The vice president criticized Chief Justice John Roberts after he sided against conservatives on several key cases, particularly one pertaining to abortion.Says SCOTUS' future depends on election »
Less than 24 hours after President Trump said some “great generals” told him they thought that Tuesday's massive explosion in Beirut was an “attack” involving “a bomb of some kind,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemed less than convinced by that explanation. Speaking to an online audience Wednesday as part of the Aspen Security Forum, Esper said he was “still getting information” on the blast in the Lebanese capital, but that “most believe that it was an accident, as reported.” Asked to explain the discrepancy between Trump's comments and Esper's explanation, and to identify which generals the president might have been referring to as the source of his information, a Pentagon spokesman replied via email: “We have nothing to offer at this time beyond the Secretary's comments.”
Lebanon's Supreme Defense Council said on Tuesday that 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate from an abandoned ship had been left in storage at Beirut's port, state media reported. Lebanese officials believe it was behind the explosion at Beirut's port on Tuesday, according to state media. A Beirut law firm said in a legal summary in 2015 that the ship, the MV Rhosus, had technical difficulties while sailing in September 2013, was forced into Beirut's port, and was banned from continuing.
Federal prosecutors have charged 11 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang with sex trafficking and other charges after they say a 13-year-old runaway was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia. A child trafficking task force found the 13-year-old girl nearly two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland. The girl, initially reluctant to talk to police, eventually told authorities she was twice beaten on her backside and legs 26 times on two separate occasions with a baseball bat – once as an initiation to the gang, and once as a punishment for talking to rival gang members and allegedly stealing from fellow gang members.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a narrow edge over Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is tied with Democrat Jaime Harrison, according to the surveys. Maine is considered one of the key, majority-making races on the 2020 Senate map, and both parties have invested significant resources into the state. Republicans, meanwhile, are still considered favorites in Kentucky and South Carolina — though Democrats are watching the two red states as expansion targets, and their candidates have raised eye-popping sums.
The U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services is scheduled to visit Taiwan in coming days in the highest-level visit by an American Cabinet official since the break in formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei in 1979. The visit by Alex Azar, and especially a planned meeting with Taiwan's president, will likely create new friction between the U.S. and China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Taiwan is a key irritant in the troubled relationship between the world's two largest economies, which are also at odds over trade, technology, territorial claims in the South China Sea and China's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/Reuters Caesar McCool, "the no drama llama" is keeping the peace at the Portland protests. The well-known llama tends to diffuse situations, and people enjoy being in his company, his owner told Insider. Once a champion, the animal now works as a therapy llama and "llamactivist."
On Wednesday, Facebook finally took the long overdue step of removing a piece of Trump campaign content from its platform that pushed misinformation about COVID-19. The claim in question came during the president's appearance on Fox & Friends that morning, where he falsely stated, “If you look at children, children are almost—and I would almost say definitely—but almost immune from this disease.” “Of course there is a debate happening about whether Facebook and Twitter should be arbiters of truth and decide what is fact and fiction,” Fox host Sandra Smith began, before sharing the actual facts about confirmed coronavirus cases in children.
To the editor: It is hard to see Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris as truly hailing from California vis-a-vis the speculation of whether Joe Biden will pick her as the vice presidential nominee. The malicious machine working to reelect President Trump will have a field day with this. If Harris treats being vice president as she has her current position, Biden will have a hard time finding her in town as she will be off campaigning for his job.
COLOGNE, Germany – German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements. The figure is meant to reflect the share of NATO's total “planning targets,” which are tabulated periodically, a defense ministry spokesman told Defense News. Such math would be able to more accurately capture Germany's efforts across the categories “cash, capabilities and commitments” than the current defense-spending objective of 2 percent of GDP, according to the spokesman.
The top U.S. envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, is leaving his post and U.S. special representative for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, will add Iran to his role "following a transition period" with Hook, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday. Hook's surprise departure comes at a critical time when Washington has been intensely lobbying at the United Nations to extend an arms embargo on Iran and as the U.N. Security Council prepares to hold a vote on the U.S. resolution next week. "We're going to continue to make the case for this," Hook told reporters on Thursday morning, hours before his departure was announced.
A warehouse area at a port in Beirut exploded Tuesday, killing more than 100 people and causing extensive damage in the Lebanese capital. The explosion is under investigation, a focus of which is thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate improperly stored in the area. Experts told Insider they estimated the explosive yield of the deadly blast to be several hundred tons of TNT equivalent, making it many times more powerful than the so-called "Mother of All Bombs."
MILWAUKEE – Three positive cases of COVID-19 were detected among workers who wanted access to the Wisconsin Center, site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention. But convention organizers said those positive tests didn't trigger Wednesday's announcement that speakers, including Joe Biden, would not be traveling to Milwaukee. A convention spokesperson said Thursday: "Ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone involved with the convention is our top priority.
A man is accused of burning a cross and displaying a swastika in a hate crime against his Black neighbor, federal prosecutors say. Shepard Hoehn, 50, is charged with making threats because of his neighbor's race and unlawful firearm possession in Lawrence, Indiana, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Indiana. Hoehn created a swastika display and burned a cross on the fence line facing his neighbor's property, prosecutors said in a Thursday news release.
Florida surpassed 500,000 coronavirus cases Wednesday as testing ramped up following a temporary shutdown of some sites because of Tropical Storm Isaias, state officials said. A long line of cars waited outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Wednesday morning for a coronavirus testing site to reopen after being closed because of the storm. Florida reported 225 new deaths Wednesday, bringing its seven-day average of daily reported deaths to a high of 185, behind Texas with 197.
Students at North Paulding High School in Dallas Georgia say they've been suspended or threatened with "consequences" for posting pictures of crowded hallways with few students wearing masks. The images circulated widely on social media August 4, prompting concerns about the health and safety of students. Coronavirus cases had already been reported at the school, according to an email sent to parents.
A rise in coronavirus infections in France is being closely monitored by ministers after Norway re-imposed quarantine on it. France's weekly rate has overtaken that of Portugal, which has reduced its coronavirus cases to the extent that ministers are considering lifting the travel ban on it next week and allowing flights to the country and its islands of the Azores and Madeira. Government sources stressed there was no imminent decision on France as it recorded its highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in two months, with 1,695 positive tests, slightly fewer than the 1,772 seen in Spain.
An ex-engineer for Google's self-driving car unit has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for trade secret theft shortly before he joined Uber. US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said Anthony Levandowski had carried out the "biggest trade secret crime I have ever seen". Levandowski loaded more than 14,000 Google files onto his laptop before leaving the firm in January 2016.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
President Donald Trump's re-election campaign on Thursday lost its bid for a fourth debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden in early September. In rejecting the request, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it remains committed to the current schedule of three 90-minute debates beginning in late September. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani asked for either a fourth debate in the first week of September or for the first debate to be moved up from Sept. 29 because voters in some states would be able to cast votes before then.
Haytham El Achkar/Getty Images An expert said back in 2014 that Lebanese authorities had a "floating bomb" on their hands, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. "There are a lot of restrictions, regulations and rules to stick to when talking about storing explosives like ammonium," Voytenko told The Daily Beast, "but they just stored it in a warehouse and forgot about it." Customs officials wrote several letters to Lebanese judges asking for a solution to the dangers cargo but apparently received no response, Al Jazeera reported.
The most powerful weapon to ever be used against other humans was detonated by the United States in Japan 75 years ago. On August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber famously known as the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, marking the first of two times the bomb has ever been used in warfare. The city was leveled – less than 10 percent of the buildings in Hiroshima were left undamaged by the bomb, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
A Florida teenager who is accused of participating in last month's Twitter bitcoin scam, which saw several of the world's highest-profile accounts hacked, has reportedly been linked to an attempted robbery that ended in a lethal shooting. An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times has found that 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, who is credited by police as one of the “masterminds” of the scam, has also been named in the case of a burglary seven months ago that saw one teenager killed and another wounded. According to local police, it began when two teenagers from Tampa's Gaither High School broke into an apartment, one holding a gun; a resident shot them both, and one of them died.
An explosion in Beirut injured at least 4,500 people and killed 100 on Tuesday. Reports say the blast started with a fire at a warehouse that contained highly explosive materials. Despite the mushroom cloud shape that appeared after the blast, this was not the result of a nuclear weapon detonating.
The county partnered with United Way of Miami-Dade, which will distribute $20 million dollars in federal funds from the CARES Act through the program. The main two criteria are that applicants are Miami-Dade County residents and that they have been impacted by COVID in some way,” Vanessa Benavides told the Herald. Benavides is associate vice president of United Way and is leading the program.
For one week, I recreated seven of Guy Fieri's signature recipes and favorite go-to meals to see if they lived up to their hype. Food Network personality and restaurateur Guy Fieri has established himself as the "Mayor of Flavortown" with his unique brand of down-to-earth humor and non-pretentious, yet elevated, American cuisine. Fieri's eccentric style has become iconic, and his twists on classic recipes like mac and cheese and chili are well-known among fans.
“He’s not a radical. But he is running on the most liberal policy platform of any Democratic candidate in modern history.”
“Public opinion has been shifting leftward, and Biden’s thinking has shifted with it.”
“Biden shows that he’s more moderate than some in his party.”
“Biden has always been a creature of his time, and the COVID-19 crisis could force him to veer further left.”
“Liberal activists have lauded the campaign’s outreach to progressives.”