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US fears Iran seized UAE-based tanker in Strait of Hormuz

US fears Iran seized UAE-based tanker in Strait of HormuzA small oil tanker from the United Arab Emirates traveling through the Strait of Hormuz entered Iranian waters and turned off its tracker three days ago, leading the U.S. to suspect Iran seized the vessel amid heightened tensions in the region. Iranian state media quoted its Foreign Ministry spokesman early Wednesday as saying the Islamic Republic had aided a foreign oil tanker with a malfunction, but the report didn't explain further. Oil tankers previously have been targeted in the wider region amid tensions between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.




POSTED JULY 17, 2019 5:38 AM

MS-13 Members in Los Angeles Hacked Victims to Death With Machetes: Prosecutors

MS-13 Members in Los Angeles Hacked Victims to Death With Machetes: ProsecutorsOSCAR RIVERAMembers of the notorious MS-13 gang in Los Angeles have been charged in connection with the murders of seven people over the last two years—including the dismemberment of a rival gang member whose heart was cut out, federal authorities allege in a 12-count indictment unsealed Tuesday.A total of 22 people linked to the Fulton clique, a faction of the gang based in the San Fernando Valley, have been indicted by a grand jury on several charges, including racketeering and murder, for allegedly committing 200 criminal acts in several states over nine years. Of the over two dozen accused gang members, 20 of them have been charged with murder. While the MS-13 members and associates engaged in common gang behavior—such as narcotics sales, robberies, and extortion schemes—they also used “horrific violence” to control members and intimidate their rivals in Los Angeles, the indictment alleges. Air Force Major Charged With Murder After Missing Wife’s Remains Found“We have now taken off the streets nearly two dozen people associated with the most violent arm of MS-13 in Los Angeles, where the gang is believed to have killed 24 people over the past two years,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hann said in a press release announcing the charges. “The collaborative law enforcement effort solved several murder cases and dealt a severe blow to members of the gang who engaged in acts of brutality not seen in the region for over 20 years.”The 12-count indictment, which is the culmination of a two-year, joint investigation with federal and local authorities, details seven killings, including four victims who were “hacked to death with machetes in the Angeles National Forest,” prosecutors said.Formed in the mid-1980s in Los Angeles, MS-13—or Mara Salvatrucha—has a presence in at least 10 states, including New York, and several countries abroad. The epicenter of the transnational organization, prosecutors allege, is in the San Fernando Valley, where El Salvadoran MS-13 members joined with Fulton members to carry out the slayings detailed in the indictment, the court papers allege.“MS-13 in Los Angeles was distinct from MS-13 cliques in other parts of the country, because in Los Angeles, MS-13 had to pay extortionate rent payments to the Mexican Mafia, to which MS-13 swore fealty,” the indictment states.During a March 2017 murder detailed in the indictment, several MS-13 members allegedly targeted a “rival gang member,” only identified as “J.S.,” who “crossed out MS-13 graffiti.” After abducting, choking, and driving J.S. to a remote location in the Angeles National Forest, six members fatally attacked him with a machete, the indictment says.The victim was then allegedly dismembered before one gang member “carved out J.S.’s heart,” and threw his “body parts into a canyon.” “The greatest tragedy in these cases is that these young victims likely left their homelands hopeful that in the United States they would find safety and prosperity,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said on Tuesday. “Instead, these victims had the misfortune of crossing paths with violent gang members who preyed on the vulnerabilities of their immigrant experience.”Washington Man Accused of Hurling Molotov Cocktails at ICE Detention Center Killed by PoliceA month later, another victim identified as “G.B.” was hit “in back of the head with a pistol, before he was “repeatedly” hacked with a machete, the indictment states. Prosecutors allege some of the MS-13 members believed G.B. was an informant.“Once MS-13 had evidence that someone cooperated with law enforcement, by reputation, word of mouth, or by receiving and reviewing law enforcement reports or videos of interviews, MS-13 would issue a ‘green light’ as to that person, which was an order that if any MS-13 member saw the person who was allegedly or actually cooperating with law enforcement, that person was to be killed on sight,” the indictment states. To lure G.B. to the Angeles National Forest, one gang member allegedly “created a Facebook page with the photograph of a female juvenile.”Prosecutors allege MS-13 members also used “baseball bats and knives” to murder at least four of the victims, including a man identified in the indictment as E.H. Non-gang members were also the victims of “extreme violence,” including  34-year-old Bradley Hanaway, a homeless man who was fatally shot by three men in January in Whitsett Sports Park, the indictment states. “Let’s go take out the trash,” one MS-13 gang member said to two others on Facebook messenger before going to the North Hollywood park, according to the indictment. Last month, Los Angeles police arrested several MS-13 members as part of a broader investigation into a series of violent events in North Hollywood, including Hanaway’s murder. On the Run From MS-13 With Nowhere to GoRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 2:57 PM

Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-off

Investigators 'discover mysterious 200lb load' on board MH370 after take-offInvestigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a “mysterious 200lb load” added to the flight list after take-off, according to an engineer whose wife and two children were on board. Ghyslain Wattrelos said the cargo was revealed in a report on the passengers and baggage by French investigators. Mr Wattrelos, who believes the flight was deliberately downed, told Le Parisien newspaper: “It was also learned that a mysterious load of 89 kilos was added to the flight list after take-off. A container was also overloaded, without anyone knowing why. It may be incompetence or manipulation. Everything is possible. This will be part of the questions for the Malaysians.” MH370 became one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries when it vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. French investigators who examined flight data at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle believe that the pilot was in control of the airliner “right up to the end”.  A modern mystery | Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mr Wattrelos said the investigators told him the data “lends weight” to the theory that the pilot crashed into the sea in a murder-suicide, although they stressed that there was no proof. The investigators expect it to take up to a year to examine the data fully. However, some experts believe a hijack by a stowaway is a possibility and the mysterious load could lend credence to the theory. Tim Termini, an aviation security specialist, told Channel 5 earlier this month: “It’s highly likely that a hijack took place and again, there’s four options for the hijack. "One is the hijack of the aircraft through a crew member. The second is a hijack coming from a passenger. A third option, which is a fairly unusual one, would be a stowaway. And then of course the fourth option is an electrical takeover of the aircraft from a ground-based station.” Mr Wattrelos, 54, who has led a campaign to find out what happened to the flight, acknowledged that “there is a risk that I may never learn the full truth.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 12:55 PM

An Air Force Pilot Tells Us What Flying a B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Like

An Air Force Pilot Tells Us What Flying a B-2 Stealth Bomber Is Like(Washington, D.C.) When B-2 stealth bombers attacked Serbia on the opening night of Operation Allied Force in 1999, destroyed Iraqi air defenses during 2003’s “Shock and Awe” and eliminated the Libyan fighter force in 2011 -- the attacks were all guided by highly-specialized pilots trained in stealth attack tactics.Given the dangers of these kinds of missions, such as flying into heavy enemy ground fire from air defenses, confronting the prospect of air attacks and preparing for electronic warfare over hostile territory, B-2 pilots need to be ready.“We prepare and train every single day in case we get called up tomorrow,” Lt. Col. Nicola Polidor, Commander of Detachment 5 of the 29th Training Systems Squadron, told Warrior in an interview.While performing missions, B-2 pilots need to maintain the correct flight path, align with specific targeting intelligence and load and prepare weapons, all while manning a digital cockpit to control a wide range of additional variables at one time. Polidor, who trains future B-2 pilots at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, says Air Force pilot trainees have adjusted well to learning a seemingly overwhelming amount of new information.“The biggest challenge for pilots is being able to manage flying for long periods of time at the same time as managing a communications suite and robust weapons package,” Polidor said.Polidor is only the 10th female B-2 pilot in history.Training is broken down into an academic phase and a flight phase, with classroom training as the first step. Trainees, Polidor explained, typically spend about two months working on a simulator, before taking their first flight.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 3:02 AM

17 seemingly suspicious cases of tourists getting sick, assaulted, and dying in the Dominican Republic since June 2018

17 seemingly suspicious cases of tourists getting sick, assaulted, and dying in the Dominican Republic since June 2018At least 13 Americans have died in the Dominican Republic under suspicious circumstances since June 2018.




POSTED JULY 15, 2019 2:51 PM

Prosecco Grapes, Kiwi Pops, and More Easy Fruit Desserts

Prosecco Grapes, Kiwi Pops, and More Easy Fruit Desserts




POSTED JULY 15, 2019 5:31 PM

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leaveAustralia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, days after co-signing a letter denouncing Beijing's treatment of the Muslim minority. China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in tightly controlled Xinjiang region, in the country's northwest. Sadam Abdusalam has campaigned for months for his Uighur wife, Nadila Wumaier, and their son Lutifeier, whom he has never met, to be allowed to come to Australia.




POSTED JULY 17, 2019 5:31 AM

Susan Rice Calls Chinese Diplomat a ‘Racist Disgrace’ on Twitter

Susan Rice Calls Chinese Diplomat a ‘Racist Disgrace’ on Twitter(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.Former U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice sparred with a senior Chinese diplomat on Twitter in an unusual and heated dispute over race in Washington.In a series of Tweets apparently aimed at making a broader point about diplomatic divisions over the mass detention of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province, Lijian Zhao, a diplomat posted in Islamabad, said on Sunday that if “you’re in Washington, D.C., you know the white never go” to the southeastern part of the U.S. capital.“You are a racist disgrace. And shockingly ignorant too,” Rice told Zhao on Twitter. Likely assuming that Zhao was posted in China’s mission in Washington, she then addressed her next comment to China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai. “Ambassador Cui, I expect better of you and your team. Please do the right thing and send him home.”Zhao, who is deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy in Pakistan’s capital, is often vocal on Twitter against critics of China’s infrastructure-building projects in Pakistan and other parts of Asia. Beijing has invested tens of billions of dollars in Pakistan, whose leader Imran Khan has previously dodged questions about the issue.‘Shockingly Ignorant’“You are such a disgrace, too. And shockingly ignorant, too. I am based in Islamabad. Truth hurts. I am simply telling the truth,” Zhao fired back at Rice on Monday. “To label someone who speak the truth that you don’t want to hear a racist, is disgraceful & disgusting.”Read More: How China Is Defending Its Detention of Muslims to the WorldZhao didn’t immediately respond to phone calls, an email and a direct message on Twitter seeking comment.In a string of messages that appeared aimed at highlighting U.S. hypocrisy on human rights, Zhao referred to everything from income inequality and school shootings in the U.S. to immigration officers separating children from parents.He tweeted a list of mostly-Western nations that condemned China for its actions in Xinjiang as well as a separate list of other countries -- including Pakistan, Cuba, Tajikistan and Nigeria -- that wrote a joint letter to the United Nations supporting Beijing, which Zhao called “a big slap on the face of U.S. & its western cohorts.”Outspoken DiplomatsChina’s diplomats have become increasingly vocal and outspoken. This month, China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, gave a rare televised statement accusing the British government of meddling in Hong Kong, the scene of mass protests against Beijing’s rule.Earlier this year, China’s envoy to Canada publicly accused his hosts of “white supremacy,” while the country’s chief envoy in South Africa said President Donald Trump’s policies were making the U.S. “the enemy of the whole world.”Asked about the Twitter dispute on Monday, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang didn’t comment directly.“I don’t know the specific situation,” he said. However, he added, “we resolutely oppose the interference of the U.S. and individual Western countries in interfering in China’s internal affairs with the Xinjiang issue.”To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in New Delhi at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Chris Kay, Gregory TurkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED JULY 15, 2019 10:44 PM

How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North Korea

How Kim Jong Un Got Mercedes-Benz Pullman Limos Home to North KoreaResearchers tracked the luxury cars all the way from the Netherlands, in apparent defiance of sanctions.




POSTED JULY 16, 2019 6:30 PM

Taliban close Afghan health facilities run by Swedish group

Taliban close Afghan health facilities run by Swedish groupThe Taliban forced a Swedish non-profit group to close 42 health facilities it runs in eastern Afghanistan, the organization said Wednesday, the latest attempt by the insurgents to show strength amid negotiations to end the country's nearly 18-year war. In Sweden, the group's director called the closures "an obvious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law" and demanded the facilities be allowed to reopen right away. The Taliban currently control nearly half of Afghanistan and are more powerful than at any time since the October 2001 U.S.-led invasion.




POSTED JULY 17, 2019 7:30 AM

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