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.”
A Virginia mayor has been urged to resign after he allegedly wrote that “Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick,” on his Facebook page. Barry Presgraves, the mayor of Luray, Virginia, posted the comment on his Facebook page over the weekend, but swiftly deleted it after backlash from residents and local officials. The post came as presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden, is reportedly finalising his choice for his running mate, with several black women mooted as contenders, according to CNN.
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.
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.
Upwards of 200 Minneapolis police officers have started the process to apply for permanent disability following the George Floyd riots; Mike Tobin reports.
Clashes outside a U.S. courthouse in Portland, Oregon, have largely stopped since Democratic Gov. Kate Brown reached a deal that called for the draw down of federal agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the building — but the turmoil is far from over. For the past several nights, Portland police have skirmished with protesters in other parts of city, far from the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, as residents rally around a call to defund the police force. Demonstrators are also mad at the use of tear gas by police multiple times over the summer to tamp down unrest.
Ninety-one people caught COVID-19 after a man infected with the virus attended a church service in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine tweeted a graphic from the Ohio Department of Health on Tuesday, which showed how the 56-year-old man was responsible for 91 infections. Close to 100 people contracted the coronavirus in Ohio after one person who had the virus attended a church service and spread it to dozens others.
Years before a devastating blast killed at least 100 people and injured more than 4,000 in Beirut Tuesday, a maritime analyst issued a public warning that a Russian “floating bomb” was languishing in the city's docks. Maritime monitoring systems tracked the Rhosus into port in Beirut in September 2013. The 2,750 metric ton cargo of ammonium nitrate would primarily be used for fertilizers or high power explosives.
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.
Which may explain why last week, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt appeared on the 1130 WISN talk show of conservative commentator Vicki McKenna to discuss an issue seemingly unrelated to local concerns: the tearing down of Confederate and other statues by antiracism protesters. The president believes that preserving those statues could be a potent campaign message, and Bernhardt was reinforcing that message in a state where Confederate imagery is scant. That hardly mattered to Bernhardt, who condemned protesters for “destroying everything that America holds dear,” describing them as “unified in the message of destruction.
A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
The woman suing a New Jersey country club after a club waiter spilled wine on her luxury handbag is not backing down, even after her case was dismissed by a Bergen County Superior Court judge. In the lawsuit filed last November that attracted local and national media attention, Maryana Beyder said she was enjoying a meal at the Alpine Country Club in Demarest in September 2018 when a waiter spilled red wine on the pink Hermès handbag that she said costs approximately $30,000. The lawsuit was dismissed July 24 by Judge Estela De La Cruz after Kenneth Merber, the attorney representing the club, said Beyder and her husband failed to appear at depositions despite notices and a subpoena.
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."
Thousands of Michigan voters might be disenfranchised and the country could wait days for the November presidential election results unless the battleground state updates laws to handle a flood of absentee ballots, its top elections official warned on Thursday. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters that more than 10,000 absentee ballots had been rejected - many because they arrived late - in the state's Tuesday primary, seen as a test of voting infrastructure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Benson called on Michigan legislators to update laws to allow election staff to begin processing mail-in ballots a day before the election, and to permit any postmarked on-time but arriving after the election to be counted.
Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 1 million, but global health experts say the true toll is likely several times higher, reflecting the gaping lack of testing for the continent's 1.3 billion people. While experts say infection tolls in richer nations can be significant undercounts, large numbers of undetected cases are a greater danger for Africa, with many of the world's weakest health systems. The World Health Organization calls the milestone a “pivotal point” for Africa as infections in several countries are surging.
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.
Beirut has been ravaged by a massive explosion, likely caused by careless handling of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at its port. As the city is still picking through the debris and thousands search for loved ones, countries such as Turkey, Iran, Qatar, France, and Israel are rushing to provide support. While Hezbollah has not been blamed for the August 4 warehouse fire that led to the massive explosion, it is alleged to have imported and stored similar stockpiles of dangerous munitions and chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate, used in explosives.
Mergan Ghappar, a 31-year-old Uighur man from Xinjiang, China, had been working as a model in Foshan, southern China. More than a month later, he contacted his family to say he was in an internment camp for Uighurs in Xinjiang, and described the brutal conditions there, the BBC reported. Ghappar had smuggled a cell phone into the camp, and was able to record footage of himself and the camp's conditions, which have since been passed to the BBC and The Globe and Mail.
Fox News host Chris Wallace has no illusions about why the Trump campaign is suddenly demanding a fourth debate against former Vice President Joe Biden. After Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade echoed the president's stated concerns about the debates happening after early voting starts in some states, his radio show guest shot down the idea of either moving the schedule up and adding a fourth debate earlier in September. “If they were to open it up and say, no, let's set another debate, I just think that it would jeopardize a lot of things,” Wallace, who moderated the third and final debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
Several news organizations, including The News & Observer and The New York Times, petitioned a judge to publicly release the videos that show officers "hog-tying" John Neville, 56, who died of a brain injury in December three days after police arrested him. One of the videos runs nearly 20 minutes and is from the body camera of one of the five detention officers involved, who were all fired last month. Over the course of 45 minutes of being held in an observation cell, Neville would "sustain injuries that would eventually cause him to lose his life," Forsyth County district attorney, Jim O'Neill said last month. Both were reviewed by USA TODAY.
Chuck Lovell, the police chief of Portland, Oregon, called for violent protesters to stop their actions at a Wednesday press conference. While protests in downtown Portland have been peaceful since the presence of federal agents was scaled back last week, there have been violent offshoot protests in other parts of the city. Wednesday marked the 70th consecutive day of demonstrations in the city, which started after George Floyd's death in late May.
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.
Two dozen people in Hong Kong, including pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, have been charged with participating in an illegal assembly at a vigil on June 4 commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen square in 1989. It was the first time the vigil had been banned in semiautonomous Hong Kong, with police citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings in refusing permission for it to take place. The anniversary struck an especially sensitive nerve in the former British colony this year, falling just as China prepared to introduce national security legislation later that month in response to last year's often violent pro-democracy demonstrations.
Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, has invigorated his Hindu support base after laying the foundation stone of a controversial new temple on a site contested by Muslims. In November, after a decades-old legal battle, India's highest court ruled a temple could be built in the city of Ayodhya, where a mosque had stood until it was destroyed by Hindu mobs in 1992. Mr Modi made its construction a key pledge as part of his Hindu nationalist campaign, which saw him re-elected with a landslide victory last year.
“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.”