Insurance claims from the recent devastating California wildfires that killed at least 89 people and destroyed 19,000 homes and businesses have reached at least $9 billion, the state's insurance commissioner said Wednesday. "The devastating wildfires of 2018 were the deadliest and costliest wildfire catastrophes in California's history," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Most of the insurance payouts -- some $7 billion -- concern the Camp Fire in Northern California, which wiped out the town of Paradise and killed 86 people, making it the deadliest wildfire in recent California history.
SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Canada should distance itself from U.S. "hegemonism" and grant unconditional freedom to Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of China's Huawei detained in Vancouver on Washington's request, state-owned tabloid Global Times said in a Thursday editorial. Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating sanctions. The United States needs to make a formal extradition request within 60 days of her arrest, which a Canadian judge will weigh to determine whether the case against Meng is strong enough.
Raleigh County Sheriff Scott Van Meter said Thursday the criminal investigation will focus on why the adults were in the Elk Run Coal's Rock House Powellton mine near Clear Creek and find out "what happened." Three adults were rescued Wednesday night after spending four days inside the underground mine. A fourth adult had walked out of the mine on Monday.
Technology researchers in China have been ordered to not travel to the US unless it is absolutely necessary, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Staff working in sensitive tech sectors were given the warning following the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada, a source told the South China Morning Post. Workers at a research agency were also told to remove any sensitive data from laptops, mobile phones and other devices if travel to the US was essential.
The sentencing memo filed last week by federal prosecutors against Michael Cohen, who for many years served as President Donald Trump's fixer, had Democrats and news media types aflutter: Would Trump soon be indicted for breaking campaign finance laws? The allegation is that Cohen and Trump ran afoul of campaign finance laws by breaking contribution limits and causing a corporation to make an illegal contribution to conceal a federal candidate's extramarital affairs from voters. Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on CNN that if Trump were proven to have directed the payments, it would constitute "impeachable offenses." Soon-to-be House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on CBS News that Trump will "face the real prospect of jail time." Leading Democrats want to impeach and jail their chief political antagonist, and yet it's Republicans who are constantly accused of running a banana republic. But I digress.
A disgruntled employee at a Canadian Walmart decided that he wasn’t going to quit quietly. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, a 17-year-old worker named Jackson Racicot grabbed the PA mic and told everyone in the store what he really thought about working there. Racicot then dove into individual grievances, starting with his manager who apparently had called him “a waste of time.” He goes on to say that promises had been made and not kept, and details the story of how he was given only benefits of a part-time employee even though he worked full-time.
UPDATE 12/13/18: The embattled former leader of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, still in jail in Japan over financial irregularity charges from Nissan, is retaining his status as chairman and CEO at Renault. The French automaker's board of directors met today and made that announcement, stating that it finds Ghosn's compensation reports were "in compliance with applicable law" in France. Japanese prosecutors have formally charged Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn for making "false disclosures" about his income with Nissan, the automaker said on Monday.
Nelson Martinez, the jailed former head of Venezuela's state-run oil giant PDVSA who was arrested last year as part of anti-corruption purge, died in state custody Wednesday, authorities said. The chief prosecutor's office said Martinez suffered from a serious and chronic illness that led to his death at a medical facility where he was undergoing treatment. The death is likely to focus attention on the conditions in which authorities are holding key opponents and former government officials.
The artists' first solo museum exhibition premiered during Miami Art Week.
In a rare interview, Mazloum Kobani told Reuters that Washington had made "serious attempts" to prevent a Turkish offensive against Kurdish fighters who control a swathe of northern Syria at the Turkish border, but the United States should ramp up its efforts further. The SDF, which is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, has been at the heart of the U.S.-backed fight against Islamic State. SDF commander-in-chief Kobani warned that a Turkish assault would tie up YPG fighters who are currently fighting Islamic State remnants in eastern Syria, allowing the jihadists to spread again.
A former Baylor University fraternity president accused of rape who will serve no jail time has been banned from the University of Texas at Dallas' campus and graduation activities. Jacob Anderson, 24, accepted a deal to plead no contest to a charge of unlawful restraint earlier this week. According to an arrest warrant, Anderson led a 19-year-old woman behind a house in 2016 where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her until she blacked out.
Irrepressible, linguistically adept, and astonishingly well-connected: the second Canadian being investigated for allegedly harming Chinese state security is a businessman whose relationships in North Korea go right to the very top. Michael Spavor is among only a handful of Westerners who met Kim Jong Un between his inheriting power in the North in 2011 and this year's Singapore summit with Donald Trump. He was instrumental in arranging visits by former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman to Pyongyang, where the player known as The Worm struck up an unlikely friendship with Kim, on one occasion singing him "Happy Birthday".
A middle school student in Delaware has been allowed to change his surname after enduring relentless bullying from his peers. Joshua Trump, who is not related to President Donald Trump, will now be known at school as Joshua Berto after dropping his mother’s surname for his father’s. The 11-year-old’s parents told ABC affiliate WPVI that the bullying of their son had been relentless and first started when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign.
Many critics have suggested that new American pressure is harmful to both the people and the regime, perhaps sending many Iranians into the arms of the mullahs in protest. In reality, the protests and strikes in Iran’s cities have made it clear that the people recognize their economic hardships are rooted in the self-serving priorities of the mullahs, not international pressures. The enemy is right here,” protesters are chanting.
Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday. The Camp Fire, which erupted on Nov. 8 and quickly incinerated most of the Sierra foothills town of Paradise, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, has accounted for the bulk of the claims, just over $7 billion of the total. That fire destroyed more than 18,500 structures, including nearly 14,000 homes, in and around Paradise, and killed 86 people, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Procter & Gamble is diversifying its beauty offering with the acquisition of Walker & Company Brands. Walker & Company Brands, which will operate as a separate and wholly-owned subsidiary of P&G, includes the specialized haircare ranges Bevel and FORM Beauty. "When I started Walker & Company Brands, I set out to build a company that would meet the health and beauty needs of people of color on a global scale," said Tristan Walker, CEO of Walker & Company Brands.
A California lawmaker arrested on suspicion of child cruelty said Wednesday the allegation stemmed from spanking his 7-year-old daughter. Democratic Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula said he spanked his daughter Sunday night and it's a punishment tool he rarely uses, the Fresno Bee newspaper reported . "Everyone who knows us in the community and has seen us in the community knows that I'm a loving father," Arambula said while standing next to his wife, Elizabeth.
A Mississippi judge will decide whether a death row inmate who says he wants to be executed is mentally competent to waive all his appeals. The state Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the examination in the case of David Cox. Cox wrote to Mississippi Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. in August saying he wanted to fire his lawyers, give up all his appeals and have the state Supreme Court set his execution date.
Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to save her Brexit deal and the danger of the U.K. crashing out of the European Union is on the rise. How hard would it be to delay Britain’s departure date? From the U.K. side, it would require little more than a short debate and the approval of Parliament, which would be fairly straightforward as the one thing there is a majority for in both houses is to stop a no-deal Brexit.
UPDATE 12/13/18: Toyota says the first production 2020 Supra will be auctioned off January 19, 2019, at the Barrett-Jackson auctions in Arizona to benefit the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Its VIN will be #20201 and it will feature a special paint scheme (teased below) including matte gray exterior paint, matte black wheels, red mirror caps, and a red leather interior featuring a carbon-fiber plaque denoting it as the first 2020 Supra. The new Toyota Supra sports car is almost here-and we mean it this time.
From the Samsung Galaxy Watch to Tag Heuer's Connected Modular 41, these smartwatches shouldn't be on your radar—they should be on your wrist
NEW YORK – The sentencing of President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer might mark the end of a wrenching chapter for Michael Cohen, but the political and legal implications of Cohen’s capitulation have only darkened the shadow that looms over the Trump White House. The worst of what New York federal prosecutors and Russia special counsel Robert Mueller revealed in court papers last week – Trump’s alleged implication in hush money payments to mistresses and Cohen’s early campaign contacts with Russians – probably represents only a fraction of what they have gathered in multiple probes that have reached deep into Trump’s inner circle. Trump sought to brush away the hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him as "civil" matters, but the detailed description of Cohen's conduct outlined Wednesday by a federal judge and prosecutor will be difficult for the White House to dismiss.
Japan is planning to tighten regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook after an expert panel called for better oversight on competition and privacy, an official said Thursday. Japan has followed in the footsteps of other countries in scrutinising the dominant role played by the world's largest information technology companies, including Big Four tech firms Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Despite bringing benefits, tech giants "tend to monopolise the market through their features such as... low costs and economies of scale," the report said.
U.S. Democratic leaders rebuked President Donald Trump on Thursday for saying Mexico will pay for a border wall through a new trade deal, while Mexico's new president said the topic has not come up in his talks with Trump. The Republican president vowed during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign to build a wall along the border with Mexico to slow the flow of illegal immigration, and he has long pledged that Mexico - not U.S. taxpayers - would fund it. In a Twitter post early on Thursday, Trump said that unspecified savings for the United States as a result of the renegotiated trade deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada would pay for the wall.