On the border with Colombia, National Guard soldiers fired volleys of tear gas and plastic pellets at supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido, who were trying to persuade them to defect and permit tons of food and medicine into the country. Masked paramilitary gangs supporting the autocrat Maduro tore through the area there on motorcycles, firing guns in the air. Maduro said on state television that his forces had managed to repel an invasion and said he was breaking off diplomatic relations with Colombia.
A California high school student who was banned from wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat on campus is challenging her school district for impinging on her First Amendment rights. Maddie Mueller, who attends Clovis North High School in Fresno, is a member of Valley Patriots. The conservative activist group asked its affiliates to wear the well-known hat bearing Donald Trump's campaign motto on Wednesday.
Two U.S. cardinals attending the Vatican's sex abuse prevention summit said Friday that the downfall of their former colleague, Theodore McCarrick, was sad for the Catholic church but they hoped a new spirit of accountability would prevent future cover-ups of bishop misconduct. Cardinals Sean O'Malley of Boston and Blase Cupich of Chicago addressed the McCarrick scandal at a press conference on the second day of Pope Francis' summit, which was dedicated Friday to holding the Catholic hierarchy accountable for preventing sexual abuse. Francis defrocked McCarrick, 88, last week after a Vatican investigation found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adults, including during confession.
Vietnam will ban traffic on the road North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to take from a train station on the Chinese border to the capital, Hanoi, ahead of his summit next week with U.S. President Donald Trump, state media reported on Friday. Vietnam has been preparing for Kim to arrive by train for the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi, two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters on Wednesday. Kim's train will stop at the border station of Dong Dang where he will disembark and proceed 170 km (105 miles) to Hanoi by car, the sources said.
While charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for soliciting prostitution brought national attention to the issue of sex trafficking on Friday, data, expert opinion and cases from around the USA show how widespread the problem is. Sex trafficking accounted for 6,081 of the more than 8,500 reported cases of human trafficking in the United States in 2017, according to statistics from the National Human Trafficking Hotline. There is no official estimate of the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. Polaris, a non-profit that operates the hotline on human trafficking, estimates that the total number of victims nationally reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated.
One of the militants freed was Masood Azhar, who later went on to found Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the militant group which claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in three decades in Indian-held Kashmir. More than 40 Indian paramilitaries were killed in the suicide blast on February 14, kindling a fresh diplomatic crisis between nuclear-armed arch-rivals India and Pakistan. Based in Pakistan, JeM is one of several anti-Indian militant groups fighting in Kashmir which are officially outlawed in the country, but which are allegedly used by Islamabad as proxies in India.
Three of the world's biggest airlines have admitted some of their planes have cameras installed on the backs of passenger seats. American Airlines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have new seat-back entertainment systems that include cameras. Companies that make the entertainment systems are fitting them with cameras to offer passengers options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman.
Senator Dianne Feinstein unveiled a less ambitious alternative to the “Green New Deal” after she was caught on tape rejecting a push by children for her to support the sweeping climate change plan backed by progressive Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Feinstein's proposed draft plan seeks to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 - 20 years later than the Green New Deal - and also explicitly calls for achieving those reductions through a price on carbon, among other ways.
Southwest Airlines' flight woes continue, with nearly 400 Thursday flights canceled due to maintenance issues and winter weather. Southwest, the nation's largest domestic carrier, had canceled 389 flights, or 9 percent of its schedule, as of 1:15 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. That is the highest number of cancellations by any carrier and accounts for 51 percent of flight cancellations within, into or out of the United States, according to FlightAware. Southwest attributed the high number of cancellations to weather challenges and continuing maintenance issues that have a pulled a higher-than-usual number of aircraft out of service.
The father of an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State in Syria filed suit against the Trump administration Thursday in an effort to allow her return to the United States. Ahmed Ali Muthana argues in the suit filed in federal court in Washington that his 24-year-old daughter, Hoda Muthana, is an American citizen by birth and should be allowed to come back to the U.S. with her toddler son. Hoda Muthana is now in a Syrian refugee camp with the 18-month-old boy after fleeing the remnants of the Islamic State.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has closed the nation's border with Brazil, amid an escalating standoff over allowing aid from the US to enter the country. In a televised address from the nation's largest military base, Mr Maduro said he was also considering shuttering the border with neighbouring Colombia, two days before the opposition has vowed to move aid from the US and other nations inside Venezuela. Earlier on Thursday opposition leader Juan Guaido set off for the border with Colombia, where much of the US-supplied aid is warehoused.
The Roman Catholic Church must repair the "systematic failures" that enabled sexual abuse to take root around the world, and bishops should start policing each other's behavior, leading cardinals said on Friday. Cardinals Blase Cupich of Chicago and Oswald Gracias of Mumbai spoke on the second day of a conference of some 200 senior Church officials convened by Pope Francis to confront what he has called the scourge of sexual abuse by the clergy. quot;This past year has taught us that the systematic failures in holding clerics of all rank responsible are due in large measure to flaws in the way we interact and communicate with each other," Cupich said.
Vietnamese authorities are preparing for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to arrive by train next week ahead of his summit with US president Donald Trump, several sources told AFP Friday. The leaders are slated to meet in Hanoi on February 27-28 to follow up on their first meeting last June in Singapore that ended with vaguely worded commitments on dismantling Pyongyang's nuclear programme. In the northeastern Chinese city of Dandong, which borders on North Korea, there were signs that Kim's train could be crossing over into China imminently en route to Vietnam.
Reaction from founder and president of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk.
Two Saudi Arabian sisters have spent almost six months hiding in Hong Kong after authorities reportedly foiled an attempt to flee the conservative kingdom, a human rights group says. Using aliases to protect their identities, non-profit Justice Centre Hong Kong said in a statement that Reem, 20, and Rawan, 18, arrived in the city on Sept. 6, 2018, after escaping during a family holiday in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. The pair had booked a connecting flight to Melbourne Australia, where they planned to seek asylum, but they were intercepted upon landing and told their flight had been cancelled.
Pakistan has re-instated a ban on two charities linked to the founder of an Islamist militant group that has carried out attacks in India, the interior ministry said on Friday. The ban comes as Pakistan faces international pressure to act against militant groups, amid escalating tension with its nuclear-armed neighbor, India, following a suicide bomb attack on Indian police in the disputed region of Kashmir. The attack, in which 40 Indian paramilitary troops were killed, was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.
After tweeting criticism of the late wildlife conservationist and TV personality Steve Irwin, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is facing backlash on social media. Irwin would have turned 57 on Friday, and to honor the host of "The Crocodile Hunter," Google changed the logo on its search page. The doodle was a slideshow featuring illustrations of Irwin searching for crocodiles and feeding the animals while working at the Australia Zoo.
The country's last vacant congressional seat will stay that way for months after North Carolina's election board, hearing evidence of ballot fraud and testimony that the Republican ignored warning signs, ordered a new election. GOP candidate Mark Harris gave up his fight Thursday to be declared winner of November's 9th congressional district race, saying serious public doubts about the contest's fairness revealed in testimony this week warrant a new election. Harris had struggled during testimony at a special state elections board hearing to explain why he was being truthful in saying publicly since Election Day he'd never been warned about a North Carolina's felon's vote-getting efforts despite repeated data-based red flags from his son dating to mid-2016.
Ureña (Venezuela) (AFP) - A high-risk operation to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela descended into deadly chaos Saturday after President Nicolas Maduro's security forces fired on demonstrators and aid trucks were set ablaze. Two people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in clashes with security forces on the Brazil-Venezuela border amid efforts to bring in aid there, a human rights group said. Hundreds were wounded at border crossings with Colombia.
“Our country's almost unbelievable prosperity has been gained in a bipartisan manner,” he wrote in his annual letter to shareholders as he traced the growth of U.S. economy over the last 230 years. The billionaire investor's annual letter, which ran 13 pages this year and quoted Abraham Lincoln and Christopher Wren, typically goes beyond Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s results to discuss investing principles and his and business partner Charlie Munger's thoughts on a wide range of topics. Buffett has taken a careful approach to the political conversation since the 2016 election.
Pope Francis is conducting his extraordinary summit with cardinals on the problem of sexual abuse in the Church. The first was Pope Francis's recent laicization of the former cardinal archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, a man who was notorious for his sexual abuse of seminarians and other priests, while at the same time he was the public-relations face of the Church's response to sexual abuse and cover-up in the early 2000s. McCarrick was finally publicly exposed when an investigation into his abuse of a minor became public last year.
This 1970s-era Ford Mustang kit is customizable; there's a supercharger, front and rear spoilers, tail or side pipes, and even a nitrous-oxide tank. A removable roof panel permits access to the attentively detailed interior. The kit will be available directly from Lego stores or online, starting March 1.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has “categorically” denied soliciting sex at a spa in Florida after police said he was filmed doing so twice. Mr Kraft, 77, faces two counts of soliciting sex from a prostitute. The billionaire is one of two dozen men who were arrested for allegedly paying $59 (£45) for a half-hour and $79 (£60) for an hour of sex at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida.
When you get home from a long day, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour bent over a hot stove making dinner. Yeah you can pop something in a slow cooker before you leave for your day, but that takes advanced planning and sometimes you just don't have the time or energy for that. With a pressure cooker, you can just toss ingredients in like a slow cooker, but the food cooks in a fraction of the time.