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.
The death toll from a fiery explosion in central Mexico rose to 89 on Monday as authorities vowed to hold accountable those responsible for a deliberate fuel-line puncture that drew hundreds of people looking to gather gasoline before it ignited. The search for human remains at the site of the explosion in the state of Hidalgo ended Saturday. While families began to bury the dead, officials indicated the death toll could still rise.
Star gazers from Los Angeles to New York will keep their eyes on the sky for the eclipse, known as a super blood wolf moon, expected to appear at 11:41 p.m. EST. Although it is a total eclipse, the moon will never go completely dark but rather take on a coppery red glow - called a blood moon. If skies are clear on Sunday night, the spectacular total lunar eclipse will be visible with the naked eye.
Donald Trump may indeed have spoken to his then lawyer Michael Cohen about false testimony he delivered to Congress, and which is now at the centre of a seething political controversy, Rudy Giuliani has said. Last week, BuzzFeed reported that Mr Trump's personal lawyer delivered the false information to politicians about the then candidate's business interests in Moscow on the orders of the man who is now president. Democrats and opponents of Mr Trump leapt on the story, saying it showed the president had committed perjury.
A federal judge found four humanitarian aid volunteers guilty on some of the charges against them for dropping off water and food for migrants at a protected wilderness area along the Arizona-Mexico border, notorious for the number of human remains recovered each year. U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernardo Velasco found Natalie Hoffman, a volunteer with humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, guilty on all three charges against her. Hoffman had been charged with operating a vehicle inside the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona, entering without a permit, and leaving behind 1-gallon water jugs and cans of beans.
Zimbabwe's Ministry of Information said on Monday that a Twitter account using the presidential spokesman's name is fake. Bloomberg erroneously reported earlier that President Emmerson Mnangagwa's spokesman, George Charamba, dismissed rumors of a palace coup, citing a tweet from the account. Charamba does not have a Twitter account, Regis Chikowore, principal director at the information ministry, said by phone.
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.
KAMALA HARRIS 2020: Strong reaction is pouring in from the Bay Area after the California senator and Oakland native announced she is running for president.
Israeli airstrikes in Syria killed 11 Iranian and pro-regime fighters on Monday, in the most serious direct confrontation between Iran and Israel in the last six months. Israeli warplanes attacked bases belonging to Iran's elite Quds Force after an Iranian missile was fired from Syria towards the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Sunday, the Israeli military said. The Iranian missile was reportedly fired in response to Israeli air raids carried out inside Syria earlier in the day on Sunday.
China's population growth rate continued to slow in 2018, spelling possible trouble ahead as a swelling number of retirees pushes up against a shrinking labor pool. Numbers released Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics put the population at 1.395 billion in 2018. China for decades sought to slow its population growth, seeing a massive population as a drag on development, and it now joins Japan, South Korea and other East Asian nations in seeing a radical drop in its birthrate.
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.
Democratic Republic of Congo's president elect Felix Tshisekedi received a chorus of congratulations from African leaders on Sunday and Monday in a growing sign that his disputed election win will not be questioned internationally. Regional support is crucial for Tshisekedi after a disorganized election on Dec. 30 that runner-up candidate Martin Fayulu says was rigged and that Congo's Catholic Church contested. Many worry that outgoing president Joseph Kabila will continue to hold sway, limiting Tshisekedi's power.
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.
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.
Passengers aboard a United Airlines flight out of New Jersey found themselves stranded at a Canadian military base for more than 15 hours. United Flight 179 left New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday afternoon, destined for Hong Kong International Airport. But a medical emergency diverted the flight to Goose Bay airport in Newfoundland, Canada, flight records show.
A polar plunge of brutally cold air is following this weekend's blockbuster winter storm, which can threaten lives and complicate travel and cleanup efforts. Between lingering effects of the storm and the cold, there can be further disruptions to daily routines during this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. The brutal cold that dropped temperatures down to around 40 below zero in International Falls, Minnesota, will continue to plunge on the backside of the storm from the Plains to the East through Sunday.
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.
A group of 143 former diplomats and scholars from 19 countries have penned an open letter to Xi Jinping, China's president, demanding Beijing to “immediately release” two Canadians detained in China. Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a prominent consultant on North Korean business issues, have been held for six weeks in Beijing. In their respective roles, the two frequently met with Chinese officials, researchers and scholars, the letter noted.
The world's oldest man has died at his home — a hot springs inn — in northern Japan at the age of 113. Masazo Nonaka died in the early hours of Sunday while sleeping at home in Ashoro on Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido, his family said. The supercentenarian, whose family has run a hot springs inn for four generations, was certified by Guinness World Records in April 2018 as the world's oldest living man at 112 years and 259 days.
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.
Northern Ireland police said the three security alerts they were examining in Londonderry on Monday have ended after the department confirmed the incidents, including one where they carried out a controlled explosion, to be hoaxes. Police had carried out a controlled explosion on a vehicle on Monday that was hijacked by masked men in Londonderry and examined two other abandoned vans, two days after a car bomb had exploded in the city. There was a large bang and black smoke from the first van after an army bomb disposal robot entered.
Theresa May is preparing to set out where Brexit goes next after the overwhelming rejection of her deal a week ago. She's due to present a plan to Parliament on Monday, where members are already working on plans to take control of the process. Key Developments Liam Fox: No-Deal Brexit 'A Real Possibility' (11 a.m.
At least six Democrats have announced their candidacy for the 2020 presidential race; insight from Anna Palmer, Politico Playbook co-author.
A passerby's video of Tallahassee Police making a shoplifting arrest Thursday showed a toddler climbing out the driver's side door of a pick-up truck and walking barefoot with her hands up over her head toward officers with their guns drawn. As the video ricocheted around social media and concern mounted, TPD released two body camera videos in response Friday evening that provide a fuller picture of the incident. It shows the officers talking with adults and working to get the toddler and an infant who were in the cab safely away from the vehicle.
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.