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'Five Eyes' in the dark: Will Trump and Barr destroy trust in U.S. intelligence?

'Five Eyes' in the dark: Will Trump and Barr destroy trust in U.S. intelligence?The effort by President Trump and his attorney general to enlist foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies in their smear of Joe Biden may do lasting damage to relationships with their counterparts in other countries and the critical “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing agreement.

Yang and O'Rourke propose decriminalizing opioids, including heroin

Yang and O'Rourke propose decriminalizing opioids, including heroinTwo Democrats suggested making small amounts of heroin legal as a way to combat the drug epidemic.

Booze run from behind bars: Inmates escape from Texas federal prison, return with whiskey

Booze run from behind bars: Inmates escape from Texas federal prison, return with whiskeyThe men left the prison grounds and cut through a neighboring ranch before getting caught by authorities.

Jeep Gladiator Gets Even More Rugged as a Military-Spec Vehicle

Jeep Gladiator Gets Even More Rugged as a Military-Spec VehicleJeep and AM General could re-enlist with the U.S. Army as soon as next year.

Pope's bodyguard resigns over new financial leaks scandal

Pope's bodyguard resigns over new financial leaks scandalThe Vatican's latest scandal claimed its first victim Monday as Pope Francis' chief bodyguard resigned over the leak of a Vatican police flyer identifying five employees who were suspended as part of a financial investigation. The Vatican said its police chief, Domenico Giani, bore no responsibility for the leaked flyer but resigned to avoid disrupting the investigation and "out of love for the church and faithfulness" to the pope. Giani, a 20-year veteran of the Vatican's security services, has stood by Francis' side and jogged alongside his popemobile during hundreds of public appearances and foreign trips.

The U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Must Be Revolutionary

The U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Must Be RevolutionaryOh, and they want it like now.

Latest search for Amelia Earhart plane comes up empty: NYT

Latest search for Amelia Earhart plane comes up empty: NYTThe latest hunt for the remains of the plane of Amelia Earhart, the famed American aviatrix who disappeared over the Pacific in 1937, has turned up nothing. The New York Times reported Tuesday that an extensive search conducted by a team led by Robert Ballard, discoverer of the wreckage of the Titanic, had not turned up any evidence of Earhart's aircraft. The National Geographic Channel, which sponsored the expedition, is to air a documentary about the search on Sunday.

Kenya opens Chinese-built railway linking Rift Valley town to Nairobi

Kenya opens Chinese-built railway linking Rift Valley town to NairobiKenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta is due to open a new $1.5 billion Chinese rail line on Wednesday linking the capital Nairobi to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha, despite delays in establishing an industrial park there to drive freight traffic. The development of Kenya's railways has been part of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, a multi-billion dollar series of infrastructure projects upgrading land and maritime trade routes between China and Europe, Asia and Africa. Kenya had planned to open an industrial park in Naivasha, offering companies tax breaks for investing in manufacturing, and preferential tariffs for electricity generated in the nearby geothermal fields.

Russia Prepares the Way for Bashar al-Assad’s Brutal Endgame in Nothern Syria

Russia Prepares the Way for Bashar al-Assad’s Brutal Endgame in Nothern SyriaGAZIANTEP, Turkey—After eight years of Syrian civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, and the displacement of half the Syrian population, U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s decisions have created conditions for Bashar al-Assad’s regime to re-assert control over nearly one-third of the country that had been outside its grip since 2012. Far from reining in U.S. adversaries, Trump’s presidency will likely be remembered as one through which Assad, this century’s greatest mass murderer, managed finally to claw his way back to a position of undisputed authority. Trump Just Enlisted America in a New Axis of EvilThis is the way that’s playing out on the ground in what is, admittedly, still a complicated situation.The news began Tuesday morning with Russian pro-Kremlin journalist Oleg Blokhin streaming a live video from inside the recently abandoned American al-Sa’idi’a base in Syria on the western outskirts of the Manbij countryside. “Good morning to everyone from Manbij,” exclaimed Blokhin. “I’m at the American military base right now, where they were until yesterday morning. Already, we’re here [instead]. We’re going to examine now how they were living here, what they were so busy with, and what’s going on.” A second video would show Blokhin as he mockingly played with a boom barrier at the entrance to the base, appearing to check whether or not it worked. “It’s in good condition,” he assured the cameraman, with a slight grin. Blokhin, who works for the pro-Kremlin ANNA news network, previously covered the activities of Russian private military contractor Wagner as it trained pro-Assad militiamen in January, and later accompanied Russian and pro-Assad forces during the latter’s successful August campaign to take back the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Now, he stood gloating on a former U.S. military base. Other pro-Assad media soon conducted similar tours of other U.S. bases abandoned by American soldiers. Reports throughout the day Tuesday would also claim U.S. troops pulled out of two new additional locations including the eastern town of Tal Baydar and the Kharab Ashak base west of Ain Aissa. Shortly before U.S. troops withdrew, ISIS families still being detained at a nearby prison facility in Ain Aissa reportedly set fires throughout the camp in a renewed attempt to try to escape. In addition to exemplifying the momentous shift underway as Assad’s vital ally Russia finally replaces the United States as the primary party in northern Syria capable of liaising with most all of the parties to the conflict, Blokhin’s livestream carried a special significance for locals in Manbij. Over the past week, including several days after Trump’s shock announcement that U.S. troops would withdraw from Syria, American soldiers at the al-Sa’idi’a base actually continued carrying out near-daily patrols in the western and northern Manbij countryside that helped successfully ward off previous attempts by Syrian regime forces to set up positions in the area. That offered hope to those in Manbij who oppose the regime—that U.S. military institutions might be capable of coercing the Turkish president to adopt a compromise that saw U.S. troops remain in the area until Turkish-backed forces were capable of assuming control. But those hopes along with more than 16 months of U.S.-Turkish diplomacy were dashed Tuesday as the American troops made their final withdrawal from the area, paving the way for Russian and Syrian regime forces to roll in free and unopposed.  Elsewhere, in Ain Aissa and Tal Tamr, towns located along the M4 highway, northern Syria’s main artery and transportation route, Russian and regime forces established permanent checkpoints and bases to ensure control of the strategic route in the face of oncoming Turkish assaults. Those reinforcements appeared to have helped the SDF capture three villages from Turkish-backed forces in the immediate vicinity north of Tal Tamr later that night. While the arrival of regime forces undoubtedly has provided much needed relief for the SDF on several fronts, doing so will come with a cost. As the SDF welcomes more Syrian regime reinforcements into its territory, the group undoubtedly will lose future leverage it would need in order to preserve a role for itself within civil governing institutions throughout northeast Syria. On Monday, the SDF’s largely toothless civil wing, the Syrian Democratic Council, issued a directive to local councils in the area to continue to perform their duties “as previously,” insisting that “nothing has changed” and that the agreement with the regime constituted no more than a temporary military alliance to protect Syria’s borders. However it’s unlikely that the SDF, the Syrian Democratic Council, or other SDF-backed institutions within the group’s self-proclaimed “Autonomous Administration” will be able to preserve any modicum of independence as their reliance on the Assad regime becomes more solidified. And, following the failure of Russian-Turkish negotiations throughout Tuesday to reach a ceasefire between the warring parties, that reliance looks set to intensify. Negotiations between Moscow and Ankara began Tuesday morning following condemnation of Turkey’s campaign by the Kremlin’s special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev. A high-ranking Free Syrian Army military source in Manbij told The Daily Beast that Turkey gave orders Tuesday morning to its FSA proxies to halt temporarily their assault while both sides attempted to reach a solution. During that time, numerous pro-regime demonstrations were held in Manbij as the Syrian army sent several armored tanks into the city. According to local sources on the ground, some of these demonstrations were led by pro-regime figures that previously had been arrested by the SDF but were recently released following the Russian and Syrian regime entrance to the city. The Russian-Turkish talks come one day after the official Facebook page for the Russian defense ministry’s Hmeimim base issued a stern warning for Turkey and its allies not to “behave recklessly in entering an open war with government troops.” That was issued shortly after the Russians allegedly concluded an agreement with the SDF to allow Russian and regime troops to enter the cities of Kobani and Manbij. Yet despite the repeated warnings and attempts to hold talks, by Tuesday night Turkish-backed forces re-launched their assault. Thousands of civilians fled the border city of Kobani as a result of renewed Turkish assaults on the city in an attempt by the latter to capture the site of a former U.S. base recently abandoned nearby. Shortly after, our military source would claim renewed orders had been given by Ankara to re-launch operations in Manbij by dawn. Speaking to Reuters while returning from the Azerbaijaini capital Baku, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared undeterred by recent U.S. sanctions imposed on Ankara, by the arrival of regime reinforcements into the area, or by international condemnation of his country’s assault. “They say ‘declare a ceasefire.’ We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan said. “They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions.”Shortly after, local media and activists would report a Turkish airstrike on the strategic town of Aun al-Dadat, the site of a former U.S. base in the north Manbij countryside along the al-Sajur River that has since been occupied by SDF and regime units. Nawaf al-Mustafa, an activist living several miles away in Manbij city, said he could hear the explosion from his home. “I heard an explosion and thought it might have been an ISIS suicide attack,” he said. “But it wasn’t, news came in shortly after that Turkish forces instead were bombing Aun al-Dadat.”Look Who’s Back! Trump Handed Terrorists a Free Pass.Ahmed Qalqali, another anti-regime activist, would send out an alert to the families of FSA fighters to several WhatsApp groups used by locals to follow the news. “Any young man in Manbij who has a brother fighting on the front lines with the FSA should avoid sleeping at home tonight,” hinting at the possibility of SDF-regime house raids in response to the attacks. “Try to stay with a friend or someone to whom you’re not blood related.” Despite the Turkish insistence to continue fighting, in reality the tide seems to be turning against Ankara and its proxies. Despite managing to gain control of the strategic border town of Tal Abyad, after nearly one week of fighting Turkish-backed forces have been unable to capture Ras al-Ain, a city of just over 30,000 that has managed to put up stiff resistance and ward off Turkish incursions. Manbij, a city of nearly 100,000, will require much greater strength and political will in order to be captured.Recent U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration on key Turkish ministers and cabinet officials will also likely further hamper Ankara’s ability to freely wage war against the SDF, while significantly raising the cost of doing so. Nonetheless, these factors are unlikely to push Erdogan to end the campaign, as domestic pressures to create space to resettle Syrian refugees that have proven a burden to the Turkish economy threaten to destabilize his government. What will likely ensue will be a committed, albeit slow and protracted campaign to achieve Ankara’s goal of carving out a safe zone in Manbij and along the entirety of Turkey’s border with Syria. However, the likely delay in achieving further Turkish gains will also give the Syrian regime a larger window to calmly mobilize and deploy its forces throughout the region while still being able to exploit the threat posed to the SDF by Ankara in order to slowly grab more power in northeastern Syria. Further, the expansion of Syrian regime troops throughout the area doesn’t seem to be a prospect that much bothers the Turkish president, so long as they don’t mix with SDF and other armed Kurdish elements. Also while speaking to reporters in Baku, Erdogan stated, “The regime entering Manbij is not very negative for me. Why? It’s their lands after all,”  he said. “But, what is important to me is that the terrorist organization does not remain there… I told this to Mr. Putin as well. If you are clearing Manbij of terrorist organizations, then go ahead, you or the regime can provide all the logistics. But if you are not going to do this, the people there are telling us to save them.” By “terrorist organizations,” Erdogan means primarily the Kurds who were backed by the United States in the fight against ISIS.Such a statement from a head of state who for eight years has been among the most enthusiastic supporters of the Syrian revolution to topple Assad is indicative of the extent to which international calculus surrounding the Syrian issue has changed. It will likely encourage the Assad regime to consider the possibility of going after and eliminating the SDF itself if doing so may once and for all put an end to the activities of their meddlesome Turkish neighbor. Such a prospect may occur as part of a broader swap or deal whereby Turkey would also agree to withdraw its troops from the broader Idlib region, where Ha’it Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an offshoot of al Qaeda’s former Syrian branch, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other FSA groups have been engaged in a bloody standoff with the Syrian regime for over a year.Erdogan’s statements make perfectly clear that, following Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops, the cards increasingly lie in the hands of the Assad regime and its Russian ally. 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.

'Gaetz-crasher': Here's why a Republican lawmaker was barred from closed-door testimony

'Gaetz-crasher': Here's why a Republican lawmaker was barred from closed-door testimonyWhen Republican congressman Matt Gaetz tried to attend an impeachment inquiry deposition Monday morning in the U.S. Capitol, he ran smack into the often arcane and confusing rules of Congress. Here's why he wasn't allowed to attend.

Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam Vows to Address Housing Crunch in Policy Speech

Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam Vows to Address Housing Crunch in Policy Speech(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam pledged measures to address the city’s notorious housing shortage, as she prepared to deliver her annual policy address despite concerns about possible disruption by protesters.Lam held up a copy of the text on Tuesday while previewing the speech in remarks to reporters. She said she’d attempt to deliver the address in the city’s Legislative Council chambers, which were recently repaired after being ransacked by anti-government protesters in July.“I’m sure you agree that the most important livelihood issue that a chief executive should address would be housing and land supply,” Lam said, adding that she would present a total of 200 new initiatives.The chief executive also condemned escalating protester attacks on police officers as the unrest gripping the city grinds into a fifth month. Over the weekend, a police officer was slashed in the neck by a sharp object, protesters lobbed a petrol bomb inside a subway station and an improvised explosive device was set off in Kowloon near a police vehicle.Her comments also come as U.S. lawmakers consider bipartisan legislation that would establish annual reviews to determine whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to justify continuing its special trading status. On Monday evening, thousands marched peacefully through the city’s financial district waving American flags and calling on the U.S. to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.Hong Kong’s protests began in early June in response to a since-withdrawn bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. They have since expanded to include calls for greater democracy in the former colony.Hong Kong has seen some of its worst violence yet since China’s National Day on Oct. 1, which was followed by Lam’s decision to ban protesters from wearing masks under the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance. That emergency powers law could also potentially be used to detain and arrest protesters and censor publications.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at;Stephen Tan in Hong Kong at ztan39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at, Daniel Ten KateFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

All of the Google Pixel and Home Products on Sale Now

All of the Google Pixel and Home Products on Sale Now

Hundreds of police officers have been labeled liars. Some still help send people to prison.

Hundreds of police officers have been labeled liars. Some still help send people to prison.Across the USA, prosecutors aren't tracking officer misconduct, skirting Supreme Court "Brady" rules and sometimes leading to wrongful convictions.

Boris Johnson is reportedly very close to agreeing a Brexit deal with the EU

Boris Johnson is reportedly very close to agreeing a Brexit deal with the EUEU sources told Bloomberg that a deal could be concluded as early as Tuesday, with the UK set to agree a new compromise deal.

Shooting kills 6 in Puerto Rico, leads to emergency meeting

Shooting kills 6 in Puerto Rico, leads to emergency meetingPuerto Rico's governor called an emergency meeting Tuesday after six people were killed in a mass shooting in a San Juan housing project and gunfire left two people dead a day earlier in the island's north. A police statement said the violence left five men and one woman dead. The brazen murders led Gov. Wanda Vázquez to convene a gathering of her security team, led by public security chief Elmer Román and justice secretary Dennise Longo Quiñones.

India blocks SMS services in Kashmir after trucker killed

India blocks SMS services in Kashmir after trucker killedText messaging services were blocked in Indian Kashmir just hours after being restored when a truck driver was killed by suspected militants and his vehicle set ablaze, authorities said Tuesday. Separately, Indian officials said a 24-year-old woman died in the latest exchange of artillery fire with Pakistan over their de-facto border dividing the blood-soaked Himalayan region.

Joe Biden at Democratic debate: 'My son did nothing wrong'

Joe Biden at Democratic debate: 'My son did nothing wrong'Former Vice President Joe Biden reacted to a question at the Democratic debate about Hunter Biden and Ukraine saying, "My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing."

Russian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tampering

Russian troll freed in Belarus after arrest for US election tamperingAnna Bogacheva was detained and briefly threatened with extradition to the US after being named in Mueller reportRobert Mueller alleges that Anna Bogacheva and others posed as US citizens to set up social media accounts aimed at swaying the 2016 presidential vote. Photograph: Tom Brenner/ReutersA Russian national charged with attempting to meddle in the 2016 American presidential elections was briefly threatened with extradition to the United States after being arrested in Belarus, before she was was freed by local authorities. Anna Bogacheva was detained late on Monday evening by police at a hotel in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, while on holiday with her family, according to RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency. Her lawyer said she had been detained under an international arrest warrant issued by the United States.Bogacheva was one of 13 Russians indicted last year by the US justice department after the investigation into election interference led by the special counsel Robert Mueller. Three Russian entities, including a notorious state-backed “troll farm” called the Internet Research Agency, were also indicted. Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Bogacheva had been arrested and said that it was providing consular assistance. But shortly after the foreign ministry statement, Russia’s embassy in Minsk announced that Bogacheva had been freed. A spokesman for Belarus’ general prosecutor’s office said that there were “no grounds” for her arrest or extradition to the United States. “She has been released,” the spokesman said, adding that Minsk would apply to have the international warrant for her arrest invalidated on the territory of Belarus. Mueller alleges that the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency’s employees, including Bogacheva, posed as US citizens to set up social media accounts aimed at swaying the 2016 presidential vote that brought Donald Trump to power, as well as sowing “discord” in the US political system. US investigators say the Internet Research Agency is controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman known as “Putin’s chef” because his companies often provide catering services to the Kremlin. Prigozhin is also reported to provide mercenaries for Russia’s military operations in Syria, Ukraine and parts of Africa. Bogacheva is accused of working as a translator for the agency and overseeing its data analysis group. She and Alexander Krylova, another agency employee, travelled to the United States in June 2014 on what US investigators say was an intelligence gathering trip. Bogacheva’s arrest in Minsk briefly looked set to derail relations between Belarus and Russia. Viktor Vodolatsky, an MP from Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party, accused Belarus of a “betrayal” before news of her release broke.

Trump officials rush to Turkey as Moscow advances to fill Syria void from U.S. retreat

Trump officials rush to Turkey as Moscow advances to fill Syria void from U.S. retreatThe Trump administration dispatched its top officials to Turkey on Wednesday for emergency talks to try to persuade Ankara to halt an assault on northern Syria, while Russian troops swept into territory abandoned by Washington in a sudden retreat. Robert O'Brien, White House national security adviser since last month, arrived in Turkey aiming to meet Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are expecting to meet the following day with President Tayyip Erdogan.

'Just a matter of time' before president removed following impeachment testimony: Former Trump aide

'Just a matter of time' before president removed following impeachment testimony: Former Trump aidePresident Trump’s ex-national security adviser, John Bolton, reportedly urged former Russia adviser Fiona Hill to warn the White House about a campaign to pressure Ukraine directed by the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, describing the latter as a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

See Photos of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric SUV

See Photos of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric SUV

Pennsylvania man charged in decades-old rape case after DNA links him to attack

Pennsylvania man charged in decades-old rape case after DNA links him to attackDecades after a woman was raped near the University of Delaware campus, police identified a suspect based on DNA and "cutting-edge technology."

Court Ruling Extends Vote Protest of Philippine Marcos’ Son

Court Ruling Extends Vote Protest of Philippine Marcos’ Son(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines’ top court on Tuesday decided to release the initial results of the vice-presidential vote recount, which the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ son said will delay his chance to assume the post.Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he is “frustrated” by the court’s decision not to resolve his election protest against Vice President Leni Robredo victory in the 2016 polls. Robredo is already halfway through her six-year term.The court instead decided to make public the result of the recount covering three provinces that will serve as basis for any further action on Marcos’ challenge. It also asked the two camps to comment on Marcos’ plea to nullify votes in three other provinces due to supposed irregularities in the 2016 elections.“The proper vice president -- myself -- is being robbed of years of service,” Marcos said in a televised interview. President Rodrigo Duterte, who has faced questions on his health, has repeatedly said Marcos is his preferred successor if he had to leave office before his single term expires in 2022.Robredo, leader of the opposition party, said she welcomes the court decision, as she urged the court to already junk Marcos’ protest. “The mere fact that this has been dragging on for so long only provides Marcos a platform for his lies,” she said in a separate televised briefing.(Updates with comments from Marcos and Robredo from fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at, Muneeza NaqviFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Buttigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’s Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New Ad

Buttigieg Claims Warren and Sanders’s Medicare for All Is ‘Infringing on Freedom’ in New AdDemocratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg released a campaign ad Monday evening taking aim at Medicare for All, the public health insurance proposal favored by several rival 2020 candidates, and proposing his alternative, "Medicare for All Who Want It."The South Bend, Ind., mayor's minute-long video, titled "Makes More Sense," features several political reporters and analysts praising his plan and juxtaposing it with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All, which would require that roughly 160 million Americans' surrender their private insurance.“Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren believe that we have to force ourselves into Medicare for All, where private insurance is abolished, there are 160 million Americans to get their insurance from their employer,” CNN analyst Joe Lockhart says in a clip included in the ad.Buttigieg is “trying to focus on choice not infringing on people’s freedom to make that decision voluntarily,” NBC reporter Josh Lederman says in another segment."Medicare for All Who Want It is different than Medicare for All because this gives Americans a choice," Buttigieg said in an additional video that was released concurrent with the ad and explains his proposal. "If you prefer a public plan like Medicare, like I think most Americans will, you can choose it. But if you prefer to keep your private insurance, you can."Medicare for All Who Want It will be a "public insurance alternative for everyone, no matter their income" with the goal of making health care "far more affordable," according to the explanatory video.Buttigieg also vowed to release a "policy series" over the next several months to diagnose problems in the country's health care system, which is "too expensive, too complicated, and too frustrating.""I trust Americans to make our own decisions regarding the type of health care that makes the most sense for each of us and our families," the mayor said.Buttigieg's ad comes hours before he is set to face off against Warren, Sanders, and other fellow contenders for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination during Tuesday night's debate in Ohio hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

Hiker Digs Up 1,000-Year-Old Iron Weapon

Hiker Digs Up 1,000-Year-Old Iron WeaponClimate change melted away the ancient arrowhead.

School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullying

School suspends girls, says rape-awareness note was bullyingA 15-year-old girl was suspended for bullying after trying to draw attention to what she believed was an unaddressed problem of sexual assaults involving students at her high school. Aela Mansmann, a 15-year-old sophomore at Cape Elizabeth High School outside Portland, has been at odds with Cape Elizabeth Schools for a month after posting a note in a bathroom that said: "There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is." She and two other students who left similar notes were ordered suspended. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine is taking on Mansmann's case and calling on federal court to stop her suspension.

North Korea's Spy Submarines Have Performed Some Wild Missions—But This One Ended In Disaster

North Korea's Spy Submarines Have Performed Some Wild Missions—But This One Ended In DisasterA mechanical meltdown?

Trump defends his Syria retreat as 'strategically brilliant,' saying the Kurds are 'not angels' and have 'a lot of sand that they can play with'

Trump defends his Syria retreat as 'strategically brilliant,' saying the Kurds are 'not angels' and have 'a lot of sand that they can play with'Trump's Syria retreat opened the door for a Turkish invasion of Syria that began last Wednesday and targets the Kurds.

Mexican president confirms Pemex union boss under investigation

Mexican president confirms Pemex union boss under investigationThe veteran leader of Mexico's powerful oil workers' union faces formal accusations of wrongdoing, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday, slowly turning up pressure on the labor boss to step aside. Earlier this year, sources said the attorney general's office had accused Pemex union chief Carlos Romero Deschamps and several relatives of illicit enrichment and money laundering, charges he has consistently denied. "Complaints have been presented to the attorney general's office," Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference.

Brazil probes whether 'ghost ship' carrying Venezuelan oil involved in spill

Brazil probes whether 'ghost ship' carrying Venezuelan oil involved in spillA huge oil spill off Brazil's northeastern coast may have involved a "ghost ship" carrying Venezuelan oil in breach of US sanctions, an expert close to the probe into the disaster said Tuesday. Brazil has accused its South American neighbor of responsibility for the leakage that began in early September and affects a 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) stretch of the Atlantic coast -- charges Venezuela's state oil giant PDVSA denies. Describing the incident as "very complex and unprecedented," Brazil's navy says it is investigating "lots of hypotheses" for the cause of the massive spill, including a ship accident.

GM, UAW strike deal: Automaker, union reach tentative agreement on new contract

GM, UAW strike deal: Automaker, union reach tentative agreement on new contractGeneral Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a proposed tentative agreement on a new contract Wednesday, the 31st day of a nationwide strike.

Syrian Military Forces Enter Key Town of Kobani: Syria Update

Syrian Military Forces Enter Key Town of Kobani: Syria Update(Bloomberg) -- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey’s military operation in Syria could end after Kurdish fighters leave a strip of territory along its border, laying out his key condition for ending an offensive that has drawn American sanctions and roiled markets.The U.S. decision to stand aside when Turkey advanced into Syria to push back Kurdish groups controlling the northeast has reconfigured old alliances and taken Syria’s eight-year-old civil war into uncharted territory.Kurdish-led forces, who fought with U.S. backing to defeat Islamic State, have struck a deal for President Bashar al-Assad to deploy his troops to the border area, raising the prospects for a wider escalation and questions over the fate of thousands of jihadists who are being held in the area.“Our proposal for the most certain resolution to the problem in Syria is that all the terrorists should leave their arms and other materials and destroy the traps that they have set and leave the secure zone” that’s defined by Turkey, Erdogan told lawmakers on Wednesday.Here is a rundown of major events in Turkish local time:Key DevelopmentsErdogan lays out conditions for an end to the military operation in SyriaTurkey has rejected demands for a cease-fire in Syria but signaled compromise over two key border townsTurkish markets are in turmoil as Turkey’s Halkbank faces U.S. criminal case over a scheme to evade sanctions on IranVladimir Putin spoke with Erdogan about the need to deescalate the conflict in SyriaU.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet Erdogan on Thursday in AnkaraSyrian Military Forces Enter Key Town of Kobani (8:42 p.m.)Syrian government forces entered the key town of Kobani - also known as Ain Al Arab - Wednesday night, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, part of a deal with Kurdish forces to fend off Turkey’s offensive on the border.Syrian forces also expanded their deployment in Raqqa earlier in the day, state-run Sana news agency said, showing images of troops in army gear, carrying their national flag and pictures of President Bashar Al Assad as they made their way to the area.Altun Weighs In on Erdogan’s Conditions (3:49 p.m.)Turkey expects the U.S. to provide support to get all the “terrorists” out of the buffer zone that it wants to create in Syria, Fahrettin Altun, the president’s director of communications, told Bloomberg ahead of a visit by Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Ankara.The so-called “safe zone” should stretch for around 450 kilometers (280 miles) along the Turkish-Syrian border and run 30 to 35 kilometers deep, Altun said. The area needs to be free of both Kurdish militants and Islamic State fighters, he said.Erdogan will meet Pence and Pompeo during their visit to Ankara.Russia Says It Respects Turkey’s Right to Ensure Security (1:10 p.m.)Russia said Turkey has a right to ensure its own security but its military operation must not undermine efforts to end the Syrian civil war.”We respect Turkey’s right to take measures to ensure its own security, but we expect that the operation will be proportional to this expediency -- to ensure security and the tasks of ensuring security,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. While it’s hard to say how long the operation may go on, Russia hopes it won’t “harm the process of political settlement” of the Syrian conflict, he said.Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria (11:40 a.m.)A renewed sell-off gripped Turkish markets after the U.S. brought criminal charges against one of the nation’s largest banks, in what could be an escalation of Washington’s efforts to reprimand Ankara for its military incursion into northeast Syria.Stocks fell with government bonds and shares of Turkey’s state-run Halkbank slumped as much as 7.4%, the most since March. The lira bucked the rout as state banks were seen selling dollars to support the currency, according to three traders with knowledge of the matter.Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over SyriaHalkbank Says U.S. Case Linked to Turkey’s Syria Operation (11:31 a.m.)The U.S. indictment was filed as part of the sanctions introduced against the military operation in Syria and appears largely to repeat allegations made during the trial of former Halkbank executive Hakan Atilla, the Turkish state lender said in a public filing.“The bank was not engaged in any secondary U.S. sanctions violations,” the bank said. Halkbank said it doesn’t have any branches or employees based in the U.S. and falls outside the Department of Justice’s jurisdiction.Assad, Kurdish-led Forces Clash with Turkey-Backed Troops (11:30 a.m.)Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and troops loyal to Assad clashed overnight with Turkish-backed fighters east of the Syrian border town of Ain Issa, according to Rami Abdurrahman, head of the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war through activists on the ground.The clashes came after Turkish-backed forces struck a Syrian government base in Ain Issa, killing two soldiers.Turkey Rejects Demand for Syria Cease-Fire, Draws Line at Kobani (07:08 a.m.)President Erdogan rejected the Trump administration’s demand for a cease-fire in Syria, but signaled he was willing to compromise over the fate of two strategic border towns he wants removed from Kurdish control.Erdogan said he’d told Trump that Turkey has no plans to target Kobani, which U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters liberated from Islamic State in a months-long battle. He also said Turkey did not view too negatively Assad’s takeover of the town of Manbij.“Trump asked us not to hit Kobani,” Erdogan said in comments published on the presidency’s website late Tuesday. “We have a containment operation around the city. We are not seriously interested in the inner side of the city. But depending on developments, we may intervene.”Turkey’s Halkbank Faces U.S. Charges as Tensions Mount (01:03 a.m.)The U.S. brought a criminal case against one of Turkey’s largest banks for aiding a scheme to evade sanctions against Iran, a move that carries political overtones as tensions build over Turkey’s military incursions in Syria.In an indictment filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, prosecutors accused government-owned Halkbank of participating in a wide-ranging plot to violate prohibitions on Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system. The conspiracy involved high-ranking government officials in Iran and Turkey, the U.S. said.“Halkbank’s systemic participation in the illicit movement of billions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil revenue was designed and executed by senior bank officials,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in New York said in a statement. “Halkbank will now have to answer for its conduct in an American court.”\--With assistance from Stepan Kravchenko, Ugur Yilmaz and Cagan Koc.To contact the reporters on this story: Dana Khraiche in Beirut at;Firat Kozok in Ankara at fkozok@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at, ;Onur Ant at, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Angela Merkel Intervenes to Allow Huawei Access to German Networks

Angela Merkel Intervenes to Allow Huawei Access to German NetworksGermany will allow Huawei access to its 5G networks despite a U.S. pressure campaign, spearheaded by FCC chairman Ajit Pai, to block the Chinese tech giant from interacting with allies' data networks.“Essentially our approach is as follows: We are not taking a pre-emptive decision to ban any actor, or any company,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference Monday, as Germany’s Federal Network Agency plans to release an in-depth “security catalogue” on compliance criteria for 5G networks in the coming days. The announcement confirmed a report by German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which stated that a review of the current draft of security requirements permits Huawei to provide 5G services in Germany.Handelsblatt also reports that the decision to include Huawei came from the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, due to fears that exclusion would damage the country's relationship with China.Merkel’s office, in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, also removed a clause from a 5G government policy paper that suggested only “trusted suppliers” should be given access to the network.The decision comes after heavy pressure from the U.S. to urge international allies to resist partnerships with Huawei over fears of espionage, fraud, and intellectual property theft. In January, the Justice Department indicted the Chinese firm after allegations of theft and conspiracy.“The criminal activity in this indictment goes back ten years and goes all the way to the top of the company,” said former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker at a press conference announcing the charges.In May, President Trump blacklisted Huawei from doing business with American firms.Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and other U.S. allies have already moved to block Huawei from accessing their networks, while the U.K. has had a political debate over the inclusion of the company in the wake of the rollout of 5G technology.

New Jersey police are looking for a possible witness to the kidnapping of a 3-year-old girl 30 days ago

New Jersey police are looking for a possible witness to the kidnapping of a 3-year-old girl 30 days agoFive-year-old Dulce Maria Alavez disappeared from Bridgeton City Park in New Jersey on September 16.

IMF welcomes attempt to resolve dispute in Ecuador

IMF welcomes attempt to resolve dispute in EcuadorThe International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it welcomes the decision by Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to cancel an austerity package following more than a week of protests. Moreno and leaders of Ecuador's indigenous groups struck a deal late Sunday to cancel an IMF-backed package that included a sharp rise in fuel prices after protests that left seven people dead and 1,152 arrested. Gopinath did not address the status of the $4.2 billion loan Ecuador received in March during a press conference kicking off the annual meeting.

Yes, Russia or China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. Here's How.

Yes, Russia or China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. Here's How.How vulnerable are America's carriers?

Pastor at Pro-Trump conference: 'We've come to declare war'

Pastor at Pro-Trump conference: 'We've come to declare war'If the video depicting a fake President Trump massacring members of the media -- which was condemned by the White House -- wasn't too much to handle already, ProPublica and WNYC released more disturbing audio from the conference where the footage was originally shown.While speaking at the pro-Trump conference in Miami, Florida, at the Trump National Doral Miami, Mark Burns, a pastor, told the crowd multiple times that "we've come to declare war." As he continued, he reportedly asked if anybody was "read to go to war for Donald J. Trump, this nation?" as the audience reportedly cheered him on.Additionally, radio host Wayne Allyn Root reportedly boasted about a time in his childhood when, as one of the few white students at a predominantly black high school, he knocked one classmate unconscious and shattered another kid's teeth. "My buddies and I were high-fiving and laughing," Root reportedly said during his speech. "Man, it was funny."Root reportedly went on to say that "you've got to be a natural-born killer" to win in politics. Listen to the audio clips at ProPublica.

Woman will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder of boyfriend

Woman will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder of boyfriendA woman who poured gasoline on the couch where her sleeping boyfriend lay and then shut the door after seeing him jump up and yell "hot, hot" will spend 60 years in prison for first-degree murder.

Presidential candidate Biden has less campaign cash than top Democratic rivals

Presidential candidate Biden has less campaign cash than top Democratic rivalsWASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden had $9 million in his campaign bank account at the end of September, significantly less than his top rivals in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, data released on Tuesday showed. While Biden leads most national public opinion polls, he has struggled to raise money and is relying heavily on wealthy donors who can write five-figure checks instead of smaller donations made via the internet. Biden dismissed that his low cash balance is going to be a problem going forward, saying that his campaign launched after several others, forcing him to catch up to his rivals.

Yahoo data breach settlement 2019: How to get up to $358 or free credit monitoring

Yahoo data breach settlement 2019: How to get up to $358 or free credit monitoringYahoo users can now file a claim for a piece of the $117.5 million class action settlement related to data breaches between 2012 and 2016.

Cory Booker wants $90m a year to prevent urban gun violence

Cory Booker wants $90m a year to prevent urban gun violenceNew bill would focus federal dollars on public health approaches to gun violence Senator Cory Booker gives a speech on gun violence at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, known as Mother Emanuel, in Charleston, South Carolina, in August. Photograph: Randall Hill/ReutersFor more than a decade, faith leaders from black and brown communities have come to Congress with the same request: spend more money on local strategies to prevent gun violence.Now, the New Jersey senator Cory Booker is introducing legislation that would devote $90m a year to programs that prevent urban gun violence.Booker’s new grant program would focus federal dollars on helping the cities with the highest gun homicide rates, and it would prioritize funding for strategies that do not contribute to mass incarceration.series boxInstead of simply directing more federal money to local law enforcement, the new legislation would require cities to give at least half of their federal grant dollars to community organizations that provide services to high-risk people, or to a public department “that is not a law enforcement agency”.Booker’s bill does not include any gun control provisions: it’s focused on strategies that prevent shootings by focusing on the people, not the guns.“We’re in a tough political climate,” said Pastor Michael McBride, a California-based activist who has spent the last decade campaigning for more resources for local gun violence prevention. “This approach charts a way forward that does not bog us down in these intense debates over the second amendment or gun control.”Booker’s legislation is designed to fund programs that have shown success in reducing gun violence in cities such as Oakland and Richmond, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and New York City. The legislation would devote $90m a year over 10 years to evidence-based approaches to gun violence reduction.In the past decade, as they have invested public dollars into expanding community-based strategies, Oakland has seen a 44% decrease in its gun homicide rate, and nearby Richmond has seen a 67% decrease in its gun homicide rate.The decreases in Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco have driven a 30% decrease in the overall gun homicide rate across the greater San Francisco Bay Area, even as the number of people living in poverty in the region has increased, and as property crime has spiked in some areas. The decrease in the area is much larger than in the nation overall.The successful local strategies highlighted in Booker’s legislation include investing in street outreach workers or “violence interrupters”, trusted community members who intervene in local gang conflicts to keep violence from spreading; funding intervention programs in hospitals to help shooting victims change their lives; and supporting “group violence intervention” strategies, such as Boston’s Operation Ceasefire, that bring together law enforcement, community partners, and faith leaders to intervene with the small number of men in each city who are most likely to shoot or be shot.Booker’s Break the Cycle of Violence Act is co-sponsored by the US representative Steven Horsford, a Nevada Democrat whose father was shot to death during a robbery when he was 19.“These deaths are preventable,” Horsford said in a statement.Mass shootings are usually the focus of America’s gun control debate. But the majority of America’s gun homicide victims are killed in smaller daily shootings in neighborhoods that have struggled with gun violence for decades.Black men and boys, who make up just 6% of America’s overall population, represent more than 50% of the country’s gun homicide victims.A 2015 Guardian investigation found that half of the country’s gun homicides were concentrated in just 127 cities and towns. Experts have argued for years that American gun violence is highly concentrated, and that one of the best ways to save lives is to devote more resources into the neighborhoods with the greatest need.Black and brown activists have often felt “invisible” and “erased” from the American gun control debate, McBride said.“Our communities are used as props, but never really given serious consideration on how to scale up strategies that save our lives and heal our communities,” he said.The new legislation focuses resources on the majority of America’s gun violence victims – and it also focuses on solutions that are less politically controversial than gun control laws, McBride said.“We think Republicans, historically, have been huge supporters of these kinds of strategies, because of the role that faith communities and redemption and healing play,” he said.

Sweden Says a Stronger Krona Shouldn't Be Feared by Exporters

Sweden Says a Stronger Krona Shouldn't Be Feared by Exporters(Bloomberg) -- Sweden’s new trade minister says there’s little reason for exporters to fear a stronger krona as the currency trades around its weakest levels in roughly a decade.Anna Hallberg, who started in her new job last month, says the calculus that once meant exporters would benefit from a weak currency is starting to wear thin. That’s because most businesses now rely on foreign sub-components, which go up in price if the krona weakens.“We shouldn’t be too afraid that a strengthening of the krona would hurt exports directly,” Hallberg said in an interview in Stockholm. “It’s rather the international trade conflicts, and the global downturn we should prepare for.”“A third of our export products are dependent on imports,” she said. “So there are two sides to it.” Hallberg also said it’s “obvious” that Sweden is experiencing an economic slowdown.Sweden generates about half its economic output from exports. That means the largest Nordic economy is particularly exposed to the fallout of a global trade war that now threatens to engulf the European Union. The World Trade Organization recently gave U.S. President Donald Trump the go ahead to impose duties on as much as $7.5 billion of EU exports -- the biggest award in WTO history -- as retaliation for illegal state aid that EU governments paid to Airbus.Hallberg characterized the decision as regrettable and said it would have been better if the U.S. had opted for dialogue. “Now we are forced to respond to the U.S.’s hard line and defend ourselves,” she said. “It’s very unfortunate.”Hallberg signaled that the EU would draw the line at any U.S. steps against its car industry. Such a development would be something the EU absolutely “can’t accept,” she said.The minister also pointed to Brexit as a near-term threat, even if a deal is reached.“There will be more trade barriers and it will also take some time before a new deal is in place,” Hallberg said. “So we are really urging companies to prepare themselves.”To contact the reporter on this story: Rafaela Lindeberg in Stockholm at rlindeberg@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at, Tasneem Hanfi BröggerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Iran president's brother starts 5-year jail term: report

Iran president's brother starts 5-year jail term: reportIranian President Hassan Rouhani's brother entered prison Wednesday to begin a five-year sentence after he was convicted of corruption, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported, citing his lawyer. Hossein Fereydoun, who served as an aide to the president, was arrested in July 2017 and put on trial in February this year on allegations of financial violations. "This morning Mr Fereydoun together with myself were present at the prosecutor's office," Hossein Sartipi said, quoted by ISNA.

The Latest: Observers says Syrian troops enter border town

The Latest: Observers says Syrian troops enter border townA resident and a war monitor say Syrian troops have entered the northern town of Kobani, where Kurdish and U.S. forces first defeated Islamic State group militants together 4 years ago. Kobani, on the border with Turkey, was one of the first Syrian towns to fall to IS militants in 2014. The U.S.-led coalition supported Kurdish fighters with an intensive air campaign and supplies from the air, cementing the cooperation between the two for years to come.

California Mandates Free Abortion at Public Colleges

California Mandates Free Abortion at Public CollegesDemocratic governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation making California the first state in the country to require public colleges and universities to provide medical-abortion pills to students at campus health centers.S.B. 24, or the College Student Right to Access Act, will compel all 34 University of California and California State University campuses to make the RU-486 chemical-abortion pill available through campus health centers by 2023, in theory at no cost to students. Last fall, then-governor Jerry Brown refused to sign the legislation, using talking points similar to those that pro-life groups such as Students for Life of America used when lobbying against the bill.“According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance,” Brown said in a statement at the time. “Because the services required by this bill are widely available off-campus, this bill is not necessary.”Evidently, Newsom disagreed. “As other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom, in California we are moving forward, expanding access and reaffirming a woman’s right to choose,” he said in a statement after signing the bill late last week. “We’re removing barriers to reproductive health, increasing access on college campuses and using technology to modernize how patients interact with providers.”According to the bill, RU-486 will be provided to students by health-care workers at health centers on California campuses. But the drug in question — Mifeprex, the most common drug used in chemical abortions before about ten weeks’ gestation — typically is administered at a clinic before the pregnant woman is sent home to expel the developing embryo, a fairly risky process.This past April, the Food and Drug Administration updated the adverse effects of Mifeprex to note that as of 2018, “there were reports of 24 deaths of women associated with Mifeprex since the product was approved in September 2000, including two cases of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; and several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal.”Official documentation on the use of Mifeprex shows that there have been close to 4,200 women who reported adverse effects from the drug, including infections, follow-up surgery, hospitalization, and other complications. Opponents of the legislation in California lobbied against the bill in part because they argued that college-age women in particular need close supervision and will be put at risk by having abortion drugs made available without proper surveillance to ensure their health and safety.Judging from estimates provided by proponents of S.B. 24, it is likely that somewhere between 15 and 75 young women each month will require surgery after RU-486 fails. Opponents of the bill say it’s unlikely that campus health centers will be adequately prepared to handle such emergencies. Many who lobbied against the bill also noted that the legislation’s provisions will probably require violating the conscience rights of California’s health-care professionals, who easily could be forced to facilitate medical abortions, because S.B. 24 provides no protections for anyone with religious or moral objections to the procedure.Over the summer, California’s Department of Finance articulated its objections to the legislation, noting that the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls “does not have the technical expertise nor existing capacity to develop and administer a program of this size, scope, or content.”According to its report, enacting the new policy would cost University of California–system schools somewhere between $4.6 million and $7.8 million to initiate, with additional ongoing costs of $2.2 million to $3.3 million beginning in 2023 to operate the program. The report didn’t estimate the costs to the California State University system but noted that the CSU had said students’ out-of-pocket costs for RU-486 and related lab work likely would be about $500 because the state hasn't allocated enough to actually cover the cost.S.B. 24 will allocate $200,000 each to University of California and California State University health centers “to pay for the cost, both direct and indirect, of medication abortion readiness,” including updated training, new equipment, telemedicine services, and facility upgrades. Pro-abortion group JustCARE reports that private donors including the Women’s Foundation of California and Tara Health Foundation raised $10,290,000 in private money to fund the new policy. Opponents of the legislation note that if the funding is insufficient to account for actual costs of implementing the program on all 34 campuses, the rest of the costs will fall to students.This year has featured a number of controversial changes to state abortion policies across the country, as several states attempted to limit abortion earlier in pregnancy and a handful of others officially legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. California state senator Connie Leyva, sponsor of S.B. 24, has said she hopes that her legislation will be the beginning of a broader campaign to make chemical-abortion drugs available on campuses across the country — a new frontier in the fight over abortion policy.

7 Indigenous Pioneers You Need to Know

7 Indigenous Pioneers You Need to Know

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro often quotes a nonexistent economist named 'Ron Vara'

Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro often quotes a nonexistent economist named 'Ron Vara'President Trump is getting two trade advisers for the price of one.On paper, Trump's top trade adviser is Peter Navarro, an unapologetic defender of Trump and critic of China. But inside Navarro's own brain is Ron Vara, an untraceable economist frequently quoted in Navarro's books whose name happens to be an anagram of Navarro, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.Vara has made appearances across Navarro's economic books for at least 20 years, often authoring an epigraph before Navarro's chapters. They've contained fun Vara-branded aphorisms like "don't play checkers in a chess world" and questionable ones such as "only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel." A 2001 book revealed the most detail about Vara, saying he was a "struggling doctoral student in economics" at Harvard in the mid-1980s. The Chronicle found no record of Vara at Harvard at that time, though that is when Navarro attended the school.Navarro, in a statement, admitted that Vara is a "whimsical device and pen name I've used throughout the years" and said it was "refreshing" that someone finally figured it out. After all, even Navarro's one-time co-author Glenn Hubbard, when asked by the Chronicle, said he had no idea Vara was fictional. Read more about Navarro's alter ego at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Pick Your Weapon: A New U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier or 2,000 Hypersonic Missiles?

Pick Your Weapon: A New U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier or 2,000 Hypersonic Missiles?That is the question being floated by one senior U.S. defense official.

Sergeant is apparently 10th NYPD officer to die by suicide this year

Sergeant is apparently 10th NYPD officer to die by suicide this yearCommissioner says department is dealing with "epidemic" of suicides

This church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless guns

This church in Pennsylvania holds a ceremony to bless gunsDozens of couples carrying assault rifles took part in a blessing of their weapons at a church in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania. Members of the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, an unofficial sect of the Christian Unification movement, were invited to "show their willingness to defend their families, communities and nation". The weapons are meant to represent the "rod of iron" referenced in the biblical Book of Revelation, which was used to control God's enemies. The semi-automatic rifles are similar to the weapon used to kill 17 people in the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February 2018. The church believes that the Florida shooting could have been prevented if the teachers were armed. Members carry guns while some wear crowns, often made of bullets Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty In the aftermath of the tragedy the debate over gun control raged across America, with shocked students calling for immediate action on gun control. Despite this, the US's largest gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has hindered attempts to restrict the accessibility of firearms, using its financial and political clout. Weapons are not loaded and the guns are secured with zip ties to stop them firing Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Now, two decades on from the 1999 Columbine school shooting, it is easier to purchase assault rifles after a temporary ban under the Bush administration expired.