Israel said its security cabinet on Sunday decided to withhold $138 million (122 million euros) in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to prisoners jailed for attacks on Israelis. A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said the withheld cash would be equal to that paid by the PA last year to "terrorists imprisoned in Israel, to their families and to released prisoners". Israel alleges the payments encourage further violence.
From a self-proclaimed caliphate that once spread across much of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State group has been knocked back to a speck of land on the countries' shared border. In that tiny patch on the banks of the Euphrates River, hundreds of militants are hiding among civilians under the shadow of a small hill — encircled by forces waiting to declare the territorial defeat of the extremist group. A spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting the militants said Sunday that the group is preventing civilians from leaving the area, closing a corridor from which nearly 40,000 residents have managed to escape since December.
Amazon has paid zero federal taxes for the second year in succession, despite a doubling of its profits, according to a new report. Although the tech giant founded by Jeff Bezos saw its profits grow from $5.6bn (£4.3bn) in 2017 to $11.2bn (£8.7bn) in 2018, it will actually receive a tax rebate of $129m (£100m). “The company's newest corporate filing reveals that, far from paying the statutory 21 per cent income tax rate on its US income in 2018, Amazon reported a federal income tax rebate of $129m,” said the report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), which describes itself as a “non-partisan, non-profit think tank”, based in Washington DC.
The gunman who killed five co-workers and wounded five police officers at an Illinois factory was a violent felon who had just been fired, and the plant manager and a young intern were among his victims, authorities said on Saturday. Gary Martin, 45, armed himself with a handgun, which he owned illegally, before reporting for a meeting on Friday at the Henry Pratt Company where his employment was terminated, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman told reporters. Martin had bought the gun he used, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun with a laser sight, in 2014 before authorities realized he had a prior felony conviction, Ziman said.
Five people are dead, five City of Aurora police officers were shot, and at least six others were injured in a workplace mass shooting in west suburban Aurora Friday afternoon. The gunman is also dead, police said.
The family of Bethnal Green teenager Shamima Begum have urged the British government to give them custody of her unborn child while she faces the prospect of imprisonment for supporting Islamic State. The pregnant 19-year-old has said she fears her baby, due to be born anytime now, will be taken from her if she manages to return to Britain after leaving the country in 2015 to join the terror group in Syria. Now her family have said that if she were to face a custodial sentence for her support of a terrorist organisation they will step in to raise the child, rather than the taxpayer having to pick up the cost.
Damian Collins, the policy maker who spearheaded the inquiry, called for Parliament to create new laws to help a proposed regulator oversee the industry, with fines for companies to be calculated based on their revenue. “Companies like Facebook exercise massive market power which enables them to make money by bullying the smaller technology companies and developers who rely on this platform to reach their customers,” Collins said in a statement Monday.
Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his four-day regional visit on Sunday, arriving in Pakistan where Saudi officials signed agreements worth $20 billion to help the Islamic nation overcome its financial crisis. Prime Minister Imran Khan and top government and military officials greeted him at Islamabad's airport, where he received a 21-gun salute. Earlier, Pakistan Air Force jets escorted Prince Mohammad's flight when he entered the country's airspace.
Good news for sky watchers and selenophiles, the next full moon is set to be the biggest and brightest of the year, according to NASA. While the upcoming “super snow moon” won't be the extravagant astronomical spectacle that January's “super blood wolf moon eclipse” was, it will be larger and brighter, and definitely command attention in the sky. Here's what to know about the upcoming “super snow moon” — and what the best time is to see it.
Vice President Mike Pence isn't a complicated man. He likes Chili's, using his personal AOL account for official government business, and gay conversion therapy. And so, when he addressed attendees at the Middle East conference in Poland on Feb. 14, it's clear he believed that same down-home flavor that's treated him so well in Trump Country would garner rounds of applause from his European audience.
President Bashar al-Assad warned Syria's Kurds Sunday that their ally the United States would not protect them against any Turkish offensive as Washington looks to withdraw it troops. The US is set to pull out its soldiers from Syria after allied Kurdish-led forces capture the Islamic State group's last holdout in the war-torn country. Any withdrawal risks leaving the Kurds exposed to a long threatened attack by neighbouring Turkey, which views Kurdish fighters as "terrorists".
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez returned to her home district in the New York City borough of the Bronx on Saturday to encourage her supporters to keep up the kind of activism that resulted in Amazon rescinding its plan to build a campus in the city. The freshman Democratic lawmaker did not mention Amazon by name but said, "It's not just about any job, it's about dignified jobs in New York City. Ocasio-Cortez's district encompassing parts of the Bronx and Queens adjoins the Long Island City neighborhood where Amazon planned to build its campus, and she was one of the early politicians to voice opposition to the tech giant's plans.
CHICAGO – Chicago police were pursuing "additional detective work" Sunday amid suspicion that an attack on actor/singer Jussie Smollett may have been faked. Two brothers told investigators they were paid by the "Empire" actor to stage the attack, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly. The person asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the investigation. "We can confirm that the information received from the individuals questioned by police earlier in the 'Empire' case has in fact shifted the trajectory of the investigation,” the Chicago Police Department said in a statement Saturday.
A combination of Merck & Co's immunotherapy Keytruda and Pfizer Inc's Inlyta helped patients with advanced kidney cancer live longer than those receiving and older Pfizer standalone therapy, according to data from a late-stage study presented on Saturday. Nearly 90 percent of patients who received the combination therapy were still alive after 12 months compared with about 78 percent of patients who were alive after a year when treated with the older drug Sutent, data showed. Merck on Monday released interim data from the trial, saying the combination reduced the risk of death by 47 percent compared with Sutent.
The US has supported India's right to “self defence” against cross-border terrorism after an attack claimed by Pakistan-based militants killed at least 44 police officers in the disputed territory of Kashmir. In comments that will please Indian hawks but also raise fears that tensions between India and Pakistan could escalate yet further, US national security advisor John Bolton reportedly told his counterpart in Delhi, that America “offered all assistance to India” to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. Mr Bolton and Ajit Doval also “resolved to hold Pakistan to account for its obligations under UN resolutions”, India's foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Day of the Shining Star dawned bitterly cold in Pyongyang. Kim, the son of the isolated North's founder Kim Il Sung and the father and predecessor of current leader Kim Jong Un, was born on February 16. According to Pyongyang's orthodoxy, he came into the world in 1942, in a snow-covered hut at a secret camp on the slopes of Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where his father was fighting occupying Japanese forces.
Former general Benny Gantz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's strongest challenger in an election scheduled for April, voiced support on Sunday for the right-wing leader's tough policy toward Iran. quot;I am standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Prime Minister Netanyahu in the fight against Iran's aggression," Gantz, a former chief of Israel's armed forces and a centrist candidate, told the Munich Security Conference. Polls predict that Netanyahu's Likud party will win the April 9 election, taking about 30 of parliament's 120 seats - enough to form a coalition of right-wing and religious factions similar to one he now heads.
An internal team at the Census Bureau found that basic personal information collected from more than 100 million Americans during the 2010 head count could be reconstructed from obscured data, but with lots of mistakes, a top agency official disclosed Saturday. The Census Bureau is now scrapping its old data shielding technique for a state-of-the-art method that Abowd claimed is far better than Google's or Apple's. Some former agency chiefs fear the potential privacy problem will add to the worries that people will avoid answering or lie on the once-every-10-year survey because of the Trump administration's attempt to add a much-debated citizenship question.
NASA's long-lived Hubble Space Telescope captured vivid bright clumps moving through the cosmos at some 1,000 light years from Earth. Seen as the vivid blue, ephemeral clumps in the top center of the new image below, these are telltale signs of an energy-rich gas, or plasma, colliding with a huge collection of dust and gas in deep space. NASA doesn't identify the new star itself, called SVS 13, perhaps because it's obscured by thick clouds of cosmic matter.
Donald Trump has demanded Britain and its continental neighbours repatriate their captured Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters and put them on trial - or face the terrorists being set free to "permeate Europe." In a strongly-worded message tweeted late on Saturday night, the US president warned he would have little choice but to release approximately 800 "jihadists" currently held by American-backed Kurdish forces in Syria. He said now was the time for the ant-Isil coalition partners to "step up" and take over ownership of its rogue citizens who threaten the safety of Europe.
Hong Kong's economy stalled last year as the ongoing China-US trade dispute and retail woes dragged down local business, the city's financial chief said Sunday. "The impact of China-US trade frictions on Hong Kong's exports has clearly emerged at the end of last year," said finance secretary Paul Chan. Economic growth in the semi-autonomous Chinese city for the last quarter of 2018 was less than 1.5 percent -- the weakest since the first quarter of 2016 and a "significant slowdown" from the average growth rate of 3.7 percent in the first three quarters, Chan wrote on his official blog.
The victims of a gunman's rampage at a manufacturing plant were memorialized in a prayer vigil Sunday as authorities investigated how the killer had a firearm almost five years after his permit was revoked. The Aurora Prayer Coalition and area churches hosted the vigil at the Henry Pratt Co., where police said Gary Martin fatally shot five co-workers and wounded six other people, including five police officers, before being killed in a gunfight. The Kane County Coroner's Office said autopsies performed on three victims – Russell Beyer, 47, Trevor Wehner, 21, and Clayton Parks, 32 – determined a preliminary cause of their deaths as multiple gunshot wounds.
Amazon has thrown down the gauntlet to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, inviting the congresswoman to visit one of its facilities after she claimed the tech giant had created “dehumanising conditions” for its workers. The 29-year-old congresswoman was among those who celebrated after Amazon announced this week it was pulling out of plans to open what it termed a second headquarters in New York City. Ms Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the city's 14th district, which is close to the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens where the facility was to be based, had opposed the $3bn in tax incentives the state and city had offered the e-commerce giant, headed by Jeff Bezos.
After years of expensive development, the first fully combat-capable Block IIIF F-35 stealth fighter are due to enter service in 2019. Here, we'll look at the new weapon systems due to be integrated in the Block 4 that will significantly expand the F-35's maritime strike, air-to-ground capabilities and air-to-air lethality. One major addition is the GBU-54/B Stormbreaker, also known as the Small Diameter Bomb II. Like the GPS-guided GBU-39 SDB I already integrated on the F-35, the 208-pound Stormbreaker is only six to seven inches in diameter, allowing eight to be stowed in the F-35's confined internal weapon bays.
Roman Catholics who were sexually abused by clergy are insisting that decisive actions to confront the decades-long problem of pedophile priests and church cover-ups must come out of an upcoming Vatican summit. A founding member of the advocacy group Ending Clergy Abuse, Peter Isely, contended Sunday that Pope Francis is "facing resistance" from top Vatican officials as he prepares to convene bishops from around the world. "Let me tell you what it was like to try and have to resist that priest when I was a boy who was sexually assaulting me," Isely said.