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  • Algorithmia Survey Finds Companies Doubling Down on AI/ML

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • North Korea shot, burned the body of South Korean official, Seoul says news

    The official, described as 47-year-old Mr. A., was traveling on a government-affiliated ship near a disputed maritime border with North Korea.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:26:00 -0400
  • North Korea shot, burned the body of South Korean official, Seoul says news

    Gen. Ahn Young-ho, in charge of operations at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a press briefing that the military received the report of a missing official affiliated with the ministry of oceans and fisheries on Monday. The official, described as 47-year-old Mr. A., was traveling on the ship a mile off the coast of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, which lies off the west coast of the Korean peninsula near a disputed maritime border with North Korea.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:26:00 -0400
  • Verizon commits $1 million to We Mean Business coalition to help scale climate action

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:18:00 -0400
  • NYC mayor skips Saudi Arabia summit, citing rights concerns

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:16:52 -0400
  • Ginsburg's empathy born of Jewish history and discrimination news

    In the Jewish tradition, burials usually take place within 24 hours of death. “Even though it generally goes against Jewish tradition, the fact that Americans will have a chance to pause in front and say thank you to her” shows the depth of her legacy, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. While politicians heatedly debate over replacing Ginsburg on the court, others are reflecting on how she advocated for women's rights and how she tried to reach just decisions as a jurist, all informed by her Jewish upbringing.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 08:16:06 -0400
  • IMF endorses Sudan's reform plan for battered economy news

    The International Monetary Fund has signed off on Sudan's economic reform program, a move that can eventually allow the highly-indebted African country to get debt relief and move ahead with rebuilding its battered economy as it transitions to democratic rule. Until the end of June 2021, IMF staff will be monitoring the implementation of a “home-grown” economic restructuring program that aims at “stabilizing the economy, removing distortions, improving competitiveness, and strengthening governance,” according to an IMF statement released Wednesday. Sudan has been ruled by a transitional military-civilian government following last year’s pro-democracy uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 07:49:06 -0400
  • Election 2020 Today: Trump's power move; Biden courted news

    TRUMP BALKS: Trump is declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election. BIDEN'S COURT: Some leading progressives are pressing Biden to endorse expanding the number of high court justices should he win the White House and Democrats take control of the Senate.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 07:31:42 -0400
  • Global MP3 Players Industry

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 06:43:00 -0400
  • Global Reflective Materials Industry

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 06:23:00 -0400
  • U.S.-Trained Forces Are Raping Women in Cameroon—and Rebels Are Beheading Them news

    IKOM, Nigeria—Lucy was contemplating closing early for the day when soldiers—believed to be from the Cameroon government’s notorious Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR)—stormed her shop in the northwestern Cameroon town of Bamenda at the end of August, dragged her outside, asked her to take off the shirt she was wearing, and forced her to sit on the bare ground for hours.“When I asked them what I had done wrong, one of them gave me a terrible slap and began to kick me all over my body,” Lucy, who sells foodstuffs close to a market in Bamenda, told The Daily Beast via telephone. “I thought the soldiers were going to kill me.”On the same day Lucy was brutalized by government forces in Bamenda, about 80 other women—mostly traders at the local food market—were detained at a police station for three days, many of them beaten and wounded by soldiers who were searching for English-speaking separatists following the killing of a police officer days before.“The soldiers entered the food market unannounced and began to forcefully remove everybody to the mobile police station,” said Lucy, who wanted to be identified by just her first name. “They looted and destroyed shops and ordered every woman to sit on the ground. The weather was so hot and some women collapsed as a result of the heat.”Slaughtered Because They Spoke EnglishScores of women have been assaulted and abused by both Cameroonian government forces and English-speaking separatists in the northwest and southwest Anglophone parts of Cameroon since violence erupted in the two regions, along the long Nigerian border, more than three years ago.Reports of sexual violence against women have grown in recent months, mostly perpetrated by BIR soldiers who’ve received lots of financial support from the United States in recent years. Last year, Human Rights Watch documented how two BIR soldiers raped a 22-year-old mother in the northwest and how a 23-year-old woman and a 17-year-old girl in the same home were raped in front of two children by three BIR soldiers who accused them of hiding separatists. Women have also been assaulted while fleeing from their communities.“Soldiers stopped us as we were heading to the [Nigerian] border and forced us to take off our clothes,” a 17-year-girl, who fled the Cameroonian town of Akwaya with her 25-year-old sister to the Ogoja refugee settlement in Nigeria, told The Daily Beast. “They began to touch our private parts and were about to rape us when they heard gunshots, which made them leave us and run away.”In recent years, the Cameroonian military—including the BIR—has relied heavily on the U.S. for funding. Since 2014, America has given more than $220 million to Cameroon in security assistance—including $700,000 spent so far this year on assisting the country’s military and police.Created in 2001 by the Cameroonian government to tackle armed bandits on its northern border with Chad and Nigeria and its eastern border with the Central African Republic, the BIR soon began to stray from its original mission—allegedly committing a number of human-rights atrocities including extrajudicial killing of civilians suspected to work for Boko Haram militants in northern Cameroon.The elite army unit, which is better trained and equipped than the regular Cameroonian army, is overseen by retired Israeli officers who report directly to President Paul Biya. These officers were recently accused of living extravagantly. One of them was reported to have bought properties worth about $32 million in New York and Los Angeles, and spent his holidays in luxury resorts in the Bahamas, costing $20,000 per night.But the rapid reaction force isn’t the only group that has targeted women and girls in western Cameroon. Armed separatists have assaulted and murdered women amid intensifying violence and growing calls for secession of the northwest and southwest regions.In an astonishing video widely shared on social media last month, three suspected separatist fighters in the southwestern town of Muyuka were seen beating and dragging a woman whom the government later identified as Confort Tumassang, a 35-year-old mother of four. Her hands were tied behind her back and Tumassang, who was accused of collaborating with the military, could be heard in the clip begging for mercy. She was then beheaded and her body abandoned in the street. The incident, which occurred on Aug. 11, came during the same period that reports of sexual assault perpetrated by separatists on women in Anglophone communities began to grow.“My 17-year-old cousin was raped by two rebels on her way to the market." Helen, a 25-year-old hairdresser in Muyuka, told The Daily Beast via telephone. “They beat her up and threatened to kill her before eventually raping her.”The U.S.-Backed Military Slaughters Women and Children in CameroonRape has become one of the most common forms of violence against women in the conflict in the western Cameroon. A study last year by the Rural Women Center for Education and Development, a Cameroonian non-profit group, revealed that at least 300 school-age girls from the northwest region became pregnant after being raped by suspected separatist fighters or government soldiers, and that many victims terminated their pregnancies with unsafe or crude abortions. Following the revelation, Cameroon government officials noted that the actual number could be much higher, as many girls involved in the practice do so in hiding.“It is obviously clear that rape has become a weapon of war in the conflict in western Cameroon,” Eno Edet, a human rights lawyer and advocate in Cross River State—which is hosting the vast majority of Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria—told The Daily Beast. “There are dozens of Cameroonian girls in refugee settlements here in Cross River with stories of sexual assault perpetrated by separatists or government forces back in their country.”Cameroon’s western regions descended into conflict in 2016 when the government repressed peaceful protests by English speakers against perceived marginalization. It turned into a full war when separatists declared western Cameroon an independent nation in October 2017. Over 3,000 civilian deaths have been recorded, along with dozens of soldiers killed by separatists. More than 700,000 Anglophone Cameroonians have been displaced during the crisis, and at least 52,000 people are currently taking refuge in Nigeria.As The Daily Beast previously reported, Anglophones make up about 20 percent of Cameroon’s population of 26 million. In February 1961, the United Nations organized a referendum in which English-speaking Cameroonians, then under British rule, voted to rejoin Francophone Cameroon. Both merged on Oct. 1, 1961, and inherited a constitution which recognized the country as a federation of two states with “the same status.” But not long after the reunification, things began to change. Then-President Ahmadou Ahidjo, a Francophone, replaced the two federal states with six regions. He appointed federal inspectors of each region and gave them more power than locally elected politicians. Ahidjo followed up by discarding the currency used by the Anglophones. He refused to recognize Cameroon’s membership of the Commonwealth, and he abolished federalism altogether through a national referendum.Incumbent President Paul Biya, also a Francophone, succeeded Ahidjo in November 1982 and began to introduce policies similar to that of his predecessor. In 1983, he split the Anglophone region into the Northwest and Southwest provinces. A year later he changed the country’s official name to the Republic of Cameroon, as it was known as when it was a Francophone territory, and removed the second star from the flag that had stood as a representation of the Anglophone region.Many prominent figures in Cameroon’s western region from time to time condemned the policies of the Biya administration as they affect the western region, but when the government went ahead to appoint French-speaking magistrates in Anglophone courts, many believed he had gone too far.Unfortunately, the conflict that followed has crippled social amenities and left much of the Anglophone region in ruins. But it is the frequent targeting of women and girls by major players in the war that leaves many in English-speaking communities worried.“We are living in fear because women are becoming victims of rape every day,” said Helen, the hairdresser in Muyuka. “The other day, it was my cousin [who was raped]. Tomorrow, it could be another innocent woman. No woman is safe here.”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.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 06:01:57 -0400
  • Many firms 'have not considered Brexit effect' news

    Only half of UK firms that trade internationally have assessed the impact of Brexit, says a business group.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:31:56 -0400
  • Mike Pompeo urges US states to beware of China's 'sinister' attempts at engagement news

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on American state governments to reject appeals from China for closer ties and asked them to cooperate more with Taiwan.Warning about Beijing's attempts to sidestep road blocks erected by Washington on the federal level, Pompeo told state lawmakers in Madison, Wisconsin, that overtures from Chinese diplomats, Chinese nationals or "Americans working with [Chinese Communist Party]-linked interests" were often part of a plot to further "Beijing's form of authoritarianism".Chinese President Xi Jinping "knows that the federal government is pushing back against the CCP's malign influence. He sees that here in the US, and increasingly around the world", Pompeo said. "General Secretary Xi thinks you're the weak link."Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.The warning comes just weeks after Pompeo's department ordered Chinese diplomats in the US to seek permission before meeting with local government officials or visiting university campuses, a move that he said was made to match restrictions that American diplomats face in China.The top US diplomat cited entreaties this year by an official from China's Chicago consulate to Wisconsin Senate President Roger Roth for his chamber to pass a resolution praising Beijing's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of attempts to co-opt state-level officials.He called these efforts "a much more sinister vision of engagement" compared with initiatives by other countries to burnish their image overseas, such as France's Alliance Francais language and culture schools.US accusations that China deliberately delayed warning the world about the novel coronavirus have further strained a relationship already damaged by a trade war that US President Donald Trump started more than two years ago.Trump made China's alleged culpability for the pandemic, which has killed more than 200,000 Americans, a key theme of his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, further inflaming tensions.Pompeo also cited the case of a New York City police officer charged with acting as an agent for China as an example of Beijing's covert efforts to undermine US interests. The federal indictment of Baimadajie Angwang - a naturalised US citizen who is accused of spying on fellow ethnic Tibetans in New York - was unsealed on Monday.The secretary of state called on the Wisconsin lawmakers to adopt a number of measures to check Beijing's influence, including "laws to codify closer cooperation with federal agencies in [intellectual property] protection, investment screening and counter-infiltration operations".Mike Pompeo speaks to socially distanced lawmakers and guests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Wednesday. Photo: AFP alt=Mike Pompeo speaks to socially distanced lawmakers and guests at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Wednesday. Photo: AFPAfter welcoming local representatives of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of Chicago to his speech, Pompeo also asked the lawmakers to "ignore CCP threats, and encourage mayors and businesspeople to engage with a free and democratic Taiwan".The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office is Taiwan's de facto embassy in the US. Washington does not have official diplomatic relations with the self-ruled island.Pompeo also suggested that funds managed by the Wisconsin Retirement System for state and local government employees be divested of holdings in two of China's largest telecom companies."As of its last report the Wisconsin Retirement System was invested in China Mobile and China Telecom," he said. "Both are state-owned giants and they're an integral part of the Chinese Orwellian surveillance system. Do you want your teachers, firefighters, your policeman invested in those kinds of activities?"China's embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:30:00 -0400
  • Rwandan genocide orphan's 'miracle' WhatsApp reunion news

    A girl orphaned at two during the 1994 Rwandan genocide finds relatives thanks to social media.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 05:24:25 -0400
  • Quarantine ordered for 2,500 students at elite Swiss school news

    Swiss authorities ordered 2,500 students at an elite hospitality management school to quarantine themselves due to a coronavirus outbreak allegedly linked to off-campus partying, the latest back-to-school sign of higher education's place in the pandemic. Authorities in Switzerland's Vaud canton, or region, said all undergraduates at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, or the Lausanne Hospitality Management University in English, were told to quarantine at home both on and off campus because the virus already had spread too widely for a more limited order. “Significant outbreaks of infection have appeared at several levels of training, making impossible a more targeted closure than that involving 2,500 students,” the Vaud regional office said in a statement.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 04:43:01 -0400
  • Global Respiratory Disease Testing Industry

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 04:23:00 -0400
  • Israel tightens second lockdown as virus cases soar news

    Israel on Thursday moved to further tighten its second countrywide lockdown as coronavirus cases continued to soar, ordering all nonessential businesses to close and requiring people to stay within 1,000 meters (yards) of their homes. Prayers during the ongoing Jewish High Holidays, as well as political demonstrations, would be limited to open spaces and no more than 20 people, and participants would have to remain within the restricted distance from home. The measures are set to go into force on Friday afternoon, as the country shuts down for the weekly Sabbath ahead of the solemn holiday of Yom Kippur on Sunday and Monday.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 04:06:55 -0400
  • Probe of gang rape case that shocked Egypt ensnares many news

    An announcement last month that Egypt’s top prosecutor would investigate an alleged 2014 gang rape of a 17-year-old girl at a luxury Cairo hotel marked a rare moment of triumph for human rights activists. “It’s frightening and terrifying,” said Azza Soliman, an attorney who runs the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance. The case has also captivated many in Egypt as it exposed free-wheeling practices of alcohol- and drug-fueled partying among a small subsection of the country’s very wealthy youth.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 02:16:39 -0400
  • Global Road Marking Materials Industry

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    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 02:03:00 -0400
  • Amnesty: Migrants face 'vicious cycle of cruelty' in Libya news

    Amnesty International said Thursday that thousands of Europe-bound migrants who were intercepted and returned to Libyan shores this year were forcefully disappeared after being taken out of unofficial detention centers run by militias allied with the U.N.-supported government in the capital, Tripoli. In its latest report, the group also said that rival authorities in eastern Libya forcibly expelled several thousand migrants “without due process or the opportunity to challenge their deportation.” Libya, which descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, has emerged as a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 01:11:59 -0400
  • 'Are people to be left to die?' Vaccine pleas fill UN summit news

    If the United Nations was created from the ashes of World War II, what will be born from the global crisis of COVID-19? Many world leaders at this week’s virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. “Are people to be left to die?” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, a COVID-19 survivor, said of the uncertain way forward.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 01:05:23 -0400
  • Dismay over Breonna Taylor spills into America's streets news

    Anger, frustration and sadness over the decision not to charge Kentucky police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death poured into America’s streets as protesters lashed out at a criminal justice system they say is stacked against Black people. Violence seized the demonstrations in her hometown of Louisville as gunfire rang out and wounded two police officers. Activists, celebrities and everyday Americans have been calling for charges since Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers after one of them was shot while bursting into her home during a narcotics investigation in March.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:57:18 -0400
  • Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses news

    President Donald Trump again declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election. “We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said Wednesday at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. It is highly unusual that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:08:27 -0400
  • GOP senators see political, principle gain in court fight news

    President Donald Trump marveled at a rally this week about how important Supreme Court nominations are to voters. Despite Democratic cries of hypocrisy, they're hoping the battle over replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg will help them keep their Senate majority as well as Trump's job in the White House. Beyond the Nov. 3 elections, some feel the generational goal of a solidly conservative court is worth the potential blowback.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:07:08 -0400
  • Progressives pledge to keep pushing Biden to expand court news

    Since Joe Biden ran away with the Democratic presidential nomination in March, leading progressives have accepted him — sometimes grudgingly — as their party's leader. There's little indication that large swaths of progressives will abandon Biden or back third-party candidates, moves that wounded Democrat Hillary Clinton's 2016 bid.

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:03:49 -0400
  • Saudi heir and Jared Kushner inch kingdom towards deal with Israel news

    Saudi Arabia’s interventions could result in seismic shift in region’s geopoliticsAs the UAE and Bahrain prepared to sign a deal to normalise diplomatic relations with Israel this summer, Saudi Arabia – the regional heavyweight – was quietly urging them on.For several months before the deals were signed at the White House, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had been laying out his rationale for a pact that would overturn regional policies towards a long-term foe.There were state-of-the-art fighter jets on offer, political favours with Washington to be won and bigger, better access to Donald Trump’s America, with all the connections a nakedly transactional president saw fit to muster.There was also another inducement: if Saudi Arabia’s allies came to terms with Israel first, it would give the Kingdom cover to follow. Such a move would mark a seismic shift in the region’s geopolitics, easily eclipsing Israeli accords with Egypt in 1978 and Jordan 16 years later.While a pact between Israel and Saudi Arabia is growing closer, Prince Mohammed is unlikely to give Trump what would be his biggest foreign policy achievement before the US election, according to three sources close to the royal court. Instead, the Kingdom is likely to continue its role of urging regional allies across the line – effectively in its s name. Sudan and Oman are firm favourites to strike a deal before the year is out. But the old guard of the region, Riyadh and Kuwait, are likely to bide their time and hold out for bigger prizes.Both countries are ruled by long-term monarchs, now well into their 80s and ailing, and both remain invested in long-term formulas for Arab-Israeli peace, which have been shredded by the region’s younger leaders, such as Prince Mohammed.Addressing the United Nations general assembly on Wednesday, the Saudi monarch, King Salman, stuck to the script of the 2002 Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative, which had been seen as a template until the past few years.“The initiative provides the basis for a comprehensive and just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict that ensures the fraternal Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights,” said King Salman. “At the forefront of which is establishing their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”The heir to the Saudi throne views the region through a different lens to his predecessors, seeing Iranian expansionism as a bigger threat to stability than the seven-decade failure to bring about a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. According to two sources familiar with Prince Mohammed’s thinking, his views have been greatly influenced by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, since the two met in 2017.“Kushner was just as transactional as his father-in-law,” said one Saudi source. “He was all about user pays; if you back a cause, or a person, they need to have your back. It was a language MBS understood and he wasted little time applying it to new Saudi positions on Palestine and Lebanon, both of which had become a never-ending burden.”Later that year, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was summoned by Prince Mohammed to Riyadh and given a version of what a new Saudi-approved Palestine would look like.Abbas has never spoken publicly about the meeting, and has not been back to Saudi Arabia since. But Palestinian officials, who insisted on anonymity, like everyone else contacted by the Guardian for this story, said the plan put to the veteran Palestinian leader was a lot like the blueprint of Jared Kushner’s peace deal, which was presented earlier this year with little fanfare.“The crown prince told him Palestine could be Gaza and part of the Sinai, with a land bridge to what was left of the West Bank,” the official said. “The Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, was involved in this obviously. It wasn’t a Saudi royal’s prerogative to be giving away part of Egypt without consent.”The connection between Kushner and Prince Mohammed has remained strong throughout his turbulent three years as the kingdom’s effective leader. The stain of the state-sanctioned murder of Jamal Khashoggi by aides and guards of Prince Mohammed, barely reached the doors of the White House.Instead, the Trump administration’s blend of transactional power politics, commercial ventures and a narrow range of global interests – securing the fate of Israel and diminishing Iran being first among them – have gelled with the crown prince and the Saudi system, which knows how to deal with regional political families – and now has a replica in the US.One former western intelligence official said the model was a factor in getting things done. “We go to see them in a nice new suit, sit in their palaces, feel briefly empowered and real,” the officials said. “Then we fly home and take the tube to a shared flat in Elephant and Castle. People on our end are seduced by the access, no matter how hard they try not to be. On their end, they often find the interactions quaint.”The Kushner-MBS bond remains so strong, that the latter has advocated that Lebanon demarcate its maritime border with Israel – a central US talking point, partly aimed at securing Lebanese rights to a shared undersea gas field, but also at neutering Hezbollah, which maintains a stronghold in southern Lebanon.As Trump’s government hurtles towards 3 November, it is ramping up its policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran. Lebanon is seen as a key arena in which to try to dilute Iranian influence, and Prince Mohammed is very much on board.“Things are all heading in the right direction,” the Saudi official said. “When they pull the trigger on this deal is a very important question. For now, it’s too soon.”

    Thu, 24 Sep 2020 00:00:03 -0400
  • 88 whales rescued from Australia's worst mass beaching news

    Authorities have rescued 88 pilot whales and are attempting to free 20 others that survived Australia’s worst mass stranding, as crews prepare to remove 380 decomposing carcasses from the shallows of Tasmania state, officials said Thursday. Crews found the 20 whales that are still alive on the fourth day of the rescue operation, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service Manager Nic Deka said. The task of removing hundreds of tons of whale carcasses begins Friday and is likely to take days, Marine Conservation Program wildlife biologist Kris Carlyon said.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 23:19:31 -0400
  • UN, Britain to co-host climate summit on December 12 news

    The United Nations and Britain said Wednesday they would co-host a global climate summit on December 12, the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 21:56:01 -0400
  • New bid but little hope to reform UN Security Council news

    A flurry of world leaders have appealed again to the United Nations to reform the Security Council, reviving a bid launched 15 years ago.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 21:53:15 -0400
  • Missing South Korean official was shot by North after jumping off boat and trying to defect, says Seoul news

    North Korean forces shot dead a South Korean fisheries official who disappeared off a patrol vessel and ended up in Pyongyang's waters, Seoul's defence ministry said Thursday, calling it an "outrageous act". The 47-year-old man had been on board a vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong, the ministry said in a statement. After analysing intelligence, the South Korean military had "confirmed that the North fired at a South Korean national found in the northern seas and cremated his body", it said. "We sternly warn North Korea that all responsibilities for this incident lie with it," it added. "Our military strongly condemns such an atrocity, and strongly demands North Korea provide explanations and punish those who are responsible," General Ahn Young-ho, who is in charge of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a briefing. It was not immediately clear how the man came to be in the water. Earlier reports said that his shoes were found on board the patrol vessel, leading to speculation he may have been trying to defect. In July, a North Korean defector who had fled to the South three years ago sneaked back over the heavily fortified border into the impoverished nation.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 20:09:54 -0400
  • RMI and ETC Salute China's Pre-2060 Carbon Neutral Pledge

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    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 19:35:00 -0400
  • Venezuela's Maduro blasts US in speech to world leaders news

    Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro blasted United States sanctions in his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, while avoiding any mention of a report accusing his government of crimes against humanity. In a lengthy, prerecorded speech that ran more than twice the allotted time, the socialist leader denounced what he called a “criminal, inhuman aggression” by the U.S. aimed at ousting him from power, and said Venezuela would resist. The U.S., which doesn't recognize him as Venezuela’s legitimate president, has indicted him on drug charges.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 19:34:16 -0400
  • Trump won't commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses news

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday again declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election. “We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. It is highly unusual that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 19:24:18 -0400
  • Arab leaders voice alarm at UN over Iran tensions news

    Arab leaders voiced fears Wednesday before the United Nations of new conflict in the region as tensions soar between Iran and the United States.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 18:55:31 -0400
  • In Taylor case, limits of law overcome calls for justice news

    “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” became a rallying cry this summer, emblazoned on T-shirts worn by celebrities and sports stars while protesters filled the streets demanding police accountability. In the end, none of the officers were charged with Taylor's killing, although one was indicted for shooting into a neighboring home that had people inside. The outcome demonstrates the vast disconnect between widespread public expectation of justice and the limits of the law when police use deadly force.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:54:04 -0400
  • They said it: Leaders at the virtual UN, in their own words news

    Here, The Associated Press takes the opposite approach and spotlights some thoughts you might not have heard — the voices of leaders speaking at the first all-virtual U.N. General Assembly leaders meeting who might not have captured the headlines and the airtime on Wednesday, the second day of the 2020 debate. “We must find a global balance between human beings and other creatures on our earth.”

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 17:27:23 -0400
  • Virus uptick in Hasidic NYC neighborhoods causes concern

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    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:39:45 -0400
  • World leaders criticize haphazard response to pandemic news

    World leaders gathering remotely Wednesday criticized a haphazard global response to a microscopic virus that has unleashed economic havoc and taken nearly 1 million lives in its march across the globe. In the words of Kazakhstan’s president, it was “a critical collapse of global cooperation.” “Our world has been turned upside down,” said Ghana's president, Nana Akufo-Addo.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:38:58 -0400
  • The Latest: Black women address rally in downtown Portland news

    In downtown Portland, Oregon, the site of months of demonstrations against police brutality, several hundred people held a rally in the rain Wednesday night in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center, the Oregonian/ reported. Police say they have deployed chemical agents on Atlanta protesters demonstrating against a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officers for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:37:03 -0400
  • Egypt: 3 police killed as 4 convicts attempt prison bust

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    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:53:01 -0400
  • 'It's self-delusion': Trump's former national security adviser said he wishes the president 'would just realize' that 'Putin is not his friend' news

    For years, Trump has been more friendly towards Putin — and other authoritarian leaders — than many top US allies.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:36:12 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Health chief hails Africa's fight against Covid-19 news

    Africa has had fewer cases than Europe, Asia or the Americas, with numbers continuing to decline.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:27:39 -0400
  • Editorial Roundup: US

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    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:26:04 -0400
  • Saudi king's rare address to UN showcases monarch in charge news

    Saudi Arabia’s King Salman made a rare address to the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday, using the moment to highlight the foundational notions of his regime — his steadfast commitment to the Palestinians, his stature as custodian of Islam’s holiest sites and his assertion that Iran is responsible for much of the region’s instability. The prerecorded speech to world leaders suggested that the 84-year-old king, who delivers only a handful of public remarks each year, retains oversight of high-level policies despite the immense powers amassed by his son, the crown prince. In delivering his remarks, he became only the second Saudi king to deliver a speech to the world assembly.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:16:05 -0400
  • He Killed 2 Marines in 2011. It Almost Derailed Peace Talks This Month. news

    KABUL, Afghanistan -- He was a young Afghan police officer working alongside American forces in one of the hot spots of the war, with Taliban ambushes all around. Then he turned his weapon on two U.S. Marines, killing them both.Now, he is out of prison.His attack, in Helmand province in 2011, was a serious eruption in a phenomenon that within a year would redefine the American war in Afghanistan: insider killings, often by members of the Afghan security forces who, like the police officer, were not at the time part of the Taliban.But just this month, that officer, Mohammad Dawood, 31, reached the top of the Taliban's list of prisoners they wanted released as they negotiated the opening of peace talks with the Afghan government. And along with just five other men detained after killing Westerners, his fate became a sticking point that nearly derailed the whole process, officials say.While the Taliban made the men's release an ultimatum before they would go to the table, officials for the United States, France and Australia were quietly urging the Afghan government not to let them go -- even as they told the Afghan government to free thousands of other Taliban prisoners with Afghan blood on their hands in order to open the way for the talks.Only a last-minute deal to remand the six to a kind of house arrest in Qatar allowed the opening of peace talks on Sept. 12.Dawood, whose name had not been publicly released but whose identity was confirmed by American and Afghan officials, now stands as a symbol of the difficulty -- and tough choices -- involved in trying to make peace in the middle of a bitter war.Dawood's killings of Lt. Col. Benjamin Palmer and Sgt. Kevin Balduf in 2011 represent only a fraction of more than 40 years of violence. But the Taliban's willingness to go to the brink for him in negotiations, despite his acting only on his own behalf, according to his family and close friends, was a stark demonstration of how even isolated disputes can threaten the peace process."We are not happy about the release of some prisoners, and we know our allies Australia and France are not happy about the release of some," said Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy for Afghan peace. In all, the Afghan government freed 5,000 prisoners demanded by the Taliban. "But we understand that this difficult step was in the service of something even more important, which is to get the Afghan war to come to an end, and it was a necessary step."The Taliban have consistently made prisoner releases a priority -- most notably in the 2014 exchange of an American soldier held by the Taliban for five years, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, for five senior Taliban figures who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. That deal brought heavy criticism for the Obama administration, and during his campaign for the presidency in 2016, Donald Trump repeatedly called Bergdahl a traitor who should be executed.Both Khalilzad as well as Mutlaq al-Qahtani, the Qatari special envoy for the process, refused to discuss details of the arrangement regarding the six prisoners, including where in Qatar the men are being held and under what circumstances. Amrullah Saleh, Afghanistan's vice president, in a recent interview said the men would not be allowed to leave Qatar -- all the pages on their passports are crossed out except for the one with the Qatari visa.Stopping deadly insider attacks like the one by Dawood was once an urgent imperative for the Obama administration. By the end of President Barack Obama's first term, cultural tensions and increasing pressure from the Taliban had spilled over into violence as Afghan troops turned their guns on their Western allies, threatening to derail the war effort.By the height of the war, Americans were building outposts within outposts to defend themselves from the very people they were supposed to be training and fighting alongside.Insider attacks became a grim feature of the conflict. The deaths of Palmer, 43, and Balduf, 27, came during a flurry of such killings that peaked in 2012, accounting for 15% of coalition troops who were killed or wounded in Afghanistan that year.Of the four U.S. troops killed in combat in 2020, two were killed in an insider attack in February, marking the last U.S. troops to die from hostile fire before the peace agreement between the United States and the Taliban.But as was the case for many such attacks, Dawood was not a part of an insurgent group when he killed the two Marines, according to those close to him and to an Afghan official familiar with his case.Born in Naw Bahar, a small, staunchly anti-Taliban village in Baghlan province, Dawood was one of five brothers and the son of Mohammad Zahir, a poor wheat farmer. He studied at a madrassa in Kunduz and Baghlan, before studying in Pakistan and Iran, where like many Afghans he worked for a brief time.Safdar Mohseni, head of the Baghlan provincial council, said Dawood had most likely turned to the Taliban in prison, looking for support."He was a good person to me in every way -- psychologically, scientifically, religiously -- and was a patriot," said Saqi Mohammad Numani, a religious scholar who taught Dawood for several years. "Like Dawood, I have thousands of students who are not in favor of violence and terror, and Dawood was not in favor of violence."After returning from Iran, Dawood was engaged to be married, but because he was low on money, he joined the Afghan police. He trained in Kabul for six months in 2010 and graduated as a sergeant, according to a senior police official who served alongside him in southern Afghanistan.Not long after Dawood left police training in 2011, he was assigned to the Afghan National Civil Order Police's 5th Brigade, a new unit the U.S. military was training in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province. As the Taliban began regaining ground, U.S. and NATO forces started a concerted effort to professionalize the police force to hold what districts the Afghan government still controlled.On May 12, 2011, Dawood walked from the Afghan portion of his base in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, and entered the U.S. side, where his Marine advisers lived, slept and ate.A small group of Marines were outside eating dinner when Dawood lifted his assault rifle and began firing, killing Palmer and Balduf. Marines fired back, wounding Dawood.Cultural misunderstandings and disgust with Westerners were traced to many insider killings. When the attacks began in earnest in 2008, they took a deep toll on the U.S.-Afghan relationship, sowing doubt and distrust that was only exacerbated by the stress of training and combat.In a country rife with anti-Semitism, Dawood appeared to turn to that in an attempt to justify his actions. He told investigators he killed the Americans because he thought they were Jews and he did not want to live among them. He said no one had provoked him, though the senior Afghan official said that Dawood's fundamentalist education in Iran and Pakistan was probably a catalyst for this contempt.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:08:06 -0400
  • High court fight adds to pile of issues weighing on voters news

    The Republican Party headquarters in this former steel town was buzzing Saturday as supporters filed in to pick up Trump 2020 stickers and yard signs, including ones declaring: “Your pro-life vote matters." “I don't really pay attention to the news much," said Dan Thomas, a 24-year-old from Johnstown, in western Pennsylvania, after he filled out paperwork to vote for the first time. Instead, he's convinced that President Donald Trump is fighting for working-class voters like him in a tough economy and is “the best shot this country has."

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 15:00:12 -0400
  • Missouri governor, opponent of mandatory masks, has COVID-19 news

    Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican who has steadfastly refused to require residents to wear masks, tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said Wednesday. Parson was tested after his wife, Teresa, tested positive earlier in the day. Teresa Parson had experienced mild symptoms, including a cough and nasal congestion, spokeswoman Kelli Jones said.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 14:40:25 -0400
  • Lebanon asks world's help 'trying to rise from its rubble' news

    Facing an economic meltdown and other crises, Lebanon’s president on Wednesday asked for the world's help to rebuild the capital's main port and neighborhoods that were blown away in last month’s catastrophic explosion. President Michel Aoun made the plea in a prerecorded speech to the U.N. General Assembly’s virtual summit, telling world leaders that Lebanon's many challenges are posing an unprecedented threat to its very existence. Most urgently, the country needs the international community’s support to rebuild its economy and its destroyed port.

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 14:39:54 -0400
  • Pence, Ivanka bring law-and-order tour to city of Floyd news

    Vice President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump are bringing President Donald Trump’s law-and-order campaign message to Minneapolis on Thursday, showing support for law enforcement in the city where George Floyd's death sparked angry and sometimes violent protests that spread around the world. Pence and President Trump's daughter planned to host a listening session with a “Cops for Trump” group, as well as with residents who the Trump reelection campaign says have been “negatively impacted by crime and violent extremism.”

    Wed, 23 Sep 2020 14:33:38 -0400
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