California's suspension this week of a high-speed rail project underscores the up-hill battle the modern mode of transport faces in the United States -- including myriad cultural, political and economic obstacles. Long gone are the days of the 19th century gold rush, when Americans raced to build transcontinental rail links and conquer the nation's vast expanse. "We have a Congress polluted by special interest money ... that has been working for years to stop/prevent any rail investment," said Andy Kunz, head of the US High Speed Rail Association, pointing to the oil, aviation and auto industries in particular.
A federal judge on Friday placed some limits on what President Donald Trump's longtime confidant Roger Stone and his lawyers can say publicly about his criminal case in the special counsel's Russia probe. But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson stopped short of imposing a broad ban on public comments by the outspoken political operative, issuing a limited gag order she said was necessary to ensure Stone's right to a fair trial and "to maintain the dignity and seriousness of the courthouse and these proceedings." The order bars Stone from commenting about his pending case near the courthouse, but it does not constrain him from making other public statements about the prosecution.
Venezuela's chief state prosecutor said on Thursday an investigation had been opened into directors of state-run oil firm PDVSA, and its U.S. refiner Citgo, that the opposition-controlled congress appointed on Wednesday. Prosecutor Tarek Saab, in comments broadcast on state television, announced "the opening of an investigation against people designated illegally as directors of PDVSA and Citgo." Saab also said they would investigate foreign ambassadors named by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who on Jan 23 invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency.
The leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran hailed the planned US withdrawal from Syria as they met for talks Thursday on how to work more closely together in the country's long-running conflict. Hosting his Turkish and Iranian counterparts in the southern city of Sochi, President Vladimir Putin said the three welcomed the expected US pull-out from northeastern Syria. It would be "a positive step that would help stabilise the situation in this region, where ultimately the legitimate government should re-establish control," he told a joint press conference after the talks.
Denver Public School teachers will return to work this week after the teachers union and Colorado's largest public school district reached a labor agreement early Thursday morning. The tentative agreement still must be approved by the full Denver Classroom Teachers Association membership, addresses compensation schedules and a bonus structure for teachers.
Honda is recalling 437,000 Acura MDX SUVs, Acura TLX V6 cars, and Honda Accord V6 cars because the gasoline flow from fuel pumps could slow to the point that a vehicle stalls, increasing the risk of a crash. Honda, the parent company for Acura, says it is not aware of any crashes or injuries because of this issue. According to the automaker, the presence of sodium particles in some gasolines can cause the fuel pump to slow down, which can ultimately lead to stalling.
The family of a pregnant British teenager who ran away to join the Islamic State group urged the government Friday to help bring her home. Shamima Begum's family issued a statement appealing for government assistance "as a matter of urgency." Begum, now 19, resurfaced this week at a refugee camp in Syria where she gave an interview to the Times of London saying she didn't regret her decision, but wanted to come home. "Given Shamima's four-year ordeal, we are concerned that her mental health has been affected by everything that she has seen and endured," the family said in a statement to Britain's ITV, describing her words as those of child who had been groomed by IS recruiters.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released more than a dozen drawings made by a prolific serial killer in hopes the public may be able to identify some of his victims. Samuel Little, 78, was arrested at a Kentucky homeless shelter in September 2012 and extradited to California, where he was wanted on a narcotics charge. In 2014, Little was convicted on all three counts and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
The 2018-2019 flu season has been a relatively mild one — and a pretty effective flu shot is part of the reason why. Mid-season estimates suggest that the flu shot has reduced the risk of illness by around 47% in vaccinated people, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Thursday. During the severe 2017-2018 flu season, vaccine efficacy was estimated at just 36%.
India's prime minister yesterday accused Pakistan of involvement in the suicide bombing that killed 44 paramilitary police in Kashmir on Thursday, and warned of a dire response. Narendra Modi said the neighbouring country had made a "huge mistake" for which it will pay a "huge price". Speaking after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Mr Modi declared that India's security forces had been given "full freedom" to respond to the attack.
Jerome Corsi, a political gadfly and proponent of conspiracy theories, filed a defamation lawsuit against Roger Stone, the Republican political operative charged with obstruction last month by special counsel Robert Mueller. The suit follows Corsi's request this week for the judge overseeing Stone's case to issue an order barring Stone from talking to the news media. Corsi says in his complaint that Stone's campaign of defamation began in the weeks leading up to his arrest on Jan. 25, when the self-proclaimed political dirty trickster appeared on several videos produced by InfoWars, a website known for promoting conspiracy theories.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has received fallout from both sides of the aisle — including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence — over tweets widely perceived as anti-Semitic. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a Somali-American, was roundly and justifiably criticized for having suggested in a tweet that a pro-Israel lobbying group had more or less bought off some members of Congress. Naturally, President Donald Trump weighed in: "Congressman Omar is terrible, what she said.
The U.S. Treasury said it sanctioned PDVSA chief Manuel Quevedo, three top intelligence officials and Rafael Bastardo, who U.S. officials say is the head of a national police unit responsible for dozens of extrajudicial killings carried out in nighttime raids on Maduro's behalf. Separately, the U.S. State Department said on Friday it was working with the Pentagon and U.S. aid agency to fly humanitarian assistance on Saturday to Cucuta, Colombia, on the Venezuelan border. The steps are part of a wider effort by the United States to undermine Maduro, whose 2018 election it views as illegitimate and whose government it has disavowed, and to strengthen opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido.
A mudslide slammed into a Sausalito neighborhood, causing a home to slide down the hillside into another.
Electric vehicle startup Rivian on Friday announced a $700 million investment round led by Amazon, which recently pumped money into a young self-driving car technology firm. Details of Amazon's stake in US-based Rivian were not disclosed, but the company said it will remain independent. The potential Tesla rival late last year unveiled an electric pickup truck and an electric sport utility vehicle at an auto show in Los Angeles.
The attorney for a white police officer charged with fatally shooting an armed black man in Tennessee is calling for legal discovery documents to be sealed from members of the public. Meanwhile, a police union has launched a digital ad campaign seeking to defend the Nashville officer, Andrew Delke, and bolster his image in public. The officer shot 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick from behind during a foot chase last July and is charged with first-degree murder.
“U.S. airlines value a culture of diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and for our passengers, and we work hard each day to accommodate the needs of all travelers, while delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable flight experience,” A4A said in a statement to USA TODAY. The nation's five biggest -- American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska airlines -- have all told USA TODAY that they plan to implement the trade groups' suggestion. “As part of Delta's ongoing efforts to accommodate the needs of diverse customers throughout our business, we are planning to offer a non-binary gender option during the booking process,” the carrier said in a statement.
The Senate voted Thursday to confirm William Barr as attorney general. Barr, who previously served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, was confirmed 51–45 largely along party lines, with Republicans backing the president's nominee and Democrats opposing. Democratic senators Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona defected, backing Barr's nomination, while Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican who voted against him.
Paul Manafort broke his plea deal by repeatedly lying to prosecutors after he agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, a judge ruled Wednesday. His misrepresentations touched on areas of central interest to Mueller's prosecutors. Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian translator, Konstantin Kilimnik, who Mueller says has ties to Russian intelligence services, the judge concluded.
Donald Trump's envoy to Venezuela was left flustered and visibly angry following an interrogation by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar over his controversial political past. Elliot Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month to help lead the US response to the political crisis in the South American country, which is seeing widespread hunger and violence following the collapse of its economy. On Wednesday, Mr Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, testified in front of the House foreign affairs select committee, where he was subjected to a fierce line of questioning by Ms Omar.
A Pakistan-based militant group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, has taken responsibility for the deadliest attack on security forces in Indian Kashmir in 30 years of insurgency, ratcheting up tension between the nuclear-armed South Asian neighbors. India says the group and its leader, Masood Azhar, enjoy free rein in Pakistan, and demands that Pakistan acts to stop militant groups operating from its soil. Pakistan condemned the Thursday bomb attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen but denied any complicity.
New Land Rover Defender's interior potentially leaked on Twitter. The Defender will go on sale in the U.S. next year. The new Land Rover Defender has been one of the most talked about and eagerly anticipated new models to come out in a long time-and it isn't even out yet.
Diet drinks may seem like healthier options than sugary sodas and fruit drinks, but studies haven't all backed up their health benefits. In the latest look at the popular beverages, researchers found that older women who drank more diet drinks had a higher risk of stroke and heart disease, as well as a higher risk of dying early from any cause, compared to women who drank fewer of the drinks. In a study published in the journal Stroke, researchers studied data from more than 81,000 post-menopausal women enrolled in the large population-based Women's Health Initiative.
European and US stock markets leapt on Friday as positive signs emerged from US-China trade talks aimed at averting an escalation of a tariff war between the world's top two economies. US President Donald Trump said the negotiations in Beijing were going "extremely well" and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced the talks would continue in Washington next week. Trump also said there was a "possibility" he would extend a March 1 deadline for a sharp rise in tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods to go into effect.