A controlled explosion was used to trigger an avalanche down a mountainside in Switzerland on Thursday (2/4). It was done in a ski resort to prevent a future avalanche. There were no injuries.
- LA Times
A newly released U.S. report concludes that the Saudi crown prince directed the operation to kill the Washington Post journalist.
- The Independent
Republican gathering began in 1974 and sees American conservatives debate social worries but has struggled with position on 'alt-right' in recent years
- Associated Press
Saudi Arabia's crown prince likely approved the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday that instantly ratcheted up pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable for a murder that drew worldwide outrage. It leaves no doubt that as the prince continues in his powerful role and likely ascends to the throne, Americans will forever associate him with the brutal killing of a journalist who promoted democracy and human rights.
- The Independent
Controversial congresswoman previously said the Republican party belong to former president
Sheikha Latifa, one of the daughters of the ruler of Dubai, has written to British police asking them to reopen their investigation into the kidnap of her older sister from a street in Cambridge in 2000, the BBC reported on Thursday. In a handwritten letter seen by the British broadcaster and dated 2018, Latifa asked Cambridgeshire Police to refocus on the case of her sister Shamsa, now 39, who was captured aged 18 and has not been seen in public since. The Dubai government's media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A single dose of Pfizer and BioNtech's COVID-19 vaccine cuts the number of asymptomatic infections and could significantly reduce the risk of transmission of the virus, results of a UK study found on Friday. Researchers analysed results from thousands of COVID-19 tests carried out each week as part of hospital screenings of healthcare staff in Cambridge, eastern England. "Our findings show a dramatic reduction in the rate of positive screening tests among asymptomatic healthcare workers after a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine," said Nick Jones, an infectious diseases specialist at Cambridge University Hospital, who co-led the study.
- Reuters Videos
Italy held a state funeral for its ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo and his bodyguard on Thursday (February 24) who were killed in an ambush along with their driver.The men were kidnapped while travelling in a United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) convoy in eastern Congo.Ambassador Luca Attanasio, his bodyguard Vittorio Iacovacci and WFP driver Mustapha Milambo were all killed. The Italian funeral was attended by Prime Minister Mario Draghi at a church used for services for national leaders and cultural figures.The caskets, draped in the Italian flag, were given a military salute as they were removed from hearses. Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said the deaths should prompt everyone to "hear the cry of the people of Congo, cruelly devastated by violence as it sees its sons and daughters die every day."There are around 120 armed groups operating in eastern Congo.And the country's interior ministry has blamed a Rwandan ethnic Hutu rebel militia called the FDLR for this attack. The group has denied responsibility for what it called a "cowardly assassination".Italian investigators have flown to Congo to liaise with the police and Italian prosecutors are expected to open a full investigation when they return.
- Reuters Videos
There were no immediate reports of injuries.The Southeast Asian nation has been in crisis since the army seized power on Feb. 1 and detained civilian government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election.There have been daily protests and strikes by democracy supporters for about three weeks, often drawing hundreds of thousands of people across the diverse country.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday told Saudi King Salman he would work for bilateral ties "as strong and transparent as possible," the White House said, ahead of the expected release of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The report is a declassified version of a top-secret assessment that sources say singles out the 85-year-old king's son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for approving the murder of Khashoggi in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia denies that the 35-year-old crown prince, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, approved the killing.
- Reuters Videos
Thailand has a new attraction to tout to tourists: 'golf quarantine.'International visitors can now chip away at their two weeks in isolation on the putting green, as part of a new program devised by the government to boost its ailing tourism sector.Heo Kwang-eum is a businessman and one of the dozens of South Korean visitors taking up the offer, at a resort an hour north of Bangkok."I'm grateful to the Thai government for starting this program. We are at the starting point. From my four-day experience (of isolating in a hotel room), it would be torture if we stayed in a room and did nothing for two weeks."Visitors undergo three tests throughout their stay.The package costs around $2,240 - a reasonable price for these golfers compared with the cost of a regular quarantine, cooped up in a hotel room.Ku Jung-keun is the general manager of the Artitaya Country Club."The golf quarantine offers three safe tests and time to enjoy golfing. Doctors provide daily health check-ups for the guests too while they are staying here, and it's not an expensive program."With bars and other resort facilities closed, there's no prospect to thrash out the missed birdies, bogeys and shanks of the day. But spirits remain high.[Visitor Heo Kwang-eum, saying:] "It's huge, the golf course is almost over one square kilometre with 36 holes. Think of 41 Koreans golfing as you roam around the field, served by over 100 employees. It's like emperor's golfing. As you know, it's extremely hard to go golfing in Korea these days because of the crisis. Here it's a golf paradise."
- The Independent
Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king as intelligence officials to release report on Khashoggi killing
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
- LA Times
President Biden's visit to Texas comes as many are angry at state leaders and are still recovering after losing power and water.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Business Insider
Students from Rep. Madison Cawthorn's college said he used 'fun drives' to corner women with sexual advances, report says
Two former resident assistants told BuzzFeed News they warned women in their dorms not to go on drives with Cawthorn because "bad things happened."
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.
- Associated Press
Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme's debut as Montreal's coach, rallying to beat the Canadiens 6-3 on Thursday night to open a two-game series. The Jets rallied after Montreal took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
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.
- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
"Orlando is awesome. It's not as nice as Cancún, but it's nice," Cruz said, referring to the scandal he sparked by leaving Texas for Mexico.