Twitter user @vjabolts shared this video on Dec. 30, from southern Chicago, showing two children helping to clear their driveway. But one of them could use a little work on his technique.
- The Independent
Ivanka might be considering White House run or jumping into the 2022 Senate matchup with Marco Rubio
- Associated Press
More than a year before Anthony Warner detonated a Christmas Day bomb in downtown Nashville, officers visited his home after his girlfriend told police he was building bombs in a recreational vehicle at his residence, according to documents. Officers were called to Pamela Perry’s Nashville home on Aug. 21, 2019, following a report from her attorney that she was making suicidal threats while sitting on her front porch with firearms, the police department said in a statement.
A mob in northwestern Pakistan attacked and set ablaze a century-old Hindu temple on Wednesday, officials said, prompting condemnations from the Muslim-majority country's Hindu community. Hindus are the largest non-Muslim majority in the country, which gained independence from British rule in 1947, when the subcontinent was partitioned into Muslim-majority Pakistan and Hindu-majority India. Local Muslim clerics had organised what they told police would be a peaceful protest against the alleged expansion of the temple, located in a town in Karak district, in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Rahmatullah Wazir, a police officer in the town, told Reuters.
- National Review
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) said Wednesday that Josh Hawley's (R., Mo.) plan to object to the certification of Electoral College votes amounted to a "coup attempt."Hawley said in a Wednesday statement that he could not "vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states…failed to follow their own state election laws," and called on Congress to investigate allegations of voter fraud."This is how you run for President on the Republican side in 2024. You join a coup attempt," Klobuchar wrote on Twitter in response to Hawley. "Democracy will prevail. As lead Dem on Rules [Committee] I will guarantee it."> This is how you run for President on the Republican side in 2024. You join a coup attempt. > > Democracy will prevail. As lead Dem on Rules Com. I will guarantee it. There’s a bipartisan group of electeds who will put our country first. See you on the 6th! https://t.co/jDkGVi4vDw> > -- Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) December 30, 2020President Trump has refused to publicly concede defeat to opponent Joe Biden, and has alleged that Democrats "stole" the election by means of widespread voter fraud. Lawyers allied with the president have sued to void the election results in several crucial states, but have not presented evidence of fraud compelling enough to overturn the results. The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration oversees contested elections as part of its responsibilities. Senator Roy Blunt, the other Republican from Missouri, chairs the committee, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is also a member.Representative Mo Brooks (R., Ala.) claimed on Monday that "dozens" of House Republicans could object to the election certification. The representatives would need the support of at least one senator for their objections to be heard and debated. Now that Hawley has announced his own objection, Brooks and other House Republicans could succeed in having their objections heard, though there is no indication that vice president Mike Pence will refuse to certify the results.
- The Independent
Incoming president slipped-up as he issued criticism of the Trump administration’s vaccine roll-out
- Associated Press
The United States flew strategic bombers over the Persian Gulf on Wednesday for the second time this month, a show of force meant to deter Iran from attacking American or allied targets in the Middle East. One senior U.S. military officer said the flight by two Air Force B-52 bombers was in response to signals that Iran may be planning attacks against U.S. allied targets in neighboring Iraq or elsewhere in the region in coming days, even as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office. The B-52 bomber mission, flown round trip from an Air Force base in North Dakota, reflects growing concern in Washington, in the final weeks of President Donald Trump's administration, that Iran will order further military retaliation for the U.S. killing last Jan. 3 of top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Green Beret Colonel Threatened to Kill Wife in Front of Children Before Standoff with Police: Affidavit
Colonel Owen G. Ray has been suspended from his job as I Corps chief of staff pending a law enforcement probe into the case.
- The Conversation
The Second Amendment is one of the most frequently cited provisions in the American Constitution, but also one of the most poorly understood. The 27 words that constitute the Second Amendment seem to baffle modern Americans on both the left and right. Ironically, those on both ends of our contemporary political spectrum cast the Second Amendment as a barrier to robust gun regulation. Gun rights supporters – mostly, but not exclusively, on the right – seem to believe that the Second Amendment prohibits many forms of gun regulation. On the left, frustration with the lack of progress on modern gun control leads to periodic calls for the amendment’s repeal.Both of these beliefs ignore an irrefutable historical truth. The framers and adopters of the Second Amendment were generally ardent supporters of the idea of well-regulated liberty. Without strong governments and effective laws, they believed, liberty inevitably degenerated into licentiousness and eventually anarchy. Diligent students of history, particularly Roman history, the Federalists who wrote the Constitution realized that tyranny more often resulted from anarchy, not strong government. I have been researching and writing about the history of gun regulation and the Second Amendment for the past two decades. When I began this research, most people assumed that regulation was a relatively recent phenomenon, something associated with the rise of big government in the modern era. Actually, while the founding generation certainly esteemed the idea of an armed population, they were also ardent supporters of gun regulations. Consider these five categories of gun laws that the Founders endorsed. 1: RegistrationToday American gun rights advocates typically oppose any form of registration – even though such schemes are common in every other industrial democracy – and typically argue that registration violates the Second Amendment. This claim is also hard to square with the history of the nation’s founding. All of the colonies – apart from Quaker-dominated Pennsylvania, the one colony in which religious pacifists blocked the creation of a militia – enrolled local citizens, white men between the ages of 16-60 in state-regulated militias. The colonies and then the newly independent states kept track of these privately owned weapons required for militia service. Men could be fined if they reported to a muster without a well-maintained weapon in working condition. 2: Public carryThe modern gun rights movement has aggressively pursued the goal of expanding the right to carry firearms in public. The American colonies inherited a variety of restrictions that evolved under English Common Law. In 18th-century England, armed travel was limited to a few well-defined occasions such as assisting justices of the peace and constables. Members of the upper classes also had a limited exception to travel with arms. Concealable weapons such as handguns were subject to even more stringent restrictions. The city of London banned public carry of these weapons entirely.The American Revolution did not sweep away English common law. In fact, most colonies adopted common law as it had been interpreted in the colonies prior to independence, including the ban on traveling armed in populated areas. Thus, there was no general right of armed travel when the Second Amendment was adopted, and certainly no right to travel with concealed weapons. Such a right first emerged in the United States in the slave South decades after the Second Amendment was adopted. The market revolution of the early 19th century made cheap and reliable hand guns readily available. Southern murder rates soared as a result. In other parts of the nation, the traditional English restrictions on traveling armed persisted with one important change. American law recognized an exception to this prohibition for individuals who had a good cause to fear an imminent threat. Nonetheless, by the end of the century, prohibiting public carry was the legal norm, not the exception. 3: Stand-your-ground lawsUnder traditional English common law, one had a duty to retreat, not stand your ground. Deadly force was justified only if no other alternative was possible. One had to retreat, until retreat was no longer possible, before killing an aggressor. The use of deadly force was justified only in the home, where retreat was not required under the so-called castle doctrine, or the idea that “a man’s home is his castle.” The emergence of a more aggressive view of the right of self-defense in public, standing your ground, emerged slowly in the decades after the Civil War. 4: Safe storage lawsAlthough some gun rights advocates attempt to demonize government power, it is important to recognize that one of the most important rights citizens enjoy is the freedom to elect representatives who can enact laws to promote health and public safety. This is the foundation for the idea of ordered liberty. The regulation of gun powder and firearms arises from an exercise of this basic liberty. In 1786, Boston acted on this legal principle, prohibiting the storage of a loaded firearm in any domestic dwelling in the city. Guns had to be kept unloaded, a practice that made sense since the black powder used in firearms in this period was corrosive. Loaded guns also posed a particular hazard in cases of fire because they might discharge and injure innocent bystanders and those fighting fires. 5: Loyalty oathsOne of the most common claims one hears in the modern Second Amendment debate is the assertion that the Founders included this provision in the Constitution to make possible a right of revolution. But this claim, too, rests on a serious misunderstanding of the role the right to bear arms played in American constitutional theory. In fact, the Founders engaged in large-scale disarmament of the civilian population during the American Revolution. The right to bear arms was conditional on swearing a loyalty oath to the government. Individuals who refused to swear such an oath were disarmed. The notion that the Second Amendment was understood to protect a right to take up arms against the government is absurd. Indeed, the Constitution itself defines such an act as treason. Gun regulation and gun ownership have always existed side by side in American history. The Second Amendment poses no obstacle to enacting sensible gun laws. The failure to do so is not the Constitution’s fault; it is ours.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. Read more: * Why Trump’s idea to arm teachers may miss the mark * How US gun control compares to the rest of the world * How dangerous people get their weapons in AmericaAs a researcher at the John Glenn School of Public Policy at Ohio State, Cornell was the lead investigator on a project that was funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation to research the history of gun regulation. Part of the research cited in this essay was done under that grant.
- Yahoo News Video
An attorney for a U.S. Army special forces sergeant arrested in what authorities called an apparently random shooting at an Illinois bowling alley that left three people dead told an initial hearing Monday that her client may suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder.
- The Telegraph
South Korea is to sell the assets of a Japanese firm to compensate a group of citizens who were forced to work as labourers during the years of Tokyo’s colonial rule of the peninsula. A court in the city of Daejon ruled on Tuesday that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries must forfeit assets worth £565,000. The verdict is the final step in a 2018 order by the Korean Supreme Court for Mitsubishi to pay between £68,000 and £102,000 to four plaintiffs who were forced to work for the firm between 1910 and 1945. Japan has yet to comment on the verdict but has in the past expressed anger over the case and suggested it may impose sanctions in retaliation. A number of other similar cases are pending in Korean courts, including compensation claims against Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. The Japanese government insists that all claims linked to the years of Japan’s colonial rule were “settled completely and finally” with the signing of a treaty in June 1965 that normalised diplomatic relations between Seoun and Tokyo, and included grants amounting to US $300 million that were tacitly seen as compensation. While Japan says the treaty should be the end of the matter, Korean courts have sided with former labourers who claim they have not received redress directly from Japanese companies or the government for their suffering. The South Korean government has also refused requests from Japan to intervene in the cases on the grounds that they are a matter for the courts. Mitsubishi is understood to be preparing to file an appeal against the decision, although previous appeals have been summarily dismissed. In 2019, after an earlier development in the case, Japan imposed new restrictions on exports of chemicals critical to South Korea’s semiconductor industry. It is likely that Tokyo has drawn up a similar response should the Mitsubishi assets - six patent and two trademark rights - be sold off. It has been suggested that Tokyo may impose new tariffs on imports or raise existing duties, restrict the issuance of visas, impose new financial sanctions, restrict the operations of Korean companies in Japan and recall the ambassador to Seoul. The Japanese government is unwilling to let the cases go uncontested, however, as it fears that one victory over its companies will open the floodgates to countless similar cases from other Koreans or the descendants of forced labourers who have since died. And if Koreans are successful in compensation suits against Japanese corporations, then that could open the floodgates to similar claims from people in other parts of Asia who also feel they were victims of Imperial Japan’s actions in the early decades of the last century.
Vincent Ni reflects on the long life of his grandfather and a crucial choice he made as a young man.
- Associated Press
President Donald Trump lashed out at congressional Republicans on Tuesday after the House easily voted to override his veto of a defense policy bill. The Senate is expected to consider the measure later this week. The 322-87 vote in the House sends the override effort to the Senate, where the exact timing of a vote is uncertain.
WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) -The Biden administration will take swift action when it assumes office on Jan. 20 to roll back harmful Trump administration policies that have not taken effect by Inauguration day, a spokeswoman for President-elect Joe Biden's transition team said on Wednesday. "The Biden-Harris White House will issue a memo to take effect afternoon Eastern Time on January 20 that will halt, or delay, midnight regulations," Jen Psaki told a news conference. Psaki gave as an example an expected Department of Labor rule that would make it easier for companies to call their workers independent contractors to avoid minimum wage and overtime protections.
Infantry weapons create an incredible amount of noise, but adding suppressors helps muffle their audible signature.
- Associated Press
If there's one silver lining in a year marred by a deadly pandemic, civil unrest, and economic and political turmoil, it's this: The number of mass shootings that happened in public was the lowest in more than a decade. Experts who research mass killings say there are two key reasons for the sharp drop-off. A database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks mass killings — defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter — back to 2006 showed just two public mass shootings this year.
- NBC News
Kenneth Troy Heller, 52, agreed to deal with prosecutors two months after the death of 18-year-old Jason Kutt, the district attorney said.
U.S. President Donald Trump's pardon of four American men convicted of killing Iraqi civilians while working as contractors in 2007 violated U.S. obligations under international law, U.N. human rights experts said on Wednesday. Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first-degree murder, while Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard were convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter, over the incident in which U.S. contractors opened fire in busy traffic in a Baghdad square and killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians.
- Architectural Digest
From an airy Venice loft to a romantic Topanga getaway, these vacation homes offer something for every traveler Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- National Review
Non-profit humanitarian agency World Vision United States improperly transacted with the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA) in 2014 with approval from the Obama administration, sending government funds to an organization that had been sanctioned over its ties to terrorism, according to a new report.Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) recently released a report detailing the findings of an investigation his staff began in February 2019 into the relationship between World Vision and ISRA.The probe found that World Vision was not aware that ISRA had been sanctioned by the U.S. since 2004 after funneling roughly $5 million to Maktab al-Khidamat, the predecessor to Al-Qaeda controlled by Osama Bid Laden. However, that ignorance was born from insufficient vetting practices, the report said.“World Vision works to help people in need across the world, and that work is admirable,” Grassley said in a statement. “Though it may not have known that ISRA was on the sanctions list or that it was listed because of its affiliation with terrorism, it should have. Ignorance can’t suffice as an excuse. World Vision’s changes in vetting practices are a good first step, and I look forward to its continued progress.”The investigation was sparked by a July 2018 National Review article in which Sam Westrop, the director of the Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch, detailed MEF’s findings that the Obama administration had approved a “$200,000 grant of taxpayer money to ISRA.”Government officials specifically authorized the release of “at least $115,000” of this grant even after learning that it was a designated terror organization, Westrop wrote.According to the Senate report, World Vision submitted a grant application to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to carry out its Blue Nile Recovery Program on January 21, 2014. The proposed program sought to provide food security, sanitation equipment, and health services to areas hard-hit by conflict in the Blue Nile region of Sudan.USAID awarded World Vision a $723,405 grant for the program. The next month, ISRA agreed to provide humanitarian services to parts of the Blue Nile Region for World Vision, according to the report. The two organizations had also collaborated on several projects in 2013 and 2014.World Vision only discovered ISRA was sanctioned after the Evangelical humanitarian non-profit discussed partnering with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on a separate humanitarian project in Sudan. In performing a routine vetting of World Vision and its partners, IOM discovered ISRA’s sanctioned status and reached out to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Compliance Team to confirm.After receiving confirmation from OFAC, IOM rejected World Vision’s offer to collaborate, the report says.World Vision’s legal department was notified of ISRA’s potential status as a sanctioned entity in September 2014 and immediately halted all payments to the organization while it investigated.The non-profit sent a letter to OFAC on November 19, 2014, asking for clarification regarding ISRA’s status, and requesting that, in the event that ISRA was sanctioned, it be awarded a temporary license to finish out the organizations’ existing contract.Two months later, Treasury responded, confirming that ISRA is sanctioned and denying the request for a license to work with the organization, as that would be “inconsistent with OFAC policy.”One month later, World Vision submitted another request for a license to transact with ISRA to pay them $125,000 for services rendered, lest it face legal consequences and potential expulsion from Sudan.On May 4, 2015, the Obama administration’s State Department recommended OFAC grant World Vision’s request for the license to transact. The next day, OFAC granted the license to pay ISRA $125,000 for services rendered, and later sent the non-profit a “cautionary letter” making it aware that its collaboration with ISRA appeared to have violated the Global Terrorism Sanction Regulations.The report said the investigation “did not find any evidence that World Vision intentionally sought to circumvent U.S. sanctions by partnering with ISRA.”“We also found no evidence that World Vision knew that ISRA was a sanctioned entity prior to receiving notice from Treasury,” the report adds. “However, based on the evidence presented, we conclude that World Vision had access to the appropriate public information and should have known how, but failed to, properly vet ISRA as a sub-grantee, resulting in the transfer of U.S. taxpayer dollars to an organization with an extensive history of supporting terrorist organization [sic] and terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden.”The report calls World Vision’s system for vetting prospective sub-grantees “borderline negligent” and says the organization “ignored elementary level investigative procedures.”World Vision spent weeks after being informed by IOM of ISRA’s sanction status investigating the claim and was unable to reach a conclusion, relying upon “what could only be described as flawed logic,” the report says.The report accuses World Vision of attempting to eschew blame, and notes that IOM “was able to quickly vet ISRA and determine their status as a sanctioned entity.” “Had World Vision employed the same due diligence and similar methods employed by IOM, taxpayer dollars would not have exchanged hands with an organization that is known to fund terrorist organizations,” it said. While World Vision has instituted additional screening methods, “the Finance Committee staff has reservations” about its ability to avoid similar situations in the future, the report says. “World Vision has a duty to ensure that funds acquired from the U.S. government or donated by Americans do not end up supporting terrorist activity,” it says. “Particularly concerning to this Committee is World Vision’s attempt to shift the blame to the federal government for their own inability to properly vet a subcontractor. A more robust and fundamentally sound system of screening and vetting is needed to restore the public’s trust that contributions made to World Vision are not funding illicit organizations.”“Moreover, although we find no reason to doubt World Vision’s assertion that the funds in their entirety were used by ISRA for humanitarian purposes, that money inevitably aids their terrorist activities,” it concludes.World Vision said in a statement that it “takes our compliance obligations seriously and shares Sen. Grassley and the committee staff's objective for good stewardship.”“We appreciate the acknowledgement that the committee staff’s report to the chairman 'found no evidence that World Vision knew that ISRA was a sanctioned entity prior to receiving notice from Treasury,’” it added. “Terrorism runs counter to everything World Vision stands for as an organization and we strongly condemn any act of terrorism or support for such activities.”
- Yahoo News Video
Joe Louis Clark, the high school principal whose unwavering commitment to his students and uncompromising disciplinary methods inspired the 1989 film “Lean on Me,” died at his Florida home on Tuesday. He was 82.