The HUD secretary faced a tough hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.
Patrick Shanahan credits US show of forceRemarks appear to be a sign tension is easing This handout picture released by the US navy shows an F/A-18E Super Hornet landing on the flight deck of the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Gulf. Photograph: MC3 Jeff Sherman/AFP/Getty Images The acting US defence secretary has claimed that the alleged threat from Iran has receded as the result of an American show of force in the Middle East. “We’ve put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans,” Patrick Shanahan told reporters before briefing Congress on the situation in the Persian Gulf and the military deployments that the US said were a response to a danger of imminent attack. The arrival of an aircraft carrier and its accompanying ships was recently accelerated, and B-52 bombers were sent to Qatar. Tensions increased with mysterious sabotage attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, and drone strikes on Saudi oil installations, claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Nerves in the region were put even more on edge on Sunday by Donald Trump’s tweeted threat that any conflict with the US would mean “the official end of Iran”. The remarks from Shanahan appeared to be a sign that tensions were easing. Asked what he meant by saying that the threat was “on hold”, the acting defence secretary said: “There haven’t been any attacks on Americans. I would consider that a hold. “That doesn’t mean that the threats that we’ve previously identified have gone away,” Shanahan added. “Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region.” The Trump administration did not make public the intelligence it claimed showed an imminent Iranian threat to the US in the Middle East. An investigation is under way into the sabotage attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last week. The UK and Norway are helping the US with the inquiry, which was expected to report on Monday, but has been delayed for reasons that have not made clear. One of the tankers attacked was Norwegian-flagged. The secretary of state, spoke on Tuesday with the country’s foreign minister, Ine Søreide, about the incident. A European diplomat said: “We are very careful not to make attribution for recent attacks unless we are certain.” Officials briefing the media have also claimed that overhead photography showed missiles being loaded on to dhows on the Iranian coast, and chatter about potential attacks on US facilities and personnel in Iraq. The state department withdrew non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil. It was unclear what Iran’s aim was supposed to be in loading missiles on to dhows. Experts said that it would be very difficult to fire a missile from a small boat and if the intelligence reports were true, it was more likely they were being shipped to the Houthi movement in Yemen, or moved for safekeeping. Later reports suggested that the Iranian military deployments and discussion of targets could have been contingency measures for a possible response in the event of a US attack on Iran, seen as increasingly likely in recent months with the apparent ascendancy of John Bolton, the ultra-hawk national security adviser, in foreign policymaking. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Joseph Dunford, were expected to brief the House and Senate on Iran on Tuesday afternoon. Bolton was not on the list of speakers. “My take is that the Iranians saw an attack coming and they prepared to strike back and that caused alarm in the White House and particularly with the president,” said Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, who now teaches at Georgetown University. “The line sold to Trump by Bolton and Bibi Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman is he could strike Iran, show US dominance, and not risk anything. Iran showed it was preparing to strike back. Trump is smart enough to know that a war would be devastating, and not just for his political interests.” Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, argued that the current defusing of tensions showed that the US response had worked. “The entire point behind America’s military repositioning in the region was to dampen the prospects of escalation,” Taleblu said. “And while it may have worked for now, Washington will need to make sure its message of resolve is similarly interpreted in the future. The Iranians have a habit of continually testing for weaknesses and deficiencies.”
Missouri's Republican governor, Mike Parson, could sign a bill into law as early as this week that prohibits women from seeking an abortion after the eighth week of pregnancy, days after Alabama enacted the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. "We are very concerned that several U.S. states have passed laws severely restricting access to safe abortion for women, including by imposing criminal penalties on the women themselves and on abortion service providers," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told Reuters Television in Geneva.
China’s navy has a new problem: not enough names for its rapidly growing fleet of warships.“China is running out of provincial capitals to name new destroyers, and it might have to turn to other big domestic cities, which reflects the country's rapid naval development in recent years,” according to Chinese newspaper Global Times.The People’s Liberation Army Navy recently named its first Type 055 destroyer the Nanchang, which is the capital city of East China's Jiangxi Province.One of the three other Type 055 destroyers will be named Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, according to Chinese media. That just leaves Nanning and Taipei as the names of provincial capitals for destroyers (Taipei is Taiwan’s capital, though Taiwan has not yet declared independence as a separate nation from China).Which means non-capital cities will have to bequeath their names to Chinese destroyers. The latest destroyer is named Qiqihar, which is a non-capital city in in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. A few ships have been named after major cities, such as the Shenzen, a Type 051 destroyer.“Chinese destroyers and frigates should be named after big and medium Chinese cities, according to the naval vessels naming regulation,” Global Times said. “This means naming of destroyers does not necessarily have to use provincial capitals, as it was a non-binding tradition.”
This immaculate 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback is estimated to sell at British auction for $95K. It’s hard not to whisper Steve McQueen’s name when presented with a Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback, even if it isn't a 1968 model. The American classifieds may provide evidence of eye-watering sums being traded for healthy Fastback specimens, but it’s not always the case in Great Britain.
Three local publications devoted their Sunday editions to essays from women, ranging from fear to grappling with personal beliefs People walk to the Alabama state capitol during the March for Reproductive Freedom against the state’s new abortion law, in Montgomery, Alabama, on 19 May. Photograph: Michael Spooneybarger/Reuters Three major Alabama newspapers devoted their Sunday editions to letters from women across the state, offering an expansive look into the reactions after a nearly all-male state legislature passed the nation’s strictest abortion ban last week. The Alabama Media Group, which operates the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register, filled their Sunday papers with 200 essays from Alabama women of various backgrounds, ages and political leanings. The essays were also available as a package online under the title “It’s time to hear Alabama’s women”. Though the state was “the talk of the nation last week”, wrote Alabama Media Group’s vice-president, Kelly Ann Scott, in an introduction to the series, “missing from many of those conversations were the voices of women from this state”. Scott continued that in less than 24 hours, more than 200 Alabama women wrote in with their perspectives. We asked women across the state to share their experiences and thoughts on what it's like to be a woman in Alabama today. Today, we share their stories with you.It’s time to hear Alabama’s women https://t.co/e3TMlMtJvc pic.twitter.com/uarBG2MENF— AL.com (@aldotcom) May 19, 2019 “They are women who live here, and some who have left,” she said. “Those who have prayed for this very law, and those who now live in fear. Mothers, trying to understand the message this law sends to their daughters and sons. And women who are angry that a majority of men in the state legislature spoke for them.” All 25 Alabama senate votes in favor of the ban, which criminalizes almost all abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest, came from white men (the four women of the state senate voted against). Alabama’s female governor, Kay Ivey, signed the bill into law Wednesday night. Several groups, including the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, have promised to sue, probably tying up the law in court for months. The essays illustrate a range of feeling and frustration over the law’s passage. Some women expressed anger at what they called the hypocrisy of the legislature’s “pro-life” position. “If they really believed every life was precious, they wouldn’t have allowed Alabamians to die at an alarming rate from accidents, childbirth and preventable medical conditions,” wrote Tabitha Isner, who is running for chair of the Alabama Democratic party. Ala Rep. want you to interpret this new abortion law as proof that they will go to any length to save lives...They care about life, but they care about it less than they do their 2nd amendment rights,” from Ala. Democratic Party chair candidate @TabithaK https://t.co/EcDwnyZXnB— Abbey Crain (@AbbeyCrain) May 19, 2019 “This abortion ban puts myself, my friends and future generations in danger. Not to mention any victims of sexual assault or rape,” said Isabel Hope, a teenager in Tuscaloosa. “I don’t feel safe walking alone ever. How am I supposed to feel knowing that if something were to happen, I would have no options?” Others grappled with their personal beliefs and the implications of the ban, which will disproportionately impact low-income and black women. “I am pro-life, yet I still find it problematic to legally force my personal views upon others, particularly when I know economic disenfranchisement and systemic racism await too many black children once they are born,” wrote Idrissa Snider. “These issues plague the quality of life for black children every day in our state. “Pro-life for Black women means our children are granted just as much of an opportunity to thrive and succeed in this country as others — once they are here.I am pro-life, yet I still find it problematic to legally force my personal views upon others...” https://t.co/yJGkPR3g9w— Abbey Crain (@AbbeyCrain) May 19, 2019 One woman, Rachel Hauser, wrote that the ban’s passage compelled her to share the story of her sexual assault for the first time. “If I had become pregnant from that incident, I would have had an abortion,” she said, noting that she was “thankful” to have the option of emergency contraception at the time. In her introduction, Scott said the Alabama Media Group was restricting online comments on the essays to keep their voices “heard instead of debated”. “No one should ignore their voices,” she said.
A gang of gunmen reportedly attacked a bar in the capital of Brazil's northern Pará state Sunday afternoon, and authorities said 11 people were killed.The state security agency confirmed late Sunday only that six women and five men died in the incident in the Guamá neighborhood of the Pará state capital, Belém.The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars.In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belém to reinforce security in the city for 90 days.Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics.Much of Brazil's violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. (AP)See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.
Joe Biden may be leading national polls among Democratic voters, but a new poll shows his dominance doesn’t necessarily extend to Iowa.Mr Biden is matched by Bernie Sanders in the state, a sharp drop from his 11 point lead in a separate poll last month. Both candidates can claim 24 per cent support in the state, which will vote first in the nominating process next year.Mr Biden and Mr Sanders are followed in the new poll by several candidates with significant showings, including Pete Buttigieg (14 per cent), Elizabeth Warren (12 per cent), and Kamala Harris (10 per cent).Reading into the polls just a bit more, Mr Biden has more to worry about than just Mr Sanders, too.Ms Warren stands out as the most liked candidate in the race, with a favourability rating at 78 per cent — the top in the race. She is followed by Mr Sanders, who is the next closest with 71 per cent.“Good news for Elizabeth Warren: her favourability exceeds that of any other candidate in the race and her name recognition is near universal,” said principal pollster Jane Loria in a news release.She continued: “In some states, we see a large spread between the front-runners and the so-called second-tier in the excitement barometer, but in Iowa the candidates are all pretty tightly clustered. When we ask respondents to identify the five candidates they’re most excited about, 54% say Warren, followed by Biden (53%), then Harris (53%), Sanders (49%), and Buttigieg (46%)The terrain looks much better for Mr Biden when looking at the other states that follow close after Iowa, however. In New Hampshire, Mr Biden beats Mr Sanders 36 per cent to 18 per cent. In South Carolina, meanwhile, Mr Biden recently got 46 per cent support compared to Mr Sanders’ 15 per cent.But, any fragility in Iowa could have real consequences for Mr Biden’s third presidential race. The state has an outsized influence on the presidential nominating process, and a loss there would show potentially significant vulnerabilities for the former vice president.The Iowa Starting Line/Change Research Poll was released on Monday, and the Iowa caucuses will be held in January.
A man, believed to be Russian, who sparked a mass evacuation of the Eiffel Tower by scaling the iconic Paris landmark has been admitted to a psychiatric unit, legal sources said Tuesday. The man caused chaos Monday and the closure of the monument to tourists by spending six hours clinging to the outer metal framework of the Eiffel Tower. An investigation has been opened for unauthorised entry into a cultural monument, a judicial source said.
* Paper detailed staff concerns over Trump and Kushner entities * President claims he doesn’t need banks or money from RussiaDonald Trump described the reporting as ‘phony’ and called Deutsche Bank ‘very good and highly professional’. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump sought on Monday to discredit a New York Times report that Deutsche Bank employees flagged concerns over transactions involving legal entities controlled by the president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.The Times said the nature of the transactions was not clear and that the bank ultimately took no action. Some of the transactions involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, some in Russia.Trump claimed he did not “need or want banks” and does not receive money from Russia.Congress and New York state are investigating the relationship between Trump, his family and Deutsche Bank, and demanding documents related to any suspicious activity.Trump has sued in court in an attempt to block House subpoenas for his financial records that were sent to Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the accounting firm Mazars.The Times report said anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.Citing five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, the report said executives at the German-based bank, which has lent billions to Trump and Kushner companies, rejected the advice and the reports were never filed.Earlier this month, the Times obtained tax information which showed his businesses lost more than $1bn from 1985 to 1994. Trump has refused to release more recent tax returns or to comply with House subpoenas for them.Trump rejected and ridiculed that story. In his Monday tweets, he claimed not to need banks as he “made a lot of money and buys everything for cash”.He also said the “fake media … always uses unnamed sources (because their sources don’t even exist)”.But one former Deutsche Bank employee, Tammy McFadden, who reviewed some of the transactions, spoke to the Times on the record. She said she was fired last year after raising concerns about the bank’s practices, the Times said.McFadden said concerns she raised included contacts between Kushner Companies and Russian individuals in summer 2016. Deutsche Bank has been fined for laundering billions of dollars for Russians.In his report on Russian election interference released in redacted form last month, special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that Trump conspired with Moscow. But he did lay out extensive contacts between Trump aides and Russia.On Monday, Trump tweeted: “The new big story is that Trump made a lot of money and buys everything for cash, he doesn’t need banks. But where did he get all of that cash? Could it be Russia? No, I built a great business and don’t need banks, but if I did they would be there.”Trump also called the Times reporting “phony” and called Deutsche Bank “very good and highly professional”.Deutsche Bank denied the report but it contributed to shares falling to a record low. Shares in the German lender were down by 2.8% at the time of writing. The bank was recently forced to abandon merger plans with Commerzbank. It has also struggled to turn around its corporate and investment arms.The Times said the transactions in question, some of which involved Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to the former bank employees.Compliance staff members who reviewed the transactions prepared suspicious activity reports they believed should be sent to a unit of the US treasury that polices financial crimes, according to the newspaper.A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told Reuters “the story is absolute nonsense”.“We have no knowledge of any ‘flagged’ transactions with Deutsche Bank. In fact, we have no operating accounts with Deutsche Bank,” she said.The newspaper said a Kushner Companies spokeswoman called any allegations of relationships involving money laundering “made up and totally false”.
Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, was arrested Monday following a massive manhunt that involved multiple police agencies and aircrafts.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Leading Iraqi Shiite figures warned Monday against attempts to pull their country into a war between the U.S. and Iran, saying it would turn Iraq into a battlefield yet again, just as it is on the path to recovery.
What does America need to save its troubled F-35 stealth fighter?Turkey, that’s what.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently warned that the multinational F-35 program, of which Turkey is a member, would fail if Turkey were excluded. Turkey is facing sanctions, including being dropped from the F-35 program if it goes ahead with purchasing Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which has raised Washington’s fears that F-35 secrets might be leaked to Russia. The U.S. has stopped shipping equipment to Turkey for that nation’s planned purchase of 100 F-35s, while the first two aircraft officially delivered to Turkey are still in the United States.For its part, Ankara is adamant that it has a right to purchase both American stealth fighters and Russian anti-aircraft missiles, despite the fact that the S-400 is one of the most likely Russian weapons to be used against the F-35. “We were surely not going to remain silent against our right to self-defense being disregarded and attempts to hit us where it hurts,” Erdogan said at a Turkish defense trade show. “This is the kind of process that is behind the S-400 agreement we reached with Russia.”“Nowadays, we are being subject to a similar injustice - or rather an imposition - on the F-35s ... Let me be frank: An F-35 project from which Turkey is excluded is bound to collapse completely.”
Agent Matthew Bowen sent the messages in November 2017, two weeks before he is accused of deliberately knocking over a Guatemalan man with his Border Patrol vehicle in Nogales, Arizona, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson. Prosecutors Monica Ryan and Lori Price filed the documents on April 30 with a request to use the messages in court to show Bowen's "state of mind" prior to the incident and his "willful" intent to knock over the migrant on Dec. 3, 2017.
The Department of Defense said Tuesday that potential threats from Iran have been "put on hold" thanks to precautionary measures taken by the U.S.“We have put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans,” Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan said at the Pentagon.The U.S. deployed four B-52 bombers, Patriot air-defense missiles, and the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier-strike group to the Persian Gulf earlier this month amid fears that Iran was transporting short-range ballistic missiles in the region. Shanahan cited “indications of a credible threat by Iranian regime forces” in justifying the move.The State Department last week ordered all non-critical government employees to leave Iraq, saying the tensions with neighboring Iran could endanger Americans in the area. Additionally, a rocket was fired Sunday night which landed less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, and no casualties occurred."There haven't been any attacks on Americans," Shanahan confirmed. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region.""I just hope Iran is listening,” Shanahan added, vowing that any attack by Iran on U.S. assets "will be met obviously with great force."
The Ford Mustang is an American automotive icon known the world over. Ford’s pony car is the four-wheeled embodiment of the American dream. Petty’s Garage is well-known for its work on modern Mustangs, enhancing their performance and producing limited edition special models.
The Cook County Sheriff is asking the Department of Child and Family Services to see if proper protocols were followed in reporting the birth of Marlen Ochoa Lopez's baby.
Ford plans to cut 7,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its global salaried workforce, as part of a reorganization as it revamps its vehicle offerings, the company said Monday. The downsizing will involve some layoffs and reassignments of white-collar staff and should be complete by the end of August, a Ford spokeswoman said. Ford has been phasing out most sedan models in the United States as more consumers have opted for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Trump upped the ante in his trade dispute with China last week, announcing moves to curb Huawei’s business that are starting to have ramifications for other companies around the world. "This is wrong behavior, so there will be a necessary response," Zhang Ming, China’s envoy to the EU, said in an interview in Brussels on Monday.
A man who survived the 1999 Columbine school shooting has died at his home in Colorado.Austin Eubanks, who worked as an advocate for fighting addiction, died overnight in the city of Steamboat Springs, Routt County coroner Robert Ryg said.His cause of death is currently unknown but no foul play is suspected and an autopsy will be carried out on Monday.Mr Eubanks’ family said he had “lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face”.“We thank the recovery community for its support,” they said in a statement.“As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened and request that our privacy is respected at this time.”Mr Eubanks was 17 when two gunmen entered Columbine High School’s library on 20 April 1999 and opened fire. The teenager was hit in the hand and the knee during the shooting, in which 13 people were killed, according to The Denver Channel.At the time the massacre was the deadliest high school shooting in US history.Mr Eubanks said he became addicted to the painkillers prescribed for his injuries in the aftermath of the shooting.He later worked at an addiction treatment centre and travelled across the US, telling his story.“I think that it’s really important that – not as survivors of trauma but survivors of addiction – speak out and they share their story,” he told Denver7 in 2016.“I remember... hitting multiple low points in my life and thinking there was no way out and I just want people to know there is a way out.”“Helping to build a community of support is what meant the most to Austin, and we plan to continue his work,” Mr Eubanks’ family said in a statement.Additional reporting by agencies
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The latest on developments in the Persian Gulf region and elsewhere in the Mideast amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):
It's been a particularly tough week for Margaux Hartline, a volunteer who holds a large umbrella over women going into an Alabama abortion clinic so their faces are unidentifiable to religious activists. Last week, the southeastern US state passed the strictest anti-abortion law in the country, and Hartline says there's been a jump in "harassment" from anti-abortion activists who shout from across the street at women going into the clinic. "They're ramping everything up, and we're very worried that more people are going to show up," said Hartline, 25.
Sweden reopened the rape investigation last week. It was begun in 2010 but dropped in 2017 after Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. "I request the District Court to detain Assange in his absence, on probable cause suspected for rape," Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said in a statement on Monday.
Bernie Sanders appears to be the favorite to secure Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement in the Democratic presidential primaryCongresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez told the Guardian: ‘I’m not close to an endorsement announcement any time soon.’ Photograph: Joshua Roberts/ReutersAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive US congresswoman and social media sensation, has said she would be “hard pressed” to endorse the frontrunner, Joe Biden, in the Democratic presidential primary.The statement is the latest sign of the left’s apathy towards the former vice-president, who has surged ahead of the Senator Bernie Sanders and other rivals in recent polls.Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, appears to be the favourite to secure 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement but she said she was still some way off making a decision.“I’m not close to an endorsement announcement any time soon,” she told the Guardian on Tuesday. “I’m still trying to get a handle on my job. It seems like ages but I’m just five months in and we have quite some time. The debates are in the summer and our first primary election for the entire country isn’t until next year.” Asked if she would consider endorsing Biden, widely seen as a centrist, Ocasio-Cortez replied: “I’d be hard pressed to see that happen, to be honest, in a primary.”Biden, comfortably leading every opinion poll, came under fire last week when Reuters reported he was pursuing a “middle ground” approach to the climate crisis. He later distanced himself from the implication.Ocasio-Cortez criticised politicians seeking “a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives”. Sanders, running second in most polls, tweeted that there was “no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy”.If and when Ocasio-Cortez does endorse a candidate, Sanders probably remains the favourite to secure her support. She was an organiser for his 2016 primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. The pair appeared at a rally in Washington last week to support the Green New Deal climate plan.In a short interview on Tuesday the congresswoman, who has more than 4 million Twitter followers, also reiterated her demand for Donald Trump’s impeachment. “I think that the grounds have been there for quite some time but the case is really getting to a larger point that we haven’t seen before,” she said.Democratic leaders are putting the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, under pressure to move ahead with the process. Ocasio-Cortez added: “I know that the conversation is really changing this week in the caucus and so we’ll see where the speaker lands.”