It was almost as if Emmanuel Macron forgot that Lebanon is no longer a French protectorate. Visiting explosion-ravaged Beirut this week, France’s leader comforted distraught crowds, promised to rebuild the city and claimed that the blast pierced France’s own heart. “France will never let Lebanon go,” Macron said.
A close twin sister, now separated forever. Tuesday's enormous explosion that killed scores of people, injured thousands and caused widespread destruction across Lebanon's capital touched off widespread mourning for the victims.
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. "The resolution takes a maximalist position on Iran," one diplomat told AFP.
After 26 years in office, the authoritarian leader of Belarus is facing the toughest challenge yet as he runs for a sixth term. Discontent over a worsening economy and the government's dismissive response to the coronavirus pandemic has helped fuel the country's largest opposition rallies since Alexander Lukashenko became its first and only elected president following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rumblings among the ruling elite and a bitter rift with Russia, Belarus's main sponsor and ally, compound the reelection challenge facing the 65-year-old former state farm director on Sunday.
U.S. intelligence officials believe that Russia is using a variety of measures to denigrate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead of the November election and that individuals linked to the Kremlin are boosting President Donald Trump’s reelection bid, the country’s counterintelligence chief said in the most specific warning to date about the threat of foreign interference. U.S. officials also believe China does not want Trump to win a second term and has accelerated its criticism of the White House, expanding its efforts to shape public policy in America and to pressure political figures seen as opposed to Beijing’s interests.
The plane swayed violently as it approached a hilltop runway drenched in monsoon rain, and moments later the special return flight for Indians stranded abroad by the pandemic skidded off, nosedived and cracked in two, leaving 18 dead and more than 120 injured. Among the injured on Friday night, at least 15 were in critical condition, said Abdul Karim, a senior police officer in southern Kerala state. The dead included both pilots of the Air India Express flight, the airline said in a statement, adding that the four cabin crew were safe.
A Venezuelan court sentenced two former U.S. special forces soldiers to 20 years in prison for their part in a failed beach attack aimed at overthrowing President Nicolás Maduro, prosecutors announced late Friday. Former Green Berets Luke Denman and Airan Berry admitted to taking part in the May 4 operation orchestrated by a third ex-U.S. 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.
Iran is urging the United Nations to hold the United States accountable for the interception of an Iranian passenger plane by two U.S. fighter jets in the skies over Syria last month, which it called an “unlawful” and an “adventuristic act.” Iran’s U.N. ambassador, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said in identical letters to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the U.N. Security Council circulated Friday that Iran “expresses its strongest objections against this violation of international law and will pursue the issue through relevant international bodies.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend to meet with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's first known in-person session with a potential running mate as he nears a decision. Whitmer visited Biden Sunday, according to two high-ranking Michigan Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Flight records show a chartered plane left Lansing's Capital Region International Airport for Delaware Coastal Airport at 5:33 p.m. and returned at 11:16 p.m.
Statement says China is opposed to Trump but offers more concrete evidence of Russia’s efforts to undermine BidenRussia is backing Donald Trump, China is supporting Joe Biden and Iran is seeking to sow chaos in the US presidential election, a top intelligence official has warned in a sobering assessment of foreign meddling.The statement on Friday by William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, raises fears of a repeat of the 2016 election, when Russia manipulated social media to help Trump and hurt his opponent Hillary Clinton.“Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment’,” Evanina said. “This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia.”Evanina identified Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian politician, as “spreading claims about corruption – including through publicized leaked phone calls” to attack Biden’s campaign. The Washington Post reported that Derkach has met repeatedly with Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who has pushed conspiracy theories about the former vice-president.Evanina also warned that some “Kremlin-linked actors” were spreading false claims about corruption to undermine Biden, while others were trying to “boost President Trump’s candidacy via social media and Russian television”.Evanina, the top intelligence official monitoring threats to the election, is a Trump appointee. His statement lists China before Russia but presents less specific evidence of direct interference by Beijing.“We assess that China prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win re-election,” Evanina said. “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.”He added: “Beijing recognizes that all of these efforts might affect the presidential race.”Evanina highlighted China’s criticism of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the closure of China’s consulate in Houston and the White House responses to Chinese actions in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. On Friday, the US imposed sanctions on Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, and 10 other senior officials. Trump has also ordered crackdowns on the Chinese owners of the popular apps TikTok and WeChat.Iran, meanwhile, was seeking to undermine US democratic institutions and Trump, and to divide the country ahead of the 2020 elections, Evanina’s statement said.“Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-US content. Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of US pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change.”Trump pulled the US out of a nuclear deal agreed by Barack Obama and imposed various sanctions on Tehran.The anti-Trump pressure group National Security Action denied that China’s public actions rose to the level of Russia’s covert election interference. “Jarringly, the statement attempted to minimize what Russia is doing – again attacking our democracy in a bid to secure Trump’s reelection – by comparing it to China’s public criticism of the administration’s recent punitive measures against Beijing,” a spokesperson, Ned Price, said. “Any interference in our democracy is unacceptable, but there is no equivalence between the two efforts.”In a press conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Friday evening, Trump reacted to the assessment by insisting: “I think that the last person Russia wants to see in office is Donald Trump because nobody’s been tougher on Russia than I have, ever. “China would love us to have an election where Donald Trump lost to ‘Sleepy’ Joe Biden. They would own our country. If Joe Biden was president, China would own our country ... Iran would love to see me not be president.” The president added: “I’ll make this statement. If and when we win, we will make deals with Iran very quickly. We’ll make deals with North Korea very quickly. Whatever happened to the war in North Korea? You haven’t seen that, have you?”A hacking and social media campaign by Russia in 2016 is credited by US intelligence with helping Trump to victory. It triggered the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which described Russian meddling but did not conclude that there had been direct collusion by Trump or his campaign.The November election is already under siege from the coronavirus pandemic, concerns over whether the system can handle a surge in mail-in voting and constant attacks by Trump on the integrity of the process.Evanina warned that foreign adversaries may try to interfere with election systems by trying to sabotage the voting process, stealing election data or questioning the validity of results: “Foreign efforts to influence or interfere with our elections are a direct threat to the fabric of our democracy.”The report raised concern on Capitol Hill. Marco Rubio and Mark Warner, the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, said they “encourage political leaders on all sides to refrain from weaponizing intelligence matters for political gain”.Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, said: “It is no surprise our adversaries have preferences in our elections. Foreign nations have tried to influence our politics throughout American history. As Director Evanina’s statement makes clear, Russian malign influence efforts remain a significant threat. But it would be a serious mistake to ignore the growing threats posed by China and Iran.”
Airstrikes in northern Yemen killed as many as nine children, a United Nations official said Friday, making it the third such attack with significant child deaths in that rebel-controlled region this month. Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said in a statement that a group of mostly women and children were hit while they were traveling by road Thursday. The statement said at least seven more children and two women were injured, but added that the casualty figures were only preliminary and still under investigation.
The senators are concerned selling drones to the Saudis could exacerbate the Yemen conflict and fuel an arms race with Iran.
Following a push from Democratic lawmakers to be more forthcoming in declassifying evidence of foreign interference in the upcoming presidential election, a top counterintelligence official on Friday published new, specific details about how Russia, China and Iran are seeking to manipulate American voters.
The overpass juts from a forest over a four-lane highway in a rural area outside Rio de Janeiro. It's meant for a very special sort of pedestrian: golden lion tamarins, small orange primates that for decades have been at risk of extinction. About 20 meters (65 feet) wide and twice as long, the bridge connects the Poco de Dantas biological reserve in Rio state’s Silva Jardim municipality with a farm that the Golden Lion Tamarin Association acquired to transform into an ecological park.
A top intelligence official says Russia is using a "range of measures" to take down former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election, while China prefers that President Trump doesn't win.William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, released a statement on Friday detailing the "intentions and activities" of U.S. adversaries in the presidential election, which describes how intelligence officials are "concerned" primarily about China, Russia, and Iran.By the U.S. assessment, China "prefers that President Trump — whom Beijing sees as unpredictable — does not win re-election," Evanina wrote. Additionally, Russia is "using a range of measures to primarily denigrate" Biden, and "some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump's candidacy on social media and Russian television," the statement said.Finally, Evanina said that Iran seeks to "undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections," driven by its belief that Trump being re-elected would "result in a continuation of U.S. pressure."Senate Intelligence Committee Acting Chair Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Friday said this statement "highlights some of the serious and ongoing threats to our election." They also said that additional information has been provided to members of Congress in recent weeks and that more of it "can, and at the appropriate time should, be shared with the voting public."More stories from theweek.com Trump's latest fundraising attempt is reportedly a Facebook scam against his own supporters Biden campaign reportedly making 'ruthless cuts' to convention speaking list The case against American truck bloat
Iran and China are closing in on a long-term strategic partnership that is an unintended consequence of U.S. economic pressure on Tehran.
US intelligence agencies have issued an update on election meddling which warns that Russia is seeking to undercut Joe Biden but China and Iran are trying to undermine Donald Trump. The statement said that Moscow is using a “range of measures” to “primarily denigrate” Mr Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who is seen as part of the “anti-Russia establishment”. But it also says that Beijing prefers that Mr Trump “does not win reelection” and sees him as “unpredictable”, while Tehran is opposing the president due to his hardline "pressure campaign" towards it. The remarks were issued by William Evanina, director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre, who is helping lead the American intelligence efforts against election meddling. The 900-word statement, headlined ‘Election threat update for the American people’, spells out in detail how the three countries are attempting to influence the election.
The top U.S. counterintelligence official on Friday warned that Russia, China and Iran will all try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, with Russia already trying to undercut presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden. In an unusual public statement, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said those countries were using online disinformation and other means to try to influence voters, stir up disorder and undermine American voters' confidence in the democratic process. Foreign adversaries also may try to interfere with U.S. election systems by trying to sabotage the voting process, stealing election data, or calling into question the validity of election results.
North Carolina will ease gathering restrictions for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte this month after a push by the national party for the state to be more accommodating. The RNC has estimated it would have no more than 500 delegates per day at the Charlotte Convention Center and the Westin hotel. In a letter written to the RNC on Thursday, the state's health director and chief medical officer, Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, said the Department of Health and Human Services understands more than 10 people may need to assemble indoors to conduct party business.
Thousands of bikers poured into the small South Dakota city of Sturgis on Friday as the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally rumbled to life despite fears it could lead to a massive coronavirus outbreak. The rally could become one of the largest public gatherings since the pandemic began, with organizers expecting 250,000 people from all over the country to make their way through Sturgis during the 10-day event.
Much of Canada's remaining intact ice shelf has broken apart into hulking iceberg islands thanks to a hot summer and global warming, scientists said. Canada's 4,000-year-old Milne Ice Shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island had been the country's last intact ice shelf until the end of July when ice analyst Adrienne White of the Canadian Ice Service noticed that satellite photos showed that about 43% of it had broken off. The biggest is nearly the size of Manhattan — 21 square miles (55 square kilometers) and 7 miles long (11.5 kilometers).
In a preelection report, the director of national intelligence's office says Russia is actively trying to denigrate Joe Biden, China "prefers" that President Trump loses reelection, and Iran is seeking to undermine U.S. democracy.
A top US counterintelligence official has issued a public statement warning that foreign states are continuing to use both overt and covert methods to influence the 2020 election.William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Centre, raises specific concerns over activity by China, Russia and Iran.
“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.”