The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved $19.1 billion in aid to help Americans rebound from a string of natural disasters, and President Donald Trump supported it even though it did not include the funds he requested to address a migrant surge at the southern U.S. border. The Senate, which has a thin Republican majority, approved the measure 85-8. It also includes about $1.4 billion in aid for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, said Democratic Representative Nita Lowey.
Julian Assange was indicted by the U.S. under the Espionage Act on Thursday, setting the stage for a dramatic confrontation between U.S. and Swedish prosecutors, who each want to extradite Assange before the other. Sweden had, a week earlier, re-opened a rape investigation into the Wikileaks founder and began steps to request his extradition. The only U.S. charge against Assange before Thursday was one count of conspiring to hack a password, which came with a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Oman said Friday it was trying to reduce spiralling tensions between the Unites States and Iran, as the Pentagon confirmed it was considering deploying more troops to the region. The small but strategically located sultanate, which faces Iran across the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf, has maintained good relations with Tehran throughout successive regional crises. "We and other parties seek to calm tensions between Washington and Tehran," Muscat's state minister for foreign affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah said in a statement.
Three Indian climbers and one Nepali guide died on Mount Everest in the past couple of days, taking to seven the total number killed or missing on the world's highest mountain in this year's climbing season, Nepali officials said on Friday. More than 120 climbers scaled Everest on Thursday, but some of them were caught in the crowd of people on the slopes, leading to exhaustion, dehydration and death, the officials said. Hiking officials say between five and ten climbers die on Mount Everest in an average climbing year.
While abortion is legal nationwide, Americans have unequal access to the procedure, depending on their location in the United States and how much they are able to spend. The disparities are great indeed, from the more than 150 abortion clinics available in the most populous state of California, to only one in states like Mississippi in the South or Missouri in the Midwest. State laws also vary widely on other matters like speed limits for drivers and marriage age requirements, but the Supreme Court has set a "minimum standard throughout the entire country," noted Meg Penrose, of the Texas A&M School of Law.
The Indian National Congress Party went from understated optimism to shellshocked defeat within the space of a few hours on Thursday as Narendra Modi and his party celebrated another landslide victory. For the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, the performance by his party was nothing short of a humiliation, with several members of his own party demanding he step down and lay the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to rest for good. Mr Gandhi suffered the sting of losing the iconic seat of his family homestead in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, which he had held since 2004 and was controlled by his father before him. He won in his second constituency – candidates can run from two in India – but the symbolism of the defeat was one from which he may never recover. Modi vowed to build an 'inclusive' India after a first term marred by accusations of fomenting religious hatred Credit: AFP At a brief press conference as the results were still coming in, Mr Gandhi congratulated Mr Modi and said “the people are king and they have directed that the BJP and Modi have won this election”. He added: “I don't want to get into what went wrong today, this is not the time for that. I fully respect the Indian people's decision.” During the briefing he also conceded defeat in the Amethi election and congratulated his opponent Smriti Irani, of the BJP, who was more than 28,000 votes ahead at the time. Congress party officials did not return calls by The Telegraph but there were widespread reports in Indian media that the party had wildly miscalculated the margin of any potential loss with its internal polling, and now all that was left was to call for its talisman's head. “If they want to change anything, change the leadership,” a Congress official in Rajasthan told Reuters, referring to Mr Gandhi and the party's high command. “You need to give young people a chance.” However Mr Gandhi, 48, will probably not face an immediate leadership challenge as India's establishment party does some soul searching after an inglorious defeat. Some reports claimed Mr Gandhi had offered to resign. “According to sources, Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leaders advised him to bring up the matter before the party forum,” reported India Today TV. “The CWC (Congress Working Committee) will meet in a week in which the proposal will be discussed,” it added. Ironically the youthful pretender had grown into his role as leader in the past 18 months after previously being seen as a reluctant heir to his political lineage which stretched back to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He campaigned vigorously and was not shy on calling out Mr Modi on the economy, national security, Hindu nationalism and women's rights. After a while the media started to take notice. However behind the scenes his inability to foster good relations with a host of regional party leaders that could have generated a tenable anti-Modi alliance may have damaged his chances. "The BJP fought these elections on the basis of social and religious divisive policies and the agenda was set by them on this basis," said Atul Kumar Anjaan, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, a potential ally. "But more significant is the fact that the unity of the opposition has been damaged by the Congress. The policies and decisions of Rahul Gandhi has weakened opposition unity, led to divisions and opened the doors for Modi's victory.” Congress has ruled India for most of its history since independence from Britain in 1947, and boasts three prime ministers from the Nehru-Gandhi clan. But its weak performance in the last two elections seems to suggest it needs a drastic change of direction to take on someone with Mr Modi's political savvy.
Wild footage from a Spirit Airlines flight to Minneapolis, Minnesota, shows a passenger who began smoking mid-flight, breaking one of the cardinal rules of air travel. The clip, recorded by a fellow passenger on May 21, captured a visibly intoxicated man in a dark tee shirt and khaki shorts light up and take a puff before lowering the smoking cigarette to his lap and seemingly falling asleep. A man sitting across the aisle from the rule-breaking passenger can be seen flagging down a flight attendant, who rushes over and hits the man's chest to wake him up and inform him what he's doing is illegal.
Army engineers say two runaway barges did "minimal" damage when they struck an Arkansas River dam. The barges, filled with 1,500 tons of fertilizer, swept down the flood-swollen river and hit the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam about noon Thursday and sank. Town officials in the riverfront town of Webbers Falls had warned residents to flee for fear such a collision would catastrophically breach the dam and flood the town.
The Fed’s 2018 report on the economic well-being of households, published Thursday, indicated “most measures” of well-being and financial resilience “were similar to, or slightly better than, those in 2017.” The slight improvement coincided with a decline in the average unemployment rate to 3.9% last year, from 4.3% in 2017. The statistic, which was a bit better than in the 2017 report, has become a favorite rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump’s boasts about a strong economy among Democratic politicians, including 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California. “Relatively small, unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance, can be a hardship for many families without adequate savings,” the report said.
Prominent Trump critic George Conway on Thursday posted a picture of President Trump's $35,000 check to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, along with a quote from Trump's Wednesday press conference: “I don't do cover-ups. Cohen has testified that the check was partial reimbursement for the $130,000 he paid actress Stormy Daniels as hush money to cover up a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump. The money changed hands shortly before the 2016 election and was part of the evidence in Cohen's plea deal with federal prosecutors that resulted in his prison sentence.
A new indictment against Julian Assange could further delay what was already expected to be a protracted battle to get the WikiLeaks founder out of a London jail cell and into a U.S. court, opening the door for his legal team to argue that the Espionage Act charges are political and thus not covered by an extradition treaty between the two countries. U.S. authorities want to extradite Assange to face charges that he directed the publication of a huge trove of secret documents that disclosed the names of people who provided confidential information to American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The criteria aren't clearly spelled out, but Assange and his lawyers are likely to use the charges filed Thursday to argue that the Justice Department wants to put him on trial for crimes that are inherently political in that they involve the acquisition and publication of government secrets.
China ramped up a war of words with the United States over Huawei on Friday, accusing Washington of spreading "lies" about the telecom giant thrust to the centre of their trade war. The fiery response came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected Huawei's denials that the Chinese company works with the Communist government. The Trump administration has infuriated Beijing by blacklisting the smartphone and telecommunications company over worries that China uses it as a tool for espionage, and allegations of breaking sanctions on Iran.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has cut ties with Purdue Pharma LP over the OxyContin maker's alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, forcing it to find a new bank to manage cash and bill payments, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The move makes JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, the most high-profile corporation known to have distanced itself from Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, amid thousands of lawsuits alleging the company pushed addictive painkillers while downplaying their abuse and overdose risks. JPMorgan's decision also underscores a drive among U.S. banks to reassess their relationships with clients and industries in response to controversy and political debates over matters such as immigration detention and mass shootings.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan discusses the ongoing immigration crisis at the border on 'The Ingraham Angle.
The move follows a series of announcements effectively banning abortions in Alabama and Georgia, while the Trump administration's “global gag rule” is starving charities of funding around the world. And at the United Nations in April, a clause referencing access to reproductive health was removed in a resolution condemning sexual violence because of the United States. Trump's administration opposed the statement because they said the wording implied support for abortions.
For the first time, attendance at amusement parks exceeded half a billion visits in 2018, a figure that represents nearly seven percent of the world population.
The import ban the Trump administration imposed on Huawei a few days ago was the next logical step in the trade war against China. Huawei is prepared to fight, even as numerous business partners from the US and other countries confirm they're putting their business dealings with the Chinese giant on hold. One of the things Huawei confirmed earlier this week is that it'll move forward with an operating system of its own, which we'll call Huawei OS for lack of a better alternative, and which could launch as early as fall.
President Trump announced Friday that the U.S. will send about 1,500 more troops to the Middle East to play a “mostly protective” role, amid escalating tensions with Iran. About 1,000 troops will be sent to the region and close to 600 will have their deployments in the Middle East extended, according to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rear Admiral Michael Gilday.
U.S. stocks markets are closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Foreign financial markets will be open. The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq will resume normal trading hours on Tuesday.
Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to build an inclusive India on Thursday after scoring a landslide election win that he hailed as the "biggest event in world democracy". Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!," Modi declared amid nationwide celebrations by his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Simulator training remains a "possible option" for Canadian Boeing 737 MAX pilots, but it's too early to say whether it would be mandatory, a Transport Canada official said on Thursday night, further distancing the regulator from previous remarks by the country's transport minister. "It would be premature not seeing what Boeing has fully proposed yet to determine if simulator training will in fact be included," said Nicholas Robinson, the regulator's director general, civil aviation, told reporters on a conference call following a meeting of global regulators in Texas. Canada's Transport Minister Marc Garneau called in April for pilots to received simulator training for Boeing's software fix.
An emotional Theresa May announced she will quit as Britain's prime minister after admitting she had failed to deliver the one task that defined her time in office -- taking the country out of the European Union. May said Britain now needs a new prime minister to take over and try to complete the task that has defeated her. The result will shape the direction of Brexit and all options -- from leaving with no deal to canceling the divorce -- are now back on the table.
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The 17-year-old suspect told reporters that he was "defending his friend." He's charged with second-degree assault.