WASHINGTON/DUBAI, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters, an assessment that further increases tension in the Middle East. Three officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the attacks involved cruise missiles and drones, indicating that they involved a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.
Granville County A North Carolina sheriff plotted to murder his own deputy in 2014 for threatening to publicly reveal a tape of the sheriff using "racially offensive language," prosecutors say. Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was charged by a grand jury with two counts of felony obstruction of justice. The indictment said Wilkins urged someone to kill the deputy, saying, "The only way you gonna stop him is kill him [sic]," and, "You can't tell nobody nothin'.
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."
But it's worth noting that the Houthis also possess a surprisingly sophisticated arsenal of homemade ballistic and cruise missiles possessing the range performance to strike targets deep inside Saudi Arabia. According to aviation expert Tom Cooper, the main weapon in the Houthi arsenal is the Burkan, a modified version of the Soviet R-17E Scud rocket that's around five feet longer than the baseline missile and some 4,400 pounds heavier and can travel farther than 500 miles. The Houthis inherited from the defunct Yemeni military a large number of Soviet-exported Scuds as well as North Korean-made Scuds called “Hwasong-6s.
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.
New York City public schools will allow 1.1 million students to skip classes Friday in order to attend the planned “climate strike” ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit. The protests aim to press the Summit for immediate action to stop climate change, and are geared specifically for the participation of young people. Reactions to the decision have been ecstatic in some cases, as protest organizers contemplate what they hope will be the largest climate change protest in the history of the U.S. “This completely changes things, and it's our doing,” Xiye Bastida, 17, a senior at Beacon High School in Manhattan, told the New York Times.
A domestic flight in India was delayed by two hours after a swarm of bees settled on the cockpit window, obscuring pilots' vision and attacking staff who tried to remove them. The Air India flight was about to take off when the bees landed on the window. Staff tried fruitlessly to shoo them away and disperse them with the aircraft's windscreen wipers before calling the fire brigade.
The home of Ukraine's former central bank chief has been burned to the ground, the third chilling incident involving the banker over the past few weeks. Police said in a statement Tuesday that they are investigating a suspected arson attack late Monday on the house of Valeria Gontareva outside the capital, Kyiv. Gontareva has said she has received threats from Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who lost his PrivatBank to a government nationalization that was carried out while Gontareva was at the helm of the central bank in 2016.
Two masked-man kicked in the front door of a Pleasanton home in an attempted home-invasion -- and it was all caught on surveillance video.
If the White House is to be believed, Iran launched an unprovoked attack on the kingdom's most important oil facilities. In an evening tweet, Donald Trump even appeared to give Saudi Arabia a say in whether the US would attack Iran. Saudi Arabia has the power to bring fire and fury down on its most-hated foe but may be reluctant to actually use that power.
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.
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.
LOS ANGELES – Taking direct aim at California, a new report from President Donald Trump's administration says homelessness could be dramatically reduced by slashing restrictions on housing construction and being less tolerant of people sleeping on the streets. The Council of Economic Advisers' report was released as Trump takes a two-day swing through California for speeches and fundraising, while taking aim at liberal policies on homelessness. We can't let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what's happening,” Trump told reporters Tuesday aboard Air Force One.
California added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program. California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime. In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures.
Key point: China is going for a land-grab and will use those bases for power projection and intimidation, even if it can't defeat them all in a war. China has built some islands in the South China Sea. The islands of the SCS are conveniently located for China, but do they really represent an asset to China's military?
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.
The number and rate of abortions across the United States have plunged to their lowest levels since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973, according to new figures released Wednesday. The report from the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights, counted 862,000 abortions in the U.S. in 2017. That's down from 926,000 tallied in the group's previous report for 2014, and from just over 1 million counted for 2011.
Vladimir Putin takes great pride in his sky-high approval rating. While pushing a raft of popular reforms, Zelenskiy, 41, remains in his honeymoon period, while cries he's too close to a local billionaire grow louder. The 66-year-old Putin, meanwhile, is approaching two decades as Russia's leader.
The nation's top intelligence official has refused to comply with a House Intelligence Committee subpoena to provide the contents of a whistleblower complaint a government watchdog deemed "urgent" and credible, the panel's chairman, Adam Schiff, said late Tuesday. The California Democrat warned the agency might be acting to conceal high-level wrongdoing by President Donald Trump or his immediate advisers. "The committee's position is clear — the acting DNI [Director of National Intelligence] can either provide the complaint as required under the law, or he will be required to come before the committee to tell the public why he is not following the clear letter of the law, including whether the White House or the attorney general are directing him to do so," Schiff said.
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.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had no more than 20 minutes to study a draft accord between the United States and the Taliban on pulling thousands of U.S. troops out of his country, but upcoming elections could put him back at the heart of talks to end decades of war. What he read in the draft outlining the now collapsed deal left Ghani and his officials - who were shut out of the talks by the Taliban refusal to negotiate with what they considered an illegitimate "puppet" regime - badly shaken and resentful, said a senior Kabul official close to the Afghan leader. "Doesn't this look like surrender to the Taliban?" Ghani asked Zalmay Khalilzad, the veteran Afghan-born diplomat who led negotiations for Washington, at a meeting the two held immediately afterwards, according to the source who was present.
A man linked to the deaths of at least four women dating back more than a decade has been arrested in Florida, authorities announced Monday. Robert Hayes, 37, was arrested Sunday on first-degree murder charges for the 2016 death of Rachel Bey, Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a news conference. "We have been able to take what we believe was a serial killer off the streets, and had we not done this we're pretty sure that he would have killed again," Bradshaw said.
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”.
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.