President Trump announced on Twitter Tuesday that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration to be his permanent defense chief “so that he can devote more time to his family. Trump thanked Shanahan “for his outstanding service” and named Mark Esper, current secretary of the U.S. Army, to be the new acting secretary of defense. Yahoo News reported Monday that Shanahan's official nomination had been delayed over the FBI investigation into his personal life, including a messy divorce that involved an accusation of domestic violence from his ex-wife, who was arrested as part of the dispute.
A strong earthquake that hit Sichuan province in southern China late Monday night killed 11 people and injured 122, the local government said. The Yibin city government posted the casualty toll on its social media accounts Tuesday morning. Xinhua news agency said rescue efforts were underway in the stricken area.
US seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto kept lists of around 600 key pro- and anti-pesticides figures in Germany and France alone, its German parent company Bayer said Monday amid a widening probe. Bayer has admitted the lists covered politicians, journalists and others across seven European countries and in Brussels. "Update on Monsanto stakeholder lists: until the end of last week, the firm hired by Bayer contacted all the people on the German and French lists," Bayer's press department tweeted.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting the space rock known as Bennu since the start of the year. It caught up with the asteroid in late December of 2018 and successfully inserted itself into orbit around the object around New Year's day. There have been several “firsts” along the way, but its latest maneuver is the most daring yet, and it allowed the spacecraft to break yet another record.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is standing by China over a collision involving the two nations' boats in the South China Sea, with his spokesman casting doubts on local fishermen's accounts of the incident. In his first public statement about what he described as a “maritime incident,” Duterte said China's side should be heard on the collision that resulted in a Philippine vessel carrying 22 fishermen sinking in disputed waters on June 9. The crew were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat and a Philippine Navy ship.
U.S. allies in the Middle East have held back from a full-throated endorsement of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's claim that it is “unmistakable” Iran perpetrated a June 13 attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Despite a grainy video that purports to show Iranian military personnel removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of one of the two ships attacked, allies in the region and elsewhere remain unconvinced by U.S. claims of Iranian culpability. The prospect of military confrontation appears to have risen again after Iran, which denies responsibility for the tanker attack, announced on Monday that it would breach the limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium set under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that the U.S. pulled out of last year—despite U.N. inspectors determining Iran had been abiding by its terms.
Dominican Republic authorities identified the man they believe led the plot to assassinate former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, but they did not have him in custody as of Monday. Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota was identified in court documents as the man who intended to pay 400,000 Dominican pesos, roughly $7,800, to hire people to kill Ortiz, multiple media outlets reported. According to the Boston Globe, Mota is charged with attempted murder.
Back by popular demand, the enticing new GT4 is now the only Cayman with a flat-six. From Car and Driver
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said he can't understand why Jon Stewart is angry over the handling of health care funding for 9/11 victims. Appearing at a hearing of a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee last week, Stewart made an impassioned plea for lawmakers to reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which is set to expire next year amid mounting claims from first responders, construction workers and others involved in operations at Ground Zero up through May 30, 2002.
Thousands of protesters laid siege to the Hong Kong Chief Executive's office on Monday in the latest escalation of a long-running standoff with the government over a controversial new extradition law. The mostly young demonstrators closed down a main road near the city's waterfront as they stood outside Carrie Lam's office and called for her to resign and scrap the bill which would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial in its opaque justice system. Dressed in the black and sheltering from heavy rain under colourful umbrellas, the determined remnant from a march of an estimated two million people on Sunday threatened to block the road until the law was withdrawn.
A Connecticut judge has imposed sanctions on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for an outburst on his web show against a lawyer for relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook School shooting. Judge Barbara Bellis on Tuesday ordered the Infowars host to pay some of the relatives' legal fees and prohibited him from filing motions to dismiss their defamation lawsuit against him. The families of several of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 shooting are suing Jones, Infowars and others for promoting a theory that the massacre was a hoax.
Trump has already imposed a 25% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese products in May, and could apply a new 25% tariff on $300 billion more, including smaller fireworks that sparkle on street corners and bigger ones that illuminate the night across cities and towns. So far, the president has not set a deadline for when he could impose the new tariffs. Tariffs as a weapon?
Mark Episkopos Security, A stealth tragedy Over the prior decade, Russia's foray into fifth-generation jet fighter development has become synonymous with the upcoming Su-57. But the Su-57 was only Russia's second attempt at developing a fifth-generation aircraft, preceded by several decades with an altogether different project. This is the story of the ill-fated MiG 1.44.
Venezuela Monday received a second shipment of Red Cross humanitarian aid, including 24 tonnes of medical supplies and generators provided by Panama, intended for hospitals to help address the country's acute health crisis. In a statement, the Venezuelan Red Cross said it had received "medicines, medical supplies and power generators" that will be distributed in hospitals across the country, which is experiencing the worst crisis in its recent history. Six trucks moved the supplies to a Red Cross warehouse in Caracas, an AFP journalist confirmed.
China on Tuesday warned against opening a "Pandora's box" in the Middle East after the United States announced the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the region amid escalating tensions with Iran. Foreign Minister Wang Yi also urged Tehran to not abandon the nuclear agreement "so easily" after Iran said it would exceed its uranium stockpile limit if world powers fail to fulfil their commitments under the agreement in 10 days. The United States ratcheted up pressure on Iran Monday, announcing the deployment of additional troops to the Middle East and producing new photographs it said showed Tehran was behind an attack on a tanker ship in the Gulf of Oman last week.
On Wednesday, the issue of reparations for slavery will be a topic of discussion on Capitol Hill during a hearing scheduled by the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties “to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, its continuing impact on the [African America] community and the path to restorative justice.” This round of hearings is a follow-up to the 2007 hearings led by Former Michigan Congressman John Conyers, who from 1989 to 2017 sponsored House Resolution 40, calling for a congressional study of reparations. Conyers contended that raising the topic was not meant to be divisive or controversial but rather that it was necessary as, he stated, “Slavery is a blemish on this nation's history, and until it is addressed, our country's story will remain marked.” With the publication of Randall Robinson's bestselling book The Debt: What America Owes Blacks in 2000, the compelling 2014 article “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (who will testify at the hearing) and its injection into the 2020 Presidential election, some in Congress believe the moment has come to accept the invitation to debate the issue.
There's a rumor that General Motors is considering bringing back the Hummer brand, this time as a future electric SUV. GM first acquired Hummer from AM General in 1998 but dropped the brand in 2010. With the continued rise of the SUV market and the remarkable success of brands like Jeep, it's almost surprising that General Motors hasn't yet dipped back into its rugged Hummer brand, which it killed off in 2010.
The off-duty officer who shot and killed a man inside a Southern California Costco last week was attacked without warning as he held his toddler son, the policeman's attorney said Monday.
The Latest on the allegations of groping made against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (all times local): 3:45 p.m. The Indiana attorney general's office says it will vigorously defend him against a federal lawsuit by four women who say he drunkenly groped them during a party last year. The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges sexual harassment by Republican state Attorney General Curtis Hill on a state lawmaker and three legislative staffers in March 2018 at an Indianapolis bar.
The chief salesman for Airbus says his company already has the technology to fly passenger planes without pilots at all — and is working on winning over regulators and travelers to the idea. Christian Scherer also said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday that Airbus hopes to be selling hybrid or electric passenger jets by around 2035. While the company is still far from ready to churn out battery-operated jumbo jets, Scherer said Airbus already has "the technology for autonomous flying" and for planes flown by just one pilot.
If anything, the checkout register outages at Target stores over the weekend were a reminder that point-of-sale machines aren't foolproof, and nothing beats cash when technology fails. With that in mind, you may want to keep a modest stash handy. Still, you've gotten quite comfortable leaving most bills and coins behind.
Hours before President Trump was due to hold a rally in Orlando billed as the kickoff to his reelection campaign, the Orlando Sentinel announced who it is endorsing for president in 2020: not Donald Trump. Some readers will wonder how we could possibly eliminate a candidate so far before an election, and before knowing the identity of his opponent,” the paper said in a scathing editorial on Tuesday. Because there's no point pretending we would ever recommend that readers vote for Trump.
China and Russia warned Tuesday about escalating Middle East tensions after Washington said it would deploy 1,000 more troops to the region and renewed accusations that Iran was behind a tanker attack. The US moves came as Iran set a 10-day countdown for world powers to fulfil their commitments under a nuclear deal abandoned by Washington, saying it would otherwise surpass the uranium stockpile limit mandated by the accord. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have escalated ever since the US quit the deal, with Washington bolstering its military presence in the region and blacklisting Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization.
"Hey, Hey, Hey...It's America's Dad... I know it's late, but to all of the Dads... It's an honor to be called a Father, so let's make today a renewed oath to fulfilling our purpose - strengthening our families and communities," Cosby posted on Instagram late Sunday night. Cosby, 81, who last year was convicted of drugging and sexually attacking former Temple University administrator Andrea Constand in 2004, requested the message be posted after he gave a Father's Day speech to fellow inmates at maximum-security SCI Phoenix facility outside Philadelphia, where he is serving a 3- to 10-year sentence.