WASHINGTON/DUBAI, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East. Three officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the attacks involved cruise missiles and drones, indicating that they involved a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.
A firefighter was killed and eight people were injured Monday when a powerful propane explosion destroyed a new building in Farmington, Maine. Fire crews were responding to a call reporting the smell of gas in the building, which was evacuated, Farmington Town Selectman Scott Landry said. The blast had such force that only debris remained from the two-story building, which housed a nonprofit group called LEAP that serves people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
Twenty villagers were killed and 14 others were injured when the truck they were riding in lost control and fell off a cliff Tuesday in a remote mountain village in the southern Philippines, police and the Red Cross said. Provincial police chief Joel Limson said the truck was negotiating a downhill road in Tboli town in South Cotabato province when its brakes apparently failed and plummeted down a ravine, pinning 15 people to death. Police, Red Cross volunteers and villagers retrieved the 15 bodies from the wreckage at the bottom of the ravine.
A French boy aged 10, who fell gravely ill in 2011 after consuming a beef burger from supermarket discounter Lidl that was infected with E.coli bacteria, has died of complications stemming from his poisoning, the family's lawyer said. The boy, Nolan, died on Saturday "as a consequence of his poisoning", the family's lawyer Florence Rault told AFP on Sunday. Lidl's French arm said in a tweet on Monday: "We share the pain of Nolan's family and will seek to assure our support during their suffering."
A domestic flight in India was delayed by two hours after a swarm of bees settled on the cockpit window, obscuring pilots' vision and attacking staff who tried to remove them. The Air India flight was about to take off when the bees landed on the window. Staff tried fruitlessly to shoo them away and disperse them with the aircraft's windscreen wipers before calling the fire brigade.
Israel's election do-over looked set to produce a dramatic deadlock between legally embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his political opponents, with no clear sign who will form the country's next government. The lack of a decisive victory would be a setback for Israel's longest-serving leader, who gambled on a revote to strengthen his political hand -- and possibly keep himself out of jail -- after a disappointing result in April. It would also thrust Israel into further political turmoil and drag out policy paralysis at a time when diplomatic and regional security challenges are mounting.
But it's worth noting that the Houthis also possess a surprisingly sophisticated arsenal of homemade ballistic and cruise missiles possessing the range performance to strike targets deep inside Saudi Arabia. According to aviation expert Tom Cooper, the main weapon in the Houthi arsenal is the Burkan, a modified version of the Soviet R-17E Scud rocket that's around five feet longer than the baseline missile and some 4,400 pounds heavier and can travel farther than 500 miles. The Houthis inherited from the defunct Yemeni military a large number of Soviet-exported Scuds as well as North Korean-made Scuds called “Hwasong-6s.
Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach over whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year. After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump did not wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
A couple have decided to keep their baby's sex a secret from close relatives in a bid to avoid gender bias. Hobbit Humphrey, 38, and Jake England-Johns, 35, refer to their 17-month-old child, Anoush, with the pronoun, "they", and dress them in both girls' and boys' clothing. The married couple, who are members of the climate action group, Extinction Rebellion, have been accused of “virtue signalling”.
A North Carolina sheriff has been indicted for allegedly plotting to kill one of his deputies after learning the man had a tape of him making "racially offensive" comments. Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted Monday on two counts of felony obstruction of justice for withholding knowledge of a credible threat made against Joshua Freeman and failing to take appropriate law enforcement action. The indictment came after a ten month investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI, according to a release from Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 companies linked to Colombian businessman Alex Nain Saab Moran, an associate of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The move is the latest US escalation of sanctions targeting the inner circle of Maduro, who is grappling with a political and economic crisis that the United Nations says has left a quarter of Venezuela's 30 million people in need of humanitarian aid. The sanctions announced on Tuesday by the US Treasury Department target Saab, his two brothers Amir and Luis, Saab's business partner Alvaro Pulido, and Pulido's son, David Enrique Rubio Gonzalez.
The T'way Air flight from Vietnam to South Korea was supposed to take off at 10:35 p.m. local time Friday but didn't depart until 9:40 a.m. the next day, The Korea Times reported. A flight from Vietnam to South Korea was delayed for 11 hours after the pilot arrived at the airport without his passport. The flight, operated by the South Korean budget airline T'way Air, was supposed to take off at 10:35 p.m. local time on Friday but ended up being delayed until 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, The Korea Times reported.
The home of Ukraine's former central bank chief has been burned to the ground, the third chilling incident involving the banker over the past few weeks. Police said in a statement Tuesday that they are investigating a suspected arson attack late Monday on the house of Valeria Gontareva outside the capital, Kyiv. Gontareva has said she has received threats from Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who lost his PrivatBank to a government nationalization that was carried out while Gontareva was at the helm of the central bank in 2016.
New York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned “climate strike” ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people. Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S. “This completely changes things, and it's our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times.
The Illinois challenger is a businesswoman, and has already garnered support from the group Justice Democrats, which backed Ms Ocasio-Cortez in her primary bid two years ago against a long-term Democrat in the Bronx and Queens who she said then was out of step with his constituents. Ms Newman, who calls herself a “real Democrat”, has also run against Mr Lipinski previously, in 2018 when she lost by 2,000 votes. Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times.
Key point: Russia's is working on a nuclear torpedo, but the idea may not be practical. According to the latest Nuclear Posture Review, Russia is developing a new nuclear torpedo/drone, the Status 6. While the torpedo (also covered here by Dave Majumdar) offers some alarming new capabilities, it's not the first such weapon that the Russians have worked on.
WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East. The officials did not provide evidence or explain what U.S. intelligence they were using for the evaluations. Saudi state television said the Saudi Defense Ministry will hold a media conference on Wednesday that will show evidence of Iran's involvement in the Aramco attacks, including the use of Iranian weapons.
Vladimir Putin takes great pride in his sky-high approval rating. While pushing a raft of popular reforms, Zelenskiy, 41, remains in his honeymoon period, while cries he's too close to a local billionaire grow louder. The 66-year-old Putin, meanwhile, is approaching two decades as Russia's leader.
Two masked-man kicked in the front door of a Pleasanton home in an attempted home-invasion -- and it was all caught on surveillance video.
The fatal shooting of three teens by a Georgia homeowner this week could be a "stand your ground" case, the Rockdale County Sheriff says. The teens, ages 15 and 16, died Monday following an early morning exchange of gunfire with a resident, Sheriff Eric Levett said. "It could be a 'stand your ground' type case, based on the preliminary (information) that we have learned so far," Levett said at a press conference.
Greenhouse gases thrust into the atmosphere mainly by burning fossil fuels are warming Earth's surface more quickly than previously understood, according to new climate models set to replace those used in current UN projections, scientists said Tuesday. The new calculations also suggest that the Paris Agreement goals of capping global warming at "well below" two degrees, and 1.5C if possible, will be challenging at best, the scientists said. "With our two models, we see that the scenario known as SSP1 2.6 -- which normally allows us to stay under 2C -- doesn't quite get us there," Olivier Boucher, head of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace Climate Modelling Centre in Paris, told AFP.
The Belgian Air Force is policing Baltic airspace as of September 3; on Tuesday, it intercepted two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic, nuclear-capable bombers. Belgium took over the Baltic policing mission from Hungary which, along with Spain and the UK, was policing Baltic airspace when Russian Su-30 Flanker fighters flew near Baltic airspace twice over two days in June. US and UK aircraft have been sending clear messages to Russia — US B-2 Spirit stealth bombers flew their first missions in the Arctic earlier in September, and the B-2s flew with non-US F-35s for the first time in August.
California added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program. California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime. In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures.