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  • Bloomberg pledges $70 billion to bolster black America in new plan -

    Bloomberg pledges $70 billion to bolster black America in new planFormer New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his presidential campaign's plan for bolstering economic opportunity for black Americans.

  • Virginia on edge as pro-gun activists seethe over governor?s state of emergency -

    Virginia on edge as pro-gun activists seethe over governor?s state of emergencyMoments after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam approached the podium at the state capitol building on Wednesday to announce that he was issuing a temporary state of emergency ahead of a gun rights rally on Monday in Richmond, the angry comments started pouring in. What started in November as a fight between rural Virginia gun owners and newly elected Democratic lawmakers seeking to propose gun control legislation has since been warped and amplified by extremist groups which, for different reasons, have sought to exploit real tensions around Virginia?s gun debate to advance their own agendas.

  • ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request' -

    ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'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.

  • Cult slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in Panama -

    Cult slayed pregnant woman and five of her children in PanamaA 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.

  • Nancy Pelosi's daughter said she was able to hand Trump a bottle of water in the White House without anyone checking for contamination -

    Nancy Pelosi's daughter said she was able to hand Trump a bottle of water in the White House without anyone checking for contaminationThe incident happened when Alexandra Pelosi was filming at the White House six weeks after Trump was inaugurated, according to a new book.

  • Japan Planned to Attack Pearl Harbor (Yes, Again) -

    Japan Planned to Attack Pearl Harbor (Yes, Again)Why didn't it?

  • Evacuation crackdown ordered as Philippine volcano 'recharges' -

    Evacuation crackdown ordered as Philippine volcano 'recharges'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.

  • 'I stayed alive to tell' - Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death camp -

    'I stayed alive to tell' - Auschwitz's dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death campA strip of skin tattooed with the Auschwitz death camp number 99288 sits in a silver frame on a shelf in Avraham Harshalom's living room. As the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation on Jan 27, 1945, nears, Harshalom, 95, is very clear about why he kept it. Harshalom is one of some 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel today.

  • AP Explains: CFO of China's Huawei facing extradition to US -

    AP Explains: CFO of China's Huawei facing extradition to USAn extradition hearing begins Monday in a Vancouver courtroom for Huawei top executive Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company's founder. Canada arrested Meng while she was changing planes at Vancouver's airport in late 2018.

  • Report Warned of Threat to U.S. Troops in Germany: Newsweek -

    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.

  • Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on board -

    Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on boardWorkers 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.

  • You Should Get an Electric Fireplace -

    You Should Get an Electric Fireplace

  • 2 more bodies found at Tijuana home where US couple buried -

    2 more bodies found at Tijuana home where US couple buriedMexican authorities say they have discovered two more bodies at a house in Tijuana where a couple with dual U.S.-Mexico citizenship were found buried, allegedly by their son-in-law. The attorney general's office for the state of Baja California, just south of San Diego, California, said late Saturday the second set of bodies ?one male and the other female? are in a state of advanced decomposition. The suspect was deported from the U.S. in 2012 and had been living at a property in Tijuana owned by his in-laws.

  • Cut off from family, unable to travel: how US sanctions punish Iranian Americans -

    Cut off from family, unable to travel: how US sanctions punish Iranian AmericansAs 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.?

  • Rep. Ilhan Omar Says ?We Must Stop Detaining? Illegal Immigrants -

    Rep. Ilhan Omar Says ?We Must Stop Detaining? Illegal Immigrants?This should never be the case,? she wrote. ?The cruelty of our immigration system becomes clearer every day. We must stop detaining immigrants and start giving them pathways to citizenship.?

  • Palestinian family pledge appeal over Jerusalem eviction ruling -

    Palestinian family pledge appeal over Jerusalem eviction rulingA Palestinian family pledged on Monday to appeal an Israeli court order to evict them from their home in a mainly-Palestinian east Jerusalem neighbourhood in a case lodged by a settler organisation. The Israeli anti-settlement NGO Peace Now said a Jerusalem magistrates court ruled Sunday in favour of evicting the Rajabi family from their home in the Silwan neighbourhood following a lawsuit filed by members of the pro-settlement Ateret Cohanim organisation. The three-storey building houses 17 Palestinians, the family said.

  • Philippine military says 5 Indonesians kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants -

    Philippine military says 5 Indonesians kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militantsEight Indonesians were abducted in Sabah on Thursday. Three were released, while the remaining five were probably brought by their captors to the southern Philippine province of Sulu, said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the military's Western Mindanao Command.

  • Pair of storms to unleash rain, snow across Middle East this week -

    Pair of storms to unleash rain, snow across Middle East this weekMore unsettled weather is set to grip the Middle East this week after several storms have battered the region in recent weeks.The first of two storms to impact the area this week has dampened locations from the Mediterranean coast to Iraq on Monday. This slow-moving system will continue to bring wet weather to the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.The steadiest rainfall is expected from northern Israel and Lebanon into southern Syria and central Iraq. Downpours are possible in Beirut, Damascus, Homs and Baghdad. Rain will also spread into the lower elevations of western Iran with snow falling in the mountains. In the higher terrain of Lebanon and Syria, snow accumulation can be expected.On the southern side of this storm, showers may briefly dampen southern Jordan, far northern Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from Tuesday into Wednesday. This storm will then push into eastern Iran with rain and high-elevation snowfall on Thursday.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPA second storm will race southward from Turkey into the Middle East late Thursday into Friday, bringing soaking rain and mountain snow to Syria, Lebanon and Israel on Thursday night through Friday morning.The storm will then lash Jordan, Iraq and northwest Iran on Friday with impacts continuing into Friday night in Iraq and Iran.Local downpours and high-elevation snowfall may result in travel impacts across the region, before drier weather builds across the Middle East this weekend.Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

  • El Chapo 701 craft lager coming soon thanks to drug lord's daughter -

    El Chapo 701 craft lager coming soon thanks to drug lord's daughterThe mug shot of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, imprisoned leader of the ruthless Sinaloa Cartel, is not just for police blotters anymore.

  • Prince Harry banned from wearing military uniform after stepping back from armed forces -

    Prince Harry banned from wearing military uniform after stepping back from armed forcesHarry, Duke of Sussex, will be barred from wearing his military uniform after he agreed to step back from his armed forces appointments.

  • The 25 Best PSP Games -

    The 25 Best PSP Games

  • MS-13 inmates sent to restricted unit after prison stabbing -

    MS-13 inmates sent to restricted unit after prison stabbingThe federal Bureau of Prisons is moving some MS-13 gang members in its custody into more restricted housing at certain high-security facilities across the U.S. after a gang stabbing in a Virginia prison, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Saturday. A brawl broke out Wednesday at the prison known as USP Lee between the MS-13 leader and a fellow inmate associated with the Mexican Mafia, and the gang member was stabbed, the people said. The Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that the inmate was injured but survived the attack.

  • Trump to Mingle With Elites in Davos as Impeachment Trial Opens -

    Trump to Mingle With Elites in Davos as Impeachment Trial Opens(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Donald Trump is heading back to Davos, poised to hail his economic record as vindication of an ?America First? agenda to the world?s elite while lawmakers back home weigh his impeachment.Barring a last-minute change of plans, Trump is scheduled to deliver opening remarks at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, his second visit to the annual gathering of business chieftains, central bankers and foreign leaders. The president, who has increasingly embraced the elites he chided in his rise to power as a populist, will celebrate his trade deal with China while warning against socialism -- likely a welcome message at the world?s foremost capitalist confab.But the backdrop of this year?s speech will be the U.S. Senate?s trial on two articles of impeachment, set to open Tuesday as Trump meets with other leaders in Davos. The Republican-led chamber will almost certainly acquit the president, but the trial may produce surprises and will thrust impeachment into Trump?s 2020 re-election campaign.Trump has sought to highlight his trade and economic victories in a bid to drown out impeachment, and Davos will give him another stage to do that, if only briefly. The visit is not without risk -- he skipped it in 2017 out of concern that the well-heeled Davos crowd was the wrong fit for a man elected on a nationalist, anti-elites message. Trump has tried to bridge the discord by saying he?s soliciting investment.?We have tremendous world leaders and we also have great business leaders and we want those business leaders all to come to the United States,? he said Thursday at the White House. He said he?d meet with business executives and other government leaders in the Swiss ski resort.?We have tremendous, powerful room for growth,? he said.Trump?s signing of a China trade deal last week presaged his Davos playbook, as he hobnobbed in the East Room of the White House with prominent executives, billionaires and campaign donors. At one point, he asked a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive to thank him for their robust earnings. Cheering on the success of mega-firms, along with a signature tax-cut law that handed a $32 billion windfall to big banks, hasn?t stopped Trump from casting himself as a champion of the everyman. His political base remains as loyal as ever.The White House has signaled Trump?s Davos speech will echo his emerging re-election narrative -- celebrating recent trade deals, the strength of the stock market and Trump?s push for increased defense spending by NATO allies. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also hinted he?ll draw a contrast with the field of Democrats vying to challenge him this year.?He?s got a lot to talk about it, to really take on the perils of socialism right there in Davos,? Conway said Thursday. ?A lot of the world?s economy can exhale now that China and the U.S. have completed phase one of the trade deal.?The U.S. has not said which leaders and executives Trump will meet on the sideline of the forum. Other ?world-class speakers? the WEF promoted in advance of the conference included teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, whom Trump has insulted on Twitter. She?ll attend a pair of panels the day the president is set to speak.German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- whom Trump has complained does too little in Ukraine and Iraq is too soft on Iran?s regime -- will be the highest-profile world leader in attendance other than the president. Trump will return to Washington on Wednesday, an official familiar with the plans, leaving the rest of the forum to a U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is at the center of the scandal that led to Trump?s impeachment, is scheduled to attend, but may cancel as he continues to grapple with fallout after Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet. It?s unknown if the two will meet.Trump?s first Davos appearance in 2018 oscillated between a vintage, raucous version of Trump in meetings with national leaders and business executives and more subdued remarks in his formal speech. He touted his agenda but added: ?America First does not mean America alone.? Trump pulled out of last year?s forum, citing a government shutdown.\--With assistance from Mario Parker.To contact the reporter on this story: Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at, Justin BlumFor 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.

  • China Thinks It Can Nuke American Cities. Should We Worry? -

    China Thinks It Can Nuke American Cities. Should We Worry?World War III is no joke...

  • Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across border -

    Illegal crossings plunge as US extends policy across borderAdolfo 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.

  • UK PM Johnson defeated on Brexit legislation for first time since election -

    UK PM Johnson defeated on Brexit legislation for first time since electionBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government was defeated in parliament on Monday for the first time since a December election, with the upper chamber voting in favor of a move to protect the rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit. Johnson's Conservatives won a large majority in the lower chamber, the House of commons, at the Dec. 12 vote and lawmakers there quickly approved the legislation needed to ratify his exit deal with Brussels earlier this month. The legislation is now passing through the House of Lords, where the government does not have a majority.

  • The US Air Force recently acquired a new $64 million Gulfstream private jet for VIP government officials ? see inside -

    The US Air Force recently acquired a new $64 million Gulfstream private jet for VIP government officials ? see insideThe US president isn't the only government official that flies in a VIP plane operated by the US Air Force.

  • Photos surface showing convicted Nazi guard Demjanjuk at Sobibor -

    Photos surface showing convicted Nazi guard Demjanjuk at SobiborNew photos have emerged which for the first time show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk at the Sobibor death camp, a Berlin archive confirmed Monday, although he always denied ever being there. Ukrainian-American Demjanjuk was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of nearly 30,000 Jews at Sobibor by a German court in 2011. According to the Berlin-based Topography of Terror archive, photos of Demjanjuk are among a newly discovered collection of more than 350 snaps which give "detailed insight" into the camp in German-occupied Poland.

  • Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ river -

    Body of woman who was missing for almost 6 years found in car submerged in NJ riverVanessa 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.

  • My Workout Diary: Marcus Samuelsson -

    My Workout Diary: Marcus SamuelssonOn the new season of Marcus Samuelsson?s PBS show No Passport Required, which begins airing tonight, he travels across the United States visiting chefs, cooking and, of course, eating. But I?m used to seeing him in a much more local setting: Central Park. I?ve crossed paths with the James Beard Award?winning chef a few times, running the loop in the park. He lives nearby in Harlem, which is also home to his signature restaurant the Red Rooster. These days, Samuelsson seems to be everywhere with restaurants in JFK airport, Madison Square Garden and in Newark as well as his annual food festival Harlem EatUp!. And that?s not to mention, his recurring role as a judge on the hit Food Network show Chopped. His empire extends around the globe, with a number of establishments and his latest venture, Red Rooster Overtown, opens next month in Miami.I asked him to keep a workout diary for me as he prepared for the debut of the second season of No Passport Required. Read on for his diary.* * *Sunday* * *I ran outside in my local park. I noticed the weather has gone back and forth, temperature-wise, and it felt like spring. Looking around, people had shorts and short sleeves on. It?s very surreal to see this in January, in the middle of winter. I?m still dressed for January. The park was packed between chess players, people doing outdoor gym workouts, and there?s live music playing from speakers. I usually don?t have time for post workout snacks, because I?m out the door between 8 AM and 9 AM. If I eat before, I?ll have rye bread and avocado or fresh fruit.* * *Monday* * *My body?especially my back and my knees?usually aches after running around with my son, Zion, combined with a heavy workweek and all my workouts. But as a former athlete, there?s something about that pain that feels good because you know you?re being active. I?ll stretch combined with some cardio and catch up on different podcasts; something like The Daily or a Swedish podcast about pop culture.* * *Tuesday* * *I ran and split my day?s workout between running three miles and 40 minutes of cardio. I?m still hurting from an old tennis injury during our last trip to Jamaica, so I don?t think I?ll ever be a typical gym guy. The gym is the last resort. I never feel fully comfortable at the gym. I?m comfortable on the soccer field and hearing the chatter around it.* * *Wednesday* * *Usually mid-week is my rest day. So I relax and eat good food. As a chef, your hands are always aching, your back is always aching. Even if I don?t go anywhere, I constantly stretch my back and my fingers.  * * *Thursday* * *I start some back and forth travel for about five days. If I?m in Montreal, visiting my restaurant, the gym at the Montreal Four Seasons is amazing; it has good equipment and it?s spacious. Last Saturday, my wife and I went to a Russian spa downtown to sweat it out and eat Russian perogies. We watched a Russian hockey league and saw people get slapped with birch leaves during a platza treatment. I?m not into that, but just like to sweat when it?s cold outside.* * *Friday* * *I thought about what I ate for the holidays and thought about getting it all out. When I run in the park, I am constantly thinking about food, restaurants, new dishes, staff, interactions with different people. Then I?ll think about my cookbook and specific dishes. Thinking through the book while running is my way to get clarity. It?s my downtime to really think things through. I need that negative space for me to breathe.* * *Saturday* * *This weekend was great weather and I ran six miles in Central Park. It felt like spring. I listened to Swedish podcasts, soccer podcasts and music. I feel really fortunate to live close to Central Park and have the opportunity to run the loop. My Workout Diary features the fitness regiments of bartenders, chefs, distillers, and brand ambassadors.Interview has been condensed and edited.My Workout Diary: Bobby StuckeyMy Workout Diary: Chris CabreraMy Workout Diary: Anne Louise MarquisRead 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.

  • US envoy say it's his mustache; South Koreans say otherwise -

    US envoy say it's his mustache; South Koreans say otherwiseThe U.S. ambassador to South Korea has some unusual explanations for the harsh criticism he's faced in his host country. Or a Japanese ancestry that raises unpleasant reminders of Japan's former colonial domination of Korea? Many South Koreans, however, have a more straight-forward explanation for Harry Harris' struggle to win hearts and minds in Seoul, and it's got more to do with an outspoken manner that they see as undiplomatic and rude.

  • A Drexel University professor has been charged with stealing $185,000 in government grant money to spend on Philadelphia strip clubs and iTunes -

    A Drexel University professor has been charged with stealing $185,000 in government grant money to spend on Philadelphia strip clubs and iTunesThe Philadelphia district attorney's office charged Chikaodinaka Nwankpa with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception last week.

  • Russia Is Worried About Britain's Astute-Class Submarines -

    Russia Is Worried About Britain's Astute-Class SubmarinesThe 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.

  • Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine -

    Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to UkraineThe Iranian official leading the investigation into the Ukrainian jetliner that was accidentally shot down by the Revolutionary Guard appeared to backtrack Sunday on plans to send the flight recorders abroad for analysis, a day after saying they would be sent to Kyiv. The same official was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency on Saturday as saying the recorders would be sent to Ukraine, where French, American and Canadian experts would help analyze them. Iranian officials previously said the black boxes were damaged but usable.

  • Democrat Bloomberg vows to narrow wealth gap for black Americans -

    Democrat Bloomberg vows to narrow wealth gap for black AmericansBloomberg, a late entry to the Democratic nomination contest, is rising in public opinion polls as he uses his vast personal fortune to spend heavily on advertising nationwide. Speaking in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the day before a holiday honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Bloomberg said his plans would help one million black Americans become homeowners over 10 years, while also boosting the number of black-owned businesses.

  • A Trump impeachment lawyer says he will defend the president by arguing that even if he did abuse his power, he hasn't committed any actual crimes -

    A Trump impeachment lawyer says he will defend the president by arguing that even if he did abuse his power, he hasn't committed any actual crimes"The vote was to impeach on abuse of power, which is not within the constitutional criteria for impeachment," Alan Dershowitz said.

  • China confirms human-to-human transmission as WHO emergency group meets -

    China confirms human-to-human transmission as WHO emergency group meetsA SARS-like virus that has spread across China and reached three other Asian nations is contagious between humans, a government expert said Monday, and the World Health Organization announced that a key emergency committee would meet this week to discuss the infections. The new coronavirus strain, first discovered in the central 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. Beijing and Shanghai confirmed their first cases on Monday while more than a dozen more emerged in southern Guangdong province and 136 new ones were found over the weekend in Wuhan, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

  • A photo of petrified wood in Arizona went viral and it only took 225 million years -

    A photo of petrified wood in Arizona went viral and it only took 225 million yearsA 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.

  • Women rarely regret decision to get abortion -

    Women rarely regret decision to get abortionFive years after an abortion, most women still say it was the right decision even if they struggled with their choice at the time, a U.S. study suggests. "We found no evidence of emergent negative emotions about the abortion over the five years," said study leader Corinne Rocca of the University of California, San Francisco. Opponents of abortion have argued against legal access to these procedures in part because of concerns that abortion harms women by causing negative emotions and regret, researchers note in Social Science and Medicine.

  • 2 more Puerto Rico officials fired after warehouse break-in -

    2 more Puerto Rico officials fired after warehouse break-inGov. 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.

  • Scientists say Australia's rare duck-billed platypuses are being pushed to 'the brink of extinction' ? and deadly bushfires are making it worse -

    Scientists say Australia's rare duck-billed platypuses are being pushed to 'the brink of extinction' ? and deadly bushfires are making it worseA new report says population numbers of the animal have more than halved since Europeans first arrived in Australia.

  • Turkey Alone Cannot Save Its Allies in Libya's Civil War -

    Turkey Alone Cannot Save Its Allies in Libya's Civil WarToo little aid, too late.

  • US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to Guatemala -

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  • ?OK, Now What??: Inside Team Trump?s Scramble to Sell the Soleimani Hit to America -

    ?OK, Now What??: Inside Team Trump?s Scramble to Sell the Soleimani Hit to AmericaIn the hours after the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3, U.S. officials in the White House, Pentagon, and State Department worked overtime on assembling a plan to handle the fallout, only to watch senior administration officials and the president himself scuttle their effort in real time on national television. The ensuing days became a mad dash to reconcile the intense intra-administration tensions over what the intelligence actually said about Iranian plots, and how best to sell their case to the American public. At the very top was a president who stewed and complained to staff about how the killing he?d just ordered might negatively affect his re-election prospects and ensnare him in a quagmire in the Middle East of his own creation.The plan to take out Soleimani had been approved months earlier by President Donald Trump after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-National Security Adviser John Bolton pushed for more to be done to manage Iran?s aggression in the Middle East. But the president for years tried to avoid a direct military confrontation with Tehran, and hitting Soleimani was a move that could edge the two countries closer to war.When an American contractor was killed in Iraq in late December, President Trump?s national security team presented him with a slew of options on how to respond, and killing Soleimani was on the list. National security advisers reminded the president that he had publicly drawn a line in the sand, saying that if the regime killed Americans there would be severe consequences. Still, the strike was a departure from the regular Trump playbook and officials knew it would take a robust effort to explain not only the reasoning behind the attack but also the administration?s goal on Iran.?There was this sudden nature about it all. Yeah, it had been in the works for some time. But it didn?t feel like we were all thinking the same on how to move forward,? said one U.S. official, referring to the strike on Soleimani. ?It was like, ?OK, now what??? For more than a week, Trump, Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and officials from the national security community, including at the Pentagon, held twice-daily meetings and conference calls to make sure all government agencies were on the same page regarding messaging, according to two individuals familiar with those conversations.Despite that effort, what resulted appeared to be an uncoordinated effort to justify an action by national security officials who were varied in their answers about the pre-strike intelligence and who struggled to define the administration?s strategy on Iran post strike.That internal confusion on how to re-frame the administration?s approach to dealing with Iran led to weeks of what appeared to be frequent mixed messaging, critiques about the administration's apparent lack of strategy, calls from Congress for more robust intelligence briefings?and allegations that Trump and his lieutenants were actively misleading a nation into a sharp military escalation.This article is based on interviews with 10 U.S. government officials and several former administration officials. The State Department and White House House did not comment on the record for this story.Worry over the ?counterpunch?For several days following Soleimani?s assassination, Pentagon officials warned Trump and his national security advisers that Iran had a variety of responses it could carry out to make the Americans pay. Among them, sources said, were Iranian attacks on senior U.S. military officers overseas, or violence targeting American outposts in countries like Iraq. Their bottom line was that Iran would hit back, and hit back hard. The president worried aloud to his team about how the strike could impact the way voters viewed him in the upcoming election. After all, avoiding costly foreign wars in the Middle East had been one of the key promises? and points of contrast?he made as a candidate in 2016. One official told The Daily Beast that in meetings at the White House Trump was ?preoccupied? with ensuring that his public statements on Iran?notably that he would not drag the U.S. into a war with the country?would hold following the assassination. Once Soleimani was gone, Trump was adamant that the administration ?get things back to normal? with Iran, one official told The Daily Beast. According to another U.S. official, senior administration officials, including President Trump, were framing the strike as a de-escalatory measure even before the attack was ordered. The idea was that if the U.S. didn?t hit Soleimani, more people would die because Iran would continue to carry out attacks in the region.Trump?s insistence on returning to ?normal? with Iran directly after he ordered the death of the Islamic republic?s top military leader underscores this president?s wild vacillations between diplomatic overtures and teasing violent retribution, where a call for peace one moment could be followed by a threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites?a tactic that is considered a war crime under international law.The president inquired about this not long before greenlighting, then abruptly calling off, military strikes on Iran that he approved knowing the body count was estimated to be high.And even as he publicly celebrated this massive escalation with Iran and aggressively campaigned on, and fundraised off of, his decision, Trump continued to lament privately to close allies that it would be ?crazy? to plunge America into another invasion or full-blown war in the Middle East, according to two people who spoke to Trump in the days following the Soleimani hit.He then pledged he would not ?let it happen? on his ?watch.? Of course, none of the president?s stated reservations about starting a new war, or his stated desire to bring soldiers home, kept him and his administration from deploying thousands more American troops to the region as the U.S. and Iran walked up to the brink of all-out warfare early this month.The Soleimani strike, though, forced the president to pause, even just briefly, to consider whether what he had ordered would have lasting, irreversible consequences?repercussions he?d never meant to bump up against.?You know, he's sincerely grappling with this, which is good. I mean, war should be hard and we should grapple with it. I just don't want any one person to say, okay, I've grappled with it we should do it,? Sen. Tim Kaine told The Daily Beast in an interview about the escalating tension in Iran. Since the Soleimani strike, the Virginia Democrat has led a bipartisan push in the Senate to rein in Trump?s authority to wage war in Iran without congressional approval. ?If I were president I shouldn't have the ability to just on my own say, let?s do this,? Kaine added. ?It should be deliberative, because that's what the troops and their families deserve.?President Trump?s concerns were fed, in part, by comments from lawmakers and other analysts that the strike on Soleimani could lead quickly to a major, sustained conflict.?We need to get ready for a major pushback. Our people in Iraq and the Middle East are going to be targeted. We need to be ready to defend our people in the Middle East,? said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in an interview with The Daily Beast the night of the strike. ?I think we need to be ready for a big counterpunch.??Overselling the intel?In the first week after the Jan. 3 strike, officials appeared on television and radio shows in an attempt to frame the Soleimani strike as an act of de-escalation. Just hours after the strike, Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran, went on BBC World Service radio saying that killing Soleimani was designed to ?advance the cause of peace.?Officials at the State Department, in coordination with the White House, drafted talking points advising those who would appear in the media to underscore Soleimani?s ?malign activities? and his role in killing American troops over the years, according to two U.S. officials. But the White House wanted to advance a different argument?one that wasn?t about what Iran had already done, but what U.S. officials claimed Iran was about to do. They said the U.S. killed Soleimani because he was planning ?imminent? attacks that would harm American interests. That talking point in particular was emailed out to officials across the Pentagon, White House, and State Department, and even to several GOP lawmakers? offices repeatedly the week of the strike, according to several officials who spoke to The Daily Beast. It became, for a time, the central rationale the administration offered for the assassination. On the night of the hit, the Pentagon said only that Soleimani was ?actively developing plans? for an unspecified attack. By Sunday Jan. 5, Pompeo said on several morning talk shows that there were actually ?constant threats? from Iran, rather than a specific one the strike preempted. And officials told a varying story about how many Americans could be killed. That next week, in briefings to Congress, the administration struggled to explain what exactly the alleged ?imminent? attack was. Senators left a closed-door briefing Wednesday, Jan. 8, unconvinced, angry, and warning that the intelligence put forward did not match how senior officials described it. And when the dissatisfied lawmakers pressed for a clearer picture, Graham ended the briefing even though several members had yet to ask their questions.?It was right when things were really starting to get heated and Graham just said something like, ?Hey don?t you all have to get back to the White House??,? the source said.For Kaine, the problem wasn?t the intel, it was some of the messengers. ?I think the intel has been strong. But I think some of the political people have been overselling the intel,? said Kaine. ?What I heard of the political folks doing seems to me to be significantly beyond what the intel says.?Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of the House intelligence committee who received a separate classified briefing on the Soleimani strike, said he ?saw nothing related to imminence.??To exaggerate your view of what intelligence means is dangerous,? he told The Daily Beast. ?This was either a misrepresentation or a degree of incompetence in analyzing the intelligence.?Senators were also displeased with how the administration?s briefers, including Pompeo, answered questions about Iraq and its parliament vote to oust American troops from the country after the Soleimani assassination. According to two people in the room, the briefers dismissed questions about the Baghdad vote, telling lawmakers ?don?t worry about it,? according to an individual who was in the room. ?One of them said ?that?s just how the Iraqis talk. We will take care of it.???When you take strikes? in Iraq over their objections, there?s going to be consequences to that. And that?s the kind of thing where you got to be thinking down the board. If they object to us using Iraq as a field of battle? but we?re saying yeah, we?re doing it anyway. Well, what do you think is going to happen?? Kaine told The Daily Beast in reference to the briefing. ?I certainly didn't get much sense that they had thought through, like, oh, they are probably going to kick us out of the country.?Trump on Jan. 9 told reporters that the intelligence actually showed that Iran was ?looking to blow up our embassy.? The next day, he went bigger in a Fox News interview, saying that there ?probably would?ve been four embassies.? But two days after that, on Jan. 12, Trump?s claim was put into question by his own defense secretary. In an interview on CNN?s State of the Union, Mark Esper conceded that he had not in fact seen a piece of intelligence ?with regard to four embassies.? But, in an apparent attempt to cover for Trump, Esper said the president ?believed that it probably and could have been attacks against additional embassies.?According to two officials who spoke to The Daily Beast, Trump was outwardly frustrated by critiques of his embassy claim, telling his close confidants that he was furious with Esper?s performance on CNN.Lawmakers on Capitol Hill called on the Trump administration to explain the president?s remarks, demanding briefings with Pompeo and other administration officials?which were scheduled this week and then canceled without explanation. According to two senior U.S. officials, Trump and Pompeo spoke about the need to avoid answering more questions about the embassy threats.?This whole episode has been one of mixed messages. Mixed messages is a function of no real strategy,? said Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. ?When you don?t have a strategy, you get all sorts of confusing events on top of each other.??Aggressive opinions?Officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said part of that confusion on messaging came as a result of abundant input by GOP lawmakers with ?aggressive opinions on how to handle Iran,? as one official put it. In the days after the assassination, Trump spoke with Republican leaders in the Senate and the House, picking their brains on how to redefine the administration?s years-long policy of maximum pressure?a campaign to wage economic warfare on Tehran. Some of those same senators had publicly and behind closed doors denounced the administration?s maximum pressure campaign. They argued that the campaign wasn?t doing enough to change Iran?s behavior. In the days leading up to the strike, Graham spoke with President Trump. ?I won?t get into the details,? Graham told The Daily Beast. ?But he told me Soleimani was a target and that they had caught him red-handed.? Graham said he had advocated for the president to take a tougher military stance against Iran following the attacks on the Saudi oil refineries in September.?I didn?t have any specific targets in mind,? Graham said. ?I just thought we needed to be doing more.?Several national security officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said there was a push by GOP lawmakers, including Graham, in the days after the strike to fundamentally re-vamp the administration?s maximum pressure campaign by adding a military component.?If there are any more threats against Americans or our interests then we should hit refineries and oil infrastructure inside Iran,? Graham said. ?The military option should be on the table.? The campaign was not initially designed to include military power as a form of maximum pressure, according to two former Obama administration officials. Instead, its architects envisioned it as a means of economic strangulation, whereby Iran would be put under such crippling sanctions that it would opt to transform its foreign policy and take an unspecified grand bargain that the administration began offering after abandoning the nuclear deal in 2018. Graham told The Daily Beast that he is working on an alternative to the Obama administration's 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. ?I'm not surprised the President has close relationships with these folks,? Kaine told The Daily Beast, referring to GOP lawmakers. ?But it makes me nervous. Rather than senators pressuring the president, hey, go after Iran, let them make the case on the floor of the Senate.?After two weeks of shifting talking points on Iran, re-defining the administration?s policy, Pompeo seemed to edge the closest to articulating a clear response on the administration?s policy when he appeared for a speech at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University on Jan. 13.?President Trump and those of us on his national security team are re-establishing deterrence? against Iran. The goal is twofold. First we want to deprive the regime of resources. And second we just want Iran to act like a normal nation,? he said, sighing. ?Just be like Norway.?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.

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