The U.S. Department of Transportation plans to cancel $929 million in federal funding for California's high-speed rail project, threatening the state's plan to complete the first phase of a project that has intensified a rivalry between President Donald Trump and California Gov. Gavin Newsom. In a Tuesday letter from the Federal Railroad Administration addressed to Brian Kelly, CEO of California's High-Speed Rail Authority, Administrator Ronald Batory wrote that the cancellation of funds will take effect on March 5. The rail project has faced cost overruns and years of delays.
Venezuelan officials said Tuesday that the country is banning air and sea trips to and from three Dutch Caribbean islands — a region that has been linked to efforts to undermine President Nicolas Maduro by sending emergency aid to the South American nation. The indefinite shutdown of the "maritime border" applies to commercial and fishing boats between Venezuela and the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire, said Falcon state's civil protection director, Gregorio Jose Montano. Airspace in the border region was also indefinitely closed to private and commercial flights, said Gen. Miguel Morales Miranda, assistant commander of the Comprehensive Defense Operations Zone.
India on Tuesday demanded that rival Pakistan take "credible and visible action" over a major suicide attack in Kashmir as it sternly rebuffed Prime Minister Imran Khan's offer to investigate the bombing. Amid a new spike in tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours, Khan earlier demanded that India give "actionable evidence" to back its claim of Pakistan's backing for the suicide bomber. While offering an investigation, Khan also said Pakistan would retaliate if attacked over the bombing, claimed by a Pakistan-based group, which killed at least 41 Indian paramilitaries.
The FBI is working with the U.S. Postal Service to determine whether Empire actor Jussie Smollett sent himself a threatening letter in the days before the “hate crime” he is now under investigation for allegedly staging, two federal officials told ABC News Tuesday. The two Nigerian brothers who told Chicago Police last week that Smollett paid them to stage a racially motivated attack on him have also told the authorities that Smollett sent himself the threatening letter that arrived on the Empire set on January 22, just seven days before they claim they conducted the hoax attack.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said on Monday that the arrest of his daughter, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, was politically motivated. "Firstly, I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable," Ren told the BBC in an interview.
A massive storm that marched across the nation Tuesday promises to bring heavy snow, crippling ice and torrential rain to more than 200 million Americans over the next couple of days. Parts of 39 of the 48 contiguous United States will be touched by the storm, including every state east of the Mississippi River, AccuWeather said. "The 'real feel' will be terrible and it will be everywhere,' AccuWeather meteorologist Elliot Abrams told USA TODAY.
An arrest was made in connection to a 1973 cold case involving the murder of an 11-year-old girl in Newport Beach, ABC News reports.
At a clinic in eastern Syria, the Islamic State group have fled leaving a floor strewn with medical supplies -- but also explosives and a foreign passport. US-backed fighters took the three-storey building in the village of Baghouz in recent days, and now use its roof to survey the frontline against the jihadists. After a months-long campaign, the last IS fighters are pinned down in their last scrap of territory just hundreds of metres down the road in the same village.
Officials in Alabama are calling for a small-town newspaper editor to resign because of an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize Washington, D.C. Goodloe Sutton, the editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Ala., wrote the editorial titled “Klan needs to ride again” that ran in the paper last week. “Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” read the Feb. 14 editorial.
A student involved in a viral confrontation with a Native American man is suing the Washington Post for $250m (£191m) over its coverage of the incident. The defamation lawsuit, filed by Covington Catholic High School pupil Nick Sandmann, claims the newspaper “wrongfully targeted and bullied” him due to its “biased agenda” against Donald Trump. The 16-year-old was wearing one of the president's signature Make America Great Again hats when he attended an anti-abortion rally in Washington in January along with classmates from his Kentucky school.
Beto O'Rourke said Tuesday that he hasn't ruled out being a 2020 vice presidential candidate — even as he plans to decide in the next 10 days if he'll seek the presidency. Answering a question in Spanish about the possibility of being another candidate's running mate, the Democratic former Texas congressman answered in Spanish: "I'm going to consider every way to serve this country. O'Rourke, who became a political star by nearly upsetting Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November, was honored at a luncheon in his native El Paso, a U.S.-Mexico border city, as the 2018 El Pasoan of the Year.
Pakistan's prime minister, Imran Khan, has warned his country will retaliate against any Indian attack in the wake of last week's Kashmir suicide bombing and called instead for dialogue to calm the growing crisis. Mr Khan said he was willing to help Delhi investigate the blast which killed at least 40 paramilitary policemen last week and prompted outrage in India and calls for revenge. As tensions remained high, the senior Indian military commander in Kashmir told mothers to ensure their sons surrendered to an ongoing security crackdown or they would be killed.
Two cardinals criticised on Wednesday Pope Francis's approach to the clerical paedophilia crisis, saying "abuse of power" was not to blame but homosexuality. "We turn to you with deep distress! The Catholic world is adrift," US Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke and German Cardinal Walter Brandmueller said in an open letter to the heads of the bishops' conferences. "Sexual abuse is blamed on clericalism.
The current SL reminds us of Benzes bygone, so it's leaving the scene with exclusive colors and body trim. From Car and Driver
Bailey Brazzel and her wife Samantha weren't trying to make a political statement last week. "I went in there to have my taxes done, not push my beliefs on her," said Brazzel, 25. Nancy Fivecoate, owner of Carter Tax Service in Russiaville, Indiana, said she's been harassed and abused after Brazzel spoke to media and posted on Facebook about her experience.
A winter storm bore down on the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday, threatening to snarl New York City's evening commute after hindering air travel along the East Coast and prompting the shutdown of federal offices in Washington. Snow turning to sleet slickened roadways in the New York metropolitan area by the early afternoon and was blamed for a rash of fender benders and traffic jams. The widespread weather system piled as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of snow across the Washington area before turning to sleet, said meteorologist Bryan Jackson of the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.
A sixth grade student at a Florida school was arrested for disruption and resisting arrest after a confrontation with a teacher in which he refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, reportedly saying the flag was racist and the pledge was offensive to black people. Spectrum Bay News 9 reports that the 11-year-old was removed from class on Feb. 4, suspended for three days, arrested shortly after and taken to a juvenile detention center. The dispute ensued after a substitute teacher at Chiles Middle Academy in Lakeland asked him to stand up, reportedly unaware of that the school does not require participation during the pledge.
The investigation, disclosed for the first time Monday by the Wall Street Journal, began in February 2018, FAA spokesman Gregory Martin confirmed to USA TODAY. There have been no fines nor enforcement action from the investigation to date. "Since that time, the FAA has directed the development of a comprehensive solution to the methods and processes used by Southwest Airlines to determine this (weight and balance) performance data,'' he said in a statement.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke for many former American officials in both parties who believe that the Trump administration has needlessly weakened our ties to Europe. The normally quiet and polite Merkel came out swinging against President Donald Trump's America First policy, charging the United States with unfair sanctions and criticism over Europe's continued participation in the Iran nuclear deal. She lamented Trump's recent decisions to back away from U.S. military commitments in Syria and Afghanistan and his aggressive trade policies toward the European Union.
Jhonny Godoy had taken to Twitter to proclaim his opposition to President Nicolas Maduro, posting a video that showed him running through the streets waving the national flag as protests erupted across Venezuela's capital. Two days later, his family said, rifle-wielding special police agents wearing black masks stormed into their home in the Caracas slum of La Vega, pulled him outside and shot him to death. The slaying of the 29-year-old was part of a crackdown that has spread fear among young protesters in poor neighborhoods of Venezuela, where a history of steadfast loyalty to Maduro has begun to crack amid hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.
But wait. Maybe don't cancel that Tesla Model 3 reservation just yet. From Car and Driver
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to deploy new missiles against Western capitals as he delivered a state of the nation address Wednesday aimed at boosting falling approval ratings. The longtime Russian leader warned Washington against deploying any new missiles in Europe following the collapse of a key Cold War-era treaty, saying Moscow would consider it a "serious threat". "I'm saying this clearly and openly, Russia will be forced to deploy weapons that can be used... against the decision-making centres that are behind the missile systems which threaten us," Putin said.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Sunday praised Representative Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) recent endorsement of an anti-Semitic trope and urged the freshman lawmaker not to bow to pressure from critics. “Ms. Omar from Somalia – she started talking about 'the Benjamins' and they are trying to make her apologize. You sure are using it to shake the government up, but you have nothing to apologize for,” Farrakhan said during his annual Saviour's Day address in Chicago, in comments first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
Late Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency released details of the State Council's Greater Bay Area plan – a project to knit together Hong Kong and Macau with nine mainland cities into a global innovation hub to rival California's Silicon Valley. The trouble is, there's little new on how authorities plan to make this grand vision into a reality. Announced by Premier Li Keqiang in March 2017, the Greater Bay Area forms part of China's push for supremacy in technology, while also binding the former European colonies more tightly into the country.
A powerful storm is expected to hit up to 200 million Americans with snow, ice and torrential rain, over the coming week. About 60 per cent of the US will likely to be hit by wintry weather on Tuesday, according to AccuWeather, an American media company that provides commercial weather forecasting services worldwide. The storm began in California over the weekend before it moved north towards the Rocky Mountains on Monday as a foot of snow fell in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.