The City Council in Berkeley, Calif., votes to remove gender-specific words from its municipal code.
Tehran has denied a US claim that an American warship in the Gulf shot down an Iranian aerial drone, suggesting that perhaps US forces brought down one of their own aircraft instead.US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the USS Boxer shot down what he described as an Iranian drone near the Strait of Hormuz after repeated warnings that it was approaching too close to the US Navy amphibious assault ship. But Iranian officials Friday derided the claim that the US had brought down one of its drones as “delusional,” and insisted that all of its “reconnaissance” drones had safely returned to base."Contrary to the delusional claim made by the president of the American regime, all UAVs belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf region and the Strait of Hormuz, including the one mentioned by the US president, have safely returned to their bases,” Brig-Gen Abolfazl Shekarchi was quoted as saying by state media. “There have been no reports of any confrontation with the USS Boxer.” Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s quick-witted deputy foreign minister, quipped on Twitter: “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own [UAV] by mistake!”The incident and ensuing confusion is the latest flare-up between Iran and the United States in a period of marked escalation following Washington’s move last year to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and begin punishing international companies for doing business with Tehran.Iran has responded by challenging the US and its allies. It downed an expensive US drone near or in its territory last month and is allegedly behind a number of attempts to sabotage or harass oil tankers moving in and out of the Gulf and the narrow Strait of Hormuz that connects it to the seas. “These attacks serve Iran’s purpose by offering Tehran the benefit of ambiguity, and they have not resulted in any loss of life to date — thereby increasing the potential to further threaten Gulf shipping without necessarily provoking a major U.S. military response,” the Soufan Center, a consultancy, wrote in a note on Friday. Details of the latest confrontation remain murky. The US has yet to release surveillance video or other footage showing its targeting of the drone. Iran may be denying its drone was shot to down to avoid having to respond and further escalate, but has said it will soon release footage showing the “ridiculousness of the operation the Americans claim".Mr Trump, reading from what was apparently a carefully worded prepared statement, said on Thursday that the Iranian drone “ignored multiple calls to stand down,” describing the incident as “the latest of many provocative and hostile actions against vessels operating in international waters.”But Brig Gen Shekarji described the US accusations, which were echoed by the Pentagon as well as the White House, as “aimed at provocation and destabilisation of the Persian Gulf region and the strategic Strait of Hormuz.”The incident and the ones preceding it have spooked the shipping industry. An industry source told The Independent that insurance costs for shippers moving in and out of the Persian Gulf had tripled and quadrupled over the last few weeks as tensions between Iran and the US have spiked, an increase in expenses which will likely be passed on to consumers across the world. "Until the situation is stabilised the increased threat levels may result in delays, an increase in shipping costs, and included in that is higher insurance premiums, and potential higher energy prices," said the source. "All of that will be absorbed by consumers."At a briefing on Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov placed blame on Washington and its campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran for the rising tensions and occasional flare-ups. “The concentration of forces and equipment in the area of the Persian Gulf, belonging to different countries, is so high that any incidents are possible,” he said, according to the Tass news agency. “We regret that the US side, despite all calls … still persistently continues its policy of increasing tension and putting maximum pressure on Tehran. This policy is erroneous and is fraught with further complications and upheavals.”
Gibraltar was granted the power on Friday to detain Iran's Grace 1 oil tanker for another month, keeping the vessel at the center of a big-power quarrel between Iran and the United States and its allies. Gibraltar said the Iranian vessel, seized by marines in a daring landing in darkness off the coast of the British territory on July 4, was suspected of smuggling oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions. Iran has repeatedly called for the ship's release, denies the allegation that the tanker was taking oil to Syria in violation of sanctions and says Gibraltar and Britain seized the vessel on the orders of Washington.
Twelve Israeli tourists were remanded in custody for eight days by a court in Cyprus for the alleged gang rape of a 19-year-old British woman at a popular holiday resort on the island. The Israelis were arrested on Wednesday after the British teenager told police that she had been raped at the hotel where she was staying in the beach resort of Ayia Napa. Doctors who treated the woman said they found bruises and scratches on her body. The suspects, aged 16 to 18, were staying in the same hotel. The young men covered their faces with their t-shirts as they arrived handcuffed at the court in the nearby town of Paralimni, in the southeast of Cyprus. One broke down in tears. Some were accompanied by their parents. The hearing was held behind closed doors because some of the suspects are minors. The suspects covered their faces as they arrived at court Credit: Petros Karadjis/AP A judge accepted a request by Cypriot police to remand the men in custody for eight days while an investigation is launched into the rape allegation. They have not yet been charged with any offence. Three of the men allegedly raped the British tourist while others filmed the attack on their mobile phones, local media reports said. Ioannis Habaris, a lawyer representing four of the suspects, told The Associated Press it was unclear exactly how many of the men were implicated in the alleged rape. He said there was "some evidence" the British woman was involved in a "relationship" with one of the suspects. Tourists on a beach on the outskirts of the resort of Ayia Napa in Cyprus Credit: Amir Makar/AFP Nir Yaslovitzh, an Israeli lawyer representing three other suspects, said the 12 teenagers had arrived in Ayia Napa in three separate groups. Some were having a holiday prior to being drafted into the Israeli army for compulsory military service. He said police were trying to flush out the perpetrators among the group by arresting all 12 and having them detained. "I think it's a trick," Mr Yaslovitzh told AP. "They want to know how my clients will (react)." The Foreign Office said British authorities were "supporting a British woman who was assaulted in Cyprus and are in contact with local police". Cyprus’s sandy beaches, bars and nightclubs attract around 1.3 million British tourists a year. Ayia Napa has a reputation for being a party town, with booze cruises and pub crawls.
Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis — who were stigmatized for decades as traitors — as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia.
(Bloomberg) -- Dozens of Hong Kong protesters involved in the ransacking of the city’s Legislative Council this month have arrived in Taiwan to seek asylum, the Apple Daily newspaper reported.About 30 protesters have already landed in Taiwan, while as many as 30 others -- and possibly more -- are planning to try soon, the Hong Kong newspaper said, citing unidentified people who assisted them.The fleeing activists were part of the group that smashed into the legislature on July 1, the paper said. The people who assisted the protesters told the paper they had been in contact with Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles the island’s relations with Beijing, to seek help.The council hasn’t received any formal asylum applications from Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency, its deputy minister Chiu Chui-cheng said in a text message. If Taiwan receives any applications, authorities will handle them appropriately based on existing regulations and the principle of protecting human rights, Chiu added.Read more: Pain From Hong Kong Protests Spreads as Luxury Names Get HitA flight to Taiwan by Hong Kong asylum seekers would be fraught with geopolitical risk. It threatens to raise tensions between the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, a China critic who’s up for re-election in January, and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has already faced embarrassment over the global attention paid to Hong Kong’s anti-government protests.Hong Kong’s historic demonstrations over legislation that would allow extraditions to the mainland for the first time have resonated widely in democratically run Taiwan, which China considers a wayward province.Seeking RefugeThe Taiwan Association for Human Rights, a top local non-governmental organization, wouldn’t comment on the case. “We cannot divulge any information regarding any individual case,” said Secretary-General, Chiu E-ling. “If there are individuals who approach us for help, we’ll interview these people and help them get in touch with government officials if that is what they wish.”Earlier: China Drafting Urgent Plan to Resolve Hong Kong Chaos, SCMP SaysProtesters used a metal cart as a battering ram to break their way into the legislative building on the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return from British rule, spray-painting slogans on its chamber’s walls and draping a Union Jack-emblazoned colonial flag across the dais.At the time, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam condemned the “extreme use of violence and vandalism” and supported the police’s decision to leave it undefended in the face of a small group of protesters.Emily Leung, a spokeswoman for Lam, referred queries on the report to the Hong Kong police, who declined to comment on Friday.who didn’t immediately respond to a call and an email Friday for comment.(Updates with police comment in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ina Zhou, Kari Lindberg and Debby Wu.To contact the reporters on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Adela Lin in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
New much-longer range sensors and weapons, incorporating emerging iterations of AI, are expected to make warfare more disaggregated, and much less of a linear force on force type of engagement. Such a phenomenon, driven by new technology, underscores warfare reliance upon sensors and information networks. All of this, naturally, requires the expansive "embedded ISR" discussed by the paper. Network reliant warfare is of course potentially much more effective in improving targeting and reducing sensor-to-shooter time over long distances, yet it brings a significant need to organize and optimize the vast, yet crucial, flow of information.The Navy is currently analyzing air frames, targeting systems, AI-enabled sensors, new weapons and engine technologies to engineer a new 6th-Generation fighter to fly alongside the F-35 and ultimately replace the F/A-18.(This first appeared earlier in the year.)The Navy program, called Next-Generation Air Dominance, has moved beyond a purely conceptual phase and begun exploration of prototype systems and airframes as it pursues a new, carrier-launched 6th-Gen fighter to emerge in 2030 and beyond, service officials explained.“Some important areas of consideration include derivative and developmental air vehicle designs, advanced engines, propulsion, weapons, mission systems, electronic warfare and other emerging technologies,” Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told Warrior earlier this year.A formal Analysis of Alternatives, expected to complete this year, is weighing the advantages of leveraging nearer-term existing technologies such as new variants or upgrades to cutting edge weapons, sensors and stealth configurations - or allowing more time for leap-ahead developmental systems to emerge.
Evan Dennison wanted to do something funny for his senior photos. No one believed he would actually do it. Now he is a "legend."
Ramush Haradinaj, who resigned as Kosovo's prime minister on Friday, is hailed as a hero at home -- where he is nicknamed "Rambo" -- but considered a war criminal by Belgrade, which has long sought to see him behind bars. The controversial 51-year-old, who was a wartime commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), stepped down after being summoned as a suspect by a war crimes court in the Hague. It is the second time he has resigned after being called before a war crimes court over crimes allegedly committed by the ethnic Albanian KLA separatists during the 1998-99 war.
A private dive team has located the last U.S. Navy warship to be sunk by a German submarine in World War II, just a few miles (kilometers) off the coast of Maine. The sinking of the USS Eagle PE-56 on April 23, 1945, was originally blamed on a boiler explosion. The patrol boat's precise location remained a mystery — until now.