With unemployment benefits ending, food assistance programs are bracing for both another spike in users and the fact that the effects of the pandemic are likely be lasting.'So many of us are on a pretty precarious financial edge' »
Less than 24 hours after President Trump said some “great generals” told him they thought that Tuesday's massive explosion in Beirut was an “attack” involving “a bomb of some kind,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemed less than convinced by that explanation. Speaking to an online audience Wednesday as part of the Aspen Security Forum, Esper said he was “still getting information” on the blast in the Lebanese capital, but that “most believe that it was an accident, as reported.” Asked to explain the discrepancy between Trump's comments and Esper's explanation, and to identify which generals the president might have been referring to as the source of his information, a Pentagon spokesman replied via email: “We have nothing to offer at this time beyond the Secretary's comments.”
The Louisiana's Supreme Court has denied a request to review the case of a Black man who received a life sentence following an attempted burglary conviction, a punishment one dissenting judge called "cruel and unusual" given the object he allegedly stole was a set of hedge clippers. Bernette J. Johnson, the state's first African-American Chief Justice, wrote a scathing dissent published last week. Johnson said the conviction stemmed from the defendant's repeated petty crimes and the state's strict habitual offender laws, which she said have historical ties to slavery and racism.
An American-owned cargo ship named after the president of the United States docked in a Ukrainian port has just offloaded 10,000 metric tons of the same chemical substance that nearly leveled the city of Beirut this week, according to the Liveuamap news source. The hangar in Lebanon only had 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which caused catastrophic damage to the Lebanese capital. The ship docked in Ukraine, which was previously named Seabreeze before a Florida company registered as Pilin Fleet Management LLC purchased it in 2018, and renamed it Trump D, was registered by Marine Traffic tracking website in the Yuzhi port near Odessa on Friday.
To the editor: It is hard to see Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris as truly hailing from California vis-a-vis the speculation of whether Joe Biden will pick her as the vice presidential nominee. The malicious machine working to reelect President Trump will have a field day with this. If Harris treats being vice president as she has her current position, Biden will have a hard time finding her in town as she will be off campaigning for his job.
Upwards of 200 Minneapolis police officers have started the process to apply for permanent disability following the George Floyd riots; Mike Tobin reports.
The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after officials removed murals supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The five murals were created by a variety of artists who had been granted approval by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported. The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after park rangers removed Black Lives Matter murals that had been approved and permitted by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported.
China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level U.S. official visit in four decades. The visit, which begins on Sunday, adds to tensions between Beijing and Washington over everything from trade and human rights to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing in Beijing that any attempt to deny or challenge the "one China" principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, would end in failure.
An Alaska man went toe-to-toe with a home-intruding black bear, outlets report, putting himself between 10 children and the 300-pound predator that wandered into the living room. The fight was scary for Brandon McVey, but he survived, walking away with some nasty puncture wounds to his chest and scratches across his shoulders, the Anchorage Daily News reported. McVey was visiting his friend Norman Lott at his home around 11 p.m. July 31 in Juneau, Alaska, when the bear came in through an open door, the Daily News said.
The Pentagon is distancing itself from President Trump's claims about the Beirut blast that killed more than 100 people. Trump on Tuesday said his unnamed "great generals" told him they thought the massive explosion was a "terrible attack." In the early aftermath, there was speculation that the catastrophe was intentional, but it the consensus quickly became that it was almost certainly accidental — albeit brought on by neglect and mismanagement — and not linked to any foreign power, proxy forces, or terrorist organizations.
Some Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City could face up to life in prison if they're convicted of splashing red paint and smashing windows during a protest, a potential punishment that stands out among demonstrators arrested around the country and one that critics say doesn't fit the alleged crime. Prosecutors said Wednesday that's justified because the protesters worked together to cause thousands of dollars in damage, but watchdogs called the use of the 1990s-era law troubling, especially in the context of criminal justice reform and minority communities. “This is so far beyond just the enforcement of the law, it feels retaliatory,” said Madalena McNeil, who is facing a potential life sentence over felony criminal mischief and riot charges.
Beirut has been ravaged by a massive explosion, likely caused by careless handling of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at its port. As the city is still picking through the debris and thousands search for loved ones, countries such as Turkey, Iran, Qatar, France, and Israel are rushing to provide support. While Hezbollah has not been blamed for the August 4 warehouse fire that led to the massive explosion, it is alleged to have imported and stored similar stockpiles of dangerous munitions and chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate, used in explosives.
A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
Joe Biden asked an African American reporter if he was a "junkie" for questioning whether the former vice president had taken a cognitive test in response to attacks targeting his mental health. When asked for a response to Donald Trump, who has bragged about passing a cognitive test and made Mr Biden's mental state an issue for voters, the former vice president dismissed the question as trying to provoke a reaction. While the Biden campaign did not respond to CBS's request for additional context comparing a cognitive test to a test for cocaine, they told Politico that Mr Biden gave a deserving response to a preposterous question.
I was waiting at the veterinary clinic with my fever stricken two-year-old dog Brownie for his third consultation in 36 hours. His temperature wouldn't go away and his appetite was nonexistent. A boy sat near me with puppies.
Chuck Lovell, the police chief of Portland, Oregon, called for violent protesters to stop their actions at a Wednesday press conference. While protests in downtown Portland have been peaceful since the presence of federal agents was scaled back last week, there have been violent offshoot protests in other parts of the city. Wednesday marked the 70th consecutive day of demonstrations in the city, which started after George Floyd's death in late May.
Ten countries account for 80% of the new coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, a regional body said on Thursday, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent. COVID-19 confirmed cases across Africa have accelerated and are close to hitting a million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries means infection rates are likely to be higher than reported. Some governments across the continent are too poor or conflict-ridden to carry out widespread testing, while others are reluctant to share data or to expose their crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny.
A second-grade student in Georgia tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the first day of school, leading the district to ask 20 other students and a teacher to self-quarantine for two weeks. The child, a student at Sixes Elementary School in Canton, about 44 miles north of Atlanta, did not begin to show symptoms until after school on Monday, the first day students returned. In a letter to parents, the school's principal, Ashley Kennerly, said the class will be taught remotely while the group is under quarantine.
COLOGNE, Germany – German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements. The figure is meant to reflect the share of NATO's total “planning targets,” which are tabulated periodically, a defense ministry spokesman told Defense News. Such math would be able to more accurately capture Germany's efforts across the categories “cash, capabilities and commitments” than the current defense-spending objective of 2 percent of GDP, according to the spokesman.
Pope Francis appointed new members to the Vatican's Council for the Economy on Thursday, and in addition to several cardinals, he also added seven new laypeople to the committee. The historic move means there are more senior female officials serving the Vatican than ever before. The six female appointees are: Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, of Germany; Eva Castillo Sanz, of Spain; Leslie Jane Ferrar, of Great Britain; Marija Kolak, of Germany; María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea, of Spain; and Ruth Maria Kelly, of Great Britain.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called Iran “the world's number one sponsor of terrorism” on Thursday and warned Russia and China that they will become “co-sponsors” if they block a resolution to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the United States hopes Russia and China “will not be co-sponsors of the number one state that sponsors terrorism” and “will see the importance of peace in the Middle East. But she said the partnership between Russia and China, not only on backing Iran, is very clear: “They're just going to be promoting chaos, conflict and mayhem outside their borders, so we have to just corner them.
On Wednesday, Facebook finally took the long overdue step of removing a piece of Trump campaign content from its platform that pushed misinformation about COVID-19. The claim in question came during the president's appearance on Fox & Friends that morning, where he falsely stated, “If you look at children, children are almost—and I would almost say definitely—but almost immune from this disease.” “Of course there is a debate happening about whether Facebook and Twitter should be arbiters of truth and decide what is fact and fiction,” Fox host Sandra Smith began, before sharing the actual facts about confirmed coronavirus cases in children.
At least one person in the United States has died every 80 seconds on average over the last seven days, according to new research, as President Donald Trump said the nation's soaring death toll “is what it is” in a recent interview. The grim figures were first reported by NBC News on Wednesday, which noted its own tally revealed 7,486 people died in the last seven days due to Covid-19. Whereas the rate of deaths was somewhat slower in July, with one American dying every 102 seconds on average throughout the month, the latest figures appeared to show an acceleration in pace, as NBC News reported.
California's labor commissioner announced Wednesday that her office is suing Uber and Lyft, claiming the companies are stealing wages from drivers by "willfully misclassifying" them as contractors instead of employees. The suit alleges that Uber and Lyft have failed to pay drivers minimum wage, sick pay, unemployment, and other benefits guaranteed to employees under state law. AB-5, California's hotly debated gig economy law, created stricter requirements for companies seeking to designate workers as independent contractors.
For one week, I recreated seven of Guy Fieri's signature recipes and favorite go-to meals to see if they lived up to their hype. Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri has established himself as the "Mayor of Flavortown" with his unique brand of down-to-earth humor and non-pretentious, yet elevated, American cuisine. Fieri's eccentric style has become iconic, and his twists on classic recipes like mac and cheese and chili are well-known among fans.
“He’s not a radical. But he is running on the most liberal policy platform of any Democratic candidate in modern history.”
“Public opinion has been shifting leftward, and Biden’s thinking has shifted with it.”
“Biden shows that he’s more moderate than some in his party.”
“Biden has always been a creature of his time, and the COVID-19 crisis could force him to veer further left.”
“Liberal activists have lauded the campaign’s outreach to progressives.”