Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had no more than 20 minutes to study a draft accord between the United States and the Taliban on pulling thousands of U.S. troops out of his country, but upcoming elections could put him back at the heart of talks to end decades of war. What he read in the draft outlining the now collapsed deal left Ghani and his officials - who were shut out of the talks by the Taliban refusal to negotiate with what they considered an illegitimate "puppet" regime - badly shaken and resentful, said a senior Kabul official close to the Afghan leader. "Doesn't this look like surrender to the Taliban?" Ghani asked Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran Afghan-born diplomat who led negotiations for Washington, at a meeting the two held immediately afterwards, according to the source who was present.
A firefighter was killed and eight people were injured Monday when a powerful propane explosion destroyed a new building in Farmington, Maine. Fire crews were responding to a call reporting the smell of gas in the building, which was evacuated, Farmington Town Selectman Scott Landry said. The blast had such force that only debris remained from the two-story building, which housed a nonprofit group called LEAP that serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
The missile strikes that badly damaged a key Saudi oil facility on Sept. 14, 2019 largely remain a mystery to the public. Yemen's Houthi rebels, who have been at war with a Saudi-Emirati coalition since 2015, claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities, but it's unclear that the Houthis alone possess the capacity for long-range, precision-guided strikes. Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guard Corps in the past has supplied the Houthis with weaponry including drones and components for ballistic missiles.
Iran has charged three detained Australians with spying, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday, after the reported arrest of a travel-blogging couple and an academic. Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters. It was the first official confirmation that Australians have been detained in Iran after the families of three of them said last week they had been arrested in the Islamic republic.
Florida authorities have arrested a suspected serial killer believed to be responsible for the brutal murders of at least four women over the last 14 years. Robert Hayes, 37, was arrested and charged Sunday night with the grisly 2016 murder of 32-year-old Rachel Bey, whose body was found along a highway in Jupiter, Palm Beach County Sheriff Rich Bradshaw announced at a Monday press conference. “We've been able to take what we believe is a serial killer off our streets” Bradshaw said.
The first impeachment hearing held by House Democrats quickly turned hostile on Tuesday as their sole witness, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, stonewalled many of their questions and declared they were "focusing on petty and personal politics." Lewandowski, a devoted friend and supporter of President Donald Trump, followed White House orders not to discuss conversations with the president beyond what was already public in former special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Trump cheered him along as he testified, tweeting that Lewandowski's opening statement was "beautiful."
A domestic flight in India was delayed by two hours after a swarm of bees settled on the cockpit window, obscuring pilots' vision and attacking staff who tried to remove them. The Air India flight was about to take off when the bees landed on the window. Staff tried fruitlessly to shoo them away and disperse them with the aircraft's windscreen wipers before calling the fire brigade.
A couple have decided to keep their baby's sex a secret from close relatives in a bid to avoid gender bias. Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, refer to their 17-month-old child, Anoush, with the pronoun, "they", and dress them in both girls' and boys' clothing. The married couple, who are members of the climate action group, Extinction Rebellion, have been accused of “virtue signalling”.
Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday. A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying. Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.
According to the criminal complaint: Tyler Huffhines admitted starting his THC vape cartridge business on Jan. 28, 2018, the same day he took a picture of his business to post on Instagram. He told detectives that he didn't smoke marijuana but saw a good business opportunity by purchasing THC vape cartridges in California for $2.50 each where they are legal and bringing them back to Wisconsin to sell for $15 apiece. Tyler Huffhines admitted he figured out he could boost profits by buying empty vape cartridges and jars of liquid THC and paying 10 workers to fill them.
Grande-Synthe (France) (AFP) - French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard. The mayor of Grande-Synthe in December 2018 opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold. Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with around 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the crammed gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach Britain, had been sheltering.
Key point: Iran has encountered really strange flying objects that might be an unknown, secret American spy plane. Iran is the only other country besides the United States to operate arguably history's most powerful interceptor aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat. The F-14s played a major role in Iran's war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988.
It was one of the first stress tests of Joe Biden's presidential campaign: A sudden reversal of his decades-long support for restricting federal funding of abortions. The move seemed sure to hurt the former vice president with Catholics, particularly those in the Midwest, whose support will be critical to winning the Democratic primary and the general election. Since the days of John F. Kennedy, Catholic Democrats have wrestled to reconcile their church's teachings with their party's politics.
A North Carolina sheriff has been indicted for allegedly plotting to kill one of his deputies after learning the man had a tape of him making "racially offensive" comments. Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted Monday on two counts of felony obstruction of justice for withholding knowledge of a credible threat made against Joshua Freeman and failing to take appropriate law enforcement action. The indictment came after a ten month investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, according to a release from Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.
The T'way Air flight from Vietnam to South Korea was supposed to take off at 10:35 p.m. local time Friday but didn't depart until 9:40 a.m. the next day, The Korea Times reported. A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport without his passport. The flight, operated by the South Korean budget airline T'way Air, was supposed to take off at 10:35 p.m. local time on Friday but ended up being delayed until 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, The Korea Times reported.
Once we subtract the landslides and focus only on the close elections, matters are different: In elections decided by a percentage point or less (equal to 1.3 million votes by 2016 turnout), the probability of inversion is about 40%. For races decided by two percentage points or less, the probability of inversion is about 30%. Significant likelihood of inversion persists at larger vote margins.
California added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program. California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime. In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures.
A Boy Scout leader who was accused of singing naked in front of several young boys was not investigated by his troop despite multiple complaints, according to NBC News. Michael Kelsey, who in 2016 was found guilty of first-degree sexual abuse for molesting two children in his Boy Scout troop, was accused of misconduct long before his conviction, according to a $320 million civil lawsuit filed in March 2017. The ongoing lawsuit — which has emerged with new information thanks to interviews with the plaintiffs by NBC News— details a number of troubling accusations against Kelsey, who was an assistant scoutmaster in Troop 95 of Fishkill, NY.
A French boy aged 10, who fell gravely ill in 2011 after consuming a beef burger from supermarket discounter Lidl that was infected with E.coli bacteria, has died of complications stemming from his poisoning, the family's lawyer said. The boy, Nolan, died on Saturday "as a consequence of his poisoning", the family's lawyer Florence Rault told AFP on Sunday. Lidl's French arm said in a tweet on Monday: "We share the pain of Nolan's family and will seek to assure our support during their suffering."
Greenhouse gases thrust into the atmosphere mainly by burning fossil fuels are warming Earth's surface more quickly than previously understood, according to new climate models set to replace those used in current UN projections, scientists said Tuesday. The new calculations also suggest that the Paris Agreement goals of capping global warming at "well below" two degrees, and 1.5C if possible, will be challenging at best, the scientists said. "With our two models, we see that the scenario known as SSP1 2.6 -- which normally allows us to stay under 2C -- doesn't quite get us there," Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, told AFP.
Key point: Russia's is working on a nuclear torpedo, but the idea may not be practical. According to the latest Nuclear Posture Review, Russia is developing a new nuclear torpedo/drone, the Status 6. While the torpedo (also covered here by Dave Majumdar) offers some alarming new capabilities, it's not the first such weapon that the Russians have worked on.
More than half the tigers rescued three years ago from a Buddhist temple in Thailand where they served as a popular tourist attraction have died of disease, wildlife officials said Monday. The tigers were vulnerable to illness because of inbreeding, leading to laryngeal paralysis causing respiratory failure, said national parks official Patarapol Maneeorn. Eighty-six of 147 rescued tigers kept at government-run wildlife sanctuaries have died.
General Motors Co shifted health insurance costs for its striking workers to the United Auto Workers union as its members walked the picket line for the second day on Tuesday. The UAW on Monday launched the first company-wide strike at GM in 12 years, saying negotiations toward a new national agreement covering about 48,000 hourly workers had hit an impasse. This year's talks between the union and GM, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) were expected to be tough, with thorny issues such as healthcare costs, profit-sharing and the use of temporary workers on the table.