The exemptions, granted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and described by a State Department spokesman in response to questions from Reuters, mean officials from countries such as Iraq who may have dealings with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, would not necessarily be denied U.S. visas. The IRGC is a powerful faction in Iran that controls a business empire as well as elite armed and intelligence forces. The exceptions to U.S. sanctions would also permit foreign executives who do business in Iran, where the IRGC is a major economic force, as well as humanitarian groups working in regions such as northern Syria, Iraq and Yemen, to do so without fear they will automatically trigger U.S. laws on dealing with a foreign terrorist group.
The Easter Sunday attacks on three churches in Sri Lanka mark a devastating escalation of violence against a Christian minority that has been targeted in the past, but never to such brutal and deadly effect. Ethnic and religious violence has plagued Sri Lanka for decades, with a 37-year conflict with Tamil rebels that claimed 100,000 lives and an upswing in recent years in clashes between the Buddhist majority and Muslims. The US State Department's most recent report on religious freedom said the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka had documented "97 incidents" of attacks on churches, intimidation and violence in 2017.
A member of an armed rightwing militia group accused of illegally detaining migrants at the US-Mexico border has been arrested, officials said on Saturday. Today's arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes,” the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, said in a statement. On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for an investigation into the pro-Trump, anti-immigrant men who have been patrolling the border and calling themselves the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP).
A beautiful spring morning at the Topeka Zoo in Kansas turned tragic when a male Sumatran tiger attacked a keeper, inflicting wounds that sent her to a hospital. Although keepers are never supposed to be in the same space as the tigers, they found themselves together in the outdoor habitat that morning for reasons under investigation. "There's some sort of error that occurred here," said Brendan Wiley, the zoo's director, told a news conference.
A year and a half before the presidential election, Democratic leaders have been saying President Donald Trump should be voted out of office, not depart through impeachment. Republicans, who control the Senate, remained adamantly opposed to impeachment. Mueller's 448-page report detailed multiple contacts between Russian operatives and Trump associates during the 2016 campaign but said the investigation did not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy.
The assailants who attacked a state security building northwest of Riyadh on Sunday are Saudi militants who belong to Islamic State, Saudi-owned Arabiya TV said in a tweet, citing its own correspondent. Saudi state media said authorities thwarted the attack by four militants targeting the Mabaheth (domestic intelligence) station in Zulfi, a small city about 250 km (155 miles) northwest of the capital Riyadh. There has been no Islamic State claim of responsibility for the attack so far, and the authorities did not officially identify the assailants.
Community members in suburban Denver marked the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting Saturday with a remembrance ceremony that celebrated the school's survival and by volunteering at shelters, doing neighborhood cleanup projects and laying flowers and cards at a memorial to the 13 people killed. "We're changed," Dawn Anna, whose daughter Lauren Townsend was among the students killed in the school's library, said before a crowd of more than 2,000 gathered in a park near the high school. The events ended a three-day slate of somber gatherings honoring the victims and lending support to their families, survivors of the April 20, 1999, attack and the school's students and staff.
The B-21 has disappeared into the “black” world of military technology, and will only reemerge when the bomber is ready. On October 27, 2015, nearly thirty-four years to the day after Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop the first stealth bomber, the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a contract for a new bomber: the B-21 Raider. In invoking the Doolittle Raid, the Air Force is drawing attention to attack's audacious nature, the strategic and tactical surprise, and the epic distances General Doolittle and his “raiders” flew to accomplish their mission.
One of the operations most vital to Facebook Inc. at this moment is a world away from its Menlo Park, California, headquarters, and in more ways than one. This is Boom Live, one of seven tiny fact-checking firms at the heart of Facebook's efforts to rebuild some of its credibility during India's elections. Based on the early tallies, more than 60 percent of India's 900 million eligible voters are expected to cast ballots between now and May 19, as the center-left Congress Party tries to seize power from the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party.
U.S. stock index futures dipped on Monday as investors returned from their Easter break and took a cautious stance at the beginning of what is expected to be the busiest week of the first-quarter earnings season. The S&P 500 closed slightly lower last week, ending its three-week winning streak, but hovered about 1% away from a record high hit in September on U.S.-China trade hopes and a largely upbeat earnings season. More than a third of the S&P 500 companies, including Boeing Co, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc, will report this week determining whether investors should be concerned about the start of an earnings recession or whether back-to-back quarters of negative growth can be avoided.
Religious and world leaders have condemned a series of blasts in Sri Lanka that killed almost 300 people on Sunday, including dozens of foreigners - with British, Dutch and American citizens among them. Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka also condemned the church attacks. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said it mourned the loss of innocent people in the blasts by extremists who seek to divide religious and ethnic groups.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani announced Monday that he and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to set up a joint border "reaction force" to counter terrorism. "We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism," Rouhani told a joint news conference, following months of increased tensions over attacks on both sides of the two countries' frontier. The border skirts the volatile southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan which has been the scene of frequent attacks on Iran's security forces.
A 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy last seen on Wednesday night remains missing, and police said Friday that they are focusing their investigation on the boy's home.
Donald Trump's personal lawyer has claimed there was “nothing wrong” with his campaign taking information from Russia, as the fallout and toxicity triggered by the publication of Robert Mueller's report grew. As Democrats said they were keeping open their options of seeking to impeach Mr Trump for his alleged efforts to obstruct Mr Mueller's probe, Rudy Giuliani went on the offensive, saying “any politician” in the US would have sought damaging information about an electoral rival. “There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Mr Giuliani told CNN.
Days after a fire engulfed Paris' beloved Notre Dame Cathedral, fundraising efforts neared the $1 billion mark. But officials estimate the international surge in donations may not yet cover the rebuilding costs. Stephane Bern, who heads heritage renovation programs across France, estimates the cost to completely repair the church will reach $1.13 billion to $2.3 billion.
A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group's February raid on North Korea's Embassy in Madrid was arrested in Los Angeles by U.S. authorities. Christopher Ahn, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested and charged Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter. Separately, on Thursday, federal agents raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, a leader of the Free Joseon group, the person said.
Task and Purpose Security, Americas What will happen? A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus. Sgt. Scott D. Rowe, who served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004, told the Houston Chronicle that he's "never at peace" from the "high-pitched frequency" he hears every day, as a result of the earplugs he received from 3M Company.
Ukraine's most-watched comedian won a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential runoff as voters vented their frustration at the ex-Soviet republic's lack of progress since a revolution five years ago. Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old TV comic who's tapped into fury at the political class, got 73 percent of ballots after almost 99 percent of votes were counted. Incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who conceded defeat after exit polls showed his loss, garnered 25 percent as of Monday morning.
Videos of the incident were posted to social media during a Monday afternoon after-school event held at the church at which Dempsey was speaking of Easter and the crucifixion. In one of the videos, Dempsey is seen standing still while students take turns spitting on him, some striking him, while other students are heard laughing. The mother of a youth, who reportedly employed a knife handed to him by Dempsey to cut the associate pastor at his invitation, said she was alerted to the video by a friend, according to an on-camera interview with WBNS-TV.
BEIRUT/MOSCOW, April 20 (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met senior officials from his strongest ally Russia in Damascus on Friday and Saturday to discuss upcoming peace talks, renting out Tartus port and trade between the two countries, state media in Syria reported. Russia has helped Assad's forces to take back most of the country but the eight-year-long war continues. Swathes of the northeast and northwest are out of his control, while sanctions and a fuel shortage are constricting the economy.
The Islamic State group Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 people and trapped around 2,000 for hours inside the communications ministry in the Afghan capital the previous day. Four IS jihadists detonated explosives near the ministry, then entered and "battled Afghan security forces with machine guns and hand grenades for numerous hours", the group said in a statement on its social media channels. The attack in central Kabul killed seven civilians and three members of the security forces, the interior ministry said on Sunday, in a new toll after three people died of their wounds.
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said there was “nothing wrong” with Trump's presidential campaign taking information from Russia in an interview on Sunday. “There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” Giuliani said to CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union, days after special counsel Robert Mueller's report detailed more than 100 interactions between Trump's associates and Russians. In the interview, Giuliani was specifically responding to Tapper mentioning a statement tweeted by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Friday.
A man has been arrested after a woman who was five months pregnant was found dead in a Brooklyn apartment.
Serbia on Monday said it will donate one million euros to help restore Notre-Dame Cathedral, after pro-government tabloids said the fire was "God's punishment" to France. The gift comes after two tabloids, Alo and Informer, said the blaze was divine retribution after Kosovo's flag was displayed inside the cathedral during World War I centennial commemorations in Paris last year. Serbia does not recognise the independence of Kosovo, a former southern province that broke away in a 1998-99 war.