Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, has found herself a woman without a country, denounced by Democrats and recently, even the president.Lavish praise for president still rankles »
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.”
Hasenpusch/picture alliance via Getty Images/Business Insider Igor Grechushkin, the Russian owner of the ship that carried a huge cargo of explosives to Beirut, which exploded years later, was questioned by Cypriot police on Thursday, reports say. Grechushkin abandoned the MV Rhosus and its cargo of 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate in 2014. Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo until Tuesday's catastrophic explosion.
A brawl at a hotel near Disneyland on Wednesday involved as many as 100 people and two people were hospitalized, police said. The fight involved hotel guests and grew to include between 60 and 100 people, Sgt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY. Broomsticks and bottles were used as weapons during the fight at the Cambria Hotel & Suites, witnesses and police said.
To the editor: It is hard to see Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris as truly hailing from California vis-a-vis the speculation of whether Joe Biden will pick her as the vice presidential nominee. The malicious machine working to reelect President Trump will have a field day with this. If Harris treats being vice president as she has her current position, Biden will have a hard time finding her in town as she will be off campaigning for his job.
In an interview with representatives of the associations of Black and Hispanic journalists, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden showed a willingness to end the use of the legislative filibuster while maintaining it's unlikely that such a measure would be necessary if he's elected in November. He said that he expects the Democratic Party to win five to six seats in the Senate as well as the White House. Biden's response is part of an interview that will air Thursday at the combined convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
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.
Pope Francis appointed new members to the Vatican's Council for the Economy on Thursday, and in addition to several cardinals, he also added seven new laypeople to the committee. The historic move means there are more senior female officials serving the Vatican than ever before. The six female appointees are: Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, of Germany; Eva Castillo Sanz, of Spain; Leslie Jane Ferrar, of Great Britain; Marija Kolak, of Germany; María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea, of Spain; and Ruth Maria Kelly, of Great Britain.
The U.S. State Department dropped its global “Level 4” health warning urging people not to travel abroad Thursday, but promptly re-imposed that same advisory level on Mexico. It issued a Level 4 “do not travel” warning for all of Mexico, citing COVID-19. Mexico pushed passed 50,000 deaths Thursday and has reported 462,690 confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, far less than the United States.
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.
Satellite imagery obtained by NBC News' Social Newsgathering team from Planet Labs, Inc. and Maxar Technologies shows the damage sustained by yesterday's explosions at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon. The imagery shows nearby buildings that sustained significant damage or were destroyed by the explosion, which has killed more than 135 people and injured at least 5,000, Lebanon's Health Minister Hamad Hasan said Wednesday. About 200,000 people are now displaced in the city, according to Beirut's governor Marwan Abboud.
Ted S. Warren/AP Alaska Airlines said on Wednesday that it will no longer fly passengers who are unwilling or unable to wear a mask — even when there's a legitimate and documented medical reason — following similar moves by American Airlines and Southwest. US airlines have largely implemented on-board mask requirements since air travel demand began ticking back up this spring. At first, those policies were criticized as toothless: Flight attendants were discouraged from confronting passengers who wouldn't wear masks, and airlines offered little clarity on the consequences for those customers.
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.
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.
Footage of a man exploding in a racist rant after reportedly refusing to wear a mask in a liquor store in Canada has gone viral online. The incident occurred at Olympia Liquor in Edmonton, Canada, on Sunday, The Edmonton Journal reported. Navdeep Singh, a store supervisor, reportedly told Postmedia on Monday that the incident ensued over the man's refusal to adhere to the store's mask policy.
Google Streetview Jason Andrew Copenhaver, 47, was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct on Sunday. The Tampa Bay Times cited police records saying that Copenhaver grabbed a child who was wearing a face mask at a restaurant, got close to him, and told him, "You now have coronavirus." The incident is said to have happened at a restaurant in Treasure Island, Florida, on Sunday night, according to the newspaper.
The country confirmed the last million cases in just 20 days, faster than the US or Brazil which have higher numbers. Testing has been expanded considerably in India in recent weeks but the situation varies across states. Spurred by a low death rate, the nation continues to reopen even as new hotspots drive the surge in cases.
Officials in Tokyo have played down suggestions that Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is seriously ill after a news magazine reported that he vomited blood at his office on July 6 and cancelled his engagements for the rest of the day. Mr Abe, 65, attended the memorial ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima on Thursday and gave a brief address in which he called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, although it has been pointed out that he has not given any press conferences or attended parliamentary sessions for more than one month. The latest edition of the weekly news magazine Flash reported on the concerns about Mr Abe's health, with the Mainichi newspaper also quoting people who had met with the prime minister in recent weeks as saying that he appeared pale and tired.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is "against the Bible," President Trump told Geraldo Rivera at the 17:30-mark of a radio interview Thursday morning. "That may be a little harsh," Rivera responded. "Well, okay, take a version of it," Trump replied.
An American-owned cargo ship named after the president of the United States docked in a Ukrainian port has just offloaded 10,000 metric tons of the same chemical substance that nearly leveled the city of Beirut this week, according to the Liveuamap news source. The hangar in Lebanon only had 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, which caused catastrophic damage to the Lebanese capital. The ship docked in Ukraine, which was previously named Seabreeze before a Florida company registered as Pilin Fleet Management LLC purchased it in 2018, and renamed it Trump D, was registered by Marine Traffic tracking website in the Yuzhi port near Odessa on Friday.
Flanked by coaches, athletes and politicians, Gov. Ron DeSantis Thursday used sports to emphasize his support of school reopenings. DeSantis called the extracurricular activities “critical” for maintaining discipline and achieving college scholarships. At a press conference at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, DeSantis drew on his experience as a competitive baseball player and eventual college athlete at Yale University, recalling the sense of self-purpose learned as a student athlete.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday reversed a judge's order that shut down the Dakota Access pipeline pending a full environmental review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with pipeline owner Energy Transfer to keep the oil flowing, saying a lower-court judge “did not make the findings necessary for injunctive relief. But the appellate court declined to grant Energy Transfer's motion to block the review, saying the company had “failed to make a strong showing of likely success.
Hundreds of migrant children rapidly expelled from the United States under a coronavirus immigration policy are returning to shelters in Guatemala where virus testing and bed capacity are regularly stretched to their limits. Shelter operators, government officials in the Central American nation and international organizations said they are seeing rising numbers of children being sent back to Guatemala alone, with some unable to return to their homes because of domestic abuse or gang violence. "Child protection services, which were already overstretched and under-resourced have now been further compromised by COVID-19," said United Nations children's agency UNICEF spokesman Christopher Tidey.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch told employees on Thursday that the company anticipates that non-production staffers who are working remotely "will continue to do so for the remainder of the calendar year," according to The Washington Post's Jeremy Barr. Murdoch's memo comes as popular hosts on Fox News continue pushing for states to reopen schools and businesses, even as new coronavirus cases spike across the country. As of Thursday evening, nearly 4.9 million Americans had been infected with coronavirus and almost 160,000 had died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Federal prosecutors have charged 11 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang with sex trafficking and other charges after they say a 13-year-old runaway was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia. A child trafficking task force found the 13-year-old girl nearly two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland. The girl, initially reluctant to talk to police, eventually told authorities she was twice beaten on her backside and legs 26 times on two separate occasions with a baseball bat – once as an initiation to the gang, and once as a punishment for talking to rival gang members and allegedly stealing from fellow gang members.
“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.”