The vice president criticized Chief Justice John Roberts after he sided against conservatives on several key cases, particularly one pertaining to abortion.Says SCOTUS' future depends on election »
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 most powerful weapon to ever be used against other humans was detonated by the United States in Japan 75 years ago. On August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber famously known as the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, marking the first of two times the bomb has ever been used in warfare. The city was leveled – less than 10 percent of the buildings in Hiroshima were left undamaged by the bomb, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Satellite imagery obtained by NBC News' Social Newsgathering team from Planet Labs, Inc. and Maxar Technologies shows the damage sustained by yesterday's explosions at the Port of Beirut in Lebanon. The imagery shows nearby buildings that sustained significant damage or were destroyed by the explosion, which has killed more than 135 people and injured at least 5,000, Lebanon's Health Minister Hamad Hasan said Wednesday. About 200,000 people are now displaced in the city, according to Beirut's governor Marwan Abboud.
Students at North Paulding High School in Dallas Georgia say they've been suspended or threatened with "consequences" for posting pictures of crowded hallways with few students wearing masks. The images circulated widely on social media August 4, prompting concerns about the health and safety of students. Coronavirus cases had already been reported at the school, according to an email sent to parents.
Ninety-one people caught COVID-19 after a man infected with the virus attended a church service in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine tweeted a graphic from the Ohio Department of Health on Tuesday, which showed how the 56-year-old man was responsible for 91 infections. Close to 100 people contracted the coronavirus in Ohio after one person who had the virus attended a church service and spread it to dozens others.
A Virginia mayor has been urged to resign after he allegedly wrote that “Joe Biden has just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick,” on his Facebook page. Barry Presgraves, the mayor of Luray, Virginia, posted the comment on his Facebook page over the weekend, but swiftly deleted it after backlash from residents and local officials. The post came as presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden, is reportedly finalising his choice for his running mate, with several black women mooted as contenders, according to CNN.
A majority of Seattle's City Council on Wednesday voted down a proposal to slash the police department's remaining 2020 budget by 50 percent. The vote by the budget committee—which came one day after the city's mayor and police chief held a press conference to criticize the proposal—signaled some progress for Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality advocates who've pushed to defund departments across the U.S. and reallocate funds to community services, including housing and youth programs. The budget-cut plan, proposed by council member Kshama Sawant, would have cut $54 million from the Seattle PD immediately through layoffs and reallocated it to programs, including $34 million for affordable housing.
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.
Upwards of 200 Minneapolis police officers have started the process to apply for permanent disability following the George Floyd riots; Mike Tobin reports.
The Pentagon is distancing itself from President Trump's claims about the Beirut blast that killed more than 100 people. Trump on Tuesday said his unnamed "great generals" told him they thought the massive explosion was a "terrible attack." In the early aftermath, there was speculation that the catastrophe was intentional, but it the consensus quickly became that it was almost certainly accidental — albeit brought on by neglect and mismanagement — and not linked to any foreign power, proxy forces, or terrorist organizations.
The woman suing a New Jersey country club after a club waiter spilled wine on her luxury handbag is not backing down, even after her case was dismissed by a Bergen County Superior Court judge. In the lawsuit filed last November that attracted local and national media attention, Maryana Beyder said she was enjoying a meal at the Alpine Country Club in Demarest in September 2018 when a waiter spilled red wine on the pink Hermès handbag that she said costs approximately $30,000. The lawsuit was dismissed July 24 by Judge Estela De La Cruz after Kenneth Merber, the attorney representing the club, said Beyder and her husband failed to appear at depositions despite notices and a subpoena.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for a Hindu temple in the town of Ayodhya in northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The inauguration ceremony for the Ram temple is a highly controversial one following a Supreme Court ruling last year which gave the Hindu groups rights over the formerly disputed site. There's been intense speculation on Indian social media about the ceremony and plans for the temple design, some of it highly misleading.
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.
Mergan Ghappar, a 31-year-old Uighur man from Xinjiang, China, had been working as a model in Foshan, southern China. More than a month later, he contacted his family to say he was in an internment camp for Uighurs in Xinjiang, and described the brutal conditions there, the BBC reported. Ghappar had smuggled a cell phone into the camp, and was able to record footage of himself and the camp's conditions, which have since been passed to the BBC and The Globe and Mail.
A Florida teenager who is accused of participating in last month's Twitter bitcoin scam, which saw several of the world's highest-profile accounts hacked, has reportedly been linked to an attempted robbery that ended in a lethal shooting. An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times has found that 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, who is credited by police as one of the “masterminds” of the scam, has also been named in the case of a burglary seven months ago that saw one teenager killed and another wounded. According to local police, it began when two teenagers from Tampa's Gaither High School broke into an apartment, one holding a gun; a resident shot them both, and one of them died.
Joe Biden said in remarks on Wednesday that the Latino community is "incredibly diverse," "unlike" the Black community. "Unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community with incredibly diverse attitudes about different things," Biden said. Biden made the comment during an interview hosted by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists that was released in full on Thursday.
The county partnered with United Way of Miami-Dade, which will distribute $20 million dollars in federal funds from the CARES Act through the program. The main two criteria are that applicants are Miami-Dade County residents and that they have been impacted by COVID in some way,” Vanessa Benavides told the Herald. Benavides is associate vice president of United Way and is leading the program.
Hundreds of migrant children rapidly expelled from the United States under a coronavirus immigration policy are returning to shelters in Guatemala where virus testing and bed capacity are regularly stretched to their limits. Shelter operators, government officials in the Central American nation and international organizations said they are seeing rising numbers of children being sent back to Guatemala alone, with some unable to return to their homes because of domestic abuse or gang violence. "Child protection services, which were already overstretched and under-resourced have now been further compromised by COVID-19," said United Nations children's agency UNICEF spokesman Christopher Tidey.
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.
Several news organizations, including The News & Observer and The New York Times, petitioned a judge to publicly release the videos that show officers "hog-tying" John Neville, 56, who died of a brain injury in December three days after police arrested him. One of the videos runs nearly 20 minutes and is from the body camera of one of the five detention officers involved, who were all fired last month. Over the course of 45 minutes of being held in an observation cell, Neville would "sustain injuries that would eventually cause him to lose his life," Forsyth County district attorney, Jim O'Neill said last month. Both were reviewed by USA TODAY.
Top US virus expert Dr Anthony Fauci has spoken about how his daughters have been harassed due to his public statements about tackling the pandemic. Dr Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, also told CNN he had personally received death threats. The top doctor has been at odds with President Donald Trump at several points during the pandemic.
Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/Reuters Caesar McCool, "the no drama llama" is keeping the peace at the Portland protests. The well-known llama tends to diffuse situations, and people enjoy being in his company, his owner told Insider. Once a champion, the animal now works as a therapy llama and "llamactivist."
Haytham El Achkar/Getty Images An expert said back in 2014 that Lebanese authorities had a "floating bomb" on their hands, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. "There are a lot of restrictions, regulations and rules to stick to when talking about storing explosives like ammonium," Voytenko told The Daily Beast, "but they just stored it in a warehouse and forgot about it." Customs officials wrote several letters to Lebanese judges asking for a solution to the dangers cargo but apparently received no response, Al Jazeera reported.
Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, has invigorated his Hindu support base after laying the foundation stone of a controversial new temple on a site contested by Muslims. In November, after a decades-old legal battle, India's highest court ruled a temple could be built in the city of Ayodhya, where a mosque had stood until it was destroyed by Hindu mobs in 1992. Mr Modi made its construction a key pledge as part of his Hindu nationalist campaign, which saw him re-elected with a landslide victory last year.
The Trump administration will press ahead with efforts to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran despite widespread opposition to such a move at the world body, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday. The decision sets the stage for a potential crisis at the U.N. Security Council amid rising tensions in the Middle East. Pompeo said the United States would call for a Security Council vote next week on a U.S.-drafted resolution to extend the embargo that is due to expire in October.
“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.”