A U.S. Marines helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the USS Boxer during its transit through Strait of Hormuz. ASPEN, Colo. — As tensions in the Persian Gulf continued to ramp up on Friday afternoon amid news that Iran had seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, concluded that Iran does not want to start a war with the U.S. or its allies. Answering a question posed by CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto in Aspen, Colo., about the latest incident, Ashley declined to give a specific response to the news, but later said that none of the United States' major adversaries or competitors, including Iran, China and Russia, wants to start a war.
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.
A genetics expert retained by the family of a girl who went missing in 1983 said Saturday that a cavernous underground space near a Vatican cemetery holds thousands of bones that appear to be from dozens of individuals, both "adult and non-adult." The expert, Giorgio Portera, said the "enormous" size of the collection under the Teutonic College was revealed when Vatican-appointed experts began cataloguing the remains, which were discovered last week . "We didn't expect such an enormous number" of bones and other remains which "had been thrown into a cavity," Portera said.
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.
More than 20 people were detained after an attack on participants and police at the first LGBT pride parade in Bialystok in eastern Poland. Four of the people detained are suspected of offences including threatening police officers and assault, a spokesman for the regional police headquarters told Bloomberg on Sunday. Surveillance-camera footage is being used to identify further suspects, he said.
An elderly South Korean man died on Friday after setting himself on fire outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul as a bitter diplomatic dispute over wartime forced labour compensation took a fatal turn. The row has seen Tokyo restrict exports of chemicals vital to Seoul's world-leading chip and smartphone industry in an escalation of a decades-long dispute over Japanese forced labour during World War II. The man in his 70s started a fire inside his vehicle parked in front of the embassy building and later died after being treated in hospital, authorities said, adding around 20 disposable gas canisters were also found in the car.
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.
An unruly passenger has been billed $105,000 after her “extremely disruptive behavior” caused a flight to be diverted with a military escort. British budget carrier Jet2 accused passenger Chloe Haines of “a catalogue of aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior,” including trying to open the aircraft door, during a flight from the U.K. to Turkey. The airline said in a statement Haines was restrained by crew with the help of other passengers as two military fighter jets escorted the aircraft back to London Stansted.
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.
Most of the Democrats running for president have promised to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal if they win the Oval Office. Then, there's the possibility that Iran and the U.S. could be in a full-blown military conflict. It's a way, they said, for candidates to link themselves to a popular Barack Obama legacy, distinguish themselves from Trump and send a signal to the world — including Iran — that the U.S. will once again be a reliable partner.
Our spy photographers caught two different versions of the C8 out on the road with no camouflage for the first time. From Car and Driver
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard on Sunday near the end of a Latin American tour and at a key moment for U.S.-Mexico relations. Pompeo arrived by caravan to the Foreign Relations Ministry in central Mexico City in the morning and left without making public comments, though the department released photos and soundless video of the two men shaking hands and talking at a table. The meeting between Pompeo and Ebrard came at the halfway point of a 90-day span during which Mexico has agreed to reduce migration through its territory toward the U.S. border as part of a deal that headed off stiff tariffs on Mexican goods threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Chuck Ross Politics, Problems ahead? The Democratic National Committee raised $8.5 million in June and has $9.3 million in the bank, according to campaign finance records released Friday. Both figures are far behind what the Republican National Committee said it has raised.
Booker, a New Jersey senator, said it would be “fair” to bring up the 1994 crime bill, which Biden supported in the Senate and has called the “Biden crime bill.” Booker said the measure put “mass incarceration on steroids” for African Americans. “Yeah, it is fair,” Booker said on CBS News's “Face the Nation,” when asked by host Margaret Brennan whether he would be more aggressive on race at the forums in Detroit on July 30-31.
Iraqi Kurdish authorities announced Saturday they had arrested two suspects involved in the murder of three people, including a Turkish diplomat, in the regional capital Arbil this week. The autonomous region's security council first said its counterterrorism unit had arrested "the main perpetrator" Mazloum Dag, a 27-year-old from Turkey's Diyarbakir region. The council had put out a wanted notice for Dag a day earlier in connection to Wednesday's killing of Turkish Vice Consul Osman Kose and two Iraqi nationals.
Hundreds of people lined the hallways of Renown Regional Medical Center to honor the 9-year-old girl who died after being injured in a bounce house incident earlier this week. Lizzy Hammond died after a bounce house blew into power lines in South Reno near Bartley Ranch on Sunday. Two other children were also injured in the incident.
A baby alligator was found far from the tropics in the parking lot of a grocery store outside Pittsburgh on Friday morning, the fourth alligator discovered near the city since May. An employee found the 2-foot-long (60-centimeter-long) creature near a garbage can at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Shaler, about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh. "It looks like a little baby alligator," Shaler Township Police Lt. Dave Banko told the Tribune Review newspaper.
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.
Iran's top diplomat said on Sunday that only "prudence and foresight" could alleviate tensions between his country and Britain after Tehran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker. "Having failed to lure @realDonaldTrump into War of the Century, and fearing collapse of his #B_Team, @AmbJohnBolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire," Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter. Britain has called Iran's capture of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday a "hostile act".
Former first lady Michelle Obama countered President Trump's attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color by emphasizing the importance of America's diversity. “What truly makes our country great is its diversity,” wrote Obama in a tweet Friday afternoon. Trump has spent the week attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a Somali refugee who became a U.S. citizen at age 17.
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 City wrote on Twitter 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.
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.
Joe Biden remains the top choice among Democratic voters in states that will hold early presidential primary and caucus contests in 2020, as four main contenders emerged as the top tier of the large field, a new CBS News poll showed on Sunday. Biden had 25% support as voters' first choice for Democratic nominee, with Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 20% and Kamala Harris of California at 16%, gaining ground on the former vice president. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was fourth in the survey with 15% support.
A plunge in exports and the worst growth rates for a decade have fuelled concerns about the outlook for Singapore's economy, with analysts saying the figures offer a warning that Asia is heading for a slowdown as China-US tensions bite. While it may be one of the smallest countries in the world, the export hub is highly sensitive to external shocks and has long been viewed as a barometer of the global demand for goods and services. The affluent city-state is highly dependent on trade and has traditionally been one of the first places in Asia to be hit during global downturns -- with ripples typically spreading out across the region.
Private investigator Michael Fisten first started digging into financier Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking crimes more than a decade ago when attorney Brad Edwards hired him. After Epstein signed a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in 2008, Edwards had sued Epstein in civil court on behalf of a number of alleged victims who had been blindsided by the plea deal (which a judge later ruled to have violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act). Fisten was tasked with finding as much incriminating information on the financier as he could.