Azerbaijanis are seeing a crucial supply of water return since their government took back a main reservoir that Armenia has occupied since the early 1990s.
Azerbaijanis are seeing a crucial supply of water return since their government took back a main reservoir that Armenia has occupied since the early 1990s.
No one is really sure what Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will do after leaving the White House in January or where they will live, but people who know them are certain they plan on getting out of Washington, D.C., as fast as they can, The New York Times reports. President Trump's daughter and son-in-law have never fit in, several people told the Times, but it's not a sure bet that they will return to New York City. Donny Deutsch, a marketing expert and critic of the president, said he thinks Ivanka and Jared would have an "even harder time than Trump himself" moving back to Manhattan. Trump is "despicable but larger than life," he added. "Those two are the hapless minions who went along."Georgina Bloomberg — daughter of Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and Democratic presidential nominee — told The Daily Beast earlier this month that Ivanka gets unfair criticism due to her father, and she thinks Manhattan society will be more forgiving. Two friends told the Times Trump could revive her jewelry and clothing lines, peddling it to a conservative audience, but two others said the Ivanka Trump brand is dead and won't sell. As for Kushner, who worked in real estate, Deutsch said he could go back to making deals, and "if he's doing anything with the Trump name, he can monetize it in red areas."The couple could be thinking about settling in New Jersey, where they have a large "cottage" on the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. The town recently received blueprints for renovations to the abode, including expanding the master bedroom and bathroom and adding two bedrooms, a study, and a veranda. There are also plans to build a complex for spa treatments and a "general store" on the property, the Times reports. For more on Trump and Kushner's future — and the drama surrounding their children's schooling in D.C. — visit The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com Obama the pretender Trump's staffers are reportedly now avoiding him to stay out of legal jeopardy Biden is giving the left nothing for their investment
Congresswoman’s criticism comes as virus spikes across US
I have fought to uphold the integrity of elections in Georgia. It doesn't matter if the attacks come from the guy I voted for or not.
An appeals court affirmed a 55-year prison term Tuesday for a member of the MS-13 gang who organized the killings of four teenagers in a Long Island park when he was 15 — but it also expressed regret that the end of parole for federal prisoners means he won't have incentive to reform. A panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the prosecution of Josue Portillo, now 19, is a “classic illustration of the unfortunate consequences” of a decision by Congress that eliminated parole for federal prisoners sentenced in or after 1987.
The contact between Fauci and Biden's team comes as the US may be entering the darkest stage yet of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite his tweets and frequent fundraising emails, President Trump knows "the battle is effectively over" and he's already moved on to asking allies "how he can stay relevant in the media and in the Republican Party and how he can earn money" next year and beyond, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing Trump advisers. "Privately, even the few advisers to the president who had argued he still had a shot over the last week now largely concede he has no path to victory."Trump's lawyers, led by Rudy Giuliani, are expected to keep up the appearance of a legal fight until the Electoral College votes Dec. 14, the Journal reports. "While there are just a handful of people left urging the president to keep up the legal fight — among them, Mr. Giuliani — there are equally few people telling him to end it." One official explained, "Everybody's trying to straddle the fence and avoid him flipping out." They have other reasons to give Trump a wide berth, the Journal adds:> In a West Wing where advisers have often loitered near the Oval Office in the hopes of being asked inside, there has been noticeably less angling among aides to get an audience with the president in recent weeks, administration officials said. Aides have said privately they are concerned that the president might ask them for something that would draw them into the legal battle. [The Wall Street Journal]"Usually everybody's looking for an opportunity to go in. Now it's the opposite," said an administration official. "You never know where there's going to be this moment where he's like, well why don't you do X-Y-Z crazy thing." Read more at The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com People are skeptical that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be able to easily slip back into NYC society Obama the pretender Biden is giving the left nothing for their investment
President Trump’s efforts to undermine the results of the November election in Georgia will “absolutely” hurt Republicans in two U.S. Senate runoff races there, an election official in the state said Monday. “We’ve crossed a tipping point where ... there may be some Republicans who don’t trust the outcomes of the system at all, and say, ‘Why bother to vote,’” Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, told Yahoo News.
In the annals of great escapes, vaulting the barbed wire, heavily-surveilled fence that separates the mined no-man’s land between North and South Korea would surely feature strongly. According to the South Korean media this week, a defector who evaded security in one of the most dangerous border crossings of the world on November 3 was a former gymnast who managed to swing himself over the imposing barricades, reportedly without triggering key sensors. The authorities vowed to investigate why high-tech security systems did not work. “We will look into why the sensors did not ring and make sure they operate properly,” an official told Yonhap news agency. The man, reported to be wearing blue civilian clothes and in his twenties, later surrendered after a manhunt by the South Korean military units who discovered a breach of the fence. He was detained without incident just under a mile south of the fence and has asked for asylum.
The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing new visas to citizens of 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Syria and Somalia, according to a document issued by a state-owned business park. The document, which was sent to companies operating in the park and was seen by Reuters, cited an immigration circular that came into effect on Nov. 18. It said applications for new employment and visit visas had been suspended for nationals, who are outside the UAE, of the 13 countries, including Afghanistan, Libya and Yemen, until further notice.
Authorities filed additional charges Monday against a 23-year-old man in a shooting at a Nebraska fast food restaurant in which two employees were killed and two others were wounded. The two employees who were hospitalized are Zoey Reece Atalig Lujan, 18, and Kenneth Gerner, 25.
For years, chains have been battling against a federal minimum wage hike. Now, in 2020, some are giving up the fight.
President-elect Joe Biden will start introducing his Cabinet picks Tuesday, and the consensus in Washington was perhaps best described by Brendan Buck, a former top aide to Republican House Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner:> These Biden nominations and appointments are so delightfully boring> > — Brendan Buck (@BrendanBuck) November 23, 2020Most of the names Biden announced Monday — Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser, Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. ambassador, and Ron Klein as White House chief of staff — are career professionals little known outside Washington policy and politics circles, but well regarded within them. "By design, they seem meant to project a dutiful competence," The Washington Post reports.Biden has also chosen some boldface names: John Kerry as international climate envoy and former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen as treasury secretary. What ties them all together is the prospect of a Biden administration "filled with people who have deep experience in government and in the agencies they will be running," Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer write at Politico.You can expect fewer impulsive tweets and more of "a linear, plodding, purposeful, and standard policy process" run "by political professionals who aren't likely to try to burn down the White House over petty disagreements and jockeying to get in the good graces of the president," Sherman and Palmer add. "In other words, if the Trump White House was like downing a vat of Tabasco sauce over the past four years, the Biden White House will be like sipping unflavored almond milk."The selection process hasn't been entirely without drama, but "the relatively uncontroversial nature of these picks has been by design," Politico's Ryan Lizza reports. "Internally, Biden officials have been instructed to emphasize to reporters how normal the picks are, how 'these are tested leaders.' It's seen as a success if the Biden staff and Cabinet announcements don't make much news."More stories from theweek.com People are skeptical that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be able to easily slip back into NYC society Obama the pretender Trump's staffers are reportedly now avoiding him to stay out of legal jeopardy
The republication of caricatures depicting the Prophet Muhammad by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in September 2020 led to protests in several Muslim-majority countries. It also resulted in disturbing acts of violence: In the weeks that followed, two people were stabbed near the former headquarters of the magazine and a teacher was beheaded after he showed the cartoons during a classroom lesson. Visual depiction of Muhammad is a sensitive issue for a number of reasons: Islam’s early stance against idolatry led to a general disapproval for images of living beings throughout Islamic history. Muslims seldom produced or circulated images of Muhammad or other notable early Muslims. The recent caricatures have offended many Muslims around the world. This focus on the reactions to the images of Muhammad drowns out an important question: How did Muslims imagine him for centuries in the near total absence of icons and images? Picturing Muhammad without imagesIn my courses on early Islam and the life of Muhammad, I teach to the amazement of my students that there are few pre-modern historical figures that we know more about than we do about Muhammad. The respect and devotion that the first generations of Muslims accorded to him led to an abundance of textual materials that provided rich details about every aspect of his life. The prophet’s earliest surviving biography, written a century after his death, runs into hundreds of pages in English. His final 10 years are so well-documented that some episodes of his life during this period can be tracked day by day.Even more detailed are books from the early Islamic period dedicated specifically to the description of Muhammad’s body, character and manners. From a very popular ninth-century book on the subject titled “Shama'il al-Muhammadiyya” or The Sublime Qualities of Muhammad, Muslims learned everything from Muhammad’s height and body hair to his sleep habits, clothing preferences and favorite food. No single piece of information was seen too mundane or irrelevant when it concerned the prophet. The way he walked and sat is recorded in this book alongside the approximate amount of white hair on his temples in old age. These meticulous textual descriptions have functioned for Muslims throughout centuries as an alternative for visual representations. Most Muslims pictured Muhammad as described by his cousin and son-in-law Ali in a famous passage contained in the Shama'il al-Muhammadiyya: a broad-shouldered man of medium height, with black, wavy hair and a rosy complexion, walking with a slight downward lean. The second half of the description focused on his character: a humble man that inspired awe and respect in everyone that met him. Textual portraits of MuhammadThat said, figurative portrayals of Muhammad were not entirely unheard of in the Islamic world. In fact, manuscripts from the 13th century onward did contain scenes from the prophet’s life, showing him in full figure initially and with a veiled face later on. The majority of Muslims, however, would not have access to the manuscripts that contained these images of the prophet. For those who wanted to visualize Muhammad, there were nonpictorial, textual alternatives. There was an artistic tradition that was particularly popular among Turkish- and Persian-speaking Muslims. Ornamented and gilded edgings on a single page were filled with a masterfully calligraphed text of Muhammad’s description by Ali in the Shama'il. The center of the page featured a famous verse from the Quran: “We only sent you (Muhammad) as a mercy to the worlds.”These textual portraits, called “hilya” in Arabic, were the closest that one would get to an “image” of Muhammad in most of the Muslim world. Some hilyas were strictly without any figural representation, while others contained a drawing of the Kaaba, the holy shrine in Mecca, or a rose that symbolized the beauty of the prophet. Framed hilyas graced mosques and private houses well into the 20th century. Smaller specimens were carried in bottles or the pockets of those who believed in the spiritual power of the prophet’s description for good health and against evil. Hilyas kept the memory of Muhammad fresh for those who wanted to imagine him from mere words. Different interpretationsThe Islamic legal basis for banning images, including Muhammad’s, is less than straightforward and there are variations across denominations and legal schools. It appears, for instance, that Shiite communities have been more accepting of visual representations for devotional purposes than Sunni ones. Pictures of Muhammad, Ali and other family members of the prophet have some circulation in the popular religious culture of Shiite-majority countries, such as Iran. Sunni Islam, on the other hand, has largely shunned religious iconography.Outside the Islamic world, Muhammad was regularly fictionalized in literature and was depicted in images in medieval and early modern Christendom. But this was often in less than sympathetic forms. Dante’s “Inferno,” most famously, had the prophet and Ali suffering in hell, and the scene inspired many drawings. These depictions, however, hardly ever received any attention from the Muslim world, as they were produced for and consumed within the Christian world. Offensive caricatures and colonial pastProviding historical precedents for the visual depictions of Muhammad adds much-needed nuance to a complex and potentially incendiary issue, but it helps explain only part of the picture. Equally important for understanding the reactions to the images of Muhammad are developments from more recent history. Europe now has a large Muslim minority, and fictionalized depictions of Muhammad, visual or otherwise, do not go unnoticed.With advances in mass communication and social media, the spread of the images is swift, and so is the mobilization for reactions to them. Most importantly, many Muslims find the caricatures offensive for its Islamophobic content. Some of the caricatures draw a coarse equation of Islam with violence or debauchery through Muhammad’s image, a pervasive theme in the colonial European scholarship on Muhammad. Anthropologist Saba Mahmood has argued that such depictions can cause “moral injury” for Muslims, an emotional pain due to the special relation that they have with the prophet. Political scientist Andrew March sees the caricatures as “a political act” that could cause harm to the efforts of creating a “public space where Muslims feel safe, valued, and equal.” Even without images, Muslims have cultivated a vivid mental picture of Muhammad, not just of his appearance but of his entire persona. The crudeness of some of the caricatures of Muhammad is worth a moment of thought.[Insight, in your inbox each day. You can get it with The Conversation’s email newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Suleyman Dost, Brandeis University.Read more: * Muslim schools are allies in France’s fight against radicalization – not the cause * Why there’s opposition to images of MuhammadSuleyman Dost does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
Conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking and drug trafficking among charges unsealed, U.S. attorney says.
President Donald Trump insisted Tuesday that he is not giving up his fight to overturn the election results, but across the federal government, preparations were beginning in earnest to support President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. Within hours of the General Services Administration’s acknowledgement Monday evening of Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 election, career federal officials opened the doors of agencies to hundreds of transition aides ready to prepare for his Jan. 20 inauguration. An administration official said logistics on when and where Biden will first receive the briefing were still being worked out.
In a clever new ad, Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock found a new way to drop the mic.Warnock is running against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in the Jan. 5 runoff election. In a new ad he tweeted out Tuesday, Warnock is shown taking his dog on a walk. In an earlier campaign ad, Warnock predicted there would be lots of false claims leveled against him, and "that's exactly what happened," he said. "You would think that Kelly Loeffler might have something good to say about herself, if she really wants to represent Georgia."Instead, Warnock continued, "she's trying to scare people by taking things I've said out of context from over 25 years of being a pastor." By this point, Warnock and his pup were at the end of their walk, and he was holding a bag of dog feces. As he dropped the bag in a trash can, Warnock said, "I think Georgians will see her ads for what they are -- don't you?" His dog barked in agreement -- and then approved the message. Watch the ad below. > I told you the smear ads were coming, but Georgians will see Sen. @Kloeffler's ads for what they are. pic.twitter.com/0sgU8ndC63> > -- Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) November 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com People are skeptical that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be able to easily slip back into NYC society Obama the pretender Trump's staffers are reportedly now avoiding him to stay out of legal jeopardy
An ex-police officer alleged to be the leader of the violent La Linea drug cartel in Chihuahua, Mexico, is in custody for the murder of three American mothers and six children including 8-month-old twins, who were killed in a fiery attack on their convoy of SUVs last November.Roberto Gonzalez Montes—known in crime circles as Mudo or El 32—was taken into custody late Monday in a top-secret joint-forces operation carried out by the attorney general’s office without state help out of fear Montes would be tipped off by corrupt officials.The Mexican Cartels vs. a Mormon Sect: Behind the Horrific Massacre of American Moms and ChildrenLast November, attackers fired on a convoy of SUVs carrying 17 mothers and children—all dual Mexican American citizens—as they drove from their compound in Sonora to a wedding in Chihuahua. The cars were riddled with bullets and set on fire, killing nine people. The rest of those in the convoy escaped into desert terrain and hid out until they were rescued.The family members were part of the LeBaron family and belonged to an offshoot Mormon group that settled in the Mexican border state of Sonora half a century ago. They were frequently involved in scuffles with drug cartels who feared they would report illegal activity near their compound to authorities.The victims included Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, her son, 13, daughter, 11 and 8-month old twins. Christina and Dawna Langford, 43, and two of Dawna’s children, age 11 and 3 also died. The babies did not suffer gunshot wounds but were burned alive when the perpetrators ignited their vehicles.Mexican authorities have never revealed a motive for the attack. Some have speculated that the family was simply caught in the crossfire of rival cartels as they drove along a rural road. The road ran straight through the territory under the control of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel which at the time was in fierce battles with the La Linea, to which Montes was said to have belonged.The victims’ family instead says the attack was an “ambush” based on accounts by the survivors, including many of the children. In 2009, the LeBaron family took a stand against a cartel in Chihuahua after a 16-year-old member of the community was kidnapped and held for a $1 million ransom. The family refused to pay the ransom and instead waged a public campaign to pressure the government to take action and secure the boy’s release which ultimately happened with no money exchanged.“This was no crossfire,” Alex Le Baron, an elected deputy to the Chihuahua state legislature, told Mexico’s W Radio. “It couldn’t have been a mistake,” he said. “This is terrorism, plain and simple.”Montes’ arrest is the second in a month after Jose Lara was captured in connection with the attack on November 5, the one-year anniversary of the massacre. Two other suspects thought to have ancillary roles were arrested earlier this month. 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.
One of Britain's most prolific paedophiles, who targeted at least 500 children, would not have been caught under Facebook's proposed end-to-end encryption plans, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA). Appearing at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday, labourer David Nicholas Wilson, 36, admitted 96 sex abuse offences against 51 boys aged four to 14, whom he conned into sending him sexual images or blackmailed into abusing their younger siblings or friends. The NCA investigation uncovered evidence that Wilson, who pretended to be multiple teenage girls online, managed to persuade 500 boys to send sexual abuse images to his fake identities and had approached more than 5,000 boys globally. The NCA found 250,000 messages communicating with boys in his Facebook, Snapchat, Google and Instagram accounts after obtaining access to them through an International Letter of Request to the US authorities. However, his web of abuse would not have been exposed without Facebook providing 90 referrals of suspect accounts linked to Wilson – evidence that would not be available if the social media giant goes ahead with its encryption plans, said Rob Jones, the NCA director of threat leadership. Mr Jones said: "It's chilling to think Wilson wouldn't have been caught if Facebook had already implemented their end-to-end encryption plans which will entirely prevent access to message content. The NCA, wider law enforcement and child safety groups are clear that the [encryption] move will turn the lights out for policing and effectively provide cover for offenders such as Wilson. "Facebook Messenger is already protected by strong encryption that still enables the company to detect grooming and known abuse images. It was Facebook's initial identification of Wilson's accounts in June and July 2017 which provided the intelligence that started this investigation. "Content obtained from Facebook Messenger conversations was also crucial throughout the operation. Had that content been end-to-end encrypted, there is a real risk that justice would not have been served and Wilson would still be abusing victims today." It follows calls by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and her counterparts in the "Five Eyes" intelligence network of countries for Facebook to allow law enforcement agencies lawful access to suspects communications rather than blanket encryption which means even it cannot access messages. Wilson was told by judge Rupert Overbury on Monday that he faces a lengthy prison term when he is sentenced on January 12. Using unregistered phones, Wilson sent sexual images of young women from the internet in exchange for the boys sending him videos and images of themselves. He built up trust with his victims before blackmailing them into sending him more extreme footage of themselves – and in some cases, of them abusing younger siblings or friends. On some occasions, he then distributed the images to victims' friends. He showed no compassion even when some victims begged him to stop, according to the NCA. Some of the children were so distressed that they spoke of wanting to end their lives. His activities were first detected in summer 2017 when Facebook identified 20 accounts of boys ranging from 12 to 15 years old, who had sent indecent images of themselves to an account seemingly belonging to a 13-year-old girl. The material was forwarded to the NCA for investigation by NCMEC – the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children – which receives industry referrals before disseminating them to law enforcement agencies to investigate. It was forwarded to the NCA, which found IP addresses used to commit the offences linked to Wilson’s address, CCTV footage of him buying a top-up voucher for a phone number linked to one of the accounts and the phone used to commit some of the offences hidden in his bedroom. Tony Cook, NCA head of CSA operations, said: “David Wilson is a prolific offender who has caused heartbreaking suffering to some of the boys and their families in this case. “He was able to gain the boys’ trust and exploit their use of social media using well practiced techniques to convince them he was genuinely a young female who was interested in them. “He then manipulated or forced them to send images of themselves or other children which he craved. “He knew the anguish victims were suffering but ignored any pleas from them to stop until he got what he wanted from them. “Wilson retained material the children had sent and used the threat of sharing it among their friends to control them. “I commend the victims and their families for their bravery in helping the prosecution and our investigators for painstakingly and tenaciously proving Wilson was responsible. “Wilson is an example of adult sexual offenders who use the internet to hide their real identities, using plausible online personas to exploit children. “We know children are increasingly sharing personal material on social media sites but I would implore them to think carefully about their interactions online and be aware of the hurt and long-term damage manipulative offenders like Wilson cause.” A Facebook spokesman said: “Child exploitation and grooming have no place on our platforms. Facebook has led the industry in developing new ways to prevent, detect, and respond to abuse and we will continue to work with law enforcement to combat criminal activity. "End-to-end encryption is already the leading technology used by many services to keep people safe and we will build on our strong anti-abuse capabilities at WhatsApp when we roll it out on our other messaging services. For example, through a combination of advanced technology and user reports, WhatsApp bans around 250,000 accounts each month suspected of sharing child exploitative imagery.”