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|Trump impeachment narrative gathers steam as diplomats fill in details ||Score picks, bold predictions and fantasy tips for every Week 3 NFL game |
The first week of public testimony in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump shed new light on the administration’s efforts to procure a Ukrainian investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.
| What to watch for in every game. Bold predictions. Fantasy advice. Key stats to know. And, of course, score predictions. It's all here for Week 3. |
|Hong Kong police threaten to use live bullets as standoff with protesters escalates ||Belichick cuts presser short after AB questions |
Hong Kong police threatened on Monday to use live bullets if "rioters" used lethal weapons and committed other acts of violence, after the latest flare up during five months of anti-government protests in the Chinese ruled city. The police statement followed fresh clashes outside a university in the centre of Hong Kong where protesters were hunkered down behind makeshift shields and hurled petrol bombs at police in a standoff blocking a vital tunnel link. The violence, which has convulsed the Asian financial hub, has posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
| Patriots coach Bill Belichick's patience ran thin. He walked off after fielding seven questions about Antonio Brown's off-the-field issues. "I'm good," he said. "Thank you." |
|Nuclear missile bunker: yours for less than $400k ||Sources: Yanks' German won't pitch again in '19 |
Decommissioned nuclear silo accessed 40ft staircase leading underground was once home to US’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever deployedAll this can be yours for $395,000. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyOne local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate.The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force.The inside of the decommissioned Titan nuclear missile silo in southern Arizona. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyThe silo’s owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he’s “bored”.Ellis said he originally bought the silo to turn into a commercial data storage center because it is shielded from electromagnetic pulses that can scramble electronics, but his plans were waylaid by the economic recession. So far, he said he has rejected serious offers from a buyer who wanted to turn it into a greenhouse for medical marijuana and another who planned to use it as a porn studio.The threshold to tour the property is much higher than for a typical open house. Interested buyers must prove they have the money to cover the $395,000 cost and sign a liability waiver before descending a 40ft staircase into the bunker to tour the property.An aerial view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty Photography“Private yet not too remote,” says the listing for the property, which includes more than 12 acres of desert.There are 18 decommissioned nuclear silos which surround Tucson and were operational from June 1963 into the 1980s. They were on alert to launch, or respond, to nuclear attacks with the Titan II missiles, which carried warheads with nine megatons of explosive power – the equivalent to a yield 600 times that of “Little Boy”, the bomb dropped over Hiroshima.When the bunkers were decommissioned, the government demolished them, filled them with rubble and sealed the entrances with concrete.Another view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyEllis took on a major excavation after purchasing the property, which still includes some original equipment such as floor-to-ceiling springs which isolated each level of the basement from seismic shocks and signs revealing the bunker’s designated smoking area.Premier Media Group created a 3D tour of the bunker which showcases pools of stagnant water and the 6,000lb blast door which can be closed with one hand.For those who can’t provide the paperwork necessary to tour the property, realtors Grant Hampton and Kori Ward recommend a visit to the nearby Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Arizona, which is inside a decommissioned silo.
| Right-hander Domingo German will miss both the rest of the regular season and the postseason following his placement on administrative leave, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney. |
|Racist, anti-Semitic incidents prompt Syracuse to halt fraternity activities; Alpha Chi Rho suspended ||Flame out: NFL field pyrotechnics get brief ban |
Syracuse suspended a fraternity and halted social activities at all of them for the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents.
| The NFL has placed a temporary ban on all flame effects and pyrotechnics used on its playing fields as it investigates a fire at the Tennessee Titans' Nissan Stadium in Week 2. |
|Prince Andrew: I Didn’t Have Sex With Virginia Roberts Giuffre. I Was Eating Pizza. ||DC floats Lamar-Mahomes as next Peyton-Brady |
Screenshot/BBCNewsnight/TwitterPrince Andrew says he is prepared to give evidence about his friendship with late accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein under oath, and claimed to have no recollection of the notorious photograph of him with his arm around the waist of alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre being taken.Inside Jeffrey Epstein’s Creepy Parties With Prince AndrewTo support his latter claim, Andrew told the BBC’s Newsnight program on Saturday that the “traveling clothes” he was wearing in the picture were not clothes he would wear in London. The claim is demonstrably false, as there are images of him leaving London nightclub Chinawhite in July 2000, wearing almost the exact same outfit.Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her on three occasions when she was being trafficked by Epstein, an allegation he has denied. Andrew also insisted he couldn’t have had sex with Roberts on the night she claimed, as he was at a chain pizza restaurant, Pizza Express, in suburban Woking with his daughters. He said the pizza party was at about 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. and then he was at home.He sought to discredit Roberts’ account of dancing with him at Tramp nightclub, in which she described him as sweating profusely, by claiming that he was suffering from a post-combat condition that meant he didn’t sweat. He went on to dispute Giuffre's claim that he bought her a drink, saying he “didn’t know where the bar was” in Tramp, despite admitting having been there several times.“I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because... when I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie. That’s what I would describe as my traveling clothes if I’m going overseas. I’ve got plenty of photographs of me dressed in that sort of kit but not there,” Andrew said.He repeatedly questioned the authenticity of the photograph of him and Giuffre: “I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”He repeatedly said he had “no memory” of the photograph being taken.At one stage he said: “I can’t, we can’t be certain as to whether or not that’s my hand on her left side.”Andrew gave a bewildering array of other reasons to support his claim that the picture was fake, including saying he had never been upstairs in Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, and that Epstein never carried a camera (in fact, Giuffre claims the photo was taken on her camera). “Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored, but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.”Andrew flatly denied having sex with Giuffre, saying: “Without putting too fine a point on it, if you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody. You have to take some sort of positive action and so therefore if you try to forget, it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything. I can’t.”“I’ve wracked my brain and thinking oh… when the first allegations, when the allegations came out originally I went, ‘Well that’s a bit strange, I don’t remember this,’ and then I’ve been through it and through it and through it over and over and over again, and no, nothing. It just never happened.”Interviewer Emily Maitlis also asked if Andrew believed rumors that Epstein had not in fact committed suicide.In response, Andrew appeared to show more than just a passing familiarity with the work of celebrity pathologist-for-hire, Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by Epstein’s brother to observe the official autopsy.Jeffrey Epstein Camp Sent Pathologist Michael Baden to Watch Over His AutopsyAndrew replied: “I’m not one to be able to answer that question. I believe that centers around something to do with a bone in his neck, so whether or not if you commit suicide that bone breaks or something. But I’m afraid to say I’m not an expert, I have to take what the coroner says and he has ruled that it was suicide.”Baden claimed that a collection of neck fractures in Epstein’s hyoid bone and thyroid cartilage were “extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation.”In fact, numerous studies show that hyoid and thyroid fractures are not rare in suicidal hangings, especially as people age.Emily Maitlis questions Prince Andrew on 'Newsnight'Screenshot/BBCNewsnight/TwitterMaitlis pressed Andrew about the circumstances in which a photograph was taken of himself and Jeffrey Epstein walking in Central Park, after Epstein had been convicted of a child sex offense. Andrew said he had been staying with Epstein with the express purpose of breaking off his friendship with Epstein because of his child sex conviction. He said that he had decided to break off the friendship in person because he believed it was the “honorable” thing to do. “I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it. I had to go and see him and talk to him,” Andrew said.Asked why he stayed at the home of a “convicted sex offender,” Andrew said: “It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time, I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do, and I admit fully that my judgement was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable but that’s just the way it is.”Asked about the steady procession of young girls coming and going, Andrew said: “I wasn’t a party to any of that. I never saw them. I mean you have to understand that his house, I described it more as almost as a railway station if you know what I mean in the sense that there were people coming in and out of that house all the time. What they were doing and why they were there I had nothing to do with. So I’m afraid I can’t make any comment on that because I really don’t know.”Andrew repeatedly denied ever noticing there was anything amiss in Epstein’s behavior, despite, as he said, being a patron of British child protection charity the NSPCC.Andrew admitted that he had stayed with Epstein on his private island and flown on his private jet, and also confirmed that he invited Epstein to a party at Buckingham Palace, a shooting weekend at the Queen’s country estate, and to his daughter’s birthday party.Andrew said he was invited because he was the boyfriend of his old friend, Ghislaine Maxwell.Andrew said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, saying, “the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”Maitlis later asked again if he regretted ever befriending Epstein, saying: “Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.”“Unbecoming?” Maitlis asked in disbelief: “He was a sex offender!”Andrew said: “I’m sorry, I’m being polite, I mean in the sense that he was a sex offender. But no, was I right in having him as a friend? At the time, bearing in mind this was some years before he was accused of being a sex offender. I don’t think there was anything wrong then. The problem was the fact that once he had been convicted… I stayed with him and that’s the bit that, as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis, because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”Maitlis asked Andrew if he would “be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked.”Andrew replied: “Well I’m like everybody else and I will have to take all the legal advice that there was before I was to do that sort of thing. But if push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.”Maitlis concluded by offering Andrew the opportunity to say “anything you feel has been left unsaid that you would like to say now?”“No, I don’t think so,” drawled Andrew. “ I think you’ve probably dragged out most of what is required.”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.
| Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale is looking forward to Sunday's showdown between Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, saying it could be sports' next great rivalry, a la Tom Brady and Peyton Manning or Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. |
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Las Vegas Views and Opinions
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy
Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to â€œcriticize the government and other organizations.â€ So why would that be relevant in a democracy?
Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?
â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.â€ -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One
Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nationâ€™s military, the mindâ€™s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagonâ€™s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.
Capitalism and The Wealth Gap
When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.
Living Wages Are A Global Problem
The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.
Ukraine: Not What It Seems
After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.
Coup Or Civil War In Egypt
The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.