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McConnell says Trump is 'not a racist' and calls for Washington to 'tone down' rhetoric

McConnell says Trump is 'not a racist' and calls for Washington to 'tone down' rhetoricSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he doesn’t believe Donald Trump is a racist despite the president’s calls for four Democratic lawmakers to “go back” to the “crime infested places from which they came.”




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 4:18 PM

Iran says it came to help of disabled foreign oil tanker in the Gulf

Iran says it came to help of disabled foreign oil tanker in the GulfIranian navy vessels came to the assistance of a disabled foreign oil tanker in the Gulf that needed repairs, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the semi-official news agency ISNA. "(Spokesman) Abbas Mousavi said... that an international oil tanker was in trouble due to a technical fault in the Persian Gulf... After receiving a request for assistance, Iranian forces approached it and used a tugboat to pull it towards Iranian waters for the necessary repairs to be carried out," ISNA said. A CNN reporter tweeted earlier that U.S. intelligence increasingly believed that the UAE tanker MT Riah had been forced into Iranian waters by Iran's Revolutionary Guards naval forces.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 3:13 PM

The Latest: De Blasio says officer entitled to due process

The Latest: De Blasio says officer entitled to due processThe Latest on the U.S. Justice Department's decision not to prosecute the officer involved in Eric Garner's death. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the officer who placed a chokehold on Eric Garner exactly five years ago is entitled to due process under state law. De Blasio said Wednesday the decision whether to fire Officer Daniel Pantaleo (pan-tuh-LAY'-oh) is up to Police Commissioner James O'Neill.




POSTED JULY 17, 2019 10:19 AM

Boris Johnson rejects EU compromise and pushes Britain towards the no-deal Brexit cliff edge

Boris Johnson rejects EU compromise and pushes Britain towards the no-deal Brexit cliff edgeThe likely next prime minister said he would not accept a time-limit or exit mechanism on the contentious backstop for Northern Ireland.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 4:58 AM

Chilling first-hand reports of migrant detention centers highlight smell of 'urine, feces,' overcrowded conditions

Chilling first-hand reports of migrant detention centers highlight smell of 'urine, feces,' overcrowded conditionsGovernment officials and pediatricians who have toured border facilities give first-hand accounts of conditions. USA TODAY compiled their words.




POSTED JULY 17, 2019 9:49 AM

Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-off

Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-offInvestigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a “mysterious 200lb load” added to the flight list after take-off, according to an engineer whose wife and two children were on board. Ghyslain Wattrelos said the cargo was revealed in a report on the passengers and baggage by French investigators. Mr Wattrelos, who believes the flight was deliberately downed, told Le Parisien newspaper: “It was also learned that a mysterious load of 89 kilos was added to the flight list after take-off. A container was also overloaded, without anyone knowing why. It may be incompetence or manipulation. Everything is possible. This will be part of the questions for the Malaysians.” MH370 became one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries when it vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. French investigators who examined flight data at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle believe that the pilot was in control of the airliner “right up to the end”.  A modern mystery | Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mr Wattrelos said the investigators told him the data “lends weight” to the theory that the pilot crashed into the sea in a murder-suicide, although they stressed that there was no proof. The investigators expect it to take up to a year to examine the data fully. However, some experts believe a hijack by a stowaway is a possibility and the mysterious load could lend credence to the theory. Tim Termini, an aviation security specialist, told Channel 5 earlier this month: “It’s highly likely that a hijack took place and again, there’s four options for the hijack. "One is the hijack of the aircraft through a crew member. The second is a hijack coming from a passenger. A third option, which is a fairly unusual one, would be a stowaway. And then of course the fourth option is an electrical takeover of the aircraft from a ground-based station.” Mr Wattrelos, 54, who has led a campaign to find out what happened to the flight, acknowledged that “there is a risk that I may never learn the full truth.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 12:55 PM

An Air Force Pilot Tells Us What Flying a B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Like

An Air Force Pilot Tells Us What Flying a B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Like(Washington, D.C.) When B-2 stealth bombers attacked Serbia on the opening night of Operation Allied Force in 1999, destroyed Iraqi air defenses during 2003’s “Shock and Awe” and eliminated the Libyan fighter force in 2011 -- the attacks were all guided by highly-specialized pilots trained in stealth attack tactics.Given the dangers of these kinds of missions, such as flying into heavy enemy ground fire from air defenses, confronting the prospect of air attacks and preparing for electronic warfare over hostile territory, B-2 pilots need to be ready.“We prepare and train every single day in case we get called up tomorrow,” Lt. Col. Nicola Polidor, Commander of Detachment 5 of the 29th Training Systems Squadron, told Warrior in an interview.While performing missions, B-2 pilots need to maintain the correct flight path, align with specific targeting intelligence and load and prepare weapons, all while manning a digital cockpit to control a wide range of additional variables at one time. Polidor, who trains future B-2 pilots at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, says Air Force pilot trainees have adjusted well to learning a seemingly overwhelming amount of new information.“The biggest challenge for pilots is being able to manage flying for long periods of time at the same time as managing a communications suite and robust weapons package,” Polidor said.Polidor is only the 10th female B-2 pilot in history.Training is broken down into an academic phase and a flight phase, with classroom training as the first step. Trainees, Polidor explained, typically spend about two months working on a simulator, before taking their first flight.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 3:02 AM

Susan Rice Calls Chinese Diplomat a ‘Racist Disgrace’ on Twitter

Susan Rice Calls Chinese Diplomat a ‘Racist Disgrace’ on Twitter(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.Former U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice sparred with a senior Chinese diplomat on Twitter in an unusual and heated dispute over race in Washington.In a series of Tweets apparently aimed at making a broader point about diplomatic divisions over the mass detention of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province, Lijian Zhao, a diplomat posted in Islamabad, said on Sunday that if “you’re in Washington, D.C., you know the white never go” to the southeastern part of the U.S. capital.“You are a racist disgrace. And shockingly ignorant too,” Rice told Zhao on Twitter. Likely assuming that Zhao was posted in China’s mission in Washington, she then addressed her next comment to China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai. “Ambassador Cui, I expect better of you and your team. Please do the right thing and send him home.”Zhao, who is deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Pakistan’s capital, is often vocal on Twitter against critics of China’s infrastructure-building projects in Pakistan and other parts of Asia. Beijing has invested tens of billions of dollars in Pakistan, whose leader Imran Khan has previously dodged questions about the issue.‘Shockingly Ignorant’“You are such a disgrace, too. And shockingly ignorant, too. I am based in Islamabad. Truth hurts. I am simply telling the truth,” Zhao fired back at Rice on Monday. “To label someone who speak the truth that you don’t want to hear a racist, is disgraceful & disgusting.”Read More: How China Is Defending Its Detention of Muslims to the WorldZhao didn’t immediately respond to phone calls, an email and a direct message on Twitter seeking comment.In a string of messages that appeared aimed at highlighting U.S. hypocrisy on human rights, Zhao referred to everything from income inequality and school shootings in the U.S. to immigration officers separating children from parents.He tweeted a list of mostly-Western nations that condemned China for its actions in Xinjiang as well as a separate list of other countries -- including Pakistan, Cuba, Tajikistan and Nigeria -- that wrote a joint letter to the United Nations supporting Beijing, which Zhao called “a big slap on the face of U.S. & its western cohorts.”Outspoken DiplomatsChina’s diplomats have become increasingly vocal and outspoken. This month, China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, gave a rare televised statement accusing the British government of meddling in Hong Kong, the scene of mass protests against Beijing’s rule.Earlier this year, China’s envoy to Canada publicly accused his hosts of “white supremacy,” while the country’s chief envoy in South Africa said President Donald Trump’s policies were making the U.S. “the enemy of the whole world.”Asked about the Twitter dispute on Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang didn’t comment directly.“I don’t know the specific situation,” he said. However, he added, “we resolutely oppose the interference of the U.S. and individual Western countries in interfering in China’s internal affairs with the Xinjiang issue.”To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in New Delhi at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Chris Kay, Gregory TurkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED JULY 15, 2019 10:44 PM

US military chiefs ordered to reveal if Pentagon used diseased insects as biological weapon

US military chiefs ordered to reveal if Pentagon used diseased insects as biological weaponUS lawmakers have voted to demand the Pentagon discloses whether it conducted experiments to “weaponise” disease-carrying ticks – and whether any such insects were let loose outside the lab.A bill passed in the House of Representatives requires the Defence Department’s inspector general to investigate whether biological warfare tests involving the tiny arachnids took place over a 25-year period.It follows claims that Pentagon researchers implanted diseases into inspects to study the potential of biological weapons in the decades after the Second World War.A tick-related amendment, first reported by Roll Call, was added to the fiscal 2020 defence authorisation bill by Republican congressman Chris Smith prior to its passing in the House.The New Jersey politician said the inspector general’s office should “conduct a review of whether the Department of Defence experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975.”If the experiments did take place, the office must provide a report explaining “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design”, the amendment also stated.A book released earlier this year, entitled Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, sets out the case that the Defence Department did conduct research on biological warfare.Author Kris Newby also suggests a possible relationship between the experiments and the spread of Lyme disease – an infectious disease spread by ticks causing fever, headaches and fatigue.“We need answers and we need them now,” said Mr Smith, a founding co-chairman of the Congressional Lyme Disease Caucus, which advocates for greater understanding of the disease.Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, said uncovering past experiments might help with current work trying to tackle the illness.“We need to find out: is there anything in this research that was supposedly done that can help us to find information that is germane to patient health and combating the spread of the disease,” she said.The defence authorisation bill still needs to pass in the Senate before heading to Donald Trump’s desk at the White House.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 7:04 AM

Kellyanne Conway challenges reporter who questioned Trump's tweet: 'What's your ethnicity?'

Kellyanne Conway challenges reporter who questioned Trump's tweet: 'What's your ethnicity?'The counselor to the president lashed out at a White House reporter who pressed her on President Trump’s tweets saying four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their home countries.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 1:28 PM

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