Author: informationonline

Kawhi makes debut with Clippers, scores 30 points vs. Lakers | 2019 NBA Highlights

Kawhi Leonard wastes no time in his first game with the LA Clippers, scoring 30 points with six rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes of work as the Clippers defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 112-102 in the season opener.

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Hong Kong descends into chaos again as protesters defy ban
By KELVIN CHAN | Sun, October 20, 2019 08:33 EDT
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong streets descended into chaotic scenes following an unauthorized pro-democracy rally Sunday, as protesters set up roadblocks and torched businesses, and police responded with tear gas and a water cannon.
Protesters tossed firebombs and took their anger out on shops with mainland Chinese ties as they skirmished late into the evening with riot police, who unleashed numerous tear gas rounds on short notice, angering residents and passers-by.
Police had beefed up security measures ahead of the rally, for which they refused to give permission, the latest chapter in the unrest that has disrupted life in the financial hub since early June.
Some 24 people were hurt and treated at hospitals, including six with serious injuries, the Hospital Authority said.
Police did not give an arrest figure. One person was seen being handcuffed and taken away to a police van.
As the rally march set off, protest leaders carried a black banner that read, “Five main demands, not one less,” as they pressed their calls for police accountability and political rights in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Supporters sang the protest movement’s anthem, waved colonial and U.S. flags, and held up placards depicting the Chinese flag as a Nazi swastika.
Many protesters wore masks in defiance of a recently introduced ban on face coverings at public gatherings, and volunteers handed more out to the crowd.
Matthew Lee, a university student, said he was determined to keep protesting even after more than four months.
“I can see some people want to give up, but I don’t want to do this because Hong Kong is my home, we want to protect this place, protect Hong Kong,” he said. “You can’t give up because Hong Kong is your home.”
Some front-line protesters barricaded streets at multiple locations in Kowloon, where the city’s subway operator restricted passenger access.
They tore up stones from the sidewalk and scattered them on the road, commandeered plastic safety barriers and unscrewed metal railings to form makeshift roadblocks.
A water cannon truck and armored car led a column of dozens of police vans up and down Nathan Road, a major artery lined with shops, to spray a stinging blue-dyed liquid as police moved to clear the road of protesters and barricades.
At one point, the water cannon sprayed a handful of people standing outside a mosque. Local broadcaster RTHK reported that the people hit were guarding the mosque and few protesters were nearby. The Hong Kong police force said it was an “unintended impact” of its operation to disperse protesters and later sent a representative to meet the mosque’s imam.
As night fell, protesters returned to the streets, setting trash on fire at intersections.
Residents jeered riot police, cursing at them and telling them to leave. The officers, in turn, warned people that they were part of an illegal assembly and told them to leave, and unleashed tear gas to disperse the crowds.
Along the way, protesters trashed discount grocery shops and a restaurant chain because of what they say is the pro-Beijing ownership of the companies. They also set fire to ATMs and branches of mainland Chinese banks, setting off sprinklers in at least two, as well as a shop selling products from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi.
The police used a bomb disposal robot to blow up a cardboard box with protruding wires that they suspected was a bomb.
Organizers said ahead of the march that they wanted to use their right to protest as guaranteed by Hong Kong’s constitution despite the risk of arrest.
“We’re using peaceful, rational, nonviolent ways to voice our demands,” Figo Chan, vice convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, told reporters. “We’re not afraid of being arrested. What I’m most scared of is everyone giving up on our principles.”
The group has organized some of the movement’s biggest protest marches. One of its leaders, Jimmy Sham, was attacked on Wednesday by assailants wielding hammers.
On Saturday, Hong Kong police arrested a 22-year-old man on suspicion of stabbing a teenage activist who was distributing leaflets near a wall plastered with pro-democracy messages. A witness told RTHK that the assailant shouted afterward that Hong Kong is “a part of China” and other pro-Beijing messages.
The protest movement sprang out of opposition to a government proposal for an extradition bill that would have sent suspects to mainland China to stand trial, and then ballooned into broader demands for full democracy and an inquiry into alleged police brutality.
___
Follow Kelvin Chan at twitter.com/chanman

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US defense chief in Afghanistan for firsthand look at war
By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Sun, October 20, 2019 10:12 EDT
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Mark Esper sought a firsthand assessment Sunday of the U.S. military’s future role in America’s longest war as he made his initial visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief. Stalled peace talks with the Taliban and unrelenting attacks by the insurgent group and Islamic State militants have complicated the Trump administration’s pledge to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops.
Esper told reporters traveling with him that he believes the U.S. can reduce its force in Afghanistan to 8,600 without hurting the counterterrorism fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. But he said any withdrawal would happen as part of a peace agreement with the Taliban.
The U.S. has about 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan as part of the American-led coalition. U.S. forces are training and advising Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism operations against extremists. President Donald Trump had ordered a troop withdrawal in conjunction with the peace talks that would have left about 8,600 American forces in the country.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad had a preliminary peace deal with the Taliban, but a surge in Taliban violence and the death of an American soldier last month prompted Trump to cancel a secret Camp David meeting where the peace deal would have been finalized. He declared the tentative agreement dead.
“The aim is to still get a peace agreement at some point, that’s the best way forward,” said Esper. He visited Afghanistan in his previous job as U.S. Army secretary.
He would not say how long he believes it may be before a new peace accord could be achieved.
A month after the peace agreement collapsed, Khalilzad met with Taliban in early October in Islamabad, Pakistan, but it was not clear what progress, if any, was being made.
Esper’s arrival in Kabul came as Afghan government leaders delayed the planned announcement of preliminary results of last month’s presidential election. Esper met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other government officials.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was visiting Afghanistan with a congressional delegation at the same time.
Her office said in a statement Sunday night the bipartisan delegation met with top Afghan leaders, civil society representatives and U.S. military chiefs and troops serving there. Pelosi says the delegation emphasized the importance of combating corruption and ensuring women are at the table in reconciliation talks.
Both Ghani and his current partner in the unity government, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, have said they believe they had enough votes to win. The Sept. 28 vote was marred by widespread misconduct and accusations of fraud.
Officials said the announcement of preliminary results has been delayed due to problems with the transparency of the process, delays in transferring ballot papers and delays in transferring data from a biometric system into the main server.
Esper planned to meet with his top commanders in Afghanistan as the U.S. works to determine the way ahead in the 18-year war.
Trump, since his 2016 presidential campaign, has spoken of a need to withdraw U.S. troops from the “endless war” in Afghanistan. He has complained that the U.S. has been serving as policemen in Afghanistan, and says that’s not the American military’s job.

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Chile’s president rolls back subway fare hike amid protests
By EVA VERGARA | Sat, October 19, 2019 10:55 EDT
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean President Sebastián Piñera on Saturday announced the suspension of a subway fare hike that had prompted violent student protests, less than a day after he declared a state of emergency amid rioting and commuter chaos in the capital.
Soldiers patrolled the streets in Santiago for the first time since the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet ended in 1990, summoned to keep order following protests over a rise in subway fares from the equivalent $1.12 to $1.16. Subway service had been suspended in the capital since late Friday.
“I have heard with humility the voice of my compatriots,” Piñera said before announcing that “we are going to suspend” the fare hike.
It was unclear if the rollback would end the demonstrations and rioting.
The protest by students began on Monday when hundreds of young people mobbed several metro stations in Santiago, jumping over or dipping under turnstiles in a fare-dodging protest against the 4% increase in fares.
Chile doesn’t produce its own oil and must import its fuel, leading to high prices for gasoline, electricity and elevated public transportation costs. The government said the fare increase was necessary because of rising energy costs, the devaluation of the country’s currency and maintenance. But many Chileans are frustrated by rising prices.
By the end of the week the protests had turned violent with thousands of students burning subway stations and damaging dozens of others, and some set fire to a high-rise energy company building. Officials reported 156 police officers and 11 civilians injured and more than 300 people arrested.
On Friday, the operator of Santiago’s subway system announced the suspension of service in three of its six lines. Later Friday, it announced the suspension of all six, stranding hundreds of thousands of furious commuters.
Authorities said that in all, 78 stations along with infrastructure and equipment had been damaged in a system that has long been a point of pride for Chileans.
The conservative Piñera vowed that those responsible for the violence “are going to pay for their deeds.”
Near midnight, Chile’s conservative president declared a state of emergency in affected areas, allowing authorities to restrict rights to assembly and movement. Soldiers were deployed in the streets.
Despite the presence of soldiers and police, thousands of Chileans continued protesting including in cities outside Santiago, not only against public transit fare hikes, but the price of electricity, water and medicines.
By late Saturday, protests had extended to another 20 cities, especially Valparaiso and Concepcion, where states of emergency were declared.
Walmart said in a statement that 60 of its stores in Santiago and six other cities suffered looting.
Police repressed protesters with tear gas, while protesters had set up barricades and looted businesses.
Despite Pinera’s lifting of the fare hike, subway and public transportation services remained suspended late Saturday, and the state of emergency was still in place. Authorities imposed a 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. local time curfew for Santiago.
At the San José de La Estrella metro station, mechanical engineer Hugo Millacoy González, accompanied by his young son, said he was protesting the hike “so my son sees that they can’t mock the people.”
But others expressed fury at the commuter chaos and not being able to return to their homes.
If subway service is still suspended Monday, when many Santiago residents return to work and school, it would create further commuter chaos.
Santiago Metro director Louis De Granges said “there is still no clarity” on when subway service would return to normal.
Until Saturday, Chilean governments of left and right have been wary of bringing soldiers back into the streets since the end of a dictatorship during which thousands of suspected leftists were killed and dissent was ruthlessly crushed.
“Piñera’s decision to deploy the military in Chile — a country that experienced a 17-year repressive dictatorship — is troubling and could further destabilize the situation,” said Jenny Pribble, associate professor of political science at the University of Richmond. “It also sends a message to Chileans that the parties of the right still see the military, and not democratic process, debate, and dialogue, as the ultimate solution to social conflict.”

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Qantas completes longest non-stop New York-Sydney flight
12:51 EDT
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s Qantas on Sunday completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York to Sydney, which was used to run a series of tests to assess the effects of ultra long-haul flights on crew fatigue and passenger jetlag.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down in Sydney early Sunday morning after a flight of 19 hours and 16 minutes — the world’s longest.
Qantas said tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness to exercise classes for passengers. A total of 49 people were on board, in order to minimize weight and give the necessary fuel range.
“Overall, we’re really happy with how the flight went and it’s great to have some of the data we need to help assess turning this into a regular service,” said Capt. Sean Golding, who led the four pilots.
The flight was part of Project Sunrise — Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Australia’s east coast cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Two more research flights are planned as part of the project evaluations – London to Sydney in November and another New York to Sydney in December.
“We know ultra long-haul flights pose some extra challenges but that’s been true every time technology has allowed us to fly farther. The research we’re doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and wellbeing along the way,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
Night flights usually start with dinner and then lights off, but he said that for this flight, “we started with lunch and kept the lights on for the first six hours, to match the time of day at our destination. It means you start reducing the jetlag straight away.”
Professor Marie Carroll from the University of Sydney said she and fellow passengers did a lot of stretching and group exercises at prescribed intervals.
“We did the Macarena in the economy cabin,” she said.

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Widodo begins 2nd term pledging to make Indonesia developed
By NINIEK KARMINI and JIM GOMEZ | Sun, October 20, 2019 09:35 EDT
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo was sworn in Sunday for his second and final five-year term with pledges to champion democracy and take bolder actions against poverty and entrenched corruption in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.
Known for his down-to-earth style, Widodo opted for an austere ceremony at the heavily guarded Parliament in contrast to the festive parade and horse-drawn carriage at his first inauguration, a relaxed affair where he was cheered on by thousands of waving supporters.
A knife attack by an Islamic militant couple against his security minister on Oct. 10 prompted a security crackdown for Widodo’s second inauguration. Army troops and police, along with armored vehicles, firetrucks and ambulances, were deployed across Jakarta and major roads were closed. On his way to the ceremony, Widodo left his convoy with some of his security escorts and shook the hands of supporters, who waved national flags, yelled his name and called him “bapak,” or father.
After taking his oath before the Quran, the Muslim holy book, in front of lawmakers and foreign dignitaries, Widodo laid out ambitious targets to help Indonesia join the ranks of the world’s developed nations by its centennial in 2045.
He said in his inauguration speech that he expects poverty — which afflicts close to 10 percent of Indonesia’s nearly 270 million people — to be just about wiped out and the country’s annual GDP to reach $7 trillion by then.
“For those who are not serious, I’ll be merciless. I would definitely fire people,” Widodo warned.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan were among the dignitaries attending. President Donald Trump sent Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao for the ceremony in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and a member of the G-20 bloc of nations.
Indonesia is a bastion of democracy in Southeast Asia, a diverse and economically bustling region of authoritarian regimes, police states and nascent democracies.
After decades of dictatorship under President Suharto, the country was convulsed by political, ethnic and religious unrest in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Since then, it has consolidated its democratic transition. While most of the country remains poor and inequality is rising, it is home to a rapidly expanding middle class.
Popularly known as Jokowi, Widodo is the son of a furniture maker who grew up with his family in a rented bamboo shack on the banks of a flood-prone river in Solo city on Java island. He is the first president from outside the country’s super rich and often corrupt, political, business and military elite.
Widodo, 58, presents himself as a man of the people, often emphasizing his humble roots. His popular appeal helped him win elections over the past 14 years for mayor of Solo, governor of Jakarta and twice for president. In a reflection of his popularity, he has nearly 26 million followers on Instagram and more than 12 million on Twitter.
He has been likened to Barack Obama, but since taking office he has been perceived as unwilling to press for accountability that threatens powerful institutions such as the military. Instead, he has emphasized nationalism while also fending off attacks that he is not devout enough as a Muslim.
Widodo was sworn in with his new vice president, Ma’ruf Amin, one of the most important religious figures in Indonesia. He chose Amin as his running mate to shore up his support among pious Muslims. Amin was chairman of Majelis Ulama Indonesia, the country’s council of Islamic leaders, and supreme leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization.
But Amin, 76, has been criticized for being a vocal supporter and drafter of fatwas against religious minorities and the LGBT community. Human Rights Watch says the fatwas, or edicts, have legitimized increasingly hateful rhetoric by government officials against LGBT people, and in some cases fueled deadly violence by Islamic militants against religious minorities.
Widodo has been widely praised for his efforts to improve Indonesia’s inadequate infrastructure and reduce poverty. He inaugurated the nation’s first subway system, which was financed by Japan, in chronically congested Jakarta in March after years of delay under past leaders.
Pressing on is the biggest challenge, however, in his final years in office given the global economic slowdown, major trade conflicts, falling exports and other hurdles that impede funding.
In an interview with The Associated Press in July, Widodo said he would push ahead with sweeping and potentially unpopular economic reforms, including more business-friendly labor laws, because he’ll no longer be constrained by politics in his final term.
“Things that were impossible before, I will make a lot of decisions on that in the next five years,” he said then.

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Donald Trump Jr.: A Potent Voice for Father's Campaign

Donald Trump Jr.: A Potent Voice for Father’s Campaign

The shout of “2024!” from the crowd was unmistakable. It stopped Donald Trump Jr. cold.

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‘Emanuel’ Review: Race, Religion, Thoughts and Prayers

Through interviews with victims’ families, survivors and others, Brian Ivie’s documentary revisits the 2015 massacre at a historic black church in Charleston.

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Anonymous Trump Official Behind Times Op-Ed Is Writing a Book

“A Warning,” by the White House official who wrote an essay for The New York Times last year, is expected to be published in November.

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Dan Harris, News Anchor And Author

After Dan had an on-air panic attack, he realized he had to stop chasing the adrenaline he was accustomed to as a war correspondent and find healthier ways to attain happiness.

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Vatican Accuses Conservative Social Media of Fomenting Hate After Statues Dumped

The Vatican on Tuesday accused ultra-conservative Catholic social media of fomenting hate, a day after militants stole statues they considered pagan idols from a church and dumped them in the Tiber river.

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Inside the NBA Guys Discuss the Recent China and NBA News | NBA on TNT

Chuck, Shaq, Kenny and Ernie give their thoughts surrounding the recent news about the NBA and China.

Watch highlights from Inside the NBA with Shaq, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson and more! Subscribe now to be updated on the latest videos: https://www.youtube.com/nbaontnt?sub_confirmation=1

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Star Wars News: 'The Rise of Skywalker' Will Address the Toxic Rey-Kylo Relationship

Star Wars News: ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Will Address the Toxic Rey-Kylo Relationship

Also, “Jedi” is now in the Oxford English Dictionary, and more ‘Star Wars’ rumors and news.

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NBC News president skewers Ronan Farrow in memo to staff

In an extraordinary new letter, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim says former employee Ronan Farrow is engaged in an “effort to defame NBC News.”

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Justin Trudeau: The good news – and bad – for Canada’s PM

Justin Trudeau is still PM but he lost both his majority and – by a slight margin – the popular vote.

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PH offers humanitarian aid as Japan recovers from Typhoon Hagibis – UNTV News | UNTV News – UNTV News

PH offers humanitarian aid as Japan recovers from Typhoon Hagibis – UNTV News | UNTV News UNTV News Palace unsure yet on planned US visit by Duterte INQUIRER.net Palace sends sympathies to Hagibis-battered Japan GMA News Philippines to offer humanitarian aid …

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Boris Johnson heads to EU summit as Brexit deal hangs in the balance

View the latest news and breaking news today for U.S., world, weather, entertainment, politics and health at CNN.com.

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EarthLink – News

Thousands in Germany, France protest Turkish push into Syria
Sat, October 19, 2019 02:27 EDT
BERLIN (AP) — Thousands of people in the German city of Cologne and in the French capital demonstrated Saturday against Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria.
Cologne city authorities said around 10,000 people took part in marches organized by left-wing groups. Police were out in force amid concerns about possible violence but authorities said the event was largely peaceful.
In Paris, more than 1,000 gathered at the Place de la Republique to denounce Turkey’s actions. Some displayed banners saying “The Turkish state is committing crimes against humanity in total impunity.”
Turkey’s incursion into Syria, aiming to rid the border area of Kurdish fighters as U.S. forces withdraw, has caused death and destruction and sent tens of thousands of civilians fleeing their homes.
“America has abandoned us. Everyone has abandoned us,” said Kurdish student Zade Adjoev in Paris, noting that the Kurds were on the front line as partners with the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group. “When it works for them, they call us Kurds. When it doesn’t, we are terrorists.”
A member of the Kurdish Democratic Council in France, Cemile Renklicay, called Turkey a “more dangerous enemy” than the Islamic State group because the extremists “didn’t have fighter jets.”
In Cologne, some demonstrators carried flags of the Syrian Kurdish force known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, which Turkey is trying to push back. Others carried placards with slogans such as “No deals with the AKP regime” — a reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party.
Germany is home to large Turkish and Kurdish communities, and tensions between them have turned violent in the past.

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German cabin crew union strikes at Lufthansa subsidiaries
05:10 EDT
BERLIN (AP) — A German union representing cabin crew has called members at several Lufthansa subsidiaries out on strike — a walkout that was extended by 13 hours at short notice.
The UFO union is locked in a long-running dispute with the company over pay and the legal status of the union, which has been engaged in an internal leadership struggle.
UFO initially called on members at Eurowings, Germanwings, Lufthansa CityLine and SunExpress to walk out from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, but on Sunday morning extended the strike to midnight, accusing the company of turning up pressure on cabin crew not to participate. Lufthansa itself wasn’t affected by Sunday’s strike.
Some flights were canceled, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many.

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Italian experts defuse WWII bomb in northern city
Sun, October 20, 2019 09:19 EDT
MILAN (AP) — Italian authorities have evacuated 4,000 people from the center of the northern city of Bolzano to defuse a World War II bomb found during construction.
The news agency ANSA said the bomb was defused during a three-hour operation Sunday morning. An alarm signaled the all-clear to reopen the city center, as well as a nearby north-south highway and a rail line connecting Italy with Austria and Germany.
The Neue Suedtiroler Tageszeitung identified the ordnance as an aerial bomb.
According to historian Ettore Frangipane, Bolzano, in the northern Alto-Adige region bordering Austria, suffered 13 major World War II bombing raids that damaged 60% of the city and killed 200 people.
Alto Adige was part of a broad swath of northern Italy that remained under Nazi-occupation long after Italy’s 1943 Allied surrender.

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UK’s Johnson asks for a Brexit delay that he doesn’t want
By MIKE CORDER and GREGORY KATZ | Sun, October 20, 2019 09:33 EDT
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pressed ahead Sunday with plans to try to win parliamentary backing for his new Brexit deal even as the European Union began considering his grudging request to extend the looming Brexit deadline.
As the dust settled on a day of high drama in Parliament, the next steps in Britain’s divisive, tortuous Brexit saga became clear. Monday will feature more legal action, more arm-twisting, cajoling and veiled threats by Johnson and his ministers and more amendments designed by lawmakers to stymie Johnson’s plan to have Britain leave the 28-nation bloc on Oct. 31.
In the midst of all this, EU leaders and officials across the Channel were pondering whether to grant the British leader a Brexit extension that he does not even want.
As required by law, Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the EU at the last possible moment late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain’s impending Oct. 31 departure. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.
“My view, and the government’s position, (is) that a further extension would damage the interests of the U.K. and our EU partners, and the relationship between us,” Johnson wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk.
Johnson has long declared that he plans to take the U.K. out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal, and his minister in charge of Brexit again emphasized that stance.
“We are going to leave by Oct. 31st,” Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday. “We have the means and the ability to do so.”
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, said Tusk would consult with other leaders “in the next days” about Johnson’s request, but most signs indicate the EU would prefer an extension to an abrupt no-deal Brexit.
Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, whose country holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, said Sunday “it makes sense to allow extra time.”
At home, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he believes Johnson has enough support to get his deal through Parliament, but added the government would keep talking with its Northern Ireland ally, the Democratic Unionist Party, to persuade it to back the deal. So far, the party, which holds 10 seats in Parliament, has refused to support Johnson’s deal because it treats Northern Ireland differently than other parts of the U.K.
“We’ll keep talking to the DUP and see if there’s any further reassurances that can be provided,” Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Johnson’s Conservative party has only 288 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons, so he needs the support of some opposition lawmakers.
While the Conservatives are focused on getting more votes, the opposition Labour Party was in favor of a second referendum on the whole question of leaving the EU.
Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer told the BBC it is “inevitable” that lawmakers opposed to Brexit will put forward an amendment seeking a second referendum — something strongly opposed by Johnson and his government.
“Whether it’s this deal or any future deal, it’s got to go back so the public can say, ‘Do you want to leave on these terms?'” Starmer said. “If so, then we do. If not, we remain.”
Johnson’s letters came after another tumultuous day in the House of Commons, which worked in a Saturday session for only the first time since the Falklands War in 1982. For hours, British lawmakers issued both ringing endorsements and scathing condemnations of Johnson’s Brexit deal, only to kick any decision on it down the road by passing an amendment withholding approval for the deal until laws enabling it are passed. That could take days, or even weeks.
While Johnson insists on sticking to the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, lawmakers are trying to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which economists say would wreak damage on the U.K. economy.
Heaping more pressure on lawmakers to back Johnson’s deal, Gove also said British government is triggering contingency plans to mitigate the disruption s expected if the country leaves the EU without a deal. He did not explain what that would entail.
And in court, Johnson could face legal challenges from opponents who feel that sending his second letter to the EU was done specifically to frustrate the will of Parliament.
The Court of Session in Scotland is already considering the matter and it may end up being decided in the British Supreme Court, which in September ruled that Johnson had acted unlawfully when he suspended Parliament for five weeks as the Brexit deadline crept closer.
Scottish National Party legislator Joanna Cherry, part of a group that brought the earlier successful case against Johnson, said the legal battle over Brexit continues.
“We’re back in court on Monday morning and it will be possible then to secure the court’s assistance if the prime minister has flouted the law and the promises he gave to the court,” she said.
___
Sam Petrequin in Brussels and Jari Tanner in Helsinki contributed.
___
This story corrects the number of Conservative seats to 288, not 233.
___
Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

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Swiss choose new parliament, vote could see Green gains
04:13 EDT
BERLIN (AP) — Voters in Switzerland are electing a new national parliament, with recent polls suggesting that green parties could fare well in a year when environmental concerns have swept across Europe.
The election for the 200 members of the National Council, parliament’s lower house, and 46 members of the Council of States, the upper house, could offer the latest sign of how fears about climate change impact European voting.
Balloting ends at midday Sunday. Most Swiss voters cast ballots by mail.
The wealthy Alpine country of 8.2 million has a stable political landscape, with a broad coalition of parties ranging from the left to the right-wing populist Swiss People’s Party — the biggest party in the outgoing parliament — represented in the governing Federal Council. It doesn’t include the two green parties.

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Cars Aren't Going Anywhere, and More Transportation News This Week

Cars Aren’t Going Anywhere, and More Transportation News This Week

Plus, we investigate a new, tiny jet engine for cargo-touting drones, and check out Volvo’s first electric car.

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Trump’s Pelosi Tweet Tops This Week’s Internet News Roundup

The president’s attack didn’t quite go over as planned. Also, Lady Gaga wants to know what Fortnite is.

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The Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Latest News

The death of Elijah E. Cummings Jr., one of the leaders of the impeachment inquiry, casts a shadow over the proceedings. But Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, is still expected to testify.

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WSJ: Facebook’s news tab could launch by the end of the month

While Mark Zuckerberg gives speeches about not wanting Facebook to be the arbiter of truth, the Wall Street Journal reports his company is setting up deals to launch its dedicated tab for news. In a post earlier this year, the CEO said “It’s important to me t…

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News legends’ dire warning about Trump

Dan Rather and Sam Donaldson tell CNN’s Don Lemon that they think that President Donald Trump is dangerous for the country because Trump is only interested in protecting himself.

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Corrections: October 22, 2019

Corrections: October 22, 2019

Corrections appearing in print on Tuesday, October 22, 2019.

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Lights, Camera, Bathrooms: Televising the Largest Debate Field Ever

Speaking time. Restroom proximity. With 12 candidates onstage, CNN faced unique challenges with the Democratic debate.

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Ole Miss Honors Student Wears Blackface, Prompts Warning

A University of Mississippi honors student has reported himself to the college for posting a photo in which he is wearing blackface, prompting the school to issue a warning about costumes.

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A Pregnancy Scandal

The problem here is not Elizabeth Warren.

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Corrections: September 24, 2019

Corrections appearing in print on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

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EarthLink – News

EarthLink – News

AP PHOTOS: 10 days on the Turkish border with Syria
Sat, October 19, 2019 03:59 EDT
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s 10-day incursion into Syria, aiming to rid the border area of Kurdish fighters, caused deaths and destruction on both sides and sent tens of thousands of civilians fleeing their homes.
As Turkish and Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces battled the Kurdish-led fighters, Associated Press photographers worked to get images out to the world despite obstacles including disruption of communications networks, hostility to international media and sporadic shelling.
They provided powerful visual coverage of the military buildup on the Turkish side of the border, early scenes of troops crossing into Syria and the chaotic scene of a mortar attack in the Turkish town of Akcakale.
Elsewhere, AP pictures showed the reality for families forced to flee the region, the funerals of civilians killed by shelling and children witnessing fighting close to their homes.
According to the Kurdish Red Crescent, 44 civilians were killed and 171 wounded since the attack began on Oct. 9. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human puts the death toll higher, saying 86 people have been killed, including 21 children. Turkey says a total of 20 civilians were killed by shelling inside Turkey, while six Turkish soldiers and 74 Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters were killed in the fighting.
An agreement was reached Thursday night to halt the fighting for five days, but Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that unless Kurdish-led fighters withdraw “without exception” from a zone 30 kilometers (20 miles) deep in Syria running the entire 440-kilometer (260-mile) length of the border, Turkish forces will resume fighting on Tuesday.
There has been no immediate sign of any pullout by the Kurdish-led forces, who say the deal covers a smaller section of the border, about 125 kilometers (75 miles) and that they haven’t committed to a pullout.

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The Latest: UK minister: No-deal Brexit preparations gear up
Sun, October 20, 2019 08:30 EDT
LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s impending departure from the European Union (all times local):
1:25 p.m.
The British minister in charge of Brexit preparations says contingency plans are being “triggered” to cope with the disruptions expected if the country crashes out of the European Union without a divorce deal.
Michael Gove tells Sky News that “we are preparing to ensure that, if no extension is granted, we have done everything possible in order to prepare to leave without a deal.”
His comments Sunday come after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reluctantly asked for an extension to Britain’s scheduled Oct. 31 departure from the EU.
Gove’s move could be designed to pressure British lawmakers into supporting Johnson’s Brexit deal.
The U.K. government warned earlier this year that in a worst-case scenario, a no-deal Brexit could lead to disruptions including long traffic jams at ports, shortages of food and medicines and problems for travelers.
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12:45 p.m.
The prime minister of Finland, whose country holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, says “it makes sense to allow extra time” for London to deal with the negotiated Brexit agreement to avoid a no-deal Brexit.
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain’s impending Oct. 31 departure from the bloc, as required by British law, to Jan. 31, 2020. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension, which he says would be against the interests of EU and British citizens as well as businesses.
Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne says Sunday that “Finland, along with other EU nations, attaches great importance to the approval of the departure agreement negotiated with Britain.”
Rinne said the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will talk with the EU’s 27 leaders about the British request to delay Brexit.
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11:10 a.m.
The opposition Labour Party’s Brexit spokesman has re-emphasized his party’s support for a second referendum on Britain’s divorce deal with the European Union.
Keir Starmer told the BBC on Sunday that “whatever deal gets through, it should be subject to a referendum.”
His comments come a day after Parliament forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek an extension to the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to leave the EU. That came after the postponement Saturday of a vote on Johnson’s Brexit deal, which he agreed on with EU leaders on Thursday.
Starmer says what Labour is seeking now is that “this deal in particular but any deal is put up against remain in a referendum.”
Hundreds of thousands of people marched through London on Saturday demanding a “people’s vote” on Brexit.
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10:40 a.m.
The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has met with EU ambassadors to discuss the consequences of the letter sent by British Prime minister Boris Johnson asking for a Brexit extension.
Asked Sunday after the meeting in Brussels whether EU leaders would be open to granting a new Brexit delay, Barnier just said EU Council President Donald Tusk would hold consultations “in the next days.”
Barnier said it was “a very short and normal meeting” to “launch the next steps of the EU ratification of the agreement.”
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain’s impending Oct. 31 departure from the bloc, as required by British law. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.
Johnson very much wants Britain to leave the bloc on Oct. 31 but British lawmakers have not yet voted on his new Brexit plan.
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10:20 a.m.
A German minister is calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seek a cross-party solution to the Brexit standoff and says he wouldn’t have a problem with delaying Britain’s departure from the European Union for a few weeks.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, was Quote: d Sunday as telling German daily Bild that “a good and orderly solution is still possible if Boris Johnson now reaches out to Parliament and seeks a cross-party solution.”
He says Britain’s continued political “power poker” game over Brexit endangers jobs and prosperity, and “if an extension by a few weeks is necessary, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.”
The European Union has not yet responded to Johnson’s grudging request late Saturday to extend the looming Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to leave the bloc.
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10 a.m.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a legal challenge from opponents over his Brexit plan.
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain’s impending departure from the bloc, as required by law. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.
EU officials have not responded to the request and say consultations are underway.
Opponents feel that sending the second letter was done specifically to frustrate the will of Parliament, which has not approved Johnson’s Brexit plan but does want a Brexit deal.
The Court of Session in Scotland is already considering the matter, and it may end up being decided in the British Supreme Court, which in September ruled that Johnson had acted unlawfully when he suspended Parliament for five weeks as the Brexit deadline crept closer.
Scottish National Party legislator Joanna Cherry said the legal battle over Brexit resumes Monday to see “if the prime minister has flouted the law and the promises he gave to the court.”
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9 a.m.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pressing ahead to try to win parliamentary backing for his new Brexit deal even as the European Union considers his grudging request to extend the looming Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the EU late Saturday seeking a delay to Britain’s impending departure from the bloc, as required by law. But he followed it with a signed letter indicating that he does not favor another Brexit extension.
EU officials have not responded to the request and say consultations are underway. The formal granting or denial of an extension by the bloc may not be made until the Brexit deadline is just a few days away, but most signs indicate the EU would prefer an extension to an abrupt U.K. departure from the bloc without a deal in place.
Johnson has been determined to take the country out of the 28-nation bloc on Oct. 31, but lawmakers are trying to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which economists say would wreak damage on the U.K. economy.
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Follow AP’s full coverage of Brexit and British politics at https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

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EarthLink – News

Bolivians pick between Evo Morales and change in tight vote
By PAOLA FLORES and CARLOS VALDEZ | Sun, October 20, 2019 08:39 EDT
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — South America’s longest-serving leader was seeking an unprecedented fourth term in Bolivian elections on Sunday, but polls suggested Evo Morales is in the tightest race of his career.
The 59-year-old leftist, who cast his vote shortly after polls opened, was favored to win the first round vote, but he was likely to be forced into a December runoff where he could be vulnerable to a united opposition.
The son of impoverished Aymara shepherds, Morales came to prominence leading social protests and won election as Bolivia’s first indigenous president in 2006.
He allied himself with a leftist bloc of Latin American leaders and used revenues from the Andean country’s natural gas and minerals to redistribute wealth among the masses and lift millions out of poverty in the region’s poorest country. The economy has grown by an annual average of about 4.5%, well above the regional average.
The son of Aymara Indian shepherds has also been credited for battling racial inequalities.
Many Bolivians, such as Celestino Aguirre, a 64-year-old vendor, still identify with Morales, saying people shouldn’t criticize him so much. “It’s not against Evo, it’s against me, against the poor people, against the humble.”
But Morales also has faced growing dissatisfaction even among his indigenous supporters. Some are frustrated by corruption scandals linked to his administration — though not Morales himself — and many by his refusal to accept a referendum on limiting presidential terms. While Bolivians voted to maintain term limits in 2016, the country’s top court — seen by critics as friendly to the president — ruled that limits would violate Morales’ political rights as a citizen.
“I’m thinking of a real change because I think that Evo Morales has done what he had to do and should leave by the front door,” said Nicolás Choque, a 27-year-old car washer.
Mauricio Parra, 40, who administers a building in downtown La Paz, said he voted for Morales in 2006 as a reaction against previous center-right governments.
“He did very well those four years. … (But) in his second term there were problems of corruption, drug trafficking, nepotism and other strange things” that led Parra to vote against repealing term limits in the 2016 referendum. “He hasn’t respected that. That is the principle reason that I’m not going to vote for Evo Morales.”
He said he was backing Morales’ closest rival, former President Carlos Mesa, a 66-year-old journalist and historian who, as vice president, rose to the nation’s top post when his predecessor resigned in 2003 amid widespread protests. He then stepped aside himself in 2005 amid renewed demonstrations led by Morales, who was then leader of the coca growers’ union.
An Oct. 4-6 poll by the San Andres Higher University and other institutions showed Morales apparently leading Mesa, 32% to 27% heading into the first round of voting, with the rest split among other candidates.
That would set up a runoff, and the poll showed Morales and Mesa practically tied at just under 36% each in a two-way race — with the rest of those surveyed saying they were undecided, would cast a null ballot or declining to state a preference. The poll surveyed 14,420 people and the margin of error was 2.82 percentage points.
Bolivians will also elect all of the 166 congressional seats. Polls project that no party would have a majority in Congress, which could lead to an impasse for the upcoming administration.

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After delay, New Orleans to demolish cranes at hotel site
By REBECCA SANTANA | Sun, October 20, 2019 01:27 EDT
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After two days of delays, New Orleans officials are hoping to use a series of controlled explosions Sunday to take down two cranes that have been leaning precariously over the remains of a partially collapsed hotel.
Officials had originally planned to topple the cranes Friday, then pushed back the demolition to Saturday and then to Sunday when officials said the cranes were more damaged than previously thought. Workers have been going up in a basket to place explosives on the crane and assess the situation.
“As they got up and got closer they found out some things about it that have changed the way they are going to take it down … and that’s going to take a little longer for them to accomplish,” he said. “The cranes are more damaged than they thought.”
The demolition will take place no earlier than noon Sunday.
The Hard Rock Hotel under construction at the edge of the historic French Quarter partially collapsed on Oct. 12, killing three workers and sending debris into the street. Clouds of dust billowed up as workers inside ran from the building that day.
While the rest of the building will also have to be dealt with, the cranes — one around 270 feet (82 meters) high, the other about 300 feet (91 meters) — have been the more immediate point of concern. Experts, including engineers who worked on demolitions following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, were called in to try to come up with a plan to clear the site and prevent the cranes falling on their own, at risk of further injury and damage.
On Thursday, officials announced plans to attach explosives to the cranes. If the plans succeed, the towers will drop vertically and spare nearby buildings such as the Saenger Theatre and the New Orleans Athletic Club, both built in the 1920s, and a key gas line that runs under the street.
“We’ve told you that this is a very dangerous building. The cranes are still in a precarious situation,” McConnell said.
McConnell said at least one of the cranes on Saturday was leaning more than the day before.
“It shifted and didn’t come back, which tells me it’s weakening,” he said.
Two bodies remain in the hotel’s unstable wreckage and Mayor LaToya Cantrell said recovering the remains would be a priority once the cranes are down.
Officials said Saturday that they would give residents who needed to evacuate four hours’ notice ahead of Sunday’s planned demolition. They will also have a wider exclusion zone in which people must remain indoors.
Officials have repeatedly stressed that fluidity of the situation and that they are adjusting as necessary, depending on the information they are getting from experts on the scene.
On Saturday, workers suspended in a basket held by a crane could be seen high over the wreckage, working on the cranes. Down below, streets in one of the busiest parts of town were closed off and tents were set up in the center of Canal Street, where the city’s famous red streetcars usually roll back and forth.
Tourists, employees and residents milled about taking photos, but officials stressed that they do not want people approaching the site to watch the demolition.
“We prefer people to not be out here when this thing happens,” McConnell said. “It’s a dangerous operation.”
The cause of the collapse remains unknown. Cantrell and McConnell said evidence gathering began soon after the collapse, and lawsuits have already been filed against the project’s owners and contractors.

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Nestor heads into Georgia after tornados damage Florida
By BRENDAN FARRINGTON and TERRY SPENCER | Sat, October 19, 2019 09:22 EDT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Nestor raced across Georgia as a post-tropical cyclone late Saturday, hours after the former tropical storm spawned a tornado that damaged homes and a school in central Florida while sparing areas of the Florida Panhandle devastated one year earlier by Hurricane Michael.
The storm made landfall Saturday on St. Vincent Island, a nature preserve off Florida’s northern Gulf Coast in a lightly populated area of the state, the National Hurricane Center said.
Nestor was expected to bring 1 to 3 inches of rain to drought-stricken inland areas on its march across a swath of the U.S. Southeast. Forecasters said it also was raising an overnight threat of severe weather in the Carolinas as it continued to speed toward the Atlantic Ocean.
While all tropical storm and surge warnings had been canceled by Saturday afternoon in Florida, the storm escalated weekend threats of possible twisters and severe thunderstorms elsewhere in the South.
The storm spun off at least three tornadoes in Florida as it moved north through the Gulf that caused damage.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said several homes were damaged and Kathleen Middle School had a large section of its roof torn off when the tornado hit late Friday near Lakeland, about an hour’s drive southwest of Orlando.
Photos posted by The Ledger newspaper showed a home with a destroyed roof, downed trees, a large recreational vehicle thrown onto its side and vehicles buried under debris. About 10,000 homes were without power Saturday.
“Thankfully, we have not had any reported serious injuries,” Sheriff Grady Judd said in a Saturday statement. “However, there are many people dealing with damage to their homes and property this morning, some of it severe.”
Another suspected tornado in southwest Florida damaged at least a dozen homes in Cape Coral, some severely, the police department said in a statement. No injuries were reported. Another tornado was reported in Pinellas County, producing minor damage at a mobile home park.
In Georgia, remnants of the storm spread heavy rains and triggered two National Weather Service warnings of potential twisters in the state’s south on Saturday evening. Radar indicated possible tornados separately in areas around Rhine and Vienna, Georgia. But there was no immediate confirmation of any tornadoes and no injuries or damages were reported.
Elsewhere, news outlets reported some downed trees and power lines in metro Atlanta as heavy rains spread across Georgia. Photographs showed downed trees blocking some roadways.
In Mexico Beach, Florida, where a powerful October 2018 storm nearly wiped out that Panhandle town and left thousands homeless, the mayor said Saturday that Nestor brought some needed rain to a portion of the state suffering from drought. But there was no damage there.
“There have been no issues,” said Mayor Al Cathey, whose city is still recovering from Michael. “I would call us fortunate.”
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Spencer reported from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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