The Alabama woman who left the country to join the Islamic State group in Syria as a bride will be prohibited from returning to the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. In a statement released on Wednesday, Mr Pompeo said Hoda Muthana, 24, “does not have any legal basis, no valid US passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. Hassan Shibly, the attorney for the Ms Muthana's family, said she was born in New Jersey in 1994.
The Palestinian Authority PA will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the PA's financial support of militants' families, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said. The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, an interim self-government body set up following the 1993 Oslo peace accords, has suffered a series of financial blows in the past year. Under interim peace deals, Israel collects taxes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip and makes monthly payments to the PA, which says it receives around $222 million each month.
A sixth grade student at a Florida school was arrested for disruption and resisting arrest after a confrontation with a teacher in which he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, reportedly saying the flag was racist and the pledge was offensive to black people. Spectrum Bay News 9 reports that the 11-year-old was removed from class on Feb. 4, suspended for three days, arrested shortly after and taken to a juvenile detention center. The dispute ensued after a substitute teacher at Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland asked him to stand up, reportedly unaware of that the school does not require participation during the pledge.
Venezuelan officials said Tuesday that the country is banning air and sea trips to and from three Dutch Caribbean islands — a region that has been linked to efforts to undermine President Nicolas Maduro by sending emergency aid to the South American nation. The indefinite shutdown of the "maritime border" applies to commercial and fishing boats between Venezuela and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire, said Falcon state's civil protection director, Gregorio Jose Montano. Airspace in the border region was also indefinitely closed to private and commercial flights, said Gen. Miguel Morales Miranda, assistant commander of the Comprehensive Defense Operations Zone.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke for many former American officials in both parties who believe that the Trump administration has needlessly weakened our ties to Europe. The normally quiet and polite Merkel came out swinging against President Donald Trump's America First policy, charging the United States with unfair sanctions and criticism over Europe's continued participation in the Iran nuclear deal. She lamented Trump's recent decisions to back away from U.S. military commitments in Syria and Afghanistan and his aggressive trade policies toward the European Union.
Bailey Brazzel and her wife Samantha weren't trying to make a political statement last week. "I went in there to have my taxes done, not push my beliefs on her," said Brazzel, 25. Nancy Fivecoate, owner of Carter Tax Service in Russiaville, Indiana, said she's been harassed and abused after Brazzel spoke to media and posted on Facebook about her experience.
A US-based group that compiles data on sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and bishops accused of covering it up fears that a bid by Pope Francis to tackle the scandals is a case of too little, too late. Speaking ahead of a Vatican summit of bishops this week to discuss the crisis, Anne Barret Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, complained of a "disconnect" between the pontiff's strong statements and his actions. The non-governmental organisation is taking part in a counter-summit of victims running alongside the Vatican event.
New Zealand's government is holding the door open for China's Huawei Technologies Co. to help develop the nation's 5G network, amid concerns the issue is fraying ties between the two nations. New Zealand's spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, in November stopped telecommunications company Spark from using Huawei 5G equipment, citing significant national security risks. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Tuesday her government is working through a process and the Chinese company could still be involved if Spark can satisfy the GCSB's concerns.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said on Monday that the arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, was politically motivated. "Firstly, I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable," Ren told the BBC in an interview.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the Supreme Court bench Tuesday to hear oral arguments for the first time since undergoing cancer surgery in December. According to Supreme Court reporters, Ginsburg smiled as she arrived with her fellow justices at court, taking her seat unassisted at 10 a.m. ET. Ginsburg's public appearance came four days after former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka questioned whether 85-year-old associate justice was still alive, advancing a conspiracy theory that has been circulating in fringe circles since news of her cancer surgery broke.
At a clinic in eastern Syria, the Islamic State group have fled leaving a floor strewn with medical supplies -- but also explosives and a foreign passport. US-backed fighters took the three-storey building in the village of Baghouz in recent days, and now use its roof to survey the frontline against the jihadists. After a months-long campaign, the last IS fighters are pinned down in their last scrap of territory just hundreds of metres down the road in the same village.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Sunday praised Representative Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) recent endorsement of an anti-Semitic trope and urged the freshman lawmaker not to bow to pressure from critics. “Ms. Omar from Somalia – she started talking about 'the Benjamins' and they are trying to make her apologize. You sure are using it to shake the government up, but you have nothing to apologize for,” Farrakhan said during his annual Saviour's Day address in Chicago, in comments first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday that he hasn't ruled out being a 2020 vice presidential candidate — even as he plans to decide in the next 10 days if he'll seek the presidency. Answering a question in Spanish about the possibility of being another candidate's running mate, the Democratic former Texas congressman answered in Spanish: "I'm going to consider every way to serve this country. O'Rourke, who became a political star by nearly upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November, was honored at a luncheon in his native El Paso, a U.S.-Mexico border city, as the 2018 El Pasoan of the Year.
The current SL reminds us of Benzes bygone, so it's leaving the scene with exclusive colors and body trim. From Car and Driver
A grand jury has reportedly been convened to investigate a new sex tape allegedly showing R. Kelly having sex with an underaged girl.
In a startling remark from a top US intelligence official, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe says that it is “possible” that Donald Trump is a Russian asset. Mr McCabe made the comments on Tuesday, when he said that the FBI's Russia investigation was launched to suss out the president's ties to Moscow, and that he is eager to see what special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation uncovers. “I think it's possible,” Mr McCabe told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Developments over the weekend "shifted the trajectory" of the investigation into the Jan. 29 attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett. The actor told police last month he was attacked in Chicago in the early hours of the morning by two masked men who shouted "racial and homophobic slurs." Police said Smollett described the assailants punching him in the face, pouring a chemical on him and wrapping a rope around his neck. Smollett's credibility came under attack again Tuesday when the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office confirmed an NBC News report that the actor posed as his brother Jake when stopped for a suspected DUI in Los Angeles in July 2007 and signed his brother's name on the summons promising to appear in court.
In an interview with the BBC, Ren Zhengfei spoke confidently about the company's fate despite mounting pressure from Washington. The U.S. has accused the company of circumventing sanctions against Iran and stealing trade secrets. The U.S. has leveled 23 charges against Huawei and Ren's daughter and Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at Washington's request in Vancouver, where she is currently under house arrest awaiting possible extradition.
A winter storm bore down on the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday, threatening to snarl New York City's evening commute after hindering air travel along the East Coast and prompting the shutdown of federal offices in Washington. Snow turning to sleet slickened roadways in the New York metropolitan area by the early afternoon and was blamed for a rash of fender benders and traffic jams. The widespread weather system piled as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of snow across the Washington area before turning to sleet, said meteorologist Bryan Jackson of the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday slammed the "shocking" anti-Semitic vandalism of a French cemetery, which prompted a cabinet colleague to urge French Jews to "come home" to Israel. "Today something shocking happened in France. Eighty Jewish graves were desecrated with Nazi symbols by wild anti-Semites," Netanyahu said in a video clip released by his office.
Late Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency released details of the State Council's Greater Bay Area plan – a project to knit together Hong Kong and Macau with nine mainland cities into a global innovation hub to rival California's Silicon Valley. The trouble is, there's little new on how authorities plan to make this grand vision into a reality. Announced by Premier Li Keqiang in March 2017, the Greater Bay Area forms part of China's push for supremacy in technology, while also binding the former European colonies more tightly into the country.
Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry told a roomful of minority boys on Tuesday that they matter and urged them to make the world a better place. Obama was in Oakland, California, to mark the fifth anniversary of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative he launched after the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The initiative was a call to communities to close opportunity gaps for minority boys, especially African-American, Latino and Native American boys, Obama said to roughly 100 boys attending the alliance's first national gathering.
Officials in Alabama are calling for a small-town newspaper editor to resign because of an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize Washington, D.C. Goodloe Sutton, the editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Ala., wrote the editorial titled “Klan needs to ride again” that ran in the paper last week. “Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” read the Feb. 14 editorial.
Southwest Airlines, alarmed by a spike in flight cancellations and delays in the past several days due to reported maintenance issues, has taken the unusual step of publicly apologizing to customers and blaming the mess on its mechanics' union. In a statement late Tuesday, Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven said the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which has been in contract talks with Southwest since 2012, has a history of work disruptions and that Southwest will be investigating the "current disruption and exploring all possible remedies.'' He noted that Southwest also has two outstanding lawsuits against the AMFA. "We apologize to our customers who have been inconvenienced by this disruption,'' Van de Ven said.
Sixteen states that joined in the first of a string of expected lawsuits over President Donald Trump's national emergency maneuver to fund a southern border wall could lock up nearly $7 billion in national spending if the funds come under the court's jurisdiction. The lawsuit filed in a federal district court for the Northern District of California seeks an injunction to stop the Trump administration from using $7 billion in federal funds already allocated to states to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “The diversion of funds is likely to be held up in the courts for most or all of the remainder of President Trump's first term,” a report from Rabo Research, a Global economics and market research firm, said.