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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Google Streetview Jason Andrew Copenhaver, 47, was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct on Sunday. The Tampa Bay Times cited police records saying that Copenhaver grabbed a child who was wearing a face mask at a restaurant, got close to him, and told him, "You now have coronavirus." The incident is said to have happened at a restaurant in Treasure Island, Florida, on Sunday night, according to the newspaper.
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.
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.
A warehouse area at a port in Beirut exploded Tuesday, killing more than 100 people and causing extensive damage in the Lebanese capital. The explosion is under investigation, a focus of which is thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate improperly stored in the area. Experts told Insider they estimated the explosive yield of the deadly blast to be several hundred tons of TNT equivalent, making it many times more powerful than the so-called "Mother of All Bombs."
President Donald Trump was going to roll into Charlotte, North Carolina, and give a rousing speech to Republican delegates who nominated him for a second term. Then Trump planned to give his acceptance speech Aug. 27 at a sports arena in Jacksonville, Florida – and the pandemic thwarted that event, too. A little more than three weeks out, the Trump campaign is scrambling to find a fresh option for what will probably be the most-watched speech of Trump's reelection campaign.
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.
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.
A Midtown Manhattan celebration of a Hindu temple being built on disputed ground in India brought polarized groups into Times Square, where supporters of the landmark project were flanked by protesters calling it an offense to Muslims. Protesters organized under the name the Coalition to Stop Genocide in India held signs on the edges of the celebration reading, “BJP is Islamophobia,” referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party. Modi participated in the groundbreaking for the Hindu temple, which will be built where the Babri Masjid mosque stood, on Wednesday in the northeastern Indian city of Ayodhya.
A Florida teenager who is accused of participating in last month's Twitter bitcoin scam, which saw several of the world's highest-profile accounts hacked, has reportedly been linked to an attempted robbery that ended in a lethal shooting. An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times has found that 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, who is credited by police as one of the “masterminds” of the scam, has also been named in the case of a burglary seven months ago that saw one teenager killed and another wounded. According to local police, it began when two teenagers from Tampa's Gaither High School broke into an apartment, one holding a gun; a resident shot them both, and one of them died.
The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after officials removed murals supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The five murals were created by a variety of artists who had been granted approval by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported. The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after park rangers removed Black Lives Matter murals that had been approved and permitted by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported.
“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.”