President Donald Trump said Saturday that he is an "island of one" for removing U.S. forces from northeastern Syria. But he remained steadfast and defended a move that drew widespread bipartisan criticism that he has endangered stability in the Middle East and risked the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who helped the U.S. bring down the Islamic State group in Syria. Turkey, however, regards those Kurdish fighters as a terrorist threat and has launched a military operation against them.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam scrapped a scheduled meeting with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, the highest profile U.S. politician to visit the city since anti-government protests broke out more than four months ago, the senator said on Saturday. Lam had requested that the afternoon meeting be completely confidential and Cruz refrain from speaking with the media about it, Cruz told journalists in Hong Kong. "She seems to misunderstand how free speech operates, and also how freedom of the press operates," said Cruz, a Republican senator from Texas.
Gusting winds fueling a fast-moving wildfire in southern California showed no signs of abating Saturday as a blaze that forced the evacuation of some 100,000 people kept burning out of control. A red flag warning of critical fire danger -- strong winds and very low humidity -- has been extended into the weekend, the National Weather Service said. Firefighters said people have taken evacuation orders seriously in the so-called Saddleridge fire burning in the San Fernando Valley area of greater Los Angeles.
The family of a missing Utah tech executive has called off a search for her after police reported that a body was found inside a parked car in the San Francisco Bay Area. Police in San Jose said the body was discovered Saturday in an area where Erin Valenti's family had been searching. "While we were praying for a different outcome, we are so appreciative for the help and support you have given," according to a Facebook post by the group Help Find Erin Valenti.
Key point: America has a range problem. Last year, Chinese state media reported that a new brigade of Beijing's most advanced intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) has been “activated. The newly commissioned brigade is armed with the Dong Feng-26 (DF-26) IRBM.
Justin Trudeau donned a bulletproof vest to speak at an election rally on Saturday night after an unspecified security threat. Accompanied by a heavy security detail, the Canadian prime minister took to the stage 90 minutes late to deliver his speech to about 2,000 supporters ahead of the 21 October vote. The Liberal Party leader wore a suit jacket in place of his usual rolled-up sleeves and loosened tie, under which an armoured vest was noticeable in photos taken at the event.
Angry Norwegian Cruise Line passengers wasted no time voicing their frustration after disembarking from the ship Friday in England. Photos and videos shared on social media showed upset passengers on board Norwegian Cruise Line's "Mystical Fjords" tour. According to Business Insider and NBC News, passengers paid for a 14-day cruise that was supposed to stop in Ireland, Norway, Holland and Iceland.
It's a reunion more than a decade in the making: Dutchess the dog escaped her yard in Florida way back in February 2007, CBS Pittsburgh reports. More than 12 years later, she was found under a shed in Pittsburgh. Dutchess was just a puppy when she got lost; now the Fox Terrier is 14-years-old and has been reunited with her owner in Pittsburgh at the Humane Animal Rescue.
The European Union made a last-ditch appeal to the U.S. to refrain from triggering retaliatory tariffs over illegal subsidies to Airbus SE, warning of economic harm to both sides and repeating a call for a negotiated solution. European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told her U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, that his plan to hit $7.5 billion of EU goods ranging from planes to whiskey with duties would compel the EU to apply countermeasures in a parallel lawsuit over market-distorting aid to Boeing Co. U.S. levies would make a negotiated settlement harder to reach, she said.
On Friday, Fox News anchor Shep Smith shocked his audience and even his coworkers when he announced on-air that he would be leaving the network after 23 years. Smith, who was an original hire for the news channel in 1996, left after publicly clashing with many Fox News opinion personalities, including Tucker Carlson. President Donald Trump also blasted Smith on Twitter and suggested his departure was due to "terrible ratings" – which could seemingly be true, since Smith did get lower ratings than his pro-Trump colleagues.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and riot police clashed in chaotic scenes around the city on Sunday, with police in riot gear chasing protesters through crowds of lunchtime shoppers. Rallies in shopping malls on Hong Kong island and across the harbor in the Kowloon district began peacefully around midday with a few hundred people at each chanting "Free Hong Kong" and other slogans. A few hours later, black-clad activists took to the streets and began trashing shops and metro stations and erecting road blocks.
A married prison officer in the U.K. who had sex with an inmate in a cleaning closet during an 18-month affair has been jailed for a year as a result of his actions.
Rescuers in Japan are continuing to help people in the aftermath of a ferocious typhoon, as the death toll from the storm climbed to as high as 33. The government's Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which tends to be conservative in its counts, said late Sunday that 14 people died and 11 were missing as a result of Typhoon Hagibis, while 187 suffered injuries. Japan's Kyodo News agency said 33 people died and 19 were missing.
"By reviewing the available video and gathered intelligence evidence, the primary clues to the dangerous adventure of attacking the Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea have been uncovered," he added. Shamkhani warned of "disturbing risks" for the global economy as a result of insecurity in international waterways. The National Iranian Tanker Company, which owns the Sabiti, said its hull was hit by two separate explosions on Friday off the Saudi port of Jeddah, But the state-owned company denied reports the attack had originated from Saudi soil.
It's easy to forget just how different some of President Trump's most loyal servants felt about oversight and impeachment when there were Democrats in the White House. On Sunday morning, CNN anchor Jake Tapper made sure his viewers remembered. In the final moments of his State of the Union broadcast this week, Tapper said that the White House's outright refusal to “participate” in the House impeachment inquiry means that the president is “seemingly thumbing his nose at the very notion that the U.S. government was designed with three co-equal branches, specifically to offer checks and balances on each other.
Key point: Although behind America, Russia's air force is rapidly improving. When it comes to air power, it's no secret that the United States and the West have often held an edge over Russia. This dates at least as far back to World War II, when the United States and Britain were allied with Russia.
California has become the first US state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products. On Saturday, California's governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law to prohibit residents from making or selling items such as clothing, shoes or handbags made of fur. The bill, which will go into effect in 2023, was applauded by animal rights advocacy groups, who have long been pushing for a ban on fur.
A Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city's anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland Police Bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates.
Hunter Biden is stepping down from the board of a Chinese-backed private equity company and promising to forgo all foreign work if his father, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is elected president in 2020. After months of keeping a relatively low-profile as President Donald Trump leveled a barrage of unsubstantiated accusations of corruption at him, the younger Biden is publicly vowing to avoid any conflict of interest. According to a statement released on his behalf by his lawyer George Mesires, Biden said he'll resign at the end of the month from the management company of a private equity fund that's backed by Chinese state-owned entities.
One person was killed and at least 18 injured in New Orleans on Saturday when part of a Hard Rock Hotel under construction collapsed, filling a street with wreckage and clouds of dust. Video of the collapse was widely shared on social media and the fire department posted photos of the aftermath showing crumpled floors and tangles of broken construction materials. Local media said three people were missing and emergency services were using rescue dogs and drones to search for any more victims.
German police are investigating a bitcoin transfer made to the far-Right extremist behind Wednesday's terror attack in Halle to determine if the man possessed a broader support network. German media outlet Spiegel reports that a transfer of 0.1 bitcoin – approximately €750 (£660) – was made to alleged attacker Stephan Balliet in the lead up to the attack. Police said the transfer came from an unknown source.
National Coming Out Day festivities were tempered this year by anxiety that some LGBT folk may have to go back into the closet so they can make a living, depending on what the Supreme Court decides about workplace discrimination law. But the mere fact that words like "transgender" are being uttered before the nation's highest court gives some supporters of LGBT workplace rights hope that the pendulum will swing in their favor. "I want all members of our community to feel supported by the government, and often for a lot of us and a lot of friends of mine, it's the first time that they feel represented," said Jessica Goldberg, a bisexual senior at the University of Colorado Denver.
Russian warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of just 12 hours earlier this year, The New York Times reported on Sunday. The May strikes -- which the newspaper tied to Moscow through Russian radio recordings, plane spotter logs and accounts by witnesses -- are part of a larger pattern of medical facilities targeted by forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's devastating civil war. Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital -- which staff had fled three days earlier in anticipation of the facility being bombed -- was one of those struck during the 12-hour period beginning on May 5, according to the Times' investigation.
The Japan Meteorological Agency says a powerful typhoon that is forecast to be the worst to hit Japan in six decades has reached Kawasaki, a western part of greater Tokyo. The agency said Saturday night that Typhoon Hagibis was advancing north-northwestward with maximum sustained winds of 144 kilometers (90 miles) per hour, traveling northward at a speed of 40 kph (25 mph). The storm had brought heavy rainfall in wide areas of Japan all day ahead of its landfall Saturday evening, and continued to batter the capital with heavy winds and torrents of rain.
Key point: The MOP bomb will increase the firepower and options of the Air Force. EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. The U.S. Air Force is asking the Boeing Co.to build additional Massive Ordnance Penetrator bunker-busting super bombs under terms of a $70 million contract announced last week.