White House hopeful Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious, $2 trillion climate change plan that would revamp the US energy sector and seek to achieve carbon pollution-free power in just 15 years. The clean energy proposal was fleshed out in a speech in Wilmington as the veteran Democrat drew a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump ahead of November's election by arguing that fighting climate change would be a massive job creator under a Biden administration. Insisting that "there's no more consequential challenge" today than climate change, Biden pledged to spend $2 trillion over four years to promote his plan, a dramatic acceleration of the $1.7 trillion he had proposed to spend over 10 years during the primary race.
After hours of emotional public testimony and a middle-of-the-night vote by Berkeley leaders, the progressive California city is moving forward with a novel proposal to replace police with unarmed civilians during traffic stops in a bid to curtail racial profiling. The City Council early Wednesday approved a police reform proposal that calls for a public committee to hash out details of a new Berkeley Police Department that would not respond to calls involving people experiencing homelessness or mental illness. The committee also would pursue creating a separate department to handle transportation planning and enforcing parking and traffic laws.
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.
Ghislaine Maxwell has secretly married but refused to disclose her husband's identity to FBI investigators, it was claimed in court. Federal prosecutors told a judge hearing Maxwell's application for bail that she had a spouse although his name has been withheld. The existence of a husband might explain why Maxwell chose to remain in the US while being hunted down by the FBI over child sex trafficking allegations rather than fleeing abroad.
Major law enforcement lobbying group throws weight behind President Trump.
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.
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."
Republicans scrambling to organize a four-day "celebration" in Florida in which President Donald Trump is set to accept the GOP presidential nomination face considerable uncertainty because of the coronavirus and may be forced to scale the festivities back to a single day, USA TODAY has learned. The explosion of coronavirus cases in Florida – the state reported a sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths – and the later-than-usual selection of Jacksonville has cast doubt on the party's ability to convene a major event there to rally supporters, five Republicans familiar with the planning said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. Republican officials announced last month that Trump would move the highest-profile speeches of the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville from Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, imposed a shelter-in-place order that could have severely limited the large, made-for-television event Trump wanted.
A once obscure internet debate over the limits of free speech and the rise of what critics call “cancel culture” has, somewhat improbably, become a significant 2020 campaign issue. President Trump tapped into conservative worries about cancel culture — the notion that everyone from intellectuals to everyday citizens can be “canceled” and see their lives upended if they become the target of an online “mob” — in a July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore. Cancel culture, the president insisted, is “the very definition of totalitarianism.”
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 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.
The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday said it was stepping up a crackdown on the international criminal gang MS-13 and would seek the death penalty against an alleged New York gang leader facing murder charges. The department also said it was bringing terrorism-related charges against a MS-13 member for the first time, as well as charges against alleged leaders of gang cells known as the "Hollywood Locos" and "Los Angeles Program." The Trump administration's Justice Department has vowed to "go to war against MS-13," also known as Mara Salvatrucha, which started in the 1980s as a Salvadoran street gang in Los Angeles.
A week after the Supreme Court ruled President Donald Trump is not immune from turning over his tax returns and other financial records to the Manhattan district attorney, the president's legal team said in a Thursday hearing they intended to keep fighting the “wildly over-broad subpoena”—an argument slammed by prosecutors as a back-door attempt to create temporary “absolute immunity.” Federal Judge Victor Marrero—who originally presided over the case and denied the president's efforts to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from subpoenaing eight years of Trump's tax returns last year—questioned both sides in a Thursday hearing about what has changed since his previous ruling.
A Russian prankster posing as the U.N. secretary-general managed to reach Poland's president on the telephone and rendered him speechless with questions about Ukraine, Russia and his reelection on Sunday. The prankster, Vladimir Kuznetsov, known as Vovan, posted a recording of the 11-minute call on YouTube. President Andrzej Duda's office confirmed Wednesday that it was authentic.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on July 6 that international students who were taking courses entirely online would not be allowed to remain in the US. The new policy was met with immediate backlash as 17 states and Washington, DC, filed a lawsuit to block the motion while Harvard and MIT led a similar suit that quickly garnered the support of 200 more universities. An international student told Insider that while she is happy about the rollback, she is still unsettled by the inconsistency of the Trump administration on potentially life-altering issues for students like her.
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.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi will delay or cancel Congress' August recess if negotiators need more time to reach a deal on a coronavirus relief package that is expected to include a renewal of beefed-up unemployment benefits and more federal assistance to state governments in order to address the Covid-19 pandemic. Cancelling the August recess would be a highly unusual move in an election year. Republican congressional leaders and White House economic advisers have increasingly signalled their willingness in recent weeks to engage Democrats on another coronavirus relief package, though the parties are still weeks away from a deal.
A Marine master sergeant blasted his way into a building filled with at least eight Taliban fighters in an attempt to save an Afghan comrade during an hours-long fight in which he braved point-blank gunfire and grenade blasts, earning him the nation's third-highest valor award. The master sergeant was one of eight Marine Raiders recognized by Marine Forces Special Operations Command for their actions during the April 10, 2019, mission in southern Afghanistan. Three other Raiders -- a major and two staff sergeants -- were awarded Bronze Stars with combat "V" devices for their roles in the raid.
Facebook Starting on Thursday, Facebook is rolling out labels on all posts from federal politicians and elected officials that involve voting. The labels point Facebook users to a voting information page, which is currently hosted on USA.gov. Facebook is rolling out its own "Voting Information Center," announced by Mark Zuckerberg last month, but it isn't ready just yet.
Heavy rain is forecast for five more days in the Yangtze River basin, China's meteorological agency said Wednesday, in a region already devastated by flooding this year. In some good news, the water level in China's biggest freshwater lake began to recede after setting a record Monday. Floodwaters have inundated villages, cities and farms in many parts of southern China.
Here's everything the intrepid spacecraft has taught us about the distant dwarf planet. From Popular Mechanics
William Marcus “Marc” Wilson believed he was standing his ground when he fired at a pickup truck he says was trying to run his car off the road as he drove home with his girlfriend one night last month. The pickup truck's driver then allegedly tried to run Wilson's much smaller Ford Focus off the road before, according to Johnson, Wilson “defended his life” by using a legally registered firearm to shoot at the truck.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images When it comes to any notion of Ivanka Trump as a "moderating influence" on her father, Mary Trump just isn't having it. "I think she's the one who disproves that on an almost-daily basis," Mary, President Trump's niece, told The Washington Post in a new interview. "She doesn't do anything," Mary said.
Tattoo artist Daniel Joseph Silva has been charged with the murder of Corey La Barrie, the 25-year-old YouTube star who was killed in a car crash in Valley Village.