Senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus leaped to former Vice President Joe Biden's defense Wednesday after he touted his bipartisan work with known segregationists as a time of “civility. Progressives pounced on the remarks, and two other White House hopefuls criticized the 76-year-old Democratic presidential poll leader over his comments at a fundraiser Tuesday night. But more than a half-dozen CBC members argued that Biden's remarks were taken out of context and that the former senator's call for decency is needed now more than ever.
A strong earthquake that hit Sichuan province in southern China late Monday night killed 11 people and injured 122, the local government said. The Yibin city government posted the casualty toll on its social media accounts Tuesday morning. Xinhua news agency said rescue efforts were underway in the stricken area.
The United States sought on Wednesday to bolster its case for isolating Iran over its nuclear and regional activities by displaying limpet mine fragments it said came from an oil tanker damaged in an attack last week and saying the ordnance looked Iranian in origin. Separately, a senior U.S. official said U.S. intelligence had confirmed that Iranian vessels had approached the damaged tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, as well as a second one, the Front Altair, prior to explosions that damaged their hulls last week. Iran has denied involvement in explosive strikes on those two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week and on four tankers off the United Arab Emirates on May 12, both near the Strait of Hormuz, a major conduit for global oil supplies.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is standing by China over a collision involving the two nations' boats in the South China Sea, with his spokesman casting doubts on local fishermen's accounts of the incident. In his first public statement about what he described as a “maritime incident,” Duterte said China's side should be heard on the collision that resulted in a Philippine vessel carrying 22 fishermen sinking in disputed waters on June 9. The crew were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat and a Philippine Navy ship.
Kris Osborn Security, And that's just for starters. The Trump administration's plan to sell tanks, missiles and ground-launched air defenses to Taiwan embodies what might be called a strategic paradigm shift to empower the small island's deterrence posture against an often-threatened Chinese invasion. While much existing discussion centers upon strengthening Taiwanese air, sea and undersea defenses, there also appears to be an unequivocal need for major land defenses.
International investigators on Wednesday charged three Russians and a Ukrainian with murder over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the first people to face justice over the tragedy five years ago in which 298 people were killed. The trial of the four men with military and intelligence links will start in the Netherlands in March next year, although they are likely to be tried in absentia as neither Russia nor Ukraine extradites their nationals. Moscow slammed the "absolutely unfounded accusations" over the downing of the plane, which was travelling between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a missile over part of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels.
In something of a ridiculous and yet lighthearted story, a Pakistani politician's press briefing with journalists recently became comedic fodder after a cat filter was applied to the faces of individuals being recorded via Facebook live. The incident, which was attributed to human error, showcased regional minister Shaukat Yousafzai — and others — with cat ears and whiskers while talking about otherwise serious topics. The cat filter was live for a few minutes before someone noticed it and promptly removed it.
A train carrying military munitions derailed in the high desert of northeast Nevada on Wednesday, closing an interstate for about an hour before emergency crews determined there was no danger. Cars carrying the munitions to a Nevada Army depot were not among those that derailed near the community of Wells not far from the Utah-Nevada state line, officials said. Nine flat cars, two tankers and three box cars on the 22-car train derailed at about 10 a.m., and a plume of white aluminum oxide was released, the Nevada Highway Patrol said.
CLEVELAND, Tenn. A Cracker Barrel in Cleveland, Tennessee, refused to host Knox County Sheriff's Office Detective Grayson Fritts and his church group, citing the restaurant chain's zero-tolerance policy for "discriminatory treatment or harassment of any sort." Fritts and his independent Baptist church in Knoxville had planned a meeting at the Cracker Barrel on June 29.
The Kentucky Senator spoke to reporters Tuesday on the eve of the House Judiciary hearing, saying he didn't think “reparations for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible, is a good idea.” He added that the U.S. has tried to deal with its “original sin” of slavery by fighting the Civil War, passing civil rights legislation and electing its first African American President, Barack Obama. “We're always a work in progress in this country, but no one currently alive was responsible for that,” McConnell said. Coates, a former national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the 2014 cover article “A Case for Reparations,” used his five-minute opening statement at the House hearing to strongly disagree.
The murder of a pharmacist who was raped and strangled in her home in a South Dakota city more than half a century ago has been solved with the use of DNA technology and genealogy databases, police said. Investigators believe Eugene Carroll Field killed 60-year-old Gwen Miller in 1968 when he was a 25-year-old living in Rapid City, Detective Wayne Keefe said at a news conference Monday. It is "a little surreal" to finally identify the killer after 51 years and up to 5,000 hours of work, Keefe said.
Largely thanks to its new platform, the new Explorer drives far better and has a more pleasant interior. From Car and Driver
The dilemma emerged again as the administration ordered another 1,000 troops to the region on Monday in response to what Trump officials say was Iran's role in the latest strikes. The Tehran government has rejected those accusations. With the rhetoric on both the American and Iranian sides rising, the relatively small deployment announced Monday appears calibrated to show the U.S. will push back on what it sees as Iran's bad behavior without changing the balance of American power in the region.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised on Tuesday a U.S.-led conference on the Palestinian economy in Bahrain, and a source said a former Israeli general would be among the participants. Netanyahu, echoing remarks on Sunday by his foreign minister, said Israelis would take part in the June 25-26 gathering, but did not identify them. The White House decided against including the Israeli government in the June 25-26 event in Manama after the Palestinians boycotted it, making do instead with inviting a small Israeli business delegation.
Mark Episkopos Security, A stealth tragedy Over the prior decade, Russia's foray into fifth-generation jet fighter development has become synonymous with the upcoming Su-57. But the Su-57 was only Russia's second attempt at developing a fifth-generation aircraft, preceded by several decades with an altogether different project. This is the story of the ill-fated MiG 1.44.
Boeing has a serious problem on its hands. After a pair of fatal crashes that claimed hundreds of lives, the company's 737 Max jetliner has been seriously tarnished. Nobody really wants to fly on the planes, even if Boeing can figure out how to keep them from killing people, and that means the hundreds of planes sitting around in storage right now may have a tough road ahead.
The Latest on the allegations of groping made against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (all times local): 3:45 p.m. The Indiana attorney general's office says it will vigorously defend him against a federal lawsuit by four women who say he drunkenly groped them during a party last year. The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges sexual harassment by Republican state Attorney General Curtis Hill on a state lawmaker and three legislative staffers in March 2018 at an Indianapolis bar.
A masked gunman who traded gunfire with police outside a federal courthouse in Dallas is a 22-year-old recent college graduate who served 19 months in the U.S. Army; Casey Stegall reports.
U.S. allies in the Middle East have held back from a full-throated endorsement of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claim that it is “unmistakable” Iran perpetrated a June 13 attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Despite a grainy video that purports to show Iranian military personnel removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of one of the two ships attacked, allies in the region and elsewhere remain unconvinced by U.S. claims of Iranian culpability. The prospect of military confrontation appears to have risen again after Iran, which denies responsibility for the tanker attack, announced on Monday that it would breach the limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium set under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that the U.S. pulled out of last year—despite U.N. inspectors determining Iran had been abiding by its terms.
A man fatally shot in a Southern California Costco store was mentally ill and off his medication when he pushed or slapped an off-duty police officer who opened fire and killed the man and critically wounded the man's parents, the lawyer for the man's family said Tuesday. Attorney Dale Galipo said he didn't know if there was any exchange between the officer and Kenneth French before the violence at the store in Corona, east of Los Angeles. Corona police have said French "attacked" the officer "without provocation" but Galipo said that overstated what French did.
A far-right university student who called Prince Harry a race traitor and created an image of him with a pistol to his head was on Tuesday jailed in Britain for more than four years. Michal Szewczuk, 19, posted the image, which also featured a blood-splattered swastika, on microblogging platform Gab in August last year, months after the prince married mixed-race actress Meghan Markle. Szewczuk, who was jailed for four years and three months, pleaded guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism and five counts of possession of terrorist material, including the White Resistance Manual and an Al-Qaeda manual.
President Trump officially “kicked off” his 2020 re-election campaign in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday night by telling a crowd of riled up supporters that Democrats are hell-bent on “destroying” them. The Democrats don't care about Russia,” the president growled. They only care about their own political power.
The Department of Defense announced Monday evening that 1,000 U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East in response to last week's attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, attacks the United States says Iran conducted. "The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said in a statement. The troops were authorized "for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East," Shanahan also said.
The 19-year-old pregnant migrant wades towards the US shore, deep enough in the Rio Grande for waves to splash against her waist. As the boat carries them on the final leg of their journey to the United States from Honduras, the young woman waves back to a group on Mexico's riverbank cheering her rescue. The day before, border-patrol agents at the Eagle Pass river crossing in South Texas had found the body of a man too decomposed to be easily identified.
Lexus's smaller body-on-frame SUV gets some extremely minor styling and safety updates. From Car and Driver