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Strong typhoon hits South Korea, leaving 9 dead, 5 missing   


South_Korea_Typhoon_42380A powerful typhoon has lashed southern South Korea, with authorities saying Thursday that the storm left nine people dead and five others missing and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes.


PG&E could shut off power across Bay Area on Wednesday and Thursday - Berkeleyside   


  1. PG&E could shut off power across Bay Area on Wednesday and Thursday  Berkeleyside
  2. PG&E Issues Power Shutoff Warning For Most Of Northern California Except SF  SFist
  3. PG&E Cuts Power as California Neighbors Struggle to Get Back on Their Feet After Wildfire  FOX40 News
  4. PG&E’s power shut-off watch for Northern California: Here’s what you need to know  San Francisco Chronicle
  5. PG&E may cut power to 30 counties for 'severe wind event'  SF Gate
  6. View full coverage on Google News


Whistleblower: Officials Told To 'Lock Down' All Records Of Ukraine Call   


Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET A government whistleblower received information from "multiple" officials that President Trump "is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election." An unclassified version of the whistleblower's complaint , made public Thursday by the House intelligence committee, says that the president's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, "is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General [William] Barr appears to be as well." The complaint centers on Trump's July 25 call with the president of Ukraine, an account of which was released Wednesday by the White House. That memorandum shows Trump asking the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for "a favor" — to investigate potential 2020 rival former Vice President Joe Biden. What the complaint released Thursday further reveals is that the whistleblower was told by officials that the record of the call was handled differently than other such transcripts. It was placed in an


Schiff Vows To Escalate Standoff Over Spy Complaint; 'Fake News,' Trump Scoffs   


Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff vowed Thursday he is willing to sue the Trump administration over a dispute about the content of an as-yet-unknown complaint to the intelligence community's official watchdog. Schiff told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, that the Justice Department has opined that the material is shielded by privilege and can be withheld from lawmakers. Not so, Schiff argued, and "if we have to go to court to get this, we will have a good case." The dispute is over a complaint to Atkinson brought by someone inside the spy world over activity involving someone high-ranking, which Schiff said very likely means Trump or someone close to him. Newspapers have reported the basis of the complaint involved something Trump said to a foreign leader. Schiff said on Thursday he doesn't know whether that is accurate, but he argued the law and practice are clear: Congress oversees the spy


Trump Displays Altered Map Of Hurricane Dorian's Path To Include Alabama    


Updated Thursday 10:00 a.m. ET President Trump continues to defend his now four-day old assertion that Alabama was once in the projected path of Hurricane Dorian. In a new tweet Thursday morning, the President insisted "Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path." The President then lashed out at the news media saying "The Fake News knows this very well. That's why they're the Fake News!"


This Week: Bike Coffee, Cable Car Bells, Bicycle Ambassadors   


Here are this week’s highlights from the Streetsblog calendar: Tuesday Bike Coffee Club. Come join the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition for some pre-work coffee and bike talk; meet new people, make friends, chat about bikes and other urban issues, all while supporting a local business. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 8-9:30 a.m.  David Rio Chai Bar, 1019 Market Street, S.F. Thursday Cable […]


Textiles get their moment in the art world spotlight   


The prestigious annual showcase, held this year in Regents Park from Thursday to Sunday, has organised a new section called ‘Woven’ devoted entire...


Whistleblower’s attorney says team now representing ‘multiple’ officials   


WASHINGTON – An attorney for the whistleblower who sounded the alarm about President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine said Sunday that “multiple” whistleblowers have come forward, deepening a political quagmire that has engulfed the president as well as several of his Cabinet members.

The news comes as House Democrats are accelerating their impeachment inquiry and subpoenaing documents related to Trump’s efforts to push foreign countries to investigate one of his political opponents, former vice president Joe Biden.

“I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General,” the whistleblower’s attorney, Andrew Bakaj, said in a tweet. “No further comment at this time.”

Mark Zaid, who also is a member of the original whistleblower’s legal team, confirmed to the Washington Post that the team is now representing a second whistleblower, someone who works in the intelligence community. The second individual has spoken to the inspector general of the intelligence community and has not filed a complaint.

“Doesn’t need to,” Zaid said in a text message, adding that the person has “first hand knowledge that supported the first whistleblower.”

News that the original whistleblower’s team is representing a second person was first reported Sunday by ABC News.

Trump seized on the latest development in a Sunday night tweet.

“Democrat lawyer is same for both Whistleblowers? All support Obama and Crooked Hillary. Witch Hunt!” he said.

The crisis, which began last month with media reports revealing the original whistleblower’s complaint, has quickly metastasized across the Trump administration, ensnaring senior officials such as Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who came under further scrutiny over the weekend.

Trump largely stayed out of public view, spending Saturday at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, and Sunday at the White House. In tweets, he attacked Democrats and some Republican detractors, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, whose ouster he demanded Saturday after Romney criticized him.

He also appeared to directly link the 2020 presidential race to his efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Biden, contrary to a tweet on Friday declaring that “this has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens.”

“And by the way, I would LOVE running against 1% Joe Biden – I just don’t think it’s going to happen,” Trump tweeted Sunday, arguing that Biden and his family were “PAID OFF, pure and simple!”

“Sleepy Joe won’t get to the starting gate, & based on all of the money he & his family probably ‘extorted,’ Joe should hang it up,” Trump added. “I wouldn’t want him dealing with China & [Ukraine]!”

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates responded by calling it “puzzling” that Trump would claim to love the prospect of a matchup against Biden, “seeing as how he just sent his administration into a tailspin by trying to bully a foreign country into spreading a comprehensively debunked conspiracy theory about the vice president.”

Biden’s son Hunter served for nearly five years on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private gas company, whose owner came under scrutiny by Ukrainian prosecutors for possible abuse of power and unlawful enrichment. Hunter Biden was not accused of any wrongdoing in the investigation.

As vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, whom Biden and other Western officials, including Republicans, accused of not sufficiently pursuing corruption cases. At the time, the investigation into Burisma was dormant, according to former Ukrainian and U.S. officials.

On Saturday, Perry’s discussions with Ukrainian officials came to attention amid reports that Trump told Republicans on Friday that he made the July 25 call with the Ukrainian president at the request of Perry.

Asked about Trump’s comments, which were first reported by Axios, Energy Department spokeswoman Shylyn Hynes said in an email that Perry encouraged Trump to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to discuss energy security.

Pompeo, who was scheduled to return to Washington on Sunday, is facing growing pressure from Democrats seeking Ukraine-related documents.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Pompeo, who had spent much of the past week in Europe, missed a Friday deadline to comply with a subpoena for information about the State Department’s dealings with Ukraine. Pompeo asserts that a letter sent to the committee constitutes the department’s initial response.

The whistleblower complaint accused Trump of asking the Ukrainian government to help him with his reelection bid by launching an investigation into Biden. Democrats are also probing whether Trump’s decision to withhold nearly $400 million in military assistance from Ukraine was linked to his push for the government there to pursue political investigations that could bolster the president’s reelection bid.

Text messages between State Department officials, revealed by House Democrats last week, show that there was at least some concern that Trump was pursuing an improper quid pro quo.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” diplomat William Taylor wrote on Sept. 9 to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Sondland, who has denied that Trump sought a quid pro quo, has agreed to meet privately on Tuesday with the three House panels – Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight – spearheading the probe, according to a committee aide.

On Friday, those three committees subpoenaed the White House for documents and wrote a letter to Vice President Mike Pence demanding that he turn over documents related to his talks with Zelensky.

Speaking at a Republican event in Louisiana on Saturday, Pence criticized Democrats but gave no indication about whether he would comply with their document request.

“Do-Nothing Democrats launched a partisan impeachment inquiry in a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the American people in the last election,” he said.

On Sunday, Trump’s campaign announced that the president would be traveling to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to hold a rally on Friday. The president will also have a rally on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

No White House officials made appearances on the Sunday morning news shows, leaving it up to congressional Republicans and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to defend the president in heated interviews during which they offered at-times-contradictory explanations for the president’s actions.

In a combative exchange on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd urged Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to explain why he told the Wall Street Journal about his concern in the summer that Trump had sought to link Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of the Bidens.

Johnson repeatedly declined to answer, instead raising a conspiracy theory and criticizing the media before finally stating that Trump had “adamantly denied” any quid pro quo.

Johnson also at one point said he does not trust U.S. intelligence agencies. “Something pretty fishy happened during the 2016 campaign and in the transition, the early part of the Trump presidency, and we still don’t know,” he said.

“We do know the answer,” an exasperated Todd responded, adding: “You’re making a choice not to believe the investigations that have taken place.”

Giuliani issued a defiant defense of Trump in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz” in which he argued that the president “has every right to ask countries to help us in a criminal investigation that should be undertaken.”

Giuliani was named in the whistleblower’s complaint and in a rough transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky as being a key intermediary in back-channel efforts to pursue the allegations against Biden.

But other Republicans sought to play down Trump’s comments, including his exchange with reporters outside the White House on Thursday in which he urged China to investigate Biden.

In an interview on ABC News’s “This Week,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, echoed a suggestion on Friday by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that Trump’s China statement was not “a real request.”

“George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China’s going to investigate the Biden family? … I think he’s getting the press all spun up about this,” Jordan told host George Stephanopoulos.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos repeatedly sought an answer from Jordan on whether he thinks it is appropriate for Trump to ask China and Ukraine to investigate Biden. Jordan dodged the question more than a dozen times.

Democrats on Sunday defended their party’s efforts to pursue an impeachment inquiry.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of the Intelligence Committee, supported Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view that no vote by the full House is necessary for an impeachment inquiry to move forward.

She added that she thinks the House “will have to take a serious look at articles of impeachment” based on the evidence that has emerged.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, N.Y., a key member of House Democratic leadership, said on “This Week” that “the evidence of wrongdoing by Donald Trump is hiding in plain sight.”

“The administration, without justification, withheld $391 million in military aid from a vulnerable Ukraine,” he said. “The president then pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 elections and target an American citizen for political gain. That is textbook abuse of power.”


‘Addictive as cocaine’: Parents sue Fortnite creators   


MONTREAL — A class action lawsuit has been filed by a Canadian law firm on behalf of two parents who say their children have an addiction to Fortnite. The law firm representing them, Calex, announced the suit Thursday in a statement. The lawsuit makes the claim that Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, “knowingly put on the market a very, very addictive game which was also geared toward youth,” Alessandra Esposito Chartrand, a lawyer with Calex, told the CBC. The parents […]


DOT Approves Hawaiian Air/JAL Joint Venture, Tentatively Denies Antitrust Immunity   


The U.S. Department of Transportation approved an application by Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Airlines on Thursday to form a joint venture but tentatively denied antitrust immunity. The two airlines applied for the antitrust immunity in June 2018 and promised “significant advantages” for consumers including lower fares and additional travel options. The DOT will allow the carriers to sell each other’s flights and coordinate marketing and frequent-flyer programs for flights between Japan and ...


UPDATE: Application Deadline Extended For Salvation Army Christmas Angels 2019   


Update: The Bryan-College Station Salvation Army has extended the application deadline for Christmas assistance. Officials report the additional time is needed due to high demand last week. Applications are being accepted Monday through Thursday (October 7-10) from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army office in Bryan. Original story: The Bryan/College Station Salvation […]


"Oozes quality" - Influential Arsenal defender must feature against Bournemouth   


Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney has proved yet again why Unai Emery brought him from Celtic in the summer for £25m. Tierney, 22, made a successful return to action on Thursday after Arsenal’s resounding 4-0 win against Standard Liege and was involved in a lot of the build-up play that the Gunners’ carried out. After another […]


Dozens report seeing large fireball over Ohio skies on Saturday   


If you saw a fireball streak across the sky on Saturday evening you’re not alone.10TV received several reports from people in central Ohio who saw a bright meteor with a long trail across the sky.

The American Meteor Society says it received more than 130 reports about the fireball, seen over Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

It was likely a product of the South Taurid meteor shower.

The shower is caused by leftover debris from Comet Encke. It’s not very active, you’re lucky to see five to seven meteors an hour at its peak, but it is known to produce fireballs.

Those are very bright meteors and they’ve been known to leave long streaks across the sky with this shower.

South Taurid Meteor Shower

The shower itself peaks later this week - Wednesday night into Thursday morning - but has a large window of activity. It’s typically active from September 10th to November 20th.

This year’s peak coincides with a waxing gibbous moon which will wash out all but the brightest meteors. However, because it’s active for so long we’ll still have a shot at seeing fireballs through the month and into next month.


We are the War Criminal   


Major column by Mohamad Bazi at THE GUARDIAN:

Since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, the United States gave its full support to a relentless air campaign where Saudi warplanes and bombs hit thousands of targets, including civilian sites and infrastructure, with impunity. From the beginning, US officials insisted that American weapons, training and intelligence assistance would help the Saudis avoid causing even more civilian casualties.

But this was a lie meant to obscure one of the least understood aspects of US support for Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen: it’s not that Saudi-led forces don’t know how to use American-made weapons or need help in choosing targets. They have deliberately targeted civilians and Yemen’s infrastructure since the war’s early days – and US officials have recognized this since at least 2016 and done little to stop it.
A team of United Nations investigators, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, presented a devastating report in Geneva in early September detailing how the US, along with Britain and France, are likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen because of continued weapons sales and intelligence support to the Saudis and their allies, especially the United Arab Emirates.

Despite pressure from Saudi Arabia, the Human Rights Council voted last Thursday to extend its investigation.

If the council pursues an aggressive investigation based on the 274-page report, the world might finally see some accountability for war crimes committed in Yemen over the past five years. The report’s authors submitted a secret list of individuals who may be responsible for war crimes to the UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, but it’s unclear if that list includes any western officials. The report said third states that have influence on Yemen’s warring parties – including the US, Britain, France and Iran – “may be held responsible for providing aid or assistance for the commission of international law violations”.

American complicity in the Yemen war goes beyond providing training and intelligence support, and selling billions of dollars in weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which has become Washington’s largest weapons buyer. The US is looking the other way while its allies commit war crimes and avoid responsibility for instigating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

True.  There's a reason so many around the world do not see our country as good or even not bad.  We have a strong inclination to ignore that view.  Hillary Clinton fanatics, for example, in the US refuse to recognize the feelings of so many in the Middle East when they express distaste for Hillary as a result of the policies she has supported that have destroyed their lives, the lives of their friends and their family.  We don't want to own what our government has done.  This goes exactly to Trina's post last night.  Not only do our rulers need to be held accountable, we need to take accountability for looking the other way and ignoring the damage done to so many.

Meanwhile, Bernie proves again why he should be president.

Search results
  1. It's going to be a real pleasure defeating you.

Even recovering from surgery, Bernie's instincts are solid.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, October 3, 2019.  Even Joe Biden's friends in the press denying anything wrong took place demonstrates that Joe did something wrong and meanwhile the protests continue in Iraq.

In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  While Senator Bernie Sanders has been temporarily sidelined due to surgery, War Hawk Joe Biden continues to flounder as desperation hits in.

I will put the integrity of my whole career in public service to this nation up against President Trump's long record of lying, cheating, and stealing any day of the week.

Will you put that record up?

Is that the record where you tell the public that you always believed Anita Hill but others -- including a US senator -- are on the record saying you told them you knew Anita was lying?  Is that the record?

Or is it the record where you were a cheerleader for the Iraq War?  Have you ever apologized to the Iraqi people for that?  You certainly haven't apologized to the American people.  You've either said that you were tricked by Bully Boy Bush or you've lied that you were against it as soon as it started.

Is it the record where you pushed through the 'crime' bill that targeted African-Americans?  This as your little blond princess niece assaults a police officer and does no time and then, a few years later, is caught stealing over $100,000 and does no time.

Caroline Biden.  Apparently she has a major vag problem.  Apparently she's crusty lips down there.  Apparently she had to steal a credit card and charge over $100,000 worth of Vagisil at a drug store to deal with her crust lips and to stop popping out loafs of sourdough bread from her personal oven.  Apparently, one of her boyfriends asked her why she was chewing bubble gum with her vagina and she replied that wasn't bubble gum, those were yeast bubbles.

That's got to be it, right?  The press doesn't want to talk about a thirty-something woman who's Joe Biden's niece and stole over $100,000 so it's got be vag related, right?  That's the only reason they're so mum on the topic.  (See Nora Ephron's essay "Dealing With The, Uh, Problem.")

When is Joe going to be asked why his niece was shown favoritism?

Joe's hoping and praying that his hideous campaign can struggle on through South Carolina.  He knows he's losing Iowa, he knows he's losing New Hampshire.  but if he can stay in until South Carolina, he just knows he'll prove to be a winner.

Now Iowa, please remember, knocked him out of the race in 2008.  He bowed out immediately after.

But he thinks the myth of Joe Biden support among African-Americans will save him this go round.

He is not huge with African-Americans.  He's popular with middle-aged and elderly African-Americans but, as his own campaign polling demonstrates (his campaign poured over it Monday), it's a very soft support.  It's doubtful South Carolina African-Americans from his age range will stick with him if he loses Iowa -- forget losing Iowa and New Hampshire.

Joe's desperate and it's really starting to show.

Link to headline article

And he's right, Donald Trump is not going to destroy Joe Biden -- mainly because Joe's doing such a good job of that all by himself.

Whenever he's lying, Joe likes to claim that he's the voice of truth.  That's his tell.

Or have we all forgotten this: "This is the God's truth.  My word as a Biden."

So many whores rush to prop Joe up.  Like here.

Twitter has since removed the video featuring Nickelback’s song “Photograph” for copyright reasons that President Trump tweeted on Wednesday. This, as the president accused Joe Biden of abusing his power to help his son. There’s no evidence of wrongdoing, reports.

Knuckleheads and Bridge listeners can access tickets starting Thursday morning!

The Sadies' signature blend of cool cowboy psychedelia, electric bluegrass, garage punk and surf rock have cemented their reputations as musicians' musicians. They've frequently collaborated with other artists — among them, Neko Case, Gord Downie, John Doe and most recently, Kurt Vile. They'll be at Knuckleheads on Tuesday, Nov. 12!

Bridge listeners can access tickets before they go on sale to the public, on Thursday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., using the password BRIDGE after clicking on this link or the poster below!


Drawing comparisons to songwriting greats like Steve Winwood and Van Morrison, Martin Sexton will be returning to KC in 2020. Sexton established himself as a musician in Boston, launched an independent record label, and now enjoys an uncommonly loyal fan base throughout the United States and Europe. He'll be touring in support of his ninth studio release, "Mixtape of the Open Road," at Knuckleheads on Tuesday, Feb. 18!

Bridge listeners can access tickets before they go on sale to the public, starting Thursday, Oct. 3 at 10 a.m. until the show goes on sale Friday, Oct. 4 at 10 a.m., using the password BRIDGEMS after clicking this link!


Videos: 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', Rupert Grint kick off 2019 NY Comic Con panels   


To kick off the 2019 New York Comic Con, the cast and crew of the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child took the stage on Thursday to reveal a few secrets, chat about bringing the final story of Harry's to life every night, and so much more. That can be watched here...


India men's hockey team maintain 100 pc winning record, defeat Belgium   


Representative image

Antwerp [Belgium], Oct 3 (ANI): India men's hockey team on Thursday maintained their 100 per cent winning record in their tour of Belgium as they defeated the hosts 5-1 in the fifth and last match.
The Indian team won all five matches by beating Belgium 2-0 in the opening match, and registering 6-1 and 5-1 wins over Spain in the next two games, before finishing off their tour with two wins against Belgium (2-1 and 5-1).
In the last match, Simranjeet Singh (7'), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (35'), Vivek Sagar Prasad (36'), Harmanpreet Singh (42') and Ramandeep Singh (43'), all registered goals to secure a comprehensive win for India.
Coming into the match with four wins in their kitty, India was brimming with confidence. The side started the game on the front foot and produced a stunning move in the 7th minute to take the lead through forward Simranjeet Singh.
Belgium did try to force a comeback but their penalty corner was saved by Krishan B Pathak in the 9th minute. The second quarter saw world number two Belgium win themselves back-to-back penalty corners in the 16th minute, but India's Pathak made sure that their lead stayed intact.
The visitors started the third quarter with attacking intent and were rewarded immediately, with Upadhyay bagging his first goal of the match in the 35th minute extending the lead to 2-0.
Another attack in the next minute saw youngster Prasad also registering his name on the score-sheet as he produced a crafty finish to beat the Belgian goalkeeper.
In the 38th minute, Belgium won a penalty corner, but Sreejesh's diving save kept the score down to 3-0 in India's favor. However, a brilliant strike from the retake by Alexander Hendrickx made it 3-1 in the 39th minute.
But Belgium could not stay in the match for too long as India replied to conceding by scoring twice in two minutes just before the end of the third quarter and extending their lead to 5-1.
India's fourth goal was scored by drag-flicker Harmanpreet, who converted a Penalty Corner in the 42nd minute, while the fifth goal came through Ramandeep, who scored in the 43rd minute to finish off a great team move.
Playing at home, the world champions tried to make inroads into the Indian striking circle but some strong tackling and interceptions in the last quarter meant that the Indians maintained their 100 per cent record in the five matches, and secured a huge 5-1 win to finish off the tour. (ANI)


Concert series starts Thursday - News - Dodge City Daily Globe   


Concert series starts Thursday - News  Dodge City Daily Globe


Notre Dame to make 'major concert announcement' on Thursday - WNDU-TV   


Notre Dame to make 'major concert announcement' on Thursday  WNDU-TV


Chamber Orchestra Concert Thursday at WIU - Western Illinois University News   


Chamber Orchestra Concert Thursday at WIU  Western Illinois University News


Passenger Services Agent - 4N19-085 - Air North, Yukon's Airline - Whitehorse, YT   


Whitehorse, Yukon (Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport YXY)*. $17.00 (or commensurate with experience)*. Thursday October 17, 2019 1700 (PST)*. $17 an hour
From Indeed - Mon, 07 Oct 2019 17:12:07 GMT - View all Whitehorse, YT jobs


Six-way fight ends with no clear winner in leaders’ debate   


OTTAWA— A two-hour election debate Monday saw federal party leaders clash over ethics, climate change and the economy but saw no one immediately emerge as the clear winner, although they slung one-liners, insults and criticisms across the stage as Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s rivals sought to stake a claim to his job as prime minister.

The English debate got off to a hot and bitter start between front-runners Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer after a question from the audience about how each leader would represent Canada’s values and interests on the international stage.

Scheer immediately attacked Trudeau as a “phoney and a fraud” as he challenged the Liberal leader’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair, energy projects, and his economic record. “Justin Trudeau pretends to stand up for Canada,” Scheer said. “He cannot even remember how many times he put blackface on.”

“He’s always wearing a mask,” Scheer continued, pointing to Trudeau’s claims to be an advocate of Indigenous reconciliation, feminism and the middle class.

“You’re a phoney and you’re a fraud and you do not deserve an opportunity to govern this country,” he charged.

The leaders of the progressive parties fought to stake out turf on environmental and everyday concerns of Canadians, while the conservative leaders fought over immigration, pipelines and deficits.

In a second direct challenge between the two main contenders, Scheer turned to attack Trudeau over his failure to present a platform that had been completely costed by the parliamentary budget officer, and over the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Trudeau countered that his platform was costed, and that the Conservatives haven’t presented their entire policy book. On SNC-Lavalin, he said Scheer did not realize the job of a prime minister is to fight for Canadians jobs.

New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh jumped in: “What we have here is Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer arguing for who’s worse for Canada,” he said.

The debate marked the first time all six leaders shared a stage. It devolved into a confusing free-for-all at times, but also had moments of collegiality.

Scheer and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May praised Singh for handling incidents of racism in the campaign with grace and class. Singh was accosted by a man in Montreal last week who told him to cut off his turban so he would “look like a Canadian.”

Trudeau agreed Singh had handled racism with “eloquence ... but I’m the only one on the stage that said yes, the federal government may have to intervene” in a court challenge of a Quebec law that prohibits some public servants from wearing visible symbols of their religious faiths.

“Every single day of my life is challenging people who think that you can’t do things because of the way you look,” Singh shot back. “Every single day of my life I channel people who feel that as well.”

Singh said the fact he’s in the race is a challenge to Quebecers to see past his religious garb. “I am running to be prime minister of this country,” he said. “I am going to Quebec and telling people that I want to be your prime minister.”

But later, Singh told reporters that, as prime minister, he might intervene if the case went to the Supreme Court.

There were moments of levity too. In fending off criticisms on the right and left, Trudeau twice called the NDP leader “Mr. Scheer,” prompting laughter. “I’m very, very different from Mr. Scheer,” Singh replied.

When a moderator later also called him “Mr. Scheer,” Singh cracked that “a lot of people are getting me mixed up,” to laughter from the audience. “I wore a bright orange turban on purpose today.”

Singh was the easily the most personable and relaxed leader onstage, and his supporters claimed he’d “won” the night.

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier was challenged on his social media posts, which described diversity as a cult and called environmental leader Greta Thunberg “mentally unstable.”

“We don’t want our country to be like other countries in Europe where they have a huge difficulty to integrate their immigrants,” Bernier said, prompting Trudeau to claim that Bernier says publicly what Scheer thinks privately.

Singh called Bernier out, saying, “You could have just said, ‘Hey man, I messed up’ because those are pretty horrible tweets.”

Scheer said that Bernier, a former Conservative cabinet minister, was someone who used to believe in an immigration policy that was “fair, orderly and compassionate.

“Now you are making your policy based on trying to get likes and retweets from the darkest parts of Twitter,” Scheer said.

Trudeau was the target in the English debate more than he had been in last week’s French debate. He was taken to task by Bernier, Scheer and Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet for fighting with provinces.

Scheer portrayed Trudeau’s carbon-pricing plan as a tax that would raise the price of cost of living, which Trudeau disputed.

He said he’d reversed the pattern of the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper, whom he accused of refusing to work with the provinces.

But he acknowledged “fighting the defining issue of our time” with some provinces because Alberta Premier “Jason Kenney and (Ontario Premier) Doug Ford, and other Conservative premiers don’t want to do anything on climate change and we need a government in Ottawa that is going to fight them and fight for Canadians.”

May said the Liberal goal for cutting emissions is a “target for losing the fight against climate change,” and she repeatedly challenged Scheer for having no climate action targets.

Singh got off one of the best lines of the night as Trudeau and Scheer bickered over climate change: “Ladies and gentlemen, you do not have to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny.”

At times, the format choked discussions among the two leading contenders as a cacophony of voices drowned out the debate.

With polls showing a close race between the Liberals and Conservatives, Scheer and Trudeau took direct aim at each other when they could, with Trudeau grilling Scheer in the last half-hour over his position on abortion. Trudeau had tried to stay above the fray, adopting a measured and at times oddly low-key stance, but late in the evening exhibited more fire.

He took Scheer to task over backing Conservative candidates who have pledged to take away a woman’s right to choose. Scheer said while he was personally against abortion, the “laws of access” to abortion services have not changed in Canada in 30 years under Liberal or Conservative governments, and would not change under a government led by him.

Singh jumped in, saying, “A man has no position in a discussion on a woman’s right to choose, let me clear on that.”

Singh and Blanchet targeted May for failing to rule out working with Scheer’s Conservatives.

On Indigenous issues, Scheer was challenged for resisting the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights and its requirement that development projects have the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous people. May told Scheer the Canadian constitution requires it, and it doesn’t mean you say “we’ll consult you until you agree with us.”

The debate, organized by a group of media organizations that included the Toronto Star, CBC and CTV, is the first of two this week. A French debate is scheduled for Thursday night.

Tonda MacCharles is an Ottawa-based reporter covering federal politics. Follow her on Twitter: @tondamacc

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier


Speed Limit to Increase on Stretch of I-80 Around Lincoln   


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Motorists driving on a stretch of Interstate 80 north of Lincoln will be able to go a little faster starting today. The Nebraska Department of Transportation announced Thursday that the interstate speed limit will increase from 65 mph to 75 mph between the 27th Street exit and the 56th Street exit. The current 65 mph speed limit will remain in place between the 27th Street exit and Lincoln’s western edge. The 65 mph speed limit forced interstate drivers to slow down as they neared Lincoln, then speed back up to 75 mph after they passed the city. Department officials say the change is part of their efforts to promote an efficient highway system while maintaining safety.


Wadada Leo Smith with Pheeroan akLaff | Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi    


Wadada Leo Smith

Thursday, October 3rd, 8:00 PM 
Brooklyn Music School Theater

By Eric Stern

Blank Forms has been presenting some of the most innovative and interesting programming that New York has seen this year. Thursday evening was no exception. On this night the Brooklyn Music School Theater was the site of live performances by Akira Sakata with Chikamorachi and the duo of Wadada Leo Smith and Pheeroan akLaff. The show was well attended, though it did not quite sell out the two hundred and sixty plus seats.

Akira Sakata and Chikamorachi
The rhythm section, known as Chikamorachi, is made up of bassist Darin Gray and drummer Chris Corsano. The duo has performed with Sakata since 2005, and they are as locked-in as can be. The trio in turn has worked repeatedly with guitarist Jim O’Rourke. Prior to the formation of the trio with Chikamorachi, Sakata was perhaps best known for an appearance on Last Exit’s recording titled The Noise of Trouble (Live in Tokyo) featuring Peter Brötzmann, Bill Laswell, Sonny Sharrock, Shannon Jackson, and Herbie Hancock. This might give you some idea of the power Sakata possesses on his horns.

In anticipation of this performance, I took the opportunity to go to the James Cohan gallery in Tribeca the night before to see Sakata play with Darin Gray. This show was also presented by Blank Forms. While the improvised performances were different, there are certain elements which seem to reappear in Sakata’s work. Sakata opened both performances with an extended demonstration of his saxophone work. Unlike many fire-breathing players, Sakata never loses his tone. Nearly every note is perfectly formed, bending but not cracking. On both nights he demonstrated total mastery, and it is this aspect of his playing that is most mesmerizing and compelling.

Portions of both performances were centered on Sakata's vocalisms. His complete control over the sounds he creates enables him to generate an emotional response from his audience, and the interplay of artist and audience is an organic part of the experience. Having had the opportunity to see him twice in 24 hours, I was impressed by how effective this aspect of his work is.

Pheeroan akLaff and Wadada Leo Smith
After an extended intermission, Wadada Leo Smith and Pheeroan akLaff began their performance. This was all about deep focus. As Smith noted at the end of the evening, he has worked with akLaff since he was nineteen. There is a level of telepathic communication here which drives the music. They seem to merge into one being and breathe together for the entirety of the performance.

As both musicians have worked together repeatedly over the years, including on Ten Freedom Summers (2012) and America’s National Parks (2016), this evening was exciting as it afforded a rare opportunity to see them as a duo. akLaff played with a bit more force than normally while his partner, in contrast, seemed to be in a more cerebral mode. Smith’s tone on the trumpet is simply gorgeous. His recent purple patch as a composer sometimes masks just how great a player he truly is. I highly recommend seeing this duo at every opportunity presented.

A word about the venues. The James Cohan gallery in Tribeca is a beautiful open space. Most of audience sat on the floor, but a few chairs were made available for the comfort of older guests. The sound was good, and Blank Forms is curating at this gallery an ongoing series of free live performances during the month of October.

The Brooklyn Music School is an older venue, which is located near the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the Barclays Center, which means it is easy to get to by mass transit. It is a Spanish-style theatre which still has the wooden seats which speak to its antiquity. Blank Forms has had a knack for finding underutilized rooms for its shows, and this is another venue promoters should keep in mind.


HDIL promoters sought meeting with bank on day of arrest   


Two days before their arrest on Thursday in the PMC Bank case, HDIL promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and son Sarang wrote to the bank informing it that they were willing to extend additional security (assets) and a plan to settle outstanding amounts on loans.

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