As the United States faces the longest period in its history without a confirmed secretary of defense, and tensions build over American allegations that Iran is responsible for recent attacks on civilian ships in the Persian Gulf, the man slated to head the Pentagon is facing a protracted FBI investigation that has delayed his Senate hearing until at least next month. Despite announcing more than a month ago acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan as his pick to get the Pentagon job on a permanent basis, President Trump has yet to formally nominate Shanahan, forcing the Senate Armed Services Committee to postpone a confirmation hearing it had tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 18.
Iran said Tuesday it has dismantled a new espionage network linked to the US Central Intelligence Agency and arrested a number of spies. "Following clues in the American intelligence services, we recently found the new recruits Americans had hired and dismantled a new network," state news agency IRNA said, quoting an intelligence ministry official. In what it termed a "wide-reaching blow" to US intelligence, IRNA said Tehran had carried out the operation in cooperation with "foreign allies", without naming any state.
Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who rose to office in the country's first free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later by the military, has collapsed during a court session on Monday and died. Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director for the Middle East at Amnesty International, says Morsi's death "raises serious questions about his treatment in custody." She called for Egyptian authorities to order "an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his death, as well as his detention conditions and his ability to access medical care."
In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead, Kyle Kashuv was an outspoken defender of the Second Amendment. In a letter Kashuv posted to Twitter, Harvard's dean of admissions asserted the university's right to withdraw its offer of admission. The dean, William Fitzsimmons, wrote that the university had become aware of "media reports discussing offensive statements allegedly authored by you" and requested a record of the statements Kashuv made.
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.
Back by popular demand, the enticing new GT4 is now the only Cayman with a flat-six. From Car and Driver
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.
Millions of people in Argentina and Uruguay woke up Sunday morning without electrical power after what an Argentinian national energy supplier called “a massive failure of the grid. While sporadic, small-scale blackouts are not unheard of in that part of the world, the sheer scale of the outage was “unprecedented,” as Argentinian President Mauricio Macri said. The outage delayed local elections in some provinces of Argentina and disrupted daily life for millions.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock is making a flurry of appearances on television and the campaign trail after getting locked out of next week's Democratic Party presidential debate, a move aimed at turning the bad news into a boost for his candidacy. While 20 of his rivals meet over two nights on the debate stage in Florida, Bullock will be in Iowa and New Hampshire - the first states to have presidential nominating contests - holding televised town halls. A new ad being released on Tuesday and seen by Reuters complains that Bullock was "ousted" from the debate and urges supporters to donate to his campaign.
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.
Tensions in the volatile U.S.-Iran relationship are increasing, and the two sides are ever closer to the possibility of a direct military confrontation since President Donald Trump condemned what was almost certainly an Iranian mine attack disabling two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. A serious and sustained conflict isn't inevitable, but the odds have increased. Amidst all the hype, spin and storytelling from both sides, here are some harsh truths about the Trump administration and its Iranian adversaries. The accord — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — was flawed, to be sure, and didn't address Iran's aggressive regional behavior or its ballistic missile programs.
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.
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.
Two explosions detonated to crush rocks in northeast China caused a small earthquake near the North Korean border on Monday, local authorities said. The 1.3-magnitude quake with a zero-metre depth occurred at 19:38 pm (1138 GMT) in Hunchun city in northeastern Jilin province, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center. The explosions were set off by Jilin Longye Blasting Company due to the "manufacturing needs" of the rock-crushing facility, said the Hunchun city government through its official Twitter-like Weibo.
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.
If he wins in 2020, Pete Buttigieg is pretty sure he won't be the first gay president. Speaking to Axios on HBO, the South Bend mayor was asked how he's going to respond to people who attack him during the campaign for being too young, too liberal, or too gay to be the American president. We have had excellent presidents who have been young,” he said.
This week's Federal Reserve decision will be the most consequential one yet under the leadership of Chair Jerome Powell. Sure, Fed officials will almost certainly leave interest rates unchanged, and they won't do anything with the central bank's balance sheet beyond what they have previously indicated. But the move in financial markets has been so swift, with traders so convinced that policy makers will lower interest rates imminently, that every change in their statement's wording, every syllable uttered by Powell during his press conference, and any tweak in the “dot plot” will be scrutinized as much as ever.
WASHINGTON – A conservative Supreme Court gave Democrats a major victory over Republicans in Virginia Monday by spurning the GOP's defense of election maps drawn with both racial and partisan overtones. The justices ruled that the Republican-controlled House of Delegates lacked the authority to challenge a federal district court decision striking down the maps after the state's Democratic attorney general refused to do so. The decision was written by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was joined by two conservative and two liberal colleagues.
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.
Guatemala has not yet committed to becoming a "safe third country" for U.S.-bound migrants seeking asylum, but is analyzing with the United States how to contain flows of people from Central America, the Interior Minister said on Tuesday. U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday that Guatemala "is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement," suggesting Guatemala could receive asylum seekers https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-trump/trump-says-u-s-agency-will-begin-removing-millions-of-illegal-immigrants-idUSKCN1TJ04D from neighboring countries. Trump added on Tuesday that Guatemala was "different" than in past administrations https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-trump/trump-says-immigration-roundup-will-start-next-week-idUSKCN1TJ2RZ, without providing details.
Say bye to mid-day hanger. From Delish
California attorney Michael Avenatti learned Tuesday that he faces a November trial date on charges he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike. The Nov. 12 trial date was set by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe at a pretrial hearing in Manhattan. Avenatti participated by telephone.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will have his work cut out for him at the Paris Air Show this week as he tries to reassure airlines and industry partners over the fate of its flagship 737 MAX plane, indefinitely grounded after two fatal crashes. Aviation regulators meeting last month were unable to determine when the popular jet might again be allowed to fly, causing costly headaches for airlines worldwide. "An air show is a good opportunity to connect with customers, suppliers and fellow aerospace manufacturers to strengthen our partnerships and drive industry safety," Muilenburg posted on Twitter over the weekend.
Grill masters and backyard barbecue bosses, listen up. Reynolds Wrap has announced it is searching for its next Chief Grilling Officer (CGO) — and the company is offering racks on racks for one lucky applicant who can sear the rest of the competition. "As CGO, you won't need a comfy corner office because for two weeks in August, you'll be busy tasting and savoring BBQ ribs from some of the top BBQ rib cities in the country," the company says in a listing for the temporary position.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck off northwestern Japan, triggering a tsunami warning.