WASHINGTON – Tensions between the U.S. and Iran accelerated sharply following the Trump administration's accusations that Tehran was behind a weekend attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The attack, which disrupted more than 5% of the world daily oil supply, reignited fears of a military confrontation in the Middle East and comes amid months of growing hostilities between the U.S. and Iran. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced on Tuesday that "there will be no talks with the U.S. at any level" — remarks apparently meant to end all speculation about a possible U.S.-Iran meeting between the two countries' presidents at the U.N. later this month.
Representative Ilhan Omar responded on Sunday to the son of a victim of the September 11 terrorist attacks, who called her out for previous comments about the attacks that critics found dismissive. During the memorial service for 9/11 victims at Ground Zero, Nicholas Haros Jr., who lost his mother, 76-year-old Francis Haros, in the attacks, wore a shirt emblazoned with the phrase, “some people did something” on the front, the phrase Omar used to refer to the attacks. After reading the names of some of the victims, Haros Jr. repeated the phrase and pointed to his shirt.
Twenty people, including children, were killed Tuesday in the southern Philippines when the flatbed truck they were riding in plummeted into a ravine, police said. The vehicle was bringing a group of people home from a trip to the beach when the driver lost control near the town of T'boli in the latest deadly crash on the nation's dangerous roads. "Based on eyewitness accounts, the truck lost its brakes.
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.
“We are developing an AI stack regarding how we pull together the sensors, computing layer and analytics to manage the data,” Col. Doug Matty, Army AI Task Force Deputy Director, told Warrior in an interview. New algorithms, AI-enabled computer processing and high-speed networking are all specific elements of work now underway with the Army's AI Task Force, an emerging Army effort to collaborate with industry and academia, find technology breakthroughs and develop new applications for AI, Matty explained. The Task Force is now working on prototyping systems for integration onto UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Long-Range Precision Fires systems and the Army's emerging fleet of Next-Gen Combat Vehicles, he said.
Editor's note: This column was originally published on Oct. 9, 2018. In an almost party-line vote, senators voted this weekend to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, Republicans tell us, was rigorously conducted, and no evidence corroborating accusations by Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez was found.
Members of Congress hailed Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg as a "superpower" for her work to spark a worldwide, youth-driven push to fight climate change. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said the 16-year-old Thunberg and other young activists bring "moral clarity" to the fight against global warming. Thunberg was not impressed.
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'.
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.
Washington and Tehran entered yet another phase of sabre rattling and high tension over the weekend. Following attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities that disrupted the global market, the Trump administration quickly pointed fingers at Iran. Tehran denied the accusations and their Houthi allies took responsibility for the attacks.
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."
Satellite images show widespread destruction at Saudi Aramco oil facilities that were attacked Saturday. The strikes, thought to be carried out by drones, affected 5% of the world's oil supply. One image showed the location of attacks inside a processing plant in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, while two more showed damage from strikes on the nearby Khurais oil field.
Key Point: Given the volume of valuable commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf, Tehran is investing in improving its ASBMs—and publicizing that effort to the world—as a means to build conventional military deterrence in a context of rising tensions with Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States. In 2009, it became clear that China had developed a mobile medium-range ballistic missile called the DF-21D designed to sink ships over 900 miles away. This then-nascent technical achievement gave rise to a still-ongoing debate over the survivability of the U.S.'s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, as the DF-21D outranged the strike planes serving on carrier decks.
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.
Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday - one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul - with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections. The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where Ashraf Ghani, the president, was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy.
A former security guard accused of compiling bomb components and guns to kill people at a Las Vegas synagogue and of drawing up plans to attack a bar catering to LGBTQ customers or a fast-food restaurant has been indicted on a federal firearm charge, court records show. Conor Climo's court-appointed attorney, Paul Riddle, said Tuesday that Climo plans to plead not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday on the one-count indictment filed Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court in Nevada. Climo, 23, was arrested Aug. 8 and remains in federal custody pending arraignment Wednesday in Las Vegas on a charge of possessing "firearms, specifically destructive devices" found at his home.
The bodies of a Central Florida mother last seen weeks ago and her four children have been found in Georgia, Florida law enforcement officers announced Monday. Casei Jones' body was found after her husband, Michael Wayne Jones Jr., 38, was in a traffic accident in Brantley County, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook. He told Brantley County authorities that Casei Jones' body was in the van he was driving, Sheriff Billy Woods said.
In a Medium post published Monday, the Massachusetts Democrat proposes closing the loophole that “allows federal judges to escape investigations for misconduct by stepping down from their post. In outlining the idea, Warren specifically references a case involving Trump's sister Maryanne Trump-Barry, whose retirement brought an abrupt end to an investigation into her role in various tax schemes of the family and potential fraud therein. Under my plan, investigations will remain open until their findings are made public and any penalties for misconduct are issued,” Warren writes in the post.
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.
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.
Just over 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan nominated a former Yale law professor, then serving as a D.C. Circuit judge, to the Supreme Court. The nominee's constructive criticism of the mainstream of legal analysis was its failure to show allegiance to the actual language of the Constitution. “I don't think the Constitution is studied almost anywhere, including law schools.
The U.S. plans to return its ambassador to Belarus, ending a freeze in ties with the authoritarian former Soviet republic which had lasted for more than 11 years. We are happy to see that chapter closing, and we are closing it because of the concrete steps in the direction that you, Mr. President, had taken to improve this relationship,” David Hale, Undersecretary of State for political affairs, told Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting in Minsk. The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Minsk in 2008 as relations between the two countries spiralled lower over Washington's allegations of human-rights abuses by the Belarusian government.