Judges to Decide on Bond Hearings for R. Kelly Indictments

Federal judges will decide how to proceed with bond hearings in two separate federal indictments against R. Kelly.

The 52-year-old singer was arrested Thursday night while walking his dog on a 13-count indictment that includes sex crimes and obstruction of justice. A federal indictment was also unsealed in New York Friday that charges him with racketeering and sex-related crimes.

Kelly remained in federal custody over the weekend following his arrest. His attorney denied the allegations Friday.

A status hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday in Chicago will determine if a federal judge will rule Tuesday on Kelly’s bail in both federal criminal cases.

Federal prosecutors have requested Kelly stay in custody, saying he is a flight risk and dangerous.

 

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Biden Cancer Nonprofit Suspends Operations Indefinitely

A nonprofit foundation set up by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden that relies on health care world partnerships to speed a cure for cancer has suspended its operations.

The Biden Cancer Initiative was founded two years ago by Biden and his wife, Jill, as a tribute to his son Beau, who died of cancer in 2015. The nonprofit promoted nearly 60 partnerships with drug companies, health care firms, charities and other organizations that pledged more than $400 million to improve cancer treatment.

Biden and his wife left the group’s board in April as an ethics precaution before joining the presidential race. The nonprofit had trouble maintaining momentum without their involvement. And the roles played by Biden allies and corporate interests continued to raise questions about their interests if Biden wins the presidency.

 

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Codebreaker Alan Turing To Be Face of New British Banknote

Codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing has been chosen as the face of Britain’s new 50 pound note, the Bank of England announced Monday.

Governor Mark Carney said Turing, who did ground-breaking work on computers and artificial intelligence, was “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

During World War II Turing worked at the secret Bletchley Park code-breaking center, where he helped crack Nazi Germany’s secret codes by creating the Turing bombe,'' a forerunner of modern computers. He also developed theTuring Test” to measure artificial intelligence.

After the war he was prosecuted for homosexuality, which was then illegal, and forcibly treated with female hormones. He died at age 41 in 1954 after eating an apple laced with cyanide.

Turing received a posthumous apology from the British government in 2009, and a royal pardon in 2013.

The U.K’s highest-denomination note is the last to be redesigned and switched from paper to more secure and durable polymer. The redesigned 10 pound and 20 pound notes feature author Jane Austen and artist J.M.W. Turner.

The Turing banknote will enter circulation in 2021. It includes a photo of the scientist, mathematical formulae and technical drawings, and a quote from Turing: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

Former lawmaker John Leech, who led the campaign for a pardon, said he was “absolutely delighted” by the choice.

“I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science,” he said.

 “But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win.”

 

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Trump Tweets about Non-White Lawmakers Prompt Fresh Outrage

In a series of Sunday morning tweets quickly deemed racist and xenophobic by critics, U.S. President Donald Trump has provoked fresh controversy with taunts at several new members of Congress.

Trump on Twitter, targeted Progressive Democratic Congresswomen, telling them to “go back” and help fix the “crime infested” countries from which they came.

So interesting to see “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019

Of the four apparently targeted, only one — Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a native of Somalia — is foreign born. The other three are native Americans: Ayana Pressley (who is a representative from Massachusetts) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a native New Yorker (and represents the eastern part of the Bronx and a portion of north-central Queens), and Rashid Tlaib, of Michigan, was born in Detroit.

FILE – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Jan. 16, 2019.

The White House has not responded to a request from VOA on whether the president was aware prior to sending the tweets that three of the four are citizens by birth.

The progressives have been squabbling with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over immigration policy and other issues.

The dispute has attracted Trump’s attention in recent days, even prompting him to utter rare public support for Pelosi – at least when it comes to her attempt to rein in the newly elected foursome.

Trump’s tweets about the minority novice female members of Congress, known as ‘the squad,’ came about 20 minutes after a segment about them on the Fox News Channel. The president frequently reacts quickly on social media to what he sees on Fox.

FILE – Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks at the 2019 Essence Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, July 6, 2019.

Omar, in particular, has been a frequent topic of critical coverage on the cable television channel, in part due to her frequent criticism of Israel and comments perceived as anti-Semitic.

Omar and Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.

In a Twitter response to Trump on Sunday, Omar reminded him that the United States is the only country to which members of Congress swear an oath.

“Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen,” added the Minnesotan.

Mr. President,

As Members of Congress, the only country we swear an oath to is the United States.

Which is why we are fighting to protect it from the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen. https://t.co/FBygHa2QTt

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) July 14, 2019

Many on social media are condemning Trump’s tweet — which even by his provocative norms are viewed as crossing a new line.

Among the most prominent is Pelosi, who terms Trump’s remark xenophobic, “meant to divide our nation” and “reaffirm his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making American white again.”
 

When @realDonaldTrump tells four American Congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again.

Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power. https://t.co/ODqqHneyES

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 14, 2019

Trump made the series of tweets prior to emerging from the North Portico of the White House clad in dark pants, a white short-sleeved shirt and a red “Make America Great Again” ball cap.

U.S. President Donald Trump, in golf attire, departs the White House for the drive to his Trump National Gold Club in Sterling, Virginia, in Washington, July 14, 2019.

As his motorcade traveled to one of his private golf courses in northern Virginia, Trump took to Twitter again to refute what reporters described who had accompanied Vice President Mike Pence during a visit to two detention centers for migrants in Texas.

“Great Reviews!” declared Trump of the tour by politicians and media to the facility for children. He characterized the pen holding adult men as “clean but crowded.”

Friday’s tour showed vividly, to politicians and the media, how well run and clean the children’s detention centers are. Great reviews! Failing @nytimes story was FAKE! The adult single men areas were clean but crowded – also loaded up with a big percentage of criminals……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019

The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey, who filed the collective print report from the scene, described a guarded area where nearly 400 men were crammed behind caged fences with not enough room for all of them to lie down on the concrete floor.

“A stench from body odor hung stale in the air,” wrote Dawsey, who said some of the men screamed they had been held for more than 40 days.

At the location, Pence had commented “this is tough stuff” as a group of detainees shouted, “no showers.”

Trump has repeatedly warned that if he is unseated by a Democrat in next year’s presidential campaign that the opposition party would turn the United States into a socialist country and open its borders to dangerous immigrants.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of voters released on Sunday shows Trump trailing the top four Democratic Party contenders in a hypothetical matchup.

Trump defied the polls in 2016 to defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

 

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Heavy Rain Leaves Scores Dead in Nepal, India, Bangladesh

Flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rainfall have killed at least 50 people in Nepal in the past few days, with more deaths reported across the border in India and Bangladesh, officials said Sunday.

At least 30 other people were missing in Nepal, either swept away by swollen rivers or buried by mudslides since monsoon rains began pounding the region on Friday, Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center said.
 
The center said nine key highways remained blocked by floods and mudslides, and attempts were underway to open them up for traffic. Among them is the East-West Highway, which connects Nepal’s southern districts.
 
Other roads were being cleared by thousands of police and soldiers. Continuing bad weather has grounded helicopter rescue flights. Workers were also repairing fallen communication towers to restore phone lines.
 
Thirty people have been treated for injuries and more than 1,100 others rescued from flooded areas. More than 10,000 are estimated to have been displaced.
 
Nepal’s Department of Hydrology and Meteorology warned of more troubles ahead for the southern region near the main rivers, urging people to keep watch on rising water levels and move to higher ground when needed.
 
Rain-triggered floods, mudslides and lightning have left a trail of destruction in other parts of South Asia.
 
In Bangladesh, at least a dozen people, mostly farmers in rural areas, have been killed by lightning since Saturday as monsoon rains continue to batter parts of the low-lying country, according to officials and news reports.
 
Water Development Board official Rabiul Islam said about 40,000 people have been affected, mostly due to their homes being submerged underwater.
 
Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation of 160 million people with more than 130 rivers, is prone to monsoon floods because of overflowing rivers and the heavy onrush of water from upstream India.
 
Officials in northeastern India said at least 14 people were killed and over a million affected by flooding, state official Kumar Sanjay Krishna said. Six deaths were reported in neighboring Arunachal state.
 
Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, home to the endangered one-horn rhinoceros, has been flooded.
 
Floods and mudslides have also hit some other northeast Indian states, including Meghalaya, Sikkim and Mizoram. In Mizoram, floods have submerged about 400 homes in the small town of Tlabung, police said.
 

 

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Syria Says Militant Attack Shuts Down Gas Pipeline

Militants targeted a gas pipeline in government-controlled central Syria, putting it out of order Sunday, according to state media.

The SANA news agency didn’t name the attackers. The area in the central Homs province is close to where remnants of the Islamic State group are still holed up after losing all the territory they once held in the country.

SANA said technical teams are working to fix the pipeline, which links the Shaer fields to the Ebla processing plant. It did not elaborate on the extent of the damage or the nature of the attack.

The agency said the pipeline carries about 2.5 million cubic meters of gas to the processing plant and onward to power stations.

Islamic State militants briefly seized the Shaer fields in 2014 and 2016 before pro-government forces recaptured them in heavy fighting. Today much of Syria’s oil fields and infrastructure are held by U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led forces in the east.

In recent weeks, IS militants have increased their attacks against government troops, putting up checkpoints and ambushing convoys. While the government now controls over 60 percent of Syria, there is still a rebel stronghold in the northwest, where the government is waging a limited but stalled offensive. Smaller armed groups in northern, central and eastern Syria have vowed to target government and Kurdish-controlled facilities.

 

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