President Donald Trump backed off his demand for $5 billion in border wall funding Tuesday, but his subsequent offer was rejected by congressional Democrats, leaving the opposing sides struggling to avert a partial US government shutdown. Trump had stood firm for days, declaring he needed the funds to build the controversial wall, defiantly proclaiming last week that he would be "proud" to stop some government operations cold after a midnight Friday deadline if he did not get his wish. "The president asked every one of his cabinet secretaries to look for funding that can be used to protect our borders," White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.
The Vatican on Tuesday released the first details of Pope Francis' upcoming high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit, making clear that bishops attending the gathering must reach out to victims before they get to Rome and that accountability is very much on the agenda. Organizers of the Feb. 21-24 summit warned participants in a letter that failure to address the scandal now threatens the very credibility of the Catholic Church around the world. As a first step, they urged the estimated 130 presidents of national bishops' conferences attending the summit to meet with survivors in their home countries "to learn firsthand the suffering that they have endured."
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.
Members of a group of Honduran migrants, which included a mother who had been photographed running with her daughters from tear gas several weeks ago, began seeking asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico on Monday, according to a Reuters witness and lawyers for the group. The group comprised mostly teens but also included Maria Meza and her children, the lawyers said. The family appeared in a widely circulated photograph taken by Reuters as they fled tear gas thrown by U.S. authorities during a protest at the border last month when some migrants rushed the U.S. fence.
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.
Authorities are searching for a man who went missing from a cruise ship bound for Mexico.
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.
Bijan Rafiekian was indicted on charges including failing to register as a foreign agent A one-time business partner of the former national security adviser Michael Flynn has been arrested and charged with illegally lobbying to have a Turkish exile returned from the US. Bijan Rafiekian, who also goes by the name Bijan Kian, made an initial appearance on Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. He was indicted on charges including failing to register as a foreign agent.
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.
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.
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 Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 500 points, its second straight drop of that size and its fourth big decline this month. The market is now well into the red for the year and the S&P 500 index is trading at its lowest level since October 2017. The S&P 500 fell 54 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,545.
U.S. and Taliban officials have discussed proposals for a six-month ceasefire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops as talks aimed at setting up peace negotiations went into a second day, Taliban sources said. The meeting in Abu Dhabi is at least the third time that U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war have intensified this year. Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. delegation was pressing for a six-month truce as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government.
In the words of architect Robert Venturi, we believe these buildings will allow you to “see familiar things in an unfamiliar way”
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.
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.
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.
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.
White supremacist congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) tweeted over the weekend that the recently shuttered magazine The Weekly Standard “deserved” to shut down and was met with major pushback from magazine co-founder John Podhoretz. The 23-year-old conservative publication known for being critical of President Donald Trump released its final issue on Monday after announcing last week that it would be folding. Trump addressed the closure, referring to the publication as “pathetic and dishonest” and lambasting the editor-at-large, Bill Kristol.
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.
Russia's Ministry of Defence said it planned to shift troops next week into four housing complexes on two of the four disputed islands, known as the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. Japan's defense ministry says 3,500 Russian troops are deployed on the two larger islands as part of a military buildup. The news came after the Kremlin said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might visit Russia on Jan. 21 as the two countries step up efforts to defuse the territorial dispute that has prevented them from signing a World War Two peace treaty.
Arizona’s governor said he will appoint Republican U.S. Representative Martha McSally to fill the Senate seat being vacated Dec. 31 by GOP Senator Jon Kyl, who temporarily took the post after John McCain died in August. McSally, a blunt-talking former Air Force combat pilot, ran unsuccessfully for Arizona’s other Senate in November, losing narrowly to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. McSally is a favorite of Senate leadership including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had urged her appointment.
India's federal drug regulator said on Tuesday a Reuters report that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that cancer-causing asbestos lurked in its baby powder was "under consideration". A spokeswoman for the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) told Reuters it was too early to say if a formal investigation would be launched into the baby powder that is ubiquitous in many Indian homes, a potential market of 1.3 billion people. K. Bangarurajan, a senior official at the CDSCO, told Reuters powder samples were tested earlier but nothing wrong was found in them.
In our roundup of the best new airport amenities of 2017, we celebrated perks such the 24-hour “microcinema” at Portland International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport’s introduction of “MyPITpass,” which allows the nonflying public to visit the secure side of the airport, and the opening of ROAM Fitness, an in-airport gym at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The 2018 honor roll is once again full of fresh new amenities and creative bonus activities introduced by airports, airlines and in-terminal vendors working hard to make airport dwell time less stressful, more enjoyable and, at times, surprising.