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.
Pakistan accused India on Tuesday of sponsoring terrorism and of using the United Nations' highest court for "political theater" as it urged judges to dismiss an Indian case seeking to save an alleged spy from execution. The International Court of Justice case centers on the fate of Kulbhushan Jadhav, who was convicted of espionage and sabotage by a Pakistani military tribunal and sentenced to death in April 2017. Pakistan says it will put him on trial on terrorism charges if the U.N. court orders his convictions overturned.
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.
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.
The family of a Kentucky teen who was caught up in a viral encounter with a Native American elder during a January rally has filed a defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post. The suit claims the newspaper falsely accused 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann of racist behavior because of its “biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump. The Post “engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism” in its coverage of the incident, according to the lawyers, who are seeking $250 million in damages, the same amount Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos paid to acquire the paper in 2013.
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.
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.
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.
The current SL reminds us of Benzes bygone, so it's leaving the scene with exclusive colors and body trim. From Car and Driver
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.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is returning to the U.S. Supreme Court bench for the first time since she underwent surgery in December to remove cancerous masses from one of her lungs. Ginsburg's presence for arguments in one case will be a relief to liberals worried about any prospect that the 85-year-old justice might have to step down and give President Donald Trump a third Supreme Court vacancy to fill. Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg confirmed that Ginsburg will be on the bench Tuesday.
A US-based group that compiles data on sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and bishops accused of covering it up fears that a bid by Pope Francis to tackle the scandals is a case of too little, too late. Speaking ahead of a Vatican summit of bishops this week to discuss the crisis, Anne Barret Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, complained of a "disconnect" between the pontiff's strong statements and his actions. The non-governmental organisation is taking part in a counter-summit of victims running alongside the Vatican event.
Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants in Miami, Trump said if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, "you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You'll lose everything.” Trump offered strong backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the United States, many of Venezuela's neighbors and most Western countries have recognized as interim president of Venezuela. Trump cautioned Venezuelan armed forces not to harm Guaido or other opposition politicians, urged them to accept the National Assembly leader's offer of amnesty and demanded that they allow in food, medicine and other supplies.
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.
Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry told a roomful of minority boys on Tuesday that they matter and urged them to make the world a better place. Obama was in Oakland, California, to mark the fifth anniversary of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative he launched after the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The initiative was a call to communities to close opportunity gaps for minority boys, especially African-American, Latino and Native American boys, Obama said to roughly 100 boys attending the alliance's first national gathering.
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.
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.
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.
The US Justice Department official who once oversaw the Russia probe, Rod Rosenstein, plans to resign in mid-March, US news outlets reported. Rosenstein's departure from his post as deputy attorney general has been expected for some time. CNN on Monday quoted a department official as saying it has nothing to do with recent explosive claims by the former acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe.
An Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State group in Syria is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return to the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. In a brief statement that gave no details as to how the determination was reached, Pompeo said Hoda Muthana, who says she made a mistake in joining the group and now wants to return with her 18-month-old son, has no "legal basis" to claim American citizenship. "Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States," Pompeo said.
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 Iran-aligned Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed government agreed in talks in December to withdraw troops by Jan. 7 from Hodeidah under a truce aimed at averting a full-scale assault on the port and paving the way for negotiations to end the four-year war. After weeks of diplomacy, the United Nations said on Sunday that the parties had reached agreement on phase one of a troop redeployment. "The parties have agreed to redeploy from the ports of Saleef and Ras Isa in a first step, followed by a redeployment from Hodeidah port itself and critical parts of the city of Hodeidah associated with humanitarian facilities in step two," Griffiths told the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday.
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.
TUESDAY UPDATE: Airlines are canceling flights and expanding their rebooking waivers ahead of a new winter storm that looks increasingly likely to disrupt flights at airports from the Great Plains into the Northeast. Full story: Airlines already canceling Wednesday flights for new winter storm PREVIOUS UPDATE: Air travelers faced disruptions this week from a new round of wintry weather. A developing storm system was expected to spread a mix of snow, rain and icy weather across a large swath of the United States this week.
Southwest Airlines, alarmed by a spike in flight cancellations and delays in the past several days due to reported maintenance issues, has taken the unusual step of publicly apologizing to customers and blaming the mess on its mechanics' union. In a statement late Tuesday, Southwest Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven said the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which has been in contract talks with Southwest since 2012, has a history of work disruptions and that Southwest will be investigating the "current disruption and exploring all possible remedies.'' He noted that Southwest also has two outstanding lawsuits against the AMFA. "We apologize to our customers who have been inconvenienced by this disruption,'' Van de Ven said.