A deadly car bombing claimed by the Islamic State group hit US-backed forces in east Syria Thursday as they tried to negotiate the release of civilians trapped in the jihadists' last sliver of territory. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are working towards evacuating civilians remaining in the holdout, so they can polish off the dying IS "caliphate" whether through an assault or a surrender deal. The jihadists overran large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014, but several offensives have retaken all but half a square kilometre (a fifth of a square mile) of the territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz.
Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy demanded on Wednesday to meet Pope Francis to press their call for the Church to apply a zero tolerance policy including the dismissal of bishops who covered up such offences. The 12 victims met with five Vatican officials a day before the start of an unprecedented conference on clerical abuse that aims to guide senior bishops on how best to tackle a problem that has decimated the Church's credibility. All the survivors of abuse who took part in the meeting, which lasted more than two hours, said they were disappointed the pope did not attend, even though he was not scheduled to be there.
The U.S. Department of Transportation plans to cancel $929 million in federal funding for California's high-speed rail project, threatening the state's plan to complete the first phase of a project that has intensified a rivalry between President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. In a Tuesday letter from the Federal Railroad Administration addressed to Brian Kelly, CEO of California's High-Speed Rail Authority, Administrator Ronald Batory wrote that the cancellation of funds will take effect on March 5. The rail project has faced cost overruns and years of delays.
Kelsey Berreth was beat to death with a baseball bat at the hands of her fiance after he failed to persuade a woman he was having an affair with to commit the killing, investigators said Tuesday.
As tax season starts to heat up, people with big plans for their tax refunds may be surprised to find they are receiving less money than in years past. The initial batch of tax refunds in the first two weeks of the season declined an average of 8.7% from last year as of Feb. 8, according to a report from the Internal Revenue Service. The changes likely stem from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act law that passed in December 2017, significantly overhauling the tax code in the U.S. Among the changes were new tax brackets, standard deductions and expanded credits for families with children.
In a wide-ranging interview about what it means to be a man, Barack Obama said that you don't need women "twerking around you" if you are "very confident about your sexuality". During a town hall in Oakland, California as part of the former president's My Brother's Keeper programme, Mr Obama engaged in a candid conversation with Golden State Warriors basketball star Steph Curry. The two touched on a range of topics including the importance of male role models, music, and how police and minority communities interact.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said honest business people shouldn't have to live under “constant fear of criminal prosecution,” days after the arrest of one of the country's top foreign investors. Echoing previous exhortations to officials and law-enforcement to stop harassing business, which have produced few results, Putin said Wednesday in his annual state-of-the-nation address that “detention is often extended without good reason” and almost half of cases “don't even make it to court. But he didn't mention Baring Vostok Capital Partners Founder Michael Calvey, the American private equity investor who's in pre-trial detention as the latest prominent business figure to face prosecution.
The U.S. had more hate groups last year than at any point in at least the past two decades, according to an organization that tracks white supremacists and other far-right extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center said Wednesday that the 1,020 groups it counted in 2018 is the most since 2011 and the highest number since the center broadened its survey of such groups in the 1990s. Last year's tally also represents a 7 percent increase over the 954 groups that the Alabama-based law center counted in 2017.
In fact, the F-21 is an F-16 that Lockheed has upgraded with new cockpit displays, conformal fuel tanks, a larger airframe spine that can accommodate additional electronics, fittings for towed radar decoys, a new infrared sensor and a refueling probe that's compatible with India's Russian-made aerial tankers.
Bunkers are being rebuilt and a blackout has been ordered, but schools and bazaars remained open Thursday in Chakothi, a border village in Pakistani-held Kashmir, after a deadly attack sent tensions with neighbouring India soaring. Residents were worried but life was going on in the village of some 3,000 inhabitants just three kilometres (two miles) from the "Line of Control", the de facto border which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, have been fighting for seven decades over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, now one of the most militarised zones in the world.
A Colorado man accused of murdering his fiancé last November beat the young mother to death with a baseball bat before burning her body, a homicide investigator told a hearing on Tuesday, a court official said. The gruesome details emerged at a day-long preliminary hearing in Teller County District Court in Cripple Creek, Colorado, to decide if there was probable cause to try Patrick Frazee for the disappearance and slaying of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth. Gregg Slater, an agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, testified that Frazee blindfolded Berreth and beat her to death by hitting her on the head with a baseball bat, Jon Sarche, a public information officer with the Colorado Judicial Branch, confirmed to Reuters.
President Trump reacted with surprise when asked Wednesday about reports that his administration was making a global push to decriminalize homosexuality. In an Oval Office exchange with reporters, Trump was asked about the plan, which was first reported by NBC News on Tuesday. “Mr. President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you going to do that?
Willemstad, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) (AFP) - A plane carrying food and medical aid from the United States landed on the Caribbean island of Curacao Thursday en route to Venezuela, whose government has vowed to block it. AFP reporters saw the jet land at the airport in Curacao, one of the focal points of a volatile standoff between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and self-declared head of state Juan Guaido. One of the Venezuelan organizers of the shipment, Miguel Rodriguez, said the plane contained 50 tons of food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering shortages.
Southwest Airlines' flight woes continue, with nearly 400 Thursday flights canceled due to maintenance issues and winter weather. Southwest, the nation's largest domestic carrier, had canceled 389 flights, or 9 percent of its schedule, as of 1:15 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. That is the highest number of cancellations by any carrier and accounts for 51 percent of flight cancellations within, into or out of the United States, according to FlightAware. Southwest attributed the high number of cancellations to weather challenges and continuing maintenance issues that have a pulled a higher-than-usual number of aircraft out of service.
A student involved in a viral confrontation with a Native American man is suing the Washington Post for $250m (£191m) over its coverage of the incident. The defamation lawsuit, filed by Covington Catholic High School pupil Nick Sandmann, claims the newspaper “wrongfully targeted and bullied” him due to its “biased agenda” against Donald Trump. The 16-year-old was wearing one of the president's signature Make America Great Again hats when he attended an anti-abortion rally in Washington in January along with classmates from his Kentucky school.
The European Union and Britain are moving towards a separate legal statement in which the bloc would again stress the temporary nature of the so-called Brexit backstop for the Irish border, diplomats in Brussels said. They spoke of a "parallel declaration" or "interpretative instrument" on the backstop, a day after British Prime Minister Theresa May and the head of the European Union's executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, met in Brussels to seek a way out of the Brexit deadlock. The backstop is an insurance policy designed to avoid border controls between EU member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit.
Nearly four years ago, the U.S. government's highway safety agency began investigating air bag inflators made by ARC Automotive of Tennessee when two people were hit by flying shrapnel after crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 8 million Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia and General Motors vehicles in the U.S. use the company's inflators. The investigation became more urgent in 2016 after a Canadian woman driving a Hyundai was killed by shrapnel from an ARC inflator.
Cracks in Britain's political party system yawned wider Wednesday, as three pro-European lawmakers quit the governing Conservatives to join a newly formed centrist group of independent legislators opposed to the government's conduct of the country's departure from the European Union. Anna Soubry, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston said they will join eight ex-opposition Labour Party lawmakers in the new group. In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, the trio accused the Conservative Party of abandoning the political center ground, and said “the final straw for us has been this government's disastrous handling of Brexit.
HAGATNA, Guam –Two leading U.S. organizations protecting victims and documenting the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic priesthood have called on Pope Francis to sustain the guilty verdict on Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron in a case involving sexual abuse of minors, and to defrock or expel him from the priesthood. "It is wrong for Pope Francis to leave Guam Catholics twisting in the wind and waiting to discover the fate of Archbishop Apuron, especially since it has been nearly a full year since the archbishop was found guilty of abusing children," said Zach Hiner, executive director for the Missouri-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world's largest and oldest survivors group for abuse victims.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday a woman born in the United States who joined the Islamic State militant group did not qualify for U.S. citizenship and had no legal basis to return to the country. Hoda Muthana, 24, traveled to Syria over four years ago to join Islamic State, also known as ISIS. She married a succession of Islamic State fighters and went on Twitter to encourage attacks on the West.
Canada is looking to quickly bring over siblings of a Syrian refugee distraught over the loss of her seven children in a Halifax house fire, the prime minister said Thursday. "The immigration minister is seized with this particular case," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when asked if Ottawa would fast-track the immigration or asylum process to bring the woman's brothers to Canada in order to provide her with family support. The family was among tens of thousands of Syrian refugees welcomed by Canada over the past four years.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman vowed to fight terrorism alongside India after talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, days after New Delhi accused Pakistan of planning a major terror attack in Kashmir. Terrorism is a common concern and Saudi Arabia will cooperate with India in fighting it, including in matters like intelligence sharing,” Prince Mohammed said in a press statement alongside Modi in New Delhi. The comments were part of the Saudi royal's delicate diplomacy, as he visits both nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors amid heightened geopolitical tensions.
But wait. Maybe don't cancel that Tesla Model 3 reservation just yet. From Car and Driver
Income investors are particularly drawn to energy utilities because consistent demand fuels consistent profits -- and regular dividends are the result. These nine companies offer that kind of reliable dividend potential. Exelon is one of the largest utilities in the U.S., with a $46 billion market valuation and key service areas that include areas around Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. This focus on key urban centers provides a consistent baseline of demand and ensures the relevance of EXC for many years to come.