• Showdown in Congress between Trump, Democrats intensifies
    Politics
    AFP

    Showdown in Congress between Trump, Democrats intensifies

    The clash between US President Donald Trump and the Democratic majority in Congress intensified on Monday, with the White House telling the president's former lawyer to ignore a subpoena to testify about Trump's alleged obstruction of justice in the Russia probe.

  • Abducted Idaho girl found safe in Arizona, suspect jailed
    News
    Associated Press

    Abducted Idaho girl found safe in Arizona, suspect jailed

    SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl abducted from an Idaho fast-food restaurant where she worked was found safe in Arizona on Tuesday and the man accused of taking her was jailed on a $1 million bond, authorities said.

  • Ukraine's New Leader Sets Snap Parliamentary Election for July
    World
    Bloomberg

    Ukraine's New Leader Sets Snap Parliamentary Election for July

    (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s new leader started a two-month countdown to snap parliamentary elections as the TV comedian-turned-politician tries to consolidate power after his rapid rise to power.

  • India's Modi shows confidence as opposition dismisses ominous exit polls
    World
    Reuters

    India's Modi shows confidence as opposition dismisses ominous exit polls

    Exit polls have predicted a clear win for Modi in the election that ended on Sunday, but such polls in India have proved misleading before, and counting of votes cast in the seven-phase contest will take place on Thursday. The ruling coalition, led by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is projected to win between 339 and 365 seats in the 545-member lower house of parliament with a Congress-led opposition alliance getting only 77 to 108, an exit poll from India Today Axis showed. Flanked by BJP president Amit Shah, Modi met cabinet ministers, party colleagues and dozens of the leaders from regional blocs that are part of the alliance.

  • 'Plan B': Huawei's operating system headache after Android ban
    Business
    AFP Relax News

    'Plan B': Huawei's operating system headache after Android ban

    Google's decision to partially cut off Huawei devices from its Android operating system has presented the Chinese tech titan with one of its most dramatic challenges yet: how to keep up with the competition if it cannot use the platform that powers nearly every other smartphone in the world? If it should be the case that we can no longer use these systems (like Android)... we would therefore need to be well-armed," Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview published in March. Washington last week imposed a ban on the sale or transfer of American technology to the firm -- which could impact hundreds of millions of Huawei phones and tablets around the world.

  • AOC, Warren disappointed by 'Game of Thrones' finale: 'Ugh, this was written by men'
    News
    Yahoo News

    AOC, Warren disappointed by 'Game of Thrones' finale: 'Ugh, this was written by men'

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren were "sad" and "disappointed" by the much-anticipated "Game of Thrones" finale.

  • Iran Has Amassed the Largest Ballistic Missile Force in the Middle East
    World
    The National Interest

    Iran Has Amassed the Largest Ballistic Missile Force in the Middle East

    Deterring regional adversaries from threatening Iran is the primary reason Tehran has amassed the largest ballistic missile force in the Middle East.The missile program actually began under the Shah, but it was accelerated during the Iran-Iraq War in order to threaten Saddam Hussein with strikes deep in Iraqi territory. Since then, Iran has worked with countries like Libya, North Korea and China in order to develop a large and diverse arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles that form one part of its three-leg deterrent strategy. With Iran now using missiles in conflict, it’s worth taking a closer look at the weapons in its arsenal.(This first appeared back in 2017.)Shahab-SeriesThe backbone of Iran's missile forces are the Shahab-series of liquid-fueled (mostly) short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM). There are three variants of the missile: The Shahab-1, Shahab-2 and Shahab-3. The Shahab-1 was the first missile Iran acquired and is based on the Soviet Scud-B missile. Iran reportedly purchased these initially from Libya and possibly Syria, but North Korea has been its main supplier. The Shab-1 has a reported range between 285–330 kilometers, and can carry a warhead of around one thousand kilograms. Iran is believed to have three hundred Shahab-1 rockets.

  • After Huawei, U.S. could blacklist Chinese surveillance tech firm - media
    Business
    Reuters

    After Huawei, U.S. could blacklist Chinese surveillance tech firm - media

    The U.S. administration is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision, media reports show, deepening worries that trade friction between the world's top two economies could be further inflamed. The restrictions would limit Hikvision's ability to buy U.S. technology and American companies may have to obtain government approval to supply components to the Chinese firm, the New York Times reported https://nyti.ms/2MfgBS3 on Tuesday. The United States stuck Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world's largest telecom network gear maker, in a major escalation in the trade war.

  • Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war
    World
    AFP

    Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war

    The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing's control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war. A seemingly routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths company this week is being widely read as an obvious threat that Beijing is standing ready for action. Xi's inspection tour "is no accident, this didn't happen by chance," said Li Mingjiang, China programme coordinator at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.

  • Powerful storms spawn tornadoes, flash flooding in the heartland
    U.S.
    FOX News Videos

    Powerful storms spawn tornadoes, flash flooding in the heartland

    Forecasters had warned of an unusually high risk for parts of Oklahoma and Texas; Steve Harrigan reports from Stillwater, Oklahoma.

  • Farage's Brexit Party to Trounce May, Sporting Index Says
    World
    Bloomberg

    Farage's Brexit Party to Trounce May, Sporting Index Says

    Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives will win seven, while Labour will take 13 and the Liberal Democrats 12, Sporting Index predicted in an email in London on Tuesday. Sporting Index has had a consistently strong record in predicting some of the key twists and turns of the Brexit saga. Last month, about two hours before the latest vote on May’s Brexit deal, the spread betting firm forecast she’d lose by 60 votes.

  • Abortion ban protests: Thousands demonstrate against new restrictive laws across America
    Politics
    The Independent

    Abortion ban protests: Thousands demonstrate against new restrictive laws across America

    Massive protests opposing a series of bans against abortions have continued for several days after one of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation was signed into law in Alabama last week. Crowds of demonstrators on Capitol Hill were joined by prominent women’s rights activists and politicians on Tuesday, including 2020 presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand, for a rally titled StopTheBans. “Our democracy only works when the people of this country stand up and demand it,” the New York senator said to cheers. “Do not allow this moment to pass without putting everything you have behind it … organise, advocate and vote.” Across the country, Americans from all walks of life marched in major cities and small towns to oppose bans like the one in Alabama, which makes performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. The bill, signed by Republican Governor Kay Ivey, is effectively designed to set up a lengthy legal battle that could result in the Supreme Court revisiting a decades-old decision for Roe v. Wade, which deemed abortion a Constitutionally-protected right. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” the governor said in a statement while signing the bill on Wednesday.Hundreds of demonstrators then marched to the Alabama Capitol on Sunday to protest the state’s newly approved abortion ban, chanting “my body, my choice!” and “vote them out!”In a statement addressing the cheering crowd, Planned Parenthood Southeast President Staci Fox said “Banning abortion does not stop abortion. It stops safe abortion.”Governors in Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have also approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.But none of the laws have actually taken effect, and all are expected to be blocked by the courts as the legal challenges play out with an ultimate eye on the Supreme Court.Marchers have said the measures are energising supporters of legalised abortion, and they say they are digging in for a legal and political fight. Along the route they took, the protesters passed by scattered counter-demonstrators raising signs against abortion.The Alabama law would make it a felony, punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison to perform an abortion. There would be no punishment for the woman receiving the abortion.But the protest outside the Alabama Capitol on Sunday occurred in a state where a majority of voters recently agreed to put anti-abortion language in the Alabama Constitution. Fifty-nine per cent of state voters in November approved the constitutional amendment saying the state recognises the rights of the “unborn.” As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan. We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new..... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019Donald Trump, while not mentioning Alabama’s law, wrote in a weekend tweet that he is strongly “pro-life” but favours exceptions.“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan,” The president wrote in a series of tweets.Alabama’s abortion ban would go into effect in six months if it isn’t blocked by legal challenges.Additional reporting by AP

  • 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Restoration Is A Work Of Art
    Lifestyle
    motorious

    1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Restoration Is A Work Of Art

    The Ford Mustang is an American automotive icon known the world over. Ford’s pony car is the four-wheeled embodiment of the American dream. Petty’s Garage is well-known for its work on modern Mustangs, enhancing their performance and producing limited edition special models.

  • The Latest: Iran supreme leader critical of FM in nuke deal
    World
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Iran supreme leader critical of FM in nuke deal

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):

  • U.S. judge says Qualcomm violated antitrust law; appeal planned, shares plunge
    Business
    Reuters

    U.S. judge says Qualcomm violated antitrust law; appeal planned, shares plunge

    The decision issued late Tuesday night by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, caused Qualcomm shares to plunge 11 percent on Wednesday. "Qualcomm's licensing practices have strangled competition" in parts of the chip market for years, harming rivals, smartphone makers, and consumers, Koh wrote in a 233-page decision. Qualcomm said it will immediately ask Koh to put her decision on hold, and also seek a quick appeal to the federal appeals court in California.

  • US stocks rally on Huawei reprieve as pound gyrates on Brexit news
    Business
    AFP

    US stocks rally on Huawei reprieve as pound gyrates on Brexit news

    Global stocks rallied Tuesday as the United States took a step away from imposing crushing restrictions on Chinese telecom company Huawei, while the pound gyrated on fresh Brexit drama.

  • Mid-Engined Corvette Spied without Rear Wing
    Lifestyle
    Car and Driver

    Mid-Engined Corvette Spied without Rear Wing

    Caught high-speed testing at GM's proving grounds, this car looks like it could be a base model due to its lack of a rear wing.From Car and Driver

  • China's Navy Is Growing So Fast Its Running Out of Names For Its Warships
    World
    The National Interest

    China's Navy Is Growing So Fast Its Running Out of Names For Its Warships

    China’s navy has a new problem: not enough names for its rapidly growing fleet of warships.“China is running out of provincial capitals to name new destroyers, and it might have to turn to other big domestic cities, which reflects the country's rapid naval development in recent years,” according to Chinese newspaper Global Times.The People’s Liberation Army Navy recently named its first Type 055 destroyer the Nanchang, which is the capital city of East China's Jiangxi Province.One of the three other Type 055 destroyers will be named Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, according to Chinese media. That just leaves Nanning and Taipei as the names of provincial capitals for destroyers (Taipei is Taiwan’s capital, though Taiwan has not yet declared independence as a separate nation from China).Which means non-capital cities will have to bequeath their names to Chinese destroyers. The latest destroyer is named Qiqihar, which is a non-capital city in in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. A few ships have been named after major cities, such as the Shenzen, a Type 051 destroyer.“Chinese destroyers and frigates should be named after big and medium Chinese cities, according to the naval vessels naming regulation,” Global Times said. “This means naming of destroyers does not necessarily have to use provincial capitals, as it was a non-binding tradition.”

  • Comrade Sanders Targets Charter Schools
    News
    National Review

    Comrade Sanders Targets Charter Schools

    Few things offend Bernie Sanders as much as people escaping from command-and-control government systems, even minority students whose parents are desperate to get their kids a decent education.The socialist wants to turn George Wallace on his head and not block black children from attending traditional public schools, but block them from exiting those schools for something better.  The New York Times wrote a long, devastating report the other day on the then-Burlington, Vt., mayor’s love affair with the Sandinistas in the 1980s. So many decades later, his reflex is the same: If the Sandinistas wouldn’t favor it, he’s not inclined to like it much either. That goes for charter schools that, yes, are publicly funded, but still too flexible and unregulated for refined socialist tastes. Over the weekend, Sanders unveiled his education plan. He wants to end for-profit charter schools (about 15 percent of all charters) and impose a moratorium on new public funding of charters, while taking steps to impose a one-size-fits-all regulatory regime on existing charters.Sanders thus seeks to kneecap what has been an astonishingly successful experiment in urban education because it doesn’t fit nicely within his ideological preconceptions.That Sanders says he wants to do this to advance the principle that “every human being has the fundamental right to a good education” is hilariously perverse. The comrades will have a good chuckle over that one.Charter schools aren’t the product of a libertarian conspiracy. They fall short of the vouchers favored by conservatives to allow parents to get access to private schools. Charters receive public money but have more leeway to develop policies outside the regulatory and union straitjacket of traditional public schools. Charters had bipartisan support before a Vermont socialist became one of the party’s thought leaders. Bill Clinton won the first-ever lifetime achievement award from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Promoting charters was a hallmark of Barack Obama’s education agenda and a signature of Cory Booker’s mayoralty in Newark, N.J.Not all charters are created equal. Some don’t serve their students well, especially online charter schools, and the performance of suburban and rural charter schools hasn’t been very impressive. It’s the charter schools in urban areas with the worst traditional public schools that have excelled. According to a well-regarded 2015 study by Stanford’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, students in urban charter schools got the equivalent of 40 additional days of math instruction and 28 additional days of reading annually. The numbers for African-American students in poverty were even better. Charters in Newark and Boston have seen enormous academic gains.In New York City, the Success Academy founded by Eva Moskowitz — one of the foremost education reformers of our time — has eliminated racial and economic achievement gaps.It’s amazing what schools can do when they impose discipline, have the highest expectations, and focus with a laser intensity on instruction. Anyone interested in the education of minority students should seek to build on these oases of excellence, rather than cut them off. But the teachers unions hate charters, and they are a much more powerful potential cadre in the Sanders “revolution” than poor black kids. Sanders suggests that charter schools somehow increase segregation. This is nonsense, as Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine points out. Urban charter schools reflect the segregation of their neighborhoods where they are located — just like traditional public schools do.The polling shows that minority parents get what Sanders (and white progressives) refuses to understand. A solid majority of black and Hispanic Democrats have a favorable view of charters, while white Democrats have an unfavorable view by a 2-1 margin. It is doubtful how much of his anti-charter agenda Sanders would be able to enact if elected, since much of the action is at the state and local level. That he’s hostile to these schools should, regardless, redound to his shame. © 2019 by King Features Syndicate

  • White House, Democrats in Talks to End Holdup on USMCA Approval
    Politics
    Bloomberg

    White House, Democrats in Talks to End Holdup on USMCA Approval

    Pelosi told Lighthizer that she will designate members of her caucus to be working group representatives to deal with labor, enforcement, environment and pharmaceutical provisions of the deal, two people briefed on the discussions said. The groups will likely consist of Democrats from the Ways and Means Committee, the congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus to ensure they can build consensus within the party, one of the people said.

  • Iran ‘quadruples production’ of enriched uranium amid rising tensions with Trump
    World
    The Independent

    Iran ‘quadruples production’ of enriched uranium amid rising tensions with Trump

    Iran has quadrupled its production of low-grade uranium enrichment amid increased tensions with the United States, nuclear officials have said.Iranian officials stressed the uranium would only be enriched to the 3.67 per cent limit set by the 2015 nuclear deal, making it suitable for civilian nuclear power generation but well below the 90 per cent purity required to make atomic bombs.However, by increasing production Iran will soon exceed the stockpile limit of 300kg.“This is part of Iran’s pushback strategy against the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign,” Sanam Vakil, a Chatham House expert on Iran, told The Independent. “This is their effort at building up various portfolios that can then be used as leverage or bargaining positions if and when they come back to the negotiating table.”Tehran has set a deadline of 7 July for Europe to set a new terms for the deal after US president Donald Trump withdrew from the deal. It has warned it will enrich to medical grade levels of 20 per cent, closer to the 60 per cent needed for a dirty bomb or the 90 per cent for nuclear war head, if no deal is reached.Ms Vakil said said Iran would probably breach the deal’s stockpile limit in 60 days, “sending a message” to Europe – and Russia and China – that its compliance “can’t be taken for granted anymore”.Former US director of national intelligence James Clapper, speaking to the BBC, played down the uranium announcement, saying ”I don’t know that it’s necessary to go into the panic mode yet”.He warned about the danger of accidental escalation, particularly as both US and Iranian vessels patrol in close proximity in the Strait of Hormuz.“The thing I would be concerned about is some inadvertent incident that could go incendiary,” he said.Tensions in the Middle East have flared after officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged four oil vessels including two Saudi Arabian oil tankers were sabotaged and Houthi rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. Iran has denied it was behind any of the attacks.The US has ordered B-51 bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf after warning of unspecified threats from Iran.US president Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with “great force” if it attacked US interests in the Middle East, after a rocket landed near the US Embassy in the Green Zone of Iraq‘s capital Baghdad.No one was reported injured in the rocket attack, which happened days after nonessential US staff were ordered to evacuate from diplomatic posts in the country.Mr Trump told reporters: “I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything. If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will.”The attacks all followed Mr Trump’s decision to attempt to cut off Iran’s oil exports, roughly a year after he withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six major powers.Iranian president Hassan Rouhani rejected any talks with the US on Tuesday and called for the government to be given more power to run the sanctions-hit economy in an “economic war”.“Today’s situation is not suitable for talks and our choice is resistance only” state news agency IRNA quoted Mr Rouhani as saying.Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif criticised the US for sending its aircraft carrier and bombeer group to the region.“Having all these military assets in a small area is in of itself prone to accidents,” he told CNN. “Extreme prudence is required and the United States is playing a very, very dangerous game.”Iraq will send send delegations to Washington and Tehran to help “halt tension” amid fears of a confrontation between the two powers in the Middle East, Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced on Tuesday.He said officials from both countires had informed Iraq they have “no desire to fight in a war” and Iraq is “playing a role to calm the situation”.