Dozens of burros have died since October from an outbreak of equine influenza in Redlands and the surrounding area. Katie Johnston reports.
Dozens of burros have died since October from an outbreak of equine influenza in Redlands and the surrounding area. Katie Johnston reports.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams's message: It's not too late to act. Get tested. Isolate.
The president-elect will probably have to wear a medical boot for several weeks, his doctor says.
WASHINGTON (AP) — “America the Beautiful” is this year's Christmas theme at the White House. Melania Trump says it pays tribute to and showcases the “majesty" of the United States. Ornaments on the official Christmas tree in the Blue Room — a towering Fraser fir from Shepherdstown, West Virginia — were designed by students from across the country who were asked by the National Park Service to highlight the people, places and things that make their states beautiful.
The gun was mounted on a Nissan truck that self-destructed after the hit on Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was complete, the semiofficial Fars news agency said.
“No,” Jill Biden, then clad in a bikini, wrote in Sharpie across her stomach and then marched through a strategy session in which advisers were trying to talk her husband into challenging Republican President George W. Bush. Protecting Joe stands out among Jill Biden's many roles over their 43-year marriage, as her husband's career moved him from the Senate to the presidential campaign trail and the White House as President Barack Obama's vice president. Now, with her husband on the brink of becoming the 46th president, Jill Biden is about to become first lady and put her own stamp on a position that traditionally is viewed as a model of American womanhood — whether that means hewing to old ways or finding new, activist ones, in the manner of Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, for example.
‘You haven’t shown a single problem with the way the game was scored.”“Yeah, but the game was played at night, and the rulebook only permits day games.”If you can follow that argument, then you can grasp the Republican challenge to the 2020 election in Pennsylvania that was rejected by the commonwealth’s supreme court on Saturday night. That ruling, which is factually related to but separate from President Trump’s federal lawsuit that the Third Circuit threw out last Friday, is likely to end the election-litigation efforts in Pennsylvania, though it is still possible that the cases could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.Meantime in Georgia, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pressing on with a lawsuit filed, not on behalf of the president directly, but on behalf of Trump supporters, including members of the Republican-nominated Electoral College slate that would have cast the state’s votes if Trump had won. On Sunday, they won a minor victory -- on procedural grounds, not on the merits -- in their bid to convince a Georgia federal judge to decertify the GOP-controlled state government’s conclusion that President-elect Biden won a slim victory there.PennsylvaniaThe state lawsuit in Pittsburgh was brought by U.S. Representative Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and other Republicans. They argued that the commonwealth’s constitution does not permit mass mail-in voting -- as distinguished from individualized absentee voting. They therefore challenged the state legislature’s 2019 Act 77, which permitted “no-excuse” mail-in voting. Act 77 marked a departure from prior Pennsylvania law, under which voters could only request absentee ballots based on legally approved reasons for not being able to vote in person. In 2020, the legislature further liberalized this accommodation due to COVID-19 concerns.The Republican plaintiffs had a legitimate point. Prior to Act 77, state law simply codified the Pennsylvania’s constitution, which authorizes absentee voting based on a generous list of excuses, but does not expressly authorize no-excuse mail-in voting. The plaintiffs thus found a sympathetic ear in commonwealth judge Patricia McCullough of Pittsburgh. Last week, she ordered a temporary stay in the certification process -- although the stay’s efficacy was debatable, since her order came after the state had certified the results (albeit before some ministerial tasks, such as the issuance of certificates to the Biden slate of electors, who will cast the commonwealth’s electoral votes).State election officials, who are Democrats, immediately appealed to the state supreme court, where their eventual victory was certain. That tribunal is a Democrat-dominated elected body and, as we’ve previously recounted, it has both flouted the plain terms of state law and extended mail-in voting beyond even the state’s constitutionally questionable authorization of it. There was zero chance that it would side with Republicans.Here, however, the court was on solid footing because the plaintiffs did not file lawsuits against the new mail-in voting when it was enacted. They waited for over a year, until after 2.6 million Pennsylvanians had availed themselves of the opportunity to vote by mail during a pandemic. Republicans were suddenly objecting now, not because the election was unfair, but because their presidential candidate lost. Indeed, some of the plaintiffs had run for office under the Act 77 mail-in procedures without objecting to them.Consequently, the court ruled that the doctrine of laches applied -- i.e., claims must be timely raised or they are forfeited. Moreover, to repeat a refrain we’ve been stressing for a while, there was a gross mismatch between the harm alleged and the remedy sought: The Republicans were asking that the mail-in ballots be thrown out or, in the alternative, that the election be voided and the (Republican-majority) state legislature be directed to choose the state’s electors (i.e., the Trump slate). This would disenfranchise either the 2.6 million Pennsylvanians who mailed in ballots or all of the commonwealth’s 6.8 million voters.In a concurring opinion, Judge David Wecht further contended that the court could not authorize the state legislature to choose electors. Although the Constitution empowers the state legislature to choose the manner of selecting electors, Judge Wecht observed (as I have also pointed out) that the commonwealth’s legislature did so long ago by enacting provisions that award Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the popular election.The court’s ruling on the issue of laches was unanimous. Two judges dissented in part, reasoning that the Republican plaintiffs’ construction of the state constitution appears sound, and that Act 77’s attempt to put a 180-day time-limit on challenges to its lawfulness should be unenforceable against challenges based on the state constitution (an issue the majority opinion sidestepped). The dissenters argued that the plaintiffs should be permitted to proceed with their objections to mass mail-in voting for the purpose of future elections, but not the 2020 election.GeorgiaIn Georgia, attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell are pursuing their theory that the election was stolen from President Trump by cyber-fraud -- specifically, manipulation of the tabulation program, to which they claim Dominion voting machines are vulnerable, in order to switch Trump votes to Biden votes.Sunday turned out to be a frenetic day because Wood learned, apparently from state election officials, that the memories on voting machines were about to be reset (or “wiped,” as Wood put it). This was to occur on Monday (today) -- recall that Georgia will be holding a statewide run-off election for both U.S. Senate seats in just five weeks (i.e., on January 5). Wood objected because the reset would make it practically impossible for him and Powell to conduct a forensic examination into the Dominion software’s operation in the November election, which they contend is necessary to their case.U.S. district judge Timothy Batten initially issued a temporary injunction, directing state election officials to preserve the machines in their present condition while he deliberated over whether to permit a forensic examination. Judge Batten withdrew the injunction a few hours later when the state officials named in the Wood/Powell lawsuits explained that the counties, not the state, had control over the machines.Finally, on Sunday evening at 7:45 p.m., Batten convened an emergency conference, via Zoom, at which the lawyers countered that they were prepared to amend their complaints in order to add the officials in Cobb, Gwinnett, and Cherokee county as defendants. The state also contended that the forensic examination contemplated by the plaintiffs threatened state election security and could compromise its contractor’s proprietary and trade secrets, and thus should not be permitted absent a more compelling showing of wrongdoing than has been made to this point. Wood and Powell replied that these concerns could be assuaged by allowing the state’s own experts to participate in the examination, conducting it on videotape, and directing that the results be provided only to the court, for consideration of any appropriate protective orders against disclosure.At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Batten issued a temporary restraining order: For the next ten days, unless the court directs otherwise, Georgia is barred from permitting the erasure or alteration of data from the Dominion machines. In the meantime, the state is to provide the plaintiffs with a copy of its contract with Dominion, and must file by close of business Wednesday (December 2) a brief and any supporting affidavits in opposition to the forensic examinations.Another hearing in the case is set for Friday (December 4). To be clear, Judge Batten has not ruled on the merits of the case or even indicated that he will permit the forensic examination of the Dominion data. The injunction freezes matters for a few days so the court can consider the parties’ positions and make a more informed decision.
A top Iranian security official on Monday accused Israel of using “electronic devices” to remotely kill a scientist who founded the Islamic Republic's military nuclear program in the 2000s.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has declared military operations in the country’s northern Tigray region “completed’ and claimed that his federal forces had captured the crucial regional capital of Mekele. Due to an almost complete communications black out in Tigray, it was impossible to independently verify his statement. The announcement on Saturday night came just hours before at least six rockets from northern Tigray hit Eritrea, according to diplomats, suggesting the prime minister's claims were premature. Catastrophic fighting was expected over the weekend in Mekele when the Ethiopian army said it was surrounding the city of half a million people with tanks and artillery and warned civilians to stay inside. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) staff visited government-run Ayder Referral Hospital yesterday, where they said approximately 80 per cent of patients were suffering from trauma injuries and basic supplies were dwindling. "The hospital is running dangerously low on sutures, antibiotics, anticoagulants, painkillers, and even gloves," said Maria Soledad, ICRC’s head of operations in Ethiopia. It is thought that forces loyal to the powerful regional government, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), may have tactically retreated into the nearby mountains days ago to avoid heavy clashes. The TPLF is thought to command as many as 200,000 fighters, some of whom fought in the bloody Eritrea-Ethiopia war from 1998 to 2000. Because of these old hostilities with neighbouring Eritrea, Tigray is home to some of the largest stores of weapons in the country. The US embassy in the Eritrean capital Asmara reported early Sunday “six explosions” caused by rockets from Tigray region had occurred in the city “at about 10:13 pm” on Saturday night. The strikes marked the third time that Asmara has been shot at since fighting began on November 4. The TPLF has only claimed responsibility for the first rocket attack two weeks ago but has frequently accused Eritrea of siding with Ethiopian federal forces. Eritrea, Africa’s most totalitarian state, has not commented on the strikes. The conflict began when Mr Abiy, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced that he was sending federal troops into Tigray in response to attacks by pro-TPLF forces on national army camps. The move marked a dramatic escalation of tensions between the federal government and the TPLF, which dominated Ethiopian politics for nearly three decades before anti-government protests swept Mr Abiy to office in 2018. Thousands have died in the conflict so far, with tens of thousands of refugees streaming across the border into Sudan. Each side has accused the other of grave crimes and mass killings.
Spanish authorities have dismantled a makeshift camp for migrant processing that for over three months was known as the “dock of shame” for holding thousands of Africans in squalor after they arrived in the Canary Islands. The Spanish government’s delegation in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago confirmed Monday that all the 830 people held Friday at the Arguineguín dock, on the southwestern coast of Gran Canaria Island, had been moved out by Sunday night to other facilities. The last to leave were 27 migrants who have tested positive for coronavirus and were placed in isolation.
A Utah police officer allegedly kidnapped a member of his own family on Thanksgiving Day in what police described as a “paranoid” episode involving an involuntary joyride, a gun, and abandoned buildings.An unnamed relative told police that their nephew Scott Elliott Russell, a master officer with the South Jordan Police Department, had taken them for a drive before the family’s Thanksgiving dinner in Provo, Utah, but when the relative requested to return home, Russell refused and kept driving along the I-15 highway. Police did not disclose the relative’s identity.Russell then “became more irrational and paranoid, at one point, taking the victim’s phone and disabling it,” according to the arrest report, first reported by local station KUTV 2. The relative, knowing the policeman had a gun, complied with Russell’s demands. Russell later denied taking the phone.Russell and the relative left the highway and exited the car, at which point Russell rolled it down an embankment and tossed his gun over a fence into sagebrush. The arrest report reads, “[Russell] claimed he had been set up and believed he was actively being watched by an unknown organization ... he claimed again [he was] being watched by individuals and wanted these individuals to see him openly discard the firearm so they knew he didn’t pose a threat.”Russell and the relative walked to a pair of abandoned buildings. After Russell went into one and left the relative in another, the relative walked to the highway and was picked up by a passing driver and later taken to the hospital for unspecified injuries.Russell has been arrested on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, burglary, trespass, and interruption of a communications device. He is being held in the Juab County Jail and has been placed on leave from the South Jordan police force.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.
A senior Syrian official denied asylum in France due to concerns of possible involvement in war crimes was spirited out of the country with help from the Israeli secret service Mossad to Austria, where he was helped to start a new life, a top judicial source has told The Telegraph. Brigadier General Khaled al-Halabi, who was chief of Syrian intelligence in Raqqa from 2009 until 2013, is also the target of a legal complaint for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, a Telegraph investigation can reveal. During his time in charge of the Raqqa facility, prisoners were allegedly murdered, tortured and sexually assaulted, according to the complaint filed in a Western country and which has been sent to the Paris prosecutor. Mr Halabi vehemently denies any wrongdoing. In spite of human rights concerns about his unit, France’s spy agency, Direction Générale de la Ssécurité Extérieure, (DGSE), helped the general secretly leave Syria and travel to France in 2014 at a time when Syria’s war against rebel forces was in the balance, it is alleged. He was, however, then denied asylum in France due to concerns that his senior position in the Syrian regime meant he could have been involved in criminal acts, The Telegraph has learned. That prompted the French War Crimes Unit to launch a preliminary investigation in 2017. In spite of this, he was then mysteriously exfiltrated from France by Israeli intelligence agents to Austria, where he was successfully granted asylum, according to the judicial source and French and Austrian media. The agencies involved allegedly believed Mr Halabi could play an important role in the future of Syria. “It's clear he is a big fish,” said one senior French judicial source. “We wanted to quiz him about all the testimonies we have gathered. It is very frustrating as he was a top target." How Mr Halabi obtained asylum when France turned him down and whether he should have been prosecuted has sparked a national uproar in Austria in recent weeks, with the media revealing an apparent power struggle between the country’s domestic intelligence agency, which allegedly helped the general, and its justice ministry which sought to investigate him. In 2013, when Mr Halabi defected, it was not clear that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would prevail over the rebels who had been fighting to overthrow him since 2011. Russia, which would provide decisive help to the embattled president, would not enter the war for another two years. That October, as Raqqa became the first provincial capital to fall to the rebels, Mr Halabi slipped out of the city among a stream of refugees headed to Turkey. By early 2014 he had made it to France with the help of French agents who may have believed the senior official could be a useful asset in the event of President Assad’s downfall, the senior French judicial source told The Telegraph. “This was also just a few months before the 2015 terror attacks in Paris and the DGSE was desperate to get their hands on any leads about the Islamic State, which they knew was actively planning strikes,” said the source, who asked their name be withheld. “If they brought him here it was no doubt because they considered him a usable source,” said one senior French military intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. However, Mr Halabi’s request for asylum in France was declined in 2015, with the French Office for Refugees, OFPRA, citing a specific provision of the Geneva Convention, 1F. This denies an individual refugee status when there are serious reasons to consider he may have committed a “crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, or a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge”. He could not be deported however as Syria was a country at war. At this point, the Israeli and Austrian intelligence services are alleged to have intervened on Mr Halabi’s behalf.