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  • Burning Man founder thinks slavery helps explain his festival's lack of diversity
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 8:32 PM:)

    Burning Man White People

    Larry Harvey, the founder of the annual Burning Man festival that is currently taking place in the Nevada desert, thinks he knows why there is not more diversity at the event. He shared his thoughts on this at a press conference during this year's festival.

    "I see black people! And they're here. Though I got a lot of criticism for once saying, 'Well I don't think black people like to camp," Harvey said. "There are some historic reasons for that, especially in the United States."

    Harvey elaborated on this comment in an interview with The Guardian's Steven Thrasher, which was published on Friday. 

    "Remember a group that was enslaved and made to work. Slavishly, you know in the fields. This goes all the way back to the Caribbean scene, when the average life of a slave in the fields was very short. And, so, there's that background, that agrarian poverty associated with things. Maybe your first move isn’t to go camping. Seriously," Harvey explained.

    Harvey also described a moment where he was criticized for sharing this view. He said it came when festival organizers spoke with a consultant who "was black, and lesbian, and she had a niche in the nonprofit world, because they're always trying to check off those boxes, in terms of quotas."

    "At a certain point, she made a speech which was pro forma, which I didn't know was the speech she always made, about the racial question. I said 'Well, I don't think black folks like to camp as much as white folks!' And she said 'You son of a b----!'" Harvey recounted.

    Thrasher pointed out that an annual Burning Man census showed the event is 87% white and just 1.3% black. He said this is especially interesting since "the first of the festival's 10 principles is 'racial inclusion.'"

    Harvey noted his ex-wife and children are all African-American. He said he brought them to the festival and hopes it will cause others to follow.

    "I have contributed. Because, my stepson and my stepdaughter and my ex-wife are here," said Harvey.

    Though he said he wants the event to become more diverse, Harvey argued it is "a little much to expect the organization to solve the problem of racial parity" in the press conference. 

    At the end of his interview with Thrasher, Harvey expressed a wish that his comments won't offend anyone.

    "I hope I haven't said anything too incendiary," he said.

    Harvey also discussed concerns about Silicon Valley executives setting up luxury encampments at the event in the interview. You can read the full story here.

    SEE ALSO: Antitax crusader Grover Norquist says he's going back to Burning Man — with a surprising guest

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  • Palestinian refugee who Merkel made cry had her residency permit extended
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 7:08 PM:)

    MerkelStreicheltThe 14-year-old Palestinian girl who cried after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her she might be deported has had her residency permit extended until March 2016, the mayor's office in the northern city of Rostock said on Friday.

    Merkel was criticized in July after she told the girl, identified as Reem, during a televised discussion forum that Germany could not admit everyone who wanted to live there, and then stroked her on her back when Reem started crying.

    The video of the exchange went viral and started the hashtag #merkelstreichelt (meaning "Merkel strokes") with critics accusing her of looking clumsy and lacking empathy.

    Migrants face Hungarian police in the main Eastern Railway station in Budapest, Hungary, September 1, 2015. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh Reem, who is from Lebanon, has lived in Germany for four years and had told Merkel in fluent German that she wanted to study there, but that it was uncertain whether she would be allowed to stay.

    The mayor's office in Rostock said Reem and her father on Thursday received a limited residency permit that is valid until March 2016. The office could not immediately clarify what will happen after that date.

    It said the rest of the family would not be deported so that they could remain together.

    Merkel, who has been criticized for being slow to condemn violent protests against refugees in an east German town last month, saw her approval ratings slip by 4 points to 63 percent over how she has handled the refugee crisis.

    Germany, with relatively liberal asylum laws and generous benefits, is the EU's biggest recipient of people fleeing war in the Middle East and economic migrants from southeastern Europe.

    refugees berlinA record 104,460 asylum seekers entered the country in August, and it expects about 800,000 people to file for asylum this year — four times last year's level.

    The refugee crisis has surged to new heights lately with the number of refugees entering Europe from January to July 2015 exceeding 300,000, and almost daily clashes between migrants and the police in eastern European countries. 

    The hot spot of the crisis at the moment is in Hungary where authorities are not letting refugees onto trains bound for Germany. Thousands of people have been protesting outside the Budapest train station claiming they had the right to continue their journey.

    Meanwhile, Hungarian officials are saying they are doing what they are supposed to, by trying to register the asylum seekers before letting them continue. 

    Many of the refugees have one precise destination in mind: Germany.

    Merkel has announced there would be no cap to the number of Syrian refugees they would accept and that asylum seekers would be able to apply for asylum in Germany instead of being deported back to the first European country through which they entered the union.

    In response to those decisions, Syrians have been sending Merkel messages of love. People have, especially on social media been showing their appreciation for what the German chancellor did. 

    Syrian friends on FB are sharing this "We Love You" image of #Merkel to thank her for receiving Syrians in #Germany pic.twitter.com/lhLg7Lej0m

    — Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 25, 2015

    Facebook pages dedicated to Merkel have been created, one entitled "Mama Merkel, Mother of the Outcasts”, where images of Merkel, to which loving slogans were added circulate. 

    One young refugee from Ghana who made the perilous journey to Europe while heavily pregnant even named her daughter 'Angela Merkel'. The 26-year-old who lives in a refugee shelter in Hanover with over 700 other asylum seekers said she did it because she is very grateful and likes Merkel. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Suddenly all of Europe is dealing with a massive migrant crisis

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  • MARK CUBAN: Mavericks fans love that Donald Trump 'is shaking things up'
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 7:06 PM:)

    Donald Trump Mark Cuban America President Election 2016

    Real-estate magnate Donald Trump's presidential campaign announced on Friday that it scheduled a major rally in two weeks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.

    This is the same venue that in which the NBA's Dallas Mavericks play their home games. So Business Insider reached out to the basketball team's owner, Mark Cuban, to find out if would be attending.

    The outspoken investor said he would be filming another episode of "Shark Tank" at the same time. However, he predicted Trump would bring down the house at his home arena.

    "I can't be there," Cuban wrote through his Cyber Dust social media app. "But I have no doubt he will kill it in Texas."

    Cuban frequently weighs on Trump's presidential campaign on Cyber Dust, once even praising it as "probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long long time." 

    He has also opined at length about how there's one word that sums up Trump — "killer" — and speculated on how he would respond if Trump, a fellow billionaire, asked him to be his vice president.

    Cuban told Business Insider on Friday that much of the feedback he has received from Mavericks fans has been pro-Trump. Cuban suggested that Republican businessman's brashness and drive has some natural appeal in Texas.

    "People aren't concerned with his policies at this point. They think ... they will evolve," Cuban wrote. "They love that he is shaking things up. There is nothing more Texan than being confident and entrepreneurial. That's the sense I get."

    SEE ALSO: Mark Cuban: There's one word that sums up Donald Trump

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    NOW WATCH: Donald Trump’s net worth — according to someone who isn’t Donald Trump

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  • Hillary Clinton hits Donald Trump for saying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doesn't 'have a clue about life'
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 5:34 PM:)


    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a rare televised interview on Friday during which, among other things, she addressed Donald Trump's attacks against one of her aides, Huma Abedin.

    Clinton said she didn't mind the Republican front-runner's attacks against herself but was bothered by the Trump saying Abedin could not be trusted with classified material when she worked at the State Department.

    "Well, he's attacked so many people, including my close aide and myself and many other people. I can take that. I mean, that's just par for the course," she said.

    Clinton quickly pivoted to other media figures Trump has trashed.

    "I do regret that he's going after so many people, many of them by name — from great basketball players to people who expressed different opinions from him," she said.

    Clinton's reference to "great basketball players" was likely a jab at Trump for insulting NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who this week wrote a Washington Post column critical of the real-estate mogul's campaign.

    Trump responded to Abdul-Jabbar as he often does: with handwritten scathing commentary sent directly to the author.

    "Now I know why the press always treated you so badly — they couldn’t stand you. The fact is that you don’t have a clue about life and what has to be done to make America great again! Best wishes," Trump wrote to Abdul-Jabbar, who published the response.

    Clinton, still speaking vaguely, called Trump's various attacks an "unfortunate development," and also criticized the Republican businessman for using harsh rhetoric against illegal immigration and "women broadcasters." This was likely a reference to Fox News host Megyn Kelly, with whom Trump has passionately feuded, but could also include other television journalists.

    "I think it's an unfortunate development in American politics that his campaign is all about who he's against, whether it's immigrants, or women broadcasters, or aides of other candidates," she said.

    "He is the candidate of being against," Clinton added. "The vision that I have for America is how we come together."

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump to Washington Post columnist: 'You are the racist'

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    NOW WATCH: Forget Ivanka — here’s the Trump daughter nobody’s talking about

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  • This graphic shows where Europe's refugees are from and where they are going
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 5:17 PM:)

    Europe's refugee crisis is surging.

    This year, more than 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe — and more than 2,600 have died doing so.

    Hundreds of thousands of people are making the risky trek to various European Union nations this summer to flee persecution, war, and terrorism in their native countries in the Middle East and Africa.

    A recent photograph of a drowned toddler facedown on a Turkish beach sparked outrage earlier this week and prompted a shift in how the EU approaches refugees amid what has been described as the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

    Turkey migrant

    Germany is the most proactive of the 28 EU member nations.

    Comparatively, Germany plans to accept an estimated 800,000 refugees this year, while the UK has admitted 216 refugees. On Friday, however, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK would now accept thousands of Syrian refugees.

    The graphic below shows the EU nations accepting the most refugees:

    origin countries of asylum applicants in the top receiving countries in the EU

    Though the EU has a policy of accepting refugees, it has no set guidelines as to how to distribute them among the 28 member states, which has caused tensions between the countries.

    Per European law, asylum seekers have to be registered and stay in the country they first arrive in, but the extreme situation has led Germany to forgo this rule and is register and accept asylum applications from refugees even if Germany was not the first European country they entered.

    A new poll in Sweden shows that the public thinks immigration is the most important issue facing the country. It did not specify whether it was viewed positively or negatively.

    Italy has been facing the crisis for longer than most other European countries, as the country is widely used as an entry port to Europe. Italy's prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has for months now called on the rest of Europe to take on its share of refugees and not let his country and Greece face this crisis alone.

    The high number of refugees has also caused a surge in right-wing populist movements throughout Europe.

    Many countries, among them France, Italy, and Austria, have started implementing border controls again to keep refugees from entering the country and as an attempt to clamp down on trafficking.

    Hungarian police positioned nearby watch as Syrian migrants climb under a fence to enter Hungary at the Hungarian-Serbian border near Roszke, Hungary August 26, 2015. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

    Hungary has started building a wall on its border with Serbia in a bid to keep asylum seekers from entering the EU altogether.

    The crisis has also prompted many locals to show support for refugees. In Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, and Belgium, locals with enough room and resources have started taking refugees into their homes.

    SEE ALSO: This photo sums up the slow-motion tragedy unfolding in Europe

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    NOW WATCH: Macedonian police fired tear gas and stun grenades at refugees fleeing ISIS

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  • Texas' lieutenant governor sent out an official list on how to lessen police tensions: 'Pick up their lunch check'
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 4:41 PM:)

    dan patrick

    Following last week's shooting death of a Texas sheriff's deputy, the state's lieutenant governor released a statement on his website detailing how Texans could help make police officer's jobs "a little easier."

    "As more details of the tragic death of Harris County Sheriff Deputy Darren Goforth unfold, a morbid reality is unveiled about America’s negative attitude toward our law enforcement officers," Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R) wrote.

    "It must end now or we run the risk of fewer men and women willing to go into the profession and families insisting their spouses change careers."

    Noting how "underappreciated" police officers — who "are judged 24/7, 365 days a year for their entire career" — must feel, Patrick suggested the following:

    • "Start calling our officers sir and ma’am all of the time. It’s a show of respect they deserve."
    • "Every time you see an officer anywhere, let them know you appreciate their service to our community and you stand with them."
    • "If you are financially able, when you see them in a restaurant on duty pick up their lunch check, send over a dessert, or simply stop by their table briefly and say thank you for their service."
    • "Put their charities on your giving list."
    • "If your local law enforcement has volunteer-citizen job opportunities, sign up."

    Patrick ended the statement by reaffirming his belief that "all lives matter" and encouraging Texans to join him in Wednesday's "special prayer service to honor our fallen law enforcement heroes."

    You can read the full statement on Patrick's website.

    Harris County Sheriff Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was shot 15 times while filling up his patrol car at a local gas station. Authorities believe the attack was unprovoked, and that Goforth was targeted because of his uniform. 

    Some Texan officials connected the shooting to the rhetoric associated with the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

    "We've heard 'black lives matter,' 'all lives matter.' Well, cops' lives matter, too," Sheriff Ron Hickman said at a press conference. "A dangerous national rhetoric that is out there today ... has gotten out of control."

    Politicians' use of the phrase "all lives matter" has sparked controversy among "black lives matter" activists who feel that the slogan "minimizes a movement that is meant to bring attention to the deaths of black men, women and children who have died as a result of alleged police brutality," as Business Insider's Bryan Logan has noted.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: More trouble for Subway's Jared Fogle...

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  • One of the main arguments against the seriousness of Donald Trump's campaign keeps evaporating
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 3:50 PM:)

    Donald Trump

    Donald Trump's image with Republican primary voters has seen a sharp, positive uptick over the past two weeks, adding to new signs of his durability as a candidate.

    New Gallup data released Friday shows that Trump's net favorability rating — the difference between the percentage of people who view him favorably vs. unfavorably — jumped 16 points in just the past couple weeks.

    He's now viewed favorably by 63% of Republican voters nationwide, compared with 31% of Republicans who have an unfavorable opinion of him.

    The 32-point net favorable rating puts him behind five other GOP candidates — a far cry from when he was routinely one of the most disliked candidates in the Republican field.

    The most popular Republican candidate by Gallup's methodology is retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has rocketed up polls alongside Trump following the first Republican presidential debate last month. He's viewed favorably by 57% of Republicans, while just 6% have a negative opinion of him.

    But while voters' opinions of Carson have improved as he has stepped into the national spotlight, Trump has defied past political trends by reversing a deeply unpopular sentiment about him.

    For example, one poll of Iowa voters in May found that the Hawkeye State's Republicans viewed him unfavorably by a 63-to-27 margin. Now, they see him favorably by a 61-to-35 split.

    "This marks a significant shift; Trump's image previous to the last two weeks had been relatively stable despite the extraordinary media attention his candidacy has engendered," Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport wrote.

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions from reporters at a campaign fundraiser at the home of car dealer Ernie Boch Jr. in Norwood, Massachusetts August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

    Trump's favorability ratings have been a key citation in the argument that his candidacy would likely fade quickly. The argument went that he could not expand beyond a rabid, core base that constituted a "ceiling."

    But polls over the summer have continually disproved that argument.

    In a recent CNN poll of Republicans nationally, for example, 58% viewed Trump favorably — an increase of eight points from the previous month. He has also boosted those numbers among Republicans in key swing states like Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, as well as the first-caucus state of Iowa.

    Aside from Carson, the GOP candidates with better favorability ratings among Republicans than Trump are US Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

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    NOW WATCH: How much Donald Trump makes in speaking fees compared to everyone else

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  • The New Yorker repurposed one of the most famous newspaper covers ever to take on Kanye West and Donald Trump
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 2:39 PM:)

    New Yorker Kanye West 2020 cover

    The New Yorker is cleverly taking on rapper Kanye West's declaration that he's going to run for president of the US in 2020 with a cover that reimagines the infamously incorrect "Dewey defeats Truman" cover of the Chicago Tribune in 1948.

    Here's how cartoonist Barry Blitt describes his cover: "Kanye West’s announcement of his intention to seek the Presidency reminds us that it’s not too early to start thinking about the 2020 campaign. (2016’s already old hat by now, anyway). And when one considers Mr. West, it doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to be reminded of another scrappy kid who won the Presidency, back in 1948, against all odds. The press wrote him off, too. That’s right — Harry Truman."

    In a rush to jump on what the Tribune thought was a sure thing, the newspaper pushed out its post-Election Day edition to the presses before all the votes were tallied.

    The Tribune recalls the mistake on its website: "The ink was hardly dry on 150,000 copies of the paper when radio bulletins reported that the race was surprisingly close. The headline was changed to DEMOCRATS MAKE SWEEP OF STATE OFFICES for the second edition."

    Here's the cover:

    dewey defeauts truman

    With Donald Trump racing to the head of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls, despite many people not taking his candidacy seriously when he first announced it, we might not be able to write anything off — even Kanye 2020.

    The rapper announced his White House aspirations during MTV's Video Music Awards on August 30:

    West prefaced his bombshell announcement by saying: "It's not about me. It's about ideas. New ideas. People with ideas. People who believe in truth."

    Perhaps being at least somewhat tongue in cheek, the Democratic National Committee also "welcomed" West into the race:

    Last night @kanyewest declared his candidacy for president in 2020. Welcome to the race, Mr. West. Glad to have you. pic.twitter.com/RKRWuRhSxv

    — The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) August 31, 2015

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump: 'Kanye West — I love him'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Donald Trump’s net worth — according to someone who isn’t Donald Trump

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  • Joe Biden: Here's my thinking on the 2016 race
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 1:30 PM:)


    Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday evening publicly aired his thoughts on the 2016 presidential race for the first time.

    Biden, taking questions after giving a foreign-policy address in Atlanta, said he simply wasn't sure whether he was ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

    He said the only factor in his decision-making process was how his family was coping with sudden absence of his son Beau Biden, who died earlier this year after battling brain cancer.

    "I will be straightforward with you," Biden said. "The most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I have the emotional energy to run.

    "Some might think that is not appropriate," he added. "But unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate."

    Biden is widely viewed as one of the only remaining Democrats who can enter the presidential fray and present a notable primary challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Clinton, the party's front-runner, has had a particularly rough summer amid questions over the private email server she exclusively used for her State Department business. Critics say she violated protocol and jeopardized classified information. Clinton's allies dismiss those claims as unfounded partisan attacks.

    Polls show that Biden would enter the race with a steep hill to climb against Clinton, who has had months to build a massive fundraising network and campaign infrastructure. But Biden dismissed those potential obstacles during his Thursday address.

    "And everybody talks about a lot of other factors: the other people in the race, whether I can raise money, and whether I can put together an organization. That's not the factor," he said. "The factor is: Can I do it? Can my family undertake what is an arduous commitment that we'd be proud to undertake in ordinary circumstances? But the honest-to-God answer is I just don't know."

    Biden reminded his audience that he was no stranger to tragedy — his wife and 1-year-old daughter died in a car accident after he was first elected to the Senate in 1972 — and he said he knew he could not put a "timetable" on the 2016 question.

    "If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it," he said. "But I have to be honest with you and everyone who's come to me: I can't look you straight in the eye and say now, 'I know I can do that.' This is as honest as I can be."

    Watch below, video via CNN:

    SEE ALSO: Joe Biden is reportedly calling people and saying he's 'thinking about' launching a presidential campaign

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  • What net neutrality means for Netflix, AT&T, Time Warner — and you
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 1:20 PM:)

    bii mobile only adults net neutrality

    Americans are increasingly ditching their desktops and reaching for their mobile devices to access the internet instead. 

    For this reason, mobile broadband – or internet access from any mobile device – was included in the FCC's recently adopted net neutrality proposal, making it subject to many of the same constraints and regulations as the wired internet.

    This has added another layer to the hot-button debate on net neutrality – the concept that all data transmitted over the internet, from all sources, ranging from established digital content companies like Netflix to budding online startups to indie blogs, should be treated equally.

    In a new report, BI Intelligence examines how new provisions enacted by the FCC are applied to the mobile market, the impact that the application of net neutrality has on stakeholders like ISPs, consumers, and digital media companies, and what is likely to happen with the FCC's net neutrality rules in the months and years to come. 

    Access The Full Report And Our Ongoing Research By Signing Up For A Full-Access Membership>>

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    In full, the report: 

    To access the full report from BI Intelligence, sign up for a full-access 14-day trial here. Full-access members also gain access to new in-depth reports, hundreds of charts, as well as daily newsletters on the digital industrybii mobile network life cycles 2g 3g 4g 5g

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    NOW WATCH: The exercise habits that 12 tech titans use to stay in shape

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  • Donald Trump mocks radio host who challenged his foreign-policy knowledge
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 12:56 PM:)


    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump dismissed radio host Hugh Hewitt on Friday morning for asking him specific foreign-policy questions the day before.

    Speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Trump lamented that Hewitt, the moderator of the next GOP debate this month, asked too many "gotcha" questions.

    "It was like 'gotcha, 'gotcha,' 'gotcha.' Every question was, do I know 'this one' or 'that one,'" Trump said, adding that it seemed like Hewitt had extensively prepared his questions in order to stump him.

    "It was like he worked hard on that," the real-estate mogul said.

    Hewitt, a former Reagan administration official who has interviewed virtually the entire presidential field multiple times, is fond of pressing candidates on national-security issues in particular. Thursday was no exception, but Hewitt's Trump interview stumbled right out of the gate.

    Trump initially said he was familiar with Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the notorious commander of the country's elite Quds Forces who oversees the country's network of proxy organizations.

    However, Trump then mixed up "Quds" and "Kurds" in his response, arguing that the US needed to boost the Kurdish troops in neighboring Iraq in their fight against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). He explained that he had misheard the question.

    Later in the Hewitt interview, Trump said it was not yet important for him to know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, the Islamic militant groups based in Lebanon and Palestine, respectively. He also said he didn't recognize a wide range of Islamic militant leaders listed by Hewitt. 

    "Of course I don't know them," Trump told Hewitt. "I've never met them. I haven't been in a position to meet them. If they're still there — which is unlikely in many cases — but if they're still there [when I'm elected], I will know them better than I know you."

    Trump has a penchant for sparring with interviewers — even debate moderators — he feels have asked him unfair questions. He went on a tirade against last month against Megyn Kelly, who moderated the first GOP debate, and he has revisited that criticism at multiple points since.

    During his "Morning Joe" interview, Trump took a tongue-in-cheek tone to dismiss both Hewitt and the Quds-Kurds mix-up.

    "When you said 'Quds' versus 'Kurds,' I thought he said 'Kurds' — this third-rate radio announcer that I did his show," Trump said. "While we're on it, I do think the Kurds are not being utilized properly and not being treated properly by us." 

    Watch below:


    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump just had an awkward foreign-policy interview where he admitted he didn't know many of the answers

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    NOW WATCH: People were baffled by 50 sharks circling in shallow waters off the English coast

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  • This map shows exactly how many refugees are applying for asylum across Europe
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 12:30 PM:)

    Europe is in the midst of a refugee crisis.

    Thousands of people are fleeing the Syrian civil war, now in its fifth year, as well as Islamic State militants in parts of the Middle East, conflict in Sudan, and oppression in Eritrea ("Africa's North Korea").

    Below is a picture of exactly how the crisis stacks up in numbers at the moment, looking at the number of pending asylum applications in each of the 28 European Union nations, as of June.


    As you can see, Germany has by far the most asylum applications, almost double the next biggest figure in Hungary. (Scenes of clashes between the police and refugees at Budapest's central railway have been running on TV for the past few days.)

    Germany is expecting as many as 800,000 refugees to arrive this year.

    Despite a lot of rhetoric about the UK being flooded with asylum seekers, the UK has less than one-tenth of the number of applications as Germany and roughly the same number as the Netherlands.

    The Financial Times also has a neat graphic that shows how the applications stack up when you compare the relative populations of each nation. When you cut the figures that way, the UK doesn't rank much higher.

    Under those conditions, Sweden has the most pending applications — 5.7 per 100,000, compared with 0.5 per 100,000 for the UK. The European average is 1.1 per 100,000.

    The flood of displaced people is causing a slow-motion tragedy, with horrific images of drowning children and families at risk of being torn apart.

    Both Germany and France have called for Europe to install a quota system to ensure each country take in its fair share of refugees. Both countries have spoken of it as a "moral" responsibility, seen by many as a thinly veiled snipe at David Cameron.

    Until Friday, Britain's government has been reluctant to commit to taking on more refugees (Cameron now says the UK will take "thousands more.")

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Suddenly all of Europe is dealing with a massive migrant crisis

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  • Unemployment rate plunges (SPY, DJI, IXIC, USD, TLT)
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 12:30 PM:)

    american flag unicycle

    The US unemployment rate is at a seven-year low.

    The economy added 173,000 jobs last month, fewer than expected, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.1% from 5.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    We also got some wage growth, with average hourly earnings rising 0.3% month-over-month and 2.5% year-on-year.

    The number of job gains in July was revised up to 245,000 from 215,000.

    As we outlined earlier, this report was expected to hugely influence market expectations for whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its meeting later this month. A strong report was seen to support other data we've recently received that show the economy is advancing at a steady pace — probably steady enough to warrant the first rate increase in a decade.

    In a speech just before the jobs report, Richmond Fed president Jeffrey Lacker said the labor market supported the case for raising rates sooner rather than later. But this report was unlikely to "materially alter the labor market picture or, for that matter, the monetary policy outlook."

    Screen Shot 2015 09 04 at 10.35.44 AM

    Also, even though inflation is still off the Fed's 2% target, wage growth was expected to boost confidence that it is on its way there.

    Other secondary labor-market indicators had pointed to strong gains in August, including initial jobless claims, and the employment components of ISM manufacturing indexes.

    And it turns out, history repeated itself. Deutsche Bank's Joe Lavorgna had noted that job gains in August had missed consensus forecasts in 21 out of the past 27 years. He had forecast a payroll print of 170,000, below consensus and closer to the actual print.

    By industry, employment in mining and manufacturing declined, while education and health services added the most jobs for any industry, at 62,000.

    Stocks fell after the jobs report, and Dow futures lost more than 200 points.

    Here's what Wall Street was expecting, via Bloomberg:

    • Nonfarm payrolls: +217,000
    • Unemployment rate: 5.2%
    • Average hourly earnings, month-over-month: +0.2%
    • Average hourly earnings, year-over-year: +2.1%
    • Average weekly hours worked: 34.5


    SEE ALSO: No matter what the jobs report says, the Fed still has a major problem

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    NOW WATCH: The August jobs report could be a game changer for the US economy

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  • This Egyptian tycoon wants to buy an island to house Syrian refugees
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 10:59 AM:)


    An Egyptian billionaire has offered to buy a Mediterranean island to help the thousands of people fleeing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere, according to a report from AFP.

    Naguib Sawiris, the owner of an Egyptian TV channel and chief of telecoms company Orascom, first tweeted his idea, writing: "Greece or Italy sell me an island, I'll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country."

    He confirmed in an interview later that he would approach those governments, saying the idea is feasible.

    "You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees," said Sawiris. He said that, although an island would cost up to $100 million, the "main thing is investment in infrastructure."

    More than 2,ooo people have died at sea trying to reach Europe since January. Many came from Syria, which is into its fifth year of internal conflict.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Friday that the UK will take in "thousands more" Syrian refugees. There's been a public outcry for the UK to do more to help.

    Cameron said the Britain "will act with our head and our heart."

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  • The 10 most important things in the world right now
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 4:45 AM:)


    Good morning everyone! Here's what you need to know on Friday.

    1. A haunting image of a drowned Syrian toddler washed up on a Turkish beach has thrust the plight of migrants into the spotlight as thousands of refugees, most from Syria, risk everything to reach Europe.

    2. Former Guatemalan President Otto Perez was ordered to be held in jail overnight, just hours after he resigned, while hearings over his alleged role in a customs corruption scandal continue.

    3. Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, where migrants have been stopped from boarding trains, called the crisis a "German problem" and said Syrian refugees must "stay in Turkey" because they threaten Europe's "Christian roots."

    4. France confirmed Thursday that debris that washed up on a French island in the Indian Ocean in July was from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

    5. A Kentucky clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples will spend at least a week in jail for contempt of court.

    6. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned that Europe could slip back into deflation in the coming months.

    7. Liberia was declared free of the deadly Ebola virus for a second time on Thursday, after the virus killed more than 4,800 people.

    8. Rumours that Brazil's finance minister was about to step down Thursday briefly shook markets and sent the country's currency, the real, falling before stabilizing.

    9. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an international coalition to fight extremism and says he talked about the initiative with US President Barack Obama.

    10. The US could sanction Chinese companies in connection with a series of data breaches as early as next week, according to the Financial Times.

    And finally ...

    A merino sheep named Chris, who got lost in the wild some years ago, had a record 89 pounds of fleece sheared off his body.

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  • Donald Trump just had an awkward foreign-policy interview where he admitted he didn't know many of the answers
    (Politics - September 04 2015 - 1:47 AM:)


    Real-estate magnate Donald Trump admitted he didn't know the answers to what he called "gotcha" questions in a Thursday interview focused on foreign policy.

    Among other things, the Republican presidential front-runner suggested it was not yet important for him to know the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas, the Islamic militant groups based in Lebanon and Palestine.

    The interview went awry from the start. Hugh Hewitt, the high-profile conservative radio host who is moderating the next GOP debate, asked Trump about Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the country's elite Quds Forces who is responsible for overseeing Iran's network of proxy organizations.

    "Are you familiar with General Soleimani?" Hewitt asked.

    Trump said he was — but added that Hewitt should "go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me."

    Hewitt informed Trump that Soleimani runs the Quds Forces. ("Soleimani is to terrorism sort of what Trump is to real estate," Hewitt said.) But Trump started talking about how the US needed to treat the Kurdish forces in Iraq better, a reference to the US-led coalition's fight against the Islamic State.

    After a quick back-and-forth, Trump explained that he had misheard Hewitt.

    In a later question, the radio host listed a series of other notable Islamic militant-group leaders — Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah, Al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Nusra Front's Abu Muhammad al-Julani, and the Islamic State's Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — and asked Trump whether he was familiar with them.

    Trump said he didn't know their names but dismissed the question as unimportant because new people would supposedly lead the groups by the time the next president was elected. He also vowed to hire an extremely talented general to lead the US armed forces.

    "But as far as the individual players, of course I don't know them," Trump said. "I've never met them. I haven't been in a position to meet them. If they're still there — which is unlikely in many cases — but if they're still there, I will know them better than I know you."


    Hewitt noted that Nasrallah, the veteran Hezbollah leader, has actually been in power for a long time. In fact, according to the Israel Defense Forces, Nasrallah has been the group's leader since 1992.

    The two then debated whether Hewitt's questions were fair inquiries or "gotcha" attempts to get the candidate to acknowledge that he didn't know obscure facts.

    "Well, that is a 'gotcha' question, though," Trump said. "I mean, you know, when you're asking me about who's running this, this, this. ... I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.

    "But obviously, I'm not meeting these people. I'm not seeing these people," Trump added, repeating his claim that the groups' leaders would most likely be gone by the time he would take office in January 2017.

    Hewitt insisted he was not trying to stump the real-estate developer, but Trump said it "sounded like 'gotcha'" and called it "ridiculous" to know the names of all the Islamic militant leaders.

    The interview then moved on to more favorable topics, including broader foreign-policy questions about the Middle East and Asia. But Hewitt, clearly baffled from the initial exchange, ended the interview by returning to the questions Trump acknowledged he didn't know much about.

    "I really do disagree with you on the 'gotcha' question thing, Donald Trump," Hewitt said. "At the debate, I may bring up Nasrallah being with Hezbollah, and al-Julani being with al-Nusra, and al-Masri being with Hamas. Do you think if I ask people to talk about those three things, and the differences, that that's a 'gotcha' question?"

    "Yes, I do. I totally do. I think it's ridiculous," Trump said. "I'm a delegator. I find great people. I find absolutely great people, and I'll find them in our armed services, and I find absolutely great people ... But when you start throwing around names of people and where they live and give me their address, I think it's ridiculous, and I think it's totally worthless."

    Donald TrumpTrump then repeated again that the militant group leaders "probably won't even be there in six months or a year," causing Hewitt to repeat his argument that Nasrallah, of Hezbollah, is probably not going anywhere anytime soon.

    "Last question," Hewitt said, "So the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas does not matter to you yet, but it will?"

    "It will [matter to me] when it's appropriate," Trump answered. "I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won't take me long."

    In fairness to Trump, he is not the only presidential Republican candidate who had to keep up with Hewitt, a former official in the Reagan administration who is a military wonk, during interviews on his daily radio show.

    On the same day of the Trump interview, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina was also not especially familiar with the individual militant leaders in the Middle East but showed much more proficiency with questions about their organizations. And in March, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson appeared to botch Hewitt's questions about NATO members and the origins of the Islamic religion.

    Check out Hewitt's full Trump interview transcript here — or watch below:

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump tried to replace the 'cheap tent' outside the White House with a $100 million ballroom

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  • These are the 7 emerging cartels Mexico just recognized
    (Politics - September 03 2015 - 10:30 PM:)

    drugs mexico cartels

    Mexico's Attorney General's Office (PGR) has identified seven new criminal organizations that it has identified as cartels for their range of criminal exploits. 

    The new organizations are smaller, less entrenched, and are less powerful than the older generation of Mexican cartels which were massive sprawling criminal enterprises.

    Instead the new cartels, Insight Crime notes, have largely spawned from mid-ranking members of former Mexican cartels, such as the Zetas. 

    Mexico is currently carrying out a "kingpin strategy" against criminal organizations in the country.

    The strategy has largely been successful in apprehending the country's top cartel members. However, it has done little to alleviate the underlying conditions which spawned the cartels. As such, the kingpin strategy has done little other than cause the previous Mexican cartels to implode leading to the creation of multiple new criminal organizations. 

    We have profiled the seven latest cartels to enter the Mexican criminal scene below. 

    "Cartel del Estado" ("The State Cartel")

    The State Cartel operates primarily in Michoacana, Mexico. It draws its income from diverse sources, including charging other organizations for the transport of drugs through its territory, local drug dealing, and kidnapping, the PGR notes.

    The State first formed as a faction within the now-defunct Familia Michoacana cartel, Insight Crime notes.

    The fall of the Familia previously gave rise to a number of gangs, including the Knights Templar cartel.

    "Cartel de los Precursores Quimicos" ("The Precursor Chemical Cartel")

    The Precursor Chemical Cartel, as its name implies, deals largely with the sourcing and distribution of the precursor chemicals needed for large-scale drug production, PGR writes.

    This group's specialization in the dealing of only precursor chemicals is illustrative of the Balkanization of the cartels.

    Whereas the larger cartels in Mexico would have previously attempted to control all facets of drug production, the implosion of the cartels has allowed the Precursor Chemical Cartel to flourish.

    "Cartel de los Mazatlecos" ("Mazatlecos Cartel")

    The Mazatlecos Cartel, Insight Crime notes, was first formed by the crippled Beltran Leyva Organization and the Zetas Cartel as a local gang to attack the Sinaloa Cartel.

    The Mazatlecos was largely a local gang in the Mexican state of Sinaloa specifically to disrupt the Sinaloa's operations in their home state.

    The Mazatlecos has since grown in power. They're now involved in drug dealing, kidnapping, and extortion. The group also makes use of training camps to prepare its members, and it has large-scale associations with street gangs throughout its areas of operation.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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  • Mike Huckabee says Hillary Clinton should go to jail before the anti-gay marriage Kentucky clerk
    (Politics - September 03 2015 - 9:41 PM:)


    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a 2016 presidential candidate, lashed out at the federal government after a Kentucky clerk was ordered to jail on Thursday for refusing a court order to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

    "We must end the criminalization of Christianity!" Huckabee declared on Twitter later in the day.

    The clerk, Kim Davis of Rowan County, steadfastly defied the Supreme Court's ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide — and a subsequent order to issue licenses.

    Davis declared she was acting under "under God's authority." Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, used similar language to describe the ruling. 

    "We must defend religious liberty and never surrender to judicial tyranny. Five, unelected Supreme Court lawyers did not and cannot make law. They can only make rulings. The Supreme Court is not the Supreme branch and it's certainly not the Supreme Being," he said in a statement to his supporters Thursday.

    But the legal system disagreed with that assessment, and Davis was found in contempt of court.

    Many social conservatives said they were outraged that her religious rights were not being respected. Huckabee took things a step further, however, by writing on Twitter that it would make more sense for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, to be jailed:

    What a world, where Hillary Clinton isn't in jail but #KimDavis is. #ImWithKim

    — Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) September 3, 2015

    Huckabee's tweet is likely referencing the ongoing email controversy dogging Clinton's campaign. Clinton exclusively used a personal email server while at the State Department, which she erased after turning over the emails she said were relevant to her job.

    Additionally, she has been criticized for potentially leaving classified material on an unclassified system. She has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.

    Clinton has maintained that she did not send or receive emails that were marked classified at the time. However, dozens have already been retroactively classified as her emails are slowly released to the public. Additionally, some reports have claimed that certain material in her account was inherently classified under federal protocol.

    Huckabee, who said he was heading to Kentucky next week, also suggested that San Francisco officials who flaunt federal immigration laws should be jailed if Davis is:

    #KimDavis in jail for not issuing same-sex wedding licenses. Why aren't San Fran officials in jail for ignoring immigration law? #ImWithKim

    — Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) September 3, 2015

    SEE ALSO: Mike Huckabee rages at Supreme Court's marriage ruling: It's like repealing 'the law of gravity'

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  • Here's the story behind the unexpected moment at the end of Donald Trump's press conference
    (Politics - September 03 2015 - 9:40 PM:)

    Donald Trump Indonesia

    Donald Trump had a very special grand finale at his press conference on Thursday at Trump Tower in New York City.

    Moments after he seemingly finished his remarks and walked away from the podium, Trump returned to the microphone with a man at his side. Trump introduced his special guest who had been standing behind him during the event.

    "The speaker of the house of Indonesia, he's here to see me. Setya Novanto, one of the most powerful men and a great man," Trump explained. "And his whole group is here to see me today. And we will do great things for the United States is that correct?" 

    "Yes," Novanto answered.

    Trump had another question for his guest.

    "Do they like me in Indonesia?" he asked. 

    "Yes, highly," Novanto said. "Thank you very much."

    Following the event, Business Insider spoke with another one of the members of the Indonesian delegation who came to meet with Trump, Fadli Zon, the vice chairman of Indonesia's House of Representatives. Zon explained Trump's appeal in Indonesia, where the real-estate mogul has a number of ventures.

    "I think we like him because he's also invested in Indonesia. He has some projects in Bali and West Java, so he's a friend of Indonesia," Zon said. "I think he is also very famous with his show and, of course, Indonesian people, when they talk about a millionaire or billionaire, what will pop up in their minds first is Donald Trump."

    Zon and some members of his delegation were carrying one of the ornate gift bags from the Trump Tower shop. He said he hadn't opened it and wasn't sure what was inside. Zon tried to peek inside, but the ribbon and tissue paper prevented him from getting a quick look. 

    President Barack Obama grew up in Indonesia and has a fan base there. Because of this, Business Insider asked Zon whether Trump's repeated shots at Obama have hurt his standing in the country. Zon said Indonesians appreciate both men.

    "Obama is also a friend of Indonesia," said Zon. "The election in United States is, of course, up to the people of the United States, but we care about people who care also about Indonesia. So, Obama is our friend. Donald Trump is also our friend."

    Zon also said he doesn't think Trump's controversial positions on immigration will affect his standing in Indonesia. 

    "I think what he said is fine. What he said is 'illegal immigrants,' he has no problem with the other people, with foreign people, with immigrants as long as it's legal," Zon explained. "So, I think it's very normative, a very good thing to say. I think it's very universal." 

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  • Obama left a moving comment on a 'Humans of New York' photo from Iran
    (Politics - September 03 2015 - 9:28 PM:)

    Barack Obama

    A recent photograph of an Iranian father and his young son posted to the popular "Humans of New York" Facebook page caught the attention of US President Barack Obama.

    And on Thursday, Obama — who is presiding over the biggest thaw in US-Iranian relations in decades — left a comment on the post, saying it "really resonated" with him.

    In the original post, the Iranian father wrote about how he knew he was "raising a humanitarian" when he realized his then-5-year-old son had given away 2 pounds of fresh apricots on their walk home.

    In his subsequent comment, Obama called it an "inspirational story."

    "One of the most fulfilling things that can happen to you as a parent is to see the values you've worked to instill in your kids start to manifest themselves in their actions," he said. "And this one really resonated with me."

    Obama's comment from the White House account, signed "-bo," is below:

    Screen Shot 2015 09 03 at 5.09.47 PM

    Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind "Humans of New York," is currently traveling in Iran, where he has been posting the stories of ordinary Iranians. Obama's comment on the post came a day after he secured enough vote commitments from Democratic US senators to ensure that the deal on Iran's nuclear program would sail through Congress unscathed.

    Part of Obama's gung-ho support for the nuclear deal is the bet that the country's citizens will lead it down a more moderate path by the time its provisions expire 10 to 15 years down the road. Obama alluded to this sentiment in his post.

    "I'm going to continue doing whatever I can to make this world a place where he and every young person like him can live up to their full potential," Obama wrote.

    The original post is below:

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