The U.S. military is resuming operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq and is working to soon restart training Iraqi forces, U.S. officials said Wednesday, despite deep divisions over the American drone strike that killed an senior Iranian commander in Baghdad and the resulting missile attacks by Iran on Iraqi bases. One official said some joint operations between the U.S. and Iraqi forces have already begun, but there are not yet as many as before. The official said details are still being worked out to restore the training of Iraqi forces, but that could happen relatively soon.
Key point: China's downsizing of its carrier ambitions may leave it with more time to evaluate just what the carriers of the future will really look-like—and whether they're worth the cost. China's People's Liberation Army Navy takes many of its cues from the U.S. Navy as it develops its carrier aviation branch. It is seeking similar flat-deck carriers to its U.S. counterpart, and has developed airborne early warning planes and electronic attack jets comparable to American E-2D Hawkeyes and EA-18 Growlers.
Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down an airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and warned that the world is watching for its response. Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain said Iran should hold a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations," in a statement issued after a meeting of officials in London. Iran admitted on Saturday it had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane in error, after initially denying it had a role in the incident.
Shutterstock A Michigan state senator begrudgingly issued an apology on Wednesday after telling a female reporter that a group of high school boys visiting the capitol would "have a lot of fun with her." In a Wednesday column, Michigan Advance reporter Allison Donahue recounted how Republican State Sen. Peter Lucido made the crude remark when she tried to ask him a question. When Donahue told Lucido she thought his comment was "unprofessional," he did not apologize, saying he was not making a sexual insinuation but instead a reference to social mixers.
House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI's reform of FISA applications. The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris's past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.
An actress who had a role in "Marriage Story" and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room on the Emerald Princess ship was infested with bedbugs and left them with bites all over their bodies. Connie and Alvin Flores allege in a lawsuit, filed in November 2019, that their stateroom aboard the cruise they took a year earlier was "infested with hundreds of bedbugs." The pair cruised from Nov. 28, 2018, through Dec. 4, 2018, out of Los Angeles. Connie Flores played an "arguing woman" in "Marriage Story," and is now speaking publicly about the suit.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife shared the clip of an eight-point buck shedding its antlers in the middle of the night, captured by a resident of Northfield, Vermont. The wildlife agency posted the footage on Facebook, calling it “spectacular and unique.” It's been viewed more than 277,000 times and shared by over 3,000 users. The animal is called an eight-point buck for its eight antlers, according to the Noble Research Institute, an agriculture research organization.
Molly Riley/Reuters Native American woman Tara Houska says a TSA agent grabbed her braids, whipped them like reins and said "giddyup" while she was going through security at the Minneapolis airport on Monday. A TSA official apologized to Houska for the incident, and released a statement saying "improper behavior is taken seriously" by the agency. The Transportation Security Administration was forced to issue an apology on Tuesday after a Native American woman described on Twitter a humiliating experience going through security at the Minneapolis-St.
The Philippines said Friday it was reimposing a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer, echoing a 2018 row between the two countries. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban as his government accused the emirate of covering up the killing of a maid, one of about 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Duterte's government briefly banned Filipinos deploying for work in Kuwait two years ago amid a diplomatic row that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers' freezer.
As long as they are rivals, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders couldn't stay friends forever. The White House hopefuls and longtime allies have spent the past year throwing red meat to the party's progressive base with calls for massive structural reforms to the nation's political and economic life. The differences that existed — how quickly to transition to government-funded health care, how broadly to apply a wealth tax — were generally around the margins.
Guatemala's new president on Wednesday faced an early test of his ability to manage migration as a caravan of hundreds of people left Honduras for the United States, and said Mexico would halt its progress.
The violent protests and political upheaval that marked 2019 and challenged governments from Hong Kong to Chile is set to stay and is now the “new normal,” according to a global risk firm. Verisk Maplecroft, which advises corporate clients on political risk around the world, said in a new report released Thursday that it predicts “continued turmoil in 2020” as administrations around the world continue to be surprised by demonstrators and ill-prepared to address the underlying social grievances that spur them. We all need to buckle up for 2020,” said Miha Hribernik, the Singapore-based head of Asia risk insight for Verisk Maplecroft.
US Navy Lt. Jonny Kim, a Navy SEAL and Harvard-trained physician, graduated from NASA training and became an internet celebrity. Kim said none of his career decisions were prompted by chasing medals or to seek approval, and that he makes sure that he imparts that outlook to his children. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas joked that he felt "horribly, horribly inadequate" while speaking in front of a group of newly-graduated NASA astronauts on Friday.
All countries involved in the Ukrainian airliner crash in Iran should avoid turning it into a political issue, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday. "We request all sides not to make human issues, particularly this tragic accident, into an excuse for political gestures," Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency. Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down the airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and that the world was watching for its response.
Key point: America should be worried. A cybersecurity firm reports that Chinese hackers have stolen technical data for the Iron Dome rocket-defense system from Israeli computers. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services detected the cyber burglary, according to cybersecurity writer Brian Krebs.
In a surprise move, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned along with the country's entire Cabinet, Russian state news agency Tass reported Wednesday. Medvedev made the announcement after Russia's President Vladimir Putin unveiled a series of constitutional changes that Medvedev said would alter the country's balance of power. Mikhail Mishustin, the head of Russia's tax agency, was named the new prime minister.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office charged Fredrick Hampton, 50, on Thursday with abuse of Paighton Houston's corpse. Hampton hasn't been charged with involvement in the 29-year-old's death, news outlets reported. Hampton was initially held in the Birmingham City Jail beginning Dec. 28 on suspicion of kidnapping, but he was released two days later after investigators failed to gather enough evidence to charge him with a crime, news outlets reported.
The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.
On Kangaroo Island -- home to unique koalas, the critically endangered mouse-like dunnart and many threatened plants -- concerns are particularly acute. Amid the stench of rotting animal flesh, rescuers are combing the island's Flinders Chase National Park looking for injured, lost and starving animals. "When we found this area we never thought anything could have survived, but we have pulled survivors out of there every day," Kelly Donithan, a Humane Society International crisis response specialist, told AFP while on patrol this week.
The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia's Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea. The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.
Apparently Lara Trump didn't get the message about former Vice President Joe Biden's stutter. Trump, who's married to President Trump's son Eric, decided to take a low blow at Biden during a Women for Trump event in Iowa on Thursday night. I feel kind of sad for Joe Biden, she said, because I'm supposed to want him to fail at every turn, but every time he comes on stage or they turn to him I'm like 'Joe can you get it out?
“If you don't want to vote and you think you're going to have to vote against Hunter Biden, you should just vote against witnesses, period,” Paul said, adding that his “first preference” would be a trial with no witnesses. If they insist on having people like Bolton coming forward, my insistence will be not just one witness. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more!
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg marched with 10,000 protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday and said "you have not seen anything yet" before some head to Davos next week to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change. "So, we are now in a new year and we have entered a new decade and so far, during this decade, we have seen no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming and that has to change,” Thunberg said in a speech in Lausanne. Hundreds will take trains over the weekend and then march to Klosters near Davos, the annual gathering of world political and business leaders that Thunberg is attending for the second year in a row and will take part in two panel events.
Key point: Russia would have made the same argument in 1943, when hordes of uncomplicated T-34 tanks faced formidable but heavily engineered and expensive German Tiger and Panther tanks. America's F-35 stealth fighter is too complicated and expensive, claims a Russian military expert interviewed by Russian media. "The F-35 is a very complex system and, as such, it has lots of holes, bugs and other things, and it is very difficult to debug it," Dmitry Drozdenko told Sputnik News.