Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 02:11:55 -0400

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotest

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotestYahoo News went into the crowd in Boston Saturday and talked to mostly right-wing marchers for “free speech” and to mostly progressive counterprotesters.


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15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World

Everyone has a bad day at work now and then. But if you have one of these 15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World, even one bad day can get you or someone else killed. From EMT to Coal Miner to Ice Road Trucker, these are the jobs that will keep you up at nights!


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Herald Sun | Breaking News
last updated: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 22:01:00 GMT

Canal jumper released on bail
AN 18-year-old man who jumped into a canal at Surfers Paradise to avoid being arrested by police on Wednesday night has been granted bail.

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Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:11:59 -0400

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotest

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotestYahoo News went into the crowd in Boston Saturday and talked to mostly right-wing marchers for “free speech” and to mostly progressive counterprotesters.


full story

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Sat, 19 Aug 2017 20:54:18 -0400

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotest

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotestYahoo News went into the crowd in Boston Saturday and talked to mostly right-wing marchers for “free speech” and to mostly progressive counterprotesters.


full story

Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
last updated: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:44:58 -0400

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotest

Who marched in Boston? Faces and voices from the rally and counterprotestYahoo News went into the crowd in Boston Saturday and talked to mostly right-wing marchers for “free speech” and to mostly progressive counterprotesters.


full story

Herald Sun | Top Stories
last updated: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:41:00 GMT

Response from Eddie, AFL not nearly enough
THERE'S so much wrong about the Eddie McGuire-James-Brayshaw-Danny Frawley pack mentality attack of Caroline Wilson. As was the AFL's insipid response on Monday.

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Secret tape not the only talking point
THE reasons behind a decision to release a secret expletive-laden recording of former Chief Justice Tim Carmody are almost as juicy as the tape is expected to be.

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Digg Top Stories
last updated: Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:31:15 +0000

Rolls-Royce Is Pop Music's Hottest Brand
With the ascension of hip-hop, brand references became a shorthand for aspiration and status in popular music.

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Ten sailors missing after U.S. warship, tanker collide near Singapore
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Ten sailors are missing and five were injured after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore on Monday, the U.S. Navy said, the second accident involving U.S. Navy destroyers in Asian waters in little more than two months.

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BuzzFeed - Latest
last updated: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 01:29:53 -0400

Under Pressure

This Is What It’s Like To Be A Paramedic In London


View Entire Post ›

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TIME
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After a Punishing Week, Trump Hopes to Redirect Attention With an Address on Afghanistan
The U.S. has been at odds for months over its 16-year involvement in Afghanistan

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump will use a nationally televised address to outline for a war-weary nation the strategy he believes will best position the U.S. to eventually declare victory in Afghanistan after 16 years of combat and lives lost.

The speech Monday night will also give Trump a chance for a reset after one of the most difficult weeks of his short presidency.

Trump tweeted Saturday that he had reached a decision on the way forward in Afghanistan, a day after he reviewed war options with his national security team at a meeting at Camp David, Maryland. The president offered no clues about whether he would send thousands more U.S. troops into Afghanistan or exercise his authority as commander in chief to order that they be withdrawn from America’s longest war.

But signs pointed in the direction of Trump continuing the U.S. commitment there.

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Sunday hailed the launch of the Afghan Army’s new special operations corps and declared that “we are with you and we will stay with you.”

Trump scheduled a 9 p.m. EDT Monday address to the nation and U.S. troops stationed at the Army’s Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. Next door to the base is Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for many of the U.S. troops who died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It will be Trump’s first formal address to the nation outside of his late February speech to a joint session of Congress. And it follows one of the most trying weeks for the president, who generated a firestorm of criticism after he appeared to equate neo-Nazis and white supremacists with the counter-protesters who opposed them during a deadly clash, with racial overtones, two weekends ago in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Trump blamed “very fine people, on both sides” for the confrontation in which a woman was killed and more than a dozen people were injured. The comments triggered rebukes from elected and former elected leaders in both political parties, and corporate leaders signaled a lack of confidence in Trump by resigning from a pair of White House advisory boards, among other expressions of dissent over his comments.

In Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson’s comments suggested the Pentagon may have won its argument that U.S. military must remain engaged in order to ensure that terrorists aren’t again able to threaten the U.S. from havens inside of Afghanistan.

Nicholson, who spoke before the announcement about Trump’s speech, said the commandos and a plan to double the size of the Afghan special operations forces are critical to winning the war.

“I assure you we are with you in this fight. We are with you and we will stay with you,” Nicholson said during a ceremony at Camp Morehead, a training base for Afghan commandoes southeast of Kabul.

The Pentagon was awaiting a final announcement by Trump on a proposal to send in nearly 4,000 more U.S. troops. The added forces would increase training and advising of the Afghan forces and bolster counterterrorism operations against the Taliban and an Islamic State group affiliate trying to gain a foothold in the country.

The administration had been at odds for months over how to craft a new Afghan war strategy amid frustrations that the conflict had stalemated some 16 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Afghan government controls just half of the country and is beset by endemic corruption and infighting.

The Islamic State group (ISIS) has been hit hard but continues to attempt major attacks, insurgents still find safe harbor in Pakistan, and Russia, Iran and others are increasingly trying to shape the outcome. At this point, everything the U.S. military has proposed points to keeping the Afghan government in place and struggling to turn a dismal quagmire around.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who visited Afghanistan over the weekend, declared himself satisfied with how the administration had formulated its new strategy. But he refused to discuss details before Trump’s announcement.

Afghan military commanders have been clear that they want and expect continued U.S. military help.

Among elected leaders in the U.S., opinions were mixed about America’s future role in Afghanistan.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who last year challenged Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, favors withdrawing the approximately 8,400 U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan — not sending in more.

“I think we should begin to leave and then I think we should reserve the opportunity and the right, with proper basing of our forces in the region, to be able to strike, if we think that there is an effort being made to create another launching pad,” Kasich said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “But just to stay there after 16 years, I want our people to be able to come home.”

Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat and member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was more interested at this point in hearing Trump’s overall plan before any talk about troop levels.

“The troop strength question is sort of the cart before the horse. The real question is what is our strategy?” Kaine said on CBS’ Face the Nation. ”And then when you lay out the strategy, then the troop strength question can kind of answer itself.”

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The Search for the Barcelona Attack Driver Has Been Widened to Europe
"This person is no longer just being sought in Catalonia," an official said

MADRID, Aug 21 (Reuters) – The hunt for a man who drove a van down Barcelona’s most famous boulevard last Thursday, killing 13 people, has been extended to other European countries, Catalan government official Joaquim Forn said on Monday.

Police are searching for Younes Abouyaaqoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan-born man, who they believe was the driver.

“This person is no longer just being sought in Catalonia but in all European countries, this is an effort by European police,” Forn told Catalan radio.

Authorities could not rule out on Sunday that Abouyaaqoub had not slipped across the border into France.

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The University of Texas at Austin Is Removing the Statues of Four Figures Tied to the Confederacy
The school's president said that the statues "have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism"

The University of Texas at Austin is removing the statues of four figures tied to the Confederacy, the school’s president said on Sunday, saying they had become symbols of white supremacy.

White nationalists and counterprotesters clashed this month in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one woman was killed when a suspected white nationalist crashed his car into anti-racism demonstrators.

The violence triggered the biggest domestic crisis yet for President Donald Trump, who provoked anger across the political spectrum for not immediately condemning white nationalists and for praising “very fine people” on both sides of the fight.

“Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” school president Greg Fenves said in a statement.

“These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

A growing number of U.S. political leaders have called for the removal of statues honoring the Confederacy. Civil rights activists charge that they promote racism while advocates of the statues contend they are a reminder of their heritage.

The four statues which University of Texas at Austin is removing from its main mall include one of Robert E. Lee, who led the pro-slavery Confederacy’s army during the Civil War, which ended in 1865.

The Lee statue will be moved to the school’s Briscoe Center for American History, where it will be accessible for scholarly study, Fenves said.

Last weekend, white nationalists converged in Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Lee at a park.

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John Oliver Targets America’s Nuclear Waste Problem on Last Week Tonight
Oliver takes a cue from the Toxic Avenger to talk about the U.S.'s nuclear waste problem

Nuclear waste, as John Oliver notes, is “the worst type of garbage that raccoons can get into.” And on Last Week Tonight, he pointed out just how much the U.S. has—enough to fill “one football field, 20 feet high.” That’s just the byproduct from nuclear power plants, he says. There’s an additional 100 million gallons that has been generated from the production of nuclear weapons, according to Oliver—so much of it, that one out of three Americans live within 50 miles of nuclear waste.

Oliver says that despite years of using nuclear energy, the country still doesn’t have a permanent facility for its storage. If the U.S. wants to avoid a Fukushima-like accident, Oliver notes that the U.S. needs one badly. The Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada was supposed to be that site, but the project has stalled. Current sites, Oliver argues, are unsafe, particularly one nuclear storage facility in California that sits on a fault line next to the ocean, which Oliver says sounds like something from the opening scene of “a movie starring the Rock that you watch on a plane.”

Perhaps most alarming is that, way back in the 1970s, a news team produced a report nearly identical to the one shown on Last Week Tonight, and America’s nuclear waste problem was supposed to be taken care of back then. “It was a problem we should have solved in the 1980s,” says Oliver, “much like a Rubik’s Cube.”

Watch the clip above.

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Here’s How Much Faster Your Next Laptop Will Be
Intel's new laptop processors will be 40% faster

Just in time for the back-to-school shopping season, Intel is providing more detail about its new line of processors. The company’s eighth generation chips, nicknamed “Coffee Lake,” will power upcoming laptops launching this year and next.

Most notably, the company is adding two additional cores to its U series of processors, which are the ones found in thin notebooks and laptop-tablet hybrids. Those extra cores should give computers powered by the new silicon a speed boost when it comes to multitasking.

Overall, the refreshed processors will provide a 40% boost in performance over the company’s seventh generation chips, Intel says. That’s a seemingly huge jump compared to the difference in speed between Intel’s sixth and seventh generation processors: its seventh generation chips only increased productivity performance by 12% and web performance by 19% compared to its predecessor.

But of course, most laptop owners don’t upgrade their computers every year. That’s why Intel is targeting those with a laptop that’s at least five years old, of which the company estimates there are 450 million of in the market. Editing 4K video on a computer running Intel’s Coffee Lake processors should take just three minutes, while doing so on a five-year-old computer could take up to 45 minutes, the company claims. Intel is estimating that its new chips will provide around 10 hours of 4K video playback, which is about on par with its previous generation processors.

Read more: The Best Laptops and Tablets for Back to School

You can expect to see the first notebooks running on Intel’s new processors launching this month, while desktops will be coming in the fall. And although Intel won’t confirm any details on its desktop chips yet, some have speculated that those will also get two extra cores. Some of the first laptops to be powered by Intel’s new processors are the Dell XPS 13, Acer Nitro 5 Spin, and Asus Zenbook Flip S UX370.

The launch comes just as rival chipmaker AMD has been garnering much attention for its line of Ryzden processors, which it launched this spring. Statistics from PassMark, the company behind the benchmarking utility PerformanceTest, suggests that AMD’s market share may be slowly climbing, perhaps giving Intel more motivation to maintain its stronghold.

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Taiwan Is Suffering From a Massive Brain Drain and the Main Beneficiary is China
One U.K.-based consultancy predicts that by 2021 Taiwan will have the world's biggest talent deficit

Money talks. At least it did for Eddie Chen and, presumably, for many of the 420,000 of his Taiwanese compatriots who opted to earn a higher salary by working in mainland China.

Chen, 26, moved from the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, to Beijing in 2014, first to study a Masters on a full scholarship, and then to work in PR for a major international company.

He earns double what he would in his native Taiwan, where starting salaries for graduates have barely risen since the late 1990s. “China has a bigger market and there is more globalization here,” he explains. “Taiwan does not offer many opportunities for young people.”

Official government statistics reveal that by 2015 over 720,000 out of Taiwan’s roughly 10-million strong workforce, 72.5% of them with an undergraduate degree or higher, had moved overseas for better job opportunities.

Unsurprisingly, neighboring China, with its common language, has absorbed the majority.

But it is also actively luring Taiwan’s best talent, contributing to an acute brain drain that not only threatens the Taiwanese economy, but has prompted fears that Beijing, which claims the island as its own territory, is using its economic clout to try to buy political influence.

A recent flow of mainland initiatives to recruit Taiwanese students and entrepreneurs has jangled nerves in the self-ruled democracy that China is expanding efforts to win the loyalty of the younger generation with financial sweeteners, taking advantage of Taiwan’s sluggish economy.

China has targeted Taiwan’s educated elite for years, but a recent uptick in job and education incentives suggests a shift in tactics since cross-strait relations soured over Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to accept Beijing’s policy that the island of 24 million is part of ‘One China’.

Read more: See Photos From Taiwan’s Famous Rainbow Village

Its attempts to punish Taiwan through international isolation, blocking it from United Nations meetings and poaching from its small remaining pool of diplomatic allies, appears only to have fortified Taiwanese resolve to forge their own identity.

The young in particular identify more acutely with Taiwan as their home country and China as a giant neighboring state. But the long term impact of offering millennials a higher standard of living is hard to predict.

China has made no secret of its belief that financial benefits can, over time, dilute, and eventually displace national identity and advance its unification agenda.

Reports emerged in April that Beijing would appeal to business grass-roots through the All China Federation of Taiwanese Compatriots, led by Wang Yifu, a former advisor to President Xi Jinping on Taiwan.

The plan to offer attractive study and work opportunities was followed this summer by invitations to Taiwanese local leaders and youth groups to mainland camps and cultural activities.

Last month, China’s education ministry announced it would halve the quota of Chinese students in Taiwan while relaxing entrance rules for Taiwanese at mainland universities, fueling suspicion of attempted social engineering.

Taiwan China
Chiang Ying-ying—APA tourism-related business worker holds a slogan reading “No Job, No Life.” during a march in Taipei, Taiwan, Monday, Sept. 13, 2016.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which oversees cross-strait relations, urged China to “cherish and maintain” educational exchanges, warning against “interference or restrictions.”

It reminded Taiwanese students of “major differences” between the two countries’ education systems.

But politics is the last thing on Ling Kuang-hsuan’s mind as the postgraduate student, 22, excitedly prepares to start a two year Masters course in human resources at Peking university this September.

She believes Peking’s top reputation will improve her job prospects and, like Eddie Chen, she sees her future in China.

“I hope I can stay in China and find a job…Most of my friends also hope that they can work there after they graduate,” Ling adds. “There are many international companies that don’t have a franchise in Taiwan but they do have one in China.”

Her chances are good. China’s major cities offer a thriving scene of multinational companies and lucrative incentives for start-ups.

Read more: Taiwan’s Vice President Talks to TIME About the Global Health Risks Arising From the Island’s Isolation

In 2015, Chinese e-commerce magnate, Jack Ma, announced a $330 million fund for Taiwanese entrepreneurs.

Just last month, the Taipei-based China Times reported an award of almost $400,000 for a business start-up contest for Taiwanese youth in Shanghai.

Chen admits that China’s vibrant business climate lured him back after his studies when he struggled to start a PR company in Taiwan.

“It was easy to start, but not to survive,” he says. “In Taiwan they play more a short term game. They want their investment back soon.”

The Chinese, however, treated him like a “star”, offering an office and financial incentives. “The Chinese government want people to start-up. They want this trend,” he says.

Chen sold his stake in his company to advance his career in a large international firm.

In China, ambitious Taiwanese professionals also find they can progress quicker than they would at home. “Our company is willing to give younger people more of a chance,” says Chen.

China may feel like a foreign country where “we still understand that we are different culturally and politically”, but for now it is Chen’s home. “Taiwan is much more a place for retirement,” he adds.

The roots of Taiwan’s talent deficit lie in its slow export-reliant economy and the failure to make tough reforms to attract foreign investment and to shift from previously successful labor-intensive industries towards high technology and services.

Meanwhile, neighboring China enjoys high growth. In July it reported an annual pace of 6.9% while Taiwan hovers at around 2%.

Job seekers look at job information at an employment fair in Taipei, Taiwan
Tyrone Siu—REUTERS Job seekers look at job information at an employment fair in Taipei, Taiwan on May 28, 2016.

To add to Taiwan’s woes, graduate salaries have stagnated. In 1999, a university graduate could expect an average monthly salary of around $900. By 2016, this had risen to just $925.

“If China is growing at 6 percent a year and Taiwan is growing at 2 percent a year, which is going to be the most attractive place to go to stake out your career?” asks Michael Zielenziger, Asia expert and a managing editor at Oxford Economics, a U.K.-based economics and research consultancy.

“It’s very difficult for a young, bright Taiwanese student to ignore the bright lights, big city appeal of either China or the States. It’s a challenge to the government to make the country more attractive, to keep people at home and bring them back,” he says.

In 2012, Oxford Economics produced a survey that made the dire prediction that by 2021, Taiwan would have the biggest talent deficit in the world.

“Taiwan comes in poorly for a number of obvious factors. The population is not increasing…It’s getting older,” says Zielenziger.

Read more: ‘If We Patented General Tso’s Chicken, We’d Be Extremely Rich’: Remembering Peng Chang-kuei

Caught in a vicious cycle, low wages have left young people less inclined to start a family, contributing to declining birthrates.

Youth are resentful that Taiwan’s generous state pension system leaves, for example, retired high school teachers on a monthly stipend of around $2,250, while they struggle to make ends meet.

The resulting exodus leaves less workers to support the swelling ranks of the old, pushing the pensions system towards the brink of bankruptcy.

Gordon Sun, director of the forecasting center at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, says the nature of the brain drain is exacerbating Taiwan’s economic troubles.

“They are high level managers, engineers, they are rich, their income is high,” he says.

“Most of their spending or consumption is in China. So in Taiwan our consumption cannot grow,” he argues. “We need them to come back and live here and spend here.”

Wang Gang—Imaginechina Tourists visiting the promenade on the Shanghai Bund take pictures of the Lujiazui Financial District skyline in Pudong, Shanghai, China, on Sept. 26 2016.

But the notion of China presenting itself as the land of opportunity in exchange for Taiwanese loyalty is misguided, believes Taipei-based analyst Michael Cole, a senior fellow at Nottingham University’s China Policy Institute.

Firstly, China has no clear strategy to win over Taiwan. “Right now, they don’t know what to do,” he argues.

“They’ve long been infatuated with notions of economic determinism. They tried that with Tibet and they tried that with Hong Kong to an extent,” Cole says.

“They still don’t seem to realize the pragmatism with which people are dealing with China, in which they recognize the opportunities for their career or for investment, but very rarely does that translate into a shift in self-identification or support for unification.”

Lo Chih-cheng, a legislator with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), agrees that young people will see through attempts to politically manipulate them.

“They want to show especially to young people, that China is their future, and Taiwan has nowhere to go to but to turn to China. That’s their strategy: Taiwan has to depend on China for economic development,” he says.

“I don’t know whether it works or not but I don’t think it will change their identity,” Lo adds. “There is a huge difference between the way of life in Taiwan and China that will reinforce their views about themselves being Taiwanese not Chinese.”

Others are more concerned that the long term impact of offering financial security to an entire generation, could slowly erode resistance to China’s political ambitions.

Unlike Hong Kong, freedom of speech and democracy is not directly under threat for now in Taiwan, giving the young fewer reasons to push back. Taiwanese identity is strong, but willingness to advocate independence less so.

Rex, 36, a Taiwanese banker, moved to Guangzhou, southern China, two years ago as he did not want to lose his job in Taiwan in middle age. “I don’t see a future for my work in Taiwan,” he says.

Read more: Many Young Taiwanese Want to Go to the Olympics With a New Flag and Anthem

He now prefers the dynamism of China compared to the more regulatory business culture at home.

Politics plays little role in Rex’s personal life, but he believes that “Taiwan and the Chinese are going to merge some day in the future, 50 or 100 years from now” for more practical reasons.

“China is just too big and in Taiwan you cannot live without China being involved in your business,” he explains.

For many who opted to stay home, the steady drip of China’s economic influence over those who left has become a touchy subject.

Earlier this year, a Taiwanese man, Jeremy, 25, who works in Shanghai was denounced online as a “communist bandit” after he urged young people to leave and seek a better life overseas.

“I have friends in Taiwan who work inconceivably hard every day. They’re up at 5am and don’t finish up with work until 9 or 10pm at night. And what for? They have no future and no hopes,” he said in a video that went viral.

A tourist from Shanghai, China goes through a health checkup organised by the hospital to promote medical tourism in Taipei
Pichi Chuang—REUTERS A tourist from Shanghai, China goes through a health checkup organized by a hospital to promote medical tourism in Taipei June 28, 2011.

Dr Yang Tzu-ting, a research fellow at the Institute of Economics at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, believes that a large Taiwanese labor force in China could “threaten our national security” and encourage some to become advocates for unification.

The best way for the Taiwanese government to counter this is to create better jobs and to boost the services industry, he argues.

An example would be to remove stifling annual quotas on medical training to create a health tourism sector, he says. Another would be to make universities more competitive to prevent academics escaping centralized, and low, wages.

Ross Feingold, a Taipei-based lawyer and public policy analyst, agrees that the Taiwanese government is not doing enough to stem the brain drain.

“One way to look at it is if China succeeds in getting young people to remain there during election time and not return home to vote for the DPP, that that would also work to China’s advantage,” he says.

“I think it’s just a transactional relationship where people want to have jobs that pay better and offer opportunities for promotion. Whether it builds personal affinity remains to be seen.”

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U.S. and South Korean Troops Have Started Annual Joint Military Drills Amid a Tense North Korea Standoff
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said the drills are defensive in nature

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. and South Korean troops kicked off their annual drills Monday that come after President Donald Trump and North Korea exchanged warlike rhetoric in the wake of the North’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills are largely computer-simulated war games held every summer and have drawn furious responses from North Korea, which views them as an invasion rehearsal. Pyongyang’s state media on Sunday called this year’s drills a “reckless” move that could trigger the “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”

Despite the threat, U.S. and South Korean militaries launched this year’s 11-day training on Monday morning as scheduled. The exercise involves 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean soldiers, according to the U.S. military command in South Korea and Seoul’s Defense Ministry.

No field training like live-fire exercises or tank maneuvering is involved in the Ulchi drills, in which alliance officers sit at computers to practice how they engage in battles and hone their decision-making capabilities. The allies have said the drills are defensive in nature.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Monday that North Korea must not use the drills as a pretext to launch fresh provocation, saying the training is held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea.

North Korea typically responds to South Korea-U.S. military exercises with weapons tests and a string of belligerent rhetoric. During last year’s Ulchi drills, North Korea test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) in the longest flight by that type of weapon. Days after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test to date.

Last month North Korea test-launched two ICBMs at highly lofted angles, and outside experts say those missiles can reach some U.S. parts like Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at normal, flattened trajectories. Analysts say it would be only a matter of time for the North to achieve its long-stated goal of acquiring a nuclear missile that can strike anywhere in the United States.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with “fire and fury.” North Korea, for its part, threatened to launch missiles toward the American territory of Guam before its leader Kim Jong Un backed off saying he would first watch how Washington acts before going ahead with the missile launch plans.Hyung-

 

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Game of Thrones Ratchets Up the Stakes in a Monumental Episode
Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones. After visiting the Game of Thrones set during the filming of Sunday night’s episode, I wrote in a TIME cover story: “One of those big events this season is a battle whose sheer scope, even before being cut together with the show’s typical…

Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.

After visiting the Game of Thrones set during the filming of Sunday night’s episode, I wrote in a TIME cover story: “One of those big events this season is a battle whose sheer scope, even before being cut together with the show’s typical brio, dazzled me. […] Thrones has been promising this clash all along, and when the time comes, the Internet will melt.”

While much of what I saw on my TV screen Sunday night was painted in after filming — I witnessed many, many takes of the onslaught of the dead, rushing the island on which Jon Snow’s team was depicted onscreen as a January wind blew through the Belfast set — the dazzlement wasn’t diminished. This episode, occupying the penultimate-in-the-season slot that has historically been the spot where the biggest moments occur, was ever-so-slightly less a barnburner than last year’s “Battle of the Bastards,” for instance. But that’s in part due to the increasing obviousness of the stakes. There’s less room for this story to invent or move freely; where once it giddily pushed characters into confrontation, it now finds thrills in the telling even as it moves towards a grindingly clear conclusion.

The main action of the episode was a showdown between the dead and the living on a frozen lake — the setting a vividly creative way to depict high stakes, with its liminal barrier between staying aboveground and certain death coming to be a particularly vivid visual metaphor. That was never more so than in scenes with Daenerys’s dragons, whose depiction has seemed at times this season almost too easy — their mowing down Jaime Lannister’s army earlier in the season was an effective shock-and-awe campaign, but felt inevitable, sapping any sense of tension. Here, their efficacy had a satisfyingly visceral effect beyond just setting men aflame, as the ice popped and melted under the strain of dragon’s breath. And the sinking of Daenerys’s fallen dragon into the ice — and its later dredging-up by the forces of the Night King — was perhaps the most effective use of large-scale visual effects yet on the show, merging compelling reality with pathos.

On a character level, the episode compelled, too. Jon Snow’s decision to lead a team beyond the wall was frustrating and odd — and yet it was in keeping with a self-styled king who’s grown more idiosyncratic and more assured of his own will to power since his return from the dead. In a hospital-bed scene that contained sensitive acting from both Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, the irony of Jon’s dependence on Daenerys to save him even after he’s refused to acknowledge her as his leader seemed to register.

This season of Thrones has barreled towards a fairly clear endgame — the showdown between the Lannisters and Daenerys, and between the living and the dead — without much hesitation, exactly. But it’s been willing to indulge a great deal of talk about how the characters are getting where they’re going, conference-room scenes that are wordier and weightier than the show would have been able to bear in seasons past. The show has done an effective job of walking us toward the point we’re at now — one in which endless discussion of strategy and philosophy is necessary — but it was nevertheless a tonic to see an episode rooted in the propulsive action that Thrones, at its best, can pull off. That this action was resolved through the seemingly random arrival of Benjen Stark felt at once underthought and fitting on an episode that felt so sharply designed to deliver pleasure to fans. He is, after all, a beloved figure from the show’s past, arriving to save the day just as the big struggle is clicking into place. The challenge ahead for Thrones will be ensuring that touches designed to please fans don’t lapse into pure fan-service.

One touch, far from the frozen lake, gripped my heart and made me feel confident that won’t happen. The evolution of Arya — quiet at first, and then sudden — has been remarkable to watch even as it’s gone to painful places. Her fairly explicit threats to her sister Sansa in Sunday’s episode cemented the vague sense I’d had for a while that her lengthy and evidently traumatic training as an assassin left her a different person. While she was never exactly simpatico with Sansa, her open suggestion that Arya might well kill her felt like the product of real thought about what her journey to this point had been. It was a color that hadn’t been endlessly foreshadowed, proof that even though we’ve known from the start what the main battle will be, there’s still room for creative interpretation and invention of a sort that goes beyond what will make fans happy. Indeed, Arya’s movement toward blind rage in the face of her sister’s blossoming into leadership is a sad development — but one as rich as promising as the best of Thrones.

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Spanish Town of Ripoll Struggles to Reconcile That Locals Were Part of an Extremist Cell
Families and friends in the town are torn between horror at the bloodshed and grief for the children they thought they knew

(RIPOLL, Spain) — They were brothers and boyhood friends from a town with no unfamiliar faces. They were linked by Moroccan roots and equally tied by their upbringings in Ripoll, an ancient hub in the Catalan foothills known for its monastery and passageways dotted with cafes and kebab shops.

But most recently, police believe, the young men were drawn together by an imam and an alleged plot to murder on a massive scale — an extraordinary secret for 12 people to keep for months on end.

In the suspected extremist cell’s final days, the group accumulated more than 100 gas canisters, blew up a house in a botched effort to make bombs, drove a van through Barcelona’s storied Las Ramblas promenade, and attacked beachside tourists, Spanish authorities said.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed at least 14 people and left scores wounded. Five of the dozen were shot dead by police.

Now, Ripoll is cut off by police roadblocks as the search for an alleged cell member thought to still be on the run continues. Families and friends in the town are torn between horror at the bloodshed and grief for the children they thought they knew.

“We don’t know whether to cry and mourn them or what to do,” said Wafa Marsi, who knew the attackers and stood with their weeping mothers as they clustered in small groups in the town square. “They have killed 13 or 14 people and wounded a hundred, and we don’t know what to do.”

What the families finally did, after fiercely debating the issue, was denounce the attack, some holding up homemade signs reading “Not in our name.”

Police have identified 12 members of the cell, but three remained unaccounted for Sunday. Two are believed to have been killed when the house where the plot was hatched exploded Wednesday, Catalan police official Josep Lluis Trapero told reporters Sunday.

Complicating the manhunt for the suspected fugitive and any other possible accomplices, though, was the fact that police so far have been unable to pinpoint who remained at large. The explosion in Alcanar, 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Ripoll, nearly obliterated the bomb makers along with the house. A police official has said the imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, is thought to be one of them.

Trapero declined to confirm that Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan, was the one at large and the suspected driver of the van that plowed down the Las Ramblas promenade Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring 120. Another attack hours later killed one person and injured others in Cambrils, a seaside town south of the city.

“We are working in that line,” Trapero said. But he added: “We don’t know where he is.”

Another police official did confirm that three vans tied to the investigation were rented with Abouyaaquoub’s credit card: The one used in the Las Ramblas carnage, another found in Ripoll, where all the main attack suspects lived, and a third found in Vic, on the road between the two.

Police are investigating whether a man found stabbed to death inside a car in Barcelona may have been killed by an attacker as well.

Police believe the cell members had planned to fill the vans with explosives and create a massive attack in the Catalan capital. Trapero confirmed that more than 100 tanks of butane gas were found at the Alcanar house that exploded, as well as ingredients of the explosive TATP, which was used by the Islamic State group in attacks in Paris and Brussels.

“Our thesis is that the group had planned one or more attacks with explosives in the city of Barcelona,” he said. The plot was foiled when the house in Alcanar blew up Wednesday night.

None of the 12 had any known history of violent extremism, Spanish police have said.

Trapero confirmed the imam was part of the investigation, but said police had no solid evidence that he was responsible for radicalizing the young men in the cell. Es Satty in June abruptly quit working at a mosque in Ripoll and has not been seen since.

“Don’t criminalize the mosques because the overwhelming majority of them are places of worship. They are places where people pray,” Trapero said. “In fact, even though there is an imam implicated in the group, it doesn’t mean that the mosque is where they were radicalized.”

One woman who was close to multiple attackers and who heard Es Satty’s sermons said the imam repeatedly preached about jihad and killing infidels. She spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing she would be attacked for speaking out.

“I feel like I could have done something. I feel a little bit guilty now,” she said. “Everybody knew it. It was an open secret. But I can’t say it because these people are dangerous and they could come after me. I don’t trust anybody now.”

Es Satty’s former mosque denounced the deadly attacks, but denied Es Satty was anything other than “a normal imam.”

Hammou Minaj, secretary of the mosque who knew the attackers as well, described Es Satty as an easygoing preacher.

“It’s hard to get an imam. When you get one, you’re always happy,” Minaj said.

The mosque is on a main artery in Ripoll named Progress, occupying an unmarked corner storefront. The Muslim community took the space when it outgrew the town’s other mosque, which held just 40 worshippers. Es Satty preached first at the smaller space and eventually lost his job in late 2015 for reasons that the president, Ali Yassine, did not specify.

Es Satty then left to look for work as an imam in Belgium from January to March 2016, according to Hans Bonte, mayor of the Belgian city of Vilvoorde.

Vilvoorde is known for Islamic State recruiting and jihadi activity. Police there contacted the Catalan department of justice and were told Es Satty had no links to extremistviolence.

“With what we know today, this is remarkable and an eye-opener for everybody,” Bonte told De Morgen newspaper.

But Catalonia itself has become increasingly known as a center of extremism and for tensions within the Muslim community on how to handle it. Nearly one-third of the arrests in Spain for alleged links to the Islamic State group were made in Catalonia, according to an analysis last year by Fernano Reinares of the Royal Institute Elcano, a Spanish think tank founded by the king.

When Es Satty returned to Ripoll, he again landed a job as imam — this time at the new mosque. But at the beginning of the summer, Es Satty announced he wanted a three-month vacation in Morocco and the mosque let him go. His apartment was empty on Saturday.

Ripoll resident Marsi, as well others who spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity, admitted tensions brewed at times between the two mosques, although Marsi pointed out that the differences were not over religious content.

“I can’t vouch for anybody else, but I can guarantee 100 percent that there was zero radicalization in either mosque. If the imam had said something about jihad, the people of Ripoll would have ousted him. The women, in particular, are raging right now,” Marsi emphasized.

The size of the cell and the close family connections among the attack suspects recalled the November 2015 attacks in Paris, where Islamic State adherents struck the national stadium, a concert hall and bars and restaurants nearly simultaneously, leaving 130 people dead.

Catalan authorities have not released the names of those killed, but Spanish media have reported widely that at least three sets of brothers were among the cell’s alleged members.

Brothers radicalizing together are a common theme among extremists. They share unbreakable bonds, an ability to keep secrets, and an airtight communication channel. A pair of brothers carried out suicide bombings in March 2016 in Brussels. Two brothers gunned down the staff members of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, were brothers originally from Chechnya.

On Sunday, many in Ripoll said they didn’t see themselves in either the young men who had once seemed familiar or the imam now implicated in the investigation

“Those people that heard him talk about jihad and didn’t say anything, are they happy now? Why didn’t they stop him?” Hassan Azzidi, who was holding a sign that read “Not in the name of Islam,” said.

He added: “We are taught not to kill animals for sport, let alone humans.”

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10 Sailors Are Missing After a U.S. Warship Collides with a Tanker Near Singapore
The USS John S. McCain sustained damage from the collision

(SINGAPORE) — Ten U.S. sailors are missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a tanker early Monday east of Singapore, the second accident involving a ship from the Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months.

The Navy said five sailors were hurt in the collision between the guided-missile destroyer and the 183-meter (600-foot) Alnic MC, an oil and chemical tanker. Four of them were evacuated by a Singaporean navy helicopter to a hospital in the city-state for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, and one did not require further medical attention.

The McCain had been heading to Singapore on a routine port visit after conducting a sensitive freedom of navigation operation last week by sailing near one of China’s man-made islands in the South China Sea.

The destroyer was damaged on its port side aft, or left rear, from the collision that happened at 5:24 a.m., the Navy’s 7th Fleet said, but was heading to port under its own power.

One of the injured, Operations Specialist 2nd Class Navin Ramdhun, posted a Facebook message telling family and friends he was OK and awaiting surgery for an arm injury.

He told The Associated Press in a message that he couldn’t say what happened: “I was actually sleeping at that time. Not entirely sure.”

The Singapore government said no crew were injured on the Liberian-flagged Alnic, which sustained damage to a compartment at the front of the ship some 7 meters (23 feet) above its waterline. There were no reports of a chemical or oil spill.

Singapore sent tugboats and naval and coast guard vessels for the search and rescue effort. Malaysia’s navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin tweeted that two ships as well as aircraft from its navy and air force were helping with the search for the missing sailors. He tweeted a photo of the McCain that showed a gaping hole in its side near the waterline. The Navy said Osprey aircraft and Seahawk helicopters from the USS America were assisting in the search.

There was no immediate explanation for the collision and the Navy said an investigation would be conducted. Singapore, at the southernmost tip of the Malay Peninsula, is one of the world’s busiest ports and a U.S. ally, with its naval base regularly visited by American warships.

The collision was the second involving a ship from the Navy’s 7th Fleet in the Pacific in two months. Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship collided in waters off Japan.

The Fitzgerald’s captain was relieved of command and other sailors were being punished after the Navy found poor seamanship and flaws in keeping watch contributed to the collision, the Navy announced last week. An investigation into how and why the Fitzgerald collided with the other ship was not finished, but enough details were known to take those actions, the Navy said.

President Donald Trump has expressed concern for the McCain’s crew.

Trump returned to Washington on Sunday night from his New Jersey golf club. When reporters shouted questions to him about the McCain, he responded, “That’s too bad.”

About two hours later, Trump tweeted that “thoughts and prayers” are with the McCain’s sailors as search and rescue efforts continue.

The 154-meter (505-foot) McCain is named after U.S. Sen. John McCain’s father and grandfather, who were both U.S. admirals. It’s based at the 7th Fleet’s homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. It was commissioned in 1994 and has a crew of 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors, according the Navy’s website.

McCain said on Twitter that he and his wife, Cindy, are “keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight — appreciate the work of search & rescue crews.”

Though Liberian flagged, the Alnic is owned by a Greece-based shipping company Stealth Maritime Corporation S.A. through a subsidiary registered in the Marshall Islands.

 

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