Former President Barack Obama has called on the Senate to do away with the filibuster, but that won't happen if West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has anything to say about it.His argument for keeping it »
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.”
Hasenpusch/picture alliance via Getty Images/Business Insider Igor Grechushkin, the Russian owner of the ship that carried a huge cargo of explosives to Beirut, which exploded years later, was questioned by Cypriot police on Thursday, reports say. Grechushkin abandoned the MV Rhosus and its cargo of 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate in 2014. Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo until Tuesday's catastrophic explosion.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a narrow edge over Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is tied with Democrat Jaime Harrison, according to the surveys. Maine is considered one of the key, majority-making races on the 2020 Senate map, and both parties have invested significant resources into the state. Republicans, meanwhile, are still considered favorites in Kentucky and South Carolina — though Democrats are watching the two red states as expansion targets, and their candidates have raised eye-popping sums.
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.
Fox News host Chris Wallace has no illusions about why the Trump campaign is suddenly demanding a fourth debate against former Vice President Joe Biden. After Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade echoed the president's stated concerns about the debates happening after early voting starts in some states, his radio show guest shot down the idea of either moving the schedule up and adding a fourth debate earlier in September. “If they were to open it up and say, no, let's set another debate, I just think that it would jeopardize a lot of things,” Wallace, who moderated the third and final debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The country confirmed the last million cases in just 20 days, faster than the US or Brazil which have higher numbers. Testing has been expanded considerably in India in recent weeks but the situation varies across states. Spurred by a low death rate, the nation continues to reopen even as new hotspots drive the surge in cases.
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.
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.
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.
Reuters/Carlos Barria SpaceX on Tuesday launched and landed a vehicle called SN5, which is a full-scale prototype of a planned Mars rocket ship called Starship. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump wrongfully appeared to take credit for the privately developed vehicle's creation or launch. Trump also shared falsehoods about NASA, which spaceflight experts — including an astronaut — pointed out and corrected.
Several news organizations, including The News & Observer and The New York Times, petitioned a judge to publicly release the videos that show officers "hog-tying" John Neville, 56, who died of a brain injury in December three days after police arrested him. One of the videos runs nearly 20 minutes and is from the body camera of one of the five detention officers involved, who were all fired last month. Over the course of 45 minutes of being held in an observation cell, Neville would "sustain injuries that would eventually cause him to lose his life," Forsyth County district attorney, Jim O'Neill said last month. Both were reviewed by USA TODAY.
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.
Close to 700 immigrants working in the U.S. illegally were detained last year during what federal prosecutors have called “the largest single-state worksite enforcement operation in our nation's history.” Now four higher-ups at the Mississippi chicken plants where they were employed face criminal charges. The U.S. District Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi unsealed indictments Thursday against two supervisors at A&B Foods Inc. as well as a human resources manager and plant manager at Pearl River Foods Inc.. They are accused of hiring undocumented workers and lying to law enforcement, according to a news release.
Counties in Kansas that adopted a mask mandate have seen a drop in COVID-19 cases, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said. In late June, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) issued a statewide mask guidance, but because the Kansas legislature limited her emergency powers, each county was able to decide whether or not to enforce the order, KSHB reports. During a press conference on Wednesday, Norman said 15 counties went along with the order, while 90 decided to make wearing a mask a recommendation only. "What we've seen through this is that in the counties with no mask mandate, there's no decrease in the number of cases per capita," Norman said.
“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.”