Art News - Worldwide

Trump mocks Greta Thunberg's Time Person of the Year honor: 'So ridiculous'

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 08:06

President Trump on Thursday mocked Greta Thunberg after the Swedish teenage climate activist was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, edging out finalists including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hong Kong protesters — and him.


Myanmar's suppression of the Rohingya, explained in 30 seconds

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 08:00

Myanmar's leader is appearing before the UN International Court of Justice this week to address an accusation of genocide against the Rohingya.


Elizabeth Warren's proposed wealth tax will raise $1 trillion less than expected and slow the economy, study finds

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 07:05

The study assumed that Warren's wealth tax would lead to rich citizens investing less in the US economy, hurting its growth over the long run.


Did marathon bomber get fair trial? Court weighs arguments

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 06:55

The Boston Marathon bomber's lawyers urged a federal court to overturn their client's death sentence, arguing Thursday that intense media coverage and signs of juror bias led to an unfair trial. The three-judge panel for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t render a decision on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's sentence but devoted a significant amount of inquiry into how two jurors were allowed to remain on the case, even after their social media posts suggested they harbored strong opinions. “You’ve got lots of qualifiable jurors in Boston,” Judge William Kayatta said in one lengthy exchange with prosecutors.


Malaysia seizes Vietnamese oil tanker that was tracked in North Korea

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 06:43

KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A Vietnamese oil tanker which Reuters reported visited North Korea in February has been seized by Malaysia after it was found adrift off the Malaysian coast, maritime agency officials said. Refinitiv shipping data quoted by Reuters showed the Viet Tin 01 arrived just outside the harbor of Nampo on North Korea's western coast on Feb. 25 carrying 2,000 tonnes of gasoline, shortly before talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi. It was not clear whether the tanker unloaded cargo at Nampo.


Saudi Arabia is quietly spending millions on a fresh lobbying effort in the US, hoping to finally put to bed Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 06:21

Saudi Arabia contracted three US lobby firms in November, its first move since it was abandoned by five firms over the Khashoggi affair in late 2018.


The FAA calculated that Boeing's 737 Max could crash a total of 15 times, killing more than 3,000 people, if it wasn't grounded and fixed

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 06:21

If the Max suffered 15 crashes as bad as the two that actually happened, some 3,450 people would die, according to Business Insider's figures.


Republicans are turning impeachment into a carnival – and it could cost them

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 06:15

These antics may work as a short-term strategy. But they’ll go down poorly with voters the Republican party really needs House Democrats announced this week that they would bring two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, making him only the fourth president in US history to face such charges. Democratic leaders characterized the occasion as solemn, somber and sad. Republicans, on the other hand, dismissed the impeachment inquiry as a circus and a sham despite the fact that they are themselves the ones trying to reduce it to carnivalesque farce. Even a motion to take a 15-minute bathroom break during this week’s judiciary committee hearings provoked hysterical Republican objections.The Republican strategy, clearly, is to undermine and delegitimize the impeachment inquiry. Republicans are portraying the inquiry as a hoax and an attempted coup by Democrats desperate to reverse the results of the 2016 election, unrelated to any actual presidential wrongdoing. The White House’s refusal to cooperate with Congress by sending legal representation to the impeachment hearings was explained by Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway as resistance to “colluding with an illegitimate process”.Why are Republicans taking this approach? Largely because they have no other choice, given the considerable weight of evidence that the president did in fact abuse his power and obstruct Congress, as charged in the impeachment articles.The poet Carl Sandburg is credited with saying: “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.” Republican yelling and table-pounding appear to be having the desired result, as most polls find that public support for impeachment has leveled off since October. Intense partisan tribalism and the influence of rightwing media outlets such as Fox News mean that few Republicans or even independents will probably change their minds about impeachment no matter what evidence comes out of further hearings.In the short term, then, the Republican strategy of stonewalling and counter-accusations may pay off. The votes on impeachment in the House and removal in the Senate will almost certainly break along uniform party lines, making it easier for Republicans to portray the process as driven entirely by partisanship. Republican voters outraged by impeachment may be more motivated to vote in 2020, while some independents may be so turned off by the whole spectacle that they either vote for Trump or don’t vote at all.In the longer term, however, the Republican approach to impeachment will probably prove counterproductive. The party’s critical weakness, as revealed by the 2018 midterm elections, is that it has lost the support of the college-educated and mostly suburban voters (especially women) who once used to reliably vote Republican. By attempting to sabotage the impeachment process and refusing to address the substance of Trump’s actions, the Republican party will further damage its image with these voters and make it even harder to regain a governing majority.There are many explanations for why college-educated suburban voters have turned against the Republican party; under Trump’s leadership, for example, the party has increasingly become the vehicle of white working-class resentments. But my interactions with college-educated suburban voters, in the course of trying to figure out why they have abandoned the Republican party, have led me to believe that they tend to care about facts and rational argument, to view our country’s top civil servants as serious professionals rather than nefarious agents of the deep state, and to prefer that Congress solve problems rather than devolve further into chaos and dysfunction. They are more likely to be alarmed than persuaded when Trump and other Republican officials serve as conduits for Russian propaganda by spouting baseless conspiracy theories alleging that Ukraine rather than Russia interfered in the 2016 US elections. And they worry about Trump’s trampling of democratic norms and constitutional boundaries on executive power.> The party’s critical weakness ... is that it has lost the support of the college-educated and mostly suburban votersFor all these reasons, Republicans in Congress, by turning the impeachment crisis into a circus, are likely to further alienate the swing voters who cost the party control of the House in 2018 (and may deprive it of Senate control in 2020). When those of us who want the Republican party to appeal to a wider demographic called for it to become a “big tent” party, this wasn’t what we had in mind.A glimmer of what could have been a better Republican approach to the impeachment inquiry appeared recently in the judiciary committee testimony of the George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who was the sole legal expert called by Republicans. Turley (who did not vote for Trump) conceded that Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president “was anything but perfect” but argued that the Democrats were pursuing impeachment too quickly and with insufficient evidence compared with the proceedings against presidents Nixon and Clinton. Turley’s claim that Trump’s actions did not amount to impeachable crimes is highly debatable, but his testimony was notable precisely because he was the sole speaker on the Republican side calling for reasoned debate.Recently, the Republican congressman Francis Rooney of Florida demanded that several members of Trump’s administration with direct knowledge of the president’s orders on Ukraine – including the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo; the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney; and Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani – testify in the impeachment hearings.“Firsthand accounts like these,” Rooney said, “would affirm that the impeachment process is seeking substantive outcomes based on real facts and accurate information, rather than reflecting a more political objective.”Democrats will probably dismiss this as more unnecessary foot-dragging, but even the Democratic-leaning Washington Post has editorialized that a lengthier process “may be justified if it results in testimony from administration witnesses. This also might convince more Americans that the impeachment process has been conducted thoroughly.”But Rooney (who will retire at the end of this term) is an isolated voice on the Republican side, and already he has faced furious criticism from Trumpian loyalists for declining to state whether he is for or against impeachment until he has seen more evidence.Republicans appear locked into their strategy of trying to dismiss impeachment as a partisan sham, despite the likelihood that this will make it harder to win back college-educated suburban swing voters. In hindsight, Republicans may come to feel that this play for short-term political advantage came at too high a cost. * Geoffrey Kabaservice is the director of political studies at the Niskanen Center in Washington DC as well as the author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party


Fire on Russia's only aircraft carrier kills 1, injures 11

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:56

Russia's only aircraft carrier suffered a massive fire Thursday that killed one crew member, injured another 11 people and significantly damaged the ill-fated ship that has been haunted by incidents throughout its service. The fire on the Admiral Kuznetsov broke out during welding work at a shipyard in the Arctic port of Murmansk and spread quickly through the carrier's internal compartments. The military said one crew member died while battling the fire, and another one is missing.


Pakistan charges 250 lawyers for treason in hospital assault

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:49

Pakistan on Thursday leveled “treason” charges against 250 lawyers who were part of a mob that stormed a hospital in the eastern city of Lahore the previous day, kicking and punching doctors and staff and trashing equipment and property, police said. Three patients at the hospital died when physicians and medical staff left them unattended for several hours, to flee and escape the mob, officials said. The mob of about 500 lawyers — apparently angered over alleged misbehavior by some of the hospital doctors toward one of their colleagues the month before — stormed the Punjab Institute of Cardiology on Wednesday, punching and beating doctors and other staff.


U.S. warns North Korea against 'ill-advised behavior' as deadline looms

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:40

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - The United States warned North Korea on Thursday against any resumption of "unfortunate ill-advised behavior" after Pyongyang raised international concerns by setting an end-of-year deadline for Washington to reconsider its diplomatic approach. Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell said that "we have heard threats before," when asked whether Washington was concerned about a return to long-range missile tests by North Korea, which has vowed to take an unspecified "new path" if the United States is not more flexible in stalled nuclear talks. North Korea said earlier on Thursday the United States had nothing to offer it in possible renewed talks aimed at getting Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs, a day after Washington said it was ready to take "concrete steps" toward securing a deal.


Citizenship Law Based on Religion Sparks Fear Across India

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:32

(Bloomberg) -- As India’s Parliament moved swiftly to amend its laws to prevent undocumented Muslims migrants from neighboring countries from becoming citizens, S.M. Hadi was busy making sure he could find documents going back generations to prove that his family was Indian.“We have been sorting through all our old junk to find some proof that my father, grandfather, great grandfather all lived here,” said Hadi, a professor emeritus at Aligarh Muslim University. “There’s such panic it’s ridiculous.”The new Citizenship Amendment Bill that was approved on Wednesday changed the rules governing the granting of citizenship to undocumented migrants to include religion as a criteria. It bars undocumented Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan from seeking citizenship, but allows Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who illegally migrated to India from these regions to do so.Adding to the fear and anxiety is that Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has also vowed to implement a National Register of Citizens to weed out undocumented migrants similar to the one carried out in the eastern Indian state of Assam in August. The changes -- key election promises made by Modi -- have raised concerns about the whittling away of values laid out in the secular constitution of the world’s second-most populous nation. It’s the third move since Modi won a resounding second term that adversely affects Muslims, who form about 14% of India’s 1.3 billion population.“Given the kind of mistrust that has been created, even documented Muslims are concerned,” Hadi, who for now doesn’t have to prove his citizenship, said in a telephone interview. “There are a lot of questions in our minds as to what the eventual purpose of this exercise is. We don’t know what we need to prove that we belong.”‘Unrest and Unease’In India’s northeastern states, which share borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, the law has unleashed anger and fear about an influx of migrants.Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen has canceled a scheduled visit to India, Farid Hossain, press minister at the country’s High Commission in New Delhi confirmed. The decision to cancel his India visit came amid protests over the bill. According to an earlier statement by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, Momen was expected to arrive on Thursday evening.Ahead of its approval by Parliament the opposition had called the bill anti-constitutional because it makes religion a key determinant for citizenship. A U.S. federal commission had called for sanctions against India’s home minister should the legislation be passed.“This bill is for the religious minorities who came here from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Muslims are not minorities there,” Home Minister Amit Shah told Parliament as he argued the legislation didn’t discriminate against Muslims. “There is a difference between infiltrators and refugees.”On Aug. 5 India scrapped nearly seven decades of autonomy in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir. Just three weeks later in the northeastern state of Assam some 1.9 million people, many of whom were Muslims, faced the risk of losing their Indian citizenship as the state enforced a National Register of Citizens. In November, Hindus won the Supreme Court case over a religious site disputed for centuries in northern city of Ayodhya. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party had promised a grand temple there.India’s Muslims have faced varying degrees of marginalization even under previous governments “but there was always the promise of equal citizenship and religious equality, embodied in the Constitution,” said Asim Ali, a political researcher at Delhi University and column writer. “The stirring of unrest and unease is definitely part of the plan. The CAB and the NRC are inextricably linked and part of a singular project to unravel secular India.”Over the last two days angry protests have erupted in Assam with thousands clashing with police. There’s also been demonstrations in other northeastern states including Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Tripura, forcing the government to send in hundreds of soldiers to aid local police. On Thursday most airlines had waived cancellation and rescheduling charges on flights to and from Assam, while long-distance and passanger train services have also been disrupted.When the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens is prepared, people excluded from the list will be required to prove their Indian citizenship before a tribunal or risk detention or deportation. Last month, the government informed the Parliament that 988 so-called foreigners were being held in six detention centers in Assam.All of India’s poor and undocumented will face the prospect of having to negotiate a complex maze of bureaucracy to prove their citizenship. The hardest hit in that eventuality will be poor Muslims who will have the fewest safeguards.Uncertain TimesThe timeline and even how the government plans to undertake the enormous task of holding a national citizens’ registry remains unclear.“Clearly, none of it has been thought through,” said Neelanjan Sircar, assistant professor at the Ashoka University and visiting senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research. “This is going to be a massive mess.”But the fear and panic seem here to stay.For many Indian Muslims, the law feels like a betrayal, said Shah Alam Khan, an orthopedic surgeon and professor at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. “I feel really stateless.”(Updates with Bangladesh Foreign Minister canceling visit in 7th paragraph)\--With assistance from Abhijit Roy Chowdhury, Anurag Kotoky and Arun Devnath.To contact the reporters on this story: Muneeza Naqvi in New Delhi at mnaqvi6@bloomberg.net;Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at bpradhan@bloomberg.net;Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at achaudhary2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Unni KrishnanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Mice brawling in a London tube station made for one of the best wildlife photos of the year

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:12

People can vote on the photo as part of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year's People's Choice Award.


Meet the Navy's Small Warships That Help to Deter Iran

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 04:45

Spunky and important little boats.


German execs slam planned US sanctions on Russian pipeline

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 04:41

The German-Russian Chamber of Commerce called for retaliatory sanctions on Thursday after US lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would punish contractors working on a Russian pipeline to Germany. "Europe should respond to sanctions that damage Europe with counter-sanctions," Matthias Schepp, head of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.


The 2020 candidates who have qualified for the December debate

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 04:25

Hours before the deadline, Andrew Yang solidified his spot on the presidential stage.


Ethiopia's Abiy calls for meeting with Eritrean leader

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 03:44

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Thursday he wanted to meet "soon" with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in a possible bid to jumpstart the stalled reconciliation process that earned Abiy the Nobel Peace Prize. Abiy delivered a brief statement on his arrival at Addis Ababa airport after picking up the prize in Norway, where he studiously avoided media engagement. Abiy won the Nobel in large part for reaching out to Isaias last year, creating momentum for a deal that formally ended a two-decade stalemate stemming from the two countries' 1998-2000 border war.


U.S. sets China trade deal terms, sources say, but Beijing mum

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 02:31

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) - Washington has set its terms for a trade deal with China, offering to suspend some tariffs on Chinese goods and cut others in exchange for Beijing buying more American farm goods, U.S. sources said on Thursday. Beijing's silence, however, fueled questions over whether the two sides can come to a truce in their bitter trade war before a new round of tit-for-tat tariffs takes effect on Sunday. A source briefed on the status of bilateral negotiations said the United States would suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods expected to go into effect on Sunday and roll back existing tariffs.


Mammoth field fires up Norway's oil industry

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 01:16

ON THE JOHAN SVERDRUP OIL PLATFORM IN THE NORTH SEA (Norvège) (AFP) - Under yellow metal legs stretching beneath the sea, billions of dollars lie buried. As the world tries hard to halt global warming, a huge oil field breathes new life into Norway's oil sector. "Massive!", exclaims a delighted Arne Sigve Nylund, the head of energy giant Equinor's Norway operations.


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