The Islamic Republic has been reeling from one crisis to another, from the targeted killing by the United States of its top general to the Revolutionary Guard's accidental shootdown of a passenger plane carrying scores of young people, most of them Iranians. U.S. sanctions have crippled its economy as tensions with America have soared. In a rare Friday sermon in Tehran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stuck to the playbook Iran has relied on since 1979, blaming the country's woes on the U.S. and other Western powers, and proclaiming that Iranians still support the Islamic Revolution.
An off-duty Hong Kong police officer was arrested along with seven other people on Friday as they tried to put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge, police said. It's the first known case of a police officer being apprehended for supporting the massive demonstrations that have led to more than 6,500 arrests in the past seven months. The officer, 31, and the seven other people aged 14 to 61, were arrested at 3:00 am on Friday in Tuen Mun, a district in northwest Hong Kong.
Twitter/AliBaroodi A well-known ISIS preacher was captured by Iraqi police, but he was apparently so overweight he had to be taken away in the back of a truck. Police said he incited extremist ideology and pledged allegiance to ISIS during their control of Mosul. Pictures posted to social media appear to show al-Nima being put in the back of a pickup truck by Iraqi forces.
Vanessa Smallwood, who was 46 at the time of her disappearance, was identified in a statement from New Jersey State Police. Smallwood was a Maple Shade resident, according to the statement. Smallwood was last seen at a dry cleaner's store in Cherry Hill on Jan. 27, 2014, according to the FBI's missing-persons notice.
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.
The head of Puerto Rico's emergency agency has been sacked following the discovery of a warehouse filled with supplies dating back to Hurricane Maria. Governor Wanda Vazquez said the goods had sat unused since the September 2017 disaster, which killed an estimated 3,000 people. She ordered an investigation and described the inaction of Carlos Acevedo, the director of the office of emergency management (NMEAD), as “unacceptable”.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is still promising "If you like your insurance, you can keep it" — with a twist. In his endorsement interview with The New York Times published Friday, Biden is asked about that phrase both he and former President Barack Obama have said in the past. And after accepting that he actually did say it, Biden promised that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," provided "your employer doesn't take it away from you."
On November 10, 2015, Russian media accidentally-on-purpose revealed a glimpse into the Kremlin's new underwater weapon—the "Kanyon" or Status-6 nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed drone. The Kanyon UUV (unmanned underwater vehicle) as described and illustrated is a very, very large torpedo almost eighty feet long and five feet in diameter. Fitted with a monstrous 100-megaton nuclear warhead and propelled by a nuclear power plant, Kanyon is designed to create radioactive tsunamis in ports and coastal areas.
Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller's probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin's thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging file of real-estate transfers through which Trump laundered racketeering proceeds for Putin's favored mobsters and oligarchs; or Trump is recorded cutting a deal to drop Obama-era sanctions against Putin's regime if Russian spies hack Democratic accounts. Thought experiment No. 2: Adam Schiff is not a demagogue.
Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. This is a last resort for us.
A California teen who had been drugged and kidnapped was rescued by police this week after using Snapchat to alert her friends to her abduction. Police said the 14-year-old victim on Tuesday notified friends she had been kidnapped via the popular app and they were able to determine her location and alert authorities. One man was arrested as he left the motel in San Jose, in northern California, where the girl was being held and two other suspects were taken into custody on Wednesday, police said in a statement.
Heavy rains in fire-ravaged eastern Australia have brought welcome relief for firefighters and farmers, but sparked flash floods that have led to fresh scrambles to save native animals. As the rain hit on Thursday the New South Wales State Emergency Services department warned that the sudden heavy downpours in some areas would bring flash flooding, falling trees and landslides where the fires have wiped out vegetation. On Friday, the warnings were realised when flash floods hit the Australia Reptile Park on the NSW east coast, and the state's koalas - having lost thousands of their number and huge swathes of their habitat - needed to be rescued again as floods thundered down fire-blasted hills empty of vegetation.
Evelyn Yang, the wife of 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, is alleging that she was sexually assaulted during her first pregnancy by a doctor who has since lost his license. In an interview that aired on CNN on Thursday night, Yang said she was assaulted by her OB-GYN in 2012, claiming the doctor's abuse "started with inappropriate questions around how intimate I was with my husband, sexual activity, just very inappropriate probing questions that were unrelated to my health." Yang said the "examinations became longer, more frequent, and I learned that they were unnecessary most of the time."
Qatar Airways, Emirates and several other Gulf airlines still fly in Iraqi and Iranian airspace and to cities in both countries, even as other international carriers have rerouted planes since the United States and Iran traded military strikes. Executives and analysts said carriers in the Gulf, a major transit stop between European and Asian destinations, have few alternative routes to choose from in an area where much of the airspace is kept clear of civilian aircraft for military use. In the latest flare up, a U.S. drone strike killed a top general in Iraq on Jan. 3 and Iran fired missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq on Jan. 8.
Hillary Clinton pleaded for Democratic voters to be practical with their primary vote in the coming election this year. That's because, she argued, nothing could be worse than a second term for President Trump.
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.
Key Point: Despite the developments related above, the balance of opinion in Beijing seems impressively moderate on the prospects for a major nuclear buildup by China. When one reads enough Chinese naval literature, diagrams of multi-axial cruise missile saturation attacks against aircraft carrier groups may begin to seem normal. Targets include the biggest cities on the East and West Coasts, as well as in the Midwest, as one would expect.
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?
A remote town was on edge Friday after at least five people were found shot to death, highlighting Colombia's struggle to bring peace to rural areas where drug crops are abundant and illegal armed groups are active. The killings happened overnight in an isolated part of the Jamundi municipality in southwestern Colombia and also left two vehicles incinerated, officials said. It was the third massacre in Jamundi in the past year.
Angola's former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos has denied links to alleged public company embezzlement during his rule, in his first response to corruption investigators last month freezing his daughter's assets. Isabel dos Santos, the ex-president's billionaire first-born, has been the target of an anti-corruption campaign led by her father's successor President Joao Lourenco. The investigation is looking at alleged irregularities involving diamond marketing firm Sodiam and Sonangol -- Angola's national oil company, which was handed over to Isabel dos Santos by her father in 2016.
Nam Y. Huh/AP Winter storms wreaked havoc on airports and roads throughout the Midwest into the weekend. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport saw nearly 700 canceled arriving and departing flights Friday night before around 200 flights were canceled Saturday morning. Authorities issued alerts for areas across the Northeast as blizzard conditions were forecasted to move across the Great Lakes to New York and New England over the weekend.
A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman at his own wedding reception pleaded guilty to misdemeanours after more serious charges against the New Jersey groom were dropped, keeping him out of prison. In a Pennsylvania court on Thursday, 32-year-old newlywed Matthew Aimers received six years of probation as part of a plea agreement on misdemeanour charges of simple assault, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct during his November 2018 reception. Charges of indecent assault, imprisonment of a minor and harassment were dropped.
Mexican prosecutors are investigating the discovery of a burned-out vehicle containing the charred bodies of 10 people in the southwestern state of Guerrero, authorities said late on Friday. Police made the grisly discovery on a country road in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez after locals saw the vehicle on fire and alerted authorities, state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said in a statement published on Facebook. The attorney general's office of Guerrero did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
WASHINGTON – Republican Sen. Susan Collins has surpassed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as the most unpopular U.S. Senator, according to a new tracking poll. The Maine Senator's net approval rating has dropped 10 points since the end of September, leaving her with a 52 percent disapproval rating, a quarterly Morning Consult tracking poll found. The poll comes as Collins, one of the most moderate Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, faces a tough reelection campaign for what would be her fifth term.
Voyagerix / Shutterstock Americans who drink heavily are now consuming more alcoholic drinks during each binge, according to a new study. Researchers found that binge-drinkers consumed 12% more alcohol per episode in 2017 than in 2011 — from an average of 479 drinks a year per person to 529. Heavy drinking, defined as 5 or more drinks for men and 4 or more for women in a single sitting, can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and liver damage.