Media

Graeme Gallagher | Contributor

Officials report that 71 people, including 12 children, drowned as a ferry capsized on the Tigris River in Northern Iraq on Thursday.

Nearly 150 people, including 80 women and children, were on board the boat that was destined for a popular tourist island in Mosul as part of the Kurdish New Year celebrations, AP News reports. The overcrowded ferry exceeded the permitted capacity by two times and most of the passengers on board could not swim, reported BBC.

People floating fast down the river and the sunken ferry can be seen in videos released on social media. (RELATED: Before And After: ISIS Literally Turned Mosul Into A Brown Smudge)

Over 50 people have been rescued so far, as ambulances and helicopters arrived to continue the search for survivors and bodies of the victims. A local information source called Mosul Eye tweeted an appeal for people to go down to the river and help with the rescue operation.

The ferry sank halfway on the trip to the island across the river because of a technical problem and high water levels, said Ninevah Mayor Abd al-Sattar Habu.

“The Department of Water Resources warned a few days ago that the level of water will rise as a result of the opening of dams,” said Habu.

The result of high water levels from the dam was reportedly warned by authorities, however, some are accusing the ferry’s operator of ignoring the warnings. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has ordered an investigation into the accident “to determine responsibilities.” (RELATED: Terrifying: This Is What It Is Like To Drown)

General view of the scene where an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul in Iraq, March, 21,2019. (REUTERS/Stringer)

General view of the scene where an overloaded ferry sank in the Tigris river near Mosul in Iraq, March, 21,2019. (REUTERS/Stringer)

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, said that the accident was a “terrible tragedy.”

“This is a terrible tragedy. We express our deep sorrow at the deaths. Our hearts go out to the families and relatives of the victims,” wrote Hennis-Plasschaert. “A thorough investigation will tell us what exactly happened and why there was this loss of life.”

The city of Mosul was captured by the Islamic State group in 2014 and became its de-facto capital. However, U.S. backed Iraqi Security Forces retook and liberated the historic city in the summer of 2017. (RELATED: ISIS Fighters Shaving Beards To Escape Mosul Undetected)

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Net neutrality advocates rally in front of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives will vote in April on a bill to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission under U.S. President Donald Trump.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a letter to colleagues on Thursday seen by Reuters that lawmakers will vote on the bill dubbed the “Save the Internet Act” during the week of April 8.

The bill mirrors an effort last year to reverse the FCC’s December 2017 order that repealed rules approved in 2015 that

barred providers from blocking or slowing internet content or offering paid “fast lanes.”

The reversal of net neutrality rules was a win for internet providers like Comcast Corp, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc, but opposed by content and social media companies like Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc.

The bill would repeal the order introduced by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, bar the FCC from reinstating it or a substantially similar order and reinstate the 2015 net neutrality order. Republicans oppose reinstating the 2015 rules that grant the FCC sweeping authority to oversee the conduct of internet providers.

The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted in May 2018 to reinstate the rules, but the House did not take up the issue before Congress adjourned last year. The White House opposes reinstating the net neutrality rules and it is not clear that proponents will be able to force a vote in the Senate.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

Quote of the Day:

“And here he is demonstrating how it’s possible to be an asshole and a crybaby at the same time.”

— former Rep. Joe Walsh (R), now a radio host, on President Trump‘s latest jabs at the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Trump told a crowd at an Ohio tank factory on Wednesday that he never got “a thank you” for allowing McCain to have the funeral he wanted. McCain died from an intense form of brain cancer eight months ago. One Q: Was McCain supposed to thank him for that before or after he was six feet under?

Journo wants #MeToo movement for fake claims 

“Saw @TPAIN last night and a woman behind me shoved me 3 different times because she couldn’t see (she was maybe 5’2, it was general admission w/ no seating). When I turned around to tell her to stop, she claimed I grabbed her breast. Is there a #MeToo for fake sex claims?” — Eddie Scarry, The Washington Examiner.

The shoving continues… 

“Also, at what point is it okay to physically retaliate when you’re being very aggressively shoved? It was very literally bullying because of the power dynamic: I, male, had no power to act. She, female, knew that and kept shoving me #MeToo.”

“First incident was prior to the show starting. She asked me and friend to move apart so she could see. Obviously not, given we were there together and it was general admission. So she literally used her weight (she was… what’s the word I’m looking for… fat) to move me #MeToo.”

Other women start yelling at her 

“I told her she could stand somewhere up closer but that she couldn’t just take my spot using her weight. I s*** you not, she said to me, ‘I just did.’ Two women who saw what happened started yelling at her and told her she should have gotten here earlier #MeToo.”

“A guy, I assume her bf, eventually took hold of this tiny big girl and pulled her back. She screamed at him for an hour about not being able to see. When show started, that’s when she began, at random, shoving me forward. #MeToo.”

Uh oh…

“The first time it happened, I turned around and she pretended not to even see me. Second time, I turned around and she screams ‘STOP TOUCHING ME!’”

“And btw, this whole time, out of bitterness for being short but large, she held her hand up with her phone in it, camera on. THAT’S how she was viewing the stage and her arm was hitting my head over and over. #MeToo.”

BTW, the concert was great! 

“Each time, her bf would hold her back, as if she was a celebrity he was protecting. Felt embarrassed for him. Why not either leave your violent little gf there alone or maybe take her away? The concert otherwise was great! #MeToo.”

To Mirror readers: I can vouch for Eddie Scarry that he would never grab a woman’s breast.

Joe and Mika are gaga over Pete Buttigieg, campare him to Barack Obama 

“Mika and I have been overwhelmed by the reaction @PeteButtigieg got after being on the show. The only other time in twelve years that we heard from as many people about a guest was after @BarackObama appeared on Morning Joe.” — Joe Scarborough, co-host, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Reaction to the McCain kerfuffle: What the hell, Lindsey Graham? 

“Trump says about McCain that he gave him the kind of funeral he wanted but didn’t get thanked. This is all about the fact that Trump wasn’t invited to McCain’s funeral and that Meghan McCain was clearly talking about him in her eulogy. He’s not over it.” — Yashar Ali, HuffPost, New York Mag.

“I assume he means a thank you from the family. Trump may be a moron but he does understand that dead people can’t talk.” — Jonathan Chait, New York Mag.

“Trump has usually gotten a positive reception at his rallies when he has gone after McCain. But today, at an army tank plant in Lima where POTUS said a third of the workforce is comprised of veterans, there was a very quiet response.” — Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent, NYT.

“Whether it’s right or wrong, Trump has never paid any sort of political price for attacking John McCain, no matter how low or scurrilous the attack. I’m kind of bewildered at folks who think he will start paying one now.— Leon Wolf, managing editor, TheBlaze. (RELATED: If You’re Obsese, Sitting Next To A Journo On An Airplane May Be Unwise) 

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri): “I can’t understand how @LindseyGrahamSC can remain silent when his best friend in the world is trashed by POTUS. For gosh sakes Lindsey.” 

Meghan McCain recently pointedly explained on ABC’s “The View” that it is ex-Sen. Joe Leiberman (D-Conn.) who is her father’s real “best friend.” She shook her head adamantly no when one of the ladies suggested that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was his best friend.

McCain, the talkshow host, then urged her co-host, Joy Behar, to keep talking as she bashed Graham. Graham has tweeted tepidly kind things about Sen. McCain in recent days, but has not condemned or even named Trump when tweeting about the late senator. Trump is supporting Graham in his reelection efforts.

On Wednesday, Graham FINALLY told NBC News, “I think the president’s comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain … I don’t like it when he says things about my friend John McCain.”

As we witnessed in the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Graham is capable of far greater emotion than this. (RELATED: Sen. Graham Explodes On Senate Committee Over Kavanaugh Process) 

Journo accepts his fate amid Trump’s power  

“Trump is gonna be shit talking John McCain and the pee dossier til the day I die and there’s nothing any of us can do about it, and he will be a major force in Republican politics and a kingmaker and a conservative media star long after he’s done presidenting.” — Asawin Suebsaeng, reporter, The Daily Beast.

Journo Love

FNC’s Janice Dean: Dear @MeghanMcCain, I love you. [heart emojis]

ABC “The View” co-host Meghan McCain: Love you too. [heart emoji]

Twitter recommends that a journo follow himself 

This is deep. 

“Pretty sure Twitter just suggested I follow me. Refreshed page too quickly and now can’t get it back. It just happened again. It was suggestion me as a ‘revenant person.’” — Josh Greenman, op-ed editor, New York Daily News.

Daddy gets in NYT for cow news

12-year-old son: I got a 97 on my math test.

Me: That’s nice. Daddy’s in the New York Times for helping a cow get twitter followers.

Andy Lassner, executive producer, The Ellen Show.

Separated at Birth: Pete Buttigieg and Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens

Gossip Roundup

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo really grilled Kellyanne Conway on Trump calling her husband a “whack job.” Here.

Jenny McCarthy recalls the “Mommy Dearest” treatment she endured while working for ABC’s “The View” under Barbara Walters. How will the current ladies react to these memories? McCarthy made the claims in Ramin Setoodeh‘s impending book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Story Inside ‘The View.’  Here. The excerpts were published in Vulture.

Journo Britni de la Cretaz writes about BDSM and finding God. Just before midnight Wednesday, she expressed her fear about publishing this. She wrote, “The most personal thing I’ve written is publishing tomorrow and I might vomit when it does.” Here.

John Hickenlooper, a former Democratic Colorado Governor and now a 2020 hopeful, once took his mom to see Deep Throat. CNN’s Dana Bash asked him about it during a CNN town hall Wednesday night. He was mortified, but answered the question. Here.

Katie Couric once went on a date with Corey Booker. She dished to Wendy Williams about it.

Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked Fox News, claiming hosts on that network intentionally called her by the wrong name.

“By the way: Fox News likes to say my name (incorrectly) as ‘Cortez,’” she tweeted Wednesday, “which I can only imagine is bc that sounds more ‘stereotypically’ Hispanic [and] probably incites more ‘anxiety’ for them.”

Ocasio-Cortez specifically mentioned Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, referring to them as “Ingra,” “Carl” and “Hann” to drive her point home. (RELATED: Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez Join Forces To Threaten Dems Tempted To Vote With GOP)

There’s only one problem with her accusation: it appears to be false. Tom Elliott, founder of Grabien media-clipping service, noted that in a search from the beginning of March to the current date — 20 days worth of programming — Ingraham had never once referred to the freshman lawmaker as “Cortez.”

The Daily Caller performed a similar search over the same time period and discovered that Carlson had never addressed Ocasio-Cortez by any name other than “Ocasio-Cortez” or “AOC” (which she also said was fine).

Yet another search revealed that the only possible offender was Hannity, who referred to Ocasio-Cortez by just the second half of her last name just twice in 20 days. He named her correctly, however, well over 100 times in that same timeframe, so it may be reasonable to assume that, had he actually been intending to call her by the wrong name, it probably would have happened more than 2 percent of the time.

Ocasio-Cortez’s accusation appeared to be a response to segment from Ingraham’s show Tuesday, during which the Fox News host and guest Joe di Genova accused the New York Rep. of effectively turning her accent on and off when it suited her — much in the same way that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been noted to revert to her Arkansas accent when campaigning in certain parts of the country.

WATCH:

In spite of the context, Ocasio-Cortez instead interpreted the segment as proof that Fox News hosts are “uncomfortable” around people from different cultural backgrounds.

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

People take part in a protest against government's plans to overhaul the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, on the Chain Bridge in Budapest.
People take part in a protest against government’s plans to overhaul the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, on the Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, March 21, 2019. The banner reads “Free academy”. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas

March 21, 2019

By Gergely Szakacs

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Around 1,000 people rallied outside the Hungarian Academy of Science (HAS) on Thursday to protest against government moves to overhaul the institution, which scientists say is the latest threat to academic independence.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who took power in 2010, has tightened controls over Hungarian public life, including the courts, the media and the economy, as well as education and now scientific research.

The European Parliament’s main center-right bloc voted on Wednesday to suspend Orban’s Fidesz party amid concerns it has violated European Union principles on the rule of law.

Some of the protesters on Thursday carried EU flags and waved banners saying “Thinking does not harm your health”.

“The Hungarian Academy of Science is a trustee of the preservation and development of Hungarian culture and science,” the Forum of Academy Workers, a movement founded by HAS research staff, said on its Facebook page.

“Yet, our nearly 200-year-old national institution is left fighting for its survival.”

OVERHAUL

The second protest against Orban’s reforms in as many months followed an accord between the ministry overseeing the overhaul and leaders of the academy to separate the science research network from the academy’s teaching institutions.

The research arm would be run by a new management body, with members selected by the government and the academy, according to a joint letter of intent signed early this month.

But HAS staff said the accord, reached as a result of what they called government “blackmail”, was unacceptable.

The academy is solely funded by the government but self-managing, with a network of scientific research bodies employing about 5,000 people.

The rally was due to march to the Innovations and Technology Ministry to wave red cards at minister Laszlo Palkovics, architect of the reform, which is due to take effect at the start of next year.

Orban’s government says the aim of the reform is to reap more economic benefits from scientific research.

“My actions are driven solely by the desire to make the Academy and the entire Hungarian research ecosystem more efficient,” Palkovics told private broadcaster atv.hu.

The demonstrators rejected that argument.

“This is a pretty dangerous tendency when we talk about the need for science to turn a profit immediately and manage scientific life solely according to economic interests,” said 19-year-old student Milan Szabo.

Concerns over the erosion of academic freedom and other democratic rights in Hungary have triggered several anti-government demonstrations in recent months.

(Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

William Davis | Contributor

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke joined the chorus of Democrats and Republicans criticizing President Donald Trump for his renewed attacks on the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Trump has sharply criticized McCain in recent days for his decision to turn over the unverified Steele dossier to the FBI in 2016 — as well as his decisive vote against a bill to repeal Obamacare in 2017. Trump said of the Senate icon, “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.” (RELATED: Lou Dobbs Defends Trump Against GOP Critics Over McCain Comments)

O’Rourke responded on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Thursday, praising McCain for sticking up for then-Senator Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign after a woman made racist comments against the Democratic Nominee. (RELATED: The Media Is Lavishing Praise On McCain After His Passing, But Look At What It Had To Say When He Ran Against Obama)

“I just keep going back to Sen. McCain himself and the example that he set for all of us, running for the presidency in 2008,” O’Rourke said. “That kind of dignity and civility, and mutual respect in our politics is missing right now.”

“The bar was really set by Sen. McCain,” O’Rourke said. “He really was extraordinary in that way.”

Elected officials from both parties have taken Trump to task for his attacks on McCain, and Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently announced his intentions to reintroduce a bill to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after the 6-term Arizona Senator.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Lebanon President Michel Aoun addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg
FILE PHOTO: Lebanon President Michel Aoun addresses the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler/File Photo

March 21, 2019

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. sanctions on Hezbollah are harming Lebanon as a whole, President Michel Aoun said on Thursday ahead of a visit to the country by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The United States deems the heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah group a terrorist organization and has been steadily increasing financial sanctions against it as part of efforts to counter Iran.

Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah has a large armed militia that has helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his eight-year war against rebels, but it is also a political party in Lebanon with seats in the parliament and cabinet.

“Lebanon is within the siege that has been imposed on others, particularly on Iran. And it is passing, as a result of that, through a big crisis,” Aoun told Russian media in Lebanon, the Lebanese Presidency office said.

Sanctions against Hezbollah introduced since 2016 raised fears among Lebanese that U.S. correspondent banks might deem Lebanese banks too risky to do business with, harming a major part of Lebanon’s economy.

However, Lebanon’s Central Bank has repeatedly said that the banking sector is fully compliant with sanctions and that foreign institutions are satisfied with how it implements regulation.

“We don’t expect more measures against the banks,” Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, said.

But he said the “negative impact of the siege on Hezbollah afflicts all Lebanese, as it does the Lebanese banks”.

“Every Lebanese bank has uncertainty about dealing with a depositor, fearing that he has a link with Hezbollah … This mutual fear does not build an economy and sound trade relations,” he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo is due to visit Lebanon on Friday and Saturday after trips to Kuwait and Israel. In Israel, Pompeo described Iran-backed Hezbollah as a risk to the Lebanese.

Aoun is scheduled to visit Russia over March 25-26 after being invited by President Vladimir Putin, Aoun’s office said.

(Writing by Lisa Barrington and Tom Perry; Editing by David Goodman)

Source: OANN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visit the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visit the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem’s Old City March 21, 2019. Abir Sultan/ Pool via REUTERS

March 21, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accompanied Israel’s prime minister on a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday in the first such gesture since Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, angering Palestinians.

The ancient Western Wall, the most sacred prayer site in Judaism, is located in the eastern part of the city that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

Israel has long considered all of Jerusalem as its eternal, indivisible capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they seek in territory Israel took in the June 1967 war.

Shortly after entering office in January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump visited the Western Wall, though without Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Later that year Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy and officially recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, though making clear that he was not prejudging a settlement on where the city’s borders should be.

Since that shift, the U.S. ambassador to Israel has paid visits to the Western Wall along with Netanyahu. Pompeo suggested that his own visit as the top U.S. diplomat in Netanyahu’s presence was significant.

“I think it’s symbolic that a senior American official goes there with the prime minister of Israel,” he told reporters prior to arriving in the walled Old City.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the compound of a Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The elevated plaza above it is the Noble Sanctuary, the third holiest site in Islam, containing the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Pompeo, Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman together approached the wall and each leaned against its massive stones with one hand. Pompeo then placed a prayer note in between the stones, as is customary.

Before going to the wall, he visited the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

Pompeo, now on a Middle East tour, visited Kuwait before Israel and is due to proceed to Lebanon. His trip to Israel, three weeks before a closely contested election, was portrayed in local media as a Trump administration boost for the right-wing Netanyahu.

(Reporting by Rami Amichay; Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

London 2012 Olympic Games
FILE PHOTO: Olympics – London 2012 Olympic Games – Eton Dorney – 28/7/12 Rowing – Men’s Pair Heats – Great Britain’s George Nash and William Satch in action Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Childs

March 21, 2019

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) – Heart surgery and then a shoulder operation came as “a bit of a kick in the teeth” for 2016 Olympic champion rower Will Satch last year but time off the water has provided fresh focus for the hard slog toward next year’s Tokyo Games.

The 29-year-old from Britain’s rowing heartland of Henley-on-Thames stroked Britain’s men’s eight to gold at the Rio de Janeiro Games and says he is now fully motivated and ready for more.

“Having time away has just made me appreciate what it is and why I do it,” he told Reuters.

Satch underwent heart surgery a year ago to treat the hereditary condition of atrial fibrillation, while a ruptured shoulder has kept him mostly on an exercise bike since December.

The heart problem, previously managed with tablets, had become increasingly an issue ahead of Rio and had to be addressed.

“If I’m honest, I just wanted to get Rio done and then I was going to get out,” said Satch at the launch of the SAS Ranking Points Index, which aims to help identify future elite talent as well as making club rowing closer and fairer.

“A lot of my friends retired and it would have been very easy to follow suit.

“But I’m potentially a little bit masochistic…I enjoy the pain and the training and I like building camaraderie. I do miss the old guys but now we’ve got this new group and I’m really excited to try and do it again in a different way.”

GROBLER SMILE

Satch tells a story about veteran Olympic rowing coach Juergen Grobler, a famous task-master, that shines a light on the team spirit within what has become a medal machine for Britain.

In Rio, while team mates savored their moment in the media spotlight, the dehydrated athlete spent an hour and a half trying to provide a urine sample in the confines of an air-conditioned room.

Grobler, a former East German who has mentored champions at every Olympics since Munich in 1972 and can claim to be the most successful coach in world sport, waited outside. At the end, the two men walked away together.

“I was like ‘We are going to have this conversation now, we’re on. This is going to be an emotional moment,’” recalled Satch with a smile.

“And we’re walking back and I probably got 15-20 seconds out of him, and the walk was 10 minutes long. And in my head I was thinking ‘I’ve just trained four years to get a smile out of this man’.

“I got it, but it was very short-lived. And potentially that’s why I’m back.

“I want it again. A few seconds.”

Now 72, Grobler has hinted he will retire after the Tokyo Games and is likely to add to the list of 33 gold medalists under his watch so far.

With Britain, he has personally coached gold medal-winning crews at every Games since 1992 — the first two with five-times gold medalist Steve Redgrave and four-times champion Matthew Pinsent.

“He’s as passionate as ever. And that’s the biggest thing. You’ve got to have passion. Without passion, what’s the point?,” said Satch.

“He doesn’t even need to say that much. It’s just having that inspiration around you is very special.”

Satch’s own future looks likely to lie more with the four than the eight when it comes to Tokyo selection.

Winner of a bronze medal with George Nash in the pairs at his home 2012 London Olympics, Satch joined Moe Sbihi, Matthew Tarrant and Matt Rossiter in the coxless four that took bronze at the 2017 world championships in Florida.

“I just want to be in the top boat, whatever that is,” he said. “I’m very excited about the eight although I’ve been there and done it. The pair is a very special boat to me, my debut was the Olympics with my best friend in that boat.

“And then the four is something I haven’t really done. I haven’t had a fair crack at it because I had that heart issue leading into the 2017 worlds.

“I feel like I could potentially do any boat if I am at my best.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

Matt M. Miller | Contributor

Democratic 2020 presidential candidate and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper questioned why female 2020 candidates weren’t being asked if they would consider male running mates.

Asked by Dana Bash if he would vow to put a woman on his presidential ticket, John Hickenlooper replied, “Of course,” and then said, “How come we’re not asking, more often, the women, ‘Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?’” #CNNTownHall pic.twitter.com/AC7hWtyZ7D

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Hickenlooper at a presidential town hall Wednesday, “Governor, some of your male competitors have vowed to put a woman on the ticket. Yes or no, would you do the same?” (RELATED: Former Colorado Governor Joins Growing List Of 2020 Dem Hopefuls)

“Of course,” Hickenlooper replied. He then proceeded to ask Bash a question of his own: “How come we’re not asking more often the women: ‘Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?’”

His question was met with silence from the audience.

“When we get to that point, I’ll ask you that question,” Bash responded.

A spokesperson for Hickenlooper, Lauren Hitt, addressed criticism towards the Hickenlooper’s question on Twitter, attempting to clarify Hickenlooper’s intended arguement, “Making the point that the media too often discounts the chances of women winning the nomination themselves.” (RELATED: Is There A Place For Moderate John Hickenlooper In A Democratic Party That Embraces The Green New Deal?)

Several other male Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have encountered the same question regarding their vice president selection.

When asked if he would consider a female running mate, former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke said, “That would be my preference.”

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed that he will be looking for a young female candidate upon announcement of his 2020 presidential bid.

“I think we would look for somebody who is maybe not of the same gender that I am, and maybe someone who might be a couple of years younger than me, and somebody who can take the progressive banner as vice president and carry it all over this county,” Sanders said to the Young Turks. “I’m not going to box myself in, but should I become [the presidential nominee], you know I’ll be looking to women first.” Sanders continued.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker stated outright that “there will be a woman on the ticket,” to reporters last week.

Source: The Daily Caller

Graeme Gallagher | Contributor

Six people have been killed and 30 are seriously injured after a chemical plant explosion in eastern China on Thursday.

Occurring at around 2:50 p.m. local time, the blast at the Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical factory, which produces fertilizer and pesticides, created a fireball and billowing clouds over the industrial park area in Yancheng, Jiangsu, province, according to BBC.

Damaging further buildings in the radius, the explosion is believed to have caused a 2.2-magnitude earthquake that was recorded by China’s earthquake administration at the same time as the factory erupted.

Videos and images of the deadly explosion have surfaced social media. (RELATED: Multiple Fatalities After Explosion Devastates Kindergarten In China)

Shockwaves from the explosion shattered nearby windows of residential buildings and destroyed cars, injuring many through flying debris. Children are among those injured as online maps show 10 schools are within the 5K radius of the explosion.

“Workers were trapped after buildings were knocked down by the shock wave, which also shattered windows of nearby homes,” reported state-run news agency Xinhua. “Witnesses said many workers were seen running out of the factory covered in blood after the blast.”

A total of 176 fire trucks and 928 firefights have been sent to the site for rescue operations and to combat the ongoing flames from the blast. (RELATED: China Backs Venezuela’s Claim That Blackout Is Result Of U.S. Sabotage, Offers Help)

Paramilitary police officers and a medical staff transfer an injuried man as smoke rises from an explosion site behind them in Yancheng in China's eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Paramilitary police officers and a medical staff transfer an injuried man as smoke rises from an explosion site behind them in Yancheng in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on March 21, 2019. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The chemical company, Tianjiayi Chemical, was founded in 2007 and was listed by the State Administration of Work Safety to have had 13 safety problems, including a lack of safety training among management, at the plant. In addition, the company has received past punishments for “failures regarding solid waste management, environmental impact assessments and air pollution,” according to the South China Morning Post.

Industrial accidents have become prevalent in the East Asian country, as poor safety regulations have led to past factory explosions.

Two massive explosions, linked to haphazard management of explosive materials and poor regulations, in the port of Tianjin killed more than 160 people in 2015. Similarly, another explosive, due to problems in their safety management systems, in the Hebei province, near Beijing, killed 23 people last year.

Source: The Daily Caller

John Lott | President, Crime Prevention Research Center

Ever since the 2016 campaign, Democrats and the media have asserted that President Trump has failed to distance himself from white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The fact that White House staffers must answer these questions shows how far out of kilter the discussion has gone.

A Monday headline in the Washington Post read: “Trump’s top staffer doesn’t believe his boss is a white supremacist. Many Americans disagree.” Acting White House Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney left no equivocation: “The president is not a white supremacist.”

On the Sunday edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) claimed that President Trump “needs to do better” at condemning white nationalism. “The leadership, the administration — when they continue to stay silent, it’s going to increase,” said Tlaib.

Host Jake Tapper agreed: “I don’t think moderate Republicans are doing enough to hold President Trump accountable for his rhetoric.”

Last August, Bloomberg ran the headline, “Trump Still Fails to Condemn Racism a Year After Charlottesville.” The article went on to claim, “He has refused to distance himself from white supremacists like Duke.”

These media depictions are so extreme that they are easily proven false. If Trump “stayed silent” and really “refused to distance himself,” there shouldn’t be any statements to the contrary. Yet, there are dozens of them.

Take this exchange with a reporter a couple of days after the Charlottesville riots in 2017.

TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. . . . I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.  

REPORTER: I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?  

TRUMP: No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee. . . .

So what exactly is unclear? It’s hard to see how any rational person could think that Trump wasn’t condemning neo-Nazis. Was “very bad people” not strong enough? Should he have said, “very, very bad people”?

Or how about another Trump statement in the aftermath of the riots? “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”  

No matter how many times Trump specifically singles out white supremacists, his other blanket condemnations of bigotry convince the media that he really supports racists. This tweet from August didn’t pass the media smell test: “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”  

How many times does Trump have to disavow David Duke and others like him before the media will concede the point?

“David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” in March 2016. “I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? I disavowed him in the past, I disavow him now.”

After the election, the New York Times asked Trump about the “alt-right.” The president-elect replied, “I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn.”

On CBS’ 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl asked Trump about reports of his supporters using racial slurs and making personal threats against blacks, Latinos and gays. Trump replied, “I am very surprised to hear that.” When Stahl asked if he had a message for these offenders, Trump was firm: “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”

The media is factually wrong about Trump. At this point, there can be no doubt that journalists who claim that Trump has failed to condemn white supremacists are wildly inaccurate. If people read the full transcripts of Trump’s statements on Charlottesville or David Duke, the media will have no credibility left.

John R. Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author, most recently, of “The War on Guns.”


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Michel Temer arrives for a breakfast with foreign media at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO: Former Brazil’s President Michel Temer arrives for a breakfast with foreign media at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

March 21, 2019

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s former president Michel Temer was arrested on Thursday as part of the sweeping anti-corruption investigation known as “Car Wash”, a source involved in the case told Reuters.

Temer was president from 2016 to 2018, taking office following the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks; Additional reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Marcelo Rochabrun)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Michel Temer arrives for a breakfast with foreign media at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO: Former Brazil’s President Michel Temer arrives for a breakfast with foreign media at Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

March 21, 2019

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s former president Michel Temer was arrested on Thursday as part of the sweeping anti-corruption investigation known as “Car Wash”, a source involved in the case told Reuters.

Temer was president from 2016 to 2018, taking office following the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks; Additional reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Marcelo Rochabrun)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika looks at journalists after casting his ballot during the parliamentary election in Algiers
FILE PHOTO: Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika looks at journalists after casting his ballot during the parliamentary election in Algiers, Algeria, May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Lamine Chikhi and Aidan Lewis

ALGIERS/CAIRO (Reuters) – Protests that brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets in Algeria over the past month led President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to scrap plans to run for a fifth term.

He postponed an election originally set for April and announced that experts would oversee a transition to a “new system” in coming months. Protesters say this is not enough.

WHAT CAUSED THE PROTESTS?

The immediate cause was Bouteflika’s candidacy. Calls for protests spread after it was confirmed on Feb. 10. Mass rallies began on Feb. 22, and numbers rose over the following two Fridays. After Bouteflika abandoned plans to stand but stopped short of stepping down — raising the prospect that he would stay in power for the rest of the year — the protests swelled.

More broadly, protests drew on frustration among millions of Algerians who feel politically and economically excluded, and resentment against an aging and secretive elite that has controlled Algeria since independence from France in 1962.

President since 1999, Bouteflika became a symbol of an independence generation that clung to power. He oversaw a return to stability after a civil war in the 1990s but in his second decade in power was incapacitated and mostly absent from public life, fuelling a sense of drift and decline.

Plans to diversify the economy away from oil stalled in a sclerotic system many saw as corrupt and riven with cronyism.

HOW DID BOUTEFLIKA SURVIVE SO LONG?

Major Islamist groups were discredited by the 1990s war and along with a liberal opposition were coopted or excluded when it ended. As the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) reasserted itself, political apathy set in and election turnouts dropped.

When uprisings swept the region in 2011, Algeria used a heavy security and oil money to curtail demonstrations.

There were frequent local protests, but these demanded state resources, not political change. Factional battles played out in the domestic media, relatively free by regional standards. Then, as now, neither ruling elite factions nor Bouteflika and his entourage appeared able to agree on a succession plan.

WHO HAS BEEN RUNNING THE COUNTRY?

Bouteflika has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, but by then he had already sidelined or outlived the generals who brought him to power. General Mohamed “Toufik” Mediene, head of military intelligence and the man widely seen to be the real center of power in Algeria, departed in 2015.

While the army remained Algeria’s most powerful institution, an informal clique around the presidency amassed more influence, including Bouteflika’s younger brother Said. An emerging business elite profiting from surging oil income also benefited.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SCENARIOS NOW?

Bouteflika announced that an “independent and inclusive” national conference would draft and new constitution and set a date for elections, and should conclude its work by the end of the year. An interim, technocratic government is being formed.

But this plan has been cast into doubt as Bouteflika’s position has weakened. Protesters want him to step down when his five-year term ends in April and say their goal is sustain pressure and prevent infiltration from “Bouteflika’s system”.

Chief of staff Gaed Salah has said the army should take responsibility for solving the crisis but so far it has been waiting in the wings. The army is more reluctant to intervene directly than in the past. Its decision to cancel parliamentary elections in 1992 that Islamists were poised to win triggered the conflict that left up to 200,000 people dead.

Islamism is in decline, and a new leader may come from the political mainstream. Ahmed Benbitour, a former prime minister, and Mustapha Bouchachi, a rights activist and lawyer, are among those emerging as protest leaders.

WHAT CHALLENGES DO PROTESTERS FACE?

Protesters are trying to remain peaceful. From the start, they have worried that factions within the security forces may provoke violence to discredit protesters, or that demonstrations could turn violent when protesters’ demands are not met.

Another challenge is to find leaders with enough experience and broad support — those who served under Bouteflika may be discredited in the eyes of protesters.

Protesters fear that factions holding power and associated patronage networks will look to survive even as they abandon Bouteflika. Most observers believe that while Bouteflika and his clique will leave power, the system around them will remain.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Algeria is Africa’s biggest country by landmass and has a population of more than 40 million. It is a major oil and gas producer and OPEC member, and a top supplier of gas to Europe.

Western states see Algeria as a counter-terrorism partner. It is a significant military player in North Africa and the Sahel, and diplomatically involved in crises in Mali and Libya.

Algeria also backs the Polisario Front independence movement in Western Sahara, in opposition to its neighbor Morocco.

(Writing by Aidan Lewis, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

European Union leaders summit in Brussels
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker talks to the media as she arrives for a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

March 21, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – There will be an extraordinary EU leaders meeting next week if the British parliament votes down for the third time the Brexit deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May, the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said.

“In the event the Withdrawal Agreement would not be approved by the House of Commons, we will have a second meeting of the European Council next week,” Juncker told reporters on entering an EU summit in Brussels.

(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska)

Source: OANN

Acting President of Kazakhstan Tokayev shakes hands with his predecessor Nazarbayev during a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana
FILE PHOTO: Acting President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (R) shakes hands with his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev during a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana, Kazakhstan March 20, 2019. Kazakh Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

March 21, 2019

ALMATY (Reuters) – Nursultan Nazarbayev remains omnipresent in Kazakh politics days after his surprise resignation, hinting he will effectively retain a share of power with the loyalist parliament speaker who automatically stepped into his shoes.

In stepping down on Tuesday, Nazarbayev, the only ruler Kazakhstan has known since the Soviet era almost three decades ago, formally elevated Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the presidency -though Nazarbayev kept other senior decision-making posts.

The arrangement might be reassuring to investors in the major energy-producing country who hope the 78-year-old Nazarbayev would oversee a smooth transition of power to a permanent successor – who has yet to be identified.

On Thursday, Nazarbayev and Tokayev together spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin’s office said in a statement – an unusual move for the Kremlin leader who usually talks one-on-one with counterparts.

Putin expressed confidence that Nazarbayev “will continue to actively take part in work aimed at strengthening the cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union”, a Moscow-led trade bloc of former Soviet republics.

Putin and Tokayev also agreed the latter would visit Russia in the near future.

In another display of closeness, Nazarbayev and Tokayev took part on Thursday in festivities in the capital Astana related to the Nowruz holiday celebrated on the spring equinox across Central Asia and parts of the Middle East.

Astana itself is now being renamed Nur-Sultan on Tokayev’s suggestion, despite some opposition from residents.

Photographs published by the president’s office showed Nazarbayev wearing a traditional Kazakh coat and fur hat and waving to onlookers, shaking hands with people and blessing newlyweds, with a smiling Tokayev by his side.

Official media now routinely refer to Nazarbayev as Yelbasy, the national leader.

Tokayev’s first personnel decision was nominating Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter Dariga for the Senate speaker position he had vacated, raising the likelihood that she would eventually take over as full-time president.

Tokayev is set to serve for the rest of Nazarbayev’s term, which ends in April 2020. No candidates have yet announced plans to run in elections then, but there is little doubt that the one who secures Nazarbayev’s backing would win.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

Acting President of Kazakhstan Tokayev shakes hands with his predecessor Nazarbayev during a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana
FILE PHOTO: Acting President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (R) shakes hands with his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev during a joint session of the houses of parliament in Astana, Kazakhstan March 20, 2019. Kazakh Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

March 21, 2019

ALMATY (Reuters) – Nursultan Nazarbayev remains omnipresent in Kazakh politics days after his surprise resignation, hinting he will effectively retain a share of power with the loyalist parliament speaker who automatically stepped into his shoes.

In stepping down on Tuesday, Nazarbayev, the only ruler Kazakhstan has known since the Soviet era almost three decades ago, formally elevated Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the presidency -though Nazarbayev kept other senior decision-making posts.

The arrangement might be reassuring to investors in the major energy-producing country who hope the 78-year-old Nazarbayev would oversee a smooth transition of power to a permanent successor – who has yet to be identified.

On Thursday, Nazarbayev and Tokayev together spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin’s office said in a statement – an unusual move for the Kremlin leader who usually talks one-on-one with counterparts.

Putin expressed confidence that Nazarbayev “will continue to actively take part in work aimed at strengthening the cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union”, a Moscow-led trade bloc of former Soviet republics.

Putin and Tokayev also agreed the latter would visit Russia in the near future.

In another display of closeness, Nazarbayev and Tokayev took part on Thursday in festivities in the capital Astana related to the Nowruz holiday celebrated on the spring equinox across Central Asia and parts of the Middle East.

Astana itself is now being renamed Nur-Sultan on Tokayev’s suggestion, despite some opposition from residents.

Photographs published by the president’s office showed Nazarbayev wearing a traditional Kazakh coat and fur hat and waving to onlookers, shaking hands with people and blessing newlyweds, with a smiling Tokayev by his side.

Official media now routinely refer to Nazarbayev as Yelbasy, the national leader.

Tokayev’s first personnel decision was nominating Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter Dariga for the Senate speaker position he had vacated, raising the likelihood that she would eventually take over as full-time president.

Tokayev is set to serve for the rest of Nazarbayev’s term, which ends in April 2020. No candidates have yet announced plans to run in elections then, but there is little doubt that the one who secures Nazarbayev’s backing would win.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic poses during an interview with Reuters in Belgrade, Serbia
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic poses during an interview with Reuters in Belgrade, Serbia, September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Djordje Kojadinovic

March 21, 2019

By Aleksandar Vasovic and Ivana Sekularac

BELGRADE (Reuters) – The failure to revive talks between Serbia and Kosovo on normalizing relations could destabilize the Western Balkan region still recovering from the wars of the 1990s, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday.

Twenty years after NATO bombed the now-defunct Yugoslavia to halt Serbia’s brutal crackdown on Albanians in Kosovo, its former southern province, talks are stalled.

Albanian-majority Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and won recognition from the United States and most EU countries, but not Serbia or its big power patron Russia, and some 4,000 NATO troops remain to safeguard peace in the tiny country.

Both countries must fully normalize ties, before either could progress further on their way to join the European Union.

“Every day of delays could create conditions in which one spark could set the region on fire. The Western countries should know that,” Vucic told Reuters in an interview.

“That is the danger … when national sentiments are stoked.”

In response to Serbia’s bid to prevent Kosovo’s membership in international organizations, Pristina imposed 100 percent tariffs on goods imported from Serbia, something that could cost the Serbian economy 600 million euros in one year, around 0.4 percent of GDP.

To restore the dialogue, Serbia wants those taxes abolished, a move supported by the EU and the United States.

What any settlement could look like is unclear. Both Vucic and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci have floated ideas about a “correction of borders” or “delimitation” – terms interpreted by analysts as land swaps.

The West sees the integration of the entire region into the EU and NATO as a way to maintain regional stability.

“Our accession to the European Union depends on the dialogue with Pristina and whether one day we will manage to reach a deal,” Vucic said, adding that he expected Germany, France or the EU to become more active in the negotiating process.

“I think we will see some of their initiatives in the near future,” he said, without elaborating.

Vucic, in power since 2012, said he had no plan to resign or call early elections, something demanded by thousands in opposition protests that started last December accusing his government of cronyism, corruption and stifling media freedoms, something he denies.

(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Source: OANN

Rescue workers are seen near smoke following an explosion at a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui
Rescue workers are seen near smoke following an explosion at a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui county, Yancheng, Jiangsu province, China March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

March 21, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – An explosion at an industrial park in eastern China killed six people on Thursday and seriously injured 30, authorities and state media said.

Rescue efforts were going on, authorities in the city of Yancheng, in Jiangsu province, said in a statement. State media said authorities were investigating the cause of the blast.

Video footage and images on state media showed a fire and shattered windows in nearby buildings.

Among the injured were children at a kindergarten near the industrial park, state media said.

Public anger over safety standards has grown in China over industrial accidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires that have marred three decades of swift economic growth.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee and Min Zhang; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Rescue workers are seen near smoke following an explosion at a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui
Rescue workers are seen near smoke following an explosion at a chemical industrial park in Xiangshui county, Yancheng, Jiangsu province, China March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

March 21, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – An explosion at an industrial park in eastern China killed six people on Thursday and seriously injured 30, authorities and state media said.

Rescue efforts were going on, authorities in the city of Yancheng, in Jiangsu province, said in a statement. State media said authorities were investigating the cause of the blast.

Video footage and images on state media showed a fire and shattered windows in nearby buildings.

Among the injured were children at a kindergarten near the industrial park, state media said.

Public anger over safety standards has grown in China over industrial accidents ranging from mining disasters to factory fires that have marred three decades of swift economic growth.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee and Min Zhang; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Corbyn and EU's Chief Brexit Negotiator Barnier meet in Brussels
Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the media after a meeting with European Union’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels, Belgium March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

March 21, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said after meeting the EU’s Brexit negotiator that he will push ahead with Brexit and seek to renegotiate the terms of the divorce deal.

Corbyn’s meeting with Michel Barnier on Thursday came as Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to get her divorce deal through parliament and has asked the EU for an extension to negotiations.

“Our determination is to find an agreement, which means we prevent a no-deal Brexit, and that we have a future constructive relationship with the European Union that could be negotiated during an extension period,” Corbyn told reporters.

He added: “This morning’s meetings have been positive and we have done what I believe the government ought to be doing, which is instead of bringing back a twice-rejected deal to the British parliament, looking for a constructive alternative.”

(Reporting By Elizabeth Piper. Writing by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: People carry national flags and banners during a protest calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, in Algiers
FILE PHOTO: People carry national flags and banners during a protest calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit, in Algiers, Algeria March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Lamine Chikhi

ALGIERS (Reuters) – One of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s few remaining allies in the face of mass protests, business leader Ali Haddad, is facing pressure to quit as head of Algeria’s main business association, a move that would further weaken the embattled head of state.

Bouteflika’s long-time strategic partners, from members of the governing FLN party to trade unionists, have abandoned the president, peeling away layers of his ruling elite.

The 82-year-old president also relied on influential figures like Ali Haddad, who has made billions through public works projects awarded by the government and investments in the media.

He also funded Bouteflika’s election campaigns and heads the FCE, a top business association whose leaders have been long-time supporters of the president.

The forum for entrepreneurs has been hit by a series of resignations from members who have turned their backs on Bouteflika since the protests began on Feb 22.

“Voices inside the FCE exist and they have publicly called for an extraordinary General Assembly to replace Ali Haddad,” said Laid Benamor, former vice president of the organization, who resigned from it after the demonstrations began.

“He is today associated with cronyism and favors. The union must return to its original purpose, an apolitical economic space, to regain credibility.”

Haddad was not immediately available for comment.

A second businessman, Ourahmoune Nabil, described Haddad as one of the symbols of Bouteflika’s system of rule and added that he must go, echoing public sentiment.

“There won’t be a real change if Bouteflika leaves and Haddad stays,” he said.

The FCE was not immediately available for comment.

NO CLEAR SUCCESSOR

Bouteflika, 82, who has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke five years ago, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to stand for a fifth term.

But he stopped short of stepping down and said he would stay in office until a new constitution is adopted, effectively extending his present term.

His move failed to placate Algerians, who want veterans of the 1954-1962 independence war against France who dominate the establishment to step aside so a new generation of leaders can create jobs, fight corruption and introduce greater freedoms.

Even if Bouteflika quits, Algerians could face a new crisis. There is no clear successor who has won the backing of the army and is younger than 70.

One option, experts say, is to create a high council of state that will set a date for general elections.

Bouteflika and his inner circle have built a multi-layered network of power over the years that includes the military — which often orchestrates politics from behind the scenes.

On Wednesday, army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah threw his weight behind protesters, saying they have expressed “noble aims”.

The ruling National Liberation Front party, known by its French acronym FLN, has also sided with the demonstrators, leaving Bouteflika more vulnerable than ever.

(Writing by Michael Georgy, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

Derek Hunter | Contributor

On the show today, there are two main points: When you attack a dead guy, no matter how true your attacks may be, it drowns out whatever message you’re hoping to get across; and progressives will never miss an opportunity to chip away at the rights of individuals, even if it means standing on a pile of bodies to do it.

Listen to the show:

President Donald Trump had some great economic news to talk about in Ohio yesterday, but a five-minute tangent of criticizing the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was all anyone was talking about when his speech was done. The best thing the President has going for his reelection is just how crazy Democrats have become, but the worst thing he has going for him is his ability to stop all over his own message.

It’s one thing to counter-punch, which the president usually does and does well. It’s another to punch down. Yesterday, Trump not only punched down; he punched the ground — a grave. No matter how valid the criticisms were, they come across as unseemly when the target is dead. We make the case (and expect to catch outrage over it – let the hate email flow).

New Zealand is moving to ban every type of gun the Mosque terrorist attack shooter used and any accessory they could think of. Liberals in the United States immediately cheered the move and called for similar action here. The problem for them is, in New Zealand, owning a gun is a privilege. In the United States, it is a right. It’s why Democrats are talking about packing the Supreme Court; they want to control any institution they can use to impose their will on the American people.

A woman in the U.K. is under investigation for a possible hate crime because she used the “wrong pronoun” to describe a trans person on Twitter. Meanwhile, a program to educate kids on LGBT issues is being halted in Birmingham because the Muslim community complained about it. It’s the insanity of intersectionality come to life.

Finally, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Fox News hosts of calling her “Cortez” because they’re racists and she’s Hispanic. The only problem is, as usual, it was a complete lie. She won’t apologize because, well, no one will hold her accountable.

Political correctness is fascism, and fascism is on the march.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Derek Hunter | Contributor

On the show today, there are two main points: When you attack a dead guy, no matter how true your attacks may be, it drowns out whatever message you’re hoping to get across; and progressives will never miss an opportunity to chip away at the rights of individuals, even if it means standing on a pile of bodies to do it.

Listen to the show:

President Donald Trump had some great economic news to talk about in Ohio yesterday, but a five-minute tangent of criticizing the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was all anyone was talking about when his speech was done. The best thing the President has going for his reelection is just how crazy Democrats have become, but the worst thing he has going for him is his ability to stop all over his own message.

It’s one thing to counter-punch, which the president usually does and does well. It’s another to punch down. Yesterday, Trump not only punched down; he punched the ground — a grave. No matter how valid the criticisms were, they come across as unseemly when the target is dead. We make the case (and expect to catch outrage over it – let the hate email flow).

New Zealand is moving to ban every type of gun the Mosque terrorist attack shooter used and any accessory they could think of. Liberals in the United States immediately cheered the move and called for similar action here. The problem for them is, in New Zealand, owning a gun is a privilege. In the United States, it is a right. It’s why Democrats are talking about packing the Supreme Court; they want to control any institution they can use to impose their will on the American people.

A woman in the U.K. is under investigation for a possible hate crime because she used the “wrong pronoun” to describe a trans person on Twitter. Meanwhile, a program to educate kids on LGBT issues is being halted in Birmingham because the Muslim community complained about it. It’s the insanity of intersectionality come to life.

Finally, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Fox News hosts of calling her “Cortez” because they’re racists and she’s Hispanic. The only problem is, as usual, it was a complete lie. She won’t apologize because, well, no one will hold her accountable.

Political correctness is fascism, and fascism is on the march.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson MP speaks to media after the DUP annual party conference in Belfast
FILE PHOTO: Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson MP speaks to media after the DUP annual party conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland November 24, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

March 21, 2019

By Padraic Halpin

DUBLIN (Reuters) – The small Northern Irish party that props up British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is no closer to backing her EU divorce agreement as talks between the sides continue, the party’s Brexit spokesman said on Thursday.

The Democratic Unionist Party’s (DUP) 10 lawmakers in London have twice opposed the agreement May struck with the European Union and their support is vital if she is to stand any chance of reversing two heavy defeats.

“No, we’re not yet. We will however continue to talk to the prime minister because we think it is our duty to try and undo some of the damage included in the Withdrawal Agreement,” the DUP’s Sammy Wilson told Irish national broadcaster RTE when asked if they were any closer to backing the deal.

“We have made it quite clear that unless there is a legal means by which Northern Ireland would not be treated differently from the United Kingdom, not just assurances or promises but acting legislation, we will not be supporting the Withdrawal Agreement.”

May made an impassioned appeal to British lawmakers to support her on Wednesday after the EU said it could only grant her request to delay Brexit for three months if parliament next week backed her plans for leaving.

Wilson described the plea, in a televised address, as an attempt by the prime minister to try to shift the blame from “her own incompetent negotiations” and said she seemed to lump all those who voted against the deal together.

In a bid to win over the DUP, May also said on Wednesday that she intended to put forward further domestic proposals to protect the internal market of the United Kingdom.

Wilson said any proposals to keep Northern Ireland aligned with the rest of the United Kingdom would also have to be acceptable to the faction of Brexit hardliners in May’s own Conservative Party who are opposed to her deal and want a clean break from the EU.

“There is no point in us agreeing to something that is not deliverable anyway, nor do we have any intention of doing so. That’s why there are a lot of gaps in the negotiations at present. We will continue to talk but time is running out,” he said.

“It seems that if the agreement ever comes back to the House of Commons next week, those matters are not going to be resolved.”

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Police search the dorm room of Mashal Khan, accused of blasphemy, who was killed by a mob at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan
FILE PHOTO: Police search the dorm room of Mashal Khan, accused of blasphemy, who was killed by a mob at Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan, Pakistan April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Fayaz Aziz/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Jibran Ahmed

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – A Pakistani anti-terrorism court sentenced two men, including a local government official, to life in prison on Thursday for their role in the brutal campus lynching two years ago of a university student accused of blasphemy.

Mashal Khan, 23, was attacked and killed by a mob on the campus of a university in Mardan, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, following a dormitory debate about religion.

In February last year the court convicted 31 people, sentencing one person to death, while acquitting 26 others.

A joint investigation team had later found the blasphemy allegations against Mashal Khan to be false.

Outrage over the killing raised concerns about the misuse of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws, which stipulate the death sentence for insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad.

On Thursday the court sentenced two more men to life imprisonment, while acquitting two others.

Arif Khan, a local government official who had been a member of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was convicted for provoking and participating in the lynch mob.

The court ruling noted two videos in which Khan is seen “torturing Mashal” and “congratulating his co-accused for committing the murder”.

Khan’s grave continues to be guarded by police, due to fears that it will be defaced by religious hardliners despite his name being cleared of blasphemy.

In a separate case in the eastern city of Bahawalpur, a college student was arrested and charged on Wednesday for stabbing his English professor to death. Police said the student was angered by a farewell party that the professor was organizing, believing it was un-Islamic as women would attend.

In a video of his pre-interrogation released on social media, the student confessed to stabbing his professor Khalid Hameed, saying he “spoke against Islam” and that “it’s a good thing” he died.

He said he had not reported his professor to the authorities because “the law protects blasphemers”.

(Additional reporting and writing by Saad Sayeed; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

An anti-Brexit protester waves an EU flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London
An anti-Brexit protester waves an EU flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

March 21, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 700,000 people have rushed to sign a petition on the British parliament’s website calling for the government to revoke its divorce notice to the European Union and remain in the bloc.

Attracting thousands of signatures every few minutes, the petition took off in the hours after Prime Minister Theresa May made a televised address to the country late on Tuesday, criticizing squabbling lawmakers for failing to agree an exit strategy and telling parliament to make a final choice.

“It is high time we made a decision,” May said, telling Britons: “I am on your side.”

EU leaders will tell May on Thursday she can have two months to organize an orderly Brexit but Britain could face a disruptive ejection from the bloc next Friday if she fails to win backing from parliament.

More than 17 million Britons voted in favor of leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum while 16 million voted to remain, with May serving notice of the UK’s intent to leave under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty the following year.

The “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU” petition on the parliament website had attracted 706,096 signatures by 1048 GMT, backed by support on social media, although the site appeared to be regularly crashing due to the large numbers trying to sign.

“The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU,” the petition said.

Parliament must consider holding a debate on all petitions that gain more than 100,000 signatures.

Supporters wrote on Twitter that the petition showed the strength of feeling against May’s strategy while backers of Brexit said it needed to attract more signatures than the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU three years ago before anyone should take any notice.

More than 1.8 million people signed a petition calling for U.S. President Donald Trump to be prevented from making a state visit to Britain, leading to a debate in parliament in 2017.

More than 4 million people signed another petition in 2016 which called for another EU referendum in the event that neither the remain or leave camps achieved 60 percent of the vote.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu
FILE PHOTO: Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Jason Neely

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight was unable to practice on a new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said.

Yared Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague told Reuters, two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received the simulator.

The March 10 disaster, following another MAX 8 crash in Indonesia in October, has set off one of the biggest inquiries in aviation history, focused on whether pilots were sufficiently versed on a new automated system.

In both cases, the pilots lost control soon after take-off and fought a losing battle to stop their jets plunging down.

In the Ethiopian crash, it was not clear if Yared’s colleague – First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed, 25, who also died in the crash – had practiced on the new MAX simulator.

Globally, most commercial airline pilots refresh training in simulators every six months. It was not clear if Yared or Ahmednur would have been trained on the new simulator or an older one for 737s that their airline also owned.

The MAX, which came into service two years ago, has a new automated system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System). It is meant to prevent a loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall sending the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.

“Boeing did not send manuals on MCAS,” the Ethiopian Airlines pilot told Reuters in a hotel lobby, declining to give his name as staff have been told not to speak in public.

“Actually we know more about the MCAS system from the media than from Boeing.”

Under unprecedented scrutiny and with its MAX fleet grounded worldwide, the world’s largest planemaker has said airlines were given guidance on how to respond to the activation of MCAS software. It is also promising a swift update to the system.

Ethiopian Airlines declined to comment on the remarks of its pilot to Reuters about the simulator and MCAS system.

(Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Writing by Jamie Freed and Katharine Houreld; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, addresses the media during the bank's annual news conference in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank AG, addresses the media during the bank’s annual news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

March 21, 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Christian Sewing, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, believes there is a strong case for a merger with rival Commerzbank, according to a person with direct knowledge of his thinking ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the supervisory board, setting the stage for a showdown with unions fearing massive job cuts.

Sewing sees multiple benefits of a merger, including “clear” dominance in its home market, scale, and shared technology costs, the person said.

Deutsche’s CEO also believes that a combined entity would improve the cost of funding, with “the best funding ever”, the person said. Jobs would be cut with or without a merger, the person said.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

(Reporting by Tom Sims and Andreas Framke; Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

Source: OANN

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha talks with a man as he visits Lumphini Park ahead of the general election, in Bangkok
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha talks with a man as he visits Lumphini Park ahead of the general election, in Bangkok, Thailand, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

March 21, 2019

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand goes to the polls on Sunday under a new system that critics say the military government has devised to prevent the most popular political party, which has won every election since 2001, from returning to power.

The military government says the new rules will usher in stability after more than a decade of fractious, at times violent, politics.

After a government loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a 2014 coup, the military for years banned political activity, suppressed debate, restricted the media and detained dissidents.

Sunday’s general election will officially restore civilian rule but the military will retain a decisive role in politics under a new constitution, and the former army chief who led the 2014 coup, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, is hoping to stay on as head of an elected government.

Following are some details about the new system that supporters of the self-exiled Thaksin say is aimed at blocking them from winning.

THE SENATE

The 250-seat upper house Senate is entirely appointed by the ruling junta. Under the previous constitution, the Senate was only partially appointed.

The Senate will for the first time since 1978 vote along with the lower house, the 500-seat House of Representatives, to choose the new prime minister and government.

Previously, only members of the lower house voted for prime minister.

The magic number of seats parties or alliances need to secure to form a government is 376 – 50 percent plus one of the total number in the two houses of parliament.

With the military choosing all Senate members, including seats reserved for six heads of different armed forces branches, pro-military parties would likely need to win only 126 seats in the House of Representatives to win a majority in a combined vote.

Anti-junta parties, on the other hand, which can’t count on any Senate votes, would need to win 376 seats lower house seats to gain a majority.

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

The makeup of the 500-seat House of Representatives is what will be decided on Sunday, but not all seats are directly elected.

Under the new constitution, the House of Representatives has 350 “constituency seats”, to which voters on Sunday will directly elect a candidate and, by default, their preferred party.

It also has 150 “party seats”, up from 125 previously.

THE FORMULA FOR PARTY SEATS

Party seats are allocated under a complicated system that big parties, like Pheu Thai, the main pro-Thaksin party, say is disadvantageous for them.

Party seats are distributed by a system that “caps” the total number of seats any one party can gain, based on their percentage of total votes cast nationwide.

The “value” one seat in the House of Representatives is assigned is based on a formula that takes the total number of votes cast and divides it by the 500 seats. So, if 40 million people were to vote on Sunday, the value of one House seat would be 80,000 votes.

A party cannot win more seats than it has “earned” in total votes nationwide. And if a party has already reached or is close to its cap in constituency seats, then it cannot get any more party seats than that cap allows.

If a party wins more constituency seats than its cap, then it keeps those seats but cannot be awarded any party seats even if it was the top vote getter.

The system leaves a bigger pie of party seats for smaller parties to divide up. This will likely result in numerous smaller parties that normally would not have won any seats, awarded one or more party seats.

To illustrate the impact of the new rules, Pheu Thai won the last election, in 2011, with 204 constituency seats and then 61 party seats – awarded under a directly proportional system – as it won 48 percent of the total vote. That gave it a majority of 265 seats in the House of Representatives.

If it were to win the same number of votes this time, the new rules would mean it would end up with 42 fewer seats, which would leave it short of a majority.

CHOOSING PRIME MINISTER

A party must have at least 25 seats in the House of Representatives to nominate a candidate for prime minister.

After that, it will take the support of 376 out of 750 members of the combined houses to become prime minister.

Because the junta will have already chosen all 250 seats of the Senate, the main Palang Pracharat party allied to the military needs to gain only 126 more votes in the lower house.

That’s a huge advantage, though not a guarantee.

If no coalition can agree on prime minister, the new constitution also allows for an “outside” prime minister who is not a member of parliament.

(Writing by Chayut Setboonsarg and Kay Johnson; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

March 21, 2019

QAMISHLI, Syria (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces denied a report on Thursday that all of Islamic State’s final enclave has been captured and said combing operations were still underway, an SDF media official said.

Earlier the Syrian Kurdish news outlet Hawar reported that the SDF had seized all of the Baghouz enclave, where the SDF has been battling for weeks to wipe out the last vestige of Islamic State’s territorial rule.

(Reporting by Rodi Said; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Source: OANN

Prime Minister Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra
Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, March 20, 2019. AAP Image/Andrew Taylor/via REUTERS

March 21, 2019

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison has described social media users who posted abusive comments beneath a photograph of Australian Rules player Tayla Harris as “cowardly grubs”.

Harris, who plays for Carlton in the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition, was pictured with her leg fully extended as she kicked a goal in a photograph posted online by a broadcaster on Tuesday.

The post was pulled after a rash of comments that Harris described as “repulsive” and “sexual abuse” appeared underneath it, although the broadcaster later put it up again with an apology.

The Prime Minister waded in on Thursday, saying that while social media attacks were nothing new, they did appear to be disproportionately aimed at women.

Leaning heavily on the Australian vernacular, Morrison utilized the local word for a person indulging in disgusting behavior to describe the online abusers.

“I think they’re grubs,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “I think they’re cowardly grubs, who need to wake up to themselves.

“They’re acting out some kind of hatred in a way that lessens them as people. We should give them no quarter and we should treat them as the grubs they are.”

Harris, who also boxes professionally, described the online abusers as “animals” and received backing from around the world on social media.

The 21-year-old Queenslander said on Wednesday she would not be issuing a complaint to police but hoped the widespread coverage of the incident would make abusers think twice.

“I’m fine with people commenting on and critiquing my football … but it’s the comments that are severely inappropriate, comments that my family will read,” she said.

“The support that has come from this has been phenomenal. I think that has shut down anyone who would have made a comment … I hope they’d be thinking ‘I’ve mucked up here’ and hopefully they won’t do it again.”

Harris, listed as an All-Australian in AFLW’s inaugural season in 2017, has helped Carlton to the last four of this year’s edition. They play Fremantle Dockers in Melbourne on Sunday for a place in the final.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Ian Ransom)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight approaches for landing at Reagan National Airport in Washington
FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight from Los Angeles approaches for landing at Reagan National Airport shortly after an announcement was made by the FAA that the planes were being grounded by the United States in Washington, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tracy Rucinski and Jamie Freed

CHICAGO/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pressure mounted on Boeing Co in Washington as U.S. lawmakers called for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets, even as the world’s biggest planemaker worked to return the grounded fleet to the skies.

A Senate panel plans to schedule a hearing with Boeing at an unspecified date, officials said, the first time a U.S. congressional committee has called the company’s executives to appear for questioning over the crashes.

The same panel, the Senate Commerce subcommittee on aviation and space, will also question FAA officials on March 27, likely about why the regulator agreed to certify the MAX planes in March 2017 without requiring extensive additional training.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 that killed all 157 on board has set off one of the widest investigations in aviation history. Initial reports from investigators say there are clear similarities between the crash and the Lion Air accident that killed all 189 crew and passengers in November.

While no direct link has yet been established, the MCAS flight control software and related pilot training are at the center of the investigation, and U.S. lawmakers are questioning the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification of MAX’s safety.

Boeing has promised a swift update to the MCAS, and the FAA said the installation of new software and related training was a priority.

However, extra computer-based training will be required after the software update, the pilot union of MAX’s biggest customer, Southwest Airlines Co, said on Wednesday, becoming the first major airline union to comment.

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association said it had previewed the proposed Boeing training, including a required test, which would be mandatory for Southwest pilots before flying the 737 MAX again.

A Boeing spokeswoman said training on the software update would be provided by the manufacturer, but declined to disclose further details.

Regulators in Europe and Canada have said, however, they will seek their own guarantees of the MAX’s safety.

MOUNTING SCRUTINY

The Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the Boeing model intended to be a standard for decades to come.

Investigators examining the Lion Air crash are weighing how the MCAS system ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

MCAS is meant to prevent a loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall and send the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.

The pilots of the doomed Lion Air flight scrambled through a handbook to understand why the jet was lurching downwards in the final minutes before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.

Indonesian investigators have said the cockpit voice recorder information was leaked to the media and they plan to hold a news conference at 0830 GMT on Thursday.

Boeing has said there was a documented procedure to handle the problem.

The company was sued on Wednesday in federal court in Chicago by the estate of one of the Lion Air crash victims in which the plaintiffs referred to the Ethiopian crash to support a wrongful death claim against the company.

A Boeing spokesman said the company does not respond to, or comment on, questions concerning legal matters.

The Seattle Times reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation was joining the investigation into the MAX’s certification. An FBI spokeswoman in Seattle would neither confirm nor deny that it was a part of any investigation.

Criminal prosecutors at the U.S. Justice Department, who are also investigating the FAA’s oversight of Boeing, have issued multiple subpoenas to Boeing, CNN reported, citing sources briefed on the matter.

Bloomberg said U.S. officials started investigating the FAA’s approval of the MAX software linked to the Lion Air plane crash last year within weeks after the accident, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Pentagon Inspector General said it would investigate a complaint that Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, violated ethical rules by allegedly promoting Boeing while in office.

Facing high-profile scrutiny, Boeing reshuffled executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on its response.

FINAL MOMENTS

Before the Lion Air flight crashed, sources told Reuters the Indian-born captain, aged 31, was quiet, while the Indonesian officer, 41, said “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”.

A different crew on the same plane the previous evening had the same situation but resolved it after running through three checklists, though they did not pass on the information to the doomed Indonesian crew, a preliminary report in November said.

As with the Indonesia flight, the Ethiopian crew radioed about control problems shortly after take-off and sought to turn back. Ethiopia’s civil aviation head Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw said he expected a report on the investigation within 30 days.

For now, more than 350 MAX aircraft are grounded, and deliveries of nearly 5,000, worth more than $500 billion, are on hold. Boeing’s shares have fallen 11 percent since the Ethiopian Airlines crash, wiping $26 billion from its market value.

(For a graphic on ‘Boeing 737 Max deliveries in question’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hv2btC)

(For a graphic on ‘Ethiopian Airlines crash and black boxes’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2ChBW5M)

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Jamie Freed in Singapore; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, David Shepardson in Washington, Tim Hepher in Paris, Jonathan Stempel in New York, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Cindy Silviana in Jakarta, Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

A worker assists his colleague during the lifting of a turbine engine of the Lion Air flight JT610 jet, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta
A worker assists his colleague during the lifting of a turbine engine of the Lion Air flight JT610 jet, at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Indonesia, November 4, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta

March 21, 2019

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian investigators said on Thursday that information from the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed in October was leaked to the media and they would hold a news conference at 0830 GMT.

The investigation into the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that killed all 189 on board has become more urgent after a second deadly accident in Ethiopia last week prompted regulators to ground the worldwide fleet of the aircraft.

(Reporting by Cindy Silviana; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the media outside New Zealand House in London
Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the media outside New Zealand House, following Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, in London, Britain March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

March 21, 2019

(Reuters) – British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will travel to Brussels on Thursday to discuss an “alternative” Brexit plan with European Union (EU) leaders, including the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, his party said in a statement.

Corbyn will express confidence that an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal can be agreed in the UK parliament, the Labour Party said.

Corbyn will also meet the Secretary-General of the European Commission, Martin Selmayr, and hold talks with prime ministers of seven EU countries including Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Source: OANN

A screen displays a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during trading on the floor of the NYSE in New York
A screen displays a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

By Lawrence Delevingne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – On the morning of July 11, Paul Pittman was on a corn farm in Western Illinois, unaware his company had taken a devastating hit.

Just before the stock market opened, an anonymous short seller named “Rota Fortunae” posted on Twitter and financial website Seeking Alpha that Pittman’s small real estate investment trust, Farmland Partners Inc, had engaged in dubious transactions and risked “insolvency.”

The posting pushed shares down enough to make thousands of previously-purchased stock options profitable, according to a later expert analysis, in turn causing more selling by those on the other side of the trade who committed to buy shares at a higher set price. The accelerating losses were probably compounded by high-frequency trading algorithms activated by price swings and negative keywords, according to that analysis.

Pittman’s stomach churned when he checked his smartphone around noon: Shares were off almost 40 percent. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2HyuFCE)

“The game was rigged,” Pittman, 56, told Reuters.

What followed exemplified a new, ugly phase in a war between companies and activist short sellers, with businesses fighting back against social-media fueled attacks and investors accusing executives of trying to muzzle critics.

Farmland sued Rota Fortunae – Latin for “wheel of fortune” – and other unnamed individuals alleging a “malicious scheme” to profit from the spread of false information and well-timed stock options. The short seller, a Texas-based individual whose identity has been kept secret, sent a statement to Reuters via an attorney that the litigation aimed to “intimidate and choke critical opinion” and that the idea of crashing the stock through “sophisticated trading” was “utter hogwash.” It is all under the watch of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been briefed on the matter.

The stand-off reflects a broader debate over how to balance the desire to keep public companies accountable with concerns over market manipulation.

Short selling, said to be as old as stock markets, used to be a low-profile affair where bearish investors relied on the media, analysts or regulators to take the lead in exposing over-valued companies. New tools such as Twitter and Seeking Alpha changed that, creating a small but prominent group of brash public activists.

Successful campaigns that exposed corporate fraud or dubious practices, including Carson Block’s Sino-Forest Corp takedown and Andrew Left’s shorting of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, underscored short sellers’ role as market watchdogs. Such victories, coupled with elevated stock valuations, helped spur record numbers of short campaigns, according to industry tracker Activist Insight.

Activist Insight data show such campaigns can have a noticeable impact on stock prices. A 2017 working paper by researchers Yu Ting Forester Wong and Wuyang Zhao also showed they weigh on target companies’ investments, dividends and access to financing.

Block, Left and other prominent short sellers interviewed by Reuters say they do thorough research and help keep companies honest.

Yet targeted businesses say many short campaigns waged this decade amount to “short and distort” schemes. They accuse some activists of spreading false or misleading information to drive a stock down and then quickly cash out, a mirror image of “pump and dump,” where unscrupulous investors promote speculative stocks before selling out at the top.

Cases against short sellers are rare, though, given free speech protections and companies hesitant to put themselves under the microscope of regulators, lawyers say.

SHORT IDEAS AND OPTIONS

Recent research provides fresh fodder for the debate. Columbia Law School securities expert Joshua Mitts said in a working paper that he had looked at 1,720 pseudonymous short idea posts on Seeking Alpha between 2010 and 2017 and found that 86 percent were preceded by “extraordinary” options trading.

Mitts told Reuters his review of the posts found that, like with Farmland, many short sellers appeared to use fast-expiring put-options bought before the release of a report to spur more selling by underwriters.

“Shorts have to rely on good research, not trading tricks, to punish a stock,” said Mitts, whose work has led to paid consulting for Farmland and other companies.

He has also found other unusual trading patterns, including dozens of cases of “spoofing” and “layering,” illegal trading strategies of placing and canceling orders to create a false impression of demand or supply. Mitts said, however, that high-frequency traders were probably responsible, not activists.

Prominent activists deny engaging in practices described by Mitts and say they rarely use options. Instead, they would typically borrow stocks and immediately sell them in anticipation of a price drop, so they can buy them back for less and pocket the difference.

“I’m sure there are a few anonymous guys out there doing tricky stuff, but it’s not a systemic problem,” Left said.

One smaller short seller said he used put options in conjunction with Seeking Alpha posts to make larger bets given limited capital, but emphasized making unfounded claims could backfire.

“With options you can get totally destroyed,” said the investor, who requested anonymity. “A bad thesis can be debunked almost instantly.”

Activist Insight, which has analyzed hundreds of campaigns, found many cases where target share prices went up, not down.

So far Mitts is virtually alone in analyzing trading activity around short campaigns, but his findings have already drawn the attention of a top U.S. regulator.

SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson told Reuters the research was “important” and challenged his agency to “identify folks who are dancing a very fine line between trading and market manipulation.”

The question, Jackson said, was whether the regulator would go after short sellers who engage in fraud as forcefully as it investigates companies for bad behavior.

“I hope the answer to that question will be yes.”

A hint came last September, when the SEC brought a rare “short and distort” case against hedge fund manager Gregory Lemelson for making false claims about Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc, an allegation which Lemelson has denied.

Jackson said, however, laws on anonymity and free speech could limit any steps that went beyond straightforward cases involving false information.

On March 12, for example, a New York state judge dismissed a lawsuit against short sellers by Indian media company Eros International PLC, noting their opinions on Seeking Alpha and elsewhere were substantiated and therefore protected.

Still, companies are increasingly retaliating with lawsuits, hiring private investigators and using other aggressive tactics, according to some activists. Block, for example, said he has faced “constant” legal threats, at least one undercover operative, and a failed $50 million investigation to discredit his research.

“More than ever, bad companies are trying to shoot the messenger through any means available,” Block said.

FARM WAR

In the days after Rota’s post, Farmland issued a public rebuttal and Pittman, a former farmer and financial executive, said the company had to go on an “‘I am not a crook’ tour” in meetings and calls with investors and business partners.

Most were sympathetic, Pittman said, including farmers who had traded land for stock, but Farmland lost a potential partnership and had to cut staff from 17 to 13.

George Moriarty, executive editor of Seeking Alpha, said that courts have respected the site’s status as a neutral platform and that its staff vetted all posts. In this case, Rota made “limited factual corrections” after Seeking Alpha contacted him about Farmland’s rebuttal.

Still, shares have never quite recovered, and Rota told Reuters that Farmland has yet to substantively address his concerns.

Stock analysts said Rota’s language was dramatic relative to the underlying issues and instead focused on broader business challenges and the potential costs of fighting back. Farmland recently reported about $1.6 million in extra expenses over 2018, before insurance, citing Rota’s campaign. That included defending against a related shareholder class-action and legal costs from its suit against the short seller.

Mitts has submitted his opinion on put options in the case, a pattern he said he discovered independently during his academic research.

The short seller behind the Rota moniker told Reuters he planned to challenge Mitts’ assertions and would continue his defense of first amendment rights. Farmland’s lawyers said Rota’s free speech argument was undercut by his acknowledgement of payments received for research on Farmland.

Whatever happens in court, the SEC is watching. Rota submitted his Farmland analysis to the agency’s whistleblower hotline, while Farmland later briefed SEC staff on its side.

The SEC declined to comment, but on Jan. 29 it denied Farmland’s request for records on Rota and options trading because, according to a letter revealed in a court filing, related information was in an “investigative file” from an “on-going law enforcement proceeding.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne. Editing by Neal Templin and Tomasz Janowski.)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are seen before a family photo during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

March 21, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may meet President Donald Trump in the United States in late April for talks on North Korea and Japan-U.S. trade, two government officials and Japanese media said on Thursday.

The meeting was requested by the Japanese side and arrangements were being made for the end of April, the Asahi Shimbun daily said, without giving a specific date.

Two government officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that planning for Abe’s visit was underway.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said an overseas trip by Abe had not been decided.

The talks would likely focus on North Korea after Trump’s failed meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February, against a backdrop of Tokyo’s concern that is being sidelined in those negotiations, the Asahi Shimbun said.

Japan’s cabinet is expected to vote next month on extending unilateral sanctions against North Korea by two years, public broadcaster NHK said on Wednesday.

Japan-U.S. trade is also expected to be on the agenda.

Trump has prodded Japanese automakers to add more jobs in the United States as the White House has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported vehicles, on the grounds of national security.

Japanese officials have repeatedly said that Abe and Trump agreed last year that Washington would not impose auto tariffs as long as bilateral trade talks are going on.

The Asahi Shimbun said discussions are also being held on a separate meeting in April between Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto; writing by Elaine Lies; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during “A Civil Society Dialogue on Securing Religious Freedom in the Indo-Pacific Region” forum in Taipei, Taiwan March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

March 21, 2019

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will visit Hawaii next week on a tour of diplomatic allies in the Pacific, official media said on Thursday, a move likely to anger China, which claims the self-ruled island as its own amid tension across the strait.

China regards Taiwan as its sacred territory and regularly calls it the most sensitive and important issue in ties with the United States, complaining to Washington about transit stops by Taiwan presidents.

Tsai will transit Hawaii next Wednesday on her way home from an eight-day visit to three diplomatic allies, the official Central News Agency said.

Taiwan, which China deems ineligible for state-to-state relations, has formal ties with 17 countries, almost all small nations in Central America and the Pacific.

The island battles to keep its allies from switching their allegiance to China, which last year persuaded Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador to forge relations with Beijing.

(Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

Danielle Herrington brought some serious heat Wednesday when she dropped a great white bikini shot on Instagram.

The 25-year-old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model looked terrific as she posed for the snap rocking the two-piece suit during her latest trip to Cacalchén, Yucatan, Mexico. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

She didn’t explain what the great picture was for and only captioned it, “This sunshine today really gave me life. Who else gets seasonal depression?” (SLIDESHOW: The Sexiest Looks From The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show)

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The swimsuit cover model’s social media account is always pure fire with some fantastic photos she’s shared from her various fashion photo shoots to her swimsuit-clad trips around the world. (RELATED: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Kate Upton [SLIDESHOW])

Here are the ones that really stood out, including one snap of her wearing white lingerie and looking sensational. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

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Not to mention, a handful she’s posted from her stunning appearances in the annual swimsuit issue.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Danielle Herrington brought some serious heat Wednesday when she dropped a great white bikini shot on Instagram.

The 25-year-old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model looked terrific as she posed for the snap rocking the two-piece suit during her latest trip to Cacalchén, Yucatan, Mexico. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

She didn’t explain what the great picture was for and only captioned it, “This sunshine today really gave me life. Who else gets seasonal depression?” (SLIDESHOW: The Sexiest Looks From The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

The swimsuit cover model’s social media account is always pure fire with some fantastic photos she’s shared from her various fashion photo shoots to her swimsuit-clad trips around the world. (RELATED: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Kate Upton [SLIDESHOW])

Here are the ones that really stood out, including one snap of her wearing white lingerie and looking sensational. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

Not to mention, a handful she’s posted from her stunning appearances in the annual swimsuit issue.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Danielle Herrington (@danielle_herrington_) on

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Source: The Daily Caller

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

A report from Nate Silver’s statistics site FiveThirtyEight revealed Wednesday that the media discussed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders much more often than some of the more diverse candidates.

“Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke saw dramatic peaks in cable news mentions after their 2020 announcements. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren saw modest bumps. Pete Buttigieg, John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee saw molehills,” the news site wrote in a tweet about the story.

The report noted that the number of mentions wasn’t even for all candidates for all networks. MSNBC strongly appeared to favor O’Rourke in terms of total mentions, while Fox News focused more on Sanders.

Reporter Dhrumil Mehta surveyed total mentions on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News and used Internet Archives’ Television News Archive to find the data. Mehta recovered data on mentions from 10 days before each candidate’s announcement through 20 days after each announcement. (RELATED: Biden Gets Four-Point Bump In Latest Poll)

Two news items that could affect the coverage are increased polling in the 2020 Democratic primary, in which Sanders took up second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden, and the fact that O’Rourke launched an ambitious campaign that crisscrossed Iowa, reached into Michigan and ended Wednesday in New Hampshire.

Source: The Daily Caller

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

A report from Nate Silver’s statistics site FiveThirtyEight revealed Wednesday that the media discussed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders much more often than some of the more diverse candidates.

“Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke saw dramatic peaks in cable news mentions after their 2020 announcements. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren saw modest bumps. Pete Buttigieg, John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee saw molehills,” the news site wrote in a tweet about the story.

The report noted that the number of mentions wasn’t even for all candidates for all networks. MSNBC strongly appeared to favor O’Rourke in terms of total mentions, while Fox News focused more on Sanders.

Reporter Dhrumil Mehta surveyed total mentions on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News and used Internet Archives’ Television News Archive to find the data. Mehta recovered data on mentions from 10 days before each candidate’s announcement through 20 days after each announcement. (RELATED: Biden Gets Four-Point Bump In Latest Poll)

Two news items that could affect the coverage are increased polling in the 2020 Democratic primary, in which Sanders took up second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden, and the fact that O’Rourke launched an ambitious campaign that crisscrossed Iowa, reached into Michigan and ended Wednesday in New Hampshire.

Source: The Daily Caller

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

A report from Nate Silver’s statistics site FiveThirtyEight revealed Wednesday that the media discussed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders much more often than some of the more diverse candidates.

“Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke saw dramatic peaks in cable news mentions after their 2020 announcements. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren saw modest bumps. Pete Buttigieg, John Hickenlooper and Jay Inslee saw molehills,” the news site wrote in a tweet about the story.

The report noted that the number of mentions wasn’t even for all candidates for all networks. MSNBC strongly appeared to favor O’Rourke in terms of total mentions, while Fox News focused more on Sanders.

Reporter Dhrumil Mehta surveyed total mentions on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News and used Internet Archives’ Television News Archive to find the data. Mehta recovered data on mentions from 10 days before each candidate’s announcement through 20 days after each announcement. (RELATED: Biden Gets Four-Point Bump In Latest Poll)

Two news items that could affect the coverage are increased polling in the 2020 Democratic primary, in which Sanders took up second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden, and the fact that O’Rourke launched an ambitious campaign that crisscrossed Iowa, reached into Michigan and ended Wednesday in New Hampshire.

Source: The Daily Caller

Scott Morefield | Reporter

PJ Media senior editor Tyler O’Neil joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday to discuss racism at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Morris Dees, the group’s co-founder, was abruptly fired last week for failing to meet “the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world,” according to a statement from SPLC President Richard Cohen to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Carlson noted Dees’ firing “under mysterious circumstances” and the irony that a group that often falsely labels others as “racist, sexist bigots” would be accused of those things itself.

WATCH:

“This group has been rotten for years,” said Carlson. “Why are people just now noticing?”

“The story actually is really, really bad,” said O’Neil. “You had 13 black former employees of the SPLC interviewed. Twelve of them said they witnessed racist incidents in their time there and three of them called the organization a plantation for its black workers.”

Dees’ firing was first reported by the Montgomery Advertiser, which included a reference to its 1994 series on racism within the organization and the co-founder’s “near singular control over the organization and its mammoth budget.”

The series, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, revealed a figure seen as heroic by some and single-minded by others. Dees’ critics said he was more concerned with fundraising than litigating.

The series also alleged discriminatory treatment of black employees within the advocacy group, despite its outward efforts to improve the treatment of minorities in the country. Staffers at the time “accused Morris Dees, the center’s driving force, of being a racist and black employees have ‘felt threatened and banded together.’” The organization denied the accusations raised in the series.

O’Neil noted that it wasn’t just the Advertiser, but also former employees who went to Glassdoor.com to “talk about their experiences facing racial discrimination” in 2017. (RELATED: Southern Poverty Law Center Is Not So Poor)

“There are apparently 100 lawyers and advocates of the SPLC,” he noted. “Only five of them are black. Black employees worked there 12 years and yet, none of them were elevated to senior leadership.”

The PJ Media editor added that if the group “hires more black leaders,” since “blacks tend to be more Christian” perhaps they would stop characterizing Christian groups as anti-LGBT.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Fox News’ Dana Perino criticized the Democratic presidential candidates who have come out in favor of dismantling the Electoral College, during her Wednesday appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke have all stated their belief that the country should do away with the Electoral College and elect presidents via the popular vote.

WATCH:

“It’s a litmus test, right? Is there a Democratic candidate who is saying no? Cory Booker kind of tapped the breaks on it, whoa, whoa, whoa, I don’t know. But he will get there. This is happening,” Perino stated. “Remember, it’s Eric Holder also, I think, who during the Obama administration suggested this. But the Democrats didn’t need to talk about this when President Obama was president because he won the Electoral College. Okay?” (RELATED: Democratic Lawmaker Introduces Constitutional Amendment To Abolish The Electoral College)

“The institutions have held up but the Democrats are now talking about actually dismantling those institutions. And what is interesting to me is that the reason that the country is set up this way with different states is because we are republic. You have a representative government,” she continued.

“If you do away with that and you just elect the president by whoever lives in New York and California, then, and you just erase all of those boundaries, then you truly are for open borders,” Perino concluded. “Then you are no longer of the United States of America. You are like united people of America where perhaps, not so united, right, just the people of America.”

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio rebuked the Democrats’ plan to get rid of the Electoral College on twitter Tuesday morning.

US senator Marco Rubio, addresses the press on the humanitarian aid shipments sent by the US government for Venezuela that are stockpiled at a collection center in the Colombian border, at the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, border with San Antonio de Tachira, Venezuela on February 17, 2019. - Thousands of volunteers in Venezuela will begin mobilizing on Sunday to bring American aid into their crisis-hit country despite a blockade by President Nicolas Maduro who claims the assistance could be cover for a US invasion. US aid that has been piling up in the Colombian border town of Cucuta has become the frontline of the confrontation between Guaido and Maduro. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

US senator Marco Rubio, addresses the press on the humanitarian aid shipments sent by the US government for Venezuela that are stockpiled at a collection center in the Colombian border, at the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, border with San Antonio de Tachira, Venezuela on February 17, 2019. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

“The Democrat plan to get rid of the Electoral College has nothing to do with making sure every vote counts,” Rubio stated. “It’s about diminishing the electoral power of what liberals arrogantly call the ‘flyover states’ & of Americans they habitually disrespect as uneducated & backwards.” (RELATED: Marco Rubio Rebukes Democrats’ Attempt To Get Rid Of The Electoral College)

President Donald Trump also supported the Electoral College on Twitter, saying, “Campaigning for the Popular Vote is much easier & different than campaigning for the Electoral College. It’s like training for the 100 yard dash vs. a marathon. The brilliance of the Electoral College is that you must go to many States to win.”

Twelve states have passed laws mandating that their Electoral College votes go to the winner of the national popular vote, but none of the laws will go into effect unless the combined number of Electoral College votes reach 270 — the number of votes needed for a presidential candidate to win.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Burial ceremony of the victims of the mosque attacks in Christchurch
Relatives and other people arrive to attend the burial ceremony of the victims of the mosque attacks, at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

March 21, 2019

By Tom Westbrook and Charlotte Greenfield

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – The bullet-riddled Al Noor mosque in Christchurch was being repaired, painted and cleaned ahead of Friday prayers, as grieving families buried more victims of New Zealand’s worst mass shooting.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that Friday’s call to prayers for Muslims will be broadcast nationally and there will be a two minute silence.

Armed police have been guarding mosques around New Zealand after 50 people were killed last Friday by a lone gunman who attacked worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch.

“We will have a heightened presence tomorrow in order to provide reassurance to people attending the Friday call for prayers,” police said in a statement on Thursday.

“Police have been working relentlessly, doing everything in our power to gather all appropriate evidence from what are active crime scenes so we can allow people to return to the mosques as quickly as possible.”

Both mosques attacked, the Al Noor and nearby Linwood mosque, plan to be reopened. Thousands of worshippers are expected at the Al Noor mosque, where the majority of victims died.

Most victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist who was living in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, has been charged with murder following the attack.

He was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, when police said he was likely to face more charges.

The first victims were buried on Wednesday and burials continued on Thursday, with the funeral of a school boy.

Families of the victims have been frustrated by the delay as under Islam bodies are usually buried within 24 hours.

A mass burial is expected to be held on Friday. Body washing will go on through the day and night to have the dead ready for burial, said one person involved in the process.

Police have identified and release to the families the bodies of some 30 victims.

Twenty nine people wounded in the attacks remained in hospital, eight still in intensive care.

Many have had to undergo multiple surgeries due to complicated gunshot wounds. The gunman used semi-automatic AR-15 rifles, with large magazines, and shotguns.

Ardern as vowed to change gun laws in the wake of the attack, possibly banning semi-automatic weapons. An announcement will be made before the next cabinet meeting on Monday.

The gunman broadcast his attack live on Facebook and it was quickly distributed to other platforms, prompting Ardern and others to rebuke technology companies and call for greater efforts to stop violence and extremist views being aired on social media.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Charlotte Greenfield in CHRISTCHURCH, Praveen Menon in WELLINGTON.; Editing by Michael Perry)

Source: OANN

  • Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories. 
  • Tribe has amplified conspiracies about President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia teaming up to expose Jeff Bezos and Russia orchestrating a plane crash to cover up collusion, among others.
  • Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t kept media outlets from promoting him on TV and in news articles.

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has habitually spread conspiracy theories, but that hasn’t prevented him from maintaining a presence in the national media.

Tribe was among several high-profile figures to amplify a false conspiracy theory in February that President Donald Trump had teamed up with Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman to leak Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s affair to the National Enquirer.

“Are Donald Trump and the murderous Saudi Prince bin Salman co-conspirators with David Pecker and AMI in a failed criminal plot to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos as owner of the Washington Post? Asking for a friend in the Southern District of New York,” Tribe wrote on Twitter, where he has more than 492,000 followers. (RELATED: Majority Of Democrats Believe A Straight-Up Conspiracy Theory)

His conspiratorial post was shared thousands of times across Twitter.

Screenshot/Twitter

Screenshot/Twitter

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Enquirer had paid the brother of Bezos’s mistress $200,000 for text messages between the two lovers, confirming a Daily Beast report that identified the brother — not the Saudis — as the Enquirer’s source. Tribe’s tweet was still up as of Wednesday evening.

The Harvard Law professor has made a habit of spreading baseless conspiracy theories, seemingly without repercussion.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Attorney Laurence H. Tribe attends The ACLU of Southern California’s 2011 Bill of Rights Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on Dec. 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

In one instance, Tribe implied that a Russian plane crash in February 2018 was a cover-up of collusion between Trump and Russia.

His tweet, which again received thousands of retweets, read: “Among those killed in the tragic plane crash yesterday: Sergei Millian, a Papadopoulis [sic] friend who had emailed Kushner and is said to be behind one of the most salacious claims in the dossier on Trump’s involvement with Russia. Probably just coincidence. .”

He sarcastically added that the “coincidence” “[s]ounds plausible.”

Tribe’s viral claim was nowhere close to the truth. Millian wasn’t on the plane.

In December 2018, Tribe shared a left-wing blog post titled “Mueller Hints That Mike Pence May Be Indicted Soon.” There is no evidence to support that headline, and the vice president has not been indicted.

“The title of this piece gets well ahead of its skis in terms of actual substance,” Tribe conceded, before continuing “but the evidence described provides rich food for thought. And if Pence is truly in Mueller’s cross-hairs, that’s a huge game-changer.”

No reporting to date supports the claim that Pence is “in Mueller’s cross-hairs.” The blog Tribe cited, PoliticusUSA.com, has a track record of spreading misinformation.

In January, Tribe cited the same blog to say that Trump’s announcement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to travel to Afghanistan during the government shutdown bordered on “treason” by giving “aid and comfort” to the Taliban.

Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t prevented national media outlets from elevating his profile, quoting him in their articles and hosting him on their panels.

Tribe has appeared on MSNBC five times this year, according to a transcript search on the media monitoring service Grabien.

The Washington Post cited Tribe in an article Monday about Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King, who shared a meme on Facebook saying that Republican states would win in a civil war because they have “8 trillion more bullets.” King deleted the post after criticism.

The Post quoted a tweet from Tribe, who said that King “isn’t actually COMMITTING treason, but he is fomenting and inciting it.” Tribe said King’s meme provided the House of Representatives “[a]mple reason to expel him.”

Tribe’s media appearances have continued long after a May 2017 BuzzFeed report noted his established track record of spreading anti-Trump conspiracy theories.

In one instance BuzzFeed documented, Tribe shared an article from the Palmer Report, a left-wing blog known for spreading misinformation, that claimed Trump had paid then-Republican Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz “$10 million in Russian money” in advance of the 2016 election.

The only source for the conspiracy theory was a tweet from an anonymous Twitter user.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
Palestinian protesters hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

March 21, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics said, and the military announced on Thursday that a soldier had discharged his weapon and it was reviewing the incident.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its crews treated a man with two bullet wounds at an Israeli military roadblock near the city of Bethlehem on Wednesday and that Israeli forces had shot him.

It gave no details about the circumstances of the night-time shooting. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man as a 26-year-old from Bethlehem and said another Palestinian had also been shot and critically wounded.

Hours later, the Israeli military issued a statement saying that a soldier stationed at a post near Bethlehem had “identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles (and) in response, he fired his weapon”.

The statement did not identify the soldier’s intended target and some Israeli media reports said warning shots were fired in the air, suggesting the two Palestinians may have been hit unintentionally.

“A report was received regarding injured Palestinians,” the military said. “Details regarding the incident are being reviewed and the incident will be examined.”

Tensions have been high in the West Bank since a Palestinian killed an Israeli soldier and a rabbi in a stabbing and shooting attack in the territory on Sunday.

Israeli forces on Tuesday killed the alleged assailant near the West Bank city of Ramallah after he opened fire at troops who had come to arrest him, Israel’s Shin Bet security service said.

In a separate incident on Tuesday, two other Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during clashes near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek to establish a state there and in the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in New York
Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

March 20, 2019

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The widow and daughter of John McCain on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump and his online supporters for repeated attacks on the former U.S. senator, Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero who was tortured during five and a half years spent as a prisoner of war.

Speaking on Wednesday to an employee at an Ohio factory that makes military tanks, Trump again hammered McCain.

“So I have to be honest, I’ve never liked him much,” Trump said. “I really probably never will. But there are certain reasons for it.”

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late senator, spent the last few days defending her father and politely criticizing Trump. On Wednesday she said the president had reached “a new, bizarre low – attacking someone who is not here is a new low.”

She also said, “If I had told my dad … he would think it is so hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death.”

Barely six months after McCain’s death, Trump started the latest exchange between himself and the McCain clan on Sunday in a blast of Tweets, including one that attacked “‘last in his class’ (Annapolis) John McCain.”

A spokeswoman for Meghan McCain said she was not immediately available for further comment.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s widow, sarcastically urged her Twitter followers to “see how kind and loving a stranger can be” and shared with them an online message from someone who described John McCain as a “traitorous piece of warmongering shit and I’m glad he’s dead.”

On Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office while sitting next the president of Brazil, Trump added: “I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”

The tweets and soundbites triggered a swirl of anti-McCain attacks and pro-McCain appeals on social media, like the one Cindy McCain shared, and cable TV discussion.

Without rebuking Trump, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Tweet: “Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.”

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson was more critical. In an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting on Wednesday, he called Trump’s remarks about McCain “deplorable.”

The White House had no comment on Trump’s latest attacks.

Trump on Wednesday expressed concern about McCain’s role in the handling of a “dossier,” compiled before the 2016 U.S. presidential election by a former British spy and paid for by lawyers for the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The dossier alleged Russian financial dealings with Trump and included salacious personal details that remain unconfirmed. After the election, a copy of the dossier was given to McCain, who gave it to the FBI, according to court documents that were made public last week.

Trump and his supporters have aggressively attacked the document ever since its contents became public.

“John McCain received a fake and phony dossier … He got it, and what did he do? He didn’t call me,” Trump said during his visit to the Ohio factory. “He turned it over to the FBI hoping to put me in jeopardy and that’s not the nicest thing to do.”

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Dan Grebler and Nick Carey)

Source: OANN


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