Remains of the some of the 10 Navy sailors who went missing after the USS John McCain crashed near Singapore on Sunday have been found in a compartment of the warship, according to the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. CNN reported on Monday that the ship suffered a steering malfunction just before the collision, though it still isn't clear why the warship's backup steering capabilities weren't utilized to regain control. In addition to the 10 sailors who went missing in the accident, five other service members were injured.
North Korea has been shipping goods to the Syrian government agency responsible for the country's chemical weapons program, according to a new, confidential report from the United Nations. Two such shipments were intercepted in the last six months by UN member states, according to the 37-page document, which was turned in to the UN Security Council earlier this month. “The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea),” according to the report. The panel was also notified that the goods in the shipments may have been part of a Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation contract with Syria. The trading corporation—Pyongyang's main arms dealer—was blacklisted in 2009 by the Security Council.
President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States’ new approach to the war in Afghanistan does not amount to “nation-building,” but rather “killing terrorists.” He said U.S. support for Afghanistan is “not a blank check,” and acknowledged his recent skepticism of increased involvement in the Middle Eastern nation. “My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts, but all of my life I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” Trump said during a primetime address at Fort Myer outside Washington. “So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every angle.” Trump said pulling out of the country would create a “vacuum” similar to one that was created in Iraq, when American gains there “flipped back into the hands” of terrorists, namely ISIS. “We cannot repeat the mistake in Afghanistan that our leaders made in Iraq,” Trump said, adding future decisions on troop levels will be based on conditions, rather than time. He also urged Pakistan, a neighbor of Afghanistan, to work with the U.S. rather than “harbor criminals and terrorists.”
Dozens of civilians have been killed in airstrikes the Syrian city of Raqqa in recent days, according to opposition activists and the Syrian state media. The U.S.-led coalition has been launching airstrikes while the U.S.-backed Syrian opposition fighters work to capture the city from the Islamic State group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Tuesday that 42 civilians were killed in airstrikes on Raqqa on Monday. Another activist-run group, Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, reported that 32 people were killed in just one neighborhood. All of the groups pointed to the U.S.-led coalition as responsible for the strikes.
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Louise Linton, the wife of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, belittled an Instagram critic as “adorably out of touch” on Monday night in response to criticism of her lavish lifestyle. Linton had posted a photograph of herself getting off a U.S. military jet accompanied by hashtags for luxury items and brands, including #hermesscarf, #tomford, and #valentino. The post was met with scorn by some social media users, with one Oregon woman writing, “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #Deplorable.” Linton responded with a tirade in which she told the woman, “Your life looks cute” and urged her to “Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones.” Linton set her page to private after the outburst, but not before screenshots of her comments were picked up by The New York Times and other outlets. “Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?” she wrote. “Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.”
President Trump got an earful about his newly announced Afghanistan strategy on Monday night from none other than right-wing news site Breitbart, where ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has returned to “crush the opposition.” Just minutes after Trump wrapped up his speech announcing a decision to extend U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, the site’s homepage was emblazoned with headlines critical of the president’s “flip-flop” that “reverses course” from his previously stated policy. Another headline appeared to take a subtle dig at the president with a zinger involving National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, with whom Bannon reportedly butted heads: “His McMaster’s voice: Is Trump’s Afghanistan policy different from Obama?” All eyes have been on Breitbart’s coverage of the president since Bannon returned to the helm on Friday following his departure from the White House. Upon returning, Bannon vowed to “crush the opposition” with his “weapons” at the news site, saying he’d “go to war” for the agenda that won Trump the presidency.
A 24-year-old mother of three has accused R. Kelly of paying her for years to keep an alleged underage sexual relationship between the two secret. Jerhonda Pace says she met the star at his 2008 child pornography trial when she was 15 years old and known by her maiden name, Jerhonda Johnson, BuzzFeed reports. The two then began a sexual relationship when she was 16, she says, and Kelly allegedly became controlling and abusive. The accuser says Kelly was aware she was underage and urged her to lie and tell people she was older if anyone asked, according to the report. After ongoing sexual relations with the singer, she said, she broke things off in 2010 after things got violent. “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on,” she told BuzzFeed. She said she is speaking out for the first time and violating a signed nondisclosure agreement because of her fears for women now living with Kelly, including a friend she introduced to Kelly as a teen and who allegedly still lives with the singer. “I know speaking out against Kelly, Kelly could sue me. But I’m really not worried about it anymore,” she told BuzzFeed.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Monday that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will be able to walk again but will have to “re-learn how to do it,” as he continues to recover from gunshot wounds he received in June at the GOP congressional baseball practice. “He’ll be okay, but he’s in a rehab hospital now, out of the intensive car unit,” Ryan said at a CNN town hall in Wisconsin. “He’s just got a long road ahead of him, but he’s going to be okay.” Ryan said Scalise joined the House Republican conference call earlier on Monday and was in good spirits. Scalise was shot in the hip and underwent multiple surgeries after a gunman targeted the baseball practice because the members of Congress were Republicans.
A 25-year-old man faces federal charges after allegedly attempting to blow up the Dick Dowling Confederate monument in downtown Houston. Andrew Schneck was taken into custody Saturday after being spotted carrying boxes full of duct tape, wires, potentially explosive white powder, and a liquid later determined to be nitroglycerin. Asked point-blank by a park ranger if he intended to “harm” the statue, Schneck reportedly replied in the affirmative, adding that he did “like that guy.” Per the criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Schneck faces a charge of attempting to maliciously damage property receiving federal financial assistance.