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After strike, scandal, US auto union faces reckoning

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 6:44pm

All fall, as the United Auto Workers launched and ended a lengthy strike amid contract talks with Detroit's "Big Three" manufacturers, the union has been shadowed by a growing corruption probe. The scandal -- which led to last week's leave of absence announcement from UAW President Gary Jones -- has centered on bribes and kickbacks as well as revelations that some union officials and auto executives effectively stole money meant for worker training and spent it on golfing outings, pricey cigars and fancy meals. From all appearances, hourly workers have set aside frustrations with UAW leadership during the crunch period of contract talks, backing a 40-day strike at General Motors that ended last month before negotiations with Ford and then Fiat Chrysler.

What happened in the impeachment inquiry this week

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 6:02pm

Highlights and analysis of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump

Russian Historian Accused of Murdering His Student After Being Found Drunk in River With Bag of Severed Limbs

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 5:39pm

Denis Sinyakov/AFP/GettyA well-known Russian military historian and professor at St. Petersburg State University was found in a river in the center of the city early Saturday morning drunkenly trying to dispose of a woman’s severed arms, according to Russian media reports. Police reportedly soon found the woman’s decapitated head and body, along with a bloody saw, in his apartment, and divers are said to have found her legs in black plastic bags at the bottom of the Moyka River. The alleged historian-turned-murderer, identified by Russia’s Interfax news agency as 63-year-old Oleg Sokolov, has already confessed to the killing, according to his lawyer, Alexander Pochuyev. “If such a heinous crime, which my client has confessed to, did take place, it was committed under the influence of strong factors, possibly pathological intoxication or temporary insanity,” Pochuyev was quoted as saying by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   Pochuyev added “the verdict has not been passed yet, and until that moment a person is forbidden to be considered guilty” under Russia’s Criminal Code.Sokolov has reportedly entered a plea bargain for the gruesome murder of the 24-year-old victim, tentatively identified by law enforcement sources as Anastasia Eshchenko, one of his students and his co-author on research projects about the French military rule of Napoleon Bonaparte. Police have not yet confirmed a motive, but several local media reports suggest Sokolov and Eshchenko had a closer relationship than that of a teacher and student. Interfax cited sources saying the two lived together. Sokolov is said to have told detectives during his interrogation that he purchased a saw to get rid of Eshchenko’s body and drank booze during the dismemberment because he “repeatedly felt sick.” He also reportedly said he planned to commit suicide afterwards wearing the uniform of Napoleon. Sokolov is considered one of Russia’s leading experts on Napoleonic wars, and is well-known for reenacting moments of Napoleonic history. He was awarded France’s Legion d’Honneur in 2003. Sokolov was also a member of France's Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics, but he had been stripped of his position on its scientific committee Saturday, the society said in a statement.“We could never imagine that he could commit such an odious act,” as an academic of such high standing, the ISSEP said. The battle re-enactor was also initially listed as a member of the Russian Military Historical Society, but by Saturday evening the organization insisted it had no ties to him. Russian state media reports that Sokolov is detained in a hospital and is being treated for hypothermia.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.

After burying last victims, some in Mexico's breakaway Mormon community head north

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 5:29pm

Members of a breakaway Mormon community tucked in the hills of northern Mexico buried the last of their dead on Saturday after a devastating massacre, and some headed for safer ground in the United States. Hundreds of friends and family from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border gathered in rural Colonia LeBaron to honor Christina Langford, who died in an ambush on Monday that killed nine.

U.K. Spending to Surge Under Labour, Javid tells Telegraph

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 5:08pm

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, would increase spending by 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.5 trillion) over the next five years, the Sunday Telegraph reported.Corbyn would increase spending more than three times faster than former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Telegraph cited Javid as saying, adding that he called the Labour Party’s expenditure plans “truly frightening.”Under Labour, government spending would increase 30%, compared with 10% under Brown, the Conservatives said, according to the report. The figures were drawn up by the Conservative research department in a 36-page document based on pledges made in Labour’s 2017 manifesto.Labour’s spending plans amounted to “scrapping all funding for the NHS for the next nine years,” Javid told the Telegraph, referring to the U.K.’s universal health-care system.The U.K. general election is set for Dec. 12.To contact the reporter on this story: Madison Park in San Francisco at mpark197@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sebastian Tong at, Linus ChuaFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Aide to Ukrainian President Addresses Bill Taylor Testimony

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 4:46pm

Tom Brenner/ReutersIn his testimony before the impeachment inquiry last month, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor described a conversation about a sensitive topic: whether or not Ukrainian law enforcement should investigate Petro Poroshenko, the former president of Ukraine who lost a re-election bid to Volodymyr Zelensky on April 21. Now, one of the Ukrainians in that conversation is indicating that Taylor’s testimony didn’t capture the full story. Taylor, America’s top diplomat in Kyiv, is a key witness in Democrats’ investigation of President Donald Trump and his policy toward Ukraine. In his testimony, Taylor said two Zelensky aides, Andriy Yermak and Igor Novikov, reacted strongly after Taylor and then-special envoy Ambassador Kurt Volker urged them not to scrutinize Poroshenko. Poroshenko faced criticism during the election for certain military decisions and had faced a bruising scandal when news broke in the weeks before Election Day about the alleged involvement of the son of one of his close business partners in a scheme to soak Ukraine’s defense sector for millions of dollars. One of Poroshenko’s top national security officials, Oleg Gladkovsky, resigned over the news and was reportedly detained last month as part of an investigation into the situation.  “Kurt said, you know, you should move forward, don’t prosecute Poroshenko,” Taylor said in his testimony, describing a conversation that happened on September 14. “And they responded, take a look at this.”Yermak and Novikov pulled out their phones, according to Taylor, and showed the two American diplomats “pictures of their relatives–one was a brother, and one was a cousin–who had been killed or wounded in the east.”Taylor apparently saw a connection between the military service of the aides’ family members and the Zelensky administration’s approach to Poroshenko. “[T]hey showed this to Kurt and me, and they said, Poroshenko is responsible for this,” Taylor said. “There was a deep-seated anger at Poroshenko at an emotional level. And that was one of the things motivating–one of the things motivating the attacks on, or the court cases on President Poroshenko.”Reached for comment about the exchange, Novikov offered a view of the issues they discussed at that dinner that differed from Taylor’s. “The fact that one of my close relatives is serving Ukraine, risking his life to protect our country from the Russian aggression makes me proud, not angry,” he told The Daily Beast. “The main issue with Mr. Poroshenko is corruption, especially within the defense sector. In my view, it is unacceptable to steal from the very people who are defending our freedom.” “I strongly believe that if Ukraine were to deoligarchize itself, there should not be two separate categories: ‘good oligarch’ and ‘bad oligarch,’” he added. “No one should be above the law. Is Mr. Poroshenko an oligarch? I have an opinion on that, but I’ll let everyone else also be the judge of that.” Volker and Taylor’s efforts to influence Ukrainian prosecutors’ investigation decisions made for a bit of discomfort, according to George Kent, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. Kent said that when Taylor and Volker urged Yermak not to investigate Poroshenko, Yermak pointed to American efforts to get Ukraine to open politically motivated investigations. “Andry Yermak said: What? You mean the type of investigations you’re pushing for us to do on Biden and Clinton? And at that point Kurt Volker did not respond,” Kent said. Taylor is set to testify publicly next week as part of Congressional Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. The inquiry focuses on efforts by members of the Trump administration to pressure Kyiv to announce investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the U.S. 2016 election and a company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden. 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.

Chilly down to the Gulf of Mexico: What you should know about the arctic blast

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 3:51pm

A record-breaking cold front is expected to sweep across the U.S. from Sunday into Tuesday thanks to the Arctic blast.

US-born IS bride appeals again to come home from Syria

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 3:43pm

A US-born woman who says she regrets having joined the Islamic State group has appealed again to come home from the refugee camp where she lives with her small son in Syria. The government is refusing to let Hoda Muthana return to the US, arguing that she is not an American citizen. In an interview with NBC News published Saturday, Muthana said she "regrets every single thing" done by IS, which she joined in 2014 after embracing extremist ideology while living with her family in Alabama.

Elizabeth Warren hits back at Biden 'angry' criticism: 'I am angry and I own it'

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 3:12pm

* Warren retorts in fundraising email * Opinion: Surprised Pressley backs Warren? Don’t beElizabeth Warren in South Carolina in October. ‘Over and over,’ she said in the email, ‘we are told that women are not allowed to be angry.’ Photograph: Sean Rayford/Getty ImagesHitting back at criticism from Joe Biden that many people said was sexist, Elizabeth Warren told supporters: “I am angry and I own it.”Warren also sought to put the Biden controversy to good use: her response came in a fundraising email she sent to supporters on Friday.“Over and over,” the email said, “we are told that women are not allowed to be angry. It makes us unattractive to powerful men who want us to be quiet.”Biden may indeed want Warren to be quiet – in Democratic primary polling he has fallen behind her in Iowa and New Hampshire, although he maintains a national lead. But he insisted his attack on the Massachusetts senator was not sexist.His initial remarks came in a Medium post entitled “I Have Fought for the Democratic Party My Whole Career”.“The other day,” wrote Biden, “I was accused by one of my opponents of running in the wrong primary. Pretty amazing. On one level, it is kind of funny.> We are told women are not allowed to be angry. It makes us unattractive to powerful men who want us to be quiet> > Elizabeth Warren“… But at another level these kinds of attacks are a serious problem. They reflect an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics. If someone doesn’t agree with you – it’s not just that you disagree – that person must be a coward or corrupt or a small thinker.“Some call it the ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ approach to politics. But it’s worse than that. It’s condescending to the millions of Democrats who have a different view.”Biden, the leading centrist in the primary field, did not mention Warren, the leading progressive, by name. But few had much difficulty working out the former vice-president’s target and on Friday, speaking to CNN, Biden owned up.“The strong women in my life are angry,” he said. “That has nothing to do with it. It had to do with the fact that it started off and she said, you know, Biden is running in the wrong primary because I disagreed, disagree with her Medicare for All proposal.”Healthcare is a hot-button issue in the race to face Donald Trump. Earlier this month, Warren detailed a $20.5tn Medicare for All proposal, saying it would not require tax rises on middle class Americans.The plan was attacked by centrists including Biden and the mayor of South Bend, who has surged in Iowa and about whom the New York Times published a report on Saturday entitled: “Why Pete Buttigieg Annoys His Democratic Rivals.”Some wonder if Buttigieg, 37, might end up as the vice-presidential pick. On Saturday, though, Biden told a crowd in New Hampshire his running mate would be “preferably a woman” who could “make up for some of my weaknesses”.Warren’s fundraising email did not mention Biden. But in terms familiar from the senator’s fiery stump speech, it said: “It’s not just women. When we speak up against Wall Street and big tech … we are told that everyone with less power should be quiet.“…Well, I am angry and I own it. I’m angry on behalf of everyone who is hurt by Trump’s government, our rigged economy, and business as usual.”

Teenagers charged with murder of photographer after pushing six-foot log off cliff as she took pictures of class below

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 1:13pm

Two teenagers are facing murder charges after a six-foot log fell from a cliff and killed a photographer taking school pictures below.Victoria Schafer, 44, was killed instantly when the 74-pound log fell about 75 feet and hit her as she photographed students for their senior pictures near Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park, in Ohio, on 2 September.

Iranian beauty queen wins asylum in Philippines

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 12:03pm

An Iranian beauty queen sought by Tehran on criminal charges has been granted political asylum in the Philippines, an official said Friday, ending a three-week standoff at Manila airport.

Trump makes false claims about the whistleblower

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 11:59am

Donald Trump has blamed the media for his behaviour before claiming the impeachment inquiry was a hoax and suggesting a whistleblower’s lawyer should be sued for treason.

Jeffrey Epstein death memes and conspiracy theories are everywhere. This is why they're so popular.

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 11:49am

The theory that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered is widespread and pervasive. Its popularity illustrates our growing distrust in public institutions.

2 Disney workers among 17 facing child porn charges after monthlong Florida probe

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 11:46am

Florida authorities have arrested 17 men, including two Disney workers and a former middle school principal, on child pornography charges.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hasn't stopped blocking critics on Twitter despite settling a lawsuit charging she violated the First Amendment

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 11:14am

Ocasio-Cortez recently apologized for blocking a critic on Twitter and settled a lawsuit he filed alleging she violated the First Amendment.

In the 1950s, America Almost Built Huge Nuclear Bunkers for Ever City

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 11:00am

Would the fall out shelters have worked?

U.S. seeks to charge asylum seekers for immigration

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 10:25am

The Trump administration rolled out a proposal Friday to hike application fees for immigrants seeking to remain in the U.S. including a first-ever charge for those seeking refuge. It's the administration's latest move to restrict pathways for obtaining asylum and immigration benefits like U.S. citizenship.

A woman was found dead with an ax in her head. 37 years later, her husband faces charges

Yahoo Top Stories Feed - November 9, 2019 - 10:25am

James Krauseneck Jr. appeared in state Supreme Court Friday, accompanied by his daughter Sara, who was a toddler at the time of the killing.