Art News - Worldwide

Gettysburg 'flag-burning hoax' sees armed far-right groups assemble

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 15:15

A fake call served to mobilise far-right militias to descend on the Gettysburg battleground site.


Bolton: Trump claim he wasn’t told of Russia bounty report is 'not how system works’

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 14:55

Ex-national security adviser also says any decision to withhold intelligence would ‘certainly not’ be ‘made only by the briefer’ * Trump uses Fourth of July to stoke division on virus and raceDonald Trump’s claim not to have been briefed about intelligence suggesting Russia paid Taliban-linked militants to kill US soldiers is “just not the way the system works”, former national security adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.Bolton was appearing on Face the Nation, the Sunday talk show from ViacomCBS, the communications giant which owns Simon & Schuster, the publisher which put out Bolton’s Trump White House memoir, The Room Where It Happened, over the president’s objection.Elsewhere, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice said Bolton would have known about the bounties intelligence while he was in the role, which he left in September 2019, and would therefore have briefed Trump himself.“I don’t buy this story that he was never briefed,” Rice told NBC’s Meet The Press. “I believe that … when the information first came to light in 2019, my successor, John Bolton, would have walked straight into the Oval Office, as I would have, and informed the president of this intelligence.”Bolton’s book, a tell-all which sold nearly 800,000 copies in its first week in stores, is named for the Oval Office and contains numerous shocking descriptions of Trump’s behaviour. But it does not mention the alleged bounties plot.“I’m not going to disclose classified information,” Bolton told CBS. “I’ve got the struggle with the president trying to repress my book on that score already.”Bolton submitted his book to a national security review but was scolded by a federal judge for “likely publishing classified materials”, “gambling with the national security of the United States” and “exposing … himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability”.On Sunday, Bolton said: “I will say this. All intelligence is distributed along the spectrum of uncertainty. And this intelligence in 2020, by the administration’s own admission, was deemed credible enough to give to our allies. So the notion that you only give the really completely 100% verified intelligence to the president would mean you give him almost nothing. And that’s just not the way the system works.”The existence of intelligence about a bounties plot, which Russia has denied, was first reported by the New York Times then confirmed by other outlets. Trump attacked the Times on Twitter this weekend.Amid inconsistent White House explanations for Trump’s supposed ignorance on the matter, current national security adviser Robert O’Brien said information was withheld by a CIA official, even though it was included in the president’s daily brief.“The president’s career CIA briefer decided not to brief him because it was unverified intelligence,” O’Brien told Fox News, adding: “She made that call and, you know what, I think she made the right call, so I’m not going to criticize her. And knowing the facts that I know now, I stand behind that call.”O’Brien was widely criticised. Ned Price, a former CIA analyst, told the Guardian: “This is the same scapegoating play that the White House ran in the coronavirus context – blaming Trump’s intelligence briefer for something that is chiefly and fundamentally a failing of the White House staff.”Bolton said any decision to withhold intelligence would “certainly not” be “made only by the briefer who briefs the president twice a week. That’s a decision that at least when I was there, would have been made by the director of national intelligence, the director of the CIA, myself and the briefer together.”Though his book is a brutal and extensive anatomisation of Trump’s personality and fitness or otherwise for office, Bolton sidestepped a chance to criticise O’Brien, saying: “I don’t want to make this a matter of personalities.”Nor would he say if he had known of the bounties intelligence or not.“What was made public in 2018,” he said, “was Russian assistance to the Taliban, and that’s been known for some time. That alone is troubling.“What is particularly troubling, if true, is this latest information that they were … providing compensation for killing Americans. And that is the kind of thing that you go to the president on and say, ‘Look … we may not know everything on this, but a nuclear power is reportedly providing bounties to kill Americans.’“That’s the kind of thing you need to have in the president’s view so that he can think about it as he develops – well, at least as normal presidents develop strategy to handle Russia, to handle Afghanistan.”


At 550,000 coronavirus tests daily in the USA, testing still far below level for safe reopening

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 14:00

President Trump suggested testing be slowed because it uncovers more cases. Experts say the rise is due mainly to wider exposure to the virus.


Fact check: Common cold does not produce positive coronavirus test

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 13:45

People are misinterpreting COVID-19 viral testing for antibodies testing, falsely claiming colds are responsible for positive coronavirus tests.


This Aircraft Carrier Was Built for Waging War During World War II. It Made History a Different Way.

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 13:30

Today the supercarrier isn't really such a novel concept, but in the early Cold War, this wasn't so readily apparent. This carrier changed that.


Fire at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility caused significant damage: spokesman

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 13:27

A fire at Iran's underground Natanz nuclear facility has caused significant damage that could slow the development of advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium, an Iranian nuclear official said on Sunday. Iran's top security body said on Friday that the cause of the fire that broke out on Thursday had been determined but would be announced later. On Thursday, an article by Iran's state news agency IRNA addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States, although it stopped short of accusing either directly.


Chicago violence erupts during holiday weekend, at least 67 shot and 13 killed

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 13:08

Nine of the victims were minors involved in the Chicago violence, with two fatalities so far; Garrett Tenney reports.


Constitutional changes are the 'right thing' for Russia: Putin

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:51

President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday constitutional amendments approved in a nationwide vote created the conditions for Russia's "progressive development" for decades to come. One of the changes approved in the week-long vote that ended on July 1 makes it possible for Putin to seek two more terms as president and, if re-elected, to stay in power until 2036. "They will strengthen our nationhood and create conditions for the progressive development of our country for decades to come," he said.


Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations: NYT

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:47

The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said, according to the NYT. "Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence," Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO's technical lead of infection prevention and control, was quoted as saying by the NYT.


Third highest single-day total, 10,059, pushes Florida past 200,000 COVID-19 cases

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:28

It took three months, from early March to June 22, for Florida to cross 100,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases.


Applebee’s employee dies in parking lot while celebrating July 4, Texas police say

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:26

Workers had just closed the restaurant for the night, police say.


El Salvador delays next steps in reopening economy as COVID-19 cases rise

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:14

El Salvador's presidential office on Sunday postponed the second phase of the economy's reopening by two weeks, citing a still-rising number of coronavirus infections. President Nayib Bukele has imposed some of the toughest measures in the Americas against the pandemic, which has caused 217 deaths and 7,777 infections in the Central American country.


Florida and Texas both hit record highs for new coronavirus cases on Saturday as outbreaks keep surging in the South

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:07

Florida reported 11,458 new COVID-19 cases, and Texas had a record number of 8,258 new cases. Both states now have seen more than 190,000 total cases.


World's largest temporary COVID-19 hospital opens

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 12:04

With a capacity of 10,000 beds, the world's largest temporary COVID-19 hospital opened in India on Sunday (July 5) as the country battles with accelerating cases of the respiratory disease.

The hospital was inaugurated in New Delhi on the same day that the health ministry reported a record single-day spike of 24,850 new cases and more than 600 deaths.

India is the fourth worst affected country globally with more than 673,000 cases and is facing another challenge with predicted heavy rains.

In Mumbai, monsoon rains have caused waterlogging in many parts of the city which could scuttle containment efforts by causing a further rise in infections, according to experts.

India has imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world but is now gradually easing restrictions that have left tens of thousands of people without work.

On Monday (July 7), the Taj Mahal and other monuments will be reopened though visitors to the mausoleum will have to wear masks at all times, keep their distance and are banned from touching the glistening marble surfaces.


Bellagio error leads to one of biggest sports betting losses in Las Vegas history

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:47

Almost a quarter of a million dollars in winning wagers reportedly placed at MGM Resorts last Sunday may have been the largest sportsbook loss in the history of Las Vegas.The bets were made after the sporting events had started.


Predominantly Black armed protesters march through Confederate memorial park in Georgia

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:35

A predominantly Black group of heavily armed protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta on Saturday, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.


Two French ex-spies on trial accused of espionage for China

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:29

In a case that could be from a spy thriller, two former French intelligence agents go on trial on Monday accused of having passed on secrets to a foreign power. While French officials have been at pains to avoid releasing details of the affair, the pair are accused of working for China, according to several media reports. Pierre-Marie H. and Henri M. will appear in a special court accused of "delivering information to a foreign power" and "damaging the fundamental interests of the nation". Both men worked for France's foreign intelligence service, the DGSE. They face 15 years in prison if convicted. Both men, now retired, were charged and detained in December 2017, although Pierre-Marie H. has since been released on bail. His wife, Laurence H., also faces trial, accused of "concealment of property derived from intelligence with a foreign power likely to harm the fundamental interests of the nation". The court that tries them will be made up exclusively of professional magistrates, and given the sensitive nature of the case, will probably be tried behind closed doors. When the story was finally revealed in May 2018, French officials described it as an "extremely serious" case. The then armed forces minister Florence Parly said that the two were suspected of having committed what could be described as "treasonous" acts that could have jeopardised national defence secrets. It was the DGSE itself that detected the leak and presented its findings to prosecutors, said the defence ministry. Officials have said little about the details of the case or even for which country they were allegedly working. According to several media reports however, the two men, colleagues at the DGSE in the 1990s, were working for China. In 1997, Henri M. was appointed as the DGSE's man in Beijing, where he was the second secretary at the embassy. He was recalled early in 1998 after having had an affair with the ambassador's Chinese interpreter. He retired a few years later and returned to China in 2003, where he married the former interpreter, setting up home on Hainan island in southern China. Pierre-Marie H., who had never been posted abroad, was arrested at Zurich airport carrying cash after having met a Chinese contact on an Indian Ocean island, according to media reports. Apart from the China connection, AFP has obtained no independent information linking the two men. While there have been a number of different theories put forward, both men appear to have been under surveillance for several months before being arrested. Journalist Franck Renaud covered the Henri M. affair in his book on the French diplomatic service, "Les Diplomates". During the 1990s, when Henri M. served in Beijing, tensions were running high between China and France, in the wake of China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and the 1991 sale of French frigates to Taiwan, he said. "It's an affair that has caused more than a few problems to the DGSE," which had to repatriate operatives in China at the time, Renaud told AFP. The verdict is due to be handed down on July 10.


Pesky storm to keep southeastern US drenched into midweek

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:23

Forecasters are carefully monitoring a slow-moving storm system that has brought repeated downpours to the Southeast since last week. Widespread showers and thunderstorms will continue daily into the middle of the week -- and meteorologists say tropical development of this feature cannot be fully ruled out as it wanders toward the coast.Residents and visitors may continue to struggle to find long enough dry breaks to get outside and enjoy summertime activities, such as fishing, golfing and swimming. AccuWeather's MinuteCast® tool can tell you exactly when rain will arrive in your area and how long it will last."Showers and thunderstorms will be widespread from extreme East Texas and Louisiana to Georgia and South Carolina through Tuesday as a low pressure area drifts eastward from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Appalachians," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg said. These areas have been doused by repeated downpours since last week, so any additional rainfall may struggle to soak into the saturated ground. As a result, the risk of flash flooding will be high."Many locations across the South and into the Southeast will receive 1-2 inches of additional rainfall through Tuesday, but isolated amounts of up to 5 inches are possible," Lundberg said, adding that the Florida Panhandle, Georgia and South Carolina may be the hardest-hit areas during the first half of the week.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPDrivers on stretches of interstates 10, 20, 55, 65, 75, 85 and 95 are likely to face slower-than-normal travel times due to the downpours reducing visibility and creating a heightened risk of vehicles hydroplaning at highway speeds.Remember to never drive through floodwaters and instead turn around and find a safer, alternate route."As this low slowly meanders toward the Southeast coast, the area of enhanced rainfall will shift more into the Carolinas, perhaps even extreme southeast Virginia during the latter half of the week," Lundberg said. "The amount of rain during the second half of the week may be dependent upon potential surface development of this system and its ability to draw even more moisture inland off the warm waters of the Gulf stream," Lundberg added.Regardless, AccuWeather meteorologists expect several inches of rainfall to douse the southern Atlantic Seaboard during the middle and latter part of the week, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ rainfall of 6 inches possible centered on the Carolinas.The key to whether tropical development can occur with this system later in the week lies in how far east the center of the storm can make it off the coast of the Carolinas, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski."If the storm remains onshore or hugs the coastline, its interaction with land could limit its chance to develop and organize further. However, if the low center can drift far enough east off the coast of the Carolinas by later Wednesday or Thursday, then its chance to develop and organize further will increase, especially if it gets over the warm waters of the Gulf stream," Pydynowski said. Should tropical development occur, this would enhance rough surf and coastal flooding concerns, as well as the potential for gusty winds, from the Carolinas to the Delmarva Peninsula.Even in the absence of tropical development, forecasters say the storm will remain a disruption for those with travel, vacation and outdoor plans across the region as downpours persist.An upside to the stormier pattern will be a lack of intense heat that can be typical of the region during the summer months.While heat bakes areas from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic, it will actually be a bit below average across the Southeast due to the widespread downpours, according to Lundberg.For example, Atlanta may only be in the lower to middle 80s during the first half of this week, when a more typical high for early July is around 90.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.


Life on the Vice Presidential Short List

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:23

There will be blood tests. Interrogations about junior high. An analysis of tax returns.It is an experience Joe Biden knows all too well from his time on the vice presidential short list 12 years ago.Much about Biden's own search for a running mate has been nontraditional. He has publicly mused about his criteria. He is not considering men. Above all, his choice could be the most important in years: At 77, Biden has said he views himself as a "transition candidate." Left unsaid: His vice president could very well end up being the president next.Yet as much as Biden's process is unique, its contours are familiar. Late last month, he told a local television station that his campaign had begun "doing the background checks" -- the latest sign that he is moving toward a short list of candidates.If history is a guide, Biden's top contenders should expect to submit themselves to a process that veterans liken to a series of graphic medical procedures. Extraneous? Maybe. But, well, sometimes that's the vice presidency, too."They basically are disassembling your entire life," said Kathleen Sebelius, a former Democratic governor of Kansas who, along with Biden, was vetted extensively by the Obama campaign in 2008. "It was as intrusive and probing as anything I've ever been through or would hope to ever go through again."Evan Bayh, a former Democratic senator from Indiana and a repeat vice presidential contestant, somewhat famously compared the vetting process to a colonoscopy -- "except they use the Hubble telescope on you."Indeed, when Barack Obama called Biden in June 2008 to request permission to vet him, Biden initially said no. Finally, he wrote in his 2017 memoir, "I agreed to go through the vetting process, but not with a whole lot of enthusiasm."Sebelius said Obama had called her when she was at a hotel for a meeting. Like Biden, she tried to persuade him not to vet her. "I spent a little bit of time telling him why that was a terrible idea," she recalled. He was undeterred: A member of his vetting team was waiting to speak to her in a room downstairs.One of the cardinal rules of the process is secrecy, and nearly everyone obeys. Most potential running mates do not speak about the search, if they acknowledge they are being vetted at all. Bob Kerrey, the former Nebraska senator who was vetted by Bill Clinton in 1992, said he flew on a friend's private plane to the governor's mansion in Little Rock, Arkansas, for a meeting so almost no one would know where he was.Presidential candidates consider many factors when selecting their running mates. They are not always political. Kerrey, for instance, said he suspected early on he wasn't getting the job. For one, he wasn't married at the time, and he worried that the optics in a photograph would be off."You need to have Bill and Hillary and somebody and somebody," Kerrey said. "You don't want Bill and Hillary and Bob."Vetting procedures have become increasingly rigorous, in part because campaigns are wary of what can happen if details are overlooked. More recently, the availability of potentially incriminating details on the internet has made vetting seem more imperative than ever, lest anyone dig up a surprise. (Of course, the election of President Donald Trump showed that voters might also shrug off what might once have been disqualifying information.)Tim Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor, recalled scrambling with his wife, Mary, in 2008 to provide all the information John McCain requested as part of his vetting."At one point during the process, our entire living room was covered with documents as Mary and I organized them, typed up answers to the lengthy questionnaire and organized it all into 3-ring binders," he said in an email. They stayed up late and subsisted on pizza as they raced to meet the campaign's deadlines.Julian Castro, whom Hillary Clinton vetted extensively in 2016, said her campaign had given him a survey seeking answers to more than 120 questions about his personal, political and financial history.At one point during the interview to go over the responses, one of the questioners spotted Castro's cellphone. What would the questioner find, he asked, if he were to take Castro's phone and go through it right now? (No, Castro did not provide the answer to The New York Times.)"You recognize the gravity of this process," he said. "But it still has this spy thriller, cloak-and-dagger aspect to it all."With the global pandemic sidelining much of Biden's in-person presidential campaign, his veepstakes has become a welcome throwback to normal post-primary political activity.Already, one of Biden's top contenders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, has formally withdrawn from contention. In an interview with MSNBC last month, she referred to the calls for racial justice that have swept the country since the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, saying she believed "that this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket."Faux modesty is also part of the game: Everyone whose name is on a list almost always declares themselves honored just to be thought of at all. When Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada said in May she was withdrawing from consideration, she said that it was "an honor to be considered" but that she wanted to keep her focus on her home state.A brief survey of short-listed names over the years reveals some perennial participants. Pawlenty, for instance, was vetted by both McCain and Mitt Romney. Bayh was seriously considered by Al Gore and Obama.Biden has also at times mentioned some familiar names, including Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who was one of Gore's finalists. (Shaheen, however, reportedly told Biden she was not interested in serving as his vice president.) But his pledge to choose a woman has eliminated most of the usual names from contention.Obama called Biden to tell him he had gotten the job as Biden was waiting at a dentist's office while his wife, Jill, was having a root canal. Despite Biden's reluctance just weeks earlier, he was delighted. "I accepted without hesitation," Biden said. "It felt good to say yes."But as it most often does, the process for most of Biden's prospects will likely end in disappointment -- and possibly some relief.James Stavridis, a retired admiral who was vetted by Hillary Clinton's campaign, said it had been so intrusive and secretive that he jokingly told a friend, former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, that he hoped he was really providing all the information to the Clinton campaign and not Russian intelligence.When he was not chosen, he and Harlow decided to write a "humorous novel about the Russians penetrating the U.S. VP selection process." In the proposal for the book, called "The Veepstakes," they described the tone as "stylistically, an 'entertainment' a la Chris Buckley or Elmore Leonard."The proposal was widely rejected, Stavridis said. The premise was too implausible.Castro professed to being disappointed when Hillary Clinton ultimately selected Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia but said he was "glad that all of that speculation was over."The experience also came with an unexpected benefit. As part of his vetting, Castro had to get a blood test, forcing him to confront a phobia he had harbored since he was a young child."The best thing was that I had to get over that fear," he said. "It certainly wasn't that I got the job, because I didn't."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


A US senator wants to propose legislation blocking middle seats on planes after he flew on a crowded American Airlines flight

Yahoo - Art News - Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:14

Sen. Jeff Merkley blasted American Airlines on Twitter after a crowded flight, asking "how many Americans will die because you fill middle seats."


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