U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) handed over more than 150 Iraqi and other foreign Islamic State fighters to Iraq on Thursday. The handover was the first of several, two Iraqi military sources told Reuters, under an agreement brokered to handover a total of 502 fighters. quot;The majority of the fighters are Iraqi," said a military colonel whose unit is stationed at the Syrian border.
A judge has imposed a full gag order on Trump confidant Roger Stone after he posted a photo on Instagram of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs of a gun. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Thursday she believes Stone would "pose a danger" to others in the case if she didn't institute the order. Jackson ordered Stone to court to show why she shouldn't modify or revoke his bail or implement a full gag order.
Pope Francis put forward a 21-point plan for combating the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests on Thursday, but the proposals were dismissed by victims as wholly inadequate and a recycling of procedures that already exist. The list of “reflection points” was put forward by the Pope on the first day of a summit that was convened in response to sex abuse scandals that have undermined faith in the Catholic Church around the world. "The holy people of God looks to us, and expects from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken," the Pope said as the conference, the first of its kind, got underway at the Vatican.
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.
The 38-year-old is one of many Venezuelans suffering from malnutrition as the once-prosperous, oil-rich OPEC nation has seen its economy halve in size over the last five years under President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelans' diets have become ever more deficient in vitamins and protein, as currency controls restrict food imports and salaries fail to keep apace with inflation that is now above 2 million percent annually. Growing malnutrition is one of the reasons Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido has moved ahead with his plans to bring supplies of food and medicine into Venezuela by land and sea on Saturday, despite resistance from Maduro.
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.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that an Alabama woman who fled to Syria to join ISIS in 2014 is not a U.S. citizen and, as a result, is not entitled to return to the U.S. with her 18-month-old son, as she had hoped to do. “Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Pompeo said in a statement. “She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States.
Embattled Empire actor Jussie Smollett is now considered a “suspect” for filing a false police report, evidence of which has been presented before a grand jury, a Chicago Police Department spokesman announced on Wednesday. Case Update: Jussie Smollett is now officially classified as a suspect in a criminal investigation by #ChicagoPolice for filing a false police report (Class 4 felony). Smollett initially told police that he was attacked outside of a Subway restaurant at around 2 a.m. on January 29 by two masked men who allegedly beat him, poured an unknown chemical on him, and placed a noose around his neck.
Saudi Arabia will release 850 Indians from its prisons after a request from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to New Delhi, India's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Saudi jails hold the greatest number of Indians incarcerated in any country abroad. As of January 2019, 2,224 Indians were jailed in the kingdom for crimes including murder, kidnapping, bribery, cheating, and offences related to drugs and alcohol, according Indian Foreign Ministry figures.
One of the militants freed was Masood Azhar, who later went on to found Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the militant group which claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in three decades in Indian-held Kashmir. More than 40 Indian paramilitaries were killed in the suicide blast on February 14, kindling a fresh diplomatic crisis between nuclear-armed arch-rivals India and Pakistan. Based in Pakistan, JeM is one of several anti-Indian militant groups fighting in Kashmir which are officially outlawed in the country, but which are allegedly used by Islamabad as proxies in India.
A small funeral home was packed with hundreds of mourners for a 21-year-old college student who was killed on the first day of his internship when a worker opened fire inside an Illinois manufacturing facility. Trevor Wehner was among five people killed in the Friday shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora. During a brief religious service Wednesday in the Village of Sheridan, Wehner was remembered as family-oriented, someone who could change the atmosphere of a room just by walking in and who liked to tease and play jokes.
President Donald Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine whether climate change affects national security, despite existing reports from his own government showing that global warming is a growing threat. According to a White House memo dated 14 February, Mr Trump's staff members have drafted an executive order to create a 12-member committee, which will include a White House adviser, William Happer, whose views are at odds with the established scientific consensus that carbon dioxide pollution is dangerous for the planet.
Emissions of carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming – could soar to levels not seen in 56 million years by the middle of next century, scientists warned in a study Wednesday. Though it won't happen in our lifetimes, it could very well happen in the lives of our grandchildren or great-grandchildren. "You and I won't be here in 2159, but that's only about four generations away," said study author Philip Gingerich, a University of Michigan paleoclimate researcher.
But wait. Maybe don't cancel that Tesla Model 3 reservation just yet. From Car and Driver
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.
Independent Women's Forum fellow Claudia Rossett says the U.S. wants ousted Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to be afraid to use military force.
Empire star Jussie Smollett has been charged for allegedly filing a false police report – weeks after he told Chicago police that he was the victim of a horrific racist and homophobic attack. Smollett, who is black, openly gay and is known for a portraying a character who is also gay, allegedly told police that he was assaulted by two men in the early hours of Jan. 29. Felony criminal charges have been approved by @CookCountySAO against Jussie Smollett for Disorderly Conduct / Filing a False Police Report.
Serbia rejected a warning from the U.S. over its support for embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro a week after Belgrade hosted a delegation from the Latin American state. U.S. Ambassador to Belgrade Kyle Scott tweeted that Serbia is “on the wrong side of history, noting that more than 50 countries have endorsed Maduro challenger Juan Guaido. Serbia's foreign minister responded by saying his country had “respect for international law and non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign countries.
Japan wants Britain to have frictionless trade with the European Union after Brexit, its ambassador said Thursday, insisting a damaging no-deal scenario should be avoided. Japanese companies are looking to expand their investment in Britain but are holding back due to uncertainty over Brexit, Koji Tsuruoka said during a talk in London. However, he insisted Japanese carmaker Honda's decision this week to close its plant in Britain had nothing to do with 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.
New York Times publisher Arthur “A.G.” Sulzberger responded to what he called “President Trump's continued attacks on a free press” Wednesday, hours after Trump lashed out at the paper as a “true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. Sulzberger wrote that Trump's “demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. The latest standoff between the Times and the White House followed the paper's Tuesday publication of an in-depth examination of Trump's efforts to discredit and derail multiple investigations into his presidential campaign and action...
Authorities have closed the main route between Las Vegas and Phoenix due to heavy snow that has resulted in a 22-mile line of cars and trucks. The Nevada Department of Transportation reported Thursday that nearly 80 miles of Interstate 11 and U.S. 93 from Boulder City to Kingman, Arizona, was closed. In the Las Vegas area, motorists are being warned about the possibility of icy road conditions into Friday.
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.
Islamic State looked close to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday as civilians poured out and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the remaining jihadists wanted to fight to the death. More than 2,000 civilians left the village of Baghouz in a convoy of dozens of trucks. Coalition warplanes could be seen overhead and the sounds of intermittent gunbattles could be heard from the area, which is completely surrounded by the SDF.