The vice president criticized Chief Justice John Roberts after he sided against conservatives on several key cases, particularly one pertaining to abortion.Says SCOTUS' future depends on election »
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.”
Joe Biden asked an African American reporter if he was a "junkie" for questioning whether the former vice president had taken a cognitive test in response to attacks targeting his mental health. When asked for a response to Donald Trump, who has bragged about passing a cognitive test and made Mr Biden's mental state an issue for voters, the former vice president dismissed the question as trying to provoke a reaction. While the Biden campaign did not respond to CBS's request for additional context comparing a cognitive test to a test for cocaine, they told Politico that Mr Biden gave a deserving response to a preposterous question.
STR/AFP via Getty Images Lebanon's capital, Beirut, was devastated by a huge explosion Tuesday that has upended the lives of its residents. Two people caught up in the blast told Business Insider about their experience. One was driving near the center of the blast at Beirut's port.
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.
China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level U.S. official visit in four decades. The visit, which begins on Sunday, adds to tensions between Beijing and Washington over everything from trade and human rights to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily briefing in Beijing that any attempt to deny or challenge the "one China" principle, which states that Taiwan is part of China, would end in failure.
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.
A rise in coronavirus infections in France is being closely monitored by ministers after Norway re-imposed quarantine on it. France's weekly rate has overtaken that of Portugal, which has reduced its coronavirus cases to the extent that ministers are considering lifting the travel ban on it next week and allowing flights to the country and its islands of the Azores and Madeira. Government sources stressed there was no imminent decision on France as it recorded its highest daily number of new Covid-19 cases in two months, with 1,695 positive tests, slightly fewer than the 1,772 seen in Spain.
North Korea is quarantining thousands of people and shipping food and other aid to a southern city locked down over coronavirus worries, officials said, as the country's response to a suspected case reinforces doubt about its longstanding claim to be virus-free. In late July, North Korea said it had imposed its “maximum emergency system” to guard against the virus spreading after finding a person with COVID-19 symptoms in Kaesong city, near the border with rival South Korea. State media reported that leader Kim Jong Un then ordered a total lockdown of Kaesong, and said the suspected case was a North Korean who had earlier fled to South Korea before slipping back into Kaesong last month.
Haytham El Achkar/Getty Images An expert said back in 2014 that Lebanese authorities had a "floating bomb" on their hands, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. "There are a lot of restrictions, regulations and rules to stick to when talking about storing explosives like ammonium," Voytenko told The Daily Beast, "but they just stored it in a warehouse and forgot about it." Customs officials wrote several letters to Lebanese judges asking for a solution to the dangers cargo but apparently received no response, Al Jazeera reported.
COLOGNE, Germany – German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is pushing for a new yardstick to measure Berlin's contributions to NATO, suggesting the country could shoulder 10 percent of alliance requirements. The figure is meant to reflect the share of NATO's total “planning targets,” which are tabulated periodically, a defense ministry spokesman told Defense News. Such math would be able to more accurately capture Germany's efforts across the categories “cash, capabilities and commitments” than the current defense-spending objective of 2 percent of GDP, according to the spokesman.
Former Vice President Joe Biden could be down to two contenders in his search for a running mate. A new report from Axios details how Biden confidants believe he has narrowed his list down to Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. As far as Harris goes, Axios writes that Biden's brain trust has "deep and trusting relationships" with those who are pushing for the California senator while touting her skills as a prosecutor.
Donald Trump was “stating a fact” when he said that children are less susceptible to Covid-19, a White House official has said after Facebook removed a post in which the president made false claims about the virus. Courtney Parella, deputy national press secretary, accused Facebook and Twitter of “flagrant bias” after the tech giants penalised Trump and his campaign team for promoting a video in which the president claimed children are “almost immune” from the disease. The president was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,” Ms Parella said in a statement.
The most powerful weapon to ever be used against other humans was detonated by the United States in Japan 75 years ago. On August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber famously known as the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, marking the first of two times the bomb has ever been used in warfare. The city was leveled – less than 10 percent of the buildings in Hiroshima were left undamaged by the bomb, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
A Georgia prosecutor has asked a judge to revoke the bond for the former Atlanta policeman charged with murder in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks, saying in court papers that he had violated its terms by taking an out-of-state vacation. Brooks, a Black man, was fatally shot in June in the parking lot of a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta, an incident that was caught on video and set off days of protests over racial inequality and social injustice. District Attorney Paul Howard asked the court late on Tuesday to send former officer Garrett Rolfe, 27, back to jail for violating the terms of his bond, which include a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and an order that he stays within the court's jurisdiction.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/Reuters Caesar McCool, "the no drama llama" is keeping the peace at the Portland protests. The well-known llama tends to diffuse situations, and people enjoy being in his company, his owner told Insider. Once a champion, the animal now works as a therapy llama and "llamactivist."
A Minneapolis commission decided Wednesday to take more time to review a City Council amendment to dismantle the Police Department in the wake of George Floyd's death, ending the possibility of voters deciding the issue in November. Members of the Charter Commission expressed concern that the process to change the city's charter was being rushed after Floyd died following an encounter with police. While several commissioners said changing the Police Department was necessary, they said the amendment before them was flawed.
Mergan Ghappar, a 31-year-old Uighur man from Xinjiang, China, had been working as a model in Foshan, southern China. More than a month later, he contacted his family to say he was in an internment camp for Uighurs in Xinjiang, and described the brutal conditions there, the BBC reported. Ghappar had smuggled a cell phone into the camp, and was able to record footage of himself and the camp's conditions, which have since been passed to the BBC and The Globe and Mail.
The county partnered with United Way of Miami-Dade, which will distribute $20 million dollars in federal funds from the CARES Act through the program. The main two criteria are that applicants are Miami-Dade County residents and that they have been impacted by COVID in some way,” Vanessa Benavides told the Herald. Benavides is associate vice president of United Way and is leading the program.
Joe Biden said Sen. Kamala Harris is “very much in contention” to be his running mate on the 2020 Democratic ticket, clarifying that he doesn't hold a grudge against the California lawmaker for attacking him in an early primary debate. The presumptive Democratic nominee's conciliatory tone toward Harris comes after senior members of Biden's vetting team had thrown cold water on her vice presidential bid in the final stretch of Biden's search. In late July, POLITICO reported that former Sen. Chris Dodd, who is part of Biden's vice presidential search committee, told a longtime Biden supporter that Harris had “no remorse” when asked about her confrontation with Biden at the first Democratic primary debate.
At least one person in the United States has died every 80 seconds on average over the last seven days, according to new research, as President Donald Trump said the nation's soaring death toll “is what it is” in a recent interview. The grim figures were first reported by NBC News on Wednesday, which noted its own tally revealed 7,486 people died in the last seven days due to Covid-19. Whereas the rate of deaths was somewhat slower in July, with one American dying every 102 seconds on average throughout the month, the latest figures appeared to show an acceleration in pace, as NBC News reported.
One of the first cruise ships to resume overnight sailing in U.S. waters since the coronavirus shut down the cruise industry this year has reported one case of COVID-19 on board. Passengers are quarantining on UnCruise Adventures' Wilderness Adventurer "until the State of Alaska deems it safe for them to return home" after one passenger tested positive, according to a travel alert posted on the cruise line's website. The ship, now off the coast of Alaska en route to Juneau, according to CruiseMapper, was able to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's no-sail order because its capacity is less than 250 passengers and crew.
Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, has invigorated his Hindu support base after laying the foundation stone of a controversial new temple on a site contested by Muslims. In November, after a decades-old legal battle, India's highest court ruled a temple could be built in the city of Ayodhya, where a mosque had stood until it was destroyed by Hindu mobs in 1992. Mr Modi made its construction a key pledge as part of his Hindu nationalist campaign, which saw him re-elected with a landslide victory last year.
Hackensack Police arrested 25-year-old Terri Thomas in connection to an attack on a 54-year-old woman inside a Staples store in New Jersey.
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.
“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.”