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Italy becomes Europe’s largest coronavirus hot spot with 76 cases & 2 deaths - rt

Italy becomes Europe’s largest coronavirus hot spot with 76 cases & 2 deaths

The number of confirmed Covid-19 coronavirus cases has soared to at least 76 in Italy, forcing authorities to introduce increasingly strict containment and quarantine measures in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
rt - 2 hours ago
Tesla has defeated “tree pirates” and resumed plowing down a forest in Germany - quartz

Tesla has defeated “tree pirates” and resumed plowing down a forest in Germany

It's clearing the land for a new Gigafactory.
quartz - 4 hours ago
Warren Buffett just explained the problem with today’s corporate boards - quartz

Warren Buffett just explained the problem with today’s corporate boards

For starters, board members are paid too much.
quartz - 6 hours ago
Sharp rise in coronavirus cases alarms world health officials - channel 4

Sharp rise in coronavirus cases alarms world health officials

World health officials are growing alarmed by the new cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
channel 4 - 7 hours ago
Coronavirus outbreak has been ‘politicised’ by some countries, says China state TV correspondent Zhou Jiaxin - channel 4

Coronavirus outbreak has been ‘politicised’ by some countries, says China state TV correspondent Zhou Jiaxin

We spoke this afternoon to Zhou Jiaxin in Wuhan, a correspondent for the China Global Television Network, which is owned by the national broadcaster. I began by asking him what the WHO had learned on their visit to the city.
channel 4 - 7 hours ago
The Mongolian metal band taking throat singing global - channel 4

The Mongolian metal band taking throat singing global

They've even been awarded Mongolia's highest state award for promoting national culture.  
channel 4 - 7 hours ago
Yorkshire Dales hit by further floods as government pledges £4bn for defences - channel 4

Yorkshire Dales hit by further floods as government pledges £4bn for defences

The Government has pledged to spend another £4 billion over the next five years on flood defence schemes.
channel 4 - 7 hours ago
Meteorite illuminates skies over northern Russia with mysterious blue light (VIDEO) - rt

Meteorite illuminates skies over northern Russia with mysterious blue light (VIDEO)

Residents of a small Russian town in the northern Republic of Karelia marveled at a bright blue sphere lighting up the town with an otherworldly blue light as a meteorite fell in the area.
rt - 9 hours ago
Amazon is already scrambling to prevent a coronavirus hit to Prime Day—in July - quartz

Amazon is already scrambling to prevent a coronavirus hit to Prime Day—in July

Amazon and its third-party vendors rely heavily on China's factories.
quartz - 9 hours ago
Autobahnkirche: The surprising rise of roadside chapels in Western Europe - quartz

Autobahnkirche: The surprising rise of roadside chapels in Western Europe

Motorist churches are particularly attractive for their anonymity.
quartz - 11 hours ago
Turkey says its soldier was killed in Idlib as tensions between Ankara & Damascus boil over - rt

Turkey says its soldier was killed in Idlib as tensions between Ankara & Damascus boil over

A Turkish soldier has been killed in the Syrian northwestern Idlib province in an airstrike by the Syrian Army, Turkish local authorities have said amid the ongoing crisis between Ankara and Damascus in the region.
rt - 12 hours ago
Patient who recovered from coronavirus tests positive again - metro

Patient who recovered from coronavirus tests positive again

The patient contracted the virus 10 days after being discharged
metro - 12 hours ago
Bloomberg is playing by the rules. And that’s the problem - quartz

Bloomberg is playing by the rules. And that’s the problem

Mike Bloomberg entered the race late but has already spent more on his campaign than the top four other Democratic contenders combined.
quartz - 15 hours ago
‘Send somebody in the morning, by evening he returns as trained terrorist’ – Indian police chief on Kartarpur Corridor - rt

‘Send somebody in the morning, by evening he returns as trained terrorist’ – Indian police chief on Kartarpur Corridor

Extremist groups are trying to “woo” and radicalize those arriving to Pakistan through the long-awaited visa-free Kartarpur Corridor launched several months ago, India’s police chief warned.
rt - 18 hours ago
Trump to confront Modi on ‘religious freedoms’, Kashmir, tariffs & other US ‘concerns’ during India visit - rt

Trump to confront Modi on ‘religious freedoms’, Kashmir, tariffs & other US ‘concerns’ during India visit

On his first visit to India next week, US President Donald Trump is expected to wade into several domestic controversies, challenging his Indian counterpart on the state of religious freedom in the country, as well as Kashmir.
rt - 21 hours ago
EU poised to create massive transatlantic facial-recognition database, link with US - rt

EU poised to create massive transatlantic facial-recognition database, link with US

The EU is laying the groundwork for a massive international facial recognition database that may someday hook into the one maintained by the US, according to leaked internal documents.
rt - 1 day ago
Italy locks down TEN towns after 1st coronavirus death as cases jump to 17 - rt

Italy locks down TEN towns after 1st coronavirus death as cases jump to 17

Public spaces across 10 Italian cities have been placed on lockdown, as the first Italian patient succumbed to the illness, amid a spate of new coronavirus cases – bringing the total in the country to 17 infections.
rt - 1 day ago
Bloomberg Caves to Elizabeth Warren and Says He

Bloomberg Caves to Elizabeth Warren and Says He'll Release Women From 3 NDAs

The presidential candidate called the non-disclosure agreements “consensual” at a debate earlier this week.
vice - 1 day ago
Trump Cannot Believe He

Trump Cannot Believe He's Been Endorsed by the Kremlin Again: 'Hoax Number 7!'

He's really not keen on new reports from U.S. intel agencies that Russia is working hard to get him reelected.
vice - 1 day ago
Coronavirus is the last thing the global smartphone industry needs - quartz

Coronavirus is the last thing the global smartphone industry needs

Global smartphone shipments will be slashed as a result of the outbreak.
quartz - 1 day ago
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quartz
Attorney general Bill Barr gets an ethics complaint for Valentine’s Day

Attorney general Bill Barr gets an ethics complaint for Valentine’s Day

quartz - 1 week ago
US President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr

US attorney general Bill Barr isn’t getting much love of late.

Today, he became the subject of a complaint to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). The government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is requesting an investigation into Barr’s alleged violations of Justice Department (DOJ) rules and ethical conduct standards for executive branch employees.

At the heart of the complaint are Barr’s public comments about an ongoing inquirynamely, the DOJ’s probe into the origins of the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election (aka “investigate the investigators”). His allegedly prejudicial “inflammatory and disparaging” statements on matters related to an active probe taint the inquiry’s integrity and public sentiment and appear to violate government rules and codes of conduct, CREW argues.

But that is not the sole problem, it adds, and there’s evidence to support that sentiment, this week especially.

Barr came under fire Tuesday after career prosecutors withdrew from the Roger Stone case, following president Donald Trump’s tweets disparaging their sentencing recommendations. The proposed punishment for Trump’s associate was within statutory guidelines, yet the DOJ subsequently filed a new sentencing memo with a reduced recommended sentence, claiming the action was unrelated to the president’s sentiments (meanwhile, an emboldened Trump suggested that the prosecutors doing their jobs had gone “rogue”).

Lawyers were furious. “Bill Barrs DOJ is plainly nothing more than a satellite office of the White House,” said Glenn Kirschner, an NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst who worked as a federal prosecutor for 30 years. Trump tweets his outrage and Barr reacts like a lapdog.”

Barr attempted to redeem himself yesterday, telling ABC News that it was “impossible” to do his job with the president’s continual public commentary undermining his legal authority. Barr insisted that he must do what he thinks is right, regardless of the president’s desires.

However, his view of what’s proper is so often identical to the president’s wants that not everyone was sold on his uncommonly critical response to the tweeter-in-chief. Given Barr’s track record, the cynicism was perhaps warranted.

Last year, for example, Barr’s initial summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into foreign election meddling and obstruction of justice by Trump mischaracterized and minimized the inquiry’s conclusions. Since, he’s advanced the Trump narrative that the FBI “spied” on the president’s campaign and called Mueller’s investigation a politically motivated “sham.”

So, some question whether Barr really needs the president to stop tweeting because he’s sincerely interested in the DOJ’s integrity as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. Perhaps, in fact, his real complaint is that he can’t act as Trump’s puppet if the president discloses his desires on social media and exposes Barr’s role in making those wishes his command.

“[I]t sure looks like what he really meant was that it’s hard to keep acting to protect the president instead of enforce the law when Trump keeps saying the quiet part out loud,” CREW spokesman Jordan Libowitz told Quartz today. He should be judged by his actions, and his actions harm the integrity of the Department of Justice.”

Whether the OIG will act on the request to initiate an investigation of Barr is unclear, however. The office has limited authority in this context. A provision in the Inspector General Act of 1978 carves out an exception to the general rule that the OIG is responsible for investigating alleged misconduct in executive branch agencies, leaving inquiries about the DOJ to the department’s own Office of Professional Responsibility.

Technically then, the OIG must ask Barr’s subordinates for the green light to inquire into their boss’s deeds and, if given, coordinate and cooperate with the very department that’s being probed. That seems highly unlikely to happen.

Still, doing nothing about Barr’s seeming submission to Trumpas evidenced by his actions and his apparent flouting of ethics rules and conduct codeshas dangerous long-term consequences that can’t be ignored. “If he keeps acting as if he were the president’s private attorney and not the Attorney General of the United States,” Libowitz warned, “Americans will continue to lose confidence in our justice system. And that is a terrifying precedent.”

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