Nicaragua cracks down on Catholic church

IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Brothers gifted remodeled Texas home after hurricane Harvey damage 01:52 Now Playing Nicaragua cracks down on Catholic church 02:27 UP NEXT Florida man survives 12-foot alligator attack 02:32 Watch: Woman slips out of handcuffs and shoots AR-15 out of police vehicle 02:53 Former Kansas police officer charged with 24 counts of sex crimes 03:03 Family of man who died in custody files wrongful death lawsuit 04:33 10 miners remain trapped underground in Mexico for over two weeks 02:19 El Salvador arrests 50,000 people for alleged gang ties 02:25 Former Trump staffers reveal his tendency to keep classified documents 03:41 Mysterious deaths at Lake Mead indicate possible connection to mob 03:42 Search continues for missing California teen 03:08 10-year-old boy loses leg from shark bite in Florida 02:49 99-year-old woman meets her 100th great-grandchild 02:08 Jailed WNBA player Brittney Griner appeals conviction in Russian court 03:30 Mexico sends troops to Tijuana after string of cartel violence 03:18 Pennsylvania man confesses to crashing car into crowd and killing his mother 02:39 Chicago woman receives crossmatch double transplant 02:43 South Carolina beach-goer killed after being struck by umbrella 03:31 Philadelphia sees over 300 gun deaths in 2022 03:02 Florida hosts annual python hunting competition 01:56 Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is now being accused of detaining church leaders, canceling Catholic events, and shutting down religious radio stations. Telemundo’s Dunia Elvir has more on the rising tensions between the country’s government and the Catholic Church. Aug. 19, 2022 Read More Brothers gifted remodeled Texas home after hurricane Harvey damage 01:52 Now Playing Nicaragua cracks down on Catholic church 02:27 UP NEXT Florida man survives 12-foot alligator attack 02:32 Watch: Woman slips out of handcuffs and shoots AR-15 out of police vehicle 02:53 Former Kansas police officer charged with 24 counts of sex crimes 03:03 Family of man who died in custody files wrongful death lawsuit 04:33 Source link  More...

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Judge says he’s inclined to unseal parts of Mar-a-Lago search affidavit, orders government to submit redactions

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A federal judge on Thursday said he is inclined to unseal at least some of the probable cause affidavit used to secure a search of former President Donald Trump‘s Florida estate and ordered the government to submit proposed redactions. “On my initial careful review … there are portions of it that can be unsealed,” Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said after a hearing where a top government lawyer contended the document’s release could jeopardize an investigation that is still in its “early stages.” In a written ruling after the hearing, Reinhart said, “I find that on the present record the Government has not met its burden of showing that the entire affidavit should remain sealed.” The judge said he would “give the government a full and fair opportunity” to make redactions to the document, and ordered them to turn in the redacted version by next Thursday, along with a legal memo justifying the proposed redactions. He said he would then review the document and either order its release if he agrees with the redaction or hold a closed-door hearing with the government if he disagrees. The judge added that if they can’t agree, “obviously I’d win” that argument, but he’d allow the government time to appeal his ruling. During a hearing that lasted just over an hour, Jay Bratt, a top counterintelligence and national security official at DOJ, argued the “very detailed and lengthy” document needed to be kept completely under wraps because it contains “substantial grand jury” information in a “unique” case with “national security overtones.” He also said the government is “very concerned about the safety of the witnesses” in the case whose identities could become compromised if the affidavit is unsealed. Bratt pointed to “amateur” internet sleuths who could find their personal information. “That is a real significant concern,” he said, noting that FBI agents involved in the search have been doxxed online. He also noted last week’s nail gun attack at a Cincinnati FBI building by a Trump supporter who was outraged by the search. “This is a volatile situation with respect to this particular search, across the political spectrum, but certainly on one side in particular,” Bratt said. “Another factor is … the threat of possible obstruction and interference in the investigation. In many cases, that’s purely theoretical. In this case, the court has found probable cause that there was a violation of one of the obstruction statutes, and that evidence of obstruction could be found in a redacted version of the affidavit.” Charles Tobin, one of the lawyers for the media organizations arguing for the document to be unsealed, said a search warrant being executed at a former president’s home is a matter of a tremendous public interest and the affidavit should be unsealed. He called it “one of the most significant law enforcement events in the nation’s history.” “The time for everybody to get it right is now,” Tobin said. James Moon, a lawyer for the conservative group Judicial Watch, said the government could black out portions of the document. “I don’t think anybody is asking the floodgates be opened,” he said. Trump lawyer Christina Bobb was in court for the proceedings but did not make any arguments. While Trump and his allies have publicly called on the judge to release the affidavit, attorneys for the former president did not file any court papers arguing for its release. Asked why Trump’s legal team didn’t file a motion regarding the affidavit, Bobb told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night that “we really just chose to see how it would play out.” Earlier Thursday, Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich praised Reinhart for having “rejected the DOJ’s cynical attempt to hide the whole affidavit from Americans. However, no redactions should be necessary and the whole affidavit should be released, given the Democrats’ penchant for using redactions to hide government corruption.” Reinhart scheduled the hearing Tuesday after the Department of Justice had informed him that while it didn’t oppose unsealing some innocuous documents related to the warrant, it was vehemently opposed to the affidavit being made public. Lawyers for the department said the release of the document, which lays out the evidence of possible crimes that were the basis for the search warrant request, could “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.” “If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” they wrote, warning it could also impact cooperation from witnesses. The hearing was granted after a group of news organizations, including NBC News, filed court papers asking Reinhart to publicly release the affidavit, citing the “historically significant, unprecedented execution of a search warrant in the residence of a former president.” “[N]ot since the Nixon administration had the federal government wielded its power to seize records from a former president in such a public fashion,” the filing said, arguing that “’clear and powerful interest’ in understanding these unprecedented events ‘weighs heavily in favor of unsealing’ the entire record filed with this court.” The FBI executed the search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property on Aug. 8. A copy of the search warrant and a property receipt unsealed by Reinhart at the government’s request Friday showed agents removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some labeled secret and top secret. A document attached to the search warrant said agents were searching for “physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime and other items illegally possessed in violation of” three laws, including a part of the Espionage Act. The section cited in the search warrant “applies to activities such as gathering, transmitting to an unauthorized person, or losing, information pertaining to the national defense, and to conspiracies to commit such offenses,” according to the DOJ’s website. Investigators were still sifting through the documents Wednesday, sources told NBC News. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. Source link  More...

Alleged child sex tape victim testifies R. Kelly had sex with her ‘hundreds’ of times before she turned 18

CHICAGO — The teenage girl whose alleged sexual relationship with the singer R. Kelly led to child pornography charges against the singer in 2008 testified Thursday that the singer began having sex with her when she was 15 and he was in his 30s and continued to do so “hundreds” of times before she turned 18. The girl, who is now 37 and being identified by the pseudonym Jane in court, is the prosecution’s star witness in Kelly’s federal trial on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges. Kelly, whose legal name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is being tried alongside his former business manager, Derrel McDavid, and associate, Milton “June” Brown. They are both accused of conspiring with Kelly to intimidate and bribe witnesses and cover up evidence in his 2008 criminal trial in Cook County, which involved a video recording of him allegedly sexually abusing a minor. On Thursday, Jane testified that she was the person who appeared in that video with Kelly. She did not testify in the 2008 trial, and, at the time, her parents repeatedly denied she was the girl in the recording. Kelly was acquitted. He has denied any wrongdoing. Jane testified Thursday that she had sex with the disgraced singer “hundreds” of times from age 15 to 18. Under questioning from prosecutors, she said she did so because she was intimidated by him and considered him an “authoritative figure.” Jane also testified that she first met Kelly when she was 12 or 13 years old at a church gospel concert. “He was a superstar,” she said. “I was excited to meet him. I knew who he was as an artist and I aspire to be in the music industry.” The second time she met him, Jane testified, was through an introduction from her aunt after an event where Jane’s music group had performed. Her aunt, Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, a singer who recorded a song with Kelly in 1998, was in a romantic relationship with him at the time, Jane said. “After my show, he was telling me how great of a job I did and he gave me pointers to handle the stage,” Jane testified. “It was great to hear from such a successful person that I was gifted.” Soon after, she said, she started seeing him more at his home studio with Edwards, who told her she should ask him to be her godfather if she wanted her music career to advance. Edwards, Jane testified, told her that she “should sit on his lap, rub his head and ask him if he will play that role for me and my life.” Jane, who was 14 at the time, said the relationship turned sexual within weeks of that day, beginning with phone sex and progressing to oral sex. She testified that she was 15 when they first had intercourse. Because he was her godfather, she said, her parents didn’t ask him any questions and felt comfortable with her staying at his house and spending time in the studio because they thought they were making music together. “When he became my godfather, it was normal for me to be with him without my aunt there,” Jane said. At Kelly’s request, she also recruited friends from school to join them for sex. Jane took the stand on the second day of witness testimony in the trial, which began Monday with jury selection. Prosecutor Jason Julien said Wednesday that Kelly had sex with minors on numerous occasions, recorded many of the alleged assaults on VHS tapes and then paid people who knew about the recordings to keep quiet when he faced criminal charges of child pornography in 2008. Julien said Kelly had a “dark side” and kept a “hidden world” behind his fame and status. Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, told jurors during opening statements Wednesday that they will have to decide whether they believe the accusers and witnesses to be credible, pointing out that Jane had previously denied that she was the person in the video with Kelly. Safia Samee Ali is a reporter for NBC News Digital, based in Chicago. Source link  More...

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson and NFL agree to 11-game suspension over sexual misconduct allegations

The NFL and Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson agreed to an 11-game suspension, officials said Thursday, for his “sexualized contact” with massage therapists. Watson also signed off on a $5 million fine in an agreement that will keep him off the field until Cleveland’s Week 13 game against his former team, the Houston Texans, on Dec. 4. “Deshaun has committed to doing the hard work on himself that is necessary for his return to the NFL,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “This settlement requires compliance with a professional evaluation and treatment plan, a significant fine, and a more substantial suspension.” Watson said he’s looking forward to getting back on to the field once the suspension is over. “I’m grateful that the disciplinary process has ended and extremely appreciative of the tremendous support I have received throughout my short time with the Browns organization,” Watson said in a statement. “I apologize once again for any pain this situation has caused. I take accountability for the decisions I made.” Minutes after issuing that statement, Watson spoke to reporters and re-asserted his “innocence.” “I’m moving on with my career, with my life and I continue to stand on my innocence,” he said. “Just because settlements and things like that happen doesn’t mean that person is guilty for anything. I feel like a person has the opportunity to stand on his innocence and prove that and we proved that on the legal side.” Earlier this month, a league disciplinary officer had ruled that Watson should be banned for six games, in punishment the league deemed as inappropriately light in its appeal. Retired federal Judge Sue L. Robinson, who presided over the disciplinary hearing and issued the six-game ban, said Watson “knew such sexualized contact was unwanted.” But she stopped short of the NFL’s desire to bench Watson for all of 2022, arguing there’s no such precedent to punish a player that severely for acts she deemed as “non-violent sexual conduct.” “According to the NFL, if this recommended sentence is unprecedented (as characterized by Mr. Watson and the NFLPA), that is because his conduct is unprecedented,” Robinson added.  “It is inherently unfair to identify conduct as prohibited only after the conduct has been committed, just as it is inherently unjust to change the penalties for such conduct after the fact.” Watson signed a five-year, $230 million guaranteed contract with the Browns in March amid allegations of sexual misconduct during massage sessions involving more than 20 women. He has already missed a considerable amount of time on the field, having not played for the Houston Texans all of last season as his legal challenges unfolded and the team sought to trade him. Two grand juries in Texas declined to bring charges against Watson in March. The district attorneys in both instances did not elaborate on why the grand juries declined to indict. Watson had previously denied any wrongdoing involving the incidents, but last week finally expressed remorse to the women who had come forward. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a June statement: “Deshaun Watson did nothing wrong. And as two grand juries have made clear, Deshaun did nothing illegal.” The Browns now could be left with journeyman Jacoby Brissett as their starting signal caller in Watson’s absence. This is a developing story, please refresh here for updates. David K. Li is a breaking news reporter for NBC News. Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms. Source link  More...

Wendy’s worker charged with murder after customer, 67, is punched and dies

Jonah Hill says he won’t promote coming films so he can prioritize his mental health

Jonah Hill will not promote any of his upcoming projects because he plans to focus on his mental health and anxiety, the actor said in an open letter obtained by “TODAY.”  Hill last appeared onscreen in the Oscar-nominated sci-fi flick “Don’t Look Up,” which was released in December. In his statement, Hill said he recently finished directing his second film, “Stutz,” which is a documentary about him, his therapist and mental health.  “The whole purpose of making this film is to give therapy and the tools I’ve learned in therapy to a wide audience for private use through an entertaining film,” he wrote. “Through this journey of self-discovery within the film, I have come to the understanding that I have spent nearly 20 years experiencing anxiety attacks, which are exacerbated by media appearances and public facing events.” While he is “grateful” that “Stutz” will premiere at a film festival this fall, he said, he will not promote the documentary or any of his other coming films.  One of them is his Netflix romantic comedy “You People,” which he co-wrote with Kenya Barris. Hill stars in the film alongside Eddie Murphy, Nia Long, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny. It is expected to be released later this year. He said not promoting his projects is an “important step to protect” himself.  “If I made myself sicker by going out there and promoting it, I wouldn’t be acting true to myself or to the film,” he said.  Hill said he recognizes he is one “of the privileged few” who are able to take time off work to prioritize their mental health.  He added: “I won’t lose my job while working on my anxiety. With this letter and with ‘Stutz,’ I’m hoping to make it more normal for people to talk and act on this stuff. So they can take steps towards feeling better and so that the people in their lives might understand their issues more clearly.”  At the end of his statement, Hill thanked his collaborators and fans for their understanding and support. Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms. Source link  More...

Suspect in slayings of Muslim men in New Mexico ordered to remain in jail

The Afghan refugee accused of killing two Muslim men and terrorizing a tight-knit community in New Mexico will remain in jail until trial, a judge ruled Wednesday afternoon. Second Judicial District Court Judge Joseph Montaño issued the ruling at a pre-detention hearing for the suspect, Muhammad Syed, 51. Syed has been charged in the killings of Aftab Hussein and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain. Aftab Hussein, 41, was shot on the night of July 26 after he parked his car in the usual spot near his home. Afzaal Hussain, 27, an urban planner who had worked on the campaign of a New Mexico congresswoman, was gunned down Aug. 1 while he was taking his evening walk. Muhammad Syed, 51, made his initial court appearance on Zoom.Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Syed remains a suspect in the killings of Naeem Hussain, 25, on Aug. 5 and Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, on Nov. 7. Authorities are still investigating those cases, and he has not been charged in either slaying. “Make no mistake, your honor, this defendant very much presents a threat,” Deputy District Attorney John Duran said at Wednesday’s hearing. “He was actively hunting individuals in our community,” Duran added. “He was lying in wait in order to murder these individuals.” Syed appeared by video from the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, wearing a red jumpsuit and listening through a translator. He didn’t speak except to interrupt the translator once when he couldn’t hear the proceedings. In arguing for pretrail detention, Duran outlined Syed’s alleged violent history, including attacks on his daughter, her significant other and his wife on multiple occasions. In one example from 2017, Syed is alleged to have awakened his daughter, asked whether she was going to work and then attacked her when she reached for her phone. In a separate incident, Syed is alleged to have beaten his wife while she was driving. He berated her and tugged at her the hair, tearing out a clump, before he shoved her, Duran said. In 2020, Syed attacked a Walmart employee in the store’s parking lot, Duran alleged. Syed denied being the aggressor, but surveillance video obtained by law enforcement showed the opposite, Duran said. Charges in those cases were eventually dropped, but Duran argued that Syed’s history showed a repeated pattern of violence toward his family and other members of the community. “What that is telling of is that the defendant is really incapable of following any lawful orders and incapable of following the law, period,” he said. “He has no regard for the law … or human life.” Megan Mitsunaga, Syed’s defense attorney, attempted to convince the court that despite the past allegations against her client, he could be trusted to remain under home supervision leading up to his murder trial. The judge appeared unmoved. “This is a case where the state has charged two open counts of murder in the same criminal information,” Montaño said. “I cannot tailor conditions for release for Mr. Syed.” Syed was arrested Aug. 8 more than 100 miles from his Albuquerque home. He told authorities he was on his way to Texas, citing the ambush-style killings as his concern. Police said that they received more than 200 tips and that one from the Muslim community led them to the Syed family. Syed knew the victims, authorities have said. Albuquerque police said in a criminal complaint that investigators determined that bullet casings found in Syed’s vehicle matched the caliber of the weapons believed to have been used in two of the killings and that casings found at the crime scenes were linked to guns found at Syed’s home and in his vehicle. Federal authorities in court filings have pointed to cellphone records and accused one of Syed’s sons of possibly helping his father track Naeem Hussain before he was killed. Shaheen Syed’s attorney said those accusations are thin and dismissed prosecutors’ claims that the younger Syed provided a false address when he bought a gun from a local shop last year. Alicia Victoria Lozano is a California-based reporter for NBC News focusing on climate change, wildfires and the changing politics of drug laws. Source link  More...

CDC director calls for drastic changes to the agency following pandemic missteps

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday said the agency must make drastic changes to respond better and faster to public health emergencies, following missteps during the Covid pandemic. Dr. Rochelle Walensky outlined the changes in broad terms in an email to CDC employees Wednesday afternoon. Those include an overhaul of how the agency analyzes and shares data, as well as changes to how the CDC quickly communicates information to the public. Full coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic The agency has faced widespread criticism throughout the pandemic for its slow responses and often confusing messaging on masking and other mitigation measures. “In our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations,” Walensky said in a statement to the media. “My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication, and timeliness,” she wrote in the statement. “I want us all to do better and it starts with CDC leading the way.” To meet that goal, Walensky wrote that the agency must share data faster and in a way that speaks to the American public in easy-to-understand language. It’s also anticipated that leadership changes and internal reorganizations will occur. “As we move forward, these changes will require a cultural shift,” the email Walensky sent to employees stated. Part of that cultural shift requires quick and forward-thinking approaches to handling emerging diseases, said Dr. Ranu Dhillon, a global health physician who works on epidemic responses at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During the Ebola epidemic in 2014 and 2015, for example, Dhillon said he and his team “were adamant about pushing for rapid testing for Ebola, similar to the Covid test,” because they weren’t sure of all of the ways the virus was spreading. But the CDC dismissed the idea “without data or discussion,” Dhillon said. “It was this thing like, ‘well we’re the CDC. We know better, and it is what it is.'” Walensky was not at the agency at the time. Dr. Richard Besser, former acting CDC director and current president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said overhauling the agency’s public messaging is “absolutely essential.” “A lot of the scientists at CDC are really good at doing science, and a lot of the responders are really good at doing response,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean they’re good at explaining it in ways that will be useful to the general public.” That’s potentially a lasting problem for an agency that’s often been lagging in its public outreach, said Dr. Mario Ramirez, an emergency physician and former pandemic and emerging threats coordinator under President Barack Obama. “The real challenge that faces CDC,” Ramirez said on NBC News Now, “is that it is extremely difficult to communicate complex scientific issues at a speed that is so fast, faster than the Twittersphere.” “The margin for error is so small. If you make a mistake in public health, it takes a very long time to regain public trust,” he said. “The CDC needs to be a leader on public health and drive the discussion,” Dhillon said, “rather than be reactive in crisis moments when they’re the ones that we’d ideally love to lead the way.” The announcement follows a review of the agency, launched by Walensky in April, “to refine and modernize” the agency, she wrote in the email to employees. Walensky tapped a longtime official within the Department of Health and Human Services, Jim Macrae, to lead the review. “There’s been a loss of trust at CDC, and to regain trust, you have to have transparency,” Besser said. “That means sharing all the findings and make the case for why these are the best approaches to addressing the deficiencies that are found.” Macrae’s full report is expected to be made public sometime this week. Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter & Facebook. Source link  More...

Liz Cheney ‘thinking about’ White House run after primary loss, vows to do ‘whatever it takes’ to defeat Trump

WASHINGTON — Fresh off her congressional primary loss, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said Wednesday that she plans to be part of a bipartisan coalition whose goal is to ensure former President Donald Trump never holds office again. “I believe that Donald Trump continues to pose a very grave threat and risk to our republic. And I think that defeating him is going to require a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents, and that’s what I intend to be a part of,” she said in an exclusive interview with Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “TODAY” show. She reiterated that she will be doing “whatever it takes” to keep Trump from returning to the Oval Office in future elections. Overnight, Cheney formed a new leadership political action committee called “The Great Task,” an aide confirmed to NBC. She filed with the Federal Election Commission to transfer remaining cash from her federal campaign account to the new PAC. At the end of July, she had more than $7 million cash on hand, according to FEC filings. NBC News projected Tuesday night that Cheney, former chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, lost her Republican primary to Trump-backed candidate Harriet Hageman. With 99% of the vote in Wednesday, Hageman led Cheney by about 37 percentage points. Cheney told “TODAY” from her home in Jackson, Wyoming, that defeating Hageman would have required that she “perpetuate the big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and that Trump had won it. Asked if she plans to run for president, she first deflected and argued that the GOP needs to be taken in a different direction. “We’ve now got one major political party, my party, which has really become a cult of personality, and we’ve got to get this party back to a place where we’re embracing the values and the principles on which it was founded,” she said. Pressed again about whether she’s contemplating running for president, Cheney said, “That’s a decision that I’m going to make in the coming months, and I’m not going to make any announcements here this morning — but it is something that I am thinking about.” When asked if Democrats should retain control of Congress because of the state of the Republican Party, Cheney suggested that would be preferable over the possibility of election deniers holding office.  “The election deniers right now are Republicans, and I think that it shouldn’t matter what party you are — nobody should be voting for those people supporting them or backing them,” she said.  Cheney said the GOP is “in very bad shape” and “it could take several election cycles” before it’s reformed and detached from Trump and what she said was a cult of personality around the former president. She also denounced the former president for allegedly releasing the names of FBI agents involved in a search of his Mar-a-Lago resort “when he knows that our law enforcement is the target of violence.” “I am absolutely going to continue this battle,” she said. “It’s the most important thing I’ve ever been involved in, and I think it’s certainly the most important thing, challenge, that our nation has faced in recent history, and maybe since the Civil War. And it’s one that we must win.” Rebecca Shabad is a politics reporter for NBC News based in Washington. Vaughn Hillyard contributed. Source link  More...

State pension payouts increase as inflation soars | Personal Finance | Finance

Experts expect the September rate of inflation, used to set payments from next April, will continue to soar after already hitting double digits. The new basic state pension, available to those retiring since April 2016, will top £200 a week even at the current 10.1 percent rate. At today’s level, the basic rate would rise to £156 a week. Lord Foulkes, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Older People, said: “This is a long overdue increase which will help pensioners to catch up with the cost of living increase they have already experienced.” “However if there is no immediate action to curb increased energy costs they will fall behind yet again.” “We must guard against any attempt to cut back on the increase by the penny pinchers on the Treasury and also reject any attempt to set other groups who are struggling to make ends meet against pensioners in an inter-generational battle.” “While the rich have seen their fortunes grow rapidly in the past year every generation of the poorer in society has seen their standard of living slump.” Silver Voices director Dennis Reed said the £1,000 a year increase will only apply for around six per cent of pensioners. “Nearly nine out of 10 pensioners receive £142 per week or less and even a restoration of the triple lock is nowhere near enough to compensate for the surge in food and energy prices.”  “Unless all state pensioners receive a guaranteed minimum of £200 pw pension immediately, millions will fall into poverty and destitution, and thousands will die from a combination of cold and hunger this winter.” The hike will be calculated under the triple lock, which is pegged to average earnings and inflation, going up by whichever is greatest. There is also a floor of 2.5 percent to make sure pensioners are protected if the other measures drop too low. The guarantee was introduced by the coalition government and the Conservative governments that followed stuck with it until it was suspended for a year in the wake of the pandemic. Both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have committed to meet the pledge if they are elected Prime Minister. Andrew Tully, technical director at Canada Life, said: “The Government has recommitted to the triple lock this year and it would be very brave or even foolhardy for the incoming Prime Minister to renege on that deal so soon into taking up office.” “Our state pension system isn’t generous by any measure with the UK ranking below the average as measured by gross replacement rates according to the OECD.” “But the Government does face pressure from all sides and for each percentage point added to the state pension costs in the region of £900million a year.” Source link  More...

Pensioners warned last chance to secure extra £650 this winter is TODAY | Personal Finance | Finance

“Pension Credit can act as a vital lifeline for people aged over 66 who might be on a low income, and it is therefore crucial for people to check if they can claim to receive additional money. “The impact of the cost-of-living crisis cannot be underestimated, and extra sources of income will be a huge help for people to weather this financial storm.” Currently, Pension Credit is a particularly underclaimed benefit. Approximately two in five people who qualify for the benefit are not claiming, and so it is likely to be worth a check.  According to the DWP, in 2019/20 there was an estimated £1.7billion being left unclaimed. Source link  More...

Energy bills: Martin Lewis’ MSE’s free online tool shows whether to fix tariff | Personal Finance | Finance

In just a few weeks time, the energy price cap is forecast to rise a further 65 percent from the current £1,971 to a staggering £3,582. Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis has been urging bill payers to look into fixed tariffs now as it could work out cheaper in the long run. Martin continued: “Many are paying double what they were a year ago, and another huge hike is expected in October. “So understandably the big question I’m being asked is, ‘Should I stick on the price cap, or lock into a fixed energy tariff?’ “If you’re offered a year’s fix at no more than 95 percent above your current price-capped tariff, or 100 percent more if you very strongly value budgeting certainty, it’s worth considering.” People can use the Should You Fix calculator on the MSE website to get a better idea of whether it’s a good idea to fix now. What is the energy bills support scheme? Octopus Energy recently introduced a financial hardship fund of £6million for households struggling to pay their energy bills. A spokesperson said: “We talk to 40,000 customers a day, and we know how hard it is right now for many people. “We are in frequent dialogue with the government and our regulator Ofgem on how best to address this and are doing all we can to help customers ourselves in the meantime.” Other companies have also set up energy bills support schemes so it’s worth getting in touch with them if people are struggling. Millions of Britons will receive non-repayable discounts on their energy bills this winter, as part of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. The £400 discount will be applied over several months by energy companies from October. Some eight million people on means-tested benefits will receive a further £650 in additional help – half of which should already have been paid. Source link  More...

John Fetterman’s Senate campaign has officially joined TikTok

Democratic Senate hopeful John Fetterman’s campaign to troll Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz into defeat has dominated Facebook and Twitter over the last few weeks. But on Thursday, the campaign announced it is launching an official TikTok account to expand the reach of its already viral videos. The campaign formally launched the TikTok account with a video of Fetterman wearing his signature black hoodie and speaking directly to the camera. In the short video, Fetterman makes an expected jab at Oz and the festering controversy over the authenticity of the Trump-endorsed candidate’s Pennsylvania roots. “I’m on TikTok now. Woo hoo!” Fetterman says at the end of the video. The campaign’s decision to join TikTok comes on the heels of a series of viral social media videos attacking Oz. Earlier in the week. Twitter users dug up an old video of Oz shopping at a Redner’s grocery store in Pennsylvania. While the video was intended to criticize the increase in inflation under the Biden administration, Oz was quickly mocked by Twitter users and the Fetterman campaign for his use of the word “crudité” and for seemingly conflating the names of two state supermarkets, Redner’s and Wegmans, into “Wegners.” “In PA we call this a… veggie tray” Responding to the video, Fetterman said, “In PA we call this a… veggie tray.” The Fetterman campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised more than $500,000 just one day after Oz’s crudité gaffe went viral. TikTok began to gain traction in the US in 2018, and it wasn’t until the 2020 cycle before politicians and their campaign arms started creating accounts and investing in the platform. This year, more politicians than ever are active on TikTok, but Democrats and left-leaning candidates have been the quickest to adapt. “As this campaign has since the start, we will continue to meet voters wherever they are at and have a whole lot of fun doing it,” Joe Calvello, spokesperson for the Fetterman campaign, said in a statement to The Verge on Thursday. Pennsylvania is a must-win seat for Democrats hoping to secure a Senate majority following the midterm elections. In 2020, President Joe Biden won the state by little more than 1 percent, effectively marking it as a toss-up this cycle. With only a few months before the November elections, the youth vote in Pennsylvania could be more necessary than ever if Democrats plan to win the state. A recent study by Tufts University in Massachusetts found that Pennsylvania is one out of only a handful of states in which the youth vote could disproportionately decide the winner. That outsized youth impact is a particular focus for Fetterman’s team. Speaking to The Verge on Tuesday, Calvello said that the Fetterman campaign’s TikTok account would be run by a Gen Z-aged staffer with around 25,000 on her personal account. By placing the account in a young person’s hands, the campaign hopes to create content that feels natural for the platform. That outsized youth impact is a particular focus for Fetterman’s team Still, the Fetterman campaign touts a commanding lead against Oz in recent polls, including a Fox News survey that showed Fetterman leading by 11 points. While coming under fire for failures to address harmful election misinformation, political campaigns still view social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as powerhouses for fundraising. In an interview with The Verge on Tuesday, Alex Kellner, managing partner director at Bully Pulpit Interactive, an online strategy firm, said, “There’s still a lot of money being spent on Facebook, but maybe it’s more for acquisition, fundraising, and communicating with your existing supporters to get them to volunteer and to be excited.” TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based in Beijing, and the app’s potential to leak sensitive US data to the Chinese government has been cause for alarm amongst Republicans and Democrats. Earlier this summer, the Biden administration banned the app’s use on White House or federal government devices for security reasons, as first reported by Politico. Fetterman’s online jabs at Oz have hit a sweet spot on social platforms like Facebook, which increasingly surface low-production video content on user feeds. With only a few seconds to grab a voter’s attention as they scroll, experts say more authentic content tends to receive greater engagement than highly produced campaign ads. As the Fetterman camp sees it, that gives them a rare advantage on social platforms that are often seen as slanted toward extreme views and reactionary politics. “John’s followers will see brand new content specifically for TikTok, and they can expect to keep up with John as he meets people across the Commonwealth,” Calvello said. “John is a unique candidate whose real, authentic message resonates on social media, as TikTok users will see in his posts.” Source link  More...

Major PC modding sites remove Spider-Man mod that replaces in-game pride flags

NexusMods and ModDB, two of the biggest online sites for PC game mods, have removed a project that cut the in-game pride flags from the recently-released PC port of Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered. As NexusMods explained in a blog post, the mod was uploaded to its site by a brand new account with no modding history, which the site’s administrators suspect is a secondary account for one of the site’s users — a “sock puppet” account. “It was very clearly done deliberately to be a troll mod,” NexusMods writes. “The fact the user needed to make a sock puppet like a coward to upload the mod showed their intent to troll and that they knew it would not be allowed. Had they not been a coward and had they used their main account instead, we would have simply removed the mod and told them that we did not want to host it, only banning them if they reuploaded it again after being fairly warned. The creation of the sock puppet removed any doubt and made it a very easy decision for us.” As well as removing the mod, NexusMods says it’s banned both “the sock puppet account and the user’s main account.” The mod replaced the pride flags found around New York City with the United States flag, which is frequently seen in the original game. Hi! We’ve removed the content and banned the users. ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not permit targeting marginalised groups. Our content moderation is largely automated but when identified, we have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of content. https://t.co/0leqjUxqJD — ModDB (@ModDB) August 17, 2022 ModDB, another popular source of mods for PC games, also confirmed in a tweet that it’s removed the mod. “ModDB is an inclusive environment for all and we do not permit targeting marginalized groups,” the tweet reads. “Our content moderation is largely automated but when identified, we have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of content.” “Our policy is thus: we are for inclusivity, we are for diversity,” NexusMods says in its post. “If we think someone is uploading a mod on our site with the intent to deliberately be against inclusivity and/or diversity then we will take action against it.” A NexusMods help page notes that “content that may be generally construed as provocative, divisive, objectionable, discriminatory, or abusive toward any real-world individual or group, may be subject to moderation.” “If this policy upsets you, if we’ve broken some moral code of conduct as a business that you can’t accept, then please, delete your account,” NexusMods writes. It’s a shame, because the PC modding community has otherwise been on excellent form with the mods they’ve been creating for Insomniac’s Spider-Man title, allowing players to swing around the city as everything from Spider-Man antagonist Kingpin to Black Cat, and there have been plenty of mods to adjust the look and colors of Spider-Man’s iconic suit. Source link  More...

Nicaragua cracks down on Catholic church

IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser. Brothers gifted remodeled Texas home after hurricane Harvey damage 01:52 Now Playing Nicaragua cracks down on Catholic church 02:27 UP NEXT Florida man survives 12-foot alligator attack 02:32 Watch: Woman slips out of handcuffs and shoots AR-15 out of police vehicle 02:53 Former Kansas police officer charged with 24 counts of sex crimes 03:03 Family of man who died in custody files wrongful death lawsuit 04:33 10 miners remain trapped underground in Mexico for over two weeks 02:19 El Salvador arrests 50,000 people for alleged gang ties 02:25 Former Trump staffers reveal his tendency to keep classified documents 03:41 Mysterious deaths at Lake Mead indicate possible connection to mob 03:42 Search continues for missing California teen 03:08 10-year-old boy loses leg from shark bite in Florida 02:49 99-year-old woman meets her 100th great-grandchild 02:08 Jailed WNBA player Brittney Griner appeals conviction in Russian court 03:30 Mexico sends troops to Tijuana after string of cartel violence 03:18 Pennsylvania man confesses to crashing car into crowd and killing his mother 02:39 Chicago woman receives crossmatch double transplant 02:43 South Carolina beach-goer killed after being struck by umbrella 03:31 Philadelphia sees over 300 gun deaths in 2022 03:02 Florida hosts annual python hunting competition 01:56 Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is now being accused of detaining church leaders, canceling Catholic events, and shutting down religious radio stations. Telemundo’s Dunia Elvir has more on the rising tensions between the country’s government and the Catholic Church. Aug. 19, 2022 Read More Brothers gifted remodeled Texas home after hurricane Harvey damage 01:52 Now Playing Nicaragua cracks down on Catholic church 02:27 UP NEXT Florida man survives 12-foot alligator attack 02:32 Watch: Woman slips out of handcuffs and shoots AR-15 out of police vehicle 02:53 Former Kansas police officer charged with 24 counts of sex crimes 03:03 Family of man who died in custody files wrongful death lawsuit 04:33 Source link  More...

Japan is asking young people to come up with ideas to promote greater alcohol consumption

Japan’s government wants young people to drink more alcohol in an effort to reverse declining sales, which it has blamed on demographic changes in the far-Eastern nation. The “Saka Viva!” campaign, launched by Japan’s National Tax Agency, wants young people between ages 20 and 39 to come up with new ideas to help revitalize the industry. The agency says sales of alcoholic drinks are down due to declining birthrates, an aging population and the coronavirus pandemic. It hopes the project will encourage young people to come up with “business plans” that would help promote alcoholic beverages “among the younger generation.” The tax agency also suggests creative ways people can help promote the consumption of alcohol, such as using artificial intelligence and the metaverse. But the response from the Japanese public has been less than enthusiastic, particularly since the trope of “drunk salary man” was far too common on social media just prior to the pandemic. Some Twitter users have criticized the Japanese government for encouraging alcohol consumption — typically a social activity — when Japan’s infection rates jumped this summer from 16,544 new Covid cases in mid-June to 231,361 cases on Aug. 16. Others have criticized the campaign for promoting an unhealthy habit, as well as asking why they are learning about the competition from foreign newspapers, instead of domestic ones. Contestants have until the end of September to put forward their ideas. The successful plans will then be developed with help from experts before the final proposals are presented in November. The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on tax sales of alcoholic drinks in Japan. In 2020, revenues fell by ¥110 billion ($800 million) from the previous year to ¥1.13 trillion. It was the largest fall in alcohol tax revenues since 1989, The Japan Times reported. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental organization with 38 member countries and five partner countries that focuses on world trade, alcohol is a leading cause of ill health and premature mortality. It accounts for 1 in 17 deaths and is a factor in a significant proportion of disabilities, especially in men. Latest data from an OECD study on alcohol consumption found that Japan ranked 38th out of 49 countries surveyed, consuming just 6.7 liters (1.8 gallons) per capita of alcohol in 2020. In comparison, Latvia ranks No. 1 on the list with 12.6 liters per capita. The U.S. comes in at No. 22 with 9.3 liters per capita. In Japan, the minimum age for selling alcohol is 20, one of the highest across all OECD countries and partner nations. Source link  More...

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How to look younger in 2 weeks: 3-step beauty routine to ‘reduce lines & wrinkles’

Maintaining a youthful appearance is something many women wish to achieve. A recent German study found that the appearance of a woman’s skin on her chest, hands and arms greatly impacts how old she is perceived to be. Express.co.uk spoke to Vicki Engsall, Co-Founder of The Jojoba Company.  Vicki initially explained what young skin looks like: “Healthy skin looks plump, bouncy, hydrated, dewy, even textured. It is soft and smooth to touch.” As for how someone’s skin can make them look older, she revealed the ‘tell-tale’ signs.  “The main signs of aging are fine lines, wrinkles, skin sagging/jowls, loss of fullness in the face, rough, uneven textured skin, and pigmentation or age spots, and sometimes redness (Rosacea is a common problem in aging skin),” she said. “Everyone’s skin, lifestyle, genetics and how well they have looked after their skin is different so there is no definite start date for anyone [to start showing signs of aging]. READ MORE: How to take more than 100ml of liquids in your hand luggage “Late nights, lack of sleep, not drinking enough water or consuming antioxidants will accelerate the aging process.  “In addition, extended sun exposure without protection will accelerate the aging process as well as looking after your skin with quality products.  “In saying all of this, we know that after about the age of 22, the skin’s wax esters and hyaluronic acid begin to diminish (these are responsible for holding moisture in the skin) as well other important skin components. “Without replenishing these and without good lifestyle habits, people can start to see the signs of aging as young as their late 20s.” But is it as simple as boosting skin hydration by drinking more water and applying a face cream or oil? DON’T MISS…Keep lettuce fresh and crunchy with genius food storage hack [VIDEO]‘Avoid curtains and carpets in small rooms’ interiors expert suggests [COMMENT]Tesco shoppers warned over Clubcard member prices [NEWS] Vicki explained: “It is a little more complicated than just drinking more water and applying moisturiser to the face (although these are very important).  “It is important to keep the skin cleansed and exfoliated so that the moisturiser can penetrate through the skin. If you don’t exfoliate the skin effectively and unclog the pores the moisturiser will be unable to penetrate the skin effectively meaning that the skin won’t benefit from the topical application.  “In addition, it is the type of moisturiser that you use. It is important to use a humectant (a water binding hydrator such as hyaluronic acid) which will hydrate from a water perspective, an emollient (an oil to moisturise from an oil perspective and nourish) and an occlusive (a cream) to create a moisture barrier to help reduce moisture loss from the skin. “These three are the perfect recipe for well hydrated and moisturised skin.” READ MORE: Beauty Guru Caroline Hirons’ no-nonsense guide to great skin One product Vicki recommends is the Ultimate Youth Potion which is said to “prevent and repair fine lines and wrinkles”.  It is an anti-aging facial oil that “contains a high percentage of jojoba which works to deeply hydrate the skin and keep it hydrated throughout the day”.  “Well hydrated skin is better protected from fine lines and wrinkles,” she said. “It also contains L22, a patented active ingredient which works to bring the skin’s lipid profile back to the way it was when you were aged 22 when the ratio of lipids was in the perfect balance. Balanced skin lipids help to fight the signs of aging.  “It also contains CoQ10, a potent antioxidant which will help protect the skin from the elements and give the skin cells energy to keep them healthy and plump. It contains a spectrum of natural oils full of vitamins and omegas to help increase elasticity and firmness in the skin and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles by supporting the collagen in the skin.” It won’t take long for people to see the changes in their skin either as “people see results using this Youth Potion after just two weeks”, the expert claimed. As for how to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, Vicki said: “Looking after your skin is important if you want to try to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. “Using a good cleansing regime morning and night and exfoliating two to three times per week, along with using a quality serum, facial oil and moisturiser morning and night are really important. “Using an SPF every single day is very important. One of the major factors contributing to aging skin is the sun. If you use an SPF every day, you are going to slow down the signs of aging..  “Living a healthy life, getting enough sleep each night, eating a balanced diet containing lots of colourful antioxidant rich foods and keeping hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water per day are all going to help prevent the signs of aging.” The Jojoba Company’s Ultimate Youth Potion + L22® can be purchased direct for £29.95. Source link  More...

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Brain-eating amoeba suspected in Nebraska child’s death, officials say

A child has died from a suspected infection with Naegleria fowleri – or brain-eating amoeba – in Nebraska, health officials said Wednesday. If confirmed, it would be the first known death from it in the state.  Douglas County Health Director Dr. Lindsay Huse said Thursday that the child had gone swimming in the Elkhorn River on August 8 and began showing symptoms five days later. The Health Department had initially said in a statement Wednesday that the child had gone swimming Sunday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting further tests to confirm if the infection was indeed brain-eating amoeba.  Huse acknowledged that, despite the rarity of infections, there is a “risk” of exposure in the county’s freshwater sources. She said it’s possible other people who were swimming in the area where the child was could have also been exposed to the amoeba without being infected.  “This was just a very unfortunate incident,” Huse said.  Naegleria fowleri – or brain-eating amoeba – is suspected in the death of a child in Nebraska, health officials say.  / Getty Images The amoeba – which causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis – is present in many freshwater sources and it can infect people when water containing the organism enters the body through the nose and reaches the brain, typically while swimming or diving, according to the Douglas County Health Department. However, a person cannot be infected while drinking contaminated water, and it does not spread person-to-person.  Symptoms, which include vomiting, headaches, nausea and fever, usually occur within 1 to 12 days following an infection. It may progress into a stiff neck, seizures and other neurological symptoms.  Nebraska epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue said that while millions of recreational water exposures happen each year, anywhere from zero to eight Naegleria fowleri infections are identified annually.  “Infections typically occur later in the summer, in warmer water with slower flow, in July, August and September. Cases are more frequently identified in southern states but more recently have been identified farther north. Limiting the opportunities for freshwater to get into the nose are the best ways to reduce the risk of infection,” Donahue said in a statement.  Last month, a Missouri man contracted primary amebic meningoencephalitis while swimming in an Iowa lake. Huse said that incident and the Nebraska case were “not related,” but noted that she has seen a trend of more cases popping up in more northern states.  “We haven’t necessarily seen it this far north before,” Huse said. “This is, of course, the first case that we’ve identified here in Nebraska. And that’s really due to the fact that our regions are becoming warmer, we’re having drought conditions more frequently. And this organism really loves heat and moisture. So as things warm up, the water warms up and water levels drop because of drought, you see that this organism is a lot happier and more typically grows in these situations.” Throughout the summer, cases of brain-eating amoeba have been identified in other states. A Florida teen was hospitalized after the rare brain-eating amoeba got in his nose and infected him.  Trending News Christopher Brito Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on sports and stories that involve issues of race and culture. Source link  More...

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