President Donald Trump and his campaign are pushing ahead with efforts to attack former Vice President Joe Biden's mental fitness, despite polling and guidance from advisers warning that the strategy could backfire. The campaign has been running a fresh batch of Facebook ads this week with titles such as “Joe Biden is clearly diminished,” “Joe Biden is slipping,” and “Do you think Joe Biden has the mental fortitude to be president?” And over the past week, Trump, his top advisers and family members have promoted videos portraying Biden as confused and stumbling over his words. Trump campaign aides say to expect the line of attack to be a steady drumbeat throughout the rest of the race.
An oil tanker sought by the U.S. over allegedly circumventing sanctions on Iran was hijacked on July 5 off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a seafarers welfare organization said Wednesday. Satellite photos showed the vessel in Iranian waters on Tuesday and two of its sailors remained in the Iranian capital. It wasn't immediately clear what happened aboard the Dominica-flagged MT Gulf Sky, though its reported hijacking comes after months of tensions between Iran and the U.S. David Hammond, the CEO of the United Kingdom-based group Human Rights at Sea, said he took a witness statement from the captain of the MT Gulf Sky, confirming the ship had been hijacked.
In an extraordinary move, the Asheville City Council has apologized for the North Carolina city's historic role in slavery, discrimination and denial of basic liberties to Black residents and voted to provide reparations to them and their descendants. "Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today," said Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members of the body and the measure's chief proponent. Instead, it will make investments in areas where Black residents face disparities.
In June, as many people across the United States took a renewed look at the nation's history of racism, legislators in Mississippi voted yea on House Bill 1796, replacing the state flag. With that, theirs became the last state to remove a flying Confederate battle emblem from above their statehouse. The landslide vote, with 92 of 115 Representatives and 37 of 51 Senators opting for removal, was resoundingly heralded as a massive step forward for American equality.
Last month, a San Diego woman named Amber Gilles publicly shamed a Starbucks barista for refusing to serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask. A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $100,000 in tips for the barista, Lenin Gutierrez. Now Gilles says she wants half of the money, telling KGTV she was the one who was "discriminated against."
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) revealed on Tuesday that he is attempting to declassify an FBI memo describing an interview with a crucial source for the Steele dossier, whose comments undermined the dossier's assertions. The source was dossier author Christopher Steele's only direct source inside Russia for many of the allegations included in the dossier. The Justice Department Inspector General report released in December 2019 noted that the individual, referred to as the “Primary Sub-Source,” has since disputed various claims in the dossier, including that Trump-campaign officials colluded with Russian operatives during the 2016 election.
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar on Wednesday clashed with a Republican state lawmaker who is suing over mask mandates, eventually pointing out that he is not a “public health expert” while noting he's already had one case tossed out. With coronavirus cases and hospitalizations spiking in Florida as the nation deals with a prolonged surge, Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini has attempted to challenge county ordinances in the state requiring face masks in businesses, claiming the mandates are constitutional violations. Appearing on CNN Newsroom, Sabatini immediately justified his lawsuits, claiming the ordinances are “unconstitutional” and that mask mandates violate the privacy of citizens.
US Navy A US Navy destroyer challenged China in the South China Sea with a freedom-of-navigation operation on Tuesday. The USS Ralph Johnson sailed near the disputed Spratly Islands, the Navy said, adding in a statement that "unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas." The operation, one of at least six such operations this year, comes after the US State Department officially rejected most of China's sea claims, declaring its maritime efforts to assert sovereignty unlawful.
Most Americans wore cloth face-coverings after the government recommended their use in April, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a publication released on Tuesday. CDC researchers analyzed data from more than 800 adults in two internet surveys in April and May who reported going outdoors in the past week. Data published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed that within days of the first national recommendation, 61.9% people reported using cloth face-coverings when they left home.
President Donald Trump and his campaign have spent months deploying a series of attacks depicting Joe Biden as weak, unfit and a tool of leftists. On Tuesday, Trump stood in the Rose Garden and went on a non-stop nearly hour-long anti-Biden rant, spraying a variety of broadsides at the former vice president, on everything from China policy to immigration to policing and much more. In what may have been his wildest attack, Trump claimed Biden's housing policy would "abolish the suburbs."
The U.N. environment chief said Wednesday that “time is running out” to avert an environmental, economic and humanitarian catastrophe from a deteriorating oil tanker loaded with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil that is moored off the coast of Yemen. Inger Andersen told the U.N. Security Council that an oil spill from the FSO Safer, which hasn't been maintained for over five years, would wreck ecosystems and livelihoods for decades. Houthi rebels, who control the area where the ship is moored, have denied U.N. inspectors access to the vessel so they could assess the damage and look for ways to secure the tanker by unloading the oil and pulling the ship to safety.
Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in Manhattan federal court via video feed on Tuesday, to plead not guilty regarding her alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking of minor girls. One, in an anonymous statement read to the court, described “the sociopathic manner in which [Maxwell] nurtured our [relationships]” and said that “she would have done anything to get what she wanted, to satisfy Mr Epstein”. Long out of the public eye, Maxwell, 58, appeared unsettled, a far cry from the glamorous, jet-setting image she once cultivated.
Here's everything the intrepid spacecraft has taught us about the distant dwarf planet. From Popular Mechanics
Skywatchers are in for a treat over the next few weeks as newly discovered Comet Neowise is paying a visit to the inner solar system for the first time in 6,800 years. The comet has been getting brighter and brighter in the early morning sky, AccuWeather said, and in the coming days, it will make an appearance in the evening after sunset. Neowise is one of the few comets visible to the unaided eye this century, an inner-solar system "intruder" that might become known as the Great Comet of 2020, NASA said.
Shamima Begum, the woman who ran away from her London home as a teenager to join ISIS in 2015, has won the right to return to the U.K. from a refugee camp in Syria. Begum, now 20, will be able to appeal in person against the U.K. government's 2019 decision to revoke her British citizenship, which has been criticized by human rights groups who said she had been denied the right to a fair trial. Begum was 15 years old when she was radicalized by ISIS recruiters online and flew to Turkey with two school friends, before slipping into Syria where she was married to a militant.
Less than a month ago the world was shocked when the temperature in the Arctic Circle reached a record-breaking 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. While remarkable in its own right, it was merely the exclamation point on an astonishing, prolonged and widespread heat event across all of the Siberian Arctic. To put it into perspective, the team found that if, hypothetically, you lived in this region before around 1900, when human-caused climate change began to emerge, a heat event this widespread, prolonged and intense would only occur once every 80,000 years — or about once every 1,000 lifetimes.
Seoul prosecutors have opened an unprecedented probe into North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister over Pyongyang's blowing up of a liaison office last month, officials said. The move is likely to infuriate the nuclear-armed North, which has repeatedly condemned South Korea in recent months, including directing personal insults at President Moon Jae-in. Seoul Central District prosecutors received a criminal complaint against Kim Yo-jong from a Seoul-based lawyer and had started an investigation, a spokeswoman told AFP.
Virginia police are investigating white supremacist flyers that are appearing in local resident mailboxes across the state.
Others were more critical, saying Harris' genuine anguish over Biden's remarks on working with Southern senators was overshadowed when she raised another issue, school busing, and then muddled their differences and undercut her attack. Some Biden backers, meantime, continue to nurse hard feelings, believing Harris — who was good friends with Biden's late son, Beau — unfairly blindsided him. They have lobbied against selection of California's junior senator, one of half a dozen or so women floated as potential running mates.
The United States said Wednesday that it has imposed visa restrictions on people in Guyana who were involved in “undermining democracy" in the South American nation, which held a disputed election on March 2 and has yet to declare a winner. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who did not name the individuals affected, said Guyana's leaders have refused to accept the result of a recount of votes that showed a victory for the opposition. He said immediate family members of those “responsible for, or complicit in, undermining democracy" could also be subject to U.S. restrictions.
The Black Lives Matter mural on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower was defaced Monday but quickly fixed, authorities said. The Black Lives Matter "movement is more than words, and it can't be undone," de Blasio said. The New York City Police Department said they received a call at around 12:15 p.m. Monday about criminal mischief at 725 Fifth Avenue.
Major law enforcement lobbying group throws weight behind President Trump.
Fox News A slew of powerful Republicans and allies of President Donald Trump rallied behind New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss after she announced her resignation from the paper on Tuesday. Weiss wrote in a resignation letter that she resigned over the Times' "hostile work environment" and censorship of centrist and conservative views. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called Weiss' resignation "eloquent, profound, incisive—and true."
A Michigan jeweler is calling it quits after 23 years and taking prospective adventurers on a treasure hunt. Johnny Perri, who owns J&M Jewelers in Washington Township, Michigan, had an "epiphany" after being forced to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. "Although I enjoyed being in business for myself and have been blessed serving our wonderful customers, I've discovered that I was never truly happy," Perri writes on the website set up for his "Treasure Quest."