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Updated: 2 hours 54 min ago

Hardline cleric Larijani named to head powerful Iran body

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 13:22

Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani - the chief of Iran's hardline judiciary who has been blacklisted by Washington - was named on Sunday as the new head of the powerful Expediency Council, state television reported. The council is intended to resolve disputes between parliament and a watchdog body, the Guardian Council. Larijani, 57, was appointed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who also made him a member of the Guardian Council, which vets laws and elections for compliance with Iran’s Islamic constitution, state television reported.

Heads up: Israeli woman stumbles upon Roman busts

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 12:56

An Israeli woman walking near ancient ruins noticed a head sticking out of the ground, leading to the uncovering of two Roman-era busts, archaeologists said Sunday. The life-size sculptures, carved in limestone, were found in the northern city of Beit Shean earlier this month, with the Israel Antiquities Authority dating them to the late Roman period, some 1,700 years ago. The well-preserved busts are of men, one of them bearded, sculpted in the Oriental style that was becoming fashionable at the end of the Roman period, according to Eitan Klein, deputy head of the IAA's theft prevention unit.

Perris torture case: Home dubbed 'House of Horrors' up for auction

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 12:35

UP FOR AUCTION: The Riverside County home dubbed a house of horrors is on the auction block.

Syria's Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in Syria

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 12:15

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad authorized Iraqi forces on Sunday to attack the Islamic State group inside Syria without waiting for permission from authorities in Damascus, the state news agency SANA said, as the two allies coordinate their fight against extremists ahead of a planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria.

Dow outlook: Why I'm optimistic about the stock market for 2019

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 12:04

I was too optimistic in 2018. That makes me even more optimistic for 2019. When most folks expect bad times, stocks usually shine the following year.

Stephen Miller steps into spotlight amid chaos in 'zombie' White House press shop

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 11:24

Former officials said White House adviser Stephen Miller's media appearances have been a "disaster" and are a sign of a communications operation in disarray.

Afghanistan to delay presidential election to July: election body

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 10:03

The announcement follows heavy criticism of October's chaotic parliamentary election, which saw problems ranging from roadside bomb attacks to malfunctioning biometric voter verification equipment, incomplete voter lists and huge delays at polling sites. The timing of the election has also been complicated by talks under way between U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and representatives of the Taliban aimed at launching a full peace process to end the war in Afghanistan. The election was originally scheduled for April 20 but Gula Jan Abdul Bade Sayad, chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said mounting problems had forced a delay.

Bangladesh PM takes big lead as opposition rejects poll alleging vote rigging

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 10:00

A third straight term for Hasina's Awami League was widely expected, but the main opposition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) rejected the election and called for a fresh vote in the country of 165 million people. The Election Commission said it was investigating complaints of rigging, even as at least three voters in southeast Bangladesh, including a journalist, said they were barred from entering polling booths or were told their ballot papers had already been filled in. "If we get any confirmation from our own channels then measures will be taken as per rules." But as results started coming in showing the Awami League winning 48 seats and one for the BNP, Asaduzzaman declined to comment if its investigation would have any bearing on the final outcome.

Vietnamese relatives of bus blast victims arrive in Egypt

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 09:33

Relatives of Vietnamese tourists hit by a roadside bomb near Egypt's famed pyramids arrived on Sunday in Cairo, an airport source said. A group of five, which included family members, arrived in the capital two days after a blast hit a tour bus killing three Vietnamese holidaymakers and an Egyptian guide. The attack, which took place in the Giza governorate, wounded 11 other Vietnamese tourists and an Egyptian bus driver, Egypt's public prosecutor said.

Steve Scalise on negotiations to end partial government shutdown, Republican agenda for the new Congress

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 09:30

Can a divided government bring an end to the partial shutdown? Insight from House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Putin scores some wins but tensions with the West mount

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 09:15

MOSCOW (AP) — It's been a mixed year for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ask the Captain: What airplanes did you fly in your career?

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 09:00

Prior to becoming an aviation safety consultant, and USA TODAY columnist, John Cox flew a wide variety of commercial airplanes.

N. Korean leader calls for more talks with South in new year

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 08:34

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday calling for more peace talks between the leaders in the new year following their active engagement in 2018, South Korea's presidential office said.

Donald Trump: Paul Manafort 'worked with ex-Russian spy while running campaign for White House'

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 07:31

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman was working with a former Russian spy during the US presidential race over debts he owed to a Kremlin-linked oligarch, it has been claimed. Paul Manafort led Mr Trump’s campaign for president for three months in 2016 before he was forced to resign after his links to Russian interests in Ukraine were made public. Now a former member of the GRU, Russia’s most feared and secretive spy service, has said he was in contact with Manafort during that time over millions of dollars the political adviser allegedly owed to billionaire businessman Oleg Deripaska.

The Latest: Dad says he's angry travel ban kept family apart

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 07:15

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the death of a boy whose Yemeni mother fought the Trump administration travel ban (all times local):

Why now is the perfect time to look over your IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 06:00

It's a good time to make sure you start the new year off on the right foot – especially when it comes to your retirement accounts.

Juncker to Britain on Brexit: 'Get your act together'

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 05:24

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday urged Britain to "get your act together" on Brexit, as he rejected accusations that the EU had a hidden agenda of keeping Britain in the bloc. "I find it unreasonable that part of the British public seems to think that it's entirely up to the EU to present a solution for all future British problems," Juncker told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. It also means the parliamentary decision would come just weeks before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29.

Brexit '50-50' if May's deal voted down: British minister

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 05:10

Britain's chances of leaving the European Union are only "50-50" if MPs reject Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, a senior minister warned Sunday. Liam Fox, the international trade secretary and a vocal Brexit campaigner during the 2016 referendum, warned colleagues planning on voting against May that her plan was the only way to be "100 percent certain" that Britain would leave. "If we were not to vote for that, I'm not sure I would give it much more than 50-50," he told The Sunday Times.

Cyber-attack hits US newspaper deliveries: report

Sun, 12/30/2018 - 04:14

A malware attack that appears to have originated outside the US delayed the hardcopy distribution of several major newspapers, according to a report. The LA Times said Saturday that the attack, which was first assumed to have been a server outage, hit a computer network at Tribune Publishing which is connected to the production and printing process of multiple newspapers around the country. As a result, the delivery of the Saturday editions of the LA Times and San Diego Union Tribune were delayed.