The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has paid $4.07 billion of its latest round of compensation for farmers suffering from the trade war with China as of Monday, Communications Director Michawn Rich said in an email to Reuters. The Trump administration in July announced $16 billion to compensate farmers for lost sales due to China's retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, on top of $12 billion pledged in last year's aid package. USDA has received 302,397 applications for the program since enrollment opened, Rich said.
A Wisconsin man suspected of running an illegal operation to manufacture vaping cartridges flew to California last month to get THC oil in bulk to fill thousands of cartridges to sell, prosecutors said Monday in charging documents. Authorities in Kenosha, Wisconsin, arrested 20-year-old Tyler Huffhines on Sept. 5 after parents tipped off police when they saw their teenage son with one of the cartridges. Prosecutors say Huffhines employed 10 people to fill the cartridges with THC oil at a condo he rented with a stolen identity.
The chairman of the Senate committee that hosted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings is ripping The New York Times for publishing "unsubstantiated" allegations. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday said the paper's publication of a new, uninvestigated allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh is a "shameful" and "irresponsible" move that undermines the paper's credibility.
Qatar announced Monday it will grant residency to foreign investors for the first time, state media reported, the latest in a series of measures designed to diversify the economy. Foreigners investing an unspecified level of "non-Qatari capital" in the economy will be eligible for renewable five-year residency permits, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported. Real estate developers active in Qatar's property market will also be eligible for the scheme, under the new law.
California added an eleventh state to its travel blacklist on Friday, banning state-sponsored travel to Iowa over that state's refusal to cover gender-transition surgeries under its Medicaid program.California attorney general Xavier Becerra announced the decision to add Iowa to the travel-ban list, which takes effect October 4 and means public employees and college students will not be able to travel to Iowa on the taxpayer's dime.In May, Iowa governor Kim Reynolds signed a law blocking Medicaid from paying for gender-reassignment surgeries despite the state Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year in favor of charging taxpayers for the procedures. Gender identity is a protected characteristic under Iowa's Civil Rights Act."The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming healthcare," Becerra said in a statement. "California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it."California's travel blacklist stems from a 2016 law allowing the Golden State to ban state travel to other U.S. states that roll back protections for LGBT citizens. Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Kentucky are also on the list.
California's governor on Monday ordered a public awareness campaign on health risks from vaping, part of a multi-pronged effort to combat what he called a "youth epidemic," but said he lacked authority to impose a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Governor Gavin Newsom, acting a day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced such a ban, became the latest politician seeking to crack down on e-cigarettes and other electronic inhaling - or vaping - devices, which have exposed a new generation of young people to nicotine hazards. "We must take immediate action to meet the urgency behind this public health crisis and youth epidemic," said Newsom, who leads the most populous U.S. state.
Spain's National Court on Monday rejected the extradition to the United States of a former Venezuelan military spy chief accused of drug smuggling and other charges. The court released retired Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal, who denies the charges and says that they were politically motivated. María Dolores Argüelles, a lawyer for Carvajal, said she had no immediate details of the ruling beyond that a release order had been issued for the retired general.
The judge didn't mince words when it came time to sentence five North Carolina men in an illegal dogfighting operation that involved more than 150 pit bulls. "Either the dogs have to be eliminated from the world or the people who fight the dogs or both, but there needs to be an intervention by the law and it's going to start here," U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle said. The men are now using the judge's words to appeal their sentences, arguing that he should have taken himself off the case because of his "deep-seated antagonism" toward people who engage in dogfighting and the pit bull breed itself.