President Biden was viewed by many as a moderate, but his aggressive approach to governing has delighted progressives while putting Republicans on their heels.His major policy wins »
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Pakistan is to outlaw a hardline Islamist group that railed agaisnt blasphemy to rise to prominence, the interior minister said on Wednesday, the third day of violent protests that killed two police officers and wounded 340. The government said it has also arrested 1,400 workers of the group, that is agitating against the arrest of its chief ahead of countrywide rallies to denounce publication of cartoons in France depicting the Prophet Mohammad. Paramilitary troops were deployed overnight to clear the protests by the Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), which has blocked rail tracks, highways and entry and exit routes to all major cities.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Tuesday that he is expanding the U.S. military presence in Germany by 500 troops and has stopped planning for large-scale troop cuts ordered by the Trump administration. Adding 500 troops to a current total of about 35,000 is a symbolic gesture of solidarity with Germany and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it also fills a practical need that commanders in Europe had identified months ago. Austin said the extra troops will have a role in space, cybersecurity and electronic warfare.
Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it was concerned about Iran's intention to start enriching uranium to 60% purity and said such a move could not be considered part of a peaceful nuclear programme. A foreign ministry statement called on Iran to avoid escalation and engage seriously in talks with global powers about a 2015 nuclear pact. Iran's announcement about its plan to enrich to 60%, bringing the fissile material closer to the 90% level suitable for a nuclear bomb, came after Tehran accused Israel of sabotaging a key nuclear installation and ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks in Vienna.
A popular Union County teacher described by family and friends as a devoted father, teacher and coach was fatally wounded in a shootout when he and his brother-in-law tried to rob members of a Mexican drug cartel, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson said Wednesday. Barney Dale Harris, 40, taught Spanish and was head coach of the boys' varsity basketball and track teams at Union Academy Charter School in Monroe, according to his family and the school. Alamance County is east of Greensboro along interstates 85 and 40 — 55 miles west of Raleigh and 115 miles from Charlotte.
A tourist at Death Valley spotted something within the park that shouldn't be there: a mysterious goat. The visitor reported seeing a domestic goat in a canyon near Stovepipe Wells within the park. The goat could be bad for native bighorn sheep and the park's ecosystem, rangers said Wednesday on Facebook.
The Biden administration's surprise announcement of an unconditional troop withdrawal from Afghanistan by Sept. 11 appears to strip the Taliban and the Afghan government of considerable leverage and could ramp up pressure on them to reach a peace deal. The Taliban and Afghan government can no longer hold the U.S. hostage — the Taliban with escalating violence and the Afghan president with dragging his feet on a power-sharing deal with the insurgents that doesn't include him as president — because Washington made it clear that U.S. troops are leaving, no matter what. Already, violence and seemingly random attacks on civilians have surged since the Trump administration reached a deal with the Taliban in February 2020 that had committed Washington to withdraw by May 1.
Officials say the seven-year-old, a four-year-old, a three-year-old and a one-year-old are now being cared for by Child Protective Services.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Hate crime legislation intended to combat violence against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic advanced in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, easily overcoming the Senate procedural tool known as the filibuster. Senators on Wednesday took a procedural vote on whether to limit debate on the overall bill. Under the chamber's filibuster rule, at least 60 senators must consent to take that step, requiring bipartisan support since the chamber is divided 50-50.
A viral video of an army sergeant pushing a Black resident in South Carolina and demanding that he leaves the neighborhood has now resulted in criminal charges. Initially uploaded on Facebook on Monday, the three-minute clip has circulated various media channels before the aggressor was identified as Jonathan Pentland, a 42-year-old U.S. Army sergeant in Columbia, S.C. Pentland has since been charged with third-degree assault, Washington Post reports. In the video, Pentland pushes, threatens, and verbally assaults a black man and attempts to force him to leave the area.
The United Arab Emirates' space center announced Wednesday a more ambitious timeline for sending its first rover to the moon. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center said it is partnering with Japan's ispace company to send a rover to the moon on an unmanned spacecraft by 2022, rather than 2024. The “Rashid” rover, named after Dubai's ruling family, will deploy to the moon using ispace's lunar lander.
China's push for global power is the leading threat to U.S. national security, while Russia's efforts to undermine American influence and assert itself as a major actor also pose a challenge, said a U.S. intelligence report released on Tuesday. The 2021 Annual Threat Assessment lays out U.S. spy agencies' views of the chief foreign policy issues facing U.S. President Joe Biden in his first year in office, complicated by the coronavirus pandemic and global climate change. While China and Russia are presented as the leading challenges, Iran and North Korea will also test U.S. national security, the report said.
In 2015 and 2016, former President Donald Trump's Republican primary rivals and other GOP officials tried to dodge his withering personal insults "while hoping that external events and news media coverage would ultimately lead to his downfall," Maggie Haberman recalls at The New York Times. That strategy obviously failed. But many Republican leaders are once more hoping, mostly in private, that time or some heaven-sent deus ex machina makes Trump fade into retirement, despite his clear intention to retain control over the GOP.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reflected on the Chauvin trial Wednesday, calling it "so disappointing." Pelosi said she still respects law enforcement and stamped down calls to "defund the police." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she finds the trial of ex-Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin "so disappointing."
Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after Wall Street retreated from a record high as major banks reported strong profits at the start of the U.S. earnings season. Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 index closed 0.4% below the previous day's record due to losses for major tech stocks while smaller companies rallied. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo announced quarterly earnings that beat forecasts.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced amendments to voting laws on Tuesday that critics say favour pro-Beijing candidates by redrawing constituency boundaries, creating more electoral districts, and criminalising calls for voters to leave ballots blank. Having become Hong Kong's least popular chief executive in the near quarter century since the handover from British colonial rule, it remains unclear whether Lam will seek re-election. She faced the largest and most violent anti-government protests in 2019 after proposing a bill to allow extraditions to mainland China.
Biden administration diplomats and intelligence officers are operating “with the sincere belief” that Austin Tice is alive, two U.S. officials told McClatchy on Wednesday, and the group is working daily to free the American journalist who went missing in 2012 while covering the war in Syria. “We operate with the sincere belief that Austin is alive and waiting for us to come get him,” Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens said. The Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, a team of experts from different government agencies that gathers diplomatic leads and intelligence information together in one place, is pursuing the Tice case.
While he said he felt bad for how the events of a traffic-stop late last year unfolded, the police chief of the town where a Black and Latino military officer from Petersburg, Virginia, was accosted by two of his officers said Wednesday that he does not think the soldier is in need of an official apology. In response, Army Lt. Caron Nazario's legal team said Windsor Police Department Chief Rodney D. Riddle "continues a false narrative" of the case and blaming their client for initiating it. "I'm gonna own what we did," Riddle said about the stop during a news conference Wednesday in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, community where Nazario was stopped last December while on his way home.
Republican lawmakers in numerous states have proposed a slew of voting limits, after former President Donald Trump, a Republican, falsely claimed he lost November's election to President Joe Biden due to widespread fraud. In Michigan, Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to veto bills that Republicans have proposed, including new restrictions on absentee and mail ballots. The state Republican chairman, however, has previously suggested the party could attempt to circumvent Whitmer via a petition drive.
An aggressive Israeli settlement spree during the Trump era pushed deeper than ever into the occupied West Bank — territory the Palestinians seek for a state — with over 9,000 homes built and thousands more in the pipeline, an AP investigation showed. If left unchallenged by the Biden administration, the construction boom could make fading hopes for an internationally backed two-state solution — Palestine alongside Israel — even more elusive. Satellite images and data obtained by The Associated Press document for the first time the full impact of the policies of then-President Donald Trump, who abandoned decades-long U.S. opposition to the settlements and proposed a Mideast plan that would have allowed Israel to keep them all — even those deep inside the West Bank.
Photographs from the third night of protests in Minneapolis following the killing of Daunte Wright showed demonstrators getting creative to protect themselves from deterrent tactics used by police. Images from Tuesday night in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, revealed a group of protesters using umbrellas to protect themselves from fumes of chemical irritants released by authorities. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered again at the heavily guarded police headquarters, which has been ringed by concrete barriers and a tall metal fence, with police in riot gear and National Guard soldiers standing watch.
The Biden administration is set to sanction Russian intelligence officials over attempts to influence the 2020 election. Russian officials and entities could also be sanctioned for misconduct, including the SolarWinds hack. The sanctions may be announced this week, just days after Biden and Putin last spoke on Tuesday.
The kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls from Chibok seven years ago led to the launching of a multi-million dollar plan, backed by a former UK prime minister, to bolster security at schools - but it failed to stop abductions and protect children. The swirl of dust thrown up as a helicopter came down to land heralded a high-level visit to Chibok in March 2015. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's finance minister at the time and now head of the World Trade Organization, was received by a waiting crowd of community leaders and parents whose daughters had been kidnapped.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kim Potter, 48, a white police officer with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, over the shooting of Mr Wright, after a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon turned fatal. “Certain occupations carry an immense responsibility and none more so than a sworn police officer,” Imran Ali, Washington County assistant criminal division chief, said in a statement. “[Potter's] action caused the unlawful killing of Mr Wright and she must be held accountable.”
Britain is to withdraw nearly all remaining troops from Afghanistan following plans for an American military exit, defence secretary Ben Wallace has confirmed. President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that all of America's 2,500 troops will be withdrawn by 11 September — 20 years to the day after the attacks on US soil that led to the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. British forces were first deployed to Afghanistan in October 2001 following the 9/11 attacks and have maintained a presence since.
Republican lawmakers in Florida, Michigan, and Texas are taking up new voting laws. Proposed measures in all three states would add restrictions to mail voting. Recently, GOP governors in Iowa and Georgia signed major election reforms into law.
“There’s no ‘both sides of the debate’ when it comes to active voter suppression.”
“Companies that do this ooze contempt for their own customers and employees who are not in the leftmost quarter of opinion.”
“The truth is that Fortune 500 companies were never taking moral stances from the goodness of their corporate hearts.”
“The truth is, the companies hold the cards…If companies stick to their guns, Georgia is likely to back down as well.”
“When a company folds to the unfounded outrage of a few misinformed nuts, they are forever at the mob’s beck-and-call.”