PERRY CONSIDERED FOR HOMELAND SECURITY POST
WASHINGTON» Energy Secretary Rick Perry is among the candidates being considered to replace John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security, according to three people familiar with the deliberations. Kelly became White House chief of staff Monday, and President Donald Trump has not made a decision about who should succeed him as Homeland Security secretary. White House officials are considering others for the position, the sources said. Some administration officials are advocating Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, who was considered for the Homeland Security job before Trump nominated Kelly.
Claims of vote tampering on eve of new assembly.
Revelations on Wednesday that turnout figures were manipulated in a crucial vote for an all-powerful constituent assembly in Venezuela cast an even longer shadow over the controversial body hours before it was to convene.
The official count of voters in Sunday’s election was off by at least 1 million, according to the head of the voting technology firm Smartmatic — a finding certain to sow further discord over a body that has been granted vast authority to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution and override every branch of government.
Two U.S. service members killed in blast.
AFGHANISTAN» A KABUL, suicide bombing directed at a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday left two American service members dead, a Pentagon spokesman said.
Navy Capt. Jeff Davis confirmed the casualties in the attack near Kandahar city.
There was no information on the number of troops wounded.
U.S. military officials in Afghanistan refused to give any information about casualties, even after the Pentagon released the casualty figures.
Good news for bees: Numbers rise as mystery malady wanes.
The number of U.S. honeybees, a critical component to agricultural production, rose in 2017 from a year earlier, and deaths of the insects attributed to a mysterious malady that’s affected hives in North America and Europe declined, according a U.S. Department of Agriculture honeybee health survey released Tuesday.
The number of commercial U.S. honeybee colonies rose 3 percent to 2.89 million as of April 1, compared with a year earlier, the Agriculture Department reported. The number of hives lost to Colony Collapse Disorder, a phenomenon of disappearing bees that has raised concerns among farmers and scientists for a decade, was 84,430 in this year’s first quarter, down 27 percent from a year earlier. Year-over-year losses declined by the same percentage in April through June, the most recent data in the survey.
U.S. launches ICBM test.
The Air Force successfully launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from California, the fourth such test this year.
The 30th Space Wing said the Minuteman 3 missile launched at 2:10 a.m. Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
An Air Force statement said the test would show the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system.
Minuteman missiles are regularly tested with launches from Vandenberg that send unarmed re-entry vehicles 4,200 miles across the Pacific to a target area at Kwajalein Atoll.
However, the latest U.S. launches come amid tensions with North Korea as that nation develops its own ICBMs.
Flight data on North Korea’s most recent test, conducted Friday, showed that a broad part of the mainland United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of Pyongyang’s weapons, according to analysts.
In response, the Air Force flew two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force.
The U.S. also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system in Alaska.