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Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks

Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom will not hesitate to confront threats to its security and joined the U.S. in accusing its bitter rival Iran of being behind the attacks on two vessels traveling near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital trade route for Arabian energy exports in Asia. The U.S. has blamed Iran for the suspected attacks on two oil tankers, denouncing what it called a campaign of "escalating tensions". The U.S. alleges Iran used limpet mines to target the tankers, pointing to black-and-white footage it captured that American officials describe as Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops removing an unexploded mine from the Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous.


Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks

Saudi crown prince accuses rival Iran of tanker attacks Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in remarks published Sunday that the kingdom will not hesitate to confront threats to its security and joined the U.S. in accusing its bitter rival Iran of being behind the attacks on two vessels traveling near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital trade route for Arabian energy exports in Asia. The U.S. has blamed Iran for the suspected attacks on two oil tankers, denouncing what it called a campaign of "escalating tensions". The U.S. alleges Iran used limpet mines to target the tankers, pointing to black-and-white footage it captured that American officials describe as Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops removing an unexploded mine from the Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous.


Massive demonstration chokes Hong Kong as extradition anger boils

Massive demonstration chokes Hong Kong as extradition anger boils Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in central Hong Kong Sunday against a reviled extradition law, the latest huge demonstration to pile pressure on the city's embattled leader, despite her weekend climbdown. The enormous show of force saw protesters chanting "Scrap the evil law!" as they marched through the streets calling for the resignation of chief executive Carrie Lam, who paused work on the hugely divisive bill Saturday after days of mounting pressure, saying she had misjudged the public mood. Throngs of black-clad protesters snaked their way through the city's streets in dense crowds heading to the city's parliament -- a repeat of a record-breaking demonstration a week earlier that organisers said more than a million people attended.


China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua

China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua China's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.


China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua

China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua China's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.


China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua

China's FedEx probe should not be seen as retaliation - Xinhua China's investigation into FedEx Corp over misdirected mail should not be regarded as retaliation against the U.S. company, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday, amid worsening relations between China and the United States. The inquiry was aimed at sending a message that any economic entity in China should abide by the country's laws and regulations, it said in a commentary. "China is willing to share the opportunities in its courier market with foreign investors.


U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months

U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.


U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months

U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.


U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months

U.S. Navy official sees more orders for Boeing P-8A in coming months The U.S. Navy expects additional U.S. and international orders for the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft in coming months, which should extend production by two years to late 2025, a senior U.S. Navy official told Reuters. The P-8, based on Boeing's 737-800 airframe, conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction, and also carries electronic support measures, torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and other weapons. It is already operated by the U.S. Navy, Australia and India, and has been ordered by Britain, Norway, New Zealand and South Korea.


British envoy denies Iran summons over tanker attacks claim

British envoy denies Iran summons over tanker attacks claim Britain's ambassador to Iran on Sunday denied he was summoned by the Iranian foreign ministry after London accused Tehran of "almost certainly" being responsible for tanker attacks in the Gulf. "I asked for an urgent meeting with the Foreign Ministry yesterday and it was granted. Of course if formally summoned I would always respond, as would all Ambassadors," Macaire wrote.


Mexico vows to help Central American migrants amid crackdown

Mexico vows to help Central American migrants amid crackdown Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Saturday his country must help Central Americans fleeing poverty and violence, even as it increases security and revisions to deter migrants from passing through Mexico on route to the U.S. Mexico plans to deploy 6,000 National Guard troops by Tuesday to its southern border with Guatemala to slow the arrival of migrants and The Associated Press saw Mexican soldiers with black National Guard armbands stationed just north of the Guatemalan border on Saturday. A checkpoint near Ciudad Cuauhtemoc in southern Chiapas state was manned by nearly 10 soldiers with black armbands together with federal police and immigration officers.


Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests

Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests Franco Origlia/GettyROME—There are few scandals in the sordid history of the American Catholic church more painful than the saga of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a high-ranking prince of the church who fell from grace amid a slew of lies and cover-ups. McCarrick was forced to resign and later defrocked after credible allegations that he sexually abused a boy from the age of 11 until the young man was 29, starting long before the Boston Spotlight probe and Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came to define priests behaving badly.It was well known in certain Catholic circles that the cardinal liked to entertain six or more seminarians in his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that the odd man out would share his bed. Unlike in Boston and Pennsylvania, where the local dioceses were easy to blame for bad management, McCarrick was a man of the popes, which makes him an easy target for those who oppose the direction of the church. Both John Paul II and Francis relied on him as a chief fundraiser and were, it seems, willing to look beyond the rumors. McCarrick’s fall from grace shook the very foundations of the Roman Curia. While McCarrick’s sins and crimes are by now established, there is still mystery surrounding what his bosses—both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis– knew and, perhaps more importantly, when they knew it. But there is even more mystery why those who are so ardently against Francis see him as their poster priest of bad behavior.Enter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a traditional conservative Italian cleric supported by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Francis-foe Steve Bannon—both of whom have been vocal critics of Francis’ policies on everything from immigration to gay Catholics and who have embraced the McCarrick fiasco as a way to pin all the church's problems on this pope.Bannon, whose own dreams to open an alt-right Catholic institution run by the Burke-sponsored Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy recently were thwarted, told The Daily Beast that Viganò was heroic and that Francis was the enemy. “Francis is a big problem for the church and his liberals will ultimately destroy it,” Bannon said. “His open border policy on immigration won’t help, either.”It is little wonder that Matteo Salvini, the hard-line far-right Bannon protégé is also a Pope Francis hater, even bragging last week that he has never asked for an audience with the pontiff. Viganò was the apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was a harsh foe of Francis long before he was elected as pope in 2013 and one of the first to speak out when he was coronated. He was the one who set up the ill-conceived handshake with same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis on Francis’s first visit to America. He was also the one who penned a lengthy testimonial last July in which he claimed that Francis knew all about McCarrick’s illegal behavior but covered it up. And for that, suggested Viganò, the pope ought to do the church a favor and resign. A month later, Viganò had gone into self-imposed exile.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisThis week, he surfaced again, this time on the pages of The Washington Post whose reporters interviewed him from his still-undisclosed location through a series of emails. The fruit of that labor is an 8,000-word tome that doubles down on the allegations against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “The signs I see are truly ominous,” Viganò wrote. “Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”Viganò calls the pope’s February summit on abuse a farce, blaming the Vatican’s gay mafia for the real crimes of clerical sex abuse. “An especially serious problem is that the summit focused exclusively on the abuse of minors,” he wrote, acknowledging that yes, those crimes are truly horrific. “Indeed, if the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed, the problem of sexual abuse would be far less severe.”McCarrick, he has long asserted, should have been made an example of years ago as an abuser who indiscriminately abused both young boys and adults. Viganò believes that Francis knew that and chose to elevate the American cardinal, who was a skilled diplomat who helped him broker a deal with China over its underground church. “McCarrick’s degradation from office was, as far as it goes, a just punishment, but there is no legitimate reason why it was not exacted more than five years earlier, and after a proper trial with a judicial procedure,” Viganò wrote in the Post. “Those with authority to act [i.e. Pope Francis] knew everything they needed to know by June of 2013.” Viganò’s return comes at a time when battle lines have never been so clear between the more liberal faction of the church that supports Francis and the traditional conservatives who support the likes of Burke and Viganò. Even the timing of the release of a harsh Vatican document against what it calls gender theory—“nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”—is curious. A Vatican insider confided to The Daily Beast that the timing, during the height of Pride month, was meant to push the pope into a corner, either in defending the document or defending transgender people. In the end, he did neither. That Viganò finally gave permission to The Washington Post to publish its scoop after weeks of negotiations (Vigano's letters are dated May 2), is another example of the systematic criticism meant to embarrass the pontiff. “We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds!” Viganò claims. “But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, who also “knew nothing” and had “a lapse of memory.”Wuerl, another American cardinal from Francis’ inner circle who, like McCarrick, brought millions in donations from wealthy American Catholics to Rome, is the disgraced head of the powerful Washington, D.C., diocese. Francis was forced under pressure to accept his resignation last October after Viganò claimed he knew and covered up for McCarrick with the help of both Francis and John Paul II of McCarrick’s crimes proved too credible to ignore. To those against the pope, Wuerl and McCarrick  are emblematic in what is fast becoming a troubling legacy for the popular pope many thought could do no wrong after he was elected. For those who support this pope, they are just ammunition used against the most liberal pope in modern history. Either Vigano is the pawn or the errant clerics are in what is fast becoming a schism that may soon be hard to close.“Pope Francis needs to reconcile himself with God, and the entire Church, since he covered up for McCarrick, refuses to admit it, and is now covering up for several other people,” charges Viganò. “I pray for his conversion every day. Nothing would make me happier than for Pope Francis to acknowledge and end the cover-ups, and to confirm his brothers in the faith.”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.


Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests

Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests Franco Origlia/GettyROME—There are few scandals in the sordid history of the American Catholic church more painful than the saga of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a high-ranking prince of the church who fell from grace amid a slew of lies and cover-ups. McCarrick was forced to resign and later defrocked after credible allegations that he sexually abused a boy from the age of 11 until the young man was 29, starting long before the Boston Spotlight probe and Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came to define priests behaving badly.It was well known in certain Catholic circles that the cardinal liked to entertain six or more seminarians in his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that the odd man out would share his bed. Unlike in Boston and Pennsylvania, where the local dioceses were easy to blame for bad management, McCarrick was a man of the popes, which makes him an easy target for those who oppose the direction of the church. Both John Paul II and Francis relied on him as a chief fundraiser and were, it seems, willing to look beyond the rumors. McCarrick’s fall from grace shook the very foundations of the Roman Curia. While McCarrick’s sins and crimes are by now established, there is still mystery surrounding what his bosses—both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis– knew and, perhaps more importantly, when they knew it. But there is even more mystery why those who are so ardently against Francis see him as their poster priest of bad behavior.Enter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a traditional conservative Italian cleric supported by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Francis-foe Steve Bannon—both of whom have been vocal critics of Francis’ policies on everything from immigration to gay Catholics and who have embraced the McCarrick fiasco as a way to pin all the church's problems on this pope.Bannon, whose own dreams to open an alt-right Catholic institution run by the Burke-sponsored Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy recently were thwarted, told The Daily Beast that Viganò was heroic and that Francis was the enemy. “Francis is a big problem for the church and his liberals will ultimately destroy it,” Bannon said. “His open border policy on immigration won’t help, either.”It is little wonder that Matteo Salvini, the hard-line far-right Bannon protégé is also a Pope Francis hater, even bragging last week that he has never asked for an audience with the pontiff. Viganò was the apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was a harsh foe of Francis long before he was elected as pope in 2013 and one of the first to speak out when he was coronated. He was the one who set up the ill-conceived handshake with same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis on Francis’s first visit to America. He was also the one who penned a lengthy testimonial last July in which he claimed that Francis knew all about McCarrick’s illegal behavior but covered it up. And for that, suggested Viganò, the pope ought to do the church a favor and resign. A month later, Viganò had gone into self-imposed exile.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisThis week, he surfaced again, this time on the pages of The Washington Post whose reporters interviewed him from his still-undisclosed location through a series of emails. The fruit of that labor is an 8,000-word tome that doubles down on the allegations against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “The signs I see are truly ominous,” Viganò wrote. “Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”Viganò calls the pope’s February summit on abuse a farce, blaming the Vatican’s gay mafia for the real crimes of clerical sex abuse. “An especially serious problem is that the summit focused exclusively on the abuse of minors,” he wrote, acknowledging that yes, those crimes are truly horrific. “Indeed, if the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed, the problem of sexual abuse would be far less severe.”McCarrick, he has long asserted, should have been made an example of years ago as an abuser who indiscriminately abused both young boys and adults. Viganò believes that Francis knew that and chose to elevate the American cardinal, who was a skilled diplomat who helped him broker a deal with China over its underground church. “McCarrick’s degradation from office was, as far as it goes, a just punishment, but there is no legitimate reason why it was not exacted more than five years earlier, and after a proper trial with a judicial procedure,” Viganò wrote in the Post. “Those with authority to act [i.e. Pope Francis] knew everything they needed to know by June of 2013.” Viganò’s return comes at a time when battle lines have never been so clear between the more liberal faction of the church that supports Francis and the traditional conservatives who support the likes of Burke and Viganò. Even the timing of the release of a harsh Vatican document against what it calls gender theory—“nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”—is curious. A Vatican insider confided to The Daily Beast that the timing, during the height of Pride month, was meant to push the pope into a corner, either in defending the document or defending transgender people. In the end, he did neither. That Viganò finally gave permission to The Washington Post to publish its scoop after weeks of negotiations (Vigano's letters are dated May 2), is another example of the systematic criticism meant to embarrass the pontiff. “We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds!” Viganò claims. “But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, who also “knew nothing” and had “a lapse of memory.”Wuerl, another American cardinal from Francis’ inner circle who, like McCarrick, brought millions in donations from wealthy American Catholics to Rome, is the disgraced head of the powerful Washington, D.C., diocese. Francis was forced under pressure to accept his resignation last October after Viganò claimed he knew and covered up for McCarrick with the help of both Francis and John Paul II of McCarrick’s crimes proved too credible to ignore. To those against the pope, Wuerl and McCarrick  are emblematic in what is fast becoming a troubling legacy for the popular pope many thought could do no wrong after he was elected. For those who support this pope, they are just ammunition used against the most liberal pope in modern history. Either Vigano is the pawn or the errant clerics are in what is fast becoming a schism that may soon be hard to close.“Pope Francis needs to reconcile himself with God, and the entire Church, since he covered up for McCarrick, refuses to admit it, and is now covering up for several other people,” charges Viganò. “I pray for his conversion every day. Nothing would make me happier than for Pope Francis to acknowledge and end the cover-ups, and to confirm his brothers in the faith.”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.


Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests

Pope Francis’ Arch Nemesis Comes Out of Hiding to Slam Him on Predator Priests Franco Origlia/GettyROME—There are few scandals in the sordid history of the American Catholic church more painful than the saga of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a high-ranking prince of the church who fell from grace amid a slew of lies and cover-ups. McCarrick was forced to resign and later defrocked after credible allegations that he sexually abused a boy from the age of 11 until the young man was 29, starting long before the Boston Spotlight probe and Pennsylvania Grand Jury report came to define priests behaving badly.It was well known in certain Catholic circles that the cardinal liked to entertain six or more seminarians in his five-bedroom New Jersey beach house with the assumption that the odd man out would share his bed. Unlike in Boston and Pennsylvania, where the local dioceses were easy to blame for bad management, McCarrick was a man of the popes, which makes him an easy target for those who oppose the direction of the church. Both John Paul II and Francis relied on him as a chief fundraiser and were, it seems, willing to look beyond the rumors. McCarrick’s fall from grace shook the very foundations of the Roman Curia. While McCarrick’s sins and crimes are by now established, there is still mystery surrounding what his bosses—both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis– knew and, perhaps more importantly, when they knew it. But there is even more mystery why those who are so ardently against Francis see him as their poster priest of bad behavior.Enter Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a traditional conservative Italian cleric supported by American Cardinal Raymond Burke and Francis-foe Steve Bannon—both of whom have been vocal critics of Francis’ policies on everything from immigration to gay Catholics and who have embraced the McCarrick fiasco as a way to pin all the church's problems on this pope.Bannon, whose own dreams to open an alt-right Catholic institution run by the Burke-sponsored Dignitatis Humanae Institute in Italy recently were thwarted, told The Daily Beast that Viganò was heroic and that Francis was the enemy. “Francis is a big problem for the church and his liberals will ultimately destroy it,” Bannon said. “His open border policy on immigration won’t help, either.”It is little wonder that Matteo Salvini, the hard-line far-right Bannon protégé is also a Pope Francis hater, even bragging last week that he has never asked for an audience with the pontiff. Viganò was the apostolic nuncio, or ambassador, to the United States from 2011 to 2016. He was a harsh foe of Francis long before he was elected as pope in 2013 and one of the first to speak out when he was coronated. He was the one who set up the ill-conceived handshake with same-sex marriage opponent Kim Davis on Francis’s first visit to America. He was also the one who penned a lengthy testimonial last July in which he claimed that Francis knew all about McCarrick’s illegal behavior but covered it up. And for that, suggested Viganò, the pope ought to do the church a favor and resign. A month later, Viganò had gone into self-imposed exile.The Plot to Bring Down Pope FrancisThis week, he surfaced again, this time on the pages of The Washington Post whose reporters interviewed him from his still-undisclosed location through a series of emails. The fruit of that labor is an 8,000-word tome that doubles down on the allegations against the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. “The signs I see are truly ominous,” Viganò wrote. “Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse, he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”Viganò calls the pope’s February summit on abuse a farce, blaming the Vatican’s gay mafia for the real crimes of clerical sex abuse. “An especially serious problem is that the summit focused exclusively on the abuse of minors,” he wrote, acknowledging that yes, those crimes are truly horrific. “Indeed, if the problem of homosexuality in the priesthood were honestly acknowledged and properly addressed, the problem of sexual abuse would be far less severe.”McCarrick, he has long asserted, should have been made an example of years ago as an abuser who indiscriminately abused both young boys and adults. Viganò believes that Francis knew that and chose to elevate the American cardinal, who was a skilled diplomat who helped him broker a deal with China over its underground church. “McCarrick’s degradation from office was, as far as it goes, a just punishment, but there is no legitimate reason why it was not exacted more than five years earlier, and after a proper trial with a judicial procedure,” Viganò wrote in the Post. “Those with authority to act [i.e. Pope Francis] knew everything they needed to know by June of 2013.” Viganò’s return comes at a time when battle lines have never been so clear between the more liberal faction of the church that supports Francis and the traditional conservatives who support the likes of Burke and Viganò. Even the timing of the release of a harsh Vatican document against what it calls gender theory—“nothing more than a confused concept of freedom in the realm of feelings and wants”—is curious. A Vatican insider confided to The Daily Beast that the timing, during the height of Pride month, was meant to push the pope into a corner, either in defending the document or defending transgender people. In the end, he did neither. That Viganò finally gave permission to The Washington Post to publish its scoop after weeks of negotiations (Vigano's letters are dated May 2), is another example of the systematic criticism meant to embarrass the pontiff. “We are in a truly dark moment for the universal Church: The Supreme Pontiff is now blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds!” Viganò claims. “But the truth will eventually come out, about McCarrick and all the other coverups, as it already has in the case of Cardinal [Donald] Wuerl, who also “knew nothing” and had “a lapse of memory.”Wuerl, another American cardinal from Francis’ inner circle who, like McCarrick, brought millions in donations from wealthy American Catholics to Rome, is the disgraced head of the powerful Washington, D.C., diocese. Francis was forced under pressure to accept his resignation last October after Viganò claimed he knew and covered up for McCarrick with the help of both Francis and John Paul II of McCarrick’s crimes proved too credible to ignore. To those against the pope, Wuerl and McCarrick  are emblematic in what is fast becoming a troubling legacy for the popular pope many thought could do no wrong after he was elected. For those who support this pope, they are just ammunition used against the most liberal pope in modern history. Either Vigano is the pawn or the errant clerics are in what is fast becoming a schism that may soon be hard to close.“Pope Francis needs to reconcile himself with God, and the entire Church, since he covered up for McCarrick, refuses to admit it, and is now covering up for several other people,” charges Viganò. “I pray for his conversion every day. Nothing would make me happier than for Pope Francis to acknowledge and end the cover-ups, and to confirm his brothers in the faith.”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.


A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened

A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened Target registers are now working after a nationwide outage Saturday caused long checkout lines and closed some stores.


A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened

A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened Target registers are now working after a nationwide outage Saturday caused long checkout lines and closed some stores.


A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened

A nationwide Target register outage is now over and closed stores have reopened Target registers are now working after a nationwide outage Saturday caused long checkout lines and closed some stores.


Plane skids off runway at Newark Airport; Flights resume with delays

Plane skids off runway at Newark Airport; Flights resume with delays A plane skidded off the runway at Newark Airport, causing major delays, the FAA confirmed.


Plane skids off runway at Newark Airport; Flights resume with delays

Plane skids off runway at Newark Airport; Flights resume with delays A plane skidded off the runway at Newark Airport, causing major delays, the FAA confirmed.


What's next for Hong Kong? Controversial extradition bill suspended, not scrapped

What's next for Hong Kong? Controversial extradition bill suspended, not scrapped After almost a week of massive street protests, Hong Kong's chief executive said Saturday that she has suspended a controversial extradition bill.


As US-Iran tensions increase, Tulsi Gabbard calls her 2020 candidacy a ‘threat to the foreign policy lies sold to the American people’

As US-Iran tensions increase, Tulsi Gabbard calls her 2020 candidacy a ‘threat to the foreign policy lies sold to the American people’ This past week, two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were crippled with explosions that have set the region on edge and sparked concerns that the United States and Iran could soon engage in a bloody war with massive international ramifications.With little information made public, the Trump administration has begun making the case for a potential conflict, blaming Iran and pointing to a grainy video as proof of its culpability. In response, Iran has pushed back, saying the American accusation that it is involved in the gulf incidents is “not only not funny ... but alarming and worrisome”. And, throughout it all, international leaders have been mobilised to try and quell the rising drumbeat of war.Meanwhile, worlds away from the Middle East, congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has been framing her presidential candidacy on avoiding this type of sabre rattling. While some of her better-known Democratic rivals have focused on healthcare or climate change as the number one concern, the army veteran has instead cited nuclear war and US regime-change policy as the number one threat to the the country she hopes to lead.That position has pit the Hawaiian against a foreign policy orthodoxy that has reigned supreme in Washington for decades – and is not making her friends among an elite that benefits from an annual defence budget that tops over $700bn (£560bn).“I think you need to look at the foreign policy establishment in Washington who I am directly addressing, and speaking the truth about the kinds of policies they’ve been advocating for decades, influencing administrations from both parties,” Gabbard told The Independent in an interview.“So, by speaking the truth about these issues, I think they see it as a direct threat to the line that’s been sold to the American people for far too long.”If Gabbard has a chance at taking on that foreign policy establishment in any meaningful way, she has her work cut out.The congresswoman, who was once hailed as a rising star in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party – the same one who some viewed as perhaps the face of future Democratic politics just years ago when she became one of the first members of congress to endorse Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run – has seen something of a fall from grace in the eyes of many political observers.While she has qualified for the upcoming Democratic debates in Miami, she trails far behind the frontrunners in the race with less than a half a per cent of support in aggregates of national polls.And, since joining the race early this year, Gabbard has faced down a barrage of negative press on a variety of fronts, especially related to LGBT+ rights and foreign policy.Almost immediately after announcing her candidacy in January, Gabbard’s campaign was hit with stories attacking her for her past positions opposing gay marriage and in apparent support of “conversion therapy” – positions that run far afoul of mainstream Democratic politics du jour, and that yielded an expression of regret from the candidate. She also noted that she has pushed for LGBT+ protections while in congress.But some of her biggest obstacles have come with regard to foreign policy, and challenging the “line” on war she says has been sold to the American people by their government.For instance, she has been attacked for expressing scepticism about the American government’s claims that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons in April 2017, and has refused to label that world leader a war criminal. When it comes to Russia, she has been labelled a puppet of Vladimir Putin, with some pointing to her support from pro-Russian individuals as proof (a claim she has dismissed as baseless). And she has courted the support of Hindu nationalist groups that support India’s ruling class during her political career, sparking more media furore that has forced her to note that she doesn’t support every policy of theirs.In spite of those criticisms, she has stayed the course and maintained her position calling for an end to American “regime-change wars”.“I served in a war in Iraq – a war that was launched based on lies, and a war that was launched without evidence. And so the American people were duped,” Gabbard said earlier this year during a CNN town hall meeting, explaining why she hasn’t jumped to label Assad a war criminal. “So as a soldier, as an American, as a member of congress, it is my duty and my responsibility to exercise scepticism any time anyone tries to send our service members into harm’s way or use our military to go in and start a new war.”During a recent visit to New York City, Gabbard made the case for her candidacy to a crowded hall of supporters who had lined up early, forming a queue that stretched down a Manhattan block and around the corner.Many of those queueing said they are drawn to Gabbard for her foreign policy message, and said the other issues don’t concern them much. One supporter at the front of the line said she isn’t deterred by some of her previous controversial positions on things like gay marriage, and thinks her evolution shows she’s human.“I want a president whose life experience has shaped their beliefs,” said the supporter, 56-year-old Eileen Tepper of the Bronx.Once the doors opened, and before the marquee speaker commanded their attention, supporters found respite from the hot sun outside as campaign videos were projected onto white walls.In the clips, Gabbard described the myriad other policies fuelling her campaign. She promised healthcare reforms to make sure that every American is insured. She described water as a fundamental, if not elemental human right.And then, the videos focused on the meat of Gabbard’s pitch: the Trump administration’s positioning on Iran. She warned of outright war, and of the “new cold war”. The mere mention of national security adviser John Bolton – the George Bush-era war hawk who helped make the case for an Iraq war predicated on weapons of mass destruction that were never found – elicited raucous boos.Gabbard later emphasised to those supporters that she hopes to stop American regime-change wars because she had already served in one, and that it is US taxpayer money that pays for those “wasteful, counterproductive wars”.She described a dire international situation, in which she said military conflicts are bringing the world closer and closer to nuclear war. She said that the US needs a “wake-up call that drives us to action”.Gabbard then described the events of 13 January 2018, when millions of phones buzzed in Hawaii with the following message: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”The message sent the state into a panic, with residents scrambling for shelter. Students sprinted across college campuses looking for a place to hide from the incoming missile. A father lowered his daughter into a storm drain hoping that could save her.The alert was a false alarm, but Gabbard said it illustrated how fragile American safety can be. She said it also showed that American foreign policy leaders are working without regard to what would happen if foreign provocation – say, between the US and Iran over oil tankers, leading to the military involvement of nuclear powers like Russia – led to the bomb being dropped.“The situation we’re in exists because our leaders have failed us in the most offensive and dangerous way,” Gabbard said, noting the alert system exists, but not fallout shelters.And, she described doom: “There is no shelter to be found that would protect us not only from the immediate blast of a nuclear bomb, but the nuclear fallout that comes after that, and the nuclear winter that occurs as a result that kills all living things.”


UPDATE 2-Syria state TV says wildfires spark explosion in army ammo depot west of Damascus

UPDATE 2-Syria state TV says wildfires spark explosion in army ammo depot west of Damascus An explosion on Saturday in a Syrian ammunition depot in a military zone west of the capital was caused by wildfires, state television reported. Israel, which sees Iran as a threat to its existence, has said it had carried out hundreds of attacks in Syria on Iranian targets, including those of allied militia such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, in the past several years. Israel is trying to counter the influence carved out in Syria by Iran, which has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the war that erupted in 2011.


Off-duty LAPD officer opened fire in deadly Corona Costco shooting, police say

Off-duty LAPD officer opened fire in deadly Corona Costco shooting, police say An off-duty Los Angeles police officer fired his gun during a deadly shooting at a Costco Wholesale store in Corona Friday night, police said Saturday.


Tires blow on United jet during Newark airport landing, no injuries

Tires blow on United jet during Newark airport landing, no injuries Tires on a United Airlines jet blew out as it landed at New Jersey's Newark airport on Saturday, causing flight delays but injuring none of the 166 passengers on board, officials said. United flight 627 became disabled on the runway after it "experienced multiple flat tires" upon landing at 1 p.m. from Denver, the airline said in a statement. Officials at Newark Liberty International Airport said the delays would continue and that travelers should check with their carrier.


Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020

Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020 Buttigieg did not want the White House dictating the terms of a DOJ investigation.


Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020

Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020 Buttigieg did not want the White House dictating the terms of a DOJ investigation.


Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020

Buttigieg: Justice Dept. should decide any Trump charges post-2020 Buttigieg did not want the White House dictating the terms of a DOJ investigation.


Moving past tragedy, family celebrates two dads on Father's Day

Moving past tragedy, family celebrates two dads on Father's Day Keeping their dad's memory alive, the Pieniazek kids will celebrate two men Sunday for Father's Day.


US grants energy-hungry Iraq new Iran sanctions waiver: source

US grants energy-hungry Iraq new Iran sanctions waiver: source The United States has granted Iraq another 90-day waiver to continue with vital energy imports from neighbouring Iran despite re-imposed sanctions, a government source said Saturday. The extension came after "long discussions" with Washington ahead of a looming deadline on a previous extension granted in December, the official, close to the negotiations, told AFP on condition of anonymity. The talks came amid spiking tensions between Iraq's two closest allies -- the US and Iran -- following a twin attack on tankers in the Gulf that US President Donald Trump has blamed on Tehran.


Saudi Arabia urges 'decisive' response to threats against energy supplies

Saudi Arabia urges 'decisive' response to threats against energy supplies Saudi Arabia's energy minister on Saturday called for a "swift and decisive" response to threats against energy supplies following twin attacks on tankers in a vital Gulf shipping channel. "There must be a swift and decisive response to the threat against energy supplies... created by the recent terrorist acts in the Arabian Gulf," Khalid al-Falih was quoted as saying on the ministry's Twitter page. US President Donald Trump said the twin attack, which also targeted a tanker owned by Oslo-listed company Frontline, had Iran "written all over it".


Saudi Arabia urges 'decisive' response to threats against energy supplies

Saudi Arabia urges 'decisive' response to threats against energy supplies Saudi Arabia's energy minister on Saturday called for a "swift and decisive" response to threats against energy supplies following twin attacks on tankers in a vital Gulf shipping channel. "There must be a swift and decisive response to the threat against energy supplies... created by the recent terrorist acts in the Arabian Gulf," Khalid al-Falih was quoted as saying on the ministry's Twitter page. US President Donald Trump said the twin attack, which also targeted a tanker owned by Oslo-listed company Frontline, had Iran "written all over it".


Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law

Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law Planned Parenthood is building the stage for another possible fight over abortion in Alabama: a large women's clinic that's under construction despite the state's passage of a near-total ban on abortions. Located beside an interstate highway in downtown Birmingham, the 10,000-square-foot structure is now nothing but a steel frame and roof. Abortion critics vow to oppose the opening, but a spokeswoman for the women's health organization said neither the new law nor opponents were a factor in the project.


Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law

Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law Planned Parenthood is building the stage for another possible fight over abortion in Alabama: a large women's clinic that's under construction despite the state's passage of a near-total ban on abortions. Located beside an interstate highway in downtown Birmingham, the 10,000-square-foot structure is now nothing but a steel frame and roof. Abortion critics vow to oppose the opening, but a spokeswoman for the women's health organization said neither the new law nor opponents were a factor in the project.


Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law

Planned Parenthood builds Ala. clinic despite abortion law Planned Parenthood is building the stage for another possible fight over abortion in Alabama: a large women's clinic that's under construction despite the state's passage of a near-total ban on abortions. Located beside an interstate highway in downtown Birmingham, the 10,000-square-foot structure is now nothing but a steel frame and roof. Abortion critics vow to oppose the opening, but a spokeswoman for the women's health organization said neither the new law nor opponents were a factor in the project.


For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home

For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration. Mexico is ramping up security on its southern border with Guatemala as part of an agreement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Mexican goods if the government did not stem the flow of migrants reaching the United States. Under pressure from Washington, Mexico also agreed to expand a program started in January that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims.


For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home

For U.S.-bound Central American migrants, better to stay in Mexico than be sent home Many of the Central Americans who lined up for papers at an asylum office in southern Mexico said they could abandon plans to reach the United States and remain in Mexico if U.S. President Donald Trump clamps down further on migration. Mexico is ramping up security on its southern border with Guatemala as part of an agreement with Washington after Trump threatened to impose punitive tariffs on Mexican goods if the government did not stem the flow of migrants reaching the United States. Under pressure from Washington, Mexico also agreed to expand a program started in January that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for the outcome of their U.S. asylum claims.


Donald Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway over ‘repeated violations’ of ethics laws

Donald Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway over ‘repeated violations’ of ethics laws Donald Trump has said he will not fire White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, despite a US government oversight agency saying she should be dismissed for engaging in banned political activity while in office.Ms Conway has violated the Hatch Act “on numerous occasions”, according to the independent Office of Special Counsel (OSC).The act bans federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work. The OSC said failure to punish her violations will send a message to other federal employees they need not abide by the act’s rules and restrictions.The repeated violations cited by the OSC relate to several comments made by Ms Conway during the 2017 Alabama special Senate election. The US Office of Special Counsel said Ms Conway had violated the act by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”In the election, Democratic candidate Doug Jones defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore by a 21,924 votes – a 1.7 per cent margin. Mr Jones is the first Democrat to win a US Senate seat in Alabama since 1992.Speaking to Fox News on Friday about the OSC’s recommendation Ms Conway should be fired, Mr Trump said: “Well I got briefed on it yesterday, and it looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech, and that’s just not fair.”He added: “No, I’m not going to fire her,” Ms Conway was "a terrific person" and "tremendous spokeswoman," he said. "She’s been loyal, she’s just a great person.”Mr Trump said Ms Conway’s remarks had merely been the result of her being asked questions by interviewers during the election.“You ask a person a question, and every time you’re supposed to say, ‘I can’t answer, I can’t answer?” Mr Trump said. “She’s got to have the right of responding to questions.”In the OSC’s statement about its judgement of Ms Conway’s behaviour, it said: “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system – the rule of law.”The agency also detailed an episode in which Ms Conway appeared to knowingly choose to disregard the restrictions of the Hatch Act.According to the OSC, she said: “If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” and “let me know when the jail sentence starts”.The president is the only figure with the power to heed the official advice and fire the White House counsellor.


Donald Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway over ‘repeated violations’ of ethics laws

Donald Trump says he will not fire Kellyanne Conway over ‘repeated violations’ of ethics laws Donald Trump has said he will not fire White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, despite a US government oversight agency saying she should be dismissed for engaging in banned political activity while in office.Ms Conway has violated the Hatch Act “on numerous occasions”, according to the independent Office of Special Counsel (OSC).The act bans federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work. The OSC said failure to punish her violations will send a message to other federal employees they need not abide by the act’s rules and restrictions.The repeated violations cited by the OSC relate to several comments made by Ms Conway during the 2017 Alabama special Senate election. The US Office of Special Counsel said Ms Conway had violated the act by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”In the election, Democratic candidate Doug Jones defeated Republican candidate Roy Moore by a 21,924 votes – a 1.7 per cent margin. Mr Jones is the first Democrat to win a US Senate seat in Alabama since 1992.Speaking to Fox News on Friday about the OSC’s recommendation Ms Conway should be fired, Mr Trump said: “Well I got briefed on it yesterday, and it looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech, and that’s just not fair.”He added: “No, I’m not going to fire her,” Ms Conway was "a terrific person" and "tremendous spokeswoman," he said. "She’s been loyal, she’s just a great person.”Mr Trump said Ms Conway’s remarks had merely been the result of her being asked questions by interviewers during the election.“You ask a person a question, and every time you’re supposed to say, ‘I can’t answer, I can’t answer?” Mr Trump said. “She’s got to have the right of responding to questions.”In the OSC’s statement about its judgement of Ms Conway’s behaviour, it said: “Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system – the rule of law.”The agency also detailed an episode in which Ms Conway appeared to knowingly choose to disregard the restrictions of the Hatch Act.According to the OSC, she said: “If you’re trying to silence me through the Hatch Act, it’s not going to work,” and “let me know when the jail sentence starts”.The president is the only figure with the power to heed the official advice and fire the White House counsellor.


How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter

How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter Early in the morning of January 17, 1991, eight sleek helicopters bristling with missiles swooped low over the sands of the An Nafud desert in as they soared towards the border separating Saudi Arabia from Iraq.At 2:30 a.m., the choppers fanned out and set to work in teams of two. Rocket motors flashed as Hellfire missiles streaked towards two Iraqi radars powerful enough to potentially pick up the faint signature of a stealth plane.Minutes after the radars had been reduced to rubble, Nighthawk stealth jets soared through the twenty-mile-wide radar gap, headed for Baghdad. But the Army’s Apache attack helicopter aviators they had struck first to “kick down the door” for the Nighthawks.Nearly three decades later, the Apache’s status as the world’s premier attack helicopter remains largely unchallenged, and the type continues to see extensive action in the Middle East and in demand in countries as diverse as the UK, Egypt, India and Taiwan. Undeniably, the threats faced by the $35 million armored attack helicopter, which can pack as many as sixteen tank-busting missiles under its stub wings.


How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter

How the AH-64 Apache Became the Ultimate Attack Helicopter Early in the morning of January 17, 1991, eight sleek helicopters bristling with missiles swooped low over the sands of the An Nafud desert in as they soared towards the border separating Saudi Arabia from Iraq.At 2:30 a.m., the choppers fanned out and set to work in teams of two. Rocket motors flashed as Hellfire missiles streaked towards two Iraqi radars powerful enough to potentially pick up the faint signature of a stealth plane.Minutes after the radars had been reduced to rubble, Nighthawk stealth jets soared through the twenty-mile-wide radar gap, headed for Baghdad. But the Army’s Apache attack helicopter aviators they had struck first to “kick down the door” for the Nighthawks.Nearly three decades later, the Apache’s status as the world’s premier attack helicopter remains largely unchallenged, and the type continues to see extensive action in the Middle East and in demand in countries as diverse as the UK, Egypt, India and Taiwan. Undeniably, the threats faced by the $35 million armored attack helicopter, which can pack as many as sixteen tank-busting missiles under its stub wings.