In The News:
NEW YORK (AP) — “The heat on Wells Fargo over its auto lending business has intensified, with customers filing at least three lawsuits, politicians calling for hearings and a bank regulator issuing a subpoena for records.
Wells Fargo, still trying to recover from a fake accounts scandal, said last week that roughly 570,000 customers were signed up for and billed for car insurance that they didn’t need or necessarily know about. Many couldn’t afford the extra costs and fell behind in their payments. In about 20,000 cases, cars were repossessed.” More here.> Wells Fargo faces lawsuits, angry lawmakers over car lending
“Impossible Foods, the maker of the meatless “burger that bleeds,” just got a fresh infusion of cash from some of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Bill Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, and Li Ka-shing, Asia’s third-richest man, are among the investors backing the firm in its quest to get a plant-based burger to market. They were joined by Temasek, the Singapore state-owned investment company; Khosla Ventures; and Open Philanthropy Project, a investment fund led by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz.” More here.> Bill Gates headlines an all-star list of investors pumping $75 million into meatless burgers
“It was a shocking sight: On July 25, Kristy Manzanares, a 39-year-old mother-of-three, was found lying on the floor of her cruise ship cabin with a severe head wound and was pronounced dead by medical personnel minutes later.
Her alleged killer was her husband of 18 years, 39-year-old Kenneth Manzanares. The high school sweethearts had been celebrating their wedding anniversary with their daughters and extended family on a week-long Princess Cruises voyage from Seattle to Alaska.” More here.> Husband Allegedly ‘Snapped’ and Killed Wife on Alaska Cruise After She Asked for Divorce, Source Says
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. —
“A team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a single test reentry vehicle Aug. 2 at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
While not a response to recent North Korean actions, the test demonstrates that the United States’ nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to be able to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the United States and its allies.
The ICBM’s reentry vehicle, which contained a telemetry package used for operational testing, traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. These test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.” More here.> U.S. Tests Unarmed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
“Trump is considering encouraging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to launch an investigation of China under the 1974 Trade Act’s Section 301 and could make an announcement within days, a senior administration official said.
The act allows the president to unilaterally impose tariffs or other trade restrictions to protect U.S. industries.
The United States has a long list of grievances with China, ranging from accusations of steel dumping to theft of U.S. companies’ intellectual property.” More here.> In rare bipartisan display, Democrats back Trump on China trade probe
“In a major shift from lax Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is finally allowing customs officers to screen all cargo trucks entering the U.S. from Mexico and sources on both sides of the border tell Judicial Watch Mexican drug cartels are fuming. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using X-ray technology and other non-intrusive tools to screen 100% of cargo trucks crossing the southern border after eight years of sporadic or random screening permitted under the Obama administration.
“We felt like we were the welcoming committee and not like we were guarding our borders,” said veteran U.S. Customs agent Patricia Cramer, who also serves as president of the Arizona chapter of the agency’s employee union. “The order was to facilitate traffic, not to stop any illegal drugs from entering the country,” Cramer added. “We want to enforce the law. That’s what we signed up for.” Cramer, a canine handler stationed at the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, said illicit drugs are pouring in through the southern border, especially massive quantities of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is more potent than morphine.” More here.> Drug Cartels Fuming at New U.S. Policy Screening 100% of Mexican Cargo Trucks
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — “The Justice Department will dispatch 12 federal prosecutors to cities ravaged by addiction who will focus exclusively on investigating health care fraud and opioid scams that are fueling the nation’s drug abuse epidemic, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday.” More here.> SESSIONS: US PROSECUTORS WILL HELP ADDICTION-RAVAGED CITIES
Aug. 2 (UPI) — “Montreal’s Olympic Stadium became a temporary shelter Wednesday for migrants crossing the U.S.-Canada border and seeking asylum.
Between 100 and 450 cots will be set up in a hallway at the stadium to accommodate the influx of people while Quebec officials process their asylum claims and look for permanent housing, the CBC reported. About 20 showers in a locker room in the basement are also available tot the asylum seekers.” More here.> Montreal’s Olympic Stadium turns into shelter for asylum seekers
“This is about money and the reason that there is no real effort by the Republican establishment to reform the US Refugee Admissions Program is because BIG MEAT (BIG CHICKEN AND TURKEY TOO!) is lobbying and surely contributing to the campaign coffers of RINOs (and Democrats!).” More here.> Refugee resettlement is driven by a desire for cheap compliant labor, not humanitarianism
“President Trump introduced legislation today with Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga., aimed at cutting legal immigration to the United States.
The bill — a revised version of an immigration-reform bill introduced in February — would change the system for granting legal residency, or green cards, by giving priority to high-skilled, English-speaking immigrants.
Trump, who promised during his election campaign to reform the immigration system, argued that the bill, called the Raise Act, would replace “our low-skilled [immigration] system with a points-based system.”
“They’re not going to come in and immediately go and collect welfare,” he said.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, 1,051,031 immigrants gained permanent residency in the United States in 2015.
It’s unclear when the Senate may take up the new legislation. The initial immigration reform bill was opposed by some Republicans and business groups and has been stalled in the Senate.” More here.> Trump unveils bill to transform legal immigration system
SEATTLE – “A 23-year-old DREAMer in Washington state is accused of brutally raping a 19-year-old woman in her apartment complex’s gym and leaving her with severe facial injuries — including a broken jaw and dangling ear.
The woman ended up stumbling home with missing teeth, a bloody head and wearing only a black tank top, according to court documents obtained by Fox News. She was working out in the gym in Burien, a Seattle suburb, before the June 25 assault and did not know her attacker, police said.” More here.> DREAMer accused of brutally raping woman in Seattle suburb
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — “A suicide bombing attack on a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday left two American service members dead, a Pentagon spokesman said, despite repeated refusals by the U.S. military in Afghanistan to say whether there were any deaths in the assault claimed by the Taliban.” More here.> Pentagon: 2 US service members killed in Afghanistan blast
“In a brazen broadside to America, China performed a dramatic series of missile tests this weekend — targeting mock United States missile batteries and jets — as the superpower flexes its muscles amid global tensions with North Korea and the threat of U.S. intervention, U.S. officials told Fox News.
U.S. spy agencies detected the Chinese military launching a series of 20 missiles at mock targets designed to look like American THAAD missile batteries and advanced U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighter jets.” More here.> China tests missiles during the weekend, US officials say
6 p.m. Syrian conflict (all times local):
Russia says its embassy in Syria has come under mortar shelling but not one has been hurt.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says two mortar rounds landed Wednesday inside its embassy compound in the Syrian capital Damascus, and two others exploded just outside its fence. It said the shelling inflicted only “insignificant material damage.”
It said that Moscow “resolutely condemns terror attacks against the Russian embassy.” The embassy has repeatedly come under such attacks, but there have been no casualties.
The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local): 9:15 p.m.
Syrian opposition activists and Kurdish officials say several journalists have been lightly wounded in the northern city of Raqqa when the Islamic State group detonated a car bomb near a house they use.