Rallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".
Angela Weiss/AFP/GettyRudy Giuliani’s lobbying work is said to be under scrutiny by the same U.S. attorney’s office he once led. The New York Times reported late Friday that federal prosecutors in Manhattan are looking into whether Donald Trump’s personal attorney violated lobbying laws as part of his Ukraine endeavors. While Giuliani has denied wrongdoing, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates of his arrested earlier this week for alleged campaign finance violations, are believed to have worked closely with him in investigating the widely debunked corruption allegations against Joe Biden that Giuliani and Trump have sought to revive ahead of 2020. Several law enforcement sources confirmed to The Daily Beast that Giuliani’s dealings are under scrutiny in connection with Parnas and Fruman’s arrest. “It's common sense,” one person with knowledge of the inquiry into Giuliani told The Daily Beast. “If people didn't look into this, they wouldn't be doing their jobs.” A second Justice Department source echoed that sentiment, along with a federal law enforcement official who said the matter is part of an ongoing investigation. Giuliani’s work in Ukraine has previously raised questions about his lobbying status, with several Democratic senators appealing to the Department of Justice last year for information on his Foreign Agents Registration Act filings, a legal requirement for any U.S. citizen making contact with the government or media at the request of foreign politicians or officials. Giuliani said last year he’d never filed a FARA registration, a claim which raised eyebrows in light of media reports that he’d performed lobbying work for clients in Ukraine. Ukrainian-Russian developer Pavel Fuks told The New York Times earlier this year that Giuliani had been employed as a “lobbyist for Kharkiv and Ukraine” in 2017, though Giuliani denied that claim. —Harry Siegel, Pervaiz Shallwani and Noah Shachtman contributed reportingDems Want to Know: Who Paid Rudy?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.
German police are investigating a bitcoin transfer made to the far-Right extremist behind Wednesday’s terror attack in Halle to determine if the man possessed a broader support network. German media outlet Spiegel reports that a transfer of 0.1 bitcoin – approximately €750 (£660) – was made to alleged attacker Stephan Balliet in the lead up to the attack. Police said the transfer came from an unknown source. Balliet told police interrogators that he had received the money from someone whom he had communicated with on the internet, but that he did not know who they were. Questions were raised as to how Balliet, who had been unemployed for a significant period of time in the lead up to the attack, was able to fund the attack, including buying the materials for his home-made weapons. As reported by Spiegel, the man told investigators that the weapons were cheap to manufacture, primarily as he constructed them from basic raw materials. He told police he bought steel worth €50, cartridge cases for €25 and a telescope for €20 to manufacture the weapons, which he based on designs released online by British pro-gun activist Philip Luty "The further investigations will deal in particular with the question of whether other persons were involved in the act or its preparation alongside Stephan Balliet", said a spokesman for the Federal Criminal Police Office. The 27-year-old Balliet was active in far-Right chatrooms, with police suspecting he was radicalised online. Balliet uploaded a manifesto outlining his motives, details of his weapons and indications as to the nature of his plans in the lead up to the attack.
The man charged with wounding a clergyman and a bride during a wedding at a New Hampshire church is the stepson of a minister from the same church who was killed earlier this month, a state prosecutor said Sunday. Dale Holloway, 37, is the stepson of 60-year-old Luis Garcia who was shot to death Oct. 1 in Londonderry, Senior Assistant Attorney General Ben Agati said in an email Sunday.
The Pentagon said Sunday President Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of up to 1,000 troops from northern Syria -- almost the entire ground force in the war-torn country -- amid an intensifying Turkish assault on Kurdish forces. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move came after the US learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than had been expected. The Kurds -- with whom the US partnered to combat the Islamic State (IS) group -- later announced they had reached a deal with the regime in Damascus to deploy Syrian troops near the border to confront the Turkish offensive.
In a joint declaration, climate scientists, physicists, biologists, engineers and others from at least 20 countries broke with the caution traditionally associated with academia to side with peaceful protesters courting arrest from Amsterdam to Melbourne. Wearing white laboratory coats to symbolise their research credentials, a group of about 20 of the signatories gathered on Saturday to read out the text outside London's century-old Science Museum in the city's upmarket Kensington district. "We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law," said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology.
The US diplomat’s wife allegedly involved in a crash which killed a teenager does not have diplomatic immunity, the Foreign Office has said.A letter, that appears to have been sent by foreign secretary Dominic Raab to Harry Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, says: “The question remains when such immunity comes to an end, regardless of any waiver.
The campaign team for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was pleased with the Democratic presidential candidate's response to a question during Thursday's LGBTQ forum in Los Angeles, but some Democratic strategists think it could turn into her very own "deplorables" moment, The Washington Post reports.Warren was asked what she would say to someone who told her marriage was between one man and one woman. "Well, I'm going to assume it's a guy who said that, and I'm gonna say, 'The just marry one woman,'" she said. "I'm cool with that. If you can find one." The zinger drew a host of laughs and received a good amount of praise afterward, but not everyone was on board. Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who advised former President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign, said it could serve as a "battle cry for men to turn out against" Warren. Not all of her critics saw it through that particular lens, however. It might not sit well with older and more religious black voters, either, some strategists reportedly said. "I'm not sure how that resonates with older African American voters, especially African American women," said Antjuan Seawright, a black Democratic strategist based in South Carolina. Warren has struggled to gain traction among black voters so far, the Post notes.Still, despite some criticism, Warren's team does not regret the comments whatsoever, and believe the senator spoke appropriately, seeing as it was aimed at people who want to deny those in the LGBTQ community their right to marry. Even some of her opponents appreciated it. "I thought it was funny," said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), who's supporting Warren's chief competitor, former Vice President Joe Biden for the nomination. "I would not say in any way, shape, or form that it will slow her candidacy down." Read more at The Washington Post.
Most of the women in Samuel Little's hand-drawn portraits seem to be frowning. Little, whom the FBI identified this month as the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, produced startlingly detailed likenesses of dozens of women he says he strangled over the course of more than three decades. Now the FBI is publicizing his portraits — hoping that someone, somewhere, will recognize the face of a long-lost loved one in an image drawn by the killer himself.
Khalil Ashawi/ReutersIn the latest surge of anti-war rhetoric from the Trump administration, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. is launching a “deliberate withdrawal” of American forces from northern Syria, but refused to say how long it will take.“We want to conduct it safely and quickly as possible,” Esper told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday morning, adding, “I’m not prepared to put a timeline on it, but that’s our general game plan.” Two knowledgeable U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that the troops are just withdrawing further away from the advance of Turkish forces massacring the Syrian Kurds whom America relied upon to destroy the so-called Islamic State’s caliphate.There are currently 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria. A knowledgeable U.S. official said hundreds of those troops, without further specificity, will leave Syria for elsewhere in the Mideast. Following a pullout from two northern Syrian observation posts last week, the U.S. will now retreat further away from the area Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invaded.Esper said that President Donald Trump gave the withdrawal order because Turkish forces are pushing further south into Syria and Kurdish forces are trying to cut a deal with Syria and Russia to counter-attack.“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies and it’s a very untenable situation,” he said.But as Esper made clear, the order affects only the north and there will still be American forces in the rest of Syria even as Trump—who separately has ordered about 14,000 U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf region over the past six months—rails against the disastrous, bloody and interminable U.S. misadventure in the Middle East over the past generation.A U.S. official told CNN that U.S. policy “has failed” and that the campaign in Syria to defeat ISIS is “over for now,” giving the terrorist group “a second lease on life with nearly 100,000 [people] who will re-join their jihad.” The mixed messaging by the Trump administration is making it difficult for even his most ardent supporters to help unravel his foreign policy on Syria as it spins out of control. Just days after Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from northern Syria where they have been providing weapons and cover to allied Kurdish fighters on the border between Turkey and Syria, Turkey began a military incursion that has sent the region into a level of chaos it has not seen in recent years.The Daily Beast first reported Friday that claims made by the Trump administration that U.S. troops had been withdrawn were false. “We are out of there. We’ve been out of there for a while,” Trump said Wednesday. “No soldiers whatsoever.” Two officials told The Daily Beast that in fact the U.S. military had only pulled back–not completely out–of northern Syria. They had simply abandoned two small observation posts from which they supported Kurdish allies in the fight against Islamic State fighters. Trump Says U.S. Troops Have Quit Syria. It’s Not True.Trump then tweeted that he had been talking with Senator Lindsey Graham (R–SC), who had been highly critical of Trump’s decision to remove troops. “Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS,” Graham warned Wednesday. “I urge President Trump to change course while there is still time by going back to the safe zone concept that was working.” Graham later tweeted that any sanctions had to be serious. “The conditional sanctions announced today will be viewed by Turkey as a tepid response and will embolden Erdogan even more,” Graham tweeted Friday. “The Turkish government needs to know Congress will take a different path–passing crippling sanctions in a bipartisan fashion.”But in a Sunday morning tweet, the president wrote that he was working with Graham “and many members of Congress, including Democrats, about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey.”He then added: “Treasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought. There is great consensus on this. Turkey has asked that it not be done. Stay tuned!”Turkey has warned that any threats of sanctions would be met with the release of millions of refugees along the border between Turkey and Syria into Europe. Trump told reporters at the White House earlier this week that it did not concern him. “Well they're going to be escaping to Europe,” he said. “That’s where they want to go, they want to go back to their homes.”On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that up to 700 ISIS sympathizers did escape the Ain Eissa camp, which holds up 12,000 people caught up in years of unrest. Most of those who escaped are ISIS brides and children, but officials warn that they could be part of a resurgence of the so-called Islamic state. Several known ISIS fighters were also spotted fighting in the current conflict, according to CNN which said at least five fighters had escaped the notorious Ghuwairan prison due to heavy shelling in the area. During an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)—who has been one of the president’s most vocal defenders regarding the Syria decision—called it a “messy, complicated situation” while saying the president was right to move soldiers out of the way because “Turkey was coming in one way or another.” When host Chuck Todd noted that U.S. soldiers near the Turkish border were serving as a deterrent to an Erdogan invasion, Paul retorted “they were until they weren’t.”Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin repeated Paul’s line that this is a “complicated situation” when asked on ABC’s This Week why the administration hasn’t imposed sanctions on Turkey yet.“We are ready to go on a moment’s notice to put on sanctions,” Mnuchin said. “As I said, these sanctions could be starting small. They could be maximum pressure which would destroy the Turkish economy. The president is very focused on this. He’s offered to mediate the situation.”Mnunchin also pushed back on criticism from those within the president’s own party. In response to Graham and others saying sanctions would be a tepid reaction to Turkey, Mnuchin stated that this is a “multi-step process” and the administration needs to make sure “we have the proper authorizations.” The treasury chief, meanwhile, was asked what the president was talking about when he criticized the Kurds for not storming the beaches at Normandy alongside America. Mnuchin asserted Trump’s analogy was that he was pushing back on everyone “saying the Kurds are these long-standing allies” and that our role in Syria “was not to defend the Kurds.”On CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that while he wished the president’s decision had “been different,” he feels that we tend to “oversimplify the complicated relationships” in the region. He went on to say this wasn’t a “binary choice” as both the Turks and Kurds are considered allies. As for whether the U.S. was retreating from the area and allowing the Turks to invade northern Syria, Cramer said “we can’t be in the middle of every skirmish in the neighborhood.”House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY), meanwhile, told Meet the Press that while he is working on a bipartisan bill that will slap sanctions on Turkey and condemn the president’s policy as it relates to the Kurds, he acknowledges that “it’s not going to stop” the Turks now. Asked whether it’s too late to do anything at this point, Engel seemed to resign himself to that notion.“We could mitigate the damage,” he told Todd. “Of course, it’s spiraling quickly. And what’s happened, of course, is a lot of ISIS prisoners, we’ve gotten reports that they have been released or they’ve escaped and so this is just the tip of the iceberg. And if we think this is terrible, I predict we will have many, many more days, weeks and months of terrible things like this.”Elsewhere on Meet the Press, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned that we could see the revival of ISIS in the area, noting the Syrian Democratic Forces were the ones who largely fought the Islamic State in Syria. If we don’t keep pressure on, ISIS will resurge,” Mattis said. “It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”We also heard from one of the Democratic presidential candidates. During his State of the Union interview, South Bend Mayor and Afghanistan War veteran Pete Buttigieg insisted Trump was “systematically destroying American allies and American values.”“What’s even more disturbing to me as a veteran is hearing from soldiers who feel they have lost their honor over this, who feel they are unable to look in the eye [of] allies who put their lives on line to fight with us,” he added. “If you take away a soldier’s honor, you might as well go after their body armor next, that is what the commander-in-chief is doing right now.”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.
Hours after judges passed her up for the Nobel Peace Prize, Greta Thunberg stood before a cheering throng, insisting once again that something must be done about climate change -- and fast. "We as young people are tired of constantly being betrayed by those who are supposed to work for our greater good," the 16-year-old Swedish activist told hundreds of supporters gathered in an outdoor ampitheater in Colorado's largest city, Denver. "We are here because we care about the future, about what we one day will leave after us," Thunberg, clad in a cream-colored jacket with her hair in her trademark braid, said to thunderous applause.
Rose McGowan has lashed out at Hillary Clinton over a report that Ronan Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein was a “concern” for the Clinton camp.The actor was one of the first to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the disgraced producer, and a lead campaigner for the MeToo movement. Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
Canada's Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday that he will not change the way he is campaigning ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election after a security threat forced him to wear a bulletproof vest at a campaign rally on Saturday. Trudeau arrived 90 minutes late to a rally outside of Toronto wearing the bulky protection under his shirt after he had received a security threat. No details have been provided by the Liberal Party or police.
United Auto Workers said Saturday it's increasing strike pay for workers picketing at General Motors as the walkout by more than 49,000 employees nears the four-week mark. The union also voted to allow members to take part-time jobs and continue to receive strike pay, as long as they perform their picket duty. The moves came as UAW and General Motors continued contract talks on Saturday, a day after the union made a counterproposal to management.
City’s antifascist group says death of Sean D Kealiher, 23, was not ‘related to fascist activity’ and police did not specify a motiveThe Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/ReutersA Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city’s anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland Police Bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Its occupants fled the scene. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates. The Multnomah county medical examiner determined the cause of death to be homicide, caused by blunt force trauma. Police said homicide squad detectives would investigate and called on witnesses to come forward. Kealiher was a prominent participant in antifascist and anti-Trump protests in Portland, speaking and marching in opposition to events held by rightwing groups. His activities occasionally attracted the attention of rightwing bloggers and social media personalities. Rose City Antifa, the city’s longest-standing antifascist group, said in a tweet addressing Kealiher’s death that it “was not related to fascist activity”. Police did not specify a motive. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler and the Oregon Democratic party, outside whose building the incident happened, expressed condolences on Twitter. Memorial tributes were laid at the site. Six men, including Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson, are awaiting trial on charges arising from a violent incident at Cider Riot on 1 May. In an affidavit in support of Gibson’s arrest warrant, police officer Brad Kalbaugh described the group approaching Cider Riot “in an effort clearly designed to provoke a physical confrontation”. Multiple videos of that incident show punches, thrown drinks and pepper spray being exchanged. One of the men awaiting trial, Ian Kramer, is alleged to have struck a woman with a baton, fracturing her vertebra. More video appears to show members of the group planning violence ahead of the brawl. Gibson and the other men are charged with riot. Some face felony assault charges.Cider Riot’s owner, Abram Goldman-Armstrong, has commenced a $1m lawsuit against Gibson and several others. Goldman-Armstrong’s lawyer, Juan Chavez, says his client has been subject to “homophobic and antisemitic” harassment since the suit was filed.
President Donald Trump on Saturday delivered a full-throated defense of his presidency at the Values Voter Summit, calling Democrats “crazy” over their impeachment inquiry, touting his recent withdrawal of troops from Syria and pledging to fight for religious liberty in America and around the world. "These are bad bad people," Trump said of House Democrats, telling some 3,000 attendees at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., that “we’re going after” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House intel chair Adam Schiff, while raising the prospect of suing them, in a 79-minute address that hewed closely to his stump speech. Pelosi “hates our country,” the president continued, before further lashing out against the House impeachment inquiry that followed revelations from a whistleblower alleging Trump sought the help of a foreign government to dig up dirt on a political rival.
Following the potent snowstorm and blizzard conditions just a few days ago, another storm will keep the November-like chill in the region into Wednesday.The last storm brought more than two feet of snow across parts of the Dakotas, and caused chaos for travelers by air and along interstates 90 and 15.This same storm will stall north of the Great Lakes, helping to funnel in chilly Canadian air into much of the region through Sunday. Snow showers will linger in Minnesota and the northern half of Wisconsin.The cool conditions will hold for the Chicago Marathon on Sunday as well, with wet weather staying to the north and east. The storm will gradually weaken and move northward into Canada through Monday, allowing for a brief rise in temperatures for some in the Plains.By being further removed from the storm and on the southern side of the jet stream, cities like Rapid City, South Dakota; Omaha, Nebraska; and Des Moines, Iowa, will all warm up noticeably on Monday.After being stuck in the 40s, afternoon highs on Monday in these cities will reach into the middle and upper 50s, which is still 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal for the middle of October.The next storm looks to take shape in western Canada on Sunday, which will trek through the northern Plains and Upper Midwest on Monday night and Tuesday.Unlike the last storm, significant snow accumulation is not expected, although there could be a little light snow for some. "A cold rain, gusty winds and even some wet snowflakes will be in store for portions of the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, lingering into early on Wednesday," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.Snowflakes will be most likely to mix in across northern Minnesota during the day on Tuesday, but there could be some snowflakes mixing in across northern Michigan and Wisconsin Tuesday night."In what has been a difficult year already for farmers across the Midwest, early season snow and well below-average temperatures aren't providing much help during the harvest," said Buckingham.The cold air filtering in along with the storm could cause any wet areas to rapidly freeze up, leading to areas of black ice. Motorists and those on foot should be on the look out for these slippery spots, even if it only rained in their area.Farther east, temperatures are likely to peak on Tuesday before the chilly air moves in Wednesday."Temperatures will rebound briefly to around 60 Tuesday for places like Chicago and Detroit, but the warmer temperatures will be accompanied by showery weather," Buckingham added.By Wednesday, the wet weather will shift to the Northeast, but leave behind November-like temperatures for the Great Lakes region.The late-autumn weather is likely to hold through the middle of the week, before a high pressure pushes a different air mass into the area late this week."This should bring more seasonable conditions by late in the week," said Buckingham. Download the free AccuWeather app to see the exact forecast for your area. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
Turkey may have deliberately targeted US forces with artillery in northern Syria in order to push them out, coalition sources have told the Daily Telegraph. US officials confirmed an explosion occurred near where a small contingent of its special forces were based on a hill near the town of Kobane. They said the cause of the explosion had not been confirmed but local reports suggested it was either an artillery or air strike. No US personnel were injured. It was the first time a coalition base had come under fire since Turkey's offensive began. US warplanes flew over the base immediately after the incident. Turkey's defence ministry denied targeting the US position, saying its forces were responding to Kurdish fire that originated nearby. Civilians flee amid Turkish bombardment on Syria's northeastern town of Ras al-Ain in the Hasakeh province along the Turkish border Credit: AFP A spokesman said: "There was no firing on the US observation post. The firing was ceased as a result of the issue being relayed to us by the US." But a coalition source said there was nothing else around in the area that the Turks could have been targeting, apart form the US forces. "It's likely they are trying to push us out. Kobane is the heart and soul of the Kurds," a source said. "If Turkey can get us to leave it's all over." A US official in Washington said an explosion had occurrednear the US military outpost, but no personnel were hurt. The official said the source of the explosion was unclear, but it coincided with Turkey's offensive against the Kurds. US troops were in the outpost at the time of the explosion but there had been no further activity since. Before the explosion Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said Turkey had been informed of US positions in Syria. Speaking at the Pentagon he said: "The Turkish military is fully aware, down to explicit grid coordinate detail, of the locations of US forces. "Everyone is fully aware that we are the United States military. We retain the right of self-defence." A picture taken from Turkish territory shows smoke rising from targets inside Syria during bombardment by Turkish forces at Ras al-Ayn town Credit: REX It came after the US defence secretary pleaded with Turkey to stop its offensive on Kurdish-held northern Syria before it was “irreparable”, as the civilian death toll rose and 100,000 were forced to flee their homes. In the strongest condemnation of the assault since Donald Trump gave Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his blessing on Sunday, Mark Esper said Ankara faced “serious consequences” if it did not rein in its forces in Syria. "As part of the call, Secretary Esper strongly encouraged Turkey to discontinue actions in northeastern Syria in order to increase the possibility that the United States, Turkey and our partners could find a common way to de-escalate the situation before it becomes irreparable," read a statement released in his name. Mr Trump’s green light for so-called Operation Peace Spring has turned amber in the face of international pressure. The president called the invasion a “bad idea” on Thursday and even offered to mediate between Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces. "We have one of three choices,” he tweeted on Thursday night. “Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!" “I hope we can mediate,” he told reporters later when asked about the options. Facing increasing pressure to stop Turkish and allied Syrian rebel forces going deeper in Syria, the US set out red lines for their offensive. “That would include ethnic cleansing. It would include in particular indiscriminate artillery, air and other fire directed at civilian population,” a senior US official said, spelling out what Turkish actions would trigger US sanctions. “That is what we’re looking at right now. We have not seen significant examples of that so far.” People run to take cover after mortars fired from Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey Credit: AP Mr Trump warned Turkey to act with moderation and safeguard civilians. But the barrages of the invasion so far showed little sign of holding back. Residents along the border fled with their belongings loaded into cars, pickup trucks and motorcycle rickshaws, while others escaped on foot. The UN refugee agency said tens of thousands were on the move, and aid agencies warned that nearly a half-million people near the border were at risk. France, which has come out strongly against the assault, said the European Union would discuss imposing sanctions on Turkey at a summit on Monday. The Netherlands suspended arms exports to Turkey yesterday, following Norway and Finland and Sweden, which plans to push for an EU-wide suspension. US senators, meanwhile, have been drawing up plans for their own possible sanctions. Without elaborating, Mr Trump also said the US was "going to possibly do something very, very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things" against Turkey.
Tens of thousands of rescuers worked through the pre-dawn hours Monday to reach people trapped by landslides and floods in Japan caused by a powerful typhoon that has killed up to 35, officials and local media said. Typhoon Hagibis moved away from land on Sunday morning, but while it largely spared the capital, it left a trail of destruction in surrounding regions. More than 100,000 rescuers -- including 31,000 troops -- clawed through debris overnight Sunday to Monday to reach people trapped after torrential rain caused landslides and filled rivers until they burst their banks.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department says the wildfire in the San Fernando Valley is now 33% contained. The department says Saturday night that winds and temperatures have fallen to normal levels after the Santa Ana winds passed through the region. A man went into cardiac arrest and died at the scene of a wildfire that broke out late Thursday.
* Ex-defense secretary calls resurgence of Isis ‘a given’ * Kurds say 785 Isis affiliates escape camp after Turkish shellingJames Mattis declined the opportunity to directly criticise his former boss, Donald Trump. Photograph: Leah Millis/ReutersThe former defense secretary James Mattis has said Donald Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of US troops from the Syria-Turkey border has increased the chances of a resurgence of Islamic State. But the retired general passed up an opportunity to directly criticise the president.“If we don’t keep the pressure on,” Mattis told NBC’s Meet the Press, “then Isis will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”After Mattis’s remarks were released, the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said 785 foreign individuals affiliated with Isis had escaped the camp where they were being held, following heavy Turkish shelling.Trump announced the US withdrawal on Monday after a call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The surprise announcement prompted widespread accusations of a betrayal of Kurds allied to the US in war-torn Syria. Turkey, which regards some Kurdish groups as terrorists, swiftly attacked. The president also said Erdoğan would visit the White House.Trump faced stringent attacks from both sides of the aisle. In Washington on Saturday night he held his ground, telling the conservative Values Voter Summit he was “an island of one”.“We have to bring our great heroes, our great soldiers, we have to bring them home,” he insisted. “It’s time. It’s time.”> If we don’t keep the pressure on, then Isis will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back> > James MattisOn Sunday morning, Trump warmed to his theme. The president said it was “very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish border, for a change”, amid a stream of tweets that included a startling statement: “Others may want to come in and fight for one side or the other. Let them!”In more measured tones, defense secretary Mike Esper told CBS’ Face the Nation “it’s a very terrible situation over there” but insisted roughly 1,000 US troops would be evacuated in a “deliberate withdrawal”.US forces are not yet out of harm’s way. The Washington Post reported that Turkish forces which shelled an area where US special forces troops remained on Friday had known for months they were there.Brett McGurk, the former US envoy to the global coalition against Isis who resigned over Trump’s attempts to withdraw from Syria, told the Post: “Turkey wants us off the entire border region to a depth of 30km [20 miles]. Based on all the facts available, these were warning fires on a known location, not inadvertent rounds.”Turkey is facing threats of US sanctions – reiterated by Trump in his speech on Saturday night – unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its Nato allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports and the Arab League has denounced the operation.But airstrikes and shelling continue in Kurdish areas and harrowing scenes among panicked and grieving refugees are being reported worldwide. More than 130,000 people have been displaced from rural areas around Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain as a result of the fighting, the United Nations said. Turkish forces and their Syrian allies seized large parts of the town of Suluk, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday, the fifth day of the offensive.On Saturday, CNN reported that earlier this week Gen Mazloum Kobani Abdi, head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told a senior US diplomat: “You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered.”Also on Saturday, another SDF commander told a press conference: “The protection of Isis prisons will not remain our priority. The defence of our soil will be prioritised if [the] Turkish military continues its attacks.”On Sunday, the Kurds said some Isis prisoners had escaped. In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian insurgents, the Kurds said mercenaries attacked a camp where Isis “elements” attacked guards and opened the gates.“The brutal military assault led by Turkey and its mercenaries is now taking place near a camp in Ain Issa, where there are thousands from families of Isis,” the Kurds said, adding “some were able to escape after bombardments that targeted” the camp.Mattis discussed the threat of an Isis resurgence on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.“It’s in a situation of disarray right now,” he said in excerpts released by the broadcaster. “Obviously, the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks. And we’ll have to see if they’re able to maintain the fight against Isis. It’s going to have an impact. The question is, how much?”Asked if the US would regret Trump’s decision, Mattis said: “We have got to keep the pressure on Isis so they don’t recover.“We may want a war over. We may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ‘enemy gets the vote’, we say in the military. And in this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on, then Isis will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”Trump said this week any militant prisoners escaping from camps guarded by Kurds “will be escaping to Europe”. He also said the Kurds “didn’t help us in the second world war, they didn’t help us in Normandy, for example”.Mattis’s apparent disinclination to directly criticise the president, even as Syria spirals into ever worse chaos as a result of US actions, is in keeping with his approach since resigning in December 2018.The retired US Marine Corps general has said he has a “duty of silence” regarding the president he served. That commitment has held despite Mattis having resigned, like McGurk, in response to an earlier attempt by Trump to pull US troops from Syria and in protest at his treatment of America’s allies.In September, Mattis published a memoir, Call Sign Chaos. The book skirted his service to Trump, focusing instead on his career in the US armed forces.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty ImagesIn WeWork's major pre-IPO meltdown, a few of the company's side businesses were bound to hit the chopping block. It was announced Friday that WeGrow, the experimental education pet project of ousted WeWork founder Adam Neumann's wife, won't survive.As The Huffington Post first reported, WeWork told parents with kids enrolled at its elite, yoga-obsessed Manhattan private school, that its doors will close at the end of the school year."WeWork will continue to operate WeGrow through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, providing a quality education and classroom experience for all students,” a WeWork representative said in a statement. “As part of the company’s efforts to focus on its core business, WeWork has informed the families of WeGrow students that we will not operate WeGrow after this school year.”The school enrolled around 100 students as of 2019; many of them were reportedly the children of employees or on scholarship. It was the brainchild of Rebekah Neumann, who also served as WeGrow’s CEO among her other roles at WeWork and who left the company amid her husband’s ouster. Adam Neumann and his close associates were pushed out in a leadership purge initiated by Softbank, the Japanese mega-corporation which invested in WeWork as one bet out of its $100 billion pool of venture capital for fast-growing tech companies.As The Daily Beast previously reported, WeWork’s instability made it a risky choice for New Yorkers willing to spend piles of cash on an alternative education.“Be wary of sending your kid to a school run by a company that’s in financial trouble," one consultant said. "Did Lehman Brothers ever have a school? Enron?”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.
Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay taxes.Religious organizations, like secular non-profits, are exempt from taxes because we do not want government to inhibit a thriving civil society. Abolishing the exemption only for religious groups that do not toe the progressive line would be an outrageous oppression of church by state.Other candidates have not yet echoed O’Rourke. But the crowd applauded. And his position has not come out of nowhere. President Obama’s solicitor general suggested to the Supreme Court that the tax exemption of religious colleges that oppose same-sex marriage might have to be revisited. Six of the presidential candidates, including leading contender Elizabeth Warren, have co-sponsored the “Equality Act,” which specifically states that religious believers could not invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to ask to escape its new restrictions on private conduct. It would be the first congressional limitation of the religious-freedom law since it was enacted, nearly by acclamation, in 1993. Several of the candidates have also endorsed another piece of legislation that is specifically directed at shrinking the reach of that law.If other Democrats are refraining from adopting O’Rourke’s stance, then, it is for contingent reasons of prudence rather than lasting ones of principle. The contemporary Democratic party is a threat to the first freedom mentioned in the Constitution.
Tourist visas for Saudi Arabia are now available online and on arrival to holidaymakers who already hold a visa from the United States, Britain or the EU's Schengen zone, expanding eligibility beyond an initial list of 49 countries. The conservative Muslim kingdom, relatively closed off for decades, launched a new visa regime last month for nationals from countries in Europe, North America and much of Asia to boost foreign tourism and diversify the economy away from oil. Executive regulations published over the weekend stipulate that people from other countries who have a tourist or commercial visa from the United States, Britain or European Union nations can follow the same process, rather than applying at a Saudi overseas mission with additional documentation.
From luxury Singapore apartments to Malaysian seafront condos, Hong Kong investors are shifting cash into Southeast Asian property, demoralised by increasingly violent protests as well as the China-US trade war. Hong Kong businessman Peter Ng bought a condominium on the Malaysian island of Penang -- which has a substantial ethnic Chinese population and is popular among Hong Kongers -- after the protests erupted. "The instability was a catalyst for me," the 48-year-old stock market and property investor told AFP, adding he was worried about long-term damage to the Hong Kong economy if the unrest persists.
Alyse and Elmer Sanchez were thrilled when they survived their "green card" interview, a crucial step in obtaining lawful status in the United States. Moments later, Elmer was in shackles, detained pending deportation to his native Honduras, leaving her alone with their two little boys. "We feel it was a trap, a trick, to get us there," Alyse said.
A robust, modern, integrated Polish air defense will complicate Russian attack planning and help ensure the survivability of both Polish military units and installations, as well as NATO's forward-deployed forces.
As Washington punishes Cuba for supporting Venezuela, Cubans are replacing tractors with oxen and oil with firewoodZoraide Hernández sits at her doorstep for fresh air in Havana this week. Photograph: Alexandre Meneghini/ReutersOn a muggy morning in eastern Havana, a bus crammed with more than 100 sweaty commuters pulls in to a bus stop. The doors open and more passengers press in before – inch by inch – the hydraulic doors groan shut, slowly shunting the new arrivals inside.“All the buses are coming like this”, said Roberto López, 66, on his way – fingers crossed – to buy biscuits in the city centre.Bus services throughout Cuba have been slashed in recent weeks as the island grapples with acute petrol shortages caused by US sanctions which target companies and oil tankers transporting Venezuelan petroleum to the island.Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said the island is currently operating with 62% of the petrol it needs, and announced emergency measures to “disrupt the plans of imperialism”. Across the island, production has been cut and stopgaps found, so that fuel can be prioritized for hospitals, schools and food distribution.Oxen have replaced tractors in sugarcane fields; some bakeries are using firewood to power their ovens. Transport inspectors have been deployed to ensure that anyone driving a vehicle which belongs to a ministry or state enterprise gives fellow citizens a lift.At the Alamar textile factory – and in offices and factories throughout the island – all machines and lights are switched off between 11am and 1pm. Taking her extended lunch break, Aimee Machu, 52, said the US wants to stem the flow of oil to “extinguish the flame of communism”. “It they cut the power in my house it’ll be torture,” she laughed, adding with mettle: “But if we have to go through power cuts again, we’ll do it.”“We’re Cuban,” her colleague Rita Castro, 60, chuckled. “We’re used to this!”Despite its myriad problems, the Cuban economy has proved resilient when times get tough, according to Pavel Vidal, a former economist at the Cuban Central Bank who now teaches at the Javeriana Cali University in Colombia.“In normal conditions, Cuba’s centrally planned economy impedes economic growth, progress and innovation,” he said. “But in times of crisis, having a plan to assign resources where they are needed is an advantage.”The collapse of Venezuela’s oil industry – the result of years of mismanagement, incompetence and, more recently, US sanctions – has seen its oil shipments to Cuba slump, from more than 90,000 barrels a day four years ago to about 40,000 today.Alberto Font and Iris Ortiz watch a local TV news recording of a speech by Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel in Havana on Thursday. Photograph: Alexandre Meneghini/ReutersThe current US plan to starve the Cuban economy of oil – which the state department says is necessary to pressure Cuba to stop supporting Nicolás Maduro’s regime – is part of an onslaught on the communist-ruled island unleashed by the Trump administration this year. The US has progressively ratcheted up sanctions against Venezuelan oil and those buying or transporting it since January, culminating in Cuba’s oil import-export company also being placed under sanctions in July.The three biggest sectors of the island’s economy have all been targeted. The state department is working to delegitimise the island’s main export: the leasing of doctors to other developing countries. In June, the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said Cuba’s medical cooperation programmes – to which doctors sign up voluntarily – amount to “human trafficking”.In June US cruise ships were banned from docking at the island – a major blow to tourism – while in September the cap on remittances people in the US can send to the island was sharply cut back.The Cuban government insists the situation is “temporary” and has said there will be no return to anything resembling the “Special Period”, the official term for the deep economic crisis Cuba went through after the fall of the Soviet Union, when the average adult lost more than 5kg and getting through the day without electricity was so common that Cubans talked not so much of “power cuts” (apagones) but of “power ons” (alumbrones).After seeing her country’s economy improve rapidly after the normalisation of US-Cuban relations announced in 2014, Maite Rizo, 26, has watched the deterioration of relations between the two countries with alarm.“I feel confused, even scared,” she said. “We’ve gone from a period of bonanza to a situation where everything’s gone backwards very quickly. From here on, we don’t know what will happen.”Throughout the capital, meanwhile, commuters get by as best they can.“It’s a battle to get to work,” said Nuerca Sánchez, 45, a rumba teacher, while a dozen commuters jostled for spare seats in a car on its way to a state cigar factory. She sees the emergency transport measures as common sense, and is touched when the odd private car stops voluntarily to give people lifts.“Helping each other isn’t about politics,” she said. “It’s about having heart.”Under the blazing sun, others take the long view.Pedro Leocadeo, 64, who is retired, concedes that he might wait hours for a place on a bus. Shimmering in beads of sweat, he sees the sanctions on tankers in the broad sweep of New World history.“We’ve been in this ever since Hatuey,” he said, invoking the Taíno warrior who in 1511 fled from the island of Hispaniola to Cuba to warn the natives of unscrupulous aggressors from foreign lands.“We’re like this today; tomorrow things might get better – the following day things might get worse again,” he said. “Today, it all depends on the Yankees.”
A mother who says her two children were wrongfully taken into care shortly after their ninth birthday by Dutch social services intends to launch legal action against the authorities who handled the case. On March 23, 2012, Nikolai and Anastasia Antonova were removed from their mother’s care. Among the reasons cited for their removal was that the children spoke their mother Jelena’s native language Russian at home, not Dutch. Social workers also claimed their mother might flee with them to Latvia to escape the children’s estranged father. The children had “severely conflicting loyalties” to their parents, social workers who were working closely with their father said. The children had previously said they were frightened of their father and did not want to see him again. The original care order was instituted for a year but was subsequently extended on several occasions. Ms Antonova alleges that the children were held without the right legal permission. The Dutch Court of Appeal made repeated rulings that the children should be reunited with their mother but these were overturned when the child protection board, part of the justice ministry, sought the extension of the care order in a lower family court. The family’s case was first highlighted by the late Christopher Booker in a series of columns for The Sunday Telegraph. The case was also raised in the European parliament in March 2014. MEPs were shown a video of the children being taken away from their home, captured by their brother Ilja Antonovs. The children were eventually permanently reunited with their mother in November 2014 after two years and eight months when a judge ruled that they should never have been removed from their mother’s care. The order followed a report from a family psychologist Dr De Jong who concluded that Ms Antonova was not guilty of neglect. Jelena Antonova was subsequently granted permission to question, under oath, social workers who handled the case and officials from two different authorities connected to the children’s care. On June 18 and September 2 Ms Antonova questioned social workers and is now preparing to sue three parties linked to the ordeal; Salvation Army Youth Protection, the Ministry of Justice and Security and the youth protection service of Gelderland province. During the questioning, a number of flaws in the conduct of youth care emerged, the family claims. They are now suing the three parties for the “unlawful and careless removal of the children”, claiming they are liable “for the damage suffered and to be suffered” by the family. Youth Protection said it is prohibited from commenting on individual cases. The Netherlands Salvation Army said it does not respond to individual cases but pointed out that Salvation Army Youth Protection always acts under the instruction of the Dutch legal authorities. The Ministry of Justice and Security and Gelderland youth protection did not respond to repeated requests for comment this week.