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Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Challenger to Pro-Life Illinois Democrat -

Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Challenger to Pro-Life Illinois DemocratRepresentative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday endorsed the primary challenger of one of the most pro-life Democrats in Congress, Chicago-area congressman Dan Lipinski.The young progressive from New York awarded her first House endorsement of the 2020 elections to Marie Newman, who also enjoys the endorsement of Democratic presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.“Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The fact that a deep blue seat is advocating for many parts of the Republican agenda is extremely problematic. We’re not talking about a swing state that is being forced to take tough votes.”“She will be a powerful voice for upholding Roe v. Wade at a disturbing moment in our history when a woman’s right to control her own body and future is at stake,” said Sanders in his endorsement.Newman, a supporter of abortion rights, narrowly lost last year when she first challenged the pro-life Lipinski for his seat representing Illinois’s 3rd Congressional District, a position he has held since 2005.“I think the party really hurts itself tremendously by suggesting that it’s not open to people who are pro-life, pro-life voters,” Lipinski told National Review at the March for Life earlier this year.“I also know that there are a lot of people who come up to me all the time and tell me that they are pro-life,” Lipinski added, noting that some are his own constituents. “They want to be a Democrat but they don’t feel that the party is accepting of them.”“It’s terrible for the party,” he continued. “These people feel like they have been pushed out of the party.”“If it happens again another primary, I’m ready for that,” he said in January of the possibility another tough primary challenge.“He clearly just doesn’t like equality, period” and doesn’t understand “everyday basics,” Newman said of her opponent.Newman supports Ocasio-Cortez's signature issue, the Green New Deal, as well as Medicare for All, one of Sanders's priorities. Lipinksi voted against the Affordable Care Act.

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:35:32 -0400

Iran charges three detained Australians with spying -

Iran charges three detained Australians with spyingIran has charged three detained Australians with spying, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday, after the reported arrest of a travel-blogging couple and an academic. Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters. It was the first official confirmation that Australians have been detained in Iran after the families of three of them said last week they had been arrested in the Islamic republic.

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:20:18 -0400

UPDATE 1-India says expects to gain control over Pakistan Kashmir one day -

UPDATE 1-India says expects to gain control over Pakistan Kashmir one dayIndia's foreign minister said on Tuesday that the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan belongs to India and that he expected India to gain physical control over it one day, raising the rhetoric over the territorial dispute. India rules the heavily populated Kashmir Valley while Pakistan controls a wedge of territory in the west that New Delhi describes as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:09:47 -0400

NYC to Allow 1.1 Million Students to Skip Class for Climate Protests -

NYC to Allow 1.1 Million Students to Skip Class for Climate ProtestsNew York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students  to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned "climate strike" ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit.The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people.Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S.“This completely changes things, and it’s our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times. Some teachers at her school were planning to accompany students to the protests even before the school district granted permission to do so.“We’re not against the school system,” she said. “We need the schools to work with us because our larger goal is to stop the fossil fuel industry.”

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:49:55 -0400

Putin’s Trolling of Trump Isn’t Just About Missiles -

Putin’s Trolling of Trump Isn’t Just About Missiles(Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Vladimir Putin’s offer to sell Russian air defense systems to Saudi Arabia is about more than mere trolling, even though it caused laughter from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.  Putin was trying to persuade the entire Middle East that working with him is more effective than cooperating with the U.S. One could regard it as a kind of mafia-style protection offer: The new, more aggressive gangster on the block is making a bid because the current king of the streets has grown lazy and risk-averse.On  Monday, Putin was in Ankara for talks on the Syrian conflict with Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He made every effort to blend in, referencing the Quran and making constant references to Muslim traditions.  “The Holy Quran says violence is only acceptable when defending your kin,” Putin told a press conference after the summit. “So we’re willing to provide aid to Saudi Arabia in defending their kin, their country.”  The Saudis should “make a wise, statesmanlike decision,” he suggested, and purchase S-300 air defense systems as Iran did, or the more modern S-400 ones which Turkey recently purchased. “They will reliably protect any Saudi Arabian infrastructure,” Putin said, referring to the recent drone attack on Saudi refineries.Putin’s Quranic scholarship is a little dubious (the Islamic holy book actually permits Muslims to fight back when attacked, not when protecting “kin”), but Rouhani was willing to let it pass. He asked Putin facetiously which system he’d recommend to the Saudis -- the S-300 or the S-400. “Let them have their pick,” Putin replied.  In reality, it’s the S-400 that Russia has been trying hard to sell to Saudi Arabia, so far without success. It has also offered the missiles to Qatar. Neither the S-300 nor the S-400 has seen any real combat use. Theoretically, and as seen in exercises, these are powerful weapons. But not even Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad, who has had a few opportunities to use the S-300s he received from Russia last year, has done so.The point of acquiring such systems isn’t so much to shoot down enemy aircraft and missiles but to make a bid for Russian support in case of a crisis. For that, Erdogan, whose country is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has been willing to live with the threat of U.S. sanctions and even lose access to U.S.-made F-35 fighter jets.Russia’s bid to replace the U.S. as the go-to problem solver in the Middle East is based on the success of its relatively low-cost but highly effective intervention in Syria, where the Russian air force and deniable mercenaries have helped propel Assad’s forces to victory in a bloody civil war. Putin’s foray in Syria was meant, in part, as a sales demonstration to Middle Eastern regimes: Russia will, if asked, intervene on the side of the incumbent ruler in the interest of stability, and it will do so quickly and without political strings attached. The U.S. offers neither of these advantages.President Donald Trump is, at heart, an isolationist unwilling to send U.S. troops overseas, and his instinct so far has been to pull out of Middle Eastern countries rather than start new wars. The current field of Democratic presidential hopefuls is almost uniformly pacifist: Most off the candidates support a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan, and all are for ending U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen. The U.S. public is tired of overseas military adventures. Russia’s advantage in this regard is that Putin doesn’t care what the public thinks when he feels it’s in Russia’s interest to intervene militarily in some far-off place. Moreover, he uses Kremlin-friendly private military companies to provide a cloak of deniability.Putin also makes a point of not trying to tell his situational allies – or perhaps “clients,” current and potential, is a better word – how to run their countries. Assad may be up to his elbows in blood, but he’s the “legitimate” ruler; Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may be responsible for the murder of  journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but Putin has gone out of his way to act friendly with the prince when others shunned him. U.S. help often comes with patronizing advice and sometimes even with direct support for regime change. Putin defends the right of incumbents to act in line with what they see as their traditions – thus the several references to the Quran he made in Ankara.This, of course, makes for some awkward exceptions to the ancient rule that says the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend. Russia’s closeness to Iran, on full display on Monday, is an irritant to Saudi Arabia, especially when the U.S. says Iran was responsible for the drone attack on Saudi infrastructure. On the other hand, Russia is Saudi Arabia’s natural ally in protecting the global oil market from the disruption caused by U.S. shale operators. Besides, Saudi Arabia working with the Kremlin could potentially be a way to end Iranian provocations since Moscow will talk with Tehran rather than hit it with sanctions as the U.S. does.It’s hard to see Saudi Arabia siding openly with Russia and undermining its long-standing alliance with the U.S., no matter how tempting Putin might make it sound. Putin’s foreign policy record doesn’t spell trustworthiness, and his steadfast support for Assad isn’t proof that he’ll be as unfailingly loyal to other potential clients. Besides, the U.S. has shown the crushing might of its military on more occasions than Putin’s Russia; there’s no question that its ability to win any conventional armed conflict is greater than Russia’s today.In the medium to long term, however, which power is seen as the chief  problem-solver in the Middle East depends on U.S.  willingness to bring its might to bear. Trump’s actions against Iran haven’t been overwhelmingly effective. The Yemen conflict,  in which the U.S. has sides with the Saudis, is still raging. U.S. foe Assad controls most of Syria. And Turkey hasn’t suffered any adverse consequences for defying the U.S. with its S-400 purchase.Putin is waiting in the wings and signaling that he speaks the same language as the clients he’s courting.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Baker at stebaker@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:22:04 -0400

A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport and realized he had lost his passport -

A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport and realized he had lost his passportT'Way Air said it was investigating the incident and how the pilot lost his passport, and that it put passengers in a hotel and fed them breakfast.

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:19:35 -0400

Ilhan Omar: Trump admin can't be trusted on Iran if it ' lies about weather maps or crowd sizes' -

Ilhan Omar: Trump admin can't be trusted on Iran if it ' lies about weather maps or crowd sizes'Omar said that the administration could not be trusted to "give us the full information" on Iran because of past falsehoods about "weather maps."

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 08:18:29 -0400

Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensions -

Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensionsGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for a return to an international deal curbing Iran's nuclear activities as the only way to defuse tensions in the Middle East. "We believe that the deal to stop Iran from acquiring military nuclear capabilities is a building block we need to get back to," Merkel said during a news conference with Jordan's King Abdullah. "But there is also a long list of other burdens coming from Iran like the ballistic missiles program and its engagement in Syria," she said.

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 07:45:44 -0400

20 killed as truck plunges down ravine in Philippines -

20 killed as truck plunges down ravine in PhilippinesTwenty people, including children, were killed Tuesday in the southern Philippines when the flatbed truck they were riding in plummeted into a ravine, police said. The dead included children aged between one to six years old, with the driver among those injured, he added. Deadly road accidents are common in the Philippines, where inadequately maintained buses and poorly trained drivers form the backbone of land transport options.

Tue, 17 Sep 2019 06:28:18 -0400

Trump boasts about wealth and makes series of false claims in hate-filled rally speech disrupted by flies and protesters -

Trump boasts about wealth and makes series of false claims in hate-filled rally speech disrupted by flies and protestersDonald Trump was twice interrupted by protesters at a rally during which he criticised his opponents, discussed his plans to build a border wall and reiterated his support for Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court justice who has been accused of sexual harassment.The president went on to describe Brett Kavanaugh as a “great talent, a great brilliant man.”

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