The Pentagon expected on Thursday to present the White House with plans to send up to 10,000 extra troops to the Middle East to bolster forces against potential threats from Iran, officials said.The morning meeting between defence chiefs and Trump administration officials comes as tensions continue to simmer with Tehran.Any move to deploy more forces would signal a shift for Donald Trump, who has repeatedly emphasised the need to reduce the US presence in the region. It’s unclear whether the White House might approve all or some of the requested forces.Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press the possible surge is not in response to any new threat from Iran.They said troops would be defensive forces and discussions include additional Patriot missile systems, more ships and increased efforts to monitor Iranian activities.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Mr Trump was currently evaluating the forces required in the region “every day”. He told Fox News: “We’re evaluating the risks, making sure that we have it right.”US officials have provided few details about possible Iranian threats but indicated missiles have been taken off the boats near Iran’s shore.Sending more troops could also raise questions on Capitol Hill. During closed briefings for the House and Senate on Tuesday, defence leaders told congressional officials the US doesn’t want to go to war with Iran and wants to de-escalate the situation.Mr Pompeo and the acting secretary of defence Patrick Shanahan have insisted the US was only seeking to deter, not provoke, Iran – despite Mr Trump’s posting a series of hostile tweets over the past week. On Sunday the president tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again.”In early May, the US accelerated the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East and sent four B-52 bomber aircraft to the region. The Pentagon also decided to move a Patriot air-defence missile battery to an undisclosed country in the area.The Trump administration has evacuated nonessential personnel from Iraq, amid unspecified threats the administration said are linked to Iranian-backed militias in the country. If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019On Sunday, a rocket was fired into Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, landing less than a mile from the sprawling US Embassy. There were no injuries and no group claimed responsibility, but the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad, home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.Some Democrats say Mr Trump is responsible for drawing Iran’s anger. Last year he abruptly pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, negotiated during the Obama administration to prevent Iran from nuclear weapons production.The president also has re-imposed sanctions that have hurt Tehran’s economy, and designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organisation.The tensions with Iran comes as the US military revealed it sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, angering China at a time of fraught relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
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.
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.
Global tech firms, including chip suppliers, are cutting ties with China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd after the U.S. government put the world's largest telecom equipment maker on a trade blacklist citing national security concerns. The United States has effectively banned its companies from doing business with Huawei, exacerbating an ongoing Sino-U.S. trade war. ** ALPHABET INC: Google on May 19 suspended the transfer of hardware, software and technical services to Huawei, except what it has made publicly available via open source licensing.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan discusses the ongoing immigration crisis at the border on 'The Ingraham Angle.
If anyone had any doubts about Narendra Modi’s popularity, India’s masses just put them to rest. A combination of economic populism, Hindu nationalism and air strikes against arch-rival Pakistan earlier this year proved unbeatable. “This is a stunning reaffirmation of Modi and the BJP and, conversely, a sharp rebuke of the opposition,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
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A student at Oregon State University died on Sunday after falling 100 feet from a scenic lookout on the Oregon coast, authorities said. Michelle Casey, 21, was taking pictures of the popular coastal viewpoint near the city of Manzanita when she lost her balance and slipped off the steep edge, KPTV reported. Her boyfriend told deputies that she landed in a tree, which stopped her from falling into the Pacific Ocean, the sheriff's office said in a statement on Monday.
Donald Trump has lashed out at Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in a rant in which he called the House speaker “crazy” and claimed she “lost it” at a meeting he himself has been criticised over. Speaking at an event alongside farmers and ranchers, Mr Trump slammed his democratic rivals before asking his White House staff to reassure him that he was “calm” during a meeting over infrastructure on Wednesday. Ms Pelosi suggested after the meeting that Mr Trump actually wants to be impeached, so that the Republican-controlled Senate can overrule the measure.
By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft such as the Navy Osprey tiltrotor aircraft variant.As the F-35C becomes officially deemed “operational” and “ready for war," the Navy is adding weapons, sensors and software to the aircraft to expand its attack envelope --- and may even increase the F-35s ability to carry up to 6 air-to-air weapons in its internal weapons bay.Such a configuration, which would increase the stealth fighter’s internal weapons load by two missiles, has been designed and implemented by F-35-maker Lockheed Martin -- as an offering for the Air Force and Navy to consider.“Lockheed Martin has matured design concepts to integrate 6 air-to-air missiles within the internal weapons bays of the F-35A and F-35C variants,” Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Friedman told Warrior in a written statement.While making a point to emphasize that any decision to increase the weapons capacity of the F-35 would of course need to come from the military services themselves, Lockheed engineers say the new “internally carried” firepower would massive increase attack options -- all while preserving the stealth configuration of the aircraft.
New charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange quickly drew alarm Thursday from media organizations and others. The groups are concerned that the Justice Department is charging Assange for actions that ordinary journalists do routinely in their jobs. Department officials said they don't view Assange, who founded WikiLeaks in 2006, as a journalist.
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.
PG&E Corp may set up a $105 million housing fund for victims of 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, which set records for devastation and were blamed on the utility's equipment, the judge overseeing the investor-owned power producer's bankruptcy ruled on Wednesday. Creditors, which include wildfire victims, are fighting for funds as PG&E navigates bankruptcy stemming from the blazes and as the state plans for increasingly long and dangerous fire seasons its officials attribute to climate change. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali at a hearing approved a motion by PG&E seeking permission to establish the fund for people who lost homes in the fires and were uninsured or have used up or will exhaust their insurance.
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.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met allies and former mentors Friday to plot a course for his second term after a landslide victory left the once-mighty Gandhi dynasty reeling. A considerable to-do list includes addressing India's lacklustre economic growth and reducing unemployment, as well as fixing a stricken agriculture sector on which 70 percent of households depend. Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 303 seats, its best ever score, giving it an even bigger majority than five years ago and defying predictions of a dip, final results confirmed Friday.
Mars 2020 is shaping up nicely, with NASA recently revealing that its rover-hauling spacecraft is essentially complete and currently undergoing testing well ahead of its July 2020 launch window, and NASA is now accepting names of hopeful Mars "travelers" who want to get in on the action.No, you can't actually go to Mars -- nor would you probably want to -- but as with past Mars missions, NASA will be including up to several million names of regular folks who want to participate in the mission in a small way.The names, which will be printed very, very small onto a chip affixed to the rover, will be pulled from NASA's sign-up list which you can add to right now. For your contribution, you'll receive a "boarding pass" to commemorate your involvement in the mission, and you'll also get what NASA refers to as "frequent flyer miles" that accrue for each mission you submit your name to.The most recent mission to use this same system was the Mars InSight lander, which traveled some 301 million miles to the Red Planet and landed safely. NASA tracks all of this data and you can check your own Frequent Flyer Club membership on the agency's website.You've really got to hand it to NASA when it comes to involving the general public in the important scientific work its scientists are doing. Aside from studies and more formal reports, the agency is incredibly open, publishing raw images from rovers and satellites on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis for everyone to see.If you want to include your name on the Mars 2020 mission all you have to do is submit a brief form and then wait a couple of years for the mission to actually get off the ground. Happy flying!
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.
The Trump administration unveiled its latest package Thursday to help farmers hurt by the trade war with China, including $14.5 billion in market facilitation payments directly to producers and $1.4 billion in government purchases to be distributed through school lunch programs and local food banks.
The small Raptor force is expensive to operate ($58,000 per flight hour, three times the cost of an F-16), but the fifth-generation stealth aircraft remain the U.S. military’s preferred weapon for countering the latest 4.5-generation jets like the Russian Su-35 or China’s J-20 stealth fighter and J-11D.The F-22 Raptor may be the most elusive fighter ever built. It has a radar-cross section the size of a marble, and if it gets into trouble, it can rocket away traveling up to two-and-a-half times the speed of sound—so fast that the friction from the air would melt its radar-absorbent coatings right off its airframe. But this October, the Air Force discovered that a Raptor with its wings clipped can’t evade the force of nature.(This first appeared late last year.)Tyndall Air Force Base, located on a coastal peninsula across from Panama City, Florida, is a sprawling twenty-nine thousand-acre complex which at the beginning of October housed fifty-five F-22 Raptors of the 325th Fighter Wing—nearly a third of all F-22s built, making it the primary center for Raptor pilot training. It also houses QF-16 jet fighter drones used for Full-Scale Aerial Target tests, T-38 supersonic jet trainers and Mitsubishi Mu-2 twin-engine utility planes used to train AWACS crews in airborne-early warning skills.
The Nike indictment concerns charges announced in March that Avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million from the athletic wear company by threatening to expose what he called its improper payments to recruits for college basketball teams it sponsored. Avenatti also faces dozens of charges in southern California, where prosecutors on April 11 accused him of stealing millions of dollars from clients to pay for personal and business expenses, and lying to the Internal Revenue Service and a Mississippi bank about his finances. If convicted on all charges, Avenatti could face more than 400 years in prison, but would likely face a lesser punishment.
Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president's son "evidently retarded." Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat. Mooney said Rogers brought "shame" on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on storm damage in the Southern Plains and Midwest (all times local):
Tupac Mosley, 17, received $3 million in scholarships and was recognized as his high school's valedictorian at Raleigh Egypt High School in Memphis.
Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed an "inclusive" future for all Indians on Thursday after a landslide election victory that crushed the Gandhi dynasty's comeback hopes once again. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!," Modi tweeted as delirious supporters of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated nationwide.