Tag Archives: them

Poll: 38 Percent of Democrats Say American Dream Is Unattainable for Them

Poll: 38 Percent of Democrats Say American Dream Is Unattainable for Them38 percent of Democrats say they do not believe they will achieve the American dream in their lifetimes, compared to just 11 percent of Republicans, according to a new Gallup poll.Two-thirds of independents said they see the dream as attainable, compared to 31 percent who said they do not. Overall, about 70 percent of Americans feel that American dream could be grasped, the poll reported, while 29 percent disagree.The 38 percent of Democrats who said they did not believe they could achieve the American dream represented a sharp increase from a decade ago, when 29 percent of Democrats said the same. President Trump has described the Republican party as "the party of the American Dream," perhaps contributing to the increasing partisan split on the matter."The American dream is back," the president said after taking office in 2017. "We're going to create an environment for small business like we haven't had in many, many decades."



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

'Let's see them aliens': The Facebook group is a joke, but the Pentagon takes plans to storm Area 51 seriously

'Let's see them aliens': The Facebook group is a joke, but the Pentagon takes plans to storm Area 51 seriouslyThe truth is out there — or at least that's the belief the viral, and farcical, Facebook event "Storm Area 51" is peddling.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

'Dangerous': Air Force responds to plans to 'storm Area 51' and 'see them aliens'

'Dangerous': Air Force responds to plans to 'storm Area 51' and 'see them aliens'As more than a million people on Facebook say they're "going" to a joke event to "storm Area 51," the U.S. military has responded to the plans.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Pence's chief of staff defends Trump's racist tweets, becoming the first White House official to comment on them

Pence's chief of staff defends Trump's racist tweets, becoming the first White House official to comment on themThe VP's chief of staff is the first White House official to speak publicly about the president's racist tweets directed at congresswomen of color.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Ponzi Scheme Victims Say Epstein Swindled Them

Ponzi Scheme Victims Say Epstein Swindled ThemPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/GettyIn a court filing last week, prosecutors said they had determined that financier Jeffrey Epstein was worth at least $ 500 million and earning $ 10 million a year—the first concrete details about his wealth to emerge in years.But while the documents confirmed that the accused sex trafficker is fantastically wealthy, the source of Epstein’s fortune remains a mystery. How did a money manager with a single confirmed client amass riches including a $ 77-million Manhattan mansion and his own private Caribbean island?Convicted financial swindler Steven Hoffenberg has offered an explanation: He claims Epstein is a Ponzi schemer who helped him bilk tens of thousands of investors in the 1980s and 1990s.“Epstein and the corporations he formed were my co-conspirators,” Hoffenberg alleged in an affidavit for a federal lawsuit.“Epstein has remained free and has used and benefited from the ill-gotten gains he amassed as a result of his criminal and fraudulent activities.”REVEALED: We Found Billionaire Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Secret CharityHoffenberg is a cartoonish character who burst onto the public scene in 1993 when then-Gov. Mario Cuomo asked the bill-collection kingpin to rescue the New York Post, then owned by bankrupt real-estate titan Peter Kalikow.Hoffenberg had barely taken control of the paper, while waiting for his deal with Kalikow to go through, when the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had been investigating him for years, filed a civil suit against him and his company, Towers Financial.A year later, Hoffenberg was under indictment, charged with selling $ 460 million worth of bogus notes and bonds and using the proceeds from some to pay interest to others in what was then one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history.He pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and was released in 2013. Three years later, he filed a lawsuit against Epstein, blaming him for the fraud and claiming that he had tried to warn authorities about Epstein’s financial chicanery for years.Epstein Offers to Put Up Mansion, Jet to Get Out of JailHoffenberg, often described as Epstein’s former mentor, has told journalist Vicky Ward that they met in the 1980s, shortly after Bear Stearns gave Epstein the boot over “illegal operations.” (Ward would discover a 1989 deposition for a civil case, in which Epstein admitted to a possible “Reg D” violation—allegedly loaning a friend $ 20,000 to buy stock—which led to his departure from the investment bank). Epstein was running his own consulting company, International Assets Group Inc., from his New York apartment.Hoffenberg claims he hired Epstein and that his purported protege devised a failed scheme to take over Pan American Airways and Emery Air Freight Corp, financing bids through Towers Financial’s acquisition of two ailing insurance companies in Illinois, Associated Life and United Fire. Epstein made trades through others, because he didn’t have a broker’s license, and he “misappropriated the proceeds for personal use in connection with his investment business,” Hoffenberg’s lawsuit alleges.Hoffenberg says he and Epstein, and others at Towers, promised to invest $ 3 million into the companies, in order to persuade the Illinois Department of Insurance to approve their acquisition. But instead, they used $ 3 million of the companies’ bonds to buy Pan Am and Emery stocks, the complaint states. As a result, the insurance companies allegedly lost more than $ 1 million.Epstein also “manipulated the price of Emery stock to minimize the losses which occurred when Mr. Hoffenberg’s and Mr. Epstein’s bids failed and the share price began to fall,” the lawsuit alleges. “This involved multiple brokerage accounts which were controlled by Mr. Epstein.”Feds: Epstein Has Been Paying Off Alleged AccomplicesMeanwhile, Hoffenberg alleges, Epstein was misappropriating and transferring the insurance companies’ investments and cash to brokerage accounts in New York.In 1991, the director of insurance for the state of Illinois sued Hoffenberg; Epstein was not a defendant, but the complaint claimed he and his company improperly received $ 215,000 worth of checks from the insurance companies’ accounts.When Towers became insolvent in the late 1980s, Hoffenberg and Epstein allegedly masterminded another Ponzi scheme by selling about $ 272 million in promissory notes. Towers provided investors with “bogus income and asset figures to conceal [its] true financial condition,” court papers allege.In 1990, the duo fraudulently sold about $ 210 million in bonds and again provided phony financial statements, the lawsuit says. The proceeds from the sale of bonds and promissory notes were used to pay Towers’ operating expenses.When the feds indicted Hoffenberg and he pleaded guilty, he did not implicate Epstein. But in the 2016 lawsuit, perversely seeking restitution on behalf of the victims, Hoffenberg claimed that for more than 15 years, he “has made every effort to expose Mr. Epstein’s fraudulent Ponzi schemes.”Epstein’s attorney, Bennett Moskowitz, asked Manhattan Federal Judge Richard Sullivan to dismiss the case, noting that another federal judge had previously warned Hoffenberg “against pursuing frivolous or otherwise improper litigation” related to his victims.“Hoffenberg’s victims, whom he is prohibited from contacting, are better positioned to pursue their own rights than the man who defrauded them,” Moskowitz wrote to the court.Hoffenberg ultimately withdrew the suit, saying the victims “may be in a better position to pursue and assert their own claims” against Epstein.In August 2018, two victims did file a class-action lawsuit against Epstein in New York, describing him as “an uncharged co-conspirator” of Hoffenberg’s Ponzi scheme and claiming Epstein used his ill-gotten gains “to support a lavish lifestyle.”Everything You Need to Know About the Jeffrey Epstein CaseThe complaint, filed by Marvin Gerber and Kalma Koenig, contains the same allegations surrounding the failed Pan Am and Emery acquisitions. Epstein, they said, manipulated the stock price by opening a number of brokerage accounts to execute false trades and artificially inflate the price of Emery stock. “As the puppet master of Emery stock fraud, Epstein was making sizeable profits off his trading on insider information,” the lawsuit states.The victims’ complaint alleges that prosecutors offered Hoffenberg a reduced sentence in exchange for divulging information about his co-conspirators, but Hoffenberg didn’t provide any intel on Epstein—until his lawsuit in May 2016. In a September 2018 motion to dismiss the victims’ suit, Moskowitz stated “Hoffenberg remains intent on shifting blame for his own massive Ponzi scheme.” He argued the victims’ claims should be dismissed because the statute of limitations had passed and because Epstein’s firm wasn’t even formed until several years after the Ponzi scheme in question.In October 2018, Gerber and Koenig voluntarily dismissed their complaint, without prejudice, leaving them open to filing claims in the future.When Epstein was first accused of trafficking underage girls, in Florida in 2005, Hoffenberg was still in prison, serving his sentence for the Ponzi scheme. Epstein dodged a federal indictment and pleaded guilty to a state charge of prostitution, serving 13 months, mostly work release.But Hoffenberg was a free man when Epstein was arrested last week on federal sex-trafficking charges in New York. He gave an interview to Quartz in which he reiterated his claims that Epstein was his accomplice.“He was my colleague daily, seven days a week,” Hoffenberg said.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.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Yuge? Bernie Sanders outraised by newcomer Pete Buttigieg. But Donald Trump crushes both of them.

Yuge? Bernie Sanders outraised by newcomer Pete Buttigieg. But Donald Trump crushes both of them.Pete Buttigieg edged out Sen. Bernie Sanders in the money race, underscoring the potential for new voices in the crowded 2020 Democratic field.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

‘I didn’t want them to go’: Mother remembers father and daughter who drowned in Rio Grande

‘I didn’t want them to go’: Mother remembers father and daughter who drowned in Rio GrandeRosa Ramírez pleaded with her son, urging him not to leave El Salvador and head north with his wife and young daughter. The risks were simply too high.He saw no other choice. Their neighbourhood was controlled by a gang that enriched itself through drug-dealing, extortion and violence.But most pressing of all, Ms Ramírez said, they could barely make ends meet on their jobs at fast-food restaurants, and had pinned their hopes on making it to the United States.They never did.Last Sunday, after weeks on the road, Ms Ramírez’s son, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, drowned while trying to cross from Mexico into Texas.Their fate, captured in a searing photograph of father and daughter lying face down in the muddy waters of the Rio Grande, her arm limply wrapped around him, has quickly become a focal point in the debate over the stream of migrants pushing towards the US border – and President Donald Trump’s determination to stop it.Critics of the president have taken up the case of the Martínez family, with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York calling the president’s policies “a whirlwind of incompetence, leading to pictures like this”.Mr Trump and his supporters, in turn, have accused Democrats of an inaction that has worsened the crisis, with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky criticising them as being “uncooperative and uninterested in anything except political posturing”.But for many residents here in Mr Martínez’s hometown, San Martín, the heated political battle in Washington has barely registered, and President Trump’s repeated efforts to block migrants have had little impact on the decision to make the perilous journey.“He can say what he wants — that he’s going to put up a wall of I-don’t-know-how-many metres,” said José Alemán, 48, a partner in a local car washing business. “But they keep going.”The death of Mr Martínez and his daughter has given an urgent and poignant face to a major driver of migration from Central America and elsewhere: economic duress.Much attention in recent years has been given to the rampant violence that has compelled so many Salvadorans and residents of neighbouring Guatemala and Honduras to head north.But perhaps a bigger impetus, officials and residents here say, has been economics, especially poverty and the lack of good jobs.The Martínez family made it as far as the northern Mexican border city of Matamoros last weekend, where, according to relatives, they hoped to cross into the United States and apply for asylum.Told the bridge was closed, however, they decided to ford the Rio Grande on Sunday afternoon instead.Mr Martínez went ahead with the couple’s daughter, carrying her on his back, tucked under his T-shirt. His wife, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, followed behind, riding on the back of a family friend, she told Mexican officials.As Mr Martínez, carrying their daughter, approached the opposite bank, he was visibly tiring in the rough water, Ms Ávalos told the authorities. Unnerved, she decided to swim back to the Mexican side, but she saw her husband and daughter, close to the American riverbank, sink into the water and get swept away.“I didn’t want them to go,” Ms Ramírez, Martínez’s mother, said this week in an interview at the small, two-bedroom row house she had shared with her son and his family. “But they didn’t take my advice.”It remains unclear how the Martínez family intended to argue their case for asylum, or whether they even understood the legal basis for gaining such protection. Ms Ávalos did not respond to requests for an interview.But Mr Ramírez repeatedly said her son and his family were not fleeing persecution or the threat of it — requirements for gaining asylum in the United States.They migrated “only because of the economic situation”, she said. “Lamentably, the salaries here are very little and they aren’t enough,” she added, speaking softly.Mr Trump has railed against what he calls rampant asylum fraud, and he has imposed restrictions on the system in an effort to curb abuse — measures that human rights and migrants’ advocates say have imperilled the lives of asylum-seekers who have legitimate claims.Residents and officials here say a gang dominates the neighbourhood, Altavista.But Ms Ramírez and another relative said the immediate family had not been directly imperilled by the gang.Instead, like so many others here and throughout the working class of El Salvador, the family was struggling to get by, living on the edge of poverty.“There isn’t opportunity, there’s no work,” said Víctor Manuel Rivera, the mayor of San Martín. He estimated that about 50 per cent of the municipality’s residents with a high school degree are unemployed.“Every day I hear it: ‘I’m leaving for the United States’,” he said.People here talk about “la situación” — the situation — shorthand for the economic struggle many face. The counterpoint is often simple: “the American dream”.“It hasn’t occurred to me to leave for there,” said Salvador Humberto Andrade Torres, 59, a neighbour of the Martínez family, referring to the United States. “But it occurs to a lot of people.”Officials described the neighbourhood — indeed, the entire municipality of San Martín — as a de facto “bedroom community”, with many residents commuting on average about two hours each way to work in the capital, San Salvador.Mr Martínez and Ms Ávalos, however, worked relatively close to their home, family members said — she in a Chinese fast-food restaurant at a middle-class mall, and he at various branches of the Papa John’s pizza chain.But the couple, even though they were sharing household expenses with Ms Ramírez and her partner, were having a hard time on their salaries of about $ 300 (£236) a month.Last autumn, they started talking about migrating to the United States.Most of those who migrate are young, as has been the case for generations.But in recent years, the municipality has seen a sharp increase in the number of families migrating, too, part of a wave of family migration from Central America towards the United States.Ms Ramírez said she spoke with her son from time to time as the family made its northward trek, but he did not reveal many details.“I would ask him and he said, ‘We’re fine, we’re fine,’” she recalled.The farewell had been subdued. The family gathered for a simple, Sunday meal one afternoon last spring. Ms Ramírez prepared beef stew — “they love that”, she said.Several days later, as she headed to her night shift at the garment factory where she works, Ms Ramírez said one last goodbye to her son and his family.When she returned in the morning, they were gone.Ms Ramírez remembered her son as a loyal, doting father and “a responsible, friendly, respectful son”.Her granddaughter, Angie Valeria, Ms Ramírez recalled, was “happy, intelligent”.As she spoke, she sat on a worn sofa covered in a sheet decorated with the images of princesses from animated Disney films. A single bare light bulb illuminated the room, a few ceramic butterflies adorned the walls.After the bodies were discovered on Monday, Ms Ramírez found herself scrolling through the photos of her son and granddaughter on her phone. Her daughter eventually erased them to spare her the pain.“I would feel bad when I looked at them,” Ms Ramírez said.It is an agony that she hopes others will never have to suffer.“Don’t risk the lives of your children,” she said, hoping to warn others against setting off on the potentially dangerous journey to the American border. “Those who are thinking about this, don’t do it.”“I’d prefer to live here, in poverty, than risk my life,” she added. “But we don’t all think the same way.”The New York Times



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Here's the one thing Democratic candidates want you to remember about them after tonight's debate

Here's the one thing Democratic candidates want you to remember about them after tonight's debateOn Thursday, people will set summer relaxation aside and turn their attention to politics, since this is the debate at which most top-tier candidates will appear.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Trump OK’d Strikes on Iran but Called Them Off Abruptly When Planes Were Already in the Air

Trump OK’d Strikes on Iran but Called Them Off Abruptly When Planes Were Already in the AirAlex Wong/GettyPresident Trump approved U.S. military strikes on multiple targets in Iran on Thursday but changed his mind at the last minute, according to The New York Times. Multiple senior administration officials cited by the Times said military and diplomatic officials were waiting for a strike Thursday evening when the operation was suddenly called off. One source said planes were already in the air and ships had gotten into position when the call came down that the operation was not going ahead. It was not immediately clear why the strike was called off, but Trump had appeared to walk back his accusations against Iran earlier Thursday by suggesting on Twitter that the country had not intentionally shot down a U.S. drone. It was also not immediately clear if there were plans for the strikes to go ahead at a different time. Newsweek cited a Pentagon official as saying U.S. military assets in the region were placed on a 72-hour standby. The drone incident on Thursday was just the latest in a growing list of disputes between Tehran and Washington to raise fears that one simple diplomatic misunderstanding between the two countries could trigger a full-on military confrontation. Tensions have gotten so high that the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday blocked all American-registered planes from flying over parts of the Middle East, citing “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the region” that pose “an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations.”It was not immediately clear if the FAA order came in response to news reports about the Trump administration’s planned airstrike, but the agency cited Iran’s shooting down of a U.S. drone early Thursday as a reason to fear aircraft could be at risk in the region. Will America Attack Iran Over One Dead Robot?While Trump and his advisers have insisted the drone Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down Thursday was over international waters, Iranian leaders have claimed to have GPS proof that the unmanned drone flew into the country’s airspace despite radio warnings. The shooting down of the drone also came as many Democratic lawmakers had already begun to question whether the Trump administration was actively trying to build a case for military action against Iran in response to what top officials have described as escalating threats from the country since Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal last year. Just last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo backed Trump in blaming Iran for attacks on two fuel tankers in the Gulf of Oman, claiming Tehran was “lashing out” to get back at the U.S. for sanctions. The Trump administration announced last month that it would be sending additional troops to the Middle East “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime,” as National Security Adviser John Bolton put it at the time. When reports of the called-off military strikes on Iran broke late Thursday, Democratic lawmakers took to Twitter to sound the alarm over the matter. “This is governing by chaos. We need a steady hand at the wheel. I stood up against the Iraq War and I know that America cannot afford another disastrous war in the Middle East,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a 2020 candidate, wrote. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is also running for president, accused Trump of “instigating” conflict with Iran. “Donald Trump promised to bring our troops home. Instead he has pulled out of a deal that was working and instigated another unnecessary conflict. There is no justification for further escalating this crisis—we need to step back from the brink of war,” she wrote. Trump Tells His Team to Tone Down the Tough Talk on IranRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

The Navy Wanted to Take Battleships and Make Them Into Nuclear 'Bombers'

The Navy Wanted to Take Battleships and Make Them Into Nuclear 'Bombers'Today the naval gunfire argument rages on. Even in the age of drones and precision warfare there are still occasional calls to bring the heavily manned, imprecise Iowa class back to service. There’s a certain romance to battleships, and having four Iowas sitting around in good condition has beguiled naval enthusiasts and planners for more than 60 years with schemes to bring them back.In the early 1980s, four Iowa-class fast battleships originally built during World War II—Iowa, Missouri, New Jersey and Wisconsin—were taken out of mothballs and returned to active duty.(This first appeared several years ago.)Nearly 900 feet long and displacing close to 60,000 tons, the battlewagons could fire a nine-gun broadside sending 18 tons of steel and explosives hurtling towards their targets.The battleships were modernized to include cruise missiles, ship-killing missiles and Phalanx point-defense guns. Returned to the fleet, the ships saw action off the coasts of Lebanon and Iraq. At the end of the Cold War the battleships were retired again. All were slated to become museums.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines