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Fri, 19 Jul 2019 16:26
Yahoo News - Latest News &Headlines
Iran says U.S. may have shot down its own drone by mistakeIran denied it lost a drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the United States said it had 'destroyed' an Iranian drone that was threatening a U.S. ship.
Iran says U.S. may have shot down its own drone by mistake
Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with RussiaUkraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week's first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine's president says he backs prisoner swap with Russia
Rep. Ilhan Omar Stonewalling Hometown Paper on Marriage Controversy, Editor SaysDemocratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar has allegedly been uncooperative with her hometown paper’s efforts to get to the bottom of accusations that she committed marriage fraud, the paper’s political editor said.Omar’s brief congressional career has been dogged by accusations — which she has denied — that she married a male relative, possibly her brother. Omar and her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, filed joint tax returns while Omar was married to another man, Ahmed Elmi, Minnesota campaign finance officials said.Omar and her family have made it difficult for journalists to find out the truth about her marriage, Minnesota Star-Tribune editor Kevin Diaz told PolitiFact in aninterview Thursday.“Our public records searches determined that in at least one period after she married Elmi, all three (Omar, Elmi and Hirsi) used the same address in Minnesota. It raises questions about the nature of the relationship if she is living with both the person she’s married to andher eventual husband,” Diaz said.“What’s really made it hard is that she’s been unwilling to address any of these questions. That has fueled the controversy. We quoted her at length to say that these were mere accusations, that they were unfair, and that she shouldn’t have to address them. Be that as may, there was an undisputed instance of her filing her taxes improperly. And if you’re in Congress, you should explain that to your constituents,” he continued.
Rep. Ilhan Omar Stonewalling Hometown Paper on Marriage Controversy, Editor Says
Murderer deemed too old for prison released early, kills againAlbert Flick first landed in prison in 1979, when he was found guilty of stabbing his wife to death in front of her young daughter. Now, the 77-year-old, who a judge previously deemed too old to pose a threat, has been sentenced to prison again for a nearly identical crime.
Murderer deemed too old for prison released early, kills again
Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally locatedA private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. The patrol boat's precise location remained a mystery — until now.
Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally located
'My entire world was gone': floods devastate northern PakistanNow only jagged rocks and a few damaged homes remain after torrential rains wreaked havoc on the picturesque mountain village in the Laswa Valley. More than 270 people have been killed in recent days across South Asia as monsoon rains deluged large swathes of the subcontinent, flooding waterways and destroying communities. "I was holding the hand of my mother trying to save her, but unfortunately I lost her hand and she was swept away by the floodwater," says Amin Butt, who was visiting his family in Kashmir.
'My entire world was gone': floods devastate northern Pakistan
China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says(Bloomberg) -- Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on an urgent strategy to solve the city’s political chaos and have ruled out the use of military force, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions.They will soon present top leaders in Beijing with both an immediate plan to handle the mass protests and a longer-term strategy that could result in China overhauling its management of the former British colony, the newspaper said, without elaborating on a date.Beijing maintains that the crisis is best left for Hong Kong authorities to resolve and doesn’t want to get directly involved, according to the report. Beijing has expressed public support for Chief Executive Carrie Lam throughout weeks of unrest and political gridlock, saying this week that it “firmly supports” her leadership.On Thursday, China condemned a joint motion for a resolution in the European Parliament that called on EU member states and other nations to investigate export controls “to deny China, and in particular Hong Kong, access to technologies” that could be used to violate human rights.“China strongly opposes this,” spokesman Lu Kang said. “China does value its relations with Europe, but maintaining a healthy relationship requires joint efforts.“Lam on Monday vowed she would remain in office, after a Financial Times report said she had offered to resign but that Beijing insisted she stay and clean up “the mess she created.”The Chinese officials also see Hong Kong’s police force as key to maintaining stability, the newspaper said. Officers’ tactics have come under fire after they used rounds of tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and pepper spray in dispersing the protests. Demonstrators have demanded an independent investigation into what they deem a use of excessive force, while opposition lawmakers have called for the resignation of security chief John Lee.Earlier: Hong Kong Police Tactics Under Fire as Legislature ResumesMainland officials want to avoid bloodshed and ensure the financial hub remains largely stable, the newspaper reported, citing the people familiar. China’s approach will be to “lure the snake from its hole,” according to one adviser cited by the SCMP, taking a defensive position until the opposition reveals its strategy.They’re also considering whether the current environment makes it too risky for President Xi Jinping to visit another former European colony, Macau, later this year for 20th anniversary celebrations of its return to Chinese rule, the paper reported.Crowds of Hong Kong protesters have turned out in unprecedented sizes every week since mid-June. In recent gatherings, their anger has focused on China. More protests are being planned in neighborhoods across the city by demonstrators vowing to spread the word until Lam responds to their demands, including the official withdrawal of legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland and first sparked the rallies.There are indications that Xi and his top officials are preparing for their annual summer conclave in the seaside city of Beidaihe, which this year will bear even closer watching than usual as China faces growing risks at home and abroad, including Hong Kong’s unrest and an ongoing trade war with the U.S.(Updates in fourth paragraph with China foreign ministry comments)\--With assistance from Dandan Li.To contact the reporters on this story: Karen Leigh in Hong Kong at kleigh4@bloomberg.net;Dominic Lau in Hong Kong at dlau92@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, James Mayger, Iain MarlowFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
China Is Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP Says
Is 'The Big One' next? California was shaking again Tuesday, with six earthquakes of 3.5 or greaterMultiple earthquakes rattled California on Tuesday, but  the U.S. Geographical Survey quelled fears of "The Big One."
Is 'The Big One' next? California was shaking again Tuesday, with six earthquakes of 3.5 or greater
Mexico arrests former Pemex security head with allegations of fuel theftThe Mexican attorney general's office said on Thursday it had arrested a retired general who was responsible for security at the state oil company Pemex during the previous administration for allegations of fuel theft. The office said in a statement that it had apprehended "Socrates H," whom a government source said is Brigadier General Socrates Herrera. Herrera was under the command of General Eduardo León, who led a strategic security unit for Pemex and has also been accused of fuel theft.
Mexico arrests former Pemex security head with allegations of fuel theft
As Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With IsraelJoseph Barrak/GettyBEIRUT—The tranquil winding roads of Lebanon’s mountainous interior are far from the tense waters of the Persian Gulf where President Donald Trump says America came within 10 minutes of war with Iran a few weeks ago. And where, he said on Thursday, the U.S. shot down an Iranian drone. But if fighting ever does begin, these hills and valleys near the border with Israel will quickly be on the front lines. And according to Hezbollah commanders, that moment could be coming soon.When Trump talked of war, he meant a shooting war in the conventional sense. But for Iran and its allies, it’s Trump’s economic war with its suffocating sanctions that is bringing the region to the brink of armed conflict. The targets of Trump’s weaponized dollar increasingly see resorting to military engagements as the only response left.Trump Is a Warmonger. His Weapon, The Dollar.Here in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s commanders are close allies and clients of Iran—and they are targeted by U.S. sanctions as well. They warn that if the pressure continues these rugged hills where the Party of God fought bloody guerrilla campaigns to end 15 years of Israeli occupation in 2000 and repel an Israeli invasion in 2006 could erupt once again. And this time, they say, the combat will be far more devastating.Hezbollah’s forces, battle-hardened in the Syrian civil war, have begun redeploying toward the Israeli border, not only in Lebanon, but in Syria opposite the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights. Hezbollah fighters who spoke to The Daily Beast say their organization is hurting from sanctions and ready to initiate hostilities—if and when Tehran deems that necessary.“The sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front,” says “Commander Samir,” a Hezbollah officer in charge of 800 fighters on Lebanon’s border with Israel. He declines to use his real name because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “We will fire the first shot this time,” he says.Hezbollah’s military wing has changed fundamentally since its 2012 entrance into the war in Syria to propup the Assad regime, transforming into a regional fighting force the Shia organization inspired by the Iranian revolution that the U.S. lists as a terrorist group.When Trump offers the reasons he pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran last year, precipitating the current crisis, he cites Iran’ssupport for militias that extend its power and influence across the region as something the U.S. intends to end—with Hezbollah the main target. But the pressure may actually be consolidating and motivating Iran’s proxies.Hezbollah is still fighting in Syria while training Iranian allied militias in Iraq and Yemen. The commander says his organization and Iran have moved past their split with Palestinian allies over Syria, where they were on opposite sides of the Syrian revolution as it turned into a bloody regional proxy war, and Iran is once again providing training and support for Hamasand Palestinian Islamic Jihad.From a living room overlooking the valleys where he became a veteran, ambushing the Israeli army and melting away into the surrounding hills, Samir says the next war will be nothing like those that came before.He underscores the importance of Hezbollah’s positions inthe Syrian-controlled part of the Golan, giving it the ability to open a second front there against Israel, and boasts about drone capabilities and new anti-aircraft and anti-naval weapons acquired in Syria alongside a more seasoned fighting force.   “Our wish before the war in Syria was to goand open a front in the Golan but [the Syrian Government] set a red line,” the commander says, describing the limits the pre-war Assad regime placed on Hezbollah activity in its territory. “Now there are no red lines,” he said.The commander acknowledges a new war would bring vast devastation to Israel and Lebanon, but says the sanctions crippling the Iranian economy and forcing a large reduction in Iran’s financial support for Hezbollah could make this nightmare scenario real. To Target Israel, Iran’s ‘Suitcase’ GPS Kits Turn Hezbollah Rockets Into Guided MissilesAlready, salaries for Hezbollah fighters have been halved, according to the three fighters The Daily Beast spoke with. But while they are hurting economically, they insist their organization feels strong militarily.    “The Iranians have said either we all sell oil or no one does,” Commander Samir says definitively, describing Hezbollah’s interests in lockstep with Iran’s. Like the two other fighters that spoke to The Daily Beast, he describes Hezbollah’s concerns in more regional rather than domestic terms, responding to actions of U.S. allies around the Middle East rather than Israeli actionon Lebanese soil.  “If any missile hits Iran, it will be treated like Israel did it,” says the commander,In spite of the increasing destabilization of the region since the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and sanctions started taking hold, the Trump administration has argued that its policy of “maximum pressure” will force Iranian acquiescence. However, according to Ahmad Moussalli,  a political science professor and specialist in Islamic movements at the American University of Beirut, the financial constraints imposed by Washington are having the opposite effect. “You find this axis sees itself as fighting for its existence,” says Moussalli referring to Iran and its regional allies and proxies. “So they are going to pull together and strengthen their axis,” he continues, pointing to the way Hezbollah has been increasing overt political influence in Lebanon while allies in Yemen and Iraq have been taking more aggressive action. “Iran is not going to sit down, take it and destroy itself from within,” Moussalli says. “And the only way for them to react is militarily; they don’t have many other options.” He leaves no doubt that Iran is the power determining regional responses rather than Hezbollah or any other proxy acting on its own initiative. The eruption of shelling between Israel and Gaza ahead of the Israeli election in May provided some instructive examples of changes in tactics. Commander Samir points to a threat—which was not carried out—by Islamic Jihad to fire missiles at the northern Israeli city of Haifa. The threat was a marked change from recent rhetoric by the Palestinian Islamist faction which had previously taken the public position of “quiet for quiet,” a term used by the Israeli army to describe its claimed intention not to initiate armed hostility. “It was a message from us and Iran,” he brags about the ability to fire at Israel from the south or the north while contending the choice to do so or not is up to Tehran. “Islamic Jihad never shoots before calling the Iranians.” “Assir,” a seasoned Hezbollah fighter in Syria is back in Lebanon after years of bloody tours in what’s been an unending war. He takes up a nom-de-guerre because Hezbollah fighters are generally not authorized to speak to media. When we meet in Beirut, he says that like the many fighters coming back to Lebanon as Assad consolidates control over much of Syria, he is not being demobilized but rather redeployed south to the Israeli border.   “People who finish their mission in Syria go to the south,” Assir says, describing how his comrades and he have been given new posts since tensions started rising in the Gulf. “There are some units in Syria but a lot go back to Lebanon or to the Golan. Thousands have come back.”Military success in Syria has reinforced Assir’s confidence and he points to the tensions in the Strait of Hormuz as the source of the next conflict with Israel. “The commanders talk about if there is a spark in Hormuz, there could be a spark in Lebanon,” recalls Assir. However, Moussalli sees the prospect for war with Israel, while it looms, probably is not imminent. He doubts that Hezbollah is eager for a war at the moment. He says currently Iran is primarily focused on responding in the Gulf area and Iraq. “Syria and Lebanon will be engaged in war once Europe or Iran completely pull out of the nuclear agreement,” says Moussalli, arguing war with Israel is still a ways off. “The issue with Israel is a rather big one,” he continues, referring to thecosts of the 2006 war. “So yes there is pressure, there is the possibility of war but I don’t think it is near,” he says, believing that if sanctions are relieved the tension will be as well.  But, “are they ready [for war]?” he adds referring to Hezbollah. “Yes they are.”The second Lebanon War ignited in the wake of Hezbollah seizing two Isralei soldiers and killing three others in a cross border raid in July 2006 and Israel retaliating with a massive artillery and aerial bombardment of Lebanon. Hezbollah in turn fired rockets at northern Israeli cities and Israel launched a ground invasion. The result was the demolition of large swaths of Lebanon, pulverized by Israeli jets, while Israeli soldiers found themselves in an unwinnable quagmire and forced to withdraw from a country for the second time in less than a decade. By the time the shooting ended 1,200 Lebanese – mostly civilians, 45 Israeli civilians and 120 soldiers had been killed. More than a million people in Lebanon, a quarter of the population at the time, were displaced and while there are no official numbers of Hezbollah casualties, the UN estimated that 500 of the Lebanese casualties were Hezbollah fighters. Moussalli’s assessment of a slower march toward the carnage of an Israeli-Lebanese conflict more devastating than past ones is echoed by “Commander Ayman,” a Hezbollah officer currently based in Beirut who also oversees units fighting in Syria. “The Americans know the kind of fighters we have, so Hezbollah and Iran have been reminding the world how bad [a war] could be,” notes Ayman.  While confirming there is a strict red line around any attack on Iran, he maintains there is a strong desire to avoid war, suggesting the blusterous talk of imminent conflict with Israel isdesigned to convince the U.S. to abandon its current strategy.Israel also doesn’t seem very interested in conflict over Lebanon at the moment. While Netanyahu has pursued a policy of striking Iran and Hezbollah in Syria, he has avoided another war in Lebanon. Even when Hezbollah tunnels into Israel were unmasked in January, there was no action over Lebanon.  Unlike Israeli wars in Gaza, which have carried low costs to Israeli soldiers and civilians and have pushed the electorate toward Netanyahu, wars in Lebanon have had large military and civilian costs for Israel, often turning the electorate against the government.When asked if Netanyahu thought that the U.S. sanctions he has actively encouraged could ignite conflict with Hezbollah, the Prime Minister’s Office officially declined to comment. The Israeli military also declined to comment on how it sees the current level of tension on its Lebanese border or if its alert level had changed since Iran started reacting to sanctions, claiming it “is too complex an issue to explain on the phone or in a statement.”Meanwhile sanctions and rhetoric continue to escalate. Following the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement last Tuesday of fresh sanctions targeting Hezbollah members of the Lebanese parliament, threats of annihilation have been hurled back and forth between Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (who, not coincidentally, is fighting for reelection).In a speech last Friday marking the 13th anniversary of the 2006 war with Israel, Nasrallah gloated about expanded military capabilities and threatened that another war would “bring Israel to the brink of extinction.” Netanyahu responded on Sunday by threatening to deal Lebanon and Hezbollah “a crushing military blow” if Hezbollah attacks. On Monday, European signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, gathered in Brussels to try to salvage the agreement that the US pulled out of in 2018. The Europeans hope to find enticements that will encourage Iran to stay in the deal. During his address, Nasrallah claimed that he didn’t intend to start a war with Israel. Those sentiments were reiterated by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in an interview with CNN in New York on Wednesday where Zarif stated that Iran will not start a war but will defend itself.  The sheer destruction a new conflict between Hezbollah and Israel would unleash on Lebanon leads Moussalli to call it a “madness war.” While Hezbollah’s exact intentions are unclear, the border between Israel and Lebanon was much quieter before U.S. sanctions put Iran and its allies on this collision course. Even if Hezbollah and Israel don’t want to start shooting now, it increasingly seems like a decision determined by Washington’s policies and how Tehran reacts. After all, according to Trump, a few weeks ago it looked like a war—one likely tostretch from the Gulf to the Mediterranean—was only 10 minutes away. 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.
As Iran-U.S. Tensions Rise, Hezbollah Readies for War With Israel
The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a MuseumNew much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. Such a phenomenon, driven by new technology, underscores warfare reliance upon sensors and information networks. All of this, naturally, requires the expansive "embedded ISR" discussed by the paper. Network reliant warfare is of course potentially much more effective in improving targeting and reducing sensor-to-shooter time over long distances, yet it brings a significant need to organize and optimize the vast, yet crucial, flow of information.The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.“Some important areas of consideration include derivative and developmental air vehicle designs, advanced engines, propulsion, weapons, mission systems, electronic warfare and other emerging technologies,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told Warrior earlier this year.A formal Analysis of Alternatives, expected to complete this year, is weighing the advantages of leveraging nearer-term existing technologies such as new variants or upgrades to cutting edge weapons, sensors and stealth configurations - or allowing more time for leap-ahead developmental systems to emerge.
The Navy's 6th Generation Fighter Could Put the F-35 in a Museum
Wasp spray leads to 3 deaths in West Virginia after being used as alternative methWest Virginia state police are cautioning residents against using wasp sprayas an alternative form of methamphetamine after three people purportedlyoverdosed
Wasp spray leads to 3 deaths in West Virginia after being used as alternative meth
View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO
View Photos of the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO
Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenagerTwelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body. The suspects, aged 16 to 18, were staying in the same hotel. The young men covered their faces with their t-shirts as they arrived handcuffed at the court in the nearby town of Paralimni, in the southeast of Cyprus. One broke down in tears. Some were accompanied by their parents. The hearing was held behind closed doors because some of the suspects are minors. The suspects covered their faces as they arrived at court Credit: Petros Karadjis/AP A judge accepted a request by Cypriot police to remand the men incustody for eight days while an investigation is launched into the rape allegation. They have not yet been charged with any offence. Three of the men allegedly raped the British tourist while others filmed the attack on their mobile phones, local media reports said. Ioannis Habaris, a lawyer representing four of the suspects, told The Associated Press it was unclear exactly how many of the men were implicated in the alleged rape. He said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects. Tourists on a beach on the outskirts of the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus Credit: Amir Makar/AFP Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three other suspects, said the 12 teenagers had arrived in Ayia Napa in three separate groups. Some were having a holiday prior to being drafted into the Israeli army for compulsory military service. He said police were trying to flush out the perpetrators among the group by arresting all 12 and having them detained. "I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)." The Foreign Office said British authorities were "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police". Cyprus’s sandy beaches, bars and nightclubs attract around 1.3 million British tourists a year. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party town, with booze cruises and pub crawls.
Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenager
Parents told they could lose kids over unpaid school lunchesA Pennsylvania school district is warning that children could end up in foster care if their parents do not pay overdue school lunch bills. The letters sent recently to about 1,000 parents in Wyoming Valley West School District have led to complaints from parents and a stern rebuke from Luzerne County child welfare authorities. The letter claims the unpaid bills could lead to dependency hearings and removal of their children for not providing them with food.
Parents told they could lose kids over unpaid school lunches

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