WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump lifted sanctions on Turkey Wednesday and declared a "big success" in Syria, saying Turkish officials had agreed to permanently end their military attack on Syrian Kurdish forces. Trump's move came even as his own envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, condemned Turkey's short but brutal military assault as deeply disruptive and said Turkish forces may have committed war crimes in its attack on the Kurds. It also came as Russia gained a key foothold in Syria and members of Congress expressed growing concerns about Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. forces stationed at the Syria-Turkey border.
British police found the bodies of 39 people inside a truck at an industrial estate near London on Wednesday and said they had arrested the driver on suspicion of murder. The discovery of the bodies - 38 adults and one teenager - was made in the early hours after emergency services were alerted to people in a truck container on an industrial site in Grays, about 20 miles (32 km) east of central London. Police said the trailer had arrived at nearby docks having travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium and the bodies were found just over an hour later.
Chan Tong-kai, the murder suspect whose case sparked a political crisis in Hong Kong, has been released after serving 18 months in prison. Mr Chan, a Hong Kong resident, is suspected of murdering his girlfriend, Poon Hui-wing, while on holiday in Taiwan last year. By the time Ms Poon's body had been discovered hidden among park bushes, Mr Chan was back in Hong Kong, where he later confessed to the crime.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the winner of this year's $1 million Berggruen Prize for philosophy and culture. The award announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute honors Ginsburg for her pioneering legal work for gender equality and her support for the rule of law. The institute says Ginsburg will direct the money to charity.
A pet cafe in China where dogs are dyed black and white to look like panda cubs has triggered a heated online debate over the treatment of animals. The Cute Pet Games cafe opened last month in Chengdu, capital of southwest Sichuan province which is home to China's famous giant pandas, and features six panda-like Chow Chow dogs, according to a video posted by Hongxing News on Tuesday. The cafe owner, only identified by his last name Huang, told Hongxing News that he had started offering pet dyeing services after the panda dogs became an instant hit with clients.
The former head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency Tom Homan slammed the Los Angeles police department on Tuesday after an ICE spokesman testified to Congress that L.A. police were releasing as many as 100 illegal immigrants from custody per day. The L.A. police chief “has taken a political stance,” Homan asserted during an interview on Fox and Friends. During a Monday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “sanctuary jurisdictions,” ICE official Timothy Robbins stated that the L.A. police department was releasing captured illegal immigrants at a high rate, up to 100 per day, in accordance with a policy implemented by chief Michel Moore.
The Australian government recently released a list of documented thylacine—also known as the Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf—sightings. It remains to be seen whether or not any reported thylacine sightings will be made official—something made especially difficult with no photographic proof or other hard evidence. If the creatures are extinct, there may still be hope to see a living thylacine as scientists have replicated their DNA and may one day be able to use the genetic material to clone the animal.
Mexico's government isn't being truthful about the botched attempt to capture the son of the world's most notorious drug trafficker, according to a former head of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hasn't revealed that while trying to bring Ovidio Guzman Lopez into custody, security forces had caught another son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mike Vigil, the former DEA official, said in an interview. Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar had also been detained and let go when gunmen overpowered police, Vigil said, citing unverified intelligence he received from top Mexico police sources.
A new study reveals that marine species weren't spared: Acid rain and fallout from the impact acidified the world's oceans in a "flash." That caused marine ecosystems to collapse. Within a minute of hitting the Earth, the Chicxulub asteroid had bored a hole nearly 100 miles wide into the sea floor, creating a bubbling pit of molten rock and super-hot gas. The contents of that fiery cauldron skyrocketed, creating a mountain-high plume that poured acid rain into the oceans.
Following Tuesday's devastating House testimony by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor about President Trump allegedly coercing the Ukrainian president to do his political bidding, former acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker defended the president by claiming “abuse of power is not a crime. With House Democrats reportedly looking to focus their impeachment inquiry on a basic “abuse of power” narrative going forward, Fox News' Laura Ingraham brought Whitaker on her primetime show Tuesday night to provide a counter-argument.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday announced a new effort to prevent mass shootings through court-ordered counseling and supervision of potentially violent individuals. The effort, announced in a memo to federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials, follows dozens of deadly mass shootings in the United States this year, including a massacre of 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and another just one day later in Dayton, Ohio, in which nine people were killed. The FBI was given expanded powers after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to investigate foreign terrorism threats.
An Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit. Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country's Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault. In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women's rights.
An immigration agent threatened a Honduran woman living in Connecticut with deportation if she didn't have sex with him, then raped her as often as four times a week for seven years, impregnating her three times, the woman says in a federal lawsuit. The woman, identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe, sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and former ICE agent Wilfredo Rodriguez on Saturday. An ICE spokesman said he couldn't comment on litigation but confirmed Rodriguez no longer works for the agency.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump's “lynching” comments on Twitter.
Hillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile since her embarrassing 2016 election defeat, popping up only occasionally to make out-of-touch elitist comments that confirm why she lost. Clinton accused the Hawaii congresswoman of being groomed by outside forces, saying: “I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate … She's the favorite of the Russians.” There is some dispute about whether Clinton meant it was the Russians or Republicans who were pushing a third-party Gabbard candidacy, but a Clinton spokesman asked about the comments replied “if the nesting doll fits”, clearly implying it was dastardly Russians. Related: It was gutsy of Hillary Clinton to stand by Bill.
Seattle's public-school district has proposed a new math curriculum that would teach its students all about how math has been “appropriated” — and how it “continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities. A draft of the curriculum, which was covered in an article in Education Week, would teach students how to “explain how math and technology and/or science are connected and how technology and/or science have (sic) been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,” as well as to “identify and teach others about mathematicians* of color in their various communities: schools, neighborhoods, places of worship, businesses, etc.” Educat...
The explosion reportedly involved a small nuclear reactor that powers a new kind of long-range cruise missile. United States intelligence officials have said they suspect the blast involved a prototype of what NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall,” The New York Times reported. That is a cruise missile that [Russian president Vladimir] Putin has boasted can reach any corner of the earth because it is partially powered by a small nuclear reactor, eliminating the usual distance limitations of conventionally fueled missiles.
The new fourth-generation Fit hatchback is here, but its prospects for the U.S. are not looking good. From Car and Driver
Accidentally eating meat may be upsetting, but it's unlikely to cause serious harm unless you have a rare allergy. Patrick Hukins, who has been vegan for four years, said he felt sick to his stomach and betrayed after the supposed mix-up.
Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born business associate with ties to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, raised the issue of executive privilege during a court proceeding Wednesday, arguing it could apply to some of the evidence gathered in his campaign-finance case in New York. The issue was raised during an arraignment for Parnas and Igor Furman, who pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges in a four-count indictment that accused them of funneling money through straw donors into U.S. elections in an effort to gain influence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebekah Donaleski, offered a glimpse into the “voluminous” evidence that prosecutors have recovered so far on the two men who have become figures in the Trump impeachment proceedings, through “dozens of search warrants,” property searches, and subpoenas.
Chinese-ruled Hong Kong and Taiwan engaged in a rare squabble on Wednesday over a Hong Kong man accused of murder in Taiwan whose case was used by Hong Kong to promote a now-withdrawn extradition bill. Self-ruled Taiwan, which China considers its own, wants an extradition, not a voluntary surrender, of the suspected murderer from a Chinese-ruled territory, reinforcing its status as self-ruled and separate to China. Chan Tong-kai was accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Taiwan last year before fleeing back to Hong Kong where he was sentenced to 29 months in jail on money-laundering charges.
Residents of the northern Mexico city of Culiacan tried to get back to their routines Tuesday, five days after gunmen from the Sinaloa drug cartel sowed terror across the city. Restaurants caught in the midst of last week's shootings have repaired some of their plate-glass windows, but some outside walls are still scarred by bullet holes. Hundreds of cartel gunmen took to the streets with heavy weaponry Thursday to open fire on soldiers and police, seeking to force the release of a drug lord held by a military patrol.
U.S. forces that crossed into Iraq as part of a withdrawal from Syria do not have permission to stay and can only be there in transit, the Iraqi military said on Tuesday.
The Virginia city of Norfolk has the right to move its "Johnny Reb" Confederate statue from a busy downtown intersection to a local cemetery, the state attorney general and a local prosecutor have determined. Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Gregory Underwood filed court papers late Tuesday saying his office and the office of Attorney General Mark Herring have determined the statue, dedicated in 1907, is technically exempt from a state law banning the removal of monuments to war veterans. Underwood says the city would only be governed by the law if the statue were built after 1997.
Westminster Management lied about the quality of rental units and the level of maintenance the company would provide, routinely failing to address hazardous conditions in the properties, including infestations by rodents and other vermin, water leaks and mold growth, Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement. “We're charging that Westminster and the rental property owners in this case took advantage of consumers, primarily low- and middle-income families, collecting fees and other unlawful costs from them and often failing to make the repairs needed to maintain suitable environments for their tenants,” Frosh said. Westminster Management is a unit of Kushner Cos., a family-run, New York-based business that owns, manages and develops properties and was built on working-class apartment complexes in New Jersey and Maryland.