In this episode of “The Basement Office,” Charles Halt discusses his shock at his UFO sighting in Rendlesham Forest in 1980 and the audio recording he made during the event. Nick Pope, who wrote a book on the incident, offers his insight into what happened when a UFO was reported to have landed outside the Bentwaters and Woodbridge air force bases in the UK. Nick and Steven Greenstreet dig into the physical evidence and government response in the aftermath.
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MIAMI (Reuters) – The first Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday will give contenders struggling to break through in the crowded field an opportunity to step out of the shadow cast by front-runners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who take the stage a day later.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is gaining strength in opinion polls, will be the headliner of the opening night in Miami. She will be joined onstage by nine other candidates, including U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke.
Booker, Klobuchar and O’Rourke have had their moments during the first few months in the battle for the 2020 Democratic nomination. But they have not broken through to mount a serious challenge to the top contenders, making Wednesday’s debate a chance to grab some of the limelight.
O’Rourke’s travails come perhaps as the biggest surprise. On the heels of his underdog 2018 run for the U.S. Senate in Texas that made him a national figure, his entry into the presidential race was met with a crush of media coverage. But he has steadily dropped in polls and needs to right the ship.
Booker enjoyed time in the public eye last week when he slammed Biden for remarks the former vice president made at a fundraiser describing his work with segregationists decades ago in the Senate. The debate offers Booker, a senator from New Jersey, his best chance yet to introduce himself to Democratic voters unfamiliar with him.
The same can be said of Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota who may be best known for her snowy campaign launch in February. She has mostly concentrated on neighboring Iowa, which holds the first nominating contest next year in the race to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former congressman John Delaney, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee and U.S. Representative Tim Ryan will also be on the stage. They all fall below 1% nationally in opinion polls and will be looking mainly to fight another day.
With 10 Democrats attending the two-hour debate, each candidate will only have 60 seconds to answer a question and 30 seconds to respond to a follow-up, making each response critical.
The night is crucial for Warren, a senator from Massachusetts looking to build on her recent momentum. A steady stream of progressive policy proposals and her near nonstop campaigning have siphoned some left-wing support from Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, and made her a threat for the nomination.
But she needs to broaden her appeal to the mainstream Democratic Party to make a run at Biden, who retains a commanding polling lead.
Warren’s surge may make her a target on Wednesday, particularly from some of the moderates on stage. Even though Biden will not be present, his front-runner status will likely draw some flak as well.
The overriding question for both nights of debates is how fiercely Democrats will attack one another, rather than training their fire on Trump.
The president said last week he might tweet his reactions live during the first Democratic debate, which will take place as he flies aboard Air Force One to Osaka, Japan, for a G20 summit, and a visit to South Korea.
“Having these 20 Democrats on live television tell America what they believe is the best commercial for the president’s re-election that we could ask for,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign.
Alex Conant, a top aide to Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio in 2016, said Democrats onstage would have to be prepared for moderators to confront them with a Trump tweet in real time.
“If they fail to counterpunch, their campaign might be over,” Conant said.
It may be difficult for the Democratic candidates to distinguish themselves on areas of policy such as healthcare, immigration and climate change, where there seems to be broad agreement among the presidential field.
The danger for the candidates is “everyone stands there and mimics each other” and no one leaps out from the pack, said Alan Schroeder, an expert on presidential debates and a professor emeritus at Northeastern University.
Schroeder said the sheer number of contenders would make it difficult for them and for viewers trying to sort out the field.
FILE PHOTO: The line up of U.S. Democratic presidential candidates who will participate in the party’s first of two nights of debate in Miami on June 26, 2019, in a combination file photos (L-R top row): U.S. Senators Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. (L-R bottom row): Former U.S. Representative John Delaney, U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbard, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, and Gov. Jay Inslee. REUTERS/Files/File Photo
“It’s not an ideal situation for anyone,” he said.
The Miami debates on Wednesday and Thursday are sponsored by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. NBC News personalities Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd and NBC and Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart will serve as moderators.
Reporting by James Oliphant; Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney
NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City will host 4 million visitors this week to celebrate World Pride for both a celebration of advancements in LGBTQ rights and a call to action in the face of anti-LGBTQ policies enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Helmsley Building is lit in rainbow color ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot, in New York, U.S., June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar
New York has been designated the site for World Pride this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising on June 28, 1969. The annual gay pride parade on Sunday will coincide with parades in cities around the world.
The opening ceremony takes place on Wednesday with a benefit concert at a Brooklyn arena, and festivities conclude Sunday night with a concert on the Manhattan waterfront featuring Madonna.
The anniversary commemorates the moment when patrons of a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village called the Stonewall Inn rose up in defiance of police harassment, leading to a national and worldwide movement for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer people.
LGBTQ people will celebrate their many accomplishments toward equality in the five decades since, including winning the constitutional right to same-sex marriage through a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2015.
But advocates are also alarmed about losing those gains.
The Trump administration has banned transgender people from the U.S. military, cut funding for HIV and AIDS research, supported the right of medical providers and adoption agencies to deny services to LGBTQ people, and aborted plans to gather data about sexual orientation and gender identity in the 2020 census.
“I don’t know what we have to celebrate. Right now I would love to feel that I have more pride than I have at present,” said Larry Kramer, the playwright and founder of Act Up, which fights for AIDS research and legislation.
Despite advances in civil rights, 32 states lack non-discrimination protections against LGBTQ people, according to the Human Rights Campaign, and 1.1 million Americans and 37 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, according to U.S. government statistics.
“Today our biggest problem is our inability to be united and to fight back in a strong way,” Kramer, 84, told Reuters in an interview.
Trump issued a statement of solidarity on June 1 to begin Pride Month, saying his administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality, while rolling back protections at home.
“Trump alternates between saying we’ll be good to you and then dismantling all sorts of programs,” said Richard Wandel, a longtime gay rights activist.
DJ LeMahieu didn’t just lead off the bottom of the first with a homer, he also had a third consecutive multi-hit game and extended his streak of getting on base to eight straight plate appearances before a strikeout in the third ended it on Tuesday.
“He makes every play and he’s great with runners on base at getting guys in,’’ Judge said. “What he and Gio [Urshela] did when guys were out was huge. I’m glad he’s on our team.”
LeMahieu and Urshela are in the final vote for the All-Star Game, as is catcher Gary Sanchez, shortstop Gleyber Torres — though he isn’t playing the position anymore with the return of Didi Gregorius — and Judge.
“I expect a lot of Yankees to be there and hopefully everyone that’s deserving makes it,” LeMahieu said. “It would be cool [to make it]. If it happens, great.”
Sanchez had an interesting ninth inning Tuesday, as he saw Aroldis Chapman throw a wild pitch with just his second pitch of the night and then Sanchez was called for catcher’s interference with Cavan Biggio at the plate.
That left Toronto with runners on first and second and no one out, but Chapman got out of it and Sanchez made a nice block on a pitch in the dirt to keep the runners from advancing.
Chapman finished the game by getting Freddy Galvis to ground to second.
“He’s been great all year,’’ Aaron Boone said of Chapman, who picked up his 23rd save despite allowing his first earned run since May 9, a span of 16 ¹/₃ innings over 17 games.
The Yankees recalled Stephen Tarpley on Tuesday after sending Jonathan Holder down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following his ugly outing Monday. The left-handed Tarpley was stretched out with SWB and could fill multiple roles with the Yankees. He tossed a scoreless seventh inning in the Yankees’ 4-3 win over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at the Stadium.
Holder has had a rough season and cratered recently, allowing 13 runs and six homers in his last 5 ¹/₃ innings.
“He’s such an important part of what we do,’’ Aaron Boone said of Holder. “I feel like lately, his fastball command hasn’t been there for him. That’s a strength of his. We hope he goes down in that environment and can work on things and get back to us.”
Boone added that the Yankees would “probably” use an opener for one of the games in London against the Red Sox.
He last played on June 11, when he suffered a left calf strain. Morales struggled after coming over from the A’s. In 19 games with the Yankees, the veteran slugger went just 11-for-62 with two extra-base hits, though his best game was his final one with the Yankees, when he had three hits and a double against the Mets.
Morales’ roster spot was in jeopardy once the Yankees traded for Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion, who had been hitless in his previous 12 at-bats entering Tuesday, belted a solo home run in the eighth, which proved to be the game-winning hit.
The Yankees commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising on Tuesday, honoring students for their “commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBQT community” with $50,000 worth of scholarships. A plaque in remembrance of the event was placed in Monument Park.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Political newcomer Tiffany Caban, a progressive Democrat endorsed by U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, declared victory in a close-run primary race for district attorney in the New York City borough of Queens.
Queens District Attorney (D.A.) candidate Tiffany Caban attends the Queens District Attorney election night in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 25, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
Votes were still being tallied early on Wednesday, and Caban’s rival Melinda Katz – seen as the main establishment candidate – had not conceded, the New York Post and other media reported.
But Caban, a former public defender of Puerto Rican descent, told her supporters: “We did it, y’all,” in footage of a rally posted online just after midnight.
A victory by the 31-year-old would mark a fresh signal of the growing power of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as it pushes a populist platform across the country in the run up to the 2020 presidential election.
It also would highlight the political appeal that Ocasio-Cortez, known by her initials, AOC, has cultivated since she upset a long-time incumbent Democrat in a primary race a year ago.
Initial, unconfirmed results posted online by New York City’s Board of Elections suggested Caban had a narrow lead over Katz, an established centrist who serves as president of the Queens borough.
With 99% of polling stations reporting, Caban had nearly 40% of the vote, according to the unofficial returns.
Katz was trailing with 38.3% of the vote, the results showed 5-1/2 hours after polls closed. Five other candidates on the ballot trailed behind and there were still 3,400 absentee ballots to be counted.
With Democrats outnumbering Republicans in Queens, the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary is expected to easily defeat a Republican opponent in November’s national election.
Competition for the office has been uncharacteristically fierce since Richard A. Brown, who served as district attorney for more than 25 years, announced his retirement in January. Brown died in May, a month before his scheduled departure.
The primary race in the diverse borough with working-class roots was seen as a litmus test for the appeal of progressive versus traditional candidates.
Caban, who identifies as queer, ran a grassroots campaign, raising funds from small cash contributions.
She promised to close New York’s Rikers Island jail without replacing it, to decriminalize prostitution and to end cash bail for all criminal offenses.
Her agenda gained her several high-profile endorsements, on top of Ocasio-Cortez. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, both leading progressives in the U.S. Senate and candidates for the Democratic nomination for president both backed her.
Katz ran a campaign with strong support from local businesses and politicians including the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo.
Reporting by Matthew Lavietes in New York; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Rich McKay in Atlanta; editing by Darren Schuettler and Andrew Heavens