With unemployment benefits ending, food assistance programs are bracing for both another spike in users and the fact that the effects of the pandemic are likely be lasting.'So many of us are on a pretty precarious financial edge' »
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.”
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 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.
An Alaska man went toe-to-toe with a home-intruding black bear, outlets report, putting himself between 10 children and the 300-pound predator that wandered into the living room. The fight was scary for Brandon McVey, but he survived, walking away with some nasty puncture wounds to his chest and scratches across his shoulders, the Anchorage Daily News reported. McVey was visiting his friend Norman Lott at his home around 11 p.m. July 31 in Juneau, Alaska, when the bear came in through an open door, the Daily News said.
The US Treasury has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and 10 other top officials from Hong Kong and mainland China. The sanctions were used to target those undermining Hong Kong's autonomy, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong," Mr Mnuchin added.
The former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks during a June arrest after he fell asleep in his car at a Wendy's drive-thru is suing the mayor and interim police chief over his termination, claiming the decision violated his constitutional rights. Garrett Rolfe, 27, currently faces 11 charges—including felony murder—for shooting Brooks on June 12 as he was running away through the crowded fast-food parking lot. After shooting him twice in the back, Rolfe then kicked the 27-year-old man “while he was lying on the ground,” prosecutors allege.
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.
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.
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.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sharply criticised Donald Trump for suggesting he will "probably" accept the Republican presidential nomination in a speech at the White House, an unprecedented move that could open Trump administration aides up to an array of federal ethics crimes. "You don't have political events at the White House," Ms Pelosi, the longtime California Democrat, said in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday. "For the president of the United States to degrade once again the White House as he has done over and over again by saying he's going to completely politicize it, is something that should be rejected right out of hand," Ms Pelosi said.
Beirut has been ravaged by a massive explosion, likely caused by careless handling of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse at its port. As the city is still picking through the debris and thousands search for loved ones, countries such as Turkey, Iran, Qatar, France, and Israel are rushing to provide support. While Hezbollah has not been blamed for the August 4 warehouse fire that led to the massive explosion, it is alleged to have imported and stored similar stockpiles of dangerous munitions and chemicals, such as ammonium nitrate, used in explosives.
Norwegians should avoid all travel abroad, even to countries with few COVID-19 cases, to prevent a resurgence in the coronavirus, the health minister said on Friday. "There is still little contamination in Norway but we see increased contamination in countries that used to have control over their situations," Bent Hoie told a news conference. While not a member of the European Union, Norway belongs to the passport-free Schengen travel zone.
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.
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.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images A South Florida woman was kicked off an American Airlines flight last week for wearing a face mask the airline said was "offensive," the Miami news outlet WPLG reported. Arlinda Johns told the outlet that she complied when she was asked to cover her face mask — which said "F--- 12," an anti-police slogan — but was later escorted off the plane. The airline told Insider in a statement that Johns "refused to follow crew member instructions to remove or cover a face mask with offensive language."
New York's coronavirus infection rate fell below 1% Wednesday as the state continues to stave off a second wave of the deadly respiratory illness. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said only 636, or 0.87%, of the more than 70,000 test results that came back Tuesday were positive as hospitalizations fell by four patients to 564 people statewide. “Our progress is thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers — even after two and a half months of reopening, the numbers have continued to go down,” the governor said in a statement.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called Iran “the world's number one sponsor of terrorism” on Thursday and warned Russia and China that they will become “co-sponsors” if they block a resolution to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the United States hopes Russia and China “will not be co-sponsors of the number one state that sponsors terrorism” and “will see the importance of peace in the Middle East. But she said the partnership between Russia and China, not only on backing Iran, is very clear: “They're just going to be promoting chaos, conflict and mayhem outside their borders, so we have to just corner them.
Robin Utrecht/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media/Getty Images As US schools begin reopening, dozens of students and school employees are testing positive for COVID-19. Hundreds of students and some teachers have been ordered to quarantine. Recent research suggests that children may spread the coronavirus as efficiently as adults.
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.
A Trolls doll is being pulled off store shelves amid complaints it promotes child abuse. Toymaker Hasbro said Wednesday that it's in the process of removing the “Trolls World Tour Giggle and Sing Poppy” from the market and will be offering customers a replacement doll of the popular female character. The doll had been designed to giggle when placed in a sitting position, but some parents complain the sound activation button is inappropriately placed under the doll's skirt and between her legs.
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.
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.
A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
“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.”