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Today's Democrats aren't for Michael Bloomberg. He should run as an independent, instead.

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 4:00am

Business mogul Michael Bloomberg doesn't fit today's Democratic Party. But his candidacy as an independent could serve an important purpose.


UPDATE 1-Belarus threatens to pull out of Russia integration deal over subsidy row

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 3:45am

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday threatened to pull out of signing an integration deal with Russia next month if Moscow failed to resolve their dispute over energy subsidies. Russia has propped up its traditional ally with loans and subsidies to keep Belarus in its political orbit but now plans to phase these out to lessen the burden on its economy. Belarus previously said that it stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year from changes to Russian tax policy and has tried to negotiate compensation.


Forgotten Genocide: How a Quarter of Europe’s Roma Were Murdered by the Nazis, then Erased From History

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 3:18am

LONDON—It’s impossible to fathom the scale of the depravity. An eyewitness account by a Holocaust survivor—unearthed for a new exhibition in London—describes the conditions in the “gypsy” section of Auschwitz as even more inhumane than the rest of the appalling facility.“The conditions were worse than in the other camps,” wrote eyewitness Hermann Langbein in 1945. “The route between the huts was ankle deep in mud and dirt. The gypsies were still wearing the clothes that they had been given upon arrival… footwear was missing… The latrines were built in such a way that they were practically unusable for the gypsy children. The infirmary was a pathetic sight.”The Holocaust Didn’t End with the Liberation of Auschwitz and the Nazi Death CampsThe report by Langbein, also a survivor of the Spanish Civil War, is just one of the sickening contemporary accounts highlighted in the exhibition Forgotten Victims: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti at London’s Wiener Holocaust Library (to March 11, 2020).Over 90 percent of the Roma held at Auschwitz did not survive the war.In total, it is estimated that up to half a million Roma and Sinti, the name taken by the nomadic people based in Germany, died during the Holocaust. Accurate estimates are impossible but that may have been a quarter of Europe’s Roma and Sinti population.The plight of these people, commonly known as gypsies at the time, was overshadowed by the scale of the genocide perpetrated against Europe’s Jewish community, but the Romani suffering was not simply eclipsed; it was systematically erased in the post-war period. Romani survivors did not qualify for restitution; the mass murder of the Roma was largely ignored at the Nuremberg trials; Germany did not formally recognize that there had been a Romani genocide until 1982.Like homeless and gay victims of the Holocaust, the Roma and Sinti people were primarily categorized by the Nazi killing machine as criminals or “asocials.” For the tiny minority who survived, this meant they struggled to apply for compensation for their treatment in the same way as Jewish survivors.Despite the German authorities’ failure to recognize this as another strand of genocide, there was plenty of evidence that the Nazis were applying similar twisted pseudo-science to portray the Roma and Jews as lesser people.The exhibition highlights the work of a man named Dr Robert Ritter, who was responsible for running the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit from 1936. In 1941, he was promoted and also became head of the Criminal Biology Unit. Much of his work focused on trying to prove that the Romani people were racially inferior using a vast array of nonsensical and unscientific methods.He supported the sterilization of Roma women and expressed his concern about preventing intermarriage with other Germans. He was also personally responsible for identifying Roma and Sinti communities in Germany and Austria which were then raided by Nazis units who transported thousands to the camps.Ritter was never brought to trial. His racist project had obviously been influential among senior Nazi officials, however. In 1938, the head of the SS Heinrich Himmler wrote: “Experience gained in combating the gypsy nuisance, and knowledge derived from race-biological research, have shown that the proper method of attacking the Gypsy problem seems to be to treat it as a matter of race.”It’s utterly extraordinary that it took the German government until the 1980s to officially take Himmler’s word for it: the mass execution of the Roma and Sinti people was a racially motivated genocide.It wasn’t just within Germany; the Roma and Sinti people were largely left out of the picture when the world united to condemn the horrors of the Holocaust.“There was no reckoning, no recognition,” said Barbara Warnock, curator at the Wiener Holocaust Library. “At the Nuremberg war crimes trials, crimes against Roma weren’t part of the indictments. There are some documents that were entered at Nuremberg that are to do with persecution against Jews that happen to mention persecution against Roma too but it wasn't something that was being particularly focused on or investigated even though people were aware of it. There's never been that big moment of acknowledgement.”Warnock told The Daily Beast that there has been a historic and continued marginalization of Roma communities in Europe. “The failure to acknowledge the extent of persecution and suffering probably hasn't been helpful,” she said.Documents that tell the typically depressing story of Hans Brann, a Roma survivor of Auschwitz, have been located by the Wiener Holocaust Library. He was one of just a couple of thousand Roma who entered Auschwitz and left alive.According to a police letter, the response to his restitution claim was to order a police inspector to investigate his claim, and prove that he was a criminal, not a racial victim. Not all of the documentation survives, but he must have been turned down because six years later Brann made the same claim of restitution. He had waited more than a decade for any recognition of the torment he had suffered.For the Roma people in Europe, the wait goes on. Recent years have seen crackdowns on communities in Italy, France and Hungary.“Reflect upon the situation in Europe today,” said Warnock. “A massive amount of prejudice and discrimination continues.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Rogue elephant dies in captivity after killing villagers

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 3:05am

A rogue elephant named after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday. The male animal -- nicknamed "Laden" -- was tracked for days by forestry officers and tranquilised on Monday after a deadly October rampage killed five villagers in Goalpara, in the northeastern state of Assam. It was moved to Assam's Orang National Park where officials planned to teach it to patrol wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the state, but said it died early Sunday.


Water Cannon Fails to Move Holed-Up Protesters: Hong Kong Update

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 2:30am

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police fired teargas and deployed a water cannon to try to clear a resistant band of protesters who occupied a university near the Tsim Sha Tsui district and blocked roads in the vicinity.Police launched round after round of teargas and repeatedly sprayed a blue-dyed liquid toward the demonstrators holed up at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Streets surrounding the campus were littered with bricks and other obstacles to keep the police at bay. Protesters shielded themselves with umbrellas and lobbed petrol bombs as the overnight standoff stretched into Sunday afternoon.On Friday, a five-day face-off between protesters and police at Chinese University of Hong Kong ended as the activists evacuated their makeshift fortress. Earlier, vice chancellor Rocky Tuan made a fresh appeal for demonstrators, who had built barricades and taken over a number of buildings, to leave the campus.The city’s government is trying to step up measures to halt escalating violence in the financial center after a week that saw countless incidents of vandalism, angry clashes between opposing sides and two deaths linked to the conflict.Key developments:Government suspends schools for another dayPolice officer on leave after firing sponge grenade at mediaPLA soldiers help clean upCity’s second-highest-ranked leader promises measures to halt violenceTwo German citizens reportedly detained by policeHere’s the latest (all times local):Officer suffers arrow wound (2 p.m.)A police media-liaison officer was admitted to hospital after he suffered an arrow wound to his leg, police said in a statement. The officer was injured when protesters charged at police and used bricks, petrol bombs, and bows and arrows to attack them near Polytechnic University, according to the statement.Police deploy water cannons (1 p.m.)Police deployed a water cannon to try to drive protesters out of Polytechnic University. After officers repeatedly fired a blue-dyed liquid from the vehicle toward the protesters, the standoff continued as the sides watched one another from across the rubble-strewn intersection, normally a busy traffic crossing.Schools suspended (12:00 p.m.)All schools would remain suspended on Monday because of safety concerns, the Education Bureau said in a statement. While classes are halted, the premises must remain open for students who need to go to school, and staff need to be arranged to look after the children, it said.If the situation allows, classes will resume on Tuesday, the bureau said.Airport traffic (11 a.m.)Hong Kong International Airport handled 5.4 million passengers in October, 13% fewer than a year earlier, and saw 34,300 flight movements, down 6.1%, Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a statement. Cargo throughput dropped 5.5% to 428,000 tonnes, it said.Face-off continues (10 a.m.)Police and protesters faced off Sunday outside Polytechnic University where activists had taken refuge. The officers fired rounds of teargas to try to disperse the crowd, which appeared to be a couple of hundred people, but the demonstrators returned to their position at the main traffic intersection near the campus after the clouds of smoke thinned.The clashes started when protesters threw objects at people trying to clean up the area on Saturday. Riot police moved in and tried to disperse the demonstrators, who retreated into university property and then returned to fling firebombs toward police.Police officer put on leave (9:47 p.m.)Hong Kong police are investigating an incident where an officer fired a sponge grenade while asking reporters to leave the scene during clashes with protesters early on Saturday. The officer involved is currently on leave, according to a statement from the government.Various media reports said a riot police officer fired a 40mm react round at a Commercial Radio reporter. Police reiterated that they fully respect the freedom of the press.In a separate development, the police and protesters are clashing outside the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where petrol bombs and tear gas have been exchanged.City mops up (4 p.m.)Residents in Pokfulam and Kowloon Tong banded together to clear the blockaded streets, forming human chains to load skips of the bricks and rubble that covered the area. PLA soldiers in Kowloon Tong ferried buckets and wheelbarrows of debris off the roads before returning to their base in the district, RTHK reported.Chinese troops have been stationed in Hong Kong since the British handed the city back to China in 1997. But the city government has never requested deployment. In 2018, more than 400 soldiers helped clear fallen trees following Typhoon Mangkhut, the first time they had undertaken such a role.University occupation ends (3 a.m.)Protesters who occupied the CUHK campus for about a week have left the campus, according to a university spokesman. Police and workers cleared the streets early Saturday and all lanes were re-opened on Tolo Highway, which had been blocked by demonstrators.German Citizens Reportedly Detained by Police (2:31 a.m.)Two German citizens were detained by Hong Kong police amid the continuing protests, Deutsche Welle reported, citing an official at Germany’s foreign ministry. They are receiving assistance from the country’s consulate in Hong Kong, according to the report. Police in Hong Kong said two foreign men were detained during a demonstration in Tuen Mun, according to Reuters.Chinese University of Hong Kong Appeals To Protesters To End Siege (Sat. 12:27 a.m.)CUHK vice chancellor Rocky Tuan appealed to protesters to stop their siege of his campus, urging them in a letter to leave the university. The university had previously canceled classes for the remainder of the semester and asked students and staff to leave the premises. He said that if the university can’t clear out the protesters, it would have “no choice” but to ask the government to help resolve the situation.University heads call for all to ‘work together’ to bring peace (10:45 p.m.)Nine university presidents urged the government to take the lead in ending the political deadlock and restoring order as their campuses become “major political battlefields,” according to a joint statement.Demands that university disciplinary processes can fix the problem are “disconnected from reality” and the government’s response so far has not been effective, they said. “We call on all quarters of society to work together to bring peace and order back to Hong Kong.”City’s No. 2 vows more measures (6:07 p.m.)Matthew Cheung, the city’s chief secretary, promised “more decisive measures” to halt protest violence, including suspending civil servants who are arrested during demonstrations. Cheung -- joined by Civil Service Secretary Joshua Law, Transport Secretary Frank Chan, Education Secretary Kevin Yeung and Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Secretary Patrick Nip -- said departments would step up coordination.While Cheung declined to rule out further invocations of the city’s powerful Emergency Regulations Ordinance, he reaffirmed the city would hold District Council elections as planned Nov. 24.Overwhelming support for inquiry (4:45 p.m.)Some 80% of Hong Kong adults want the government to set up an independent commission of inquiry to examine the use of force by police throughout Hong Kong’s recent unrest, according to a new survey by Hong Kong Public Opinion Program. That’s up from 77% earlier this month.An inquiry is one of the five demands that protesters have been chanting about in marches throughout the city for months, but the government has so far ruled out any further political concessions.Hong Kong expects recession (4:30 p.m.)Hong Kong revised down its estimate for economic growth this year, with the government now forecasting the first annual contraction since the global financial crisis a decade ago. Gross domestic product will contract 1.3% in 2019 from the previous year, the government said Friday as it released final output calculations for the third quarter.The government said ending the city’s violent unrest is key to an economic recovery.Police classify death as murder (1:31 p.m.)Police upgraded their probe into the injury of a 70-year-old government worker to a murder investigation after the man died overnight. The man was struck in the head by an object during a scuffle Wednesday between protesters who had set up road blocks and others who were attempting to clear them.The man appeared to be filming in the direction of a group of black-clad protesters when one of them “deliberately threw” an object at him, Chan Tin-chu, senior superintendent for criminal investigations in New Territories North, told reporters at a briefing Friday. The victim didn’t participate in the argument or the attempt to clear the road blocks, Chan said.\--With assistance from Daniel Flatley and Jacob Gu.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Moxy Ying in Hong Kong at yying13@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley James, Nicholas ReynoldsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Back in 2017, Russian Nuclear Submarines Fired Torpedoes at Each Other

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 2:11am

It was a drill--and thank god for that.


Russia says it will return captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 2:10am

Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday. A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine. Ukraine has been pushing for their return as a good will gesture from Moscow ahead of a possible four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month.


There have been more mass shootings than days in 2019

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 17, 2019 - 1:03am

There have been more than 365 mass shootings so far in 2019


Why Did a Russian Soldier Shoot Eight of His Comrades in Siberia?

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 10:30pm

Could it have been a hazing issue? Something more?


The Latest: Hong Kong police launch move on protesters

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 10:19pm

Police have launched an operation to flush out protesters who have barricaded themselves inside a university in Hong Kong. Tear gas barrages were fired late Sunday at protesters outside the campus after an ultimatum to come out expired. Police have created a cordon around Hong Kong Polytechnic University to prevent protesters from escaping as they move in.


Elizabeth Warren takes risk with ad blasting billionaires

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 6:26pm

Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates, has stepped up her assault on billionaires -- a rallying cry popular with her base, but one that could stymie her efforts to garner wider support among US voters. The one-minute campaign ad shows clips of several leading businessmen criticizing her plans for a wealth tax and predicting economic ruin if she is elected to succeed Donald Trump, a billionaire himself. Then the viewer sees Warren at a campaign rally, challenging America's most wealthy to pay up to help reduce income inequality in America.


Chile police stopped rescue workers helping dying protester: human rights watchdog

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 5:45pm

Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.


Two planes in 'minor' collision at Frankfurt airport

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 5:42pm

An Air Namibia plane collided with a Korean Air jet after landing at Frankfurt airport on Saturday evening, officials said, adding that no one was injured. Both aircraft were damaged in what Air Namibia on Sunday called "a minor accident". A spokeswoman for Frankfurt airport said the incident happened at around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Saturday.


Why Russian Fighter Jets Are Threatening NATO In The Baltics

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 1:05pm

A Russian Su-27 recent intercepted an American F-15C.


UPDATE 8-Hong Kong campus protesters fire arrows as anti-government unrest spreads

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 12:21pm

Hong Kong protesters shot arrows and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded university on Sunday at police who fired tear gas and water cannon in some of the worst violence in the Chinese-ruled city since anti-government unrest erupted five months ago. Several protesters took up positions on the rooftops of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, armed with bows and arrows, as unrest spread across the territory's central Kowloon district. Protesters, who were sprayed with the blue liquid from water cannon, stripped off and hosed each other down to wash it off.


‘We Must Be As Harsh as Them’: Leaked Docs Reveal China’s Mass Incarceration of Muslims: NYT

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 11:21am

HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via GettyHundreds of internal Chinese government documents obtained by The New York Times reveals striking new details about the execution of the country’s mass detention of ethnic minorities over the past three years in the Xinjiang region.The rare leak of documents, described in the newspaper’s bombshell report as “one of the most significant leaks of government papers from inside China’s ruling Communist Party in decades,” details how Chinese authorities have contained as many as one million Uighurs, Kazakhs and other predominately Muslim minorities into internment camps and prisons.The camps, which began in 2016, were described as China’s answer to fighting Islamic extremism.While the party has pushed back on international criticism of the camps by describing them as “job-training centers,” the documents show the coercive nature of the camps that top government officials knew tore families apart, fueled ethnic tensions and hurt economic growth. Cannibalism, Torture and Death: Inside China’s Genocidal Re-Education Camps“Children saw their parents taken away, students wondered who would pay their tuition and crops could not be planted or harvested for lack of manpower,” the report states. “Yet officials were directed to tell people who complained to be grateful for the Communist Party’s help and stay quiet.”According to the documents, President Xi Jinping first laid the groundwork for the camps in a series of April 2014 speeches to party officials and during a trip to Xinjiang. The trip came just weeks after Uighur militants reportedly killed 31 people, and stabbed more than 150, at a train station in Kunming. “The methods that our comrades have at hand are too primitive,” Xi said during one talk in Urumqi, according to the report. “None of these weapons is any answer for their big machete blades, ax heads and cold steel weapons.”He added: “We must be as harsh as them and show absolutely no mercy.”While Xi called for an all-out “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism” using the “organs of dictatorship” after the train attack, the documents do not indicate he directly ordered the detention centers. But his harsh rhetoric combined with terrorist attacks abroad fueled the toxic beliefs that minority communities could be eradicated, The New York Times notes. In one example, the 2017 London Bridge attacks spurred party officials to condemn Britain's policy of by putting “human rights above security,” and prompted Xi to urge leaders in Xinjiang to respond to extremism like America’s “war on terror” campaign. “In recent years, Xinjiang has grown very quickly and the standard of living has consistently risen, but even so ethnic separatism and terrorist violence have still been on the rise,” Xi said in a speech to party officials, according to The New York Times. “This goes to show that economic development does not automatically bring lasting order and security.”Trump Blames China’s Xi Jinping for Sabotaging the Kim Jong Un SummitThe rise of the camps, the newspaper reported, didn’t until until August 2016, when Chen Quanguo was promoted from the party secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region to governor of Xinjiang. The new leader was eager to “remobilize” Xi’s goals for increasing security and rapidly expanded the region’s internment camps. Chen also distributed Xi’s speeches to justify his aggressive approach, and even told officials to “round up everyone who should be rounded up.”“The struggle against terror and to safeguard stability is a protracted war, and also a war of offense,” Chen said in an October 2017 speech to the regional leadership, according to the leaked papers.Soon after, authorities started to arrest anyone who displayed “symptoms” of radicalism or anti-party views, without any judicial rationale or explanation, the Times reported.Party leaders even displayed dozens of signs to highlight such behaviors to other Chinese citizens, some including common Uighurs practices like wearing long beards, giving up smoking or drinking, studying Arabic or praying outside mosques. Woman Sent to Labor Camp in China’s Latest Abuse OutrageTo justify the discriminatory practices, authorities cited ongoing terrorism attacks abroad and the possibility of such attacks in China. Whenever local officials expressed doubts about the camps they believed would hurt economic growth, the documents reveal Chen would have them fired or jailed.In one instance, one county leader ordered the release of 7,000 camp inmates, writing in a 15-page confession he believe the crackdown harmed ethnic relations. After the release, Chen had the leader detained, stripped of power, and prosecuted. According to the Times, the documents indicated that about 900,000 people have been put into these camps, a number previously unknown due to the campaign’s secrecy. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


'Funny, loyal, light of our lives': Santa Clarita mourns victims of Saugus school shooting

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 11:10am

The community of Santa Clarita is remembering Dominic Blackwell and Gracie Muehlberger, two students killed in the Saugus High School shooting.


Chicago gang leader accused of attempting to help Islamic State

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 10:22am

A purported street gang leader from Chicago who allegedly became radicalized in prison faces federal charges accusing him of seeking to provide money to Islamic State militants in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.


S. African asylum-seekers held on trespassing charges

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 16, 2019 - 8:48am

South African police detained more than 180 foreign nationals for storming the UN refugee agency in Pretoria, where they had been staging a sit-in protest, police said Saturday. Hundreds of asylum-seekers started camping in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on October 8, asking to be relocated to another country after a spate of xenophobic violence in September. Protesters broke into the UNHCR premises on Thursday after they were informed of a court order giving them three days to vacate the site.


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