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As the Trump administration fills board seats, critics see an alarming attempt to remake governmentFor the Trump administration, appointing board members may be an effective and little-noticed means of weakening a federal apparatus it fundamentally distrusts. His board appointments, many of which may outlast his presidency, could serve an internal Republican resistance to a future Democratic administration. 


1/15/2020 4:00:17 AM

Sanders-Warren Clash on Women Elevates Acrimony in Iowa Debate(Bloomberg) -- Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren tried unsuccessfully to calm the waters Tuesday after a spat involving elitism, sexism and insinuations of lying, in a wide-ranging debate where the top candidates each enjoyed strong moments without yielding a clear winner.The clash between the progressives looms over a tight race 20 days before the Iowa caucuses after a recent Des Moines Register/CNN survey showed Sanders, Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg bunched up in a five-point spread at the front of the field.It was hard to see how anyone on stage at Drake University in Des Moines dramatically bettered their position heading into the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. That’s good news for Sanders, who led one key Iowa poll, and Biden, who topped a second survey. Warren and Buttigieg, struggling to gain altitude in Iowa, held their own with crisp performances while taking some hits from rivals.When moderators raised the Sanders-Warren dispute, the uncomfortable smiles from the two candidates captured the feelings of many progressives who want the two to work together to block a moderate like Biden from winning the nomination.But both held to their contradictory stories about what happened in a private 2018 meeting between them. Sanders insisted he “didn’t say” a woman couldn’t win the presidency in 2020. Warren said she “disagreed” when Sanders told her that, before trying to pivot away by saying, “Bernie is my friend, and I’m not here to fight with Bernie.”Neither of the two wanted to prolong the topic, and yet it framed the early part of the debate and allowed each of the candidates — four men and two women — to lay out their cases to become the nominee. The spat dredged up old hostilities among mainstream Democratic figures who believe Sanders damaged Hillary Clinton in 2016 and potentially cost her the election.The tension between the two was evident afterward when Warren walked up to Sanders to talk, but declined to shake his hand when he offered it.”Bernie should have let this go,” former Clinton 2016 aide Jennifer Palmieri wrote on Twitter. She later added: “What we will likely remember most from this night is @ewarren and her well litigated exchange with @BernieSanders on electability. This is very tricky terrain for women candidates and she came out the winner.”President Donald Trump sought to fuel the divisions as he held a rally in Milwaukee at the same time as the debate. “She said that Bernie said a woman can’t win,” he said. “I don’t believe that Bernie said that. I really don’t. It’s not the kind of a thing he’d say.”And Warren tried to seize the moment to make her case to lead a majority-female party.“Look at the men on this stage — collectively they have lost 10 elections. The only people on this stage who have won every election they’ve run in are the women,” she said, drawing heavy applause and referring to herself and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Tom Steyer completed the six-person debate stage.The spat caused Sanders supporters to light up Twitter this week with the anti-Warren hashtags RefundWarren and ITrustBernie. It was clear Tuesday those animosities would linger.“Who does Warren think she will win over with this sexism attack on Sanders? I can promise you she has just rendered herself completely unacceptable to most Sanders supporters,” progressive commentator Krystal Ball tweeted during the debate.Other Democrats had a different view.“It’s not just about what may or may not have been said in this conversation. Bernie came into this race with a bit of a legacy — the Bernie Bros were known to have been horrible to women online,” Karen Finney, a former Clinton 2016 aide, said on CNN before the debate Tuesday, using a pejorative to describe Sanders’ most fervent backers.“The Bernie Bros, again — they’re pretty obnoxious. And they’re very sexist and misogynistic,” she said, adding that there are “a lot of women feeling pretty raw from 2016.”Charles Chamberlain, the chair of the liberal group Democracy for America, pleaded with the two to play nice.“Especially given how close the race remains just 20 days ahead of the first contest, it’s critical that progressives focus our fight for the Democratic nomination against candidates supported by the corporate wing, instead of fighting each other,” he said in a statement issued in the middle of the debate.Klobuchar, who desperately needs Iowa to catapult into the top tier, had an unremarkable night as she offered herself as a pragmatic Midwesterner.Michael Bloomberg, who is skipping the early states and polling fifth nationally, didn’t qualify for the debate under Democratic National Committee criteria because the billionaire is self-funding his campaign. He’s the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.(Adds one paragraph after sixth paragraph about post-debate chat between Sanders and Warren)To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


1/14/2020 11:54:44 PM

Australia’s Bushfires Show the Wicked, Self-Destructive Idiocy of Climate Denialism Must Stop'We have to urgently stop burning coal,' writes Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull


1/15/2020 7:00:51 PM

Supreme Court Not Buying It on Bridgegate ConvictionsIt's unclear whether they'll throw the cases out.


1/15/2020 1:34:00 PM

Exclusive: U.N. sanctions experts warn - stay away from North Korea cryptocurrency conferenceUnited Nations sanctions experts are warning people not to attend a cryptocurrency conference in North Korea in February, flagging it as a likely sanctions violation, according to a confidential report due to be submitted to the U.N. Security Council later this month. The warning comes after the independent U.N. experts told the council in August that North Korea generated an estimated $2 billion for its weapons of mass destruction programs using "widespread and increasingly sophisticated" cyberattacks to steal from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges. North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.


1/15/2020 12:07:01 AM

Orphaned teen told he can't live in senior living communityAn Arizona couple says their senior living community won't allow their orphaned grandson to keep staying with them because of age limits. The boy's mother died in 2018 at a California hospital and his father took his own life two weeks later, said his grandmother, Melodie Passmore. Not long after, 15-year-old Collin Clabaugh moved in with his grandparents in Prescott, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Phoenix.


1/15/2020 2:48:06 PM

Flight lands in Honolulu over the weekend because of a dead passengerAn Air Canada flight bound for Australia diverted to Honolulu over the weekend because of a dead passenger. Passenger Christopher Woodgate, 38, was pronounced dead when the flight landed in Honolulu on Saturday, said Kira Paiva-Kimura, an administrative services officer for the Honolulu medical examiner's office. An autopsy will be conducted.


1/14/2020 9:19:59 AM

Michael Avenatti Tossed in Jail for ‘Foreseeable Future’LOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels’ ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported “forthwith” to New York, where he will stand trial next week.The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody “for the foreseeable future,” according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.Prosecutors in California say that since Avenatti was released on bond after a not-guilty plea to federal charges in March, he has engaged in a scheme to defraud victims—ranging from former colleagues and clients to two ex-wives—by concealing funds and “structuring” currency transactions to amounts below the $10,000 amount that w0uld automatically trigger reporting by the bank to the government.As The Daily Beast first reported, the pugnacious lawyer was arrested by federal authorities on Tuesday evening during an appearance at State Bar Court in Los Angeles, during a disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California claimed Avenatti had scammed a client out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.In New York, Avenatti faces federal charges that he attempted to extort millions out of Nike in order to keep mum on the sports company reportedly paying out high-school basketball players. “I’ll go take ten billion dollars off your client’s market cap,” Avenatti allegedly threatened Nike’s legal team. He also faces wire fraud and bank fraud charges in California, over allegedly misappropriating a client’s settlement money. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.Michael Avenatti Arrested by Feds at California State Bar HearingMichael Avenatti Lived the High Life While Owing Millions to IRSA court filing by the government, which the Santa Ana court unsealed on Wednesday after the arrest, alleges that Avenatti committed a slew of state and federal offenses during the 10 months since he was granted pretrial release in California—including mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. By Judge Selna's estimate, Avenatti engaged in more than 20 cash transactions in excess of $5,000 since he was arraigned in March. In remanding Avenatti into custody, Judge Selna declared that the former media darling’s release on pretrial bond posed an “economic danger to the community.”He ruled in favor of federal prosecutors who argued that Avenatti lied to investigators and directed money he was obligated under judicial order to pay to creditors, using it instead to fund a lavish lifestyle that included an $11,000-a-month apartment, expensive artwork and vacations, membership in an exclusive private club, and a luxury car.  Other allegations of fraudulent activity from the court filing include arranging for his first ex-wife, Christine Avenatti Carlin, to use a portion of a $717,000 payment to purchase a $50,000 Mercedes Benz in her name that he and his personal driver repeatedly used to transport him. Avenatti, the document says, completed the paperwork to purchase the Mercedes in his own name on May 6, 2019, but returned days later with Carlin to purchase the car in her name. Carlin and her current husband, Brian Carlin, are the third-party sureties for Avenatti’s March release on an unsecured $300,000 appearance bond pending trial in the California case. In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Sagel raised the possibility that Carlin received as much as $200,000 in payment from Avenatti in return for serving as his third-party surety. “He paid her to be a surety to the tune of a couple hundred thousand dollars, minus the $50,000 for the car she bought for him,” Sagel told the court. Afterward, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office declined to say if Carlin or her husband were currently under federal investigation. Prosecutors also allege that Avenatti used nearly half the proceeds from a $33,000 cashiers check to buy back a piece of art work at auction, despite standing judicial orders to use such money to pay back his numerous creditors. According to court filing, Avenatti owes roughly $5 million to a former law partner pursuant to a judgment issued in the LA Superior Court; roughly $2.2 million to a former client pursuant to a judgment issued in Santa Barbara Superior Court; roughly $2.5 million to his second wife, Lisa Storie Avenatti, pursuant to spousal and child support orders issued in Orange County Superior Court; and approximately $1.5 million to the Washington State Department of Revenue pursuant to a tax warrant. Another client who is a star witness in the California criminal case alleges that Avenatti stole nearly $840,000 from him, funneling money from a lawsuit settlement fund to his own personal use. Lawyers for Avenatti argued that the purchases referenced in the government's filing were properly reported to the court's Pretrial Services Officer. Due to the rapid pace of events that have unfolded since Avenatti’s unexpected arrest, the pretrial officer has not yet made a determination in the matter, the court said. Avenatti’s attorney Dean Steward downplayed the government’s case, calling the 59-page filing an “attempt to collect debts through the U.S. Attorney's Office.” Steward argued that Avenatti’s attempts to “make it harder” on his numerous creditors is not a crime, and that there is “no law or statute that says he has to pay [his creditors] in any particular order.” He also disputed a number of the more attention-grabbing purchases, insisting that the Mercedes belongs to Avenatti’s ex-wife, and stressing that dues paid to maintain private club membership were “valuable and transferrable.”   At one point in the hearing, Steward leveled an inflammatory accusation against Assistant U.S. Attorney Sagel, claiming the prosecutor was acting out a personal animus against Avenatti because one of Avenatti’s alleged victims is being represented by high-profile former U.S. federal prosecutor Andrew Stolper. “Are you accusing Mr. Sagel of misconduct?” the judge asked him. “Of course, absolutely, without a doubt,” Steward replied. Sagel called the accusation “sad,” and said Steward had heard it from “an individual sitting four feet away” from him, referring to Avenatti, who was seated at the defense table. Avenatti received the judge’s ruling with a stony expression and was quietly escorted from court in the custody of a federal marshal. He is currently being held in a jail in Santa Ana, which has a contract with the federal government to house prisoners.  Prior to his arrest, Avenatti had been making plans to board a flight to New York in preparation for his trial scheduled to begin on Tuesday. With today’s ruling, he will be transported by authorities and remain in custody while he awaits to the start of his trial. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


1/15/2020 2:42:38 PM

Teacher asks students to ‘identify rapist’ on homework assignment, prompting investigationTexas schools officials say they’ve taken “corrective action” after a ninth grade teacher included a question about a rape victim in a homework assignment receivedApproximately 90 students received an assignment that asked the following: “Suzy was assaulted in an alley and is a victim of rape. The police collected a sample of sperm that was left at the crime scene and now have three suspects in custody. Which of the suspects raped Suzy?”


1/15/2020 11:34:16 AM

What was Russia’s Putin up to after the death of Iran’s Soleimani?Russian President Vladimir Putin’s movements since the recent U.S. killing of an Iranian general have underscored one of the most consequential trends driving events in the Middle East.


1/15/2020 11:47:08 AM

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1/16/2020 6:00:00 AM

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1/15/2020 5:13:35 PM

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1/15/2020 4:53:23 PM

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