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Netanyahu's career on the line as Israel votes

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 10:08am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's career was on the line Tuesday as Israel held its second national election this year, with voters deciding whether to give him another term in office despite a likely indictment on corruption charges. Throughout an abbreviated but alarmist campaign characterized by mudslinging and slogans condemned as racist, Netanyahu has tried to portray himself as a seasoned statesman who is uniquely qualified to lead the country through challenging times. Gantz has tried to paint Netanyahu as divisive and scandal-plagued, offering himself as a calming influence and honest alternative.

Wisconsin brothers charged with operating counterfeit vaping cartridge operation

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 9:33am

Tyler and Jacob Huffhines ran an operation that cranked out 3,000 to 5,000 counterfeit vaping cartridges each day, authorities say.

U.S. to Return Ambassador to Belarus as Minsk Seeks New Friends

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 9:03am

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. plans to return its ambassador to Belarus, ending a freeze in ties with the authoritarian former Soviet republic which had lasted for more than 11 years.“We are happy to see that chapter closing, and we are closing it because of the concrete steps in the direction that you, Mr. President, had taken to improve this relationship,” David Hale, Undersecretary of State for political affairs, told Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting in Minsk.The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Minsk in 2008 as relations between the two countries spiralled lower over Washington’s allegations of human-rights abuses by the Belarusian government. In 2006, Lukashenko was subjected to U.S. sanctions, which remain in place.Amid rising tensions in recent months with his main ally and patron, Russia, Lukashenko has sought to rebuild ties with the U.S. and Europe. Moscow has pushed for closer links under a longstanding agreement to form a union state, but Minsk has been reluctant to give in too much to its much larger neighbor. The U.S., meanwhile, has sought to limit Russia’s sway over its neighbors.Hale said the U.S. strongly supports Belarus’ sovereignty and independence. Lukashenko told the U.S. diplomat he wouldn’t allow the deployment of short- or medium-range missiles in his country -- something Russia has suggested it might do in response to threatened U.S. military moves in Europe -- but only if doing that didn’t undermine Belarus’ security.To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at akudrytski@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at, Gregory L. White, Torrey ClarkFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

If you’re not upgrading to the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro, you need to check out this great app

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 7:26am

Apple's new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max will finally be released this Friday and hundreds of millions of iPhone users around the world... won't be upgrading. The next-generation iPhone lineup set to be released on September 20th is obviously made up of the best iPhones Apple has ever created. Of that, there is absolutely no question. Apple's new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro design is remarkably sleek, with new frosted glass backs that are even more minimalistic now thanks to the removal of the "iPhone" logo. They're obviously also the most power iPhones to date, with benchmark test scores that are off the charts, once again obliterating rival Android flagships. And then there are the cameras, which finally should put Apple's iPhones back on par with the best Android-powered camera phones out there. Apple had been a market leader for so long when it came to mobile photography, but then companies like Huawei, Google, and even Samsung pulled out ahead. The new dual-lens camera on the iPhone 11 and triple-lens camera on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are expected to match the best cameras available from Apple's rivals, and we can't wait to put them to the test.Millions of people will take delivery of new iPhone 11 models this weekend and tens of millions more will buy them in the coming weeks and months. But far more iPhone users out there will pass on the upgrade. Since iPhones are so powerful and so well-made, users can and do go for years without upgrading because their iPhones continue to work just fine. The new iPhone 11 starts at $700 and the 11 Pro Max costs more than $1,500 if you include tax, and these new models aren't compelling enough for most people to spend all that money to upgrade when they already have iPhones that work perfectly.If you count yourself among the people out there who already have an iPhone that you're perfectly happy with, then good for you. There are plenty of more important things you could be spending that money on. That said, there are some features of newer iPhones that you probably miss if you're on an older model, especially when it comes to mobile photography.If you use an iPhone like the iPhone XR, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, or anything older than that, then one of the features you likely wish you had is Portrait Mode. This great feature was first introduced on the iPhone 7 Plus, and it's available to everyone with an iPhone model that has multiple camera lenses on the back. It creates an effect that blurs the background of a photo so that it looks like it was shot with a DSLR camera instead of a tiny smartphone camera. It's called a "bokeh" effect, and it really is awesome. And as you might have figured out by now, you don't need a new iPhone with a multi-lens camera to get it.We've discussed an app called Focos before here on the site, and it remains one of our favorite photography apps for the iPhone. Using this nifty app, you can make adjustments to the color of light, the direction of light, and even the focus of Portrait Mode photos after they're already been captured. But if you have an older iPhone, then the app's best feature is a new one that was just added: it can now capture Portrait Mode photos on iPhone models with only one rear camera lens. Here's a sample from a post on Reddit:'ll find the full description from the App Store below followed by a download link, but the bottom line is that this is a must-have app for anyone with an iPhone that has a single-lens camera.> Focos now supports all devices and editing of all pictures.> > Focos is a big step into the future of computational photography and light-field camera, bringing DSLR-like photography to your iPhone and iPad Pro, with beautiful bokeh effects usually achievable only with professional large aperture cameras. With the technology of computational photography, you can make unlimited changes to your photos, focus after the fact, change the aperture repeatedly, and add multiple lights in 3D space, exceeding the limits of any editing tools you've known before. The creative potential unleashed by Focos is endless.> > MAIN FEATURES > \- Take photos with shallow depth of field, without manually painting or making selections. > \- True 3D imaging. > \- Simulate large apertures to create real bokeh effects normally only possible with DSLR cameras and expensive lenses. > \- Import all existing photos and customize the bokeh effect. > \- With the advanced technology of machine learning, it calculates the depth of field automatically for every photo. > \- Re-focus portrait photos that have already been taken, with a simple tap. > \- Choose from various simulated aperture diaphragms to generate different bokeh spot effects. > \- Professional options to simulate lens characteristics, such as creamy, bilinear, swirly, and reflex effects, and more. > \- Visualize the depth of areas within your portrait photos in a 3D view, and intuitively add depth filters. > \- Add multiple lights in a 3D space, and adjust the color, brightness and so on for each light. > \- Check the portrait picture in the real world with augmented reality technique. > \- It is possible to patch the depth map precisely on iPad with Apple Pencil. > \- Intuitive and easy to use, with built-in video tutorials. > \- An essential tool for all iPhones and iPads.Download Focos

Iran charges three detained Australians with spying

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 7:20am

Iran has charged three detained Australians with spying, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday, after the reported arrest of a travel-blogging couple and an academic. Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters. It was the first official confirmation that Australians have been detained in Iran after the families of three of them said last week they had been arrested in the Islamic republic.

NYC to Allow 1.1 Million Students to Skip Class for Climate Protests

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 6:49am

New York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students  to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned "climate strike" ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit.The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people.Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S.“This completely changes things, and it’s our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times. Some teachers at her school were planning to accompany students to the protests even before the school district granted permission to do so.“We’re not against the school system,” she said. “We need the schools to work with us because our larger goal is to stop the fossil fuel industry.”

A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport and realized he had lost his passport

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 6:19am

T'Way Air said it was investigating the incident and how the pilot lost his passport, and that it put passengers in a hotel and fed them breakfast.

Ilhan Omar: Trump admin can't be trusted on Iran if it ' lies about weather maps or crowd sizes'

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 6:18am

Omar said that the administration could not be trusted to "give us the full information" on Iran because of past falsehoods about "weather maps."

Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensions

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 5:45am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for a return to an international deal curbing Iran's nuclear activities as the only way to defuse tensions in the Middle East. "We believe that the deal to stop Iran from acquiring military nuclear capabilities is a building block we need to get back to," Merkel said during a news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah. "But there is also a long list of other burdens coming from Iran like the ballistic missiles program and its engagement in Syria," she said.

20 dead as truck falls off cliff in southern Philippines

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 5:12am

Twenty villagers were killed and 14 others were injured when the truck they were riding in lost control and fell off a cliff Tuesday in a remote mountain village in the southern Philippines, police and the Red Cross said. Provincial police chief Joel Limson said the truck was negotiating a downhill road in Tboli town in South Cotabato province when its brakes apparently failed and plummeted down a ravine, pinning 15 people to death. Police, Red Cross volunteers and villagers retrieved the 15 bodies from the wreckage at the bottom of the ravine.

Trump boasts about wealth and makes series of false claims in hate-filled rally speech disrupted by flies and protesters

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 4:27am

Donald Trump was twice interrupted by protesters at a rally during which he criticised his opponents, discussed his plans to build a border wall and reiterated his support for Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court justice who has been accused of sexual harassment.The president went on to describe Brett Kavanaugh as a “great talent, a great brilliant man.”

UN experts urge probe of Rohingya killings in Bangladesh

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 2:50am

UN human rights experts have raised new concerns about the treatment of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh following a deadly backlash over the killing of a ruling party official. The experts called for an "impartial" investigation into the deaths of at least six Rohingya men in gunfights with police after they were named as suspects in the killing of Omar Faruk, a youth wing official of the ruling Awami League. In a statement released late Monday in Geneva, the six specially appointed UN experts on rights issues backed Bangladesh's probe into the murder of Faruk.

Police clear major migrant camp in northern France

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 17, 2019 - 2:32am

Grande-Synthe (France) (AFP) - French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard. The mayor of Grande-Synthe in December 2018 opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold. Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with around 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the crammed gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach Britain, had been sheltering.

Divided Fed set to cut interest rates this week, but then what?

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 11:04pm

Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that began on Tuesday. An oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness. At one end of the Fed's large boardroom table sit St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who are expected to argue for a steep reduction in borrowing costs to counter low inflation and an inverted Treasury yield curve.

Putin Loses Legendary Approval-Rating Crown to His New Neighbor

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 10:00pm

(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Vladimir Putin takes great pride in his sky-high approval rating. But with Muscovites rising up and a new government instilling hope in Ukraine, he’s being outshone by the president next door, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.It’s still early days for the administration in Kyiv. While pushing a raft of popular reforms, Zelenskiy, 41, remains in his honeymoon period, while cries he’s too close to a local billionaire grow louder.The 66-year-old Putin, meanwhile, is approaching two decades as Russia’s leader. Economic expansion has fizzled out, and along with it the spending largess that kept the masses happy.The last time his popularity sagged meaningfully, Putin famously got a boost after annexing Crimea from Ukraine and fomenting a war between the two former allies.Zelenskiy has a long way to go to match the 89% rating Putin reached back then.To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Langley in London at alangley1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at, Gregory L. WhiteFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

'Evil needs to pay': Missing Florida mom Casei Jones and her four children all found dead in Georgia

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 7:26pm

Casei Jones, 32, and her four children, were found dead in Georgia and a warrant has been issued for Casei Jones' husband, Michael Wayne Jones Jr.

China must give Hong Kong leaders room to compromise: former governor

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 6:18pm

China must give Hong Kong leaders leeway to reach a compromise with protesters or face continued unrest in the city, former governor Chris Patten said on Tuesday. "In order to have a resolution the Chinese government needs to make it clear that they still believe in the treaty which was signed by Britain," he told AFP, referring to the 1985 agreement that led to Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule in 1997. Under the deal, Hong Kong was allowed to keep its unique freedoms for 50 years.

Agency could keep Three Mile Island nuclear debris in Idaho

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 4:52pm

The partially melted reactor core from the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history could remain in Idaho for another 20 years if regulators finalize a license extension sought by the U.S. Energy Department, officials said Monday. The core from Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania partially melted in 1979, an event that changed the way Americans view nuclear technology. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined there would be no significant impact from extending the license to store the core at the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) site that includes Idaho National Laboratory.

Edward Snowden Is Exposing His Own Secrets This Time

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 4:47pm

Barton GellmanEdward Snowden doesn’t share new state secrets in his memoir, Permanent Record, which The Daily Beast obtained a copy of ahead of its release Tuesday. But he does offer some personal ones, from his transformation into America’s most famous secret-spiller, to the news that he was married, two years ago, to Lindsay Mills, the girlfriend he left behind when he fled the U.S. for Hong Kong with a virtual library of top secret files detailing America’s global electronic spying apparatus.After enlisting in the Army at 21, Snowden writes that he was on a track called “18 X-Ray”, with a chance to come out of training as a Special Forces sergeant, before breaking his leg at Fort Benning and receiving an administrative separation. “I had hoped to serve my country,” he writes, as his family had before him, “but instead I went to work for it” as a contractor for the intelligence community. That was effectively a cover, in his telling, as “the agencies were hiring tech companies to hire kids, and then giving them the keys to the kingdom because… no one else knew how the keys, or the kingdom worked.” He elaborates: “Here is one thing that the disorganized CIA didn’t quite understand at the time, and that no major American employed outside of Silicon Valley understood, either: The computer guy knows everything, or rather can know everything.”Eventually, Snowden, having attained the security clearances necessary for his tech work, “went govvy” and signed up for a straight CIA job. He joined class 6-06 of the BTTP, or the Basic Telecommunications Training Program that “disguises one of the most classified and unusual curricula in existence… to train TISOs (Technical Information Security Officers),” who work under State Department cover to “manage the technical infrastructure for CIA operations, most commonly hidden at stations inside American missions, consulates, and embassies.” “[T]he worst-kept secret in modern diplomacy is that the primary function of an embassy nowadays is to serve as a platform for espionage,” he writes.After being stationed in Vienna, Snowden moved to Tokyo in 2009 to work as a systems analyst for the NSA, he writes, though nominally as an employee of Dell. “Two things about the NSA stunned me right off the bat: how technologically sophisticated it was compared with the CIA, and how much less vigilant it was about security in its every iteration,” he writes, noting that the NSA “hardly bothered to encrypt anything.”While working there on a project called EPICSHELTER—“a backup and storage system that would act as a shadow NSA: a complete, automated, and constantly updating copy of all the agency’s most important material, which would allow the agency to reboot and be up and running again, with all its archives intact, even if Fort Meade were reduced to smoldering rubble”—Snowden began researching China’s domestic surveillance system, which led to his first inkling that if such systems were possible, the U.S. might be using them too, given “perhaps the fundamental rule of technological progress:. if something can be done, it probably will be done, and possibly already has been.”That same summer, the U.S. released its Unclassified Report on the President’s Surveillance Program, following the New York Times’ reporting on the Bush-era warrantless wiretapping program. Eventually, Snowden writes, he found the classified version, “filed in an Exceptionally Controlled Information (ECI) compartment, an extremely rare classification used to make sure something would remain hidden even from those holding top secret clearance… The report’s full classification designation was TOP SECRET//STLW//HCS//COMINT//ORCORN//NOFORN, which translates to: pretty much only a few dozen people in the world are allowed the read this.”Snowden found it only because the STLW classification—for STELLARWIND—had raised a red flag for him as a system administrator, meaning he had to examine the file to determine what it was and how best to scrub it from the system where it wasn’t supposed to have been placed.   “It was clear that the unclassified version I was already familiar with wasn’t a redaction of the classified report, as would usually be the practice,” he writes. “Rather, it was a wholly different document, which the classified version immediately exposed as an outright and carefully concocted lie” to hide the transformation of the NSA’s mission “from using technology to defend America to using technology to control it by redefining citizens’ private Internet communications as potential signals intelligence.”STELLARWIND, the classified report revealed, had been collecting communications in the U.S. since 2001, and continued even after Justice Department lawyers secretly objected to it in 2004. It’s longevity owed everything to a kafkaesque legal position adopted by the Bush administration, “that the NSA could collect whatever communication records it wanted to, without having to get a warrant, because it could only be said to have acquired or obtained them, in the legal sense, if and when the agency ‘searched and retrieved’ them from its database.”Having found the big secret, set up so that no one else knew it was there to even start asking questions, Snowden writes, he began using his access as a systems engineer and administrator to ask those questions, while keeping the knowledge a secret from his girlfriend and his family, and considering what to do about it. Back in the US in 2011, Snowden experienced his first epileptic seizure. The following year on a contract with Dell again, he returned to the NSA, at its Kunia Regional Security Operations Center in Hawaii. There, he writes, “my active searching out of NSA abuses began not with the copying of documents, but with the reading of them.” As the sole employee of the Office of Information Sharing, he was developing an automated “readboard” to scan the IC’s own internal internet and create a custom digital magazine for each employee, based on his or her interests and security clearances. He called the system Heartbeat, and its servers stored a copy of each scanned document, “making it easy for me to perform the kind of deep interagency searches that the heads of most agencies could only dream of.” Heartbeat, he writes, “was the source of nearly all of the documents that I later disclosed to journalists.”Snowden mentions a rare public speech Ira “Gus” Hunt, the CIA’s chief technology officer, delivered a week after then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had lied to Congress about the NSA’s collection of bulk communications. In the speech, covered only by the Huffington Post, Hunt flatly declared that we “try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.” “You’re already a walking sensor platform,” he said. “It is nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information”). As Snowden notes, a video of the talk has less than 1,000 views. After that, Snowden recounts his efforts to reach out to journalists, and to carefully hide his digital breadcrumbs by encrypting data and distributing the keys to it, while perhaps hiding his findings on SD cards inside of Rubik’s Cube cubes to get them out of the NSA’s underground tunnel in Hawaii.He then took what he saw as a less prestigious new position to gain access to the XKEYSCORE system, which he’d learned about but not used himself, and, he writes, is “perhaps best understood as a search engine that lets an analyst search through the records of your life.”“It was, simply put, the closest thing to science fiction I’ve ever seen in science fact,” he writes, allowing users to put in someone’s basic information and then go through their online history, even playing back recordings of their online settings and watching people as they searched, character by character. “Everyone’s communications were in the system—everyone’s,” including the president’s, he writes. The potential for abuse was obvious. NSA workers even had a word, “LOVEINT” for “love intelligence,” to describe analysts cyber-stalking current, former and prospective lovers, while among male analysts “intercepted nudes were a kind of informal office currency,” Snowden writes. “This was how you knew you could trust each other: you had shared in one another’s crimes.”Finally, Snowden recounts his trip to Hong Kong, after taking a medical leave, his efforts to reach Ecuador, and his exile in Russia, where he was finally reunited with Lindsay (whose diary entries recounting his disappearance, and the pressure then placed on her by U.S. authorities are given a full, moving chapter. Snowden speaks well of a very different leaker, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, writing that while “people have long ascribed selfish motives to Assange’s desire to give me aid, I believe he was genuinely motivated in one thing above all—helping me evade capture… It’s true that Assange can be self-interested and vain, moody, and even bullying—after a sharp disagreement just a month after our first, text-based communication, I never communicated with him again—but he also sincerely conceives of himself as a fighter in a historic battle for the public’s right to know, a battle he will do anything to win.” “Most important to [Assange],” writes Snowden, ”was the opportunity to establish a counter-example to the case of the organization’s most famous source, US Army Private Chelsea Manning, whose thirty-five-year prison sentence was historically unprecedented and a monstrous deterrent to whistleblowers everywhere.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Elon Musk claims 'pedo guy' tweet did not suggest British diver was paedophile

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - September 16, 2019 - 4:18pm

Elon Musk has claimed a tweet in which he labelled a British diver “pedo guy” was not meant to suggest he was a paedophile.The Tesla founder insisted the remark was a “common insult,” according to a US court filing lodged in response to a defamation lawsuit.