• Joe Biden criticizes Kim Jong Un; North Korea calls Biden 'an imbecile'
    Politics
    Reuters

    Joe Biden criticizes Kim Jong Un; North Korea calls Biden 'an imbecile'

    Kim said in April that his personal relationship with Trump was still good despite the collapse of their second summit in Vietnam in February. Biden's campaign responded to North Korea by calling the relationship between Trump and Pyongyang "antithetical to who we are." Biden, at a campaign launch in Philadelphia on Saturday, said: "Are we a nation that embraces dictators and tyrants like (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Kim Jong Un?" Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state media, responded to Biden's criticism in a commentary late on Tuesday. Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates, in a statement responding to the KCNA remarks, repeated that Kim is a dictator and a tyrant.

  • Tu-95 Bear: Meet the Old Russian Bomber U.S. F-22s Just Intercepted Near Alaska
    World
    The National Interest

    Tu-95 Bear: Meet the Old Russian Bomber U.S. F-22s Just Intercepted Near Alaska

    It’s old, it’s obvious and it has mechanical problems — facts hard to ignore while the Tu-95 plays a key role in a highly orchestrated and much exaggerated effort by the Kremlin to impress its foreign rivals.(This first appeared several years ago and is being reposted due to reader interest.) At first glance, the Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bomber looks like a 59-year-old flying anachronism, a Cold War leftover that has outlived its usefulness in a century when stealth is king.The Bear is showing signs of its age. In recent months, two Tu-95 crashes led to the grounding of the entire fleet of more than 50 aircraft to resolve mechanical issues. Besides, there is nothing stealthy about the Bear.Even when the bomber is in top-notch shape, the turboprop-powered Tu-95 is loud … really loud. In fact, it’s so noisy that listening devices on submerged U.S. submarines can hear a Bear flying overhead.Furthermore, it has the radar signature of a flying big-box store. The plane is huge.Photos of lumbering Bear-H bombers intercepted by sleek U.S. or NATO warplanes as they flew toward protected airspace are some of the most recognizable images of the East-West nuclear stand-off during the 1970s and ’80s.

  • Dem. Rep. Accuses DHS Secretary of Choosing to Let Migrant Kids Die: ‘This Is Intentional’
    News
    National Review

    Dem. Rep. Accuses DHS Secretary of Choosing to Let Migrant Kids Die: ‘This Is Intentional’

    Representative Lauren Underwood (D., Ill.) on Wednesday accused the acting Department of Homeland Security secretary of intentionally implementing border-security policies that would lead to the deaths of migrant children.During his appearance before the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday, Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan was asked to explain why five children have died in federal custody after being apprehended at the southern border since December.“These stories are appalling and yet they keep happening,” Underwood said, referring to the recent migrants deaths, as well as reports of inadequate housing and medical care for migrant children apprehended at the border. “Now Congress just provided half a billion dollars in February to address the humanitarian crisis at the border and will soon provide more. Why do these tragedies keep happening?”McAleenan, who succeeded Kirstjen Nielsen in April, responded that the resources provided by Congress are insufficient to address the record number of asylum seekers, many of whom are women and children, arriving at the border each day.“They're happening because the crisis is exceeding the resources provided. That's why we've asked for more and we've asked for more authority to prevent this crisis from happening in the first place and to prevent the children from being placed at risk,” he said.Underwood, a 32-year-old freshman lawmaker, dismissed McAleenan's claims, suggesting instead that he was implementing policies intended to result in the death of children.“People keep dying, sir. People keep dying. So, this is obviously more than a question of resources,” she said. “Congress has been more than willing to provide the resources and work with you to address the security and humanitarian concerns, but at this point, with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like — and the evidence is really clear — that this is intentional. It's a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration and it's cruel and inhumane."“That's an appalling accusation and our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day,” McAleenan responded. The acting DHS secretary denies the accusation that migrant deaths are "intentional" policy. pic.twitter.com/7xiThg8IVY -- VICE News (@vicenews) May 22, 2019Republicans on the panel reacted forcefully to Underwood's assertion. The ranking Republican on the committee, Representative Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) called for a vote to strike her comments from the record. The vote passed 9-7.“You cannot impugn the character of the witness by stating that he intentionally murders children. That is completely inappropriate and her words should be taken down,” Rogers said during the hearing. “She was very explicit.”“It’s absolutely disheartening to see some radical Democrats stoop so low to say that the Acting DHS Secretary McAleenan is murdering children. McAleenan left the private sector to serve his country after the towers fell on 9/11. This is a sad day for America and the Democrat party,” Representative Mark Green (R., Tenn.) said in a statement provided to National Review.On Monday, 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vasquez became the fifth migrant child to die in federal custody in the last six months.Vasquez crossed into the U.S. without his parents and died of the flu at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas after spending a week in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB). His death has drawn scrutiny from Democratic lawmakers, who have pointed out that policy dictates he should have been transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours of his apprehension.“Make no mistake: This is a pattern of death. This is an epidemic of death by the Trump administration,” Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas told reporters during a press conference Tuesday. “As I mentioned, nobody had died for ten years. And in the last six months, you've had five deaths.”The Trump administration has for months urged Congress to provide resources for medical care and the construction of housing units that can accommodate the new asylum-seekers arriving at the southern border. The existing detention centers lack the capacity to handle the record influx and were built to accommodate the mostly single men who formerly comprised most of the illegal-migrant population.The administration has also urged Congress to reform the asylum system through legislation in order to limit the number of migrants who must be detained on U.S. soil while their claims are being adjudicated.

  • The Real Green New Deal Doesn’t Belong to AOC
    Politics
    Bloomberg

    The Real Green New Deal Doesn’t Belong to AOC

    Climate change has long been a disaster in the making, but until recently the American public tended to treat it as an afterthought. The Green New Deal brought climate change front and center, and made Americans think about big bold solutions instead of technical tweaks and half measures. The think tank Data for Progress has a plan that actually predates Ocasio-Cortez’s, but which goes into much greater detail about how to combat climate change both at home and abroad.

  • Business
    Reuters

    U.S. judge approves PG&E $105 million wildfire assistance fund

    PG&E Corp may set up a $105 million housing fund for victims of 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, which set records for devastation and were blamed on the utility's equipment, the judge overseeing the investor-owned power producer's bankruptcy ruled on Wednesday. Creditors, which include wildfire victims, are fighting for funds as PG&E navigates bankruptcy stemming from the blazes and as the state plans for increasingly long and dangerous fire seasons its officials attribute to climate change. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali at a hearing approved a motion by PG&E seeking permission to establish the fund for people who lost homes in the fires and were uninsured or have used up or will exhaust their insurance.

  • Fears rise China could weaponise rare earths in US tech war
    Business
    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.

  • Lawmaker's censure sought after comments about Trump Jr.
    Politics
    Associated Press

    Lawmaker's censure sought after comments about Trump Jr.

    Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president's son "evidently retarded." Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat. Mooney said Rogers brought "shame" on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban.

  • Missouri: destructive tornado leaves three people dead and severe damage
    News
    The Guardian

    Missouri: destructive tornado leaves three people dead and severe damage

    The National Weather Service confirmed that the deadly tornado moved over Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, shortly before midnight. Across the state, Missouri's first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Governor Mike Parson said. Authorities said the three were killed in the Golden City area of Barton county, near Missouri's south-west corner, as the severe weather moved in from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water.

  • View Photos of the 2019 Opel Corsa-e
    Business
    Car and Driver

    View Photos of the 2019 Opel Corsa-e

    View Photos of the 2019 Opel Corsa-eFrom Car and Driver

  • Biden blasts Trump for saying he 'deserted' Pennsylvania: 'I was 10'
    Politics
    Yahoo News

    Biden blasts Trump for saying he 'deserted' Pennsylvania: 'I was 10'

    The former vice president blasted President Trump for telling the crowd at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this week that he “deserted” them.

  • Trump Justice Department Crosses New Line, Charges Assange With Publishing U.S. Secrets
    News
    The Daily Beast

    Trump Justice Department Crosses New Line, Charges Assange With Publishing U.S. Secrets

    In a stunning escalation of the Trump administration's war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. The charges invoke broad provisions of the Espionage Act that make it a crime to disclose or retain any defense information knowing it “could be used to injure” the U.S. The act has no exception for reporters or publishers, but prior administrations have balked at invoking the law against journalists for fear of colliding with the First Amendment.

  • Business
    Reuters

    UPDATE 4-ARM supply halt deals fresh blow to Chinese tech giant Huawei

    British chip designer ARM halted relations with Huawei to comply with a U.S. blockade of the company, potentially crippling the Chinese telecom company's ability to make new chips for its future smartphones. Huawei, like Apple Inc and Qualcomm , uses ARM blueprints to design the processors that power its smartphones. In another blow to the Chinese tech giant, Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Corp on Thursday joined the growing list of global companies which have said they are disengaging with Huawei, the world's second-largest seller of smartphones and the largest telecom-gear maker.

  • Major Texas border station closed for flu outbreak after teen death
    News
    AFP

    Major Texas border station closed for flu outbreak after teen death

    A major Texas border station has been temporarily closed due to a fever outbreak, officials said, one day after a Guatemalan teenager diagnosed with flu at the facility died in immigration custody. Medical staff imposed the quarantine at the McAllen processing center after a "large number" of detainees were found to have high fevers and symptoms of a flu-related illness. "To avoid the spread of illness, the Rio Grande Valley Sector has temporarily suspended intake operations at the CPC," Customs and Border Protection said in a statement late Tuesday, referring to the Central Processing Center.

  • Rain, flooding expected in U.S. Southern Plains after deadly storms
    News
    Reuters

    Rain, flooding expected in U.S. Southern Plains after deadly storms

    Weather forecasters on Wednesday expected drenching rains to roll into the storm-ravaged U.S. southern and central states, where thunderstorms and tornadoes killed at least three people and triggered widespread flooding. More than 30 tornadoes struck a swath from Texas to Iowa since Monday, according to the National Weather Service, and residents in at least three Oklahoma riverfront communities were urged to evacuate due to flooding. One person was killed and another was injured when a tornado struck the rural town of Adair, Iowa, about 50 miles (80 km)west of Des Moines, at about 1:30 a.m. local time, the weather service said.

  • Congress leader Rahul Gandhi loses his home seat in humiliating election defeat
    World
    The Telegraph

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi loses his home seat in humiliating election defeat

    The Indian National Congress Party went from understated optimism to shellshocked defeat within the space of a few hours on Thursday as Narendra Modi and his party celebrated another landslide victory. For the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, the performance by his party was nothing short of a humiliation, with several members of his own party demanding he step down and lay the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to rest for good. Mr Gandhi suffered the sting of losing the iconic seat of his family homestead in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, which he had held since 2004  and was controlled by his father before him. He won in his second constituency – candidates can run from two in India – but the symbolism of the defeat was one from which he may never recover. Modi vowed to build an 'inclusive' India after a first term marred by accusations of fomenting religious hatred Credit: AFP At a brief press conference as the results were still coming in, Mr Gandhi congratulated Mr Modi and said “the people are king and they have directed that the BJP and Modi have won this election”. He added: “I don't want to get into what went wrong today, this is not the time for that. I fully respect the Indian people's decision.” During the briefing he also conceded defeat in the Amethi election and congratulated his opponent Smriti Irani, of the BJP, who was more than 28,000 votes ahead at the time. Congress party officials did not return calls by The Telegraph but there were widespread reports in Indian media that the party had wildly miscalculated the margin of any potential loss with its internal polling, and now all that was left was to call for its talisman's head. “If they want to change anything, change the leadership,” a Congress official in Rajasthan told Reuters, referring to Mr Gandhi and the party's high command. “You need to give young people a chance.” However Mr Gandhi, 48, will probably not face an immediate leadership challenge as India's establishment party does some soul searching after an inglorious defeat. Some reports claimed Mr Gandhi had offered to resign. “According to sources, Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leaders advised him to bring up the matter before the party forum,” reported India Today TV. “The CWC (Congress Working Committee) will meet in a week in which the proposal will be discussed,” it added. Ironically the youthful pretender had grown into his role as leader in the past 18 months after previously being seen as a reluctant heir to his political lineage which stretched back to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He campaigned vigorously and was not shy on calling out Mr Modi on the economy, national security, Hindu nationalism and women's rights. After a while the media started to take notice. However behind the scenes his inability to foster good relations with a host of regional party leaders that could have generated a tenable anti-Modi alliance may have damaged his chances. "The BJP fought these elections on the basis of social and religious divisive policies and the agenda was set by them on this basis," said Atul Kumar Anjaan, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, a potential ally.  "But more significant is the fact that the unity of the opposition has been damaged by the Congress. The policies and decisions of Rahul Gandhi has weakened opposition unity, led to divisions and opened the doors for Modi's victory.” Congress has ruled India for most of its history since independence from Britain in 1947, and boasts three prime ministers from the Nehru-Gandhi clan. But its weak performance in the last two elections seems to suggest it needs a drastic change of direction to take on someone with Mr Modi's political savvy.

  • Toyota Yaris Recalled Because Airbags Might Not Deploy in a Crash
    Business
    Consumer Reports

    Toyota Yaris Recalled Because Airbags Might Not Deploy in a Crash

    Toyota is recalling 43,221 of its 2015 to 2017 Yaris hatchbacks because faulty wiring might prevent side and curtain airbags from deploying in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic S...

  • Trump refuses to work with Democrats unless they stop investigating him
    Politics
    The Guardian

    Trump refuses to work with Democrats unless they stop investigating him

    President halted infrastructure meeting and condemned Pelosi in a snap press conference after she said he was ‘engaging in a cover-up’Follow the latest in US politics – live Donald Trump on Wednesday terminated a meeting with Democratic leaders after just a few minutes, saying he refuses to work with them on an infrastructure plan unless they stop investigating him and lift the threat of impeachment. Democrats quickly fired back, claiming that the US president had planned the stunt in advance and what happened at the White House would “make your jaw drop”. In a snap 10-minute press conference in the Rose Garden, just outside the Oval Office, Trump condemned the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, after she told reporters that he was “engaging in a cover-up”. “Instead of walking in happily into a meeting, I walk into, look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up,” Trump said. “I don’t do cover-ups. You people know that probably better than anybody.” In front of the presidential podium was a hastily erected sign showing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election “by the numbers” and the words, relating to allegations of improper contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians: “No collusion. No obstruction.” Donald Trump walks away after speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House on 22 May. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP Trump insisted: “We did nothing wrong. They would have loved to say we colluded … they were out to get us. The crime was committed on the other side. We will see how that all turns out.” Mueller’s reported cited 11 examples of potential obstruction of justice, but Trump added: “There was no collusion, there was no obstruction. This whole thing was a takedown attempt on the president of the United States.”Many many members of press should be “ashamed” of how they covered this story, he said. There is a “danger”, he added, because if there is a Democratic president in the future, “they can impeach him for any reason”. While he had hoped to discuss infrastructure with Pelosi and the Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, “you can’t do it under these circumstances, so get these phony investigations over with”. Minutes later, at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, on Capitol Hill, Pelosi and Schumer offered a very different version of events. Pelosi said they had gone to the White House in good faith hoping to agree on a historic infrastructure plan. “Maybe it was lack of confidence on his part, he couldn’t match the greatness of the challenge that we have,” she said of Trump. “He just took a pass and it just makes me wonder why he did that. In any event, I pray for the president of the United States and I pray for the United States of America.” Schumer suggested that Trump had planned the move in advance, telling how the curtains were closed and there appeared to be a place set aside for Trump to stand at the front of the room, while the slogans and statistics posted on his podium in the Rose Garden had been printed long before the meeting. The Rose Garden can be seen from the Oval Office. “To watch what happened in the White House would make your jaw drop,” Schumer said. Brandishing a 35-page plan, Schumer dismissed Trump’s complaint that investigations into his administration and infrastructure cannot run in parallel, suggesting that Trump was hiding from the fact he cannot find funding for the latter. “We are interested in doing infrastructure. It’s clear the president isn’t. He is looking for every excuse, whether it was let’s do trade first, or whether it was he’s not going to pay for any funding, or whether today that there are investigations going on. Hello? There were investigations going on three weeks ago when we met and he still met with us. “But now that he was forced to actually say how he’d pay for it, he had to run away, and he came up with this pre-planned excuse. It’s clear this was not a spontaneous move on the president’s part. The standoff is the latest sign of how little political progress is likely in a divided government ahead of the presidential election in November next year. A growing number of Democrats have called for the launch of an impeachment process against Trump as frustrations build over the White House’s refusal to comply with subpoenas for hearings and documents.

  • Minister Quits as May Resists Pressure to Go: Brexit Update
    World
    Bloomberg

    Minister Quits as May Resists Pressure to Go: Brexit Update

    Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of rank-and-file Conservative MPs, confirmed he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, adding that he will follow that with a meeting of his committee’s executive. Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Brady declined to comment on the question of changing party rules to allow an earlier leadership challenge against May.

  • Ford’s demo of a robot working in unison with a self-driving car is a wild glimpse into the future
    Technology
    BGR News

    Ford’s demo of a robot working in unison with a self-driving car is a wild glimpse into the future

    If you're skeptical of or put off by the idea of self-driving cars, then there's a good chance you won't be a fan of Ford's intriguing research project designed to have robots get out of self-driving cars and deliver packages right to your door.Over the past few months, Ford and Agility Robotics have been working on a new initiative designed to assess how intelligent robots and self-driving cars can work in unison to more efficiently deliver items like groceries, packages, and even pizza, straight to your door. The impetus behind the idea certainly makes sense insofar that a self-driving can only bring an ordered item to a nearby curb. And sure, a human could come out and pick up a given package, but why expend any energy at all when an advanced robot can literally do all the heavy lifting for you?The idea seems to straddle the line between futuristic and creepy, but that's just par for the course whenever we're talking about advanced robotics.As envisioned by Ford, a self-driving car would pull up to a specified house whereupon a robot would climb out of the back, pick up the package in question, and then bring it right to the front door.Designed by Agility Robotics, the robot is called Digit and can eerily mimic the gait of a human and can even go up and down stairs. What's more, Ford CTO Ken Washington notes on Medium that Digit can "walk naturally through uneven terrain, and even react to things like being bumped without losing its balance and falling over." As far as getting around is concerned, Digit is outfitted with LiDAR and a suite of other sensors. Strength wise, Digit can lift packages that weigh as much as 40 pounds.What's particularly interesting about the venture is that self-driving cars of the future may serve dual purposes simultaneously, with Washington noting the following: Since self-driving vehicles can potentially move people and goods simultaneously, they hold great potential to make deliveries even more convenient and efficient. A ride-hailing trip could double as a delivery service, dropping off packages in between transporting passengers.A video demo of Digit in action can be seen below. It's interesting to note that the video illustrates how Digit manages to identify an obstacle -- in this case a scooter -- and come up with a new path in real-time.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHWciIxNK2c

  • Tale of suicidal 'Handmaid' in New York goes viral
    News
    AFP

    Tale of suicidal 'Handmaid' in New York goes viral

    A red-cloaked "Handmaid" ready to hurl herself off a Manhattan building, possibly unhinged by recent legislative assaults on the right to abortion? For months now, amid the #MeToo movement and challenges to the right to abortion in the United States and elsewhere, demonstrations by women dressed in costumes inspired by "The Handmaid's Tale" have multiplied. The hit television series based on Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel evokes a world in which the United States has become a religious dictatorship where fertile women are enslaved and their rape is institutionalized.