Earlier in the day, the Trump administration signaled a retreat from a confrontation over the president’s demand for $5 billion in wall money, and Democrats rejected a GOP plan to shift other government funds to the president’s immigration priorities. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby of Alabama said Tuesday night he’s coordinating with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will decide if and when to seek a vote. Shelby said he began work on the bill after concluding that a long-term resolution probably wouldn’t be found before a shutdown would begin on Friday night.
Pope Francis has summoned the heads of some 110 national Catholic bishops' conferences and dozens of experts and leaders of religious orders to the Vatican on Feb. 21-24 for an extraordinary gathering dedicated to the sexual abuse crisis. Victims of clergy sexual abuse are hoping that the meeting will finally come up with a clear policy to make bishops themselves accountable for the mishandling of abuse cases. "Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world," the conference's steering committee said in a letter to all participants.
Chili’s social media department is getting ribbed after it weighed in on North Carolina’s election fraud scandal ― without really understanding it. It all started Monday when Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for the progressive super PAC American Bridge, offered a Chili’s gift certificate to North Carolina GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse with a caveat: Stop trying to seat Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, whose election has been marred by ballot fraud allegations. Woodhouse didn’t respond, but Chili’s social media person did and aggressively attempted to do some promotion piggybacking on Bates’ tweet.
Facebook and Google have one less user to worry about. Cher, 72, vowed to boycott the two tech giants Tuesday, saying Facebook and Google's alleged love of money trumps their "(love) of country." "Won't use Google, getting rid of Facebook account I didn't know I had," Cher tweeted in all capital letters.
The European Union on Wednesday adopted back-up plans to protect essential air transport and finance in the event that Britain leaves the bloc without a Brexit deal in 100 days. The European Commission said it was acting "to ensure that the necessary contingency measures can enter into application on 30 March 2019 in order to limit the most significant damage caused by a 'no-deal' scenario". The package covers 14 areas where a "no-deal" Brexit "would create major disruption for citizens and businesses" including in financial services, air transport, customs and climate policy.
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Monday announced he's continuing his effort to have Maine's new election system used for the first time in a congressional race declared unconstitutional. Poliquin, who lost his re-election bid to Democrat Jared Golden, tweeted Monday evening that a formal appeal will be filed with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, dragging on the longshot legal process. "Rank voting came to Maine due to a largely out-of-state-funded push to change our election system that has worked well for one hundred years," he said in a statement.
The Super Sonic Car was set to raise the land speed record bar with the vehicle finished and undergoing final testing, but the project was stopped in its tracks when funding ran out. Related Video: Watch the Bloodhound SSC Team Show off Car Months of administration failed to find an investor willing to supply the £25 million ($31.5 million) required to set what might be the last record of this kind. Time was called on Bloodhound and we all shed a tear over a hard-fought challenge that seemingly fell at the final hurdle.
Guatemalan children caught in Mexico while trying to migrate into the US, queue before climbing into a minibus at Aurora international airport in Guatemala City. For years, Dora waited impatiently to turn 15, the age her mother had agreed she would be old enough to leave their home in El Salvador – where she suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her grandfather – and head to the US, in search of a new life. “Seeing them leave together … that gave me hope and gave me the courage to finally leave,” said Dora, who is now living at a children’s shelter in Tijuana, on the border with California.
The US surgeon general has urged an aggressive clamp down on e-cigarettes, recommending punitive taxes and bans on them being used at indoor public venues. Jerome Adams, America's top doctor, said action was needed to prevent millions of teenagers becoming hooked on the high-nicotine devices. Most devices heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapour, and have been marketed to adult smokers as a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes.
On the eve of Michael Flynn’s sentencing for lying to the FBI, retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz joined the chorus of hyperventilating President Donald Trump supporters who claim that Flynn may have lied to the feds, but that doesn’t mean he broke the law. “Flynn did not commit a crime by lying,” Dershowitz said during a Fox News interview Monday. “The lie has to be material to the investigation.
U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon said on Monday two of four tunnels found close to the border with Israel crossed the frontier demarcation between the two countries, violating a U.N. resolution that ended a 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said it had so far confirmed the existence of four tunnels which the Israeli army discovered in the vicinity of the border demarcation, known as the "Blue Line", adding the finds were of "serious concern". Israel says Hezbollah, Lebanon's most powerful armed group, dug the tunnels with the aim of launching attacks into Israel with backing from its regional sponsor Iran.
The Russian Internet Research Agency, the troll farm that has sought to divide Americans with misinformation and meme content around the 2016 election, received more engagement on Instagram than it did on any other social media platform, including Facebook, according to a joint report by three groups of researchers. “Instagram was a significant front in the IRA’s influence operation, something that Facebook executives appear to have avoided mentioning in Congressional testimony,” the report says. IRA activity shifted there after the media began to write about Russian activity on Twitter and Facebook.
Delta Air Lines will add nonstop service to Mexico City from its Minneapolis/St. Paul hub. Daily service will begin June 8, with Delta offering one daily round-trip flight on 132-seat Airbus A319 aircraft. Minneapolis/St. Paul will become the sixth city to get nonstop service to Mexico City on Delta.
Russia has cut its military flights in Syria from more than 100 per day to fewer than four a week, the defence minister said Tuesday, in another sign the country's conflict is winding down. Russia launched air strikes in Syria in support of long-term ally President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015. Russian support helped Assad's forces reclaim swathes of territory once in the hands of opposition fighters and Islamic extremists.
A North Carolina woman has been charged with driving while impaired after a crash with a school bus that sent 13 students to the hospital. The North Carolina Highway Patrol issued a news release saying Kimberly Ann Austin was also charged with driving left of center. A working home phone listing couldn't be found, and the district attorney's office didn't immediately respond to an email asking if Austin has an attorney.
In a story Dec. 13 about the pope's May travel schedule, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Bulgaria is a former Soviet republic. During the Cold War, Bulgaria was one of the Soviet allies that formed the Warsaw Pact. A corrected version of the story is below: Pope to visit Bulgaria, Macedonia in May in busy travel year Pope Francis is travelling in May to the Orthodox countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia, where he will pay tribute to Macedonian-born Mother Teresa, officials said Thursday VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is travelling in May to the Orthodox countries of Bulgaria and Macedonia, where he will pay tribute to Macedonian-born Mother Teresa, officials said Thursday.
The Justice Department on Tuesday moved to implement President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban bump stocks, a gun modification that allows semiautomatic rifles to fire faster. The new rule, which is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming days, will mandate that owners of bump stocks turn them in or destroy them. The rule encourages people who currently possess bump stocks to destroy the devices themselves, but also says they’ll have the option to turn them over to the nearest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives office.
New Zealand warned Google to "take responsibility" for its news content Wednesday, after the internet giant broke a court order suppressing the name of a man charged with murdering a British backpacker. An Auckland court granted the man interim name suppression this month but Google revealed his identity in an email to subscribers of its "what's trending in New Zealand?" service. Justice Minister Andrew Little said the breach was unacceptable and he had made his views known to Google executives at a meeting in parliament on Tuesday night.
Republican U.S. Representative Martha McSally will take over the late John McCain's U.S. Senate seat in January, two months after losing her bid for Arizona's other Senate seat, the state's governor said on Tuesday. McSally will replace the retiring John Kyl, whom Governor Doug Ducey appointed after McCain died in August following a battle with brain cancer. Kyl, a former senator, committed to serving only through the end of 2018 when he was appointed.
Canada is looking for a way out of a $13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia -- a move the company warns could leave the government liable for billions. In a television interview Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government was looking for a way to halt the sale of armored vehicles manufactured by a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp. We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV, without elaborating.
Milwaukee's Mitchell International Airport said Monday that it is now offering unlimited free Wi-Fi for travelers. Previously, free Wi-Fi was limited to one hour at the airport, which goes by airport code MKE. "Unlimited free Wi-Fi has been one of the most-requested passenger amenities at MKE," Chris Abele, Milwaukee County executive, said in a statement.
President Xi Jinping vowed Tuesday to push ahead with China's "reform and opening up" but warned that no one can "dictate" what it does, as the Communist Party celebrated the policy's 40th anniversary. While he pledged to press forward with the economic reforms initiated under late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in December 1978, Xi indicated that there would be no change to the one-party system. "The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics," he said.
Viktor Orban, the populist prime minister of Hungary, is facing a rare challenge to his grip on power as protesters demand an end to controversial labour reforms and and what they call his assault on democracy. The Hungarian capital has been rocked by nearly daily protests and opposition MPs have called for Mr Orban's overthrow since the country's parliament adopted a bill liberalising overtime rules on Wednesday. As part of the reform, which critics have dubbed "the slave law", employers would be allowed to delay payment for overtime worked for up to three years.