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'Horrific for all': Pentagon intelligence chief says Iran does not want war

'Horrific for all': Pentagon intelligence chief says Iran does not want warA U.S. Marines helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the USS Boxer during its transit through Strait of Hormuz. ASPEN, Colo. — As tensions in the Persian Gulf continued to ramp up on Friday afternoon amid news that Iran had seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, concluded that Iran does not want to start a war with the U.S. or its allies. Answering a question posed by CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto in Aspen, Colo., about the latest incident, Ashley declined to give a specific response to the news, but later said that none of the United States’ major adversaries or competitors, including Iran, China and Russia, wants to start a war.




POSTED JULY 19, 2019 7:19 PM

Alleged American ISIS Sniper Brought Home by the Defense Department to Face Charges

Alleged American ISIS Sniper Brought Home by the Defense Department to Face ChargesAn American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said.Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday.A U.S. official confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Defense Department had transported Asainov from Syria to the United States. Asainov had been in the custody of Syrian Democratic Forces.No further information about the military's role in transporting Asainov, to the United States was immediately available.Asainov is accused of leaving Brooklyn in December 2013 to fight for ISIS in Syria, a Justice Department news release says. After becoming an ISIS sniper, he was promoted to become an "emir" in charge of training fighters how to use weapons and also tried to recruit someone else to leave the United States and become an ISIS fighter.Prosecutors claim Asainov tried to buy a scope for his rile by paying roughly $2,800 to a confidential informant, the news release says."Asainov subsequently sent the confidential informant two photographs depicting the defendant holding an assault rifle fitted with a scope," the news release says. "He messaged one associate exclaiming, in reference to ISIS, 'We are the worst terrorist organization in the world that has ever existed' and stating that he wished to die on the battlefield."




POSTED JULY 20, 2019 8:52 AM

Vatican college space holds bones of dozens, expert says

Vatican college space holds bones of dozens, expert saysThe expert, Giorgio Portera, said the "enormous" size of the collection under the Teutonic College was revealed when Vatican-appointed experts began cataloguing the remains, which were discovered last week . "We didn't expect such an enormous number" of bones and other remains which "had been thrown into a cavity," Portera said. "We want to know why and how" the bones ended up there.




POSTED JULY 20, 2019 2:38 PM

Universal Orlando reopens after police respond to report of a gunman in parking garage

Universal Orlando reopens after police respond to report of a gunman in parking garageUniversal Orlando went under temporary lockdown Saturday night after police received a report of a gunman spotted in a parking garage.




POSTED JULY 21, 2019 10:51 AM

Booker Says He Could Confront Biden on Race at Detroit Debate

Booker Says He Could Confront Biden on Race at Detroit Debate(Bloomberg) -- Presidential Democratic candidate Cory Booker on Sunday suggested he could confront former Vice President Joe Biden on racial issues during the second round of debates next week.Booker, a New Jersey senator, said it would be “fair” to bring up the 1994 crime bill, which Biden supported in the Senate and has called the “Biden crime bill.” Booker said the measure put “mass incarceration on steroids” for African Americans.“Yeah, it is fair,” Booker said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” when asked by host Margaret Brennan whether he would be more aggressive on race at the forums in Detroit on July 30-31. “I want people like Joe Biden, which he finally did, thank God, to stand up and say, ‘I was wrong, that bill did a lot of harm.’”Booker was among Biden’s most vocal critics last month when the former vice president spoke about the “civility” in the Senate that allowed him to work with segregationist lawmakers in the 1970s. Another Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, seized the spotlight at the first set of debates last month in Miami by confronting Biden on his opposition to busing as a senator.Biden will face off against Harris, Booker and seven other Democratic candidates on July 31, the second night of the debates in Detroit.To contact the reporter on this story: Max Berley in Washington at mberley@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Max Berley, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED JULY 21, 2019 12:41 PM

U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraft

U.S. says Venezuelan plane aggressively shadowed a U.S. military aircraftThe U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of "aggressively" shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, a fresh sign of growing hostility between the two countries. The encounter between the two planes occurred on Friday, the same day that the Trump administration announced it was imposing sanctions on four top officials in Venezuela's military counterintelligence agency. The U.S. military did not give details of the EP-3's mission nor say where the encounter took place.




POSTED JULY 21, 2019 12:45 PM

Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s Godfather

Oliver Stone Asks Vladimir Putin to Be His Daughter’s GodfatherAlexey Nikolsky/AFP/GettyFilmmaker and conspiracy theorist Oliver Stone has made no secret of his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but now he has taken it to a whole new level by trying to make him his 22-year-old daughter’s godfather. “Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian?” Putin asked when Stone floated the idea during a sit-down in the Kremlin. “We’ll make her that [Orthodox],” Stone replied, according to a transcript of the interview put out by the Kremlin Friday. Putin appeared to wriggle his way out of the proposal (“You have to ask her,” he said) before Stone went on to complain about “American culture,” taking particular issue with what he described as a focus on gender identity and people labeling themselves as “transgender” and “cisgender.” Stone quickly steered the conversation toward a controversial 2013 Russian law banning “homosexual propaganda” among minors, a law which experts say has prompted a surge of homophobic violence in the country. “It seems like maybe that’s a sensible law,” Stone said. The interview, transcripts of which were released Friday, took place in mid-June, shortly before Stone announced the upcoming premiere of his new documentary Revealing Ukraine, which purports to “investigate” the “ongoing Ukrainian crisis” but seems instead to serve as a promotional spot for pro-Russian Ukrainian politician and Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk. The “documentary” has been hyped up by Russian state media, where it premiered on Friday.  It was also due to air on Ukraine’s 112 TV channel, which Medvedchuk reportedly took control of late last year, but the station said it was forced to cancel the broadcast after protests. Stone has claimed his dabblings in Ukraine offer viewers a new perspective on the 2014 Maidan revolution and war in Donbass that he says “Western media has largely ignored,” but that “perspective” has relied solely on claims fed to him by pro-Russia politicians, Putin allies, and Putin himself. In his sit-down with the Russian president, Stone vacillated between spouting off common Kremlin propaganda on Ukraine and fawning over Putin as a “peacemaker.” After echoing the Kremlin conspiracy theory that the pro-Russian leaders in Kyiv accused of gunning down innocent protesters in the 2014 revolution were actually framed in some vast conspiracy that may or may not have involved former U.S. President Barack Obama, and that Ukraine, not Russia was to blame for interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Stone expressed concerns about Putin’s emotional well-being. “You sound very depressed, much more depressed than last time,” he said, later adding, “I am very worried about you.” The two ended the interview by taking a parting picture together. Oliver Stone’s Latest Piece of Pro-Putin Propaganda May Be His Most Shameless Move YetRead 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.




POSTED JULY 19, 2019 11:13 PM

Iraq Kurds arrest two suspects in killing of Turkish vice consul

Iraq Kurds arrest two suspects in killing of Turkish vice consulIraqi Kurdish authorities announced Saturday they had arrested two suspects involved in the murder of three people, including a Turkish diplomat, in the regional capital Arbil this week. The autonomous region's security council first said its counterterrorism unit had arrested "the main perpetrator" Mazloum Dag, a 27-year-old from Turkey's Diyarbakir region. The council had put out a wanted notice for Dag a day earlier in connection to Wednesday's killing of Turkish Vice Consul Osman Kose and two Iraqi nationals.




POSTED JULY 20, 2019 12:19 PM

9-year-old girl dies after bounce house blown into power lines

9-year-old girl dies after bounce house blown into power linesA 9-year-old Reno girl has died from injuries she suffered when strong winds blew an inflatable bounce house with three children inside into power lines last weekend.




POSTED JULY 20, 2019 5:27 AM

Britain tells UN tanker seizure was 'illegal interference'

Britain tells UN tanker seizure was 'illegal interference'A top British representative to the United Nations has declared in a letter to the Security Council that Iran's seizure of a British-flagged tanker amounted to "illegal interference," and he rejected Tehran's version of events. Iranian authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard after patrol boats of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.




POSTED JULY 21, 2019 1:01 PM

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