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Trial to open for Philippine journalist critical of Duterte -

Trial to open for Philippine journalist critical of DuterteRessa, who leads online outlet Rappler and was named a Time Magazine "Person of the Year" in 2018 for her journalism, is out on bail and faces years in prison if convicted. Prominent rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who joined Ressa's legal team this month, said the case echoed a recurring theme in her work, where "journalists who expose abuses face arrest while those who commit the abuses do so with impunity".


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 21:16:27 -0400

Hong Kong Tempts China’s Ire as Protests Take More Violent Turn -

Hong Kong Tempts China’s Ire as Protests Take More Violent Turn(Bloomberg) -- From stick-wielding mobs who attacked activists to one pro-independence group accused of stockpiling explosives, the latest unrest in Hong Kong has prompted new fears that protesters and the China-backed government are heading toward a violent confrontation.In one case, Hong Kong residents -- many wearing the black shirts favored by protesters -- were attacked in a train station near the mainland border by groups of men wearing white shirts. In a separate episode, police arrested three men after finding volatile explosives and separatist campaign material in a raid on an industrial area. Elsewhere, police fired tear gas at protesters who had surrounded China’s local government headquarters, defaced the national emblem, declared a provisional legislature and spray-painted the exterior with slogans like “Liberate Hong Kong” and “Revolution of our time.” The incidents were part of the seventh-straight weekend of protests in the former British colony, and illustrate the fact that there is no simple solution to the ongoing political chaos. On Sunday, a peaceful rally of more than 100,000 people devolved into running street battles on opposite sides of the city, and violence continuing to spread into outlying areas. The developments not only increased the risk that bystanders could be swept into the escalating political disputes, they drew the harshest warnings yet from Beijing, which said that protesters were testing its “bottom line.” U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday noted that Chinese authorities could stop the protests “if they wanted,” and praised counterpart Xi Jinping for acting “responsibly, very responsibly” so far. “It’s definitely a turning point in Hong Kong politics and history,” said Alvin Yeung, an opposition lawmaker who heads the city’s Civic Party. Yeung noted that Hong Kong, despite years of dissent over Beijing’s rule, was one of Asia’s safest big cities. “Last night was an exception. And that’s why it’s so shocking. It’s completely out of control,” he said.The events showed that positions are hardening on both sides as the city’s embattled leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, resists calls to resign despite protests exceeding 1 million participants. What began as a largely leaderless effort to block legislation allowing extraditions to the mainland has expanded into a list of demands including investigations into police tactics to a direct vote to replace Lam.With more rallies planned for as early as this weekend, and little sign that either side will accede to the others’ demands, activists and government supporters alike have been warning that the further unrest could lead to ever greater injuries. A handful of suicides by protesters in recent weeks have already added life-and-death stakes to the debate.The financial hub is also starting to grapple with the economic cost of continued unrest, which risks keeping local shoppers away and deterring mainland visitors. Last week, police clashed with protesters inside a shopping mall in suburban Sha Tin.The attacks Sunday on passengers and bystanders at a train station in Yuen Long by unidentified groups of men further raised alarm that the unrest could begin to effect regular people. “Clashes might be expected during a protest, but no one expected the elderly, children, pregnant women and former news reporter that had not joined the protest, might be attacked by pro-Beijing gangs,” democracy advocate Joshua Wong told Bloomberg News.The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, which says it represents businesses employing a third of the local workforce, called for a formal withdrawal of the extradition bill and the setup of a commission of inquiry to examine the facts surrounding the ongoing tensions and their escalation.“Protests are becoming increasingly confrontational while factions are being created that pit citizen against citizen,” the chamber said in a statement on Monday. “The situation is also raising concerns in Hong Kong and internationally about our commitment to the basic law and the rule of law.”Lam’s efforts to resolve the crisis, including declaring the extradition bill “dead,” have so far only prompted further protests. At a news conference Monday, she condemned the vandalism at the Liaison Office while promising to investigate the attacks on activists, warning that “the whole of Hong Kong and its people will suffer as a result of the loss of order.” The police later said they arrested six men, age 24 to 54, in connection with the Yuen Long attacks. The South China Morning Post newspaper reported last week that Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong were working to present leaders with a comprehensive strategy to resolve the crisis. Authorities have ruled out any military intervention and saw the police as key to maintaining stability and exposing the intentions of protesters, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.China’s PresenceA broader solution appears increasingly out of reach as protesters turn their ire from the local government to China. Xi has warned that challenges to Beijing’s sovereignty over Hong Kong won’t be tolerated and efforts to allow direct elections have been stalled since pro-democracy lawmakers blocked Beijing’s proposed system for choosing candidates in 2015. Demonstrators ransacked the city’s legislature building on July 1, the anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.Protesters risked further provoking Xi by bringing the chaos directly to the doorstep of Communist Party authority in Hong Kong, the central government Liaison Office. Riot police pursued the protesters past high rises and across highways to outside the ferry terminal, where they fired tear gas after some activists hurled projectiles.China’s top representative in the city, Wang Zhimin, denounced the protesters’ acts as “villainous and wicked” in a news briefing. The party’s flagship People’s Daily warned in an editorial Monday that protesters at the liaison office “openly challenged the authority of the central government.”Some lawmakers warned that the growing focus on Beijing risked jeopardizing the delicate framework that have allowed Hong Kong to exist as a pocket of free expression and free markets in China.“The violent attacks on the liaison office have gone way beyond the protests against the rendition bill,” said Regina Ip, a pro-Beijing lawmaker and member of Lam’s Executive Council. “These rebels must stop these provocative actions, which will seriously damage the relationship between the central government and Hong Kong.”(Updates with Donald Trump comment in fifth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Natalie Lung, Kari Lindberg, Ben Sharples, Fion Li and Josh Wingrove.To contact the reporter on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 21:02:42 -0400

Iran 'does not seek confrontation,' says FM after tanker seizure -

Iran 'does not seek confrontation,' says FM after tanker seizureIran does not seek confrontation with Britain amid a row over seized tanker ships, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday in a message directed at likely incoming premier Boris Johnson. "It is very important for Boris Johnson as he enters 10 Downing Street to understand that Iran does not seek confrontation, that Iran wants normal relations based on mutual respect," Zarif told reporters in Managua.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 20:33:29 -0400

11,000-HP Dodge Hellcat Drag Racer Will Make Your Head Pop -

11,000-HP Dodge Hellcat Drag Racer Will Make Your Head Pop


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:45:00 -0400

Homicide charge filed in shooting death of off-duty officer -

Homicide charge filed in shooting death of off-duty officerA man suspected of fatally shooting an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer more than a week ago has been charged with criminal homicide, police announced Monday. The indictment against Christian Bey, 30, in the death of Officer Calvin Hall, 35, is sealed, so further details will not be provided, said Cmdr. Victor Joseph.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:26:50 -0400

Internal Probe Reveals SEAL Team 10 Operators’ Cocaine Use -

Internal Probe Reveals SEAL Team 10 Operators’ Cocaine UseAFPSome SEAL Team 10 special warfare operators allegedly used cocaine or spiked their alcohol with it, according to an internal investigation obtained by the Navy Times following a Freedom of Information Act Request. In Little Creek, Virginia, six SEALs were caught using cocaine and other illicit substances, the report says. SEALs told investigators that the urinalysis tests were easy to beat, as they were not screened very often, and when they were, they’d often switch out tainted urine for clean urine samples, according to the report. No SEALs went to court-martial in the wake of the urinalysis screening, in Virginia, Naval Special Warfare Command spokeswoman Commander Tamara Lawrence told Navy Times, adding that four were administratively separated from the sea service. The urinalysis program has now been updated, said Lawrence, and will be given more often. The test administers will also be retrained. A command report obtained by the Navy Times shows that in mid-2018, the testing program “suffered from serious deficiencies, which did not maintain accountability for substance abuse and adversely affected readiness.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 18:15:35 -0400

NASA Finally Completes the Orion Crew Capsule -

NASA Finally Completes the Orion Crew CapsuleNASA hopes the capsule will take astronauts back to the Moon, and Mars after that.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 17:17:00 -0400

Why No Enemy Would Dare Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier -

Why No Enemy Would Dare Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft CarrierCircumstances obviously matter for an attack on a U.S. aircraft carrier. An out-of-the-blue attack from a conventionally armed state actor would enjoy the highest levels of success, but would also have an impact on elite and public opinion in the United States that might drive calls for dire retribution. Since the 1950s, the supercarrier has been the most visible representation of U.S. military power and maritime hegemony. Although supercarriers have participated in nearly every military conflict since the commissioning of USS Forrestal in 1955, no carrier has come under determined attack from a capable opponent. In part, this is because supercarriers are very difficult to attack, but the symbolic grandeur of the massive ships also plays a role; no one wants to know what the United States might do if one of its carriers came under attack.(This first appeared several months ago.)What would happen if a foe attacked a United States Navy (USN) aircraft carrier during a conflict? How would the United States react, and how would it respond?Circumstances:


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:58:00 -0400

Gambian soldier names ex-president in reporter's 2004 murder -

Gambian soldier names ex-president in reporter's 2004 murderA Gambian army officer on Monday accused ex-president Yahya Jammeh of ordering the 2004 murder of journalist Deyda Hydara and admitted he was involved in the killing. Hydara, who was editor and co-founder of the independent The Point daily and a correspondent for AFP and Journalists Without Borders (RSF), was killed by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of the Gambian capital Banjul in December 2004. The murder was widely condemned locally and abroad as another sign of Jammeh's despotic rule and his stifling of all opposition in the former British colony.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:49:07 -0400

This Is the ATV-Mounted Jammer That Took Down an Iranian Drone -

This Is the ATV-Mounted Jammer That Took Down an Iranian DroneThe drone was less than a mile from the USS Boxer when the Marines caused it to crash.


Mon, 22 Jul 2019 15:47:00 -0400


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