President Donald Trump and his campaign are pushing ahead with efforts to attack former Vice President Joe Biden's mental fitness, despite polling and guidance from advisers warning that the strategy could backfire. The campaign has been running a fresh batch of Facebook ads this week with titles such as “Joe Biden is clearly diminished,” “Joe Biden is slipping,” and “Do you think Joe Biden has the mental fortitude to be president?” And over the past week, Trump, his top advisers and family members have promoted videos portraying Biden as confused and stumbling over his words. Trump campaign aides say to expect the line of attack to be a steady drumbeat throughout the rest of the race.
An oil tanker sought by the U.S. over allegedly circumventing sanctions on Iran was hijacked on July 5 off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a seafarers organization said Wednesday. Satellite photos showed the vessel in Iranian waters on Tuesday and two of its sailors remained in the Iranian capital. It wasn't immediately clear what happened aboard the Dominica-flagged MT Gulf Sky, though its reported hijacking comes after months of tensions between Iran and the U.S. David Hammond, the CEO of the United Kingdom-based group Human Rights at Sea, said he took a witness statement from the captain of the MT Gulf Sky, confirming the ship had been hijacked.
Leaders in the black community are calling on the New York Police Department to bring back the plainclothes Anti-Crime Unit that was eliminated last month as shootings and murders spike across the city. About 600 undercover officers from the unit were set to be transferred to other assignments including detective work and policing neighborhoods, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said a month ago. The anti-crime unit, which was responsible for getting guns off the streets, had been criticized as stoking distrust in law enforcement in minority communities.
US Navy A US Navy destroyer challenged China in the South China Sea with a freedom-of-navigation operation on Tuesday. The USS Ralph Johnson sailed near the disputed Spratly Islands, the Navy said, adding in a statement that "unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas." The operation, one of at least six such operations this year, comes after the US State Department officially rejected most of China's sea claims, declaring its maritime efforts to assert sovereignty unlawful.
When Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was sworn into office in January 2019, she became one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, alongside Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Throughout her term, Omar has faced vitriolic, racist comments and threats from her political opponents and members of the American public. Omar's religion is often central to the attacks, with people accusing her of treason and association with al-Qaida.
Ghislaine Maxwell has secretly married but refused to disclose her husband's identity to FBI investigators, it was claimed in court. Federal prosecutors told a judge hearing Maxwell's application for bail that she had a spouse although his name has been withheld. The existence of a husband might explain why Maxwell chose to remain in the US while being hunted down by the FBI over child sex trafficking allegations rather than fleeing abroad.
A Beijing law professor who has been an outspoken critic of China's President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party was fired by his university after being released from a nearly week-long detention, his friends said. Xu Zhangrun, a constitutional law professor at the prestigious Tsinghua University, returned home on Sunday morning, six days after he was taken away by police. In a text message showed to Reuters by one of his friends, Xu told the friend that he had been "relieved of teaching and public positions" by Tsinghua University.
The first man executed by the US federal government in 17 years protested his innocence in his final words before his sentence was carried out on Tuesday. Asked if he wanted to give a final statement before the lethal injection procedure, Lee reportedly said “I bear no responsibility for the deaths of the Mueller family.” Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday at a US penitentiary in Indiana.
Philippine police are being deployed to ensure people who test positive for the coronavirus and cannot self-isolate at home are taken to state-run quarantine centres, sparking warnings Wednesday of potential rights violations. The move comes as authorities step up efforts to slow the rapid spread of the disease by increasing testing, reimposing lockdowns, and building dozens of quarantine centres to isolate patients with mild symptoms. To clamp down on local transmission, police are accompanying health workers to the homes of people who have tested positive and taking them to government facilities if their homes are considered inadequate for self-isolation or if they live with "vulnerable" p...
After emerging from a 15-candidate March primary, Republican megadonor Kathaleen Wall and Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls found themselves locked in a nasty, race-to-the-right runoff that's left them bear-hugging the president in a suburban district that is trending to the center as Trump is losing ground. The final weeks have brought Republicans even more headaches. Wall went nuclear, tapping her personal wealth to run millions of dollars' worth of TV ads featuring a sex-trafficking victim and her family excoriating Nehls for failing to protect them.
Iran has executed a former employee of the defense ministry who was convicted of spying on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, the country's judiciary said Tuesday. The report said Reza Asgari was executed last week. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Asgari had worked in the airspace department of the ministry and retired in 2016.
Seeking to evict Donald Trump from the White House at a time of sudden mass unemployment, former Vice President Joe Biden last week offered a vision that echoes some of Trump's own economic populism — while addressing the incompetence exposed during the pandemic. Biden promises to spend $400 billion on materials and services made in the U.S., plus another $300 billion on U.S.-based research and development involving electric cars, artificial intelligence, clean-energy initiatives and similar technologies. We second such a push; federal dollars will pay major economic dividends down the road.
The Black Lives Matter mural on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower was defaced Monday but quickly fixed, authorities said. The Black Lives Matter "movement is more than words, and it can't be undone," de Blasio said. The New York City Police Department said they received a call at around 12:15 p.m. Monday about criminal mischief at 725 Fifth Avenue.
Virginia police are investigating white supremacist flyers that are appearing in local resident mailboxes across the state.
Nissan Nissan unveiled its first all-electric crossover, the Ariya, during an online event on Wednesday. It's the first major EV debut from the brand since it launched the Leaf all the way back in 2010. According to Nissan, it will have up to 300 miles of range, two battery options, and an all-wheel-drive version.
The remains of an Aztec palace dating back to the mid-1400s and later used by Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés were discovered near a central plaza in Mexico City, officials say. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History announced Monday that basalt slab floors believed to be part of an open plaza in the Palace of Axayácatl were discovered during an inspection at the Nacional Monte de Piedad, located near the Plaza del Zócalo. Axayácatl was an Aztec ruler between 1469 and 1481 and also father of Moctezuma II, the great Aztec emperor who later died during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday he expected a World Health Organization (WHO) investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus in China to be "completely whitewashed." Nearly 580,000 people globally have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and more than 13 million have been infected following an outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, last year. The Geneva-based WHO said it was sending an team to China in early July to investigate how the outbreak started.
China on Tuesday declared a primary election for pro-democracy parties in Hong Kong "illegal", saying it violated the new national security law. The city's leader Carrie Lam said on Monday that the voting was subversive in that it was an attempt to undermine the parliament and deliberately block government proposals. “If this so-called primary election's purpose is to achieve the ultimate goal of delivering what they called '35-plus' [the majority of lawmakers], with the objective of objecting or resisting every policy initiative of the HKSAR government, it may fall into the category of subverting the state power – one of the four types of offences under the national security law,” Ms Lam said.
Here's everything the intrepid spacecraft has taught us about the distant dwarf planet. From Popular Mechanics
Heavy rain is forecast for five more days in the Yangtze River basin, China's meteorological agency said Wednesday, in a region already devastated by flooding this year. In some good news, the water level in China's biggest freshwater lake began to recede after setting a record Monday. Floodwaters have inundated villages, cities and farms in many parts of southern China.
William Marcus “Marc” Wilson believed he was standing his ground when he fired at a pickup truck he says was trying to run his car off the road as he drove home with his girlfriend one night last month. The pickup truck's driver then allegedly tried to run Wilson's much smaller Ford Focus off the road before, according to Johnson, Wilson “defended his life” by using a legally registered firearm to shoot at the truck.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday refused to answer a question about police violence against Black people, instead pointing out that white people are also sometimes victims of police violence. "And so are white people, so are white people," Trump said in an interview with CBS's Catherine Herridge when asked why Black Americans are still dying at the hands of law enforcement. White people make up roughly half of the people shot and killed annually by police, according to a Washington Post database tracking fatal police shootings in the United States.
Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS A new report from Iran's Civil Aviation Organization reveals that a string of massive failures led Iran's military to shoot down a passenger jet and kill 176 people earlier this year. The Iranian military shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in January due to human error, an improperly calibrated air defense system, communication problems, and a breach of engagement protocols, the Iranian report says. Following the release of the report, Ukraine said that it is not yet ready to accept Iran's explanation for what happened.
"Nuisance" or "sunny day" high-tide flooding is becoming more commonplace in the U.S., and a federal report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that such flooding will worsen in the decades to come as seas continue to rise. “America's coastal communities and their economies are suffering from the effects of high-tide flooding, and it's only going to increase in the future,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA's National Ocean Service. As sea-level rise continues, damaging floods that decades ago happened only during a storm now happen more regularly, such as during a full-moon tide or with a change in prevailing winds or currents, according to NOAA.