The former vice president blasted President Trump for telling the crowd at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this week that he “deserted” them.
Weather forecasters on Wednesday expected drenching rains to roll into the storm-ravaged U.S. southern and central states, where thunderstorms and tornadoes killed at least three people and triggered widespread flooding. More than 30 tornadoes struck a swath from Texas to Iowa since Monday, according to the National Weather Service, and residents in at least three Oklahoma riverfront communities were urged to evacuate due to flooding. One person was killed and another was injured when a tornado struck the rural town of Adair, Iowa, about 50 miles (80 km)west of Des Moines, at about 1:30 a.m. local time, the weather service said.
No decision about sending troops has been made amid tensions with Iran
New charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange quickly drew alarm Thursday from media organizations and others. The groups are concerned that the Justice Department is charging Assange for actions that ordinary journalists do routinely in their jobs. Department officials said they don't view Assange, who founded WikiLeaks in 2006, as a journalist.
The US has hit China where it hurts by going after its telecom champion Huawei, but Beijing's control of the global supply of rare earths used in smartphones and electric cars gives it a powerful weapon in their escalating tech war. A seemingly routine visit by President Xi Jinping to a Chinese rare earths company this week is being widely read as an obvious threat that Beijing is standing ready for action. Xi's inspection tour "is no accident, this didn't happen by chance," said Li Mingjiang, China programme coordinator at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore.
Six Russian Tu-95 heavy bombers and several Russian Su-35 fighters probed U.S. air-defenses on May 20 and May 21, 2019, prolonging a period of aerial tension between the Moscow and Washington.U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighters and supporting aircraft on both days peacefully intercepted the Russian planes. “The Russian bombers and fighters remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace,” North American Aerospace Defense Command reported.“Two pairs of F-22s and an E-3 airborne early warning and control system from North American Aerospace Defense Command positively identified and intercepted a total of four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on May 20,” noted the command, which also is known by its Cold War acronym “NORAD.”“Specifically, two of the Russian bombers were intercepted by two F-22s, and a second group of bombers with Su-35 fighters was intercepted later by two additional F-22s, while the E-3 provided overall surveillance.”
The U.S. administration is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision, media reports show, deepening worries that trade friction between the world's top two economies could be further inflamed. The restrictions would limit Hikvision's ability to buy U.S. technology and American companies may have to obtain government approval to supply components to the Chinese firm, the New York Times reported https://nyti.ms/2MfgBS3 on Tuesday. The United States stuck Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world's largest telecom network gear maker, in a major escalation in the trade war.
Theresa May made a desperate final gamble to get her Brexit deal through the British Parliament before she’s thrown out of office -- but her efforts looked doomed. In a hastily arranged speech on Tuesday, the embattled prime minister promised to give members of Parliament a vote on whether to call another referendum to ratify Britain’s divorce from the European Union. It’s something many MPs -- including scores in the opposition Labour Party -- have been calling for, but she made it conditional on them backing her deal first.
Michael Avenatti, the celebrity lawyer, has been charged with defrauding porn star Stormy Daniels, whom he represented in her legal battle with Donald Trump. Mr Avenatti became a regular on cable news programmes as he championed Ms Daniels' case against the president and at one point even pondered running for the White House himself. But the 48-year-old was charged on Wednesday with doctoring a document to divert about $300,000 (£236,800) that Ms Daniels was supposed to get from a book deal, to fund personal and business expenses. Only half of that money was paid back, prosecutors in New York said. Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, is not named in the court filing, but the details of the case, including the date her book was released, make it clear that she is the client involved. Michael Avenatti has protested his innocence Credit: AFP Mr Avenatti has strongly refuted the charges, writing on Twitter that no money relating to the porn star were "ever misappropriated or mishandled" adding "I look forward to a jury hearing the evidence". Mr Avenatti represented Ms Daniels when she sued to be released from a non-disclosure agreement barring her from discussing an alleged affair with Mr Trump. The charges follow previous allegations of legal misconduct by Mr Avenatti, who represented Daniels when she sued to be released from a nondisclosure agreement barring her from discussing an alleged affair with Mr Trump. Mr Avenatti was previously charged in New York with trying to extort up to $25 million (£19.7 million) from Nike by threatening to expose claims that the shoemaker paid off high school basketball players to steer them to Nike-sponsored colleges. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, he is facing multiple charges alleging that he stole millions of dollars from clients, did not pay taxes, committed bank fraud and lied during bankruptcy proceedings. Mr Avenatti has denied the allegations against him on both coasts, saying he expects to be exonerated. Ms Daniels initially hired Mr Avenatti to handle a lawsuit she filed last year in which she sought to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement she had signed with Mr Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen in exchange for $130,000. Stormy Daniels timeline The money was supposed to buy her silence about an alleged 2006 affair with the president, who denies that it took place. In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws in connection with the payment. Ms Daniels first publicly raised concerns about Mr Avenatti's conduct in November, accusing her lawyer of launching a fundraising effort to raise money for her legal case without telling her. She also said he had filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr Trump, on her behalf, against her wishes. The lawsuit backfired, with a judge ordering Ms Daniels to pay the president's legal bills. Mr Avenatti has claimed that under his retention agreement, she had agreed to pay him just $100 for his services, and he was entitled to keep all the money he raised for her legal defense to recoup what he said were substantial costs of her case. In March, Ms Daniels said she had fired the lawyer a month earlier after "discovering that he had dealt with me extremely dishonestly."
The National Weather Service confirmed that the deadly tornado moved over Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, shortly before midnight. Across the state, Missouri's first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Governor Mike Parson said. Authorities said the three were killed in the Golden City area of Barton county, near Missouri's south-west corner, as the severe weather moved in from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water.
People and animals were injured and cars were smashed in an RV chase, highlighting the dangers when authorities take off after fleeing suspects.
Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president's son "evidently retarded." Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat. Mooney said Rogers brought "shame" on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban.
Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) announced on Wednesday that he will create a “White House Office of Reproductive Freedom” if he triumphs in the expansive Democratic primary field and is elected president in 2020.According to a plan released by Booker's campaign, the office would coordinate with officials from multiple agencies to ensure the fulfillment of his administration's reproductive-health priorities, including, among other things, access to abortion, contraception, paid family leave, and pregnancy care.“Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country are mounting a coordinated attack on abortion access and reproductive rights,” Booker said in a statement. “A coordinated attack requires a coordinated response. That’s why on day one of my presidency, I will immediately and decisively take executive action to respond to these relentless efforts to erode Americans’ rights to control their own bodies. I will also pursue a legislative response, including legislation to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law.”As part of this effort, Booker also vowed to reinstate funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which focuses on promoting global reproductive health. He also would reverse the Trump administration's Mexico City policy, which prohibits clinics that receive federal funding under Title X from providing or promoting abortion overseas.The announcement comes just days after Alabama governor Kay Ivey signed the nation's most restrictive abortion bill into law. The bill, which prohibits virtually all abortions at any stage of pregnancy, is currently unenforceable but was advanced by the state's Republican legislature in order to prompt a challenge to Roe v. Wade.Booker and a number of his fellow presidential aspirants have vowed to advance federal legislation to codify the federal abortion policy created by the Supreme Court decision in Roe.
British Steel collapsed on Wednesday after the government said last-ditch talks with its owners failed to secure a full financial rescue. The High Court in London ordered British Steel Limited into compulsory liquidation, a statement said. "British Steel Limited was wound-up in the High Court" on Wednesday, meaning its assets would be sold to help pay debts.
A serial con artist was arrested Wednesday after allegedly scamming a Georgiawoman he met on Match
PG&E Corp may set up a $105 million housing fund for victims of 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, which set records for devastation and were blamed on the utility's equipment, the judge overseeing the investor-owned power producer's bankruptcy ruled on Wednesday. Creditors, which include wildfire victims, are fighting for funds as PG&E navigates bankruptcy stemming from the blazes and as the state plans for increasingly long and dangerous fire seasons its officials attribute to climate change. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali at a hearing approved a motion by PG&E seeking permission to establish the fund for people who lost homes in the fires and were uninsured or have used up or will exhaust their insurance.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has surged to a majority on his own in India’s general election, with his Bharatiya Janata Party establishing a commanding lead in vote counting. "India wins yet again," Modi said in a tweet. BJP supporters have begun celebrating in the streets as the party extended its lead in more than 299 seats -- easily ahead of the 272 seats needed to form government and more than the 282 the party won in 2014.
Toyota is recalling 43,221 of its 2015 to 2017 Yaris hatchbacks because faulty wiring might prevent side and curtain airbags from deploying in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic S...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on storm damage in the Southern Plains and Midwest (all times local):
Coming on top of the previous day's goading, in which Trump angrily flounced out of a White House meeting with her after Pelosi had accused him of being “engaged in a coverup”, the House speaker's call for an intervention appeared to hit its mark. Trump responded on Thursday by going on what can only be described as a Pelosi rant, at a White House event for farmers and ranchers. He began by showing the nation that he was in full possession of his faculties, contrary to the House speaker's insinuation, by proclaiming: “I am an extremely stable genius.
By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft such as the Navy Osprey tiltrotor aircraft variant.As the F-35C becomes officially deemed “operational” and “ready for war," the Navy is adding weapons, sensors and software to the aircraft to expand its attack envelope --- and may even increase the F-35s ability to carry up to 6 air-to-air weapons in its internal weapons bay.Such a configuration, which would increase the stealth fighter’s internal weapons load by two missiles, has been designed and implemented by F-35-maker Lockheed Martin -- as an offering for the Air Force and Navy to consider.“Lockheed Martin has matured design concepts to integrate 6 air-to-air missiles within the internal weapons bays of the F-35A and F-35C variants,” Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Friedman told Warrior in a written statement.While making a point to emphasize that any decision to increase the weapons capacity of the F-35 would of course need to come from the military services themselves, Lockheed engineers say the new “internally carried” firepower would massive increase attack options -- all while preserving the stealth configuration of the aircraft.
China's three biggest airlines have filed claims seeking compensation from Boeing over the grounding and delayed delivery of 737 MAX 8 aircraft following two deadly crashes, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday. The reports in various state-run media that China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China would seek payouts from the American aerospace giant come against the backdrop of an escalating US-China trade war. China Southern is Asia's largest carrier by fleet size, China Eastern is the country's number two, while Air China is the state flag carrier.
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIf you’re accused of stealing an animatronic child from Disney World, maybe don’t make a wildly popular Disney-related Twitter account and post a picture of the stolen robot child with its eyes gouged out.“Buzzy,” an animatronic boy from an abandoned Disney World attraction, has been missing for months. Online, Disney superfans treated the disappearance like a kidnapping. But the investigation into the theft led police to someone in the online Disney fandom: a Disney blogger who taunted Disney about their security, posted conspiracy theories about Buzzy’s disappearance and, in the final days before his arrest, uploaded a picture of the robot’s decapitated and eyeball-less head.Patrick Spikes, 24, was arrested last week. He worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, until last year. But Spikes didn’t completely part ways with the theme park after he stopped working there. Instead, he started churning out videos, podcasts, and tweets under the username “BackDoorDisney.” His Twitter account, which amassed more than 17,000 followers before going dark last week, promised to give fans an inside view of Disney World. In its seven months of operation, the account uploaded pictures of Disney control rooms, secret maps, and Disney cast members pretending to have sex while dressed as characters from Toy Story.Soon, Spikes was posting about an even more salacious Disney World story. In August, Disney told police that someone had stolen clothes off Buzzy. The 300-pound animatronic child used to sit inside the “Cranium Command” exhibit, in Epcot’s Wonders of Life Pavilion. But the building, which hosted somewhat dated attractions, had been closed for years. The stolen clothes (including a miniature bomber jacket) were worth nearly $7,000, Disney claimed, according to an affidavit from Florida’s Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Later, the entire robot was stolen, an operation that required the thief to cut through electric cables.Spikes and other Disney bloggers posted about Buzzy’s rumored disappearance. But Spikes and a crowd of Disney fans who broke into the park soon came under suspicion. Spikes routinely boasted of secret trips through Disney World, including with a friend who climbed the park’s Thunder Mountain roller coaster.“Good job filling the holes under the Mk back fence this morning,” Spikes wrote in a January tweet directed at Disney. “I told you guys about this issue 2 months ago but it took somebody going in and climbing one of your coasters for you to care.”On his personal Twitter account, Spikes taunted Disney, advising them to buy a bulk box of security cameras from Best Buy. As the search for Buzzy continued, Disney fans speculated that an urban explorer might have snatched the robot.Eventually, police began narrowing in on Spikes and his scene. Investigators found an October picture of Buzzy on Spikes’ @BackDoorDisney account. The picture does not appear to have been taken inside the Cranium Command exhibit. In texts with investigators, Spikes allegedly let slip that Buzzy’s clothes were sold on the black market for $8,000.Police got a warrant for Spikes’ cellphone and called him in for questioning in December. The meeting went poorly when Spikes tried to cut it short.“The defendant stated he felt sick and felt that he was going to vomit,” police alleged in an affidavit. “A short time later, he began to make strained breathing noises, and stated he couldn’t breath. He requested water, which was given to him, and also was allowed to lay on the floor. The fire department responded and all vitals were normal.” Spikes was taken to a hospital. Police charged him with non-violently resisting arrest. He has pleaded not guilty.Spikes later made a video about a police search on his house, and professed his innocence.“I said ‘really? The entire thing got stolen?’ I didn’t really believe it,” he said in the March video. “It blew my mind. I was like, you can’t be serious right now.”Later in the video, Spikes suggested that Disney had staged Buzzy’s disappearance in order to shut down his BackDoorDisney account.“There’s a theory someone talked about that Imagineering [a Disney team] removed Buzzy and didn’t tell anyone else. So when Operations, the part of the company that runs the Pavillion noticed he was missing, they filed him as ‘stolen,’” he said. “Did Disney willingly file a report, knowing the thing wasn’t stolen, just to run me down? Because obviously I had been posting a lot of backstage photos and stuff, and information … It almost seems like they wanted my phones because they knew I had a lot of backstage photos on them.”But BackDoorDisney kept implying inside knowledge of Buzzy’s disappearance.In a May 12 tweet, he tweeted a picture of Buzzy’s fate. The tweet showed a picture of Buzzy’s decapitated head, with its eyeballs scratched off. The image was included in a screenshot of a text Spikes received, which meant someone else might have stolen the robot.TwitterFive days later, police arrested Spikes. Although Buzzy’s disappearance featured prominently in an arrest affidavit (police appear to have started investigating him over Buzzy’s theft), Spikes was actually charged for a different series of alleged thefts from Disney World. His lawyer did not return The Daily Beast’s request for comment.In July, police alleged, Spikes printed a fake Disney employee card for his cousin and snuck him into the park. The pair allegedly snuck into the Haunted Mansion, a popular ride, and stole a collection of wigs and outfits from backstage. The clothes, which were designed for the ride’s animatronic ghosts, cost between $40 (a tiara) and $1,746 (a robot’s jacket), adding up to more than $7,000.Spikes and his cousin allegedly took pictures throughout the heist, and posed in the wigs at a nearby 7-Eleven. A video from shortly after the theft allegedly shows Spikes’ cousin’s girlfriend wearing a robot’s stolen dress.Disney may have priced the clothes at just over $7,000, but they allegedly went for four times that price on the black market. Days after the alleged burglary, Spikes allegedly received a combined $29,451 payment from two people over Paypal. One of the people, whose name is redacted in the affidavit, told police he paid Spikes $8,890 for 18 items from various Disney heists, including $1,000 for a Haunted Mansion dress.Shortly before his arrest, Spikes teased a forthcoming video about the black market for stolen Disney gear.Police haven’t charged Spikes with Buzzy’s disappearance. But they say his video about the raid on his house raised questions about his involvement. In the video, he showed part of a search warrant for his house. Police say he edited the document to remove references to two pieces of evidence police sought.“The fact that Spikes altered the warrant for his video and only removed these two items indicate that he was aware these items were used in a crime,” the affidavit reads.In that same video, Spikes tells viewers he’ll keep his lips tight about Buzzy’s disappearance until the investigation is over.“If things are still under investigation, I’m not going to get on YouTube and run my mouth about it,” he said. “That would be dumb.”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.