Leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement on Tuesday appealed directly to US lawmakers to exert pressure on Beijing, warning that an erosion of the city's special status would embolden China's leaders around the world. In an appearance likely to infuriate Beijing, young people at the forefront of Hong Kong's mass protests testified before a congressional commission in support of US legislation aimed at defending Hong Kongers' civil rights. "This is not a plea for so-called 'foreign interference,' nor for Hong Kong independence," said Cantopop star Denise Ho, whose music has been banned in mainland China for her activism.
Florida authorities have arrested a suspected serial killer believed to be responsible for the brutal murders of at least four women over the last 14 years. Robert Hayes, 37, was arrested and charged Sunday night with the grisly 2016 murder of 32-year-old Rachel Bey, whose body was found along a highway in Jupiter, Palm Beach County Sheriff Rich Bradshaw announced at a Monday press conference. “We've been able to take what we believe is a serial killer off our streets” Bradshaw said.
Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday. A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying. Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.
Members of Congress hailed Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg as a "superpower" for her work to spark a worldwide, youth-driven push to fight climate change. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said the 16-year-old Thunberg and other young activists bring "moral clarity" to the fight against global warming. Thunberg was not impressed.
Editor's note: This column was originally published on Oct. 9, 2018. In an almost party-line vote, senators voted this weekend to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, Republicans tell us, was rigorously conducted, and no evidence corroborating accusations by Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez was found.
“We are developing an AI stack regarding how we pull together the sensors, computing layer and analytics to manage the data,” Col. Doug Matty, Army AI Task Force Deputy Director, told Warrior in an interview. New algorithms, AI-enabled computer processing and high-speed networking are all specific elements of work now underway with the Army's AI Task Force, an emerging Army effort to collaborate with industry and academia, find technology breakthroughs and develop new applications for AI, Matty explained. The Task Force is now working on prototyping systems for integration onto UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Long-Range Precision Fires systems and the Army's emerging fleet of Next-Gen Combat Vehicles, he said.
The T'way Air flight from Vietnam to South Korea was supposed to take off at 10:35 p.m. local time Friday but didn't depart until 9:40 a.m. the next day, The Korea Times reported. A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport without his passport. The flight, operated by the South Korean budget airline T'way Air, was supposed to take off at 10:35 p.m. local time on Friday but ended up being delayed until 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, The Korea Times reported.
A firefighter was killed and eight people were injured Monday when a powerful propane explosion destroyed a new building in Farmington, Maine. Fire crews were responding to a call reporting the smell of gas in the building, which was evacuated, Farmington Town Selectman Scott Landry said. The blast had such force that only debris remained from the two-story building, which housed a nonprofit group called LEAP that serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
Iran has charged three detained Australians with spying, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday, after the reported arrest of a travel-blogging couple and an academic. Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters. It was the first official confirmation that Australians have been detained in Iran after the families of three of them said last week they had been arrested in the Islamic republic.
Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday - one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul - with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections. The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where Ashraf Ghani, the president, was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy.
Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that began on Tuesday. An oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness. At one end of the Fed's large boardroom table sit St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who are expected to argue for a steep reduction in borrowing costs to counter low inflation and an inverted Treasury yield curve.
Twenty villagers were killed and 14 others were injured when the truck they were riding in lost control and fell off a cliff Tuesday in a remote mountain village in the southern Philippines, police and the Red Cross said. Provincial police chief Joel Limson said the truck was negotiating a downhill road in Tboli town in South Cotabato province when its brakes apparently failed and plummeted down a ravine, pinning 15 people to death. Police, Red Cross volunteers and villagers retrieved the 15 bodies from the wreckage at the bottom of the ravine.
On Dec. 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that it was giving nearly three dozen Russian diplomats just 72 hours to leave the United States and was seizing two rural East Coast estates owned by the Russian government. The Obama administration's public rationale for the expulsions and closures — the harshest U.S. diplomatic reprisals taken against Russia in several decades — was to retaliate for Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Both compounds, and at least some of the expelled diplomats, played key roles in a brazen Russian counterintelligence operation that stretched from the Bay Area to the heart of the nation's capital, according to former U.S. officials.
The U.S. plans to return its ambassador to Belarus, ending a freeze in ties with the authoritarian former Soviet republic which had lasted for more than 11 years. We are happy to see that chapter closing, and we are closing it because of the concrete steps in the direction that you, Mr. President, had taken to improve this relationship,” David Hale, Undersecretary of State for political affairs, told Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting in Minsk. The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Minsk in 2008 as relations between the two countries spiralled lower over Washington's allegations of human-rights abuses by the Belarusian government.
A domestic flight in India was delayed by two hours after a swarm of bees settled on the cockpit window, obscuring pilots' vision and attacking staff who tried to remove them. The Air India flight was about to take off when the bees landed on the window. Staff tried fruitlessly to shoo them away and disperse them with the aircraft's windscreen wipers before calling the fire brigade.
Key point: China is going for a land-grab and will use those bases for power projection and intimidation, even if it can't defeat them all in a war. China has built some islands in the South China Sea. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China's military?
Grande-Synthe (France) (AFP) - French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard. The mayor of Grande-Synthe in December 2018 opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold. Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with around 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the crammed gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach Britain, had been sheltering.
New York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned “climate strike” ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people. Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S. “This completely changes things, and it's our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times.
Northern California cops free a woman who says she was being held captive. The bruised and upset woman told police she had been kidnapped four days prior. They began questioning her after they arrested the driver of the vehicle she was a passenger in.
Billions of dollars spent by Saudi Arabia on cutting edge Western military hardware mainly designed to deter high altitude attacks has proved no match for low-cost drones and cruise missiles used in a strike that crippled its giant oil industry. Saturday's assault on Saudi oil facilities that halved production has exposed how ill-prepared the Gulf state is to defend itself despite repeated attacks on vital assets during its four-and-a-half year foray into the war in neighbouring Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the United States have said they believe Iran, the kingdom's arch-enemy, was probably behind the strike.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fell short of securing a parliamentary majority with his religious and nationalist allies in national elections Tuesday, initial exit polls showed, setting the stage for a period of coalition negotiations that could threaten his political future and clear the way for him to be tried on corruption charges. Initial results posted by Israel's three major stations showed challenger Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party with a slight lead over Netanyahu's Likud. While the results do not guarantee that Gantz will be the next prime minister, they signaled that Netanyahu, who has led the country for over 10 years, could have real trouble holding on to the job.
A US Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez of cooperating with Colombian rebel group FARC to ease the shipment of cocaine into the United States, a Spanish court ruling published Tuesday showed. The accusation was cited in a ruling by Spain's National Court, the country's top criminal court, rejecting a US request to extradite Venezuela's former military intelligence chief, General Hugo Armando Carvajal, on drug trafficking charges. The ruling includes a sworn statement from an agent from a DEA agent that was included as evidence to back the extradition request.
A conservative group that has aided the confirmation of President Trump's judicial nominees is now leading the Republican Party's charge against the most recent allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. On Sunday afternoon, the Article III Project, led by Mike Davis, a key attorney in shepherding Kavanaugh's confirmation, sent talking points to the White House. He also sent the memo to key congressional offices and a number of outside GOP groups in an effort to discredit reporting from the New York Times alleging that, while at Yale, classmate Max Stier witnessed Kavanaugh “push his penis into the hand of” a female student.