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AOC to DHS chief: Border agents shared 'images of my violent rape' in secret Facebook groupRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.

7/18/2019 4:02:10 PM

Cyprus detains 12 Israeli men over allegations of gang rape of British teenagerTwelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body. The suspects, aged 16 to 18, were staying in the same hotel. The young men covered their faces with their t-shirts as they arrived handcuffed at the court in the nearby town of Paralimni, in the southeast of Cyprus. One broke down in tears. Some were accompanied by their parents. The hearing was held behind closed doors because some of the suspects are minors. The suspects covered their faces as they arrived at court Credit: Petros Karadjis/AP A judge accepted a request by Cypriot police to remand the men in custody for eight days while an investigation is launched into the rape allegation. They have not yet been charged with any offence. Three of the men allegedly raped the British tourist while others filmed the attack on their mobile phones, local media reports said. Ioannis Habaris, a lawyer representing four of the suspects, told The Associated Press it was unclear exactly how many of the men were implicated in the alleged rape. He said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects. Tourists on a beach on the outskirts of the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus Credit: Amir Makar/AFP Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three other suspects, said the 12 teenagers had arrived in Ayia Napa in three separate groups. Some were having a holiday prior to being drafted into the Israeli army for compulsory military service. He said police were trying to flush out the perpetrators among the group by arresting all 12 and having them detained. "I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)." The Foreign Office said British authorities were "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police". Cyprus’s sandy beaches, bars and nightclubs attract around 1.3 million British tourists a year. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party town, with booze cruises and pub crawls.

7/18/2019 10:58:27 AM

Navy warship sunk by German sub in WWII finally locatedA private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. The patrol boat's precise location remained a mystery — until now.

7/18/2019 4:15:06 PM

Brazil's Petrobras refuses to refuel Iran ships due to US sanctionsUS-listed Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras said Friday it will not refuel two Iranian vessels that have been stuck for weeks at a Brazilian port for fear of violating American sanctions. Washington has imposed a slate of sanctions on Tehran and companies with ties to the Islamic republic since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark nuclear pact last year. The ships Bavand and Termeh, which reportedly belong to Iranian company Sapid Shipping, arrived at Paranagua port in the southern state of Parana early last month, an official at the port told AFP.

7/19/2019 10:03:13 AM

Marine Corps Tells Rep. Duncan Hunter He Can’t Use Trademarked Corps Material for His Campaign"It is personally disappointing to Congressman Hunter that he is now being told that he cannot use this motto or image that thousands of Marines like Congressman Hunter, who went to war under this banner, have used for tattoos, coins, and multiple other items of personal sentiment," Harrison told Task & Purpose.Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been told to stop using the Marine Corps' emblem and the 1st Marine Division's motto in his campaign literature, Corps officials confirmed.The Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office has sent Hunter, a Marine veteran, a cease and desist letter telling him to quit using the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem along with the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy," on a fundraising mailer that accuses his political opponent of having links to terrorism, NBC News first reported on Wednesday."Please be advised that you are more than welcome to simply and accurately state that you are a Marine Corps veteran, or provide other information about your service that is based on fact," according to the letter, which NBC News posted online. "As an alternative, we do offer a 'Marine Veteran' logo (Attachment B) for use by Marines to indicate their pride in service."Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joseph Butterfield confirmed the Corps had "taken appropriate action" to address the campaign mailers cited in the NBC story.

7/18/2019 3:32:00 AM

California city set to ban gendered words like 'manhole' and 'manpower'The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., votes to remove gender-specific words from its municipal code.

7/18/2019 1:54:05 PM

Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’One month ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on Fox News to shame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect 9/11 first responders. Wednesday afternoon, he was back on that network to give the other Republican senator from Kentucky a piece of his mind. In an interview with Bret Baier, Stewart immediately took aim at Rand Paul who, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blocked a Senate bill that would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, making the case that it should be offset by other spending cuts.  Responding directly to Paul, Stewart called his objection “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First RespondersStewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.” “Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.” “He is a guy who put us in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt,” he said of Paul. “And now he’s going to tell us that a billion dollars a year over 10 years is just too much for us to handle? You know, there are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community—the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors—all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this.” Appearing next to Stewart was 9/11 first responder and activist John Feal, who thanked the host and Fox News as a whole for being so “generous” with their time on this issue before calling Senators Paul and Lee “bottom-feeders” who “lack humanity” and “lack leadership.”Stewart said survivors like Feal and others shouldn’t have to “drag themselves back to Washington, put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago,” adding, “It’s an abomination.” 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.

7/18/2019 1:41:37 PM

13 Philadelphia police officers to be fired following Facebook post investigationThirteen Philadelphia police officers will be fired following an investigation into racist and offensive Facebook posts, Commissioner Richard Ross said.

7/19/2019 3:27:20 AM

Trump and progressive Democrats want the same thing – and Pelosi is in the wayThe president and the Squad are happy to push the Democratic party further to the left – but Pelosi disagrees‘They believe that this transformation not only will lead to progressive legislative victories, it will also win elections.’ Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/APAmerican politics makes some extremely odd bedfellows. That’s worth keeping in mind when trying to understand why Donald Trump Twitter-trolled four progressive, first-term congresswomen of color – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – in his now-infamous “go back” tweet. Although Trump and “the Squad” (the collective nickname for the congresswomen) have venomously denounced each other, the reality is that they both want the same thing: to make the women the public face of the Democratic party. And their greatest obstacle is the Democratic House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.The Squad have welcomed and sought out public attention because they want to use their celebrity to push the party to the left, just as the conservative movement pushed the Republican party to the right in decades past. They believe that this transformation not only will lead to progressive legislative victories, it will also win elections. As Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, recently told the Washington Post:“The whole theory of change for the current Democratic party is that to win this country we need to tack to the hypothetical middle. What I think that means is, you don’t take unnecessary risks, which translates to: you don’t really do anything. Whereas we’ve got a completely different theory of change, which is: you do the biggest, most badass thing you possibly can – and that’s going to excite people, and then they’re going to go vote.”One implication of this approach, obviously, is that progressives should advance ambitious leftwing policies – like Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, pulled directly from the demands of the Democratic Socialists of America – without negotiating or compromising with moderate Democrats, let alone Republicans. Another is that moderate Democrats who object to progressive policies have to be shamed and pressured into getting with the program – as Chakrabarti tried to do by comparing moderates to segregationists – or removed through primary election challenges from the left, as Ocasio-Cortez has threatened. These policies worked for the Tea Party on the Republican side, so the thinking goes, so why shouldn’t they work for progressives?Yet another implication of this approach is that progressives shouldn’t attempt to win over swing voters – particularly white voters – but instead should maximize turnout from minorities, who lean Democratic by wide margins but typically don’t vote at the same rates as whites. The model here is Stacey Abrams, who in her 2018 Georgia gubernatorial campaign nearly became the first African American woman to be elected governor of any state, largely on the strength of her success in getting minorities to the polls and driving voter turnout to record highs. According to this theory, the rising prominence of Ocasio-Cortez and her cohort, who embody the Democrats’ growing diversity and progressivism, can excite minority turnout to such a level that the country’s move toward majority minority demographics finally translates to Democratic political dominance.For all these reasons, progressives want the Squad to be the new face of the Democratic party. Pelosi, however, disagrees. The San Franciscan is a progressive herself but also an adept political calculator, who understands that Democrats regained the House in 2018 by running moderate candidates in Republican-held districts. She has skillfully held her caucus together so far by uniting them around policies with wide appeal and avoiding actions (such as pursuing Trump’s impeachment) that could split moderates and progressives. She fears that the majority making districts – and the Democratic House majority – will revert to Republican control if their college-educated, mostly suburban and mostly white swing voters who were repelled by Trump in 2018 turn out to be even more repelled by the Democrats’ most extreme members in 2020.Pelosi is also well aware that while the Squad have an intense following among leftwing activists and on social media, overall they are some of the most unpopular politicians in America. A recent poll of swing district voters found that Ocasio-Cortez was recognized by nearly three-quarters of voters but viewed favorably by only 22%. Ocasio-Cortez’s self-proclaimed ideology of socialism was viewed favorably by only 18% of those surveyed – which still made it twice as popular as Omar, who was viewed favorably by only 9%. Those are toxic levels of unpopularity. Many Democrats worry that if the party becomes defined by the Squad, they could lose not only the House but the presidency.> The Squad make even better foils for Trump’s 'America first' approach than Pelosi ever didWhich of course is why Trump has every incentive to make the Squad his principal target, and to achieve maximum publicity by doing so in a calculatedly xenophobic and (at least) borderline racist way that’s guaranteed to provoke widespread condemnation. It verges on surreal to see Trump defending Pelosi – who has been demonized by Republicans since she first wielded the speaker’s gavel in 2007 – against supposed charges of racism by the Squad. But the Squad make even better foils for Trump’s “America first” approach than Pelosi ever did, given the broader range of rage buttons they push among many culturally conservative Americans. And the more media attention the Squad receives, according to many Republican strategists, the more Democratic presidential candidates will feel pressured into embracing progressive positions on issues such as open borders, abortion, racial reparations and healthcare for undocumented migrants that are unpopular with the overall electorate.Trump’s attack on the Squad of course damaged the schemes of those Republican strategists who hope that, in an America where the Republican’s base of non-college-educated whites continues to shrink, the party might build a majority on racially and ethnically inclusive populism. But Trump’s major strategic error may have been to have strengthened Pelosi’s hand. Already Trump’s tweets seem to have restored Democratic unity behind Pelosi and reinforced her message that the party’s internal divisions are fodder for Trumpian mischief. The Congressional Black Caucus’ emphatic backing of Pelosi against the Squad may have taught them something about the limitations of identity politics and the realities of political power. But Trump’s intervention has also given Pelosi and Squad a golden opportunity to publicly reconcile without anyone losing face.The fact that some of the usually supine Republicans in Congress spoke out against Trump’s slurring his opponents’ patriotism pointed out that many Americans – perhaps a majority – oppose his efforts to divide the country. It’s possible that Trump’s abdication of the role of unifier-in-chief may have handed it to Pelosi since, unlike Trump, she is visibly striving to find common ground among contending factions. Trump isn’t the first politician to have underestimated Pelosi, but in the long run it may cost him more than whatever he gains by attacking the Squad. * Geoffrey Kabaservice is the director of political studies at the Niskanen Center in Washington DC as well as the author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party

7/18/2019 7:08:02 AM