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.”
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.
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.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
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.
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.
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 Trump administration's top envoy for Iran is stepping down just as the United States tries to moves ahead with a major diplomatic effort that would extend a U.N. arms embargo against Tehran in the face of widespread international opposition. Brian Hook announced his departure on Thursday, a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would call for a U.N. Security Council vote next week on a resolution to indefinitely extend the embargo, which is due to expire in October. That resolution is expected to fail, setting the stage for a showdown between the U.S. and the other Security Council members over the reimposition of all international sanctions on Iran.
The demand that Joe Biden choose a Black woman as his vice presidential nominee to facilitate Black empowerment is ill-advised and strategically wrong. Nominating a Black female would neither empower the black community, nor help the new administration to deal with daunting challenges it inherits. Biden will take over the most broken government in almost a century.
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.
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.
Officials in Tokyo have played down suggestions that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is seriously ill after a news magazine reported that he vomited blood at his office on July 6 and cancelled his engagements for the rest of the day. Mr Abe, 65, attended the memorial ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on Thursday and gave a brief address in which he called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, although it has been pointed out that he has not given any press conferences or attended parliamentary sessions for more than one month. The latest edition of the weekly news magazine Flash reported on the concerns about Mr Abe's health, with the Mainichi newspaper also quoting people who had met with the prime minister in recent weeks as saying that he appeared pale and tired.
MOSCOW—The city of Khabarovsk, a sprawling, industrial metropolis about 5,000 miles east of the capital—the Bolsheviks turned it into a hub for serving Siberian prison camps, in the middle of nowhere by design—is about as far from the seat of Russian power as geographically possible. Despite the Kremlin's best efforts to hide them, problems have been bubbling up in Russia's provinces, transforming local issues into the most dynamic arena for dissent, protest, and opposition in the country's political system and fueling Russia's version of post-lockdown unrest. The arrest of Khabarovsk's popular regional governor sparked the anti-Putin uprising that has drawn up to 60,000 people into the streets in this usually sleepy backwater.
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.
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.
Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images Germany recorded more than 1,000 daily new coronavirus cases for the first time in three months. There were 1,045 new infections in Germany on Thursday, according to the Robert Koch Institute. One in five new cases in Germany are believed to originate from abroad.
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.
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.
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.
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.
China has deployed more amphibious weapons in coastal cities across the 110-mile wide strait that separates China from Taiwan, according to reports of recent satellite images. The images published in Canadian military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence show that more Type 05 vehicles had been deployed to China's Eastern Theatre Command, according to the South China Morning Post. The Type 05 is a family of amphibious tracked armoured fighting vehicles developed for the navy marine corps of the People's Liberation Army.
With less than three months before the presidential election, Trump administration officials appear to be spamming foreign citizens in a bid to prevent election interference. Russians and Iranians woke up Friday morning to strange spam text messages encouraging them to report any evidence of interference in the United States election to the U.S. State Department—and offering a hefty financial incentive to do so. “The United States pays up to $10 million for any information on foreign interference in American elections,” the messages read in Russian and Farsi.
The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after officials removed murals supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The five murals were created by a variety of artists who had been granted approval by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported. The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after park rangers removed Black Lives Matter murals that had been approved and permitted by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported.
“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.”