Bashar al-Assad's forces swept into cities across northeast Syria for the first time in seven years on Monday after the West's former Kurdish allies agreed to a Russian-brokered deal to try to hold off a Turkish attack. The Syrian regime's black-and-red flag went up across the region as Russia seized on Donald Trump's abandonment of the Kurds to restore Assad's rule over swathes of territory he has not controlled since 2012. Assad's troops clashed with Turkish-backed Syrian rebels outside Manbij, a key city on the Turkey-Syria border where US forces are evacuating on Mr Trump's orders.
Anyone interested in what it looks like to get away with murder should peruse the attendee list for Saudi Arabia's flashy "Davos in the Desert" this month. Vaporizing into the desert heat is all the righteous alarm that compelled leading financial firms to boycott the event last year out of concern that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, weeks before, had ordered the grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Attending this year's extravaganza are executives of JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, all of them institutions selected to underwrite the kingdom's highly anticipated, partial public offering of its oil company, Aramco, valued $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion.
The son of a Texas sheriff who used a White House press conference to describe immigrant offenders as “drunks” likely to repeatedly break the law has been arrested for public intoxication. Sergei Waybourn, 24, faces a count of indecent exposure as well as public drunkenness just days after his father, Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, was criticised for the comments. Responding to a California court ruling that banned immigration officers from arresting people on the basis of records that have been proven unreliable, Sheriff Waybourn said 7% of his 4,200 inmates were “illegal aliens”.
A new report commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change, the UK government's official climate-change advisers, has called for a ban on all frequent flyer reward programs to discourage people from traveling by air so much. Researchers from Imperial College London, who wrote the report, said that just 15% of the entire British population take 70% of all flights from the country. The report also called for an "air miles levy" to punish people who fly long distances, which would target those who rack up the most air miles, rather than people who travel shorter distances.
America's leading (and only) V-8 muscle sedan takes on Korea's upstart rear-drive hatchback in a battle of power versus poise. From Car and Driver
Furious about the way she was treated, she worked with other families whose relatives were killed by police to help push for the recent passage of California's new Senate Bill 1421, which as of January 1 overrides decades of precedent and requires police departments to open internal investigation records related to deadly force and police wrongdoing. The law could inspire reform at police departments across the nation at a time when the relationship between police and the public is fraught with tension following numerous fatal shootings, particularly involving victims of color.
Key point: The Middle East's skies belong to Israel. Israel will soon have a new precision-guided supersonic stand-off missile for its F-35s and other fighter jets. The new missile was announced on June 11, 2018 in a press release by two leading Israeli defense firms, Israeli Military Industries Systems (IMI Systems) and Israel Aerospace Industries, which jointly developed the missile.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is running for president again — at least in Anthony Scaramucci's dreams. The famously short-lived White House communications director has since turned on the president who appointed him, and has publicly said he's trying to knock President Trump off the 2020 ticket. Now, it seems Scaramucci has decided on his dream candidate, and has launched a website and line of T-shirts to persuade him to run.
Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have both distanced themselves from fellow candidate Beto O'Rourke's call to revoke the tax-exempt status afforded to religious institutions that oppose same-sex marriage. “There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone … that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us.” O'Rourke said during CNN's “Equality in America” town hall last Thursday night.
During a Fox & Friends appearance on Monday morning, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) suggested that Turkey's invasion of Syria and attack on America's Kurdish allies was tied to Democrats launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The Wyoming congresswoman and co-host Brian Kilmeade, both of whom have been critical of Trump's decision to pull back American troops and abandon the Kurds ahead of Turkey's invasion, expressed their concerns that ISIS could return to the area and the United States' reputation among its allies will suffer. Cheney, meanwhile, took the opportunity to lay blame at House Democrats' feet for pursuing impeachment against Trump over the Ukraine scandal.
Russia on Monday denied a US newspaper report that its warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of 12 hours this year. The Russian defence ministry rubbished the claim in a report by The New York Times, saying "the alleged 'evidence' provided by the NYT is not worth even the paper it was printed on". The May strikes -- which the newspaper tied to Moscow through Russian radio recordings, plane spotter logs and accounts by witnesses -- are part of a larger pattern of medical facilities targeted by forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country's devastating civil war.
Rescuers in Japan are continuing to help people in the aftermath of a ferocious typhoon, as the death toll from the storm climbed to as high as 33. The government's Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which tends to be conservative in its counts, said late Sunday that 14 people died and 11 were missing as a result of Typhoon Hagibis, while 187 suffered injuries. Japan's Kyodo News agency said 33 people died and 19 were missing.
This week, the Washington Times published a story saying that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. had spent $80 on a haircut and $180 on color at a Washington, D.C., salon, a choice the newspaper presented as hypocritical, given she “regularly rails against the rich and complains about the cost of living inside the Beltway.
A Hong Kong police officer was stabbed in the neck on Sunday in one of the worst acts of violence against the authorities during the 19th straight weekend of civil unrest in the global financial hub. Graphic footage emerged of the policeman being stabbed in the neck from behind with a sharp object as his team retreated towards Kwun Tong metro station. The police confirmed that two people had been arrested at the scene and the officer had been transferred to hospital “in a conscious state” and was stable.
A teacher at a Pennsylvania middle school has been placed on administrative leave after a viral Facebook video showed her calling a black man the N-word and using other derogatory language in the school's parking lot. In the video, a teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Pennsylvania, is seen scrubbing at the rear bumper of a red pickup truck with her sleeve after a car crash in the school's parking lot. The school confirmed reports that the teacher's name is Renee Greeley.
The U.S. Army future robotic army is taking shape faster, and better, than some officials expected. There's a lot of excitement in industry, in the Army, and we've seen industry ahead of our timeline a little bit,” Brig. Gen. Richard Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle Cross Functional Team, told Breaking Defense reporter Sydney Freedberg, Jr. “We are adjusting our expectations. After reviewing the unmanned ground vehicle demonstrators that companies are developing for various Army requirements, Coffman told Freedberg he was impressed by the levels of autonomy and modularity.
A Portland antifascist activist was killed in the early hours of Saturday in an apparent hit-and-run near Cider Riot, a cidery and taproom popular with the city's anarchist left that has been the scene of conflict with rightwing groups. According to the Portland police bureau, the car involved was fired upon and crashed into a nearby building. Police said in a statement that the 23-year-old victim, Sean D Kealiher, was taken to a local hospital by associates.
Other ways the government will finance the cost of health care. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says “Wall Street” will pay. Many talk about reducing the price of prescription drugs.
Protecting the remaining U.S. forces in Syria is now the priority for the U.S. drones and manned aircraft overhead, according to a knowledgeable U.S. official who was not permitted to speak to reporters. It's a mission of necessity now that the remaining hundreds of American servicemembers in Syria have come under attack from the army of their NATO ally and the Syrian Kurds whom the U.S. betrayed are now welcoming in Bashar Assad's Russian-sponsored forces. Their presence has propelled the U.S. in northeastern Syria toward an endgame, since the U.S. betrayal of the Kurds removed the local partner the U.S. needed to wage war against ISIS members who are now breaking free of their prisons.
As of three weeks ago, a majority of Americans, 51.1 percent, on average, opposed impeaching President Trump, with only 40 percent supporting it. But the results came before the Ukraine scandal snowballed. As of today, opposition to impeachment has plummeted 7 percentage points (to 44 percent) and support has climbed nearly 10 points (to 49.8 percent), according to FiveThirtyEight's preliminary polling tracker.
These doctors, scientists, and activists have all paved an inspiring path. From Popular Mechanics
Pope Francis on Sunday declared five people saints, including Cardinal John Henry Newman, a leading 19th century Anglican who converted to Catholicism and became one of the most influential Christian figures of modern times. Underscoring Newman's luminary status in Christianity today, Prince Charles, who will become head of the Church of England when he becomes king, attended the canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square and said it was a cause for celebration by all Britons. "Whatever our own beliefs, and no matter what our own tradition may be, we can only be grateful to Newman for the gifts, rooted in his Catholic faith, which he shared with wider society," Charles said in an article in the Vatican newspaper.
Syria's Kurds have announced a groundbreaking deal with Damascus on a Syrian troop deployment near the border with Turkey, as Ankara presses a deadly cross-border offensive that has sparked an international outcry. The announcement on Sunday came as the United States ordered the withdrawal of almost its entire ground force in Syria. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move to withdraw 1,000 US troops came after Washington learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than expected.
Disney's Skyliner is up and running again with modified service after the new aerial cable car system stranded passengers for hours the night of Oct. 5. "Beginning today, guests may travel aboard Disney Skyliner from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.," reads an update on Walt Disney World Resort's Skyliner landing page. "Following a complete review with the manufacturer, we've made adjustments to our processes and training, and we are improving how we communicate with guests during their flight with Disney Skyliner," Thomas Smith, editorial content director at Disney Parks, wrote in a blog post on Monday.
Bombers are the essence of strategic airpower. While fighters have often been important to air forces, it was the promise of the heavy bomber than won and kept independence for the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force. At different points in time, air forces in the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and Italy have treated bomber design and construction as a virtually all-consuming obsession, setting fighter and attack aviation aside.