AL-OMAR OIL FIELD BASE, Syria (AP) — The offensive on the last enclave held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria has been blunted by the discovery of hundreds of civilians still living there, a commander with the Kurdish-led force fighting the extremists said Friday. The U.S.-backed force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, launched the offensive to liberate the IS-held village of Baghouz a week ago, after more than 20,000 civilians, many of them foreign wives of IS militants, were evacuated through a corridor from the area in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. In Washington, President Donald Trump said the White House will make an announcement about Syria and the fight against IS by Saturday.
The Day of the Shining Star dawned bitterly cold in Pyongyang. Kim, the son of the isolated North's founder Kim Il Sung and the father and predecessor of current leader Kim Jong Un, was born on February 16. According to Pyongyang's orthodoxy, he came into the world in 1942, in a snow-covered hut at a secret camp on the slopes of Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where his father was fighting occupying Japanese forces.
Iran on Saturday rejected accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against it by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, saying it respected Judaism but opposed Israel, which Tehran said was acting like a "killing machine against the Palestinians". Pence accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism on Friday after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, maintaining his harsh rhetoric just a day after attacking European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic. "Iran's historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.
Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been defrocked by Pope Francis after Vatican officials found him guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Vatican said Saturday. McCarrick was a powerful fundraiser in the church. He is the highest-ranking clergy to be laicized by the clerical state. The action strips McCarrick, 88, of priestly connections and bars him from celebrating Mass. In July 2018, Pope Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation amid the sex abuse scandal. McCarrick was a retired cardinal at the time and faced allegations of sexually abusing a minor nearly five decades ago when he was a priest in New York.
A pregnant London schoolgirl's wish to return home after joining the Islamic State group in Syria splintered Britain on Friday as reports emerged of more UK women fleeing the war zone. Shamima Begum's fate has prompted soul searching in Britain since she and two friends created international headlines by running away to join the terror network in 2015. Home Secretary Sajid Javid told The Times newspaper that people like Begum "were full of hate for our country".
Robert Mueller's team has questioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary has confirmed. In a statement to CNN, Ms Sanders, 36, said she had been questioned last year by the special counsel probing Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. “The president urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel,” she said.
Is 400 horsepower not enough for your people- and cargo-hauler in 2019? How does 500, 600, or 700 horsepower sound? From Car and Driver
“U.S. airlines value a culture of diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and for our passengers, and we work hard each day to accommodate the needs of all travelers, while delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable flight experience,” A4A said in a statement to USA TODAY. The nation's five biggest -- American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska airlines -- have all told USA TODAY that they plan to implement the trade groups' suggestion. “As part of Delta's ongoing efforts to accommodate the needs of diverse customers throughout our business, we are planning to offer a non-binary gender option during the booking process,” the carrier said in a statement.
The attorney for a white police officer charged with fatally shooting an armed black man in Tennessee is calling for legal discovery documents to be sealed from members of the public. Meanwhile, a police union has launched a digital ad campaign seeking to defend the Nashville officer, Andrew Delke, and bolster his image in public. The officer shot 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick from behind during a foot chase last July and is charged with first-degree murder.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., declares her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Minneapolis on Sunday. Reminder: There are 362 days until the Iowa caucuses, and 633 days until the 2020 presidential election. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, has become the first Republican to announce a challenge to President Trump.
Amazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.
A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, has taken responsibility for the deadliest attack on security forces in Indian Kashmir in 30 years of insurgency, ratcheting up tension between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors. India says the group and its leader, Masood Azhar, enjoy free rein in Pakistan, and demands that Pakistan acts to stop militant groups operating from its soil. Pakistan condemned the Thursday bomb attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen but denied any complicity.
A U.S. lay Catholic group wants those who "looked the other way" as Theodore McCarrick rose to cardinal's rank even despite abusing others be held accountable. The Catholic Association, a conservative group, in a statement Saturday, called McCarrick's defrocking "only a first step" in ridding sexual abuse from all levels of the church. It said much must be done to hold accountable "those in the church hierarchy who looked the other way as McCarrick rose through their ranks" and also to ensure that priestly celibacy is restored and youths are safeguarded from sexual abuse.
Amazon announced today in a statement that the company would withdraw its plans to construct their anticipated "HQ2" amid pushback from the community and politicians representing the area. The campus, the expected sister site to one still planned for Northern Virginia, was to be built in Long Island City, Queens. The campus was expected to spur a new era of growth for Queens and the city at large, promising the creation of 25,000 high-paying tech jobs, not to mention the luxury residential developments underway to house those new employees.
“We are not triumphant because I think from triumphant you get to hubris,” MI6 Chief Alex Younger told reporters in Munich on Friday. Younger said Islamic States's so-called caliphate was now in its “end game,” with the extremist militants clinging to the last square mile of land they hold in the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria. Meanwhile the U.K. is debating the case of Shamima Begum, a 19-year-old from east London who wants to come home despite expressing no regrets over becoming a so-called jihadi bride with Islamic State in Syria at the age of 15.
Thailand and the US hosted the opening ceremony for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, the biggest activity of its type in the Asia-Pacific region with participants learning jungle survival skills. Feb.
United Airlines will add three new domestic routes at its Denver hub. Daily flights to Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Syracuse, New York, will begin June 6 and will operate year-round. All three of the new routes will go head-to-head against service offered by Denver-based budget rival Frontier Airlines.
Authorities have warned of the threat of mudslides after a damaging storm struck California, trapping people in floodwaters, triggering a debris flow which destroyed homes and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year. The powerful system swept in from the Pacific Ocean and unleashed rain, snow and wind across the US west coast into Wyoming and Colorado after walloping northern California and southern Oregon. The National Weather Service reported staggering rainfall amounts across California, including more than 24cm over 48 hours at one location in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles.
European and US stock markets leapt on Friday as positive signs emerged from US-China trade talks aimed at averting an escalation of a tariff war between the world's top two economies. US President Donald Trump said the negotiations in Beijing were going "extremely well" and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced the talks would continue in Washington next week. Trump also said there was a "possibility" he would extend a March 1 deadline for a sharp rise in tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods to go into effect.
Orca could help to fill a yawning gap in the American submarine fleet. The U.S. Navy has ordered from Boeing four huge robotic submarines, potentially signally an effort to deploy a large number of crewless undersea boats alongside traditional, manned submarines. The Navy's $43-million purchase of four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, or XLUUVs, comes as the fleet struggles to build enough new manned submarines to replace older vessels that are decommissioning as their nuclear cores wear out.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government stepped up a legal battle against efforts to oust him on Thursday, while the opposition said the international community had pledged more than $100 million in humanitarian aid for the country. Venezuela's opposition, which argues Maduro's presidency is illegitimate because he won in a sham vote, is trying to wrest control of the OPEC nation's oil sector from him and deliver aid to a population suffering food and medicine shortages. Maduro says this is part of a strategy to carry out a U.S.-backed coup and has vowed to remain in office, despite around 50 nations recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president.
Denver teachers ended a three-day walkout and returned to their classrooms Thursday, greeted by hugs and high-fives, after their union reached a tentative deal raising their pay, the latest win in a national movement by educators to raise their wages and advocate for changes in schools. In Colorado, most education funding is provided by the state and a report by the Education Law Center and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education last year ranked the state last in the nation in competitive wages for teachers.
To clean up the growing mess, scientists at the University of Surrey have previously tested a net to catch chunks of debris. Now, they've successfully tested out a harpoon. The video below, released Friday by the university's space center, shows a test of the experimental RemoveDEBRIS satellite as it unleashes a harpoon at a piece of solar panel, held out on a 1.5-meter boom.
The move is one of several options the administration is considering to help the country through a “major” political transition, according to Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and two people familiar with the matter. “I know the White House and the Treasury Department are focused on the best path forward, but the main goal is to ensure that we preserve the assets and resources that rightfully belong to the Venezuelan people and block the Maduro regime from using them for personal gain and repression,” McCaul said in an emailed statement.
More than 106,000 2017–2019 Honda Ridgeline pickups will be recalled for potential fire risk. Acids in carwash soap could cause the fuel pump feed port to crack and leak, the recall notice says. Car and Driver's long-term Ridgeline is one of the affected vehicles.