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Country profile for United States Of America

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

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Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Unselected
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk)
Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Washington D. C.
  • Major Languages: English
  • Currency: U.S. Dollar
  • Timezone: GMT -5:00 to -10:00

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Map of United States Of America

The United States continues to experience high levels of gun violence, with more than 370 mass shootings recorded in 2015 alone. More than 13,000 people were killed by firearms in the US in 2015, and a further 26,800 wounded. Many of the fatalities are gang-related or linked to domestic disputes or accidents, but weapons are also used to commit crime and in the mass casualty shooting sprees which occur from time to time. In June 2015, a suspected white supremacist shot dead nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. A few months later another suspected white supremacist shot dead eight students and a teacher at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon. In October 2017, around 60 people were killed and more than 500 others were wounded in a shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shooter, identified as the 64-year-old local resident Stephen Paddock, opened fire from the 32nd floor window of the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas’ strip. Paddock shot himself before police officers stormed his room and recovered a powerful arsenal. This has been considered the deadliest mass shooting in US history. An estimated 300 million guns are believed to be in circulation across the country; however political efforts to restrict gun sales continue to be met with resistance. Tourists are not usually affected by gun crime, but if confronted it should be assumed that the assailant will be armed.

Guns have also been used in a number of incidents linked to terrorism in the US. In December 2015, two married assailants killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in San Bernardino, California. The FBI described the pair as self-radicalized jihadists who were committed to martyrdom, while the Islamic State (IS) group claimed they were “soldiers of the caliphate”. In June 2016, a gunman stormed a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 50 people and wounding 53 others. The gunman, Omar Mateen, declared support for the IS but investigators found no direct link between him and international terrorist networks. Prior to this the most notable terrorist attack since 9/11 occurred in April 2013, when two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and wounding more than 260 others. The perpetrators were two brothers of Chechen descent - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police following the bombing, while Dzhokhar was charged and received the death penalty.

The use of weapons is also linked to a wave of social and civil unrest in America. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist group was founded in 2013 to campaign against violence against African-Americans. The movement began after a neighbourhood security guard shot dead black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012. The shooter, George Zimmerman, was later acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, sparking marches against the ruling. The movement grew after several African-Americans were killed by the police: 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; and Eric Garner in New York City. The events sparked mass protests and rallies across the country, many of which resulted in clashes with the security forces. In July 2016, two black men were shot dead by white police officers in separate incidents which were both filmed. The footage sparked another wave of anger, and during a protest in Dallas, Texas, a former US army veteran shot dead five police officers in an apparent revenge attack. In June 2017, the House Majority Whip, Republican Steve Scalise, was wounded when a gunman stormed a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Scalise was severely injured and the assailant, later identified as James Hodgkinson, succumbed to his wounds.

US politics has been highly erratic since President Donald Trump was sworn in office in January 2017. During the first months of his presidency several protests broke out nationwide to reject some of his controversial policies, which included scrapping his predecessor’s Affordable Care Act - ‘Obamacare’ - and the construction of a wall along the Mexican border. Further criticism came when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a travel ban on refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. Since then several high-level White House officials have been sacked or replaced. In July, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was sacked after President Trump’s bill to scrap the Obamacare failed a Senate vote. Priebus was sacked only days after White House Speaker Sean Spicer was replaced by Anthony Scaramucci, who stayed in office for only 10 days. However, the most notorious case was the dismissal of former FBI chief James Comey, who was leading the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US Presidential elections.

Diplomatic tensions with Russia have experienced a significant escalation since President Trump was elected. Russian officials are being accused of colluding with their US counterparts in an attempt to meddle in the presidential elections that led to the victory of President Trump. In June 2017, the US Senate reinforced sanctions on Russia for the country’s alleged involvement in the elections along with its active role in Syria and the Crimean annexation. In retaliation, a month later, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 755 US diplomatic staff to leave Moscow. In September 2017, Russian diplomatic buildings in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC were raided.

Many of the southern and mid-west states of the US are affected by tropical weather systems, particularly during the Atlantic hurricane season, which usually occurs between June and November. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,800 people in New Orleans and the surrounding Gulf Coast area. In 2012, nearly 300 people died when Hurricane Sandy brought widespread flooding to New York City. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey killed more than 80 people when it made landfall in Texas, Louisiana and other south-eastern states. A month later, over 36 people died in Georgia and Florida after Hurricane Irma hit the region. Visitors should monitor local media and the National Hurricane Centre (www.nhc.noaa.gov) for up-to-date weather information during these months.

Between October and December in 2017, California suffered the largest and deadliest wildfire outbreaks in recent history. In October, thousands of acres of land in northern California were destroyed by fire and more than 75,000 residents were evacuated. Nearly two months later, southern California faced a similar fate, where the so-called Thomas Fire consumed 300,000 acres of land across Ventura, Santa Barbara and neighbouring counties on the outskirts of Los Angeles. As the blazes ravaged the vegetation surrounding those areas, warnings were issued over the increasing risk of landslides. In January 2018, more than 20 people died after heavy rainfall triggered a massive mudflow in Santa Barbara.

There is a risk of earthquakes along much of the western coast with the San Andreas Fault, the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, running for some 810 miles through California. Seismic activity in the Pacific Northwest caused Mount St. Helens to erupt in 1980, causing the largest debris avalanche in recorded history and the deaths of 57 people. The most recently recorded volcanic activity at Mount St. Helens took place in 2008.

News articles

By Bryan Cohen, Reuters

News helicopter crashes in downtown Seattle, leaving two dead

(Reuters) - A news helicopter crashed and burst into flames in downtown Seattle on Tuesday, killing two people on board and setting cars on fire in a popular tourist area near the Space Needle, police and fire officials said.

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Alerts for United States Of America

Thousands still without power in South and North Carolina

More than 62,000 people across North and South Carolina are still facing power outages a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall along the East Coast. Out of more than 2.2 million people who were impacted by the storm, Duke Energy Corp confirmed that power is still to be restored to several houses and businesses. Meanwhile, Florence's death toll was increased to 40. Some areas along the coast are still recovering from flooding, especially in north-eastern South Carolina and south-eastern North Carolina. Advice from the National Weather Service and FEMA should be followed.

Several injured in knife attack at daycare in New York City

At least five people, including three babies, have been stabbed at a daycare facility in New York City. US media reported that a worker stabbed the victims with a butcher knife and a meat cleaver, which were found at the scene. The incident happened in the early hours of Friday morning in Queens. Police detained the suspect after she was reportedly found with self-inflicted wounds in the building's basement. Reports suggest that all victims are stable. Police are still investigating the motives behind the attacks alongside the relevant operations licencing of the care centre.

Police kill armed suspect near Miami Airport, Florida

Police officers killed a man after he opened fire on agents near Miami International Airport. NBC News reported that the suspect was armed with an assault rifle when he was confronted by law enforcement agents on Thursday afternoon. According to the FBI, he was being investigated for a hate crime, when he fled the scene and fired several times with an AK-47 rifle. Miami PD said that the incident happened in the area of Northwest 72 Avenue and Northwest 7 Street. No injuries were reported.

Several casualties reported during shooting in Aberdeen, Maryland

Several people have been reportedly shot at an industrial area south of Aberdeen, Maryland. Harford County Sheriff has informed on Thursday morning that several agencies were responding to shots fired near an area close to Spesutia and Perryman roads. Governor Larry Hogan confirmed the shooting. US media reported that a woman killed three people before killing herself. Reports suggest that the suspect was a temporary worker at a warehouse. It is still unclear the motives behind the shooting.

Gunman killed after shooting near Middleton, Wisconsin

At least three people have been injured after a gunman opened fire on his co-workers near Madison, Wisconsin. Police revealed that a man armed with a semi-automatic pistol stormed the offices of a software company in Middleton and engaged in a shooting spree. The suspect was shot dead by the police. Investigations were launched to assess the causes of the shooting and if the victims were deliberately targeted.

Jogger stabbed to death in Washington DC

A 35-year-old woman has been stabbed while she was jogging in Washington DC. Wendy Karina Martinez was attacked at a residential neighbourhood located near Logan Circle on Tuesday evening. According to the police, Martinez was stabbed multiple times and succumbed to her wounds after being rushed to a hospital. US media reported that Martinez was the chief of staff of a tech company. Although sporadic violent incidents have been reported in Logan Circle, crime rates in the area are relatively low. It is still unclear the motives behind the attack, while the police is still searching for the suspect.

Several injured as gunman raid courthouse in Masontown, Pennsylvania

At least four people have been injured after a gunman opened fire in a courtroom in Masontown, Pennsylvania. According to the authorities, the unknown suspect was shot dead by a police officer. Reports revealed that the suspect was due in court for charges related to domestic violence, but the circumstances behind the shooting are still unclear. 

President Trump orders release of documents from Russia probe

President Donald Trump has ordered the FBI and the Justice Department to release sections of some classified documents linked to the Russian investigation. Among them are sensitive documents related to search warrants to his campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page. Some documents also involve FBI - such as former FBI Director James Comey - and Justice Department officials. Democrat Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has accused President Trump of selectively releasing "materials he believes are helpful to his defence team and thinks will advance a false narrative." His Republican allies praised the move, while White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said the decision was taken for reasons of transparency. President Trump claims that the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a political 'witch hunt'.

Spanish golfer found dead at golf course in Ames, Iowa

A 22-year-old Spanish golfer has been killed at a golf course in Ames, Iowa. Celia Barquin was found dead on Monday at the Coldwater Golf Links. A suspect has been detained. Preliminary reports suggest that Barquin was assaulted, while the cause of her death is still being investigated. Barquin was a student-athlete at Iowa State University. She had recently won the European Amateur Championship.

Massive fire breaks out at New York City mall

At least 21 people have been injured, most of them firefighters, after a major fire broke out at a mall in New York City. According to the FDNY, the fire erupted on Monday morning at the King's Plaza Shopping Centre in Mill Basin, Brooklyn. A 23-year-old suspect was detained for arson. The fire broke out at a local garage that stores dozens of vehicles. The incident happened an hour before all stores were open. The mall was closed for the rest of the day - it is expected to be reopened late on Tuesday - as hundreds of firefighters were deployed to the scene to tackle the fire.

Hundreds rescued as Hurricane Florence death toll increases

More than 900 people have been rescued after widespread flooding completely isolated the coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina. Hurricane Florence made landfall in South and North Carolina last week and it continues to affect areas further inland. Thousands of people are still without power. Meanwhile, authorities have increased the death toll to 31, most of them reported in North Carolina. Although Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is expected to further deteriorate into a subtropical depression on Wednesday, flooding is still likely to occur due to abnormal water levels across several rivers along the East Coast. Further updates are provided by the National Weather Service.

Mother of MS-13 victim killed after being struck by an SUV in New York

A 50-year-old woman who was setting up a vigil for her murdered daughter has been killed after being hit by a vehicle in Brentwood, New York. Evelyn Rodriguez was organising a memorial to mark two years since her 16-year-old daughter was killed by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang. According to the police, Rodriguez was killed after a man drove an SUV towards her and her partner. Preliminary reports suggest that an altercation with the driver occurred before the incident, which is believed not to be connected to the MS-13. Rodriguez met with President Donald Trump last year to discuss gang violence carried out by the MS-13 in Long Island. She also attended the State of Union address alongside Melania Trump.

Surfer dies after shark attack off Cape Cod, Massachussetts

A 26-year-old surfer has succumbed to his wounds after being attacked by a shark off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The victim was identified as Joe Booth, who was also a local fisherman. According to the authorities, the attack happened on Saturday afternoon at the Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. In mid-August, a 61-year-old surfer was injured in a suspected shark attack in the same region. Such incidents are extremely rare in the US as this is claimed to be the first fatal shark attack in 80 years.

Scores killed as Hurricane Florence makes landfall in North Carolina

At least 17 people have been killed after Hurricane Florence made landfall as a category-one storm in North Carolina. Hundreds of thousands of residents in North Carolina and South Carolina were without power, while flooding continues to batter the region. Flash floods completely isolated the coastal city of Wilmington, which is expected to remain affected until at least Tuesday. According to the FAA, Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is scheduled to reopen on 30 September. The remnants of Florence, which has been downgraded to a tropical depression, is forecast to bring adverse weather to West Virginia and Virginia before moving towards the Northeast and New England. Flash flooding and landslides continue to pose a risk to some areas along the Appalachian Mountains and coastal towns in mid-Atlantic states.

Newark Airport's AirTrain to face disruptions until mid-November

AirTrain services at New York City's Newark Airport (EWR) are scheduled to face night-time disruptions until mid-November. The airport said on Friday that services from 22:00 to 05:00 will be extremely limited. Shuttle buses will be provided on those services. EWR has advised travellers to allocate extra time before departure. For further information, passengers are recommended to contact EWR directly.

Thousands without power as Hurricane Florence approaches North Carolina

More than 180,000 people have suffered power outages as Hurricane Florence approaches North Carolina. Florence is expected to make landfall on Friday morning, but widespread flooding and life-threatening storm surges are already being reported along coastal areas and further inland. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Florence is a slow-moving category-two storm. Winds reaching up to 159km/h are currently being reported at some monitoring stations. Flight disruption is highly likely. Travellers are advised to follow official updates from reputable sources such as the NHC, the National Weather Service, FEMA and state emergency management departments in North Carolina and South Carolina.

One killed after gas explosions trigger evacuation near Boston

More than 8,000 people have been evacuated from several towns near Boston after dozens of gas explosions were reported on Thursday afternoon. Residents in Andover, North Andover and Lawrence were forced to leave their houses as more than 70 fire engines rushed to the area. An 18-year-old man was killed and at least a dozen other people were injured. US media reported that several roads in the area are still closed. Reuters reported that investigations have been launched over a potential pressure issue to gas mains operated by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.

Thousands put on alert over potential dam spillage near Honolulu, Hawaii

Over 10,000 people were put on evacuation alert due to the potential spillage of a local dam east of Honolulu, Hawaii. Tropical Storm Olivia made landfall in the islands of Oahu and Maui on Wednesday. Olivia's remnants - Olivia is moving away from Hawaii after being downgraded to a tropical depression - triggered heavy rainfall that significantly increased water levels at a dam in Nuuanu. The Board of Water Supply said that the dam is not under risk of breaching and currently presents no danger to the community, but some areas nearby may need to be evacuated due to risks of flooding - Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that evacuation is highly unlikely. A stretch along the Pali Highway (Highway 61) was preventively closed as works continue on Friday morning.

Hurricane Florence to bring life-threatening storm surge to Southeast

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a category two storm as it approaches the South Carolina and North Carolina coast. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Florence is expected to make landfall on Friday morning. Although Florence was downgraded, it is forecast to slow down and bring life-threatening storm surges to coastal areas and the mainland. FEMA has warned of risks associated with strong winds, flooding, heavy rainfall and rough surfs. A hurricane warning remains in place from the central coast of South Carolina to the border with Virginia. Daily updates are provided by the NHC, the National Weather Service and FEMA.

Several killed in shooting spree in Bakersfield, California

Five people have been killed after a gunman went on a shooting spree in Bakersfield, California. According to US media, the suspect initially killed his own wife and two other individuals after driving to a local business at Manwell Boulevard. Minutes later, two others were killed after the suspect hijacked a car and drove to another location. The suspect then shot himself when police officers intercepted him on Edison Highway. The motive behind the shooting remains unknown, while investigators are still working to establish whether, asides from his wife, the suspect knew any of the other victims.

Hurricane Florence likely to impact flights across the US Southeast

Several US airlines are issuing travel alerts to passengers heading to and from the US Southeast. Due to the potential landfall of Hurricane Florence, delays and cancellations are likely to impact major airports in the South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC and Georgia. American Airlines, United, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest and Delta have already warned their passengers about potential disruptions between Thursday and Monday. Some of them waived cancellation and change fees. Travellers are advised to contact their respective airline for flight status updates.

Airports to remain open as Storm Olivia approaches Hawaii

Hawaii's Department of Transportation (HIDOT) has confirmed that all airports statewide will remain open despite the approach of Tropical Storm Olivia, which is expected to hit the archipelago on Wednesday morning. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a tropical storm warning to all Hawaiian islands. HIDOT has stated that there may be some operational delays, but airports will remain open unless major damage is reported. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines and daily emergency alerts from HIDOT. Further recommendations on Tropical Storm Olivia are also being provided by the Hawaiian Tourism Authority and the National Weather Service.

North Korean leader invites Trump to follow-up summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited US President Donald Trump to a potential follow-up summit. Kim allegedly wrote a letter to Trump, asking for a second summit following their historic meeting in Singapore earlier this year. According to the BBC, the US administration is already looking into coordinating another summit, with the hope that the second meeting will allow for further discussions of denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. It remains unclear when a follow-up summit might take place, while Kim's letter was described as 'warm' and South Korea has seemingly supported the move.

Evacuation orders issued as Hurricane Florence approaches East Coast

More than one million people have been ordered to evacuate along coastal areas of North and South Carolina and Virginia as Hurricane Florence is forecast to make landfall on Thursday evening as a major category-four storm. A state of emergency has been declared in all three states, along with Maryland, Washington DC and Georgia. Virginia Governor Larry Hogan has issued evacuation orders to 245,000 people living across the state's Eastern Shore and parts of Hampton Roads. In North Carolina, Governor Ray Cooper ordered evacuations in the Hatteras Islands and the counties of Dare, Brunswick, Currituck, Onslow, Hyde and New Hanover. Meanwhile, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has issued mandatory evacuations to the coastal counties of Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Harry and Berkeley. Travellers are advised to follow daily updates from the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service and the states' respective emergency management departments or divisions.

Weather alerts issued as Hurricane Olivia approaches Hawaii

A tropical storm watch has been issued to most Hawaiian islands as Hurricane Olivia heads westwards the Central Pacific. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Olivia is currently a category-one hurricane and is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm after hitting Hawaii on Tuesday evening. Strong winds and heavy rainfall are expected to bring flash flooding. Rip currents and dangerous surfs are also forecast to hit the eastern regions of most islands. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the National Weather Service and the NHC.

State of emergency declared as Hurricane Florence approaches East Coast

A state of emergency has been declared across three states along the East Coast as Hurricane Florence approaches the US. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the category-one hurricane is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane on Thursday evening. States of emergency have been declared in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Adverse weather conditions are also expected to affect the entire Southeast coast, while it is still unclear where Florence will hit first. Flights in the region are expected to be disrupted. Travellers are recommended to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines and to follow developments provided by the NHC.

Tropical Storm Florence may strengthen and affect US East Coast

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it currently moves nearly 1,000 miles south-east the island of Bermuda. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Florence is expected to strengthen over the weekend and become a hurricane on Monday. Although it is still unclear if Florence will make landfall along the US East Coast, rip current and dangerous surfs are expected to hit the region. Travellers have been advised to monitor updates from the NHC and the National Weather Service (NWS).

Passengers examined after falling ill on two flights to Philadelphia

At least a dozen people have been examined after falling ill on two separate flights to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Pennsylvania. According to PHL, the passengers landed on two American Airlines services from France and Germany. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told TIME that: "Twelve passengers from the two flights reported sore throat and cough; none were identified with fever". All passengers have been already discharged. The incident came a day after dozens of passengers on a flight from Dubai were quarantined at New York City's JFK after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Major wildfire in northern California spreads overnight

Northern California's Delta Fire has significantly spread overnight on Thursday, triggering further evacuations across several counties in the region. According to the authorities, a large stretch of the Interstate 5 highway is still closed north of Redding, where some residents who live along the highway are being forced to evacuate. Further evacuation orders have been issued to the town of Dunsmuir in Siskiyou County. The areas of main concern are located around Lakehead. Meanwhile, the nearby Hirz Fire continues active. People have been advised to follow updates from Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office and Shasta County Sheriff's Office. Further updates can also be found at National Wildfire Coordination Groups's InciWeb.

Three killed in shooting in Cincinnati, Ohio

An active shooter situation is currently being reported in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati Police Department has said that an active shooter incident was reported on Thursday afternoon at Fifth Third Bank in Walnut Street. Some areas around Fountain Square were put on lockdown. At least three people were killed and five others were injured. The suspect was shot dead. It remains unclear the motives behind the shooting.

Several reported ill after plane lands in New York City

A plane from Dubai that landed at New York City's JFK Airport was quarantined after nearly 20 people fell ill. According to the New York Mayor's Office, 10 passengers and cabin crew - more than 520 people were on board - were taken to the hospital. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said that symptoms included a cough and fever. New York Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said that the causes of the illness were potentially linked to influenza. All passengers were later discharged.

Wildfire shuts down interstate highway in northern California

A massive wildfire in northern California has forced the closure of a large stretch of the Interstate 5. According to the US Fire Service, the stretch from Fawndale Road north of Redding to Mott Road south of Mount Shasta was shut down in both directions. Heavy delays are expected in the area. The so-called Delta Fire has significantly spread across more than 2,000 hectares on Wednesday evening through Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Meanwhile, around 75 percent of the nearby Hirz Fire, located south-east of Redding, has already been contained. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Last July, several people were killed in the region after a massive wildfire broke out near Redding.

Tropical Depression Gordon may bring adverse weather to central US

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has said that Tropical Depression Gordon may bring adverse weather conditions across the central US. In the final advisory issued on Wednesday, the NHC stated that despite Gordon is expected to dissipate, heavy rainfall and flooding are likely to affect "the western Florida Panhandle, southwest Alabama, central Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, southern Iowa and Illinois". Gordon was located on Wednesday near Jackson, Mississippi. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the National Weather Service (NWS).

One killed as Tropical Storm Gordon makes landfall

A child has been killed after Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall near the Alabama-Mississippi border on Tuesday night. The child died when a tree fell on to his home in Pensacola in Florida. The storm also knocked down power lines, leaving more than 20,000 homes in Florida and Alabama without power. Further torrential rain is expected as the storm moves inland.

Gulf Coast braced for Tropical Storm Gordon

The Gulf Coast is braced for Tropical Storm Gordon, which is expected to make landfall near New Orleans with hurricane strength winds late on Tuesday. The storm is predicted to move over the lower Mississippi Valley into Wednesday, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and potentially life-threatening storm surges. Storm warnings are in place from Florida to Louisiana.

Seven killed New Mexico crash

At least seven people have been killed and dozens more wounded after a Greyhound bus crashed with a lorry in New Mexico. The accident occurred near the town of Thoreau on Thursday. According to initial investigations, a tyre on the lorry blew out, forcing it to veer into oncoming traffic. State police said 49 people were on the bus at the time and the death toll is expected to increase.

Thousands of teachers launch strike action in Washington

Thousands of teachers launched a strike action as more than 80,000 students were set to get back to school in Washington. Teachers' unions are demanding higher salaries. Protests and strike actions started being called in mid-August and are highly expected to become more frequent as new contracts are being negotiated across hundreds of schools. Earlier this year, similar actions have also taken place in West Virginia, Arizona and Oklahoma.

Police recover remains of MS-13 victim in Long Island, New York

The police have recovered human remains from a clandestine grave in Long Island, New York. Nassau County Police told US media that the victim is believed to have been killed by members of the notorious street gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). His body was found near the Meadowbrook Parkway in East Meadow. In recent years, MS-13 has increased its presence along the US East Coast. It has been reported that more than 25 people were killed in incidents linked to the gang in Long Island since 2016. Most incidents are related to territorial disputes between rival gangs and MS-13 factions.

Great Lakes beaches on alert due to rough surf conditions

The National Weather Service (NWS) has announced on Wednesday afternoon that some beaches across the Great Lakes may face rough sea conditions. Dangerous surfs are forecast to batter beaches along the eastern coast of Lake Michigan, the south-eastern area of Lake Superior and the north-western tip of Lake Huron. Travellers are advised to exercise caution and to follow the recommendations from the NWS and the US Lifeguard Association.

Two killed and several injured in Jacksonville shooting

At least two people have been killed and several others were injured when a gunman raided a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon during an NFL e-tournament in Jacksonville Landing. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office identified the victims as Elijah Clayton and Taylor Robertson. According to the police, the shooter was David Katz, a 24-year-old from Maryland. According to EA Sports, Katz was last year's tournament winner. He killed himself after engaging in a shooting spree. AP and CNN reported that Katz had been previously treated for mental illness, while witnesses told US media that he was angry for losing an earlier match. The police are still investigating the motives of the shooting.

Eight killed in apartment fire in Chicago

At least eight people have been killed after a fire broke out at an apartment in Chicago. According to the authorities, six of the victims were children. US media reported that the fire erupted in the early hours of Sunday morning in the Little Village neighbourhood. At least two nearby buildings were also affected, while two people were taken to hospital in critical conditions. Investigations have been launched to assess the causes of the fire.

Heavy rainfall forecast as Hurricane Lane moves away from Hawaii

Heavy rainfall and strong winds are forecast to batter Hawaii in the next few days. Risks of landslides and flooding are still active across the state despite Hurricane Lane moving away. Localised rainfall is expected to mainly affect Hawaii's Big Island and Maui County, while the adverse weather may continue in the northern Oahu and Kauai islands. Cleanup efforts are still ongoing across some of the affected areas. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Miriam is moving westwards the central Pacific but is not expected to directly affect Hawaiian islands. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the US National Weather Service (NWS).

US Republican Senator John McCain dies aged 81

US Republican Senator John McCain has died on Saturday aged 81. McCain was facing a long-standing battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer. His office confirmed that he died in the early hours of Saturday morning, a day after his family chose to discontinue medical care. He is expected to be replaced by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Despite sharing the same party as President Donald Trump, McCain has been one of the most avid critics of the president. Political tensions between them have escalated since he voted against the Obamacare repeal bill. 

New York City's Liberty Island reopened after fire triggers evacuation

New York City's Liberty Island was evacuated after a fire broke out on Sunday morning. Statue of Liberty National Monument said on Twitter that operations were resumed on Sunday afternoon at 14:00 local time. It is believed that the fire happened at a propane tank on a construction site. According to FDNY, more than 3,400 people were evacuated. No injuries or major damages were reported.

Shooting reported in Jacksonville, Florida

A shooting was reported on Friday afternoon in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has reported on Twitter: “Mass shooting at the Jacksonville Landing. Stay far away from the area. The area is not safe at this time." Reports suggest that the shooting happened at a restaurant which was hosting a video game tournament. The Jacksonville Landing is an entertainment and shopping venue in downtown Jacksonville.

NSA contractor sentenced to five years for leaking classified report

A former NSA contractor has been sentenced for more than five years in prison for leaking a classified intelligence report. Reality Winner is being accused of leaking a top-secret document linked to alleged Russian hacking attempts to the 2016 US elections. She has been detained since June 2017. Winner worked for the defence contractor Pluribus International Corporation and was sentenced under the Espionage Act. Her sentence is one of the harshest applied to whistleblowers, while his defence attorney claimed that it was excessive to try her under the Espionage Act.

Hurricane Lane triggers widespread flooding in Hawaii's Big Island

Hurricane Lane has been downgraded to a category three storm as is moves westwards the central Pacific. A Hurricane Warning remains in place to the islands of Maui and Molokai. Although the alert to Big Island has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm Watch, County of Hawaii's Civil Defense (COHCD) reported that heavy rainfall has triggered widespread flooding across the island, especially to the eastern regions. Some areas around Reeds Island have been evacuated. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and alerts from COHCD.

Hurricane warnings issued ahead of Hurricane Lane approach to Hawaii

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued Hurricane Warnings to most Hawaiian islands as category-four Hurricane Lane approaches the state. Although Lane is not expected to make landfall, adverse weather conditions are forecast to hit all islands. A lower Hurricane Watch was issued to the northern island of Kauai as weather conditions are set to improve later in the week. Shelters have been opened as people in Hawaii have been advised to exercise caution and to prepare for the rough weather, especially in the western and southern coastal areas. Hawaiian Airlines and major carriers are offering to waive rebooking fees. Hawaii's Department of Transportation (HDOT) said that "the 15 airports located throughout the state and their associated runways will remain open and accessible, barring infrastructure damage or debris to the facility that makes flight operations unsafe." Travellers are advised to check for flight updates with their airlines and to follow daily alerts from the NHC, the National Weather Service and the HDOT.

Hurricane Lane upgraded to category-five as it approaches Hawaii

Hurricane Lane has been upgraded to a powerful category-five storm as it moves closer to the Hawaiian islands. The National Hurricane Center (NHC), forecast Lane to hover off the western coast of Big Island later on the week, while flash flood alerts are in place to the islands of Maui, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai. Lane is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Lane is the strongest hurricane to approach the state since Hurricane John in 1994. Travellers are advised to follow updates from the NWS and NHC.

President Trump's campaign manager charged with fraud

A federal judge in Virginia has charged President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, with eight counts of fraud. Manafort was facing 18 accusations, but 10 of them were declared as mistrials by Federal Judge TS Ellis. If convicted, he may be sentenced to up to 80 years in prison. Manafort's trial - not linked to the Russian investigations - came nearly at the same time Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen pledged guilt on eight fraud charges. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, said that Cohen's charges show “no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president”.

Scores of former officials sign support letter to former CIA chief

More than 175 former US officials have signed an open letter to support former CIA Director John Brennan, who had his security clearance revoked last week. President Donald Trump stripped Brennan's security clearance over claims of his "erratic conduct and behaviour". The letter is signed by former CIA officials, former ambassadors and US attorneys. Several days ago, more than a dozen former CIA senior officials also backed Brennan in another letter to President Trump. Brennan is an avid critic to President Trump, especially regarding the ongoing Russian investigations.

Severe storms forecast to batter US Northeast

Severe storms are forecast to batter the US Northeast on Tuesday evening. Strong winds and heavy rainfall are expected to impact several areas in Washington DC, Pennsylvania and New York. Flight delays are likely across major airports in the region, while public transportation may also be impacted due to flash floods.

Dozens shot in fresh wave of shootings in Chicago

Around 60 people were shot over the weekend in a fresh wave of violence across Chicago, Illinois. At least six people have been killed in separate incidents across the city. Earlier in the month, another violent weekend led to the death of more than four people, while 40 others were injured. Chicago is particularly plagued with gang-related gun violence. Despite several shootings being reported in the city, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago PD reported that the number of incidents in 2018 has significantly decreased compared to last year.

Chinese national kidnapped near Los Angeles, California

US authorities are investigating the kidnap of a 28-year-old Chinese national in San Gabriel, California. FBI Agent Gene Kowel told CNN that three men pulled Tony Liao Ruochen into a van. The incident happened in mid-July. Reports suggest that ransom of two million dollars has been demanded, but the suspects did not follow up on the request. Liao owned a luxury car dealership in southern California.

Hundreds topple Confederate statue in North Carolina

Hundreds of protests gathered outside the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to demonstrate against a statue of a Confederate soldier. Reports revealed that the statue of Silent Sam was grounded after protests escalated. In recent years, a movement to remove Confederate monuments in the US has emerged. Protesters claim that they symbolise the US legacy of slavery present during the Civil War.

Hurricane Lane forecast to approach Hawaii's Big Island

Further adverse weather is expected to impact Hawaii as Hurricane Lane moves towards the archipelago. Lane has been upgraded to a category-four hurricane and currently sits nearly 800km south of Hawaii's Big Island. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Lane is forecast to make a north-west turn towards Hawaii, bringing inclement weather to some of its southern islands on Thursday. Travellers in Honolulu and across the northern islands should monitor NWS updates. Lane is expected to be gradually downgraded from Thursday afternoon.

Young surfer injured in suspect shark attack in North Carolina

A 14-year-old boy has been injured in a suspected shark attack off North Carolina. The incident was reported on Sunday morning near the Dunes Club at Atlantic Beach. The victim was surfing when the shark attacked his right leg. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Shark attacks are extremely rare in the US. However, some incidents have been recently reported along the US East Cost - New York and Massachusetts. Travellers are advised to follow local authorities' recommendations when going to the beach and check for warning flags.

Further evacuation orders issued to Glacier National Park, Montana

Further evacuation orders have been issued to some areas in the Glacier National Park in Montana. A massive wildfire continues to spread around Lake McDonald, where evacuations orders were issued to a local lodge and a campground last week. New evacuation orders apply to campers at the Fish Creek Campground. Reports revealed that the fire continues to threaten the iconic 'Going-to-the-Sun' Road, which is partially closed. Residents in the town of Apgar are under evacuation alert. The fire broke out earlier in the month after lightning struck dry vegetation. Travellers are advised to follow alerts from Glacier National Park. Meanwhile, the so-called Fergurson Fire, which was burning near Yosemite National Park in California, has been contained. Although the park was already reopened, travellers are recommended to follow daily updates from Yosemite National Park.

Hurricane Lane may bring adverse weather to southern Hawaii

Hurricane Lane has been formed in the North Pacific nearly 2,600 km from the southern tip of Hawaii. According to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Lane is currently sustaining winds of up to 130 km/h as it moves westwards. Lane is highly expected to intensify and may potentially bring adverse weather conditions to Hawaii next Wednesday. Travellers should closely monitor local media and official updates from the NHC.

Former intelligence officials condemn Trump's move against Brennan

More than a dozen senior intelligence officials have signed an open letter condemning President Donald Trump's move to revoke the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan. In a joint letter, they said: "We feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan’s security clearances. Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless." Among the subscribers are former CIA General David Patreus and Retired Admiral William McRaven. Brennan was known as a vocal critic of President Trump.

President Trump revokes former CIA chief security clearance

President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that the move comes due to his "erratic conduct and behaviour". President Trump alleges that Brennan "has leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive info to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations”. In the same statement, President Trump said that security clearances are being reviewed to a number of members of the intelligence community, including former FBI director James Comey. Brennan is an avid critic to President Trump, especially regarding the alleged Russian meddling scandal.

US judge orders environmental review to Keystone XL oi pipeline

A US District Judge in Montana has ordered an environmental review on the construction of the billionaire Keystone XL oil pipeline. Judge Brian Morris said that the environmental impact should be revised. Keystone XL is an oil pipeline that is set to transport crude from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska. Its construction was previously halted during the Obama administration but re-emerged after President Donald Trump took office.

Scores overdose in New Haven park, Connecticut

More than 70 people have reportedly overdosed on synthetic drugs in a park in New Haven, Connecticut. According to the police, most incidents happened around New Haven Green, a park located near downtown New Haven. It is believed that all the patients consumed a variety of K2, a synthetic cannabis-based drug, which may have been mixed with several other substances. Three people have been detained, while two patients remain hospitalised in serious condition. Governor Dannel Malloy raised concerns over the incident, while Mayor Toni Harp highlighted the struggle to tackle illicit drug usage.

Surfer injured in alleged shark attack off Cape Cod, Massachussetts

A 61-year-old surfer has been injured after an alleged shark attack off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. US media reported that the attack happened on Wednesday afternoon at Long Nook Beach in Truro. The victim was airlifted to a local hospital. Last week, several beach towns in Plymouth were temporarily closed for swimming after two white sharks were spotted along Cape Cod. Shark attacks in the area are extremely rare. Reports suggest that this is the first such attack to occur since 2012. Travellers are advised to follow local authorities' recommendations when going to the beach and check for warning flags - double red flags mean that the beach is closed for swimming.

Washington family killed in car crash in Oregon

Seven members of the same family have been killed in a car crash in eastern Oregon. State police revealed that the accident happened on Monday along the Highway 78 near Burns, Harney County. Reports suggest that they crashed head-on into another vehicle. Most victims are young children, who were heading with their parents from Lacey, Washington, to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Heavy rainfall triggers widespread flooding across US Northeast

A state of emergency has been declared in five counties in New Jersey after heavy rainfall triggered widespread flooding across the US Northeast. Severe weather has caused flash floods and triggered evacuations in Bergen, Ocean, Essex, Monmouth and Passaic counties. In New York, evacuations happened in Seneca County, while flood warnings were issued in Binghamton. Some areas in Pennsylvania were also severely affected. Weather conditions are expected to improve on Thursday, but another storm is forecast to hit the region over the weekend. Flight delays are expected throughout the week, especially in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

Hundreds of priests implicated in child abuse scandal in Pennsylvania

More than 300 priests have been implicated in a fresh grand jury report regarding alleged sexual abuses against minors within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. In a lengthy report - with more than 1,000 pages - over 1,000 children were believed to have been victims across six dioceses in Allentown, Ernie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburg and Scranton. Some of the crimes date back to 1947. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that this is the "largest, most comprehensive report into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church ever produced in the United States."

Nine injured in natural gas explosion in Denver, Colorado

At least nine people have been injured after a natural gas explosion levelled a building in Denver, Colorado. Search efforts were launched to locate for potential missing victims under the rubble. The incident happened on Tuesday at an apartment building in Baker neighbourhood. Investigations have been launched to assess the causes of the blast.

US judge denies to move El Chapo's trial in New York City

A US Judge denied calls to move the trial of drug-lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman from Brooklyn to Manhattan. El Chapo is set to be trialled in early-November. Enhanced security measures will be implemented to transport him from a high-security prison in Manhattan to a courthouse in Brooklyn. El Chapo's lawyers claim that such may influence public opinion and compromise the chances of a fair trial. On the same grounds, lawyers previously criticised a court decision of an anonymous jury. El Chapo is a notorious drug-lord linked to the infamous Sinaloa Cartel.

Five injured in supermarket shooting near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

At least five people have been injured during a shooting at a supermarket near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The incident happened on Tuesday evening at a Walmart at the Cedarbrook Plaza Shopping Centre in Cheltenham. Preliminary reports suggest that the shooting broke out after an altercation between two individuals. Police revealed that the shooter was arrested after a car chase.

State of emergency declared due to red tides in southern Florida

A state of emergency has been declared in seven counties in southwestern Florida after thousands of marine animals - especially fish - were killed due to the so-called red tide algae bloom. The emergency includes the counties of Hillsborough, Charlotte, Lee, Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas and Collier. Those areas include the cities of Tampa, Bradenton, Fort Myers and Naples. This toxic algae bloom may be harmful to people with respiratory problems, mainly those suffering from asthma. The phenomenon has been developing since late-2017, but has just recently intensified.

Firefighter killed while battling Medocino fire in northern California

A firefighter battling Mendocino Complex fire succumbed to his wound after being airlifted to a local hospital in northern California. No further details about the firefighter's identity and the circumstance behind the incident have been revealed. The fire in the Mendocino Complex already consumed more than 140,000 hectares of land. This is the sixth casualty reported in the region. It has been considered the largest fire in the state's history. It significantly intensified over the last few days due to adverse weather conditions, but CalFire confirmed that around 70 percent of the fire is contained.

Cases of cryptosporidiosis reported in Zumbrota, Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed that three people have fallen ill amid a suspected cryptosporidiosis outbreak at a campground in Zumbrota. Reports revealed that the incidents are suspected to have originated at the Shades of Sherwood Campground, which had some of its facilities shut while investigations are ongoing. More than 70 cases are being investigated. Cryptosporidiosis is a water-borne parasitic illness often contracted due to the ingestion of contaminated water. Symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, fever and vomiting.

Yosemite National Park to reopen after wildfire

California's Yosemite Valley is set to reopen to visitors on Tuesday. Yosemite Valley was closed since late-July after the so-called Ferguson Fire threatened some of its trails. Yosemite National Park said that access to Yosemite Valley can be made from the El Portal Road (Highway 140),  the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) or the Tioga Road (Highway 120). Meanwhile, the Wawona Road (Highway 41) will remain closed. Travellers are advised caution as some trails and areas remain on alert. People are advised to check for daily updates provided by Yosemite National Park.

Wildfire breaks out at Glacier National Park, Montana

Evacuation orders have been issued after lightning ignited wildfires across the Glacier National Park in northern Montana. A local lodge and a campground were among the places evacuated on Saturday evening, while some nearby residents were also ordered to leave their homes. According to National Park Service officials, the fire erupted around the north side of Lake McDonald, while the touristic areas of the park remain unaffected. Some trails have been closed, including the 'Going-to-the-Sun' Road. Travellers are advised to follow alerts from Glacier National Park.

Dozens injured in bus crash in New York City

Dozens of people have been injured after a tour bus crashed in New York City. US media reported that the vehicle crashed on Sunday evening into an overpass at Newark Penn Station. It was transporting around 50 people from Washington DC to New Jersey. No critical injuries were reported.

Heavy rainfall may impact flights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Flights to and from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) may be impacted due to severe weather conditions on Monday. Some flights across major airports in New York and New Jersey may also be impacted throughout the day. Adverse weather is expected to last until Tuesday and may spread along the US East Coast. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Powerful 6.4-magnitude eathquake hits North Slope, Alaska

A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake has been recorded in the remote North Slope in Alaska. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake struck on Sunday morning near Kavik River Camp at a shallow depth of 10km. USGS said that this is the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the region - it surpasses the 5.2-magnitude quake recorded back in 1995. A 6.1-magnitude quake and several aftershocks were also felt several hours later in the region. North Slope is known for the presence of oil companies working on the trans-Alaska pipeline, which were not damaged.

State of emergency declared as wildfire spreads in southern California

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Orange and Riverside counties as the so-called Holy Fire continues to spread in southern California. More than 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate as the blazes are threatening residential areas south of Los Angeles. More than 4,000 hectares of land were already consumed. Areas of main concern are Lake Elsinore and some areas across Cleveland National Forest.

Scores detained in LA for links to Sinaloa Cartel

More than 20 people have been detained during a lengthy joint operation in southern California. For nearly three years, the FBI and the DEA alongside Mexican authorities were investigating three groups tasked to transport and distribute drugs from the notorious Sinaloa Cartel. According to the authorities, more than one tonne of cocaine, 950 kg of methamphetamine and nearly $1.4m in cash were seized during the operation. Most arrests were made in Los Angeles, while 25 suspects are still at large. The Sinaloa Cartel is one of the most powerful drug cartels in Mexico.

US announces sanctions on Russia

The US has announced a new set of sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skirpal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, in the UK. The sanctions will come into effect later this month, on Wednesday 22 August. According to the BBC, the Russian rouble has slumped in response to the sanctions, most notably against the US dollar and the euro. Earlier this year, the Skripals were poisoned with the Russian nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury in an attack which Russia are widely seen as being responsible for, although Russia has continued to deny any involvement in the attack. The UK Foreign Secretary has thanked the US following the announcement, while Russia has criticised the new sanctions as 'draconian'.

Wildfire triggers evacuations in southern California

Several towns across southern Califonia's Orange and Riverside counties have been ordered to evacuate as the so-called Holy Fire continues to spread. The fire broke out on Monday near Holy Jim Canyon. So far, more than 2,500 hectares of land were consumed as the blaze continues to threaten areas in the outskirts of Cleveland National Forest. The Ortega Highway 74 is currently closed. CalFire reported on Wednesday that around five percent of the fire was already contained. The authorities reported that a 51-year-old man was detained for arson.

State of emergency declared in Charlottesville, Virgnia

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency in Charlottesville ahead of the one-year anniversary of the white supremacist rally. More than 700 officers will be mobilised alongside the National Guard to prepare for potential unrest and prevent the spread of violence. According to Time Magazine, one of last year's organiser is planning a rally, but such permit was denied. However, a number of other marches are scheduled for Sunday in Washington DC. Last year, one person was killed and 14 others were injured when a vehicle ploughed into counter-protesters.

Ohio faces special district election while four states hold their primaries

Republicans and Democrats are set to cast their ballots for Tuesday's primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington. In Kansas, Republican Governor Jeff Colyer is running against Secretary of State Kris Kobach, while in Michigan, both parties seek to put forward strong candidates to occupy the seat of Governor Rick Snyder, who reached his term limit. In Ohio, a special election is being held in the state's 12th district, where Democrat Danny O'Connor attempts to secure the Republican House seat away from Troy Balderson. Ohio's election comes as a test to President Donald Trump ahead of November's midterm vote, where Democrats seek to secure an additional 23 seats in the House and two more in the Senate.

Mendocino Complex Fire becomes largest wildfire in California's history

California's Mendocino Complex Fire has become the state's largest wildfire in history after the River and Ranch fires merged in the southern area of Mendocino National Forest on Monday. More than 114,000 hectares of land has been consumed so far, destroying dozens of houses and forcing thousands to evacuate. Meanwhile, in Orange County, people were ordered to evacuate areas around the Cleveland National Forest canyons after a blaze broke out during the afternoon. Travellers are advised to follow daily updates provided by CalFire, which monitors wildfires in California.

Cape Cod beaches closed after shark spotted in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Beach towns in Plymouth have been closed for swimming for several hours after two white sharks were spotted along Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The closures happened on Monday afternoon when the sharks were seen in Marconi Beach and Plymouth Harbour. Shark attacks in the US are extremely rare, but several incidents along the East Coast have been reported recently. Travellers are advised to follow local authorities' recommendations when going to the beach and check for warning flags - double red flags mean that the beach is closed for swimming.

Train derailment causes travel disruption in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Severe travel disruption is likely to impact Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Monday after a train derailment in the city's South Side. According to US media, a freight train derailed on Sunday afternoon near Station Square. No casualties were reported. Some disruption is currently being reported on train services, while some roads and bridges have also been closed.

California's Mendocino Complex Fire doubles in size over the weekend

Mandatory evacuation orders continue to be in place after the so-called Mendocino Complex Fire nearly doubled in size over the weekend. CalFire has issued evacuation orders to some areas across Lake, Mendocino and Colusa counties as more than 100,000 hectares of land have been consumed. Parts of the Interstate 20, between Upper Lake and Clearlake Oaks, was closed. The Mendocino Complex Fire is comprised of the Ranch and River fires, which are nearly 60 percent contained. Meanwhile, the Yosemite National Park is shut indefinitely as the Ferguson Fire continues to spread.

Sightseeing aircraft crashes at Denali National Park in Alaska

A sightseeing aircraft carrying five people has crashed on Saturday at the Denali National Park and Preserve in central Alaska. A military rescue operation has been launched after an emergency assistance request was issued that evening. Four Polish nationals were killed and another reported missing. According to park officials, the aircraft crashed near the summit of Thunder Mountain. The tour was operated by the private company K2 Aviation, which has suspended tour operations.

Two drown at Lake Michigan beach in Grand Haven, Michigan

Two people have drowned and three others were taken to hospital after a series of incidents were reported at Lake Michigan. The incidents happened on Sunday at the City Beach in the Grand Haven State Park. Dangerous swimming conditions led to a number of people in distress being pulled out of the water. Ottawa County has issued on Sunday an alert to beach-goers, warning of high waves and strong currents.

Five killed in plane crash in Los Angeles, California

Five people have been killed when a light aircraft crashed at a parking lot in Santa Ana, Los Angeles. US media reported that the accident happened on Sunday afternoon at a parking lot near South Coast Plaza. According to the FAA, the Cessna 414 aircraft was travelling from Concord to John Wayne Airport. It is still unclear what caused the plane to crash.

Hurricane Hector to bring adverse weather to Hawaii

Severe weather conditions are expected to hit the southern tip of Hawaii's Big Island as Hurricane Hector heads in a westerly direction towards the North Pacific. Hector is expected to approach the island on Wednesday afternoon, bringing heavy rainfall, strong winds and rough surfs. The region is currently being impacted by the eruption of the Kilauea Volcano, but meteorologists of Accuweather expect that risks associated with acid rain and hazardous gases will not increase. Hector was just upgraded to a category-four storm and is highly expected to weaken as it approaches Hawaiian cold waters.

Four killed in wave of shootings across Chicago

At least four people have been killed and more than 40 others were injured in a series of shootings in Chicago. According to the Chicago Police Department, the incidents happened overnight on Saturday. Authorities confirmed that most of the incidents were gang-related and occurred across the city's West Side. Chicago is particularly plagued with gang-related gun violence. Despite a number of shootings being reported in the city, the Chicago Tribune reported that the number of incidents in 2018 has significantly decreased compared to last year.

Evacuation orders issued due to potential dam failure in Lynchburg, Virginia

Evacuation orders have been issued to dozens of residences in Lynchburg, Virginia, over fears of a dam collapse. Heavy rainfall over the week led the College Lake Dam to near its maximum capacity, triggering an alert for potential flooding in some areas downstream. The emergency services ordered more than 100 people living in low-ground areas to evacuate, while dozens of schools were closed on Friday. College Lake Dam is located on the Blackwater Creek.

Chinese girl kidnapped at Reagan Airport, Washington DC

A 12-year-old Chinese girl has been reportedly abducted at Reagan National Airport (DCA). US authorities have issued an alert for the disappearance of Jinjing Ma, who disappeared after being separated from her travel group. Ma was part of a group of students that arrived in the US last week. Officials revealed that the victim was seen alongside a woman entering a New York-platted vehicle parked outside the airport's arrivals area.

Severe weather may impact flights in Washington DC

Severe weather conditions are expected to impact flights in Washington DC on Thursday. According to the FAA, operations at Ronald Reagan Airport (DCA), Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) and Dulles International Airport (IAD) may be affected. Somewhere else, disruptions are likely in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta and Charlotte. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Three detained for hacking dozens of US companies

Three Ukrainian nationals have been detained for hacking more than 100 retailers in the US. According to the US Justice Department, the suspects are members of a European hacking group known as FIN7. They are accused of stealing and selling card records of more than 15 million customers in the US. FBI's Special Agent Jay Tabb said that the group would explore companies' security vulnerabilities through encouraging people to open email attachments containing malware. They operated through a front company named Combi Security, which is based in Russia and Israel.

US Congress approve bill to address foreign software probes

The US Congress has passed a bill which will require tech companies to disclose software reviews from foreign entities. Such regards investigations from foreign companies to the source codes of software sold to federal agencies and the military. The legislation, which is part of the wider Pentagon spending bill, was proposed by Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who told Reuters that: "The Department of Defense and other federal agencies must be aware of foreign source code exposure and other risky business practices that can make our national security systems vulnerable to adversaries.”

President Trump calls AG to shutdown Russia probe

President Donald Trump has called the US Attorney General Jeff Sessions to shut down the Russian probe, which is investigating the alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential vote. In a series of statements on social media, Trump accused Special Counsel Robert Mueller of being engaged in a politically-motivated witch hunt. Trump's remarks come as the investigations - linked to the probe headed by Mueller - into his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, kicked off on Tuesday. Paul Manafort faces 18 criminal counts, including fraud and bank fraud conspiracy.

Severe thunderstorms hit southern Michigan

Power outages and widespread flooding have been reported after severe thunderstorms hit southern Michigan. Heavy rainfall battered the region overnight on Tuesday, mainly affecting towns in Wayne, Macomb and Monroe counties, where some roads were completely blocked. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a number of alerts during the morning, but they were later withdrawn as weather conditions improved. According to the NWS, severe weather conditions are forecast to impact some eastern and south-western states until Thursday.

New wildfire triggers fresh evacuation orders in Mendocino County, California

Fresh evacuation orders have been issued after a new wildfire broke out in northern California. Dozens of buildings located near Covelo, Mendocino County, were threatened when the so-called Eel Fire erupted on Tuesday afternoon. US media reported that the blazes were also spreading to some areas near Mendocino National Forest. Emergency services across Mendocino and Lakes counties are already stretched as the Mendocino Complex fires already consumed more than 32,000 hectares. Recent reports revealed that around 12,000 homes are under threat in Lake County.

Federal judge blocks online publishing of 3D-printable guns

A federal judge in Seattle, Washington, has temporarily blocked the release of blueprints of 3D-printed weapons. US District Judge Robert Lasnik has issued a restraining order to the online publishing of the blueprints, which were scheduled to become available on Wednesday. Judge Lasnik said: "There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made". Washington is among eight states which sued the US government for reaching a settlement with a Texas-based defence company, which previously appealed a ban against 3D guns.

Health alert issued after potential parasite outbreak in some salads

The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert regarding a potential contamination of some beef, pork and poultry salad. The alert concerns products sold at Kroger, Trader Joe's and Walgreens that may contain Cyclospora. According to USDA, the products included in the alert are those sold in late-July. The alert was issued after a food distributor based in Indiana received a notification from their chopped romaine lettuce supplier, Fresh Express. In early-July, health authorities launched investigations after more than 100 people across the US Midwest have fallen ill amid a suspected Cyclospora outbreak. The cyclospora parasite is often linked to intestinal illness after the consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms may include diarrhoea, loss of appetite, vomiting and fatigue.

Chipotle branch in Ohio closed over reports of illness

More than 140 people have reportedly fallen ill after eating meals at a Chipotle restaurant in Powell, Ohio. Chipotle has ordered the local branch to be preventatively shut down after several customers wrote online that they experienced symptoms linked to diarrhoea and nausea. It is still unclear if the illness is connected to any ingredient consumed at the restaurant. A spokeswoman told Reuters that: “We acted quickly and closed this single restaurant out of an abundance of caution and we are working with the local health officials to reopen this restaurant as soon as possible."

Eight states sue US government for settling 3D guns dispute

Attorney Generals from eight states are filing a lawsuit against the US government after a settlement was made to allow a Texas-based company to release blueprints of 3D-printable guns. The states involved in the lawsuit are Washington, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland and DC, which claim that such would facilitate the access of criminals to weapons. The blueprints are set to be released on Wednesday. In previous months, the gun debate in the US intensified after a number of mass shootings.

Four killed in apparent murder-suicide in New York City

Four people have been killed at an apartment building in Queens, New York City. According to the NYPD, the incident happened on Monday evening, when shots were fired at a building in the Astoria neighbourhood. Among the victims is a five-year-old child. Preliminary reports suggest that the incident was a murder-suicide, while further investigations are being carried out. 

Five killed in separate incidents near Corpus Christi, Texas

Five people have been killed in separate incidents near Corpus Christi, Texas. According to local authorities, three people were shot dead at a nursing home in Robstown on Friday evening. The incident happened just moments before two other victims were found dead at another location. City Secretary Herman Rodriguez said that both incidents are likely connected, while the motives behind them are unclear.

Family killed as fire breaks out at a motel in Michigan

Six people from the same family have been killed when a fire broke out at a motel in Michigan. Reports revealed that five young children and their mother died due to smoke inhalation. The fire erupted on Saturday evening at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel in Sodus, located on the Interstate 94. Authorities said that several guests were treated at the scene. It remains unclear what caused the fire, which completely destroyed the building.

Wildfires trigger evacuation in Mendocino and Lake counties, California

Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate as the Mendocino Complex Fire significantly spread over the weekend. Residents in Mendocino and Lake counties were put on alert after two major wildfires - River and Ranch fires - consumed more than 12,000 hectares of land. US media reported that around 50,000 people in Ukiah faced power outages, while the blaze reached a stretch of Highway 20. Thousands of structures across the region have been threatened. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency to Mendocino, Lake and Napa counties. Travellers in the area are advised to follow updates on social media from CalFire Mendocino.

Several killed as wildfires continue to spread around Redding, California

At least six people have been killed as the Carr Fire quickly spread over the weekend across Redding, California. According to CalFire, nearly 40,000 hectares of land were consumed as intense heat and high humidity continues to fuel the blaze. More than 800 structures have been destroyed since the fire erupted last week. President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in the Shasta County to release federal funding. CalFire revealed on Sunday that 17 percent of the fire has already been contained, while thousands are still under evacuation orders and several roads remain closed.

Three killed in strip mall shooting in New Orleans, Louisiana

At least three people have been killed and several others were injured when gunmen opened fire on a crowded New Orleans strip mall. Police Chief Michael Harrison said that two armed men opened fire indiscriminately on the crowd at Claiborne Avenue, which is located several miles away from the French Quarter. Harrison said that investigations have been launched while it remains unclear if the shooting is gang-related.

Young girl injured after plastic bottle explodes in Vancouver, Washington

A 13-year-old girl has been severely injured when a plastic bottle exploded in Vancouver, Washington. According to local police, the incident happened on Saturday evening along Fort Vancouver Way. Preliminary reports suggest that the victim collected the object from the streets after it was tossed from a moving vehicle. Investigations have been launched to assess the circumstances of the incident.

North Korea returns remains of US troops

The remains of US troops killed during the Korean War have been returned by North Korea. The repatriation of the remains comes as part of a series of agreements made during the US-North Korea leaders summit held in Singapore last month. According to the BBC, US troops formed an honour guard as the plane carrying the remains arrived at a US base on Friday morning. The remains of as many as 55 US soldiers are thought to have been returned; however, forensic testing may take years to confirm whether or not the remains do belong to slain US troops.

State of emergency declared as wildfire threatens Redding, California

A state of emergency has been declared in Shasta County after a massive wildfire threatened residential areas in Redding, northern California. According to CalFire, the Carr Fire, which started on Monday, has quickly grown to more than 12,000 hectares, mainly forcing evacuations in West Redding. US media reported that the fire led to the death of a bulldozer operator. Meanwhile, in southern California, a state of emergency was also declared for Riverside County, where the Cranston Fire continues to spread - it was caused by an arsonist in the San Jacinto Mountains, east of LA.

Thunderstorms may continue to impact flights across the US Northeast

Thunderstorms are likely to continue to impact flights across the US Northeast on Thursday. Disruptions are expected at New York City's JFK, LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR). Operations are also likely to be impacted in Philadelphia (PHL), Boston (BOS) and Hartford (BDL). Other major airports in the region may also be affected. Passengers are advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Thousands evacuated over fire in San Jacinto Mountains, California

Thousands of residents from California's San Jacinto Mountains have been ordered to evacuate their homes after a quick-spreading wildfire threatened residences on Wednesday evening. According to the authorities, the so-called Cranston Fire has consumed around 2,000 hectares of land, forcing the evacuation of residents across Idyllwild, Apple Canyon Area and Mountain Center. A 32-year-old man was detained in the area for causing the fire. Travellers are advised to follow local authorities' recommendations and updates of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Thunderstorms may trigger travel disruption across the US Northeast

Thunderstorms are forecast to batter the US Northeast coast on Wednesday. Flight disruptions are likely in Washington DC, New York City and Philadelphia. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued flash flood watches to most areas along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to New York. Travellers are advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport and to expect traffic delays due to flooded roads.

Yosemite National Park closes due to wildfire threat

Some areas across Yosemite National Park have been preemptively closed on Wednesday as the so-called Ferguson Fire rages near the park. According to the park, the Yosemite Valley will be closed until Sunday. The area houses the El Capital, Half Dome, Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. More than 16,000 hectares of land have been consumed since the blaze broke out in the nearby Sierra National Park. Advisories have also been issued regarding air quality in the region. Travellers should follow local authorities' recommendations and updates from Yosemite.

Severe weather triggers flight disruptions along US East coast

Severe weather conditions are currently impacting flights at New York City's LaGuardia (LGA), Newark (EWR) and JFK airports. FAA confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that delays are also expected across the whole US East coast, including Washington DC and Philadelphia. Elsewhere, flights in Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix may also be impacted. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Goldfish Crackers recalled over Salmonella concerns

Pepperidge Farms has ordered the recall of more than three million units of its Goldfish Crackers over Salmonella fears. According to the company, the recall involves four varieties of the product. No illness related to Goldfish Crackers has been reported. Such is believed to be linked to whey powder, which may contain the bacteria. This week, Mondelez International also ordered the voluntary recall of some of its Ritz Crackers products over concerns regarding the same ingredient.

Heavy rainfall triggers widespread flooding across Denver, Colorado

Hundreds of people have been evacuated after heavy rainfall triggered widespread flooding and landslides in Colorado. All residents from Manitou Springs, south of Denver, were ordered to evacuate their homes due to flooding. Roads across Denver were also blocked, while adverse weather caused severe delays and cancellations to flights at Denver International Airport (DIA). Highway 285 was temporarily shut down near Bailey when mudslides cut the road. Flooding also caused Highway 24 to be closed. Weather conditions are forecast to gradually improve on Tuesday.

Three people killed in knife attacks across California's Bay Area

An 18-year-old woman has been killed in a knife attack in Oakland, California. Authorities revealed that the victim was walking alongside her sisters when they were targeted at the MacArthur station of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The victim was identified as Nia Wilson. A suspect named John Cowell was later detained for the attack. This is the third death reported in less than a week amid a series of unconnected knife attacks across the BART network. On Saturday, a 47-year-old man was killed in San Leandro, days after another victim succumbed to his wounds in Walnut Creek.

Traffic closed in Miami Beach avenue after building collapse

At least one person was injured when a building collapsed in Miami Beach, Florida. According to the police, the building was set to be demolished on Monday morning. A large plume of smoke was seen in areas surrounding Collins Avenue, especially between 41st and 63rd Street. Miami Beach PD said that traffic in the area will be highly conditioned until the end of the day.

Some Ritz crackers products recalled over Salmonella fears

Mondelez International has voluntarily recalled some of its Ritz Cracker sandwiches and Ritz Bits products after a suspected Salmonella contamination of one of their ingredients. In a statement, the company said that the case concerns whey powder, the supplier of which has already recalled it due to a potential presence of Salmonella. The company ensured that no one has fallen ill so far. The recall includes more than a dozen of Ritz bits and Ritz sandwiches products sold across the US, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.

One killed after police standoff triggers hostage situation in LA

One person has been killed during after a police standoff led to a hostage situation at a supermarket in Los Angeles. US media reported that dozens of people were held hostage for several hours after an armed suspect stormed a Trader Joe's supermarket in Silver Lake area on Saturday evening. Reports revealed that before the standoff, the suspect engaged in a police car chase after his involvement in a domestic dispute.

One killed after church shooting in Fallon, Nevada

One person has been killed after a gunman raided a church in western Nevada. CBS News reported that a 48-year-old shooter opened fire on Sunday evening at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fallon, located east of Reno. The suspect has been identified as John O'Connor, who was later detained at his house. It remains unclear what the motives behind the attack are, but it's believed the attack was targeting one of the churchgoers.

Tornadoes leave widespread destruction near Des Moine, Iowa

Widespread destruction has been left after a series of tornadoes ripped through central Iowa on Thursday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, at least 32 reports of tornadoes were reported in the region. Areas affected included the towns of Marshalltown, Bondurant, Altoona, Valeria, Pella and Oskaloosa. No casualties have been reported so far. Adverse weather is forecast to impact large areas across the US Midwest and Southeast - especially along the Ohio Valley - on Friday.

Several killed as tourist boat sinks on Table Rock Lake in Missouri

Nearly a dozen people have been killed and seven others were injured when a tourist boat sank on Table Rock Lake in Missouri. At least five people have been reported missing. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader believes that severe weather is behind the accident, which occurred near Branson and involved an amphibious 'duck boat'. More than 30 people were on board the 'Ride the Duck' tour. Missouri is on its boating season, which traditionally runs from late-May until early-September.

Steam pipe explosion reported in Manhattan, New York City

Travel disruption has been reported across Manhattan after a steam pipe explosion on Thursday morning. According to the New York Fire Department (NYFD), a powerful blast was reported in the Flatiron district. The NYFD has urged people to avoid the area near 21st Street and the Fifth Avenue, while investigations are ongoing. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said that trains are being rerouted and that metro stations in the area are being bypassed. Several blocks of the Fifth Avenue has been preemptively evacuated, while the police blocked traffic nearby.

Two New York beaches closed after suspected shark attacks

Two beaches in New York have been temporarily closed after two children fell victim to two suspected shark attacks. Authorities revealed that the incidents happened at Sailors Haven and Atlantique beaches, located nearly eight kilometres apart from each other at Great South Bay. Investigations are ongoing. Shark attacks are extremely rare in New York. Local officials revealed that those are the first incidents reported in the last 70 years.

Massive wildfire continues to spread across northern Oregon

Evacuation orders have been issued as a massive wildfire continues to spread across northern Oregon. More than 20,000 hectares of land have already been consumed across Wasco and Sherman counties. The so-called Substation Fire currently sits in the outskirts of The Dalles, located east of Portland, on the state border with Washington. Some parts of Highway 97 was shut down on Wednesday afternoon. At least one person was found dead near a burnt tractor. According to the authorities, the fire started on Tuesday near an electric substation.

Southern California's Highway 1 fully reopens a year after landslides

Another stretch of southern California's Highway 1 has been reopened nearly a year after mudslides forced the so-called Pacific Coast Highway to shut down. According to California's Department of Transport, the blocked area around Mud Creek was the last portion left to be cleared. Highway 1 is a popular tourist attraction in the Big Sur region. It mainly connects the cities of San Francisco and San Diego - passing through Los Angeles.

Three killed in midair collision in southern Florida

At least three people have been killed in a midair collision in southern Florida. According to the authorities, the accident happened on Tuesday afternoon during a training flight over the Everglades. According to the FAA, the crash occurred between a Piper PA-34 and a Cessna 172 aircraft near the Miami Executive Airport.

Severe weather trigger flight disruptions at New York's JFK

Severe delays are currently affecting flights arriving at New York's JFK Airport. According to the airport, delays are being reported at the departure origin due to inclement weather. Delays are also expected to affect La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR). The FAA has said that major airports along the US Northeast may also be impacted. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Police shooting video triggers protests in Chicago

Tensions remain high across Chicago after the police released a controversial video showing officers shooting a black man in the city's South Side neighbourhood. Protests broke out on Saturday when Harith Augustus was shot dead after the police approached him - Augustus was reportedly armed. Since 2015, police brutality protests have intensified across Chicago after authorities released the video of a police shooting which resulted in the death of a 17-year-old. 

Russian woman charged with espionage

A 29-year-old Russian woman has been charged with espionage after being detained in Washington DC. The US Justice Department said on Monday that Maria Butina is accused of being an unregistered Russian agent in the US and gathering intelligence on US officials and political groups. Butina's charges emerged hours after President Donald Trump met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Last week, Special counsel Robert Mueller - who is leading the Russian collusion investigations - charged over a dozen Russian spies for hacking the US 2016 Presidential election.

Several injured as molten rock hits lava sightseeing boat in Hawaii

At least 23 people have been injured after molten rock from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano hit a sightseeing tourist boat. The boat was part of a tour which provides tourists with a closer look at areas where lava meets ocean waters. According to Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, the tour was operated by Lava Oceans Tours. Kilauea Volcano continues active since May. More than 700 homes have been destroyed, mostly in the south-eastern tip of the Island of Hawaii.

Wildfire shuts down highway towards Yosemite National Park, California

Further evacuations have been ordered as the so-called Ferguson Fire almost doubled in size - almost 4,000 hectares of land were consumed - on Monday. Highway 140 continues closed as pre-evacuation orders are still in place across nearby communities. The fire is currently concentrated around Sierra National Forest, located west of the Yosemite National Park. Travellers have been advised to avoid Highway 140 and to seek alternative routes. People who are sensitive to smoke have been advised to take the necessary precautions to limit exposure.

Three killed in multi-vehicle crash near Albuquerque, New Mexico

At least three people have been killed in a multi-vehicle crash along the Interstate 25 in New Mexico. The accident happened on Sunday morning north of Bernalillo, near Albuquerque, when a car and a pick-up truck collided before hitting a lorry and a bus carrying 35 passengers. At least two dozen people were injured. Police are investigating the circumstances behind the accident.

Massive blaze spreads across Sierra National Forest, California

A massive wildfire continues to spread across Sierra National Forest in eastern California. The so-called Ferguson Fire has significantly spread to more than 1,600 hectares since it broke out on Friday evening. The fire is currently located west of Yosemite National Park. Highway 140 has been shut down over the weekend, while traffic towards Yosemite remains highly conditioned. California is currently experiencing a busy wildfire season, which is being mainly exacerbated due to extremely hot weather and strong winds. Travellers are advised to follow official updates on social media from Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest.

Advisory issued over potential water contamination in Washington DC

DC Water has issued on Friday morning an advisory to most areas in northern Washington DC regarding a potential contamination of its tap water. People in the area have been advised to boil tap water before drinking and cooking. The advisory, which is likely to last for up to 48 hours, comes after a valve issue triggered a sudden drop in water pressure. DC Water underlined that the measure is exclusively precautionary.

Some trails closed as flash floods hit Zion National Park, Utah

Flash floods across southern Utah have forced the closure of several trails and roads at Zion National Park on Thursday. Some of the trails are being gradually reopened as officials assess damages caused by rock falling and flood waters. During the evening, a flash flooding warning was still in effect. Travellers are advised to check for further official updates from Zion National Park on social media.

CDC warn over salmonella outbreak linked to cereal across 33 states

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that more than 100 people across 33 states have been infected amid a salmonella outbreak. CDC has urged people on Thursday to avoid eating Kellogg's Honey Smacks, which has been subject to a voluntary recall since mid-June. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement that it "has become aware that recalled Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal are still being offered for sale". Most people have developed symptoms of diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps.

Authorities investigate parasite outbreak in Illionois and Iowa

More than 100 people across the US Midwest have fallen ill amid a suspected Cyclospora outbreak. Health authorities in Illinois and Iowa are still investigating the issue, where some cases may be linked to salads sold at McDonald's. In a statement, the Illinois Department of Public Health said: "The initial investigation indicates a link to consumption of McDonald's salads produced for McDonald's restaurants. Approximately one-fourth of Illinois cases reported eating salads from McDonald's in the days before they became ill". The cyclospora parasite is often linked to intestinal illness after the consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms may include diarrhoea, loss of appetite, vomiting and fatigue.

UK trade deal with US unlikely, says Trump

President Trump has said that the UK will "probably not get a trade deal" with the US if Theresa May's Brexit plan goes ahead, as it would mean the US would be dealing with the EU, and not exclusively with the UK.  Mr Trump also said that Boris Johnson, who resigned as Foreign Secretary this week, would make a "great prime minister", as well as criticising London Mayor Sadiq Khan over terror attacks and violence in the capital.  Mr Khan had given permission for a giant inflatable of Mr Trump to fly over London.  Protesters had gathered outside the US Ambassador's residence in Regent's Park as Mr Trump arrived in the UK, and around a thousand of them also demonstrated outside Blenheim Palace where he and his wife were given a red-carpet reception on Thursday evening.  On Friday, Mrs May and Mr Trump will watch a counter-terrorism exercise at a military base before travelling to Chequers for talks with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and then on to Windsor to meet the Queen.  The President and his wife will then fly to Scotland to his Turnberry golf resort for the weekend.

Emergency NATO meeting held in Brussels following Trump comments

On 12 July North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders held an emergency meeting about defence spending, following Donald Trump's criticism on the subject.  President Trump had demanded that members spend two percent of GDP on defence as had been previously agreed.  Only three member countries currently meet the target with five more expected to do so by the end of this year.  French President Emmanuel Macron denied that any substantial agreement had been reached at the emergency session, and said that the aim of 2 percent by 2024 had merely been confirmed.

Severe storms forecast to hit Minneapolis, Minnesota

Severe storms are forecast to impact large areas across the central US days after a powerful tornado ripped through North Dakota. Strong winds and heavy rainfall is expected to hit areas around Sioux Falls in South Dakota, Green Bay in Wisconsin, and the metropolitan area of Minneapolis. Most areas across southern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Iowa, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan may also be affected.

Dozens injured as powerful tornado rips through North Dakota

Dozens of people were injured when a powerful tornado ripped through Watford City, North Dakota. More than 100 structures across the city were destroyed as winds reached up to 127 mph. Most of the injured were people at a local RV park. Local authorities said that a newborn baby succumbed to his wounds after being transported to an intensive care unit. North Dakota's tornado came a day after strong winds hit the neighbouring state of Montana, destroying several houses and a number of small aircraft at a local airfield in Plentywood.

Hundreds evacuated from Los Angeles observatory over wildfire

Hundreds of visitors have been evacuated from Los Angeles' Griffith Observatory after a wildfire spread through the nearby Griffith Park. A city fire official told Reuters that the evacuation was precautionary as the blaze did not pose a threat to the observatory. The observatory museum's guide, Juan Gutierrez said that this is the third time the building has been evacuated due to a wildfire. California is currently facing its wildfire season. Extreme weather around Los Angeles has been the main factor behind a major wildfire in Santa Barbara County, which was already contained on Tuesday.

Three injured in gas duct blast near Madison, Wisconsin

Three people have been injured when a gas duct exploded on the outskirts of Madison, Wisconsin. According to the police, the blast happened on Tuesday evening in downtown Sun Prairie. Among the victims are two firefighters and a police officer. They were at the scene after reports of a gas leak. Some areas around the city's Main Street and City Hall were evacuated and cordoned off.

Family found dead inside residence in Prices Corner, Delaware

Five members of the same family have been found dead inside a residence in New Castle County, Delaware. State Police told reporters that officers responded to the incident in Prices Corner on Monday evening. Reports suggest that all of the victims sustained gun wounds and included a couple on their forties and three young children. It is still unclear what the circumstances behind the incident were.

Flight disruption reported at Las Vegas McCarran Airport, Nevada

Flight disruption is currently being reported at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas (LAS). LAS has announced on Tuesday morning that a number of flights are being diverted from the airport due to adverse weather conditions. Some departures are also facing severe delays. Disruption is likely to last until Wednesday morning. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to LAS.

Tropical Storm Chris to bring adverse weather to US East Coast

Adverse weather conditions are expected to affect most of the US East Coast over the next few days as Tropical Storm Chris is expected to become a hurricane. Chris currently sits nearly 300km off the North Carolina coast and is forecast to move northwards throughout the week. Mid-Atlantic states up to New England are expected to be affected by heavy rainfall, rip-currents and high surf. Travellers are advised to check updates from official sources and the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Northern California wildfire spreads cross-border into Oregon

A massive wildfire in northern California has crossed into Oregon as strong winds and low humidity continue to fuel a number of blazes across the region. The so-called Klamathon Fire has already consumed more than 14,000 hectares of land, killing one person and destroying dozens of structures. Another wildfire broke out on Sunday evening leading to the temporary closure of the Interstate 580 near Altamont Pass, nearly 65km east of Oakland. Fires have also erupted in Santa Barbara and San Diego, southern California, while several others are still active in southern Colorado and central Utah.

Planned night-time closures to affect AirTrain at San Francisco Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has warned that planned night-time closures to its AirTrain service will last until mid-August. Services will be suspended daily from Monday to Friday between 20:00 and 05:00. During weekends, services may be impacted during the night. Shuttles will be provided on the departure level. Passengers have been advised to allow extra time during this period and to directly contact SFO for further details.

State of emergency declared over wildfire in Siskiyou County, California

California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Siskiyou County after the so-called Klamathon Fire crossed the Interstate 5 highway along the Oregon border. Some sections of the highway were temporarily closed near Hornbrook, where evacuations have been ordered as the blazes consumed more than 2000 hectares of land. Several houses and buildings were destroyed or damaged as the blaze continues to threaten other residential areas. California is currently facing its wildfire season, which triggered widespread destruction across the state last year.

Senate committee finds further evidence of alleged Russian meddling

The Senate intelligence committee has announced findings of fresh evidence that support claims of Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential election. The announcement was made on Tuesday after a meeting to review the so-called intelligence community assessment (ICA) - published back in January 2017 - which claimed potential Russian involvement to discredit Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. “The committee finds that the overall judgments issued in the ICA were well-supported and the tradecraft was strong". The probe comes amid investigations led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of collusion between Russian officials and members of President Donald Trump's campaign.

Heat wave continues to impact US Northeast and Midwest

A heat wave is set to continue to impact most parts across the US Northeast in the coming days. Latest reports issued by the National Weather Service shows that extreme heat is also forecast to affect parts of the US Midwest, Mid Atlantic and the Plains until Thursday. Meanwhile, in the US Southwest, extreme weather is being forecast for next week, especially for south-eastern California and south-western Arizona. People are advised to avoid long exposure to the sun, drink plenty of water and take necessary precautions to stay cool.

Rainfall triggers power outages across New Orleans, Louisiana

Thousands of residents in New Orleans, Louisiana, suffered power outages as heavy rainfall battered the region overnight on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning to New Orleans, Chalmette, Terrytown English Turn, Belle Chasse and Marrero. People have been advised to avoid walking or driving through flood waters and move to higher grounds. 

Chinese Embassy issues US travel advisory amid tensions

China's Embassy in Washington DC has issued a travel advisory warning Chinese travellers of public security risks in the US. Among the new recommendations are the risk of shootings and robberies. The alert states: “Public security in the United States is not good. Cases of shootings, robberies, and theft are frequent." The alert was published amid increasing trade tensions between both countries. China and the US are also engaged in diplomatic tensions after the US issued a travel alert regarding a mysterious illness affecting US diplomats stationed in Guangzhou.

State of emergency declared over floods in Maryland

President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency in Maryland after intense rainfall triggered widespread flooding across the state. Federal funds are set to be assigned to state and local authorities across Baltimore and Howard counties, which suffered most from the rain which battered the region in late-May. For several weeks the state was badly affected by record-breaking rainfall, which destroyed several roads and dozens of buildings.

Man detained for planning Fourth of July attack in Cleveland, Ohio

The FBI said that a man has been detained for planning a bomb attack ahead of the Fourth of July parade in Cleveland, Ohio. According to federal officials, the American national was known for expressing his support to the al-Qaeda militant group. Demetrius Pitts has been charged with supporting a terror organisation. FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony said that the attack was being intended to target downtown Cleveland. 

Several stabbed at children's birthday party in Boise, Idaho

At least nine people have been injured after a knifeman stormed a birthday party in Boise, Idaho. The incident happened at a refugee shelter, which houses several children. Most of the injured are children aged between three and 12. The suspect has been identified as Tommy Kinner, a 30-year-old who was reportedly kicked out from the residential complex last week.

Clashes erupt during right-wing protest in Portland, Oregon

At least four people have been taken to hospital after clashes between right-wing militants and counter-protesters erupted in Portland, Oregon. Tensions escalated during a demonstration on Saturday, when members of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer clashed with anti-fascist protesters in downtown Portland. Four people were detained and a number of weapons seized.

Fresh evacuations ordered over wildfires in northern California

Fresh evacuation orders have been issued to residents across northern California as wildfires keep spreading across the region. Several rural communities across Yolo County were evacuated as hundreds of firefighters attempt to tackle the so-called County Fire, which has already consumed more than 13,000 hectares of land. Monitors of the National Interagency Fire Centre said that wildfires significantly intensified across the region compared with last year. The fires have spread due to an intense drought, especially across in western and south-western states.

Hundreds detained during protest at US Senate, Washington DC

More than 600 people have been detained during a sit-in protest inside the US Senate in Washington DC. Women's rights groups called the protest on Thursday afternoon to demonstrate against President Donald Trump's immigration approach. Most concerns have been drawn towards the separation of families at the border under the so-called 'zero-tolerance' policy. Further protests are expected to occur across the US over the weekend.

Hundreds evacuated due to wildfires in Colorado

Hundreds of residences have been evacuated as two wildfires continue to threaten several areas in northern and southern Colorado. In the south, more than 350 residences located east of Fort Garland were ordered to preventively evacuate after a wildfire broke out on Wednesday. Meanwhile further north, more than 300 houses located near the Rocky Mountains National Park were also evacuated. Officials said that the fire has not yet reached the park, but one trail was closed. Wildfire risks have significantly increased across the region in recent days due to high temperatures.

Five killed as gunman storms news HQ in Annapolis, Maryland

Five people have been killed and two others were injured when a gunman opened fire at a local newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland. Anne Arundel County Police has confirmed that the suspect was armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades when he stormed the Capital Gazette headquarters on Thursday afternoon. The suspect has been identified as Jarrod Ramos, who was reportedly engaged in long-standing grievances with the newspaper. It is still unclear precisely what the motives are behind the attack.

Mass protests expected in Washington DC over US immigration policy

Mass protests are expected to occur across Washington DC against the so-called 'zero tolerance' approach to immigration. Demonstrators are expected to march across the US capital from Saturday morning. Organisers claim that hundreds of thousands - the actual number have not been yet confirmed by Washington DC's Metropolitan Police Department - will take part in the demonstration, while other rallies will also take place nationwide. Womens' rights activists also called for a protest on Thursday. Protests have recently emerged after children were claimed to be separated from their parents at the US border - the US government has already suspended the policy through a presidential executive order.

TSA to impose limits on powdered material carried in cabin luggage

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that new restrictions will be imposed on carrying powder-like substances in cabin luggage on all international US-bound flights. The measure has already been implemented on domestic flights. According to TSA guidelines, the measure will be implemented from 30 June and dictates that any powder container weighing more than 12 ounces or 350ml must be placed in separate x-ray trays for screening. TSA spokesman Mike England told the New York Times that: “These measures are part of TSA’s efforts to stay ahead of threats, keep passengers safe and constantly increase capabilities through a layered approach to security,”

Alaska's Cleveland Volcano may trigger flight disruption

Alaska's Volcano Observatory has said that the Cleveland Volcano, located in the remote Aleutian Islands, may suffer a major eruption in the next few days. An orange aviation alert has also been issued ahead of the imminent eruption. University of Alaska's scientist Jeff Freymueller told Reuters that: “Things that get to 30,000 feet, or even close to that, would start affecting trans-Pacific flights.” 

Severe weather triggers flights disruptions in New York

Severe weather conditions are currently impacting flights at New York's La Guardia (LGA), JFK and Newark (EWR) Airports. The FAA has announced on Thursday that delays are also expected in Atlanta (ATL), North Carolina's Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Several injured as tornado rages through Eureka, Kansas

At least five people have been injured after a powerful tornado raged through Eureka, Kansas. Several houses across dozens of blocks were damaged on Tuesday evening, while nearly 2,000 residents faced power outages. Major roads, such as the Highway 99, were temporarily shut down due to damage. Authorities warned people to be aware of falling trees and downed power lines.

National park in New Mexico preventively closed due to drought

New Mexico's Carson National Forest will be preventively closed on Wednesday due to high levels of drought currently reported statewide, which may potentially trigger wildfires. Officials from the park said that the measure is widely precautionary. Meanwhile, four major blazes continue to ravage Northern California, forcing Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in Lake County.

One killed at hospital blast in Gatesville, Texas

One person has been killed and several others were injured when a blast struck a hospital in Gatesville, Texas. Patients and residents living around the Coryell Memorial Hospital were ordered to evacuate the area as the emergency services rushed to the scene. Reports suggest that the explosion happened in an area of the hospital which is currently under construction.

Supreme Court upholds travel ban against Muslim-majority countries

Supreme Court judges have upheld the current travel ban introduced in September which blocks entry to the US for citizens from a number of Muslim-majority countries. In a close vote, judges said that challengers failed to address any violation the policy may pose to the constitution or domestic immigration policies. The ban currently targets most citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea.

Seven states to hold their primaries ahead of mid-term vote

Seven states are set to face their primaries as Republicans and Democrats choose their candidates ahead of the mid-term election in November. Democrats seek to secure a majority at the currently Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Democrats aim to launch strong candidates to gather 23 seats that they need to achieve a house majority. Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday in New York, Colorado, Maryland, Utah, Oklahoma, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Orlando International Airport to introduce face-scanning system

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is set to introduce face-scanning technology to all international travellers. MCO will be the first US airport to introduce the system, which according to the Customs and Border Protection seeks to "combat this fraud is to bio-metrically verify that a person who presents a travel document is the true bearer of that document." MCO said that the system will be fully implemented until the end of the year and is mostly being tested on flights from London Gatwick (LGW).

State of emergency declared over wildfires in northern California

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Lake County as the so-called Pawnee Fire keeps spreading across northern California. The blaze is currently being fuelled by strong winds which already affected more than 3,000 hectares of dry land. Alerts have been previously issued to Tehama and Shasta counties after thousands were forced to evacuate the Spring Valley area. Travellers are widely advised to follow the advice and updates on social media from Cal Fire.

Firefighter shot dead during retirement home fire response in California

A firefighter has been shot dead while responding to a fire at a retirement home in southern California. Police officers have detained a 77-year-old man who is being accused of deliberately setting the home on fire and shooting at the emergency services. The incident happened on Monday morning at the Covenant Manor near downtown Long Beach in southern Los Angeles, where dozens of senior citizens were evacuated. It is still unclear what the motivations behind the attack are.

Thousands evacuated due to wildfires in northern California

Thousands of residents in northern California have been evacuated after a massive wildfire broke out on the outskirts of Clearlake Oaks on Saturday. Authorities ordered more than 3,000 people living around the Spring Valley area to evacuate as the so-called Pawnee Fire destroyed more than a dozen buildings and threatened hundreds of people. Meanwhile, two minor wildfires continue in Tehama County and another in Shasta County. California is currently facing its wildfire season, which triggered widespread destruction across the state last year.

Widespread flooding reported in McAllen, Texas

Widespread floods have been reported as heavy rainfall battered McAllen, Texas, earlier in the week. Travel disruption was reported after major roads were shut down and several houses were submerged. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flash flood warning from McAllen to Salineno. People have been advised to head to higher ground and avoid walking through flood waters.

Dozens of children fall ill at summer camp in Florida

Dozens of children have fallen ill at a summer camp in Lake Placid, Florida. CBS News reported that officials in Highlands County confirmed that patients started to suddenly feel nauseous at the camp. It is still unclear what caused the illness as the local health department is investigating.

US quits UN Human Rights Council over political bias claims

The US has pulled out of the UN Human Rights Council over accusations that the international body is a 'cesspool of political bias'. The US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said in press conference that: “Regrettably it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded. Human rights abusers continue to serve on, and be elected to, the council. The world’s most inhumane regimes continue to escape scrutiny and the council continues politicising and scapegoating of countries with positive human rights records in an attempt to distract from the abusers in their ranks."

North Korea returns remains of 200 US soldiers

The remains of some 200 US soldiers have been returned by North Korea. US President Donald Trump confirmed the news at a rally in Minnesota yesterday. The soldiers died on North Korean soil during the Korean War. The returning of the remains is the first action to be taken in adherence to the joint declaration made earlier this month when both leaders met in Singapore. 

President Trump signs order to halt family separation at the border

President Donald Trump has signed an executive to address the recent situation in which children were being separated from their parents for illegally crossing the US border from Mexico. Amid a so-called no-tolerance approach to illegal immigration launched last month, President Trump has reversed his position after domestic and international condemnation regarding children being held at border detention facilities. He said: “We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together.”

CIA classifies two Indian groups a terrorist organisations

The US has officially recognised two Indian groups as terrorist organisations. As of Wednesday morning, the Bajrang Dal and Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) were both classified by the CIA as terrorist bodies under the 'political pressure groups' category in the most recent edition of the 'World Factbook'. According to reports, supporters of the two groups claim the classification is evidence of an anti-Indian sentiment in the US. Representatives of the two groups are said to be looking into legal proceedings against the classification.

Chinese hackers target US communications

Hackers based in China have reportedly been carrying out cyber attacks target US military and civilian communications. A report by US cyber security firm Symantec showed that a group of Chinese hackers known as 'Thrip' was responsible for recent sophisticated malware attacks on American satellite operators, defence contractors, and telecommunications companies. According to Reuters, it's speculated that the hacking campaign - which violated the information networks of US defence companies to intercept military communications - may have been driven by national espionage goals.

US threatens further trade tariffs on China

The US administration has threatened further trade tariffs on Chinese imports. US President Donald Trump has recently announced plans for a 10 percent tariff on approximately $200bn (£151bn) of Chinese goods, escalating the trade row. According to the BBC, Trump stated that the recent tariff would be brought in if China didn't back down and change their tariffs enforced on US goods. China recently announced a new tariff on US goods in a like-for-like response to a different US tariff announced last week on Chinese goods. China has reportedly responded to the latest tariff by accusing the US of 'blackmail' - sparking fears of a full-blown trade war.

US rapper shot dead in Florida

A 20-year-old American rapper has been shot dead in Florida. According to the BBC, an armed suspect opened fire on Jahseh Onfroy as he left a motorbike dealership in Deerfield Beach. It's believed two armed suspects were involved in the attack, although only one fired at Onfroy before both fled the scene in a car. The police suspect the attack was a possible robbery. Onfray was well known in the music industry as a rapper under the name 'XXXTentacion'. 

Tariff war escalates with China

A tariff war between the US and China has escalated after like-for-like tariffs are exchanged. The Trump administration announced a 25 percent tariff on $50bn worth of Chinese imports earlier today and further still, threatened even more tariffs, provoking a response from the Chinese government. China announced it would enforce equal tariffs on a similar range of imported American goods, escalating the ongoing trade dispute.

Texas-born cartel leader sentenced to 50 years in jail

Texas-born Edgar Valdez Villarreal, leader of the Beltran-Leyva cartel, was yesterday sentenced to 50 years in prison by a court in Atlanta, Georgia.  Known as "La Barbie" because of his blond hair and pale eyes, he was arrested in Mexico in 2010 and extradited to the US in 2015 together with 12 other suspects.  Villarreal pleaded guilty to trucking vast quantities of cocaine from Mexico to the United States and shipping millions of dollars in cash back to Mexico.  In 2009 the cartel's previous leader was killed during a gun battle, leading to a power struggle between Villarreal and the victim's brother, leaving dismembered and decapitated bodies in the streets and hanging from bridges.  In addition to the prison sentence, Villarreal must forfeit $192 million.

US president meets North Korean leader in Singapore

US President Donald Trump has met with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a historic summit. The pair met on Singapore's Sentosa island this morning, where they reportedly signed a 'comprehensive' document, promising a new US-North Korea relationship. According to the BBC, the document is said to commit North Korea to work towards the "complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula". The two sides have agreed to follow-up talks and to work on building a lasting peaceful relationship.

Four children killed during Florida hostage siege

A man has shot dead four children before killing himself at an apartment in Florida. Gary Wayne Lindsey Jr, 35, took the four children hostage at the Westbrook Apartment complex in Orlando on Monday, leading to a standoff with police. Two of the victims were Lindey's children, while the other two reportedly belonged to his girlfriend. Court records show Lindsey had an extensive criminal history involving arson, battery and theft.

Four killed in Chicago shootings

Four people have been killed and 17 others wounded in shootings across Chicago. A 26-year-old man was shot dead outside his home on South Winchester on Sunday afternoon. Earlier in the day, a 39-year-old man was shot multiple times in South Eberhart, while other deadly incidents were reported in West Garfield and Englewood. On Saturday three people were killed in shootings across the city.

North Korea to establish new US-relationship

North Korea is believed to be seeking to establish a new relationship with the US during the leaders' summit in Singapore tomorrow. The statement, released by North Korean state media, marks a more definitive optimistic shift in the country's approach to diplomacy with the US. According to the BBC, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump both arrived in Singapore on Sunday ahead of the scheduled summit.

Kilauea volcano destroyed more than 600 houses since eruption

Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said on Thursday that more than 600 houses have already been destroyed since the Kilauea volcano's eruption in early-May. Kim told reporters that in the last few days, a massive lava flow measuring around half-a-mile wide engulfed residents, including more than 160 homes in the island's Vacationland development. Leilani Estates continues to be the area most affected as lava recently reached ocean waters at Kapoho Bay. Reports further suggest that communication in the area is being widely disrupted due to damage to power and telephone lines.

Warning issued after Kilauea's lava flow reaches Kapoho Bay

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to release toxic steam and lava mainly through the Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens in the south-eastern tip of the island. In the last few days, lava has reached ocean waters along the Kapoho Bay, where people have been advised to stay away due to hazardous laze plumes. Some stretches along highway 132 are currently blocked while a mandatory evacuation order has been issued to areas east of Pomaikai Street. More than 120 hours have been destroyed since Kilauea's first eruption in early-May. Travellers have been advised to follow the local news and recommendations from local authorities - such as updates from Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Eight states to hold primaries ahead of midterm elections in November

Eight states across the US are set to hold their primaries ahead of the upcoming midterm elections in early-November. Republicans and Democrats are set to cast their ballots on Tuesday to choose strong candidates in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. One of the main battlegrounds is California, where the former mayors of San Francisco and Los Angeles are the main Democrat contenders in the run to replace Governor Jerry Brown. New Jersey is also at the centre of Democrat quest to secure several House seats.

Flash floods trigger state of emergency in West Virginia

A state of emergency has been declared in eight counties across West Virginia after heavy rainfall struck the US northeast on Sunday. Governor Jim Justice said that the counties included are Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan and Pendleton. Some evacuations are underway while the National Guard was deployed. Some areas in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC were also affected by flash floods.

CDC confirms four deaths amid lettuce e.coli outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced on Friday that four more people have been killed amid a recent E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. In the CDC's latest update, it was reported that the deaths occurred in Minnesota, Arkansas and New York; while new cases of illness have also been confirmed in Arkansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma. So far, nearly 200 people have been affected across 35 states. The outbreak was first reported back in mid-April, involving lettuces harvested in Yuma, Arizona. CDC has confirmed that most of the romaine lettuce in question have passed their shelf life and are likely no longer available in stores and restaurants.

State of emergency declared over tap water toxins in Salem, Oregon

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency in Salem due to potential health risks associated with water quality around the city. Oregon's National Guard has been deployed across the region to deliver bottled water. The emergency comes after local authorities identified low levels of cyanotoxins in the city's water supply system - such was caused by algae blooms discovered in Detroit Lake. City of Salem officials said that people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women and young children are the main public at risk. An advisory was also issued to the city of Turner. People are also being warned that boiling tap water or using filters may still not be entirely effective to eliminate the toxins. 

Mandatory evacuation order issued to Leilani Estates, Hawaii

Hawaiian authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation order to a large area cross Leilani Estates as the lava flow continues to threaten the area. Big Island's Mayor Harry Kim said that a 17-block area has been isolated while residents have been ordered the leave within 24 hours. It is expected that more than 2,500 people have already been evacuated from risk areas, which recently included Kapoho. Travellers have been advised to follow the local news and recommendations from local authorities - such as updates from Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

US braces for the arrival of the Atlantic hurricane season

The Atlantic hurricane season has officially started on Friday and is set to last until September. The US already experienced the early-start of the season after Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in north-western Florida last week. Authorities are also preparing ahead of a busy storm season after a number of hurricanes left a trail of destruction in Texas, Georgia and Florida. Travellers have been advised to closely monitor local media and follow recommendations from the emergency services and local civil protection authorities. The US-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) often monitor and release timely forecasts and the storms' potential paths.

Two killed as landslides trigger house collapse in North Carolina

At least two people have been killed when a landslide caused a house to collapse in North Carolina. Police reported that the deaths happened in the Watauga County in Boone, located in the western region of the state, where a state of emergency was declared. Adverse weather continues to impact the area due to the remnants of Subtropical Storm Alberto. In Virginia, two people have been reported missing after heavy rainfall triggered flash floods in Albermarle County.

US to reintroduce metal tariffs after temporary exemption

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday that the government will reintroduce tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from EU countries, Canada and Mexico. The measure is set to come into force after trade negotiations between the US and its allies collapsed. A tariff of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium were introduced back in March. Since then, several countries benefited from a temporary exemption, which will expire on Friday. International markets fear that the move may engage with the US in a trade war with the EU and NAFTA members.

Thousands evacuate due to risk of dam failure in Lake Tahoma, North Carolina

Authorities in North Carolina's McDowell County have issued evacuation orders after heavy rainfall and flash floods put Lake Tahoma Dam at risk of failure. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a landslide has compromised the integrity of the dam. Thousands are being ordered to evacuate all areas below Lake Tahoma, especially those located along the NC80 state highway from Lake Shore Drive to Lake Tahoma Road. Travellers are advised to closely monitor local media and follow recommendations from the emergency services.

Kilauea's lava flow forces highway closure

Officials have ordered the closure of a stretch of Highway 132 on Tuesday as lava from Kilauea volcano continues to move across Leilani Estates in the eastern area of Hawaii's Big Island. Reuters reported that the section between Lava Tree State Park and Four Corners was closed. Residents in the area have been warned of potential evacuations. Meanwhile, an explosion expelled ashes up to 4,600 metres into the atmosphere. People in the area were advised caution due to potential harms caused by inhalation or contact with volcanic glass fibres brought through the wind.

Scandal-riddled Missouri Governor to step down

Missouri's Republican Governor Eric Greitens has announced that he is stepping down from office on Friday. Greitens was facing impeachment proceedings regarding allegations of an extramarital affair and irregularities on a political fundraising. He denied any wrongdoing and said that the accusations are politically motivated. Greitens was indicted back in February with invasion of privacy in a case involving an alleged affair with his hairdresser. He was also being investigated by a special House committee for allegedly receiving unlawful donations during his 2016 campaign. 

Kilauea's lava flow continues to expand across Leilani Estates, Hawaii

The US Geological Survey (USGS) revealed on Monday the latest developments of the ongoing eruption of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii's Big Island. Over the weekend, lava flow has expanded across the Nohea Street, Kahukai Street and Pohoiki Road in Leilani Estates. Furthermore, the lava also reached areas near Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), which already capped its wells with iron plugs to avoid the emission of hazardous gases. In a period of less of eight hours, three earthquakes were reported while ashes were expelled up to 3,600 metres into the air. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), ash clouds already reached the Marshall Islands as it continues to move across the Federated States of Micronesia, located nearly 3,700km from the volcano. Authorities in the Marshall Islands advised caution to people who suffer from respiratory problems.

Thousands evacuated as Subtropical Storm Alberto makes landfall in Florida

Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate as Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall in north-western Florida on Friday. Alberto made landfall on Laguna Beach, near Panama City. According to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Alberto has been downgraded to a subtropical depression as it moves northwards through the Tennessee Valley. Flash flood alerts have been issued to some areas in Georgia, Alabama and the eastern region of North and South Carolina. Alberto is the first storm named ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season, which starts on 01 June.

Middle school put on lockdown after shooting in Noblesville, Indiana

A middle school in Noblesville, Indiana, was put on lock down on Friday morning after reports of shots fired. Noblesville Fire Department said that an unknown suspected shooter was detained as emergency services rushed to the scene. At least one person is believed to be injured. 

Trump calls off North Korea summit

US President Donald Trump has issued a statement confirming the cancellation of the scheduled US-North Korea summit - which was due to take place in Singapore next month. In a letter to the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, Trump wrote that he felt it was inappropriate to hold the meeting based on 'tremendous anger and open hostility' in a recent North Korean statement. "You talk about you nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used", said Trump. According to the BBC, Trump expressed his sadness at the missed opportunity and a continued desire to one day meet Kim in a better context.

Mudslide shuts major Nevada-California highway near Lake Tahoe

A massive mudslide and flooding have closed the Highway 395 in Lake Tahoe, near the state border between Nevada and California. Officials revealed that on Tuesday morning the road was completely blocked near Topaz Lake in Douglas County, Nevada. Road maintenance crew are currently at the scene as it is still unclear when traffic in the area will be resumed. Traffic has been diverted onto Highway 208 through Wellington. Intense rainfall and inclement weather have caused a number of landslides and flooding across the US Southwest. Rainfall is forecast in the coming days.

Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky to face mid-term primaries

Three states in the southern US are set to face their mid-term primaries on Tuesday. Republicans and Democrats from Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky are set to head to polls to elect their congressional candidates. Voters in Texas will also cast their ballots in a runoff vote after no majority was reached in the state's primaries held earlier in March. Democrats seek to launch strong candidates in their pursuit to take additional 23 seats to secure a majority in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives later in the year.

Kilauea's lava flow forces geothermal power plant to shutdown

A key geothermal plant in Hawaii's Big Island has been preventively shutdown as Kilauea Volcano's lava flow approaches some of its wells. Workers at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) power plant worked around the clock to cap the wells with iron plugs to avoid the emission of hazardous gases. The Guardian reported that gallons containing flammable chemicals were already moved from the plant. PGV is responsible for the production of more than 25 percent of the island's power. 

Three killed in boat accident on the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

Three people have been killed and two others were injured when a boat crashed on the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. The accident happened early on Saturday morning across an area known as Simmons Point. All victims were men on their early twenties from Johnson County, outskirts of Kansas City. reports revealed that a 22-year-old was temporarily held by the police as preliminary investigations suggest the boat's driver was intoxicated. Missouri is set to initiate its boating season, which traditionally runs from late-May until early-September.

Potential tropical system to affect western Florida

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) is currently monitoring a tropical weather system which may potentially affect the central and eastern areas in the Gulf of Mexico. According to a Special Tropical Weather Outlook, the NHC informed that locally heavy rainfall is expected to hit western Florida later in the week. Travellers are advised to monitor local media and NHC online updates.

Two killed as man drives car into a restaurant in North Dakota

Two people have been killed and several others were injured when a man intentionally drove a car into a restaurant in Bessemer City, North Carolina. US media reported that the incident happened on Sunday at the Surf and Turf Lodge restaurant. Police have identified the suspect as 62-year-old Roger Self. Reports revealed that one of the victims is his daughter, Katelyn Self. It is still unclear what the motivation behind the attack was, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said that the incident seems to be domestic related.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano reaches the Pacific

Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano has reached the Pacific after crossing the Highway 147 in the south-eastern corner of the state's Big Island. As the eruption recently intensified and a number of new fissures were identified, dozens of structures in the region have been destroyed. Hawaii Volcano Observatory said that levels of sulphur dioxide have tripled in recent days. The emergency services have warned people to stay away from areas where the lava flow meets ocean waters.

Two killed and scores injured in school bus accident in New Jersey

Two people have been killed and more than 40 others were injured when a school bus collided with a dump lorry in New Jersey. Police reported that the accident happened on Thursday afternoon along the Interstate 80 in Mount Olive. Governor Phil Murphy confirmed that a teacher and a student are among the fatalities. No further details about the circumstances of the crash were revealed, while investigations are being carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Several killed at school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas

Ten people have been killed and several others were injured when a gunman raided a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. Shootings were reported on early Friday morning at Santa Fe High School. The suspect shooter has been identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student. Governor Greg Abbott confirmed the casualties and said that Pagourtzis used his father's weapons to carry out the attack - a shotgun and a revolver claimed to be legally owned. Furthermore, Governor Abbott said that a cache of explosives was found in several locations connected to Pagourtzis.

Lawmakers to decide fate of scandal-riddled Missouri governor

Lawmakers in Missouri are set to discuss the potential opening of impeachment proceedings against Republican Governor Eric Greitens. Members of the Republican-controlled General Assembly will convene to consider which disciplinary steps will be taken against Greitens. He is being investigated by a special House committee, which is set to report its conclusions later on Friday. Greitens has been implicated in a number of scandals, including an alleged sexual misconduct and irregularities on a political fundraising.

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano suffers major explosive eruption

A powerful explosive eruption has been recorded at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. Reports revealed that ashes were expelled up to 9,000 metres into the atmosphere, prompting state emergency services to advise people to remain indoors on Thursday afternoon - ashes were particularly moving south-eastwards. According to the US Geological Survey, explosive eruptions and other powerful events may still occur in the coming weeks. Travellers have been advised to follow the local news and recommendations from local authorities - such as updates from Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Five killed in suspected murder-suicide in Ponder, Texas

Five people have been killed in a domestic shooting in Denton County, Texas. US media reported that the shooting broke out on Wednesday morning in Ponder, nearly 40 miles north of Dallas. Reports revealed that the gunman raided his ex-wife's home, killing her boyfriend and three children. The ex-wife sustained injuries and was rushed to a local hospital. Denton County Sheriff's Office said that the suspect shot himself.

Massive blaze engulfs mall in Los Angeles, California

The emergency services were deployed after a massive blaze engulfed a mall in San Gabriel, Los Angeles. The fire was reported on Wednesday morning near Valley Boulevard and Stevens Avenue. According to LA media, the fire caused the mall's roof to collapse. No injuries have been reported so far as the area was cordoned off. 

Thousands of teachers to march across Raleigh, North Carolina

Thousands of teachers are expected to march across Raleigh, North Carolina, to demand better benefits and state funding to education. More than 27 schools were shut down on Wednesday ahead of the march, which is scheduled to start at 10:00 local time. Similar marches occurred in recent weeks in Oklahoma and Arizona.

Senate committee approves Gina Haspel as new CIA chief

Gina Haspel has been approved by the Senate intelligence committee as the new director of the CIA. In a 10-5 vote, Republican voted in favour of the replacement of Mike Pompeo, who left the agency to become the new US Secretary of State. Haspel's nomination was scrutinised over her alleged role in the torture of inmates held at covert detention centres. Haspel is set to be confirmed before the full Senate later in the week.

Alert issued as Hawaii's Kilauea volcano produces massive ash cloud

A red alert has been issued after the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii produced massive clouds of ash on Tuesday. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), ash was projected up to 3,650 metres into the atmosphere. The USGS has said that air routes may be affected due to the imminent eruption of the volcano located in the southern tip of Hawaii's Big Island. Previous alerts were issued over the risk posed by hazardous gases as a number of new fissures have emerged. 

Thousands affected as powerful storms rip through US Northeast

At least two people have been killed as powerful storms batters the US Northeast on Tuesday. Hundreds of thousands of people faced power outages in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Flight cancellations and travel disruption were also reported in the region. An 11-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell over a car in Newburgh, New York, while in a similar incident, a man was killed in Danbury, Connecticut. The threat of severe storm has been severely diminished, but rainfall is expected to affect the region in the coming days.

North Korea threatens to cancel summit with the US

North Korea has threatened to cancel the upcoming summit with US President Donald Trump. It's believed the North made the threat in response to a military training conducted by the US and South Korean forces. The warning comes after planned talks with South Korea were cancelled this morning. The Korean leaders were due to discuss ways to re-unite families separated by the war. Trump was due to meet with the North Korean leader next month in Singapore.

Delays reported at New York City airports

Delays are currently being reported on New York City's JFK, Newark (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA). Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

State of emergency declared over floods in Washington

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency to 20 counties as a snowmelt triggered widespread floods in the eastern region of the state. The areas of most concern are Ferry, Okanogan and Pend Oreille, where local rivers are expected to remain at flood levels over the coming weeks. Although the situation has significantly improved in western Montana, hundreds of residents continue under evacuation warning as further floods are expected to hit the area later in the week. Evacuation orders were also issued to the neighbouring British Columbia province in Canada.

Pennsylvania, Idaho, Nebraska and Oregon to hold primaries

Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Oregon and Idaho are set to head to polls on Tuesday to choose their candidates ahead of the midterm elections later in November. The main battleground is considered to be Pennsylvania, which had its congressional district boundaries recently redrawn. Democrats seek to launch strong candidates in their pursuit to take additional 23 seats to secure a majority in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Alert issued over potential activity increase of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii

The US Geological Survey has issued a warning on Sunday over the potential activity increase of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii's Big Island. Residents living near the volcano are being advised to take caution as more fissures are being opened - so far at least 17 fissures were identified - while evacuation orders are being gradually extended. In a statement, the USGS revealed that: “More explosive activity generating larger ash clouds remains possible and can occur with no warning." Previous warnings included the risk of hazardous gas being expelled by the volcano. The areas on the highest alert are located around Lower Puna district, while residents from Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens were already ordered to evacuate.

Police responds to possible school shooting in Palmdale, California

Police officers are responding to reports of a possible shooting at a high school in southern California. US media reported that the Highland High School in Palmdale is currently on lock down. CNN reported that three nearby schools were also put on lock down. LA County Sheriff's Office said that reports of a shooting emerged at 07:05 local time. The LA County Fire Department confirmed that a suspect is in custody. 

Hawaii Governor requests emergency declaration over Kilauea volcano

Hawaii Governor David Ige has requested that President Donald Trump to declare the island a major disaster due to the ongoing seismic activity and eruption of the Kilauea volcano in the Big Island. Such would allow the funnelling of federal funding to assist state authorities "as more fissures open and toxic gas exposure increases, the potential of a larger scale evacuation increases." Parts of the lower Puna District are currently under alert as evacuation orders were already issued to Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Trump-Kim summit to be held in Singapore

The highly-anticipated leaders summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled to take place in Singapore on Tuesday 12 June. The New York Times has reported that Trump announced the agreed time and place of the summit on his Twitter account, just hours after three US prisoners arrived safely in the US following their release by North Korea as a 'goodwill gesture' ahead of the planned summit.

Three US captives released from North Korea

Three US captives have been released from imprisonment in North Korea following talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean leader North Korea. The three American detainees - Kim Hak-song, Kim Dong-chul, and Tony Kim (aka Kim Sang-duk) - were all detained on charges related to espionage or hostile activity. According to reports, the three Americans are now on their way back to the US and are reported to be in good health by US President Donald Trump.

Fresh evacuation orders issued to residents in Lanipuna, Hawaii

Fresh evacuation orders have been issued to residents across Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens in Hawaii's Big Island. As lava continues to be spilt from the Kilauea volcano, authorities warned residents for the risk of hazardous gases, earthquakes and potential damages to infrastructure. Hawaii Civil Defense revealed that more than 30 structures have already been destroyed, while more than a dozen fissures have also been formed. Travellers have been advised to follow the local news and recommendations from local authorities - such as updates from Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency or the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.

Oliver North elected new president of the NRA gun lobby

Oliver North has been elected as the new president of the influential gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA). North is a former aide to President Ronald Reagan and was one of the key actors behind the Iran-Contra controversy - a Cold War-era scandal which funnelled money from the sale of weapons to Iran to back anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua. North was chosen to replace Pete Brownell, who chose not to run for a second term.

Government announces end of TPS to Hondurans

The Department of Homeland Security has confirmed on Friday that the so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Hondurans is being shut down. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that Hondurans part of the programme will have until early-January 2020 to regularise their immigration status. Honduras is the latest country to join others in the recent TPS crackdown, which is estimated to affect more than 400,000 people. The TPS is a programme which grants special immigration protection to people from countries hit by natural disasters, war or violence.

Planned closures to affect AirTrain at San Francisco Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has confirmed dates of planned night-time closures of its AirTrain service. Further closures will occur daily from 14 May until 15 June from 20:00 to 05:00 due to construction works of a new station. Shuttles will be provided on the departure level to all terminals and rental car centre. Passengers have been advised to allow extra time during this period and to directly contact SFO for further details.

Kansas and Oklahoma grants charities rights on LGBT adoptions

Lawmakers in Kansas and Oklahoma have narrowly passed a bill that grants faith-based adoption charities the right to refuse adoption to LGBT couples. Both Republican-controlled houses agreed to proceed with the measure, which is already in place in Texas, Alabama, South Dakota, Virginia and Michigan.

Hundreds evacuated as Kilauea Volcano erupts in Hawaii

Hawaii Governor David Ige has declared a state of emergency and ordered the mobilisation of the National Guard after the Kilauea Volcano erupted in the Island of Hawaii. More than 1,500 people were ordered to evacuate as a massive lava flow threatened residential areas in the south-eastern area of the island and the local 130 highway in Puna district. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), several earthquakes were reported before the eruption, including a 5.0-magnitude tremor on Thursday. It is still unclear when the eruption is going to last until. The eruption comes after Kilauea's Puu Oo crater collapsed last Monday.

President Trump denies use of campaign funds to reimburse lawyer

President Donald Trump has rejected allegations that he used campaign funds to pay for a non-disclosure agreement with adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels). Allegations emerged after former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani - who joined Trump's legal team - confirmed in an interview that the president paid Daniels a sum of $130k through his former lawyer, Michael Cohen. President Trump later acknowledged the payment and that he reimbursed Cohen with his personal money.

United Airlines to change pet air transport policies

United Airlines has announced that several new policies on pet air transportation will be implemented from mid-June 2018. Among the new guidelines is the restriction of the transport of cats and dogs only. However, some dog and cat breeds - especially short-nosed dogs and cats - deemed to be adverse to health risks will be forbidden. The move comes after a French bulldog was killed while stored in an overhead compartment. For further information, travellers are advised to contact the airline or check the company's PetSafe webpage

Nine killed as military aircraft crashes in Georgia

Nine people have been killed after a military cargo plane crashed onto a highway in Georgia. The accident happened on Wednesday moments after the C-130 aircraft took off from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. The crash occurred along the Highway 21 in Effingham County. All victims on board were part of the Puerto Rican National Guard. Reports suggest that the 60-year-old aircraft was on its last flight before retiring in Arizona.

Iowa lawmakers approve anti-abortion bill

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in Iowa has approved a bill which seeks to virtually ban abortion in the state. Lawmakers approved the so-called 'fetal heartbeat' bill, which introduces a ban on abortion at six weeks of pregnancy. The bill still has to pass in Senate, which will likely approve it due to its Republican majority. This has been labelled as the most restrictive abortion law in the US.

Protests expected ahead of NRA convention in Dallas, Texas

Protests are expected as President Donald Trump is scheduled to address the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Dallas, Texas. President Trump is expected in the city on Friday to attend the NRA annual meeting. The convention - Governor Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn and Senator Ted Cruz will also attend - will take place at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas from Thursday until Sunday.

Severe weather forecast to central and southern Plains

Severe weather is forecast to batter the US central and southern Plains throughout the week. Adverse weather is expected until Thursday as dangerous storms move from Texas to Iowa. On Monday, severe weather is forecast to hit eastern South Dakota and central Nebraska, while storms move eastwards to Kansas, northern Missouri and Iowa. Flood alerts are in place to Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. Oklahoma is also expected to be hit later in the week as the storm expands through the Plains and parts of the US Midwest.

Wildfires continue to spread across the US Southwest

Evacuations and widespread damage have been reported as wildfires continue to spread across central Arizona. Authorities revealed that the areas of most concern include Coconino National Forest and Coconino County, which are currently being affected by the so-called Tinder Fire. Meanwhile, the Rattlesnake Fire continues to spread across Navajo County. According to the Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS), the highest wildfire alert remains in place in Arizona, south-western New Mexico, south-western California, southern Nevada and southern Utah.

Three killed as medical helicopter crashes in Wisconsin

Three people were killed when a medical helicopter crashed in northern Wisconsin. Oneida County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the aircraft crashed in Hazelhurst while travelling from Madison to Woodruff. It is still unclear what caused the crash. Reports revealed that the last contact with the aircraft was on Thursday evening. The aircraft belongs to the health company Ascension.

Senate confirms Mike Pompeo as US Secretary of State

Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been confirmed as the new US Secretary of State. Pompeo is replacing Rex Tillerson, who was sacked last month amid alleged grievances with President Donald Trump. He was confirmed by the US Senate after a 57-42 vote. Pompeo's confirmation comes as the US foreign policy drives towards negotiations with North Korea - Pompeo made a secret trip to the country over the Easter holidays to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Teachers to stage protest in Denver, Colorado

Teachers in Denver, Colorado, are set to launch protests to demand more education funding in the state. Demonstrators will gather across the state capital downtown on Thursday and Friday. Students and sympathisers are also expected to take part in the marches. A similar demonstration was also called in Phoenix, Arizona.

Thousands of teachers to march across Phoenix, Arizona

Tens of thousands of teachers are expected to march across Phoenix, Arizona, to demand better salaries and education funding. The march is scheduled to start at 11:00 local time at Arizona Capitol. Another demonstration is also scheduled for Friday. According to the march organisers, more than 40,000 people are expected to attend the protest, while 90 schools will be shutdown.

Republicans secure victory in Arizona special vote

The Republicans secured a narrow victory in a special election held in Arizona. Republican Debbie Lesko defeated Democrat Hiral Tipirneni in a close race to replace Trent Frank as the representative for the eighth congressional district - a traditional Republican stronghold comprised of Phoenix suburbs. Frank left office over a sexual misconduct case. The vote comes as a test to the Republican party ahead of November's mid-terms.

Police officers severely injured in Dallas shooting

Two police officers were critically wounded during a violent shooting at a store in Dallas, Texas. US media revealed on Tuesday that a 29-year-old suspect was detained after a high-speed pursuit. A civilian was also collaterally shot during the stand-off. The incident happened at a Home Depot store in the Hamilton Park neighbourhood.

Federal court charges three MS-13 members

Three members of the notorious street gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) have been charged at a federal court in Boston. The suspects are accused of links to organised crime and to the assassination of a rival gang member in Chelsea, Massachusetts. This is one of the latest blows to the Central American-based gang which widely operates in some neighbourhoods across the US.

Gunman kills four at Nashville restaurant

Four people have been killed when an armed individual stormed a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. US media reported that the main suspect is a 29-year-old named Travis Reinking. The incident happened at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch area. 

Road closures around Charlotte-Douglas Airport, North Carolina

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has stated that several roads between Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) and the Park Expo and Conference Centre will be closed between 15:00 to 20:00 on Friday. The measure comes due to the visit of US VP Mike Pence to the city. Drivers have been advised to check for alternative routes and allow extra time if heading to the airport.

Gunman detained after school shooting in Ocala, Florida

A school has been put on lockdown after an armed student opened fire on Friday morning. Local media reported that one student was injured in the incident, which happened at the Forest High School in Ocala. Police revealed that the suspect - also a student - was detained, while the motive behind the shooting remains unclear. The incident comes amid a strong gun debate in the US after a deadly school shooting last February in Parklands, Florida.

California reaches deal to deploy troops to Mexican border

California Governor Jerry Brown has reached a deal with the federal government to send troops along the Mexican border. Governor Brown has already pledged to send 400 National Guard soldiers to the region, but negotiations were still underway regarding guarantees of their role to fight transnational criminal gangs and not be engaged in immigration duties. President Donald Trump requested bordering states to jointly contribute to the deployment of up to 4,000 soldiers until late-September.

Wildfire alert issued to US Southwest

The US National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a warning on Thursday over the extreme risk of wildfires in Arizona and New Mexico due to strong winds and very low relative humidity. Areas of major concern are the almost the whole territory of Arizona and some parts in western New Mexico, including Albuquerque. Warnings have also been issued to southern Colorado and south-eastern Utah.

Leaders summit with Japan

A leaders summit between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is due to take place over the next few days. The talks will take place at the Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida. Among other issues on the agenda is the topic of North Korea's nuclear programme. Reuters has reported that the two leaders seek to find common ground on the issue ahead of Trump's highly anticipated meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un next month. 

Woman killed as aircraft makes emergency landing in Philadelphia

A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia after the explosion of an aircraft's engine. The powerful blast reportedly caused damage to a window, the fuselage, and both wings. A woman was killed when she was nearly sucked out of the plane. Jennifer Riordan died after she was taken in serious condition to hospital. Seven other passengers were also injured. The aircraft was carrying 148 passengers and crew from New York's La Guardia to Dallas, Texas.

Thousands affected as tornadoes rip through southern US

Thousands of people have been affected after powerful tornadoes triggered widespread damage across the south and the south-east US. More than a dozen tornadoes were confirmed across the Carolinas, Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Alabama and Texas. Houses and schools were destroyed when a tornado hit Mississippi's Brandon and Meridian. Virginia's Lynchburg and Danville were also widely affected. NBC reported that at least four people were killed and more than 20 others were injured over the weekend.

Two killed as wildfire spreads across north-western Oklahoma

At least two people have been killed and hundreds were forced to evacuate as a wildfire ravages north-western Oklahoma. Residents in Vici, Seilling, Taloga and Putnam were forced to leave their homes as the so-called Rhea Fire keeps spreading due to dry weather and strong winds. So far, more than 55,000 hectares of land have been torched. Wildfire warnings have been issued to several regions in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Kansas.

Warning issued over potential wildfire risk in the Southwest

The US National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a warning over the extreme risk of wildfires in the Southwest on Tuesday. The areas of most concern are north-western Texas, western Oklahoma, south-western Kansas, south-eastern Colorado and most areas in New Mexico. Regional outbreaks of wildfires may occur due to strong winds and very low relative humidity.

Disruptions reported on I95 Highway near Savannah Airport

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) has stated that traffic restrictions are currently in place along the Interstate 95, one of the main hubs of access to the airport. Roadworks are currently in place in Chatham County until early-May. Travellers have been advised to seek an alternative route or allow extra time.

Adverse weather trigger severe delays at New York airports

Severe delays and cancellations are widely affecting flights at New York's JFK, La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR) airports on Monday. Major airports in the US East Coast and across the Midwest are also expected to face delays due to adverse weather conditions. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status information before heading to the airport.

Seven inmates killed in prison riot in Bishopville, South Carolina

At least seven inmates have been killed and more than a dozen others were injured when a prison riot broke out in Bishopville, South Carolina. US media reported that a riot erupted on Sunday evening at Lee Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility. According to South Carolina Department of Corrections, the fights involved multiple inmates across three blocks.

Winter Storm Xanto brings heavy snow to Upper Midwest

Around 300,000 people suffered power outages in Michigan after Winter Storm Xanto ravaged the Upper Midwest over the weekend. Adverse weather conditions caused hundreds of road accidents in Minnesota, while more than 200 people were forced to evacuate due to flooding in Monroe County, Michigan. Hundreds of flights were cancelled over the weekend at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP). A warning is in place in Illinois and Wisconsin over the risk of flooding along the Lake Michigan. Snow is forecast on Monday in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and parts of the Northeast; especially across Michigan, Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Travel disruption is widely expected to impact flights, train journeys and major roads.

House Speaker Paul Ryan not to run for re-election

US House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that he will not run for re-election in the mid-term elections later in November. The Republican Congressman to Wisconsin has said that the move comes due to family reasons. Ryan said that he will still finish his term as speaker until 2019. With Ryan's announcement, 46 House Republicans already confirmed that they weren't running for another term. Such talk generated fears of a potential Democrat uprising, which would need 24 seats to reconquer their House majority.

California agrees to send troops to Mexican border

California Governor Jerry Brown has agreed to send up to 400 National Guard soldiers to the Mexican border. Governor Brown was the last - and the most resistant - to respond to President Donald Trump's request to reinforce the military presence in the southern US border. President Trump urged bordering states - New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona - to allow the support of the National Guard to law enforcement officials in tackling drug-trafficking and smuggling. Up to 4,000 troops are expected to be stationed along the whole border. 

Facebook CEO testifies before Congress

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has testified for nearly five hours before his first congressional hearing on Tuesday. Among many topics approached, they included the harvesting of data from millions of users amid the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company's compliance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations and the use of Facebook in the alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential elections. Zuckerberg is set to face another hearing on Wednesday before the House energy and commerce committee.

White House Homeland Security Adviser resigns

President Donald Trump's Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert has resigned. Reuters reported that an official said that Bossert is stepping down at the request of John Bolton, the White House new national security adviser. Bossert was a key adviser on cybersecurity issues, which included strong stances on Russia and North Korea. He is the second national security official to leave after Bolton replaced General HR McMaster last Monday.

FBI raid offices of President Donald Trump's attorney

FBI agents raided the offices of President Donald Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen. The move was ordered by the US attorney's office for the Southern District of New York after a referral of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the alleged Russian electoral meddling. US media reported that the FBI seized a number of attorney-client confidential records, including an alleged payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Furthermore, the Washington Post revealed that Cohen is also being investigated for fraud and suspected campaign finance violations. President Donald Trump condemned the move and said that: “I have this witch hunt constantly going on for over 12 months now or longer. It’s an attack on our country in a true sense; it’s an attack on what we all stand for”.

Arizona and Texas to send troops to Mexican border

More than 400 National Guard members are set to be deployed along the Mexican border after calls for President Donald Trump to reinforce border security and curb illegal immigration. Arizona and Texas announced last week that they will send reinforcements over the next few days. Overall, it is expected that more than 4,000 troops will be sent to the region after Defense Secretary James Mattis allocated a Pentagon budget to pay for them. Other states such as New Mexico and California are still considering sending troops, which are set to exclusively support border officials.

Chicago's ATS night services suspended until further notice

Monday to Friday night services of the Airport Transit System (ATS) at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) will be shut down until further notice. ORD has stated that shuttle buses will replace ATS services from 22:00 to 08:00. For further information, passengers have been advised to directly contact ORD.

Trump threatens further tariffs against China

US President Donald Trump has threatened a further $100bn (£71.3bn) tariff on imported goods from China. The escalation comes after the US already proposed a $50bn tariff on hundreds of Chinese imports, provoking a retaliatory tariff on US goods in China. Trump's latest tariff proposal has heightened concerns of a full-blown trade war developing between the US and China.

US spending bill bans arms sales to Ukrainian militia

The recently passed US spending bill has banned the sale of arms to an ultra-nationalise militia in the Ukraine. The Azov Battalion has been described as a white supremacy group led by neo-Nazis. According to reports, previous spending bill drafts had proposed similar bans before but none had made it into legislation. 

President Trump seeks to deploy National Guard to Mexican border

President Donald Trump has vowed to deploy the National Guard along the Mexican border over fears of the imminent arrival of a migrant caravan. After accusing the Mexican government of not doing enough to curb illegal immigration into the US, President Trump said: "Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military". The caravan is backed by the immigrant group Pueblo Sin Fronteras and is comprised of more than 1,200 people mostly from Central American countries.

Police responds to active shooter at YouTube HQ in California

Police responded to reports of an active shooter at the YouTube global headquarters in San Bruno, California. US media reported that shots have been fired near or at YouTube's offices in Silicon Valley. The suspect has been identified as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who killed herself after wounding three people. Aghdam was reportedly known for criticising the company for filtering some of her videos. Police are still investigating the motives behind the shooting.

State Department considers to request social media history from visa applicants

The US State Department is considering requesting visa applicants - immigrant and non-immigrant - to provide officials with their social media identities in their application process. The proposal is still to be publicly discussed before the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approves or rejects it. The new rule comes as part of tougher security measures to identify visitors linked to terrorism.

Two Missouri schools placed on lockdown

Two schools in Hinds County, Missouri, were placed on lockdown yesterday owing to a bomb threat.  A parent had received a text message affecting both facilities.  The restrictions were lifted at around 10:00 local time, and police are investigating the source of the message.

Several states to sue US government over census citizenship question

Several states are considering filing a lawsuit against the US government after the Commerce Department announced the introduction of a citizenship question in the upcoming 2020 Census. While the Justice Department claims that the move comes to defend the voting rights of minorities, critics - mostly Democrats - claim that the move will contribute to low participation in states that house a large immigrant population. The White House supports the move but said that the decision to introduce the question came directly from the Commerce Department. The Census is held every 10 years and significantly influences federal funding and political representation in Congress.

Five killed as car plunges off a cliff in Mendocino, California

Five people have been killed when a car plunged off a cliff near Mendocino, California. Highway Patrol revealed that the accident happened on Highway 1 near Westport, a remote area along the Mendocino Coast. Three children are among the casualties while it is unclear what caused the crash.

Dozens of Russian diplomats expelled over UK nerve attack

At least 60 Russian officials are set to be expelled from the US in response to the nerve agent attack earlier this month in Salisbury, southern England. As diplomatic tensions between the US and Russia worsen, officials based at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC and part of the Russian mission in the UN are expected to be targeted in the most recent wave of expulsions. Furthermore, the Russian Consulate in Seattle will also be temporarily shut down. Last year, Russia expelled 755 US diplomats based in Moscow amid the ongoing electoral meddling row.

Thousands take part in nationwide gun-control march

Thousands of people took to the streets nationwide to attend the 'March for Our Lives' event. Demonstrators marched across hundreds of US cities to pressure the government to implement stricter gun-control regulations. One of the main marches occurred in Washington DC, where protesters marched along Pennsylvania Avenue. Lower-scale demonstrations also took place across major cities in Europe, Canada and Australia.

White House National Security Adviser resigns

The White House national security adviser, General HR McMaster, has handed in his resignation. He is set to step down in early-April and will be replaced by John Bolton, a former US ambassador during the George W Bush administration. Official statements revealed that McMaster's departure had been discussed for weeks and he and Donald Trump have had public disagreements on key foreign policy approaches towards Iran and Afghanistan. Bolton is the latest addition to the Trump administration as the White House's foreign policy team faces a major reshuffle ahead of the meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Adverse weather conditions trigger flights disruptions across the US Northeast

Adverse weather conditions are likely to affect flights across the US East Coast on Thursday. Dozens of flights were cancelled at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), while disruptions are also being reported at Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Connecticut. New York City's JFK, Newark (EWR) and LaGuardia (LGA) airports are also experiencing cancellations. Flights from major northeast airports are also generating disruptions elsewhere in the US. At Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) more than 100 flights to the Northeast were already cancelled. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

21,000 ordered to evacuate Montecito before storm

Over 21,000 resident of Montecito have been ordered to evacuate as a powerful storm approaches, amid fears of destructive mudslides. The storm made landfall on Tuesday and is expected to dump up to 10 inches of rain in the California mountains by Friday.  According to the National Weather Service, the storm is projected to have the heaviest rainfall and the longest duration of this winter storm season, and residents in Ventura County have also been ordered to evacuate.  The Sierra Nevada mountain range could see up to five feet of snow.  The warning comes just four months after the area was savaged by wildfires, and heavy rains caused powerful mudslides, killing 21 people.  

Texas bomber dead, but police warn of other devices

The man suspected of carrying out a spate of bombings in Texas over the last few weeks killing two people, died today when he detonated a device in his car while in a standoff with police.  He has been identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt, who was tracked down to a hotel in Round Rock.  Police say that the motive behind the attacks remains unclear, but warned the public to be vigilant for other explosive devices as they did not know where Conditt had been in the 24 hours preceding his capture and death. 

West Allis bomb threat forces evacuation of 700 employees

Over 700 employees were evacuated from the Quad Graphics printing plant in West Allis, Wisconsin on 20 March, after a note threatening a bomb attack was discovered.  Staff were sent home or to other company facilities as the emergency plan was deployed.  Law enforcement conducted a sweep of the area including the use of sniffer dogs, but nothing was found.  Police are appealing for information.

Man injured in package blast at goodwill store in Austin

On 20 March, a man was injured when a package at a goodwill store in Austin, Texas, detonated.  The victim suffered serious injuries, but they were not thought to be life-threatening.  The incident was originally thought to be linked to five previous blasts which have occurred in Austin earlier this month and which are believed to be the work of a serial bomber.  However police said that this package was an incendiary device rather than an explosive.  The suspect responsible for the five other explosions was shot dead by police on 21 March. 

Louisiana State Penitentiary employees arrested

On Saturday as part of a routine employee check, investigators discovered drugs and cash in the vehicle of a Louisiana State Penitentiary employee, leading to her arrest on felony introduction of contraband.  Over the following days, several more employees were also accused of various charges, including drug smuggling, accepting bribes, and inappropriate relationships with offenders.  Invesigations are continuing and more arrests are expected.  

Austin bombing suspect killed in shootout

Austin police tracked down a suspect in the Austin bombings, and engaged fire with him on Wednesday morning.  A device was detonated, and the suspect died in the explosion.  Five blasts have occurred in Austin, Texas this month, leaving two people dead and several injured.  

Trump proposes death penalty for drug traffickers

Speaking in New Hampshire, Donald Trump has called for drug traffickers to be given the death penalty.  He called for improved education about drug addiction as well as better access to treatment and recovery programmes, but the main point of his speech was tougher penalties for traffickers.  The federal death penalty is available for limited drug-related offences.  Opioids including prescription and synthetic drugs killed more than 42,000 US citizens in 2016, and New Hampshire is one of the states that has been hardest hit.  The move has been seen as Mr Trump laying down his plans for a re-election campaign for 2020.

Shooting reported at Maryland school

Great Mills High School in Maryland was put on lockdown, following reports of a shooting at the facility.  Three people have been transported to hospital but there are no reports of fatalities.  It is understood that one of those injured is the shooter.  Around 1,600 students attend the community school. The parents of students have been requested not to go to the school, but rather to attend another local school for information.  There have been 16 confirmed school shootings this year in the United States, and this incident comes a month after 17 students were killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and four days before the March for our Lives rally for student safety.     

Pedestrian killed by self-driving car in Arizona

On Monday, an Uber self-driving car hit and killed a female pedestrian as she crossed the street in Arizona.  This is the first known fatality involving an autonomous vehicle, and raises questions about the safety of the technology which is expected to revolutionize transportation.  Companies such as Uber, Alphabet Inc and General Motors are all currently testing self-driving cars which are expected to drastically reduce vehicle fatalities and create new billion-dollar businesses.  Police officials said that it would have been difficult to avoid the collision in any kind of mode, ie autonomous or human operated, as the pedestrian apparently stepped into the road, and not at an official crossing point.  Uber said that it was suspending North American testing until further investigations have been completed.  On Friday car companies had urged Congress to pass legislation to speed up the introduction of self-driving cars, and the fatality could hamper passage of the bill. 

Nine-year-old shoots his sister in row over games controller

A nine-year-old boy shot his 13-year-old sister, killing her, in an argument over a game controller in Monroe County, Mississippi.  Their mother was in the house at the time of the incident, but was apparently unaware of what was happening.  The girl was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, but was declared dead on arrival.  The case is under investigation, and the local Sheriff said that he was talking to the district attorney, and as yet no charges had been filed.

Homes evacuated after grenades found inside house

Around 10 homes were evacuated on the afternoon of 19 March after grenades were found inside a house in San Jose, California, during an estate sale.  Roads were closed off and the bomb squad was deployed to safely remove the devices.  

Reports of an explosion at FedEx office in San Antonio

There have been reports of an explosion at a FedEx facility in Schertz in San Antonio, Texas.  No further details are available, but police are investigating whether there is a connection to a spate of bombings across Texas in recent weeks.

Severe weather warnings issued for the South

Severe weather warnings, including the possibility of tornadoes, significant hail and damaging winds, have been issued for the South on Monday into Tuesday.  The alerts are most numerous in eastern Mississippi, Middle Tennessee, northern and central Alabama and north Georgia.  On Tuesday the tail-end of the cold front could cause severe storms across northern and central Florida, southeast Georgia and South Carolina.  

Two wounded in blast in Austin, Texas

Following reports of an explosion police officers responded to a suburban neighbourhood south-west of Austin, and found two men in their twenties who had been seriously injured.  The incident, which may have been triggered by a tripwire, took place at 20:30 on Dawn Song Drive, and according to police, it may be the fourth explosive device to be linked to a serial bomber terrorizing the city.  Two people have been killed in three explosions since 2 March, and police have demanded that the culprit surrender to authorities.  Police Chief Brian Manley said today that the bombings could be hate crimes, since all those affected have been either black or Hispanic.  

Residents evacuated following train derailment

A train derailed in Scott County, Kentucky, late on Sunday night, and the county's Emergency Management Captain Robert Duncan said that buses were sent to evacuate nearby residents because of the presence of a potentially hazardous material.  Dozens of people who live in a trailer park near the scene of the derailment were taken to a nearby elementary school as a precaution.  No further details about the material were released, but witnesses reported hearing a loud explosion and seeing a fire near the train tracks. 

Pedestrian bridge collapses killing six

An under-construction pedestrian bridge collapsed on Thursday lunchtime over a busy road west of Miami, crushing eight vehicles.  Emergency workers struggled to free motorists from huge chunks of concrete from the 950 ton bridge, which was designed to connect Sweetwater and the Florida International University campus.  On Friday, authorities announced that the death toll had risen to six with several injured who were taken to hospital.  According to witnesses, the affected vehicles were stopped at a red light at the time of the collapse.  The National Transportation Safety Board immediately sent a team to Miami to commence an investigation.  The bridge had been hailed as a "first-of-its'-kind" construction method where the span is completed off site and swung into place to minimise disruption, and was a method being worked on at the university.  The incident happened at Spring Break when few students were on-site at the University.  

Students rally to mark Florida school shooting

High school students and teachers across the US staged a walkout to mark the Florida school shooting on Wednesday. Lessons were suspended for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 people killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last month. Students have been calling for stronger gun control laws following the latest in a long series of deadly school shootings in the country. In the capital, Washington DC, a large crowd gathered outside the White House holding signs which included: "Protect People Not Guns," "Never again" and "Enough is enough".

Democrat wins congressional election in Pennsylvania

Democrat Conor Lamb has won a special congressional election in Pennsylvania. The result, which is yet to be formally announced, represents a massive swing for his party against the Republicans and suggests that they will struggle in the mid-term elections in November. President Donald Trump had visited Pennsylvania to campaign for Rep. Rick Saccone but the White House has tried to distance itself from the result, claiming that Lamp supported the president's policies.

Four shot dead at a residence in New York City

Four members of the same family have been killed at a home in Brooklyn, New York City. NBC reported on Wednesday morning that among the victims is a young child. The circumstances of the incident remain unclear.

US State Department top aide sacked moments after Rex Tillerson

A top aide within the US State Department has been sacked just moments after his boss, Rex Tillerson, stepped down from office. Steve Goldstein was dismissed on Tuesday afternoon after reportedly contradicting a White House statement regarding Tillerson's firing. Goldstein was the undersecretary of public affairs and is being replaced by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. This is the latest change in the State Department, which currently has only one permanent undersecretary in place out of six.

Rex Tillerson sacked as Secretary of State

President Donald Trump has sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson has been engaged in long-standing grievances with the White House, but he has so far survived a wave of layoffs in the Trump administration. He is being replaced by Mike Pompeo, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as the US government prepares for talks with North Korea. CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel will become the first woman to lead the agency. 

Adverse weather trigger flight disruptions across US Northeast

Dozens of flights across the US Northeast were cancelled on Tuesday due to the approach of Winter Storm Skylar. Disruptions have been reported across New York City's LaGuardia (LGA), JFK and Newark (EWR) airports, Philadephia International Airport (PHL) and Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Connecticut. Flights to and from major airports across New England are expected to be further affected on Wednesday. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Police investigates series of parcel bombs in Austin, Texas

A 17-year-old has been killed and two other people injured when two parcel bombs went off in separate locations in Austin, Texas. Both explosions happened on Monday, nearly two weeks after a 39-year-old man was killed in a similar incident. It is still unclear what may be behind the attacks. Chief Brian Manley from Austin PD urged people to remain vigilant and not to open unrequested packages and call 911 immediately. Investigations have been launched to assess if the incidents are linked. He also said that there is no indication that this is a threat to the ongoing SXSW festival.

Winter Storm Skylar to trigger disruptions across the US Northeast

Widespread flight disruptions are likely to occur on Tuesday and Wednesday as Winter Storm Skylar approaches the US Northeast. Strong winds and heavy snowfall are expected alongside power outages from Monday evening. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the nor 'easter will not be as severe as the previous ones but will hit New England the hardest. Flights are likely to be affected in New York City, Boston, Washington and other major airports across the region. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Five killed in helicopter crash in New York City

Five people have been killed in a helicopter crash in New York City. Emergency services rushed to the East River on Sunday evening when a Eurocopter AS350 landed on the freezing waters near the northern tip of Roosevelt Island. All victims were passengers of a chartered tourist flight, whose pilot survived the crash. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is investigating the accident, which is likely to be linked to a potential engine failure.

Severe thunderstorms forecast to US Southeast

The National Weather Service (NWS) has informed that severe thunderstorms are forecast for the US Southeast over the weekend. The areas to be mostly hit are southern Alabama, Mississipi and Arkansas. Further, severe weather conditions are forecast for central and northern Louisiana. The NWS is also closely monitoring the possibility of a fresh snowstorm along the East Coast on Sunday.

President Trump introduces taxes on steel and aluminium imports

President Donald Trump has signed a bill that is set to introduce hefty taxes on aluminium and steel imports. The measure seeks to implement a tariff of 25 percent on the imports of steel and 10 percent on the imports of aluminium. The EU, IMF and several countries raised concerns over a potential trade war with the US over claims that the move may harm global economic growth. Canada and Mexico will be exempted from the new tariff, while the US government said that such exemptions may be extended to other countries. 

US president to meet North Korean leader

US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, have reportedly agreed to a meeting. The announcement has come after a detente in inter-Korean relations in recent months. Throughout the last year, the US and North Korea have engaged in an escalating 'war of words', culminating in nuclear threats. According to the BBC, a South Korean delegation confirmed the news after meeting with Trump at the White House in Washington DC. The US has repeatedly stressed that talks with North Korea depend on denuclearisation - which Kim has allegedly committed to.

Flight disruptions reported across East Coast airports

Flights to and from airports across the US East Coast are currently facing delays and cancellations as snow removal operations are ongoing. Disruption is being reported at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Connecticut. Dozens of flights were also cancelled at New York City's Newark (EWR), JFK and LaGuardia (LGA) airports. Furthermore, operations are also being slightly affected at Savannah Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) and Atlanta (ATL), Georgia. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport as harsh weather conditions may continue to impact flights across the whole East Coast.

Florida lawmakers approve key gun-school safety bill

Florida lawmakershave approved a bill that seeks to limit gun access and allow some armed teachers at schools. The so-called Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act was approved on Wednesday and is currently pending approval from Governor Rick Scott. The bill underlines a number of provisions, including: the increase of the minimum age to purchase firearms, the ban on bump stocks and the creation of a programme that allows some school employees to be armed. The bill comes weeks after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a high school in Parkland.

Weather warning issued as nor'easter approaches East Coast

Travel disruptions are likely to occur as a powerful nor'easter approaches the US East Coast. New Jersey Governor Phill Murphy has declared a state of emergency as heavy snow is expected in some parts of the state overnight on Wednesday. Philadelphia also declared a snow emergency. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from eastern Pennsylvania for most areas in New England until Thursday morning.

Trump's top economic adviser to resign

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, announced his resignation. Cohn, the head of the National Economic Council, is set to leave the White House in the coming weeks without a particular reason. Cohn's resignation comes after markets were shaken when President Trump said that he is considering introducing hefty taxes on steel and aluminium imports.

Nor'easter triggers flight cancellations in New York City

More than 1,200 flights were cancelled across New York City's airports on Wednesday. Operations at Newark (EWR), JFK and LaGuardia (LGA) are being widely disrupted as a powerful nor'easter approaches the US East Coast. Disruptions are also likely to affect flights across other major cities in the region, including Washington DC and Boston. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Weather conditions likely to affect flights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has announced that due to adverse weather conditions flight disruptions are likely to occur until Thursday. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Chicago's ATS night services suspended until mid-March

The Airport Transit System (ATS) at Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) will have its night services suspended until mid-March. ATS services running from Monday through to Friday between 18:45 to 04:45 will be replaced by shuttle buses. For further information, passengers have been advised to directly contact ORD.

Weather warning issued to Northern Plains

The US National Weather Service has informed that weather warnings remain in place across the Northern Plains. A winter storm warning has been issued to most areas in North Dakota and Minnesota, while a blizzard warning is in place to most areas in central South Dakota. The alert comes after Winter Storm Riley caused widespread destruction and a number of casualties over the weekend across the US Northeast. 

Several killed as Winter Storm Riley batters the East Coast

At least six people have been killed as Winter Storm Riley battered the US East Coast. Most areas along the US Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England suffered widespread power outages and flooding. Thousands of flights were cancelled at major airports in the US Northeast due to powerful winds and heavy rainfall. A state of emergency was later declared in Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and Virginia. Weather conditions were expected to improve later on Saturday.

Gunman kills himself outside The White House

Shots were reported just outside the White House on Saturday morning. CNN reported that the shooter was identified as 26-year-old Cameron Ross Burgees from Alabama. Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that several rounds were fired, but none of them was believed to be directed at the building. President Donald Trump was in Florida at the time. Reports revealed that the suspect died of a single self-inflicted shot.

Two killed as shooting breaks out at Michigan University

Two people have been killed when shooting broke out at Central Michigan University (CMU) in Mount Pleasant. According to US media, the 19-year-old suspected shooter is still at large. The shootout happened at CMU's Campbell Hall on Friday morning. Students have been warned to avoid the area as the shooter is armed and dangerous.

Delays expected due to heightened security at Charlotte Airport

Delays are expected as security measures have been heightened at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina due to the arrival of President Donald Trump and VP Mike Pence. President Trump is heading to Charlotte to attend the funeral of Billy Graham, an influential evangelist who died last week. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines. Road travel disruptions and restrictions are also likely to occur throughout the day around the city.

Weather alert issued as winter storm approaches Southern Califonia

A weather alert has been issued for Southern California as a powerful winter storm is forecast to hit the region. Hazardous conditions are especially expected around burned areas damaged in recent mudslides. Evacuation orders have been issued to Montecito and some parties of Santa Barbara County. TIME Magazine reported that 30,000 people were already ordered to evacuate. Further north, blizzard warnings were issued to parts of Sierra Nevada while areas around the mountain areas are also on alert.

Flights cancelled as Winter Storm Riley hits US Northeast

Hundreds of flight cancellations have been reported at New York City's LaGuardia (LGA), Newark (EWR) and JFK as Winter Storm Riley approaches the US Northeast on Friday. Disruptions have also been reported at DC airports, including Ronald Reagan International Airport (DCA) and Dulles (IAD). Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Adverse weather to impact operations at NYC airports

Flights to and from New York City's LaGuardia (LGA), JFK and Newark (EWR) airports are expected to suffer disruption due to adverse weather conditions forecast on Friday and Saturday. Disruptions and delays are also likely to affect operations across most cities in the US north-east. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Hope Hicks resigns as White House communications director

The White House Communications Director Hope Hicks has announced her resignation. Hicks was also one of the closest allies to President Donald Trump during a turbulent time at the White House. Her resignation comes just a day after she testified for more than nine hours before Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of the Russia investigations. Hicks has been deeply involved from the beginning of the Trump presidential campaign.

One killed as avalanche hit Wenatchee Forest, Washington

A hiker has been killed and five others were injured when an avalanche hit the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington state. The 32-year-old victim was with his family and friends when a snow slope above them broke free. On Saturday, the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) issued an Avalanche warning for roads surrounding the Olympics, Washington Cascades and Mt Hood areas.

Heavy rainfall continues to affect states of the US Midwest

Several states across the US Midwest have been affected as heavy rainfall continues to batter the region. US media reported that two people were killed in separate incidents in Michigan and Oklahoma, while several others were forced to evacuate their homes in Indiana and Dallas, Texas.

President Trump signs order to ban bump-stocks devices

President Donald Trump has signed an order that seeks to ban the so-called bump-stock devices, which converts semi-automatic weapons into automatic guns. The device was used in the Las Vegas massacre, where 58 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a concert. The order comes just after the gun debate has once again emerged in the light of the death of 17 people who were slaughtered at a Florida school shooting. President Trump has also shown his support for a bipartisan bill which seeks to introduce tougher background checks.

President Trump 'supportive' of improving gun background checks

A statement released on Monday by the White House has revealed that President Donald Trump is willing to support a bipartisan bill to extend background checks on gun ownership. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said: "While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system." The announcement regards a bill introduced in November, which is still being revised.

Snow storms to bring travel disruptions to the Upper Midwest

Travel disruptions are expected on Monday and Tuesday as winter storms are expected in the US Upper Midwest. Snow and icy weather conditions are forecast to affect the areas east of the Rocky Mountains to the Upper Midwest. The most affected areas are from Nebraska and South Dakota to the northern areas of Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Traffic is expected to be heavily disrupted due to icy roads. Passengers have been advised to check for flight updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Special counsel charges 13 Russians for elections interference

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is in charge of the Russia investigations, announced on Friday that the US Department of Justice has indicted 13 Russian individuals for interfering in the US presidential vote back in 2016. All of them have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the US for their varied roles in influencing voters through social media and purposefully supporting President Donald Trump during the presidential campaign. Among them is the Russian billionaire Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is accused of financing the state-sponsored Internet Research Agency.

Senate fails to approve key immigration plans

The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected key immigration amendments, including two with bipartisan support. Among the measures rejected was the allowance of $25bn to border security and guarantees to thousands of immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Consensus was also not reached in a bill which scraps the diversity visa lottery and the strengthening of immigration policies. Democrats attempt to move quickly as President Donald Trump already settled a deadline to end the DACA program in early March.

Scores killed in Florida high school shooting

Broward County's Police has confirmed that 17 people have been killed in a high school shooting in Parklands, Florida. The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, when a gunman armed with an AR-15 rifle and a cache of ammunition stormed the building. Reports revealed that the shooter activated the school's fire alarm and indiscriminately opened fire while people were being evacuated. Police identified the suspect as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who was recently expelled from the school due to disciplinary issues.

Climber killed after falling from Mount Hood, Oregon

A 44-year-old climber has been killed and seven others remained stranded for hours on Mount Hood, northern Oregon. The victim was severely injured after he fell more than 300 metres just before reaching the mountain's summit. Reports revealed that he succumbed to his wounds while being taken to the hospital. Brian Jensen of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office told Reuters that two other groups were also stranded in the 3,353-metre mountain due to harsh weather conditions.

Shooting erupts outside NSA HQ in Fort Meade, Maryland

Three people have been injured when shooting erupted outside the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland. A suspect has reportedly been detained after a black SUV ran into a barrier. No further information has been so far released as the FBI is heading to the scene. 

Mardi Gras celebrations to attract thousands in New Orleans, Louisiana

Large crowds are expected to take to the streets of New Orleans ahead of the Mardi Gras celebrations on Tuesday. Tens of thousands are set to march across Louisiana's capital amid the town's anniversary and the end of the carnival season. Traffic restrictions are expected during this period. It is widely advisable to remain vigilant whilst in crowded areas while security citywide has been heavily reinforced. Marches are set to occur mainly in Uptown New Orleans, Metairie and Covington.

Immigration debate kicks off in Senate

A historical debate kicked off in the Senate on Monday over an attempt to push for amendments to address legislation on immigration and border security. Democrats and Republicans will attempt to reach a consensus on the immigration debate, especially regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program which protects the immigration status of hundreds of thousands of people who arrived in the US as children. All amendments have to get at least 60 votes in the Republican-controlled chamber so it can be taken for discussion to the House.

Three killed in violent standoff in Detroit, Michigan

Three people have been killed during a lengthy standoff in Detroit, Michigan. Reports revealed that the police were called on Sunday evening to respond to a domestic dispute in eastern Detroit. Three police officers were injured when shooting broke out. US media identified the shooter as 49-year-old Lance Smith, who killed himself after opening fire on his girlfriend and two other women.

Flight disruptions due to rough weather in New York and Chicago

Adverse weather conditions are likely to impact flights across the Midwest and Northeast US on Monday. Flights to and from New York's La Guardia (LGA), JFK and Newark (EWR) airports are expected to face delays. Cancellations have also been reported at Chicago's O'Hare (ORD) and Midway (MDW) airports. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a weather warning to the western US. This concerns the central and southern Rockies, while a secondary weather system approaches the Great Basin region later in the week.

Four killed in light aircraft crash in Agua Dulce, California

Four people have been killed when a light aircraft crashed in Agua Dulce, California. US media revealed that the accident happened on Sunday morning in the northern region of Los Angeles County. Reports revealed that all passengers were returning to Winnetka from a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Preliminary investigations revealed that the Cyrrus VK-30 aircraft hit power lines while approaching the Agua Dulce Airpark.

Five killed in Paintsville shooting spree, Kentucky

Five people have been killed when a man engaged in a shooting spree near Paintsville, eastern Kentucky. Police reports revealed that the gunman killed four members of his family before shooting himself. The incident happened on Saturday afternoon when the suspect, who was later identified as Joseph Nickell, killed both his parents at their home in rural Paintsville along with his girlfriend and her mother at another location in the town. 

British tourists killed in Grand Canyon helicopter crash

Three British nationals have been killed and three others injured when their helicopter crashed during a sightseeing tour across the Grand Canyon. The accident happened on Saturday afternoon when the EC-130 aircraft crashed in the Quartermaster Canyon area in Arizona. The 42-year-old pilot was also injured in the crash. The tour was being operated by the Las Vegas-based company Papillon Airways, which claims to carry more than 600,000 passengers yearly on its tours.

Heavy snowfall triggers flight disruptions at Chicago Airports

Heavy snowfall has triggered severe disruptions on operations at both Chicago Airports on Friday. More than 500 flights were cancelled at O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and around 200 more at Midway International Airport (MDW). Travel alerts were also issued to Milwaukee International Airport (MKE) and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW). Other airports in the east are likely to experience similar disruptions. Travellers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

House of Representatives narrowly passes two-year budget

The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed the budget bill after the Senate approved the same measure earlier on Friday. The government had briefly entered on its second shutdown after the Senate failed to meet the voting deadline, which was imposed after Democrats and Republicans voted last month to approve a temporary funding bill to end the previous three-day shutdown.

Large crowds expected at Super Bowl parade in Philadelphia

Large gatherings and potential traffic restrictions are expected on Thursday due to the Super Bowl celebration parade in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event is set to start at 11:00 local time and last throughout the afternoon. The pre-established route includes the Broad Street, the City Hall and will end at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Black Lives Matter activist shot dead in New Orleans, Louisiana

A 32-year-old activist of the group Black Lives Matter group has been shot dead while riding a bike in New Orleans, Louisiana. The victim was identified as the prominent activist Muhiydin Moye, also known as d'Baha. He was found with severe injuries and later rushed to hospital by a police officer. The circumstances behind the incident are still unclear. Moye was a resident of Charleston and was visiting New Orleans. In 2017, New Orleans reported more than 150 murders, one of the highest rates in the country.

Adverse weather conditions trigger flight disruptions in New York

Hundreds of flights across New York's LaGuardia (LGA), Newark (EWR) and JFK have been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Due to snowfall, some flights at Chicago's Midway International Airport (MDW) were also cancelled on Wednesday. Disruptions have also been reported at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). Delays are further likely at airports in Washington DC - Ronald Reagan (DCA) and Dulles (IAD) - and Atlanta (ATL). Travellers have been advised to check for further flight status updates with their respective airlines.

Snowfall triggers flight delays at Chicago airports

Flight disruptions have been reported at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD) due to heavy snowfall. More than 500 flights were cancelled on Tuesday while further severe delays are expected throughout the day. Dozens of flights were also cancelled at Chicago's Midway International Airport (MDW). Passengers have been advised to check flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Two killed and scores injured in train collision in South Carolina

Two crew members have been killed and more than 100 passengers injured when two trains collided near Columbia, South Carolina. Federal officials revealed that the accident happened in the early hours of Sunday when an overnight Amtrak service bound from New York City to Miami collided head-on into a freight train. It is believed that the accident was caused due to a signalling problem that led the train into a siding loading station.

Sacked employee kills two in Detroit, Michigan

A 45-year-old suspect has been detained after he engaged in a killing spree across Detroit, Michigan. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said that the suspect was armed with an assault rifle and was holding 200 rounds of ammunition. The victims were killed in two presumed targeted murders in Pontiac and a trucking firm in Taylor. The suspect was later detained after a shootout with police officers in Waterford. The Washington Post reported that the suspect was dismissed from the trucking company back in November.

Five injured in accidental school shooting in Los Angeles

Five people have been injured after a 12-year-old girl discharged a firearm at a school in California. LA police revealed that the shooting was unintentional. Among the victims is two 15-year-olds who are currently in a stable condition. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon at the Salvador Castro Middle School in Westlake District. The shooting comes days after two students were killed when a student opened fire at a school in Kentucky.

NYC MetroCards to accept cash only due to system upgrade

Travellers heading to and from New York's LaGardia and JFK airports via NYCT Subway or Bus services have been warned that the purchase of MetroCards can temporarily only be made in cash. The measure will last from Friday evening, 02 February, to early Monday morning, 05 February, due to a scheduled system software update. Travellers have been advised to use cash or purchase MetroCards before Friday evening as card payments may not be accepted.

Disruptions expected due to winter weather on the East Coast

Winter weather conditions are expected to cause disruptions across the US East Coast over the weekend. Travel disruptions and power outages are likely to affect major cities in the region until Monday. Traffic along major interstate highways are also expected to be affected as well as flights to and from major international airports. Rain and thunderstorms are forecast for the south-east coast, while snow is expected further north. It is widely advisable to monitor US media and official channels for further developments.

President Trump signs order to keep Guantanamo Bay open

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep the infamous Guantanamo Bay military prison open. President Trump said: “Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil. (...) When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them. But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants." The move virtually reverses the intention of both previous administrations to shut down the prison. Currently, the prison located on the Cuban island, holds more than 40 prisoners captive, way lower than its 2003 peak, when it held a population of 680 inmates.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe steps down

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe resigned on Monday just months before he was set to retire. McCabe filled the post of leader of the bureau when its former director, James Comey, stepped down. Both of them were involved in the investigations on Hillary Clinton's emails and the alleged Russian collusion with President Donald Trump's campaign. McCabe was facing increasing pressure from Republicans and, most recently, from FBI Director Christopher Wray. The White House spokeswoman, Sarah Hackabee, said that President Trump has not influenced the decision. It is believed that McCabe is leaving office after being offered another post just before the release of an inspector general report into the FBI.

Four killed as gunman storms car-wash in Melcroft, Pennsylvania

Four people have been killed when a gunman stormed a self-service car-wash in Melcroft, Pennsylvania. Fayette County district attorney, Richard Bower, revealed in a press conference that a 28-year-old suspect wearing armoured gear was armed with a high-calibre semi-automatic rifle and a handgun. All victims were in their 20s, while the suspect shooter sustained a gunshot wound to his head. Local US media reported that the incident is likely linked to a domestic dispute.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies in Russia probe

The US Justice Department has revealed on Tuesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been questioned by the US House of Representatives special committee as investigations over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections unfold. Sessions is the highest-ranking official and the first member of President Donald Trump's cabinet to testify. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged interference to the FBI probe into contacts between Russian officials and Trump's campaign officers. President Donald Trump may soon be called to clarify some aspects, such as the firing of former FBI chief James Comey back in May.

Flight disruptions reported across eastern US

Flight delays have been reported at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport (MSP) while severe weather conditions are limiting operations along the US East Coast. According to the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), gusty winds and low clouds are impacting flights from and to airports in Boston (BOS), New York (LGA, JFK, EWR), Washington DC (BWI, DCA, IAD), Philadelphia (PHL), Chicago (MDW, ORD) and Detroit (DTW). Passengers have been advised to check for flight updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Casualties reported in high-school shooting in Benton, Kentucky

Two teenagers have been killed and 17 others were injured when shooting broke out at a high school in Benton, south-western Kentucky. Governor Matt Bevin confirmed the casualties, which happened on Tuesday morning at Marshall County High School. Further reports suggest that the shooter is in custody, while the circumstances behind the incident remain unknown.

US shutdown ends as Congress pass temporary funding bill

The US federal government shutdown has ended as both Republicans and Democrats struck a deal in Senate. On a Monday afternoon vote, Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly voted to pass a temporary funding bill which guarantees to fund the government until 08 February. Last Friday the government entered a shutdown after Democrats demanded the status protection of the so-called 'Dreamers', which represent more than 700,000 immigrants who arrived in the US as children. Republicans further agreed to discuss a discuss a long-term immigration deal if Democrats chose to lift the shutdown.

Powerful earthquake triggers tsunami watch for US West Coast

A tsunami watch has been issued to the entire US West Coast after a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake was recorded on Tuesday morning at a shallow depth of around 10km. Its epicentre was nearly 300km southeast of Chiniak in the Gulf of Alaska. Meanwhile, the US Tsunami Warning System revealed that a tsunami warning was also issued to some areas in Alaska and Canada.

Several workers missing after blast at Oklahoma gas field

Five workers have been reported missing after a powerful blast struck an oil and gas site near Quinton, eastern Oklahoma. In a statement released on Monday, Pittsburg County Emergency Management Department (PCEMD) revealed that gas from the well was fueling a fire, which initially limited rescue operations. Executives of the Houston-based company Patterson-UTI said that an investigation is being carried out to assess the cause of the incident.

Flights disruptions reported in Chicago and Minneapolis

Winter weather conditions have triggered disruption to both Chicago airports. Due to storms, several flights to and from Midway (MDW) and O'Hare (ORD) are delayed or being cancelled. Disruption has also been reported on flights to Minneapolis International Airport (MSP). Passengers have been advised to check flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

US government goes into shutdown as Senate rejects new budget

The US federal government has faced a shutdown after senators failed to pass the new budget. On Thursday, members of the House of Representative approved a temporary funding bill set to last until mid-February. However, one day later, the same bill failed to pass through Congress. Despite Republicans holding the majority on both houses of Congress, the bill still needs 60 votes to pass. The main disagreement regards immigration policies towards more than 700,000 immigrants who arrived in the US as children. Democrats demanded that Republicans include provisions regarding the Obama-era DACA programme, which protects the immigration status of the so-called 'Dreamers'. Non-essential federal agencies will remain closed on Monday as a fresh vote is scheduled to take place later in the afternoon - the last shutdown happened five years ago and lasted for 16 days.

Boil-water advisory issued in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans' Sewerage & Water Board has issued a precautionary boil-water advisory as water pressure has dropped below the safety threshold. In a press release published on Wednesday, the board said that "broken frozen pipes and increases in water use to keep pipes from freezing likely have strained New Orleans' water distribution system." Boil-water advisories are issued as lower water pressure may lead to contamination to damaged pipes. The advisory is only in place on the east side of New Orleans. People have been advised not to consume tap water - or safely boil it - and be careful when bathing. The advisory is expected to last over the weekend. Pipes and disruptions at the city's water stations have been affected by harsh winter conditions.

Five killed in helicopter crash near Raton, New Mexico

Five people have been killed and another injured when a helicopter crashed near Raton, New Mexico. The accident happened on Thursday when the aircraft was heading from Raton to Folsom, near the state border with Colorado. Among the victims is the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Roy Bennett, one of the main opposition parties in Zimbabwe. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the circumstances behind the crash.

US attorneys general launch anti-repeal campaign on net-neutrality

On Tuesday, more than 20 US attorneys general submitted a lawsuit to reverse the repeal of the so-called net-neutrality rules, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered back in December. A joint petition seeks to pressure the US Congress to reverse the decision, which anti-repeal campaigners claim to hinder small businesses and the civil society. Former President Barack Obama introduced net-neutrality rules in 2015, which ordered telecom companies to treat internet content equally. Currently, 49 Democrats and one Republican senators support the measure in the Republican-controlled Senate - 51 votes are necessary for the repeal to be scrapped.

Six-year-old boy dies after contracting rabies in Orlando, Florida

A six-year-old boy has died after weeks of treatment for a rabies infection. US media reported that Ryker Roque contracted the disease after touching and being scratched by a rabid bat found at his house in Orlando, Florida. Further reports revealed that Roque was taken to the hospital when he started to suffer from some symptoms, nearly a week after he was infected. This is the second death in Florida attributed to rabies since October. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human rabies cases are extremely rare in the US, with two or three cases being reported yearly.

Winter weather triggers flight disruptions in Georgia and North Carolina

Georgia's Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) has informed that due to winter weather conditions cancellations and delays are expected to disrupt operations. Flights at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina are also likely to be affected. Meanwhile, operations across airports along the US East Coast may face disruptions. Passengers have been urged to check for flight status updates before heading to the airport.

Flight disruptions extended to Houston, Tampa and New Orleans

Several delays and cancellations are expected to affect operations at major airports in the eastern US. Winter weather conditions are likely to bring disruptions to Houston's Bush (IAH) and William Hobby Airport (HOU). Further delays are expected at Tampa International Airport (TPA) while the runways at New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport (MSY) are currently closed due to icy conditions. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for further flight status updates.

Winter storm triggers flight disruptions at US East Coast

Potential delays and cancellations are expected to affect operations at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Atlanta International Airport (ATL) due to winter weather conditions. Delta Airlines has announced the possibility of cancellations in Boston and New York airports as a winter storm approaches the US East Coast. Minor disruptions are also likely at Bradley International Airport (BDL) in Connecticut. Passengers have been encouraged to check flight status before heading to the airport. 

Flights disrupted due to winter weather advisory in Texas

A winter weather advisory has been issued for Houston and its metropolitan area as icy road conditions and snow accumulation are forecast on Tuesday. Flights to and from Houston's George Bush (IAH) and William Hobby (HOU) airports are expected to be disrupted. Major US airlines have already announced the cancellation of several flights during Tuesday morning. Delays and cancellations are also likely to affect operations at San Antonio International Airport (SAT), Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). The advisory has been further extended to the neighbouring state of Alabama, especially in the central region.

Flight disruptions to affect operations at New York airports

Adverse weather conditions may impact flights to and from New York's JFK and LaGuardia (LGA) airports on Friday. Heavy rainfall and fog may trigger delays and cancellations at both airports. Passengers have been advised to check for flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport. Disruptions are also likely to impact operations at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). The FAA has informed that delays are possible from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Atlanta (ATL) as an Arctic blast will bring snow to the US Midwest and Northeast.

President Trump's alleged foul-mouthed comments trigger outcry

A UN spokesman has condemned an alleged foul-mouthed comment made by President Donald Trump during a meeting at the Oval Office. President Trump has reportedly made a foul-mouthed comment while apparently referring to immigration from third-party countries in Central America and Africa. Rupert Colville said: "If confirmed these are shocking and shameful comments from the president of the United States, I'm sorry but there is no other word for this but racist." Other international and US social groups also reacted to the comments. The fresh allegations come just as the US government decided to withdraw the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) permits to thousands of people from unstable countries - including El Salvador and Haiti.

Trump's former advisor to testify before House committee on Russia probe

President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been summoned to testify before the US House of Representatives special committee as investigations over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections unfold. Sources told Reuters that Bannon will appear in a closed-door hearing of the House Intelligence Committee regarding his role in the Trump campaign. Bannon and Trump are engaged in a fresh row over Bannon's quotes in a controversial book that portrays references to the president's son, Donald Trump Jr. Amid claims that Republicans are attempting to shut down the Russian probe, Democrat Representative Adam Schiff said on Thursday that: “There are still dozens of witnesses that we could bring in. At a minimum we should set out all the facts for the public, and we can’t do that if we’re leaving a lot of investigative pathways uninvestigated.”

A dozen killed and hundreds trapped in California mudslides

At least 12 people have been killed when a powerful winter storm triggered mudslides and widespread flooding across Santa Barbara County, Southern California. More than 300 people are feared to be still trapped in the eastern neighbourhood of Romero Canyon, while emergency services attempt to reach completely inaccessible areas. Scores were injured and rushed to the hospital, among them four people that are severely wounded. Santa Barbara County has declared a public safety exclusion zone after thousands of people were evacuated and houses were destroyed in Montecito and its surroundings. The exclusion zone "includes the area west of Sheffield Drive/East Valley Road/Ladera Lane, east of Olive Mill/Hot Springs Road, north of the ocean, and south of the U.S. Forest Service boundary." FEMA has issued a warning for an increased risk of landslides in the areas affected by last December's wildfires.

Trump's former advisor steps down from right-wing news network

President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has quit as head of the right-wing Breitbart News organisation. Bannon, who has been engaged in a long-standing row with his widely trusted former ally, has stepped down from the highly controversial media news organisation over his alleged comments in a recently released book that describes Donald Trump Jr's meeting with a Russian lawyer. Last Sunday, Bannon has backed away and apologised for his criticism of Trump Jr, which was portrayed alongside highly controversial topics related to the Trump administration in Michael Wolff's infamous book 'Fire and Fury'.

Winter storm triggers evacuation orders for Santa Barbara, California

An evacuation order has been issued for some areas in Santa Barbara County, southern California, as a powerful winter storm approaches the region on Monday. Santa Barbara officials have issued mandatory evacuations to Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria as heavy rainfall and strong winds may trigger widespread flooding and mudslides. Most areas under alert are those recently affected by last December's wildfires. US media reported that a number of evacuations already occurred on Tuesday in Montecito after the storm triggered flash floods. Gas lines and roads were heavily disrupted, including parts of the 101 Freeway.

Minor delays and cancellations still affecting some airports

Delays and cancellations are likely to occur on Monday at some airports along the US East Coast. Adverse weather conditions may affect flights at Washington's Dulles International Airport (IAD), New York's JFK and Atlanta International Airport (ATL). South Carolina's Charleston International Airport (CHS) has resumed operations but disruptions are still likely on Monday. In the western Rocky Mountains region, a number of cancellations have been reported at Salt Lake City Airport (SLC). Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport (LAS) urged passengers to allow extra time throughout the week due to a high influx of people attending the CES 2018 tech show. Passengers have been advised to check flight status updates with their respective airlines before heading to the airport.

Family found dead inside residence in Santa Clarita, California

Four members of the same family have been found dead at a residence in Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles. LA County Sheriff's Department, Lt Rodney Moore, said that the bodies were recovered on Friday morning, while preliminary reports suggest that the incident was a murder-suicide. Among the victims are a married couple along with their 20-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son. 

Six killed in car crash near Sacramento, California

Six people have been killed when a driver going the wrong way crashed into another vehicle on the outskirts of Sacramento, California. The accident occurred in the early hours of Sunday along the Interstate 5 highway near Woodland, Yolo County. Police reports revealed that a woman driving in the opposite direction crashed into another vehicle, killing five members of the same family. Police launched an investigation to assess what is potentially behind the wrongful driver's behaviour.

Three al-Qaeda members added to State Department's terrorist list

The US State Department has added three known commanders of separate al-Qaeda (AQ) branches in Africa to the US government's global terrorist list. Among them is Wanas al-Faquih, who has been described as the person responsible for the Tunis terrorist attack in March 2015. Al-Faquih is said to be a senior member of northern Africa's AQ in the Islamic Maghreb (AQUIM). A senior leader of the Somali-based al-Shabaab group is also included on the list. Abukar Ali Adan is believed to be the al-Shabaab's head along the Kenyan border. The third individual added to the list is Muhammad al Ghazali, who is described as a senior member of the AQ in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP). The move comes from the government's approach to isolate terrorist groups through blocking terrorists from access to the US financial system.

Flight disruptions likely to continue across US East Coast

Connecticut's Bradley International Airport (BDL) has announced that disruptions are likely to affect flights to and from BDL due to adverse weather conditions. As BDL recovers from Thursday's winter storm, cancellations and delays are still affecting operations. Flights to and from other airports along the US East Coast are also likely to be affected throughout the day. Dozens of flights were already cancelled at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) in Pennsylvania, while operations remain widely limited at South Carolina's Charleston International Airport (CHS). Disruptions are also impacting flights to and from Boston (BOS) and New York's JFK and Newark (EWR) airports. Passengers have been advised to directly check with their respective airlines for further information and flight status updates.

US suspends security aid to Pakistan

The US has announced intentions to suspend security assistance to Pakistan in a bid to pressure the Pakistani government into taking action on international terrorist networks operating in Pakistan. According to the BBC, security aid from the US will remain frozen until Islamabad takes action against the Haqqani Network and the Afghan Taliban. The suspension of aid comes less than a week after US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of deceiving the US authorities whilst receiving aid and benefitting financially. The Pakistani authorities called the accusation 'incomprehensible'. While the US has been backed by Afghanistan and India, the Chinese authorities have supported Pakistan.

JFK's flights and AirTrain services temporarily suspended

AirTrain services to New York's JFK International Airport were temporarily suspended on Thursday afternoon. The airport has informed that shuttle buses are available as an alternative at terminals and stations. Meanwhile, flights at JFK have been temporarily suspended due to strong winds and adverse weather conditions. New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) had most of its flights cancelled on Thursday and may still face disruptions later on Friday. Flights at Newark Airport (EWR) are also being heavily affected. Airports elsewhere continue to face massive disruptions on flights to and from the US East Coast. Passengers are advised to contact their respective airline for flight status updates.

Further flights cancelled as winter storm approaches US East Coast

Flight cancellations and heavy delays have been reported at major airports in New York and along the whole US East Coast as a powerful winter storm approaches the region. New York's JFK, LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR) Airports have reported numerous cancellations and delays on Thursday morning. Cancellations for Thursday have also affected flights from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS). Disruptions are also being reported at the Baltimore/Washington International Marshall Airport (BWI), while the runways at Charleston International Airport (CHS) in South Carolina remains closed. Passengers travelling to airports located along the US East Coast have been advised to consult with their respective airline for further information and flight status updates.

Operations halted at Charleston Airport, South Carolina

Flights from and to Charleston International Airport (CHS) in South Carolina are currently facing major disruptions as the US Air Force's Joint Base Charleston ordered the closure of the airport's runways due to icy conditions. Operations have been halted until further notice. Most airports along the US East Coast are facing direct or indirect disruptions as Winter Storm Grayson makes landfall in the region. Passengers have been advised to contact their respective airport or airline for further information and flight status updates.

Several people killed as extremely low temperatures hit US East Coast

US authorities have revealed that at least nine deaths have been attributed to dangerously low temperatures as a powerful low-pressure system is currently stationed over the US East Coast. Extreme winter temperatures have been recorded from southern to central and northern US. Deaths were reported in Wisconsin, Missouri and North Dakota mainly due to hypothermia. Authorities have urged people to remain vigilant and take standard precautions for potential risks of hyperthermia and frostbite. Flights have been heavily disrupted across most airports as road travel remains highly dangerous due to icy roads. 

President Trump declares disaster over California wildfire

President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster in California after thousands of hectares were consumed in a series of wildfires last month. The disaster declaration makes federal funding available to local authorities in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to assist in recovery efforts. Further funding will also be made available to state authorities and some NGOs. More than 1,000 buildings and entire neighbourhoods have been destroyed when wildfires quickly spread across southern California. On Tuesday, the so-called Thomas Fire - the biggest ever recorded in the state - was nearly 92 percent contained. California Governor Jerry Brown had also requested for the same declaration to include San Diego and Los Angeles. A disaster declaration had been previously declared back in October when more than 40 people died in another wildfire in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Winter weather travel alert issued to US East Coast

American Airlines has issued a travel alert on Tuesday due to potential disruptions on flights to and from airports in the US Southeast and Northeast. Severe weather conditions are expected as Winter Storm Grayson approaches Southeast and Northeast US. AirCanada has also issued a similar alert to flights to and from major airports along the US East Coast. Ice and snow are forecast from northern Florida to Maine alongside freezing weather conditions and strong winds. Winter Storm Grayson is set to intensify on Thursday as a powerful low-pressure system.

Winter weather triggers flight cancellations at Jacksonville Airport, Florida

Numerous flights to and from Florida's Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) have been cancelled on Wednesday morning due to adverse winter weather conditions. Passengers have been advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport and to consult the respective airline for further updates. Delays and cancellations have also been reported in the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) in Georgia.

Winter storm watches issued to US East Coast

Winter storm watches have been issued for the whole US East Coast as an intense low-pressure system moves northwards from northern Florida towards New England. The US National Weather Service (NWS) has highlighted the forecast of dangerous Atlantic marine conditions until Thursday which is expected to bring strong winds, especially to central and eastern US. Road and air travel may be heavily disrupted throughout the week mainly in the north-eastern coast.

Police officer killed in shooting near Denver, Colorado

A 29-year-old police officer has been shot dead and four others injured when shooting erupted in the outskirts of Denver, Colorado. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon when police officers went to respond to a domestic disturbance call in Highlands Ranch, Douglas County. Authorities revealed that the suspect fired at least 100 shots before being gunned down by the police. Several civilians were also injured and taken to hospital in a stable condition. Police revealed that the suspect shooter was known to the authorities but no further details were released.

Four killed in New Year's Eve shooting in New Jersey

Three members of the same family and a friend were killed at their home when a 16-year-old boy engaged in a shooting spree in Long Branch, New Jersey. Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office announced that police officers responded to the shooting which occurred minutes before New Year. Local media has identified the suspect as Scott Kologi, a home-schooled youngster who reportedly has autism. Among the victims are the shooter's parents, his 18-year-old sister and an elderly family friend. Officials revealed that Scott used a semi-automatic rifle owned by a resident.

Several injured as lorry ploughs into pedestrians in San Francisco

Several people have been injured when a lorry ploughed into pedestrians in San Francisco, California. The incident happened on Monday afternoon at the Geary Boulevard and 21st Avenue in the Richmond district. San Francisco Fire has revealed that one elderly pedestrian sustained life-threatening injuries. The driver was detained just moments after reportedly fleeing the scene. Officials confirmed that the incident is not terror-related while further investigations were being launched.

A dozen killed in New York City building fire

At least 12 people have been killed and several others were injured when a massive fire broke out at a residential building in New York City. Authorities revealed that the fire started on the first floor of a five-story building in the Bronx neighbourhood on Thursday evening and quickly spread before being brought under control several hours later. Fire officials revealed that the century-old building, located at the Prospect Avenue in Belmont area, near the Bronx Zoo, had a number of fire hazard violations.

Massive snowfall hits Erie, Pennsylvania

The US National Weather Service (NWS) has recorded that 53 inches of snow has fallen during a two-day snow storm in Erie, north-western Pennsylvania. Local authorities have declared a state of emergency after the extreme amount of snowfall in the town broke the state's 1958 record within of snowfall within a 30-hour period. Roads remain heavily blocked, while residents and visitors have been advised to be vigilant and remain indoors while emergency services clear the roads. Heavy snowfall was also recorded in New York along with northern Michigan and Ohio. Weather warnings are still in place until Wednesday as further snowfall is forecast.

Evacuations orders lifted in Southern California

All evacuation orders have been lifted as Southern California wildfires are finally largely contained. The last evacuation orders issued to Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were lifted on Thursday as the so-called Thomas Fire - the second largest ever recorded in the region - is moving away from residential areas. However, emergency services said that the blazes remain active and that 65 percent were contained. Around 4,700 firefighters are still in the area as strong Santa Ana winds are forecast over the weekend. More than 1,800 homes were destroyed since the fire broke out in early-December, while overall damage is believed to reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

SEPTA rail to Philadelphia Airport suspended due to downed wires

SEPTA rail services to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) were suspended on Thursday until further notice due to downed cables. The incident has triggered suspensions and widespread disruptions to most SEPTA regional rail lines. To check for further updates and service status, it is widely advised to closely follow the SEPTA system status website. Please allow additional journey time if using any SEPTA regional rail service to PHL.

Senate approves bill to introduce changes to US tax code

The Republican-controlled Senate has approved a controversial bill that makes changes to the US tax code. In a narrow victory, the bill was approved with 51 Republican votes in favour and 48 Democrat votes against. This has been considered one of the biggest changes to the US tax code in the last 30 years, which seeks to cut more than $1.5tn in taxation. The legislation aims to cut individual tax rates by 2,6 percent, while corporate tax goes down to 21 percent from the current 35 percent. Democrats and critics of the bill claim that the new legislation will mostly benefit large corporations, while supporters highlight tax cuts to individuals and families from all income levels. The bill is now set to face a fresh vote at the House of Representatives, which despite being likely to pass, had previously faced resistance from some Republicans.

NYC to experience heavy traffic ahead of holidays season

The New York City Department of Transport has issued a travel alert from Wednesday until Friday ahead of the busiest road traffic days of the year. As the holidays season approaches, authorities urged travellers to consider using public transport, walking or cycling to avoid major delays. New York's La Guardia Airport (LGA) advised passengers to allow extra time to get to and from LGA during the coming days.

Weather conditions cause disruptions at Dallas/Ft Worth Airport

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that flights from and to Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport (DFW) are being affected due to weather conditions. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airline for potential delays or cancellations. Most flights affected are to Newark International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey and New York's La Guardia Airport (LGA).

Amtrak passenger train derails over highway in DuPont, Washington

Three people have been killed and over 100 others were injured when an Amtrak passenger train derailed over a major highway in DuPont, Washington. All southbound lanes on the Interstate 5 have been blocked after parts of the train fell over the road on Monday morning. Amtrak has said that disruptions have been reported after the incident involving Train 501 in Cascades service from Seattle to Portland. Amtrak services south of Seattle have been heavily disrupted but services northwards remain operating normally. Washington State Department of Transportation said that southbound lanes at Interstate 5 are closed and urged drivers to avoid the area. Emergency services rushed to the scene while further details about potential casualties have not yet been released.

Thousands affected after blackout hit Atlanta Airport, Georgia

Thousands of passengers are currently being affected after hundreds of flights were cancelled due to a blackout at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) on Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered the diversion of hundreds of flights after an undisclosed electrical fault hit ATL, one of the busiest air terminals in the US. ATL said on Twitter that power had been restored at midnight and urged passengers to check flight status for further information. Delta Airlines announced that more than 300 flights were cancelled on Monday morning including scheduled flights as operations at ATL are expected to normalise from the afternoon. Flights to and from ATL were also cancelled across other US airports. It is widely advised to contact the respective airline or ATL for further flight updates.

FCC repeals net neutrality regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has overturned controversial rules on the so-called net neutrality. FCC commissioners voted 3-2 to repeal net neutrality regulations, which prohibited broadband providers from benefiting specific websites by providing services to boost speed or access. In 2015, under the Obama administration, the FCC had introduced extensive regulations that barred broadband providers from giving preference to one kind of content over another. However, since the FCC was taken over by Republican commissioner Ajit Pai, the body's stance on the matter systematically changed. Pai claims that with the repeal, broadband providers will benefit from a boost to competition by being allowed more freedom to innovate and introduce more services. Critics, however, claim that the move hinders start-ups and smaller businesses attempting to reach the mass market.

FAA warns for flight disruptions in north-east US due to snow

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has informed that air traffic may suffer minor disruptions due to light snow forecast to the north-east US on Friday. Flights to airports in New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC are expected to be the most affected. It is widely advisable to check the flight status before heading to the airport.

Wildfire breaks out at Custer State Park, South Dakota

Hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to the Legion Lake area in south-western South Dakota after a massive wildfire broke out at the Custer State Park on Monday morning. The park remains closed until Friday as some residents have been ordered to evacuate due to threats of the so-called Legion Lake Fire. Local authorities revealed that the blazes have spread significantly due to strong winds and have already consumed more than 1,600 hectares of grassland. On Tuesday, Custer State Park issued a press release stating that the containment of the fire remains at zero percent, while authorities are focusing on protecting key park structures.

Democrat Doug Jones wins Alabama Senate race

Democrat Doug Jones has won the special-season Senate race in Alabama, a traditional Republican stronghold for several decades. Results revealed that Jones garnered 49,9 percent of the votes against Republican Roy Moore, who got around 48,4 percent. Jones's victory is translated into a significant blow to the Trump administration and his already divided Republican-majority Senate, whose advantage has now narrowed to 51-49. Jones, a former prosecutor, mainly acquired the support of black voters, women and college-educated youngsters, while his hard-line conservative rival's campaign was engulfed in a scandal linked to sexual harassment allegations. The process was called to fill the vacated seat of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Manhattan bomber charged with terror offences

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has announced that the suspected NYC bus terminal bomber has been charged with terror offences. The suspect was earlier identified as Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant who lived in Brooklyn. Ullah was detained and taken to hospital in serious conditions after the device he was carrying exploded at NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal on Monday morning. Three other people surrounding him were also injured. Police are still investigating if Ullah is associated with any terrorist group.

Republicans seek to secure victory in Alabama Senate race

Voters in Alabama head to cast their ballots in the state Senate race on Tuesday. Final results are still unclear mainly due to low-turnouts statewide. Republican Roy Moore has the task of holding the traditionally Republican seat against Democrat Doug Jones, which victory would shake the balance of power in Washington DC. As Republicans currently hold a two-seat advantage in Senate, Moore's victory is a must for President Donald Trump - who has seen some parts of the Republican branch distancing themselves from the administration. Alabama's election may dictate the outcome of the mid-term Congressional elections next year, which could make it even more difficult for Republicans pass key pieces of legislation in Senate.

NYPD responds to explosion in midtown Manhattan

The New York Police Department (NYPD) announced that it is investigating reports of an explosion in midtown Manhattan. On Twitter, the NYPD said that the explosion of unknown origins took place at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue at the NYC Port Authority Bus Terminal. Trains from lines A, C and E have been evacuated as further investigations are being carried out. Preliminary reports revealed that a wounded male suspect was detained, while four people surrounding the explosion sustained minor injuries. In a press conference, the suspect has been identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, while alleged links to the Islamic State (IS) group have not been confirmed. Meanwhile, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio labelled the incident as an attempted terrorist attack. NYPD has urged people to avoid the area as trains are currently bypassing Port Authority and Time Square Stations.

Southern California wildfires keep spreading westwards

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) has announced that around 100,000 people have already been evacuated in southern California as intense wildfires keep spreading. According to an update issued on Monday, CalFire revealed that the so-called Thomas Fire was only 10 percent contained and it had already consumed more than 90,000 hectares of land across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The blazes are being mainly fuelled by unprecedentedly strong Santa Ana winds, which recorded speeds of more than 60mph in LA and Ventura counties. Thomas Fire keeps spreading westwards mainly threatening the areas of Montecito, Carpenteria and Summerland. Thousands of buildings in the area remain without power. Meanwhile, in areas closer to downtown LA, most of the major fires have been largely contained and some evacuation orders were lifted. 

Further evacuation orders issued over southern California wildfires

More than 200,000 residents across Los Angeles and Ventura counties have been already ordered to evacuate as wildfires keep spreading across southern California. More than 40,000 hectares of land have already been consumed, and fresh evacuation orders were today issued to the city of Ojai and Carpinteria. As Santa Ana winds are reaching up to 60mph, firefighters expect rough conditions to continue in the coming days as nearly 15 percent of the fires have been contained. In San Diego County a massive blaze broke out on Thursday near Bonsall, where dozens of buildings were destroyed. A state of emergency has been declared to San Diego County as conditions are expected to deteriorate. On Thursday, the New York Times published a list of roads that are currently closed or facing major disruptions. 

Police detain three MS-13 members in Long Island, New York

Three presumed members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang and two other associates have been detained after undercover police officers foiled a kidnap attempt in Long Island, New York. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Tim Sini said that they attempted to kidnap a 16-year-old near Brentwood High School. It is believed that the suspects are also linked to two previous cases reported earlier in the week. They have been charged with conspiracy in the second degree. More than 20 murders across Long Island have been attributed to the MS-13. Police have reinforced security surrounding Long Island's schools where the group is known to recruit new members or commit crimes.

School shooting triggers evacuations in Aztec, New Mexico

A high school in northern New Mexico was evacuated and locked down after reports of an active shooter. Police officers rushed to the Aztec High School on Thursday morning to respond to the incident. San Juan County Sheriff's Office revealed that two students were killed, while the suspected shooter was gunned down. No further information about the victims or the shooter were disclosed. Neighbouring schools in the city of Bloomfield were also preventively put on lockdown as police forces from Farmington and Bloomfield headed to the area for assistance.

Strong Santa Ana winds fuel wildfires in southern California

Nearly 2,000 firefighters are still battling wildfires as they keep spreading in southern California. From around five wildfires currently active, the so-called Thomas Fire in the northwestern downtown of Los Angeles is the most severe, where nearly five percent was contained. Other major wildfires are also feared to spread such as the Creek Fire which broke out in North LA and spread towards Lakeview Terrace and Sylmar; the Rye Fire which remains active near Santa Clarita and the most recent, the Skirball Fire, which broke out on Wednesday morning in West LA. Firefighting efforts led to the containment of the Little Mountain Fire in San Bernardino. The blazes threatened a further 12,000 homes, including multi-million estates in the affluent Bel Air area, where the flames spread along the Sepulveda Pass and the slopes east of the Interstate 405 freeway through the Santa Monica mountains. Strong Santa Ana winds are battering the valleys and mountains across LA and Ventura counties, which coupled with dry weather conditions are fuelling the blazes.

Wildfires keep spreading across southern California

More than 150,000 people have been ordered to evacuate as two powerful wildfires simultaneously spread across Ventura, southern California. More than 26,000 hectares of land were already consumed leaving more than 43,000 homes without power. Local authorities in Ventura declared a daily curfew from 22:00 to 05:00 to avoid looting in the evacuation areas. Roads surrounding the city are also being threatened, especially the 101 Freeway north of Ventura. Meanwhile, the so-called Rye Fire and Creek Fire remain active near Santa Clarita in Los Angeles County. California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Ventura County, where the National Guard may be deployed to assist. The wildfires are expected to last for several days as strong Santa Ana winds coupled with dry weather conditions are fuelling the blazes.

Five-year-old killed, several injured in Liberty County school bus crash

A five-year-old girl has been killed and several others hurt after a school bus crashed on the morning journey to Taylors Creek Elementary School.  The bus is believed to have run along a ditch for about 100 yards before crashing into a tree on the right hand side, where the little girl was sitting.  It is not clear how fast the bus was travelling.  More than 20 children were injured and transported to local hospitals, as well as the 62-year-old driver.  An investigation into the cause of the crash has begun.

Trump orders largest reduction in public protected lands in history

On Monday 4 December, President Donald Trump signed off on the largest reduction of public protected lands in US history.  He cut about 2 million acres from two national monuments in Utah, a measure approved of by conservatives but condemned by ecologists and Native Americans.  On a visit to Salt Lake City, Trump also ordered that Bears Ears National Monument, established by Barack Obama in 2016,  be reduced in size from 1.3 million acres to 22,000 of protected land.

Florida police foil mass-shooting plan

Florida police confirmed that they have arrested a 69-year-old man on suspicion of planning a mass shooting at an Islamic centre in the state.  They had received a tip-off from a confidential source and used an undercover officer to trap Bernardino Gawala Bolatete into revealing his plans.  Officials claim he had demonstrated a hatred for Muslims and did not intend to survive the attack.  The suspect is currently being held by the FBI. 

US warned over Israeli embassy plans

Several countries have warned the US against plans to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could sever ties with Israel if the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital. Earlier French President Emmanuel Macron told his American counterpart, Donald Trump, that he was "concerned" about the plans, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the move would "destroy the peace process." The Arab League and the EU have also criticised the move.

US lawmakers meet to avoid government shut-down

On 5 December a White House spokesperson confirmed that President Trump will meet with influential Democrats on Thursday, just one day before funding for the federal government expires. Republicans have suggested extending the deadline for a further two weeks in order to reach a compromise with Democrat representatives, and to raise the spending ceilings imposed in 2011. Some Democrats are keen to force a shut-down unless Republicans agree on some controversial issues.  The first is the protection of undocumented young immigrants who arrived in the US as children, known as the "Dreamers",  and who enjoyed protection under the Obama administration, a programme which has been repealed by Trump.  The two parties also disagree over the Affordable Care Act.  The US fiscal year 2018 started on 1 October. 

Trump's travel ban to take effect, pending appeal

On Monday, the US Supreme Court allowed President Trump's latest version of a travel ban to take effect, pending appeal, the first time judges have allowed it to go forward in its' entirety.  This third edition places varying levels of restriction on foreign nationals from eight countries :  Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen.  The Trump administration has argued that the President has the authority to install travel bans to protect national security.  He has fought all year to implement a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries.  White House spokesmen have said that the proposed ban included some countries that were not majority Muslim, but this defence was undermined after President Trump retweeted three inflammatory videos from a British far-right anti-Muslim group. Challenges against the travel ban will continue but the order can be enforced while they make their way through the legal system. 

Plane crash injures four at Rockford airport, Chicago

On Monday evening, four people were injured when a light passenger plane came in short of the runway, hit a ditch and bounced over a fence, injuring its' four occupants. Two of them needed to be extricated from the aircraft.  Federal authorities are investigating but witnesses said that it was a windy night, and this may have played a part in the incident. 

US banks plan for cyber attacks

Banks in the United States managing around 400 million accounts, have set up a system called Sheltered Harbour, which they hope will help prevent a run on financial institutions in the event of a cyber or digital attack.  While individuals fear theft of money, the banks themselves have a greater fear of data being encrypted, which could mean the public being unable to access their funds. Such an event, even at a small bank, could potentially lead to fears about financial institutions and a run on all of them.  Previously, measures have been put in place to restore faith in the financial system where solvency or liquidity was in question but did not address problems of access to information.  Sheltered Harbour will provide backed-up data within 48 hours, with banks paying an annual fee depending on their size, and having to follow guides on formatting, back-ups and audits.  

Trump terminates extreme weather protection group

The Trump administration has dissolved the charter of the "Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems", which was created by the Obama administration in 2015 in response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012.  The group advised local officials on plans to make buildings, communications, energy, transportation and water more resilient against extreme weather and climate change.  Their work includes the improvement of building codes, guides on how to reestablish mobile phone services and advice to municipal utility companies on resuming operations after a disaster.  The chairman, Jesse Keenan, said that the group was one of the last federal bodies that talked openly about climate change.  The group is the latest climate-related body to be altered or terminated under the Trump administration.  Trump has called climate change a "hoax" designed to make the US less competitive with China.   

Thousands evacuated due to Southern California fire

A blaze broke out on Monday in Santa Paula, California, and quickly consumed 15 square miles of vegetation that had not burned in decades according to Ventura County Fire Sergeant, Eric Buschow.  Ferocious winds then escalated the situation to an explosive wildfire that forced thousands to evacuate their homes in the Santa Paula city area, northwest of Los Angeles.  Firefighters and aircraft from neighbouring Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties were called in to help try to contain the blaze.  Thousands of homes were without power, and at least one person has been killed. 

US withdraws from UN Global Compact on Migration

The US has withdrawn from the UN-backed Global Compact on Migration over claims that the agreement's guidelines are not compatible with the US immigration policies. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that: "While we will continue to engage on a number of fronts at the UN, in this case, we simply cannot in good faith support a process that could undermine the sovereign right of the US to enforce our immigration laws and secure our borders. The US supports international cooperation on migration issues, but it is the primary responsibility of sovereign states to help ensure that migration is safe, orderly, and legal." The decision came hours before the opening of the global conference on migration in Mexico. The Global Compact on Migration is a 2016 non-binding deal unanimously adopted by 193 UN members as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, that aimed to ensure certain guarantees to recent arrivals regardless of status.

Hawaii tests its warning sirens after latest North Korean missile launch

Hawaii has tested its nuclear attack warning sirens for the first time since the end of the Cold War. The remote US state island launched a test of its Attack Warning System over the weekend in the wake of North Korea's latest high-profile nuclear missile launch. Governor David Ige said that the possibility of an attack is remote but the island is taking a proactive role to prepare for every potential outcome. Hawaii is the closest US territory to North Korea. Last week, North Korea launched a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which flew 950km and landed 250km off Japan's northern coast.

Michael Flynn charged for making false statements to the FBI

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, is set to plead guilty to lying to the FBI. Court documents released on Friday revealed that Flynn had purposely issued false statements to the bureau back in late-January over undisclosed conversations with the Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak. He has been charged with a single count of 'willfully and knowingly' making false statements to the FBI. His hearing is scheduled to take place on Friday morning at a Washington DC federal courthouse before US District Judge Rudolph Contreras. The investigations are being carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who have also indicted former presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy.

Thousands of flights feared to be affected over scheduling glitch

Thousands of American Airlines flights scheduled for the peak Christmas holidays season are feared to be affected due to the shortage of pilots and crew members over a scheduling glitch. According to the Allied Pilots Association (APA), a failure in the pilot schedule bidding system has occurred, leaving thousands of flights without an assigned pilot. American Airlines said that it is working within the APA to avoid cancellations. However, a brief dispute remains in place between the APA and American Airlines as the company offered up to 150 percent of the pilot's hourly rates to cover the schedule - deemed to breach an APA union contract.  It remains unclear how many routes from the 200,000 flights scheduled to December will be affected. For further information on scheduled flights, it is advised to contact the American Airlines directly.

Trump retweets anti-Muslim videos

US President Donald Trump has retweeted three videos from a far-right hate group based in the UK. The videos were originally published by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, and contain anti-Muslim content. "I think his goal is to promote strong borders and strong national security," said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in defence of the president, whose actions have been widely condemned. UK Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said it was "wrong for the president to have done this," while the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a US-based civil rights group, said: "These are actions one would expect to see on virulent anti-Muslim hate sites, not on the Twitter feed of the president of the United States."

Woman killed after falling into Hawaiian river in Hilo

A 62-year-old woman has been killed when she fell into the water while crossing the Wailuku River in Hawaii. According to the police, Gladys Novinger's body was found in the pool below the Rainbow Falls in Hilo. Gladys was travelling with her husband, who remains missing. Emergency services suspended the searches due to rough weather over the weekend. 

Court unveils documents of violent MS-13 murder in Maryland

On Wednesday, the Montgomery County District Court unveiled the circumstances behind a violent murder that happened several months ago in Wheaton, Maryland. According to court records, an unnamed individual was stabbed more than 100 times and was beheaded before being buried in a remote location at Wheaton Regional Park. A 19-year-old El Salvadorian national has been detained and charged with first-degree murder. Reports revealed that several criminals of the Central American-based group Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) were involved in the incident. Washington Post reported that the convicted criminal was illegally living in the US and was awaiting deportation proceedings. President Donald Trump had recently launched an open war against the MS-13, which is believed to be spread across 40 US states.

Millions of Uber users worldwide targeted in massive data breach

Executives of the app-based transport service Uber have disclosed on Tuesday that data from more than 57 million users worldwide had been stolen nearly a year ago. Uber officials told Bloomberg that telephone numbers, names and email addresses have been stolen in a massive data breach reported back in October 2016. Further, license plates and information about drivers were also obtained. However, Uber said that no credit card, social security numbers or itinerary details were taken. It was revealed that a ransom of $100k was paid to hackers to delete the data and keep the cyber attack concealed. According to the same source, the incident happened while US regulators were investigating Uber for alleged claims of privacy violations.

US border officer killed near Van Horn, Texas

A US border patrol agent has been killed and another was severely injured during an attack in south-western Texas. Both were attacked near the town of Van Horn in Big Bend district. The circumstances behind the incident remain unclear, as US media identified the victim as 36-year-old Rogelio Martinez. The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) labour union believes that they were targeted with rocks, while the FBI confirmed that they were not attacked with guns. The incident triggered a response from President Donald Trump, who launched a fresh pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border.

Puerto Ricans march in Washington DC to demand federal funds

Thousands of protesters gathered near the US Capitol in Washington DC to demand more financial support to assist recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Demonstrators called for federal funding as the island continues to struggle to recover from the aftermath of Hurrican Maria, which battered the island as a powerful category-four storm back in September. Protesters also called upon President Donald Trump to enact a permanent ban on the 1920's Merchant Marine Act, also known as the Jones Act, which restricts the shipment of goods to the island to American-flagged vessels only - President Trump had already waived the act to facilitate humanitarian assistance.

Hundreds of MS-13 members detained nationwide

More than 200 members of the subversive criminal gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) have been detained in a nationwide operation. Officials within the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revealed on Thursday that the operations took place between 8 and 11 November as the second part of the crackdown to the MS-13 in the country. President Donald Trump had already declared an open war on criminal groups operating in the US. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had previously labelled the MS-13 as the most dangerous group operating in the US - it is believed that the group is comprised of more than 10,000 members across 40 states.

Four killed in northern California shooting spree

Four people have been killed after an armed man engaged in a shooting spree in northern California. At least 10 people were wounded when the gunman opened fire across several rural communities in Tehama County. The suspect was shot dead by the police near an elementary school in Corning. US media later identified the shooter as 43-year-old Kevin Neal, who had been previously arrested for links to a stabbing incident. 

Hundreds march against sexual harassment in Hollywood

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest against the recent sexual harassment and assault scandals which implicated prominent figures in Hollywood. Demonstrators gathered around the Dolby Theatre in downtown LA to march along the Hollywood Boulevard towards the CNN headquarters. The march was called through social media to protest against recent allegations of sexual harassment involving high-profile actors and movie directors. 

Four killed as light aircraft crashes in Glasgow, Kentucky

Four people have been killed after a light aircraft crashed near Glasgow, Kentucky. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told US media that the accident happened on Sunday afternoon when the Piper PA32 aircraft crashed before reaching the Lake Cumberland Regional Airport in Somerset. Reports revealed that plane debris was recovered several metres away from the crash scene, while it remains unclear what caused the accident.

Homeland Security highlights current terror threats to the US

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has highlighted through its National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) bulletin the current terrorist threats that may domestically affect the US. According to the latest NTAS bulletin released on Thursday, the DHS warned that terrorist organisations are currently seeking to employ 'easy-to-use' tools - vehicle ramming, stabbings and the employment of home-made explosives - to launch attacks. It further revealed an extreme concern linked to home-grown terrorists which may employ new pieces of technology - such as drones - to target crowded areas and public venues. DHS says that its bulletins are used to describe current developments and general trends regarding threats of terrorism and does not necessarily warns against imminent or credible terrorist threats.

Spanish tourists robbed at Redwood National Park, California

A group of Spanish tourists have been robbed at gunpoint when three criminals ambushed them at the Redwood National and State Parks, north-western California. US media reported that heavily armed assailants targeted the victims moments after they went for a hike on Friday afternoon. Some of their belongings were taken along with their two vehicles. According to Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, one of the criminals was armed with an automatic weapon, while another was wearing a potentially fake SWAT tactical vest.

Democrat Ralph Northam elected Virginia governor

Democrat candidate Ralph Northam has been elected the new Virginia governor after a turbulent electoral campaign. Early results revealed that Northam garnered around 54 percent of the votes while his contender, Republican Ed Gillespie, got 45 percent. Northam - who is the incumbent Virginian lieutenant governor - faced severe criticism from his own party after he refused to counter alleged political attacks from the Republican party. Gillespie's campaign was based on President Donald Trump's tactics, which he reportedly failed to follow as Trump later said on Twitter that: "Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for." Democrats also secured the offices of lieutenant governor and attorney general. Further, Democrats have made significant gains in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates. This is the first major defeat of the Republican Party since President Trump was sworn into office.

State of emergency declared as tornadoes hit Celina, Ohio

A state of emergency has been declared after two tornadoes hit the town of Celina, Ohio. Celina's Mayor Jeffrey Hazel confirmed that several buildings were damaged and power lines were knocked down after severe weather conditions battered Mercer County on Sunday. Eight people were slightly injured and four others were taken to the hospital. Local authorities advised people to avoid affected areas while emergency services clean up the debris.

Scores killed in Texas church shooting

At least 27 people have been killed and over 20 others were injured when a gunman stormed a church in Texas. The shooting erupted at around 11:30 local time during a Sunday morning service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in Wilson County, on the outskirts of San Antonio. Police sources told US media that the gunman was shot dead after a police pursuit in Guadalupe County. The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, a former US Air Force pilot who was court-matialed back in 2012 over a domestic issue. FBI officers were deployed to the scene, while the motives behind the shooting remain unclear.

Three killed as gunman storms Walmart near Denver, Colorado

Three people have been killed when a gunman stormed a Walmart store in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. US media reported that the incident happened on Wednesday evening at the Thornton Town Center. Police spokesman Victor Avila revealed that two men died at the scene and a woman succumbed to her wounds moments later at the hospital. Avila said that investigations are being carried out to assess the circumstances behind the attack, which shows no evidence of being terror-related. Colorado had nearly five years ago faced one of the state's deadliest mass shootings, where a dozen people were killed and scores injured when a gunman raided a cinema in Aurora.

Several killed as pick-up truck ploughs into NYC bike path

At least eight people have been killed and nearly a dozen others were injured when a pick-up truck ploughed into a bike path in New York City. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill confirmed that the attack happened on Tuesday around 15:00 local time when a rented pick-up truck was driven at high-speed along the West Houston Street in Lower Manhattan and hit a parked school bus. The assailant has been identified as Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek national who is believed to be living in Florida and New Jersey since 2010. Saipov was shot in the abdomen and detained when officers rushed to the scene. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the attack, while President Donald Trump called on Homeland Security to step up its extreme vetting programme. Despite the attack, a scheduled Halloween parade went on with extremely heavy police presence, which is expected be increased across airports and key sites of the city. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack several days later.

Former Trump campaign chief indicted on money laundering charges

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has handed himself over to the FBI after he and his business associate, Rick Gates, were indicted on money laundering, tax and lobbying charges. Manafort was sacked back in August after allegations of receiving money to represent Russian interests in Ukraine and the US. In May, the US Justice Department nominated Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead investigations on a suspected collusion between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign. According to a statement, Manafort is accused of laundering more than $18m to buy properties and services. Despite claims that Manaforta may broker a deal with the prosecution, his lawyer told The New York Times that he will not release any compromising information against President Trump.

Government releases thousands of JFK assassination files

On Thursday, the US government released  thousands of files on the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy. The National Archives uploaded more than 2,800 files that were previously ordered to be fully declassified after 25 years. However, intelligence agencies, such as the FBI and the CIA, along with the State Department still hold a substantial amount of sensitive documents that are set to be released within the next six months after further analysis. Kennedy was killed on 22 November in Dallas when Lee Harvey Oswald opened fire at his open-topped limousine.

Man dies after contracting bacteria in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

A 31-year-old man has died after contracting a deadly and extremely rare flesh-eating bacteria in Texas. Health officials confirmed that Josue Zurita died last week, days after contracting necrotizing fasciitis in mid-October. This is the second death linked to the bacteria reported since Hurricane Harvey made landfall last August. Harvey ravaged Texas and brought dirty floodwaters across several areas of the state. In September, a 77-year-old woman died of the same bacteria after she fell into a flooded home in Kingwood community in Houston and broke her arm. Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial skin infection that kills its' soft tissue. Symptoms include warm skin with red areas of painful swelling after the injury along with fever, chills, fatigue and vomiting.

Security measures increased on US-bound flights

Passengers heading to the US are expected to face extra security screenings as new rules to US-bound flights come into effect on Thursday. In June, the US government provided international and domestic airlines with a 120-day deadline to introduce enhanced security measures for passengers flying to the US. Among the new measures is a possible interview at the check-in desk or boarding gates along with limitations on self bag-drop and online check-in. Passengers have been advised to head to the airport at least three hours before departure and allow for extra time to pass through security. The chief of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) told Reuters that the new measures are understandable but the decision was unilaterally carried out by the US government, who have not shared details of any specific threat.

Two killed in Grambling University shooting, Louisiana

Two men have been killed when a shooting broke out at the campus of Grambling State University in Louisiana. US media reported that the shootout erupted in the early hours of Wednesday, where among the victims is a 23-year-old senior student. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene, while the suspect is still on the run. It is believed that the incident happened during an altercation in the campus' courtyard.

Alert issued over potential risk of wildfires in southern California

The National Weather Service has issued a warning to southern California as high temperatures and strong winds are likely to increase the risk of wildfires in the region. Counties from Santa Barbara to San Bernardino are on alert through Tuesday as temperatures are expected to significantly increase over the following days. The warning also includes areas in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties. Emergency services are also on alert as a high-pressure system is set to bring extremely dry weather and strong winds. The alert comes as thousands of firefighters have recently been deployed to extinguish dozens of wildfires in northern California.

Hundreds protest at white nationalist speaker, University of Florida

Hundreds gathered to protest at white nationalist speaker Richard Spencer at the University of Florida on 19 October.  It was Spencer's first planned speech on a college campus since his rally in Charlottesville in August which led to violent clashes.  Spencer is the President of the National Policy Institute.  He had not been invited, but had hired a hall at the school, and the University said that it was obligated by law to allow him to speak.  Governor Scott declared a state of emergency for Alachua County to enable law enforcement agencies to work together more effectively. The school paid costs of approximately $600,000 for additional security.  There were two arrests and some minor injuries from scuffles between the opposing groups.

Bomb threat closes school in Orlando, Florida

On 19 October, a bomb threat was made to Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida.  The school was placed in lockdown, and then evacuated as a precautionary measure.  No suspicious object was found, and the school was reopened in the afternoon.

One injured in light aircraft accident, Willmar

The pilot was doing a flight check when the Cessna 150 reportedly lost power and crashed in a field and overturned.  Another pilot who was flying with him was uninjured.  The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have opened an investigation.


Emergency disaster response exercise at Daniel K Inouye Airport, Hawaii

An emergency response exercise simulating an aircraft disaster will be held at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Hawaii in Honolulu.  The exercises will be held between 08:00 and 12:00, but it is reported that flight operations will continue as normal and there will be no impact on scheduled flights.

Suspected California arsonist is illegal alien

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan confirmed on Thursday that a man arrested in connection with starting a fire in Sonoma County Wine Country, is Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, an illegal alien from Mexico who has twice been returned to his home country. Sonoma County is a sanctuary jurisdiction, which means it does not fully cooperate with federal immigration officials, who were unaware that he had been released following several misdemeanour charges, despite ICE issuing a detainer request. Massive wildfires have recently devastated the area. California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that makes California a sanctuary state.

One dead in Houston home invasion

Police were called to an address at Greater Greenspoint, Houston at 01:15 on Thursday where they found the front door riddled with bullets and the homeowner shot dead.  A second man had a bullet wound to the leg.  According to the authorities, three men broke into the house taking various items and fled the scene in a brown Ford Explorer.  They were apparently not known to the victims.  Women and children were asleep in the house but were not injured.


Five schools on lockdown due to armed student

Five schools in Sarasota County were placed on lockdown Thursday morning after the school district received notification that a high school student had a gun on a bus.  The student did not remain on campus, and the lockdown was put in place as a precautionary measure.  Law enforcement are actively seeking the suspect.

Explosion at restaurant, Maryland

The utility room of an Olive Garden restaurant exploded at lunchtime on 18 October, while 70 people were dining there.  Prince George's County firefighters say that the blast was caused by a faulty electrical panel.  The rear of the building was severely damaged with debris scattered across the parking lot.  Fifteen employees were on duty at the time, two of whom sustained minor injuries.

Two children shot outside apartment complex, San Antonio

Two children were shot on 17 October whilst playing outside an apartment complex in San Antonio.  The boys were playing amongst a crowd of people who had gathered outside the East Commerce Street complex, when three men fired several shots at the group.  The boys were the only injured.  Several witnesses and suspects were taken in for questioning by the San Antonio Police Department.

Hundreds exposed to TB at high school

Tests are being carried out on 266 students and staff at Durham's Northern High School in North Carolina, as they have potentially been exposed to tuberculosis.  One of the students has tested positive for the airborne infectious disease.  Arlena Sena, medical director of the county health department said "We will be conducting initial evaluations and blood tests for TB at the school to make it easier on parents and students.  We ask for patience as we work with the Durham Public Schools on this communicable disease investigation."  Active TB can be treated by taking various drugs for six to 12 months.  People who have a latent TB infection can take preventative medication for four to nine months to prevent the disease later in life.

Five injured after light aircraft crash-lands onto vehicles, St Petersburg

On 18 October, a Cessna civilian aircraft made a crash-landing in St Petersburg, Florida, colliding with two vehicles.  Five people were injured, and three were sent to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  The cause of the crash is unknown.

Wildfires still active in California

Large wildfires are still active in the counties of Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and Yuba in the State of California. The death toll from the disaster has risen to 42, with 23 of the deaths in Sonoma County. Weather forecasters have predicted rain on Thursday, which may aid firefighters in tackling the remaining blazes.

Dramatic rise in deaths of law enforcement officers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has issued a statement about the FBI's 2016 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, which showed a 61 percent increase in some incidents. Sessions said: "These numbers are as shocking as they are unacceptable.  Our law enforcement deserves the support of the people they serve.  Fortunately, we have a President who understands this".  According to statistics collected by the FBI, 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents, representing a 37 percent increase from 2015.  Additionally, in 2016 there were 66 law enforcement officers killed on duty as a result of felonious acts, which is a 61 percent increase from 2015.  Meanwhile, more than 57,000 officers were victims of line-of-duty assaults, which represents more than 150 per day.

President's travel restrictions suffer court defeat

A federal judge placed a temporary restraining order on President Trump's bid to impose travel restrictions on citizens from eight countries entering the US, preventing it from taking effect this week. The policy targets Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan officials. The state of Hawaii sued to block Trump's policy, which was set to go into effect on 18 October, arguing that the president did not have the powers under federal immigration law to impose such restrictions. The ban is also facing challenges from Maryland, Washington State, Massachusetts, California, Oregon and New York. In Hawaii, Judge Watson said: "It (the ban) lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be detrimental to the interests of the United States".

Bomb scare at Port Hueneme Pier, California

On Tuesday a 46-year-old Nevada resident was arrested after telling a restaurant employee that he was going to set off a bomb in his backpack. The area was evacuated and the public was advised to stay at least a mile away from the park as the bomb squad conducted its' investigations. The man was charged with making a false bomb threat after the object at the Port Hueneme Pier proved not to be an explosive device.

Road closure at Greater Rochester International Airport, 23 October

Monroe County announced that the lower level and outer roadways at Greater Rochester International Airport will be closed from 23 October. Traffic will be directed away from construction of the terminal entrance canopy. Departing passengers are advised to arrive at the airport at least an hour and a half prior to their flight time.


Fire at Chevron Refinery, El Segundo

A fire has broken out at the Chevron Refinery in El Segundo, south of Los Angeles International Airport.  Multiple fire agencies responded to the scene, using massive quantities of water and foam and were able to extinguish the flames in less than an hour. The fire touched power lines and threatened storage tanks at the refinery. According to Chevron, the refinery is the largest on the West Coast, with a storage capacity of 12.5 million barrels in 150 storage tanks, each more than 30 feet in diameter.Refinery officials released a statement, saying "Chevron's primary concern is to ensure the safety of its' employees and the surrounding community and the environment.  Chevron is working very closely with the local agencies to ensure that we meet those expectations in responding to this incident." El Segundo police reported that Vista del Mar would remain closed due to damaged power lines.

Two injured in oil tank explosion, Texas

Two employees sustained non-life-threatening injuries in an explosion and fire at Carrizo Oil & Gas oil tank at Ledwig Ranch in La Salle County, Texas. When fire crews arrived, several oil tanks were fully engulfed in flames, but the initial blast had extinguished the main source and only peripheral fires remained. First responders are waiting for the fires to die down and an exclusion zone of a quarter of a mile has been set up. La Salle County Sheriff's Office spokesman Marc Robertson said that emergency officials have an open line of communication with the oil and gas companies in the area so that when something occurs, they are prepared to respond.

Trump drug czar nominee withdraws

Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino, nominated as Donald Trump's drug czar, has withdrawn after accusations that he reportedly helped weaken government efforts to tackle the opioid crisis. Investigations by the Washington Post and CBS News found that Marino and fellow Republican lawmaker Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee helped force out an official from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) who was taking on the pharmaceutical firms. Experts estimate that opioids could kill 500,000 Americans in the next decade. Deadly addiction to the drugs, which cover everything from legal painkillers to heroin, has been described as America's biggest public health crisis since the spread of HIV/Aids in the 1980s.

Security services responding to an incident at the White House

Officers from the US Secret Service have responded to an incident at the White House in Washington DC. According to reports, an individual jumped over the concrete barriers at the White House.  The White House south fence line has been closed and DC police are investigating a suspicious package. The suspect has been arrested at the scene.

Pedestrian killed by train in Philadelphia

A pedestrian has been struck and killed by a train between Allegheny and Berks stations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. All train services are operating with a delay, and shuttle bus services are being provided between the affected stations.

Fire prompts mandatory evacuation, Santa Cruz mountains

A house fire in Bear Creek Canyon has spread and prompted a mandatory evacuation for a 6km radius.  An evacuation centre has been set up at Bear Creek Elementary School in Boulder Creek, with around 100 people evacuated so far. The fire is moving at a moderate rate and is heading north towards Las Cumbres.

North California wildfire evacuees allowed home

Tens of thousands of people who fled the flames in northern California have been allowed to return home with over 40,000 still displaced.  Lighter winds have allowed firefighters to gain control of the area, where at least 5,700 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the wildfires that erupted a week ago, and which have consumed an area larger than that of New York City.  The death toll is expected to rise with hundreds of people still unaccounted.

US official not ruling out direct talks with North Korea

During a trip to Japan, Deputy Secretary of State John L Sullivan said talks with North Korea are a possibility. "Our focus is on diplomacy to solve this problem.  We must, however, with our allies Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst should diplomacy fail". China, in particular, has been keen that the adversaries should hold talks, but Washington and Tokyo have been reluctant while Pyongyang continues to pursue the goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US. Tension has been rising following a series of weapon tests by North Korea, and inflammatory exchanges between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

State of emergency declared ahead of rally in Florida

Florida's governor declared a state of emergency on Monday ahead of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida. The order is intended to assist in law enforcement's response to rallies planned for Thursday. Spencer led a torch-bearing white supremacist march at the University of Virginia in August, during which a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring several others. The University of Florida previously cancelled the event, but Spencer's lawyer challenged that decision on First Amendment grounds, and the speech and question and answer session will now take place on Thursday.

Guilty verdict reached in New York City bombing case

Twenty-nine-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahimi, an Afghan-born US citizen, has been convicted of planting two bombs in New York City last year, injuring dozens of people. Rahimi left two bombs on the city streets, the first of which blew up, injuring more than 30 people.  The second was disarmed by the authorities. Jurors reached their verdict after two days of deliberations following a two week trial at a federal court in Manhatten.  The bomber was convicted of eight charges including using a weapon of mass destruction and bombing a public place and faces a mandatory punishment of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2018.

Threats cause school closures in Wisconsin

A threat made by phone has triggered evacuations at elementary and high schools in Coleman, Wisconsin.  Authorities are investigating and search operations are underway.  The nature of the threat has not been revealed.

Explosion on oil platform near New Orleans

One worker is missing and seven others have been injured after an oil platform exploded on Sunday night. A search and rescue mission including boats and a helicopter was launched, while authorities were working to confirm who was present on the rig at the time of the explosion, due to the presence of numerous sub-contractors. The Chief of the East Bay Consolidated Fire Department also confirmed that there is also the possibility that oil was spilling into Lake Pontchartrain. The cause of the blast is unclear.

Police officer killed in New Orleans shooting

A police officer has been killed in a shooting in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Shots were fired at Marcus McNeil, 29, and his partner as they left their squad car to investigate suspicious activities. The assailant was wounded and apprehended by a Swat team shortly afterwards. In response to McNeil's death, the New Orlean's Police Department (NOPD) said: "We have lost one of our brothers. NOPD grieves this morning."

Bomb threat at La Guardia airport

A bomb threat prompted the closure of Terminals A and B at La Guardia airport after a passenger left a bag in Terminal B and made suspicious comments.  A man has been arrested. Flights bound for New York from other cities were delayed as a result.

Man shot dead by police in Torrance

On 14 October, an individual was shot dead by police after a chase in Torrance, California. The driver refused orders to stop in the Hawthorne Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway in the early hours of Saturday morning, sparking the pursuit. The victim was transported to local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

California wildfire death toll increased to 40

Mandatory evacuations were carried out in Northern California on Saturday as firefighters fought 16 large wildfires around the state that have left hundreds missing, and levelled entire neighbourhoods. Officials have announced that the death toll has been increased from 38 to 40. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the blazes have charred more than 217,000 acres of land, forced approximately 75,000 residents to evacuate, and damaged or destroyed at least 5,700 homes and businesses. Most of the fires ignited on or around the night of 8 October, with the cause still under investigation. As northern California's fires get tamed and forecasters predict rainfall, southern California is seeing the Santa Ana winds starting to gain strength.  As a result, officials have placed the region 480km south under extreme fire weather warnings.


Kirstjen Nielsen nominated Homeland Security chief

President Donald Trump has nominated Kirstjen Nielsen as the new head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In a statement released on Thursday, Trump announced that Nielsen will take over the seat previously left in July by the current White House Chief of Staff, General John Kelly. Nielsen - who also held functions at the homeland security council in the George W Bush administration - is known as an expert on cyber-security and emergency management. She is currently a close aide to Kelly within the turbulent White House internal political sphere. Her nomination is highly likely to be approved by the Republican-majority Senate.

Two guards killed in North Carolina prison break

Two guards have been killed and three others critically injured when inmates attempted to break out from a prison in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon when a section of the high-security Pasquotank Correctional Institute was set on fire. At least 10 guards were  injured overall in the incident, while four inmates were also medically assisted. Governor Roy Cooper said: "We're grateful to these fallen prison employees for their service, and we offer our condolences to their families, friends, co-workers and community on this tragic loss."

US pulls out of UNESCO over alleged anti-Israel bias

The US State Department has announced that the US will withdraw its membership within the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The move came as the US accused the France-based organisation of anti-Israel bias after successive executive decisions, which included the acceptance of the Palestinian Territories as a full member back in 2011. Further claims also regard a potential cut of the US financial contribution to UN bodies, which was previously addressed by President Donald Trump. The measure will come into effect in December 2018.

Canadian woman severely beaten in Waikiki, Hawaii

A 45-year-old Canadian woman has been severely beaten in what is believed to be a renewed unprovoked assault in Waikiki, Hawaii. Local media reported that the victim was standing near an intersection between Kanekapolei Street and Kuhio Avenue when she was attacked on Monday afternoon. Residents have previously demanded that local authorities reinforce police presence across the popular tourist resort due to recent incidents. Last week, three suspects stabbed and beat a 21-year-old soldier at Kalakaua Avenue.

California fires death toll rises as hundreds are still missing

More than 8,000 firefighters continue to fight the blazes across northern California as 22 wildfires were still active on Wednesday. Although most blazes calmed down or were fully contained, wildfires still pose a threat to Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. According to Cal Fire, the death toll has risen to 23, with most casualties caused by the so-called Tubbs fire in Sonoma County. The death toll is feared to significantly increase as more than 600 people are still missing. Over 3,500 homes were completely destroyed across the state forcing the evacuation of more than 20,000 residents. Overall, emergency services claim that more than 70,000 hectares of land were already consumed by the blazes.

Scores killed as wildfires ravage northern California

At least 23 people have been killed as more than a dozen wildfires remain active across 50,000 hectares in northern California. More than 2,000 buildings were completely consumed by the blazes, while more than 20,000 people were ordered to evacuate. Most casualties were reported in Santa Rosa, where seven people were killed and two hospitals ordered to evacuate. Two people were also killed in Napa County and another died in Mendocino. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange County and said that: "These fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten thousands of homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents." Emergency services are struggling to extinguish the fires as strong winds coupled with hot and dry weather continue to fuel the blazes.

Hurricane Nate triggers power outages across US Gulf coast

Hurricane Nate made landfall on the US Gulf coast on Saturday as a category-one storm. According to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Nate made its first landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana before making a second landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi. More than 100,000 people faced power outages across Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. No serious damage or casualties were reported in the US despite widespread floods affected some coastal areas. Last week, more than 20 people were killed as Tropical Storm Nate left a trail of destruction to Central America. The hurricane was recently downgraded to a tropical depression as it moves northwards through Tennessee and the Appalachian Mountains.

Louisiana and Florida on alert as Tropical Storm Nate approaches

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Nate is forecast to make landfall in the south-eastern US as a category-one hurricane. More than 1,300 National Guard troops were mobilised to assist in potential evacuations across the state, which are already being carried out in St Bernard Parish and the barrier island of Grand Isle. Meanwhile, New Orleans officials raised concerns as the city is still struggling with its pumping system that was heavily damaged due to flash floods during the summer. In Florida, Governor Rick Scott also declared a state of emergency for 29 counties, including Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa in the north-western region of the state.

Scores killed in Las Vegas mass shooting

At least 59 people have been killed and over 500 others wounded in a mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. The incident happened on Sunday evening while thousands were attending an open-air country music festival at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas strip. Media reports suggest that the suspected shooter is a local resident who opened fire at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the hotel. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) confirmed that the assailant was shot dead and advised people to stay away from the area. Operations at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) are reduced after a number of flights were diverted to other airports.

Climber killed in massive Yosemite rockfall

A massive rockfall led to the death of one climber at the Yosemite National Park in central California. A local official and witnesses said that more than 30 climbers were around the area when a large boulder became detached from the notorious El Capitan granite monolith. The incident happened during the busy climbing peak season at the Yosemite. Although rockfalls in the park are common, they rarely lead to casualties.

Global travel disruption due to glitching airport check-in software

Global travel disruption has been reported throughout several major international airports worldwide. According to reports, the issue has stemmed from a glitch in check-in software used by dozens of airports around the world. The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington DC was among those reporting IT issues this morning, along with London Gatwick and Heathrow Airport in England, Charles de Gaulle in France, and several others. The issue has led to check-in delays for passengers and airports have advised travellers to check flight arrival and departure times online. Some airports have reported a return to normal operations after fixing the issue; however, it remains unclear whether or not the issue has been fixed at all airports. 

Evacuation orders issued over wildfire in Corona, California

Hundreds of people have been ordered to evacuate after a wildfire broke out between Anaheim and Corona, southern California. Firefighters have been deployed to the region after more than 800 hectares of land were consumed by the so-called Canyon Fire. Local authorities revealed that no casualties have been reported so far. Traffic conditions along the 91 freeway were heavily disrupted as the flames kept spreading due to strong winds and dry weather conditions. Corona Fire Department has said on Monday evening that five percent of the fire was already contained. 

North Korean leader claims US declared war

A statement released by North Korea has claimed that the US has declared war in the form of a direct threat towards the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The US President Donald Trump tweeted that if North Korean representatives to the UN continued to echo the aggressive rhetoric of their leader then "they won't be around much longer". The tweet has been taken by North Korea as a direct threat towards the country and its leader and therefore a declaration of war. North Korea has also claimed that a US declaration of war gives North Korea the right to defensively shoot down US bombers outside of North Korean airspace. The claim comes just two days after US warplanes flew near the coast of North Korea in a military show if force. According to the BBC, the US denied declaring war, describing the North Korean claims as 'absurd', while the UN has encouraged the country to abandon fiery rhetoric which could lead to fatal misunderstanding. South Korea has called for 'astuteness and steadfastness' in responding to provocations from North Korea.

Man detained over car full of weapons near the White House

Secret Service officers have arrested an unnamed man bearing a number of weapons near the White House. The man was detained in Washington DC after Secret Service officers raided his vehicles and found nine guns, three knives and a cache of ammunition. According to the CNN, the individual sought to meet with NSA Director Adm Mike Rogers and Defense Secretary James Mattis regarding "advice on missing paychecks and how to get the chip out of my head". US media reported that the man was taken for mental observation before being charged.

US travel ban further extended ahead of court hearing

President Donald Trump has extended his controversial travel ban to further three countries ahead of a Supreme Court challenge in mid-October. Amid claims of protecting "the security and interests of the United States and its people", the new measure will include Venezuela, North Korea and Chad to the original list of six-majority-Muslim countries - Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Iran. However, changes to the initial rule were already applied, such as lifting the ban on Sudanese nationals and extending travel checks on Iraqi citizens. US officials claim that the decision to extend the travel ban comes as a calibrated measure targeting specific threats from countries included in the rule. The move comes as the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding claims that Trump systematically targeted Muslims.

Peaceful Georgia Tech vigil turns violent, Atlanta

A peaceful vigil suddenly escalated on Monday evening after dozens of protesters marched on the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Students gathered at the university's campus to remember the death of 21-year-old engineering student, Scout Schultz. Three demonstrators were detained and a campus police vehicle was set on fire. Preliminary reports suggest that Schultz was shot dead after advancing towards a campus police officer with a knife.

Tropical Storm Jose to bring dangerous surf to US north-east coast

Tropical Storm Jose is expected to bring dangerous surf and rip currents to the US north-eastern coast. The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has issued a tropical storm warning for Rhode Island and Massachusetts, while coastal areas of Long Island - especially Suffolk County - and New Jersey are also on alert. Although Jose is not expected to make landfall, local authorities urged residents to remain vigilant for adverse weather conditions over the next few days.

Several police officers wounded in Oklahoma shooting

Seven police officers have been injured after a shooting broke out in Chickasha, Oklahoma. The incident happened on Sunday evening when police officers were serving a search warrant to a 61-year-old suspect linked to an abduction attempt earlier in the morning. The suspect was shot twice and taken to hospital along with two other wounded police officers.

Casualties reported as two buses collide in New York City

At least one person has been killed and more than a dozen others have been injured after two buses collided in New York City. According to the NYPD, the buses crashed on Monday morning in Queens's Flushing neighbourhood. The NYFD revealed that the person killed was a pedestrian who got trapped under one of the vehicles. Seven people are in critical condition and were rushed to the hospital for treatment. One of the buses involved in the crash was a New York City bus, while the other is a chartered vehicle.

Four shot dead in gang-related shooting in Chicago

Four people have been shot dead in a renewed suspected episode of gang-related violence in Chicago. The incident was reported on Friday evening in the Southwest Side's Brighton Park neighbourhood. All victims were in their 20s, including a woman who is thought to have been pregnant. According to the police, an assault rifle was used in the attack, while the circumstances behind the shooting remain unclear.

Security beefed up in Los Angeles over London attack

Security measures at Los Angeles public transports system was beefed up on Friday as a preventive move in the wake of the London Underground bomb incident. The LAPD said that additional police officers will be deployed to crowded transport hubs and touristic places. Further, officials stated that there is no evidence of a connection between the London attack and Los Angeles. A similar approach was also employed in New York City.

Protests turn violent in St Louis, Missouri

A peaceful protest escalated over the weekend as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of St Louis, Missouri, after a judge rule regarding the violent Ferguson riots. Civil unrest spread across the city after a judge cleared former police officer Jason Stockley of the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith - a black protester shot dead three years ago. Several buildings and businesses were vandalised as riot police officers headed to the scene, where more than 80 people were detained.

Security measures heightened in New York over London blast

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that security measures across the state's transportation system have been heightened as a precaution while the NYPD closely monitor developments in the London Underground security incident. Despite no direct threat to New York City, security around airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems will be reinforced on Friday. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill advised people to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Several people were injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) was partially detonated during rush hour on Friday morning on a London Underground tube carriage in Parsons Green, south-west London.

Homeland ban use of Kaspersky Lab software in federal agencies

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced on Wednesday that federal agencies were ordered to replace software from the Russian-based Kaspersky Lab. According to a statement: "The risk that Russian government (...) could capitalize on access provided by Kaspersky products to compromise federal information (...) [while] the department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies (...)" Russia condemned the ban claiming that the ban compromised diplomatic efforts.

Five killed as Florida nursing home faces power cuts

Five people have been killed after a Florida nursing home was hit by power cuts. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said that three people were found dead inside the facility located in Hollywood Hills and two others died at the hospital. It is still unclear what caused the deaths. More than ten million people are still suffering from power cuts across Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The total death toll remains unknown as emergency services are still assessing the overall damage in the US and the Caribbean.

Hope Hicks nominated as White House media chief

President Donald Trump has nominated his longtime aide Hope Hicks as the new White House Communications Director. Hicks is currently serving the administration as the White House director of strategic communications, a new position created when Trump was sworn in to office. She is replacing the controversial figure of Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired back in July by Trump's hardline Chief of Staff General John Kelly.

Supreme Court rules in favour of refugee travel ban

The US Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday to temporarily maintain President Donald Trump's travel ban restrictions on refugees. The high court blocked a federal appeals court decision that sought to allow more than 24,000 refugees into the country. However, the decision regarding the full extent of the controversial travel ban is not final as the executives' orders legal concerns will be analysed next month. This is the third time the Supreme Court intervened in the matter, which imposes a 120-day-ban on refugees and a 90-day travel ban on citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Major airports in Florida to resume limited operations

Major airports across Florida that were temporarily closed over the weekend due to Hurricane Irma are set to resume limited services on Tuesday. As the damage is being assessed, operations are being gradually restored in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Orlando International Airport (MCO), Miami International Airport (MIA) and other major flight hubs in Fort Myers (RSW), Jacksonville (JAX), Tampa (TPA) and Palm Beach (PBI). Disruptions and delays are still expected after Irma forced thousands of flights to be cancelled, mostly in MIA and MCO.

Hurricane Irma leaves millions in Florida without power

More than seven million homes across Florida are without power after Hurricane Irma hit the state over the weekend. Governor Rick Scott said that: "Power lines are down throughout the state. We've got roads that are impassable (...)." Energy companies have mobilised thousands of workers to restore electricity as soon as possible; however, the process is expected to be lengthy and complex. The emergency services and government agencies are still assessing the overall damage caused by Irma, which was recently downgraded to a tropical depression.

Thousands without power as Tropical Storm Irma hits Georgia

More than 200,000 people have suffered power shortages on Monday as recently downgraded Tropical Storm Irma heads to Georgia. Most cases were reported in Savannah and across Chatham County. State offices across Georgia will be closed until Tuesday after Governor Nathan Deal extended an existing state of emergency to all counties. Despite being significantly weakened, Irma is still expected to bring tropical storm conditions to some areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

Eight killed in violent house shooting in Plano, Texas

At least eight people have been killed and two others were injured when a shooting broke out at a residence near Dallas, Texas. The incident happened on Sunday evening during a presumed house party in Plano. It remains unclear what motivated the attack, which was suppressed after a police officer stormed the house and shot the suspect. Preliminary reports suggest that all victims are adults, while their identity and relationship with the suspect remains undisclosed.

Four killed in medical helicopter crash in North Carolina

Four people have been killed after a medical helicopter crashed near Belvedere, North Carolina. Highway Patrol said that the accident was reported on Friday morning when the aircraft went down near the Virginia border. Reports revealed that the crash occurred while the aircraft was on its way from Sentara Albermale Medical Centre to Duke Medical Centre. Among the casualties were two nurses, a pilot and a patient.

Hurricane Irma makes landfall in southern Florida

The western Florida coast has been battered after Hurricane Irma hit mainland US as a Category 4 storm on Sunday. More than three million people are without power and parts of Miami are still flooded after strong winds were also reported in Naples and Macro Island. A temporary curfew has been imposed in Miami-Dade, Collier and Lee, while residents and tourists have been advised to stay away from Florida Keys as the area is closed indefinitely. At least four people have been reported dead in weather-related incidents across Florida, which was declared a disaster zone and will receive emergency federal aid. After making landfall along the south-western coast, Irma - which was recently downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane - is heading to the Tampa Bay area, while adverse weather conditions are expected in the rest of the state and south-eastern US coast.

FEMA warns Florida for devastating effects of Hurricane Irma

The head of the US Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) Brock Long has said that more than 100,000 people may need shelter after Category 4 Hurricane Irma strikes Florida. Long said that Irma is expected to devastate Florida or the neighbouring states as the storm is forecast to make landfall on Sunday. Over 500,000 people have already been ordered to leave southern Florida, while a state of emergency is in place in some counties in Georgia, South and North Carolina.

Hurricane warning issued to southern Florida

The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has issued further warnings for southern Florida as Category 4 Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the state on Saturday. A hurricane warning has been issued from the Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach, while alerts remain in place for Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay. Governor Rick Scott said that more than 3,000 National Guard soldiers will be deployed statewide as a preventive measure. The NHC warned of a 'life-threatening situation' and urged residents and visitors in high-risk areas to take the necessary precautions.

Intense wildfire activity to continue across western US

The National Interagency Fire Centre has said that hot and dry weather conditions are expected to fuel wildfires across the western US through September and October. On Tuesday evening, two massive fires near Portland, Oregon, merged after consuming more than 12,500 hectares of land over the last few days. Hundreds have already been ordered to evacuate in Warrendale, Dodson and Latourell while the Eagle Creek Fire burns along the Columbia River Gorge. It is believed that more than 570,000 hectares of land were burnt along the whole US western coast by Wednesday. Intense fire activity is set to continue in parts of the northern Rocky Mountains and California, while dozens of fires are also active in Montana.

Governors in south-east US declare emergency over Hurricane Irma

As the powerful Category 5 Hurricane Irma potentially heads towards the US Southeast, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has declared a preventive measure a state of emergency for six counties along the state's coastline. Among the areas included are the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh. Meanwhile, the governors of both South and North Carolina have also declared a state of emergency over fears that the storm may hit the states' coastal areas early next week. In all states, no evacuation orders were issued yet as Irma's trajectory is still unclear.

US to send 3,500 extra troops to Afghanistan

The US is expected to send an additional 3,500 troops to Afghanistan. The scheduled deployment has allegedly been approved by the US Defence Secretary James Mattis - who told reporters on Friday he had signed deployment orders for extra troops to be sent to Afghanistan, though no precise numbers were discussed at the time. According to Tolo News, previous reports have indicated that Mattis supported suggestions from the Pentagon to deploy an additional 3,900 US troops. The US was previously thought to have around 8,400 troops in Afghanistan; however, just last week, US officials confirmed that the number was closer to 11,000.

Evacuations orders issued to Florida Keys and Miami-Dade County

Residents of the Florida Keys have been ordered to evacuate as Category 5 Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the region later in the week. Mandatory evacuations were issued from Key West to Key Largo, where residents were ordered to leave the region by Thursday. Miami-Dade County coastal areas have also been ordered to evacuate, especially along the county's barrier islands. American Airlines flights to Miami from Europe and South America arriving on Friday were cancelled, while operations at Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach will remain highly limited.

Wildfires trigger evacuations as heat wave hits western US

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared a local emergency while wildfires are still threatening Los Angeles County as a heat wave spreads across the US western Pacific coast. In Oregon, 140 hikers have reportedly been evacuated after a fire broke out at the Columbia River Gorge Trail. Evacuation orders were also issued to Montana's Glacier National Park, while Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared emergency after three fires were reported in the state. Most western US states are on alert due to a heatwave and scorching temperatures mainly in Oregon, Washington and California.

Florida Governor declares emergency over potential impact of Hurricane Irma

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in every Floridian county ahead of the potential impact of Hurricane Irma over the next few days. As Irma strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane on Monday, Governor Scott said that the measure comes in order to put in place all necessary emergency plans in case the system hits Florida. It is still unclear if Irma will directly hit the US and what impact it will generate; however, Scott said that: " (...) we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We cannot afford to not be prepared."

Authorities take over Russian diplomatic sites in the US

Russia's Foreign Ministry has summoned a top US diplomat stationed in Moscow to protest against a series of raids on Russian diplomatic buildings in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC. According to the US Department of State, officials raided the facilities after Russian officials complied with a deadline to vacate the buildings. Russian authorities condemned the action and accused the US of attacking Russian property abroad. The move comes as retaliation after President Vladimir Putin ordered hundreds of US diplomats to leave Moscow in response to tougher economic sanctions.

President requests $7.8bn in aid for Texas recovery

President Donald Trump has requested Congress for an initial payment of $7.8bn as part of recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and Lousiana. More than 43,000 people are still in temporary shelters, while at least 47 people are believed to have lost their lives after heavy rains triggered widespread flooding in Houston and its surrounding regions. Texas Governor Greg Abbott claims that more than $125bn in aid will be necessary and that such efforts may take several years. Governor Abbott also warned that some parts of the state are still being affected due to rising levels of local rivers.

State of emergency declared over wildfires in Los Angeles

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency to Los Angeles County after a massive wildfire broke out at the La Tuna Canyon Park on Sunday. More than 1,000 firefighters were mobilised as strong winds fueled the fires which started on Friday. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the fire has already been contained by 25 percent and all evacuation orders have already been lifted. LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said that this is the biggest fire by acreage recorded in Los Angeles recent history.

US ban on travel to North Korea comes into affect

The US ban on American citizens travelling to North Korea has officially come into effect. The ban has been implemented amid a state of heightened military tensions on the Korean peninsula over provocative North Korean missile tests - the most recent of which saw an intermediate-range missile pass over parts of northern Japan. According to the BBC, the US State Department has said the ban was necessary "due to the serious and mounting risk" of the detention of US citizens. The ban will not grant tourists permission to visit North Korea; however, journalists and humanitarian workers may be allowed to visit the country "under very limited circumstances". Tour operations suggested that as many as 1,000 American citizens visit North Korea per year, although figures have dropped since a US citizen, Otto Warmbier, was detained in 2016 for attempting to steal a propaganda poster. Warmbier was released back to the US in June 2017 in a comatose state, where he died a week later. 

Explosions reported at Crosby chemical plant near Houston

Two blasts and black smoke were reported from a flooded chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. Emergency services had already ordered locals to evacuate on Wednesday after officials from the French-based company Arkema warned of the inevitable risk of explosions after the plant's backup generators and cooling system failed to work. Although the fire is expected to be confined within the plant's compound, a 1.5-mile perimeter was established around the plant due to the potential risk of further explosions of volatile chemicals stored at the facility.

President lifts ban on military stock sale to police forces

President Donald Trump has issued an Executive Order that allows the sale of military equipment to police forces. The new measure aimed to lift President Barack Obama's ban, which blocked the flow of military equipment to the police, after deadly unrests in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. The order was heavily criticised by some Republicans and Rights groups; however, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the acquisition of such equipment aims to significantly enhance public safety.

Death toll rises as Hurricane Harvey heads to Louisiana

At least 18 people have been confirmed dead and many others are still missing as Hurricane Harvey's death toll is expected to increase. More than 50,000 people in Texas have already affected and many neighbourhoods remain completely flooded, mainly around Beaumont and the Harris County in Houston. Mayor Sylvester Turner declared a temporary curfew in the city due to reports of armed robberies and looting. Flights to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William B Hobby Airport (HOU) will remain widely limited, while fuel shortages are expected after some oil refineries had their operations suspended. Harvey is forecast to head to Louisiana - where the Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and New Orleans areas are expected to be hit by widespread flooding and tornadoes.

Two killed in New Mexico shooting

Two people have been killed and four others are wounded in a shooting at a public library in New Mexico. The incident happened in the city of Clovis on Monday. Officials said the gunman has been arrested and questioned over the motivation behind the attack.

Nine dead in catastrophic flooding

At least nine people have been killed in flood-related incidents in the Texan city of Houston. More than 75cm of rain has fallen on the city since Hurrican Harvey hit on Friday and a similar amount is forecast over the coming days. More than 3,000 people have been rescued and thousands more forced to abandon their homes, with 30,000 expected at shelters by the end of the week and over half a million seeking assistance of some kind. Both of the city's two main airports remain closed with runways completely flooded.

State of emergency in Louisiana over Hurricane Harvey

The governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey. “All arms of the state’s emergency preparedness and response apparatus are planning for the serious threat posed by Hurricane Harvey, and we are calling on all Louisianans throughout the state to do so as well,” said Gov. Edwards. Harvey is expected to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane in Texas on Friday, where the state's governor, Greg Abbott, has activated members of the National Guard and evacuated thousands of residents.

One dead in Charleston hostage siege

One person has been killed and another wounded in a hostage siege in Charleston, South Carolina. The assailant, described as a disgruntled employee, took several people hostage at a restaurant on King Street on Thursday afternoon. Police officers shot and wounded the gunman and the hostages were safely released. "This was a tragic case of a disturbed individual, I think, with a history of some mental health challenges," Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference.

Adverse weather expected as potential hurricane approaches Texas

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) issued a hurricane warning along the Texan coast as the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey are likely to strengthen in the next few days. Harvey formed last week in the Caribbean and lost power several days later. However, as the system approaches the US south-east coast, adverse weather conditions are forecast within the next 48 hours. It is still unclear if Harvey will gain enough power to become a hurricane; but strong winds, heavy rains, and flash floods are expected to reach the state by the end of the week.

Thousands stage anti-Trump protest in Phoenix, Arizona

Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Phoenix Convention Centre in Arizona while President Donald Trump was delivering a speech on Tuesday. Violence escalated when protesters started throwing bottles and stones at riot police officers, who responded with smoke grenades and pepper spray, while the demonstration spread towards downtown. Trump has been heavily criticised for his response towards last week's incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he put the 'blame on both sides' for the violence.

Scores injured in train collision near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

At least 33 people have been injured in a train crash in the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The accident happened overnight on Monday when an incoming Norristown High-Speed Line - which runs between 69th Street Terminal and Norristown - train hit an empty train carriage parked at a terminal in Upper Darby. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) said that services continue operating with some delays.

North Korea issues warning in response to US-South Korea military drill

North Korea has issued an official warning in response to the ongoing military drills between the US and South Korean troops in South Korea. According to the Associated Press, officials in Pyongyang have allegedly claimed that the 11-day defensive drill is practice for a military invasion of North Korea and has threatened "merciless retaliation" if the drills are not paused or downsized. Approximately 17,500 US soldiers and 50,000 South Korean troops are taking part in the 'Ulchi Freedom Guardian' drill - which will not be suspended or limited in its scope as US military officials dismiss the threat from North Korea. The heated rhetoric between the three countries has become an increasingly regular feature of relations on the Korean peninsula as military tensions continue to worsen. 

Anatoly Antonov nominated as Russia Ambassador to the US

Russian President Vladimir Putin has nominated Anatoly Antonov as Russia's new ambassador to the US. As diplomatic tensions between both countries remain high - mainly due to Russia's alleged collusion in the 2016 US presidential elections - Antonov is set to replace Sergey Kislyak, a long-time diplomat reportedly involved in the scandal. Antonov has been Russia's deputy foreign minister since December and is set to assume office almost at the same time as the new US Ambassador to Russia John Huntsman - who faces a mission to manage a heavily limited diplomatic contingent after 755 US staff were ordered to leave the country.

President Trump rules out US withdrawal from Afghanistan

US President Donald Trump has officially ruled out the possibility of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan after releasing a statement yesterday. Trump has announced his decision to send more troops to Afghanistan to "fight and win", explaining that while he originally supported the withdrawal of troops, mistakes made in Iraq have led him to the assessment that a total withdrawal would leave a vacuum for terrorist groups to fill. According to the BBC, Trump's new US strategy will shift from a time-based operation to one based on conditions on the ground - meaning that US military support for the Afghan government will continue as long as joint military commitment and progress are achieved. The Taliban - who released an open letter urging US withdrawal last week - has allegedly responded by saying that Trump's decision will turn Afghanistan into "another graveyard" for the US. Trump stated there would be a crackdown on the provision of 'safe havens' for militants in bordering countries such as Pakistan and confirmed there would be an escalation in military operations against all terrorist groups, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State (IS). However, he insinuated that the possibility of peace agreements with the Taliban was not off the table, stating: "someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan". Trump's U-turn decision may upset some of the right-wing voters who originally voted for him, with some critics suggesting the decision contradicts his campaign policy of "America First".

Thousands march against far-right rally in Boston

Thousands of counter-protesters took to the streets of Boston, Massachusetts, to demonstrate against the 'Free Speech' rally - a march previously called by far-right demonstrators. According to Boston police, more than 40,000 people marched on Saturday from Boston Sports Centre towards Boston Common at the same time dozens of far-right sympathisers rallied in the city. Sporadic clashes erupted, where 33 people were arrested. The protest came a week after 32-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when a white supremacist ran her over with a car during a counter-demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wildfire threatens eclipse-watching area in Oregon

More than 600 residents were ordered to evacuate as intense wildfires spread across Oregon over the weekend. Emergency services issued a warning to the Sisters area after another 1,000 people were put on alert for potential evacuations. Several camping sites and recreational areas across western Oregon's Deschutes National Forest were forced to be shut down on Friday. Thousands of tourists are heading to the area - one of the state's prime eclipse-watching locations - to watch Monday's solar eclipse.

Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon steps down

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon announced on Friday his departure from President Donald Trump's cabinet. Bannon, who is considered one of the main precursors of the populistic discourse that fueled Trump's presidential campaign, reportedly stepped down after comments regarding his intentions to crush the administration's opposition. However, US media reported that the 63-year-old had already planned to leave the post in mid-August, but plans were delayed after the Charlottesville's incidents. Bannon has now returned to his ultra-conservative Breitbart News, where he vowed to continue fighting for the alt-right agenda which he believes granted Trump's victory.

Severe storms expected to hit central US

Severe storms are expected across the central US from Minnesota southwards to Oklahoma. Adverse weather conditions are set to severely hit major cities in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma on late-Friday afternoon. Heavy winds are widely expected across the region - raising the risk of falling trees and power cuts. Storms are likely to continue until Saturday morning in the northern areas of Illinois and Indiana, eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas, and southern Missouri. The alert comes just days after at least six low-intensity tornadoes caused widespread damage across Minnesota.

Five missing as military helicopter crashes off Hawaii

Five aircrew members have been reported missing after a military aircraft crashed off the Hawaiian coast. A US Coast Guard revealed on Wednesday that the emergency services were responding to the crash of a Black Hawk helicopter off the state's western coast. According to Reuters, debris was first spotted near Kaena Point in Oahu.

Protesters topple confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina

Dozens of protesters toppled a confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina. Demonstrators raided Durham County courthouse grounds on Monday in response to escalating tensions in the recent Chalottesville rallies, where one woman was killed when a car ploughed into a crowd of anti-fascist demonstrators. North Carolina Governor said on Twitter that: “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments."

Police officers killed in helicopter crash in Charlottesville, Virginia

Two police officers have been killed in a helicopter crash in Charlottesville, Virginia. Both state troopers were assisting ground forces in the patrolling of the area where white supremacists and counter-protesters clashed on Saturday. It remains unclear what caused the crash, which happened near a house in a wooded area.

One killed as car ploughs into protesters in Chalottesville, Virginia

A 32-year-old woman has been killed and around 20 others were injured when a car ploughed into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The incident happened on Saturday when counter-protesters rallied against white supremacists gathered to launch a demonstration over plans to knock down Confederate monuments. A 20-year-old suspect was arrested, while the US Attorney General launched further investigations. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in the city after several people were also injured when clashes broke out. 

State of emergency declared over floods in New Orleans, Louisiana

Louisiana Governor John Edwards has declared a state of emergency in New Orleans over the increasing risk of floods during the Atlantic hurricane season. The announcement came after a power shortage highly impacted the city's East Bank pump drainage network. Schools were preventively closed and drivers were urged caution as the city's flooding defences are compromised. The warning comes over fears of further thunderstorms, similar to the one on Saturday that triggered widespread floods across the city.

State of emergency declared over storms in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in four counties due to the aftermath of severe storms that ravaged the state's north-east last week. The counties of Mayes, Rogers, Tulsa and Wagoner were deeply affected by a number of tornadoes, strong winds and flooding. Over a dozen people were taken to the hospital and more than 170 buildings and businesses were damaged. With the state of emergency, agencies will be allowed to make emergency purchases and resources to areas which were most affected.

Mexican maradol papayas infect dozens with salmonella

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) has announced that more than 100 people have been infected nationwide with salmonella since the outbreak was first reported back in May. According to the CDC, the infection is likely linked to Yellow Maradol Papayas from Mexico - where the outbreak started at a farm in Campeche. Papayas from brands such as Caribena, Cavi and Valery were already recalled, but all shipments from Mexico are also being investigated. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that multiple strains of salmonella bacteria were discovered in a number of samples. The CDC urged caution and said that: "when in doubt, don't eat, sell or serve them, and throw them out". Salmonella is a bacteria which affects the intestinal system - symptoms include diarrhoea and fever.

House of Trump's former campaign chief raided by the FBI

Federal agents have raided the residence of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, as part of the ongoing investigations into the alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential elections. US media reported that files and other undisclosed documents were seized at Manafort's Virginia home during an FBI raid on late-July. Manafort prematurely left the presidential campaign after he was accused of receiving money to represent Russian interests in Ukraine and the US. The move happened a day before Manafort testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Alerts temporarily heightened due to Alaska's volcano activity

The US Geological Survey recorded significant explosive eruptions on the remote Bogoslof volcano in Alaska. Ash and smoke clouds reaching up to 15,000 ft into the sky were reported on Monday morning, leading authorities to heighten the alert and aviation colour code to Red - the highest on a four-level scale. Despite alert levels were lowered hours later, a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is still in effect and may lead to potential diversions on some flights from Asia and North America.

North Korea considering missile strikes on US territory of Guam

North Korean state media has allegedly reported that the North Korean military is considering conducting missile strikes on the US Pacific territory of Guam. According to the BBC, the North Korean news report states that the military plans to carry out medium-to-long-range missile strikes on US strategic bombers stationed on Guam. The news comes shortly after North Korea criticised a fresh round of UN economic sanctions as a "violent violation of [their] sovereignty", further warning that the US would "pay a price" for their involvement. The US President Donald Trump has recently responded to North Koreas missile threats with a warning that the US would meet military aggression with "fire and fury like the world has never seen". Military tensions have been steadily rising between the US and North Korea over the last year as North Korea has continued to ignore UN sanctions by increasingly carrying out missile tests.

Dozens injured as tornadoes ravage Tulsa, Oklahoma

Around 30 people have been injured when at least three tornadoes suddenly hit Tulsa, Oklahoma. Reports revealed that the tornado hit the city in the early hours of Sunday. Thousands of people suffered widespread power cuts, while dozens of businesses and houses were severely damaged. Eight people were rushed to the hospital after the roof of a restaurant located at the Highland Plaza collapsed. According to the National Weather Service, such a phenomenon is extremely uncommon during August.

Senate committee passes bill to cut aid to Palestine

A Senate committee has approved the first step to slash annual aid destined to the Palestinian Authority (PA). Lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to cut US aid after a Palestinian man stabbed a US military veteran to death during his visit to Israel. According to Reuters, the killers' family is reportedly receiving a $3,500 monthly compensation after he was shot dead by Israeli police. The bill still has to pass through both houses of Congress before becoming law. While some senators claim that the bill will avoid granting rewards to alleged perpetrators, others claim that cutting aid to Palestine will generate further instability in the West Bank and Gaza.

Gas explosion kills two at a school in Minneapolis, Minnesota

At least two people have been killed and nine others were injured when a school building collapsed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to authorities, a massive fire engulfed the Minnehaha Academy's building after a strong gas explosion was reported on Wednesday. Two people were reported missing when the whole structure collapsed. Most casualties are believed to be school staff as students are currently on summer break.

President Trump signs Russia sanctions bill

President Donald Trump has signed a bill which imposes fresh sanctions on Russia over its alleged collusion on the US Presidential elections last year. The bill overwhelmingly passed through both houses of Congress and triggered a series of retaliations from Russia, including the departure of 755 US diplomatic staff stationed in the country. The new piece of legislation will also include renewed sanctions on North Korea and Iran. The bill struggled to come to its final format and it was feared to be rejected by Trump as it limits his powers to eventually lift such sanctions in the future.

US Air Force conducts ICBM test in California

The US Air Force has launched three unarmed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) from a military base in California. Reports revealed that the Minuteman ICBMs were launched from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in order to test the system's effectiveness and accuracy. This is the fourth ICBM test the US has executed in 2017. The move comes amid rising tensions with North Korea, which conducted a recent missile test on Friday.

Christopher Wray confirmed as new FBI director

Christopher Wray was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday as the new FBI director. Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse told the New York Times that: "Now more than ever, the bureau needs a resolute and independent leader". Wray was nominated in early June to replace James Comey after a row with President Donald Trump amid allegations of a potential Russian collusion in the 2016 Presidential election.

Man opens fire at Chinese consulate in Los Angeles

The Chinese consulate in Los Angeles was targetted by gunshots on Tuesday morning. Police sources told Reuters that the man fired several rounds at the consulate's facade before killing himself inside his vehicle. It remains unclear what motivated the attack, while the suspect's identity is still unknown. The Chinese consulate raised concerns and requested US authorities to investigate the incident.

Anthony Scaramucci sacked as White House media chief

Recently nominated as the White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci was sacked only 10 days after taking office. The move was the first measure taken by General John Kelly, who was sworn in on Monday morning as President Donald Trump's new Chief of Staff. Scaramucci's ousting comes just days after two other White House officials - Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer - left their posts amid the turbulent Trump administration.

Severe weather expected as Tropical Storm Emily forms in Florida

Heavy rains and strong winds are expected as Tropical Storm Emily is forming near Tampa, Florida. Forecasts indicate that the storm is expected to hit Florida's peninsula between Monday and Tuesday. State authorities are working closely with the National Hurricane Centre to assess potential weather developments across central and southern Florida.

Power outage triggers evacuation in North Carolina's Outer Banks

Thousands of tourists in North Carolina's Ocracoke and Hatteras islands have been ordered to evacuate after a massive power outage hit the area on Thursday. According to the CNN, a transmission line was cut during works on a nearby bridge. Dare County authorities issued a mandatory evacuation notice as it remains unknown when electricity will be restored. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency in the region to assist in the evacuation process.

Reince Priebus replaced as Trump's Chief of Staff

The White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was sacked on Friday briefly after President Donald Trump's bill to repeal the Obamacare dramatically failed to pass a Senate vote. Priebus is being replaced by retired General John Kelly, who is currently serving as the US Secretary of Homeland Security. Priebus premature departure comes after Trump also sacked the White House speaker Sean Spicer and named Anthony Scaramucci as the new communications director.

Russian President orders 755 US diplomatic staff to leave Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered 755 US diplomatic staff out of Moscow in retaliation for recent US sanctions. The decision will more than halve the staffing levels at US diplomatic quarters in Moscow - leaving just 455 staff in place. President Putin announced the decision on Friday and has since confirmed figures and further details - stating that the expelled US staff must leave by Friday 01 September. The BBC has reported that the expulsion is believed to be the biggest of its kind in modern history. The US has allegedly called the expulsion order a "regrettable and uncalled for act" which will have widespread limitations and consequences.

Bill to repeal Obamacare fails to pass on Congress

The divisive bill to partially repeal the American Health Care Act - the Obamacare - failed to pass the Republican-controlled Congress on Thursday. The Senate rejected the bill with 51 votes against 49 in favour. Three Republican Senators - John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - voted against the bill and sealed a momentary halt on plans to scrap the Obamacare. Republicans will now engage in further discussions with Democrats in order to garner support to amend potential flaws in the Act.

US ordered to reduce diplomatic staff in Russia

The US has been ordered to reduce its diplomatic staff in Russia by the end of the year. The order from Moscow comes as a retaliatory move to new US sanctions imposed on Russia, along with Iran and North Korea. Bloomberg has reported that the US embassy has been told by the Kremlin to cut its diplomatic personnel to just 455 staff and has been denied access to several buildings. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "the passage of new law on sanctions shows with all obviousness that relations with Russia have become hostage to the domestic battle within the US".

Transgender troops ban triggers nationwide protests

Thousands of people protested nationwide against the recent ban on transgender troops in the US Military. President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that transgender people will be banned to serve in any capacity the US Armed Forces. The decision triggered outrage on LGBT organisations and politicians. In New York City, hundreds gathered at an Army recruitment office near Times Square to protest the measure. Trump claims that the decision comes due to rising costs on medical coverage to transgender individuals.

House passes bill on further sanctions against Russia

The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill to deepen sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran. The contested bill was initially opposed by the White House as it requires congressional approval in case of any presidential attempt to ease such measures. The bill will now face a Senate vote before heading to President Donald Trump. The deepening of sanctions against Russia comes due to the alleged Russian involvement in the US 2016 Presidential elections, along with its active role in the eastern Ukraine conflict.

Thousands affected as tornado hits eastern Maryland

Thousands of residents suffered power shortages as a tornado ravaged houses and several structures across Maryland's eastern shore. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado hit the Bay City area of Stevensville in the early hours of Monday, with wind speeds reaching up to 125 miles per hour. Extensive damage was also reported on Kent Island after the tornado was formed off the coast of Chesapeake Bay. Maryland is a region prone to low category tornadoes - usually causing minor damages.

Nine found dead inside a lorry in San Antonio, Texas

At least nine people were found dead on Sunday morning inside a lorry in San Antonio, Texas. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the CNN that the bodies were recovered when more than 100 migrants were found trapped in the back of a lorry at a supermarket car park. Local authorities believe the incident is linked to human trafficking, where a suspect has already been identified. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that: "Human trafficking is an epidemic that Texas is working to eradicate", as thousands of cases are reported in the state yearly.

Burundian students reported missing in Washington DC

Six Burundian teenagers were reported missing on Wednesday after an international robotics competition in Washington DC. The alert was issued after their mentors failed to locate them at the dorms of Washington's Trinity University, shortly before their flight back to the central African nation. According to the police, two of six were later found attempting to cross the Canadian border. The event organisers believe that they fled voluntarily, potentially seeking asylum in the US or Canada.

Senate committee approves new FBI director

The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Christopher Wray to become the new FBI director. Wray was nominated in early-June after the contested departure of James Comey over the Russian meddling scandal that engulfed Donald Trump's presidency. His nomination is now set to face a full Senate vote before he takes office.

Residents evacuated as California wildfire spreads

More than 2,000 residents have been evacuated after a massive wildfire spread across California. The whole town of Mariposa, located near the Yosemite National Park, was evacuated on Wednesday while thousands of hectares of land were consumed by the blaze. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, with entire communities under alert. Nearly 1,400 firefighters have been deployed to the region.

MS-13 gang members arrested in Long Island, New York

At least 15 members of the Central American-based Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang have been arrested amid a police crackdown in Long Island, New York. The police said on Wednesday that the arrests were carried out following the recent killing of four youngsters at a park, with gang violence spreading across the Brentwood and Central Islip areas in eastern New York City. The suspects are being accused of links to murder, assault, weapons and drug charges. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that: "We are committed to bringing violent criminals to justice, and this indictment is the next step in our mission of finding, prosecuting and eradicating the MS-13 threat.”

Donald Trump Jr to testify before Senate Committee

Three members of President Donald Trump's inner circle are set to testify before the Senate amid investigations into the alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 Presidential elections. Donald Trump Jr and the president's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, are set to appear before a Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, while presidential aide Jared Kushner will attend a closed-door hearing in the Intelligence Committee. The move comes nearly a week after Trump Jr acknowledged contact with Russian officials offering compromising information about the Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.

International flights to the US subject to extra security checks

Extra security checks will be implemented at international airports on flights bound for the US. Countries worldwide are gradually applying additional measures as part of a set of new security guidelines from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), especially concerning electronic devices. Passengers flying from 180 airports across 105 countries will be subject to extensive passenger and personal electronic devices screening. It is advised to head to the airport at least three hours prior departure as well as to contact the respective airline or airport for further information.

President Trump's healthcare bill collapses

President Donald Trump's healthcare bill suffered a fresh setback on Monday after two Republican senators announced their intentions to oppose it. Senators Mike Lee and Jerry Moran joined two other Republicans who are rejecting plans to scrap the Affordable Care Act - dubbed 'Obamacare' - meaning that the bill will fall short of support in the Senate.

Flash floods kill nine at river in Arizona

At least nine people, including five children, have been killed after intense rainfall triggered flash floods in Arizona. A group was bathing in a creek on Saturday afternoon when muddy waters suddenly swept them along the Verde River near Payson. A rescue mission was launched in the area to locate a 13-year-old who is still missing. Weather agencies had previously issued a flash flood warning for most areas in Arizona due to heavy rains.

Several killed as fire engulfs high-rise in Honolulu, Hawaii

At least three people have been killed and a dozen others injured after a massive fire engulfed an apartment complex in Honolulu, Hawaii. More than 100 firefighters headed to the Marco Polo complex on Friday afternoon as the blaze quickly spread towards the top floors of the 36-storey building - possibly due to the lack of a sprinkler system. Local authorities revealed that the death toll is likely to increase as investigations were launched to assess the causes of the fire.

Democrat congressman files impeachment article against Trump

A California Congressman filed an impeachment article against President Donald Trump for his alleged collusion with Russia during the US 2016 Presidential elections. Democrat Brad Sherman filed a four-page resolution aimed to impeach Trump from office "for high crimes and misdemeanours". However, the bill is unlikely to survive the Republican-majority House of Representatives. The move came just a few days after Trump's son confessed his contact with Russian government sources, in an alleged attempt to garner compromising information on Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump Jr acknowledges email exchange with Russia

President Donald Trump's administration came under fire after a controversial email conversation between his son and Russian government sources during the US 2016 presidential elections campaign. The New York Times reported that in one of the emails, Donald Trump Jr showed legitimate interest in documents containing compromising information about Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. On Twitter, Trump Jr confessed his contact but denied any wrongdoing, as he is willing to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee - which is investigating the alleged Russian meddling in US presidential elections.

New York airports' workers launch strike action

Hundreds of workers at three New York airports - LaGuardia, JFK and Newark - launched strike action on Tuesday evening over an ongoing payment dispute. Demonstrators claim that a major subcontractor for major US airlines - United, American Airlines and JetBlue - currently offers its workers unfair labour conditions. Protests are scheduled to continue until Thursday, with strike action planned across several terminals. It is advised to check timetables prior to departure or arrival as it remains unclear if the strike will impact on flights.

Military aircraft crash kills 16 in Mississippi

At least 16 people were killed when a US military aircraft crashed in the rural area of Mississippi on Monday. A KC-130, a refuelling tanker aircraft, crashed in a soy field in Leflore County when it 'experienced a mishap' while flying from a Marine Corps airbase in Cherry Point, North Carolina. Debris and bodies were recovered from a five-mile radius. The military took over the investigations, while the causes of the crash remain undisclosed.

Tropical Storm Eugene to trigger large waves in California

The National Weather Service has issued a warning for the southern Californian coast ahead of the passage of the recently downgraded Tropical Storm Eugene. The storm is not forecasted to directly affect mainland US, but large waves are expected along the San Diego and North counties on Tuesday and Wednesday. Eugene is set to weaken over the next few days as it heads in a north-westerly direction towards the Pacific. This is the strongest tropical system recorded so far this season in the eastern Pacific.

Health authority warns over Vibrio illness along Alabama coast

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued a warning on Friday regarding the risk of contracting Vibrio illness - a flesh-eating bacteria found in bodies of water along the state's Gulf Coast. Vibrio is usually contracted through the ingestion of contaminated seafood, but can also be contracted by allowing open wounds to come into contact with contaminated salt water. Health officials advised people with open wounds to avoid contact with salt water due to the potential risk of skin infections. People are advised to seek immediate medical attention in case of symptoms; which include diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and abdominal pain - often occurring within 24 hours.

Thousands forced to evacuate due to wildfires in California

Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate after several wildfires broke out over the weekend in California. In San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, more than 600 firefighters were deployed as the flames spread across 10,000 hectares of land. Meanwhile, thousands of people were ordered to evacuate Butte County, near Sacramento, after another fire quickly spread in the region and threatened thousands of homes. No casualties have been reported so far, while 15 percent of the flames were contained by Sunday. Wildfires in California are common during the summer, mainly due to high temperatures combined with low humidity and strong winds.

Several arrested as tension escalates at KKK rally in Virginia

Around 20 people have been arrested after counter-protesters stormed a KKK rally in Virginia. Hundreds of people marched on the streets of Charlottesville after dozens of KKK members staged a protest at Justice Park. Tensions escalated after members of the white-supremacist group were blocked from leaving the scene, forcing security forces to fire tear gas into the crowd. KKK members were protesting a city council's decision to remove a Confederate general's statue.

Hundreds evacuated as wildfire spreads in Breckenridge, Colorado

Hundreds of families have been evacuated after a wildfire quickly spread near Breckenridge, Colorado. The flames broke out on Wednesday afternoon forcing the evacuation of more than 400 houses on Peak Seven neighbourhood, while the whole area of Breckenridge remains under alert. So far, no injuries or significant damages have been reported. Despite being relatively small, the wildfire still poses a threat to several areas in Summit County, which residents were advised to avoid at least until Friday.

Strong 5.8-magnitude quake recorded in Montana

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recorded a strong 5.8-magnitude earthquake in the early hours of Thursday in western Montana. The quake's epicentre was located close to Lincoln, being felt across the whole US north-west and some parts of Alberta, southern Canada. No significant damages or injuries were reported, despite a series of low-impact aftershocks.

NYPD officer shot dead in the Bronx

An NYPD officer has been shot dead when an armed criminal attacked a police mobile post in the Bronx. Miosotis Familia was shot in the head moments before finishing her Fourth of July shift. The NYPD considered the incident "an unprovoked attack on cops". A suspect was killed moments later in an armed standoff with police officers.

Three killed following police pursuit in Savannah, Georgia

Three people have been killed in a car crash after a police chase in downtown Savannah, Georgia. The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning when the vehicle was fleeing the City Market area, where four people were previously shot. The motives behind the shootings remain unclear, while no further details were released.

Federal government to send anti-crime assistance to Chicago, Illinois

President Donald Trump has announced plans to send federal assistance to Chicago amid an ongoing wave of violence in the city. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told US media that the government aims to tackle gun crime in Chicago, which Trump described as 'reaching epidemic proportions'. The measure aims to create the Chicago Crime Gun Strike Force, a cooperation between the police and the Department of Justice. In 2016, Chicago's death toll reached more than 760 murders - more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Six killed in plane crash near Catawba, Wisconsin

Six people were killed when a plane crashed in the early hours of Saturday near Catawba, Wisconsin. Emergency services said that the twin-engined light aircraft was heading abroad to Canada from Chicago when it suddenly dropped off the radar. Initial testimonies revealed that the aircraft's pilot and air traffic controllers argued about the weather conditions before the crash. The accident came hours after at least four people died in another plane crash near Chatsworth, Georgia.

Scores injured in Little Rock nightclub shooting, Arkansas

At least 25 people have been injured after a shooting broke out at a nightclub in Little Rock, Arkansas. The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday during a rap performance at the Power Ultra Lounge nightclub. Authorities believe that the attack is likely to be gang-related, while no arrests were so far made. Little Rock has seen a recent surge in the number of armed incidents; with more than a dozen drive-by shootings reported in the city last week.

Utah water park evacuated over chemical spill

At least a dozen people have been slightly injured due to a chemical spill at a water park in Provo, Utah. Emergency services reported that the Seven Peaks Water Park was evacuated after a suspect chlorine leak. This is the second incident at Seven Peaks parks in less than a month. In late-June, health authorities ordered a Seven Peaks Water Park in north-west Indiana to be closed indefinitely after dozens of children suffered chemical burns.

Gunman opens fire in NY hospital

A gunman has shot dead at least one person and seriously wounded five others at a hospital in New York City.  The assailant - identified as Henry Bello, 45, a former doctor at the hospital - was later found dead at the scene with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the "horrific situation" was not an act of terrorism.

Two killed in multiple shootings across Baltimore, Maryland

Two people have been killed and five others injured in multiple shootings across Baltimore, Maryland. The shootings broke out overnight on Thursday in the city's west side. In Midtown-Edmondson a man was shot multiple times, hours after a 13-year-old girl and two other women sustained gun wounds. A 24-year-old man was also injured when he was attacked by a gunman after leaving a bar on Edmondson Avenue. During the afternoon, a man was killed in Carrollton Ridge area, while minutes later a youngster was shot in the leg in Dorchester neighbourhood. All shootings are believed to be unrelated. So far in 2017, 170 murders were reported in Baltimore.

Thousands evacuated as wildfire spreads in Arizona

Thousands of people were forced to be evacuated as a wildfire remains active on Wednesday in Arizona. Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency to Yavapai County as the flames are quickly spreading due to strong winds. Several recreational and camping areas were preventively closed, including the Prescott National Forest. Residents in Mayer were ordered to be evacuated along with several other mountain communities around Prescott. Southern California, Utah and Idaho are also experiencing widespread wildfires.

Four casualties reported in rare wave of bear attacks in Alaska

Four people have been attacked in a rare spate of bear attacks in Alaska. On Saturday, two cyclists were injured when attacked on a woodland trail in Anchorage. The incident came just days after two people were killed in separate black bear attacks in Anchorage and Fairbanks. As tourists are heading to the US north-western state ahead of the Summer holidays, several trails have temporarily been suspended after the attacks. The recent increase in bear attacks is unusual, as the number of attacks in the area is historically low. Wildlife experts told CBS that such attacks are usually defensive and triggered after people mistakenly enter the bears' territory.

Wildfire remains active in San Bernardino, California

A wildfire in San Bernardino County, California, remains active after hundreds of people were ordered to temporarily evacuate their homes on Tuesday afternoon. More than 560 firefighters were deployed to the area near the San Bernardino National Forest after the blazes spread towards the Highway 330. All warnings were lifted several hours later but the emergency services have advised locals to remain vigilant as high winds and low relative humidity may fuel the fire. 

'Vaccine' found for global cyberattack

A 'vaccine' of sorts has been found for the global cyberattack which saw ransomware infect the IT systems of companies and firms across the world. According to the BBC, the 'vaccine' is based on the creation of a single read-only file titled 'perfc' placed in a computer's 'C:\Windows' folder, which will stop the attack on an individual computer. The computer will still act as a carrier of the ransomware though and no kill-switch has been found by cybersecurity experts which could terminate the entire attack. The ransomware initially surfaced in Ukraine, which was hit particularly hard by the attack as banks, airports, transport systems, companies, and government computers experienced computer outages and widespread network failures. According to Reuters, the nuclear monitoring system in Chernobyl was the latest firm to be targeted by the ransomware in Ukraine. The ransomware allegedly spread from there, affecting companies in Denmark, France, India, Spain, Norway, Russia, the UK, and the US. According to reports, US-based and Indian-based companies were among the most recent firms to report issues - including law firms and hospitals in the US and port operations in Mumbai. It has been widely speculated that the attack was politically motivated rather than financially motivated, as ransoms paid currently amount to little more than $8,000 in BitCoin and the email address associated with the payment method has allegedly been shut down by the creators of the attack. The attack appears to have targeted Ukraine, as the country prepares to celebrate Constitution Day.

Two plague cases reported in Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico's Department of Health has reported that two fresh cases of plague have recently been reported in the US southern state. Health authorities revealed that two women - aged 52 and 62 - were diagnosed with the disease in Santa Fe. In early June another 63-year-old patient was also infected in the Santa Fe County. Plague is a highly contagious bacterial disease which is transmitted to humans through contact with infected rodents and animals. Among the symptoms are fever, headache, chills and general fatigue.

Supreme Court partly reinstate Trump's travel ban order

The US Supreme Court ruled on Monday to lift parts of the controversial presidential executive order aimed at banning entry to citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. The court allowed a 90-day ban to be put into effect from Thursday, banning entry to "foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." A full revision of the travel ban will take place in October during the court's second term. In March, Trump issued an executive order to deny entry of citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen over national security concerns.

Several injured as fire breaks out in New York store

Nearly a dozen firefighters and a civilian have been injured when a fire broke out in a New York grocery store. More than 200 firefighters were deployed on Saturday evening to the Glendale area in Queens as the flames and a huge smoke cloud quickly spread to nearby buildings. US media reported that an investigation was launched to assess the causes of the fire. 

Massive wildfire remains active in south-western Utah

More than 1,000 firefighters were deployed to south-western Utah to put off a massive wildfire which spread across the region on Sunday. Local media reported that a large area around the Brian Heard resort has been engulfed by the flames. Emergency services ordered hundreds to be evacuated from the area, while residents near the mountain communities are under alert. The fire initiated in mid-June after someone torched weeds along a field. The blazes remain active and have been intensifying due to adverse weather conditions.

Ten-year-old dies as Tropical Storm hits Alabama

At least one person was killed when Tropical Storm Cindy ravaged Alabama on Wednesday. US media reported that a 10-year-old died in Fort Morgan after being hit by debris brought by the storm. Flash floods alerts are still active in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia; as severe weather is expected to last at least until Saturday. Florida's Panhandle area is also under a tornado watch, along with several areas in Mississippi.

Police officer stabbed at Flint Airport, Michigan

A police officer has been injured in a knife attack at Flint's Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Michigan. FNT was put on lockdown on Wednesday afternoon when Amor Ftouhi, a 49-year-old Canadian national, attacked police Lieutenant Jeff Neville. According to the CNN, the FBI is investigating the incident as a terrorist attack. US media reported that Ftouhi's residence in Montreal was later searched, while preliminary investigations suggest he acted alone.

Family kidnapped at gunpoint in Durham, North Carolina

A family of four was kidnapped on Tuesday in Durham, North Carolina. US media reported that a 29-year-old armed criminal forced the family out of their house. They were later taken to withdraw money at an ATM and forced to shop at a department store. Moments later, one of the store employees noticed their suspicious behaviour and called the authorities. No one was injured and the criminal, who held previous charges, was arrested.

Seven injured in Myrtle Beach shooting, South Carolina

Several have been injured in a mass shooting over the weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The shooting erupted in a busy touristic area in the early hours of Sunday morning. Seven people have reportedly been injured after a fight escalated near the Ocean Boulevard area. Multiple gunshots were reported after one suspect opened fire indiscriminately at a large crowd. Gun crime in the US continues to occur. Despite most of the incidents being gang-related, shootouts often cause collateral casualties.

Tropical Storm alert issued to southern US

A tropical storm alert has been issued to Louisiana ahead of an approaching weather system from the Gulf of Mexico. Strong winds are predicted to strengthen on Wednesday evening as Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to bring heavy rains to the state bordering areas with Texas. The storm is likely to move northeastwards to Alabama and Mississippi, with the possibility of flash floods also in Tenessee, southern Arkansas and Kentucky.

Sensitive data of 200 million Americans exposed

A marketing company linked to the Republican National Committee accidentally exposed sensitive data from nearly 200 million US nationals. Among the 1.1-terabyte data cache was information about people's birthdates, addresses, telephone numbers and political beliefs. The data was stored on a server owned by Deep Root Analytics, which acknowledged the flaw and denied any links to a cyber-attack.

State of emergency declared ahead of floods in Alabama

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency due to severe weather expected to hit the state from the Gulf of Mexico. According to the National Weather Service, the region is set to face flash flooding, especially near the coast, as the storm is moving northwards. Widespread rains are also expected throughout the next few days. Weather conditions suffer a significant deterioration during the hurricane season in the North Atlantic, which usually lasts from June to November.

US student dies after imprisonment in North Korea

A US student, Otto Warmbier, has died after being released from North Korean prison in a comatose state last week. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour and imprisonment after he was caught attempting to take down a propaganda sign in North Korea. In light of Warmbier's state of health, an agreement was reached between US officials and North Korean counterparts to release him on humanitarian grounds. Warmbier died less than a week after being returned to the US in a comatose state, having allegedly been in a coma for over a year after contracting Botulism and taking a sleeping pill. According to the BBC, US doctors have challenged North Korea's explanation for Warmbier's comatose state, suggesting instead that his symptoms indicated "severe neurological injury" which led to an extensive loss of brain tissue. The US President Donald Trump has accused North Korea of subjecting Warmbier to "awful torturous mistreatment" and has condemned the "brutal regime". Political and military tensions between the US and North Korea have worsened over the last few months as North Korea continues to test nuclear-capable missiles and the US has strengthened military ties with South Korea. 

Two girls hit by stray bullet at Chicago school playground

Two young girls have been injured after a shooting broke out near an elementary school in Chicago, Illinois. Authorities revealed that the incident happened on Friday afternoon while several children were attending a school picnic at Warren Elementary School in Calumet Heights neighbourhood. Preliminary reports suggest that the girls were hit by stray bullets when the targets headed to the school's playground. Both were taken to a local hospital sustaining non-life threatening injuries. Gun violence in Chicago suffered a surge last year, recording more than 4,000 shootings, leading to 762 homicides.

Trump investigated for alleged obstruction of justice

US President Donald Trump is under investigation for potential obstruction of justice. Reports on Tuesday revealed that Trump is being investigated by Justice Department's special counsel Robert Mueller over his alleged interference in the investigations regarding the Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Investigations were initiated after FBI Director James Comey was fired last month and were consolidated after his Senate testimony. Trump is also accused of interfering with the investigations into Russia's links to his former adviser, Mike Flynn.



Several injured as SUV crashes into sidewalk in Manhattan

At least 10 people have been injured when a vehicle crashed into a sidewalk in Midtown Manhattan, New York. US media reported that a black SUV ploughed into a crowd hitting two pedestrians after losing control near Lincoln Tunnel. Police revealed that the crash was an accident and so far no charges have been filed. 

Three killed at UPS centre in San Francisco, California

Three people were killed and two others injured when a postal service employee opened fire at his fellow workers in San Francisco, California. The incident happened on Wednesday morning when a 38-year-old UPS driver stormed the company's distribution centre and engaged in a shooting spree before killing himself. SFPD is investigating the potential motives for the attack, while authorities excluded any links to terrorism.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before Senate

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified on Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on open investigations linked to the alleged Russian hacking to the US 2016 Presidential elections. Sessions denied any 'harmful' involvement with Russian officials, while other questions focused on his relationship with President Donald Trump and the sacking of former FBI Director James Comey. The enquiry was opened after alleged Russian involvement in the US presidential elections last year.

Republican politician Steve Scalise targeted in Virginia shooting

The House Majority Whip, Republican Steve Scalise, was wounded in a multiple shooting in Alexandria, Virginia. US media reported that a man stormed a baseball pitch in Del Ray neighbourhood during a congressional baseball practice. At least two Capitol Hill police officer were also injured during a fierce standoff with the shooter. Local authorities confirmed that the suspect was arrested.

Guards killed while transporting prisoners in Georgia

Two prison guards have been killed while transporting prisoners near Eatonton, Georgia. Two inmates overpowered the officers and fled the scene in a hijacked vehicle along Highway 16. Local authorities reported that they remain at large, while a manhunt remains underway in Putnam County.

Two hotel guests contract legionnaire's disease in Las Vegas, Nevada

Regional health officials revealed on Friday that two guests at a Las Vegas hotel had contracted Legionnaire's disease - a severe form of pneumonia. Southern Nevada Health District told CNN that both were guests at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. The bacteria was found in the hotel's hot water system - it is also often found in lakes and streams. Legionnaire's disease is not easily contracted by people with strong immune systems. Symptoms may include fever, cough, chills and muscle aches. 

Four killed at store shooting in Pennsylvania

Four people have been killed after a store employee engaged in a shooting spree in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. The incident happened in Eaton Township overnight on Wednesday when 24-year-old Randy Stair opened fire at his co-workers with two pistol shotguns. The motives behind the attack remain unclear; however, the police have labelled the incident a murder-suicide.

Christopher Wray nominated new FBI chief

President Donald Trump has nominated Christopher Wray as the new head of the FBI. Trump described Wray as 'a man of impeccable credentials'. He served as attorney general from 2003 to 2005 during the George W Bush administration. Wray is replacing James Comey, who was suddenly fired in mid-May after reportedly mishandling the agency's leadership. Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate regarding alleged Russian involvement in 2016 US elections.

US contractor arrested for leaking top-secret NSA files

A 25-year-old US contractor has been arrested over alleged leaks of federal classified documents. Reality Winner was a contractor for the consultancy firm Pluribus International Corporation and worked at a National Security Agency (NSA) facility in Georgia. She is being accused of leaking top-secret documents to a news outlet regarding a potential Russian influence in the US elections last November. Wikileaks chief Julian Assange underlined his support to Winner on Monday.

Several feared dead in Orlando mass shooting, Florida

Five people have been killed in a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. The incident happened on Monday morning in an industrial area on Forsyth Road. Initial reports suggest that the shooter was a former company employee, who stormed a workplace and opened fire before shooting himself. Orange County Sheriff's Office stated that the scene was already contained. The incident comes just days before the Pulse nightclub shooting anniversary where 49 people were killed last year.

Violence erupts during far-right demonstration in Portland, Oregon

Violence escalated as clashes broke out during a far-right protest in Portland, Oregon. Riot police fired tear gas while demonstrators gathered at Portland's Chapman Square. Tensions erupted after hundreds of counter-protesters headed to the area. The protest came nearly a week after a white supremacist was charged with murder and hate crimes after killing two men on a train.

Trump pulls US out of Paris climate deal

The US President Donald Trump has announced intentions to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. According to the BBC, Trump's reasoning for the withdrawal was based on US national interests. Trump's argument claimed that the climate accord would cost the US approximately $3tn (£2.3tn) in lost GDP and 6.5 million jobs. According to the terms of the agreement, the withdrawal process may take up to four years - likely clashing with the 2020 US election. The announcement has sparked international criticism, with many European leaders, businesses and UN officials condemning Trump's decision. The move is likely to provoke public demonstrations in Paris and Washington DC.

Former FBI chief to testify before Senate over Russian hacking

Former FBI chief James Comey is set to testify next week on Thursday 08 June, before the Senate intelligence committee regarding the alleged Russian involvement in the last presidential elections, which have been fully denied by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Comey was suddenly fired in mid-May after reportedly mishandling the agency's leadership. Other US intelligence agencies are accusing the foreign hacking of benefiting President Donald Trump's election victory.

White House communications director resigns

The communications director at the White House, Mike Dubke, has resigned - citing "personal" reasons behind his decision to leave the White House. According to the BBC, Dubke was hired by US President Donald Trump just three months ago as part of an initiative to rejuvenate media strategy in the White House.

Two killed, 10 wounded in nine shootings, Wisconsin

At least two people have been killed and as many as 10 others have been wounded in nine shooting incidents in the state of Wisconsin. The shootings occurred in Milwaukee over the weekend. The police are investigating if there are links between any of the incidents.

UK police stop information sharing with US

UK police investigating the Manchester bomb attack have stopped sharing information with the US following a series of leaks.  On Wednesday UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd expressed the government's frustration at the leaks, warning "it should not happen again".  Images of the investigation into the terror attack - in which 22 people were killed - appeared in the New York Times, along with details about the assailant, Salman Abedi.

Fatal shooting in Maryland

A fatal shooting incident has occurred in Maryland. A 24-year-old person has died after being critically shot in Baltimore when at least one an armed attacker opened fire on the victim on South Payson Street on Wednesday. Police investigations are underway.

Delays at Sacramento airport, California

A network outage has caused significant delays at Sacramento International Airport in California. Passengers have been advised to anticipate travel disruption and delays as a network failure impacts operations throughout the airport. Most airlines have been affected by the technical difficulty; however, Southwest airlines have confirmed that their services have not been impacted.

Bus driver wounded in gunfight, California

A bus driver has been wounded in a gunfight in California. A gunfight allegedly broke out between three suspects in the Escondido area of California on Thursday night. the bus driver was allegedly hit by a stray bullet and was not thought to be involved in the gunfight. Two suspects have been detained and remain in police custody while search operations continue for the third suspect.

Drugged-up driver kills teenager in Times Square

A drugged-up driver has killed a teenager and wounded 22 others in Times Square, New York. The incident unfolded on Thursday as Richard Rojas - a 26-year-old US Navy veteran - ploughed his car down three blocks of pavement in the busy centre of New York. According to the BBC, Rojas tested positive for synthetic marijuana (aka 'K2') and has a history of drinking problems and previous criminal offences. Rojas remains in police custody while investigations are ongoing. The incident is not being linked to terrorism.

Former FBI boss to head Russia inquiry

Former FBI boss, Robert Mueller, has been appointed as the head of an inquiry into alleged Russian election meddling and any potential links to the Trump campaign. Mueller has been appointed as a neutral external figure to act in the interest of the general American public. The appointment has received firm support from both Democrats and Republicans.

One killed in Missouri shooting

A person has been killed in a shooting incident in the state of Missouri. The victim was shot dead on Wednesday in the Benton Boulevard area of Kansas City. The police responded to reports of multiple gunshots in the area; however, the victim was found dead at the scene. Police operations are ongoing.

Man arrested for threatening Republican congresswoman

The FBI have arrested a man in Arizona for threatening to shoot Republic congresswoman Martha McSally.  Steve Martan made several deaths threats during calls to McSally's office, saying her days were "numbered".  Martan said he was frustrated at McSally's support of President Donald Trump.  In 2011 congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who represented the same Arizona district as McSally, was shot and wounded in an attack that left six people dead.

Protesters clash outside Turkish embassy

Supporters and opponents of Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have clashed outside the Turkish embassy in Washington DC.  Erdogan was in the US capital to meet his US counterpart, Donald Trump, when the violence erupted.  Several of Erdogan's bodyguards were involved in the clash, during which nine people were wounded and two others were arrested.  The two leaders were meeting to discuss relations after the US announced plans to support a Kurdish militia in Syria, a move which Ankara strongly opposes.

President Trump accused of releasing classified intel to Russians

US President Donald Trump has been accused of revealing highly classified intelligence to Russia's foreign minister.  Two intelligence officials claim the information was shared with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, during a meeting in the Oval Office last week.  The information is reported to have come from a key US ally, and although the president has the power to declassify information, the release of information without the express permission of the source could threaten the intelligence-sharing relationship.  US National Security Adviser HR McMaster dismissed the claims as "false".

Two women killed in Virginia shooting

Two women have been killed in a shooting on the I-95 North highway in Virginia.  Tanna Gardner, 23, and Sharayne Holland, 26, were targeted by assailants in another vehicle.  A third person suffered life-threatening injuries in the attack, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning near Richmond.  Police are calling the shooting a "targeted incident" and are urging people with information to come forward.

Hundreds arrested nationwide in massive anti-gang operation

A massive six-week-long operation led by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resulted in the arrest of nearly 1,400 gang members nationwide. The operation carried out through ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the largest to date and included raids in Washington DC, Texas, California and New Jersey. Among gang members arrested are Mexican Surenos, Central American Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and LA-based Crips. The operation comes amid ICE's efforts to tackle domestic and transnational gangs through Operation Community Shield.

Tunnel collapse triggers emergency at Hanford nuclear site, Washington

Hundreds of workers have been evacuated following an accident at the Hanford nuclear waste facility in Washinton. The US Energy Department declared a state of emergency due to risks involving radioactive material. The accident happened on Tuesday morning when the roof of a tunnel used to transport radioactive material collapsed. Authorities are closely monitoring the potential increase in radiation levels, which so far have not faced significant changes.

Wildfires remain active along Georgia-Florida border

Wildfires remain active along the Georgia-Florida border as most parts of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge are being consumed by the flames. Emergency services ordered the evacuation of St George community while schools were temporarily closed on Monday. The fire was triggered by lightning in early-April, while the blaze is spreading due to strong winds and dry weather conditions. Local authorities revealed that dozens of other fires remain active across Florida and southern Georgia.

Donald Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey over his reported lack of competence in leading the agency. Comey's termination was previously suggested by attorney general Jeff Sessions over his role in the investigations involving Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. Comey was also part of the investigations involving Trump's campaign over the alleged Russian interference in 2016 presidential elections.

Texas governor issues ban to sanctuary cities

Texas governor Greg Abbott signed on Monday a bill to ban 'sanctuary cities' across the state. Abbott said that the measure comes in order to further the cooperation with federal immigration agencies, which was being hindered by some local governments, including the state capital Austin. The crackdown on immigration was one of President Donald Trump flagship policies during his campaign. Last month, he signed an executive order to ban funding to sanctuary cities - the decision was later blocked by a California federal judge.

Russian foreign minister to meet Secretary of State in Washington

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday in Washington DC. The US State Department announced that the main point on the agenda is to discuss the Ukrainian and Syrian conflict. US-Russia relations have since deteriorated after alleged Russian hackings and the leak of US classified information, along with the contested Crimean annexation and the Russian backing to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Bill to scrap Obamacare passes in lower house of Congress

With a narrow majority, the Republican health care bill to scrap the American Health Care Act - popularly known as 'Obamacare' - has passed through the Congress lower chamber. The bill garnered 217 votes in favour while 213 votes against. The bill is now set to head to the Senate, where senators will redraft the proposal to garner democrat and moderate support. This is the first step of the main campaign flagship proposals of President Donald Trump, which underlined that 'Obamacare was essentially dead'.

Dozens of children infected with measles in Minnesota

Over 30 children have been infected with measles in the worst outbreak reported in Minnesota for years. The Minnesota Health Department revealed that most of the cases involved children who hadn't received the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. The sources of the outbreak remain unknown, but it is believed to be linked to travellers infected overseas. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), another nine US states reported measles cases in 2017.

Hiker bitten by rattlesnake on Mission Peak, Califonia

A hiker has been airlifted to hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake on Monday afternoon in California. The 47-year-old victim was accompanied by his wife when he was bitten on the top of Mission Peak, near Fremont. Despite being rare, rattlesnake bites do occur as the warm summer weather approaches. In the case of being bitten, it is advised to rush as soon as possible to the nearest hospital or promptly call emergency services.

Three killed as car crashes into crowd near Boston, Massachusetts

At least three people have been killed and several others injured when a jeep ploughed into a crowd near Boston, Massachusetts. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement that links to any intentional or terrorist acts were excluded. The accident happened on Wednesday morning at an Auto Auction site in Billerica when an employee reportedly lost the control of the vehicle inside the building. 

Officials report suspect Zika virus case in Springfield, Ohio

Health officials revealed that a suspected Zika virus case has been reported in Springfield, Ohio. Local authorities in Clark County are awaiting results regarding the potential infection which happened after the patient travelled to an undisclosed country. District Commissioner Charles Patterson said that this is the third Zika case in Ohio since January. Zika symptoms are often very mild and may include fever, rashes, vomiting and, muscle and joint pains. 

Woman severely injured in California shark attack

A 35-year-old woman has been seriously injured in a shark attack off the southern California coast. The victim was swimming near San Onofre when she was attacked on Saturday afternoon. According to the Washington Post, the patient was rushed to a local hospital and left in a medically induced coma. The incident triggered an alert in the area, where San Clemente City authorities temporarily closed all beaches.

Two police officers ambushed in Chicago, Illinois

Two police officers have been injured in an ambush in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago police believe that both officers were deliberately targeted in the city's South Side, where they were approached by two vehicles. Three suspects were arrested and two weapons seized. According to Fox News, the shootout happened in Back of the Yards neighbourhood, an area known for high criminality rates.

May Day protests lead to multiple arrests in Portland, Oregon

Over two dozen people have been arrested as protests escalated during the May Day Annual March in Portland, Oregon. The demonstration was suspended after clashes erupted between a group of protesters and the police, while buildings were vandalised. Several people were also arrested in marches in Seattle and Olympia, Washington state. 

Over a dozen killed due to extreme weather in southern US

Over a dozen people have been reported dead and several others injured over the weekend due to severe storms across US south-eastern states. Tornadoes left a trail of destruction, triggering flooding and widespread power cuts in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. A warning was issued on Monday as the system is expected to affect six states along the Eastern Coast from North Carolina to New York. 

Central US hit by blizzards

The US states of Kansas and Oklahoma have been hit by blizzards and thunderstorms.  The weather systems, which are unusual for late-spring, have taken down trees and power lines across the two states.  The Kansas Highway Patrol closed multiple roads and urged people to stay indoors after 50cm of snow fell in the city of Colby.  Amarillo in Texas has also been affected, with temperatures dropping to 4C.

Transylvania University on lockdown after knife attack in Lexington, Kentucky

Transylvania University's campus in Lexington has been put on lockdown after a student was injured in a knife attack on Friday. The victim was taken to a local hospital after being attacked at the university's coffee shop. The motives of the attack remain unclear, while the suspected perpetrator was arrested.

Man shot during robbery attempt in Miami, Florida

A man has been shot in the chest during a robbery in Miami, Florida. The attack happened overnight on Thursday when three men walking towards their vehicle in the Wynwood area were ambushed by masked criminals. The 25-year-old victim was rushed to the hospital where he remains in stable condition. 

Terror suspect arrested at Cincinnati Airport, Kentucky

A terror suspect has been detained on Thursday at Cincinnati International Airport, Kentucky. The 25-year-old Laith Waleed Alebbini lived in Dayton, Ohio, and was en route to Chicago O'Hare Airport, from where he admitted his intentions to head to Turkey in order to join Islamic State (IS) fronts in the Middle East. The suspect was previously arrested in January after storming the Turkish Embassy in Washington.

Hikers warned over rattlesnakes on Pennsylvania trails

Hikers have been advised to be vigilant of rattlesnakes along hiking trails in Pennsylvania. Biologist John Matter told WTAJ that as the spring season is arriving, rattlesnakes start to leave their winter season dens. Matter said that rattlesnakes often avoid contact with humans, but they do attack when feeling threatened. In the case of being bitten, it is advised to rush as soon as possible to the nearest hospital.

Flash floods trigger emergency in Raleigh, North Carolina

Widespread flash floods were triggered overnight on Monday as heavy downpours hit Raleigh, North Carolina. Most of Raleigh's Metropolitan Area was affected, especially Crabtree Creek. The National Weather Service issued an emergency warning to Wake County as most roads in the area were completely flooded. Weather conditions deteriorated due to a low-pressure system expected to head northwards the East Coast later on Tuesday.

Thousands to join march for climate in Washington DC

Thousands of people are expected to march on the streets of Washington DC on Saturday 29 April on the Peoples Climate Movement march. Demonstrators are scheduled to gather at 14:00 local time near the US Capitol Building before heading towards the White House and the Washington Monument. 

French Consulate in New York evacuated over bomb scare

The French Consulate in New York was evacuated due to a bomb scare on Saturday. The building located at the Fifth Avenue was briefly evacuated when French nationals were casting their votes for the presidential elections. Similar to France, poll stations in French embassies and overseas territories were also on high alert.

Wildfires remain active despite rains across Florida

Florida remains under alert due to active wildfires across the state, especially in the south-western region, despite showers over the weekend. Thousands of families were forced to evacuate their homes in Indian Lake and Golden Gate Estates, which already ravaged 30,000 acres across the state. Local authorities believe that some of the fires were suspiciously caused.

Three officers injured after robbery in Seattle, Washington

Three police officers were wounded during a shooting on Thursday afternoon in downtown Seattle, Washington. Local authorities revealed that the shootout broke out during a police response to a robbery attempt at a convenience store near Pike Place Market. Police told AP that one of the suspects was killed and the other arrested.

Surfer loses leg after shark attack in Hawaii

A French surf instructor lost part of his leg after a shark attack at a Hawaiian beach. The tourist was attacked while surfing on Friday at Davidson's Beach in Kaui island. He was promptly taken to a local hospital where he had his leg amputated due to a fibula injury. Shark attacks in Hawaii occasionally occur. It is advised to follow Hawaiian Department of Land and Natural Resources safety tips when engaging in water sports and activities.

Three killed in racist attack in Fresno, California

Three people have been killed and another injured when a black gunman engaged in a shooting spree on Tuesday in Fresno, California. Despite initial suspicions of terrorism, the police believe the attack was a hate crime as Muhammad specifically targeted white individuals. Muhammad was wanted for the murder of a security guard near a motel last week and was known for having severe racist views portrayed through social media.

Russian bombers intercepted off Alaska coast

Two Russian bombers have been intercepted by US fighter jets off the Alaskan coast on Monday. US officials told CNN that the encounter took place nearly 100 miles from Kodiak Island into the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone. Previous episodes involving Russian aircraft and military ships were reported in recent months amid President Donald Trump's increasing scepticism on the improvement of US-Russia relations.

Nine injured at club shooting in Columbus, Ohio

Nine people were injured on Sunday in a shooting at an after-party club in Columbus, Ohio. Two of the victims remain in critical conditions, while authorities are investigating the motives of the shootout. The incident comes just weeks after one person was killed and several others injured at a club shooting in Cincinnati.

State of emergency declared over wildfires in Florida

Florida governor, Rick Scott, has declared a state of emergency following an increasing risk of wildfires across the state. The measure comes in place to assist the authorities in dealing with the more than 100 wildfires currently active. In the first months of 2017, high numbers of fires in Florida triggered by hot and dry weather conditions have been reported - which is predicted to continue during the following months.

North Korea threatens response to US military action

North Korea has allegedly stated that should the US take military action there will be 'catastrophic consequences'. The heightened tension between the two states has been steadily growing in recent months as North Korea has continued to violate international standards by testing nuclear-capable missiles while the US has continued to strengthen military relations with South Korea. The US has recently deployed a Navy strike group to South Korea - diverting it from its original route from Singapore to Australia. The diversion of the US military vessels has been perceived by North Korea as a provocative attempt to take pre-emptive military action after US President Donald Trump stated that the US would act alone to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat. The BBC has reported that North Korea released a statement in response to the diversion of US Navy vessels, which stated that they were "ready to react to any mode of war desired by the US".

Three killed in San Bernardino primary school shooting, California

Three people have been killed after an armed man opened fire in a primary school in San Bernardino, California. The suspect stormed the North Park Elementary on Monday morning and killed a teacher - his wife - before shooting himself. Two pupils were collaterally shot, including an eight-year-old who succumbed to his wounds. Police believe the attack was caused by a domestic dispute. This is the 12th shooting at a school in the US since the start of 2017.

Neil Gorsuch confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed on Friday by the Senate as a justice of the US Supreme Court. Gorsuch is a long-time Republican and was appointed as a conservative effort from the current administration to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. Despite strong Democrat opposition, Gorsuch's nomination was approved with 54-45 votes in favour.

Thousands of flights cancelled over storm in eastern US

Severe weather along the East Coast has triggered severe disruptions at major airports. The most severely affected airports were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Chicago O'Hare Airport. New York - JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty - also suffered cancellations and delays. The disruptions were caused by a storm which has been hovering across the region since Wednesday. 

Congress investigator into Russian hacking suspended

The head of the congressional investigation into the alleged Russian hackings, Devin Nunes, was temporarily suspended from his functions over an enquiry opened by the House Ethics Committee. Nunes is being investigated over his alleged involvement into the leaking of classified information. Despite the suspension, he remains active in his other responsibilities as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Senior Mexican officer charged for leaks to drug cartel

US authorities in Chicago charged a former senior commander of the Mexican Federal Police for providing drug cartels with sensitive information disclosed by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Ivan Reyes Arzate was accused of links to the subversive Beltran Levya cartel while working in the liaison unit between the DEA and the Mexican authorities. Reyes has been under investigation since September, months before he was fired for obstructing investigations.

Trump's chief strategist removed from National Security Council

Donald Trump's Chief Strategist Steve Bannon was stripped of his role in the National Security Council (NSC) after a staff reshuffle on Wednesday. The move came as part of the strategy of Trump's National Security Advisor - Herbert Raymond McMaster - to reinstate General Joseph Dunford as the joint chief's chairman and Dan Coats as intelligence chief to the NSC. 

US withdraws funding to UN Population Fund

The US State Department announced on Monday plans to withdraw its funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - the UN agency for family planning and child healthcare. In a letter delivered to the Senate, it stated that the reason for the cuts regards the programme's support to abortion and involuntary sterilisation. The cut comes after President Donald Trump announced on March up to 28 percent budget cuts for diplomacy and foreign aid.

Five injured in train derailment in New York Penn Station

Five people have been injured when another train derailment was reported in New York's Penn Station. New Jersey Transit services in and out of the Manhattan hub were suspended on Monday. The derailment happened during the morning, triggering severe disruptions. This is the second derailment at Penn Station in less than two weeks.

Two killed due to severe weather in Louisiana

A tornado has killed a woman and her eight-year-old daughter at a home in St Martin Parish, Louisiana. The deadly tornado hovered around the area reaching winds of up to 100mph. The National Weather Service forecast severe weather to continue on Monday across the US south-east region. Flash flooding is expected in the states of Texas, Lousiana and Mississippi while the storm is moving westwards to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Highway bridge collapses due to fire in Atlanta, Georgia

The north-south Interstate 85 highway in Atlanta, Georgia, was completely shut down on Thursday afternoon after an elevated section collapsed due to a massive fire. No casualties were reported and both sides of the interstate remain closed for an indeterminate time. Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in the area, while emergency services are assessing infrastructural damages and potential causes.

Mexican prosecutor arrested in San Diego, California

The prosecutor of western Mexico's Nayarit state has been arrested in San Diego, California, over links to international drug-trafficking. Mexican and US authorities revealed on Wednesday that Edgar Veytia was detained by the FBI over an arrest warrant issued by a New York court. Veytia is suspected of producing and smuggling drugs from Mexico into the US.

Over a dozen killed in highway crash in Texas

Thirteen people have been killed and two others have been injured in a crash in Uvalde County, Texas. The accident happened along the US highway 83 when a minibus and a lorry collided on Wednesday afternoon. Most of the victims were coming from a church retreat. The causes of the accident are being investigated.

Three injured by unknown substance at LaGuardia Airport, New York

Three TSA workers have been injured after being exposed to an unidentified hazardous material at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Emergency officials rushed to LaGuardia's Terminal B due to a temporary exposure to an unknown substance in a carry-on bag. The situation was brought under control as authorities launched further investigations.

Several injured in pepper spray incident at San Francisco mall

At least 16 people have been lightly injured after a female teenager sprayed pepper-spray in a mall in San Francisco, California. Local officials said that a teenage girl stormed the Stonestown Galleria on Monday morning and sprayed the chemical indiscriminately. Several stores were closed, while the perpetrator and her colleagues fled the scene. The motive behind the attack remains unknown. 

Teenage intruders shot dead in Oklahoma

Three teenage intruders have been shot dead at a residential property in Oklahoma.  The homeowner's son shot them with an AR-15, killing two instantly while the third died outside the property in Broken Arrow. "This may be a case of 'stand-your-ground,' however, it's still too early to say for sure, and we're still looking into all aspects of this," said Deputy Nick Mahoney.  A fourth person later handed themselves into police and admitted being the trio's getaway driver.

Teen arrested over Maryland school attack plot

An 18-year-old girl has been arrested over an alleged plot to attack her high school in Maryland.  Nichole Cevario was reported to police by her father, who read about the plot against Catoctin High School in her diary.  Police recovered a shotgun, ammunition and bomb-making materials during a raid at her home.  The 18-year-old is undergoing a mental evaluation at Frederick Memorial Hospital.

Robbers unleash panic at hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada

A shootout erupted when a gang of heavily armed men stormed Las Vegas's Bellagio. Panic spread across the hotel when at least three masked men targeted a Rolex watch store on early Saturday morning. The hotel and casino were put on lockdown, while guests were evacuated. Police sources revealed that no one was injured and that a suspect has been arrested.

Government approves Keystone XL pipeline's construction

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project has been approved. The announcement came as the US State Department issued a permit to the Canadian company TransCanada. The Keystone XL - and the Dakota Pipeline Access - has been the target of fierce protests across the country due to environmental concerns. In January, as soon as Trump was sworn in office, an executive order to proceed with the pipeline's construction was signed.

One killed and 15 injured at a club shooting in Cincinnati, Ohio

A shootout broke out overnight on Sunday at a club in Cincinnati, Ohio. Police reports suggest that at least two men engaged in a dispute inside the Cameo Night Club when the situation escalated. One man was killed and 15 others injured, including one victim who remains in critical condition. The motives of the incident are being investigated.

Nationwide protests as House votes on ObamaCare

Thousands of people have launched a nationwide protest against Republican plans to scrap the Affordable Care Act - popularly known as ObamaCare. Thursday's protest led to marches in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and several other US cities. The House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on the matter on Thursday, but the vote was postponed after some Republicans retracted their support to overhaul the bill.

Heavy delays after train derails in New York Penn Station

Heavy delays are expected along the Northeast Corridor after an Amtrak train derailed at New York's Penn Station (NYPS) on Friday afternoon. Rail services in and out of NYPS will be severely disrupted after nearly 250 people were safely evacuated. 

Woman arrested over couple's kidnap in Maui, Hawaii

A 19-year-old woman was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in connection with the kidnapping of a Californian couple in Maui, Hawaii. The woman is one of the two suspects in the abduction of a student couple one week earlier near Nakelele Point. Both victims were later released after being briefly kidnapped and robbed of more than US$9,000 in personal belongings.

Police investigate kidnap attempt in San Francisco, California

San Francisco Police are investigating a kidnapping attempt which took place on Wednesday evening in the city's West Portal neighbourhood. Authorities have revealed that a girl was targeted by criminals along Forest Side Avenue; however, the attempt was foiled after bystanders intervened. 

Four killed during shooting spree in Wausau, Wisconsin

Four people have been killed, including a police officer, when a man engaged in a shooting spree in Wausau, Wisconsin. The shootout erupted on Wednesday afternoon in several locations across the area. Initial reports suggest the situation was triggered during a domestic dispute at a bank in Rothchild. The suspect was arrested, while more than 100 inter-agency officers are investigating the incident. 

Armed men target woman at ATM in Battle Creek, Michigan

Two armed men targeted a woman near an ATM in Battle Creek, Michigan. The attack happened on Saturday evening when the assailants forced the victim to withdraw a large amount of cash. As the police rushed to the scene following a 911 call, the criminals momentaneously abducted the woman, taking her to an area near Hubert Street.

Secret Service agent's laptop stolen in New York City

US Secret Service revealed on Friday that an agent's laptop was stolen from his car in New York City. According to the agency, the device held sensitive security information regarding President Donald Trump's evacuation protocol for Trump Tower and other national security documents. 

US State Department condemns Crimea annexation to Russia

Three years after Russia held a controversial referendum on the Crimea peninsula, US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner condemned the Crimea's annexation by Russia. In an official statement, he said that: "We call on Russia to cease its attempts to suppress freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association and religion. (...) The United States again condemns the Russian occupation of Crimea and calls for its immediate end". Toner also ensured that sanctions will remain in place until Russia hands the territory back to Ukraine.

Judge blocks Trump's anti-immigration executive order

A Hawaiian federal judge blocked a new anti-immigration executive order issued by US President Donald Trump. Derrick Watson through a 43-page document rejected claims that the new order was based on national security grounds. The order was a second attempt aimed at banning people from six Muslim-majority nations for 90 days and place a 120-day ban on refugees. 

Man shot during car theft attempt in Charlotte, North Carolina

A man has been shot by two assailants during a carjacking attempt in Charlotte, North Carolina. The incident happened overnight on Wednesday when two criminals robbed the victims' pick-up truck at a parking lot in Lakemist Drive. In early-January, the police arrested several teenagers responsible for a carjacking spree in Charlotte.

Two Russian spies indicted for 2014's Yahoo hacking

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted four men suspected of connection to the 2014's Yahoo cyber attack which affected over 500 million accounts worldwide. Two of the suspects are alleged members of the Russian intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB). In a statement released by US Attorney General Mary McCord, she said that: "We would hope (Russia) would respect our criminal justice system and respect these charges" while the US does not hold an extradition agreement with Russia.

Military to send attack drones to South Korea

The US military is set to deploy attack drones to South Korea just 12 days after North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan. A press release revealed on Monday that "The stationing of this company (...) directly supports the US Army's strategic plan to add one Gray Eagle - an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) - company to each division in the Army" to provide "significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to US Forces Korea and (...) Republic of Korea partners". The deployment has been announced amidst international outcry from China and Russia in response to the deployment of a US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system to South Korea.

Severe flight disruptions expected ahead of US north-east blizzard

Severe flights disruptions are expected to hit New York City (NYC) as the US north-eastern coast is expected to be hit by a massive blizzard on Tuesday. Hundreds of flights were already cancelled on Monday in major airports - Newark, LaGuardia and JFK - while disruptions are also being reported mainly in Chicago O'Hare and Boston Logan International Airport. Strong winds are forecast along with potential flooding to coastal areas.

Snowstorms expected to hit north-eastern coast

Snowstorms and severe weather are expected to hit most of the US north-eastern region on Monday and Tuesday. According to the National Weather Service; Washington DC, Baltimore and Maryland will be the most affected areas, with potential power outages and strong winds, while snow is set to disrupt most public transportation services on Tuesday.

Jewish centres targeted by bomb threats

Jewish community centres across several US states have received bomb threats, forcing brief evacuations.  Threats were received in New York, Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida, while centres in Canada have also reported similar warnings.  "As long as they do continue, we'll continue to condemn them and look at ways in which we can stop them," White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.  Last week a man was arrested in St Louis for making threats against Jewish centres in the tri-state area.

US wildfires kill seven

At least seven people have been killed and more than one million acres destroyed by wildfires across four US states.  Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas have all been affected by the fires, while a smaller blaze was also reported near Naples in Florida.  Five people have been confirmed dead in Texas, three of them ranchers who were trying to save their cattle in Gray County.  Several firefighters have also been wounded tackling the blaze near Amarillo, Texas.

Three wounded in Miami shooting

Three people were wounded in a shooting in Miami-Dade County on Tuesday morning.  The incident happened near Northwest 21st Avenue and Northwest 85th Street at around 07:30.  The victims, including two teenagers, were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  Police said no arrests have been made.

Storms rip through central US

Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed by storms which have ripped through the central states of the US.  Dozens of tornados hit Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois late on Tuesday.  One of the worst affected areas was Jackson County in Kansas, where a tornado with 180kmp/h winds were reported.  Minor injuries have been reported but there are no known fatalities.

Man shot dead in Philadelphia

A man has been shot dead and his teenage brother wounded in a shooting in the eastern city of Philadelphia.  The incident took place on the 8100 block of Lyons Ave on Sunday afternoon.  The 14-year-old boy was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he is in a critical condition.  No arrests have been made in connection to the incident.

Trump signs new immigration order

US President Donald Trump has signed a revised executive order to reinstate a ban on immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries entering the country.  The full text of the order has not yet been released, but the travel ban includes all of the countries from the first order (Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) apart from Iraq, which has been left off.  Trump's previous order sparked confusion and anti-government protests before it was blocked by a federal court.  A government spokesperson said the new order would take effect on 16 March.

Sikh man shot in Seattle

A Sikh man has been shot and wounded in an apparent hate crime in the north-western city of Seattle.  The victim was outside his home in the Kent suburb when the assailant approached him and opened fire.  It has been reported that the gunmen told the 39-year-old victim to "go back to your own country", and follows the deadly shooting of an Indian national in Kansas last month in another reported hate crime.

Storm leads to one death and several injured in Perryville, Missouri

One person has died and 10 others have been injured in a tornado which has ravaged Perryville in the state of Missouri. More than a dozen homes were destroyed on Tuesday evening as the tornado hit the area. The tornado also hovered over the Interstate 55 highway - where a 24-year-old was killed after being thrown from his vehicle. Local news reported that the tornado has weakened and that power cuts are likely to occur throughout the next few days.

One dead as tornadoes leave trail of destruction in Ottawa, Illinois

One person has been reported dead after four tornadoes ravaged Ottawa, Illinois. Heavy storms and strong winds also led to the injury of 14 people, mainly due to falling trees. The most affected areas were Standard, Marseilles and Morris; while in Naplate gas leaks and power shortages were reported. According to ABC News, Chicago suburbs were also heavily affected by the storm which triggered widespread flooding.

Hundreds to be evacuated over flooding in San Jose, California

Over 1,000 homes in San Jose, California, have been ordered to be evacuated ahead of a flooding alert in the state's northern region. Heavy rains triggered an emergency as Coyote Creek overflowed its banks. Several surrounding areas were ordered to evacuate, especially the area of Rock Springs. Weather officials warned of a potential storm due to hit Northern California over the weekend.

Four killed in house massacre in Toomsuba, Mississippi

Four people have been killed in a home massacre in Toomsuba, Mississippi. The crime happened on Tuesday afternoon after the police were warned of no activity inside the residence. Authorities found four bodies - three women and a five-year-old boy. No motives for the murders have been revealed as the authorities continue investigations, excluding leads of a potential suicide-murder crime.

Heavy rains trigger flooding alert to central California

Several areas in central California have been warned of potential water levels increasing in the San Joaquin river. Following a weekend of non-stop rainfall, the National Weather Service alerted the region of widespread flooding and advised residents to prepare in case of evacuation. Tens of thousands had to be evacuated last week due to damages at Lake Oroville dam, while two people have been killed during a strong storm in the southern area of the state.

President Trump nominates national security adviser

US President Donald Trump has nominated Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his national security adviser. McMaster will replace Michael Flynn after he was sacked over alleged controversial conversations with Russian officials. The first choice for the post was Vice Admiral Robert Harward, but he refused the job due to personal reasons. McMaster is a very incisive military strategist who fought in the Iraqi and Gulf War.

Police investigate recent threats to Jewish community in the US

Authorities are investigating a recent surge in threats targeting the Jewish community in the US. During the weekend, dozens of gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri were vandalised, while 11 US Jewish Community Centres received bomb threats on Monday - all of them were determined to be false. The police are still investigating if the cemetery attack was in fact targeted by vandals as the motives remain unknown. The threats come as President Donald Trump has been criticised over his inefficiency to tackle a reported wave of antisemitism in the country.

Flooding and heavy storms to hit Houston, Texas

Storms likely to trigger flooding are expected to hit south-eastern Texas on Monday. State capital Houston and its western areas are set to experience heavy rains during the morning, with the possibility of tornadoes and strong winds until late in the day. The alert comes a week after the National Weather Service issued a warning for a hurricane to hit Houston and its Metropolitan area.

Two killed and thousands affected by strong storm in California

Two were killed as a storm hit the US Pacific coast on Friday. A man was electrocuted and another was killed when trapped in his vehicle in a flooding triggered by heavy rains in central and northern California. More than 60,000 people suffered electricity cuts, while hundreds of flights were either cancelled or delayed in major airports. Widespread flooding and heavy winds reaching up to 70 mph were reported in what the National Weather Service called the strongest storm to hit Southern California in years.

Alaska's volcano forces air travel alerts to be heightened

The Bogoslof volcano in the Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted on Friday morning causing concerns over air travel between North America and Asia. the Alaska Volcano Observatory confirmed that the volcano, active since mid-December, expelled ashes 25,000 feet in the air. Aviation authorities raised the alert over potentially negative effects on plane engines. Winds should take ashes towards the Bering Sea as further eruptions are expected to take place in the following months.

Businesses and shops closed during nationwide pro-immigrant demonstration

Thousands of protesters have marched across major American cities to demonstrate against President Donald Trump's proposed immigration policies. From Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago, thousands of commercial areas were closed on what has been called a 'day without immigrants'. Dozens of demonstrations have been taken place across the country since Trump signed an immigration ban forbidding the entrance of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Governor orders demonstration camp evacuation in North Dakota

Dozens of opponents to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) were ordered to evacuate a demonstration camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Wednesday. The order was issued by Republican Governor Doug Burgum, who claims the terrain occupied belongs to the US Army Corps of Engineers. Weeks of protests against the DAPL have been held since President Donald Trump was sworn into office and released an executive order to resume the project along with the Keystone XL pipeline.

Detention of Mexican immigrant sparks protests in Tacoma, Washington

A 23-year-old Mexican has been detained over alleged links to a criminal gang in Tacoma, Washington. His lawyer claims the detainee is innocent and that he was threatened with deportation. Daniel Ramirez arrived in the US illegally when he was seven; however, a law drafted by former president Barack Obama gave him and 740,000 others protection from deportation. The hearing is set to take place on Friday 17 February. Dozens gathered in Tacoma to protest the arrest, while hundreds of national and worldwide protests are taking place against President Donald Trump's clampdown on immigration.

Tornado warning issued for Houston, Texas

The National Weather Service issued on Tuesday a tornado warning for Houston, Texas. Most of the city's Metropolitan area was also put on alert for heavy rains and strong winds. No casualties or damages have been reported so far as the low-intensity tornado has hit the Fort Bend County. Thousands experienced power cuts, while authorities urge people to seek shelter.

Donald Trump's national security adviser resigns

President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has resigned on Monday evening following weeks of speculation of his relations with Russia. The main issue regards his talks with the Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyev, concerning economic sanctions to Russia ahead of Trump's inauguration. In his statement, he said that "I inadvertently briefed the vice-president-elect [Mike Pence] and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador". Flynn is set to be replaced by Keith Kellogg as acting national security adviser.

Thousands protest against anti-immigration policies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thousands of pro-immigration protesters have marched on the streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to demonstrate against mass deportation and anti-immigration policies. The aim of the march was to target Sheriff David Clarke's plans for a crackdown on illegal immigration. Several Rights groups and organisations endorsed the march that counted with people from 25 different cities across the state. This is the most recent demonstration against President Donald Trump's hard-line immigration policies.

Thousands ordered to evacuate Oroville Dam area, California

Almost 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate the area of Oroville, California after damages were reported in the structure of the Oroville Dam. Authorities believe that most communities located near the Feather River are likely to be affected by flooding if the cracks in the dam's structure cause a collapse. California's governor Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency to facilitate evacuations and potential responses. 

Thousands of flights cancelled due to snowstorms in north-eastern US

Thousands of flights have been cancelled after New York City and other north-eastern US cities were hit by snowstorms. On Thursday morning, over 1,500 flights were cancelled at New York, Philadelphia and Boston airports; as sub-zero temperatures, strong winds and heavy snowfall affected much of the region. Schools and traffic were also disrupted during the day and further severe weather is forecast across the weekend in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Protest over controversial pipeline to be staged in Washington D.C.

The controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline project is set to proceed following the authorisation of the US Army in a court filing on Tuesday. Across 2016, several protests, some of them violent, took place in defence of sacred native areas of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The Standing Rock called a protest in Washington D.C. on Friday 10 February. One of the first orders issued by President Donald Trump was to resume another project known as the Keystone XL pipeline.

Massive snowstorm expected to hit New York City

New York City's (NYC) Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered that all public schools to close on Thursday due to a severe incoming snowstorm. Weather forecasts predict that the winter storm will last until the 6:00 PM local time as 8 to 12 inches of snow are expected to cover the city. NYC Emergency Management Commissioner said that "Although the weather is warm today, winter will return quickly on Thursday with dangerous conditions for the morning commute" and that people "should be prepared for snowfall and slippery roads and plan to take mass transit where possible".

Flooding warning issued to northern California

The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings to northern California. The alert concerns areas near the Russian River, in the area north of San Francisco, which is feared to overflow due to heavy downpours. Strong winds reaching up to 60mph are also expected to hit Bay Area southwards to the Santa Cruz Mountains. On Tuesday, residents in Marin County were rescued after mudslides hit the area, while heavy flooding was reported in Fresno County.

State of emergency declared over tornadoes in Louisiana

The governor of Louisiana has declared a state of emergency after seven tornadoes hit the state's south-eastern region on Tuesday. Two tornadoes ravaged Livingston Parish, while six other parishes were also affected. Multiple thunderstorms swept through the area, leaving thousands without electricity as several buildings were destroyed. According to Fox News, the tornadoes are part of the storm system moving along southern US, triggering weather warnings from Louisiana to Alabama and strong winds in New Orleans.

Protests against far-right speaker at University of California, Berkeley

Hundreds of demonstrators protested on Wednesday at the University of California at Berkeley to block an event featuring far-right Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannoupoulos. Hours before the event, protesters vandalised the surroundings of the student union building leading the deployment of riot police to the scene that put the campus on lockdown. The university said in a communique that the situation escalated as a minority of the protesters used violence amid the peaceful demonstration. Breitbart is a controversial news outlet blamed, mainly by liberals, of using racist and xenophobic content.

Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch for vacant Supreme Court seat

President Donald Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the vacant position in the Supreme Court has been facing pressure from the Democrat opposition. Gorsuch was picked on Wednesday to replace Justice Scalia - who died in February 2016 - for a lifetime appointment in the highest court in the US. He needs to be approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee and face a final vote in the chamber. The Supreme Court is the last resort in contentious decisions such as voters rights, abortion or racial bias in policing. If confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch will restore the Court's conservative majority.

Connecticut health department to monitor Zika-related birth defects

Connecticut state department of public health (DPH) has issued a press release stating that 30 babies are being monitored over birth defects related to the Zika virus, or Flavivirus. The DPH said that in all cases, the mothers tested positive for the viruses during their pregnancies.  Two of the babies were born with Zika-related symptoms and nine others remain under observation. Zika symptoms include fever, rashes, vomiting and, muscle and joint pains. However, the DPH urges all pregnant women to be screened as Zika often presents very mild symptoms. 

Attorney General sacked over travel ban row

President Donald Trump has fired US Attorney General Sally Yates following grievances regarding the travel ban executive order. The controversy escalated when Yates said, in a letter addressed to Justice Department lawyers, that: “At present I am not convinced that the defence of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.” Yates was a member of Barack Obama's administration and remained in the post as part of the presidential transition. She is set to be replaced by the long-time Trump ally, Senator Jeff Sessions.

Several injured at armory shooting in Brownsville, Tennessee

A shooting at a National Guard armory in Brownsville, Tennessee, left 10 people injured on Friday night. The venue was hired for a party when shots were fired - leaving eight adults and two juveniles wounded. Three of the victims remain under care in Memphis and Jackson. The police are still investigating the motives of the shootout and told local news that no further information can be released.

Washington state reports widespread cases of mumps

Washington state declared on Wednesday that since October, 278 cases of mumps have been reported across five counties - King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane and Yakima. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also revealed that 228 cases were diagnosed in Arkansas since the beginning of 2017. Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus spread from person to person through saliva and mucus. Initial symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and lost of appetite. The best protection against mumps is the MMR vaccine.

Thousands protest nationwide over US travel ban

Thousands of protesters have gathered at major US airport terminals after more than 100 people were held under the new presidential travel ban. Airports nationwide were stormed by demonstrators who marched across the streets on Sunday to protest against President Donald Trump's executive order to ban refugee admissions of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Sudan. Days after the executive order was issued, senators, governors and attorneys general showed public criticism over the matter despite Trump's claim that "this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,”

Texas health department confirms first locally transmitted Zika virus

Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) confirmed on Wednesday the first locally transmitted Zika virus case in the state. Sources said that the method of infection remains uncertain, however they believe it was either transmitted by mosquito bites or it was sexually transmitted. Brownsville remains a risk area for Zika virus infection as the DSHS recommends residents and visitors protect themselves from mosquito bites. The main symptoms of the Zika virus are fever, rashes, red eyes and, muscle and joint aches.

Four criminals rob tourist in Miami Beach, Florida

A Canadian tourist was robbed by four men on Tuesday evening in Miami Beach, Florida. Authorities said that the assailants took the victim's cellphone, watch and nearly US$ 100 in cash. The victim told the police that one of the assailants claimed to have a gun. The police are still investigating the incident. Criminals often target their victims during the night in isolated dark areas in order to avoid being identified.

Diplomatic tensions rise as Mexico's president refuses meeting in Washington

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto refused to head to Washington D.C. to meet with his US counterpart following Donald Trump's executive order to build a 2,000 km wall between both nations. The diplomatic rift escalated as moments later Trump announced intentions to raise taxes on all Mexican imports to the US by 20 percent. In a previous press communique, Pena Nieto assured that 'Mexico won't pay for any wall'. According to the White House, by raising taxes on Mexican imports it is estimated to generate more than US$ 10 billion a year - the wall is expected to cost between US$ 15-25 billion.

Thousands demonstrate against anti-immigration policies in New York

Thousands of demonstrators have gathered in New York's Washington Square Park to protest recent plans on immigration policies proposed by President Donald Trump. The rally was a last-minute call from the New York Council on American-Islamic Relations. Politicians and activists headed to the scene moments after Trump decided his plans to suspend the visas of citizens from several Middle East counties, and signed the executive order to start building the controversial physical barrier in the Mexican border. 

President Donald Trump issues order to build wall along Mexican border

US President Donald Trump has issued an executive order over the controversial construction of an 'impassable physical barrier' along the border with Mexico. Trump has underlined an alleged US southern border crisis and has announced his plans to pursue his flagship campaign proposal of building a Mexico-financed wall to divide both countries. Mexico's President Henrique Pena Nieto has rejected Trump's plans and has said that 'Mexico won't pay for any wall'. Further measures also regard a crackdown on 'sanctuary cities' which refuse to cooperate with federal government immigration policies.

President orders revival of controversial pipeline projects

US President Donald Trump has signed orders to revive the construction of two controversial pipelines. The executive order was signed on Tuesday and regards developments on the Keystone XL pipeline (from Canada to the Gulf Coast) and the Dakota Access pipeline (from North Dakota to Illinois). Both projects have been put on hold by former US President Barack Obama's administration over environmental concerns. Environmentalists and protesters demonstrated several times in 2016 against the construction of the pipeline in North Dakota, claiming that it will disrupt the area's water access and violate native tribal lands.

Several killed as severe weather ravages southern US

Extreme weather has ravaged the US southern region, killing at least 18 people across the weekend. In Cook County, Georgia, seven people were killed, along with several buildings being destroyed and damaged by the storm. In Mississippi a tornado killed at least four people and injured more than 50 others. The National Weather Service has issued a high risk warning over potential storms to hit southern Georgia, north and central Florida, Alabama and South Carolina.

Shooting erupts amid robbery attempt in San Antonio, Texas

One person has been killed and five others have been injured during a store robbery in San Antonio, Texas. Preliminary investigations have suggested that two armed men stormed a jewelry shop at the Rolling Oaks Mall, when a bystander tried to intervene. One suspect was arrested while the other fled the scene. San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said that this is the second time recently in San Antonio, that a person has been killed after a member of the public has intervened in a robbery.

Tourists robbed in knife attack in Palm Springs, California

The police of Palm Springs, California, are hunting a suspect who robbed a tourist couple on Wednesday afternoon. The incident was reported between the W. Tramview Road and N. Eastgate Road when the victims were targeted with a knife. According to Palm Springs Police Department there were 45 violent incidents in Palm Springs since the start of 2017.

Donald Trump to be sworn in as 45th US President

US president-elect, Donald Trump, is set to be sworn into  office at his inauguration in Washington DC on Friday afternoon. More than 800,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony - scheduled to start at 11:30 local time (16:30 GMT). A vast security operation has been assembled, counting with the support of thousands of police officers and security personnel. Demonstrations for and against Trump are expected to take place nationwide. Demonstrations are also scheduled to take place in many major European capitals - such as Amsterdam, London and Milan - and also in some major Asian capitals - such as Manila in the Philippines. The major event is the Women's March on Washington that will take place on Saturday 20 January.

Anti-Trump protesters and supporters clash in Washington DC

Supporters of US president-elect, Donald Trump, and opposition protesters have clashed outside the National Press Club in Washington DC. Hundreds of people stormed the F Street NW in the capital on Thursday night, where guests were attending a celebratory ball on the evening before Trump's inauguration. International and nationwide anti-Trump protests are expected to happen on Friday before and after his inauguration ceremony in Washington DC, scheduled to occur at 11:30 local time (16:30 GMT).

Sinaloa cartel's leader 'El Chapo' extradited to the US

The drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman has been extradited to the US. El Chapo arrived in New York on Thursday evening, where he is set to appear on Friday in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn. Security around the area has been strengthened, especially around the area of Manhattan prison, where he is detained. El Chapo was the leader of the powerful Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. He was arrested in January 2016 after breaking out of prison one year earlier. The move comes amid rising diplomatic tensions between the US and Mexico, as the transfer happened one day before the inauguration of US president-elect, Donald Trump.

Lifeguard issues alert over marine creature in Cocoa Beach

A warning has been issued by Brevard Ocean Rescue in Florida over the recent invasion of thousands of Portuguese men-of-war - a sea animal similar to a jellyfish - to Cocoa Beach. Brevard County Ocean Lifeguards chief Eisen Witcher said that “we’ve issued a man-of-war advisory for the day and extending into the next few days. Avoid them, don’t touch them, don’t step on them". The sea creature is known for inflicting intense pain through its tentacles. Those who suffer a sting should contact a lifeguard or seek immediate medical attention.

Barack Obama commutes Wikileaks Chelsea Manning's sentence

US President Barack Obama has commuted the contested sentence of Chelsea Manning, who was found responsible for the Wikileaks scandal in 2010. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 after leaking hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic and military material. Manning is set to be released on 17 May. Thousands of people had been pressuring the government over Manning's case, along with a petition to pardon former National Security Agency Edward Snowden. The Wikileaks surfaced in 2010 after the group led by Julian Assange leaked sensitive documents related to US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands to attend march following presidential inauguration, Washington DC

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the Women's March on Washington movement on the morning of Saturday 21 January. The announcement has been made through social media, where organisers expect more than 200,000 people to attend the march - which will happen one day after the inauguration of US president-elect, Donald Trump. The announcement states that "The Women's March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights".

Eight shot amid Martin Luther King celebrations in Miami

At least eight people have been injured after a shooting has broken out in Miami. The victims, mostly teenagers, were shot during celebrations at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park after a parade celebrating the civil rights leaders' life on Monday afternoon. Two suspects have already been arrested, as investigations are ongoing to disclose if the shooting was related to the festivities. 

President Barack Obama scraps historical Cuban immigration policy

President Barack Obama has announced that a historical policy concerning Cuban immigration will be scrapped. Obama said in a statement that the commonly known 'wet foot, dry foot' policy was "designed for a different era" of US-Cuban relations. The rule was signed under Bill Clinton's administration in 1995, when the illegal immigration from Cuba to the US through boats hit its highest levels. The law predicted that any Cuban national that attempted to reach the US and successfully hit its soil, could be entitled to permanent residence status. The decision comes days before Donald J. Trump is set to sworn in as the 45th US President.

Two men stabbed to death at mall in Maryland

Two men have been stabbed to death at a mall in Maryland. Local authorities have said that the stabbing at the Westfield Wheaton Mall took place on Tuesday afternoon. Reports state that both the victims and other mall customers fought the suspects before they fled the scene. The police is investigating the incident while parts of the mall remain closed in order to preserve the crime scene.

Taliban release video of US and Australian captives

The Taliban militant group have released a video of two captives. In August 2016, US citizen Kevin King and Australian citizen Timothy Weekes were kidnapped by armed Taliban militants from a vehicle outside the American Univeristy of Afghanistan in Kabul. The two victims had both been working as professors at the University. The hostage video allegedly shows the two captives pleading with the American government to arrange a prisoner swap, otherwise they would be killed. The American authorities have declined to confirm the video's authenticity and has condemned the actions of the terrorists.

Senate approves first vote to repeal Obamacare programme

The US Senate has approved the first steps for the repeal process of the health insurance programme popularly known as Obamacare. With 51 votes in favour and 48 against, the bill is set to head to the House of Representatives for further voting. President-elect Donald J. Trump and both Republican chambers stated that to scrap the plan is a priority. The main challenge for the Republicans is to replace the programme with a similar state-based initiative, rather than the current primordially federal influence.

Hostages taken amid bank robbery attempt at university in Alabama

A 18-year-old robber has raided a bank at Alabama University campus in Tuscaloosa. The incident took place on Tuesday morning when the suspect forced his way into the campus' Alabama Credit Union branch. As campus security arrived at the scene, the assailant barricaded himself inside the building and took several hostages. Hours later a SWAT team stormed the building and arrested the criminal. The suspect was already known by the police, as he was reportedly involved in a previous robbery incident in 2015.

Hundreds of flights cancelled due to strong winds in Chicago

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport due to heavy winds warnings. Chicago Department of Aviation told NBC that at least 311 flights were cancelled by 4 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Considerable delays to hundreds of flights were also reported during the day. Further disruptions are likely to occur as the wind advisory suggests the gails will engulf the whole city, which, according to the National Weather Service, have been up to 60 mph.

Thousands evacuated as heavy rains and snow hit western US

Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate their homes as heavy rain and snowstorms are expected to hit the US western region on Tuesday. The National Weather Service has revealed that heavy downpours and snow are set to fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains and in northern California on Wednesday. Also, in San Francisco nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated following the flooding of the Russian River in Sonoma County, while in Nevada over 400 houses in Reno were evacuated after heavy rain the Truckee River to overflow. The storms are part of a weather system coming from Hawaii and are expected to hit Nevada and California.

Several Jewish centres evacuated along US east coast over bomb threats

Multiple Jewish community centres across the US have been evacuated due to bomb threats. Local media reported on Monday, that buildings in several states along the East coast - South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, New York and New Jersey - were temporarily closed as authorities swept the areas and carried out searches. According to Reuters it is uncertain if the threats are connected.

Mexican border crossing suspended amid fuel protests

One of the US-Mexico border crossings in Arizona has been suspended amid protests across Mexico triggered by the hike in fuel prices. The Deconcini Port of Entry has been temporarily suspended due to the escalation in the widespread protests in Mexico's north-western Sonora state. The police stated that both vehicular and pedestrian traffic have been suspended until further notice, advising people to head towards the Mariposa Port of Entry and Morley Port of Entry.

Canadian border in Quebec closed momentarily due to bomb threat

A busy US-Canada border crossing has been shut down due to a bomb threat. The St. Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing, located in north-eastern US, was closed momentarily on Friday morning, following a phone call suggesting the presence of an explosive device. The authorities evacuated the area for nearly three hours in order to search for the alleged bomb and diverted the traffic to nearby posts.

Several dead in Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

Several people have been killed in a shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport in the state of Florida.  Police said one person was in custody following the incident, which happened at Terminal 2 at around 13:00 local time.  Airport officials said all flights have been suspended until further notice.

Dozens injured as commuter train derails in New York City

A New York City (NYC) commuter train has derailed at the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. According to the news network CNBC, at least 37 people have been injured in the crash - which happened during a peak time. NYC Fire Department stated that all injuries are non-life threatening, while the NYC Emergency Management predicts delays and disruptions to both road traffic and train services.

Severe weather leads to four deaths in Alabama

A severe storm has killed four people in the southern state of Alabama. The authorities announced on Tuesday that the victims were killed after a tree fell over a mobile home in Rehobeth. The National Weather Service issued an alert for Houston County and urged local residents to stay in their homes as the severe weather continues to cause a trail of destruction in the area. Thousands of people have had energy cuts across Louisiana and Mississippi. Heavy rains and strong winds are likely to continue in the following days throughout Georgia, southern Alabama and Florida. 

Several injured in drive-by shooting, Miami

Seven people have been injured in a shooting in Miami, Florida. According to the authorities the incident happened on Sunday afternoon, in the West Little River neighbourhood in Miami-Dade County. Reports of the Miami Herald stated that the victims were walking along the street when the shooter opened fire from a moving vehicle. The police are still investigating the motives for the attack and the backgrounds of the victims involved.

Earthquakes rock US western coast

A low intensity earthquake was reported near the border between the states of Nevada and California. The 5.7-magnitude quake had its epicentre in Hawthorne, Nevada, and was followed by nearly 100 aftershocks. Residents of San Francisco and Bakersfield told the US Geological Survey that the quake was felt in their respective areas. Emergency services revealed that no damages or casualties were reported. The US western coast is prone to earthquakes - often causing no damages or casualties - due to the interactions between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates.

Dozens of shootings reported over Christmas weekend in Chicago

The Chicago police announced on Monday that at least 27 shootings were reported across the city during the Christmas weekend. A dozen people were killed in separate areas of the city amid gang related attacks and assassinations. The number of homicides in Chicago during 2016 was the highest in the last 20 years.

Donald Trump wins US electoral college vote

President-elect Donald J. Trump won the US electoral college vote on Monday. The official results will be released on 6 January in a joint Congress session. The electoral college vote was the unlikely last hope for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton to have any chance to be elected. During the voting, hundreds of people stormed the streets across several US states to protest against the Republican politician. Trump is set to be sworn in office on 20 January.

Health agency issues travel warning to Brownsville over Zika virus cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a travel warning to Brownsville, Texas, after reporting five locally transmitted cases of Zika virus. According to CDC's Director Dr. Tom Frieden, the virus has been spreading across the city for at least several weeks. The warning is mainly aimed at pregnant women, however the extent of the warning remains unknown. Texas is the second American state to report a locally transmitted Zika virus case - the first was Florida. Zika is highly linked to birth defects, such as the microcephaly which leads babies to be born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.

Two women kidnapped in San Francisco

Two women were kidnapped in San Francisco late on Wednesday.  The two women were sat in a vehicle waiting for a friend at a nearby ATM when a suspect entered the vehicle and drove off with the women still inside.  The suspect was later arrested and charged with kidnapping, while both victims were not injured.

Two killed in Oakland shooting

Two people have been killed in a shooting at a gas station in Oakland.  The incident happened around 20:40 at the 76 Gas Station in the east of the city on Wednesday night.  No one has been arrested in connection to the incident, and police are offering a $20k reward for information that leads to an arrest.

One killed in shootout in New York City

On 13 December, two people were shot on the streets of New York City. The shooting broke out in the Brooklyn neighbourhood when a 32-year-old victim was critically hit by the bullets. The victim was rushed to the local hospital where he later died from his wounds. Meanwhile, the second victim sustained injuries to the leg. Crime statistics released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) places Brooklyn as one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods of the city, especially in terms of the number of larceny of motor vehicle cases.

ExxonMobil CEO nominated Secretary of State

The CEO of oil-giant ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson, was nominated as the next administration's Secretary of State. The announcement, made by president-elected Donald J. Trump on 13 December, confirmed the decision, stating that: "His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State". According to CNN, Tillerson has never held a public office before but he holds a strong position regarding the relationship with high-profile politicians and world leaders - including a close relationship with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. 

Five babies born with Zika-related issue in New York City

On 7 December, New York's health department announced that five babies have been born with a Zika-related brain issue in the city since July. The declaration came as an attempt to warn pregnant women towards preventive measures to be taken when travelling abroad to countries with a Zika surge. The health department also stated that over 325 pregnant women have tested positive for Zika among nearly 900 suspected cases. Despite the disease usually resulting in mild symptoms, it is highly detrimental to pregnant women as it can result in the child being born with a congenital brain disease.

Two police officers shot dead in Georgia

Two police officers have been shot dead near Georgia Southwestern State University.  The officers were responding to a domestic dispute when they were shot by a suspect - Minquell Lebrick - on Wednesday.  Officer  Ryan Smarr died on Wednesday and his colleague Jody Smith succumbed to his injuries on Thursday, while Lebrick took his own life at a residential address.

Hawaii receives winter weather warning over snowfall

The US National Weather Service issued an alert over the current snowfall in Hawaii. The winter weather in the archipelago has been affecting the high-altitudes peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii, while other areas across the state were hit by flash floods. The weather authority states that the weather is likely to continue alongside heavy rains in the following days due to the low pressure and deep tropical moisture.

Dozens killed in warehouse party fire in Alabama

At least 30 people have been killed as a fire broke out on Friday evening at a party in Oakland, California. The incident happened during an electronic music party at a warehouse known as the 'Ghost Ship'. According to preliminary information released by the police, the cause of the fire has not yet been disclosed. Safety officials have warned that the property had been under investigations over security concerns connected to fire hazards. The authorities have revealed that the death-toll is likely to increase as only a partial search for survivals has been carried out so far.

Two suspect car robbers injured in shooting near Honolulu

At least two people have been injured during a shooting near Honolulu, Hawaii, on Thursday afternoon. The incident happened as the police responded to reports of a stolen vehicle in Mililani town. The shooting was triggered as the suspects tried to flee the scene and crashed the pick-up truck into a police car. No police officers or civilians have been injured, as the areas near the Mililani High School have been locked down by the authorities. 

Two killed and four injured in Baltimore shooting

On 30 November, two people were killed and four others injured when a gunman opened fire at a convenience store on Duvall Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. The police told the Baltimore Sun that the incident is likely connected to another homicide that took place a few days before. Local witnesses stated that shootings in the area are relatively common and are often in retaliation for earlier attacks.

Texas state trooper injured by stray bullet near Mexican border

On 25 November, a Texas state trooper was injured by a stray bullet near the Mexican border. The officer was patrolling the area of Fronton, near Brownsville, when he was hit by a bullet, believed to have been fired in a shooting on the Mexican side of the border. The authorities were unable to confirm which parties were involved in the gunfight.

Three killed as tornado moves through Alabama

In the early hours of 29 November, at least three people were killed and several others injured when a tornado struck Jackson County, Alabama. Further reports from the National Weather Services stated that DeKalb County was highly affected by strong winds. The storm is expected to move towards the north-eastern part of the state, leaving behind a trail of destruction to roads and major infrastructures.

First locally transmitted Zika virus reported in Texas

On 28 November, Texas health authorities confirmed the discovery of the first locally transmitted case of Zika virus in the state. Official sources stated that the case was reported in a female patient in Brownsville, near the Mexican border. According to the same source, the victim denied any recent travels abroad. Texas is the second American state, after Florida, to report a local transmission of the virus. The Zika virus triggers very mild symptoms and victims affected often do not notice their infection. The disease is also highly suspected of being linked to microcephaly cases, where children are usually born with abnormal head sizes.

Hundreds evacuated as wildfire hits Gatlingburg

On 28 November, a wildfire broke out at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, forcing hundreds of families to be evacuated from areas near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The blaze spread further in the early hours of 29 November, with over 100 residences affected. The nearby Park Vista hotel was evacuated after being hit by the flames, along with 30 other surrounding buildings, including the Dollywood theme park. Major roads were closed and electricity in the city was fully disrupted as authorities evacuated people from the Pigeon Forge area. The situation was triggered by the lack of rain and one of the worst droughts in the area for nearly a decade.

Multi-sector workers to stage protest in Chicago airport

On 29 November, workers from several sectors in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, the vast majority of whom are fast-food restaurant employees, are set to hold a protest to demand a wage increase. The move comes as part of the '$15 campaign' endorsed by members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The airport administration expects the move to create disruptions in overall services. According to the SEIU, the action is aimed to spread nationwide to more than 340 American cities, including 20 other airports.

Eight injured on Ohio State University shooting

Eight people have been injured during a reported shooting at the Ohio State University. The incident happened during the morning when the university emergency services issued an alert of an active shooter on campus. Students barricaded themselves in class-rooms and ran away from the university buildings. SWAT and police officers surrounded the engineering building of the university, which went to a lockdown moments later. Unconfirmed reports state that the shooter was shot dead by the police.

Deadly shooting in French Quarter of New Orleans

A man has been killed and nine others wounded in a shooting in New Orleans' French Quarter.  Police said the incident happened on the corner of Bourbon and Iberville streets at 01:40 local time on Sunday morning.  Two people have been arrested in connection to the shooting, which police said was caused by an argument that escalated into a shootout.

Pro-immigration rights group calls march in Los Angeles

Hundreds of people marched on the streets of Los Angeles, California, to support the local immigrant community. The demonstrators stormed the streets of North Hollywood and headed towards a nearby church to commemorate Thanksgiving. The march was called by the activist group CHIRLA, which stands for the preservation of human rights of immigrants in Los Angeles. Since Republican Donald J. Trump won the latest presidential election, immigrants across the country have raised concerns over fears of mass deportation.

Nine killed in separate shootings across Chicago

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced that at least nine people were killed and 19 others injured in separate shootings across Chicago over the weekend of 19-20 November. Most of the cases were retaliatory or targeted assassinations reported in the West and South Side of the city. Other cases involved a police shooting in West Englewood when a suspect refused to drop his gun after an attack. In August 2016, Chicago recorded the deadliest month in the last 20 years with more than 78 people killed, according to the CPD.

Renewed clashes over North Dakota's oil pipeline project

On 20 November, hundreds of protesters clashed with the police over the controversial North Dakota oil pipeline project. The demonstrators gathered at the Backwater Bridge, East Morton county, and attempted to cross the police perimeter. According to the authorities, one person was arrested and between 100 and 200 remained overnight at the scene. Reports state that the protesters attempted to start fires, forcing the police to deploy tear gas in an effort to disperse the crowd. The clashes caused by the billion-dollar project have been ongoing since October, with activists claiming that the oil pipeline will disrupt the the area's water access and violate native tribal lands.

Russian government warns US over discrimination against Russian journalists

The Russian government warned its US counterpart that it will not tolerate any kind of discrimination against Russian journalists. The announcement came from the Director of Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova. The Russian official refers to the latest press conference offered by the US Department of State, where US spokesperson John Kirby, when questioned about Syrian hospitals being attacked by Russian bombers, engaged in a heated discussion with a Russia Today (RT) journalist. Zakharova added that the matter will be addressed in the meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the US Secretary of State John Kerry amid the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru - 19 and 20 November.

Thousands storm the streets of Portland against elections result

Overnight on 10-11 November, more than 4,000 people stormed the streets of Portland, Oregon, to protest against president-elected Donald J. Trump. The situation escalated when some violent protesters engaged in clashes with the police. At least 26 people were arrested following reports of the police firing stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd. The protest happened on the third-consecutive day of the wave of nationwide demonstrations against the Republican politician.

Police officer killed in ambush in Cannonsburg

At 03:00 local time, on 10 November, two police officers were attacked while responding to a domestic situation in Washington County, Pennsylvania. According to the state police, both officers headed to the Woodcrest Drive in Cannonsburg, where they were ambushed near a house. One officer remains severely wounded and the other died of his wounds in hospital. Nearby schools were shut down as a SWAT team was deployed to the area.

Five wounded by shootings in downtown Seattle

Five people sustained injuries when they were attacked by a gunmen in Seattle, Washington, on Wednesday. The shooting took place near a major bus stop on the city centre's Third Avenue just before 19:00 local time. Two of the victims were critically wounded. Witnesses say that despite an anti-Donald Trump rally on a nearby street, the incident seemed to be personal and not politically motivated. This is the eighth major shooting reported in Washington during 2016.

Donald Trump's victory triggers nationwide protest

After the announcement of the victory of the Republican nominee Donald J. Trump in the presidential election, multiple protests were reported across the country. In Los Angeles, over 500 people gathered near the UCLA campus to protest against Trump's victory. The same was reported in Oakland, where dozens of protesters burned tires and smashed the windows of a local media outlet. Roads were also blocked in Oregon and Seattle, while in Pennsylvania hundreds of students from the University of Pittsburgh marched on the streets against the election results. Despite the widespread demonstrations, no casualties or arrests were reported.

Donald J. Trump elected 45th US president

On 8 November, Republican party candidate Donald J. Trump was elected the US 45th president. He defeated Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton by winning the majority of the country's electoral colleges, especially in the swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Republican party also holds control of both houses of Congress - the Senate and House of Representatives. Trump is scheduled to be inaugurated into office on 20 January, 2017.

One killed in Los Angeles poll station shooting

One person has been killed and three others wounded after a 45-year-old man fired shots indiscriminately in Azusa, outskirts of Los Angeles. The shooting occurred on Tuesday afternoon near a polling station at the Memorial Park North Recreation Center, where voters were heading to cast their votes for the US presidential elections. The suspect was reportedly shot dead by the police at the scene. Preliminary investigations ruled out any connection with the elections.

Suspected IS supporter arrested at Ohio airport

A 20-year-old man has been arrested on charges of providing logistical support to the Islamic State (IS). The US Attorney's Office Southern District of Ohio released a statement saying that Aaron Travis Daniels was arrested during a joint operation involving the FBI and the state Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). According to the authorities, the suspect was travelling from Columbus airport, where he was arrested, to Trinidad and Tobago in order to get a connecting flight to Libya.

Americans head to polls to elect 45th president

Over 235 million Americans are eligible to head to the polls ahead of the country's presidential election on Tuesday. Following months of fierce debate between Republican Party candidate Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, the US is set to elect its 45th president to be sworn in office on 20 January. Both campaigns were highly divisive and dominated by scandals, including Trump's claim that he wont accept the result as it will be "rigged".

NYPD Sergeant killed and another injured in Bronx

On 5 November, a New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant was shot dead in the city's Bronx neighbourhood. The incident happened as Paul Tuozzolo and his partner, who was injured in the leg, approached a suspicious vehicle in the area. Paul Tuozzolo was shot in the head and taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds. The suspect, 35-year-old Manuel Rosales, was then shot dead. Rosales was already known by the authorities as he had been arrested over a dozen times.

North Dakota's State Capitol on lockdown over pipeline protest

Over a dozen people were arrested during an unforeseen protest at the State Capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota. The demonstration led to the building lockdown at 16:45 local time as protesters gathered into a sit-in protest inside the building. According to reports of KFYR-TV, the group raided the building in the attempt to talk with Governor Jack Dalrymple over the controversial inter-state pipeline project. The action came as part of an ongoing protest staged by the indigenous Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which claims the project is set to cross tribal sacred lands along the Missouri river and also to disrupt the tribe's main source of water.

Two police officers killed in Des Moines

At 01:00 local time on 2 November, two police officers were ambushed and killed in Des Moines, Iowa. Official sources state that the first officer headed to the Urbandale area to respond to a report of shots being fired. The officer was immediately shot dead in his patrol car upon arrival, and a second officer was killed moments later when he arrived at the scene provide assistance. The incident takes place in the same area where one person was killed during a shooting at a hotel lobby in February.

State of emergency declared in Alabama after pipeline blast

On 31 October, the governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, declared a state of emergency following the explosion of a gas pipeline. An official statement declared that the measure will last for at least one month and aims to facilitate the transportation of gasoline. It will lift the federal government's limitations on the transport of fuel - which is only allowed on certain hours of the day. The incident may affect the supply of fuel to the country's south-eastern region as the pipeline, located in Shelby County, is one of the main sources of supply of gasoline to the area.

Hundreds of thousands affected by transport strike

On 1 November, public transportation services in Philadelphia were disrupted when the Transport Workers Union (TWU), representing over 4,700 transit workers, called a strike. According to the union, the strike was called after the South-Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) failed to hold talks with the workers regarding several improvements on the network. The action is likely to affect an estimated 900,000 travellers that SEPTA transports daily. Both sides expect to reach an agreement before the Election Day - 8 November - amid fears that further disruptions may affect voter turnout.

Murder suspect shot dead in Oklahoma

On 30 October, police shot dead a fugitive murder suspect near Leedey, west of Oklahoma City. Michael Vance, 38, was killed in a shootout with police, after he earlier shot and wounded a police officer, triggering a police chase. He was suspected of killing two relatives, and indicated that he intended to murder several people linked to a sexual assault case against him. 

Twenty people taken to hospital after plane catches fire at O'Hare Airport in Chicago

At approximately 14:30 local time on 28 October, an American Airlines plane caught fire during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, with 20 people later being taken to hospital. Reports state that the aircraft developed an engine malfunction during takeoff, before it got in the air. The pilot aborted the takeoff and evacuated passengers via an emergency chute. Seven passengers and one crew member initially reported injuries and were taken to local hospitals, with fire officials later stating that 20 people had been taken to hospital. Most of the injuries were minor and the injured are said to be in stable conditions. 

Flight delayed at Fort Launderdale Airport after bomb hoax

On 30 October, a bomb threat was made against Spirit Airlines flight 971 from Fort Launderdale to Dallas, causing the plane to be evacuated. Authorities have searched the plane and declared it to be clear, with no evidence of a bomb found. Police believe that the threat was probably made by a passenger on board. 

Dozens arrested amid protest against new cross-state oil pipeline

On 27 October, environmental activists and native American citizens engaged in a fierce confrontation with the police in Morton County, North Dakota. Over 120 people were arrested amid the ongoing occupation of federally owned land. Demonstrators are protesting against the construction of a oil pipeline, the Dakota Access. Reports state that the police employed sound cannons and pepper spray to disperse demonstrators. Despite claims that the project - which runs from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa, towards the western state of Illinois - will bring economic prosperity for the region, indigenous leaders claims it will hinder local water supply to tribal lands.

TV reporter robbed at gunpoint in Atlanta

A TV reporter has been robbed at gunpoint and carjacked in the city of Atlanta. Kristen Ledlow, who hosts the 'NBA Inside Stuff' and works for NBA TV, was attacked at her home near Monrow Drive on Saturday afternoon.  Atlanta police Officer Kim Jones said Ledlow's Red Corvette was later found in south-west Atlanta but no suspects have been arrested.

Manhunt underway in Oklahoma after two police shot

A manhunt is underway in Oklahoma after a man shot two police officers and stole a patrol car.  Police said officers were responding to reports of a shooting in Lincoln County when fugitive Michael Vance opened fire on them with an AK-47, hitting them both in the legs.  Officials said Vance also shot and wounded another woman during a car jacking, while police said the bodies of two of his relatives were found at a mobile home park in the area.

US soldier killed by IED in northern Iraq

On 20 October, a US service member died from wounds they sustained when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated. The vehicle hit the IED 18:00 local time near Mosul. The unidentified service member was airlifted to hospital in Irbil where they died from their wounds. A US defence official has stated that no other casualties were known to have occurred in the incident.

Maryland man indicted over support for Islamic State

On 18 October, a federal grand jury charged Nelash Mohamed Das, 24, a citizen of Bangladesh living in Landover Hills, Maryland, with attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State (IS) terror group. Das also allegedly planned to kill a US military member in support of IS. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Virginia man pleads guilty to supporting Islamic State

On 18 October, Haris Qamar, 26, from Burke, Virgina, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State (IS) terror group. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years incarceration when sentenced on 6 January, 2017. 

Republican office in North Carolina vandalised

Overnight on 15-16 October, the Orange County Republican Party headquarters in Hillsborough, North Carolina, was vandalised and firebombed. A bottle filled with flammable liquid was thrown through the window and anti-GOP slogans were spray-painted onto a nearby building. No one was injured in the attack, but a security alert has been sent to other offices. Local police are working alongside the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the incident. 

Three men accused of plot to bomb Somalis in Kansas

On 15 October, three men were charged with plotting to bomb Somali immigrants at an apartment building and mosque in Garden City, Kansas. The three men, aged 49, 49 and 47, had gathered firearms and explosives for the attack. They allegedly planned to strike on 9 November, a day after the US presidential elections. The suspects reportedly planned to detonate four explosive-filled cars at the corners of an apartment complex, in which many of the residents are Somali nationals. 

New Zika transmission area identified in Miami

On 13 October, US health officials announced that they had identified a new area in Miami where the Zika virus is present. Five people have been infected with Zika in a one-square-mile area of the city just north of the Little Haiti neighbourhood. It is the third Miami neighbourhood to be identified with a Zika presence. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that pregnant women should avoid travel to the new outbreak area and should consider postponing all non-essential travel to the rest of Miami-Dade. 

IED found at Colorado police station

At approximately 07:30 local time on 11 October, an improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered at the Nederland Police Department and Boulder County Sheriff's Sub Station. An employee brought a backpack inside the station after believing it to be lost property. When officers examined the contents, they identified materials consistent with those of an explosive device. The Boulder County Bomb Squad and several other agencies responded. The device was neutralised at approximately 13:30 on 12 October. The FBI has taken over the investigation into the incident, stating that "preliminary indications are that the IED was active but failed to detonate."

Ten arrested and police officer injured during protests in Portland, Oregon.

On 12 October, 10 people were arrested during protests at City Hall in Portland, Oregon, after the City Council approved a police contract giving pay hikes to officers. Police used pepper spray on protesters who chanted and threw objects at police. One officer sustained non-serious injuries after being assaulted by protesters. 

Bridgewater Associates HQ in Connecticut evacuated after bomb threat

On 13 October, the Connecticut headquarters of Bridgewater Associates, the biggest hedge fund in the world, was evacuated following a "non-specific bomb threat." No more information has been disclosed at this time. 

Student pilot deliberately crashes plane in Connecticut

On 12 October, a Piper PA-34 Seneca light aircraft crashed in Connecticut, killing the student pilot and injuring the instructor. The US National Transportation Safety Board said that the crash in East Hartford was "the result of an intentional act." The Jordanian flight student, identified as 28-year-old Feras Freitekh, is believed to have deliberately crashed the plane onto a busy road near the headquarters of Pratt and Whitney. Instructor Arian Prevalla, who was badly burnt but survived, told police that there was an altercation in the cockpit and he was unable to regain control from Freitekh. 

US Navy strikes radar sites after second missile attack on ship

On 12 October, the USS Nitze, a US Navy Destroyer, fired Tomahawk cruise missiles at three radar sites in Yemen after missiles were fired at one of its warships in the Red Sea. Missiles were fired from Yemen at the USS Mason from sites under Houthi rebel control. This is the second time that the USS Mason has come under missile attack in the same area, after two missiles were fired at it on 9 October. The US Navy states that the US Mason took defensive action and suffered no damage, and that the three radar sites believed to have been used in targeting the ship were all destroyed. 

Five protesters arrested after shutting down North Dakota pipeline in Montana and Minnesota

On 11 October, five protesters from the Climate Direct Action were arrested after shutting down five crude oil pipelines in Minnesota and Montana between 06:30 and 07:30 local time on 11 October. Climate Direct Action is protesting the pipelines over fears that it could cause damage to water supplies and land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. 

Two missiles fired at US warship from Houthi-held territory

On 9 October, two missiles were fired at a US destroyer from Houthi rebel-held territory in Yemen. The USS Mason "detected two inbound missiles" within an hour of each other from around 19:00 local time (16:00 GMT) as it was "conducting routine operations in international waters." Both missiles impacted the water before reaching the ship, with no injuries or damage to the ship being reported. 

Twenty-nine injured as passenger train derails in Nassau County

On 9 October, a passenger train derailed at New Hyde Park in Nassau County, injuring 29 people. The injuries are not life-threatening and range from concussions to broken bones. Reports say that the 12-carriage Long Island Rail Road train, carrying approximately 600 passengers, hit a work train at 21:00 local time (01:00 GMT). 

Southern US braced for Hurricane Matthew

The south-eastern states of the US are braced for Hurricane Matthew, which is currently a Category 3 storm.  The eye of the storm is currently just a few kilometres off the east coast of Florida and is expected to make landfall in the next few hours.  The National Hurricane Centre said Matthew has sustained winds of 190kmp/h and is moving north-northwest at 20kmp/h.  An estimated 28m people could be effected by the storm in the US, which has already caused devastation in the Caribbean, especially in Haiti where almost 500 people are estimated to have been killed.

US woman killed in attack during anti-government protests

On 5 October, a US woman was killed when stones were thrown at the van she was travelling in during an anti-government protest on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. The female passenger, working as an agricultural expert in the Oromia region, was reportedly hit by a stone thrown by unknown individuals and later died from her injuries. The group had not asked for police protection during their journey. 

US service member killed in Nangarhar province

On 4 October, a US service member was killed whilst conducting counter-terrorism operations against the Islamic State (IS) with the Afghan military in Nangarhar province. The service member, who's identity and service branch has not been disclosed, was reportedly killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated during a patrol in the Achin district. An investigation has been launched into the incident. 

Hurricane watch issued for Florida

On 4 October, the East Coast, particularly Florida, was placed on high alert as Hurricane Matthew makes it way towards the Bahamas. It could close-in on Florida as soon as Thursday, bringing damaging winds, torrential rain and storm surges. Model forecasts have shown that the hurricane could strike Florida's east coast as a Category 3 or stronger late Thursday or Friday. States of emergency have been declared in Florida and South Carolina and for 13 counties in coastal Georgia and 66 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said that a complete evacuation of the state's coast would be necessary on Wednesday, and would involve 1.1 million people. 

US troops and helicopters on standby to provide hurricane relief to Caribbeans

On 4 October, US Southern Command announced that it has placed nearly 100 military personnel and nine helicopters on standby to aid in hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean. The troops, coming from all branches of the military, were directed to Grand Cayman Island and are ready to deploy and help areas impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The US Agency for International Development will decide whether troops need to be deployed. The troops are prepared to distribute aid such as food, water and medicine. Two Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallions and a mixture of CH-47 Chinooks and UK-60L Blackhawks are on standby.

Russia suspends nuclear agreement with the United States

On 3 October, President Vladimir Putin suspended a nuclear agreement with the United States on the disposal of surplus weapons-grade plutonium. Putin offered the US several conditions that must be met in order to continue with the deal. He wants the US to reduce its military presence in NATO countries near to the Russian border back to the levels they were 16 years ago; sanctions placed on Moscow over their involvement in Ukraine to be lifted; and for the US to compensate Moscow for losses due to sanctions. Immediately after the announcement, Washington suspended talks with Russia on ending the violence in Syria.

LA metro station evacuated due to suspicious package

On 3 October, police evacuated the 7th Street/Metro Centre train stop in Los Angeles for more than three hours after a suspicious package was discovered. Two patrolling police officers found the package at approximately 18:30 local time in a rubbish bin near the platform. An explosives-sniffing dog examined the package and got a "positive hit", with police deploying the explosives unit. The bomb squad detonated the package shortly before 22:00, and the exact contents of the package remain unknown. The station was reopened at 22:30 and an investigation into the package has begun. 

Police shoot dead two armed robbery suspects in Newark

On 30 September, police shot dead two armed robbery suspects during a pursuit in Newark. A third suspect was involved in the robbery, but no information has been released on them. At some point during the pursuit, multiple officers opened fire, killing two of the suspects. 

At least three killed, over one hundred injured in train accident in Hoboken, New Jersey

At least three people have been killed and more than 100 injured after a New Jersey transit train hit a wall at the Lackawanna Station off Hudson Place, Hoboken. The crash occurred at around 08:30 local time this morning and emergency service crews are at the scene. 

Firefighter killed by falling debris following gas explosion in Bronx

A firefighter was killed by falling debris when a suspected drug den exploded in the Bronx at 07:30 local time on Tuesday. At least six other people were injured in the explosion. Firefighters were called to the property on West 234th Street about an hour before the explosion following reports of a gas leak and found the suspected drug den. 

Chinese nationals charged with evading sanctions on North Korea

On 26 September, the United States (US) said that it had sanctioned a Chinese industrial machinery and equipment wholesaler, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co (DHID), and four of its executives under US regulations that target proliferators of nuclear weapons. The US Department of Justice accused the company and executives of using front companies to evade sanctions on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. 

Residents in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, evacuated after expected flood

On 26 September, city officials in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have asked residents to evacuate their homes following concerns of a major flood in the region. The river is expected to reach its peak of 23 feet on the morning of 27 September. 

Seven wounded after shooting in Houston shopping centre

Seven people have been wounded after a man opened fire at a shopping centre on Weslayan Street in southwestern Houston, Texas, at 06:29 local time. The suspect was reportedly shot dead by police and all those injured in the incident have been taken to hospital, with at least one victim reported to be in a critical condition. 

Three killed in shooting in Tennessee

On 22 September, an employee at the Thomas & Betts steel fabrication factory in Athens, Tennessee, shot dead his two supervisors before killing himself. The gunman, 45-year-old Ricky Swafford, reportedly became upset during a meeting with his two supervisors, identified as 44-year old James Zotter and 68-year-old Sandra Cooley, and left the building, returning shortly with a gun and killing them both. Police responded to a report of an active shooter at the factory at 16:16 local time, and an investigation has been launched into the shooting. 

Five dead in shooting in Washington State mall

On 23 September, a lone gunman opened fire with a hunting-type rifle in the makeup department of a Macy's store in the Cascade Mall in Burlington, Washington, killing five people. Four female victims were killed at the scene and an unidentified male victim died in hospital early Saturday morning. Police arrested the suspect, 20-year-old Arcan Cetin, a legal permanent resident in the US who immigrated from Turkey. 

500 million Yahoo accounts stolen in a 'state sponsored' hack

On 22 September, Yahoo confirmed that they suffered a data breach in late 2014, with 500 million user accounts being compromised. They stated that the hack was state-sponsored, but have not yet named any specific country. The hack allowed the perpetrators to steal users' personal information, including names, emails, security questions and corresponding answers. The FBI have launched an investigation into the hack and Yahoo has advised customers to check their accounts for any suspicious or unusual activity and to change their passwords.  

Shots fired near Eastern Kentucky University

Shots were fired near Richmond Campus of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) following a fight involving four black men and a dark Altima Sedan. The fight, reported to have occurred at around 06:45 local time on 2nd Street, was initially believed to be a possible active shooter on the campus, prompting EKU to advise students and staff to take shelter, secure doors and avoid the campus whilst emergency service personnel responded. 

Private plane makes emergency crash landing at St Louis airport in Cahokia, Illinois

On 21 September, a small private plane made an emergency landing at St Louis airport in Cahokia, Illinois, skidding across the runway with its landing gear fully retracted. The pilot, the only occupant of the single engine Piper PA34, was not injured in the landing and was examined by paramedics at the scene. The runway was closed and other aircraft were redirected to a parallel runway. 

Four people convicted of 16 million USD drug money laundering scheme in Texas

Four people have been convicted of running a $16 million drug money laundering scheme involving funds being wired from North Texas to Mexico. The scheme involved the transport and sale of methamphetamines from Michoacan, Mexico. The sentences for the men are pending, but each faces up to 20 years in a US prison. 

State of Emergency called in Charlotte, North Carolina over protests

On 22 September, the Governor of North Carolina, Pat McCrory, declared a state of emergency in Charlotte amid ongoing protests and civil unrest. On 21 September, four police officers and one civilian were wounded during the second day of protests following the shooting of a black man by police officers. The civilian was reportedly shot and wounded by another civilian. The four police officers have non-life threatening injuries. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd in an attempt to restore order. The state of emergency declaration came after a request from the Charlotte-Merklenburg Chief of Police, Kerr Putney. Efforts have begun to mobilise the North Carolina National Guard and State Highway Patrol to assist local law enforcement. 

Twelve police officers injured in violent protests after police shoot and kill black man in North Carolina

12 police officers have been injured in violent protests in North Carolina after a black man was shot dead by police on Tuesday afternoon. One officer from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was reportedly hit in the face by a rock. Police cars have also been damaged. The protests come after police went to an apartment building looking for a suspect with an outstanding warrant. Police claim that the man emerged from a vehicle with a gun, at which point officers opened fire. The black police officer who shot him, Brentley Vinson, has been placed on administrative leave. A firearm was reportedly recovered from the scene. However, the daughter of the deceased claimed her father was disabled and unarmed, with a fear of firearms. A full investigation will be launched into the shooting. 

Travel ban over Zika virus lifted in Wynwood, Miami

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted the imposed travel warning for the Wynwood neighbourhood of Miami on Monday after declaring the area free of the Zika virus. Tourists and residents are being encouraged to return to the area to boost the local economy, with the area having suffered a sharp drop in business since state and federal travel warnings were imposed for two months. Miami was the first US city to have the Zika virus transmitted by mosquitoes, leading to state officials creating a warning box around the Wynwood neighbourhood and the CDC warning pregnant women and their partners to refrain from entering the area. On Monday, authorities lifted the warning after no cases of local Zika transmission had been recorded for 45 days. However, the CDC still advises visitors and residents to avoid mosquito bites in all of Miami-Dade County.

Suspect behind New York bombing arrested

The suspect believed to be behind the recent bomb attacks in New York City and New Jersey has been arrested in Linden, New Jersey, following a shootout with police. He has been charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after a gun battle that left two officers wounded. Both officers are expected to make full recoveries. Federal charges are still pending against the suspect, 28-year-old Ahmad Rahami, a naturalised native of Afghanistan, and he will likely be charged with terrorism in coming days. Rahami was shot ten times by police and taken to hospital, but is expected to survive. He has also been charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon and second-degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose. 

Outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Hopkins, Minnesota and at University of Washington Medical Centre

A fourth patient at the University of Washington (UW) Medical Centre has been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease, and has been hospitalised in the Cascade Tower. The patient, a man in his 40s, has an underlying medical condition making him more susceptible to the disease, but is reported to be in a satisfactory condition. Health officials in Hopkins, Minnesota, have confirmed nine cases of the disease, increasing from five last week. 

Pipe bomb explosion in Seaside Park, New Jersey

On 17 September, a pipe bomb-type was detonated inside a rubbish bin at the start of a Marine Corps charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey. No injuries were reported, but a full investigation has been launched by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force. It is not yet known whether the motive for the attack was terrorism, although due to the military nature of the charity event, authorities believe it is the most likely scenario. The device detonated at 09:30 local time at Ocean Avenue and D Street, where the Semper Five 5km charity race had been scheduled to start at 09:30. Issues with registration delayed the start and possibly spared people from injury. 

Two police officers shot and wounded in Fort Worth

Two police officers were shot and wounded in Fort Worth, Texas, after they responded to a suicide call. The officers arrived at a residence on the 3800 block of Wharton Drive at around 20:30 local time and discovered a wounded and unconscious man in a bedroom. They were then told that the suicide man was in a shed in the garden, and when they approached the shed they were shot. The officers managed to return fire, and the condition of the suspect is not known. One officer is in a serious condition after sustaining wounds to his upper body, and the other officer suffered minor injuries. Both were transported to John Peter Smith Hospital, and both are expected to make a full recovery. 

IEDs found in New Jersey, five people arrested, one device exploded

Five improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in a backpack near a train station in New Jersey, with one of the devices exploding as a bomb disposal robot attempted to defuse it. The device exploded shortly before 00:30 local time on 19 September, and police have told people to expect more explosions as they attempt to defuse the devices or carry out controlled detonations. The device was discovered at around 20:30 local time on 18 September, after two men reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of a package. Train services have been suspended between Newark Liberty Airport and Elizabeth, New Jersey. New Jersey-bound Amtrak trains are being held at New York Penn Station. Five people were arrested in an SUV on the Belt Parkway, Brooklyn, and were reported to be heavily armed and possessed with bomb-making equipment.

Eight wounded in Minnesota stabbings

Eight people have been wounded in a stabbing attack at a shopping mall in Minnesota.  The assailant was shot dead by police following the incident at the Crossroads Mall in the city of St Cloud on Saturday night.  Police said they had not yet verified if the incident was a terrorist attack amid reports that the suspect made references to Allah and quizzed people on their religion.

Bomb blast wounds 29 in New York

At least 29 people have been wounded after a bomb exploded in the Chelsea district of New York City on Saturday evening.  A second device - a pressure cooker bomb - was later found by police in the same area.  "The initial indications is this was an intentional act," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "We also want to be upfront saying that there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this incident."

Turkey formally requests US arrest of cleric Gulen over coup plot

Turkey has made a formal request to the United States for the arrest of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen on charges of orchestrating the failed military coup in Turkey on 15 July, 2016. The Turkish government blames members of Gulen's religious movement for the attempt, and any arrest of Gulen could lead to his extradition. However, the extradition could take years as non-legal factors like humanitarian arguments will have to be considered. Gulen has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and denies any involvement in the coup.

Free Balochistan Movement to protest at UN Headquarters in New York City

On 13 September, the Free Balochistan Movement (FBM) will stage a protest outside the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City. The demonstration will be held during the UN's 71st General Assembly meeting and protests against "human rights violations and illegal occupation" of Balochistan by Pakistan. 

One wounded in suicide attempt at Jefferson High School, Iowa

One person has been taken to hospital with life-threatening gunshot wounds after attempting to commit suicide at around 08:00 hours at the Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on 9 September. The shooting triggered a lockdown of the school for approximately two hours, with no students allowed to enter or leave. 

Student injured in BB gun shooting at Utah high school

On 9 September, a ninth-grade student at Kearns High School, Utah, was shot in the head by a pellet/BB gun and taken to hospital, where he is reported to be in a stable condition. It is believed that the drive-by shooting occurred at around 21:06 local time, with staff members reported to have heard a gunshot as they were locking the school. They phoned the police after finding the 14-year-old boy in the car park of the school, and the police are now searching for a grey/silver car in connection with the shooting. 

Three killed in helicopter crash in Palm Bay, Florida

On 6 September, three people were killed when their Sikorsky S-61N military-style helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from Melbourne International Airport in Palm Bay, Florida. The crash occurred at around 13:55 hours, local time. Reports state that the helicopter was completely engulfed in flames by the time fire crews arrived, and that the helicopter had been seen "flying low" before crashing. The victims have not yet been identified, and the authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

Police officer shot dead by wanted criminal in New Mexico

A police officer has been shot dead during a foot pursuit in New Mexico. The incident took place near a trailer park in Alamogordo on Friday, when the officer was chasing a 38-year-old wanted criminal. This is the second death of a police officer in less than one month, where in mid-August another officer was killed by a wanted fugitive after a car pursuit in the town of Hatch.

Hacker responsible for hacking Hillary Clinton's email sentenced to 52 months

On 2 September, 44-year-old Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar (known online as 'Guccifer'), was sentenced to 52-months in prison following his extradition from Romania in May 2016, after being arrested for helping to breach the private email server of Hillary Clinton and 100 other victims.

Wildfires spread across southern California

More than 80,000 people have been given an evacuation order due to a huge wildfire which is raging across southern California.  The Blue Cut Fire, as it is known locally, has destroyed homes and forced major highways to close since it began on Tuesday in the Cajon Pass.  By Wednesday officials said 25,000 acres had been consumed by the fire between San Bernadino and Los Angeles.  Other smaller fires have also been reported in San Luis Obispo, Monterey County and near Lower Lake in northern California.  Climatologists said the long-standing drought in California has played a significant role in the spread of the fires. 

Shots fired at Milwaukee protests

Shots have been fired at a protest against police killings in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee police department stated that shots had been fired at several locations before and after midnight on Sunday, local time, with rocks also being thrown at police in the Burleigh area. One civilian had earlier been taken to hospital with a gunshot wound.

Death toll rises to five in Louisiana flooding

At least five people have died and thousands more have been rescued after severe flooding in Louisiana. President Obama has declared the state of disaster, meaning federal aid can be sent to affected areas. The military and emergency services have rescued more than 20,000 people from their homes or cars after the floods, caused by torrential rain.

Police shooting sparks unrest in Milwaukee

Violence and protests erupted in Milwaukee after an armed man was shot dead by police on Saturday.  Milwaukee police said the man, 23, fled the scene after being stopped by officers in the north of the city.  His ethnicity and that of the officer who shot him has not been confirmed, but following the incident around 100 people joined a protest against the killing.  Buildings and cars in the area were set of fire, while one officer was hit by a brick thrown by a protester.

Three dead in Louisiana flooding

Three people have been killed in "unprecedented" flooding in the state of Louisiana.  Gov. John Bel Edwards said torrential rain had created a "truly historic event", which he also described as a major disaster during a speech on Saturday.  Two of the deaths were reported close to the state capital, Baton Rouge, while a third was confirmed in Greensburg.  Around 1,000 people have been rescued from the rising flood waters across the state.

Imam and assistant shot dead in New York

An imam and his assistant have been shot dead in the Queens area of New York City.  Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin were shot from behind at point blank range, according to police.  Akonjee had been the leader of a mosque in Queens since moving to the US from Bangladesh two years ago.  Police are searching for the assailant and said the motive has not yet been established.

Man shot at Verizon Center in Washington DC

A man has been shot inside a McDonald's bathroom at the Verizon Centre in the US capital, Washington DC.  The incident happened in the 600 block of F Street NW on Friday afternoon.  The 25-year-old male victim was shot in the face but is reported to be conscious and breathing.  A motive for the attack has not yet been established.

Microcephaly cases linked to Zika reported in California

The California Department of Public Health announced on Thursday that two babies have been born with microcephaly in the state. The health officials stated that both cases of microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with abnormally sized heads and damaged brains, are Zika related. No further details about the women were released; however, the statement reported that they had previously travelled to countries with outbreaks of the mosquito-borne disease. The increased concern over the Zika virus comes after 15 locally contracted cases were recorded in Miami, Florida.

Police shoot dead black woman in Maryland

Against the backdrop of the rising tensions regarding police killings of African Americans, a black woman was shot dead on Monday at her house in Randallstown, Maryland. The incident happened as police officers were carrying out an arrest warrant on 23-year-old Korryn Gaines and her boyfriend over a missed court appearance. According to police reports, Gaines pointed a shot gun at the officers and threatened to shoot. During the stand-off police officers opened fire on Gaines, who returned fire with two shots which missed the officers.  Her five-year-old son was caught in the crossfire and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

CDC issues travel warning for Florida over Zika virus

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel warning for an area of north Miami in Florida following an outbreak of Zika virus.  The CDC is warning pregnant women to avoid travelling to the affected area, and those who have done so since 15 June to be tested for Zika.  At least 14 cases of locally transmitted Zika have now been confirmed.

Deadly shooting in Austin, Texas

One person has been killed and four others wounded in two separate shootings in the city of Austin in Texas.  Local police immediately said the incident was an "active shooter incident" and urged people to stay away from the downtown area of the city.  "What we had was two separate incidents that occurred in very close proximity to each other both in location and time that made us initially believe it was an active shooter,” Austin police chief Brian Manley later said at a press conference.

Florida fears first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus

Florida could have recorded the first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus on the US mainland. In a news conference in Orlando, Governor Rick Scott said that one woman and three men from the Miami-Dade and Broward counties probably contracted the virus through mosquito bites. Health officials believe that they might be isolated cases and will not lead to a wider outbreak. However, authorities urged the local population to take the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the mosquito-borne disease.

Two police officers shot in San Diego

Two police officers were shot in the Southcrest area of San Diego, California, on Thursday night. San Diego Police Department (SDPD) arrested a suspect one hour after the incident was reported. SPDP also launched a massive operation, supported by a SWAT team and helicopters, around the 3800 block of Boston Avenue to search for accomplices believed to remain on the run. One of the officers succumbed to his injuries, while the second officer is reported to be in a serious condition.  The incident comes amid the rising tensions across the US, where earlier this month two separate attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge led to the death of eight police officers.

Two dead in Los Angeles shooting

Two men have been killed in a shooting outside an apartment in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.  Local police said the incident, which happened late on Sunday, appeared to be gang related, although neither men had known ties to any local groups.  The men were visiting a friend when they were shot by gunmen armed with a high-powered rifle in the 4000 block of Stevely Avenue.

Two dead in Fort Myers nightclub shooting

Two people have been killed and 16 others wounded in a shooting at a nightclub in the city of Fort Myers in Florida.  Gunshots were fired in the parking lot of Club Blu at around 00:30 on Monday morning.   Three people have been detained for questioning, while Fort Myers Police Department and Lee County Sheriff's Office said they were "actively canvassing the area looking for other persons who may be involved in this incident."

Hundreds flee California wildfires

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes north of Los Angeles in California due to wildfires.  Authorities said a burned body has been found outside a house in Santa Clarita, where fire threatens to destroy 1,500 homes.  Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief John Tripp said if the situation worsened as many as 45,000 homes could be at risk across the San Fernando Valley.

Unarmed black man shot by police in Florida

An unarmed black therapist has been shot and wounded by police in the southern state of Florida.  Charles Kinsey was helping a patient on Monday when officers responded to a call that an armed man was threatening to kill himself.  Video footage showed Mr Kinsey lying on the road with his hands in the air when an officer fired three times.  The incident comes after a wave of civil unrest at the high-profile killing of black men by police, which sparked retaliatory attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge earlier this month.

Scores arrested in California immigration raids

Law enforcement officials have arrested 112 immigrants with criminal records during raids in southern California.  The operation was carried out over four days and spanned Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.  The suspects were all accused of gang activity or had convictions for several serious crimes.

Three police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge

Three US police officers have been shot dead in the city of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. Three other officers were injured in the attack, spokesperson Casey Hicks said in a statement, while one suspect was shot dead. “At approximately 9am Baton Rouge police officers and East Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies were involved in a shooting incident on Airline Highway near Old Hammond Highway,” the police department said.

Two bailiffs shot dead at Michigan courthouse

An inmate shot dead two bailiffs at a courthouse in the US state of Michigan on Monday.  The assailant was being transferred from a holding cell when he grabbed an officer's gun and opened fire at the court in St Joseph, around 160km from Chicago.  A civilian and a county sheriff's deputy were also wounded in the incident before the gunman was shot dead by officers.  The inmate was identified as Larry Darnell Gordon, 45, of Coloma, Minnesota.

Protests against police shootings spread across US

Protests against the killing of black men by police have spread across the United States.  Fresh marches have been held in New York, Baton Rouge, Washington DC and in St. Paul, Minnesota. The unrest comes after the deaths of Alton Sterling, 37, in Baton Rouge on Tuesday and Philando Castile, 32, on Wednesday night in Minnesota, along with the killing of five police officers during a protest in Dallas on Thursday night.  

Five police officers killed in Dallas shooting

Five police officers have been killed and six others wounded in a series of shootings at a protest in Dallas, Texas.  Demonstrators took to the streets on Thursday night to protest against police violence, following the deaths of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana.  The Dallas Police Department said at least three of the officers were killed by sniper fire, while one suspect is confirmed dead following an exchange of gunfire with police at a car park in central Dallas.  Three other people are in custody, but Dallas police chief David O Brown warned that other suspects could be on the run.  It is the deadliest incident for US law enforcement officers since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Black man shot dead by police in Minnesota

Following the death of Alton Sterling in Louisiana on Tuesday, another black man was killed by police officers in Minnesota on Wednesday. Philando Castile's was shot in his car in Falcon Heights after police pulled him over for a damaged rear light.  Castile's girlfriend, who recorded the aftermath of the incident, said that a police officer shot him as he tried to get his driving license and registration.  Sterling's death triggered a wave of protests against alleged police brutality against African-Americans.

Four dead in Chicago shootings over holiday weekend

Four people were killed and more than 60 others wounded during a wave of shootings in Chicago over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  The majority of incidents took place in the south and west sides of the city, areas with long-standing problems of high gun violence.  Chicago police said two children, aged five and seven, were among those wounded in the shootings.  The city has recorded 329 homicides so far this year, higher than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Protests in Louisiana over police shooting of black man

Protests have been held in the US state of Louisiana after a video was released of two white police officers shooting a black man as he was held to the ground.  Police said the incident took place at a convenience store in the state capital, Baton Rouge, early on Tuesday.  The deceased has been identified as Alton Sterling, 37, and post-mortem examinations have confirmed that he died of gunshot wounds.  Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond said in a statement that the shooting was "a tragedy". The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending an inquiry.

Muslim doctor attacked outside Texas mosque

A Muslim doctor has been shot and stabbed outside a mosque in the US state of Texas.  Arslan Tajammul was walking to the Madrasah Islamiah in the city of Houston when he was confronted by three men on Sunday.  The attackers fled the scene, while Mr Tajammul was taken to hospital and placed into intensive care.  "These anti-Muslim attacks need to stop. Innocent people are getting hurt," said Mufti Mohammed Wasim Khan, a Madrasah Islamiah official.

One wounded in New Orleans shooting

A 25-year-old man was wounded on Wednesday after being shot in Mid-City, New Orleans. Dawne Massey, New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) spokesperson, said the unknown assailant was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle. The victim was sat inside his vehicle outside a strip mall when the gunman opened fire.  No further details were given by the authorities as the investigations are ongoing.

JFK terminal evacuated over bomb scare

A terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was briefly evacuated on Wednesday. The measure was taken by the Port Authority Police after a suspicious package was found at the airport’s Terminal 5. After a half-hour investigation passengers were allowed to go back into the building. Police had issued several alerts at JFK, La Guardia and Newark airports after Tuesday’s attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.

Ten wounded in clashes at white supremacist rally in Sacramento

At least 10 people have been wounded in clashes between a white supremacist group and counter-protesters in Sacramento, California.  The city's fire department said two people had been stabbed and were critically wounded during the violence on Sunday.  According to police a group of around 30 members of the far-right Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) were holding a rally near the state Capitol when more than 300 counter-protesters surrounded them.

Deadly flooding hits West Virginia

At least 24 people have been killed by widespread flooding in the state of West Virginia.  US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the state in response to the worst flooding in more than a century.  Hundreds of people had to be rescued from the rising waters, while more than 30,000 properties have been left without power.  The storms which caused the flooding also created as many as 18 tornadoes across the Midwest.

Dozens protest over blocked immigration plan in Phoenix

Dozens of immigrants and activists have protested in front of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement building in Phoenix, Arizona. The demonstrators showed their discontent at the Supreme Court's decision to block President Barack Obama's immigration plan. Four people were arrested for disobeying police orders during the rally. President Obama's plans aim to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation and allow them to work in the US.

Three dead in Olympia shooting

Three people have been shot dead and one other injured in a shooting in Lacey, near Olympia, Washington state. The bodies were found inside a travel trailer along with a considerable amount of drugs. Thurston County Chief Deputy, Dave Pearsall, said there is no evidence that the incident is gang-related, despite the area being known for drug sales.

Heavily armed group arrested in Holland Tunnel

Three heavily armed people have been arrested in the Holland Tunnel, which connects New Jersey to New York.  Police officers stopped the suspects for driving with a cracked windshield when they discovered drugs and a large cache of weapons.  The weapons included long-range rifles as well as handguns and ammunition.  The Port Authority and Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating the incident.

Man charged with attempting to kill Donald Trump

A 19-year-old man has been charged with trying to grab a police officer's gun at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas.  Michael Steven Sandford, a British national, said he wanted to kill the presumptive Republican nominee during the incident at the Treasure Island Casino on 18 June.  According to court papers he had been planning to shoot Trump for a year. "Sandford acknowledged that he would likely only be able to fire one to two rounds and stated he was convinced he would be killed by law enforcement during his attempt on Trump's life," the complaint said.

Mexican singer shot dead in Chicago

A Mexican singer has been shot dead in an ambush in Chicago.  Alejandro Fuentes, 45, was attacked on Thursday night in the south-west of the city and died in hospital over the weekend.  He appeared in the Mexican version of the The Voice in 2011, and his death comes just over a week after former US contestant Christina Grimmie was shot dead in Orlando.  The homicide rate in the city is up 72 percent from 2015 and shootings are up 88 percent.

Fifty killed in Florida club shooting

At least 50 people have been killed and 53 others wounded in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  A lone gunman carried out the attack at around 02:00 on Sunday morning, shooting multiple people before taking others hostage.  Police officers stormed the Pulse club at around 05:00 and killed the assailant following an exchange of gunfire.  The security forces also carried out a controlled explosion at the scene after the shooting but have not yet confirmed the nature of the device.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have described the incident as an act of terrorism.

Two dead in UCLA shooting

Two people have been killed in a shooting at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). The campus is on lockdown and police are searching for an "active shooter" in the area, while staff and students have been told to take shelter.  The identity of the assailant has not yet been confirmed.

Three dead in Texas flooding

Three people have been killed in flooding in the southern state of Texas following torrential rain.  The deaths were reported in Washington County, around 120km west of Houston, where more than 40cm of rain fell last Thursday. An 11-year-old boy is also missing and feared dead in flooding in Kansas.

Scuffles break out at Trump rally in San Diego

Pro and anti-Donald Trump groups clashed at a rally in San Diego on Saturday.  Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowds and made 35 arrests at the city's convention centre.  Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, was holding an event ahead of the 7 June California primary.  Last week there were similar scuffles at a Trump rally in New Mexico.

Deadly shooting at New York concert

One person has been killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a rap concert in New York.  The incident happened at Irving Plaza in Manhattan on Wednesday night where T.I. was due to preform.  Concertgoers said the shooting sparked a stampede inside the venue.  Police said the motive behind the attacks were unclear and no arrests were made at the scene.

Protests at Trump rally in New Mexico

Protesters have clashed with police outside a rally for presumptive Republican presidential nominee in New Mexico.  Demonstrators threw bottles and rocks outside the Albuquerque Convention Centrer, while police responded with smoke grenades.  New Mexico has a large Hispanic population and many of the protesters were angry at comments Trump has made about immigrants during the campaign trail.

Bomb threat at Bush Airport in Houston

A Delta flight remained grounded in Houston when an anonymous bomb threat was received by telephone on Tuesday morning. Several bomb squad units rushed to the scene at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport to search the airplane and passengers' luggage. No explosive device has been found and the Houston Police Department is still investigating the incident.

Armed man shot at White House

The US Secret Service has shot an armed man at the White House in the capital, Washington DC.  A spokesman for the security services said the incident happened on Friday afternoon when a man carrying a gun approached a checkpoint on E Street and ignored orders to stop.  "No one within or associated with the White House was injured, and everyone in the White House is safe and accounted for," a White House official said. "The President has been made aware of the situation."

Harvard Business School evacuted after bomb threat

Major buildings at the Harvard Business School in Boston were evacuated due to a bomb threat on Wednesday. According to official sources seven buildings of the institution were searched and cleared afterwards. The incident happened after a member of staff received the threat by email listing several targets on the campus. 

Four stabbed in Massachusetts attack

Four people have been wounded in a stabbing near Boston in the state of Massachusetts.  Two of the victims were fatally injured in the attack, which occurred at the Silver City Galleria shopping centre in Taunton and a nearby residence.  The suspect was shot dead by an off-duty police officer and the centre was evacuated while police began investigations into a possible motive.

Deadly storms hit Oklahoma

Two people have been killed after tornadoes and severe thunderstorms hit the southern state of Oklahoma.  An elderly man died near Wynnewood, south of Oklahoma City, on Monday evening, while another fatality was reported near the town of Connerville.  Forecasters warned of further severe weather in the Ohio Valley and southern Plains on Tuesday.

Two shot dead in Texas shooting

Two people were killed and a third person wounded in a shooting in Katy, western Houston, on Wednesday. The assailant entered the company's building armed with a shotgun and a pistol, killing the company's supervisor before turning the gun on himself. The gunman was a former employee of the Knight Transportation company and had been fired several weeks ago. According to local Sheriff Ron Hickman, the shooting was a retaliatory act.

Four youngsters wounded in Nashville shooting

Four youngsters were injured in a shooting at a bus station in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday. Unidentified gunmen stormed the downtown Music City Central bus station during the afternoon, wounding four people. Two suspects have been arrested for questioning, while the motives of the attack remain unclear. Nashville's mayor, Megan Barry, stated that she will reinforce the police presence at the station while the investigations are being held, and will continue to implement recommendations from the Youth Violence Summit Report to improve security in the city.

Deadly shooting reported in southern Ohio

At least seven people have been killed in a shooting near Cincinnati in southern Ohio.  The incident happened at a house in Peeble, Pike County on Friday morning and all of the victims are reported to be members of the same family.  According to reports the gunman is still active and Pike County sheriff's office has requested state assistance.

Floods kill five and displace hundreds in Houston

At least five people have been killed after heavy rain hit the Texan town of Houston on Monday. Over 1,000 residents were rescued and several hundred houses were flooded. Texas governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster in nine counties as the severe weather caused widespread disruption and closed major highways. Houston recorded 15 inches of rain in one day, significantly higher than the four inches of rain it usually sees in the entire month of April.

Two people shot dead by gunman at air base in San Antonio

Two people have been killed after a gunman opened fire at the Lackland Air Force Base on Friday. The air base, located in the outskirts of San Antonio in southern Texas, was in lockdown after the incident, according to the Bexar County Sheriff's department. The police, FBI and military investigators have been deployed to the scene to help with the assessment of the incident.  Early indications suggest that one of the deceased is the gunman.

Pentagon to wage cyber war against IS

The US Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, confirmed on Wednesday that the US Cyber Command is cleared to launch online attacks against the Islamic State (IS). Speaking to the Financial Times, Carter said: "I have given Cyber Command really its first wartime assignment...and we're seeing how that works out."  Back in February, the goals outlined for the task force were to disrupt the fundamentalist group's communication systems, data security and financial structures.  On Monday the Government Accountability Office released a report that set the Department of Defense lacks clear rules on who would be in charge during a national-level cyber attack.

State trooper shot dead in Richmond

A gunman shot dead a state trooper during a training exercise at a Greyhound bus station in Virginia on Thursday. The unnamed man disrupted the exercise and shot the police officer in the chest, before other officers fired back and killed the gunman. The station, located in the state capital, Richmond, was closed "until further notice" after the incident. According to the Richmond Police Chief, Alfred Durham, attacks against law enforcement agents are becoming more frequent. 

Oklahoma hit by tornado

According to the National Weather Service, at least one tornado hit the state of Oklahoma on Wednesday night. Seven people have been injured and taken to the local hospital for treatment. A considerable residential area in Tulsa has been damaged by the severe weather, while around 5,000 houses were left without power. The storm is forecast to move west towards Alabama and Georgia, causing further tornadoes and heavy rain.

Gunman arrested at US Capitol

A gunman was arrested on the US Capitol grounds on Monday after he tried to enter a visitor centre.  A woman was injured when police fired at the suspect after he pulled out a weapon at a security checkpoint.  The suspect, who has been identified as 66-year-old Larry Dawson from Tennessee, was arrested in October for disrupting a Congressional session.

Atlanta International Airport terminal evacuated over suspicious package

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was evacuated on Wednesday morning after a suspicious package was discovered. A bomb squad unit was deployed to the airport's south terminal when, according to airport officials, bomb-sniffing dogs indicated a "positive hit" on an unattended bag near the baggage claim area. The passengers were directed to the north terminal while bomb disposal technicians cleared the area. The evacuation came a day after the Brussels attack that hit the city's airport and metro, killing 31 people.

Five wounded in Atlanta nightclub shooting

Five people were wounded in a shooting at a nightclub in the city of Atlanta overnight on Monday.  Police said the altercation started inside the Club Crucial and spilled into the venue's parking lot, where the shootings happened.  "There is currently no evidence to suggest the victims were involved in the incident," Atlanta Police Sergeant Warren Pickard said.

Amtrak train derails in Kansas

At least 20 people have been wounded after an Amtrak train derailed in the Midwest state of Kansas.  The train was travelling from Los Angeles to Chicago when five cars came off the track around 32km west of Dodge City.  The cause of the incident has not yet been established, while US Highway 50 was briefly closed.

Protests outside Trump rally in Chicago

Supporters and critics of Donald Trump clashed ahead of a planned political rally in Chicago on Friday.  The Republican presidential front-runner cancelled the event following the unrest at University of Illinois at Chicago.  Opponents fought outside the venue, forcing police officers to intervene,

Five dead in Pittsburgh shootings

At least five people were shot dead during a shooting spree at a house-party in the north-western city of Pittsburgh on Wednesday.  Four people died at the scene while another died of her injuries at a local hospital.  Three other people were also severely wounded during the incident in the Wilkinsburg borough, while local police said no suspects are in custody and a motive was not immediately known.

Three stabbed at KKK rally in Anaheim

Three people have been stabbed during clashes at a Klu Klux Klan (KKK) rally in the Californian city of Anaheim.  A further 13 people were arrested following the violence between KKK members and counter-protesters in Pearson Park on Saturday.  According to witnesses the KKK members were attacked when they arrived for their planned "walking protest" just before noon.

Four dead as storms hit Virginia

At least four people have been killed after severe storms hit the state of Virginia.  Three of the victims, including a two-year-old boy, died in the small town of Waverley when tornados destroyed dozens of mobile homes.  A fourth person died in Evergreen in Appomattox County. 

Three dead in Kansas shooting

Three people have been killed and at least 14 others wounded in a shooting in the southern state of Kansas.  A lone gunmen carried out the attacks in Hesston, north of Wichita, before he was shot dead by police at an Excel Industries plant on Thursday night.  Police said 38-year-old Cedric Ford appeared to target his victims at random.

Three dead as storms hit southern US

At least three people have been killed after strong storms hit the southern US states on Tuesday.  The deaths were reported in Louisiana and Mississippi, where tornados destroyed mobile homes.  "These travel trailers were picked up, thrown a considerable distance and just mangled," Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said.  Florida and Alabama also reported tornados, while the storm is expected to hit Georgia on Wednesday.

Six dead in Michigan shootings

Six people have been killed in a shooting in the state of Michigan.  A lone gunman carried out the attack in the city of Kalamazoo, killing four people at a restaurant and two others at a car dealership.  A 45-year-old local man, was worked as a Uber driver, has been arrested.

Emergency declared in Florida over Zika Virus

The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has declared a health emergency in four counties due the Zika virus outbreak. Although the source of the contamination in the state is likely to be travel related, the government is taking preventive measures to avoid it spreading. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the virus is spreading rapidly across the Americas.

One dead in motorcycle gang shooting

One person was killed and seven others wounded in a shooting at a motorcycle show in Denver on Saturday.  Two rival gangs are believed to have clashed at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo, according to local police.  Last May a similar clash between bike gangs left nine people dead in Waco, Texas.

Two dead in Seattle homeless camp shooting

Two people have been killed and three others wounded in a shooting at a camp for homeless people in Seattle. The incident happened at "the jungle" camp in the south side of the city. The Seattle Police Department believe that the individuals were specifically targeted.

Arrest of Oregon militia leader ends in deadly clash

US law enforcement agents arrested an armed militia leader in Oregon on Tuesday, which led to a deadly shootout where one person died.  Ammon Bundy and four others were arrested at the national wildlife refuge that they have occupied since 2 January.  Bundy's militia seized the site as part of a long-running dispute with the government over public lands and the jailing of two local ranchers.

East coast braced for huge blizzard

A "potentially crippling" storm has started dumping snow across the US east coast, where more than 50 million people could be effected.  Blizzard conditions could drop up to 76cm of snow within hours in the Baltimore and Washington metro areas on Friday evening.  States of emergency have been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  More than 2,500 flights have also been cancelled, while the transport system in Washington DC will be closed over the weekend.

Militia occupies government building in Oregon

Members of an anti-government militia have occupied a government building in Oregon.  The group of around a dozen men said they had raided the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refugee in protest against a prison sentence for two local ranchers, who were jailed for arson. Dave Ward, Harney County sheriff, told residents to stay away from the building near the town of Burns in Harney county.

Ten killed as storms batter mid-west

At least 10 people have been killed after a powerful storm hit the south and mid-west United States.  More than 20 tornadoes were reported across Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas on Thursday.  Mississippi governor Phil Bryant has declared a state of emergency in seven of the state's counties, while 13 counties in Tennessee have reported damage.

LA schools closed over 'threat'

Los Angeles schools have been closed due to an unspecified "credible threat", city officials said on Tuesday. "Earlier this morning we did receive an electronic threat that mentions the safety of our schools," said Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles school police department. "We have chosen to close our schools today until we can be absolutely sure that our campuses are safe." All school buses were ordered to return and parents were told not to take their children to schools in the city.

Fourteen dead in California shooting

At least 14 people were killed and 17 others wounded in a shooting in Southern California on Wednesday afternoon.  Two suspected gunmen - Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik - attacked the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino before they were later killed in a shootout with police.  Officials said the pair were dressed in assault style clothing and had assault rifles, although a motive for the shooting has yet to be established.

Three dead in Colorado clinic shooting

A gunman has killed two civilians and a police officer in an attack on a family planning clinic in Colorado Springs.  Nine other people were wounded in the shooting on Friday morning at the Planned Parenthood facility.  The suspect was identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, after he was arrested by local police.  The company has been targeted by anti-abortion protesters in the past.

Ongoing protests in Chicago protests over police shooting

Protests were held in Chicago for a second night on Wednesday following the release of a video showing a white police officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times.  Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder for the killing of Laquan McDonald, 17, in 2014.  Five people were arrested during protesting on Tuesday, while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appealed for calm.

Five people shot at Black Lives Matter rally in Minnesota

Five people have been shot and wounded at a rally organised by the Black Lives Matter activist group near Minneapolis in Minnesota.  Local police are searching for three white men in connection with the incident, which occurred near the 4th Precinct police station on Monday night.  Hundreds of people had gathered to protest against the fatal shooting of Jamar Clark on 15 November.

Sixteen people wounded in New Orleans shooting

At least 16 people have been wounded in a shooting at a park in the southern city of New Orleans.  According to witnesses two group started shooting at each other at the Bunny Friend Park during the filming of a music video on Sunday evening.  The New Orleans Police Department said they are reviewing surveillance video footage as part of their investigations into the shooting.

Two Air France planes forced to ground by bomb threats

Two Air France planes flying from the US to Paris have been been forced to land over bomb threats.  Flight AF055 from Washington Dulles and AF065 from Los Angeles were diverted to Halifax, Canada and Salt Lake City respectively. A statement from Air France said: "As a precautionary measure and to conduct all necessary security checks, Air France, applying their safety regulations in force, decided to request the landings of both aircraft." Both planes were searched and given the all-clear by US and Canadian authorities.

Hundreds protest against police shooting in Minneapolis

Hundreds of people gathered in Minneapolis on Monday night to protest the shooting of a black man by police in the city on Sunday.  Witnesses said Jamar Clark, 24, was unarmed and handcuffed when he suffered a single gunshot wound, while police said he was a suspect in a domestic assault.  At least 51 people have been arrested in the protests, which have been led by the Black Live Matter group who rose to prominence after the deadly shooting of a black teenager in Missouri last year.  Some protesters blocked the northbound Interstate 94 between 7th Street and Broadway Avenue, causing severe traffic delays in the area.

Dengue fever outbreak in Hawaii

The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) is investigating a recent cluster of dengue fever cases on the state's Big Island.  A total of 33 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported, with 25 of the victims local residents and the other eight visitors to Hawaii. "It's likely an infected traveler infected the local mosquito population, which led to this cluster," said state epidemiologist Dr Sarah Park.

Four dead in Colorado Springs shooting

A gunman has been shot dead by police after he killed three people on the streets of Colorado Springs.  According to police Noah Jacob Harpham, 33, targeted two women outside an additction recovery clininc and a cyclist on Saturday afternoon, sparking a shootout with police. "We do not believe there is any further threat to the community," police said in a statement.

Six dead in Texas flooding

At least six people have been killed after stoms caused heavy rain and flooding in the southern state of Texas.  Six tornadoes were reported across the state on Saturday, while nearly 30cm of rain was recorded in the Houston area.  The deaths have been reported in Travis Country, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

Cartel members convicted on kidnapping charges

Two Mexican drug cartel members have been convicted of kidnapping a South Carolina man over a dispute with his father.  Ruben Ceja-Rangel, 58, and Juan Fuentes-Morales, 27, were convicted in a federal court on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping and hostage taking.  The victim, who was seized after his father failed to sell over 90kgs marijuana for Mexican drug traffickers, was rescued by an FBI SWAT team in July, 2014.

Deadly shooting at Tennessee State University

A 19-year-old man has been killed and three others wounded in a shooting at Tennessee State University in Nashville.  Local police said the incident was sparked by a dispute during a dice game on Thursday night, adding that the gunman fled the scene.  Kelli Sharpe, a university spokeswoman, said neither the victim or the suspect were students at Tennessee State.

Deadly shooting at Northern Arizona University

One person has died and three others wounded in a shooting at Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus.  The incident took place near the Mountain View Hall dormitory in the early hours of Friday morning.  The gunman is in police custody and the campus in no longer on lockdown.

South Carolina hit by deadly flooding

At least six people have been killed after extremely heavy rain caused flash flooding in South Carolina.  After 60cm of rain fell in three days in Mount Pleasant, Governor Nikki Haley said: "We haven't seen this level of rain in the low country in 1,000 years. That's how big this is."  The deaths were reported by the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Richland County Sheriff's Department.

Nine dead in Oregon college shooting

Nine people have been confirmed dead and seven others wounded after a shooting at a college in the US state of Oregon.  The gunman - identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer - was killed in a shootout with police following the incident at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg on Thursday morning.  In response to the shooting US President Barack Obama made another plea for tighter gun controls, saying: "It cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun."

Hurricane Joaquin strengthens in Atlantic

Hurricane Joaquin has strengthened into a major hurricane as it prepares to batter the Bahamas with heavy rain and storm surges.  The US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) are predicting that the storm could continue to strengthen before reaching the US East Coast by Sunday. Officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, states badly affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, warned residents should begin making preparations.

Three killed in Alaskan plane crash

A floatplane carrying ten people has crashed in south-west Alaska, killing three passengers. Authorities have not yet established a reason why the plane crashed when taking off. It happened near Eastwind Lake, in the city of Iliamna, 175 miles south-west of Anchorage. Five passengers were taken to Anchorage hospitals, while the other two passengers were treated on-site. The three people killed were from outside Alaska. The plane was a De Havilland DHC-3 Turbine Otter on floats. It is the same make that was involved in a 2010 crash that killed former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. 

Flash flooding kills sixteen in Utah

Flash floods in Utah state have killed at least 16 people, with one person still missing. 12 of the 16 people were killed when the two vehicles they were all travelling in were swept away by a wall of water on Monday, in Hildale. Three children survived and one person is missing. Four hikers from a group of seven were killed in Zion National Park after they were swept away by floods coursing through a narrow canyon. The floods were caused by heavy rain falling in the canyons just north of Hildale. 

Shooting at Delta State University

A gunmen has shot and killed a professor as he worked in his university office in Mississippi, before killing himself. Geography professor Shannon Lamb shot and killed Ethan Schmidt, a history teacher at Delta State University, in an attack in the city of Cleveland. Police have also linked Mr Lamb to the fatal shooting of a woman 300 miles away earlier that same day. Amy Prentiss, 41, was found shot dead in the home she shared with Mr Lamb in Gautier, Mississippi, early that morning. Mr Lamb reportedly shot himself after being pursued by police officers.

State of emergency declared in California over wildfires

The governor of California has declared a state of emergency after wildfires forced thousands to evacuate their homes in the north of the state. The fires have destroyed buildings in the Napa and Lake counties and threatened hundreds of others. More than 1,300 were forced to evacuate in Middletown, north of San Francisco. One blaze, the Valley Fire, which started in Lake County on Saturday, is said to have burned 40,000 acres of land. 

Arizona on alert over sniper shooting on the freeway

Police in Arizona are on alert after a series of shootings targeting motorists on a busy freeway. Officials have described the attacks as "domestic terrorism." 11 shootings have taken place on or near Interstate 10 in the state since Aug. 29, with the most recent incident on Thursday. A semi-trailer was struck in the side by a bullet. In investigation is underway into another report of an attack that could be related. The only injury has been a teenage girl who was cut by flying glass when the window of the vehicle she was travelling in was shattered by a bullet. Police fear that there could be more than one sniper behind the attacks. 

British Airways plane catches fire in Las Vegas

A British Airways plane heading from Las Vegas to London Gatwick caught fire on the ground at Las Vegas airport, forcing the evacuation of 172 people on board via the emergency slides. Airport officials said at least 13 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries. US Federal Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the left engine of the Boeing 777-200 caught fire before take-off. The fire was later put out by airport fire crews. The pilot later told the passengers that the accident was the result of a "catastrophic failure of the engine." The incident occurred at 16.13 local time (23.13 GMT) on Tuesday.

New York governor's aide shot in the head

An lawyer working for Governor Andrew Cuomo was shot in the head after being caught in the crossfire when violence broke out just before the West Indian Day Parade in New York. 43-year-old Carey Gabay, first deputy counsel to the governor, was struck in the head by a bullet as he walked down the street with his brother at 03.40 local time (08.40 GMT). He is in a critical condition in hospital. No arrests have been made. In a separate incident, a 24-year-old man was shot and killed in a different Brooklyn neighbourhood. 

TV journalists shot dead during live broadcast

Two WDBJ7 employees were shot dead during a live report at the Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, Bedford County, Virginia. During the live broadcast, shots could be heard, sending reporter Alison Parker, 24, and the person she was interviewing running. Ms Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, both died in the attack. The person being interviewed survived the attack. Police say they are investigating the incident and are still searching for the suspect. 

St Louis police fatally shoot man, setting off protests

Nine people have been arrested amid protests in Missouri after St Louis police fatally shot a 18-year-old black man who they say pointed a gun at them. Police used tear gas after protesters threw glass bottles and blocked a motorway on Wednesday night. A vacant building was set on fire nearby. Mansur Ball-Bey was killed after officers served a search warrant on a home in North St Louis. As he fled, Ball-Bey pointed a gun at officers and was killed, police said. St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said four guns and crack cocaine were recovered inside or near the home. The officers were unharmed and police are still looking for a second suspect. The two officers who fired at Ball-Bey were placed on leave pending an investigation. About 150 people gathered near the scene of the shooting on Wednesday, protesting the use of deadly force.

Three killed in drive-by shooting in western New York

A gunman shot into a crowd that gathered outside the Rochester Boys and Girls Club after a basketball game, killing three people and wounding four others, police said. The drive-by shooting happened at about 23.30 local time, Wednesday, as people milled about outside the club, which is located across the street from a school. Police said there was no problem at the club before the shooting. Officials have not yet released the names of the victims. The injured, all men in their 20s, have gunshot wounds that don't appear to be life-threatening, police said.

Yosemite camp ground closed after second case of plague

US health officials have closed a portion of Yosemite National Park after it emerged that a second tourist might have contracted plague. Authorities believe the disease, which is treatable with antibiotics, was spread by squirrels and fleas. The tourist's camp site - the Tuoumne Meadows Campground - will be closed until Friday as workers treat the area with insecticide. A California child fell ill last month but has since recovered. The latest suspected case is a person from Georgia who visited the Sierra National Forest in early August, but officials did not give further details. Symptoms of the plague include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal. There are three main types of plague depending on how the infection manifests. The bubonic plague is characterised by swollen lymph nodes. Pneumonic plague affects the respiratory system. It becomes septicaemic if it is found in the bloodstream. The infected child showed signs of all three types, the state health department said.

Statue of Liberty hoax: Man accused of making bomb threats

A West Virginia man has been charged with making a fake bomb threat, which led to the evacuation of the Statue of Liberty in April. The authorities said Jason Paul Smith, 42, told emergency services that he was a "terrorist" and planned to blow up the New York City monument. He has also been accused of making other calls threatening attacks on Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge. The authorities later determined Mr Smith's threats were not credible. More than 3,000 tourists were evacuated from Liberty Island on 24 April as a precaution after the call was made. Federal authorities arrested Mr Smith on Wednesday in Lubbock, Texas. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Wildfires from Washington to California

Firefighters are working to contain wildfires that have set large parts of the western United States ablaze. The wildfires, which began late last week, were still being fought on Monday. The fires have ruined homes, shot down power, burned buildings and forced many people to evacuate the area. In Washington state, fires have burned 155 square miles and caused 1,500 to be evacuated.

Legionnaires' disease outbreak widens to 12 dead in New York

An outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York - the largest in the city's history - has left 12 people dead and health officials scrambling to contain the deadly bacteria. More than 100 cases have been reported in the South Bronx, one of the city's poorest neighbourhoods. Officials have traced the legionella bacteria to cooling towers i more than a dozen buildings. Cleaning crews have been dispatched across the Bronx to kill the bacteria. The disease is not transmitted person to person. It is primarily spread via air conditioning and similar systems.

State of emergency declared in Ferguson

A state of emergency has been put into place in Ferguson amid protests marking the anniversary of the death of black teenager Michael Brown. The city was reported to be tense after another black teenager was shot and critically wounded after shooting at police. The state of emergency was issued on Monday afternoon by St Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and authorised county Police Chief Jon Belmar to take control in and around Ferguson.

Six children and two adults shot dead in Texas home

Six children and two adults have been found handcuffed and fatally shot in the head in a Texas home, following the arrest of a man who exchanged gunfire with police. Shots were fired when officers who had been called to the Houston-area home late on Saturday spotted the body of a child and tried to enter. A man surrendered about an hour later. The suspect, David Conley, was later charged with capital murder. The killer's motives appear to be related to a dispute with one of the adult victims.

Man shot at Ferguson protest

A man is in a critical condition after being shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, at a protest marking the first anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. St Louis County police said officers came under fire from the individual, who they had been tracking after an exchange of gunfire between two groups. The shot man, who has not been identified, is in surgery. Four officers have been placed on administrative leave. 

China-linked hackers attack American Airlines

China-linked hackers have attacked the computer systems of US airline company 'American Airlines' and travel reservations platform provider 'Saber'.

10th Mountain Division troops heading to Iraq, Afghanistan

US Army officials say more than 2,500 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division will be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming weeks. About 1,250 members of the 1st Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Drum will begin a nine-month deployment to Iraq late this month or early September. The Brigade will train and advise Iraqi forces. Nearly 1,000 soldiers in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Polk, Louisiana, are scheduled to begin their nine-month deployment to Afghanistan later this autumn, to train and advise the Afghan national security forces. Another 300 soldiers from the Division Headquarters are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan late this autumn.

Suspect killed by police after cinema attack in Nashville

A man brandishing an axe and pepper spray has been killed by police after attacking people in a cinema in Nashville, Tennessee. One person suffered a "superficial" hatchet wound and three people were treated for exposure to pepper spray. The man was later named as 29-year-old local Vincente David Montano. Police spokesman Don Aaron said Montano had "significant" psychological issues and had been committed to psychiatric care four times. He had also been arrested in 2004 for assault and resisting arrest.

Memphis police arrest suspect in traffic stop death

A man suspected of killing a Tennessee police officer has turned himself in to authorities, ending a two-day manhunt. Tremaine Wilbourn had been wanted for the shooting death of police officer Sean Bolton on Saturday night. Bolton, who has previously served as a Marine in Iraq, was investigating an illegally parked car when a drug deal was taking place. A struggle took place, which ended with Wilbourn drawing a gun and firing on the officer, who later died in hospital. 

Evacuation orders given to 13,000 due to California fires

Evacuation orders have been to 13,000 people in California as firefighters struggle to contain some 20 wildfires. The biggest blaze, known as the Rocky fire, north of San Francisco, has already consumed more than 90 square miles of land. On Monday afternoon it jumped a highway that had been containing it. At least 24 homes have been destroyed so far, and more than 6,000 properties currently lie in the path of the flames. 

US to defend Syrian rebels with airpower

The United States has decided to allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the US military from any attackers, even if the enemy are forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, US officials have said. The decision by President Obama aims to shield a "still-fledgling group" of Syrian fighters armed and trained by the United States to battle Islamic State militants - not forces loyal to Assad. US officials have reported that the United States would provide offensive strikes to support advances against Islamic State targets, and would also provide defensive support to repel any attackers. This move has been met with opposition from Russia, who say that any support for rivals of Assad hampered Damascus' fight against ISIS. 

'Brain-eating amoeba' found in water supply near New Orleans

US health officials have confirmed the presence of a 'brain-eating' amoedba in the water supply of several communities near New Orleans. Ascension Parish and St Bernard Parish have both discovered the presence of Naegleria fowleri, an amoeba that enters through the nose and attacks the brain. Officials have begun a 60 day "chlorine burn" to kill off the pathogen. Officials say that water from the tap is safe to drink, but it should be prevented from entering through the nose.

Two killed in US cinema shooting

A gunman has opened fire at a cinema in the US state of Louisiana, killing two people and wounding several others.  The 58-year-old assailant also shot himself following the attack at the Grand Theatre in the city of Lafayette on Thursday night.  Three years ago another lone gunman, James Holmes, shot and killed 12 people at a cinema in Colorado.

Thousands protest against Iran deal in Times Square

Thousands of people have taken part in a protest in New York's Times Square against the proposed Iran nuclear deal.  Several Republican politicians attended the "Stop Iran rally", while right-wing Jewish and pro-Israel groups were also prominent.  Senior members of the Obama administration are due to testify in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday to argue for support of the deal, which would see Iran curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

Gunman kills four US marines in Tennessee

A gunman has shot and killed four United States marines at two military bases in Tennessee.  The assailant, 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, was also killed in the incident in Chattanooga on Thursday.  Authorities are investigating the motives for the attacks, although President Barack Obama said early investigations suggested that Abdulazeez was acting alone.

Three killed in shooting near University of Maryland

Three people were killed and one injured in a shooting close to a university campus. A manhunt has been launched to find the suspects.

Ten dead in shootings in Chicago over holiday weekend

In a series of unrelated shootings, at least ten people have been killed in gun related shootings over the holiday weekend in Chicago.  Despite an increased Police presence, violence has remained at troubling levels and Chicago remains one of the most dangerous cities in the United States.

5,000 evacuated after freight train derails

A train, carrying flammable and toxic gas and liquid petroleum, catches fire after it derails outside Maryville, Tennessee. Authorities have set up a two mile evacuation zone around the area because of the risk of fumes.

Confederate flag dispute sparks protests

Hundreds of people gathered in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, on Tuesday to demand the removal of the Confederate flag from the State House.  Similar calls have taken place in the states of Texas, Mississippi, Virginia and Tennessee.  The debate was sparked by the racially motivated killing of nine parishioners at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.  The assailant, 21-year-old Dylan Roof, had appeared in several photographs with the flag - which for many people symbolizes Southern slavery and racism.

Nine killed in South Carolina church shooting

At least nine people have been killed in a shooting at a historic African-American church in South Carolina.  Charleston police said the suspect was a 21-year-old white man, with police chief Gregory Mullen describing the shooting as a "hate crime". Charleston Mayor Joe Riley called the shooting "an unspeakable and heartbreaking tragedy".

Deadly wildfires break out in Alaska

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes after two fast-spreading wildfires broke out in Alaska.  Around 200 firefighters have been battling the 6,500-acre blaze north of Anchorage since Sunday.  Crews are also fighting a separate fire which is threatening houses around 300km further south.

Gunman attack police HQ in Dallas

A gunman has attacked a police headquarters in the US city of Dallas.  The assailant fired live rounds and planted two pipe bombs outside the building before fleeing the scene.  No casualties were reported in the attack and the lone gunman was later killed by a police sniper.

White House briefing room evacuated over bomb threat

The James S. Brady briefing room in the White House was briefly evacuated on Tuesday over a bomb threat.  Secret Service agents interrupted a live press briefing following a call to the DC Metropolitan Police Department at 13:53.  No device was found during the search and the briefing resumed.

Hundreds march in Texas over police aggression

Hundreds of people have marched through the city of McKinney in Texas to protest over a controversial incident involving a police officer.  A video showed an officer, Corporal David Eric Casebolt, pointing his gun at teenagers and aggressively restraining a teenage girl at a pool party.  The officer has been placed on leave pending an investigation; however, protesters are calling for him to be dismissed. “Having seen the YouTube video, I am disturbed and concerned by the incident and actions depicted in the video,” McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller said in a written statement Sunday.

Boston police shoot dead terror suspect

Boston police have shot dead a man who was under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.  Police said the man, who has not been identified, attacked officers with a large knife in the Roslindale neighbourhood on Tuesday morning. "Our officers tried their best to get him to put down the knife,'' Boston Police Commissioner William B Evans told the Boston Globe newspaper. "Unfortunately, they had to take a life.''

Five killed in Houston flooding

At least five people have been killed and two people are missing after widespread flooding hit the city of Houston. During a press conference Mayor Annise Parker said most of the city's rivers had receded and most major roads have now reopened. Tornadoes and tropical storms have killed at least 18 people across the southern state of Oklahoma and Texas since the weekend.

US Capitol evacuated after alarm

Police have evacuated the US Capitol Building and its visitors centre after alarms sounded from both buildings.  Hundreds of tourists were evacuated onto the East Lawn as police investigated the cause of the alarm. In a message to congressional offices, police said: "An evacuation has been ordered for US Capitol Visitor Center due to an audible alarm. Remain calm and move in a safe manner to the exits."  On Monday police destroyed a pressure cooker found inside a "suspicious" unattended vehicle near the US Capitol.

Police destroy pressure cooker in Washington DC

Police in Washington DC have destroyed a pressure cooker found inside a "suspicious" unattended vehicle.  Officers said the vehicle, which was parked on the National Mall near the US Capitol, had an "odour of gasoline" and contained "items of concern".  The owner of the car was later arrested and charged with "operating after revocation".

Air France flight escorted to JFK over threat

An Air France flight has been escorted by two F-16 fighter jets to New York's John F Kennedy International Airport over an anonymous threat.  Flight 22 from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris landed safely and was taken to a secure area to be searched.  The FBI said an anonymous caller claimed that a chemical weapon was aboard the aircraft.

Deadly flooding hits Texas and Oklahoma

At least three people have been killed after torrential rain caused flooding in Texas and Oklahoma.  Hundreds of homes were also destroyed when more than 25cm of rain fell over a 24-hour period. Warnings and flood alerts have been issued from Colorado through to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and eastern Kansas. "We do have whole streets that have maybe one or two houses left on them, and the rest are just slabs," said Kharley Smith, emergency management coordinator in Hays County, Texas.

Dozens arrested in Cleveland protests

Police have arrested 71 people at a mass protest in Cleveland, which was sparked by the acquittal of a white officer who had been on trial for the deadly shooting of two unarmed black suspects.  Patrolman Michael Brelo was found not guilty of unlawfully killing Timothy Russel and Malissa Williams in November, 2012.  After the verdict hundreds of people took to the streets, temporarily blocking intersections in the city.

Six officers charged over Freddie Gray death

Six Baltimore police officers have been indicted on charges over the death of Freddie Gray, whose death sparked weeks of protests and riots in the city.  The State Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby announced that the six will be tried on charges including illegal arrest, misconduct, assault and manslaughter.  One of the officers, Caesar R Goodson Jr, has also been charged with second-degree murder.

Rival biker gangs in deadly shootout in Texas

Nine people have been killed and 18 others wounded in a shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas.  The two groups clashed at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill on Interstate 35 on Sunday afternoon. Waco police sergeant W Patrick Swanton said it was “the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in” and said there was “blood everywhere”. Police arrested more than 100 people after the shootout.

Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.  Three people were killed and 260 wounded when Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, placed bombs at the finishing line.  He has been taken to a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indian, to await execution.  "The jury has spoken. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will pay for his crimes with his life,'' said US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Flood warning issued for Dallas - Forth Worth

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a flash flood alert for parts of north-central and north-eastern Texas. The warning is in effect between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning as more heavy rain is forecast for the region.

Five killed as Antrak train crashes in Philadelphia

At least five people have been killed and more than 50 others wounded after an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Philadelphia.  Train 188 was heading from Washington DC to New York City when it crashed on Tuesday night, causing several carriages to leave the track. "It is a devastating scene," Mayor Michael Nutter said to reporters. "I've never seen anything like this in my life."

Tornadoes kill five in southern US

At least five people have been killed and more than 40 others wounded after some two dozen tornadoes ripped through the southern United States.  Two people died when a twister hit their mobile home in the town of Nashville, Arkansas, while two deaths were also reported in Van Zandt County in Texas.  A fifth fatality was recorded in Corsicana, Texas where a man died after being swept away in flood waters. The latest storms ripped through parts of Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

Two police officers shot dead in Mississippi

Two US police officers have been shot dead at a traffic stop in Mississippi.  Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 24, were killed in Hattiesburg city late on Saturday.  Mayor Johnny DuPree said it was the first time in 30 years that officers had been killed in the line of duty.  Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.

Islamic State claims cartoon contest attack

The Islamic State (IS) said that it was behind the attack on a cartoon contest near Dallas on Sunday.  The two assailants were both shot dead by a Texan police officers before they were able to enter the venue in Garland.  The IS-linked al-Bayan Radio reported that "two soldiers of the caliphate" carried out the attack because the exhibition "was portraying negative pictures of the Prophet Muhammad".

Freddie Gray protests spread across US

Thousands of people have joined protests against police brutality in several cities across the US.  The largest rally was in Baltimore, which has seen several days of unrest over the death of black man in police custody.  Other protests were held in New York, Washington DC, Boston and Ferguson in Missouri.

Curfew introduced as Baltimore riots continue

Police in Baltimore have introduced a 22:00 to 05:00 curfew as rioting continues in the US city of Baltimore.  Riot police used tear gas and pepper balls against a group of 200 protesters on Tuesday following an evening of largely peaceful demonstrations. Larry Hogan, the governor of the state, said 2,000 National Guard members and 1,000 police officers would be in place overnight.

State of emergency declared in Baltimore

A state of emergency has been declared in the city of Baltimore over violent protests linked to the death of a black man in police custody.  Rioting and looting was reported in the west of the city after the funeral of Freddy Gray, who died after spending a week in a coma.  A week-long curfew has been announced in the city and up to 5,000 National Guard troops have been deployed.  Police said seven officers were wounded in violence on Monday night.

Thousands protest in Baltimore over death of Freddie Gray

Several thousand people have joined a march in the city of Baltimore over the death a black man in police custody.  Freddie Grey, who was 25-years-old, died on Sunday after sustaining multiple serious injuries after his arrest on 12 April.  A small number of protesters smashed police windows and attacked shops during the march, leading to 12 arrests. Six police officers have been suspended following the death and an internal police investigation is under way.

US admits hostages killed in counter-terrorism raids

US President Barack Obama has said that two hostages were killed in counter-terrorism operations in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan in January.  Warren Weinstein, a US national, and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto died in a drone strike which targeted an al-Qaieda compound. "As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counter-terrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni," Obama said Thursday morning in the White House briefing room, where he apologized on behalf of the U.S. government.

Security increased ahead of Boston Marathon

Security has been increased along the 26.2 mile course of the 119th Boston Marathon, which is due to take place today.  Police have asked spectators not to bring large bags to the event as these are likely to be searched, while the use of drones in the area has also been banned.  The race will go ahead during a pause in the trial of Dzokhar Tsarnaev, who has been convicted of carrying out the bombing at the 2013 race, which killed three people and wounded 264 others.

Multiple tornados rip through Illinois

At least one person has been killed and several others wounded after mulitple tornados hit northern Illinois on Thursday evening.  A 67-year old woman died in Fairdale where around 20 homes were completely destroyed by severe winds.  America's National Weather Service warned on Friday that further storms could develop in the area throughout Friday.

Police shooting sparks protests in South Carolina

The fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer has sparked protests in South Carolina.  Officer Michael Slager was charged with murder following the incident on Saturday after video footage emerged of him shooting Walter Scott multiple times in the back.  North Charleston's mayor said all officers will be required to wear a body cameras in the future.

South Carolina police officer charged over deadly shooting

A white police officer has been charged with the murder of a 50-year-old black man who was shot eight times in the back in South Carolina.  State investigators arrested Michael Slager after video footage emerged showing him firing at Walter Lamer Scott as he ran away. The victim was initially stopped and questioned over a traffic violation in North Charleston.

Deadly shooting at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade

One person has been killed and two others wounded in a shooting at the entrance to the US National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.  The Associated Press reported than a car tried to ram the security gate at the agency's campus before security guards opened fire on the assailants. "We do not believe it is related to terrorism," said FBI Baltimore spokeswoman Amy Thoreson.

Seven wounded in Panama City Beach shooting

Seven people have been wounded in a shooting in Panama City Beach in the southern state of Florida.  Local police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Alabama and charged him with seven counts of attempted murder.  Three of the victims were college students from Alabama A&M University who were in the resort on spring break.

Deadly tornado hits Tulsa and Oklahoma City

One person has been killed and several others wounded after a tornado hit Tulsa and Oklahoma City.  The death was reported at a mobile home park in Sand Springs, a suburb of Tulsa. "Right now, rescue efforts are continuing and officers are aiding the injured and helping those who need immediate medical care," said the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

Two police officers shot in Ferguson protest

Two police officers have been shot during a protest in the city of Ferguson, Missouri. Both suffered "very serious gunshot injuries" but were conscious, said St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar.  The unrest started after Ferguson's police chief, Thomas Jackson, resigned following criticism of the department over the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown last August.

Nine killed in Missouri shootings

Nine people have been killed in a shooting spree in the US state of Missouri.  Police said the victims died across five different crime scenes in a rural town in Texas County.  The suspected gunman, Joseph Jesse Aldridge, was found dead near the scene of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

Al-Shabaab calls for attacks on Western shopping centres

The Somali militant group al-Shabaab have released a video urging fellow Muslims to attack Western shopping centres, similar to the deadly assault on the Westgate Mall in Kenya in 2013.  Oxford Street and the Westfiled shopping centre in London, UK were specifically identified in the video, along with the Mall of America in the US city of Minneapolis and the West Edmonton Mall in the Alberta province of Canada.

Three Muslim students shot dead in North Carolina

Three Muslim students have been shot dead at a residential campus at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were found on Tuesday with gunshot wounds to their heads.  Police have charged a 46-year-old man with first-degree murder but they have not commented on whether the killings were religiously or racially motivated.

Australian golfer kidnapped in Hawaii

An Australian golfer has been kidnapped and robbed in Hawaii before being dumped by the side of the road.  Robert Allenby, 41, says he may have been drugged before he was abducted from a bar in Honolulu on Friday evening.  He suffered minor injuries during the incident and police are searching for suspects.

US and Cuba restore diplomatic relations

The United States and Cuba have agreed to restore diplomatic relations, bringing an end to more than 50 years of hostilities.  Following months of secret talks US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro simultaneously announced the breakthrough, which includes a prisoner exchange, opening of embassies and easing in trade restrictions.  Mr Obama said he was ending a "rigid and outdated policy" of isolating Cuba.

Six killed in Pennsylvania shooting

Six people have been killed and one other wounded by a lone gunman in the state of Pennsylvania.  The suspected assailant, named as military veteran Bradley William Stone, remains at large at a major police manhunt is underway near Philadelphia where the shootings occurred.  Stone's victims were his ex-wife, her mother, her grandmother, her sister, her sister's husband and 14-year old daughter.

Thousands march over grand jury ruling in Eric Garner case

Thousands of people have marched through cities across the US after the grand jury decided not to press charges against a white New York City police officer accused of killing an unarmed black man.  Eric Garner died in July when officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a choke-hold after stopping him on suspicion of selling illegal cigarettes.  The decision not to prosecute Pantaleo comes a week after another white police officer, Darren Wilson, was cleared of shooting dead Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Rioting erupts over Ferguson ruling

A jury decision not to indict a white police officer who shot dead a black teenager in August has sparked rioting in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson.  Local police chief, Jon Belmar, said the violence was much worse than the unrest in the immediate aftermath of Michael Brown's death.  Angry protesters threw rocks and other missiles at police while several buildings and vehicles were set on fire.

Five dead in New York state snowstorm

At least five people have been killed after a severe arctic storm hit New York state, where a state of emergency has been declared.  Up to six feet of snow fell in Buffalo on Tuesday, with forecasters warning that more severe weather is on the way.  Large parts of Interstate 90 remain closed and a driving ban has been enforced in other areas.

Suspected terrorist shot dead in New York

Police have shot dead a man who wounded two other officers in an attack in New York.  Zale Thompson, 32, was killed in the Queens are of the city on Thursday afternoon after he targeted the foot-patrol officers.  Investigators said Thompson was a recent convert to Islam and Commissioner William Bratton said the incident was a "terrorist attack".

Deadly storm kills two in southern US

At least two people have been killed and several others wounded after a powerful storm smashed through the southern US.  One man was killed by a tornado around 200km from Little Rock, Arkansas while a woman died in Alabama when a tree fell on her mobile home near Birmingham. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency on Monday as thousands of people were left without power. 

Black teenager killed by off-duty police officer

A black teenager has been shot dead by an off-duty police officer in St Louis, Missouri.  The incident comes two months after a police officer's killing of an unarmed black teenager sparked weeks of violent unrest in the state.  Local police said Venderrit D Myers opened fire on police before he was shot, although his family said he was unarmed.

First case of Ebola reported in US

US health officials have quarantined a man with the Ebola virus, the first confirmed case in the country since the outbreak of the deadly disease in West Africa earlier this year.  The patient, Thomas Duncan, flew to the US from Liberia two weeks ago and is reported to be in a critical condition.  Authorities have contacted up to 100 people who may have been in contact with Mr Duncan, including several of his family members in Dallas, Texas. 

Miami nightclub shooting leaves 15 wounded

At least 15 people have been wounded in a shooting at a nightclub in the city of Miami, Florida on Sunday.  According to a police spokesman a number of the victims were teenagers, including an 11-year-old child.  Around 100 gunshots were reported at The Spot club on Sunday night, although the gunmen have not been identified.

Hundreds evacuated as wildfires spread through California

Around 1,000 people have been evacuated in northern California after two wildfires broke out.  The fire started near Yosemite National Park around 70km south of the California-Oregon border on Monday, and its spread was fueled by strong winds and dry ground.  More than 100 buildings in the area were either destroyed or severely damaged.

San Francisco Bay hit by earthquake

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake has hit the San Francisco Bay area of California, the strongest in the area in 25 years.  Around 120 people required hospital treatment, while several buildings and roads were damaged by the quake.  The city of Napa in the wine region was particularly badly hit with at least six fires and several gas leaks reported.

National Guard sent to Missouri as protests continue

The US National Guard have been sent to the state of Missouri as protests continue over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.  Governor Jay Nixon signed an order to "help restore peace and order" after rioting intensified on Sunday night, leading to police firing tear gas at crowds in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said the police had to respond after shots were fired and Molotov cocktails were thrown at them.

Obama calls for calm after Missouri protests

President Barack Obama has called for calm in Missouri following a third night of protests over the weekend police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.  Michael Brown was shot multiple times by an unnamed officer on Saturday in a suburb of St Louis.  Dozens of people have been arrested in clashes with riot police in the city, leading to community and civil rights leaders appealing for peace.

Hawaii threatened by twin hurricanes

The Pacific island state of Hawaii is braced for two Hurricanes which are predicted to make landfall over the next few days.  Hurricane Iselle is expected to make landfall on Thursday, while Hurricane Julio could hit the country over the weekend.  The state's Emergency Management Administrator has advised citizens in remote areas to prepare a seven-day emergency kit.

Wildfires spread through California

Fast-moving wildfires are spreading across California, destroying at least 13 homes and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people.  One fire covered around 4,000 acres in the Sacramento region, while firefighters are battling another blaze around the Yosemite National Park.  On Sunday one person was killed and several others wounded in a lightning strike at Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

Airport security increased for all US bound flights

Security at all international airports with direct flights to the US will be increased over a renewed bomb threat.  US security officials said the threat relates to terrorists in Yemen and Syria who are developing a new generation of explosives which can circumvent existing airport checks. A US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said the changes were a response to a "real-time" and "credible" threat.

Deadly twin tornadoes hit Nebraska

At least one person has been killed and around 20 others wounded after a pair of tornadoes hit the town of Pilger in north-eastern Nebraska.  The county commissioner, Jerry Weatherhold, said "more than half the town is gone, absolutely gone", while the governor has declared a state of emergency.

Student and gunman dead in Oregon school shooting

A gunman has shot and killed a 14-year-old student at a school near the city of Portland, Oregon.  Police confirmed that the assailant was later found dead at the school in Troutdale with a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The victim was identified as Emilio Hoffman, with police saying he was killed in the boys' locker room in the school gymnasium at around 0800 local time.

Deadly shooting at Seattle university

One person has died and three others have been wounded in a shooting at a university in the north-western city of Seattle.  A student disarmed the gunman on the campus of Seattle Pacific University when he tried to reload his weapon.  The suspect has been name as Aaron Ybarra, 26, who is now in police custody.

Drive-by shooting leaves seven dead in Santa Barbara

A gunman has killed six people in drive-by shootings near a college campus in the western city of Santa Barbara.  The county sheriff said the shootings took place across several sites at the University of California on Friday night.  The suspected gunman was later found dead in his car with a bullet wound in the head, although the police have not yet confirmed when this was self-inflicted.

Wildfires spread across southern California

Thousands of people have been evacuated after fast-moving wildfires spread throughout southern California.  The coastal town of Carlsbad, north of San Diego, has been particularly badly hit and thousands of hectares of trees have been destroyed.  Months of hot weather combined with strong winds from the Pacific Ocean have helped the fires to spread, with forecasters predicting that conditions are only going to get worse with summer approaching.

Deadly tornadoes kill 12 across south

At least 12 people have been killed by tornadoes across the central and southern United States.  Eleven people died in several suburbs of Little Rock in Arkansas, while one person was killed in the town of Quapaw in Oklahoma.  Dozens of buildings and power lines were damaged by the storm, which also struck in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.

Yemen's al-Qaeda branch vows to attack US

The leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has vowed to attack the United States in a video released in Yemen.  The footage shows Nasser al-Wuhaishi with a group of around 100 masked men, including some who recently escaped from Sana'a central prison.  It is reported to be the largest gathering of al-Qaeda to take place in Yemen; however the US State Department said "I don't think this increases our concern, because quite frankly, our concern was already incredibly high."

Three shot dead at Kansas City Jewish centre

Three people have been shot dead at a Jewish community centre and nearby retirement home in Kansas City.  Dr William Lewis Corporan and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, were both killed in the car park of the Jewish Community Campus.  The gunman then shot dead a female victim at the nearby Village Shalom retirement village.  Local police said a man in his 70s was in custody.

Pennsylvania high school stabbing wounds 20

As many as 20 students have been wounded in a mass stabbing at a high school in the state of Pennsylvania.  One suspect, a male student from the Franklin Regional High School in Pittsburgh, has been arrested and is now in police custody.  Four students have been taken to Forbes Regional Hospital with serious injuries.

US soldier kills three at Fort Hood army base

A US soldier has shot dead three colleagues before killing himself at the Fort Hood army base in the southern state of Texas.  The suspect, who has been named as 34-year-old Ivan Lopez, previously served in Iraq and was being treated for mental health problems.  In 2009 a mass shooting at the base left 13 soldiers dead and 32 others wounded.

Clashes reported during Albuquerque rally

Protesters have clashed with riot police in the city of Albuquerque in New Mexico during a march against recent police shootings.  The unrest was sparked by footage which emerged this week of police shooting dead a homeless man, James Boyd, in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.  Since 2010 the police department has been involved in 37 shootings, 24 of them fatal.

US sailor shot dead on USS Mahan

A US sailor has been shot dead by a civilian at Naval Station Norfolk in the eastern state of Virginia.  The incident occurred around 1120 on Monday evening aboard the USS Mahan, while the ship was at port.  A base spokeswoman said that security forces also shot dead the male civilian suspect.

Washington landslide leaves 14 dead

At least 14 people have been killed in a huge landslide in a rural area of Washington state.  Officials said that 176 people remain unaccounted for near the town of Oso, north of Seattle, after it was hit by a 54m wall of mud. Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said that rescue teams are still searching for survivors, although it is unlikely that anybody will be found alive.

US government warns airline of shoe-bomb threat

The US government has issued a warning to airline flying into the country to be on alert for any passengers attempting to smuggle explosives onboard in their shoes.  The advisory notice is not thought to have been issued due to a specific threat, rather "out of an abundance of caution".  In 2001 a British national, Richard Reid, attempted to detonated explosives packed in his shoes while on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami.

US issues security alert over Guyana flights

The US has issued a warning over "unconfirmed threat information" regarding flights from Guyana.  In a statement the US embassy in Georgetown said that the threat related to Caribbean Airlines, which operates routes to New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Orlando.  The embassy has advised all US citizens intending to travel on such flights to "make alternative arrangements", while Caribbean Airlines have said that security has been increased since Friday.

Bomb squad detonate suspicious device in San Francisco

The San Francisco bomb squad have detonated a suspicious device in the central Sunset District area of the city.  The officers were called when the device was discovered at a house on 46th Avenue.  After evacuating the local area the squad carried out a controlled explosion and no injuries were reported.

US hit by coldest winter in years

Parts of the US have been hit with record low temperatures as a polar vortex has locked in cold air across the North American continent.  The temperature in the city of Minneapolis is predicted to be as low as -24 degrees, with a wind chill taking the temperature down to -50.  More than 3,700 flights were cancelled over the weekend and at least 16 death have been reported as a result of the storm.

US national arrested over suicide bomb plot

A US national has been arrested in the state of Kansas, accused of plotting to blow up the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita.  Terry Loewen, who was caught as part of an FBI sting operation, had told agents that he planned to use a suicide car bomb to kill as many people as possible.

Midwest hit by deadly tornadoes

At least six people have been killed after a series of powerful tornadoes swept through the Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.  The city of Washington, Illinois was one of the hardest hit areas, with hundreds of houses destroyed and 31 people requiring hospital treatment. 

Shooting at LAX airport leaves one dead

One person has been shot dead and seven others wounded during a shooting at Los Angeles International airport.  A single gunmen opened fire in Terminal 3 on Friday morning, leading to all inbound and outbound flights being temporarily suspended.  The suspect, name in the US media as 23-year old Paul Ciancia, was later wounded by police and detained. 

Senate reaches deal to raise debt ceiling

The US Senate has reached a cross-party deal to raise the country's debt ceiling, ending a partial government shutdown.  The bill, which still needs to pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, would extend the borrowing limit until 07 February 2014.  The government's existing federal borrowing authority of $16.7tn is due to expire on Thursday.

Washington DC in shutdown over gunfire

Washington DC briefly entered shutdown after gunfire was reported near Capitol Hill.  Authorities said that a woman attempted to ram a barricade at the entrance to the White House, leading to a a police chase which ended with gunfire outside Capital Hill.  Police later confirmed that the woman was killed during the incident.

Government shutdown after budget deadlock

The US government has started a partial shutdown after Congress failed to reach a budget agreement.  The Republican-controlled House of Representatives demanded that President Obama's health reforms be delayed before they would agree to pass any spending bills.  Federal agencies began shutting down at midnight on Tuesday, leaving more than 800,000 "non-essential" workers facing unpaid leave.

Hundreds missing in Colorado flooding

Authorities in Colorado are still searching for around 200 people after the state was hit by deadly flooding.  At least eight people have been killed in the flash flooding, while more than 1,500 houses have been destroyed.  Military helicopters have evacuated around 2,4000 people in Boulder and Larimer County, in what has been the largest rescue operation since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Gunman kills 13 at Washington naval yard

A gunman has killed 12 people and wounded several others at a naval base in the US capital, Washington DC.  The gunman, identified as former Navy reservist Aaron Alexis, was later killed during the shootout with police at the Washinhton Navy Yard.

Firefighters killed tackling Arizona wildfire

A wildfire in the US state of Arizona has killed 19 members of an elite firefighting crew, while dozens of houses have been destroyed and two small towns outside Phoenix have been evacuated.  Only one member of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshot crew survived the blaze in the Yarnell Hill region of Yavapai County.

Five dead in Santa Monica shooting rampage

At least 5 people are dead and several others injured after a gun rampage in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California.  The attack began at a house and ended on a college campus where the police shot the gunman.

Huge storms kill 13 across Midwest

At least 13 people have been killed and thousands of others left without power after a huge storm swept across the US Midwest.  Ten people died in the state of Oklahoma, including three storm chasers, while three others died in neighbouring Missouri.  Two weeks ago 24 people were killed when a tornado struck the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.

FBI shoot dead man linked to Boston bombings

An FBI agent has shot dead a man who was being questioned about links to the Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.  The victim, who has been identified as 27-year old Ibragim Todashev, was a Chechen national who met Tsarnaev when they both lived in Boston.

Huge tornado causes devastation in Oklahoma City

At least 91 people have been killed by a huge tornado which has ripped through a suburb of Oklahoma City.  The storm, which was one of the strongest ever recorded, brought winds of up to 200mph to Moore in the south of the city.  President Obama has declared a major disaster in Oklahoma.

Six killed as tornado hits northern Texas

At least six people have been killed and dozens of others wounded after a tornado struck the Dallas-Fort Worth area of northern Texas.  The most severe damage was reported in the Rancho Brazos neighbourhood of Granbury, where 14 people remain missing.

Four jailed over terrorist recruitment in Minnesota

Four men have been jailed in the US state of Minnesota for trying to recruit fighters for the Somali militant group al-Shababab.  Investigators said that around 20 young ethnic Somalis had been recruited between 2007 and 2009 to fight for the group.

Shooting spree leaves 19 wounded in New Orleans

At least 19 people, including two children, have been wounded in a shooting spree during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans.  An FBI spokeswoman said there was no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism, instead classifying it as street violence.

Marathon bombing suspect in police custody

Boston police have captured the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings following an extended manhunt.  Dzhokar Tsarnaev was found suffering from gunshot wounds and has been taken to hospital.  His brother and fellow suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with police at the MIT campus on Thursday.

Boston police hunt marathon bomb suspect

Police are hunting for a man suspected of being behind the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday.  Another suspect died during a shootout with police on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) late on Thursday, during which a police officer was also killed.  Police are warning all residents to stay indoors, while authorities have also shut down the city's transport systems.

Texas fertilizer blast wounds dozens

Between five and 15 people have been killed in a huge explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas.  More than 160 people were wounded in the blast in the small town of West, with 65 being treated for injuries at Hillcrest Hospital in Waco.

FBI begins investigation into Boston bombings

The FBI have taken over the investigation into the twin bombings which left three people dead and more than 100 others wounded at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  In a statement the bureau's lead agent said the inquiry was being treated as "a criminal investigation that is a potential terrorist investigation". 

Twin blasts hit Boston Marathon

At least two people have been killed and 23 others wounded after two bombs exploded at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon.  A third controlled explosion was carried out by police in the city, while two other improvised devices were also found in the area.

United States Of America Data Sheet

Population:
315 million
Major Religion/s:
Christianity
International dialing code:
+1
International dialing prefix:
011
Emergency services:
911
Drives:
Right
Voltage:
120V
Climate:
Varies from humid continental in the north, humid subtropical in the south.
Ohter Major Cities:
New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia
Borders:
Canada, Mexico