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Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:37
Yahoo News - Latest News &Headlines
More U.S. troops leave Iraq over potential injuries as Trump downplays brain riskDAVOS, Switzerland/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he did not consider the brain injuries suffered by 11 U.S. service members in Iran's recent attack on a base in Iraq to be serious, as the American military moved more troops out of the region for potential injuries. In a statement on Wednesday, U.S. Central Command said that more troops had been flown out of Iraq to Germany for medical evaluations following Iran's Jan. 8 missile attack on the base where U.S. forces were stationed after announcing the 11 injuries last week.
More U.S. troops leave Iraq over potential injuries as Trump downplays brain risk
Huawei CFO lawyers say her alleged crimes no crime in CanadaLawyers for a senior executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei argued Tuesday that allowing her extradition to the United States would result in Canada bowing to foreign law. This week's hearings deal with the question of whether the U.S. charges against Meng Wanzhou are crimes in Canada as well. Canada does not have similar sanctions on Iran.
Huawei CFO lawyers say her alleged crimes no crime in Canada
Arizona mother admits killing her 3 children, police sayOfficials described the mother, who was not identified, as a 22-year-old woman who recently moved to Arizona from Oklahoma.
Arizona mother admits killing her 3 children, police say
Scientists want to cut off Wuhan from the rest of the world to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus gripping the cityAs of Tuesday, the outbreak of the pneumonia-like coronavirus had killed six people in China, with more than 300 people infected in total.
Scientists want to cut off Wuhan from the rest of the world to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus gripping the city
REI’s January Sale Offers 50% off Cold-Weather Outdoor Gear
REI’s January Sale Offers 50% off Cold-Weather Outdoor Gear
Halkbank Hit With U.S. Demand for Millions in Contempt Fines(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s Halkbank should pay millions of dollars in fines for its continued failure to respond to U.S. sanctions-evasions charges, federal prosecutors in New York said.In a court filing Tuesday, the government asked a federal judge to impose a daily $1 million fine that would double each week the bank refuses to appear in the case.Prosecutors charged the bank in October with aiding a yearslong scheme to help Iran evade U.S. economic sanctions and access $20 billion in frozen oil revenue. Since then, the bank has refused to accept service of the indictment or answer the case, leading prosecutors todeem it a fugitive from justice.The U.S. pursuit of Halkbank, which is owned by the Turkish government, has been a sore point in relations between the two countries. Manhattan federal prosecutors previously won the conviction of a senior Halkbank executive in a case Turkish President Recep Erdogan likened to an “international coup attempt.”Read More: Halkbank Threatened with U.S. Contempt in Iran Sanctions Case“Halkbank has consistently sought to avoid responsibility for its role in a massive sanctions-evasion and money-laundering scheme that gave the Government of Iran access to billions of dollars’ worth of restricted oil proceeds,” the U.S. said in Tuesday’s filing.The U.S. argued that Halkbank improperly ignored an initial summons, “intentionally frustrated” efforts to serve the summons and indictment, attacked the charges in the press and failed to show up for a required court appearance.Andrew Hruska, a U.S. lawyer for Halkbank, didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment on the sanctions request.A judge in December denied Halkbank’s request that it be allowed to make a “special appearance” to argue for the charges’ dismissal without submitting itself to the court’s jurisdiction. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman denied the request, leaving Halkbank with a choice between answering the charges and defending against them or not participating in the case in any way.While Halkbank does almost no business in the U.S., it has some ties to the nation’s financial system, which the government could limit or sever.In its initial filing, the U.S. provided conflicting statements about the amount of the proposed fine. In one section the daily $1 million fine was said to double at the end of each week the bank fails to comply. In another section the government said the fine would double every day. In a corrected filing, prosecutors made clear the fine should double only each week.The case is U.S. v. Halkbank, 15-cr-867, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).(Updates with amount of requested fine)To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at, Joe Schneider, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Halkbank Hit With U.S. Demand for Millions in Contempt Fines
Saudi Crown Prince Appeared to Taunt Jeff Bezos Over Secret Affair Before Enquirer ExposéCrown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent Jeff Bezos a photograph of a woman loosely resembling the one he was having an affair with months before the National Enquirer published a report exposing the liaison, according to a United Nations investigation.Two United Nations special rapporteurs released a statement Wednesday detailing forensic evidence linking MBS to the Bezos hack, which suggests the future king of Saudi Arabia may have been threatening the owner of The Washington Post and founder and CEO of Amazon.Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night denied allegations of a politically motivated hack when it emerged that the UN was expected to formally request a response to the extraordinary claim that malware was sent from MBS’ personal WhatsApp account to Bezos.The alleged hack took place in May 2018, a few months after Jamal Khashoggi began writing columns critical of the Saudi regime for the Post. Four months later, Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside a Saudi consulate. The CIA concluded that MBS had personally ordered his assassination.Two UN special rapporteurs released a statement Wednesday laying out forensic evidence personally linking MBS to the hack on Bezos, which would later lead to a special edition of the National Enquirer dedicated to discrediting the newspaper boss.Bezos Investigation Finds the Saudis Obtained His Private DataThe statement was drafted by Agnes Callamard, a UN expert on extrajudicial killings who has been probing the murder of Khashoggi, and David Kaye, who has been investigating violations of press freedom.They wrote: “Mr. Bezos was subjected to intrusive surveillance via hacking of his phone as a result of actions attributable to the WhatsApp account used by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.” In a detailed timeline of the hack, the UN report says MBS messaged Bezos on Nov. 8, 2018, weeks after the murder of his columnist Khashoggi.“A single photograph is texted to Mr. Bezos from the Crown Prince’s WhatsApp account, along with a sardonic caption. It is an image of a woman resembling the woman with whom Bezos is having an affair, months before the Bezos affair was known publicly,” the report read.Bezos’ phone appears to have been compromised on the day that an encrypted video downloader was sent from the prince’s WhatsApp account to Bezos in May 2018.The two men had been chatting on the messaging app after they met at a dinner in Los Angeles and exchanged numbers. Almost immediately after Bezos opened the video file, the report says, “a massive and unauthorized exfiltration of data from Bezos’ phone began, continuing and escalating for months.”The UN report on the hacking was drawn up by Anthony Ferrante, a cybersecurity expert at FTI Consulting who conducted a forensic analysis of Bezos’ phone.In the firm’s technical report, which was obtained Wednesday by Motherboard, analysts wrote that cellular traffic from Bezos’ phone spiked 29,156 percent just hours after he opened the video file. FTI researchers said they found no malware in it, but were unable to determine the contents of the downloader because of encryption.While they were not able to identify the exact malware used, the UN report concludes, “Experts advised that the most likely explanation for the anomalous data egress was use of mobile spyware such as NSO Group’s Pegasus or, less likely, Hacking Team’s Galileo, that can hook into legitimate applications to bypass detection and obfuscate activity.”The FTI report pointedly noted that in 2016 Saud al-Qahtani, the Saudi spymaster who oversaw the killing of Khashoggi and handled cybersecurity issues for the Saudi government, purchased a 20 percent stake in Hacking Team, a security firm that offers offensive hacking services to authoritarian governments. “Customers of Hacking Team,” the FTI report said, “had asked the company to create the capability to infect devices via a video sent in WhatsApp.”According to the FTI report, the image of the woman that Bezos received waspart of meme with the caption: “Arguing with a woman is like reading the Software License agreement—in the end you have to ignore everything and click I agree.” The analysts reported the Nov. 8, 2018, message was unlike any the Post owner had received from MBS before and “this was after therelationship [with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez] would have been obvious to persons with access to private texts, calls, and images on Bezos’ phone, but months before the relationship was known or reported publicly.“The photo and caption were sent precisely during the period Bezos and his wife were exploring divorce,” it states, adding, “Memes such as this were available on the Internet, however the content of the text was not typical of any past communication from MBS, making it likely it was sent with reference to Bezos’ personal life events at that time.”The Bezos hack came to light after private texts showing that he was engaged in an extramarital relationship were published by the National Enquirer. In response, the world’s richest man set out to uncover how the tabloid magazine had gotten access to the most private messages on his phone.American Media Inc. (AMI), which owns the National Enquirer, publicly stated that its source was Michael Sanchez, the estranged brother of the woman dating Bezos, but last March, Bezos’ experienced security consultant Gavin de Becker wrote an op-ed in The Daily Beast explaining that his investigation had found that the Saudi government had obtained access to the phone.Not only that, AMI had threatened to release a trove of embarrassing photos of Bezos—also taken from his phone—unless he agreed to make a public statement claiming that the report about his affair was not “instigated, dictated, or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise.”The media company was trying to strong-arm Bezos into shutting down reports that the Saudis were somehow involved.“I’ve seen a lot. And yet, I’ve recently seen things that have surprised even me, such as the National Enquirer’s parent company, AMI, being in league with a foreign nation that’s been actively trying to harm American citizens and companies, including the owner of The Washington Post,” De Becker wrote in The Daily Beast.After the bombshell op-ed, AMI doubled down on its claim that Michael Sanchez, an associate of Trumpworld insiders including Roger Stone and Carter Page, had been the “single source” of their midweek special edition, which exposed Bezos’ relationship with the TV host Lauren Sanchez.The targeting of Bezos and The Washington Post fits into a pattern of Saudi aggression against critics, which includes blackmailing, discrediting, and even killing those who speak out against the regime.Iyad El-Baghdadi, founder of the Kawaakibi Foundation and editor in chief of the website; Arab Tyrant Manual, who lives in exile in Norway, wrote in The Daily Beast early last year that MBS had been targeting Bezos. “There’s mounting evidence that the de facto ruler of the kingdom has been trying to punish Bezos for the fierce coverage by his newspaper, The Washington Post,” he wrote.David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, told The Daily Beast that while the allegations about the Bezos hack were inevitably eye-catching, it shouldn’t obscure the threats to political speech posed by the rapidly expanding availability of commercial surveillance tools like the ones made by NSO Group or Hacking Team. “There’s a fundamental problem right now with this industry that can export its technology, sell, and transport it with very little constraint. On the user side, it can be used with very little legal framework [and] little rule-of-law standards,” said Kaye, who in June called for a moratorium on the sale of surveillance tech. “Imagine if you’re Omar Abdulaziz or another activist. What tool do you have to protect yourself?” Kaye said.As well, Kaye said, the UN officials’ statement on Wednesday was no surprise to the Saudi government. Last week, he said, they sent a letter informing the kingdom of the allegations through the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Then, on Monday—a day before The Guardian broke the story—they sent the Saudis a draft of their Wednesday statement. As far as Kaye knows, Saudi Arabia has yet to formally respond. The procedure Kaye outlined typically allows 60 days for an accused government to issue aresponse before proposing an investigation. There are different forms an investigation can take, but Kaye said he and Callamard hope it will include both his prior work on the explosion of commercial surveillance and her prior work investigating the Khashoggi slaying. “This is just one incident of an abuse by many, many governments,” Kaye said.Kaye said their involvement started in November, after a source he declined to describe further provided them with the forensic report into the Bezos hack. He said they contacted four infosec experts to stress-test it. “It was a kind of vetting to make sure the allegations are credible enough to raise with the government of Saudi Arabia and to go public with them,” he said. After The Guardian and the Financial Times reported Tuesday night that MBS’ phone was implicated, Saudi Arabia’s U.S. embassy said reports “that suggest the Kingdom is behind a hacking of Mr. Jeff Bezos’ phone are absurd. We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
Saudi Crown Prince Appeared to Taunt Jeff Bezos Over Secret Affair Before Enquirer Exposé
The brazen (and careless) Russian assassination team behind the Salisbury poisonings has been spotted in Europe, againThey keep failing to kill their targets. And they leave lots of evidence behind them.
The brazen (and careless) Russian assassination team behind the Salisbury poisonings has been spotted in Europe, again
Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowdingThousands of twins packed two-by-two into a stadium in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday - so many that officials struggled to count them in time to prove they had organised a record-breaking gathering. Huge queues built up at the open-air venue in Colombo as sets of siblings waited to get their birth certificates checked. The last record was set in Taiwan in 1999, when 3,961 sets of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets gathered outside Taipei City Hall.
Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowding
The impeachment rules fight is another blowup in the slow destruction of CongressIf politics is just warfare by other means, both Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer have decided to drag out the heavy artillery in advance of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.The Senate majority leader's rules proposal passed, thanks to the simple majority required, which itself is part of a pitted landscape in the upper chamber after nearly 20 years of partisan one-upmanship. That proposal will govern a process that might be more about settling scores with the House and with the Senate Democratic minority than it has to do with Trump or his handling of Ukraine aid.One has to wonder just how much of this will have to do with the case against the president at all. It's just as questionable, after three years of impeachment demands from and to House Democrats, how much the push to impeach Trump has to do with a delay in aid to Ukraine. We have spent the last 20-plus years coming to an inevitable war between Republicans and Democrats in the Beltway, one that will determine whether the institutions matter more than party affiliation.To grasp this, one needs to walk backward to 1999. Earlier this month, McConnell refused to sit down with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi or disclose his rules proposal to her before she sent over the articles of Trump's impeachment, claiming the House Democratic majority was trying to unduly influence Senate operations. During the three-week standoff, McConnell repeatedly said that he would use the rules package from Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial, which put off any votes on witnesses until after the presentment of the case. That rules proposal got unanimously adopted, including a vote from then-newly elected Senator Chuck Schumer.Pelosi finally gave up last week and transmitted the articles. By Monday, however, McConnell had adopted a new wrinkle in the Clinton-trial rules. It still used the same framework for voting on witnesses, but McConnell added a section that required a vote on admitting House-developed evidence. In previous trials, the House evidence was admitted automatically. That set Democrats off. They claimed that McConnell was cooking the trial, which might have pushed his grip on the majority just a little too far. By Tuesday afternoon, that rule had been replaced, subject to a hearsay objection and floor vote on specific House evidence.But what prompted that rule change in the first place? Republicans had seethed while House chairs Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler had used their majoritarian authority to largely sideline them in the impeachment process. Rather than go to court to bid for testimony, Schiff and Nadler jammed through the articles of impeachment without any first-hand testimony or evidence of wrongdoing. Republicans saw this as a continuation of the Democrats' efforts to impeach Trump over the earlier Russia-collusion hypothesis, which fell apart after Robert Mueller's special counsel probe found no evidence for the theory.Part of the animus driving Democrats was the way in which Republicans had muscled their way to Trump's first Supreme Court nomination. Barack Obama had nominated Merrick Garland after the death of Antonin Scalia in January 2016, a nomination McConnell had blocked with his Senate majority at the time. Democrats had at times threatened to do this in the past; Joe Biden in particular mentioned the possibility in 2007 and 1991, but the opportunity never arose for an election-year nomination. Chuck Schumer then attempted to filibuster the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, which led McConnell to change the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations.And that resulted from Harry Reid's so-called "nuclear option" in 2013, in which he contradicted long-standing precedent to allow a simple Senate majority to change the rules in mid-session. Republicans at that time were using the filibuster to obstruct Obama's appointments to the D.C. Circuit appellate court. That was in payback for Senate Democrats' own obstructionism during the George W. Bush administration on federal judicial appointments, starting in 2002 and leading to a famous showdown and compromise in 2005.It is this partisan escalation, in Capitol Hill in general and the Senate in particular, which has led the nation to this impasse. Both sides are trying mightily to claim the moral high ground in the impeachment fight and rules debate, but both sides have also done their best to cook the process for their own ends. Georgetown Law professor Jonathan Turley, who spoke in opposition to impeachment on institutional grounds (although no fan of Trump in other respects), concluded on Tuesday afternoon that both parties have run this into the ground. "The tide of hypocrisy washing over the Hill today," Turley quipped on CBS, "was enough to take the dome off its foundations."Given the partisan warfare around the impeachment, the trial outcome is all but certain. Of more concern, however, should be the damage done to the legislative branch over the last two decades. This poisonous atmosphere of majoritarian flexing has transformed Congress from a co-equal branch to either the wingman or the executioner of the president. With this partisan war as context, succeeding House majorities will feel freer to impeach any president of the opposing party on any pretext, especially by launching constant investigations that encroach on the executive's co-equal status and automatically considering any objection to be obstructive. We will either have parliamentary systems with the executive under the thumb of the House, or presidencies entirely unencumbered by an independent legislature.At some point, we need leadership on Capitol Hill that restores its own prerogatives while respecting the prerogatives of the executive. This would benefit both parties in the long run, and it would return the federal government to actual representative democracy. Unfortunately, after two decades in the trenches of the Democrat-Republican war, there doesn't seem to be any leaders emerging of that quality — nor a lot of demand from anyone else to produce them.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from Trump outright brags he's withholding 'all the material' to beat impeachment Senators are mischievously breaking the impeachment rules with smart watches and secret notes The only thing we don't know about the outcome of Trump's impeachment trial
The impeachment rules fight is another blowup in the slow destruction of Congress
WWII-era ammunition found at Tesla factory site near BerlinAuthorities in Germany say 85 kilograms (187 pounds) of World War II ammunition have been found on the site where Tesla plans to build its first European factory. Local newspaper Maerkische Oderzeitung quoted officials in Brandenburg on Wednesday as saying they estimate about 25 unexploded bombs could be found at the partially wooded site on the outskirts of Berlin, the German capital. Thousands of unexploded bombs dropped over Nazi Germany by American, British and Russian forces remain undiscovered even 75 years after the end of the war.
WWII-era ammunition found at Tesla factory site near Berlin
The search for Selena Not Afraid ends with 'great sadness.' Missing girl's body found near Montana rest areaThe body of Selena Shelley Faye Not Afraid, 16, was found near the Montana rest area where she was last seen on New Year's Day, authorities said.
The search for Selena Not Afraid ends with 'great sadness.' Missing girl's body found near Montana rest area
Kristin Smart: FBI tells mother of woman missing since 1996 to 'be ready' for developmentsThe mother of a California teenager who has been missing for more than 20 years says the FBI told her to "be ready" for imminent news about her disappearance.Hoping that police would finally be able to bring some closure to a seemingly endless investigation, Kristin Smart's mother Denise told the Stockton Record that the FBI warned that the family "might want to get away for a while" and obtain a spokesperson
Kristin Smart: FBI tells mother of woman missing since 1996 to 'be ready' for developments
Russia admits its deadly Zircon hypersonic missile is suffering from 'childhood diseases'The weapon which is expected to eventually arm the country's newer frigates is apparently experiencing developmental challenges.
Russia admits its deadly Zircon hypersonic missile is suffering from 'childhood diseases'
Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil warA hidden camera captured members of a white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.
Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil war

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