The White House said on Tuesday it was searching for ways to unilaterally fund the building of a controversial wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that Congress is balking at, possibly easing chances of a government shutdown this weekend. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters President Donald Trump has asked his Cabinet agencies to "look and see if they have money that can be used" to begin building the wall. Previously, Trump had demanded that Congress approve $5 billion in new funds for the wall that he argues is needed to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from entering through the southwest border.
At former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan asked federal prosecutors if they had considered charging Flynn with treason for advocating sanctions relief for Russia after failing to disclose his meetings with the Kremlin’s ambassador. Sullivan walking back his remarks makes sense, since there isn’t really any legal grounds to charge Flynn with treason. Flynn’s connections with Russia wouldn’t fall under treason law simply because Russia is not technically an enemy of the United States, which the law narrowly defines as anyone that the U.S. is openly or declaratively at war with.
The Russian Internet Research Agency, the troll farm that has sought to divide Americans with misinformation and meme content around the 2016 election, received more engagement on Instagram than it did on any other social media platform, including Facebook, according to a joint report by three groups of researchers. “Instagram was a significant front in the IRA’s influence operation, something that Facebook executives appear to have avoided mentioning in Congressional testimony,” the report says. IRA activity shifted there after the media began to write about Russian activity on Twitter and Facebook.
The US government said Tuesday it was banning bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns and that were used in a mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017. The devices, which harness the recoil of a semi-automatic rifle's discharge to make the trigger fire faster, effectively turn the weapons into machine guns, which are illegal, the Justice Department said. Bump stocks allow a "shooter of a semi-automatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger," the department said in a statement.
The Vatican on Tuesday released the first details of Pope Francis' upcoming high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit, making clear that bishops attending the gathering must reach out to victims before they get to Rome and that accountability is very much on the agenda. Organizers of the Feb. 21-24 summit warned participants in a letter that failure to address the scandal now threatens the very credibility of the Catholic Church around the world. As a first step, they urged the estimated 130 presidents of national bishops' conferences attending the summit to meet with survivors in their home countries "to learn firsthand the suffering that they have endured."
A congressional delegation will visit the New Mexico border station where a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl was detained before dying at a nearby hospital – amid calls by her father for a “transparent” investigation into the circumstances that led to her death. The child, Jakelin Caal Maquin, was with her father were in a group of 163 migrants that was detained by US Border Patrol on 6 December in a remote area of the New Mexico desert. Officials say that she began vomiting and stopped breathing while in Border Patrol custody, and then suffered from cardiac arrest after being transferred to a Texas hospital.
Overall, an estimated 37% of adults and 58% of children received a flu shot during the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the CDC. The CDC’s latest data, which was based on surveys with adults and parents of children ages six months to 17 years, doesn’t explain why vaccination rates are up over last year, but it’s possible that the unusually severe 2017-2018 flu season, which killed about 80,000 people, motivated more people to get their shots this year. However, the data deals only with early-season coverage, so it’s also possible that some people simply got vaccinated earlier this year than last.
Authorities are searching for a man who went missing from a cruise ship bound for Mexico.
The Super Sonic Car was set to raise the land speed record bar with the vehicle finished and undergoing final testing, but the project was stopped in its tracks when funding ran out. Related Video: Watch the Bloodhound SSC Team Show off Car Months of administration failed to find an investor willing to supply the £25 million ($31.5 million) required to set what might be the last record of this kind. Time was called on Bloodhound and we all shed a tear over a hard-fought challenge that seemingly fell at the final hurdle.
U.S. and Taliban officials have discussed proposals for a six-month ceasefire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops as talks aimed at setting up peace negotiations went into a second day, Taliban sources said. The meeting in Abu Dhabi is at least the third time that U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war have intensified this year. Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month truce as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government.
In the words of architect Robert Venturi, we believe these buildings will allow you to “see familiar things in an unfamiliar way”
Chili’s social media department is getting ribbed after it weighed in on North Carolina’s election fraud scandal ― without really understanding it. It all started Monday when Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the progressive super PAC American Bridge, offered a Chili’s gift certificate to North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse with a caveat: Stop trying to seat Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, whose election has been marred by ballot fraud allegations. Woodhouse didn’t respond, but Chili’s social media person did and aggressively attempted to do some promotion piggybacking on Bates’ tweet.
A U.S. lawmaker is proposing a World War II style solution to the stalemate over President Donald Trump’s demand for a border wall that’s threatening a partial government shutdown. Republican Representative Steven Palazzo of Mississippi is introducing legislation to direct the Treasury Department to issue government savings bonds to pay for a physical barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one of Trump’s signature issues. This legislation would allow for the patriots of today’s era to help support American security in the same way as previous generations,” Palazzo said in a statement on the legislation, known as The Border Bonds for America Act.
Portions of the FBI interview notes at the center of the false statements case against Michael Flynn have been released. Special counsel Robert Mueller's office has publicly filed a redacted version of the document in the case of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser. The documents show that FBI agents interviewed Flynn about his contacts with Russia, including past trips to the country and his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the U.S.
Guatemalan children caught in Mexico while trying to migrate into the US, queue before climbing into a minibus at Aurora international airport in Guatemala City. For years, Dora waited impatiently to turn 15, the age her mother had agreed she would be old enough to leave their home in El Salvador – where she suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather – and head to the US, in search of a new life. “Seeing them leave together … that gave me hope and gave me the courage to finally leave,” said Dora, who is now living at a children’s shelter in Tijuana, on the border with California.
Facebook and Google have one less user to worry about. Cher, 72, vowed to boycott the two tech giants Tuesday, saying Facebook and Google's alleged love of money trumps their "(love) of country." "Won't use Google, getting rid of Facebook account I didn't know I had," Cher tweeted in all capital letters.
The US surgeon general has urged an aggressive clamp down on e-cigarettes, recommending punitive taxes and bans on them being used at indoor public venues. Jerome Adams, America's top doctor, said action was needed to prevent millions of teenagers becoming hooked on the high-nicotine devices. Most devices heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapour, and have been marketed to adult smokers as a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes.
Egyptian officials said they have discovered a 4,400-year-old tomb linked to the fifth dynasty of pharoahs. According to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities, the tomb — located at a site west of Cairo in Saqqara — belonged to a senior official of the pharoahs, reports The Associated Press. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani tells CNN the tomb belonged to a royal purification priest named Wahtye.
Russia's Ministry of Defence said it planned to shift troops next week into four housing complexes on two of the four disputed islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Japan's defense ministry says 3,500 Russian troops are deployed on the two larger islands as part of a military buildup. The news came after the Kremlin said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might visit Russia on Jan. 21 as the two countries step up efforts to defuse the territorial dispute that has prevented them from signing a World War Two peace treaty.
A student has lost her pet fish after it was banned from the Southwest Airlines flight she booked on. According to USA Today, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs student Lanice Powless was traveling from the Denver airport to her home in California when she said a Southwest employee told her she could not bring her pink pet Betta fish, Cassie, on the flight. Powless had researched TSA policy about bringing fish on flights ahead of getting Cassie and was pleased to note that live fish are allowed on flights if they’re in a carry-on bag.
We’ve got a recipe for raw cookie dough that uses simple ingredients and is gluten-free to boot (which helps avoid the E. coli risks associated with eating raw flour). The base of the dough starts with chickpeas and unsweetened peanut butter, adding a boost of protein and fiber. The trick to a really smooth dough is to peel that papery skin off the chickpeas.
The Justice Department on Tuesday moved to implement President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban bump stocks, a gun modification that allows semiautomatic rifles to fire faster. The new rule, which is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming days, will mandate that owners of bump stocks turn them in or destroy them. The rule encourages people who currently possess bump stocks to destroy the devices themselves, but also says they’ll have the option to turn them over to the nearest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office.
Canada is looking for a way out of a $13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia -- a move the company warns could leave the government liable for billions. In a television interview Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was looking for a way to halt the sale of armored vehicles manufactured by a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp. We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV, without elaborating.
In a story Dec. 13 about the pope's May travel schedule, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Bulgaria is a former Soviet republic. During the Cold War, Bulgaria was one of the Soviet allies that formed the Warsaw Pact. A corrected version of the story is below: Pope to visit Bulgaria, Macedonia in May in busy travel year Pope Francis is travelling in May to the Orthodox countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia, where he will pay tribute to Macedonian-born Mother Teresa, officials said Thursday VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is travelling in May to the Orthodox countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia, where he will pay tribute to Macedonian-born Mother Teresa, officials said Thursday.