoff and landing systems that only the USS Gerald R. Ford has.

Joe Scarborough Trashes Trump’s Defense Team: ‘Confederacy of Dunces!’

Joe Scarborough Trashes Trump’s Defense Team: ‘Confederacy of Dunces!’MSNBC host Joe Scarborough kicked off Tuesday’s edition of Morning Joe by going off on a lengthy and raucous rant against President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team, branding the whole group as a “Confederacy of Dunces.”After Monday’s arguments by the president’s legal squad featured a slew of Fox News regulars essentially rehashing their Hannity segments, Scarborough spent the first few minutes of MSNBC’s signature morning program blasting the most standout moments.“Well, I mean—you had Confederacy of Dunces defending him in impeachment,” Scarborough declared, referencing the famous irreverent novel by John Kennedy Toole. “Their arguments were absolutely stunning.”Taking aim at Jane Raskin’s insistence that Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was only a “minor player” regarding Ukraine, the MSNBC star pointed out that Giuliani’s name was mentioned multiple times by Trump himself in his infamous July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.“Where do we begin with Ken Starr?” Scarborough then exclaimed. “If irony weren’t already dead and buried years ago, it was Ken Starr yesterday talking about how abuse of power is not sufficient to impeach a president. You need a crime.”“He literally dragged the corpse of irony out of the grave,” the former Republican congressman continued as the rest of the panel laughed. “He meticulously tied the corpse’s neck bone to the back of a tractor, and he ran that tractor throughout the graveyard of stupidity and ran over every headstone before once again kicking dirt on the corpse of irony, again!”“Wow,” co-host Willie Geist responded.“And then putting its bones back in the grave, one by one by one!” Scarborough added.Scarborough, meanwhile, continued to roundly mock Starr, who was the independent counsel during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, sarcastically observing that Starr was “so sad and mournful” over the “age of impeachment” we are now in.“You are a flashing billboard, a gaudily-printed, like, sandwich board sign going down Times Square saying, ‘We’re all dunces. We’re all hypocrites. We are all making fools of ourselves,’” he shouted.The former Florida lawmaker would then devote a couple more minutes to former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, whose argument was centered on Hunter Biden and Burisma. Claiming that Bondi apparently thinks all Trump supporters and conservatives are “stupid,” Scarborough ended his tirade by comparing himself to James Brown.Yes, sigh, that happened.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.

Sanders Leads, Klobuchar Climbs and Buttigieg Drops in Iowa

Sanders Leads, Klobuchar Climbs and Buttigieg Drops in Iowa(Bloomberg) -- Senator Amy Klobuchar has broken into the top three Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa for the first time, a poll released Sunday showed. It was the third poll of the day to show her rival, Bernie Sanders as the frontrunner in an early state.An Emerson University poll showed Sanders leading in Iowa with 30% while Joe Biden followed with 21%. Klobuchar was in third with 13% ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg who had 11% and 10%, respectively. The poll was conducted from Jan. 23-26 and has a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.Since December, Sanders has risen 8 percentage points in the Emerson poll. Conversely, Buttigieg fell 8 percentage points. Klobuchar’s rise comes on the heels of an endorsement from The New York Times.Two New Hampshire polls released Sunday morning by CNN/University of New Hampshire and NBC News/Marist both also found Sanders in first.(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)This post is part of  Campaign Update, our live coverage from the 2020 campaign trail.To contact the author of this story: Emma Kinery in Washington at ekinery@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Magan Sherzai at, Virginia Van NattaFor 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.

Iran lawmakers call for debate on quitting nuclear arms treaty

Iran lawmakers call for debate on quitting nuclear arms treatyA group of Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday asked parliament to debate a motion for Iran to quit a treaty governing global nuclear arms control, a move apparently aimed at pressuring European powers to salvage Tehran's own 2015 nuclear deal. A report on the assembly's news site ICANA said a minimum number of MPs had signed a request to parliament's managers to arrange a debate on the motion for Iran to take the far-reaching step of leaving the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said last week that Iran could withdraw from the NPT if European countries refer the country to the U.N. Security Council over the 2015 deal, a move that would overturn diplomacy in Tehran's turbulent relations with Western powers.

Sandy Hook denier charged with having victim's dad's ID info

Sandy Hook denier charged with having victim's dad's ID infoA Florida man who repeatedly harassed parents of shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School has been arrested for possessing the identification of one of the parents, authorities said. Wolfgang Halbig, 73, was arrested Monday on a charge that he was in unlawful possession of another person’s identification, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Halbig was a guest on the radio show of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Kobe Bryant helicopter video emerges showing ill-fated flight minutes before crash

Kobe Bryant helicopter video emerges showing ill-fated flight minutes before crashA video that appears to show Kobe Bryant’s helicopter circling over California roughly 15 minutes before the fatal crash has been posted online, illustrating the foggy conditions faced by the chopper on its last flight.In the video, which was posted by a user on Twitter who said they live in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale — where Bryant’s flight circled for roughly 10 minutes on Sunday awaiting instruction, according to flight records — the helicopter can be seen moving slowly in the sky above, obscured by the early morning fog.

Mexico deports 2,300 Hondurans from '2020 Caravan'

Mexico deports 2,300 Hondurans from '2020 Caravan'Mexican migration authorities said they have deported 2,300 Hondurans who illegally crossed over from Guatemala with a caravan heading to the United States. The "assisted return" of the Central Americans took place between January 18 and Monday, according to the interior ministry and the National Migration Institute. A total of 1,064 Honduran migrants were deported on National Guard planes and charter aircraft, they said in a statement.

Biden-Tied Lobbyist Bought Island Property from Biden’s Brother, Gave Him Mortgage Loan

Biden-Tied Lobbyist Bought Island Property from Biden’s Brother, Gave Him Mortgage LoanFinancial records reviewed by Politico show that Joe Biden's brother James sold one of his three parcels of land in the U.S. Virgin Islands at a substantial profit to a well-connected lobbyist who then extended a mortgage to James on the remaining two parcels.In May 2005, James Biden purchased an acre of land on Water Island for $150,000. He then applied for and received an easement to divide the property into three plots, one of which he sold to lobbyist Scott Green — a decade-long Senate staffer for Joe Biden in the 1980s — for $150,000. James had initially purchased all three parcels for $150,000, meaning that he made his money back and was able to keep the majority of the one acre plot for himself.Green’s lobbying firm, Lafayette Group — which features a photo of Green with Biden on its website and quotes Biden endorsing Green — earned two government contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency worth a total of $5.8 million on April 11, 2010.Three days later, Green extended a $133,300 mortgage to James Biden for his remaining Water Island property. Property records reviewed by Politico show that Green had “received full payment and full satisfaction” and released the mortgage in September 2013.Joe Biden and his family traveled to Water Island several times during his vice presidency, but did not stay on his brother’s or Green’s land, which remains undeveloped.Lafayette Group earned tens of millions of dollars in government contracts during the course of Biden’s time as vice president. During his time in the Senate, Biden also advocated for a number of areas in which Green’s lobbying intersected, including a broadband network for first responders and the non-profit Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program.

This Picture Could Start World War III: If North Korea Blasts Seoul with the 'Big Guns'

This Picture Could Start World War III: If North Korea Blasts Seoul with the 'Big Guns'Or a massive artillery attack.

The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS likely started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like.

The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS likely started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like.The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak likely started in a Chinese wet market, where livestock and poultry are sold alongside animals like dogs and civets.

Dems’ Impeachment Guru Flirted With #Resistance Conspiracies — and Went to War With Alan Dershowitz

Dems’ Impeachment Guru Flirted With #Resistance Conspiracies — and Went to War With Alan DershowitzHe’s the Harvard law professor advising Democrats on their impeachment playbook. There’s just one problem: His adventures in the extremely online world of the anti-Trump “Resistance” took him a little off the deep end for a while. Laurence Tribe has spent decades as a respected constitutional law scholar, but the Trump era saw him buddy up for a bit with the fringiest of fringey Resistance conspiracists online in amplifying far-fetched theories about how President Donald Trump and his crew might finally meet justice, some of which Tribe now regrets partaking in. And in another sign of the divisiveness of the Trump era, Tribe and his more MAGA-friendly Harvard Law colleague Alan Dershowitz—who is defending the president in his impeachment trial—have descended into a bitter feud, with Dershowitz accusing Tribe of harboring a “vendetta” against him for supporting Trump throughout his various legal woes. Tribe has been pushing for Trump’s impeachment and removal from office from the day former FBI Director James Comey was sacked. Since then, he’s urged House Democrats to take the impeachment plunge and, when they finally got there, counseled top lawmakers on how to handle it, even huddling with them personally ahead of key hearings.In a very Washington coincidence, Tribe counts both Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)—the lead prosecutor of Democrats’ case against Trump—and Chief Justice John Roberts, the referee in Trump’s trial—as former law school pupils. Tribe did not make himself available for an interview but answered emailed questions from The Daily Beast. He declined to go into details about the advice he is giving to Democrats as they lay out to the Senate and the public their case to impeach Trump—but he noted it was “accurate” that his ideas on impeachment have proven influential within the Democratic caucus. Dershowitz Can’t Give a Straight Answer on Impeachment RoleIndeed, it was Tribe who first described the plan that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) turned to in hopes of getting an upper hand over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In a Washington Post op-ed published two days before the House passed articles of impeachment, Tribe argued that Pelosi had no obligation to immediately send the articles to the Senate so it could begin the trial, because McConnell’s closeness with Trump ensured it would be unfair. “Under the current circumstances,” Tribe wrote, “such a proceeding would fail to render a meaningful verdict of acquittal.” Pelosi ultimately heeded his advice and held the articles of impeachment for 28 days, a move that altered the course of the impeachment process. Hill Democrats say Tribe has been an engaged, if sober, presence in the impeachment process. When he met with House Judiciary Committee Democrats to help prepare them for their impeachment hearings in December, his presentation was “very dry,” according to a Democratic source. Online, however, Tribe has been much more colorful. His takes, backed by the weight of his half-century of legal scholarship, sometimes meaningfully push the envelope, as Pelosi’s hold-the-articles gambit showed. Other times, they have strayed a bit too far into the fever swamps. MAN OF STEELEIn December 2017, Tribe approvingly shared a prediction from another Resistance Twitter star, Brian Krassenstein, who tweeted that he had “no doubt in my mind that before all is said and done Devin Nunes will be headed to prison.”“I’m willing to bet @krassenstein is right,” tweeted Tribe. “Nunes is headed to federal prison.” Since then, Nunes has not come close to federal prison. Krassenstein, however, has been banned from Twitter and had his Florida home raided by the FBI. Nor is Krassenstein the only Resistance figure Tribe’s aligned with. In the past, Tribe has approvingly shared the views of Louise Mensch, the British pundit whose fantastical commentary on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation made her an online favorite.Mensch is notorious for, among other things, declaring that her “sources say the death penalty, for espionage, being considered for @StevenKBannon.” In March 2017, Tribe tweeted a link to an interview Mensch did with the BBC in which, among other things, she reiterated her belief that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the murder of Andrew Breitbart, the founder of Breitbart. (He did not.)Tribe told The Daily Beast that his views of Mensch have since changed. Asked if he regretted amplifying her views, he said, “Of course I do.”   The professor has also revisited another favorite topic: the Steele dossier. In late 2017, Tribe tweeted a challenge: Had anything in the 35-page memo compiled by a British spy during the 2016 campaign—which made explosive claims about Russian collusion with Trump—been off-base?Since then, some of the dossier’s key claims—including a colorful anecdote involving Trump, prostitutes, and bodily fluids in a Moscow hotel room—remain unsubstantiated. Others, like the claim that Trump fixer Michael Cohen met with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, have been proven false. In January 2019, before Mueller dealt the final death blow to the Prague theory, Tribe was still referencing it on Twitter. He told The Daily Beast on Monday that he doubts the meeting occurred. “I may well have missed,” said Tribe, “some aspects of what the Steele dossier contained.” But Tribe has stuck to his guns on the question of Nunes. When the former GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was under scrutiny at the time for possible coordination with the White House on the panel’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia, Tribe didn’t just think Nunes was wrong but possibly breaking the law. Tribe told The Daily Beast last week that he continues to believe Nunes, who has since come under scrutiny for his contacts with figures involved in the Ukraine probe, “has significant criminal exposure and that a principled Justice Department would prosecute him.” In a statement to The Daily Beast, a spokesperson for Nunes did not comment on Tribe’s claims but said “it’d be hard to find anybody who would take Laurence Tribe or The Daily Beast seriously.” ENTER THE DERSHAnother wrinkle to Tribe’s impeachment role is his escalating feud with Dershowitz. The two celebrity legal experts, once friendly colleagues at Harvard Law, find themselves on opposite sides of the Trump impeachment and drifting further apart by the day.  On Monday, when Dershowitz testified in defense of Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, he name-checked Tribe two times as an example of someone who was inconsistent on legal questions of impeachment. Tribe, meanwhile, live-tweeted takedowns of Dershowitz’s arguments. In an interview with The Daily Beast last week, Dershowitz—who has occasionally responded to Tribe, but with far less frequency—said he doesn’t pay much attention to Twitter but claimed that his former colleague has a “personal vendetta” against him. “He’s a partisan,” said Dershowitz. “I think he was assigned a job by the anti-Trump people to try to destroy me and he’s accepted that assignment, which I think is pretty immoral.” He also claimed that Tribe would be silent if Hillary Clinton faced similar charges had she become president. Tribe told The Daily Beast the notions that his partisan feelings inform his legal judgment—or that he has it out for Dershowitz—were ridiculous.“Why would I have a ‘vendetta’ against Alan?” Tribe asked in an email. “We were colleagues and friends for years, and although we’ve disagreed at times I used to come to his defense with some frequency. I’ve become a vocal critic of Alan’s increasingly unhinged arguments in defense of President Trump’s conduct only because those arguments have seemed to me increasingly bizarre and increasingly dangerous.”Team Trump Settles on Its Impeachment Defense: A Healthy Dose of Lib Triggering“The one and only compass Alan Dershowitz follows these days,” leveled Tribe, “is the one that will bring him maximum media attention.”Tribe has also kept a close eye on two of the trial’s most central players, Schiff and Roberts.The California congressman, who graduated from Harvard Law School in 1985 and was a research assistant for Tribe while there, is among the many students—including Barack Obama—whom Tribe has mentored. Schiff, said Tribe, “remains among the brightest and most promising students I have taught in a half-century career at Harvard Law School… His handling of the Intelligence Committee’s work, and his performance as a House Impeachment manager, have been breathtakingly effective.”Schiff, for his part, had nothing but good things to say about Tribe in a statement provided to The Daily Beast. “Larry is a dear friend, former professor, and trusted mentor,” said Schiff. “He’s been a great source of knowledge on the law and Constitution for all of us throughout this process, and we’re lucky to have the best constitutional law scholar in the nation advising us.” HE’S GOT THE POWERWhile Tribe’s praise for Schiff has been effusive and encouraging, his praise of Roberts, whom he has called “fair-minded and brilliant,” has sounded a more aspirational note. According to the Constitution, the chief justice presides over a Senate trial, but tradition has dictated that the role is more ceremonial and procedural than substantial.Among some observers, however, there is hope that Roberts could play a significant role in resolving key questions about the trial. In the event of a tied vote, Roberts could cast a decisive role for or against new evidence. He could also quickly resolve any legal challenge from the White House regarding the legality of a subpoena for officials like John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney.Tribe predicted to MSNBC’s Laurence O’Donnell that Roberts could rule in favor of new witnesses and documents if the situation arises. “If he is asked to issue a subpoena, I think he will use his power to do it,” Tribe said.It’s one of many predictions Tribe has made over the course of nearly three years of excited Trump-era tweeting and opining. Notably, he has yet to predict Trump’s conviction or acquittal—but has suggested there will be chaos no matter what.“Even if an unremoved Trump is defeated this Nov 4 so overwhelmingly that he doesn’t even try to hang onto power beyond next January 20,” tweeted Tribe, “imagine the havoc this vengeful man could wreak in the intervening 77 days, pardoning his loyal henchmen and attacking political adversaries.”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.

Gambia Outlaws Group Calling for President Barrow to Step Down

Gambia Outlaws Group Calling for President Barrow to Step Down(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on TwitterThe Gambian government banned an activist group, made mass arrests and shut down two radio stations in the most severe crackdown on dissent since President Adama Barrow took office three years ago.Police arrested 137 members of the ‘Three Years is Enough’ movement at a protest Sunday in a town about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of the capital, Banjul. The group was calling for Barrow to step down this year in line with a deal he struck with coalition parties that helped end his predecessor’s 22-year-rule. The government also detained journalists covering the protest.The group is now considered “a subversive, violent and illegal movement,” government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh said in a statement. It is banned “from ever operating within the shores of The Gambia.”Barrow, 54, defeated former dictator Yahya Jammeh in December 2016 with the support of seven political parties that had rallied behind him to bring down the former leader’s repressive regime. He took office in January 2017 after a regional armed intervention forced Jammeh to step down. Barrow is expected to run for re-election in 2021 despite his promise to coalition partners.Protesters were arrested “for simply exercising their rights,” an executive member of the movement, Sheriffo Sonko, said by phone. He said his organization had planned a peaceful protest.To contact the reporter on this story: Modou Joof in Johannesburg at mjoof@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren at, Yinka Ibukun, Paul RichardsonFor 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.

Poland, Israel condemn resurgent anti-Semitism at Auschwitz commemoration

Poland, Israel condemn resurgent anti-Semitism at Auschwitz commemorationThe presidents of Israel and Poland called on Monday for greater efforts to combat anti-Semitism as the world marked 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp amid concerns over a resurgence of anti-Jewish prejudice. "Our duty is to fight anti-Semitism, racism and fascist nostalgia, those sick evils that ... threaten to eat away at the foundations of our democracies," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said at a venue near the former camp, which is now a museum. Polish President Andrzej Duda, who did not attend Israel's national Holocaust Memorial last Thursday because he was not allowed to speak, thanked Rivlin for his presence at Auschwitz.

US says mystery crash in Afghanistan was US Air Force plane

US says mystery crash in Afghanistan was US Air Force planeAn American military aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the U.S. military said, adding that there were no indications so far it'd been brought down by enemy fire. The spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Col. Sonny Leggett, said that the military plane, a Bombardier E-11A, crashed in the Ghazni province and an investigation of its causes was ongoing. Monday's plane crash is not expected to derail U.S.-Taliban peace talks if it turns out to have been an accident.

Indonesia's Aceh unveils new female flogging squad

Indonesia's Aceh unveils new female flogging squadThe masked woman nervously approaches her target, shuffles into position and then unleashes a flurry of lashes -- proving herself as the newest member of the first female flogging squad in Indonesia's Aceh province. Such behaviour constitutes a morality crime in Aceh, the only region in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation that imposes Islamic law -- known as Sharia.

Historians Unmask Fourth Soviet Spy Who Worked on the Atomic Bomb

Historians Unmask Fourth Soviet Spy Who Worked on the Atomic BombJust what nuclear secrets did "Godsend" deliver to Russia in the 1940s?

Investigators: Kobe Bryant's pilot tried to gain altitude before crash

Investigators: Kobe Bryant's pilot tried to gain altitude before crashThe National Transportation Safety Board provided an update on Monday afternoon about its investigation into the helicopter crash that killed Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others Sunday morning in Calabasas, California.There was heavy fog in the area, and the pilot told air traffic controllers that he was going to try to fly higher to avoid a cloud layer, the NTSB said. When controllers asked him to share more information, he did not respond. Flight radar suggests the helicopter made it to 2,300 feet then began dropping down to the left, The New York Times reports.Investigators are taking a "broad look at everything" around the accident, NTSB official Jennifer Homendy said. "We look at man, machine, and the environment, and weather is just a small portion of that."Investigators are now searching a debris field of 500 to 600 feet for perishable evidence. The helicopter did not have a cockpit voice recorder.More stories from John Bolton just vindicated Nancy Pelosi All the president's turncoats It's 2020 and women are exhausted

Country life: the young female farmer who is now a top influencer in China

Country life: the young female farmer who is now a top influencer in ChinaLi Ziqi, 29, has garnered millions of followers with her videos of her idyllic life in rural Sichuan. Is she too good to be true?Since she began posting rustic-chic videos of her life in rural Sichuan province in 2016, Li Ziqi, 29, has become one of China’s biggest social media stars. She has 22 million followers on the microblogging site Weibo, 34 million on Douyin (China’s version of TikTok) and another 8.3 million on YouTube (Li has been active on YouTube for the last two years, despite it being officially blocked in China).Li’s videos – which she initially produced by herself and now makes with a small team – emphasize beautiful countryside and ancient tradition. In videos soundtracked by tranquil flute music, Li crafts her own furniture out of bamboo and dyes her clothing with fruit skins. If she wants soy sauce, she grows the soybeans themselves; a video about making an egg yolk dish starts with her hatching ducklings. The meals she creates are often elaborate demonstrations of how many delicious things can be done with a particular seasonal ingredient, like ginger or green plums.There is even a Li Ziqi online shop, where fans can purchase versions of the steel “chopper” knife she uses to dice the vegetables she plucks from her plentiful garden, or replicas of the old-fashioned shirts she wears while foraging for wild mushrooms and magnolia blossoms in the misty mountainside.While she occasionally reveals a behind-the-scenes peek at her process, Li – who did not respond to interview requests for this article – is very private. By all accounts, she struggled to find steady work in a city before returning to the countryside to care for her ailing grandmother (who appears in her videos).Recently, Li has been thrust into a wider spotlight by the Chinese government, who seem to have realized her soft power potential. In 2018, the Communist party of China named her a “good young netizen” and role model for Chinese youth. In September 2019, the People’s Daily, a CPC mouthpiece, gave Li their “People’s Choice” award, while last month, state media praised Li for helping to promote traditional culture globally, and the Communist Youth League named her an ambassador of a program promoting the economic empowerment of rural youth.As the government increasingly champions her, Chinese citizens have taken to Weibo to question whether Li’s polished, rather one-dimensional portrayal of farm work conveys anything truly meaningful about contemporary China – especially to her growing international audience on YouTube.They have a point: Li’s videos reveal as much about the day-to-day labor of most Chinese farmers as the Martha Stewart Show does the American working class. As Li Bochun, director of Beijing-based Chinese Culture Rejuvenation Research Institute told the media last month: “The traditional lifestyle Li Ziqi presents in her videos is … not widely followed.”In reality, many of China’s rural villages have shrunk or disappeared completely in past decades as the nation prioritized urbanization and workers migrated to cities, with research suggesting the country lost 245 rural villages a day from 2000 to 2010. The 40% of China’s population still living in rural areas encompass a huge diversity of experience, yet life can be difficult, with per-capita rural income declining sharply since 2014 and environmental pollution often as rife as in industrial centers. That’s not to say the beautiful forests and compelling traditions of Li’s videos are not genuine – like many social media creators, she simply focuses on the most charming elements of a bigger picture.So what do Li’s videos reflect about modern China, if not average daily life in the countryside?For one, they say something about the mindset of her mainland audience – primarily urban millennials, for whom a traditional culture craze known as “fugu” or “hanfu” has been an aesthetic trend for a number of years.“Fugu”, according to Yang Chunmei, professor of Chinese history and philosophy at Qufu Normal University, reflects the “romanticized, pastoral” desires of youth “disillusioned by today’s ever-changing, industrial, consumerist society.” In practice, it looks like young people integrating more traditional clothing into their daily looks, watching historical dramas and following rural lifestyle influencers like Li. (While Li is an extremely popular example of the trend, she’s not the only young farmer vlogging in China right now, and outdoor cooking videos of people making meals with wild ingredients and scant equipment are a genre of their own on Douyin.)Among urban millennials in the west, giving up the nine-to-five grind and living humbly and closer to nature is a popular dream. In China, the contemporary experience of burnout is compounded by the intensity of “urban disease”, an umbrella term for the difficulties of living in megacities like Shanghai or Guangzhou, which can be used to refer to everything from traffic jams and poor air quality to employment and housing scarcity.Also at play in Li’s popularity is the particular tenor of Chinese wistfulness. “It’s called xiangchou. Xiang means the countryside or rural life, and chou means to long for it, to miss it,” says Linda Qian, an Oxford University PhD candidate studying nostalgia’s role in the revitalization of China’s villages.“It is quite prevalent for youth living the city life. They get really sick of [the city] so the countryside” – or a fantasy of it – “looks increasingly like the ideal image of what a good life should be.”Qian also likens Li’s appeal to that of “Man vs Wild”-style entertainment in the west. “We’ve gotten to a certain point of materialism and consumption where there’s only so much you can buy, and we’re like, ‘What other experiences can I have?’” she says. “So we go back to what humans can do.”Yet as her fame grows internationally, some have questioned, in comments, blogposts and Reddit threads, whether Li’s channel is communist propaganda.In addition to providing China a form of international PR, Li embodies a kind of rural success the government hopes to generate more of through recent initiatives. With the aim of alleviating rural poverty, the Communist Youth League has embarked on an effort to send more than 10 million urban youth to “rural zones” by 2022, in order to “increase their skills, spread civilization, and promote science and technology”.“We need young people to use science and technology to help the countryside innovate its traditional development models,” Zhang Linbin, deputy head of a township in central Hunan province, told the Global Times last April.By using technology to create her own rural economic opportunities while simultaneously championing forms of traditional Chinese culture before a huge audience, Li may seem like a CPC dream come true.According to Professor Ka-Ming Wu, a cultural anthropologist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong: “Li represents a new wave of Chinese soft power in that she’s so creative and aesthetically good, and knows how to appeal to a general audience whether they’re Chinese or not.” And yet, “I don’t think this is some kind of engineered effort by the Chinese state,” she says.Li’s narrative hinges on her failure to thrive in the city; that failure is antithetical to China’s overarching narrative of progress and urban opportunity. Were she a manufactured agent of propaganda, Wu speculates, “[Her failure] is something the Chinese state would never even mention.“And I think that’s what really fuels her popularity,” says Wu. “That despair of not being able to find oneself in the ‘Chinese dream’. I don’t think she’s propaganda because one of her major successes is that she’s making that failure highly aesthetic … However, the Chinese government is very smart to appropriate her work and say that she represents traditional culture and promote her.”According to some Chinese media, Li’s content is better than propaganda – doing more to generate genuine domestic, and especially international, interest in rural Chinese traditions than any government initiative of the past decade. “Dozens of government departments with billions at their disposal spent 10 years on propaganda projects, but they have done a worse job than a little girl,” writes the South China Morning Post’s Chauncey Jung, summarizing a tweet from journalist Jasper Jia.However you feel about Li as a cultural force, her ability to flourish despite a unique set of contradictory circumstances is impressive. Out of the past and present, failure and success, independence and authoritarianism, she’s spun a truly pleasant vision. If only life was really so simple.

From dancing to indoor fishing, people quarantined in Wuhan are finding creative ways to stave off the boredom of being stranded due to coronavirus

From dancing to indoor fishing, people quarantined in Wuhan are finding creative ways to stave off the boredom of being stranded due to coronavirusThe virus has spread to at least 14 other countries including the US, and authorities have quarantined the entire city of Wuhan.

Dershowitz: Trump’s Conduct in Leaked Bolton Book Manuscript ‘Does Not Constitute an Impeachable Offense’

Dershowitz: Trump’s Conduct in Leaked Bolton Book Manuscript ‘Does Not Constitute an Impeachable Offense’Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Trump's legal team, told the Senate during arguments Monday that even if President Trump explicitly orchestrated a quid pro quo by dangling Ukrainian military aid, as alleged in a leaked excerpt of John Bolton's book, that would still not constitute an impeachable offense.The New York Times reported Sunday that in his upcoming book, former national security adviser John Bolton says President Trump told him personally in August that the provision of military aid to Ukraine was contingent on the opening of an investigation into Joe Biden.“Even if a president, any president, were to demand a quid pro quo as a condition to sending aid to a foreign country, obviously a highly disputed manner in this case, that would not by itself constitute an abuse of power,” Dershowitz said.“Quid pro quo alone is not a basis for abuse of power,” the former Harvard law professor continued. “It’s part of the way that foreign policy has been operated by presidents since the beginning of time. The claim that foreign policy decisions can be deemed abuses of power based on subjective opinions about mixed or sole motives, that the president was interested only in helping himself, demonstrates the dangers of employing the vague subjective and malleable phrase of abuse of power as a constitutional criteria for the removal of a president. Based on this reasoning, the new information the Times said appears in Bolton's book "would not constitute an impeachable offense," Dershowitz said.

Italy Establishment Has Upper Hand Again After Salvini Loss

Italy Establishment Has Upper Hand Again After Salvini Loss(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic Party, the main establishment force in Italy’s government, roared back to life on Sunday with a convincing victory in a key regional vote that shut down talk of a snap election. Italian bonds surged.In retaining control over the center-left stronghold of Emilia-Romagna, the Democrats signaled a power shift in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s coalition, rejuvenating a four-month-old government that’s struggled under the weight of populist demands from its partner, the Five Star Movement.The center-left bloc led by Democratic Party candidate Stefano Bonaccini won the regional election with 51.4% of votes, according to final results published on the website of Italy’s Interior Ministry. Lucia Borgonzoni from the center-right grouping led by Matteo Salvini’s League got 43.6%.Just two years after losing power and seeing their party reduced to near-irrelevance, the Democrats are now turning things around -- at least partly at Five Star’s expense. The anti-establishment Five Star’s main candidate polled just 3.5% in Emilia-Romagna.Though nominally the senior partner based on number of seats in parliament, Five Star risks losing its influence in the coalition.“The choice is now between two main contenders,” the Democrats’ leader, Nicola Zingaretti, told reporters, referring to his party and the League. “Five Star will find itself facing this dilemma.”Five Star is also setting up for a leadership battle following the resignation of Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio as party leader. More than 20 lawmakers have abandoned Five Star or been expelled from the party since Conte’s second government took office in September.Italy’s benchmark yield fell the most since August, as markets signaled relief over reduced prospects of early elections. Ten-year yields dropped 19.5 basis points to 1.04%, on the fading risk of a new government led by the League, whose euroskeptic lawmakers regularly make comments that rile markets.“The most feared event didn’t materialize,” Paolo Pizzoli, senior economist at ING in Milan, said in an interview. “The risk of a political crisis in the short term has been eliminated for now. There’s an increased perception of government stability and a reduced risk of anti-Europe rhetoric resurfacing.”For the markets, the defeat for Salvini coupled with the poor showing by Five Star appears to be a win/win, with the anti-establishment movement no longer in position to call the shots in government and agitate for policies that are unpopular with investors.“Part of the yield reduction could be due to the poor showing from Five Star,” Pizzoli said. “It could reduce the level of conflicts within the government. Some requests from Five Star could be scaled back and a strengthened Democratic Party could impose its own agenda.”The Five Star collapse in Emilia-Romagna may, for example, give the insurgent movement less clout in a tussle over whether to strip the country’s main toll-road operator, Atlantia SpA’s Autostrade per l’Italia, of its licenses after a deadly bridge disaster.“It’s right to use this result to change the political axis of the government,” Andrea Orlando, the Democrats’ deputy secretary, told Radio Capital. “Five Star should give up on demands which make things difficult for the government.”The Democrats’ post-election posturing suggests they’ll want the final say on a new program Conte plans to draw up in the aftermath of the weekend vote.Conte’s Agenda 2023, the program he hopes will see the government through to the end of the parliamentary term, will likely include tax cuts, a boost for private and state investment and a faster judicial system.After bringing down Conte’s first coalition over the summer in a doomed bid to spark new elections, Salvini has now failed twice to push Italy to a snap vote. Speaking to reporters in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna’s capital, Salvini said “only God knows” when the next general elections will be.(Updates with final voting figures in third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: John Follain in Rome at;Flavia Rotondi in Rome at;Marco Bertacche in Milan at mbertacche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at, Jerrold Colten, Dan LiefgreenFor 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.

Small suspected homemade bomb explodes at Hong Kong hospital, no injuries

Small suspected homemade bomb explodes at Hong Kong hospital, no injuriesA suspected small-scale homemade bomb exploded at a general hospital in Hong Kong on Monday, causing the temporary evacuation of some patients but no injuries, police said. The incident came after a group of protesters on Sunday set alight the lobby of a newly built residential building in Hong Kong that authorities had planned to use as a quarantine facility, as fears grow over a coronavirus outbreak in mainland China. Hong Kong has been convulsed with demonstrations over the past seven months centered on its relationship with mainland China, with anger fueled by what protesters see as growing interference from Beijing.

Judge frees NFL star Antonio Brown from house arrest

Judge frees NFL star Antonio Brown from house arrestA Florida judge freed NFL free agent Antonio Brown from house arrest Tuesday, allowing him to travel freely as he awaits trial on charges that he attacked the driver of a moving truck. Instead of wearing an ankle GPS monitor, Brown, 31, will have to check in with court personnel daily. Brown was one of the NFL's top wide receivers during his nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Hunter Biden will pay child support to the mother of his child in Arkansas

Hunter Biden will pay child support to the mother of his child in ArkansasHunter Biden has agreed to pay child support to the mother of his child in Arkansas and backpay 13 months of missed installments.

Hostel at North Korean embassy must close, Berlin court rules

Hostel at North Korean embassy must close, Berlin court rulesThe "City Hostel" in Berlin may look fairly innocuous from the outside -- but it now faces closure in an unlikely legal drama over international sanctions against North Korea. The hostel, which opened in 2007 and is run by a Turkish company called EGI, is located on the premises of the North Korean embassy. On Tuesday, an administrative court in Berlin threw out an EGI lawsuit against the district authorities, who had ordered them to cease operations.

She Says He Raped Her Over 40 Years Ago. Now He's a Suspected Serial Killer.

She Says He Raped Her Over 40 Years Ago. Now He's a Suspected Serial Killer.When Fran met Bruce Lindahl, he didn’t seem like a monster. Today, more than 40 years later, she considers herself lucky to be alive.She was 15 and Lindahl was in his early twenties when he first invited Fran and her friends over to his apartment in Lisle, Illinois, she recalled to The Daily Beast. He would buy alcohol for the girls and host parties at his place with his live-in girlfriend.He initially seemed like a “wonderful person,” according to Fran, whose last name is being withheld at her request. (The Daily Beast does not name survivors of sexual violence without their consent.) He took her ice skating or to the movies, and even earned the trust of Fran’s mother, who allowed him to be the adult driver in the passenger seat when she only had her learner’s permit. Perhaps most of all, he was charming, she said.Now, police say Lindahl—who has been dead since the 1980s—could easily prove to be a serial killer.Is a Serial-Killer Gang Murdering Young Men Across the U.S.?On Jan. 13, police detectives in Lisle, a Chicago suburb, announced that thanks to advanced DNA forensics they were able to tie Bruce Lindahl to the murder of Pamela Maurer of Woodridge, who was found strangled on the side of a road in 1976. Mauer, who was just 16 at the time, decided to walk to a nearby store to buy a Coke that night. Police found her body the next morning. Perhaps most disturbing about the latest developments in the case: The lead detective, Chris Loudon, suggested DNA evidence could eventually tie Lindahl to dozens of other victims of violent crimes ranging from rape to murder.“If Bruce wouldn’t have accidentally killed himself, the death toll would have likely been astronomical,” Loudon told The Daily Beast, adding that he would “bet his entire paycheck” Lindahl was responsible for at least nine murders—and may be linked to 12. And with at least 25 tips coming in daily, Loudon said, he believed that number could grow. He and fellow officers have leaned on some of the same techniques that were at least partially responsible for the capture of the suspected Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, in 2018. Through DNA databases from popular services like 23andMe, a composite sketch was created. It bore a striking resemblance to Lindahl.Lindahl often had run-ins with the law, and investigators had suspected him in a number of heinous crimes prior to his death in 1981. He was charged with kidnapping and raping a woman named Debra Colliander in 1980, but the case fell apart when the victim went missing two weeks before she was set to testify. Her body was discovered in 1982.By then, Lindahl was dead, having been found in an apartment in the nearby Chicago suburb of Naperville, draped over 18-year-old Charles Huber. Detectives concluded Lindahl accidentally severed his own femoral artery while stabbing the young man 28 times with a six-inch kitchen knife.But Fran knew Lindahl was capable of wanton brutality and violence before police did.When she was still a teenager, Lindahl invited her over for drinks early one morning, which had become a regular occurrence by then. When Fran arrived, she recalled, he had her favorite—a scotch on the rocks—ready for her. But after just a couple of sips, she said, she dropped the drink, lost control of her motor functions, and went limp.Lindahl proceeded to attack her, she said, stripping her of her clothes, taking photographs of her in various poses, and raping her. She recalled the assault continuing until she grew “very, very sick.”She said she asked Lindahl to take her to a nearby hospital and that he refused, insisting she was OK. Instead, Fran remembered Lindahl going so far as to take some of her friends skiing that same day. She spent the day trying to sleep in the back of his car.Despite the assault, Fran added, she didn’t feel comfortable completely distancing herself from Lindahl, and their relationship—abusive and violent though it was—would continue for a few more years. “When Bruce said jump, I said, ‘How high?’” she said.At the time, and perhaps even today, Fran says, she felt responsible for what happened to her. Although she was just a teenager, she described some sexual encounters with Lindahl that were “consensual” in her mind.She didn’t tell any of her friends or family. Not only did she worry about being believed, she felt that Lindahl would do “something terrible” to her.Fran recalled another night when Lindahl insisted she come over to his place. When she arrived, Lindahl’s girlfriend was sleeping in the next room. He then forced Fran to perform oral sex on him and demanded she sneak out the window when he was finished, she recalled.“I thought if I screamed, he would hurt me,” she said. Fran still remembers the last time she saw Lindahl, too.She was 18 and had taken a job that required her to work the graveyard shift. That meant she almost never saw Lindahl anymore. She thought she had escaped him, or perhaps that he had moved on to other women.Until one morning, when she passed Lindahl’s car on the way home from work. Lindahl must have been waiting for her; he followed her back to her house.She pleaded with Lindahl that she was tired from work and needed sleep, but he ignored her and followed her into the house, she said. When he grabbed the family Polaroid camera and followed her upstairs, she feared the worst.To this day, Fran isn’t entirely sure how she convinced Lindahl to leave that morning. But she was able to coax him out of the house and escape unharmed.Learning of his death was the only way out of being haunted by him.“I was thrilled,” she said, recalling relief washing over her when she saw him on local news.Fran never allowed Lindahl to define her life. She started a family and worked hard; years would go by without her thinking about the man. But she never stopped worrying about Lindahl’s girlfriend, she said.Years after Lindahl died, she thought she ran into her in a Chicago suburb. When Fran asked if she was who she thought she was, the woman denied it and turned white. She was living under a different name than Fran remembered, she said. “I always worried that maybe she didn’t know Bruce was dead,” she said. “That maybe she was living her life in hiding.”Over the years, Fran has grappled with guilt and wondered if she should have spoken up sooner. But when she saw the news of his being tied to so many other grisly crimes, she realized how close she may have come to becoming one of Lindahl’s alleged murder victims herself.She said she doesn’t feel brave or courageous telling her story. But after reading pleas from detectives in media reports, she felt the need to come forward. “I always felt like everything was my fault. I guess I’ve always been that way,” she said. She subsequently reached out to police and was interviewed by Detective Loudon. Still, Fran added, she couldn’t help suspecting that keeping her head down saved her at a time when perpetrators of sexual violence were even less likely to be prosecuted than they are today.“Somehow, I always knew to be afraid,” she said. “I feel lucky I kept my mouth shut.”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.

How China's First Nuclear-Missile Submarine Was a Total Failure

How China's First Nuclear-Missile Submarine Was a Total FailureBut their current subs are no joke.

A woman who had embryos frozen before cancer treatment is barred from using them since she got divorced

A woman who had embryos frozen before cancer treatment is barred from using them since she got divorcedAn Arizona court ruled that because the ex-husband does not want his ex-wife to have his biological children, the embryos must be donated.

Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade says the Bolton fallout should teach Trump to 'better vet his staff.' Bolton used to work for Fox.

Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade says the Bolton fallout should teach Trump to 'better vet his staff.' Bolton used to work for Fox.Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade's latest advice applies in more places than one.On Sunday, The New York Times reported former National Security Adviser John Bolton's forthcoming book claimed President Trump wanted to withhold aid from Ukraine until it promised to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. But instead of considering that as a major addition to the impeachment case against Trump, Kilmeade considered it to be proof that Trump "has to do a better job vetting his staff."In a Monday discussion about the book, Kilmeade brought up the recording reportedly from Rudy Giuliani associate Igor Fruman that seemingly shows Trump telling Fruman and fellow associate Lev Parnas to "take out" former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. "One thing the president should take from this, between the Lev and the Igor tapes that are now out," Kilmeade said, is that Trump has "gotta do a better job vetting his staff."> Brian Kilmeade's takeaway from the Bolton news is that the president "has to do a better job vetting his staff."> > Before joining the White House, Bolton spent a decade as Kilmeade's Fox colleague.> > — Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 27, 2020There's a heavy dose of irony in Kilmeade's statement, seeing as before Bolton was in the Trump administration, he spent a decade as a Fox News contributor.More stories from John Bolton just vindicated Nancy Pelosi Mike Pompeo is a disgrace It's 2020 and women are exhausted

Canada Vows to Revive Talks With Cuba on Ending Venezuela Crisis

Canada Vows to Revive Talks With Cuba on Ending Venezuela Crisis(Bloomberg) -- Justin Trudeau’s top diplomat said Canada will keep pressing Cuba to help resolve Venezuela’s political crisis.Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made the pledge Monday alongside Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro. His comments come more than a year after the Canadian government began playing an activist role in the effort to help break Maduro’s grip on power.During a press conference in Ottawa, Champagne highlighted the increasingly dire conditions that are expected to drive as many as six million people out of the oil-rich South American nation by the end of the year.“Obviously we will be engaging with Cuba,” he told reporters at the foreign ministry. “The solution needs to come from the region, so we will work with the region.”U.S. President Donald Trump accuses the communist government in Havana of propping up Maduro and has been steadily tightening sanctions on the Caribbean island nation. Canada has taken a different tack, holding three rounds of high-level, face-to-face talks with Cuba last year.Guaido, speaking in Spanish, said it’s “no secret” Cuba is providing both ideological and intelligence support for Maduro, whose predecessor Hugo Chavez was mentored by Fidel Castro. The opposition leader, who defied a travel ban in hopes of rekindling international support, offered cautious praise for the attempt to bring Havana onside.“We believe that Canada’s efforts with different countries, including Cuba, are very positive in trying to find a solution,” Guaido said.A top Cuban official said in April that his government was willing to help negotiate a peaceful end to the political crisis -- so long as Maduro requested it. The Cuban embassy in Ottawa didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.“Our objective remains the restoration of democracy and human rights in Venezuela through early elections, which should be free and fair under international observation,” Champagne said.Guaido, who was blocked from entering the Caracas legislature earlier this year in a move that allowed a Maduro loyalist to be chosen as leader in his place, stressed the need for a local solution to his country’s crisis.“It’s Venezuelans who must decide the future of Venezuela,” said Guaido, who was scheduled to hold a private meeting with Trudeau later Monday.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Wicary in Ottawa at swicary@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Theophilos Argitis at, Chris Fournier, Stephen WicaryFor 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.

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