The president plans to host a White House ceremony later this year for the unveiling of former President Barack Obama’s official portrait, according to sources.History of presidential portraits »
Rumours abounded on Friday night that China's top spycatcher had defected to the US, amid a growing focus in Washington on the theory that Covid-19 escaped from a Wuhan laboratory. Dong Jingwei, vice minister of state security, was reported to have flown from Hong Kong to the US in February with his daughter. There was no confirmation of the rumoured development from either the US or China.
Afghanistan's is racing to ramp up supplies of oxygen as a deadly third surge of COVID-19 worsens, a senior health official told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday. The government is installing oxygen supply plants in 10 provinces where up to 65% of those tested in some areas are COVID positive, health ministry spokesman Ghulam Dastigir Nazari said. Afghanistan's 24-hour infection count has also continued its upward climb from 1,500 at the end of May when the health ministry was already calling the surge “a crisis,” to more than 2,300 this week.
On Friday, as authorities held a press conference to highlight the growing problem of fraud against the elderly, prosecutors revealed they had charged three people suspected of swiping the property. Otis Lathen Powell, Shantel Vennissa Chang and Jason Webley Sr. were charged with a host of felonies, including money laundering, grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and theft from a person 65 years or older.
Joe Biden returned from his sojourn to the UK and Europe to face a growing list of domestic headaches as his big-spending policies stalled and were also blamed for rising inflation. While Mr Biden was meeting Vladimir Putin in Geneva a bipartisan group of 21 senators - 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats - came up with a compromise that would almost halve the amount to $1.2 trillion over eight years. The resulting gridlock explains why a Monmouth University poll this week made worrying reading for Mr Biden after Air Force One landed back in the US.
Activists widely expected Joe Biden to take swift action against the death penalty as the first sitting president to oppose capital punishment, especially since an unprecedented spate of executions by his predecessor ended just days before Biden took office. That has not happened.
A 16-year-old girl was attacked by a bear in the Great Smoky Mountains early Friday, prompting the National Park Service to close a back country section to visitors. The attack happened at 12:30 a.m., as the teen was sleeping in a hammock in the the Crosby section of the park, officials said. “The family was able to drive the bear off from the area immediately after the attack and quickly notified the park's emergency communications center,” the National Park Service said.
Two Mooresville police officers who fatally shot Chris Craven last summer after they say he pulled a gun — an account disputed by the dead man's wife — will not face criminal charges, a special prosecutor announced Friday. In a statement, Randolph County District Attorney Andy Gregson said officers Alexander Arndt and Christopher Novelli reasonably feared for their lives when they fired dozens of shots with high-powered rifles at Craven during an Aug. 2 confrontation outside his Mooresville home. “It is clear from all of the evidence that at the time Officers Arndt and Novelli fired their duty rifles they were presented with an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury from the actions of Mr. Craven,” Gregson said in summarizing the findings of a State Bureau of Investigation report.
Democrats have had what any sane political party would consider a remarkable stroke of luck: Donald Trump, the leader of their opposition has (allegedly) committed many, many crimes, both while serving as president and before, and Democrats now control the federal law enforcement apparatus. As Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance write in The Washington Post, Trump is almost certainly guilty of obstruction of justice during the Mueller investigation, of attempting to solicit bribes from Ukraine, and of multiple campaign finance violations (and likely much, much more).
The Biden administration has started cutting back its anti-missile systems in the Middle East as it refocuses its military strategy. According to the Wall Street Journal the Pentagon has started withdrawing eight Patriot missile systems from Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Also being withdrawn is the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or Thaad system, currently in Saudi Arabia.
Police on Friday arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of murder in a killing six days earlier in northwest Fort Worth. Josiah Mendez was booked in connection with the slaying of Joshua Smith, 17, who was shot on June 12 in his chest at Smith's house in the 1500 block of Denver Avenue, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office. Fort Worth police have declined to release other information about the killing or describe its motive, and said on Friday that the investigation is incomplete.
Brussels has signalled it could back down and avert a trade war with the UK as on Friday it welcomed the Government's request for a three-month extension for British sausages to be sold in Northern Ireland. Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice president, told an audience in Bruges that he was "convinced there is still a window for productive political dialogue" before the ban on chilled meats comes into effect in July. His comments came 24 hours after it was confirmed that Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, had formally requested that the EU agree to extend the grace period to allow the trade to continue until Sept 30.
Garner police are investigating the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old at a graduation party early Saturday morning. The Garner Police Department said that Messiah Pitt was shot and killed some time after midnight as a graduation party on Claymore Drive in Garner was ending. Pitt is the only known injury, according to Capt. Lorie Smith.
Catholic Bishops advanced a document that could bar Biden from Communion over his support for abortion rights. Rep. Ted Lieu, a Catholic, called the Bishops "hypocrites" and "nakedly partisan" for the move. Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California lashed out at US Catholic Bishops on Friday after they voted in favor of advancing a document that could block President Joe Biden from receiving Communion due to his stance on abortion.
The prolonged dryness means low water levels are endangering fish species in Oregon and Colorado, 30% of California's population is in a drought emergency, and the nation's two biggest reservoirs on the Colorado River — Lake Powell and Lake Mead — are two-thirds empty. "What we see in our major reservoirs on the Colorado River really give us a good indication of water and drought in the West, and whether we're in a good or a tough spot," said John Berggren, a water policy analyst at Western Resource Advocates, a nonprofit organization. And right now, we're definitely in the latter category.
Abandoned by her father and bullied by other children for being chubby, life was not too rosy for Giorgia Meloni when she was growing up in a scruffy working-class district of Rome. The leader of the hard-Right Brothers of Italy party could, conceivably, become Italy's first ever woman prime minister, which would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Brothers of Italy, which is the modern-day heir to Italy's fascist movement, was then a fringe party commanding less than four per cent of the national vote.
Alberto Sánchez Gómez will serve 15 years in jail for murdering his 68-year-old mother. Sánchez ate her remains "bit by bit" with his pet dog, according to police officers. An unemployed Spanish waiter has been sentenced to jail for killing his mother, cutting her into thousands of pieces, and eating her remains, the Independent reported.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy passed legislation that bars landlords from asking prospective tenants about their criminal history. Landlords can only inquire about criminal history if an applicant has met certain parameters, like registration as a sex offender. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed an executive order that broadly prohibits landlords from inquiring about a tenant's criminal history.
But there is a deeper problem: Over the last two decades the U.S. has built an army in its own image, with Afghan security forces relying on some 18,000 contractors for everything from buying fuel and bullets to doing payroll to the critical tasks of maintaining the 162 aircraft used by the AAF and training the pilots who fly them. Since late 2019, 94% of U.S. forces involved in training and advising the air force have left, so contractors have taken on almost all roles. Without continued contractor support, according to a Defense Department inspector general's report earlier this year, those warplanes would be combat effective for only a few months.
A panic-stricken cottonmouth was caught on video acting peculiarly in a North Carolina wildlife preserve — and the look was not exactly flattering. The recording, shared June 11 on Facebook, shows the viper going so fast it actually tumbled over itself. Closer inspection of the video reveals the venomous snake dispensed with slithering and started sliding like a garden hose.
On Friday, a federal judge denied a Capitol riot suspect's request to go to a car show. Richard Barnett was photographed putting his feet on Nancy Pelosi's desk during the insurrection. A federal judge ruled Friday that the accused Capitol rioter who was photographed with his feet up on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's desk is not allowed to go to a car show, The Associated Press reported.
GOP Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, one of 14 Republicans who voted against the legislation, took to Fox News Radio on Thursday to explain his opposition, saying that the vote "was an easy no vote" and questioned if a holiday would now have to be established for Native Americans as well. During the program "Fox Across America with Jimmy Failla," Norman also cited the number of existing holidays in detailing his rejection of a federal holiday for Juneteenth, while alleging that supporters were using "race" as an issue. "There's one Fourth of July.
The couple is being held in Orange County jail on large bail amounts. Aiden Leos case: Suspects face murder and accessory charges in killing of 6-year-old boy on California freeway 'My heart melted every time he laughed': Mother eulogizes 6-year-old boy killed in suspected road rage shooting Orange County supervisor Don Wagner, one of the people who donated to the reward, told USA TODAY in a statement that "claims on the reward money will be considered later as to not jeopardize the investigation." Such claims from reward administrators are common - and understandable to an extent, since rewards often are touted with the caveat that a tipster's information must lead to a conviction.
Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline legal official sanctioned by the U.S. government, won Iran's presidential election after his main rivals conceded defeat Saturday, state media reported. Raisi is the chief of Iran's judiciary and was the runner-up in Iran's last presidential election in 2017. Incumbent Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, is stepping down because he has reached his term limit.
More than six decades after Marion Hood was rejected by Emory University School of Medicine, he received another letter from the school. “Your rejection letter serves as a somber reminder that generations of talented young men and women were denied educational opportunities because of their race, and our society was denied their full potential,” said the letter, which was sent in March and signed by Vikas Sukhatme, dean of Emory University School of Medicine. “This one individual and this one letter vividly shows the systematic injustice of that time and the legacy Emory is still reckoning with.”
Fort Bliss soldier Christian Alvarado has been found guilty of multiple counts of sexual assault and abuse. Alvarado will face an 18-year military prison sentence, a court-martial determined on Friday. A new study found that female soldiers at Texas' Fort Bliss face some of the highest risks of sexual assault than at other Army posts.
“It may seem desperate at this point, but I can’t be mad at any and all efforts to get people vaccinated.”
“I won’t get rich, but I will get to live my life. That seems like reward enough.”
“Offering incentives may encourage people who are not actively opposed to vaccination but may have put it off.”
“At some point, the government is simply rewarding irresponsible behavior.”
“Sure, people should do it without needing an incentive. But what’s the alternative? Not enough people get vaccinated.”