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|US Postmaster General tells postal workers to leave mail behind if it slows down their route
The US Postal Service is in a financial crisis, and is now instructing workers to avoid logging overtime — even if it means leaving mail behind.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 5:47 PM
|The St. Louis couple that aimed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters received dozens of offers to replace a firearm that was seized by police, their attorney says
Police seized Mark and Patricia McCloskey's rifle in a search warrant. Since then, the couple has received over 50 offers to replace it, their lawyer said.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 4:23 PM
|Polish conservative Duda re-elected president, deeper EU rifts likely
Polish President Andrzej Duda has won five more years in power on a socially conservative, religious platform in a closely fought election that makes renewed confrontation with the European Union's executive likely. Final results from Sunday's presidential election runoff showed Duda, 48, won with 51.03% of the vote, the National Election Commission said. Liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski got 48.97%.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 1:16 AM
|Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi Mandela dies at 59
Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died, a spokesperson for the African National Congress said on Monday. She was 59.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 6:43 AM
|Fact check: A fake tweet claims AOC urged governors to shut down businesses to hurt Trump
There is no evidence that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted the anti-Trump message shared by a Republican congressional candidate on social media.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 1:56 PM
|French man accused of molesting hundreds of children dies in Indonesia
Francois Camille Abello, 65, died in a suspected suicide in his cell in Jakarta, police say.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 7:22 AM
|Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ‘Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo’
The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr’s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general’s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr’s handling of the process. Trump Thought He’d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.“Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?” Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor?”“Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,” Berman said later. “I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.” At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr’s wish to install Carpenito—who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey—in the job instead of Berman’s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers—to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, later, the SEC—but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. “I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,” Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job—if there was any “quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.”Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations—Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes—in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr’s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.“You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,” said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn’t his term but reiterated that “it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.” Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman’s ouster. Read 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 13, 2020 7:21 PM
|Detained Chinese professor who criticised Chinese President Xi Jinping is freed
A Chinese academic who penned an essay blaming the coronavirus pandemic on President Xi Jinping's authoritarianism and censorship has been released after nearly a week in detention, his friends have told AFP. Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University, was taken from his home in the capital by a group of more than 20 people on July 6, according to associates. He returned home on Sunday and was well, two friends confirmed to AFP on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity. In an essay published on overseas websites, Xu had written that the leadership system under Xi - China's most powerful leader since Mao Zedong - was "destroying the structure of governance". He said the lack of openness contributed to the outbreak of the coronavirus, which first appeared in China late last year and eventually spread globally after Communist Party officials tried to suppress initial news of the contagion. It was not immediately clear whether he would face further repercussions. Beijing police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 1:04 AM
|Death Valley sets record for planet's hottest temperature in years
The brutal heat wave baking the Southwest and lower Plains states is going to move east and north to engulf much of the nation this week.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 2:00 PM
|US Navy says it is 'too early to tell' if the badly burnt warship that has been on fire for days can be saved
"We still have an active fire that we are combatting from both within and outside the ship," a Navy admiral told reporters Tuesday.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 4:52 PM