A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves: EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a weekly look at the latest developments in the South China Sea, the location of several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region. TOP U.S. NAVY OFFICER URGES CHINA TO RESPECT RIGHT OF PASSAGE The U.S. Navy's top officer says he urged China to follow international rules at sea to avoid confrontations and insisted that ships should be able to pass safely though the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.
Mexico has opened an investigation into what caused a deadly pipeline explosion, including possible negligence by authorities, the attorney general said Monday, as the death toll rose to 91 people. It is still unclear exactly how events unfolded leading up to the Friday blast, which occurred as hundreds of people rushed to collect fuel in buckets and jerrycans from a geyser of gasoline that was spouting from an illegal pipeline tap near the town of Tlahuelilpan, in the central state of Hidalgo. The death toll from the blast and ensuing fire has now risen to 91 people, after two more victims died in hospital, Governor Omar Fayad told Mexican radio network Formula.
Women's March co-chair Tamika Mallory claimed during a recent interview that The View's Meghan McCain aggressively questioned her about her ties to infamous anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan because McCain is racist. Mallory, who labeled Farrakhan the GOAT on social media after attending a speech in which he labeled Jews “satanic,” said she intended to praise the Nation of Islam leader's past advocacy on behalf of the black community, not his virulent and frequently displayed anti-Semitism. Asked by McCain to explicitly condemn Farrakhan, Mallory refused — a decision she now attributes to McCain's aggressive rhetorical style, which she claims was racially motivated.
A magnitude- 6.7 earthquake hit the coast of north Chile, causing buildings to shake and fears of a possible tsunami. It reportedly caused homes to rattle, as well as minor damage to old buildings and power outages in the nearby coastal city of La Serena – a popular beach town about 250 miles north of Santiago. Chilean mining group Antofagasta Plc said operations were continuing as normal at its Los Pelambres copper mine following the nearby earthquake.
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Sorkin – who is renowned for penning political dramas like the West Wing and Charlie Wilson's War – argued that while he likes the young freshman Congressmembers, “They need to stop acting like young people, ok? In an extended thread, Ocasio-Cortez argued that Sorkin is falling into a trap common among conservatives – belittling individuals, and especially women, for their identity or style rather than addressing their ideas.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who is now President Trump's personal attorney, said Sunday that plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow may have continued until at least the 2016 presidential election — months later than previously acknowledged. Giuliani said on NBC's “Meet the Press” that Trump recalls discussing the project with his former lawyer Michael Cohen until late 2016. He said Trump doesn't remember the exact dates or sequence of these conversations but that they didn't go anywhere.
British Airways will paint one of its Boeing 747-400s in a retro livery that dates to the 1960s – part of an effort to commemorate its 100th birthday. The company also revealed plans to paint other planes in vintage schemes, but – for now – would say only that “more details of further designs (would) be revealed in due course. The 747 due to get the first makeover will be painted in the “much-admired design” of British Airways' predecessor company, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC).
Full video tells different story of viral moment between Native American and student; panel reaction on 'The Story.
A Kentucky Catholic high school is considering expelling students who were captured in viral videos taunting a Native American veteran on Friday. In the videos, a large group of teenage boys – including several wearing Covington Catholic High School sweatshirts – are seen chanting and surrounding a small group of Native Americans, who were attending the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. One of the boys, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, smirks and stands close to an elderly Native American man, who was later identified as Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips. Covington Catholic High School and the Diocese of Covington released a joint statement Saturday, saying that they “condemn the actions” of the students and apologize to Philips.
The comments, which add to growing signs of improved relations between Islamabad and Washington, come amid efforts to press on with talks between the Taliban and the United States aimed at an agreement to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan. "I've seen things change here and all in a positive direction," Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has generally been a staunch supporter of Trump, told a news conference in Islamabad. U.S. relations with Pakistan have long been dogged by suspicions that elements in the Pakistani establishment were aiding the Taliban, a charge Islamabad strongly denies.
China's population grew at a slower rate last year despite the abolition of the one-child policy, official data showed Monday, raising fears an ageing society will pile further pressure on an already slowing economy. China's government raised the limit to two children in 2016 to rejuvenate the world's most populous country, which has nearly 1.4 billion people, and experts say it may remove the cap next year. "Decades-long social and economic transformations have prepared an entirely new generation in China, for whom marriage and childbearing no longer have the importance as they once did for their parents generation," said Wang Feng, a sociology professor at University of California, Irving.
A police officer in Florida ran over two people lying on a dark road to watch the lunar eclipse, leading them requring hospital treatment. The West Palm Beach Police Department has confirmed the officer ran over the two people, who were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the incident on Sunday night. Police said that the individuals, who have not been identified, were hit around 11.30pm, just at the height of the eclipse.
Amtrak says it expects to have all of its trains back on a full schedule Monday after a weekend of cancellations and delays caused by the winter storm as it rolled through the Midwest and Northeast. Among the lines impacted were the Acela Express between Boston and Washington; Empire Service between New York and Buffalo; the Lake Shore Limited that travels between Chicago, New York and Boston; and Keystone Service between New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Amtrak says travelers should continue to check on their train status on the Amtrak website or smartphone app before leaving for the station.
Theresa May will return to Parliament on Monday having briefed her Cabinet on Sunday evening that there was little prospect of cross-party Brexit talks succeeding. Last week she saw the deal that she'd negotiated with the European Union overwhelmingly rejected. Instead, according to two people who were on the call, she said she would seek changes to the Irish backstop section of the deal she's negotiated with the EU.
Donald Trump has again confused weather with climate change, suggesting the US would benefit from “a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now” amid forecasts of snow and cold conditions. Little more than two months since a similarly misleading conflation, the president tweeted: “Be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold.
The route from Los Angeles to our desert testing grounds climbs over the San Gabriel Mountains through 40 miles of corners and clouds that test handling, braking, and power. Of our dozens of commutes over these mountains this year, there are a few memorable standouts: the traffic-free run in a Mustang GT, the 911 GT3's 9000-rpm shriek bouncing off the rock walls, a paradigm-busting drive in an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and this most recent assault in the redesigned Porsche Cayenne. Porsche did spec this one with the optional air springs and adaptive dampers ($4160) and 21-inch wheels wrapped in wide summer tires ($5510).
Google has kicked off 2019 by getting hit with yet another multimillion-dollar fine from a European regulator. Stemming from an investigation that began in May — the day after Europe's strict new data privacy rules known as GDPR went into effect — France's data protection authority has announced a $57 million fine against Google in the first such GDPR penalty levied against a US technology company. In a statement explaining the action, the French agency known as the CNIL noted that the fine is a result of deficiencies that include Google not being clear enough about the way user data is handled to present personalized ads.
Four aid workers were convicted Friday on charges connected to their efforts to leave food and water for migrants in an Arizona wildlife refuge along the U.S.-Mexico border. The volunteers, who are members of the faith-based humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, were caught on Aug. 13, 2017, by a Federal Wildlife officer as they left water jugs, beans and other supplies for migrants in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a 50-mile border with Mexico. The judge, United States Magistrate Bernardo P. Velasco, ruled that three of the volunteers – Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick – were convicted of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandoning personal property or possessions.
Mexico's new government knew a pipeline was leaking but did not act for hours before a blast killed at least 85 people, a minister said on Sunday, increasing scrutiny of a push to stop fuel theft seen as the president's first crackdown on crime. State oil firm Pemex did not close the gasoline pipe when first notified by the military, about four hours before Friday's blast, because it considered the leak "minimal," Security Minister Alfonso Durazo told a news conference. In the hours that followed, the leak grew and as many as 800 people brought plastic containers to the gushing duct, filling up with free fuel in what witnesses described as an almost festive atmosphere.
A suicide bomber attacked a convoy of US troops and their allies in Syria on Monday, killing five members of a Kurdish-led force fighting the Islamic State group, a monitor said. The assault, claimed by IS jihadists, came less than a week after another deadly attack on US forces in Syria, and a month after Washington announced a US troop pullout from the war-torn country. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five fighters from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the blast on a road in northeastern Hasakeh province.
US federal workers who are not getting paid during the longest government shutdown in the country's history are increasingly turning to pawnbrokers for short-term loans, according to shop owners. The turnout is small – a few people per day – pawnbrokers said, but many expect the numbers to increase amid the stalemate. About 800,000 federal workers have missed a paycheck during the nearly month-long shutdown.
The world's oldest man has died at his home — a hot springs inn — in northern Japan at the age of 113. Masazo Nonaka died in the early hours of Sunday while sleeping at home in Ashoro on Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, his family said. The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified by Guinness World Records in April 2018 as the world's oldest living man at 112 years and 259 days.
PREVIOUS UPDATE (Saturday, 8:25 p.m.): Flight headaches were on the rise Saturday as a potent winter storm moved from the Midwest into the Northeast. Airline cancellations mounted, with some flights on Monday already off the books. For Saturday, more than 2,125 flights had been canceled nationwide and another 2,570 delayed as of 8:25 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
A group of 143 former diplomats and scholars from 19 countries have penned an open letter to Xi Jinping, China's president, demanding Beijing to “immediately release” two Canadians detained in China. Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a prominent consultant on North Korean business issues, have been held for six weeks in Beijing. In their respective roles, the two frequently met with Chinese officials, researchers and scholars, the letter noted.
And most were there to celebrate the same thing: a January 1 birth date. p Far from a strange coincidence, the date is usually assigned to immigrants who arrive in the United States without birth certificates, as refugees often do. p Some refugees may have never even celebrated a birthday back in their native countries and do not know when they were born.