The U.S. Department of Transportation plans to cancel $929 million in federal funding for California's high-speed rail project, threatening the state's plan to complete the first phase of a project that has intensified a rivalry between President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. In a Tuesday letter from the Federal Railroad Administration addressed to Brian Kelly, CEO of California's High-Speed Rail Authority, Administrator Ronald Batory wrote that the cancellation of funds will take effect on March 5. The rail project has faced cost overruns and years of delays.
Pakistan accused India on Tuesday of sponsoring terrorism and of using the United Nations' highest court for "political theater" as it urged judges to dismiss an Indian case seeking to save an alleged spy from execution. The International Court of Justice case centers on the fate of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was convicted of espionage and sabotage by a Pakistani military tribunal and sentenced to death in April 2017. Pakistan says it will put him on trial on terrorism charges if the U.N. court orders his convictions overturned.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said on Monday that the arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, was politically motivated. "Firstly, I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable," Ren told the BBC in an interview.
Venezuelan officials said Tuesday that the country is banning air and sea trips to and from three Dutch Caribbean islands — a region that has been linked to efforts to undermine President Nicolas Maduro by sending emergency aid to the South American nation. The indefinite shutdown of the "maritime border" applies to commercial and fishing boats between Venezuela and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire, said Falcon state's civil protection director, Gregorio Jose Montano. Airspace in the border region was also indefinitely closed to private and commercial flights, said Gen. Miguel Morales Miranda, assistant commander of the Comprehensive Defense Operations Zone.
At a clinic in eastern Syria, the Islamic State group have fled leaving a floor strewn with medical supplies -- but also explosives and a foreign passport. US-backed fighters took the three-storey building in the village of Baghouz in recent days, and now use its roof to survey the frontline against the jihadists. After a months-long campaign, the last IS fighters are pinned down in their last scrap of territory just hundreds of metres down the road in the same village.
Bailey Brazzel and her wife Samantha weren't trying to make a political statement last week. "I went in there to have my taxes done, not push my beliefs on her," said Brazzel, 25. Nancy Fivecoate, owner of Carter Tax Service in Russiaville, Indiana, said she's been harassed and abused after Brazzel spoke to media and posted on Facebook about her experience.
That's because the $62m (£48m) that was earmarked for the school's construction is among the billions of dollars already appropriated to the Defence Department, the pot of money the Trump administration now wants to redirect to pay for 230 miles of barriers along the southern border as part of the president's national emergency declaration. And those Kentucky middle schoolers will be better off because of it - at least according to senator Lindsey Graham. The powerful Republican and outspoken Trump ally said that border barriers top a new school.
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My family made it sound like it would be a lot easier for me to come back to the UK when I was speaking to them in Baghouz. International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship, prompting speculation that Begum held dual citizenship through her Bangladeshi parents. While her family have said they are "considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision", Begum said she may explore a potential citizenship route through her Dutch husband.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke for many former American officials in both parties who believe that the Trump administration has needlessly weakened our ties to Europe. The normally quiet and polite Merkel came out swinging against President Donald Trump's America First policy, charging the United States with unfair sanctions and criticism over Europe's continued participation in the Iran nuclear deal. She lamented Trump's recent decisions to back away from U.S. military commitments in Syria and Afghanistan and his aggressive trade policies toward the European Union.
A sixth grade student at a Florida school was arrested for disruption and resisting arrest after a confrontation with a teacher in which he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, reportedly saying the flag was racist and the pledge was offensive to black people. Spectrum Bay News 9 reports that the 11-year-old was removed from class on Feb. 4, suspended for three days, arrested shortly after and taken to a juvenile detention center. The dispute ensued after a substitute teacher at Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland asked him to stand up, reportedly unaware of that the school does not require participation during the pledge.
Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants in Miami, Trump said if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, "you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You'll lose everything.” Trump offered strong backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the United States, many of Venezuela's neighbors and most Western countries have recognized as interim president of Venezuela. Trump cautioned Venezuelan armed forces not to harm Guaido or other opposition politicians, urged them to accept the National Assembly leader's offer of amnesty and demanded that they allow in food, medicine and other supplies.
Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry told a roomful of minority boys on Tuesday that they matter and urged them to make the world a better place. Obama was in Oakland, California, to mark the fifth anniversary of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative he launched after the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The initiative was a call to communities to close opportunity gaps for minority boys, especially African-American, Latino and Native American boys, Obama said to roughly 100 boys attending the alliance's first national gathering.
India on Tuesday demanded that rival Pakistan take "credible and visible action" over a major suicide attack in Kashmir as it sternly rebuffed Prime Minister Imran Khan's offer to investigate the bombing. Amid a new spike in tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, Khan earlier demanded that India give "actionable evidence" to back its claim of Pakistan's backing for the suicide bomber. While offering an investigation, Khan also said Pakistan would retaliate if attacked over the bombing, claimed by a Pakistan-based group, which killed at least 41 Indian paramilitaries.
The investigation, disclosed for the first time Monday by the Wall Street Journal, began in February 2018, FAA spokesman Gregory Martin confirmed to USA TODAY. There have been no fines nor enforcement action from the investigation to date. "Since that time, the FAA has directed the development of a comprehensive solution to the methods and processes used by Southwest Airlines to determine this (weight and balance) performance data,'' he said in a statement.
A powerful storm is expected to hit up to 200 million Americans with snow, ice and torrential rain, over the coming week. About 60 per cent of the US will likely to be hit by wintry weather on Tuesday, according to AccuWeather, an American media company that provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide. The storm began in California over the weekend before it moved north towards the Rocky Mountains on Monday as a foot of snow fell in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.
Late Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency released details of the State Council's Greater Bay Area plan – a project to knit together Hong Kong and Macau with nine mainland cities into a global innovation hub to rival California's Silicon Valley. The trouble is, there's little new on how authorities plan to make this grand vision into a reality. Announced by Premier Li Keqiang in March 2017, the Greater Bay Area forms part of China's push for supremacy in technology, while also binding the former European colonies more tightly into the country.
Sixteen states that joined in the first of a string of expected lawsuits over President Donald Trump's national emergency maneuver to fund a southern border wall could lock up nearly $7 billion in national spending if the funds come under the court's jurisdiction. The lawsuit filed in a federal district court for the Northern District of California seeks an injunction to stop the Trump administration from using $7 billion in federal funds already allocated to states to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “The diversion of funds is likely to be held up in the courts for most or all of the remainder of President Trump's first term,” a report from Rabo Research, a Global economics and market research firm, said.
HAGATNA, Guam –Two leading U.S. organizations protecting victims and documenting the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic priesthood have called on Pope Francis to sustain the guilty verdict on Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron in a case involving sexual abuse of minors, and to defrock or expel him from the priesthood. "It is wrong for Pope Francis to leave Guam Catholics twisting in the wind and waiting to discover the fate of Archbishop Apuron, especially since it has been nearly a full year since the archbishop was found guilty of abusing children," said Zach Hiner, executive director for the Missouri-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world's largest and oldest survivors group for abuse victims.
Vladimir Putin has said Russia will target the US with new nuclear weapons if it deploys missiles to Europe following the demise of a major arms control treaty. In an annual speech to the federal assembly, the Russian leader on Wednesday accused Washington of planning to deploy intermediate-range missiles to the continent following its withdrawal from a bilateral agreement banning those weapons. This would put the missiles within a 10-minute flight from Moscow, creating a serious threat to Russia and compelling it to consider “symmetrical and asymmetrical actions” in response, he said.
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Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday that he hasn't ruled out being a 2020 vice presidential candidate — even as he plans to decide in the next 10 days if he'll seek the presidency. Answering a question in Spanish about the possibility of being another candidate's running mate, the Democratic former Texas congressman answered in Spanish: "I'm going to consider every way to serve this country. O'Rourke, who became a political star by nearly upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November, was honored at a luncheon in his native El Paso, a U.S.-Mexico border city, as the 2018 El Pasoan of the Year.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Sunday praised Representative Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) recent endorsement of an anti-Semitic trope and urged the freshman lawmaker not to bow to pressure from critics. “Ms. Omar from Somalia – she started talking about 'the Benjamins' and they are trying to make her apologize. You sure are using it to shake the government up, but you have nothing to apologize for,” Farrakhan said during his annual Saviour's Day address in Chicago, in comments first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Two Indian Air Force planes collided in mid-air in the southern state of Karnataka on Tuesday while rehearsing an aerobatic show, killing one pilot and injuring two others, a senior police official said. quot;One Indian Air Force pilot has unfortunately lost his life. Two others were injured and shifted to hospital, but are said to be out of danger," said M.N. Reddi, director general of police in Karnataka.