The mother of an Israeli woman imprisoned on drug-smuggling charges in Russia said she's hopeful President Vladimir Putin will pardon her daughter. Naama Issachar, a 26-year-old U.S.-born Israeli army veteran, was sentenced in October to 7 1/2 years for carrying a small amount of hashish in her luggage on a transit flight via Moscow after a backpacking trip to India. Her plight has become a cause celebre in Israel, where it's widely seen as politically motivated.
Iranian officials and satellite images suggest the Islamic Republic is preparing to a launch a satellite into space after three major failures last year, the latest for a program which the U.S. claims helps Tehran advance its ballistic missile program. Satellite images from San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc. that have been annotated by experts at Middlebury Institute of International Studies show work at a launchpad at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport in Iran's Semnan province. The photos also show more cars and activity at a facility at the spaceport, some 230 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Iran's capital, Tehran.
Indonesia's president has issued a call for the public floggings to stop but he has little say over what happens in Aceh, a deeply conservative region on Sumatra island. Unlike the rest of the nation, Aceh follows religious law as part of a 2005 autonomy deal agreed with the central government that ended a decades-long separatist insurgency. Here, public whipping remains a common punishment for scores of offenders for a range of charges including gambling, adultery, drinking alcohol, and having gay or pre-marital sex.
The NBA legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday morning. The fog conditions were so bad that the Los Angeles Police Department had grounded its flights that morning, deeming it too dangerous to fly. Flight-tower audio recordings published by TMZ showed aviation authorities telling the helicopter pilot he was flying "too low" at some point during Sunday's flight.
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg was confronted by a pro-life Democratic voter over the party's position on abortion during a Fox News town hall event on Sunday. “I am a proud pro-life Democrat,” audience member Kristin Day said. “Would you support more moderate platform language [regarding abortion] in the Democratic Party to ensure that the party of diversity and inclusion really does include everybody?” Currently, the Democratic party platform supports abortion up to nine months into pregnancy.
A British man has died while being held in US immigration detention in Florida, the Guardian has confirmed. The death was first reported by BuzzFeed News, which said the man was 39 years old and that the cause was initially attributed to asphyxiation due to hanging. “Our staff are in contact with the US authorities following the death of a British man in Florida,” said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London.
As authorities in China scrambled to handle a coronavirus that has killed at least 81 people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday described a surging potential crisis even as they pushed back on the latest thinking from Beijing about just how easily it spreads. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters that the number of confirmed cases stateside had reached five—and that there had been a total of 110 “persons under investigation” for the virus in 26 states over the past week. Thirty-two of those people tested negative, and there had been no confirmed person-to-person transmissions inside the country, Messonnier said on Monday.
The Taliban said it had shot down a U.S. military plane in the central Afghan province of Ghazni on Monday, killing all personnel onboard.
The gauge, which also covers crucial caucuses in February, suggests investors are buying protection in the event Bernie Sanders posts a victory in the Democratic candidate race. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has proposed measures including taxes on Wall Street transactions and higher taxes to cover health care. While latest polls show former Vice President Joe Biden holds a sizable lead nationally, many indicate Democrats in the early-voting states might favor Sanders.
The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Monday that it will retaliate against American and Israeli commanders if the U.S. continues to threaten top Iranian generals. The U.S. killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who headed the expeditionary Quds force, in a drone strike outside of Baghdad's airport in Iraq on Jan. 3. Five days later, Iran retaliated by launching ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American troops, causing injuries but no fatalities among soldiers there.
In that sense, there doesn't appear to have been an ideological motivation that spurred the 77-year-old's decision to jump into the crowded Democratic primary last year, except for defeating the incumbent, President Trump, The New York Times reports. In fact, Biden reportedly told the Times while campaigning in Iowa before the state's caucus kicks off the election process next week that he likely wouldn't even have launched a campaign if someone like Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the one seeking re-election, amplifying Biden's message that Democrats and Republicans need not be in a state of "perpetual war" in a post-Trump America. It's Trump, and Trump alone, that compelled former President Barack Obama's right hand man to take one last crack at the Oval Office.
Key point: The will to prepare is as important as the will to win, yet for too long, the United States has neglected a focused and disciplined approach to properly resourcing the U.S. Navy's fleet. The recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman reinforce the need to reestablish a highly visible U.S. naval deterrent in the Middle East. For eight months last year, no aircraft carrier strike group plied the region, the longest such interruption this millennium.
The "City Hostel" in Berlin may look fairly innocuous from the outside -- but it now faces closure in an unlikely legal drama over international sanctions against North Korea. The hostel, which opened in 2007 and is run by a Turkish company called EGI, is located on the premises of the North Korean embassy. On Tuesday, an administrative court in Berlin threw out an EGI lawsuit against the district authorities, who had ordered them to cease operations.
Two people are dead and at least four are wounded following a shooting at a South Carolina bar on Sunday morning. The Darlington County Coroner's Office identified Dicaprio Collins, 21 and Bryan Robinson, 29 as the victims of the shooting at Mac's Lounge in Hartsville, South Carolina. Hartsville Police confirmed in a Monday morning Facebook post that they had two suspects in custody in connection with the shooting.
The Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan closed on January 1 after it was found to be the most likely starting point for the outbreak of this coronavirus, also called 2019-nCov. NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images A 61-year-old man was the first person to die from the virus. According to Bloomberg, he was a regular shopper at the Huanan wet market, which sold more than seafood.
The presidents of Israel and Poland called on Monday for greater efforts to combat anti-Semitism as the world marked 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp amid concerns over a resurgence of anti-Jewish prejudice. "Our duty is to fight anti-Semitism, racism and fascist nostalgia, those sick evils that ... threaten to eat away at the foundations of our democracies," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said at a venue near the former camp, which is now a museum. Polish President Andrzej Duda, who did not attend Israel's national Holocaust Memorial last Thursday because he was not allowed to speak, thanked Rivlin for his presence at Auschwitz.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ruled in favor of the U.S. Army's decision to go with only one source for its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles for more than 10 years, denying Navistar's lawsuit brought against the service and FMTV-maker Oshkosh Defense for not competitively procuring the vehicle. Following the Army's initial five-year contract to buy FMTVs from Oshkosh, the service chose a sole-source procurement route with the company, arguing it didn't have time to reopen competition because of urgent needs. Since 2009, the Army has spent more than $6 billion on FMTVs from Oshkosh.
“We express our strong indignation and demand that Jyllands-Posten and [cartoonist] Niels Bo Bojesen reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologize to the Chinese people,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its website. When asked to comment, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen avoided any direct reference to Jyllands-Posten's cartoon. “I have nothing to say on the matter other than [to note that] we have a very strong tradition in Denmark not just for freedom of speech for also for freedom of satire, and we'll continue to have that in the future,” she said, according to multiple news media including Politiken.
A Mexican soldier was killed and a general wounded Monday when traffickers opened fire on a military patrol that sought to intercept a drug plane as it landed on a roadway, officials said.
An annual congressional report says the U.S. budget deficit is likely to burst through the symbolic $1 trillion barrier this year despite a healthy economy. Tuesday's Congressional Budget Office report follows a burst of new spending last year and the repeal in December of several taxes used to help finance the Affordable Care Act. The annual CBO update of the government's economic and fiscal health estimates a $1 trillion deficit for the ongoing fiscal year, which would bring the red ink above $1 trillion for the first time since 2012, when former President Barack Obama capped four consecutive years of $1 trillion-plus budget deficits.
After Monday's arguments by the president's legal squad featured a slew of Fox News regulars essentially rehashing their Hannity segments, Scarborough spent the first few minutes of MSNBC's signature morning program blasting the most standout moments. “Well, I mean—you had Confederacy of Dunces defending him in impeachment,” Scarborough declared, referencing the famous irreverent novel by John Kennedy Toole. Taking aim at Jane Raskin's insistence that Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was only a “minor player” regarding Ukraine, the MSNBC star pointed out that Giuliani's name was mentioned multiple times by Trump himself in his infamous July 25 call with the Ukrainian president.
Mexican migration authorities said they have deported 2,300 Hondurans who illegally crossed over from Guatemala with a caravan heading to the United States. The "assisted return" of the Central Americans took place between January 18 and Monday, according to the interior ministry and the National Migration Institute. A total of 1,064 Honduran migrants were deported on National Guard planes and charter aircraft, they said in a statement.
A Harvard University professor has been charged with lying about his ties to a Chinese-run recruitment program and concealing payments he received from the Chinese government for research, federal officials said Tuesday. Charles Lieber, chair of the department of chemistry and chemical biology, is accused of hiding his involvement in China's Thousand Talents Plan, a program designed to lure people with knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property to China. Lieber was arrested early Tuesday at his office at the Ivy League university, officials said.
Chinese villages are cutting themselves off from the world to try to prevent the deadly Wuhan coronavirus from taking hold in their communities. Sky News documented six villages about 600 miles from the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, in the Chinese province of Hubei who had taken defensive measures. Villages in central China are going to extreme measures to cut themselves off from the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.