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Hier — 14 juillet 2020RT - Daily news

Anti-Trump Lincoln Project co-founder says past tweets shouldn’t define him, then cans employee for offensive messages a day later

Par RT

The Lincoln Project, an anti-Donald Trump organization founded by Republicans, has fired its video editor Ben Howe for years-old tweets using female anatomy as an insult – despite one of its co-founders engaging in similar antics.

“Based on these unacceptable and offensive posts, and those that came to light last week, Ben Howe is no longer affiliated with the Lincoln Project, effective immediately,” Keith Edwards, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The tweets in question were emailed to the organization by the 19th News, a non-profit media outlet, and had been highlighted by other groups within the last week. 

The old posts included some by Howe, who previously worked for conservative blog RedState, calling critics a “tw*t” or “vagina” – and sometimes using more offensive language.

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“I want to be a feminist but every time I call someone a c**t I get yelled at,” another tweet from 2018 read.

In his own statement, Howe called the past writings “inexcusable” and “ill-advised.” 

On the eve of Howe’s firing, Lincoln’s co-founder Rick Wilson found himself in the hot seat during an interview on Stephen Colbert’s CBS All Access series ‘Tooning Out the News’, where his own past tweets were highlighted – but he did not show any of the remorse being expressed by Howe. 

Some of the messages referred to former President Barack Obama as a “b**ch” – an insult Wilson seems to be fond of, as in Monday’s interview he called Trump a “whining b**ch addicted to Twitter.”

“Yes, he is a b**ch. That is the biggest insult, comparing someone to a woman,” cartoon host Sarah Sabo responded to the remark. “I hate us.”

Wilson’s past support of George W. Bush and some of his other disparaging remarks were brought to light, to which he responded by saying people can move on from their past. 

“Not every quote that you have on Twitter is something you’re going to live with forever,” he said. 

Wilson’s past may not be relevant to him, but it certainly is relevant for those criticizing his organization for firing Howe. 

“This is dumb. Rick Wilson was flying the rebel flag, saying the South Will Rise Again! But @BenHowe gets fired over some Tweets,” conservative pundit Mike Cernovich tweeted, highlighting the fact that Wilson has been pictured with the Confederate flag in the past – despite an ad from his organization that criticizes Trump’s support for the very same thing.

There is no way that taken as a whole, Ben Howe's Twitter history is more offensive or vitriolic than Rick Wilson's.

— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) July 14, 2020

Honestly, not sure how @ProjectLincoln fires @BenHowe for sexist tweets when a solid chunk of their founders do the same thing incessantly, including on cable news shows.

— Luke Thompson (@ltthompso) July 14, 2020

Amanda Becker, a Washington correspondent for the 19th News, even seemed confused by the firing, as the original inquiry into Howe’s tweets was intended to find out what the Lincoln Project was doing to “appeal to women.”

I asked @ProjectLincoln what they were doing to appeal to women. It turned into a different story.

— Amanda Becker (@AmandaBecker) July 14, 2020

The Lincoln Project is mainly known for a series of ads, many of which were put together by Howe, targeting Trump and his administration. The president has called them “losers” and a “disgrace to Honest Abe.” 

The attention has only bolstered the group, though, as they raised over $16 million last quarter and plan to expand their operations ahead of November’s presidential election.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 20:44

Ghislaine Maxwell pleads NOT GUILTY to charges of procuring minors for sexual abuse

Par RT

Ghislaine Maxwell, the long-time confidante of Jeffrey Epstein, has pleaded not guilty to charges of supplying the late financier and convicted sex offender with underage girls for trafficking and abuse.

“Not guilty, your honor,” Maxwell told Judge Alison Nathan at Manhattan federal court on Tuesday. She then waived the public reading of her indictment. The British socialite appeared at the hearing via video from the Brooklyn jail where she is currently held.

Maxwell’s lawyers have argued that the media is “wrongly trying to substitute her for Epstein — even though she’d had no contact with Epstein for more than a decade, had never been charged with a crime or been found liable in any civil litigation, and has always denied any allegations of claimed misconduct.”

Maxwell has been held without bail since her arrest on July 2 at her secret estate in New Hampshire. Prosecutors say she is an “extreme” flight risk and should not be released on the $5 million bail her defense has suggested.

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“The defendant has not only the motive to flee, but the means to do so swiftly and effectively,” prosecutors wrote in the court papers, citing Maxwell’s wealth and the documented history of her international connections.

Maxwell “vigorously denies the charges, intends to fight them, and is entitled to the presumption of innocence,” her lawyers declared.

She is charged with six criminal counts and accused of “identifying, befriending and grooming” at least three underage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997.

Epstein died last August in a New York jail where he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. His death was officially ruled a suicide, though intense speculation has surrounded the circumstances, with many suggesting foul play. Earlier this week, the Daily Mail claimed that Maxwell was being moved between cells to “avoid assassins.”

The infamous socialite’s trial was set for 12 July 2021, with the judge yet undecided on bail.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 20:42

Tear gas deployed as anti-govt protesters clash with police on Bastille Day (VIDEO)

Par RT

France’s national holiday has been marred by scuffles between police and protesters, as thousands of people took to the streets of Paris to demonstrate against public health support measures they deemed insufficient.

Streets in the center of the French capital once again descended into chaos as police officers in riot gear clashed with groups of angry protesters while France was celebrating Bastille Day. 

Videos posted on social media showed officers wearing helmets and body armor using tear gas and pepper-spraying crowds in a tense standoff. The protesters were seen throwing various objects at the police.

🔴Grosses tensions en cours sur la Place de la Bastille. Plusieurs tirs de gaz lacrymogènes contre des projectiles. Les forces de l’ordre doivent reculer. #14juillet #FeteNationale #Paris #BastilleDay #soignants #France

— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) July 14, 2020

La place de la Bastille sous les gaz lacrymogènes après une charge de la Brav-M. #14juillet

— Remy Buisine (@RemyBuisine) July 14, 2020

Footage captured by RT’s Ruptly video agency showed the moment tensions boiled over and the standoff spiraled into a brief and intense clash at the Place de la Bastille, as a small group of demonstrators attacked several officers. The attackers managed to strike one officer to the ground, landing multiple kicks before other officers stepped in to intervene.

Instances of violence also accompanied a massive protest march organized by a major trade union association, the CGT, together with the Inter-Hospital Collective (CIH) – a group calling for more support for public health care facilities and workers.

Plusieurs policiers pris à partie par plusieurs personnes doivent reculer et prendre la fuite sous la pression de la foule. #14juillet

— Remy Buisine (@RemyBuisine) July 14, 2020

More than 3,000 people joined the event and walked from the Place de la Republique in central Paris to the Place de la Bastille. Some 1,300 members of the Yellow Vests movement were seen among the demonstrators, France’s BFM TV said, citing police. The march also attracted some 150 “radicals,” sources within law enforcement told the French media. 

🔴Départ d’une manifestation anti-gouvernementale et des soignants en colère, pour réclamer plus de moyens pour l‘hôpital public. Nombreux #GiletsJaunes également présents. Le parcours est de République à Bastille. #14juillet #FeteNationale #Paris #BastilleDay #soignants #France

— Charles Baudry (@CharlesBaudry) July 14, 2020

The protesters accused President Emmanuel Macron’s government of failing to provide sufficient aid to the nation’s healthcare system amid the Covid-19 pandemic and denounced wage agreements signed just a day before as a “fraud.”

On Monday, the French government and the trade unions signed an accord that included €7.5 billion euros ($8.5 billion) for pay increases to nurses and caregivers. Under the agreement, each of them was expected to get a monthly pay boost of €183 ($208). However, some demonstrators told the French media that the wage increase should be no less than €300 ($342).

The Yellow Vests also staged a separate demonstration to protest against police brutality. Smaller rallies were held in other French cities, including Toulouse and Marseille. 

Rassemblement pour les soignants ce matin à #Marseille. Après les applaudissements, il faut des actes. Ceux du Ségur de la santé ne sont pas à la hauteur des besoins des personnels de l’hôpital public.

— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) July 14, 2020

Bastille Day often sees massive demonstrations, which are frequently marred by violence. Last year, the national holiday witnessed clashes between law enforcement and protesters who sought to block the iconic Champs Elysees avenue with barricades. At that time, more than 150 people were arrested in Paris. 

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 20:40

Banksy shares rare VIDEO of himself tagging London Tube with Covid-themed graffiti

Par RT

Mysterious British street artist Banksy has released a rare video of a man – presumably himself – painting rats on the London Underground. The trademark rodents are pictured struggling with protective face masks.

The video, showing the making of a work dubbed ‘If You Don't Mask, You Don't Get,’ was shared on Banksy’s Instagram account on Tuesday. The work features a number of the artist’s iconic rats, engaging in coronavirus-era activities.

The graffiti was painted by a man disguised as an emergency worker seemingly disinfecting the Tube. Instead of cleaning the space, however, he spray-painted images of the rodents playing around with face masks, with one of them even using the protective face covering as a parachute. One mask-less rat was depicted sneezing all over the carriage, while another painted Banksy’s tag with a bottle of anti-bacterial gel.

At the end of the video, the words “I get lockdown” are shown on the side of a station wall, followed by “but I get up again” on the train’s doors, with Chumbawamba's 1997 song ‘Tubthumping’ playing in the background.

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Rats are recurring characters in Banksy’s works, as he often paints the rodents engaging in various activities. His early works, which appeared on Tube trains years ago, predominantly featured rats as well as monkeys.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 20:37

'Disgraceful decision': Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp SLAM decision to accept Manchester City's appeal against two-year UEFA ban

Par RT

Two of the Premier League's most respected bosses have criticized the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to accept Manchester City's appeal against Financial Fair Play breaches and reverse the club's two-year UEFA ban.

City were successful in their appeal against the decision to ban them from UEFA competition for two years after the club was found guilty of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship revenue.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that no breaches had taken place, meaning City's UEFA ban would be overturned, allowing them back into European competition.

Spurs boss Mourinho slammed the decision and questioned City's financial penalty, saying, "It's a disgraceful decision because if City are not guilty then they should not be punished with the fine.

"If you're not guilty you shouldn't have a fine. If they are guilty the decision is also a disgrace and they should be banned from the competition. I don't know if City are guilty or not, but either way it's a disgraceful decision."

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Mourinho also suggested that UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules were rendered virtually pointless by the decision.

"I think this is going to be the end of Financial Fair Play because there is no point," Mourinho said.

"I would like to see it used in a proper way. At this moment we are talking about Man City but in the past other clubs were in a similar situation.

"I think it's better to open the circus door and let everybody enjoy."

The news was also met with dismay by Liverpool boss Klopp, who stated, "I don't think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest.

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"FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources.

"It's not up to me to judge this and I don't, but I think this FFP framework we should stick to.

"I hope FFP stays just because it gives kind of borders that you can go to, but not over it, and that's good for football.

"If you start doing that nobody has to care anymore and the richest people or countries can do what they want.

"It will make the competition really difficult and I think that would lead automatically to a kind of world super league with like 10 clubs and it would depend on who owns the clubs and not the names of the clubs. It makes sense to have these rules."

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 20:34

Provocative choice? Internet fumes over Sports Illustrated cover featuring transgender model

Par RT

After Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender model to appear on a Sports Illustrated cover the internet exploded with mixed reactions, some of which didn’t approve the magazine’s choice.

Sports Illustrated has continued its policy of promoting inclusivity and diversity by inviting models representing different social and ethnic groups.

READ MORE: 'We aren't backing down': New US ruling says letting transgender girls compete in high school sports IS a breach of civil rights

Overturning widespread modeling stereotypes, the magazine featured plus-size model Ashley Graham in 2016 and invited Somali-American model Halima Aden to pose in a hijab and burkini for the cover in 2019.

The magazine’s next step in embracing diversity was featuring openly trans model Sampaio who thanked the annual edition for “respecting her as a human.”

Thank you SI for seeing and respecting me as I truly am. For understanding that more than anything, I am human.

"Thank you for supporting me in continuing to spread a message of love, compassion and unity for ALL,” the model said.

The magazine’s choice was met with mixed reactions on social media with some users not sharing enthusiasm over the cover.

That’s a biological man. If he wants to play at being a woman that’s his business but biologically he is a man,” one user wrote, while another added, “I’m just going to speak facts here. Trans men will NEVER, EVER be women and trans women will NEVER be men.” 

If I bake a vanilla sponge and cover it in chocolate icing, does that make it a chocolate cake?” one more commenter wrote.

That’s a biological man. If he wants to play at being a women that’s his business but biologically he is a man.

— Sheri (@shesmysheripiie) July 10, 2020

I’m just going to speak facts here. Trans men will NEVER, EVER be women and trans women will NEVER be men.

— 𝐓 ⁷︎ ⟭⟬ #BLM #ACAB (@bisexualseok) July 11, 2020

If I bake a vanilla sponge and cover it in chocolate icing, does that make it a chocolate cake?

— Phil (@chopsmcmutton) July 11, 2020

While Sampaio's photoshoot seemingly left some commenters upset, others opted to praise the model for her courage, and complimented her on her beauty.

She’s beautiful” one user wrote.

She is gorgeous!” another tweeter added.

She’s beautiful 💗

— sam russell (@GivingSam) July 10, 2020

She is gorgeous! 😍

— 🌈Kristin✨wear a mask, yo (@knitsyo) July 10, 2020

Last year Sampaio became the first transgender model to work with Victoria's Secret and back in 2017 she became the first trans person to pose for the cover of Vogue magazine.

Now she's breaking down more barriers for trans models by appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated's iconic Swimsuit Edition.

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 20:20

The future is here? Lifelike robot said to resemble ‘average Russian woman’ takes up civil service role in Urals

Par RT

A humanoid robot, apparently modeled on a typical Russian woman, has begun providing services to the public at a government office in Perm, a large city approximately 1,100 kilometers east of Moscow.

The 'bionic person' was designed with bureaucracy in mind. Adopting the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk, it could signal yet another example of what humanity faces in a post-Covid world.

According to its creators from Russian robotics startup Promobot, the robot’s appearance was generated by artificial intelligence analysis of thousands of females.

The robot, with long blond hair and brown eyes, is capable of more than 600 human facial expressions, controlled mechanically under its artificial skin.

A female human-like robot assists a visitor at a multi-functional document processing centre in the city of Perm, Russia July 9, 2020. © Promobot/Handout via REUTERS

The Russian startup, which currently operates in 35 different countries, was awarded  $2.7 million by the state Far-East High Technology Fund to develop artificial skin and set up a local branch in Russia’s far east.

The humanoid, which has already replaced one unlucky registry office employee, currently only has access to a few document databases and can operate basic functions such as answering generic questions.

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A robotic canary in the coal mine

The requirements of social distancing in a post-Covid world are shaping society in many ways, sometimes weird and not always wonderful. 

In the workplace, cleaning robots are being trialled to help mitigate the risk of exposure of traditional cleaning workers.

And in countries from the Netherlands to China, contactless interaction with the public is becoming the industry norm across many sectors.

Early this month, it was reported that all citizenM hotel locations worldwide now offer contactless stays to their guests via a free-to-install, voluntary app.

In China, Leyeju Smart Hotels have taken it a step further and now run an entirely automated experience, with only two human staff around in case of emergencies.  

However, it isn’t all as lonely as it may seem. On July 18, Paris will transform the River Seine into a floating cinema in order to throw outdoor entertainment a rubber ring and keep it afloat.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 19:41

‘Threat to the community’? Detroit student sent to DETENTION CENTER during pandemic for not doing her homework

Par RT

A Michigan teenager was incarcerated during the Covid-19 outbreak for breaching probation, despite the governor’s moratorium on locking up youthful violators who weren’t “threats to the community.” Her crime? Not doing homework.

A 15-year-old black girl has spent over a month in the Children’s Village juvenile detention facility outside Detroit, after being deemed a “threat to the community” by Oakland County Family Court Judge Mary Ellen Brennan for merely failing to do her homework while attending high school remotely during the pandemic. Shot through with hints of racism and discrimination against a child with a learning disability, the case has many up in arms.

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Grace” – her middle name – is believed to be the only Michigan student to be incarcerated for failing to complete online coursework, according to attorneys and advocates who spoke to investigative outlet ProPublica. Indeed, with schools haphazardly switching to remote instruction amid the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of kids across the country have been struggling to complete their work, or even log in at all. As many as a third of Minneapolis Public School students, a quarter of Chicago Public School students, and some 15,000 in Los Angeles have reportedly fallen behind.

But Grace was required to complete her schoolwork as a condition of the “intensive probation” sentence she received in April for assault and larceny charges incurred in late 2019. The teen had gotten in trouble for fighting with her mother and stealing a cell phone from a classmate, but had no further contact with the police since October and was reportedly getting along with her mom.

That apparently didn’t matter to Judge Brennan, who found the teen “guilty of failure to submit any schoolwork and getting up for school.” Deeming Grace a “threat to the community,” Brennan had her shipped off to Children’s Village, where she remains as of Tuesday, having spent upwards of a month in close confinement with other juvenile offenders.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer actually suspended the incarceration of juvenile probation violators in March in an executive order, one of several passed in response to the burgeoning coronavirus pandemic. Unless directed by court order, authorities were encouraged to avoid locking kids up unless they were a “substantial and immediate safety risk to others.

Diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a mood disorder, Grace is considered “special needs” and entitled to individualized attention from teachers to ensure she is staying on task, her mother told ProPublica. Unaware Grace was accustomed to individual instruction, her new caseworker saw her inability to wake up in time for class and complete schoolwork as acting out and filed the probation violation before even checking with her teacher. It later emerged in court that Grace’s mother had lied to the caseworker “in a moment of frustration” and her assessment that the child wasn’t completing her work was not even factual.

But it was too late. The caseworker had gone into court planning to ask the judge to detain Grace because, according to her notes, she “clearly doesn’t want to abide by the rules of the community.” Grace’s teacher said the child was “not out of alignment with most of my other students,” but had to leave the hearing to teach a class. Brennan told the girl her probation was “zero tolerance” and had her taken away in handcuffs.

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The case has raised the hackles of racial justice advocates and thrown a spotlight on the intrinsic injustices of the criminal justice system, which have trickled down over the decades to affect even schoolchildren via what is termed the ‘school to prison pipeline’. Of the 24 delinquency cases that resulted in incarceration since the pandemic reduced court operations, more than half involved black children, continuing a trend that has seen 42 percent of juvenile cases that passed through the court over the past four years involve black kids. Just 15 percent of Oakland County youth are black.

US juvenile detention facilities’ occupation rate fell 24 percent during the first month of the coronavirus epidemic, according to a survey conducted across 30 states. The decline was driven both by a drop in referrals and an increase in releases, in compliance with Whitmer’s order to get as many young people out of state facilities as possible.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 19:37

Armenia says it shot down Azerbaijani drone as fierce border clashes continue into third day (VIDEO)

Par RT

The Armenian military has claimed it downed an advanced Azerbaijani drone amid ongoing border clashes. The flare-up has already led to casualties on both sides, with the South Caucasus neighbors blaming each other for the spat.

“Armenian air defense units hit a drone of the Azerbaijani armed forces, which is used as a fire control system,” Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said on Tuesday, sharing footage of the incident on Facebook.

The drone is said to be an Israeli-made Elbit Hermes 900, a medium-sized multirole UAV. Azerbaijan is believed to have as many as 15 such machines in its inventory.

The Azerbaijani military, for its part, denied losing a drone, and claimed that its own forces shot down an Armenian UAV and destroyed an artillery system. It shared videos of artillery strikes on Armenian positions, yet no proof for the UAV claim was provided.

The fierce clashes erupted over the weekend and continued into Tuesday morning. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenia of violating a 1994 ceasefire dozens of times and of shelling Azerbaijani positions with mortars and grenade launchers.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry, however, said the fighting started after Azerbaijani soldiers tried to cross the border and later shelled Armenian positions using tanks and mortars.

Both sides have acknowledged casualties in the ongoing clashes, with Azerbaijan confirming a major-general and a colonel were killed in the skirmishes. Baku also said it lost several servicemen and a civilian in shelling along the northern part of the border. Armenia, for its part, confirmed four casualties among its officers on Tuesday.

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Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bloody border war in the early 1990s after Nagorno-Karabakh – an Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan – declared independence from Baku. The war ended with a ceasefire agreement, after which Nagorno-Karabakh became an unrecognized republic, closely allied with Armenia.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 19:23

‘Tax dollars at work’: Stunned response greets Chicago mayor’s launch of Census Cowboy as city shootings spike (VIDEO)

Par RT

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is being accused of not having her priorities exactly straight as she introduced a mascot dubbed the ‘Census Cowboy’ to the same city that is seeing a spike in violent crime.

“Giddy up, Chicago. I'm calling on the Census Cowboy to help improve our Census response rates across Chicago,” Lightfoot tweeted along with footage from a press conference where she introduced this Census Cowboy, a man on horseback who will be visiting the 10 communities with the lowest response rate to the US census to encourage them to take part.

Giddy up, Chicago. I'm calling on the Census Cowboy to help improve our Census response rates across Chicago. Make the Census Cowboy proud by filling out the Census today at

— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 13, 2020

“I’m rarely speechless…” journalist Mickey White tweeted in response.

“My tax dollars at work,” wrote author Carol Roth.

“How embarrassing,” added author Juanita Broaddrick.

Others were equally stunned by the move, especially considering the fact that Chicago has seen a recent spike in violent crime.

This is legit one of the most insane things I’ve seen in Chicago history

— Trenton Hassles Carmelo (@TrentonHassles) July 13, 2020

Meanwhile in Chicago... (this cannot be real) 😂😂

— McNeil (@Reflog_18) July 14, 2020

Chicago crime is at record numbers, but at least @ChicagosMayor can take time out to have a... cowboy come and promote the census?!?

So. Many. Thoughts.

— Lauren Boebert for Congress (R-CO3) (@laurenboebert) July 14, 2020

There are how many shootings and murders in #Chicago and @chicagosmayor’s worry is the Census Cowboy? How the hell does that fix the problems in this city? #twill #Chiraq

— 🇺🇸🏍 Chris Hansen 🏍🇺🇸 (@c_hansen84) July 14, 2020

Shootings in the city increased 71 percent over last year in May, with 409 people becoming the victims of gun crime, up from 332 in May of 2019.

To make the case of the Census Cowboy even stranger, Lightfoot actually compared him to the comic book character Batman, a vigilante who fights crime in the city of Gotham. The difference between the Batman and the Cowboy, however, is one fights crime in a city spiraling out of control, and the other encourages you to fill out paperwork while shootings rise around you.

Lightfoot issued a warning to citizens about the Census Cowboy, saying seeing him in your community is “not a good thing.”

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“If you see the Census Cowboy come into your neighborhood, that’s not a good thing,” she said. “That means you got to step up and do your part and make sure that you fill out the census.”

The actual Census Cowboy is Adam Holingsworth, a 33-year-old former boxer who gained local press attention for riding his horse in Chicago at protests following the May 25 death of George Floyd.

Lightfoot has pushed the blame for rising violent crime in her city on the federal government for not helping enough to police illegal guns.

“There’s way too many illegal guns on our streets, and we can’t fight that fight alone,” she told MSNBC.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 19:13

‘Virtue-signaling’ Burger King blasted for promising to fight climate change by reducing COW FARTS

Par RT

Burger King has pledged to do its bit to combat global warming by attempting to reduce cow farts through dietary changes – but only for a limited time. The move was instantly mocked on social media as superficial pandering.

“Cow farts & burps are no laughing matter,” the restaurant chain tweeted on Tuesday, declaring that it will be changing its livestock’s diet “to reduce emissions” by around 33 percent. The company aims to achieve this target by adding some lemongrass to the animals’ menu.

cow farts & burps are no laughing matter. they release methane, contributing to climate change. that’s why we’re working to change our cows’ diet by adding lemongrass to reduce their emissions by approximately 33%. learn about our ongoing study: #CowsMenu

— Burger King (@BurgerKing) July 14, 2020

The seriousness of the decision was perhaps undermined by the country music video accompanying the tweet, which featured children strutting out of a cow’s behind and singing about Burger King’s “mission.”

The company’s grand gesture is not all it seems, however. What remained unsaid in the commercial was the fact that the low-methane burgers are actually a limited time promotional offer – and are available only in certain restaurants in select cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Miami. 

Literally no one gives a shit that Burger King is reducing cow farts... what a complete waste of money on marketing for some stupid virtue signaling. #COWSMENU

— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) July 14, 2020

Many blasted Burger King’s efforts as hollow, disingenuous and not likely to make any difference. One suggested the burger chain should just “stop serving cow” full stop. Others felt the promotional offer was classic “virtue signalling” and deserving of a boycott.

Fernando Machado, the company’s chief marketing officer, said he was “really proud” of the eyebrow-raising commercial. Indeed, not everyone hated the idea. There were a few commenters who believed Burger King deserved “major props” for the move.

Then there were those who didn’t view the issue of cow flatulence as a problem at all and urged Burger King to just “leave the farts alone.”

You’re kidding right ? Lmao 😂. I’ll alert my cattle they will be receiving a diet change. They’ll be so happy 🙄. Find something useful to do. Help kids .... cleanup the streets. .... leave cows farts alone.

— Deanne Byers (@DeanneByers111) July 14, 2020

Cow farts are responsible for more than fourteen percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

That stat has prompted some US lawmakers, most notably New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to propose legislative measures to effectively regulate the gas-passing – yet, as with Burger King’s effort, the suggestion usually prompts predictable ridicule.

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© Reuters / Denis Balibouse
‘Brilliant!’ Trump applauds Democrats’ Green dream to ‘eliminate all planes, cars, cows & military’

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 18:33

Hungary’s MPs back Orban’s stance on EU recovery plan without rule-of-law conditions attached

Par RT

Hungarian lawmakers passed a resolution on Tuesday calling on PM Viktor Orban’s government to ensure that the EU’s economic stimulus plan meets certain conditions. They include the fair distribution of funds among richer and poorer countries, and not tying funds to rule-of-law provisions.

The resolution, while not legally binding, is seen as a political resource that Orban can tap this week during an EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on the proposed recovery package and the EU’s long-term budget.

The parliament also listed “principles” that would exclude from EU funding parties and “organizations which carry out political activities under a civic disguise,” and end the sanctioning procedures the EU initiated against Hungary and Poland because of concerns about the rule of law in those countries, AP said.

However, the document expresses support overall for the proposed €750 billion ($855 billion) stimulus package, which includes €500 billion in grants and €250 billion in loans for EU countries. The grants would be backed by common debt among EU states.

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 18:33

'That's not a bad training partner': World No. 1 Djokovic BACK ON COURT for US Open preparations with former Serbian star (VIDEO)

Par RT

In one of his first public appearances since he tested positive for COVID-19 after his Adria Tour tournament, Novak Djokovic has been filmed practicing on a hard court in a cinematic video by former contender Janko Tipsarevic.

Djokovic has kept a low profile on social media since becoming one of several stars to test positive for COVID-19 following his Adria Tour events in Serbia and Croatia last month, including his coach, ex-Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic.

Now he has been filmed hitting a winner at the academy in Serbia run by Janko Tipsarevic, the former world No. 8 who has all but retired after missing the 2018 season through injury and failing to progress beyond the second round of any Grand Slam last year.

"Practise, practise and, again, practise," wrote Tipsarevic, slowing the clip down and adding dramatic music with the camera behind Djokovic as he returned a serve.

Djokovic had taken time off with his parents to explore a set of natural hills known as the Bosnian Pyramid Complex in the area of Visoko in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, according to AS.

His return to training with Tipsarevic could indicate his willingness to take part in a restricted US Open, which is expected to take place as scheduled at the end of August despite the coronavirus outbreak in the US.

The three-time champion could see this year as an excellent chance to win the tournament again given that reigning champion Rafael Nadal, who also pictured himself training last week, has said he is not targeting a return until the French Open should it take place in September.

"Who is that player in the green?" asked one fan watching the footage.

"He seems like he can play."

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© REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
‘It’s a WITCH HUNT’: World no. 1 Novak Djokovic blasts back at criticism over Adria Tour coronavirus fiasco

Another said: "Well, that’s not a bad training partner."

Tipsarevic has named Djokovic as the greatest player of all time in the past and defended his compatriot when he was accused of showing scant concern for his responsibilities as president of the ATP Player Council when he left the US before the Miami Open was officially canceled in March.

"It makes no sense for someone to attack Novak," Tipsarevic told Sport Klub at the time.

"In my opinion, he is sometimes too open and honest with others about his plans."

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Nick Kyrgios © Hannah Mckay via Reuters | Novak Djokovic & Dominic Thiem © Kim Hong-Ji Action Images via Reuters
'NONE of you have the intellectual level': Kyrgios slams Djokovic & Zverev for 'partying like POTATOES', blasts Thiem in Covid row

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 18:23

‘Go to hell in comfort’: Russian Orthodox deacon SLAMS nun for reportedly buying $135k Mercedes-Benz

Par RT

The mother superior of Moscow’s Pokrovsky Convent, will “go to hell,” Russian Orthodox deacon and blogger Andrey Kuraev has said. Although she will do so in style, if media reports are to be believed.

According to numerous Russian news outlets, in 2016 'bride of Christ' Feofania purchased a $135,000 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500 4MATIC.

“Ride, mother, ride,” he wrote on his blog on Monday. “One must go to hell in comfort.” Feofania isn’t the only well-known member of the Russian Orthodox Church to be criticized for the apparent flaunting of wealth. The leader of the faith, Patriarch Kirill, is a regular recipient of abuse for his spending habits, and he has been photographed on multiple occasions wearing expensive luxury watches.

READ MORE: Russian ‘Gucci’ priest causes outrage posting luxury items on Instagram, says sorry for ‘sin’

Feofania has been a nun at the Pokrovsky Convent for 25 years, and in 2018 she received the Order of Merit for the Fatherland from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The medal is handed out to Russians deemed responsible for “outstanding contributions to the state.” In the summer of 2015, she became the head of Moscow’s five-star Pokrovskaya Hotel, built to house pilgrims.

Feofania, Mother Superior of Moscow’s Pokrovsky Convent © Sputnik / Alexey Nikolskiy

In his blog, Kuraev also accused Feofania of refusing to help financially with the treatment of the seven-month-old son of priest Alexey Golubev.

Kuraev himself is no stranger to controversy. In April, Patriarch Kirill forbade Kuraev from serving after he insulted the memory of a deceased archpriest.

Since 2013, Kuraev has written extensively on his blog about the existence of a ‘gay lobby’ inside the church. In the same year, the deacon was fired from the science board of the Moscow Theological Academy in response to his online media presence.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 18:20

'I want to educate myself more': NFL star who posted fake Hitler quote accepts offer to visit Auschwitz

Par RT

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who shared an anti-Semitic post last week, has accepted an invitation from a Holocaust survivor to visit Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz.

The player was embroiled in a scandal after sharing a quote wrongly attributed to Adolf Hitler, claiming that “the white Jews” secretly control the world.

READ MORE: NFL's Washington Redksins to retire name & logo after pressure from sponsors to rebrand

The 33-year-old also praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan – who has been declared to be anti-Semitic by the Southern Poverty Law Center – as a “powerful” figure worthy of educating the “blinded.”

Three-time Pro Bowl pick Jackson had a video call with Edward Mosberg, a survivor of the Holocaust who invited him to visit Nazi Germany’s largest concentration camp, Auschwitz, where more than one million people died.

The player shared a screenshot of his online conversation with Mosberg, 94, who was wearing his concentration camp attire.

I grew up in Los Angeles, and never really spent time with anyone from the Jewish community and didn’t know much about their history; this has been such a powerful experience for me to learn and educate myself,” Jackson said during the call.

I want to take the proper steps to let people know that I never intentionally had any hatred in my heart, I never wanted to put the Jewish community down, I want to educate myself more and help bridge the gaps between all different cultures,” he added.

Jackson, who apologized for his social media post, was disciplined by the Eagles and has been required to take further action to remain on the team.

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DeSean Jackson © Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports via Reuters
'Absolutely APPALLING': Philadelphia Eagles SLAM NFL star who DENIES antisemitism after posting fake HITLER quote on white Jews

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 18:13

UK Home Office handed over £80,000 to neocon lobby group which financed Tory MPs’ US trips – report

Par RT

A London-based neocon lobby group which helped cover costs for Tory politicians’ trips abroad, received tens of thousands of pounds from the UK Home Office to conduct research into Islamist terrorism, according to a new report.

An investigation carried out by Declassified UK and published on Tuesday has revealed that the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) – a right-wing foreign policy think tank – was handed £83,452.32 from the UK Home Office in four payments from 2015 and 2017. The neocon pressure group was given the money to produce a report on UK links to Islamist terrorism.

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The HJS has dished out more than £12,000 mainly to UK Conservative lawmakers since 2013, with Home Secretary Priti Patel and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove being the two highest profile politicians to receive funds, while serving as backbench MPs.

The report’s authors say Patel was given £2,500 by the group in 2013 to pay for her trip to Washington, DC to be a “delegate” at a convention organized by Israel lobby group AIPAC, and attend an HJS “program” in the US Congress.

Gove – who has been closely involved with the HJS over many years – was paid £2,764 by the think tank in 2016 for him and his family to visit New York. According to Declassified UK, the prime purpose of the Tory MP’s trip was to receive an award on behalf of the HJS at the anniversary of the Algemeiner Journal – a right-wing pro-Israel publication – and “attend events organised by the Henry Jackson Society.”

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 Priti Patel  © Alberto Pezzali / Global Look Press
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The Tory also served as one of the group’s directors for six months in 2017, before resigning to take on the post of environment secretary under then-Prime Minister Theresa May.

The HJS is a registered charity under British law, but has continually refused to reveal its funders.

Declassified UK claims that the Home Office blocked the release of new information in the form of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request over the course of nearly a year, citing “safeguarding national security” reasons. The initial information request, made in May 2019, was rejected and only granted in April 2020 after an “internal review” conducted by the Home Office.

Responding to the report, spokesperson for the HJS Sam Armstrong told Declassified UK that the group was “proud” that the British government was "generous enough to make a contribution" after recognizing the “value and integrity” of their research on Islamist terrorism.

The HJS reportedly did not explain when asked why the contract they signed with the UK Home Office had not been publicized at the time.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 17:57

Scientists zoom in on ‘ghost galaxy’ for breakthrough discovery on supermassive black hole formation

Par RT

Researchers investigating how supermassive black holes (SMBH) form have made a major breakthrough using some state of the art kit to zoom in on a nearby galaxy like never before.

The scientific community has long puzzled over how SMBHs form. Are they titans forged at the birth of the universe, with masses millions, if not billions, of times that of our Sun? Or are they merely mature versions of smaller ‘seed’ black holes that have grown so large by consuming everything around them?

To answer this very question, astronomers and astrophysicists have been hunting for the smallest mass SMBH they can find. One research team led by Cardiff University scientists thinks it’s pretty close, having employed a cutting-edge technique that allowed them to zoom in on their target SMBH. 

New and free to view in #MNRAS: Revealing the intermediate-mass black hole at the heart of the dwarf galaxy NGC 404 with sub-parsec resolution ALMA observations by Tim Davis @timdavisastro et al 🌌

— MNRAS & GJI (@RAS_Journals) July 14, 2020

“The SMBH in Mirach’s Ghost appears to have a mass within the range predicted by ‘direct collapse’ models,” said Dr. Tim Davis from Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy. In other words, the SMBHs are titans from the early universe.

“Mirach’s Ghost” is actually a nearby galaxy, so called on account of its proximity to the star Mirach, whose light gives the galaxy an ethereal glow. One of the lowest-mass SMBHs yet discovered, it is located in the heart of a nearby galaxy and has a mass just shy of one million times that of our own star. 

Describing the SMBH as “currently active and swallowing gas,” Davis says that while this isn’t a definitive answer one way or the other, it does strongly suggest that SMBHs formed in the early universe and did not grow from smaller black holes. 

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Planet Nine eclipsing the central Milky Way, with the Sun in the distance, artist's impression. © Wikipedia
Scientists devise new plan to test if mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ is primordial black hole

The current prevailing theory is that there is an SMBH at the heart of nearly all large galaxies in the universe, including our own Milky Way. 

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, along with these cutting edge zoom techniques, which can reveal details only 1.5 light years across in distant galaxies, scientists are gaining a much more detailed picture of the universe around us and how it formed.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 17:47

Washington-Taliban deal enters ‘next phase’ after US troops ‘depart 5 bases’ – envoy

Par RT

The United States has said its deal with the Taliban has entered the “next phase.” Under the agreement signed in February, Washington pledged to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the middle of next year, in return for the insurgents promising to hold negotiations with the Afghan government to end the decades-old war.

Under phase one, the US said it would reduce troops to 8,600 within 135 days, while completely removing forces from five military bases, AFP reported. The US special representative on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, who negotiated the deal, tweeted that both sides had reached a “key milestone.”

“The US has worked hard to carry out 1st phase of its commitments under the agreement, including to reduce troops & depart five bases,” he said on Monday. The US’ approach will now be based on certain conditions, Khalilzad said, citing the completion of prisoner releases, reduction of violence, and the start of and progress in intra-Afghan negotiations.

Separately, the Afghan Red Crescent Society said on Tuesday that the country faces a “catastrophe” as growing coronavirus cases stretch the health infrastructure which is already severely weakened by war.

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 17:47

Greece blasts Turkey’s conversion of Hagia Sophia into mosque as ‘petty’ move by ‘regional troublemaker’

Par RT

Greece has slammed Turkey’s decision to convert the iconic Hagia Sophia back into a mosque as “petty” and urged the European Union to take a tougher stance on Ankara’s plans to drill for gas in contested Mediterranean waters.

Turkey’s move to turn the museum into an active mosque has clearly shown it is “opting to sever links with [the] Western world and its values,” Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Tuesday. Mitsotakis slammed Ankara’s decision as an “unnecessary, petty initiative” and said Greece was considering its response “at all levels.”

The Greek leader also called on Brussels to take strong action against Turkey’s “troublemaking” in the region, pointing specifically to its plans to drill for gas in disputed Mediterranean waters.

Europe should once and for all draft a specific list of actions, and sanctions against a country which seeks to be a regional troublemaker, and which is evolving into a threat to the stability of the whole south-east Mediterranean region.

Last week, a Turkish court ruled that a 1934 decree which converted the Hagia Sophia into a museum was unlawful. Immediately after the ruling, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been a strong proponent of turning it into a mosque, signed a new decree greenlighting the move and said that prayers would begin there in two weeks.

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FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis.
‘Very distressed’: Pope Francis laments conversion of Hagia Sophia into mosque

The cathedral was converted into a mosque back in the 15th century, after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453. After the Ottoman Empire crumbled in the early 20th century, the new Turkey shifted toward secularism and the building was turned into a museum.

Ankara’s decision sparked an overwhelmingly negative reaction in the Christian world, with many, including Pope Francis, condemning the move. The conversion has especially angered Orthodox Christians, who revere the 6th century building as a focal point of their faith.

The EU urged Turkey to reverse its decision, with the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell warning it “will inevitably fuel mistrust, provoke renewed division between religious communities and undermine our efforts at dialog and cooperation.” 

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Turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque will harm Christian-Muslim trust, hit tourism & turn West against Erdogan

Facing the mounting international pressure, Turkey insisted the decision will not be rolled back. Erdogan offered reassurances, however, that non-Muslims would still be able to access the historic site “like all of our other mosques.”

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 17:38

Second coming of coronavirus to kill 120,000 people in UK, twice as many as current one, British scientists warn

Par RT

The death toll from a second wave of Covid-19 could reach 120,000 in the UK, twice as many as the current outbreak has claimed so far, a group of 37 scientists from the British Academy of Medical Sciences warns.

The second wave might hit in winter, during a “normal” flu season, said the group which comprises experts in infectious diseases, public health, statistics, meteorology and primary care.

The virus reproduction rate has now lowered down to 0.8 but is expected to skyrocket up to 1.7 in September, reaching its peak in January and lasting until June.

Winters usually see a sharp increase in diseases such as asthma, heart attacks and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, even in the absence of coronavirus. With the Covid-19 second wave, Britain’s ailing healthcare system – the NHS – might collapse under their combined burden, the experts warn.

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The scientists offered no new remedy to stop the coronavirus spread apart from already implemented ones, such as social distancing, wearing face masks and lockdowns.

The UK government is starting to tighten up anti-coronavirus measures again. Masks have already been made compulsory on public transport in England since mid-June. Starting July 24, a refusal to wear a mask in England’s supermarkets will be subject to hefty fines (£100).

Meanwhile, in Scotland the use of face coverings in shops has been mandatory since July 10. Shoppers in Wales and Northern Ireland are not currently required to wear them. However, in Wales the coverings will be mandatory on public transport from July 27.

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The UK has the highest mortality rate in the world (67.54 on 100,000), followed by the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. As of Monday, there have been more than 290,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 44,915 people have died, the figures show.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 17:17

Belarus banker Babariko jailed in money laundering probe is blocked from running against President Lukashenko in election

Par RT

Belarus’ Central Election Commission has barred businessman Viktor Babariko from running for presidential office. Supporters considered his bid to have the strongest chance of unseating incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko.

The commission voted unanimously not to register Babariko as a candidate for the upcoming election, citing a letter from a state financial watchdog accusing the man of financial crimes.

The watchdog claimed the presidential contender had laundered criminal proceeds and amassed considerable assets, the chair of the commission said, adding that those assets were not disclosed in Babariko’s paperwork. He also used foreign money to fund his campaign, she added.

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FILE PHOTO © Sputnik / Sergey Guneev
Don’t call me ‘mustachioed cockroach,’ Belarus’ Lukashenko urges opposition

Babariko headed Belgazprombank, the Belarus subsidiary of Russia’s financial giant Gazprombank, for two decades before he decided to run for president. At one point he was perceived by the opposition as the strongest challenger in the race, with a realistic chance of beating Lukashenko.

Last month he was arrested and accused of using his bank position to facilitate money laundering and tax evasion and endanger Belarus’ national security. His son Eduard and over a dozen other people were taken into custody as part of the same investigation. The authorities also froze the assets owned by the Babarikos.

The ex-banker said the charges against him were absurd and politically motivated. His campaign filed the paperwork necessary for his registration even as Babariko remained in pretrial detention.

Following the arrests, Lukashenko claimed that his law enforcement agencies had managed to prevent a foreign attempt to orchestrate mass riots timed to coincide with the election. He also rejected a claim popularized by his critics that his actual approval rating was in single digits, and he complained about personal insults being thrown at him.

Lukashenko, currently serving his fifth term as president of Belarus, is one of five candidates who were registered on Tuesday by the Central Election Commission. The poll is scheduled for August 9.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 16:51

‘Room for sanctions’: Top US diplomat for East Asia threatens to respond to Beijing over South China Sea

Par RT

The top US diplomat for East Asia said on Tuesday that Washington could respond with sanctions against Chinese officials and enterprises involved in “coercion in the South China Sea.”

“Nothing is off the table… there is room for that. This is a language the Chinese understand – demonstrative and tangible action,” Reuters quoted David Stilwell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, as telling a Washington think tank. The diplomat was answering a question if sanctions were a possible US response to Chinese actions.

Stilwell spoke a day after the United States rejected China’s claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea as “completely unlawful.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian earlier on Tuesday condemned the US rejection of Beijing’s claim. “It intentionally stirs up controversy over maritime sovereignty claims, destroys regional peace and stability and is an irresponsible act,” he said.

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 16:51

Catalonia orders home confinement in Lleida after Spanish court says the measure is unlawful

Par RT

Catalan authorities approved a resolution on Tuesday to place residents of the city of Lleida and seven nearby towns under home confinement to stem a surge in coronavirus infections. A Spanish judge earlier ruled that the measure is unlawful.

The confinement will come into force on Wednesday and will last 15 days, Catalan regional government spokeswoman Meritxell Budo said.

Residents of Lleida, about 180km (110 miles) west of Barcelona, have been blocked from leaving the area since July 4 amid a surge in coronavirus infections, Reuters reported. Around 160,000 people within the affected area must now return to home confinement except for work and other specific activities.

Less than a month ago, the Spanish government lifted the national lockdown.

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 16:03

China slaps sanctions on US arms maker Lockheed Martin over missile sales to Taiwan

Par RT

Beijing is imposing sanctions on US arms firm Lockheed Martin for its involvement in a missile deal with Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory. The move could further worsen relations between the US and China.

Lockheed Martin is reportedly a major contractor for Washington’s $620 million package to upgrade Taiwan’s Patriot surface-to-air missiles system. The deal was approved last week by the US State Department.

“China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, adding that in response, Beijing is imposing “sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale, Lockheed Martin.”

The spokesman stressed that Washington should “stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut its military ties to Taiwan, so it won’t do further harm to bilateral relations between China and the United States.”

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China previously threatened to sanction US companies, including General Dynamics and Honeywell International, on numerous occasions over arms sales to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Chinese expert on missile technology and nuclear strategy Yang Chengjun told the Global Times that the arms sale is “symbolic, and only gives Taiwan secessionists false courage, rather than boosts its military capabilities.”

Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern over the US’ military support for Taiwan, saying it violates the ‘one-China’ principle, under which Taiwan is inalienable Chinese territory.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 16:31

In search of new citizens: in bid to reverse population decline, Putin signs law simplifying process to obtain Russian passport

Par RT

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a long-awaited law streamlining the process for foreigners to obtain Russian citizenship. The world's largest country hopes to attract up to 10 million migrants by 2025.

According to the new rules, it is now much more straightforward for certain types of foreigners to become Russian.

Foreign citizens who have a Russian parent, are married to a Russian, or have a child with a Russian citizen, can now quickly obtain a passport themselves. The acquisition of Russian nationality has also been streamlined for foreigners who reside permanently in the country.

Read more
© Sputnik / Maxim Blinov
‘High-quality migrants' wanted: Russian Deputy PM says pandemic has given Moscow time to rethink immigration policy

In April, the Russian parliament passed a law allowing foreigners to become Russian citizens without giving up existing passports. Along with the simplified process, Moscow hopes that the updated process for obtaining citizenship will help attract millions of new Russians.

As things stand, like in much of Europe, the natural population of the country is slowly declining. In 2018, the number of Russian nationals fell for the first time in a decade. This trend continued into 2019, as deaths outnumbered births by over 250,000. 

For nationals of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine, as well as former citizens of the USSR, the process has been simplified even further. People in this category no longer need to reside in Russia for three years prior to application. In 2019, Putin implemented an even more straightforward process for residents of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics in eastern Ukraine.

In February, Konstantin Zatulin, a member of the working group responsible for updating Russia's migration law, explained that changing the law would mean “passportizing the diaspora abroad.” 

New e-visas: Russia to liberalize entry for foreigners in 2021, here’s how it will work

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova announced that Russia was looking to change its migration system “in favor of high-quality migration” to attract “very qualified personnel to the country.”

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 16:11

'She is harsh, but this is the way to win': Former skater defends Eteri Tutberidze’s methods of training champions

Par RT

Former skater turned-choreographer Viktor Adonev has spoken out in defense of Russia’s famed coach Eteri Tutberidze, saying she might be tough in training, but she knows how to raise champions.

The coach, who has been working with Tutberidze for several years, described her as a “harsh and demanding” specialist who can find a way to stimulate kids to work harder.

READ MORE: Abusive coach or winner? Why does figure skating supremo Eteri Tutberidze’s dominance trigger such uproar? Or is it envy?

"Some people say that Tutberidze is an awful coach and a tyrant. Well, yes, she is pretty harsh in training, but think this is right. I use similar methods as well," he said.

"Sometimes you need to make kids do something, especially when they fail [to execute elements]. This is the only way to achieve success. If the coach always pats you on the back, you will never succeed."

Adonev, who worked with figure skating champion Evgenia Medvedeva when she was a member of Tutberidze’s team, said that he regretted the skater’s departure, adding that she might have learned how to land quads if she had stayed.

"I was really upset when she left Eteri. It was horrible, I think Tutberidze did everything she could for her," he continued.

"And I’m pretty sure she could have landed quads if she had stayed. I don’t know why she quit Eteri, this is their relationship.”

Tutberidze has become one of the most respected coaches in women’s skating after guiding multiple champions to world (and Olympic) prominence.

She brought revolutionary changes to the sport, raising a quad-jumping generation of skaters who have swept the podiums at all major international events.

Last week, Tutberidze received the "best coach" award from the International Skating Union (ISU) in acknowledgment of her prowess and talent.

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© Sputnik / Alexander Vilf
'Child factory & inhumane culture': Russia’s figure skating system faces lazy stereotypes simply because it’s winning

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 15:44

'My happy place': Recovering Paige VanZant PROMISES fans she will 'TRY AGAIN' despite Dana White's 'free agent' hint after UFC woe

Par RT

UFC bombshell Paige VanZant has told her millions of followers that her "sun will rise" and she will "try again" - but her UFC future is in serious doubt after comments by president Dana White following her defeat to Amanda Ribas.

VanZant lasted less than a round before being submitted by flyweight rival Ribas in the final fight of her current deal at UFC 251, earning a brutal assessment by championship president White that has left the octagon future of one of the most high-profile figures in women's MMA looking uncertain.

The 26-year-old has had a metal plate inserted in a broken arm after breaking it three times in recent years and had been outspoken in speaking of the sacrifices she had made and calling for a pay rise before her swift defeat to Ribas, having previously admitted that she made more money from her celebrity status than she did from her fighting career.

"The sun will rise and we will rise again," VanZant announced as she showed herself relaxing in her "happy place" at the Oregon home she shares with her husband, Bellator fighter Austin Vanderford.

White compared VanZant to UFC heavyweight Curtis Blaydes as an example of a fighter who has demanded more from the UFC without delivering in fights.

“I like Paige,” he began in the post-event press conference.

"When you talk all that stuff, ‘I’m not being paid enough,’ and fighting inconsistently, one time in the last year, injuries, and then got smoked in the first round of the fight, she should definitely test free agency.”

VanZant has won five of her nine UFC contests but is known more widely for appearing on US reality shows including Dancing with the Stars, as well as building an Instagram following of more than 2.6 million through frequent posts that included a series of near-naked portraits with her husband earlier this year.

While supporters, including former UFC strawweight Pearl Gonzalez and Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Sasha Farber, showed their admiration for VanZant, some fans said she should pursue other career options.

"Paige is a talented lady but fighting is not for her," said one.

"There are other things she can do which she can excel at.

"She still got to fight on the big stage. That is life. You try and move on."

Another added: "See you in Bellator."

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UFC star Paige VanZant. © Getty Images / Zuffa LLC
'I made more money on Dancing with Stars than in ALL my fights combined': Paige VanZant eyes free agency as UFC deal nears end

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 15:39

Thailand changes entry rules after new coronavirus cases

Par RT

The government of Thailand tightened regulations for the entry of foreigners on Tuesday. The country has been without confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus for 50 days, but two cases among foreigners this week led to the self-isolation of more than 400 people and fears of a new outbreak.

Those isolated may have been exposed to a crewman of an Egyptian military plane in eastern Rayong province and a 9-year-old girl and family member of a Sudanese diplomat in Bangkok, Reuters said. Both were exempt from the mandatory 14-day state-supervised quarantine required for returnees.

Authorities acknowledged that regulations for diplomats and air crewmen, who were among a few categories of foreigners allowed to enter since March with self-isolation requirements, have been too lax. “This should not [have] happened, I am really sorry that it did and I want to apologize to the public,” PM Prayuth Chan-ocha said.

All diplomats and family members who were previously allowed to self-isolate in their residences must now be quarantined under government supervision. Short-term visits by businessmen and state guests who were allowed to enter as of July 1 have been suspended.

  • 14 juillet 2020 à 13:29

Nokia rolls out 5G software update, means NO need for new masts

Par RT

In a move that could position the company as the frontrunner in the future battle for 5G, Nokia has launched software which allows current mobile operators to upgrade their 4G stations without adding new hardware.

The new software roll-out by the Finnish telecoms company enables current providers to upgrade from 4G to 5G without installing any new masts or hardware. The development, which could prove key in aiding the firm’s fight with Huawei and Ericsson for 5G domination, was announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, the once global leader in mobile technology said the solution will “significantly smooth out the deployment of 5G” and help in “avoiding costly and disruptive site visits.” The software upgrade has been made immediately available for about one million radio stations.

We're proud to announce that by 2021, we will be able to migrate 5 million legacy 4G units to #5G, offering a seamless and cost-effective upgrade to our customers and installed base.

— Nokia (@nokia) July 14, 2020

How does it work? Through a process called “spectrum refarming,” where past frequencies are appropriated for newer technologies. In the past, this has been achieved with both 2G-3G and 3G-4G.

The announcement came hours before UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively blacklisted Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from the country’s 5G network, by banning British firms from buying Huawei 5G components and ordering them to remove any they already have by 2027.

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© REUTERS/Aly Song; ©  REUTERS/Sergio Perez
FCC blacklists Huawei and ZTE as ‘national security threats’

Nokia’s new development could help ease concerns surrounding the technology in the wake of Covid-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, 5G towers in several western countries were subject to arson and sabotage amid unsubstantiated rumors that the technology was in some way responsible for the spread of the coronavirus.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 15:23

Russia’s richest man loses $4.1 billion after major environmental disasters in Siberian Arctic

Par RT

Vladimir Potanin, president of metal giant Norilsk Nickel and Russia's richest man, has seen his fortune reduced by $4.1 billion after two environmental disasters inside the Arctic Circle, according to business magazine Forbes.

On May 29, about 20,000 tons of diesel leaked from a thermal power plant owned by Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company, a Norilsk Nickel subsidiary. The fuel entered into the soil and contaminated reservoirs responsible for supplying the area's residents with clean water.

Following this disaster, on July 12, almost 45 tons of aviation fuel escaped from a pipeline in the same Krasnoyarsk Region. The pipe is owned and operated by Norilsktransgaz – another subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel.

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On July 12, around 45 tonnes of aviation fuel had leaked from a pipeline owned by Norilsktransgaz, a subsidiary of Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel in Tukhard settlement © Sputnik / Press service of the administration of the Taimyr Dolgan-Nenets municipal district
Russia's Arctic region sees second fuel leak in just two months as state of emergency declared

According to Forbes ‘Real Time’ tracker of billionaires' wealth around the world, Potanin's net worth began to fall after a June 4 televised meeting between President Vladimir Putin and regional officials. Overall, due to these environmental incidents, his fortune fell from $26.7 billion to $22.6 billion.

Russia's environmental protection agency, Rosprirodnadzor, expects Norilsk Nickel to pay compensation to the tune of 148 billion rubles ($2 billion) for the May 29 leak. The company has agreed to pay out of its own pocket but has challenged the government's figure. On June 3, Potanin estimated the damage at $150 million.

Despite a $4 billion loss, Potanin is still the richest man in Russia. Behind the Norilsk Nickel president are Leonid Mikhelson, founder of natural gas company Novatek, and Vladimir Lisin, chairman of steel product manufacturer NLMK Group.

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  • 14 juillet 2020 à 15:14