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.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and other schools across the U.S. bowed their heads in a moment of silence and took part in volunteer projects Thursday to mark the anniversary of the shooting rampage that claimed 17 lives. Fewer than 300 of the 3,200 students at the high school showed up for what was only a half-day, with classes cut short so that the teenagers would not be there around 2:20 p.m., the traumatic moment last year when gunfire erupted. Senior Spencer Bloom skipped school to spend the day with students from the history class he was in during the shooting.
After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Pence said the Nazi death camp had made him more determined to confront Tehran, saying it was "breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe." Iran's ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel. Pence, who said he was deeply moved by his Auschwitz visit, cited Iran's stated desire to destroy Israel as justification for singling out the country, rather than focusing on anti-Semitism across the Middle East. Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in January Iran's strategy was to wipe "the Zionist regime" (Israel) off the political map, Iran's state TV reported.
President Donald Trump finally did what he's been warning the nation he might. This morning he declared a national emergency at the U.S. border with Mexico. Since Congress isn't giving Trump the money he wants to build a border wall, his plan is to use the declaration to take money from some other pot.
A pregnant London schoolgirl's wish to return home after joining the Islamic State group in Syria splintered Britain on Friday as reports emerged of more UK women fleeing the war zone. Shamima Begum's fate has prompted soul searching in Britain since she and two friends created international headlines by running away to join the terror network in 2015. Home Secretary Sajid Javid told The Times newspaper that people like Begum "were full of hate for our country".
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.
According to her older sister Sahima, Shamima Begum was like any other 15-year-old girl, with the same hobbies, the same worries and infatuations which preoccupy the minds of most British teens. Four months before she was due to sit her GCSEs, Shamima — the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, by all accounts a “sensible girl” and a “talented and dynamic” student at the high-flying Bethnal Green Academy — was secretly planning to leave her family and the only home she had ever known in London's East End, and travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride. Two of her school friends, Kadiza Sultana, then 16, and Amira Abase, 15, planned to accompany her, with the girls aiming to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum (no relation of Shamima), who had successfully travelled to Syria the year before.
“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.
Robert Mueller's team has questioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary has confirmed. In a statement to CNN, Ms Sanders, 36, said she had been questioned last year by the special counsel probing Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. “The president urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel,” she said.
The Day of the Shining Star dawned bitterly cold in Pyongyang. Kim, the son of the isolated North's founder Kim Il Sung and the father and predecessor of current leader Kim Jong Un, was born on February 16. According to Pyongyang's orthodoxy, he came into the world in 1942, in a snow-covered hut at a secret camp on the slopes of Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where his father was fighting occupying Japanese forces.
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.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government stepped up a legal battle against efforts to oust him on Thursday, while the opposition said the international community had pledged more than $100 million in humanitarian aid for the country. Venezuela's opposition, which argues Maduro's presidency is illegitimate because he won in a sham vote, is trying to wrest control of the OPEC nation's oil sector from him and deliver aid to a population suffering food and medicine shortages. Maduro says this is part of a strategy to carry out a U.S.-backed coup and has vowed to remain in office, despite around 50 nations recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., declares her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Minneapolis on Sunday. Reminder: There are 362 days until the Iowa caucuses, and 633 days until the 2020 presidential election. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, has become the first Republican to announce a challenge to President Trump.
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.
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
Some parents are outraged a California school for kids with special needs is holding a "going away party" after one of its own students died after being restrained by staff.
Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been defrocked by Pope Francis after Vatican officials found him guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Vatican said Saturday. McCarrick was a powerful fundraiser in the church. He is the highest-ranking clergy to be laicized by the clerical state. The action strips McCarrick, 88, of priestly rights and bars him from celebrating Mass. In July 2018, Pope Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation amid the sex abuse scandal. McCarrick was a retired cardinal at the time and faced allegations of sexually abusing a minor nearly five decades ago when he was a priest in New York.
The British Islamic State (Isil) bride Shamima Begum has a legal right to return to the UK the Head of MI6 has said. The Director General of MI6 has said that British citizens have a right to return home from Syria, even though they may still present a threat to national security. Alex Younger, the head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service - better known as MI6 - said he was "very concerned" about returning British nationals that had fought for or supported the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
Happy Bae Day! Whether you're single or partnered up, Valentine's Day can have you craving a romantic getaway or just a getaway, period, so that you can make a quick escape from all the lovey-dovey energy in the air (that's us! While most couples will agree that 'two is better than one' when it comes to matters of the heart on Valentine's Day, those who aren't in a relationship would probably agree to disagree — except for this year, thanks Alaska Airlines.
Parts of California are bracing for yet more flooding after a powerful storm unleashed historic levels of rainfall earlier this week. Floods and mudslides across the state have triggered evacuations and sent homes tumbling down hillsides. Linda So reports.
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.
The chairman of Nigeria's electoral commission says the last-minute, weeklong delay of the presidential election has nothing to do with insecurity or political influence. Mahmood Yakubu tells election observers and others in the capital, Abuja, that the delay is due to "very trying circumstances" including bad weather affecting flights in recent days and serious fires at three commission offices. He calls the fires an apparent "attempt to sabotage our preparations."
At least one person was killed and several others, including police officers, were wounded on Friday when a gunman opened fire in an industrial area on the outskirts of Chicago. US media reported that the suspected gunman was killed soon after police and federal agents flooded a manufacturing complex in Aurora, Illinois -- 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of central Chicago. Witnesses said they had locked themselves into nearby buildings as a man in his 30s or 40s began firing off rounds.
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.
Amazon announced today in a statement that the company would withdraw its plans to construct their anticipated "HQ2" amid pushback from the community and politicians representing the area. The campus, the expected sister site to one still planned for Northern Virginia, was to be built in Long Island City, Queens. The campus was expected to spur a new era of growth for Queens and the city at large, promising the creation of 25,000 high-paying tech jobs, not to mention the luxury residential developments underway to house those new employees.