Britain's highest court on Friday rejected a bid by a woman who was stripped of her U.K. citizenship for joining the Islamic State group to return to challenge the decision.'There is no perfect solution' »
President Biden and Senate Democrats drew fire from progressives after opting to not fight a ruling that would strip a $15 minimum wage increase from the Senate's COVID-19 relief legislation. To pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan with just 50 votes, Democrats in the Senate are using a process called budget reconciliation, which requires the approval of the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough. On Wednesday, MacDonough ruled that the provision increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2025 violated the Senate's “Byrd rule,” which prohibits “extraneous” provisions from being included in budget legislation passed through reconciliation.
JISR AL-ZARQA, Israel (AP) — After weathering a year of the coronavirus pandemic, the fishermen of an Arab village in central Israel have been dealt another blow by a mysterious oil spill in the Mediterranean. Grappling with its worst ecological disaster in years, the government this week ordered a precautionary ban on selling seafood. Despite the ban, Jisr al-Zarqa's fishermen went to sea Thursday to bring in their catch.
Police in the eastern Indian state of Orissa (also called Odisha) have arrested a man wanted in a notorious 1999 gang rape. When police approached Bibekananda Biswal's home last week in Pune district in the western state of Maharashtra, they say he tried to run away. Bibekananda Biswal was among three men accused in the brutal gang rape of a 29-year-old woman on the night of 9 January 1999.
In the week since Washington offered to talk with Tehran about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran has curbed U.N. monitoring, threatened to boost uranium enrichment and its suspected proxies have twice rocketed Iraqi bases with U.S. soldiers. In return, the United States and three allies, Britain, France and Germany, have responded with a studied calm. The response - or lack of one - reflects a desire not to disrupt the diplomatic overture in hopes Iran will return to the table and, if not, that the pressure of U.S. sanctions will keep taking its toll, U.S. and European officials said.
Stacey Abrams, whose voting rights work helped make Georgia into a swing state, exhorted Congress on Thursday to reject “outright lies" that have historically restricted access to the ballot as Democrats began their push for a sweeping overhaul of election and ethics laws. “A lie cloaked in the seductive appeal of election integrity has weakened access to democracy for millions,” Abrams, a Democrat who narrowly lost Georgia's 2018 gubernatorial race, said during a committee hearing for the bill, which was introduced as H.R. 1 to signal its importance to the party's agenda. Democrats feel a sense of urgency to enact the legislation ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, when their narrow majorities in the House and Senate will be at risk.
From ornate to subtle, these beautiful screens double as functional art Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
There were no immediate reports of injuries. The Southeast Asian nation has been in crisis since the army seized power on Feb. 1 and detained civilian government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election. There have been daily protests and strikes by democracy supporters for about three weeks, often drawing hundreds of thousands of people across the diverse country.
Philippine police said on Thursday they were looking into a government review of thousands of killings in the country's "war on drugs", after the justice minister made an unprecedented admission to the United Nations of widespread police failures. Human Rights Watch described Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra's video statement on Wednesday as an "astounding disclosure". Guevarra said police had in many cases failed to examine weapons and crime scenes after officers had shot dead suspected drug dealers.
A woman who ran away from London as a teenager to join the Islamic State group lost her bid Friday to return to the U.K. to fight for the restoration of her citizenship, which was revoked on national security grounds. Shamima Begum was one of three east London schoolgirls who traveled to Syria in 2015. She resurfaced at a refugee camp in Syria and told reporters she wanted to come home, but was denied the chance after former Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked her citizenship.
Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly. “This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George Romney,” Venable said, referring to the moderate former president and former governor. Now, he said, it's defined by Mike Shirkey, the state Senate majority leader who was overheard calling the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot a “hoax"; Meshawn Maddock, the new co-chair of the state party who backed former President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud; and the Proud Boys.
Mohammad Mosaed is an Iranian reporter who has twice been arrested by the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists awarded him its 2020 International Press Freedom Award. Mohammad Mosaed, an Iranian freelance journalist who has twice been arrested by the government for his investigative reporting and criticism of Iranian officials, was detained by Turkish border officials earlier this year after fleeing Iran following a prison summons.
President Joe Biden headed for Texas on Friday as the state works to recover from a severe winter storm that caused serious damage to homes and businesses, left millions without power or clean water for days, and killed at least two dozen. Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, were traveling to Houston where he will meet with Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to discuss the recovery from last week's storm. Biden will bring empathy and pledges of financial help from Washington, but no lectures about the dangers of underregulation or calls for the federal government to monitor the state's power grid.
Hungary may have to tighten lockdown curbs as coronavirus infections are expected to rise "drastically" in the next two weeks, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday, as the daily tally of new infections jumped to 4,668, the highest this year. Orban also said all the 2.5 million to 2.6 million Hungarians who have registered for COVID-19 vaccinations so far would receive at least one dose by Easter, in early April. Orban, speaking on state radio, said he hoped to get vaccinated with a shot developed by China's Sinopharm early next week.
Three family members of an assassinated journalist in western Afghanistan have been killed by gunmen, local officials said Friday, amid a rising wave of attacks targeting journalists and civil society actors. Ghor provincial council member Hamidullah Mutahid said that at least five others were wounded in the attack late Thursday. The gunmen stormed the family home of Afghan journalist and activist Bismillah Adil Aimaq, who was shot dead in an unclaimed attack nearby Ghor on Jan. 1.
China is expected to reveal a robust increase in defence spending at the March 5 annual opening of parliament, as its economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic and military tensions rise, Chinese and Western security experts said. With the coronavirus hammering its economy, China last year announced a 6.6 per cent boost in defence spending to $178 billion, the lowest rate of increase in three decades. The new administration of President Joe Biden has moved quickly to remind Beijing that the United States intends to compete with China's growing influence and military strength in the Asia-Pacific.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told sailors on the USS Nimitz Thursday that he hopes to avoid long ship deployments like the more than 10 months they just spent at sea. But as he made his first aircraft carrier visit as Pentagon chief, he acknowledged the demand for American warships around the globe as he wrestles with security threats from China in the Pacific and Iran in the Middle East. Standing in the ship's hangar bay, Austin said he will make a decision soon on whether to send a carrier back to the Middle East, where the Nimitz had been.
Ted Cruz's Senate colleagues had some fun at his expense on Wednesday, according to NBC News. Photos of Cruz from his infamous Cancun trip were plastered around the Senate gym's locker room. "Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!" the color printouts for the prank read, or "welcome back."
The United States has pledged to tell the world its conclusions on what role Saudi Arabia's crown prince played in the brutal killing and dismembering of a U.S.-based journalist, but as important is what comes next — what the Biden administration plans to do about it. Ahead of the release of the declassified U.S. intelligence report, and announcement of any U.S. punitive measures, President Joe Biden spoke to Saudi King Salman on Thursday for the first time since taking office more than a month ago. It was a later-than-usual courtesy call to the Middle East ally, timing seen as reflecting Biden's displeasure.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who excoriated former President Donald Trump over the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot less than two weeks ago, said on Thursday that he would "absolutely" vote for Trump if he became the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. McConnell, who Trump blasted last week as "a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack," said he expects to see an open contest for the Republican White House nomination in 2024 but showed no hesitation in backing Trump when asked whether he would vote for him as nominee. Trump is expected to talk about the possibility of a 2024 run when he speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday, nearly two months after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn his defeat in November's election by Democrat Joe Biden.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine has been approved for only people under 65 in Germany, and Merkel is 66. Recent trials have linked AstraZeneca's vaccine with a dramatic drop in hospitalization risk.
A U.S. airstrike targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias in Syria appears to be a message to Tehran delivered by a new American administration still figuring out its approach to the Middle East. The strike was seemingly a response to stepped-up rocket attacks by such militias that have targeted U.S. interests in Iraq, where the armed groups are based. It comes even as Washington and Tehran consider a return to the 2015 accord meant to rein in Iran's nuclear program.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Friday that China is restricting basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and COVID-19 measures, adding to a wave of criticism of the country's rights record. "Activists, lawyers and human rights defenders – as well as some foreign nationals – face arbitrary criminal charges, detention or unfair trials," Bachelet told the Human Rights Council. More than 600 people in Hong Kong are being investigated for taking part in protests, some under the new national security law imposed by mainland China on the former British colony, she said.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday announced it will hold a confirmation hearing on March 9 for President Joe Biden's nominees to serve in the No. 2 and No. 3 top jobs at the U.S. Justice Department. Lisa Monaco, a former federal prosecutor who also previously advised former FBI Director Robert Mueller and former President Barack Obama, is nominated to serve as Deputy Attorney General. Vanita Gupta, a long-time civil rights attorney who previously led the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, is nominated to serve as Associate Attorney General.
Addressing the annual CPAC conference of American conservatives, Texas Senator Ted Cruz mocked a former Republican speaker for reportedly telling him to “go f*** himself” during an audiobook recording. During a high-energy roving-microphone speech in which he repeatedly referenced the Star Wars movies and implored Americans to “have fun” rather than fall prey to “cancel culture”, Mr Cruz complained that many in the right-wing establishment “act like they've got a stick inserted somewhere it doesn't belong. He then referred to Mr Boehner's reported comments.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki is facing criticism for an old tweet about Syria. Psaki in 2017 questioned the legality of airstrikes launched by the Trump administration. On Thursday the Biden administration launched attacks on Iran-backed militia groups in Syria.
“How about we skip ‘he won’t win’ cycle and not do 2016 all over again. Trump can absolutely win another presidential election.”
“With independents deserting him, there is simply no path for Trump to get back into the White House — except as a tourist.”
“They might as well cancel the 2024 primaries...because there is no way he can lose.”
“The next Republican presidential primary will be heavily shaped by Trump — whether or not he decides to run again.”
“Donald Trump will not be running for president again. He will, however, continue to tease the possibility of a 2024 run.”