Britain said Iran seized two oil tankers in the Gulf on Friday and told Tehran to return the vessels or face consequences in the latest confrontation to ratchet up tension along a vital international oil shipping route. Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had captured the British-flagged Stena Impero, announcing the move two weeks after the British navy seized an Iranian tanker in Gibraltar. Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency said the second vessel, the British-operated Mesdar, had not been seized.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., in calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló over a corruption scandal involving leaked text messages between the governor and top aides. In a Twitter video sent from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Friday, Gabbard called "on all Democrats running for President to come here to Puerto Rico and show support for our fellow Americans" against corruption, and called for Rosselló's resignation.
An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said. Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday. A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States.
A Florida sheriff launched an investigation Friday into whether his department properly monitored the wealthy financer Jeffrey Epstein while he was serving a sentence for soliciting prostitution from underage girls. The inquiry will focus on whether deputies assigned to monitor Epstein in a work-release program violated any rules or regulations, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said in a statement. Under a 2008 plea deal, Epstein was allowed to spend most of his days at the office of his now-defunct Florida Science Foundation, which doled out research grants, rather than in the county jail.
A day after former Daily Show host Jon Stewart and 9/11 responder John Feal came on Fox News and eviscerated him and fellow GOP Sen. Mike Lee for blocking the reauthorization of the 9/11 victims' compensation fund in the Senate, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on Fox to return fire. And not only did the Kentucky lawmaker toss a lot of insults Stewart's way, but Paul also claimed he should be lauded as a hero for holding up additional funding for 9/11 victims. I know Jon Stewart,” Paul told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Thursday.
An unruly passenger has been billed $105,000 after her “extremely disruptive behavior” caused a flight to be diverted with a military escort. British budget carrier Jet2 accused passenger Chloe Haines of “a catalogue of aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior,” including trying to open the aircraft door, during a flight from the U.K. to Turkey. The airline said in a statement Haines was restrained by crew with the help of other passengers as two military fighter jets escorted the aircraft back to London Stansted.
Germany paid tribute Saturday to Claus von Stauffenberg and others who sought to assassinate Adolf Hitler 75 years ago, a plot that was recognised only belatedly but which a resurgent far-right is now seeking to expropriate. In the attempt on July 20, 1944, Stauffenberg and other high-ranking conspirators within the Nazi regime sought to kill Hitler at his Wolf's Lair headquarters. The plot was to seize control of the regime and make peace with Western allies to end World War II. But Hitler survived the bombing and Stauffenberg and other key figures in Operation Valkyrie were executed the same night.
New much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18. The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.
The European Union is preparing to offer Boris Johnson, the favorite to be Britain's next prime minister, a no-deal Brexit extension beyond Oct. 31, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday. "It will be described as a technical delay to save Boris from political embarrassment but then we will have time to find an agreement," a senior EU diplomat told the newspaper http://bit.ly/2xWScq9. Johnson could maintain the stance of being on course to leave EU without an agreement while keeping open the option of coming to a deal with the bloc, according to the proposal cited by the Guardian.
A British-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iran on Friday night, in a major escalation of tensions along one of the world's most vital oil shipping routes. The Stena Impero had been en route to Saudi Arabia but made an abrupt change of course and began moving towards the Iranian island of Qeshm, according to data relayed by maritime tracking services. The ship “went dark”, meaning its identification system was turned off, at 16:29 UK time and nothing has been heard from her or her 23 crew since.
Emergency officials responded around 2 p.m. to North Fork Park along the Little North Fork of the river after getting reports that a swimmer went underwater and didn't resurface, according to Sgt. Jeremy Landers, a spokesperson with the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Witnesses at the river were able to take the man out of the water before first responders arrived.
Our spy photographers caught two different versions of the C8 out on the road with no camouflage for the first time. From Car and Driver
Private investigator Michael Fisten first started digging into financier Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking crimes more than a decade ago when attorney Brad Edwards hired him. After Epstein signed a non-prosecution deal with federal prosecutors in 2008, Edwards had sued Epstein in civil court on behalf of a number of alleged victims who had been blindsided by the plea deal (which a judge later ruled to have violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act). Fisten was tasked with finding as much incriminating information on the financier as he could.
Police in Hong Kong discovered a stash of a powerful homemade explosive as the semi-autonomous Chinese city readied for another major pro-democracy protest on Sunday. Materials voicing opposition to an extradition bill that has sparked more than a month of demonstrations in Hong Kong were found at the site, local media said, but a police spokesman said no concrete link has been established and that the investigation is continuing. In a rally that aimed to counter the pro-democracy movement, thousands of people filled a park in central Hong Kong on Saturday to support the police, who have been accused of using rough tactics on protesters.
Reminder: There are 206 days until the Iowa caucuses and 479 days until the 2020 presidential election. When President Trump's supporters broke into a “Send her back” chant aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar at his rally in North Carolina, the Somali-born Minnesota Democrat was having dinner with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and a small group of other progressive members of Congress at a Washington, D.C., Chinese restaurant. The next day, amid bipartisan outrage over the chant and Trump's strategy of stoking the country's racial division, Sanders, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, and other Democratic groups used the episode in their fundraising pitches.
Pakistan on Friday said it has agreed with the country's clergy to introduce reforms in madrassa religious schools to bring them in line with conventional schools, curbing hate speech and extremist narratives. The announcement came just before Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Washington for a Monday meeting with President Donald Trump, whose administration continues to press Pakistan over terrorist financing and curbing militancy. The government will register more than 30,000 madrassas, which will teach subjects like English, mathematics and science, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood said.
Sebastien Roblin Security, And how mad will China get? On July 8, the U.S. State Department announced it would approve a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan including 108 Abrams main battle tanks and 250 Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles—a deal which elicited new sanctions from Beijing on the companies involved. But the announcement was more notable for what the approval didn't include—a nearly done-deal for sixty-six F-16V jet fighters built fresh off the F-16 production line in Greenville, South Carolina.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday that Mexico has followed through on its commitment to the United States to reduce migration from Central America, as a deadline in a bilateral pact approaches. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to travel to Mexico City to discuss migration and trade with Ebrard on Sunday, a day before the end of a 45-day period in which the Mexican government pledged to significantly lower the number of people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally. Mexico struck the deal in June to avert punitive trade tariffs.
Two British oil tankers were seized by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Friday night, in a major escalation of tensions in the Gulf.
Alan Mendoza: The only surprise about Iran's seizure is that it didn't happen sooner Analysis: Boris Johnson could face early test as Iran 'exploits' political uncertainty US developing 'coalition' of navies to protect ships amid Iran tensions Mark Almond: Brexit myopia and a fatal lack of foresight has enabled Iran to put Britain on the spot Former head of Navy questions why British ships weren't protected Foreign office summon Iranian diplomats Britain has admitted its nearest warship was one hour away from the merchant vessel seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday and could do nothing to help.
A Utah school district is paying $62,500 to settle a lawsuit filed after a junior high student was caught in a bus door and dragged by his backpack. Brenda Mayes, the student's mother, sued the Davis School District in May. She alleged that bus driver John Naisbitt intentionally closed the door on her 13-year-old biracial son's backpack as he was getting off the bus. Surveillance video from inside the school bus on February 4 shows several students getting off the bus before the driver appears to close the doors right behind the boy believed to be Mayes's son, catching his backpack straps in the door before the bus drove about 150 to 175 feet.
An appropriate number of guys were arrested when a fight broke out at a Five Guys restaurant in Florida on Wednesday. Police apprehended three juvenile males and two adult males — a total of five guys — following a lunchtime brawl at the burger chain's location in Stuart, Fla. according to the Orlando Sentinel.
In a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group's recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group's primary ad contractor until just months ago.