The Latest: Pentagon says Syria prepping chemical attack The Pentagon says the U.S. has seen chemical weapons activity at a Syrian air base that was used for an April sarin gas attack. Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Tuesday the activity at the Shayrat air base indicates "active preparations for chemical weapons use." The U.S. accused Syrian forces of launching a chemical attack from the base in April that killed dozens of civilians. In response, President Donald Trump ordered the military to fire about 60 cruise missiles at the base. The White House warned late Monday that Syrian President Bashar Assad and his military would pay a "heavy price" for another chemical weapons attack.
Syria denies US allegations of coming chemical attack BEIRUT (AP) - The involvement of external powers in the Syrian war continued to accelerate Tuesday as President Bashar Assad's government and Russia dismissed White House allegations that it was preparing a new chemical weapons attack. Hours later activists reported an airstrike on an Islamic State-run jail in eastern Syria that they said killed more than 40 prisoners and was carried out by the U.S.-led coalition. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 15 militants were also killed in the airstrike that happened on Monday in the Deir El-Zour province. The activist-run Deir Ezzor 24 media outlet said at least 60 civilians were killed.
Ruling in travel ban leaves myriad questions unanswered WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court's decision to partially reinstate President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban has left the effort to keep some foreigners out of the United States in a murky middle ground, with unanswered questions and possibly more litigation ahead. The justices ruled Monday in an unsigned opinion they would hold a full hearing on the case in October. In the meantime, the administration can bar travelers from six majority-Muslim countries from the U.S. if they don't have a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship" with someone or some entity in the country. It's unclear what will ultimately constitute a "bona fide relationship," though the ruling suggested that an American job, school enrollment or a close relative could meet that threshold.
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10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. WHAT MAY CONSTITUTE A 'BONA FIDE RELATIONSHIP' Those permitted into the United States under the partially reinstated travel ban may include those who have an American job, school enrollment or a close relative. 2. WHO HOLDS KEY TO HEALTH CARE BILL PASSAGE Trump's campaign promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare" is now in the hands of a key group of GOP senators who are opposing - or not yet supporting - the legislation. 3. WHITE HOUSE WARNS ASSAD AGAINST CHEMICAL ATTACK The White House claims "potential" evidence that Damascus is preparing for a gas attack similar to the one that killed dozens in April; Syria dismisses the statement.
Senate leaders scramble to save health bill amid defections WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate leaders scrambled Tuesday to rescue their health care bill, in deepening jeopardy as opposition from rebellious Republicans intensified. The defections loomed as Congress' nonpartisan budget referee said the measure would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026 than President Barack Obama's law. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was hoping to staunch his party's rebellion, a day after the Congressional Budget Office released its report. He's been aiming at winning Senate passage this week, before a weeklong July 4 recess that leaders worry opponents will use to weaken support for the legislation. The CBO analysis suggested some ammunition GOP leaders could use, saying the Senate bill would cut federal deficits by $202 billion more over the coming decade than the version the House approved in May.
EU fines Google a record 2.4 billion euros in antitrust case BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union slapped a record 2.42 billion-euro ($2.72 billion) fine on internet giant Google on Tuesday for taking advantage of its dominance in online searches to direct customers to its own online shopping business. European regulators gave the company based in Mountain View, California, 90 days to stop or face more fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide revenue of parent company Alphabet. Google says it is considering an appeal. The European Commission, which polices EU competition rules, alleges Google elevates its shopping service even when other options might have better deals. The Commission said Google "gave prominent placement in its search results only to its own comparison shopping service, whilst demoting rival services.
Hackers strike across Europe, sparking widespread disruption PARIS (AP) - Hackers have caused widespread disruption across Europe, hitting Ukraine especially hard. Company and government officials reported serious intrusions at the Ukrainian power grid, banks and government offices. Russia's Rosneft oil company also reported falling victim to hacking, as did Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk. "We are talking about a cyberattack," said Anders Rosendahl, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based group. "It has affected all branches of our business, at home and abroad." Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko on Tuesday posted a picture of a darkened computer screen to Twitter, saying that the computer system at the government's headquarters has been shut down.
Inmate: I strangled prisoners to try to land on death row COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - One by one, Denver Simmons recalled, he and his partner lured inmates into his cell. William Scruggs was promised cookies in exchange for doing some laundry; Jimmy Ham thought he was coming to snort some crushed pills. Over the course of about a half-hour, four men accepted Simmons' hospitality. None of them made it out alive. Calmly, matter-of-factly, the 35-year-old inmate told The Associated Press how he and Jacob Philip strangled and beat their blockmates to death and hid their bodies to avoid spooking the next victims. They had nothing against the men; one of them was even a friend, Simmons admitted.
Trump takes another swipe at CNN following resignations NEW YORK (AP) - President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday. The story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. CNN accepted the journalists' resignations Monday. Trump wrote in a Tuesday morning tweet, "Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,' with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!" A message seeking comment was left at CNN. The story was posted on the network's website Thursday and was removed, with all links disabled, Friday night.
AP Explains: Who is Salahuddin, rebel named terrorist by US? SRINAGAR, India (AP) - Hours before the United States designated Kashmir rebel leader Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist, he appeared in a video calling for strikes in the Himalayan territory in remembrance of another rebel leader whose killing by Indian forces last July triggered months of deadly protests. The U.S. State Department's announcement Monday coincided with an official visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington. It said Salahuddin "has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism." But to his vast Kashmiri following, Salahuddin, 71, is seen as a hero and his cause of ousting India from the mostly Muslim region is considered just.