China's desire to develop close ties with Iran will remain unchanged, regardless of the international situation, President Xi Jinping told the speaker of Iran's parliament, ahead of Thursday's visit to Beijing by Saudi Arabia's crown prince. China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite relying on the region for oil, with Iran its fourth largest supplier last year, but has been trying to raise its profile, especially in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia's King Salman visited Beijing in 2017, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives on Thursday for a two-day visit.
At a time when African Americans and LGBT people face increasing violence, police and activists warn that false reports of hate do real damage. While such hoaxes are rare, they say, each one diverts resources from actual victims, sows doubt about legitimate attacks, and gives material to those who would minimize the threat of hate in the United States. "Bogus police reports cause real harm," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters Thursday.
US special representative Elliott Abrams departed the US on Friday for the Colombian city of Cucuta on a plane carrying American humanitarian aid for crisis-hit Venezuela. The US Air Force C-17 cargo plane left Homestead, south of Miami, and was to arrive in Cucuta later on Friday, a day before the deadline set by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido for the entry of humanitarian assistance that President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to prohibit. Abrams told reporters at the military base the United States was sending medical supplies and enough food to feed 2,000 people for a month.
U.S. prosecutors have charged an IRS employee with leaking banking records of President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen that flagged suspicious activity, the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco said Thursday. John C. Fry, an investigative analyst for the IRS, acknowledged releasing information to attorney Michael Avenatti, according to the affidavit by Linda Cieslak, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury. Avenatti represents adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump that he denies.
In a tense court hearing on Thursday, U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said that Stone's apology and explanations for why he posted a photo of her next to the image of the crosshairs of a gun on his Instagram account were not credible. Jackson made her ruling after a highly unusual hearing in which Stone, who is charged with crimes related to Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, took the stand to testify about the posting. Stone's seemingly contradictory statements and at times foggy recollections about the post's origins during a cross-examination by the government frustrated Jackson, who later concluded he "could not even keep his story straight on the stand." Stone, a longtime Republican political operative, friend of Trump and self-proclaimed "dirty trickster," was arrested on Jan. 25.
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.
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 Latest on Pope Francis' sex abuse summit at the Vatican (all times local): 5:15 p.m. The U.S. ambassador to the Vatican says she hopes the Holy See will show a "renewed commitment to ending clerical sexual abuse" following this week's summit of church leaders at the Vatican. Ambassador Callista Gingrich met Friday with a group of U.S. survivors who came to Rome to demand an end to the church's cover-up and greater transparency and accountability from the Holy See.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Thursday followed fellow Democratic presidential contender Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) in calling for the government to pay reparations to African Americans to atone for slavery and subsequent discrimination.
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.
France is to recognise anti-Zionism, the denial of the state of Israel, as a form of anti-Semitismin response to a surge in acts against Jews not seen “since the Second World War”. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, also promised new legislation in May to fight hate speech on the Internet, which could see platforms such as Facebook and Twitter fined for every minute they fail to take down racist or violent content. While stopping short of calling for new legislation, the President said the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance would help guide police forces, magistrates and teachers in their daily work.
Two Saudi Arabian sisters have spent almost six months hiding in Hong Kong after authorities reportedly foiled an attempt to flee the conservative kingdom, a human rights group says. Using aliases to protect their identities, non-profit Justice Centre Hong Kong said in a statement that Reem, 20, and Rawan, 18, arrived in the city on Sept. 6, 2018, after escaping during a family holiday in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. The pair had booked a connecting flight to Melbourne Australia, where they planned to seek asylum, but they were intercepted upon landing and told their flight had been cancelled.
Lin Wood explains the Covington Catholic High School student's $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post.
Donald Trump has called on American companies to become leaders around the world in "5G, even 6G" technology in a series of tweets. “I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible,” the president tweeted on Thursday morning. “I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies.
Pakistan's military warned India on Friday against "misadventure", saying it was capable of responding to any threats as tensions simmer between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. "We hope you will not mess up with us," military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told a press briefing in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the second such message Pakistan has sent to New Delhi in as many days. Tensions have risen in the days following a suicide attack in Kashmir that killed 41 Indian paramilitaries and was claimed by Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), based in Pakistan.
The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Johnson & Johnson over concerns the company's baby powder may have contained asbestos. The agencies subpoenaed the health care product maker in the wake of several jury awards to plaintiffs who claimed the company's talc products were tainted with asbestos and caused their cancers. The agencies seek documents about those matters and other suits Johnson & Johnson faces filed by shareholders and pension holders over the situation.
Investigators searched for decades for the killer of an 11-year-old girl who disappeared while walking home from summer school in a case that gripped a California seaside community. A photo of a smiling Linda O'Keefe has hung for years on the wall of the police department in Newport Beach, reminding investigators to keep pressing forward on cold cases like hers. More than four decades later, authorities in Southern California said Wednesday that a Colorado man has been arrested and charged with killing her in 1973.
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The probe could lead to a new election to fill the seat, which has remained vacant since state officials refused to certify Harris' apparent victory over Democratic rival Dan McCready by 905 votes out of 282,717 ballots cast. The five-member State Board of Elections heard evidence this week that the political consultant, Leslie McCrae Dowless, hired workers to solicit and collect absentee ballots from voters in violation of state law. Harris's son, John, told the board on Wednesday he suspected Dowless had run a similar scheme in a 2016 primary election while working for Republican U.S. House candidate Todd Johnson.
The Telegraph understands Begum has inherited Bangladeshi dual nationality through her parents, but the country's minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam denied this on Wednesday, saying she was "nothing to do with Bangladesh". Asked about the situation on ITV's Peston, Mr Javid said: "I'm not aware of any Home Secretary in any party in any previous government that has taken a decision that would leave anyone stateless.
Southwest Airlines Co. slid after warning that the U.S. government shutdown hit sales harder than previously estimated. The political stalemate that ended last month will reduce first-quarter revenue by $60 million as the aftereffects lingered on, Southwest said in a regulatory filing Wednesday. When the discounter reported earnings last month, it estimated the impact would be $10 million to $15 million for Jan. 1 through Jan. 23.
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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.
Their family says they were involved in volunteering and believed in giving back before they died.
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.