When special counsel Robert Mueller closed the books on the Russia investigation, he produced a report of more than 400 pages, and Attorney General William Barr held a news conference outlining the reasons the Justice Department didn't charge President Donald Trump. But in stark contrast to the Mueller inquiry, federal prosecutors in Manhattan have remained tight-lipped about their rationale for charging only Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney and fixer, in a hush-money scandal in which they publicly implicated the president and investigated others in his orbit. There was no news conference or press release announcing the end of the investigation this week.
Gibraltar was granted the power on Friday to detain Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker for another month, keeping the vessel at the center of a big-power quarrel between Iran and the United States and its allies. Gibraltar said the Iranian vessel, seized by marines in a daring landing in darkness off the coast of the British territory on July 4, was suspected of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions. Iran has repeatedly called for the ship's release, denies the allegation that the tanker was taking oil to Syria in violation of sanctions and says Gibraltar and Britain seized the vessel on the orders of Washington.
The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., voted this week to ban gender-specific words in the liberal city's municipal code, clearing the way for the changes to become official. As a result of the vote on the proposed ordinance, the word “manhole” would be changed to “maintenance hole” in city documents, the news site Berkeleyside reported. “Amending the municipal code to include gender-neutral pronouns by eliminating any gender preference language within the municipal code will promote equality,” according to text explaining the rationale.
Jacob Heilbrunn Iran, World Zarif warns about mounting tensions, but also says that "nobody wants war." On Thursday, National Interest Editor Jacob Heilbrunn interviewed Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in New York at the Ambassador's residence on the current state of U.S.-Iran relations. The transcript has been lightly edited for readability.
Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned as Kosovo's prime minister on Friday, is hailed as a hero at home -- where he is nicknamed "Rambo" -- but considered a war criminal by Belgrade, which has long sought to see him behind bars. The controversial 51-year-old, who was a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), stepped down after being summoned as a suspect by a war crimes court in the Hague. It is the second time he has resigned after being called before a war crimes court over crimes allegedly committed by the ethnic Albanian KLA separatists during the 1998-99 war.
About 30 protesters have already landed in Taiwan, while as many as 30 others -- and possibly more -- are planning to try soon, the Hong Kong newspaper said, citing unidentified people who assisted them. The people who assisted the protesters told the paper they had been in contact with Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which handles the island's relations with Beijing, to seek help. The council hasn't received any formal asylum applications from Taiwan's National Immigration Agency, its deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng said in a text message.
The guy who started the Area 51 Facebook group has spoken, and he thinks things have gotten out of hand. The proposed Sept. 20 event, “Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us,” calls for people to storm the top-secret military base as part of an ongoing conspiracy theory that the U.S. government is conducting tests with space aliens. The U.S. Air Force certainly hopes that's true, at least, and issued a warning in the wake of the so-called Area 51 raid.
The National Weather Service is using strong language to describe the hazards posed by this event. On Friday morning, forecasters at the Weather Service forecast office in Philadelphia wrote that this heat wave would be “prolonged, dangerous, and potentially deadly.” Warning of a heat index as high as 115 degrees (46C) on Saturday, forecasters noted: “Heat related illnesses and death can occur in minutes on days such as these in cases of over- exertion or entrapments in hot vehicles. The heat wave, which comes in the midst of what may turn out to be the hottest month Earth has recorded since instrument records began in the late 19th century, poses a public health threat to tens of millions.
When Tiffany Clark, owner of Chaos and Clark Photography, went to pick up her cousin for his senior photo session, she wasn't expecting anything crazy. Evan Dennison got in the car wearing sweatpants and carrying a bag. Clark asked him where his clothes were. Dennison assured her they were in his bag and he would change once they got to their location.
When Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) once married her own brother in an immigration fraud scheme, he demonstrated the remarkable degree to which even the most far-off corners of the right-wing internet can launch unproven, anonymous claims into the national political discourse. The president had been asked by a reporter from the pro-Trump One America News Network about whether his administration was investigating Omar “for possibly marrying her brother.” In response, Trump hinted that “somebody” in the government was looking into the matter. “There's a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother,” Trump said.
Only hours after receiving a life sentence, convicted Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was forced to make a sudden departure to the highest-security prison in the U.S. to serve the term, his lawyer said Thursday. A government helicopter whisked the narco, notorious for his daring jailbreaks, out of New York City on Wednesday after the sentencing in federal court in Brooklyn, said defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman. For most defendants, there's a lag between sentencing and a decision by the Bureau of Prisons on where to house them.
Twelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body.
"It is personally disappointing to Congressman Hunter that he is now being told that he cannot use this motto or image that thousands of Marines like Congressman Hunter, who went to war under this banner, have used for tattoos, coins, and multiple other items of personal sentiment," Harrison told Task & Purpose. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) has been told to stop using the Marine Corps' emblem and the 1st Marine Division's motto in his campaign literature, Corps officials confirmed. The Marine Corps Trademark Licensing Office has sent Hunter, a Marine veteran, a cease and desist letter telling him to quit using the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem along with the phrase, "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy," on a fundraising mailer that accuses his political opponent of having links to terrorism, NBC News first reported on Wednesday.
Mostly Kurds themselves, they have sought day jobs in construction and other menial labour in Iraq's northern Kurdish region to make up for the deteriorating economic situation at home. Wearing mesh hats and canvas bags around their waists, they wait in Arbil's industrial quarters to be picked up by people needing help with removals or construction foremen looking for labourers. "With a full day's wage in Iran, I can only buy a chicken -- but a family's need is more than just a chicken," said Rostam, 31, a worker from Iran's Urmia.
Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs are working on an urgent strategy to solve the city's political chaos and have ruled out the use of military force, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the discussions. They will soon present top leaders in Beijing with both an immediate plan to handle the mass protests and a longer-term strategy that could result in China overhauling its management of the former British colony, the newspaper said, without elaborating on a date. Beijing maintains that the crisis is best left for Hong Kong authorities to resolve and doesn't want to get directly involved, according to the report.
The White House is pushing a top aide to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross out of the Trump administration, the first round of house-cleaning after the 2020 census debacle and clashes over tech policy. In recent months, Commerce policy director Earl Comstock has angered Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House lawyers, members of the National Security Council and officials at the National Economic Council, according to five current and former administration officials.
Our spy photographers caught two different versions of the C8 out on the road with no camouflage for the first time. From Car and Driver
Hundreds of pages of online chats between Rossello and members of his administration leaked, revealing the men mocking women, the handicapped and victims of Hurricane Maria.
Reacting to the outbreak of “Send Her Back” chants directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at President Trump's Wednesday night rally in North Carolina, The View's Meghan McCain groused on Thursday that the president's relentless racist attacks against Omar takes away her “agency” to criticize the Muslim congresswoman. In a segment first spotted by Raw Story, co-host Sunny Hostin said the chants “terrified” her, prompting McCain to chime in and describe the rally as “really dystopian” before noting that she's also been a fierce critic of Omar. “Everyone at this table, and I think, people that watch this show or have ever seen the dumpster fire of my interview with Seth Meyers know I have been one of Ilhan Omar's most vocal critics regarding Israel,” she declared.
A private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. But the Navy determined in 2001 that it had been sunk by a German submarine.
A Philadelphia man more than 25 years into a life sentence has been freed after prosecutors admitted they had evidence at the time that showed the man was "likely innocent" for a murder. Chester Hollman III, 48, was freed Monday from a state prison in Luzerne County. “I don't think it's really hit me yet still," Hollman told KYW-TV in Philadelphia.
New much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18. The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced Friday they had confiscated a British tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz for breaking "international maritime rules". The Stena Impero tanker "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the strait of Hormuz, for failing to respect international maritime rules," the Guards' official website Sepahnews announced. The tanker "was led to the shore and handed over to the organisation to go through the legal procedure and required investigations," it said.
Russia summoned a representative of the U.S. embassy in Moscow on Thursday to issue a protest after U.S. officials alleged Russia had refused visas to teachers at an international school in Moscow, the Russian foreign ministry said. The ministry said in a statement it had not denied the visas, but that teachers at the school were entering Russia under diplomatic visas, despite not being diplomats. It said Russia was ready to issue visas promptly to U.S. diplomatic personnel as soon as Washington started issuing visas promptly to Russian diplomats in the United States.
Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia.