Day: May 2, 2017


Putin: US election meddling accusations are 'simply rumors'

Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Tuesday that accusations of Russia meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election were “simply rumors,” despite U.S. intelligence officials saying they have definitive evidence that links Moscow to the Democratic Party email hacks. 

Putin made the comment during a tense news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was visiting Russia for the first time in two years.

The Russian president added that the claim was being used as part of the political fight in Washington. 

“We never interfere in the political life and the political processes of other countries and we don’t want anybody interfering in our political life and foreign policy processes,” Putin said. 


U.S. intelligence agencies claim Russia hacked email accountswith the aim of benefiting Donald Trump’s campaign and harming his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, the former Democratic presidential nominee also blamed part of her loss on Russia’s role in hacking into her campaign’s internal emails and subsequently coordinating their release on WikiLeaks. 

“He [Putin] certainly interfered in our election,” Clinton said during the Women for Women International’s annual luncheon in New York. 

“And it’s clear he interfered to hurt me and help his opponent.”

Merkel said Germany would take “decisive measures” if it believed there was foreign meddling in its upcoming election. 


Relations between Germany and Russia remain strained, mostly over the unresolved conflict in eastern Ukraine. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Jeb Bush, Derek Jeter moving ahead on Marlins bid

In his first public remarks about his bid for the Miami Marlins, Jeb Bush sounded an optimistic note despite the nearly $1 billion that he and his partner Derek Jeter must raise to secure the deal.

Speaking at the Milken Conference today in Los Angeles, CA, the former governor of Florida said he has support from the City of Miami and a group of investors, suggesting a deal is in reach.

As FOX Business recently reported, the duo’s $1.34 billion bid for the team is hardly a lock; the duo must raise around $800 million to $900 million in cash from outside investors given Major League Baseball’s preference that they purchase the team without incurring massive debt.


At the conference, Bush said Jeter, a former star New York Yankee shortstop, would handle the day-to-day baseball operations of the club. Bush also noted he would be more immersed on the business side, including possibly expanding team reach to Latin America, which he described as a potential huge new market for the MLB. If his bid is approved, Bush said he would methodically manage the team not by embarking on a free agent spending spree, but instead would aim to “build the team patiently.”

“Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap, which is what you have to self-impose as an owner,” Bush said. “You have to have the discipline to identify players the right way…There’s no correlation between high salaries and winning.”

Bush and Jeter are leading the group bidding to buy the Marlins from oft-maligned owner Jeffrey Loria, who has run a money losing enterprise since buying the team in 2002, ladened  with a significant amount of debt. Loria can command a piece well above the $158 million he paid 15 years ago because of the scarcity value of professional baseball teams. Other potential bidders including a team led by Tagg Romney, the son of 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have placed bids for the team albeit lower than Jeter and Bush.  [moved this grx]

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The Miami mayor’s office did not return FOX’s calls for comment at the time of publication. A Marlins spokesman had no comment.

Bush also took a swipe at President Trump, who beat the former Florida governor during the often brutal 2016 GOP presidential sweepstakes, in which Trump coined him “low energy.”

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While Bush said he likes some of Trump’s actions such as his Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, and several of his cabinet appointments, he advised Trump to “chill out” with the spontaneous tweeting, citing the president’s comments on North Korea, his unpopular proposed gas tax and supporting a government shutdown.


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Hawaii preparation for North Korea nuke attack far from complete – COMPLETE COVERAGE OF NORTH KOREA CRISIS

Kailua, a beach community on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, has everything that residents and visitors could want from a tropical paradise: exquisite beaches, crystal clear water and modern amenities. No wonder it now boasts nearly 55,000 residents and thousands of yearly tourists, including the Obamas.

But one thing this paradise doesn’t have is an adequate number of fallout shelters – there are only three with enough room for 235 people — in case North Korea launches an intercontinental ballistic missile or nuclear attack.

The state’s emergency fallout shelter plan, not updated since the Cold War, includes a Salvation Army store, categorized as a “safe zone.” That plan is not exactly common knowledge. One of the store managers didn’t even realize the building is on the 1985 fallout shelter list and said the so-called safe area in the basement is packed with donated items. 

The fallout shelter at Territorial Savings Bank, in the middle of Kailua, holds just 35 people.

A third shelter is in a cave in a mountainside accessed only through a private driveway, the entrance to which has a sign that reads “No Trespassing.” This pattern of underwhelming shelter space for Hawaii’s 1.4 million people characterizes all the state’s islands.

“There is a need for state leaders to take this threat seriously. A lot has changed since the 1980s, when the emergency management plan was put in place,” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, told Fox News. “With the threat today, it’s likely we would have just minutes of warning of an imminent attack. Going to a shelter may or may not be feasible.”

State lawmakers, civil defense and military leaders acknowledge there is a great deal of work to do to keep Hawaii residents and visitors safe.

“During the Cold War days, there were multiple days to warn people to hunker down into fallout shelters, whereas today, you have minutes,” Major Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, the state’s adjutant general, director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and director of the Office of Homeland Security. “Your reaction has got to be taking care of yourself and those around you. You are now that first responder.”

Experts have said North Korea possesses, or could soon have, the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles or nuclear warheads at Hawaii. 

“The fact that they may have the capability makes them a threat to Americans, Denny Roy, an Asian-Pacific security expert at the East-West Center, said. “For decades we’ve known there is this very unsavory, seemingly hostile, character breathing out threats against Americans that were clearly bluffs. But once he has that capability, it is no longer a bluff.”

North Korea has tested nuclear weapons on five separate occasions, and in the last 16 months alone has conducted approximately 30 ballistic missile tests, Jonathan Pollack, interim SK-Korea Foundation chair in Korea Studies at the John L. Thornton China Center, said. 

A long-range missile launched from North Korea could reach Hawaii or Alaska, according to Dean Cheng, senior research fellow with the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation. Should North Korea initiate an attack, Hawaii would have just 12 to 20 minutes to prepare, Toby Clairmont, executive officer of the department’s Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said.

Hawaii urgently needs a radar and missile defense system located in Hawaii for the protection of Hawaii, said Gabbard.

“Right now, the missile defense interceptors to protect Hawaii would come from Alaska and California. They work with a number of different radars that exist outside of Hawaii, but whose coverage includes Hawaii,” Gabbard said.

Vern Miyagi, administrator for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, said his agency is undertaking a campaign to educate the public about what to do during and after an attack.

People need to know “where to go, what to do and when to do it,” Miyagi said.

“Get inside, stay inside and stay tuned,” Miyagi said. “Take care of yourself and know ahead of time what your plan is and what your plan is for your family.”

People who are home or in a building that is not close to a designated shelter should go to a basement, the center of the structure or behind concrete or a dirt mound, anything with density. Anyone stuck on the freeway should pull over and get behind their car. 

“The worst thing people can do is to take the freeway. They should shelter in place nearby,” said Panos Prevedouros, a world-renowned transit expert and professor of engineering at the University of Hawaii.

Everyone outside should head inside to survive the initial blast, and plan to remain in place for two weeks as toxic ash rains down, experts say. 

“At first it is all about ‘What I am going to do to protect my life?’ and later it is about ‘Where can I go to protect myself from effects like fallout?’ which could begin hours later because it can flow so high in the sky,” said Clairmont.

State house lawmakers are asking emergency management planners to inspect existing shelters, identify new ones and stock them with supplies.

“One of the reasons we need the fallout shelters is not just to have a place to go to survive, but a place to go to be found and rescued,” said Rep. Matt LoPresti, a Democrat who is vice chair of the House Public Safety Committee and whose district in West Oahu is among the many in the state with no designated shelters. 

People in Hawaii must prepare for tsunamis, hurricanes and even earthquakes that threaten the islands. The first thing that happens in lieu of a disaster is gas stations are depleted of gasoline and propane, and stores run out of bottled water, batteries, toilet paper, spam, rice, fresh produce and emergency generators. 

“Each family has to have a plan for their own safety until the cavalry arrives and should always have supplies at hand,” LoPresti said. 

There are other considerations, such as lack of hospital beds, an alternative harbor to offload food since there is just a four-day food supply and what to do with Hawaii’s booming homeless population.

“Emergency preparation is so much more important for an island state,” LoPresti said.

Malia Zimmerman is an award-winning investigative reporter focusing on crime, homeland security, illegal immigration crime, terrorism and political corruption. Follow her on twitter at @MaliaMZimmerman

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ONE BUDGET, TWO TAKES WH blasts Dem victory dance on spending bill

The Trump administration launched a full-court press Tuesday to defend the controversial $1 trillion-plus budget deal, after Democrats claimed victory in negotiations and conservatives claimed GOP leaders gave too much ground. 

Critics complained that the deal announced Monday to avert a government shutdown would keep funding for Planned Parenthood and so-called “sanctuary cities” without funding President Trump’s promised border wall. As Trump himself defended the package, the administration dispatched top officials to make their case. 

In a lively presentation during the White House briefing Tuesday afternoon — and armed with visual aids — White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney said this was no victory for Democrats. 

He said Second Amendment and pro-life protections were still in the bill, while other Democratic pet projects were not. He accused Democrats of “spiking the football” and said  the president cut “a tremendous deal for the American people.”

“[Democrats] wanted a shutdown … they were desperate to make this administration look like we couldn’t function, like we couldn’t govern,” he said. 

He pointed in particular to the abolition of the Obama-era “parity rule” – whereby increases in defense spending had to be matched dollar-for-dollar with a rise in domestic spending. He said there is no ObamaCare bailout money, no money for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid, and no renewable energy subsidies. 

Mulvaney also came armed with pictures of a 20-foot-high steel wall, saying there are “several hundreds of millions of dollars” to install such a barrier on the border. He didn’t offer specifics but said, “We are building this.”

“That’s what we got in this deal and that’s what the Democrats don’t want you to know,” he told reporters.

Congress has until Friday at midnight to pass the new budget package. Ahead of the expected votes, Democrats hailed what they cast as a victory over the Trump administration, pointing to a $5 billion increase in domestic spending, including a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health. 

Although Republicans managed to secure a $1.5 billion portion for border enforcement and a $21 billion hike in defense spending, both were less than what Trump had hoped for, and Democrats noted the border money wouldn’t allow for a deportation force or Trump’s signature campaign promise of a wall.

Conservative groups such as Heritage Action, as well as conservative personalities, came out hard against the deal, saying Republicans had caved to Democratic priorities.

Mulvaney’s vigorous defense of the deal was the latest step in a pushback that started early Tuesday when Trump himself tweeted that the plan was negotiated as such because “we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” He added a warning shot: “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”

Later at a White House ceremony to award a trophy to the Air Force football team, Trump again hailed parts of the deal, saying it secured the “single largest increase in border security funding in 10 years” and noted the increase in defense spending.

“You’re going to have the money we need and the equipment we need,” he said. “Our military is going to be taken care of, that I promise you.”

Vice President Pence appeared on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show to defend the deal, a day after the conservative talk show host blasted the deal as a “sellout, disaster, betrayal.” Limbaugh didn’t hold back, asking Pence: “If this is what happens, Mr. Vice President, why vote Republican?”

“In this new president you had someone who was able to bring people together and make a $21 billion increase in defense spending at a time of great challenge,” Pence responded.

When Limbaugh said refugee resettlement, EPA and Planned Parenthood are all funded while the wall is not, Pence disagreed and said that the border spending was only the first step on a policy he says is already decreasing illegal migration.

“This is a short- term bill….but I think it demonstrates that in President Trump’s leadership the American people have  a president who can bring together both parties,” he said.

Limbaugh was unimpressed: “Well, Mr. Vice President, we’ve been told this for 15 years, ‘we’ll get ‘em next time,’ after every continuing resolution, ‘we’ll get ‘em next time, we’ll kick the can, we’ll get em next time.’”

“We got ‘em this time,” laughed Pence.

At a House GOP leadership press conference Tuesday morning, Speaker Paul Ryan and other top Republicans also defended the package. Ryan touted the “down payment on border security” and dismissed what he called Democrats’ “PR machine” playing up their end of the bargain.

“Don’t look at the press releases, look at the bill,” Ryan said, adding there are “a lot of conservative wins here.”

Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., touted pay raises for military service members and cuts to “areas where we’ve seen government run out of control” like the EPA.

But despite the assurances from leadership, members of the House Freedom Caucus predicted conservative opposition in Congress.

“Money goes to Planned Parenthood, as you said. Money continues to go to sanctuary cities, but no money for the border wall,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said in an interview with CNN.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of conservatives against this plan this week.”

The bill is expected to go to the House floor Wednesday, and to the Senate Thursday, ahead of the shutdown deadline on Friday.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

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'I'D BE YOUR PRESIDENT' Clinton pins election loss to Trump on FBI's Comey, WikiLeaks

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said she took “absolute personal responsibility” for her losing presidential campaign — but went on to blame FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference for aiding Republican rival Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency.

Clinton specifically cited the letter from Comey late in the campaign saying agents were looking into possible new information related to Clinton’s secret, homebrewed computer server. She was ultimately never charged with a crime, and Comey cleared Clinton on the Sunday before the election.

She also mentioned WikiLeaks, the antisecrecy website which some analysts believe to be connected to Russia and which posted the hacked emails of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta.

“I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but were scared off,” Clinton said at the Women for Women International Conference.

She added: “If the election were on October 27, I’d be your president.”

But those presidential aspirations seem to be a thing of the past for Clinton, who said, however, that she wasn’t getting out of politics entirely.

“I’m now back to being an activist citizen, and part of the resistance,” she said.

Clinton said she was writing a book about her experience as the 2016 Democratic nominee.

“It is a painful process reliving the campaign,” she said.

Clinton, the first female presidential candidate of a major party, said her election “would have been a really big deal.”

“There were important messages that could have sent,” Clinton said.

Taking a hit at Trump, Clinton said the president should worry less about the election “and my winning the popular vote.” 

Moderator Christiane Amanpour at one point asked Clinton if she was a victim of misogyny, to which she replied, “Yes I do think it played a role. And I think as we learn more and more about unprecedented foreign interference from a foreign leader who is not in my fan club.”

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Dramatic rescue of toddler, baby caught on video

The path of destruction that tornadoes left Saturday afternoon can still be seen across the Canton area. The storms killed four people and injured 49 others.

But as we learn of more destruction, we also meet people who helped save lives.

One family who was trying to get out of harm’s way ended up finding themselves in need of rescuing.


Korry Prox was driving along Highway 64, just north of Interstate 20 near Canton, when he found himself in the middle of a life-and-death water rescue.

“I didn’t know who was on the other side,” the Good Samaritan said. “I just knew I had to help.”

A black SUV had hydroplaned off the roadway and landed on its roof in a drainage ditch. Two people were stuck in the front seat but able to breathe. Their two small children were trapped in the backseat underwater.

“Just praying to the Good Lord, ‘Please don’t let these babies die. Please don’t let them die,’” Prox recalled.

The Good Samaritan, seen in dramatic cell phone video wearing the white t-shirt, helped three men pry open the rear driver’s side door.


The release of pressure allowed the other men to open the rear passenger side door and found an infant boy, limp. Tom Mitchell, the guy taking the cell phone video, went from bystander to lifesaver.

“I just jumped in and started doing CPR on the baby,” Mitchell said. “My phone went black when I was holding the baby, doing compressions and breathing.”

A woman can be heard in the background praying over Mitchell’s shoulder.

“In the name of Jesus, let him breathe,” she can be heard saying. “Lord, let him breathe. Give him breath.”

“I started feeling better, and I felt the baby react,” Mitchell said. “And she continued praying, and that baby started coming back.”

Just then, the Good Samaritans found another child in the backseat: a 2-year-old girl who was still strapped in her car seat. By then, volunteers with the Terrell Fire Department showed up, took over CPR and gave the little girl CPR and oxygen.

Read more at Fox 4 News.

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Prostitution still thrives on Backpage despite site shutdown of 'adult' section

The body of Ashley Mays – a 20-year-old woman who was nine-months pregnant — was found strangled to death inside a suburban Atlanta hotel room with zip ties binding her hands and feet.

Just over a month later – on Christmas Eve – 16-year-old Desiree Robinson’s body was discovered in a pool of blood in a garage in a southwestern Chicago suburb. A bloody knife was found at the scene and an autopsy report determined that the teen had been beaten and strangled before having her throat slit.

Besides the gruesome nature in which they were killed, what connects the cases of Mays and Robinson is that both young women had advertised as escorts on the classified site Much like Craigslist, users can go to Backpage to buy and sell everything from cars to furniture, but for a long time the site’s “Adult” section became a clearinghouse for prostitutes and the johns looking for their services.

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A damning bipartisan Senate Investigations Subcommittee report led Backpage earlier this year to put up a red banner headline over its adult listings with the word “CENSORED” and release a statement that it had removed the section “as the direct result of unconstitutional government censorship.” But law enforcement officials and anti-sex trafficking groups claim that prostitutes have not so much disappeared from the Texas-based web portal as moved to a new location.

“They have just moved from the Adult section to what Backpage terms as the Dating section,” Lt. Curtis Williams, who as part of the DeKalb County Police helped investigate Mays’ murder, told Fox News. “And they’re smart about it. They don’t use explicit terms, but instead say things like ‘looking for companionship’ or ‘looking for a good time.’”

Backpage was launched in 2004 and quickly became the second-largest online classified site in the United States following Craigslist. The site, however, also quickly came under scrutiny from prosecutors and human trafficking organizations for its Adult section, which opponents say worked as an open air market for prostitutes and turned the website’s owners in virtual pimps.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said that 73 percent of all child trafficking reports it receives involve Backpage. Further, citing internal company documents, the Senate report said that Backpage altered ads before publication by deleting words, phrases and images that indicated criminal behavior, including child sex trafficking.

The report struck Backpage like a bombshell and – along with Visa, Mastercard and American Express all voluntarily putting a halt to accepting business from Backpage in 2015 – led the site to not just shut its Adult section but remove it from its homepage all together.

Backpage did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment, but on the website’s Terms page states that users must refrain from “posting adult content or explicit adult material unless” it is in the adult category, permitted under federal, state and local law and the one doing the posting is over 18 years of age. It also forbids “posting any solicitation directly or in ‘coded’ fashion for any illegal service exchanging sexual favors for money” and posting “any material on the Site that exploits minors in any way.”

A quick search of the Backpage’s dating section for Manhattan, however, found posts featuring phrases like “Naked Bodyslides,” “2 Girl Special” and “Busty and Petite.”

The classified site also has said it’s protected from prosecution because of the interpretation of a provision tucked deep inside the Communications Decency Act of 1996 called Section 230.

The language of Section 230 states, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” In layman’s terms, this basically means that sites like Backpage – or Facebook and Twitter, for that matter — are not liable for what their users post on their sites.

Backpage has successfully avoided responsibility in at least two court cases by invoking Section 230, but the Senate report says that in those cases neither judge knew about the website altering user posts.

“Backpage has publicly touted its process for screening adult advertisements as an industry-leading effort to protect against criminal abuse, including sex trafficking,” the report states. “A closer review of that “moderation” process reveals, however, that Backpage has maintained a practice of altering ads before publication by deleting words, phrases, and images indicative of an illegal transaction.”

The report continued: “Backpage had good reason to conceal its editing practices: Those practices served to sanitize the content of innumerable advertisements for illegal transactions — even as Backpage represented to the public and the courts that it merely hosted content created by others.”

It is unclear if Backpage continues to edit its users’ more explicit posts.

The report – and subsequent shutting down of the Adult section – was met at first with praise from some in law enforcement and anti-sex trafficking groups, but other activists argue that the move will not stop prostitutes from posting ads online and will actually make sex work more dangerous.

“This is just the latest attempt to shut down online sex work advertising,” Maxine Doogan, president of the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project, said in a statement. “It will not stop sex work. All it will do is make sex workers less safe and vulnerable to violence and extortion. In effect, the U.S. Government is jeopardizing the lives of sex workers to boost their political careers.”

The future for Backpage and a prostitute’s personal page is unclear. While Craigslist was able to thrive after shutting down its adult section in 2010 by charging users to post jobs and apartment vacancies, 90 percent of Backpage’s profits are believed to come from their adult advertisements — earning its owners a whopping $1.5 million to $2.5 million a month in California alone. Backpage charges users $1 to post an ad in the dating section and many women are known to repost every half hour.  

One thing, however, does seem clear: Despite efforts from lawmakers and law enforcement, attempts to stop prostitutes from using the internet to find customers looks to be going nowhere fast.

“It’s the world’s oldest profession,” Williams said. “There is always going to be a market for it.”

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Walter Scott shooting: SC ex-cop to plead guilty to civil rights violation

A former South Carolina police officer accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man pleaded guilty Tuesday to violating the civil rights of the man he killed in 2015, in a move that could bring jail time.


Michael Slager made his plea in Charleston in the case of the traffic stop and deadly shooting of Walter Scott. Video showed Scott was running away as the officer opened fire.

“We hope that Michael’s acceptance of responsibility will help the Scott family as they continue to grieve their loss,” attorney Andrew J. Savage said.


Slager was slated to appear in federal court for motions prior to his planned federal trial in the death of Scott. Cellphone video of the incident has since been viewed millions of times.

Jury selection was scheduled for next week ahead of a May 15 trial date.

Slager’s first trial on state murder charges ended in a hung jury.

Fox News’ Chip Bell and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MEDIA BUZZ: Conservative columnist under siege after N.Y. Times debut on climate change

The New York Times has triggered an uproar by daring to hire another conservative columnist.

Bret Stephens may have won a Pulitzer Prize writing for the Wall Street Journal, but subscribers flooded the phone lines to cancel their subscriptions after his debut at the Gray Lady.

One thing that may have been drowned out by all the noise is that Stephens is a vehemently anti-Trump voice, which should appeal to readers of the mostly liberal op-ed page. Stephens said during the campaign, for instance, that he wanted Trump to lose by such a wide margin that “the Republican Party, the Republican voters learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape, or form.”

The Times has two moderately conservative intellectuals on its op-ed page, David Brooks and Ross Douthat, along with a slew of liberals from Paul Krugman to Nick Kristof to Maureen Dowd to Gail Collins, and the reliably liberal and anti-Trump editorial page.

Editorial Page Editor James Bennet says there “are many shades of conservatism and many shades of liberalism,” and that the paper is trying to “capture a wide range” of views, according to the Huffington Post.

That seems like a worthy goal to me.

What lit the fuse was Stephens’ first column, on climate change, in which he poked at the liberal view:

“The science is settled. The threat is clear. Isn’t this one instance, at least, where 100 percent of the truth resides on one side of the argument?

“Well, not entirely. As Andrew Revkin wrote last year about his storied career as an environmental reporter at The Times, ‘I saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming as they pushed ever harder to pass climate legislation.’” (The Times did run a correction on his citation of one study.)

But look at what Stephens adds:

“None of this is to deny climate change or the possible severity of its consequences. But ordinary citizens also have a right to be skeptical of an overweening scientism. They know — as all environmentalists should — that history is littered with the human wreckage of scientific errors married to political power.”

I’ll leave it to others to debate the details, given that there is a strong scientific consensus in favor of man-made global warming. But with liberal sites denouncing Stephens as a climate change denier, my reading is that he’s arguing for a skeptical approach to scientific questions and everything else.

More striking to me is the behavior of those who are canceling their subscriptions. That suggests to me a fundamental intolerance of opposing views, not unlike those who are shutting down conservative speakers at Berkeley and other campuses.

The Times hires one columnist that these true believers disdain and they’re dumping the paper, giving up the breadth of its reporting as well as the rest of the opinion pages? Why not just refuse to read or click on the Stephens columns if you detest his arguments?

Stephens tweeted the other day: “After 20 months of being harangued by bullying Trump supporters, I’m reminded that the nasty left is no different. Perhaps worse.”

The reaction to his column may have proven his point.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 a.m.). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz. 

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Columbus anchor discovered

Experts have used a “space treasure map” to make a remarkable discovery in the Caribbean — a centuries-old anchor believed to be from one of Christopher Columbus’ ships.

Analysis of the anchor, which was found off the Turks and Caicos islands, reveals that it dates to between 1492 and 1550. The overall size of the anchor and its estimated weight of between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds indicates that it was a “bower” anchor from a 300-ton vessel, the typical size of a Columbus-era ship.

The discovery will be revealed in the next episode of the Discovery Channel docuseries “Cooper’s Treasure,” which airs at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday. “That anchor is from Christopher Columbus,” says historical shipwreck discovery specialist Darrell Miklos, who led the Caribbean expedition, in a clip from Tuesday’s show. “I am telling you, stick around, this is just the beginning of an amazing story.”


Miklos used a space treasure map created by his late friend, NASA Astronaut Gordon Cooper, to find a series of Caribbean shipwreck sites. Cooper, who died from Parkinson’s disease in 2004, created the map following his Mercury 9 Faith 7 flight. At the time, he was possibly on a mission to identify Cold War nuclear threats.

Armed with Cooper’s detailed map and archival research, Miklos and a crew of experts identified five “colonial period” wreck sites. The team used a magnetometer to identify shipwreck areas and then dived down for a closer inspection using a metal detector.

The Turks and Caicos discovery is believed to be linked to Vicente Yanez Pinzon — a Spanish sailor, who, along with his brother Martin Alonso Pinzon, was part of the Columbus expeditions.


Martin and Vicente were captains, respectively, of the Pinta and Nina on Columbus’ first voyage in 1492. Six years later, around the time of Columbus’ third voyage, Vicente Pinzon set off from Spain with four Caravels, or small sailing ships, including the Pinta, in what is known as one of the expedition’s “Minor Voyages.”

In 1499 and 1500 Vicente Pinzon discovered Brazil and the Amazon River. In the spring of 1500 the captain met with Columbus in Haiti to discuss the Brazilian discovery before leading his four ships back to Spain. However, in July of that year Vicente Pinzon’s fleet was caught in a hurricane while anchored near the Turks and Caicos islands and two of his ships were wrecked. In 1502 Vicente Pinzon returned to the area in an attempt to salvage cargo from the two vessels.

In addition to the anchor, Miklos’ team found a trove of other artifacts at the shipwreck site, including three grappling hooks that date back to the Columbus era. The grappling hooks, or anchors, were used for salvaging treasure from sunken ships.


Archaeologists also found broken pieces of pottery and an olive jar painted with indigo paint, which indicates Spanish origin. A pot from the Spanish island of Majorca was also found, which also dates the wreck to the period between 1492 and the early 1500s.

Additionally, several iron and bronze spikes, possibly the last remnants of the sunken ships, were found, as well as a broken section of anchor’s ring was found. The broken anchor ring could indicate that the anchor came from a third ship in Pinzon’s fleet that was torn from its anchor during the hurricane.

The discoveries mark a major breakthrough for the expedition. “It means that we now have one of the most valuable maps in history,” explained a spokeswoman for the show, in an email sent to Fox News. “The way that ships wreck is that they leave a trail so the anchor is pointing to more artifacts/treasure to be found.”  

Fox News’ Lindsay Carlton contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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