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  • British Isil 'matchmaker' feared to have escaped after mass prisoner breakout

    Golocal247.com news

    Northern Syria was collapsing into chaos last night as hundreds of Islamic State (Isil) family members escaped from prison and Kurdish forces prepared to surrender key cities to the Assad regime after the US announced it was evacuating all troops from the area.  A notorious British Isil female recruiter was feared to be among nearly 800 wives and children of jihadist fighters who burst out of a Kurdish camp in the biggest prison break since Turkey launched its offensive last week.  The US also said it was pulling out all 1,000 of its soldiers in northern Syria, an abrupt reversal of policy that came just days after the Trump administration insisted it was only moving a few dozen commandos.  In a stark sign of how quickly US influence in Syria has collapsed, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last night appeared to have brokered a deal with Russia and the Assad regime to hand over control of two key cities.  Smoke rises from a Turkish bombardment in northeast Syria on Sunday, seen from the Turkish side of the border Credit: ERDEM SAHIN/EPA-EFE/REX The SDF agreed to surrender Kobani and Manbij to Syrian government forces in a bid to shield them from Turkish attack, according to Kurdish and Syrian media. Both areas have immense symbolism for the Kurds, who lost hundreds of men while fighting Isil for control of them. "The betrayal process is officially completed," an SDF official said of the US withdrawal.   News of the US retreat sparked panic across northern Syria as civilians, who believed their towns might be spared from Turkish onslaught by the presence of American forces, started fleeing their homes. At least 200,000 people have been displaced so far, aid groups said, and the number is likely to rise.    At least 26 civilians were reportedly killed on Sunday as a Turkish airstrike hit a convoy and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels were accused of killing a prominent female Kurdish politician and several other unarmed people. The rebels denied the allegations.   Kurdish authorities said early on Sunday around 785 women and children escaped from a camp in Ain Issa when it came under attack from Turkish shelling. Isil inmates “attacked the camp guard and opened the gates” while Kurdish forces were under fire, authorities said.  Turkey - Syria map Tooba Gondal, 25, and her two children, may have been among those who fled and her whereabouts were unknown last night. Ms Gondal traveled to Syria to join Isil in 2015 and has been accused of grooming other young British women, including Shamima Begum, to follow her. The Telegraph understands at least three other British women, and reportedly three British orphans, were held in Ain Issa camp before the break-out. The SDF warned the West the breakout may be the first of many and that the resurgent jihadists “will come knocking on your doors” if the Turkish offensive is not stopped. Mark Esper, the US defence secretary, said he and Donald Trump had decided to withdraw all 1,000 US troops from northern Syria because the Turks “likely intend to expand their attack further south than originally planned”.  “We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies and it's a very untenable situation,” he said.   Tooba Gondal is pictured before leaving for Syria While Mr Trump said last week he was removing around 50 US commandos from a 120km section of the Turkey-Syria border, hundreds of others American soldiers remained near Kurdish key cities like Kobani and Qamishli.  The complete US retreat is likely to remove any remaining obstacles to Turkey mounting a full-scale assault on those cities, prompting civilians to start packing their belongings into cars and trucks and flee south.    While US officials insisted America was opposed to the Turkish invasion, Mr Trump struck a laissez-faire note in a series of Sunday morning tweets. “The Kurds and Turkey have been fighting for many years,” he noted. “Others may want to come in and fight for one side or the other. Let them!” Read more | Syria crisis The US has yet to slap any sanctions on Turkey for the assault, despite White House warnings that it would target the Turkish economy if the offensive led to a humanitarian crisis or disrupted anti-Isil operations. Both outcomes have already happened. Operations against Isil appeared to have come to a complete halt last night as US forces prepared to evacuate and all available Kurdish forces were directed to the fight against Turkey.  Mr Esper said the US understood that the SDF was “looking to cut a deal if you will with the Syrians and the Russians”. Sources said Mazloum Kobani, the top SDF commander, met with Russian officers to broker the agreement.  Turkey would likely welcome a deal that reasserts Damascus’ authority over northeast Syria, as that would fatally undermine Kurdish aspirations for an independent political region of their own.   As the area plunged into chaos civilian casualties mounted during the bloodiest day of the offensive so far. Several civilians were killed by a Turkish airstrike on a convoy, including at least one unidentified journalist.  The SDF said Turkish-backed rebel fighters intercepted a car carrying Hevrin Khalaf, a Kurdish political leader with the Future Syria Party, and shot her to death along with her driver and an aide on Saturday. Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border, for a change. Those that mistakenly got us into the Middle East Wars are still pushing to fight. They have no idea what a bad decision they have made. Why are they not asking for a Declaration of War?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019 Video footage showed her black SUV riddled with bullet holes while Arabic-speaking Syrian fighters cheered. Turkey has said such fighters, known as the National Army, would be at the forefront of anti-Isil operations once the Kurds were defeated.  But analysts said the group, which includes some jihadist sympathisers, was unlikely to be an effective counter-terrorism force. “They do what they are told to by Turkey but they do it very poorly,” said Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.  At least 60 civilians have been killed in northern Syria and 18 civilians have died from Kurdish shelling in southern Turkey since last Wednesday, according to the Syrian Observatory.  France and Germany both announced they were halting arms sales to Turkey but the UK did not match their announcements. Britain approved military export licenses worth £583m to Turkey in 2017, including licenses for attack aircraft and helicopters. France is expected to propose an EU-wide arms embargo against Turkey on Monday, a Western diplomat said. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, has signalled he plans to press ahead with the attack despite widespread Western criticism.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 07:36:48 -0400
  • HK leader ditches meeting Ted Cruz, says the U.S. senator

    Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam scrapped a scheduled meeting with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the highest profile U.S. politician to visit the city since anti-government protests broke out more than four months ago, the senator said on Saturday. Lam had requested that the afternoon meeting be completely confidential and Cruz refrain from speaking with the media about it, Cruz told journalists in Hong Kong. "She seems to misunderstand how free speech operates, and also how freedom of the press operates," said Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 06:53:29 -0400
  • Brexit Deal in Sight as Negotiators Wrestle With the Details

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. The U.K. and European Union signaled a Brexit deal is in sight, with negotiators heading into intensive talks in Brussels as a potential compromise over the Irish border starts to emerge.With EU officials saying Boris Johnson had indicated a possible path to detailed talks, the U.K. prime minister planned to update his Cabinet on Sunday on progress toward a Brexit deal. Speculation that Britain will avoid dropping out of the EU without a divorce accord lifted the pound last week to its biggest two-day gain in a decade, though both sides cautioned that much work remains to be done for Britain to leave by Johnson’s Oct. 31 deadline.At issue are the prime minister’s plans to take Northern Ireland out of Europe’s customs union and give Stormont, its power-sharing assembly, a veto over the arrangement. The first would trigger the return of checks on goods crossing the frontier, something the Irish government and the EU oppose. The second would hand Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party an effective veto over the deal, something unacceptable south of the border.DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds rejected any weakening of Northern Ireland’s custom ties with the U.K. and said his party is awaiting the outcome of the talks in Brussels, Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper quoted him as saying in an interview.A possible compromise is a British idea for Northern Ireland to technically leave Europe’s customs union but for the province to adhere to EU customs rules and tariffs, according to two officials. This would have the twin benefit of preventing a border on the island of Ireland and enabling the U.K. to strike trade deals around the world.It’s similar to a “customs partnership” plan the EU rejected in 2018, and would leave Northern Ireland with a different customs regime to the rest of the U.K. British authorities would have to collect tariffs on behalf of the bloc on goods crossing the Irish Sea. EU officials said the proposal is extremely complicated and needs work before it could be considered to be a solution, but didn’t rule out that it could emerge as the compromise.“Getting Brexit done by 31 October is absolutely crucial, and we are continuing to work on an exit deal so we can move on to negotiating a future relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation with our European friends,” Johnson said in a statement.BackstopEU officials view the only sure-fire solution as an arrangement that keeps Northern Ireland in the customs union, the so-called backstop. While there’s no discussion yet of putting a time limit on that arrangement, something the EU has previously rejected, one EU official said that it could yet be considered.Any agreement would have to be backed by Parliament in London, where Johnson is reliant on the DUP. The party staunchly opposes subjecting Northern Ireland to different customs rules than the rest of the U.K.After EU officials said Johnson indicated he was prepared to make sufficient concessions to allow detailed talks to begin, teams from both sides started work Saturday to explore whether they can arrive at the basis of an accord ahead of a summit of EU leaders that begins Thursday.Can Johnson Get a Deal Through Parliament? Silence Is GoldenIn a meeting with envoys of the bloc’s remaining 27 countries on Friday, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, suggested that Johnson is softening his stance on both customs and Stormont’s consent. In what would potentially be a significant climb-down, Johnson acknowledged there should be no customs border on the island of Ireland, two officials said. When asked in a pooled interview for British television, Johnson declined to say whether Northern Ireland will leave the EU’s customs union.“There is a joint feeling that there is a way forward, that we can see a pathway to a deal,” he said. “That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. There’s work to be done.”Ship of StateIn an article for the Sunday Telegraph, Jacob Rees-Mogg -- whose hardcore anti-EU stance has peppered the airwaves since the 2016 referendum -- suggested that some Brexiteers will have to come around to accepting Johnson’s compromises.“As a Leaver, Boris can be trusted,” Rees-Mogg wrote. “If he thinks the ship of state is worth an extra ha’porth of tar, he deserves support.”While negotiations are heading into a new intensive phase, they aren’t headed into the full “tunnel,” the formal Brussels process by which the actual legal text of an agreement is thrashed out in secret.This suggests that the EU still has reservations about the chances of getting a deal done, and that member states are unwilling to outsource the process entirely to Barnier and his team.The European Commission will update the EU’s national envoys Sunday, with the aim of having something concrete for EU affairs ministers to look at when they meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday to prepare for the summit.sDUP Leader Arlene Foster fired a warning shot against trying to keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union, though she stopped short of explicitly withholding support from the prime minister.“Those who know anything about Northern Ireland will appreciate that these issues will only work with the support of the unionist as well as the nationalist community,” she said in a statement.For all the optimism, there’s still a long way to go.European Council President Donald Tusk said the U.K. hadn’t yet “come forward with a workable, realistic proposal.”But there are “promising signals,” he said.(Updates with DUP leader’s comments in fourth paragraph, Johnson comments in seventh)\--With assistance from Dara Doyle, Nikos Chrysoloras and Alexander Weber.To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, James LuddenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 17:00:10 -0400
  • Serial killer's victim portraits could help crack cold cases

    Golocal247.com news

    Most of the women in Samuel Little's hand-drawn portraits seem to be frowning. Little, whom the FBI identified this month as the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, produced startlingly detailed likenesses of dozens of women he says he strangled over the course of more than three decades. Now the FBI is publicizing his portraits — hoping that someone, somewhere, will recognize the face of a long-lost loved one in an image drawn by the killer himself.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 14:37:18 -0400
  • BEHOLD: Is China's DF-26 Missile a Real Threat to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers?

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    Will Beijing's strategy work?

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 12:00:00 -0400
  • Harry Dunn: US woman allegedly involved in crash does not have diplomatic immunity, says Foreign Office

    Golocal247.com news

    The US diplomat’s wife allegedly involved in a crash which killed a teenager does not have diplomatic immunity, the Foreign Office has said.A letter, that appears to have been sent by foreign secretary Dominic Raab to Harry Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, says: “The question remains when such immunity comes to an end, regardless of any waiver.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 10:54:00 -0400
  • Canada vote pitches Trudeau into fight of his political life

    Golocal247.com news

    The gloves have come off as Justin Trudeau struggles to hold onto his parliamentary majority heading into the last week of a tight campaign before Canada's October 21 general election. The latest polls put his Liberals in a dead heat with the Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer. Barring a trip-up over the coming days, whoever wins the most votes may have to seek the backing of one or more minor parties to form the next government.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 21:37:36 -0400
  • Norwegian Cruise Line passengers demand refunds after ship skips several scheduled stops

    Norwegian Cruise Line passengers voiced their anger after disembarking from the ship Friday after several port stops were canceled due to weather.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 14:31:10 -0400
  • Police Respond to Reports of Mall Shooting in Florida, Confirm One Person Injured

    Golocal247.com news

    Authorities have not yet identified the circumstances which led to the shooting

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:06:02 -0400
  • Kurdish general to U.S.: Either protect us, or 'move aside so we can let in the Russians'

    Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, did not mince words when meeting with William Roebuck, the Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS on Thursday, CNN reports. "You have given up on us," Mazloum said, referring to President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria, giving Turkey an opening to invade, which they have. "You are leaving are leaving us to be slaughtered."An internal U.S. government readout obtained by CNN also revealed that Mazloum told Roebuck he has considered gaining the support of another foreign power in place of the U.S. "I've been holding myself for two days from going to the press and saying that America abandoned us and that I would like you to get out of our areas now so that I can invite Russia and regime planes to take over this airspace," Mazloum said. "Either you stop this bombing on our people now or move aside so we can let in the Russians."Roebuck reportedly then suggested Mazloum not make any "immediate decisions," but instead give him time to relay the message to the State Department. Read more at CNN.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 13:54:37 -0400
  • Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted

    Golocal247.com news

    Rallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:56:56 -0400
  • German police investigate bitcoin transfer to synagogue killer

    Golocal247.com news

    German police are investigating a bitcoin transfer made to the far-Right extremist behind Wednesday’s terror attack in Halle to determine if the man possessed a broader support network. German media outlet Spiegel reports that a transfer of 0.1 bitcoin – approximately €750 (£660) – was made to alleged attacker Stephan Balliet in the lead up to the attack. Police said the transfer came from an unknown source. Balliet told police interrogators that he had received the money from someone whom he had communicated with on the internet, but that he did not know who they were. Questions were raised as to how Balliet, who had been unemployed for a significant period of time in the lead up to the attack, was able to fund the attack, including buying the materials for his home-made weapons. As reported by Spiegel, the man told investigators that the weapons were cheap to manufacture, primarily as he constructed them from basic raw materials. He told police he bought steel worth €50, cartridge cases for €25 and a telescope for €20 to manufacture the weapons, which he based on designs released online by British pro-gun activist Philip Luty "The further investigations will deal in particular with the question of whether other persons were involved in the act or its preparation alongside Stephan Balliet", said a spokesman for the Federal Criminal Police Office. The 27-year-old Balliet was active in far-Right chatrooms, with police suspecting he was radicalised online. Balliet uploaded a manifesto outlining his motives, details of his weapons and indications as to the nature of his plans in the lead up to the attack.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 10:12:17 -0400
  • The Latest: Powerful typhoon reaches greater Tokyo area

    Golocal247.com news

    Helicopters are plucking people from their flooded homes as rescue efforts went into full force in wide areas of Japan, including Tokyo, after a powerful typhoon unleashed heavy rainfall, leaving at least four dead and 17 missing. Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo Saturday and moved northward. Several train service in the Tokyo area resumed early morning.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 21:26:42 -0400
  • Girl scales replica of Trump’s 'un-climbable' border wall

    Golocal247.com news

    An 18-foot replica of President Trump’s border wall has been climbed in a matter of seconds by an 8-year-old girl and a man who returned for another attempt while juggling with one hand.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 14:35:24 -0400
  • Russia's New Nuclear Weapon Is A Real Doomsday Device (And Aimed At America)

    Golocal247.com news

    If you can't beat them, destroy them.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 02:00:00 -0400
  • Jaroslaw Kaczynski: Poland's polarising powerbroker

    Golocal247.com news

    What Jaroslaw Kaczynski lacks in size, he more than makes up for in political acumen, audacity and clout which have kept him at the heart of Polish politics. Although technically just a member of parliament, he is widely considered Poland's ultimate powerbroker -- steering the government as leader of the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party from its Warsaw headquarters. In "The Chairman's Ear" political satire, Kaczynski is portrayed as a dishevelled bachelor ruling his party, its government and ultimately Poland with an iron will, all while doting on his beloved cat.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 05:10:55 -0400
  • Police: Woman killed by 6-foot log pushed off cliff in Ohio state park; 2 teens charged

    Golocal247.com news

    Ohio investigators say the six-foot log was pushed or thrown off the cliff in the Hocking Hills State Park. Two teens have been charged.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 17:46:28 -0400
  • EU Seeks to Halt U.S. Tariffs Over Airbus Aid in Last-Gasp Plea

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    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. The European Union made a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. to refrain from triggering retaliatory tariffs over illegal subsidies to Airbus SE, warning of economic harm to both sides and repeating a call for a negotiated solution.European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told her U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, that his plan to hit $7.5 billion of EU goods ranging from planes to whiskey with duties would compel the EU to apply countermeasures in a parallel lawsuit over market-distorting aid to Boeing Co. U.S. levies would make a negotiated settlement harder to reach, she said.“I strongly believe that imposing additional tariffs in the two aircraft cases is not a solution,” Malmstrom said in an Oct. 11 letter to Lighthizer seen by Bloomberg News. “It would only inflict damage on businesses and put at risk jobs on both sides of the Atlantic, harm global trade and the broader aviation industry at a sensitive time.”The World Trade Organization is due to give final approval for U.S. retaliation in the Airbus case on Monday, allowing tariffs to kick in as planned on Friday.The trans-Atlantic dispute over aircraft aid risks fraying a trade truce struck between the U.S. and EU in July 2018. At the time, both sides pledged to try to scale back commercial barriers and avoid a repeat of tit-for-tat tariffs that began with President Donald Trump’s duties on European steel and aluminum on U.S. national-security grounds.The WTO cases over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing are 15 years old. Because of the calendar, the U.S. is entitled to strike first and the EU would follow suit sometime in 2020.Malmstrom gave no sign in her letter to Lighthizer that an idea floated in some EU circles for quicker European retaliation is gaining ground. The idea weighed was to hit back by invoking an unrelated, older WTO case against a now-defunct U.S. tax break given to companies, including Boeing, via subsidiaries known as foreign sales corporations.Instead, Malmstrom said the EU’s planned countermeasures of $12 billion would be applied “when the time comes on the parallel Boeing case.”Aside from causing economic harm, hastier European retaliation could undermine the EU’s claim to be working to uphold the WTO system that Trump’s protectionism is shaking.“We are ready to negotiate a settlement for both the Airbus and the Boeing case addressing remaining compliance obligations on both sides, putting these cases behind us,” Malmstrom said.To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at jstearns2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Tony Czuczka, Linus ChuaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 14:17:59 -0400
  • Adam Schiff says whistleblower may not testify in impeachment probe

    House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff indicated Sunday that the whistleblower at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump might not testify over concerns about the person’s safety. Schiff’s remarks come after Trump dramatically escalated his attacks on the whistleblower and as he repeatedly calls for the official to be unmasked. Trump’s unrelenting barrage has spurred worries from Democrats that congressional Republicans might try to reveal that person’s identity — conceivably endangering his or her safety — at the behest of the president.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 12:24:06 -0400
  • In southern Mexico, migrants gather in caravan aiming to reach U.S.

    Several hundred migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America set off from southern Mexico on Saturday in a caravan headed to the United States, according to a Reuters witness and local media. The migrants assembled and departed before dawn from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas near Guatemala despite an ongoing crackdown on migration on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The scene was reminiscent of a string of caravans that left Central America a year ago, at one point ballooning into a group of 7,000 people in southern Mexico.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 16:28:29 -0400
  • Trial date set for former decorated Green Beret facing murder charge

    Golocal247.com news

    Maj. Mathew Golsteyn is accused of killing a Taliban bombmaker; an update on the case from Nancy Golsteyn and Rep. Duncan Hunter.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 09:03:47 -0400
  • Pregnancy discrimination continues, 41 years after US ban

    Golocal247.com news

    For 41 years, federal law has banned pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Prompted by presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's claim that she was forced out of a teaching job in 1971 because she was pregnant, scores of women have shared similar experiences on social media. Police officers, academics, fast food workers, lawyers, flight attendants, administrative assistants and others say they hid pregnancies on the job or during interviews, faced demeaning comments and were demoted or even fired after revealing a pregnancy.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 10:50:26 -0400
  • Missing dog reunited with owner 12 years later

    Golocal247.com news

    "I'm just so happy to have her back. I cried so many nights without her," Dutchess's owner, Katheryn Strang, said

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 07:51:37 -0400
  • The USS Enterprise: How One Aircraft Carrier Changed Naval History

    Golocal247.com news

    What was really remarkable about the Enterprise was that it marked the debut of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, which are the backbone of U.S. naval power.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400
  • Canonisation: how to become a Catholic saint

    Golocal247.com news

    The canonisation on Sunday of Britain's Cardinal John Henry Newman -- one of the Roman Catholic Church's most renowned converts -- and four others is the last stage in the Vatican's arduous process of creating saints. The Church puts candidates through meticulous vetting and in most cases two "miracles" are required, usually healings resulting from the candidate's posthumous intercession in answer to prayers. Friends or relatives can apply posthumously for their loved one to be recognised as having a "reputation for sainthood", which gets the ball rolling on the full sainthood application process.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:49:06 -0400
  • Kamala Harris to Donald Trump Jr: 'You wouldn’t know a joke if one raised you'

    Golocal247.com news

    The 2020 democratic hopeful was responding to the President's son calling her "The most disingenuous person in politics, after Hillary” for laughing at her own jokes

    Fri, 11 Oct 2019 22:43:46 -0400
  • Mother to sue over 'wrongful removal' of children by Dutch social services

    Golocal247.com news

    A mother who says her two children were wrongfully taken into care shortly after their ninth birthday by Dutch social services intends to launch legal action against the authorities who handled the case. On March 23, 2012, Nikolai and Anastasia Antonova were removed from their mother’s care. Among the reasons cited for their removal was that the children spoke their mother Jelena’s native language Russian at home, not Dutch. Social workers also claimed their mother might flee with them to Latvia to escape the children’s estranged father. The children had “severely conflicting loyalties” to their parents, social workers who were working closely with their father said. The children had previously said they were frightened of their father and did not want to see him again. The original care order was instituted for a year but was subsequently extended on several occasions. Ms Antonova alleges that the children were held without the right legal permission. The Dutch Court of Appeal made repeated rulings that the children should be reunited with their mother but these were overturned when the child protection board, part of the justice ministry, sought the extension of the care order in a lower family court. The family’s case was first highlighted by the late Christopher Booker in a series of columns for The Sunday Telegraph. The case was also raised in the European parliament in March 2014. MEPs were shown a video of the children being taken away from their home, captured by their brother Ilja Antonovs.   The children were eventually permanently reunited with their mother in November 2014 after two years and eight months when a judge ruled that they should never have been removed from their mother’s care. The order followed a report from a family psychologist Dr De Jong who concluded that Ms Antonova was not guilty of neglect. Jelena Antonova was subsequently granted permission to question, under oath, social workers who handled the case and officials from two different authorities connected to the children’s care. On June 18 and September 2 Ms Antonova questioned social workers and is now preparing to sue three parties linked to the ordeal; Salvation Army Youth Protection, the Ministry of Justice and Security and the youth protection service of Gelderland province. During the questioning, a number of flaws in the conduct of youth care emerged, the family claims.  They are now suing the three parties for the “unlawful and careless removal of the children”, claiming they are liable “for the damage suffered and to be suffered” by the family. Youth Protection said it is prohibited from commenting on individual cases. The Netherlands Salvation Army said it does not respond to individual cases but pointed out that Salvation Army Youth Protection always acts under the instruction of the Dutch legal authorities. The Ministry of Justice and Security and Gelderland youth protection did not respond to repeated requests for comment this week.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 12:28:57 -0400
  • Syria’s Assad Sends Troops North As Turkish Offensive Escalates

    (Bloomberg) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sent troops to the northeast of the country to confront a Turkish offensive, raising risks of an escalation after Kurdish fighters turned to Damascus in the absence of U.S. support.The state-run SANA news agency said soldiers from the Syrian Arab Army had begun to move northwards. The Kurdish command for the northeast said it had reached a deal with Assad. The deployment comes after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered remaining U.S. forces in northern Syria to withdraw in the face of a rapid Turkish advance that has drawn international condemnation and the threat of sanctions.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his offensive aims to push back Syrian Kurdish fighters linked to the separatist PKK group that has battled the Turkish government for decades; Turkey seeks to carve out a buffer zone inside Syrian territory to protect its own border and resettle Syrian refugees. The Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces say they are fighting for their rights inside Syria alone and have accused Turkish-backed Syrian fighters of committing war crimes.Who Are the Syrian Kurds the U.S. Is Abandoning?: QuickTakeErdogan launched the offensive on Wednesday, after receiving assurances from Trump that U.S. troops, who supported the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in the grueling war to defeat Islamic State, would stand aside.Kurdish-led forces control roughly a third of Syria and have tens of thousands of Islamic State fighters, their families, sympathizers and others in their custody in prisons and camps in northeastern Syria. They’ve warned that they will not be able to secure those areas whilst fending off an offensive by Turkey, a major NATO army. Even Trump allies have warned that chaos in the area could lead to an IS resurgence.U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on CBS that Trump had directed the deliberate withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria due to an expected increase in military action. Esper said the U.S. had learned in the past 24 hours that Turkey was likely to attack further south and west and that Kurdish forces were looking to cut a deal with Assad and Russia to counterattack.Trump Has Ordered Troop Withdrawal From N. Syria, Esper Says (2)“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” Esper said. “We want to make sure we don’t put our soldiers in a situation where they could be killed or injured.”The Kurdish leadership said that while the SDF had fought hard, Turkey was pressing ahead with its campaign. “To prevent and confront this assault, we agreed with the Syrian government, who’s duty it is to defend the borders of the country and protect the sovereignty of Syria, to enter and spread out across Syria’s border with Turkey,” to help liberate the areas under Turkish control, it said in a statement.For the Kurds, inviting in Assad could come at a heavy price. The move may succeed in pushing Turkey back across the border but will likely mean allowing Damascus to take back control over the northeast after eight years of bruising civil war that has claimed some 500,000 lives and displaced millions.Facing a backlash at home and abroad, Trump has defended his move by saying he did not support the Turkish offensive. On Sunday, he said the U.S. Treasury had further sanctions ready to impose on Turkey. He gave no timeline.European Union leaders may also settle on an arms embargo on Turkey over its advance into Syria as soon as this week, four officials familiar with the discussions said. Germany and France said Saturday they stopped shipments of military equipment to their NATO ally.EU Leaders May Impose Weapons Embargo on Turkey Over Syria (1)EU government envoys in Brussels discussed on Sunday the draft of a decision adopting punitive measures against Turkey over Syria, as well as its drilling activities off the coast of Cyprus.According to a copy of the draft communique, due to be adopted by EU foreign ministers on Monday and seen by Bloomberg, the bloc’s nations will vow to coordinate on imposing an arms embargo against Turkey and take one more step in the process of adopting sanctions against Turkish individuals and companies involved in Mediterranean drilling operations.But two officials familiar with Sunday’s debate said the wording in the statement will change, as many member states want tougher language: Cyprus, supported by Greece, wants a decision on drilling sanctions now, including asset freezes, travel bans, and a ban on exports of equipment which can be used for hydrocarbon exploration.France, supported by several member states, is pushing for stronger language on the arms exports ban. Sweden, supported by the Netherlands and Denmark wants the EU to condemn the Syrian operation in stronger terms. The final decision may be left to ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, on Monday.Why What Happens in Syria Matters Beyond Its Borders: QuickTake\--With assistance from Nikos Chrysoloras and Samer Khalil Al-Atrush.To contact the reporters on this story: Zaid Sabah in Washington at zalhamid@bloomberg.net;Dana Khraiche in Beirut at dkhraiche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Rosalind MathiesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 16:30:06 -0400
  • Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

    In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolise their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London's century-old Science Museum in the city's upmarket Kensington district. "We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law," said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology, who read the declaration on behalf of the group.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 21:51:04 -0400
  • Portland antifa activist killed in hit and run, police say

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    City’s antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not ‘related to fascist activity’ and police did not specify a motiveThe Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/ReutersA Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city’s anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland Police Bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates. The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward. Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities. Rose City Antifa, the city’s longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealiher’s death that it “was not related to fascist activity”. Police did not specify a motive. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site. Six men, including Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May. In an affidavit in support of Gibson’s arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot “in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation”. Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra. More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.Cider Riot’s owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others. Goldman-Armstrong’s lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to “homophobic and antisemitic” harassment since the suit was filed.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 11:40:37 -0400
  • 'Be water': Police swoop as Hong Kong protests shift tactics

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    Taking a page from ancient Chinese military philosophy, black-clad protesters in Hong Kong changed tactics and wreaked havoc by popping up in small groups in multiple locations across the city Sunday, pursued by but also often eluding police who made scores of muscular arrests. Violence spiraled as protests stretched from Sunday afternoon into the night, with police struggling to restore order. Video broadcast on Hong Kong television also showed a masked, black-clad protester dropping a riot officer with a flying high kick, followed by two other protesters who beat the officer on the ground and tried unsuccessfully to snatch his gun.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 11:33:20 -0400
  • Canadian Snowbird plane crashes during Atlanta air show

    Golocal247.com news

    The remaining festivities associated with the annual air show were cancelled following the crash

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 15:54:44 -0400
  • Why Poland Really Needs the Patriot Missile Defense System (Think Russia)

    Golocal247.com news

    A robust, modern, integrated Polish air defense will complicate Russian attack planning and help ensure the survivability of both Polish military units and installations, as well as NATO's forward-deployed forces.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:00:00 -0400
  • One dead, multiple injuries in New Orleans hotel collapse

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    One person died and at least 18 others were injured Saturday when the top floors of a New Orleans hotel that was under construction collapsed, officials said. The New Orleans fire department received reports at 9:12am local time that the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans had collapsed. One person died at the scene, according to Fire Chief Timothy McConnell, who added that the building is now structurally unstable.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 18:07:07 -0400
  • Iowa teacher who posted 'sniper rifle' comment about Greta Thunberg visit resigns

    Golocal247.com news

    Science teacher Matt Baish had been placed on administrative leave after posting "Dont have my sniper rifle" on an article about Greta Thunberg.

    Fri, 11 Oct 2019 22:46:58 -0400
  • Pope declares John Henry Newman a saint in ceremony attended by Prince Charles

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    The Pope declared John Henry Newman a saint today, the first Briton to be canonised since 1976. An audience of tens of thousands, including the Prince of Wales, applauded as Newman’s name was read out and the choir sang “Alleluia.” Newman, born in 1801, was a prominent Anglican at Oxford University, until 1845 when he converted to Catholicism. His conversion caused a sensation; one of his sisters never spoke to him again. Monsignor Roderick Strange, a biographer of the saint told the Telegraph: “At that time Catholics were a despised minority. To go from a position of such distinction to become a catholic left many of his contemporaries asking ‘what could you be thinking?!’” Newman became a priest and later Cardinal. As one of the great apologists for his faith, he helped found an oratory in England and what is today University College, Dublin. His writings are considered masterpieces of Victorian theology. He died in 1890 and is the first Englishman born since the 1600s to be canonised. Pope Francis arrives to celebrate the Canonisation Mass for John Henry Newman The Church has recognised two miracles performed, according to Catholic teaching, after prayer to Newman to intercede on the sufferer’s behalf. Jack Sullivan, a deacon, was cured of a spinal disease. Melissa Villalobos was cured of unstoppable bleeding. Both were present in the Square as pilgrims. In his homily, delivered surrounded by Swiss guards, Anglican and Catholic clergy, Pope Francis quoted from a sermon by Newman describing the Christian character as “cheerful, easy, kind, courteous, candid, unassuming.” Crowds gather in the St. Peter's Square for Newman's canonisation Credit: Reuters The Prince of Wales has also paid tribute to the saint’s celebrated ability to disagree without anger. His Royal Highness wrote: “Whatever our own beliefs or tradition, we can be thankful for the gifts, rooted in his Catholic faith, which Newman shared with wider society.”

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 06:08:06 -0400
  • Trump says he doesn’t know if Giuliani is still his lawyer as impeachment proceedings heat up

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    Donald Trump has told reporters he doesn’t know if Rudy Giuliani is still his personal attorney, as controversy grows around the president’s key ally and his dealings in Ukraine.Asked on Friday if Mr Giuliani was still his lawyer, the president replied: “Well, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to Rudy.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 05:28:04 -0400
  • Canada's Trudeau vows to forge ahead with campaign after security threat

    Golocal247.com news

    Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday that he will not change the way he is campaigning ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election after a security threat forced him to wear a bulletproof vest at a campaign rally on Saturday. Trudeau arrived 90 minutes late to a rally outside of Toronto wearing the bulky protection under his shirt after he had received a security threat. No details have been provided by the Liberal Party or police.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 11:06:02 -0400
  • Another storm to keep chilly air in place across northern Plains through midweek

    Golocal247.com news

    Following the potent snowstorm and blizzard conditions just a few days ago, another storm will keep the November-like chill in the region into Wednesday.The last storm brought more than two feet of snow across parts of the Dakotas, and caused chaos for travelers by air and along interstates 90 and 15.This same storm will stall north of the Great Lakes, helping to funnel in chilly Canadian air into much of the region through Sunday. Snow showers will linger in Minnesota and the northern half of Wisconsin.The cool conditions will hold for the Chicago Marathon on Sunday as well, with wet weather staying to the north and east. The storm will gradually weaken and move northward into Canada through Monday, allowing for a brief rise in temperatures for some in the Plains.By being further removed from the storm and on the southern side of the jet stream, cities like Rapid City, South Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa, will all warm up noticeably on Monday.After being stuck in the 40s, afternoon highs on Monday in these cities will reach into the middle and upper 50s, which is still 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal for the middle of October.The next storm looks to take shape in western Canada on Sunday, which will trek through the northern Plains and Upper Midwest on Monday night and Tuesday.Unlike the last storm, significant snow accumulation is not expected, although there could be a little light snow for some. "A cold rain, gusty winds and even some wet snowflakes will be in store for portions of the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, lingering into early on Wednesday," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.Snowflakes will be most likely to mix in across northern Minnesota during the day on Tuesday, but there could be some snowflakes mixing in across northern Michigan and Wisconsin Tuesday night."In what has been a difficult year already for farmers across the Midwest, early season snow and well below-average temperatures aren't providing much help during the harvest," said Buckingham.The cold air filtering in along with the storm could cause any wet areas to rapidly freeze up, leading to areas of black ice. Motorists and those on foot should be on the look out for these slippery spots, even if it only rained in their area.Farther east, temperatures are likely to peak on Tuesday before the chilly air moves in Wednesday."Temperatures will rebound briefly to around 60 Tuesday for places like Chicago and Detroit, but the warmer temperatures will be accompanied by showery weather," Buckingham added.By Wednesday, the wet weather will shift to the Northeast, but leave behind November-like temperatures for the Great Lakes region.The late-autumn weather is likely to hold through the middle of the week, before a high pressure pushes a different air mass into the area late this week."This should bring more seasonable conditions by late in the week," said Buckingham. Download the free AccuWeather app to see the exact forecast for your area. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 10:49:44 -0400
  • Suit says feds using immigration marriage interviews as trap

    Golocal247.com news

    Alyse and Elmer Sanchez were thrilled when they survived their "green card" interview, a crucial step in obtaining lawful status in the United States. Moments later, Elmer was in shackles, detained pending deportation to his native Honduras, leaving her alone with their two little boys. "We feel it was a trap, a trick, to get us there," Alyse said.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 00:43:42 -0400
  • Democratic debate: Time for 2020 presidential candidates to get real on health care

    Golocal247.com news

    Promises win elections, but how does this field plan to keep those promises once they reach the Oval Office?

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:47:59 -0400
  • Woman, 33, escaping police custody struck by car in Maple Shade, New Jersey

    Golocal247.com news

    A 33-year-old woman trying to escape from police custody was struck by a car in Burlington County, New Jersey, authorities said.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 22:27:56 -0400
  • A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken Seriously

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    And why countries love to buy them.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 08:00:00 -0400
  • A professor spoke about whiteness at Georgia Southern University. Students burned her book.

    A Latina author challenged students at Georgia Southern University to think about white privilege. Students burned copies of her book.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 16:53:17 -0400
  • In or out? Court case on job bias casts pall on LGBT fests

    Golocal247.com news

    National Coming Out Day festivities were tempered this year by anxiety that some LGBT folk may have to go back into the closet so they can make a living, depending on what the Supreme Court decides about workplace discrimination law. "I want all members of our community to feel supported by the government, and often for a lot of us and a lot of friends of mine, it's the first time that they feel represented," said Jessica Goldberg, a bisexual senior at the University of Colorado Denver.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:40:44 -0400
  • Islamic State Rears Its Head, Adding to Chaos as Turkey Battles Kurds

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    CEYLANPINAR, Turkey -- The Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held territory in northern Syria raised new fears of a resurgence of the Islamic State on Friday, as five militants escaped from a Kurdish-run prison and the extremist group claimed responsibility for a bomb that exploded in the regional capital.As Turkish troops launched a third night of airstrikes and ground incursions, Kurdish fighters said they had thwarted a second attempt to break out of a detention camp for families of Islamic State members.The moves compounded a mounting sense of turmoil in northeast Syria, where tens of thousands of residents were reported fleeing south. The Turkish government said its troops had advanced 5 miles inside part of the country. Several major roads had been blocked and a major hospital abandoned.Since Wednesday, Turkish forces have pummeled Kurdish-held territory with airstrikes and sent in ground troops, trying to seize land controlled by a Kurdish-led militia, the Syrian Democratic Forces. That militia fought alongside U.S. troops in the recent war against the Islamic State.The campaign began after President Donald Trump suddenly ordered U.S. troops to withdraw from the area, giving implicit approval to Turkey's long-anticipated attack on the Kurdish-led militia.Trump's decision was widely criticized, including by his Republican allies in the United States, who said it was a betrayal of an ally -- the Kurds -- that could cause a re-emergence of the Islamic State.The White House -- concerned that Congress would pursue bipartisan sanctions legislation against Turkey -- said Trump would sign an executive order giving the Treasury Department new powers to punish officials in Turkey if its military targeted ethnic and religious minorities."We hope we don't have to use them," said Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary. "But we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to."Since pulling out, U.S. officials have expressed growing concern at the direction the Turkish incursion has taken, with officials warning Friday that the United States would respond forcefully if Islamic State fighters were allowed to escape from prisons in the area.On Friday afternoon, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey vowed to continue the campaign."The West and the U.S., together they say, 'You are killing the Kurds'," said Erdogan in a speech. "Kurds are our brothers. This struggle of ours is not against Kurds. It is against terror groups.''The Turkish government has framed the campaign as a counterterrorist operation because the Kurdish-led militia has close ties with a banned Turkey-based guerrilla movement that has waged a decadeslong struggle against the Turkish state.Erdogan has promised that the fight against the Islamic State will continue and that his forces and their allies will continue to guard any captured militants in Kurdish-held prisons.But the operation has already proved highly disruptive to efforts to keep the Islamic State at bay. Although U.S. and Kurdish forces have defeated Islamic State militants in northeastern Syria, the group has sleeper cells in the region that could use the turmoil to retake the land they controlled in the early years of the Syrian civil war.And the Kurdish militia has diverted soldiers to fight the invasion and abandoned joint operations with U.S. troops as it prioritizes the defense of its land.On Friday, a car bomb exploded on a residential street in Qamishli, the de facto capital of the Kurdish-held region -- a rare act of Islamic State terrorism in a city that was relatively free of trouble before the Turkish assault began.The Turkish bombardment has also endangered the security of several Kurdish-run prisons for Islamic State militants, with at least three in the vicinity of continuing Turkish airstrikes. It is widely feared that in the chaos, Islamic State fighters will escape captivity, as the five did Friday.Kurdish authorities said shells had reached two Kurdish-controlled displacement camps, prompting officials to move some of their 20,000 inhabitants farther south.One of the camps, in Ain Issa, has hundreds of relatives of Islamic State fighters, heightening fears over the effect that the Turkish invasion will have on the fight against the militant group.Kurdish forces also released video of a third camp, which they said showed an effort to escape by members of Islamic State families.A second video, seen by The New York Times, appeared to show prisoners trying to escape a Kurdish-controlled jail after it was hit by an airstrike.While the Turkish airstrikes have hit targets along most of the 300-mile-long Kurdish-held territory, the ground battle has focused on two small but strategically located Syrian border towns, Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain.Turkish troops and their Syrian Arab allies have captured a cluster of villages around the two towns, which lie in the center of the Kurdish region. The troops have in one place established a front line 5 miles from the Turkish border, the Turkish vice president, Fuat Oktay, said Friday evening, according to Turkish media.Their presence has prompted 100,000 residents to flee south, according to U.N. estimates, and forced the evacuation of a major hospital in Tel Abyad that was run by Doctors Without Borders, an international medical charity.A second hospital, in Ras al-Ain, was also evacuated, according to a separate report by the Rojava Information Center, an information service run by activists in the region.Turkish mortar shells also landed close to U.S. troops near the city of Kobani on Friday, prompting a complaint from the U.S. military, the Turkish Defense Ministry confirmed. No one was killed. Turkish officials said the Americans had not been targeted, though the Pentagon said Turkey had known that U.S. forces were in the area.At least 54 Kurdish fighters have been killed since Wednesday, along with 42 from the Turkish-backed force, according to tolls compiled by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a conflict monitor based in Britain.Turkish towns north of the border have also been affected, as Kurdish fighters have returned fire.Since fighting began Wednesday, at least 17 civilians, including four children, have been killed in Turkish border towns. At least four Turkish soldiers have died in the fighting, according to Turkish officials.An entire Turkish border town -- Ceylanpinar -- was evacuated, after two girls were killed in a rocket strike Thursday and two people were seriously wounded Friday.Ceylanpinar was largely deserted Friday afternoon, with shops shuttered and only stray dogs and a few men slipping out to chat or buy cigarettes."Our city is a ghost town," complained Musa Sahman, 70, who sells a local raw meat delicacy but had no customers. "Our government is fighting for Syria, but we don't have any business."But the damage has been far worse on the Kurdish side, where 60 civilians have died since Wednesday, according to the Kurdish Red Crescent.The U.S. decision to ally with Kurdish militias set the stage for Turkey's invasion this week.By capturing land previously held by the Islamic State, Kurdish fighters were then able to create an autonomous statelet that spans roughly a quarter of all Syrian territory and is effectively independent of the central Syrian government in Damascus.But this dynamic has been chastening for Syria's northern neighbor, Turkey, which views the central figures in the autonomous Kurdish region as hostile actors with strong connections to a violent Kurdish nationalist group inside Turkey itself.Turkey's military campaign has come hand in hand with a crackdown on criticism inside Turkey.The state-run media authority warned that it would "silence" any outlet deemed to have published material damaging to the offensive. Two editors at separate independent news websites were briefly detained, their outlets reported."We will never tolerate broadcasts that will negatively affect our beloved nation and glorious soldiers' morale and motivation, that serves the aim of terror, and might mislead our citizens with faulty, wrong and biased information," the media authority said in a statement.The Turkish incursion has prompted a mixed reaction from the 3.6 million Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey.Some fear they will end up being deported to the areas recaptured by Turkish forces in northern Syria, despite having no ancestral links there. Others from the areas of northern Syria currently under attack said they welcomed the campaign.In Turkey, on a hilltop overlooking the Syrian border and the town of Tel Abyad, a lone Syrian man, Mehmet Huseyn, 45, crouched in the shade of a rusting water tank, scanning the horizon for signs of movement.His brother and family were in his home village, 6 miles beyond the ridgeline, while he had been working as a farm laborer in Turkey for four years to support his family of seven, he said."Our village is there," he said. "I am looking in case they leave and we can return home."But it pained him to see more war visited on his home. "Our insides are burning," he said. "We love our land and we love our country."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 11:09:26 -0400
  • Deadly protests set stage for Iran, US tug-of-war over Iraq

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    Iraq's deadliest wave of protests since the 2003 ouster of dictator Saddam Hussein has made the country vulnerable to a battle for influence between its two main competing allies, the United States and Iran, analysts say. The anti-government protests that erupted on October 1 echoed the demands that young Iraqis have made over recent years. "Without this context, Iran would not have intervened," Iraqi political analyst Munqith Dagher said.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 00:06:00 -0400
  • Saudi Arabia opens tourist visas to U.S., European visa holders

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    Tourist visas for Saudi Arabia are now available online and on arrival to holidaymakers who already hold a visa from the United States, Britain or the EU's Schengen zone, expanding eligibility beyond an initial list of 49 countries. The conservative Muslim kingdom, relatively closed off for decades, launched a new visa regime last month for nationals from countries in Europe, North America and much of Asia to boost foreign tourism and diversify the economy away from oil. Executive regulations published over the weekend stipulate that people from other countries who have a tourist or commercial visa from the United States, Britain or European Union nations can follow the same process, rather than applying at a Saudi overseas mission with additional documentation.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 13:28:32 -0400
  • Canada Has Winter-Tire Appointment Week, and Maybe We Should, Too

    Golocal247.com news

    With snow making its first appearance, U.S. drivers in northern areas should consider switching to winter tires.

    Sat, 12 Oct 2019 12:01:00 -0400
  • Tropical systems may brew in Atlantic, East Pacific basins this week

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    In the wake of Melissa, zones near Africa and Central America will be the focus of attention for potential tropical development this week.After forming off the Northeast coast this past Friday morning, Tropical Storm Melissa will continue to weaken as it tracks eastward over the North Atlantic into midweek.Melissa will only be of concern to shipping interests over the next few days as it remains well away from land. However, the storm may approach the Azores in a very weak and non-tropical state by Wednesday.AccuWeather meteorologists are now turning their attention to areas farther south for tropical development this week.A tropical wave about to emerge off the west coast of Africa is the first area of interest. This satellite image shows the Atlantic basin on Sunday morning, Oct. 13, 2019. (NOAA/GOES-EAST) "There is a chance this system could attempt to become an organized tropical system this week," AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.This system will track to the west-northwest toward the Cabo Verde Islands early this week, bringing an uptick in gusty squalls and rough surf.However, by midweek this system is likely to meet its demise as it encounters strong wind shear to the north of the islands.Meanwhile, over the southwestern Caribbean, an area of low pressure has formed amid a broad counter-clockwise wind pattern, known as a gyre. "This area of low pressure will track into or along the north coast of Central America early this week," Kottlowski said.If the system's circulation remains over the warm waters of the Gulf of Honduras for a time, there will be a better chance for it to become an organized tropical system.Drenching showers and thunderstorms are likely over portions of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala and the Yucatan Peninsula into Tuesday, even if an organized tropical system fails to form.This disturbance is expected to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and emerge in the Bay of Campeche by midweek. Here, there may be another opportunity for it to organize.Regardless, drenching flooding rainfall will be possible in portions of eastern Mexico during the second half of the week. Some of this rain could be drawn northward into the western Gulf Coast.Hurricane season continues until the end of November, and Kottlowski believes there will be another named system or two over the Atlantic Ocean before the season comes to a close.The next names on the list for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season are Nestor and Olga.Forecasters are also keeping an eye on the East Pacific basin this week.The window will soon close for a disorganized cluster of showers and thunderstorms south of the Baja California peninsula to develop into a tropical depression or storm.Of greater concern may be another area of disturbed weather located a couple hundred miles west of the coasts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This satellite image shows clusters of showers and thunderstorms off the west coast of Central America on Sunday morning, Oct. 13, 2019. (NOAA/GOES-EAST) This feature may become a tropical depression or storm as it parallels the southern coast of Mexico this week."This tropical threat may bring the risks of flooding and damaging winds to parts of southern and western Mexico," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Eric Leister said.The next names on the list for the 2019 East Pacific hurricane season are Octave and Priscilla. Download the free AccuWeather app to see the latest track maps and advisories for tropical systems all across the globe. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Sun, 13 Oct 2019 05:33:58 -0400
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