Day: June 29, 2017

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SLIDESHOW: North Korea's military power – VIDEO: Inside look at the brutal Pyongyang regime – COMPLETE COVERAGE OF NORTH KOREA CRISIS – US blacklists China bank, revving up pressure over North Korea


North Korea’s military power

The soldiers and weapons of the North Korea military.

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North Korean soldiers march in a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj )

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Missiles are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.

(REUTERS/Sue-Lin Wong)

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North Korean soldiers during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

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Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading “Pukkuksong” during a military parade in Pyongyang April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

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North Korean soldiers on a vehicle carrying rockets in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017

( REUTERS/Damir Sagolj )

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North Korean soldiers march with bayonets during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

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A soldier salutes from atop an armored vehicle during a military parade in Pyongyang April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)

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Missiles are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj )

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Missiles during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of North Korea’s founding father, Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Sue-Lin Wong)

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds during a military parade in Pyongyang April 15, 2017

(REUTERS/Damir Sagolj )

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Two San Antonio cops shot in downtown incident


Two San Antonio police officers are in critical condition and a suspect is dead following a shootout in downtown San Antonio on Thursday, according to FOX 29.

The officers, who are both nine-year SAPD veterans, were on routine patrol when they stopped two people around 3:25 p.m., San Antonio Police Department Chief William McManus said.

Both officers were exiting their vehicle when they were immediately shot by one of the suspects, McManus said. One officer was hit in the head area and the other was shot in the upper torso.

ARKANSAS OFFICER KILLED: TEEN HELD IN CONNECTION WITH SHOOTING

The officers returned fire and struck the suspect. The other suspect was taken into custody. The officers were taken to San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition.

The suspect who was shot was taken to a hospital and later died of his injuries, officials said. There was no immediate explanation for what prompted the suspect to start shooting.

Governor Greg Abbot, R-Texas, said the officers were in his prayers.

 

 



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Ancient Native American canoe hundreds of years old found in Louisiana


An ancient Native American canoe that is between 800 to 1,500 years old was unearthed recently in the bank of the Red River in Louisiana.

The canoe was found half-buried on a steep riverbank and was carved from a single tree trunk. It is 33-and-a-half feet long, about two-feet wide, and two-feet high. It’s likely made of Cypress, although the wood hasn’t been identified yet, WGNO reported.

UTAH LAWSUITS TO TEST PRESIDENT’S POWER TO SHRINK MONUMENTS

The canoe is about 70 percent complete, with half of one side and an end missing.

A sample of the wood was sent to a lab in Miami. Officials expect to know the age within a week, assuming a tree was cut down to make the canoe.

Members of the Caddo and Osage Nations, who have either lived or traded and hunted in the area, have expressed interest in the canoe because it could be a historical artifact that was made and used by one of its tribes. Both tribes have been in the region for over 1,000 years.

NEW ORLEANS MAN WALKS FREE AFTER JUDGE AXES MURDER CONVICTION 36 YEARS LATER

Because the canoe is waterlogged, it is estimated to weigh between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds. It took nearly 20 people, a bulldozer, and about seven hours to build a crate around the canoe to protect it during transport.

The canoe was taken to be conserved and prepared for display at the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University. When the process of conservation and preparation is finished, it will be returned to Louisiana and displayed at a location yet to be determined. 



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Maine restaurant workers successfully lobby to lower the minimum wage


Last November, the Maine State Legislature voted to raise the minimum wage for restaurant servers. Then in mid-June, they voted to lower it back down.

And lots of Maine’s restaurant workers were thrilled.

The minimum wage for tipped workers in Maine is half that of the state’s regular minimum wage ($9). It’s called the “tip credit” rule, as it allows employers to take a credit of up to 50 percent from their employees’ wages, because servers will generally make that money back (and hopefully more) in tips. If tips and wages, together, don’t equal the state’s minimum wage, employers are required to make up the difference.

DENVER POT INDUSTRY EATING INTO RESTAURANT JOBS

But, at November’s referendum, the Maine House voted to raise the minimum wage by $1 each year (through 2024) and to remove the tip credit rule entirely, meaning that all employees — tipped or not — would be earning the state’s minimum wage, reports the Portland Press Herald.

That’s when something unexpected happened.

State Senator James Dill, a Democrat who initially voted to raise wages, told the Washington Post that after the Nov. referendum passed, he received “hundreds” of calls and emails from servers who were worried about their livelihood. 

As a result, Dill threw his support behind a Republican measure to return the “tip credit” rule. After passing through the Senate on June 7, the bill was brought before the House on June 13, where it passed with a vote of 110-37. 

Maine Governor Paul LePage signed the bill into law last week. It will go into effect 90 days after Legislature adjourned, reports the Bangor Daily News. 

As the Washington Post reports, servers were worried about the ramifications of the new laws for two reasons: first, that it would force employers to raise prices on their menu items, which could affect their current tips; and second, and perhaps more importantly, that employers might be forced to cut servers’ shifts as a result.

“I don’t need to be ‘saved,’ and I’ll be damned if small groups of uninformed people are voting on my livelihood,” said Sue Vallenza, a Maine bartender who spoke to the Post. Vallenza further said she’s already seeing less in tips as a result of customers who believe the wage hike had already went into effect.

As the Post notes, labor activists are bracing themselves for similar outcries in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., but critics say that Maine’s servers don’t speak for the country’s restaurant workers. 

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Dave Palmer of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a firm that works to raise wages and improve working conditions for restaurant workers, tells the post that plenty of lower-income servers would support an increase in wages. 

“We do not believe what we see in Maine is representative of the majority of workers,” Palmer told the Post. 

“There’s no other industry that gets away with not paying their workers because customers can,” he later added. “This is bigger than any one state.”

L.A. FINES CARL’S JR. $1.45 MILLION FOR ALLEGEDLY UNDERPAYING EMPLOYEES

 



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Last ISIS escape route in Raqqa hub cut off, Syrian monitors say


U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces sealed off the last open road out of Raqqa on Thursday, encircling the city that served as a hub for the Islamic State, according to monitors. 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that SDF fighters captured villages on the southern bank of the Euphrates River, including Kasrat Afnan and Kasab. 

SYRIAN FIRE HITS GOLAN DURING NETANYAHU VISIT

The SDF has been trying to break into ISIS territory surrounding Raqqa for months. The first major break was on June 6. In the time since they have captured four districts, two east and two west. They have been bearing down on the north but hadn’t had much luck with the southern border. 

The southern approach has been the slowest thus far. “The SDT has been able to completely encircle Raqqa,” Syrian Observatory head Abdel Rahman said after Thursday’s advance.

Abdel Rahman told AFP the forces, “cut the last route IS used to withdraw from Raqqa towards territory it controls in the Syrian desert and in Deir Ezzor province.” 

Col. Joe Scrocca, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, told The Associated Press that encircling the city “has been the SDF plan from the start.”

ISIS has held Raqqa since 2014 and declared it the de facto Syrian capital of its self-declared “caliphate” three years ago on June 29.

MATTIS: U.S. ARMS FOR SYRIAN KURDS WILL CONTINUE AFTER RAQQA

Some of the worst atrocities, from public beheadings to planning overseas attacks have taken place in Raqqa. The United Nations has reported that up to 100,000 civilians remain trapped in the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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UN colluding with terrorist backers at UN forum on Israeli occupation, critics say


In a month when the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, announced a new office of counterterrorism, Fox News has learned that two organizations who are taking part in a UN meeting Thursday and Friday have been accused by Israel as partnering with terrorist groups.

The meeting is a “United Nations forum to mark 50 years of occupation.” 

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem — when Israeli troops, against all the odds, liberated the historic city from Jordanian control during the Six Day War in June 1967. While Israel celebrates the historic accomplishment, the Palestinians call it an occupation.

ISRAELI GOVERNMENT MEETING NEAR JERUSALEM SITE ANGERS PALESTINIANS

The Israeli Mission to the UN says organizations with ties to terrorist groups should not take part in a UN-sponsored event.

“The UN is colluding with supporters of terror seeking to harm Israel,” Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN said in a press statement to Fox News. 

Danon claimed that, according to Israeli intelligence, one of the groups known as Al Haq, a human rights group based in Ramallah, has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP.) 

The Israelis also charge that the General Director of Al Haq, Shawan Jabarin, who is not speaking at the conference, was a former member of that terrorist group and had been jailed in Israel for involvement in terrorist activities, according to those Israeli intelligence sources.

WHY TRUMP’S PROMISE TO MOVE US EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM IS SO CONTROVERSIAL

It was the PFLP that claimed responsibility for the killing of an Israeli policewoman last week in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

The other group that also has a representative at the forum is the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, which is based in Gaza. Israeli sources tell Fox News that the group does legal work for the Islamic terrorist group Hamas.

“It’s beyond comprehension that UN funds are supporting organizations which aid terrorists and incite against Israel. We call on the Secretary General to intervene immediately and prevent these individuals from appearing at the UN,” Danon said.

Both Hamas and the PFLP are on the U.S. Department of State’s foreign terrorist organizations list. They also have been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The top Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, defended the two groups during Thursday’s meeting.

“Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations,” Erekat said. “We are a people who strive to achieve our independence, and our choice in the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization, is to achieve peace, peacefully.”

The Secretary General’s spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed to Fox News that his office had received a complaint from the Israeli mission about the two-day forum. But, Dujarric added, the Secretary General’s office isn’t running the conference.

“That meeting is not being organized by the Secretary-General’s office, it is being put together by the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,” Dujarric told Fox News. “The Committee is made of member states. Any issues regarding this event should be addressed to members of the committee, as the Secretary-General has no authority over them.”

ISRAELI MINISTER’S CANNES DRESS CELEBRATING THE REUNIFICATION OF JERUSALEM CALLED ‘TASTELESS

Questions sent by Fox News to the chairman of UN committee have not been answered. Members of the committee include Cuba, Turkey, and Venezuela while observers to the group include Syria, China, Iraq and Lebanon.

The two-day event is being organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a UN committee mandated by the UN General Assembly that, according to its website, “will bring together international experts, including from the State of Palestine and Israel, representatives of the diplomatic community, civil society, as well as academics and students to discuss the ongoing occupation.”

Earlier this week, Israel’s UN mission, in collaboration with other pro-Israeli groups, sponsored a pop concert celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem.

“We were proud to celebrate 50 years to the reunification of Jerusalem in the UN,” Danon said. “Our adversaries spew hate and lies while we portray the truth about our beloved capital.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations told Fox News that it was looking into the matter. Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, has been outspoken against anti-Israel bias at the world body. 

Three Israelis are believed to be speaking, including a former Israeli foreign minister, an Arab member of the Israeli Knesset and a representative from a left-leaning Israeli human rights group.

The Palestinian delegation to the United Nations didn’t respond to Fox News questions about the event.

Ben Evansky reports for Fox News on the United Nations and international affairs.

He can be followed @BenEvansky



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TODD STARNES: Government hostility to religion spiked under Obama, new report shows


It’s hard to believe American teenagers could be arrested for delivering a prayer, but that’s the kind of nation we live in – a nation that was fundamentally transformed by the previous presidential administration.

In 2011, the class president at Hampton High School in Tennessee wanted to deliver a pray at graduation. The principal issued an edict that any child who attempted to pray would be stopped, escorted from the building by police and arrested.

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That incident was one of dozens included in a stunning new Family Research Council report documenting a significant upsurge in government hostility to religion.

Since 2014 there has been a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations, according to “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in America.”

Since 2014 there has been a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations, according to “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in America.”

“The recent spike in government driven religious hostility is sad, but not surprising, especially considering the Obama administration’s antagonism toward biblical Christianity,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said.

Perkins said the 66-page report underscores the legitimacy of the actions taken by President Trump to end polices in federal agencies that “fan the flames of this religious intolerance.”

“This report is designed to quantify the threat to our First freedom and to challenge Americans to use their God-given freedoms to protect these freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” Perkins said.

Even though there is an increase in hostility – there is some good news.

Perkins noted “the growing courage of Christians, especially young Christians, to defend both their faith and their freedoms.”

That’s one of the reasons I wrote, “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” I wanted to provide Americans with a handbook on how they can restore traditional values to their communities.

Among the cases listed in the report:

· An 11-year-old student in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was penalized for mentioning Jesus in a Christmas poetry assignment.

· Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freedom were charged with criminal contempt because they prayed over a meal. The pair was later found not guilty of violating an injunction banning the promotion of religious events at school.

· A Christian acapella group at James Madison University was told they could not perform “Mary Did You Know” because it was religious. They were directed to only sing secular songs.

· An Ohio library banned a Christian group from meeting to discuss natural marriage unless the group also included supports of same-sex marriage.

· Allstate Insurance Company fired a staffer for allegedly using a company laptop to write a column against homosexuality. The company alleged said the column violated its diversity standards.

· San Diego firefighters were threatened with disciplinary action if they refused to participate in a gay pride parade. The firefighters were subjected to verbal abuse and sexual gestures during the parade.

·  A woman who rented out rooms in her home was sued after she refused to rent to a same-sex couple.

·  An Oklahoma bank was forced to remove religious Christmas decorations under orders from the Federal Reserve.

Travis Weber, FRC’s director of the Center for Religious Liberty, said he hopes the report will be a wakeup call for people of faith.

“In a society like ours, we must be the guardians of our own freedom,” he said. “Anyone who desires freedom in the future must take note of what these trends tell us about our freedom right now – relative to where we have come from – in order to protect freedom from going forward.”

Todd Starnes is host of Fox News & Commentary. His latest book is “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again.” Follow him on Twitter @ToddStarnes and find him on Facebook.



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Christian rocker raising funds for bandmate whose wife died hours after giving birth


A Christian rocker is raising funds for his bandmate who tragically lost his wife just hours after she gave birth to their first child. Josh Wilson said his guitarist, Nathan Johnson, and his wife, Meg, welcomed their daughter Eilee Kate into the world on June 27, but just a few hours later, the new mother began having trouble.

NAVY HUSBAND WELCOMED HOME BY WIFE’S SURPRISE BABY BUMP

“Yesterday Megan went Home to be with Jesus,” Wilson posted on the GoFundMe page, which had raised more than $256,000 in just one day. “At about 2:40 a.m., she gave birth to the beautiful miracle who is ‘Eilee Kate.’ The delivery was beautiful and smooth. Nathan and Megan got to be together with Eilee for about 6 hours. Megan held, fed and burped little Eilee. Nathan says they couldn’t sleep because they were too excited.”

At about 10 a.m., Wilson posted, Megan began having trouble and died an hour later. The post did not list a cause of death or detail the issues Megan was experiencing. The initial fundraising goal was listed as $40,000, but it was quickly met and Wilson updated it an additional two times.

MOM DIAGNOSED WITH STAGE 4 CANCER DAYS AFTER SON’S STILLBIRTH RAISING FUNDS FOR OTHERS

Singer RaeLynn shared the GoFundMe link with followers on Instagram, where hundreds of commenters expressed their grief for the family.

“I can’t even imagine the pain he is going through right now in a time he should be happy,” RaeLynn posted, in part. “Please pray for him and donate so he can take time off to be with his daughter. Life is about loving and helping each other. Jesus I pray that you be with this sweet family.” 



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Nevada to legalize pot possession this weekend, as debate rages


Call it a “strip”-tease: Nevada this weekend will technically legalize marijuana possession, but that doesn’t mean gamblers and revelers can light up on the Las Vegas Strip. 

The new rules go into effect on July 1, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess an ounce of marijuana. 

The law, however, does not allow for public consumption on the Las Vegas Strip or in any casino or hotel. State gaming regulators have taken the stance that since the substance remains illegal on a federal level, casino owners should not jeopardize their license. 

Meanwhile, residents continue to fiercely debate the scope and merits of the policy approved by ballot measure last fall. 

Clark County will hold a public hearing Aug. 1 to consider whether to outlaw the possession of the substance at McCarran International Airport. Even this weekend’s implementation was fraught with legal issues. A lingering court dispute over rights of distribution and transport between dispensaries and alcohol vendors threatened to push off the start date — but legalization is now set to proceed. 

Ahead of the July Fourth holiday, sellers in and around Las Vegas are expecting a high volume of customers come Saturday.

Andrew Jolley, owner of the local dispensary Source, is confident about the changing tides of opinion when it comes to the drug.

“The reality is much different than the stigma,” he said. “The reality is that crime goes down, abuse is not dramatically impacted, if anything it goes down. Opioid addiction and opioid problems decrease in states with medical marijuana and I think people are realizing, through examples like Colorado and Washington and Oregon, that medical programs and legalization don’t lead to negative societal impacts, if anything it’s the opposite.”

The Nevada state legislature passed a medical marijuana law in 2013 and while dispensary owners have admitted that sales have been sluggish, they hope recreational marijuana legalization will offset the difference.

Armen Yemenidjian, owner of the Essence dispensary on the strip, touts Nevada’s record for compliance in other industries and compared it to the gaming business: “The reason why Nevada is different is because we are Nevada. We are a state that is built on regulation, a state that is built on enforcement, a state that is built on compliance. We have gaming here which is the most highly regulated, highly compliant industry there is.”

Some opponents, though, blast the expedited process of legalization. Rather than taking a full year to implement, Nevada wanted the rollout done in six months.

“Nevada’s politicians have bought into this notion that there is a lot of tax revenue that will be immediately available to us if we expedite this, and they’re merged together with the industry that is begging for recreational marijuana because they apparently have an under-subscription of people that are buying medical marijuana,” said James Hartman, who fought the original ballot measure and helped found Nevadans for Responsible Drug Policy. 

He thinks the industry and Nevada politicians made a backroom deal.

The substance will be heavily taxed around 30-35 percent. Hartman cited Colorado and Alaska as states where projected tax revenues have fallen short of initial projections.

Alaska legalized recreational marijuana in February 2015 after a referendum vote the previous November. The state’s Department of Revenue projected $12 million in sales for 2016; however the latest figures show officials only collected $692,929 in marijuana tax revenue by late October of last year. 

Even though the ballot proposal passed by 55 percent in the 2016 election, 13 of Nevada’s 17 counties voted against it.

Hartman offered a remedy for some local jurisdictions, suggesting they use zoning regulations and public nuisance measures and pass ordinances saying they will only follow federal marijuana laws.

Municipalities do have the choice to opt out. 

Andrew Craft is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Las Vegas, Nevada . Follow him on twitter: @AndrewCraft



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Lowe: I saw Bigfoot


Rob Lowe claims to have spotted Bigfoot.

The actor told Entertainment Weekly that he came across the mysterious creature while filming his new A&E series “The Lowe Files.”

The docuseries followes Lowe and his sons John Owen and Matthew as they explore the Ozark Mountains, which stretches between Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, in search of the “wood ape.”

“A wood ape is the local vernacular for a Sasquatch or a Bigfoot,” Lowe explained.

He and his sons went camping and in a scene that is featured in the show’s season finale, Lowe said they encountered a real-live wood ape.

“We had an incredible encounter with what locals call the wood ape, which is in the Ozark Mountains,” he claimed. “I’m fully aware that I sound like a crazy, Hollywood kook right now.”

Lowe said the encounter was terrifying.

“I was lying on the ground thinking I was going to be killed,” he recalled.

Lowe also said he believes in ghosts.

“Nothing is staged, nothing is trick-cut — no B.S. I believe there are probably ghosts out there,” he said.

“The Lowe Files” premieres August 2 on A&E.



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