News & LinksThu, 22 Feb 2018, Trump aides say U.S. forces can legally stay in Syria, Iraq indefinitely
New York University has issued a public apology and fired their director of food service after students pointed out the watermelon-flavoured water and collard greens the school was serving during Black History Month were racially insensitive. College of Arts and Science sophomore Nia Harris noticed the offensive meal when she walked into Weinstein Passport Dining Hall - before alerting the deans of the school and NYU’s President Hamilton of the insensitive and “stereotypical” meal. “Not only was this racially insensitive, this was just ignorant.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Crews who are helping restore power in Puerto Rico as part of a $750 million federal contract will leave the U.S. territory soon as nearly a quarter of a million customers remain in the dark more than five months after Hurricane Maria, officials said Wednesday.
A fourth fortune hunter has died in the pursuit of a treasure chest containing more than $1 million worth of gold coins and jewels which is reputedly hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Jeff Murphy, 53, perished in June but the details of his death were only revealed eight months later. He was looking for Fenn's Treasure and died after going hiking up a trail within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park, and falling 500ft down a rocky slope. Fenn's Treasure is said to have been deposited in 2010 by Forrest Fenn, an eccentric, octogenarian millionaire art dealer and former Vietnam fighter pilot. Mr Fenn, who is still alive, has said he set the task of finding it in order to encourage people to "get off the couch" and see nature. According to him the bounty is inside a 22lb Romanesque bronze chest and includes 265 gold coins, diamonds, emeralds and ancient Chinese figurines. He published a 24-line poem which contains the clues to locating it. Jeff Murphy, 53, perished in June but the details of his death were only revealed eight months later. Over the last eight years tens of thousands of people are believed to have searched for the loot, mostly in New Mexico where clues have pointed. However, Mr Murphy, a vice president of the International Housewares Association, had headed for the Wyoming-Montana border area. When he went missing a huge search operation was launched including rescuers on horseback, others with dogs, and a helicopter. Erica Murphy, his widow, said he had first read about Fenn's Treasure in an airplane magazine. He then read Mr Fenn’s book The Thrill of the Chase, which contains the full 24-line poem. The poem includes lines like "Begin it where warm waters halt. And take it in the canyon down". Mrs Murphy told the Albuquerque Journal: "It was his pastime. He loved anything that caused him to use his brain, and he loved being out in nature." The death was expected to lead to renewed calls to end the controversial treasure hunt. But Mrs Murphy said she did not blame Mr Fenn, and her husband knew the risks. She said he "would not have wanted to hinder" others from searching. As rescuers looked for her husband Mrs Murphy emailed Mr Fenn to say: "I hope your quest won't be adversely affected by these current events." According to a report by Yellowstone National Park into his death Mr Murphy had also emailed Mr Fenn before setting out. When he went missing Mr Fenn then offered to pay for a helicopter to look for him. Mr Fenn also said he had never been to the area where Mr Murphy was searching, so he was looking in the wrong place. Last summer, fortune hunter Paris Wallace, 52, a pastor from Colorado was found dead north of Santa Fe, New Mexico after trying to traverse a river. Separately, Eric Ashby, 31 died after his raft overturned on the Arkansas River. In 2016, Randy Bilyeu, 54, died on the Rio Grande while looking for the treasure. His former wife Linda Bilyeu has called the hunt "madness". Mr Fenn has previously indicated the treasure is hidden somewhere not hard to reach and that, even at his advanced age, he could himself go back to the spot. Supporters of the treasure hunt have argued that it has achieved its aim of getting Americans into the Great Outdoors, and has led to people meeting spouses and parents bonding with their children.
Too often, Mitt Romney has treated principled rhetoric like a stretchy suit he can change into in a phone booth, then throw into a trash can when no one's looking. But if he wins a Utah Senate seat, he could become something he's never managed to be: the most influential figure in the GOP outside of the White House.
The head of the National Rifle Association denounced lawmakers and the media on Thursday for renewing the debate over U.S. gun laws in the wake of last week’s deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school.
Wed, 21 Feb 2018, Self-Proclaimed Polygamist Prophet Pleads Guilty to Child Rape After Police Discover 4 Girls in Raid
A wild elephant Thursday trampled to death two people, including a child, as it rampaged through a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, officials said. The incident occurred at the massive Kutupalong camp in the southeastern border district of Cox's Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have taken refuge after fleeing what UN officials have called ethnic cleansing in Myanmar's Rakhine state. "The wild elephant trampled a Rohingya child to death... and then trampled another Bangladeshi man to death when it was chased by Rohingya refugees and local villagers," Ali Kabir, the district forest department chief, told AFP.
The United States urged Albania on Wednesday to avoid "careless language" after its prime minister suggested a single president and single security policy for both his country and neighboring Kosovo in a speech that infuriated Serbia. Serbia is sensitive to any talk of unification of its former province of Kosovo, which has a majority ethnic Albanian population, and Albania. Addressing Kosovo's parliament on Sunday on the 10th anniversary of the country's independence from Belgrade, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said: "Kosovo and Albania will have a single foreign policy and not just the same embassies and diplomatic representations, but why not one president, a symbol of national unity, and one national security policy." Rama later complained that his comments had been taken out of context, but the European Union said they were "not helpful" and Serbia accused the Albanian premier of seeking to build a "Greater Albania" in the region.
The Trump administration should publicly warn Russia and Iran that the United States will respond forcefully to future threats in Syria. The February 10 military clash between Iran and Israel ushered in a new phase of the Syrian war. Iran for the first time challenged Israel directly instead of attacking indirectly through surrogates, such as Hezbollah.
Student survivors and others trying to drive reform in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have passionately denounced the National Rifle Association.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The wife of a former Kentucky Republican lawmaker who killed himself last year after facing sexual assault allegations has lost her attempt to fill the remainder of her husband's term in a special election that ended up being a referendum of sorts on the #metoo movement.
Police in California found a stash of weapons in the house of a teenage student who had threatened to shoot up his school, the Los Angeles County sheriff's department said Wednesday. Sheriff Jim McDonnell said police had arrested the 17-year-old student, who made the threat during an argument with a teacher on Friday, two days after a teenager killed 17 people in a gun rampage at a school in Florida. Police also found two handguns and 90 high-capacity ammunition magazines, the sheriff said.
A video peddling a conspiracy theory that Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg is an actor reached No. 1 on YouTube’s trending page Wednesday morning before the company ultimately removed it.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Americans injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem cannot seize ancient Persian artifacts from a Chicago museum to satisfy a $71.5 million court judgment against Iran, which they had accused of complicity in the attack. The justices, in an 8-0 ruling, upheld a lower court's decision in favor of Iran that had prevented the plaintiffs from collecting on the judgment, which Tehran has not paid, by obtaining antiquities held at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute.
The 17-year-old, who became the youngest gold medalist in the snowboard halfpipe event, is the focus of the magazine’s cover story. “Wherever you went in PyeongChang, you found an extraordinarily young gold medalist.
The Democrats have emphatically won a state House seat in a Kentucky district where Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 49 points in 2016. Linda Belcher’s victory in Bullitt County, where she polled more than two-thirds of the vote, is thought to be the Democrats’ 37th gain since the presidential election and is the latest sign of the party’s momentum ahead of pivotal midterms later this year. Rebecca Johnson had denied the accusations against husband Dan Johnson, claiming he was a victim of “an assault from the left.” However, they were backed up by an on-the-record interview from the victim, plus pages of police documents that were published by the Kentucky Centre for Investigative Reporting.
Human Rights Watch called on Kuwait to agree to greater protection for migrant workers as a Philippine delegation was due in the emirate Thursday to discuss an outcry over alleged abuses of Filipinos. President Rodrigo Duterte imposed the ban in response to the murder of a Filipina maid whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait earlier this month.
Fri, 23 Feb 2018, Grand Canyon crash that killed Britons happened on tribal land with fewer aviation regulations
Investigators are continuing to probe what caused a helicopter to plunge into the Grand Canyon as it emerged that the crash happened on tribal land where air tours are not as highly regulated as those inside the national park itself. Three British tourists died when the helicopter went down early February. They were in Las Vegas to celebrate a birthday and took a helicopter sightseeing tour on the Hualapai reservation. Becky Dobson, 27, her boyfriend Stuart Hill, 30, and his brother, Jason Hill, 32-year-old lawyer died. Three friends and the pilot are in hospital where investigators want to interview them about what went wrong. Unlike the national park, air tours on the Hualapai reservation are not subject to federal regulations that restrict routes, impose curfews and cap the amount of flights over the Grand Canyon each year. The Federal Aviation Administration granted the Hualapai Tribe an exemption 18 years ago after finding that the regulations would harm the tribe's economy where tourism is a major driver. Most of the flights over the reservation originate from Las Vegas, and air tour operators aggressively market them. The pilots can fly between canyon walls and land at the bottom next to the Colorado River on the reservation, which isn't allowed at the park other than for emergency operations. Quartermaster Canyon locator The National Transportation Safety board says it can't say with any certainty yet what caused Saturday's crash. Gary Robb, an attorney who has represented crash victims for almost 40 years, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal it may take investigators as long as nine months to establish the cause of Saturday’s crash. “It’s too early to speculate, but early indications suggest that perhaps heavy gusts could have been a factor that drove the aircraft to strike a wall of the canyon,” he said. “The other possibility is some sort of in-flight mechanical issue, including an engine problem or main rotor blade fracture or defect. Stuart Hill and Becky Dobson died when a helicopter crashed in the Grand Canyon on Saturday Credit: facebook “You also cannot rule out human error, whether it be some sort of pilot incapacitation or neglect.” Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters said it is co-operating with the investigation and that it abides by flight safety rules and regulations that exceed those required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Saturday’s crash was its fourth fatal accident in the past 20 years, claiming eight lives.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge sentenced a former Arkansas judge Wednesday to five years in prison — a stiffer punishment than prosecutors recommended — after he admitted giving young male defendants lighter sentences in return for personal benefits that included sexual favors.
By Ellen Francis and Ece Toksabay BEIRUT/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey warned on Wednesday that pro-Damascus forces would face "serious consequences" for entering Syria's Afrin region to help Kurdish fighters repel a Turkish offensive. The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said Turkish planes bombed a town in Afrin and fighting raged on the ground on Wednesday.
A Sports Illustrated report detailing widespread workplace sexual misconduct in the Dallas Mavericks organization that involved its former CEO is sending shock waves through the league and drawing sharp criticism.
Immigrants become American citizens during a naturalization ceremony. The government agency in charge of granting citizenship to prospective Americans has removed a passage from its mission statement that describes the United States as a nation of immigrants. The move by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency was first revealed via an email shared with the Intercept, confirmed by the Guardian Thursday.
Emergency teams on Wednesday began recovering bodies from a plane crash in Iran's Zagros mountains but the operation had to be suspended due to bad weather, officials said. Search helicopters located the crash site after a break in the weather on Tuesday at a height of around 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) in the Dena range. Helicopters were unable to land but officials said a recovery operation had begun on Wednesday, with emergency personnel carrying bodies on their backs to a road at the foot of the mountain.
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been charged with an administrative offence that could put him in jail when Vladimir Putin stands for re-election on March 18. Mr Navalny said on Twitter on Thursday afternoon that police had taken him into custody as he was coming out of a dentist's office. He posted a photograph of himself in a van with police officers. He later tweeted that he had been charged with illegally organising a public demonstration, an administrative violation that carries a potential 30-day jail sentence for repeat offenders like Mr Navalny, and released. Moscow police said in a statement that they detained Mr Navalny to inform him of the allegations against him, as he had not responded to a previous request to appear. The anti-corruption activist has been holding campaign rallies and protests around Russia over the past year, but was barred in December from running against Vladimir Putin in the election due to a politicised embezzlement conviction against him. Since then, he has been calling for a voter boycott on March 18. Although Mr Putin is expected to easily win given his stable popularity, the Kremlin fears an embarrassingly low turnout for the dull election. Vladimir Putin announces he will run for re-election at a car factory in December Credit: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images Mr Navalny was detained at a electoral boycott rally on January 28, but police later released him without charges. He has said this was so he could be detained again closer to the election, since the kind of administrative arrest he has been sentenced to in the past can only last 30 days. “If they would jail me on 28 January, I would walk free on 28 February. But Putin wants me to be isolated right before the election, and preferably during the election,” he said. Alexei Navalny is detained at a 28 January rally calling for an election boycott Credit: Evgeny Feldman/AP Earlier this month, investigators questioned Mr Navalny about allegedly kicking one of the police officers who were filmed tackling him to the ground at the January 28 protest. Mr Navalny's campaign manager Leonid Volkov was detained in a Moscow airport on Thursday morning on his way to speak at a Navalny headquarters in the city of Ufa. He faces similar charges of illegally organising a demonstration, Moscow police said on Thursday.
The UN Security Council will vote Friday on a draft resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire in Syria to allow for humanitarian aid and medical evacuations. A slightly amended text was circulated to council members late Thursday but it was unclear whether Russia would support the measure which has been under negotiations for two weeks. Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told a council meeting on Thursday that there was "no agreement" on a truce and presented a new raft of amendments.
While Florida's lawmakers refuse to consider banning assault weapons following the Parkland school shooting, some local politicians say they want to act. Florida’s statute gives the state sole authority to regulate firearms. Towns, cities and counties have been banned from making their own gun laws since the 1987, but it was only seven years ago that the state’s Republican-controlled House introduced the threat of penalties.
Thu, 22 Feb 2018, Oprah Surprised Tiffany Haddish, Who Responded Like Any Mere Mortal Would