Nearly a year after most schools shut down due to the pandemic, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sees an opening for the Republican Party.School unions on the defensive »
Turkish police have detained a suspected Iraqi Islamic State group militant and rescued a 7-year-old girl from Iraq's Yazidi religious minority he had allegedly been holding captive, the state-run news agency reported Wednesday. The man, identified by his initials S.O., was detained in an early morning raid in the capital Ankara, the Anadolu Agency reported. The suspect had once served as an officer in the Iraqi army, the agency said, adding that police and the country's intelligence agency had been monitoring his moves.
Turkey's parliament is set to consider legal bids to lift the immunity from prosecution of 21 pro-Kurdish MPs, applying more pressure on a political party targeted in a years-long crackdown and that now faces calls for its closure. The government accuses the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), parliament's third largest, of ties to Kurdish militants and stepped up its accusations after Turkish captives were killed in Iraq earlier this month. The HDP in response criticised President Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AK Party (AKP) for using a failed military rescue mission to target it politically and to sow ethnic division, and the European Union has expressed concern over the legal moves.
The ruling Communist Party is celebrating the official end of extreme poverty in China with a propaganda campaign that praises President Xi Jinping's role, part of efforts to cement his image as a history-making leader who is reclaiming his country's rightful place as a global power. The propaganda apparatus has been linking national successes to Xi, including fighting the coronavirus, China's rise as a technology creator and December's successful lunar mission to bring back moon rocks. The party announced in November, with little fanfare, that China no longer had anyone in extreme poverty.
The House GOP's leadership split is far from patched up. After former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building last month, House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was among just a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the riot. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) meanwhile said he'd only support censuring Trump, as he "bears responsibility" for the attack.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashed out at Marjorie Taylor Greene on Wednesday, implying that the Georgia congresswoman was trying to take some undeserved time off. “You could just vote 'no' instead of trying to get out of work early,” the Democratic representative from New York tweeted at Ms Greene, a Republican who has praised the QAnon conspiracy and whose outrageous statements have seen her removed from committee positions. Rep Greene had earlier boasted on Twitter that she motioned to adjourn the House of Representatives rather than vote on the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination in the United States based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The first big real-world study of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be independently reviewed shows the shot is highly effective at preventing COVID-19, in a potentially landmark moment for countries desperate to end lockdowns and reopen economies. Up until now, most data on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines has come under controlled conditions in clinical trials, leaving an element of uncertainty over how results would translate into the real world with its unpredictable variables. The research in Israel - two months into one of the world's fastest rollouts, providing a rich source of data - showed two doses of the Pfizer shot cut symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% across all age groups, and severe illnesses by nearly as much.
Rival neighbors Pakistan and India have pledged to stop firing weapons across the border in disputed Kashmir, promising to adhere to a 2003 accord that has been largely ignored, officials from both sides said on Thursday. This time the two militaries themselves are making vocal commitments, with senior generals reaching an understanding over a hotline on Wednesday, a joint statement said. “Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing” along the frontier which separates Kashmir between Pakistan and India, it said.
Venezuela's government on Wednesday ordered the expulsion of the chief European Union diplomat in the South American nation following the bloc's decision to impose sanctions on several Venezuelan officials accused of undermining democracy or violating human rights. Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa was given 72 hours to leave the troubled country. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Brilhante Pedrosa was declared persona non grata by decision of President Nicolás Maduro.
During a December visit to New York City, writer E. Jean Carroll says she went shopping with a fashion consultant to find the “best outfit” for one of the most important days of her life —when she'll sit face-to-face with the man she has accused of raping her decades ago, former President Donald Trump.
Bernie Sanders's approval rating is currently higher than both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, according to a new poll. The ratings come as the senator calls for a $15 (£11) minimum wage to be included as part of the $1.9 trillion (£1.2 trillion) coronavirus stimulus passing through Congress this week. Mr Sanders had a net favourability rating of 10 points among survey respondents, according to the poll released on Tuesday by The Economist/YouGov while the US president had a net favourability rating of 8 points, and the vice president 5 points.
Hyundai is to replace the electric batteries in nearly 82,000 of its electric vehicles worldwide because of a fire risk. Most of the affected vehicles are Kona cars built between 2018 and 2020, tens of thousands of which have been sold in the UK, vehicle-registration data suggests. The recall is expected to cost Hyundai about £640m ($900m).
Thai authorities are preparing a plan to ease restrictions for travellers vaccinated against the coronavirus, senior officials said on Wednesday, as the country looks to revive a tourism industry battered by travel curbs. Measures for vaccinated visitors would be introduced step-by-step and could include shortening the mandatory quarantine for all arrivals from two weeks to three days for those vaccinated, or waiving it entirely, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor (TAT) Yuthasak Supasorn said. The tourism ministry has also requested 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for tourism workers in Chon Buri, Krabi, Phang Nga, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
Doctors in Hungary on Wednesday began administering a COVID-19 vaccine developed in China, making the country the first European Union nation to use a Chinese jab as officials aim to bolster trust in its safety and effectiveness. General practitioners around the Central European country were instructed to administer the shots, developed by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm, to elderly patients. The Sinopharm jab brings the number of vaccines currently in use in Hungary to five including the Russian-developed Sputnik V, more than in any other country in the 27-nation EU.
U.S. President Joseph Biden's new administration said on Wednesday it would continue its international re-engagement by seeking election to the U.N. Human Rights Council where it will press to eliminate a "disproportionate focus" on ally Israel. Under former President Donald Trump's more isolationist approach, Washington quit the council in 2018 but the Biden government has already returned as an observer. "I'm pleased to announce the United States will seek election to the Human Rights Council for the 2022-24 term," Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the council by video.
Generations of South Korean prisoners of war are being used as slave labour in North Korean coal mines to generate money for the regime and its weapons programme, according to a report released by a human rights organisation. Mr Choi (not his real name) said he continued to work in a mine in North Hamgyeong province alongside around 670 other prisoners of war (POWs) until his escape, 40 years later.
From ornate to subtle, these beautiful screens double as functional art Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has proclaimed his Muslim-majority nation a choice destination for religious tourism by Sri Lankans, most of whom are Buddhists. In talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday, Khan highlighted Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan and stressed the building of cultural ties, the Pakistan Embassy said in a statement. “Pakistan probably has one of the greatest Buddhist heritages in the world and we invite people from Sri Lanka to visit them,” Khan said a day earlier after meeting with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Fresh off an election in which former President Donald Trump made false claims of fraud, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to ponder the legality of a restriction on early voting in Arizona that his fellow Republicans argued was needed to combat fraud. The Republican-backed law, spurred in part by a video purportedly showing voter fraud that courts later deemed misleading, made it a crime to provide another person's completed early ballot to election officials, with the exception of family members or caregivers. Community activists sometimes engage in ballot collection to facilitate voting and increase voter turnout.
Explosive-laden drones that targeted Saudi Arabia's royal palace in the kingdom's capital last month were launched from inside Iraq, a senior Iran-backed militia official in Baghdad and a U.S. official said. Speaking to The Associated Press this week, the militia official said three drones were launched from Iraqi-Saudi border areas by a relatively unknown Iran-backed faction in Iraq and crashed into the royal complex in Riyadh on Jan. 23, exacerbating regional tensions. Attacks on the Saudi capital have been sporadic amid the kingdom's yearslong war against neighboring Yemen's Houthi rebels.
February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors' offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. Flu has virtually disappeared from the U.S., with reports coming in at far lower levels than anything seen in decades. Experts say that measures put in place to fend off the coronavirus — mask wearing, social distancing and virtual schooling — were a big factor in preventing a “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19.
Marjorie Taylor Greene will encounter a “bloodbath” reelection contest against candidates from both parties, according to interviews with local political leaders' about 2022. David Boyle, a Democratic Party chairman, said the 2022 Republican primary for Georgia's 14th congressional district seat, which Ms Greene won in November, was going to be a “bloodbath”. "The middle-of-the-road traditional Republicans are tired of all of this craziness,” Mr Boyle told Insider of recent controversies.
President Joe Biden's pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with America's allies to combat China's aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration's go-it-alone approach. In a written testimony for her confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, Katherine Tai, Biden's choice for U.S. trade representative, said she would “prioritize rebuilding our international alliances and partnerships, and re-engaging with international institutions'' to present Beijing with “a united front of U.S. allies. Fluent in Mandarin, Tai served several years as head of China enforcement at the trade representative's office.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman underwent a “successful surgery” to remove his appendix Wednesday, the royal court said, and he left the hospital soon after the operation. The 35-year-old prince had surgery for appendicitis at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in the morning, according to the royal court. Late Wednesday, Saudi state-run media published footage of the crown prince, surrounded by an entourage clad in traditional checkered headdresses, striding out of the fluorescent-lit hospital and into a waiting black Mercedes.
A secretive Israeli nuclear facility at the center of the nation's undeclared atomic weapons program is undergoing what appears to be its biggest construction project in decades, satellite photos analyzed by The Associated Press show. A dig about the size of a soccer field and likely several stories deep now sits just meters (yards) from the aging reactor at the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona. The facility is already home to decades-old underground laboratories that reprocess the reactor's spent rods to obtain weapons-grade plutonium for Israel's nuclear bomb program.
Louis DeJoy had a defiant message on Wednesday for those craving to see him ousted as U.S. Postmaster General: “Get used to me. The comment came after Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) asked the embattled U.S. Postal Service chief how long he would remain as Postmaster General—“long time,” DeJoy spat back—during a Wednesday hearing in the House Oversight Committee. That exchange was indicative of the entire proceeding, which was frequently chippy, combative, and fueled by Democratic lawmakers' outrage over DeJoy's handling of the USPS at a time of worsening mail delays and difficult questions about the service's long-term viability.
“How about we skip ‘he won’t win’ cycle and not do 2016 all over again. Trump can absolutely win another presidential election.”
“With independents deserting him, there is simply no path for Trump to get back into the White House — except as a tourist.”
“They might as well cancel the 2024 primaries...because there is no way he can lose.”
“The next Republican presidential primary will be heavily shaped by Trump — whether or not he decides to run again.”
“Donald Trump will not be running for president again. He will, however, continue to tease the possibility of a 2024 run.”