10 things you need to know today: December 1, 2015

AP Photo/Yasin Bulbul, Presidential Press Service, Pool


1. Obama urges world leaders to unite against ISIS
President Obama called on world leaders at the Paris climate summit to unite against their common enemy, the Islamic State. Obama told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the U.S. would stand by its NATO ally, but urged him to find a “diplomatic path” to resolving a dispute with Russia over Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Obama also pushed the 151 leaders present to hammer out an agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying, “No nation, large or small, wealthy or poor, is immune” to the effects of climate change.

Source: The Washington Post, USA Today

2. State Department releases biggest batch yet of Hillary Clinton’s emails
The State Department on Monday released 7,800 additional pages of emails from Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. The latest batch, the largest release of her emails to date, met a court order to make public 66 percent of the 52,000 pages of emails Clinton turned over by Nov. 30. Most of the emails were from 2012 and 2013, and they include updates about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, plus some thoughts on the 2012 presidential race and a request to aide Philippe Reines for the Showtime channel number so she could “watch Homeland.”

Source: NBC News

3. Dear charged with first-degree murder in Planned Parenthood shooting
Robert Lewis Dear was formally charged with first-degree murder on Monday for a deadly shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Dear, 57, showed no emotion as he appeared via video feed, telling the judge, “No questions.” Dear is being held without bond. He reportedly said “no more baby parts” after being arrested for the fatal shootings of police officer Garrett Swasey, and Army veteran Ke’Arre Marcell Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky, who were accompanying separate friends to the clinic.

Source: USA Today

4. New York’s ex-Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty of corruption
Former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver wasconvicted on corruption charges in a Manhattan court on Monday. The 71-year-old Democrat faced seven counts of honest services fraud, extortion, and money laundering, and the jury found him guilty of them all. Prosecutors said Silver, who held a firm grip on power until being forced out by the scandal, made $4 million on two kickback schemes. He is the most prominent lawmaker convicted yet in a push by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to root out corruption in Albany.

Source: The New York Times

5. Chicago officer released on bond after judge sets $1.5 million bail
A Cook County, Illinois, judge on Monday set bail at $1.5 million for Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who has been charged with murder for the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17. Van Dyke wasreleased from jail Monday night after his father posted a $150,000 bond. Van Dyke, who is white, was seen in squad-car dash-cam video shooting McDonald, who is black, multiple times. He ignored reporters’ questions as he left the jail complex.

Source: Chicago Tribune

6. Trump says CNN should pay him $5 million to be in next debate
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said at a Mondayrally that he is such a ratings draw that he might not participate in the next primary debate unless the host, CNN, pays him. “I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million,” said the real-estate tycoon worth billions. Trump complained that the network treated him unfairly earlier in the day with its coverage of his meeting with black pastors, who backed away from an endorsement Trump’s campaign had said was coming.

Source: The Washington Times

7. U.S. embassy warns of imminent attack in Afghanistan
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan warned Monday of an imminent attack in the country’s capital, Kabul. The State Department said the embassy had received credible reports of an attack planned for the next 48 hours. The embassy and Americans were not specifically singled out — the information only indicated a threat somewhere in the city of Kabul and the surrounding province. The embassy urged U.S. citizens to “exercise extreme caution if moving around the city.”

Source: Reuters

8. IMF recognizes China’s yuan as a world reserve currency
The International Monetary Fund on Monday officially designated China’s currency, the renminbi or yuan, as one of the world’s reserve currencies. The move made the renminbi part of an elite group that includes the U.S. dollar, the euro, the pound, and the yen. The currency’s new status will make it more broadly used in global commerce and finance, which will help firm up China’s newly magnified economic power.

Source: The New York Times

9. Student arrested in connection with University of Chicago threat
Federal authorities on Monday charged a 21-year-old student in connection with a threat of violence that prompted the University of Chicago to cancel classes for the day. Jabari Dean allegedly threatened violence on the campus in retaliation for the 2014 fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teen, by a white police officer. Dean, a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, allegedly posted online that he would shoot 16 white males — one for every bullet that struck McDonald.

Source: USA Today

10. Juneau mayor found dead two months after winning office
Newly elected Juneau, Alaska, Mayor Stephen “Greg” Fisk was found dead at his home on Monday, police said. Fisk’s son found him collapsed on the floor and called 911, but Fisk, 70, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police could not immediately say whether they suspected foul play, but said an autopsy was being conducted to determine the cause of death. Fisk easily defeated incumbent Merrill Sanford in October with a positive campaign promising to revive the Alaskan capital’s economy.

Source: CNN, The Washington Post

Four Men Charged In The Shooting Of Black Lives Matter Protesters



Allen Lawrence Scarsella, one of the four men who allegedly gunned down Minneapolis protesters last week, has been charged with five counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of rioting while armed. The 23-year-old stands accused of shooting and injuring five Black Lives Matter supporters on November 23. Authorities have also charged Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, Joseph Martin Backman, and Daniel Thomas Macey with riot counts.

The victims were camped out near the Fourth Precinct to protest the police shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark. According to demonstrators, four masked men arrived at the scene and started filming them. Before they opened fire, the shooters refused to take off their masks or leave the protest.

Demonstrators immediately described the perpetrators as white supremacists. The shooters, who were dressed in masks and military camouflage, fit the description of supremacists who protesters were warned about before the incident took place. The shooters are said to have yelled “race war” and “Trump 2016.” And prior to the shooting, one white demonstrator identified the men as extremists.

Despite the attack, community members have remained at the encampment to demand justice for Clark, who was shot in the head. Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets following his death.

On Monday, Mayor Betsy Hodges asked protesters to leave the encampment on the grounds that officers have been threatened and campfires are hurting air quality.

The Minneapolis Police Department maintains an officer fired his gun during a physical altercationwith Clark. The department also claims Clark was not handcuffed at the time, although witnesses say otherwise. Protesters have called for the release of video footage of the deadly encounter, but local and federal investigators have declined to do so.


Fox News’ Steve Doocy: ‘I Actually Remember’ Muslims Cheering On 9/11


Fox News Screenshot


“Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy came to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s defense on the show Monday, saying he “actually” remembers hearing about Muslim Americans cheering the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Trump has recently claimed he saw news footage of Muslim citizens in the U.S. celebrating the attacks, seizing on a wave of anti-Muslim sentiments in the wake of the Paris attacks. No evidence has been found to support Trump’s claims, but Doocy backed him up anyway.

“You know what, I actually remember things like that, ‘cause I live one town away from one of the towns where, according to my neighbors, they saw with their own two eyes, there were people celebrating,” the Fox host said.

Doocy went on: “I also remember there was video on television. I don’t know if that was from that town or New Jersey. Nonetheless, Donald Trump says there are a lot of people out there who verified the idea of his story.”

Bret Baier, another Fox News host, broke in to temper Doocy’s whole-hearted agreement with Trump’s remarks.

“The original statement is thousands and thousands of people in Jersey City celebrating. If you’re just going to get technical, that’s – I don’t know if that has been backed up. Yes, people were celebrating, in some number,” he said.

Baier also said most the video of people celebrating the attacks came from “Gaza and places overseas.”

“Did it happen in New Jersey? Of course. Did thousands and thousands of people do it? I don’t know if we back that up but we’re now day six in this and it’s kind of monotonous,” he said.

Trump has refused to take back his claims, vaguely referencing video footage of “thousands and thousands” of Muslim citizens in New Jersey celebrating the attacks, including with “tailgate-style parties.” The claims have been thoroughly debunked.

Watch the full exchange over at Mediaite.


Chicago Burger King employees testified before grand jury that police officers tampered with footage


Last week, Chicago prosecutors charged police officer Jason Van Dyke with the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the first such charge for an officer in the city in more than three decades. The video of the incident, in which Van Dyke shoots McDonald 16 times, was released by Chicago authorities shortly after Van Dyke’s indictment and sparked protests throughout the city. At the time, reports emerged alleging that police erased additional footage of the incident from a local Burger King. New revelations from employees of that Burger King support those reports and cast doubts on statements to the contrary by Chicago officials. According to the Chicago Tribune:

Minutes after McDonald was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke on a Southwest Side street, several police officers entered a Burger King located just yards from where the teen fell, demanding to view the restaurant’s password-protected surveillance video, Jay Darshane, a district manager for the fast-food chain, told the Tribune this week.

When the police left the restaurant almost two hours later, the video had an inexplicable 86-minute gap that included when McDonald was shot, according to Darshane.

“I was just trying to help the police with their investigation,” Darshane said. “I didn’t know they were going to delete it.”

Darshane revealed to the Tribune for the first time that he testified about the missing footage before a federal grand jury earlier this year.

A technology support employee for Burger King who tried unsuccessfully to recover the video also appeared before the grand jury, he said.

In addition, the FBI hauled away the restaurant’s digital video recorder containing all its surveillance images, according to Darshane, who oversees several area Burger Kings.

While State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Chicago Police Chief Garry McCarthy both dispute the claim that footage from the Burger King was altered, the testimony from Darshane clouds the picture of the police role in McDonald’s shooting and the subsequent investigation. At the very least, the 86-minute gap around the time of the shooting could have been instrumental in Van Dyke’s upcoming trial, and in public assessment of the department and county’s decision-making in the months leading to the video’s release.

Vann R Newkirk II

You’re 7 Times More Likely To Be Killed By A Conservative Terrorist Than A Muslim Extremist


If you’ve been listening to the vitriol spewed by the Right — and even if you haven’t — you’ve probably heard whispers that ISIS is sneaking terrorists into the country as Syrian refugees. While this is not in any way true, our conservative friends absolutely believe it, and their politicians — Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, and the rest of the Clown Car™ — absolutely capitalize on the opportunity to demonize Muslims, all while completely ignoring the true terrorist threat: crazy white people.

“We have no idea who these people are, we are the worst when it comes to paperwork,” Trump said of refugees from Syria who are fleeing ISIS in mid-November. “This could be one of the great Trojan horses.” The billionaire adamantly declared that “we cannot let them into this country, period,” because refugees represent a “problem.”

This is a sentiment that has become quite popular with the Right — keep them out, they’re dangerous, they’re going to kill us. After all, we have more important problems — like Planned Parenthood, Benghazi, and whatever nonissue conservatives insist on pretending is an impending threat to America. One very real issue that conservatives all ignore is the threat the Right poses, a threat far greater than any Muslim — one that was very recently placed on full display by Robert Lewis Dear’s attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado.

Dear, a Christian conservative, killed three and injured nine in his terrifying attack, in which he set up propane tanks in the parking lot of the Planned Parenthood and went in shooting. Desperate conservatives, in an effort to shield their violent and hateful rhetoric from any blame, have concocted a story of a bank robbery gone wrong in which the terrorist ducked into  Planned Parenthood to avoid the police, but that story has been disproved time and again. Some, like 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz, portray Dear as a “transgender leftist activist” because of a typographical error on his voter registration — another tale that is, of course, utter and complete bullshit. Perhaps conservatives are simply ignorant of literally everything — or maybe, just maybe, they don’t want you to realize that you are more than seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing terrorist than one of their dreaded Muslims.

Conservatives are right about one thing — the United States faces an unprecedented and growing terrorist threat. To understand the nature of this threat, you need only do one thing: look in the mirror…unless you’re not white; in that case, find a picture of a white person and look at it. There’s your terrorist.

A survey conducted by the New York Times with the  Police Executive Research Forum last year of 382 law enforcement agencies revealed something startling: 74 percent reported anti-government exreemism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdictions while only 39 percent listed “Islamic” extremism. In fact, only three percent listed Muslim extremism as a “severe” problem while seven percent said anti-government extremism is a severe issue. The Times notes that, when compared to right-wing extremism, Islamic terrorism is a minor problem:

Despite public anxiety about extremists inspired by Al Qaeda and the Islamic State, the number of violent plots by such individuals has remainedvery low. Since 9/11, an average of nine American Muslims per year have been involved in an average of six terrorism-related plots against targets in the United States. Most were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.

In contrast, right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by Arie Perliger, a professor at the United States Military Academy’sCombating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.

Other data sets, using different definitions of political violence, tell comparable stories. The Global Terrorism Database maintained by the Start Center at the University of Maryland includes 65 attacks in the United States associated with right-wing ideologies and 24 by Muslim extremists since 9/11. The International Security Program at the New America Foundation identifies 39 fatalities from “non-jihadist” homegrown extremists and 26 fatalities from “jihadist” extremists.

“Meanwhile, terrorism of all forms has accounted for a tiny proportion of violence in America,” the authors note. “There have been more than 215,000 murders in the United States since 9/11. For every person killed by Muslim extremists, there have been 4,300 homicides from other threats.”

Conservatives can continue to fear monger away about the “threat” presented by Syrian refugees all they want, but the fact is that of 784,000 refugees settled in the United States since 9/11, only three have been charged with plotting a terrorist attack. Meanwhile, we deal with white terrorists like Dylann Roof, Jerad and Amanda Miller, and Robert Lewis Dear.

Watch a report on the dangers presented by right-wing extremism, below:

Cover-Up in Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, left, and police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announcing first-degree murder charges against the police officer who shot Laquan McDonald. CreditCharles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press


THERE’S been a cover-up in Chicago. The city’s leaders have now brought charges against a police officer, Jason Van Dyke, for the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. But for more than a year, Chicago officials delayed the criminal process, and might well have postponed prosecution indefinitely, had it not been for a state court forcing their hand.

They prevented the public from viewing crucial incriminating evidence — first one police car’s dashboard camera video; now, we learn, five such videos in total. And these senior officials turned a blind eye to the fact that86 minutes of other video surveillance footage of the crime scene was unaccountably missing.

The Cook County prosecutor, Anita Alvarez, must have had probable cause to indict Officer Van Dyke for the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting death of Mr. McDonald the moment she viewed the police dash-cam video, after her office received it two weeks later. That video, in her own words, was “everything that it has been described to be by the news accounts. It is graphic. It is violent. It is chilling.”

Ms. Alvarez, and other city leaders, surely knew they would have to indict Mr. Van Dyke for murder as soon as the public saw that footage. “I have absolutely no doubt,” Ms. Alvarez finally said last week, “that this video will tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans.”

But the timing, in late 2014, was not good.

Then up for re-election, the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, was looking ahead to a contested election on Feb. 24, 2015, which would ultimately result in a runoff election on April 7. In Ferguson, Mo., a grand jury was hearing testimony on the police shooting of Michael Brown. The video of Eric Garner being choked to death during an arrest in New York had gone viral. The Black Lives Matter movement was gaining momentum across the country.

The video of a police shooting like this in Chicago could have buried Mr. Emanuel’s chances for re-election. And it would likely have ended the career of the police superintendent, Garry F. McCarthy.

And so the wheels of justice virtually ground to a halt. Mayor Emanuel refused to make the dash-cam video public, going to court to prevent its release. The city argued that releasing the video would taint the investigation of the case, but even the attorney general of Illinois urged the city to make it available.

Then the city waited until April 15 — one week after Mr. Emanuel was re-elected — to get final approval of a pre-emptive $5 million settlement with Mr. McDonald’s family, a settlement that had been substantially agreed upon weeks earlier. Still, the city’s lawyers made sure to include a clause that kept the dash-cam video confidential.

Around the time the freelance journalist Brandon Smith filed suit for release of the dash-cam video, on Aug. 5, 2015, the Chicago Police Department told him that it had already received, and rejected, 14 other Freedom of Information Act requests for the evidence. The city spent thousands of dollars in legal expenses to keep the video under wraps. And it would probably have continued to do so, had Judge Franklin Valderrama of the Cook County Circuit Court not ordered its release.

Meanwhile, the state’s prosecutor, Ms. Alvarez, concluded that there had been no evidence of tampering when police officers allegedly erased 86 minutes of video footage from Burger King surveillance cameras close to the location of Mr. McDonald’s shooting by Officer Van Dyke. The missing footage was from 9:13 to 10:39 p.m. — bracketing the time when Mr. McDonald was shot (around 9:50 p.m.).

City leaders did everything in their power to keep the homicide from the public as long as possible. Indeed, Mr. Van Dyke was indicted only after the forced release of the videos.

We can surmise that each had particular reasons. Mayor Emanuel was fighting for re-election in a tight race. Superintendent McCarthy wanted to keep his job. Ms. Alvarez needed the good will of the police union for her coming re-election campaign and probably wished to shield the police officers who bring her cases and testify in court.

None of that alters the fact that these actions have impeded the criminal justice system and, in the process, Chicago’s leaders allowed a first-degree murder suspect, now incarcerated pending bail, to remain free for over a year on the city’s payroll.

There is good reason to appoint an independent commission to investigate the conduct of these public servants. But frankly, at this point, who would trust Chicago’s political institutions or criminal justice system?

An investigation would create further delay in justice and distract our attention from the real issues at hand: the senseless death of a 17-year-old, and the systemic problems of excessive police violence and lack of accountability.

Rather than hold hearings, investigate and perhaps prosecute its leaders, the city of Chicago needs to restore trust. These officials no longer have the public’s confidence. They should resign.

Bernard E. Harcourt

Boom! Watch Trump Flail As Chuck Todd Finally Fact-Checks Him Into Oblivion (VIDEO)


If you thought there could be nothing new under the sun, take a moment to enjoy the spectacular moment of bliss in which human doormat Chuck Todd finally couldn’t take Donald Trump’s relentless lies and called him out, leaving Trump screeching incoherently. It’s an instant classic.

Amid slipping poll numbers, Trump was on a Sunday morning media blitz when he phoned into Meet the Press with the typically docile Todd. Instead of getting five minutes to spread more lies, Trump was immediately confronted about his pathetic lies about Muslim Americans cheering the terror attacks on 9/11 from New Jersey.

Todd explained to Trump that his claim has been universally debunked by reporters from nearly every major news outlet in existence. In fact, even back in 2001 multiple reports noted that the idea that thousands of Muslims were cheering in America was false. Trump was left relying on a single paragraph from a single Washington Post article – whose reporter had already clarified was being completely misread by Trump.

Instead of admitting he was wrong, Trump claimed he had heard from “hundreds” of people recently that also saw Muslims cheering in New Jersey. He, of course, couldn’t provide any information that would allow reporters to fact-check their stories, however. Instead, he insisted Todd take it on faith. The NBC host wasn’t buying it.

“People were saying?” Todd asked in astonishment. “If I said, ‘Well, people have said Mr. Trump’s not worth $10 billion, and people were saying,’ you would say that’s crazy. You wouldn’t make a business deal based on retweets and based on hearsay.

You’re running for president of the United States. Your words matter. Truthfulness matters. Fact-based stuff matters.”

For Trump and his supporters, facts really don’t matter. It’s enough to feel that tinge of xenophobia and conclude that it must be based on something other than stereotypes and bigotry.

While Trump has frequently lied throughout his campaign (at last count he has 15 “Pants of Fire” lies to his name, but the day is young), his lies about Muslims cheering the attacks on the World Trade Center are particularly galling for several reasons. First, it is so obviously false. To continue to insist that this happened means Trump is either so astoundingly dense that no amount of reality gets in or he’s being intentionally deceptive. But more importantly, Trump is promoting an ugly stereotype meant to paint American Muslims as “terrorist sympathizers.” It’s disgusting rhetoric that could lead to innocent people being targeted based on lies Trump refuses to apologize for.

Todd is an admittedly odd person to call Trump out on his lies. He once claimed that it wasn’t his responsibility to fact-check the people he was interviewing, after all. But it’s refreshing to see Trump get hit so hard with facts. It probably won’t dissuade his fanatical fans, but it sure makes Trump look unelectable to the wider public. For that, we do owe Todd a bit of gratitude. Let’s hope he doesn’t squander it.


H/t: DB

10 things you need to know today: November 30, 2015

(AP Photo/Jacky Naegelen, Pool)


1. More than 200 protesters arrested as high-stakes Paris climate talks open
French police arrested 200 people as protesters clashed with officers ahead of the Monday opening of climate change talks. Authorities had warned the public not to hold mass demonstrations under security rules imposed after the Paris terror attacks. Nearly 150 world leaders, including President Obama, are attending the opening of the two-week Conference of Parties or COP21 on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. “What is at stake is the future of the planet, the future of life,” French President Hollande told participants as the talks opened.

Source: Time, The Telegraph

2. Planned Parenthood shooting suspect due in court
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is scheduled to make his first court appearanceMonday on charges that he fatally shot a police officer and two others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. Dear reportedly told authorities “no more baby parts” after his arrest. Planned Parenthood said “hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers”fueled the violence. GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, a vocal Planned Parenthood critic, said it was “typical left-wing tactics” to link anti-abortion rhetoric to the attack.

Source: The Associated Press, The Huffington Post

3. Lakers’ Kobe Bryant announces retirement
Los Angeles Lakers star guard Kobe Bryant announced Sunday that he would retire from the NBA after this season. “My heart can take the pounding, my mind can handle the grind, but my body knows it’s time to say goodbye,” the 37-year-old wrote on The Players Tribune in a letter that opened, “Dear Basketball.” Bryant has won five NBA titles in a career that began when he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets as the 13th overall pick at age 17. Hampered by injuries since 2013, he is struggling this season, as has his team, which has a 2-13 record.

Source: Los Angeles Times

4. NSA ends bulk collection of phone data
The National Security Agency ended its program to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk Sunday. The secret Patriot Act program was brought to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Congress ordered it shut in June. The government has been testing a new system, which reportedly only allows intelligence officials to collect information on people and phones linked to foreign powers and terrorist groups.

Source: Politico, The Washington Post

5. Baltimore on edge as Freddie Gray police trials begin
Jury selection begins Monday in the first trial for one of the six Baltimore police officers indicted in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who sustained a fatal spinal injury while in police custody in April. The death of Gray, 25, touched off mostly peaceful protests that turned violent on the day he was buried. The case fueled the national Black Lives Matter movement protesting mistreatment of African-Americans by police. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said “the future of the city is at stake” in the trials.

Source: The Associated Press

6. EU and Turkey seal deal on cutting refugee wave into Europe
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday reached a deal with European leaders to help reduce the flow of migrants to Europe. Under the agreement, the European Union will pay Turkey up to 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion). The EU says the money will be used to raise the quality of life for the 2.2 million Syrians currently in Turkey, providing them an incentive to stay. It will be paid out as Turkey meets certain benchmarks. Turkey also negotiated a new round of talks on joining the 28-member union.

Source: Reuters, BBC News

7. University of Chicago cancels Monday classes due to threat
The University of Chicago canceled classes on Monday after FBI counterterrorism officials notified the school of a threat of gun violence posted online. University President Robert Zimmer said in an email to the campus community that there would be an increased police and security presence on campus and in the surrounding area as the FBI investigated the threat. Zimmer said university officials decided to “exercise caution” due to the warning and “recent tragic events at other campuses across the country.”

Source: USA Today

8. Pope visits besieged Muslim neighborhood at end of Africa trip
Pope Francis, under heavy security, continued his call for peace in the Central African Republican during a visit to a volatile Muslim neighborhood in Bangui, the nation’s capital, on Monday. Residents of the neighborhood have been unable to leave since Christian militia fighters surrounded the area months ago. Violence between Christian and Muslim militants has killed thousands and forced nearly a million people to flee their homes since 2013. After the stop, Francis headed to a sports stadium for a final Mass before returning to Italy after a three-country Africa tour.

Source: The Associated Press

9. Amazon unveils new delivery-drone design
Amazon on Sunday released video of its new delivery-drone design. The craft takes off like a helicopter, then at an altitude of 400 feet flies forward like an airplane. The first prototype the online retail giant unveiled nearly two years ago, when it announced its intention to use drones for deliveries, carried the parcels underneath. The new one, which can fly up to 15 miles, carries packages in its fuselage. Amazon says it will launch its Prime Air service once it has “the regulatory support needed to safely realize our vision.”

Source: PC World

10. Adele’s 25 breaks first-week album sales record
Adele’s new album, 25, sold 3.38 million copies in its first week, smashing the record for debut sales, according to Nielsen Music. In fact,25 was the first album to pass the three million mark since Nielsen began tracking first-week purchases in 1991. The previous record was 2.4 million, set in 2000 by NSYNC’s No Strings Attached. 25 is now by far the best-selling album of the year, leaving the previous leader — Taylor Swift’s 1989 — far behind at 1.8 million.

Source: Billboard

‘I’m not going to take it back’


  • Donald Trump insisted on Sunday he was ‘100 percent right’ when he said he saw Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the 9/11 attacks  
  • Trump said he was getting an ‘unbelievable response’ from ‘hundreds’ of people who told him they also saw televised Muslim celebrations 
  • He said: ‘I saw it. So many people saw it. And, so, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back’  

Donald Trump insisted on Sunday he was ‘100 percent right’ when he said he saw Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

In a phone interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Republican presidential candidate said he was getting an ‘unbelievable response’ from ‘hundreds’ of people who told him they also saw televised Muslim celebrations of the September 11, 2001, attacks in Manhattan.

‘I saw it. So many people saw it. And, so, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back,’ said Trump, who has been among the most vocal of the Republican candidates in the race for the November 2016 election about Muslims living in the United States.

‘It did happen in New Jersey,’ Trump said. ‘I have hundreds of people that agree with me.’

Insistent: Donald Trump claimed on Sunday he was '100 percent right' when he said he saw Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the 9/11 attacks. Above he is pictured in Florida Saturday
Insistent: Donald Trump claimed on Sunday he was ‘100 percent right’ when he said he saw Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the 9/11 attacks. Above he is pictured in Florida Saturday

In a phone interview on NBC's Meet the Press, the Republican presidential candidate said he was getting an 'unbelievable response' from 'hundreds' of people who told him they also saw televised Muslim celebrations

In a phone interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Republican presidential candidate said he was getting an ‘unbelievable response’ from ‘hundreds’ of people who told him they also saw televised Muslim celebrations

Trump  rejected the assertion made by NBC anchor Chuck Todd (above) that 'this didn't happen in New Jersey'

Trump  rejected the assertion made by NBC anchor Chuck Todd (above) that ‘this didn’t happen in New Jersey’


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Chesnot via Getty Images

CLIMATE SUMMIT PARIS… Demonstrations Around The World… Hundreds Arrested… Obama ‘Optimistic’… Could Redefine 21st Century Economy… GOP Threatens To Derail… MAP: What’s At Stake… 2015 Already Set To Be The Hottest Year On Record… Melting Glaciers… ‘Major Cities Will Be Submerged’…Why Some Conservatives Can’t Accept That Climate Change Is Real… Time Is Running Out…