The National Safety Council estimates that 42,060 people died in vehicle crashes in 2020, an 8 percent increase over 2019 and the first jump in four years.Fatality rate per 100M miles driven »
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has suspended an agent who was outside the Capitol when a mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the building, his lawyer said, in the first known case of authorities examining the conduct of a fellow federal agent during the deadly riot. The agent, Mark Ibrahim, declined to comment other than to say in a phone interview that he "never entered the building," when the crowd breached the Capitol on Jan. 6, setting off violence that left five dead. She said Ibrahim, who was off duty but carrying his service weapon at the time, was part of the crowd outside the Capitol as Trump supporters stormed the building in a bid to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden's presidential election victory.
Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising coronavirus infections, hoping to encourage the country's dwindling number of Christians who were violently persecuted during the Islamic State's insurgency while seeking to boost ties with the Shiite Muslim world. Security is a concern for the March 5-8 visit, given the continued presence of rogue Shiite militias and fresh rocket attacks. Francis, who relishes plunging into crowds and zipping around in his popemobile, is expected to travel in an armored car with a sizeable security detail. The Vatican hopes the measures will have the dual effect of protecting the pope while discouraging contagion-inducing crowds.
In our monthly feature, Then and Now, we reveal some of the ways that planet Earth has been changing against the backdrop of a warming world. Here, we look at the effects of extreme weather on a crucial reservoir that supplies water to millions of people in northern California. This year is likely to be critically dry for California. Winter storms that dumped heavy snow and rain across the state are not expected to be substantial enough to counterbalance drought conditions.
A California serial killer who authorities say strangled and raped at least seven women was fatally choked himself in a state prison, officials said Wednesday.
Former President Donald Trump has released a new post-presidency statement, and Democrats might just be glad he did. The former president, who remains permanently banned from Twitter, released a statement Thursday once again raging against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blasting him as the "most unpopular politician in the country" while blaming him for Republicans' Senate losses in Georgia — losses for which Trump himself has been blamed by other Republicans. One of the reasons Republicans lost the two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, Trump argues, was "Mitch McConnell's refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad."
South African police have seized hundreds of fake COVID-19 vaccines and arrested four suspects in connection with the haul, the Interpol global police co-ordination agency said. This comes after Interpol, which is headquartered in France, issued a global alert in December to law enforcement across its 194 member countries, warning them to prepare for organised crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online. Some 400 ampoules - equivalent to about 2,400 doses - containing the fake vaccine were found at a warehouse in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, where officers also recovered a large quantity of fake 3M masks, the agency said on Wednesday on its website.
One moment, Hadiza was weeping and flinging her arms around her father for the first time since her abduction; the next - gunfire and tear gas filled the air and people ran for cover. It was supposed to be a joyous reunion to end the five-day ordeal of 279 girls kidnapped last week from the Jangebe Government Girls Science Secondary School in a remote corner of northwest Nigeria. Cheering children had lined the street as buses brought the girls, grinning and waving, back to their school from the Zamfara state capital Gusau, where they had been cared for since their release on Tuesday.
A man who plowed a rented van into dozens of people in Toronto in 2018 is guilty of murdering 10 people and attempting to murder 16, a judge ruled on Wednesday, dismissing a defense argument that a mental disorder left the driver unaware of how horrific his actions were. Alek Minassian, 28, told police he was motivated by a desire to punish society for his perceived status as an "incel" - short for involuntary celibate - because he believed women would not have sex with him. Minassian had pleaded that he was not criminally responsible.
Iran has agreed to sit down with international technical experts investigating the discovery of uranium particles at three former undeclared sites in the country, the head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said Thursday, after months of frustration at Tehran's lack of a credible explanation. The agreement came as three of the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran — France, Germany and Britain — backed off the idea of a resolution criticizing Iran for its decision to start limiting access by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to current facilities. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told reporters in Vienna it was not up to him to say whether Iran's move to hold talks with his technical experts was linked to the decision of the so-called E3 group, but suggested it was difficult to separate the political side of Iran's nuclear program from the technical side.
Rudy Giuliani warned of "the dire consequences of misinformation on social media." Giuliani has long promoted right-wing misinformation on social media. Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's former personal attorney, was pilloried on Wednesday after he warned in a podcast of the dangers of online misinformation.
A long-range U.S. bomber flew over the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with NATO allies, the U.S. Air Force said, amid Western concerns over a more assertive Russia. "This mission sends a clear message that our commitment to our NATO allies is unshakeable," Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander said in a statement. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were once ruled from Moscow but are now part of both NATO and the European Union.
Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary groups have told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson they are temporarily withdrawing support for the 1998 peace agreement due to concerns over the Brexit deal. While the groups pledged "peaceful and democratic" opposition to the deal, such a stark warning increases the pressure on Johnson, his Irish counterpart Micheál Martin and the European Union over Brexit. Northern Ireland's 1998 peace deal, known as the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement, ended three decades of violence between mostly Catholic nationalists fighting for a united Ireland and mostly Protestant unionists, or loyalists, who want Northern Ireland to stay part of the United Kingdom.
Israeli authorities said Wednesday that a Libyan-owned tanker suspected of smuggling oil from Iran to Syria was responsible for spilling tons of crude into the eastern Mediterranean last month, causing one of Israel's worst environmental disasters. Over 90% of Israel's 195 kilometer (120-mile) Mediterranean coastline was covered in more than 1,000 tons of black tar, the result of the mysterious oil spill in international waters. The ecological disaster, one of the worst in the country's history, has caused extensive damage and forced the closure of beaches and a ban on the sale of seafood from the Mediterranean.
The Biden administration did not sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed over the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Saudi critics Omar Abdulaziz and Iyad el-Baghdadi said this emboldens MBS to continue his crackdown. "I am actually less safe now than I was before," el-Baghdadi told The Guardian.
Thousands of New Zealanders on the east coast of the country's North Island evacuated to higher ground on Friday, and its biggest city was put on alert after three offshore earthquakes in less than eight hours triggered tsunami sirens and warnings. Workers, students and residents in areas like Northland and Bay of Plenty, on the northern coast near Auckland, were assisted by civil defence officials as authorities said tsunami waves could reach three metres (10 feet) above tide levels. An emergency alert was meanwhile issued for all coastal areas around Auckland, a city of 1.7 million, where people were told to stay away from the water's edge.
Slovak Prime Minister Igor Matovic apologised on Thursday after jokingly suggesting that Russia take a part of western Ukraine as payment for delivering doses of its Sputnik V vaccine to Slovakia. Matovic bypassed his cabinet partners to order the Russian vaccine even though it has not yet been approved for use in the European Union, of which Slovakia is a member. Asked in a radio interview what he had promised Russia in exchange for the vaccine, Matovic jokingly said he had offered "Transcarpathian Ukraine", referring to the western Ukrainian region bordering Slovakia.
North Korea may be trying to extract plutonium to make more nuclear weapons at its main atomic complex, recent satellite photos indicated, weeks after leader Kim Jong Un vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal. The 38 North website, which specializes in North Korea studies, cited the imagery as indicating that a coal-fired steam plant at the North's Yongbyon nuclear complex is in operation after about a two-year hiatus. This suggests “preparations for spent fuel reprocessing could be underway to extract plutonium needed for North Korea's nuclear weapon,” the website said Wednesday.
The European Commission said on Thursday that there were no talks under way about buying Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, hours after the EU drugs regulator began reviewing the shot for possible approval. "Currently no talks are ongoing to integrate the Sputnik vaccine in the portfolio," a Commission spokesman told a news conference. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it had begun a rolling review of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, which could lead to its approval for use in all 27 EU countries.
The Kremlin on Thursday urged France and Germany to use their influence with the Ukrainian government to make sure that events in the part of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed rebels did not "cross a dangerous line". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow was seriously concerned by a rise in violence on the contact line between the rebels and Ukrainian government forces. Ukraine pushed back against the remarks, saying Russia should instead order the forces it controls in Donbass to observe the ceasefire, and blamed Moscow for obstructing progress in new prisoner swaps and troop withdrawals.
Police in India's northeastern Mizoram state have detained at least seven Myanmar policemen who entered India seeking refuge a month after the country's powerful military ousted the elected government in a coup, officials said Thursday. Magistrate Maria Zuali said four policemen arrived in the state's Champai area on Feb. 28, and local villagers handed them over to state authorities on March 1. Police officer Lalnunzira, who uses one name, said three other policemen crossed into Indian territory near Lungkawlh village on Wednesday afternoon.
Scientists have spotted a planet orbiting a star relatively near our solar system that may offer a prime opportunity to study the atmosphere of a rocky Earth-like alien world - the type of research that could aid the hunt for extraterrestrial life. The researchers said on Thursday the planet, called Gliese 486 b and classified as a 'super-Earth,' is not itself a promising candidate as a refuge for life. But its proximity to Earth and its physical traits make it well suited for a study of its atmosphere with the next generation of space-borne and ground-based telescopes, starting with the James Webb Space Telescope that NASA has slated for an October launch.
The Transportation Department's watchdog asked the Justice Department to criminally investigate Elaine Chao late last year over concerns that she misused her office when she was transportation secretary under President Donald Trump but was rebuffed, according to a report released Wednesday. The report said the department's inspector general found that Chao used her staff and office for personal tasks and to promote a shipping business owned by Chao's father and sisters, in an apparent violation of federal ethics rules.
China's ceremonial legislature will deliberate changes to Hong Kong's electoral system during its annual session, a spokesperson said Thursday, adding to concerns that Beijing intends to shut opposition voices out of the city's political process entirely. National People's Congress spokesperson Zhang Yesui said the changes are aimed at ensuring that Hong Kong's political system will “keep abreast of the times” under the principle of “patriots" administering the city. Zhang gave no details about the changes, although speculation has focused on the possibility of reassigning votes in the 1,200-member committee that selects the city's leader to deprive a small number of elected local district counselors from taking part.
The bill still has to be passed in the House of Representatives. The new bill, which will go to the House of Representatives for consideration, would force death row inmates to choose one of three ways to die: lethal injection, electrocution, or firing squad, The Washington Post reported.
“Taking humans to Mars would require an investment astronomically out of kilter with the possible benefits.”
“Can a Mars settlement be a freer society than we enjoy on Earth? Maybe.”
“What we learn...may spark the next revolution that will make life in 2071 beyond anything we can imagine right now.”
“Our presence on Mars could jeopardize one of our main reasons for being there — the search for life.”
“The future of geologic investigation of other worlds lies with highly improved versions of our Mars rovers.”