• AP sources: Former CIA chief Brennan to brief Dems on Iran
    Politics
    Associated Press

    AP sources: Former CIA chief Brennan to brief Dems on Iran

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats will hear from former CIA Director John Brennan about the situation in Iran, inviting him to speak next week amid heightened concerns over the Trump administration's sudden moves in the region.

  • Swiss Set to Back Tax Reform, Gun Control in Sunday Referendums
    World
    Bloomberg

    Swiss Set to Back Tax Reform, Gun Control in Sunday Referendums

    The new tax regime would replace special tax breaks that multinational companies now enjoy but which Switzerland is forced to do away with to comply with international rules. While Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU, it is in the open-border Schengen area and therefore the law needs to be changed in accordance with stricter rules in the bloc. Both measures are up for a vote because of Switzerland’s system of direct democracy which calls for mandatory referendums if 50,000 votes are collected within 100 days of a law passing.

  • Business
    Reuters

    Exclusive - U.S. may scale back Huawei trade restrictions to help existing customers

    The Commerce Department, which had effectively halted Huawei's ability to buy American-made parts and components, is considering issuing a temporary general license to "prevent the interruption of existing network operations and equipment," a spokeswoman said. Potential beneficiaries of the license could, for example, include internet access and mobile phone service providers in thinly populated places such as Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in recent years. In effect, the Commerce Department would allow Huawei to purchase U.S. goods so it can help existing customers maintain the reliability of networks and equipment, but the Chinese firm still would not be allowed to buy American parts and components to manufacture new products.

  • This Missile Might be the U.S. Navy's Important Weapon in Decades
    World
    The National Interest

    This Missile Might be the U.S. Navy's Important Weapon in Decades

    The Tomahawk and its controversies might make headlines, but as the U.S. Navy re-arms for high-tech warfare, the SM-6 is the missile to watch.The U.S. Navy in late January 2019 confirmed the designation of its newest cruise missile, in the process clarifying its long-term plan for arming its growing fleet of warships.The plan heavily leans on one missile, in particular. It's the SM-6, an anti-aircraft weapon that quickly is evolving to perform almost every role the Navy assigns to a missile.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy dubbed the newest version of the venerable Tomahawk cruise missile the "Block V" model, Jane's reported. There are two separate variants of the Block V missile, one with an anti-ship warhead and another with a warhead the Navy optimized for striking targets on land.Raytheon's Tomahawk has been the subject of controversy in Washington, D.C. In order to save money the Obama administration wanted to pause production of the long-range missile, which since the 1980s has been the Navy's main weapon for striking land targets from the sea.Congress overruled the Obama administration and continued buying Tomahawks for roughly $1 million apiece, adding potentially hundreds of the missiles to the thousands the fleet already possesses.

  • Austrian president calls for September poll in wake of scandal
    World
    AFP

    Austrian president calls for September poll in wake of scandal

    Austria's president on Sunday called for fresh elections in September after a corruption scandal embroiling the far-right brought down the coalition government in spectacular fashion. Just days before key EU elections, Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was forced to resign in disgrace Saturday following explosive revelations from a hidden camera sting. Conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz -- whose 18-month coalition with Strache's far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) had been held up as a model by many on the European right -- reacted by pulling the plug on their union.

  • Modi’s jobs deficit: J&J’s largest India plant idle three years after completion
    Business
    Reuters

    Modi’s jobs deficit: J&J’s largest India plant idle three years after completion

    It was to eventually employ at least 1,500 people and help bring development to a rural area near Hyderabad in southern India. Two sources familiar with J&J's operations in India and one state government official told Reuters production at the plant, at Penjerla in Telangana state, never began because of a slowing in the growth in demand for the products. One of them said that demand didn’t rise as expected because of two shock policy moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi: a late 2016 ban on then circulating high-value currency notes, and the nationwide introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) in 2017.

  • View Photos of the First Hot Wheels Toy Based on a Fan's Custom Car
    Lifestyle
    Car and Driver

    View Photos of the First Hot Wheels Toy Based on a Fan's Custom Car

    A flame-throwing, 600-hp ground-bound jet from Jersey is cool enough-then they up and made a toy version.From Car and Driver

  • Democrat 2020 hopefuls eye coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement
    Politics
    The Telegraph

    Democrat 2020 hopefuls eye coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement

    She is the great young hope of America’s Left-wing, an articulate and impassioned progressive whose policies have gained traction and Twitter feed is followed by four million.  Now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old first-time congressman from New York, is seeing her newfound political clout manifest in a new way – a race for her endorsement.  With two dozen Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination, the support of Ms Ocasio-Cortez is being seen as a way to win over the young, energised voters who will help shape the race.  Chief among the contenders are Bernie Sanders, the independent 77-year-old senator from Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, the former academic now representing Massachusetts in the Senate.  Both have made tacit acknowledgement of Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in public in recent weeks – whether for policy reasons, or for political gain, or both.  Earlier this month, Mr Sanders appeared alongside Ms Ocasio-Cortez at an office table where they discussed the importance of reducing credit card interest rates.  At the end of the 25-minute video, shared on social media and viewed by more than half a million people, the pair patted each other on the back warmly and smiled.  Last month, Mr Warren wrote a 180-word ode to Ms Ocasio-Cortez for Time Magazine when the latter was named in its top 100 most influential people.  “A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar. Today, millions are taking cues from her,” Ms Warren wrote of the congresswoman’s remarkable political rise. “And she’s just getting started.” Those two are not the only Democratic hopefuls vying for an endorsement, it appears. Politico reported that both senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former housing and urban development secretary Julian Castro have made “overtures”.  There is no reason a person should pay more than 15% interest in the United States. It’s common sense - in fact, we had these Usury laws until the 70s. It’s a debt trap for working people + it has to end.https://t.co/sO0p5NF7WR— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) May 9, 2019 The enthusiasm is understandable. The Democratic Party’s progressive base appears fired up for change and many candidates hoping to win the right to take on Donald Trump are leaning its way.  Government-funded health care for all, a $15 minimum wage and bold action on climate change have been widely adopted by the field ahead of the first debate in June and the first primary vote next February.  Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who last year shocked the political establishment by ousting a 10-term Democrat in her own party to take his seat, has become the progressive movement’s most recognisable star.  That was underscored this week as Joe Biden, the former US vice president who is polling top and running on a centrist ticket, was forced to defend his climate change stance after Ms Ocasio-Cortez dismissed it as “middle of the road".  Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator for Massachusetts, has developed a reputation for standing up to Wall Street Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Mr Sanders is best placed to win the endorsement race. Ms Ocasio-Cortez worked on his 2016 presidential campaign, identifies like him as a democratic socialist and shares many of the same policy beliefs.  Ms Warren has also laid out a left-wing platform taking on Wall Street and redistributing wealth but makes clear she remains a believer in capitalism.  Asked recently about an endorsement by a CNN reporter, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said: “What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward. "I think senator Sanders has that. I also think senator Warren has that.” And, the questioner followed up, would she consider endorsing Mr Biden? Ms Ocasio-Cortez turned and walked away without a definitive answer.

  • Lifestyle
    BGR News

    10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: AirPods 2, $35 Fire TV Stick 4K, $10 Philips Hue bulbs, more

    We've got another great weekend edition of our daily deals roundups for you, because great deals never take a day off! Highlights include a rare opportunity to save $20 on Apple AirPods 2 (order now to lock in the discount and they'll ship soon, likely within a few weeks), the Fire TV Stick 4K for $35 instead of $50 and the Fire TV Stick for $25 instead of $40 (Prime members only), all-time low prices for the Apple Watch Series 3 starting at $199, all-time low prices on iPads starting at $249, just $11.50 for a SanDisk 64GB microSD card (other sizes on sale too!), Philips Hue white LED bulbs for $10 a piece when you buy a 4-pack, Alexa and Google enabled WiFi smart plugs for $7.25 each when you buy a 4-pack, and more. See all of today's top deals below.

  • World
    Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Argentina grants offshore oil, gas exploration permits in Malvinas West basin

    Argentina awarded permits for hydrocarbon exploration in 18 areas off its southern coast to companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Total SA , YPF SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the government said on Friday. The winning companies offered bids totaling $724 million, the government said in official statements, and won the rights to explore for up to 13 years in areas of the South Atlantic, some near the Malvinas Islands under the control of the British government but whose sovereignty is claimed by Argentina. The other companies that will make up exploration consortia in Argentina's Malvinas West basin include BP, Qatar Petroleum, Tullow Oil, Pluspetrol , Wintershall, Equinor, Eni , Mitsui &Co Ltd and Tecpetrol SA.

  • Here Is Russia's Plan to Build a Fleet of Su-57 Stealth Fighters
    World
    The National Interest

    Here Is Russia's Plan to Build a Fleet of Su-57 Stealth Fighters

    The Su-57 is coming—76 of them over the next decade, to be exact.Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at a Kremlin meeting that the Russian Defense Ministry plans to procure 76 Su-57 fifth-generation fighters by 2028, himself acknowledging that these new quantities dwarf previous Russian defense ministry estimates: "The 2028 arms program stipulated the purchase of 16 such jets… In the nearest future we will sign a package contract to supply 76 such jets equipped with modern weapons of destruction and provided with the necessary land infrastructure."The announcement defies the western defense analysis consensus, which concluded that the Su-57 will not enter production until the late 2020’s. Even then, it was alleged that Russia lacks the industrial output to churn out Su-57 fighters in militarily meaningful numbers.If the Kremlin’s new forecast proves to be accurate, what accounts for this drastic output increase?

  • Louisiana governor breaks with Democratic Party on abortion
    Politics
    Associated Press

    Louisiana governor breaks with Democratic Party on abortion

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Nearly three decades ago, when Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' wife was 20 weeks pregnant with their first child, a doctor discovered their daughter had spina bifida and encouraged an abortion. The Edwardses refused.

  • SAT to give students 'adversity score'
    U.S.
    FOX News Videos

    SAT to give students 'adversity score'

    Students will now be given an 'adversity score' to show challenges they have overcome based on their environment.

  • Boeing acknowledges flaw in 737 MAX simulator software
    Business
    AFP

    Boeing acknowledges flaw in 737 MAX simulator software

    Boeing acknowledged Saturday it had to correct flaws in its 737 MAX flight simulator software used to train pilots, after two deadly crashes involving the aircraft that killed 346 people. "Boeing has made corrections to the 737 MAX simulator software and has provided additional information to device operators to ensure that the simulator experience is representative across different flight conditions," it said in a statement. Its statement marked the first time Boeing acknowledged there was a design flaw in software linked to the 737 MAX, whose MCAS anti-stall software has been blamed in large part for the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy.

  • Nearly 180 former Ohio State University students claim sexual abuse by doctor
    News
    Reuters

    Nearly 180 former Ohio State University students claim sexual abuse by doctor

    Dr. Richard Strauss was accused of abusing at least 177 male students when he worked as a physician for the university's athletic department and the student health center from 1978 to 1998, the report said, detailing the findings of a year-long independent investigation. Staff members knew of the abuse as early as 1979, but complaints were never elevated to administrators and senior officials of the athletics or student health departments until 1996. At that time, the school suspended and ultimately removed Strauss after a "very limited investigation" into a student's claim that the doctor fondled him during an exam, the report said.

  • Ocasio-Cortez Sides With Buffett on How Errant CEOs Should Pay
    Politics
    Bloomberg

    Ocasio-Cortez Sides With Buffett on How Errant CEOs Should Pay

    The freshman New York Democrat retweeted a CNBC article about how the Berkshire Hathaway chairman recently told shareholders that if a bank needs a government bail-out, the responsible CEO and his or her spouse should lose their net worth. In the CNBC story she retweeted, originally published on May 4, the day of Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha, Buffett was quoted as responding to a shareholder’s question regarding the Wells Fargo scandal in 2016 involving the creation of fake accounts. The story pointed out Berkshire is one of the largest shareholders in Wells Fargo.

  • Trump lashes out at Justin Amash after Republican calls for impeachment
    Politics
    The Guardian

    Trump lashes out at Justin Amash after Republican calls for impeachment

    * Mitt Romney declines to join calls for Congress to act * No holds Barred: Trump pushes for imperial presidencyPresident-elect Donald Trump and Mitt Romney dine in New York in November 2016. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesAs Donald Trump opened fire on Justin Amash, the Michigan representative who became the first Republican in Congress to call for his impeachment, Mitt Romney declined to join the fight.The former presidential nominee and Republican senator from Utah accused Donald Trump of lacking humility, honesty and integrity – but stopped short of calling for his impeachment and removal from power.Romney was scathing about the picture of the president that emerges from the Mueller report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the redacted version of which he said he had spent two days reading in full. He said on Sunday its findings were “troubling, unfortunate and distressing”.But he said he did not think it was time for Congress to call for impeachment.“I don’t think there is the full element which you need to prove the obstruction of justice case,” he told CNN’s State of the Union. I don’t think there is the full element which you need to prove the obstruction of justice case Mitt RomneyMueller did not find that Trump or his aides conspired with Russia but he did lay out 11 instances of possible obstruction of justice by Trump or his campaign and indicated Congress should decide how to proceed. Controversially, attorney general William Barr said in his own summary of the then unseen Mueller report that Trump had not obstructed justice.Romney’s sharp but qualified criticism of Trump came a day after Amash became the first Republican to break ranks and call for impeachment. In a stream of tweets, Amash said the Mueller report showed “President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment”.Amash and Romney are significant figures within their party, as they stand virtually alone in having the temerity to challenge Trump in public. But the fact that Romney would not join Amash on impeachment is an indication of the impenetrable wall of opposition the party is likely to erect should Democrats initiate proceedings.Just why became clear later on Sunday, when Trump aimed his Twitter account at Amash.Saying he was “never a fan”, he called Amash “a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy”.Trump also accused Amash of not having read the Mueller report – the congressman made much of saying he had in fact read all 448 pages – and, while repeating familiar complaints about Mueller, wrote: “Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents [sic] hands!”In fact, Amash’s sole call for impeachment on the Republican side may not do much to move the political dial. Democrats are edging closer to launching proceedings, but not for the reasons the congressman outlined.Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House intelligence committee, told CBS’s Face the Nation there were no signs of the Republican-controlled Senate moving towards impeachment. Nonetheless, Democrats were becoming more minded to take it on, he said, as a tool to increase pressure on the Trump administration to hand over key documents, including the unredacted Mueller report, that it is refusing to submit to congressional oversight.“What may be pushing towards impeachment has less to do with Justin Amash and more to do with the administration engaging in a maximum obsctructionism campaign against Congress,” Schiff said.Adam Schiff, centre, seen at a Senate hearing this week. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/APRomney, who ran unsuccessfully against Barack Obama in 2012, said impeachment was not just a legal matter. It must also, he said, “consider the practicality of politics, and the American people are just not there”.He added: “The Senate is not there either.”Democratic leadership has also considered public opinion, and what impeachment might do to motivate Trump’s base, when weighing up whether to make the move.Despite his reluctance to go all the way into impeachment, Romney has showed himself willing to take on Trump. In April he issued a statement saying: “I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president.”He told CNN the Mueller report distressed him.“The number of times there were items of dishonesty, misleading the American public and media – those are not things you would want to see from the highest office in the land.”He said that in terms of three crucial features of a president – humility, honesty and integrity – Trump has “distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character”.Such was his disgust with Trump as a presidential candidate in 2016, Romney wrote in his wife Ann on to the presidential election ballot, thereby voting for her instead. He told CNN he had not yet decided if he would do the same next year.

  • US 'afraid' of war with Iran, claims  head of Revolutionary Guard
    Politics
    The Telegraph

    US 'afraid' of war with Iran, claims  head of Revolutionary Guard

    The US is "afraid" of war with the US, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard said as tensions between Tehran and Washington intensified over the weekend. Major General Hossein Salami told the Iranian state news agency, IRNA, that the country does not want war. "The difference between us and them is that they are afraid of war and don't have the will for it," he said. His remarks came against a backdrop of increased volatility in the region, with the US sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf to counter an unspecified threat from Iran. Major General Salami's comments were dismissed by the US president on Twitter. "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Mr Trump tweeted. The US Federal Aviation Administration has urged commercial aircraft to exercise caution when flying over the Persian Gulf, warning they ran the risk of being "misidentified". How Iran has stoked tensions in Gulf A similar misunderstanding in 1988 led to an American warship bringing down an Iran Air flight, killing all 290 people on board. Iraq, meanwhile, has condemned as "political" a decision by US energy giant ExxonMobil to evacuate staff from a southern oil field after Washington ordered personnel to quit its Baghdad embassy. Saudi Arabia responded to the escalating crisis by calling for a Gulf summit,  adding that while the country did not want war it would defend itself if hostilities erupted. John Bolton wants tough line with Iran Credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters In Washington Donald Trump has emerged as a dove within his own administration, telling his acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he wants to avoid an armed conflict erupting. It has put the US president at odds with John Bolton, his national security adviser and a long-standing foreign policy hawk, who has made little secret of his desire for regime change in Tehran. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has also sought to lower the temperature by asking European allies to intervene with Iran. Washington's stance on Iran has put it at odds with European allies, notably after it withdrew from the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration. Over the weekend Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran and Democratic presidential candidate, rounded on Mr Trump and Mr Pompeo accusing them of leading the country into a war with Iran. "He says he doesn't want it, but the actions of him and his administration, people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, tell us a very different story," she said on ABC. "They are setting the stage for a war with Iran that would prove to be far more costly, far more devastating and dangerous than anything that we saw in the Iraq war."

  • World
    Reuters

    Exxon Mobil evacuates foreign staff out of Iraqi oilfield - sources

    Exxon Mobil has evacuated all its foreign staff members out of Iraq's West Qurna 1 oilfield and is flying them out to Dubai, three sources told Reuters on Saturday. Production at the oilfield was not affected by the evacuation and work there is under way normally and being undertaken by Iraqi engineers, Iraqi oil officials said. Staff were evacuated over several phases late on Friday and early on Saturday, either straight to Dubai or to the main camp housing foreign oil company employees in Basra province.

  • Glock 31 Gun: All You Need To Know About this Powerful Pistol
    News
    The National Interest

    Glock 31 Gun: All You Need To Know About this Powerful Pistol

    In the early 1990s, a handful of calibers emerged to challenge the nine-millimeter as the dominant semi-automatic handgun round. One of these, the .357 Sig, is the caliber of choice for the Glock 31 pistol. The Glock 31 is the company’s offering for those into high velocity or long distance handgun shooting. The G31 also comes with a large magazine capacity, making it an excellent self-defense or duty sidearm.The now infamous 1986 FBI Miami shootout was a watershed moment in the history of law enforcement. Eight FBI agents armed with pistols and shotguns engaged two bank robbers armed with superior weapons. Over the course of the gun battle, which saw the federal agents pinned down by suppressive fire from a Ruger Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle, two agents were killed and another five wounded. The two bank robbers were hit multiple times by incoming fire but were both able to continue shooting, contributing to the very high law enforcement casualty rate.In the aftermath of the shootout, the FBI and other government agencies began the search for a new, more powerful handgun round. Nine-millimeter and .38 Special proved ineffective at stopping the robbers, while .357 Magnum was a revolver cartridge that limited the user’s carrying capacity to six rounds at a time. Law enforcement wanted a powerful round that could be carried in large quantities.

  • Russia says Syrian government forces halt fire in Idlib
    World
    Associated Press

    Russia says Syrian government forces halt fire in Idlib

    MOSCOW (AP) — Syrian government forces have unilaterally ceased fire in the northern Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold, Russia said Sunday, while opposition activists reported continued shelling and airstrikes.

  • Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony
    Lifestyle
    National Review

    Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

    Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their backs on traditional coffee in favor of a more “refreshing” vehicle for caffeine: cold brew.As conservatives, we are inherently skeptical of any change of language norms that seeks to warp the objective meaning of words, and so we defend terms such as “man and woman,” “traditional marriage,” and now, we must defend “coffee.” “Coffee” is defined as a hot beverage made by steeping coffee in boiling water. Cold brew is made by soaking beans overnight, and the drink relies on time instead of heat to extract the flavor. The major disqualifying factor is that it's cold.Starbucks’s imperial command over coffee is greatly responsible for this Orwellian redefinition. Its ubiquitous mermaid logo may read “Starbucks Coffee,” but the corporate café caliphate makes most of its profit from drinks sugary enough to induce a diabetic coma in a small mammal. Even more sinister is that Starbucks expanded into Milan in 2018, irreverently flexing its muscle at coffee purists who turn up their noses while its ostentatious drinks conquer the international beverage forum, marginalizing and undermining traditional coffee.Smaller coffee shops have followed in Starbucks’s footsteps. Today, “Let’s go out for coffee!” seems like an innocent request from a coworker or friend, and it should suggest that the order will include a cup of boiled water that was brewed with coffee beans — whether it’s a single shot of espresso or a cup of café americano, made with a French press or Moka Express. But too often, they mean something else. In the summer, they mean cold brew.One New York City coffee-store owner told the New York Times in 2017 that in the summer, 65 percent of the “coffee” he sells is iced — every other part of the year, 75 percent of the “coffee” sold is hot. Iced coffee itself is a cousin of cold brew, but with nearly all of hot coffee's features except the most significant one: heat. It's brewed the same way, and then cooled. But demand for cold brew specifically is increasing, unsurprisingly, among my generation: Millennials. A habit of subversive behavior among Millennials has driven us to attack all of our civilization’s most sacred institutions, including coffee — the backbone of American productivity.As cold brew’s popularity metastasizes, usurping coffee for several months of the year, will we forget our proud national heritage? Cold brew requires patience and planning: One must make a prediction of business the next day in order to estimate how much to make the night before. This is a clear break from our proud tradition of urgency. While the harvesting and roasting of good coffee beans surely requires patience, has prepared coffee ever been associated with anything other than the quick satiation of a morning addiction, or the rush to meet a deadline? Like bread, coffee is a staple for good reason: One needs only five minutes, a heat source, a filtration method, and the beans. It’s dependable and democratic.Coffee has even provoked constitutional debate. Would we have considered tort reform within the framework of the Seventh Amendment had it not been for 1994’s infamous hot-coffee lawsuit, Liebeck v. McDonald’s?To those who will, during the summer months, abandon the beverage that gives many of us our will to live in the mornings, I ask just one concession to coffee purists: Drink your cold brew, but please, don’t call it “coffee.”