Port St. Lucie native Din Thomas trains and houses three world class mixed martial artists in his garage.
- Reuters Videos
Mazen Shemes's nine-year-old son was killed by a mortar as Islamic State advanced across northern Iraq in 2014.That night, the family buried him and fled Qaraqosh, a Christian enclave near Mosul, along with thousands of others.Five years later, the farmer is back on his land, replanting trees and coaxing it back to life.His community is growing back too, encouraged by an active local clergy, which helped Shemes and others rebuild."When we came back, we filed an application at the church, we went to Father Georges, and they finished our house."Pope Francis will visit Qaraqosh on Sunday (March 7), as part of a four-day tour of Iraq, the first ever by a pope.About half the town's Christians have returned, a rare ray of hope for a community devastated by years of Islamist violence.That's down to church leaders, who hatched a plan to encourage families back to the town of 50,000 people, by rebuilding houses first, then churches.Funds came mainly from Christian organisations abroad. Father Georges Jahola was put in charge."We have this piece of land. We have inherited this small patch of land from our ancestors. If we lose it, we lose our identity."Qaraqosh boasts the Grand Immaculate Church, Iraq's biggest, restored now after it was damaged and burned.Pope Francis's visit is a source of pride for a community that remains vulnerable.And morale was high for the volunteers who danced and sang as they cleaned and decorated it in preparation.
- The Independent
Biden news - live: Militia group ‘planning Capitol attack today’ as Trump mulls 2024 run without Pence
Live updates from the White House
- The Telegraph
Water and organic matter found on the surface of an asteroid could explain how life formed on Earth, the first ever sample reveals. Researchers from Royal Holloway, University of London, analysed a single “grain” from the asteroid, known as ‘Itokawa’, and discovered it had evolved chemically over time. Their findings, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, reveal “complex details” of the asteroid’s history and could help explain the evolution pathway of Earth, they said. Samples taken from the asteroid were returned from the inner Solar System by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's first Hayabusa mission in 2010. A team of international researchers then analysed a single grain of the sample, nicknamed ‘Amazon’, and discovered both unheated and heated organic matter. “The organic matter that has been heated indicates that the asteroid had been heated to over 600°C in the past,” said Dr Queenie Chan from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway. “The presence of unheated organic matter very close to it, means that the infall of primitive organics arrived on the surface of Itokawa after the asteroid had cooled down.” Itokawa has been constantly evolving over billions of years, the findings suggest, by taking in water and organic materials from foreign extra-terrestrial material - similar to Earth. The asteroid would have undergone extreme heating, dehydration and “shattering” due to a catastrophic impact, the researchers said. That impact is likely to have taken place “rather recently”, 1.3 to 1.4billion years ago, they added.
- LA Times
Kyal Sin wore a T-shirt that said 'Everything will be OK' when she was shot by Myanmar security forces on the deadliest day since the military coup.
Elon Musk's company SpaceX is building a vehicle that could transform space travel.
- Associated Press
Ethiopia’s government is under growing pressure to allow the world to see firsthand what has occurred in its embattled Tigray region as its Nobel Peace Prize-winning prime minister rejects “partisan interventions.” Millions of dollars in aid to Ethiopia, a key security ally in the region, are at stake. Last month The Associated Press exposed the killing of an estimated 800 people in the city of Axum, citing several witnesses, and a week later Amnesty International reported “many hundreds” killed there, citing more than 40 witnesses.
- The Daily Beast
WPA Pool/Getty ImagesMeghan Markle is expected to discuss racism in the U.K. in her sit-down with Oprah Winfrey that airs on Sunday.In a depressing illustration of the problem, which Prince Harry has previously described as “structural” in Britain, a prominent British journalist and frequent critic of Meghan Markle is under fire after launching an extraordinary and racist attack on her, in which he appeared to suggest the fact that he thinks she is “attractive” meant she could not be a victim of racism.Andrew Pierce, a senior editor at the Daily Mail who is a regular guest on British TV and radio shows, was hosting a talk radio show Wednesday when a caller suggested that Meghan had never been “fully accepted because of her skin color.”Pierce, who is white, responded, “Oh God, that one again! Do you look at her… and see a Black woman? Because I don’t. I see a very attractive, a very attractive woman. It’s never occurred to me. I never look at her and think, ‘Gosh she’s Black!’ in the way you look at Oprah Winfrey, you would be in no doubt. When they sit down and do that interview, you will see a Black woman called Oprah Winfrey and you will see a woman who describes [herself] as a woman of color. Her mother is Black, she’s from a mixed-race family of course. But I just don’t think people look at Meghan and think, ‘Oh I hate her, because of her skin color.’ I don’t see it. I don’t buy it.”Just a reminder of who Andrew Pierce is... (sound on) pic.twitter.com/wUKq6deFAY— Royal Suitor (@royal_suitor) March 3, 2021 In his statement, Pierce utilizes colorism—the concept that because Markle is of a fairer complexion she cannot be a victim of racism. Instead, he compares her to Oprah Winfrey, implying that the media mogul’s darker skin color is not seen as being attractive because her features are overwhelmingly Black.This has been the case for a number of famous women. Michelle Obama constantly endured negative feedback about her looks before her husband even officially took his place in the White House. By highlighting Markle’s lighter skin, not only is Pierce diminishing her experiences but also perpetuating misunderstandings about racism.Pierce, a frequent critic of Markle, had earlier in the day been a guest on British TV show Good Morning Britain. The segment in which he appeared was criticized for featuring five white men talking about Meghan. Pierce attacked Meghan as hypocritical on the show over allegations she bullied staff at Buckingham Palace and also attacked her later in the day on Twitter for wearing jewelry gifted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.#Meghan wore diamonds from Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia 3 weeks says @thetimes after he ordered murder of #JamalKhashoggi it's not just appalling timing, why is she taking diamonds from Saudi which treats women as 3rd class citizens. So much for her worldwide equality campaign— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) March 3, 2021 The shocking comments by Pierce that appeared to question Meghan’s race based on her appearance echo a revealing article written for Elle magazine in 2015 by Markle in which she said her race made it difficult for her to break through in Hollywood: “I wasn’t Black enough for the Black roles and I wasn’t white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn’t book a job.”She added: “Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating.“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman.”On Martin Luther King Day 2016, Markle published a moving piece of writing on her now-shuttered blog The Tig that explored the overt and covert racism she and her family have experienced throughout their lives.Pierce’s remarks have generated outraged commentary on social media.This is what Meghan had to deal with. Listen to how Andrew Pierce defines the attractiveness and diversity of a black woman. Heartbreaking. @Oprah @GayleKing @meenaharris @RobinRoberts @MichelleObama @WhoopiGoldberg https://t.co/pDKD4tN6vH— Pam Ranberg (@PamRanberg) March 3, 2021 Nervousness at the palace about what Meghan might reveal in her interview with Oprah intensified today after a new promo clip of Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was released. It shows Meghan accuse the British royal family of “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and her husband. Winfrey asks, “How do you feel about the palace hearing you speak your truth today?” Markle responds, “I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us. And if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.”Royals often use the term “The Firm” to refer to the monarchy.The Daily Beast has approached Associated Newspapers, Pierce’s employers, seeking comment. —Brooke Howard contributed to this reportRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Britain and the European Union are on course to agree a deal on regulatory cooperation in financial services this month, but the UK's actions in Northern Ireland makes it harder to build trust, the bloc's financial services chief said on Thursday. "We are on track," Mairead McGuinness told a Politico event. The British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move Brussels said violated terms of Britain's divorce deal.
- Associated Press
Jimmy Vesey scored twice, Frederik Andersen made 26 saves in his return from an injury and the NHL-leading Toronto Maple Leafs completed a three-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers with a 6-1 victory Wednesday night. John Tavares and Zach Hyman each had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyhev also scored to help Toronto improve to 18-4-2.
South Carolina officials may soon force death-row inmates to decide if they want to be executed by lethal injection, electric char or a firing squad
South Carolina currently has 37 inmates on death row, though the state has not conducted an execution in nearly 10 years.
Alec and Hilaria Baldwin just welcomed their 6th child together. Here's a timeline of their relationship.
From welcoming six kids to dealing with age gaps and handling controversies, Alec and Hilaria have been through a lot during their relationship.
- Associated Press
Footage of a brutal crackdown on protests against a coup in Myanmar unleashed outrage and calls for a stronger international response Thursday, a day after 38 people were killed. Videos showed security forces shooting a person at point-blank range and chasing down and savagely beating demonstrators. Despite the shocking violence the day before, protesters returned to the streets Thursday to denounce the military's Feb. 1 takeover — and were met again with tear gas.
- Associated Press
Pakistan's prime minister will seek a vote of confidence from the National Assembly this weekend to prove he still has the support of majority lawmakers in the house, despite the defeat of his ruling party's key candidate in Senate's elections, a Cabinet minister said Thursday. If Prime Minister Imran Khan fails to win the vote of confidence, Pakistan could face another phase of political turmoil. According to Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, science and technology minister, the vote is due on Saturday.
Parents of girls released by kidnappers had thrown stones at officials during the reunion ceremony.
- Associated Press
Israeli authorities said Wednesday that a Libyan-owned tanker suspected of smuggling oil from Iran to Syria was responsible for spilling tons of crude into the eastern Mediterranean last month, causing one of Israel's worst environmental disasters. Over 90% of Israel’s 195 kilometer (120-mile) Mediterranean coastline was covered in more than 1,000 tons of black tar, the result of the mysterious oil spill in international waters. Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said the Panamanian-flagged “pirate ship owned by a Libyan company” — identified as the “Emerald” — filled its stores with oil in the Persian Gulf, then sailed with its transmitters off toward the coast of Syria.
A nuclear-capable, long-range U.S. bomber flew over the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with NATO allies, the U.S. Air Force said, amid Western concerns over a more assertive Russia. "This mission sends a clear message that our commitment to our NATO allies is unshakeable," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander said in a statement.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson will act unilaterally to give supermarkets and their suppliers more time to adapt to post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland in a major escalation of tensions with Brussels. The Prime Minister told the Commons: "The position of Northern Ireland within the UK internal market is rock solid and guaranteed... We leave nothing off the table in order to ensure we get this right." Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland Secretary, confirmed that the UK is extending the grace period for supermarkets agreed with the EU last year by six months. The move sparked a fresh row with the EU, which is jointly responsible for the Northern Ireland Protocol governing trade and new border checks in the province. The European Commission said the EU had "strong concerns" over the unilateral move because "this amounts to a violation of the relevant substantive provisions of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the good faith obligation under the Withdrawal Agreement." "This is the second time that the UK government is set to breach international law," said Lord Frost's opposite number Maros Sefcovic, referring to earlier UK threats to override the Withdrawal Agreement. The commission threatened retaliation through enforcement measures in the Withdrawal Agreement and trade deal in response. The temporary relaxation for checks on supermarkets and their suppliers had been due to expire at the end of this month under the terms of Northern Ireland Protocol, which is part of the Withdrawal Agreement reached in 2019 and which came into force this year. However, in a written ministerial statement published on Wednesday, Mr Lewis said suppliers moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will now not be required to fill out the extra paperwork for agrifoods when the deadline expires. Instead, the UK will unilaterally extend the deadline until October while continuing to try to secure agreement with the European Commission for a longer extension as requested by Michael Gove.
- The Daily Beast
Greg Nash/ReutersBureaucratic restrictions and public-relations concerns from the Army and top Trump administration Pentagon appointees unreasonably restrained the D.C. National Guard from responding to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, its commander testified to the Senate in a dramatic Wednesday session.The Guard commander, Major General William Walker, described receiving a “frantic” phone call from the then-head of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, shortly before 2 p.m., as the breach was underway.Yet because of the restrictions from Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, and the “best military advice” of senior Army officers, Walker and his 155 Guardsmen could not respond to the scene of the insurrection for another three hours and 19 minutes—restrictions Walker pointedly noted were not placed upon him during the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C.Had Walker been able to deploy to the Capitol “immediately,” as he testified he wanted, around 2 p.m.—a process he said took less than 20 minutes—“that number could have made a difference,” Walker said. “We could have helped extend the perimeter and pushed back the crowd.”FBI Director Shoots Back, Insisting Bureau Shared Intel Ahead of Capitol InsurrectionIt was perhaps the most intense moment thus far in a series of Senate hearings on Jan. 6 that have prompted dueling claims of irresponsibility, recriminations that have focused overwhelmingly on security and intelligence failures, rather than the politicians who spread the inciting lie that the Democrats stole the presidential election and hailed the violent protest called for by President Donald Trump.Army and Pentagon officials have heard this critique from Walker in the press and pushed back on it. Yet it was clear at the hearing that even senior Republican senators considered the Pentagon’s restrictions on the D.C. National Guard unacceptable.Walker described pre-insurrection letters from McCarthy, relaying instructions from Miller—whom Trump installed atop the Pentagon shortly after losing the election—that withheld from Walker the issuance of “weapons, ammunition, batons, ballistic protection equipment, to include body armor.” He did not have preapproval to mobilize a quick-reaction force of 40 Guardsmen and found it “unusual” to be denied a typical commanders’ authority to protect his own forces.As well, Walker described an instruction that afternoon from McCarthy to provide a “concept of operations” for the Guard before getting approval to shift from backing up the D.C. police and relieving beleaguered Capitol Police officers. “In 19 years, I never had that before happen,” Walker told senators. In several instances that day, Walker acted on his own initiative to muster the quick-reaction force at the D.C. Armory and get his Guardsmen protective gear, ahead of the belated approval to deploy to the Capitol.Neither Miller nor McCarthy testified. Instead, a senior Pentagon civilian, Robert Salesses, was left to effectively testify that Walker was wrong.Walker testified that two Army three-star generals, Charles Flynn and Walter Piatt, told him on Jan. 6 afternoon phone calls that they advised against sending the Guard to the Capitol because it was a poor “optics” and “could incite the crowd.” Salesses stoically said that Piatt, who is not in the chain of command, told him he never “used the word ‘optics,’” which represents the second revision in Piatt’s story, as the Army general recently acknowledged he may have indeed used that word.Walker shot back: “There were people in the room with me on that call that heard what they heard.”But Salesses’ broader point was that the restrictions Miller placed on Walker were political. “There was a lot of things that happened in the spring the department was criticized for,” Salesses said, referring to the Pentagon’s use of the National Guard to suppress the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington.Yet Salesses, questioned by Republican senators, could not explain all the Pentagon restrictions on the National Guard.The National Guard was on the streets of D.C. on Jan. 6 to support the D.C. police, in an unarmed and unarmored fashion, at 30 city traffic-control points and six Metro stations. Walker said he had to seek approval from the Pentagon to accompany the police in moving a traffic point over by a single block. The quick-reaction force, stationed initially at Joint Base Andrews just outside the district, was “not [designed] to respond to the events of the Capitol,” Salesses pleaded. “I don’t know if that’s true,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) replied, quickly prompting Walker’s agreement.Salesses also had to concede that over a half-hour passed between his account of Miller finally authorizing the Guard deployment, at 4:32 p.m., and notifying Walker of that decision at 5:08 p.m. Asked what accounted for that delay by an incredulous Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Salesses said only, “Senator, it’s an issue.”“That’s a significant problem for the future,” Blunt said.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Buckingham Palace is investigating claims that the duchess bullied royal staff ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah.
- Associated Press
Iran has agreed to sit down with international technical experts investigating the discovery of uranium particles at three former undeclared sites in the country, the head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said Thursday, after months of frustration at Tehran's lack of a credible explanation. The agreement came as three of the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran — France, Germany and Britain — backed off the idea of a resolution criticizing Iran for its decision to start limiting access by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to current facilities. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Vienna it was not up to him to say whether Iran's move to hold talks with his technical experts was linked to the decision of the so-called E3 group, but suggested it was difficult to separate the political side of Iran's nuclear program from the technical side.