Senator Bernie Sanders hit back at Senator Kamala Harris Monday evening after Harris said at a fundraiser in the Hamptons that she has "not been comfortable" with the Medicare for All plan she cosponsored with Sanders.> I don't go to the Hamptons to raise money from billionaires. If I ever visited there, I would tell them the same thing I have said for the last 30 years: We must pass a Medicare for All system to guarantee affordable health care for all, not just for those who can afford it.> > -- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 19, 2019Harris courted wealthy donors in the Hamptons and at Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend, assuring them that, “I believe in capitalism, but capitalism is not working for most people.”"I think almost every member of the United States Senate who's running for president, and many others, have signed on to a variety of plans in the Senate. And I have done the same," the California Democrat said. "I support Medicare for All. But as you may have noticed, over the course of the many months, I've not been comfortable with Bernie's plan, the Medicare-for-All plan."Harris floundered slightly earlier in her campaign on the question of whether private insurance plans would still be available under her health-care proposal. She originally said private health insurance would be eliminated but has since backtracked, saying that while she is “committed to reining in the private insurance companies,” phasing out private insurance “has to happen over a period of time.”Sanders is currently polling ahead of Harris but behind the front-runner, former vice president Joe Biden, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is in second place.
Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido said Wednesday his rival Nicolas Maduro had been made to look ridiculous by insisting he had authorized back channel talks with Washington, only for a top US official to reveal it was Caracas who had made the initial approach behind the president's back. The sole aim of the secret talks was to discuss Maduro's exit from power and organizing free elections, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Wednesday. Bolton's comment came after Maduro said he had authorized the contacts with high level US officials, casting them as a long-standing initiative that he was aware of and had approved.
Joseph Oberhansley, 38, is accused of killing his estranged girlfriend and eating parts of her brain and organs in 2014.
Climate change will damage the economies of countries whether they are rich or poor, hot or cold by the year 2100, economists said in a new report, dispelling the notion that impoverished, warm countries will suffer the most on a warming planet. Researchers who examined data from 174 countries over 50 years found that persistent temperature changes above or below a country's historical norm adversely affected economic growth, regardless of how warm a country is. The United States could see a 10% loss in gross domestic product (GDP) without significant policy change.
China warned the UK not to meddle in its affairs over Hong Kong on Wednesday after the arrest of a British Consulate official worsened already strained ties between Beijing and London. Simon Cheng, 28, a trade and investment officer at the Hong Kong consulate’s Scottish Development International section, went missing on August 8 on the way back from a business event in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. Britain has said it is “extremely” concerned. News of his disappearance became public on Tuesday, prompting China on Wednesday to confirm that it was holding him on allegations of violating local law, without revealing any further details. Geng Shuang, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said the case was linked to China’s Public Security Administration Punishment Law, a statute pertaining to minor violations. Individuals can be held under administrative detention for as long as 15 days, which would be roughly until Friday. Mr Geng warned the UK to back away from the affairs of its former colony. “The British side has made a lot of erroneous remarks on Hong Kong,” Mr Geng said, urging London “to stop pointing fingers and making accusations.” "He is not a British citizen. He is a Chinese person, so this is entirely a matter of China’s internal affairs," Mr Geng said of Mr Cheng. "As for Britain's comments, we've made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they've made on Hong Kong," he said. He also called on Britain to stop interfering in China's internal business. "Britain has made a series of wrong statements on Hong Kong. We again urge them to stop gesticulating and to stop fanning the flames," Mr Geng said. Activists gather outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images In a statement issued on Facebook, Mr Cheng’s family said: “We feel very helpless, and are worried sick about Simon. We hope that Simon can return to Hong Kong as soon as possible.” Friends of Mr Cheng, staged a rally outside the British Consulate in central Hong Kong on Wednesday urging Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister and Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister “save” the young man from a Chinese jail. “Save Simon Now! Delay No More!” they chanted. Max Chung, the rally organiser, who knew Mr Cheng from his student days at the London School of Economics, accused the UK of “failing to show due diligence” towards him. “Mr Boris Johnson, the prime minister, it’s now or never!” he said. “We appeal to Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon, we urge you to save Simon. Make this your number one priority now.” Michael Mo, a fellow protester, added: “England expects every man to do his duty and we expect every British politician to honour their word.” The group was briefly admitted indoors to present a petition calling for the UK to express “specific measures” to protect British Nationals in Hong Kong and to issue a travel warning that British and foreign nationals in Hong Kong could be subjected to “enforced disappearance.” Simon Cheng, a staff member of the British Consulate in Hong Kong, was initially reported missing Emerging from the building, Mr Chung said senior officials had assured him that they were working “full throttle” to secure Mr Cheng’s freedom. However, protesters said that Mr Cheng’s predicament confirmed their worst fears about arbitrary detention by China. The Hong Kong protest movement, now in its eleventh week, began over opposition to a planned extradition law that would allow suspects to be sent to trial for the first time in China’s opaque justice system. “Simon’s case is “white terror” to everyone in Hong Kong. Because even if you haven’t voiced out your political views, you may still be considered a target, and can be arrested for no reason,” said Duff Li, a protester in his twenties. Mr Cheng’s disappearance has also revived fears about the safety of diplomatic personnel in China. The diplomatic and expat community has already been put on edge by the December detention of Michael Kovrig, a Hong Kong-based security analyst on leave from Canada’s foreign service, and by the arrest of Michael Spavor, an entrepreneur, who worked between China and North Korea. China | Read more from The Telegraph Meanwhile, Hong Kong maintained its week long uneasy calm spell on Wednesday night when thousands of protesters gathered at the Yuen Long metro station in the New Territories district on the outskirts of the city to mark one month since a vicious assault on dozens of commuters by triad gangs. Public anger remains high over the incident, in which at least 45 people were attacked by hundreds of alleged gang members wearing white shirts and wielding sticks. The police were accused of responding too late and of being slow to arrest the perpetrators. Protesters crowding the station initially stood in silence, holding one hand over their right eye to symbolise a young female medic who was hit in the face by a police bean bag shot during a demonstration and badly injured But there were tense scenes outside the station as locals hurled angry insults at riot police. “Triad cops! Why didn’t you save us last month? Why are you coming now when nothing is happening?” shouted bystanders. Violence was close to flaring up when protesters pushed police back from the station entrance with fire extinguishers and closed the gates, briefly locking themselves inside. But while the elite Raptors squad lurked on standby, armed with bean bag guns and tear gas, not a shot was fired, and both sides retreated to brace for another weekend of protests as the pro-democracy movement heads into its 12th week.
A 27-year-old woman was bitten twice by a shark while swimming on Tuesday. She is reportedly recovering and in "good health."
A Philadelphia official says the resignation of Police Commissioner Richard Ross is related to allegations made by a corporal and a patrol officer against several department employees. Deana Gamble is a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Kenney. Kenney's announcement Tuesday referred to a sexual harassment prevention policy and efforts to prevent discrimination and harassment that were implemented a year ago.
White nationalists pervade law enforcement. Fighting far right violence means continuing our fight for police accountabilityProtesters shout anti-Nazi chants after chasing alt-right blogger Jason Kessler from a news conference on 13 August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesAs mass violence continues, many of us have become rightly afraid for the people we love. We want justice, but we also want protection.So what are the solutions we’re hearing about following this month’s violence? One idea we must reject is the idea of trusting law enforcement to protect us from white nationalist violence, given how much they contribute to it. If people in law enforcement want to be seen as experts on defeating white nationalism, shouldn’t they have to get rid of all the white nationalists in their own ranks first?White nationalists pervade law enforcement. There is a long history of the military, police and other authorities supporting, protecting or even being members of white supremacy groups. But it’s not just history. It was revealed last week that a black man in Michigan came upon KKK materials and Confederate flags in plain view while being shown a home for sale – the home of a police officer on the force for more than 20 years who shot and killed a black man in 2009 without consequence.It’s a widespread pattern. As early as 2006, the FBI flagged it. Another FBI report in 2015, not covered nearly enough, indicated that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers”. (And that’s the FBI, which has its own history of white supremacy affinity groups.)White nationalists connect through online networks and offline groups, and openly share tactics for infiltrating and influencing police departments, border patrol, the FBI and the military. That was the case for a Virginia police officer – assigned to a high school – who was revealed to be a longtime white nationalist and served as a recruiter for Identity Evropa, one of the groups behind the Charlottesville hate rallies and violence. He was not shy about his cover. In chat messages, he “discussed ways to downplay appearances of racism, while still promoting white nationalism”.Another thing many of those like him are not shy about: stoking and celebrating violence, and promoting hateful misinformation and rhetoric. The Plain View Project tracked publicly posted social media material from more than 3,500 confirmed current and retired law enforcement officers, and found that “about 1 in 5 of the current officers, and 2 in 5 of the retired officers, made public posts or comments ... displaying bias, applauding violence, scoffing at due process or using dehumanizing language”. The Center for Investigative Reporting was able to identify almost 400 current and retired law enforcement officials who were members of private Facebook “Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia” groups.We have seen racist text messages and emails among active officers revealed in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and more, including among those in management with direct authority over law enforcement practices. As the Portland case proved, we must come to terms with the depth of association between senior law enforcement and white nationalist leaders and groups – people they should be investigating and thwarting, not encouraging and helping to evade justice.Neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the University of Virginia after marching through the campus with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. Photograph: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesIt would be naive to look at cases in which agencies have dismissed white nationalists from their ranks as an encouraging sign, whether in police departments, border patrol (an agent with a pattern of racist text messages ran over a Guatemalan migrant with a truck), the coast guard (a white nationalist aimed to “murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country”), military units (more Identity Evropa members in the Marines), or anywhere else.In truth, would the level of violence committed by law enforcement in communities of color, and at the border, even be possible if racial hatred weren’t part and parcel of police culture? White nationalists in law enforcement and in many roles in government, such as prosecutors, are dangerous because they routinely abuse their power to attack and debilitate communities of color, including harassment and coercion, financial exploitation, acts of sexual and racially-targeted violence and mass incarceration – all officially sanctioned, and all celebrated as part of the larger white nationalist agenda.Within the FBI, there has been an active movement among white nationalist sympathizers to protect their own by unfoundedly targeting nonviolent black activists: inventing the idea of a black extremist threat to justify surveillance of nonviolent black activists and divert attention from truly violent white nationalist perpetrators. This policy was codified in an internal “Race Paper” that a federal court allowed to remain secret, despite a move for transparency led by my organization, Color Of Change. (And people who have spoken out about internal racism at the FBI have not been treated well.)Investigations have not yet uncovered the extent to which people in law enforcement at all levels are actually involved in white nationalist violence more directly: training and mentorship, advice and tips, offering the social validation that people of color and others are, in fact, the enemy, or offering the social validation that violence is, in fact, the answer.More stories from those who know what’s happening inside law enforcement officers’ lives would help.But we already know enough. We must change the incentives for law enforcement and their unions – financial, social, cultural and otherwise – that allow the denial of this threat to persist. Instead of allowing news media to praise law enforcement as problem-solvers, we must hold them to account for the harm they enable. Lawmakers across the country must also play their role: investigating the extent of the problem, and forcing a purge of white nationalists and their sympathizers from positions of power and influence – everywhere. Fighting white nationalist violence means doubling down on our fight for police accountability.
CNN pundit April Ryan's security guard has been charged with assault after he forcibly removed a local New Jersey reporter from an event at which Ryan was delivering a speech.Charlie Kravotil, editor of New Brunswick Today, claims that Ryan's bodyguard, 30-year-old Joel Morris, approached him during Ryan's speech at The Heldrich Hotel on August 3 and stole his camera after he refused to stop filming.A video of the incident shows Kravotil, who secured press credentials for the event, following Morris into the lobby of the hotel to retrieve his camera. After the local journalist reclaimed his camera, Morris grabbed his arm, placed it behind his back, and shoved him out of the hotel.Morris has been charged with harassment, assault, and theft in connection with the incident.Kravotil says he was invited to the event and was allowed to film for roughly two hours before Ryan took the stage to deliver a speech, at which point Morris stole his camera but allowed other people in the room to continue filming. He called on Ryan to apologize for the incident in a Monday tweet.“She’s been silent about the unacceptable and illegal behavior of her bodyguard, Joel Morris, and we are still waiting for her comment on this unfortunate incident,” Kravotil said in a video posted to Twitter. “Maybe now that there are criminal charges, we might hear something from her. I hope, sincerely, that she does comment and I hope she does condemn this. This is unacceptable. . . . In our country, we have freedom of the press.”Ryan is a vociferous critic of President Trump and routinely disparages him for his rhetorical attacks on the press, even authoring a book on the subject last year entitled Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.
Russia and China warned Tuesday that a new US missile test had heightened military tensions and risked sparking an arms race, weeks after Washington ripped up a Cold War-era weapons pact with Moscow. The US and Russia ditched the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty this month after accusing each other of violating the accord. Washington said the agreement also tied its hands in dealing with other powers such as China.
The Air Force Research Lab and Office of Naval Research are currently developing fast and precise laser weapons that can “burn holes” through enemy targets at the speed of light. Concurrently, the U.S. Navy is developing a laser-application for its Marine Corps F-35B, intended to effectively maintain the stealth fighter for future decades of war.
When Donald Trump targeted mental illness as the cause of the mass shootings that killed 31 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, federal health officials made sure no government experts might contradict him.A Health and Human Services (HHS) directive on 5 August warned communication staffers not to post anything on social media related to mental health, violence and mass shootings without prior approval.
A Florida man was attacked by a kinkajou, a raccoon-like carnivore native to the rain forests of Central and South America.
The daughter of a former Australian prime minister was drawn into the scandal surrounding the Duke of York as it was claimed that Jeffrey Epstein boasted about his friendship with the royal to his alleged victims. Katherine Keating, 37, was identified as the mystery brunette seen waving goodbye to the Duke as she left Epstein's house in New York in 2010. Meanwhile, three new alleged victims sued Epstein's estate for damages. One of them claimed Epstein "bragged" about his connection to the Duke, and "controlled" a series of powerful people, threatening them on the phone. Hundreds of people connected to Epstein, and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, through the New York social scene, are now facing questions over why they did not raise the alarm about the paedophile. Ms Keating is the daughter of Paul Keating, the former Australian prime minister who gained notoriety in the UK in 1992 when he put his arm around the Queen. The breach of protocol led to him being dubbed the "Lizard of Oz." His daughter is a former adviser to the New South Wales government and familiar face in New York society. The video footage showed a young blonde woman leaving Epstein's mansion with him. She shivered in the cold, before going back inside. Later, Ms Keating could be seen departing as the Duke peered from behind the front door. A woman believed to be the daughter of the former leader of Australia was seen leaving Jeffrey Epstein's New York house Credit: Mail on Sunday Paul Keating’s secretary said he was “aware" of the situation but would not be commenting. Ms Keating is understood to be staying with her younger sister, Alexandra, in a secluded home in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. She has spent almost a decade in the US, in November taking up an executive role at Madonna’s record label, Maverick. In the past she had been photographed with the Duke's daughter Eugenie, and with Miss Maxwell. In 2014 she conducted an interview with Miss Maxwell about ocean conservation for the Huffington Post. There is no suggestion that Ms Keating was involved in any of the crimes committed by Epstein, nor any wrongdoing. Ms Keating has previously been photographed with Misha Nonoo, the fashion designer believed to have set up Meghan Markle with Prince Harry, at a 2014 New York Fashion week event. She currently lives in an apartment above an art gallery in the fashionable Cheslea district of Manhattan. The Duke of York Credit: AFP A neighbour said he had not seen Miss Keating for several days, adding "she travels a lot, she's not here much". "I don't really know her but she seems a nice person," he said. Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell earlier this month while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing underage girls. In a string of new legal cases against his estate one woman, who was 17 at the time, claimed he raped her and would brag about his friendships with high-profile figures during her years with him. Priscilla Doe, a pseudonym, was a 20-year-old aspiring dancer when she met Epstein. "Jeffrey Epstein commonly bragged that Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, and the Sultan of Dubai were among his closest friends," her complaint said. "These circumstances caused Plaintiff to believe that Jeffrey Epstein and his organisation was powerful enough to cause her serious harm if she did not strictly follow his and their demands." She claimed Epstein forced her to give "sexual massages" to some of his friends but did not say who. Epstein took his own life in prison Credit: New York State Sex Offender Register The woman also claimed to have overheard Epstein on the phone. Her impression was that Epstein "controlled very powerful and influential people, and that disobeying him would cause serious repercussions for the disobedient party." Additional claims included that Miss Maxwell taught her how to perform sexual acts for Epstein, that she was forced to have sex with another man while Epstein choked her, that she had sex with Epstein while he was on "work release" from prison, and that he forced her to undergo surgery to remove moles on her body. She claimed Epstein introduced her to the Sultan of Dubai and Woody Allen, neither of whom are accused of any wrongdoing. Another complaint from an alleged victim, under the pseudonym Lisa Doe, who was a 17-year-old aspiring dancer when she met Epstein, said: "In implementing his scheme Jeffrey Epstein made it clear that there were many powerful people behind him. "In fact, some of the most powerful people in the world were his best friends. He not only surrounded himself with these types of people, he also bragged about how he controlled them." Epstein signed a will two days before taking his own life in jail. Death of a financier | Jeffrey Epstein’s final days He left his money in a trust, which could mean a long battle over his fortune as alleged victims seek damages. The estate was valued at more than $577 million (£475 million). On Tuesday night it was alleged that Prince Andrew flew on a private jet with Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Roberts. In court papers, seen by The Sun, pilot David Rodgers, 66, said one trip saw Epstein, Prince Andrew and the then 17-year-old Ms Roberts travel to the US Virgin Islands. She claims Prince Andrew had sex with her when she was a teenager. He has always strenuously denied it. Buckingham Palace has branded the allegations "false and without any foundation", stating: "Any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue". Ms Roberts' allegations were later struck from the court record. In releasing the court papers the Federal Appeals Court in New York noted that materials submitted to a court should not be understood as firm findings or "some sort of marker of reliability".
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