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Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks

Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom will not hesitate to confront threats to its security and joined the U.S. in accusing its bitter rival Iran of being behind the attacks on two vessels traveling near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital trade route for Arabian energy exports in Asia. The U.S. has blamed Iran for the suspected attacks on two oil tankers, denouncing what it called a campaign of "escalating tensions". The U.S. alleges Iran used limpet mines to target the tankers, pointing to black-and-white footage it captured that American officials describe as Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops removing an unexploded mine from the Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous.


Israel PM's wife convicted of misusing public funds

Israel PM's wife convicted of misusing public funds An Israeli court Sunday convicted the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of fraudulently using state funds for meals, under a plea bargain which saw her admit to lesser charges. While the ruling cut short a high-profile trial, the Netanyahu family's legal woes are far from over: the veteran premier himself faces possible indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the coming months. In a deal approved by judge Avital Chen at Jerusalem magistrates' court, Sara Netanyahu was found guilty of exploiting the mistake of another person.


China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua

China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua China's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.


U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months

U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.


Thousands of protesters call for Carrie Lam to step down after suspension of Hong Kong extradition law

Thousands of protesters call for Carrie Lam to step down after suspension of Hong Kong extradition law Hundreds of thousands of people clogged the streets in central Hong Kong on Sunday dressed in black to demand the city's leader step down, a day after she suspended an extradition bill in a dramatic retreat following the most violent protests in decades. The massive rally saw some protesters carry white carnation flowers, while others held banners saying, “Do not shoot, we are HongKonger,” as they sought to avoid a repeat of the violence that rocked the financial centre on Wednesday when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas. The protesters, including young families as well as the elderly, formed a sea of black along roads, walkways and train stations across Hong Kong's financial centre to vent their frustration and anger at Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. Loud cheers rang out when activists called through loud hailers for Lam to step down and “step down” echoed through the streets. Protesters also chanted “pursue the black police”, angry at what they say was an overreaction by police that left more than 70 people injured in Wednesday's violent protest. Beijing-backed Lam on Saturday indefinitely delayed the extradition bill that could send people to mainland China to face trial, expressing “deep sorrow and regret” although she stopped short of apologising. The about-face was one of the most significant political turnarounds by the Hong Kong government since Britain returned the territory to China in 1997, and it threw into question Lam's ability to continue to lead the city. “Carrie Lam refused to apologise yesterday. It's unacceptable,” said 16-year-old Catherine Cheung. “She's a terrible leader who is full of lies ... I think she's only delaying the bill now to trick us into calming down.” Her classmate, Cindy Yip, said: “That's why we're still demanding the bill be scrapped. We don't trust her anymore. She has to quit.” Carrie Lam reversed herself on Saturday after previously saying that she would press ahead with the bill Credit: Getty Images Critics say the planned extradition law could threaten Hong Kong's rule of law and its international reputation as an Asian financial hub. Some Hong Kong tycoons have already started moving personal wealth offshore. Activist investor David Webb, in a newsletter on Sunday, said if Lam was a stock he would recommend shorting her with a target price of zero. “Call it the Carrie trade. She has irrevocably lost the public's trust,” Webb said. “Her minders in Beijing, while expressing public support for now, have clearly lined her up for the chop by distancing themselves from the proposal in recent days.” China's Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily, said in a commentary on Sunday that central authorities expressed “firm support” for Lam. The protests have plunged Hong Kong into political crisis, just as months of pro-democracy “Occupy” demonstrations did in 2014, heaping pressure on Lam's administration and her official backers in Beijing. The turmoil comes at a difficult time for Beijing, which is already grappling with an escalating U.S. trade war, a faltering economy and tensions in the South China Sea. Chinese censors have been working hard to erase or block news of the Hong Kong protests, wary that any large public rallies could inspire protests in the mainland. The violent clashes near the heart of the financial centre on Wednesday grabbed global headlines and forced some shops and banks, including HSBC, to shut branches. Activists on Sunday pasted hundreds of fliers and notes to a wall near the protest site, with some reading, “Stop shooting innocent people”, and “Use your brain, violence is insane”. At the start of the march, protesters paused for a minute's silence to remember an activist who died from a fall on Saturday near the site of the recent demonstrations. In the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, about 5,000 people rallied outside the parliament building in Taipei with banners saying, “No China extradition law” and “Taiwan supports Hong Kong.” Some of the protesters in Hong Kong also waved Taiwan flags. The city's independent legal system was guaranteed under laws governing Hong Kong's return from British to Chinese rule 22 years ago, and is seen by business and diplomatic communities as its strong remaining asset amid encroachments from Beijing. Hong Kong has been governed under a “one country, two systems” formula since its return to Beijing, allowing freedoms not enjoyed on mainland China but not a fully democratic vote. Many accuse Beijing of extensive meddling since then, including obstruction of democratic reforms, interference with elections and of being behind the disappearance of five Hong Kong-based booksellers, starting in 2015, who specialised in works critical of Chinese leaders. Some opponents of the extradition bill said a suspension was not enough and want it scrapped and Lam to go. “If she refuses to scrap this controversial bill altogether, it would mean we wouldn't retreat. She stays on, we stay on,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo. Asked repeatedly on Saturday if she would step down, Lam avoided answering directly and appealed to the public to “give us another chance.” Lam said she had been a civil servant for decades and still had work she wanted to do. Lam's reversal was hailed by business groups including the American Chamber of Commerce, which had spoken out strongly against the bill, and overseas governments. The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Well done HK Government for heeding concerns of the brave citizens who have stood up for their human rights”. China's top newspaper on Sunday condemned “anti-China lackeys” of foreign forces in Hong Kong. “Certain people in Hong Kong have been relying on foreigners or relying on young people to build themselves up, serving as the pawns and lackeys of foreign anti-China forces,” the ruling People's Daily said in a commentary. “This is resolutely opposed by the whole of the Chinese people including the vast majority of Hong Kong compatriots.” The Hong Kong protests have been the largest in the city since crowds came out against the bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations centred around Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Lam had said the extradition law was necessary to prevent criminals using Hong Kong as a place to hide and that human rights would be protected by the city's court which would decide on the extraditions on a case-by-case basis. Critics, including leading lawyers and rights groups, note China's justice system is controlled by the Communist Party, and say it is marked by torture and forced confessions, arbitrary detention and poor access to lawyers.


The Latest: Yemen's Houthi rebels launch Saudi drone attack

The Latest: Yemen's Houthi rebels launch Saudi drone attack Yemen's Houthi rebels say they've launched a new drone attack against Saudi Arabia. The Houthi's Al-Masirah satellite news channel announced the attack late Saturday night. Yahia al-Sarie, a Houthi spokesman, said their drones targeted airports in Jizan and Abha in Saudi Arabia.


Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests

Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests Franco Origlia/GettyROME—There are few scandals in the sordid history of the American Catholic church more painful than the saga of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a high-ranking prince of the church who fell from grace amid a slew of lies and cover-ups. McCarrick was forced to resign and later defrocked after credible allegations that he sexually abused a boy from the age of 11 until the young man was 29, starting long before the Boston Spotlight probe and Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came to define priests behaving badly.It was well known in certain Catholic circles that the cardinal liked to entertain six or more seminarians in his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that the odd man out would share his bed. Unlike in Boston and Pennsylvania, where the local dioceses were easy to blame for bad management, McCarrick was a man of the popes, which makes him an easy target for those who oppose the direction of the church. Both John Paul II and Francis relied on him as a chief fundraiser and were, it seems, willing to look beyond the rumors. McCarrick’s fall from grace shook the very foundations of the Roman Curia. While McCarrick’s sins and crimes are by now established, there is still mystery surrounding what his bosses—both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis– knew and, perhaps more importantly, when they knew it. But there is even more mystery why those who are so ardently against Francis see him as their poster priest of bad behavior.Enter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a traditional conservative Italian cleric supported by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Francis-foe Steve Bannon—both of whom have been vocal critics of Francis’ policies on everything from immigration to gay Catholics and who have embraced the McCarrick fiasco as a way to pin all the church's problems on this pope.Bannon, whose own dreams to open an alt-right Catholic institution run by the Burke-sponsored Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy recently were thwarted, told The Daily Beast that Viganò was heroic and that Francis was the enemy. “Francis is a big problem for the church and his liberals will ultimately destroy it,” Bannon said. “His open border policy on immigration won’t help, either.”It is little wonder that Matteo Salvini, the hard-line far-right Bannon protégé is also a Pope Francis hater, even bragging last week that he has never asked for an audience with the pontiff. Viganò was the apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was a harsh foe of Francis long before he was elected as pope in 2013 and one of the first to speak out when he was coronated. He was the one who set up the ill-conceived handshake with same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis on Francis’s first visit to America. He was also the one who penned a lengthy testimonial last July in which he claimed that Francis knew all about McCarrick’s illegal behavior but covered it up. And for that, suggested Viganò, the pope ought to do the church a favor and resign. A month later, Viganò had gone into self-imposed exile.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisThis week, he surfaced again, this time on the pages of The Washington Post whose reporters interviewed him from his still-undisclosed location through a series of emails. The fruit of that labor is an 8,000-word tome that doubles down on the allegations against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “The signs I see are truly ominous,” Viganò wrote. “Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”Viganò calls the pope’s February summit on abuse a farce, blaming the Vatican’s gay mafia for the real crimes of clerical sex abuse. “An especially serious problem is that the summit focused exclusively on the abuse of minors,” he wrote, acknowledging that yes, those crimes are truly horrific. “Indeed, if the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed, the problem of sexual abuse would be far less severe.”McCarrick, he has long asserted, should have been made an example of years ago as an abuser who indiscriminately abused both young boys and adults. Viganò believes that Francis knew that and chose to elevate the American cardinal, who was a skilled diplomat who helped him broker a deal with China over its underground church. “McCarrick’s degradation from office was, as far as it goes, a just punishment, but there is no legitimate reason why it was not exacted more than five years earlier, and after a proper trial with a judicial procedure,” Viganò wrote in the Post. “Those with authority to act [i.e. Pope Francis] knew everything they needed to know by June of 2013.” Viganò’s return comes at a time when battle lines have never been so clear between the more liberal faction of the church that supports Francis and the traditional conservatives who support the likes of Burke and Viganò. Even the timing of the release of a harsh Vatican document against what it calls gender theory—“nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”—is curious. A Vatican insider confided to The Daily Beast that the timing, during the height of Pride month, was meant to push the pope into a corner, either in defending the document or defending transgender people. In the end, he did neither. That Viganò finally gave permission to The Washington Post to publish its scoop after weeks of negotiations (Vigano's letters are dated May 2), is another example of the systematic criticism meant to embarrass the pontiff. “We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds!” Viganò claims. “But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, who also “knew nothing” and had “a lapse of memory.”Wuerl, another American cardinal from Francis’ inner circle who, like McCarrick, brought millions in donations from wealthy American Catholics to Rome, is the disgraced head of the powerful Washington, D.C., diocese. Francis was forced under pressure to accept his resignation last October after Viganò claimed he knew and covered up for McCarrick with the help of both Francis and John Paul II of McCarrick’s crimes proved too credible to ignore. To those against the pope, Wuerl and McCarrick  are emblematic in what is fast becoming a troubling legacy for the popular pope many thought could do no wrong after he was elected. For those who support this pope, they are just ammunition used against the most liberal pope in modern history. Either Vigano is the pawn or the errant clerics are in what is fast becoming a schism that may soon be hard to close.“Pope Francis needs to reconcile himself with God, and the entire Church, since he covered up for McCarrick, refuses to admit it, and is now covering up for several other people,” charges Viganò. “I pray for his conversion every day. Nothing would make me happier than for Pope Francis to acknowledge and end the cover-ups, and to confirm his brothers in the faith.”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.


A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened

A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened Target registers are now working after a nationwide outage Saturday caused long checkout lines and closed some stores.


United Airlines plane skids off runway after tyres burst on landing at New York airport

United Airlines plane skids off runway after tyres burst on landing at New York airport A United Airlines plane skidded off the runway after its tyres burst as it landed at an airport near New York.Some passengers suffered minor injuries when Flight 627 slid off the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Boeing 757-200’s left main landing gear was “stuck in a grassy area” following the incident at 1pm.“The aircraft will be towed off the airfield after passengers leave the aircraft via stairs,” it added in a statement.No injuries were reported to the FAA but United said some passengers had refused treatment for minor injuries. The airline did not say how many people were hurt.The pilot told those on board the plane had blown two tyres as it landed, according to passenger Caroline Craddock. She said at least one person hit their head and another suffered an elbow injury.Arrivals and departures were suspended at Newark following the incident. Flights resumed after passengers were “safely deplaned”, the airport tweeted.The FAA said it was sending officials to the airport to begin an investigation.


Off-duty LAPD officer opened fire in deadly Corona Costco shooting, police say

Off-duty LAPD officer opened fire in deadly Corona Costco shooting, police say An off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his gun during a deadly shooting at a Costco Wholesale store in Corona Friday night, police said Saturday.


New York-area airport briefly closed after plane lands on flat tires

New York-area airport briefly closed after plane lands on flat tires The busy Newark airport serving the New York area was briefly closed Saturday after a United Airlines flight experienced multiple flat tires upon landing and skidded partly off the runway, the airline and Federal Aviation Administration said. No major injuries were reported in the incident at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York. The FAA said United Airlines flight 627, arriving from Denver, landed at 1 pm (1700 GMT) before skidding off the left side of a runway, with its main landing gear getting stuck in a grassy area.


US seeks to 'build international consensus' blaming Iran for tanker attacks

US seeks to 'build international consensus' blaming Iran for tanker attacks Defense chief says attack was not just ‘US situation’, as UK joins Washington in accusing Iran and Saudi Arabia calls for ‘rapid’ response An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman this week. Photograph: Handout/Reuters The US is hoping to “build international consensus” around what officials claim is Iran’s responsibility for damaging two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, as UK officials joined the US in formally accusing Iran of carrying out the attacks. The efforts come after the US released grainy surveillance footage of an alleged Iran Revolutionary Guard patrol boat, with men who appear to remove a magnetic limpet mine from the hull of one of the ships. The acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, said the US was looking to “build international consensus to this international problem” on Friday. The attack was not only a “US situation”, Shanahan said. He listed several other countries that operated vessels in the waters. “When you look at the situation, a Norwegian ship, Japanese ship, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE,” Shanahan said, referring to attacks a few weeks prior. Oil prices have risen 3.4% following the attack, which came near the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping channel for international oil supplies. Insurance for ship operators in the area jumped 10%. Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers, also uses the Strait. On Saturday, the Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said “there must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat” to secure Gulf energy supplies and consumer confidence, according to a tweet from the ministry. The message was echoed by the Japanese industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, who said ministers agreed on the need to “work together to deal with the recent incidents from [an] energy security point of view”. The US military released a video on Thursday, saying it showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind the explosions that damaged the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. The UK officially joined the US in accusing Iran of perpetrating the attack on Friday night, in a statement from the Foreign Office saying: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible.” The statement continued: “There is recent precedent for attacks by Iran against oil tankers. The Emirati-led investigation of the 12 May attack on four oil tankers near the port of Fujairah [in the UAE] concluded that it was conducted by a sophisticated state actor. We are confident that Iran bears responsibility for that attack.” Although Donald Trump claimed the attacks had “Iran written all over” them, other heads of state have been more cautious in assigning blame. The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, called for an independent investigation. “It’s very important to know the truth and it’s very important that responsibilities are clarified. Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts,” Guterres told reporters on Friday. The German foreign minister was also cautious, saying the video released by US Central Command was “not enough” to make an assessment, according to ABC News. Several world powers have meanwhile called for diplomatic efforts to lower tensions, including China and Russia, which have closer ties to Iran. The European Union called for “maximum restraint”. Iran, meanwhile, has denied responsibility for the attack. Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, said the claims were like “false fabrications during world war I, the Vietnam war and Iraq war that were designed to instigate military interventions and armed conflicts in different parts of world”. The attack came as the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited Iran in an attempt to mediate new talks on a nuclear agreement. One of the ships attacked was a Japanese vessel called the Kokuka Courageous. Iran is holding the mostly Russian crew of one of the ships, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair. The Associated Press contributed to this report


Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020

Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020 Buttigieg did not want the White House dictating the terms of a DOJ investigation.


The Latest: Activists say shelving bill is not enough

The Latest: Activists say shelving bill is not enough China's Foreign Ministry spokesman has expressed support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam after she shelved an unpopular bill backed by Beijing. As Hong Kong's highest-ranking local official, Lam suspended the legislation indefinitely after massive protests. Geng said Hong Kong residents still enjoyed "rights and freedoms" guaranteed when Beijing took control of the former British colony in 1997.


Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law

Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law Planned Parenthood is building the stage for another possible fight over abortion in Alabama: a large women's clinic that's under construction despite the state's passage of a near-total ban on abortions. Located beside an interstate highway in downtown Birmingham, the 10,000-square-foot structure is now nothing but a steel frame and roof. Abortion critics vow to oppose the opening, but a spokeswoman for the women's health organization said neither the new law nor opponents were a factor in the project.


For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home

For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration. Mexico is ramping up security on its southern border with Guatemala as part of an agreement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Mexican goods if the government did not stem the flow of migrants reaching the United States. Under pressure from Washington, Mexico also agreed to expand a program started in January that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims.


Four Democratic 2020 candidates court South Carolina's black voters

Four Democratic 2020 candidates court South Carolina's black voters Four of the two dozen Democrats vying for their party's 2020 U.S. presidential nomination appeared at a Black Economic Alliance forum in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday, with an eye on the key role black voters will play in the early-voting state. South Carolina will host the fourth nominating contest next year, after Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and it is the first state where a significant proportion of the Democratic electorate - about 60 percent - is black. Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren attended Saturday's forum, which was organized by the Black Economic Alliance.


How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter

How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter Early in the morning of January 17, 1991, eight sleek helicopters bristling with missiles swooped low over the sands of the An Nafud desert in as they soared towards the border separating Saudi Arabia from Iraq.At 2:30 a.m., the choppers fanned out and set to work in teams of two. Rocket motors flashed as Hellfire missiles streaked towards two Iraqi radars powerful enough to potentially pick up the faint signature of a stealth plane.Minutes after the radars had been reduced to rubble, Nighthawk stealth jets soared through the twenty-mile-wide radar gap, headed for Baghdad. But the Army’s Apache attack helicopter aviators they had struck first to “kick down the door” for the Nighthawks.Nearly three decades later, the Apache’s status as the world’s premier attack helicopter remains largely unchallenged, and the type continues to see extensive action in the Middle East and in demand in countries as diverse as the UK, Egypt, India and Taiwan. Undeniably, the threats faced by the $35 million armored attack helicopter, which can pack as many as sixteen tank-busting missiles under its stub wings.


HK VP9: The 9mm Pistol That Is Better Than a Glock 19?

HK VP9: The 9mm Pistol That Is Better Than a Glock 19? If there’s anything you need to know about the company Heckler & Koch, it’s that they are pretty much synonymous with quality firearms that are in service with military, law enforcement units, and civilians all over the world.And if you know anything about Heckler & Koch, then you should have heard about the HK VP9 9mm pistol, which was first released to the general market in 2014.Today, the HK VP9 competes with other handguns such as the CZ P10C, Glock 19, and the Walther PPQ. So yes, it is ‘just another striker fired 9mm pistol’ on the market.But nonetheless, in many ways the HK VP9 is a very unique offering, and we’ll cover the reasons why in this review.History of the HK VP9


Report: Marine and Navy F-35 Pilots Need to Ration Afterburners at High Altitudes

Report: Marine and Navy F-35 Pilots Need to Ration Afterburners at High Altitudes After eighteen years of troubled and controversial development, the Lockheed F-35 Lightning stealth fighter may soon enter mass production, many of its bugs having been expensively squashed after delivery of an initial four-hundred “low-rate-of-initial-production” aircraft.However, a June 2019 scoop by Defense News journalists Valerie Insinna, David Larter and Aaron Mehta has revealed thirteen serious Category-1 flaws remain.As reported by Insinna and Larter, on two occasions late in 2011 an F-35B and F-35C flying near their maximum service ceiling of 50,000 feet damaged themselves using their afterburners to attain speeds of Mach 1.3 and 1.4.Remarkably, these eight-year-old incidents had not been previously reported to the public, despite numerous critical reports by the Government Accountability Office and Department of Testing & Evaluation.


Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made up to $135m last year while working in the White House

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made up to $135m last year while working in the White House Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $135m (£107m) last year while working as aides to Donald Trump, financial disclosures released by the White House have revealed.Ms Trump's stake in her family's Washington DC hotel made her $3.95m (£3.1m). Down the street from the Oval Office, it is currently at the centre of two federal lawsuits claiming Trump is violating the constitution’s ban on foreign government payments to the president.A personal business selling handbags, shoes and accessories, generated at least $1m (£794,000) in revenue for Ms Trump in 2018.The US president's daughter was also given a $263,500 (£209,212) book advance for Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success, which was published in 2017 and which a New York Times review called “witlessly derivative”.Her husband Mr Kushner took in hundreds of thousands of dollars from his holdings of New York City apartments. He also owns a stake in the real estate investment firm Cadre worth at least $25m (£19.8m).The historic Puck Building in the Soho neighbourhood of Manhattan, owned by the Kushner family, generated as much as $6m (£4.7m)in rent. A former warehouse-turned-luxury-apartment building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn brought in more than $350,000 (£277,900) in sale proceeds and rent.Former and current tenants in the building filed a lawsuit against Kushner Companies, alleging it used noisy, dusty construction to make living conditions unbearable in an effort to push them out so their apartments could be sold. The company has said the suit is without merit.Cadre has also drawn conflict-of-interest questions. It launched a fund to take advantage of large tax breaks by investing in downtrodden areas. It has also received $90m (£71m) in foreign funding from an opaque offshore vehicle since Mr Kushner entered the White House.The disclosures were released by the White House and filed with the US Office of Government Ethics.Last month John Kelly, the president’s former chief of staff, said the President’s family was an “influence” that frequently needed to be “dealt with”.Mr Kelly said in an interview with Bloomberg Television's, The David Rubenstein Show, that he had been forced to remove some “very disruptive” officials “to staff a president the way I think a president should be staffed”.He also said he was taken aback by the “intense personal ambition” some staffers displayed.


Father's Day 2019: Paganism, roses and how the campaign to celebrate dads was won

Father's Day 2019: Paganism, roses and how the campaign to celebrate dads was won Father's Day, the official calendar date to honour our wonderful dads and celebrate fatherhood, is just around the corner. Recognised each June, the day sees children around the world present their dads with cards and gifts as a thank you for all they do. But when did the first observance of Father's Day take place and who helped establish the annual celebration of paternal figures? From the history behind the celebration, to the more recent commercialisation, here is everything you need to know about Father's Day. When is Father's Day 2019? Father’s Day is held every year on the third Sunday of June; this year Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 16 in the UK. Typically, fathers are showered with cards and presents on Father’s Day, with some families celebrating together by going on days out.  Younger children also tend to make handmade gifts for their fathers at school and extracurricular clubs, including drawings, paintings or cards. As society and family structures have changed, some people now celebrate their stepfathers on Father’s Day.  In recent years there have been calls for a Stepfather's Day, however no such day has been officially discussed or introduced. Father's Day falls on June 16 this year Credit: E+ The history of Father's Day The first events in recognition of fatherhood took place in the US and followed Anna Jarvis' first celebration of Mother's Day in 1908, as well as the earlier observations of Mothering Sunday in the UK. Grace Golden Clayton, from Fairmont, West Virginia, was the woman behind the first event to celebrate fathers in 1908. Just over a year prior to this event, the Monongah Mining Disaster took place in December 1907, with the explosion killing 361 men. Of these fatalities, 250 were fathers. In honour of the one thousand children who lost their fathers, Clayton encouraged her pastor, Rev. Robert Thomas Webb, to hold a service at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South. Clayton missed her own father terribly, after he passed away in 1896, so she chose to honour the lives lost on July 5, 1908, the closest date to his birthday. While Clayton was responsible for the first recognition of fatherhood and the paternal bond, her work didn't directly encourage the creation of Father's Day. The memorial service was never promoted outside the town of Fairmont and the service was overshadowed by the significant Independence Day celebrations held a day beforehand. Yet the idea was also picked up on in the following year, when Sonora Smart Dodd started her quest to honour fathers in the same way as mothers. Dodd, born in Arkansas in 1882, was one of six children and at the age of seven, she moved to Washington with her family. When she was 16 years old, her mother, Ellen Victoria Cheek Smart, died after giving birth to her sixth child, leaving her father, William Jackson Smart, a farmer and Civil War veteran, as a single parent.  After listening to a Mother's Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, Dodd felt that fathers deserved equal recognition. With the local YMCA and the Ministerial Association of Spokane, Dodd began a campaign to have the day officially recognised. The first such 'Father’s Day' was held at the YMCA in Spokane on June 19, 1910, with a number of towns and cities across America later following suit.  Support for Father’s Day quickly increased throughout the US and in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge pressured state governments to mark the celebration. President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honouring fathers in 1966, making the third Sunday in June Father’s Day. Six years later President Richard Nixon signed it into law, establishing the day as a national holiday – though in the UK it does not enjoy this status. The move came after a campaign by a number of public figures, including Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who in 1957 wrote to Congress: “Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one. “But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable.” Dodd's message later spread to other countries across the globe and it is thought that Britain began celebrating Father's Day after World War II. Today, the celebration of fathers has become an important commercial event for high street shops and online retailers, with promotions for the best gifts and cards appearing in the build up to the day each year. Father’s Day around the world While in the UK fathers can expect, at best, breakfast in bed and handmade card and, at worst, the day to be completely ignored, elsewhere the festival is done a little differently. In Germany, Father’s Day is called Vatertag with it also being referred to as Männertag, which means men’s day. The celebration falls on the Thursday 40 days after Easter. In certain regions it is traditional for groups of men to go into the woods with a wagon of beer, wines and meats. Heavy drinking is common and, according to official statistics, traffic-related accidents spike on this day. In Australia, Father’s Day falls on the first Sunday of September, which is their first Sunday of Spring, while in Croatia, they observe Roman Catholic tradition and celebrate fathers on March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day. In China, Father’s Day used to be celebrated on August 8 as the Chinese for eight is “ba”, while a colloquial word for father is “ba-ba” – so the eighth day of the eighth month sounds similar to “daddy”. The day has since been moved to the third Sunday of June, in line with the UK and US. In France, the day was introduced in 1949 for commercial reasons by lighter manufacturer Flaminaire. Inspired by the US' day of celebration, they created a new advert with the slogan 'Nos papas nous l'ont dit, pour la fête des pères, ils désirent tous un Flaminaire' ('Our fathers told us, for father's day, they all want a Flaminaire'). Three years later an official decree was made to recognise the day. Most countries celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June including the UK, USA, Mexico, Ireland, France, Greece, China and Japan.  However not all countries celebrate it then. In Brazil, Father’s Day falls on the second Sunday of August and this day was chosen in honour of Saint Joachim, the patron saint of fathers. According to Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox traditions, Joachim was the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The ultimate films on fatherhood Father's Day tales and traditions Some pagans suggest that Father's Day is closely linked to the Pagan Sun worship, because the sun is thought to be the father of the universe and the celebration of dads falls closely to the summer solstice. Roses are the official flower of Father's Day, with people previously wearing them to church on this date. While this tradition is rarely seen today, sons and daughters used to wear either a red rose in admiration of a living father or a white rose in memory of a deceased father. Sonora Smart Dodd, the founder of Father's Day, selected this flower and it is said that during the early celebrations, she handed out roses to home-bound fathers, while on a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. Father's Day gifts and presents From cutesy cards, socks and ties to luxurious watches and fantastic car experiences, Britons present their paternal figures with an array of unique gifts on Father's Day.  But, demand for the perfect Father's Day present has led to the increasing commercialisation of the day, with retailers competing to offer the best gifts and consumers heading to their high street shops and online retailers.  According to MuchNeeded, Father's Day is a popular shopping day in both the UK and US, with 75 per cent of men expected to celebrate the occasion this year. While Britons and Americans spend a significant amount on Father's Day each year, on average it only accounts for half the spending around Mother's Day. Is it Father's Day, Fathers' Day or Fathers Day? Ah, the age old question. The answer? Many say Father's Day is the correct version. Mother's Day (which has the apostrophe before the 's') set the precedent while Father's Day was still gaining popularity. Anna Jarvis trademarked the term 'Mother's Day' – with the apostrophe before the 's' – in 1912, saying the word should 'be a singular possessive, for each family to honour its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world'. President Woodrow Wilson used this spelling when he formalised Mother's Day in 1914; this means the correct version of the word is spelled with the apostrophe before the 's'. Father's Day has followed suit, with cards on both sides of the pond including the apostrophe in the same place.


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