After a week fielding racist attacks from President Donald Trump, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group. The intense and personal line of questioning Thursday happened as McAleenan appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to testify about his role in separating migrant children from their families and worsening conditions at the migrant detention centers along the southern U.S. border. After the group's existence was revealed by a ProPublica report, McAleenan announced DHS was investigating the "disturbing" and "inexcusable" posts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now only jagged rocks and a few damaged homes remain after torrential rains wreaked havoc on the picturesque mountain village in the Laswa Valley. More than 270 people have been killed in recent days across South Asia as monsoon rains deluged large swathes of the subcontinent, flooding waterways and destroying communities. "I was holding the hand of my mother trying to save her, but unfortunately I lost her hand and she was swept away by the floodwater," says Amin Butt, who was visiting his family in Kashmir.
Planned Parenthood's board has fired the organization's president, Leana Wen, after less than a year on the job. According to reports, Wen was dismissed because the board deemed her insufficiently dedicated to expanding Planned Parenthood's political advocacy, particularly on abortion. For one thing, Wen was appointed just last fall to replace Cecile Richards, who resigned on good terms after leading the institution for twelve years.
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has pledged that he will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour if he wins the White House in 2020.
Several Republican lawmakers distanced themselves Thursday from chants of “send her back” that erupted at a North Carolina rally when President Donald Trump attacked a black Democratic lawmaker. Trump singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. at the rally as he lit into progressive Democrats known as “the Squad,” He suggested the lawmakers were un-American and unpatriotic. The Squad includes Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York., Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
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.
Ukraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week's first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a new filing against the National Rifle Association, lawyers for ad agency Ackerman McQueen suggest that longtime NRA executive Wayne LaPierre is lying about a critical moment in the gun rights group's recent leadership shake up. At issue is multi-million-dollar litigation between the NRA and its ex-ad firm. In court filings of its own, the NRA has alleged that Oliver North, the groups's former president, was ousted in part because he withheld information from the NRA about payments he took from Ackerman McQueen, which had served as the gun rights group's primary ad contractor until just months ago.
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.
At a thumbs-up sign from a sailor, a U.S. Harrier fighter jet takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in the Arabian Sea as an oil tanker passes, a nautical mile away. The patrol is "standard" but the situation - growing tension between the United States and Iran - is not. "We want to make sure that we assure allies in the region and to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce," says Colonel Fridrik Fridrikson, commanding officer of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Philippine police have recommended sedition charges against the vice president and other opposition figures, a move slammed Friday as an attempt to stifle dissent under President Rodrigo Duterte. Police allege Vice President Leni Robredo, Catholic Church leaders and opposition politicians plotted to destabilise the Duterte government by implicating him in the narcotics trade. Duterte launched a war against the drug trade when he came into power three years ago.
West Virginia state police are cautioning residents against using wasp spray as an alternative form of methamphetamine after three people purportedly overdosed. Sgt. Charles Sutphin told WCHS that a number of people in Boone County are making "a synthetic type methamphetamine out of wasp spray." Law enforcement believe it led to three fatal overdoses last week.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders defended his campaign's compensation package Friday after a Washington Post story highlighted concerns among staffers that they were not receiving the $15-an-hour wages Sanders champions on the campaign trail. "I'm very proud to be the first presidential candidate to recognize a union and negotiate a union contract," the Vermont senator and presidential candidate told the Des Moines Register in an interview Friday. "And that contract was ratified by the employees of the campaign, and it not only provides pay of at least $15 an hour, it also provides, I think, the best health care benefits that any employer can provide for our field organizers."
France has rejected an immigrant nurse's application for citizenship on the grounds that she was working too many hours a week in breach of the statutory 35-hour week and strict limits on overtime. The nurse, whose name and nationality have not been made public, holds three jobs and averages 59 hours a week, which the authorities said placed her “in violation of regulations on working time in France”. The 35-hour rule introduced under a Socialist government in 2000 gave France one of the world's shortest working weeks, but it has since been loosened and employees may be permitted to work up to 48 hours a week including overtime.
Three members of a white supremacist group were sentenced Friday to between two and three years in prison for punching, kicking and choking anti-racism protesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia and political rallies in California. Members of the now-defunct Rise Above Movement were caught on camera assaulting counterprotesters before a planned "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in August 2017. Benjamin Daley, Michael Miselis and Thomas Gillen each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to riot.
Stewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community. Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries.
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) A former University of Illinois doctoral student was spared the death penalty Thursday and sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and killing a 26-year-old scholar from China. Jurors deliberated about eight hours over two days before announcing they were deadlocked on whether 30-year-old Brendt Christensen should be put to death for killing Yingying Zhang in 2017 as part of a homicidal fantasy, automatically resulting in a sentence of life behind bars without the possibility of parole. "The Zhang family ... must live with the thought that Yingying was ripped away from them by a total stranger, thousands of miles away, fulfilling his self-absorbed and selfish fantasies," he told Christensen.
David Axe Security, Middle East What happens next? U.S. troops aboard an amphibious assault ship on July 18, 2019 forced down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. president Donald Trump announced. The downing comes just a few weeks after Iranian forces downed an American drone in the same area.
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.