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 US Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez of cooperating with Colombian rebel group FARC to ease the shipment of cocaine into the United States, a Spanish court ruling published Tuesday showed. The accusation was cited in a ruling by Spain's National Court, the country's top criminal court, rejecting a US request to extradite Venezuela's former military intelligence chief, General Hugo Armando Carvajal, on drug trafficking charges. The ruling includes a sworn statement from an agent from a DEA agent that was included as evidence to back the extradition request.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday endorsed the primary challenger of one of the most pro-life Democrats in Congress, Chicago-area congressman Dan Lipinski. The young progressive from New York awarded her first House endorsement of the 2020 elections to Marie Newman, who also enjoys the endorsement of Democratic presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. “Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
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.
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.
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."
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”.
For the nights you need something stronger than a latte. From Delish
A federal judge refused to scrap the controversial plea deal that granted immunity to Jeffrey Epstein and his co-conspirators, seven months after ruling that it had violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra ruled that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami under Alexander Acosta—who later became President Trump's labor secretary—broke the law in 2007 when it devised Epstein's secret sweetheart deal without notifying victims. The ruling was seen as a huge victory for Jane Does 1 and 2, who sued the government in 2008, alleging the deal violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act by keeping them in the dark on the negotiations with Epstein.
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.
This proliferation has taken place despite a years-long air and sea blockade on Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen and years of strikes the coalition say are against weapons depots, drone manufacturing locations and military communications hubs. The Houthis' reach has been getting longer. A new type of Houthi drone appeared in mid-2018 which the U.N. has said can fly up to 1,200-1,500 km (745 to 932 miles) - putting Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai within range.
It doesn't necessarily take the resources of a major nation-state to challenge U.S. Navy warships. Iran can't build a large navy but it does invest in swarms of small missile boats. On Feb. 6, 2017, the low- and slow-flying Warthogs together with Canadian CF-18 Hornets carried out simulated attacks on dozens of boats in Florida's Choctawatchee Bay.
Northern California cops free a woman who says she was being held captive. The bruised and upset woman told police she had been kidnapped four days prior. They began questioning her after they arrested the driver of the vehicle she was a passenger in.