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  • Yahoo News/YouGov poll: The tide turns against Trump as Biden surges to his largest-ever lead among likely voters

    Golocal247.com news

    With only two weeks left until Election Day, Joe Biden’s lead over President Trump has widened to 11 percentage points — Biden’s biggest margin among likely voters in any Yahoo News/YouGov poll to date. 

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:56:44 -0400
  • Vanessa Guillén, Fort Hood soldier who went missing in April, died 'in the line of duty,' Army says

    Golocal247.com news

    Guillén's family will receive Army benefits, such as allowances, compensation for expenses, life insurance and a funeral with full military honors.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 22:30:23 -0400
  • Family of slain Saudi journalist sues Saudi Crown Prince

    Golocal247.com news

    The family of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of personally ordering Khashoggi's brutal execution in order to silence the high-profile government critic. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz and Democracy for the Arab World Now or DAWN, the human rights organization that Khashoggi founded shortly before his death. It names Prince Mohammed and a host of Saudi Ministry of Interior officials, accusing them of a “brutal and brazen crime” that was the result of “weeks of planning" and premeditation.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:29:17 -0400
  • U.S. fighter jets intercept Russian bombers near Alaska

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    U.S. fighter jets intercepted four Russian military aircraft in international airspace near Alaska, NORAD said.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:52:00 -0400
  • Florida is voting early. Here’s how many Democrats and Republicans are showing up

    Golocal247.com news

    Floridians braved the rain and fears of COVID-19 to head to the polls in record numbers Monday on the first day of early voting, with slightly more Democrats casting ballots in person than Republicans.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:04:25 -0400
  • 12 Everyday Household Items That Are Worth the Investment

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    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:31:33 -0400
  • Shanghai zoo fatal bear attack: Visitors see worker being killed

    Golocal247.com news

    The fatal attack in Shanghai Wild Animal Park's "wild beast area" is under investigation.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 04:51:10 -0400
  • GMC just revealed the all-new Hummer EV, a 1,000-horsepower electric pickup to take on the Tesla Cybertruck — take a closer look

    Golocal247.com news

    GMC just showed off its new electric pickup that'll take on Tesla's Cybertruck, Rivian's R1T, and Ford's battery-powered F-150.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 20:53:41 -0400
  • U.S. blacklists Chinese entities, individuals for dealing with Iran

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    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:51:22 -0400
  • CDC criticizes White House medical adviser's discredited mask claim

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    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is criticizing a White House coronavirus adviser for spreading misinformation about facial coverings, in a potential escalation of the feud between the administration and public health officials within the federal government.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 13:12:04 -0400
  • U.S. spacecraft touches asteroid surface for rubble grab

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    A NASA spacecraft descended to an asteroid on Tuesday and momentarily touched the surface to collect cosmic rubble for return to Earth.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 20:15:07 -0400
  • More than 50 former intel officials signed a public letter saying they believe the Hunter Biden story has 'all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation'

    Golocal247.com news

    The former intel officials wrote they believed the arrival of emails to the New York Post, which they dubbed a "laptop op," was a cause for suspicion.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 01:54:38 -0400
  • Danish submarine killer briefly escapes from prison

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    A Danish man convicted of torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist on his homemade submarine made a dramatic but brief escape from a suburban Copenhagen prison Tuesday, reportedly taking a hostage to break out before police recaptured him. Peter Madsen was quickly apprehended near the Herstedvester prison where he is serving a life sentence for the killing of Kim Wall. Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup called the escape attempt “very serious.”

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 06:49:53 -0400
  • SCOTUS mail-in voting ruling raises alarm: Democrats may “never win another national election"

    Golocal247.com news

    Democrats scored a big win in a Pennsylvania mail-in voting case, but the victory "may only last a matter of days"

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:15:25 -0400
  • Heartbreak in the Magic Kingdom: Laid-off Disney workers turn to food banks as coronavirus devastates Florida tourism

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    The coronavirus has led to thousands of layoffs at Disney in Orlando, and devastated the local economy, reports Richard Hall

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:19:49 -0400
  • Fake naked photos of thousands of women shared online

    Golocal247.com news

    Fake naked images of thousands of women are being made from social media photos.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:40:05 -0400
  • An idle Venezuelan tanker with millions of gallons of oil is creating panic in Trinidad

    Golocal247.com news

    More than 20 months after a Venezuelan oil tanker carrying nearly 55 million gallons of crude oil was abandoned off the country’s northern coast following tightened U.S. sanctions, inspectors from neighboring Trinidad and Tobago will finally get a chance to see for themselves if the idle vessel’s cargo could lead to a major ecological disaster off the Caribbean coast of South America.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:23:29 -0400
  • ‘Cheer’ star Jerry Harris was warned before child porn arrest by the owner of a gym featured on ‘AGT,’ lawsuit claims

    Golocal247.com news

    Cheer Athletics co-owner Angela Rogers warned 'Cheer' star Jerry Harris about a possible investigation into his conduct, according to a lawsuit.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 17:18:12 -0400
  • New Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Half of Trump supporters believe QAnon's imaginary claims

    Golocal247.com news

    A full 50 percent of President Trump’s supporters now believe the bizarre, false claims of the extremist conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 08:40:25 -0400
  • Family of Moscow-Born Teen Who Beheaded Teacher Were from Chechnya Where Charlie Hebdo Cartoons Are Demonized

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    MOSCOW—The man known as "Putin’s attack dog" has spent years promoting a violent response to the publication of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. When a teenager from a Chechen family beheaded a school teacher in France on Friday for sharing these images with his class, Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-backed ruler of Chechnya, took to social media to lecture France about its “unacceptable attitude to Islamic values.”Kadyrov has worked hard to make the French controversy a cause célèbre in the Muslim-majority region of Russia. He gathered hundreds of thousands of Chechens for an anti-Charlie Hebdo rally, just a few days after terrorists killed 12 and injured 11 people at the satirical newspaper’s office in January 2015. That was the biggest rally ever seen in the Northern Caucasus. With a white vest on, Kadyrov spoke to a crowd of about a million people, calling on Muslims to rise against those who “deliberately kindle the fire of religious hostility.”When Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons on September 2 to mark the opening of a trial of those involved in the terror attack, Chechnya’s official Instagram account responded with a call in the Chechen language saying, “May the Almighty punish them for their deeds as quickly as possible.” Two days later Chechen Islamic jurist Salakh Mezhiyev condemned the French publication as part of “the West’s well-planned attack against Islam.” A rain of angry statements followed, and Instagram users called to make Charlie Hebdo “burn in hell.”Parents of Student Arrested After Teacher Beheaded for Showing Anti-Muslim CartoonSvetlana Gannushkina, the head of Moscow’s Civic Assistance Committee, said there could be no doubt what the Chechen leader was advocating. “The message Kadyrov has been sending his people is pretty clear, she told The Daily Beast. “He calls for Muslims to take measures against those mocking Muhammad.”The son of a Chechen émigré family in the suburbs of Paris did just that on Friday. A French teacher of geography and history, 47-year old Samuel Paty, was decapitated in the street in the Conflans Saint-Honorine neighborhood by Abdullah Anzorov, 18, about a week after Paty had shown the Muhammed cartoons to his students.Witnesses heard Anzorov yell during the attack, “Allahu Akbar!” The attacker was later shot dead after firing a plastic pellet gun at police. The authorities have arrested at least ten members of Anzorov’s Chechen family.The teenager himself was born in Moscow and only visited Chechnya as a young child, but Grigory Shvedov, editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Knot media site, told The Daily Beast that Kadyrov’s influence stretched well beyond the republic’s borders. “It has to do with so-called ‘Kadyrovtsy,’ they are responsible for spreading intolerance, hatred of critical thinking,” he said. “The murder in France took place after Chechnya’s main mufti condemned Charlie Hebdo.”Kadyrov, whose hardline policies are fully supported by President Vladimir Putin, did condemn the terrorist attack at the end of his social media tirade, but he also doubled down on his criticism of the cartoonists and those who would challenge Islamic fundamentalism. “While speaking out categorically against any manifestation of terrorism,” he wrote. “I also urge not to provoke believers, not to offend their religious feelings.”Kadyrov has been lecturing on public morality and behavior for years. Enjoying Kremlin-backed power in his republic, he forbade smoking and drinking, banned women from entering state buildings without scarves on, and called for a crusade against his own LGBT citizens in order “to purify our blood.”Chechen nationals across the world continue to follow Kadyrov, watching his videos and messages on Telegram and Instagram. His own Instagram account was blocked after U.S. sanctions, but he continues to spread his message via the republic’s official account.Yekaterina Sokirianskaya, the founder of the Conflict Analysis and Prevention Center think tank, has been researching Chechen émigrés in Europe and the U.S. “Many Chechens in the West are shocked, ashamed, they condemned the murderer for spoiling their nation’s reputation,” she said. “As my own research showed, most young Chechen refugees blend in, learn languages, study and work on the West. They have no other home, since returning to Chechnya would be too dangerous for most of them.“Judging by how much Anzorov rushed to photograph his beheaded victim and publish photographs on Twitter, he was prepared for a demonstratively violent act for some time, using the teacher as a pretext.”The shocking photographs were published on Twitter in a post addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron, which read, “I have executed one of your dogs.”Chechnya watchers in Russia believe that many Muslims who oppose Kadyrov’s domestic policy have been seduced by his criticism of Charlie Hebdo and French politicians who support tolerance and freedom of speech. “Kadyrov makes statements about Muslims in Myanmar, Muslims in Palestine, he has ambitions of becoming the leading voice for all Russian Muslims,” Sokirianskaya told The Daily Beast.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.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 09:15:20 -0400
  • Joe Biden supporter who was installing BLM sign arrested for allegedly shooting at passing Trump supporter and son

    Golocal247.com news

    Neighbours said the political signs supporting Democrats had been previously pulled down on multiple occasions

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:12:36 -0400
  • Hospital: Palestinian official Erekat in critical condition

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    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 09:58:02 -0400
  • USPS told its postal police officers to stand down, igniting concerns about mail-in ballot security and sparking another lawsuit against the agency

    Golocal247.com news

    The USPS has become a flashpoint in the upcoming elections under the leadership of Trump ally Louis DeJoy, who has made major changes.

    Wed, 21 Oct 2020 01:14:05 -0400
  • Senate GOP offers Constitutional amendment to prevent Democrats from expanding the Supreme Court

    Golocal247.com news

    Ken Starr, former independent counsel, weighs in on 'Outnumbered Overtime.'

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:22:51 -0400
  • China-Taiwan tensions erupt over diplomats' fight in Fiji

    Golocal247.com news

    Both sides say their officials were injured at an event organised to mark Taiwan's national day.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 12:37:53 -0400
  • Record-setting catch of 110-pound catfish in Georgia has angler under fire. Here’s why

    Golocal247.com news

    Some aren’t happy about what happened to the catfish

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 17:59:19 -0400
  • Unmasked man in Washington grocery store speaks out after video goes viral

    Golocal247.com news

    In the viral video, an employee confronts Scott, who said his medical condition prevents him from wearing a mask.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 13:39:53 -0400
  • Trump's rallies define his view of liberty: The right not to care about other people

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump made a fateful decision last week to return to holding mass rallies despite warnings from health officials about doing so during a pandemic.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:03:13 -0400
  • The 2021 IKEA Catalog Is Finally Here!

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    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 17:31:03 -0400
  • Outrage among Hindu groups as Kamala Harris's niece shares image of her photoshopped as goddess

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    Image had planted Harris’s face onto the Hindu goddess Durga, showing Biden as her lion and Trump as a demon she slays

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 08:08:28 -0400
  • Egypt says another trove of ancient coffins found in Saqqara

    Golocal247.com news

    Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed another trove of ancient coffins in a vast necropolis south of Cairo, authorities said Monday. The Tourism and Antiquities Ministry said in a statement that archaeologists found the collection of colorful, sealed sarcophagi buried more than 2,500 years ago at the Saqqara necropolis. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said more than 80 coffins were found.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 09:48:42 -0400
  • We analyzed a conservative foundation's catalog of absentee ballot fraud: It's not a 2020 election threat

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump has said absentee ballot fraud is a threat to the 2020 election. A review of alleged ballot fraud cases shows why that's not true.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 18:56:02 -0400
  • Watch the US Navy stealth destroyer Zumwalt fire off a missile for the first time

    Golocal247.com news

    USS Zumwalt went years without a working combat system, but now the Navy is starting to put its weapons to the test.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 12:10:56 -0400
  • Trump supporter launches furious rant at Starbucks barista

    Golocal247.com news

    This week a Trump supporter went viral for all the wrong reasons after video surfaced of her yelling anti-Black Lives Matter rhetoric at a Starbucks barista in Santee, California. The clip – which was taken by a concerned customer – shows the agitated woman getting into a heated war of words with barista Alex Beckom, 19, after being politely asked her to wear the Trump 2020 mask under her chin, correctly over her face. Instead of leaving quietly, the woman then accused the coffee shop employee of discriminating against her for her political views as a supporter of the president.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 16:53:55 -0400
  • They caught thousands of flying squirrels in Florida and sold them illegally, cops say

    Golocal247.com news

    Four Florida men and two men from Georgia are accused of a scheme to illegally catch and export to Asia flying squirrels and other protected species.

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 22:23:23 -0400
  • Late night shooting in Houston club kills three, fourth critical

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    Wed, 21 Oct 2020 04:29:08 -0400
  • Taliban conflict: Afghan fears rise as US ends its longest war

    Golocal247.com news

    As part of our coverage of the US election and the world, the BBC's Lyse Doucet reports from Afghanistan.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 11:39:15 -0400
  • Trump reportedly invited a waiter into a top secret intelligence briefing room to order a milkshake

    Golocal247.com news

    Look, sometimes a man just needs a malted milkshake. Admittedly, there are less opportune moments to indulge in such a craving — say, when you're in a highly classified briefing about Afghanistan with your country's senior defense and intelligence officials.Nevertheless, President Trump reportedly brought such a huddle to a halt a few months after he took office in 2017, Politico reports. "Does anyone want a malt?" the commander-in-chief supposedly asked the top-ranking officials who'd assembled for the briefing at his New Jersey golf club, including the head of the CIA's Special Activities Center, "a little known unit" that is "responsible for operations that include clandestine or covert operations with which the U.S. government does not want to be overtly associated," Spec Ops Magazine explains.Trump urged, "We have the best malts, you have to try them," before inviting a waiter into the code-word-secure briefing room to satisfy his sweet tooth. "The malt episode ... became legendary inside the CIA, said three former officials," Politico writes, explaining that "it was seen as an early harbinger of Trump's disinterest in intelligence, which would later be borne out by the new president's notorious resistance to reading his classified daily briefing." (That is to say, pictures were added to the briefings to help keep him engaged).Still, this is a man who has flexed the power of the nation's highest office to … install a button on his desk in the Oval Office that summons a butler to bring him a Diet Coke. The briefings can wait! To paraphrase a queen of France who was similarly burdened with the trivialities of running a country when there were sweets to consume, let them drink milkshakes.More stories from theweek.com Will Kansas go blue? What happened to third party candidates? If Roe falls

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 10:57:00 -0400
  • Jill Biden: From her secret identity to how Joe Biden’s wife could become first career First Lady, everything you need to know

    Golocal247.com news

    Educator says she wants to keep on teaching if Joe Biden beats Donald Trump

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 05:35:21 -0400
  • San Francisco officials let people sue over racist 911 calls

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    Fed up with white people calling 911 about people of color selling water bottles, barbecuing or otherwise going about their lives, San Francisco leaders unanimously approved hate crime legislation giving the targets of those calls the ability to sue the caller. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday on the Caution Against Racial and Exploitative Non-Emergencies Act, also known as the CAREN legislation. “We don’t want what happened to Emmett Till in 1955, or the long history of false accusations of black men and boys in this country, due to weaponizing law enforcement, to threaten, terrorize, and sometimes even kill them, to ever happen again,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton, who introduced the legislation and is Black.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 01:09:36 -0400
  • Electoral college explained: how Biden faces an uphill battle in the US election

    Golocal247.com news

    Trump won the presidency in 2016 despite Clinton receiving almost 3m more votes, all because of the electoral college. How does the system work? Who elects the US president?When Americans cast their ballots for the US president, they are actually voting for a representative of that candidate’s party known as an elector. There are 538 electors who then vote for the president on behalf of the people in their state.Each state is assigned a certain number of these electoral votes, based on the number of congressional districts they have, plus two additional votes representing the state’s Senate seats. Washington DC is also assigned three electoral votes, despite having no voting representation in Congress. A majority of 270 of these votes is needed to win the presidency.The process of nominating electors varies by state and by party, but is generally done one of two ways. Ahead of the election, political parties either choose electors at their national conventions, or they are voted for by the party’s central committee.The electoral college nearly always operates with a winner-takes-all system, in which the candidate with the highest number of votes in a state claims all of that state’s electoral votes. For example, in 2016, Trump beat Clinton in Florida by a margin of just 2.2%, but that meant he claimed all 29 of Florida’s crucial electoral votes.Such small margins in a handful of key swing states meant that, regardless of Clinton’s national vote lead, Trump was able to clinch victory in several swing states and therefore win more electoral college votes. Biden could face the same hurdle in November, meaning he will need to focus his attention on a handful of battleground states to win the presidency.A chart showing electoral college votes by state The unequal distribution of electoral votesWhile the number of electoral votes a state is assigned somewhat reflects its population, the minimum of three votes per state means that the relative value of electoral votes varies across America.The least populous states like North and South Dakota and the smaller states of New England are overrepresented because of the required minimum of three electoral votes. Meanwhile, the states with the most people – California, Texas and Florida – are underrepresented in the electoral college.Wyoming has one electoral college vote for every 193,000 people, compared with California’s rate of one electoral vote per 718,000 people. This means that each electoral vote in California represents over three times as many people as one in Wyoming. These disparities are repeated across the country. A visual of population per electoral vote by state Who does it favour?Experts have warned that, after returning two presidents that got fewer votes than their opponents since 2000, the electoral college is flawed.In 2000, Al Gore won over half a million more votes than Bush, yet Bush became president after winning Florida by just 537 votes.A chart showing recent election outcomes by popular vote and electoral college marginsProfessor George Edwards III, at Texas A&M University, said: “The electoral college violates the core tenet of democracy, that all votes count equally and allows the candidate finishing second to win the election. Why hold an election if we do not care who received the most votes?“At the moment, the electoral college favours Republicans because of the way Republican votes are distributed across the country. They are more likely to occur in states that are closely divided between the parties.”Under the winner-takes-all system, the margin of victory in a state becomes irrelevant. In 2016, Clinton’s substantial margins in states such as California and New York failed to earn her enough electoral votes, while close races in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Michigan took Trump over the 270 majority.A visual showing margins and electoral votes by state gained by Trump and Clinton in 2016As candidates easily win the electoral votes of their solid states, the election plays out in a handful of key battlegrounds. In 2016, Trump won six such states - Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – adding 99 electoral votes to his total.The demographics of these states differ from the national average. They are older, have more white voters without college degrees, and often have smaller non-white populations. These characteristics generally favour Republicans, and made up the base of Trump’s votes in 2016.For example, 67% of non-college-educated white people voted for Trump in 2016. In all six swing states, this demographic is overrepresented by at least six percentage points more than the national average.default The alternativesSeveral alternative systems for electing the president have been proposed and grown in favour, as many seek to change or abolish the electoral college.Two states – Maine and Nebraska – already use a different method of assigning their electoral college votes. The two “Senate” votes go to the state-wide popular vote winner, but the remaining district votes are awarded to the winner of that district. However, implementing this congressional district method across the country could result in greater bias than the current system. The popular vote winner could still lose the election, and the distribution of voters would still strongly favour Republicans.The National Popular Vote Compact (NPVC) is another option, in which each state would award all of its electoral college votes in line with the national popular vote. If enough states signed up to this agreement to reach the 270 majority, the candidate who gained the most votes nationwide would always win the presidency.However, the NPVC has more practical issues. Professor Norman Williams, from Willamette University, questioned how a nationwide recount would be carried out under the NPVC, and said that partisanship highlighted its major flaws. Only Democratic states are currently signed up, but support could simply switch in the future if a Republican candidate faces winning the popular vote but not the presidency.The NPVC is a solution that would elect the president with the most votes without the difficulty of abolishing the electoral college that is enshrined in the constitution.In 1787, the Founding Fathers could not decide on the best system to elect the president. Some delegates opposed a straight nomination by Congress, while others wanted to limit the influence of a potentially uninformed public and the power a populist candidate could have with a direct popular vote. The resulting electoral college, with electors acting as intermediaries for their states, is their compromise.This system also invoked a clause known as the three-fifths compromise between northern and southern delegates, as they debated how slavery would affect a state’s representation. Their agreement was that three-fifths of enslaved individuals (who could not vote) would count towards a state’s population, awarding a disproportionate amount of power in the electoral college to the southern states. While the 13th amendment which abolished slavery in effect removed the three-fifths clause, the impacts of an unbalanced electoral college with unequal representation remain.The current system is still vulnerable to distorted outcomes through actions such as gerrymandering. This practice involves precisely redrawing the borders of districts to concentrate support in favour of a party. The result being abnormally shaped districts that disenfranchise certain groups of voters.Today, an amendment that would replace the college with a direct national popular vote is seen by many as the fairest electoral system.According to Professor Edwards III, “There is only one appropriate way to elect the president: add up all the votes and declare the candidate receiving the most votes the winner.”default

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:42:36 -0400
  • 4 French students have been detained after a teacher who showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad was beheaded

    Golocal247.com news

    The four are suspected of helping Samuel Paty's killer identify him in exchange for cash, Agence France-Presse reported.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 07:07:59 -0400
  • CNN pundit Jeffrey Toobin on leave amid disturbing sex scandal

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    Fox News senior correspondent Rick Leventhal has the latest on 'Hannity.'

    Mon, 19 Oct 2020 23:37:33 -0400
  • A night of flirting at a Broward casino leads to man being drugged, robbed, deputies said

    Golocal247.com news

    What started out as an evening of flirting with a woman at a Broward casino ended with him being drugged and robbed, deputies said.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 23:09:32 -0400
  • Jeffrey Epstein Spent His Final Days Whining About Bullying

    Golocal247.com news

    On the afternoon of July 6, 2019, a force of NYPD officers and FBI agents were, appropriately enough, in a holding pattern at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.The high that Saturday was a sweltering 88 degrees. Skies were overcast and the humidity made the tarmac feel even hotter. A few of the federal agents and New York City detectives were wearing suits and ties; others perspired in their navy blue windbreakers, known as raid jackets, stamped with the yellow letters FBI. As the airport’s ground crew looked on, the small army of law enforcement—close to fifty in all—assembled near “Hangar One,” an area adjacent to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office. They were awaiting the arrival of Jeffrey Epstein.The arrest team had been poised for this moment ever since word came down hours earlier that Epstein had boarded his Gulfstream G550, tail number N212JE, in Paris. Four days earlier, United States Southern District magistrate judge Barbara Moses had signed a sealed arrest warrant for Epstein.The operation at Teterboro would be the denouement of a carefully calibrated, confidential effort that Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in the district, and his team of prosecutors had begun some six months earlier.The problem, however, was that Epstein wasn’t in the country. He was in France. Law enforcement tracked the movements of his private jet. They knew their best chance for a clean apprehension would be right after he touched down in the United States. Trying to arrest someone like Epstein in one of his palatial homes presented challenges and dangers that the FBI and NYPD were keen to avoid.Epstein had taken off from Paris four other times that year. His last flight, in April, took him from the French capital to Rabat, Morocco, for a nine-hour visit. Flights to and from Teterboro were routine for him—like taking a car service. He expected to be back in his mansion within an hour or so of N212JE’s crossing into American airspace over Maine. The arrest team waited.The police officers and federal agents who made up the arrest force at Teterboro had arrested hundreds of violent felons among them—only seasoned officers and agents with impeccable service records were handpicked for task force work. But the Epstein operation and its secrecy made some nervous. Epstein was rich and had ties to powerful figures in New York media. A source close to the investigation said lawmen feared that someone would give the financier a heads-up.“[Federal officials] were afraid if Epstein learned about the planned arrest in flight, he would turn into Roman Polanski and order his pilot to make a detour, to a place from where he could not be extradited,” said Lieutenant Gene Whyte of the NYPD. “[We] didn’t want to spook him because they were going to arrest him as soon as he landed and before his pilot could restart the engine.”The precautions turned out to be unnecessary. As Epstein’s aircraft taxied to a stop on the tarmac, it was met by sedans and SUVs with lights and sirens blaring. NYPD detectives and FBI agents swarmed the aircraft. They wore their blue windbreaker raid jackets; their sidearms were out. Epstein offered no resistance as he was placed in cuffs. It was 5:30 p.m.No one else on the plane was taken into custody. (Some media reports indicated that 30-year-old Karyna Shuliak—a Belarusian émigrée and dentist who was one of Epstein’s latest romantic interests and a woman with whom he had grown closer of late—had been vacationing with Epstein at his Paris apartment and that she had been on his jet when Epstein was arrested. Law enforcement sources familiar with Epstein’s apprehension, however, dispute this, insisting Shuliak was not on the arriving flight.)After clearing U.S. Customs, Epstein was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and driven some ten miles south, to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in Lower Manhattan, a federal jail known as the MCC, where prisoners charged with federal crimes are detained while awaiting arraignment or trial.* * *Epstein had grown up in modest surroundings, but he had never experienced conditions like those in the MCC. For a man who had long since grown accustomed to a pampered life, landing in the MCC was a rude awakening, far harsher than anything he’d experienced years earlier in the county lockup in Florida.Robert Boyce had retired from his job as the NYPD’s chief of detectives in April 2018 after a 35-year career with the department. Even though Boyce was no longer the department’s top detective, his gregarious nature and close relationships with top brass within New York’s law enforcement community made him an inviting go-between for someone hoping to assist the beleaguered financier without so much as leaving a fingerprint.Boyce revealed how in the days following Epstein’s July 2019 arrest, a handful of Police Foundation benefactors—those he termed “one-percenters”—embarked on what amounted to a stealth lobbying campaign on Epstein’s behalf meant to ease his discomfort behind bars. Despite the common knowledge that Epstein was a convicted sex offender, these “sweet people” believed the favor bank was open for business, and each caller importuning him sought to make a withdraw on Epstein’s behalf.“They were upper-crust elites who met [Epstein] over cocktails and thought he was charming. He won them over,” Boyce explained.The foundation members making calls on Epstein’s behalf had each, at one time, been generous benefactors of the Police Foundation—one contributed as much as $50,000. “You know, they’re calling not to say, ‘Hello Bob,’ but rather, ‘We’re concerned about a friend of ours who is imprisoned.’ They wanted to buy him things, certain comforts while he was in his jail cell, like a pillow or toiletries.” The callers gave Boyce the impression that each was prepared to cut a personal check on Epstein’s behalf on the spot.Boyce was not inclined to help. By the time the callers reached the former chief of detectives, word had reached him through another former law enforcement official about the nature of the cache of lurid photographs that had been seized from Epstein’s townhouse. The trove of photos numbered in the hundreds, and the subjects were suspected victims of Epstein’s predations.Boyce diplomatically discouraged the callers’ misguided impulses. “I told them, ‘Look, just walk away. This is a bad guy. He is much worse than you can ever know. Don’t walk. Run!’ They immediately said, ‘Thank you very much, chief,’ and hung up.”Epstein’s first night inside the MCC was spent in what’s referred to as the general population. Ninety percent of the MCC population was in “Gen Pop,” including most pretrial prisoners, who tend to be more agitated and potentially more dangerous than those who have been sentenced and are awaiting a prison transfer, or those due for imminent release.The tier Epstein was first sent to—7N—included gang members of MS-13 and various Bloods factions. It was a holding home for murderers, narcotraffickers, and other violent criminals, and jailhouse assaults—either to settle a score or for hire—were common.On Epstein’s second day behind bars, the Bureau of Prisons administrators transferred Epstein from 7N to the ninth floor south, or 9S, and the Special Housing Unit, or SHU (pronounced “shoe”). It was also known in MCC vernacular as the Hole.The MCC was a hard place to keep secrets. The nature of Epstein’s crimes became known inside the building. Rather than harming Epstein physically, several young prisoners in the unit initially sought to intimidate and extort him, according to inmate Michael “Miles” Tisdale, who ran the Inmate Companion Program that had been established to assist at-risk prisoners.“He was ‘run out,’” Tisdale explained, meaning Epstein was ostracized from other prisoners in the housing unit. Tisdale said he heard about this effort initially from one of the guards and later from Epstein himself. “(Other inmates) tried to extort him… they tried to control him by selling him commissary items [like snacks, sodas, and certain meals] for way above what they’re supposed to be sold for.”According to inmate accounts, Epstein did use commissary sales in an effort to secure his safety within the jail.In conversations with another one of his counselors, inmate William “Dollar Bill” Mersey, Epstein expressed the fear that he would be targeted by Black inmates (Epstein did not raise these specific fears with Tisdale, who is Black). As Mersey understood it, Epstein’s worries about his safety were related to his experiences and feelings about race. “He mentioned he’d been bullied at school in Coney Island by Black kids—not by Italians, not by the Irish, but by Black kids,” Mersey recalled.In one conversation, Mersey recalled Epstein asking, “Do I need a big shvar?” (Shvar, or shvartze, is a pejorative Yiddish term for a Black person.) Mersey said he tried to admonish Epstein about his insecurity, advising him to look fellow prisoners in the eye and stand his ground.Within a few days of being assigned to the SHU, Epstein was put on “suicide watch,” which meant he was moved to an even grimmer environment. The suicide watch area consists of four-cell units on the second floor of the jail that provides some of the most restrictive housing in the facility. Inmates assigned to suicide watch are not permitted to leave their cells. Beds are without sheets; clothing is more minimal to prevent self-harming behaviors; lights are never turned off; and inmates are supposed to be under 24/7 watch by both prison guards and staff.Tisdale remembered seeing Epstein in the unit, citing the distinctive jailhouse mufti worn by inmates on suicide watch—a gown with Velcro straps—as proof. Tisdale and Mersey would both assert that Epstein was moved to suicide watch soon after he became an inmate on July 6.“They would not move him from the SHU to suicide watch unless he indicated to a prison psychologist or someone that he felt a desire to kill himself,” Mersey insisted. “You don’t go there unless you express intent to ‘hang up,’” prison parlance for a desire to take one’s own life.The revelation of this previously unreported first instance of Epstein’s being placed on suicide watch raises new questions about prison officials’ efforts to safeguard their high-profile inmate. (A representative for the Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on the allegation.)After several days spent on suicide watch, Epstein was transferred back to the SHU, where all seemed OK until the morning of July 23.Five days after his request to be remanded to house arrest was denied by a federal judge on July 18, Epstein was found on the floor of his cell, semiconscious in the fetal position, with marks on his neck. Epstein’s cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, a muscle-bound former police officer accused of a drug-related quadruple homicide, summoned guards by yelling. (Tartaglione denied any complicity in the incident.)Epstein went back to the SHU, only six days after his purported suicide attempt.On August 9, Epstein’s then cellmate transferred out, with no immediate replacement. Epstein had his cell to himself.In what would have been the last meal served to Epstein, a database from the Federal Bureau of Prisons shows the dinner that night was likely baked ziti or a tofu pasta alternative. By ten, Epstein and the other inmates were locked in their cells for the night.By morning, he would be dead.—Additional reporting by Philip Messing.This is an adapted excerpt from THE SPIDER: Inside the Criminal Web of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Copyright © 2020 by Scoop King Press, Inc. Published Tuesday by Crown, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.Barry Levine is a veteran investigative reporter and editor in print and television. He received the HuffPost’s “Game Changer” award in 2010 and led a reporting team to a Pulitzer prize nomination for investigative reporting and national news reporting. He is the co-author of All the President's Women and lives in New York.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.

    Tue, 20 Oct 2020 04:38:33 -0400
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