Rhetoric on both sides fuels tension
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that the U.S. military is “locked and loaded” if North Korea acts “unwisely,” escalating an exchange of threats between the nuclear-armed nations.
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
That came a day after Trump warned Kim Jong Un’s government to “get their act together” or face extraordinary circumstances. He also said he had been too mild when he vowed to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S.
North Korea has accelerated their nuclear and long-range missile tests this year at an unprecedented rate, and earlier this week the nation laid out plans to strike near Guam, a U.S. territory, with unsettlingly specificity.
Trump escalates McConnell attacks
President Donald Trump launched a barrage of criticism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week over the collapse of the seven-year GOP campaign to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and even suggested that the Republican might have to rethink his future if he doesn’t deliver on the legislative lineup.
“Well, I tell you what, if he doesn’t get repeal-and-replace done and if he doesn’t get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, if he doesn’t get them done, then you can ask me that question,” the president told reporters in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Glen Campbell, 'Rhinestone Cowboy' singer, dies at age 81
Glen Campbell, the affable superstar singer of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman" whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 81.
Campbell's family said the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville and publicist Sandy Brokaw confirmed the news. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.
US scientists contradict Trump's climate claims
Federal scientists warn that burning fossil fuels is already driving a steep increase in the United States of heat waves, droughts and floods — even as President Donald Trump touts new oil pipelines and pledges to revive the nation's struggling coal mines.
A draft report representing the consensus of 13 federal agencies concludes that the evidence global warming is being driven by human activities is "unambiguous." That directly undercuts statements by Trump and his Cabinet casting doubt on whether the warming observed around the globe is being primarily driven by man-made carbon pollution.
The report cites thousands of peer-reviewed studies. It says, "Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans."
FBI agents searched one of the homes of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, whose past foreign political work has been swept into the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election. A Manafort spokesman confirmed the search Wednesday.
Hearing loss of US diplomats in Cuba blamed on covert device
The two-year-old U.S. diplomatic relationship with Cuba was roiled Wednesday by what U.S. officials say was a string of bizarre incidents that left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss attributed to a covert sonic device.
In the fall of 2016, a series of U.S. diplomats began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case. Some of the diplomats' symptoms were so severe that they were forced to cancel their tours early and return to the United States, officials said.
New plans for nuclear waste dumps
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is taking steps to review the planned revival of the long-dormant nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.
The nuclear agency said Tuesday it will spend up to $110,000 from its current budget to gather documents and other information about the Yucca Mountain site, which the Obama administration abandoned in 2010. The Trump administration has begun steps to revive the repository site amid bipartisan opposition from Nevada lawmakers.
The nuclear agency said its preliminary activities "will enable efficient, informed decisions" as officials prepare to consider an expected Energy Department application to store spent, radioactive fuel from the nation's commercial nuclear fleet at the remote site outside Las Vegas.
Postal Service: More red ink, missed payments as mail slumps
The U.S. Postal Service warned Thursday that it will likely default on up to $6.9 billion in payments for future retiree health and pension benefits for the fifth straight year, citing a coming cash crunch that could disrupt day-to-day mail delivery.
The service said it expected cash balances to run low by October and to avoid bankruptcy would likely not make all of its payments as required under federal law. Postmaster General Megan Brennan stressed an urgent need for federal regulators to grant the Postal Service wide freedom to increase stamp prices to help cover costs, citing continuing red ink due to declining first-class mail volume and the expensive mandates for retiree benefits.
Weird news of the week
— A study proclaims a newly named species the heavyweight champion of all dinosaurs, making the scary Tyrannosaurus rex look like a munchkin. At 76 tons, the plant-eating behemoth was as heavy as a space shuttle, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
—Frito-Lay is getting in on New York City’s restaurant week by opening a pop-up eatery with a menu full of Cheetos-themed cuisine. The Spotted Cheetah opens its doors in lower Manhattan for three days starting Tuesday. Some of the dishes on the three-course menu include Cheetos Crusted Fried Pickles, Mac n’ Cheetos and Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake.
— A man accused of burglary took a bathroom break and left DNA evidence in the home’s toilet that led to his arrest. The suspect “did his business and didn’t flush it” during the 2016 break-in. That allowed investigators to collect evidence to conduct a DNA profile, and detectives tracked down the suspect. Andrew David Jensen was arrested July 28 on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary. The incident was first reported this week.