Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam asked lawmakers Thursday to pass a state budget that has a "greater focus on issues of equity" as he tries to move past a blackface scandal that nearly ended his governorship. Northam met with a group of state legislators to discuss the budget and sent them a letter outlining his priorities as the GOP-led General Assembly puts the final touches on its state spending plan. Top among them, Northam said, are increased funding for struggling schools and more spending to decrease the number of evictions.
Paul Manafort's longtime business associate, whom Special Counsel Robert Mueller says has ties to Russian intelligence services, interacted with former U.S. State Department officials, according to a revised court transcript. Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked with Manafort for a decade on political campaigns in Ukraine, had “communications with former high-level State Department officials,” Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said at a Feb. 4 court hearing. The significance of those communications wasn't clear.
Venezuela's chief state prosecutor said on Thursday an investigation had been opened into directors of state-run oil firm PDVSA, and its U.S. refiner Citgo, that the opposition-controlled congress appointed on Wednesday. Prosecutor Tarek Saab, in comments broadcast on state television, announced "the opening of an investigation against people designated illegally as directors of PDVSA and Citgo." Saab also said they would investigate foreign ambassadors named by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who on Jan 23 invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency.
A pregnant London schoolgirl's wish to return home after joining the Islamic State group in Syria splintered Britain on Friday as reports emerged of more UK women fleeing the war zone. Shamima Begum's fate has prompted soul searching in Britain since she and two friends created international headlines by running away to join the terror network in 2015. Home Secretary Sajid Javid told The Times newspaper that people like Begum "were full of hate for our country".
Is 400 horsepower not enough for your people- and cargo-hauler in 2019? How does 500, 600, or 700 horsepower sound? From Car and Driver
There is no question that the United States is facing both a humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border. Just think about this: 2,000 illegal and inadmissible migrants arrive at our border every day; our immigration courts have a backlog of more than 800,000 cases; and in the past two years alone, Customs and Border Protection has arrested thousands of criminals at the southern border. Unfortunately, Democrats have repeatedly denied the magnitude of this crisis.
Thirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan."
Omar then went after Abrams for his effort to downplay a massacre committed by the El Salvadoran military when he was serving under the Reagan administration. After hundreds of civilians were killed in the village of El Mozote in December 1981, including 131 children under the age of 12, Abrams and other administration officials dismissed reports of the massacre as exaggerations. The Atlacatl Battalion, which committed the massacre, was trained by U.S. advisers and two months after El Mozote, Abrams cited the battalion's "professionalism."
The Mars rover Opportunity has died, NASA announced yesterday (Feb. 13). A layer of dust likely coated its solar panels, preventing it from juicing itself up after a 2018 sky-blackening dust storm on the Red Planet. But why couldn't NASA launch a rescue mission to get it working again?
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had lobbied hard for Amazon headquarters; Laura Ingle reports.
Paul Manafort broke his plea deal by repeatedly lying to prosecutors after he agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a judge ruled Wednesday. His misrepresentations touched on areas of central interest to Mueller's prosecutors. Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian translator, Konstantin Kilimnik, who Mueller says has ties to Russian intelligence services, the judge concluded.
The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, for the first time using U.S. military aircraft as it increases pressure on Nicolas Maduro to give up power, according to a State Department email sent to Congress. The announcement of additional aid comes as the Trump administration on Friday added Venezuela's oil boss and key intelligence officers to a long list of Maduro loyalists under U.S. financial sanctions.
Amazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.
The world's largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing's legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets. Confirming a shake-up first reported by Reuters, Airbus said on Thursday the last A380 would be delivered in 2021. The move comes after Emirates - the largest A380 customer - was forced to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo after an engine dispute and a broader fleet review, opting to order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo instead.
One year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.
According to her older sister Sahima, Shamima Begum was like any other 15-year-old girl, with the same hobbies, the same worries and infatuations which preoccupy the minds of most British teens. Four months before she was due to sit her GCSEs, Shamima — the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, by all accounts a “sensible girl” and a “talented and dynamic” student at the high-flying Bethnal Green Academy — was secretly planning to leave her family and the only home she had ever known in London's East End, and travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride. Two of her school friends, Kadiza Sultana, then 16, and Amira Abase, 15, planned to accompany her, with the girls aiming to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum (no relation of Shamima), who had successfully travelled to Syria the year before.
A Delta Air Lines flight en route from California to Washington was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday after five passengers were injured due to severe turbulence. The flight touched down in Reno about 1:30 PST, according to Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesperson Brian Kulpin. Kulpin said three of the injured passengers were transported to a local hospital.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released more than a dozen drawings made by a prolific serial killer in hopes the public may be able to identify some of his victims. Samuel Little, 78, was arrested at a Kentucky homeless shelter in September 2012 and extradited to California, where he was wanted on a narcotics charge. In 2014, Little was convicted on all three counts and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
European and US stock markets leapt on Friday as positive signs emerged from US-China trade talks aimed at averting an escalation of a tariff war between the world's top two economies. US President Donald Trump said the negotiations in Beijing were going "extremely well" and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced the talks would continue in Washington next week. Trump also said there was a "possibility" he would extend a March 1 deadline for a sharp rise in tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods to go into effect.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is preparing to compromise with the European Union over the future of Ireland's border, with just two weeks left to save her Brexit deal. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay privately told the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Monday the U.K. doesn't need to reopen the divorce agreement and would accept other ways to address British concerns, a person familiar with the talks said. On Thursday, members of the pro-Brexit European Research Group of Conservatives inflicted another embarrassing parliamentary defeat on the premier after they refused to endorse her approach to resolving the deadlock.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to spend an extra night in Warsaw after his plane was damaged following an airport mishap shortly before departure. Other aides, including Netanyahu's national security adviser and his military secretary, spent the night on the aircraft, saying they did not want to go through the hassle of pre-boarding security checks again. Piotr Rudzki, a spokesman for Warsaw Chopin Airport, told The Associated Press the incident occurred as the chartered Boeing 777 was being pushed back from its parking stand by a pushback vehicle.
Californians are experiencing some unusually nasty winter weather this week as an "atmospheric river" passes through most of the state, bringing howling winds and heavy rain. The storm arrived on Tuesday night (Feb. 12) in Northern California and continued into Wednesday (Feb. 13), leading the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue warnings of flash flooding, mudslides and high winds in the region. Atmospheric rivers are huge "rivers in the sky" that cause moisture from the tropics to flow north, from California to Canada.
On Monday, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) went on strike, the latest in a series of teacher strikes that have erupted across the country over the past year. While Denver teachers have voiced concerns about class sizes, support staff, and starting salaries, the consensus is that the issue at the heart of the strike is teacher frustration with Denver's once-celebrated ProComp pay system, which was jointly developed by the DCTA and Denver Public Schools in 2005. Back then, ProComp was heralded as a pioneering step forward on pay-for-performance/merit pay, and that framing has colored coverage of the strike.
Donald Trump's envoy to Venezuela was left flustered and visibly angry following an interrogation by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar over his controversial political past. Elliot Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month to help lead the US response to the political crisis in the South American country, which is seeing widespread hunger and violence following the collapse of its economy. On Wednesday, Mr Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, testified in front of the House foreign affairs select committee, where he was subjected to a fierce line of questioning by Ms Omar.
The steepest decline in U.S. retail sales since 2009 in December halted a broad rally in world stock markets on Thursday and pushed investors into the safety of government bonds. European shares fell 0.3 percent after earlier touching three-month highs. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 103.88 points, or 0.41 percent, to 25,439.39, the S&P 500 lost 7.3 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,745.73 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6.58 points, or 0.09 percent, to 7,426.96.