In the past week, American-Iranian tensions flared to heights not seen since the Reagan years, when U.S. and Iranian ships and planes faced off in the Persian Gulf. Not only have Iranian irregular forces apparently sabotaged four ships off the major Emirati port of Fujairah with either magnet bombs or underwater drones, but a subsequent drone attack on a Saudi pipeline amplified tensions to a new level.Even on the best of days in hyper-partisan Washington, there are enough polemics to go around. The fact that national security in general—and Iran policy in particular—have become political footballs only makes the problem worse. Never one to miss an opportunity to throw fuel on the rhetorical fire, President Donald Trump threatened via tweet, “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”Happily, however, nothing in the American military posture makes it appear that war—or even a limited engagement—is imminent, let alone likely.Consider the U.S. Navy’s posture: The Trump administration has reportedly dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, but if a war against Iran really was on the table, then this would be the worst possible move.
Global equity markets fell on Monday as a U.S. crackdown on China's Huawei Technologies led chipmaker stocks in Europe and on Wall Street to slide on fears of a widening trade war, while the dollar was steady ahead of fresh insight on the Federal Reserve policies. China accused the United States of harboring "extravagant expectations" for a trade deal, underlining the gulf between the two sides as the U.S. action last week against Huawei began to hit the global tech sector.
The HUD secretary faced a tough hearing before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.
It's an ominous Monday in the southern Great Plains. Entire school districts are closed as storm scientists expect "high risk" weather and severe thunderstroms, with conditions ripe for powerful tornadoes throughout much of the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. A confluence of robust elements have combined forces to produce an exceptionally dangerous day."It's an environment that we don't see very often," said Bill Bunting, operations chief for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center. "Maybe once or twice in the career of a forecaster." Here is a zoomed in image of our High Risk for 20 May 2019 for use in social media. pic.twitter.com/TZd9Fr3atW -- NWS SPC (@NWSSPC) May 20, 2019Bunting is stationed in Norman, Oklahoma, the dead center of a region that is likely to experience the formations of a dangerous type of thunderstorm with rotating updrafts, called a supercell. These storms can produce tornadoes. "One of our forecasters said last night that it's the first time he lost sleep thinking of the day ahead," said Bunting. The (unfortunately) right conditions It's severe weather season in the Great Plains, but environmental conditions have really ramped up, much more than usual. "What's unique about today is the expected magnitude [of storms]," noted Bunting. There's a profound amount of instability in the atmosphere, from the ground to around a mile up in the sky, explained Brian Tang, an atmospheric scientist at the University at Albany. This is driven by strong winds blowing from different directions at different heights, notably a parade of potent storms blowing in from the Rockies after deluging Northern California with rare, late-season rain. These storms have now met powerful winds blowing in from the southeast. Dawn breaks on the Southern Plains and GOES gives us a look at the wind shear part of the severe weather forecast. Low clouds streaming up from the SE are being overtaken by mid-to-high clouds coming from the SW. This turning of the winds helps storms that form start to rotate. pic.twitter.com/qW0NYbR7A0 -- National Weather Service (@NWS) May 20, 2019But this wind-driven atmospheric chaos (technically called "wind shear") is not acting alone. There's an unusual amount humidity in the air. Thunderstorms feed off this moisture, growing more powerful. "There's a ton of energy that can be harnessed that can generate these really intense thunderstorms," said Tang.And once there are intense supercell thunderstorms circulating through an area, there's greater potential for these storm systems to start spinning, thereby spawning violent tornadoes. "There are going to be several thunderstorms that do reach an intensity that become tornadoes," said Bunting. SEE ALSO: Fearless TV weather forecasters air the planet's soaring carbon levels"It's like having an All-Star baseball team. It's like having a bunch of sluggers," said Tang. "The chances of hitting a home run are that much higher." "This is not your normal severe weather day in Oklahoma," the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Norman, Oklahoma said Monday morning. Exactly what causes a particular supercell thunderstorm to form a tornado, however, is still an area of deep and ongoing investigation. Midday SPC update added a 45 percent tornado risk for a big chunk of western and central OK. A particularly dangerous situation tornado watch coming for that area. https://t.co/RO92Y2cfmG pic.twitter.com/N2h0Ipq9is -- U.S. Tornadoes (@USTornadoes) May 20, 2019NOAA's Bunting noted that Monday's weather outbreak comes on the exact anniversary of an EF-5 tornado (the most severe tornado rating) that killed 24 Oklahomans in 2013 while causing billions in damage. Today's violent thunderstorms won't just bring the likelihood of wide tornadoes in heavily-populated areas, but the risk of deadly floods. These storms dump deluges of water. "More people traditionally die from floods than tornadoes," the Norman NWS said Monday.Meteorologists and storm scientists have prepared for the worst. "It's really created a palpable sense of anxiety and just wanting to get done with today," said Bunting."There's definitely certain days when there's a sense of dread," added Tang, noting that the meteorological community reacted similarly to the approaching Hurricane Michael in October 2018. Michael hit the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5 storm, which is the highest hurricane rating. "Today has that same feel," said Tang. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
Bernie Sanders appears to be the favorite to secure Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement in the Democratic presidential primaryCongresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez told the Guardian: ‘I’m not close to an endorsement announcement any time soon.’ Photograph: Joshua Roberts/ReutersAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive US congresswoman and social media sensation, has said she would be “hard pressed” to endorse the frontrunner, Joe Biden, in the Democratic presidential primary.The statement is the latest sign of the left’s apathy towards the former vice-president, who has surged ahead of the Senator Bernie Sanders and other rivals in recent polls.Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, appears to be the favourite to secure 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez’s prized endorsement but she said she was still some way off making a decision.“I’m not close to an endorsement announcement any time soon,” she told the Guardian on Tuesday. “I’m still trying to get a handle on my job. It seems like ages but I’m just five months in and we have quite some time. The debates are in the summer and our first primary election for the entire country isn’t until next year.” Asked if she would consider endorsing Biden, widely seen as a centrist, Ocasio-Cortez replied: “I’d be hard pressed to see that happen, to be honest, in a primary.”Biden, comfortably leading every opinion poll, came under fire last week when Reuters reported he was pursuing a “middle ground” approach to the climate crisis. He later distanced himself from the implication.Ocasio-Cortez criticised politicians seeking “a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives”. Sanders, running second in most polls, tweeted that there was “no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy”.If and when Ocasio-Cortez does endorse a candidate, Sanders probably remains the favourite to secure her support. She was an organiser for his 2016 primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. The pair appeared at a rally in Washington last week to support the Green New Deal climate plan.In a short interview on Tuesday the congresswoman, who has more than 4 million Twitter followers, also reiterated her demand for Donald Trump’s impeachment. “I think that the grounds have been there for quite some time but the case is really getting to a larger point that we haven’t seen before,” she said.Democratic leaders are putting the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, under pressure to move ahead with the process. Ocasio-Cortez added: “I know that the conversation is really changing this week in the caucus and so we’ll see where the speaker lands.”
This immaculate 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback is estimated to sell at British auction for $95K. It’s hard not to whisper Steve McQueen’s name when presented with a Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback, even if it isn't a 1968 model. The American classifieds may provide evidence of eye-watering sums being traded for healthy Fastback specimens, but it’s not always the case in Great Britain.
A gang of gunmen reportedly attacked a bar in the capital of Brazil's northern Pará state Sunday afternoon, and authorities said 11 people were killed.The state security agency confirmed late Sunday only that six women and five men died in the incident in the Guamá neighborhood of the Pará state capital, Belém.The G1 news website said police reported that seven gunmen were involved in the attack, which also wounded one person. The news outlet said the attackers arrived at the bar on one motorcycle and in three cars.In late March, the federal government sent National Guard troops to Belém to reinforce security in the city for 90 days.Brazil hit a record high of 64,000 homicides in 2017, 70% of which were due to firearms, according to official statistics.Much of Brazil's violence is gang related. In January, gangs attacked across Fortaleza, bringing that city to a standstill with as commerce, buses and taxis shut down. (AP)See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.
Jose Luiz Gonzalez/ReutersThe U.S. Secret Service is now participating in a not-so-secret undertaking: dealing with the influx of migrants at America’s southern border. According to a communication from the Department of Homeland Security’s headquarters reviewed by The Daily Beast, the small law enforcement agency has sent personnel to the border already and is looking to send more in the coming weeks. The move came in response to a directive then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent out earlier this spring asking each component of the department to find volunteers and dispatch them to the border. Even though it’s most closely associated with the White House, the Secret Service—along with a host of other entities and agencies—is a component of DHS. And as a result, it’s shipping people south. A DHS spokesperson did not dispute this reporting. “As we have consistently said, the Department is considering all options to address the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” said the spokesperson. “We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress.”The Daily Beast reported last week that the arm of DHS that handles threats to America’s cybersecurity and critical infrastructure, called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, has struggled to find enough volunteers to head to the border and fulfill DHS headquarters’ request. The agency works to secure election systems, schools, and places of worship—all of which face acute threats. Besides protecting the president, the first family, and other prominent government figures, the Secret Service also conducts criminal investigations. Its focuses include financial crimes and cybersecurity threats. The diversion of law enforcement and national security personnel to the border has concerned some congressional Democrats, who say it may be a misuse of limited government resources. But pushing back against the dramatic increase in people trying to enter the U.S. through the southern border has become has become a singular priority of President Trump. In both March and April, law enforcement officials apprehended more than 100,000 people trying to enter the U.S., according to DHS statistics. During the Obama administration, the agency was beset by scandal: Washington socialites slipped past agents and crashed the president’s first state dinner; a Secret Service agent told his counterparts to stand down after a man fired a gun at the White House, thinking the sound came from a car backfiring; an agent who traveled to Amsterdam with the president to protect him got drunk and passed out in a hallway; and more, as NBC News has detailed. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
President Donald Trump's administration charged Tuesday it was "quite possible" Iran was responsible for the sabotage of Gulf oil interests but said its own robust response had prevented potential attacks on Americans. Top Trump officials appeared to be toning down weeks of fiery warnings to Iran before delivering a classified briefing to the full Congress, where opposition Democrats have accused the administration of hyping intelligence and pushing the United States dangerously close to war. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States has not made "a definitive conclusion" that can be presented publicly over the sabotage of oil tankers off the United Arab Emirates or drone strikes on a crude pipeline in Saudi Arabia.
President's legal team accuses Democrats of trying to dig up damaging information ahead of 2020 election; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.
The trade war with China has reached new heights in the past few weeks, as the Trump administration recently announced that US companies will be banned from buying equipment from certain Chinese companies. Huawei's name wasn't explicitly mentioned, but it was obviously implied that China's biggest tech company is included on the list. Separately, the US government also issued a ban that prevents Huawei from dealing with US tech companies, whether it's for parts procurement or software licenses. The first effects of that decision are already here, as Google has already said it will comply with the ban, effectively revoking Huawei's access to the version of Android that everybody wants. Several chipmakers, including Intel and Qualcomm, have also reportedly cut ties with Huawei for the time being.On top of that, a report reveals that top officials from the US intelligence community have been meeting with tech execs, universities, and trade organizations to brief them about the security perils related to doing business with China.The briefings began last October and have been held in California and Washington, The Financial Times reports (via The Verge), with US intelligence informing those in attendance about the cyber threats and the theft of intellectual property risks that come with dealing with China.Among those giving the briefings was Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, the report notes. The meetings reportedly included the sharing of classified information, which is an unusual element for such meetings. It's unclear what kind of information was shared with tech execs during these meetings, and what companies attended them.Republican Senator Marco Rubio, one of the politicians who organized the meetings, confirmed their existence. "The Chinese government and Communist party pose the greatest long-term threat to US economic and national security," Rubio said. "It's important that US companies, universities, and trade organizations understand fully that threat."
What does America need to save its troubled F-35 stealth fighter?Turkey, that’s what.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently warned that the multinational F-35 program, of which Turkey is a member, would fail if Turkey were excluded. Turkey is facing sanctions, including being dropped from the F-35 program if it goes ahead with purchasing Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which has raised Washington’s fears that F-35 secrets might be leaked to Russia. The U.S. has stopped shipping equipment to Turkey for that nation’s planned purchase of 100 F-35s, while the first two aircraft officially delivered to Turkey are still in the United States.For its part, Ankara is adamant that it has a right to purchase both American stealth fighters and Russian anti-aircraft missiles, despite the fact that the S-400 is one of the most likely Russian weapons to be used against the F-35. “We were surely not going to remain silent against our right to self-defense being disregarded and attempts to hit us where it hurts,” Erdogan said at a Turkish defense trade show. “This is the kind of process that is behind the S-400 agreement we reached with Russia.”“Nowadays, we are being subject to a similar injustice - or rather an imposition - on the F-35s ... Let me be frank: An F-35 project from which Turkey is excluded is bound to collapse completely.”
Announcement comes after Guardian revealed Google gave $150,000 in free ads to opaque anti-abortion groupBeginning in June, Google advertisers will be required to be certified. The company has recently faced scrutiny for providing advertising to an organization that sought to deter women from getting abortions. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesGoogle has changed its advertising policy after facing scrutiny for providing tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising to an anti-abortion group that runs misleading ads designed to deter women from terminating their pregnancies.Google announced this week that starting in June, advertisers running ads “using keywords related to getting an abortion” will first have to distinguish themselves as an organization that “either provides abortions or does not provide abortions”, according to the new policy update.The policy change comes after the Guardian revealed the Obria Group ran ads suggesting it provides abortion services at its medical clinics, but actually sought to deter “abortion-minded women” from terminating their pregnancies.Obria runs a network of clinics known as crisis pregnancy centers across the US that provide some prenatal treatment, such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and counseling, but also seek to deter women from seeking abortions and do not offer referrals for alternative treatment.Obria was awarded a $120,000 Google advertising grant in 2015, according to a public filing. In 2011, it received nearly $32,000.The report led to pressure from lawmakers in Washington, who denounced the “intentional misinformation campaigns” of organizations such as the Obria Group.Carolyn Maloney, a senior Democratic congresswoman from New York, said in a letter sent to Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, that she was “appalled” by the report in the Guardian that Google awarded $150,000 in free advertising to the Obria Group, which Maloney said had a history of falsely advertising medical services to women.“Google should in no way be subsidizing any misinformation campaigns, especially campaigns designed to deceive women about their own reproductive care options,” Maloney said in her letter to Pichai.“Your continued support of Obria Group’s intentional misinformation campaigns denies women access to truthful information about their medical choices,” she added.The letter was jointly signed with Suzanne Bonamici, a Democratic congresswoman from Oregon.Google had already come under pressure in the past for running advertisements that appear to violate its own policies against misrepresentation in advertising, yet the company continued to publish ads for clinics that seem to offer abortion services but are actually opposed to terminations and try to dissuade women from seeking them out.Pro-choice groups have welcomed the policy change. “Fake women’s health centers have a well-documented history of using lies and deception to push medically inaccurate information and prevent women from accessing essential healthcare,” said Adrienne Kimmell, vice president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “People turn to the internet for information at vulnerable moments in their lives, and it’s important that women are able to trust Google for access to accurate and safe information, not deceptive websites and advertisements that hide their true ideology and agenda.”According to the new Google policy, advertisers must get certified by submitting an application that requires basic information about the organization.“Depending on how you’re certified, Google will automatically generate one of the following in-ad disclosures for your abortion product or service ads: ‘Provides abortions’ or ‘Does not provide abortions’,” the new policy reads.“The disclosures will show on all search ad formats. This added transparency will help ensure that users have the necessary information to decide which abortion-related ads are most relevant to them.”Adrian Horton contributed to this report
A French woman whose husband died in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX airliner in Ethiopia has filed a U.S. lawsuit against the planemaker, seeking at least $276 million in damages. The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March killed all 157 passengers and crew aboard and followed the death in October of 189 people on a Lion Air 737 MAX which plunged into the ocean off Indonesia in similar circumstances. Dozens of families have sued Boeing over the Lion Air crash, and several lawsuits have been lodged over the Ethiopian crash near the capital Addis Ababa, which led airlines around the world to ground the Boeing 737 MAX.
A tornado tore through a neighborhood near Tulsa International Airport on Tuesday as a powerful storm triggered flash flooding and washed out roads across parts of Oklahoma.
Grady Wayne Wilkes, 29, was arrested Monday following a massive manhunt that involved multiple police agencies and aircrafts.
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A prominent rights group in Indian-controlled Kashmir is advocating for the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate what it calls the endemic use of torture by government forces amid a decades-long anti-India uprising in the disputed region.
Amid escalating tensions between the two countries
Order these appliances and tools today on Amazon for up to 55 percent off-just in time for Memorial Day.From Popular Mechanics
For years, analysts have maintained that Apple needs to move past the iPhone and look for additional revenue streams. Consequently, many analysts over the years have proposed that Apple would be well advised to make a blockbuster acquisition and snatch up a company like Netflix or Tesla.Interestingly enough, it turns out that Apple actually did make an effort to acquire Tesla six years ago at a valuation of $240 a share. Incidentally, Tesla's share price has been reeling lately and is currently hovering in the $200 range. Word of Apple's efforts to acquire Tesla was brought to light by analyst Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners who revealed the interesting tidbit on CNBC (via Electrek) earlier today."Around 2013, there was a serious bid from Apple at around $240 a share," Irwin said."This is something we did multiple checks on," Irwin added. "I have complete confidence that this is accurate. Apple bid for Tesla. I don't know if it got to a formal paperwork stage, but I know from multiple different sources that this was very credible."Notably, there have been rumblings over the years regarding Apple's interest in Tesla, but this is the first time we've seen a report that Apple was legitimately trying to make a serious play for the electric automaker.You might also recall reports from a few years back which revealed that Elon Musk, sometime in mid-2013 -- sat down for a meeting with Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica and, rumor has it, Tim Cook himself.Apple, of course, has been busy working on its own car initiative -- known as Project Titan -- for the past few years, though it remains to be seen if anything concrete ever manifests from its efforts. Early reports hinted that Apple was set on designing and building its own car, though a plethora of technical challenges ultimately resulted in a few rounds of layoffs and employees being shifted over to other projects. Last we heard, Apple's Project Titan is still ongoing but is now focused on autonomous systems as opposed to designing a car from the ground up.Interestingly, and somewhat uncharacteristically, Tim Cook confirmed this during an interview a few years ago. "We're focusing on autonomous systems," Cook said in 2017. "It's a core technology that we view as very important."Lastly, with Morgan Stanley recently noting that Tesla shares may sink to $10/share in a worst-case scenario, it will be interesting to see if Apple might swoop in and pick up the company at a huge discount.
China’s navy has a new problem: not enough names for its rapidly growing fleet of warships.“China is running out of provincial capitals to name new destroyers, and it might have to turn to other big domestic cities, which reflects the country's rapid naval development in recent years,” according to Chinese newspaper Global Times.The People’s Liberation Army Navy recently named its first Type 055 destroyer the Nanchang, which is the capital city of East China's Jiangxi Province.One of the three other Type 055 destroyers will be named Lhasa, the capital of Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, according to Chinese media. That just leaves Nanning and Taipei as the names of provincial capitals for destroyers (Taipei is Taiwan’s capital, though Taiwan has not yet declared independence as a separate nation from China).Which means non-capital cities will have to bequeath their names to Chinese destroyers. The latest destroyer is named Qiqihar, which is a non-capital city in in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province. A few ships have been named after major cities, such as the Shenzen, a Type 051 destroyer.“Chinese destroyers and frigates should be named after big and medium Chinese cities, according to the naval vessels naming regulation,” Global Times said. “This means naming of destroyers does not necessarily have to use provincial capitals, as it was a non-binding tradition.”
A man, believed to be Russian, who sparked a mass evacuation of the Eiffel Tower by scaling the iconic Paris landmark has been admitted to a psychiatric unit, legal sources said Tuesday. The man caused chaos Monday and the closure of the monument to tourists by spending six hours clinging to the outer metal framework of the Eiffel Tower. An investigation has been opened for unauthorised entry into a cultural monument, a judicial source said.
Shares in European semiconductor companies, one of the most sensitive sectors to the global trade tensions, recovered from their worst day in 4-1/2 months on Tuesday after the White House backtracked overnight on tough limits on China's Huawei. AMS, STMicroelectronics and Germany's Infineon shot higher - between 2-5.6% - in early deals after Washington temporarily eased trade limits on China's Huawei Technologies, in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers. The technology index was up 1% at 0741 GMT, recovering some of the 2.8% lost on Monday as investors shunned the sector amid worries that Huawei suppliers would lose business or have to sever ties with the world's No. 2 smartphone company due to tough U.S. restrictions imposed last week.
A wild, rugged, mountainous region of Slovakia dotted with plunging waterfalls and lakes and hiking trails has been named the top European destination of 2019 by the travel experts at Lonely Planet.