Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam asked lawmakers Thursday to pass a state budget that has a "greater focus on issues of equity" as he tries to move past a blackface scandal that nearly ended his governorship. Northam met with a group of state legislators to discuss the budget and sent them a letter outlining his priorities as the GOP-led General Assembly puts the final touches on its state spending plan. Top among them, Northam said, are increased funding for struggling schools and more spending to decrease the number of evictions.
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.
Thirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan."
Omar then went after Abrams for his effort to downplay a massacre committed by the El Salvadoran military when he was serving under the Reagan administration. After hundreds of civilians were killed in the village of El Mozote in December 1981, including 131 children under the age of 12, Abrams and other administration officials dismissed reports of the massacre as exaggerations. The Atlacatl Battalion, which committed the massacre, was trained by U.S. advisers and two months after El Mozote, Abrams cited the battalion's "professionalism."
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.
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.
The Mars rover Opportunity has died, NASA announced yesterday (Feb. 13). A layer of dust likely coated its solar panels, preventing it from juicing itself up after a 2018 sky-blackening dust storm on the Red Planet. But why couldn't NASA launch a rescue mission to get it working again?
One year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.
Is 400 horsepower not enough for your people- and cargo-hauler in 2019? How does 500, 600, or 700 horsepower sound? From Car and Driver
Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Iran's Hassan Rouhani said after Thursday's talks in Sochi they agreed on the need to counter attempts by al-Qaida-linked militants in Idlib to expand their sway. In September, Russia and Turkey struck a de-escalation deal on Idlib that averted a Syrian army offensive on the last remaining rebel stronghold. The agreement created a security zone free of heavy weapons to be monitored by Turkey, and Russia has since voiced concern about continuing attacks by the militants.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had lobbied hard for Amazon headquarters; Laura Ingle reports.
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.
A senior Amazon.com Inc executive on Friday disputed claims raised by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that Amazon workers face "dehumanizing conditions" as being untrue and invited her to take a tour of company facilities. Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected progressive Democrat who was an outspoken critic of the plans to locate Amazon's second headquarters in a New York City neighbourhood near her congressional district, asked on Twitter if Amazon's culture of "strict performance" is "why Amazon workers have to urinate in bottles & work while on food stamps to meet 'targets? Performance shouldn't come at the cost of dehumanizing conditions."
The US Treasury announced Friday it was imposing sanctions on five intelligence and security officials close to crisis-hit Venezuela's "former" President Nicolas Maduro. Those targeted are "aligned with illegitimate former President Nicolas Maduro, who continue to repress democracy and democratic actors in Venezuela," a Treasury Department statement read. Among the five men is Manuel Quevedo, described by the Treasury as the "illegitimate" president of Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, PDVSA.
A Delta Air Lines flight en route from California to Washington was forced to make an emergency landing in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday after five passengers were injured due to severe turbulence. The flight touched down in Reno about 1:30 PST, according to Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesperson Brian Kulpin. Kulpin said three of the injured passengers were transported to a local hospital.
Californians are experiencing some unusually nasty winter weather this week as an "atmospheric river" passes through most of the state, bringing howling winds and heavy rain. The storm arrived on Tuesday night (Feb. 12) in Northern California and continued into Wednesday (Feb. 13), leading the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue warnings of flash flooding, mudslides and high winds in the region. Atmospheric rivers are huge "rivers in the sky" that cause moisture from the tropics to flow north, from California to Canada.
Republicans are embracing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's sweeping plan known as the Green New Deal to avert climate change, but not because they like it. They think they can use it to cast Democrats as extreme, take back seats in Congress and possibly keep the White House in 2020. Fueling the effort is a fact sheet that Ocasio-Cortez's office circulated -- then retracted -- that included references that aren't in the text of the actual resolution.
On Monday, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) went on strike, the latest in a series of teacher strikes that have erupted across the country over the past year. While Denver teachers have voiced concerns about class sizes, support staff, and starting salaries, the consensus is that the issue at the heart of the strike is teacher frustration with Denver's once-celebrated ProComp pay system, which was jointly developed by the DCTA and Denver Public Schools in 2005. Back then, ProComp was heralded as a pioneering step forward on pay-for-performance/merit pay, and that framing has colored coverage of the strike.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to spend an extra night in Warsaw after his plane was damaged following an airport mishap shortly before departure. Other aides, including Netanyahu's national security adviser and his military secretary, spent the night on the aircraft, saying they did not want to go through the hassle of pre-boarding security checks again. Piotr Rudzki, a spokesman for Warsaw Chopin Airport, told The Associated Press the incident occurred as the chartered Boeing 777 was being pushed back from its parking stand by a pushback vehicle.
At a depth of nearly 17,500 feet, a research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen has discovered the wreckage of an American aircraft carrier sunk in the South Pacific during World War II. Feb.
The world's largest airliner, with two decks of spacious cabins and room for 544 people in standard layout, was designed to challenge Boeing's legendary 747 but failed to take hold as airlines backed a new generation of smaller, more nimble jets. Confirming a shake-up first reported by Reuters, Airbus said on Thursday the last A380 would be delivered in 2021. The move comes after Emirates - the largest A380 customer - was forced to reduce its orders for the iconic superjumbo after an engine dispute and a broader fleet review, opting to order a total of 70 of the smaller A350 and A330neo instead.
Amazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.
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.
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.