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A history of selling out the Kurds, people with 'no friends but the mountains'When President Trump pulled troops from a region of northeastern Syria, it was denounced as a “shameless betrayal” of the Kurds, who were left on their own to fight off an invasion by Turkey. But Kurdish history is filled with such betrayals.

10/11/2019 12:08:56 PM

PHOTOS: California wildfires threaten homes in Los AngelesThe Saddleridge fire flares up near a firefighter in Sylmar, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo: Michael Owen Baker/AP) A wildfire fueled by Santa Ana winds has closed two freeways, is threatening homes and has forced evacuations around Los Angeles. Fire officials say the Saddleridge fire had consumed more than 4,600 acres by Friday morning. It broke out after 9 p.m.

10/11/2019 7:28:40 AM

Venezuela denies entry to Guatemalan president-elect, scuppering meeting with opposition leaderVenezuelan authorities on Saturday denied Guatemala's president-elect Alejandro Giammattei entry into Venezuela, where he was scheduled to meet with opposition leader Juan Guaido. Giammattei, a conservative who won the Central American country's presidency in August, landed at Simon Bolivar international airport near the capital Caracas but was placed on a departing flight to Panama in part because he had not been invited by socialist President Nicolas Maduro, authorities said.

10/12/2019 7:17:50 AM

Putin's test missile failed and exploded in deadly nuclear accidentAn Aug. 8 nuclear accident near Nyonoksa, Russia, was caused by a nuclear reaction that occurred while Russians were attempting to recover a nuclear-powered cruise missile submerged in the White Sea after a failed test last year.

10/11/2019 12:54:22 PM

Two dead near Los Angeles as Saddleridge fire forces 100,000 people to evacuateThe Saddleridge fire, which began in Sylmar, is moving quickly thanks to Santa Ana winds, burning homes and forcing evacuations in California near LA

10/11/2019 9:23:26 PM

German suspect admits anti-Semitic attack, far-right motiveThe German suspect in a deadly attack targeting a synagogue has admitted to the shooting rampage, confessing it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism, federal prosecutors said Friday amid government warnings of an "elevated" risk of further attacks. Stephan Balliet, 27, made a "very comprehensive" confession during an interrogation lasting several hours, said a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe. Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned meanwhile in a ZDF television interview that there was now an "elevated" threat of another anti-Semitic or terrorist attack saying around half of 24,000 suspected far-right extremists had an "affinity" with firearms and could engage in violence.

10/11/2019 2:00:48 PM

California Democrats Spend Nearly $1 Million To Settle Harassment Suits Against Former ChairFormer chairman Eric Bauman cost the California Democratic Party more than $800,000 in a discrimination and sexual misconduct settlements, according to records reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.State and federal campaign finance filings show $378,348 in legal settlements for three lawsuits, filed by Alton Wang, William Rodriguez-Kennedy, and Kate Earley. In January, the trio filed against Bauman, and alleged that the abuse was “well-known and apparently tolerated” by other officials. The plaintiffs accused Bauman of unwanted touching and sexually explicit comments.“Our party is at its best when it lives up to our values. One of those values is treating people fairly,” current party chair Rusty Hicks told the Times in a statement. “We have reached an equitable settlement that begins the process of getting back to the work 9 million California Democrats expect from us.”Several other cases brought against Bauman by former party staffers remain active or pending. Bauman first took a leave of absence and then resigned last November following claims of misconduct toward staff members and activists. He said that he planned to seek treatment for alcohol abuse in a statement apologizing for his actions.“I deeply regret if my behavior has caused pain to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories,” Bauman said at the time. “Leading the California Democratic Party to historic victories has been the honor of a lifetime, and I look forward to continuing this important work upon the conclusion of the investigation and when my health allows.”More settlements could could severely hamper Democratic campaign funding during a cycle in which the party has seven vulnerable House seats to defend. California Democrats reported nearly $12 million in total funding in their latest campaign finance filings.

10/11/2019 1:39:24 PM

Ecuador’s Scorned Indigenous Rise Up as Moreno’s Biggest Threat(Bloomberg) -- Freddy Heredia this week downed his tools, left his wife and his bean and squash fields in Ecuador’s mountains behind and joined tens of thousands of his fellow indigenous farmers for the biggest anti-government protests in a generation.The fuel price increases imposed last week as part of an International Monetary Fund-backed austerity drive will make his precarious existence even tougher, he said Friday. So Heredia and a group of neighbors packed into the bed of a rented pickup. They jounced over potholed roads to Quito, the capital, where for a week demonstrators and police have clashed in the streets.Indigenous Ecuadorians represent about 7% of the population, and historically have been impoverished and dispossessed. But over the past week they have led the opposition to President Lenin Moreno, bringing large swathes of the nation to a standstill with strategically placed road blocks. Moreno’s move to end fuel subsidies was welcomed by the IMF, since they cost the government $1.4 billion per year, but Heredia said the move will bring misery to him and his neighbors.“To others, these reforms might look like progress, but for us it means underdevelopment and higher living costs,” Heredia said in an interview Friday in a house in Quito used by indigenous groups as a refuge, supply center and aid station.Just before Heredia spoke, there were shouts of “Injured! Injured!”, and the first of the day’s wounded were brought in for treatment. One man had swollen eye and another a leg splinted with wood from a broken chair. Both said they’d been hit by tear gas canisters in a confrontation with the police near the nation’s congress building.The public ombudsman’s office puts the death toll associated with the protests at five, with the number of arrests estimated at roughly 1,000.Costs DoubledMost indigenous Ecuadorians work in the rural economy, which has run on subsidized fuel since the 1970s, and Moreno’s decision to end it overnight threw it into crisis. The government eliminated subsidies on gasoline and diesel Oct. 2, which caused a 30% rise in low-octane gasoline prices while diesel prices more than doubled.“Our comrades have told us that the cost of tilling per hectare has already doubled,” said Freddy Maila, 35, whose family works a property in San Miguel de Collacoto in the Chillos Valley east of Quito.Heredia, 33, and his wife work on an eight-hectare (20-acre) plot in the arid Guayllabamba Valley north of Quito that they share 130 people. They till the land by hand. Much of the cultivation is done by women, while the men go into the city to look for work in trades such as construction and gardening.Heredia and his wife consume much of the food they produce. Beyond that, they spend about $100 per month on food for themselves, such as chicken from a neighbor or canned tuna, and about $40 per month on utilities in their shack.Among Ecuador’s PoorestTo take his produce to the local market by pickup, Heredia needs to spend about $120 a month, a price he fears will soar with the end of the subsidies. Some debt-laden farmers say they face ruin unless the policy is reversed. Initial opposition to the fuel price rises was led by transport organizations and trade unions, but indigenous groups took over leadership when they arrived in cities en masse.Ecuador’s indigenous people are the descendants of groups who have lived in the nation’s Andes mountains and Amazonian rain forest from time immemorial, who were reduced to serfdom by Spanish colonialists. They face various degrees of discrimination at the hands of the nation’s white and mestizo population, and tend to be among the nation’s poorest inhabitants.They’ve been gaining political strength since the the 1980s, as they became more organized, and indigenous organizations played major roles in popular unrest during the 1990s and early this century that unseated three presidents. Now, they’re Moreno’s most forbidding obstacle.Their strong presence in Andean rural communities has made it easy for then to virtually shut down large areas of Ecuador by blocking roads through the mountains.In Quito, farmers arrived dressed in ponchos that vary in color and style depending on their region, and some have traditional spears. Many young men mask their faces, and wear hard hats and carry makeshift shields for street fighting. They go to demonstrations armed with clubs, rocks and Molotov cocktails.Protesters have clashed daily with the police, and have continually upped their demands. Leaders initially called for a restoration of canceled fuel subsidies, then that Moreno leave office and, on Thursday, their umbrella group issued a statement saying the protests won’t stop until the IMF leaves Ecuador.‘’It’s imperative to stop the violence,” Moreno said in a brief televised message Friday. “I call on the leaders to have direct dialogue with me,” even to discuss his decree ending the subsidies.But Heredia said he and his comrades would remain determined, steeled to opposition by a life that has him budgeting his pennies for canned tuna and a once-a-month splurge on beef he shares with his wife in a home that measures just 3-by-7 meters.“They say whoever has a lot of kids has no television but we have neither,” he said. “How could I have kids when the economy is in this state?To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Bristow in Bogota at mbristow5@bloomberg.net;Stephan Kueffner in Quito at skueffner1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Stephen Merelman, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

10/12/2019 7:00:00 AM

Missing dog reunited with owner 12 years later"I'm just so happy to have her back. I cried so many nights without her," Dutchess's owner, Katheryn Strang, said

10/12/2019 5:51:37 AM

Sondland will defy State Department order not to testify in impeachment probe, lawyer saysAfter being blocked from testifying in the House impeachment inquiry, Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU and a central player in the Ukraine controversy, will appear before Congress next week.

10/11/2019 8:18:25 AM

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