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  • Global Display Controllers Industry

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:43:00 -0400
  • No, Now Is Not the Time for Another Russia Reset

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    Until Moscow is willing to do its part, Washington should avoid pointless dialogue and instead push back firmly against Vladimir Putin’s aggression.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:39:52 -0400
  • Putin Announces Russia Has Approved a Coronavirus Vaccine and That His Daughter Has Been Given a Shot

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that his country has become the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine, and that his own daughter has received the shot. The vaccine is in production and millions of people, including teachers and front line health-care workers, will be given the shot beginning this month, he claimed. China has already authorized one vaccine for use in its military, ahead of definitive data that it is safe and effective. The Russian vaccine was reportedly given to the scientists who developed it as well as 50 members of the Russian military and a handful of other volunteers. Putin made the announcement during a televised video conference call with government ministers, saying: “This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered,” adding that his daughter was among those to be inoculated. 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.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:30:39 -0400
  • Hong Kong arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai sparks international condemnation

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    Hong Kong's arrest of local media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying sparked a round of international condemnation, with Washington, Brussels and others calling the move the latest example of the government's use of a new national security law to silence political dissents."I'm deeply troubled by reports of the arrest of [Lai] under Hong Kong's draconian National Security Law," Pompeo said in a Twitter post. "Further proof that the [Chinese Communist Party] has eviscerated Hong Kong's freedoms and eroded the rights of its people."Britain, the European Union and the United Nations also expressed concern over the police move just over a month into the implementation of the new law that has a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the arrest a pretext to silence opposition."We are deeply concerned by the arrest of Jimmy Lai and six other individuals in Hong Kong," a spokesman for Johnson said.He added: "Freedom of the press is explicitly guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and is supposed to be protected under Article 4 of the national security law."This is further evidence that the national security law is being used as a pretext to silence opposition. The Hong Kong authorities must uphold the rights and freedoms of its people."Lai and six others - including his two sons and some of Apple Daily's management team - were arrested Monday for alleged collusion with foreign forces in the most high profile police operation under the national security law recently imposed by Beijing.Police also raided the newspaper's offices, spending several hours combing through the premises for unspecified documents, a move that was widely condemned by journalists' associations in Hong Kong.In another operation that began late afternoon, police also arrested three other activists, including Agnes Chow Ting, a close associate of former student leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung, on suspicion of collusion with foreign or external forces to endanger national security, sources told the Post.Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily office in Hong Kong, China in this still picture taken from a social media video on Monday. Photo: Apple Daily via Reuters alt=Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily office in Hong Kong, China in this still picture taken from a social media video on Monday. Photo: Apple Daily via ReutersFreelance ITV News journalist, Wilson Li, was among the other two arrested. Li was formerly a member of Scholarism, the student activists' group formed by Joshua Wong.He was arrested along with activist Andy Li, according to ITV.An ITV News spokesperson said: "We can confirm that Wilson Li works for ITV News in a freelance capacity. We are concerned to hear of his arrest and are urgently seeking clarification of the circumstances."European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said the arrests of Lai, his family members and other individuals, and the raid on the offices of Apple Daily, "further stoke fears that the National Security Law is being used to stifle freedom of expression and of the media in Hong Kong"."The European Union recalls that the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is a central element of the Basic Law and the 'one country, two systems' principle," Stano said.In addition, media freedom and pluralism are "pillars of democracy" as they are "essential components of open and free society', he said. "It is essential that the existing rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents are fully protected, including freedom of speech, of the press and of publication, as well as freedom of association and of assembly."The UN human rights office voiced deep concern on Monday at Lai's arrest under the new security law."We urge the authorities to review these cases to ensure that the arrests do not impinge on the exercise of rights protected by the international human rights law and Hong Kong's Basic Law," Jeremy Laurence, spokesman for the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told Reuters."We repeat our calls for the authorities to monitor and review the operation of the security law and to amend it if necessary to ensure there is no scope for its misuse to restrict human rights guaranteed by international law and the Basic Law of Hong Kong," Laurence added.Republican US senator Marco Rubio, known for writing and supporting legislation that calls for the sanctioning of officials deemed to be responsible for undermining Hong Kong's autonomy, including the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, also weighed in on Lai's arrest."As more arrests are expected, the free world must respond quickly as well as provide safe harbor to at-risk Hong Kongers," Rubio said in a retweet of a post about the situation by US-based Samuel Chu of the Hong Kong Democracy Council.Chu is one of six people now sought by Hong Kong police on suspicion of breaking the new national security law.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:30:00 -0400
  • Iran sentences 2 men to prison over spying for Israel, West

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:27:43 -0400
  • Coronavirus and South Africa's toxic relationship with alcohol

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    A ban on drinking highlights a legacy of the country's racist past but threatens its economic future.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 05:25:05 -0400
  • Russia registers virus vaccine, Putin's daughter given it

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    Russia on Tuesday became the first country to officially register a coronavirus vaccine and declare it ready for use, despite international skepticism. President Vladimir Putin said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated. Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has undergone proper testing and is safe.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 04:54:41 -0400
  • Russia approves world's first Covid-19 vaccine

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    President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess. The development paves the way for the mass inoculation of the Russian population, even as the final stage of clinical trials to test safety and efficacy continues. The speed at which Russia is moving to roll out its vaccine highlights its determination to win the global race for an effective product, but has stirred concerns that it may be putting national prestige before sound science and safety. Speaking at a government meeting on state television, Putin said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, was safe and that it had even been administered to one of his daughters. "I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the needed checks," said Putin. He said he hoped the country would soon start mass producing the vaccine. Its approval by the health ministry foreshadows the start of a larger trial involving thousands of participants, commonly known as a Phase III trial. Such trials, which require a certain rate of participants catching the virus to observe the vaccine's effect, are normally considered essential precursors for a vaccine to receive regulatory approval. Regulators around the world have insisted that the rush to develop Covid-19 vaccines will not compromise safety. But recent surveys show growing public distrust in governments' efforts to rapidly produce such a vaccine. Russian health workers treating Covid-19 patients will be offered the chance of volunteering to be vaccinated soon after the vaccine's approval, a source told Reuters last month. More than 100 possible vaccines are being developed around the world to try to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. At least four are in final Phase III human trials, according to WHO data.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 04:52:32 -0400
  • Global Egg Powder Industry

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 03:23:00 -0400
  • Egyptians start voting for revived upper house of parliament

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 03:10:17 -0400
  • South Africa's poor scramble for anti-HIV drugs amid virus

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    When her regular clinic ran out of her government-funded HIV medications amid South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, Sibongile Zulu panicked. Desperate for the lifesaving medication, the single mother of four called a friend -- a nurse with a local charity helping people with HIV, the Sister Mura Foundation. Across South Africa and around the world, the pandemic has disrupted the supply of antiretroviral drugs, endangering the lives of many of the more than 24 million people globally who take the medications that suppress the HIV virus.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 03:07:46 -0400
  • Global Electric Bicycle Motors Industry

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 03:03:00 -0400
  • Belarusian challenger flees to Lithuania amid protests

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    The top opposition candidate in Belarus' presidential vote who refused to concede her defeat has fled the country amid a massive police crackdown on protests, Lithuania's foreign minister said Tuesday. Linas Linkevicius' said on Twitter that Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is now “safe” in Lithuania.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 02:48:18 -0400
  • Global Electric Guitars Industry

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 02:43:00 -0400
  • World Food Programme to send 50,000 T of wheat flour to Lebanon - U.N.

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 01:44:11 -0400
  • US military investigating claim of Iraq-Kuwait border blast

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 01:43:47 -0400
  • Trump moots hosting G7 summit after US election

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    US President Donald Trump on Monday suggested hosting the Group of Seven summit after the November presidential election, saying he would invite countries generally excluded from the global get-togethers. The Group of Seven (G7) brings together the leaders of some of the world's richest countries, who meet to discuss political and economic issues. Trump had initially wanted to hold an in-person summit in Washington in June -- an idea that German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 01:03:57 -0400
  • Global Electronic Weighing Scales Industry

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    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 01:03:00 -0400
  • Portland protesters rally as arrest of activist draws ire

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    The arrest during protests in Portland, Oregon, of a Black woman who became a leading activist in the racial justice movement after she was assaulted by a white supremacist three years ago has galvanized local and national Black Lives Matter groups. More demonstrations were planned in the city Monday night, and authorities declared one outside the North Precinct an unlawful assembly, ordering everyone to leave. Portland has seen more than two months of often violent, nightly protests since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 01:01:49 -0400
  • In virus talks, Pelosi holds firm while Mnuchin wants a deal

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    Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not about to blink. The Democratic leader has been here before, negotiating a deal with the White House to save the U.S. economy, and lessons from the Great Recession are now punctuating the coronavirus talks. With Republicans again balking at big government bailouts, the Democrats believe they have the leverage, forcing President Donald Trump into a politically risky standoff over help for millions of Americans.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:50:46 -0400
  • Constraints gone, GOP ramps up effort to monitor voting

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    Since 1937, the state of Pennsylvania has had strict rules about who can stand in polling stations and challenge the eligibility of voters. The restrictions are meant to curb the use of “poll monitors” long sent by both parties to look out for voting mishaps but at times used to intimidate voters. In June, the Republican National Committee sued to ease those rules, saying they imposed arbitrary limits on the party's ability to keep tabs on the voting process no matter where it occurs.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:45:31 -0400
  • Analysis: Trump has a go-to solution, and it's more Trump

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    President Donald Trump has a ready solution for almost any crisis: more Donald Trump. In a template forged in his 2016 convention speech when he declared that “I alone can fix it,” the president has repeatedly put himself forth as the answer, injecting himself into controversies and refusing to cede the spotlight. Hustled to safety Monday by a Secret Service agent after a shooting just outside the White House gates, Trump reappeared at the podium minutes later and said, “I didn’t even think about not coming back.”

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:43:36 -0400
  • New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy

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    Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility. New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:24:58 -0400
  • Inaction by Congress leaves states to pay for election costs

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    Congress’ failure so far to pass another round of coronavirus aid leaves state and local officials on their own to deal with the soaring costs of holding a presidential election amid a deadly pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak has triggered unprecedented disruptions for election officials across the U.S. They are dealing with staffing shortages and budget constraints while also trying to figure out how to process a flood of absentee ballot requests, as more and more states have moved to mail-in balloting as a safer way to vote. “It is appalling that Congress has not provided the needed resources for state and local elections officials during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:21:41 -0400
  • Secret Service escorts Trump from press briefing after shooting outside White House

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    * Secret Service shot armed suspect outside White House fence * President was giving coronavirus briefingDonald Trump was abruptly escorted out of a press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday after an armed suspect was shot outside the White House.The president was just minutes into his coronavirus briefing when a Secret Service agent asked Trump to leave the podium and quickly exit the room along with other administration officials.Reporters were briefly placed into lockdown as members of the president’s security detail surrounded the West Wing. One Fox News correspondent said they’d heard two shots fired soon before Trump was hurried out.Trump returned to the stage around 10 minutes later to confirm someone had been taken to hospital following a shooting outside of the White House perimeter fence.“There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said. The president said the shots were fired by law enforcement.The suspect was armed, Trump said, but he offered few additional details. “I do want to thank Secret Service. They are fantastic.”“It seems that the person was shot by the Secret Service so we’ll see what happens,” Trump said, calling the episode “unfortunate.”“It was outside of the White House,” he said. “It seems that the shooting was done by law enforcement at the suspect, it was the suspect who was shot,” he continued.Law enforcement officials were trying to determine the suspect’s motive. The Secret Service confirmed the shooting shortly afterwards, describing it as an “officer involved shooting at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave”.A Secret Service statement said: “At approximately 5.53pm today a 51-year-old male approached a US Secret Service uniformed division officer who was standing at his post on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW near the White House complex. The suspect approached the officer and told the officer he had a weapon. The suspect then turned around, ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing.“He then crouched into a shooter’s stance as if about to fire a weapon. The Secret Service officer discharged his weapon striking the individual in the torso. Officers immediately rendered first aid to the suspect and DC Fire and EMS were called to the scene. Both the suspect and the officer were transported to local hospitals.“The White House complex was not breached during the incident and no Secret Service protectees were ever in danger. The Secret Service office of professional responsibility will be conducting an internal review of the officer’s actions. The Metropolitan police department was contacted to conduct an investigation.”Trump said he had not been taken into the secure underground bunker but to an area near the Oval Office. He later told reporters that he did not fear for his safety.Asked if he was shaken by the incident, Trump asked reporters: “I don’t know. Do I seem rattled?”After fielding questions about the incident outside the White House, Trump returned to his scripted remarks on the nation’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, promoted what he said were his administration’s achievements, and used the platform for political messaging – warning that if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins the election in November, Iran, China and North Korea will “own this country”.Trump has faced widespread criticism for a lack of federal leadership during the pandemic. More than 163,000 people have died of Covid-19 related illnesses and more than 5m coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the US so far.During the briefing, the Guardian’s David Smith asked the president: “If 160,000 people had died on President Obama’s watch, do you think you would have called for his resignation?”Trump responded, “No I wouldn’t have done that. I think it’s been amazing what we’ve been able to do. If we didn’t close up our country, we’d have 1.5 to 2 million people already dead. We’ve called it right. Now we don’t have to close it … If I would’ve listened to a lot of people, we would’ve kept it open.”The president insisted the US had done an “extraordinary job”.However, the US government’s own public health expert has admitted that more lives would have been saved if the US had adopted social distancing restrictions earlier. Throughout the pandemic, Trump has strongly resisted efforts to put in place federal restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, has pushed states to reopen and has expressed sympathy to rightwing protests against lockdowns.Additionally, the US is the only affluent nation to have suffered a sustained and severe outbreak for more than four months, as the New York Times recently noted.Sam Levin contributed to this report

    Tue, 11 Aug 2020 00:20:53 -0400
  • Voters will judge Omar's mix of progressivism and celebrity

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    Rep. Ilhan Omar is about to learn whether voters in her Minneapolis-area congressional district support the mix of confrontational, anti-Trump progressivism and celebrity that she brings to the job. Omar, the first Somali American and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, is facing a surprisingly well-funded challenger in Minnesota's Democratic primaries on Tuesday. Omar rejected Melton-Meaux’s attacks, saying they were funded by interests that wanted to get her out of Congress because she’s effective.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 23:50:48 -0400
  • Biden Aides Will Stiff-Arm GOP’s Burisma Probe, Sources Say

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    Two key witnesses in Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) probe into corruption allegations involving presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter are unlikely to appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee before the 2020 presidential election even if subpoenaed, according to an individual familiar with the matter and another individual with knowledge of the probe. Johnson, the chair of the Senate committee, is leading two separate but related investigations, one into the origins of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and one into Joe Biden’s former dealings in Ukraine and Hunter Biden’s financial relationship with Burisma, a gas company in the country. Johnson told The Hill he plans to publish a report on the Biden probe in the coming weeks, possibly by mid-September.Staffers working on that investigation have interviewed numerous witnesses, including David Wade, the former chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry, and Liz Zentos, a foreign service officer working at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. Zentos formerly served as the Eastern Europe director for the National Security Council, according to three people familiar with the matter. Johnson is expected to move to issue subpoenas for two other witnesses, former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Amos Hochstein, a former energy adviser for then Vice President Biden. Per committee rules, Johnson would have to officially inform Democrats of his intention to issue the subpoenas. The ranking member, Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), would have 72 hours to disapprove, which would trigger a committee vote. One individual familiar with the matter said Republicans on the committee, in anticipation of Peters’ disapproval, have in recent weeks honed in on securing the vote of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). Johnson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If the subpoenas are issued, individuals familiar with the matter say Hochstein and Blinken are unlikely to appear for questioning before the November election, particularly given recent acknowledgment by Democrats and by senior officials in the Trump administration that the probe involves materials from a known disinformation peddler. Those individuals pointed to a recent statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that highlighted ongoing Russian efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, specifically to “undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy.” The statement pointed to Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker with close ties to Russia who has previously met with President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.Rudy Giuliani—and Russia—Pay Close Attention to This Ukrainian Conspiracy-Peddler“Pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption—including through publicizing leaked phone calls—to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party,” the statement said. “Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”For weeks now Democrats have accused Johnson and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who is leading his own probe into the FBI investigation of Russia meddling in the 2016 election, of relying on information compiled by Derkach to help inform the probe. Johnson has consistently denied the allegations.On Friday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) published an op-ed in The Washington Post, claiming the Trump administration “is keeping the truth about a grave, looming threat to democracy hidden from the American people.” Blumenthal specifically referenced his attendance at classified briefings on attempts by foreign countries, including Russia, to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. “The facts are chilling,” he said, pointing to Johnson’s probe into the Bidens as a “forum for debunked conspiracy theories peddled by Kremlin proxies.”On Monday, Johnson released an 11-page letter explaining the two probes and defending the investigation into the Bidens. Johnson called out Blumenthal for his Post op-ed, saying the Connecticut senator’s allegations about him receiving materials from Derkach are unfounded.“It is neither me, Chairman Grassley, nor our committees that are being used to disseminate Russian disinformation,” Johnson wrote. “Instead, it is Democrats and the media that have been doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s work for him.” Johnson and Grassley signaled in a letter last week that they have received information from Andrii Telizhenko, a former Ukrainian diplomat who has worked closely with Giuliani. Telizhenko was previously involved in the release of recordings and transcripts of Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Telizhenko told the Post in July there would be additional call leaks this summer.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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, 10 Aug 2020 23:28:52 -0400
  • Would a New Iran Deal Be Tougher Than the One Trump Left?

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Speaking at a fundraiser in New Jersey over the weekend, President Donald Trump predicted that he would have a new nuclear deal within four weeks if re-elected in November. In one sense, this is typical bluster from a president who has recently mused that his face should be carved on Mount Rushmore. At the same time, it highlights both a risk about a second Trump term and a truth about the Iranian regime his administration has pressured since taking office.First, consider the risk. Trump has always explained his maximum pressure campaign as an effort to coerce Tehran to submit to better terms. By itself, there is nothing wrong with that. The 2015 nuclear deal forged by Trump’s predecessor was weak. Key limitations on the technology and scale of Iran’s enrichment program expired over time.And Trump’s campaign has steadily increased pressure on the regime. The remaining loopholes in U.S. sanctions against Iran have been closed, and Iran’s most important general has been killed. Meanwhile, the U.S. is planning to introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran set to expire in October.But Trump is also prone to flattery, and has expressed desperation for a diplomatic win. As former National Security Adviser John Bolton wrote in his memoir this year, the president was interested in “making a deal he could characterize as a huge success, even if it was badly flawed.”Now consider the truth about the Iranian regime. Veterans of former President Barack Obama’s administration and America’s European allies have been scathing about Trump’s maximum pressure policy. In part they defend the 2015 deal, but they also say Trump’s current policy is not the way to get a better deal with Iran.Nonetheless, this is exactly the approach that Obama took against Iran — although he did not call it a “maximum pressure” campaign. After discovering a hidden uranium enrichment facility in 2009, the administration and Congress increased sanctions over time in a gambit to bring the Iranians to negotiations. When the first preliminary deal was struck in 2013, only some of those sanctions were lifted. Economic warfare was waged to get a better deal.Presidential elections are, of course, a binary choice. If you are worried about what kind of deal Trump may negotiate with Iran, then you might also be concerned that former Vice President Joe Biden would simply re-enter the one that Trump exited.But Biden has been more cautious than one might expect. The Biden campaign has not pledged, for example, to re-enter the deal unconditionally. “If Iran moves back into compliance with its nuclear obligations,” Biden told the New York Times last spring, the U.S. would re-enter the 2015 agreement. He also added that this would be a “starting point to work alongside our allies in Europe and other world powers to extend the deal’s nuclear constraints.”For voters who have supported Trump’s tough line on Iran, this presents a dilemma. Who would make a better deal with Iran: a mercurial president who has shown little interest in details and policy, or a former vice president whose administration negotiated a weak one in the first place? Put another way: Do you go with the devil you know, or the devil you once knew?(Corrects the location of the fundraiser to New Jersey in the first paragraph.)This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Eli Lake is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering national security and foreign policy. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 22:53:54 -0400
  • Trump equates mail-in voting to Russian election interference

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    The president rebuffed a reporter’s question on whether he had confronted Vladimir Putin about reports of meddling.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 20:22:17 -0400
  • UN envoy says Guinea-Bissau in fragile state after elections

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    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 19:31:26 -0400
  • Iranian newspaper on temporary suspension after expert questions government’s official coronavirus numbers

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    An influential newspaper in Iran was shut down by government officials for publishing remarks by an expert who challenged the country’s official COVID-19 figures. The daily Jahane Sanat, which has been in business since 2004, was closed by authorities for an interview where epidemiologist Mohammad Reza Mahboobfar said he worked on the government’s anti-coronavirus campaign, and also revealed the true number of cases and deaths in Iran could be 20 times the number reported by the Health Ministry, the Associated Press reported. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief Mohammad Reza Sadi told the state-run IRNA news agency on Monday that the press supervisory board “issued a verdict for the temporary suspension of the newspaper following the publication of the interview.”

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 18:33:26 -0400
  • Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

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    President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a U.S. Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. “There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said. Trump said he was escorted to the Oval Office by the agent.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:59:16 -0400
  • Iran nuclear deal at risk as U.N. council prepares to vote on arms embargo

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    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:01:14 -0400
  • No federal relief leaves states, cities facing big deficits

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    State and local government officials across the U.S. have been on edge for months about how to keep basic services running while covering rising costs related to the coronavirus outbreak as tax revenue plummeted. The negotiation meltdown raises the prospect of more layoffs and furloughs of government workers and cuts to health care, social services, infrastructure and other core programs. On Monday, governors, lawmakers, mayors, teachers and others said they were going to keep pushing members of Congress to revive talks on another rescue package.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 16:10:35 -0400
  • Nigerian singer sentenced to death for blasphemy in Kano state

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    Musician Yahaya Sharif-Aminu broadcast a song about Prophet Muhammad in March.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:38:52 -0400
  • Mauritius oil spill: Fears vessel may 'break in two' as cracks appear

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    The MV Wakashio, which ran aground on a coral reef on 25 July, is now leaking oil off the island.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:37:35 -0400
  • Boris Johnson pledges new laws to tackle migrants crossing Channel once Brexit transition ends

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    Boris Johnson has pledged to create new laws to tackle migrants crossing the English Channel once the Brexit transition period comes to an end, as the RAF deployed an aircraft to assist Border Force for the first time. The Prime Minister conceded that it was “very, very difficult” to return migrants who arrive in the UK from France via the Channel and said the UK would need to “look at the legal framework that we have” that allows such a situation to develop. However Mr Johnson added that his Government needed to look at what it can do to “change” the “panoply of laws that an illegal immigrant has at his or her disposal that allows them to stay here”. Record numbers of asylum seekers have crossed the Channel to reach the UK this year, with nearly 600 people having made the journey by boat in the last few days alone. On Tuesday the Immigration minister, Chris Philp, will hold talks with his French counterparts to discuss the evolving situation. When Mr Philp is in Paris it will be "to seek to agree stronger measures with them, including interceptions and returns, to tackle this shared challenge head on". On Monday the UK Government was accused of exercising “political measure” following speculation that the Royal Navy would be deployed to help with the crisis. Pierre-Henri Dumont, the MP for Calais, said involving the navy was “to show some kind of resource to fight against smugglers and illegal crossings in the Channel, but technically speaking that won't change anything”. His comments come after the RAF for the first time assisted Border Force by deploying its Atlas A400M transport aircraft to survey the Channel on Monday morning on orders authorised by Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, following the Home Office's formal request for help from the MoD. Priti Patel, who travelled to Dover on Monday to “see how Border Force and other operational partners are tirelessly dealing with the unacceptable number of illegal small boat crossings” pledged to make this “incredibly dangerous route unviable".

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:29:15 -0400
  • Turkey's Halkbank urges dismissal of U.S. indictment in Iran sanctions case

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    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:12:47 -0400
  • French expert: Dangerous chemicals remain in Beirut port

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    Chemical experts and firefighters are working to secure at least 20 potentially dangerous chemical containers at the explosion-shattered port of Beirut, after finding one that was leaking, according to a member of a French cleanup team. French and Italian chemical experts working amid the remains of the port have so far identified more than 20 containers carrying dangerous chemicals, Anthony said. The experts are working with Lebanese firefighters to secure all of the containers and analyze their contents, he said.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 15:07:24 -0400
  • Beirut Blast Hit 3 Disparate Neighborhoods. Now They're United in Rage.

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    BEIRUT -- For months, the restaurateurs poured their time and money into a gamble on a new joint called "The Barn."Conceived as a healthy eatery in the hip, historic Beirut neighborhood of Gemmayzeh, it was set to open Monday with organic produce and a curved marble bar. But the explosion that ripped through Beirut last week beat the opening by six days, blasting the restaurant's metal doors into the dining room and carving a path of destruction.Sitting in the remains, the founder, Rabih Mouawad, said the blast -- which officials said was caused by the detonation of chemicals stored for years at the city's port -- showed how gravely the country needed to change."If there is ever a turning point for Lebanon, this will be it," he said. "We just got hit by a nuclear bomb! If that doesn't change things, nothing will."In three ravaged neighborhoods -- one middle class, one poor and one upscale -- the catastrophe has united everyone in rage against a government seen as corrupt, dysfunctional and ineffectual. Dozens of conversations in these areas found residents of different classes who were already seething over the country's failures of leadership and are now demanding change even more forcefully than before.Lebanon had already been sinking into a bog of interlocking crises that will make recovery far more difficult. Even before the coronavirus pandemic triggered a global recession, Lebanon's economy was shrinking, its currency was crashing, and banks were refusing to give people their money. Power cuts left many in the dark, and protesters marched frequently against their leaders.Then a huge cache of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used in fertilizer and explosives, detonated at the port Tuesday, killing more than 150 people, injuring some 6,000 and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless, according to officials.That lent a new sense of urgency to the campaign for a change in government.GemmayzehIf you ever received a postcard from Beirut, chances are good the photo on it was taken around Gemmayzeh. Just south of the port, the predominantly Christian, middle-class district is dotted with stone churches and historic homes with exposed rafters and arches facing the street.Picturesque stairwells covered in arty graffiti run between apartment buildings. The main drag is lined with bars and restaurants where patrons, in better times, overflowed into the street through the night.This was where Mouawad and his business partner, Chantal Salloum, tried their luck with The Barn, investing $450,000 to get it ready.But the blast heavily damaged the neighborhood, punching through apartments, killing residents in their homes and blocking roads with rubble and uprooted trees.Days later, scarcely a pane of glass remained. Holes in walls allowed glimpses into once-concealed bedrooms. Red roof tiles had been scraped from old houses, their walls leaning dangerously over the street."We don't want to give up, and we don't want to leave the country," Mouawad said.But questions abounded with few answers.How to rebuild? When would the banks reopen, and would they give out money? How would imported supplies enter the damaged port? How much would metal and glass cost now that demand was off the charts?Across the street, Angel Saadeh, 65, was cleaning out the destroyed apartment where she had raised six children since her marriage in 1971."Tell the world that we need aid -- not money, but nuclear bombs to drop on these politicians!" she screamed. She insulted them one by one until her granddaughter, Melissa Fakhri, 20, mentioned a Christian warlord turned party leader her grandmother liked.Saadeh said he was better than the others."Grandma, all of them means all of them!" Fakhri said, reciting a common protest chant.Later, volunteer cleaners on the street chanted the classic battle cry of the Arab Spring uprisings: "The people want to topple the regime!" Saadeh ran to the window, pumping her fists.The QuarantineThe neighborhood known as the Quarantine clings to Beirut like a forgotten annex. Named for its history as a holding area for potentially infectious travelers, it is poor, polluted and squeezed between the port, a major highway and a garbage processing facility, which sends a stench wafting through the cinder block apartments."The Quarantine has always been neglected," said Fakhrideen Shihadi, a Quarantine native who oversees its tin-roofed mosque.The cranes of Beirut's port loom over the neighborhood, but its proximity to one of the country's key economic arteries brought little money to the area. Plum jobs at the port, and the illicit income they generated, were divvied up between political parties to reward loyalists and fund operations."The port is all wasta," Shihadi said, using an Arabic word for the family, sectarian and political connections that Lebanese rely on for jobs and services.Lacking wasta, he got laid off from his job at a garbage company in 2017, he said, and has since worked weighing garbage at the processing facility. But as Lebanon's economy contracted, his employer stopped paying him three months ago, he said. He kept working anyway so he wouldn't lose the job.Then the explosion tore through the neighborhood, shaving walls from its tenements, killing four of Shihadi's neighbors and filling the streets with smoke and wounded people. He and his family escaped their building unscathed but found their neighborhood wrecked.The blast shook mortar from the ceiling of the stone church and punched in the roof of the mosque. Days later, a mournful recitation of the Quran emanated from its minaret, and residents prayed on carpets on the asphalt outside.Government assistance to residents here and in other hard-hit areas has been scant."Aid organizations could come, but we expect nothing from the state," Shihadi said. "Here, people help other people."And that's what happened.That morning, hundreds of volunteers from elsewhere in the city had showed up wielding brooms and shovels to help clean up. They scooped up shattered drywall in the hospital and swept glass from damaged apartments.In an empty lot by the church, volunteers distributed water, cookies and meals donated by companies. A man in a white truck handed out ice cream.The blast also tore through the local government hospital, known for treating children, the poor and crash victims from the highway, damaging the facility so badly that it shut down.Dr. Michel Matar, head of the hospital's board, wondered aloud how the hospital, and Lebanon as a whole, could move on."We are not moving forward. We are moving backward," he said. "We cannot continue like this."Yahia al-Osman, a laborer, sat outside his building as volunteers handed out sandwiches and cleared roads. Little remained of his fourth-floor apartment."We were dying here before the explosion," he said. "What will we do after it?"DowntownThe graffiti starts before you reach downtown, west of the port."The revolution of the people.""Bring down the rulers.""Danger: Corruption."After the country's devastating 15-year civil war ended in 1990, Beirut's downtown was rebuilt, with investments from the Persian Gulf and wealthy Lebanese, as a showcase meant to reclaim Lebanon's reputation as the "Switzerland of the Middle East."Cobblestone streets around a famous clock tower next to the Parliament echoed Paris, and the neighborhood filled up with banks, travel agencies and a glitzy pedestrian mall teeming with luxury brands.But the area never fully took off.Most Lebanese couldn't afford the apartments or restaurants, and political turbulence and fear of Iran-backed Hezbollah, the militant group and political party, scared off wealthy tourists, making parts of the area feel like a ghost town in recent years.Anti-government protests erupted last fall, with demonstrators demanding the ouster of the political elite they accuse of wrecking the country. Security forces responded by ringing the Parliament with barricades and concertina wire, keeping citizens out while legislators in armed convoys zoomed in for sessions that rarely addressed the country's mounting problems.As the Parliament has become more fortresslike, the surrounding streets have been covered with graffiti and damaged in clashes with the security forces.Then the explosion hit downtown, shattering the windows of the luxury shops and apartments and bringing angry protesters back to the streets. Over the weekend, the area became a battleground of tear gas, fires and flying rocks as angry protesters tried to shake a political order they felt had failed them.Days earlier, young people who saw the blast as the latest product of the state's many ills had gathered in nearby Martyrs' Square, under a giant raised fist reading "homeland."A makeshift shrine near a statue honored those who had died in the blast. Their photos showed men in military uniforms, a smiling woman by the seaside, a man in tuxedo and a fire crew with a woman paramedic.Hassan Hijazi, 19, a car mechanic, and Karim Shamiyeh, 19, a waiter, relaxed after helping blast victims clean their homes. They were mad that their money had lost its worth, that young men like them without political connections struggled to get good jobs and that government neglect had led to a tragic explosion."We can't continue unless we put our hands together and get rid of all the politicians," Hijazi said. "But I don't know how we are going to do it."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:59:06 -0400
  • UN food chief: Beirut could run out of bread in 2 1/2 weeks

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    The head of the U.N. food agency said Monday he’s “very, very concerned” Lebanon could run out of bread in about 2 ½ weeks because 85% of the country's grain comes through Beirut's devastated port — but he believes an area of the port can be made operational this month. David Beasley, who is in Beirut assessing damage and recovery prospects, told a virtual U.N. briefing on the humanitarian situation following last week’s explosion in the Lebanese capital that “at the devastated site, we found a footprint that we can operate on a temporary basis.” “Working with the Lebanese army, we believe that we can clear part of that site,” Beasley said.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 14:18:42 -0400
  • Brent Scowcroft Never Hated His Enemies

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- As I was preparing to assume duties as supreme allied commander at NATO a decade ago, the two people I sought out for counsel were both generals: Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft.The advice from Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was essentially personal, and it boiled down to: “Don’t start to think you are Charlemagne over there, Stavridis.” Meaning, don’t let your ego get out in front of you, and listen to your mentors and the chain of command.Scowcroft, who had served as national security adviser for Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, spent a couple of hours with me and laid out a detailed geopolitical picture. Reflecting on his time served in half a dozen presidential administrations, the general provided a balanced, sensible and practical approach to take with both the Russian Federation and our European allies. As we concluded our lengthy talk, he patted me on the shoulder and said: “You’ll do well over there, Jim. Don’t let the Russians get under your skin.”Scowcroft, who died on Thursday, was a slight, understated man — an outward appearance that belied his iron will and ability to stay calm in any situation. The book he and the first President Bush wrote about the end of the Cold War, “A World Transformed,” is the best volume about America’s role in the world in the 21st century. During my four years at NATO, and in the years afterward as dean at the Fletcher School at Tufts, I talked to him often. In thinking about his passing, it occurred to me that his life and career epitomized a certain kind of American public servant in three important ways — each with a lesson for U.S. foreign policy today.First and most importantly, the general was humble, self-effacing and kind. He knew each member of his team wherever he was stationed, and took the time to make each of them feel important and valued. There was never a shred of arrogance in Brent Scowcroft, despite all the accolades, degrees, heady positions, medals, and eventually a presidential Medal of Freedom and an honorary British knighthood. He loved his country deeply, but saw America in its complexity and acknowledged its failed moments — including the invasion of Iraq in 2003, which he opposed.A second quality was his unemotional, analytic approach to the world, sometimes called realpolitik. Scowcroft earned his spurs around former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and took Kissinger’s place the first time he became national security adviser. When he told me not to let the Russians get under my skin, he meant to stay calm and be the adult in the room. As Don Corleone puts it in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”: “Never hate your enemies — it affects your judgment.”This lesson in realism remains a striking and necessary lesson for the U.S. today, from dealing with the dangerous adventurism of Vladimir Putin to the irascible behavior of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.Finally, the general advocated an international outlook. He was a keen student of history, and in that 2009 talk he pointed out to me that a century earlier, the world was on the verge of two global conflicts in three decades. His prescription was simple: to best protect the nation and serve its interests, America had to remain engaged in the world — not as the world’s policeman, but as a source of leadership when it mattered.The isolationism that arose after World War I, including the rejection of the League of Nations and the trade wars of the late 1920s and 1930s, enabled the rise of fascism. As messy and complex as today’s world is, Scowcroft would remind us, we cannot simply turn our backs and withdraw from it.In the last few years, I saw the general from time to time — his office was near mine on Farragut Square in Washington. Although he was in his 90s, he took time to stop and chat about the world, and America’s place in it. I will miss him deeply, and I hope that the lessons of his extraordinary life will help America to stay calm, to re-engage with the world, and to shed the arrogance and bluster that is undermining its ability to lead in these challenging times.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.James Stavridis is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a retired U.S. Navy admiral and former supreme allied commander of NATO, and dean emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also an operating executive consultant at the Carlyle Group and chairs the board of counselors at McLarty Associates.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 13:18:15 -0400
  • Trump says US 'will have a deal with Iran within four weeks' if he is re-elected

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    Donald Trump has promised a new nuclear deal with Iran “within four weeks” if he is re-elected in November, according to a video of his remarks from inside a New Jersey fundraiser.Footage from a campaign fundraiser on Sunday show the president addressing a crowd of packed-in supporters, none of whom appear to be wearing masks or socially distanced while at the home of a friend of the president who died from coronavirus.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 12:53:02 -0400
  • Health officials are quitting or getting fired amid outbreak

    Golocal247.com news

    Vilified, threatened with violence and in some cases suffering from burnout, dozens of state and local public health leaders around the U.S. have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak, a testament to how politically combustible masks, lockdowns and infection data have become. One of the latest departures came Sunday, when California's public health director, Dr. Sonia Angell, was ousted following a technical glitch that caused a delay in reporting hundreds of thousands of virus test results — information used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools. Last week, New York City’s health commissioner was replaced after months of friction with the Police Department and City Hall.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 12:50:19 -0400
  • Powerful derecho leaves path of devastation across Midwest

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    A rare storm packing 100 mph winds and with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest on Monday, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power as it moved through Chicago and into Indiana and Michigan. The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois, had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado, said Patrick Marsh, science support chief at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 12:33:47 -0400
  • Coronavirus: How fast is it spreading in Africa?

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    There are signs the rate of increase in cases is slowing, but do we know the true scale of the outbreak in Africa?

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 11:23:13 -0400
  • 1 dead, 6 rescued after gas explosion levels Baltimore homes

    Golocal247.com news

    A natural gas explosion destroyed three row houses in Baltimore on Monday morning, killing a woman and trapping other people in the debris. A fourth house in the row was ripped open, and windows were shattered in nearby homes, leaving the northwest Baltimore neighborhood of Reisterstown Station strewn with glass and other rubble. “We’re trying to make sure that we comb through every area to determine if there are any victims inside," Baltimore Fire Department spokeswoman Blair Adams said at an afternoon news conference.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 10:46:45 -0400
  • The arrest of 33 Russian mercenaries amid election chaos in Belarus is testing Putin's patience

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    "It's not a great situation in general but doubly dangerous because nobody can say for sure what Putin will do," a NATO official told Insider.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 10:21:35 -0400
  • Born with 1 hand, she's an inspiration in virus fight

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    Two years out of medical school, respiratory therapist Savannah Stuard is on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 in New Orleans, operating ventilator equipment or manually pumping air into patients’ lungs. It's even more complicated for Stuard, who was born without a left forearm. Stuard, who works at Ochsner Medical Center, keeps the tip of her left arm covered with a glove secured by tape.

    Mon, 10 Aug 2020 10:05:36 -0400
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