• Trump tweets threat: 'If Iran wants to fight, that will be the end of Iran'
    Politics
    The Guardian

    Trump tweets threat: 'If Iran wants to fight, that will be the end of Iran'

    * Incendiary message follows disavowals of intent from both sides * Opinion: Trump supporters don’t want war with Iran In a picture released on Friday, the USS Abraham Lincoln sails in the Arabian Sea near the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge. Photograph: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M Wilbur/APDonald Trump has issued one of his most direct threats yet to Tehran, warning that “if Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran”.The US president emerged from his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday to tweet belligerently at around 4.30pm, thereby risking a quickening of tension that is already rising.“Never threaten the United States again!” he wrote.The tweet will do little to assuage jitters in the Middle East and in Washington about aggressive language coming out of the White House. Concern is already running high that Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, who played a key role in instigating the invasion of Iraq under George Bush, might be nudging the administration towards military action.In 2015, Bolton wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled “To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran”. Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal last year.On the other hand, Trump has a way of blowing hot one minute and cold the next. As with so many of his social media missives, the precise import of his Sunday tweet was hard to read. It directly conflicted with reports of just three days ago that the president had been telling the Pentagon he did not want to go to war and wanted to find a way to wind down tensions.Those reports were also subject to qualification. In response to reports about a draft plan for the deployment of 120,000 troops, Trump said that though he did not want war, if it came to it he would send “a hell of a lot” more soldiers than that.Earlier on Sunday, the Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had joined the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in dismissing the threat of war.“Going to war with Iran?” Romney asked on CNN’s State of the Union. “Not going to happen.”According to the Fars news agency, Major General Hossein Salami followed foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif by saying Iran was not pursuing war either.But both men offered caveats.Romney, a member of the Senate foreign relations committee, said the threat to US interests was “real” and added: “We’re going to make sure they understand that if they take action against our people, against our allies and against our friends, there will be consequence and it will be far more severe than the initial action taken by Iran.”Salami said Iran was ready to fight, as the difference “between us and them is that they are afraid of war and don’t have the will for it”.The White House has not said what is behind its claim of an increased threat. Romney said the “intelligence community says there’s a great deal of risk” but did not elaborate. It has been reported that US intelligence believes Iranian commercial vessels have carried missiles and ammunition, which some analysts say indicates preparations to defend against a US attack.Saudi Arabia is the major US ally in the region. Four oil tankers, two of them Saudi, were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Iran-allied rebels in Yemen claimed a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline.Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, told reporters on Sunday his country also “does not want war … but at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination”.The US has sent an aircraft carrier strike group and cautionary moves include an evacuation of personnel by the oil firm ExxonMobil and a warning from the US to commercial air traffic of increased risk in the region.The Associated Press reported on Sunday that Democrats in Congress will be briefed by former CIA director John Brennan, a stringent Trump critic, and Wendy Sherman, a former state department official who helped negotiate the Iran deal. Among Democratic presidential hopefuls on Sunday, the presumption was that Trump either wanted war or was behaving irresponsibly.The Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a military veteran, told ABC’s This Week Trump was “leading us down this dangerous path towards a war in Iran”. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, another veteran, said war with Iran would be “exactly what John Bolton wants”.But David Petraeus, a retired general who led US troops in Iraq in 2003 and later led the CIA, told ABC it was “pretty clear” Trump “doesn’t want to go to war with Iran. He’s not after regime change”.Romney agreed.“I don’t believe for a minute,” he said, “that either the president or John Bolton or anyone else in a serious senior position of leadership in the White House has any interest in going to the Middle East and going to war. That’s just not going to happen … barring some kind of attack from Iran or something of that nature which I don’t think anyone anticipates.“Look, the president made it very clear that he thinks the greatest foreign policy mistake probably in the modern age was the decision by President Bush to go into Iraq. The idea that he would follow that by going after Iran, a more difficult enemy if you will, that’s just not going to happen.”Famously, Trump said at the time that he supported George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq. He has since vehemently denied that he did so.

  • Wild video shows the moment an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a California warehouse
    News
    BGR News

    Wild video shows the moment an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a California warehouse

    In a wild story that was captured on video, an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse in Riverside, California shortly after takeoff yesterday afternoon. The pilot managed to safely eject from the plane before the crash and is said to have suffered no injuries, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.A full-on investigation into the cause of the crash will certainly yield more details, but early reports suggest that a hydraulics failure was the reason behind the malfunction and subsequent crash.Video of the impact was captured by a nearby car's dashboard cam. Ty Stanonis was on the freeway when the crash occurred ahead of him, he told FOX11. His vehicle's dashboard camera recorded the moment the jet crashed, showing the plane dropping into the building. "Everybody was slowing down, just trying to figure out what just happened," Stanonis said. The pilot's parachute deployed after he ejected, and he landed in a field inside the base. Stanonis said the pilot was still for a few moments but finally rose to his feet.The moment of impact can be seen in the first few seconds of the video below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j4dzuttA1wFootage captured from within the warehouse can be seen below. It's worth noting that the video contains explicit language.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ho35RgfUfIMiraculously, no one in the warehouse was seriously injured as a result of the crash, though a few individuals were taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation for minor injuries.Further, the F-16 was said to be carrying live ammunition which thankfully -- and remarkably -- did not go off. All in all, what could have been an all-out disaster resulted in no deaths or serious injuries

  • 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.

  • Texas passing laws, but not leading abortion fight this time
    News
    Associated Press

    Texas passing laws, but not leading abortion fight this time

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Sidestepping bigger abortion battles playing out elsewhere in the U.S., Texas Republicans on Friday pushed a bill toward Gov. Greg Abbott's desk that would ban the state's liberal capital city from leasing a downtown building to Planned Parenthood for just $1.

  • 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.

  • Australia's conservatives secure majority government: ABC
    World
    AFP

    Australia's conservatives secure majority government: ABC

    Australia's ruling conservative coalition is set to secure a governing majority in its shock election victory over the centre-left Labor Party, the national broadcaster ABC projected Monday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal-National coalition will hold at least 77 seats in the 151-member lower house, one more than needed to govern on its own, ABC's election analysts projected. A number of close races across the vast island continent were still to be officially decided following Saturday's vote, with the formal count by the Australian Electoral Commission not expected to conclude until later this week.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Alex Rodriguez bathroom photo highlights permissive privacy laws
    Celebrity
    The Guardian

    Alex Rodriguez bathroom photo highlights permissive privacy laws

    * Former Yankees slugger snapped through apartment window * Lawyers seek photographer but legal recourse uncertainAlex Rodriguez was pictured on the toilet in the Park Avenue apartment he shares with his fiancee Jennifer Lopez in an image being shared on social media. Photograph: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesNew York’s liberal privacy laws are under scrutiny as lawyers for the retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez try to track down the photographer who snapped him sitting on the toilet in the Park Avenue apartment he shares with his fiancee, the actor and singer Jennifer Lopez.A picture making the rounds on social media shows the former New York Yankees slugger, known as “A-Rod”, looking at his phone in a white marble bathroom.The New York Post’s Page Six declined to publish the picture, citing privacy issues. The tabloid quoted an unidentified source who called the picture “a clear breach of privacy” and said: “One of the hedge funds in the building next door will be getting a big lawsuit.” With the continued onslaught of intrusive technologies, it may be time to revisit privacy protections Michael QuinnHowever, successful legal action may be hard to achieve.Six years ago, New York neighbours of the photographer Arne Svenson sought to block the sale of images he exhibited which showed them in unguarded moments.According to the New Yorker, Svenson consulted with a lawyer before peeking into the lives of others. The courts found he had not breached any legal convention.An appellate court decried the “technological home invasion” but ruled that Svenson’s actions were defensible under the first amendment, which guarantees free speech, and that such art needs no consent to be made or sold.On Saturday Michael Quinn, a New York art lawyer, told the Guardian Rodriguez’s options for recourse were limited.“New York state’s laws on rights to privacy are sparse,” Quinn said. “Any redress for this type of invasion – a photograph taken into a subject’s unobstructed window from a distance – would be limited to cases involving commercial exploitation.“With the continued onslaught of intrusive technologies, it may be time for the legislature to revisit privacy protections … of course, it may also be time for interior designers to bring back venetian blinds.”

  • White House 2020 hopefuls turn to foreign policy, slam Trump on Iran
    Politics
    Reuters

    White House 2020 hopefuls turn to foreign policy, slam Trump on Iran

    The relationship between Washington and Tehran has become increasingly strained in recent weeks, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. Trump and hawkish foreign policy advisers like national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want Tehran to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, aimed at forcing its leaders into negotiations.

  • 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.

  • Comey tears into Bar for 'slimming his own department'
    Politics
    FOX News Videos

    Comey tears into Bar for 'slimming his own department'

    Reaction to Comey's remarks from former independent counsel Sol Wisenberg and national security attorney Bradley Moss.

  • 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.

  • Michigan GOP congressman says Trump conduct is 'impeachable'
    Politics
    Associated Press

    Michigan GOP congressman says Trump conduct is 'impeachable'

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican congressman from Michigan on Saturday became the first member of President Donald Trump's party on Capitol Hill to accuse him of engaging in "impeachable conduct" stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's lengthy investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

  • Blast hits Egypt tourist bus, 17 injured: security, medical sources
    World
    AFP

    Blast hits Egypt tourist bus, 17 injured: security, medical sources

    An explosion struck a tourist bus on Sunday near Egypt's famed pyramids, injuring 17 people including foreigners, security and medical sources said. South Africans and Egyptians were among those injured when an explosive device went off, hitting the bus in Giza, according to the sources. Sunday's incident comes after three Vietnamese holidaymakers and their Egyptian guide were killed when a roadside bomb hit their bus as it travelled near the pyramids outside Cairo in December.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Republican congressman apologises for referring to ‘consensual rape’ in debate over Missouri abortion bill
    Politics
    The Independent

    Republican congressman apologises for referring to ‘consensual rape’ in debate over Missouri abortion bill

    A Republican Missouri legislator apologised on Friday for saying that some sexual assaults are "consensual rapes" during a debate over a new, restrictive antiabortion bill."I'm not trying to make excuses," said representative Barry Hovis, who represents the city of Jackson in southeastern Missouri. "Sometimes you make a mistake and you own up to it."The lawmaker, who was elected in 2018, made the remark while speaking on the State House floor, arguing that the measure's eight-week window for abortions "gives [rape survivors] ample time" for the procedure.Critics say many women do not know they are pregnant until after eight weeks, and the bill provides no exceptions for rape or incest.The 30-year veteran of the Cape Girardeau Police Department then touched on his experience handling rape cases."Let's just say someone goes out and they're raped or they're sexually assaulted one night after a college party – because most of my rapes were not the gentleman jumping out of the bushes that nobody had ever met," Mr Hovis said."That was one or two times out of a hundred. Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes, which were all terrible."Representative Raychel Proudie, a Democrat, quickly rebuked him."There is no such thing, no such thing as consensual rape," she said to applause from the chamber.Mr Hovis later told The Washington Post that he misspoke and said he believes "there was no such thing as consensual rape."He added that, in all his years in law enforcement, he took the testimony of rape victims seriously."When a rape is reported, and I'll speak for myself, you always take the word of the victim," he said.Missouri's GOP-controlled House passed the antiabortion bill on Friday, which prohibits abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy.The bill comes as lawmakers in multiple states have passed restrictive abortion laws that advocates on both sides say are aimed at getting the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion nationwide.Mr Hovis' remarks recalled a controversial comment made in 2012 by Todd Akin, a former Missouri congressman, that "legitimate rape" rarely causes pregnancy.After losing a 2012 race for US Senate, Mr Akin tried to clarify his words, saying he should have said "legitimate case of rape."The Washington Post

  • World
    Bloomberg

    Duterte Signing Papers, Not Confined in Hospital, Spokesman Says

    “I just talked to him,” spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement Sunday. ABS-CBN News said in a report citing social media posts that Duterte was in a hospital in Metro Manila since Friday and that the medical center was under tight security. Sara Duterte, mayor of Davao City, said she hadn’t received any report that her father was ill, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

  • Let Me Tell You About the Worst Submarine of All Time
    World
    The National Interest

    Let Me Tell You About the Worst Submarine of All Time

    For the Worst Submarine of All Time, I go further and nominate an entire silent service: the undersea arm of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).There are many candidates for this dubious honor. After all, submarining has been around for well over a century now. Many ships render honorable but unexceptional service. Standouts emerge, generally in times of strife, as do “floating coffins” and plain old hard-luck ships.And there are some that subtract value from the nation’s effort to reach its strategic and political aims. This is the unpardonable sin.The idea of ships that could submerge has been around since antiquity. Combat submersibles date to the Turtle, a hand-propelled contraption built to smite Royal Navy ships from beneath during the War of American Independence. But subs really became a going concern during the fin de siècle age, when propulsion technologies such as batteries, electric motors, and internal-combustion engines came to maturity around the same time.Combining these technologies yielded the diesel-electric propulsion plant, a hybrid affair that enabled subs to run silent, run deep on quiet electric motors when submerged and run on diesels and recharge batteries while cruising the surface. At the direction of First Sea Lord Jacky Fisher, the Royal Navy ordered five rudimentary boats designed by John Phillip Holland in 1900, and the age of modern undersea warfare was on.

  • DCCC Wants to Save a Pro-Life Dem. Dems Ask: at What Cost?
    Politics
    The Daily Beast

    DCCC Wants to Save a Pro-Life Dem. Dems Ask: at What Cost?

    Tom WilliamsThe day after Alabama lawmakers passed a law to ban nearly all abortions in the state, House Democrats confronted some tricky optics: a Chicago Business report revealed that the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was scheduled to headline a June fundraiser for the most staunchly pro-life Democrat left in Congress.The move raised howls of protest from progressives, who have sought to make that Democrat, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), the next moderate to be unseated by a challenger to their left. The passage of the Alabama law and restrictive abortion laws in other states has only intensified that push."It's hypocritical for the Democratic Party leadership to continue to protect Lipinski while claiming to fight against the attacks on reproductive rights in states like Georgia and Alabama." said Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats. In the 2018 primary, Lipinski was nearly defeated by Marie Newman, who is competing against him again in 2020 in this safely blue Chicago-area district. Unlike last time, however, Lipinski has the DCCC chair on his side: Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) has made a promise to back all incumbents, and has donated to Lipinski from her personal committee in addition to appearing at a fundraiser to benefit him. Progressive ire directed at the DCCC is hardly new. Only months into the 2020 cycle, the party’s official House campaign arm had already incensed progressives for codifying a policy to not do business with vendors who support primary challengers to incumbents—slammed as a “blacklist” by some on the left.But the Lipinski episode transcends the typical left vs. establishment drama that has permeated the DCCC in recent years. It raises a difficult question for Democrats: At a moment when abortion rights are more vulnerable than they have been in decades, does their “big tent” have room for members who do not support those rights?Lipinski thinks so, at least. “This is exactly the wrong time to be forming a circular firing squad when we need to be together, work together, to beat President Trump in 2020, as well as keeping the House and winning the Senate,” he told The Daily Beast on Thursday.“Certainly, Cheri Bustos is making it very clear as chair of the DCCC her support for me, and I think the party leadership understands the need for not pushing people out right when we’re trying to work together,” he added. But for a diverse set of Democrats, having an opponent of abortion in their ranks is increasingly untenable–especially one like Lipinski. Though there are several other House Democrats with anti-abortion views, Lipinski is the only House Democrat to have received a zero percent score from NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading advocacy group. He is one of two House Democrats to have a 75 percent score from the National Right to Life Committee. Lipinski, who has said he believes life begins at conception, has resisted leaving the party over his views on abortion. According to a 2018 report from the pro-choice outlet Rewire News, Lipinski told a pro-life gathering “I’ve always believed, and I always say, the Democratic Party says it stands up for the little guy, and there’s no one who is more vulnerable than the unborn, who need the protection. And so I’m hanging in there.”Since arriving in Congress in 2005, Lipinski has been a reliable vote for anti-abortion legislation.In particular, he has voted for bills to grant legal personhood rights to fetuses, and he voted against the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it would help fund access to abortion. At press time, Lipinski’s office had not responded for request for comment on his views on Alabama’s abortion bill.Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who successfully primaried an incumbent himself, was the first to publicly hit Bustos for fundraising on behalf of Lipinski on Wednesday night.“It’s tone deaf for the DCCC to be supporting Lipinski when Roe vs. Wade is under threat in a way it hasn’t been in my whole lifetime,” Khanna told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “This is a moment where the Democratic Party needs to be doing everything possible to affirm the constitutional right of a woman to choose. It makes no sense to be supporting someone who doesn’t recognize that right.”A DCCC spokesperson said that Bustos does not agree with Lipinski on abortion, but “she made a promise to stand behind all of our incumbents in their campaigns—from the Blue Dogs to the progressives. She keeps her word, and she is focused on defeating Republicans so we can continue growing the most diverse Majority in our nation’s history.”But Bustos’ fundraiser has only emboldened those on the left who had been preparing for primary battles in safe blue districts already. And even more institutional Democratic-aligned groups like Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America backed Newman earlier this month. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) did as well, as she had done last cycle. “She’s in a position of defending a man who is in the House because of a reactionary, right-wing group,” Sean McElwee, co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress said, referring to canvassing efforts on Lipinksi’s behalf from the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List in 2018. “I think there’s a very real chance he loses. And I think there’s a very real chance that a number of incumbents lose and I think this is in a lot of ways her Waterloo,” McElwee added. “This is the proof positive that the method of going to war with progressives is not actually the best path forward for the party.” In 2018, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi ultimately backed Lipinski in the primary. But she faces pressure to remain neutral heading into 2020. “I hope she and others will stay out of it, given how choice is now under threat and how vulnerable it is,” said Khanna. Pelosi’s office did not respond to request for comment. On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told The Daily Beast that discussions were happening among progressives concerning the DCCC’s support for Lipinski. “If we don’t really approach this and make the hard decisions we need to make as a party about who we are and what we stand for, we cannot say that we’re fighting for women’s rights if we’re fundraising for people and if we’re, as an apparatus, actively supporting candidates who want to take our rights away,” she said.“I just don’t understand how this is even a thing.” Two former DCCC staffers, both of whom identified with the establishment wing of the party, echoed Ocasio-Cortez’s frustrations. “This is not activists vs. the DCCC on this issue,” one said. “This is 2019, we’re talking about Chicago, Illinois—the guy is not pro-choice.”“There’s no room for him anymore,” the other former DCCC staffer said. “There’s no room for this anymore. Maybe they could 10 years ago, but I just don’t see now how they can compromise on this.”“I try to defend the DCCC at any cost, and this is just nuts to me.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • Al Jazeera suspends two journalists over Holocaust report
    World
    AFP

    Al Jazeera suspends two journalists over Holocaust report

    Qatari state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera suspended two journalists on Sunday over a video they produced claiming the extent of the Holocaust was being misrepresented by Jews. The clip, posted by Al Jazeera's online AJ+ Arabic service, claimed "the narrative" that the Nazis killed six million Jews was "adopted by the Zionist movement". The video said that "along with others, the Jews faced a policy of systematic persecution which culminated in the Final Solution".