Trump has installed loyalists at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies. But to what end?

first_img– Advertisement – Most of the officials and former officials interviewed this week agreed that there was a large element of score-settling and attention-grabbing by Mr. Trump and his aides as they have defied calls to concede to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. There is no evidence so far that these new appointees harbor a secret agenda on Iran or have taken up their posts with an action plan in hand. But their sudden appearance has been a purge of the Pentagon’s top civilian hierarchy without recent precedent.center_img WASHINGTON — President Trump’s abrupt installation of a group of hard-line loyalists into senior jobs at the Pentagon has elevated officials who have pushed for more aggressive actions against Iran and for an imminent withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan over the objections of the military.Mr. Trump made the appointments of four top Pentagon officials, including a new acting defense secretary, this week, leaving civilian and military officials to interpret whether this indicated a change in approach in the final two months of his presidency. Mr. Trump also named Michael Ellis as a general counsel at the National Security Agency over the objections of the director, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Mission impossible for disabled Hong Kongers hunting face masks

first_imgHong Kong’s disabled residents and their carers say they feel increasingly trapped in their apartments and abandoned by authorities as the coronavirus-struck city is engulfed with panic-buying and face mask shortages.For the last fortnight, queues have sprung up across the densely-packed business hub as Hong Kongers jostle for the latest delivery of face masks, toilet rolls and cleaning products.It is a free-for-all that Steven Yan dreads. Public hospitals have stopped supplying masks to visiting patients to save vital equipment for staff in a city where more than 60 people have been diagnosed with the coronavrius. “I have to wear a mask in hospital but we can’t afford that now,” Yan said, lamenting that prices for face masks have soared in recent weeks as the government has resisted implementing price controls or rationing.Entrenched inequalityDespite being one of the richest cities in the world, Hong Kong has a profound wealth gap and a limited safety net for society’s most vulnerable.Of the some 600,000 disabled people in the city, a third live below the poverty line according to government data. Some 200,000 people also act as carers.Lam Chun, 64, looks after her 19-year-old nephew full time. He has Pradar-Willis syndrome — a genetic disorder that makes the person feel constantly hungry and often leads to diabetes and obesity.When she goes out to get groceries, she relies on a makeshift cloth mask to cover her face, even though it offers limited protection.”I always miss the information about masks because I don’t really know how to get online,” Lam said, noting how many Hong Kongers find out about restocked pharmacies through Facebook or family Whatsapp groups.Both Yan and Lam said they had received little help from local authorities in securing masks.”It turned out that the government did not do anything to protect people like us and I am deeply disappointed,” Lam said.The Social Welfare Department did not respond to requests for comment on what measures it was taking to ensure disabled and other vulnerable residents received masks. Responsibility has largely fallen to volunteers and the charity sector. Frayed nerves Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam recently said 1.6 million masks would be given to local charities to hand out to vulnerable people.And Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy activist who was previously jailed for leading protests, said his party had secured 1.2 million masks from Honduras and would distribute them through their network of local councilors. There have been growing calls in some sectors for the government to implement price caps or to ration face masks in a bid to curb shortages and spiraling prices.After a brief bout of panic buying in nearby Taiwan, authorities introduced new rules limiting each person to buying just two masks a week through a system connected to their national healthcard.But in Hong Kong, which revels in its freemarket status, authorities have so far resisted market intervention.Yan said he felt constantly anxious in recent weeks.”People like me are more vulnerable in face of diseases,” he said. “Maybe you are hearing my voice today and seeing my corpse tomorrow.”   Diagnosed with muscular atrophy 14 years ago, Yan uses a wheelchair to get around. He has tried to find face masks near his apartment but has only succeeded once in the last month, queuing for six hours to get his hands on five free masks.”It exhausted me,” Yan told AFP. “I dared not move, fearing that I might lose my spot.”With just 40 masks at home to share among him, his wife and teenage son, Yan has started cutting back on going out in public, including to his regular medical check-ups.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Solskjaer hails De Gea as United dig deep to beat Spurs

first_imgBut the result is a devastating blow for Tottenham, who again came up short when the pressure was on and remain nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool.Pochettino praised his side despite their defeat.“Tottenham did everything to win the game,” he said. “Maybe we dominated and we created a lot of chances. It was an amazing second half, I am so pleased.“Sometimes you win a game and you are disappointed, like when we won 3-0 at Old Trafford. They were better than us that day. Today the result should be different and I am happy.”Earlier, Tottenham settled quickly into their fluid passing game, enjoying the bulk of possession and went close to opening the scoring through Harry Winks before Jesse Lingard fired over from close range for the visitors.United, with Lingard, Anthony Martial and Rashford racing forward at every opportunity, looked dangerous on the break.Spurs striker Harry Kane had a close-range effort correctly ruled out for offside just after the half hour.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 London, United Kingdom | AFP | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said David de Gea was making a case to be considered Manchester United’s greatest-ever goalkeeper after he produced a masterclass on Sunday to protect his side’s 1-0 lead against Tottenham.The match at Wembley pitted two of the bookmakers’ favourites to permanently replace Jose Mourinho against one another but it was the interim United boss who came out on top against Mauricio Pochettino.Marcus Rashford scored the only goal in the 44th minute of a thrilling encounter and Paul Pogba impressed but the performance of the Spanish goalkeeper will live long in the memory.He made 11 saves — the most he has made in a top-flight league match without conceding a goal — leaving Spurs players holding their heads in disbelief on multiple occasions.Solskjaer hailed De Gea as “the best goalkeeper in the world” but also praised his team’s defensive resilience and team spirit.“We’ve had some great ‘keepers at this club and I think he’s challenging both Edwin (van der Sar) and Peter (Schmeichel) for the number one spot historically, he said.“The win here was massive, the team spirit was massive, the belief and the joy in the dressing room absolutely fantastic,” added the Norwegian, who has equalled Matt Busby’s record of winning his first five league games in charge of United.United were eight points behind Arsenal when Solskjaer became their caretaker manager on December 19 but are now level on points with the fifth-placed Gunners as they hunt down a Champions League qualification spot.last_img read more

20 Injured in Huge Gas Explosion in Plantation, No Threat to the Public

first_imgPolice say the gas leak has been capped and there is no danger to the public.BREAKING NEWS: Gas explosion in Plantation, South Fl. @11:28. Watch the video for more details @Univision23 @Telemundo51 @nbc6 @CBSMiami @wsvn @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/7UIA9U0xbS— Andrea Cando (@_AndreaCando) July 6, 2019 At least 20 people were injured and transported to local hospitals with two in serious condition, according to police.  As of yet, no fatalities have been reported.Plantation Fire Battalion Chief Joel Gordon said two people suffered serious injuries in the blast that was reported just before 11:30 p.m.Fire departments from Plantation, Davie, Lauderhill, Coral Springs, as well as Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue all responded to the scene. Gas was shut off to all businesses in the area, at which time crews discovered a ruptured gas line. Plantation police are still searching for victims after an apparent gas explosion at The Fountains in Plantation near the Broward Mall Saturday afternoon.The explosion reportedly happened in a pizza restaurant and caused extensive damage to neighboring businesses. The roof collapsed at nearby LA Fitness.UPDATE: Gas explosion at pizza restaurant in The Fountains. Significant damage to surrounding biz, inc. partial roof collapse at LA Fitness. Several patients transported. Gas lines clipped, no current danger to public @wsvn https://t.co/P3aSetQwfF— Alex Browning (@Alex7News) July 6, 2019 7Skyforce over gas explosion in Plantation that has injured multiple people. https://t.co/trRGPXHU0E— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) July 6, 2019 A triage area was set up after the blast and authorities and dogs searched through rubble to make sure there were no other victims.Gordon said at a news conference that everyone has been accounted for.last_img read more

Shooting Leaves Five Injured in Miami

first_imgFive people were reportedly shot on Thursday afternoon in Miami Gardens.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue airlifted two shooting victims from that scene to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.Two ambulances also responded to the U-Gas station located at 16701 NW 42 Ave.In addition, another ambulance responded to a nearby home at 4030 NW 168 Terr.Photo courtesy: WPLG/MiamiMiami Gardens police officers surrounded the corner gas station, which is located near the Palmetto Expressway/State Road 826.Detectives detained seven people in front of a convenience store at 4195 NW 167 St., which is between the gas station and the home.The investigation remains underway, and authorities have not provided any additional information as to what may have led up to the shooting.This is a developing story.last_img read more