An audio recording released Sunday reveals the tense moments before a British-flagged oil tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces rappelling from helicopters to the ship's deck. The Stena Impero tanker "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards ... for failing to respect international maritime rules," the Iranian forces said after the seizure Friday. Video posted online showed Iranian soldiers in black ski masks sweeping onto the ship in the Strait of Hormuz. In the audio recording released Sunday by the security risk firm Dryad Global, the voice of an apparent Iranian official warns the tanker's crew to alter course.
The Vatican on Saturday opened two burial chambers discovered under a trapdoor as it attempts to get to the bottom of a riddle involving two 19th-century princesses and a teenager who went missing 36 years ago. The ossuaries were found last week under the floor of the Pontifical Teutonic College after the shock discovery earlier this month that the bones of the princesses had disappeared from tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery. The graves of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Charlotte Federica of Mecklenburg, who died in 1836 and 1840, were exhumed after an anonymous tip-off that they may hold the remains of a missing Italian youngster.
The Iranian nuclear nonproliferation agreement has been the top foreign policy issue throughout Washington for the past two months. Approving or disapproving the deal was the first order of business for the U.S. Congress until the very last day of congressional action under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (September 17). Hours of debate have been conducted on the floors of the House and Senate, both chambers have held roll call votes, and Senate Democrats bonded together to filibuster a motion of disapproval — a resolution that would have prevented President Obama from providing the Iranians sanctions relief. The Obama administration's main selling point for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is based on the theory that forcing Tehran to downgrade its nuclear program will make the threat of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East — the world's most frenetic and violent region even without nuclear weapons— far less urgent. Yet we should remember that there is in fact a state in the region that already possesses nuclear weapons.
A Maryland man visiting Alaska with his family was killed and one of his three children was critically injured Friday after their floatplane's takeoff was aborted. Alaska State Troopers identified the deceased man as Joseph Patenella, 57. The critically hurt child was flown to Anchorage for treatment, along with two other family members.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Sunday he had not yet decided on how to respond to an expected U.S. request to send its navy to join a military coalition to safeguard strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. "We've started to hear the United States' thinking on this and we want to keep listening carefully," he said on national television as votes were being counted for the upper house election. "At the same time, Japan also has friendly ties with Iran," Abe added.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo acknowledged that Mexico has achieved “significant” progress in controlling the flow of migrants to the U.S., according to a statement Sunday by Mexico's Foreign Affairs Ministry. The advances mean there's no need to start negotiations for a “safe third country” agreement that would require Mexico to process paperwork for asylum seekers to prevent them from applying in the U.S, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said, according to the ministry's statement. Mexico's strategy to “guarantee organized, safe and regular flows” of migrants will continue during the next 45 days, the statement said.
But since Greg Abbott signed the measure into law in June, county prosecutors around Texas have been dropping some marijuana possession charges and declining to file new ones, saying they do not have the time or the laboratory equipment needed to distinguish between legal hemp and illegal marijuana. Collectively, the prosecutors' jurisdictions cover more than 9 million people — about a third of Texas' population — including in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The accidental leniency represents one of the unintended consequences states may face as they race to cash in on the popularity of products made with or from hemp.
Universal Orlando went under lockdown Saturday night after police received a report of a gunman spotted in a parking garage. Police arrived shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time and, along with Universal security staff, temporarily shut down both of Universal's parking garages to guests while they assessed the area. It was later deemed safe and park activity returned to normal.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said she would follow "humanitarian principles" in dealing with asylum seekers from Hong Kong, which has been roiled by pro-democracy protests. Tsai made the comments after Radio Free Asia reported that more than a dozen protesters from Hong Kong have fled to Taiwan. In response, China's foreign ministry Friday accused Taiwan of exhibiting fake benevolence.
Alan Mendoza: The only surprise about Iran's seizure is that it didn't happen sooner Analysis: Boris Johnson could face early test as Iran 'exploits' political uncertainty US developing 'coalition' of navies to protect ships amid Iran tensions Mark Almond: Brexit myopia and a fatal lack of foresight has enabled Iran to put Britain on the spot Former head of Navy questions why British ships weren't protected Foreign office summon Iranian diplomats Britain has admitted its nearest warship was one hour away from the merchant vessel seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday and could do nothing to help.
Iraqi Kurdish authorities announced Saturday they had arrested two suspects involved in the murder of three people, including a Turkish diplomat, in the regional capital Arbil this week. The autonomous region's security council first said its counterterrorism unit had arrested "the main perpetrator" Mazloum Dag, a 27-year-old from Turkey's Diyarbakir region. The council had put out a wanted notice for Dag a day earlier in connection to Wednesday's killing of Turkish Vice Consul Osman Kose and two Iraqi nationals.
Bernie Sanders pushes for a $15 minimum wage during his campaign; reaction from 2016 Sanders campaign staffer Tezlyn Figaro.
There are plenty of conspiracy theories, recent discoveries, and just plain old misconceptions about the moon. From Popular Mechanics
An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said. Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday. A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States.
The U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of "aggressively" shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, a fresh sign of growing hostility between the two countries. The encounter between the two planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was imposing sanctions on four top officials in Venezuela's military counterintelligence agency. In a statement issued Sunday, the U.S. military said that it had determined the "Russian-made fighter aggressively shadowed the EP-3 at an unsafe distance in international airspace for a prolonged period of time, endangering the safety of the crew and jeopardizing the EP-3 ...
President Donald Trump pledged to re-establish U.S. dominance in space, a day after he welcomed the surviving Apollo 11 astronauts to the White House to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Sustained exploration that extends from our Earth to the Moon and on to the Martian surface will usher in a new era of American ingenuity,” Trump said in a message on Saturday, which he declared Space Exploration Day. Trump on Friday invited retired astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and the family of Neil Armstrong -- the first man to walk on the moon -- to the White House to mark the space milestone.
Hundreds of people lined the hallways of Renown Regional Medical Center to honor the 9-year-old girl who died after being injured in a bounce house incident earlier this week. Lizzy Hammond died after a bounce house blew into power lines in South Reno near Bartley Ranch on Sunday. Two other children were also injured in the incident.
Joe Biden's son Hunter made his 2020 presidential campaign trail debut with his father Friday, two weeks after the former vice president praised him for battling through "tough times," including years of drug and alcohol abuse. The younger Biden's appearance at a fundraiser in Southern California on Friday was a sign the former vice president and his campaign see him as an asset to the campaign despite a series of personal problems that had kept him in the background. Hunter Biden, 49, attended the event with his new wife, Melissa Cohen, and his daughter Finnegan at the home of Pasadena City Councilmember John Kennedy.
Bill de Blasio blasted Beto O'Rourke on Saturday over the former Texas lawmaker's opposition to “Medicare for All,” accusing his fellow Democratic presidential candidate of engaging in "lazy fear mongering tactics" as the health care policy debate ratchets up. Let's leave the lazy fear mongering tactics to Trump," the mayor of New York tweeted after O'Rourke said getting rid of private health care would force a majority of Americans off their existing insurance. O'Rourke opposes the single-payer health care plan — which would eliminate private insurance — and instead advocates for a plan that preserves employment-based insurance while giving individuals the option to switch to a new Medicare-based program.
Britain on Saturday urged Iran to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf by releasing a UK-flagged ship it said had been illegally seized in Omani waters in an "utterly unacceptable" gambit. Tehran was defiantly ignoring mounting European appeals to free the captured oil tanker and its mostly Indian crew, as the United States prepared to redeploy troops to Iran's regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it seized the Stena Impero ship on Friday for breaking "international maritime rules" in the Strait of Hormuz, a Gulf choke point for about a third of the world's sea-borne oil.
A tourist was kicked in the crotch by a wild horse on the beach of Assateague Island, located off the coast of Maryland, after the man attempted to pet the animal.
Central command for the joint operation sent officers to the Dominican Republic and redoubled their surveillance in New York and Sicily, launching the investigation dubbed “New Connection” that netted 19 men in raids of both crime syndicates this week in Palermo, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey. Among those arrested in Italy was Thomas Gambino who happened to be back in Sicily for a “family vacation. The police used WhatsApp, the encrypted international messaging service, to launch the raids.
Sebastien Roblin Security, And how mad will China get? On July 8, the U.S. State Department announced it would approve a $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan including 108 Abrams main battle tanks and 250 Stinger man-portable surface-to-air missiles—a deal which elicited new sanctions from Beijing on the companies involved. But the announcement was more notable for what the approval didn't include—a nearly done-deal for sixty-six F-16V jet fighters built fresh off the F-16 production line in Greenville, South Carolina.
Ahead of Boris Johnson's likely election next week as Britain's prime minister, EU countries are secretly wooing him in a bid to thrash out a new Brexit plan that would avoid a no-deal disaster, the Sunday Times newspaper reported. Senior Irish politicians and diplomats have held talks with two of Johnson's cabinet allies in recent days, it said. German and French figures as well as the Dutch and Belgian governments have also established contact with Johnson's team and signaled an intention to do a deal, it added.
The word has gotten out: Show up at the U.S. border with a child, claim asylum and you will be admitted into the country. Most people fleeing conditions in these Central American countries, however, aren't legally eligible for asylum. It requires a fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.