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Updated: 17 hours 3 min ago

Maduro Goes After Richard Branson With Own Concert

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 14:05

The concert organized by the Venezuelan government will take place this weekend on the Simon Bolivar bridge connecting the two countries, Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said. The government will provide medical attention and give away 20,000 packages through its food-delivery program.


Jussie Smollett attack: Police seek to re-interview 'Empire' star; brothers tell police he paid them to stage attack, sources say

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 12:28

Chicago police want to re-interview "Empire" star Jussie Smollett about the alleged attack, and that could happen Monday.


Trump says Venezuela's military will 'lose everything they have' if they continue to support Maduro

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 12:14

Donald Trump has issued his most blunt threat yet to Venezuela’s military – stop supporting President Nicolas Maduro or risk “losing everything”. In a speech in which he claimed “the evils” of socialism were also being turned back in Cuba and Nicaragua and that the US would never be a socialist country – comments that were almost certainly made with the 2020 presidential election in mind – the president spoke directly to military officials who have so far overwhelmingly supported Mr Maduro. Venezuela is leaving socialism, the dictatorship, and there is no turning back,” he told a crowd of Venezuelan-Americans and immigrants in Florida.


Pope's credibility 'on the line' as Vatican convenes global meeting on combating child abuse by clergy

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 11:58

Victims of clerical sex abuse have warned Pope Francis that his credibility is on the line as he confronts the biggest challenge of his papacy with a landmark conference on protecting children from rape and molestation. Nearly 200 bishops, archbishops, patriarchs and other senior Catholic figures from around the world will convene in Rome on Thursday for an unprecedented four-day conference that is supposed to tackle the scourge of child abuse by clergy. It is the biggest effort so far to address scandals that have eroded faith in the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Australia and elsewhere. “There’s going to be every effort to close whatever loopholes there are,” said Charles Scicluna, an archbishop from Malta who is one of the organisers of the summit. “This is a new day in terms of transparency. Bishops are going to be held accountable. My hope is that people see this as a turning point.” Members of the survivors' group Ending Clergy Abuse in front of St Peter's Square at the Vatican Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP But victims’ groups are furious that it has taken this long for the Church to organise such a high-profile meeting, pointing out that is has been 17 years since the Boston sex abuse scandal, which lifted the lid on the problem in the Church. They accuse Pope Francis of failing to clearly decree that priests, and the bishops who protect them, should be reported to the police, prosecuted and sent to jail if found guilty of abuse. They say the Vatican has had years to set out clear guidelines to every diocese in the world, instructing them to hand over to the civil authorities any priest accused of abusing children. It has not done so. “Pope Francis has been talking about zero tolerance ever since he was elected. It’s time to deliver on that promise,” said Peter Isely, from Ending Clergy Abuse, a victims’ support group. “There needs to be a universal law for the Church around the world – if you are a priest who rapes or sexually assaults a child, then you are going to be removed from the priesthood. And you are going to be turned over to the authorities and prosecuted and imprisoned.” Peter Isely, founding member of Ending Clergy Abuse, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP Survivors of sex abuse are tired of the years of empty rhetoric and lack of action coming from the Vatican. “We’ve been waiting a long time. We’ve waited too long. This is a historic moment. This has never happened before in the history of the Catholic Church. The Pope has acknowledged that this is a global problem in the Church and that’s important. He now has to deliver,” said Mr Isely, speaking in front of St Peter’s Basilica. “They can do something in the next few days that could save a child somewhere in the world from undergoing what we went through as children – these horrible, horrific, terrible crimes.” Peter Saunders, a British victim of sex abuse by priests, said: “This pope is the best public relations pope of our lifetime. He is very media savvy. But his credibility on this issue has been blown away.” The Vatican made Mr Saunders a member of a special commission for the protection of children, but he resigned in protest at how little progress the body made, saying it was “starved of funding”. Around a dozen survivors have been invited to meet the Pope during the conference.  “What we need is action. We need to have a real conversation about this - why is there not zero tolerance for priests who have assaulted children? What’s the hold-up? What’s the problem?” said Mr Isely. The Vatican insists that this time, it means business. Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, is one of the organisers of the summit Credit: AP/Gregorio Borgia “It’s going to be a rallying moment,” said Cardinal Blasé Cupich from Chicago, another organiser of the conference. “We want to make sure that bishops claim ownership of the problem.” Archbishop Scicluna vowed that the days of omerta – the code of silence which normally refers to the mafia – were over. “Whether you call it omerta or a state of denial, it’s a no-go. We need to face the facts. This is not the end game but we are going to do everything possible to make people accountable.” On Saturday, Pope Francis defrocked an American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, for historical sexual abuse allegations. The 88-year-old, a former archbishop of Washington, is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times.


Here are 3 small steps to grow savings of thousands of dollars in a 401(k)

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 11:46

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.


Alabama man awarded $151M in Ford Explorer rollover lawsuit

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 11:36

Jury finds company failed to meet safety guidelines and destroyed testing data.


Israel's first lunar mission to launch this week

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 11:33

Israel is to launch its first moon mission this week, sending an unmanned spacecraft to collect data to be shared with NASA, organisers said Monday. The 585-kilogram (1,290-pound) Beresheet (Genesis) spacecraft is to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida at around 0145 GMT on Friday. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and technology NGO SpaceIL announced the date at a press conference.


No need for Shinzo Abe: Trump already nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 11:31

During a White House news conference on Friday, Trump said the Japanese premier had given him "the most beautiful copy" of a five-page nomination letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Regardless, Trump has already been nominated by two Norwegian lawmakers. "We have nominated him of course for the positive developments on the Korean Peninsula," Per-Willy Amundsen, who was Justice Minister in Prime Minister Erna Solberg's cabinet in 2016-2018, told Reuters.


Belgian Jewish museum trial interrupted as juror questioned

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 11:08

The trial of a Frenchman accused of shooting dead four people at the Jewish museum of Belgium was briefly 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. "This is probably a person in search of attention," said Sebastien Courtoy, the lawyer for the accused Mehdi Nemmouche, referring to the juror's work colleague.


GMC Acadia souped up with new engine, trim, and tech

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 10:53

GMC has unveiled the refreshed Acadia for the 2020 model year complete with a new trim, a fresh look, and the latest GMC infotainment system. GMC announced on Monday that the Acadia has gotten its midcycle refresh, and now, the lineup looks more like a group of Sierra pickups from the front than mid-size SUVs. In addition to its new exterior styling, the Acadia has a new powertrain option and an assortment of new technologies including an enhanced infotainment system and heads-up display.


Seven MPs Resign from Labour Party

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 10:42

Seven members of British Parliament -- Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Mike Gapes, and Ann Coffey -- resigned from the Labour party Monday over concerns about Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, forming their own contingent, the Independent Group.Berger, Labour's most high-profile Jewish member, called the party “institutionally anti-Semitic” and accused it of “a culture of bullying, bigotry and, intimidation," saying she is now "embarrassed and ashamed" to be a member.Leslie said the party has been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left.”In a statement, the group charged that Labour, "once committed to pursue a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect," has "changed beyond recognition," and lamented that, "Today, visceral hatreds of other people, views and opinions are common-place in and around" the party.Besides the party's struggles with anti-Semitism, the seven lawmakers cited Corbyn's weak handling of Brexit, policies damaging to Britain's national security and economy, and lack of action on humanitarian distress."The values we hold mean that, in all conscience, we can have no confidence in the party’s collective leadership, competence or culture," the group's statement said. It stressed that more power should be delegated to local governments who have their finger on the pulse of their communities' needs. It also said that economic advancement should occur on the basis of merit, asserting that "everybody can and should make a contribution to society and that contribution should be recognized."Corbyn said he was "disappointed" in the members' decision.“The Conservative Government is bungling Brexit,” Corbyn said, “while Labour has set out a unifying and credible alternative plan.”


Trump accuses own deputy attorney general of 'planning illegal act' in early morning Twitter rant

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 10:30

Donald Trump has accused his own deputy attorney general of breaking the law in a series of early morning tweets railing against current and former law enforcement officials. Mr Trump lashed out on Twitter at former FBI director Andrew McCabe, whose new book details his concerns about potential foreign influence over the president, and current deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who initiated special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. “Wow, so many lies by now disgraced acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe,” Mr Trump tweeted on Monday morning.


Will Procter & Gamble stock split again soon?

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 09:44

Since 1970, P&G stock has usually traded for several weeks or a few months above $100 before shares split.


French court okays screening of film on priest's abuse of boy scouts

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 09:29

A French court Monday approved cinema screenings of an award-winning director's new film about the real-life story of a priest accused of sexually abusing boy scouts, even though the case has yet to come to trial. The 73-year-old priest, Bernard Preynat, had argued that a public release of the film, "By the Grace of God", could prejudice his case. The film by screenwriter and director Francois Ozon won the jury prize at the Berlin film festival this weekend.


Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 08:29

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The organizers of Pope Francis' summit on preventing clergy sex abuse will meet this week with a dozen abuse victims who have descended on Rome to protest the Catholic Church's response to the crisis and demand an end to decades of cover-up by church leaders, officials said Monday.


Gisele Bundchen flaunts bikini bod, Tom Brady during family vacation

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 08:17

Gisele Bundchen flaunts bikini bod and husband Tom Brady during a family vacation to Costa Rica.


Polish NGO leaves to deliver sex abuse report to Pope

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 07:50

Representatives of a Polish NGO helping victims of child abuse committed by Catholic priests left Warsaw early on Monday hoping to deliver a report to Pope Francis in the Vatican about Polish bishops neglecting pedophilia cases. The "Have No Fear" organization, led by a former victim Marek Lisinski, hopes that the report, which accuses some bishops in devoutly Catholic Poland of failing to report crimes, will trigger resignations from top positions in the Church.


7 Lawmakers Quit U.K.'s Labour Party Over Brexit and Anti-Semitism

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 07:41

Seven U.K. lawmakers resigned in an act of protest against the party’s Brexit policy and persistent allegations of anti-Semitism.


Poland Demands Israeli Response Over ‘Racist’ Holocaust Comments

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 07:37

Morawiecki canceled sending a delegation to Jerusalem, where he was slated to meet his counterparts from the Visegrad Group of eastern European nations Monday, after Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu was reported as saying last week that the Polish nation cooperated with Nazi occupiers during World War II. While Israel clarified that Netanyahu had been talking about “individuals, and not the whole nation” collaborating with the Nazis, the comments drew swift reaction from the government in Warsaw, which has passed laws criminalizing the act of blaming Poland or its people for wartime crimes committed against Jews and other minorities.


Trump Receives Report on U.S. Security Threat of Car Imports

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 07:11

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has submitted his recommendations to Trump, the department said in a statement on Sunday in Washington, without offering any insights into the findings. Trump has 90 days to decide whether to act on the findings. Trump has threatened levies of as much as 25 percent on foreign-made vehicles.


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