Earlier in the day, the Trump administration signaled a retreat from a confrontation over the president’s demand for $5 billion in wall money, and Democrats rejected a GOP plan to shift other government funds to the president’s immigration priorities. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama said Tuesday night he’s coordinating with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will decide if and when to seek a vote. Shelby said he began work on the bill after concluding that a long-term resolution probably wouldn’t be found before a shutdown would begin on Friday night.
Pope Francis has summoned the heads of some 110 national Catholic bishops' conferences and dozens of experts and leaders of religious orders to the Vatican on Feb. 21-24 for an extraordinary gathering dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis. Victims of clergy sexual abuse are hoping that the meeting will finally come up with a clear policy to make bishops themselves accountable for the mishandling of abuse cases. "Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world," the conference's steering committee said in a letter to all participants.
Chili’s social media department is getting ribbed after it weighed in on North Carolina’s election fraud scandal ― without really understanding it. It all started Monday when Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the progressive super PAC American Bridge, offered a Chili’s gift certificate to North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse with a caveat: Stop trying to seat Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, whose election has been marred by ballot fraud allegations. Woodhouse didn’t respond, but Chili’s social media person did and aggressively attempted to do some promotion piggybacking on Bates’ tweet.
Facebook and Google have one less user to worry about. Cher, 72, vowed to boycott the two tech giants Tuesday, saying Facebook and Google's alleged love of money trumps their "(love) of country." "Won't use Google, getting rid of Facebook account I didn't know I had," Cher tweeted in all capital letters.
The European Union on Wednesday adopted back-up plans to protect essential air transport and finance in the event that Britain leaves the bloc without a Brexit deal in 100 days. The European Commission said it was acting "to ensure that the necessary contingency measures can enter into application on 30 March 2019 in order to limit the most significant damage caused by a 'no-deal' scenario". The package covers 14 areas where a "no-deal" Brexit "would create major disruption for citizens and businesses" including in financial services, air transport, customs and climate policy.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Monday announced he's continuing his effort to have Maine's new election system used for the first time in a congressional race declared unconstitutional. Poliquin, who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Jared Golden, tweeted Monday evening that a formal appeal will be filed with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, dragging on the longshot legal process. "Rank voting came to Maine due to a largely out-of-state-funded push to change our election system that has worked well for one hundred years," he said in a statement.
The Super Sonic Car was set to raise the land speed record bar with the vehicle finished and undergoing final testing, but the project was stopped in its tracks when funding ran out. Related Video: Watch the Bloodhound SSC Team Show off Car Months of administration failed to find an investor willing to supply the £25 million ($31.5 million) required to set what might be the last record of this kind. Time was called on Bloodhound and we all shed a tear over a hard-fought challenge that seemingly fell at the final hurdle.
Guatemalan children caught in Mexico while trying to migrate into the US, queue before climbing into a minibus at Aurora international airport in Guatemala City. For years, Dora waited impatiently to turn 15, the age her mother had agreed she would be old enough to leave their home in El Salvador – where she suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather – and head to the US, in search of a new life. “Seeing them leave together … that gave me hope and gave me the courage to finally leave,” said Dora, who is now living at a children’s shelter in Tijuana, on the border with California.
The US surgeon general has urged an aggressive clamp down on e-cigarettes, recommending punitive taxes and bans on them being used at indoor public venues. Jerome Adams, America's top doctor, said action was needed to prevent millions of teenagers becoming hooked on the high-nicotine devices. Most devices heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapour, and have been marketed to adult smokers as a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes.
The White House said on Tuesday it was searching for ways to unilaterally fund the building of a controversial wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that Congress is balking at, possibly easing chances of a government shutdown this weekend. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters President Donald Trump has asked his Cabinet agencies to "look and see if they have money that can be used" to begin building the wall. Previously, Trump had demanded that Congress approve $5 billion in new funds for the wall that he argues is needed to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from entering through the southwest border.
Canada is looking for a way out of a $13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia -- a move the company warns could leave the government liable for billions. In a television interview Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was looking for a way to halt the sale of armored vehicles manufactured by a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp. We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV, without elaborating.
Delta Air Lines will add nonstop service to Mexico City from its Minneapolis/St. Paul hub. Daily service will begin June 8, with Delta offering one daily round-trip flight on 132-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Minneapolis/St. Paul will become the sixth city to get nonstop service to Mexico City on Delta.
New Zealand warned Google to "take responsibility" for its news content Wednesday, after the internet giant broke a court order suppressing the name of a man charged with murdering a British backpacker. An Auckland court granted the man interim name suppression this month but Google revealed his identity in an email to subscribers of its "what's trending in New Zealand?" service. Justice Minister Andrew Little said the breach was unacceptable and he had made his views known to Google executives at a meeting in parliament on Tuesday night.
The Taliban held another round of talks with U.S. officials on Monday, this time in the United Arab Emirates and also involving Saudi, Pakistani and Emirati representatives, part of the latest attempt to bring a negotiated end to Afghanistan's 17-year war. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid offered few details of the daylong meeting except to say "discussions were held with the American side over the end to the invasion of Afghanistan." He dismissed Afghan media reports that Afghan government representatives, who are in the United Arab Emirates, had met with the Taliban. "There is no plan to meet the Kabul administration," Mujahid said.
Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport said Monday that it is now offering unlimited free Wi-Fi for travelers. Previously, free Wi-Fi was limited to one hour at the airport, which goes by airport code MKE. "Unlimited free Wi-Fi has been one of the most-requested passenger amenities at MKE," Chris Abele, Milwaukee County executive, said in a statement.
As kids grow up, many parents like to update their relatives and friends about their family in the form of picture-perfect Christmas cards. The glossy images are no doubt a fun way to keep up with people, but it’s a running joke among caretakers that getting kids to pose for such pics can be a nightmare. And ultimately, the photos that get chosen for holiday cards are the results of a rare moment in an otherwise chaotic day.
Donald Trump has officially moved to to ban bump stocks, the controversial devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms. Bump stocks were used by gunman Stephen Paddock who killed 58 people at a music festival in Las Vegas in October last year, the worst mass shooting in modern US history. A senior Justice Department official said bump stocks will be banned from late March next year.
Republican U.S. Representative Martha McSally will take over the late John McCain's U.S. Senate seat in January, two months after losing her bid for Arizona's other Senate seat, the state's governor said on Tuesday. McSally will replace the retiring John Kyl, whom Governor Doug Ducey appointed after McCain died in August following a battle with brain cancer. Kyl, a former senator, committed to serving only through the end of 2018 when he was appointed.
British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan next year after a 10-year absence following an Islamist militant truck bomb that killed more than 50 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. As Pascale Davies reports, BA will be the first Western carrier to restart flying to Pakistan.
President Xi Jinping vowed Tuesday to push ahead with China's "reform and opening up" but warned that no one can "dictate" what it does, as the Communist Party celebrated the policy's 40th anniversary. While he pledged to press forward with the economic reforms initiated under late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in December 1978, Xi indicated that there would be no change to the one-party system. "The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics," he said.
The bodies of two slain Honduran migrant youths were found in the Mexican border city of Tijuana at the weekend, officials said on Tuesday, in a sign of the dangers facing Central Americans in Mexico as they seek to enter the United States. The prosecutors' office in Tijuana said in a statement it was investigating the deaths of the two youths, who showed signs of having been stabbed and strangled. The victims were believed to be about 16 or 17 years old, the office said.
A North Carolina woman has been charged with driving while impaired after a crash with a school bus that sent 13 students to the hospital. The North Carolina Highway Patrol issued a news release saying Kimberly Ann Austin was also charged with driving left of center. A working home phone listing couldn't be found, and the district attorney's office didn't immediately respond to an email asking if Austin has an attorney.
The auto industry is a popularity contest, and sedans are the clear losers these days. From Car and Driver