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.
The same week that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden formally canceled plans to give a convention speech in Milwaukee, the Democratic National Convention Committee detected three positive cases of COVID-19 at the site. “As testing increased this week, our system detected three cases which have been reported to the health department and given instructions to self-isolate,” an aide to the convention told The Daily Beast. Officials involved in convention planning say the decision to not host speeches from the site were not directly related to the positive test results there.
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.
For at least six years, hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities say caused Tuesday's massive blast, were negligently stored in a Beirut port warehouse, waiting for disaster to strike. The odourless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertiliser has caused numerous industrial explosions over the decades -- including the massive one in Beirut that killed at least 113 people, wounded thousands and left 300,000 homeless. A security source said the explosive power of the stored ammonium nitrate was equivalent to at least 1,200 tonnes of TNT -- explaining how the earthquake-strength blast destroyed or damaged so much of the city.
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.
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.
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.
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.
President Donald Trump's re-election campaign posted an ad attacking Joe Biden on Wednesday that used altered photos to depict the former vice president as "alone" and "diminished." Photos that appear to show Biden sitting alone on the floor of an empty room, and standing holding his hand to his forehead are included to illustrate the sentiment, along with a list of "crazy far-left ideas" attributed to Biden in the ad. Just in case we haven't worn this point out to exhaustion yet, this wasn't in a basement in Delaware and Biden wasn't alone.
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.
Beirut has been ravaged by a massive explosion, likely caused by careless handling of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at its port. As the city is still picking through the debris and thousands search for loved ones, countries such as Turkey, Iran, Qatar, France, and Israel are rushing to provide support. While Hezbollah has not been blamed for the August 4 warehouse fire that led to the massive explosion, it is alleged to have imported and stored similar stockpiles of dangerous munitions and chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate, used in explosives.
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.
Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned in an article published Friday. The harsh warning in the official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) is directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. The article follows the publication in June of Russia's nuclear deterrent policy that envisages the use of atomic weapons in response to what could be a conventional strike targeting the nation's critical government and military infrastructure.
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.
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.
An Alaska man went toe-to-toe with a home-intruding black bear, outlets report, putting himself between 10 children and the 300-pound predator that wandered into the living room. The fight was scary for Brandon McVey, but he survived, walking away with some nasty puncture wounds to his chest and scratches across his shoulders, the Anchorage Daily News reported. McVey was visiting his friend Norman Lott at his home around 11 p.m. July 31 in Juneau, Alaska, when the bear came in through an open door, the Daily News said.
To the editor: David Lacey, the husband of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey, is charged with assault for trying to defend his family, home and property from Black Lives Matter protesters who were ringing his doorbell a little after 5 a.m. on Aug. 13. Lacey did not shoot anyone, nor did he hurt anyone at all. My support goes to Jackie Lacey and her family.
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.
WASHINGTON – Over 100 Black women leaders and activists slammed comments made of Black women being considered to be Joe Biden's running mate as racist and sexist in an open letter published Wednesday. Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Karen Bass, former US Ambassador Susan Rice, Rep. Val Demings and former Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have all been floated as possible vice presidential contenders for Biden. The letter comes as Biden is nearing an announcement on his vice presidential pick.
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 former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks during a June arrest after he fell asleep in his car at a Wendy's drive-thru is suing the mayor and interim police chief over his termination, claiming the decision violated his constitutional rights. Garrett Rolfe, 27, currently faces 11 charges—including felony murder—for shooting Brooks on June 12 as he was running away through the crowded fast-food parking lot. After shooting him twice in the back, Rolfe then kicked the 27-year-old man “while he was lying on the ground,” prosecutors allege.
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.
“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.”