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All Brexit options are on the table – UK Conservatives chairman

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LONDON (Reuters) – The chairman of British Prime Minister Theresa Mays Conservative Party said all options were on the table for how to get Britain out of its Brexit impasse but that seeking a customs union with the European Union would be difficult.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“Weve got to look at what we can do next and we have to do something different,” Brandon Lewis told BBC radio on Saturday when asked if May might try to put her withdrawal agreement to a parliamentary vote yet again.

Lawmakers rejected Mays Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, leaving Britains withdrawal from the EU in turmoil on the day it was originally due to leave the bloc.

“Parliament will continue this process on Monday and weve got to look at all the options,” Lewis said.

With parliament and the government deadlocked on Mays deal, it remains unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU.

On Monday lawmakers will try to agree on an alternative Brexit plan that could command majority cross-party support. The options that have so far gathered most support involve closer ties to the EU and a second referendum.

Lewis said the option of a customs union would be difficult to pursue because it flew in the face of the Conservatives pledges before the 2017 national election and did not respect the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum.

When asked if a way out of the impasse was to hold a fresh national election, Lewis said he did not think British voters wanted to return to the polls.

The BBC said governmenRead More

NYC Couple Engaged at MSG Catches Country Music Star’s Eye

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What to Know

  • A Long Island man decided to propose to his girlfriend as their favorite song came on at the Jason Aldean concert at MSG Saturday[hhmc]

  • The proposal caused a commotion, and country music star Aldean noticed the happy couple's special moment[hhmc]

  • Aldean got security to bring the couple down to the stage, where he broadcast their proposal and gave them a toast[hhmc]

Jess McCormack told her boyfriend that, if he ever decided to propose, she wanted it “nice and small.”

But instead, Alex Borsari decided to pop the question in front of a crowd of thousands at country music star Jason Aldean's concert at Madison Square Garden Saturday. And the proposal created such a commotion the Long Island couple even got the attention of the star on the stage.

The engagement ring had been burning a hole in 23-year-old Borsaris pocket for hours as he waited for Aldean to play his and Jesss song “You Make it Easy” at the concert on Saturday. He said he was anxious all day, and wouldnt let McCormack leave to go to the bar in case it came on.

As the song began to play, Borsari pulled McCormack, 21, into the aisle and dropped down on one knee in the 100s level of the 20,780-capacity arena, and the crowds started cheering.

“Everybody had their phone lights facing down towards us cheering and screaming congratulations,” he said. The romantic gesture caused such an uproar that Aldean stopped the show.

“He actually said, “I dont know what happened, I think someone just got married," Borsari said.

Security then led the couple down to the stage, where Aldean introduced them to the crowds of fans. Video shows the country music star introducing the couple to the crowds and bidding them congratulations.

“Thats very cool. I dont know if yall got fully married up there, there was a lot going on,” Aldean laughs. “And I dont know when the wedding is and I dont know what your wedding song is but I think thats a pretty good one right there.” He goes on to toast the couple on stage, wishing them a long and blissful marriage.

Borsari said the couple has not set a date yet, but that “You Make it Easy” would definitely be featured at the wedding.

Countries restricting media freedom must pay price – Hunt

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LONDON (Reuters) – Countries that restrict media freedom must be made to pay a diplomatic price, British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday, as he warned about a deteriorating situation in China and elsewhere.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt speaks during the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, Britain July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

He said China employed millions of people to censor content, produce fake social media posts and manipulate online output.

“If we act together we can shine a spotlight on abuses and impose a diplomatic price on those whod harm journalists or lock them up for doing their jobs,” Hunt said, without elaborating on the measures that could be taken.

China announced a new campaign last month to clean up its internet said in November it had shut nearly 10,000 accounts of news providers deemed to be posting sensational, vulgar or politically harmful content.

Hunt, underdog in the race succeed Theresa May as British prime minister, said countries should not “succumb to fatalism” in response to attacks on media freedom such as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabias consulate in Istanbul.

His comments at a conference in London were echoed by Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, a British special envoy on media freedom.

She criticised world leaders for shrugging off the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi, and criticised U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Today, the country of (former U.S. president) James Madison has a leader who vilifies the media, making honest journalists all over the world more vulnerable to abuse,” she said.

Trump regularly mounts attacks on the news media and political opponents on Twitter. He says he can bypass what he labels unfair media coverage by speaking directly using social media.

Legionella Bacteria Found in Queens Hospital, Officials Say

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What to Know

  • Legionella bacteria was found at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens, officials announced Friday.[hhmc]

  • It is unclear if there are any cases Legionnaires disease in connection to the discovered bacteria.[hhmc]

  • Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella, which tends to grow in warm water.[hhmc]

Legionella bacteria was found at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens, the hospital announced Friday.

Hospital workers detected the presence of the bacteria — which causes Legionnaires disease —in a portion of the North Building while testing the water. However, it was not found in any of the other hospital buildings.

The hospital is working with state and city health officials to maintain a clean water supply and has begun to disinfect the water while at the same time implementing water restrictions.

Hospital workers say they received a notice Friday morning.

Luca Bruno/AP

It is unclear if there are any cases Legionnaires disease in connection to the discovered bacteria.

Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella, which tends to grow in warm water.

The disease is contracted by breathing in water droplets contaminated with the bacterium. In most cases, the bacterium can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favorable for Legionella growth.

The disease is not passed from person to person.

Happening Today: Michael, Haley, Polio-Like Condition, AMAs

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What to Know

  • Hurricane Michael intensified into an extremely dangerous major Category 4 storm over warm Gulf of Mexico waters[hhmc]

  • A puzzling condition that causes partial paralysis in children is back on the uptick in parts of the U.S., health officials said[hhmc]

  • Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and the AMAs encouraging fans to vote in the midterm elections[hhmc]

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Florida Braces for Michael, A Classic October Storm

A classic October storm, Hurricane Michael is quite the contrast to September's Florence. Michael is likely to be stronger, windier and fast-moving when it reaches the Florida Panhandle sometime Wednesday. And the water problem along the coast is more likely to be from storm surge, not rainfall. Michael intensified into a major Category 4 storm over warm Gulf of Mexico waters as Mandatory evacuations were issued as beach dwellers rushed to board up homes just ahead of what could be a devastating hit. A hurricane hunter plane that bounced into the swirling eye off the western tip of Cuba found wind speeds rising. By 5 a.m., top winds had reached 140 mph, making Michael a "major" hurricane before it makes landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Nikki Haley Became a Popular UN Diplomat Despite Trump Policies

Nikki Haley came to her job as the top U.S. diplomat at the United Nations with no foreign policy experience, but in less than two years she made many friends — even among ambassadors from countries at odds with the Trump administration's policies The sudden announcement that she was leaving by the end of the year ricocheted through U.N. headquarters like a lightning bolt, with many expressing shock, and some sadness and dismay. The ambassadors on the powerful U.N. Security Council who worked closely with Haley praised her — a testament to her skills and success as a diplomat — though many of their countries, including America's traditional allies, have serious issues with her government's foreign policy. When Haley arrived at the U.N. on Jan. 27, 2017, she was the former governor of South Carolina and a novice at international affairs but she wasted no time in announcing a new way the U.S. was going to do business.

Rare, Polio-Like Condition Appears in US Again

A puzzling condition that causes partial paralysis in children is back on the uptick in parts of the U.S., with six cases under investigation in Minnesota and 14 reported in Colorado, health officials said. The children have acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, a weakening of the nerves that resembles polio. It was first widely recognized in 2014, when 120 children were diagnosed, NBC News reported. So far this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 38 confirmed cases of the polio-like condition across 16 states.

Taylor Swift Wins Big at AMAs, Encourages Fans to Vote

Taylor Swift kicked off her week with a rare political post on social media, and at the American Music Awards she continued the conversation by encouraging fans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. Swift won four honors including artist of the year at the fan-voted show on Tuesday in Los Angeles, beating out Drake, Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and Post Malone for the top prize. "This award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people, and you know what else is voted on by the people," she said, "the midterm elections on November 6." Swift announced she was voting for Tennessee's Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen, breaking her long-standing refusal to discuss anything politics. In the days since Swift broke her silence on politics, endorsing two Democrats from her home state, thousands of Americans have registered to vote.

Angry Venezuelans take to streets for ‘pork revolution’

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On Wednesday Maduro announced he had been unable to distribute thousands of pork hind legs to the poorest neighborhoods in the country — as he had promised earlier in the month. And he put the blame squarely on Portugal."What happened to the pork?" Maduro asked during a Wednesday televised address. "They sabotaged us. I can name a country: Portugal." Like many in Latin America, Venezuelans typically eat pork legs, known locally as pernil de cerdo, during the Christmas holidays. Maduro had promised to distribute the pork as part of the monthly subsidized food ration for low-income families. "It was all set, because we had bought all the pork there was in Venezuela, we bought it all. So we had to import, and so I gave the order and I signed the payments. But they went after the bank accounts, they went after the two giant ships that were coming. They have sabotaged us," said Maduro.It's not unusual for the Venezuelan government to blame other countries, including the United States, for its crippling economic woes.Responding to Maduro's comments, Portugal's Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva, told Portuguese Radio TSF that the government had no power to "sabotage the pork hind leg.""We live in a market economy, exports are the competency of companies," Santos Silva said.

Company says Venezuela has not paid bill

Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader escapes house arrest, flees to Spain Portuguese food company Raporal, which supplied pork hind legs to Venezuela in 2016, issued a statement saying that Venezuela still owed it, and its parent company Agrovarius, close to 40 million euros stemming from last year's order of 14,000 tons of pork hind legs. The statement, reported by Portuguese public broadcaster RTP, added that Venezuela had made some payments on that debt — but that no payment had been received since August.Raporal had not provided any pork to the Venezuelan government in 2017, the company said. It had received a promise from the Venezuelan ambassador that full payment of the 2016 debt would be made no later than March 2018. "Raporal is not aware of any act of sabotage by Portugal in relation to to the supply of pork hind legs to Venezuela, but rather confirms that it is Venezuela that has not timely fulfilled its payment obligations."

'Nothing has been delivered'

Venezuelans who protested on Wednesday and Thursday said they were angry that another government promise had been broken. Dubbed the "pork revolution" on social media, the protests saw residents take to the streets to bang pots and pans and burn trash. Many complained that their holidays would once again be marred by shortages of food and basic supplies.A group of protesters gather in front of members of the Bolivarian National Police in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday. "They promised us the pork hind legs, chicken, meat," Aracelis Hinojosa told CNN, "but nothing has been delivered." "I am 100% Chavista, I don't deny that, but the same way that we have voted for the President, we can also stop [supporting him]," said Hinojosa.Chavistas are staunch supporters of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's socialist ideas and programs. Maduro, Chavez's handpicked successor, has continued to enjoy the support of many of Chavez's followers.

Economy in steep decline

The Venezuelan economy has spiraled toward collapse in 2017, which has caused the currency, the bolivar, to plunge in value and prices for everyday items to skyrocket. Hyperinflation has caused food and medicine shortages and destabilized the once robust economy. Amid mass exodus, Venezuela is losing its teachersFreddy Bernal, Maduro's minister for food ration distribution, blamed the United States and Colombia for the latest shortage. "I would like to inform Venezuela that 2,200 tons of pork hing legs are being held in Colombia. The sabotage is not only on the US to freeze the accounts of those who sell food to the country, now the Colombian government has retained the legs in the border city of Paraguachon for 7 days. " Bernal tweeted.He added that the planned deliveries were "sabotaged by the US and their commercial allies around the world."

CNN's Jorge Luis Perez Valery contributed to this story from Caracas. CNN's Mayra Cuevas, Flora Charner, Duarte Mendonca and Vasco Cotovio also contributed to this story.

Original Article

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CNN

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NJ Couple Who Survived Las Vegas Massacre Welcomes Baby

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What to Know

  • Valdo Panzera Jr. and Megan Iannuzzi just learned she was pregnant when they attended a music festival in Las Vegas last October[hhmc]

  • They survived what turned out to be one of the deadliest mass shootings in the country — and today, are holding their newborn[hhmc]

  • The couple says there were so many strangers that night who helped them — and their baby — survive the massacre[hhmc]

A New Jersey couple who survived one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history have a new reason to smile: they're holding one of the youngest survivors of that horrible night.

Back in October, Valdo Panzera Jr., of North Haledon, and then-girlfriend Megan Iannuzzi — a Fair Lawn native who recently moved to Las Vegas to teach kindergarten — were two of the thousands of people who ducked, then ran for their lives while rapid gunfire rained down on the Las Vegas Village from a pair of busted-out windows at the Mandalay Bay hote. That's where a gunman was perched with an arsenal of weapons, killing 58 people, and wounding nearly 500 others.

Panzera said that he and Iannuzzi — both country music lovers — had planned for months to go to the Route 91 Harvest Festival so they could see some of their favorite acts and sing their favorite songs together. When they learned she was pregnant, it turned into a celebration.

At the concert, they decided to sit in the bleacher seats. The decision may have saved their lives, as they weren't in the immediate line of fire when shots rang out.

NJ Man Recounts Escaping Las Vegas Shooting

[NY] NJ Man Recounts Escaping Las Vegas Shooting

"If Megan wasn't pregnant, we would have been right up front, right by the stage," said Panzera.

Things took a turn when they heard a mysterious "pap." Speaking to News 4 in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Panzera said that as soon as he realized that the noise gun fire — and not fireworks, the crowd or the PA system, his thoughts shifted to his burgeoning family.

"Megan is six weeks pregnant. I'm going to be a dad and I'm just thinking that it's my girlfriend," he said. "My future wife and my child I have to worry about."

"Megan turns to me and goes,'Babe, what was that?' — I'm like, 'I don't know, fireworks?'" he said. "All of the sudden you hear it again. 'Clap, clap, clap, clap.'"

By the third round of fire, he knew what he was hearing.

Happening Today: Family Separation, Poliovirus, Terry Crews

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What to Know

  • A judge in California ordered U.S. border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days[hhmc]

  • Survival was better for patients in a study who were given genetically modified poliovirus, which helped their bodies attack brain tumors[hhmc]

  • Terry Crews says a film producer said he could only return to the 'Expendables' if he dropped his sexual assault lawsuit against an agent[hhmc]

Get the top headlines of the day in your morning briefing from NBC 4 New York, Monday through Friday. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Separated Families Must Be Reunited Within 30 Days, Judge Rules

A judge in California ordered U.S. border authorities to reunite separated families within 30 days, setting a hard deadline in a process that has so far yielded uncertainty about when children might again see their parents. If children are younger than 5, they must be reunified within 14 days of the order by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego. Sabraw, an appointee of President George W. Bush, also issued a nationwide injunction on future family separations, unless the parent is deemed unfit or doesn't want to be with the child. It also requires the government to provide phone contact between parents and their children within 10 days. More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents in recent weeks and placed in government-contracted shelters — hundreds of miles away, in some cases — under a now-abandoned policy toward families caught illegally entering the U.S. Amid an international outcry, Trump last week issued an executive order to stop the separation of families and said parents and children will instead be detained together.

Longtime Rep. Crowley Defeated in Dem Primary in New York

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders supporter, upset longtime U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley in the Democratic congressional primary in New York. Crowley, a member of the Democratic House leadership, has been in Congress since 1999 and hadn't faced an opponent in a primary election in 14 years, when the woman who beat him was just a teenager. He was considered a candidate to become the next House speaker if Democrats win the majority. Crowley represents New York's 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens, where he is also the leader of the Queens Democratic party. Ocasio-Cortez ran a low-budget campaign and was outspent by an 18-1 margin but won the endorsement of some influential groups on the party's far left, including MoveOn. Born in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez said she decided to challenge Crowley to push a more progressive stance on economic and other issues.

Travel Ruling Could Boost Other Immigration Suits, Experts Say

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling upholding President Trump's travel ban may have a silver lining for people fighting other administration immigration policies after the 5-4 majority ruled the president's prior comments about Muslims were not off limits when evaluating the ban, legal experts said. Trump — a prolific Twitter user— has had his words turned against him in lawsuits over his administration's decisions to separate families at the border, end legal protections for young immigrants and revoke temporary status for people from particular countries. Some judges have criticized their colleagues for citing Trump's campaign statements calling for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in rulings on the travel ban, arguing they should only evaluate the text of his order. But Chief Justice John Roberts said the Supreme Court "may look behind the face of the Proclamation" barring travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations, though he adopted a relatively easy standard for the administration to justify its travel policy.

Doctors Try Using Poliovirus to Attack Brain Tumors

One of the world's most dreaded viruses has been turned into a treatment to fight deadly brain tumors. Survival was better than expected for patients in a small study who were given genetically modified poliovirus, which helped their bodies attack the cancer, doctors report. It was the first human test of this and it didn't help most patients or improve median survival. But many who did respond seemed to have long-lasting benefit: About 21 percent were alive at three years versus 4 percent in a comparison group of previous brain tumor patients. Similar survival trends have been seen with some other therapies that enlist the immune system against different types of cancer. None are sold yet for brain tumors.

Subway Rider Who Hit Kid, Threatened Witness Arrested: Cops

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What to Know

  • A train passenger pulled a knife on another man and threatened to kill him after the man scolded him for hitting his child[hhmc]

  • The man was riding an uptown E train in Manhattan on June 24 when the incident happened[hhmc]

  • The suspect, 23-year-old Edgar Rodriguez, was arrested July 17[hhmc]

Police say they've found the subway rider who allegedly threatened kill another man when the man admonished him for hitting his child last month.

Edgar Rodriguez, 23, of Rosevelt Island, was arrested and brought into the Manhattan Transit station on West 12th Street Tuesday afternoon, police said.

He's facing charges of endangering the welfare of a child, menacing and criminal possession of a weapon. Attorney information wasn't immediately clear.

The 45-year-old victim was riding an uptown E train in Manhattan with his wife and 4-year-old daughter mid-afternoon on June 24 when he saw Rodriguez hit his own child, who was riding in a stroller, the victim said.

The man told News 4 that he and his family were on an outing to get ice cream when the squabble happened.

"We made eye contact and he says, 'Why are you looking at me?' And used f-words. And I said, 'You shouldn't hit your kid. It's unnecessary,'" the man said.

That's when Rodriguez started to threaten him, according to police.

“Its my kid — worry about your f—ing kid,” Rodriguez allegedly told the man at some point during the dispute, according to law enforcement sources. "I will kill you on this train."

“I promise you I will change your life," the rider added.

Driver Comes Forward in Freak Flying Tire Highway Death

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What to Know

  • A driver says he believes a tire that struck a car on Sunrise Highway came from his trailer[hhmc]

  • The 60-year-old driver of the car that was struck died in the ensuing crash[hhmc]

  • The trailer and pickup truck have been impounded for a safety check[hhmc]

A driver has contacted police saying he believes the tire that smashed into another car, claiming a man's life, came from his trailer.

Joseph Nickel, 48, of Islip, said he was driving a pickup truck and pulling a trailer on Sunrise Highway in West Babylon on July 5, according to Suffolk County police.

He told police that he later discovered the trailer was missing a tire.

A tire flew into the westbound lanes of the Sunrise Highway, smashing into the front passenger side window of a Saturn, police said.

Emilio Espejel/AP

David Dorazio, 60, was driving the Saturn and died when he lost control and hit the center median of the highway.

The tire then hit a second vehicle, a Chevy SUV with two people inside. The shaken driver in that SUV, Mary DiFranco-Garone, described the harrowing 30 seconds in which she witnessed the flying tire hitting the sedan.

"It came from the other side of the highway, and it bounced, hit [the Saturn driver], he hit the wall to avoid him coming back, I swerved, and the tire hit me," she told NBC 4 New York.

"We're very lucky. That poor person, whoever they are. They were just at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.

Nickel's pickup and trailer have been impounded for a safety check, police said.

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