President Trump's executive actions bar American companies from conducting business transactions with the parent companies of the two social media apps.Cites national security threats »
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upwards of 200 Minneapolis police officers have started the process to apply for permanent disability following the George Floyd riots; Mike Tobin reports.
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 professor famous for accurately predicting the winner of every presidential election since 1984 has issued his verdict for 2020: Joe Biden will defeat President Trump. American University Professor Allan Lichtman uses a system he created of 13 "keys" that decide who will win the White House. In 2016, Lichtman was one of the few forecasters who said Mr. Trump would be the next president — and he also predicted that Trump would be impeached.
China has sentenced a third Canadian citizen to death on drug charges amid a steep decline in relations between the two countries. The Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court announced Xu Weihong's penalty on Thursday and said an alleged accomplice, Wen Guanxiong, had been given a life sentence. Death sentences are automatically referred to China's highest court for review.
Ted S. Warren/AP Alaska Airlines said on Wednesday that it will no longer fly passengers who are unwilling or unable to wear a mask — even when there's a legitimate and documented medical reason — following similar moves by American Airlines and Southwest. US airlines have largely implemented on-board mask requirements since air travel demand began ticking back up this spring. At first, those policies were criticized as toothless: Flight attendants were discouraged from confronting passengers who wouldn't wear masks, and airlines offered little clarity on the consequences for those customers.
Satellite imagery obtained by NBC News' Social Newsgathering team from Planet Labs, Inc. and Maxar Technologies shows the damage sustained by yesterday's explosions at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon. The imagery shows nearby buildings that sustained significant damage or were destroyed by the explosion, which has killed more than 135 people and injured at least 5,000, Lebanon's Health Minister Hamad Hasan said Wednesday. About 200,000 people are now displaced in the city, according to Beirut's governor Marwan Abboud.
U.S. lawmakers will resolve their differences over the next batch of COVID-19 aid and reach a deal, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday, but assistance must go to those who need it the most amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. "If we're going to juggle some of this money, let's focus it where it's going to do the most good," she added, saying aid must help people who are the most needy.
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 priest who criticised coronavirus restrictions was diagnosed with Covid-19 hours after he called congregants “lukewarm” catholics for not coming to church during the pandemic. Monsignor Charles Pope, of Holy Comforter St Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington D.C. was diagnosed and hospitalised with Covid-19 on 27 July, according to Huffpost. The Roman Catholic priest was later released and has been self-isolating at his rectory since Saturday 1 August.
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.
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.
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images Joe Biden rowed back comments suggesting that African-Americans as a group do not have diverse political views, which he said was not the case for Latinos. The presumptive Democratic nominee said: "Most people don't know, unlike the African-American community with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community." Biden later tweeted to "clarify" what he meant, saying that African-Americans are "not a monolith."
Fort Hood has one of the highest rates of murder, sexual assault and harassment in the Army, Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Thursday during a visit to the Texas base. “We are getting an outside look to help us to get to those root causes and understand them so we can make those changes,” McCarthy said during a news conference that was shown on Facebook Live. McCarthy visited the base weeks after he ordered an independent review of the command climate at Fort Hood following the slaying of Spc.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced on Thursday night that after testing positive for COVID-19 in the morning, he took a second test in the afternoon, and those results came back negative. DeWine was supposed to meet President Trump when he flew into Cleveland in the morning, but that appearance was scrapped after he tested positive for the coronavirus. He said this was "a big surprise to me and certainly a big surprise to our family," and planned on going into isolation for 14 days at his farm in southwestern Ohio. Later, DeWine, his wife Fran, and all of his staff members were tested for COVID-19, with PCR tests administered; these tests are very sensitive in detecting the virus, WLWT reports. The tests were all run twice, and came back negative each time.
MOSCOW—The city of Khabarovsk, a sprawling, industrial metropolis about 5,000 miles east of the capital—founded by the Bolsheviks as 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”