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Iran claims arrest of 17 CIA spies; Pompeo: Iran has 'long history of lying'Iran claims its authorities arrested 17 spies recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on the Middle East nation's nuclear and military sites.


7/22/2019 12:31:50 PM

Lawyer: Man who killed mob boss thought he was helping TrumpA man charged with killing a reputed New York mob boss was deluded by internet conspiracy theories and thought he was helping President Donald Trump defend Democracy, his attorney said in court papers filed Friday. Anthony Comello is facing murder charges in the March 13 shooting of Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali, an alleged leader in the Gambino crime family. In a legal filing, attorney Robert Gottleib said Comello was gripped by an irrational belief that Cali was part of a "deep state" that secretly controls the U.S., and went to the gangster's home on Staten Island with handcuffs with the intention of arresting him.


7/22/2019 1:21:51 PM

Sarah Huckabee Sanders shows up to govs shindig as Arkansas rumors swirlSanders is seen as a possible 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial candidate.


7/22/2019 12:10:29 PM

538's Nate Silver on early 2020 polls versus fundraising: Which matter more?Nate Silver analyzes the significance of fundraising in the Democratic primary.


7/21/2019 10:52:10 AM

French submarine lost in 1968 found at last in MediterraneanA French submarine that went missing in the western Mediterranean in 1968 has been found, officials said Monday, ending a 51-year wait for families of the crew who continue to seek answers to the naval disaster. The diesel-electric Minerve submarine was lost off France's southern coast with 52 sailors on board on January 27, 1968. "We found the submarine Minerve last night located 45 kilometres (30 miles) south of Toulon, about 20 kilometres further south than where it was searched for in 1968," the French maritime prefect of the Mediterranean, Vice Admiral Charles Henri du Che, told reporters in Toulon.


7/22/2019 10:45:58 AM

Huawei secretly helped North Korea build, maintain wireless network: Washington PostHuawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], the Chinese company put on a U.S. blacklist because of national security concerns, secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing sources and internal documents. The Chinese telecommunications giant partnered with a state-owned Chinese firm, Panda International Information Technology Co Ltd., on a number of projects in North Korea over at least eight years, the Post reported. Sources briefed on the matter confirmed the Commerce Department has been investigating Huawei since 2016 and is reviewing whether the company violated export control rules in relation to sanctions on North Korea.


7/22/2019 6:57:40 AM

Little Boy Is OK After Fish-Stealing Great White Shark Leaps at Him to Steal Fresh Caught Fish“It had come up and it lunged out of the water"


7/22/2019 9:46:36 AM

Fox News Host Calls for ‘9/11-Style Commission’ to Investigate How AOC Was Elected to CongressReacting to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) call for a “9/11-style commission” to be convened to investigate the Trump administration’s child separation policy at the border, Fox News host Pete Hegseth said on Monday that there should instead be an investigation to see how the progressive lawmaker was elected to Congress in the first place.During a town hall in her district on Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez called for a lengthy study into the president’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, adding that it’s what’s “required in order to reunify as many children with their parents as possible”On Monday’s broadcast of Fox News’ early-afternoon chatfest Outnumbered, the panel discussed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s recent visit to border detention centers, noting Schumer and other Democrats called the conditions at the camps “inhumane.” Fox News host Melissa Francis then contrasted this with President Trump’s weekend tweets about Schumer’s visit in which he said Schumer “must have seen how dangerous & bad” the border crisis is now.“What’s ironic now is both sides are saying the exact same thing which is, it’s a mess of the border,” she added.Hegseth, serving as the female-centric program’s lone male guest host, agreed that the border is a mess and that it’s of Congress’ making before immediately pivoting to AOC. (Fox News has devoted three times more coverage to the freshman congresswoman this year than the other cable news networks.)“We shouldn’t take anything she says seriously,” Hegseth said of Ocasio-Cortez while labeling her the “de facto” speaker of the House.“You talk about what’s happening at the border—she compares it to 9/11,” he continued. “She talks about concentration camps where 6 million Jews were killed. And then when she talks about the Green New Deal, she likens it to the challenges of World War II where 70 to 85 million people were killed.”He then essentially called the Boston University graduate too stupid to be in the House of Representatives.“You know what we need a 9/11-style commission on?” Hegseth asked his colleagues. “How in the heck does someone like her get elected to Congress?! What’s happening in our public schools or other schools? What is she learning that gives her a platform to feel like these comparisons should be taken seriously at all?”Later in the segment, after the other hosts debated whether or not a study into the policy was worth Congress’ time, Hegseth, who serves as an informal adviser to Trump, took a final shot at AOC.“She also doesn’t want a commission, she wants to demagogue,” he exclaimed.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.


7/22/2019 11:58:12 AM

NASA Finally Completes the Orion Crew CapsuleNASA hopes the capsule will take astronauts back to the Moon, and Mars after that.


7/22/2019 3:17:00 PM

Millions of Barrels of Iranian Oil Are Piled Up in China’s Ports(Bloomberg) -- Tankers are offloading millions of barrels of Iranian oil into storage tanks at Chinese ports, creating a hoard of crude sitting on the doorstep of the world’s biggest buyer.Two and a half months after the White House banned the purchase of Iran’s oil, the nation’s crude is continuing to be sent to China where it’s being put into what’s known as “bonded storage,” say people familiar with operations at several Chinese ports. This supply doesn’t cross local customs or show up in the nation’s import data, and isn’t necessarily in breach of sanctions. While it remains out of circulation for now, its presence is looming over the market.The store of oil has the potential to push down global prices if Chinese refiners decide to draw on it, even as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies curb production as growth slows in major economies. It also allows Iran to keep pumping and move oil nearer to potential buyers.“Iranian oil shipments have been flowing into Chinese bonded storage for some months now, and continue to do so despite increased scrutiny,” said Rachel Yew, an analyst at industry consultant FGE in Singapore. “We can see why the producer would want to do so, as a build-up of supplies near key buyers is clearly beneficial for a seller, especially if sanctions are eased at some point.”See also: Iranian Oil Tanker Daniel Enters Chinese Port: Ship TrackingThere could be more of the Persian Gulf state’s oil headed for China’s bonded storage tanks, Bloomberg tanker-tracking data show. At least ten very large crude carriers and two smaller vessels owned by the state-run National Iranian Oil Co. and its shipping arm are currently sailing toward the Asian nation or idling off its coast. They have a combined carrying capacity of over 20 million barrels.The bulk of Iranian oil in China’s bonded tanks is still owned by Tehran and therefore not in breach of sanctions, according to the people. The oil hasn’t crossed Chinese customs so it’s theoretically in transit.Some of the crude, though, is owned by Chinese entities that may have received it as part of oil-for-investment schemes. For example, one of the Asian nation’s companies could have helped fund a production project in Iran under an agreement to be repaid in kind. Whether this sort of transaction is in breach of sanctions isn’t clear, and so the firms are keeping it in bonded storage to avoid the official scrutiny it would if it’s registered with customs, according to the people.Nobody replied to a faxed inquiry to China’s General Administration of Customs.Lack of ClarityThe build-up of Iranian oil in Chinese bonded storage has yet to be clearly addressed by Washington. The White House ended waivers allowing some countries to keep importing Iranian oil on May 2.There are currently no exemptions issued to any country for the import of Iranian oil, and any nation seen importing cargoes from the Persian Gulf producer will be in breach of sanctions, according to a senior Trump administration official, who asked not to be identified because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter.“The U.S. will now need to define how it quantifies the infringement of sanctions,” said Michal Meidan, director of the China Energy Programme at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. There’s a lack of clarity on whether it would look at “financial transactions or the loading and discharge of cargoes by company or entity,” she said.See also: China Buying Iran LPG Despite Sanctions, Ship-Tracking ShowsChina received about 12 million tons of Iranian crude from January through May, according to ship-tracking data, versus about 10 million that cleared customs over the period. The discrepancy could be due to the flow of oil into bonded storage. China will release June trade data that will include a country-by-country breakdown of oil imports in the coming days.One of the Iranian tankers that appears to have loaded oil after the U.S. waivers ended is VLCC Horse. It discharged at Tianjin in early-July after sailing from the Middle East, where shipping data showed it signaling its destination as Iran’s Kharg Island on May 4.Several other Iran-owned tankers offloaded in China or were heading there, according to ship tracking data. VLCC Stream discharged at Tianjin on June 19, while Amber, Salina and C. Infinity offloaded crude at the ports of Huangdao, Jinzhou and Ningbo. Snow, Sevin and Maria III were last seen sailing in the direction of China.Putting crude into bonded tanks in China also means Iran can avoid having to tie up part of its tanker fleet by storing the oil at sea for months at a time. The Islamic Republic used floating storage in 2012 to 2016 and again in 2018 as buyers shunned its crude due to U.S.-imposed trade restrictions.Should the Iranian crude leave bonded storage and end up in the market, it could pressure oil prices, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. West Texas Intermediate plunged more than 20% from late April to mid-June as the U.S.-China trade war intensified. It’s since recovered some of those losses, partly as a result of the rising tension between Washington and Tehran, and is trading near $57 a barrel.“A further escalation in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods could jointly drive global economic growth a lot lower and encourage Iran-China cooperation,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a June note. “If Chinese refiners start to purchase Iran oil in large volumes on a sustained basis as U.S. tariffs rise again, WTI could drop to $40 a barrel.”(Updates with mention of June trade data in 12th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Nick Wadhams.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Serene Cheong in Singapore at scheong20@bloomberg.net;Sarah Chen in Beijing at schen514@bloomberg.net;Alfred Cang in Singapore at acang@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Serene Cheong at scheong20@bloomberg.net, Andrew JanesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


7/22/2019 6:28:19 AM

'Outrageous': Convicted criminals serve as Alaskan police amid public safety crisis, investigation findsDozens of police officers with criminal records have worked in Alaska, despite state law that should have disqualified them, an investigation finds.


7/21/2019 5:09:22 PM

Correction: Military-Hyperfit Women storyIn a story July 21 about a U.S. military study of "hyperfit" women, The Associated Press reported erroneously that a vo2 Max score measures how many millimeters of oxygen are used per kilogram of body weight per minute. ARMY SOLDIER SYSTEMS CENTER, Mass. (AP) — In the nearly four years since the Pentagon announced it was opening all combat jobs to women, at least 30 have earned the Army Ranger tab, two have graduated Marine infantry school and three have passed the grueling initial assessment phase for Green Beret training. "We're really interested in those elite women that are the first to make it through physically demanding training," said Holly McClung, a nutritional physiologist at the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Massachusetts.


7/22/2019 12:13:55 PM

Meet the woman who ties Jeffrey Epstein to Trump and the ClintonsHeiress Ghislaine Maxwell paved the way to presidents.


7/21/2019 5:00:51 AM

Lost French submarine finally found after 50 years missingA French submarine missing for over 50 years has been found in the Mediterranean. The wreck of the Minerve, according to Agence France-Presse, was discovered off the port of Toulon, on the south coast of France, with the find announced by officials on Monday.A private vessel reportedly found the submarine, which went missing five decades ago on Jan. 17, 1968 with 52 sailors aboard."We have just found the Minerve. It's a success, a relief and a technical feat," wrote Defence Minister Florence Parly on Twitter, as per a translation by Google. "I'm thinking of the families who have been waiting for this moment so long."> Nous venons de retrouver la Minerve. C'est un succes, un soulagement et une prouesse technique. Je pense aux familles qui ont attendu ce moment si longtemps. pic.twitter.com/pjDnj7lEyb> > -- Florence Parly (@florence_parly) July 22, 2019Several searches for the Minerve had turned up nothing over the years, AFP reports. Then, in 2019, following demands from the sailors' families to locate the submarine, Parly commissioned another search, which used newer technology to reassess data from the time of the submarine's disappearance, recreated tides in the western Mediterranean Sea, and analysed seismic reports.According to a senior French naval officer who spoke to the news outlet anonymously, the Minerve was found 2,370 metres (7,800 feet) deep, 45 kilometres (30 miles) off the coast of Toulon by a private vessel, the Seabed Constructor, which is owned by private U.S. seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity. Exactly how the Seabed Constructor arrived at the correct site to make the discovery, and whether it was working with Parly's team, has not been reported. Ocean Infinity declined to comment when approached by Mashable. SEE ALSO: Lost submarine from World War I found after 103-year searchSo, what happened to the Minerve? Well, the cause of the submarine's sinking to the seafloor has never been announced, according to AFP, as the craft itself had never been found. The Guardian reports the Minerve as having been conducting a military exercise when it disappeared.Now, scientists can start their analysis of the sub in order to determine whether an object such as a torpedo was involved, or whether the submarine itself suffered technical faults like rudder problems.Mashable has reached out to the French government for more information. WATCH: Three giant submarines emerging from beneath the Arctic ice is pretty awesome


7/22/2019 8:14:58 AM

Gambian soldier names ex-president in reporter's 2004 murderA Gambian army officer on Monday accused ex-president Yahya Jammeh of ordering the 2004 murder of journalist Deyda Hydara and admitted he was involved in the killing. Hydara, who was editor and co-founder of the independent The Point daily and a correspondent for AFP and Journalists Without Borders (RSF), was killed by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of the Gambian capital Banjul in December 2004. The murder was widely condemned locally and abroad as another sign of Jammeh's despotic rule and his stifling of all opposition in the former British colony.


7/22/2019 1:49:07 PM

Putin gives Russian citizenship to Novatek's finance chief, a U.S. nationalPresident Vladimir Putin handed Russian citizenship to gas producer Novatek's veteran finance chief Mark Gyetvay on Monday, a move that could potentially help the U.S. national bypass some sanctions restrictions. U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 ban U.S. nationals and companies from helping organize long-term funding for some major Russian firms, including Novatek. When the U.S. and the EU imposed sanctions on Russia, executives with foreign passports at companies affected including Novatek - the country's largest non-state natural gas producer - and state bank VTB handed over responsibility for organizing new debt or equity issuance to colleagues without EU or U.S. passports.


7/22/2019 8:38:36 AM

F-35s Go to War: Why Israel's Strike on Syria Was so SuccessfulThe Israeli Air-force had apparently been waiting for a provocation as the resulting counterattack against the launchers and the Iranian military infrastructure was an overwhelming one. On May 9th the Iranian Quds force that belongs into the Revolutionary Guards Corps launched a rocket salvo against the Israeli forces in the Golan heights. The IDF had anticipated the move and placed several Iron Dome batteries to protect the region, so the attack did very little damage and several rockets were shot down.There have been conflicting reports on whether the weapon used to attack Israel was a Russian built BM-27 Uragan or an indigenous Iranian Fajr-5.The Fajr-5 system is an indigenous Iranian 333 mm artillery rocket that is mounted on Mercedes-Benz 2624 trucks in 4-tube launchers. System has a maximum range of 75 km and rather abysmal accuracy with a 3 km CEP. Combination of a 900 kg class conventional warhead and the low accuracy makes the FAJR-5 more of a terror weapon than any kind of precision battlefield instrument.The Israeli Air-force had apparently been waiting for a provocation as the resulting counterattack against the launchers and the Iranian military infrastructure was an overwhelming one. Unlike in the response for the February drone incident, the IAF was well prepared with a large strike package that had a sizable SEAD element on hand.


7/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

2020 Candidates Delayed Paying Staff to Look Richer on PaperDrew Angerer/GettyFor months, Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) presidential campaign made regular payments to its staff and vendors, with varying daily expenditures that never exceeded $335,000. But on April 1, 2019, the campaign’s spending exploded.Whereas Klobuchar’s campaign spent an average of about $55,000 per day through the end of June, according to FEC filings, it dropped a whopping $624,000 on the first day of April, including a $300,000 payment to the campaign’s digital vendor.  That massive uptick in expenses was likely due to the fact that April 1 marked the beginning of the new fundraising quarter. By putting off the payments until then, Klobuchar was able to put the best possible spin on her presidential campaign’s financial position during the previous three months. If those expenses had come a day earlier, Klobuchar’s cash on hand figure would have been roughly $6.35 million. Instead, the campaign was able to claim roughly $7 million in reserves—a sum that placed her among the better-positioned Democrats in the presidential race. A Daily Beast review of campaign finance records indicates that the delayed-expenses strategy has continued through the just completed cycle, and has involved payments to campaign staffers as well.Klobuchar Gets Barr to Defend Trump Over and Over AgainKlobuchar, whose campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment, is one of at least four Democratic presidential candidates who appear to have skipped a staff payday at the end of June, putting off that pay period until the beginning of the following month and hence transferring the expense to the next quarter’s balance sheets.Virtually every campaign engages in forms of accounting gimmicks in order to enhance their financial standings. Veterans of past and current races say that it is common to try and delay spending to future quarters in order to bolster cash reserves that have to reported at filing deadlines. That pressure is particularly acute in elections with crowded fields (such as the 2020 Democratic primary) when reporters, donors, and voters are ever attuned to any signs of momentum or lack thereof.For some campaigns, the ability to put off a payroll payment—whether by design or coincidence—made a substantial difference. That’s most true for the Klobuchar campaign, which reported $186,000 in salary expenditures on its last reported pay day, June 15.Federal Election Commission records indicate that the campaign was otherwise paying staffers on the 15th and last day of each month. But no paychecks went out at the end of June, according to its second quarter financial filing. Klobuchar didn’t simply eliminate those expenses by postponing the last payroll payment of the second quarter. That’s because her campaign appears to have put off its last pay period of the first quarter as well after writing salary checks on February 20, February 28, and March 15, the next payments went out on April 1. But her staff, and accompanying payroll expenses, were larger in June than in March. And at some point, she will either have to make all wage payments or simply not pay her staff. And by kicking the can down the road, she has been able to avoid taking the hit on a campaign finance filing for the time being. Three other campaigns also departed from previous payroll schedules by skipping end-of-month paychecks last month, according to a review of campaign finance records. Rep. John Delaney’s (D-MD) campaign said the change in schedule was simply a product of switching to a new payroll management service that restructured that schedule.Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) both attributed it to the fact that June 30 was a Sunday, so checks went out the following day. But it’s common practice for employers to send out paychecks on the preceding Friday when paydays fall on a weekend. The decision to do so the following Monday served, intentionally or not, to boost apparent cash-on-hand figures at the end of the quarter in a way that shrouded the campaigns’ actual liabilities.There’s nothing improper or problematic with structuring campaign payments in order to present the best possible picture of its financial situation. But an understanding that campaigns do so, and how they do so, can give the public a better grasp of the financial standing of the various political camps vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination.Delayed payroll payments can be relatively small fractions of total cash on hand figures. But campaign staffers are not heavily compensated employees to begin with. And the absence of a regular paycheck—even by just a matter of days—can cause life complications. “I haven’t heard of this practice before but I am not surprised,” said Kim McMurray, an executive council member of the Campaign Workers Guild and a former organizer for 2020 contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). “FEC timing deadlines are such an important moment for campaigns to show enthusiasm, support, etc. so campaigns want to show the largest number possible.”“It is very disappointing if this came at the expense of the workers,” McMurray added.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.


7/22/2019 2:54:38 AM
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