As the death toll in India passes 41,000, community health volunteers say they are ill-equipped to respond to the wave of infection in rural areas.Local lockdowns reimposed »
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.”
The Louisiana's Supreme Court has denied a request to review the case of a Black man who received a life sentence following an attempted burglary conviction, a punishment one dissenting judge called "cruel and unusual" given the object he allegedly stole was a set of hedge clippers. Bernette J. Johnson, the state's first African-American Chief Justice, wrote a scathing dissent published last week. Johnson said the conviction stemmed from the defendant's repeated petty crimes and the state's strict habitual offender laws, which she said have historical ties to slavery and racism.
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.
A second-grade student in Georgia tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the first day of school, leading the district to ask 20 other students and a teacher to self-quarantine for two weeks. The child, a student at Sixes Elementary School in Canton, about 44 miles north of Atlanta, did not begin to show symptoms until after school on Monday, the first day students returned. In a letter to parents, the school's principal, Ashley Kennerly, said the class will be taught remotely while the group is under quarantine.
Anti-government protesters took to the streets of Beirut on Thursday night, demanding that top officials resign in the wake of Tuesday's massive explosion in the city, which left at least 145 people dead and 5,000 injured. Several dozen protesters gathered in downtown Beirut, starting small fires and throwing stones at riot police, who in turn fired tear gas, BBC News reports. The demonstrators say government negligence caused the explosion, and people need to be held accountable. Government officials have said the explosion, which leveled buildings and blew out windows miles away from the blast site, was caused by 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in unsafe conditions since 2013.
Dozens are still missing after the blast that injured thousands of people and left up to a quarter of a million without homes. Officials said the death toll, set at 145 on Thursday, will continue to rise in the coming days.
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.
U.S. lawmakers will resolve their differences over the next batch of COVID-19 aid and reach a deal, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday, but assistance must go to those who need it the most amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. "If we're going to juggle some of this money, let's focus it where it's going to do the most good," she added, saying aid must help people who are the most needy.
President Donald Trump instantly ignited new controversy when he said recently that he may deliver his nomination acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention at the White House. But using the Rose Garden, the Executive Mansion or even the Oval Office as the backdrop for his speech capping the Aug. 24-27 convention would mark an unprecedented use of federal property for partisan political purposes. Critics allege it would violate ethics laws, such as the Hatch Act, which limits political activity by federal workers, although few have faced penalties.
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.
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.
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.
For at least six years, hundreds of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which Lebanese authorities say caused Tuesday's massive blast, were negligently stored in a Beirut port warehouse, waiting for disaster to strike. The odourless crystalline substance commonly used as a fertiliser has caused numerous industrial explosions over the decades -- including the massive one in Beirut that killed at least 113 people, wounded thousands and left 300,000 homeless. A security source said the explosive power of the stored ammonium nitrate was equivalent to at least 1,200 tonnes of TNT -- explaining how the earthquake-strength blast destroyed or damaged so much of the city.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
Bells have tolled in Hiroshima, Japan, to mark the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the world's first atomic bomb. On 6 August 1945, a US bomber dropped the uranium bomb above the city, killing around 140,000 people. Three days later a second nuclear weapon was dropped on Nagasaki.
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.
The U.S. State Department no longer says Americans should avoid all international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the list of countries welcoming people from the U.S. is still slim. In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine was believed to have tested positive, the latest governor to be infected by the coronavirus, until he took a more sensitive test that came back negative. Last week's new jobless claims are down: About 1.2 million people filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
China has deployed more amphibious weapons in coastal cities across the 110-mile wide strait that separates China from Taiwan, according to reports of recent satellite images. The images published in Canadian military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence show that more Type 05 vehicles had been deployed to China's Eastern Theatre Command, according to the South China Morning Post. The Type 05 is a family of amphibious tracked armoured fighting vehicles developed for the navy marine corps of the People's Liberation Army.
“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.”