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Trump kicks off new campaign with airing of old grievances
09:02 PM, 06.18.2019

Trump kicks off new campaign with airing of old grievancesPresident Trump stuck to his old themes and complaints in his campaign "kickoff" speech in Orlando on Tuesday night. He railed against "fake news," "socialism," investigations into his administration, the Democrats running to replace him, former President Barack Obama and the Clinton family in the speech, which lasted well over an hour.

Oil shippers boost security after attacks on tankers in Gulf
06:18 AM, 06.20.2019

Oil shippers boost security after attacks on tankers in GulfA series of attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf has ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and Iran — and raised fears over the safety of one of Asia's most vital energy trade routes, where about a fifth of the world's oil passes through its narrowest at the Strait of Hormuz. The attacks have jolted the shipping industry, with some of the 2,000 companies operating ships in the region on high alert and ordering their vessels to transit the Strait of Hormuz only during the daylight hours and at high speed. Washington's accusation that Iran is behind the attacks targeting oil tankers comes as tensions flare between the two countries.

9/11 first responder who testified with Jon Stewart in Congress enters hospice care
10:33 AM, 06.20.2019

9/11 first responder who testified with Jon Stewart in Congress enters hospice care"I’m now in hospice, because there is nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer," wrote Alvarez on Facebook.

Former Interpol chief pleads guilty in Chinese bribery case amid crackdown by authorities
03:13 AM, 06.20.2019

Former Interpol chief pleads guilty in Chinese bribery case amid crackdown by authoritiesMeng Hongwei, the former president of Interpol, confessed to accepting more than $2 million (£1.6 million) in bribes and expressed regret for his crime, a Chinese court said Thursday. The No. 1 Intermediate Court in the northeastern port city of Tianjin said Mr Meng read a statement containing the confession at a hearing. That move assures a conviction, although it isn't immediately clear when a verdict and sentence would be handed down. Admitting guilt and expressing regret can result in slightly lighter punishment, although China has been quick to hand out life sentences as it cracks down on corruption and political disloyalty under a campaign run directly by the president and head of the ruling Communist Party, Xi Jinping. Elected president of the international police organization in 2016, Mr Meng disappeared into custody after traveling to China from France at the end of September. Interpol was not informed of Mr Meng's detention and was forced to ask China about his whereabouts. Interpol vice president Alexander Prokopchuk and and Meng Hongwei pictured in 2017 Credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images The Tianjin court said Mr Meng had abused his positions, including as a vice minister of public security and maritime police chief, to curry favor for others in return for bribes. Shown on television wearing a plain brown windbreaker and flanked by two bailiffs, Mr Meng appeared older and grayer than during his time as one of the nation's top law enforcement officers. He has already been fired from his positions and kicked out of the Communist Party. While serving at Interpol, Mr Meng retained his title as a vice minister of public security. There are suspicions he had fallen out of political favor with Mr Xi, who has come down hard on corruption and perceived disloyalty in what observers say is calculated to strengthen party control while bringing down potential challengers to his authority. Mr Meng's wife, Grace, has remained in France, where Mr Meng was stationed for Lyon-based Interpol, and has accused Chinese authorities of creating a "fake case" against him for political reasons.

U.S. targets families for deportation to discourage migrants
02:23 PM, 06.19.2019

U.S. targets families for deportation to discourage migrants    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will target for deportation families that have received a removal order from a U.S. immigration court, said Mark Morgan, the acting director of ICE, in a call with reporters.     On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump formally launched his re-election bid with a vow to continue his hardline against illegal immigration.

Woman whose dead babies were found in home cleared of murder
12:32 PM, 06.20.2019

Woman whose dead babies were found in home cleared of murderA Massachusetts woman who lived in a squalid, vermin-infested home where authorities found the remains of three babies was cleared Thursday of second-degree murder, but was convicted of lesser charges. Judge Janet Kenton-Walker said prosecutors did not prove that 35-year-old Erika Murray caused the death of one of the babies whom she had been charged with killing and hiding in her home filled with rodents, dead animals, dirty diapers and trash. Kenton-Walker called the case "senseless" and "tragic," but said she had to be guided by the evidence rather than her emotions.

The Stealth Sniper: The F-22 Raptor Has a New Job
12:45 PM, 06.19.2019

The Stealth Sniper: The F-22 Raptor Has a New JobThe flying branch only bought 187 operational Raptors — out of an original goal of 381. The F-22 also won’t fly into the 2060s without upgrades. Three years ago, four F-22 Raptors taking part in the second-wave of the U.S.-led coalition’s opening airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria dropped their bombs. It was the first time the stealthy fifth-generation fighters had ever engaged in combat. The coalition’s war planners also used the F-22s to leverage their low-observable profiles — and far-reaching sensors — while escorting non-stealthy fighters in case Syrian fighters or air-defense systems engaged.Fortunately, the Syrian military held its fire.Fast forward to today, and F-22 Raptors are still flying over Iraq and Syria and have shifted almost fully into that latter role, according to Air Force Magazine. “When we first got here, we were 95 percent precision strike. And now we’re probably 95 percent air superiority,” Lt. Col. “Shell” — a callsign — of the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron told the magazine.This first appeared in October 2017.

2 killed when semitrailers explode on Wisconsin interstate
02:16 PM, 06.20.2019

2 killed when semitrailers explode on Wisconsin interstateTwo semitrailers exploded into flames Wednesday on an interstate in southeastern Wisconsin, killing both drivers and setting other vehicles on fire, authorities said.

NRA Suspends Two Leaders Amid Accusations of Coup Attempt
02:46 PM, 06.20.2019

NRA Suspends Two Leaders Amid Accusations of Coup Attempt(Bloomberg) -- The National Rifle Association suspended its top lobbyist and one of his deputies, adding further turmoil to the gun-rights group’s leadership ranks as it wages legal battles on multiple fronts and prepares for a bruising 2020 election cycle.The NRA confirmed Thursday that it had suspended Chris Cox, the lobbying chief who was viewed widely as a future leader of the group, and his deputy chief of staff, Scott Christman.The moves came after Oliver North, the former NRA board president, was ousted from the organization in April after it accused him of leading an attempted coup against Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the NRA who has long served as the organization’s leader. North alleged that LaPierre used the group to enrich himself. As part of the infighting, the NRA sued Ackerman McQueen Inc., its longtime advertising firm, and in turn Ackerman cut ties with the group.On Wednesday night, the NRA filed a lawsuit against North arguing that he didn’t have the right to legal fees from the NRA. The lawsuit says that Cox, described as a “likely successor” to lead the organization, participated in the failed bid to oust LaPierre.The leadership struggle came to a head on April 24, according to the lawsuit. That’s when North talked to a LaPierre aide by phone and threatened to reveal unflattering details about LaPierre’s travel and clothing expenses unless he resigned and supported “North’s continued tenure as president,” according to the complaint, which calls the exchange an extortion.North also promised to arrange an “excellent retirement” for LaPierre through Ackerman McQueen if he resigned, the NRA claims.The NRA filed its suit against Ackerman McQueen in mid-April, claiming it refused to turn over details about North’s contract with the advertising firm. Last month, the NRA sued again, claiming Ackerman McQueen engineered the failed coup attempt by leaking damaging information to undermine NRA leaders.The firm fired back with a breach-of-contract countersuit, claiming that the NRA was just trying to get out of its service agreement with the firm and that it had provided all the information sought by the gun group.North was aided in his efforts against LaPierre by NRA board member Dan Boren, a former congressman who’s now a top executive for Chickasaw Nation, a major Ackerman McQueen client, according to the NRA complaint filed on Wednesday. Boren “helped to choreograph the ultimatum they presented to Mr. LaPierre,” it said.In emails obtained by the NRA, Boren “admitted his knowledge that Ackerman may have been invoicing the NRA for full salaries of employees who were actually working on the Chickasaw Nation account.” Those emails also show that Cox was an “errant fiduciary” who “participated in the Ackerman/North/Boren conspiracy,” the NRA claims.The complaint asks a judge to declare that the NRA shouldn’t be required to cover North’s legal fees for subpoenas arising from its litigation with Ackerman McQueen and from a Senate Finance Committee request for information. North’s attorney had demanded that the NRA cover his legal fees for the congressional probe and for “any other inquiries” that he “may receive” in the future, it said.Cox’s suspension was reported earlier by the New York Times. Cox’s spokeswoman told the Times that he played no role in the coup attempt.The suspensions throw the group’s political operation into turmoil just days after President Donald Trump announced his re-election bid. The NRA spent heavily to support Trump during the 2016 race, and Cox has met with the president multiple times during his tenure. Speaking at the NRA’s annual meeting this year, Trump was introduced by Cox rather than LaPierre.A lawyer for North, Brendan Sullivan, declined to comment and said he would respond in a court filing.As the group’s chief lobbyist, Cox oversaw nine different divisions, including federal, state, and local government affairs. “Cox develops and executes independent political campaigns and legislative initiatives. He also serves as the Association’s principal contact with the United States Senate and House of Representatives, the White House and federal agencies,” the NRA Foundation wrote on its website in a profile of Cox.To contact the reporters on this story: Polly Mosendz in New York at;Neil Weinberg in New York at;David Voreacos in New York at dvoreacos@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey D Grocott at, David S. JoachimFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

'The biggest joke in politics': Trump campaign chief disses 2020 polling
10:03 AM, 06.19.2019

'The biggest joke in politics': Trump campaign chief disses 2020 polling"The country is too complex now just to call a couple hundred people and ask them what they think," Brad Parscale said.

The 17 Most Beautiful Highways for Road Trips
07:00 AM, 06.19.2019

The 17 Most Beautiful Highways for Road Trips

Interested in TSA PreCheck? It might soon be cheaper and easier to sign up
01:16 PM, 06.20.2019

Interested in TSA PreCheck? It might soon be cheaper and easier to sign upTSA, trying to boost enrollment in the expedited security program, is studying options including a shorter, cheaper membership and mobile enrollment.

Mars has a brand new crater, and it sure is pretty
10:07 PM, 06.18.2019

Mars has a brand new crater, and it sure is prettyMars, like any other rocky world, has its fair share of craters. These scars of ancient impacts give the dusty surface of the planet some serious personality, and sometimes it's easy to forget that new craters can happen right before our eyes. That's exactly what seems to have occurred, and a new image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals a brand new impact site that might only be a few months old.The image, which was captured by the HiRISE camera built into the orbiter, shows a bold dark patch of material surrounding a circular crater on the Martian surface. Researchers believe it might have been created as recently as February 2019.The University of Arizona posted the photo, along with the following caption:> An impressionist painting? No, it's a new impact crater that has appeared on the surface of Mars, formed at most between September 2016 and February 2019. What makes this stand out is the darker material exposed beneath the reddish dust.The photo itself was captured in April and is only just now getting the attention it deserves. However, because the orbiter can't be looking at the entire planet at all times, it's unclear when exactly the crater formed, and researchers can only narrow it down to sometime between September 2016 and February 2019.This is yet another great reminder of the fantastic work NASA's Mars orbiter has been doing for years now. The spacecraft originally launched way back in 2005 and arrived at Mars in March of the following year. When it did, its primary mission was only scheduled to last for two years, but it has since put in over 13 years of faithful service for scientists. As long as it keeps producing images like this one, we hope it keeps going for a long time to come.

Putin says use of US force against Iran would be 'disaster'
08:06 AM, 06.20.2019

Putin says use of US force against Iran would be 'disaster'Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said any use of force by the US against Iran would lead to disaster as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran. "The US says it does not rule out the use of force... This would be a disaster for the region," Putin said during an annual televised phone-in with screened questions posed by Russian viewers. Moscow has backed Tehran in its stand off with the United States since Washington pulled out of an international 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran last year.

Egypt: UN office tries to politicize Morsi's courtroom death
10:00 AM, 06.19.2019

Egypt: UN office tries to politicize Morsi's courtroom deathEgypt said Wednesday that the U.N. human rights office was trying to politicize the death of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who collapsed inside a Cairo courtroom during his trial this week. Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president who hailed from the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, was buried under heavy security early on Tuesday, a day after his dramatic collapse and death inside a Cairo courtroom. Rupert Colville, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called Tuesday for a "prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation" into Morsi's death on Monday.

Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere found guilty on all counts
02:11 PM, 06.19.2019

Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere found guilty on all countsA New York self-help guru who was accused of running a sex cult of starving women branded with his initials has been found guilty of all counts. A jury took less than five hours to find Keith Raniere guilty of charges including racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking and possession of child pornography, at the end of a six week trial. The 58-year-old faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year. Five women who were charged alongside Raniere, including Smallville actress Allison Mack, pled guilty before the trial began and will be sentenced in September. Raniere, a bespectacled and unprepossessing figure, began Nxivm(pronounced nexium) in the late 1990s, setting up in Albany, capital of New York state, what he describes as a self-help organisation. Actress Allison Mack Credit:  REUTERS About 17,000 people passed through Nxivm’s doors. The group was pitched as an empowerment group, touting theories about femininity, victimhood, money and ethics - much of it influenced by Ayn Rand, one of Raniere’s favourite authors. All pledged loyalty to Raniere, a man who was portrayed within the group as “some kind of god” who would unlock a more fulfilling life for his followers. Raniere himself promoted the idea of his being someone special – a child prodigy, who spoke in full sentences at a year old, read by the age of two and taught himself to play concert-level piano at 12. Among the high-ranking devotees was British-American one-time professional showjumper Clare Bronfman, millionaire heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune. Bronfman, one of the five to plead guilty, has paid $14 million (£11m) in Raniere’s legal costs, it emerged during the trial. Clare Bronfman is an heiress of the Seagram's liquor empire Credit:  REUTERS Another Briton was the first of the six victims to testify – Sylvie, who joined the group at age 18. The group, she was told, would “help me be the person that I’ve always wanted to be”, and would “fix” her. To join she gave in to the demand for “collateral” – material to be held in trust, and forfeited if they broke the group’s vow of silence. Some handed over deeds to their homes, or wrote down stories of childhood abuse, which may or may not be true. Often, as in Sylvie’s case, it was explicit photographs of herself, which she handed over to a senior DOS member. Sylvie said she was told that providing “collateral” was meant to show dedication. Raniere's lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, told jurors in his closing arguments on Monday that no women were ever forced to do anything against their will. As the verdict was read out Raniere remained calm, whispering to his lawyer. Several of the Nxivm defectors, however, were crying and trembling.

It's Time for America to Break with Beijing
07:51 AM, 06.19.2019

It's Time for America to Break with BeijingSOME MISTAKES are repeated over the course of generations. For more than four decades, American presidents sought a closer relationship with China, working to “engage” that country so as to “enmesh” it into the international system. Richard Nixon, in his landmark Foreign Affairs article in 1967, provided the rationale for engagement, arguing the Chinese state could not be isolated. “Taking the long view,” he famously wrote then, “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors.”Since the early 1970s, American policymakers believed they could avoid such nurturing, cherishing and threatening by making the success of the Communist Party of China a goal of U.S. foreign policy. With interests defined this way, American presidents helped China’s communists at crucial moments.The first of those moments came in 1972, during the latter stages of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. Years of internal fighting and chaos—essentially civil war—had weakened China’s ruling organization, but Nixon’s visit that year signaled support for Mao’s tottering regime. “We’re damned,” said Shanghai banker Wu Yaonan at the time, as recounted by democracy activist Chin Jin. “The United States is coming to the rescue of the Communist Party.”

Echoing Beijing, Duterte’s Government Now Calls Boat Collision an ‘Accident’
02:26 AM, 06.19.2019

Echoing Beijing, Duterte’s Government Now Calls Boat Collision an ‘Accident’(Bloomberg) -- The Philippine government has fallen in with Beijing’s explanation that a Chinese vessel didn’t intentionally hit a Filipino boat in the South China Sea on June 9.Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday described the incident as "just an accident," adding the Chinese vessel may have left after hitting and sinking a Philippine boat with 22 fishermen out of fear of being “besieged” by other boats near Reed Bank.“Maybe the other side didn’t mean to brush against our boat,” Lorenzana said at a televised briefing in Manila on Wednesday.The Philippines’ Navy chief earlier said the Chinese vessel "rammed" the Filipino boat which was anchored when it was hit, while the spokesman of the military unit in charge of the disputed waters said the incident was "far from accidental." Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin also protested the incident, which he said he’d call a "hit and run."Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is not favoring China after the incident, said Lorenzana, who has also called for an apology and compensation from the Chinese vessel’s captain for damaging the Philippine boat.China’s Foreign Ministry earlier described the incident as an “accidental collision,” while Beijing’s embassy in Manila said the Chinese vessel’s crew was “afraid” of other Philippine boats in the area, prompting the captain to leave the Filipino fishermen.The sunken Philippine boat’s crew wants Duterte to ask China to hold the Chinese vessel’s captain criminally liable for abandoning them at sea, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said at a separate briefing after meeting the fishermen.“There is no justification to the act of the Chinese vessel to abandon the Filipino fishermen. Under international maritime laws, that is illegal. Under human laws, that is immoral,” Pinol said.To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at, Ruth PollardFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Candidates reveal their — very slightly — embarrassing moments to the Times
10:53 AM, 06.19.2019

Candidates reveal their — very slightly — embarrassing moments to the TimesDemocratic presidential candidates told the New York Times stories about dropping underwear on a plane and wearing cargo shorts to the gym.

Trump to Hannity: You’re ‘Not Really’ a Patriot, You Just Want ‘Great Ratings’
10:34 PM, 06.19.2019

Trump to Hannity: You’re ‘Not Really’ a Patriot, You Just Want ‘Great Ratings’A night after Fox News ran President Trump’s 2020 re-election “kickoff” rally uninterrupted in primetime, Fox News host Sean Hannity handed over almost the entirety of his show to a phone interview with the president. And while their friendly conversation on Wednesday night broke little news, the president did find time to boast about his rally’s ratings—and to take an apparent jab at Hannity. Discussing Trump’s penchant for using Twitter, Hannity noted that many people would like for Trump to “turn off the switch,” prompting the president to say he uses social media to circumvent the media. Trump then quickly pivoted to his TV ratings.“If I don’t use social media—outside of you and a few other great people—I call them patriots,” the president told Hannity. “But actually, you’re not REALLY patriots as much as you want ratings.”“I mean, you're getting great ratings, in all fairness Sean. It’s like, last night, you got tremendous—I heard the speech. That was an easy night, you and Tucker [Carlson] and everyone else said let’s do it and you did it.”According to Nielsen, Hannity’s program on Tuesday night—which was largely devoted to airing the rally—drew over five million total viewers to easily lead cable news for the night. In comparison, Trump’s much-hyped primetime interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos drew an audience of only 3.9 million.In fact, on Monday night, Hannity sent a rather unsubtle message to the president after the disappointing ratings came in for his ABC special—stick with Fox News if you want to draw viewers.Highlighting that a March phone interview he did with Trump outdrew Stephanopoulos, Hannity said it was “humiliating” for the ABC News anchor and that he needs to “pack it up,” all while celebrating the president’s low ratings on another network.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.

Dominican Republic deaths: What we know, including two more US tourists incidents
07:52 AM, 06.20.2019

Dominican Republic deaths: What we know, including two more US tourists incidentsHere's everything we know about tourist deaths and concerning incidents in the Dominican Republic so far.

Airbus demands chance to bid for IAG's surprise Boeing 737 MAX order
01:23 PM, 06.20.2019

Airbus demands chance to bid for IAG's surprise Boeing 737 MAX orderAirbus called on Thursday for a chance to compete for a blockbuster plane order by British Airways owner IAG, which stunned industry executives at this week's Paris Airshow by ordering 200 of Boeing's grounded 737 MAX. Airbus announced a new version of its best-selling A321 with close to 240 orders and commitments in Paris, only to see its grip on IAG's European short-haul networks damaged by the Boeing deal which analysts said shores up the embattled 737 MAX. Boeing's top-selling aircraft has been taken out of service worldwide since an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crashed in March, five months after a Lion Air 737 MAX plunged into the sea off Indonesia.

As Gulf tensions rise, Israel's Netanyahu warns 'enemies'
11:50 AM, 06.19.2019

As Gulf tensions rise, Israel's Netanyahu warns 'enemies'With tensions rising between Israel's ally the US and its archfoe Iran, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Jewish state's enemies not to test it Wednesday, his office said. "I hear our neighbours from the north, south and east threatening our destruction," Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office after he observed a large-scale military excercise in the north of the country. "I say to our enemies: The Israeli army has very great destructive power.

Biden not apologizing for remarks on segregationist senators
08:25 PM, 06.19.2019

Biden not apologizing for remarks on segregationist senatorsJoe Biden refused calls to apologize Wednesday for saying that the Senate "got things done" with "civility" even when the body included segregationists. The former vice president was particularly defiant in rejecting criticism from Sen. Cory Booker, one of two major black candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. The New Jersey Democrat had called on Biden to apologize for his comments.

Man decapitates roommate’s dog because she owed him rent money, police say
02:03 PM, 06.19.2019

Man decapitates roommate’s dog because she owed him rent money, police sayA man beheaded his roommate’s dog as she was moving out of their shared house because of a financial dispute, officials said on Tuesday. Jose Vega Meza, a 21-year-old living in a suburb outside of Phoenix, Arizona, has been arrested over suspicion of mutilating the animal. He told investigators he killed the dog over the weekend because his roommate owed rent money to his mother, who owns the home in the city of Buckeye, according to police. The owner of the dog told police she had lost track of her pet while moving her belongings out of the home, before spotting Mr Meza sneaking a box onto her truck. When she opened the box, she found her headless dog inside. Police did not immediately provide additional information about the dog’s breed, but said it was small.The dog’s owner was so distraught that she was unable to call authorities until the next day, police said. Mr Meza told investigators that he killed other animals around his neighbourhood, including a cat he said he drowned, police said in court documents.He was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty stemming from the killing of the dog on Saturday.Mr Meza was also booked for misdemeanour assault for attacking another inmate after he was booked in jail, investigators said.The Associated Press contributed to this report

Hypersonic Weapons Are Almost Here (And They Will Change War Forever)
05:05 AM, 06.20.2019

Hypersonic Weapons Are Almost Here (And They Will Change War Forever)A new technological competition has begun, one in which America’s rivals, particularly Russia and China, may be ahead. This is the race to build and put in the field super-fast or hypersonic weapons and vehicles. The military defines a hypersonic weapon as one that travels at least Mach 5 or five times the speed of sound. In comparison, commercial aircraft fly at around Mach 1 while some military jets can push themselves to around Mach 3, but only for a short time.There are two basic types of hypersonic weapons: super-fast cruise missiles, and boost-glide vehicles that are mounted on ballistic missiles. Hypersonic cruise missiles, which would most commonly be launched from aircraft, maintain powered flight from launch to impact. Boost-glide vehicles are lofted by a ballistic missile launched from an aircraft, ship, submarine or ground unit to the edge of space from which point they use their speed and aerodynamic design to skip along the top of the atmosphere for up to 10,000 miles.

Shark sightings along East Coast have experts, beachgoers talking
05:21 PM, 06.19.2019

Shark sightings along East Coast have experts, beachgoers talkingThe video has been making the rounds on social media: a great white shark making a snack out of a fishing boat's chum bag off the coast of Manasquan, N.J.

1.5 million questions submitted to Putin for call-in show
04:31 AM, 06.20.2019

1.5 million questions submitted to Putin for call-in showMore than 1.5 million questions have been submitted to president Vladimir Putin for his traditional television call-in show, a rare chance for Russians to have local issues solved in one stroke.  This was more than a million fewer than last year, suggesting Russians may be tiring of the carefully choreographed show despite a state pollster's finding that three-fourths of the population would follow the show.  While people can make queries of Mr Putin live on state television, the questions are screened in advance. The 17th annual call-in show shortly after noon on Thursday. The first question came from a firefighter in the Kaliningrad region who asked how he could be expected to live on £125 a month.  The president responded that such a salary was lower than the minimum wage and should not have occurred.  State television correspondents then began speaking with patients and workers in three hospitals in far-flung parts of the country. Among the topics Mr Putin was expected to address was a plan to ship rubbish from Moscow to the Arctic Arkhangelsk region, an idea that sparked months of protests.  Hundreds of activists in Shiyes, the town where a tip is being built for waste from the capital, had recorded a video appeal to Mr Putin and expected to be given a chance to go on air with him.  But authorities at the last minute moved the place of the live filming from Shiyes to a town 40 kilometres away in a possible attempt to reduce the number of activists taking part. Vladimir Putin: Rare photos of the Russian leader A controversial tip outside Moscow was closed after Mr Putin criticised it during his 2017 call-in show.  While the call-in show typically focuses on domestic issues, the Netherlands will want to see if Mr Putin addresses the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 during the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014.  On Wednesday, the Dutch-led investigation charged three Russian fighters with murder, displaying intercepted phone calls in which they asked Russian officials for anti-aircraft weapons and discussed deploying a missile delivered from Russia.  Another looming question is the fate of US investor Michael Calvey, who was arrested after tangling with a businessman linked to top Russian officials.  The US ambassador boycotted the St Petersburg economic forum over the case, which has further spooked foreign investors.

Galaxy Note 10 leak reveals a futuristic feature you won’t find on any iPhone
09:12 AM, 06.19.2019

Galaxy Note 10 leak reveals a futuristic feature you won’t find on any iPhoneThe Galaxy Note 10, now expected to launch on August 7th, is hardly a secret anymore. We've seen plenty of leaks that have confirmed the phone's design and even the sky-high price tag has been outed. The Note 10 will come in two sizes, both featuring the same Infinity-O display that will have curved edges with tiny top and bottom bezels. In many ways, the Galaxy Note 10 will be similar to the Galaxy S10 when it comes to specs, but an insider now claims the phone will have a futuristic feature that no other popular smartphone has -- not even the iPhone. If this rumor is accurate, it will give Samsung an advantage over almost all competitors out there when it comes to design.Ice Universe, a reliable Samsung leaker, explained on Twitter that the Note 10 will have bezels as narrow as the iPhone, and that's possible thanks to a new display innovation: Sound on Display (SoD) tech. of having to place a speaker at the top of the phone, Samsung can turn the screen itself into a speaker. This tech has been in the making for quite a while, and Samsung is one of the two companies that can pull it off. The other one is LG, which launched its LG V8 ThinQ earlier this year, the world's first phone with SoD tech. LG, however, hasn't been able to match Samsung for a long time when it comes to flagship smartphone sales.The Galaxy S10 still features a speaker at the top. It's almost invisible, but it's there. SoD screens will allow Samsung and every other company that sources OLED screens from Samsung Display to further reduce the size of their top bezels.The iPhone 11, meanwhile, isn't expected to drop the front-facing speaker anytime soon, and certainly not this year on the iPhone 11. Apple is rumored to stick with the same iPhone X notch design for at least one more generation of handsets, which means the front speaker isn't going anywhere for the time being. Google's Pixel 4, one other highly anticipated handset of the second half of 2019, will also have a speaker at the top, right in the middle of a pretty thick top bezel.

19 of the Most Beautiful Bridges in the World
07:00 AM, 06.20.2019

19 of the Most Beautiful Bridges in the World

High school graduates fall ill during trip to Dominican Republic
10:06 AM, 06.19.2019

High school graduates fall ill during trip to Dominican RepublicA group of high school graduates are the latest to fall ill in the Dominican Republic.

Iran talking to Russia and China in case EU nuclear deal efforts fail: TASS
07:55 AM, 06.19.2019

Iran talking to Russia and China in case EU nuclear deal efforts fail: TASSIran is in talks with Russia and China on a possible settlement mechanism in case discussions with EU over a nuclear deal fail, the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security council, Ali Shamkhani, said, according to Russia's TASS news agency. Tehran said in May it would reduce compliance with the nuclear pact it agreed with China, Russia and other world powers in 2015, in protest at the United States’ decision to unilaterally pull out of the agreement and reimpose sanctions last year.

Boeing eyes more 737 Max sales after post-crash drought
06:30 AM, 06.20.2019

Boeing eyes more 737 Max sales after post-crash droughtBoeing's post-crash business slump may be coming to an end. The plane maker said Thursday that it's in negotiations with several customers interested in buying the 737 Max jet, as it tries to rebuild trust in the plane and its own reputation after two Max crashes that killed 346 people. At the Paris Air Show this week, Boeing won its first endorsement of the 737 since an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and a Lion Air crash in October in Indonesia.

Man charged in threat to kill gays at St. Louis Pride parade
11:40 AM, 06.19.2019

Man charged in threat to kill gays at St. Louis Pride paradeA suburban St. Louis man accused of telling organizers of the city's Pride parade that he would shoot and kill as many gays as possible at the LGBTQ celebration before turning the gun on himself has been charged with making a terrorist threat, according to court documents. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Edward Terry, 49, of Overland, was charged Tuesday. Marty Zuniga, vice president of PrideFest, said the organization works "hard to produce an event that is safe for all participants." The Pride parade in downtown St. Louis draws hundreds of thousands of people every year and is scheduled to take place June 30.

Trump suggests 'loose and stupid' Iranian officer attacked US drone
01:00 PM, 06.20.2019

Trump suggests 'loose and stupid' Iranian officer attacked US dronePresident stopped short of escalating standoff, saying if a person was in the drone ‘it would have made a big, big difference’Donald Trump has stopped short of escalating the worsening standoff with Iran in the Persian Gulf, suggesting that the shooting down of a US drone could have been carried out by a “loose and stupid” Iranian officer without authorisation from Tehran, and emphasising that the aircraft was unmanned.After meeting with his top national security officials to discuss Wednesday night’s downing of a Global Hawk spy drone, the president declared: “I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down.“I find it hard to believe it was intentional if you want to know the truth. I think it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it,” Trump told journalists. “It was a very foolish move.”Trump reinforced the administration’s red line that it would respond militarily if Iranian forces or proxies harm Americans – but stressed that was not the case on this occasion.“We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. It would have made a big, big difference,” Trump said. Asked how the US would respond, he said: “You’ll find out.”Political support for the administration’s Middle East policies is shaky. On Thursday, the Senate voted against the White House’s use of an emergency declaration to sell $8bn to its allies in the Gulf without congressional approval. His critics are unlikely to muster enough senators to overturn the expected presidential veto, but Thursday’s vote was a measure of unease over Trump’s close relationship with the Saudi monarchy.Trump said he was sticking to his promise to extract the US from wars in the Middle East, adding: “But this is a new wrinkle, a new fly in the ointment what happened, shooting down a drone. And this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”Iranian officials have said that the shooting down was a deliberate act and a success of the country’s security forces, but claimed that the aircraft was over Iranian territory.The Iranian ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, claimed the aircraft was “in stealth mode as it had turned off its identification equipment and engaged in a clear spying operation”.“When the aircraft was returning towards the western parts of the region near the strait of Hormuz, despite repeated radio warnings, it entered into the Iranian airspace,” Ravanchi said in a letter to UN secretary general, António Guterres.“The downing of the American drone was a clear message to America … our borders are Iran’s red line and we will react strongly against any aggression … Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran,” the IRGC commander, Hossein Salami, said, according to Iranian media.Trump insisted that the Global Hawk drone was over international waters, saying: “We have it all documented scientifically, not just words.”The US military said the use of a high-powered anti-aircraft missile against a target in international airspace was a danger to commercial airliners in the region.“This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset that had not violated Iranian airspace at any time during its mission,” Gen Joseph Guastella, US Central Command’s top air force commander, told reporters.“This attack is an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping and the free flow of commerce,” Guastella said. “The aircraft was over the strait of Hormuz and fell into international waters.”US officials confirmed the downed aircraft was a US navy Global Hawk surveillance drone, which had been hit by an Iranian surface-to-air missile over the strait of Hormuz at 11.35pm GMT.embedThe $130m (£102m) Global Hawk is the world’s largest surveillance drone, packed with sophisticated electronics and the size of a small commercial airliner. Iranian forces and allied militias had previously fired at and brought down US Reaper drones, but this is the biggest US target Iran has hit to date, as tensions in the region escalate.Close to the same time as the drone was shot down, Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Iran, hit a Saudi desalination plant with an apparently sophisticated missile, and there have been a string of rocket and mortar attacks on or close to US facilities in Iraq.On Wednesday the Pentagon confirmed it was sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Gulf in response to two attacks on commercial tankers on 13 June which the US has blamed on Iran’s IRGC.Trump downplayed the tanker attacks as “very minor” but US officials have made clear to Iran that it would view an attack on its forces by Iran or proxy militias as a threshold for a military response.Iran said the US drone was shot down by the “3rd Khordad” air defence system, which is an Iranian equivalent to the Russian Buk system that downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. The use of such weapons in an area of crowded skies has underlined the dangers of the standoff in the Gulf spinning out of control.The secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council, Ali Shamkhani, had said on Wednesday that Tehran would respond to any intrusion into its airspace or waters.Shamkhani emphasised that Iran robustly protects its aerial and maritime borders, describing its airspace as the country’s “red line”. “No matter whose plane trespasses into it, we have always given and will give a harsh response to intruders.”Speaking in London, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said: “The international community is determined to push back against Iran’s aggressive behaviour.”Saying steps were being prepared to protect shipping in the Gulf, he added: “Freedom of navigation is essential to global security and the world economy. Any attempt to close the strait of Hormuz will provoke a very strong reaction.”

The List: Top 3 .308 Semi-Automatic Rifles on the Planet Today
10:00 PM, 06.18.2019

The List: Top 3 .308 Semi-Automatic Rifles on the Planet TodayAre you on the market for a .308 semi-automatic rifle?  If so, you’ll be glad to hear that there are several high quality choices for you available on the marketplace, which each offer excellent performance, accuracy, durability, and reliability.There are three models that stand out in particular: the Century Arms C308, Ruger SR-762, and the Springfield M1A.Each of these choices certainly have their pros and cons, but they also each offer unique advantages that we will dive into in-depth with this article.  We’ll also talk about the best benefits of owning a .308 semi-automatic rifle to begin with.THE BENEFITS OF OWNING A .308 SEMI-AUTOMATICA solid case can be made that the .308 semi-automatic rifle is the most versatile centerfire rifle that you can own today.

House Dems on brink of minimum wage victory
04:16 AM, 06.20.2019

House Dems on brink of minimum wage victoryThe vote is expected shortly after the House returns from its Fourth of July recess.

The best selling Bluetooth earbuds on Amazon are down to $14.99, an all-time low
06:54 AM, 06.20.2019

The best selling Bluetooth earbuds on Amazon are down to $14.99, an all-time lowAt this point we're starting to think that nothing will ever knock the Mpow Flame Bluetooth Headphones off the top of Amazon's best-sellers list in the Bluetooth earbuds category. They've been there for nearly 2 years already, and sales like the one happening today will go a long way to keep them there for another 2 years. Clip the 5% coupon on Amazon and use the promo code D2MP088R at checkout, and you can pick up a pair of these awesome wireless earbuds for just $14.99. That's an all-time low, but this deal won't last long so hurry!Here's more info from the product page: * HD Bass Sound: With well tuned driver, advanced CSR chip and Bluetooth 4.1 technology, Mpow flame sport earbuds produce richer bass stereo sound with reinforced clarity, as well as faster pairing and enhanced wireless connection. * Long-lasting 7-9 Hours Playtime: Powerful battery offers 7-9 Hours of superior audio performance or hands-free phone conversation after charging for just 1.5 Hours. (Note: 1. Mpow flame has 12V over-voltage hardware cut off, 1a over-current restored fuse to achieve safe charging. 2. Please use charging cable provided, or certified brand charging cable. 3. We don't recommend using fast charging.) * IPX7 Waterproof Headphones: Mpow flame wireless headphones have reliable water & sweat-proof Nano-coating for worry-free use and improved durability in intense workouts or exercises in light rain. Perfect for running, jogging, hiking, yoga, exercises, gym, fitness, traveling and etc. * Enhanced Comfort & Secure Fit: Four different sizes of eartips (XS, S, M, L), one memory foam eartip and one optional wire clip are included for different ear canals and necks. A carrying case is provided for better portability. (Note: Please choose the most suitable eartips for your ears.) * CVC 6.0 Noise Cancelling Mic: With built-in CVC 6.0 noise canceling microphone, Mpow flame bluetooth headphones offer crystal clear sound quantity for hands-free calling. 18 Month Warranty: Every Mpow product includes a 45 days money-back guarantee & 18-month warranty.

12 Designs We Need From Wayfair’s Super Affordable New Collection
09:13 AM, 06.19.2019

12 Designs We Need From Wayfair’s Super Affordable New Collection

Starving polar bear found in Russian city after traveling hundreds of miles
11:45 AM, 06.20.2019

Starving polar bear found in Russian city after traveling hundreds of milesA starving polar bear was found this week in Norilsk, Russia, far from its usual hunting grounds.

Saudi Arabia says ending British arms exports would help Iran
08:43 AM, 06.20.2019

Saudi Arabia says ending British arms exports would help IranIran would be the only beneficiary of any end to arms exports from Britain to Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's minister of state for foreign affairs said on Thursday, adding that the deployment of weapons in Yemen was legitimate. A UK court earlier found that Britain broke the law by allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been used in Yemen's war. The ruling does not halt Britain's arms exports but means the granting of new licences will be paused.

'Sully' Sullenberger Tells Congress Deadly Boeing 737 Max Crashes 'Should Never Have Happened'
10:02 AM, 06.20.2019

'Sully' Sullenberger Tells Congress Deadly Boeing 737 Max Crashes 'Should Never Have Happened'He warned that similar accidents could follow

Georgia set to execute inmate for man's 1996 shotgun slaying
03:39 PM, 06.20.2019

Georgia set to execute inmate for man's 1996 shotgun slayingMarion Wilson Jr., 42, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection of pentobarbital at 7 p.m. at the state prison in Jackson. The parole board is the only authority in Georgia that can commute a death sentence. Wilson's lawyers asked the courts to stop his execution.

US says no conditions to talks with North Korea
11:55 AM, 06.19.2019

US says no conditions to talks with North KoreaThe US pointman on North Korea said Wednesday there were no preconditions to resuming talks with Pyongyang but urged greater action on denuclearization. A week after President Donald Trump said he received a new "beautiful letter" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, US special representative Stephen Biegun said that Pyongyang's promises to give up nuclear weapons lay at the heart of warming relations.

Dell, HP, Intel and Microsoft Join Forces to Oppose Trump Tariff
03:00 PM, 06.19.2019

Dell, HP, Intel and Microsoft Join Forces to Oppose Trump Tariff(Bloomberg) -- Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are joining forces to oppose President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on laptop computers and tablets among $300 billion in Chinese goods targeted for duties.The companies submitted joint comments opposing the tariff escalation, saying it would hurt consumer products and industry, while failing to address China’s trade practices. The tariffs are poised to hit during the peak holiday and back-to-school sales period, they said.“The tariffs will harm U.S. technology leaders, hindering their ability to innovate and compete in a global marketplace,” the companies said in comments posted online.Dell, HP, and Microsoft said they account for about half of the notebooks and detachable tablets sold in the U.S. Prices for laptops and tablets will increase by at least 19% -- about $120 for the average retail price of a laptop -- if the proposed tariffs are implemented, according to a study released this week by the Consumer Technology Association.The companies said they spent a collective $35 billion on research and development in 2018 alone, and tariff costs would divert resources from innovation while providing “a windfall” to manufacturers based outside the U.S. that are less dependent on American sales.The Trump administration is considering public comments on the proposed duties and hearing testimony from more than 300 U.S. companies and trade groups through June 25. The tariffs could be imposed after a rebuttal period ends July 2.The U.S. and China said their presidents will meet in Japan next week to relaunch trade talks after a month-long stalemate.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at, Sarah McGregor, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Racine County, Wisconsin, semi crash, explosion leaves 2 dead, multiple injured; NB lanes of I-94 remain closed
09:59 PM, 06.19.2019

Racine County, Wisconsin, semi crash, explosion leaves 2 dead, multiple injured; NB lanes of I-94 remain closedTwo people died and two others were seriously injured when a semi crashed, exploded and ignited other vehicles on Interstate 94 in Racine County, Wisconsin.

New leak says Galaxy Note 10 camera is getting major upgrades
11:30 AM, 06.19.2019

New leak says Galaxy Note 10 camera is getting major upgradesWhen Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 series earlier this year, it made it clear that the more money you spend, the better the camera experience you're going to get. The biggest S10 phone, the 5G version, has four lenses on the back and two on the front, and it's the only one of the four Galaxy S10 versions to feature a Time-of-Flight (ToF) lens. But both new Note 10 models might have ToF cameras when they launch in 2 months, and the feature could be used on other Samsung phones as well, not just flagships.By measuring the time light needs to travel to the subject, ToF cameras collect much more depth data alongside images. In turn, phones with ToF cameras can offer 3D facial recognition like the iPhone X and Apple's 2018 iPhone models, and also take portrait photos with bokeh effects. Furthermore, depth data can help with AR and VR apps on mobile devices.According to ETNews, component maker MCNEX invested 13 billion won ($11 million) in a new facility in Vietnam that will be completed by the end of July. The factory will mass-produce ToF modules as soon as August, with Samsung being one of its customers. The firm already manufactures camera modules and fingerprint sensors for Samsung.Samsung is also sourcing ToF cameras from other suppliers, including Partron, which manufactures ToF sensors for the Galaxy S10 5G.These moves indicate that Samsung has big plans for ToF going forward, with the Note 10 likely just the first upcoming new device to benefit from ToF camera adoption. And if both the front and rear cameras of the Note 10 get ToF, as the report notes, then Samsung will certainly need more parts from its suppliers.Previous Galaxy Note 10 leaks said the Note 10 and Note 10 Pro will have triple- and quad-lens cameras, respectively, but both of them will pack single-lens cameras on the front. It's unclear whether ToF tech can be incorporated into the main selfie camera, or whether a smaller sensor will join the selfie cam on the front.ETNews says that Apple is also working on ToF technology for its iPhone line without revealing other details about any of the upcoming iPhones. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Pro will be unveiled in early August and hit stores a few weeks later.

Russia and China Go War Against America. Here's What Could Happen Next.
07:25 AM, 06.20.2019

Russia and China Go War Against America. Here's What Could Happen Next.Could Beijing and Moscow coordinate a pair of crises that would drive two separate U.S. military responses?The United States discarded its oft-misunderstood “two war” doctrine, intended as a template for providing the means to fight two regional wars simultaneously, late last decade. Designed to deter North Korea from launching a war while the United States was involved in fighting against Iran or Iraq (or vice versa,) the idea helped give form to the Department of Defense’s procurement, logistical and basing strategies in the post–Cold War, when the United States no longer needed to face down the Soviet threat. The United States backed away from the doctrine because of changes in the international system, including the rising power of China and the proliferation of highly effective terrorist networks.But what if the United States had to fight two wars today, and not against states like North Korea and Iran? What if China and Russia sufficiently coordinated with one another to engage in simultaneous hostilities in the Pacific and in Europe?This first appeared in August 2017.Political Coordination

$1 billion worth of cocaine seized in record Philadelphia bust, feds say
07:27 PM, 06.18.2019

$1 billion worth of cocaine seized in record Philadelphia bust, feds sayMembers of the ship's crew face federal charges after a record 16.5-ton cocaine bust in Philadelphia.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard ‘Shoots Down U.S. Drone’ in Gulf Crisis
05:46 AM, 06.20.2019

Iranian Revolutionary Guard ‘Shoots Down U.S. Drone’ in Gulf CrisisUS NAVY/REUTERSIranian forces on Thursday shot down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Persian Gulf region, multiple news outlets have reported.The shoot-down could significantly escalate tensions that already were running high after the U.S. and allied governments accused Iran of orchestrating recent attacks on merchant ships.The shoot-down reportedly occurred as the Global Hawk-style drone was flying over or near Iran’s Hormozgan province, which abuts the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a narrow chokepoint separating the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a highly autonomous religious militia that’s separate from the regular Iranian military, claimed responsibility. “The U.S.-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down,” the IRGC told Iranian state media. “It was shot down when it entered Iran's air space near the Kouhmobarak district in the south.”Tucker Carlson Is Privately Advising Trump on IranU.S. Central Command, which oversees American military forces in the Middle East, first confirmed the shoot-down to ABC News. CENTCOM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  U.S. officials told ABC News the drone was flying in international air space over the Strait of Hormuz when a surface-to-air missile struck it. ABC News identified the unmanned aerial vehicle as a U.S. Navy MQ-4C, a new variant of the high-flying Global Hawk that the sailing branch is acquiring for ocean surveillance.Fox News also identified the drone as an MQ-4C.The type of UAV matters, as it could provide clues about the IRGC’s air-defense capabilities. While the Air Force’s version of the Global Hawk usually cruises at 65,000 feet, beyond the reach of many smaller air-defense systems, the MQ-4C is designed to periodically descend to lower altitudes in order to inspect ships using its on-board cameras.The IRGC’s most sophisticated air-defense missile, the Russian-made S-300, reportedly can strike targets flying as high as 100,000 feet. As recently as June 13, Iranian forces tried and failed to shoot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone using a much less powerful missile—a version of Russia’s shoulder-fired SA-7.At the time, the Reaper was flying over the Gulf of Oman conducting surveillance of the Japansese tanker ship Kokuka Courageous, which had reportedly suffered an explosion that CENTCOM claimed was the result of an IRGC attack.“The SA-7 was ineffective and its closest point of approach to the MQ-9 was approximately one kilometer,” the command stated. The military classifies the MQ-9 as a “medium-altitude” drone. It typically cruises at around 25,000 feet.Variants of the Global Hawk are among the highest-flying U.S. surveillance aircraft. If the drone was an Air Force Global Hawk or an MQ-4C flying at its maximum altitude when the IRGC shot it down, that could mean that most if not all American spy planes, both manned and unmanned, are vulnerable to IRGC air-defenses while operating over the Strait of Hormuz.Downing the drone sent a “clear message,” IRGC commander Hossein Salami said, according to Jerusalem Post reporter Anna Ahronheim. The U.S. military doesn’t totally rely on drones, however. American forces complement surveillance aircraft with a wide array of spy satellites, against which Iran has no effective weapon. The drone shoot-down is the latest and arguably most serious escalation of the current phase of the long-running conflict between the United States and Iran over a range of issues including Tehran’s attempt to develop nuclear weapons. The administration of U.S. president Barack Obama in 2015 negotiated a deal with Tehran whereby the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions in exchange for a verifiable suspension of Iran’s atomic-weapons program.Tehran for two years abided by the agreement. But Obama’s successor President Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2017 and restored sanctions. In return, Iran resumed stockpiling nuclear materials.“Trump’s re-imposition of sanctions—despite Iran’s compliance—was a major strategic blunder,” Jim Krane, a foreign policy expert with the Baker Institute at Rice University, wrote in Forbes. “It reinvigorated Iranian hardliners, who now have evidence that Washington can only be counted on for one thing: betrayal.”Those hardliners allegedly were behind the attacks on Kokuka Courageous and other merchant ships—and now claim responsibility for shooting down an American spy drone. Even before Thursday’s shoot-down, Trump seemed determined to further ratchet up tensions. The White House on June 18 ordered the deployment of 1,000 troops “to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” according to CENTCOM. The administration earlier deployed B-52 bombers and F-35 stealth fighters to the region.It’s unclear where this ends. Gregory Kulacki, a nuclear expert with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Massachusetts, questioned Trump’s “forethought, planning and intelligence” when it comes to Iran.“We are all at the mercy of an ignorant, undisciplined and unpredictable U.S. president,” Kulacki tweeted. “Anything is possible.”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. Facebook Page

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