The release Sunday of an audio recording has shed new light on the seizure of a British-flagged tanker at the hands of Iran's Revolutionary Guard as tensions flare in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The audio released by maritime security risk firm Dryad Global shows that a British frigate was too far away from the targeted tanker to keep it from being diverted into an Iranian port despite U.K. efforts to keep it from being boarded. On the recording, a stern-voiced British naval officer insists that the U.K.-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero must be allowed to sail through the Strait of Hormuz even as Iranian paramilitary forces demand — successfully — that the vessel change course.
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 Donald Trump is "worse than a racist," Sen. Cory Booker charged on Sunday. Trump has come under fire in recent days for increasingly incendiary remarks targeting four Democratic House freshmen of color: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. "This is somebody who is very similar to George Wallace, to racists who use — he's using the exact same language," Booker pointed out.
A man is in custody after handing his young neighbor a firework that blew up, causing the boy to lose his arm on his 10th birthday.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló over a corruption scandal involving leaked text messages between the governor and top aides. In a Twitter video sent from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, Gabbard called "on all Democrats running for President to come here to Puerto Rico and show support for our fellow Americans" against corruption, and called for Rosselló's resignation.
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.
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.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo acknowledged that Mexico has achieved “significant” progress in controlling the flow of migrants to the U.S., according to a statement Sunday by Mexico's Foreign Affairs Ministry. The advances mean there's no need to start negotiations for a “safe third country” agreement that would require Mexico to process paperwork for asylum seekers to prevent them from applying in the U.S, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said, according to the ministry's statement. Mexico's strategy to “guarantee organized, safe and regular flows” of migrants will continue during the next 45 days, the statement said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has used Barack Obama's beloved status among Democratic voters to insulate him from criticism from the massive field of candidates jockeying to be the next president. But in recent weeks, the Democratic frontrunner has had that legacy used against him, with his competitors pointing the to shortcomings of the last Democratic administration as evidence that Biden's not up to the task of leading the next one. Barack Obama, personally, is incredibly popular among Democratic primary voters,” Karthik Ganapathy, a progressive consultant now running his own firm, told The Daily Beast.
A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed and one of his three children was critically injured Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted. Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased man as Joseph Patenella, 57. The critically hurt child was flown to Anchorage for treatment, along with two other family members.
An Israeli minister boasted Sunday that his country was the only one that "has been killing Iranians", after tensions between Britain and Iran rose in the Gulf. Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi's comments to public radio were a reference to Israeli strikes in neighbouring Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah military targets. Asked if he feared that Israel would not receive the backing of the United States in the case of a conflict with Iran, Hanegbi suggested that Tehran would avoid such a scenario.
There are plenty of conspiracy theories, recent discoveries, and just plain old misconceptions about the moon. From Popular Mechanics
The husband of jailed British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said he is worried her future has become “more uncertain and ominous” after Iran's seizing of a UK tanker in the Gulf. Richard Ratcliffe has expressed concerned for his wife, whom he has not heard from since she was moved on Monday from Tehran's Evin prison to a psychiatric hospital. Mr Ratcliffe said Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, who had recently ended a 15-day hunger strike, has not been allowed contact for almost a week.
Universal Orlando went under lockdown Saturday night after police received a report of a gunman spotted in a parking garage. Police arrived shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time and, along with Universal security staff, temporarily shut down both of Universal's parking garages to guests while they assessed the area. It was later deemed safe and park activity returned to normal.
Sebastien Roblin Security, And how mad will China get? On July 8, the U.S. State Department announced it would approve a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan including 108 Abrams main battle tanks and 250 Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles—a deal which elicited new sanctions from Beijing on the companies involved. But the announcement was more notable for what the approval didn't include—a nearly done-deal for sixty-six F-16V jet fighters built fresh off the F-16 production line in Greenville, South Carolina.
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.
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.
Central command for the joint operation sent officers to the Dominican Republic and redoubled their surveillance in New York and Sicily, launching the investigation dubbed “New Connection” that netted 19 men in raids of both crime syndicates this week in Palermo, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey. Among those arrested in Italy was Thomas Gambino who happened to be back in Sicily for a “family vacation. The police used WhatsApp, the encrypted international messaging service, to launch the raids.
PRIJEDOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Several thousand people attended a funeral service in Bosnia on Saturday for 86 Muslims who were slain by Serbs in one of the worst atrocities of the country's 1992-95 war. Relatives of the victims, religious leaders and others gathered at a soccer stadium near the eastern town of Prijedor, standing solemnly behind lines of coffins draped with green cloths. The Serbs later threw bombs onto the bodies, which made identifying the victims difficult.
Two Ukrainian soldiers and one civilian were killed in incidents involving Kremlin-backed separatists, Kiev said Saturday, a day before the country votes in a parliamentary election. The Ukrainian army's press secretary, Dmytro Gutsulyak, said the two soldiers were killed by sniper fire, and added that four other servicemen were injured. In a separate incident, a 60-year-old civilian was killed just outside the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, he added.
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.
Saudi Arabia's minister of state for foreign affairs on Sunday condemned Iran's seizure of a British flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz and urged the international community to take action to deter such "unacceptable" behaviour. "Any attack on the freedom of navigation is a violation of international law," Adel Aljubeir said in a Twitter post. "Iran must realise its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently the British ship, are completely unacceptable.
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.
A tourist was kicked in the crotch by a wild horse on the beach of Assateague Island, located off the coast of Maryland, after the man attempted to pet the animal.
Bill de Blasio blasted Beto O'Rourke on Saturday over the former Texas lawmaker's opposition to “Medicare for All,” accusing his fellow Democratic presidential candidate of engaging in "lazy fear mongering tactics" as the health care policy debate ratchets up. Let's leave the lazy fear mongering tactics to Trump," the mayor of New York tweeted after O'Rourke said getting rid of private health care would force a majority of Americans off their existing insurance. O'Rourke opposes the single-payer health care plan — which would eliminate private insurance — and instead advocates for a plan that preserves employment-based insurance while giving individuals the option to switch to a new Medicare-based program.