A U.S. Marines helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the USS Boxer during its transit through Strait of Hormuz. ASPEN, Colo. — As tensions in the Persian Gulf continued to ramp up on Friday afternoon amid news that Iran had seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, concluded that Iran does not want to start a war with the U.S. or its allies. Answering a question posed by CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto in Aspen, Colo., about the latest incident, Ashley declined to give a specific response to the news, but later said that none of the United States' major adversaries or competitors, including Iran, China and Russia, wants to start a war.
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.
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.
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.
Scherie Murray, Republican challenger to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, weighs in on an exchange between former acting ICE Director Tom Homan and AOC.
A baby alligator was found far from the tropics in the parking lot of a grocery store outside Pittsburgh on Friday morning, the fourth alligator discovered near the city since May. An employee found the 2-foot-long (60-centimeter-long) creature near a garbage can at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Shaler, about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north of Pittsburgh. "It looks like a little baby alligator," Shaler Township Police Lt. Dave Banko told the Tribune Review newspaper.
Filmmaker and conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone has made no secret of his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but now he has taken it to a whole new level by trying to make him his 22-year-old daughter's godfather. Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian? Putin asked when Stone floated the idea during a sit-down in the Kremlin.
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.
An unruly passenger has been billed $105,000 after her “extremely disruptive behavior” caused a flight to be diverted with a military escort. British budget carrier Jet2 accused passenger Chloe Haines of “a catalogue of aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior,” including trying to open the aircraft door, during a flight from the U.K. to Turkey. The airline said in a statement Haines was restrained by crew with the help of other passengers as two military fighter jets escorted the aircraft back to London Stansted.
Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, both outspoken critics of Israel and its occupation of the West Bank, will be allowed into the country during a trip there in a few weeks, the Israeli ambassador said Friday, potentially heading off a diplomatic spat. “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America, we would not deny entry to any member of Congress into Israel,” said Ron Dermer, Israel's envoy to the United States. The freshman Democrats have drawn the ire of pro-Israel politicians — including within the Democratic caucus — over the pair's support for the the global boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, known as the BDS movement.
President Donald Trump pledged to re-establish U.S. dominance in space, a day after he welcomed the surviving Apollo 11 astronauts to the White House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Sustained exploration that extends from our Earth to the Moon and on to the Martian surface will usher in a new era of American ingenuity,” Trump said in a message on Saturday, which he declared Space Exploration Day. Trump on Friday invited retired astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and the family of Neil Armstrong -- the first man to walk on the moon -- to the White House to mark the space milestone.
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.
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.
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.
In a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group's recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group's primary ad contractor until just months ago.
Britain said Iran's seizure of a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel in the Strait of Hormuz was unacceptable and called for freedom of navigation in the Gulf. "I'm extremely concerned by the seizure of two vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz," Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. "I will shortly attend a COBR (national security) meeting to review what we know and what we can do to swiftly secure the release of the two vessels - a British-flagged vessel and a Liberian-flagged vessel," he said.
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.
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 City wrote on Twitter 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.
Two Delta Air Lines planes touched wings at Boston Logan International Airport as a flight was arriving to its gate Friday night. Delta spokesperson Susannah Thurston confirmed the news in a statement to USA TODAY Saturday. “As Delta flight 2488 from San Francisco to Boston was taxing to the gate upon arrival, the aircraft's wing made contact with the wing of another Delta aircraft, which was parked at an adjacent gate and scheduled to operate on flight 154 from Boston to Dublin," the statement read.
“We have many things in common, we can use this as our competitive advantage during some form of integration,” Putin said, according to the transcript of a June 19 interview with American film director Oliver Stone. Ties between the former allies deteriorated after protesters in Kiev unseated the country's Kremlin-backed leader in 2014 and Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea before fomenting a war in which he still denies involvement. A party backed by Ukrainian businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, whose daughter counts Putin as her godfather, is campaigning for the Sunday elections and he met with Putin on Thursday to discuss potential cooperation.
A mother who was wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy before the NHS hospital realised its mistake. Sarah Boyle has been left traumatised after doctors at Royal Stoke University Hospital misdiagnosed her with triple negative breast cancer at the end of 2016. The hospital only recognised the error several months later in July 2017, by which time the 28-year-old had already received several rounds of gruelling treatment and major surgery.
A young citizen journalist was among 11 civilians killed in air raids on Syria's Idlib region Sunday, rescue workers and a monitor said, as he filmed the Russia-backed regime bombardment of the battered enclave. Anas al-Dyab, a photographer and videographer in his early 20s, was a member of the White Helmets who also contributed to AFP. The White Helmets, rescue workers in rebel areas named after their distinctive hard hats, said the group "mourns the fall of a hero Anas al-Dyab, a volunteer and media activist with the Syrian Civil Defence Centre in Idlib," in a Twitter post.
A Florida sheriff launched an investigation Friday into whether his department properly monitored the wealthy financer Jeffrey Epstein while he was serving a sentence for soliciting prostitution from underage girls. The inquiry will focus on whether deputies assigned to monitor Epstein in a work-release program violated any rules or regulations, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said in a statement. Under a 2008 plea deal, Epstein was allowed to spend most of his days at the office of his now-defunct Florida Science Foundation, which doled out research grants, rather than in the county jail.
Media and product sales alone earned Bethel some $23 million last year, according to A News Cafe, but the registered “nonprofit” organization also generates income from a K-8 academy called Bethel Christian School, an online and summer program called WorshipU, the Bethel School of Technology, the Bethel Conservatory of the Arts, and recently announced plans for the Bethel Business School. Most famously: they operate the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, where each year some 2,000 students pay $12,050 to study at the unaccredited three-year seminary, also known as “Christian Hogwarts. Bethel plays a unique role in the political landscape of Redding.