U.S. officials said the military strikes were retaliation for a Feb. 15 rocket attack against an American base in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil that killed a coalition contractor.Structures targeted »
The United States launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday, targeting facilities near the Iraqi border used by Iranian-backed militia groups. The Pentagon said the strikes were retaliation for a rocket attack in Iraq earlier this month that killed one civilian contractor and wounded a U.S. service member and other coalition troops. The airstrike was the first military action undertaken by the Biden administration, which in its first weeks has emphasized its intent to put more focus on the challenges posed by China, even as Mideast threats persist.
Nicola Sturgeon has launched an astonishing attack on Alex Salmond after she was accused of behaving like a “tin pot dictator” who risked bringing UK politics into worldwide disrepute. The First Minister accused her former mentor of inventing an “alternative reality” around claims of sexual assault and suggested it was his behaviour towards women, rather than a grand conspiracy, that were the "root" of the allegations against him. Ms Sturgeon was also forced to deny leaning on Scottish prosecutors to censor damning evidence put forward by Mr Salmond, following a fiasco that saw large chunks of his written testimony deleted.
In the digital universe, the young netizens in India and Pakistan have no problem sharing across a tense and often violent border between the two rival states. The latest example is an Instagram video of a Pakistani teenage influencer suggesting people need to party (“pawri”). It went viral in India, sparking joyous spinoffs.
Stacey Abrams, whose voting rights work helped make Georgia into a swing state, exhorted Congress on Thursday to reject “outright lies" that have historically restricted access to the ballot as Democrats began their push for a sweeping overhaul of election and ethics laws. “A lie cloaked in the seductive appeal of election integrity has weakened access to democracy for millions,” Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial race, said during a committee hearing for the bill, which was introduced as H.R. 1 to signal its importance to the party's agenda. Democrats feel a sense of urgency to enact the legislation ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when their narrow majorities in the House and Senate will be at risk.
Philippine police said on Thursday they were looking into a government review of thousands of killings in the country's "war on drugs", after the justice minister made an unprecedented admission to the United Nations of widespread police failures. Human Rights Watch described Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra's video statement on Wednesday as an "astounding disclosure". Guevarra said police had in many cases failed to examine weapons and crime scenes after officers had shot dead suspected drug dealers.
India's coast guard has found a boat adrift in the Andaman Sea carrying scores of Rohingya refugees, including eight who had died, officials said Thursday. The boat left Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh on Feb. 11 with 90 people, including 23 children, on board and its engine failed on Feb. 15, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said. Two Indian coast guard ships were sent to help the refugees, and the Indian government is in discussions with Bangladesh to ensure their safe return, Srivastava said.
Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough on Thursday effectively killed a Democratic push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, ruling that the measure doesn't pass muster under the budget reconciliation rules Democrats are using to pass the package with a simple majority in the Senate. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), have already said they would vote against including the $15 minimum wage provision in the relief package, dealing it a near-fatal blow in the 50-50 Senate. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was among them, but he also had a Plan B.
China is expected to reveal a robust increase in defence spending at the March 5 annual opening of parliament, as its economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic and military tensions rise, Chinese and Western security experts said. With the coronavirus hammering its economy, China last year announced a 6.6 per cent boost in defence spending to $178 billion, the lowest rate of increase in three decades. The new administration of President Joe Biden has moved quickly to remind Beijing that the United States intends to compete with China's growing influence and military strength in the Asia-Pacific.
Miami's city government will pay $100,000 to the family of a teen who accused a former top adviser to Mayor Francis Suarez of sexual misconduct. In February 2020, Suarez's then-director of communications, former local television journalist Rene Pedrosa, resigned days before he was arrested and charged with luring a 16-year-old boy to City Hall, groping him and later sending the boy an explicit photo on his cellphone. Pedrosa faces charges that are pending in federal court.
Qatar pledged $60 million on Thursday to help construct a natural gas pipeline running from Israel into the Gaza Strip, the Qatari government said, a project that aims to ease the energy crisis that long has afflicted the impoverished Palestinian enclave. Natural gas now flowing through a pipeline in Israel from the eastern Mediterranean will be transported via a new extension into Gaza, the Qatari Foreign Ministry announced on its website. The eastern Mediterranean has become one of the world's major offshore drilling zones, with lucrative deepwater gas fields recently discovered in Israel's territorial waters.
It is looking ever more probable that Donald Trump will run for the White House again in 2024. All eyes are on his speech this Sunday at CPAC, the annual conservative conference, which like Mr Trump has relocated from Washington to Florida. An adviser told The Telegraph that Mr Trump has spent the last weeks taking a break, and practising his golf swing, but is keen to re-engage in the fight.
Republicans are planning to make Vice President Kamala Harris a focal point of their political attacks in the lead-up to midterm elections, casting the Democrat as a champion of policies they disagree with from the Biden administration. Harris has been at President Joe Biden's side throughout much of their first month in office and the new president has made clear that Harris will be fully involved when weighty issues are discussed in the Oval Office. That access and influence, praised by liberals, is seen by Republican groups, including the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, as a reason to direct criticism of the administration at the vice pre...
Bone cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux is thrilled to be going into space. As a crew member on SpaceX's Inspiration4, the world's first all-commercial astronaut mission to Earth's orbit, Arceneaux hopes that as the first person to go into space with a prosthesis, she can inspire others. "This mission is opening up space travel to anyone and I think that in itself is going to motivate people and give them so much hope," said the vivacious 29-year-old.
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.
There were no immediate reports of injuries. The Southeast Asian nation has been in crisis since the army seized power on Feb. 1 and detained civilian government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election. There have been daily protests and strikes by democracy supporters for about three weeks, often drawing hundreds of thousands of people across the diverse country.
Mohammad Mosaed is an Iranian reporter who has twice been arrested by the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists awarded him its 2020 International Press Freedom Award. Mohammad Mosaed, an Iranian freelance journalist who has twice been arrested by the government for his investigative reporting and criticism of Iranian officials, was detained by Turkish border officials earlier this year after fleeing Iran following a prison summons.
At least two political rights groups advocating democracy have quietly quit Hong Kong and moved overseas, unnerved by a national security law that has fanned fears over the erosion of freedoms under China's rule, sources told Reuters. In the past, China-focused rights groups had valued the wide-ranging autonomy, including freedom of speech and assembly, guaranteed for Hong Kong when control over the former British colony was returned to Beijing in 1997. But some non-government organisations (NGOs) say the new legislation means they face a choice of either having to leave Hong Kong or work with the same kind of fears and constraints they would encounter in mainland China.
The foreign ministers of China and India are urging further steps to stabilize tensions along their disputed border following the pullback of forces from an area where a deadly clash broke out last summer. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Indian counterpart, S. Jaishankar, on Thursday that the disengagement by front-line troops had “significantly eased the situation” and that now is the time to maintain the momentum of consultations, build trust and “achieve peace and tranquility in the border areas,” his ministry said. In a statement Friday, Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the two sides "should now quickly resolve the remaining issues” along the Line of Actual Control high in the mountainous Ladakh region.
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
Less than a month after excoriating Donald Trump in a blistering floor speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would “absolutely” support the former president again if he secured the Republican nomination in 2024. “I've got at least four members that I think are planning on running for president, plus governors and others,” McConnell said. McConnell's remarks underscore an awkward balancing act he sought to maintain since Trump lost the election, reflecting the reality that McConnell's own path back to power in the Senate hinges on enthusiasm from a party base that still ardently supports Trump.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told sailors on the USS Nimitz Thursday that he hopes to avoid long ship deployments like the more than 10 months they just spent at sea. But as he made his first aircraft carrier visit as Pentagon chief, he acknowledged the demand for American warships around the globe as he wrestles with security threats from China in the Pacific and Iran in the Middle East. Standing in the ship's hangar bay, Austin said he will make a decision soon on whether to send a carrier back to the Middle East, where the Nimitz had been.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, expressed interest in accompanying President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden on a trip to Houston on Friday following a winter weather crisis in the state. "We haven't gotten clear signals from the administration in terms of what their travel schedule is," Cornyn told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday. At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said it's uncertain whether any Texas officials will be traveling with the Bidens to the Lone Star State, noting "some limitations on space available" on Air Force One.
From ornate to subtle, these beautiful screens double as functional art Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
A Florida lawyer and anti-Republican political campaigner says he has almost raised enough funds to fly a banner over the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that reads “Welcome Insurrectionists”, a reference to last month's Capitol riots. Attorney Daniel Uhlfelder previously became a viral sensation when he donned a grim reaper costume and walked the beaches of his state to protest against the government's response to the Covid pandemic, in which more than 500,000 Americans have died. Donald Trump will be the headline speaker at CPAC on Sunday, less than two months after his supporters overpowered security and ran riot through the halls of the US Capitol on 6 January.
“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.”