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Iran resists sanctions, U.S. is 'desperate,' Rouhani says Score picks, bold predictions and fantasy tips for every Week 3 NFL game

Iran resists sanctions, U.S. is 'desperate,' Rouhani saysIranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday new U.S. sanctions, under which Iran's central bank was blacklisted for a second time, pointed to U.S. "desperation" in face of Iranian resistance. The United States on Friday imposed another round of sanctions on Iran, including on its central bank which was already blacklisted, following the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities that Riyadh and U.S. officials have blamed on Iran.


What to watch for in every game. Bold predictions. Fantasy advice. Key stats to know. And, of course, score predictions. It's all here for Week 3.
The Amex Business Platinum perks are so good it makes me want to start my own company Belichick cuts presser short after AB questions

The Amex Business Platinum perks are so good it makes me want to start my own companyBGR has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. BGR and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.Please note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.One of our favorite rewards credit cards for ordinary consumers is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which combines a big up-front welcome offer of 60,000 points (after using the card to spend $5,000 in your first three months) with a ton of luxe perks. The benefits range from an airline fee credit of up to $200 to American Express Concierge travel service, and much more. Business owners, meanwhile, fear not. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is a companion version of the charge card tailored to the needs of business people, and it not only has a similarly impressive lineup of benefits.You've also got until December 4, 2019, to take advantage of a limited-time, increased welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points.Who needs this card: If you rack up frequent travel expenses over the course of your business operations, or even if you simply charge thousands of dollars a month in business expenses to a charge card, it's hard to argue the Amex Business Platinum doesn't deserve a spot in your wallet.Why you should sign up for one right now: The current welcome points offer means if you can put $25,000 in charges on this card in your first three months of card ownership (and before December 4), the 100,000 Membership Rewards points bonus can be yours. Yes, that's a big outlay in order to get the welcome reward, but since this is a business card we're talking about that's not an unreasonable amount of expense to put on a charge card.Moreover, based on the most recent monthly valuations from The Points Guy, 100,000 Membership Rewards points are worth $2,000 in travel, which makes this card's bonus an extremely lucrative one and potentially worth the high spending levels. We should also add -- you'll earn the welcome points in two tiers.Spent $10,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months of card membership, and you'll earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points. Once you put another $15,000 on this card (for qualifying purchases) after that initial $10,000 -- and, again, still before the first three months are up -- then you'll earn an additional 50,000 points.If you read our previous post outlining the slew of lucrative benefits available to Amex Platinum cardmembers, you're already familiar with many of the benefits of the Amex Business Platinum. Both cards share perks like: * Up to $200 airline fee credit each year * Access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta) * Access to other lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection * Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy * Upgrade with Points to request an airline ticket upgrade on select airlines * 5 points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels (both must be booked through Amex Travel on the Business Platinum)However, here are some of the benefits you get that are exclusive to the business version of the Platinum card: * 10 free Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year * 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year) * A complimentary year of Platinum Global Access with WeWork (enrollment must be done by December 31, 2019) * Up to $200 in annual statement credits for Dell technology purchases, split into a $100 credit for January through June and another $100 credit for July through December The final wordWhile this card does come with a $595 annual fee that can seem hefty at the outset, if you take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit and the annual up to $200 Dell credit, you'll effectively pay a net of only $195 a year for the card. This card proves its worth and then some for any businessperson engaged in regular travel. From lounge access at almost any airport in the world to elite status at Hilton and Marriott hotels, plus helping you get onto the internet while in the air during flights, this card has tons of benefits (not to mention that welcome bonus that's higher than ever) just waiting for you to take advantage of.


Patriots coach Bill Belichick's patience ran thin. He walked off after fielding seven questions about Antonio Brown's off-the-field issues. "I'm good," he said. "Thank you."
The Latest: Man suspected of shooting Chicago cop captured Sources: Yanks' German won't pitch again in '19

The Latest: Man suspected of shooting Chicago cop capturedChicago police say a man believed to be the suspect in the shooting and wounding of an officer has been shot and captured. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi (goo-lee-EHL'-mee) tweeted Saturday that officers apprehended a "person of interest" believed to be 45-year-old Michael Blackman following an armed encounter with officers and a daylong manhunt. Guglielmi says the individual was shot by police and no officers were injured.


Right-hander Domingo German will miss both the rest of the regular season and the postseason following his placement on administrative leave, sources told ESPN's Buster Olney.
Behind the Whistleblower Case, a Long-Held Trump Grudge Toward Ukraine Flame out: NFL field pyrotechnics get brief ban

Behind the Whistleblower Case, a Long-Held Trump Grudge Toward UkraineWASHINGTON -- For months this spring and summer, Ukraine's newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, tried to deflect pressure from President Donald Trump and his allies to pursue investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, Biden's son and other Trump rivals.The pressure was so relentless that Zelenskiy dispatched one of his closest aides to open a line of communication with Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's personal lawyers. Giuliani was the loudest voice among those demanding that Ukraine look at Biden's dealings with the country when he was vice president at the same time his younger son, Hunter Biden, was doing business there, and also the release by Ukrainians in 2016 of damaging information about a top Trump campaign aide.Over breakfast in early July at the Trump International Hotel, Zelenskiy's aide asked the State Department's envoy to Ukraine for help connecting to Giuliani. Several days later, the aide discussed with Giuliani by phone the prospective investigations as well as something the Ukrainians wanted: a White House meeting between Zelenskiy and Trump.But if Zelenskiy's goal was to reduce the pressure to pursue the investigations and win more support from the White House -- not least for Ukraine's fight against Russia -- he would be disappointed.On July 25, two weeks after the first call between Zelenskiy's aide, Andriy Yermak, and Giuliani, Zelenskiy had a call of his own with Trump. During their conversation, Trump pressed for an investigation into Biden and repeatedly urged Zelenskiy to work with Giuliani, according to people familiar with the call.In the weeks after the call, events unfolded rapidly in a way that alarmed some officials in both countries. They interpreted the discussions as dangling support to Ukraine in exchange for political beneficial investigations.On Aug. 12, a whistleblower filed a complaint with the intelligence community inspector general that was at least in part about Trump's dealings with Ukraine, according to two people familiar with the matter.Around the same time, Giuliani met face-to-face in Spain with Yermak to press again for the investigations and to discuss the status of the prospective Trump-Zelenskiy meeting. The State Department acknowledged that its envoy had helped connect Giuliani and Yermak, and Giuliani said he briefed the department on his discussions.Then, in late August, the Ukrainians learned that a package of U.S. military assistance was being delayed by the White House, because, Vice President Mike Pence later explained after a meeting with Zelenskiy, he and Trump "have great concerns about issues of corruption."That sequence of events is now at the heart of a clash between congressional Democrats and the White House over whether Trump used the powers of his office and U.S. foreign policy in an effort to seek damaging information about a political rival. The conflict has been fueled in recent days by the administration's refusal to allow the intelligence community inspector general to disclose to Congress any information about the complaint.The dispute has further stoked calls among House Democrats to advance impeachment proceedings against the president . Trump's open backing for a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens -- "Somebody ought to look into that," he told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday -- is especially striking for coming soon after the special counsel's lengthy investigation into whether Trump encouraged or accepted help from Russia in the 2016 campaign.The situation has also highlighted Trump's grudge against Ukraine, a close ally that has long enjoyed bipartisan support as it seeks to build a stable democracy and hold off aggression from its hostile neighbor to the east, Russia.Trump has often struck a less-than-condemnatory tone toward Russian aggression, including its interference on his behalf in the 2016 presidential election, and its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, which Trump said last month should no longer prevent Russia from rejoining the Group of 7 industrialized nations.Only after Congress put intense bipartisan pressure on the administration did Trump release the military assistance package to Ukraine last week.After delays in scheduling a White House meeting for Zelenskiy, and the cancellation of a trip by Trump to Europe during which the two would have met in person for the first time, a meeting was finally added to Trump's calendar for Wednesday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Privately, Trump has had harsh words about Ukraine, a former Soviet state. He has been dismissive of his own administration's recommendations that he throw the full support of the U.S. government to Zelenskiy, a former comedian and political neophyte who is seen in the West as a reformer elected with a mandate to stop both Russian aggression and the political corruption that has long plagued the country.In May, a delegation of U.S. officials returned from Zelenskiy's inauguration praising the new president and urging Trump to meet with him, arguing that Zelenskiy faced enormous headwinds and needed American support. The future of Ukraine, they said during an Oval Office meeting with Trump, would be decided in the next six months.Trump was not sympathetic. "They're terrible people," he said of Ukrainian politicians, according to people familiar with the meeting. "They're all corrupt and they tried to take me down."The skepticism harbored by Trump and Giuliani toward the Ukrainian government is derived at least partly from their belief that officials in the Ukrainian government of the time supported Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign and tried to sabotage Trump's.Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was forced to resign after anti-corruption prosecutors in Ukraine disclosed records showing that a Russia-aligned political party had earmarked payments for him from an illegal slush fund.Giuliani has claimed without evidence that the records were doctored, and one of the matters into which he has sought an investigation is the records' provenance and release, including whether Ukrainian officials improperly worked with American allies of Clinton's to use the records to generate law enforcement and news media scrutiny of Manafort in an effort to damage Trump's campaign.Giuliani contends that the circumstances around the records could undermine the legitimacy of the special counsel's investigation. Manafort is serving a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence on charges brought by the special counsel related to his work in Ukraine. Even after Manafort pleaded guilty to some of the charges, Giuliani consulted with Manafort's lawyers about ways to raise doubts about the ledger as a means to question the special counsel's investigation. Giuliani's assertions about Ukraine often closely parallel Trump's claims.As far back as the summer of 2017, Trump posted on Twitter about "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign" and bolster Clinton, demanding, "So where is the investigation."The other matter involves the overlap between Biden's diplomacy in Ukraine and his son's involvement in a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch.Biden is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and Giuliani has acknowledged that such an investigation could damage him.Trump has called attention to the scrutiny of Hunter Biden, and to questions about the former vice president's involvement in the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor whose office had authority over investigations of the oligarch whose company paid Hunter Biden.The former vice president's support for the removal of the Ukrainian prosecutor was consistent with the administration's policy and the anti-corruption goals of the Western allies. But State Department officials at the time were concerned that Hunter Biden's work for the gas company could complicate his father's diplomacy in Ukraine.On Friday, Biden dismissed Trump's criticism.The president has suggested he would like Attorney General William Barr to look into any material gathered by the Ukrainian prosecutors on the matters.Starting almost a year ago, Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and New York mayor, enlisted intermediaries in a monthslong effort to build interest in the Ukrainian inquiries. They worked with prosecutors under the former Ukrainian government to gather information about the investigations.After Zelenskiy's victory, Giuliani planned a trip to Ukraine in May to try to press Zelenskiy's team to pursue the investigations and to meet with people Giuliani believed would have insights into the new administration and the investigations he was pushing. "We're not meddling in an election, we're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do," Giuliani said at the time.After the planned trip prompted a backlash from Democrats accusing him of trying to enlist foreign assistance to help Trump's reelection, Giuliani canceled the trip at the last minute. He accused Zelenskiy's allies of planning a "set up."Zelenskiy's transition team, not wanting to be seen as taking sides in U.S. politics, rebuffed a request from Giuliani for a meeting with the new president, a former adviser to Zelenskiy, Serhiy Leshchenko, said in an interview."It was clear that the Zelenskiy team doesn't want to interfere in American politics," Leshchenko said. "They were very angry about this issue."Leshchenko and two other Ukrainians, all of them young, Western-leaning politicians and veterans of the 2014 revolution, said in interviews that Giuliani's efforts created the impression that the Trump administration's willingness to back Zelenskiy was linked to his government's readiness to pursue the investigations sought by Trump's allies.When it became clear that he would not be granted an audience with the incoming Ukrainian president, Giuliani asserted in an interview on Fox News that Zelenskiy was being advised by "people who are the enemies" of Trump, including Leshchenko.Giuliani seemed to be referring to Leshchenko's role in helping to draw attention to reports about the "black ledger" book that detailed $12.7 million in off-the-books payments to Manafort, who did extensive work in Ukraine for Viktor Yanukovych, the disgraced former president.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company


The NFL has placed a temporary ban on all flame effects and pyrotechnics used on its playing fields as it investigates a fire at the Tennessee Titans' Nissan Stadium in Week 2.
Israel cuts power in parts of West Bank over debts DC floats Lamar-Mahomes as next Peyton-Brady

Israel cuts power in parts of West Bank over debtsIsrael's national electricity company said Sunday it was cutting power to parts of the occupied West Bank due to outstanding payments amounting to nearly $483 million. The Israel Electric Corporation said it was owed 1.7 billion shekels in debts from the main Palestinian power distributor for the West Bank, which is based in east Jerusalem. From Monday, the company "will reduce the current in some areas of the West Bank" because of the debts, it said in a statement.


Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale is looking forward to Sunday's showdown between Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, saying it could be sports' next great rivalry, a la Tom Brady and Peyton Manning or Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.


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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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