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PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protesters

PHOTOS: Hong Kong police storm university held by protestersPolice breached a Hong Kong university campus held by protesters early Monday after an all-night siege that included firing repeated barrages of tear gas and water cannons. Anti-government protesters have barricaded themselves inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University for days.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 2:26 PM

PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at California football party

PHOTOS: Deadly shooting at California football partyFour people were killed and six more wounded when “unknown suspects” sneaked into a backyard filled with people at a party in central California and fired into the crowd, police said.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 8:09 AM

Israeli military says 4 rockets fired from Syria intercepted

Israeli military says 4 rockets fired from Syria interceptedThe Israeli military said it intercepted four incoming rockets from Syria on Tuesday and explosions were heard shortly after that in Damascus, a week after another Israeli strike targeted a top Palestinian militant in the Syrian capital. There was no immediate official comment from Syria but the SANA state news agency reported explosions were heard near Damascus International Airport, indicating a potential Israeli retaliatory strike. The Israeli military would not comment on the explosions in Syria, but Defense Minister Naftali Bennett was convening the top military brass in Tel Aviv to discuss the latest developments.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 1:41 AM

Ukraine ex-president named witness in power abuse probe

Ukraine ex-president named witness in power abuse probeUkraine's former president Petro Poroshenko has been designated a witness in a criminal investigation related to the nomination of judges, the state investigation bureau said on Monday. Poroshenko has been embroiled in a number of investigations since leaving office in May. "His status is that of a witness," a spokeswoman for the state investigation bureau, which handles high-profile cases, told AFP.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 12:35 PM

'People aren't stupid': de Blasio slams Bloomberg's 'stop-and-frisk' apology

'People aren't stupid': de Blasio slams Bloomberg's 'stop-and-frisk' apologyFormer NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized for the controversial "stop-and-frisk" policy, but Bill de Blasio says he had six years to say sorry.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 3:27 PM

Will Donald Trump's Strategy Bring Down Iran?

Will Donald Trump's Strategy Bring Down Iran?It's unlikely but possible.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 2:30 AM

UPDATE 4-Yemen's Houthis say they will release seized ships if Korean

UPDATE 4-Yemen's Houthis say they will release seized ships if KoreanDUBAI/SEOUL, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement said on Tuesday it would release vessels it had captured if they prove to be South Korean, after it seized a rig being towed by a Saudi tugboat in the southern Red Sea. South Korea's foreign ministry said a Korean dredger had been seized on Sunday evening, along with a Korean tugboat and a Saudi tugboat. The Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis said the seized vessels included a Korean drilling rig and the Saudi tug, the Rabigh 3, which was captured by armed Houthi fighters who attacked from two boats.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 12:34 PM

The New York Times report on China's mass detention of Muslims seems to have broken through Beijing's internet firewall

The New York Times report on China's mass detention of Muslims seems to have broken through Beijing's internet firewallThe Great Firewall may have been breached.Beijing doubled down Monday after The New York Times published a report on over 400 leaked documents that provided a look into China's mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang region, though the government didn't dispute the authenticity of the documents."It is precisely because of a series of preventative counterterrorism and de-extremism measures taken in a timely manner that Xinjiang, which had been deeply plagued by terrorism, has not had a violent terrorist incident for three years," said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Geng added that the Times took things out of context in an attempt to "smear and discredit China's antiterrorism and de-extremism capabilities."But aside from Geng's comments, the Times reports that Chinese state media said little else about the issue, which is not surprising given the sensitive nature of the issue. But there were signs that at least some aspects of the leak snuck past Beijing's internet firewall, which blocks access to the Times. One user on Chinese social media platform Weibo reportedly posted about Wang Yongzhi, an official cited in the report who initially helped implement China's harsh measure, but eventually ordered the release of more than 7,000 detention camp inmates before he was arrested. "History will not forget this person and this page of paper," the Weibo user wrote, indicating that the documents might have made their way through. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from The potential lie that could actually destroy Trump The coming death of just about every rock legend How China can win a trade war in 1 move

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 3:07 PM

Poll: Buttigieg Remains at Zero Percent among Black Voters in South Carolina

Poll: Buttigieg Remains at Zero Percent among Black Voters in South CarolinaA new Quinnipiac University poll of South Carolina voters found South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg still at zero percent among black voters, despite the campaign’s release of its comprehensive “Douglass Plan,” which details policies designed to address racial inequality.The poll showed former vice president Joe Biden in the lead with 44 percent of the African American vote — which accounts for two thirds of the primary vote — and 33 percent overall, followed by progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg rounded out the top four with six percent overall, and tied for third with 11 percent of white primary voters, but zero percent among black voters.“Unlike tight races in Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina has a clear frontrunner in the Democratic primary. Former Vice President Joe Biden has broad based appeal, with particularly strong leads among black and moderate/conservative voters,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow said in the release.Despite taking the lead in several Iowa polls, the Buttigieg campaign has come under fire in recent days for its marketing of the Douglass plan, which Buttigieg has called “the most comprehensive vision put forward by a 2020 candidate on the question of how we’re going to tackle systemic racism in this country.” Several black leaders in South Carolina said that their consulting on the plan was spun as an endorsement of the candidate, while the campaign itself has come under criticism for using a stock photo from Kenya in promoting the plan.In a statement to National Review last week, the Buttigieg campaign defended its activity.“Our campaign is working to build a multi-racial coalition, and we sought and received input from numerous Black policy experts and advisers to create a comprehensive plan to dismantle systemic racism: the Douglass Plan. We asked a number of Black South Carolinians, as well as South Carolinians from many backgrounds, to support the Douglass Plan, and we are proud and grateful that hundreds agreed to do so,” the statement read.Reports have cited Buttigieg’s sexuality as a concern for black voters, and a Gallup source told National Review earlier this month that “22 percent of non-white Democrats said they would not vote for a gay or lesbian candidate,” compared to just nine percent of white Democrats.After Representative James Clyburn (D., S.C.) said in early November that older African American voters saw Buttigieg’s sexuality as an issue, the mayor responded that he had faced and overcame similar sentiments in South Bend.“It is remarkable how Americans are capable of moving past old habits, moving past old prejudices, making history, and getting the president who will serve them best, regardless of some of the other noise that’s circling,” Buttigieg said.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 3:53 PM

'I stand for the truth': the man sentenced to 47 years for crimes he didn't commit

'I stand for the truth': the man sentenced to 47 years for crimes he didn't commitRuben Martinez was released from prison on Tuesday after 12 years. Now he and his wife can finally start their life togetherRuben Martinez and his wife Maria in Los Angeles. Ruben was recently exonerated of all crimes. Photograph: Dan Tuffs/The GuardianRuben and Maria Martinez are having a honeymoon this week – 12 years after their wedding day.Ruben was arrested in 2007, just five months after they tied the knot, accused of a string of armed robberies in Los Angeles he did not commit. He was sentenced to 47 years in prison in 2008, and for more than a decade Ruben and his wife fought to prove his innocence, with appeals that repeatedly failed.On Tuesday, however, the couple’s prayers were answered. The LA district attorney’s office agreed that Ruben was wrongfully convicted, a judge formally deemed him innocent, and for the first time in more than 4,500 days, Ruben walked free.“This is a divine miracle,” Ruben, now 49, told the Guardian on Thursday, as he sat inside the food pantry in El Monte, just outside of LA, where Maria works. “All of this time crying in my cell, it’s like I was in a dark tunnel … and finally God has brought the light to the darkness.”Ruben and Maria, 59, were giggly and joyful as they discussed his freedom, saying they felt like newlyweds spending their first week together. While exonerations are exceptionally rare, the couple said they never wavered in their belief that this day would come.They had faith to keep them hopeful – as well as a binder of evidence. A marriage shattered by arrest: ‘They just stereotyped him’The two grew up in LA county and met in 2003 at the Victory Outreach church in East LA. They were friends for years and got married on 9 December 2006; Maria carries around a framed photo of them lighting a candle on their wedding day.At the time, Ruben was making ends meet as a day laborer, and on the morning of 1 June 2007, he woke up at 4.30am looking for a gig, leaving the house with only $5 in his wallet. He completed a job moving some furniture and was walking down the street to a liquor store near his home in Boyle Heights when Los Angeles police department officers approached – and arrested him.“I thought something bad had happened to my family,” he said. “I sat in the back of that cop car thinking, what could it be?”The officers took him to a station for questioning, and a detective asked him if he knew why he was arrested. When he said no, the detective asked him to try on a painter’s mask, which Ruben refused to do. Police then asked him if he had tattoos, and when he said he did not, they made him take his shirt off to prove it, he said.“‘Who do you hang around with?’” police continued, according to Ruben. He said it became clear that officers were trying to establish some sort of gang affiliation based on his neighborhood.“They just stereotyped him as a Boyle Heights, East LA Mexican gangbanger,” said Maria.Eventually police told him he was being charged with “second-degree robbery while personally armed with a firearm”.He told the officers he knew nothing about any robberies, and the questioning quickly ended.Maria came home to find police had put up yellow tape and turned her home into a crime scene, executing a search warrant for robbery.“The house was in shambles,” she said.Ruben MartinezRuben, who was jailed while awaiting trial, later learned he was being charged with nine felony counts stemming from five robberies between December 2005 and May 2007 at the same Boyle Heights auto body shop – a business he had never patronized. He matched some parts of the victim’s description of the suspect, though the suspect was a bit taller and had been wearing a mask for most of the robberies.The simplest way forward for Ruben was to plead guilty. Prosecutors offered him a plea deal that would give him a two-year sentence, and his lawyer urged him to sign.Ruben never even considered it: “Everybody was telling me to take it … but it wouldn’t be right on my behalf, saying I was a thief. That would be a lie. I don’t believe in lying. If a man’s going to stand, let him stand for the truth.”Maria knew the risks of rejected a deal, but said she always supported her husband’s decision: “He didn’t do it.” Prosecution with ‘no evidence’After learning the specific robbery dates in court, Maria went through all of Ruben’s pay stubs and found paperwork showing he was working during two of the alleged incidents – on a job at CBS Studios and another at a metal processing facility. The temporary agencies that employed Ruben gave Maria time sheets and a list of people he carpooled with on those days. She gave those to his lawyer, but the attorney did not use the documents during the trial and did not call his alibis from the carpool as witnesses.Ruben’s supervisors did testify on his behalf, but prosecutors attacked their credibility, alleging that one was biased and another had made a typo on one time sheet.The only physical evidence from the five crime scenes was a single palm print. It did not match Ruben’s. Police knew one suspect had committed all the crimes and had no evidence from Ruben’s home to connect him to any of the offenses.A first trial in November 2007 ended in a mistrial with a deadlocked jury. Prosecutors moved forward with a second trial, which ended in guilty verdicts on all counts. On 20 May 2008, Ruben was sentenced to 47 years and eight months in state prison.Ruben’s incarceration devastated his whole family.Maria broke down as she recounted the milestones missed: “I got robbed of a lot of stuff. Sharing our first anniversary behind bars, it was so sad.”When Ruben’s nephew was killed the day of his conviction, Maria hid the news, worried he wouldn’t be able to cope. When Ruben’s mother passed away in July 2010, he wasn’t able to go to the funeral. During the holidays each year, his family would honor him by passing around a hat and collecting donations that could go to his prison care packages.After Ruben ended up in a state prison 200 miles away from LA, most of his family couldn’t afford to visit any more.Ruben said the hardest part was the physical separation from Maria: “We lost our time alone, that intimacy where she’s looking into my eyes. We couldn’t share our pain over the phone.”‘There’s two people in the room – me and Jesus. And both of us know I didn’t do it.’ Photograph: Dan Tuffs/The GuardianHe survived by praying in his cell, he said: “‘Jesus, you know I didn’t do this.’ There’s two people in the room – me and Jesus. And both of us know I didn’t do it.”Maria refused to give up on the case. A former secretary for the sheriff’s department, she kept detailed records of all his files proving his alibis. One of Ruben’s sisters took an early withdrawal from her retirement to pay for an attorney, and his family filed petitions and appeals. The courts denied each one.In 2015, Maria learned she had one final option. The district attorney (DA), Jackie Lacey, had established a new conviction review unit. Without the help of an attorney, Maria put together a claim for Lacey’s office. Maria also had the support of a close friend and retired homicide detective, Catherine Wills, who had become a mother figure to her and twice directly appealed to the prosecutor.And for the first time in a decade, the system took Maria’s binder of evidence seriously. DA investigators interviewed witnesses and alibis and concluded it was not possible that Ruben committed any of the robberies. ‘They never gave up hope’Ruben’s exoneration is an anomaly in LA county. Since the creation of Lacey’s review unit, he is only the third person to have a conviction reversed – and the first to successfully bring a claim without an attorney. The unit has received more than 1,900 claims during that time.“A lot of people come up to me and say there’s somebody in prison who’s innocent,” Lacey told the Guardian this week. “The moral of the story is you’ve got to listen … Ruben is an inspirational figure, larger than life, no bitterness … They never gave up hope.”Lacey said her office would use Ruben’s case in trainings, adding: “There are mixed emotions when you see a mistake in the system, because you have so much faith in the system.”Ruben will be entitled to $140 for every day of his incarceration, which could amount to more than $600,000. But Lacey acknowledged that could never make up for the suffering of his family: “I can’t even imagine, 11 years … It’s hard to even explain it or think about it.”Maria said she did not have animosity towards the DA’s office: “They’re human, and it’s not their fault. It was just the system.”Ruben immediately celebrated his freedom with a double cheeseburger, fries and a strawberry shake. The next morning, his first day on the outside, he decided to volunteer at the food bank where his wife works. He thought it would be a good way to show his gratitude.

POSTED NOVEMBER 18, 2019 11:26 AM

Top News and Analysis (pro)

Home Depot cuts 2019 forecast after sales miss, shares crater
Last quarter, Home Depot trimmed its full-year revenue outlook, partially due to potential tariff impacts.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 10:55 AM
Gary Cohn: Trump knows he'll lose 'credibility' with China if he blinks on tariff deadline
"And Dec. 15 is a long time from now in terms of tariff negotiations," the former White House chief economic advisor says.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 12:33 AM
Kohl's shares tank on earnings miss, retailer cuts fiscal 2019 earnings outlook
Kohl's earnings and sales for the latest quarter fell short of analysts' estimates.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 12:07 PM
US and China could sign 'phase one' trade deal before Christmas, Pimco predicts
Reaching a "phase one" deal will not resolve all issues between the two economic giants, noted John Studzinski, Pimco's managing director.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 2:55 AM
Boeing attracts bids for 50 of its embattled 737 Max jets at Dubai Air Show
Boeing's total of $5.6 billion in orders at the Dubai Air Show so far pales in comparison to the tally of Airbus.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 9:16 AM
Hacked Disney+ accounts are reportedly being sold for as little as $3
Hours after Disney+ was launched, hackers stole user accounts and sold them for prices between $3 to $11, news site ZDNet reported.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 2:31 AM
Alibaba to close books early for $13.8 billion Hong Kong listing thanks to strong demand
Alibaba will set the final offer price for its shares by Nov. 20 Hong Kong time. Shares of Alibaba will begin trading on Nov. 26.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 4:24 AM
New York State Attorney General investigating WeWork, sources tell Reuters
The New York State Attorney General (NYAG) is investigating WeWork, according to two people familiar with the matter, adding to a series of problems facing the workspace provider.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 12:52 AM
Impeachment hearings to focus on Trump's Ukraine call, White House damage control
Tuesday's congressional testimony will feature three witnesses who listened in on Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 11:30 AM
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi says it will launch a robo-taxi service in Shanghai 'very soon'
Didi Chuxing says the deployment of driverless vehicles won't mean a stop to putting humans behind the wheel.

POSTED NOVEMBER 19, 2019 8:09 AM

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