Donald Trump's envoy to Venezuela was left flustered and visibly angry following an interrogation by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar over his controversial political past. Elliot Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month to help lead the US response to the political crisis in the South American country, which is seeing widespread hunger and violence following the collapse of its economy. On Wednesday, Mr Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, testified in front of the House foreign affairs select committee, where he was subjected to a fierce line of questioning by Ms Omar.
The U.S. archbishop helping to organize next week's summit of the world's bishops at the Vatican on sexual abuse by clergy said Thursday he expects to make "significant progress" in responding to the scandal that's riven the church, and that lay Catholics will help to hold the hierarchy accountable. Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich told The Associated Press in a phone interview that the Feb. 21-24 prevention summit, convened by Pope Francis, is necessary for all global Catholic church leaders to understand they must act and be accountable to the victims for the abuse cases stretching back decades. "I think there is understandable frustration on that level," said Cupich, hand-picked by Francis to help organize the summit.
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".
The freshman Democratic representative celebrated online retailer Amazon's decision Thursday to scrap its plans to build a new headquarters in her New York City district. “I think it's incredible,” Ocasio-Cortez responded when asked to comment on Amazon's about-face. Earlier Thursday, the company announced it was reversing the plan, announced in November, to build new East Coast headquarters buildings in New York City and in Arlington, Va. The Virginia part of the plan will go ahead.
Honda is recalling 437,000 Acura MDX SUVs, Acura TLX V6 cars, and Honda Accord V6 cars because the gasoline flow from fuel pumps could slow to the point that a vehicle stalls, increasing the risk of a crash. Honda, the parent company for Acura, says it is not aware of any crashes or injuries because of this issue. According to the automaker, the presence of sodium particles in some gasolines can cause the fuel pump to slow down, which can ultimately lead to stalling.
Thirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan."
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused European powers on Thursday of undermining Washington's crack down on Iran by trying to break U.S. sanctions against Tehran, in remarks that were likely to further strain transatlantic relations. Pence spoke at a Middle East peace conference in Warsaw attended by 60 countries, notably including both Gulf Arab states and Israel, in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a "historical turning point" for an alliance against Tehran. Iran, Russia and the Palestinians were absent.
A Delta Air Lines flight en route from California to Washington was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday after five passengers were injured due to severe turbulence. The flight touched down in Reno about 1:30 PST, according to Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesperson Brian Kulpin. Kulpin said three of the injured passengers were transported to a local hospital.
Ultimately, then, the sign amounts to what has been termed "security theater" — measures designed to make kids, parents and school personnel feel safer, but which don't actually make them safer. Thankfully, other changes are in full swing that do "harden" school targets. As Treasure Coast Newspapers reported last week, the Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin County school districts have all taken "giant steps" to improve school safety.
“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.
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.
Big-hearted Britons have penned thousands of uplifting messages to be delivered to single seniors on Valentine's Day in a project aimed at alleviating loneliness. The letters and cards were written in recent weeks and left in ten models of old-fashioned red post-boxes set up in locations across London and several other cities. Red Letter Days, a gift experience company which came up with the idea, will dispatch the messages to needy elderly recipients in selected care homes during Thursday.
The day has arrived in the Democratic party when Sherrod Brown is a kind of moderate. The impeccably progressive Ohio senator who has occupied a spot on the left flank of the Democratic caucus for a very long time is declining to sign up for the fashionable radical causes of the hour. Brown has not endorsed the Bernie Sanders “Medicare-for-all” plan that contemplates the end of private insurance in America, nor for the outlandishly expensive and eminently mockable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “Green New Deal.
Happy Bae Day! Whether you're single or partnered up, Valentine's Day can have you craving a romantic getaway or just a getaway, period, so that you can make a quick escape from all the lovey-dovey energy in the air (that's us! While most couples will agree that 'two is better than one' when it comes to matters of the heart on Valentine's Day, those who aren't in a relationship would probably agree to disagree — except for this year, thanks Alaska Airlines.
New Land Rover Defender's interior potentially leaked on Twitter. The Defender will go on sale in the U.S. next year. The new Land Rover Defender has been one of the most talked about and eagerly anticipated new models to come out in a long time-and it isn't even out yet.
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.
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.
Omar then went after Abrams for his effort to downplay a massacre committed by the El Salvadoran military when he was serving under the Reagan administration. After hundreds of civilians were killed in the village of El Mozote in December 1981, including 131 children under the age of 12, Abrams and other administration officials dismissed reports of the massacre as exaggerations. The Atlacatl Battalion, which committed the massacre, was trained by U.S. advisers and two months after El Mozote, Abrams cited the battalion's "professionalism."
Special Counsel Robert Mueller recommended that Paul Manafort serve as much as a quarter century in prison for his convictions last year on tax- and bank-fraud charges, seeking what is effectively a life sentence for the 69-year-old former Trump campaign chairman. Mueller's prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Virginia, to hammer Manafort for using untaxed income hidden offshore to support a lavish lifestyle and for cheating banks when he was desperate for cash. Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars,” prosecutors wrote to Ellis Friday.
Under a deal reached Thursday, the union said teachers would get a base pay raise of between 7 to 11 percent in the next school year and cost-of-living increases in the following two years. However, the district put the average increase at 11.7 percent next year. The union agreed to raise bonuses for teachers working in low-income schools deemed the most challenging to $3,000 a year, despite believing that they weren't preventing teacher turnover in those schools.
One year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.
Electric vehicle startup Rivian on Friday announced a $700 million investment round led by Amazon, which recently pumped money into a young self-driving car technology firm. Details of Amazon's stake in US-based Rivian were not disclosed, but the company said it will remain independent. The potential Tesla rival late last year unveiled an electric pickup truck and an electric sport utility vehicle at an auto show in Los Angeles.
The 2018-2019 flu season has been a relatively mild one — and a pretty effective flu shot is part of the reason why. Mid-season estimates suggest that the flu shot has reduced the risk of illness by around 47% in vaccinated people, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Thursday. During the severe 2017-2018 flu season, vaccine efficacy was estimated at just 36%.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) reportedly threatens to call police on Daily Caller reporter Henry Rodgers who asked the Senator about the Green New Deal.