US grants energy-hungry Iraq new Iran sanctions waiver: source
The United States has granted Iraq another 90-day waiver to continue with vital energy imports from neighbouring Iran despite re-imposed sanctions, a government source said Saturday. The extension came after "long discussions" with Washington ahead of a looming deadline on a previous extension granted in December, the official, close to the negotiations, told AFP on condition of anonymity. The talks came amid spiking tensions between Iraq's two closest allies -- the US and Iran -- following a twin attack on tankers in the Gulf that US President Donald Trump has blamed on Tehran.
06/15/2019 - 12:18 PM
Young bear was fed by humans and had many 'fans.' Officials say they had to kill it
A young black bear was shot and killed by Oregon officials after becoming so habituated to humans that people reportedly took selfies with it.
06/16/2019 - 05:13 PM
US seeks to 'build international consensus' blaming Iran for tanker attacks
Defense chief says attack was not just ‘US situation’, as UK joins Washington in accusing Iran and Saudi Arabia calls for ‘rapid’ response An oil tanker is seen after it was attacked at the Gulf of Oman this week. Photograph: Handout/Reuters The US is hoping to “build international consensus” around what officials claim is Iran’s responsibility for damaging two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, as UK officials joined the US in formally accusing Iran of carrying out the attacks. The efforts come after the US released grainy surveillance footage of an alleged Iran Revolutionary Guard patrol boat, with men who appear to remove a magnetic limpet mine from the hull of one of the ships. The acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, said the US was looking to “build international consensus to this international problem” on Friday. The attack was not only a “US situation”, Shanahan said. He listed several other countries that operated vessels in the waters. “When you look at the situation, a Norwegian ship, Japanese ship, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE,” Shanahan said, referring to attacks a few weeks prior. Oil prices have risen 3.4% following the attack, which came near the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping channel for international oil supplies. Insurance for ship operators in the area jumped 10%. Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s largest oil producers, also uses the Strait. On Saturday, the Saudi energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, said “there must be a rapid and decisive response to the threat” to secure Gulf energy supplies and consumer confidence, according to a tweet from the ministry. The message was echoed by the Japanese industry minister, Hiroshige Seko, who said ministers agreed on the need to “work together to deal with the recent incidents from [an] energy security point of view”. The US military released a video on Thursday, saying it showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards were behind the explosions that damaged the Norwegian-owned Front Altair and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous. The UK officially joined the US in accusing Iran of perpetrating the attack on Friday night, in a statement from the Foreign Office saying: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible.” The statement continued: “There is recent precedent for attacks by Iran against oil tankers. The Emirati-led investigation of the 12 May attack on four oil tankers near the port of Fujairah [in the UAE] concluded that it was conducted by a sophisticated state actor. We are confident that Iran bears responsibility for that attack.” Although Donald Trump claimed the attacks had “Iran written all over” them, other heads of state have been more cautious in assigning blame. The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, called for an independent investigation. “It’s very important to know the truth and it’s very important that responsibilities are clarified. Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts,” Guterres told reporters on Friday. The German foreign minister was also cautious, saying the video released by US Central Command was “not enough” to make an assessment, according to ABC News. Several world powers have meanwhile called for diplomatic efforts to lower tensions, including China and Russia, which have closer ties to Iran. The European Union called for “maximum restraint”. Iran, meanwhile, has denied responsibility for the attack. Iran’s ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad, said the claims were like “false fabrications during world war I, the Vietnam war and Iraq war that were designed to instigate military interventions and armed conflicts in different parts of world”. The attack came as the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited Iran in an attempt to mediate new talks on a nuclear agreement. One of the ships attacked was a Japanese vessel called the Kokuka Courageous. Iran is holding the mostly Russian crew of one of the ships, the Norwegian-owned Front Altair.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
06/15/2019 - 03:06 PM
Off-duty LA cop discharged gun during deadly Costco shooting
An off-duty Los Angeles police officer discharged his firearm inside a Costco Wholesale in a shooting that left one dead.
06/15/2019 - 09:48 PM
Argentina and Uruguay suffer ‘massive’ power outages to millions of homes
Argentina and Uruguay were left entirely without electricity on Sunday after the countries’ interconnected network failed, according to energy distributors in the region.The failure began shortly after 7am on Sunday, leaving officials scrambling to restore electricity. Much of the network had been restored by Monday morning, as Argentinia's president Mauricio Macri promised a full investigation into what caused the blackout.The power cut crippled public transportation in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, and in other major cities.It also cut off the water supply, closed shops and brought down phone and internet communications across the country.“A massive failure...in the system left Argentina and Uruguay without power,” a spokesperson for energy company Edesur said in a statement. Edesur has 2.5m customers, according to its website.“If this had been a weekday, it would’ve been chaos,” said Silvio Ubermann, a Buenos Aires resident.“Sometimes there is not light in the summertime as a result of high electricity consumption, but never such a large blackout in the whole country.“I have never seen something like this.”Edenor, Argentina’s largest energy company, also tweeted about the failure, as millions woke to the blackout.“Due to a general failure in the interconnection system, Argentina and neighbouring countries are without electricity,” the energy distributor said. Several Argentine provinces were forced to temporarily delay local elections due to the blackout.The cause of the outage was still unclear as of Monday morning, but Argentina’s energy agency confirmed in a statement it had begun an investigation.EPEC, another energy company, said the outage had affected most of the country, including Córdoba and Santa Fe, as well as Buenos Aires.UTE, Uruguay’s electricity body, confirmed that the neighbouring country was affected in a statement published on Twitter.“At 7.06 a defect in the Argentine network affected the interconnected system leaving the entire national territory without service,” the organisation said.UTE said work was underway to restore power. The company added that electricity had been restored to some cities on Uruguay’s coast.More than 48m people live across Argentina and Uruguay.Users on social media, claiming to be resident in the countries, shared photographs of the blackout.Since taking office, Argentina‘s president Mauricio Macri has said that gradual austerity measures were needed to revive the country’s struggling economy.He has cut red tape and tried to reduce the government’s budget deficit by ordering job cuts and cutting utility subsidies.A spokesman for Brazil’s power system operator (ONS) said the outage had not impacted the country.Additional reporting by agencies
06/16/2019 - 08:46 AM
China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua
China's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.
06/16/2019 - 05:58 AM
Report: Marine and Navy F-35 Pilots Need to Ration Afterburners at High Altitudes
After eighteen years of troubled and controversial development, the Lockheed F-35 Lightning stealth fighter may soon enter mass production, many of its bugs having been expensively squashed after delivery of an initial four-hundred “low-rate-of-initial-production” aircraft.However, a June 2019 scoop by Defense News journalists Valerie Insinna, David Larter and Aaron Mehta has revealed thirteen serious Category-1 flaws remain.As reported by Insinna and Larter, on two occasions late in 2011 an F-35B and F-35C flying near their maximum service ceiling of 50,000 feet damaged themselves using their afterburners to attain speeds of Mach 1.3 and 1.4.Remarkably, these eight-year-old incidents had not been previously reported to the public, despite numerous critical reports by the Government Accountability Office and Department of Testing & Evaluation.
06/15/2019 - 04:47 AM
Jon Stewart Shames Mitch McConnell for Failing 9/11 First Responders on ‘Fox News Sunday’
“We don’t want to be here,” Jon Stewart told the handful of lawmakers who showed up to watch him plea for an extension of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund last week. The former host of The Daily Show likely didn’t want to be on Fox News Sunday this Father’s Day either, but there he was making his case to Chris Wallace.Given the subject matter, it was an understandably serious interview. However, there was one fleeting moment of levity when Wallace noted that even if the Democratic-led House passes the full bill extending health care funding through the lives of the 9/11 first responders, then it will have to go to the Senate. Making a fearful expression, Stewart exclaimed, “The Senate!” Samantha Bee Reveals She Was ‘Never in Contention’ to Replace Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’: ‘It Was Awful’The comedian smiled as Wallace deduced that the “certain someone” Stewart criticized in his congressional testimony was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “Have you had problems with Senator McConnell?” the Fox host asked. “Yes,” Stewart replied. “I mean, not me personally, but in terms of getting the 9/11 bills passed, Mitch McConnell has been the white whale of this since 2010.” He said it’s the “cynicism displayed by Washington” that causes him to get so “emotional” about this particular issue. “They asked Mitch McConnell about the testimony after it was done,” Stewart continued, “and he said, ‘Gosh’—I think he used the word ‘gosh’—‘Gosh, we haven’t looked at that in a while but we will look at it and I’m sure we’ll deal with it as compassionately as we have in the past.’” “But I want to make it clear that this has never been dealt with compassionately by Senator McConnell,” he said. “He has always held out until the very last minute and only then, under intense lobbying and public shaming has he even deigned to move on it.” Noting that the 9/11 first responder funding is “not a Republican-Democrat issue,” Stewart added later, “Not all Republicans oppose this, but everyone who has opposed it is a Republican. And it’s unacceptable.” He ultimately resisted the urge to do his impression of McConnell as a turtle. Jon Stewart Rips Congress During House Hearing on 9/11 Victims Fund, Gets Standing OvationRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
06/16/2019 - 01:50 PM
Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitor
Fires engulfing vital wheat fields across Syria's northeast have killed at least 10 people, a war monitor said Sunday, as Kurdish authorities claim the blazes were set deliberately. Kurdish authorities and the Damascus regime are competing to buy up this year's harvest as fires -- some claimed by the Islamic State group -- continue to scorch crops in the country's breadbasket. The victims included civilians and members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who died while trying to extinguish the blazes since Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
06/16/2019 - 07:57 AM
Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020
Buttigieg did not want the White House dictating the terms of a DOJ investigation.
06/15/2019 - 02:13 PM
New Zealand cancels tsunami alert after powerful quake
After initially forecasting "a threat to beach, harbour, estuary and small boat activities", New Zealand's Civil Defence organisation gave the all-clear eight minutes later. The earthquake was give a preliminary magnitude of 7.4, but later downgraded to 7.2 by the US Geological Survey. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center also lifted its tsunami warning for parts of the South Pacific but said "minor sea level fluctuations may occur in some coastal areas near the earthquake".
06/16/2019 - 01:50 AM
Iran threatens to scale back commitment to Nuclear Deal
Iran has vowed to scale back its nuclear commitments as regional tensions flared over last week’s tanker attack, with both the US and UK pointing the finger at Tehran. The semi-official Tasneem news agency said Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation would on Monday announce the measures Tehran has taken to dial back its international obligations under the terms of the now-crumbling 2015 nuclear deal. Those measures include moves to increase both stocks of enriched uranium and the production of heavy water at the Arak nuclear complex, a site Iran has barred international watchdogs from visiting since 2008. Both measures would nullify some of the key tenets of the nuclear accord, which offered economic incentives in exchange for the cessation of activities that might lead Tehran to build a nuclear weapons capability. The announcement was foreshadowed last month when Iran threatened to walk back its nuclear commitments if the international community failed to contain the impact of US sanctions applied by Washington after it pulled out of the deal. But the accelerated timing appears to be a consequence of last Thursday’s tanker attack and its fallout. Tehran denies any role in the explosions that ripped through two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, damaging the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair. The US military on Friday released video footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an "unexploded limpet mine" from the Kokuka Courageous, which was carrying highly flammable methanol when it was hit by two blasts. According to the ship’s owner, crew on board noticed a “flying object” before the second blast. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, blamed Iran, citing “intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.” US President Donald Trump said the attack had “Iran written all over it”. Iran nuclear deal | Key details The speaker of Iran’s parliament hit back on Sunday, saying that Washington could be to blame for the “suspicious” attacks. Meanwhile the US’s top Middle East ally Saudi Arabia used an op-ed column to call on the international community to take a “decisive stance” against what Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman termed “expansionism” by his regional arch-rival. “We will not hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty and our vital interests,” the crown prince and kingdom’s day-to-day leader wrote. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in Iran meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei when the tankers were attacked, is understood to want more evidence. Mr Abe was in Tehran on an unprecedented goodwill mission, aimed at defusing tensions between Washington and the Islamic Republic. At a glance | US sanctions against Iran An official with Japan’s Foreign Ministry said the prime minister disputed Mr Pompeo’s assessment that only Iran could have carried out the attack, noting that the US and Israel also possessed the required capabilities. “Japan adamantly condemns the act that threatened a Japanese ship, no matter who attacked,” Mr Abe said, reiterating that Japan urged “all related countries” to avoid an accidental confrontation in the region. But yesterday’s announcement from Iran’s nuclear agency has raised both the tensions and the stakes of regional confrontation. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, warned there was a "great risk" of escalation in the region. "Both sides in this dispute think that the other side wouldn't want a war,” he said.
06/16/2019 - 11:34 AM
Southwest passenger 'bombarded by inappropriate photos' from stranger on her flight
Here's a good reason for iPhone users to disable AirDrop while on planes: A Texas woman forgot and another passenger sent her unsolicited nude photos.
06/15/2019 - 10:18 AM
United Airlines plane skids off runway after tyres burst on landing at New York airport
A United Airlines plane skidded off the runway after its tyres burst as it landed at an airport near New York.Some passengers suffered minor injuries when Flight 627 slid off the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the Boeing 757-200’s left main landing gear was “stuck in a grassy area” following the incident at 1pm.“The aircraft will be towed off the airfield after passengers leave the aircraft via stairs,” it added in a statement.No injuries were reported to the FAA but United said some passengers had refused treatment for minor injuries. The airline did not say how many people were hurt.The pilot told those on board the plane had blown two tyres as it landed, according to passenger Caroline Craddock. She said at least one person hit their head and another suffered an elbow injury.Arrivals and departures were suspended at Newark following the incident. Flights resumed after passengers were “safely deplaned”, the airport tweeted.The FAA said it was sending officials to the airport to begin an investigation.
06/15/2019 - 04:48 PM
View Photos of the 2020 BMW X3 M
06/16/2019 - 06:01 PM
U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months
The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.
06/16/2019 - 05:56 AM
How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter
Early in the morning of January 17, 1991, eight sleek helicopters bristling with missiles swooped low over the sands of the An Nafud desert in as they soared towards the border separating Saudi Arabia from Iraq.At 2:30 a.m., the choppers fanned out and set to work in teams of two. Rocket motors flashed as Hellfire missiles streaked towards two Iraqi radars powerful enough to potentially pick up the faint signature of a stealth plane.Minutes after the radars had been reduced to rubble, Nighthawk stealth jets soared through the twenty-mile-wide radar gap, headed for Baghdad. But the Army’s Apache attack helicopter aviators they had struck first to “kick down the door” for the Nighthawks.Nearly three decades later, the Apache’s status as the world’s premier attack helicopter remains largely unchallenged, and the type continues to see extensive action in the Middle East and in demand in countries as diverse as the UK, Egypt, India and Taiwan. Undeniably, the threats faced by the $35 million armored attack helicopter, which can pack as many as sixteen tank-busting missiles under its stub wings.
06/15/2019 - 06:00 AM
Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests
Franco Origlia/GettyROME—There are few scandals in the sordid history of the American Catholic church more painful than the saga of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a high-ranking prince of the church who fell from grace amid a slew of lies and cover-ups. McCarrick was forced to resign and later defrocked after credible allegations that he sexually abused a boy from the age of 11 until the young man was 29, starting long before the Boston Spotlight probe and Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came to define priests behaving badly.It was well known in certain Catholic circles that the cardinal liked to entertain six or more seminarians in his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that the odd man out would share his bed. Unlike in Boston and Pennsylvania, where the local dioceses were easy to blame for bad management, McCarrick was a man of the popes, which makes him an easy target for those who oppose the direction of the church. Both John Paul II and Francis relied on him as a chief fundraiser and were, it seems, willing to look beyond the rumors. McCarrick’s fall from grace shook the very foundations of the Roman Curia. While McCarrick’s sins and crimes are by now established, there is still mystery surrounding what his bosses—both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis– knew and, perhaps more importantly, when they knew it. But there is even more mystery why those who are so ardently against Francis see him as their poster priest of bad behavior.Enter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a traditional conservative Italian cleric supported by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Francis-foe Steve Bannon—both of whom have been vocal critics of Francis’ policies on everything from immigration to gay Catholics and who have embraced the McCarrick fiasco as a way to pin all the church's problems on this pope.Bannon, whose own dreams to open an alt-right Catholic institution run by the Burke-sponsored Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy recently were thwarted, told The Daily Beast that Viganò was heroic and that Francis was the enemy. “Francis is a big problem for the church and his liberals will ultimately destroy it,” Bannon said. “His open border policy on immigration won’t help, either.”It is little wonder that Matteo Salvini, the hard-line far-right Bannon protégé is also a Pope Francis hater, even bragging last week that he has never asked for an audience with the pontiff. Viganò was the apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was a harsh foe of Francis long before he was elected as pope in 2013 and one of the first to speak out when he was coronated. He was the one who set up the ill-conceived handshake with same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis on Francis’s first visit to America. He was also the one who penned a lengthy testimonial last July in which he claimed that Francis knew all about McCarrick’s illegal behavior but covered it up. And for that, suggested Viganò, the pope ought to do the church a favor and resign. A month later, Viganò had gone into self-imposed exile.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisThis week, he surfaced again, this time on the pages of The Washington Post whose reporters interviewed him from his still-undisclosed location through a series of emails. The fruit of that labor is an 8,000-word tome that doubles down on the allegations against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “The signs I see are truly ominous,” Viganò wrote. “Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”Viganò calls the pope’s February summit on abuse a farce, blaming the Vatican’s gay mafia for the real crimes of clerical sex abuse. “An especially serious problem is that the summit focused exclusively on the abuse of minors,” he wrote, acknowledging that yes, those crimes are truly horrific. “Indeed, if the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed, the problem of sexual abuse would be far less severe.”McCarrick, he has long asserted, should have been made an example of years ago as an abuser who indiscriminately abused both young boys and adults. Viganò believes that Francis knew that and chose to elevate the American cardinal, who was a skilled diplomat who helped him broker a deal with China over its underground church. “McCarrick’s degradation from office was, as far as it goes, a just punishment, but there is no legitimate reason why it was not exacted more than five years earlier, and after a proper trial with a judicial procedure,” Viganò wrote in the Post. “Those with authority to act [i.e. Pope Francis] knew everything they needed to know by June of 2013.” Viganò’s return comes at a time when battle lines have never been so clear between the more liberal faction of the church that supports Francis and the traditional conservatives who support the likes of Burke and Viganò. Even the timing of the release of a harsh Vatican document against what it calls gender theory—“nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”—is curious. A Vatican insider confided to The Daily Beast that the timing, during the height of Pride month, was meant to push the pope into a corner, either in defending the document or defending transgender people. In the end, he did neither. That Viganò finally gave permission to The Washington Post to publish its scoop after weeks of negotiations (Vigano's letters are dated May 2), is another example of the systematic criticism meant to embarrass the pontiff. “We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds!” Viganò claims. “But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, who also “knew nothing” and had “a lapse of memory.”Wuerl, another American cardinal from Francis’ inner circle who, like McCarrick, brought millions in donations from wealthy American Catholics to Rome, is the disgraced head of the powerful Washington, D.C., diocese. Francis was forced under pressure to accept his resignation last October after Viganò claimed he knew and covered up for McCarrick with the help of both Francis and John Paul II of McCarrick’s crimes proved too credible to ignore. To those against the pope, Wuerl and McCarrick are emblematic in what is fast becoming a troubling legacy for the popular pope many thought could do no wrong after he was elected. For those who support this pope, they are just ammunition used against the most liberal pope in modern history. Either Vigano is the pawn or the errant clerics are in what is fast becoming a schism that may soon be hard to close.“Pope Francis needs to reconcile himself with God, and the entire Church, since he covered up for McCarrick, refuses to admit it, and is now covering up for several other people,” charges Viganò. “I pray for his conversion every day. Nothing would make me happier than for Pope Francis to acknowledge and end the cover-ups, and to confirm his brothers in the faith.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
06/15/2019 - 10:37 PM
Biden Leads Pack of Democratic Hopefuls on Beat-Trump Factor
Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg are among the candidates that likely Democratic voters are at least considering in 18 states that will shape the initial 2020 fight, the poll shows. The CBS News/YouGov poll shows Biden had support of 31% of Democratic primary voters with three U.S. senators next: Warren of Massachusetts at 17%, Sanders of Vermont at 16%, and Harris of California at 10%.
06/16/2019 - 09:02 AM
Ex-Tehran mayor to face trial over wife's killing
Former Tehran mayor and prominent reformist Mohammad Ali Najafi will stand trial next month on charges of murdering his wife, the government-run Iran newspaper said Sunday. Najafi, 67, turned himself in and confessed to shooting his second wife Mitra Ostad on May 28 at their home in northern Tehran, according to Iranian media. "On July 1, the first trial session of Mohammad Ali Najafi, former Tehran mayor, will be held at Tehran's Criminal Court," the Iran daily reported.
06/16/2019 - 01:55 PM
Woman who was arrested over killing of former Arkansas senator worked on campaign, officials say
A woman has been arrested in connection with the killing of a former Arkansas state senator. Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, 48, was detained on Friday night by Randolph County sheriff’s deputies in connection with the death of Linda Collins-Smith. Officials said criminal charges were pending.The 57-year-old former politician was found dead outsider her home in Pocahantas, Arkansas on 4 June. Ken Yang, a former communications director for Ms Collins-Smith, said Ms O’Donnell had worked on the former lawmaker’s most recent campaign and that the two were friends. Mr Yang said the family did not have an immediate comment on the arrest but may issue a statement.Ms Collins-Smith served one term in the state House and was originally elected as a Democrat in 2010. But she switched parties and became a Republican in 2011, the year before the GOP won control of both chambers of the legislature. She was elected to the state senate in 2014 and was one of the most conservative lawmakers in the majority-GOP chamber. She lost re-election in the Republican primary last year. Ms Collins-Smith and her husband, retired Circuit Judge Philip Smith, divorced last year and were in the middle of a legal fight over their properties, including a motel.Authorities have released few details about Ms Collins-Smith's killing and have not said how or when the former lawmaker was killed. A judge last week granted a request by prosecutors to seal documents and statements obtained by police during the investigation. Ms Collins-Smith was active on social media but her last tweet was posted in late May.AP contributed to this report
06/15/2019 - 05:04 PM
Father's Day 2019: Paganism, roses and how the campaign to celebrate dads was won
Father's Day, the official calendar date to honour our wonderful dads and celebrate fatherhood, is here. Recognised each June, the day sees children around the world present their dads with cards and gifts as a thank you for all they do. But when did the first observance of Father's Day take place and who helped establish the annual celebration of paternal figures? From the history behind the celebration, to the more recent commercialisation, here is everything you need to know about Father's Day. When is Father's Day 2019? Father’s Day is held every year on the third Sunday of June; this year Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 16 in the UK. Typically, fathers are showered with cards and presents on Father’s Day, with some families celebrating together by going on days out. Younger children also tend to make handmade gifts for their fathers at school and extracurricular clubs, including drawings, paintings or cards. As society and family structures have changed, some people now celebrate their stepfathers on Father’s Day. In recent years there have been calls for a Stepfather's Day, however no such day has been officially discussed or introduced. Father's Day falls on June 16 this year Credit: E+ The history of Father's Day The first events in recognition of fatherhood took place in the US and followed Anna Jarvis' first celebration of Mother's Day in 1908, as well as the earlier observations of Mothering Sunday in the UK. Grace Golden Clayton, from Fairmont, West Virginia, was the woman behind the first event to celebrate fathers in 1908. Just over a year prior to this event, the Monongah Mining Disaster took place in December 1907, with the explosion killing 361 men. Of these fatalities, 250 were fathers. In honour of the one thousand children who lost their fathers, Clayton encouraged her pastor, Rev. Robert Thomas Webb, to hold a service at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South. Clayton missed her own father terribly, after he passed away in 1896, so she chose to honour the lives lost on July 5, 1908, the closest date to his birthday. While Clayton was responsible for the first recognition of fatherhood and the paternal bond, her work didn't directly encourage the creation of Father's Day. The memorial service was never promoted outside the town of Fairmont and the service was overshadowed by the significant Independence Day celebrations held a day beforehand. Yet the idea was also picked up on in the following year, when Sonora Smart Dodd started her quest to honour fathers in the same way as mothers. Dodd, born in Arkansas in 1882, was one of six children and at the age of seven, she moved to Washington with her family. When she was 16 years old, her mother, Ellen Victoria Cheek Smart, died after giving birth to her sixth child, leaving her father, William Jackson Smart, a farmer and Civil War veteran, as a single parent. After listening to a Mother's Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, Dodd felt that fathers deserved equal recognition. With the local YMCA and the Ministerial Association of Spokane, Dodd began a campaign to have the day officially recognised. The first such 'Father’s Day' was held at the YMCA in Spokane on June 19, 1910, with a number of towns and cities across America later following suit. Support for Father’s Day quickly increased throughout the US and in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge pressured state governments to mark the celebration. President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honouring fathers in 1966, making the third Sunday in June Father’s Day. Six years later President Richard Nixon signed it into law, establishing the day as a national holiday – though in the UK it does not enjoy this status. The move came after a campaign by a number of public figures, including Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who in 1957 wrote to Congress: “Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one. “But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable.” Dodd's message later spread to other countries across the globe and it is thought that Britain began celebrating Father's Day after World War II. Today, the celebration of fathers has become an important commercial event for high street shops and online retailers, with promotions for the best gifts and cards appearing in the build up to the day each year. Father’s Day around the world While in the UK fathers can expect, at best, breakfast in bed and handmade card and, at worst, the day to be completely ignored, elsewhere the festival is done a little differently. In Germany, Father’s Day is called Vatertag with it also being referred to as Männertag, which means men’s day. The celebration falls on the Thursday 40 days after Easter. In certain regions it is traditional for groups of men to go into the woods with a wagon of beer, wines and meats. Heavy drinking is common and, according to official statistics, traffic-related accidents spike on this day. In Australia, Father’s Day falls on the first Sunday of September, which is their first Sunday of Spring, while in Croatia, they observe Roman Catholic tradition and celebrate fathers on March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day. In China, Father’s Day used to be celebrated on August 8 as the Chinese for eight is “ba”, while a colloquial word for father is “ba-ba” – so the eighth day of the eighth month sounds similar to “daddy”. The day has since been moved to the third Sunday of June, in line with the UK and US. In France, the day was introduced in 1949 for commercial reasons by lighter manufacturer Flaminaire. Inspired by the US' day of celebration, they created a new advert with the slogan 'Nos papas nous l'ont dit, pour la fête des pères, ils désirent tous un Flaminaire' ('Our fathers told us, for father's day, they all want a Flaminaire'). Three years later an official decree was made to recognise the day. Most countries celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June including the UK, USA, Mexico, Ireland, France, Greece, China and Japan. However not all countries celebrate it then. In Brazil, Father’s Day falls on the second Sunday of August and this day was chosen in honour of Saint Joachim, the patron saint of fathers. According to Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox traditions, Joachim was the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The ultimate films on fatherhood Father's Day tales and traditions Some pagans suggest that Father's Day is closely linked to the Pagan Sun worship, because the sun is thought to be the father of the universe and the celebration of dads falls closely to the summer solstice. Roses are the official flower of Father's Day, with people previously wearing them to church on this date. While this tradition is rarely seen today, sons and daughters used to wear either a red rose in admiration of a living father or a white rose in memory of a deceased father. Sonora Smart Dodd, the founder of Father's Day, selected this flower and it is said that during the early celebrations, she handed out roses to home-bound fathers, while on a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. Father's Day gifts and presents From cutesy cards, socks and ties to luxurious watches and fantastic car experiences, Britons present their paternal figures with an array of unique gifts on Father's Day. But, demand for the perfect Father's Day present has led to the increasing commercialisation of the day, with retailers competing to offer the best gifts and consumers heading to their high street shops and online retailers. According to MuchNeeded, Father's Day is a popular shopping day in both the UK and US, with 75 per cent of men expected to celebrate the occasion this year. While Britons and Americans spend a significant amount on Father's Day each year, on average it only accounts for half the spending around Mother's Day. Is it Father's Day, Fathers' Day or Fathers Day? Ah, the age old question. The answer? Many say Father's Day is the correct version. Mother's Day (which has the apostrophe before the 's') set the precedent while Father's Day was still gaining popularity. Anna Jarvis trademarked the term 'Mother's Day' – with the apostrophe before the 's' – in 1912, saying the word should 'be a singular possessive, for each family to honour its own mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world'. President Woodrow Wilson used this spelling when he formalised Mother's Day in 1914; this means the correct version of the word is spelled with the apostrophe before the 's'. Father's Day has followed suit, with cards on both sides of the pond including the apostrophe in the same place.
06/16/2019 - 08:56 AM
Senator Graham reacts to controversy over the president's comments on foreign assistance
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham joins Jeanine on 'Justice.'
06/15/2019 - 09:32 PM
Unruly passenger hits flight attendant, then pukes during Delta flight to Paris
A federal complaint says a man struck a flight attendant in the throat and then threw up during a Delta flight to Paris.
06/16/2019 - 05:40 PM
UPDATE 2-Syria state TV says wildfires spark explosion in army ammo depot west of Damascus
An explosion on Saturday in a Syrian ammunition depot in a military zone west of the capital was caused by wildfires, state television reported. Israel, which sees Iran as a threat to its existence, has said it had carried out hundreds of attacks in Syria on Iranian targets, including those of allied militia such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, in the past several years. Israel is trying to counter the influence carved out in Syria by Iran, which has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.
06/15/2019 - 04:08 PM
HK VP9: The 9mm Pistol That Is Better Than a Glock 19?
If there’s anything you need to know about the company Heckler & Koch, it’s that they are pretty much synonymous with quality firearms that are in service with military, law enforcement units, and civilians all over the world.And if you know anything about Heckler & Koch, then you should have heard about the HK VP9 9mm pistol, which was first released to the general market in 2014.Today, the HK VP9 competes with other handguns such as the CZ P10C, Glock 19, and the Walther PPQ. So yes, it is ‘just another striker fired 9mm pistol’ on the market.But nonetheless, in many ways the HK VP9 is a very unique offering, and we’ll cover the reasons why in this review.History of the HK VP9
06/15/2019 - 05:30 AM
10 deals you don’t want to miss on Saturday: $15 Wi-Fi extender, $13 LED smart bulbs, $79 soundbar, more
It might be the weekend, but killer daily deals never take a break. Highlights from Saturday's roundup include TP-Link's best-selling Wi-Fi range extender for just $14.99, an Anker 10W fast wireless charging pad for $9.99, multicolor LED smart bulbs for $13 that are just as good as $50 Philips Hue bulbs, a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker with 24,000 5-star ratings for just $22, an excellent compact Vizio sound bar for $78.99, PlayStation Plus 12-month digital codes for $39.99 instead of $60, a 4K TV with built-in Fire TV software for $199.99, $50 off the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, $50 off the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones on the planet, a killer deal on Dewalt power tools, and more. Check out all of today's best bargains below.
06/15/2019 - 07:36 AM
Tanker hit in Gulf attacks heads to port
A Japanese tanker, one of two vessels attacked in sensitive Gulf waters this week, was heading to port on Saturday, its owners said. The Kokuka Courageous was rocked by explosions as it passed through the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, threatening its highly flammable cargo of methanol. US President Donald Trump said the twin attack, which also targeted a tanker owned by Oslo-listed company Frontline, had Iran "written all over it".
06/15/2019 - 04:39 AM
Google Appoints New Chief to Oversee Tumultuous China Region
Stanley Chen will become managing director of Greater China sales, the company said Monday, taking up a post Scott Beaumont vacated after he was appointed Google’s Asia-Pacific president in March. The incoming executive, who will be based in Shanghai, had been general manager of its Taiwan business for eight years. Google takes in about 15% of its annual revenue from the Asia Pacific even though it pulled its search engine from the world’s No. 2 economy around 2010, citing censorship.
06/17/2019 - 01:16 AM
Democrats favor more access to capital for black businesses
Four Democrats vying for their party's presidential nomination honed in on the economic concerns of the black community during a forum Saturday in South Carolina, a state where nonwhite voters will play a major role in next year's primary election. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke all stressed the need to increase access to capital for black business owners as part of a broader effort to address wealth inequality. Warren expounded on what she's called her tax on "ultra-millionaires," which she says would fund her education proposals, including student debt cancellation for many and additional funding for historically black colleges and universities.
06/15/2019 - 04:41 PM
Trapped teenager rescued from mountainside after mother used Find My Friends app to locate her
A teenager left trapped underneath her car for seven hours after crashing down a mountainside was rescued after her mother used the Find My Friends app to find her. Catrina Cramer Alexander said she used the feature on her mobile phone when her 17-year-old daughter, Macy Smith, uncharacteristically missed a curfew and didn’t respond to texts or calls. "The lack of response was out of character for her," Ms Alexander told North Carolina’s TV channel WFMY. When she looked on the app it showed her daughter had been in the same location for “far too long”, she said. "I can't explain watching the GPS on my phone with my dot for my phone getting close to hers and then suddenly seeing the tire tracks," Ms Alexander said. She found Macy pinned underneath her car down a 25-foot embankment in Pilot Mountain.“I will never forget the sound of my family calling out my name when they found me,” Macy said in a Facebook post. “I hydroplaned at 4.00pm and ran in between two trees down an embankment, flipped my car three times, and landed in my back seat with my arm pinned in between the car and the ground.“I searched for my phone to call for help but the only thing in sight was my bible. I held on to my bible and prayed harder than I had ever prayed before.”Paramedics arrived to rush Macy to hospital. The 17-year-old said she fractured her neck and suffered severe nerve damage in her left arm. “We are celebrating every minute and every milestone,” Macy said.
06/15/2019 - 12:57 PM
Boeing's embattled chief faces tough crowd at Paris Air Show
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will have his work cut out for him at the Paris Air Show this week as he tries to reassure airlines and industry partners over the fate of its flagship 737 MAX plane, indefinitely grounded after two fatal crashes.
06/17/2019 - 02:00 AM
A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened
Target registers are now working after a nationwide outage Saturday caused long checkout lines and closed some stores.
06/15/2019 - 06:06 PM
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong released from prison
Joshua Wong, a leading figure in Hong Kong's 2014 Umbrella Movement demonstrations, was released from prison on Monday and vowed to soon join the latest round of protests. Wong's release from the Lai Chi Kok Correctional Facility came as student demonstrators and police were gathered near the city's government headquarters after a protest on Sunday that organizers said drew nearly 2 million people.
06/16/2019 - 11:18 PM
The Army's Old Beretta M9: Just How Good Is It?
Now that the Beretta M9 9mm service pistol is in the process of being phased out in favor of the SIG Sauer M17 pistol (AKA the P320) one can’t help but ask: does the Beretta M9/92 pistol in general still have a place in the 21st Century?The Beretta is indeed an aged pistol. It’s an aluminum framed, double action single action auto in an era where polymer framed striker fired pistols rule the roost. And the fact that the military has decided to part ways with the M9 may seem like an ominous sign to many that the time of the Beretta 92 is sunsetting.But here’s the truth: the Beretta M9 is not a bad pistol. On the contrary, it’s just the opposite! And just because the DA/SA metal pistol may be out of fashion with a lot of folks doesn’t mean it has to be for you as well.HISTORY OF THE M9Here’s a fun fact: Beretta is the oldest firearms manufacturer still making guns today. Originally located in Val Trompia, an iron mine located in Italy, the first documented transaction from Beretta was in 1526.
06/16/2019 - 12:00 AM
Power mostly restored after massive blackout in Argentina, but questions remain
Power returned to much of Argentina and two neighboring countries following a massive blackout that left tens of millions in the dark on Sunday, but Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the cause of the "unprecedented" outage was still unclear. Argentina's grid "collapsed" around 7 a.m. (1100 GMT), leaving the entire country without power, Argentina's Energy Secretariat said. The outage also cut electricity to much of neighboring Uruguay and swaths of Paraguay, and shut down YPF SA's La Plata refinery, Argentina's largest.
06/16/2019 - 09:07 AM
Israel launches 'Trump Heights' on Golan, but construction may lag
Israel approved in principle on Sunday a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump on a contested frontier zone with Syria - but construction looked likely to lag given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political stumbles. The "Trump Heights" project is intended to cement ties after Trump broke with other world powers to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the plateau in March. At a special cabinet session in Beruchim, a sparse clutch of homes just 12 km (7.5 miles) from the Golan Heights armistice line with Syria, Netanyahu unveiled a sign labelled "Trump Heights" in English and Hebrew.
06/16/2019 - 01:45 PM
Awesome new Bluetooth earbuds with fast charging and HD sound are down to $13 today
Our readers love Ghostek's wireless over-ear headphones because they offer killer sound quality that rivals Beats by Dr. Dre for a small fraction of the price. Well, if you thought Ghostek's over-ear headphones were a great value, wait until you see the company's Father's Day 2019 sale on its brand new Ghostek Rush Series Wireless Sport Earbuds. These excellent new earphones have great features like fast 1.5-hour charging and HD sound quality, and they retail for $25. They're down to $19 right now on Amazon though, and an extra 30% coupon you can clip on the Amazon page slashes the price all the way down to $13.29!Here are some more details from the product page: * GHOSTEK RUSH HANDSFREE BLUETOOTH EARBUDS - BLACK/GRAPHITE * Premium HD Sound Quality Equipped with True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1Technology Powerfully Water Resistant (IP4X Protection) Connect Your Device in Seconds with our Simple, One-Step Pairing System Answer Calls with the Touch of a Button Smart Grip Ear Tip Ensures a Comfortable Fit in Every Ear Ghostek's Limited 1-Year Warranty
06/16/2019 - 09:02 AM
Another American tourist found dead in the Dominican Republic
A son is desperate for answers after his mother, Leyla Cox, mysteriously died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
06/15/2019 - 10:26 AM
Tory Rivals Clash as Johnson Dodges TV Debate: Brexit Update
Key DevelopmentsDominic Raab sparred with rivals over his threat to suspend Parliament in order to get Britain out of the EU with no dealRaab, Rory Stewart, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid took part in the first television debate on Channel 4 Cabinet minister Amber Rudd warned Parliament will find a way to stop a no-deal Brexit, and rebel Tories could vote to topple the next PM YouGov/Sunday Times Poll put Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in lead on 24%, with Conservatives and Labour tied on 21%. Liberal Democrats were on 19%.
06/16/2019 - 03:18 PM
Saudi Arabia committed to Aramco IPO: crown prince
Saudi Arabia remains committed to selling shares in national oil conglomerate Aramco through an initial public offering but only at the right time, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said. "We are committed to the IPO of Saudi Aramco based on appropriate conditions and at the right time," Prince Mohammed told the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat in an interview published on Sunday. Saudi Arabia plans to sell up to five percent of the world's largest energy firm and hopes to raise up to $100 billion.
06/16/2019 - 03:53 AM
Free meals, treats and discounts for Dad: Here's where to score for Father's Day
Need ideas for Father's Day? Many restaurants are helping families honor Dad with free treats, discounts, brunches and other meals Sunday.
06/16/2019 - 06:30 AM
Syria violence kills dozens of troops and civilians in north
Government airstrikes, intense shelling and fighting on the ground in rebel-held areas in northwest Syria claimed the lives of dozens of people Saturday, Syrian opposition activists said. In northwest Syria, fighting intensified as government forces pressed their offensive toward Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in the country's lengthy civil war. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the opposition's Syrian Civil Defense said at least 10 civilians were killed in Saturday's airstrikes and shelling of rebel-held villages and towns.
06/15/2019 - 12:30 PM
Meet the Army's 'New' M1 Abrams Tank: The Best on the Planet?
The U.S. Army is on an intensive quest for an array of new technologies with which to design and build new armored fighting vehicles, particularly a replacement for the long-serving Bradley. However much it might yearn for a new tank, the Army lacks the critical technologies that would justify the time and expense pursuing such an objective. Moreover, it doesn’t need to make the effort. The Army’s current main battle tank, the Abrams, is the tank of the future.The Army is just beginning to receive the first of the latest Abrams upgrade, the System Enhancement Package Version 3 (SEPv3), with additional upgrades in development. Instead of searching for the elusive Holy Grail of ultralight armor or laser weapons, technologies that would justify building a brand new tank, the Army would be best served by aggressively pursuing a major redesign and improvement program for the Abrams, an M1A3.The leadership of the U.S. Army is taken with the idea of transforming how and with what the Army fights. They particularly want new armored fighting vehicles. And not just another family of metal boxes with a turret and cannon. Technology enthusiasts, including many in the Army’s new Futures Command, wax eloquently about the potential for hover tanks that shoot laser beams and are autonomously guided by artificial intelligence housed in quantum computers.
06/16/2019 - 05:10 AM
QUIZ: Could You Still Pass a Basic Driver's-Ed Test?
Some people could use a little refresher. Share it with someone you love.
06/16/2019 - 12:01 PM
Intel launches project to help Israeli tech start-ups
Intel Corp launched a project on Sunday to help start-ups in Israel develop technologies in artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems, and said it planned to bring the scheme to other countries as well. The 20-week program, called Ignite, will offer business and technical support to up to 15 start-ups, the California-based company said, adding it would not take equity stakes in the start-ups now, but might do so eventually. Intel is one of the biggest employers and exporters in Israel, where many of its new technologies are developed, and this year said it was investing 40 billion shekels ($11 billion) to expand its manufacturing operations there.
06/16/2019 - 11:29 AM
White House departures: Who's been fired and who resigned
Here are the notable firings and resignations of the Trump administration, starting with the most recent departure of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
06/16/2019 - 12:19 PM
United States face Chile with chance to advance in World Cup
The United States gets back on the field at the Women's World Cup on Sunday, just as the uproar following its opening 13-0 win is quieting down. Criticized for both running up the score against Thailand and celebrating each of its record-breaking 13 goals, the Americans have dismissed the scrutiny and focused only on their bid to win a fourth World Cup title. The next challenge is against Chile in a Group F match at Parc des Princes.
06/15/2019 - 05:34 PM
British envoy denies Iran summons over tanker attacks claim
Britain's ambassador to Iran on Sunday denied he was summoned by the Iranian foreign ministry after London accused Tehran of "almost certainly" being responsible for tanker attacks in the Gulf. "I asked for an urgent meeting with the Foreign Ministry yesterday and it was granted. Of course if formally summoned I would always respond, as would all Ambassadors," Macaire wrote.
06/16/2019 - 03:28 AM
Deutsche Bank to set up 50 billion euro bad bank: FT
With the creation of the bad bank, Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing is shifting the German lender away from investment banking and focusing on transaction banking and private wealth management, the newspaper said. The bank is planning cuts at its U.S. equities business, including prime brokerage and equity derivatives, to win over shareholders unhappy about its performance, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in May. "As we said at the AGM on May 23, Deutsche Bank is working on measures to accelerate its transformation so as to improve its sustainable profitability.
06/16/2019 - 04:15 PM
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