Is the US nudging Britain into dangerous waters with Iran?

The UKs shipping looks vulnerable since it seized a tanker after a US request A chain of events has been triggered that is increasingly exposing the UK diplomatically and militarily in the Gulf. The UK has put British shipping seized Grace 1, an Iranian-owned oil tanker, off the straitgradually reducing its commitments under the deal, in a calibrated effort to force Europe to do more to challenge US policy. Lord Howell, a former Conservative cabinet minister and chairman of the Lords international relations committee, asked his government on Thursday whether it was such a good idea to raid the Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar in the first place. He said: Obviously we want to stop oil getting to President Assad, …

Kim Darroch: Johnson joins defence of press over cables publication

Fellow Tory Michael Fallon had suggested journalists should be subject to Official Secrets Act Boris Johnson has come out in defence of the right of the press to publish leaked diplomatic dispatches sent by the former British ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch, saying it would amount to an infringement on press freedom and have a chilling effect on public debate. Johnson criticised the police over a warning to journalists that they could face prosecution if they publish any further leaked cables. Speaking at a Tory leadership hustings at Wyboston in Bedfordshire, he said that while it was right the perpetrator of the leak was hunted down and prosecuted it was wrong for police to target the media. It …

Harris and Biden campaigns spar over desegregation busing one week after first debate

(CNN)The debate over desegregation busing continues to reverberate in the 2020 Democratic presidential race one week after the first debate. But in the days following her standout moment, Harris and her campaign have struggled to explain her own position on busing to desegregate schools today. And animosity between the two campaigns has spilled out into the open, with top aides to Biden and Harris engaging in a heated back-and-forth on social media over where their respective candidates stand on the issue. The public spat has also reignited debate over busing, which was one of the most controversial aspects of the effort to address segregation in schools. Supporters of busing argued that it was to necessary to correct the damaging legacy …

Big Data Supercharged Gerrymandering. It Could Help Stop It Too

The Supreme Court’s conservative justices ruled Thursday that the highest court doesn’t have the power to address partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which politicians redraw district maps to help their own party win more elections. In two cases, Lamone v. Benisek and Rucho v. Common Cause, the court split along ideological lines 5 to 4. Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote the majority opinion, concluding that “partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” The cases concerned two instances of redistricting, one in North Carolina, where plaintiffs said the map was gerrymandered to favor Republicans, and another in Maryland, where plaintiffs said it was designed to favor Democrats. Justice Roberts agreed that the states’ district …

Hollywood Tried to Save America With a Live Reading of the Mueller Report

On Monday night, a passel of Hollywood A-listers did the most theater geek thing imaginable: They attempted to fix the problems of America by doing a staged reading of a play. The movie stars gathered at the Riverside Church in New York to read an adaptation of special counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and President Trump's possible obstruction of that investigation, written by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Robert Shenkkan. The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts was livestreamed for the world to see. Each act was meant to show an act of obstruction, i.e. Act 1 showed Trump asking the FBI to shut down the investigation into Michael Flynn, Act 2 …

First Democratic debates mark the real start to the 2020 campaign

(CNN)It’s the moment that Democrats have been anticipating since the tearful trauma of Election Night 2016 — when their campaign to make Donald Trump a one-term President really begins. Over the next two nights in Miami, former Vice President Joe Biden will seek to prove his claim that he’s the best equipped Democrat to take on Trump. Sen. Elizabeth Warren can solidify a policy-heavy campaign that is looking increasingly formidable after a rocky start. Sen. Bernie Sanders must show that his “revolution” can make a leap to minority and female voters who spurned him in 2016. More obscure candidates stuck in the pack hope for a breakout moment to distinguish them from a bloated field that threatens to choke their …

Jon Stewarts Incredible Speech to Congress on Behalf of 9/11 First Responders

Jon Stewart delivers one of the most impassioned speeches to Congress ever, over health care for the 9/11 first responders during the hearing for reauthorizing the 9/11 victim compensation fund. This speech was given Tuesday and a House panel passed a bill Wednesday to authorize additional funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund until 2090. The bill now heads to the House floor for the full chamber to vote. You can read more about this story on CNN Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

Top voting machine maker reverses position on election security, promises paper ballots

Voting machine maker ES&S has said it “will no longer sell” paperless voting machines as the primary device for casting ballots in a jurisdiction. ES&S chief executive Tom Burt confirmed the news in an op-ed. TechCrunch understands the decision was made around the time that four senior Democratic lawmakers demanded to know why ES&S, and two other major voting machine makers, were still selling decade-old machines known to contain security flaws. Burt’s op-ed said voting machines “must have physical paper records of votes” to prevent mistakes or tampering that could lead to improperly cast votes. Sen. Ron Wyden introduced a bill a year ago that would mandate voter-verified paper ballots for all election machines. The chief executive also called on …

Inside Jerry Nadler’s private push to open up impeachment inquiry

(CNN)At a frank meeting this week, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler again lobbied to win Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s support for an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. But Nadler met powerful resistance. First was from Pelosi, who said she would rather see Trump “in prison” than impeached, according to Politico. He was also rebuffed by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, who himself is also playing a major role investigating Trump and his conduct while in office, according to another source familiar with the matter. The previously unreported details on Nadler’s pitch to Pelosi offer new insight into the under-the-radar effort by the House Judiciary chairman to try to sway the speaker to reconsider her opposition to launching an impeachment probe. …

Joe Biden’s rift with progressives on display as he skips California Democratic convention

(CNN)The tensions between former Vice President Joe Biden and liberal progressives were on full display this weekend in California, where most of the Democratic Party’s presidential contenders were campaigning. Biden’s leading challengers won those audiences over by using him as a punching bag. They didn’t say Biden’s name, but they made clear references to his campaigning on the notion that Trump’s four years will be treated as an “aberration,” his calls for a return to normalcy in Washington and his prediction that Republicans will have an “epiphany” once Trump leaves the White House. “Some Democrats in Washington believe the only changes we can get are tweaks and nudges. If they dream at all, they dream small,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren …

Co-founder of Facebook now wants it broken up

Really?Image: MANDEL NGAN / AFP / getty Who needs deepfakes when you can just run a video at reduced speed? An edited clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, altered to make it look like she’s slurring her words, is making the rounds online following a Wednesday discussion at a Center for American Progress event.   The news comes by way of the Washington Post, which notes that the only digital trickery required to fool millions of Americans into thinking the Democratic congresswoman was drunk in public was to run the video at 75 percent speed and tweak the pitch.  That’s it. No fancy AI or special video editing skills were needed. If you just let out a heavy sigh, you’re …

US will not ignore China’s behavior in South China Sea, acting defense secretary Shanahan says

Singapore (CNN)The United States can’t fully trust China until Beijing starts playing by the rules. That was the overarching message delivered by acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan at Asia’s premier defense forum Saturday morning in Singapore. Shanahan said that the Indo-Pacific region was the US’s most important theater from a security perspective. “We can’t … continue to look the other way as countries use friendly rhetoric to distract from unfriendly acts,” he said, adding that Washginton had a “deeper and broader” network of allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific than China. Peter Layton, a former Australian military officer and analyst at the Griffith Asia Institute, called Shanahan’s speech “a little disappointing.” “It continues the criticism of China but does …

Donald Trump is like a 20th-century fascist, says Sadiq Khan

London mayor hits out at US president before his state visit to Britain The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has compared the language used by Donald Trump to rally his supporters to that of the fascists of the 20th century in an explosive intervention before the US presidents state visit to London that begins on Monday. Observer, Khan condemned the red-carpet treatment being afforded to Trump who, with his wife Melania, will be a guest of the Queen during his three-day stay, which is expected to provoke massive protests in the capital on Tuesday. Khan said: President Donald Trump is just one of the most egregious examples of a growing global threat. The far right is on the rise around …

Facial recognition coming to U.S. airports by 2021

A congressional hearing on the dangers of facial recognition technology brought Republicans and Democrats together on Wednesday.Image: Valentin Wolf/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock The first in a series of congressional hearings on facial recognition technology took place on Wednesday, and it brought about a rare occurrence in Washington: agreement between Democrats and Republicans. The House Oversight Committee’s hearing was focused on the impact facial recognition has had on civil rights and liberties from its use among law enforcement. A panel of experts, including face recognition researchers, legal professionals, and former law enforcement, spoke of the threat of mass surveillance. The panel was nearly in full agreement that the use of facial recognition technology in the field must be halted immediately. “At a minimum, Congress …

Man got past Secret Service and entered Mar-a-Lago during Trump’s Thanksgiving trip

Washington (CNN)A young man entered a restricted area of Mar-a-Lago through a tunnel and wandered around before being apprehended during President Donald Trump’s Thanksgiving holiday at his Florida property. The Palm Beach Post, which first reported Tuesday’s plea, wrote that Lindblom is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Court documents say Lindblom was born in 2000. Lindblom’s Mar-a-Lago breach came months before Yujing Zhang was charged with making false statements to a federal officer and entering a restricted area at the Florida club. According to the criminal complaint against Zhang, she allegedly lied her way through security at Mar-a-Lago and breached a “protective zone.” Zhang, a Chinese woman who tried to enter the property when the President was not …

The feds now own a condo in Trump Tower, thanks to Paul Manafort

Washington (CNN)The federal government now owns condo 43G in Trump Tower because of the Mueller investigation, a judge certified Thursday. Manafort bought the 1,500-square foot, 2-bed, 2.5-bath Fifth Avenue condo more than a decade ago for $3.675 million through a shell company that hid his riches from US authorities. He used it as a home base for years when he traveled to New York and when he led the Trump campaign. His residence there was even part of Manafort’s pitch to Trump to hire him in 2016, according to The New York Times. In 2015, Manafort and his wife mortgaged it for $3 million, when his long-successful Ukrainian lobbying business dried up. He had paid off none of the mortgage, …