• White House 2020 hopefuls turn to foreign policy, slam Trump on Iran
    Politics
    Reuters

    White House 2020 hopefuls turn to foreign policy, slam Trump on Iran

    The relationship between Washington and Tehran has become increasingly strained in recent weeks, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. Trump and hawkish foreign policy advisers like national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want Tehran to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, aimed at forcing its leaders into negotiations.

  • Wild video shows the moment an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a California warehouse
    News
    BGR News

    Wild video shows the moment an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a California warehouse

    In a wild story that was captured on video, an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse in Riverside, California shortly after takeoff yesterday afternoon. The pilot managed to safely eject from the plane before the crash and is said to have suffered no injuries, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.A full-on investigation into the cause of the crash will certainly yield more details, but early reports suggest that a hydraulics failure was the reason behind the malfunction and subsequent crash.Video of the impact was captured by a nearby car's dashboard cam. Ty Stanonis was on the freeway when the crash occurred ahead of him, he told FOX11. His vehicle's dashboard camera recorded the moment the jet crashed, showing the plane dropping into the building. "Everybody was slowing down, just trying to figure out what just happened," Stanonis said. The pilot's parachute deployed after he ejected, and he landed in a field inside the base. Stanonis said the pilot was still for a few moments but finally rose to his feet.The moment of impact can be seen in the first few seconds of the video below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9j4dzuttA1wFootage captured from within the warehouse can be seen below. It's worth noting that the video contains explicit language.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ho35RgfUfIMiraculously, no one in the warehouse was seriously injured as a result of the crash, though a few individuals were taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation for minor injuries.Further, the F-16 was said to be carrying live ammunition which thankfully -- and remarkably -- did not go off. All in all, what could have been an all-out disaster resulted in no deaths or serious injuries

  • Ocasio-Cortez Sides With Buffett on How Errant CEOs Should Pay
    Politics
    Bloomberg

    Ocasio-Cortez Sides With Buffett on How Errant CEOs Should Pay

    The freshman New York Democrat retweeted a CNBC article about how the Berkshire Hathaway chairman recently told shareholders that if a bank needs a government bail-out, the responsible CEO and his or her spouse should lose their net worth. In the CNBC story she retweeted, originally published on May 4, the day of Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha, Buffett was quoted as responding to a shareholder’s question regarding the Wells Fargo scandal in 2016 involving the creation of fake accounts. The story pointed out Berkshire is one of the largest shareholders in Wells Fargo.

  • Texas passing laws, but not leading abortion fight this time
    News
    Associated Press

    Texas passing laws, but not leading abortion fight this time

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Sidestepping bigger abortion battles playing out elsewhere in the U.S., Texas Republicans on Friday pushed a bill toward Gov. Greg Abbott's desk that would ban the state's liberal capital city from leasing a downtown building to Planned Parenthood for just $1.

  • View Photos of the First Hot Wheels Toy Based on a Fan's Custom Car
    Lifestyle
    Car and Driver

    View Photos of the First Hot Wheels Toy Based on a Fan's Custom Car

    A flame-throwing, 600-hp ground-bound jet from Jersey is cool enough-then they up and made a toy version.From Car and Driver

  • Trump calls pro-impeachment Republican 'total lightweight'
    Politics
    AFP

    Trump calls pro-impeachment Republican 'total lightweight'

    Donald Trump on Sunday dismissed as "a total lightweight" the Republican lawmaker who a day earlier became the first member of the party to call publicly for the US president's impeachment. Michigan Representative Justin Amash -- a staunch libertarian on the right of the party -- declared that any other person would have been prosecuted over Trump's multiple attempts to thwart Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian election interference.

  • This Missile Might be the U.S. Navy's Important Weapon in Decades
    World
    The National Interest

    This Missile Might be the U.S. Navy's Important Weapon in Decades

    The Tomahawk and its controversies might make headlines, but as the U.S. Navy re-arms for high-tech warfare, the SM-6 is the missile to watch.The U.S. Navy in late January 2019 confirmed the designation of its newest cruise missile, in the process clarifying its long-term plan for arming its growing fleet of warships.The plan heavily leans on one missile, in particular. It's the SM-6, an anti-aircraft weapon that quickly is evolving to perform almost every role the Navy assigns to a missile.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy dubbed the newest version of the venerable Tomahawk cruise missile the "Block V" model, Jane's reported. There are two separate variants of the Block V missile, one with an anti-ship warhead and another with a warhead the Navy optimized for striking targets on land.Raytheon's Tomahawk has been the subject of controversy in Washington, D.C. In order to save money the Obama administration wanted to pause production of the long-range missile, which since the 1980s has been the Navy's main weapon for striking land targets from the sea.Congress overruled the Obama administration and continued buying Tomahawks for roughly $1 million apiece, adding potentially hundreds of the missiles to the thousands the fleet already possesses.

  • Business
    Reuters

    Exclusive - U.S. may scale back Huawei trade restrictions to help existing customers

    The Commerce Department, which had effectively halted Huawei's ability to buy American-made parts and components, is considering issuing a temporary general license to "prevent the interruption of existing network operations and equipment," a spokeswoman said. Potential beneficiaries of the license could, for example, include internet access and mobile phone service providers in thinly populated places such as Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in recent years. In effect, the Commerce Department would allow Huawei to purchase U.S. goods so it can help existing customers maintain the reliability of networks and equipment, but the Chinese firm still would not be allowed to buy American parts and components to manufacture new products.

  • DCCC Wants to Save a Pro-Life Dem. Dems Ask: at What Cost?
    Politics
    The Daily Beast

    DCCC Wants to Save a Pro-Life Dem. Dems Ask: at What Cost?

    Tom WilliamsThe day after Alabama lawmakers passed a law to ban nearly all abortions in the state, House Democrats confronted some tricky optics: a Chicago Business report revealed that the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was scheduled to headline a June fundraiser for the most staunchly pro-life Democrat left in Congress.The move raised howls of protest from progressives, who have sought to make that Democrat, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), the next moderate to be unseated by a challenger to their left. The passage of the Alabama law and restrictive abortion laws in other states has only intensified that push."It's hypocritical for the Democratic Party leadership to continue to protect Lipinski while claiming to fight against the attacks on reproductive rights in states like Georgia and Alabama." said Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats. In the 2018 primary, Lipinski was nearly defeated by Marie Newman, who is competing against him again in 2020 in this safely blue Chicago-area district. Unlike last time, however, Lipinski has the DCCC chair on his side: Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) has made a promise to back all incumbents, and has donated to Lipinski from her personal committee in addition to appearing at a fundraiser to benefit him. Progressive ire directed at the DCCC is hardly new. Only months into the 2020 cycle, the party’s official House campaign arm had already incensed progressives for codifying a policy to not do business with vendors who support primary challengers to incumbents—slammed as a “blacklist” by some on the left.But the Lipinski episode transcends the typical left vs. establishment drama that has permeated the DCCC in recent years. It raises a difficult question for Democrats: At a moment when abortion rights are more vulnerable than they have been in decades, does their “big tent” have room for members who do not support those rights?Lipinski thinks so, at least. “This is exactly the wrong time to be forming a circular firing squad when we need to be together, work together, to beat President Trump in 2020, as well as keeping the House and winning the Senate,” he told The Daily Beast on Thursday.“Certainly, Cheri Bustos is making it very clear as chair of the DCCC her support for me, and I think the party leadership understands the need for not pushing people out right when we’re trying to work together,” he added. But for a diverse set of Democrats, having an opponent of abortion in their ranks is increasingly untenable–especially one like Lipinski. Though there are several other House Democrats with anti-abortion views, Lipinski is the only House Democrat to have received a zero percent score from NARAL Pro-Choice America, a leading advocacy group. He is one of two House Democrats to have a 75 percent score from the National Right to Life Committee. Lipinski, who has said he believes life begins at conception, has resisted leaving the party over his views on abortion. According to a 2018 report from the pro-choice outlet Rewire News, Lipinski told a pro-life gathering “I’ve always believed, and I always say, the Democratic Party says it stands up for the little guy, and there’s no one who is more vulnerable than the unborn, who need the protection. And so I’m hanging in there.”Since arriving in Congress in 2005, Lipinski has been a reliable vote for anti-abortion legislation.In particular, he has voted for bills to grant legal personhood rights to fetuses, and he voted against the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it would help fund access to abortion. At press time, Lipinski’s office had not responded for request for comment on his views on Alabama’s abortion bill.Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who successfully primaried an incumbent himself, was the first to publicly hit Bustos for fundraising on behalf of Lipinski on Wednesday night.“It’s tone deaf for the DCCC to be supporting Lipinski when Roe vs. Wade is under threat in a way it hasn’t been in my whole lifetime,” Khanna told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “This is a moment where the Democratic Party needs to be doing everything possible to affirm the constitutional right of a woman to choose. It makes no sense to be supporting someone who doesn’t recognize that right.”A DCCC spokesperson said that Bustos does not agree with Lipinski on abortion, but “she made a promise to stand behind all of our incumbents in their campaigns—from the Blue Dogs to the progressives. She keeps her word, and she is focused on defeating Republicans so we can continue growing the most diverse Majority in our nation’s history.”But Bustos’ fundraiser has only emboldened those on the left who had been preparing for primary battles in safe blue districts already. And even more institutional Democratic-aligned groups like Planned Parenthood Action Fund, EMILY’s List and NARAL Pro-Choice America backed Newman earlier this month. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) did as well, as she had done last cycle. “She’s in a position of defending a man who is in the House because of a reactionary, right-wing group,” Sean McElwee, co-founder of the progressive think tank Data for Progress said, referring to canvassing efforts on Lipinksi’s behalf from the pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List in 2018. “I think there’s a very real chance he loses. And I think there’s a very real chance that a number of incumbents lose and I think this is in a lot of ways her Waterloo,” McElwee added. “This is the proof positive that the method of going to war with progressives is not actually the best path forward for the party.” In 2018, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi ultimately backed Lipinski in the primary. But she faces pressure to remain neutral heading into 2020. “I hope she and others will stay out of it, given how choice is now under threat and how vulnerable it is,” said Khanna. Pelosi’s office did not respond to request for comment. On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told The Daily Beast that discussions were happening among progressives concerning the DCCC’s support for Lipinski. “If we don’t really approach this and make the hard decisions we need to make as a party about who we are and what we stand for, we cannot say that we’re fighting for women’s rights if we’re fundraising for people and if we’re, as an apparatus, actively supporting candidates who want to take our rights away,” she said.“I just don’t understand how this is even a thing.” Two former DCCC staffers, both of whom identified with the establishment wing of the party, echoed Ocasio-Cortez’s frustrations. “This is not activists vs. the DCCC on this issue,” one said. “This is 2019, we’re talking about Chicago, Illinois—the guy is not pro-choice.”“There’s no room for him anymore,” the other former DCCC staffer said. “There’s no room for this anymore. Maybe they could 10 years ago, but I just don’t see now how they can compromise on this.”“I try to defend the DCCC at any cost, and this is just nuts to me.”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.

  • Modi’s jobs deficit: J&J’s largest India plant idle three years after completion
    Business
    Reuters

    Modi’s jobs deficit: J&J’s largest India plant idle three years after completion

    It was to eventually employ at least 1,500 people and help bring development to a rural area near Hyderabad in southern India. Two sources familiar with J&J's operations in India and one state government official told Reuters production at the plant, at Penjerla in Telangana state, never began because of a slowing in the growth in demand for the products. One of them said that demand didn’t rise as expected because of two shock policy moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi: a late 2016 ban on then circulating high-value currency notes, and the nationwide introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) in 2017.

  • Comey tears into Bar for 'slimming his own department'
    Politics
    FOX News Videos

    Comey tears into Bar for 'slimming his own department'

    Reaction to Comey's remarks from former independent counsel Sol Wisenberg and national security attorney Bradley Moss.

  • Swiss Set to Back Tax Reform, Gun Control in Sunday Referendums
    World
    Bloomberg

    Swiss Set to Back Tax Reform, Gun Control in Sunday Referendums

    The new tax regime would replace special tax breaks that multinational companies now enjoy but which Switzerland is forced to do away with to comply with international rules. While Switzerland isn’t a member of the EU, it is in the open-border Schengen area and therefore the law needs to be changed in accordance with stricter rules in the bloc. Both measures are up for a vote because of Switzerland’s system of direct democracy which calls for mandatory referendums if 50,000 votes are collected within 100 days of a law passing.

  • Democrat 2020 hopefuls eye coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement
    Politics
    The Telegraph

    Democrat 2020 hopefuls eye coveted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsement

    She is the great young hope of America’s Left-wing, an articulate and impassioned progressive whose policies have gained traction and Twitter feed is followed by four million.  Now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old first-time congressman from New York, is seeing her newfound political clout manifest in a new way – a race for her endorsement.  With two dozen Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination, the support of Ms Ocasio-Cortez is being seen as a way to win over the young, energised voters who will help shape the race.  Chief among the contenders are Bernie Sanders, the independent 77-year-old senator from Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren, the former academic now representing Massachusetts in the Senate.  Both have made tacit acknowledgement of Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in public in recent weeks – whether for policy reasons, or for political gain, or both.  Earlier this month, Mr Sanders appeared alongside Ms Ocasio-Cortez at an office table where they discussed the importance of reducing credit card interest rates.  At the end of the 25-minute video, shared on social media and viewed by more than half a million people, the pair patted each other on the back warmly and smiled.  Last month, Mr Warren wrote a 180-word ode to Ms Ocasio-Cortez for Time Magazine when the latter was named in its top 100 most influential people.  “A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar. Today, millions are taking cues from her,” Ms Warren wrote of the congresswoman’s remarkable political rise. “And she’s just getting started.” Those two are not the only Democratic hopefuls vying for an endorsement, it appears. Politico reported that both senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former housing and urban development secretary Julian Castro have made “overtures”.  There is no reason a person should pay more than 15% interest in the United States. It’s common sense - in fact, we had these Usury laws until the 70s. It’s a debt trap for working people + it has to end.https://t.co/sO0p5NF7WR— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) May 9, 2019 The enthusiasm is understandable. The Democratic Party’s progressive base appears fired up for change and many candidates hoping to win the right to take on Donald Trump are leaning its way.  Government-funded health care for all, a $15 minimum wage and bold action on climate change have been widely adopted by the field ahead of the first debate in June and the first primary vote next February.  Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who last year shocked the political establishment by ousting a 10-term Democrat in her own party to take his seat, has become the progressive movement’s most recognisable star.  That was underscored this week as Joe Biden, the former US vice president who is polling top and running on a centrist ticket, was forced to defend his climate change stance after Ms Ocasio-Cortez dismissed it as “middle of the road".  Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator for Massachusetts, has developed a reputation for standing up to Wall Street Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Mr Sanders is best placed to win the endorsement race. Ms Ocasio-Cortez worked on his 2016 presidential campaign, identifies like him as a democratic socialist and shares many of the same policy beliefs.  Ms Warren has also laid out a left-wing platform taking on Wall Street and redistributing wealth but makes clear she remains a believer in capitalism.  Asked recently about an endorsement by a CNN reporter, Ms Ocasio-Cortez said: “What I would like to see in a presidential candidate is one that has a coherent worldview and logic from which all these policy proposals are coming forward. "I think senator Sanders has that. I also think senator Warren has that.” And, the questioner followed up, would she consider endorsing Mr Biden? Ms Ocasio-Cortez turned and walked away without a definitive answer.

  • Rocket attack hits near US Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone
    World
    Associated Press

    Rocket attack hits near US Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone

    BAGHDAD (AP) — A rocket was fired into the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy, an Iraqi military spokesman said.

  • Blast hits Egypt tourist bus, 17 injured: security, medical sources
    World
    AFP

    Blast hits Egypt tourist bus, 17 injured: security, medical sources

    An explosion struck a tourist bus on Sunday near Egypt's famed pyramids, injuring 17 people including foreigners, security and medical sources said. South Africans and Egyptians were among those injured when an explosive device went off, hitting the bus in Giza, according to the sources. Sunday's incident comes after three Vietnamese holidaymakers and their Egyptian guide were killed when a roadside bomb hit their bus as it travelled near the pyramids outside Cairo in December.

  • World
    Reuters

    UPDATE 1-Argentina grants offshore oil, gas exploration permits in Malvinas West basin

    Argentina awarded permits for hydrocarbon exploration in 18 areas off its southern coast to companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Total SA , YPF SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the government said on Friday. The winning companies offered bids totaling $724 million, the government said in official statements, and won the rights to explore for up to 13 years in areas of the South Atlantic, some near the Malvinas Islands under the control of the British government but whose sovereignty is claimed by Argentina. The other companies that will make up exploration consortia in Argentina's Malvinas West basin include BP, Qatar Petroleum, Tullow Oil, Pluspetrol , Wintershall, Equinor, Eni , Mitsui &Co Ltd and Tecpetrol SA.

  • Lifestyle
    BGR News

    10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: AirPods 2, $35 Fire TV Stick 4K, $10 Philips Hue bulbs, more

    We've got another great weekend edition of our daily deals roundups for you, because great deals never take a day off! Highlights include a rare opportunity to save $20 on Apple AirPods 2 (order now to lock in the discount and they'll ship soon, likely within a few weeks), the Fire TV Stick 4K for $35 instead of $50 and the Fire TV Stick for $25 instead of $40 (Prime members only), all-time low prices for the Apple Watch Series 3 starting at $199, all-time low prices on iPads starting at $249, just $11.50 for a SanDisk 64GB microSD card (other sizes on sale too!), Philips Hue white LED bulbs for $10 a piece when you buy a 4-pack, Alexa and Google enabled WiFi smart plugs for $7.25 each when you buy a 4-pack, and more. See all of today's top deals below.

  • Let Me Tell You About the Worst Submarine of All Time
    World
    The National Interest

    Let Me Tell You About the Worst Submarine of All Time

    For the Worst Submarine of All Time, I go further and nominate an entire silent service: the undersea arm of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).There are many candidates for this dubious honor. After all, submarining has been around for well over a century now. Many ships render honorable but unexceptional service. Standouts emerge, generally in times of strife, as do “floating coffins” and plain old hard-luck ships.And there are some that subtract value from the nation’s effort to reach its strategic and political aims. This is the unpardonable sin.The idea of ships that could submerge has been around since antiquity. Combat submersibles date to the Turtle, a hand-propelled contraption built to smite Royal Navy ships from beneath during the War of American Independence. But subs really became a going concern during the fin de siècle age, when propulsion technologies such as batteries, electric motors, and internal-combustion engines came to maturity around the same time.Combining these technologies yielded the diesel-electric propulsion plant, a hybrid affair that enabled subs to run silent, run deep on quiet electric motors when submerged and run on diesels and recharge batteries while cruising the surface. At the direction of First Sea Lord Jacky Fisher, the Royal Navy ordered five rudimentary boats designed by John Phillip Holland in 1900, and the age of modern undersea warfare was on.

  • World
    Bloomberg

    Duterte Signing Papers, Not Confined in Hospital, Spokesman Says

    “I just talked to him,” spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement Sunday. ABS-CBN News said in a report citing social media posts that Duterte was in a hospital in Metro Manila since Friday and that the medical center was under tight security. Sara Duterte, mayor of Davao City, said she hadn’t received any report that her father was ill, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

  • Donald Trump: 'If Iran wants to fight, that will be the end of Iran'
    World
    The Telegraph

    Donald Trump: 'If Iran wants to fight, that will be the end of Iran'

    The US is "afraid" of war with Iran, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard said as tensions between Tehran and Washington intensified over the weekend. Major General Hossein Salami told the Iranian state news agency, IRNA, that the country does not want war. "The difference between us and them is that they are afraid of war and don't have the will for it," he said. His remarks came against a backdrop of increased volatility in the region, with the US sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf to counter an unspecified threat from Iran. Major General Salami's comments were dismissed by the US president on Twitter. "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Mr Trump tweeted. The US Federal Aviation Administration has urged commercial aircraft to exercise caution when flying over the Persian Gulf, warning they ran the risk of being "misidentified". How Iran has stoked tensions in Gulf A similar misunderstanding in 1988 led to an American warship bringing down an Iran Air flight, killing all 290 people on board. Iraq, meanwhile, has condemned as "political" a decision by US energy giant ExxonMobil to evacuate staff from a southern oil field after Washington ordered personnel to quit its Baghdad embassy. Saudi Arabia responded to the escalating crisis by calling for a Gulf summit,  adding that while the country did not want war it would defend itself if hostilities erupted. "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want a war in the region nor does it seek that," Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference on Sunday. "It will do what it can to prevent this war and at the same time it reaffirms that in the event the other side chooses war, the kingdom will respond with all force and determination, and it will defend itself and its interests." John Bolton wants tough line with Iran Credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters In Washington Donald Trump has emerged as a dove within his own administration, telling his acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he wants to avoid an armed conflict erupting. It has put the US president at odds with John Bolton, his national security adviser and a long-standing foreign policy hawk, who has made little secret of his desire for regime change in Tehran. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has also sought to lower the temperature by asking European allies to intervene with Iran. Washington's stance on Iran has put it at odds with European allies, notably after it withdrew from the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration. Over the weekend Tulsi Gabbard, an Iraq war veteran and Democratic presidential candidate, rounded on Mr Trump and Mr Pompeo accusing them of leading the country into a war with Iran. "He says he doesn't want it, but the actions of him and his administration, people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, tell us a very different story," she said on ABC. "They are setting the stage for a war with Iran that would prove to be far more costly, far more devastating and dangerous than anything that we saw in the Iraq war."

  • Nearly 180 former Ohio State University students claim sexual abuse by doctor
    News
    Reuters

    Nearly 180 former Ohio State University students claim sexual abuse by doctor

    Dr. Richard Strauss was accused of abusing at least 177 male students when he worked as a physician for the university's athletic department and the student health center from 1978 to 1998, the report said, detailing the findings of a year-long independent investigation. Staff members knew of the abuse as early as 1979, but complaints were never elevated to administrators and senior officials of the athletics or student health departments until 1996. At that time, the school suspended and ultimately removed Strauss after a "very limited investigation" into a student's claim that the doctor fondled him during an exam, the report said.

  • Russia says Syrian government forces halt fire in Idlib
    World
    Associated Press

    Russia says Syrian government forces halt fire in Idlib

    MOSCOW (AP) — Syrian government forces have unilaterally ceased fire in the northern Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold, Russia said Sunday, while opposition activists reported continued shelling and airstrikes.