Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fell short of securing a parliamentary majority with his religious and nationalist allies in national elections Tuesday, initial exit polls showed, setting the stage for a period of coalition negotiations that could threaten his political future and clear the way for him to be tried on corruption charges. Initial results posted by Israel's three major stations showed challenger Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party with a slight lead over Netanyahu's Likud. While the results do not guarantee that Gantz will be the next prime minister, they signaled that Netanyahu, who has led the country for over 10 years, could have real trouble holding on to the job.
Editor's note: This column was originally published on Oct. 9, 2018. In an almost party-line vote, senators voted this weekend to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, Republicans tell us, was rigorously conducted, and no evidence corroborating accusations by Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez was found.
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.
According to the criminal complaint: Tyler Huffhines admitted starting his THC vape cartridge business on Jan. 28, 2018, the same day he took a picture of his business to post on Instagram. He told detectives that he didn't smoke marijuana but saw a good business opportunity by purchasing THC vape cartridges in California for $2.50 each where they are legal and bringing them back to Wisconsin to sell for $15 apiece. Tyler Huffhines admitted he figured out he could boost profits by buying empty vape cartridges and jars of liquid THC and paying 10 workers to fill them.
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.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was listed on legal documents for a company owned by Jean-Luc Brunel, an associate of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, The Daily Beast reported this week. Brunel has been accused of sexual assault, rape, and procuring girls for Epstein, accusations he denies. A Treasury representative said in a statement that it was "not clear" how Mnuchin wound up being listed in the role of point of contact and that Mnuchin did not recall ever meeting Brunel and had not done business with him.
“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.
Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday - one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul - with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections. The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where Ashraf Ghani, the president, was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy.
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.
So I'm not writing this to suggest that the political oddsmakers should be taking Yang's dark-horse candidacy more seriously, or that Yang would be getting more respect if the average Democratic voter were as farsighted as he is. Automating away millions of jobs I simply want to acknowledge that he is the only candidate talking about an issue that seems likely to loom larger in presidential campaigns to come, and suggest that critics who scoff at his signature proposal for a universal basic income may feel compelled to examine it more closely in the decade ahead — especially if Yang's forecast of an artificial intelligence-induced tsunami of unemployment proves prescient.
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.
Things got strange after both Thomas and Mondanaro were arrested on DUI charges and placed in the back of the deputy's patrol car. Police: Man accused of trying to steal a pedal boat shaped like a dragon "While I was outside my patrol vehicle, Megan and Aaron took their clothes off and started to have sex," the arresting deputy said in the arrest report. "When I opened up the door to stop them, Aaron was naked and Megan had her pants down where her vaginal area was visible.
The attacks on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant and Khurais oil field this weekend exploited weaknesses in Saudi defenses that were, to a certain extent, known to exist months ago. Prior to the most recent attacks, Saudi Arabia experienced multiple drone attacks on airports, water facilities, and oil pipelines. "The recent events show that we are exposed in terms of our defense," a Saudi official told the Wall Street Journal in June as experts warned that critical infrastructure was vulnerable.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
FiveThirtyEight elections analyst Nathaniel Rakich explains the latest polls for the Democratic presidential candidates following the ABC News primary debate in Houston.
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 Wisconsin man suspected of running an illegal operation to manufacture vaping cartridges flew to California last month to get THC oil in bulk to fill thousands of cartridges to sell, prosecutors said Monday in charging documents. Authorities in Kenosha, Wisconsin, arrested 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines on Sept. 5 after parents tipped off police when they saw their teenage son with one of the cartridges. Prosecutors say Huffhines employed 10 people to fill the cartridges with THC oil at a condo he rented with a stolen identity.
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.
In a Medium post published Monday, the Massachusetts Democrat proposes closing the loophole that “allows federal judges to escape investigations for misconduct by stepping down from their post. In outlining the idea, Warren specifically references a case involving Trump's sister Maryanne Trump-Barry, whose retirement brought an abrupt end to an investigation into her role in various tax schemes of the family and potential fraud therein. Under my plan, investigations will remain open until their findings are made public and any penalties for misconduct are issued,” Warren writes in the post.
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.