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Telegraph: Iran hosts Taliban peace talks, eyeing opening after US drawdown
The Taliban discussed Afghanistan’s “post-occupation situation” with Iran in their latest meeting, the group said Tuesday, as Tehran makes a more concerted and open push for peace ahead of a possible US drawdown.
The remarks come after Iran confirmed Monday that the Taliban had visited Tehran for a second round of talks in just a few days that are aimed at ending the 17-year conflict.
The Taliban delegation discussed with Iran “the post-occupation situation, restoration of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region”, the militants said in a statement posted on social media and emailed to journalists.
So, this is a press release?
Fox: Female Beverly Hills police chief accused of racism, anti-Semitism amid $2.3 million settlement
Chief Sandra Spagnoli, a self-described “change agent,” was hired in 2016 and lavished with praise from the city’s mayor and council members, as well as Vogue magazine, for aggressive reforms, but now she faces accusations of misconduct herself.
Spagnoli is accused of referring to yarmulkes worn by observant Jews as “funny little hats,” asked if she had to “dress Mexican” when invited to a meal at a Latino employee’s home, and reacted with revulsion when she was informed that an employee was gay. Other court documents contain allegations that Spagnoli had sex with subordinate officers who were later rewarded with promotions, according to the Los Angeles Times.
DMN:14-month-old West Texas girl whose eyes, mouth were super-glued shut released from hospital
Police in Odessa said the girl and two siblings, a 2-year-old brother and 2-month-old sister, have been placed with Child Protective Services, KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported
Johnnie Lee Carter, 29, faces a charge of injury to a child. He has previously served time for domestic violence and was convicted for violating a protective order.
The incident occurred Sept. 16, the news station said.
According to an affidavit, Carter had fled by the time his wife called officers to tell them he’d choked the 1-year-old with one hand and punched her head and ribs with the other before putting super glue on her face.
Officers found a Crazy Glue stick on the motel room’s desk, the affidavit said, as well as a 2-month-old baby underneath a pile of pillows and blankets.
The woman told police he’d covered the baby before assaulting the toddler because the infant had been crying, according to the affidavit.
Carter traveled more than 230 miles before U.S. Marshals arrested him at an El Paso motel 10 days later.
DMN: Police groups wary of Texas lawmakers’ plans to decriminalize pot, stop officers from seizing assets
DMN: Flattening home market may feel worse than it is to anxious sellers in 2019.
After seven years of rising home purchases in North Texas, the speeding home market hit a speed bump in 2018.
The decline wasn’t much — only about 1 percent fewer homes sold than 2017’s record sales.
just getting back to normal — Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
DMN: In response to Delta’s move to Airbus planes with larger seats, American, Southwest and the rest of the U.S. airline industry lost some altitude in 2018 from the heady times of only a few years ago, when low fuel prices helped send profits soaring after a decade marked by uncertainty, bankruptcies and mergers.
Heading into 2019, airlines will be focused on running tight operations and keeping their costs in check as they prepare for a more challenging road ahead in an industry notorious for its boom and bust cycles.
TRIB: In Chicago, 570 people have been killed this year. That is 101 fewer than 2017
Hopes are that this year Chicago will see numbers back down in 2015 territory.
For 2019, tho
12-year-old boy shot in Englewood on New Year’s Day
shot at 12:10am Jan 1
Postal employee wounded in Elk Grove Village’s first shooting in two years
where the unidentified postal worker was shot multiple times around 11a Jan 1.
Sydney Morning Herald: He went to Moscow for a wedding, his family say. Now he’s accused of being a spy
The family of an American arrested in Russia on espionage charges said on Tuesday that he is innocent businessman who was attending Moscow for a wedding.
Paul Whelan, a 48-year-old retired Marine, was detained last week by Russia’s domestic security services while he was in Moscow for what they described as a “spy mission”.
Experts fear that the arrest may be a case of retribution for the arrest of Russian foreign agent Maria Butina in the US last year.
“[It] looks increasingly like a hostage situation,” said Kremlin critic Bill Browder, once a major foreign investor in Russia who ran afoul of the government in the late 2000s while investigating tax fraud. “All foreign travellers to Russia should beware that anything could happen.”
Whelan’s twin brother, David, said Paul was in Moscow for a wedding of a fellow Marine, which took place at an upscale hotel in central Moscow on December 28, the day he was detained.
“It is inconceivable to me that he would have done anything to break the law in Russia,” David Whelan said
JapanToday: 8 injured as man rams car into pedestrians in Harajuku in ‘retaliation for execution’
The police arrested Kazuhiro Kusakabe, 21, on suspicion of attempted murder. A 19-year-old university student remains unconscious after being hit by the minicar shortly after midnight on Takeshita Street in the Harajuku district, which is normally packed with young shoppers and foreign tourists during daytime.
Kusakabe told the police he had intended to kill the pedestrians he hit “in retaliation for an execution.” It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to a specific execution or the country’s system of capital punishment
AP Exclusive: Vatican letter undermines US cardinal on abuse
The Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because U.S. church leaders didn’t discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See enough beforehand, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
The Nov. 11 letter from the Vatican’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet provides the primary reason that Rome balked at the measures that were to be voted on by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at its Nov. 12-14 assembly. The blocked vote stunned abuse survivors and other Catholics who were demanding action from U.S. bishops to address clergy sex abuse and cover-up.
Ouellet’s letter undermines the version of events provided by the conference president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. It could also provide fodder for questions this week during a spiritual retreat of U.S. bishops, dedicated to the abuse crisis, that opens Wednesday in Chicago.
The rest of the piece is on the Fox and AP websites. The way I see it, in 2002 the policy of one strike and you’re out was real simple. Why is the Holy Church protecting people that are covering up for people that are—in my opinion—Holy miscreants??
Icy weather across NM, NTX, OK, into Arkansas leading into a wet week for the south. MO undecided.
2m-6m, Aurora Band Close
TIMESNOWNEWS: New ‘brain pacemaker’ may help treat epilepsy, Parkinson’s
The neurostimulator, named the WAND, works like a “pacemaker for the brain,” monitoring the brain’s electrical activity and delivering electrical stimulation if it detects something amiss, said researchers at the University of California, Berkeley in the US.
These devices can be extremely effective at preventing debilitating tremors or seizures in patients with a variety of neurological conditions, according to the study published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.
However, the electrical signatures that precede a seizure or tremor can be extremely subtle, and the frequency and strength of electrical stimulation required to prevent them is equally touchy. It can take years of small adjustments by doctors before the devices provide optimal treatment.
The device is also priced out of the range of normal citizens, today.
Netflix poaches new finance chief from Activision
Netflix has hired Spencer Neumann as its new chief financial officer, recruiting the veteran executive from gaming company Activision Blizzard.
The Daily Telegraph understands Mr Neumann will be joining the streaming provider this year.
News of the hire, which was first reported by Reuters, comes after Activision Blizzard yesterday released a regulatory filing that said it was planning to fire Mr Neumann for an unspecified reason “unrelated to the company’s financial reporting or disclosure controls and procedures”.
The company said he had been placed on paid leave “pending an opportunity for him to demonstrate why cause does not exist to terminate his employment or why termination of his employment is not otherwise justified”.
Mr Neumann did not immediately respond to requests to comment.
Netflix has been searching for a new chief financial officer since August, when David Wells announced he was leaving the company after 14 years.
He held the CFO post for eight years prior to stepping down, saying at the time that, given “Netflix’s strong financial position and exciting growth plans, this is the right time for us to help identify the next financial leader for the company”.
Telegraph: New Horizons: Nasa spacecraft makes historic flyby of Ultima Thule, four billion miles away
Yahoo: DOW at 23,327
Intro and Outro music by Steve Combs and freemusicarchive used with permission and by attribution under CC3 and CC2. Additional music Old Small Car Race by Milch of Source used with permission and attribution under CC3.
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*Intro and Outro music by Steve Combs and freemusicarchive used with permission by attribution under CC3 and CC2