Reminder: There are 206 days until the Iowa caucuses and 479 days until the 2020 presidential election. When President Trump's supporters broke into a “Send her back” chant aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar at his rally in North Carolina, the Somali-born Minnesota Democrat was having dinner with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and a small group of other progressive members of Congress at a Washington, D.C., Chinese restaurant. The next day, amid bipartisan outrage over the chant and Trump's strategy of stoking the country's racial division, Sanders, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, and other Democratic groups used the episode in their fundraising pitches.
US-listed Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras said Friday it will not refuel two Iranian vessels that have been stuck for weeks at a Brazilian port for fear of violating American sanctions. Washington has imposed a slate of sanctions on Tehran and companies with ties to the Islamic republic since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark nuclear pact last year. The ships Bavand and Termeh, which reportedly belong to Iranian company Sapid Shipping, arrived at Paranagua port in the southern state of Parana early last month, an official at the port told AFP.
An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said. Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday. A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States.
Three members of a white supremacist group were sentenced Friday to between two and three years in prison for punching, kicking and choking anti-racism protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia and political rallies in California. Members of the now-defunct Rise Above Movement were caught on camera assaulting counterprotesters before a planned "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to riot.
Kentucky Sports Radio host Matt Jones is losing his television show until the outspoken media personality makes a decision on running for U.S. Senate in 2020, according to a Lexington station. LEX 18's General Manager Pat Dalbey announced on Tuesday that Jones is taking a leave of absence as host of "Hey Kentucky!" as he considers entering the Democratic primary for a chance to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group's recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group's primary ad contractor until just months ago.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday he had not yet decided on how to respond to an expected U.S. request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. "We've started to hear the United States' thinking on this and we want to keep listening carefully," he said on national television as votes were being counted for the upper house election. "At the same time, Japan also has friendly ties with Iran," Abe added.
An unruly passenger has been billed $105,000 after her “extremely disruptive behavior” caused a flight to be diverted with a military escort. British budget carrier Jet2 accused passenger Chloe Haines of “a catalogue of aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior,” including trying to open the aircraft door, during a flight from the U.K. to Turkey. The airline said in a statement Haines was restrained by crew with the help of other passengers as two military fighter jets escorted the aircraft back to London Stansted.
The Vatican on Saturday opened two burial chambers discovered under a trapdoor as it attempts to get to the bottom of a riddle involving two 19th-century princesses and a teenager who went missing 36 years ago. The ossuaries were found last week under the floor of the Pontifical Teutonic College after the shock discovery earlier this month that the bones of the princesses had disappeared from tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery. The graves of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1836 and 1840, were exhumed after an anonymous tip-off that they may hold the remains of a missing Italian youngster.
President Trump confirmed reports Friday that his administration is working to help release rapper A$AP Rocky after the entertainer was arrested in Sweden on suspicion of assault charges earlier this month. During an Oval Office event honoring the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Trump told reporters that he plans to continue reaching out to “friends of his” in Sweden to lobby for the release of Rocky, also known as Rakim Mayers, who's been in foreign custody since July 2. Trump did not give a more specific timeline on when he thinks the musician might be freed.
Panama's maritime authority said on Saturday it had begun the process of withdrawing the registration of an oil tanker called MT Riah, which was towed to Iran after it disappeared from ship tracking maps in the Strait of Hormuz on July 14. Panama began the flag withdrawal process on Friday after an investigation determined the tanker had "deliberately violated international regulations" by not reporting any unusual situation, the authority said in a statement. Iran has said it towed a vessel into its waters from the strait after the ship issued a distress call.
The Iranian nuclear nonproliferation agreement has been the top foreign policy issue throughout Washington for the past two months. Approving or disapproving the deal was the first order of business for the U.S. Congress until the very last day of congressional action under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (September 17). Hours of debate have been conducted on the floors of the House and Senate, both chambers have held roll call votes, and Senate Democrats bonded together to filibuster a motion of disapproval — a resolution that would have prevented President Obama from providing the Iranians sanctions relief. The Obama administration's main selling point for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is based on the theory that forcing Tehran to downgrade its nuclear program will make the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East — the world's most frenetic and violent region even without nuclear weapons— far less urgent. Yet we should remember that there is in fact a state in the region that already possesses nuclear weapons.
A baby alligator was found far from the tropics in the parking lot of a grocery store outside Pittsburgh on Friday morning, the fourth alligator discovered near the city since May. An employee found the 2-foot-long (60-centimeter-long) creature near a garbage can at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Shaler, about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh. "It looks like a little baby alligator," Shaler Township Police Lt. Dave Banko told the Tribune Review newspaper.
Bernie Sanders pushes for a $15 minimum wage during his campaign; reaction from 2016 Sanders campaign staffer Tezlyn Figaro.
Hundreds of people lined the hallways of Renown Regional Medical Center to honor the 9-year-old girl who died after being injured in a bounce house incident earlier this week. Lizzy Hammond died after a bounce house blew into power lines in South Reno near Bartley Ranch on Sunday. Two other children were also injured in the incident.
A Chicago-area hospital says it regrets sending bills to the family of a baby boy who died about seven weeks after attackers cut him from his mother's womb. Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn sent bills for Yovanny Lopez's care that totaled about $300,000, said the family's lawyer, Frank Avila. Some bills even referred to Yovanny as "Figueroa, boy" — the last name of Clarisa Figueroa, who is accused of orchestrating the attack on the baby's mother so that she could claim him as her own.
Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned as Kosovo's prime minister on Friday, is hailed as a hero at home -- where he is nicknamed "Rambo" -- but considered a war criminal by Belgrade, which has long sought to see him behind bars. The controversial 51-year-old, who was a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), stepped down after being summoned as a suspect by a war crimes court in the Hague. It is the second time he has resigned after being called before a war crimes court over crimes allegedly committed by the ethnic Albanian KLA separatists during the 1998-99 war.
President Donald Trump pledged to re-establish U.S. dominance in space, a day after he welcomed the surviving Apollo 11 astronauts to the White House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Sustained exploration that extends from our Earth to the Moon and on to the Martian surface will usher in a new era of American ingenuity,” Trump said in a message on Saturday, which he declared Space Exploration Day. Trump on Friday invited retired astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and the family of Neil Armstrong -- the first man to walk on the moon -- to the White House to mark the space milestone.
Ahead of Boris Johnson's likely election next week as Britain's prime minister, EU countries are secretly wooing him in a bid to thrash out a new Brexit plan that would avoid a no-deal disaster, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. Senior Irish politicians and diplomats have held talks with two of Johnson's cabinet allies in recent days, it said. German and French figures as well as the Dutch and Belgian governments have also established contact with Johnson's team and signaled an intention to do a deal, it added.
At a meeting of the military-industrial commission in Moscow in September 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin had instructed the Ministry of Defense to organize work on the creation of the Military Innovative Technopolis ERA (MIT ERA). In an age of cyber security and artificial intelligence, it is only fair to assume that the technological sophistication of warfare has been upgraded as well. Russia has made headlines for orchestrating an international campaign of information warfare, courtesy of allegations of election interference in the 2016 U.S presidential elections.
A blackened national Chinese emblem has become Hong Kong residents' latest expression of protest against mainland authorities after tens of thousands of people took part in the city's latest pro-democracy march. After the march reached its designated end point in Wan Chai district on Sunday, thousands continued onwards, at various points occupying key government and business districts before departing for the Liaison Office, which represents China's Communist Party-led central government within the city. Protesters threw eggs at the building and spray-painted its surrounding surveillance cameras.
Britain said Iran's seizure of a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel in the Strait of Hormuz was unacceptable and called for freedom of navigation in the Gulf. "I'm extremely concerned by the seizure of two vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz," Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. "I will shortly attend a COBR (national security) meeting to review what we know and what we can do to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels - a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel," he said.
WASHINGTON – A U.S. lawmaker described 'unacceptable' border detention facilities while meeting with a U.S. citizen who was in Customs and Border Patrol custody for hours on Friday. Rep. Nannette Barragán, D-Calif. had been on a congressional tour of facilities on the southern U.S. border when the delegation stopped at the Ursula Detention Center, a Border Patrol processing and detention center near McAllen, Texas.
Private investigator Michael Fisten first started digging into financier Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking crimes more than a decade ago when attorney Brad Edwards hired him. After Epstein signed a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in 2008, Edwards had sued Epstein in civil court on behalf of a number of alleged victims who had been blindsided by the plea deal (which a judge later ruled to have violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act). Fisten was tasked with finding as much incriminating information on the financier as he could.