Join the military to use an AR-15

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I recently read an article in your paper detailing the rise in popularity of the AR-15, which traced its history back to the M-16 used by our soldiers in Vietnam. As a hunter and gun owner (and 30-year Army veteran), I can’t fathom why any responsible rifle enthusiast would want or need to own this rifle. There certainly are hundreds of alternative rifles that are more suitable for hunting or target shooting. I would encourage any American who truly must possess one to immediately join one of our proud military services. They will be more than anxious and capable of training you in its planned use. You might even get to carry it on a deployment in defense of our great nation. Many before you have, and far too many died while in its possession.Bruce CastkaCanajoharieMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img

Trafford boosts Peel NAV

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Price boosts Canary

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Allders disposals hit £100m at halfway point

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Israel confirms first coronavirus case in cruise ship returnee

first_imgIsrael confirmed its first case of new coronavirus Friday, in a citizen who flew home from Japan earlier this week after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.”One of the passengers who returned home from the cruise ship in Japan tested positive in a checkup by the health ministry’s central laboratory,” a ministry statement said.A total of 15 Israelis were among the passengers quarantined on board the Diamond Princess, of whom 11 have flown home.  The others all tested negative for the virus.The returning Israelis had all been placed in quarantine for 14 days at the Sheba Hospital in the central town of Tel Hashomer.At the start of the month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “inevitable” that the COVID-19 outbreak which began in China would reach Israel.He urged health authorities to focus on developing a vaccine.In late January, the government banned all flights from China from landing in Israel.This month it also began refusing entry to foreign nationals who had visited Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore or Thailand over the past two weeks.Topics :last_img

PREMIUMSukhoi deal hangs in balance amid US pressure

first_imgFacebook Log in with your social account LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Linkedin In February 2018, Indonesia and Russia signed a US$1.14 billion purchase contract for 11 Sukhoi jet fighters. It has been two years since the deal was made under then-defense minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and still no shipments have arrived from Moscow.The billion-dollar deal is reportedly in limbo, with Moscow and analysts pointing to pressures from the United States as the primary reason why Jakarta is dragging its feet in finalizing the purchase.The State Palace stopped short of confirming the claim, but admitted that a non-technical issue had hampered the process.Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said the government was still considering a number of issues regarding the deal. “Please wait as there are other factors [to be considered]. It is not just business-to-business, but there are other factors also,” he told reporters on Tuesday.When asked if US lobbyin… Forgot Password ? Google Topics : aircraft sukhoi Air-Force Sukhoi-jet-fighters defense-industry defense-ministry defense-cooperation Indonesia-US-relations military Indonesian-Militarylast_img

In China, a young diplomat rises as aggressive foreign policy takes root

first_imgNow a foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao has come to represent a new generation of diplomatic hawks in China, challenging the restraint that long characterized the country’s engagement with the world, according to a dozen current and former ministry officials and government researchers who spoke with Reuters.Their emergence has caused a rift with the old foreign policy establishment, amid worries that increasingly assertive rhetoric could put the country on a dangerous collision course with powers like the United States, they said.The shift followed instructions that President Xi Jinping issued diplomats in a memo last year, calling on them to show more “fighting spirit”, said two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”This is the first time since 1949 that the ‘new hawks’ have the power to reshape China’s diplomatic policy,” said Qin Xiaoying, who was a director of the ruling Communist Party’s international propaganda department and is now a researcher with the China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies in Beijing. Diplomats returning from overseas postings don’t usually receive special attention at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a vast government bureaucracy with thousands of staff.But when Zhao Lijian, a diplomat known for his pugnacious social media presence, finished a posting in Pakistan in August, he received an enthusiastic welcome in Beijing. A group of young admirers at the ministry gathered at his office to cheer his return, according to two people familiar with the matter.That admiration was fuelled in part by a Twitter spat he had engaged in a month earlier with Susan Rice, the national security adviser to former US President Barack Obama. Each accused the other of being “ignorant” and a “disgrace”. Driving the shift is the widespread feeling among many Chinese that the United States wants to contain China’s rise. Aggressive pushback by diplomats on issues that provoke nationalistic sentiment, like the protests in Hong Kong or the coronavirus outbreak, has proven popular domestically.Most people who spoke with Reuters for this article declined to be named given the sensitivity of the matter.In response to a request for comment by Reuters, the ministry said Chinese diplomats from all age groups are determined to “resolutely safeguard” national sovereignty and security.”We will not attack unless we are attacked,” the ministry said, citing a slogan from founding leader Mao Zedong. “But if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack.”Zhao, 47, did not respond to requests for comment.A spokeswoman for Rice, the former US national security adviser, said she would not be available for comment. The US State Department did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.Handwritten message Xi gave his instructions about adopting a tougher stance in the face of international challenges, like deteriorating relations with the United States, in a handwritten message to diplomats last year, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave the same message to officials attending the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the ministry’s founding, Reuters reported in December.Over the past year, more than 60 Chinese diplomats and diplomatic missions set up Twitter or Facebook accounts, by Reuters’ count, even though both platforms are banned in China, often using them to attack Beijing’s critics around the world.Zhao this month promoted a conspiracy theory on his personal Twitter account that the US military brought the coronavirus to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak began late last year.US President Donald Trump escalated the spat, infuriating Beijing by repeatedly citing the “Chinese virus”.The new Chinese assertiveness is a response in part to Washington’s more confrontational stance towards China under Trump, according to Chinese diplomats.”Why can the Americans criticize us constantly, and we can’t scold the US? Nobody likes to be educated all the time,” said a diplomat who helped one embassy set up its Twitter account.Among China’s new Twitter warriors is Zhao’s boss, Hua Chunying, who became the ministry’s top spokeswoman last year and began tweeting last month. A rising star, Hua spent several weeks last year at the Central Party School, which trains officials destined for promotion.The Twitter aggression is aimed not only at Washington.In Brazil, Chinese Ambassador Yang Wanming shared a tweet, later deleted, calling the family of President Jair Bolsonaro “poison” after his son blamed the “Chinese dictatorship” for the coronavirus pandemic.China’s embassy in Peru blasted Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa for “irresponsible” comments after the 83-year-old read more

COVID-19: Indonesia records 330 new cases as it boosts PCR testing

first_imgIndonesia announced 330 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of registered infections to 3,842 as the country boosts testing through the real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to almost 2,000 samples a day.“To date, we’ve tested almost 20,000 samples in 40 labs across the country,” the ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, who is also the government’s spokesperson for COVID-19, said in the ministry’s daily press briefing on Saturday.The Health Ministry website says 19,452 tests have been conducted as of Saturday. The government started to distribute new PCR test kits to 12 provinces on Thursday, following orders from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to conduct more swab tests as the previous rapid testing was deemed insufficiently effective in detecting cases. Read also: COVID-19 Task force to distribute test kits to 12 provinces, targets 300,000 tests monthlyYurianto added that 21 more people had died of the disease, bringing the total death toll to 327.All 34 provinces have reported cases, with North Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi and West Sulawesi reported their first COVID-19 deaths with one fatality respectively. West Nusa Tenggara reported the first two deaths of COVID-19.Jakarta remains the hardest-hit province with 1,948 infections and 159 fatalities.Meanwhile, the number of recovered patients has increased to 286 nationwide.Topics :last_img

US economy faces historic shock, with 16% joblessness possible, Trump adviser says

first_imgThe shuttering of the US economy due to the coronavirus pandemic is a shock of historic proportions that will likely push the national unemployment rate to 16% or higher this month and require more stimulus to ensure a strong rebound, a White House economic adviser said on Sunday.”It’s a really grave situation,” President Donald Trump’s adviser, Kevin Hassett, told the ABC program “This Week.””This is the biggest negative shock that our economy, I think, has ever seen. We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that we saw during the Great Depression” of the 1930s,” Hassett added. Lockdowns across the United States to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus have hammered the economy, shuttering businesses and sending unemployment skyrocketing.A record 26.5 million Americans have filed for jobless benefits since mid-March, and retail sales, homebuilding and consumer confidence have all cratered.The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts US gross domestic product will contract at nearly a 40% annual rate in the second quarter, with unemployment cresting at 16% in the third quarter. But even next year, the CBO sees the jobless rate still averaging above 10 percent.Before the pandemic struck, the US jobless rate had been hovering at a 50-year low of 3.5%. “I think the unemployment rate is going to jump to a level probably around 16 percent or even higher in the next jobs report,” due on May 8, providing April employment statistics, Hassett told reporters at the White House.Hassett added that the second-quarter drop expected in the nation’s GDP would be a “big number.””I think the next couple of months are going to look terrible. You’re going to see numbers as bad as anything we’ve ever seen before,” Hassett said, referring to US economic data.”We’re going to need really big thoughtful policies to put together to make it so that people are optimistic again,” Hassett added.Trump’s advisers want to hone a list of five or six ideas to present to Congress to help clear the economic carnage, Hassett said.”I’m sure that over the next three or four weeks, everybody’s going to pull together and come up with a plan to give us the best chance possible for a V-shaped recovery,” Hassett told ABC. “I … don’t think you get it if we don’t have another round of really solid legislation.”A “V-shaped recovery” is one in which an economy bounces back sharply after a precipitous decline.Tensions on Capitol Hill The US Congress has already approved $3 trillion in coronavirus relief in a show of bipartisan support for laid-off workers and an economy in free fall.Lawmakers are now poised for a battle over federal assistance to state and local governments whose budgets have been shattered by a plunge in tax revenue even as they have had to take extraordinary measures during a pandemic that has caused a US death toll approaching 55,000.New York City needs $7.4 billion in federal aid to offset economic losses from the coronavirus, its mayor said on Sunday.”If New York City is not [made] whole, it will drag down the entire region, and it will hold up the entire national economic restart,” Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said on the Fox program “Sunday Morning Futures.”Like de Blasio, many of the nation’s governors – Democrats and Republicans alike – have pressed the Trump administration and Congress to come forward with a sizable relief package.”We will have state and local (aid), and we will have it in a very significant way,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.””The governors are impatient,” Pelosi added. “Their impatience will help us get an even bigger number.”Trump has shown a willingness to support aid for cities and states, but some fellow Republicans – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – have voiced wariness, citing a mounting federal debt load.McConnell, in remarks that have drawn sharp rebukes from various governors as well as Democratic lawmakers, has suggested that states should declare bankruptcy instead.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, asked whether Trump would support providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the states, said any further relief would have to receive support from both parties.”This is a war. We’ll win this war. If we need to spend more money, we will, and we’ll only do it with bipartisan support,” Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday.” center_img Topics :last_img

New Zealand’s Ardern turned away from cafe under virus rules

first_imgIn New Zealand, no one is exempt from the strict coronavirus prevention measures — not even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was denied entry to a cafe because of her own social distancing rules.Ardern, her fiance Clarke Gayford and a group of friends were turned away from a cafe in Wellington on Saturday because it had already reached its customer limit. “I have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organized and book anywhere,” Gayford tweeted in response to another diner, who had spotted the couple being turned away. Read also: Why women make better crisis leadersI have to take responsibility for this, I didn’t get organized and book anywhere. Was very nice of them to chase us down st when a spot freed up. A+ service.— Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) May 16, 2020As New Zealand eases out of its coronavirus lockdown, cafes were allowed to reopen on Thursday, but must maintain social distancing between tables and customers must remain seated. A diner who saw Ardern refused entry told Stuff media that a cafe employee “had to awkwardly say it was full and there were no tables, and they left.”Fortunately for Ardern’s party, other diners left soon after, and staff from the cafe were able to run down the street to invite the prime minister back. “Was very nice of them to chase us down the street when a spot freed up. A+ service,” Gayford tweeted.Topics :last_img