A U.S.-backed force in Syria is closing in on Islamic State militants in a tiny area less than a square kilometer (square mile) in eastern Syria, and will soon declare the defeat of the militant group, a commander with the group said Saturday. The capture of the last pocket still held by IS fighters in the village of Baghouz would mark the end of a devastating four-year global campaign to end the extremist group's hold on territory in Syria and Iraq — their so-called "caliphate" that at the height of the group's power in 2014 controlled nearly a third of both Iraq and Syria. "We will very soon bring good news to the whole world," said Ciya Furat, a commander with the Kurdish-led force known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, speaking at a news conference at the al-Omar Oil Field Base in the Deir el-Zour province.
Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort should serve at least 20 years in prison, Robert Mueller has recommended. In requesting what will effectively be a life sentence for the 69-year-old, Mr Mueller also asked a judge that he push ahead with sentencing for the man who served as Mr Trump's campaign manager for just a few months in the summer of 2016. “Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing on Friday night.
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.
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.
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
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.
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".
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.
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.
The U.S. archbishop helping to organize next week's summit of the world's bishops at the Vatican on sexual abuse by clergy said Thursday he expects to make "significant progress" in responding to the scandal that's riven the church, and that lay Catholics will help to hold the hierarchy accountable. Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich told The Associated Press in a phone interview that the Feb. 21-24 prevention summit, convened by Pope Francis, is necessary for all global Catholic church leaders to understand they must act and be accountable to the victims for the abuse cases stretching back decades. "I think there is understandable frustration on that level," said Cupich, hand-picked by Francis to help organize the summit.
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.
India's prime minister yesterday accused Pakistan of involvement in the suicide bombing that killed 44 paramilitary police in Kashmir on Thursday, and warned of a dire response. Narendra Modi said the neighbouring country had made a "huge mistake" for which it will pay a "huge price". Speaking after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Mr Modi declared that India's security forces had been given "full freedom" to respond to the attack.
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.
A student journalism project has concluded that at least 1,149 children and teenagers died from a shooting in the year since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Around 200 teenage reporters from across the country worked to document the stories of the children up to age 18 who died from gun violence in the year since 17 people died in a mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school. The "Since Parkland" report released Thursday on the first anniversary of the massacre said children died in school shootings, domestic violence cases, drug homicides and by stray bullets.
Iran on Saturday rejected accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against it by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, saying it respected Judaism but opposed Israel, which Tehran said was acting like a "killing machine against the Palestinians". Pence accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism on Friday after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, maintaining his harsh rhetoric just a day after attacking European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic. "Iran's historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.
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.
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.
To clean up the growing mess, scientists at the University of Surrey have previously tested a net to catch chunks of debris. Now, they've successfully tested out a harpoon. The video below, released Friday by the university's space center, shows a test of the experimental RemoveDEBRIS satellite as it unleashes a harpoon at a piece of solar panel, held out on a 1.5-meter boom.
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.
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.
“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.
European and US stock markets leapt on Friday as positive signs emerged from US-China trade talks aimed at averting an escalation of a tariff war between the world's top two economies. US President Donald Trump said the negotiations in Beijing were going "extremely well" and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced the talks would continue in Washington next week. Trump also said there was a "possibility" he would extend a March 1 deadline for a sharp rise in tariffs on $200 billion Chinese goods to go into effect.
More than 106,000 2017–2019 Honda Ridgeline pickups will be recalled for potential fire risk. Acids in carwash soap could cause the fuel pump feed port to crack and leak, the recall notice says. Car and Driver's long-term Ridgeline is one of the affected vehicles.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government stepped up a legal battle against efforts to oust him on Thursday, while the opposition said the international community had pledged more than $100 million in humanitarian aid for the country. Venezuela's opposition, which argues Maduro's presidency is illegitimate because he won in a sham vote, is trying to wrest control of the OPEC nation's oil sector from him and deliver aid to a population suffering food and medicine shortages. Maduro says this is part of a strategy to carry out a U.S.-backed coup and has vowed to remain in office, despite around 50 nations recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president.
Denver teachers ended a three-day walkout and returned to their classrooms Thursday, greeted by hugs and high-fives, after their union reached a tentative deal raising their pay, the latest win in a national movement by educators to raise their wages and advocate for changes in schools. In Colorado, most education funding is provided by the state and a report by the Education Law Center and the Rutgers Graduate School of Education last year ranked the state last in the nation in competitive wages for teachers.