"It's just incomprehensible, the situation we find ourselves in," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a memorial for the 200,000 American lives lost to the coronavirus.'Embrace science over politics' »
A top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee admitted there is little his party can now do to stop Republicans from confirming a new nominee by President Trump to the Supreme Court before the November elections, saying he and his colleagues have no “triple-secret procedural trick” that can slow the process down. “We've been through this recently with Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh and before that with Justice [Neil] Gorsuch, so if there were some triple-secret procedural trick that we could pull we would have been pretty negligent in not pulling it in those two earlier proceedings,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast. For GOP senators, “Unless you've gotten a hall pass so that everybody understands that you're OK and this is not going to affect the outcome, this is like a tribal check-in and you've got to be on the team because if you're not this is one of those no-going-back moments for you.”
A group of people at a Michigan playground discovered 39 razor blades on the equipment, prompting authorities to close playgrounds across the city, police said. Officers recovered an additional two blades after they were called at about 4:40 p.m. Monday to the playground, according to a news release from the Eaton Rapids Police Department. "Some of the blades appeared to have been placed intentionally to cause harm," police said on Facebook.
A lack of firefighting resources in the hours after it was sparked allowed a fast-moving wildfire to make an unprecedented run through Southern California mountains and eventually find fuel in old-growth trees to become one of Los Angeles County's largest fires ever, an official said Tuesday. The Bobcat Fire has burned for more than two weeks and was still threatening more than 1,000 homes after scorching its way through brush and timber down into the Mojave Desert. “This is a stubborn fire,” Angeles National Forest spokesman Andrew Mitchell said.
The Vatican doubled down on its opposition to euthanasia on Tuesday, calling it an "act of homicide" that can never be justified or tolerated. A new document, issued as more countries consider legalising euthanasia or assisted suicide, said legislators and politicians who support such laws are "accomplices". Catholic healthcare workers must never give active or passive collaboration and governments the right to conscientious objection, it said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer invoked the "two-hour rule" Tuesday, a measure that constrains the scheduling and duration of Senate committee meetings. The move was intended to retaliate against Republicans, who have agreed to vote on confirming President Trump's nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death. Under the rule, no Senate committee or subcommittee can meet after the Senate has been in session for two hours or after 2 p.m. The move threatened to delay a briefing on national security and a confirmation hearing for Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden aimed to assure voters concerned about socialism by pointing to the fact that he beat Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary. “I beat the socialist,” Biden said on Monday. President Donald Trump's campaign has attempted to characterize Biden as a "radical socialist."
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is very likely to attempt to kill himself if he is sent to the United States to face espionage charges, a psychiatric expert said Tuesday at an extradition hearing in London. Michael Kopelman, emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King's College London, said Assange has a history of depression and there is a “very high” risk of suicide if the U.S. extradition attempt succeeds. It's the imminence of extradition and/or an actual extradition that will trigger the attempt, in my opinion,” Kopelman said during testimony as a witness for Assange at London's Old Bailey criminal court.
India is likely to reduce crop waste burning, a major source of air pollution during the winter months, by 75-80% in Punjab and Haryana states, part of the country's farm belt that borders the capital New Delhi, two government officials said on Tuesday. Every winter, a thick blanket of smog settles over northern India, as a combination of factors such as the burning of crop residues, industrial emissions and vehicle exhaust brings a sharp spike in pollution. The federal government and the state governments of Punjab and Haryana have ensured that rice farmers can easily hire machines to dispose of the paddy stalks and straw, said the officials, who did not wish to be identified in line with government policy.
Donald Trump will face Joe Biden within days for the first of three presidential debates, and some of the president's supporters are already bracing for a humiliating loss. White House allies, Republican donors and some of Trump's closest advisers worry that a recent, frenzied push by his top lieutenants to portray Biden as a seasoned debater — with the goal of raising expectations for the Democratic presidential nominee — is too late and too disingenuous to have an impact when the two meet on the debate stage next Tuesday. Unlike the president, who has spuriously claimed Biden is “probably” on performance-enhancing drugs, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh attributed Biden's “quite good” performance in past debates to the Democrat's ability “to turn it on when the cameras come” after years of experience in politics.
Understand: That response tells us nothing about the GOP we did not already know. Republicans such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, you will recall, gnashed their teeth and rent their garments in 2016 when President Obama put forth a nominee to replace conservative icon Antonin Scalia on the top court. Four years later, the liberal icon Ginsburg dies just 46 days short of the election, and the same people who thought eight months was too close, the same McConnell who denied Obama's choice the courtesy of a hearing, now rush to install a Donald Trump nominee.
Police in Canada have been searching an apartment in a Montreal suburb that's linked to a woman arrested on suspicion of sending an envelope filled with ricin to the White House. The woman was arrested at the U.S.-Canada border near Buffalo, New York on Sunday (September 20). She will appear before a federal court in Buffalo.
Chance the Rapper told followers to vote for whoever their mom is voting for, and people dragged him on Twitter. "Yall worried bout everybody else mama, I said yo mama," Chance added in a follow-up tweet, seemingly in response to the backlash. Chance the Rapper told followers to vote for whoever their mom is voting for in the upcoming presidential election, and people on Twitter aren't happy.
About 380 whales have died in what is suspected to be Australia's largest stranding on record, officials say. Since Monday, hundreds of long-finned pilot whales have been found beached on Tasmania's west coast. Rescuers had managed to save 50 by late on Wednesday, and they were trying to help the remaining estimated 30 whales.
Newly released documents obtained by American Oversight show that Amazon produced nearly $3.9 billion in revenue and $1.6 billion in profit for the USPS in the fiscal year of 2019. USPS delivered 1.54 billion packages for Amazon during that time, or roughly 30% of the technology company's total volume. While President Donald Trump has been critical about USPS doing business with Amazon, the numbers make it clear that the retail giant is generating much-needed profit for the Post Office.
Michael Bloomberg has raised $16.1m to pay off fines and court debts of 32,000 convicted felons so they're eligible to vote for Joe Biden in Florida. The former New York City mayor's contribution makes up the bulk of $20m raised by Florida Rights Restoration Coalition following a recent court ruling that allows convicted felons to regain their right to vote. Black or Latino voters who were already registered to vote, with outstanding fines of less than $1,500, were eligible for the race-based payback initiative, according to Axios and The Washington Post, which first reported Mr Bloomberg's $16.1m fundraising.
The British government has forwarded to U.S. authorities evidence in its possession regarding two accused Islamic State militants known as the "Beatles" being held by the U.S. military and suspected of involvement in beheadings of Western hostages. In a court ruling on Tuesday, two British High Court judges rejected a request from the family of one of the accused which sought to block the transfer of evidence to the United States. In a message posted on Twitter, Priti Patel, Britain's interior minister, confirmed the transfer of the evidence regarding alleged militants Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh to U.S. authorities.
If you're headed to Walmart sometime soon, operations may look a little different — the retailer says it plans to roll back two of its COVID-19 policies. Walmart is doing away with one-way aisles and will reopen second sets of doors that had previously been closed due to coronavirus concerns, the company told McClatchy News in an email. Walmart did not say when the changes will take place, but attributed the move to customer behavior.
Hundreds of government officials, mountaineers, fellow Sherpa guides and supporters gathered in Nepal on Wednesday to mourn the veteran guide who was the first person to climb Mount Everest 10 times. The body of Ang Rita was cremated Wednesday according to Buddhist rituals two days after he died. The body wrapped in Buddhist flags, flowers and cream scarf was taken on a decorated truck from the Sherpa Monastery in the outskirts of Kathmandu to cremation grounds in the heart of the city.
In the last week, Italy had fewer than 1,500 new infections on average per day, compared to France's average of about 10,400, Spain's 10,500, and the UK's 3,700. Italy isn't facing a second wave like Spain and France because people have continued to practise social distancing, wash hands, and wear masks, the Wall Street Journal reported. Italy's brutal first wave involved more than 250,000 infections, and 6,000 new cases per day at its peak in March, The Guardian reported.
Jamie Harrison and Susan Collins Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images With the Senate poised to begin likely explosive confirmation hearings over President Donald Trump's nominee to replace former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, top election expert Larry Sabato has swung his projection for two critical contests to the left. Their outcomes could determine wether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. who is leading the charge to fill the seat amid the election, retains control of the upper chamber.
The Afghan war: The short and long story Women in the crosshairs as Afghanistan eyes peace The Afghan women determined not to lose out 'They tried to kill my mother in front of me, twice' Negotiators from Kabul, the capital, noticed that Taliban who sat at the table during the US-Taliban process - tough talks which took place over more than a year - learned skills which are helping break logjams now. "The fact that we continue discussing these issues for hours is a step forward," said Nader Nadery, spokesman for the government delegation. "We are focused on the task at hand: to end this war."
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said in an address to the United Nations on Tuesday any future COVID-19 vaccine should be universally available, regardless of where it is produced. "I am calling from here once again for the procurement of medical equipment and medicine, and vaccine efforts not to be made into a topic of competition," Erdogan said in a video address to the U.N. General Assembly, which is holding a virtual meeting because of the global coronavirus pandemic. "No matter what country they are produced in, vaccines that are made ready to be administered should be presented to the common use of humanity," he said.
Houston, a Gulf Coast city that barely rises above sea level, has long worried about a worst-case weather scenario — a direct hit from a powerful storm that sends a wall of water barreling into the region's petrochemical facilities, possibly triggering an environmental disaster. When it was spared a blow from Hurricane Laura last month, the city breathed a sigh of relief. Now the close call has renewed a debate about whether the Houston area should build a massive and expensive barrier to protect against storm surge.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is believed by America's intelligence agencies to be personally pulling the strings behind a disinformation campaign to denigrate Joe Biden and influence the US election, according to reports. A top-secret Central Intelligence Agency assessment, reported in the opinion section of The Washington Post, claims Mr Putin is likely directing Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach in disseminating disparaging information about Mr Biden through lobbyists, Congress, the media and contacts close to Donald Trump. “We assess that President Vladimir Putin and the senior-most Russian officials are aware of and probably directing Russia's influence operations aimed at denigrating the former US vice president, supporting the US president and fueling public discord ahead of the U.S. election in November,” the document says, according to two sources with knowledge of the report quoted by the Post's global opinions section columnist Josh Rogin.
“Enfranchising 16-year-olds would be good for them and good for our democracy.”
“At 16, most kids have little awareness of politics, civics, or American history.”
“Voting is habit forming...which underscores the importance of having as stable an environment as possible for the youngest voters.”
“Keeping the voting age at 18 is not a slap at 16-year-olds. It is recognition that an informed electorate is the best kind.”
“When young people’s participation lags badly, issues important to them receive short shrift in the public discourse.”