'I no longer talk to Obama': Turkey's Erdogan

'I no longer talk to Obama': Turkey's Erdogan

Istanbul (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has stopped talking to US President Barack Obama on the phone, amid growing strains between Ankara and Washington over Syria and the Gaza conflict.

Turkey, a fierce opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and an open supporter of armed rebel fighters, felt betrayed when the United States backed away from military action against Damascus in September.

"In the past, I was calling him (Obama) directly. Because I can't get the expected results on Syria, our foreign ministers are now talking to each other," Erdogan said in a live interview on pro-government ATV channel late Monday.

"And I have talked to (US Vice President Joe) Biden. He calls me and I call him.

"I expect justice in this process. I couldn't imagine something like this from those who are championing justice," Erdogan added without elaborating, in an apparent jibe at Washington.

The last phone conversation between the two leaders took place on February 20 after which the White House released a statement accusing Erdogan of misrepresenting the content of the conversation.

A staunch advocate of the Palestinian cause, Erdogan has recently been at loggerheads with Washington over Israel's offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip that has killed more than 580 Palestinians in two weeks.

Erdogan accused the Jewish state of carrying out "state terrorism" and a "genocide" of Palestinians and criticised the United States for defending Israel's "disproportionate" tactics.

The US State Department branded his comments on Israel "offensive and wrong" but the prime minister hit back by saying the United States needed to engage in "self-criticism".

Erdogan is standing in August 10 presidential elections that he is expected to win, with analysts awaiting a more assertive foreign policy from Ankara if he becomes head of state.

  • Trump, for some reason, compares coronavirus death toll (over 98,000) to that of swine flu (under 20,000)
    Yahoo News

    Trump, for some reason, compares coronavirus death toll (over 98,000) to that of swine flu (under 20,000)

    On a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic neared 100,000, President Trump sought to direct the nation's attention back to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a way to smear the reputation of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Joe Biden's handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump repeatedly sought to show that he was doing a good job dealing with the pandemic compared with how Biden and then-President Barack Obama had responded to the H1N1 pandemic.

  • Is the $600 unemployment bonus helping or hurting?
    Yahoo News 360

    Is the $600 unemployment bonus helping or hurting?

    In late March, Congress passed the largest stimulus package in American history in an effort to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the most important elements of the massive $2 trillion bill was a provision that boosted unemployment insurance benefits for those who lost work because of stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the virus. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.

  • ‘Burn It Down. Let Them Pay’: Deadly Chaos Erupts in Minneapolis as Fires Rage Over Police Violence
    The Daily Beast

    ‘Burn It Down. Let Them Pay’: Deadly Chaos Erupts in Minneapolis as Fires Rage Over Police Violence

    MINNEAPOLIS—Flames and black smoke poured into the sky here into early Thursday as the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd took a violent turn, with multiple local businesses and residential buildings near police headquarters set ablaze and at least one person fatally shot in the area. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder confirmed the shooting shortly before midnight local time, but he did not say if it was connected to the protests, according to the Star Tribune. The shooting came amid major fires across the southern part of city, including an AutoZone near police headquarters that burned to the ground overnight, spewing toxic fumes across the entire neighborhood.

  • Search for UConn student wanted in 2 deaths in 6th day; stolen car eyed
    NBC News

    Search for UConn student wanted in 2 deaths in 6th day; stolen car eyed

    The search for a University of Connecticut student wanted in connection to two deaths entered its sixth day Wednesday as police probed whether a stolen car in Pennsylvania was connected to the suspect. Connecticut State Police meanwhile urged the student, Peter Manfredonia, 23, to turn himself in. In Pennsylvania, state police are investigating whether a car theft on Monday is connected to Manfredonia, who is wanted in connection to the deaths in Connecticut of Theodore DeMers, 62, and Nicholas Eisele, 23, and the injury of another victim.

  • Russian Jets Blocked US Plane in Unsafe Maneuvers Over Mediterranean, Navy Says
    Military.com

    Russian Jets Blocked US Plane in Unsafe Maneuvers Over Mediterranean, Navy Says

    A pair of Russian planes restricted a Navy pilot from safely maneuvering over international waters for more than an hour, service officials said on Tuesday. Two Russian Su-35 aircraft on Tuesday simultaneously flew close to each wing of a Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, according to Navy news release describing the incident. It was the third time in two months that Russian aircraft have intercepted Navy aircraft in the Sixth Fleet of operations, the release states.

  • Pakistani villager urges India to return 'spy' pigeon
    BBC

    Pakistani villager urges India to return 'spy' pigeon

    A Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in India on charges of spying. The Pakistani villager, who claims the arrested pigeon is his, says the code is actually his mobile phone number. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has identified the man as Habibullah and reports that he owns a dozen pigeons.

  • 6 ways to watch SpaceX's historic first rocket launch of NASA astronauts live online
    Business Insider

    6 ways to watch SpaceX's historic first rocket launch of NASA astronauts live online

    The next launch attempts are on Saturday at 3:22 p.m. ET and Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

  • Venezuela's Maduro vows to raise gasoline price as Iranian tanker nears
    Reuters

    Venezuela's Maduro vows to raise gasoline price as Iranian tanker nears

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday pledged to begin charging citizens for gasoline, as the fourth cargo of a five-tanker flotilla bringing fuel from Iran approached the South American nation's exclusive economic zone. Iran is providing the country with up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help it ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait in hours-long lines at service stations or pay steep prices on the black market. With the arrival of the gasoline, Maduro said he would end the policy of providing fuel effectively for free after more than two decades of frozen pump prices.

  • South Korea sees biggest jump in virus cases in seven weeks
    AFP

    South Korea sees biggest jump in virus cases in seven weeks

    South Korea reported its biggest jump in coronavirus infections in seven weeks on Wednesday, driven by a fresh cluster at an e-commerce warehouse on Seoul's outskirts, as millions more pupils went back to school. The country has been held up as a global model in how to curb the virus and has rushed to contain new infections as life returns to normal. But officials announced 40 new cases Wednesday -- taking its total to 11,265 -- with most new infections from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

  • Inquiry into Russia probe carries political consequences
    Associated Press

    Inquiry into Russia probe carries political consequences

    He was named last year by Barr to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation. Durham's investigation is one of multiple inquiries the department has undertaken in connection with the FBI's probe into potential coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Those include an internal review of the Justice Department's handling of the Flynn investigation, and an inspector general report that was issued last December.

  • Biden on 100,000 coronavirus deaths: 'To those hurting, the nation grieves with you.'
    Reuters

    Biden on 100,000 coronavirus deaths: 'To those hurting, the nation grieves with you.'

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden released a video message on Wednesday marking the grim milestone of 100,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic, telling the bereaved: "The nation grieves with you." Biden spoke after various tallies of COVID-19 deaths, including one compiled by Reuters, showed that the novel coronavirus has killed over 100,000 people in the United States, even as the slowdown in deaths encouraged businesses to reopen and Americans to emerge from more than two months of lockdowns. Biden, speaking from his home in Delaware, drew on his own family loss when making his remarks.

  • Tucker Carlson: Minnesota Protests Over Police Killing a ‘Form of Tyranny’
    The Daily Beast

    Tucker Carlson: Minnesota Protests Over Police Killing a ‘Form of Tyranny’

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson condemned the protests that have broken out in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd by police, claiming on Wednesday night that they are a “form of tyranny” and “oppression.” With demonstrations growing violent and chaotic as protesters have clashed with riot gear-clad police—who have cracked down on the protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets—Carlson devoted most of his attention to the actions of the demonstrators, who are protesting the death of a black man who was pinned down by a cop.

  • Gang of 26 arrested for allegedly smuggling people from Vietnam to Europe in investigation prompted by Essex lorry deaths
    The Telegraph

    Gang of 26 arrested for allegedly smuggling people from Vietnam to Europe in investigation prompted by Essex lorry deaths

    A gang of 26 suspected people smugglers have been arrested in France and Belgium in an investigation prompted by the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in the back of a lorry in Essex last year. In Belgium, 11 Vietnamese and two Moroccans were held, while in France, authorities said the suspects were “mostly Vietnamese and French”. The suspects are allegedly part of an organised crime group that smuggles refugees from Asia, particularly from Vietnam, and that likely has transported up to several dozen people every day for several months, Europol said in a statement.

  • Huawei CFO Meng to find out if a U.S extradition case against her will proceed
    Yahoo News Video

    Huawei CFO Meng to find out if a U.S extradition case against her will proceed

    A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.

  • Levi’s Is Taking 50% off These Best-Selling Jeans Right Now
    Popular Mechanics

    Levi’s Is Taking 50% off These Best-Selling Jeans Right Now

    It's a great time to stock up on the classic 501s. From Popular Mechanics

  • PHOTOS: US Navy says a pair of Russian fighter jets 'unsafely' intercepted a US patrol aircraft, risking a midair collision
    Business Insider

    PHOTOS: US Navy says a pair of Russian fighter jets 'unsafely' intercepted a US patrol aircraft, risking a midair collision

    US Navy The US Navy has accused two Russian Su-35 fighter jets of conducting an "unsafe and unprofessional" intercept of a P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Tuesday, releasing photos and video from the incident. The two Russian fighters closed in on both wings of the US aircraft simultaneously, "restricting the P-8A's ability to safely maneuver," the Navy said in a statement. Tuesday's intercept marks the third unsafe intercept over the Mediterranean in two months, following two similar incidents in April.

  • Hong Kong 'no longer autonomous from China' - Pompeo
    BBC

    Hong Kong 'no longer autonomous from China' - Pompeo

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Congress that Hong Kong no longer merits special treatment under US law. The declaration could have major implications for Hong Kong's trade hub status and is likely to anger Beijing. "No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground," he said in a statement.

  • A pharmacist known as 'the Mask Man' has been charged with hoarding $200,000 worth of N95 masks and price-gouging customers
    INSIDER

    A pharmacist known as 'the Mask Man' has been charged with hoarding $200,000 worth of N95 masks and price-gouging customers

    A New York pharmacist bought up $200,000 worth of N95 masks before the coronavirus pandemic grew severe in the US, then sold them at up to a 50% markup, prosecutors allege. The pharmacist, 66-year-old Richard Schirripa, sold more than $2,000 worth of masks to an undercover officer, and said during the transaction he felt "like a drug dealer standing out here." Schirripa has been arrested and charged with violating the Defense Production Act by hoarding and price-gouging.

  • Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley: Trump has failed to justify ouster of watchdogs, fueling political speculation
    USA TODAY

    Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley: Trump has failed to justify ouster of watchdogs, fueling political speculation

    WASHINGTON – A top Senate Republican said the Trump administration has failed to justify the ouster of two government watchdogs and suggested the vague rationale would fuel speculation that "political" motivations are at play. The unusual rebuke – from Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican who has long supported government whistleblowers – comes amid intense congressional scrutiny of President Donald Trump's decision to fire Steve Linick, the State Department's inspector general, on May 15. Trump said he removed Linick at the urging of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • This Neo-Futuristic Home Found Its Inspiration in the British Countryside
    Architectural Digest

    This Neo-Futuristic Home Found Its Inspiration in the British Countryside

    Located in the rolling hills of southeast England, the design was meant to mimic the beer-brewing structures that once dotted the landscape Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

  • U.S. to end sanctions waivers allowing some work at Iran nuclear sites
    Reuters

    U.S. to end sanctions waivers allowing some work at Iran nuclear sites

    The United States said on Wednesday it will terminate sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out work originally designed to make it harder for Iranian nuclear sites to be used for weapons development. The waivers, which officials said expire on July 27, covered the conversion of Iran's Arak heavy water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent and scrap reactor fuel abroad. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave no precise justification for the move, which will halt some work originally designed to make it more difficult for Iran to potentially develop fissile material for nuclear bombs.

  • Warrants describe nightmarish child abuse case in Tennessee
    Associated Press

    Warrants describe nightmarish child abuse case in Tennessee

    Arrest warrants in a Tennessee couple's abuse case describe a hellish existence for four children in their legal custody, a nightmare that finally ended after a little boy was spotted walking alone along a Roane County road. The boy's legal guardian soon confessed, the warrants said, to burying the remains of a little girl in a barn and locking a 15-year-old boy in the basement for four years. The two other children spent time in a wire dog cage, while all were supposedly homeschooled and appeared to be “stunted in growth,” the warrants said.

  • Michigan governor in hot water over boat launch claim
    AFP

    Michigan governor in hot water over boat launch claim

    The Michigan governor who implemented some of the toughest coronavirus lockdown rules in the United States came under heavy criticism Tuesday over allegations that her husband pressured a dock to prepare his boat for an outing. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has defended her tough stay-at-home policies against armed protestors and attacks from President Donald Trump, announced last week the lifting of some restrictions ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend. According to a claim posted on Facebook by Northshore Docks owner Tad Dowker, Whitmer's husband Marc Mallory subsequently tried to use her position to get his boat moved ahead of others for launching before the holiday weekend.

  • British mercenaries 'involved in botched operation' backing rebel leader in Libya, according to secret UN report
    The Telegraph

    British mercenaries 'involved in botched operation' backing rebel leader in Libya, according to secret UN report

    Six British citizens including two former Royal Marine commandos have been accused of taking part in a botched mercenary mission to Libya to fight on behalf of renegade general Khalifa Haftar. The five men and one woman are named in a confidential report by the United Nations panel of experts on Libya into a botched mission that ended with the mercenaries making a remarkable sea-borne escape after falling out with their hosts. The men, including former Royal Marines Sean Callaghan Louw and Andrew Scott Ritchie, were among around 20 mercenaries who travelled to Benghazi in eastern Libya in June 2019 in a contract organised by a UAE based company called Opus, according to the report seen by the Daily Telegraph.

  • NASA and SpaceX's launch was postponed, but at least we got to see their wildly corny spacesuits
    The Week

    NASA and SpaceX's launch was postponed, but at least we got to see their wildly corny spacesuits

    The much-heralded joint launch between NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX was postponed on Wednesday due to light rain in Florida. It was a disappointing anticlimax for the first manned space launch from American soil since 2011 — all systems were "go" just an hour before astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were scheduled for 4:33 p.m. liftoff — but there was a silver lining to the clouds above Cape Canaveral: the world got to see, for the first time, NASA and SpaceX's alarmingly cheesy spacesuits, which looked something like man-sized Mentos dispensers topped off with garden galoshes.