The assault on the beating heart of Saudi Arabia's vast oil empire follows a new and dangerous pattern that's emerged across the Persian Gulf this summer of precise attacks that leave few obvious clues as to who launched them. Beginning in May with the still-unclaimed explosions that damaged oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, the region has seen its energy infrastructure repeatedly targeted. "Iran can count on public skepticism to afford it some deniability under any circumstances, but an attack of this magnitude stands a much greater chance of provoking very severe diplomatic and military consequences," warned Michael Knights, a senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
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.
A US Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez of cooperating with Colombian rebel group FARC to ease the shipment of cocaine into the United States, a Spanish court ruling published Tuesday showed. The accusation was cited in a ruling by Spain's National Court, the country's top criminal court, rejecting a US request to extradite Venezuela's former military intelligence chief, General Hugo Armando Carvajal, on drug trafficking charges. The ruling includes a sworn statement from an agent from a DEA agent that was included as evidence to back the extradition request.
Russian border guards have detained two North Korean boats in Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan after one of them attacked a Russian patrol, local media cited the Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying on Tuesday. A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying. Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.
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.
“We are developing an AI stack regarding how we pull together the sensors, computing layer and analytics to manage the data,” Col. Doug Matty, Army AI Task Force Deputy Director, told Warrior in an interview. New algorithms, AI-enabled computer processing and high-speed networking are all specific elements of work now underway with the Army's AI Task Force, an emerging Army effort to collaborate with industry and academia, find technology breakthroughs and develop new applications for AI, Matty explained. The Task Force is now working on prototyping systems for integration onto UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Long-Range Precision Fires systems and the Army's emerging fleet of Next-Gen Combat Vehicles, he said.
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.
The U.S. plans to return its ambassador to Belarus, ending a freeze in ties with the authoritarian former Soviet republic which had lasted for more than 11 years. We are happy to see that chapter closing, and we are closing it because of the concrete steps in the direction that you, Mr. President, had taken to improve this relationship,” David Hale, Undersecretary of State for political affairs, told Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting in Minsk. The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Minsk in 2008 as relations between the two countries spiralled lower over Washington's allegations of human-rights abuses by the Belarusian government.
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”.
President Donald Trump rarely passes up the chance to throw a sharp elbow at left-leaning California, but he showed Tuesday he's more than happy to cash in there with a lunch-dinner-breakfast-lunch fundraising blitz expected to scoop up $15 million from wealthy Republicans in two days. "There's not been a president in living history that is as unpopular in the state of California as Trump," said Mike Madrid, a GOP political consultant who is an outspoken Trump critic. With protesters not far away, Trump kicked off his moneymaking Tuesday with a $3 million Bay Area luncheon, to be followed by a $5 million Beverly Hills dinner at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer.
Iran has charged three detained Australians with spying, a judiciary spokesman said on Tuesday, after the reported arrest of a travel-blogging couple and an academic. Two of the Australians were alleged to have used a drone to take pictures of military sites, while a third was accused of spying for another country, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told reporters. It was the first official confirmation that Australians have been detained in Iran after the families of three of them said last week they had been arrested in the Islamic republic.
Florida authorities have arrested a suspected serial killer believed to be responsible for the brutal murders of at least four women over the last 14 years. Robert Hayes, 37, was arrested and charged Sunday night with the grisly 2016 murder of 32-year-old Rachel Bey, whose body was found along a highway in Jupiter, Palm Beach County Sheriff Rich Bradshaw announced at a Monday press conference. “We've been able to take what we believe is a serial killer off our streets” Bradshaw said.
WASHINGTON – The two New York Times reporters who wrote the essay containing a new accusation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh spent Tuesday morning explaining why the initial report left out information about the alleged victim not having any recollection of the incident. Speaking on MSNBC, Robin Pogrebin, one of the reporters who wrote the essay along with Kate Kelly, said that her editors had removed clarifying information about the alleged victim and her account of the incident as a result of a New York Times practice of not naming victims.
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.
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.
Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that began on Tuesday. An oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness. At one end of the Fed's large boardroom table sit St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who are expected to argue for a steep reduction in borrowing costs to counter low inflation and an inverted Treasury yield curve.
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.
Members of Congress hailed Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg as a "superpower" for her work to spark a worldwide, youth-driven push to fight climate change. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said the 16-year-old Thunberg and other young activists bring "moral clarity" to the fight against global warming. Thunberg was not impressed.
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."
If the White House is to be believed, Iran launched an unprovoked attack on the kingdom's most important oil facilities. In an evening tweet, Donald Trump even appeared to give Saudi Arabia a say in whether the US would attack Iran. Saudi Arabia has the power to bring fire and fury down on its most-hated foe but may be reluctant to actually use that power.
Taking direct aim at California, a new report from President Donald Trump's administration says homelessness could be dramatically reduced by slashing restrictions on housing construction and being less tolerant of people sleeping on the streets. The Council of Economic Advisers' report was released as Trump takes a two-day swing through California for speeches and fundraising, while taking aim at liberal policies on homelessness. “We can't let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what's happening,” Trump told reporters Tuesday aboard Air Force One.
For the nights you need something stronger than a latte. From Delish
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.