US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that the US military is preparing a response to the attack on major Saudi Arabia oil facilities. After briefing President Donald Trump in the White House, Esper singled out Iran as undermining international order, without directly pinning blame on Tehran for the attack. "The United States military, with our interagency team, is working with our partners to address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran," he said in a tweet.
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.
The Vatican's criminal prosecutor is seeking to indict a one-time seminarian accused of sexually abusing younger seminarians who lived inside the Vatican and served as altar boys at papal Masses in St. Peter's Basilica. The Vatican said Tuesday an indictment was also being sought for the former rector of the Vatican's St. Pius X youth seminary, who is accused of aiding and abetting the crime. The scandal at the Holy See's own youth seminary is particularly grave, given that the alleged misconduct occurred inside the Vatican's own walls and was covered up for years until it was exposed by Italian journalists in 2017.
“We are developing an AI stack regarding how we pull together the sensors, computing layer and analytics to manage the data,” Col. Doug Matty, Army AI Task Force Deputy Director, told Warrior in an interview. New algorithms, AI-enabled computer processing and high-speed networking are all specific elements of work now underway with the Army's AI Task Force, an emerging Army effort to collaborate with industry and academia, find technology breakthroughs and develop new applications for AI, Matty explained. The Task Force is now working on prototyping systems for integration onto UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, Long-Range Precision Fires systems and the Army's emerging fleet of Next-Gen Combat Vehicles, he said.
Editor's note: This column was originally published on Oct. 9, 2018. In an almost party-line vote, senators voted this weekend to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The FBI inquiry into Kavanaugh's alleged sexual misconduct, Republicans tell us, was rigorously conducted, and no evidence corroborating accusations by Christine Blasey Ford and Debbie Ramirez was found.
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.
Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday - one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul - with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections. The first attack saw a motorcyclist detonate a suicide bomb at a checkpoint leading to a rally where Ashraf Ghani, the president, was addressing supporters in central Parwan province, just north of the capital, killing 26 and wounding 42. Just over an hour later another blast also claimed by the Taliban rocked central Kabul near the US embassy.
A man from California is the seventh person to die from a suspected vaping-related illness in the US, reports say. The man, in his 40s, had been ill for a number of weeks before he succumbed to a “severe pulmonary injury associated with vaping”, according to Tulare Country public health officer Dr Karen Haught. US media cited Dr Haught as saying: “Any use of e-cigarettes poses a possible risk to the health of the lungs and can potentially cause severe lung injury that may even lead to death.
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."
Deep disagreements within the Federal Reserve over the economic outlook and how the U.S. central bank should respond will not stop policymakers from cutting interest rates at a two-day meeting that began on Tuesday. An oil price spike after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend added to the list of risks facing an economy already slowed by ongoing trade tensions and global weakness. At one end of the Fed's large boardroom table sit St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who are expected to argue for a steep reduction in borrowing costs to counter low inflation and an inverted Treasury yield curve.
Twenty villagers were killed and 14 others were injured when the truck they were riding in lost control and fell off a cliff Tuesday in a remote mountain village in the southern Philippines, police and the Red Cross said. Provincial police chief Joel Limson said the truck was negotiating a downhill road in Tboli town in South Cotabato province when its brakes apparently failed and plummeted down a ravine, pinning 15 people to death. Police, Red Cross volunteers and villagers retrieved the 15 bodies from the wreckage at the bottom of the ravine.
It doesn't necessarily take the resources of a major nation-state to challenge U.S. Navy warships. Iran can't build a large navy but it does invest in swarms of small missile boats. On Feb. 6, 2017, the low- and slow-flying Warthogs together with Canadian CF-18 Hornets carried out simulated attacks on dozens of boats in Florida's Choctawatchee Bay.
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.
A conservative group that has aided the confirmation of President Trump's judicial nominees is now leading the Republican Party's charge against the most recent allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. On Sunday afternoon, the Article III Project, led by Mike Davis, a key attorney in shepherding Kavanaugh's confirmation, sent talking points to the White House. He also sent the memo to key congressional offices and a number of outside GOP groups in an effort to discredit reporting from the New York Times alleging that, while at Yale, classmate Max Stier witnessed Kavanaugh “push his penis into the hand of” a female student.
The U.S. plans to return its ambassador to Belarus, ending a freeze in ties with the authoritarian former Soviet republic which had lasted for more than 11 years. We are happy to see that chapter closing, and we are closing it because of the concrete steps in the direction that you, Mr. President, had taken to improve this relationship,” David Hale, Undersecretary of State for political affairs, told Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting in Minsk. The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Minsk in 2008 as relations between the two countries spiralled lower over Washington's allegations of human-rights abuses by the Belarusian government.
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.
Grande-Synthe (France) (AFP) - French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard. The mayor of Grande-Synthe in December 2018 opened up the sports hall to migrant families seeking shelter from the cold. Since then, it has grown into a makeshift camp with around 800 people sleeping in tents pitched around the crammed gymnasium where some 170 people, mostly Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach Britain, had been sheltering.
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”.
A Wisconsin man suspected of running an illegal operation to manufacture vaping cartridges flew to California last month to get THC oil in bulk to fill thousands of cartridges to sell, prosecutors said Monday in charging documents. Authorities in Kenosha, Wisconsin, arrested 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines on Sept. 5 after parents tipped off police when they saw their teenage son with one of the cartridges. Prosecutors say Huffhines employed 10 people to fill the cartridges with THC oil at a condo he rented with a stolen identity.
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.
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 United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed on Tuesday to extend a U.N. political mission in Afghanistan after last-minute talks overcame a Chinese threat to veto if there was no reference to Beijing's global Belt and Road infrastructure project. "To our regret a few countries refused to keep the text of consensus previously agreed," said China's U.N. Ambassador Zhang Jun, describing the adopted resolution as a technical rollover. The resolutions mandating the mission in 2016, 2017 and 2018 all included a reference welcoming and urging efforts like China's Belt and Road initiative to facilitate trade and transit, but in March the United States and some other council members said they could no longer accept that language.
In a Medium post published Monday, the Massachusetts Democrat proposes closing the loophole that “allows federal judges to escape investigations for misconduct by stepping down from their post. In outlining the idea, Warren specifically references a case involving Trump's sister Maryanne Trump-Barry, whose retirement brought an abrupt end to an investigation into her role in various tax schemes of the family and potential fraud therein. Under my plan, investigations will remain open until their findings are made public and any penalties for misconduct are issued,” Warren writes in the post.