With unemployment benefits ending, food assistance programs are bracing for both another spike in users and the fact that the effects of the pandemic are likely be lasting.'So many of us are on a pretty precarious financial edge' »
Less than 24 hours after President Trump said some “great generals” told him they thought that Tuesday's massive explosion in Beirut was an “attack” involving “a bomb of some kind,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemed less than convinced by that explanation. Speaking to an online audience Wednesday as part of the Aspen Security Forum, Esper said he was “still getting information” on the blast in the Lebanese capital, but that “most believe that it was an accident, as reported.” Asked to explain the discrepancy between Trump's comments and Esper's explanation, and to identify which generals the president might have been referring to as the source of his information, a Pentagon spokesman replied via email: “We have nothing to offer at this time beyond the Secretary's comments.”
The Louisiana's Supreme Court has denied a request to review the case of a Black man who received a life sentence following an attempted burglary conviction, a punishment one dissenting judge called "cruel and unusual" given the object he allegedly stole was a set of hedge clippers. Bernette J. Johnson, the state's first African-American Chief Justice, wrote a scathing dissent published last week. Johnson said the conviction stemmed from the defendant's repeated petty crimes and the state's strict habitual offender laws, which she said have historical ties to slavery and racism.
Hasenpusch/picture alliance via Getty Images/Business Insider Igor Grechushkin, the Russian owner of the ship that carried a huge cargo of explosives to Beirut, which exploded years later, was questioned by Cypriot police on Thursday, reports say. Grechushkin abandoned the MV Rhosus and its cargo of 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate in 2014. Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo until Tuesday's catastrophic explosion.
An Alaska man went toe-to-toe with a home-intruding black bear, outlets report, putting himself between 10 children and the 300-pound predator that wandered into the living room. The fight was scary for Brandon McVey, but he survived, walking away with some nasty puncture wounds to his chest and scratches across his shoulders, the Anchorage Daily News reported. McVey was visiting his friend Norman Lott at his home around 11 p.m. July 31 in Juneau, Alaska, when the bear came in through an open door, the Daily News said.
Ten countries account for 80% of the new coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, a regional body said on Thursday, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent. COVID-19 confirmed cases across Africa have accelerated and are close to hitting a million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries means infection rates are likely to be higher than reported. Some governments across the continent are too poor or conflict-ridden to carry out widespread testing, while others are reluctant to share data or to expose their crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny.
A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army, Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Thursday during a visit to the Texas base. “We are getting an outside look to help us to get to those root causes and understand them so we can make those changes,” McCarthy said during a news conference that was shown on Facebook Live. McCarthy visited the base weeks after he ordered an independent review of the command climate at Fort Hood following the slaying of Spc.
Chuck Lovell, the police chief of Portland, Oregon, called for violent protesters to stop their actions at a Wednesday press conference. While protests in downtown Portland have been peaceful since the presence of federal agents was scaled back last week, there have been violent offshoot protests in other parts of the city. Wednesday marked the 70th consecutive day of demonstrations in the city, which started after George Floyd's death in late May.
During a virtual interview at the Aspen Security Forum, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he was “still getting information on what happened” about a massive explosion in Beirut on Tuesday but that “most believe it was an accident as reported.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told a Senate panel Wednesday that in the days before Donald Trump's inauguration, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made no attempt to target incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn for prosecution to undermine the new administration. Yates, describing a Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election, said she was surprised to learn from Obama that the FBI had intercepted Flynn's conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in which the incoming national security adviser sought to "neuter" recently imposed sanctions on the Kremlin for its election intervention.
Ted S. Warren/AP Alaska Airlines said on Wednesday that it will no longer fly passengers who are unwilling or unable to wear a mask — even when there's a legitimate and documented medical reason — following similar moves by American Airlines and Southwest. US airlines have largely implemented on-board mask requirements since air travel demand began ticking back up this spring. At first, those policies were criticized as toothless: Flight attendants were discouraged from confronting passengers who wouldn't wear masks, and airlines offered little clarity on the consequences for those customers.
An American-owned cargo ship named after the president of the United States docked in a Ukrainian port has just offloaded 10,000 metric tons of the same chemical substance that nearly leveled the city of Beirut this week, according to the Liveuamap news source. The hangar in Lebanon only had 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which caused catastrophic damage to the Lebanese capital. The ship docked in Ukraine, which was previously named Seabreeze before a Florida company registered as Pilin Fleet Management LLC purchased it in 2018, and renamed it Trump D, was registered by Marine Traffic tracking website in the Yuzhi port near Odessa on Friday.
Pope Francis appointed new members to the Vatican's Council for the Economy on Thursday, and in addition to several cardinals, he also added seven new laypeople to the committee. The historic move means there are more senior female officials serving the Vatican than ever before. The six female appointees are: Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, of Germany; Eva Castillo Sanz, of Spain; Leslie Jane Ferrar, of Great Britain; Marija Kolak, of Germany; María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea, of Spain; and Ruth Maria Kelly, of Great Britain.
China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level U.S. official visit in four decades. The visit, which begins on Sunday, adds to tensions between Beijing and Washington over everything from trade and human rights to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing in Beijing that any attempt to deny or challenge the "one China" principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, would end in failure.
COLOGNE, Germany – German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements. The figure is meant to reflect the share of NATO's total “planning targets,” which are tabulated periodically, a defense ministry spokesman told Defense News. Such math would be able to more accurately capture Germany's efforts across the categories “cash, capabilities and commitments” than the current defense-spending objective of 2 percent of GDP, according to the spokesman.
To the editor: It is hard to see Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris as truly hailing from California vis-a-vis the speculation of whether Joe Biden will pick her as the vice presidential nominee. The malicious machine working to reelect President Trump will have a field day with this. If Harris treats being vice president as she has her current position, Biden will have a hard time finding her in town as she will be off campaigning for his job.
For one week, I recreated seven of Guy Fieri's signature recipes and favorite go-to meals to see if they lived up to their hype. Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri has established himself as the "Mayor of Flavortown" with his unique brand of down-to-earth humor and non-pretentious, yet elevated, American cuisine. Fieri's eccentric style has become iconic, and his twists on classic recipes like mac and cheese and chili are well-known among fans.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a judge's order that shut down the Dakota Access pipeline pending a full environmental review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with pipeline owner Energy Transfer to keep the oil flowing, saying a lower-court judge “did not make the findings necessary for injunctive relief. But the appellate court declined to grant Energy Transfer's motion to block the review, saying the company had “failed to make a strong showing of likely success.
At least one person in the United States has died every 80 seconds on average over the last seven days, according to new research, as President Donald Trump said the nation's soaring death toll “is what it is” in a recent interview. The grim figures were first reported by NBC News on Wednesday, which noted its own tally revealed 7,486 people died in the last seven days due to Covid-19. Whereas the rate of deaths was somewhat slower in July, with one American dying every 102 seconds on average throughout the month, the latest figures appeared to show an acceleration in pace, as NBC News reported.
Robin Utrecht/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media/Getty Images As US schools begin reopening, dozens of students and school employees are testing positive for COVID-19. Hundreds of students and some teachers have been ordered to quarantine. Recent research suggests that children may spread the coronavirus as efficiently as adults.
Several news organizations, including The News & Observer and The New York Times, petitioned a judge to publicly release the videos that show officers "hog-tying" John Neville, 56, who died of a brain injury in December three days after police arrested him. One of the videos runs nearly 20 minutes and is from the body camera of one of the five detention officers involved, who were all fired last month. Over the course of 45 minutes of being held in an observation cell, Neville would "sustain injuries that would eventually cause him to lose his life," Forsyth County district attorney, Jim O'Neill said last month. Both were reviewed by USA TODAY.
Close to 700 immigrants working in the U.S. illegally were detained last year during what federal prosecutors have called “the largest single-state worksite enforcement operation in our nation's history.” Now four higher-ups at the Mississippi chicken plants where they were employed face criminal charges. The U.S. District Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi unsealed indictments Thursday against two supervisors at A&B Foods Inc. as well as a human resources manager and plant manager at Pearl River Foods Inc.. They are accused of hiring undocumented workers and lying to law enforcement, according to a news release.
U.S. lawmakers will resolve their differences over the next batch of COVID-19 aid and reach a deal, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday, but assistance must go to those who need it the most amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. "If we're going to juggle some of this money, let's focus it where it's going to do the most good," she added, saying aid must help people who are the most needy.
China has deployed more amphibious weapons in coastal cities across the 110-mile wide strait that separates China from Taiwan, according to reports of recent satellite images. The images published in Canadian military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence show that more Type 05 vehicles had been deployed to China's Eastern Theatre Command, according to the South China Morning Post. The Type 05 is a family of amphibious tracked armoured fighting vehicles developed for the navy marine corps of the People's Liberation Army.
“He’s not a radical. But he is running on the most liberal policy platform of any Democratic candidate in modern history.”
“Public opinion has been shifting leftward, and Biden’s thinking has shifted with it.”
“Biden shows that he’s more moderate than some in his party.”
“Biden has always been a creature of his time, and the COVID-19 crisis could force him to veer further left.”
“Liberal activists have lauded the campaign’s outreach to progressives.”