U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's review of the events that prompted an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia. The directive comes as the White House spars with congressional Democrats over the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led a two-year investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and if there were any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — This story was first published on Dec. 21, 2001, when AP journalist Justin Pritchard reported on the American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh's journey to the Taliban front lines. We are reprinting the story now to mark Lindh's release after nearly two decades in prison.
In a stunning escalation of the Trump administration's war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. The charges invoke broad provisions of the Espionage Act that make it a crime to disclose or retain any defense information knowing it “could be used to injure” the U.S. The act has no exception for reporters or publishers, but prior administrations have balked at invoking the law against journalists for fear of colliding with the First Amendment.
For the purposes of Lockheed's marketing campaign, the F-21 is a new fighter, although it shares many of its major features with the F-16V the company has sold to Bahrain, Greece, Slovakia, South Korea and Taiwan. Lockheed can build new F-16Vs or upgrade older F-16s to the V-standard.Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes.(This first appeared earlier in the month.)But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract.According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.Singh explains his rationale in the May 2019 issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. India previously ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender. “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.”Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States. Whichever fighter New Delhi selects, it needs the new jets now, according to Singh.
The Fed’s 2018 report on the economic well-being of households, published Thursday, indicated “most measures” of well-being and financial resilience “were similar to, or slightly better than, those in 2017.” The slight improvement coincided with a decline in the average unemployment rate to 3.9% last year, from 4.3% in 2017. The statistic, which was a bit better than in the 2017 report, has become a favorite rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump’s boasts about a strong economy among Democratic politicians, including 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California. “Relatively small, unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance, can be a hardship for many families without adequate savings,” the report said.
Texas-Based Central Market Shines If you live in a major Texas metro area, Central Market is the go-to place for freshly prepared Memorial Day fare. This week, for instance, the 10-store grocer is taking 10 percent off baked-on-premises fruit pies—including a latticed berry pie decorated like the American flag—as well as fresh-made picnic salads with tempting names such as Asian slaw, Greek village salad, faro vegetable salad, and mint vinaigrette. Central Market, whose motto is “Really Into Food,” is holding its Big Tastes of Texas promotion through May 28.
Advocates demanded $100 million in damages Thursday on behalf of the family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent last year. The legal claim on behalf of Claudia Patricia Gómez González was filed one year after she died. It comes as the U.S. government grapples with surging numbers of Central Americans crossing its southern border and the deaths of six children in the last year after being apprehended by border agents.
The Indian National Congress Party went from understated optimism to shellshocked defeat within the space of a few hours on Thursday as Narendra Modi and his party celebrated another landslide victory. For the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, the performance by his party was nothing short of a humiliation, with several members of his own party demanding he step down and lay the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to rest for good. Mr Gandhi suffered the sting of losing the iconic seat of his family homestead in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, which he had held since 2004 and was controlled by his father before him. He won in his second constituency – candidates can run from two in India – but the symbolism of the defeat was one from which he may never recover. Modi vowed to build an 'inclusive' India after a first term marred by accusations of fomenting religious hatred Credit: AFP At a brief press conference as the results were still coming in, Mr Gandhi congratulated Mr Modi and said “the people are king and they have directed that the BJP and Modi have won this election”. He added: “I don't want to get into what went wrong today, this is not the time for that. I fully respect the Indian people's decision.” During the briefing he also conceded defeat in the Amethi election and congratulated his opponent Smriti Irani, of the BJP, who was more than 28,000 votes ahead at the time. Congress party officials did not return calls by The Telegraph but there were widespread reports in Indian media that the party had wildly miscalculated the margin of any potential loss with its internal polling, and now all that was left was to call for its talisman's head. “If they want to change anything, change the leadership,” a Congress official in Rajasthan told Reuters, referring to Mr Gandhi and the party's high command. “You need to give young people a chance.” However Mr Gandhi, 48, will probably not face an immediate leadership challenge as India's establishment party does some soul searching after an inglorious defeat. Some reports claimed Mr Gandhi had offered to resign. “According to sources, Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leaders advised him to bring up the matter before the party forum,” reported India Today TV. “The CWC (Congress Working Committee) will meet in a week in which the proposal will be discussed,” it added. Ironically the youthful pretender had grown into his role as leader in the past 18 months after previously being seen as a reluctant heir to his political lineage which stretched back to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He campaigned vigorously and was not shy on calling out Mr Modi on the economy, national security, Hindu nationalism and women's rights. After a while the media started to take notice. However behind the scenes his inability to foster good relations with a host of regional party leaders that could have generated a tenable anti-Modi alliance may have damaged his chances. "The BJP fought these elections on the basis of social and religious divisive policies and the agenda was set by them on this basis," said Atul Kumar Anjaan, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, a potential ally. "But more significant is the fact that the unity of the opposition has been damaged by the Congress. The policies and decisions of Rahul Gandhi has weakened opposition unity, led to divisions and opened the doors for Modi's victory.” Congress has ruled India for most of its history since independence from Britain in 1947, and boasts three prime ministers from the Nehru-Gandhi clan. But its weak performance in the last two elections seems to suggest it needs a drastic change of direction to take on someone with Mr Modi's political savvy.
While abortion is legal nationwide, Americans have unequal access to the procedure, depending on their location in the United States and how much they are able to spend. The disparities are great indeed, from the more than 150 abortion clinics available in the most populous state of California, to only one in states like Mississippi in the South or Missouri in the Midwest. State laws also vary widely on other matters like speed limits for drivers and marriage age requirements, but the Supreme Court has set a "minimum standard throughout the entire country," noted Meg Penrose, of the Texas A&M School of Law.
Tesla Inc is on course to deliver a record number of cars in the second quarter, beating the 90,700 it sent to customers in the final quarter of last year, according to an internal email from Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to staff. Musk's email, widely posted on social media and authenticated for Reuters by a source familiar with the matter, also said the company had on average produced 900 Model 3 cars per day this week, bringing it closer to a target of 7,000 per week. Tesla shares were up about 1% after a volatile opening.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the deadly tornado moved over Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, shortly before midnight. Across the state, Missouri's first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Governor Mike Parson said. Authorities said the three were killed in the Golden City area of Barton county, near Missouri's south-west corner, as the severe weather moved in from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water.
Donald Trump erupted in fury Wednesday at unrelenting probes into his links to Russia, as the top Democrat in Congress accused the president of a "cover-up" that could be an impeachable offense. A livid Trump abruptly shut down a White House meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, announcing he could not deal with them on policy until "phony investigations" are brought to a close. The clash marked a dramatic escalation in Trump's war of words with congressional opponents seeking to bring him to account for what they say is presidential wrongdoing.
When the Justice Department unsealed a March 2018 indictment of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange last month, there was a reasonable case to be made that his prosecution would avoid setting a dangerous precedent against press freedom. The original indictment charged Assange with computer hacking on the novel theory that he coached Private Chelsea Manning on how to crack passwords on Department of Defense computers that stored the reams of secret diplomatic cables Wikileaks eventually published. Journalists routinely encourage sources to encrypt their texts and phone calls.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):
There are millions of apps available for your phone, but you can't take all of them on your next trip. Of the 10 most-downloaded iPhone apps last year, only one – Google Maps – made the list (at No. 8). "Google Maps first comes to mind," says Anne Woodyard, who owns a tour company in Reston, Virginia.
Top politicians in Alabama have resulted to publicly calling for the Supreme Court to review Roe v Wade in the wake of the state passing the most severe restrictions against abortions in America. Del Marsh, one of the 25 all-male senators who voted for the abortion ban earlier this month, defended the legislation against criticism for not including exceptions for rape or incest by saying its sole purpose is to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling. “At the end of the day, the bill passed with the only exemption the health of the mother,” he said in an interview with Sky News. “What I voted for was a bill to get to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v Wade.”“That’s what the instrument is,” he continued. “We understand that this is not the end game. The federal courts are going to have to make a determination. What we're trying to do is force, then reconsider. That's what this is all about."Alabama’s abortion ban arrived amid a national trend in which states are passing restrictive legislation surrounding women’s reproductive health. Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi have also approved similar laws in which abortions on banned when a fetal heartbeat is detected. Those restrictions can occur six weeks into a pregnancy, when most people are not yet aware they are with a child. Not all states have taken a conservative approach towards abortion access in recent months, however. Nevada’s state legislature passed a bill relaxing decades-old policies surrounding abortion that critics said deterred women from seeking access. Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey also called for the Supreme Court to reconsider its landmark ruling when signing the abortion ban. “Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v Wade was handed down in 1973,” she said in a statement at the time. “The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the US Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”The wave of bans have sparked major protests across the country, with many 2020 presidential hopefuls speaking out against the restrictive measures against women’s reproductive rights. “Our democracy only works when the people of this country stand up and demand it,” Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York senator running for the White House, said at a StopTheBans rally in Washington on Tuesday. “Do not allow this moment to pass without putting everything you have behind it … organise, advocate and vote.”
Musk's email, widely posted on social media and authenticated for Reuters by a source familiar with the matter, also said the company had on average produced 900 Model 3 cars per day this week, bringing it closer to a target of 7,000 per week. The communication is one of the first about sales by Musk following an agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that requires a securities lawyer to review his tweets and other communications that have material information. In the email sent late on Wednesday, Musk said the company had racked up over 50,000 net new orders this quarter as of Tuesday.
This incredible video shows two barges that became loose during flooding on the Arkansas River, and then crashed into the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam in Oklahoma on May 23.
A day after President Trump had what she described as a “temper tantrum” in a White House meeting on infrastructure that lasted less than five minutes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called on his aides to step in. I pray for him. I wish his family or his administration staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.
Major flooding along the Arkansas River will threaten communities from Tulsa into western Arkansas through at least the holiday weekend, officials said Friday, as water released from an Oklahoma dam combines with additional rain in the forecast. To control flooding in Tulsa, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Friday began increasing the amount of water being released into the river from the Keystone Dam northwest of the city of about 400,000. It has maintained the flood to a manageable level," U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, said following an aerial tour of the region.
Facebook has been accused of leaving 'broken children' as collateral damage in the wake of their commercial aims, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard. Barrister William Chapman, representing the victims of abuse at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), said social media companies were not preventing paedophiles reaching children as it was “contrary to their business model” and that their apps needed to be “fundamentally redesigned”. Police also warned that tech firms were going ahead with plans to encrypt more features "in the certain knowledge" it would lead to more children being abused.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani rival Imran Khan sent messages highlighting the need for "peace" Thursday after Modi's hawkish party won a new term in power. While the nuclear-armed rivals launched cross-border air strikes at each other barely three months ago, some analysts say the return of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a new landslide could help peace prospects. Khan congratulated Modi on the win by the BJP, which has long taken a strong anti-Pakistan stance.
When Google unveiled Google Duplex last year at I/O 2018, the brand new Assistant feature looked terrific. It was the kind of futuristic technology nobody else had. With a simple voice command, you could instruct the Assistant to make restaurant reservations for you by placing a phone call using an AI bot. But soon after that keynote, it became clear that Duplex is somewhat creepy, as Google failed to identify the robocall to the other person. It was also kind of disingenuous, since the entire demo wasn't live.Google dealt with those issues at the time and Google Duplex deployment continued, culminating with this year's I/O announcement that the feature will be available in 44 states. Also, Google said that Duplex is getting similar functionality for booking reservations on the web. But a brand new report reveals additional details that were previously not known about Duplex, which brings the creepy back. It turns out that Google employees are actively involved in making many of these Duplex calls.A report from The New York Times reveals that about 25% of calls placed through Duplex started with a human. Beyond that, 15% of calls that started off with the Duplex AI bot had a human intervene at some point.The whole point of using the Assistant to make restaurant reservation is to eliminate the human side of things. That's why Google Duplex appeared to be so amazing in the first place. Having humans involved in the whole thing is where things get strange. Yes, maybe Duplex needs human oversight and the best way to train AI is by having it work with a lot of examples to learn from. But Google never really mentioned this human aspect of Google Duplex, which sort of ruins the magic of it all. Yet again, it's somewhat disingenuous.Also, there's user privacy to take into account. A human interacting with a restaurant on your behalf is different from a computer doing it, as the human is also let in on the booking information. It may seem trivial, but where does one agree to involve a Googler in setting up one's dinner plans?Google does say on its support pages that Duplex calls are recorded for quality assurance, which means someone may listen to your reservations: If the customer wants to book an appointment, the Assistant will confirm specific details like the customer's preferred time, type of service, or size of party. Once this information is confirmed, the Assistant will try to book an appointment with your business by using an online booking partner (if available) or by calling your business using the automated voice-calling technology Duplex (calls are recorded for quality assurance).Also, Google has a tiny note that a manual operator might start calls in the frequently asked questions section, although it's hardly enough (emphasis ours): At the start of the call, you'll hear the reason for the call and that the call is from Google. You can expect the call to come from an automated system or, in some cases, a manual operator.Google Duplex is clearly a far less polished product that Google led us to believe a year ago. Also, considering its renewed interest in protecting the user's privacy, Google should do a much better job explaining what goes on behind the scenes of a Google Duplex call when it comes to your privacy. The full Times report, complete with examples that explain what a human-made Google Duplex call looks like, is available at this link.