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Monday, Oct 03rd

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NYC police investigate after Russian consulate vandalized

Russian Consulate vandalized

New York City police are investigating a possible bias incident after red paint was sprayed on the Russian Consulate.

Police received a 911 call around 1:30 a.m. Friday at the Upper East Side building and found that the facade of the consulate had been vandalized with red paint, according to police. There were no obvious words or symbols painted on the building.

As of Saturday, no arrests have been made, and the investigation remains ongoing, an NYPD spokesperson said.

The State Department said it was facilitating contact between the consulate and NYPD. When asked about claims on social media that the Russians say State has ignored their security requests, a senior State Department official said: ”We follow our diplomatic obligations.”

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US faces election worker shortage ahead of midterms due to rise in threats

Election worker shortage

Officials warn the U.S. is facing a shortage of election workers ahead of the November midterms due to a rise in threats against those performing such jobs that experts link to false claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

In an interview last month, Kim Wyman, senior election security lead at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said because of those threats 1 in 3 elections officials and poll workers have quit their positions over fears for their safety, and state officials are having a hard time hiring for such positions.

Experts attribute this problem to inflammatory rhetoric stemming from unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged and elections officials were complicit.

“Our elections have become very contentious,” said Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

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Confidence Man review: Maggie Haberman takes down Trump

Haberman Book ReviewedMaggie Haberman, the New York Times’ Trump whisperer, delivers. Her latest book is much more than 600 pages of context, scoop and drama. It is a political epic, tracing Donald Trump’s journey from the streets of Queens to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his Elba. There, the 45th president holds court – and broods and plots his return.

Haberman gives Trump and those close to him plenty of voice – and rope. The result is a cacophonous symphony. Confidence Man informs and entertains but is simultaneously absolutely not funny. Trumpworld presents a reptilian tableau – reality TV does Lord of the Flies.

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‘These people had our backs’: US veterans lobby to rescue allies trapped in Afghanistan

Vets protest for Afghans who helped USA group of 12 people sit in camp chairs – chatting, smoking, listening – in the dark. Behind them, the Capitol building in Washington DC is luminescent, bringing into focus the Afghan flag. Well, the version of the flag before the Taliban changed it. It flies above their heads, catching the yellowy light of dusk.

Since Kabul fell to the Taliban in August last year, military veterans and organizations have been lobbying Congress to offer Afghan evacuees long-term visas to stay in the US. Now, with no action taken and thousands coming to the end of their temporary stays, a different route is being taken to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act. This bipartisan bill would grant thousands of Afghans permanent status in the US.

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Polls put Lula on brink of comeback victory over Bolsonaro in Brazil

Lula on brink of Brazilian victory

Brazil’s former leftwing president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is on the brink of an astonishing political comeback, with polls suggesting he is poised to defeat his far-right rival Jair Bolsonaro in Sunday’s election.

Eve of election polls suggested Lula was within a whisker of securing the overall majority of votes that would guarantee him a first-round victory against Brazil’s radical incumbent, whose calamitous Covid response, assault on the Amazon and foul-mouthed threats to democracy have alienated more than half of the population.

“I’m going to win these elections so I can give the people the right to be happy again. The people need, deserve and have the right ... to be happy once more,” Lula, 76, told journalists on Saturday during a visit to São Paulo – one of the election’s three key battlegrounds, alongside the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais.

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125 Dead After Fans Stampede To Exit At Indonesian Soccer Match

Indonesia stampede

At least five police vehicles were toppled and set ablaze outside the stadium. Riot police responded by firing tear gas, including toward the stadium’s stands, causing panic among the crowd.

“The stadium turned into a smoke-filled battleground when police fired tear gas,” said Rizky, who goes by one name. He came with his cousin to watch the game.

“I felt hot and stinging in my eyes, I couldn’t see clearly while my head was dizzy and everything went dark ... I passed out,” he said. When he woke up, he was already in the emergency room. He said his cousin died because of head injuries.

“We wanted to entertain ourselves by watching a football match, but we got disaster,” he said.

Another spectator, Ahmad Fatoni, said police had started beating the fans with sticks and shields, and they fought back.

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Nearly Half Of The World's Bird Species Are In Decline: Report

Nearly half of world's bird species on decline

Just under half of the earth’s bird species are in decline, according to a jarring new report.

The State of the World’s Birds report is released every four years by BirdLife International, an international partnership of NGOs that collects scientific data about birds worldwide. The organization is the official source of information on birds used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of threatened species.

This year’s report found that 49% of bird species across the world are in decline, and one in eight are at risk of extinction, The Guardian reported. Only 6% of bird species are increasing in numbers.

“We have to stop these declines and start getting on track for recovery,” BirdLife International’s chief scientist, told The Guardian. “Our future, as well as the world’s birds, depends on it. If we continue to unravel the fabric of life, we’re going to continue to place our own future at threat.”

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National Archives To Consult DOJ About How To Recover 'Unlawfully Removed' Records

Nationsl Archives Admin.The National Archives and Records Administration informed lawmakers that a number of electronic communications from Trump White House staffers remain missing, nearly two years since the administration was required to turn them over.

The nation’s record-keeping agency, in a letter Friday to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said that despite an ongoing effort by staff, electronic communications between certain unidentified White House officials were still not in their custody.

“While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,” Debra Steidel Wall, the acting U.S. archivist, wrote in a letter to Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

The letter went on to specify that the National Archives would consult with the Justice Department about how to move forward and recover “the records unlawfully removed.”

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47 California deputies who failed psychological tests stripped of guns

47 Cal. deputies strippedd of gunsThe Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has stripped 47 deputies – 10% of the force – of their guns and arrest powers because they failed psychological exams in the wake of a fatal double shooting allegedly committed by a former deputy.

It was “horrible’’ to have to relieve the deputies of their duties, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Ray Kelly told KTVU-TV.

The station obtained a copy of a letter notifying the deputies of their change of status last Friday. The deputies will still receive their pay and benefits.

The move came after the Sheriff’s Office conducted an internal audit of deputies’ psychological examinations from January 2016 to the present.

The letter from Sheriff Gregory Ahern notified a deputy – whose name was blacked out in the copy – that the deputy had been graded “D. Not Suited” in a psychological evaluation and under state law couldn’t serve as a peace officer.

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