• Iran's poking at West heightens risks of military missteps
    World
    Associated Press

    Iran's poking at West heightens risks of military missteps

    Rather than tangle with a stronger U.S. military, Iran is poking and prodding its Western antagonists in ways apparently designed to avoid triggering war but that nonetheless seem to heighten the risk of missteps and miscalculation that could lead to an armed conflict with global consequences. The tensions picked up Friday with Iran reporting it had seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf , one day after the U.S. said it destroyed an Iranian drone that had flown within threatening range of an American warship in the Strait of Hormuz. In June the Iranians shot down a U.S. Navy drone in the same area, prompting President Donald Trump to authorize a military strike on Iran, only to call it off at the last moment .

  • 1,700 firefighters battle Portugal wildfires
    World
    AFP

    1,700 firefighters battle Portugal wildfires

    Planes and helicopters joined nearly 2,000 firefighters in central Portugal Sunday to battle huge wildfires in a mountainous region where more than 100 people died in huge blazes in 2017. Some 1,700 firefighters and 400 vehicles were deployed in one of the biggest mobilisations ever seen in the area to fight the blazes in the heavily forested Castelo Branco region, 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of Lisbon, the rescue services said. Around 20 people have been injured in the blaze, including eight firefighters and 12 civilians, according to the interior ministry.

  • Secrets: Everything You Wanted to Know About Israel's Nuclear Weapons
    World
    The National Interest

    Secrets: Everything You Wanted to Know About Israel's Nuclear Weapons

    The Iranian nuclear nonproliferation agreement has been the top foreign policy issue throughout Washington for the past two months.  Approving or disapproving the deal was the first order of business for the U.S. Congress until the very last day of congressional action under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (September 17).  Hours of debate have been conducted on the floors of the House and Senate, both chambers have held roll call votes, and Senate Democrats bonded together to filibuster a motion of disapproval — a resolution that would have prevented President Obama from providing the Iranians sanctions relief. The Obama administration's main selling point for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is based on the theory that forcing Tehran to downgrade its nuclear program will make the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East — the world's most frenetic and violent region even without nuclear weapons— far less urgent.  Yet we should remember that there is in fact a state in the region that already possesses nuclear weapons.

  • Universal Orlando reopens after police respond to report of a gunman in parking garage
    News
    USA TODAY

    Universal Orlando reopens after police respond to report of a gunman in parking garage

    Universal Orlando went under lockdown Saturday night after police received a report of a gunman spotted in a parking garage. Police arrived shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time and, along with Universal security staff, temporarily shut down both of Universal's parking garages to guests while they assessed the area. It was later deemed safe and park activity returned to normal.

  • World
    Reuters

    Japan undecided on response to U.S. plan for Mideast maritime coalition -PM Abe

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday he had not yet decided on how to respond to an expected U.S. request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. "We've started to hear the United States' thinking on this and we want to keep listening carefully," he said on national television as votes were being counted for the upper house election. "At the same time, Japan also has friendly ties with Iran," Abe added.

  • Politics
    Politico

    O'Rourke and de Blasio spar over 'Medicare for All'

    Bill de Blasio blasted Beto O'Rourke on Saturday over the former Texas lawmaker's opposition to “Medicare for All,” accusing his fellow Democratic presidential candidate of engaging in "lazy fear mongering tactics" as the health care policy debate ratchets up. Let's leave the lazy fear mongering tactics to Trump," the mayor of New York tweeted after O'Rourke said getting rid of private health care would force a majority of Americans off their existing insurance. O'Rourke opposes the single-payer health care plan — which would eliminate private insurance — and instead advocates for a plan that preserves employment-based insurance while giving individuals the option to switch to a new Medicare-based program.

  • News
    The Independent

    El Chapo: Mexico president calls life sentence ‘inhumane’ as drug lord moved to supermax prison

    The Mexican president has described Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman's life sentence as “inhumane” after the notorious drug lord was sent to live out his remaining years in a supermax prison in Colorado. Guzman was sentenced to life behind bars in the US plus 30 years after being found guilty of running a murderous criminal enterprise, having already escaped Mexican prisons twice. In his home country, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador referred to sentences like the one handed to Guzman to be served in a “hostile jail” as "hard” and “inhumane", adding that it made life no longer worth living.

  • World
    Bloomberg

    Tsai Says Taiwan’s 2020 Election Will Be a Test of Its Democracy

    Taiwan's presidential election next year will be a test of its democracy and value system, President Tsai Ing-wen said at the end of a U.S. trip that drew rebuke from China. Voters in Taiwan will be focused on the future of our country, especially whether we can keep our democratic and freedom way of life,” she said at a press conference in Denver on Saturday, and televised at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Seeking a second term, Tsai will face Kuomintang nominee Han Kuo-yu -- a firebrand mayor who advocates closer ties with China -- in the election on Jan. 11.

  • Vatican opens burial chambers in hunt for princesses and missing teen
    World
    AFP

    Vatican opens burial chambers in hunt for princesses and missing teen

    The Vatican on Saturday opened two burial chambers discovered under a trapdoor as it attempts to get to the bottom of a riddle involving two 19th-century princesses and a teenager who went missing 36 years ago. The ossuaries were found last week under the floor of the Pontifical Teutonic College after the shock discovery earlier this month that the bones of the princesses had disappeared from tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery. The graves of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1836 and 1840, were exhumed after an anonymous tip-off that they may hold the remains of a missing Italian youngster.

  • News
    Associated Press

    1 killed, 4 injured when Alaska flight aborted on takeoff

    A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed and one of his three children was critically injured Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted. Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased man as Joseph Patenella, 57. The critically hurt child was flown to Anchorage for treatment, along with two other family members.

  • 10 Surprising Moon Facts! (That Were Totally Wrong)
    World
    Popular Mechanics

    10 Surprising Moon Facts! (That Were Totally Wrong)

    There are plenty of conspiracy theories, recent discoveries, and just plain old misconceptions about the moon. From Popular Mechanics

  • UK 'asked US not to sabre rattle over tanker seized by Iran'
    World
    The Telegraph

    UK 'asked US not to sabre rattle over tanker seized by Iran'

    Mr Trump had already spoken to Boris Johnson on Thursday, although it was not clear whether they discussed Iran. The following day, when asked about the Stena Impero, Mr Trump did not give his usual full-throated response to acts of Iranian aggression, instead saying he had "heard about it" and would "work with the UK" Mr Pompeo was asked about Iran during an interview in Argentina late on Friday, but aid only: "We're doing everything we can in the United States to de-escalate with Iran. We want them simply to cease being the world's largest state sponsor of terror."

  • News
    The National Interest

    Alleged American ISIS Sniper Brought Home by the Defense Department to Face Charges

    An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said. Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday. A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States.

  • World
    Reuters

    Seizure of British-flagged tanker "clear violation of international law" -UK Chamber of Shipping

    The seizure of a British flagged tanker by Iran is in "clear violation of international law" because it was in Omani waters, the head of the UK Chamber of Shipping said on Sunday. On Saturday British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said the Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law and then forced to sail into Iran. Iran says the tanker was captured after it collided with a fishing boat.

  • News
    USA TODAY

    9-year-old girl dies after bounce house blown into power lines

    Hundreds of people lined the hallways of Renown Regional Medical Center to honor the 9-year-old girl who died after being injured in a bounce house incident earlier this week. Lizzy Hammond died after a bounce house blew into power lines in South Reno near Bartley Ranch on Sunday. Two other children were also injured in the incident.

  • 2020 Democrats Are Starting to Turn Obama’s Legacy Against Biden
    Politics
    The Daily Beast

    2020 Democrats Are Starting to Turn Obama’s Legacy Against Biden

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has used Barack Obama's beloved status among Democratic voters to insulate him from criticism from the massive field of candidates jockeying to be the next president. But in recent weeks, the Democratic frontrunner has had that legacy used against him, with his competitors pointing the to shortcomings of the last Democratic administration as evidence that Biden's not up to the task of leading the next one. Barack Obama, personally, is incredibly popular among Democratic primary voters,” Karthik Ganapathy, a progressive consultant now running his own firm, told The Daily Beast.

  • Iraq Kurds arrest two suspects in killing of Turkish vice consul
    World
    AFP

    Iraq Kurds arrest two suspects in killing of Turkish vice consul

    Iraqi Kurdish authorities announced Saturday they had arrested two suspects involved in the murder of three people, including a Turkish diplomat, in the regional capital Arbil this week. The autonomous region's security council first said its counterterrorism unit had arrested "the main perpetrator" Mazloum Dag, a 27-year-old from Turkey's Diyarbakir region. The council had put out a wanted notice for Dag a day earlier in connection to Wednesday's killing of Turkish Vice Consul Osman Kose and two Iraqi nationals.

  • US hotels caught in fight over housing detained migrants
    News
    Associated Press

    US hotels caught in fight over housing detained migrants

    Advocacy groups and unions are pressuring Marriott, MGM and others not to house migrants who have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. For decades, the U.S. government has occasionally detained migrants in hotels, and Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence says it might have to split up families if hotels don't help. American and United Airlines said last year they didn't want to fly migrant children separated from their parents.

  • Will Taiwan Get the New F-16V Fighters It Desperately Wants?
    Business
    The National Interest

    Will Taiwan Get the New F-16V Fighters It Desperately Wants?

    Sebastien Roblin Security, And how mad will China get? On July 8, the U.S. State Department announced it would approve a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan including 108 Abrams main battle tanks and 250 Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles—a deal which elicited new sanctions from Beijing on the companies involved. But the announcement was more notable for what the approval didn't include—a nearly done-deal for sixty-six F-16V jet fighters built fresh off the F-16 production line in Greenville, South Carolina.

  • Lawmaker describes 'unacceptable' border detention conditions, meets with US citizen in Border Patrol custody
    News
    USA TODAY

    Lawmaker describes 'unacceptable' border detention conditions, meets with US citizen in Border Patrol custody

    WASHINGTON – A U.S. lawmaker described 'unacceptable' border detention facilities while meeting with a U.S. citizen who was in Customs and Border Patrol custody for hours on Friday. Rep. Nannette Barragán, D-Calif. had been on a congressional tour of facilities on the southern U.S. border when the delegation stopped at the Ursula Detention Center, a Border Patrol processing and detention center near McAllen, Texas.

  • World
    Reuters

    Iran's Zarif calls for 'prudence and foresight' as tensions mount

    Iran's top diplomat said on Sunday that only "prudence and foresight" could alleviate tensions between his country and Britain after Tehran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker. "Having failed to lure @realDonaldTrump into War of the Century, and fearing collapse of his #B_Team, @AmbJohnBolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire," Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter. Britain has called Iran's capture of the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday a "hostile act".

  • Politics
    Politico

    Cory Booker charges Trump is ‘worse than a racist’

    President Donald Trump is "worse than a racist," Sen. Cory Booker charged on Sunday. Trump has come under fire in recent days for increasingly incendiary remarks targeting four Democratic House freshmen of color: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. "This is somebody who is very similar to George Wallace, to racists who use — he's using the exact same language," Booker pointed out.

  • World
    AFP

    British PM to hold emergency meeting on seized tanker

    Prime Minister Theresa May will hold a meeting of Britain's emergencies committee on Monday to discuss Iran's seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf. In one of her final important acts as prime minister before resigning on Wednesday, May will chair a meeting of Britain's COBR emergencies committee at around 10:30 am (0930 GMT), her Downing Street office said. "As well as receiving the latest updates from ministers and officials, the COBR meeting will discuss the maintenance of the security of shipping in the Persian Gulf," a spokeswoman said in a brief statement.

  • Funeral service held for 86 Muslims killed by Serbs
    World
    Associated Press

    Funeral service held for 86 Muslims killed by Serbs

    PRIJEDOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) — Several thousand people attended a funeral service in Bosnia on Saturday for 86 Muslims who were slain by Serbs in one of the worst atrocities of the country's 1992-95 war. Relatives of the victims, religious leaders and others gathered at a soccer stadium near the eastern town of Prijedor, standing solemnly behind lines of coffins draped with green cloths. The Serbs later threw bombs onto the bodies, which made identifying the victims difficult.