After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Pence said the Nazi death camp had made him more determined to confront Tehran, saying it was "breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe." Iran's ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel. Pence, who said he was deeply moved by his Auschwitz visit, cited Iran's stated desire to destroy Israel as justification for singling out the country, rather than focusing on anti-Semitism across the Middle East. Iranian Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said in January Iran's strategy was to wipe "the Zionist regime" (Israel) off the political map, Iran's state TV reported.
Venezuela's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered that executives appointed to boards affiliated with state oil firm PDVSA -- in a bid for control by opposition leader Juan Guaido -- face criminal prosecution. The court -- packed with Maduro loyalists -- ordered legal action against 15 executives that the National Assembly, headed by Guaido, named on Wednesday to form four new executive boards for PDVSA and its US-based affiliate Citgo. Guaido celebrated the appointments as a "step forward in the reconstruction of PDVSA," but Maduro had warned that those accepting "illegal" appointments would face justice.
The top candidates condemned the decision and blamed each other but appealed to Africa's largest democracy for calm, while they rushed back to the capital to learn more about what went wrong. The party backing top opposition challenger Atiku Abubakar accused President Muhammadu Buhari's administration of "instigating this postponement" with the aim of ensuring a low turnout at the polls. It urged Nigerians to remain calm and turn out in greater numbers a week from now.
Former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been defrocked by Pope Francis after Vatican officials found him guilty of sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Vatican said Saturday. McCarrick was a powerful fundraiser in the church. He is the highest-ranking clergy to be laicized by the clerical state. The action strips McCarrick, 88, of priestly rights and bars him from celebrating Mass. In July 2018, Pope Francis accepted McCarrick's resignation amid the sex abuse scandal. McCarrick was a retired cardinal at the time and faced allegations of sexually abusing a minor nearly five decades ago when he was a priest in New York.
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".
The family of a pregnant British teenager who ran away to join the Islamic State group urged the government Friday to help bring her home. Shamima Begum's family issued a statement appealing for government assistance "as a matter of urgency." Begum, now 19, resurfaced this week at a refugee camp in Syria where she gave an interview to the Times of London saying she didn't regret her decision, but wanted to come home. "Given Shamima's four-year ordeal, we are concerned that her mental health has been affected by everything that she has seen and endured," the family said in a statement to Britain's ITV, describing her words as those of child who had been groomed by IS recruiters.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she was interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, which is probing possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and the Kremlin in the 2016 election. The president urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel,” Sanders said Friday in an email. I was happy to voluntarily sit down with them.
Is 400 horsepower not enough for your people- and cargo-hauler in 2019? How does 500, 600, or 700 horsepower sound? From Car and Driver
Although the worst of the storm had moved well inland Friday, forecasters said some leftover showers and snow was still likely to fall across the state on Friday and Saturday. The higher elevations of the Sierra could see an additional 3 to 6 feet of snow over the next few days, on top of the 3 feet that fell Thursday, the National Weather Service said. So much snow has fallen in the area that cities are running out of places to put the snow, according to Kevin Cooper of Lake Tahoe TV In Southern California, officials said rain-drenched hillsides could still loosen and collapse, bringing down mud, boulders and debris.
The U.S. Treasury said it sanctioned PDVSA chief Manuel Quevedo, three top intelligence officials and Rafael Bastardo, who U.S. officials say is the head of a national police unit responsible for dozens of extrajudicial killings carried out in nighttime raids on Maduro's behalf. Separately, the U.S. State Department said on Friday it was working with the Pentagon and U.S. aid agency to fly humanitarian assistance on Saturday to Cucuta, Colombia, on the Venezuelan border. The steps are part of a wider effort by the United States to undermine Maduro, whose 2018 election it views as illegitimate and whose government it has disavowed, and to strengthen opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido.
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.
A gunman opened fire in an industrial warehouse in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday, killing five people and wounding five police officers before he was slain, law enforcement officials said. Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the gunman, identified as Gary Martin, 45, was an employee at the industrial complex. Please avoid the area," the Aurora Police Department said in a tweet shortly after 2 p.m. CST, adding that additional details would be forthcoming.
Some parents are outraged a California school for kids with special needs is holding a "going away party" after one of its own students died after being restrained by staff.
Happy Bae Day! Whether you're single or partnered up, Valentine's Day can have you craving a romantic getaway or just a getaway, period, so that you can make a quick escape from all the lovey-dovey energy in the air (that's us! While most couples will agree that 'two is better than one' when it comes to matters of the heart on Valentine's Day, those who aren't in a relationship would probably agree to disagree — except for this year, thanks Alaska Airlines.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and other schools across the U.S. bowed their heads in a moment of silence and took part in volunteer projects Thursday to mark the anniversary of the shooting rampage that claimed 17 lives. Fewer than 300 of the 3,200 students at the high school showed up for what was only a half-day, with classes cut short so that the teenagers would not be there around 2:20 p.m., the traumatic moment last year when gunfire erupted. Senior Spencer Bloom skipped school to spend the day with students from the history class he was in during the shooting.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., declares her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in Minneapolis on Sunday. Reminder: There are 362 days until the Iowa caucuses, and 633 days until the 2020 presidential election. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016, has become the first Republican to announce a challenge to President Trump.
“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.
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.
California's suspension this week of a high-speed rail project underscores the up-hill battle the modern mode of transport faces in the United States -- including myriad cultural, political and economic obstacles. Long gone are the days of the 19th century gold rush, when Americans raced to build transcontinental rail links and conquer the nation's vast expanse. "We have a Congress polluted by special interest money ... that has been working for years to stop/prevent any rail investment," said Andy Kunz, head of the US High Speed Rail Association, pointing to the oil, aviation and auto industries in particular.
Police arrested a suspect in a shooting on Friday at a manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, but the area remained under lockdown, city and law enforcement officials said on Twitter. Please avoid the area," the Aurora Police Department said earlier in a tweet. Video footage on local media showed numerous police cars surrounding a large commercial building in Aurora, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Chicago.
A US investigation into privacy violations by Facebook could result in a record fine running to billions of dollars, media reports said Friday. The Federal Trade Commission is negotiating the terms of the penalty stemming from its investigation into whether Facebook violated a 2011 settlement with the regulator on protecting user data, the Washington Post and New York Times said, citing unnamed sources. The FTC reopened its investigation following revelations last year that personal data from tens of millions of Facebook users was hijacked by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica as it worked on Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
“U.S. airlines value a culture of diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and for our passengers, and we work hard each day to accommodate the needs of all travelers, while delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable flight experience,” A4A said in a statement to USA TODAY. The nation's five biggest -- American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska airlines -- have all told USA TODAY that they plan to implement the trade groups' suggestion. “As part of Delta's ongoing efforts to accommodate the needs of diverse customers throughout our business, we are planning to offer a non-binary gender option during the booking process,” the carrier said in a statement.
Parts of California are bracing for yet more flooding after a powerful storm unleashed historic levels of rainfall earlier this week. Floods and mudslides across the state have triggered evacuations and sent homes tumbling down hillsides. Linda So reports.
Embattled Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam asked lawmakers Thursday to pass a state budget that has a "greater focus on issues of equity" as he tries to move past a blackface scandal that nearly ended his governorship. Northam met with a group of state legislators to discuss the budget and sent them a letter outlining his priorities as the GOP-led General Assembly puts the final touches on its state spending plan. Top among them, Northam said, are increased funding for struggling schools and more spending to decrease the number of evictions.