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.
The U.S. Senate takes formal steps on Thursday to consider the removal of U.S. President Donald Trump on charges that he abused his power, even as key issues such as whether witnesses will appear at his impeachment trial remain up in the air. The Democratic-led House of Representatives on Wednesday sent two formal charges against Trump to the Republican-led Senate, clearing the way for only the third impeachment trial of a U.S. president to begin in earnest next week. Ceremony, rather than substance, will mark Thursday's proceedings, with the seven House "managers" prosecuting Trump to present the articles of impeachment to the Senate at 12 p.m. (1700 GMT).
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office charged Fredrick Hampton, 50, on Thursday with abuse of Paighton Houston's corpse. Hampton hasn't been charged with involvement in the 29-year-old's death, news outlets reported. Hampton was initially held in the Birmingham City Jail beginning Dec. 28 on suspicion of kidnapping, but he was released two days later after investigators failed to gather enough evidence to charge him with a crime, news outlets reported.
Guatemala's new president on Wednesday faced an early test of his ability to manage migration as a caravan of hundreds of people left Honduras for the United States, and said Mexico would halt its progress.
Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, says he told Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash that in exchange for information that could discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, he would try to stop Firtash's extradition to the U.S. to face corruption charges. Firtash, who is believed to have ties to the Russian mob, was in Vienna fighting extradition. During an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, Parnas said he was told Firtash's camp claimed to have evidence that one of Mueller's prosecutors was doing some "illegal stuff," and he was tasked with securing this evidence.
Airlines are issuing travel waivers due to a winter storm headed for much of the U.S. this weekend – and at least one airport has experienced issues after a plane slid off the taxiway. Delta flight 1114 headed to Detroit slid off the taxiway at Kansas City International Airport in Missouri, according to Joe McBride, marketing manager for the airport. "Passengers were safely offloaded and bused to Terminal B. Crews will remove the aircraft sometime today," he said in a tweet.
House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI's reform of FISA applications. The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris's past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.
Key point: China's downsizing of its carrier ambitions may leave it with more time to evaluate just what the carriers of the future will really look-like—and whether they're worth the cost. China's People's Liberation Army Navy takes many of its cues from the U.S. Navy as it develops its carrier aviation branch. It is seeking similar flat-deck carriers to its U.S. counterpart, and has developed airborne early warning planes and electronic attack jets comparable to American E-2D Hawkeyes and EA-18 Growlers.
A Republican lawmaker is facing calls for a sexual harassment investigation after he told a young female reporter that a group of high school boys “could have a lot of fun” with her. Peter Lucido, a Michigan state senator, has been accused of making inappropriate comments to local reporter Allison Donahue during a tour of the state Capitol. Ms Donahue said the senator told her he would speak with her after addressing a group of about 30 boys who were visiting from De La Salle Collegiate, a nearby all-boys Catholic school.
Religious social service providers receiving funds from the U.S. government would no longer have to tell their clients about other, possibly secular organizations that offer similar help under changes the Trump administration proposed on Thursday. Conservative Christians, a key bloc in President Donald Trump's Republican Party, have pushed to lift the requirement that religiously affiliated service groups must tell clients about alternative providers if they receive federal money. The Trump administration argues that the requirement puts an undue burden on groups linked to churches and treats them unfairly, presuming that because of their religious affiliation they will provide ideologically driven care or lie to clients.
The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Federal prosecutors released hundreds of more pages of emails and call logs showing interactions between William "Rick" Singer and parents accused of taking part in the college admissions scandal. One email showed an employee from the University of Southern California questioning if Lori Loughlin's daughters were "serious crew participants." Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying Singer $500,000 to have their daughters admitted to USC as crew recruits — despite their daughters never competing in the sport.
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.
An actress who had a role in "Marriage Story" and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room on the Emerald Princess ship was infested with bedbugs and left them with bites all over their bodies. Connie and Alvin Flores allege in a lawsuit, filed in November 2019, that their stateroom aboard the cruise they took a year earlier was "infested with hundreds of bedbugs." The pair cruised from Nov. 28, 2018, through Dec. 4, 2018, out of Los Angeles. Connie Flores played an "arguing woman" in "Marriage Story," and is now speaking publicly about the suit.
The Philippines said Friday it was reimposing a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer, echoing a 2018 row between the two countries. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban as his government accused the emirate of covering up the killing of a maid, one of about 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Duterte's government briefly banned Filipinos deploying for work in Kuwait two years ago amid a diplomatic row that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers' freezer.
Key point: America should be worried. A cybersecurity firm reports that Chinese hackers have stolen technical data for the Iron Dome rocket-defense system from Israeli computers. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services detected the cyber burglary, according to cybersecurity writer Brian Krebs.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife shared the clip of an eight-point buck shedding its antlers in the middle of the night, captured by a resident of Northfield, Vermont. The wildlife agency posted the footage on Facebook, calling it “spectacular and unique.” It's been viewed more than 277,000 times and shared by over 3,000 users. The animal is called an eight-point buck for its eight antlers, according to the Noble Research Institute, an agriculture research organization.
A major healthcare conference in San Francisco this week has sparked a debate about the California city's homeless crisis as wealthy executives and investors complain of feeling 'unsafe'. The city rakes in $51m (£39m) each year from the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference despite growing concerns about the city's homeless population among attendees of the healthcare industry's leading conference, according to Bloomberg News. The nearly 10,000 attendees have regularly criticised San Francisco's homeless crisis, Bloomberg reported, with one CEO describing it to the news outlet as “the Bill Clinton of cities”.
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.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet senior conservative lawmakers on Thursday to resolve a dispute in her own party over whether to bar China's Huawei [HWT.UL] from the country's 5G network rollout, party sources said. Merkel's conservatives are divided on whether to support a proposal by their Social Democrat junior coalition partners that, if approved, would effectively shut out the Chinese technology giant from the network. Handelsblatt business daily was first to report on Wednesday the planned meeting between Merkel and senior conservative lawmakers.
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.
Among the fatalities are volunteer firefighters, including a young man who died when his 10-ton truck was flipped over in what officials have described as a “fire tornado.” Australia's worst wildfires came in 2009 when the Black Saturday blazes left 180 people dead. Almost 12 million hectares (30 million acres) have been destroyed -- that's almost the size of England. In New South Wales state alone, more than 5.2 million hectares of forest and bush has been destroyed, while more than 1.4 million hectares has been burned in Victoria.
Texas on Wednesday carried out the first execution of the year in the United States, putting to death by lethal injection a man convicted of killing his wife 15 years ago because she wanted a divorce. John Gardner, 64, was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing his fifth wife, who had left him after multiple incidents of physical violence and filed for divorce. Two weeks before the divorce was to be finalized, Gardner broke into the woman's new home and shot her in the head.