Thursday, Jun 27th

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Ex-pastor in Texas accused of sexually abusing teen relative

Stephen Bratton, former minister, arrested for sexual abuse of teen age relative

A former Southern Baptist pastor who supported legislation in Texas that would have criminalized abortions has been arrested on charges of child sex abuse, accused of repeatedly molesting a teenage relative over the course of two years.

Stephen Bratton is accused of subjecting the relative to inappropriate touching that escalated to “sexual intercourse multiple times a day or several times a week” from 2013 to 2015, according to Thomas Gilliland, a spokesman with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.


Israeli PM Netanyahu's wife fined for misusing public money

Netanyahu's wife guilty

An Israeli court on Sunday convicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, of misusing state funds, fining her 10,000 shekels (€2,491, $2,800) and ordered to reimburse the state a further 45,000 shekels.

The 59-year-old was expected to receive a five-year-sentence, but the court accepted a plea bargain that saw her admit to lesser charges.

She had been accused of obtaining more than $100,000 (€89,000) from the state for ordering hundreds of meals from restaurants, bypassing rules that forbid using such funds if a cook is employed at home.

The lavish meals allegedly came from a number of well-known restaurants in Jerusalem, including an Italian restaurant, a Middle Eastern grill and a sushi restaurant.


48 Million People Affected After Power Glitch Cuts Power to All of Argentina and Uruguay

48 million people affected by power outages

A massive electrical failure has left almost all of Argentina and Uruguay without power, according to a major Argentine electricity provider.

Parts of Paraguay were also affected, a state energy company said.

Argentine media said the power cut occurred shortly after 07:00 (11:00 BST), causing trains to be halted and failures with traffic signalling.

It came as people in parts of Argentina were preparing to go to the polls for local elections.


Trump Campaign Fires Pollsters After Internal Numbers Leaked

Trump fires pollsters after leakPresident Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is cutting ties with some of its own pollsters after leaked internal polling showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in critical 2020 battleground states, according to a person close to the campaign.

The move comes after NBC News obtained new details from a March internal poll that found Trump trailing Biden in 11 key states.

Portions of the campaign’s expansive March polling trickled out in recent days in other news reports.


India imposing increased, retaliatory tariffs on US exports including apples, almonds

India places retaliatory tariffs on USIndia is now imposing increased tariffs on 28 U.S. products including apples, almonds and walnuts, a move seen as a retaliatory act.

The new tariffs on $240 million worth of goods went into effect Sunday and include levies of up to 70%.

In early June, President Trump announced India would lose its trade privileges with the country as a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences.


Franco Zeffirelli, Italian Director With Taste for Excess, Dies at 96

Franco Zeggirelli dies at 96

Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian director renowned for his extravagantly romantic opera productions, popular film versions of Shakespeare and supercharged social life, died on Saturday at his home in Rome. He was 96.

His death was confirmed by a spokesman for the Franco Zeffirelli Foundation in Florence.

Critics sometimes reproached Mr. Zeffirelli’s opera stagings for a flamboyant glamour more typical of Hollywood’s golden era, while Hollywood sometimes disparaged his films as too highbrow. But his success with audiences was undeniable.


NYT warns US, Iran on a 'collision course'

Ayotolla of IranThe New York Times editorial board took aim at President Trump's strategy toward Iran on Friday, condemning the administration's response to Iran's growing influence in the Middle East as disjointed and unorganized.

The board wrote that the "lack of a coherent strategy" has led to chaos in the Middle East and to the possibility of war with Iran, pointing to questions raised over the Trump administration's official explanation for attacks on two oil tankers this week.

"There are unanswered questions about what happened, not just on Thursday but also last month when American officials blamed Iran for similar attacks against four tankers on the same waterway, which links to the Persian Gulf and carries almost one-third of the world’s petroleum," the editors wrote.


Federal election official accused of undermining his own agency

Federal election official accused of underminingg his own agency

A tiny federal agency that plays a crucial role in assisting the nation’s local election supervisors is gripped by a leadership crisis that has sparked concerns that it is unprepared to play its role in protecting the 2020 presidential race from foreign interference.

Brian Newby, the executive director of the Election Assistance Commission, has blocked important work on election security, micromanaged employees’ interactions with partners outside the agency and routinely ignored staff questions, according to former election officials, former federal employees and others who regularly work with the agency.


House Democrat says current Congress may not see Trump taxes

Lloyd Doggett

Representative Lloyd Doggett, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, were slow to request Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service and now need to push back forcefully against Trump’s refusal to turn over the returns.

“Because this request was delayed until April and no legal action has yet been filed to get the returns, it is certain we won’t get them this year and perhaps (will face) some challenge to even get them with favorable expedited rulings by the time this Congress ends,” Doggett, who chairs the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, told CNN.


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