• Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise
    World
    Bloomberg

    Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise

    The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, an official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, as saying that Iran had increased its output of 3.67% enriched uranium as of Monday, and that the United Nations nuclear watchdog had been informed. Crucially, Iran hasn’t increased the level to which it is enriching beyond the agreed limit. Tehran has already announced it stopped complying with a 300-kilogram cap on the storage of enriched uranium and heavy water imposed by the multilateral accord, and said it would abandon limits on uranium enrichment unless Europe throws it an economic lifeline within 60 days, setting an ultimatum for the survival of the landmark agreement.

  • US Border agent accused of hitting migrant with truck after using racial slurs
    News
    The Independent

    US Border agent accused of hitting migrant with truck after using racial slurs

    A US Border Patrol agent charged with allegedly hitting a migrant with a truck had a long history of making hostile statements about border-crossing immigrants, say prosecutors.Matthew Bowen, 39, allegedly texted another border agent with the message: “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!” He also said migrants were “disgusting subhuman s*** unworthy of being kindling for a fire” in November 2017. Less than two weeks later, prosecutors say, Mr Bowen hit one such migrant with his truck, coming inches away from running the man over – and then lied about the incident in a report.The texts came to light in filings last month in the US District Court in Tucson, Arizona, as Mr Bowen's lawyer fought to suppress a flurry of messages in which the agent used slurs and made light of violence by agents.But Mr Bowen's views are hardly extraordinary, argued his lawyer, Sean Chapman. Rather, his sentiments are “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector,” Mr Chapman wrote, adding that such messages are “part of the agency's culture.”The Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol did not immediately return a message about the texts, though it told The Arizona Daily Star that agents are “held to the highest standards, and any action of misconduct within our ranks will not be tolerated”.The inflammatory messages are the latest public relations challenge for an overwhelmed agency facing a massive wave of asylum seekers at the southern border and regular allegations from immigration and civil rights groups of abusive behaviour towards migrants.In the dozens of texts introduced in a 4 April filing, Mr Bowen uses racial slurs and insults like “s*** bags” to refer to migrants. He often used the word “tonk”, which some agents claim is an innocent acronym, the The Arizona Republic reported.Others say is a slur derived from the sound of hitting an immigrant on the head with a flashlight.In one text exchange, an unnamed agent asked Mr Bowen, “Did you gas hiscorpse (sic) or just use regular peanut oil while tazing?? For a frying effect.”Mr Bowen responded: “Guats are best made crispy, with olive oil from their native pais”, using the Spanish word for “country” that doubles as an insult towards Guatemalans, the Daily Star reported. In another text, he refers to “mindless murdering savages”.The criminal case against Mr Bowen dates to the morning of 3 December 2017, when a US Customs and Border Protection camera operator spotted a 23-year-old Guatemalan man named Antolin Lopez Aguilar, who was suspected of jumping the border fence in Nogales, according to a federal indictment.As Lopez sprinted to a nearby gas station, Mr Bowen and two other agents responded in separate vehicles.While one agent hopped out and found Lopez hiding under a semi-truck, Mr Bowen circled the station in his Border Patrol-issued Ford F-150.When the migrant tried to run back towards the border, prosecutors say, Mr Bowen “accelerated aggressively” in his truck. He hit Mr Lopez twice from behind, knocking him down the second time and screeching to a stop “within inches” of running him over, according to the police. Mr Lopez was treated at the hospital for abrasions and later sentenced to 30 days in federal prison for illegally entering the country, the Republic reported.Prosecutors say that Mr Bowen later filed a false report about what happened that morning. In text messages included in the court filing, he repeatedly complains about facing scrutiny over the incident.“I bumped a guat with a truck while driving about 7 mph,” he wrote in one text. “No injury at all and tonk refused medical.”In another, he wrote that “If I had to tackle the tonk I would still be doing memos”, adding: “I wonder how they expect us to apprehend wild... runners who don't want to be apprehended?"One day after the incident, he texted with Agent Lonnie Swartz, who would later be acquitted of manslaughter for firing 10 rounds into an unarmed Mexican teen as agents were being hit by rocks thrown across the border. He texted Mr Swartz that the incident was “just a little push with a ford bumper”.Prosecutors have argued in court filings that the texts show that Bowen had “great disdain” for the migrants he policed at the border, the Daily Star reported. But Chapman countered that such language was so common among border agents that they say “nothing about Mr. Bowen's mind-set”.Mr Bowen has pleaded not guilty to charges of deprivation of rights under colour of law and falsification of records in a federal investigation. Mr Chapman did not immediately respond to a message. Mr Bowen, who was hired in 2008, was put on indefinite leave without pay after his charges were filed in May 2018. His trial is scheduled to start on 13 August. The Washington Post

  • World
    Reuters

    U.S. warship sails in disputed South China Sea amid trade tensions

    The U.S. military said one of its warships sailed near the disputed Scarborough Shoal claimed by China in the South China Sea on Sunday, a move likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense ties between the world's two biggest economies. The U.S. destroyer Preble carried out the operation, a U.S. military spokesman told Reuters. "Preble sailed within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Reef in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law," said Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet.

  • Here's why pummeling tornadoes are coming for the Southern Plains
    News
    Mashable

    Here's why pummeling tornadoes are coming for the Southern Plains

    It's an ominous Monday in the southern Great Plains. Entire school districts are closed as storm scientists expect "high risk" weather and severe thunderstroms, with conditions ripe for powerful tornadoes throughout much of the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. A confluence of robust elements have combined forces to produce an exceptionally dangerous day."It's an environment that we don't see very often," said Bill Bunting, operations chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center. "Maybe once or twice in the career of a forecaster." Here is a zoomed in image of our High Risk for 20 May 2019 for use in social media. pic.twitter.com/TZd9Fr3atW -- NWS SPC (@NWSSPC) May 20, 2019Bunting is stationed in Norman, Oklahoma, the dead center of a region that is likely to experience the formations of a dangerous type of thunderstorm with rotating updrafts, called a supercell. These storms can produce tornadoes. "One of our forecasters said last night that it's the first time he lost sleep thinking of the day ahead," said Bunting. The (unfortunately) right conditions It's severe weather season in the Great Plains, but environmental conditions have really ramped up, much more than usual. "What's unique about today is the expected magnitude [of storms]," noted Bunting. There's a profound amount of instability in the atmosphere, from the ground to around a mile up in the sky, explained Brian Tang, an atmospheric scientist at the University at Albany. This is driven by strong winds blowing from different directions at different heights, notably a parade of potent storms blowing in from the Rockies after deluging Northern California with rare, late-season rain. These storms have now met powerful winds blowing in from the southeast. Dawn breaks on the Southern Plains and GOES gives us a look at the wind shear part of the severe weather forecast. Low clouds streaming up from the SE are being overtaken by mid-to-high clouds coming from the SW. This turning of the winds helps storms that form start to rotate. pic.twitter.com/qW0NYbR7A0 -- National Weather Service (@NWS) May 20, 2019But this wind-driven atmospheric chaos (technically called "wind shear") is not acting alone. There's an unusual amount humidity in the air. Thunderstorms feed off this moisture, growing more powerful. "There's a ton of energy that can be harnessed that can generate these really intense thunderstorms," said Tang.And once there are intense supercell thunderstorms circulating through an area, there's greater potential for these storm systems to start spinning, thereby spawning violent tornadoes. "There are going to be several thunderstorms that do reach an intensity that become tornadoes," said Bunting.  SEE ALSO: Fearless TV weather forecasters air the planet's soaring carbon levels"It's like having an All-Star baseball team. It's like having a bunch of sluggers," said Tang. "The chances of hitting a home run are that much higher." "This is not your normal severe weather day in Oklahoma," the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Norman, Oklahoma said Monday morning.  Exactly what causes a particular supercell thunderstorm to form a tornado, however, is still an area of deep and ongoing investigation. Midday SPC update added a 45 percent tornado risk for a big chunk of western and central OK. A particularly dangerous situation tornado watch coming for that area. https://t.co/RO92Y2cfmG pic.twitter.com/N2h0Ipq9is -- U.S. Tornadoes (@USTornadoes) May 20, 2019NOAA's Bunting noted that Monday's weather outbreak comes on the exact anniversary of an EF-5 tornado (the most severe tornado rating) that killed 24 Oklahomans in 2013 while causing billions in damage. Today's violent thunderstorms won't just bring the likelihood of wide tornadoes in heavily-populated areas, but the risk of deadly floods. These storms dump deluges of water. "More people traditionally die from floods than tornadoes," the Norman NWS said Monday.Meteorologists and storm scientists have prepared for the worst. "It's really created a palpable sense of anxiety and just wanting to get done with today," said Bunting."There's definitely certain days when there's a sense of dread," added Tang, noting that the meteorological community reacted similarly to the approaching Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 storm, which is the highest hurricane rating. "Today has that same feel," said Tang. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?

  • At least 19 tornadoes touched down from Texas to Oklahoma, causing widespread damage
    U.S.
    WPVI – Philadelphia

    At least 19 tornadoes touched down from Texas to Oklahoma, causing widespread damage

    The biggest threat appeared to be flash flooding from torrential rains that accompanied the storms, forecasters said.

  • 9 Cool Things We Learned Driving the Spectre Land Rover Defender
    Business
    Popular Mechanics

    9 Cool Things We Learned Driving the Spectre Land Rover Defender

    Created by the custom shop Himalaya, this Defender is a Land Rover like you've never seen before-complete with a Chevy V8 and a Jeep steering box.From Popular Mechanics

  • World
    Associated Press

    11 people killed in reported gun attack at bar in Brazil

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — 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.

  • Ukraine's Zelenskiy calls early elections as he disbands parliament in first act as president
    World
    The Telegraph

    Ukraine's Zelenskiy calls early elections as he disbands parliament in first act as president

    Ukraine’s new president dismissed parliament and called a snap election just moments after being sworn into office on Monday. Volodymyr Zelensky, whose Servant of People party has no representation in the current parliament, also used his inaugural address to promise an end to the war in the east of the country and asked MPs to fire several key officials including the current defence minister.  “All my life I tried to do all I could so that Ukrainians laughed,” Mr Zelensky, a television comedian, told MPs during a ceremony in the parliament in Kiev. “Now I will do all I can so that Ukrainians at least do not cry any more.” Mr Zelensky, 41, won the presidency last month with a landslide run-off victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who had been in power since 2014. He had no prior political experience, and he was mostly known for his role in a television comedy ‘Servant of the People’, in which he played a school teacher who accidentally becomes president of Ukraine after ranting against corruption. He named his party after the TV show.  Zelenskiy greets his supporters as he walks to take the oath of office ahead of his inauguration ceremony Credit:  REUTERS Critics say he has given few specific details about his plans for presidency and have questioned his links to Ihor Kolomoisky, a billionaire oligarch who had fallen out with the previous government.   On Monday he dispensed with the traditional motorcade and arrived at the parliament building on foot, he stopping to pose for selfies and high-five his cheering supporters who gathered outside. Inside, he delivered a punchy and at times confrontational speech in which he said his priority would be ending the war, which has claimed at least 13,000 lives since Russia sent troops across the border to support a separatist uprising in 2014.  "I'm ready to do everything so that our heroes don't die there," he said. "I'm ready to lose my popularly and, if necessary, I'm ready to lose my post so that we have peace," he said. He said he would begin by demanding Russia release Ukrainian prisoners.  When one MP heckled for switching from Ukrainian into Russian in an appeal to residents in the east, he snapped back: "Thank you for continuing to divide our people". He also spoke against a deep-rooted culture of corruption among the government officials, saying politicians themselves had created “the opportunities to bribe, steal and pluck the resources.” He suggested the MPs should lift their own right to immunity from prosecution and demanding the dismissal the defense minister, the head of the Security Service, and the prosecutor general.  The next elections for the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s single-house parliament, were scheduled to take place in October. Mr Zelensky said they would be brought forward to July.  The move appears designed to help his party win a majority of seats before the surge of popularity on which he rode to office dissipates.  In a symbolic move Volodymyr Groysman, the current prime minister, said he would resign Wednesday, inviting Mr Zelenskiy to take full responsibility for the country. If parliament accepts his resignation, he will remain as a caretaker prime minister until the snap election.  Russian media reported that no officials were invited to the ceremony from Moscow. The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin would not congratulate Mr Zelensky on his electoral victory until there was progress in ending the war.

  • 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Restoration Is A Work Of Art
    Lifestyle
    motorious

    1967 Ford Mustang Fastback Restoration Is A Work Of Art

    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.

  • Alabama man in custody after allegedly killing police officer, injuring two others
    News
    AOL.com

    Alabama man in custody after allegedly killing police officer, injuring two others

    Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, was arrested Monday following a massive manhunt that involved multiple police agencies and aircrafts.

  • Austin Eubanks: Columbine shooting survivor found dead in Colorado, aged 37
    News
    The Independent

    Austin Eubanks: Columbine shooting survivor found dead in Colorado, aged 37

    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

  • Special Report: Hobbling Huawei - Inside the U.S. war on China's tech giant
    World
    Reuters

    Special Report: Hobbling Huawei - Inside the U.S. war on China's tech giant

    In early 2018, in a complex of low-rise buildings in the Australian capital, a team of government hackers was engaging in a destructive digital war game. The operatives – agents of the Australian Signals Directorate, the nation's top-secret eavesdropping agency – had been given a challenge. With all the offensive cyber tools at their disposal, what harm could they inflict if they had access to equipment installed in the 5G network, the next-generation mobile communications technology, of a target nation?

  • Mountain region of Slovakia named best destination in Europe 2019: Lonely Planet
    Lifestyle
    AFP Relax News

    Mountain region of Slovakia named best destination in Europe 2019: Lonely Planet

    A wild, rugged, mountainous region of Slovakia dotted with plunging waterfalls and lakes and hiking trails has been named the top European destination of 2019 by the travel experts at Lonely Planet. 

  • Tonight make salmon that flakes apart in buttery chunks
    Lifestyle
    Associated Press

    Tonight make salmon that flakes apart in buttery chunks

    As we learned with recipes for beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, cooking en cocotte_cooking a protein in a covered pot with little to no liquid_concentrates flavor.

  • Blast injures South African tourists near Egypt's Giza pyramids
    World
    Reuters

    Blast injures South African tourists near Egypt's Giza pyramids

    An explosion targeting a tourist bus injured at least 12 people on Sunday, mostly South African tourists, near a new museum being built close to the Giza pyramids in Egypt, two security sources said. A third security source said the bus was carrying 25 South African tourists from the airport to the pyramids area, and that four Egyptians in a nearby car were also injured by broken glass. Security and judicial sources said a rudimentary device containing nails and pieces of metal had been detonated remotely on the perimeter of the Grand Egyptian Museum, not far from the site of a roadside blast that hit another tourist bus in December.

  • Is Iran Testing Trump With Little Attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf?
    World
    The Daily Beast

    Is Iran Testing Trump With Little Attacks in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf?

    Anne SpeckhardBAGHDAD—The sound of an explosion echoed through the Green Zone on Sunday night around 9:00 p.m., a reminder that this most secure part of the Iraqi capital is not, in fact, all that safe. The projectile appears to have been aimed at the United States embassy and, after the blast, embassy sirens went off, accompanied by repeated warnings blaring on loudspeakers instructing everyone to take immediate cover. Within the hour the missile was reported to have been fired from the Amana bridge in Baghdad, missing its likely intended target and landing in an empty field near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with no casualties reported.What the Last War With Iran Tells Us About the Next OneBut for a brief and highly fraught moment alarms were going off in Washington, as well, where the much-publicized threat of Iranian “proxy” attacks on U.S. interests and personnel, and the American response positioning bombers and aircraft carriers, have conjured the specter of a new Middle Eastern war. One breaking news service breathlessly reported National Security Adviser John Bolton “just seen arriving at the White House amid rocket attack possibly aimed at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.”President Trump, meanwhile, tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” It is not clear if he was responding to the rocket, a Katyusha that might have been fired by any number of players in Iraq, or to threatening rhetoric by some Iranian officials, or both.In any case, non-essential American personnel at the embassy had already been ordered to depart days earlier, many moving to posts in nearby countries to continue their work, and the U.S. embassy was already expecting a possible attack.Our team of researchers for the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) landed in Baghdad on May 14, 2019, the day before the U.S. State Department issued the security alert to the “non-essentials” in Baghdad and Erbil, recommending they “depart Iraq by commercial transportation as soon as possible, avoid U.S. facilities within Iraq, monitor local media for updates, review personal security plans, remain aware of surroundings.” An earlier security alert on May 12 advised all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant. It recommended not traveling to Iraq, avoiding places known as U.S. citizen gathering points, keeping a low profile and, once again, being aware of your surroundings.For those of use who have been visiting Iraq since 2006, this seems at once familiar and strange. Is the threat greater now than it was when the U.S. embassy was housed in Saddam’s former palace, and frequently underwent mortar fire? In those days none of the 5,000 embassy personnel were ordered home. Despite President Trump saying he does not want war, does this action signal that something more than just mortar fire is about to come? A former senior diplomat who served in Iraq following the 2003 invasion warned that if the U.S. or Israel had decided to launch air strikes on Iran, emptying the embassy might be a smart move.  Iran could strike back at a close and convenient target—the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad—and its ballistic missiles would be much more dangerous and difficult to withstand than mortars or Katyushas.According to a senior official in the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Services (CTS) the rocket Sunday night was launched by the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah. If it came on Iranian orders, the lone, ineffectual projectile may have been intended as a pin-prick provocation testing reactions without triggering full-fledged war. Other recent incidents—a drone attack on a Saudi pipeline; minor explosions on Saudi and other oil tankers—could fall into the same category.Iraq, liberated from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein by the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, has come under increasing Iranian influence ever since, and the Iran-backed militias played a key role fighting the so-called Islamic State after the national army virtually imploded in 2014. They have since become a major element in the Iraqi defense apparatus, even though some 5,000 U.S. military personnel are on the ground training and working with other elements of the Iraqi military.The threat inside Iraq to U.S. personnel was revealed in part to Iraqi leaders during Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s surprise visit here on May 7. The secretary is reported to have told Iraqi officials that U.S. intelligence detected that Iranian-backed militias moving missiles near bases housing American forces. Reuters reported that, according to a senior Iraqi official privy to the substance of the talks, Pompeo asked the Iraqi government to rein in the Shiite militias. Pompeo also expressed U.S. concern about these militias’ increased presence and influence in Iraq and warned that the U.S. would use force to tackle the security threats if necessary, without first consulting Baghdad. Iraq's pro-Iranian military factions have long been a concern for U.S. personnel deployed in the region. Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, a radical Shiite militia in Iraq has, for example, long been cooperating with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a group that was just declared by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization. The newly appointed IRGC leader, Hossein Salami, replied that his people are proud to be called terrorists by President Trump while also threatening the U.S. and Israel.The Iraqi militia, Nujaba, also was added by the U.S. State Department to the U.S. list of global terrorist organizations on March 7 this year and its leader Akram Kaabi was sanctioned. Iran’s Qasem Soleimani is the Mastermind Preparing Proxy Armies for War With AmericaNujaba has been demanding that U.S. troops leave Iraq for quite some time. On May 12, Nujaba’s leaders proclaimed, "Confrontation with the United States will only stop once it is eliminated from the region, along with the Zionist entity,” while also stating that Iraqi resistance factions are ready to target U.S. interests in Iraq.The Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, which our source says was behind the Sunday night rocket attack, warned in February 2018 that it might engage in armed confrontation with US forces in Iraq at any moment. According to one Iraqi source, the Kataib Hezbollah is one of the militias that recently placed missiles near U.S. military bases. The New York Times reported the the U.S. government was picking up an increase in conversations between the Revolutionary Guards and foreign militias discussing attacks on American troops and diplomats in Iraq.The New York Times also reported that American officials cited intelligence from aerial photographs of fully assembled missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf as cause for the U.S. administration to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran. This created concerns that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps would fire them at United States naval ships or American commercial ships.An Iraqi source confirmed on May 18 that ExxonMobil was evacuating its personnel of 30 to 50 employees from Basra, Iraq, and that the Bahrain embassy had also evacuated its employees from both Iraq and Iran. And U.S. embassies disseminated a warning from the Federal Aviation Agency that U.S. commercial airliners flying over the waters of the Persian Gulf risk being misidentified and by implication shot down amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran.A potential conflict much larger than Iranian-backed Shia militias throwing mortar fire at the now fortress-like U.S. Embassy appears to be brewing amid credible intelligence coupled with heated anti-American rhetoric. Yet, security threats to U.S. personnel serving in Iraq are nothing out of the ordinary and date back to the 2003 U.S. invasion. At the height of its activities, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had thousands of personnel, including contractors. They regularly suffered all sorts of threats from IED attacks when they ventured out on the road, RPG fire when they used helicopters, snipers when they were out in public view and intermittent but regular mortar fire that rained down on the temporary trailers that served as housing near the old Saddam palace where they worked. One mortar penetrated a window to the bathroom of the Deputy U.S. Ambassador’s office, situated inside the palace, destroying the brick wall around the window. It was later bricked up completely. The walkway from the trailers to the palace was mortared so often and so hard that it was nicknamed “death alley” by embassy personnel serving there.While embassy personnel received danger and hardship pay, none were ordered home during those years, and danger was considered a part of the assignment. IED’s and mortars occasionally killed embassy personnel, but that did not stop the mission. At present, the U.S. Embassy Baghdad is housed in a complex on a closed street that only badged officials can enter. The grounds are heavily walled walled and difficult to enter and inside, the buildings appear strongly built to withstand assault. In Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, which also fell under the non-essential personnel evacuation order, a restaurant nearby was attacked by a car bomb in 2015, killing three non-Americans. But, while less robustly built, the consulate also is behind a concrete walled-off security space.U.S. Embassy diplomatic personnel posted in both Baghdad and Erbil infrequently leave their fortresses and when they do travel around Iraq, their security requirements require using armored cars, wearing bullet proof vests and flack helmets and traveling with armed security guards, sometimes with chase and lead cars in a convoy.Likewise, U.S. Embassy Baghdad and the consulate in Erbil are not family postings—diplomatic personnel serve for one or two years, leaving their family members behind. The new embassy building, not far from the old one, was planned during the time of frequent attacks and was undoubtedly built to withstand mortar storms. Long and short-range ballistic missiles however constitute a whole different threat and it’s not publicly known if the new embassy has bomb-hardened resistant bunkers to protect embassy personnel.Whether U.S. embassy non-essential personnel will return to post anytime soon remains to be seen, and given the dangers such personnel have faced in the past and the fortress in which they currently serve, why they were really ordered home is also still an unanswered question. With ships coming to the region and troops readying for potential travel, serious troubles may well be on the horizon.While the saber rattling on both sides continues, Baghdad has also made clear that it doesn’t want to become the battlefield.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • News
    Associated Press

    The Latest: Capital murder charge filed in police shooting

    AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on shootings of police officers in Auburn, Alabama (all times local):

  • Google and Android system start to cut ties with Huawei
    Business
    AFP

    Google and Android system start to cut ties with Huawei

    US internet giant Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world's smartphones, said it was beginning to cut ties with China's Huawei, which Washington considers a national security threat. The move could have dramatic implications for Huawei smartphone users, as the telecoms giant will no longer have access to Google's proprietary services -- which include the Gmail and Google Maps apps -- a source close to the matter told AFP. Reports also emerged Monday that several US chipmakers providing vital hardware for Huawei's smartphones have stopped supplying the Chinese firm.

  • Business
    Reuters

    UPDATE 3-Ford Motor Co to cut 10% of white-collar jobs as part of global restructuring

    Ford Motor Co said on Monday it will eliminate about 10% of its global salaried workforce, cutting about 7,000 jobs by the end of August as part of its larger restructuring in a move that will save the No. 2 automaker $600 million annually. Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said in an email to employees that the cuts include both voluntary buyouts and layoffs, and a spokesman added it freezes open positions as well. "To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-changing future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making, focus on the most valuable work and cut costs," Hackett said in the email.