With unemployment benefits ending, food assistance programs are bracing for both another spike in users and the fact that the effects of the pandemic are likely be lasting.'So many of us are on a pretty precarious financial edge' »
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.”
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.
A brawl at a hotel near Disneyland on Wednesday involved as many as 100 people and two people were hospitalized, police said. The fight involved hotel guests and grew to include between 60 and 100 people, Sgt. Shane Carringer of the Anaheim Police Department confirmed to USA TODAY. Broomsticks and bottles were used as weapons during the fight at the Cambria Hotel & Suites, witnesses and police said.
To the editor: It is hard to see Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris as truly hailing from California vis-a-vis the speculation of whether Joe Biden will pick her as the vice presidential nominee. The malicious machine working to reelect President Trump will have a field day with this. If Harris treats being vice president as she has her current position, Biden will have a hard time finding her in town as she will be off campaigning for his job.
An Alaska man went toe-to-toe with a home-intruding black bear, outlets report, putting himself between 10 children and the 300-pound predator that wandered into the living room. The fight was scary for Brandon McVey, but he survived, walking away with some nasty puncture wounds to his chest and scratches across his shoulders, the Anchorage Daily News reported. McVey was visiting his friend Norman Lott at his home around 11 p.m. July 31 in Juneau, Alaska, when the bear came in through an open door, the Daily News said.
Pope Francis appointed new members to the Vatican's Council for the Economy on Thursday, and in addition to several cardinals, he also added seven new laypeople to the committee. The historic move means there are more senior female officials serving the Vatican than ever before. The six female appointees are: Charlotte Kreuter-Kirchhof, of Germany; Eva Castillo Sanz, of Spain; Leslie Jane Ferrar, of Great Britain; Marija Kolak, of Germany; María Concepción Osákar Garaicoechea, of Spain; and Ruth Maria Kelly, of Great Britain.
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.
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.
Footage of a man exploding in a racist rant after reportedly refusing to wear a mask in a liquor store in Canada has gone viral online. The incident occurred at Olympia Liquor in Edmonton, Canada, on Sunday, The Edmonton Journal reported. Navdeep Singh, a store supervisor, reportedly told Postmedia on Monday that the incident ensued over the man's refusal to adhere to the store's mask policy.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called Iran “the world's number one sponsor of terrorism” on Thursday and warned Russia and China that they will become “co-sponsors” if they block a resolution to extend the U.N. arms embargo on Iran. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the United States hopes Russia and China “will not be co-sponsors of the number one state that sponsors terrorism” and “will see the importance of peace in the Middle East. But she said the partnership between Russia and China, not only on backing Iran, is very clear: “They're just going to be promoting chaos, conflict and mayhem outside their borders, so we have to just corner them.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a "clean" internet. What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the US. But critics believe this will bolster a worrying movement towards the breaking up of the global internet.
Setting the stage for the nation Despite increasing COVID-19 cases across Tennessee, most of the state's school districts reopen in person this month, and some of the suburban districts that surround Nashville and others in East Tennessee were among the first in the country to welcome back students after they closed in the spring. These districts set the stage for others across the nation that will resume classes in the coming weeks. Nashville students' success – or failure – at virtual learning will help inform what many districts face.
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.
As part of an ongoing investigation related to unspecified "criminal acts" at an Arizona mall in May, the homes of Jake Paul and his associate, Arman 'Armani' Izadi, were raided by the FBI on Wednesday. Paul, a 23-year-old YouTube star, was charged with trespassing and unlawful assembly after footage on social-media showed him outside a looted P.F. Chang's restaurant. Izadi, 35, posted on Instagram asking that he be charged for the activities in solidarity since he was with Paul at the time.
A former senior Saudi intelligence official has claimed that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman sent a hit squad to Canada in an attempt to kill him. In a 107-page complaint, filed in a Washington DC court, Saad Aljabri claimed the assassins were intercepted by Canadian authorities. The incident was alleged to have happened less than two weeks after Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, was killed in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.
Ninety-one people caught COVID-19 after a man infected with the virus attended a church service in Ohio. Governor Mike DeWine tweeted a graphic from the Ohio Department of Health on Tuesday, which showed how the 56-year-old man was responsible for 91 infections. Close to 100 people contracted the coronavirus in Ohio after one person who had the virus attended a church service and spread it to dozens others.
In an interview with representatives of the associations of Black and Hispanic journalists, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden showed a willingness to end the use of the legislative filibuster while maintaining it's unlikely that such a measure would be necessary if he's elected in November. He said that he expects the Democratic Party to win five to six seats in the Senate as well as the White House. Biden's response is part of an interview that will air Thursday at the combined convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned in an article published Friday. The harsh warning in the official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) is directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons. The article follows the publication in June of Russia's nuclear deterrent policy that envisages the use of atomic weapons in response to what could be a conventional strike targeting the nation's critical government and military infrastructure.
Daisy Coleman, one of the teenagers who featured in Audrie & Daisy, a Netflix documentary about the alleged rape of three highschool girls, has died by suicide, the 23-year-olds mother told TMZ. Coleman's mother, Melinda, reportedly told the outlet that her daughter died on Tuesday night. The 23-year-old had previously featured in a 2016 documentary that followed her and her family's experiences of trauma following her alleged assault as a teenager.
USA TODAY has an update on the states that are discouraging interstate travel by requiring or recommending that visitors and residents returning from other states quarantine. Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that beginning August 11, non-Alaska residents need a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival in the state or proof they are waiting on results from a test taken in that 72-hour period. Testing is free for Alaska residents.
On Wednesday, Facebook finally took the long overdue step of removing a piece of Trump campaign content from its platform that pushed misinformation about COVID-19. The claim in question came during the president's appearance on Fox & Friends that morning, where he falsely stated, “If you look at children, children are almost—and I would almost say definitely—but almost immune from this disease.” “Of course there is a debate happening about whether Facebook and Twitter should be arbiters of truth and decide what is fact and fiction,” Fox host Sandra Smith began, before sharing the actual facts about confirmed coronavirus cases in children.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images A South Florida woman was kicked off an American Airlines flight last week for wearing a face mask the airline said was "offensive," the Miami news outlet WPLG reported. Arlinda Johns told the outlet that she complied when she was asked to cover her face mask — which said "F--- 12," an anti-police slogan — but was later escorted off the plane. The airline told Insider in a statement that Johns "refused to follow crew member instructions to remove or cover a face mask with offensive language."
At least one person in the United States has died every 80 seconds on average over the last seven days, according to new research, as President Donald Trump said the nation's soaring death toll “is what it is” in a recent interview. The grim figures were first reported by NBC News on Wednesday, which noted its own tally revealed 7,486 people died in the last seven days due to Covid-19. Whereas the rate of deaths was somewhat slower in July, with one American dying every 102 seconds on average throughout the month, the latest figures appeared to show an acceleration in pace, as NBC News reported.
Close to 700 immigrants working in the U.S. illegally were detained last year during what federal prosecutors have called “the largest single-state worksite enforcement operation in our nation's history.” Now four higher-ups at the Mississippi chicken plants where they were employed face criminal charges. The U.S. District Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Mississippi unsealed indictments Thursday against two supervisors at A&B Foods Inc. as well as a human resources manager and plant manager at Pearl River Foods Inc.. They are accused of hiring undocumented workers and lying to law enforcement, according to a news release.
“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.”