Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, left, arrives for the opening dinner of the 18th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, an annual defense and security forum in Asia, in Singapore, Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
SEOUL, South Korea – The Pentagon has told the White House to stop politicizing the military, amid a furor over a Trump administration order to have the Navy ship named for the late Sen. John McCain hidden from view during a presidential visit.
A defense official said Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is also considering sending out formal guidance to military units in order to avoid similar problems in the future.
Shanahan, who was traveling to South Korea on Sunday, confirmed details about a Navy email that said the White House military office wanted the USS John McCain kept “out of sight” when President Donald Trump visited Japan about a week ago. The internal Navy email came to light last week, triggering a storm of outrage.
VENICE, Italy – A towering cruise ship has struck a dock and a tourist river boat on a busy canal in Venice. Italian media report that at least five people have been injured in the crash.
The collision happened about 8:30 a.m. Sunday on the Giudecca Canal, a major thoroughfare that leads to Saint Mark’s Square in the northeastern Italian city. Video of the crash shows the cruise ship, apparently unable to halt its momentum, plowing into the much smaller river boat and the dock as dozens of people run away in panic.
Venice is a tremendously popular site for both tourists and cruise ships, especially during the summer tourist season.
BELLINZONA, Switzerland – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is holding talks with his Swiss counterpart that are expected to focus on Iran.
Amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran that have sparked fears of conflict, Pompeo was meeting Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in the southern Swiss town of Bellinzona. Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran.
Although the U.S. says it won’t relent in its campaign to pressure Iran, President Donald Trump has signaled a willingness to talk with Iran’s leadership.
Pompeo has been coy about communicating with Iran through Switzerland, but the U.S. has previously relied on Swiss discretion to do so.
The two were meeting at Castelgrande, a medieval castle in Cassis’ home canton of Ticino, an Italian-speaking area of Switzerland near Italy’s lakes region.
LUCKNOW, India – An Indian official says rescuers are trying to find eight mostly foreign mountaineers who went missing while attempting to scale India’s second-highest mountain.
The team, led by British climber Martin Moran, began its ascent May 13 to summit up a previously unclimbed peak on Nanda Devi East at 6,477 meters (21,250 feet), according to Moran Mountain, Moran’s Scotland-based company. The team comprises four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian liaison officer.
Vijay Kumar Jogdande, a civil administrator in northern India’s Uttarakhand state, says four other team members who stayed back at base camp were brought down Sunday. He says a search is ongoing for the eight missing.
Nanda Devi is sandwiched between India and China and is the world’s 23rd-highest peak, reaching 7,816 meters (25,643 feet).
BEIJING – China has closed off an area of the South China Sea this week for military training.
The China Maritime Safety Administration says drills are being held all day Sunday and half a day Tuesday in an area near China’s holdings in the Paracel island group.
China claims virtually the entire South China Sea as its own territory and strongly objects to naval activity in the area by other nations.
Another five governments exercise overlapping claims, particularly in the Spratly islands to the east.
The waterway rich in fishing grounds through which passes an estimated $5 trillion in global commerce annually has become a global security hotspot, largely due to growing Chinese assertiveness in pressing its claims.
China has built man-made islands to expand its footprint.
BLAJ, Romania – Pope Francis is paying homage to Catholics who were persecuted, tortured and killed during Romania’s communist regime as he beatifies seven bishop martyrs on his third and final day in the country.
Francis is to preside over the beatification ceremony Sunday in Blaj, a stronghold of the Greek-Catholic church that was outlawed during communism. The seven bishops had been arrested and imprisoned between 1950 and 1970 for adhering to their faith.
Francis is expected to hold them up as models for the Romanian faithful today.
The Mass is being celebrated on the symbolic “Field of Liberty,” a huge expanse east of Blaj that was the site of an important nationalist rally in 1848. A century later, communist leaders marking the anniversary at the field demanded that Greek-Catholics join the Orthodox church.
In this May 1, 2019, photo, World War II and D-Day veteran Charles Norman Shay, from Indian Island, Maine, poses on a dune at Omaha Beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. Shay was a medic who on June 6, 1944, landed on Omaha Beach, where he helped drag wounded soldiers out of the rising tide, saving them from drowning. For his courage, he was awarded the Silver Star. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
In this undated photo provided by the Charles Shay Family Archive, Charles Norman Shay, front center, poses with members of his family in Indian Island, Maine. Shay, a D-Day veteran, was a medic who on June 6, 1944, landed on Omaha Beach, where he helped drag wounded soldiers out of the rising tide, saving them from drowning. (Charles Shay Family Archive via AP)
OMAHA BEACH, France – A dwindling number of D-Day veterans will be on hand in Normandy this year when international leaders gather to honor them on the invasion’s 75th anniversary.
They include American Charles Shay, who on June 6, 1944, landed on Omaha Beach, where he helped drag wounded soldiers out of the rising tide, saving them from drowning. For his courage, he was awarded the Silver Star.
At the time, Shay could not yet fathom what D-Day would mean. He was more concerned with the bleeding troops, body parts and corpses strewn around him, and the machine-gun fire and shells that filled the air.
Shay, now 94, knows another war can never be discounted. Some men, he says, cannot get enough of power, and the pattern continues today.
Associated Press photographer Virginia Mayo and video journalist Mark Carlson contributed to this report.