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Why are we headed for a blowup with Iran? It began when Trump scrapped the nuclear dealAt minimum, Iran and America need a hotline to deconflict their military forces and avert a serious escalation. But that has been rejected before.

6/17/2019 7:50:26 AM

Unruly passenger hits flight attendant, then pukes during Delta flight to ParisA federal complaint says a man struck a flight attendant in the throat and then threw up during a Delta flight to Paris.

6/16/2019 3:40:05 PM

Buttigieg Worries Tech May Add Racial Bias to Credit DecisionsButtigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate, was responding to a black business owner who asked about the denial of capital to African Americans during the Black Economic Alliance Forum held jointly with Black Entertainment Television in Charleston, South Carolina. The event, held Saturday, will be broadcast Sunday on BET.

6/15/2019 4:18:09 PM

Japan protests Chinese activity near disputed islandsJapan has protested what is says was an unauthorized Chinese maritime survey within its economic waters near disputed East China Sea islands, officials said Monday. Japan's Foreign Ministry said it lodged a protest with Beijing after a Chinese maritime research ship was seen dropping a wire-like object into the water off the northwestern coast of Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands on Sunday. China also claims the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.

6/17/2019 5:54:24 AM

Argentina and Uruguay suffer ‘massive’ power outages to millions of homesArgentina and Uruguay were left entirely without electricity on Sunday after the countries’ interconnected network failed, according to energy distributors in the region.The failure began shortly after 7am on Sunday, leaving officials scrambling to restore electricity. Much of the network had been restored by Monday morning, as Argentinia's president Mauricio Macri promised a full investigation into what caused the blackout.The power cut crippled public transportation in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, and in other major cities.It also cut off the water supply, closed shops and brought down phone and internet communications across the country.“A massive failure...in the system left Argentina and Uruguay without power,” a spokesperson for energy company Edesur said in a statement. Edesur has 2.5m customers, according to its website.“If this had been a weekday, it would’ve been chaos,” said Silvio Ubermann, a Buenos Aires resident.“Sometimes there is not light in the summertime as a result of high electricity consumption, but never such a large blackout in the whole country.“I have never seen something like this.”Edenor, Argentina’s largest energy company, also tweeted about the failure, as millions woke to the blackout.“Due to a general failure in the interconnection system, Argentina and neighbouring countries are without electricity,” the energy distributor said. Several Argentine provinces were forced to temporarily delay local elections due to the blackout.The cause of the outage was still unclear as of Monday morning, but Argentina’s energy agency confirmed in a statement it had begun an investigation.EPEC, another energy company, said the outage had affected most of the country, including Córdoba and Santa Fe, as well as Buenos Aires.UTE, Uruguay’s electricity body, confirmed that the neighbouring country was affected in a statement published on Twitter.“At 7.06 a defect in the Argentine network affected the interconnected system leaving the entire national territory without service,” the organisation said.UTE said work was underway to restore power. The company added that electricity had been restored to some cities on Uruguay’s coast.More than 48m people live across Argentina and Uruguay.Users on social media, claiming to be resident in the countries, shared photographs of the blackout.Since taking office, Argentina‘s president Mauricio Macri has said that gradual austerity measures were needed to revive the country’s struggling economy.He has cut red tape and tried to reduce the government’s budget deficit by ordering job cuts and cutting utility subsidies.A spokesman for Brazil’s power system operator (ONS) said the outage had not impacted the country.Additional reporting by agencies

6/16/2019 6:46:00 AM

Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitorFires engulfing vital wheat fields across Syria's northeast have killed at least 10 people, a war monitor said Sunday, as Kurdish authorities claim the blazes were set deliberately. Kurdish authorities and the Damascus regime are competing to buy up this year's harvest as fires -- some claimed by the Islamic State group -- continue to scorch crops in the country's breadbasket. The victims included civilians and members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who died while trying to extinguish the blazes since Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

6/16/2019 5:57:23 AM

China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - XinhuaChina's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.

6/16/2019 3:58:29 AM

Jon Stewart Shames Mitch McConnell for Failing 9/11 First Responders on ‘Fox News Sunday’“We don’t want to be here,” Jon Stewart told the handful of lawmakers who showed up to watch him plead for an extension of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund last week. The former host of The Daily Show likely didn’t want to be on Fox News Sunday this Father’s Day either, but there he was making his case to Chris Wallace.Given the subject matter, it was an understandably serious interview. However, there was one fleeting moment of levity when Wallace noted that even if the Democratic-led House passes the full bill extending health care funding through the lives of the 9/11 first responders, then it will have to go to the Senate. Making a fearful expression, Stewart exclaimed, “The Senate!” Samantha Bee Reveals She Was ‘Never in Contention’ to Replace Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’: ‘It Was Awful’The comedian smiled as Wallace deduced that the “certain someone” Stewart criticized in his congressional testimony was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Have you had problems with Senator McConnell?” the Fox host asked. “Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.” He said it’s the “cynicism displayed by Washington” that causes him to get so “emotional” about this particular issue. “They asked Mitch McConnell about the testimony after it was done,” Stewart continued, “and he said, ‘Gosh’—I think he used the word ‘gosh’—‘Gosh, we haven’t looked at that in a while but we will look at it and I’m sure we’ll deal with it as compassionately as we have in the past.’” “But I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,” he said. “He has always held out until the very last minute and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.” Noting that the 9/11 first responder funding is “not a Republican-Democrat issue,” Stewart added later, “Not all Republicans oppose this, but everyone who has opposed it is a Republican. And it’s unacceptable.” He ultimately resisted the urge to do his impression of McConnell as a turtle. Jon Stewart Rips Congress During House Hearing on 9/11 Victims Fund, Gets Standing OvationRead 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.

6/16/2019 11:50:34 AM

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6/16/2019 4:01:00 PM

Don't bother replacing Sarah Sanders – there's no pointAs long as Trump occupies the Oval Office, the role of press secretary is a farce and a distraction Donald Trump on Thursday announced the departure of Sarah Sanders, who has been widely criticized for her performance as White House press secretary. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images The imminent resignation of Sarah Sanders as Donald Trump’s press secretary marks yet another departure from a White House that treats chaos as its modus operandi. On the left, there is understandable crowing – Sanders, like her predecessor Sean Spicer, often lied to the press and served as a mouthpiece for an administration that has made it its mission to punish immigrants and the poor. One of the most startling, precedent-breaking aspects of Sanders’ regime as press secretary was her decision to end the regular White House press briefings where decades of White House reporters held presidential administrations to account. Some media watchers believe journalists should keep battling for this kind of access – that Sanders is a unique failure as a press secretary and her most egregious decisions will hopefully be remedied by another person or approach. Here’s the problem: as long as Trump occupies the Oval Office, the role of press secretary has no purpose. Trump regards the institution of journalism as another prop to campaign against, interchangeable with the Democrats, undocumented immigrants, or the so-called globalists. The rules of engagement between the media and the president have long been obliterated. As the press critic Jay Rosen has argued, the media is, for Trump, simply a hate object. The fact that Trump may be compelled to ramble to a reporter on the telephone once in a while does not change this fact, and journalists who don’t recognize this new status quo are naive. At least for now, the simple reality is there is no point to a White House press secretary. This may feel like a radical notion: we’ve been trained to believe all powerful leaders should designate deputies to deliver relatively reliable information to the public. In turn, reporters get the opportunity to question this deputy, who functions as a stand-in for the principal. Deputy and principal collaborate on a “message”. Whether it was Barack Obama’s Jay Carney or George W Bush’s Ari Fleischer, there was the understanding these press secretaries could substitute for their bosses in a briefing room, relaying matters of policy or clarifying important opinions. Trump has changed all of that. There is no Trump White House as we classically understand the term. There is a president – Trump – and people who work for him but cannot speak for him. Trump has proven that he will constantly contradict his aides and himself, speaking purely from impulse. He has no use for policy briefings or any attempt at reflective thought. He misleads, he bluffs, he outright lies, and he changes his mind whenever he feels like it. Sanders, a capable enough Republican operative thrust into a role she never should have held, could not keep up – because no one can channel Trump’s id but Trump. For better or worse, he is his own press secretary. Trump may deign to assign someone to replace Sanders, and he or she may even reintroduce regular press briefings. But my advice to my fellow journalists is: ignore the briefings, if they ever return at all. The White House cannot be a purveyor of remotely credible information. No one can claim to speak consistently for a president who invents new realities on a whim. Consider his almighty border wall: sometimes it’s almost finished, sometimes the obstructionist Democrats blocked it, sometimes the pieces are about to fall into place. What press secretary can be trusted to say anything coherent about Trump’s intentions on any policy or political matter? Why bother? Trump can do us all a favor by naming no replacement for Sanders. As long as Trump is in office, the role of press secretary is a farce and a distraction. The next occupant would only peddle the illusion that there is a rationale to a press briefing under Trump. We will exhaust ourselves with more outrage over the absurdity of the performance. Better to focus elsewhere, on the machinations and policy edicts of the vast bureaucratic apparatus that Trump’s other appointees are already radically reshaping, whether it’s the Department of Education or the Interior. Someday, another president will install a press secretary who can communicate to the public with a modicum of honesty and coherence. Only then should journalists bother showing up. Ross Barkan is a writer and journalist in New York City

6/16/2019 12:00:51 AM

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