Eleven U.S. troops were flown out of Iraq for evaluation of concussion-like symptoms in the days following an Iranian missile strike that President Donald Trump had said caused no harm to American forces, officials said Friday. The Pentagon's chief spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not know of the injuries until he was told Thursday afternoon that the 11 troops had been sent for evaluation at U.S. medical facilities — eight in Germany and three in Kuwait. Hoffman said the notification to Esper was in line with military procedures, which he said do not require notification of service member casualties to the Pentagon unless they involve the loss of life, limb or eyesight.
Historically a land power, the Soviet Union grappled with the idea of a large naval aviation arm for most of its history, eventually settling on a series of hybrid aircraft carriers. Big plans for additional ships died with the Soviet collapse, but Russia inherited one large aircraft carrier at the end of the Cold War—that remains in service today. Although many of the problems that wracked the naval aviation projects of the Soviet Union remain today, the Russian navy nevertheless sports one of the more active aircraft carriers in the world.
An off-duty Hong Kong police officer was arrested along with seven other people on Friday as they tried to put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge, police said. It's the first known case of a police officer being apprehended for supporting the massive demonstrations that have led to more than 6,500 arrests in the past seven months. The officer, 31, and the seven other people aged 14 to 61, were arrested at 3:00 am on Friday in Tuen Mun, a district in northwest Hong Kong.
Molly Riley/Reuters Native American woman Tara Houska says a TSA agent grabbed her braids, whipped them like reins and said "giddyup" while she was going through security at the Minneapolis airport on Monday. A TSA official apologized to Houska for the incident, and released a statement saying "improper behavior is taken seriously" by the agency. The Transportation Security Administration was forced to issue an apology on Tuesday after a Native American woman described on Twitter a humiliating experience going through security at the Minneapolis-St.
The Trump administration warned European officials in three countries that if they didn't put Iran on notice about nuclear deal violations, the US government would slap a 25% tariff on all European cars.
The View's Meghan McCain took some shots at Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) on Friday after the lawmaker personally insulted a CNN reporter, pointing out that McSally didn't “earn” the Senate seat she was appointed to after McCain's father died. After CNN senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju attempted to ask McSally whether the Senate should consider new evidence in the impending impeachment trial, the Arizona senator snapped at Raju: “You're a liberal hack—I'm not talking to you.” McSally, meanwhile, quickly seized upon the instantly viral moment to fundraise for her tight election race before predictably appearing on Fox News to do a victory lap. Discussing the incident on Friday's broadcast of the ABC talk show, the View hosts noted that Raju's question was “very reasonable” and that the lawmaker also refused to answer it when asked by Fox News' Laura Ingraham during a chummy Thursday night interview.
The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia's Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea. The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.
Swedish activist Greta Thunberg marched with 10,000 protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday and said "you have not seen anything yet" before some head to Davos next week to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change. "So, we are now in a new year and we have entered a new decade and so far, during this decade, we have seen no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming and that has to change,” Thunberg said in a speech in Lausanne. Hundreds will take trains over the weekend and then march to Klosters near Davos, the annual gathering of world political and business leaders that Thunberg is attending for the second year in a row and will take part in two panel events.
Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. This is a last resort for us.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called President Donald Trump a "clown" as he defended Iran's military after it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, in a relatively rare public address that came as he led Friday prayers in Tehran. The last time Khamenei delivered a sermon to a crowd during Friday prayers was in 2012, on the 33rd anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution. The supreme leader called for "national unity" and described Iran's accidental downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flights 752 as a "bitter" tragedy, but one that should not overshadow the "sacrifice" of one of its top commanders, killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq days earlier.
On November 10, 2015, Russian media accidentally-on-purpose revealed a glimpse into the Kremlin's new underwater weapon—the "Kanyon" or Status-6 nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed drone. The Kanyon UUV (unmanned underwater vehicle) as described and illustrated is a very, very large torpedo almost eighty feet long and five feet in diameter. Fitted with a monstrous 100-megaton nuclear warhead and propelled by a nuclear power plant, Kanyon is designed to create radioactive tsunamis in ports and coastal areas.
Dominic Kpadeh heaves a hammer over his head to crack a half-tonne rock in a northern suburb of Liberia's capital Monrovia, knowing his hard labour earns him far less than a year ago. Stories such as Kpadeh's are common in Liberia, where rampant inflation has left many people struggling and increasingly turning their anger on President George Weah. A former football icon whose goals for AC Milan and Paris St Germain dazzled fans, Weah came to power in January 2018, promising to invest in education and create jobs.
The federal Transportation Security Administration has apologized to a Native American woman who said an agent at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport “pulled her braids” and said “giddy up!” when she took a flight from there this week. “The agent said she needed to pat down my braids,” tweeted Tara Houska, an indigenous rights advocate and attorney. According to the Washington Post, women of color have long experienced problems at TSA checkpoints, because natural, braided or twisted hair prompt “flags” on security devices, spurring “more invasive screenings”.
Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller's probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin's thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging file of real-estate transfers through which Trump laundered racketeering proceeds for Putin's favored mobsters and oligarchs; or Trump is recorded cutting a deal to drop Obama-era sanctions against Putin's regime if Russian spies hack Democratic accounts. Thought experiment No. 2: Adam Schiff is not a demagogue.
Twitter/AliBaroodi A well-known ISIS preacher was captured by Iraqi police, but he was apparently so overweight he had to be taken away in the back of a truck. Police said he incited extremist ideology and pledged allegiance to ISIS during their control of Mosul. Pictures posted to social media appear to show al-Nima being put in the back of a pickup truck by Iraqi forces.
Lesotho's prime minister said he intends to step down, following increased calls for his resignation over the murder of his second wife, which police have linked to the woman he married a little over two months later. Thomas Thabane, 80, was inaugurated as prime minister of the tiny African mountain kingdom two days after his second wife was shot in June 2017. “I have decided to retire from my position as the prime minister of Lesotho, and the time of my retirement will be officially announced when that time comes,” Thabane said in the capital, Maseru, on Friday.
Mexican prosecutors are investigating the discovery of a burned-out vehicle containing the charred bodies of 10 people in the southwestern state of Guerrero, authorities said late on Friday. Police made the grisly discovery on a country road in the municipality of Chilapa de Alvarez after locals saw the vehicle on fire and alerted authorities, state security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said in a statement published on Facebook. The attorney general's office of Guerrero did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
A Chinese woman sparked social media outrage in her country by posting photos of herself and a friend with a Mercedes-Benz on the grounds of Beijing's Forbidden City. The reaction prompted an apology from the management of China's 600-year-old former imperial palace. Vehicles have been banned since 2013 to protect the cultural dignity of the vast site and its hundreds of historic buildings, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
Heavy rains in fire-ravaged eastern Australia have brought welcome relief for firefighters and farmers, but sparked flash floods that have led to fresh scrambles to save native animals. As the rain hit on Thursday the New South Wales State Emergency Services department warned that the sudden heavy downpours in some areas would bring flash flooding, falling trees and landslides where the fires have wiped out vegetation. On Friday, the warnings were realised when flash floods hit the Australia Reptile Park on the NSW east coast, and the state's koalas - having lost thousands of their number and huge swathes of their habitat - needed to be rescued again as floods thundered down fire-blasted hills empty of vegetation.
China has built some islands in the South China Sea. Can it protect them? During World War II Japan found that control of islands offered some strategic advantages, but not enough to force the United States to reduce each island individually.
Every morning Abulrahman leaves his normal primary school lessons in Vienna and joins about 20 other children for three hours to learn to read, write and speak German. Only when his level is deemed good enough will the eight year-old, who arrived from Yemen in July, be allowed to stop what critics call the "ghetto classes". Despite conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's new coalition partners, the Greens, having expressed concerns about the controversial policy, it looks set to continue.
Reuters/Johanna Geron/Illustration Clearwater AI, a facial-recognition startup that scraped social media for images, has been adopted by at least 600 law-enforcement agencies, according to a New York Times report. The software developers relied on current and former Republican officials to sell the software to law-enforcement agencies. The agencies reportedly have little information about the origin of Clearwater AI, which likely violated policies of sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to create its database of billions of photos.
If you doubt Republicans are facing immense pressure these days, consider Sen. Martha McSally's behavior. Regardless of whether new post-House impeachment revelations are introduced in the Senate trial, the drip-drip-drip has created a lose-lose proposition for Republicans who face tough electoral crosswinds in 2020. As the Senate heads toward the formal impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump on Tuesday, text messages and documents provided by Lev Parnas, as well as a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that the White House broke the law by withholding funds from Ukraine, cast a pall over Republican efforts to pretend this is merely a witch hunt.
United briefly in their mourning over the assassination of Iran's most powerful military commander, Qassem Soleimani, two rival titans of the Shiite Muslim world both paid their respects. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the reclusive top religious authority in Iraq, sent his son to greet the funeral procession as it filled the shrine city of Najaf with mourners. The divergent responses encapsulate one facet of a broader theological contest – newly rejuvenated by months of anti-government protests in Iraq – between the religious rulers of Iraq and Iran, and their two very different worldviews about the role that Shiite clerics should play in politics and daily life.
The jury for Harvey Weinstein's New York rape trial has been selected and is made up of seven men and five women, with Friday's selection of three white men bringing fierce objections from prosecutors who said the defense had intentionally kept white women off the case. Friday also brought further questioning of jurors that highlighted an important element of Weinstein's defense -- that any sexual relations with the fallen movie mogul were consensual. During arguments outside the hearing of potential jurors, prosecutor Joan Illuzzi repeatedly blasted Weinstein's lawyers as coming up with what she called “pretextual” reasons to exclude what she said was “every white woman” from the panel with...