John Romagnoli
"More than just a Sign"
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'Work with us': United States looks to other countries for help with IranThe United States is seeking partners to patrol and escort ships in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf as tensions with Iran escalate.


7/20/2019 11:14:34 AM

Alleged American ISIS Sniper Brought Home by the Defense Department to Face ChargesAn American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said.Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday.A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States. Asainov had been in the custody of Syrian Democratic Forces.No further information about the military's role in transporting Asainov, to the United States was immediately available.Asainov is accused of leaving Brooklyn in December 2013 to fight for ISIS in Syria, a Justice Department news release says. After becoming an ISIS sniper, he was promoted to become an "emir" in charge of training fighters how to use weapons and also tried to recruit someone else to leave the United States and become an ISIS fighter.Prosecutors claim Asainov tried to buy a scope for his rile by paying roughly $2,800 to a confidential informant, the news release says."Asainov subsequently sent the confidential informant two photographs depicting the defendant holding an assault rifle fitted with a scope," the news release says. "He messaged one associate exclaiming, in reference to ISIS, 'We are the worst terrorist organization in the world that has ever existed' and stating that he wished to die on the battlefield."


7/20/2019 2:49:00 AM

US heatwave: National Weather Service bakes biscuits inside hot car in safety warning about leaving children or petsThe National Weather Service has baked biscuits inside a hot car, in a safety message about the peril of leaving children or pets inside a vehicle.As a heatwave takes grip of large swathe of the US, with up to 200m people expected to be affected by a heat index of up to 115f degrees (46c), the officials performed the experiment inside a car in Nebraska to show how hot vehicles can become when left unattended. To demonstrate the dangers, the NWS staff set about baking the biscuits in the city of Omaha, using only heat from the sun.“If you are wondering if it’s going to be hot today, we are attempting to bake biscuits using only the sun and a car in our parking lot,” NWS Omaha said on Twitter. “We will keep you posted with the progress.”CNN said four biscuits were placed on a baking sheet on the dashboard of a car and left to sit in the sun. After 60 minutes, the pan had reached 175.2f (80c) and the tops of the biscuits reached 153f. The back seat registered 120.4f in the shade.It said, four hours later, the tops of the biscuits were nearly finished baking, but the bottoms remained doughy.The car had to be turned around to adjust for the changing angle of the sun.> Biscuits are starting to get a slightly golden tinge to them. pic.twitter.com/ptL24RHQfs> > — NWS Omaha (@NWSOmaha) > > July 18, 2019The experiment was carried out to warn people about the dangers of leaving children or pets inside vehicles, even for for a short period of time. US summers frequently come with stories of tragic deaths as a result of a toddler or baby being left in a car.CBS News said six people had died in connection with the heat – four people in Maryland, one in Arizona, and another in Arkansas.Several events were cancelled in New York City, including OZY Fest and the NYC Triathlon.The NWS said the east coast and midwest are likely to see temperatures in the upper 90s, combined with high humidity. Experts are urging people to limit their time outside and drink lots of water. Cities in Vermont and New Hampshire are opening shelters where people can cool off. Some power outages have been reported in Philadelphia and after storms in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Police in Braintree, Massachusetts, asked residents “to hold off” all criminal activity until the extreme heat is over.“Folks. Due to the extreme heat, we are asking anyone thinking of doing criminal activity to hold off until Monday,” the department wrote on Facebook. “It is straight up hot as soccer balls out there. Conducting criminal activity, in this extreme heat is next level henchmen status, and also very dangerous.”Additional reporting by Associated Press


7/20/2019 10:08:00 AM

Some asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico help each otherA small group of asylum seekers sit under a canopy on the side of a road leading into the United States, chatting to pass the time as a blazing desert sun pushes the heat into triple digits and fumes roll in from dozens of cars lined up to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Coming from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba and many other countries, they're waiting in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, to seek asylum at the official border crossing just south of San Luis, Arizona. "Here, you have nobody but each other," Julio Montenegro, a 33-year-old Guatemalan who has been waiting for several weeks, said on a hot afternoon in late June.


7/20/2019 4:43:50 PM

Philippine police seek sedition charges against VP, Duterte criticsPhilippine police have recommended sedition charges against the vice president and other opposition figures, a move slammed Friday as an attempt to stifle dissent under President Rodrigo Duterte. Police allege Vice President Leni Robredo, Catholic Church leaders and opposition politicians plotted to destabilise the Duterte government by implicating him in the narcotics trade. Duterte launched a war against the drug trade when he came into power three years ago.


7/19/2019 7:14:58 AM

Ex-NRA Ad Firm: Um, Wayne LaPierre is LyingLucas Jackson/ReutersIn a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group’s recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group’s primary ad contractor until just months ago. The NRA claims North kept the nature of his deal with Ackerman McQueen a secret from LaPierre and the gun group’s leadership. But in a July 16 filing that was reviewed by The Daily Beast, Ackerman McQueen alleges that LaPierre himself helped negotiate the deal between their firm and North. And they hint that they have documentation to prove it. In a statement, the NRA denied the suggestions. “The facts are clear – Mr. LaPierre and the NRA had no idea that Col. North was negotiating to become an employee of Ackerman McQueen,” said Andrew Arulanandam, managing director of NRA Public Affairs. “And to the extent Col. North was pushing a contrived narrative about Mr. LaPierre and the NRA, he was conflicted. He was an employee of Ackerman at the time he was allegedly scheming with the agency to unseat Mr. LaPierre.”  It’s a messy new chapter in the months-long legal battle between the NRA and the ad firm it used for more than three decades. And it comes as the gun group has jettisoned senior staff and faced revolts from grassroots activists and donors. “LaPierre negotiated the terms of the North Contract directly with Lt. Col. North and a detailed term sheet was sent to AMc [Ackerman McQueen] for completion of the formal agreement,” the filing reads. The NRA’s then-treasurer, Wilson “Woody” Phillips, also reviewed and approved North’s contract with the firm, according to the filing, and the NRA board’s audit committee green-lit the contract as well. “On at least two occasions, counsel for the NRA has reviewed the North Contract,” the filing adds. NRA Pulls the Plug on NRATVAckerman McQueen’s insistence that NRA officials were aware of the contract with North is directly at odds with the contention the NRA made in a suit it filed against the ad agency in April. North was ousted from the NRA that month during the group’s annual meeting and has since accused LaPierre of gross mismanagement and making highly questionable expenditures. The NRA, meanwhile, has alleged that North tried to oust LaPierre in a coup. And in a separate suit in May, it accused Ackerman McQueen of breach of contract by leaking information about both LaPierre and the NRA’s finances. Ackerman McQueen had been a central force behind the NRA’s evolution from a gun rights group to a conservative cultural institution. As part of that mission, the ad firm helped launch and manage NRATV, the NRA’s recently shuttered internet-video arm. The NRA has alleged in court that Ackerman McQueen had refused to share its analytics with the gun group. But In its July 16 filing, Ackerman McQueen claims that the opposite is true. “Two days before the lawsuit was filed, LaPierre was in AMc’s office and was in attendance for the presentation of the NRATV analytics,” it reads. “LaPierre walked out of the meeting.” A spokesperson for the NRA’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The filing indicates that the fight between the NRA and Ackerman shows no signs of losing steam. Earlier this week, longtime NRA director of public affairs Jennifer Baker left the group. And a month ago, the group parted ways with its longtime top lobbyist, Chris Cox. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


7/19/2019 11:46:23 AM

A Passenger Was Fined $105,000 and Banned for Life for 'Extremely Disruptive Behavior' on an AirplaneShe was also banned for life by British budget carrier Jet2


7/19/2019 2:09:25 PM

Irish, EU governments sound out Johnson to avoid no-deal Brexit: Sunday TimesAhead of Boris Johnson's likely election next week as Britain's prime minister, EU countries are secretly wooing him in a bid to thrash out a new Brexit plan that would avoid a no-deal disaster, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. German and French figures as well as the Dutch and Belgian governments have also established contact with Johnson's team and signaled an intention to do a deal, it added. In a limited extract released on Saturday evening ahead of publication, the paper reported that Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has indicated Dublin is prepared to compromise.


7/20/2019 4:16:49 PM

Five guys arrested for fighting at Five Guys burgers in FloridaAn appropriate number of guys were arrested when a fight broke out at a FiveGuys restaurant in Florida on Wednesday


7/19/2019 10:09:57 AM

Here's Trump hating on America. Is it time for him to leave?The president says if Democratic congresswomen criticize the US, they should go elsewhere. But mocking America is one of his own favorite pastimesAt a campaign rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, the president’s attacks against four progressive congresswomen of color culminated in his most overt attack yet. Referring to Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib as “hate-filled extremists”, he continued his tirade to the delight of his supporters.“They’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said to the crowd, who soon erupted into a chant of “send her back”.Yet Trump himself has repeatedly denigrated and criticized America, perhaps more so than any other presidential candidate in recent memory. If he holds himself to his own standards, perhaps it’s time for him to leave and “go back home”?Here are some examples of Trump’s attacks on the US. Make America great againA longtime critic of Obama, Trump has said he came upon his famed slogan the day his predecessor was elected to his second term. The Maga slogan implied that America was no longer great, something he also repeatedly and explicitly stated in much starker terms in the years before and during his run. Speaking to the Washington Post in 2017, he said:> I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether it’s at the border, whether it’s security, whether it’s law and order or lack of law and order. Crippled AmericaTrump’s 2015 book, Crippled America, was rife with critical quotes, referring to the country as “this mess” and “Uncle Sucker”, among other things, and took great pains to point out just how weak we had become.> The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished … I couldn’t stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way. American carnageOn the day he took office in 2017, Trump painted a picture of America as a dystopian nightmare.> Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.> > This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. Laughing stockThe idea that criticizing the country is grounds for being dismissed from it would be news to the Donald Trump of the Obama years, when he described our collective humiliation many dozens of times.Stretching back to 2011, he regularly tweeted about which countries and other political bodies were laughing at us and Obama, from Opec to “the mullahs”, Sudan, and, most frequently, China and Vladimir Putin.> US Gov't is on the hook for more than a third of the world's entire debt & we wonder why China & OPEC are laughing all the way to the bank!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2012> Thanks to @BarackObama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, China has become Canada's biggest oil consumer. China is laughing at us!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2012> Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012 Lots of killersWhen asked during an interview with Bill O’Reilly in 2017 about his praise for Putin, Trump said America wasn’t much better. But was Putin was “a killer”, O’Reilly said. Trump replied:> There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent? InfrastructureTrump has not only often referred to the symbolic collapse of America, he’s also pointed out its literal state of disrepair. His speech to the 2016 Republican national convention was a laundry list of things that he found shameful about the country, including our infrastructure. He told the crowd:> Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition.


7/19/2019 6:28:58 AM

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