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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 155)

Donald Trump announced an ISIS leader was killed in a US raid. Who was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Donald Trump announced an ISIS leader was killed in a US raid. Who was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be seated with a machine gun propped up next to him and a black robe draped around his legs. USA TODAY

Sunday morning President Donald Trump announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a special operations raid in northwestern Syria over the weekend.

“Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death has violently been eliminated,” Trump said from the White House.

The president had teased a major announcement Saturday night.

Here’s what we know about the ISIS leader:

Al-Baghdadi led ISIS for 5 years

Al-Baghdadi, the highest-ranking terrorist to be killed or captured since Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, headed the terrorist organization ISIS for the last five years. ISIS has become notorious for its beheadings. 

Until his death, al-Baghdadi remained one of the few ISIS leaders still at-large as his “caliphate” shrank and supporters were imprisoned.

Concerns that captured members of ISIS would escape heightened after Trump announced U.S. forces would pull out of northern Syria, effectively clearing the way for a military invasion by Turkey on Kurdish forces who had fought ISIS alongside the United States.

He was one of the most-wanted men in the world

Al-Baghdadi had a $25 million U.S. bounty on his head, after multiple previous reports of the leader’s death.

“Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration,” Trump said Sunday.

U.S. special operations forces, with the assistance of the CIA, located al-Baghdadi late Saturday. Trump said he was killed while running into a dead-end tunnel.

Both the Kurds and the Turks said they provided assistance to the U.S. raid that targeted al-Baghdadi.

More: President Trump says ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead after U.S.-led raid in Syria

He urged terrorist attacks on the United States

Al-Baghdadi urged his followers to strike western countries, including the United States. 

He was shown in a video for the first time since 2014 earlier this year, when he praised attackers who killed more than 250 people, including four Americans, in bombings in Sri Lanka over Easter Sunday. He also released an audio recording last month, calling on supporters to help free ISIS detainees.

Al-Baghdadi helped lead a shift in ISIS operations toward acts of violence that would be hard for governments and law enforcement to prevent, as opposed to more massive-scale attacks. 

Contributing: David Jackson, Courtney Subramanian, Michael Collins and the Associated Press

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/27/abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-dead-trump-announced-who-isis-leader/2478204001/

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California Fire Updates: More Evacuations and Blackouts Ordered

ImageWestlake Legal Group 27fires-livebriefing1-articleLarge California Fire Updates: More Evacuations and Blackouts Ordered Wind Weather Sonoma County (Calif) San Francisco Bay Area (Calif) Power Failures and Blackouts Pacific Gas and Electric Co Fires and Firefighters California Cal Fire

Firefighters lit backfires to help contain the Kincade fire in Geyserville, Calif., on Saturday.Credit…Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Emergency responders expanded a mandatory evacuation zone west to the Pacific Ocean on Saturday night, more than doubling the number of residents who have been told to flee the Kincade fire north of San Francisco. Firefighters have been struggling to contain the blaze, driven by winds of up to 80 miles an hour and fed by dry conditions. The expanded evacuation zone now covers more than 83,000 people.

The Kincade fire, which began late Wednesday night, has spread to 25,955 acres, and was 11 percent contained as of early Sunday morning. The authorities said the fire had destroyed 77 buildings, including 31 homes. No serious injuries have been reported.

About 90 to 95 percent of people in the mandatory evacuation zones are fleeing, said Sgt. Spencer Crum of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. He said deputies would not force people out of their homes or arrest them if they refused to follow the order, but that “they will be on their own in the event of an emergency.”

Public safety officials pleaded with residents to comply, recalling a 2017 fire in the area that killed 22 people.

“I’m seeing people reporting that they’re going to stay and fight this fire,” Mark Essick, Sonoma County’s sheriff, said during a news conference Saturday night. “Fire is not something you can stay and fight.”

The blaze’s advance through the hilly rural areas of the county has made conditions difficult for the nearly 3,000 firefighters who are battling the blaze, the authorities said.

Westlake Legal Group california-fire-map-promo-1572020277850-articleLarge-v3 California Fire Updates: More Evacuations and Blackouts Ordered Wind Weather Sonoma County (Calif) San Francisco Bay Area (Calif) Power Failures and Blackouts Pacific Gas and Electric Co Fires and Firefighters California Cal Fire

Maps: California Wildfires, Power Outages and Evacuation Zones

Detailed maps showing current fire extents, power outage zones and areas under evacuation orders.

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Marin County began to go dark on Saturday night as PG&E cut power to parts of the Bay Area.

Beginning in the northern part of the county, the shut-offs in Marin were part of a wave of planned power blackouts that could ultimately affect 940,000 homes and businesses across Northern California, which would leave as many as 2.7 million people without power. It would be the largest planned blackout to prevent wildfires in California’s history.

In Marin County, about 99 percent of residents could ultimately be affected, the sheriff’s office said. The authorities implored residents not to call 911 when they lost power, saying that the county’s emergency dispatch system was already flooded with calls.

Public safety officials warned residents that it could take up to five days to restore power in Marin County and that cellular phone service could be affected by the shutdown.

“Though the weather event will end Monday, power restoration could take several days,” the sheriff’s office said.

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ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi Killed in Raid, Trump Announces

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced on Sunday that a commando raid in Syria this weekend had targeted and resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State, claiming a significant victory even as American forces are pulling out of the area.

“Last night, the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice,” Mr. Trump said in an unusual nationally televised address from the White House. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”

Mr. Trump said Mr. al-Baghdadi was chased to the end of a tunnel, “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way” as he was pursued by American military dogs. Accompanied by three children, Mr. al-Baghdadi then detonated a suicide vest, blowing up himself and the children, Mr. Trump said.

Mr. al-Baghdadi’s body was mutilated by the blast, but Mr. Trump said tests had confirmed his identity. The president made a point of repeatedly portraying Mr. al-Baghdadi as “sick and depraved” and him and his followers as “losers” and “frightened puppies,” using inflammatory, boastful language unlike the more solemn approaches by other presidents in such moments. “He died like a dog,” Mr. Trump said. “He died like a coward.”

By The New York Times

Mr. Trump said American forces, ferried by eight helicopters through airspace controlled by Russia with Moscow’s permission, were met by hostile fire when they landed and entered the target building by blowing holes through the walls rather than take chance on a booby-trapped main entrance. No Americans were killed in the operation, although Mr. Trump said one of the military dogs was injured.

For Mr. Trump, a successful operation could prove both a strategic victory in the battle against the Islamic State and a politically useful counterpoint to critics in both parties who have assailed him in recent weeks for withdrawing American troops from northern Syria, which allowed Turkey to attack and push out America’s Kurdish allies. A senior American official confirmed that Kurdish intelligence officials in both Syria and Iraq helped locate the target of the raid despite the tensions over the Turkish operation.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_163395519_d6ce1336-fa3d-4cf8-8e89-f4ec2d2e5719-articleLarge ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi Killed in Raid, Trump Announces United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Syria Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Baghdadi, Abu Bakr al-

A site of a raid near Barisha, Syria, that was said to have resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.Credit…Omar Haj Kadour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

But experts have long warned that even eliminating the leader of shadowy organizations like the Islamic State does not eliminate the threat. Mr. al-Baghdadi has been incorrectly reported killed before, and American military officials were concerned that Mr. Trump, who posted a cryptic message on Twitter on Saturday night teasing his Sunday announcement, was so eager to announce the development that he was getting ahead of the forensics.

A Defense Department official said before the president’s announcement that there was a strong belief — “near certainty” — that Mr. al-Baghdadi was dead, but that DNA analysis was not complete. The official said that with any other president, the Pentagon would wait for absolute certainty before announcing victory. But Mr. Trump was impatient to get the news out, the official said, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper agreed to go on the Sunday morning shows as a last-minute addition to the programs to promote the apparent success.

Critics of the president’s decision to withdraw American forces quickly argued that the operation took place in spite of, not because of, Mr. Trump and that if the military had not slow-rolled his plan to withdraw, the raid would not have been possible. Rather than justifying a pullout, they said, the raid underscored the importance of maintaining an American military presence in Syria and Iraq to keep pressure on the Islamic State.

“We must keep in mind that we were able to strike Baghdadi because we had forces in the region,” said Representative Michael Waltz, Republican of Florida and a former Army Green Beret. “We must keep ISIS from returning by staying on offense.”

Mr. al-Baghdadi has been the focus of an intense international manhunt since 2014 when the terrorist network he led stormed onto the scene in the Middle East, seizing huge swaths of Iraq and Syria with the intention of creating a caliphate for Islamic extremists. He was believed to hew to extreme security measures, even when meeting with his most-trusted associates.

American forces working with allies on the ground like the Kurdish troops abandoned by Mr. Trump in recent days have swept Islamic State forces from the field in the last couple of years, recapturing the territory it had seized.

Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death would be another important victory in the campaign against the Islamic State, but counterterrorism experts warned that the organization could still be a potent threat. Moreover, Mr. al-Baghdadi was no Osama bin Laden in the American psyche and hardly a household name in the United States, which may limit the psychological and political impact at home.

“The danger here is that President Trump decides once again to shift focus away from ISIS now that its leader is dead,” said Jennifer Cafarella, research director for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. “Unfortunately, killing leaders does not defeat terrorist organizations. We should have learned that lesson after killing Osama bin Laden, after which Al Qaeda continued to expand globally.”

The raid took place on Saturday in Idlib Province, hundreds of miles from the area along the Syrian-Iraqi border where Mr. al-Baghdadi had been believed to be hiding, according to senior officials. Counterterrorism experts expressed surprise that Mr. al-Baghdadi was hiding in an area dominated by Al Qaeda groups so far from his strongholds.

However, the Islamic State has extensively penetrated Idlib Province since the fall of Raqqa, its stronghold in northeastern Syria, in late 2017. The American operation on Saturday took place in a smuggling area near the Turkish border where numerous ISIS foreign fighters have likely traversed, Ms. Cafarella said.

“It could be that he believed the chaos of Idlib would provide him with the cover he needed to blend in among hordes of jihadists and other rebels,” said Colin P. Clarke, a senior fellow at the Soufan Center, a research organization for global security issues.

But there is also a more ominous possibility of why Mr. al-Baghdadi was in Idlib. “Baghdadi’s presence in Al Qaeda-dominated areas could signal many things,” Ms. Cafarella said. “Most dangerous among them is resumed negotiations between him and Al Qaeda leaders for reunification and/or a collaboration with Al Qaeda elements on attacks against the West.”

American counterterrorism officials have voiced increased alarm about a Qaeda affiliate in northwestern Syria that they say is plotting attacks against the West by exploiting the chaotic security situation in the country’s northwest and the protection inadvertently afforded by Russian air defenses shielding Syrian government forces allied with Moscow.

This latest Qaeda branch, called Hurras al-Din, emerged in early 2018 after several factions broke away from a larger affiliate in Syria. It is the successor to the Khorasan Group, a small but dangerous organization of hardened senior Qaeda operatives that Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s leader, sent to Syria to plot attacks against the West.

If Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death is confirmed, it would set off a succession struggle among top Islamic State leaders. Many other top leaders have been killed in American drone strikes and raids in the past few years. Anticipating his own death, Mr. al-Baghdadi has delegated authorities to regional and functional lieutenants to ensure that the Islamic State operations would continue.

“There are few publicly well-recognized candidates to potentially replace al-Baghdadi,” said Evan F. Kohlmann, who tracks militant websites at the New York security consulting firm Flashpoint Global Partners.

Mr. Kohlmann said the next most prominent public figure from within the Islamic State is its current official spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, an enigma himself whose exact pedigree is still unclear.

In announcing the raid, Mr. Trump put himself in the center of the action, describing himself as personally hunting Mr. al-Baghdadi since the early days of his administration. He said he watched the action on Saturday with Vice President Mike Pence; Mr. Esper; Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and others in the Situation Room “as though you were watching a movie.”

Unlike previous presidents announcing such operations, Mr. Trump ended his national address by taking questions from reporters. He made a point of thanking Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq for their cooperation and said Kurdish forces provided “information that turned out to be helpful.”

By contrast, he described America’s traditional European allies as “a tremendous disappointment,” repeating his complaint that they have not agreed to take captured Islamic State fighters who originated from their countries.

He said that American troops did “an on-site test” of DNA to confirm Mr. al-Baghdadi’s identity and that they brought back “body parts” when leaving the scene. Mr. Trump said two women were found there wearing suicide vests that did not detonate but were killed on the scene.

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Halsey and Evan Peters are Instagram official for Halloween

Have singer Halsey and “American Horror Story” actor Evan Peters confirmed their relationship? By social media standards, yes.

The pair were spotted holding hands during Halsey’s Halloween party Friday night, with the “Graveyard” artist posting photos with her rumored boo on Instagram (second photo in the below post). The eccentric pair dressed up as two different versions of goth icon Marilyn Manson for the spooky affair.

HALSEY OPENS UP ABOUT SOBRIETY, PAST SEXUAL ABUSE

HALSEY GETS SUPPORT FROM DEMI LOVATO AFTER RECEIVING BACKLASH OVER UNSHAVEN ARMPITS ON ROLLING STONE COVER

“Resident goths,” Halsey captioned the pic. You can check out more snaps from the night on a follow-up post from the songwriter. 

Rumors of a romance between the two began last month when the two entertainers were spotted getting cozy at Six Flags.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The singer, 25, previously dated fellow artist YungBlud and Oakland rapper G-Eazy. Peters, 32, split up with actress Emma Roberts in May.

This article originally appeared in Page Six.

Westlake Legal Group evan-peters-halsey Halsey and Evan Peters are Instagram official for Halloween New York Post Jessica Bennett fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 846a2b31-10ff-5f01-ab0d-b40bf34b42cb   Westlake Legal Group evan-peters-halsey Halsey and Evan Peters are Instagram official for Halloween New York Post Jessica Bennett fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 846a2b31-10ff-5f01-ab0d-b40bf34b42cb

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Meghan Markle ‘begged’ for tabloid attention before meeting Prince Harry: report

Appearing on ITV’s recent documentary, Meghan Markle insisted she hadn’t been prepared foror wanted — the media attention of royal life.

But one showbiz editor says she wasn’t always so shy of the spotlight — and actually “begged me to get her in the tabloids.”

The Mail on Sunday‘s Katie Hind met the Duchess of Sussex, 38, in London’s trendy Soho in November 2013, when she was an editor and columnist at the Sunday People.

MEGHAN MARKLE AND PRINCE HARRY’S DOCUMENTARY: 6 THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF SUSSEX

According to Katie, Duchess Meghan’s U.K. publicist hounded her for a meeting — despite her having never heard of the actress or her TV show “Suits.”

“Keen to make a name in Britain, her U.K. publicist had all but begged me — then a showbusiness journalist for a red-top newspaper – to meet the actress for a drink,” Hind said.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY PHOTO REMOVED FROM QUEEN ELIZABETH’S BUCKINGHAM PALACE TABLE

Westlake Legal Group meghan-markle-prince-harry-sabbatical-getty Meghan Markle 'begged' for tabloid attention before meeting Prince Harry: report The Sun Josie Griffiths fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 5404d1e5-2926-52f6-a5fd-81b0a7eb0307

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visit District 6 Museum on Sep. 23, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. The pair are reportedly considering a move to Africa after a bitter battle with public life in the U.K. (Getty)

MEGHAN MARKLE’S HALF-SISTER SPEAKS OUT AFTER DOCUMENTARY: ‘SHE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT SHE WAS DOING’

“It soon became clear that Meghan was determined to raise her profile, even if it was with an inconsequential 80-word piece tagged onto the end of my weekly column.”

Hind, who sipped prosecco with the future Duchess until 11 p.m., says Duchess Meghan was “eager” to make her a friend.

She added: “All in all, she seemed grateful that I was helping. We even hugged.”

ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: MEGHAN MARKLE AND PRINCE HARRY ARE ‘MISERABLE’ AND ‘UNHAPPY’ AFTER AFRICA TOUR

So the writer was surprised when she watched Duchess Meghan’s interview with Tom Bradbury on “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” where she insisted she was surprised by the unrelenting media attention.

The writer also claims Duchess Meghan asked her advice about dating then Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who had followed the actress on Twitter and was “trying really hard.”

But Hind says she warned her away from the infamous footballer, explaining how cheating allegations had hounded his marriage to Cheryl.

MEGHAN MARKLE’S ‘PAIN’ AND ‘THE ATTACKS SHE FACES’ HAVE MADE PRINCE HARRY DETERMINED TO ‘SORT IT OUT’: REPORT

MEGHAN MARKLE WANTS PEOPLE TO SEE AND PRINCE HARRY AS ‘A COUPLE WHO’S IN LOVE’

Claiming Duchess Meghan looked disappointed, she says she felt “bad that I had crushed her dream of becoming a WAG.”

The revelation did, however, get Duchess Meghan a spot in Hind’s column, in which she explained how she’d turned down Cole’s date offer.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It was on this same trip that Meghan met TV personality Lizzie Cundy, who previously chatted to Fabulous Digital about their brief friendship.

This article originally appeared in The Sun.

Westlake Legal Group meghan-markle-africa-tour-image Meghan Markle 'begged' for tabloid attention before meeting Prince Harry: report The Sun Josie Griffiths fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 5404d1e5-2926-52f6-a5fd-81b0a7eb0307   Westlake Legal Group meghan-markle-africa-tour-image Meghan Markle 'begged' for tabloid attention before meeting Prince Harry: report The Sun Josie Griffiths fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/entertainment/events/scandal fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc article 5404d1e5-2926-52f6-a5fd-81b0a7eb0307

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Trump describes al-Baghdadi as ‘whimpering and crying’ before dying in U.S. operation: ‘He died like a coward’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098242930001_6098244053001-vs Trump describes al-Baghdadi as 'whimpering and crying' before dying in U.S. operation: 'He died like a coward' Ronn Blitzer fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox news fnc/politics fnc d0b7cf3e-d43b-546f-b23c-14f9393f65cb article

President Trump formally announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after a successful U.S. military operation in northwest Syria Saturday night that took roughly two hours.

The Islamic State leader died in an apparent suicide, detonating an explosive vest as U.S. Special Operations Forces stormed his compound in the Idrib Province, Fox News reported earlier Sunday morning. Trump announced that the U.S. had al-Baghdadi under surveillance for weeks.

ISIS LEADER AL-BAGHDADI CONFIRMED DEAD AFTER APPARENT SUICIDE DURING U.S. OPERATION: SOURCES

“Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying,” Trump said. “He died like a dog, he died like a coward.”

Trump said the U.S. had been searching for al-Baghdadi for years, calling his capture or death “the top national security priority of my administration.” Trump thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Kurds in the region.

“No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him,” Trump said, adding that the U.S. recovered “highly sensitive” materials related to ISIS. “You are the very best anywhere in the world,” Trump later said of the U.S. forces.

Trump said al-Baghdadi died while being chased down by U.S. forces in a tunnel, and that the ISIS leader was “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.” He then detonated a suicide vest, killing himself. Trump said three children who were with al-Baghdadi were also killed in the blast. Eleven other young children were taken out of the location uninjured, Trump said.

“Our reach is very long,” Trump said. He pointed to the recent death of Hamza bin Laden, son of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “These save monsters will not escape their fate, and they will not escape the final judgment of God.”

Trump said “Baghdadi and the losers who work for him” had “no idea what they were getting into.”

Al-Baghdadi reportedly had a $25 million bounty on his head. Some experts had predicted that as time passed and ISIS losses in the Middle East mounted, it was inevitable that al-Baghdadi would be captured or killed.

“The world is now a much safer place,” Trump said. “God bless America.”

Trump was heavily criticized by Democrats and Republicans for withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria earlier this month, with once concern being that it would allow ISIS to regain strength in the region.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“We don’t want to keep soldiers between Syria and Turkey for the next 200 years,” Trump said, but said he intends to secure the oil in the region, which could strengthen ISIS.

Trump defended his decision to pull out of northern Syria, saying that it benefits Russia and China, who can build their military while the U.S. expends resources.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098242930001_6098244053001-vs Trump describes al-Baghdadi as 'whimpering and crying' before dying in U.S. operation: 'He died like a coward' Ronn Blitzer fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox news fnc/politics fnc d0b7cf3e-d43b-546f-b23c-14f9393f65cb article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6098242930001_6098244053001-vs Trump describes al-Baghdadi as 'whimpering and crying' before dying in U.S. operation: 'He died like a coward' Ronn Blitzer fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox news fnc/politics fnc d0b7cf3e-d43b-546f-b23c-14f9393f65cb article

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Discussion Thread: President Trump expected to announce results of Special Ops raid against ISIS leadership

Im not watching but let me guess:

“This great thing, which was better than anyone’s elses’ great thing, happened because of me, everyone was great but I was in control of the thing, we did it, we know we did it really good, and we know its definitely done, 100%, and that the thing I did was the biggest, best thing. Now I don’t want to make any threats but here’s a threat to everyone, a huge, glimmering, shining threat. Nuclear bombs will be really destructive on Turkey’s economy. The Kurds are our great friends, we have been very tough on Russia and we’ve helped Russia tremendously. This has been a great victory for us and its because of me.”

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The Revolution Isn’t Being Televised – Media uninterested in protest movements around the world

Is there a website that shows nothing but protests, live streams, etc.? I could imagine something like windy.com, but for people demonstrating. It could also include commentary, but in the form of text, so that the footage is nothing but protests and demonstrations, categorized by country and region, and perhaps including descriptions of the reasons why people took yo the streets.

Want to see what’s happening in Russia? Go to that channel and watch up to the minute footage. Chile? Brazil? Hong Kong? Chicago? Sacramento?

Decentralized, unfiltered. Like an aggregator for nothing but people in action.

Edit: something like this: https://www.lightningmaps.org/#

Or this:

https://ucanr.edu/sites/fire/Wildfire_Health_-_Safety/Current/

But each dot is active social unrest. Click on the dot and get live streams and videos with links to commentary. I wish I had the time and knew how to code that well.

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PG&E Shuts Off Power in Northern California as Residents Flee Fires

HEALDSBURG, Calif. — Popular downtown boutiques and farm-to-table restaurants were deserted in Healdsburg, Calif., by Saturday afternoon. Traffic ground to a halt in downtown Windsor, where lines for gas stations spilled into gridlocked roadways. The county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa once again morphed into a disaster base camp.

Even an evacuation center in Sonoma County had to be evacuated.

Two years after the devastating Tubbs fire killed 22 people in the region, officials were taking no chances with the menacing Kincade fire and the threat of high winds that could spread the flames overnight. County officials ordered the mandatory evacuations of nearly 90,000 people on Saturday, and Pacific Gas and Electric started shutting offnnounced it would shut off power for almost a million customers in Northern California.

“The next 72 hours are going to be challenging,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon. “I could sugarcoat it but I’m not. We’re in an anticipatory stage that is rather anxiety inducing.”

State fire officials hoped that by preparing for the worst-case scenario, they could avoid major destruction from the Kincade fire, which has already consumed nearly 26,000 acres and was 10 percent contained as of 6:30 p.m. local time, according to Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency. The fire has so far destroyed 77 structures, including 31 homes, and damaged another 14 structures, the authorities said.

The original mandatory evacuation order covering 50,000 people was expanded as far west as the Pacific Ocean by nightfall.

Public safety officials urged the public to comply with the evacuation order, saying that failing to do so would put them as well as emergency responders at risk.

“I’m seeing people reporting that they’re going to stay and fight this fire,” Mark Essick, the Sonoma County sheriff, said during a news conference Saturday night. “Fire is not something you can stay and fight.”

PG&E said it would begin cutting power to 940,000 homes and businesses — which could affect as many as 2.7 million people — on Saturday afternoon and that residents should plan to spend at least two days without electricity. Emergency responders warned residents of Marin County — which includes Sausalito, San Rafael, Tiburon and Novato — that power restoration could take up to five days.

“People are acting crazy,” said Ryan Marshall, 19, who was driving from Windsor to San Jose with a golden retriever, a golden lab and a pet California kingsnake. “It’s just another manic escape like the one that happened two years ago.”

Beverlee Sagon and Jerry Brendlin, who were evacuating to Reno, Nev., with friends on Saturday, still freeze when they see a fire truck with its lights on. Two years ago they had to flee their home just north of Santa Rosa in the middle of the night.

“We had planned to stay up all night tonight just taking turns sleeping because it was so scary waking up out of a dead sleep,” said Ms. Sagon, 64, whose house survived the Tubbs fire.

Not everyone was eager to flee. Michael and Deborah Bailey were hunkering down in their house among the county’s vineyards, defying the evacuation order and preparing for their second blackout this week by powering up a generator and figuring out where to send their horses.

Like many Californians, they were frustrated to lose power again.

“They just turned it on yesterday afternoon around 4, and now they’re going to turn it off again,” Mr. Bailey, 72, said of PG&E. “We’ve been madly running around filling up bathtubs with water.”

Westlake Legal Group california-fire-map-promo-1572020277850-articleLarge-v3 PG&E Shuts Off Power in Northern California as Residents Flee Fires Sonoma County (Calif) Pacific Gas and Electric Co Fires and Firefighters Evacuations and Evacuees

Maps: California Wildfires, Power Outages and Evacuation Zones

Detailed maps showing current fire extents, power outage zones and areas under evacuation orders.

The Kincade blaze, which started Wednesday, has been fueled by the steep topography of the densely forested area. It had forced 2,000 people to evacuate earlier in the week.

Winds were forecast to reach 80 miles per hour and were expected to pick up Saturday evening, with some of the strongest blowing through between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service issued a red-flag warning through Monday morning, urging residents to prepare for high winds and low humidity — a combination that intensifies fires.

On Saturday afternoon, the county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, which had been used during the Tubbs fire, was buzzing with mobile command units, large food stations and a sea of tents and trailers housing more than 2,000 firefighters and related personnel.

As anxiety grew, local governments tried to calm those who will see their lights go out — again — just as the sun begins to fade.

The utility pre-emptively shut off power to more than 27,000 customers in Sonoma County this past week as part of an effort to prevent sparks from its equipment during dry and windy conditions. While a state investigation will be required to determine the cause of the Kincade fire, the utility has said a transmission tower nearby malfunctioned shortly before it began. Its stock price plummeted about 30 percent on Friday to $5.08, a small fraction of its 52-week high of $49.42.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in January after amassing tens of billions of dollars in liability related to two dozen wildfires in recent years.

Officials have been trying to emphasize to residents that PG&E is calling the shots, and the governor and furious state representatives said the company had shown it was not capable of consistently providing power to Californians.

“PG&E is a failure at every level,” said State Senator Jerry Hill, a Bay Area Democrat who said the courts should take control of the company. “PG&E should no longer be allowed to do business in California.”

Mr. Hill, who is the chair of the State Senate’s energy subcommittee, said that roughly 2.5 million to 2.7 million people will lose power when accounting for families and others who share addresses.

At a news conference, Mr. Newsom said PG&E made improvements to some of its operations since a botched power shut-off two weeks ago, when the utility’s website crashed twice and information technology experts from the state were required to help fix the problems. But he said that the utility continued to fail in its communication, and that some customers did not receive notification of the weekend’s blackouts until four hours before they were about to lose power.

The governor also reiterated his frustration with PG&E’s decision to shut off power for hundreds of thousands of customers, rather than the more surgical approach taken by the state’s other two investor-owned utilities, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric.

“A society as industrious and entrepreneurial and innovative as ours should not have to face a choice between public safety and public blackouts,” Mr. Newsom said.

Michael Lewis, PG&E’s senior vice president of electric operations, said on Saturday that the utility understood the impact of the shut-offs on Californians but had no other choice because of the severe winds, which he said were predicted to be “the most serious weather situation” the region had experienced in recent memory.

On Friday, Andy Vesey, PG&E’s chief executive for utility operations, said that drought, dead trees, high winds and low humidity had combined for a disaster that could be even more severe than some recent fires.

“These places we all love have effectively become tinder boxes,” Mr. Vesey said. “This is an extraordinary change that we’re living through. At this moment it is part of our lives in California and part of keeping us safe.”

Sonoma County residents scrambled to stock up and ship out on Saturday. Manoj Ghimire said he had already sold out of ice and water and seen a spike in people buying beer and milk when he learned the power at Windsor Fast & Easy Mart would be cut off.

As the smoke crept closer and patrol planes whizzed overhead, Ms. Sagon and Mr. Brendlin jumped into their friends’ cars and hit the road, leaving their own Buick with mechanical troubles in a parking lot.

“We’re just hoping it’s here when we get back,” Ms. Sagon said. “But if it isn’t, it wasn’t meant to be.”

Lauren Hepler reported from Healdsburg, Calif., and Ivan Penn from Burbank, Calif. Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Neil Vigdor, Mariel Padilla and Derrick Bryson Taylor contributed reporting from New York.

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Paul Batura: What’s happened to Halloween? Read on … if you dare

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097103229001_6097102408001-vs Paul Batura: What's happened to Halloween? Read on ... if you dare Paul Batura fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a7f17260-3b34-5887-a657-19858249dd16

I’ll be blunt. I hate haunted houses and the gory side of Halloween.

Why? There are many reasons, really, but here is one.

In a day and age of alarming wickedness – from global terrorism to psychotic people who kill for the thrill of it – is it really wise to deliberately and voluntarily induce horror into our minds and our neighborhoods?

CAROL ROTH: CANCELING HALLOWEEN IS NOT A SOLUTION – IT ONLY MAKES KIDS EQUALLY MISERABLE

Go ahead, call me prudish or puritanical. Or boring. Or worse.

The owners of McKamey Manor in Summertown, Tenn., obviously disagree. Billed as the world’s scariest horror house, visitors are required to take a physical, watch a two-hour video and sign a 40-page waiver before entering the place.

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In fact, the experience is purportedly so intense that its owners promise anyone who completes the “tour” a $20,000 prize  As of this past week, nobody had claimed the cash.

Then there’s a cob-web covered house a few miles from where we live in Colorado Springs with mannequins hanging from the porch rafters. But wait – there’s more. A beat-up old car is parked in the driveway, a blood-splattered mannequin hanging out its window. The last piece of the gory display is a knocked over baby carriage, made to look like it was hit by the car, complete with a dead, bloodied “child” slumped on its side.

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And they call this entertainment? I call it sick.

My community is hardly alone. I suspect there are similar displays in your town. In recent years, Halloween has become big business. The National Retail Federation reported Americans spent $9 billion last year on costumes, candy and decorations.

I assume the rise in the darker side of Halloween is attributable to a constellation of factors ranging from a rise in secular beliefs to the influence of media and the escalating nature of things.

The degree of guts and gore notwithstanding, scaring people for entertainment likely dates back to the beginning of recorded history. Riveting tales of suspense are legendary. But like anything else, it’s human nature to escalate, push the envelope, and take things to the extreme.

According to most historians, the origin of the haunted house can be traced back to 19th century England. In 1802, the French artist Marie Tussaud created a big stir in London when she sculpted and assembled a collection of “death masks” featuring the faces of guillotine victims. It was called the “Chamber of Horrors” – and at the time it generated an enormous cultural buzz.

Believe it or not, Walt Disney, long considered America’s icon of wholesome family fun, is credited with launching the modern-day haunted house craze. Opening in 1969, Disneyland’s “Haunted Mansion” became a huge it, proving once again that Hollywood shapes culture in more ways than one.

I have Christian friends who object to the holiday altogether, citing its pagan and creepy origins. I respect their convictions and have to admit that from a theological standpoint, I’m on shaky ground recognizing the yearly festival.

Nevertheless, I’ve always enjoyed the innocent side of the Halloween or harvest holiday, first as a kid, and now as a parent. When I hear the rustle and crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, I’m transported back to hours upon hours of trick-or-treating on Long Island streets. My costumes included Superman, Batman as well as baseball and football players.

It was always such great fun to carve pumpkins, bob for apples and roam the neighborhood in the crisp fall air with my brothers and sister, collecting the coveted candy and homemade treats our neighbors so generously dispensed.

I’m looking forward to taking our boys trick-or-treating again this Thursday evening, hopefully adding to their storehouse of happy memories.

But I assume the rise in the darker side of Halloween is attributable to a constellation of factors ranging from a rise in secular beliefs to the influence of media and the escalating nature of things. Psychologists will tell you that what was once titillating soon proves boring, leading producers to magnify horror productions to get the same thrill or chill.

To be sure, I know there are a lot of fine people who enjoy a good scare and who feel they can easily separate the fact from the fiction. But the human mind is a tender, fragile, highly sensitive – and mysterious creation. The fact of the matter is that we become what we think about – and I’ve just never understood why anybody would want to ponder the ghoulish, inane and profane. As a favorite pastor used to say, “Garbage in, garbage out. What goes down in the well comes up in the bucket.”

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I’ve long appreciated the timeless wisdom of the Apostle Paul, who once advised his friends, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

If you ask me, that kind of advice is all treat and no trick.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097103229001_6097102408001-vs Paul Batura: What's happened to Halloween? Read on ... if you dare Paul Batura fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a7f17260-3b34-5887-a657-19858249dd16   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097103229001_6097102408001-vs Paul Batura: What's happened to Halloween? Read on ... if you dare Paul Batura fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/us/religion fox-news/opinion fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/opinion fnc article a7f17260-3b34-5887-a657-19858249dd16

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