Weeks before President Trump is due to leave office, workers are racing to build the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border that was a centerpiece of his presidency.Biden expected to halt project »
As the inevitability of President Trump's loss became apparent even to his acolyte Kellyanne Conway in recent days, his supporters increasingly pinned their hopes for a second term on a last-ditch appeal, not to the Supreme Court, but to the one power that can outvote it: God. It has long been an article of faith among right-wing evangelicals that Republicans were the party of God, while Democrats were on, well, the other side, succinctly identified by Franklin Graham as “almost a demonic power.” The inescapable conclusion of televangelist Pat Robertson followed: “Without question” — and also without polling — “Trump is going to win the election.” “So God said to me, in November, there is going to be an overwhelming number of white liberals who talk like they hate the president publicly, but in the secrecy of the ballot box, God says, I'm gonna work a miracle,” predicted Francis Myles, senior pastor of the Lovefest Church in Tempe, Ariz. “I'm gonna cause the eunuchs to throw off the spirit of Jezebel and they are going to vote massively for the president.”
The Trump administration has prevented President-elect Joe Biden's transition team from meeting with leaders at several US intelligence agencies, the Washington Post reported. Biden's team has reportedly not yet been able to meet with officials at agencies including the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency — both of which are controlled by the Pentagon. The Pentagon has denied any efforts to stifle the team's smooth transition period and said that requested meetings could take place as early as next week.
Israeli police on Friday arrested a man for trying to set fire to an east Jerusalem church by the Garden of Gethsemane, the site revered by Christians as the place where Jesus prayed before he was crucified. The 49-year-old Israeli suspect poured flammable liquid inside the Church of All Nations, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The man then set it alight, a separate police statement said, before the church guard detained him.
Brexit trade talks reached stalemate on Friday night after the EU was accused of making a "ridiculous" demand for 10 years of unfettered access to Britain's fishing waters as the price of a deal. Boris Johnson paused talks for a "stock take" of whether an agreement can still be salvaged. Mr Johnson will speak to Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, on Saturday in an attempt to break the deadlock.
President Trump's Pentagon purge isn't over yet. Since losing the 2020 election, Trump has systematically ousted top Defense Department officials and replaced them with people more favorable to him. That removal operation even extended to the typically nonpartisan Pentagon Defense Business Board on Friday, where the White House fired nine members and installed Trump allies in their place.
Following an unconventional campaign season disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris won the election after capturing enough states to receive more than the necessary number of electoral votes. Since Biden and Harris were projected as the winners on Nov. 7, Trump and his campaign have filed — and lost — dozens of lawsuits in various states and amplified debunked conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud. The bipartisan acknowledgment of Biden's win from elected officials in local, state and federal governments has not stopped the spread of false claims about the election on social media, however.
Much of California is on the brink of sweeping new restrictions on businesses and activities, a desperate attempt to slow the frighteningly rapid escalation of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. Five San Francisco Bay Area counties imposed a new stay-at-home order for their residents that will take effect Sunday. Southern California and a large swath of the central portion of the state could join this weekend.
Caving to Brussels on fish and the level playing field to secure a post-Brexit trade deal risks turning Britain into a permanent “client state”, senior Conservative MPs have warned Boris Johnson. With the UK on the cusp of reaching an agreement with the European Union, a group of “die-hard” backbenches have urged the Prime Minister not break his promises to Leave voters in last year's election. It comes amid fears that Mr Johnson could be forced to grant a flurry of last-minute concessions after intensive lobbying from French president Emmanual Macron to secure more preferable terms on fishing, state subsidies and non-regression clauses.
Canada could see the end of a nasty diplomatic dispute with China if the United States reaches a deal to release a Huawei executive from house arrest in Vancouver, but the affair shows that without the heft of its southern neighbor, Canada has no bargaining power with Beijing. Shortly after Meng was picked up on a U.S. arrest warrant in December 2018, China detained two Canadian men - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - who now face spying charges.Having failed to secure their immediate release, Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has talked for months about a formal "reset" of relations with China.
Republican lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood cited a Facebook comment thread in their latest legal effort to prove unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 race was plagued with widespread voter fraud and election-rigging. One affidavit in Powell and Wood's Georgia filing featured a self-described "Patriot" and their associate staking out a loading dock in Atlanta, Georgia, and suggesting Georgia's secretary of state used it to tamper with absentee ballots. Other affidavits described how people in Georgia who were convinced the election was rigged began tailing unspecified trucks on highways looking to uncover a fraud scheme.
Sylvia Soliz has had her electricity cut off. Unemployment has forced aching decisions on millions of Americans and their families in the face of a rampaging viral pandemic that has closed shops and restaurants, paralyzed travel and left millions jobless for months. Now, their predicaments stand to grow bleaker yet if Congress fails to extend two unemployment programs that are set to expire the day after Christmas.
"No, I don't think it should be mandatory. I wouldn't demand that it be mandatory, but I will do everything in my power, just like I don't think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide... I will do everything in my power as the President of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing," Biden said.
China is conducting "human testing" to create "biologically enhanced soldiers," the head of US intelligence has claimed as he warned that Beijing poses the biggest threat to America's national security. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, warned that the US must be prepared for an "open-ended" confrontation with China which he likened to the Cold War. Mr Ratcliffe, who oversees America's intelligence agencies, said he believed China's intention was to "dominate" the planet in every sense: economically, militarily and technologically.
After six months spent pushing for a more-than $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is fine with something smaller. It's smaller than the $1.5 trillion deal the House's bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus drew up in September, and yet this time around, President-elect Joe Biden's win and forthcoming coronavirus vaccines have Pelosi ready to accept it. Pelosi went on to explain that she had held out for a bigger bill with longer-lasting provisions before she knew who would be the next president — essentially, she thought she wouldn't get a second chance at a stimulus package if President Trump was re-elected.
NASA images have confirmed the landing of China's Chang'e 5 moon robot. China's space agency said the lander collected more than 4 pounds of moon rocks. If successful, it will be the first time a country has brought home moon rocks in more than 40 years.
Thousands of doctors, teachers and others in high-risk groups have signed up for COVID-19 vaccinations in Moscow starting Saturday, a precursor to a sweeping Russia-wide immunization effort. The vaccinations come three days after President Vladimir Putin ordered the launch of a “large-scale” COVID-19 immunization campaign even though a Russian-designed vaccine has yet to complete the advanced studies needed to ensure its effectiveness and safety in line with established scientific protocols. The Russian leader said Wednesday that more than 2 million doses of the Sputnik V jab will be available in the next few days, allowing authorities to offer jabs to medical workers and teachers across the country starting late next week.
Bahrain will not allow the import of Israeli goods produced in settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, state news agency BNA reported, disavowing comments made by the Gulf state's trade minister earlier this week. Bahrain's Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid al-Zayani had voiced openness to settlement imports, adding that Manama would make no distinction between products produced in Israel or in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights. "The minister's statement was misinterpreted and that the ministry is committed to the Bahraini government's unwavering stance regarding adherence to the resolutions of the United Nations," BNA said late on Friday, quoting an official source from the ministry of industry, commerce and tourism.
Zhou Xiaoxuan, 27, more widely known by her nickname Xianzi, became a pioneer of China's #MeToo movement in 2018, when she accused Zhu Jun of groping and kissing her in a dressing room in 2014. Despite police warnings, pressure on her family, online censorship and harassment, Zhou has persisted — one of the few to make it into court on claims of sexual misconduct, which China did not recognize as grounds for legal recourse until last year. A young woman pulled out her lipstick to write #MeToo on another woman's mask.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Hayabusa-2 in 2014 with the goal of collecting the first sample of material from below an asteroid's surface. The spacecraft first landed on Ryugu in February to collect shallow samples from the surface. But scientists knew that probing deeper could reveal more pure rock from the beginnings of our solar system, since that material hasn't been exposed to harsh radiation from the sun.
Kuwait voted Saturday for its National Assembly, the first election since the death of its longtime ruling emir and as the oil-rich nation faces serious economic problems under the coronavirus pandemic. This tiny country's hundreds of thousands of voters selected lawmakers for 50 seats in the parliament, the freest and most-rambunctious assembly in the Gulf Arab countries. However, Kuwait's parliament has tamped down on opposition to its ruling Al Sabah family since the 2011 Arab Spring protests that saw demonstrators storm the chamber.
Scots who are not at a high risk of dying from Covid-19 have been urged to be patient in waiting to be vaccinated, after they were warned they may not be offered inoculations until the second half of 2021. In an attempt to clear up confusion around when all 4.4 million adult Scots will receive a vaccination, John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, confirmed on Friday that a spring target date applied only to priority groups, such as the elderly and frontline healthcare workers. Jeane Freeman, the health secretary, had told parliament last month that the entire vaccination programme could be finished by the spring while Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday that she “very much hoped” all eligible people would have received it within the timeframe.
China has used strict measures to succeed in controlling COVID-19 It's true that China appears to have succeeded in its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 within its borders, per statistics from the World Health Organization. Though it has a population of 1.4 billion, China has reported fewer than 100,000 coronavirus cases and fewer than 5,000 deaths. In contrast, the United States — which has a population of 330 million — has had over 13.5 million cases and 271,000 deaths.
Conservative evangelical Christians have proven some of Donald Trump's staunchest allies during his presidency. As his administration draws to a close, some of those backers are approaching President-elect Joe Biden with skepticism, but not antagonism. Christian conservatives who stood by Trump through moments of crisis and success are hardly comfortable with his loss, and several have yet to fully acknowledge Biden as the winner of the election amid ongoing, unfounded fraud claims by the president.
Sidney Powell, the attorney who was distanced from the US president's legal team because she pushed election-related conspiracies, was said to have submitted a lawsuit that “breathed more lies” than most cases seen in court, after she challenged Michigan's election results. Issuing a response to Ms Powell's lawsuit on Thursday, judges for the City of Detroit said the lawsuit contained “warped logic”, and dismissed claims that vote machines had been tampered with, among other conspiracy theories. “Few lawsuits breathe more lies than this one,” said the 45-page court document, which was shared online.
Snakes have found a safe space in Myanmar - a global hub for the illegal wildlife trade. For five years, this Buddhist temple in the city of Yangon has been taking in pythons and cobras and vipers otherwise destined for the black market. The sanctuary is run by Wilatha, a monk at the temple.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”