By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian prosecutors on Monday released a man they had charged in connection with last week's deadly Brussels bombings, saying they did not have enough information to justify holding him. The man, named only as Faycal C., had been accused of taking part in the activities of a terrorist group and actual and attempted terrorist murder after being detained on Thursday. His home had been searched but no weapons or explosives had been found. "The evidence which led to the arrest of the man named as Faycal C has not been backed up by the ongoing investigation. As a result, the person has been freed by the investigating magistrate," the prosecutor's office said. The announcement was a major blow to an investigation that had netted half a dozen people charged with lesser offences in Belgium and others in the Netherlands, Italy and France, where officials said the same network had planned another attack. Belgian media had identified the man as Faycal Cheffou and a source close to the investigation had said officials believed he was the man caught in security camera footage at Brussels airport moments before two bombs exploded last Tuesday. Earlier on Monday, police had issued a new appeal for witnesses, saying they were seeking to identify the man seen in the video wearing a light jacket, with a hat pulled down over his face and glasses. The suspected suicide bombers walking alongside him were dressed in black with their heads uncovered. Police say one man left a suitcase containing a bomb at the terminal and fled while two others detonated their bombs. The death toll from the attack on the airport, and a subsequent bombing of a rush-hour metro train, rose to 35 on Monday, excluding the three men who blew themselves up. Around 340 people were wounded and 96 were still being treated in hospital, of whom 55 were in intensive care, a health ministry statement said. A Europe-wide hunt for suspects has revealed links with the network that killed 130 people in Paris last November, as well as foiling a new potential attack on France last week, officials said. But several suspects are reported to be still at large. OTHERS AT LARGE Islamic State has claimed responsibility for both the Paris and Brussels attacks. These have exposed weaknesses within intelligence services in Belgium, where some of the Paris attackers lived, as well as insufficient cooperation between security services across Europe. In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States had urged European officials to do a better job of sharing intelligence after the Paris attacks late last year. "There has been some progress made with regard to that intelligence sharing, but there is surely more that can and must be done," Earnest said at a press briefing. Dutch anti-terrorism police arrested a 32-year-old suspect on Sunday in Rotterdam on France's request, and Italy arrested an Algerian on Saturday suspected of having forged documents for militants linked to the Brussels and Paris attacks. Germany has also conducted raids but its Federal Criminal Police Office was among European security agencies still hunting for at least eight mostly French or Belgian suspects on the run in Syria or Europe, Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper said. The U.S. State Department confirmed four U.S. citizens were among victims of nine different nationalities, including Belgian. Belgian Health Minister Maggie De Block said more of those wounded in the attacks had since died. "Four patients died in hospital. Medical teams did everything possible. Total victims: 35," she said in a tweet. Other foreigners killed were British, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Swedish. The airport in Brussels remained closed on Monday and the metro was running a reduced service in the capital, which was largely shuttered for the Easter holiday. There was no sign of the nationalist protesters who clashed with police on Sunday at the Brussels bourse, where mourners have gathered and placed candles, wreaths and messages for victims. The State Department has declined to name any of the four U.S. citizens killed, citing respect for their families. Two of them were identified by relatives as Justin and Stephanie Shults, residents of Belgium originally from Tennessee and Kentucky who were last seen dropping off her mother at the Brussels airport before the explosion in the check-in area. "The world lost two amazing people," Justin Shults' brother, Levi Sutton, said in a post on Twitter. "It's not fair." (Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Doina Chiacu in Washington; Writing by Philippa Fletcher; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Diane Craft)
- Business Insider
Opinion: The costs of a foreign policy that emphasizes US global preeminence are now inescapable clear, and US leaders need to change course.
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Prince Harry Just Revealed Exactly When He Knew Meghan Markle Was the One: "We Went from Zero to 60"
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This week, the leader of the far-right group the Proud Boys group came forward to make it clear he feels no remorse for the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. During an interview broadcast by CNN Thursday night, Enrique Tarrio proudly acknowledged the Proud Boys’ role in the siege and also made it clear that he had no sympathy for the lawmakers who reportedly feared for their lives during the incident. Previously, Tarrio, who identifies as Afro-Cuban, posted a photo on the social media app Parler of House members hiding from extremist Trump supporters, along with the caption: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny… When the government fears the people… There is liberty.”
- The Telegraph
Perched on the mountain range that divides the sprawling city of Caracas from the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela’s Hotel Humboldt can be seen from nearly all corners of the capital. The 65-year-old, 14-floor structure can only be reached by cable car from the city below. It currently boasts 69 rooms, six dining areas, a casino, a night club, and a swimming pool and spa. “It will be the first seven star hotel in Venezuela,” President Nicolas Maduro once proudly proclaimed as the 1956 symbol of oil wealth was being lavishly renovated. Now, the hotel is open again as a symbol of an impending economic recovery and tourism boom in a country that has suffered the worst economic crisis in modern Latin American history. But the so-called Socialist president’s touting of the luxurious, $300 per night hotel in a country where most live in poverty represents something else to others - an abandonment of a political project promising a socialist utopia in favor of an 'anything goes', capitalist kleptocracy.
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QAnon's most devout followers believe bizarrely that former President Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 19th President on March 4, 2021.
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Johnson & Jonhson's coronavirus vaccine is the only one that's been tested out in the US as just one shot.
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- The Week
Democrats decry Biden's airstrikes in Syria as unconstitutional. Republicans praise them as 'proportional.'
Democrats are calling the Biden administration's airstrikes in Syria unconstitutional. President Biden on Thursday ordered airstrikes against facilities in eastern Syria used by Iranian-backed militant groups, his first military action since taking office. The strikes were in response to several rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq. While Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the limited scope of the airstrikes "aims to de-escalate the overall situation in both eastern Syria and Iraq," many Democrats expressed concerns on Friday that the move has done just the opposite, and argued it wasn't legally justified. "Some Democrats said that Congress has not passed an authorization for the use of military force specifically in Syria," reports CNN. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said "there is absolutely no justification for a president to authorize a military strike that is not in self-defense against an imminent threat without congressional authorization ... we need to extricate from the Middle East, not escalate." Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) agreed, calling for an immediate congressional briefing and saying "offensive military action without congressional approval is not constitutional absent extraordinary circumstances." Republicans, however, were seemingly largely pleased with the move. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the U.S. response a "necessary deterrent" to tell Iran that attacks on U.S. interests "will not be tolerated," reports CNN. As Fox News notes, Republican Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), among others, also applauded the strike, calling it "proportional." White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki defended the action as "necessary," and said Biden "has the right to take action" as he sees fit. She said "there was a thorough, legal response" and the Defense Department briefed congressional leadership in advance. More stories from theweek.comBiden in the quagmireBen Sasse on Matt Gaetz: 'That guy is not an adult'Newly confirmed Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is 'obsessed' with creating 'clean-energy jobs'
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Go back to the place you got your first shot if you lose your paper card, and make sure to take a photo of the vaccine card after your first dose.
It's been 40 years since Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement with a televised interview.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
- Yahoo News Video
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she is too old, a comment that comes as millions of Germans refuse to take the vaccine because they do not trust it.
The golfer received successful "follow-up procedures" following Tuesday's serious car crash in LA.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team, and the new owners include former star player who retired to fight for social justice
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Trump supporters and right-wing reporters wouldn't stop heckling CNN's Jim Acosta during second day of CPAC
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Jill Biden said on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" that her daughter, Ashley, was the first to tell her that the Valentine's Day scrunchie sparked a trend.
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Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
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Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
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- The Telegraph
The Duke of Cambridge has warned that social media is “awash with rumours and misinformation” about coronavirus vaccines as he sought to bolster his grandmother’s message of support for the jab. He said that vaccinations were “really, really important” and highlighted the need to keep the take-up high among younger generations. The Duke and Duchess took part in a video call with two clinically vulnerable women who have been shielding with their families since last March, the latest in a string of royal engagements focused on the vaccine campaign. Last week, the Queen made a rare personal comment on the nationwide rollout, suggesting that those who refuse the vaccine "ought to think about other people rather than themselves". Her Majesty, 94, said it was important that people were "protected" by the vaccine, revealing that hers was "very quick” and “didn't hurt at all." The Royal Family's engagement with the programme comes after the Queen declared last March, just before the first lockdown: "You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part." The Duke and Duchess were chatting to Shivali Modha, 39, who has type 2 diabetes, and Fiona Doyle, 37, who has severe asthma, both of whom are now eligible for the vaccine as part of Priority Group 6.
Villagers living on both sides of the Line of Control dividing the Himalayan region of Kashmir welcomed an agreement between long-time foes India and Pakistan to stop shelling from each side, but some were sceptical it would hold. The nuclear-armed neighbours signed a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) in 2003, but that has frayed in recent years and there have been mounting casualties. In a joint statement on Thursday, India and Pakistan said they would observe a ceasefire.