RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) â€” Saudi Arabia alleged Wednesday an attack by drones and cruise missiles on the heart of the kingdom's oil industry was "unquestionably sponsored by Iran," naming but not directly accusing Tehran of launching the assault. Iran denies being involved in the attack claimed by Yemeni rebels, and has threatened the U.S. that it will retaliate "immediately" if Tehran is targeted in response. The news conference by Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki comes after a summer of heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. over President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrawing America from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Hours after the world learned that journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away following complications from breast cancer, right-wing provocateur Michelle Malkin took a swipe at the reporter's legacy by calling her “one of the first guilty culprits of fake news. Taking part in a panel at the Paley Center on Tuesday, Malkin joined an array of liberal and conservative commentators and media figures to discuss whether the media is biased. At one point in the discussion, Malkin—who has recently been making the media rounds hawking her latest anti-immigrant book—took aim at Roberts.
The fatal shooting of three teens by a Georgia homeowner this week could be a "stand your ground" case, the Rockdale County Sheriff says. The teens, ages 15 and 16, died Monday following an early morning exchange of gunfire with a resident, Sheriff Eric Levett said. "It could be a 'stand your ground' type case, based on the preliminary (information) that we have learned so far," Levett said at a press conference.
Two Arizona artists who refused to create invitations to same-sex weddings due to their Christian beliefs were within their legal rights, the US state's top court ruled Monday. The state Supreme Court's decision invalidates previous judgments against the two women for violating a "human relations ordinance" introduced by the southwestern city of Phoenix to safeguard LGBTQ rights. According to their lawyers, the two artists could have faced up to six months in prison and a $2,500 fine each time they refused to make invitations to gay weddings.
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.
With two new aircraft carriers slated to begin deploying in two years' time, the U.K. fleet must figure out how to deploy, as a cohesive force, large numbers of warships comprising a carrier strike group. Contrast this with the fleet's current deployment model, which for the most part sends out single warships on solo patrols, each at their own pace. If the reorganization succeeds, the Royal Navy will evolve from a thinly but widely spread force to one that deploys to fewer places at a time, but does so in greater concentration.
The Belgian Air Force is policing Baltic airspace as of September 3; on Tuesday, it intercepted two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers. Belgium took over the Baltic policing mission from Hungary which, along with Spain and the UK, was policing Baltic airspace when Russian Su-30 Flanker fighters flew near Baltic airspace twice over two days in June. US and UK aircraft have been sending clear messages to Russia — US B-2 Spirit stealth bombers flew their first missions in the Arctic earlier in September, and the B-2s flew with non-US F-35s for the first time in August.
LOS ANGELES — When President Trump touched down in California Tuesday, local Democrats seemed to greet his arrival largely as a platform for protest, with at least a hundred demonstrators lining the road near his first event as enormous Baby Trump and Trump Chicken balloons hovered overhead. But the real reason Democrats should be paying attention to Trump's current California swing isn't because it's a prime opportunity to register their displeasure with policies on immigration, emissions and forest management. Instead, Democrats' cause for concern should be the mountains of money Trump is raising here — and, more importantly, the right-wing energy that money represents.
NEW DELHI (AP) Cash-starved Air India is putting its crew on a diet, changing their inflight menu to special low-fat meals. Dhananjay Kumar, the state-run airline's spokesman, said Wednesday that the objective is to provide healthy and cost-effective meals to crews on domestic and international flights. Kumar declined comment on media reports that the cost per meal, mostly vegetarian, will fall to one-third of the current 500-800 rupees (up to $11) per meal.
Granville County A North Carolina sheriff plotted to murder his own deputy in 2014 for threatening to publicly reveal a tape of the sheriff using "racially offensive language," prosecutors say. Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was charged by a grand jury with two counts of felony obstruction of justice. The indictment said Wilkins urged someone to kill the deputy, saying, "The only way you gonna stop him is kill him [sic]," and, "You can't tell nobody nothin'.
The fact that the United States is up in arms over an attack with no reported casualties on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia – while at the same time supporting Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands – tells us everything we need to know about how messed up US priorities in the Middle East are. If anything, the latest round of tensions between the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia – and the debate over whether or not to retaliate militarily against Iran – illustrates the many ways US policy in the region is bankrupt, and how Trump crafts US policy based on the interests of other countries, not America. The years-long struggle for regional influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia and their partners plays out in proxy wars that rip the region apart, such as the current humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 companies linked to Colombian businessman Alex Nain Saab Moran, an associate of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The move is the latest US escalation of sanctions targeting the inner circle of Maduro, who is grappling with a political and economic crisis that the United Nations says has left a quarter of Venezuela's 30 million people in need of humanitarian aid. The sanctions announced on Tuesday by the US Treasury Department target Saab, his two brothers Amir and Luis, Saab's business partner Alvaro Pulido, and Pulido's son, David Enrique Rubio Gonzalez.
Israeli security personnel shot a Palestinian woman who tried to stab them at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Israeli police said, and Palestinian officials said she died of her injury. The West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood, has seen simmering street violence since U.S.-sponsored peace talks with Israel brok down in 2014. An Israeli police spokesman said on Twitter that a "female terrorist attempted to carry out (a) stabbing attack" at Qalandia checkpoint.
But it's worth noting that the Houthis also possess a surprisingly sophisticated arsenal of homemade ballistic and cruise missiles possessing the range performance to strike targets deep inside Saudi Arabia. According to aviation expert Tom Cooper, the main weapon in the Houthi arsenal is the Burkan, a modified version of the Soviet R-17E Scud rocket that's around five feet longer than the baseline missile and some 4,400 pounds heavier and can travel farther than 500 miles. The Houthis inherited from the defunct Yemeni military a large number of Soviet-exported Scuds as well as North Korean-made Scuds called “Hwasong-6s.
Abdelhamid Al-Madioum, a 22-year-old naturalized US citizen jailed in northern Syria, told CBS News that he was recruited to join ISIS on Twitter when he was just 18 years old. Al-Madioum disappeared while on a family vacation in Morocco in 2015, according to court documents detailed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2017. Unbeknownst to his parents, he had secretly booked a flight to Istanbul.
“You can prescribe, but nothing will happen unless you have proper projects,” Leon Campher, the chief executive officer of the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa, an industry body of fund managers and insurers, said in an interview in Johannesburg. President Cyril Ramaphosa last month echoed the election manifesto of the African National Congress saying a discussion was required to investigate the use of prescribed assets as a tool for fostering economic growth. A lack of detail on how retirement funds could be forced into investing in state-owned companies or government projects has stoked concerns it could leave pensioners poorer if these don't make inflation-beating returns.
An upstate New York town judge resigned after he shared a racially charged Facebook post that featured a noose and President Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Tuesday that Altona Town Court Justice Kyle R. Canning resigned from the $8,700-a-year-job June 27. A formal written complaint from the commission said Canning appeared "to convey racial and/or political bias" and "failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."
Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is in a race for political survival as the country holds repeat parliamentary elections Tuesday. If Netanyahu's Likud party and his smaller allies can secure a narrow 61-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset, he will be well on the way to forming a coalition of hard-line religious and nationalist parties. Most critically for him, such a coalition would be expected to grant him immunity from prosecution on a series of expected corruption charges.
Two Dutch tourists have pleaded guilty to trespassing after they were arrested for attempting to capture footage of US government site Area 51. On Monday, Govert Sweep, 21, and Ties Granzier, 20, were sentenced to a year in county jail, following their 10 September arrest in Nevada. According to the two men, who were arrested about three miles into the nearby Nevada National Security Site, they can speak, write and read English and saw the “No Trespassing” signs, but were curious about the heavily guarded location.
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.
Coastguard sailors who opened fire on a Taiwanese fisherman in Philippine waters were convicted Wednesday of his 2013 killing, which strained ties between the historically friendly neighbours. The eight Filipino crewmen said they had shot in self-defence after the fisherman's vessel sailed directly at them in the seas just north of the main Philippine island of Luzon. A Manila court convicted the men of homicide and sentenced them to a minimum of eight years in prison, though they will be allowed to remain free while they appeal.
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.
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.