By Gulsen Solaker and Tom Perry ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkey said on Monday it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce fellow Kurds in the Syrian town of Kobani on Turkey's border, and the United States air-dropped arms to help the Kurds there resist an Islamic State assault. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was facilitating the passage of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces, themselves fighting Islamic State in Iraq. He stopped short of saying whether Ankara backed the U.S. air-drop of weapons. Turkey's refusal to intervene in the fight with Islamic State has frustrated the United States and sparked lethal riots in southeastern Turkey by Kurds furious at Ankara's failure to help Kobani or at least open a land corridor for volunteer fighters and reinforcements to go there. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington had asked Ankara to help "get the peshmerga or other groups" into Kobani so they could help defend the town, adding he hoped the Kurds would "take this fight on". The European Union also urged Turkey on Monday to open its border to allow supplies to get through to residents of Kobani. If the reinforcements come through, it may mark a turning point in the battle for Kobani, a town where Syrian Kurds have struggled for weeks against better-armed Islamic State fighters trying to reshape the Middle East. Speaking in Indonesia, Kerry acknowledged Turkish concerns about support for the Kurds, and said the air drop of supplies provided by the Kurdish authorities in Iraq did not amount to a change of U.S. policy. The battle against Islamic State, a group also known by the acronym ISIL that has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq, was an overriding consideration, Kerry indicated. "We understand fully the fundamentals of (Ankara's) opposition and ours to any kind of terrorist group, and particularly, obviously, the challenges they face with respect to the PKK," he told reporters. But he added: "We cannot take our eye off the prize here. It would be irresponsible of us, as well as morally very difficult, to turn your back on a community fighting ISIL." Ankara views the Syrian Kurds with deep suspicion because of their ties to the PKK, a group that waged a decades-long militant campaign for Kurdish rights in Turkey and which Washington regards as a terrorist organization. 'A CRISIS MOMENT' Kerry said both he and President Barack Obama had spoken to Turkish authorities before the air drops "to make it very, very clear this is not a shift of policy by the United States". "It is a crisis moment, an emergency where we clearly do not want to see Kobani become a horrible example of the unwillingness of people to be able to help those who are fighting ISIL," he added. Iraqi Kurdish official Hemin Hawrami wrote on his Twitter feed that 21 tonnes of weapons and ammunition supplied by the Iraqi Kurds had been dropped in the small hours of Monday. U.S. Central Command said U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft had dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to allow the Kurdish fighters to keep up their resistance in the town, which is called Kobani in Kurdish and Ayn al-Arab in Arabic. The U.S. military said on Monday that among the six U.S. military air strikes conducted against Islamic State militants near Kobani on Sunday and Monday was one that destroyed a stray bundle of supplies from a U.S. air drop in order to prevent them from falling into enemy hands. The main Syrian Kurdish armed group, the YPG, said it had received "a large quantity" of ammunition and weapons. A 'POSITIVE IMPACT' Redur Xelil, a YPG spokesman, said the arms dropped would have a "positive impact" on the battle and the morale of fighters. But he added: "Certainly it will not be enough to decide the battle." "We do not think the battle of Kobani will end that quickly. The forces of (Islamic State) are still heavily present and determined to occupy Kobani. In addition, there is resolve (from the YPG) to repel this attack," he told Reuters in an interview conducted via Skype. Welat Omer, one of five doctors in Kobani, told Reuters by telephone that he and his colleagues had received medicine and were distributing it to patients. That included drugs for children and the elderly and materials for operations. "This medicine will only be enough for five days. We want them to send more, because we have many patients," he said. The United States began carrying out air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq in August and about a month later started bombing the militant group in neighboring Syria. But the resupply of Kurdish fighters points to the growing coordination between the U.S. military and a Syrian Kurdish group that had been kept at arm's length by the West due partly to the concerns of NATO member Turkey. The Turkish presidency said Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had discussed Syria, including measures that could be taken to stop Islamic State's advances, and Kobani. The spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) peshmerga fighters said the Iraqi Kurdish region was ready to send backup forces to Kobani and planning was under way. "There are efforts and we are prepared to send some backup forces either by land or air," said KRG peshmerga ministry spokesman Jabar Yawar. He said the forces were not en route. But one Kurdish official in Iraq, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed doubt any fighters would be deployed to Kobani as they battle Islamic State at home. Washington has pressed Ankara to let it use bases in Turkey to stage air strikes, and a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said the country's airspace had not been used during the drops on Kobani. Kobani is one of three areas near the border with Turkey where Syrian Kurds have established their own government since the country descended into civil war in 2011. (Reporting by Mohammad Zargham, Arshad Mohammed and Warren Strobel in Washington, Tom Perry in Beirut, Seda Sezer in Turkey, David Brunnstrom in Indonesia and Dasha Afanasieva in Suruc, Turkey, Seyhmus Cakan in Diyarbakir, Isabel Coles and Ned Parker in Iraq, and Adrian Croft in Luxembourg; Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Anna Willard, Peter Cooney and Howard Goller)
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- CBS News
Vice presidents since Vice President Walter Mondale have been living in the residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic who was jailed at the weekend, on Tuesday released a video in which he and his allies alleged that an opulent palace belonged to the Russian leader, a claim the Kremlin denied. The allegations, which first surfaced in 2010 when a businessman wrote about them to then-President Dmitry Medvedev complaining of official graft, come as Navalny's supporters urge people to join nationwide protests on Saturday. Reuters reported in 2014 that the estate in southern Russia had been partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump spent his first night as a private citizen settling into his new home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has reportedly already begun preparing for his upcoming impeachment hearing. Mr Trump’s final engagement in Washington DC as president was attending his farewell at Joint Base Andrews in DC, which was attended only by some 250 of his most loyal aides and supporters. Notably absent were close White House aides and his own vice president Mike Pence. The former president then left for Florida as President Joe Biden was being sworn in, where he received a much warmer welcome. Supporters lined Mr Trump’s route to Mar-a-Lago, waving “Trump 2020” flags and signs reading “welcome home!”, while others screamed “I love you” as his motorcade drove past. Some still refused to accept the results of the election.
- The Week
President Biden's inaugural address has won some high praise on Fox News.Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Wednesday praised Biden's "great" inaugural address, going as far as to deem it the best he's ever watched in his life."I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said. "I've been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961 -- John F. Kennedy, 'ask not.' I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard."Biden during his first address as president declared that "democracy has prevailed" and urged unity, saying politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path." Wallace noted the speech and the ceremony itself was especially meaningful coming exactly two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of the election results."It was a less an inaugural address and more part sermon, part pep talk," Wallace said.The Fox News anchor also called for those in the media to particularly take note of Biden's comment that "there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.""Now he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action," Wallace added. "But I thought it was a great start." > Fox News's Chris Wallace: "This was the best inaugural address I ever heard." pic.twitter.com/W2tauGp5g5> > -- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest Michael Flynn's brother was in a key Pentagon meeting during Jan. 6 Capitol siege, despite earlier denials Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit
Capt. Scott Moss, who led the NOSC in Knoxville, was relieved of command by Capt. Dale Maxey.
- Associated Press
A Wisconsin pharmacist accused of trying to defrost and spoil dozens of vials of COVID-19 vaccine was charged Tuesday with attempted misdemeanor property damage, and prosecutors warned more serious charges could follow if tests show the doses were ruined. Police arrested 46-year-old Steven Brandenburg on Dec. 31 as part of an investigation into how 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine were left for hours outside a refrigerator at Advocate Aurora Health in Grafton, a Milwaukee suburb. The vials contained enough vaccine to inoculate more than 500 people.
- Yahoo News
Fresh off his inauguration Wednesday, President Biden began his term with executive orders on measures ranging from curbing the coronavirus pandemic to addressing racial inequality, many of which roll back measures enacted by former President Donald Trump’s administration.
- The Independent
Ms Harris is expected to move into the 128-year-old residence once a number of repairs have been made
- Yahoo News Video
President Joe Biden issued a warning Wednesday to his appointees that a hostile workplace will not be allowed in his administration.
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
- Associated Press
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly avoided a defeat in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers voted against a controversial proposal seeking to bar trade deals with any country deemed by the U.K. High Court to be committing genocide. The amendment to the government’s post-Brexit trade bill was largely designed to force international action in addressing China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in the far western Xinjiang region.
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley has said she will not have a job in her father's administration, unlike Ivanka Trump, in her first interview since the election. The only child of President-elect Biden and wife Jill, Ashley, a 39-year-old social worker in Delaware, said she instead wanted to use her new platform to ”advocate for social justice and mental health.” “I will not have a job in the administration,” she told NBC's Today Show, in what could be seen as a jibe at the current First Daughter, who, along with husband Jared Kushner, had adviser roles in the White House. “I do hope to bring awareness and education to some topics, subjects that are, you know, really important.” Ms Biden, who is married to plastic surgeon Howard Krein, was active in her father's presidential campaign, speaking at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and hosting an event for women in Wisconsin.
- The Week
President Trump has spent the last few days asking his friends, aides, and associates if they would like pardons — even those who are not facing any charges, a senior administration official told The Washington Post.In one case, the official said, Trump offered a pardon to a person who declined the chance at clemency, saying they weren't in any legal trouble and hadn't committed any crimes. "Trump's response was, 'Yeah, well, but you never know. They're going to come after us all. Maybe it's not a bad idea. Just let me know,'" the official recounted.Trump has taken a great interest in pardoning people, the Post reports, even calling families to personally let them know he granted a pardon. A person familiar with the matter told the Post that Trump was talked out of pardoning himself, family members, and controversial figures like Rudy Giuliani. An aide said there was also a brief discussion about possibly issuing pardons related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, but that idea went nowhere.While Trump has held a few ceremonial events in recent weeks, journalists have been kept away from the White House, largely because the president is "just not in a place where they would go well," one official told the Post. Trump is constantly flip-flopping, another administration official said, talking about his future but uncertain of where he will be. "He goes between, 'Well, I'm going to go to Florida and play golf, and life is honestly better,' and then in the next moment, it's like, 'But don't you think there's a chance to stay?'" the official said. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration QAnon believers are realizing their entire conspiracy was a hoax as Biden is sworn in
- The Independent
Workers at Hunt’s Point Produce Market are striking over a $1-an-hour wage increase
- Associated Press
Thai officials on Wednesday filed criminal charges against a popular former politician, accusing him of defaming the monarchy by broadcasting criticism of government efforts to secure supplies of coronavirus vaccines. The action against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit came just a day after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that that his government will prosecute anyone who shares false information about coronavirus vaccines. Thanathorn, former leader of the dissolved Future Forward Party, accused the government of acting too slowly in procuring the vaccines.
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
India appealed to frontline workers on Tuesday not to refuse vaccines for COVID-19, after almost all states failed to meet targets in the first few days of what the government calls the world's biggest immunisation campaign. The country has so far vaccinated 631,417 frontline workers using two shots manufactured locally, one licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca and another developed at home by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research. The drive started on Saturday, with 30 million healthcare and other front-line workers first in the queue, followed by about 270 million people older than 50 or deemed at high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions.
- Associated Press
Months-old embers from a deadly California fire were blown back to life Tuesday by powerful winds that raked the state and prompted safety blackouts to tens of thousands of people. Firefighters chased wind-driven blazes up and down the state, trees and trucks were toppled, Yosemite National Park was forced to close and two coronavirus vaccination centers were shut down. Two were within the area burned by last year's CZU Lightning Complex inferno.
- The Independent
‘It’s unfortunate’: Ashley Biden confirms first lady snubbed her mother on traditional White House handover
"I think we’re all OK with it,' says incoming first daughter in first ever TV interview