Scarred by two decades of conflict, Iraq finds itself caught in the middle of a US-Iranian tug-of-war, fearing it could pay the price of any confrontation between its two main allies. Analysts say third parties may seek to exploit the latest spike in tensions between Tehran and Washington to spark a showdown that serves their own interests. Iraq "pays a disproportionate tax on Iranian-American tensions and (has) an unenviable front-line position in any future conflict between the two," said Fanar Haddad, an Iraq expert at the National University of Singapore.
The HUD secretary faced a tough hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.
The region is still reckoning with significant flooding from the storm system
While Americans are more concerned about Iran as a security threat to the United States now than they were last year, few would be in favor of a pre-emptive attack on the Iranian military. Historically tense relations between Washington and Tehran worsened in May after U.S. President Donald Trump hardened his anti-Iran stance and restored all sanctions on Iranian oil exports following his decision a year ago to pull the United States out of a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran. The United States moved an aircraft carrier and forces to the Gulf region in response to intelligence that Iran may be plotting against U.S. interests, an assertion Iran denies.
A gang of gunmen reportedly attacked a bar in the capital of Brazil's northern Pará state Sunday afternoon, and authorities said 11 people were killed.The state security agency confirmed late Sunday only that six women and five men died in the incident in the Guamá neighborhood of the Pará state capital, Belém.The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars.In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belém to reinforce security in the city for 90 days.Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics.Much of Brazil's violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. (AP)See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.
This immaculate 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback is estimated to sell at British auction for $95K. It’s hard not to whisper Steve McQueen’s name when presented with a Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback, even if it isn't a 1968 model. The American classifieds may provide evidence of eye-watering sums being traded for healthy Fastback specimens, but it’s not always the case in Great Britain.
Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, was arrested Monday following a massive manhunt that involved multiple police agencies and aircrafts.
Mississippi's fetal heartbeat law which bans abortions after approximately six weeks could be blocked or upheld by Judge Carlton Reeves.
Jose Luiz Gonzalez/ReutersThe U.S. Secret Service is now participating in a not-so-secret undertaking: dealing with the influx of migrants at America’s southern border. According to a communication from the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters reviewed by The Daily Beast, the small law enforcement agency has sent personnel to the border already and is looking to send more in the coming weeks. The move came in response to a directive then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent out earlier this spring asking each component of the department to find volunteers and dispatch them to the border. Even though it’s most closely associated with the White House, the Secret Service—along with a host of other entities and agencies—is a component of DHS. And as a result, it’s shipping people south. A DHS spokesperson did not dispute this reporting. “As we have consistently said, the Department is considering all options to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” said the spokesperson. “We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress.”The Daily Beast reported last week that the arm of DHS that handles threats to America’s cybersecurity and critical infrastructure, called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has struggled to find enough volunteers to head to the border and fulfill DHS headquarters’ request. The agency works to secure election systems, schools, and places of worship—all of which face acute threats. Besides protecting the president, the first family, and other prominent government figures, the Secret Service also conducts criminal investigations. Its focuses include financial crimes and cybersecurity threats. The diversion of law enforcement and national security personnel to the border has concerned some congressional Democrats, who say it may be a misuse of limited government resources. But pushing back against the dramatic increase in people trying to enter the U.S. through the southern border has become has become a singular priority of President Trump. In both March and April, law enforcement officials apprehended more than 100,000 people trying to enter the U.S., according to DHS statistics. During the Obama administration, the agency was beset by scandal: Washington socialites slipped past agents and crashed the president’s first state dinner; a Secret Service agent told his counterparts to stand down after a man fired a gun at the White House, thinking the sound came from a car backfiring; an agent who traveled to Amsterdam with the president to protect him got drunk and passed out in a hallway; and more, as NBC News has detailed. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.
What does America need to save its troubled F-35 stealth fighter?Turkey, that’s what.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently warned that the multinational F-35 program, of which Turkey is a member, would fail if Turkey were excluded. Turkey is facing sanctions, including being dropped from the F-35 program if it goes ahead with purchasing Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which has raised Washington’s fears that F-35 secrets might be leaked to Russia. The U.S. has stopped shipping equipment to Turkey for that nation’s planned purchase of 100 F-35s, while the first two aircraft officially delivered to Turkey are still in the United States.For its part, Ankara is adamant that it has a right to purchase both American stealth fighters and Russian anti-aircraft missiles, despite the fact that the S-400 is one of the most likely Russian weapons to be used against the F-35. “We were surely not going to remain silent against our right to self-defense being disregarded and attempts to hit us where it hurts,” Erdogan said at a Turkish defense trade show. “This is the kind of process that is behind the S-400 agreement we reached with Russia.”“Nowadays, we are being subject to a similar injustice - or rather an imposition - on the F-35s ... Let me be frank: An F-35 project from which Turkey is excluded is bound to collapse completely.”
China's ambassador to the United States said in a Tuesday interview with Fox News that Washington repeatedly "changed its mind overnight" and sunk deals that could have ended the two countries' trade war. Ambassador Cui Tiankai also slammed as "politically motivated" the White House's move to ban the transfer or sale of US technology to Chinese telcom giant Huawei. Such actions will really undermine people's confidence in the normal function of the market," Tiankai told Fox.
Democrats call meeting after former White House counsel Don McGahn defies House subpoena; Doug McKelway reports from Capitol Hill.
* Paper detailed staff concerns over Trump and Kushner entities * President claims he doesn’t need banks or money from RussiaDonald Trump described the reporting as ‘phony’ and called Deutsche Bank ‘very good and highly professional’. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump sought on Monday to discredit a New York Times report that Deutsche Bank employees flagged concerns over transactions involving legal entities controlled by the president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.The Times said the nature of the transactions was not clear and that the bank ultimately took no action. Some of the transactions involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, some in Russia.Trump claimed he did not “need or want banks” and does not receive money from Russia.Congress and New York state are investigating the relationship between Trump, his family and Deutsche Bank, and demanding documents related to any suspicious activity.Trump has sued in court in an attempt to block House subpoenas for his financial records that were sent to Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the accounting firm Mazars.The Times report said anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.Citing five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, the report said executives at the German-based bank, which has lent billions to Trump and Kushner companies, rejected the advice and the reports were never filed.Earlier this month, the Times obtained tax information which showed his businesses lost more than $1bn from 1985 to 1994. Trump has refused to release more recent tax returns or to comply with House subpoenas for them.Trump rejected and ridiculed that story. In his Monday tweets, he claimed not to need banks as he “made a lot of money and buys everything for cash”.He also said the “fake media … always uses unnamed sources (because their sources don’t even exist)”.But one former Deutsche Bank employee, Tammy McFadden, who reviewed some of the transactions, spoke to the Times on the record. She said she was fired last year after raising concerns about the bank’s practices, the Times said.McFadden said concerns she raised included contacts between Kushner Companies and Russian individuals in summer 2016. Deutsche Bank has been fined for laundering billions of dollars for Russians.In his report on Russian election interference released in redacted form last month, special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that Trump conspired with Moscow. But he did lay out extensive contacts between Trump aides and Russia.On Monday, Trump tweeted: “The new big story is that Trump made a lot of money and buys everything for cash, he doesn’t need banks. But where did he get all of that cash? Could it be Russia? No, I built a great business and don’t need banks, but if I did they would be there.”Trump also called the Times reporting “phony” and called Deutsche Bank “very good and highly professional”.Deutsche Bank denied the report but it contributed to shares falling to a record low. Shares in the German lender were down by 2.8% at the time of writing. The bank was recently forced to abandon merger plans with Commerzbank. It has also struggled to turn around its corporate and investment arms.The Times said the transactions in question, some of which involved Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to the former bank employees.Compliance staff members who reviewed the transactions prepared suspicious activity reports they believed should be sent to a unit of the US treasury that polices financial crimes, according to the newspaper.A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told Reuters “the story is absolute nonsense”.“We have no knowledge of any ‘flagged’ transactions with Deutsche Bank. In fact, we have no operating accounts with Deutsche Bank,” she said.The newspaper said a Kushner Companies spokeswoman called any allegations of relationships involving money laundering “made up and totally false”.
Rescuers successfully talked down a man who scaled the upper heights of the Eiffel Tower on Monday, forcing the monument's evacuation, and handed him over to police. Television channels ran live shots as rescuers perched on the 324-metre (1,063-foot) tower's wrought-iron struts, just below the highest viewing platform, tried to persuade the unknown man to give himself up. The lattice tower, named after its designer and builder Gustave Eiffel, is one of the world's most recognisable landmarks.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on severe weather in the central United States (all times local):
Earth's Moon only ever shows us one face. It's locked into its current orientation, with a permanent nearside and farside, but it wasn't until the Apollo missions that scientists were able to see just how different the two sides really are. The nearside, with its sea of dark gray basins standing in contrast to the brilliant white powder that covers the rest of its face, varies dramatically from the farside, which is marked with countless smaller craters in a more uniform distribution.The debate over how the Moon's split personalities developed has raged for decades, but new research seems to indicate that one of the possible explanations does indeed hold water. The theory, that Earth's Moon was struck by a tiny dwarf planet long ago, is the subject of a new research paper published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.Using computer models to simulate what may have happened to the Moon's surface long ago, researchers suggest the most likely scenario seems to be the collision between the Moon and a very large body. The impact of a dwarf planet as large as 480 miles across would have struck what we see today as the Moon's nearside at a speed of 14,000 miles per hour.This theory stands in contrast to other proposed explanations, including the theory that Earth may have once had not one Moon, but two. The two-moon theory suggests that Earth's moon duo may have at one point collided and merged, leaving the Moon as we see it today looking oddly unsymmetrical.The dwarf planet collision scenario assumes that whatever the body that struck the Moon was, it was in its own path around the Sun and just happened to be in the right place at the right time to strike Earth's natural satellite. This, the researchers say, would also explain why the crust on the farside of the Moon is different than that of its nearside."We demonstrate that a large body slowly impacting the nearside of the Moon can reproduce the observed crustal thickness asymmetry and form both the farside highlands and the nearside lowlands," the paper explains. "Additionally, the model shows that the resulting impact ejecta would cover the primordial anorthositic crust to form a two‐layer crust on the farside, as observed."
PHOENIX (AP) — A Border Patrol agent in Arizona sent texts calling immigrants "savages" and "subhuman" the month before using his patrol vehicle to knock over a Guatemalan man who was trying to flee, prosecutors say.
The view that John Bolton is driving Trump into military confrontation with America's principal foe in the Middle East is spreading across the globe.
China’s navy has a new problem: not enough names for its rapidly growing fleet of warships.“China is running out of provincial capitals to name new destroyers, and it might have to turn to other big domestic cities, which reflects the country's rapid naval development in recent years,” according to Chinese newspaper Global Times.The People’s Liberation Army Navy recently named its first Type 055 destroyer the Nanchang, which is the capital city of East China's Jiangxi Province.One of the three other Type 055 destroyers will be named Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, according to Chinese media. That just leaves Nanning and Taipei as the names of provincial capitals for destroyers (Taipei is Taiwan’s capital, though Taiwan has not yet declared independence as a separate nation from China).Which means non-capital cities will have to bequeath their names to Chinese destroyers. The latest destroyer is named Qiqihar, which is a non-capital city in in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. A few ships have been named after major cities, such as the Shenzen, a Type 051 destroyer.“Chinese destroyers and frigates should be named after big and medium Chinese cities, according to the naval vessels naming regulation,” Global Times said. “This means naming of destroyers does not necessarily have to use provincial capitals, as it was a non-binding tradition.”
Massive protests opposing a series of bans against abortions have continued for several days after one of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation was signed into law in Alabama last week. Crowds of demonstrators on Capitol Hill were joined by prominent women’s rights activists and politicians on Tuesday, including 2020 presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand, for a rally titled StopTheBans. “Our democracy only works when the people of this country stand up and demand it,” the New York senator said to cheers. “Do not allow this moment to pass without putting everything you have behind it … organise, advocate and vote.” Across the country, Americans from all walks of life marched in major cities and small towns to oppose bans like the one in Alabama, which makes performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. The bill, signed by Republican Governor Kay Ivey, is effectively designed to set up a lengthy legal battle that could result in the Supreme Court revisiting a decades-old decision for Roe v. Wade, which deemed abortion a Constitutionally-protected right. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” the governor said in a statement while signing the bill on Wednesday.Hundreds of demonstrators then marched to the Alabama Capitol on Sunday to protest the state’s newly approved abortion ban, chanting “my body, my choice!” and “vote them out!”In a statement addressing the cheering crowd, Planned Parenthood Southeast President Staci Fox said “Banning abortion does not stop abortion. It stops safe abortion.”Governors in Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have also approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.But none of the laws have actually taken effect, and all are expected to be blocked by the courts as the legal challenges play out with an ultimate eye on the Supreme Court.Marchers have said the measures are energising supporters of legalised abortion, and they say they are digging in for a legal and political fight. Along the route they took, the protesters passed by scattered counter-demonstrators raising signs against abortion.The Alabama law would make it a felony, punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison to perform an abortion. There would be no punishment for the woman receiving the abortion.But the protest outside the Alabama Capitol on Sunday occurred in a state where a majority of voters recently agreed to put anti-abortion language in the Alabama Constitution. Fifty-nine per cent of state voters in November approved the constitutional amendment saying the state recognises the rights of the “unborn.” As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan. We have come very far in the last two years with 105 wonderful new..... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019Donald Trump, while not mentioning Alabama’s law, wrote in a weekend tweet that he is strongly “pro-life” but favours exceptions.“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan,” The president wrote in a series of tweets.Alabama’s abortion ban would go into effect in six months if it isn’t blocked by legal challenges.Additional reporting by AP
Boeing acknowledged Saturday it had to correct flaws in its 737 MAX flight simulator software used to train pilots, after two deadly crashes involving the aircraft that killed 346 people. "Boeing has made corrections to the 737 MAX simulator software and has provided additional information to device operators to ensure that the simulator experience is representative across different flight conditions," it said in a statement. Boeing's statement about the flight simulator marked a first acknowledgement of shortcoming since the two accidents led to the grounding of the top-selling 737 MAX plane.
* Justice department says McGahn cannot be compelled to talk * House panel chair Jerry Nadler condemns interventionDon McGahn has been subpoenaed to appear before the House judiciary committee on Tuesday. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump has blocked the former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before Congress about the special counsel report on Russian election interference, prompting sharp criticism and even threats of impeachment.In a legal opinion released on Monday, the justice department said lawmakers on Capitol Hill cannot compel McGahn, who was subpoenaed by the House judiciary committee, to answer their questions under oath.“The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and constitutional precedent, the former counsel to the president cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement.“This action has been taken in order to ensure that future presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the office of the presidency.”McGahn is a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, often standing in the way of Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice. According to investigators, McGahn threatened to resign when the president ordered him to have Mueller fired.McGahn was also dispatched by Trump to convince the former attorney general Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. (Sessions did not heed the president’s demands.)Travelling to a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump was asked why he was asking McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena. “Well, as I understand it, they’re doing that for the office of the presidency, for future presidents,” he replied, according to a pool report. “I think it’s a very important precedent. And the attorneys say that they’re not doing that for me. They’re doing it for the office of the president. So we’re talking about the future.”The White House’s intervention was condemned by Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the judiciary committee. “The Mueller report documents a shocking pattern of obstruction of justice,” he said in a statement. “The president acted again and again – perhaps criminally – to protect himself from federal law enforcement.“Don McGahn personally witnessed the most egregious of these acts. President Trump knows this. He clearly does not want the American people to hear firsthand about his alleged misconduct, and so he has attempted to block Mr McGahn from speaking in public tomorrow.”The move is the latest example of the Trump administration’s “disdain for the law”, added Nadler, who said the committee will meet as planned on Tuesday morning and still expects McGahn to appear.Another Democratic member of the committee, David Cicilline, went further in his criticism, suggesting that impeachment of Trump would be warranted if McGahn did not respond to the subpoena.“Let me be clear: if Don McGahn doesn’t testify, it is time to open an impeachment inquiry,” he told the MSNBC network. “The president has engaged in an ongoing effort to impede our ability find the truth, to collect evidence, to do our work … No one is above the law, including the president of the United States.”Cicilline admitted he did not know if his view was shared by other members of Democratic leadership but added: “We may well be forced into a position to have to open a formal inquiry in order to facilitate the collection of the evidence that we need to see.”The justice department’s legal opinion does not prevent McGahn testifying if he so chooses, although it would be potentially at risk to his own career. Trump has mused about instructing Republicans to cease dealing with his law firm, Jones Day, the Associated Press reported.Matthew Miller, former director of the office of public affairs for the justice department, tweeted: “Just show up and testify, McGahn. This isn’t about some garden-variety Congressional-executive branch dispute, but as one of your predecessors described it, a cancer on the presidency. Think about your place in history.”McGahn was subpoenaed by Nadler last month and, under instruction by the White House, failed to meet an initial deadline to appear before the committee. Nadler threatened to hold McGahn in contempt of Congress if he did not meet a second deadline of 21 May.McGahn, who left the White House last year, has increasingly become the subject of Trump’s ire following the release of the redacted Mueller report. Last week, the president tweeted he was “never a big fan” of McGahn and suggested it was the former White House counsel, and not Mueller, who was on his chopping block at the time of the investigation.The Trump administration has repeatedly blocked attempts at oversight by the Democratic-controlled House. Last month it instructed the former personnel security director Carl Kline not to testify at a hearing into alleged lapses in White House security clearance procedures. Last week the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, refused to comply with a congressional subpoena to hand over Trump’s tax returns.Nadler’s committee has previously voted to hold the attorney general, William Barr, in contempt for refusing to provide the unredacted Mueller report and underlying evidence to Congress.
The downsized Discovery looks better, has more luxury choices, and can be had as a hybrid.From Car and Driver
Global equity markets fell on Monday as a U.S. crackdown on China's Huawei Technologies led chipmaker stocks in Europe and on Wall Street to slide on fears of a widening trade war, while the dollar was steady ahead of fresh insight on the Federal Reserve policies. China accused the United States of harboring "extravagant expectations" for a trade deal, underlining the gulf between the two sides as the U.S. action last week against Huawei began to hit the global tech sector.
A wild, rugged, mountainous region of Slovakia dotted with plunging waterfalls and lakes and hiking trails has been named the top European destination of 2019 by the travel experts at Lonely Planet.