The vice president criticized Chief Justice John Roberts after he sided against conservatives on several key cases, particularly one pertaining to abortion.Says SCOTUS' future depends on election »
Less than 24 hours after President Trump said some “great generals” told him they thought that Tuesday's massive explosion in Beirut was an “attack” involving “a bomb of some kind,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemed less than convinced by that explanation. Speaking to an online audience Wednesday as part of the Aspen Security Forum, Esper said he was “still getting information” on the blast in the Lebanese capital, but that “most believe that it was an accident, as reported.” Asked to explain the discrepancy between Trump's comments and Esper's explanation, and to identify which generals the president might have been referring to as the source of his information, a Pentagon spokesman replied via email: “We have nothing to offer at this time beyond the Secretary's comments.”
A warehouse area at a port in Beirut exploded Tuesday, killing more than 100 people and causing extensive damage in the Lebanese capital. The explosion is under investigation, a focus of which is thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate improperly stored in the area. Experts told Insider they estimated the explosive yield of the deadly blast to be several hundred tons of TNT equivalent, making it many times more powerful than the so-called "Mother of All Bombs."
Chuck Lovell, the police chief of Portland, Oregon, called for violent protesters to stop their actions at a Wednesday press conference. While protests in downtown Portland have been peaceful since the presence of federal agents was scaled back last week, there have been violent offshoot protests in other parts of the city. Wednesday marked the 70th consecutive day of demonstrations in the city, which started after George Floyd's death in late May.
More than 100 people in a Mississippi school district have been instructed to self-isolate, due to an outbreak of coronavirus less than two weeks after they reopened. At least 116 people in Corinth, a city in Mississippi, have been told to quarantine for two weeks, after six students and one staff member tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week. Taylor Coombs, spokeswoman for the Corinth School District, told NBC News that any person who was considered to have been in close contact with the people who tested positive for Covid-19, have been instructed to self-isolate.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds a narrow edge over Democrat Amy McGrath in Kentucky and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is tied with Democrat Jaime Harrison, according to the surveys. Maine is considered one of the key, majority-making races on the 2020 Senate map, and both parties have invested significant resources into the state. Republicans, meanwhile, are still considered favorites in Kentucky and South Carolina — though Democrats are watching the two red states as expansion targets, and their candidates have raised eye-popping sums.
Federal prosecutors have charged 11 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 street gang with sex trafficking and other charges after they say a 13-year-old runaway was repeatedly beaten with a baseball bat and forced into prostitution in northern Virginia. A child trafficking task force found the 13-year-old girl nearly two months later at an apartment in Mount Rainier, Maryland. The girl, initially reluctant to talk to police, eventually told authorities she was twice beaten on her backside and legs 26 times on two separate occasions with a baseball bat – once as an initiation to the gang, and once as a punishment for talking to rival gang members and allegedly stealing from fellow gang members.
Wall Street Journal columnist and Fox News contributor Jason Riley breaks down the Democrat campaign on 'Fox & Friends.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone for a Hindu temple in the town of Ayodhya in northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The inauguration ceremony for the Ram temple is a highly controversial one following a Supreme Court ruling last year which gave the Hindu groups rights over the formerly disputed site. There's been intense speculation on Indian social media about the ceremony and plans for the temple design, some of it highly misleading.
A second-grade student in Georgia tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the first day of school, leading the district to ask 20 other students and a teacher to self-quarantine for two weeks. The child, a student at Sixes Elementary School in Canton, about 44 miles north of Atlanta, did not begin to show symptoms until after school on Monday, the first day students returned. In a letter to parents, the school's principal, Ashley Kennerly, said the class will be taught remotely while the group is under quarantine.
The Pentagon is distancing itself from President Trump's claims about the Beirut blast that killed more than 100 people. Trump on Tuesday said his unnamed "great generals" told him they thought the massive explosion was a "terrible attack." In the early aftermath, there was speculation that the catastrophe was intentional, but it the consensus quickly became that it was almost certainly accidental — albeit brought on by neglect and mismanagement — and not linked to any foreign power, proxy forces, or terrorist organizations.
Haytham El Achkar/Getty Images An expert said back in 2014 that Lebanese authorities had a "floating bomb" on their hands, The Daily Beast reported Wednesday. "There are a lot of restrictions, regulations and rules to stick to when talking about storing explosives like ammonium," Voytenko told The Daily Beast, "but they just stored it in a warehouse and forgot about it." Customs officials wrote several letters to Lebanese judges asking for a solution to the dangers cargo but apparently received no response, Al Jazeera reported.
Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/Reuters Caesar McCool, "the no drama llama" is keeping the peace at the Portland protests. The well-known llama tends to diffuse situations, and people enjoy being in his company, his owner told Insider. Once a champion, the animal now works as a therapy llama and "llamactivist."
As new details emerged, the government on Wednesday ordered the house arrest of port officials who knew about the thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate explosives stored at the port for six years without safety measures. Aoun said the officials would face "the harshest punishment" if they are found responsible. Records show that a Russian-owned cargo ship ran into trouble and pulled into port in 2013.
As coronavirus aid negotiations between top White House officials and Democratic leaders in the U.S. Congress bogged down over the past week, the question reverberating through near-empty Capitol hallways has been "Where's Mitch?" That's Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader with the reputation of being a legislative mastermind and a tough, wily deal-maker. McConnell, a Republican like President Donald Trump, said on Tuesday he is deliberately hanging back as Congress's top Democrats and White House negotiators work out a deal to help American families stay afloat during severe economic times caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The most powerful weapon to ever be used against other humans was detonated by the United States in Japan 75 years ago. On August 6, 1945, a B-29 bomber famously known as the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, marking the first of two times the bomb has ever been used in warfare. The city was leveled – less than 10 percent of the buildings in Hiroshima were left undamaged by the bomb, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
A Florida teenager who is accused of participating in last month's Twitter bitcoin scam, which saw several of the world's highest-profile accounts hacked, has reportedly been linked to an attempted robbery that ended in a lethal shooting. An investigation by the Tampa Bay Times has found that 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark, who is credited by police as one of the “masterminds” of the scam, has also been named in the case of a burglary seven months ago that saw one teenager killed and another wounded. According to local police, it began when two teenagers from Tampa's Gaither High School broke into an apartment, one holding a gun; a resident shot them both, and one of them died.
The county partnered with United Way of Miami-Dade, which will distribute $20 million dollars in federal funds from the CARES Act through the program. The main two criteria are that applicants are Miami-Dade County residents and that they have been impacted by COVID in some way,” Vanessa Benavides told the Herald. Benavides is associate vice president of United Way and is leading the program.
WASHINGTON – Over 100 Black women leaders and activists slammed comments made of Black women being considered to be Joe Biden's running mate as racist and sexist in an open letter published Wednesday. Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Karen Bass, former US Ambassador Susan Rice, Rep. Val Demings and former Georgia Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have all been floated as possible vice presidential contenders for Biden. The letter comes as Biden is nearing an announcement on his vice presidential pick.
Fox News host Chris Wallace has no illusions about why the Trump campaign is suddenly demanding a fourth debate against former Vice President Joe Biden. After Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade echoed the president's stated concerns about the debates happening after early voting starts in some states, his radio show guest shot down the idea of either moving the schedule up and adding a fourth debate earlier in September. “If they were to open it up and say, no, let's set another debate, I just think that it would jeopardize a lot of things,” Wallace, who moderated the third and final debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Ted S. Warren/AP Alaska Airlines said on Wednesday that it will no longer fly passengers who are unwilling or unable to wear a mask — even when there's a legitimate and documented medical reason — following similar moves by American Airlines and Southwest. US airlines have largely implemented on-board mask requirements since air travel demand began ticking back up this spring. At first, those policies were criticized as toothless: Flight attendants were discouraged from confronting passengers who wouldn't wear masks, and airlines offered little clarity on the consequences for those customers.
Worker arrested after defending himself from armed robbery; Arlington Smoke Shop owner Jowan Zuber speaks out.
Students at North Paulding High School in Dallas Georgia say they've been suspended or threatened with "consequences" for posting pictures of crowded hallways with few students wearing masks. The images circulated widely on social media August 4, prompting concerns about the health and safety of students. Coronavirus cases had already been reported at the school, according to an email sent to parents.
Residents in and around Newcastle, Australia, have expressed fears about the town's vast stockpile of ammonium nitrate – which could be almost four times bigger than the amount that exploded in Beirut. Between 6,000 and 12,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate is stored at Orica's Kooragang plant in the New South Wales town. Lebanon's Interior Minister said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate exploded in the Beirut blast.
Two dozen people in Hong Kong, including pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, have been charged with participating in an illegal assembly at a vigil on June 4 commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen square in 1989. It was the first time the vigil had been banned in semiautonomous Hong Kong, with police citing coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings in refusing permission for it to take place. The anniversary struck an especially sensitive nerve in the former British colony this year, falling just as China prepared to introduce national security legislation later that month in response to last year's often violent pro-democracy demonstrations.
A Chicago rapper known as FBG Duck has been killed in an upscale retail shopping district as the city reels from above average levels of violence. The rapper, whose legal name is Carlton Weekly, was shot by four people who emerged from two cars at 16:30 local time (22:30BST) on Tuesday, then fled. The shooting occurred in the Gold Coast area, a luxury and boutique shopping district near the city's downtown.
“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.”