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.”
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.
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.
Upwards of 200 Minneapolis police officers have started the process to apply for permanent disability following the George Floyd riots; Mike Tobin reports.
Students at a Georgia high school that went viral this week after a photo of its crowded, mostly mask-less hallways on the first day of school surfaced online told BuzzFeed News they had little choice to attend class in person despite the coronavirus pandemic. One North Paulding High School student's parents were prepared to keep him home after seeing the photo, but when his mother spoke to the school she learned students who chose to stay home because of concerns over the virus could face expulsion or suspension, BuzzFeed reports. A parent of a student at a nearby school said she tried to enroll her daughter in the Paulding County School District's virtual learning option, but wound up on the waiting list after it filled up and was told her daughter "would be withdrawn" from the school if she didn't show up in person.
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.
More than 100 people in a Mississippi school district have been instructed to self-isolate, due to an outbreak of coronavirus less than two weeks after they reopened. At least 116 people in Corinth, a city in Mississippi, have been told to quarantine for two weeks, after six students and one staff member tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week. Taylor Coombs, spokeswoman for the Corinth School District, told NBC News that any person who was considered to have been in close contact with the people who tested positive for Covid-19, have been instructed to self-isolate.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, independent truckers are calling on Congress to place a moratorium on two major taxes in the industry in order to ease the economic impact of the virus. The pandemic led to truck purchasing decreasing by 70%, according to American Trucking Association Chairman Randy Guillot, who recently spoke with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, American Trucker reported. "We'd like to get back to purchasing equipment again, and certainly the suspension of the [federal excise tax] would be a good way to incentivize the trucking industry to buy new and better equipment and get our manufacturers back to work again," said Gulliot.
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.
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.
China has sentenced a fourth Canadian citizen to death on drug charges in less than two years following a sharp downturn in ties over the arrest of an executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei. Ye Jianhui was sentenced Friday by the Foshan Municipal Intermediate Court in the southern province of Guangdong. Ye had been found guilty of manufacturing and transporting illegal drugs, the court said in a brief statement.
Ten countries account for 80% of the new coronavirus testing taking place across Africa, a regional body said on Thursday, indicating that little testing is taking place in many countries around the vast continent. COVID-19 confirmed cases across Africa have accelerated and are close to hitting a million this week, and experts say low levels of testing in many countries means infection rates are likely to be higher than reported. Some governments across the continent are too poor or conflict-ridden to carry out widespread testing, while others are reluctant to share data or to expose their crumbling health systems to outside scrutiny.
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.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday filed suit to disband the National Rifle Association following an 18-month investigation that she said found the gun rights group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.” The lawsuit takes aim at the NRA and four top officials, including its longtime leader Wayne LaPierre, who's accused of using millions of dollars in charitable funds on his lavish lifestyle. “The NRA's influence has been so powerful that the organization went unchecked for decades while top executives funneled millions into their own pockets,” James said in a statement.
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.
The United States retired both the warheads and the systems that carried them, including the nuclear Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile. The TLAM-N was deployed from 1983 to 1991 on surface ships and submarines before being retired in 2010. Unfortunately, Russia and China did not follow our example regarding this class of weapons, and are instead expanding their arsenals despite repeated U.S. overtures for negotiations.
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.
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.
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.
China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level U.S. official visit in four decades. The visit, which begins on Sunday, adds to tensions between Beijing and Washington over everything from trade and human rights to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing in Beijing that any attempt to deny or challenge the "one China" principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, would end in failure.
For one week, I recreated seven of Guy Fieri's signature recipes and favorite go-to meals to see if they lived up to their hype. Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri has established himself as the "Mayor of Flavortown" with his unique brand of down-to-earth humor and non-pretentious, yet elevated, American cuisine. Fieri's eccentric style has become iconic, and his twists on classic recipes like mac and cheese and chili are well-known among fans.
On Wednesday, Facebook finally took the long overdue step of removing a piece of Trump campaign content from its platform that pushed misinformation about COVID-19. The claim in question came during the president's appearance on Fox & Friends that morning, where he falsely stated, “If you look at children, children are almost—and I would almost say definitely—but almost immune from this disease.” “Of course there is a debate happening about whether Facebook and Twitter should be arbiters of truth and decide what is fact and fiction,” Fox host Sandra Smith began, before sharing the actual facts about confirmed coronavirus cases in children.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a judge's order that shut down the Dakota Access pipeline pending a full environmental review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with pipeline owner Energy Transfer to keep the oil flowing, saying a lower-court judge “did not make the findings necessary for injunctive relief. But the appellate court declined to grant Energy Transfer's motion to block the review, saying the company had “failed to make a strong showing of likely success.
“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.”