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  • House Files Brief Arguing for Trump’s Removal From Office

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s attorneys and the House Democrats managing his impeachment trial filed their first formal briefs in the case on Saturday, pursuing familiar arguments aimed more at influencing the voters than the senators who will be his jurors.In a 111-page trial brief, the seven Democratic impeachment managers say the president’s pattern of misconduct made him a “threat to the nation and the rule of law.” An initial six-page response from Trump’s own lawyers takes aim at the House Democrats who investigated Trump, calling the impeachment probe a “brazen and unlawful” attempt to overturn the 2016 election.The Senate will begin its first impeachment trial in 20 years on Tuesday, a process that will end with the lawmakers rendering judgment on whether Trump’s presidency should be ended over his efforts to force Ukraine’s government to open investigations into one of his political rivals. The Republican-led Senate is exceedingly unlikely to convict Trump, but the House managers are also targeting undecided voters, with polls showing Americans leaning toward replacing the president in November’s elections.Democrats called on senators to conduct a fair trial as part of the oath they took this week to “do impartial justice.”“President Trump has demonstrated his continued willingness to corrupt free and fair elections, betray our national security, and subvert the constitutional separation of powers—all for personal gain,” the brief says. “It is imperative that the Senate convict and remove him from office now, and permanently bar him from holding federal office.”The White House declined to participate in the House’s investigation, so their brief filing is the first time that Trump’s counsel addressed the merits of the case against him, rather than simply criticizing the process.‘Dangerous Attack’The president’s legal team, including Ken Starr, who served as independent counsel for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, wrote that the articles are unconstitutional and that Trump “did nothing wrong.”“The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president,” Trump’s team said.House Democrats dismissed Trump’s response and said it demonstrates why he should be removed from office.“Rather than honestly address the evidence against him, the president’s latest filing makes the astounding claim that pressuring Ukraine to interfere in our election by announcing investigations that would damage a political opponent and advance his re-election is the president’s way of fighting corruption,” the seven impeachment managers said in a joint statement Saturday night. “It is not. Rather it is corruption itself, naked, unapologetic and insidious.”The White House is slated to file its more complete trial brief on Monday at noon, which will expand on the arguments in Saturday’s six-page filing.The president’s legal team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the Trump’s private attorney, Jay Sekulow. Other members of the team expect to give discrete presentations on specific topics.Democratic officials close to the House impeachment managers refuted the White House’s claims Saturday that Democrats are trying to undo his election, saying Trump’s conduct is exactly what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they set up the impeachment process. The officials also said that the House inquiry afforded Trump the same chances to defend himself as previous presidential impeachments.The House’s prosecution team -- seven impeachment managers led by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff -- will have the option to respond to Trump’s initial legal arguments before the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday for the trial.Pressure CampaignMost of the evidence in Saturday’s House filing came from weeks of closed door depositions and open hearings with witnesses who participated in the planning for -- and fallout from -- a pressure campaign from Trump associates to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.Trump and his allies frequently claim that Biden acted corruptly to protect Burisma, a Ukranian gas company where his son was a board member. The impeachment managers refute that claim in the filing.The theory is “baseless” and there is “no credible evidence” to support the allegation that Biden acted improperly when he encouraged Ukraine to remove a prosecutor who was facing corruption accusations, the brief said. Biden was carrying out official U.S. policy, a view that was shared by European allies and the International Monetary Fund, according to the filing.As leverage to demand an investigation of the Bidens, the White House blocked nearly $400 million in congressionally approved security aid for Ukraine, as well as a White House meeting sought by newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The brief includes evidence from witnesses making those connections as part of a quid pro quo.The report also includes a finding released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office that Trump’s withholding of military assistance for Ukraine violated federal law.The managers quoted the nonpartisan congressional watchdog’s statement that “faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.Senate Democrats said last week the GAO report bolsters their push to subpoena documents and witnesses that are relevant to the withholding of military aid.‘Ominous Pattern’The impeachment managers cite the administration directive for current and former officials to not participate in the House inquiry, as well as Trump’s own statements, as evidence of obstruction. They point to the 12 Trump officials who declined to appear for requested testimony, “nine of whom did so in defiance of duly authorized subpoenas.”The brief also accuses Trump of “intimidation tactics” against the witnesses who did appear, as well as “sustained attacks” on the intelligence community whistle-blower who filed a complaint about Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine.This is part of an “ominous pattern” of behavior for the president, the House prosecutors said in the brief, pointing to the way Trump responded to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.“Allowing this pattern to continue without repercussion would send the clear message that President Trump is correct in his view that no governmental body can hold him accountable for wrongdoing,” according to the brief. “That view is erroneous and exceptionally dangerous.“Although the articles of impeachment don’t rely on evidence from Mueller’s report, the House managers drew parallels between Trump’s behavior in the two episodes. Both included Trump associates in contact with a foreign power regarding a U.S. election, as well the president’s refusal to engage with investigators probing those interactions.“Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation -- like the House’s impeachment inquiry -- sought to uncover whether President Trump coordinated with a foreign government in order to obtain an improper advantage during a Presidential election,” the managers said.Obstruction of JusticeMueller said there was not enough evidence that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia regarding the 2016 election. His report highlighted several episodes that could amount to obstruction of justice, but it left it up to Congress to weigh the severity of those offenses.”President Trump repeatedly used his powers of office to undermine and derail the Mueller investigation, particularly after learning that he was personally under investigation for obstruction of justice,” the brief says.The case that House prosecutors sent to the Senate references new evidence that wasn’t part of the impeachment inquiry, including material from Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.Parnas, who was arrested in October and indicted on campaign finance violations, this month provided House committees with documents to reinforce accusations that the president was personally involved in efforts to pressure Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit him politically.At least four of the impeachment managers, including Schiff, are scheduled to appear Sunday on political talk shows. All of them will be back in Washington on Sunday, and they’ll do a walk-through of the Senate chamber Monday on the eve of the trial, the officials said.(Updates with impeachment managers response starting in ninth paragraph)\--With assistance from Laura Davison.To contact the reporters on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net;Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 21:05:00 -0500
  • ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'

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    Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. “This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said Saturday the city would review the subpoenas.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 19:23:51 -0500
  • Two More Bodies Found at Tijuana Property Where Missing California Couple Were Buried Under the Dirt Floor

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    Two more bodies have been discovered at a Tijuana, Mexico, property where investigators earlier found the remains of a missing California couple buried under the dirt floor of a house on Friday. Jesús Rubén López Guillén, 70, a U.S. resident, and his wife Maria Teresa Guillén, 65, a naturalized U.S. citizen, were reported missing by their daughter Norma López after they traveled from Garden Grove to Tijuana on Jan. 10 to collect more than $6,400 in overdue rent from their 37-year-old son-in-law. Police in Garden Grove launched a missing persons investigation after López said she could no longer track her parents’ movements through the Find My Phone app. She said the last signal she received before their phone went dead was at the property they owned where her husband was living in southern Tijuana, about 4 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Their bodies were found buried under the dirt floor of one of the property’s three homes late Friday.While conducting an investigation into the circumstances of the Guilléns’ murder, Mexican investigators say they discovered the bodies of another couple buried in the property. It is not known if they were found in the same house as the Guilléns’ remains. The new victims have not yet been identified, but police in Mexico say they also may have been involved in a monetary dispute with the son-in-law.The son-in-law, a Mexican national who was deported from the U.S. in 2012 and identified only as “Santiago” in court documents, was first charged with the California couple’s disappearance and taken into custody while the property was searched. Baja California state prosecutor Hirán Sánchez confirmed that when his in-law’s bodies were found, he was charged with their murder.Sanchez told reporters that when the son-in-law was first questioned about what happened to his in-laws, he offered up a “series of contradictions” including a tale that they had walked across the border and that he had picked them up. López says her parents had instead driven their own pickup truck to retrieve the money. The son-in-law also told police that he first took them to their property and then they went together to a bank to exchange currency he paid them, after which he said he drove them back to the border. Instead investigators say that the son-in-law tried to extract money with the couple’s bank cards.“The Guilléns drove themselves to their houses, not Santiago,” Sanchez said at a news conference. “They never left.”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.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:00:13 -0500
  • The 25 Best PSP Games

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    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 09:00:00 -0500
  • Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river

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    Vanessa Smallwood of Maple Shade, N.J., was 46 at the time of her disappearance. She was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:10:56 -0500
  • Iran considers dual nationals on downed Ukrainian plane to be Iranians: TV

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    Iran considers dual nationals aboard a Ukrainian plane that was shot down accidentally this month to be Iranian citizens, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday. Iran does not recognize dual nationality. Many of the 176 people killed in the disaster were Iranians with dual citizenship.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 02:58:35 -0500
  • How U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers Are Going All in on Drones

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    The Navy is building a special new command and control mini "drone-headquarters" space on its aircraft carriers to operate deck-launched drones as part of a strategy aimed at massively increasing the scope of carrier-launched drone missions in coming years.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 05:20:00 -0500
  • Trump's Russia adviser 'escorted from White House' amid investigation

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    President Trump's latest Russia expert has reportedly been escorted from the White House amid claims of a security-related investigation.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:06:55 -0500
  • Bless Virginia for passing the Equal Rights Amendment, but blame women for taking this long

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    Women could've fought for the ERA long before now, but too many chose political ideology over enshrining protections in the U.S. Constitution.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:00:11 -0500
  • Giuliani says he'd 'love' to testify in Senate impeachment trial

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    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani claims he'd "love" to be a witness in President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, reports The Hill.Giuliani, who serves as Trump's personal lawyer, told radio talk show host John Catsimatidis: "I would love to see a trial. I'd love to be a witness — because I'm a potential witness in the trial — and explain to everyone the corruption that I found in Ukraine, that far out-surpasses any that I've ever seen before, involving Joe Biden and a lot of other Democrats."Giuliani was allegedly involved in a push to pressure Ukraine into launching investigations into Trump's political rivals, working to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and pushing out former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was reportedly viewed as an obstacle in obtaining the promise of investigations.Democrats in Congress have called for the Senate impeachment trial, set to begin arguments this week, to include additional witnesses beyond those who testified in the House inquiry. Senate Republicans have so far declined the requests. No evidence has emerged to prove any wrongdoing by Democrats in Ukraine, but Giuliani said "I have those facts. I have those witnesses. I have documents, and I have recordings. And I would love to get them out in public."More stories from theweek.com Trump just ran a two-year trade war experiment. It failed. Mindhunter just got Netflixed Four decades of conflict with Iran, explained

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:05:18 -0500
  • Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across border

    Golocal247.com news

    Adolfo Cardenas smiles faintly at the memory of traveling with his 14-year-old son from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border in only nine days, riding buses and paying a smuggler $6,000 to ensure passage through highway checkpoints. Father and son walked about 10 minutes in Arizona's stifling June heat before surrendering to border agents. Instead of being released with paperwork to appear in immigration court in Dallas, where Cardenas hopes to live with a cousin, they were bused more than an hour to wait in the Mexican border city of Mexicali.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:24:36 -0500
  • Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on board

    Golocal247.com news

    Workers for cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian might be away from home for over six months, so they need to be thoughtful about what they pack.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 09:35:05 -0500
  • Mysterious Sars-like virus spreading across China amid sharp rise in new cases and a third death

    Golocal247.com news

    China says a mysterious Sars-like virus has spread across the country, including to Beijing, raising concerns as millions begin trips for the Lunar New Year. A day after state authorities said the virus was "controllable", officials said a third person was confirmed to have died and there were nearly 140 new cases.  The new coronavirus strain has caused alarm because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. In Wuhan, the central city where the coronavirus was first discovered, 136 new cases were found over the weekend, the local health commission said, without giving details about the person who died. Health authorities in Beijing's Daxing district said two people who had travelled to Wuhan were treated for pneumonia linked to the virus and are in stable condition. In Guangdong, a 66-year-old Shenzhen man was quarantined on January 11 after contracting a fever and showing other symptoms following a trip to visit relatives in Wuhan, the provincial health commission said in a statement. A total of 201 people have now been diagnosed with the virus in China. In Wuhan, 170 people are still being treated at hospital, including nine in critical condition, the city health commission said. Read more: Just how worried should we be about this virus - and what do we know?  Wuhan is a city of 11 million inhabitants that serves as a major transport hub, including during the annual Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel across the country to visit family. In its first statement since the virus was detected, China's National Health Commission said on Sunday the disease's source was unknown but vowed to "step up monitoring" of any mutations during Chinese New Year period. Chinese authorities said they had begun "optimised" testing of cases across the city to identify those infected, and said they would begin "detection work ... towards suspected cases in the city" as a next step, as well as carrying out "sampling tests". How the coronavirus spreads Scientists from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London have warned that the number of cases in Wuhan is likely to be closer to 1,700, much higher than the number officially identified. China is yet to confirm whether the virus can be spread from one person to another, but Wuhan's health commission has previously said the possibility "cannot be excluded". China's centre for disease control sought to quash speculation about the coronavirus at the weekend, publishing a flyer that dismissed "five big rumours". One of them included claims about the coronavirus spreading, which China's disease control authority had dismissed at the time by saying all cases were being treated in Wuhan. Global outbreaks of coronaviruses Although there has been no official announcement of screening measures on the mainland, Chen Xiexin, Wuhan deputy mayor, said infrared thermometers had been installed at airports, railway stations and coach stations across the city. Mr Chen said passengers with fevers were being registered, given masks and taken to medical institutions. Nearly 300,000 body temperature tests had been carried out, according to state broadcasters. Authorities in Hong Kong have also stepped up detection measures, including temperature checkpoints for travellers arriving from the Chinese mainland. The United States has said it will begin screening direct flights arriving from Wuhan at San Francisco airport and New York's JFK, as well as Los Angeles, where many flights connect.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 02:21:03 -0500
  • Yemen missile attack kills at least 70 soldiers: sources

    Golocal247.com news

    At least 70 Yemeni soldiers have been killed in a missile attack launched by Huthi rebels on a mosque in the central province of Marib, medical and military sources said Sunday. The Huthis attacked a mosque in a military camp in Marib -- about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of Sanaa -- during evening prayers on Saturday, military sources told AFP.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 02:08:26 -0500
  • Ten charred bodies found in vehicle in violence-plagued Mexican state

    Mexican prosecutors are investigating the discovery of a burned-out vehicle containing the charred bodies of 10 people in the southwestern state of Guerrero, authorities said late on Friday. Police made the grisly discovery on a country road in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez after locals saw the vehicle on fire and alerted authorities, state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said in a statement published on Facebook.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 13:08:03 -0500
  • Japan Planned to Attack Pearl Harbor (Yes, Again)

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    Why didn't it?

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:46:00 -0500
  • TSA issues apology to Native American woman who had braids pulled by agent

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    Tara Houska ‘humiliated’ by TSA agent who ‘snapped my braids like reins’ during screening at Minneapolis-St Paul airportThe federal Transportation Security Administration has apologized to a Native American woman who said an agent at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport “pulled her braids” and said “giddy up!” when she took a flight from there this week.“The agent said she needed to pat down my braids,” tweeted Tara Houska, an indigenous rights advocate and attorney. “She pulled them behind my shoulders, laughed and said ‘giddyup!’ as she snapped my braids like reins. My hair is part of my spirit. I am a Native woman. I am angry, humiliated. Your ‘fun’ hurt.”Houska, who is Ojibwe, added: “When I informed the middle-aged blonde woman who had casually used her authority to dehumanize and disrespect me, she said, ‘Well it was just in fun, I’m sorry. Your hair is lovely.’“That is NOT an apology and it is NOT OK.”According to the Washington Post, women of color have long experienced problems at TSA checkpoints, because natural, braided or twisted hair prompt “flags” on security devices, spurring “more invasive screenings”.Bring Me The News, a Minnesota website, appeared to have been first to report Houska’s experience.In a statement to the Guardian, the TSA said it had been “made aware of allegations made by a traveler about her screening experience at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport [on] Monday morning.“TSA officials investigated the incident and on Tuesday afternoon, TSA’s federal security director for Minnesota, Cliff Van Leuven, spoke with the traveler. He apologized for actions and a comment that were insensitive and made by a TSA officer to the traveler during the screening experience.”Van Leuven also wrote to airport staff.“In the news last night and today,” he said, “you’ve likely seen – or heard – of a TSA officer at MSP who was insensitive in screening the long braided hair of a Native American passenger Monday morning. Did it actually happen? Yes. Exactly as described? Yes.“This morning, I reached out to the passenger via email. She called me back early this afternoon. I apologized for how she was treated during the screening of her braids – and we had a very pleasant conversation.“She reiterated that she doesn’t want the officer to get in trouble, but she is hoping we’ll take the chance to continue to educate our staff about the many Native American Tribes/Bands in our state and region to better understand their culture.”The airport apologized on Twitter.Houska could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 14:11:39 -0500
  • Report Warned of Threat to U.S. Troops in Germany: Newsweek

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. received intelligence about a potentially imminent attack being planned against military personnel stationed in Germany, Newsweek reported, citing a memo it saw.The 66th Military Intelligence Brigade received third party information stating that a possible attack could occur against soldiers at either Tower Barracks in Grafenwohr or Tower Barracks, Dulmen; the exact location, date and time of possible attack was unknown Information was marked unclassified and from a senior U.S. intelligence official “The source of information stated the attack would be carried out by an unknown Jordanian extremist currently located in Germany near an unknown military base,” the report saidU.S. Army Europe confirmed to Newsweek that a potential threat was identified and investigated last night “German and US officials were consulted and no imminent threat was found to exit”To view the source of this information click hereTo contact the reporter on this story: Nathan Crooks in Miami at ncrooks@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sebastian Tong at stong41@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:00:33 -0500
  • Impeachment managers say Trump is a danger to national security

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    The president's legal team argues the articles of impeachment themselves are "constitutionally invalid on their face."

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 21:47:50 -0500
  • Discovery of unused disaster supplies angers Puerto Rico

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    People in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake. With anger spreading in the U.S. territory after video of the event in Ponce appeared on Facebook, Gov. Wanda Vázquez quickly fired the director of the island's emergency management agency. The governor said she had ordered an investigation after learning the emergency supplies had been piled in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 16:56:18 -0500
  • A plane slid off the runway and more than 800 flights were canceled as winter weather hit the Midwest

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    Authorities issued alerts for areas across the Northeast as blizzard conditions were forecasted to New York and New England over the weekend.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 13:49:11 -0500
  • The most iconic tourist attraction in 26 countries around the world

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    There's something powerful about finally seeing a famous landmark or natural wonder in person instead of on a postcard (or on Instagram).

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 12:32:00 -0500
  • Evacuation crackdown ordered as Philippine volcano 'recharges'

    Golocal247.com news

    Philippine authorities ordered a crackdown Monday on evacuees' daily visits to their homes in the danger zone around Taal volcano as scientists warned it could be "recharging" for a more powerful explosion. More than 110,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation centres since Taal burst to life a week ago, but many hard-hit towns have let residents back for hours each day to fetch items, feed livestock and clean up their houses. "We are directing DRRMCs (civil defence officers)... not to allow anyone to enter the danger zone," said Epimaco Densing, undersecretary for the Department of Interior.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 04:42:11 -0500
  • Police arrest organizer of Hong Kong protest after rally turns violent

    Golocal247.com news

    A prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was arrested by police, his organization said on Monday, after a protest he helped organize in the financial district a day earlier turned violent with officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowds. Ventus Lau was arrested on Sunday evening on charges of "obstruction of police administration" and violating terms set when permission was granted for the protest, the Hong Kong Civil Assembly Team said in a statement. "It was primarily rioters' violent acts which led to the suspension of the gathering," Senior Superintendent Ng Lok-chun told reporters.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 23:07:48 -0500
  • Cult slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama

    Golocal247.com news

    A religious sect whose members believed to be “anointed by God” forced a pregnant woman and five of her children to walk through fire as part of a cult ritual, according to local residents.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:14:25 -0500
  • China Thinks It Can Nuke American Cities. Should We Worry?

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    World War III is no joke...

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 17:00:00 -0500
  • Parnas communicated with Nunes aide about Ukraine, documents show

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    Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who worked as his envoy in Ukraine, communicated with a top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) about an effort to find damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, documents released Friday night by House Democrats revealed.The evidence shows Derek Harvey, a former White House official and top aide to Nunes, communicated extensively with Parnas and sought to speak with Ukrainian prosecutors who were giving Giuliani information about Biden, reports The Washington Post. The documents corroborate Parnas' own claims about Nunes' office's involvement in the scheme.Parnas has said President Trump and his associates were working to push Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Biden. The messages, the Post writes, "indicate Nunes' office was aware of the operation at the heart of impeachment proceedings against the president — and sought to use the information Parnas was gathering." Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, did not comment on the documents.Read more at The Washington Post and NBC News.More stories from theweek.com Trump just ran a two-year trade war experiment. It failed. Mindhunter just got Netflixed Four decades of conflict with Iran, explained

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 08:52:00 -0500
  • El Chapo 701 craft lager coming soon thanks to drug lord's daughter

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    The mug shot of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, imprisoned leader of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, is not just for police blotters anymore.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 13:23:33 -0500
  • Remains of fallen US soldier returned to Fort Bragg

    Golocal247.com news

    The remains of a paratrooper who was killed a week ago in Afghanistan have been returned to his family in the U.S. The family of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin greeted his flag-draped casket at Pope Army Airfield at Fort Bragg on Saturday, The Fayetteville Observer reported. The 29-year-old from Newport News, Virginia, was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 19:08:32 -0500
  • Africa's richest woman accused of corruption and siphoning off state assets

    Golocal247.com news

    Africa’s richest woman has been accused of corruption and exploiting her own country’s natural resources, after thousands of documents detailing her business interests were leaked to the media. Isabel dos Santos, who resides in the UK and whose father was the president of Angola, faces allegations of exploiting family connections to secure deals on land, oil and diamonds. According to the documents, seen by BBC Panorama and the Guardian, she and her husband were allowed to buy up valuable state assets and siphon hundreds of millions of dollars out of Angola. Ms dos Santos, whose fortune is estimated at £2bn, says these claims are entirely false and that she is the victim of a witch-hunt led by the Angolan government. She also wrote on Twitter that the leaked documents were “fake” and based on “false information.”     Ms dos Santos is already under investigation for corruption by the Angolan government, which has frozen her assets in the country. The documents were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and then passed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Anti-corruption campaigners responded by claiming that Ms dos Santos has been exploiting her own country for personal gain, with normal Angolan citizens the victims of her lavish lifestyle. "Every time she appears on the cover of some glossy magazine somewhere in the world, every time that she hosts one of her glamorous parties in the south of France, she is doing so by trampling on the aspirations of the citizens of Angola,” Andrew Feinstein, the head of Corruption Watch, told the BBC. In an interview with the BBC following the leak, Ms dos Santos said: “I regret that Angola has chosen this path, I think that we all stand a lot to lose. “Now, when you look at my track record and you see the work I have done and look at all the companies I have built, most certainly my companies are commercial companies.   “If you tell me, is there anything wrong for an Angolan person to have a business venture with a state company, I think there is nothing wrong.” She added that she was facing “prejudice” due to being the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, who served as President of Angola from 1979 to 2017. Ms dos Santos was educated in the UK and is married to Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese art collector and businessman.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 19:14:59 -0500
  • Cut off from family, unable to travel: how US sanctions punish Iranian Americans

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    As penalties create hardship for Iran’s residents, Iranians in US also suffer consequences: ‘The sanctions are still chasing me’Following the US assassination of a top Iranian general earlier this month and Iranian airstrikes against US military bases in Iraq, Donald Trump once again imposed biting sanctions against the regime in Tehran. To Iranian Americans, many of whom have lived under sanctions in Iran or have family members there suffering through economic hardship, the fresh round of penalties is a painful reminder of the collateral consequences of escalating conflict.Iranian Americans across the United States told the Guardian about their worries for their family members and friends affected by US sanctions. And they spoke of the ways the policies affect their own lives, work and communities in the US. “I was raised under sanctions my entire life,” said Nazanin Asadi, 34, who left Iran for California in 2014 and now works as a law clerk in Orange county. “After moving to the US permanently, I can’t believe the sanctions and these laws are still chasing me … I don’t want my community to suffer.”The threats of a full-blown war following Trump’s 3 January order to kill Gen Qassem Suleimani caused anxiety among some Persian communities in the US, especially for Iranian families who have been torn apart by Trump’s travel ban. Trump backed away from additional strikes, but his administration implemented a fresh wave of sanctions, targeting senior Iranian officials and the country’s textile, construction, manufacturing and other sectors.The US has imposed sanctions for decades, targeting Iran’s energy sector and a range of exports of goods and services. Trump had already expanded sanctions against Iran in 2018 with his withdrawal from the nuclear deal signed under Barack Obama.Under sanctions law, people are forced to apply for specific licenses when they seek to be exempted from prohibited transactions, and even for allowed activities, there are complicated reporting requirements. In practice that means hundreds of thousands of Iranian Americans with family and financial ties to Iran can face a complex set of burdens and hurdles in their lives, jobs and education.“These sanctions are supposed to be targeting the government of Iran and certain individuals, but end up targeting the average person and your own citizens,” said Mehrnoush Yazdanyar, a California attorney who helps Iranian Americans navigate sanctions. “You’re sanctioning your own legal permanent residents, and in doing so, you’re alienating them.” ‘It is a daily stress’Yazdanyar’s law offices in southern California, a region home to the largest Iranian population outside of Iran, have assisted thousands of clients in sanctions-related matters over the years. Families often can’t send money back and forth, creating significant hurdles for Iranian Americans who want to support their parents or families in Iran who want to help their loved ones pursue their education or other dreams in America.While the regulations are supposed to allow some financial transactions through third parties, many attempting to navigate the process can end up in legal trouble or with closed or frozen bank accounts, she said.Asadi, who grew up in Iran, was accepted to the University of Southern California law school and moved here with dreams of becoming a judge. But with the sanctions blocking her parents from offering her financial support, she had to pay her own way through her education, working multiple jobs while studying.“I couldn’t afford my life, I couldn’t pay my expenses,” she said. “It was too much pressure emotionally and financially.”She scraped by and managed to graduate, and she now works with Yazdanyar helping people dealing with sanctions. But when Asadi wants to help her own parents in Iran, who are disabled, she has no way to offer them funds, pay for their medications or even buy them gifts: “We cannot support each other.”That feeling of guilt is even worse when there’s a threat of war, Asadi added: “I’m paying taxes to the government who purchases military equipment to bomb my parents in Iran … If war happens, what should I do?”Pirouz Kavehpour, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), engineering professor, who is also Iranian American, said he had repeatedly seen his Iranian students lose access to their bank accounts due to sanctions, derailing their research and education.“It’s a daily stress … We’re international. We’re already on thin ice. If you don’t perform well, you will be sent back,” he said. “You’re a kid here and you need to live off fast food … and then you’re told by a random guy in a bank field office: ‘Don’t even think about getting the money.’”With a large wave of Iranian Americans arriving in the US after the 1979 revolution, some are also now inheriting family businesses or properties back in Iran from relatives who have died, but it is often a nightmare process to attempt and recoup the assets, said Erich Ferrari, a Washington DC-based attorney who handles sanctions cases.Even those who try to do everything right, reporting the transactions and getting proper licenses, can end up facing investigations by the US government, he said. Law enforcement monitors money transfers, and in some cases Iranian Americans have found the FBI at their doors asking questions: “There’s always a threat looming.”Ferrari said he had seen family relationships fall apart in the process, adding: “They are trying to do something that is beneficial to the US, and divest themselves from Iran and bring their money here.” Research and charity work thwarted: ‘How does the US benefit?’In addition to the recent wave of Iranian students who have been denied visas at the last minute, under sanctions law, faculty members are also barred from traveling to Iran for research or other work without approval from the US treasury department.“I’ve been invited many times to give a talk in Iran … but we are not allowed,” said Kavehpour, the UCLA professor. He noted that Iran could benefit from working with UCLA experts on autism research, but that it would be impossible to set up any collaboration.Aysan Rangchian, a 28-year-old Iranian PhD student at UCLA, said Iranian students often don’t even apply for conferences anywhere outside of the US for fear of consequences. Iranian students can also struggle to get grants and funding: “This is making the US less appealing for international students.”Last year, Iranian researchers faced criminal prosecution when they attempted to do stem-cell research in the US. As a result of that process, potentially groundbreaking science will not go forward here, said Yazdanyar: “How did the United States benefit from this?”Yazdanyar has also represented a not-for-profit organization that helps orphaned children across the world, including in Iran. Even when the group received a specific license to send aid to Iran, financial institutions in third countries have declined to assist with the transfer due to concerns about sanctions. That means humanitarian aid has been delayed and blocked, she said.During floods in Iran last year, it was painful that the sanctions blocked Iranian Americans from being able to offer basic donations, said Assal Rad, a research fellow with the National Iranian American Council, who lives in Orange county. She said that while the impact of sanctions on Iranian Americans paled in comparison with what Iranian citizens suffer, the rules added to this “constant feeling that your identity is under attack”.“Whether sanctions, the travel ban, or your loyalty being questioned … it’s really isolating,” she said, adding of sanctions: “It’s an ineffective policy that is also harming Americans themselves.”

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:00:00 -0500
  • Turkey targets 'weakest link' Cyprus in regional dominance bid

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    Striving to extend its influence in the eastern Mediterranean where tensions revolve around energy resources, Turkey sees Cyprus as the weakest link in a regional alliance buffering Ankara's ambitions, analysts told AFP. The bid comes as Turkey flexes its muscle across the Mediterranean from Libya to Syria, where Ankara has taken on diplomatic and military roles. Although Turkish military action is not expected against Cyprus, analysts warn Ankara will increase pressure on Nicosia to deter it from completing its energy exploration plans.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 21:58:02 -0500
  • China repeats call on Canada to release Huawei CFO Meng

    Golocal247.com news

    China repeated its call on Monday for Canada to release detained Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou as soon as possible, ahead of the executive's first extradition hearing later in the day. "The resolve of the Chinese government to protect Chinese citizens' proper legal rights is firm and unwavering," foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, told reporters during a daily briefing. Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on Dec. 1, 2018, at the request of the United States, where she is charged with bank fraud and accused of misleading the bank HSBC about Huawei Technologies' business in Iran.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 03:12:45 -0500
  • Unsettled weather pattern to return to Northwest after tranquil start to the week

    Golocal247.com news

    An area of high pressure building into the Northwest through Monday will briefly offer tranquil conditions before a storm system descends on the region by midweek.Quiet conditions over the Northwest have directed the storm track farther north into Pacific Canada, resulting in heavy rain and mountain snow in western British Columbia since last week.However, the next Pacific storm will take aim farther south, bringing wet weather back to the Northwest Monday night through Tuesday."Snow levels will be higher than with previous storms, so precipitation along the I-5 corridor from Seattle to Northern California will fall in the form of rain," AccuWeather Meteorologist Kyle Elliott said.Even though precipitation will fall as a plain rain, motorists may experience a slower Tuesday morning commute along the I-5 corridor. Along the coast, a building westerly swell will create the threat for sneaker waves along area beaches.Beachgoers are advised to stay away from the shoreline to avoid falling victim to these large waves.The threat for wet weather will extend eastward beyond the coastal lowlands and Cascades from the storm.Kennewick and Spokane, Washington, and even Boise, Idaho, can expect wet weather to develop during the day on Tuesday.This storm system is not expected to have snow levels as low as some of the recent systems. However, with levels initially around 3,000 feet, area passes such as Snoqualmie and Stevens could still face some travel issues from Tuesday into Wednesday.The persistent pattern of unsettled weather across the Cascades and northern Sierras will continue to keep an elevated avalanche threat in place this week.As the storm system tracks into the Intermountain West by Wednesday, dry and settled conditions will come to an end.Wintry weather is likely for places like Salt Lake City, Utah, and Yellowstone National Park. While major accumulations are not expected, it will prove beneficial for area ski resorts.AccuWeather meteorologists predict the unsettled pattern will likely continue into late week across the Northwest.A lack of Arctic intrusions will also continue to keep snow levels higher than average for this time of year.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:14:40 -0500
  • Russia Is Worried About Britain's Astute-Class Submarines

    Golocal247.com news

    The class seems to have overcome its technical and financial problems, although the lingering impact of those issues could affect not only future classes of SSNs, but also the UK’s commitment to building a new class of SSBNs.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 01:30:00 -0500
  • Sanders says seniors support Biden "because Joe is a nice guy"

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    The Vermont senator has been criticizing the former vice president's record on Social Security in the weeks leading up to the Iowa caucuses.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 05:57:32 -0500
  • A photo of petrified wood in Arizona went viral and it only took 225 million years

    Golocal247.com news

    A photo of a piece of petrified wood has been shared across the Internet, but no one knows who took it or why it's such a rock star.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 19:42:02 -0500
  • 2 more Puerto Rico officials fired after warehouse break-in

    Golocal247.com news

    Gov. Wanda Vázquez fired the heads of Puerto Rico’s housing and family departments Sunday in the latest fallout over the discovery of a warehouse filled with emergency supplies dating from Hurricane Maria. The removal of Housing Secretary Fernando Gil and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar came a day after the governor fired the director of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency. Vázquez fired him hours after a Facebook video showed angry people breaking into the warehouse in an area where thousands have been in shelters since a recent earthquake.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:57:22 -0500
  • China reports 17 new cases of mystery virusChina reports 17 new cases of mystery virus

    Golocal247.com news

    China reported 17 new cases of the mysterious SARS-like virus on Sunday, including three people in serious condition, heightening fears ahead of China's Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions of people move around the country. The new coronavirus strain has caused alarm because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. Of the 17 new cases in the central city of Wuhan -- believed to be the epicentre of the outbreak -- three were described as "severe", of which two patients were too critical to be moved, authorities said.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 16:25:27 -0500
  • Former White House Chief Economic Advisor to Trump Says Tariffs 'Hurt the U.S.'

    Golocal247.com news

    "I don't think the tariffs helped us get to any different outcome"

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 12:31:41 -0500
  • Argentines remember prosecutor killed while probing attack on Jews

    Golocal247.com news

    Argentines paid tribute Saturday to a prosecutor on the fifth anniversary of his unsolved death while probing the bombing of a Jewish community center -- an attack in which he alleged a presidential cover-up to shield Iran in exchange for trade. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman led the probe of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association headquarters, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded. In 2015, his body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 14:49:04 -0500
  • Iran says Zarif not attending Davos as its organizers 'changed its agenda'

    Golocal247.com news

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will not attend the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos this week because its organizers had "abruptly changed its agenda", its foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday. Reuters last week reported that Zarif was no longer on the list of nearly 3,000 people due at the event, which is being held under the banner "Stakeholders for a Sustainable and Cohesive World".

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 03:10:40 -0500
  • Trump says Soleimani killing followed general saying 'bad things'

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump has given a new justification for killing Qassem Soleimani, telling a gathering of Republican donors that the Iranian general was “saying bad things about our country.”

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 12:05:46 -0500
  • Turkey Alone Cannot Save Its Allies in Libya's Civil War

    Golocal247.com news

    Too little aid, too late.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 13:00:00 -0500
  • Harvey Weinstein: fourth accuser opts out of settlement to pursue own claim

    Golocal247.com news

    Exclusive: Dominique Huett says settlement amount ‘not very fair’ and joins growing list of women to reject proposed dealA controversial proposed settlement between Harvey Weinstein and alleged victims of his sexual misconduct faces further delays, as a fourth accuser opts out and several others plan to object.Dominique Huett will remove herself from the settlement in order to pursue her own claim against the movie mogul, the Guardian can reveal. At least two other accusers have retained lawyers to file formal objections to the deal.Last month, it was reported that Weinstein and more than 30 women had reached a tentative deal following two years of negotiations.However, the Guardian has learned that a settlement hearing that was due before Weinstein’s criminal trial in New York has been postponed until at least February. It is not known if this was due to the growing number of women opting out.Huett joins three others who have decided to not be a part of the agreement: Wedil David, Kaja Sokola and Alexandra Canosa.Huett told the Guardian: “Originally I thought it was the best option for everyone, but after finding out more details, I think that opting out is the best way to get a better deal for me and for everyone.”Under the proposed deal, Weinstein would not have to pay a penny or admit any wrongdoing. The settlement would be paid by insurance companies representing the producer’s former studio, the Weinstein Company. More than $12m – a quarter of the overall package – would go towards legal costs for Weinstein and his board.“I feel the settlement amount is not very fair for all victims and the way it is structured really benefits the defendants a lot more than us,” Huett said. “I want to opt out to set a precedent for others and say that this settlement is not just.”> The settlement is not very fair and benefits the defendants more than us> > Dominique HuettHuett has retained a new attorney, Douglas Wigdor, who represents two others who have opted out. Wigdor believes the $500,000 Huett was offered was “not fair”. “I think Dominique’s case is worth significantly more than this,” he said.Wigdor will take on Huett’s claim, which was filed in a California court in October 2017, under sex trafficking laws. She was the first alleged Weinstein victim to file a civil claim and unlike many other accusers has a case within the statute of limitations.Huett alleges that in 2010, Weinstein invited her to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel in Los Angeles for a business meeting. She says he forced oral sex on her then masturbated, telling her it was a right of passage to a career in Hollywood.“He wouldn’t take no for an answer,” she said. “I refused and said no but was so shocked and paralysed by fear that I froze.“It’s devastating to think that what he did to me had happened to so many other actresses in the years before and that if his company had acted when they first learnt of his behaviour, it would never have happened to me.”Weinstein has denied any claim, criminal or civil, of non-consensual sex.The proposed settlement with some of his alleged victims is part of a $47m deal aimed at paying Weinstein Company debts. Of this sum, around $6.2m would go to 18 accusers who filed cases in the US, Canada and the UK. Approximately $18.5m is thought to be set aside for class-action participants, more of whom are expected. Board members of the Weinstein Company would be protected from liability.Zelda Perkins and Rowena Chiu have also retained Wigdor to file objections to the deal, the Guardian has learned. Kevin Mintzer is also counsel for Huett, Perkins, and Chiu.Perkins and Chiu, Weinstein’s British assistants in the late 90s, reached a settlement and signed an NDA in 1998 after they alleged he attempted to rape Chiu at the Venice film festival. Perkins and Chiu are not part of the proposed settlement, but say they are speaking out for other victims.“This is the whole reason I broke my NDA, so women can’t be pushed into a corner,” Perkins told the Guardian.“It is not indicative or correct compensation for the crimes and the majority of that money is being fed back to Harvey’s own defence,” she said of the deal. “They’re making it look like he’s compensating victims but he and his board of directors will be gaining more than the individuals will be.”Perkins added: “Ultimately the most important thing is that these women get compensation.”Wigdor said: “We are not seeking to prevent survivors who want to participate in a settlement from doing so. We just want to ensure that those who don’t are not precluded from going after insurance proceeds and the directors, and that the terms of the agreement are fair.”Caitlin Dulany, a lead plaintiff in the settlement, believes it is the best option for many women.If the settlement did not go ahead, she said, “it would mean that the majority of us – whose claims were dismissed or outside the statute of limitations – would be unlikely to recover anything. The settlement is important to me because it recognises the trauma that all survivors have endured, and not just that of a select few.”If the proposed settlement or an amended version were to proceed, it would allow other accusers to join.Katherine Kendall who like Dulany was part of the original class action, said: “It’s been a huge effort for all of us over the past two years, but the main thing is we want to be in a position where other women can come forward and join us..”Lisa Rose, who worked as a British administrator for Weinstein in 1988 and claims he harassed her, said she would file an objection to the settlement but added: “I understand completely that for some women taking the settlement is the right course of action and don’t want to get in their way.”

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 01:00:49 -0500
  • Massive winter storm packing 'heavy' snow targets Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Northeast

    Golocal247.com news

    The National Weather Service says the storm could produce widespread hazardous conditions across much of the northeastern quarter of the nation.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:25:13 -0500
  • Man kills grizzly in self-defense, keeps claws as a memento

    A Montana man told authorities that he cut off a grizzly bear's claws as a memento after shooting it in self-defense because he was mad that the bear was going to eat him, according to court records. Bryan Berg, 35, appeared in court on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Missoula after pleading guilty to illegal transport of grizzly bear claws, a misdemeanor, according to the Flathead Beacon. Grizzly bears in northwestern Montana are classified as a threatened species.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 14:11:36 -0500
  • A startup company took billions of photos from Facebook and other websites to create a facial-recognition database, and hundreds of law-enforcement agencies are using it

    Golocal247.com news

    Law enforcement is using a database of billions of photos scraped from social media sites, likely against policy, by an unknown startup company.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 16:54:38 -0500
  • Text messages show Devin Nunes' aide had extensive communications with Giuliani associate Lev Parnas about Trump's Ukraine efforts

    Golocal247.com news

    The messages provide key new evidence that Nunes' team was aware of and involved in Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:44:36 -0500
  • SARS-like virus spreads in China, reaches third Asian country

    Golocal247.com news

    A new SARS-like virus has killed a third person, spread around China and reached a third Asian country, authorities said Monday, fuelling fears of a major outbreak as millions begin travelling for the Lunar New Year in humanity's biggest migration. The new coronavirus strain, first discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has caused alarm because of its connection to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. Wuhan has 11 million inhabitants and serves as a major transport hub, including during the annual Lunar New Year holiday which begins later this week and sees hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel across the country to visit family.

    Mon, 20 Jan 2020 04:52:02 -0500
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