President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia, Turkey and Iran had agreed to take unspecified extra steps to clear Syria's Idlib region of what he called "a hotbed of terrorists," but the Kremlin said there would be no military operation there. Putin, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's closest allies, was speaking after hosting a summit in southern Russia to weigh the future of Syria with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. All three countries have forces on the ground in Syria, where they have coordinated their efforts despite sometimes differing priorities and interests.
Amazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.
The attorney for a white police officer charged with fatally shooting an armed black man in Tennessee is calling for legal discovery documents to be sealed from members of the public. Meanwhile, a police union has launched a digital ad campaign seeking to defend the Nashville officer, Andrew Delke, and bolster his image in public. The officer shot 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick from behind during a foot chase last July and is charged with first-degree murder.
WARSAW, Poland – President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told USA TODAY on the sidelines of a rally here organized by an exiled Iranian opposition group that the central problem in the Middle East is Iran. "If we don't have a peaceful, democratic Iran then no matter what we do we'll have turmoil, difficulties, problems in the Middle East. Everyone agrees that Iran is the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world.
Venezuela's chief state prosecutor said on Thursday an investigation had been opened into directors of state-run oil firm PDVSA, and its U.S. refiner Citgo, that the opposition-controlled congress appointed on Wednesday. Prosecutor Tarek Saab, in comments broadcast on state television, announced "the opening of an investigation against people designated illegally as directors of PDVSA and Citgo." Saab also said they would investigate foreign ambassadors named by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who on Jan 23 invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency.
A pregnant London schoolgirl's wish to return home after joining the Islamic State group in Syria splintered Britain on Friday as reports emerged of more UK women fleeing the war zone. Shamima Begum's fate has prompted soul searching in Britain since she and two friends created international headlines by running away to join the terror network in 2015. Home Secretary Sajid Javid told The Times newspaper that people like Begum "were full of hate for our country".
Californians are experiencing some unusually nasty winter weather this week as an "atmospheric river" passes through most of the state, bringing howling winds and heavy rain. The storm arrived on Tuesday night (Feb. 12) in Northern California and continued into Wednesday (Feb. 13), leading the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue warnings of flash flooding, mudslides and high winds in the region. Atmospheric rivers are huge "rivers in the sky" that cause moisture from the tropics to flow north, from California to Canada.
Thirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan."
A research vessel funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen has discovered the wreckage of an American aircraft carrier sunk in the South Pacific during World War II. It is the latest in an ongoing effort to discover sunken vessels. Allen's Vulcan Inc. announced this week that an autonomous submarine sent by the crew of the research vessel Petrel found the USS Hornet nearly 17,500 feet (5,400 meters) deep near the Solomon Islands.
“We are not triumphant because I think from triumphant you get to hubris,” MI6 Chief Alex Younger told reporters in Munich on Friday. Younger said Islamic States's so-called caliphate was now in its “end game,” with the extremist militants clinging to the last square mile of land they hold in the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria. Meanwhile the U.K. is debating the case of Shamima Begum, a 19-year-old from east London who wants to come home despite expressing no regrets over becoming a so-called jihadi bride with Islamic State in Syria at the age of 15.
The freshman Democratic representative celebrated online retailer Amazon's decision Thursday to scrap its plans to build a new headquarters in her New York City district. “I think it's incredible,” Ocasio-Cortez responded when asked to comment on Amazon's about-face. Earlier Thursday, the company announced it was reversing the plan, announced in November, to build new East Coast headquarters buildings in New York City and in Arlington, Va. The Virginia part of the plan will go ahead.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released more than a dozen drawings made by a prolific serial killer in hopes the public may be able to identify some of his victims. Samuel Little, 78, was arrested at a Kentucky homeless shelter in September 2012 and extradited to California, where he was wanted on a narcotics charge. In 2014, Little was convicted on all three counts and was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, breached his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office by intentionally lying to prosecutors, a federal judge has ruled. As a result they will not have to recommend a lighter sentence for him. There was a “preponderance” of evidence that Manafort lied on three different topics, including his communications with his former business partner and alleged Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik, Judge Amy Berman Jackson in the US District Court for the District of Columbia found.
Venezuela's opposition-controlled National Assembly appointed a transitional board of directors for the state oil company Wednesday, in a bid by congress chief Juan Guaido to gain control of an industry that is the economic backbone of the country. Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela on Jan. 23 with the backing of the United States and most South American nations, said the new board will also oversee PDVSA's U.S. subsidiary, Houston-based refiner Citgo. "The rescue of our oil industry has begun.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A note that a Delaware student scrawled on her arm during a school lockdown is going viral online. Shelley Harrison Reed, the mother of the 7-year-old student, posted the haunting image on Facebook after her daughter came home following a lockdown at the Wilmington-area Odyssey Charter School on Feb. 7. Reed said it was the first school lockdown her daughter and 10-year-old son have ever experienced. She wrote they appeared to be fine once they got home.
Rain, snow and high winds slammed California on Wednesday, submerging cars and flooding vineyards as the wettest storm of the winter hit the U.S. West Coast, sparking weather warnings from Arizona to Washington state. Among the hardest hit areas was northern California, with rain driven by winds of up to 75 mph (120 kph) pounding parts of Sonoma County's wine country. In the Sacramento Valley, flood warnings were in effect from Chico to Stockton as the warm "Pineapple Express" tropical system brought rain to the mountains, melting snow and swelling creeks.
The scratching of the superjumbo jet Airbus A380 echoes the sad fate of the supersonic Concorde, another feat of aviation technology that turned out to be a commercial flop. Concorde, supersonic speeds - The inaugural commercial flight on January 21, 1976 of Concorde, the world's first supersonic passenger plane, promised a revolution in aviation. Distinctive for its long pointed nose which drooped downwards during take-off for better pilot visibility, the "great white bird" was designed, built and operated jointly by France and Britain.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday called for a state grand jury to investigate the 2018 school massacre in Parkland in which 17 people died, pledging accountability for any local failures that led to the deadliest U.S. high school shooting. DeSantis, a Republican elected last fall after campaigning on the issue, petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the investigation the day before the first anniversary of the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "They are going to have the power - subpoena and otherwise - to get to the facts and get to the truth," DeSantis said at a news conference, flanked by the parents of slain students.
According to her older sister Sahima, Shamima Begum was like any other 15-year-old girl, with the same hobbies, the same worries and infatuations which preoccupy the minds of most British teens. Four months before she was due to sit her GCSEs, Shamima — the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, by all accounts a “sensible girl” and a “talented and dynamic” student at the high-flying Bethnal Green Academy — was secretly planning to leave her family and the only home she had ever known in London's East End, and travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride. Two of her school friends, Kadiza Sultana, then 16, and Amira Abase, 15, planned to accompany her, with the girls aiming to join another friend, Sharmeena Begum (no relation of Shamima), who had successfully travelled to Syria the year before.
Thailand's constitutional court on Thursday said it would hear a case to dissolve the party which proposed a princess for prime minister, an ill-fated candidacy which threatens to sink the election strategy of the powerful Shinawatra clan. The Thai Raksa Chart party nominated Princess Ubolratana for premier last Friday, a bombshell move bringing Thai royalty to frontline politics for the first time since the 1932 establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Hours later the princess's brother -- Thailand's powerful king Maha Vajiralongkorn -- scuttled her political ambitions, hitting out at the attempt to bring her into politics as "highly inappropriate" and against royal traditions.
Orca could help to fill a yawning gap in the American submarine fleet. The U.S. Navy has ordered from Boeing four huge robotic submarines, potentially signally an effort to deploy a large number of crewless undersea boats alongside traditional, manned submarines. The Navy's $43-million purchase of four Orca Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles, or XLUUVs, comes as the fleet struggles to build enough new manned submarines to replace older vessels that are decommissioning as their nuclear cores wear out.
Many of the powers they assigned to presidents, including staffing their own administrations, were contingent on congressional approval. The authority of presidents to act unilaterally included vetoing legislation, granting pardons and not much else. Notable among these is the 1976 National Emergencies Act, a law that codifies presidents' power to declare an emergency.
A woman who accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in Boston nearly 15 years ago will meet with prosecutors to discuss her allegations, her attorney said Wednesday. Vanessa Tyson will meet with members of the Suffolk County district attorney's office to detail her accusations against Fairfax, attorney Debra Katz said in a statement. It came days after District Attorney Rachael Rollins sent a letter to Tyson's legal team to inform them that her office is prepared to investigate should Tyson file a criminal complaint.
United Airlines will add three new domestic routes at its Denver hub. Daily flights to Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Syracuse, New York, will begin June 6 and will operate year-round. All three of the new routes will go head-to-head against service offered by Denver-based budget rival Frontier Airlines.
Nasa's Opportunity rover is officially dead, the space agency has said, after it disappeared in a dust storm on Mars. Clearly emotional Nasa staff, standing in front of a life-sized replica of the rover, said they had not heard back from the rover and that the mission would come to an end. "I am standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude," said Nasa associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen, before he announced that the Opportunity mission is now considered complete.