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Should billionaires exist?Should billionaires, who own more wealth than half the world’s population, exist? Some progressive politicians have proposed plans that could make billionaires a thing of the past.


10/22/2019 2:19:15 PM

The Latest: Russian assures security of civilians at borderRussia's defense minister has spoken to the Kurdish military chief to discuss the Russian military patrols in northeastern Syria. Russia and Turkey on Tuesday struck a deal to share control of northeastern Syria, halting the Turkish offensive against the Kurds that was launched on Oct. 9. The deal allows Turkey to retain control of the area it has overtaken in the assault, while Russian and Syrian troops will control the rest of the Turkey-Syria frontier.


10/23/2019 1:50:32 PM

Mexico Misleads on Failed Arrest of ‘Chapo’ Son: Ex-DEA Official(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s government isn’t being truthful about the botched attempt to capture the son of the world’s most notorious drug trafficker, according to a former head of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hasn’t revealed that while trying to bring Ovidio Guzman Lopez into custody, security forces had caught another son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mike Vigil, the former DEA official, said in an interview.Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar had also been detained and let go when gunmen overpowered police, Vigil said, citing unverified intelligence he received from top Mexico police sources. The New York Times had originally reported that Ivan Archivaldo had also been captured and released, citing people who asked not to be identified.“There are so many factors that point to the fact that he was there and they also released him,” said Vigil. “But they’ll never admit to it because they’ve been lying from the get go.” Vigil wouldn’t disclose the sources behind his assertions, which couldn’t be independently corroborated. He added that authorities have been misleading the public by playing down the amount of planning that went into the operation.Lopez Obrador said at his daily news conference Wednesday that he had no information on whether Ivan Archivaldo had been captured and released. AMLO’s press office strongly rejected Vigil’s assertion that it misled the public on the botched arrest. “There’s been an unusual amount of transparency, not only for Mexico but by international standards. The entire security cabinet was explaining every detail,” said Jesus Cantu, the information chief of the president’s press office. “The president himself said he’d testify before the authorities if they considered he’d done something illegal.”How AMLO’s Plans to Transform Mexico Ran Into Reality: QuickTakeLopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has been struggling to convince the public that his government took the right step by releasing Guzman Lopez after gunmen began attacking civilians in efforts to free him in the northern city of Culiacan, Sinaloa. Guzman Lopez is said to have taken over some of the criminal activities after his father was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison.Initially, Mexico’s security chief, Alfonso Durazo, had said the troops had stumbled on Guzman Lopez by accident. Afterward, government officials said it was part of a planned operation. More recently, officials signaled that the arrest was approved by low-level law enforcement officials and cabinet ministers may not have been aware.While the president and Durazo have spoken of “errors” regarding the operation, they’ve been distancing themselves from it. AMLO, as the president is known, said Tuesday that he wasn’t informed about the operation to capture Guzman Lopez.He also confirmed that there was an extradition order for the alleged trafficker and raised questions about whether the minister of defense had even been informed about the operation. “I think the Defense Ministry had knowledge of it, the minister? I don’t know. I think so.”Jesus Ramirez, the president’s spokesman and like Cantu is also from AMLO’s press office, told Bloomberg News on Monday that Mexico attempted to detain Guzman Lopez upon request by the DEA for extradition. The DEA declined to comment and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City directed inquiries to the White House press office, which hasn’t responded to a request for comment.Vigil questioned why the authorities would target Guzman Lopez for extradition, when Chapo’s other sons are far more active in the Sinaloa Cartel once run by their father. “Jesus Alfredo and Ivan Archivaldo are much more important than Ovidio,” he said. “Mexico from the very beginning began distorting the truth in order to buy time so they could come up with a plausible deniability story.”(Updates with AMLO’s comment in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Nacha Cattan in Mexico City at ncattan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


10/23/2019 10:52:52 AM

Tree of Life anniversary: American Jews see rising anti-Semitism in alarming new surveyAmerican Jews think anti-Semitism is growing worse. More than third have experienced it, and nearly that many say they hide their identity in public.


10/22/2019 10:01:08 PM

Iranian beauty queen pleads for asylum in the PhilippinesAn Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit.  Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country’s Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault.  In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women’s rights. If she was deported to Iran, “they will kill me,” she said.  Markk Perete, undersecretary at the Philippine department of justice, said that “the only reason she was held at the airport -  and we really don’t call it detention -  it is really restraining her from entering the Philippine territory, is only because of that Red Notice issued against her.” He added that the request had been made “presumably on account of a pending criminal case against her in Iran, and this case was filed by an Iranian national against her in relation to an assault that happened presumably here in the Philippines.” Bahareh Zare Bahari, who is studying dental medicine, is an outspoken advocate for women's rights Credit: Facebook However, Mr Perete said that the Philippines was unaware of this allegation, and that an earlier accusation of commercial fraud against her had been dismissed.  There were no criminal cases pending against Ms Bahari, he confirmed. “We don’t have any cause for refusing her entry for violation of our laws.” Ms Bahari’s asylum plea is now being considered by the justice department, with the help of a lawyer.  Meanwhile, the dental student is confined to Terminal 3’s transit area awaiting her fate. “There is no updating, no information about the reason why [they] keep me here so long,” she said.  She believes her political statement at the pageant - waving a poster of Reza Pahlavi, the exiled former crown prince, and one of the foremost critics of Iran’s Islamic government - made her enemies in Tehran.  Mr Pahlavi's name has been invoked by some Iranian groups who have called for a return of the monarchy to deal with corruption and poor economic conditions. “I used his photo on stage to be [the] voice of my people because all news and media are ignoring my people,” she said.  Human Rights Watch on Tuesday called for “a fair and impartial hearing of her claim” in Manila.  “It’s absolutely critical the Philippines provides Bahareh Zare Bahari with support, including access to legal counsel, to compile and file her asylum application,” said Phil Robertson, HRW deputy Asia director.  “While waiting for the details to become clear, there should be no action under Iran’s Interpol red notice, especially since under Interpol rules a red notice is null and void if the person named in the notice is found to be a refugee fleeing from the state that issued it.”


10/22/2019 9:11:46 AM

Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go at it on 'The View' over Trump's 'lynching' commentsFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump’s “lynching” comments on Twitter.


10/22/2019 12:19:34 PM

Driver arrested after 39 found dead in truck near LondonBritish police found the bodies of 39 people inside a truck at an industrial estate near London on Wednesday and said they had arrested the driver on suspicion of murder. The discovery of the bodies - 38 adults and one teenager - was made in the early hours after emergency services were alerted to people in a truck container on an industrial site in Grays, about 20 miles (32 km) east of central London. Police said the trailer had arrived at nearby docks having travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium and the bodies were found just over an hour later.


10/23/2019 2:43:10 AM

Kim orders South's buildings at resort in North be destroyedNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the destruction of South Korean-made hotels and other tourist facilities at the North's Diamond Mountain resort, apparently because Seoul won't defy international sanctions and resume South Korean tours at the site. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday that Kim had visited the resort and described its facilities as "shabby" and lacking national character.


10/23/2019 4:34:21 AM

See Photos of the New Honda Fit


10/22/2019 7:04:00 PM

Hillary Clinton's attacks on Tulsi Gabbard are embarrassingIt’s sad that instead of doing something useful with her post-political career, Clinton has decided to lob ludicrous accusations at younger Democrats‘Even though Gabbard may be a flawed messenger, the message itself is correct: we no longer need to hear what Hillary Clinton thinks about anything.’ Photograph: Richard Drew/APHillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile since her embarrassing 2016 election defeat, popping up only occasionally to make out-of-touch elitist comments that confirm why she lost. So it was somewhat surprising to hear her weigh in on the 2020 Democratic primary with a truly bizarre comment about (of all people) Tulsi Gabbard.Clinton accused the Hawaii congresswoman of being groomed by outside forces, saying: “I think they’ve got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate … She’s the favorite of the Russians.” There is some dispute about whether Clinton meant it was the Russians or Republicans who were pushing a third-party Gabbard candidacy, but a Clinton spokesman asked about the comments replied “if the nesting doll fits”, clearly implying it was dastardly Russians.Gabbard immediately hit back hard, calling Clinton (accurately) “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic party for so long”. While hosts of The View backed up Clinton, calling Gabbard a “useful idiot”, others such as the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend’s mayor, Pete Buttigieg, suggested that Clinton ought to have had some evidence before implying something so outrageous about a Democratic elected official.But it was typical Clinton. Paranoia about Russian influence has been ubiquitous among the Clinton set since 2016, in part because it helps to explain how the loss to Donald Trump wasn’t really Clinton’s fault. Liberals in the media like Rachel Maddow openly admit to having an obsession with Russia, and end up seeing the hands of Vladimir Putin on everything. Clinton herself has had trouble coming to terms with her loss. Even though accounts from inside the campaign confirm that Clinton barely knew why she was running for president, couldn’t craft any kind of message, and made laughably overconfident decisions about where to campaign, her campaign memoir was less a mea culpa than a j’accuse. It pointed fingers at Sanders and James Comey, and ended up sounding a lot like the Onion’s parody title: We All Made Mistakes But You Made Most Of Them.Years later, Clinton has learned seemingly nothing. Elsewhere on the podcast episode in which she made the accusations against Gabbard, Clinton blames fake news, foreign interference and voter suppression for undermining democracy and keeping Democrats out of power. Those are factors, but the big one is the one that Gabbard herself identified: the “rot that has sickened the Democratic party for so long”. Clinton practiced a corrupting and duplicitous form of politics that made many would-be Democratic voters feel completely unrepresented by the party. But instead of spending her time in the woods doing some soul-searching, Clinton has evidently spent it cooking up new conspiracy theories about the all-powerful Putin.Tulsi Gabbard is completely right about what Clinton represents. Clinton was the Democratic party at its absolute worst: pro-war, pro-Wall Street, self-enriching, inept, devoid of any transformative vision and contemptuous of ordinary people. It’s very clear that Sanders would have been the smart choice in 2016, and Gabbard was one of the few Democratic officials to recognize that at the time and endorse him. Actually, that was courageous of her – most Democratic officials, even those whose politics should have aligned them more closely with Sanders than Clinton, were too timid to buck the establishment and risk their career by potentially getting on the wrong side of an incoming Clinton administration.That’s not to say that Gabbard herself should be the future of the Democratic party. Far from it: while Gabbard has made a big deal of her anti-war stance, she has embraced the vicious Indian nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, and been far more hawkish and softer on torture than she would like progressive voters to believe. Her willingness to criticize the “rot” in her own party may make Gabbard a refreshing presence on the debate stage, but no serious leftist can support someone who spent the Obama years echoing Republican talking points about “radical Islam”. She’s still no “useful idiot”, and even with her flaws she is preferable to truly intolerable candidates like Buttigieg and Joe Biden. If we were (God forbid) somehow faced with the choice between Tulsi Gabbard and Amy Klobuchar, the country would be far better off in Gabbard’s hands.Even though Gabbard may be a flawed messenger, the message itself is correct: we no longer need to hear what Hillary Clinton thinks about anything. Her kind of politics is, thankfully, a relic of history, and we have moved on. It’s sad that instead of doing something useful with her post-political career, Clinton has decided to lob ludicrous, borderline defamatory, accusations at younger Democratic women who were less wrong than Clinton was about dozens of issues. Fortunately, hardly anybody is listening any more. * Nathan Robinson is the editor of Current Affairs and a Guardian US columnist


10/22/2019 7:56:14 AM

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