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Updated: 14 hours 21 min ago

Are we at a tipping point on guns?

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 05:00

Aroused activists helped end slavery and Jim Crow, and they're bringing about big changes in how men treat women at work. Can they do something about school shootings?

Turkey blasts France, US over Syria ceasefire comments

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 03:40

Turkey on Wednesday sharply criticised France and the United States for arguing a ceasefire in Syria should apply to its military operation against Kurdish militia, as new tensions mounted between Ankara and its NATO allies. The United Nations Security Council, crucially including regime ally Russia, has agreed a 30-day nationwide ceasefire in Syria although this has yet to be implemented or end the violence in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta. Turkey has welcomed the ceasefire but repeatedly insisted any truce will not affect its over month-long operation in the Afrin region against Kurdish militia Ankara believes to be terrorists.

North Korea shipping chemical weapons supplies to Syria, United Nations investigators say

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 02:17

North Korea has shipped supplies to the Syrian government that could be used to make chemical weapons, United Nations investigators have revealed. The disclosure, in a confidential 200-page long report seen by the New York Times, comes as the US and other countries have accused Syria of using chemical weapons on its own civilians, including a suspected chlorine gas attack in Eastern Ghouta in the past few days. The report indicates there have been major flaws in international efforts to isolate both countries, and the new evidence could dampen efforts to bring North Korea to the negotiating table following a diplomatic détente at the South Korean Winter Olympics. The items provided by North Korea reportedly included acid-resistant tiles, valves and thermometers. Investigators also detailed sightings of North Korean technicians working at chemical weapons and missile facilities inside Syria. The report appears to confirm long-standing fears that Pyongyang may be funding its own weapons of mass destruction programme by trading its technological expertise with third parties. It also supports suspicions since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 that President Bashar al-Assad has been assisted by the North Korean regime. People receive treatment at a hospital after alleged chlorine gas attack earlier this month Credit: Getty The possible chemical weapons components were part of at least 40 previously unreported shipments from North Korea to Syria between 2012 and 2017 of prohibited ballistic missile parts and materials that could be used either for civilian or military purposes. The UN declined to comment on the report, which was written by a panel of eight experts tasked with checking North Korea’s compliance with sanctions. It may never be publicly released, but a spokesperson stressed that the “overarching message is that all member states have a duty and responsibility to abide by the sanctions that are in place.” Experts who reviewed the document for the Times described it as the most detailed account to date of efforts to circumvent sanctions intended to curb the military powers of both countries. Syria war timeline But they concluded that it did not prove definitively that there was current, continuing collaboration between North Korea and Syria on chemical weapons. Hopes have been rising on the Korean peninsula that talks between South and North Korea over the Olympic Games could be expanded to include the US and eventually lead to a breakthrough over Pyongyang’s nuclear and weapons programme. On Tuesday, senior US diplomat, Joseph Yun told South Korean newswire Yonhap that he remained “very hopeful” about the prospect of talks. Syrian warplanes strike eastern Ghouta despite Russian truce  

Trump's A 'Wuss' Who's Afraid To Challenge Russia, CNN's Paul Begala Says

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 23:41

Why is Donald Trump, a man so tough he says he would rush into a school shooting unarmed, why is he such a wuss and a wimp about Russia?” Begala, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, wondered on “Anderson Cooper 360” on Tuesday night. Begala’s comments came hours after U.S. Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Trump hasn’t given him orders to counter Russian efforts to disrupt U.S. elections.

Democrats Flip 2 More GOP-Held State House Seats

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 23:32

Democrats flipped their 38th and 39th GOP-held seats in state legislatures since Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, beating out Republicans in two special elections on Tuesday night. In New Hampshire, Democrat Phil Spagnuolo, a substance abuse coach, won in a district where Trump had defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a 54-41 margin, according to data provided by Daily Kos.

Father Of Florida Shooting Survivor Admits He Altered Email From CNN

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:35

Glenn Haab, the father of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Colton Haab, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he left out some words when forwarding an email that he and his son received from CNN producer Carrie Stevenson. CNN hit back against the claims on Friday, releasing a copy of the email exchange that shows Stevenson was informing Haab that his son had to ask a question “that he submitted” instead of a 700-word opening statement plus three questions and a closing statement that was sent over to the network after one question had already been agreed upon.

Alex Jones Decries YouTube's Temporary Ban On Infowars, Asks Parkland Teen To Debate

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 21:22

According to The Hill, Infowars claimed it had received a notice from YouTube on Tuesday morning that it would be temporarily barred from uploading new content after receiving a second strike for videos it had posted about the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida. InfoWars got another strike on their YouTube account for a Florida shooting video, now one strike left before they get banned.

Use of private firm for Greitens investigation questioned

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 21:01

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The St. Louis prosecutor's office said Tuesday that it has hired a Michigan firm to aid its investigation into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to try to ensure that the probe remains independent.

Will the Syria Conflict Continue to Escalate?

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 20:33

Moscow, Washington, Tehran and Ankara are all jockeying for power. In early February, western media reported that the United States had led a strike on the Russian mercenaries of Wagner PMC. Bloomberg News reported hundreds, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced a smaller number and noted that “Russian citizens” were injured.

Officials Worried 'Naive' Kushner Could Be Manipulated By Foreigners: Report

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 19:50

Jared Kushner’s complicated financial holdings, business debt and political inexperience have prompted foreign officials in several countries to discuss ways they can manipulate the president’s son-in-law and close adviser, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. Politico reported on Tuesday that he had his top-secret security clearance downgraded after months of working with an interim clearance due to ongoing issues with his FBI background check. Officials from at least four countries ― China, Israel, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates ― have discussed ways to influence Kushner, although it’s unclear if they acted on such plans, The Washington Post wrote, citing current and former officials familiar with the intelligence reports.

Court Orders Trump To Stop Revoking Dreamers' Protections Without Notice

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 19:27

WASHINGTON ― The Trump administration has to stop revoking undocumented young people’s deportation protections without due process, a federal judge ruled on Monday. The new order does not affect President Donald Trump’s effort — launched in September but currently on hold because of a separate court ruling — to end the broader Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez issued a preliminary injunction to halt that practice.

Satanic Temple sues Arizona city to lead city council prayer

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 19:23

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A group that invokes the name Satan as a metaphor for opposing religious tyranny has sued the well-off Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, accusing officials of discrimination after being denied an opportunity to give the opening prayer at a City Council meeting.

In free speech case, justices troubled by Fla. man's arrest

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 18:52

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court justices seemed troubled Tuesday by the arrest of a Florida man during a city council meeting in Florida, an arrest he says was retaliation for being an outspoken critic of the city.

Amazon to pay over $1 billion for home security startup Ring: source

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 18:30

Santa Monica, California-based Ring is Amazon's latest move in expanding into the heated "smart-homes" market, where gadgets are powered by easy-to-use technology to control homes with a few spoken words. Amazon has positioned its Echo smart speaker, powered by its Alexa voice assistant, as a smart homes device.

Is Ivanka Trump unqualified? Newsroom readers respond

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 18:24

“Ivanka and Jared must return to NYC and stay out of U.S. politics.” “She’s qualified, she’s designed handbags, stilettos and a wonderful perfume fragrance, Ugh!” Newsroom readers are joining the chorus questioning if Ivanka Trump has too much power. The first daughter and adviser to dad President Trump recently traveled to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the latest eyebrow-raising appearance as part of her controversial post. Pundits and the public have long questioned her role and influence, but now White House chief of staff John Kelly is also said to be concerned. This week he made the call to downgrade the security clearance of Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner. According to a report, Kelly is frustrated and questioning whether the first daughter has the qualifications to represent the administration. Newsroom seems to agree: “We have children playing king and queen while poppa plays President,” one reader wrote. Another chimed in: “To represent the U.S. should be an earned honor, not appointing relatives.” What do you think? Does Ivanka deserve her power in the White House? Join the conversation in Newsroom.

Independent group, now called Unite America, names its Senate candidates — all two of them

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 17:47

Unite America, formerly The Centrist Project, a group hoping to create a third political force in America, on Tuesday named the two candidates it plans to run for the U.S. Senate in November.

Russia 'both arsonist and firefighter' in Syria: U.S. general

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 17:24

By Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. general accused Russia on Tuesday of playing a destabilizing role in Syria and acting as "both arsonist and firefighter," as a brief truce unilaterally declared by Moscow in the eastern Ghouta region collapsed. The United States and Russia have been on different sides of the seven-year-old war, with Moscow heavily backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad whose forces are besieging eastern Ghouta, a rebel-held area near Damascus.

How Trump's new campaign manager used Facebook to help him become president

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 16:49

Brad Parscale's new role of Trump 2020 campaign manager comes amid a spirited debate over just how much social media benefited the Republican candidate.

Delta is sued by Port Authority over 2015 skid at New York's LaGuardia Airport

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 16:48

Delta Air Lines Inc was sued on Tuesday by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for damage caused when a jet skidded off a runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport during a March 5, 2015, snowstorm. The complaint seeks $750,047 for property damage and other costs that allegedly occurred when Flight 1086 veered off Runway 13 after touchdown, struck a fence and came to rest on an embankment, just short of plunging into frigid Flushing Bay. According to the Port Authority, which operates the airport, the incident "was caused solely by the negligence of Delta and its agents," including the pilot of the MD-88 aircraft.

Two stowaways on US-bound flight from Ecuador die after falling from aircraft

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 16:46

Two men thought to have been stowaways on a US-bound flight from Ecuador have died after they fell from the aircraft, it has been reported. The Jose Joaquin de Olmedo airport in Guayaquil was closed for an hour and a half as their bodies were removed from the runway. Employees at the airport noticed three objects falling from the plane and officials believe the pair either fainted or were ejected.