LOS ANGELES – Taking direct aim at California, a new report from President Donald Trump's administration says homelessness could be dramatically reduced by slashing restrictions on housing construction and being less tolerant of people sleeping on the streets. The Council of Economic Advisers' report was released as Trump takes a two-day swing through California for speeches and fundraising, while taking aim at liberal policies on homelessness. We can't let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what's happening,” Trump told reporters Tuesday aboard Air Force One.
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.
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.
New York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned “climate strike” ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people. Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S. “This completely changes things, and it's our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
Two masked-man kicked in the front door of a Pleasanton home in an attempted home-invasion -- and it was all caught on surveillance video.
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.
In the video announcing his campaign, Smith talks of returning government to the people, and he pledges not to take corporate contributions (all West Virginia Can't Wait candidates must make the same pledge, whether they are running for the state legislature or the Mingo County Board of Education). Plangent music plays. It is reminiscent of the viral video that launched the political campaign of Ocasio-Cortez, the young star of the 116th Congress from the Bronx.
South Korea Wednesday officially dropped Japan from its "white list" of trusted trade partners, the latest move in a bitter row stemming from Tokyo's use of forced labour during World War II. Seoul had already warned Tokyo it would reciprocate following a similar move by Japan in late August to downgrade South Korea's trade status. Local companies shipping strategic goods to Japan would now have to submit more documents and approval would take around 15 days instead of five, Yonhap news agency reported, quoting the South Korean trade ministry.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) called for the impeachment of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh in a tweet on Monday, amid controversy over a discredited New York Times story detailing further allegations of sexual-misconduct against Kavanaugh that was published Saturday. Along with her tweet, which was posted, then deleted, and then posted again without explanation, Ocasio-Cortez shared a video of a speech she gave at what appears to be a rally against Kavanaugh's then-impending confirmation. It is unsurprising that Kavanaugh, credibly accused of sexual assault, would lie under oath to secure a Supreme Court seat.
Vladimir Putin takes great pride in his sky-high approval rating. While pushing a raft of popular reforms, Zelenskiy, 41, remains in his honeymoon period, while cries he's too close to a local billionaire grow louder. The 66-year-old Putin, meanwhile, is approaching two decades as Russia's leader.
Thunberg and other young activists bring "moral clarity" to the fight against global warming, Markey said. "We hear you," he told her, vowing that lawmakers "will redouble our efforts to make sure that we inject this issue into the politics of this building and this country because time is running out." Markey and other lawmakers hailed Thunberg as a "superpower," noting that her activism has drawn a passionate following of children essentially challenging their elders to take action.
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.
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.
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.
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 White House has said it is exploring using police to remove homeless people from the streets, a vague threat that has escalated concerns about Trump pushing a law enforcement crackdown in California. A new report from the president's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said “policing may be an important tool to help move people off the street and into shelter or housing where they can get the services they need”. The policy document was published just before Trump's visit to California on Tuesday and comes amid his increasing attacks on Democrats in Los Angeles and San Francisco over the homelessness crisis.
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."
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 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”.
The high-stakes fight for working-class voters moved to Pennsylvania on Tuesday as a slate of Democratic White House hopefuls vowed to use the power of the presidency to crack down on corporate America and strengthen organized labor. Sanders was the most aggressive when he ticked down a list of unpopular votes from Biden's decadeslong record in politics as he faced hundreds of union members in a Philadelphia convention hall. "Unlike some of the folks running for president, I did not vote for the war in Iraq, I did not vote for the Wall Street bailout, I did not vote for a terrible bankruptcy bill and, maybe most important, I did not vote for the disastrous trade policies like NAFTA," Sanders declared.
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.