US sanctions Venezuela officials close to 'former President' Maduro
The US Treasury announced Friday it was imposing sanctions on five intelligence and security officials close to crisis-hit Venezuela's "former" President Nicolas Maduro. Among the five men is Manuel Quevedo, described by the Treasury as the "illegitimate" president of Venezuela's state-owned oil firm, PDVSA.
02/15/2019 - 10:43 AM
Mueller seeks tough sentence for ex-Trump campaign chairman Manafort
In their sentencing memo filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, prosecutors said Manafort, who is 69, deserves between 19.6 and 24.4 years in prison and a fine of between $50,000 and $24 million. "While some of these offenses are commonly prosecuted, there was nothing ordinary about the millions of dollars involved in the defendant's crimes, the duration of his criminal conduct or the sophistication of his schemes," prosecutors said in the memo. "Manafort did not commit these crimes out of necessity or hardship," they said.
02/15/2019 - 09:56 PM
How Shamima Begum and two other schoolgirls from Bethnal Green became jihadi brides living under a deadly regime
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. “She was into normal teenage things,” Sahima said. “She used to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” At 15, Shamima’s young mind was filled with much more than the affairs of the most famous family in Hollywood. 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. In an embarrassment for Scotland Yard, police had pulled a fifth girl from the group off the same flight Sharmeena was on without spotting the other girl. Two months later, it was the turn of the remaining three to make their escape. When CCTV footage emerged of three girls wearing hooded winter coats and thick-rimmed glasses, strolling through Gatwick Airport with smiles on their faces, they appeared so calm and casual they looked as if they might be going on a school trip, not about to board a one-way flight to the most dangerous corner of the world. Their secret plan to leave Britain had been formulated and executed with meticulous precision. The girls stole jewellery from family members which they sold to cobble together the money for flights (it’s thought they spent upwards of £1,000 on their one-way tickets — an amount their families said at the time they could have never afforded alone). They bought their tickets from a local travel agent, making sure there was some money left over. They had to make sure there was something left to pay the men who would smuggle them over the border into the Syrian war zone where Isil was carving out its caliphate. The Spring half term began and on the morning of February 17 2015, Shamima, Kadiza and Amira told their families they were going out for the day. One had a wedding, another said she was popping into school to do some work. Instead, they packed a small bag of hand luggage each, and headed to Gatwick, where they would board Turkish Airlines flight TK1966 at 12:40pm to Istanbul. A shopping list found in one of the girls’ bedrooms featured a reminder to pack underwear and a mobile phone. British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum in Raqqa Under the noses of the counterterrorism police who had spoken to them two months earlier after their friend Sharmeena fled to Syria, the girls began their journey. Four years later, one of them, Kadiza, is now known to have been killed in a Russian airstrike. Shamima, now 19, is alive and preparing to give birth to her third child (her first two died in infancy) in a refugee camp in northern Syria, having escaped Isil’s last remaining stronghold. Amira and Sharmeena were last seen alive in June in the remaining pocket of Isil-held territory. Shamima has lost two babies, her fighter husband is in captivity, and though she says she doesn’t regret coming to Syria, she has abandoned Isil at the 11th hour in an attempt to protect herself and her unborn child. For four years she has lived the life of a jihadi bride, witnessing the casual brutality of the regime on a daily basis and somehow escaping death herself. Now, she wants the ordeal to be over. She wants to come back home to Britain. Four years ago, almost to the day, the girls arrived in Istanbul and took a bus to the southern town of Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border. CCTV footage taken from a bus station showed them waiting with their bags. Another video, filmed by a smuggler called Mohammed Rashid (an Isil double agent who reportedly passed intelligence to the British and Canadian governments and was subsequently arrested by Turkish authorities), showed the girls clad in long black tunics trudging through a snowy landscape and clambering into a car. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo Credit: PA Calling one of the girls “Sis”, Rashid gave them Syrian passports and tested codenames they had apparently been given. “Who is Um Ahmed?” he asked, before telling them to “hurry” and assuring them they would be in Syria in “one hour”. They were taken to an illegal crossing point known as Abu Zella, north of Tal Abyad, where they were handed to a Saudi jihadist known as Abu Mohareb al-Jazrawi. He was part of an Isil cell charged with helping transport would-be foreign jihadists into Raqqa. He took the girls to a safe house which was used for new volunteers who had yet to be vetted. There, they checked the girls’ papers and confiscated their passports and identity cards. They stayed in the house for a day or two before another Isil smuggler, calling himself Abu Fahad, transferred them to Raqqa. The girls spent their first days in Isil’s caliphate under lock and key in an apartment in what was then the jihadists’ stronghold city. They were put in the care of a woman handler known as Um Laith — “Mother of the Lion” — tasked with “purifying their Western minds” by instilling the practices of Isil’s hardline vision of sharia law. Kadiza Sultana 16, Amira Abase 15 and Shamima Begum 15 Credit: Metropolitan Police In their first weeks in the city the girls were not trusted by Raqqa’s Isil rulers, and were forbidden to leave their apartment without their chaperone. An Isil leader confirmed to the Telegraph at the time that they were being kept together and watched. “Until now we don’t trust them,” he said. Speaking to The Times from the refugee camp where she is now awaiting the birth of her baby, Shamima recalled asking to be taken to the maqar – the female-only communal lodging for unmarried or widowed women where they believed their old school friend was living. “We kept asking his wife ‘why are we here?’ We want to go to the house of women, we want to see our friend. She didn’t say anything to us and then afterwards we found out it was because they suspected we were spies.” All three girls were quickly married off. Kadiza is said to have wed a western Isil fighter of Somali heritage, but after he was killed in battle decided to try to return to the UK. Shortly after, however, in May 2016, she was reported killed in a Russian airstrike, aged 17. Amira married an 18-year-old Australian jihadist, Abdullah Elmir, in July 2016. Elmir, who was described in Australian media as the “Ginger Jihadi”, was later reported by intelligence agencies to have been killed in coalition airstrikes. Shamima, meanwhile, married a Dutchman who had converted to Islam. For a while, she says, life was “normal”. “Like the life that they show in the propaganda videos. It’s a normal life but every now and then there are bombs and stuff.” She didn’t witness any executions, but she did see “a beheaded head in the bin”, she told a journalist calmly from the refugee camp on Wednesday. “Yeah, it didn’t phase me at all.” The young woman who can be heard talking on the interview recording is composed and unemotional. She is asked if it was hard to lose two children. “It came as a shock,” she replies, calmly. “It just came out of nowhere, it was so hard.” It’s why she is “really overprotective of this baby”, she says. “I’m scared that this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that’s why I really want to get back to Britain because I know it will be taken care of, like healthwise at least.” She talks about her school friend Kadiza, who is now known to have died in a Russian airstrike. “Her house was bombed because underground there was some secret stuff going on and a spy had… they figured out that something was going on so her house got bombed. And other people got killed as well.” Kadiza’s elder sister, Fahmida Khanam refused to discuss her suspected death in an air raid, or the fate of her surviving companions. Abase Hussen, father of Amira, who was last seen in June, said he hoped his daughter was still alive. “She could always make us laugh,” he said. “That’s how I want to think of her, not what happened after. I hope she is still alive, but I don’t really know whether she is.” Islamic State losing its grip on Syria Mr Hussen has said before that he cannot understand his daughter’s descent into radicalisation, telling MPs in 2015 that he could think of “nothing” to explain the change in her. After she travelled to Syria, video emerged of Mr Hussen beside a burning US flag at the front of a rally organised by the hate preacher Anjem Choudary. In June 2015, Amira spoke to an undercover reporter from a Sunday newspaper after 30 Britons were shot dead by an Isil jihadist in Tunisia, mocking the victims. She appeared to be grooming the reporter, giving tips on how to reach Syria and what to bring. Last summer her mother, Fetia Hussen, said she had lost contact with her and feared she had died, but Shamima has confirmed to The Times that she was seen alive last June, along with Sharmeena Begum. On Wednesday night, Shamima’s sister Renu — who in 2015 said her sister was “young” and “vulnerable”, and she hoped she had gone to Syria to bring back Sharmeena, not to join Isil herself — pleaded with the government to allow her to come home. “She's pregnant and vulnerable, and it’s important we get her out of al-Hawl camp and home as soon as possible," she said. "We hope the British Government will help us bring her home to us where she belongs. "I’m so relieved that my sister has been found, safe and sound. We are aware that she has been trying to get out. We lost contact with her for the longest of time. We are happy to know that she is okay.” The father of Sharmeena Begum told the Telegraph yesterday [THURS] that his family had been left distraught by her decision to travel to join Isil. Mohammad Nizam Uddin said he had been unable to reconcile himself to her disappearance from home. Speaking from his flat on the top floor of a tower block overlooking London’s East End, the 42-year-old told The Telegraph: “We have heard nothing from her since she left. We do not know where she is. “As a father I urge the British Government to let these girls back into the country. Please let them come back. I want to see my daughter again. It is terrible she is not here, it is terrible for us.” Mr Uddin added: “I think they should be allowed to come home. When they went to Syria they were not mature and they had been radicalised.” They travelled out to Syria together, but as Isil loses its remaining grip on the region, just one of the girls from Bethnal Green is living in relative safety. Taken on a coach filled with fleeing Isil families to the camp in al-Hawl, Shamima is now waiting to deliver her third baby, and to learn of her fate, desperate to return to Britain. “The caliphate is over,” she says. “There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory.” Her friends would be “ashamed” of her if they are alive and have learnt that she has fled. “They made their choice as single women. For their husbands were already dead. It was their own choice as women to stay.” Now, she says, her priority is her baby. “I know what everyone at home thinks of me as I have read all that was written about me online. But I just want to come home to have my child. That’s all I want right now. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child.”
02/15/2019 - 03:17 AM
US senate passes border bill as Trump prepares to declare national emergency
The US Senate has passed a major spending bill that would effectively avoid another federal government shutdown, sending the legislation to the president’s desk for a signature. Now, the only question is whether Donald Trump intends to sign it. The bipartisan measure is the product of weeks of negotiations after the longest government shutdown in history, in which Mr Trump demanded billions of dollars towards his campaign promise of building a wall sprawling across the entirety of the US-Mexico border.
02/14/2019 - 05:01 PM
IS teen's wish to return stirs UK debate over jihadi brides
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".
02/15/2019 - 12:51 PM
Honda & Acura Recall for Potential Stalling Issue
Honda Recalls 437,000 Cars and SUVs Over Potential Stalling Issue Honda is recalling 437,000 Acura MDX SUVs, Acura TLX V6 cars, and Honda Accord V6 cars because the gasoline flow from fuel pumps...
02/14/2019 - 02:51 PM
The 20 Most Powerful Crossovers and SUVs You Can Buy in 2019
02/15/2019 - 02:35 PM
Sunken WWII U.S. carrier discovered in Pacific
At a depth of nearly 17,500 feet, 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. (Feb. 14)
02/14/2019 - 06:44 PM
Denver teachers back at work after winning deal with raises
DENVER (AP) — 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.
02/15/2019 - 12:30 AM
Venezuela opens investigation into opposition-appointed PDVSA directors: prosecutor
CARACAS (Reuters) - 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. ...
02/14/2019 - 11:44 AM
Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra role
Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress, was appointed as U.S. envoy to Venezuela on Friday.
02/14/2019 - 11:02 AM
FBI releases 16 drawings prolific serial killer Samuel Little made of his victims
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released more than a dozen drawingsmade by a prolific serial killer in hopes the public may be able to identifysome of his victims
02/14/2019 - 02:07 PM
Putin, Erdogan Spar Over Syria Militants Amid Split on Safe Zone
While Putin urged Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a summit on Thursday to work out ways to “completely destroy the terrorist hotbed” in the Idlib region, a joint statement after the talks referred only to the need for “concrete steps” to restore a September truce shattered by the Islamist takeover last month. Erdogan said he’d “relayed our expectations” to Putin and Rouhani for Syrian government forces to “abide by the cease-fire” agreed in September, and for Russia and Iran to support Turkey’s demand for a buffer zone inside northern Syria to counter U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in the region.
02/14/2019 - 11:42 AM
North Koreans pay tribute to Kim's father in freezing cold
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.
02/16/2019 - 04:00 AM
Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave election
One year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.
02/14/2019 - 12:56 PM
Trump enters obese range, but still in 'good health,' exam findings show
President Trump has put on a few pounds over the past year and is now in the obese range, although he remains in "very good health overall."
02/14/2019 - 06:00 PM
Amazon HQ2 Pulling Out of Queens Hits New Yorkers Hard
Social media reacts to the tech giant's decision not to move to Long Island City after all
02/14/2019 - 05:48 PM
The Latest: McCarrick's victim sad, but glad he was believed
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the defrocking of former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick (all times local):
02/16/2019 - 07:07 AM
This Could Be the New Land Rover Defender's Interior
A tweeted photo shows what we think is a final styling mockup for the new Defender's interior.
02/14/2019 - 11:50 AM
No more A380s? Why Airbus' bet on 'superjumbo' jets failed
It’s official: Airbus will pull the plug on its A380 double-decker jet. The latest A380 is now expected to roll off the assembly line in 2021.
02/14/2019 - 12:04 PM
Multiple wounded, at least one dead in US shooting
At least one person was killed and several others, including police officers, were wounded on Friday when a gunman opened fire in an industrial area on the outskirts of Chicago. US media reported that the suspected gunman was killed soon after police and federal agents flooded a manufacturing complex in Aurora, Illinois -- 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of central Chicago. Witnesses said they had locked themselves into nearby buildings as a man in his 30s or 40s began firing off rounds.
02/15/2019 - 06:38 PM
U.K. Spy Warns Against Triumphalism Over Islamic State Collapse
“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.
02/15/2019 - 08:00 AM
Ocasio-Cortez takes a victory lap after Amazon scraps plans to build in New York
The Democratic phenom scores a victory over the "richest man in the world."
02/14/2019 - 03:12 PM
Trump Venezuela envoy interrogated by Ilhan Omar over his role in Iran-Contra scandal
Donald Trump’s envoy to Venezuela was left flustered and visibly angry following an interrogation by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar over his controversial political past. Elliot Abrams was appointed special envoy to Venezuela last month to help lead the US response to the political crisis in the South American country, which is seeing widespread hunger and violence following the collapse of its economy. On Wednesday, Mr Abrams, who served in the Reagan administration, testified in front of the House foreign affairs select committee, where he was subjected to a fierce line of questioning by Ms Omar.
02/14/2019 - 09:20 AM
UK's Prince Harry visits marines in the Arctic on Valentine's Day
Britain's Prince Harry flew up to the Arctic on Valentine's Day to meet the Royal Marines and learn about special freezing-weather helicopter commando exercises. Harry, who is Captain General of the Royal Marines, visited northern Norway where he reviewed the Commando Helicopter Force which operates in temperatures as low as minus 30 Celsius. "This is the first time His Royal Highness has visited Joint Helicopter Command since becoming Captain General and it is great that he is doing the visit while we’re in Norway," said Warrant Officer 1st Class Adrian Shepherd, who has served with force for 27 years.
02/14/2019 - 09:11 AM
A year after Parkland school shooting, should we be arming teachers already?
After Parkland shooting, school districts took 'giant steps' to boost security, but we're still not arming teachers.
02/14/2019 - 12:39 PM
Storm creates chaos in California with flooding, mudslides
SAUSALITO, Calif. (AP) — Waves of heavy rain pounded California on Thursday, trapping people in floodwaters, washing away a mountain highway, triggering a mudslide that destroyed homes and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year.
02/14/2019 - 10:43 PM
Lovesick on Valentine's? Museum of broken hearts has the antidote
Forget romantic dinners and roses, the place to be on Valentine's Day is Zagreb's Museum of Broken Relationships, a paean to personal objects and stories of heartbreak. From a toaster to an exercise bike and a pair of lacy bras, the small museum imbues seemingly ordinary objects with meaning through captions that detail their role in the unravelling of relationships around the world. The museum was buzzing Thursday, Valentine's Day, with groups of friends and also some couples who seeking out an unorthodox way to celebrate love.
02/14/2019 - 10:26 AM
During a school lockdown, 7-year-old writes note on her arm in case she dies
A second-grader wrote a chilling note to her parents on her arm during school lockdown.
02/15/2019 - 01:11 PM
Report: President Trump Installs $50,000 Golf Simulator in the White House
President Trump has installed a room-sized golfing simulator inside his personal quarters at the White House
02/14/2019 - 11:01 AM
Iran general says Pakistan backs group behind suicide bomb
Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused "Pakistan's security forces" of supporting the perpetrators of a suicide bombing that killed 27 troops on Wednesday, in remarks state TV aired Saturday. "Pakistan's government, who has housed these anti-revolutionaries and threats to Islam, knows where they are and they are supported by Pakistan's security forces," said Revolutionary Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, referring to jihadist group Jaish al-Adl ("Army of Justice").
02/16/2019 - 04:00 AM
Photos of the New 2019 Subaru Ascent Touring
02/14/2019 - 12:09 PM
May Warns Tories Not to Undermine Her Mission: Brexit Update
May is asking the Commons to endorse her strategy of seeking legally binding changes to the Irish border backstop during talks with the European Union. With Labour and a number of Tory rebels planning to vote for Soubry’s rebel amendment, it’s possible that the main motion itself won’t come to a vote at all. If Soubry’s amendment passes, the wording of May’s motion will not be put to a separate vote.
02/14/2019 - 11:29 AM
Venezuela's Maduro ramps up legal fight against Guaido's challenge
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. Venezuela's chief state prosecutor, Tarek Saab, said on Thursday his office had opened an investigation into new opposition-appointed directors at state-run oil firm PDVSA and its U.S. refiner Citgo, Venezuela's most valuable foreign asset.
02/14/2019 - 08:12 PM
PR push for white officer accused of killing armed black man
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 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.
02/14/2019 - 06:59 PM
Eating scorpions, worms in Thai/US military drill
Thailand and the US hosted the opening ceremony for the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, the biggest activity of its type in the Asia-Pacific region with participants learning jungle survival skills. (Feb. 14)
02/14/2019 - 02:59 PM
Alaska Airlines is selling BOGO flights for one day only
On February 14 only, the airline is rolling out a ‘Fly One, Get One’ promotionbetween select destinations around the country
02/14/2019 - 04:28 PM
5 Delta passengers injured in severe turbulence, flight made emergency landing in Reno
Three of the five injured passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight were taken to a local hospital.
02/14/2019 - 10:59 AM
The Latest: Denver teachers back at work after 3-day strike
DENVER (AP) — The Latest on the Denver teachers strike (all times local):
02/15/2019 - 12:28 AM
37 killed in Indian Kashmir attack
At least 37 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on Thursday in Indian-administered Kashmir in one the deadliest attacks on government forces there, police said. The suicide bombing outside Srinagar claimed by an Islamist group is likely to ratchet up tensions between nuclear-armed arch rivals India and Pakistan, with New Delhi long accusing Islamabad of supporting militants. "The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain," Indian Prime Minister Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, calling the attack "despicable".
02/14/2019 - 05:11 PM
Senate approves William Barr as Donald Trump's new attorney general
The US Senate has approved President Donald Trump’s attorney general nominee William Barr, putting the veteran Republican lawyer in charge of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of any ties between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia. The vote was 54-45, primarily on a party-line basis with most Republicans backing the 68-year-old and most Democrats opposed. Democrats had expressed concern over Mr Barr's nomination out of concern he might not fully make public Mr Mueller's findings. But with the Senate controlled by the Republicans, Mr Barr's confirmation was always assured. Previously attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under President George HW Bush, Mr Barr has won praise from lawmakers in both parties for his expertise and grasp of the workings of the Justice Department, which he will now head. He is the third man in barely two years to occupy that post, replacing acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr Trump ousted Mr Sessions last November after criticising him repeatedly. Mr Mueller is investigating meddling by Russia in the 2016 US presidential election and whether Moscow colluded with Mr Trump's campaign to try to tilt the election in Mr Trump's direction, as well as possible obstruction of justice. Mr Trump denies any collusion. The Kremlin denies any meddling. Before being nominated, Mr Barr wrote a 19-page legal memo, which he shared with Mr Trump's legal team and Justice Department officials. It called Mr Mueller's probe "fatally flawed." Mr Barr has said he will not let himself be bullied by Mr Trump and will protect the integrity of Mr Mueller's investigation and make public as many of its findings as he can. However, Mr Barr has not promised to release Mr Mueller's final report in its entirety. He has warned he may not be allowed to reveal the identities of people who escape prosecution. That stance troubles many Democrats, who say Mr Barr's expansive views of executive power might lead him to suppress parts of the report. Despite Democrats' opposition, many are still anxious to have Mr Barr installed quickly so that he can replace Mr Whitaker, whose tenure has been fraught with controversy since the president installed him in November. Critics have alleged Mr Whitaker's appointment was unlawful. Democrats fear Trump installed him to undermine Mr Mueller's probe because Mr Whitaker had criticised it when he was a conservative pundit. Mr Barr is widely expected to back many of Mr Trump's tough immigration policies. He will also be under the microscope for how he implements a new law that eases prison sentences for non-violent criminals, after he advocated for the opposite, tough-on-crime approach for decades.
02/14/2019 - 01:34 PM
Polestar teases next-gen electric car again ahead of Geneva launch
Just two weeks before the official online reveal on February 27, Volvo's Polestar gave us another glimpse of the Polestar 2 just a couple of weeks after the first announcement. While the latest official teaser of the Polestar 2 isn't nearly as informational as the first announcement made a few weeks ago, we have still been graced by another image of a discernible part of the exterior body: the top, left-hand side of the rear end. The white Polestar logo blends into the white body to avoid distracting onlookers from the snappy and chic design.
02/15/2019 - 10:39 AM
More Brexit embarrassment for May as parliament defeats her again
Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday that undermined her pledge to European Union leaders to get her divorce deal approved if they grant her concessions. In a show of muscle, hardline Brexit supporters in her Conservative Party decided to abstain, handing her an embarrassing, albeit symbolic, defeat as she tries to renegotiate her deal with the EU. May was absent from the House of Commons for the debate and the outcome of the vote, which deepened the sense of political crisis over Britain's departure, more than two years after voters opted to leave the bloc by a margin of 52 percent to 48.
02/14/2019 - 02:41 PM
Our Favorite Eco-friendly Finds Put Sustainable Materials to Stylish Use
02/15/2019 - 08:00 AM
Los Angeles police fatally shoot man at busy train station
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man armed with a knife was shot and killed by police at a downtown train station during the morning rush hour Thursday, Los Angeles police said.
02/14/2019 - 03:25 PM
United Airlines: Three new routes for fast-growing Denver hub
United Airlines will add three new domestic routes at its Denver hub, all of which will go head-to-head against budget rival Frontier Airlines.
02/15/2019 - 10:17 AM
What Will Happen to the Opportunity Rover's Dead Body on Mars?
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars. The little solar-paneled robot apparently ran out of battery power during the Red Planet's awesome 2018 dust storm, and after one last attempt to contact it, NASA concluded yesterday (Feb. 13) that the far-off explorer is no more.Which raises the question: What's going to happen to its body?Many human artifacts wouldn't last very long beyond our protective biosphere. As Live Science reported previously, solar radiation has likely shredded the Tesla Roadster Elon Musk launched into space last year.But Tesla Roadsters have lots of organic fibers and plastics in their bodies. Mars rovers are made of tougher stuff. [Voyager to Mars Rover: NASA's 10 Greatest Innovations]Jeff Moersch, a professor of planetary science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a member of the Opportunity team, cautioned that he's not an expert in the rover's engineering. But he said that Opportunity does have some plastic bits that might eventually break down under the glare of the sun -- its insulation, for example."But, by and large, I think it'll look pretty much as we left it," when and if astronauts ever do come across its resting place, Moersch told Live Science. It'll probably be pretty dusty, though, he added.That's assuming that astronauts do make it to Mars in the relatively near future -- the next century or two, for example.Over much longer periods, Moersch said, dust will settle on the rover. Opportunity functioned as long as it did because regular Martian winds tended to routinely blow dust off its body. But over longer periods, it's a bit of an open question whether the dust or the wind will win out."I doubt it will end up buried in a mound, though," he added.What about millions of years in the future? On Earth, anything old and dead and sitting in one place on the surface tends to eventually end up underground. But that's thanks to the effects of water and plate tectonics, Moersch said -- factors that aren't present in the same way on Mars."Over the very long-term, you're going to get impacts that knock up ejecta [airborne Mars dirt] from where they hit, and that ejecta will very gradually resurface [on] the planet and bury things that were on the surface," he said.If Opportunity were to be left on Mars, aliens who landed there millions and millions of years from now would find the rover somewhere in the rock record -- much like how paleontologists find dinosaur fossils here on Earth.But NASA is hoping to send humans to Mars one day. And there are dreams of establishing some sort of human settlement there. Steve Squyres, a professor of astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and head of the Opportunity science mission, made clear during NASA's press conference announcing the rover's death that the agency has no plans to bring the rover back to Earth. (Why would we spend the money bringing material back from Mars when we already know exactly what it's made of? he asked.)That said, Moersch added, when humans do settle Mars, it's not unreasonable to imagine they might make some effort to recover and preserve Opportunity. Perhaps it could end up in museum, or the region explored by the rover might end up as a national park.Of course, if humans never get there, Opportunity might not make it into the fossil record at all. It's at least plausible that, given millions of years, a meteor could strike it directly and smash it to bits. * 5 Mars Myths and Misconceptions * Mars InSight Photos: A Timeline to Landing on the Red Planet * Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life (Photos)Originally published on Live Science.
02/14/2019 - 11:03 AM
BofA Says a ‘Real’ Trade Deal Could Vault S&P 500 to Record High
The firm’s model on corporate earnings and equity valuations suggests that the market has priced in “a partial deal,” one where only some of the issues get resolved in favor of corporate America, according to strategists led by Savita Subramanian. In a best-case scenario, the S&P 500 could climb 5 percent to 10 percent when a “real deal” is struck. Companies from 3M Co. to Stanley Black & Decker Inc. have slashed their guidance this year, citing either trade tensions or weakening demand in China.
02/15/2019 - 01:23 PM
20 Palestinians wounded in border clashes: Gaza ministry
Palestinian medical officials said that 20 Gazans were wounded Friday by Israeli fire during weekly clashes on the border, while Israeli police said one officer was hurt by an explosive device. "Twenty injuries by the Israeli occupation forces with live ammunition," the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry said in a statement. The Israeli army said that 11,000 "rioters and demonstrators" gathered at several points along the border barrier, with people throwing rocks at soldiers and the fence, as well as "several explosive devices and grenades" aimed at the troops.
02/15/2019 - 12:28 PM
Isil bride Shamima Begum has a legal right to return to the UK, head of MI6 says
The British Islamic State (Isil) bride Shamima Begum has a legal right to return to the UK the Head of MI6 has said. The Director General of MI6 has said that British citizens have a right to return home from Syria, even though they may still present a threat to national security. Alex Younger, the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service - better known as MI6 - said he was "very concerned" about returning British nationals that had fought for or supported the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). Speaking ahead of the Munich Security Conference which started on Friday, Mr Younger said: "All experience tells us that once someone's put themselves in that sort of position they are likely to have acquired both the skills and connections that make them potentially very dangerous. "Anyone who has put themselves in this situation can expect to be questioned and investigated and potentially prosecuted if they return to our jurisdiction." When asked about the case of Ms Begum, the heavily pregnant 19-year-old Londoner who travelled to Syria four years ago to become an Isil bride and who now wants to return to the UK to have her baby, Mr Younger said: "British nationals have a right to come to the UK." Kadiza Sultana, left, Shamima Begum, center, and Amira Abase going through security at Gatwick airport Credit: Metropolitan Police Britain’s intelligence chief cautioned about showing triumphalism at the demise of Isil, saying such an approach led to hubris. "The military defeat of the caliphate does not represent the end of the terrorist threat that we face," he said. "You can’t use military force to kill and idea." Mr Younger warned that Isil was already in the process of trying to grow elsewhere around the world, even as its fighters are defeated in Syria, and that the threat from al-Qaeda had not been completely extinguished. He said: "Daesh [Isil] is a resilient organisation and it is reorganising, returning to its natural state as an asymmetric transnational terrorist organisation. We see it morphing, spreading out. "Al-Qaeda...has undergone a certain resurgence as a result of the degradation of Daesh and it is a force that should also be taken seriously. It is definitely not done out, and is something we should remain focused on." Mr Younger was keen to stress the "strength and unconditional nature of the UK security offer" and said Brexit would not harm enduring partnerships. "Britain’s commitment to the security of the European continent is unconditional," he said. "Our aim is to strengthen our security partnerships in Europe, alongside our other intelligence partnerships across the globe, because that is the inescapable logic of a world of increasingly international hybrid threats." The ability to "operationalise" partnerships with other intelligence organisations was critical in preserving our way of life, he said, and was used to great effect after the nerve-agent attack in Salisbury last year. Referring to the intelligence sharing relationships with France and Germany he said: "There are people alive in our three countries today because of terrorist attack plans that we have successfully disrupted, showing the value and importance of cooperation to all sides. This is not a one-way street." "Even in the past year...people’s lives have been saved in all of our countries as a result of this cooperation. The counter terrorist machine is working as it should. Bombs haven’t gone off as a result of our capacity to exchange data with each other. "Brexit doesn’t fundamentally alter those relationships."
02/15/2019 - 09:45 AM
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