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  • The Kurds Served as America???s Ground Troops in the War Against ISIS
    October 12, 2019

    The Kurds Served as America???s Ground Troops in the War Against ISISAnd Washington's betrayal of them is quite cruel.


  • The Latest: Typhoon leaves up to 33 dead in Japan
    October 13, 2019

    The Latest: Typhoon leaves up to 33 dead in JapanRescuers in Japan are continuing to help people in the aftermath of a ferocious typhoon, as the death toll from the storm climbed to as high as 33. The government's Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which tends to be conservative in its counts, said late Sunday that 14 people died and 11 were missing as a result of Typhoon Hagibis, while 187 suffered injuries. Japan's Kyodo News agency said 33 people died and 19 were missing.


  • Harry Dunn: US woman allegedly involved in crash does not have diplomatic immunity, says Foreign Office
    October 12, 2019

    Harry Dunn: US woman allegedly involved in crash does not have diplomatic immunity, says Foreign OfficeThe US diplomat???s wife allegedly involved in a crash which killed a teenager does not have diplomatic immunity, the Foreign Office has said.A letter, that appears to have been sent by foreign secretary Dominic Raab to Harry Dunn???s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, says: ???The question remains when such immunity comes to an end, regardless of any waiver.


  • How Democrats might go after Vice President Pence if he doesn't meet document deadline
    October 14, 2019

    How Democrats might go after Vice President Pence if he doesn't meet document deadlineWhat happens to Vice President Mike Pence if he doesn't meet Tuesday's deadline to give Democrats documents for their impeachment inquiry?


  • Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still down
    October 14, 2019

    Mobile phones back in Indian Kashmir, but internet still downMobile phone networks were restored in Indian Kashmir on Monday after a 72-day blackout, authorities said, but the internet remains off-limits to the region's seven million-plus people. India cut access to mobile networks in the restive Kashmir Valley in early August citing security concerns as it scrapped the region's semi-autonomous status and imposed a lockdown. The easing on Monday covers around four million post-paid mobile phone contracts, but only for calls and text messages.


  • View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT
    October 14, 2019

    View Photos of Our Sports Sedan Battle Between the Dodge Charger and Kia Stinger GT


  • Caravan of 2,000 migrants detained in southern Mexico
    October 13, 2019

    Caravan of 2,000 migrants detained in southern MexicoMexican officials broke up a caravan of around 2,000 migrants that had set out from southern Mexico Saturday in the hopes of reaching the United States, amid increasing difficulty obtaining permission to pass through Mexico. Many of the migrants who departed from Tapachula, Chiapas early in the morning had been held up in this city just north of Guatemala for weeks or months, awaiting residency or transit papers from Mexican authorities. "I want to pass through Mexico, I don't want to live here," said Amado Ramirez, a migrant from Honduras who said he had been living on the streets of Tapachula with his young children and wife, hoping for a transit visa from Mexican officials.


  • British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prison
    October 14, 2019

    British paedophile who operated in Malaysia, Cambodia found dead in prisonOne of Britain's most prolific child sex offenders, Richard Huckle, has died three years into a life sentence for abusing Malaysian and Cambodian children, Britain's Ministry of Justice said on Monday, with media saying he had been stabbed to death. Huckle, 33, who abused children and babies during a nine year period, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to 71 offences. Dubbed the country's worst paedophile by Britain's media, he was found stabbed to death in prison on Sunday after being attacked with a makeshift knife, the BBC reported.


  • USS Ford Will Set Sail With Only 2 Out of 11 Weapon Elevators
    October 12, 2019

    USS Ford Will Set Sail With Only 2 Out of 11 Weapon ElevatorsAfter years of work, the ship still isn't 100 percent fixed.


  • Hong Kong Police Say They Found Improvised Explosive Device
    October 14, 2019

    Hong Kong Police Say They Found Improvised Explosive Device(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police said a radio-controlled improvised explosive device was detonated near a police car on Sunday evening, the first time one has been used during months of unrest.The device was set off in Mong Kok in Kowloon about 10 meters (33 feet) away from a police car that had come to the scene to clear barricades, Suryanto Chin-chiu, superintendent of the explosive ordinance disposal bureau, told reporters on Monday. No injuries were sustained because no one was close enough to the device when it was detonated, he said.The aim of the bomb was to ???kill and seriously harm police officers at the scene,??? Suryanto said. The bomb appeared homemade but it ???required a certain level of chemical knowledge,??? he said, adding that police had no suspects yet.The use of explosives marks a significant escalation in pro-democracy protests that started out peacefully in June, with hundreds of thousands of residents marching in the streets in opposition to a bill that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. While the bill has since been withdrawn, the protests have become increasingly violent -- particularly since Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam invoked a colonial-era emergency law earlier this month to ban protesters from wearing face masks.In recent weeks, protesters have set fires near police stations, hurled makeshift petrol bombs at riot police, and bashed in glass kiosks at train stations and storefronts tied to mainland Chinese businesses. A Hong Kong police officer was slashed in the neck by a protester in a subway station on Sunday and remains in the intensive care unit, police said on Monday.To disperse large crowds of demonstrators, the Hong Kong police force has used tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons and rubber bullets. Two teenagers were also shot this month during protester clashes with police.The city???s rail operator has begun to shut their operations early, while restaurants, grocery stores, and malls have also closed their doors early too.???Feeling Desperate???Thousands of protesters gathered on Monday evening in the city???s central district in a police-sanctioned rally in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, proposed U.S. legislation aimed at reviewing the city???s special trading status and potentially sanctioning some Chinese officials. One of the bill???s sponsors, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, was in Hong Kong the past few days and met with pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong.The crowd of black-shirted protests wore face masks in defiance of the city???s mask ban and waved American flags, with some holding signs appealing to U.S. Congress and the American people for their support.The Hong Kong government is ???trying to keep people from coming out, but we won???t surrender,??? said Mok, a 23-year-old fine arts student who declined to give his first name. ???We want to let the world know that we will keep coming out and protesting until the Hong Kong government takes some action on our demands.???He said he was a peaceful protester but that he supported the violent actions of other demonstrators, including the home-made explosive detonated over the weekend.???People are feeling desperate about the situation,??? he said. ???What led to that explosive wasn???t terrorists targeting innocent people but desperate people just responding to the police violence.???(Updates with Monday protest from eighth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.net;Shawna Kwan in Hong Kong at wkwan35@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Brendan Scott, Ben SharplesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com??2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • BEHOLD: Is China's DF-26 Missile a Real Threat to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers?
    October 12, 2019

    BEHOLD: Is China's DF-26 Missile a Real Threat to U.S. Navy Aircraft Carriers?Will Beijing's strategy work?


  • Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling 'Ashamed,' and Kurdish Allies Describing 'Betrayal'
    October 14, 2019

    Pullback Leaves Green Berets Feeling 'Ashamed,' and Kurdish Allies Describing 'Betrayal'WASHINGTON -- U.S. commandos were working alongside Kurdish forces at an outpost in eastern Syria last year when they were attacked by columns of Syrian government tanks and hundreds of troops, including Russian mercenaries. In the next hours, the Americans threw the Pentagon's arsenal at them, including B-52 strategic bombers. The attack was stopped.That operation, in the middle of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Syria, showed the extent to which the U.S. military was willing to protect the Syrian Kurds, its main ally on the ground.But now, with the White House revoking protection for these Kurdish fighters, some of the Special Forces officers who battled alongside the Kurds say they feel deep remorse at orders to abandon their allies."They trusted us and we broke that trust," one Army officer who has worked alongside the Kurds in northern Syria said last week in a telephone interview. "It's a stain on the American conscience.""I'm ashamed," said another officer who had also served in northern Syria. Both officers spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid reprisals from their chains of command.And the response from the Kurds themselves was just as stark. "The worst thing in military logic and comrades in the trench is betrayal," said Shervan Darwish, an official allied with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.The next flurry of orders from Washington, as some troops had feared, will pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria altogether. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had ordered the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops in the country's northeast to conduct a "deliberate withdrawal" out of the country in the coming days and weeks.The defense secretary's statement came after comments Friday pushing back on complaints that the United States was betraying allies in Syria -- "We have not abandoned the Kurds" -- even as he acknowledged that his Turkish counterpart had ignored his plea to stop the offensive.Army Special Forces soldiers -- mostly members of the 3rd Special Forces Group -- moved last week to consolidate their positions in the confines of their outposts miles away from the Syrian border, a quiet withdrawal that all but confirmed the United States' capitulation to the Turkish military's offensive to clear Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.But as the Americans pulled back, the Kurds moved north to try to reinforce their comrades fighting the offensive. The U.S. soldiers could only watch from their sandbag-lined walls. Orders from Washington were simple: Hands off. Let the Kurds fight for themselves.The orders contradicted the U.S. military's strategy in Syria over the last four years, especially when it came to the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, who were integral to routing the Islamic State group from northeastern Syria. The Kurds had fought in Manbij, Raqqa and deep into the Euphrates River Valley, hunting the last Islamic State fighters in the group's now defunct physical caliphate. But the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as the Kurdish and their allied Arab fighters on the ground are called, are being left behind.U.S. Special Forces and other troops had built close ties with their Kurdish allies, living on the same dusty compounds, sharing meals and common dangers. They fought side by side, and helped evacuate Kurdish dead and wounded from the battlefield."When they mourn, we mourn with them," Gen. Joseph L. Votel, a former head of the military's Central Command, said Thursday at the Middle East Institute.The Kurdish forces and U.S. military have survived previous strains, including Trump's sudden decision in December to withdraw all U.S. troops from northern Syria, a decision that was later walked back somewhat.This time may be different, and irreversible. "It would seem at this particular point, we've made it very, very hard for them to have a partnership relationship with us because of this recent policy decision," Votel said.As part of security measures the United States brokered to tamp down tensions with Turkish troops, Kurdish forces agreed to pull back from the border, destroy fortifications and return some heavy weapons -- steps meant to show that they posed no threat to Turkish territory, but that later made them more vulnerable when Turkey launched its offensive.Special Forces officers described another recent operation with Kurds that underscored the tenacity of the group. The Americans and the Kurdish troops were searching for a low-level Islamic State leader in northern Syria. It was a difficult mission and unlikely they would find the commander.From his operations center, one U.S. officer watched the Kurds work alongside the Americans on the ground in an almost indistinguishable symmetry. They captured the Islamic State fighter."The SDF's elite counterterrorism units are hardened veterans of the war against ISIS whom the U.S. has seen in action and trust completely," said Nicholas A. Heras, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security, who visited the SDF in July to advise them on the Islamic State group, or ISIS.During the battle against ISIS, coordination between the U.S. military and the Syrian Democratic Forces has extended from the highest levels to rank-and-file fighters, according to multiple interviews with SDF fighters and commanders in Syria over the course of the campaign.SDF commanders worked side by side with U.S. military officers in a joint command center in a defunct cement factory near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, where they discussed strategy and planned future operations.The battle of Kobani that began in 2014 gave birth to the United States' ties to the Kurds in northeastern Syria. ISIS fighters, armed with heavy American-made artillery captured from retreating Iraqi army units, surrounded Kobani, a Kurdish city, and entered parts of it.Despite the Obama administration's initial reluctance to offer help, the United States carried out airstrikes against advancing ISIS militants, and its military aircraft dropped ammunition, small arms and medical supplies to replenish the Kurdish combatants.That aid helped turn the tide, the Kurds defeated ISIS, and U.S. commanders realized they had discovered a valuable ally in the fight against the terrorist group.Thousands of SDF fighters received training from the United States in battlefield tactics, reconnaissance and first aid. Reconnaissance teams learned to identify Islamic State locations and transmit them to the command center for the U.S.-led military coalition to plan airstrikes.Visitors to front-line SDF positions often saw Syrian officers with iPads and laptops they used to communicate information to their U.S. colleagues."For the last two years, the coordination was pretty deep," said Mutlu Civiroglu, a Washington-based Kurdish affairs analyst who has spent time in northeastern Syria. "The mutual trust was very high, the mutual confidence, because this collaboration brought enormous results.""They completed each other," he said of the SDF and U.S.-led coalition. "The coalition didn't have boots on the ground, and fighters didn't have air support, so they needed each other."That coordination was critical in many of the big battles against the Islamic State group.To open the battle in one town, SDF fighters were deposited by coalition aircraft behind the Islamic State group's lines. At the start of another battle, U.S. Special Operations forces helped the SDF plot and execute an attack across the Euphrates River.Even after the Islamic State group had lost most of its territory, the United States trained counterterrorism units to do tactical raids on ISIS hideouts and provided them with intelligence needed to plan them.Even in territory far from the front lines with the Islamic State, SDF vehicles often drove before and after U.S. convoys through Syrian towns and SDF fighters provided perimeter security at facilities where U.S. personnel were based.The torturous part of America's on-again, off-again alliance with the Kurds -- one in which the United States has routinely armed the Kurds to fight various regimes it viewed as adversaries -- emerged in 1974, as the Kurds were rebelling against Iraq. Iran and the United States were allies, and the Shah of Iran and Henry Kissinger encouraged the Kurdish rebellion against the Iraqi government. CIA agents were sent to the Iraq-Iran border to help the Kurds.The Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani did not trust the Shah of Iran, but believed Kissinger when he said that the Kurds would receive help from the Americans.But a year later, the Shah of Iran made a deal with Saddam Hussein on the sidelines of an OPEC meeting: In return for some territorial adjustments along the Iran-Iraq border, the shah agreed to stop support for the Kurds.Kissinger signed off on the plan, the Iraqi military slaughtered thousands of Kurds and the United States stood by. When questioned, Kissinger delivered his now famous explanation: "Covert action," he said, "should not be confused with missionary work."In the fight against ISIS in Syria, Kurdish fighters followed their hard-fought triumph in Kobani by liberating other Kurdish towns. Then the Americans asked their newfound Kurdish allies to go into Arab areas, team up with local militias and reclaim those areas from the Islamic State group.The U.S. military implored the SDF to fight in the Arab areas, and so they advanced, seizing Raqqa and Deir el-Zour, winning but suffering large numbers of casualties.The American-Kurdish military alliance against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq "began with us helping them," said Peter W. Galbraith, the former U.S. diplomat who has for years also been a senior adviser to the Kurds in both Syria and Iraq. "But by the end, it was them helping us. They are the ones who recovered the territory that ISIS had taken."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


  • Climate change group recommends banning all frequent flyer reward programs to cut carbon emissions by targeting jet-setters
    October 14, 2019

    Climate change group recommends banning all frequent flyer reward programs to cut carbon emissions by targeting jet-settersThe Committee on Climate Change says that just 15% of the entire British population take 70% of all flights from the country.


  • Violent parody video shown at Trump resort, New York Times reports
    October 14, 2019

    Violent parody video shown at Trump resort, New York Times reportsA graphically violent parody video, shown at a meeting of President Trump's supporters at his Miami resort, depicted a likeness of the president shooting and stabbing his opponents and members of the news media in a church, the New York Times reported Sunday.


  • Kurds Ally with Assad???s Forces as Turks Advance into Syria
    October 14, 2019

    Kurds Ally with Assad???s Forces as Turks Advance into SyriaThe Syrian Democratic Forces struck a deal on Sunday with president Bashar al-Assad's government to allow Syrian troops to reenter the northeast region of the country for the first time in years, following a withdrawal of U.S. troops and subsequent Turkish invasion of the area.SDF commander Mazloum Abdi outlined his reasoning for making the alliance in an article in??Foreign Policy, writing that his forces cannot repel the Turkish military without the aid of allies, and that in the absence of American help his organization would be forced to ally itself with the Syrians and the Russians.???We know that we would have to make painful compromises with Moscow and Bashar al-Assad if we go down the road of working with them,??? wrote Abdi. ???But if we have to choose between compromises and the genocide of our people, we will surely choose life for our people.???The U.S. presence in the region has for years prevented Syria- and Russia-backed militias from gaining control over the area. Kurdish groups had allied themselves with U.S. forces to combat ISIS following the latter's emergence during the Syrian civil war.The Syrian army quickly moved to take over certain towns including Tel Amer, the site of a previous battle between Kurdish and ISIS forces."I???m here to kick out the Turkish mercenaries," said one Syrian soldier quoted on Syrian state TV.President Trump announced on October 7 that he would be withdrawing U.S. troops from the Syrian-Turkish border in anticipation of a Turkish invasion of the area. Turkey plans to resettle 3.6 million Syrian refugees in the region once the conquest is complete, while it is also fighting Kurdish groups that it deems terrorist organizations.


  • South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her home
    October 14, 2019

    South Korean pop star Sulli found dead at her homeSouth Korean pop star and actress Sulli was found dead at her home south of Seoul on Monday, police said. The 25-year-old was found after her manager went to her home in Seongnam because she didn't answer phone calls for hours, said Kim Seong-tae, an official from the Seongnam Sujeong Police Department. "The investigation is ongoing and we won't make presumptions about the cause of death," said Kim, adding that security camera footage at Sulli's home showed no signs of an intrusion.


  • Son of sheriff who called immigrants ???drunks??? at White House event arrested for public intoxication
    October 14, 2019

    Son of sheriff who called immigrants ???drunks??? at White House event arrested for public intoxicationThe son of a Texas sheriff who used a White House press conference to describe immigrant offenders as ???drunks??? likely to repeatedly break the law has been arrested for public intoxication.Sergei Waybourn, 24, faces a count of indecent exposure as well as public drunkenness just days after his father, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, was criticised for the comments.


  • Norwegian Cruise Line passengers demand refunds after ship skips several scheduled stops
    October 12, 2019

    Norwegian Cruise Line passengers demand refunds after ship skips several scheduled stopsNorwegian Cruise Line passengers voiced their anger after disembarking from the ship Friday after several??port stops were canceled due to weather.


  • Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targeted
    October 12, 2019

    Hong Kong protesters and police clash, metro and shops targetedRallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. Police said protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs at police, with one setting a police van alight in Kowloon's Sha Tin district. Police made several arrests and used tear gas to disperse protesters, saying they used "minimum force".


  • A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken Seriously
    October 13, 2019

    A Real Threat: Why Russia's Air Force Should Be Taken SeriouslyAnd why countries love to buy them.


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