Attacks on two sites at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry shut down more than 5% of global supply, sent oil prices as much as 20% higher and prompted the United States to blame Iran despite Tehran's denials. Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group, which is battling a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the attacks on Saturday on sites run by state-owned Saudi Aramco. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ruled out Yemeni involvement and accused Iran of leading the attacks.
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.
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.
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 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."
“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.
Newly revealed documents show that federal prosecutors under the guidance of US attorney Alex Acosta told the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office that Jeffrey Epstein was not eligible for work release. The Daily Mail reported that a December 2008 letter and other materials from then-US Attorney Alex Acosta's office arguing against Epstein's work release cited the timing of Epstein's registering as a sex offender and other administrative functions as the reason for the arrangement. Acosta's office ultimately says the decision was made by the Corrections Division of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office.
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.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said it looked as if Iran - which has a long history of friction with neighbor Saudi Arabia - was behind the attacks. But in a sign that U.S. allies remain unconvinced, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he was unsure if anyone had any evidence to say whether drones "came from one place or another." Saudi Arabia sought to reassure markets after the attack on Saturday halved oil output, saying on Tuesday that full production would be restored by month's end.
The Taliban promised Washington during months of negotiations that the United States would never again be attacked from Afghan soil. Such a pledge would have included al-Qaida, which planned the 9/11 attacks from inside Afghanistan. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the Taliban agreed to cut ties with al-Qaida as part of peace negotiations, which President Donald Trump abruptly called off last week.
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”.
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.
Grande-Synthe (France) (AFP) - French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard. The mayor of Grande-Synthe in December 2018 opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold. Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with around 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the crammed gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach Britain, had been sheltering.
The fatal shooting of three teens by a Georgia homeowner this week could be a "stand your ground" case, the Rockdale County Sheriff says. The teens, ages 15 and 16, died Monday following an early morning exchange of gunfire with a resident, Sheriff Eric Levett said. "It could be a 'stand your ground' type case, based on the preliminary (information) that we have learned so far," Levett said at a press conference.
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.
The attacks on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant and Khurais oil field this weekend exploited weaknesses in Saudi defenses that were, to a certain extent, known to exist months ago. Prior to the most recent attacks, Saudi Arabia experienced multiple drone attacks on airports, water facilities, and oil pipelines. "The recent events show that we are exposed in terms of our defense," a Saudi official told the Wall Street Journal in June as experts warned that critical infrastructure was vulnerable.
President Donald Trump rarely passes up the chance to throw a sharp elbow at left-leaning California, but he showed Tuesday he's more than happy to cash in there with a lunch-dinner-breakfast-lunch fundraising blitz expected to scoop up $15 million from wealthy Republicans in two days. "There's not been a president in living history that is as unpopular in the state of California as Trump," said Mike Madrid, a GOP political consultant who is an outspoken Trump critic. With protesters not far away, Trump kicked off his moneymaking Tuesday with a $3 million Bay Area luncheon, to be followed by a $5 million Beverly Hills dinner at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer.
Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that began on Tuesday. An oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness. At one end of the Fed's large boardroom table sit St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who are expected to argue for a steep reduction in borrowing costs to counter low inflation and an inverted Treasury yield curve.
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.
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.
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.
The Vatican's criminal prosecutor is seeking to indict a one-time seminarian accused of sexually abusing younger seminarians who lived inside the Vatican and served as altar boys at papal Masses in St. Peter's Basilica. The Vatican said Tuesday an indictment was also being sought for the former rector of the Vatican's St. Pius X youth seminary, who is accused of aiding and abetting the crime. The scandal at the Holy See's own youth seminary is particularly grave, given that the alleged misconduct occurred inside the Vatican's own walls and was covered up for years until it was exposed by Italian journalists in 2017.