Turkey will launch a new military operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria "within a few days," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, a move likely to further strain ties between NATO allies Turkey and the United States. In recent months, Turkey has shelled Kurdish positions across the border in Syria, east of the Euphrates River, and has threatened to drive out the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG. The YPG is the main component of a Kurdish-led militia in Syria that rolled back the Islamic State group with the help of the U.S.-led coalition.
A Florida man testified this week about fatally shooting his best friend ― who was long suspected of falling victim to alligators ― because he was having an affair with the friend’s wife. Brian Winchester told a courtroom in Tallahassee that he killed his best friend, Mike Williams, in 2000 and hid his body because he was having an extramarital relationship with Denise Williams, who is now on trial for first-degree murder, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Winchester’s remarks came as the prosecution presented its case against Williams on Wednesday, the second day of testimony.
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn requested on Tuesday a sentence of a year's probation for lying to FBI agents in a case stemming from a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said last week Flynn had provided substantial cooperation with its investigation, as well as with other probes. Flynn held the White House job for only 24 days.
Insurance claims from the recent devastating California wildfires that killed at least 89 people and destroyed 19,000 homes and businesses have reached at least $9 billion, the state's insurance commissioner said Wednesday. "The devastating wildfires of 2018 were the deadliest and costliest wildfire catastrophes in California's history," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Most of the insurance payouts -- some $7 billion -- concern the Camp Fire in Northern California, which wiped out the town of Paradise and killed 86 people, making it the deadliest wildfire in recent California history.
The U.S. military has identified five Marines who were declared dead after their refueling plane collided with a fighter jet last week off Japan's southern coast. Search and recovery operations have ended after finding only one survivor, who was aboard the fighter jet. The five crew members identified Wednesday were on a KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft that collided with an F/A-18 Hornet during regular training.
Talks in Sweden between Yemen's warring parties on Thursday led to a major breakthrough in blunting a devastating war that has killed thousands and driven the country to famine, with both sides agreeing on a ceasefire in a key port that acts as a lifeline for millions. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the Iran-linked Houthi rebels, who control Hodeidah port, had reached a ceasefire there with the Saudi-led coalition that was massing troops in the Red Sea city ahead of a final push into the port.
A disgruntled employee at a Canadian Walmart decided that he wasn’t going to quit quietly. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, a 17-year-old worker named Jackson Racicot grabbed the PA mic and told everyone in the store what he really thought about working there. Racicot then dove into individual grievances, starting with his manager who apparently had called him “a waste of time.” He goes on to say that promises had been made and not kept, and details the story of how he was given only benefits of a part-time employee even though he worked full-time.
The Pentagon announced Tuesday that American observation posts in northern Syria, meant to prevent altercations between the Turkish army and US-supported Kurdish militia, have been erected, despite Ankara's request to scrap the move. US support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has strained relations with Turkey, which fears the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish region on its southern border. "At the direction of Secretary (James) Mattis, the US established observation posts in the northeast Syria border region to address the security concerns of our NATO ally Turkey," Department of Defense spokesman Rob Manning said.
By one estimate, the average 401(k) owner with 100 percent invested in U.S. stocks is currently sitting on a paper loss of $8,733 since the end of September. That rough approximation takes into account the 8.2 percent drop this quarter through 11:45 a.m. Wednesday suffered by the Standard & Poor’s 500, an index of large U.S. stocks, and the record 401(k) average account balance of $106,500 at the end of the third quarter, according to Fidelity Investments’ analysis of its more than 15 million 401(k) accounts.
An exploratory committee allows Castro to raise and spend a limited amount of money to test whether he can generate support for an official bid for the Democratic nomination through the months-long slog of caucuses and primaries set to get underway in February 2020. While he may be the most serious Latino candidate for the Democratic Party, it won’t be easy for Castro to stand out in a wide field of more than a dozen contenders that could include senators, governors, mayors and wealthy entrepreneurs.
The office of the Paris prosecutor, which handles terrorism cases in France, says a man killed in Strasbourg in a shootout with police has been identified as the main suspect in a Christmas market attack that killed three people. The man was identified as Charif Chekatt, a 29-year-old whom police had been searching for since Tuesday night's attack near Strasbourg's Christmas market, which also left 13 people wounded. Earlier, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner had said police had been attempting to arrest a man fitting the suspect's description when the man turned around and opened fire on them.
Search for the term “idiot” on Google and several photographs of President Donald Trump will appear high in the image results. On Tuesday, the search engine giant’s CEO Sundar Pichai had the task of explaining to members of Congress why that happens during a hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee. Pichai refuted Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s (D-Calif.
Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday. The Camp Fire, which erupted on Nov. 8 and quickly incinerated most of the Sierra foothills town of Paradise, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, has accounted for the bulk of the claims, just over $7 billion of the total. That fire destroyed more than 18,500 structures, including nearly 14,000 homes, in and around Paradise, and killed 86 people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
A month after a heavy round of Israel-Hamas fighting, the undercover Israeli operation that sparked the battle remains clouded in mystery. The Israeli army has kept mum, while Hamas officials aren't talking while they investigate. With each side protective of its secrets, and possibly keen to spread disinformation, the full story may never be known.
Attorneys for former national security adviser Michael Flynn requested late Tuesday that the retired Army lieutenant general spend no time in prison and be sentenced to one year of probation based on his cooperation with Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. "General Flynn’s respect for the law is demonstrated by his decision to accept responsibility for his actions soon after the Special Counsel’s Office reached out to him and sought his cooperation," Flynn's lawyers said. The attorneys, however, did offer a new account of Flynn's interactions with FBI agents during a Jan. 24, 2017 interview in which the newly installed national security adviser, without a lawyer present, lied about his contacts with Russia ambassador Sergey Kisylak.
Beijing said Wednesday a detained former Canadian diplomat may have violated Chinese laws if he carried out work in the country because his employer is not legally registered in China. Michael Kovrig, a senior adviser at the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, was detained by Chinese state security in Beijing on Monday night, according to ICG. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he had "no information to offer" about the detention.
Six ministers have urged May to force Parliament to vote informally on a range of Brexit outcomes, according to people familiar with the situation. The plan is to show that there’s no majority for any kind of divorce in a bid to get lawmakers to accept a compromise. Once it’s clear that no one’s first option commands enough support, the idea is that May’s deal -- which is widely loathed -- might then look like a reasonable compromise with a decent chance of success, according to two Cabinet ministers.
Three people missing since last weekend were found alive Wednesday in an underground coal mine in West Virginia, authorities said.
Toyota gets hip to the beauty of all-wheel drive-and also of beauty. From Car and Driver
Stacey Abrams is not done yet. “Yes, I will run again,” Abrams said at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference. Abrams, a former leader of the Georgia House, lost by less than 55,000 votes to Republican Brian Kemp, who was serving as Georgia’s secretary of state, making him the state’s election overseer while running for governor.
A 21-year-old man was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the beating death of a University of Southern California graduate student from China. Albert Ochoa is the fourth person convicted in the 2014 attack on 24-year-old engineering student Xinran Ji. Ochoa and three others attacked Ji while trying to rob him as he was walking home from a study group near the USC campus on June 24, 2014, prosecutors said.
Millions of Indians do not have access to sanitation and open defecation is a problem, even in developed, industrial states. The girl, E. Hanifa Zaara, didn't want to go out in the open and won a promise from her father to build a lavatory indoors, said police officer A. Valarmathi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been pushing a campaign to build 100 million toilets over five years but the drive has not covered large parts of the country.
A frustrated Donald Trump reportedly threw briefing papers across the White House floor following his chaotic televised meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer were widely considered to have bested Mr Trump after the 72-year-old was goaded into admitting he would be “proud” to partially shut down the government if congress refuses to approve $5bn in border wall funding. Following the dispute, Mr Trump “stormed out” of the Oval Office, and, holding a folder of briefing papers, “scattered them out of frustration – threw them across the room”, according to the LA Times’ White House reporter Eli Stokols.