The United States military on Monday released new photos it says incriminate Iran in an attack last week on a tanker ship in strategic Gulf waters. The US argument centers on an unexploded limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous ship it says was removed by Iranians on a patrol boat. "Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine," the Pentagon said in a statement accompanying the imagery.
A strong earthquake that hit Sichuan province in southern China late Monday night killed 11 people and injured 122, the local government said. The Yibin city government posted the casualty toll on its social media accounts Tuesday morning. Xinhua news agency said rescue efforts were underway in the stricken area.
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting the space rock known as Bennu since the start of the year. It caught up with the asteroid in late December of 2018 and successfully inserted itself into orbit around the object around New Year's day. There have been several "firsts" along the way, but its latest maneuver is the most daring yet, and it allowed the spacecraft to break yet another record.A recent tweak to its orbit has brought the probe to an orbit of just 680 meters, or around 2,230 feet from the asteroid's surface. This is now the closest that any manmade spacecraft has orbited any planetary body.It's a stellar achievement for NASA, but it's worth noting that the previous record was actually already held by the OSIRIS-REx probe. What NASA did was break its own record and set itself even farther ahead from any competition to come in the future.This new orbit, which the research team calls the Orbital B phase, will give scientists a better understanding of the asteroid's surface and hopefully allow NASA to choose a suitable location where the probe can briefly snag a sample of its material.Actually pulling off such a daring maneuver will be incredibly risky, and nobody is quite sure if the spacecraft can make it happen. This is due in large part to the incredibly messy surface of Bennu, which surprised scientists when they got their first close look. The asteroid's surface is littered with debris ranging from tiny pebbles to massive boulders, and the spacecraft's handlers now have to find the safest place on the rock from which to gather a sample.Assuming it pulls off the sample grab, the probe will then leave Bennu and return to Earth with the sample material stowed safely for scientists on Earth to examine.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Monday cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, after Trump blasted the three countries because thousands of their citizens had sought asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico. The plan will likely encounter stiff opposition in Congress. Lawmakers, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, have chafed against the president's repeated decisions to disregard spending bills passed by Congress, some of which he has signed into law himself.
Decades later, the monument is a regular stop for new waves of Chinese going to the North, this time as tourists. Hundreds of soldiers and workers have been sprucing up the obelisk and its grounds in recent days ahead of a state visit to Pyongyang by Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. An inscription on it lauds "the Chinese People's Volunteer Army, who fought with us on this land and smashed down the common enemy".
A federal complaint says a man struck a flight attendant in the throat and then threw up during a Delta flight to Paris.
The dollar held near a two-week high against its major rivals on Monday ahead of a crucial U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that many expect will lay the groundwork for an interest rate cut to bolster the world's largest economy. While strong U.S. retail sales on Friday reduced the already-low chance of an easing this week and lifted the dollar, investors are betting Fed Chairman Jerome Powell would leave the door open to future rate cuts in light of increasing economic strains. "As long as Powell does not rule out near term rate cuts, the dollar will be top heavy after the Fed meeting," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.
China on Tuesday warned against opening a "Pandora's box" in the Middle East after the United States announced the deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the region amid escalating tensions with Iran. Foreign Minister Wang Yi also urged Tehran to not abandon the nuclear agreement "so easily" after Iran said it would exceed its uranium stockpile limit if world powers fail to fulfil their commitments under the agreement in 10 days. The United States ratcheted up pressure on Iran Monday, announcing the deployment of additional troops to the Middle East and producing new photographs it said showed Tehran was behind an attack on a tanker ship in the Gulf of Oman last week.
Japan has protested what is says was an unauthorized Chinese maritime survey within its economic waters near disputed East China Sea islands, officials said Monday. Japan's Foreign Ministry said it lodged a protest with Beijing after a Chinese maritime research ship was seen dropping a wire-like object into the water off the northwestern coast of Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands on Sunday. China also claims the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.