In The News
- Poland pulls out of Israel summit in row over WW2 role - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 07:04:10 -0500
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki branded the remarks "racist and unacceptable". The leaders of the other three 'Visegrad Group' nations - Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - all still planned to attend the talks, Israel said, but Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said they would instead consist of bilateral discussions and that the summit would be rescheduled for later in 2019. The diplomatic spat between Poland and Israel has been escalating since Friday, when Israeli media reported remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday suggesting Polish complicity in the Holocaust.
- Israeli leader pledges funds for museum for Jewish WWII vets - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 07:10:57 -0500
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Sunday that his government would allocate the necessary funds to complete a long-promised museum honoring Jewish World War II veterans.
- Here’s What’s Open and Closed on President’s Day 2019 - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:23:49 -0500
Find out if banks, schools and the post office are open on President's day
- Shamima Begum is 'traumatised', says her lawyer as he likens Isil bride to a First World War soldier - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 06:34:22 -0500
The Isil bride who travelled to Syria to marry a terrorist is "traumatised", according to her lawyer, who likened his client to a World War One soldier. Shamima Begum, 19, flew to the Middle East four years ago to join the terror group. There, she married a Dutch-born fighter with whom she had three children. Her two eldest children have died, but she gave birth at a refugee camp in northeastern Syria on the weekend and now wants to return to Britain. In an interview over the weekend, Begum said that people should be feeling sympathy for her, and her lawyer Tasnime Akunjee defended her attitude. He told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I think it's difficult to take what she's saying in the current circumstances and try to draw from the lack of emotion that she has. "She's a traumatised person. She finds herself in a camp and was clearly quite attached to her husband, it would seem, and suddenly he's not by her side." Lawyer Tasnime Akunjee Credit: Emrah Gurel/AP When confronted with the fact Begum does not seem traumatised and instead appeared to be composed, Mr Akunjee said: "You might've said the same thing about a World War One soldier in the middle of shellshock." Presenter Philip Madeley said this comparison was "a bit of a stretch", to which Mr Akumjee responded: "It's a warzone. They're both warzones." The Begum's family lawyer, Mr Akunjee, said he understood some of the responses to her pleas for sympathy. He told BBC Breakfast: "The family have gone out of their way from day one to try to get her away from the Isil narrative and the context which she finds herself in. "She's been there for four years and we would be surprised if she hadn't been further damaged beyond the degree she had already been groomed into. "The family are concerned, as they have been for the last four years, not just to get her away, but, as of yesterday, to make sure that their grandchild - her child - is not influenced by that sort of thinking." Mr Akunjee said he anticipated that Begum would probably face criminal proceedings upon any return to the UK, but said it was the family's hope that she would be given professional help following her experience in Syria. Begum was one of three schoolgirls, along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, from Bethnal Green Academy who left the UK for Syria in February 2015. Ms Sultana was reported to have been killed in an air strike in 2016, while the other two are reported to still be alive. 'Show me some sympathy', says Isil bride after giving birth The British schoolgirl who ran away to join Isil has appealed for public sympathy following the birth of her son, as a row intensifies over whether she should be allowed to return to the UK. Shamima Begum, 19, went to Syria in 2015 and was discovered there in a refugee camp last week, heavily pregnant and insisting she wanted to go home. The birth of her child over the weekend prompted calls for the baby to be subject to care proceedings should Begum be able to return from Syria, as it emerged that the Family Division of the High Court had presided over cases involving at least 150 children deemed at risk of radicalisation in the last five years. In an interview with Sky News recorded at the Kurdish-controlled camp to which she fled from the last pocket of Isil-controlled territory, Begum said there was "no evidence" she had done anything wrong and she could not see "any reason" why her child should be taken from her when she had simply been living as a housewife. Speaking just hours after giving birth, her baby at her side, she said she had no regrets about fleeing the family home in Bethnal Green, east London, to support Isil, claiming the experience had made her "stronger, tougher". Shamima Begum's Dutch-born husband Yago Riedjik She said she could see a future for herself and her son, whom she has named Jarah after one of the two children she lost to malnutrition and disease in the last three months, "if the UK are willing to take me back and help me start a new life again and try and move on from everything that’s happened in the last four years". She added: "I wouldn’t have found someone like my husband [Yago Riedijk, 26, a Muslim convert from the Netherlands] in the UK. I had my kids, I had a good time there." Her other children, Jarah and Surayah, a daughter, died aged 18 months and nine months. Asked how she felt about the debate over whether she should be allowed to return home, Begum said: "I feel a lot of people should have sympathy for me, for everything I’ve been through. "I didn’t know what I was getting into when I left, I just was hoping that maybe for the sake of me and my child they let me come back. "I can’t live in this camp forever. It’s not really possible." In the interview, Begum apologised for the first time to her family for running away, and said that though she knew it was "like a big slap in the face" for her to ask after she had previously rejected their calls for her to return, "I really need their help". Tim Loughton, deputy chairman of the home affairs select committee, said he thought it "extraordinary" that Begum was asking to come back while showing "not a scintilla of regret". The Conservative MP added: "My own feeling is in line with most others, that she has made her bed and should lie in it. But the law must prevail and we are probably going to have to let her back" "However, I think her child should be subjected to care proceedings due to the threat of radicalisation." He said a forthcoming report by the Henry Jackson Society disclosed that the Family Division of the High Court had presided over cases involving at least 150 children deemed at risk of radicalisation in the last five years. Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, said last week that he would "not hesitate" to prevent the return of anyone who supported terrorist organisations abroad. He reiterated his stance in a Sunday newspaper article, expressing compassion for any child born or brought into a conflict zone, but stating that the safety and security of children living in this country had to be the priority. Isil schoolgirls' journey into Syria Jeremy Wright, the Culture Secretary and former Attorney General, said Britain was "obliged" to take back British citizens. However, he added: "That doesn’t mean that we can’t put in place the necessary security measures to monitor their activities. It doesn’t mean either that we can’t seek to hold them to account for their behaviour thus far.” He said the nationality of Begum’s baby was a "difficult question", but the pair’s health was the most pressing matter. "In the end she will have to answer for her actions," he added. "So I think it is right that if she’s able to come back to the UK that she does so on the understanding that we can hold her to account for her behaviour thus far." Ms Begum said she was attracted to Isil by videos that she had seen online, which she said showed "how they’ll take care of you". She said she knew that the group carried out beheadings, but that she "was OK with it at first. I started becoming religious just before I left and from what I heard Islamically that is all allowed". "At first it was nice," she said of life in the so-called Islamic State. "It was how they showed it in the videos, you know, you come, make a family together, but then things got harder. "We had to keep moving and moving and moving. The situation got fraught." Begum acknowledged that it would be "really hard" to be rehabilitated after everything she had been through. "I’m still in that mentality of planes over my head, emergency backpacks, starving... it would be a big shock to go back to the UK and start again," she said. Isil bride Shamima Begum | Read more Writing in The Sunday Times, Mr Javid said that decisions about what to do with potential returnees had to be made on a case-by-case basis, based on the "facts of each case, the law and the threat to national security". He added: "I think about the children that could in future get caught up in dangerous groups if we don’t take a firm stance against those who support them… And that means sending a message to those who have backed terrorism: there will be consequences." His comments were described as "sick" by Ms Begum’s lawyer on Sunday. Mr Akunje told Radio 4’s The World This Weekend: "We are talking about a newborn baby who poses no risk or threat to anybody, [who is] not even cognitive, and yet he’s speaking about a child who’s a British citizen in terms of a security threat." Mr Akunje suggested that the birth of Begum’s child increased pressure on the British authorities to allow her to return home. He also revealed that Begum’s family has struggled to make direct contact with her and is now considering the possibility of getting out to Syria themselves. Her family has indicated that if she is jailed for supporting a terrorist group, they want to step in and raise her son themselves. Cressida Dick hits back at claims Met failed The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has hit back at claims that officers failed to stop another runaway schoolgirl on the same flight as a 15-year-old arrested as she attempted to flee the UK to join Islamic State (IS). Cressida Dick said it was "incredibly complicated" and difficult to know about somebody's intentions, and claimed the schoolgirls - Sharmeena Begum and another unnamed passenger - were in fact on separate flights as the latter was pulled from the runway at Heathrow in December 2014 when she sought to get to Syria. The Times newspaper said the 15-year-old was arrested but not prosecuted, despite officers finding extremist material on her devices. Asked about the flight to Istanbul, on which both Sharmeena Begum and the unnamed 15-year-old were said to have been passengers en route to Syria, Ms Dick told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "I think it was actually a different flight and I think the question that's being asked is whether we were able to pass on sufficient information and understand well enough what these three girls were intending. "The truth of the matter is it's incredibly hard to know what somebody's intending. "The moment we informed the school about the girl who came off the flight, we did not know these girls were intending that, they were merely witnesses and we were talking to them as witnesses. These things are incredibly complicated. "We try to stop people from travelling when we knew they were travelling with ill-intent." Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.
- Illinois shooting: Man who killed five co-workers was domestic abuser banned from legally owning guns - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 04:37:22 -0500
A disgruntled employee, who fatally shot five people and wounded five police officers at an Illinois warehouse on Friday, severely beat a woman years ago in a domestic violence incident that turned him into a felon - and should have kept him from buying a gun. Gary Martin, 45, who was shot and killed during the attack, applied for a concealed carry permit five years ago, alerting Illinois authorities to his criminal record, which made it illegal for him to own a gun. Authorities did not say why Martin was being fired.
- Hong Kong economy stalls amid trade dispute: finance chief - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 04:31:15 -0500
Hong Kong's economy stalled last year as the ongoing China-US trade dispute and retail woes dragged down local business, the city's financial chief said Sunday. Beijing and Washington have already imposed duties on more than $360 billion in two-way trade, roiling global financial markets and weighing heavily on manufacturing output in both countries. "The impact of China-US trade frictions on Hong Kong's exports has clearly emerged at the end of last year," said finance secretary Paul Chan.
- Gone in a New York minute: How the Amazon deal fell apart - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 14:59:05 -0500
NEW YORK (AP) — In early November, word began to leak that Amazon was serious about choosing New York to build a giant new campus. The city was eager to lure the company and its thousands of high-paying tech jobs, offering billions in tax incentives and lighting the Empire State Building in Amazon orange.
- Email Address Given to Ocasio-Cortez Beau Sparks Heated Exchange - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 14:51:37 -0500
“While you were having a nice Valentine’s Day, @AOC decided to put her boyfriend on staff -- drawing a salary on the taxpayer’s dime. Nice to see her adapting to the swamp so quickly,” the conservative magazine’s Luke Thompson said on his Twitter feed. Other conservative voices piled on, with Katrina Pierson, an adviser to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, who suggested that “her jobs for everyone starts with her boyfriend.
- Here are 3 small steps to grow savings of thousands of dollars in a 401(k) - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 06:01:04 -0500
Most people don't amass big savings overnight. Start small in a 401(k) and keep building with bonuses, remembering the power of dollar-cost averaging.
- Venezuela denies EU lawmakers entry given 'conspiratorial motives' - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 21:33:23 -0500
Venezuela denied a group of European Parliament deputies entry into the country on Sunday, arguing they had "conspiratorial motives" for flying to Caracas in the throes of a political crisis. The European Parliament last month joined a slew of Western nations in recognizing Venezuelan opposition chief Juan Guaido as interim head of state after President Nicolas Maduro won a second term in an election last year that critics denounced as a sham. The four deputies from the center-right European People's Party (EPP) were traveling to Venezuela to meet with Guaido, one of them said in a video distributed via social media.
- Four Indian soldiers killed in battle with Kashmir militants: police - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 23:51:42 -0500
At least four soldiers died Monday in a fierce gunfight with rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir just four days after a suicide bomber killed 41 paramilitaries in the troubled territory, officials said. One soldier and one civilian were also critically wounded in the shootout as troops launched a search operation in Pulwama district where the suicide bomber struck on Thursday. The official said the soldiers fired warning shots and the militants fired back, unleashing the firefight in the district 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar.
- Chicago AccuWeather: 2-4 inches of snow on Sunday - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:55:39 -0500
Steady snow throughout the day Sunday with 2 to 4 inches expected across the Chicago area. Highs in 20s.
- Family: UK teen who joined Islamic State has baby in Syria - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:02:03 -0500
LONDON (AP) — The family of a British teenager who ran away to join the Islamic State group and now wants to return to the U.K. said Sunday she has given birth to a baby boy.
- Illinois factory gunman obtained firearm permit despite felony conviction - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 20:12:50 -0500
Gary Martin, 45, who carried his pistol to work on Friday apparently suspecting he faced dismissal from his job, opened fire after being told of his termination in a meeting at the Henry Pratt Company plant in Aurora, Illinois, about 40 miles (64 km) west of Chicago, police said. The dead included the plant manager, a human resources supervisor, a human resources intern and two other workers. A sixth employee and five police officers responding to the scene were wounded, and the gunman himself was slain about 90 minutes later in a gunfight with police who stormed the building.
- How to Watch the Super Snow Moon, the Biggest Supermoon of 2019 - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 09:00:13 -0500
Here’s what to know about the upcoming February full moon, also known as the 'super snow moon'— and what the best time is to see it.
- Back in the Bronx, Ocasio-Cortez says to keep up the fight - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 18:36:08 -0500
NEW YORK (AP) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez returned to her home district in the New York City borough of the Bronx on Saturday to encourage her supporters to keep up the kind of activism that resulted in Amazon rescinding its plan to build a campus in the city.
- Potato rösti - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 05:00:00 -0500
This potato rösti is the perfect way to use up that last bit of cheese in the fridge. SERVES Two INGREDIENTS 500g potatoes, ideally a nice waxy chip potato 1 small onion, finely sliced 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped Pinch of dried chilli 50g butter 120g mixed grated cheese such as cheddar, gruyere or comté (a great opportunity to use up leftovers) Large pinch of fresh or dried sage METHOD Peel the potatoes and coarsely grate them into a bowl. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and season well. Tip onto a tea towel and squeeze them tightly to remove any excess liquid, then return to the bowl and mix in 25g of the butter, diced. Add 15g of the butter to a large non-stick and ovenproof frying pan (large enough to hold the potato mixture) and allow to melt. Press the potato mixture into the pan and cook over a medium heat until the underside starts to crisp – from around six to 10 minutes. When ready, flip the rosti onto a plate (cooked side up), melt the rest of the butter in the pan and slide the rosti into it to cook on the other side for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through. To finish, preheat the grill and sprinkle the rosti with the grated cheese and sage, along with a good grinding of black pepper. Place until the grill until the cheese melts and bubbles. Serve with a crisp green salad. RECIPES | Angela's budget-friendly dishes
- How many push-ups can you do? Study finds men who can do 40 have lower risk of heart disease - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 17:02:45 -0500
Active, middle-aged men who could do more than 40 push-ups in timed test had significantly lower risks for heart problems, according to a new study.
- Watch Mike Pence gasp when no one claps at his terrible applause line - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 14:19:19 -0500
Vice President Mike Pence isn't a complicated man. He likes Chili's, using his personal AOL account for official government business, and gay conversion therapy. And so, when he addressed attendees at the Middle East conference in Poland on Feb. 14, it's clear he believed that same down-home flavor that's treated him so well in Trump Country would garner rounds of applause from his European audience. That, dear reader, is where he went wrong.Speaking about the widely supported Iran nuclear deal, Pence told those in attendance that it was time to follow in the footsteps of the U.S. and withdraw. The response, or rather lack thereof, from the crowd appeared to shock the veep. SEE ALSO: Sure looks like Trump declared a 'national emergency' via the Notes app"The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and the Iranian people, to stand with our allies and friends in the region," he told the audience. "The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join with us as we bring the economic and diplomatic pressure necessary to give the Iranian people, the region, and the world, the peace, security, and freedom they deserve."The video pretty much says it all. > OMG -- Pence was visibly shook in Poland when he received absolutely no reaction to what was clearly supposed to be an applause line about how "the time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal." pic.twitter.com/biRxARZkcM> > -- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 16, 2019Amazing, right? The people of the internet think so, too. > Surprised no one threw a shoe at him.> > -- Warren (@Rusty94582) February 17, 2019> His desperate gasp for breath is priceless!!!> > -- Craig Lapierre (@clspartan) February 17, 2019> Not sure what's more embarrassing: That he has so many beats for applause written into his script, or that the applause never came.> > -- Johnny Moonrock (@JohnnyMoonrock) February 17, 2019Notably, this has been happening to Pence a lot lately. On Feb. 15, he was speaking at the 55th annual Munich Security Conference, and told those gathered that Trump says hello."I bring greetings from the 45th President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump."Deafening silence followed. Better luck next time. WATCH: Cardi B speaks out on government shutdown
- Netanyahu hands Israel foreign minister role to right-wing rival - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 06:27:44 -0500
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday he was relinquishing the role of foreign minister and handing it to a right-wing rival from within his Likud party, Israel Katz. The move comes ahead of April 9 elections and follows court challenges arguing Netanyahu -- who is also health and defence minister -- has taken on too many governmental portfolios. A Likud spokesman said Netanyahu intended to appoint Katz as acting foreign minister without providing further details.
- Thousands of Venezuela volunteers begin preparing US aid entry - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 06:29:47 -0500
Thousands of volunteers in Venezuela will begin mobilizing on Sunday to bring American aid into their crisis-hit country despite a blockade by President Nicolas Maduro who claims the assistance could be cover for a US invasion. Once-wealthy Venezuela is gripped by a power struggle between socialist leader Maduro and Juan Guaido, the head of the National Assembly who proclaimed himself interim president last month and now has the backing of more than 50 countries.
- Fast-moving storm will bring heavy rain to Southland on Sunday - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 04:23:10 -0500
A fast-moving storm system is expected to bring heavy rain to parts of the Southland while dumping several inches of snow in the mountains.
- The Latest: Cardinal calls McCarrick punishment 'important' - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 18:21:31 -0500
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the defrocking of former U.S. cardinal Theodore McCarrick (all times local):
- Irish backstop can't be changed for Brexit deal: Estonian president - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 05:38:35 -0500
There can be no changes to the Irish "backstop", an arrangement to avoid a hard border between European Union member Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland after Brexit, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid told Reuters. Many British lawmakers, especially in Prime Minister Theresa May's governing Conservative Party, fear the backstop will trap the UK in a permanent customs union with the EU after Brexit.
- Potential privacy lapse found in Americans' 2010 census data - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 19:08:35 -0500
WASHINGTON (AP) — An internal team at the Census Bureau found that basic personal information collected from more than 100 million Americans during the 2010 head count could be reconstructed from obscured data, but with lots of mistakes, a top agency official disclosed Saturday.
- NASA posts image of ghostly blue objects, deep in the cosmos - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 11:19:53 -0500
When a star is born, a chaotic light show ensues. NASA's long-lived Hubble Space Telescope captured vivid bright clumps moving through the cosmos at some 1,000 light years from Earth. The space agency called these objects clear "smoking gun" evidence of a newly formed star — as new stars blast colossal amounts of energy-rich matter into space, known as plasma. Seen as the vivid blue, ephemeral clumps in the top center of the new image below, these are telltale signs of an energy-rich gas, or plasma, colliding with a huge collection of dust and gas in deep space. As NASA says, these blue masses are transient creations in the cosmos, as "they disappear into nothingness within a few tens of thousands of years." Bright lights inside a nebula. Image: ESA/Hubble/NASA/K. Stapelfeldt These blue clumps are traveling at 150,000 mph toward the upper left direction (from our view, anyhow). In total, there are five of these ghostly clumps, hurtling through space. SEE ALSO: Opportunity rover's last picture is as grim as it is dark NASA doesn't identify the new star itself, called SVS 13, perhaps because it's obscured by thick clouds of cosmic matter. This collection of dust and gas is part of a distant nebula, which are often the remnants of exploded stars swirling through the infinity of space. WATCH: Ever wonder how the universe might end?
- Merck, Pfizer drug combo extends kidney cancer survival: study - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 17:19:30 -0500
Nearly 90 percent of patients who received the combination therapy were still alive after 12 months compared with about 78 percent of patients who were alive after a year when treated with the older drug Sutent, data showed. Merck on Monday released interim data from the trial, saying the combination reduced the risk of death by 47 percent compared with Sutent. The findings add to an arsenal of positive clinical data for Keytruda, which is approved to treat several types of cancer, making it by far Merck's most important growth driver.
- Trump to veto Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez resolution blocking national emergency unless Republicans lend support - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 11:36:00 -0500
Donald Trump is prepared to issue the first veto of his presidency over a national emergency declaration his critics have slammed as an unconstitutional power grab, a senior White House official said on Sunday. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller told Fox News Sunday that “the president is going to protect his national emergency declaration”. The president declared the emergency Friday in an effort to go around Congress to fund his border wall.
- Russia's RT fumes after Facebook blocks 'wildly popular' page - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 06:00:30 -0500
Facebook has blocked a popular page run by Russian state TV channel RT, the channel's editor said Monday, criticising the move as an attack on media rights. The project was wildly popular -- 2.5 billion views and four million subscribers on Facebook alone!" RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said on her Telegram social network account. "We didn't violate any Facebook rules," she said.
- American and British ISIS brides Hoda Muthana and Shamima Begum plead to go home - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 07:23:39 -0500
Hoda Muthana and Shamima Begum fled to Syria to marry Islamic State group fighters. Now they want to come home.
- Belgian Jewish museum trial interrupted as juror questioned - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 06:11:03 -0500
The trial of a Frenchman accused of shooting dead four people at the Jewish museum of Belgium was interrupted on Monday as police were summoned to question a juror. "We cannot start the closing arguments under these conditions," judge Laurence Massart said, after recusing the juror for having communicated with outside parties. "The sixth juror contacted police officials on Friday afternoon to say he met with parties not heard in this trial with whom he discussed the case file," she added.
- This Week: Walmart results, Fed minutes, US home sales - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 00:05:42 -0500
A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:
- Australia's major political parties hacked by 'state actor' ahead of elections - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:15:11 -0500
A “sophisticated state actor” was behind a cyberattack on the Australian Parliament's computing network that also affected the network of major political parties, the prime minister said on Monday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not identify the state behind what he described as a “malicious intrusion” on Feb 8. A joint statement from House of Representatives speaker Tony Smith and Senate president Scott Ryan said at the time there was no evidence that data had been accessed in the breach. But lawmakers were advised to change passwords. Morrison revealed Monday that the computer networks of the government parties - the Liberal Party and the Nationals - as well as the opposition Labor Party had also been affected. Australia's security agencies were securing those systems and protecting users, he said. “Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity,” Morrison told reporters. “Let me be clear, though - there is no evidence of any electoral interference. We have put in place a number of measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral system,” he added. The Australian Cyber Security Center, the government's main cyber security agency, had briefed federal and state election authorities, Morrison said. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, will hold elections on March 23. A federal election will be held on a date to be set in May. Duncan Lewis, director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, the nation's main spy agency, would not comment on how deeply the attack had penetrated the computer networks. “The electoral machinery which we have in this country, that's the Australian Electoral Commission and the various state electoral commissions that work with the federal system - there is no evidence that they have been compromised,” Lewis told a Senate committee. He would not say whether the attack had been neutralized, saying it was “being managed.” Although Australian officials have not blamed any country, in 2011 it was reported that China was suspected of accessing the email system used by lawmakers and parliamentary staff. Election interference has been high on the international agenda ever since America's 2016 presidential election, in which Russian hackers stole and published more than 150,000 emails from various Democratic targets in what U.S. spymasters and senior lawmakers have described as a wide-ranging effort to help elect Donald Trump.
- Saudi official fires back after Iran blames attack on Riyadh - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:37:37 -0500
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A senior Saudi diplomat on Monday fired back after Iran initially blamed the kingdom for an attack last week that killed 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard.
- Japan's New F-3 Fighter: Why Not Just Buy More F-35s? - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 20:00:00 -0500
We have a look at what Tokyo is planning.
- Weekend beauty highlights from London Fashion Week - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 04:06:43 -0500
London Fashion Week got underway over the weekend, and if the first few days of catwalk shows were anything to go by, then we're in for a playful hair and beauty spectacle for the Fall/Winter 2019 season.
- European car imports no threat to U.S. national security: VDA - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:37:16 -0500
Car imports from Europe do not endanger U.S. national security, German car lobby the VDA said on Sunday, echoing comments by Chancellor Angela Merkel a day earlier. The U.S. Commerce Department is due to deliver recommendations to President Donald Trump by Sunday on whether imported vehicles and parts pose a national security risk and to outline options on how to address the issue, including whether to impose tariffs. Germany's car industry alone has created more than 113,000 jobs in the United States in recent years with around 300 factories, making them the largest car exporter from the United States, VDA said in a statement.
- Spanish victims of sex abuse priests speak out - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:26:21 -0500
A trickle of accusations of sexual abuse against priests in schools and seminaries is starting to erode the wall of silence in Catholic Spain, whose Church representatives are set to attend a major Vatican meeting on child protection. "This is only the tip of the iceberg," warned Miguel Hurtado, who recently made his case public. For 20 years, Hurtado stayed quiet, trying to come to terms with the abuse he suffered when he joined a boy scout troup at the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which sits high up in jagged mountains northwest of Barcelona.
- Amazon pays no federal income tax for 2018, despite soaring profits, report says - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:53:52 -0500
Amazon's profits nearly doubled in 2018, but it paid no federal income tax, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says.
- Russia pioneering return of 'ISIS children' - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 22:06:01 -0500
As the end nears for the IS enclave in Syria and the fate of jihadists' family members becomes a prescient issue, Russia can be seen as a pioneer in systematically returning children of Islamist fighters home. A potential homecoming of the many foreign women who have gone to live in the IS "caliphate" and their children, many of whom were born there, has been a subject of debate in Russia, with some security chiefs seeing them as potential threats. Earlier this month, 27 children, from four to 13 years old, were flown from Iraq to the Moscow region.
- Medical emergency triggers stampede at San Francisco theater - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 17:11:12 -0500
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chaos broke out during a performance of the musical "Hamilton" at San Francisco's Orpheum theater Friday night after audience members mistook a medical emergency for a shooting.
- Germany's SPD climbs in polls after welfare rethink - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 08:24:20 -0500
Support for Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) has hit its highest level in almost six months, a poll showed on Sunday, a week after the center-left party outlined new welfare plans aimed at winning back working class voters. Ahead of European elections in May and four regional votes this year, the Emnid poll for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper put support for the SPD, which shares power with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, on 19 percent, up 2 points from a week ago.
- UN envoy arrives in Yemen to discuss truce around port city - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 11:00:05 -0500
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths arrived on Sunday in the capital, Sanaa, to discuss the "complex situation" in and around the key port city of Hodeida, Yemeni security officials said.
- Ready, Aim, Fire!: Watch This Deadly Russian T-90MS Tank Go To War - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 20:00:00 -0500
All to capture some important arms sales.
- Victoria Beckham goes 'retro' at London Fashion Week show - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 12:55:15 -0500
Exaggerated collars, leopard print and a strong colour palette: British designer Victoria Beckham turned to "pinches of the '70s" as she showcased her latest collection Sunday at London Fashion Week. The former Spice Girl chose the rarified galleries of the Tate Britain museum, a neoclassical building home to some of the country's most treasured art, for only her second catwalk show in the British capital. "I have been thinking about what women want, about modern femininity," she told audiences in show notes describing her autumn/winter 2019 collection.
- Average tax refunds fall for second straight week, creating political flashpoint - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 13:16:42 -0500
The average refund in the second week of the filing season was $1,949, down 8.7 percent from $2,135 a year earlier.
- India, Pakistan 'spy' row heads for UN top court amid tensions - Mon, 18 Feb 2019 03:35:51 -0500
India will on Monday renew its bid to persuade international judges to take an alleged spy off death row in Pakistan, in a controversial court case as fresh bloodshed in Kashmir sends tensions between the neighbours soaring. Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, a former Indian navy officer, was arrested in the restive southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan in March 2016 on charges of espionage and sentenced to death by a military court. India insists Jadhav was not a spy and that he was kidnapped in Pakistan.
- Top US officials considered removing Trump using 25th amendment, FBI lawyers confirm - Sun, 17 Feb 2019 05:57:12 -0500
An explosive claim that senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department discussed forcing Donald Trump out of office has been backed by two more witnesses in secret Congressional hearings. Former acting head of the FBI Andrew McCabe revealed earlier this week there had been conversations at the top echelons of the government about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Mr Trump after he fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017.
- Iran rejects anti-Semitism allegation by Pence - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 10:15:13 -0500
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.
- The Latest: Extremist attack in Nigeria kills 4 civilians - Sat, 16 Feb 2019 12:11:30 -0500
YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — The Latest on Nigeria's postponed presidential election (all times local):