New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he would allow children to return to classrooms for the start of the new school year, citing the state's success in battling the pandemic.'Can revisit' if there's a spike »
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.”
A brawl at a hotel near Disneyland on Wednesday involved as many as 100 people and two people were hospitalized, police said. The fight involved hotel guests and grew to include between 60 and 100 people, Sgt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY. Broomsticks and bottles were used as weapons during the fight at the Cambria Hotel & Suites, witnesses and police said.
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.
Students at North Paulding High School in Dallas Georgia say they've been suspended or threatened with "consequences" for posting pictures of crowded hallways with few students wearing masks. The images circulated widely on social media August 4, prompting concerns about the health and safety of students. Coronavirus cases had already been reported at the school, according to an email sent to parents.
When Boris Prokoshev, a former sea captain spending his retirement years in a Russian village, woke up and found an email saying a ship he once commanded had carried the ammonium nitrate that blew up swathes of Beirut, he was astonished. “I didn't understand anything,” he told The Associated Press on Thursday from Verkhnee Buu, 1300 kilometers (800 miles) south of Moscow. The email was from a journalist, he said, and titled with the name of the MV Rhosus, which he had captained on a voyage that he was never paid for.
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.
Two dozen people in Hong Kong, including pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, have been charged with participating in an illegal assembly at a vigil on June 4 commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen square in 1989. It was the first time the vigil had been banned in semiautonomous Hong Kong, with police citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings in refusing permission for it to take place. The anniversary struck an especially sensitive nerve in the former British colony this year, falling just as China prepared to introduce national security legislation later that month in response to last year's often violent pro-democracy demonstrations.
In an interview with representatives of the associations of Black and Hispanic journalists, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden showed a willingness to end the use of the legislative filibuster while maintaining it's unlikely that such a measure would be necessary if he's elected in November. He said that he expects the Democratic Party to win five to six seats in the Senate as well as the White House. Biden's response is part of an interview that will air Thursday at the combined convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Footage of a man exploding in a racist rant after reportedly refusing to wear a mask in a liquor store in Canada has gone viral online. The incident occurred at Olympia Liquor in Edmonton, Canada, on Sunday, The Edmonton Journal reported. Navdeep Singh, a store supervisor, reportedly told Postmedia on Monday that the incident ensued over the man's refusal to adhere to the store's mask policy.
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.
The demand that Joe Biden choose a Black woman as his vice presidential nominee to facilitate Black empowerment is ill-advised and strategically wrong. Nominating a Black female would neither empower the black community, nor help the new administration to deal with daunting challenges it inherits. Biden will take over the most broken government in almost a century.
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.
Reuters/Carlos Barria SpaceX on Tuesday launched and landed a vehicle called SN5, which is a full-scale prototype of a planned Mars rocket ship called Starship. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump wrongfully appeared to take credit for the privately developed vehicle's creation or launch. Trump also shared falsehoods about NASA, which spaceflight experts — including an astronaut — pointed out and corrected.
Federal prosecutors have charged 11 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang with sex trafficking and other charges after they say a 13-year-old runaway was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia. A child trafficking task force found the 13-year-old girl nearly two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland. The girl, initially reluctant to talk to police, eventually told authorities she was twice beaten on her backside and legs 26 times on two separate occasions with a baseball bat – once as an initiation to the gang, and once as a punishment for talking to rival gang members and allegedly stealing from fellow gang members.
The U.S. State Department dropped its global “Level 4” health warning urging people not to travel abroad Thursday, but promptly re-imposed that same advisory level on Mexico. It issued a Level 4 “do not travel” warning for all of Mexico, citing COVID-19. Mexico pushed passed 50,000 deaths Thursday and has reported 462,690 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, far less than the United States.
The SS Richard Montgomery was carrying ammunition when it ran aground and sank in 1944. An American cargo ship that accidentally sank off the coast of London during World War II could cause a major explosion rivaling that of the devastating blast in Beirut earlier this week. In August 1944, the SS Richard Montgomery, a ship ferrying supplies back and forth to Europe after the D-Day invasion, sank at the mouth of the Thames River on the sea approach to London.
MOSCOW—The city of Khabarovsk, a sprawling, industrial metropolis about 5,000 miles east of the capital—the Bolsheviks turned it into a hub for serving Siberian prison camps, in the middle of nowhere by design—is about as far from the seat of Russian power as geographically possible. Despite the Kremlin's best efforts to hide them, problems have been bubbling up in Russia's provinces, transforming local issues into the most dynamic arena for dissent, protest, and opposition in the country's political system and fueling Russia's version of post-lockdown unrest. The arrest of Khabarovsk's popular regional governor sparked the anti-Putin uprising that has drawn up to 60,000 people into the streets in this usually sleepy backwater.
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.
Hundreds of migrant children rapidly expelled from the United States under a coronavirus immigration policy are returning to shelters in Guatemala where virus testing and bed capacity are regularly stretched to their limits. Shelter operators, government officials in the Central American nation and international organizations said they are seeing rising numbers of children being sent back to Guatemala alone, with some unable to return to their homes because of domestic abuse or gang violence. "Child protection services, which were already overstretched and under-resourced have now been further compromised by COVID-19," said United Nations children's agency UNICEF spokesman Christopher Tidey.
Dozens of students, faculty and staff sprawled out across the University of Georgia campus Thursday afternoon, playing dead to protest the university's reopening plans as the threat of COVID-19 still looms large -- larger than it did when schools first closed during the spring semester. In-person classes are scheduled to resume Aug. 20 at the Athens, Georgia university, but many staff and students are at odds with the school, and the University System of Georgia, according to an open letter. “Leaders across the University System of Georgia are showing callous disregard for health and safety and workers' rights in their plans to reopen campuses for in-person teaching in the fall,” the group said in a July petition.
In July, BethAnn McLaughlin — who admitted to The New York Times on Tuesday that she created the fake persona — had announced that @Sciencing_Bi had died as a result of the virus. McLaughlin, who previously faced allegations that she bullied people of color as part of her work as the leader of MeTooSTEM, had also used the fake account @Sciencing_Bi to come to her own defense. Arizona State University, where the persona behind the account claimed to work, told BuzzFeed News it couldn't match the woman's Twitter persona with any of its own faculty members.
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.
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.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Thursday rowed back a comment suggesting that African Americans do not have diverse political views while Latinos do. "What you all know but most people don't know, unlike the African American community with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community," Biden said earlier Thursday. Biden later tweeted that African Americans are "not a monolith."
“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.”