NBA Top 10 Plays of the Night | November 16, 2019

NBA Top 10 Plays of the Night | November 16, 2019

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Walmart where man killed 22 reopens amid increased security
By CEDAR ATTANASIO | Thu, November 14, 2019 07:32 EST
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — About 50 shoppers lined up early Thursday ahead of the reopening of a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that had been closed since August, when a gunman police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire in the store and killed 22 people.
On the day of the attack, Walmart didn’t have a security guard on duty. But as the doors opened to the public for the first time in three months and shoppers streamed into the renovated space, they passed dozens of sheriff’s deputies, security guards and store employees. Workers greeted customers with cheers of “Welcome back to Walmart!”
Walmart has quietly hired off-duty officers at its stores in El Paso, Texas, since Aug. 3, when police say Patrick Crusius drove more than 10 hours from his grandparents’ house in a Dallas suburb to carry out the attack. Crusius, 21, pleaded not guilty.
More than 3,000 people from largely Latino El Paso and neighboring Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, were at the store when the attack happened.
Among the visitors to the reopened store was Eddie Medina, who walked out carrying a frozen turkey and wearing a T-shirt in honor of his wife, Cecy Medina, a Walmart employee who survived the shooting while working in the women’s clothing section.
The shirt reads: “My wife is a cancer survivor and a Walmart survivor. She is El Paso Strong.”
Medina, 62, said recent months have been difficult for his wife; her yearlong fight with cancer ended in May, but was followed by her mother’s death and then the shooting. She’s been seeing a psychiatrist paid for by Walmart, but she’s still too traumatized to return to the scene of the crime.
“I told her ‘I’m going to go in your place,’” the husband said. “I just retired last month so I could stay home and take care of her.”
The retail giant reopened the store amid ongoing lawsuits over security on the day of the mass shooting.
The interior of the building was rebuilt after authorities took more than 10 days to finish processing blood and bone fragments in the massive crime scene.
“There was a time that Walmart hired off-duty officers and for some time prior (to) August 3rd that ceased,” El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo said in an email. He declined to provide more details.
When Police Chief Greg Allen first revealed the phasing out of officers during a City Council meeting, council members discussed possibly requiring that off-duty officers be hired at large stores, though the idea hasn’t been implemented.
Instead, Walmart started hiring off-duty officers at their stores throughout the city, from its sprawling Supercenters to its smaller neighborhood grocery stores.
“We’re covering Walmarts, we’re also covering Sam’s (Club),” said El Paso police union president Ron Martin. “Even the neighborhood Walmarts are being covered.”
Martin said it’s unclear how long Walmart will continue to employ off-duty officers at every location.
The off-duty officers are paid about $50 per hour, depending on their rank, which is about double the officers’ full-time hourly wage.
Walmart officials declined to discuss the hiring of police officers, the costs, or if the company is taking similar steps in other cities. Company spokeswoman Delia Garcia said additional measures could include hiring security guards or adding cameras inside stores or in parking lots.
“We will continue our long-standing practice of regularly evaluating our staffing, training, procedures, and technology which are designed to provide a safe working and shopping experience,” Garcia said.
John Furner, Walmart CEO for its U.S. business, said on an earnings call with media Thursday that workers at the El Paso store wanted the location reopened “to get back to a normal way of life.”
Some victims are suing Walmart over the lack of security on the day of the attack, arguing that the company’s method of evaluating security boils down to an inadequate algorithm and was wantonly reduced.
Arnulfo Rascón, 56, is one of the plaintiffs. He was shot in the knee and now walks with a cane. The former salesman said he can’t work because of the injury.
Rascón said he expects to receive a letter this month telling him how much money he will receive from the One Fund El Paso, a victim’s relief effort set up after the shooting by a group of El Paso-area nonprofits.
“The whole world promises to help but when the moment comes, they don’t,” he told reporters Wednesday, in Spanish. “My savings are dwindling.”
Construction workers have broken ground on a permanent memorial in the store’s parking lot, a “Grand Candela” that will be about 30 feet (9 meters) tall and could be finished in as little as three weeks.
The reopening of the El Paso store also comes as Walmart has dipped its toe into the gun debate. It posted signage with its new policy discouraging customers from openly carrying guns. But it is not banning them.
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AP Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio in New York contributed to this report.
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This story has been corrected to show the plaintiff who was shot in the knee is called Arnulfo Rascón, not Arnuflo.

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French police ratchet up evidence search in Epstein probe
By JOHN LEICESTER | Fri, November 15, 2019 06:32 EST
PARIS (AP) — French police are launching a fresh appeal for witnesses and victims to come forward to aid their probe of Jeffrey Epstein and allegations that one of the financier’s associates drugged and raped young models.
Police hope the new appeal issued Friday will have a broader reach than a similar call for witnesses they issued on Facebook and Twitter on Sept. 11.
Women who say they were raped and sexually assaulted by one of Epstein’s associates, French modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, had this week told The Associated Press they were disappointed with the limited scope of police efforts to track down witnesses.
Brunel has denied wrongdoing and has said via his lawyer he is willing to talk to investigators.
Police commissioner Philippe Guichard, whose office is leading the French probe, acknowledged in an AP interview Friday that their previous appeal for witnesses, worded only in French, had had limited success. The new appeal was also being issued in English, he said.
“The witnesses and the victims tell us that they had trouble identifying us and finding the number and reaching us to give evidence,” he said.
He also said the evidence search had been hampered by a reluctance to talk in the “closed world” of modeling.
“We imagine that potential victims don’t want to speak, to report crimes, because they must feel that, ‘If I say something, will I keep my job?’” he said.
The French probe was launched in August after Epstein took his life while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

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Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science
By CARLA K. JOHNSON | Thu, November 14, 2019 07:20 EST
SEATTLE (AP) — Can old dogs teach us new tricks? Scientists are looking for 10,000 pets for the largest-ever study of aging in canines. They hope to shed light on human longevity too.
The project will collect a pile of pooch data: vet records, DNA samples, gut microbes and information on food and walks. Five hundred dogs will test a pill that could slow the aging process.
“What we learn will potentially be good for dogs and has great potential to translate to human health,” said project co-director Daniel Promislow of the University of Washington School of Medicine.
If scientists find a genetic marker for a type of cancer in dogs, for instance, that could be explored in humans.
For the study, the dogs will live at home and follow their usual routine. All ages and sizes, purebreds and mutts are welcome.
Owners will complete periodic online surveys and take their dogs to the vet once a year, with the possibility of extra visits for certain tests. Their welfare will be monitored by a bioethicist and a panel of animal welfare advisers.
To nominate a pet, owners can visit the Dog Aging Project’s website.
The five-year study was formally launched Thursday at a science meeting in Austin, Texas. The National Institute on Aging is paying for the $23 million project because dogs and humans share the same environment, get the same diseases and dogs’ shorter lifespans allow quicker research results, said deputy director, Dr. Marie Bernard. The data collected will be available to all scientists.
Leslie Lambert of Parkville, Maryland, enrolled her 11-year-old rescue dog, Oscar, in an early phase.
“I would selfishly like to have him around forever,” said the 33-year-old veterinarian. “Unfortunately, he ages much, much faster than I do.”
But she’s torn by the prospect of an anti-aging pill because so many abandoned dogs go without care. “Just because we can, should we?”
Compared to farm dogs in the past, today’s pampered pups live longer and get more geriatric diseases, said veterinarian Dr. Kate Creevy of Texas A&M University, the project’s chief scientific officer.
Yet no standard measures exist for frailty or prognosis in sick, aged dogs, Creevy said. The project will develop those tools.
One dog year is roughly equal to seven human years, Creevy said, but that varies by breed. Large dogs have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs. A Great Dane’s lifespan is about half that of a toy poodle’s.
That makes large dogs better test subjects for the pill. Dogs weighing at least 40 pounds will be eligible for an experiment with rapamycin, now taken by humans to prevent rejection of transplanted kidneys. The drug has extended lifespan in mice. A small safety study in dogs found no dangerous side effects, said project co-director Matt Kaeberlein of the University of Washington.
Human devotion to dogs drives projects like this, the scientists said. Owners will gladly fill out surveys, send records and submit a pup’s poop for analysis if they think it will help all dogs live longer, even if it won’t help their pet.
“People love dogs,” said Promislow, who normally studies aging in fruit flies. “No one has ever come up to me and said, ‘Oh my goodness, I just love fruit flies.’”
Promislow’s mixed breed, 14-year-old Frisbee, will not participate to prevent a conflict of interest.
“It’s too bad because she’s a terrific example of a really healthy ager,” he said.
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Follow AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson on Twitter: @CarlaKJohnson
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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Chileans blinded by police firing pellet guns in protests
By EVA VERGARA and PATRICIA LUNA | Thu, November 14, 2019 08:44 EST
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chileans are accustomed to seeing violent clashes between police and demonstrators but a new trend is leaving them shaken: the blinding of protesters by shotgun pellets fired by state’s security agents.
Chile’s main medical body says at least 230 people have lost sight after being shot in an eye in the last month while participating in the demonstrations over inequality and better social services that have overwhelmed the South American nation.
Of those, at least 50 people will need prosthetic eyes. “This means that the patient doesn’t only lose their vision, but they lose their actual eye,” said Dr. Patricio Meza, vice president of the Medical College of Chile.
The victims are on average 30 years old. In 80% of the cases, the damage is caused by the impact of a lead or rubber projectile on their eyes, Meza said.
“We are facing a real health crisis, a health emergency given that in such few days, in three weeks, we have had the highest number of cases involving serious ocular complications due to shots in the eye,” he said.
What began on Oct. 18 as a student protest over a modest increase in subway fares has turned into a much larger and broader movement with a long list of demands that largely have to do with the wide gap between the rich and ordinary Chileans. People are calling for reforms to health care, education, the pension system and even the constitution, which dates back to 1980 and the military dictatorship.
At demonstrations, it’s common to see police firing pellet guns at crowds. Often, “they’re firing at 90 degrees, which is to say, directly at the face,” said Meza. He said most of the injured say it’s the national police force – known as the Carabineros – who are the ones firing.
The National Institute of Human Rights has said that while it condemns violence by protesters, this does not justify “the indiscriminate use” of pellet guns by riot police.
Meza said other countries seem to follow protocols about the use of pellet guns but in Chile, “this is clearly not happening.”
There are protocols in Chile around use of force by the police. They must first seek to establish order with verbal commands. The use of force is permitted in cases of active resistance, while the use of non-lethal arms is allowed during acts of active violence. Lethal arms are limited to situations that could be deadly.
The National Institute of Human Rights, Amnesty International and the Medical College have been urging the government to ban the use of pellet guns by police since the start of the Chilean unrest, but they have come up against a wall.
The appeal courts of Antofagasta, in the north, and Concepción, in the south, this week banned the use of lethal arms and projectiles against people who are protesting peacefully.
University of Santiago rector Juan Manuel Zolessi said the Council of Rectors, which represents 29 private and public universities, has asked the courts in Santiago to ban the use of lead and rubber pellets by the national police in demonstrations.
On Sunday, police director Gen. Mario Rozas said the use of pellet guns will “be limited.”
The following day, theatre student Vicente Muñoz was hit by projectiles fired by a police officer two meters away, according to his sister. He lost sight in his left eye.
“I think it’s absolutely incredible that, after all these cases of lost eyes, immediate action has not been taken to ensure it doesn’t keep happening,” said Ennio Vivaldi, rector of the University of Chile, where Muñoz studies.
In response to demands that pellet guns not be used, Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel said that “we need to be very careful about introducing changes that could result in a violent situation that is actually worse.”
The massive demonstrations have been mostly peaceful, but it’s common to see hooded protesters infiltrate the gatherings, hurling rocks, raising barricades and confronting police, who clamp down with violence.
Rozas said police will start using a camera on their helmets to track their actions and the use of pellet guns will be limited to situations of “real danger” for police and citizens.
“Evidently, they are recognizing that they were doing something wrong,” said Sergio Micco, director of the National Institute of Human Rights.
Health Minister Jaime Mañalich announced an “ocular reparation program” for “victims of political violence” that covers the cost of treatment and psychological care.
The national prosecutors have opened 1,089 criminal investigations into allegations of “institutional violence” during the first two weeks of the conflict. Of those 70% are directed at the police.

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The Latest: EU launches action against UK over commissioner
12:16 EST
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s failure to name a candidate for the new European Commission. (all times local):
6:15 p.m.
The European Union has launched legal action against the United Kingdom following the country’s decision not to name a candidate for the bloc’s executive arm.
The EU Commission says in a statement that it has sent a letter of formal notice to UK authorities, which have until Friday next week to “provide their views.”
Sending a letter of formal notice is the first step in a lengthy legal procedure if the Commission deems a member state to be in contravention of EU rules. In the final stages of an infringement procedure the EU Commission can refer such a case to the bloc’s highest court, which can in turn impose financial penalties.
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6:10 p.m.
Britain’s decision not to name a candidate for the European Commission before the country’s Dec. 12 general election could further delay the forming of incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s team in Brussels.
The European Union confirmed Thursday that British authorities said they will not present a candidate to the bloc’s executive arm, despite its obligation to do so. Dana Spinant, the deputy spokeswoman for the next commission, however, said the U.K. has made clear it wants to cooperate in a constructive manner with the EU “to ensure the commission can be formed as soon as possible.”
After Britain’s envoy to Brussels, Tim Barrow, sent a letter to EU headquarters informing them of London’s decision, the commission is now exploring legal options that would allow von der Leyen’s team to start work on Dec. 1.
The new commission was initially scheduled to take office Nov. 1, which would have been after Britain had been scheduled to leave the bloc on Oct. 31. But European lawmakers rejected three commission candidates from other countries, delaying the process, and the EU agreed to delay Britain’s departure from the bloc until Jan. 31.

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Iraq’s protests raise question: Where does the oil money go?
By SAMYA KULLAB | 07:07 EST
BAGHDAD (AP) — Waves of violent protests have engulfed Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces, with demonstrators chanting for the downfall of a political establishment that they say doesn’t prioritize them.
Fueling the unrest is anger over an economy flush with oil money that has failed to bring jobs or improvements to the lives of young people, who are the majority of those taking to the streets. They say they have had enough of blatant government corruption and subpar basic services.
At least 320 people have died, and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on Oct. 1.
“We are jobless and poor, but every day we see the flares of the oil fields,” said Huda, an activist in Basra, the province that accounts for the lion’s share of Iraq’s crude exports. She spoke on condition she be identified only by her first name for security reasons.
“Where do the millions go?” she asked.
It’s a good question. Oil accounts for roughly 85-90% of state revenue. This year’s federal budget anticipated $79 billion in oil money based on projected exports of 3.88 million barrels per day at a price of $56 a barrel. Iraq’s economy improved in 2019 due to an increase in oil production, and GDP growth is expected to grow by 4.6% by the end of the year, according to the World Bank.
The fruits of these riches are rarely seen by the average Iraqi because of financial mismanagement, bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption, experts and officials told The Associated Press. Overall unemployment is around 11% while 22% of the population lives in poverty, according to World Bank estimates. A striking one-third of Iraqi youth are without jobs.
“One of the main problems is that the oil wealth is spent on the public sector, and especially on salaries,” said Ali al-Mawlawi, head of research at al-Bayan Center, a Baghdad-based think-tank.
Iraq’s brand of sectarian power-sharing — called the “muhasasa” system in Arabic — effectively empowers political elites to govern based on consensus and informal agreements, marginalizing the role of parliament and alienating much of the Iraqi population in the process.
On the ground, this dynamic has played out through a quota system whereby resources are shared among political leaders, with each vying to increase networks of patronage and build support. To do this, leaders have relied on doling out government jobs as a foolproof method to preserve loyalty.
This tactic has bloated the public sector and drained Iraq’s oil-financed budget, leaving little for investment in badly needed social and infrastructure projects.
“That has been the approach,” said al-Mawlawi, “Patronage is based primarily on the provision of jobs rather than anything else. It’s the primary way to distribute resources — through the public sector.” In the 2019 budget, public sector compensation accounted for nearly 40% of state spending.
Iraq’s public sector grew in parallel with the development of the country’s oil industry following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. With major international oil companies flocking to develop the country’s oil fields, the number of government employees grew three-fold in the last 16 years, according to al-Mawlawi’s research.
Offering jobs is also a recourse used by Iraqi politicians to quell protests in the past. Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi included thousands of hires in a reform package introduced last month. Experts said this approach only perpetuates the problem.
The trend is not unique to Iraq; oil-rich Gulf countries have experienced the same. But the oil sector’s inextricable link to Iraq’s muhasasa system has created a “Frankenstein version” of a typical phenomenon, said Ahmed Tabaqchali, a senior fellow at the Sulaymaniyah-based Institute of Regional and International Studies and Chief Investment Officer at Asia Frontier Capital Iraq Fund.
Because of muhasasa’s multiple, decentralized networks, “instead of one single authoritarian doing the hiring, we have many hiring as if on steroids,” Tabaqchali said.
Following the money trail of how ministries spend their budgets is difficult even for well-meaning reformers because there is little transparency and accountability.
The national budget has allocated increasing amounts every year for “goods and services,” which can vary from public service projects to mundane expenses like maintaining a ministry building. But many complain little progress can be seen on the ground.
In some cases, the money is simply not spent because of poor planning and management, said al-Mawlawi.
Last year’s budget ended with a surplus of around $21 billion “not because we had too much money, but because we didn’t know how to spend it the right way,” he said.
Often, money earmarked for service projects by the government or international organizations gets spent by ministry officials for expenditures, said an Iraqi official, who requested anonymity because of regulations. Officials lump all the budgets together for spending and then “they always prioritize petty things and claim the money isn’t enough for the project,” the official said.
Or the funds are used to pay debts accumulated from previous years, the official said. “So when it’s time to sign the contract, they say ‘no money’ because what they have isn’t enough.”
“There are thousands of ways bureaucrats can siphon it off,” the official added.
Crucial projects, meanwhile, remain incomplete.
School buildings in Basra, the province that accounts for the lion’s share of oil exports, are crumbling and overcrowded with multiple-shift programs.
On a recent visit to the Al-Akrameen school in the Abu Khaseeb neighborhood, headmaster Abdulhussain AbdulKhudher said he had asked the Education Directorate for funding to refurbish the school building erected in 1972 but was told there was no money.
“I rely on parents and volunteers to give furniture, keep the place clean for students so they can get an education,” he said.
Nearby, another school stood desolate. A young girl walked by and explained that it was empty and the students had been moved to another pre-existing school. “It will collapse any minute,” she said.
Iraqi leaders have been unwilling so far to reform the system, which experts said is unsustainable because of limited resources and overreliance on volatile oil markets.
Serious attempts were made following the 2015 financial crisis, when unpopular austerity measures were introduced by former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s administration. But when oil prices recovered, political pressure trumped strict spending measures.
Abdul-Mahdi’s government saw a 25% increase in spending compared to previous years.

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Sri Lankans seek security in post-Easter attack election
By KRISHAN FRANCIS | Thu, November 14, 2019 11:37 EST
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Worries about Islamic extremism will be paramount for many Sri Lankan voters while others hope to block former leaders accused of human rights violations from returning to power in Saturday’s presidential election, the country’s first national polls since last Easter’s deadly suicide attacks.
Simply put, fear is driving the election in Sri Lanka, a South Asian island nation of 22 million people off India’s southern tip. A decade of peace following three decades of civil war was shattered earlier this year when homegrown militants pledging loyalty to the Islamic State group detonated suicide bombs at three churches and three hotels, killing 269 people.
The election also mirrors the global trend of populist strongmen appealing to disgruntled majorities amid rising nationalism — seen as well in recent elections in neighboring India.
With a record 35 candidates vying for the presidency, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official under his brother, ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, was widely expected to triumph over ruling party Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa. But as the election approached, the race became very close.
Premadasa entered the fray after an open rebellion against his party leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, rallying support by pledging to boost welfare programs and by embracing disgruntled party stalwarts.
Many in Sri Lanka’s ethnic Sinhalese Buddhist majority favor Gotabaya because of his role in the Rajapaksa government’s decisive victory a decade ago over ethnic Tamil rebels, ending the secessionist civil war. But some minority Tamils and Muslims fear his reputation.
Gotabaya is accused of persecuting critics and overseeing what were called “white van squads” that whisked away journalists, activists and Tamil civilians suspected of links to the Tamil Tigers rebel group. Some were tortured and released, while others simply disappeared. The Rajapaksa brothers are also accused of condoning rape and extrajudicial killings and deliberately targeting civilians and hospitals during the war.
Gotabaya, a retired army officer, migrated to the United States after leaving service. He returned when his brother was elected president in 2005 and was appointed secretary to the Ministry of Defense. Though a bureaucratic position, he was given immense power and acted as a virtual second-in-command.
Gotabaya says he has renounced his U.S. citizenship to seek the presidency, focusing his campaign on national security following the Easter attacks, which exposed serious lapses in intelligence coordination between spy and security agencies.
“The first duty of our government is to ensure total security within the country,” Gotabaya said in August when he was named the opposition’s presidential candidate. “I state with confidence that we can make our country the safest in the world again.”
Gotabaya has said he will disregard a U.N. Human Rights Commission resolution that Sri Lanka signed promising to investigate alleged wartime atrocities and share political power with Tamils.
The ruling party candidate, Premadasa, is the son of former President Ranasingha Premadasa, who was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber in 1993.
Premadasa entered politics the following year, joining Parliament in 2000 and later serving as deputy health minister. His party lost power in 2004 and for the next decade he was an opposition lawmaker.
Following his father’s footsteps, Premadasa built up his reputation through pro-poor projects, but with Sri Lankans demanding justice for the Easter Sunday attacks, he has also emphasized security on the campaign trail.
“We shall institute strong legislative measures to ensure that we eradicate terrorism and extremism of all sorts — ethnic, religious-based extremism, including hate speech,” he said Tuesday.
He has promised to appoint Sarath Fonseka, the army commander who led government troops to victory over the Tamil Tigers, as defense minister, in a bid to match Gotabaya’s defense credentials.
“The main issue that is driving the election is the fear factor,” said Jehan Perera, head of the independent peace activist group National Peace Council. “The fear, on the one hand, that international forces are interfering in this country, are subverting this country as occurred more spectacularly with the Easter Sunday bombings, which created havoc in our country.”
On the other hand, he said, people fear “a return to the past where there were human rights violations, where there were disappearances.”
Lakshman Senanayake, a businessman from southern Sri Lanka, said he backs Gotabaya because “from a security point of view I believe there will be a good improvement if Gotabaya gets elected.”
“There were many presidents before who could not finish off the war for so many years. It was possible only because the brothers worked in one accord without looking back.”
The concern among Tamils in the north is to ensure that Gotabaya doesn’t return.
“How many lives were lost and how many abductions took place under the Mahinda government?” said a 71-year-old man in northern Jaffna, who identified himself only as Joseph.

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Erdogan says Turkey won’t dispose of Russian S-400s
09:34 EST
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey is willing to purchase U.S.-made Patriot air defense systems but will not agree to disposing of the Russian S-400 system it has already bought, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.
Speaking to reporters on board his plane on his way back from a meeting with Donald Trump in Washington, Erdogan said the U.S. president was engaged in “sincere efforts” to resolve disputes between the NATO allies.
Turkey took delivery of the Russian S-400 system this year, dismissing warnings from the United States that it poses a threat to NATO security.
As a result, Washington suspended Turkish participation in the multinational F-35 fighter jet program.
“We told them we can purchase the Patriots too. We regard the proposal to completely remove the S-400s (from Turkey) as meddling in our sovereign rights,” the state-run Anadolu Agency Quote: d Erdogan as saying. “There can be no question of us leaving the S-400s and turning toward the Patriots.”
Erdogan said: “I want both America and Russia to be my friend. All our efforts are geared toward that.”
The dispute over the competing air defense systems is one component of the tension between the two countries. Turkey has also come under fire in Washington for its incursion into Syria last month to drive away Syrian Kurdish forces that fought with the U.S. against the Islamic State.
Turkey, meanwhile, is angry at the U.S. for supporting the Kurdish forces it views as a threat and for refusing to extradite a Muslim cleric it accuses of fomenting a 2016 coup attempt against Erdogan.
Erdogan also told reporters that he had returned a letter that Trump sent on Oct. 9, urging Erdogan restraint over his plans for an offensive in Syria. Quote: : “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!”
Opposition parties had decried the letter as an insult to Turkey, calling on Erdogan to send it back to Trump.
Erdogan said Trump did not react when he handed him back the letter.

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German economy avoids recession in 3Q, but challenges remain
By DAVID RISING | 04:02 EST
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, avoided entering a widely-anticipated recession in the third quarter as strong domestic spending helped spark modest growth, the Federal Statistical Office reported Thursday.
The Wiesbaden-based agency said the economy grew 0.1% in the July-September period over the previous quarter, largely driven by public and private consumption. Exports rose as well, while imports remained roughly at the second quarter level, the agency reported.
It said, however, that the second quarter contraction was greater than preliminary figures had shown, with the economy shrinking in the April-June period by 0.2% compared to the 0.1% originally reported.
Two straight quarters of declining output is considered a technical recession, which many economists had predicted that Germany had entered in the third quarter.
Though the recession was averted, economists warned Germany remains in a de facto stagnation and noted it faces strong headwinds.
Among other things, the dispute between U.S. President Donald Trump and the Chinese leadership over China’s trade surplus with the U.S. has dampened trade and industrial output by raising uncertainty about whether and where more tariffs might be imposed. Another negative is uncertainty about the date and terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union.
Liechtenstein’s VP Bank cautioned that commercial disputes are delaying investments in industry, and key areas like the automotive sector are struggling with lower demand and massive challenges like the shift away from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.
“According to the official version Germany has avoided a recession but this does not change the overall difficult economic situation,” the bank said in a research note.
Services companies and the jobs market have held up well in Germany, but the industrial sector, led by automobiles and factory machinery, has seen declines amid trade tensions.
ING economist Carsten Brzeski said the “German economy can still be divided into two worlds: the depressive world and the happy-go-lucky one.”
On one hand, the manufacturing sector is struggling amid the international and structural challenges, while on the other, private consumption remains solid with low inflation, low interest rates and a strong labor market.
“The main question, however, is how long the happy-go-lucky world can resist the negative impact from the depressive world,” he said. “The latest developments suggest that the protective shield has started to crumble.”
A week ago, the German government’s independent panel of economic advisers reported that a 0.1% third-quarter contraction was likely.
Though they said there were no signs of a “broad, deep recession,” the panel also said there was no sign of a “strong revival” in the fourth quarter. The five-member panel cut its economic forecast to growth of 0.5% this year and 0.9% in 2020, compared with its forecast in March of 0.8% this year and 1.7% next year.
In their report, the government economists cautioned that a no-deal Brexit could yet chop 0.3 percentage points off next year’s German growth, reducing it to 0.6%.
Britain is currently scheduled to leave the European Union by the end of January, but whether, how and when it departs will depend on the outcome of an election next month.
And even though the recession has been averted, “the numbers are no cause for complacency,” said Friedrich Heinemann, head of Germany’s ZEW economic think tank.
Among the issues the government needs to address are the country’s corporate tax rate and the impending “retirement wave’ of the baby boomer generation, he said.
“For German’s well-being, it does not matter if quarterly growth is a touch below or above zero,” he said. “On the contrary, concern should be more focused on the sinking prospects for Germany’s long-term growth.”

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Migrants huddle in the cold in makeshift camp in Bosnia
By ELDAR EMRIC and DARKO VOJINOVIC | Thu, November 14, 2019 02:11 EST
BIHAC, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Heavy, gray clouds hung low above a makeshift migrant camp on Bosnia’s border with Croatia, heralding more rain and misery for hundreds of people stuck in the remote tent field as they try to get to Western Europe.
Rain this autumn has turned the Vucjak camp into a pool of mud. Garbage is everywhere, and migrants tread carefully between the crammed, cold tents or cuddle in their sleeping bags, close to each other.
“Here, it is not possible to live. You can see that,” said Yemshir, from Pakistan. “We need a good place, for life, sleeping, for eating, for drinking.”
Local authorities set up the camp earlier this year at a covered-up landfill not far from a minefield left over from the Balkan country’s 1990s ethnic war. Known as “the jungle” among migrants, the tent settlement has been deemed unfit by leading international organizations, but local authorities have said they cannot close it down before a new location is found.
On Thursday, the European Union’s top migration official joined the calls for the closure of the camp, which is close to Bosnia’s northwestern town of Bihac.
Migrants who spoke to The Associated Press about the conditions would give only their first or last names out of fear of deportation or retaliation.
“It’s like animal life here,” Amir, also from Pakistan, said.
An estimated 50,000 migrants have crossed Bosnia since last year, bound for the EU. Impoverished Bosnia has been struggling to cope with the pressure.
EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned Thursday that adequate accommodations must be provided for about 8,000 migrants in the country “to prevent a major humanitarian crisis in the coming winter.”
The EU has given Bosnia over 36 million euros ($40 million) in aid, but conditions at Vucjak are so bad that “no EU financial support can, or will be, provided for it,” Avramopoulos said.
Further fueling tensions, authorities in northwestern Bosnia were threatening to institute a curfew in two other large local migrant camps to press the central government to relocate people to other areas.
Those camps, hosting some 2,000 people, near the towns of Bihac and Velika Kladusa are run by the International Organization for Migration. Local authorities said that starting Friday they will not let any more people into the camps, while only those heading toward the Croatian border will be allowed to leave.
IOM official Peter Van der Auweraert warned that the decision could lead to worsening of the security situation and even prompt a pullout of international organizations from the area.
“There is no plan B” if the two IOM-run camps are closed, he said.
In the Bira camp, in Bihac, migrants sleep in containers placed inside a sprawling hall. The news that they won’t be allowed to leave and rumors that the camps could be shut down left them wondering what will happen next.
Han, another migrant from Pakistan, said “there should be an alternative” because people won’t stop coming into Bosnia while fleeing violence or poverty in their home countries.
“If you close the camp, people will sleep on roads,” he said. “But people will come.”
Migrants staying in Bihac try to go over a nearby mountain to get into Croatia before moving on. They often spend weeks, or even months, in Bosnia trying to cross several times into Croatia, where police have been accused of violent pushback of migrants. Police deny that.
On Thursday, a group of migrants from Syria, including a shoeless 5-year-old, could be seen camping by the fire at an abandoned house on the Pljesevica mountain before setting off in the evening.
At the Vucjak camp, migrants said they won’t give up, despite the misery. Huddling around a campfire, some lifted their feet above the flame to absorb the heat. Anwar, also from Pakistan, kept his hands close to the warmth.
“It’s very cold,” he said as he smiled.

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DRAMATIC Finish In Los Angeles between the Kings & Lakers | Nov. 15, 2019

Check out the dramatic finish in the first of four meetings between the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers this season.

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EarthLink – News

California faces fraught path out of wildfire, power crisis
By JONATHAN J. COOPER | Thu, November 14, 2019 01:18 EST
The utility that serves more than 5 million electrical customers in one of the world’s most technologically advanced areas is now faced again and again with a no-win decision: risk starting catastrophic deadly wildfires, or turn off the lights and immiserate millions of paying customers.
Pacific Gas & Electric is in bankruptcy, facing $30 billion in liabilities, billions more in needed upgrades to its system and an uncertain path to safely providing reliable power to a vast portion of California.
How that came to be is a story not of a single villain but of systemic failure by the utility’s management, the regulators who oversee it and the politicians who let it all happen. It’s a story of climate change, a housing crisis and an aging power system that, like much of the infrastructure in the U.S., has fallen into disrepair.
“There’s a ton of blame to go around here,” said Christopher Knittel, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.
The problem and its potential solutions have jumped to the top of the California political agenda. But most experts agree: Even under the best scenarios, the fires and widespread power shutoffs will be here for years to come. In the meantime, Californians will pay higher prices for less reliable energy.
“It’s not just going to be a PG&E cost, isolated from impact on the consumer,” said Matthew Cordaro, a longtime utility executive and a trustee for the Long Island Power Authority, which sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. “The consumer’s going to have to pay for it.”
The danger from a growing number of people living next to power lines and dry forests as the climate changes wasn’t unknown, but it wasn’t front of mind before electrical systems started a series of fires that swept through Northern California two years ago, leaving a trail of destruction and killing dozens. What seemed unthinkable was repeated just a year later, when PG&E power lines started the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.
PG&E operates some 125,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) of power lines, enough to wrap around the equator five times. Much of the system traverses remote forests that are dry from years of drought and dense from a lack of logging or natural fires. California has 138 million dead trees, all of them potential fuel for fire.
Meanwhile, a shortage of housing in cities — and stiff resistance to building more — has pushed new construction into forested areas, where there are few barriers to building.
And the climate is warming. While scientists can’t blame climate change alone for any one fire, they say it contributes to drier brush, hotter temperatures and stronger winds, all of which help flames spread farther, faster. Five of the 10 largest fires and seven of the 10 most destructive have happened in the last decade. The deadliest were started by power lines.
More than half of PG&E’s 70,000 square miles (181,000 square kilometers) of service territory is designated as high risk for fires, according to the company’s wildfire mitigation plan submitted this year to the state’s utility regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission.
Operating in that environment poses challenges for any company, but PG&E has an especially checkered past.
The company neglected to maintain its systems so egregiously that it was found criminally liable for a deadly explosion in its natural gas system that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in San Bruno, California, in 2010. It was fined and placed on probation when a jury found the company cut corners on safety and misled investigators in an attempt to cover it up.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has accused PG&E of prioritizing its shareholders and executives over the maintenance, upgrades and tree trimming that could prevent wildfires and limit the misery from intentional blackouts. The company has reported it still has 2,700 miles of outdated copper wire, which is prone to breakage and arcing, in high-risk fire zones.
“A lot of money went to dividends that should’ve gone to your trees. Get square with the people of California, who depend on you to do the job safely,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup told a PG&E lawyer during an April probation hearing, KQED News reported.
PG&E has acknowledged shortcomings in its first big power shutoff and agreed to rebate affected customers, but CEO Bill Johnson has repeatedly said the blackouts protect the public. He’s said it will take a decade to get PG&E’s system to a place where widespread blackouts aren’t necessary.
Company officials say they’ve invested $27 billion in their power system over the past decade.
For all PG&E’s faults, power companies operate in one of the most highly regulated industries in the country, their investments overseen by the CPUC, which failed to foresee the fire risk or adequately force PG&E to prepare for it.
“The PUC is tasked with overseeing PG&E and making sure they’re making decisions in the interest of the public good,” said Knittel, of MIT.
California regulators and lawmakers squandered an opportunity to impose sweeping changes on a hobbled PG&E nearly 20 years ago when the utility landed in bankruptcy court the first time, after California’s energy crisis.
Instead, after three years of wrangling, PG&E worked out a plan, much of it in secret, with a former utility industry executive, Michael Peevey, then-president of the CPUC.
Other regulators and consumer activists tried to block that deal, calling it a travesty. But after a few minor concessions, PG&E emerged from bankruptcy protection in April 2004 with a customer-backed $7.2 billion bailout that enabled it to charge abnormally high electricity rates for nearly a decade. The surcharges, designed to help PG&E recoup part of the losses that drove it into bankruptcy, cost customers an average of $1,300 to $1,700 apiece.
Bailout supporters argued customers would be able to count on safe, reliable power.
But it hasn’t turned out that way. Getting to safe, reliable power will still require billions of dollars in system upgrades and extensive tree-trimming to keep branches and trunks from blowing into power lines.
Hardening the grid also involves replacing outdated poles and power lines, and insulating, or in dangerous areas, burying lines, which can easily cost millions of dollars per mile. Weather sensors and cameras help utilities predict and track dangerous weather. Sectionalizing lines, as other California utilities have done, allow more targeted blackouts so millions aren’t left in the dark when winds pick up, as they were three times in October.
Grid hardening can help limit the frequency and the breadth of power shutoffs and wildfires, but the danger can’t be totally eliminated.
“There’s no way to completely protect the electricity grid and control all of its interactions with the environment around it,” said Ted Kury, director of energy studies for the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida. “Any place you locate power lines there’s going to be a trade-off.”
Shareholders and bondholders are competing to control the company once it emerges from bankruptcy, and there are also proposals to redesign its ownership, have cities take a stake, or more broadly overhaul regulations.
Newsom has said the regulator’s problems are in the past after his appointment of a new head of the CPUC. He’s been deeply critical of PG&E, saying the utility “as we know it cannot persist and continue.” He’s pushed the company to work through issues and get out of bankruptcy by next summer, even threatening a takeover.
PG&E’s chief executive has resisted the more ambitious restructuring proposals.
“I think the way it is structured now is the best idea for the majority of customers,” Johnson told reporters after Newsom called him to the Capitol this month.
Kris Mayes, Arizona’s former top utility regulator who now leads the Utility of the Future Center at Arizona State University, said PG&E should be broken into two or three more manageable entities, and California should shift to “performance-based regulation” that rewards utilities for things like safety, reliability, customer service or the amount of renewable energy. Utilities now are awarded a fixed profit on their investments. The need for long-distance transmission lines could be reduced by conserving energy and generating and storing more of it locally, she said.
“The utilities have been rewarded over decades for building big stuff, including these power lines that are now causing fires,” Mayes said.
Whatever route PG&E goes, it still faces extensive debt for its existing infrastructure and stiff liabilities from starting the two deadliest and most destructive wildfires on record in United States history. Those costs, and likely the cost for system upgrades, are likely to be passed to its customers.
“This is an unacceptable situation in California, and no utility should ever put its customers in harm’s way,” Mayes said. “It’s just not supposed to happen.”

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Charlottesville suit seeks to link online talk to violence
By ELANA SCHOR | Thu, November 14, 2019 03:41 EST
The white nationalist rally that took a deadly turn in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the summer of 2017 shocked Americans with its front-row view of hatred on the rise. But weeks before the violence, organizers were making preparations for the gathering in a corner of the internet.
Using a private server on a platform designed for online gaming, supporters of the rally discussed everything from restroom access to what to wear and what weapons they could legally bring (guns, knives, pepper spray) to the August rally.
Those online chats are now at the heart of a lawsuit that accuses more than two dozen individuals and entities, including white supremacists, of engaging in a violent conspiracy to violate the rights of the counterdemonstrators who gathered in Charlottesville to denounce racism and anti-Semitism.
During the weekend’s events, a neo-Nazi plowed his car into a crowd of counterdemonstrators, killing a woman and injuring dozens of other people.
The 11 plaintiffs in the lawsuit are using the online conversations to bolster their claim of a conspiracy.
“In many ways, social media has become the Klan den of the 21st century,” said Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, the nonprofit organization funding the civil case.
In fact, the lawsuit invokes a post-Civil War federal law written to protect black Americans from oppression by the Ku Klux Klan.
The case, which the plaintiffs anticipate will go to trial sometime next year, is a bid to connect online speech by far-right groups to real-world violence.
It comes amid a string of deadly extremist attacks around the world in which the alleged killers used the internet to share their views or signal their intentions. Those attacks include the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre last year that left 11 people dead and the slaughter of 51 people at two New Zealand mosques in March.
The Charlottesville plaintiffs, most of whom took part in the counterdemonstrations, are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages as well as an injunction limiting the defendants’ behavior.
The lawsuit cites more than 40 channels organizers used on the online platform Discord to orchestrate their weekend rally. The online conversations were initially released by a left-leaning website called Unicorn Riot.
One defendant in the case, according to the lawsuit, vowed online that he would “come barehanded and barefisted,” adding, “My guys will be ready with lots of nifty equipment.”
The online planning and promotion of the rally show that “what happened there is no accident,” Spitalnick said.
A Discord spokesman said the company is cooperating with all requests related to the case, adding, “We have a zero-tolerance approach to activities that violate our community guidelines and take immediate action when we become aware of it.”
The defendants, who include white nationalist Richard Spencer, a leader of the rally, have denied involvement in or endorsement of any illegal behavior. Attorneys for the defendants have said they acted in self-defense and described the online conversations as “lawful event planning.”
They have argued, too, that the rally was protected by the First Amendment right to free speech and the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Four attorneys representing defendants in the case did not return requests for comment.
During the weekend of violence, hundreds of neo-Nazis and white nationalists descended on Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. They marched through town wielding torches and shouting racist and anti-Semitic slogans. Skirmishes broke out before the deadly car attack.
The driver of the car, James Alex Fields Jr., was convicted of murder and hate crimes and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. He is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Last year, U.S. District Judge Norman Moon mostly rejected defendants’ request to throw out the case.
But he signaled to the plaintiffs that they should not seek to “label everyone at the rally (and for that matter on the internet) who disagreed with them as co-conspirators.”
One of the defendants, white nationalist Christopher Cantwell, was dropped by his attorneys, who cited his failure to pay bills and an anti-Semitic threat he was accused of making against a lead plaintiffs’ lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, who helped argue the Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage. Cantwell denied his rhetoric constituted a threat.
In a historic lawsuit in 1987, the Southern Poverty Law Center won $7 million over the killing of a black teenager, a verdict that sent an Alabama Klan organization into bankruptcy.
Whatever financial or symbolic effect the Charlottesville case ultimately has on white nationalist leaders, its potential to deter them from planning violence on the internet may be limited.
Extremists have migrated among multiple online platforms, even after getting ejected from mainstream sites such as Twitter and Facebook. And encrypted platforms give them a means of organizing anonymously, said Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism.
Still, “even if it’s not going to fundamentally change the way white supremacists operate online and how that evolves,” Segal said of the lawsuit, “it’s something to be said to hold people accountable for a seminal moment of hate in this country.”
___
This story has been corrected to show that the victim of the car attack was not Jewish.
___
Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

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Hong Kong police say protesters out of control, deny curfew
By PATRICK QUINN and KEN MORITSUGU | 11:27 EST
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police warned protesters Thursday that they were moving “one step closer to terrorism” by sinking the city into chaos, as riot squads skirmished with militant students at major universities.
China’s leader said ending the violence and restoring order are Hong Kong’s most pressing task, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
President Xi Jinping, who is attending the BRICS summit in Brazil, said his government would continue to firmly support Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, the police and the courts in “severely punishing the violent criminals.”
Police spokesman Tse Chun-chung denied his department had been asked to enforce a possible curfew this weekend. A Chinese state media outlet later deleted its tweet saying authorities were considering a weekend curfew.
The Hong Kong government, in a short statement, also called the curfew rumors “totally unfounded.”
“The force is certainly capable and determined to control Hong Kong’s social unrest at the moment,” Tse said. “We welcome any new measures that can help us to achieve the goal of restoring the public safety and order in Hong Kong.”
In unusually harsh language, Tse said students were turning university campuses into “weapons factories” and a “hotbed” of crime.
“Their acts are another step closer to terrorism,” Tse said, warning of a major disaster if gasoline bombs stored on campuses were to catch fire.
He said violence that broke out this week at Chinese University of Hong Kong is spreading to other campuses “like a cancer cell,” mentioning specifically Hong Kong University and Baptist University.
“It’s time to wake up. No society can tolerate this much senseless violence,” he said.
With no end to the protests in sight, the beleaguered police force is appointing a group of prison guards as special constables.
Up to 100 officers from the Correctional Services Department who are already familiar with anti-riot equipment will be given additional training and deployed mainly to guard government premises.
“The ongoing riots over the past few months, with their massive scale, simultaneous occurrence in various districts and grave severity of violence, make it necessary to strengthen the support for the police’s front-line officers,” a statement from the police spokesman’s office said.
Residents endured a fourth day of traffic snarls and mass transit disruptions as protesters closed some main roads and rail networks.
Police said protesters shot several arrows at them near Hong Kong Polytechnic University. No officers were injured, and six arrows were seized at the scene, police said.
Life in this city of 7.5 million has been strained as thousands of commuters have been unable to get to work or endured lengthy commutes.
The government appealed for employers to show flexibility. “For staff who cannot report for duty on time on account of conditions in road traffic or public transport services, employers should give due consideration to the circumstances,” a statement said.
A business and high-end retail district in the center of the city was once again taken over by protesters at lunchtime, as it has been every day since Monday. Office workers watched from the sidewalks and overpasses as protesters littered the streets with bricks and other items to block traffic and police.
At one point, a group of police swooped in and kicked the bricks to the curb along one major thoroughfare, but the standoff continued.
The Education Bureau extended the suspension of classes for kindergarten to high school students until Monday. It ordered schools to remain open, though, to handle children whose parents need to send them to school.
Protesters have hurled gasoline bombs and thrown objects off bridges onto roads below during clashes at campuses this week. The Chinese University of Hong Kong suspended classes for the rest of the year, and others asked students to switch to online learning.
Students at Chinese University, site of some of the fiercest clashes where students hurled more than 400 firebombs at police on Tuesday, have barricaded themselves in the suburban campus.
Early Thursday they used chainsaws to drop trees onto streets around the campus and prepared for a possible confrontation with police, who were not intervening.
A major rail line connecting Kowloon to mainland China was closed for a second day and five major underground stations were shut along with seven light rail routes, the Transport Department announced.
“Road-based transport services have been seriously affected this morning due to continued road blockages and damage to road facilities. In view of safety concerns and uncertain road conditions, buses can only provide limited services,” the department said.
One of the main cross-harbor tunnels connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the rest of the city was closed after protesters set some of the toll booths on fire Wednesday night.
Traffic was also disrupted because protesters have destroyed at least 240 traffic lights around the city.
Anti-government protests have riven Hong Kong, and divided its people, for more than five months.
The movement began over a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial. Activists saw it as another sign of an erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms, which China promised would be maintained for 50 years under a “one nation, two systems” principle when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.

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Turkey deports American IS suspect stuck at Greek border
10:24 EST
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — An American man suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group is being repatriated to the United States after spending three days in a no man’s land between Turkey and Greece, Turkey’s Interior Ministry said Thursday.
The United States agreed to take him in and will provide him with travel documents, the ministry said, adding that the repatriation was underway.
The move comes a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.
The man was stuck in the heavily militarized border zone after Turkey tried to expel him to Greece on Monday but Athens refused him entry. Turkish media have identified him as 39-year-old Mohammad Darwis B. and said he was an American citizen of Jordanian background.
The Ministry said Thursday the man had asked to be deported to a “third country” and chose Greece.
He had been spotted in the no man’s land for three straight days. Media reports said Turkish authorities allowed him to spend the night in a vehicle, where he was fed.
Turkey has engaged in a new push to deport foreign IS members who are held in Turkish prisons or in Syria, since it invaded parts of northeast Syria to drive away Syrian Kurdish fighters it considers to be terrorists from a border area.
Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Thursday expelled seven German and one British IS suspects to Berlin and London. The state-run Anadolu Agency said two men, four women and an infant were transported onto the tarmac at Istanbul Airport in a vehicle belonging to Turkey’s migration agency and boarded a plane bound for Berlin.
There was no information on their identities.
Three foreign IS suspects — from the United States, Denmark and Germany — were deported on Monday.
Turkey also plans to soon deport other alleged IS members, including two Irish and 11 French citizens.
Meanwhile, the Interior Ministry also said Thursday that a wanted IS suspect was detained by anti-terrorism police in a raid in Istanbul after he illegally crossed into Turkey from Syria. The ministry said the man, whom it identified as Mevlut Cuskun, was being questioned by police.

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After 20 years, Washington tribe hopes to hunt whales again
By GENE JOHNSON | Thu, November 14, 2019 07:50 EST
SEATTLE (AP) — Patrick DePoe was in high school the last time his Native American tribe in Washington state was allowed to hunt whales. He was on a canoe that greeted the crew towing in the body of a gray whale. His shop class worked to clean the bones and reassemble the skeleton, which hangs in a tribal museum.
Two decades later, he and the Makah Tribe — the only American Indians with a treaty right to hunt whales — are still waiting for government permission to hunt again as their people historically did. The tribe, in the remote northwest corner of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, hopes to use the whales for food and to make handicrafts, artwork and tools they can sell.
The tribe’s plans have been tied up in legal fights and layers of scientific review. The next step is a weeklong administrative hearing that began Thursday in Seattle. Whatever the result, it’s likely to be stuck in further court challenges, with animal rights activists vowing to block the practice they call unnecessary and barbaric.
“It shouldn’t have taken 20 years to be where we’re at now,” said DePoe, a tribal council member. “People ask how it makes me feel. I want to ask, ‘How does it make you feel that this is the process we’re having to go through to exercise a right that’s already been agreed upon?’ It’s a treaty right. It’s settled law.”
In 1855, the Makah, a tribe that now numbers about 1,500, turned over 470 square miles (1,217 square kilometers) of land to the U.S. under a treaty that promised them the “right of taking fish and of whaling or sealing at usual and accustomed grounds.” They killed whales until the 1920s, giving it up because commercial whaling had devastated gray whale populations.
By 1994, gray whales in the eastern Pacific Ocean had rebounded and they were removed from the endangered species list. Seeing an opportunity to reclaim its heritage, the tribe announced plans to hunt again.
The Makah trained for months in the ancient ways of whaling and received the blessing of federal officials and the International Whaling Commission. They took to the water in 1998 but didn’t succeed until the next year, when they harpooned a gray whale from a hand-carved cedar canoe. A tribal member in a motorized support boat killed it with a high-powered rifle to minimize its suffering.
The hunts drew protests from animal rights activists, who sometimes threw smoke bombs at the whalers and sprayed fire extinguishers into their faces. Others veered motorboats between the whales and the tribal canoes to interfere with the hunt. Authorities seized several vessels and made arrests.
After animal rights groups sued, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned federal approval of the tribe’s whaling plans. The court found that the tribe needed to obtain a waiver under the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Eleven Alaska Native communities in the Arctic have such a waiver for subsistence hunts, allowing them to kill bowhead whales — even though bowheads are listed as endangered.
The Makah tribe applied for a waiver in 2005. The process repeatedly stalled as new scientific information about the whales and the health of their population was uncovered.
Some of the Makah whalers became so frustrated with the delays that they went on a rogue hunt in 2007, killing a gray whale that got away from them and sank. They were convicted in federal court.
NOAA Fisheries has proposed regulations allowing the tribe to harvest 20 whales over a decade, with limits on the timing of the hunts to minimize the chance of killing endangered Western Pacific gray whales.
The population of Eastern Pacific gray whales, which number about 27,000, is strong, despite a recent die-off that has resulted in hundreds washing up on West Coast beaches, federal scientists say.
The hearing that began Thursday will focus on highly technical arguments about whether the tribe meets the requirements for a waiver.
“There isn’t a big conservation issue here,” said Donna Darm, a retired NOAA official who began working on the issue in 2005 and still does as a contractor.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Animal Welfare Institute oppose the hunts. They argue that NOAA’s environmental review has been inadequate, it’s not clear to what extent the whales’ recent die-off has hurt the population, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act may have voided the tribe’s treaty right.
They also say the tribe cannot claim a subsistence or cultural need to hunt after so many decades.
“The Makah’s family and tribal traditions and rituals associated with its whaling history can continue without the resumption of whaling,” the Animal Welfare Institute said in a statement Thursday. “The Makah could, if it chooses, attract and educate untold numbers of visitors to its lands by promoting nonlethal use of whales through whale watching.”
DePoe chafes at outside groups dictating what his tribe’s culture requires. He recalled the pride he felt when the Makah crew succeeded, the joy of sharing the feast and the taste of the whale meat.
“I have a little brother who’s in his 20s,” DePoe said. “He doesn’t remember it. I’m hoping one day he can experience that.”
___
Follow Gene Johnson at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle

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Richard Jefferson, Adrian Wojnarowski, Maria Taylor, Jalen Rose and Jay Williams debate whether Kyrie Irving is to blame for the Brooklyn Nets’ struggles to start the 2019-20 season, and also discuss the Boston Celtics’ early year success with Kemba Walker at point guard.
#TheJump #NBA #Sports

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Can't Stay Out of the Headlines

Can’t Stay Out of the Headlines

In bizzare coup of sorts, Financial Times features review of book Sense and Nonsense in the Office, Lucy Kellaway’s new book about good management; reviewer was Robert J Ayling, who had just been ousted as chief executive of British Airways for po…

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BRIEFING ; Getting Headlines

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A Face-Lift for The Times, Typographically, That Is

Front page and main news sections of New York Times are receiving gentle typographical face-lift beginning Oct 21; in place of miscellany of headline typeface that have accumulated in its columns over last century, newspaper is settling on single …

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Headlines and Stock Quotes on Call

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NBA Top 10 Plays of the Night | November 15, 2019

Check out the top 10 plays of the night from around the league on Nov. 15 featuring Miles Bridges, James Harden, LeBron James and more!

Subscribe to the NBA: https://on.nba.com/2JX5gSN

Full Game Highlights Playlist: https://on.nba.com/2rjGMge

For news, stories, highlights and more, go to our official website at https://nba_webonly.app.link/nbasite

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NBA Top 10 Plays of the Night | November 14, 2019

Check out the top 10 plays of the night from around the league on Nov. 14 featuring Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday and more!

NBA ON ESPN- Friday- November 15th
Grizzlies @ Jazz 8:00pm ET
Celtics @ Warriors 10:30pm ET

Subscribe to the NBA: https://on.nba.com/2JX5gSN

Full Game Highlights Playlist: https://on.nba.com/2rjGMge

For news, stories, highlights and more, go to our official website at https://nba_webonly.app.link/nbasite

Get NBA LEAGUE PASS: https://nba.app.link/nbaleaguepass5