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Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran's 'best friend' How the NBA draft sets up a league-altering free agency

Amid tough talk, Trump says he could be Iran's 'best friend'President Donald Trump said Saturday that military action against Iran was still an option for its downing of an unmanned U.S. military aircraft, but amid heightened tensions he dangled the prospect of eventually becoming an unlikely "best friend" of America's longtime Middle Eastern adversary. Trump also said "we very much appreciate" that Iran's Revolutionary Guard chose not to target a U.S. spy plane carrying more than 30 people. The president's softer tone Saturday marked a stark contrast to the anti-Iran rhetoric he employed throughout the presidential campaign and presidency, including his use of punishing economic sanctions in an attempt to pressure Iran to give up its quest to build nuclear weapons.


Here are eight big free-agency questions and storylines to monitor closely.
White supremacist who killed woman after driving car into Charlottesville protesters begs judge to show him ‘mercy’ 'King of SoCal': Two Kawhi billboards go up in L.A.

White supremacist who killed woman after driving car into Charlottesville protesters begs judge to show him ‘mercy’The self-avowed white supremacist who ploughed his car into protesters opposing a far-right rally in Virginia two years ago, killing one person and injuring dozens of others, has asked a judge for mercy and a sentence shorter than life in prison.James Alex Fields Jr’s legal team has argued in a new sentencing memo that the 22-year-old defendant should not spend his entire life in prison because of his age, a traumatic childhood and a history of mental illness.Fields has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes in relation to the Charlottesville attack and is set to be sentenced on 28 June.“No amount of punishment imposed on James can repair the damage he caused to dozens of innocent people. But this Court should find that retribution has limits,” his attorneys wrote in a court document submitted on Friday.Fields’ attorneys said that giving him something less than a life sentence would be akin to an “expression of mercy” and a “conviction that no individual is wholly defined by their worst moments”.The attorneys highlighted his difficult upbringing and history of mental illness, but many of the details were redacted. The document did reveal he was raised by a paraplegic single mother and suffered “trauma” by growing up knowing his Jewish grandfather had murdered his grandmother before committing suicide.In their own sentencing memo, prosecutors said Fields had shown no remorse since he drove the car into the counter-demonstrators on 12 August, 2017, killing anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and injuring others protesting against the white nationalists.They argued that Fields deserves a life sentence, adding that would help deter others from committing “similar acts of domestic terrorism”.Prosecutors focused on years of documented racist and antisemitic behaviour by Fields, which they said included keeping a picture of Adolf Hitler on his bedside table. They also said that he was recorded on a jail phone call making disparaging remarks about Ms Heyer’s mother as recently as last month.They also argued that while Fields has a history of mental illness issues, it did not excuse his behaviour in a way that would demand a lenient sentence. “Any mental health concerns raised by the defendant do not overcome the defendant’s demonstrated lack of remorse and his prior history of substantial racial animus,” prosecutors wrote.Under a plea deal, federal prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty against Fields after he pleaded in March to federal hate crime charges and admitted that he intentionally drove his car into a crowd of anti-racism protesters.The charges he pleaded guilty to call for life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.In December last year he was convicted in a Virginia court of first-degree murder and other state charges for killing Ms Heyer and injuring others who were protesting. Sentencing on the state charges is scheduled for next month.The 2017 rally drew hundreds of white nationalists to Charlottesville to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Hundreds of counter-protesters demonstrated against the white nationalists.Donald Trump infamously said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the clashes in the Virginia city.Additional reporting by AP


A team source told ESPN that "the Clippers knew nothing" about the billboards.
US, Taliban to hold more talks on ending war Mets apologize after confrontation with reporter

US, Taliban to hold more talks on ending warThe United States and the Taliban will open fresh negotiations next week, the US negotiator said Saturday, as he voiced hope for progress in ending America's longest war. Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative on Afghanistan, said the two sides would start their seventh round of talks on June 29. "Based on my recent visits to Afghanistan and Qatar, I believe all sides want rapid progress," Khalilzad wrote on Twitter.


Mets manager Mickey Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas were involved in a clubhouse incident with a Newsday reporter after Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Cubs.
University of Utah Student Mackenzie Lueck Missing for Nearly a Week After Taking Lyft Cameroon blasts officials after loss to England

University of Utah Student Mackenzie Lueck Missing for Nearly a Week After Taking LyftSLC Police DepartmentMackenzie Lueck, a 23-year-old University of Utah student, texted her parents on June 17 to let them know she had landed safely at the Salt Lake City airport, her father told Fox News. Nobody has heard from her in the week since. According to police, Lueck landed home from a trip around 1 a.m. She then ordered a Lyft to an unfamiliar address in North Salt Lake City, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. According to friends, Lueck’s phone has been off since she went missing, her car is still at her home, and her luggage hasn’t been found. She has not shown up to work, or class, since that early morning ride. Lueck's dad told local Fox station KTSU his daughter texted he and his wife to tell them her flight landed around 1 a.m. on Monday, June 17. Her family officially reported her missing that Thursday.Though Lueck has been missing for nearly a week, and police are investigating her disappearance, a formal search party has not been set up, the Tribune reports. In a press release issued by the Salt Lake City police department on Saturday, investigators said they have not “discovered any information that would lead us to believe that Mackenzie has been harmed or is in danger at this time.” In the same release, police also said “detectives are concerned for Mackenzie’s welfare.” Lyft has been working with Utah police to help trace Lueck's last known whereabouts, the Tribune reports.The ride share company told Fox News that the car’s route showed no irregularities, Lueck was successfully dropped off at her desired destination, and the driver began picking up more passengers immediately after her ride was complete. Authorities said they've been in contact with Lueck's apparent driver, but have not provided details of their account. “We’ve confirmed with Lyft, the app, that’s where she requested to go, and with the driver that that’s where she did go,” Salt Lake City Police Sargeant Brandon Shearer told ABC News. Shearer said the driver and Lyft have been cooperative. Lyft told Fox News in a statement on Sunday that they “recognize how scary this must be for those who know and love Ms. Lueck... The safety of our community is fundamental to Lyft and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigations.”Lueck, who reportedly goes by “Kenzie,” is a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, according to the Tribune. Her sorority sister Ashley Fine has been organizing volunteers to help in the informal search. Fine told The Salt Lake Tribune she does not know why her friend, who does not have a significant other, would have taken a ride to the address in North Salt Lake, instead of going directly to her home. As part of the community effort to find her, Lueck's friends organized a postering event at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday. A Facebook page with over 2,000 members has also been set up to help spread the word about her disappearance.“Everyone thinks that there’s danger in this story,” Fine told a local abc news affiliate. “Things aren’t adding up. She had another trip planned,” Fine said. “She’s making those plans with friends and family to have plans for the future. I don’t think she would hurt herself or anything like that... If you’re in a bad situation, please reach out... We’re really concerned for you.”Anyone with information about Lueck’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 19-111129.This is a developing story.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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Nasa's Curiosity rover detects methane in latest hint at life on Mars Green, 22, hangs on to win her 1st LPGA major

Nasa's Curiosity rover detects methane in latest hint at life on MarsNasa's Curiosity rover has detected another methane "spike" on Mars, in what could be a sign of alien life on the red planet. According to the New York Times, which obtained an email about the discovery written by senior scientists at Nasa, the rover detected "startlingly high amounts of methane in the Martian air." The detection of methane hints at an even greater discovery - life on Mars - as the gas is often generated by microbes underground known as methanogens,which can survive without oxygen. "Given this surprising result, we’ve reorganized the weekend to run a follow-up experiment, " wrote scientist Ashwin R. Vasavada  in the email published by the New York Times. It is not the first time Nasa's robot has detected methane levels on the planet, and scientists are still not sure whether the gas is caused by living microbes.  This is because geothermal reactions, with no biological life involved, can also create methane.  When Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 it could find barely any traces of methane, with less than one part per billion in the atmosphere.  Then in 2013 the rover detected a sudden increase in methane levels, with seven parts methane per billion, which endured for several months and then vanished.  The most recent discovery of Methane is 21 parts per billion, three times higher than the "spike" in 2013.  While increased methane levels measured by @MarsCuriosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it’s important to remember this is an early science result. To maintain scientific integrity, the science team will continue to analyze the data before confirming results. pic.twitter.com/zSrONQHuc5— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) June 22, 2019 Scientists are also not ruling out the possibility that the methane was not recent, having been trapped underground for millions of years, and only now is gradually emerging through cracks in the surface.  Thomas Zurbuchen, from Nasa's science mission directorate, advised people not to jump to any conclusions about the methane detection in a message on Twitter.  "While increased methane levels measured by Mars Curiosity are exciting, as possible indicators for life, it's important to remember this is an early science result," he wrote.  "To maintain scientific integrity, the science team will continue to analyse the data before confirming results."


Hannah Green held her nerve and saved par from the bunker with a 5-foot putt on the final hole to win the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on Sunday for her first major championship, and the first by an Australian in 13 years.


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Philadelphia Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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