Saul Loeb/GettyThe Pentagon is set to present plans to the White House on Thursday outlining the proposed deployment of up to 10,000 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, the Associated Press reports. According to the anonymous officials cited in the report, the troops would be defensive forces, though it is not yet clear if the White House will approve sending all of them or just some of them. The deployment would also reportedly include sending additional Patriot missile batteries, and plans to send more ships have also been discussed.Reuters also reported Wednesday that the Defense Department was considering a plan to send 5,000 additional troops to the region. Sources said the request had been made by U.S. Central Command, but it was not yet clear if the Pentagon would approve.A source also told Reuters the troops would be a defensive force. “As a matter of longstanding policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on potential future plans and requests for forces,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Reuters.Trump Admin Inflated Iran Intel, U.S. Officials SaySpeculation that the U.S. would send troops to Iran was first reported in a New York Times story earlier this month about Trump's top national security aides reviewing a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East. After the story broke, President Trump publicly stated that he hoped the U.S. would not go to war with Iran.But National Security Adviser John Bolton has painted a different picture, citing “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” that point to Iran threatening the U.S. and allies. Sanctions the U.S. imposed on Tehran after pulling out of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal are believed to have contributed to rising tensions between the two nations. Beyond the Iran Deal, the State Department designated Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization in April—which reportedly sparked concerns among defense officials that the country may retaliate. Several oil tankers were also attacked or sabotaged earlier this month off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, which U.S. officials reportedly suspect was Iran's doing though there is no definitive evidence pointing the blame at the country.“It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Trump told reporters when asked about the incident.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Weather forecasters on Wednesday expected drenching rains to roll into the storm-ravaged U.S. southern and central states, where thunderstorms and tornadoes killed at least three people and triggered widespread flooding. More than 30 tornadoes struck a swath from Texas to Iowa since Monday, according to the National Weather Service, and residents in at least three Oklahoma riverfront communities were urged to evacuate due to flooding. One person was killed and another was injured when a tornado struck the rural town of Adair, Iowa, about 50 miles (80 km)west of Des Moines, at about 1:30 a.m. local time, the weather service said.
New charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange quickly drew alarm Thursday from media organizations and others. The groups are concerned that the Justice Department is charging Assange for actions that ordinary journalists do routinely in their jobs. Department officials said they don't view Assange, who founded WikiLeaks in 2006, as a journalist.
If anyone had any doubts about Narendra Modi’s popularity, India’s masses just put them to rest. A combination of economic populism, Hindu nationalism and air strikes against arch-rival Pakistan earlier this year proved unbeatable. “This is a stunning reaffirmation of Modi and the BJP and, conversely, a sharp rebuke of the opposition,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
A document containing approved Republican talking points regarding Alabama's near-total abortion ban has been uncovered. Entitled “Messaging in the Minority,” the document was produced on Wednesday by the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of House Republicans, and obtained by Vice News. It offers “messaging guidance” on the GOP's anti-abortion platform, and is labelled as “strictly OFF-THE-RECORD.” Vice News did not say how the document was obtained.
The head of the US air safety agency said on Wednesday his agency hadn't yet evaluated Boeing's patch for its 737 MAX 8 jet, ahead of a Thursday summit of global aviation regulators. The 737 MAX was grounded following the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash, which together with an Indonesian Lion Air crash in October claimed 346 lives and were both blamed on faulty technology in the aircraft. The summit in Fort Worth, Texas is expected to provide clues as to whether global aviation safety authorities will be willing to set aside any hesitation about the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which was the last to ground the plane and has not yet given the green light for the 737 MAX to fly again.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has cut ties with Purdue Pharma LP over the OxyContin maker's alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, forcing it to find a new bank to manage cash and bill payments, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The move makes JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, the most high-profile corporation known to have distanced itself from Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, amid thousands of lawsuits alleging the company pushed addictive painkillers while downplaying their abuse and overdose risks. JPMorgan's decision also underscores a drive among U.S. banks to reassess their relationships with clients and industries in response to controversy and political debates over matters such as immigration detention and mass shootings.
The small Raptor force is expensive to operate ($58,000 per flight hour, three times the cost of an F-16), but the fifth-generation stealth aircraft remain the U.S. military’s preferred weapon for countering the latest 4.5-generation jets like the Russian Su-35 or China’s J-20 stealth fighter and J-11D.The F-22 Raptor may be the most elusive fighter ever built. It has a radar-cross section the size of a marble, and if it gets into trouble, it can rocket away traveling up to two-and-a-half times the speed of sound—so fast that the friction from the air would melt its radar-absorbent coatings right off its airframe. But this October, the Air Force discovered that a Raptor with its wings clipped can’t evade the force of nature.(This first appeared late last year.)Tyndall Air Force Base, located on a coastal peninsula across from Panama City, Florida, is a sprawling twenty-nine thousand-acre complex which at the beginning of October housed fifty-five F-22 Raptors of the 325th Fighter Wing—nearly a third of all F-22s built, making it the primary center for Raptor pilot training. It also houses QF-16 jet fighter drones used for Full-Scale Aerial Target tests, T-38 supersonic jet trainers and Mitsubishi Mu-2 twin-engine utility planes used to train AWACS crews in airborne-early warning skills.
Despite the president's claim that "you can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously," most Americans want Congress to continue asking questions.
There are millions of apps available for your phone, but you can't take all of them on your next trip. Of the 10 most-downloaded iPhone apps last year, only one – Google Maps – made the list (at No. 8). "Google Maps first comes to mind," says Anne Woodyard, who owns a tour company in Reston, Virginia.
Army engineers say two runaway barges did "minimal" damage when they struck an Arkansas River dam. The barges, filled with 1,500 tons of fertilizer, swept down the flood-swollen river and hit the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam about noon Thursday and sank. Town officials in the riverfront town of Webbers Falls had warned residents to flee for fear such a collision would catastrophically breach the dam and flood the town.
In a stunning escalation of the Trump administration's war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. The charges invoke broad provisions of the Espionage Act that make it a crime to disclose or retain any defense information knowing it “could be used to injure” the U.S. The act has no exception for reporters or publishers, but prior administrations have balked at invoking the law against journalists for fear of colliding with the First Amendment.
Narendra Modi swept back into power on Thursday as his Hindu nationalist party made unexpected gains in a landslide victory. After a mammoth six-week election in which over 600 million people voted, all the results were tallied on Thursday and within hours the TV networks predicted a win for Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party ahead in 300 of the 542 seats up for grabs, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament. That would give his party the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. "Together we grow," Mr Modi said on Twitter. "Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!" Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at BJP headquarters to attend a ceremony to thank the Union Council of Ministers for their contribution in India's general election, in New Delhi Credit: AFP The win by Modi and the BJP has surprised even the most hardened political analysts, with the consensus being that they would be returned to power but with a reduced majority. His re-election reinforces a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, from the United States to Brazil and Italy, often after adopting harsh positions on protectionism, immigration and defence. The result reinforces Mr Modi's immense popularity and vindicated what at times was a belligerent campaign by several parties, with the focus heavily on the economy, national security, and from the BJP's perspective, an affirmation of its underlying ideology of Hindu nationalism. Nalin Kohli, a senior BJP official, claimed his party had picked up votes from Muslims, especially Muslim women. “We are the party of power, we are the flavour of the season. It is the aspirations of 1 billion-plus people that have elected us." The main opposition Congress party was heading for a better performance than its nadir in 2014, but early results suggested it would get at least 52 seats. With its partners it makes up the United Progressive Alliance, which was predicted to hit the 110 mark. With some of the BJP's critics accusing it of making India a more divisive country, particularly for Muslims and other minorities, many are asking what happens next for India. सबका साथ + सबका विकास + सबका विश्वास = विजयी भारत Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again! VijayiBharat— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2019 Professor Santosh Kumar Rai, of Delhi University, said: “Certainly a second term means an ideological victory, even if it is more a personality cult. With a [BJP] majority, a rightist agenda with all the institutions of the state under its control, the party will be more likely to convert India into a majoritarian state. “Law, education and culture will be the major areas expecting paradigm shift. Foreign and Finance policies will continue as they are going on now.” The election has been the biggest democratic exercise in history with an electorate of 900million, more than 1 million polling booths, seen phases of polling, seven national parties and dozens more regional parties vying for seats in the New Delhi parliament. Commentators have said Mr Modi put himself at the centre of a more presidential style of campaign, often making himself and his party interchangeable. At a packed victory rally at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, Mr Modi said: "This victory will be an inspiration for generations in the country. Crores [tens of millions] of Indians have blessed us, my gratitude to the people. "This is the highest voter turnout since Independence, even in adverse weather conditions. I congratulate the Election Commission for conducting smooth elections in such a big democracy. "I have been saying that no party or candidate is fighting the polls but the people of India are. If anybody has won, it is the people of India. This is the biggest event in any democracy in the world." Referring to his rivals in the Congress Party, he said: "They used a fake tag of Secularism that they thought would wash all sins; today these people have been completely unmasked. Today, India has only two castes - those who are poor and those who want to eradicate poverty. "This is not Modi’s victory. This is victory of honest people’s hope, this is a victory of youths who have walked on the path of 21st century with dreams.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is meeting with international air regulators from around the world on Thursday to determine what is needed to return the grounded Boeing Co 737 MAX to return it to service. The agency will summarize the status of three major ongoing reviews of the 737 MAX and give an update of the recertification process and shed light on Boeing's proposed revisions to its software and pilot training. Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said on Thursday he thought travelers in the United States and around the world would respect any eventual decision by the FAA to return the plane to service.
Facebook says that users who are missing the company’s Face Recognition control can opt out of the platform’s use of facial recognition technology by turning off another setting, Tag Suggestions....
While abortion is legal nationwide, Americans have unequal access to the procedure, depending on their location in the United States and how much they are able to spend. The disparities are great indeed, from the more than 150 abortion clinics available in the most populous state of California, to only one in states like Mississippi in the South or Missouri in the Midwest. State laws also vary widely on other matters like speed limits for drivers and marriage age requirements, but the Supreme Court has set a "minimum standard throughout the entire country," noted Meg Penrose, of the Texas A&M School of Law.
President Trump issued a memo on Thursday granting attorney general William Barr the authority to declassify all documents related to the FBI's surveillance of his campaign in 2016. The memo also instructs all intelligence-community officials to cooperate with Barr in his investigation into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and its alleged ties to Russia. The heads of elements of the intelligence community .
A Cook County judge Thursday ordered Jussie Smollett's criminal file to be unsealed, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
The US Justice Department has unveiled 17 criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accusing him of unlawfully published the names of classified sources as well as conspiring and assisting ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in accessing classified information.The charges, contained in an 18-count indictment announced on Thursday, go far beyond an initial indictment against Assange made public last month that accused him of conspiring with Manning to gain access to a government computer, as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of US military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The new indictment says his actions "risked serious harm" to the US.The 47-year-old is serving a jail sentence in the UK for breaching bail conditions following his eviction from the Ecuadorian Embassy in April. The US is seeking his extradition.More follows…
Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president's son "evidently retarded." Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat. Mooney said Rogers brought "shame" on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban.
By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft such as the Navy Osprey tiltrotor aircraft variant.As the F-35C becomes officially deemed “operational” and “ready for war," the Navy is adding weapons, sensors and software to the aircraft to expand its attack envelope --- and may even increase the F-35s ability to carry up to 6 air-to-air weapons in its internal weapons bay.Such a configuration, which would increase the stealth fighter’s internal weapons load by two missiles, has been designed and implemented by F-35-maker Lockheed Martin -- as an offering for the Air Force and Navy to consider.“Lockheed Martin has matured design concepts to integrate 6 air-to-air missiles within the internal weapons bays of the F-35A and F-35C variants,” Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Friedman told Warrior in a written statement.While making a point to emphasize that any decision to increase the weapons capacity of the F-35 would of course need to come from the military services themselves, Lockheed engineers say the new “internally carried” firepower would massive increase attack options -- all while preserving the stealth configuration of the aircraft.
Climate change has long been a disaster in the making, but until recently the American public tended to treat it as an afterthought. The Green New Deal brought climate change front and center, and made Americans think about big bold solutions instead of technical tweaks and half measures. The think tank Data for Progress has a plan that actually predates Ocasio-Cortez’s, but which goes into much greater detail about how to combat climate change both at home and abroad.