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Fact check: Joe Biden did not botch the Pledge of Allegiance in speech 26 Sep 2020, 8:00 am

Fact check: Joe Biden did not botch the Pledge of Allegiance in speechAn eight-second clip from a speech purports to illustrate another Joe Biden gaffe. But what is missing is the rest of the speech.


Wisconsin Republicans tried to stifle a plan for poll workers to collect absentee ballots in parks across Madison 26 Sep 2020, 7:54 am

Wisconsin Republicans tried to stifle a plan for poll workers to collect absentee ballots in parks across MadisonPoll workers in Madison, Wisconsin, are expected to allow people to fill out and turn in an absentee ballot at more than 200 parks in the city.


Yitzhak Rabin memorial: AOC pulls out of event honouring former Israeli leader 26 Sep 2020, 6:16 am

Yitzhak Rabin memorial: AOC pulls out of event honouring former Israeli leaderMemorial due to take place next month


A white supremacist gang member was killed during a shootout with police in California 26 Sep 2020, 5:57 am

A white supremacist gang member was killed during a shootout with police in CaliforniaChristopher Michael Straub hid and then ambushed deputies after fleeing from a traffic stop, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office.


Taiwan's armed forces strain in undeclared war of attrition with China 25 Sep 2020, 10:59 pm

Taiwan's armed forces strain in undeclared war of attrition with ChinaTaiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited a low-key but critical maintenance base for fighter jet engines on Saturday, offering encouragement as the Chinese-claimed island's armed forces strain in the face of repeated Chinese air force incursions. This month alone, China's drills have included its jets crossing the mid-line of the sensitive Taiwan Strait and exercising near the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the South China Sea. Beijing regards Taiwan as a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring the democratic island under its control.


Marine Lance Corporal Apprehended, Charged with Armed Robbery After Fleeing Camp Lejeune 25 Sep 2020, 7:47 pm

Marine Lance Corporal Apprehended, Charged with Armed Robbery After Fleeing Camp LejeuneLance Cpl. Shawn M. Miller was last seen around 6 p.m. Thursday in Jacksonville, the town outside Lejeune.


'It worked': In New York City, pandemic-inspired outdoor dining to become permanent 25 Sep 2020, 7:21 pm

'It worked': In New York City, pandemic-inspired outdoor dining to become permanentNew York is committed to making outdoor dining a permanent option for the thousands of restaurants that have embraced the concept since the coronavirus pandemic struck in the spring, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday. The city, an early U.S. COVID-19 epicenter, aims to extend to year-round Open Restaurants, a now-temporary program credited with saving 90,000 jobs, the mayor said. The program has proved enormously popular with New Yorkers since it was introduced in June.


Cadets among 26 people killed in Ukraine military plane crash 25 Sep 2020, 7:16 pm

Cadets among 26 people killed in Ukraine military plane crashA total of 26 people, most of them air cadets, have been killed in a military plane crash in Ukraine. Footage of the crash released by officials on social media showed the smouldering remains of the Antonov-26 transport plane. Most of the dead were students of the Kharkiv National Air Force University, the air force said in a statement. There were 27 people on board, 20 cadets and seven crew. On Saturday, the death toll rose after three more bodies were found under the charred remains of the plane and one of the two survivors died in hospital from extensive burns. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described the crash as a "terrible tragedy". "We are urgently creating a commission to investigate all the circumstances and causes of the tragedy," he wrote on Facebook. Mr Zelensky visited the only remaining survivor in a military hospital in Kharkiv, posting a picture of the 20-year-old cadet lying in bed with a bandaged head and right arm. He said the cadet, Vyacheslav Zolochevsky, "came to his senses near the wreckage of the An-26." "The plane was destroyed, there was fire, darkness and bodies all around. One of the guys was burning," he said on Facebook, adding that Zolochevsky rushed to try and save him. The second cadet died in hospital. Doctors said that Mr Zolochevsky suffered a concussion but his life was not in danger.


Serving US attorney says Bill Barr ‘brought shame’ on his office in searing letter 25 Sep 2020, 5:32 pm

Serving US attorney says  Bill Barr ‘brought shame’ on his office in searing letterFederal prosecutor says he had to speak out after ‘headhunting’ speech


When Biden calls a 'lid,' Democrats wet the bed — and Trump starts mocking 25 Sep 2020, 2:38 pm

When Biden calls a 'lid,' Democrats wet the bed — and Trump starts mockingThe Democratic nominee is sticking to his strategy: Keep a low profile, and let Trump light himself on fire.


‘Why Bother?’: Pelosi Suggests Biden Skip Presidential Debates 25 Sep 2020, 2:13 pm

‘Why Bother?’: Pelosi Suggests Biden Skip Presidential DebatesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday defended her previous suggestion that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should not debate President Trump, claiming the president has “no fidelity to fact or truth.”Ahead of the first presidential debate next week, Pelosi doubled down during an appearance on “Morning on CBS” on comments she made last month that the former vice president should skip the debates so they don’t become “an exercise in skullduggery.”When asked if she still believed Biden should sit out the three presidential debates on September 29, October 15, and October 22, she said “Oh, I do.”“Not that I don’t think he’ll be excellent,” she continued. “I just think that the president has no fidelity to fact or truth and, actually in his comments the last few days, no fidelity to the Constitution of the United States.""He and his henchmen are a danger, with their comments, are a danger to our democracy,” Pelosi added. “So I don't want to give him - I mean, why bother? He doesn't tell the truth."Last month Pelosi said she “wouldn’t legitimize a conversation with [President Trump], nor a debate in terms of the presidency of the United States,” though she acknowledged that the Biden campaign, who has rejected the California Democrat’s suggestion, felt differently."As long as the commission continues down the straight and narrow as they have, I'm going to debate him," Biden said. "I'm going to be a fact-check on the floor while I'm debating him."Biden said Wednesday that he would begin to prepare “heavily” for the first debate, which will be hosted by Fox News’s Chris Wallace in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday.


Florida reopens bars and restaurants with no restrictions 25 Sep 2020, 1:56 pm

Florida reopens bars and restaurants with no restrictionsGov. Ron DeSantis said Florida was moving into Phase 3 reopening on Friday, lifting all restrictions for restaurants and bars.


Air Force Begins Live-Fire Testing on New Helicopter, Jolly Green II 25 Sep 2020, 1:33 pm

Air Force Begins Live-Fire Testing on New Helicopter, Jolly Green IIThe Air Force's new HH-60W combat rescue helicopter, known as the "Jolly Green II," has begun live-fire ground testing.


Louisville cop injured in Breonna Taylor shooting threatens lawsuits over being called 'murderer' 25 Sep 2020, 12:59 pm

Louisville cop injured in Breonna Taylor shooting threatens lawsuits over being called 'murderer'Jonathan Mattingly was the Louisville police officer who was injured during the Breonna Taylor shooting. He has hired a civil attorney.


Kenneth Walker, police both claim Kentucky law protects conduct on night of deadly Breonna Taylor raid 25 Sep 2020, 12:11 pm

Kenneth Walker, police both claim Kentucky law protects conduct on night of deadly Breonna Taylor raidAnalysis: None of the officers involved in the March 13 raid were charged with Taylor's death.


Pakistan PM condemns 'Islamophobic' Charlie Hebdo cartoons 25 Sep 2020, 11:42 am

Pakistan PM condemns 'Islamophobic' Charlie Hebdo cartoonsPakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday condemned the fresh publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by a French satirical weekly, urging UN efforts against what he called rising Islamophobia.


Three men are accused of creating 'man cave' under Grand Central station 25 Sep 2020, 11:02 am

Three men are accused of creating 'man cave' under Grand Central stationThree railroad workers have been suspended for turning a storage room under New York's Grand Central Terminal into an unauthorized “man cave” with a television, a refrigerator, a microwave and a futon couch, officials said Thursday.


Louisville protesters faced off with an extremist militia on the 2nd day of unrest following no charges for the police involved in Breonna Taylor's killing 25 Sep 2020, 10:40 am

Louisville protesters faced off with an extremist militia on the 2nd day of unrest following no charges for the police involved in Breonna Taylor's killingProtesters in support of Black Lives Matter were met with counter-protesters including an armed extremist anti-government group.


The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents reveal 25 Sep 2020, 10:27 am

The Pentagon is eyeing a 500-ship Navy, documents revealThe Pentagon is weighing a dramatically different fleet that relies heavily on unmanned ships and submarines.


Apple is temporarily scrapping its controversial 30% App Store fee for Facebook's new online events feature 25 Sep 2020, 9:49 am

Apple is temporarily scrapping its controversial 30% App Store fee for Facebook's new online events featureApple is letting Facebook temporarily process payments for its online events feature, meaning event hosts won't be subject to Apple's fee.


Louisville police chief under fire for email saying BLM members should be washing her car 25 Sep 2020, 9:47 am

Louisville police chief under fire for email saying BLM members should be washing her carPolice chief called protesters ‘woke’ in bitter email to staff last month, causing anger


Buffalo police no longer have to display their names on badges in a policy change designed to protect officers 25 Sep 2020, 9:23 am

Buffalo police no longer have to display their names on badges in a policy change designed to protect officersThe Buffalo mayor said that some officers were targeted and threats were made against their families. Now badges will display only a number.


Jewish teens say life on TikTok comes with anti-Semitism 25 Sep 2020, 9:08 am

Jewish teens say life on TikTok comes with anti-SemitismRegardless of content, Jewish teens say they are bombarded. "It definitely affects me. It gets to me."


Trump unloads on Fox News after network polls shows Biden ahead in key swing states 25 Sep 2020, 8:51 am

Trump unloads on Fox News after network polls shows Biden ahead in key swing states“One of the worst polls in 2016 was the @FoxNews Poll," Trump tweets. "They were so ridiculously wrong"


India's Biggest Slum Successfully Contained COVID-19. But Can Its Residents Survive the Economic Collapse? 25 Sep 2020, 8:05 am

India's Biggest Slum Successfully Contained COVID-19. But Can Its Residents Survive the Economic Collapse?Jayanti Keshav Parmar, a tailor who lives in Dharavi, a bustling informal settlement of nearly 1 million low-income residents packed into a one-square-mile area in Mumbai, has been stuck at home since March 25 when the Indian government declared a stringent lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19. Out of work for over five months, he has not been able to pay the $80 monthly rent on his compact home in Dharavi since March. Dharavi, often called Asia’s largest slum, is a hyper-dense network of brick homes and small-scale enterprises that sprawl in the shadow of shiny new skyscrapers in the heart of India’s financial capital.


US military increasingly using drone missile with flying blades in Syria 25 Sep 2020, 7:52 am

US military increasingly using drone missile with flying blades in Syria‘Ninja bomb’, which uses 100lb of dense material and six attached blades, has been deployed in targeted assassinations The US military is making increasing use in Syria of a gruesome and secretive non-explosive drone missile that deploys flying blades to kill its targets.Described as less likely to kill non-combatants, the so-called ninja bomb – whose development was first disclosed last year – has been used a number of times in the last year to kill militants in Syria, including those linked to aal-Qaida, most recently earlier this month.Officially designated as the Hellfire AGM-114R9X – usually shortened to R9X and sometimes know as the “Flying Ginsu” – the weapon has been increasingly deployed in targeted assassinations by the US Joint Special Operations Command.The missile, believed to have been first used in 2017 to kill al-Qaida’s then No 2 leader, Abu Khayr al Masri, in Idlib province, first came to wider attention when its existence was disclosed by an article in the Wall Street Journal last year.The weapon uses a combination of the force of 100lb of dense material flying at high speed and six attached blades which deploy before impact to crush and slice its victims.Video that emerged in June this year, posted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, appeared to show the remains of one of the missiles used in a strike on a vehicle, also in Syria’s Idlib that killed a Jordanian and Yemen, both reportedly members of Hurras al-Din, a group affiliated with aal-Qaida.The weapon is believed to have been developed during the administration of Barack Obama at a time when the US policy of targeted drone assassinations attracted considerable criticism for the number of civilian casualties caused by the strikes.Since its deployment it has been used sparingly, apparently most often in Syria.According to the New York Times the most recent use of the missile was on 14 September, when it was reportedly used to kill Sayyaf al-Tunsi, a Tunisian.Observers have speculated that the increasing use of the weapon in Syria – which increasingly has targeted leadership members of al-Qaida’s affiliates – has been driven by the complexities of operations in Syria where the US is required to work around a large Russian engagement.The bladed, non-explosive version of the Hellfire missile is the latest iteration of a weapon that has undergone several variations since it was used to weaponize previously unarmed Predator drones in around 2000.The first Hellfires were designed as tank busters with a powerful shaped charge, used in Afghanistan for which they were regarded as not entirely suitable.A later version was developed that carried a heavier explosive warhead , but which led in turn to issues with civilian casualties, leading to the development of the R9X.Up until May last year, it is believed that the weapon had been used no more than half a dozen times. But since then it appears to have been used increasingly more often.The new missile appears designed for use in circumstances where a more conventional explosive missile might not be considered for fears of killing non-combatants.While conceding that the weapon appeared to be less dangerous to civilians, Iain Overton of Action on Armed Violence warned against the impression that it was a “more humanitarian weapon”.“This weapon, whilst only used only a handful of times, does appear to have less wide-area effects than other air-dropped explosive weapons.“However, the vast majority of the US explosive arsenal does, all too often, cause terrible collateral damage. Given Trump’s administration also authorised the use of the largest non-nuclear explosion in the history of the world in Afghanistan, it’s important to be wary of the PR optics that the US military is now using ‘humanitarian’ weapons.”Overton also underlined issues with a targeted assassination campaign – using any weapons – that had little oversight.“This new weapon, framed as an alternative to larger bombs, might be sold as almost ethical, but if it side-steps due judicial process, and is as susceptible to wrong targeting as other strikes, it is no more than an assassin’s blade wielded by a state rarely held to account for its actions.”


California braces for power shutoffs and warm, windy weekend 25 Sep 2020, 7:47 am

California braces for power shutoffs and warm, windy weekendFirefighters and officials at California's largest utility company braced for hot, dry and windy weather in northern and central areas of the state this weekend that may fan the flames of several major wildfires or ignite new ones. Pacific Gas & Electric warned Friday it may cut power from Sunday morning to Monday, potentially affecting 97,000 customers in 16 counties, during which forecasters said a ridge of high pressure will raise temperatures and generate gusts flowing from the interior to the coast. PG&E initially warned that approximately 21,000 customers in three counties would lose power beginning Saturday evening but expanded the potential shutoff when the forecast changed.


Lindsey Graham begs Sean Hannity's viewers for donations: 'They're killing me money-wise' 25 Sep 2020, 6:46 am

Lindsey Graham begs Sean Hannity's viewers for donations: 'They're killing me money-wise'Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) appears to be getting desperate as his re-election race gets narrower and narrower.Graham has brought in record-breaking fundraising hauls throughout his race — but Democrat Jaime Harrison has still ended up besting him so far this year. Graham admitted his struggles Thursday night in appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News show, pleading with Hannity's viewers to "help me" because "they're killing me money wise." Hannity then suggested it was famously liberal celebrities who were backing Harrison's campaign, despite the fact that both candidates have gotten a good deal of money from Hollywood, big media companies, and people outside of the state.> Lindsey Graham: I’m getting overwhelmed... help me, they’re killing me moneywise. Help me pic.twitter.com/xaY9S6uaYM> > — Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) September 25, 2020Graham made a similar plea on Fox & Friends Thursday morning, leading Harrison to conclude Graham knows "he's going to lose" this election.> Anybody else get the sense that @LindseyGrahamSC just realized he's going to lose on November 3rd? pic.twitter.com/tdLlkdkhI2> > — Jaime Harrison (@harrisonjaime) September 24, 2020As of the most recent Federal Election Commission filings, Harrison has raised $28.6 million to Graham's nearly $30 million. Graham has about $5 million more than Harrison to spend in the last weeks of the race. The latest South Carolina Senate race poll showed Harrison and Graham statistically tied.More stories from theweek.com America is the Holy Roman Empire of the 21st century Wall Street won't let Trump steal the election Lebanon's prime minister-designate resigns after he was unable to form a new cabinet


Man dies from brain-eating amoeba linked to potted soil 25 Sep 2020, 6:28 am

Man dies from brain-eating amoeba linked to potted soilWhile the symptoms associated with acanthamoeba castellanii can be scary, experts say it's not a major risk for those without compromised immune systems.


Justice Department seeks immediate ban on WeChat in US 25 Sep 2020, 4:59 am

Justice Department seeks immediate ban on WeChat in USThe Justice Department is seeking an immediate ban on downloads of WeChat in Apple and Google app stores, saying the Chinese-owned messaging service is a threat to the security of the United States. Last week the U.S. Commerce Department moved to ban WeChat from U.S. app stores but on Saturday, Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler in California agreed to delay U.S. restrictions, saying they would affect users’ First Amendment rights. In a filing Friday, the Justice Department asked Beeler to allow for an immediate ban while the case works its way through court.


Kremlin says EU move not to recognise Lukashenko amounts to meddling in Belarus 25 Sep 2020, 4:09 am

Kremlin says EU move not to recognise Lukashenko amounts to meddling in BelarusRussia said on Friday that the European Union's decision not to recognise Alexander Lukashenko as the legitimate president of Belarus contradicted international law and amounted to indirect meddling in the country. Lukashenko, in power since 1994, was inaugurated on Wednesday in a secretive ceremony after weeks of huge protests. Russia is a close ally of Belarus and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the move not to recognise him would complicate the EU's dialogue with Belarus, but not affect Belarusian ties with Moscow.


Joe Biden is repeating the same mistakes that cost Hillary Clinton the election 25 Sep 2020, 3:29 am

Joe Biden is repeating the same mistakes that cost Hillary Clinton the electionBiden is trying to woo unhappy Republicans, when he should be mobilizing hundreds of thousands of DemocratsJoe Biden has staked his presidential campaign on his ability to “win back” white working-class voters in midwest swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin. But he has the wrong target.In Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a city that’s 90% white, Biden recently donned his populist hat, telling an audience: “I’ve dealt with guys like Trump my whole life … Guys who inherit everything they’ve ever gotten in their life and squander it. Guys who stretch and squeeze and stiff electricians and plumbers and contractors working on their hotels and casinos and golf courses to put more bucks in their pocket.”Prior to this campaign stop, Biden amplified an endorsement from the former Michigan governor Rick Snyder, the Republican official who – let’s not forget – oversaw and attempted to cover up the Flint water crisis, which exposed an estimated 140,000 people in the majority Black city to lead and other contaminants. In an appearance in Michigan, Biden sat down with steelworkers, flanked mostly by white men, to discuss his jobs plan. And prior to that, after white vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Biden aired a Richard Nixon-style law and order ad attacking “lawlessness” and accusing Trump of sowing discord.Biden and his advisers clearly believe that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 because white voters in key swing states shifted from Obama to Trump. Biden’s entire campaign strategy is built on that assumption. There are two problems with that. For one, it almost entirely ignores the Black working class. For another, it may not even be true.If you look closely at the data on Wisconsin and Michigan – two of the three swing states that secured Trump’s victory – it’s apparent that a significant decline in voter turnout for the Democratic candidate cost Democrats the 2016 election, not a shift to Trump.White voter turnout in Wisconsin declined by 1%, amounting to 100,000 people who chose not to vote for either candidate. Trump only garnered 721 more votes than Mitt Romney, which could partly be explained by population increase. Across Wisconsin, the decline in votes cast for Clinton substantially exceeded the turnout for Donald Trump – from rural towns to medium-sized urban centers.Black voter turnout declined by an even higher rate, to a level unprecedented in Wisconsin’s recorded history. While 79% of Black voters participated in the 2012 general election, only 47% voted in 2016 – less than half the eligible voters. This amounted to about 88,000 less votes than in 2012. The limited academic research on turnout in Wisconsin reveals that 42% of nonvoters in the state’s two most populous counties stayed home primarily because they disliked the candidates or weren’t interested in them. Issues related to voter suppression amounted to about 5% of the respondents’ answers.But instead of trying to win over the nearly 200,000 people who stayed home in Wisconsin in 2016 (or whose votes were suppressed), Biden has opted to center his Wisconsin campaign on about 700 people, some of whom may have never voted for a Democrat for president. Instead of focusing on the approximately 50,000 voters who stayed home in Democratic-leaning Michigan counties, Biden is touting the endorsement of Snyder, whose neglect threatened the wellbeing of thousands of Flint residents.The Democratic party has embraced this message to a bizarre and troubling degree, often platforming Republicans who are barely popular with their own constituents. The Democratic national convention, for example, featured a cameo from former Ohio governor John Kasich. Yet Kasich averaged 18% support from Republican voters in the 2016 race, the lowest of the frontrunners, while Trump garnered 46.5%. There has been a clear shift in the Republican party from conservativism to an embrace of the far right, but Biden is banking on an unknown number of disaffected Republicans to help him into the White House, instead of hundreds of thousands of disaffected Democrats.This centrist Democratic obsession with “winning back” white conservatives in rural towns and suburbs is more symbolic than strategic. It’s rooted in a longstanding, mistaken archetype that conflates the working class with white workers, a tradition that reaches as far back as the 1800s Reconstruction Era.In his seminal text Black Reconstruction in America, the sociologist WEB Du Bois noted that the mostly white, Northern labor union movement comprehended “chiefly Northern skilled laborers,” but “almost none of them mentioned the Negro, or considered or welcomed him … said nothing of the greatest revolution in labor that had happened in America for a hundred years – the emancipation of slaves”.Black workers, even those emerging from centuries of brutal unpaid labor, barely registered in the mainstream consciousness at all. Instead, we became the face of the undeserving underclass, asking for “free stuff from the government”, as if a federal government that has handed out trillions to corporations and financial institutions cannot afford basic services such as healthcare, affordable housing and higher education for all of its people.It seems like we haven’t moved much past that narrative. Biden’s obsession with the white working class, for example, ignores that over half of Black men worked in Milwaukee’s manufacturing sector, more than double white workers, at the height of the city’s heavy industry. It ignores that deindustrialization hurt them more than anyone else. It ignores that Black and Asian households throughout the country were heaviest hit by the Great Recession. It ignores that a shift to lower-wage temporary warehouse work, and unemployment under Covid-19, disproportionately affects Black and Latinos. And it ignores that these material realities affect how they vote, too. But instead of swinging to Republicans, millions stay home.It’s in Biden’s political DNA to make these superficial white working-class appeals, despite undermining the working class across race. But if he wants to unjustifiably fashion himself as this generation’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it’s best he not repeat the same mistakes of failing the party’s Black working-class base. * Malaika Jabali is a public policy attorney, activist and Guardian US columnist


Mexican farmers revolt over sending water to US during drought 25 Sep 2020, 3:00 am

Mexican farmers revolt over sending water to US during droughtCountry has one month to deliver outstanding 289m cubic metres and ensure water for 14 major cities and growersMexican farmers in the drought-stricken state of Chihuahua are pitted against riot squads from the national guard in an increasingly violent standoff over their government’s decision to ship scarce water supplies to the United States.The confrontation has already led to bloodshed: earlier this month, a woman was shot dead and her husband was wounded after guardsmen opened fire on farmers wielding sticks and stones.The Mexican government, meanwhile, has accused protesters of being backed by opposition politicians and sabotaging La Boquilla dam, which holds some of the water it wants to send north.The standoff in Chihuahua underscores the severity of water shortages as the climate crisis provokes more severe droughts and puts agriculture under strain.It has also raised questions about why Mexico’s nationalist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has put such a priority on repaying water debts to the US rather than going to bat for Mexican farmers.“In all the history of Chihuahua, the army has never been sent to take the dams,” said Mario Mata Carrasco, a federal lawmaker from Chihuahua. “Instead of fighting organised crime and narcotics traffickers, they’re fighting our farmers.”Disputes over water are nothing new on the high plains of Chihuahua state, where rainfall is becoming increasingly irregular. Neither is sending water to the US, which is required under the terms of a 1944 treaty.But the unrest has grown amid US demands that Mexico meets its five-year quota and completes the transfer of more than 100bn gallons by 24 October.Local farmers insist any shortfall on that quota can be repaid in the future, and argue that water held behind Mexican dams – for which they have concessions – has never been part of the agreement.“When the government comes to steal our property, we don’t have any other option but to defend it,” said Raymundo Soto, a spokesman for the farmers. “The international water treaty clearly establishes alternatives for resolving these problems.”Under the treaty, Mexico sends water from rivers in the Rio Grande basin to the United States, which in turn sends Mexico water in the Colorado River, further to the west.The treaty was negotiated when Mexico and the US were second world war allies and “is very favourable to Mexico”, tweeted Lorenzo Meyer, a Mexican historian and commentator. “Not fulfilling our treaty obligations would be ending an agreement that would be impossible to improve upon.”Both US and Mexican officials say water is flowing from Chihuahua to make up the deficit. But time is running out: Mexico still has to transfer almost a year’s worth of water to meet the deadline.Mexico’s president, commonly known as Amlo, insists Mexico will comply with the treaty. He also revealed that Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, had expressed impatience over Mexico falling behind in its water deliveries.Amlo has repeatedly alleged that big pecan farmers, backed by political interests, are behind the protests.“They’ve been doing their best to get us into a conflict with the United States,” Amlo recently told reporters. “It’s all a plan to take electoral advantage of the situation.”Mexico has fallen behind in its water payments for the current five-year cycle – and not for the first time, farmers say. They argue that Mexico can postpone payment in drought conditions – something Mexican and US officials say is off the table because Mexico was in deficit at the end of the last cycle in 2015.As of 24 September, the country had met roughly 86% of its treaty obligations, according to Roberto Velasco Álvarez, Mexican undersecretary for North America.Mexico now has a month to deliver the outstanding 289m cubic metres and ensure water for 14 major cities and growers in the lower parts of the Rio Grande, said Velasco.“There are concerns for other water users, especially urban users,” he said, adding: “Chihuahua is illegally retaining water in its dams.”But farmers say they have already been forced to adjust to a drier environment by reducing planting. Meanwhile, the drilling of illegal wells is rampant.Many in Chihuahua fear that they may soon see a replay of a severe mid-1990s drought which forced many farmers to migrate, said Jesús Valenciano, a member of the legislature.“They went illegally to the United States – and never returned,” he recalled. “People don’t want this to happen again. That’s why there’s such a conflict.”


Hotel Rwanda 'hero' admits forming armed group behind deadly attacks 25 Sep 2020, 2:28 am

Hotel Rwanda 'hero' admits forming armed group behind deadly attacksPaul Rusesabagina, the polarising hero of the "Hotel Rwanda" film, admitted to a Kigali court on Friday that he had formed an armed group but denied any role in their crimes. Mr. Rusesabagina is famed for his depiction in the movie in which he is shown to have saved hundreds of lives during the 1994 genocide, which left some 800,000 dead. After years in exile, where he has become a fierce government critic, he appeared under arrest in Rwanda last month, after apparently being lured into a private jet under false pretences. In recent years Mr Rusesabagina co-founded the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), an opposition party based abroad. While he has previously expressed support for the National Liberation Front (FLN), which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Nyungwe, near the border with Burundi, his exact role has been unclear. "We formed the FLN (National Liberation Front) as an armed wing, not as a terrorist group as the prosecution keeps saying. I do not deny that the FLN committed crimes but my role was diplomacy," he said. "The agreement we signed to form MRCD as a political platform included the formation of an armed wing called FLN. But my work was under the political platform and I was in charge of diplomacy." This is a breaking news story. More to follow.


Thousands of mosques in Xinjiang demolished in recent years: report 25 Sep 2020, 1:03 am

Thousands of mosques in Xinjiang demolished in recent years: reportChinese authorities have demolished thousands of mosques in Xinjiang, an Australian think tank said Friday, in the latest report of widespread human rights abuses in the restive region.


Anwar Ibrahim: A long-held dream to lead Malaysia 24 Sep 2020, 11:58 pm

Anwar Ibrahim: A long-held dream to lead MalaysiaAfter a decades-long quest to become premier, Mr Anwar may finally rise to the top job.


'Smoke with freedom': Mexicans get high in marijuana garden outside Senate 24 Sep 2020, 9:27 pm

'Smoke with freedom': Mexicans get high in marijuana garden outside SenateA cannabis 'garden' sprouting next to Mexico's Senate building has become a smoker's paradise, with Mexican stoners lighting up joints without fear of arrest. The cannabis seeds sowed in a plaza by Mexico's Senate by pro-marijuana activists in February have mushroomed into strikingly large plants, and become symbolic of a drive to legalize marijuana in a nation riven by drugs-related violence. "Being able to smoke here (in the garden) in freedom is very important to me," said Marco Flores, a barista sitting on a bench overlooking the Congress building.


US executes first Black man since federal executions resumed 24 Sep 2020, 8:32 pm

US executes first Black man since federal executions resumedChristopher Vialva was executed for a double murder he committed at 19.


FBI Docs: Primary Sub-Source for Steele Was Suspected Russian Agent and ‘Threat to National Security’ 24 Sep 2020, 5:27 pm

FBI Docs: Primary Sub-Source for Steele Was Suspected Russian Agent and ‘Threat to National Security’The "primary sub-source" for the Steele dossier was suspected of being a possible Russian agent and a "threat to national security," according to newly declassified FBI documents.Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) announced the revelations on Thursday after the Justice Department declassified a footnote of the DOJ Inspector General Report on FISA abuse by the FBI. That report focused on efforts by FBI agents to obtain FISA warrants to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, and concluded that two applications to renew such warrants were not valid because of "material misstatements and omission" of evidence.FBI agents on the Crossfire Hurricane probe, who investigated alleged contacts between the Trump-campaign and Russian intelligence, were aware that the Primary Sub-Source was a suspected Russian spy by December 2016. However, the FBI did not share this information with the FISA court in their applications for warrants against Page.According to footnote 334 of the Inspector General Report, the "Primary Sub-Source was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 that assessed his/her documented contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers."At the request of Attorney General William Barr, the FBI made available a declassified summary of that counterintelligence investigation."[T]he FBI commenced this investigation based on information by the FBI indicating that the Primary Sub-Source may be a threat to national security," the summary states. The Primary Sub-Source was an employee at a "prominent U.S. think tank," and "in December 2016, the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation identified the employee as Christopher Steele’s Primary Sub-Source."The documents are the latest disclosures in an ongoing investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Senator Graham, into the FBI's probe of the Trump-campaign. In a statement, Graham characterized the newest documents as "the most stunning and damning revelation the committee has uncovered.""It’s stunning to be told that the single individual who provided information to Christopher Steele for the Russian dossier used by the FBI on four occasions to obtain a warrant on Carter Page, an American citizen, was a suspected Russian agent years before the preparation of the dossier," Graham said. "The committee will press on and get to the bottom of what happened, and we will try to work together to make sure this never happens again."


How polls are reacting to Trump, Biden campaign styles 24 Sep 2020, 5:21 pm

How polls are reacting to Trump, Biden campaign styles'The Story' panel debates which candidate is better for America on the economy, coronavirus


CDC: A salmonella outbreak tracks to ramen and a restaurant food recalled in 32 states 24 Sep 2020, 4:41 pm

CDC: A salmonella outbreak tracks to ramen and a restaurant food recalled in 32 statesAn imported brand of wood ear mushrooms — also called dried fungus, black fungus or kikurage — got recalled after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced a 10-state salmonella outbreak to them.


Trump unveils his America First Healthcare Plan 24 Sep 2020, 3:08 pm

Trump unveils his America First Healthcare PlanIn a speech delivered in North Carolina on Thursday, President Trump outlined his "vision" for affordable, high-quality health care called the America First Healthcare Plan.


Trump advisor diagnosed with head cancer following leave of absence 24 Sep 2020, 3:06 pm

Trump advisor diagnosed with head cancer following leave of absenceMichael Caputo has been diagnosed with metastatic head and neck cancer, spokesperson says


‘They cover my shrapnel wounds’: Veteran Senate candidate responds to critics using photo of her tattoos 24 Sep 2020, 1:36 pm

‘They cover my shrapnel wounds’: Veteran Senate candidate responds to critics using photo of her tattoosAfter a Republican super PAC in Texas posted a photo of Senate candidate MJ Hegar featuring her tattoos and calling her a “radical,” Hegar had a quick response on Twitter: the tattoos covered shrapnel wounds she received as an Air Force helicopter pilot in Afghanistan. A pro-Cornyn Super PAC is using a photo of my tattoos to make me seem "radical."


Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits Helping Well-Connected Applicants to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’ 24 Sep 2020, 1:06 pm

Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits Helping Well-Connected Applicants to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’The husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) admitted on Thursday to sending an inappropriate letter identified in a state audit that appeared to help an applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, get accepted to the school.The California State Auditor issued a scathing report on Tuesday that found the University of California system admitted 64 students from 2013 through 2018 based on those students' connections to university staff or donors, instead of their academic records."These inappropriate admissions decisions…denied more qualified applicants educational opportunities," the report states. One admission at UC Berkeley was "particularly problematic," because the school "appears to have admitted this student because of an inappropriate letter of support from a university Regent."Senator Feinstein's husband Richard Blum, a financier and University of California Regent, said he was the author of the letter in comments to the San Francisco Chronicle. Blum also admitted that he had written numerous such letters over the years to UC chancellors at multiple campuses."I did it a bunch of times," Blum said. "No one ever told me it was wrong." Blum is the founder of Blum Capital, and is reportedly worth roughly $1 billion.Of the 64 inappropriate admissions uncovered by the California auditor, 42 took place at UC Berkeley. Most of the applicants were white, and the families of at least half of the applicants' families have $150,000 or higher incomes."The pervasiveness of this problem at UC Berkeley demonstrates that campus leadership has failed to establish a campus culture that values commitment to an admissions process based on fairness and applicants' merits and achievements," according to the report.The report comes over a year after the Justice Department uncovered a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme led by William Singer, who helped various wealthy families cheat college admissions standards.


FBI chief says U.S. 'Antifa' demonstrators are targets of multiple probes 24 Sep 2020, 12:08 pm

FBI chief says U.S. 'Antifa' demonstrators are targets of multiple probesAt a hearing of the Republican-led Senate Homeland Security committee, Christopher Wray said that the Bureau had seen "organized tactical activity at both the local and regional level." Wray added that the bureau is conducting multiple investigations "into some anarchist violent extremists, some of whom operate through these nodes." Antifa, short for anti-fascist, is an amorphous movement "who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements," according https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/who-are-antifa to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks extremists.


LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and his billions are disrupting the Democratic Party 24 Sep 2020, 10:57 am

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and his billions are disrupting the Democratic PartyLinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is one of the Democratic Party's most prominent donors — but what does it mean to disrupt an election?


Exclusive: GOP Sen. Thom Tillis embraced QAnon conspiracy about COVID-19 death count in town hall 24 Sep 2020, 10:54 am

Exclusive: GOP Sen. Thom Tillis embraced QAnon conspiracy about COVID-19 death count in town hall"When the final accounting is done," the actual death COVID-19 count will be lower, Tillis claims


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