A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves: EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a weekly look at the latest developments in the South China Sea, the location of several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region. TOP U.S. NAVY OFFICER URGES CHINA TO RESPECT RIGHT OF PASSAGE The U.S. Navy's top officer says he urged China to follow international rules at sea to avoid confrontations and insisted that ships should be able to pass safely though the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.
Four aid workers were convicted Friday on charges connected to their efforts to leave food and water for migrants in an Arizona wildlife refuge along the U.S.-Mexico border. The volunteers, who are members of the faith-based humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, were caught on Aug. 13, 2017, by a Federal Wildlife officer as they left water jugs, beans and other supplies for migrants in Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a 50-mile border with Mexico. The judge, United States Magistrate Bernardo P. Velasco, ruled that three of the volunteers – Oona Holcomb, Madeline Huse and Zaachila Orozco-McCormick – were convicted of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit and abandoning personal property or possessions.
Fuel thieves punctured the Tula-Tuxpan pipeline a few miles from one of Mexico's main refineries on Friday. Half a dozen people interviewed by Reuters on Saturday said their relatives went to the leaking duct in Tlahuelilpan district in Hidalgo state because they struggled to find fuel elsewhere and were desperate to fill up cars to get to work or run their farms. Late last month, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador launched a program to shut down an illegal fuel distribution network that siphons off about $3 billion worth of fuel annually from state oil firm Pemex.
PREVIOUS UPDATE (Saturday, 8:25 p.m.): Flight headaches were on the rise Saturday as a potent winter storm moved from the Midwest into the Northeast. Airline cancellations mounted, with some flights on Monday already off the books. For Saturday, more than 2,125 flights had been canceled nationwide and another 2,570 delayed as of 8:25 p.m. ET, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.
And the media are choosing to ignore it all because they would otherwise have to point out the Democrats are now the ones prolonging the government shutdown by refusing to compromise. Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post: "Wait, you say. Wasn't he the one who put DACA ...
Initial footage of the encounter during rallies in Washington appeared to show white teenager Nick Sandmann taunting Nathan Philips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial; Garrett Tenney reports.
Israel was to inaugurate a new international airport Monday in its desert south meant to boost tourism to the nearby Red Sea and serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport. The official ceremony was scheduled to begin at 11:30 am (0930 GMT) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in attendance. Initially Ramon Airport will handle only domestic flights, operated by Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir.
A police officer in Florida ran over two people lying on a dark road to watch the lunar eclipse, leading them requring hospital treatment. The West Palm Beach Police Department has confirmed the officer ran over the two people, who were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries after the incident on Sunday night. Police said that the individuals, who have not been identified, were hit around 11.30pm, just at the height of the eclipse.
Women from various political and ideological backgrounds challenged the 2019 Women's March by marching in protest and organizing alternative rallies near the Washington, D.C. event on Saturday. The third annual Women's March took place in Freedom Plaza, a more confined space than in years past, suggesting that organizers anticipated smaller crowds after facing allegations of anti-Semitism and defending Nation of Islam's anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan. Following the development of those controversies, conservative group Independent Women's Forum (IWF) organized a rally across the street in the name of “all women” at the same time as the Women's March.
Lebanon used an Arab economic summit on Sunday to call for the return of Syrian refugees to safe areas of their war-torn country, where the nearly eight-year civil war is still underway despite a recent series of government victories. President Michel Aoun told the opening session that Lebanon is overwhelmed by the presence of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, who make up about half the population of the tiny country, which is struggling with an economic crisis. The meeting is the first economic and development summit to be held since 2013, and comes as Syria, Yemen and Libya remain gripped by violence and Iraq confronts a massive reconstruction challenge after its costly victory over the Islamic State group.
A Kentucky Catholic high school is considering expelling students who were captured in viral videos taunting a Native American veteran on Friday. In the videos, a large group of teenage boys – including several wearing Covington Catholic High School sweatshirts – are seen chanting and surrounding a small group of Native Americans, who were attending the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. One of the boys, wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat, smirks and stands close to an elderly Native American man, who was later identified as Vietnam veteran Nathan Phillips. Covington Catholic High School and the Diocese of Covington released a joint statement Saturday, saying that they “condemn the actions” of the students and apologize to Philips.
A suicide bomber drove his car into a checkpoint in northeastern Syria on Monday, injuring several soldiers of Kurdish-led forces during a joint convoy with U.S. allies, locals said. The attack happened on the western edge of Shadadi town in Hasaka province near a route frequented by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State, residents and sources said. In a tweet, the coalition said a convoy with allied Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was involved in an attack, but there were no American casualties.
Hundreds of flights have been canceled at Boston's Logan International Airport as the major winter storm continues to bring an ice storm and heavy snow to New England. At least one fatality has been associated with this storm. In Kansas, a snowplow driver was killed after his vehicle drove onto the shoulder and rolled over, the Associated Press reported.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who is now President Trump's personal attorney, said Sunday that plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow may have continued until at least the 2016 presidential election — months later than previously acknowledged. Giuliani said on NBC's “Meet the Press” that Trump recalls discussing the project with his former lawyer Michael Cohen until late 2016. He said Trump doesn't remember the exact dates or sequence of these conversations but that they didn't go anywhere.
Tesla has secured approval from regulators to sell its Model 3 cars in Europe, in a move that will bring it in direct competition with the likes of BMW, Volkswagen and Peugeot in their home market. Dutch vehicle authority RDW approved Tesla's request to sell the most affordable of its electric cars on Monday, meaning that British customers can order the car from next month. The announcement comes days after chief executive Elon Musk issued a letter to all of his employees, describing 2018 as "the most challenging in Tesla's history".
Agence France-Presse will cut 95 jobs over the next five years, 30 fewer than announced in October, without affecting targeted savings, CEO Fabrice Fries said Monday. Presenting a revised version of his "transformation plan" to employee representatives, Fries said the company would still save 14 million euros ($15.9 million) on wage costs and five million euros on other expenses by 2023. To achieve this, management will convert 15 of the current 175 expatriate postings into local jobs and realise savings through replacing senior employees with younger ones.
I say that these schools are not only anti-American, in that they exclude so many Americans, but are also not in the best educational interests of the students who attend them. For too many other institutions, faith provides the material to build a defensive wall rather than a strong foundation. There are about 27,000 religious private K-12 schools in the United States and over 1,000 religious colleges and universities.
US federal workers who are not getting paid during the longest government shutdown in the country's history are increasingly turning to pawnbrokers for short-term loans, according to shop owners. The turnout is small – a few people per day – pawnbrokers said, but many expect the numbers to increase amid the stalemate. About 800,000 federal workers have missed a paycheck during the nearly month-long shutdown.
A private rescue boat carrying dozens of migrants said Sunday that for a second day several nations had not given permission for it to enter a safe port, while another vessel filled with panicky migrants and described as taking on water in the southern Mediterranean was helped by a cargo ship. The Dutch-flagged boat Sea-Watch 3, run by a German non-governmental group, said it had contacted Italy, Malta, Libya and the Netherlands asking where it could land the 47 migrants it had taken aboard. Sea-Watch tweeted that Libyan officials hung up when it asked for a port assignment.
Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, sat down with TIME to discuss a sweeping vision for a rapidly changing world ahead of this year's summit, which will begin in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday. “Big issues in the world cannot be solved by governments alone,” Schwab said, speaking with TIME Editor-in-Chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal and National Correspondent Haley Sweetland Edwards in December. Decades ago, Schwab helped define “stakeholder theory,” which holds that businesses are not only responsible to their shareholders, but also to the wider array of “stakeholders” — employees, governments, customers and others — that it impacts.
Russia's communication watchdog said on Monday it was opening administrative proceedings against Twitter and Facebook for failing to explain how they plan to comply with local data laws, the Interfax news agency reported. Roskomnadzor, the watchdog, was quoted as saying that Twitter and Facebook had not explained how and when they would comply with legislation that requires all servers used to store Russians' personal data to be located in Russia. The agency's head, Alexander Zharov, was quoted as saying the companies have a month to provide information or else action would be taken against them.
Wind gusts exceeding 40 mph (64 kph) have caused flight disruptions at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey warned passengers Monday evening to check their flight status before heading to the airport. The alert came as the National Weather Service said 25 to 30 mph (40 to 48 kph) winds were expected to decrease to 14 to 19 mph after midnight.
Israel struck what it said were Iranian targets in Syria on Monday in response to missile fire it blamed on Iran, sparking concerns of an escalation after a report that 11 fighters were killed. Israel announced the strikes against facilities it said belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force as they were occurring, continuing its recent practice of speaking more openly about such raids. It said the strikes were in response to a medium-range, surface-to-surface missile the Quds Force fired from Syria at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, which Israeli air defences intercepted.
The Duke of Edinburgh could be sent on a drivers' awareness course, it has emerged, as police continue to investigate a crash which left two women hospitalised. The Duke, 97, is understood to have no intention of giving up driving, having been photographed on public roads driving a new car less than 48 hours after the accident. Two women, aged 45 and 28, will also be asked for their recollections of the accident, after their Kia Carens collided with the Duke's Land Rover Freelander on the A149 on Thursday.
More than three hours of songs and prayers filled the Atlanta memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, a marathon celebration of the civil rights icon's legacy that was almost derailed by the federal government shutdown. The Rev. Bernice King, King's youngest child, called the audience to action at the commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was known as King's "spiritual home."