Several U.S. diplomats in Havana have been diagnosed with serious conditions, including traumatic brain injury, after they were attacked with sonic devices, CBS News reported Wednesday. U.S. officials are investigating the attack, which began in mid-November 2016 and stopped earlier this year, CNN reported. More than 10 U.S. diplomats and family members reportedly required treatment after the months of harassing acoustic attacks. At least two diplomats suffered permanent hearing loss and had to return to the U.S. for treatment.
The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said Tuesday night on CNN that he now questions President Trump’s fitness for the executive office and worries about his access to the nuclear-launch codes, in an unprecedented critique of a commander in chief by a top intel official. Following a rally in Phoenix that Clapper called “downright scary and disturbing,” he said, “I really question his ability to be—his fitness to be—in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it.” Referring to Trump’s standoff with the North Korean regime, Clapper said he worried that if “in a fit of pique he decides to do something about Kim Jong Un, there’s actually very little to stop him,” adding “the whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there’s very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary.” Clapper went on to condemn Trump’s “behavior and divisiveness and complete intellectual, moral, and ethical void,” adding, “How much longer does the country have to, to borrow a phrase, endure this nightmare?”
Hillary Clinton’s new memoir about the 2016 presidential election, called What Happened, reveals that Trump’s intimidation tactics during the second debate made her “skin [crawl].” She writes: “Well, what would you do? Do you stay calm, keep smiling, and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly: ‘Back up you creep, get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’” Clinton also shares that she regrets “letting down” the American people when she lost the election. “I couldn’t get the job done. And I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
Baseball icon Hank Aaron said Colin Kaepernick is “getting a raw deal” from NFL team owners who are silently refusing to sign the ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback because of his on-field protests during the national anthem over police brutality. In a Wednesday interview on The Tom Joyner Show, Aaron—the target of unprecedented volumes of hate-mail and bigotry during his 1970s quest to break Babe Ruth’s all-time home-run record—told interviewer Roland Martin that he wished someone at the ownership level would open up and give Kaepernick a chance. Aaron also said Kaepernick’s peers should be speaking out, too. “I’d love to see some other players stand up. I think it would help him,” he said. On the broadcast, Martin said Aaron, a Baltimore Ravens fan and now 83 years old, told him that he would not be watching the upcoming NFL season out of anger at how Kaepernick is being treated.
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Egypt has called off a meeting between presidential adviser (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner and Cairo’s top foreign minister after the U.S. moved to withhold $291 million in aid. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will still meet with the U.S. delegation—led by Kushner—as scheduled, but the decision will have “negative implications,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “Egypt sees this measure as reflecting poor judgment of the strategic relationship that ties the two countries over long decades and as adopting a view that lacks an accurate understanding of the importance of supporting Egypt’s stability.” The Obama administration had withheld aid from the Sisi government over concerns about widely reported human-rights abuses.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed the press for allegedly misreporting his statements in the aftermath of the white-supremacist-fueled deadly violence that took place in Charlottesville this month, but he left out the fact that he blamed “both sides for the violence.” The comment at the time drew sharp condemnations from across the political spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats saying the president suggested a moral equivalence between the neo-Nazis and the counterprotesters.
Google and Walmart announced Wednesday they are partnering up to confront the growing threat they both face from Amazon.com. Google will start selling Walmart products on Google Express, the site’s online shopping facility. “We are trying to help customers shop in ways that they may have never imagined,” said Walmart’s Marc Lore, who heads the company’s e-commerce division.
Danish police confirmed Tuesday that a headless torso found in Copenhagen on Monday belongs to missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall. Wall had been missing since Aug. 11 after boarding a homemade submarine with Peter Madsen, an inventor with whom she was conducting an interview. Madsen’s submarine sank as the search for Wall began, and he initially told investigators he’d left her alive on shore before saying she died of an accident on board and he’d buried her body at sea. Madsen was charged with negligent manslaughter in her death Monday, just hours before authorities discovered a headless torso in the sea. They said the victim’s limbs appeared to have been deliberately cut off. Copenhagen police announced a “DNA match between [the] torso and Kim Wall,” promising that more details would be forthcoming.
The U.S. Navy on Wednesday removed the commander of its 7th Fleet, the first significant dismissal after four collisions this year in the Asia-Pacific region. Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, who was expected to retire soon, was relieved of duty “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a statement. The decision, made by U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift, comes just two days after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore, killing at least several of the 10 sailors who have been reported missing.