August 5, 2020

The Pentagon is distancing itself from President Trump's claims about the Beirut blast that killed more than 100 people.

Trump on Tuesday said his unnamed "great generals" told him they thought the massive explosion was a "terrible attack." In the early aftermath, there was speculation that the catastrophe was intentional, but it the consensus quickly became that it was almost certainly accidental — albeit brought on by neglect and mismanagement — and not linked to any foreign power, proxy forces, or terrorist organizations. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other department officials affirmed they believe it was an accident, as well.

The president hasn't repeated his claim from Tuesday, possibly indicating he understands there was no basis for it. But that's what's raised some eyebrows, considering he said he got the information from unnamed high-ranking military officials. A senior Pentagon official, however, told The Associated Press on Wednesday they had "no idea" what Trump was referring to with his comment, leaving some to wonder if it came out of thin air. Tim O'Donnell

10:58 p.m.

Zendaya just made history at the Emmys.

The 24-year-old Euphoria star picked up the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award in a shock upset on Sunday night. In doing so, she becomes the youngest person to ever win in this category, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Zendaya's win came as the biggest surprise of the Emmys so far, as pundits had thought that the frontrunners were The Morning Show's Jennifer Aniston and Ozark's Laura Linney. In fact, Zendaya's nomination itself in the category was a bit of a surprise earlier this year.

The record for the youngest lead drama actress Emmy winner ever was just set last year, the Times notes, when Killing Eve's Jodie Comer won at 26 years old. This was Zendaya's first Emmy nomination. She rose to fame starring on the Disney Channel's Shake It Up. Brendan Morrow

10:36 p.m.

Jeremy Strong is Emmy voters' number one boy.

Strong on Sunday won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Kendall Roy on HBO's Succession. Critics widely saw his toughest competition in the category as being his own co-star, Brian Cox, who plays his character's father on the series.

"Brian Cox, I share this with you," Strong said during his acceptance speech, which he delivered remotely amid the virtual show. "Thank you so much."

This was Strong’s first Emmy nomination and his first win, which comes after a season of Succession in which he earned particular praise for his performance. At last year's Emmys, despite Succession being up for the top drama series prize, Strong was surprisingly snubbed for a nomination. This year, he had some tough competition in the lead drama actor category from not only Cox but also Ozark's Jason Bateman and Pose's Billy Porter, the latter of whom won last year. As Succession heads into season three, Logan Roy can only hope his upcoming conflict with Kendall ends differently than it did tonight. Brendan Morrow

10:24 p.m.

A woman suspected of sending a letter last week to the White House containing the poison ricin was arrested on Sunday at the New York-Canada border, law enforcement officials told CNN and The Associated Press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers took the woman into custody at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo. One official told CNN the woman was carrying a gun when she was arrested. She is expected to face federal charges.

The letter, which appeared to have originated in Canada, was intercepted at an offsite facility that screens mail sent to the White House, AP reports. During a preliminary investigation, the envelope tested positive for ricin. Catherine Garcia

10:08 p.m.

Who watches the Watchmen? Emmy voters, clearly.

HBO's Watchmen on Sunday took home the award for Outstanding Limited Series at the Emmys, beating out shows including Mrs. America and Little Fires Everywhere. The superhero series, which is adapted from the graphic novel, was one of the most critically acclaimed shows of 2019, and it received the most nominations of any series at this year's Emmys with 26.

In an acceptance speech for Outstanding Limited Series, Watchmen creator Damon Lindelof dedicated the award to the victims of the Tulsa race massacre, which was depicted in the series. Watchmen star Regina King had earlier in the night won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II took the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Emmy. The show also won a writing prize.

Watchmen examines systemic racism in the United States and was widely seen as having taken on even greater relevance in light of the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd. King touched upon that idea as she accepted her Emmy, saying, "Gotta vote. I would be remiss not to mention that being a part of a show as prescient as Watchmen." Brendan Morrow

9:42 p.m.

The Bobcat fire in Los Angeles County has grown to nearly 100,000 acres, and continues to threaten the historical Mt. Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains.

This is one of the largest fires ever recorded in the county; the biggest blaze, 2009's Station fire, burned 160,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest. The Bobcat fire is only 15 percent contained, and is moving through communities in the Antelope Valley, the Los Angeles Times reports. There are more than 1,600 firefighters on the scene, with some coming from as far away as New York.

"We're still in the thick of a good firefight," Andrew Mitchell, public information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, said on Sunday. There were some flare-ups around Mt. Wilson Observatory overnight, but crews were able to stamp them out. Forecasters expect lower temperatures and calmer winds over the next few nights, and Mitchell said he thinks "the next couple days we'll start to really get a handle on this fire because the conditions will be right and we'll be able to really start backing it with all our assets."

There are 27 major wildfires now burning in California, the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Sunday. Since mid-August, blazes in the state have killed 26 people and destroyed more than 6,100 structures. Catherine Garcia

9:21 p.m.

Emmy voters sure do love Regina King. And who can blame them?

King on Sunday won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance as Angela Abar in HBO's Watchmen. This was her fourth Emmy victory, after having previously won acting prizes twice for American Crime and once for Seven Seconds.

King accepted her Emmy remotely during the virtual show while wearing a Breonna Taylor shirt, and she ended her speech by urging Americans to vote, adding, "Rest in power, RBG."

This comes after King in 2019 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. And speaking of the Academy Awards, she's already generating some Oscar buzz ahead of 2021's ceremony, not for acting but this time for directing. King made her directorial debut with One Night in Miami, which is earning rave reviews and is widely seen as placing her in contention for a Best Director nomination. If she indeed scores a nomination, she'll be the first Black woman ever nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, and if she wins, she'll be only the second woman ever to do so after Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. Just five women have ever been nominated for Best Director in Oscars history. Brendan Morrow

9:08 p.m.

Schitt's Creek is going out on top.

The show just pulled off a sweep at the Emmys, winning every single comedy award during Sunday's broadcast, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

Schitt's Creek's four main stars — Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O'Hara, and Annie Murphy — were all awarded Emmys for their performances. This makes Schitt's Creek the first comedy in history to win all four comedy actor Emmys. The show also won Emmys for writing and directing.

The series' domination was especially notable after it went without any Emmy love throughout the majority of its six-season run. It wasn't until 2019 when the show finally earned its first nominations for its penultimate season, and before 2020, it had never won a single Emmy.

But the show picked up serious momentum as its final episodes debuted earlier this year and after new viewers caught up on past seasons on Netflix, similar to the streaming boost series like Breaking Bad received late in their run. The result is that, according to Gold Derby, Schitt's Creek is now just the third show ever to win the main comedy series Emmy for the first time in its final season, with the previous two being Barney Miller and Fleabag. Hey, better late than never, right? Brendan Morrow

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