New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he would allow children to return to classrooms for the start of the new school year, citing the state's success in battling the pandemic.'Can revisit' if there's a spike »
A warehouse area at a port in Beirut exploded Tuesday, killing more than 100 people and causing extensive damage in the Lebanese capital. The explosion is under investigation, a focus of which is thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate improperly stored in the area. Experts told Insider they estimated the explosive yield of the deadly blast to be several hundred tons of TNT equivalent, making it many times more powerful than the so-called "Mother of All Bombs."
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.
Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates told a Senate panel Wednesday that in the days before Donald Trump's inauguration, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made no attempt to target incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn for prosecution to undermine the new administration. Yates, describing a Jan. 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election, said she was surprised to learn from Obama that the FBI had intercepted Flynn's conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in which the incoming national security adviser sought to "neuter" recently imposed sanctions on the Kremlin for its election intervention.
Two dozen people in Hong Kong, including pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, have been charged with participating in an illegal assembly at a vigil on June 4 commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen square in 1989. It was the first time the vigil had been banned in semiautonomous Hong Kong, with police citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings in refusing permission for it to take place. The anniversary struck an especially sensitive nerve in the former British colony this year, falling just as China prepared to introduce national security legislation later that month in response to last year's often violent pro-democracy demonstrations.
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.
Some Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City could face up to life in prison if they're convicted of splashing red paint and smashing windows during a protest, a potential punishment that stands out among demonstrators arrested around the country and one that critics say doesn't fit the alleged crime. Prosecutors said Wednesday that's justified because the protesters worked together to cause thousands of dollars in damage, but watchdogs called the use of the 1990s-era law troubling, especially in the context of criminal justice reform and minority communities. “This is so far beyond just the enforcement of the law, it feels retaliatory,” said Madalena McNeil, who is facing a potential life sentence over felony criminal mischief and riot charges.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a narrow edge over Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is tied with Democrat Jaime Harrison, according to the surveys. Maine is considered one of the key, majority-making races on the 2020 Senate map, and both parties have invested significant resources into the state. Republicans, meanwhile, are still considered favorites in Kentucky and South Carolina — though Democrats are watching the two red states as expansion targets, and their candidates have raised eye-popping sums.
Upwards of 200 Minneapolis police officers have started the process to apply for permanent disability following the George Floyd riots; Mike Tobin reports.
An American-owned cargo ship named after the president of the United States docked in a Ukrainian port has just offloaded 10,000 metric tons of the same chemical substance that nearly leveled the city of Beirut this week, according to the Liveuamap news source. The hangar in Lebanon only had 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which caused catastrophic damage to the Lebanese capital. The ship docked in Ukraine, which was previously named Seabreeze before a Florida company registered as Pilin Fleet Management LLC purchased it in 2018, and renamed it Trump D, was registered by Marine Traffic tracking website in the Yuzhi port near Odessa on Friday.
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.
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.
At least one person in the United States has died every 80 seconds on average over the last seven days, according to new research, as President Donald Trump said the nation's soaring death toll “is what it is” in a recent interview. The grim figures were first reported by NBC News on Wednesday, which noted its own tally revealed 7,486 people died in the last seven days due to Covid-19. Whereas the rate of deaths was somewhat slower in July, with one American dying every 102 seconds on average throughout the month, the latest figures appeared to show an acceleration in pace, as NBC News reported.
The fall semester is quickly approaching for numerous US school districts, but lawmakers, school board members, and parents are still debating how and whether schools should reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Matt Lambert, an emergency medicine physician and former chief medical information officer for New York City Health and Hospitals, told Business Insider that schools could reopen with strict health safety precautions but that the prevalence of the virus could challenge their ability to stay open. Lambert said it could be difficult identifying and separating coronavirus cases and flu cases because of the similarity between symptoms and increased exposure to others.
A judge in Panama ordered 12 Haitian migrants held for trial Thursday on charges related to an Aug. 1 protest in which rocks were thrown at Panamanian border service officers and tents holding supplies were burned. The migrants face charges of injuring officers, theft and arson. Migrants are demanding they be allowed to continue their journey toward the U.S. border, and have protested conditions at the remote camps where they have been stuck due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
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 Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after officials removed murals supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The five murals were created by a variety of artists who had been granted approval by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported. The Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks is investigating after park rangers removed Black Lives Matter murals that had been approved and permitted by the city, The Baltimore Sun first reported.
A majority of Seattle's City Council on Wednesday voted down a proposal to slash the police department's remaining 2020 budget by 50 percent. The vote by the budget committee—which came one day after the city's mayor and police chief held a press conference to criticize the proposal—signaled some progress for Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality advocates who've pushed to defund departments across the U.S. and reallocate funds to community services, including housing and youth programs. The budget-cut plan, proposed by council member Kshama Sawant, would have cut $54 million from the Seattle PD immediately through layoffs and reallocated it to programs, including $34 million for affordable housing.
Hundreds of migrant children rapidly expelled from the United States under a coronavirus immigration policy are returning to shelters in Guatemala where virus testing and bed capacity are regularly stretched to their limits. Shelter operators, government officials in the Central American nation and international organizations said they are seeing rising numbers of children being sent back to Guatemala alone, with some unable to return to their homes because of domestic abuse or gang violence. "Child protection services, which were already overstretched and under-resourced have now been further compromised by COVID-19," said United Nations children's agency UNICEF spokesman Christopher Tidey.
A Trolls doll is being pulled off store shelves amid complaints it promotes child abuse. Toymaker Hasbro said Wednesday that it's in the process of removing the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” from the market and will be offering customers a replacement doll of the popular female character. The doll had been designed to giggle when placed in a sitting position, but some parents complain the sound activation button is inappropriately placed under the doll's skirt and between her legs.
Donald Trump was “stating a fact” when he said that children are less susceptible to Covid-19, a White House official has said after Facebook removed a post in which the president made false claims about the virus. Courtney Parella, deputy national press secretary, accused Facebook and Twitter of “flagrant bias” after the tech giants penalised Trump and his campaign team for promoting a video in which the president claimed children are “almost immune” from the disease. The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,” Ms Parella said in a statement.
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.
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.
“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.”