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At least one person has been shot dead by Venezuelan security forces during a clash on the border with Brazil, according to local officials. Gran Sabana mayor Emilio Gonzalez identified the woman who was killed as Zoraida Rodriguez, a member of an indigenous community. The mayor said members of the Pemon indigenous group clashed with the Venezuela National Guard and the army, who were moving tanks to the border.
Cardinals Blase Cupich of Chicago and Oswald Gracias of Mumbai spoke on the second day of a conference of some 200 senior Church officials convened by Pope Francis to confront what he has called the scourge of sexual abuse by the clergy. Various aspects of the sexual abuse crisis made 2018 the worst year for the pope since his election in 2013. Last week, Theodore McCarrick, once a powerful cardinal in the U.S. Church, was dismissed from the priesthood after the Vatican found him guilty of sexual abuse of minors and adults over decades.
Francis convened Catholic leaders from around the world for the four-day meeting to address the scandal that has ravaged the Church's credibility in the United States - where it has paid billions of dollars in settlements - Ireland, Chile, Australia, and elsewhere over the last three decades. "Faced with the scourge of sexual abuse committed by men of the Church against minors, I wanted to reach out to you," Francis told the assembled bishops and heads of religious orders.
China said Friday it was against forcefully sending "so-called humanitarian assistance" to Venezuela, warning it could spark conflict in the crisis-torn country. China has loaned billions to Venezuela and has remained committed to President Nicolas Maduro even as the country has fallen deeper into economic crisis. Foreign aid mostly from the US has piled up on Venezuela's borders as the Maduro government refuses to let it into the country.
For eight days in 1999 the world watched in horror as hijackers diverted an Indian Airlines flight to Afghanistan and held the passengers hostage, the drama ending only when Delhi agreed to release three Kashmiri militants. Nearly 20 years later, India is still paying the price for that decision. One of the militants freed was Masood Azhar, who later went on to found Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the militant group which claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in three decades in Indian-held Kashmir.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) on Thursday followed fellow Democratic presidential contender Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) in calling for the government to pay reparations to African Americans to atone for slavery and subsequent discrimination.Warren's campaign told the New York Times that she does support some form of government reparations for the descendants of slaves, but did not specify what policy she we would pursue if elected in 2020.Warren's support for reparations came after Harris came out in support of the idea during a radio interview last week.“We have to be honest that people in this country do not start from the same place or have access to the same opportunities,” she said. “I’m serious about taking an approach that would change policies and structures and make real investments in black communities.”Since angering much of the progressive-activist community last year by publicizing the results of her DNA test to substantiate her claim of Native American ancestry, Warren has prioritized racial equity in laying out her 2020 presidential platform. She has called for a special home-buying-assistance program that would help alleviate the effects of racial red-lining, a phenomenon in which African Americans are prevented from buying homes in certain neighborhoods. She has also presented a universal-child-care proposal that would create a network of government-backed child-care centers available to families making under 200 percent of the federal poverty level.Other prominent Democratic presidential contenders, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, have not yet come out in support of reparations. Senator Bernie Sanders (D., Vt.) dismissed the idea of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves as impractical during his 2016 presidential run but has not weighed in on the issue since.
Google-owned YouTube said Thursday it was taking action to close a loophole that enabled users to share comments and links on child pornography over the video-sharing service. The response came after a YouTube creator this week revealed what he called a "wormhole" that allowed comments and connections on child porn alongside innocuous videos. "Any content -- including comments -- that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube," a spokesman said in an email to AFP.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III set the date on Thursday, giving Manafort until March 1 to reply to Mueller’s recommendation that he serve between 19.6 and 24.4 years in prison. Manafort, 69, was convicted by jurors last August of bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to file a foreign bank account report. Manafort, who was President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016, also faces a March 13 sentencing in federal court in Washington.
Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to nine felonies, will appear in public next Wednesday before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform -- a re-scheduling of an appearance that had been delayed. In addition, he’s expected to testify in closed-door hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday and before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “I am pleased to announce that Michael Cohen’s public testimony before the Oversight Committee is back on, despite efforts by some to intimidate his family members and prevent him from appearing,” the Oversight panel’s chairman, Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said in a statement on Wednesday night.
Canada is looking to quickly bring over siblings of a Syrian refugee distraught over the loss of her seven children in a Halifax house fire, the prime minister said Thursday. "The immigration minister is seized with this particular case," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said when asked if Ottawa would fast-track the immigration or asylum process to bring the woman's brothers to Canada in order to provide her with family support. The family was among tens of thousands of Syrian refugees welcomed by Canada over the past four years.
McCabe, speaking to reporters to promote his book “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terrorism and Trump," said he could not recall which two Cabinet members Rosenstein mentioned without access to memos of the 2017 conversation. "I at no time got the impression that he had actually sought support or talked to those people about it," McCabe said. "It was simply Rod thinking off the top of his head - this is a thing that could be done." In September the New York Times reported that John Kelly, who served as Trump's chief of staff, and Jeff Sessions, who Trump dismissed as attorney general, might be persuaded to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Pakistan on Thursday banned two groups believed to be fronts for the group blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, amid heightened pressure on Islamabad to act against militants. Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation were designated "proscribed organisations", the interior ministry said in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered officials to accelerate action against banned groups. JuD and FIF are considered by the UN to be fronts for Lashkar-e-Taiba, a group accused by Washington and New Delhi of carrying out the Mumbai attack, which killed 166 people and brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war.
A Polish charity helping victims of child abuse committed by Catholic priests accused 24 bishops on Thursday of concealing perpetrators of sexual molestation of minors. The "Have No Fear" charity made the allegation in a report released as Pope Francis convened Catholic leaders from around the world to address scandals over child sexual abuse by priests that have ravaged the Church's credibility over the last three decades. The report, which has been delivered to the pope, named Polish bishops whom it said had "concealed clerical crimes and moved pedophilic priests from one parish to another".
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will fly to Bogota, Colombia on Monday to discuss the Venezuela crisis with leaders of the regional Lima Group of nations, his office said on Thursday. The United States and other members of the group have thrown their support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido and are trying to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to step aside to allow for new elections and the entry of humanitarian aid. "The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy, and freedom has the momentum. Juan Guaido is the only legitimate leader of Venezuela, and it's time for Nicolas Maduro to go," Alyssa Farah, a spokeswoman for Pence, said in a statement. Pence has helped lead Trump administration efforts to respond to the crisis in Venezuela, where hyperinflation has made food and medicine scarce and pushed more than 3 million people to flee, many to Colombia.
France is to recognise anti-Zionism, the denial of the state of Israel, as a form of anti-Semitism in response to a surge in acts against Jews not seen “since the Second World War”. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, also promised new legislation in May to fight hate speech on the Internet, which could see platforms such as Facebook and Twitter fined for every minute they fail to take down racist or violent content. Speaking at the annual meeting of France’s largest Jewish organization, CRIF, Mr Macron said that France and other countries in Europe had recently witnessed "a resurgence of anti-Semitism that is probably unprecedented since World War II.” “We have denounced it a lot, adopted plans, passed laws sometimes. But we haven’t been able to act efficiently,” he said. While stopping short of calling for new legislation, the President said the working definition of anti-Semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance would help guide police forces, magistrates and teachers in their daily work. That definition stipulates that anti-Semitism can take the form of "denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour”. "Anti-Zionism is one of the modern forms of anti-Semitism,” said Mr Macron. "Behind the negation of Israel's existence, what is hiding is the hatred of Jews.” Such guidelines in no way infringed on people’s right to criticise to the Israeli government and its policies, he said. Mr Macron also said that his party would introduce a bill in parliament in May to force social media to withdraw hate speech posted online and use all available means to identify the authors "as quickly as possible.” Digital minister Mounir Mahjoubi said: “There will be an obligation for results: if the content is not taken down then there will be a fine, and a large fine,” Mr Mahjoubi told France Info radio. “Each minute that content remains online, it increases the harm to society. Twenty-four hours is far too long.” Anti-Semitic acts surged by 74 per cent last year in France, according to government figures Credit: Getty Images Europe France has been pressuring Internet companies to better regulate their content ever since a series of terror attacks starting in 2015. The recent “yellow vest” protests have largely been orchestrated online. Many postings have included links to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant and anti-vaccine messages, as well as a string of conspiracy theories. Mr Macron’s speech came a day after thousands attended rallies across France to denounce a rise in anti-Semitic acts and in a week in which almost 100 gravestones spray-painted with swastikas were discovered in a Jewish village cemetery in eastern France. The number of anti-Semitic incidents rose last year by 74 per cent from 311 in 2017 to 541, the government announced last week.
Hot on the heels of Benetton, which opened Milan Fashion Week Tuesday, February 20, fashion houses Gucci, Alberto Zambelli, Annakiki, Alberta Ferretti and Moncler showed their fall/winter 2019-2020 collections in the Italian city. This first official day reiterated certain trends spotted in New York and London with some colorful displays, notably at Byblos and Annakiki, mixing bright shades and prints, as well as at Gucci. Like in London and New York, plays on volume and proportion -- especially with outerwear designs -- were also on the agenda in Milan, with several extravagant pieces covered with frills and furbelows.
On Monday, Stone, a sometime adviser to President Donald Trump who faces charges of lying to Congress and obstructing a federal investigation, posted a photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on his Instagram account, along with a short diatribe saying she’s the judge overseeing his “upcoming show trial.” Beside the head shot of Jackson was an image of what looked like rifle-scope crosshairs. After the post caught the attention of social media, Stone took it down and apologized to the judge, conceding it was improper. On Thursday, Stone will appear before Jackson as she weighs whether to tighten a gag order or change the terms of his bail.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has defended his decision to strip the jihadi bride Shamima Begum of her British citizenship, saying he would never leave someone "stateless". The 19-year-old from London, who fled to Syria aged 15, wanted to return to the UK with her newborn baby. But the Home Secretary revoked her British citizenship in a move only permissible under international law if it does not leave the individual stateless. The Telegraph understands Begum has inherited Bangladeshi dual nationality through her parents, but the country's minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam denied this on Wednesday, saying she was "nothing to do with Bangladesh". Asked about the situation on ITV's Peston, Mr Javid said: "I'm not aware of any Home Secretary in any party in any previous government that has taken a decision that would leave anyone stateless. "I'm not going to talk about an individual, but I can be clear on the point that I would not take a decision and I believe none of my predecessors ever have taken a decision that at the point the decision is taken would leave that individual stateless." Britons returning from Syria | The facts The Home Secretary would not be drawn to comment on Begum's case specifically, but speaking generally, he said: "Let’s say they are in the UK and they radicalise others and groom others, they carry out a terrorist attack themselves or incite others to do that. "What about the danger and the risk to the country of that? What about the impact on community cohesion if people come back to the country and use their presence here to try and racialize others? I have to weigh that up too." The exact situation surrounding Begum's citizenship remains unclear, and the waters were further muddied on Wednesday night when Mr Alam, Bangladesh's foreign minister, said: "The Government of Bangladesh is deeply concerned that she has been erroneously identified as a holder of dual citizenship shared with Bangladesh alongside her birthplace, the United Kingdom. "Bangladesh asserts that Shamima Begum is not a Bangladeshi citizen. She is a British citizen by birth and has never applied for dual nationality with Bangladesh. "It may also be mentioned that she never visited Bangladesh in the past despite her parental lineage. So, there is no question of her being allowed to enter into Bangladesh." The statement added that Dhaka had only been made aware of the situation by the media, suggesting Mr Javid had not pre-warned Bangladesh of his plans. International law forbids nations from making people stateless by revoking their only citizenship, but The Telegraph understands that the Home Office made the decision to revoke Begum's British citizenship based on Bangladeshi law. There, until the age of 21, it is understood the Isil bride automatically retains dual nationality due to the fact her parents are both from the country. At the age of 21, a child born to Bangladeshi parents has the right to waive their right to dual nationality, but not before. The complication lies in how she would be able to get to Bangladesh - where it is understood her father is currently living - and how she proves that she is Shamima Begum. The teenager has never visited the country and does not have a Bangladeshi passport. Her old British passport is invalid due to her citizenship being revoked and she has previously said she used her sister's passport to travel to Syria back in 2015. One possible option for her would be to travel to Turkey via the notoriously penetrable border with Syria and present herself to the Bangladeshi embassy. But officials in Dhaka may well appeal the Home Office's decision to make Begum their responsibility, insisting that she has never even been to the country. The Home Office letter Credit: ITV News Asked whether she had been left stateless by Britain, the Begum family's lawyer Tasnime Akunjee said: "It's certainly something we will be adding to the mix in terms of our appeal." He has said Ms Begum was born in the UK, has never had a Bangladeshi passport and is not a dual citizen. A Home Office spokesman said Mr Javid's priority was the "safety and security" of the country. Decisions to deprive people of citizenship were "based on all available evidence and not taken lightly," the spokesman added. Ms Begum was one of three schoolgirls to leave Bethnal Green to join the terror cult in 2015 and resurfaced heavily pregnant at a Syrian refugee camp last week. When shown a copy of the Home Office letter that announced her British citizenship would be stripped, she said it was "a bit unjust on me and my son". She went on to say she may try for citizenship in the Netherlands, where her husband is from. Mr Javid suggested the action to prevent Ms Begum returning will have no impact on her baby son's nationality. While insisting he could not discuss individual cases, he told the Commons: "Children should not suffer. "So, if a parent does lose their British citizenship, it does not affect the rights of their child." Ms Begum's situation has sparked intense debate about the UK's responsibilities to those seeking to return from Syria. The British Nationality Act 1981 provides the Home Secretary with the power to strip people of citizenship if it is "conducive to the public good". Lord Carlile, former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said Ms Begum could challenge the Home Secretary's decision, and described it as a "complex issue" that could take a while to resolve. Figures for 2017 show that 104 people were deprived of their British citizenship, up from 14 in the previous year.
President Donald Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine whether climate change affects national security, despite existing reports from his own government showing that global warming is a growing threat. According to a White House memo dated 14 February, Mr Trump’s staff members have drafted an executive order to create a 12-member committee, which will include a White House adviser, William Happer, whose views are at odds with the established scientific consensus that carbon dioxide pollution is dangerous for the planet.
We're all made of star stuff, but some things in the universe are created by comets.Neptune's recently discovered and smallest moon, Hippocamp, has been confirmed and observed in detail by the Hubble Space Telescope according to new research published in Nature on Wednesday.SEE ALSO: Neptune looks extremely sharp and very blue in these latest imagesNamed Hippocamp for the half-horse, half-fish creature from Greek mythology -- all of Neptune's moons are named for Greek and Roman mythological figures -- it's the smallest of the planet's seven inner moons, with a diameter of approximately 20-21 miles (34 kilometres). How have we never met Hippocamp before? The planet's other six small inner moons were picked up in a 1989 fly-by from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, but Hippocamp was missed. Between 2004 and 2009, the Hubble picked up a "white dot" from 150 images, and in 2013, Mark Showalter of California's SETI Institute officially discovered the moon by analyzing the photographs and plotting its circular orbit. Hippocamp was officially confirmed in the study published Wednesday by Showalter alongside Imke de Pater from the University of California, Berkeley, Jack Lissauer of NASA's Ames Research Center, and R. S. French of SETI.While there are three Hubble programmes dedicated to studying Neptune's rings, arcs and small inner moons, the study's authors had to develop their own specialised image processing techniques to focus on the inner satellites, including Hippocamp, because of their speedy orbits. With these new techniques, the team were able to confirm not only that Neptune officially has 14 moons, but how the smallest was likely formed. Part of another moon?Hippocamp sits in orbit near Proteus, the largest and outermost of Neptune's moons. In fact, the study's authors suggest Hippocamp could be derived from Proteus, as an ancient fragment of it. "The first thing we realized was that you wouldn't expect to find such a tiny moon right next to Neptune's biggest inner moon," study author Showalter said on NASA's blog. "In the distant past, given the slow migration outward of the larger moon, Proteus was once where Hippocamp is now."This diagram shows the orbits of several moons located close to the planet Neptune.Image: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)The inner moons are thought to be younger than Neptune, having formed after the capture (a successful pull into orbit) of Neptune's largest moon, Triton. But according to the study, each inner moon has likely been fragmented by comet impacts, including Proteus, which sports the enormous Pharos crater thought to be unusually large in relation to the size of the moon, and possibly created by a comet."Based on estimates of comet populations, we know that other moons in the outer solar system have been hit by comets, smashed apart, and re-accreted multiple times," said Lissauer. "This pair of satellites provides a dramatic illustration that moons are sometimes broken apart by comets."It's this type of comet impact that the authors hypothesise could have released debris from the moon, which then settled into orbit and gradually accreted (formed) into Hippocamp. According to NASA, astronomers refer to it as "the moon that shouldn't be there."A pretty violent way to be born, but there it is. WATCH: Elon Musk says Mars round trip could cost only $100,000 one day
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday that she would vote for a congressional resolution disapproving of President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to build a wall on the southern border, becoming the first Republican senator to publicly express support for such a measure.
The visit will include a meeting with President Xi Jinping and a high-level joint dialogue aimed at boosting relations after the nations agreed to promote a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016. China overtook the U.S. as the kingdom’s biggest trading partner in 2013. The world’s most populous nation accounted for about 15 percent of all Saudi imports and exports last year compared with 8 percent a decade earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is barring a US-born former Islamic State propagandist from returning home, making the highly unusual case that she is not a US citizen. Trump's refusal to admit 24-year-old Hoda Muthana comes just as he is pressing Europeans to repatriate their own Islamic State fighters and will likely face legal challenges, with US citizenship extremely difficult to lose. Trump said on Twitter he has "instructed" Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the country" -- a break with usual US protocol not to comment on individuals' immigration issues.