Russia condemns US downing of Syrian warplane

A day after a U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane, a top Russian official called it an act of aggression that assists terrorists.

“This strike can be regarded as another act of defiance of international law by the United States,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday, according to Russia’s state-run news agency Tass.

“What was it if not an act of aggression? It was also an act of assistance to those terrorists whom the United States is ostensibly fighting against,” Ryabkov said.

The U.S. military said that it shot down a warplane that had dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) fighters. SDF forces are backed by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS.

It’s the first time the U.S. has shot down a Syrian aircraft since it began fighting ISIS in the country in 2014.

The strike came a little more than two hours after forces allied with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad attacked the north-central Syria town of Ja’Din, which was controlled by the SDF.

A number of SDF forces were wounded in the attack, the statement from the Combined Joint Task Force said. The attack drove the SDF from Ja’Din, which is west of Raqqa, the coalition statement said.

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18 tech CEOs going to White House

The White House is hosting 18 high-profile technology executives on Monday for the first meeting of the American Technology Council.

The group is expected to talk about reforming the H-1B visa program, modernizing the government’s tech infrastructure and keeping its computers safe from cyber attacks.

The council was created via executive order last month. Its goal: “coordinate the vision, strategy, and direction” and “advice to the president related to policy decisions” regarding the federal government’s use of information technology.

Here’s a list of the CEOs attending Monday’s summit:

Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Zachary Bookman, CEO of OpenGov

Safra Catz, Co-Chief Executive of Oracle

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

John Doerr, Chairman of Kleiner Perkins

Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware

Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel

Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai

Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP

Steven Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe

Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet

Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture

Peter Thiel, Founders Fund

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National Hurricane Center monitors 2 disturbances in Gulf, Atlantic

It’s getting to be that time of year again.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami is monitoring disturbances in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, one of which could become the next tropical storm.

A tropical cyclone churning in the Atlantic is located about 400 miles east-southeast of Trinidad. It could become Tropical Storm Bret later Monday.

Its maximum sustained winds are 40 mph. It was moving west at 23 mph.

Local 10 News meteorologist Julie Durda said computer models have it moving toward the Windward Islands and into the Caribbean Sea later this week.

Another disturbance closer to home in the Gulf of Mexico has a 90 percent chance of development within the next five days.

The area of low pressure is nestled near the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.

Be sure to download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide to keep you safe before, during and after a storm. 

Remember to stay up to date on the all the latest storm news by downloading the Max Tracker app for iOS and ANDROID.

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Grenfell Tower: 79 presumed dead in London fire

At least 79 people are dead or missing and presumed dead following the fire that tore through the 24-story Grenfell Tower in London, police have said.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy told a press conference Monday that only five victims have been formally identified so far, and the death toll may change.

“Sadly for many families they have lost more than one family member,” said Cundy, who added that the “painstaking” search and recovery operation is proceeding as quickly as possible, but may take “many many weeks.”

Cundy explained that one of the reasons identification has been so difficult is because dental records are needed from victims who hailed from different countries around the world.

However, five people who were originally reported as missing have since been found safe and well.

Nothing could have prepared me

The police chief, who went inside the charred shell of the high-rise tower over the weekend, told reporters: “I’ve investigated major crime for most of my service and I’ve seen some terrible things but I don’t think anything prepared me for what I was going to see when I was in there.”

The government has promised a public inquiry, and police have opened a criminal inquiry.

Cundy said the “complex” and “exhaustive” investigation will focus on a range of issues including how the building was constructed, a recent refurbishment of it, how it is managed and maintained and fire safety measures.

Speculation has focused on the role that cladding apparently used in a recent refurbishment of the tower may have played in the fire.

Authorities have also faced questions about why the block, built in the 1970s and home to 125 families, was never fitted with a sprinkler system that might have saved lives.

“I would like to reassure everybody that we will be looking at all criminal offenses that may have been committed by any individual or any organization,” said Cundy.

Britain remembers victims

Britain observed a moment of silence at 11 a.m. Monday in remembrance of the victims. It was joined by firefighters from stations across the country.

A vigil is due to be held in Parliament Square in central London Monday evening.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a fund of £5 million ($6.4 million) to help those affected by the blaze.

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