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San Diego Union-Tribune

  • Portland police keeping far-right protesters, antifa groups apart; violence a...
    August 17, 2019, 4:52 pm

    A heavy police presence kept†members of the Proud Boys and other far-right groups†separated from far-left†activists at a downtown park Saturday.



  • French waiter shot dead for being 'too slow with sandwich'
    August 17, 2019, 10:40 am

    A customer shot a waiter dead at an eatery on the outskirts of Paris, apparently enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, a source close to the investigation said Saturday. The waiter's colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb east of Paris on Friday night, the source said. The gunman, who a witness said lost his temper "as his sandwich wasn't prepared quickly enough", fled the scene.



  • Google employees call for pledge not to work with ICE
    August 16, 2019, 4:28 pm

    Hundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won't work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country's borders. It is not clear if Google expressed interest.



  • 7 shot after random Snapchat invites to ?instant house party,? Texas cops say
    August 18, 2019, 11:32 am

    An ?instant party? in Texas ended with a car chase and several people shot, police say.



  • Hours-old baby abandoned in Maryland woods found by passerby, hospitalized in...
    August 18, 2019, 10:31 am

    The infant was left in a wooded area in suburban Washington on a 90-degree day without so much as a diaper, according to police.



  • Jihadi Jack: Isis fighter stripped of British citizenship by Home Office
    August 17, 2019, 5:00 pm

    The Isis fighter known as Jihadi Jack has been stripped of his British citizenship, prompting a diplomatic row between the UK and Canada, it has been reported.† Muslim convert Jack Letts, 24, who had held dual UK and Canadian citizenship, declared he was an "enemy of Britain" after travelling from Oxfordshire to Syria at the age of 18 to join the terror group. He has begged to be allowed to return to the UK, insisting he had "no intention" of killing Britons, after he was captured by Kurdish forces in 2017.† The Home Office has now stripped Letts of British citizenship, meaning he is the responsibility of the Canadian government, The Mail on Sunday said. It was reportedly one of the last actions of Theresa May?s administration. Isil Rise and fall of a caliphate The decision is understood to have angered officials in Ottawa, prompting fears of a row between Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Boris Johnson when they meet at the G7 summit in France next weekend. Letts, who travelled to the Middle East in 2014, is now among more than 120 dual nationals who have been stripped of their British citizenship since 2016, including Isis bride Shamima Begum. Ms Begum was one of three girls from Bethnal Green, east London, who left the UK aged just 15 in February 2015 and travelled to Syria to join Islamic State. It was thought Ms Begum may have a claim in Bangladesh because of her family background, something Bangladeshi officials denied. The move can only be made against people with two passports, because international law prevents the Government from making anyone "stateless". †John Letts and Sally Lane, the parents of a Muslim convert dubbed Jihadi Jack Credit: PA It will come as a blow to Lett's parents, Sally Lane and John Letts, who were found guilty at the Old Bailey in June of funding terrorism and given 12-month sentences suspended for 15 months. In an interview after their conviction, they said: "Jack is still a British citizen and we have pleaded with the Government to help us to bring him to safety, even if that meant that he might be prosecuted in the UK." A Home Office spokesman said: "This power is one way we can counter the terrorist threat posed by some of the most dangerous individuals and keep our country safe." In an interview with ITV earlier this year, Letts said he felt British and that he wanted to return to the UK, but admitted he did not think that would be likely. "I'm not going to say I'm innocent. I'm not innocent. I deserve what comes to me. But I just want it to be... appropriate... not just haphazard, freestyle punishment in Syria," he told the broadcaster. Struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette's when he was at school, Jack converted to Islam at the age of 16. He used to attend the Bengali mosque in Cowley Road, Oxford, before he came into contact with men with a more radical ideology. Jack has previously admitted he was at one time prepared to carry out a suicide attack, telling the BBC: "I used to want to at one point, believe it or not. Not a vest. I wanted to do it in a car. I said if there's a chance, I will do it." He also said in the interview, which took place in October last year but was not broadcast until after his parents' trial had ended, that he realised he had been "an enemy of Britain" but added that he had made "a big mistake".



  • Epstein's last days were spent emptying vending machines with his lawyers in ...
    August 17, 2019, 10:00 am

    Before he died of suicide by hanging, The New York Times reports Epstein used his wealth to try and manipulate his circumstances in federal custody.



  • Heavy downpours wreak havoc in Istanbul, flooding historic Grand Bazaar
    August 17, 2019, 7:42 am

    Strong rains in Istanbul on Saturday flooded several neighbourhoods, as well as the Grand Bazaar, while officials said one person was found dead in the city. Rain started early in the day in parts of Istanbul and picked up pace around noon. Footage from parts of the Grand Bazaar showed shopkeepers, ankle-deep in water, clearing the water out of their stores and the halls.



  • Unprecedented heatwave 'kills thousands of fish' in Alaska
    August 17, 2019, 4:52 am

    Climate change and warming rivers may have caused the mass death of salmon in parts of Alaska, scientists say.Large numbers of salmon died prematurely in some Alaskan rivers in July according to local reports, and scientists believe the cause could be the unprecedented heatwave that gripped the state last month.?Climate change is here in Alaska. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. And our salmon are dying because of it,? said Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, a biologist specialising in salmon and the director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, in a Facebook post.> 200 miles of river. Dead chum consistently along entire stretch. None had spawned. 850 counted, many more missed. Likely ruled out mining, disease/parasites. All signs point to heat stress. Sad to see. Hoping this is not the new normal. climatechange salmon yukonriver alaska pic.twitter.com/zAHWSgy3pg> > ? Steph Quinn-Davidson (@SalmonStephAK) > > July 29, 2019



  • Trump's top economic advisers try to calm recession fears
    August 18, 2019, 8:19 am

    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow rattled off a list of positive statistics about the economy under Trump.



  • 'Explosive' situation on migrant rescue boat in limbo off Italy
    August 16, 2019, 3:05 pm

    The captain of a Spanish charity ship carrying 134 rescued migrants warned Friday of an "explosive" situation on board the vessel anchored within swimming distance of Italy's Lampedusa island but forbidden to approach. Italy has evacuated a handful of people from the Open Arms ship for medical treatment but far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refuses to allow the vessel to dock despite other European countries agreeing to take in the people on board. The captain of the ship operated by Proactiva Open Arms, Marc Reig, said the migrants, rescued after leaving chaos-stricken Libya, were "broken psychologically".



  • Roller coaster malfunction causes cars to collide; multiple kids taken to hos...
    August 17, 2019, 8:08 am

    Five people were taken to the hospital Friday night after malfunctioning roller coaster failed to stop in Ocean City, Maryland.



  • Yemen rebel drone attack targets remote Saudi oil field
    August 17, 2019, 10:04 am

    Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia's sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a "limited fire" in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry. The attack on the Shaybah oil field, which produces some 1 million barrels of crude oil a day near the kingdom's border with the United Arab Emirates, again shows the reach of the Houthis' drone program. Shaybah sits some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory, underscoring the rebels' ability to now strike at both nations, which are mired in Yemen's yearslong war.



  • Photos from Dawn Patrol at 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
    August 18, 2019, 7:40 am



  • Sudan's former dictator Omar al-Bashir due in court for corruption trial
    August 18, 2019, 9:28 am

    Omar al-Bashir, the ousted former president of Sudan, is expected to†stand in court on Monday for the first stage of a corruption trial which could see him jailed for many years. Bashir took power in a 1989 coup but was deposed in April after mass protests and security forces deciding to withdraw support for his brutal regime, which was behind an alleged genocidal campaign in the Darfur region. The 75-year-old former dictator is in prison awaiting the trail, where he faces allegations of possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. Human rights groups and relatives of Bashir's victims also want to see him stand trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for his role in the genocide of around 300,000 people in Darfur.† "While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people," said Joan Nyanyuki,†Amnesty International's East Africa director.†† It comes as Sudan prepares to celebrate a historic deal between generals and protest leaders for a transition to civilian rule, which many hope will bring increased freedom and prosperity. During a ceremony to be held at a hall by the Nile in the capital Khartoum, members of the Transitional Military Council and protest leaders are expected to sign documents defining a 39-month transition. But the road to democracy remains fraught with obstacles, even if the mood was celebratory as foreign dignitaries as well as thousands of citizens from all over Sudan converged for the occasion. The deal reached on August 4 - the Constitutional Declaration - brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that led to the ousting of Bashir.



FOX 5 San Diego

  • Mom aims head-on at a tanker to kill herself, sons. When truck dodges, she do...
    August 17, 2019, 2:25 pm

    Police say a Gainesville, Florida, mom of two young boys told a friend she was going to kill herself and her sons by crashing her car with everyone inside.



  • Bullock tries to find middle ground on guns
    August 16, 2019, 9:09 pm

    As a Democratic politician in deep-red Montana, Steve Bullock has long searched for a middle ground on guns. Now a presidential candidate in a party pushing hard for new gun-control laws, he still is. While many of his Democratic opponents go all-in on new proposals for restricting guns, responding to the latest string of mass shootings, Bullock is the rare voice of caution warning Democrats about going too far.



  • John Hickenlooper is out of the 2020 presidential race. That's good news for ...
    August 18, 2019, 7:31 am

    Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's exit from presidential race means other candidates have an opportunity to win over his supporters.



  • 7 shot after random Snapchat invites to ?instant house party,? Texas cops say
    August 18, 2019, 11:32 am

    An ?instant party? in Texas ended with a car chase and several people shot, police say.



  • Roller coaster malfunction causes cars to collide; multiple kids taken to hos...
    August 17, 2019, 8:08 am

    Five people were taken to the hospital Friday night after malfunctioning roller coaster failed to stop in Ocean City, Maryland.



  • 'Explosive' situation on migrant rescue boat in limbo off Italy
    August 16, 2019, 3:05 pm

    The captain of a Spanish charity ship carrying 134 rescued migrants warned Friday of an "explosive" situation on board the vessel anchored within swimming distance of Italy's Lampedusa island but forbidden to approach. Italy has evacuated a handful of people from the Open Arms ship for medical treatment but far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refuses to allow the vessel to dock despite other European countries agreeing to take in the people on board. The captain of the ship operated by Proactiva Open Arms, Marc Reig, said the migrants, rescued after leaving chaos-stricken Libya, were "broken psychologically".



  • Unprecedented heatwave 'kills thousands of fish' in Alaska
    August 17, 2019, 4:52 am

    Climate change and warming rivers may have caused the mass death of salmon in parts of Alaska, scientists say.Large numbers of salmon died prematurely in some Alaskan rivers in July according to local reports, and scientists believe the cause could be the unprecedented heatwave that gripped the state last month.?Climate change is here in Alaska. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. And our salmon are dying because of it,? said Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, a biologist specialising in salmon and the director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, in a Facebook post.> 200 miles of river. Dead chum consistently along entire stretch. None had spawned. 850 counted, many more missed. Likely ruled out mining, disease/parasites. All signs point to heat stress. Sad to see. Hoping this is not the new normal. climatechange salmon yukonriver alaska pic.twitter.com/zAHWSgy3pg> > ? Steph Quinn-Davidson (@SalmonStephAK) > > July 29, 2019



  • Photos from Dawn Patrol at 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
    August 18, 2019, 7:40 am



  • UPDATE 1-Several injured in Kashmir in clashes with Indian police
    August 17, 2019, 11:30 am

    Indian security forces injured at least six people on Saturday in Srinagar, the main city in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, as several protests broke out against New Delhi's revocation of the region's autonomy last week. In New York, the U.N. Security Council held its first meeting in almost 50 years on Kashmir, a majority Muslim region claimed by both India and Pakistan - which controls its western third.



  • French waiter shot dead for being 'too slow with sandwich'
    August 17, 2019, 10:40 am

    A customer shot a waiter dead at an eatery on the outskirts of Paris, apparently enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, a source close to the investigation said Saturday. The waiter's colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb east of Paris on Friday night, the source said. The gunman, who a witness said lost his temper "as his sandwich wasn't prepared quickly enough", fled the scene.



  • Google employees call for pledge not to work with ICE
    August 16, 2019, 4:28 pm

    Hundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won't work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country's borders. It is not clear if Google expressed interest.



  • Epstein's last days were spent emptying vending machines with his lawyers in ...
    August 17, 2019, 10:00 am

    Before he died of suicide by hanging, The New York Times reports Epstein used his wealth to try and manipulate his circumstances in federal custody.



  • Sudan's former dictator Omar al-Bashir due in court for corruption trial
    August 18, 2019, 9:28 am

    Omar al-Bashir, the ousted former president of Sudan, is expected to†stand in court on Monday for the first stage of a corruption trial which could see him jailed for many years. Bashir took power in a 1989 coup but was deposed in April after mass protests and security forces deciding to withdraw support for his brutal regime, which was behind an alleged genocidal campaign in the Darfur region. The 75-year-old former dictator is in prison awaiting the trail, where he faces allegations of possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. Human rights groups and relatives of Bashir's victims also want to see him stand trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for his role in the genocide of around 300,000 people in Darfur.† "While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people," said Joan Nyanyuki,†Amnesty International's East Africa director.†† It comes as Sudan prepares to celebrate a historic deal between generals and protest leaders for a transition to civilian rule, which many hope will bring increased freedom and prosperity. During a ceremony to be held at a hall by the Nile in the capital Khartoum, members of the Transitional Military Council and protest leaders are expected to sign documents defining a 39-month transition. But the road to democracy remains fraught with obstacles, even if the mood was celebratory as foreign dignitaries as well as thousands of citizens from all over Sudan converged for the occasion. The deal reached on August 4 - the Constitutional Declaration - brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that led to the ousting of Bashir.



  • The Bogus Story That Launched a ?Collusion? Probe
    August 17, 2019, 3:30 am

    Editor?s note:†Andrew C. McCarthy?s new book is†Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency.†This is the fourth in a series of excerpts; the first can be read†here, the second†here, and the third here.The George Papadopoulos Origin Story has never added up. It has been portrayed as the Big Bang, the Magic Moment that started the FBI?s investigation of ?collusion? -- a suspected election-theft conspiracy between Donald Trump?s campaign and Vladimir Putin?s regime. But if the young energy-sector analyst had actually emerged in early 2016 as the key to proving Trump?Russia espionage, you would think the FBI might have gotten around to interviewing him before January 27, 2017 ? i.e., a week after President Trump had been inaugurated, and six months after the Bureau formally opened its ?Crossfire Hurricane? probe.You would probably also think Papadopoulos, Suspect One in The Great Cyber Espionage Attack on Our Democracy, might have rated a tad more than the whopping 14-day jail sentence a federal judge eventually imposed on him. You might even suppose that he?d have been charged with some seditious felony involving clandestine operations against his own country, instead of . . . yes . . . fibbing to the FBI about the date of a meeting.That, however, does not scratch the surface. We are to believe that what led to the opening of the FBI?s Trump?Russia investigation, and what therefore is the plinth of the collusion narrative, is a breakfast meeting at a London hotel on April 26, 2016, between Papadopoulos and Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic we are supposed to take for a clandestine Russian agent. We are to take Papadopoulos?s word for it that Mifsud claimed Russia possessed ?dirt? on Hillary Clinton in the form of ?thousands? of ?emails of Clinton.? We are further to believe that ?the professor? elaborated that, in order to help Donald Trump?s candidacy, the Kremlin would release these ?emails of Clinton? at a time chosen to do maximum damage to the Democratic nominee?s campaign.The story is based on no credible evidence. If it were ever presented to a jury, it would be laughed out of court.The Papadopoulos ?collusion? claims (without collusion charges) are alleged in the Mueller report, which essentially repeats the grandiose ?Statement of the Offense? that the special counsel included with the comparatively minor false-statement charge to which Papadopoulos pled guilty. Carefully parsed, this narrative stops short of alleging that the Trump adviser actually collaborated with a Russian agent. Rather, it claims that Papadopoulos engaged in a lot of twaddle with Mifsud, who he had reason to suspect might be a Russian agent. The pair brainstormed endlessly about potential high-level Trump-campaign meetings with the Putin regime, including [insert heavy breathing here] between Trump and Putin themselves. Papadopoulos then exaggerated these meanderings in emails to Trump-campaign superiors he was hot to impress.It is virtually certain that Mifsud was not a Russian agent. Whether he was an asset for any intelligence service, we cannot say with certainty at this point. But we can say that he had close contacts of significance with British intelligence, and with other Western governments.As Lee Smith relates, Mifsud has also long been associated with Claire Smith, a prominent British diplomat who served for years on Britain?s Joint Intelligence Committee, which answers directly to the prime minister. Ms. Smith was also a member of the United Kingdom?s Security Vetting Appeals Panel, which reviews denials of security clearances to government employees. During her career in the British foreign service, Smith worked with Mifsud at three different academic institutions: the London Academy of Diplomacy (which trained diplomats and government officials, some of them sponsored by the U.K.?s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council, or by their own governments), the University of Stirling, in Scotland, and Link Campus University in Rome, where Mifsud first met Papadopoulos. The campus is a well-known draw for diplomats and intelligence officials ? the CIA holds conferences there, the FBI holds agent-training sessions there, and former U.S. intelligence officials teach there.In Rome on March 14, Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud. Twice Papadopoulos?s age, the Maltese professor gravitated to his fellow Link University lecturers and professors, who, as Lee Smith notes, ?include senior Western diplomats and intelligence officials from a number of NATO countries, especially Italy and the United Kingdom.? Mifsud also taught at the University of Stirling and the London Academy of Diplomacy. That is to say, if Mifsud had actually been a Russian agent, he was situated to be one of the most successful in history.Not likely.Mifsud was a shameless self-promoter (at least until Russiagate notoriety sent him underground). He traveled frequently, including to Russia, where he participated in academic conferences and claimed acquaintance with regime officials ? though how well he actually knows anyone of significance is unclear. In sum, Mifsud is the aging academic version of Papadopoulos. Thierry Pastor, a French political analyst who (with a Swiss-German lawyer named Stephan Roh) co-wrote a book about l?affaire Papadopoulos, made this observation about Mifsud?s brag that he knew Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov: ?Yes, he met Lavrov. He met him once or twice in a large group. He knows Lavrov, but Lavrov doesn?t know Joseph. [Mifsud?s] contacts in Russia are with academics.?Nevertheless, the Trump?Russia narrative holds that Mifsud actually is a well-placed Russian agent who became interested in Papadopoulos upon discovering that he was a key (yup . . .) Trump adviser. According to this story, Mifsud introduced the younger man to a woman presented as Vladimir Putin?s niece. The professor also hooked Papadopoulos up with Ivan Timofeev, whom prosecutors pregnantly described as ?the Russian MFA connection? (as in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ? Lavrov?s office) when they eventually charged Papadopoulos with making false statements. Timofeev and Papadopoulos had fevered discussions about setting up a Putin?Trump meeting in Russia. Finally, at their April 26 breakfast in London, Mifsud let slip that Russia had ?dirt? on Hillary Clinton in the form of ?thousands? of ?emails of Clinton? ? which, the narrative holds, must have been a reference to the DNC emails that Russian intelligence hacked and WikiLeaks disseminated during the Democratic party?s convention in July.The story is bogus through and through. There is no proof that Mifsud is a Russian agent ? Mueller never alleged such a thing, either when Papadopoulos was charged or in the special counsel?s final report, which concluded that there was no Trump?Russia conspiracy. The woman in question was not Putin?s niece; she was eventually identified as Olga Polonskaya, the 32-year-old manager of a St. Petersburg wine company, who (the Mueller report suggests, based on a ?Baby, thank you? email) may have been romantically involved with Mifsud. Timofeev is actually a young academic researcher who runs a Russian think tank, the Russian International Affairs Council. The RIAC has some sort of tie to the MFA, but no discernible connections to Russian intelligence. Like Mifsud, Timofeev is an academic; he was in an even less likely position to schedule a meeting for Putin than Papadopoulos was to do so for Trump. The hypothetical Putin?Trump summit was an inchoate idea that senior Trump officials shot down even as Papadopoulos and Timofeev were dreaming it up.What about those ?emails of Clinton?? Other than the word of Papadopoulos, a convicted liar and palpably unreliable raconteur, there is no evidence ? none ? that Mifsud told him about emails. The professor never showed him any emails. And in his February 2017 FBI interview, Mifsud denied saying anything to Papadopoulos about Clinton-related emails in the possession of the Kremlin. Of course, Mifsud could be lying. But there is no evidence that he would have been in a position to know the inner workings of Russian intelligence operations.It is not enough to say that Mueller never charged Mifsud with lying to the FBI. In Mueller?s report, when prosecutors have evidence that Mifsud gave inaccurate information, they say so. For example, they allege that Mifsud ?falsely? recounted the last time he had seen Papadopoulos. But Mueller never alleges that Mifsud?s denial of knowledge about Russia?s possession of emails is false. And if we learned anything from Mueller?s investigation, it is that he knows how to make a false-statements case.In any event, Mifsud?s supposed comment about Clinton?s emails obviously made little impression on Papadopoulos. The day after he met the professor, Papadopoulos sent two emails to high-ranking Trump-campaign officials about his meeting with Mifsud. In neither did he mention emails. Papadopoulos instead focused on the possibility ? far-fetched, but apparently real to Papadopoulos ? that Mifsud could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Prior to being interviewed by the FBI in January 2017, Papadopoulos never reported anything about Russia?s having emails ? neither to his Trump-campaign superiors, to whom he was constantly reporting on his conversations with Mifsud, nor to Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat whose conversation with Papadopoulos was the proximate cause for the formal opening of the FBI probe.It was only when he was interviewed by the FBI in late January 2017, nine months after his conversation with Mifsud, that Papadopoulos is alleged to have claimed that Mifsud said the Russians had ?thousands? of ?emails of Clinton.? There is no known recording of this FBI interview, so there is no way of knowing whether (a) Papadopoulos volunteered this claim that Mifsud mentioned emails or (b) the email claim was suggested to Papadopoulos by his interrogators? questions. We have no way of knowing if Papadopoulos is telling the truth (and therefore hid the possibility of damaging Clinton emails from his Trump-campaign superiors for no fathomable reason) or if he was telling the FBI agents what he thought they wanted to hear (which is what he often did when reporting to the Trump campaign).Is the Mifsud?Papadopoulos connection a case of Western intelligence agencies entrapping the Trump campaign by first using an ?asset? (Mifsud) to plant a damning ?Russia helping Trump? story with Papadopoulos, and later using another ?asset? (Stefan Halper) to try to get Papadopoulos to repeat that story so that ?collusion? could be proved?At this point, we don?t know. Here is what we do know: The United States government has never charged Joseph Mifsud. It has never accused him of being an agent of Russia. It took no steps to arrest him despite opportunities to do so. In fact, the FBI interviewed Mifsud and, when he denied Papadopoulos?s claim that he had told the young Trump adviser that Russia had Hillary emails, the Bureau let him go. Special Counsel Mueller never alleged that Mifsud?s denial was a false statement.That?s a pretty a curious way to treat the ?Russian agent? who was the rationale for the incumbent administration?s use of foreign counterintelligence powers to investigate the presidential campaign of its political opposition, no?



  • Argentina Faces Fresh Turmoil From Resignation, Debt Downgrades
    August 18, 2019, 9:12 am

    (Bloomberg) -- Life just got a whole lot tougher for Argentina?s Mauricio Macri a week after his shock primary-election defeat sent markets into a tailspin.The embattled president is suddenly grappling with the resignation of his economy minister and a double downgrade to the nation?s debt. Meanwhile, his opponent Alberto Fernandez, now favorite to win the presidency on Oct. 27, is calling on Macri to renegotiate the terms of a record $56 billion credit line with the International Monetary Fund.The slew of negative headlines may unleash a fresh bout of market turmoil after a brief respite at the end of last week. Argentina?s global bonds will be the first to react, while the nation?s currency and stock markets remain closed on Monday due to a local holiday.?This will inject more uncertainty,? said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. ?It puts a huge question mark over the creditworthiness of the country and is likely to further pressure the peso and Argentine bonds. We are staying out.?Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne, who led bailout negotiations between Argentina and the IMF last year, stepped down on Saturday, saying in a letter to Macri that the country needs ?significant renewal in the economic area.? Hernan Lacunza, economic minister for the province of Buenos Aires, will replace him.Dujovne?s resignation came a day after Argentina?s credit profile was cut deeper into junk territory by Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings. Both cited the possibility of a sovereign debt default.IMF and DefaultThe IMF bailout had been instrumental in Macri?s strategy to stabilize the peso and ensure the country?s solvency. Yet, in an interview with La Nacion published Sunday, Fernandez said the deal needs to be reviewed because Argentina isn?t meeting the targets it agreed upon. He added that it?s ?impossible? to repay the IMF on time, and that the only solution is to reschedule payments, according to the newspaper.In a separate interview with Clarin, Fernandez had a mixed message about the possibility of default. While saying the sensible thing is for Argentina to keep paying its obligations, he added that the country already finds itself in default conditions, as signaled by bond prices.Argentines Reflect on Last Week?s Election Results, Market ShockThe implied chance that Argentina will miss a debt payment, as measured by credit default swaps, soared last week. The Merval stock index lost 45% in dollar terms in the five days through Friday, bond prices tumbled about 30% and the peso weakened 18%.?While Argentina has been trading at distressed price levels already, we expect further downside on this news as it highlights an increased likelihood of a credit event,? Citigroup Inc. strategists including Dirk Willer wrote in a report.(Updates with Fernandez comments from seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Dana El Baltaji, Abeer Abu Omar and Jorgelina do Rosario.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Carrigan in Dubai at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net;Walter Brandimarte in Brasilia at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Justin Carrigan at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net, Dana El Baltaji, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Channel 8 San Diego

  • Mom aims head-on at a tanker to kill herself, sons. When truck dodges, she do...
    August 17, 2019, 2:25 pm

    Police say a Gainesville, Florida, mom of two young boys told a friend she was going to kill herself and her sons by crashing her car with everyone inside.



  • Bullock tries to find middle ground on guns
    August 16, 2019, 9:09 pm

    As a Democratic politician in deep-red Montana, Steve Bullock has long searched for a middle ground on guns. Now a presidential candidate in a party pushing hard for new gun-control laws, he still is. While many of his Democratic opponents go all-in on new proposals for restricting guns, responding to the latest string of mass shootings, Bullock is the rare voice of caution warning Democrats about going too far.



  • John Hickenlooper is out of the 2020 presidential race. That's good news for ...
    August 18, 2019, 7:31 am

    Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's exit from presidential race means other candidates have an opportunity to win over his supporters.



  • 7 shot after random Snapchat invites to ?instant house party,? Texas cops say
    August 18, 2019, 11:32 am

    An ?instant party? in Texas ended with a car chase and several people shot, police say.



  • Roller coaster malfunction causes cars to collide; multiple kids taken to hos...
    August 17, 2019, 8:08 am

    Five people were taken to the hospital Friday night after malfunctioning roller coaster failed to stop in Ocean City, Maryland.



  • 'Explosive' situation on migrant rescue boat in limbo off Italy
    August 16, 2019, 3:05 pm

    The captain of a Spanish charity ship carrying 134 rescued migrants warned Friday of an "explosive" situation on board the vessel anchored within swimming distance of Italy's Lampedusa island but forbidden to approach. Italy has evacuated a handful of people from the Open Arms ship for medical treatment but far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refuses to allow the vessel to dock despite other European countries agreeing to take in the people on board. The captain of the ship operated by Proactiva Open Arms, Marc Reig, said the migrants, rescued after leaving chaos-stricken Libya, were "broken psychologically".



  • Unprecedented heatwave 'kills thousands of fish' in Alaska
    August 17, 2019, 4:52 am

    Climate change and warming rivers may have caused the mass death of salmon in parts of Alaska, scientists say.Large numbers of salmon died prematurely in some Alaskan rivers in July according to local reports, and scientists believe the cause could be the unprecedented heatwave that gripped the state last month.?Climate change is here in Alaska. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. And our salmon are dying because of it,? said Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, a biologist specialising in salmon and the director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, in a Facebook post.> 200 miles of river. Dead chum consistently along entire stretch. None had spawned. 850 counted, many more missed. Likely ruled out mining, disease/parasites. All signs point to heat stress. Sad to see. Hoping this is not the new normal. climatechange salmon yukonriver alaska pic.twitter.com/zAHWSgy3pg> > ? Steph Quinn-Davidson (@SalmonStephAK) > > July 29, 2019



  • Photos from Dawn Patrol at 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
    August 18, 2019, 7:40 am



  • UPDATE 1-Several injured in Kashmir in clashes with Indian police
    August 17, 2019, 11:30 am

    Indian security forces injured at least six people on Saturday in Srinagar, the main city in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, as several protests broke out against New Delhi's revocation of the region's autonomy last week. In New York, the U.N. Security Council held its first meeting in almost 50 years on Kashmir, a majority Muslim region claimed by both India and Pakistan - which controls its western third.



  • French waiter shot dead for being 'too slow with sandwich'
    August 17, 2019, 10:40 am

    A customer shot a waiter dead at an eatery on the outskirts of Paris, apparently enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, a source close to the investigation said Saturday. The waiter's colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb east of Paris on Friday night, the source said. The gunman, who a witness said lost his temper "as his sandwich wasn't prepared quickly enough", fled the scene.



  • Google employees call for pledge not to work with ICE
    August 16, 2019, 4:28 pm

    Hundreds of Google employees are calling on the company to pledge it won't work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection or Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A group of employees called Googlers for Human Rights posted a public petition urging the company not to bid on a cloud computing contract for CBP, the federal agency that oversees law enforcement for the country's borders. It is not clear if Google expressed interest.



  • Epstein's last days were spent emptying vending machines with his lawyers in ...
    August 17, 2019, 10:00 am

    Before he died of suicide by hanging, The New York Times reports Epstein used his wealth to try and manipulate his circumstances in federal custody.



  • Sudan's former dictator Omar al-Bashir due in court for corruption trial
    August 18, 2019, 9:28 am

    Omar al-Bashir, the ousted former president of Sudan, is expected to†stand in court on Monday for the first stage of a corruption trial which could see him jailed for many years. Bashir took power in a 1989 coup but was deposed in April after mass protests and security forces deciding to withdraw support for his brutal regime, which was behind an alleged genocidal campaign in the Darfur region. The 75-year-old former dictator is in prison awaiting the trail, where he faces allegations of possessing foreign currency, corruption and receiving gifts illegally. Human rights groups and relatives of Bashir's victims also want to see him stand trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague for his role in the genocide of around 300,000 people in Darfur.† "While this trial is a positive step towards accountability for some of his alleged crimes, he remains wanted for heinous crimes committed against the Sudanese people," said Joan Nyanyuki,†Amnesty International's East Africa director.†† It comes as Sudan prepares to celebrate a historic deal between generals and protest leaders for a transition to civilian rule, which many hope will bring increased freedom and prosperity. During a ceremony to be held at a hall by the Nile in the capital Khartoum, members of the Transitional Military Council and protest leaders are expected to sign documents defining a 39-month transition. But the road to democracy remains fraught with obstacles, even if the mood was celebratory as foreign dignitaries as well as thousands of citizens from all over Sudan converged for the occasion. The deal reached on August 4 - the Constitutional Declaration - brought an end to nearly eight months of upheaval that led to the ousting of Bashir.



  • The Bogus Story That Launched a ?Collusion? Probe
    August 17, 2019, 3:30 am

    Editor?s note:†Andrew C. McCarthy?s new book is†Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency.†This is the fourth in a series of excerpts; the first can be read†here, the second†here, and the third here.The George Papadopoulos Origin Story has never added up. It has been portrayed as the Big Bang, the Magic Moment that started the FBI?s investigation of ?collusion? -- a suspected election-theft conspiracy between Donald Trump?s campaign and Vladimir Putin?s regime. But if the young energy-sector analyst had actually emerged in early 2016 as the key to proving Trump?Russia espionage, you would think the FBI might have gotten around to interviewing him before January 27, 2017 ? i.e., a week after President Trump had been inaugurated, and six months after the Bureau formally opened its ?Crossfire Hurricane? probe.You would probably also think Papadopoulos, Suspect One in The Great Cyber Espionage Attack on Our Democracy, might have rated a tad more than the whopping 14-day jail sentence a federal judge eventually imposed on him. You might even suppose that he?d have been charged with some seditious felony involving clandestine operations against his own country, instead of . . . yes . . . fibbing to the FBI about the date of a meeting.That, however, does not scratch the surface. We are to believe that what led to the opening of the FBI?s Trump?Russia investigation, and what therefore is the plinth of the collusion narrative, is a breakfast meeting at a London hotel on April 26, 2016, between Papadopoulos and Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic we are supposed to take for a clandestine Russian agent. We are to take Papadopoulos?s word for it that Mifsud claimed Russia possessed ?dirt? on Hillary Clinton in the form of ?thousands? of ?emails of Clinton.? We are further to believe that ?the professor? elaborated that, in order to help Donald Trump?s candidacy, the Kremlin would release these ?emails of Clinton? at a time chosen to do maximum damage to the Democratic nominee?s campaign.The story is based on no credible evidence. If it were ever presented to a jury, it would be laughed out of court.The Papadopoulos ?collusion? claims (without collusion charges) are alleged in the Mueller report, which essentially repeats the grandiose ?Statement of the Offense? that the special counsel included with the comparatively minor false-statement charge to which Papadopoulos pled guilty. Carefully parsed, this narrative stops short of alleging that the Trump adviser actually collaborated with a Russian agent. Rather, it claims that Papadopoulos engaged in a lot of twaddle with Mifsud, who he had reason to suspect might be a Russian agent. The pair brainstormed endlessly about potential high-level Trump-campaign meetings with the Putin regime, including [insert heavy breathing here] between Trump and Putin themselves. Papadopoulos then exaggerated these meanderings in emails to Trump-campaign superiors he was hot to impress.It is virtually certain that Mifsud was not a Russian agent. Whether he was an asset for any intelligence service, we cannot say with certainty at this point. But we can say that he had close contacts of significance with British intelligence, and with other Western governments.As Lee Smith relates, Mifsud has also long been associated with Claire Smith, a prominent British diplomat who served for years on Britain?s Joint Intelligence Committee, which answers directly to the prime minister. Ms. Smith was also a member of the United Kingdom?s Security Vetting Appeals Panel, which reviews denials of security clearances to government employees. During her career in the British foreign service, Smith worked with Mifsud at three different academic institutions: the London Academy of Diplomacy (which trained diplomats and government officials, some of them sponsored by the U.K.?s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council, or by their own governments), the University of Stirling, in Scotland, and Link Campus University in Rome, where Mifsud first met Papadopoulos. The campus is a well-known draw for diplomats and intelligence officials ? the CIA holds conferences there, the FBI holds agent-training sessions there, and former U.S. intelligence officials teach there.In Rome on March 14, Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud. Twice Papadopoulos?s age, the Maltese professor gravitated to his fellow Link University lecturers and professors, who, as Lee Smith notes, ?include senior Western diplomats and intelligence officials from a number of NATO countries, especially Italy and the United Kingdom.? Mifsud also taught at the University of Stirling and the London Academy of Diplomacy. That is to say, if Mifsud had actually been a Russian agent, he was situated to be one of the most successful in history.Not likely.Mifsud was a shameless self-promoter (at least until Russiagate notoriety sent him underground). He traveled frequently, including to Russia, where he participated in academic conferences and claimed acquaintance with regime officials ? though how well he actually knows anyone of significance is unclear. In sum, Mifsud is the aging academic version of Papadopoulos. Thierry Pastor, a French political analyst who (with a Swiss-German lawyer named Stephan Roh) co-wrote a book about l?affaire Papadopoulos, made this observation about Mifsud?s brag that he knew Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov: ?Yes, he met Lavrov. He met him once or twice in a large group. He knows Lavrov, but Lavrov doesn?t know Joseph. [Mifsud?s] contacts in Russia are with academics.?Nevertheless, the Trump?Russia narrative holds that Mifsud actually is a well-placed Russian agent who became interested in Papadopoulos upon discovering that he was a key (yup . . .) Trump adviser. According to this story, Mifsud introduced the younger man to a woman presented as Vladimir Putin?s niece. The professor also hooked Papadopoulos up with Ivan Timofeev, whom prosecutors pregnantly described as ?the Russian MFA connection? (as in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ? Lavrov?s office) when they eventually charged Papadopoulos with making false statements. Timofeev and Papadopoulos had fevered discussions about setting up a Putin?Trump meeting in Russia. Finally, at their April 26 breakfast in London, Mifsud let slip that Russia had ?dirt? on Hillary Clinton in the form of ?thousands? of ?emails of Clinton? ? which, the narrative holds, must have been a reference to the DNC emails that Russian intelligence hacked and WikiLeaks disseminated during the Democratic party?s convention in July.The story is bogus through and through. There is no proof that Mifsud is a Russian agent ? Mueller never alleged such a thing, either when Papadopoulos was charged or in the special counsel?s final report, which concluded that there was no Trump?Russia conspiracy. The woman in question was not Putin?s niece; she was eventually identified as Olga Polonskaya, the 32-year-old manager of a St. Petersburg wine company, who (the Mueller report suggests, based on a ?Baby, thank you? email) may have been romantically involved with Mifsud. Timofeev is actually a young academic researcher who runs a Russian think tank, the Russian International Affairs Council. The RIAC has some sort of tie to the MFA, but no discernible connections to Russian intelligence. Like Mifsud, Timofeev is an academic; he was in an even less likely position to schedule a meeting for Putin than Papadopoulos was to do so for Trump. The hypothetical Putin?Trump summit was an inchoate idea that senior Trump officials shot down even as Papadopoulos and Timofeev were dreaming it up.What about those ?emails of Clinton?? Other than the word of Papadopoulos, a convicted liar and palpably unreliable raconteur, there is no evidence ? none ? that Mifsud told him about emails. The professor never showed him any emails. And in his February 2017 FBI interview, Mifsud denied saying anything to Papadopoulos about Clinton-related emails in the possession of the Kremlin. Of course, Mifsud could be lying. But there is no evidence that he would have been in a position to know the inner workings of Russian intelligence operations.It is not enough to say that Mueller never charged Mifsud with lying to the FBI. In Mueller?s report, when prosecutors have evidence that Mifsud gave inaccurate information, they say so. For example, they allege that Mifsud ?falsely? recounted the last time he had seen Papadopoulos. But Mueller never alleges that Mifsud?s denial of knowledge about Russia?s possession of emails is false. And if we learned anything from Mueller?s investigation, it is that he knows how to make a false-statements case.In any event, Mifsud?s supposed comment about Clinton?s emails obviously made little impression on Papadopoulos. The day after he met the professor, Papadopoulos sent two emails to high-ranking Trump-campaign officials about his meeting with Mifsud. In neither did he mention emails. Papadopoulos instead focused on the possibility ? far-fetched, but apparently real to Papadopoulos ? that Mifsud could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Prior to being interviewed by the FBI in January 2017, Papadopoulos never reported anything about Russia?s having emails ? neither to his Trump-campaign superiors, to whom he was constantly reporting on his conversations with Mifsud, nor to Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat whose conversation with Papadopoulos was the proximate cause for the formal opening of the FBI probe.It was only when he was interviewed by the FBI in late January 2017, nine months after his conversation with Mifsud, that Papadopoulos is alleged to have claimed that Mifsud said the Russians had ?thousands? of ?emails of Clinton.? There is no known recording of this FBI interview, so there is no way of knowing whether (a) Papadopoulos volunteered this claim that Mifsud mentioned emails or (b) the email claim was suggested to Papadopoulos by his interrogators? questions. We have no way of knowing if Papadopoulos is telling the truth (and therefore hid the possibility of damaging Clinton emails from his Trump-campaign superiors for no fathomable reason) or if he was telling the FBI agents what he thought they wanted to hear (which is what he often did when reporting to the Trump campaign).Is the Mifsud?Papadopoulos connection a case of Western intelligence agencies entrapping the Trump campaign by first using an ?asset? (Mifsud) to plant a damning ?Russia helping Trump? story with Papadopoulos, and later using another ?asset? (Stefan Halper) to try to get Papadopoulos to repeat that story so that ?collusion? could be proved?At this point, we don?t know. Here is what we do know: The United States government has never charged Joseph Mifsud. It has never accused him of being an agent of Russia. It took no steps to arrest him despite opportunities to do so. In fact, the FBI interviewed Mifsud and, when he denied Papadopoulos?s claim that he had told the young Trump adviser that Russia had Hillary emails, the Bureau let him go. Special Counsel Mueller never alleged that Mifsud?s denial was a false statement.That?s a pretty a curious way to treat the ?Russian agent? who was the rationale for the incumbent administration?s use of foreign counterintelligence powers to investigate the presidential campaign of its political opposition, no?



  • Argentina Faces Fresh Turmoil From Resignation, Debt Downgrades
    August 18, 2019, 9:12 am

    (Bloomberg) -- Life just got a whole lot tougher for Argentina?s Mauricio Macri a week after his shock primary-election defeat sent markets into a tailspin.The embattled president is suddenly grappling with the resignation of his economy minister and a double downgrade to the nation?s debt. Meanwhile, his opponent Alberto Fernandez, now favorite to win the presidency on Oct. 27, is calling on Macri to renegotiate the terms of a record $56 billion credit line with the International Monetary Fund.The slew of negative headlines may unleash a fresh bout of market turmoil after a brief respite at the end of last week. Argentina?s global bonds will be the first to react, while the nation?s currency and stock markets remain closed on Monday due to a local holiday.?This will inject more uncertainty,? said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. ?It puts a huge question mark over the creditworthiness of the country and is likely to further pressure the peso and Argentine bonds. We are staying out.?Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne, who led bailout negotiations between Argentina and the IMF last year, stepped down on Saturday, saying in a letter to Macri that the country needs ?significant renewal in the economic area.? Hernan Lacunza, economic minister for the province of Buenos Aires, will replace him.Dujovne?s resignation came a day after Argentina?s credit profile was cut deeper into junk territory by Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings. Both cited the possibility of a sovereign debt default.IMF and DefaultThe IMF bailout had been instrumental in Macri?s strategy to stabilize the peso and ensure the country?s solvency. Yet, in an interview with La Nacion published Sunday, Fernandez said the deal needs to be reviewed because Argentina isn?t meeting the targets it agreed upon. He added that it?s ?impossible? to repay the IMF on time, and that the only solution is to reschedule payments, according to the newspaper.In a separate interview with Clarin, Fernandez had a mixed message about the possibility of default. While saying the sensible thing is for Argentina to keep paying its obligations, he added that the country already finds itself in default conditions, as signaled by bond prices.Argentines Reflect on Last Week?s Election Results, Market ShockThe implied chance that Argentina will miss a debt payment, as measured by credit default swaps, soared last week. The Merval stock index lost 45% in dollar terms in the five days through Friday, bond prices tumbled about 30% and the peso weakened 18%.?While Argentina has been trading at distressed price levels already, we expect further downside on this news as it highlights an increased likelihood of a credit event,? Citigroup Inc. strategists including Dirk Willer wrote in a report.(Updates with Fernandez comments from seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Dana El Baltaji, Abeer Abu Omar and Jorgelina do Rosario.To contact the reporters on this story: Justin Carrigan in Dubai at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net;Walter Brandimarte in Brasilia at wbrandimarte@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Justin Carrigan at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net, Dana El Baltaji, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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