The operation to destroy Islamic State's final vestige of rule in Iraq and Syria hit a temporary snag on Thursday, as an expected evacuation of the remaining civilians from its last enclave in eastern Syria did not go ahead. The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has steadily driven the jihadists down the Euphrates, has surrounded them at Baghouz near the Iraqi border, but does not want to mount a final attack until all civilians are out. Iraqi sources said the SDF handed over more then 150 Iraqi and other foreign jihadists to Iraq on Thursday, under a deal involving a total of 502.
Jussie Smollett's character Jamal will not appear in the final two episodes of Empire, the Fox show's executive producers have said. Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report after alleging he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack, authorities have said. Police in Chicago had earlier said the 36-year-old actor was being considered as a suspect in the case and have now confirmed charges have been brought against him.
U.S. prosecutors have charged an IRS employee with leaking banking records of President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen that flagged suspicious activity, the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco said Thursday. John C. Fry, an investigative analyst for the IRS, acknowledged releasing information to attorney Michael Avenatti, according to the affidavit by Linda Cieslak, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury. Avenatti represents adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump that he denies.
Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said Wednesday that Venezuelan troops have already begun to disobey orders and will likely refuse to block the thousands of volunteers who plan to escort a humanitarian-aid caravan across the country's border on Saturday. “Saturday's a day when we're going to find a lot about the Maduro regime,” Rubio told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is officially recognized as the president of Venezuela by the Trump administration and 30 other nations, has urged the military to defect and refuse Maduro's orders to block aid shipments at the border.
Canada is looking to quickly bring over siblings of a Syrian refugee distraught over the loss of her seven children in a Halifax house fire, the prime minister said Thursday. "The immigration minister is seized with this particular case," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when asked if Ottawa would fast-track the immigration or asylum process to bring the woman's brothers to Canada in order to provide her with family support. The family was among tens of thousands of Syrian refugees welcomed by Canada over the past four years.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday warned that the United States would not be able to partner with or share information with countries that adopt Huawei Technologies Co Ltd systems, citing security concerns. In an interview on Fox Business Network, Pompeo said nations in Europe and elsewhere need to understand the risks of implementing Huawei's telecommunications equipment and that when they did, they would ultimately not use the company's systems. "If a country adopts this and puts it in some of their critical information systems, we won't be able to share information with them, we won't be able to work alongside them," Pompeo said.
Emissions of carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas most responsible for global warming – could soar to levels not seen in 56 million years by the middle of next century, scientists warned in a study Wednesday. Though it won't happen in our lifetimes, it could very well happen in the lives of our grandchildren or great-grandchildren. "You and I won't be here in 2159, but that's only about four generations away," said study author Philip Gingerich, a University of Michigan paleoclimate researcher.
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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is set to arrive in China on Thursday in the middle of a multi-country swing through Asia that may burnish his image abroad as ties with western leaders remain strained. The visit will include a meeting with President Xi Jinping and a high-level joint dialogue aimed at boosting relations after the nations agreed to promote a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016. He's expected to visit South Korea after that in the final leg of his tour after stops in Indonesia and Malaysia were postponed.
Young girls and boys stared out of the back of trucks, their faces dirty, their eyes filled with terror, exhaustion and uncertainty, as hundreds of men, women and children were evacuated from the Islamic State group's last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday. The evacuation may signal an imminent end to the territorial rule of the militants self-declared "caliphate" that once stretched across much of Syria and Iraq. Food and water have been running out in the pocket, where some 300 IS militants along with hundreds of civilians — believed to be mostly their families — have been under siege for more than a week by U.S.-backed forces.
Actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after he was charged with lying to police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, Chicago police said. Smollett, a 36-year-old black, openly gay actor on the hip-hop TV drama "Empire," told police on Jan. 29 that two apparent supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump had struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him. Smollett is in the custody of detectives, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Thursday, adding that authorities would offer more details from their investigation at a 0900 CST (1400 GMT) news conference.
A small funeral home was packed with hundreds of mourners for a 21-year-old college student who was killed on the first day of his internship when a worker opened fire inside an Illinois manufacturing facility. Trevor Wehner was among five people killed in the Friday shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora. During a brief religious service Wednesday in the Village of Sheridan, Wehner was remembered as family-oriented, someone who could change the atmosphere of a room just by walking in and who liked to tease and play jokes.
Lin Wood explains the Covington Catholic High School student's $250 million lawsuit against the Washington Post.
Bunkers are being rebuilt and a blackout has been ordered, but schools and bazaars remained open Thursday in Chakothi, a border village in Pakistani-held Kashmir, after a deadly attack sent tensions with neighbouring India soaring. Residents were worried but life was going on in the village of some 3,000 inhabitants just three kilometres (two miles) from the "Line of Control", the de facto border which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan, both nuclear powers, have been fighting for seven decades over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, now one of the most militarised zones in the world.
The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Johnson & Johnson over concerns the company's baby powder may have contained asbestos. The agencies subpoenaed the health care product maker in the wake of several jury awards to plaintiffs who claimed the company's talc products were tainted with asbestos and caused their cancers. The agencies seek documents about those matters and other suits Johnson & Johnson faces filed by shareholders and pension holders over the situation.
President Donald Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine whether climate change affects national security, despite existing reports from his own government showing that global warming is a growing threat. According to a White House memo dated 14 February, Mr Trump's staff members have drafted an executive order to create a 12-member committee, which will include a White House adviser, William Happer, whose views are at odds with the established scientific consensus that carbon dioxide pollution is dangerous for the planet.
This 1970s-era Ford Mustang kit is customizable; there's a supercharger, front and rear spoilers, tail or side pipes, and even a nitrous-oxide tank. A removable roof panel permits access to the attentively detailed interior. The kit will be available directly from Lego stores or online, starting March 1.
Two Saudi Arabian sisters have spent almost six months hiding in Hong Kong after authorities reportedly foiled an attempt to flee the conservative kingdom, a human rights group says. Using aliases to protect their identities, non-profit Justice Centre Hong Kong said in a statement that Reem, 20, and Rawan, 18, arrived in the city on Sept. 6, 2018, after escaping during a family holiday in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. The pair had booked a connecting flight to Melbourne Australia, where they planned to seek asylum, but they were intercepted upon landing and told their flight had been cancelled.
France is to recognise anti-Zionism, the denial of the state of Israel, as a form of anti-Semitismin response to a surge in acts against Jews not seen “since the Second World War”. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, also promised new legislation in May to fight hate speech on the Internet, which could see platforms such as Facebook and Twitter fined for every minute they fail to take down racist or violent content. While stopping short of calling for new legislation, the President said the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance would help guide police forces, magistrates and teachers in their daily work.
A Polish charity helping victims of child abuse committed by Catholic priests accused 24 bishops on Thursday of concealing perpetrators of sexual molestation of minors. The "Have No Fear" charity made the allegation in a report released as Pope Francis convened Catholic leaders from around the world to address scandals over child sexual abuse by priests that have ravaged the Church's credibility over the last three decades. The report, which has been delivered to the pope, named Polish bishops whom it said had "concealed clerical crimes and moved pedophilic priests from one parish to another".
Nearly four years ago, the U.S. government's highway safety agency began investigating air bag inflators made by ARC Automotive of Tennessee when two people were hit by flying shrapnel after crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 8 million Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia and General Motors vehicles in the U.S. use the company's inflators. The investigation became more urgent in 2016 after a Canadian woman driving a Hyundai was killed by shrapnel from an ARC inflator.
Their family says they were involved in volunteering and believed in giving back before they died.
Pakistan on Thursday banned two groups believed to be fronts for the group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, amid heightened pressure on Islamabad to act against militants. Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation were designated "proscribed organisations", the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered officials to accelerate action against banned groups. JuD and FIF are considered by the UN to be fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group accused by Washington and New Delhi of carrying out the Mumbai attack, which killed 166 people and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
Southwest Airlines' flight woes continue, with nearly 400 Thursday flights canceled due to maintenance issues and winter weather. Southwest, the nation's largest domestic carrier, had canceled 389 flights, or 9 percent of its schedule, as of 1:15 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware. That is the highest number of cancellations by any carrier and accounts for 51 percent of flight cancellations within, into or out of the United States, according to FlightAware. Southwest attributed the high number of cancellations to weather challenges and continuing maintenance issues that have a pulled a higher-than-usual number of aircraft out of service.
President Trump reacted with surprise when asked Wednesday about reports that his administration was making a global push to decriminalize homosexuality. In an Oval Office exchange with reporters, Trump was asked about the plan, which was first reported by NBC News on Tuesday. “Mr. President, on your push to decriminalize homosexuality, are you going to do that?