President Trump signed orders deferring payroll taxes for some Americans and extending unemployment benefits after negotiations with Democrats hit an impasse.Bypassed Congress »
As tens of millions of Americans have lost jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, food banks across the country say they are facing an unprecedented surge in demand, comparable to a hurricane hitting the entire country at the same time. “I've been in food banking for 24 years, and in my tenure I've never seen such a dramatic increase in need literally overnight,” said Lisa Scales of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, referring to the initial spike in distribution in March, when the shutdowns started. Across the country, Americans who've never had to rely on food assistance before are turning to local organizations for aid.
With months to go until one of the most unprecedented elections in American history, anything can happen — but at least one new prediction has forecasted a resounding victory for Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee. The first 2020 battleground electoral map by NBC News was released on Friday, showing the former vice president with a lead of 334 electoral votes. President Donald Trump was trailing behind Mr Biden in the new forecasting with just 125 electoral votes.
A Venezuelan court sentenced two former US special forces soldiers to 20 years in prison for their part in a failed beach attack aimed at overthrowing President Nicolas Maduro, prosecutors announced late on Friday. Former Green Berets Luke Denman and Airan Berry admitted to taking part in the May 4 operation orchestrated by a third ex-US soldier who remains in the United States, Venezuelan's chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab announced on Twitter. "THEY ADMITTED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FACTS," Saab wrote, adding that the case will continue for dozens of other defendants.
A stranded Japanese-owned oil tanker, sailing under the Panamanian flag, has breached and is flooding waters of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius with fuel. Mauritius is famous for its coral reefs and abundant marine wildlife. Authorities are racing against the clock to secure a stranded tanker carrying 4,000 tons of oil leaking fuel into waters near a tropical Indian Ocean island.
At the time, that court's three-judge panel had not yet heard oral argument on Michael Flynn's mandamus petition — i.e., Flynn's request that the panel find that federal district judge Emmet Sullivan was acting lawlessly. Sullivan had not only failed to grant the Justice Department's motion to dismiss the criminal case against Flynn; he had appointed a former federal judge (the overtly anti-Trump John Gleeson) to posit the argument abandoned by DOJ — to wit, that Flynn should proceed to sentencing because he had pled guilty to a false-statements charge, waiving his right to contest the case any further in exchange for the government's agreement not to file any other charges.
Hasenpusch/picture alliance via Getty Images/Business Insider Igor Grechushkin, the Russian owner of the ship that carried a huge cargo of explosives to Beirut, which exploded years later, was questioned by Cypriot police on Thursday, reports say. Grechushkin abandoned the MV Rhosus and its cargo of 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate in 2014. Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo until Tuesday's catastrophic explosion.
On Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association for breaking New York charities law — the result of an investigation into the NRA's finances that began in April 2019. The complaint seeks dissolution, meaning that if the NRA is found guilty, it could be disbanded by the state of New York. You don't have to be a lawyer to see how the NRA got into this mess.
Army leaders have delayed the planned transfer of the Fort Hood commander, as a team of independent investigators heads to the base to determine whether leadership failures contributed to the murder of a soldier earlier this year, and several other deaths. Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, commander of Fort Hood, Texas, was slated to go to Fort Bliss, which is near El Paso, and take over leadership of the 1st Armored Division. Command of a division is a key step in an Army officer's career.
The Chinese and Hong Kong governments strongly criticized Washington Saturday after the United States imposed sanctions on the territory's leader Carrie Lam, and other officials, dismissing the move as "clowning actions" that would not intimidate Chinese people. Hong Kong's government said the sanctions were "shameless and despicable" and represented a "blatant and barbaric" interference in China's internal affairs, warning that Hong Kong was being used as a "pawn" in the U.S.-China relationship. The Trump administration announced Friday it would impose sanctions on Lam and Luo Huining, the head of China's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, along with nine other current and former officials that Washington accuses of curtailing political freedoms, following the imposition of a draconian new security law in June.
MOSCOW—The city of Khabarovsk, a sprawling, industrial metropolis about 5,000 miles east of the capital—the Bolsheviks turned it into a hub for serving Siberian prison camps, in the middle of nowhere by design—is about as far from the seat of Russian power as geographically possible. Despite the Kremlin's best efforts to hide them, problems have been bubbling up in Russia's provinces, transforming local issues into the most dynamic arena for dissent, protest, and opposition in the country's political system and fueling Russia's version of post-lockdown unrest. The arrest of Khabarovsk's popular regional governor sparked the anti-Putin uprising that has drawn up to 60,000 people into the streets in this usually sleepy backwater.
But he has not provided any federal guidance on how, exactly, schools can reopen safely and what the federal government will do in order to ensure that they are safely able to do so. Everyone is looking to our federal government to show some leadership here,” Duncan told lawmakers on Thursday, adding that it was unfair to ask school superintendents to make “life-or-death public health decisions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did issue a nine-page checklist for schools, but it contains broad, sometimes obvious recommendations, such as appointing a person to consult “local health officials about the school's approach to planning for COVID-19.
Protesters in Portland allegedly threw white paint over a woman, as demonstrators clashed with police for a third consecutive day. On Friday, following two days of protests marred by vandalism, more than 200 people clashed with police, as two other Black Lives Matter protests marched peacefully through the city. As the peaceful demonstrations took place, a separate group gathered at a park in east Portland and marched to the local precinct.
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool, File Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer killed Botham Jean in his own apartment in 2018 filed an appeal to her 10-year prison sentence. Guyger's lawyers argue in the appeal that "she had the right to act in deadly force in self-defense since her belief that deadly force was immediately necessary was reasonable under the circumstances," CBS reported. A lawyer for the Jean family said in a statement to CNN that filing the appeal reflects Guyger as "someone who is not repentant but instead was hoping to play on the families sympathies at the time that they were most vulnerable."
Francisco Cornejo walking to his car after making a hefty withdrawal from his account. He was carrying 200-thousand dollars when a robber attacked him and ripped away Conejo's bag of money. The thief escaped with the money and has yet to be arrested.
Andy Clayton King/AP Photo Bernie Sanders and Elon Musk got into a tiny tussle on Twitter Friday over "socialism." Sanders on Thursday introduced a bill that would place a 60% tax on the wealth gained during the coronavirus crisis by billionaires including Musk and use the money raised to pay all American's out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for a year. In response to an article about the bill, Musk tweeted out a meme that essentially criticized Sanders for spending other people's money to fund "free government programs."
One of the world's leading experts on ammonium nitrate told The Daily Telegraph: “It's only a matter of time before something similar happens again.” Vyto Babrauskas, a fires and explosives forensics expert based in New York, said that there were tens of thousands sites around the world where the chemical was stored unsafely. About 2,750 tonnes ignited to devastate Beirut on Tuesday. In the UK, it is legal to store up to 1,250 tonnes.
The UN Security Council is set next week to roundly reject a US resolution to extend an Iranian arms embargo, diplomats say, setting up a lengthy showdown with repercussions for the Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday that the United States would put forward its long-awaited resolution despite ardent opposition from Russia and China. But UN diplomats say opposition to the resolution's current form is so widespread that Washington is unlikely even to secure the nine votes required to force Moscow and Beijing to wield their vetoes.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday slammed a potential new nine-figure contract between the state and the firm that built Florida's dysfunctional unemployment system. Deloitte Consulting was announced earlier this week as the state's preferred vendor for a potential $135 million contract to beef up Florida's Medicaid data infrastructure. This happened despite an ongoing state investigation into how Florida paid the firm more than $40 million starting in 2011 to build what turned out to be a frequently non-functional CONNECT unemployment site.
President Donald Trump really thought he had Joe Biden with this one. “After yesterday's statement, Sleepy Joe Biden is no longer worthy of the Black Vote!” the president tweeted on Friday morning. During a livestreamed interview with both the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, former Vice President Biden had the following to say in response to a question about U.S. relations with Cuba.
Russia is willing to supply a coronavirus vaccine to the Philippines, or team up with a local firm to mass produce it, its ambassador to Manila said on Friday, as infections in the Southeast Asian nation surge. Russia is expecting regulatory approval for its first potential COVID-19 vaccine this month, with doses to be administered to frontline health workers first. But the frenetic race globally to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is raising some concern that speed could compromise safety and that some countries could be putting national prestige before solid science.
Hillary Clinton roasted The New York Times and their columnist Maureen Dowd - for apparently forgetting that she ran on a mixed-gender presidential ticket in 2016. The column itself - now amended - also claimed it had been “36 years since a man and a woman ran together on a Democratic Party ticket.” Everyone involved appeared to have forgotten Hillary Clinton's selection of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her 2016 running mate.
A federal appeals court decided Friday to reconsider claims that Florida federal prosecutors violated the rights of Jeffrey Epstein's sex abuse victims by not informing them about a secret plea deal. The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a previous panel's 2-1 decision rejecting an effort to undo an agreement federal prosecutors made with Epstein more than a decade ago. Instead of facing stiff federal charges, Epstein was allowed to plead guilty to lesser state crimes and served a relatively short jail sentence.
The New Mexico Department of Health said Friday that a man in his 20s died from the septicemic plague. A New Mexico man in his 20s died of the septicemic plague in the state's first death from the condition since 2015, the state's Department of Health announced Friday. The man's death marks the first plague-related death in New Mexico since 2015, according to the department.
“He’s not a radical. But he is running on the most liberal policy platform of any Democratic candidate in modern history.”
“Public opinion has been shifting leftward, and Biden’s thinking has shifted with it.”
“Biden shows that he’s more moderate than some in his party.”
“Biden has always been a creature of his time, and the COVID-19 crisis could force him to veer further left.”
“Liberal activists have lauded the campaign’s outreach to progressives.”