President Trump came to the defense of his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden on Sunday, disputing a characterization of the former vice president as a “rabid dog” who “must be beaten to death with a stick.”
A rogue elephant named after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday. The male animal -- nicknamed "Laden" -- was tracked for days by forestry officers and tranquilised on Monday after a deadly October rampage killed five villagers in Goalpara, in the northeastern state of Assam. It was moved to Assam's Orang National Park where officials planned to teach it to patrol wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the state, but said it died early Sunday.
Don’t get too excited about hypersonic weapons, one prominent U.S. defense journalist advised. According to him, we still don’t know for sure whether the Mach-5-plus munitions actually work.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner blamed "thugs" and "bullies" on Sunday for the violence that hit demonstrations the previous day marking marked the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" protests. "Yesterday, what we saw were few (legitimate) demonstrators but thugs, bullies and morons," Castaner told Europe 1 radio when asked about the violence in Paris on Saturday. Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon during the rallies to mark a year since the birth of the anti-government yellow vest movement.
Decommissioned nuclear silo accessed 40ft staircase leading underground was once home to US’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever deployedAll this can be yours for $395,000. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyOne local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate.The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force.The inside of the decommissioned Titan nuclear missile silo in southern Arizona. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyThe silo’s owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he’s “bored”.Ellis said he originally bought the silo to turn into a commercial data storage center because it is shielded from electromagnetic pulses that can scramble electronics, but his plans were waylaid by the economic recession. So far, he said he has rejected serious offers from a buyer who wanted to turn it into a greenhouse for medical marijuana and another who planned to use it as a porn studio.The threshold to tour the property is much higher than for a typical open house. Interested buyers must prove they have the money to cover the $395,000 cost and sign a liability waiver before descending a 40ft staircase into the bunker to tour the property.An aerial view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty Photography“Private yet not too remote,” says the listing for the property, which includes more than 12 acres of desert.There are 18 decommissioned nuclear silos which surround Tucson and were operational from June 1963 into the 1980s. They were on alert to launch, or respond, to nuclear attacks with the Titan II missiles, which carried warheads with nine megatons of explosive power – the equivalent to a yield 600 times that of “Little Boy”, the bomb dropped over Hiroshima.When the bunkers were decommissioned, the government demolished them, filled them with rubble and sealed the entrances with concrete.Another view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyEllis took on a major excavation after purchasing the property, which still includes some original equipment such as floor-to-ceiling springs which isolated each level of the basement from seismic shocks and signs revealing the bunker’s designated smoking area.Premier Media Group created a 3D tour of the bunker which showcases pools of stagnant water and the 6,000lb blast door which can be closed with one hand.For those who can’t provide the paperwork necessary to tour the property, realtors Grant Hampton and Kori Ward recommend a visit to the nearby Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Arizona, which is inside a decommissioned silo.
Five family members have died and a boy was injured after a man shot his family and then turned the gun on himself in San Diego, police say.
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastOverlooked as the nation was riveted by the opening days of the televised impeachment proceedings was an appeals court decision that started a clock ticking for the Supreme Court to finally pick a side in what Attorney General Bill Barr has called a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred war” between Congress and a president who has categorically refused to cooperate with its investigations into his misconduct.Unless the Supreme Court acts, Trump’s taxes—which he has fought furiously to keep hidden since beginning his campaign for the presidency— will be turned over to Congress as soon as Wednesday.Thus, the nation will soon begin to learn whether the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is, as Trump himself hopes, composed of “Trump judges” willing to side with the president in cases where lower courts have shrugged aside the president’s weak arguments for stonewalling investigations into his misconduct.SCOTUS’ Choice: Trump or the Rule of LawOn Wednesday, the full District of Columbia Court of Appeals refused to rehear an Oct. 11, 2019, decision ordering Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars, to turn over his tax returns and other financial records to the House Oversight Committee. On Friday, Trump made an emergency stay application to Chief Justice Roberts, which he is likely to refer to the full Supreme Court. Therefore, unless five justices vote Trump’s way, the tax returns that Trump has hidden for years could be handed over to the Democratic-controlled House in a matter of days.Meantime, on Thursday, Trump filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a New York federal appeals court requiring Mazars to provide the same financial records to a Manhattan grand jury, although that proceeding will be stayed by agreement of the parties while the case remains pending before the court.Neither of these cases is expressly about Congress’ pending impeachment inquiry. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court’s response to Trump’s petitions could well signal if the court is willing to provide support and legitimacy for Trump’s sweeping declaration, yet to find acceptance in the lower courts, that the inquiry is “constitutionally illegitimate.” Indeed, the two cases are reaching the court at a linchpin moment. Trump continues to withhold the testimony of his closest aides from Congress even as he asserts that the evidence of other witnesses should be ignored as “hearsay.” If the Supreme Court fails to support Trump’s categorical stonewalling, his claim that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, and with it his rationale for withholding witnesses and evidence, could lose much of its already weakening political, as well as legal, force.The battle lines have been drawn sharply, both by recent Trump judicial appointees, as well as by Trump’s chief law enforcement officer, and assiduous protector, William Barr. Only three members of the D.C. Circuit dissented from the full appellate court’s refusal to rehear the Mazars decision. Two of them were Trump’s own appointees: Neomi Rao and Gregory Katsas. Katsas, a former Trump administration official, absurdly asserted that Congress’ subpoena for Trump’s wholly personal business records (many of which predate Trump’s presidency) presents a greater “threat to presidential autonomy and independence” than the subpoena for White House tapes the Supreme Court upheld in United States v. Nixon. Just how obtaining presidential tax returns could threaten the autonomy of the president went unexplained.In an extraordinary speech on Friday to the conservative Federalist Society, Barr offered a further explanation of what the president believes is at stake. The attorney general declared that the Democratic Party is now part and parcel of a “Resistance” force, engaged in a “war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.” According to Barr, the “Resistance” force that now controls the House (that is, duly elected representatives) is rallying “around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of [Trump’s] administration.” Barr’s message is clear: Because Trump is the putative victim of an “incendiary” “insurgency” that has declared war on his presidency, the president must be afforded wide latitude in his efforts to resist the “Resistance”—including by outright defying Congress.Neither of the cases now before the Supreme Court are squarely about the House impeachment investigation. The House issued its subpoena to Mazars before commencing the inquiry, and the lower court decisions addressed the power of Congress to obtain presidential records in connection with normal “legislative” oversight, not impeachment. Did Kavanaugh’s Replacement, Neomi Rao, Show the Supreme Court a Path to Justify Trump’s Defiance of Congress?Yet Judge Rao (also a former Trump administration official), who dissented from the initial D.C. Circuit panel decision, has made it extremely clear that the president’s battle against impeachment was at the forefront of her mind. Rao endorsed Trump’s wholly baseless claim that he has “due process” rights in connection with the House impeachment investigation. Rao’s “due process” rationale gives rise to an implication that courts could well back Trump’s efforts to stonewall what the White House has declared to be a “constitutionally illegitimate” impeachment inquiry by refusing to enforce impeachment subpoenas on the ground that Trump’s “rights” have been violated. In their Supreme Court stay petition, Trump’s lawyers echoed Rao’s logic, warning that, “[g]iven the temptation to dig up dirt on political rivals, intrusive subpoenas into the personal lives of Presidents” could “become our new normal in times of divided government.” It is particularly audacious for Trump—who faces impeachment for trying to extort a foreign country into manufacturing dirt on a political rival—to be warning the Supreme Court about the supposed dangers of Congress using formal, legal tools to obtain evidence regarding potential presidential misconduct. But to Trump’s partisans, such congressional intrusions simply cannot be tolerated, given that Congress is, in effect, a battlefield adversary.In his Federalist Society speech, Barr complained about an “encroaching judiciary” that he claimed has improperly taken it upon itself to resolve “turf disputes between the political branches.” But, as the current litigation before the Supreme Court demonstrates, Trump has no problem asking the federal courts to step in to wholly insulate him from congressional oversight, or from the prying eyes of state law enforcement agencies. In fact, Trump’s clear hope is that he can enlist the Supreme Court as his ally in a battle with the “insurgency,” as his attorney general now calls a duly elected house of Congress controlled by a different political party.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.
South Asia's onion crisis has widened, with Bangladesh airlifting supplies of the vegetable and the prime minister claiming prices are so high she has stopped eating them. The spike in Bangladesh has put a staple ingredient for much South Asian food out of reach of the country's poor and follows a similar price hike in India. Prices in Bangladesh rocketed after India banned exports to conserve its own stocks after they were hit first by drought and then by heavy monsoon rains. As prices reached record levels, Bangladesh’s largest opposition party blamed the government for the hike and on Monday called for nationwide protests. The humble bulb is so important to daily cooking in South Asia that shortages have a history of political fallout and a reputation for even toppling governments. One kilo of the vegetable in Bangladesh usually costs 30 taka (27p) but soared to up to 260 taka (£2.37) after India's export ban was imposed. Hours-long queues have formed to purchase the staple of South Asian cuisine Credit: AFP India has seen its own spike in prices after a sharp fall in production and the issue has become a political headache for Delhi. India has already released its national buffer stocks and imposed measures to stop onion hoarding. Hasan Jahid Tusher, deputy press secretary for Bangladesh's prime minister Sheikh Hasina, told AFP onions were being imported by air freight, and that “prime minister said she has stopped using onion in dishes”. None of the dishes at the PM’s residence in Dhaka on Saturday contained onions, he added. Media in Bangladesh reported onion consignments arrived at a major port in Chittagong city on Sunday after the government imported stocks from Myanmar, Turkey, China and Egypt. The increasing prices have pushed onions off restaurant and domestic menus, with Bangladeshis having to adjust their cooking and tastebuds. “Onion has become an essential part of the taste buds of the people of this region, including Bangladesh,” a restaurateur called Shafiqul Islam told bdnews24. “A food can be eatable, but not much delicious without onion. Onion is a must for fish and meat recipes, biriyani and many other dishes.” The state run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has attracted long queues waiting for subsidised onions. “Even if I have to stand another two hours, I will do that. I can save some 250 taka by buying one kilo of TCB onion. I am standing here because I have to save money,” said Ratan, an English teacher. “I am 41 years old. I have never seen onion prices ever crossing beyond 120 taka.” Drought badly hit India's first onion harvest in the spring, while unusually heavy monsoon rains hit the second harvest. The fluctuating price of onions is widely used as an everyday measure of inflation and a sudden inability for the poor to buy them can quickly focus concern over wider economic problems. Indira Ghandi came to power in 1980 citing soaring onion prices as a metaphor for economic failures of the government. The issue dominated state elections in 1998 and again became a political crisis in 2010. India last week said it was importing 100,000 tons of onions in a bid to curb rising prices. Pakistan has meanwhile seen its own vegetable inflation, with a spike in tomato prices. A government finance adviser came in for widespread mockery after he insisted tomatoes were to be found for 17 rupees (8p) per kg. The price is more than 10 times that.
(Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren unveiled proposals Monday aimed at strengthening tenants’ rights and depressing rents, promising that her administration would withhold federal funding from landlords who violated the new standards.The 2020 Democratic presidential contender said she’d create a federal Tenant Protection Bureau, modeled after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a key component of the 2010 Wall Street overhaul legislation that she advocated.Warren said her administration would provide a nationwide right-to-counsel and establish a federal grant program aimed at benefiting low-income tenants facing eviction.“Tenants that organize to take on bad landlords are up against a massive power imbalance,” Warren wrote in a Medium post Monday. “I’ll fight to put power back where it belongs: with tenants, not big corporate landlords.”Warren promised to withhold federal funding from corporate landlords with a history of “harassing” or red-lining tenants and to direct the Federal Housing Administration to deny all financial support to landlords that violate tenants’ rights. Corporate landlords would be required to publicly disclose data like median rent, the number of tenants they’ve evicted and building code violations, as well as the names of any individuals with an ownership interest of 25% or more.Buttigieg Wants Public College Free for Some (6 a.m.)Pete Buttigieg called for spending $120 billion on the Pell Grant program and making public colleges tuition-free for students eligible for those federal grants as part of his proposal released Monday to improve college affordability.Unlike some of his primary opponents, Buttigieg isn’t calling for public colleges to be tuition-free for all students, or for total student-debt cancellation. He’s said families that make over a certain income threshold should pay at least some of the cost of their kids’ higher education. The plan released Monday focuses on helping lower- and middle-income families.The proposal also calls for a $2 billion pilot program to expand the free and reduced-price lunch program to provide food vouchers to students in community college, and for automatically enrolling students who take out loans for college in affordable, income-driven repayment plans. Buttigieg also said he’d support legislation that would allow student-athletes to get paid for the use of their likeness, saying he supports California’s new Fair Pay to Play Act. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor also proposed extending Pell Grants to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients, and increasing funding for historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions by $50 billion. The Buttigieg campaign said details about how the plan would be funded would come at a later date. -- Tyler PagerCOMING UPTen candidates have qualified for the fifth Democratic debate, on Wednesday in Atlanta: Joe Biden, Warren, Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.\--With assistance from Tyler Pager.To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at email@example.com, Kathleen Hunter, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
If you want to understand how impeachment is being seen by actual Americans, there may be no better place to go than Grand Rapids, Mich.
In part that’s because the area around Grand Rapids, comprising Michigan’s Third Congressional District, is one of only about two dozen districts in the nation to vote for Barack Obama and for Donald Trump.