Trump says any U.S. war with Iran would not last long

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that any war between the United States and Iran would be swift, although he reiterated his desire to avoid a military confrontation.
Load more
Read full article on:
Keedron Bryant’s Anthem for Justice Has Led to a ‘Dream Come True’
When 12-year-old Keedron Bryant shared an Instagram video in late May, he wasn’t expecting viral fame and a record deal to come his way. Bryant, who has been singing since he was just 5 or 6 years old in children’s choir, had regularly posted a cappella singing videos to his social media. But this time,…
9 m
LAPD officer shot in suspected 'friendly fire' incident in Hollywood, police say
A Los Angeles police officer was shot accidentally by a fellow officer while responding Wednesday to reports of a distraught man, the LAPD said.
9 m
Video released of John Neville saying 'I can't breathe' multiple times before fatal injury
A North Carolina sheriff has apologized after the death of a Black inmate who told guards he couldn't breathe dozens of times while being "hog-tied."
Could it happen here? US ports are safer than Beirut, but dangerous cargoes present constant risk – no matter the location
Whether its potentially explosive cargo on ships, docks or nearby facilities, ports are inherently risky when it comes to fire and blasts.
Air Force and Navy air-launch ICBM
U.S. nuclear triad exist to ensure a decisive retaliatory strike.
Washington's Dwayne Haskins recalls battle with Joe Burrow for starting QB job at Ohio State
Joe Burrow may have had the best year of any college quarterback but before his quick rise to fame at LSU where he earned a national championship, was awarded the Heisman Trophy and was eventually selected  No.1 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, he was battling it out at Ohio State for the starting job -- and lost.
Woman gives birth right after Beirut blast rips through hospital
A brave woman gave birth to a baby boy at a hospital in Beirut as the city’s devastating explosion shattered windows and cut off power just after she was wheeled into the delivery room, pulse-pounding footage shows. In the video, Emmanuelle Khnaisser is shown going into labor Tuesday before the powerful blast shakes the room...
Biden wouldn't block Trump's prosecution if the Justice Department pursued it
Joe Biden said Thursday that he would not block an attempt from the Justice Department to prosecute President Trump if Trump were to lose in November.
NC governor calls Trump's virus plan 'nonexistent'
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he believes President Donald Trump's administration still lacks a sufficient strategy to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. (Aug. 6)
State Department lifts March advisory on avoiding international travel amid COVID-19 pandemic
The State Department has lifted a March advisory warning Americans not to travel abroad, though the agency says travelers should still be cautious.
Zach Braff gets tattoo tribute to late friend Nick Cordero
“In loving memory to the greatest,” tattoo artist Dr. Woo wrote alongside a photo of the touching tribute.
'I haven't had a job since March 13,' how costume designers are coping with COVID-19
For the costume design community, the last five months have been full of pivots, projects — and lots of Zoom calls.
Penn State's Micah Parsons to pass on junior season due to COVID-19 and start preparing for the NFL draft
Penn State All-America linebacker Micah Parsons will opt out of his junior season due to concerns about COVID-19 and start preparing for the NFL draft.
WWE legend Marty Jannetty claims self-defense from ‘rape’ amid police probe
After an apparent murder confession in a since-deleted Facebook post sparked a police investigation in Georgia, former WWE star Marty Jannetty claimed he was defending himself from someone who was trying to sexually assault him. “I almost got raped. If I couldn’t have handled myself, that dude would’ve raped me,” the 60-year-old Jannetty said in...
NY attorney general seeks to dissolve NRA
New York's attorney general sued the National Rifle Association on Thursday, seeking to dissolve the powerful gun advocacy organization over allegations that high-ranking executives diverted millions of dollars for personal use. (Aug. 6)
For Whom the Tok Tiks
What is TikTok though? It’s an app for creating and sharing short videos, but that description undersells its delight: lip-synched anthems that spawn split-screen duet replies; “challenges” that turn boring tasks into virtuosic dances; wry, incisive takedowns of national politics by teens too young to vote; pets, kids, emo kids, emo pets, and comedians.That’s part of what TikTok is, anyway. It’s also a data-collecting social-media platform that sells and serves ads, like any other social-media platform. But it’s not exactly like any other social-media platform, because TikTok is one of the only Chinese-made apps that is broadly popular in America. This fact rankles the White House because the company could pass U.S. user data to the Chinese government. On Friday, Donald Trump threatened to “ban” TikTok’s clever videos from American shores entirely.Unless, as Trump put it Monday, a “very American” company buys TikTok from ByteDance, the platform’s Chinese owner, and repatriates its data. It’s ironic to try to blockade a foreign app, given that America has imposed Facebook, Google, Uber, and all the others on the rest of the world, whether those nations asked for them or not. (Often they didn’t.) Microsoft has emerged as the likeliest suitor—and among the only ones capable of shelling out an estimated $20 billion to $50 billion for a cat-dancing video app.The threat that the White House might disappear a favorite app has turned esoteric trade diplomacy into a tiny culture war. Among the many horrors of 2020, America can add a multibillion-dollar international dispute about a data-vacuuming platform on which people … film themselves in their bathroom mirrors and prank their parents. “They can pry TikTok from my cold dead hands,” one fan said. “I need my cat videos.” Some teens who love the platform have even become newly endeared to Microsoft, the most boring of old-guard tech companies, as TikTok’s possible savior.It’s gratifying to cast TikTok as an innocent bystander in a trade war between the U.S. and China, or as fuel for a generation gap between Boomers and Zoomers, or as a David facing off with the tech-establishment Goliath. Two years of breathless coverage of TikTok as a fresh-faced force of delight and opportunity has made the app feel like an underdog bet in a prizefight against entrenched ne’er-do-wells, such as Trump and Facebook.But TikTok, I regret to inform you, is also bad. Chatter about its possible ban or fire sale makes the harm it can cause, which is multifaceted, even more visible. To peel the app like an onion reveals that there’s really no good outcome, whether or not a deal or a ban comes to pass. TikTok is going to be America’s problem in America, or America’s problem in China, or both.Collecting data is probably bad, no matter who does it. The administration fears that this app, the first Chinese offering to really break big in the United States, could share the data it collects from Americans with the Chinese government for nefarious exploitation. Some critics have shrugged off this concern as xenophobia, yet it does have merit. The Chinese government can demand that tech companies hand over data, and that could turn TikTok into a Trojan horse for cyberespionage or blackmail. (ByteDance has made assurances that it stores TikTok’s data outside of China, but that’s cold comfort given China’s ability to compel compliance.)The thing is, it’s not necessarily less worrisome for the same data to be held by American companies; it’s just concerning in a different way. Look at all the trouble Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, and others have gotten into regarding their choke hold on information and their questionable stewardship of its use. The collection and sharing of data that people store or create on technology platforms, along with the ease of disseminating fake information, has been the defining problem of the American technology industry in the past two decades. Microsoft has come under less scrutiny, but mostly because the company has never really invested in consumer-internet applications beyond Skype and LinkedIn. Microsoft hasn’t made Facebook’s errors, but it also hasn’t had much opportunity to do so.The engagement economy is also bad. Watching a stylist perform a haircut with a butcher knife or a comedian lip-synch to Trump or an actual cat perform a Doja Cat song is fun. But social media can never be taken on its own. Every post serves a common master: the platform, which aggregates the attention and data of individual creations into an engagement-delivery machine, mostly so the platform’s owner can sell advertising.Platforms need more users posting more content to thrive, and so they must either find new audiences or cannibalize old ones. TikTok does not disrupt the long-standing pattern of consumer apps seeking to make cultural waves, but each wave eventually crashes to shore. Fifteen years ago, Facebook was cool to teens; 10 years ago, Instagram took its place, so Facebook bought it; now Instagram is copying TikTok with a new feature called Reels.Eventually, inevitably, TikTok will fall from grace, if not by executive ban then by a more ordinary acquisition, or natural decline, or replacement by another, cooler option. When it does, the addicts and influencers attached to it today will invest all that effort in someone else’s corporate platform, just as the Viners who vanished when Twitter shut down that service did, or the YouTubers who were demonetized, or the Tumblrers who were banned. No matter how liberating or delightful the posts feel, content creators are also puppets of the platform owners, who in turn vie for temporary dominance over one another.The geopolitical rewards from solving the TikTok problem are bad news, too. ByteDance isn’t the biggest Chinese tech company, but it’s worth a hefty $100 billion, and it operates other services in China, India, Indonesia, and elsewhere. If allowed to continue operating in the United States, ByteDance could further entrench its global position. But if Microsoft acquires the product, then the global industry would consolidate further—and mere weeks after the House held a hearing about antitrust concerns in the sector. Global online media will become further controlled by American technology firms, or else by Chinese ones. That’s not much of a choice at all.Then there’s the political glad-handing, a matter far more boring than any TikTok video, but necessary to understanding the significance of all of them together. In a call with the president, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly managed to talk down Trump from immediate intervention. (Trump says the deal can go through if it closes by September 15—and only if the U.S. Treasury gets a cut.) If Microsoft can solve a political (and perhaps personal) problem for the White House, the company would win favor with the administration. That could deepen Microsoft’s already-remunerative relationship with the federal government in areas such as cloud-computing services, for which the company manages a $10 billion contract with the Pentagon.An acquisition could equally endear Microsoft to Chinese President Xi Jinping. On Tuesday, the government-owned newspaper China Daily published an editorial condemning Trump’s “smash and grab” approach to TikTok, and vowing that China would retaliate against unilateral American action. Microsoft has maintained a foothold in China since 1992, earning it respect alongside local tech giants such as Tencent and Baidu. Even so, China still accounts for only 2 percent of Microsoft’s revenue. By helping to mediate the standoff, Microsoft could improve its fortunes in China. In either case, the American-policy dimensions of a TikTok divestiture would play second fiddle to the corporate benefits of a $1.6 trillion behemoth.Finally, the artificial intelligence that makes TikTok great is also dangerous, no matter who’s got their hands on it. TikTok is like an iceberg. On the surface, users make and share short videos, which they can also spread via other social-media platforms. No big deal.Then there’s the rest of the iceberg. ByteDance has created a colossal infrastructure to make the app so engaging. All social apps are designed for compulsion, but TikTok is particularly addictive because it dispenses with the setup that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others require. There’s no need to find people to follow or to build a long pattern of use. Instead, you download it, watch a few videos, and TikTok starts recommending more: sour worms and liquor in a vat; Mr. Clean dancing across the carpet; a lip-synch of a cat’s fear of bath water. You don’t even need an account.The recommendations are surprisingly effective. That’s because ByteDance has invested enormous time and money to develop artificial-intelligence software that scans posted videos for substance, form, and meaning, and uses that material to recommend more. For TikTok viewers, the resulting sensation is overwhelming, a bit like when Google first replaced AltaVista: magically good results.But who will own these valuable AI systems if TikTok gets split up in a sale? The AI has potentially broad application in identifying and matching patterns of information to the people who would want it. A company like Microsoft could use this system in any number of ways, including in its enterprise products, such as email or LinkedIn. But it’s not yet clear if intellectual property such as TikTok’s AI will divest in a purchase, or if it will remain in ByteDance’s hands, or if both entities will share in it, or something else entirely. Microsoft has said only that it will “own and operate TikTok” in a few English-speaking markets.The Trump White House hasn’t weighed in on this detail. Yesterday, Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, sent a letter to Microsoft posing numerous questions about the deal, but none considered how the company might share in the general software already imbricated with TikTok itself.The mystery spawns another set of bad options. Would it be worse if China retained sole control over the AI that makes TikTok and other services so effective, or if that technology were also in the hands of an American tech giant that’s one of the most valuable companies in the world? Is it worse to isolate that engagement in a series of viral-media Chinese exports, or to allow an American powerhouse to transplant the AI that makes TikTok so compelling into more mundane apps, including cloud-computing services that run corporate and governmental systems, office software that oversees spreadsheets and word-processing documents, and a social network that millions of people use for recruiting?TikTok might be pleasant, or joyful, or even subversive. But it is also an app on your phone, on the internet, connected to data centers and driving both corporate amalgamation and transnational entrenchment. It’s a bummer, but nothing is ever just an app anymore. Maybe Microsoft will save TikTok, or maybe not. Either way, there aren’t better and worse options here, so much as worse and even worse ones.
Review: Few pandemic movies can match the hypnotic power of Amy Seimetz's 'She Dies Tomorrow'
Kate Lyn Sheil and Jane Adams star in this psychological horror thriller by way of an absurdist comedy.
As Trump attacks the mail, his administration gains more access to the Postal Service
The Trump administration is making new inroads into the operations of the US Postal Service, raising fears that the agency is degrading services ahead of a surge of votes being cast through the mail in the November election.
Michael Porter’s NBA bubble: Crazy theories, breakout performances
Michael Porter Jr. is the controversial young star breaking out in the bubble. The 22-year old previously came under fire when he spread meritless coronavirus conspiracies, saying it was used to “control” the population. In Orlando, however, it’s Porter who has been in control. The No. 14 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Porter missed...
Saudi Crown Prince accused of assassination plot against senior exiled official
A former top Saudi intelligence official who fell out with the Saudi Crown Prince is alleging that an assassination squad traveled from Saudi Arabia to Canada to try to kill him just days after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by members of the same group, according to a new legal complaint filed Thursday by the alleged target, Dr. Saad Aljabri, in DC District Court.
Creem magazine’s wild misfit days of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll
The office of Creem magazine was as unruly as the music that its writers covered.
Warner Henry, donor who helped to build L.A.'s classical music scene, dies
With wife Carol, Warner Henry gave millions of dollars to support classical music organizations large and small.
New York suing to dissolve NRA is 'one of the dumbest mistakes' you can make in election year: Ari Fleischer
The New York attorney general is “one of the most partisan figures,” said Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer on Thursday, as he criticized Letitia James' move to try to dissolve the National Rifle Association.
‘We Have to Use Our Voice.’ Desus and Mero Are Committed to Amplifying the Black Lives Matter Movement
Comedians Desus Nice and The Kid Mero have been using their platform to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. "We have this platform. We have to use our voice," Desus says. "What other talkshow is ending saying arrest the cops that killed Breonna Taylor?"
Nick Kyrgios’ new girlfriend revealed in awkward TV moment
Social media reveals aren’t the only way to put one’s personal life on display. Take Nick Kyrgios, who learned that lesson in an awkward fashion on Thursday, when an ex-girlfriend became an unexpected topic of discussion on an Australian broadcast, according to “Nick, you look incredibly happy, the happiest I’ve ever seen you and...
'There's a lot of pessimism': Stimulus negotiations drag on without a deal as Senate leaves town for weekend
Both sides continue to push for a compromise by the end of the week, but progress on a deal has bogged down.
Over half of Americans only interested in domestic travel, survey finds
Home is where the heart and tourism dollars are.
7 sunscreens that are safer for you and the earth
Why trade one risk for another?
Trump: Biden’s ‘junkie’ remark was ‘a great insult to the black community’
President Trump on Thursday slammed Joe Biden for asking a black journalist if he was a “junkie.” “It was a great insult to the black community,” Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn as he departed for a trip to Ohio. Biden, 77, snapped on Wednesday when asked by CBS correspondent Errol Barnett...
Brian Hook, US special envoy for Iran, to step down; Elliott Abrams to take post
Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, is leaving his post, the State Department announced Thursday, just as the Trump administration is attempting to rally the international community to extend a soon-to-expire arms embargo on the regime in Tehran.
Sen. Kennedy: What I learned from Sally Yates hearing is that 'she doesn't want to answer the questions'
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates did not want to answer questions or admit to her negligence in the Russia probe during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, said Republican Sen. John Kennedy on Thursday.
Singer-Songwriter Lauv on Turning to Music and Coping in Quarantine
Lauv released his debut album, How I’m Feeling, on March 6. Just a few weeks later, the world began to shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lauv is a singer-songwriter whose intimate, downtempo pop has made him a go-to artist on streaming platforms and as a featured voice for artists like Troye Sivan, BTS…
Report: NYC Prosecutor Received President Trump’s Financial Records From Deutsche Bank
(NEW YORK) — The New York prosecutor who has been fighting, unsuccessfully so far, to get President Donald Trump’s tax returns had better luck last year getting a bank to turn over his financial records. The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance sent a subpoena last year to Deutsche Bank as part of…
DHS Wolf defends the federal agents in Portland
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf is on Capitol Hill defending the presence of federal agents in Portland, Oregon. (Aug. 6)
Trump weighs executive orders, convention speech
President Donald Trump is heading to Ohio, forced to play defense in states he led comfortably months ago. Trump plans to promote the economic prosperity that much of the nation enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic. (Aug. 6)
'Fresh Air' Remembers Veteran Journalist Pete Hamill
Hamill, who died Aug. 5, was a columnist and editor at the New York Post and the New York Daily News, covering wars, crime and the people of NYC's boroughs. Originally broadcast in '94, '08 and '11.
Angelina Jolie steps out in Off-White facemask
It's the ultimate COVID-19 streetwear.
KT McFarland: What Sally Yates got wrong about my phone call with Flynn
Sally Yates spoke this week with great conviction about a phone call I had with the National Security Adviser-designate General Flynn.
‘I Want to Do What I Can.’ Lili Reinhart on Recognizing Privilege and Making Change
Lili Reinhart isn’t just Betty Cooper from Riverdale—although that role on the CW hit, now entering its fifth season, made her a household name for a generation of fans. Reinhart, who also appeared in 2019’s Hustlers, is ready to make a broader mark in the entertainment world through work as a producer and an author.…
Keke Palmer set to host MTV VMAs 2020 in Brooklyn
They’re gonna be having a real Keke at this year’s VMAs.
New York Attorney General Sues NRA Over Allegations of Financial Misspending
NRA President Carolyn Meadows said the group was counter-suing the New York attorney general’s office
Trump "optimistic" about a COVID-19 vaccine near Election Day
Public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, do not expect a vaccine to be available to the public before 2021.
Washington Grinds To a Halt, Leaving Americans’ Mounting Problems Unsolved
There are times when everyone in Washington puts their best face forward and projects optimism. As unemployment insurance drops out from under millions of Americans, evictions are no longer banned and even post offices have become an endangered species, this is not one of them. Lawmakers are locked in bitter and increasingly personal negotiations over…
Ask a Reporter: Howard Blume and Paloma Esquivel on covering schools during a pandemic
Join us at 1 p.m. August 12 with reporters Howard Blume and Paloma Esquivel to talk about their education reporting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Congressman with Covid says it's 'terrible' Capitol Hill has no testing program
A Republican congressman from Illinois who has tested positive for Covid-19 said Thursday the lack of a coronavirus testing program on Capitol Hill is "terrible."
Scientists puzzled after Paraguayan lagoon turns purple on one side, remains blue on other
Scientists in Paraguay have been investigating how one side of the divided Cerro Lagoon turned purple and began emitting a foul odor months ago, while the other side has remained blue.
Growing number of nations consider TikTok ban over China ties
President’s Trump looming TikTok ban may only be the beginning of the popular video app’s headaches, as a growing number of nations are becoming suspicious of its ties to China. US ally Australia is reportedly looking at TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company ByteDance to see whether it poses a security threat to the country’s 25 million...
2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken records, NOAA now says there may be more storms than names
Nine named storms already in the books have broken records for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, but government forecasters said Thursday that even stormier conditions are on the horizon that could push the limit on traditional storm names.