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Wisconsin DA says he has no plans to file charges related to Jayme Closs' 88-day captivity

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 21:54

Jayme Closs's accused kidnapper, Jake Patterson, already faces charges of intentional homicide, kidnapping and armed burglary in abduction.


U.S. calls on world to 'pick a side' on Venezuela; Europeans set to recognize Guaido

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 21:34

In heated back-and-forth exchanges at a United Nations Security Council meeting, the opposing camp led by Venezuela and Russia, which has invested heavily in Venezuela's oil industry, accused Washington of attempting a coup, and lambasted Europeans' demand that elections be called within eight days. Guaido, who took the helm of the National Assembly on Jan. 5, proclaimed himself interim president on Wednesday. The United States, Canada and a string of Latin American countries recognized the young leader in quick succession.


Hezbollah chief warns Israel against continuing strikes in Syria

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 21:11

The chief of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement has warned Israel against continuing strikes in Syria targeting mainly Iranian positions, saying it could fuel war in the region. Israel's army has since 2013 claimed hundreds of attacks on what it says are Iranian military targets and arms deliveries to Tehran-backed Hezbollah, with the goal of stopping its main enemy Iran from entrenching itself militarily in neighbouring Syria. In the latest strikes nearly a week ago 21 people were killed, the majority of them Iranians, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.


Arizona governor calls for removal of Hacienda HealthCare board, slams protection of ex-CEO

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 20:23

The governor said on Twitter, "My confidence level in that institution and its leadership is zero."


Hezbollah chief warns Israel against continuing strikes in Syria

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 20:20

The chief of Lebanon's Hezbollah movement on Saturday warned Israel against continuing strikes in Syria targeting mainly Iranian positions, saying it could fuel war in the region. "At any moment the Syrian leadership and the axis of resistance can take a decision to deal with the Israeli aggression in a different manner," Nasrallah said, referring to the alliance between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government, Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. Israel has said the first strikes targeted mainly facilities it claimed belonged to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force.


Top Asian News 12:18 a.m. GMT

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 19:18

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired Canada's ambassador to China after the envoy said it would be "great" if the U.S. dropped its extradition request for a Chinese tech executive arrested in Canada. Trudeau said Saturday that he had asked for and accepted John McCallum's resignation Friday night. McCallum made the remark to the Toronto Star on Friday. That came a day after he issued a statement saying he misspoke about the case earlier in the week and regretted saying Meng Wanzhou has a strong case against extradition. The arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei Technologies Ltd.


The Latest: Venezuelan military attache breaks with Maduro

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 19:16

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):


Prosecutor: Detroit Lions' Trevor Bates punched officer

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 17:20

NEW YORK (AP) — Trevor Bates, a linebacker for the Detroit Lions, was arrested Saturday in New York on charges that he failed to pay a taxi fare and then punched a police officer, who suffered a concussion.


Trump administration to build Mexico border wall ‘with or without Democrats’, says Sarah Sanders

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 16:38

The White House has threatened to “move forward” with its plan to build a border along the US/Mexico border “with or without Democrats”. The statement comes after Donald Trump announced he would reopen the government without his demand for $5.7bn (£4.3bn) in border wall funding, and after democrats repeatedly rebuffed his efforts to force their hand on the issue. “In 21 days President [Trump] is moving forward building the wall with or without the Democrats,” tweeted press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.


Louisiana shootings: Gunman on the run after five killed

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 16:29

Five people have been killed in shootings in two areas of Louisiana. Police said they have identified a suspect who is still at large and said to be “armed and dangerous”. Dakota Theriot, 21, is accused of killing his parents and three other people on Saturday in Ascension and Livingston parishes, about 70 miles west of New Orleans.


Worries remain for U.S. government contractors as shutdown ends

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 15:31

Hicks, 40, a security guard at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, is one of thousands of federal government contractors who do not expect to be paid for the month of work they missed during the 35-day partial shutdown - and who remain at risk if Trump and lawmakers fail to reach a more lasting agreement beyond the current three-week deal to reopen the government. Trump, who had demanded Democrats agree to fund construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border before he would agree to reopen the government, has signed legislation guaranteeing back pay for 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown. Without a paycheck, Hicks began rationing her children's asthma medication, considered cashing in a life insurance policy and prayed every day she could keep her family from becoming homeless again.


Mother’s lifesaving surgery stopped at last minute because her bank blocked payment for operation

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 12:49

A British mother’s lifesaving neuro-surgery in America had to be cancelled while she was being prepped for the operation – because her bank blocked payment after an automatic fraud alert was generated. Samantha Smith, from Rochdale, flew to Arizona for the £250,000 procedure to rebuild her neck, which has been weakened by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The 32-year-old, whose condition means her neck has become too weak to support her skull, was lying in her hospital bed at the Mayo Clinic, in Phoenix, when doctors broke the news to her.


Teachers succeed by framing strikes as for common good

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 11:55

Los Angeles teachers who declared a victory after a six-day strike have added momentum to a successful wave of activism by educators framing their cause as a push to improve public education, not just get pay raises.


Nick Clegg swaps Putney townhouse for £7million California mansion ahead of new Facebook role

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 11:33

Former deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg has relocated to a £7million home in California as he prepares to start his new executive role at Facebook, it has been revealed. The former Lib Dem leader, 52, and his wife, lawyer Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, 50, bought the "luxurious" new home in December. The five-bedroom property, worth a reported fee of $9million (£7million) stands in almost an acre of land, and was described by its estate agent as "a timeless classic". The house boasts a roomy kitchen with marble worktops and an island seating area, as well as a separate dining room and a library. Among the "luxurious amenities" for Sir Nick and his family to enjoy are a hot tub, a swimming pool, and a large patio with an outdoor log-burning fire. Nick Clegg and his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez Credit: Andrew Parsons / i-Images The sprawling home is situated in the Silicon Valley town of Atherton, near San Francisco, which was last year named "the most expensive zip code in the country" by Forbes magazine. And the area is just three miles away from Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, where Sir Nick will be working as Vice-President of Global Affairs. The couple have now moved into their new home with their three sons, aged 16, 14 and nine. Sir Nick is believed to have kept his townhouse in Putney in south-west London, reportedly worth £2million. His lavish new home is thought to reflect his new bumper pay packet, rumoured to be worth up to £7million including bonuses. Nick Clegg's five bedroom Californian mansion, which is worth a reported fee of $9million (£7million)  Credit:  Zillow.com Sir Nick's appointment in Octoberwas met with criticism, with some accusing him of hypocrisy owing to his previous scorn towards Facebook for paying too little tax. Less than three years ago, he described the social media giant's 'messianic Californian new-worldy-touchy-feely culture’ as ‘a little grating’. Sir Nick, who lost his Sheffield Hallam seat in the 2015 general election, can now count former Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and Facebook deputy Sheryl Sandberg, among his new neighbours. In an interview this month Ms Gonzalez Durantez said of the family’s move to the US: "California is the more European of all the states. They are constantly looking to the future." This week she shared a picture on Instagram of a trip to the beach, writing: "It could be Dorset but it is the Pacific." Facebook declined to comment.


Merkel's Coal Commission Wants Germany to Quit Fuel by 2038

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 11:25

The commission, appointed by Merkel to set a roadmap for Germany’s exit from coal, recommends the nation should quit coal by 2038 at the latest, with an earlier exit dependent on construction of renewable-energy infrastructure, according to a statement. Regions impacted by the closures should receive 40 billion euros ($45.6 billion) to help with the transition, the commission said. The recommendations, subject to amendment by government and parliament, are intended to help Germany make up lost ground in meeting its emissions targets.


European powers poised to recognize Venezuela's Guaido

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 11:18

Britain, Germany, France and Spain all said they would recognize Guaido unless fresh elections were announced. Venezuela has sunk into turmoil under Maduro with food shortages and daily protests amid an economic and political crisis that has sparked mass emigration and inflation that is seen rising to 10 million percent this year. Maduro cruised to re-election in May last year amid low turnout and allegations of vote-buying by the government.


As El Chapo trial nears end, will the alleged Mexican drug lord testify in his own defense?

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 09:53

Will accused Mexican drug lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán speak in his own defense, to rebut the avalanche of testimony provided by his former associates?


I've Come to See the Conventional Sedan as an Anachronism

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 09:15

Sedans will have to offer something special to survive in a world determined to marginalize them.


Patton Oswalt: Twitter troll who attacked comedian overwhelmed when literally repaid with kindness

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 08:40

Discovering his assailant was battling grave health problems, he donated $2,000 towards his unpaid medical bills – then urged his 4.5 million followers to follow suit. The heartwarming exchange between Oswalt, an Emmy Award winner, and Michael Beatty - a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran from Huntsville, Alabama - was sparked on Thursday after the celebrity posted an unflattering poem about Donald Trump. “I expected a scathing retort or just to be ignored,” Mr Beatty told the Washington Post on Friday.


US demands world stands with 'forces of freedom' in Venezuela

Top Stories - Sat, 01/26/2019 - 08:23

The United States pressed all nations Saturday to "stand with the forces of freedom" in Venezuela, encouraged by a tougher European line as Russia stood in the minority in backing embattled leader Nicolas Maduro. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a forceful case at a special session of the United Nations Security Council, where he described Maduro as part of an "illegitimate mafia state" responsible for Venezuela's economic collapse. Four major European countries - Britain, Germany, Britain, France and Spain - said on Saturday they are ready to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president if elections are not called within eight days. Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary, said: "After banning opposition candidates, ballot box stuffing and counting irregularities in a deeply flawed election it is clear Nicolas Maduro is not the legitimate leader of Venezuela," Mr Hunt tweeted. 1/2 After banning opposition candidates, ballot box stuffing and counting irregularities in a deeply flawed election it is clear Nicolas Maduro is not the legitimate leader of Venezuela— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 26, 2019 2/2 @jguaido is the right person to take Venezuela forward. If there are not fresh & fair elections announced within 8 days UK will recognise him as interim President to take forward the political process towards democracy. Time for a new start for the suffering ppl of Venezuela— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 26, 2019 With mounting protests over Venezuela's crisis in which more than two million have fled shortages of basic food and medicine, Mr Pompeo asked all nations to follow the US in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president. "Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem," Mr Pompeo said. Mr Pompeo denounced Russia and China, which have stood by Maduro, saying that they were motivated not by principle but raw financial interest. "China and Russia are propping up a failed regime in the hopes of recovering billions of dollars in ill-considered investments and assistance made over the years," Mr Pompeo said. Guaido vs Maduro | Who is backing Venezuela's two presidents Russia has denounced the United States for interference and attempted to block the Security Council meeting, but it was voted down with nine of the 15 members agreeing to go forward. "Venezuela does not pose any threat to peace and security. The intention of the United States is to orchestrate a coup d'etat," said the Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia. He accused the United States of renewing a long history of imperialism in Latin America, saying that Washington treated it as a "backyard where you can do anything you want." But Russia managed to block a Security Council statement seen by AFP that would have offered "full support" to Mr Guaido and called the National Assembly that he heads "Venezuela's only democratically elected institution."   Profile | Nicolás Maduro "The government of Spain gives Nicolas Maduro eight days to call free, transparent and democratic elections," said Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in statement. "If that doesn't happen, Spain will recognise Juan Guaido as interim president in charge of calling these elections." In what appears to be a coordinated message from European Union countries, at almost the same time French President Manuel Macron sent a tweet echoing Sanchez's comments. "Unless elections are announced within eight days, we will be ready to recognise @jguaido as 'President in charge' of Venezuela in order to trigger a political process," Macron said. A spokeswoman from the German government tweeted the same message shortly after the comments from Madrid and Paris. Europe had, until Saturday, simply called for new elections in the troubled South American country. But the European Union hinted today it would be prepared to recognise Maduro's rival, if elections were not held.  "In the absence of an announcement on the organisation of fresh elections with the necessary guarantees over the next days, the EU will take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country’s leadership," said Federica Mogherini, the EU's foreign affairs chief.  Mr Guaido proclaimed himself interim president on Wednesday during a march of hundreds of thousands in Caracas. Anti-government protesters cheer after Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela's opposition-run congress, declared himself interim president. Credit: Boris Vergara /AP The Venezuelan state and the military have so far remained loyal to Maduro despite a deep economic and political crisis that has sparked mass emigration, with inflation forecast to rise to 10 million percent this year. Russia, meanwhile, called for the United States and Europe to cease interfering in Venezuela. "The cynical, overt interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state continues. It must stop," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday.


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