Justin Trudeau wanted to distance himself from the arrest of a Huawei Technologies Co. executive, but China’s detention of a Canadian and Donald Trump’s interventions are dragging the prime minister into the feud anyhow. State security officers seized Michael Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat on leave from the foreign service, in Beijing on Monday, in relation to a national security investigation. The arrest comes nine days after Canada’s capture of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities.
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.
Raleigh County Sheriff Scott Van Meter said Thursday the criminal investigation will focus on why the adults were in the Elk Run Coal's Rock House Powellton mine near Clear Creek and find out "what happened." Three adults were rescued Wednesday night after spending four days inside the underground mine. A fourth adult had walked out of the mine on Monday.
Technology researchers in China have been ordered to not travel to the US unless it is absolutely necessary, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Staff working in sensitive tech sectors were given the warning following the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada, a source told the South China Morning Post. Workers at a research agency were also told to remove any sensitive data from laptops, mobile phones and other devices if travel to the US was essential.
Iran welcomed on Friday initial agreements reached at talks in Sweden by the opposing sides in Yemen's war, which include the Iran-aligned Houthi group, were a step toward a final peace accord, Iranian state TV reported on Friday. The war in Yemen is seen as a proxy war between Iran and its key regional rival Saudi Arabia. U.N.-backed talks in Sweden ended on Thursday with an agreement between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to cease fighting for the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah and withdraw their troops.
A former Baylor University fraternity president accused of rape who will serve no jail time has been banned from the University of Texas at Dallas' campus and graduation activities. Jacob Anderson, 24, accepted a deal to plead no contest to a charge of unlawful restraint earlier this week. According to an arrest warrant, Anderson led a 19-year-old woman behind a house in 2016 where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her until she blacked out.
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.
UPDATE 12/13/18: The embattled former leader of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, still in jail in Japan over financial irregularity charges from Nissan, is retaining his status as chairman and CEO at Renault. The French automaker's board of directors met today and made that announcement, stating that it finds Ghosn's compensation reports were "in compliance with applicable law" in France. Japanese prosecutors have formally charged Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn for making "false disclosures" about his income with Nissan, the automaker said on Monday.
Nancy Pelosi’s path to Speaker of the House effectively seemed secure on Wednesday after she agreed to comply with a proposal limiting her tenure as the top Democrat in the House of Representatives to three terms. The proposal to implement a new rule that would impose term limits was tentatively agreed upon Wednesday by seven members of the Democratic caucus who had said they would oppose her, but lawmakers were waiting on Pelosi’s office to officially announce her support for it. “Over the summer, I made it clear that I see myself as a bridge to the next generation of leaders, a recognition of my continuing responsibility to mentor and advance new members into positions of power and responsibility in the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said in a statement.
A middle school student in Delaware has been allowed to change his surname after enduring relentless bullying from his peers. Joshua Trump, who is not related to President Donald Trump, will now be known at school as Joshua Berto after dropping his mother’s surname for his father’s. The 11-year-old’s parents told ABC affiliate WPVI that the bullying of their son had been relentless and first started when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign.
The artists' first solo museum exhibition premiered during Miami Art Week.
Nelson Martinez, the jailed former head of Venezuela's state-run oil giant PDVSA who was arrested last year as part of anti-corruption purge, died in state custody Wednesday, authorities said. The chief prosecutor's office said Martinez suffered from a serious and chronic illness that led to his death at a medical facility where he was undergoing treatment. The death is likely to focus attention on the conditions in which authorities are holding key opponents and former government officials.
Irrepressible, linguistically adept, and astonishingly well-connected: the second Canadian being investigated for allegedly harming Chinese state security is a businessman whose relationships in North Korea go right to the very top. Michael Spavor is among only a handful of Westerners who met Kim Jong Un between his inheriting power in the North in 2011 and this year's Singapore summit with Donald Trump. He was instrumental in arranging visits by former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman to Pyongyang, where the player known as The Worm struck up an unlikely friendship with Kim, on one occasion singing him "Happy Birthday".
Turkish forces will enter the Syrian town of Manbij if the United States does not remove YPG Kurdish fighters, and it will also target Kurdish-controlled areas further east, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. Erdogan said this week that Turkey would launch a new operation within days against the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG militia which controls swathes of Syria's northern border region, in what will be Turkey's third military campaign in Syria in two years. Ankara and Washington have long been at odds in Syria, where the United States has backed the YPG in the fight against Islamic State.
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 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.
Many critics have suggested that new American pressure is harmful to both the people and the regime, perhaps sending many Iranians into the arms of the mullahs in protest. In reality, the protests and strikes in Iran’s cities have made it clear that the people recognize their economic hardships are rooted in the self-serving priorities of the mullahs, not international pressures. The enemy is right here,” protesters are chanting.
The sentencing memo filed last week by federal prosecutors against Michael Cohen, who for many years served as President Donald Trump's fixer, had Democrats and news media types aflutter: Would Trump soon be indicted for breaking campaign finance laws? The allegation is that Cohen and Trump ran afoul of campaign finance laws by breaking contribution limits and causing a corporation to make an illegal contribution to conceal a federal candidate's extramarital affairs from voters. Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on CNN that if Trump were proven to have directed the payments, it would constitute "impeachable offenses." Soon-to-be House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on CBS News that Trump will "face the real prospect of jail time." Leading Democrats want to impeach and jail their chief political antagonist, and yet it's Republicans who are constantly accused of running a banana republic. But I digress.
Procter & Gamble is diversifying its beauty offering with the acquisition of Walker & Company Brands. Walker & Company Brands, which will operate as a separate and wholly-owned subsidiary of P&G, includes the specialized haircare ranges Bevel and FORM Beauty. "When I started Walker & Company Brands, I set out to build a company that would meet the health and beauty needs of people of color on a global scale," said Tristan Walker, CEO of Walker & Company Brands.
UPDATE 12/13/18: Toyota says the first production 2020 Supra will be auctioned off January 19, 2019, at the Barrett-Jackson auctions in Arizona to benefit the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Its VIN will be #20201 and it will feature a special paint scheme (teased below) including matte gray exterior paint, matte black wheels, red mirror caps, and a red leather interior featuring a carbon-fiber plaque denoting it as the first 2020 Supra. The new Toyota Supra sports car is almost here-and we mean it this time.
Japan is planning to tighten regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook after an expert panel called for better oversight on competition and privacy, an official said Thursday. Japan has followed in the footsteps of other countries in scrutinising the dominant role played by the world's largest information technology companies, including Big Four tech firms Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Despite bringing benefits, tech giants "tend to monopolise the market through their features such as... low costs and economies of scale," the report said.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Mueller Wednesday to turn over all of the government's documents and 'memoranda' related to Flynn's questioning; Kevin Corke reports from the White House.
Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to save her Brexit deal and the danger of the U.K. crashing out of the European Union is on the rise. How hard would it be to delay Britain’s departure date? From the U.K. side, it would require little more than a short debate and the approval of Parliament, which would be fairly straightforward as the one thing there is a majority for in both houses is to stop a no-deal Brexit.
A man was caught at New York's JFK airport last weekend trying to smuggle dozens of South American finches into the country, a bird that Guyanese immigrants covet for chirping but officials fear could spread disease, officials said on Thursday. About 70 finches were found hidden inside a shipment of hair rollers at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist inspected the unidentified male passenger's luggage. The birds may have been destined for sale to Guyanese immigrants for a game that involves betting on how often the finches chirp per minute, said Customs spokesman Anthony Bucci.