Another damp day expected tomorrow
Another damp day expected tomorrow
President Donald Trump's personal lawyer has been working closely with “an active Russian agent” trying to smear the president's chief political rival. Derkach, a member of Kyiv's parliament and son of a former KGB officer, has also been supplying documents to Republicans on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is conducting an election-eve investigation into the Bidens. Derkach—described by the Treasury Department as “an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services”—stands accused of orchestrating a “covert influence campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives” about the Bidens via “edited audio tapes and other unsupported information,” which launched “corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States designed to culminate prior to election day.”
The owner of the San Francisco salon is shutting down her business after the controversy surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi not wearing a face mask inside. The owner of eSalon, Erica Kious, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday that the salon was closing. “I am actually done in San Francisco and closing my doors, unfortunately,” Kious said, blaming the criticism she received from the Pelosi incident.
The gang rape of a stranded woman motorist in front of her children has caused outcry in Pakistan with calls for the public hanging of the culprits. Anger over the attack on a woman who had broken down on a motorway outside Lahore was then increased after a senior police officer appeared to blame the victim for her choice of route. A senior Lahore police officer later provoked further condemnation when he appeared to blame the victim.
Wildfires driven by strong winds were racing through more than a dozen Western states Thursday, taking lives, incinerating homes and scarring a swath of land larger than the entire state of Connecticut. At least 16 people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed by more than 100 major fires that have consumed almost 7,000 square miles. "Unprecedented weather conditions have created emergency situations near wildfires throughout California, Oregon, Washington and other states," the National Fire Information Center warned.
China and the United States traded attacks about who best understands press freedom as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party for refusing to carry an op-ed by the U.S. ambassador. "The People's Daily's response once again exposes the Chinese Communist Party's fear of free speech and serious intellectual debate – as well as Beijing's hypocrisy when it complains about lack of fair and reciprocal treatment in other countries," Pompeo said in a statement late on Wednesday.
A Florida sheriff's office deployed a futuristic algorithm that uses crime data to predict who is likely to commit another crime. In a sweeping six-month investigation published this week, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the algorithm relied on questionable data and arbitrary decisions and led to the serial harassment of people without any evidence of specific crimes. According to the report, former sheriff's office employees said officers went to the homes of people singled out by the algorithm, charged them with zoning violations, and made arrests for any reason they could.
The person in charge of providing health care for low-income Americans spent several million dollars of taxpayer money on furthering her own career, a congressional investigation has found. Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a member of the coronavirus task force, racked up $3.5 million in consulting charges, event costs, and other things that developed her connections within the Republican party, Politico reports via the investigation set to be published Thursday. That included nearly $3,000 on a "Girl's Night" party, about $1,000 to place an op-ed with Fox News, and dozens more line items before Verma was cut off last year.
President Donald Trump is planning to travel to Nevada this weekend, though large airport rallies initially set for Las Vegas and Reno appear to have been scuttled after local officials warned they would violate Nevada's coronavirus-related ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. Adam Laxalt, the co-chair of Trump's campaign in Nevada, said in a Twitter post Wednesday that both events to be held at airport hangars Saturday in Reno and Sunday in Las Vegas had been canceled. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said in a statement that the president would still be traveling to Nevada on the dates planned and the campaign would release additional details soon.
Intelligence officials have long been warning that Russian agents will inevitably try to interfere in the 2020 campaign—now some appear to have been caught targeting nearly 200 political operations, including a a key communications firm with deep ties to the Biden campaign. Reuters reported Thursday morning that suspected Russian state-backed hackers have attempted to breach the systems at Washington-based SKDKnickerbocker, a strategy and communications firm working hand-in-glove with Joe Biden's campaign. The failed hacking attempt was brought to SKDK's attention by Microsoft, which reportedly gathered information identifying hackers linked to the Kremlin as the most likely suspects.
The lifeless body of the three-year-old, autistic Noble was recovered from a swimming pool that had already been searched, officials said. The body of a toddler in Toledo, Ohio who had been missing since Friday has been recovered from a swimming pool of an apartment complex. Braylen Noble is the three-year-old boy reported missing by his mother after she discovered a window screen of their third-floor apartment had been pushed out.
Robert Fenstersheib, a South Florida personal injury attorney known for his catchy commercials encouraging people to “tell Robert anything,” was killed Wednesday in a shooting. Scott Mager, Fenstersheib's colleague and best-friend, said the Hallandale Beach-based attorney was killed by his son, Michael Fenstersheib. Michael, 35, struggled with “severe mental illness and addiction,” and also shot his long-time girlfriend.
Dr. Anthony Fauci privately said President Donald Trump's attention span was "like a minus number," according to Bob Woodward's new book. Fauci also told an associate that Trump's "sole purpose is to get reelected," Woodward wrote. Trump has a rocky relationship with Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease, because of their differing views on how to handle the coronavirus pandemic.
Less than a week after celebrating the birth of a critically endangered gorilla, the zoo in New Orleans is mourning its death. The baby western lowland gorilla born Friday died on Wednesday, Audubon Zoo spokeswoman Katie Smith said Thursday. The cause remains undetermined, but officials say Tumani, its 13-year-old mother, may not have produced enough milk.
When he couldn't reach his cousin Jake Hyland on Monday, Jim Mabry drove to his family's remote property in rural Washington state, where wildfires turned pastures of 4-foot-high sage into dust. On Tuesday, Mabry discovered Jake's truck stuck in a ravine, about a quarter of a mile from the land. “When I first saw the truck, I didn't want to search,” Mabry told The Daily Beast.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is going to use $5 million in coronavirus relief funds on a tourism ad campaign. South Dakota experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases following last month's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which researchers believe might be responsible for more than 19% of all new US cases. The state now ranks second in the country for new cases per capita over the last two weeks, with 439 new cases per 100,000 people, but Noem is actively still encouraging people to visit.
Elon Musk and Robert Reich, a former US labor secretary, got into it on Twitter. Reich accused the billionaire of being a "modern day robber baron" for cutting worker pay during the pandemic while his own wealth surged. Musk countered that all Tesla workers had stock too, calling Reich a "modern day moron."
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made a campaign stop in the battleground state of Michigan on Wednesday to outline his plan to prevent U.S. jobs from moving overseas. But the former VP began his speech by going after President Donald Trump, after newly released recordings revealed he played down the deadliness of the coronavirus because he did not want to create a panic. BIDEN: "We just learned from The Washington Post columnist Bob Woodward that the President of the United States has admitted on tape in February he knew about COVID-19 - that it passed through the air.
Senate Republicans cast doubt on Wednesday over the prospect of passing a bipartisan coronavirus relief package ahead of the November election, suggesting they would instead aim to pass legislation to avoid a federal shutdown. While Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., K.Y.) said he was “optimistic” that the GOP's $500 billion skinny COVID-19 package would garner solid support from Republicans in a test vote on Thursday, Democrats have called the bill insufficient, furthering months of political gridlock over the stimulus in the Senate. “Unless something really broke through, it's not going to happen,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, according to the Associated Press, on the prospect of restarting negotiations that fell apart last month and reaching a deal before November.
Border agents opened a suspicious shipment of chili peppers and found the remains of a primate and other animals inside, officials say. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists inspected the shipment from Thailand and found the body of a lorisid, a primate protected as an endangered species, in April, according to a Thursday news release. Another shipment from Thailand uncovered over 22 pounds of soft-shelled turtle bones possibly protected as an endangered species.