Tweets like 'If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran' won't prepare Americans if saber rattling turns sobering reality: Our view
A US Border Patrol agent charged with allegedly hitting a migrant with a truck had a long history of making hostile statements about border-crossing immigrants, say prosecutors.Matthew Bowen, 39, allegedly texted another border agent with the message: “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!” He also said migrants were “disgusting subhuman s*** unworthy of being kindling for a fire” in November 2017. Less than two weeks later, prosecutors say, Mr Bowen hit one such migrant with his truck, coming inches away from running the man over – and then lied about the incident in a report.The texts came to light in filings last month in the US District Court in Tucson, Arizona, as Mr Bowen's lawyer fought to suppress a flurry of messages in which the agent used slurs and made light of violence by agents.But Mr Bowen's views are hardly extraordinary, argued his lawyer, Sean Chapman. Rather, his sentiments are “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector,” Mr Chapman wrote, adding that such messages are “part of the agency's culture.”The Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol did not immediately return a message about the texts, though it told The Arizona Daily Star that agents are “held to the highest standards, and any action of misconduct within our ranks will not be tolerated”.The inflammatory messages are the latest public relations challenge for an overwhelmed agency facing a massive wave of asylum seekers at the southern border and regular allegations from immigration and civil rights groups of abusive behaviour towards migrants.In the dozens of texts introduced in a 4 April filing, Mr Bowen uses racial slurs and insults like “s*** bags” to refer to migrants. He often used the word “tonk”, which some agents claim is an innocent acronym, the The Arizona Republic reported.Others say is a slur derived from the sound of hitting an immigrant on the head with a flashlight.In one text exchange, an unnamed agent asked Mr Bowen, “Did you gas hiscorpse (sic) or just use regular peanut oil while tazing?? For a frying effect.”Mr Bowen responded: “Guats are best made crispy, with olive oil from their native pais”, using the Spanish word for “country” that doubles as an insult towards Guatemalans, the Daily Star reported. In another text, he refers to “mindless murdering savages”.The criminal case against Mr Bowen dates to the morning of 3 December 2017, when a US Customs and Border Protection camera operator spotted a 23-year-old Guatemalan man named Antolin Lopez Aguilar, who was suspected of jumping the border fence in Nogales, according to a federal indictment.As Lopez sprinted to a nearby gas station, Mr Bowen and two other agents responded in separate vehicles.While one agent hopped out and found Lopez hiding under a semi-truck, Mr Bowen circled the station in his Border Patrol-issued Ford F-150.When the migrant tried to run back towards the border, prosecutors say, Mr Bowen “accelerated aggressively” in his truck. He hit Mr Lopez twice from behind, knocking him down the second time and screeching to a stop “within inches” of running him over, according to the police. Mr Lopez was treated at the hospital for abrasions and later sentenced to 30 days in federal prison for illegally entering the country, the Republic reported.Prosecutors say that Mr Bowen later filed a false report about what happened that morning. In text messages included in the court filing, he repeatedly complains about facing scrutiny over the incident.“I bumped a guat with a truck while driving about 7 mph,” he wrote in one text. “No injury at all and tonk refused medical.”In another, he wrote that “If I had to tackle the tonk I would still be doing memos”, adding: “I wonder how they expect us to apprehend wild... runners who don't want to be apprehended?"One day after the incident, he texted with Agent Lonnie Swartz, who would later be acquitted of manslaughter for firing 10 rounds into an unarmed Mexican teen as agents were being hit by rocks thrown across the border. He texted Mr Swartz that the incident was “just a little push with a ford bumper”.Prosecutors have argued in court filings that the texts show that Bowen had “great disdain” for the migrants he policed at the border, the Daily Star reported. But Chapman countered that such language was so common among border agents that they say “nothing about Mr. Bowen's mind-set”.Mr Bowen has pleaded not guilty to charges of deprivation of rights under colour of law and falsification of records in a federal investigation. Mr Chapman did not immediately respond to a message. Mr Bowen, who was hired in 2008, was put on indefinite leave without pay after his charges were filed in May 2018. His trial is scheduled to start on 13 August. The Washington Post
InterDigital and Qualcomm are the two major American holders of patents for wireless networking technology, including the 5G networks rolling out this year in China. Last week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order restricting the ability of U.S. firms to sell technology to Huawei, though officials on Monday eased some of those restrictions for 90 days. InterDigital, which generates revenue by developing wireless technologies and then licensing out the patents, said it believes it can continue its efforts to strike a 5G deal with Huawei because export control laws do not cover patents, which are public records and therefore not confidential technology.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In Yemen, the high-pitched whine of drones has been a part of life for over 15 years, ever since the first U.S. drone strike here targeting al-Qaida in 2002. But now, Iran-backed Houthi rebels increasingly deploy drones in Yemen's brutal civil war.
It's an ominous Monday in the southern Great Plains. Entire school districts are closed as storm scientists expect "high risk" weather and severe thunderstroms, with conditions ripe for powerful tornadoes throughout much of the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. A confluence of robust elements have combined forces to produce an exceptionally dangerous day."It's an environment that we don't see very often," said Bill Bunting, operations chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center. "Maybe once or twice in the career of a forecaster." Here is a zoomed in image of our High Risk for 20 May 2019 for use in social media. pic.twitter.com/TZd9Fr3atW -- NWS SPC (@NWSSPC) May 20, 2019Bunting is stationed in Norman, Oklahoma, the dead center of a region that is likely to experience the formations of a dangerous type of thunderstorm with rotating updrafts, called a supercell. These storms can produce tornadoes. "One of our forecasters said last night that it's the first time he lost sleep thinking of the day ahead," said Bunting. The (unfortunately) right conditions It's severe weather season in the Great Plains, but environmental conditions have really ramped up, much more than usual. "What's unique about today is the expected magnitude [of storms]," noted Bunting. There's a profound amount of instability in the atmosphere, from the ground to around a mile up in the sky, explained Brian Tang, an atmospheric scientist at the University at Albany. This is driven by strong winds blowing from different directions at different heights, notably a parade of potent storms blowing in from the Rockies after deluging Northern California with rare, late-season rain. These storms have now met powerful winds blowing in from the southeast. Dawn breaks on the Southern Plains and GOES gives us a look at the wind shear part of the severe weather forecast. Low clouds streaming up from the SE are being overtaken by mid-to-high clouds coming from the SW. This turning of the winds helps storms that form start to rotate. pic.twitter.com/qW0NYbR7A0 -- National Weather Service (@NWS) May 20, 2019But this wind-driven atmospheric chaos (technically called "wind shear") is not acting alone. There's an unusual amount humidity in the air. Thunderstorms feed off this moisture, growing more powerful. "There's a ton of energy that can be harnessed that can generate these really intense thunderstorms," said Tang.And once there are intense supercell thunderstorms circulating through an area, there's greater potential for these storm systems to start spinning, thereby spawning violent tornadoes. "There are going to be several thunderstorms that do reach an intensity that become tornadoes," said Bunting. SEE ALSO: Fearless TV weather forecasters air the planet's soaring carbon levels"It's like having an All-Star baseball team. It's like having a bunch of sluggers," said Tang. "The chances of hitting a home run are that much higher." "This is not your normal severe weather day in Oklahoma," the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Norman, Oklahoma said Monday morning. Exactly what causes a particular supercell thunderstorm to form a tornado, however, is still an area of deep and ongoing investigation. Midday SPC update added a 45 percent tornado risk for a big chunk of western and central OK. A particularly dangerous situation tornado watch coming for that area. https://t.co/RO92Y2cfmG pic.twitter.com/N2h0Ipq9is -- U.S. Tornadoes (@USTornadoes) May 20, 2019NOAA's Bunting noted that Monday's weather outbreak comes on the exact anniversary of an EF-5 tornado (the most severe tornado rating) that killed 24 Oklahomans in 2013 while causing billions in damage. Today's violent thunderstorms won't just bring the likelihood of wide tornadoes in heavily-populated areas, but the risk of deadly floods. These storms dump deluges of water. "More people traditionally die from floods than tornadoes," the Norman NWS said Monday.Meteorologists and storm scientists have prepared for the worst. "It's really created a palpable sense of anxiety and just wanting to get done with today," said Bunting."There's definitely certain days when there's a sense of dread," added Tang, noting that the meteorological community reacted similarly to the approaching Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 storm, which is the highest hurricane rating. "Today has that same feel," said Tang. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
Ford plans to cut 7,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its global salaried workforce, as part of a reorganization as it revamps its vehicle offerings, the company said Monday. The downsizing will involve some layoffs and reassignments of white-collar staff and should be complete by the end of August, a Ford spokeswoman said. Ford has been phasing out most sedan models in the United States as more consumers have opted for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Created by the custom shop Himalaya, this Defender is a Land Rover like you've never seen before-complete with a Chevy V8 and a Jeep steering box.From Popular Mechanics
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.
A wild, rugged, mountainous region of Slovakia dotted with plunging waterfalls and lakes and hiking trails has been named the top European destination of 2019 by the travel experts at Lonely Planet.
President Donald Trump went after Fox News and blasted several Democratic candidates angling to unseat him during a Pennsylvania rally.
Agent Matthew Bowen sent the messages in November 2017, two weeks before he is accused of deliberately knocking over a Guatemalan man with his Border Patrol vehicle in Nogales, Arizona, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson. Prosecutors Monica Ryan and Lori Price filed the documents on April 30 with a request to use the messages in court to show Bowen's "state of mind" prior to the incident and his "willful" intent to knock over the migrant on Dec. 3, 2017.
A man who survived the 1999 Columbine school shooting has died at his home in Colorado.Austin Eubanks, who worked as an advocate for fighting addiction, died overnight in the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County coroner Robert Ryg said.His cause of death is currently unknown but no foul play is suspected and an autopsy will be carried out on Monday.Mr Eubanks’ family said he had “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face”.“We thank the recovery community for its support,” they said in a statement.“As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”Mr Eubanks was 17 when two gunmen entered Columbine High School’s library on 20 April 1999 and opened fire. The teenager was hit in the hand and the knee during the shooting, in which 13 people were killed, according to The Denver Channel.At the time the massacre was the deadliest high school shooting in US history.Mr Eubanks said he became addicted to the painkillers prescribed for his injuries in the aftermath of the shooting.He later worked at an addiction treatment centre and travelled across the US, telling his story.“I think that it’s really important that – not as survivors of trauma but survivors of addiction – speak out and they share their story,” he told Denver7 in 2016.“I remember... hitting multiple low points in my life and thinking there was no way out and I just want people to know there is a way out.”“Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work,” Mr Eubanks’ family said in a statement.Additional reporting by agencies
The family of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez is demanding answers from Advocate Christ Medical Center why authorities were not alerted to suspect Clarisa Figueroa despite no signs of giving birth.
In the first two weeks of May, U.S.–Iran tensions appeared to be careening toward war. In an escalating series of warnings, the U.S. asserted that an attack by Iran would be met with unrelenting force. Iran eventually responded with its usual bluster about being prepared for a full confrontation with Washington. But on the ground the Middle East looks more like a chessboard, with Iran and its allies and proxies facing off against American allies. This state of affairs was brought into sharp relief when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels launched a drone attack on Saudi Arabia and a rocket fell near the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.U.S. media have tended to focus on the role of national-security adviser John Bolton in crafting the administration’s policy — and whether America would actually go to war with Iran. Iranian media have also sought to decipher exactly what the Trump administration is up to. According to Iran’s Tasnim News, the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Hossein Salami told a closed session of Parliament that the U.S. was involved in a “psychological war” with Iran, predicting the U.S. didn’t have enough forces to actually attack Iran yet.In the complex game of wits being played between the Trump administration and the Iranian regime, it appears that the U.S. temporarily checked Iran’s usual behavior. Iran prefers bluster in rhetoric with a careful strategy of extending its influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, knowing that any real battle with U.S. forces will result in Iranian defeat. Tehran can’t risk massive retaliation against its allies or the regime at home for fear that it will lead to instability and the destruction of all it has carefully built up in the last years. Iran is suffering from the effects of recent nationwide floods and from shortages due to sanctions, so it can’t afford a total war, and its allies in Iraq and Lebanon are in sensitive positions of power. In the past, Iran benefited from its opaque system of alliances and its ability to threaten western powers and attack U.S. forces with proxies, even seizing U.S. sailors, without fear of reprisal. It learned in the past that the U.S. preferred diplomacy, but the current administration appears to have put Tehran on notice.The question is what can be learned from the escalating tensions. If Iran thinks Washington isn’t serious, or if it senses that domestic opposition to Washington’s saber-rattling is building, Iran may call America’s bluff. But if Iran thinks that Trump’s team really will retaliate, it will tread carefully in all the areas of the Middle East where U.S. allies and Iran’s proxies rub up against one another.To understand the chessboard, we must look at the Middle East the way Iran does. Since the 1980s, Iran’s Islamic revolution has been increasing its influence in the region. This brought Iran into vicious conflict with Iraq in the 1980s, and for a while Iran saw few major geopolitical successes. However, the weakening of the Lebanese state and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 created opportunities for Iran to exploit local militia allies and gain power. It did this in Lebanon through Hezbollah, an armed terrorist organization that has seats in the Lebanese parliament. It also did this in Iraq through a plethora of militias, many of whose leaders had served alongside the IRGC in the 1980s. Today those Shiite militias are called the Popular Mobilization Forces and they are an official paramilitary force of the Iraqi government. They have threatened the U.S., and U.S. intelligence allegedly showed them positioning rockets near U.S. bases earlier this month.In Yemen, meanwhile, Iran has worked closely with the Houthi rebels, who are being fought by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates and the government of Yemen. (That coalition is controversial; in April, Congress attempted to withdraw support for the Yemen war.) The Houthis have fired Iranian-designed ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia and used Iranian-made drones. Iran is also active in Syria, not only in support of the Syrian regime’s war against the now mostly defeated rebels, but also using bases to threaten Israel.The U.S. sees Iran as inseparable from its cobweb of allied militia groups and proxies, many of which are supported by the IRGC. The U.S. designated the IRGC a terrorist organization in April and repeatedly has warned Iran that any attack by it or its proxies will be met with a response.Iran now wants to assure its own people that war isn’t likely through media stories about how the Trump administration isn’t serious. This is in contrast to the usual Tehran bluster and threats, even historic harassment of ships in the Persian Gulf and harassment of U.S. forces in Iraq. Iran’s sudden quiet could, of course, be the calm before the storm, but it is more likely a reflection of the regime’s sudden confusion about U.S. policy. This is a good thing for American interests. Iran needs to be kept guessing about U.S. intentions. It needs to tell its proxies to stop threatening U.S. forces in Iraq, as the Defense Department says they have done as recently as March. The U.S. gained the upper hand in its recent escalation against Iran by playing Iran’s game of bluster and support for allies on the ground. If Washington wants to continue to keep Iran in check, it needs to keep up the pressure.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A gang of gunmen reportedly attacked a bar in the capital of Brazil's northern Pará state Sunday afternoon, and authorities said 11 people were killed.
US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world's smartphones, said it was beginning to cut ties with China's Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat. The move could have dramatic implications for Huawei smartphone users, as the telecoms giant will no longer have access to Google's proprietary services -- which include the Gmail and Google Maps apps -- a source close to the matter told AFP. Reports also emerged Monday that several US chipmakers providing vital hardware for Huawei's smartphones have stopped supplying the Chinese firm.
A French woman whose husband died in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX airliner in Ethiopia has filed a U.S. lawsuit against the planemaker, seeking at least $276 million in damages. The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March killed all 157 passengers and crew aboard and followed the death in October of 189 people on a Lion Air 737 MAX which plunged into the ocean off Indonesia in similar circumstances. Dozens of families have sued Boeing over the Lion Air crash, and several lawsuits have been lodged over the Ethiopian crash near the capital Addis Ababa, which led airlines around the world to ground the Boeing 737 MAX.
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The nuclear missile the U.S. just launched at Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a case in point. Last week, the Commerce Department placed Huawei and nearly 70 of its affiliates on an “Entity List,” which means that U.S. suppliers may now need a license to do business with them. If the ban is applied stringently, it could drive one of China’s most high-profile companies — employing more than 180,000 people — out of business.
A man has been charged in the abduction of an 8-year-old girl who was snatched from a street in Fort Worth, Texas, as she walked with her mother. Fort Worth police say the girl was found safe Sunday at a hotel in nearby Forest Hill. (May 20)
District lawyers in Georgia have announced they will not prosecute women for getting an abortion after the US state effectively banned the procedure.Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed the controversial “heartbeat” abortion ban into law earlier in the month – giving the southern state one of the most restrictive laws in the US.The legislation, which has provoked outrage among women’s rights groups, bans abortion once cardiac activity can be detected in an embryo. This can be as early as six weeks – at which point most women do not yet know they are pregnant. The bill imposes jail sentences for women found guilty of aborting or attempting to abort their pregnancies, with the potential for life imprisonment and the death penalty. It is not scheduled to come into effect until 1 January and is expected to face challenges in the courts – with it potentially being postponed. But anti-abortion activists hope challenges will lead to the US Supreme Court reversing Roe vs Wade – the landmark Supreme Court decision which legalised abortion nationwide in 1973 – especially with new conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh sitting on the court.The Supreme Court has previously ruled that states cannot ban abortion before a foetus is viable – about 23 to 25 weeks.District prosecutors for Georgia’s four most populous counties – Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and DeKalb – have said they would not, or could not, prosecute women under the controversial new law.“As District Attorney with charging discretion, I will not prosecute individuals pursuant to HB 481 [the heartbeat bill] given its ambiguity and constitutional concerns,” DeKalb County district attorney Sherry Boston told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.“As a woman and mother, I am concerned about the passage and attempted passage of laws such as this one in Georgia, Alabama, and other states.”She added: “There is no language outlined in HB 481 explicitly prohibiting a district attorney from bringing criminal charges against anyone and everyone involved in obtaining and performing what is otherwise currently a legal medical procedure”.According to the publication, the technical language of the bill means that district attorneys could potentially seek a murder charge against someone who breaches the heartbeat law.“As a matter of law (as opposed to politics) this office will not be prosecuting any women under the new law as long as I’m district attorney,” Gwinnett County DA Danny Porter said. He said he did not think it would be possible to prosecute a woman for either murder or unlawful abortion if she got an abortion after six weeks.John Melvin, acting District Attorney of Cobb County, echoed this position, saying women could “absolutely not” be prosecuted under the unlawful abortion statute.Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard “has no intention of ever prosecuting a woman under this new law", a spokesperson said, adding that he also would not prosecute abortion providers.Georgia’s new bill does include exceptions for cases involving rape, incest, or in situations where the health of a mother is in danger.“Planned Parenthood will be suing the State of Georgia. We will fight this terrible bill because this is about our patients’ lives,” Dr Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said.Georgia’s bill comes after Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a controversial abortion bill into law last week that is the most restrictive abortion bill in the US.Under the law, doctors would face 10 years in prison for attempting to terminate a pregnancy and 99 years for carrying out the procedure. The abortion ban, which has been branded a “death sentence for women”, would even criminalise performing abortions in cases of rape and incest. Ms Ivey said the new law might be “unenforceable” due to Roe v Wade but said the new law was passed with the aim of challenging that decision.Alabama state lawmakers compare abortions in America to the Holocaust and other modern genocides in the legislation – spurring Jewish activists and abortion rights groups to rebuke the bill as “deeply offensive.”Alabama’s new bill comes as politicians in several other states propose legislation to restrict abortion – with some 16 other states looking at new measures.More than a dozen other states have passed or are considering versions of Georgia’s law. Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have also approved bans on abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected. On Friday, Missouri lawmakers passed a bill banning abortions after eight weeks.Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia vowed to sue on the day the governor signed Georgia’s heartbeat bill. It has also fuelled many in the entertainment industry to threaten to boycott Georgia.“We’re putting lawmakers on notice: Your votes are far outside the mainstream, and we will now spend our time and energy launching a campaign to replace you,” Staci Fox, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said at the time.A federal judge blocked a heartbeat bill in Kentucky which was scheduled to come into effect instantly as it could be unconstitutional, while Mississippi passed a six-week abortion law in March that is not due to come into force until July and is also facing challenges.Ohio passed a similarly restrictive law in 2016 which was vetoed by the governor.
An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 12 people on Sunday, mostly South African tourists, near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt, two security sources said. A third security source said the bus was carrying 25 South African tourists from the airport to the pyramids area, and that four Egyptians in a nearby car were also injured by broken glass. Security and judicial sources said a rudimentary device containing nails and pieces of metal had been detonated remotely on the perimeter of the Grand Egyptian Museum, not far from the site of a roadside blast that hit another tourist bus in December.
The view that John Bolton is driving Trump into military confrontation with America's principal foe in the Middle East is spreading across the globe.
A Katyusha rocket was fired Sunday into Baghdad's Green Zone housing government offices and embassies including the US mission, days after the United States evacuated staff from Iraq citing threats from Iran. Tensions between the US and Iran have been high since Washington withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers, and they have soared in the past few weeks. Despite international scepticism, the US government has cited alleged threats from Iran, a long-time enemy of both Washington and its regional allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, but a powerbroker in Iraq.