time

Comedian Ian Cognito died during a stand-up act in which he joked about dying on stage and then fell silent while the audience continued laughing, thinking it was a joke.

“Imagine if I died in front of you lot here,” Cognito, 60, joked on stage during his set Thursday. Andrew Bird, who runs the Lone Wolf Comedy Club in Bicester England, told the BBC: “Everyone in the crowd, me included, thought he was joking. Even when I walked on stage and touched his arm I was expecting him to say ‘boo’.”

Audience members were mortified when they learned that had been chuckling at a man dying. “We came out feeling really sick, we just sat there for five minutes watching him, laughing at him,” said audience member John Ostojak. He added: “Only 10 minutes before he sat down he joked about having a stroke He said, ‘Imagine having a stroke and waking up speaking Welsh?'”

Fellow comedians extended their sympathies on Twitter after hearing the news of Cognito’s death, but commented that his demise was in some ways fitting.

“Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was,” said comedian Jimmy Carr.

Comedian Mark Steel said Cognito had “expired in his natural home” and was “a difficult awkward hilarious troubled brilliant sort, a proper comic.”

Bird said that dying on stage would have been the way Cognito “would have wanted to go,” adding: “Except he’d want more money and a bigger venue”

There is a comedic tradition of dying on stage. In 1984, comedian Tommy Cooper suffered a heart attack in the middle of his set on live television.His assistants and viewers back home thought he was making a joke as he slumped over and then writhed on the ground.

Cognito, whose real name was Paul Barbieri, had been performing since the mid-1980s. He won the Time Out Award for Stand-up Comedy in 1999 but never really hit the big time.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Friday the Pentagon stands ready to dispatch more troops to the border region if President Trump follows through with his pledge to increase the military presence along the U.S.-Mexico boundary.

Trump said after touring a section of recently upgraded border fencing in Calexico, Calif., last week, “We’re going to bring up some more military” to deal with what he said were more than 70,000 illegal migrants rushing the border.

Shanahan said the Pentagon has had conversations with the Department of Homeland Security but has yet to receive a formal request.

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we’ll provide more support to the border,” he said in response to a reporter’s question as he prepared to meet with German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen. “Our support is very elastic, and given the deterioration there at the border, you would expect that we would provide more support.” Shanahan said he anticipates the support will be similar to what the military has already provided with several thousand troops, barrier construction, transport, and surveillance.

Shanahan will meet with a planning team at the Pentagon over the weekend to prepare for the potential request, he said.

“It will follow up with where are we on barrier construction, where do we stand on troops deployed, and then in the areas we anticipate, what type of preliminary plans should we be doing prior to receiving a request for assistance,” he said.

Democrats have been highly critical of the deployment of active-duty troops to the border, and many have cited a leaked internal memo the Marine Corps commandant sent to the Navy secretary warning that unexpected expenses, such as hurricane damage and border operations, could force him to cancel routine training and degrade combat readiness.

But in Senate testimony this week, Gen. Robert Neller insisted his memo was being misconstrued. “To say that going to the border was degrading our readiness is not an accurate statement,” Neller told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Neller’s March 18 memo listed eight categories of unfunded and unexpected expenses. Hurricane recovery was at the top of the list, but a number of expenses were included, such as the raise for civilian employees, which was not in the budget.

“We have a shortfall of just under $300 million, of which the border mission is less than 2 percent,” Neller said. “So my intent was to just simply lay out for my boss what these were and ask for support in trying to figure out how we might fund them.”

Pressed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Neller conceded some Marines, who are not doing the jobs they would normally do, could see a small degradation in their unit readiness, but he said it depended on the unit.

“Some of the units have gone down there and they’ve done tasks that are more in line with their core mission. Like engineer units or MP units. Aviation units that were assigned to that early on have actually improved their readiness because they are able to fly certain profiles and things,” he testified.

Neller reports to his civilian boss, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, who requested the memo and jumped to Neller’s defense at the hearing.

“The main stress that we were dealing with at the time, senator, was the hurricane, which was imposing the greatest cost on the Marine Corps,” Spencer told Warren. “Five hundred men for a month at the southern border is $1.25 million. In my mind, is that affecting my readiness stress? No, it’s not.”

Neller said so far border operations have cost the Marine Corps $6.2 million.

Political consultant W. Samuel Patten, who pleaded guilty to illegally steering foreign money to President Trump’s inaugural committee, was sentenced to probation by a federal judge Friday, avoiding any jail time.

The investigation into Patten was a spin off of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she considered Patten’s cooperation with the Mueller investigation in handing down a lenient sentence. In addition to the three-year probation, Jackson also sentenced Patten to 500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine. The sentence is so far the most lenient sentence handed down to a guilty plea resulting from the Trump-Russia probe.

“I fully recognize the seriousness of my conduct and the crimes that I committed,” Patten said to Jackson just before the sentencing. “I behaved as though the law didn’t apply to me and that was wrong.”

Patten, 47, who worked closely with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was charged last year by federal authorities with failing to register as a foreign agent when he steered $50,000 from a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician to Trump’s inauguration. The complaint filed against Patten alleged that he worked as an unregistered agent from 2014-2018, violating the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

“None of them were minor and all of them were absolutely intentional,” Jackson said of the violations. “This isn’t a mere technicality and it wasn’t an oversight. You hid and misrepresented the true nature of the work on behalf of the Ukrainian party. I’m probably most troubled by that because it goes beyond the failure to register.”

The maximum sentence for his charge is five years in federal prison.

[ Read more: Chairman of Trump’s inaugural committee to cooperate with House investigation]

Attorney General William Barr will issue new rules for courts that handle immigration cases, which could have a dramatic effect on the immigration system, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Justice Department is set to change rules to help select appellate immigration judges declare their rulings binding on the whole immigration system, which could increase the number of individual judges making cursory decisions at the appellate level during a large-scale shakeup of the court.

“All of these pieces add up to taking away due process and speeding people through to their deportation in some sort of assembly line substitute for justice,” Jeffrey Chase, former immigration judge, told the newspaper.

“The policy change really is a reflection of showing how DOJ management can rewrite immigration laws and policies on a whim,” said Laura Lynch, senior policy counsel for the American Association of Immigration Lawyers. “Efforts to improve efficiency, they’re important. But they can’t be implemented at the expense of fundamental principles of due process and fairness in the court system.”

President Donald Trump and members of his administration frequently complain about the lack of efficiency in the immigration system, and Trump has argued that the entire system should be done away with.

“Congress has to … get rid of the whole asylum system because it doesn’t work,” Trump said earlier this month. “And frankly, we should get rid of judges. You can’t have a court case every time somebody steps their foot on our ground.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Kelly Sadler, fired from the Trump White House last year for mocking John McCain, has been hired to work communications for the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action.

“I’m really excited to do everything in my power to help reelect the President of the United States, by joining the great team at America First,” Sadler said in a statement she gave to CNN. “The President is solving the problems the American people elected him to do, and I can’t wait to help him win another four years in office, so he can achieve even more.”

Sadler, then a White House aide, joked last May in a discussion about McCain’s opposition to Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director that the Arizona Republican was already “dying anyway.” McCain died of brain cancer in August.

The White House responded by firing Sadler nearly a month after she made the comment.

At the time, it was reported that the White House had been hoping to simply relocate her to another department or agency.

President of America First, Brian Walsh, praised Sadler’s addition to the PAC.

“We are very proud to have Kelly Sadler join our team as we build towards victory in 2020,” Walsh said. “Her commitment to President Trump is unwavering and we are lucky to have someone of her talent and experience at America First.”

JULIAN Assange’s dating profile from 2006 has been unearthed – where he branded himself a “pig-headed intellectual” and “87 per cent slut”.

The then 36-year-old created the profile on OkCupid in December, shortly after launching infamous WikiLeaks, the site that would land him fame and finally arrest.

 Julian Assange winked and gave a thumbs up from the police van as he arrived at court following the dramatic arrest yesterday morning

Getty Images – Getty

Julian Assange winked and gave a thumbs up from the police van as he arrived at court following the dramatic arrest yesterday morning
 Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a profile on dating site OKCupid, under the pseudo name Harry Harrison

Ok Cupid

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a profile on dating site OKCupid, under the pseudo name Harry Harrison
 Despite not using his real name, the pictures on 'Harry Harrison’s' page appear to confirm that this really is Julian Assange

Ok Cupid

Despite not using his real name, the pictures on ‘Harry Harrison’s’ page appear to confirm that this really is Julian Assange
 The fact that the page hasn’t been accessed since Jan 2007 adds to the likelihood that it’s the real deal

Ok Cupid

The fact that the page hasn’t been accessed since Jan 2007 adds to the likelihood that it’s the real deal

Assange is now facing decades in prison after he was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in a dramatic arrest in London last night.

He’s expected to face charges in the US after prosecutors filed for his extradition over the WikiLeaks scandal.

After seven years in hiding, this dramatic shift has unearthed a multitude of dirt on the hack’s life, the latest being his dating profile.

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange arrested by police and removed from the Ecuadorian embassy

In it he writes: “WARNING: Want a regular, down to earth guy? Keep moving. I am not the droid you’re looking for. Save us both while you still can.

“Passionate, and often pig headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair, children and occasional criminal conspiracy.

“Such a woman should [be] spirited and playful, of high intelligence, though not necessarily formally educated, have spunk, class & inner strength and be able to think strategically about the world and the people she cares about.”

LOOKING FOR LOVE

The unusual relationship request is accompanied by five photographs resembling Assange, the main one being a close-up smiling picture.

It’s captioned: “The author, facing the rising sun after an all puzzle contest.”

Confirming the validity of the profile, OkCupid co-founder Sam Yagan said: “This is real, as best we can tell.

“We have manual and automatic systems in place to prevent fraud. We can tell when a profile is created, from where — and we’re not going to say.

“If the profile is a ruse, then whoever did it went to elaborate lengths. And if someone faked this in 2006, that person has done an amazing job predicting the future.”

This is real, as best we can tell

Sam Yagan OkCupid co-founder

The bizarre revelation was made on blog Frugal Brutal Beauty in 2010.

Assange goes under the name ‘Harry Harrison’, the pen name of an American author of science-fiction books whose protagonist, “Slippery Jim,” is a globetrotting con man.

‘Harry’ was extremely active during his first month on the site, according to Yagan, completing 42 personalty tests. Most members only complete one, if any.

Although his specific answers aren’t available, it is possible to see the results, which included:

  • The Politics Test: Strong Democrat
  • The Death Test: Dead at 83
  • The Intellectual Sexiness Test: 85 intellectual sexiness!
  • The Atheist Test: 75 per cent – The Ardent Atheist
  • The EXTREMELY advanced MATH Test: 84 on the MathDorkOMeter

In addition, Harrison answered the site’s “match questions,” which show that he’s 27 per cent more arrogant, 12.3 per cent kinkier and 10.5 per cent “less capitalistic” than OkCupid’s seven million members.

Yagan admits Assange’s profile attracted “several” responses.

A hairy and dishevelled Assange spent 2,487 days holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid sex assault claims in Sweden claims.

He feared being sent to the States – where he was wanted over an alleged hacking conspiracy with whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

During that time his health has deteriorated as a result of a lack of sunlight, a Wikileaks source told the Mirror.

In court yesterday, the 47-year-old was blasted a “narcissist who can’t get beyond his own self interest” as he was found guilty of skipping bail in 2012 – relating to his time at the embassy.


WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • Julian Assange found guilty of skipping bail in UK and could face a year in jail
  • He was arrested after 2,487 days holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – costing taxpayers more than £10m
  • Assange went into hiding in August 2012 to avoid facing extradition to Sweden over sex assault and rape allegations
  • He is also wanted in US for on suspicion of espionage and publication of sensitive government documents
  • Assange fears he could face death penalty if extradited to US over WikiLeaks scandal
  • Ecuadorian President said Assange’s release dependent on not facing extradition to country with death penalty
  • Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said “UK courts will decide” his future
  • It’s been revealed Assange staged ‘dirty protests’ while in Ecuador’s embassy

He now faces a battle against extradition to the US where he was today charged over the Iraq War Logs.

Swedish lawyers want to reopen the sex allegations which first sent Assange into hiding – a move which has cost the British taxpayer more than £10m.

He will now learn his fate at Southwark Crown Court on May 2.

 Assange flashed a peace sign in handcuffs

Getty Images – Getty

Assange flashed a peace sign in handcuffs
 Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden - where he faced accusations of sexual assault
Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden – where he faced accusations of sexual assault
Diane Abbott defends Julian Assange after his arrest from the Ecuadorian Embassy


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A regular contributor to the Boston Globe, Luke O’Neil advocated for waiters at restaurants to tamper with the food of Trump administration officials he dislikes.

The Globe quickly took down the column, “Keep Kirstjen Nielsen unemployed and eating Grubhub over her kitchen sink,” referring to the recently ousted Department of Homeland Security secretary.

“As for the waiters out there, I’m not saying you should tamper with anyone’s food, as that could get you into trouble,” O’Neil wrote. “You might lose your serving job. But you’d be serving America. And you won’t have any regrets years later.”

Republicans pounced on the piece with criticism, forcing the Globe to edit it multiple times before finally pulling it.

Herman Cain, one of President Trump’s two picks for the Federal Reserve Board, tweeted, “Who makes the editorial decisions at the Boston Globe?”

O’Neil hit back at the Globe Thursday for taking his piece down.

“Absolute brain genius move by the Globe to edit my story three times then take it down altogether and put up a note saying I’m not on staff instead of perhaps standing by a long time contributor and siding with labor instead of bad faith critics who would hate them no matter what,” O’Neil said on Twitter.

O’Neil added to the Washington Post “I will never write for them again.”

President Donald Trump propped up his daughter Ivanka in a new interview and said she would be a favorite to win a presidential election if she ever runs.

The Atlantic published a lengthy profile of Ivanka Trump and her role in the White House, where she works as a senior adviser. Her father told the media outlet that Ivanka has a “great calmness.”

“If she ever wanted to run for president, I think she’d be very, very hard to beat,” Trump said. “She went into the whole helping-people-with-jobs, and I wasn’t sure that was going to be the best use of her time, but I didn’t know how successful she’d be. She’s created millions of jobs, and I had no idea she’d be that successful.”

Trump later added, “She’s got a great calmness … I’ve seen her under tremendous stress and pressure. She reacts very well — that’s usually a genetic thing, but it’s one of those things, nevertheless.”

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner work in the West Wing and live in the Kalorama section of Washington, D.C., about two miles from the White House.

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves Manhattan federal court
FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves Manhattan federal court after a hearing on his fraud settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in New York City, U.S., April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

April 12, 2019

By Lawrence Delevingne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital renewed criticism of Elon Musk and his Tesla Inc, saying the electric car company again appeared to be on the “brink” of failure, according to a letter sent to clients of the hedge fund on Friday.

The letter cited a lack of demand, “desperate” price cuts, layoffs, “closing-and-then-not-closing” stores, closing service centers, slashing capital expenditures, rushed product announcements and “a new effort to distract investors from the demand problem with hyperbole over TSLA’s autonomous driving capabilities.”

“We believe that right here, right now, the company appears to again be on the brink,” the letter said. Greenlight is short Tesla stock, recently a profitable bet.

Tesla did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Greenlight said its funds gained 11 percent over the first three months of 2019, slightly below the gain of the S&P 500 Index. Despite the gains so far this year, “it continued to be a challenging environment for our investment style with growth stocks performing much better than value stocks,” the letter said. “In the context of this headwind and a sizable short portfolio, we are pleased with the quarterly result.”

Greenlight noted that last summer, Musk promised Tesla would be profitable and cash flow positive in every quarter going forward. “He repeated that forecast as recently as the end of January,” Greenlight pointed out. “That promise has failed to materialize. The question at hand is: in a few months will Musk be again bragging that he saved the company from the brink of failure, or will TSLA in fact fail this time?”

Greenlight Capital and its founder Einhorn first rose to prominence for making a prescient call on Lehman Brothers’ accounting troubles before the firm’s collapse. Late last year, Greenlight compared Tesla to Lehman.

(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan and Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

April 12, 2019

By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global stock markets rose on Friday after JP Morgan’s results kicked off the U.S. corporate earnings season in style, while signs of stabilization in China’s economy also helped riskier assets on views the growth outlook worldwide is better than thought.

Chinese data showed exports rebounded last month, driving U.S. and euro zone bond yields to three-week highs and helping offset weaker imports and reports of another cut in German growth forecasts.

Investors are looking for signs of a Chinese economic recovery to temper global growth worries, especially after the International Monetary Fund this week downgraded its 2019 world economic outlook for the third time.

China’s trade results, as well as credit data, have helped boost risk appetite and reinforce the stabilization thesis, which should have spill-over effects for the global economy, said Candice Bangsund, a portfolio manager with the global asset allocation team at Fiera Capital in Montreal.

“The whole China situation really appears to be gaining some ground,” Bangsund said. “We saw a very impressive rebound in exports, this of course is helping alleviate fears of a hard landing.”

MSCI’s gauge of equity market performance in 47 countries gained 0.37%, while the EURO STOXX 50 index rose 0.31%.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 186.88 points, or 0.71%, to 26,329.93. The S&P 500 gained 12.47 points, or 0.43%, to 2,900.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.07 points, or 0.24%, to 7,966.43

The euro gained despite the German growth concerns. Dealers were gearing up for demand from Japan as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial closed in on its multi-billion-euro acquisition of DZ Bank’s aviation-finance business.

The dollar index fell 0.37%, with the euro up 0.56% to $1.1313. The Japanese yen weakened 0.28% versus the greenback at 111.99 per dollar.7

Euro zone and U.S. government debt yields rose after the rebound in Chinese exports.

Yields on Germany’s 10-year government bond crossed into positive territory, to 0.054%.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell 13/32 in price to push up their yield to 2.5507%.

CRUDE OIL’S BIG 2019 START

Oil provided the big milestones. Brent was at $71.4 a barrel, having broken back through the $70 threshold this week, and U.S. WTI was heading for a sixth straight week of gains for the first time since early 2016.

Involuntary supply cuts in Venezuela, Libya and Iran have supported perceptions of a tightening market, already constrained by production cuts from OPEC and its allies.

Brent crude oil futures rose 64 cents to $71.47 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, added 64 to $64.22.

Commodities have had the best first-quarter start ever, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said, calling the annualized returns they are tracking the strongest in the past 100 years.

Taking advantage of strong prices and subdued valuations for oil producers, Chevron said it will buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $33 billion in cash and stock.

Gold steadied en route to its first weekly gain in three weeks as the dollar weakened, although the metal’s advances were capped by stronger equities.

Gold crept higher after falling more than 1 percent on Thursday to break below $1,300 following solid U.S. data. Spot gold traded at $1,292.41 per ounce.

For a graphic on Falling volatility, see – https://tmsnrt.rs/2X40O8U

(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN


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