What to Know
- IS militants are trapped in a military vise that will squeeze them on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said
- A jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman whose lawsuit claimed the talc in its baby powder causes ovarian cancer
- Las Vegas authorities say Jerry Lewis died of heart disease, but the wording of his death certificate differs from what was reported earlier
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Mattis in Baghdad: IS Militants Caught in Iraq-Syria Military Vise
Expelled from their main stronghold in northern Iraq, Islamic State militants are now trapped in a military vise that will squeeze them on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. Mattis arrived in the Iraqi capital on an unannounced visit just hours after President Trump outlined a fresh approach to the stalemated war in Afghanistan. Trump also has vowed to take a more aggressive, effective approach against IS in Iraq and Syria, but he has yet to unveil a strategy for that conflict that differs greatly from his predecessor's. In Baghdad, Mattis was meeting with senior Iraqi government leaders and with U.S. commanders. He also planned to meet in Irbil with Massoud Barzani, leader of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region that has helped fight IS. Mattis told reporters before departing from neighboring Jordan that the so-called Middle Euphrates River Valley — roughly from the western Iraqi city of al-Qaim to the eastern Syrian city of Der el-Zour — will be liberated in time, as IS gets hit from both ends of the valley that bisects Iraq and Syria.
Divers Search McCain's Flooded Compartments for 10 Sailors
The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted to the damaged destroyer's flooded compartments. The sea search by aircraft and ships from the U.S., Singapore and Malaysian navies will continue east of Singapore where the McCain and the tanker collided, the 7th Fleet said, but the deployment of divers to search inside the warship, now docked at Singapore's naval base, was a blow to families still hoping for a miracle. "Equipped with surface supplied air rigs, divers will access sealed compartments located in damaged parts of the ship," the fleet said in a statement announcing that divers had joined the search. "Additionally, they will conduct damage assessments of the hull and flooded areas." The collision tore a gaping hole in the McCain's left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments including crew berths and machinery and communication rooms. Five sailors were injured. It was the second major collision in two months involving the Pacific-based 7th Fleet and the Navy has ordered a broad investigation into its performance and readiness.
Trump Renews Afghan War Commitment, Sees No Speedy Exit
Reversing his past calls for a speedy exit, President Trump recommitted the United States to the 16-year-old war in Afghanistan, declaring U.S. troops must "fight to win." He pointedly declined to disclose how many more troops will be dispatched to wage America's longest war. In a prime-time address to unveil his new Afghanistan strategy, Trump said the U.S. would shift away from a "time-based" approach, instead linking its assistance to results and to cooperation from the beleaguered Afghan government, Pakistan and others. He insisted it would be a "regional" strategy that addressed the roles played by other South Asian nations — especially Pakistan's harboring of elements of the Taliban. Still, Trump offered few details about how progress would be measured. Nor did he explain how his approach would differ substantively from what two presidents before him tried unsuccessfully over the past 16 years. Although Trump insisted he would "not talk about numbers of troops" or telegraph military moves in advance, he hinted that he'd embraced the Pentagon's proposal to boost troop numbers by nearly 4,000, augmenting the roughly 8,400 Americans there now.
Jury Awards $417M in Lawsuit Linking Talcum Powder to Cancer
A jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. The lawsuit was brought by Eva Echeverria who alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential cancer risks of talcum powder. Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a "proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder," Echeverria said in her lawsuit. Echeverria's attorney, Mark Robinson, said his client hoped the verdict would lead Johnson & Johnson to include additional warnings on its products. Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company will appeal the jury's decision. She says while the company sympathizes with those impacted by ovarian cancer, she says science supports the safety of Johnson's baby powder.
Jerry Lewis Death Was From End-Stage Heart Disease, Coroner Says
Authorities in Las Vegas say Jerry Lewis died of heart disease, but the wording of his death certificate differs from what was reported earlier. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said Lewis' official cause of death was end-stage cardiac disease and peripheral vascular disease. Lewis was the clownish comic hailed as an artistic genius and the host for decades of annual muscular dystrophy telethons. He died of natural causes in Las Vegas at age 91. Fudenberg says coroner deputies had been told Lewis died of ischemic cardiomyopathy. Ferozan Malal is the hospice and palliative medicine physician in Las Vegas who signed Lewis' death certificate.
Cosby Hires Michael Jackson's Lawyer for Sex Assault Retrial
Bill Cosby's spokesman announced the 80-year-old comedian is bringing in Tom Mesereau to lead a retooled defense team. Lawyers from the first trial in June had said they wanted off the case. Mesereau won an acquittal in Jackson's 2004 child molestation trial. He has also represented boxer Mike Tyson, actor Robert Blake and rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight. Mesereau will be joined by Sam Silver, who represented now-imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania in a corruption case, and former federal prosecutor Kathleen Bliss. Cosby's first trial on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004 ended in a hung jury.