Trump warns Iran not to threaten US or it will face 'end'
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — President Donald Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it'll face its "official end," shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.
Trump's tweet comes after he seemingly sought to soften his tone on Iran following days of heightened tension sparked by his administration's sudden deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats.
In the time since, officials in the United Arab Emirates allege four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack. Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.
All these tensions are the culmination of Trump's decision a year ago to pull America out of Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. And while both Washington and Tehran say they don't seek war, many worry any miscalculation at this fraught moment could spiral out of control.
The tweet from Trump early on Monday came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries. Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad. The area is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.
Trump's EPA shifts more environmental enforcement to states
BOKOSHE, Okla. (AP) — Susan Holmes' home, corner store and roadside beef jerky stand are right off Oklahoma Highway 31, putting them in the path of trucks hauling ash and waste from a power plant that burns the high-sulfur coal mined near this small town.
For years, when Bokoshe residents were outside, the powdery ash blowing from the trucks and the ash dump on the edge of town would "kind of engulf you," Holmes said. "They drove by, and you just couldn't breathe."
Over three decades, the ash dump grew into a hill five stories high. Townspeople regard the Environmental Protection Agency as the only source of serious environmental enforcement. Whenever people took their worries about ash-contaminated air and water to state lawmakers and regulators, "none of them cared," Holmes said.
So the residents of this 500-person town have nothing but bitter warnings for similarly situated communities now that President Donald Trump's EPA has approved Oklahoma to be the first state to take over permitting and enforcement on coal-ash sites.
"They're going to do absolutely nothing," predicted Tim Tanksley, a rancher in Bokoshe, about 130 miles southeast of Tulsa in a Choctaw Nation coal patch that helped fuel the railroads.
Amid #MeToo, states debate teaching consent to kids
Inside a Catholic school in Portland, Oregon, high school sophomores break into groups to discuss some once-taboo topics: abusive relationships and consent.
At one desk, a girl with banana-colored fingernails begins jotting down some of the hallmarks of abuse: Physically hurting you, verbally abusive, can be one-sided. She pauses to seek input from her classmates, boys and girls alike, before continuing: "It messes up your mentality and your, like, confidence."
For the first time this year, Central Catholic High School, like public schools in the city, is using educators from a domestic violence shelter to teach kids about what it means to consent. The goal is to reduce sexual violence and harassment among teens and help them understand what behavior is acceptable — and what's not — before they reach adulthood.
"We're talking about dating violence, sexual assault, relationships, #MeToo — all of those things. I think you have to be intentional about bringing this program into our classrooms," says David Blue, the school's director of diversity and inclusion. "How do you look at all of these constant conversations in our society right now?"
What's happening at this Catholic school in liberal Portland represents a larger debate unfolding in blue states and red, as lawmakers, educators and teens themselves re-examine whether sex education should evolve to better address some of the issues raised by #MeToo. Central to the conversation is whether schools should expand curriculums to help kids understand consent — a concept often defined differently from state to state.
APNewsBreak: Nearly all states use drones for range of work
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — In Utah, drones are hovering near avalanches to watch roaring snow. In North Carolina, they're searching for the nests of endangered birds. In Kansas, they could soon be identifying sick cows through heat signatures.
Public transportation agencies are using drones in nearly every state, according to a survey obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release Monday. The report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials shows a sharp increase in their use over the last few years, reflecting the rapid adoption of the technology by governments as well as hobbyists.
In 2016, the nonprofit group found no state transportation agency was using drones on a daily basis. Now, 36 states have certified drone pilots on staff. When the survey was done this month, all but one state was using drones in some way. Since then, the lone holdout — Rhode Island — has bought a drone, said Tony Dorsey, a spokesman for the group.
The small, unmanned aircraft are often used for prosaic tasks, like inspecting bridges and roads. With sophisticated cameras and thermal technology, they can detect tiny cracks and identify potential potholes before they're visible to the human eye.
Drones have caused their share of headaches for officials over the years as personal devices forced the grounding of planes at airports or those fighting wildfires.
Google says services on Huawei phone still will function
BEIJING (AP) — Google is assuring users of Huawei smartphones the American company's basic services will work on them following U.S. government restrictions on doing business with the Chinese tech giant.
Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., said Monday it is complying with and "reviewing the implications" of the requirement for export licenses for technology sales to Huawei Technologies Ltd.
Last week's order follows U.S. government accusations that Huawei, the biggest maker of network gear for phone companies and the No. 2 global smartphone brand, is a security risk.
"We assure you while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device," Google said on Twitter.
Huawei said it had no immediate comment. The company denies it facilitates Chinese spying.
China's pig disease outbreak pushes up global pork prices
BEIJING (AP) — Hong Kong retiree Lee Wai-man loves pork fresh from the market but eats a lot less now that the price has jumped as China struggles with a deadly swine disease that has sent shockwaves through global meat markets.
China produces and consumes two-thirds of the world's pork, but output is plunging as Beijing destroys herds and blocks shipments to stop African swine fever. Importers are filling the gap by buying pork as far away as Europe, boosting prices by up to 40% and causing shortages in other markets.
"I'm a fresh-pork lover, but it's too expensive," Lee, 87, said as she shopped at a Hong Kong market.
African swine fever doesn't harm humans but is fatal and spreads quickly among pigs. It was first reported in August in China's northeast. Since then, 1 million pigs have died and the disease has spread to 31 of China's 34 provinces, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
The outbreak's scale is unprecedented, said Dirk Pfeiffer, a veterinary epidemiologist at the City University of Hong Kong.
Ukraine's new leader gets sworn in, dissolves parliament
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy was sworn in Monday as the country's new president, promised to stop the war in the east against Russian-backed separatists and immediately dissolved parliament, which he has branded as a group only interested in self-enrichment.
Zelenskiy won 73% of the vote last month in a landslide victory that reflected Ukrainians' exhaustion with widespread corruption and the country's political elite. Even before he disbanded the Supreme Rada, which had been one of his campaign promises, the 41-year-old Zelenskiy upended other Ukrainian political traditions Monday.
He ditched the idea of a traditional motorcade to his inauguration, walking to parliament in the capital of Kiev through a park packed with people. Flanked by four bodyguards, the beaming president-elect gave high-fives to some spectators, even stopping to take a selfie with one of them.
After he was sworn in but before he moved to dissolve parliament, Zelenskiy asked the Supreme Rada to adopt a bill against illegal enrichment and support his motions to fire the country's defense minister, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service and the Prosecutor General. All of them are allies of former President Petro Poroshenko, who lost the election to the comedian with no previous political experience but who played the Ukrainian president on a popular TV show for years.
Defense Ministry Stepan Poltorak promptly published his letter of resignation on Facebook.
Tech-savvy Estonians vote online in European elections
TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Estonia was crippled by cyberattacks on government networks during a dispute with Russia in 2007. Today the tiny tech-savvy nation is so certain of its cyber defenses that it is the only country in the world to allow internet voting for the entire electorate, in every election, and thousands have already done so ahead of elections to the European Parliament.
Internet voting — or i-voting —has been available since 2005 in the nation that gave the world Skype, and the percentage of voters using the internet to cast ballots has increased with each election, reaching 44% of voters in national election in March.
Linda Lainvoo was one of the first Estonians to vote in the European Parliament election, which she did from a cafe before heading to work Thursday morning. The 32-year-old civil servant has voted online since she was first eligible to vote.
"I couldn't imagine my life any different," Lainvoo said after logging into a secure online portal with her ID card and a PIN code. "I do everything online so I don't have to stand in queues and do things on paper."
After downloading an app and identifying herself, she viewed the electoral lists inside a virtual "voting booth" and selected her candidate.
Is that Dad? 75 years on, D-Day history still being written
LUDRES, France (AP) — After decades of searching, Andre Gantois had lost hope.
The retired French postal worker figured he'd likely go to his grave without ever knowing who his father was, unable to identify the U.S. serviceman who had fought his way across France after the D-Day landings, taken a bullet to the skull and been nursed back to health in a military hospital by Gantois' mother.
Into his seventies, Gantois still had no clues to pursue, no name to work with, no paper trail to follow.
As a consequence, he also had no peace.
"Throughout my life, I lived with this open wound," he says. "I never accepted my situation, of not knowing my father and, most of all, knowing that he didn't know about me, didn't know of my existence."
And the winner of the 'Game of Thrones' is ...
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Winter has come and winter has gone, the last of the heads have been lopped off and the last of the dragon fire has been spit as "Game of Thrones" aired its 73rd and final episode Sunday night.
While the results of the game were a split decision as they were in most other episodes in the show's eight seasons — the finale brought some clear winners, at least one clear loser, and a major upset.
(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.)
Brandon Stark, who until recently appeared happy to remain a mystic philosopher forever, instead becomes philosopher-king, Bran the Broken.
Yet he doesn't get to sit on the Iron Throne — a dragon melted that — or rule the Seven Kingdoms — his sister Sansa broke one off to become queen of an independent Winterfell.