Tehran and Washington have this month been escalating rhetoric against each other, following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to try to cut Iran's oil exports to zero and beef up the U.S. military presence in the Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats. The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request had been made by U.S. Central Command, but added that it was not clear whether the Pentagon would approve the request. The Pentagon regularly receives - and declines - requests for additional resources from U.S. combatant commands throughout the world.
Three people were killed in the small town of Golden City, Missouri, officials said, while the midwestern state's capital Jefferson City was struck by what the National Weather Service called a "large and destructive" tornado Wednesday night. The tornado caused significant damage, trapping people in buildings and homes, and knocking down power lines and trees. Rescue workers were checking door-to-door for survivors Thursday, some 20 people were injured and treated at hospitals overnight, and more injuries were expected, officials said.
For the purposes of Lockheed's marketing campaign, the F-21 is a new fighter, although it shares many of its major features with the F-16V the company has sold to Bahrain, Greece, Slovakia, South Korea and Taiwan. Lockheed can build new F-16Vs or upgrade older F-16s to the V-standard.Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes.(This first appeared earlier in the month.)But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract.According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.Singh explains his rationale in the May 2019 issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. India previously ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender. “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.”Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States. Whichever fighter New Delhi selects, it needs the new jets now, according to Singh.
Narendra Modi swept back into power on Thursday as his Hindu nationalist party made unexpected gains in a landslide victory. After a mammoth six-week election in which over 600 million people voted, all the results were tallied on Thursday and within hours the TV networks predicted a win for Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party ahead in 300 of the 542 seats up for grabs, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament. That would give his party the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. "Together we grow," Mr Modi said on Twitter. "Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!" Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at BJP headquarters to attend a ceremony to thank the Union Council of Ministers for their contribution in India's general election, in New Delhi Credit: AFP The win by Modi and the BJP has surprised even the most hardened political analysts, with the consensus being that they would be returned to power but with a reduced majority. His re-election reinforces a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, from the United States to Brazil and Italy, often after adopting harsh positions on protectionism, immigration and defence. The result reinforces Mr Modi's immense popularity and vindicated what at times was a belligerent campaign by several parties, with the focus heavily on the economy, national security, and from the BJP's perspective, an affirmation of its underlying ideology of Hindu nationalism. Nalin Kohli, a senior BJP official, claimed his party had picked up votes from Muslims, especially Muslim women. “We are the party of power, we are the flavour of the season. It is the aspirations of 1 billion-plus people that have elected us." The main opposition Congress party was heading for a better performance than its nadir in 2014, but early results suggested it would get at least 52 seats. With its partners it makes up the United Progressive Alliance, which was predicted to hit the 110 mark. With some of the BJP's critics accusing it of making India a more divisive country, particularly for Muslims and other minorities, many are asking what happens next for India. सबका साथ + सबका विकास + सबका विश्वास = विजयी भारत Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again! VijayiBharat— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2019 Professor Santosh Kumar Rai, of Delhi University, said: “Certainly a second term means an ideological victory, even if it is more a personality cult. With a [BJP] majority, a rightist agenda with all the institutions of the state under its control, the party will be more likely to convert India into a majoritarian state. “Law, education and culture will be the major areas expecting paradigm shift. Foreign and Finance policies will continue as they are going on now.” The election has been the biggest democratic exercise in history with an electorate of 900million, more than 1 million polling booths, seen phases of polling, seven national parties and dozens more regional parties vying for seats in the New Delhi parliament. Commentators have said Mr Modi put himself at the centre of a more presidential style of campaign, often making himself and his party interchangeable. At a packed victory rally at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, Mr Modi said: "This victory will be an inspiration for generations in the country. Crores [tens of millions] of Indians have blessed us, my gratitude to the people. "This is the highest voter turnout since Independence, even in adverse weather conditions. I congratulate the Election Commission for conducting smooth elections in such a big democracy. "I have been saying that no party or candidate is fighting the polls but the people of India are. If anybody has won, it is the people of India. This is the biggest event in any democracy in the world." Referring to his rivals in the Congress Party, he said: "They used a fake tag of Secularism that they thought would wash all sins; today these people have been completely unmasked. Today, India has only two castes - those who are poor and those who want to eradicate poverty. "This is not Modi’s victory. This is victory of honest people’s hope, this is a victory of youths who have walked on the path of 21st century with dreams.”
When the Justice Department unsealed a March 2018 indictment of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange last month, there was a reasonable case to be made that his prosecution would avoid setting a dangerous precedent against press freedom. The original indictment charged Assange with computer hacking on the novel theory that he coached Private Chelsea Manning on how to crack passwords on Department of Defense computers that stored the reams of secret diplomatic cables Wikileaks eventually published. Journalists routinely encourage sources to encrypt their texts and phone calls.
While abortion is legal nationwide, Americans have unequal access to the procedure, depending on their location in the United States and how much they are able to spend. The disparities are great indeed, from the more than 150 abortion clinics available in the most populous state of California, to only one in states like Mississippi in the South or Missouri in the Midwest. State laws also vary widely on other matters like speed limits for drivers and marriage age requirements, but the Supreme Court has set a "minimum standard throughout the entire country," noted Meg Penrose, of the Texas A&M School of Law.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has cut ties with Purdue Pharma LP over the OxyContin maker's alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, forcing it to find a new bank to manage cash and bill payments, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The move makes JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, the most high-profile corporation known to have distanced itself from Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, amid thousands of lawsuits alleging the company pushed addictive painkillers while downplaying their abuse and overdose risks. JPMorgan's decision also underscores a drive among U.S. banks to reassess their relationships with clients and industries in response to controversy and political debates over matters such as immigration detention and mass shootings.
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.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has a tough job in Congress amid Democrat impeachment pleas and Trump allies denying subpoenas.
A violent tornado ripped through Jefferson City, Missouri, late Wednesday, leaving many trapped and others injured. More storms are forecast.
Delirious supporters of India's ruling party banged drums and smothered each other in saffron paint as they celebrated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide victory in the country's giant election. Across India, supporters of Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress party were both stunned by the size of the Hindu nationalist leader's triumph, with early counts indicating a thumping majority for the BJP.
Huawei handsets are drawing fewer clicks from online shoppers since the United States blacklisted the Chinese telecom company, according to PriceSpy, a product comparison site that attracts an average of 14 million visitors per month. "It's not just network providers and tech giants who are turning their backs on Huawei," said Vanessa Katsapa, UK and Ireland country manager at PriceSpy. "Over the last four days, Huawei handsets have slumped in popularity – receiving almost half as many clicks as they did last week in the UK and 26% less on the global stage," Katsapa said.
Climate change has long been a disaster in the making, but until recently the American public tended to treat it as an afterthought. The Green New Deal brought climate change front and center, and made Americans think about big bold solutions instead of technical tweaks and half measures. The think tank Data for Progress has a plan that actually predates Ocasio-Cortez’s, but which goes into much greater detail about how to combat climate change both at home and abroad.
Julian Assange was indicted by the U.S. under the Espionage Act on Thursday, setting the stage for a dramatic confrontation between U.S. and Swedish prosecutors, who each want to extradite Assange before the other. Sweden had, a week earlier, re-opened a rape investigation into the Wikileaks founder and began steps to request his extradition. The only U.S. charge against Assange before Thursday was one count of conspiring to hack a password, which came with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Simulator training remains a "possible option" for Canadian Boeing 737 MAX pilots, but it's too early to say whether it would be mandatory, a Transport Canada official said on Thursday night, further distancing the regulator from previous remarks by the country's transport minister. "It would be premature not seeing what Boeing has fully proposed yet to determine if simulator training will in fact be included," said Nicholas Robinson, the regulator's director general, civil aviation, told reporters on a conference call following a meeting of global regulators in Texas. Canada's Transport Minister Marc Garneau called in April for pilots to received simulator training for Boeing's software fix.
Texas moved a big step closer to arming more teachers and school personnel as a way to help prevent future campus shootings, under a bill sent to Gov. Greg Abbott. The measure approved Wednesday night by the state Senate changes the 6-year-old school marshal program that had limited the number of armed marshals, and instead opens campuses to as many as local school districts feel they need. The bill was among several school security measures pushed by Gov. Greg Abbott after a gunman killed eight students and two substitute teachers at Santa Fe High School near Houston on May 18, 2018.
Democrats called proposals to send an extra 10,000 US troops to the Middle East "deeply troubling" as they renewed efforts to undermine Donald Trump's legal authority to launch a war against Iran. US Central Command asked for the troops, and weapons systems including Patriot missile batteries and more ships, and senior defence officials briefed the White House on the plans yesterday [THURS]. A Pentagon official said the extra forces were intended as a "deterrent" and not a move to provoke Iran. The "defensive" plan had been formulating for some time and was not a response to any very recent events. Any eventual buildup would depend on how much of the various requests from Centcom commander General Kenneth McKenzie were approved. Patrick Shanahan, the acting US defence secretary, confirmed the Pentagon was considering sending additional US troops to the Middle East. He said: "What we're looking at is - Are there things that we can do to enhance force protection in the Middle East? It may involve sending additional troops." US troops launch an F-18 Super Hornet from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea. Credit: AP Democrats in Congress criticised the move, even suggesting it could lead to war within weeks. Tom Udall, a Democrat senator, said: "At the end of this week we [Congress] are going on break. With this building up there’s a huge potential for miscalculation. When we return, we could be in the middle of a war." Democrats have been ramping up efforts to rein back Mr Trump's ability to go to war with Iran using the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The AUMF was introduced after the September 11, 2001 attacks and allows a president to pursue terrorists around the world without seeking approval from Congress. A bid by Democrats to specifically exclude Iran from the AUMF was blocked by Republicans on the senate foreign affairs committee yesterday. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking during a government meeting in the capital Tehran Credit: AFP Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat congresswoman and former CIA officer, said the developments were "deeply troubling". She said: "We've seen a general lack of strategy in the way we are engaging with Iran. "Congress holds the authority to approve war powers. If we are in any way moving towards using troops then Congress needs to be involved in that." Mr Trump has repeatedly expressed his preference to reduce the US troop presence in the Middle East. But Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said: "We're evaluating the risks, making sure that we have it right. The exact force posture, the president is looking at that every day. "You can be sure that President Trump will ensure that we have all the resources necessary to respond in the event that Iran should decide to attack Americans or American interests." Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said there would be no talks with the US "under any circumstances".
The Fed’s 2018 report on the economic well-being of households, published Thursday, indicated “most measures” of well-being and financial resilience “were similar to, or slightly better than, those in 2017.” The slight improvement coincided with a decline in the average unemployment rate to 3.9% last year, from 4.3% in 2017. The statistic, which was a bit better than in the 2017 report, has become a favorite rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump’s boasts about a strong economy among Democratic politicians, including 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California. “Relatively small, unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance, can be a hardship for many families without adequate savings,” the report said.
It's sometimes hard to make sense of what's going on with Tesla. Is the company on the verge of going bankrupt, or poised to set new records for deliveries? A few days ago, an internal email from Musk to Tesla employees claimed that the company was in danger of running out of cash in just 10 months time.
Ukraine's new President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian with no previous political experience, on Thursday said his first days in office have been "a bit of a shock". "There's a lot of work," the 41-year-old told AFP on the sidelines of an international book fair in the capital Kiev. "I do not like the atmosphere, the building," said Ukraine's sixth president since independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
There are millions of apps available for your phone, but you can't take all of them on your next trip. Of the 10 most-downloaded iPhone apps last year, only one – Google Maps – made the list (at No. 8). "Google Maps first comes to mind," says Anne Woodyard, who owns a tour company in Reston, Virginia.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on storm damage in the Southern Plains and Midwest (all times local):
The 17-year-old suspect told reporters that he was "defending his friend." He's charged with second-degree assault.