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    Donations pour in for 13 siblings held captive in California

    Donations pour in for 13 siblings held captive in California


    LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than $120,000 has been donated to help 13 siblings in California who authorities say were kept chained to beds for months by their parents and starved so much that their growth was stunted, officials said...

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than $120,000 has been donated to help 13 siblings in California who authorities say were kept chained to beds for months by their parents and starved so much that their growth was stunted, officials said Tuesday.


    Report: Conflicting California mudslide warnings issued

    Report: Conflicting California mudslide warnings issued


    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — In the days before mudslides devastated Southern California neighborhoods, officials released conflicting evacuation orders that left some hard-hit neighborhoods out of the warning zone, according to a newspaper report...

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — In the days before mudslides devastated Southern California neighborhoods, officials released conflicting evacuation orders that left some hard-hit neighborhoods out of the warning zone, according to a newspaper report published Tuesday.


    Kentucky school shooting leaves two students dead

    Kentucky school shooting leaves two students dead


    A teenage gunman opened fire in a Kentucky high school on Tuesday, leaving two students dead and more than a dozen people wounded, the US state's governor said. A 15-year-old student, now in custody, is alleged to have carried out the attack at the...

    A teenage gunman opened fire in a Kentucky high school on Tuesday, leaving two students dead and more than a dozen people wounded, the US state's governor said. A 15-year-old student, now in custody, is alleged to have carried out the attack at the Marshall County High School in Benton, a small town in western Kentucky. Two students -- both also aged 15 -- died of gunshot wounds, while 12 other people were shot and five suffered other injuries in the shooting, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin told a news conference.


    James Comey: Former FBI director questioned for hours by Robert Mueller's team over Trump-Russia links

    James Comey: Former FBI director questioned for hours by Robert Mueller's team over Trump-Russia links


    Former FBI Director James Comey has been questioned by the special prosecutor probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it has been reported. Mr Comey, who was fired in May 2017 as Donald Trump became increasingly frustrated by...

    Former FBI Director James Comey has been questioned by the special prosecutor probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it has been reported. Mr Comey, who was fired in May 2017 as Donald Trump became increasingly frustrated by the FBI’s own investigation into possible links to Moscow, was said to have been questioned about a series of memos he kept in which he detailed interactions with the President that “unnerved him”. In one such memo, which Mr Comey subsequently testified about on Capitol Hill, he noted that Mr Trump had asked him to drop the FBI investigation into former former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.


    Yep, The Most Romantic Hotel In The US Is In Ohio

    Yep, The Most Romantic Hotel In The US Is In Ohio


    Hopeless romantics might find themselves second-guessing their idea of a romantic getaway thanks to this latest...

    Hopeless romantics might find themselves second-guessing their idea of a romantic getaway thanks to this latest news.


    Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting

    Multiple casualties in Kentucky high school shooting


    A suspect was taken into custody after one person was killed and others wounded Tuesday morning at a rural Kentucky high school. "You just never think this will happen in a small town like ours," Savana Smothers, the assistant girls' soccer coach at...

    A suspect was taken into custody after one person was killed and others wounded Tuesday morning at a rural Kentucky high school. "You just never think this will happen in a small town like ours," Savana Smothers, the assistant girls' soccer coach at Marshall County High School, told the Associated Press.


    DACA latest: Trump says 'nobody knows' whether Congress will agree on protections for childhood immigrants

    DACA latest: Trump says 'nobody knows' whether Congress will agree on protections for childhood immigrants


    President Donald Trump has said “nobody knows for sure” whether Democrats and Republicans will agree on a solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, after Democrats agreed to end a government shutdown in exchange for...

    President Donald Trump has said “nobody knows for sure” whether Democrats and Republicans will agree on a solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, after Democrats agreed to end a government shutdown in exchange for renewed debate on the issue. Democrats shut down the federal government last week by refusing to sign a spending bill, saying they would hold out for a compromise on DACA – an Obama-era policy that shields childhood immigrants to the US from deportation. Mr Trump rescinded the policy in September, giving Congress six months to find a permanent, legislative fix.


    CCTV footage emerges showing the 'moment children were freed' from home of David and Louise Turpin

    CCTV footage emerges showing the 'moment children were freed' from home of David and Louise Turpin


    An American man accused of torturing his 13 children abducted his future wife from high school when she was 16 years old, her relatives have claimed. David Turpin, who was 24 at the time, convinced staff to let him take his girlfriend, Louise Robinette,...

    An American man accused of torturing his 13 children abducted his future wife from high school when she was 16 years old, her relatives have claimed. David Turpin, who was 24 at the time, convinced staff to let him take his girlfriend, Louise Robinette, out of her West Virginia high school, according to her two siblings.  The pair eloped and ventured as far as Texas before they were caught by police and brought back home. The couple made headlines across the world last week after their 13 children were discovered malnourished and living in filthy conditions, some chained to furniture in the family home.  Louise and David Turpin Credit: AFP Mr Turpin, 56, and Mrs Turpin, 49 have been charged with a range of offences including torture, false imprisonment and child abuse.  Louise's younger sister, Teresa Robinette, and her half-brother Billy Lambert, revealed the Turpins married in 1984 after their failed elopement. Miss Robinette said her mother Phyllis allowed Louise to date David when she was 16 years old despite the fact he was eight years older.  When they were discovered Louise's father Wayne, an evangelical preacher, announced he did not want her to return home, reportedly telling the family: "She has made her choice, she should go off and live her life".  David and Louise Turpin with their children as the couple renew their vows at Elvis chapel in Las Vegas on their 30th anniversary, on October 31, 2015  Credit: Facebook/David Turpin "One day, David went into the high school and they let him sign Louise out of school and they ran away. He had his car and they drove," Miss Robinette told the Daily Mail. She added that for years the Turpins' marriage seemed perfect. "I just thought she had this richy life [sic]," she said.  "He earned good money. The day he came and picked her up from school, I was told he told her that if she would elope with him and marry him he would give her everything she ever wanted." The deeply religious couple were said to believe God had called on them to have so many children. But according to Miss Robinette, the pair began to cut loose from their devout lifestyle about a decade ago to enact various sexual fantasies. Miss Robinette claimed the couple would leave their older children to “take care of the younger children so that [she] and David could kinda sow those wild oats that they didn’t sow when she was younger”. These included Mrs Turpin contacting a man through an online website and meeting up with him with a hotel room.  She and Mr Turpin would then re-enact the extramarital affair in the same room exactly a year later, her sister said. Miss Robinette also revealed that she was sexually abused by a relative as a child but did not reveal the abuser’s identity. “A very, very close family member that we should have loved and trusted — [he] sexually abused me," she told US talkshow Today.  The media outside the Turpin's home in Perris, California Credit: AFP The couple were arrested last week after their 17-year-old daughter escaped their home in Perris, California and contacted police. On Tuesday CCTV footage emerged showing the moment the Turpins' offspring, who ranged from 2 to 29 years old, were finally able to leave the family home after years of alleged abuse. The footage shows one emerging carrying a smaller child as officers watch over. Later in the video another of the siblings is seen rushing out to catch up with one of his brothers. When police entered the property they found shackles on the beds and a 22-year-old still in chains. The emaciated children, who prosecutors claim were fed once a day and only permitted to shower once a year, were taken to hospital, where they were treated for severe muscle wastage and neurological conditions associated with malnutrition. The oldest child, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just five stone (82lbs) when she was rescued by police.   Both David and Louise Turpin have plead not guilty to 75 counts of torture, child abuse, the abuse of dependent adults and false imprisonment relating to their children. They are currently being held in custody on $9 million bail each (£6.5m). David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child by force. If convicted, they face up to 94 years to life in prison.


    Magnitude 7.9 earthquake strikes southeast of Alaska; tsunami warning issued

    Magnitude 7.9 earthquake strikes southeast of Alaska; tsunami warning issued


    A magnitude 7.9 earthquake off Alaska's Kodiak Island prompted a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada's British Columbia while the remainder of the U.S. West Coast was under a...

    A magnitude 7.9 earthquake off Alaska's Kodiak Island prompted a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada's British Columbia while the remainder of the U.S. West Coast was under a watch.


    Private company launches search for Malaysia's Flight MH370 in 'final effort'

    Private company launches search for Malaysia's Flight MH370 in 'final effort'


    SYDNEY/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A U.S.-based company has begun searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Malaysia said on Tuesday, as it tries to solve one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries. Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala...

    SYDNEY/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A U.S.-based company has begun searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Malaysia said on Tuesday, as it tries to solve one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries. Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 people, mostly Chinese, on board. Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off MH370's transponder before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.


    Immigration Authorities Detain Woman On A Greyhound Bus After Asking Everyone For ID

    Immigration Authorities Detain Woman On A Greyhound Bus After Asking Everyone For ID


    A video reportedly showing Customs and Border Protection agents demanding proof of citizenship from Greyhound bus passengers in Florida last week has sparked fresh outrage over the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration...

    A video reportedly showing Customs and Border Protection agents demanding proof of citizenship from Greyhound bus passengers in Florida last week has sparked fresh outrage over the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies.


    The Best Birthday Cake Recipes, From Layer Cakes To Sheet Cakes

    The Best Birthday Cake Recipes, From Layer Cakes To Sheet Cakes


    Is a birthday without a cake really a birthday at all? Sure, we’ve had happy birthdays that were celebrated with key lime pie and brownie...

    Is a birthday without a cake really a birthday at all? Sure, we’ve had happy birthdays that were celebrated with key lime pie and brownie sundaes.


    Hawaii Missile Alert Update Delayed Because Governor Didn’t Know His Twitter Password

    Hawaii Missile Alert Update Delayed Because Governor Didn’t Know His Twitter Password


    Hawaiian Gov. David Ige (D) has made the embarrassing admission that his office did not immediately inform the public about the state’s missile alert false alarm partly because he had forgotten the password to his Twitter...

    Hawaiian Gov. David Ige (D) has made the embarrassing admission that his office did not immediately inform the public about the state’s missile alert false alarm partly because he had forgotten the password to his Twitter account.


    Democrats Dominate At The Ballot Box In The Age Of Trump

    Democrats Dominate At The Ballot Box In The Age Of Trump


    In the year since Donald Trump became president, Democrats have had a string of successes at the ballot box ― making many Republicans nervous about a potential blue wave in...

    In the year since Donald Trump became president, Democrats have had a string of successes at the ballot box ― making many Republicans nervous about a potential blue wave in November.


    Skydiver dies after crashing into roof of California home

    Skydiver dies after crashing into roof of California home


    "I was in complete shock," Christina Blanco, who was in the home at the time of impact, told KABC. Officials from the Perris Valley Airport did not respond to a request for comment and a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration was not...

    "I was in complete shock," Christina Blanco, who was in the home at the time of impact, told KABC. Officials from the Perris Valley Airport did not respond to a request for comment and a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration was not available due to the U.S. government shutdown. Perris, about 70 miles (115 km) east of Los Angeles, is also the small city where law enforcement said this month a California couple kept captive and nearly starved their 13 minor and adult children.


    Liberals Fume At 'Worst Negotiator' Chuck Schumer After Deal To End Shutdown

    Liberals Fume At 'Worst Negotiator' Chuck Schumer After Deal To End Shutdown


    WASHINGTON ― Democrats provided votes to fund the government on Monday in exchange for an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that he would put an immigration bill on the floor in the coming...

    WASHINGTON ― Democrats provided votes to fund the government on Monday in exchange for an assurance from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that he would put an immigration bill on the floor in the coming weeks.


    Amazon Go Officially Opens to the Public

    Amazon Go Officially Opens to the Public


    With the launch of its first Amazon Go retail location, the company is allowing customers to buy groceries without ever checking...

    With the launch of its first Amazon Go retail location, the company is allowing customers to buy groceries without ever checking out


    Mike Pence Defends His President's Racist 'Shithole' Comments

    Mike Pence Defends His President's Racist 'Shithole' Comments


    Vice President Mike Pence argued on Monday that he knows President Donald Trump didn’t mean to be racist when referring to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries” because “I know what’s in the president’s...

    Vice President Mike Pence argued on Monday that he knows President Donald Trump didn’t mean to be racist when referring to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries” because “I know what’s in the president’s heart.”


    3 USA Gymnastics Directors Resign In Larry Nassar Sex Abuse Scandal

    3 USA Gymnastics Directors Resign In Larry Nassar Sex Abuse Scandal


    Three USA Gymnastics directors have resigned amid fierce criticism that the organization failed to protect its athletes from team doctor Larry Nassar, a serial predator whose sentencing hearing continues this...

    Three USA Gymnastics directors have resigned amid fierce criticism that the organization failed to protect its athletes from team doctor Larry Nassar, a serial predator whose sentencing hearing continues this week.


    UN readies aid as Turkey attacks Kurdish enclave in Syria

    UN readies aid as Turkey attacks Kurdish enclave in Syria


    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The United Nations is ready to help people who might flee from the Afrin enclave, where Turkish troops are on the offensive against Kurdish fighters, the top U.N. official in Syria said...

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The United Nations is ready to help people who might flee from the Afrin enclave, where Turkish troops are on the offensive against Kurdish fighters, the top U.N. official in Syria said Monday.


    Harry Potter river cruise to set sail on River Thames

    Harry Potter river cruise to set sail on River Thames


    It's no flying car, but Harry Potter fans are being courted in a new river cruise that makes stops at key filming locations like 4 Privet Drive, the real-world inspiration for Hogwarts, and the Warner Bros. Studio where the Harry Potter movies were...

    It's no flying car, but Harry Potter fans are being courted in a new river cruise that makes stops at key filming locations like 4 Privet Drive, the real-world inspiration for Hogwarts, and the Warner Bros. Studio where the Harry Potter movies were made. 


    US shutdown to end as Senate Republicans and Democrats reach a deal

    US shutdown to end as Senate Republicans and Democrats reach a deal


    America’s government is set to reopen on Monday afternoon after Democratic senators “blinked" first and agreed to end a three-day shutdown.  The country’s opposition party had been demanding an explicit pledge to protect young undocumented...

    America’s government is set to reopen on Monday afternoon after Democratic senators “blinked" first and agreed to end a three-day shutdown.  The country’s opposition party had been demanding an explicit pledge to protect young undocumented migrants but settled for a promise of new legislation instead.  The Senate voted 81 to 18 to fund the government until February 8, allowing hundreds of thousands of federal workers to get back to work on Tuesday.  However it is only a stop-gap measure, with Republicans and Democrats having 16 days to find an agreement on spending and immigration before another shutdown takes place. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, announced the party’s change of heart on the Congress floor moments before a vote on reopening the government.   Senate Minority Leader Charles 'Chuck' Schumer Credit: AFP “We will vote today to reopen the government,” Mr Schumer said, citing a promise that a bipartisan bill to protect “dreamer” migrants would the tabled in the coming weeks.  He added: “President Trump's unwillingness to compromise caused the Trump shutdown and brought us to this moment … The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer However the White House and senior Republicans suggested Mr Schumer had caved in, changing his stance on the shutdown despite being offered little in return. Mr Trump said: “I am pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses and are now willing to fund our great military, border patrol, first responders, and insurance for vulnerable children. “As I have always said, once the Government is funded, my Administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration. We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country.”   Raj Shah, the White House deputy press secretary, said: “The fact that they’re voting in favour of this proposal that they rejected a few days ago is evidence that they blinked.” The government shutdown, which comes when Congress fails to agree its spending, begun at midnight on Friday – the first time it has happened since 2013.  Then the Democrats voted against a measure that would have kept the government open for a month and extend a child health insurance programme by six years.  Senior figures had argued that Republicans needed to promise to protect the 700,000 “dreamer” migrants brought to the country illegally when young if they want their vote.  However on Monday, the Democratic leadership decided to support a similar measure. It would re-open government for less than three weeks while extending the same child health programme.   Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell  Credit: Drew Angerer Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, agreed to table immigration legislation on a bipartisan basis in the coming weeks – but made no promise about its contents.  One possible reason for the Democrat change of heart was that 10 of its senators face re-election later this year in states Mr Trump won, making opposition to the president politically difficult.  Staff members stand outside the Senate during the government shutdown on Capitol Hill  Credit: Andrew Harrer The work of a group of 25 moderate senators from both parties, who negotiated a deal between themselves, was also credited with solving the impasse.  All eyes will now be on Mr Trump to see if he will say where he stands on the so-called dreamer children after weeks of mixed signals.  The House of Representatives and Mr Trump were set to approve the re-opening of government after the Senate vote on Monday.  It means that Mr Trump’s visit to World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he is set to make a major speech later this week, will go ahead as planned. 


    Vietnam oil exec 'kidnapped' from Germany jailed for life

    Vietnam oil exec 'kidnapped' from Germany jailed for life


    A Vietnamese former state oil executive who was allegedly kidnapped from Germany was jailed for life on Monday for embezzlement, in the highest-profile corruption trial to target the communist country's business and political elite. Vietnam has mirrored...

    A Vietnamese former state oil executive who was allegedly kidnapped from Germany was jailed for life on Monday for embezzlement, in the highest-profile corruption trial to target the communist country's business and political elite. Vietnam has mirrored China in its massive corruption purge, but critics say the campaign is as much about targeting political foes as it is about tackling graft in one of Southeast Asia's most corrupt nations. The life sentence for Trinh Xuan Thanh, the former head of PetroVietnam Construction (PVC), capped a dramatic two-week trial -- closed to international media -- that included a tearful apology from the 51-year-old.


    Pope Francis Offers Partial Apology To Clergy Sex Abuse Victims After Demand For 'Proof'

    Pope Francis Offers Partial Apology To Clergy Sex Abuse Victims After Demand For 'Proof'


    Pope Francis partially apologized for last week’s brusque attack on victims of clergy sex abuse ― but he continued supporting a controversial Chilean bishop accused of protecting a pedophile...

    Pope Francis partially apologized for last week’s brusque attack on victims of clergy sex abuse ― but he continued supporting a controversial Chilean bishop accused of protecting a pedophile priest.


    S. Koreans burn Kim's photo as N. Korean band leader passes

    S. Koreans burn Kim's photo as N. Korean band leader passes


    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Conservative South Korean activists burned a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the head of the North's extremely popular girl band passed them Monday during a visit to Seoul amid a flurry of cooperation...

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Conservative South Korean activists burned a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the head of the North's extremely popular girl band passed them Monday during a visit to Seoul amid a flurry of cooperation agreements between the rivals ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the South.


    Why the flu can kill a healthy person so quickly

    Why the flu can kill a healthy person so quickly


    The flu epidemic is three times worse than it was last year, and every part of the continental U.S. is under siege. NBC News’ Anne Thompson sits down with a doctor to find out what’s made the flu so...

    The flu epidemic is three times worse than it was last year, and every part of the continental U.S. is under siege. NBC News’ Anne Thompson sits down with a doctor to find out what’s made the flu so severe.


    Judi Dench Was Up For 'Leading Roll' SAG Award, And Twitter Rolled With It

    Judi Dench Was Up For 'Leading Roll' SAG Award, And Twitter Rolled With It


    A half-baked SAG Awards graphic on Sunday showed that Judi Dench of “Victoria & Abdul” was among the nominees for outstanding female actor in a “leading...

    A half-baked SAG Awards graphic on Sunday showed that Judi Dench of “Victoria & Abdul” was among the nominees for outstanding female actor in a “leading roll.”


    Kabul Hotel attackers 'went from room to room in search of foreigners to kill'

    Kabul Hotel attackers 'went from room to room in search of foreigners to kill'


    Taliban militants who killed at least 22 people at a luxury Kabul hotel went from room to room searching for foreigners, according to survivors and a security source on  Monday as more details of the victims emerged. Insurgents armed with Kalashnikovs...

    Taliban militants who killed at least 22 people at a luxury Kabul hotel went from room to room searching for foreigners, according to survivors and a security source on  Monday as more details of the victims emerged. Insurgents armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide vests attacked the landmark Intercontinental Hotel overlooking the Afghan capital late Saturday in an assault that lasted more than 12 hours and prompted questions over how the attackers breached security. Guests hid behind pillars and in rooms as gunmen sprayed bullets and set fire to parts of the six-storey building. Some people climbed over balconies and used bed sheets in a desperate attempt to escape. "They were saying, 'Kill the foreigners!'," a 20-year-old hotel employee who gave his name as Hasibullah said from his hospital bed. He described hiding in a fifth-floor room and listening as the gunmen went from room to room, forcing doors open "with daggers" and killing those inside. A burned corridor of the Intercontinental Hotel a day after the attack in Kabul Credit: REUTERS Officials have said that at least 14 foreigners were killed. "They didn't want to kill the Afghans," a security source said. "The weapons and bullets they had were for the foreigners." One other witness claimed he had seen the militants beheading guests. The attack ended Sunday with all six militants killed by Afghan forces, aided by Norwegian troops. Health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said 22 bodies had now been taken to Kabul hospitals. "Some of the bodies (are) burned badly and need DNA tests to be identified," he said. The interior ministry gave a lower toll Monday, saying 19 people were dead. There were also conflicting accounts of the number of attackers, which the ministry had put at six. Authorities are known to understate death tolls in high-profile attacks, and much higher figures were circulating on local media. At least seven Ukrainian citizens were among the dead, the country's ambassador to Tajikistan and Afghanistan Viktor Nikitiuk told Ukrainian television 112. "A lot of Ukrainian aviation technicians work in Afghanistan. All the dead were working for the airline Kam Air and living at the Intercontinental Hotel," he said. Kam Air, an Afghan carrier, said a further two Venezuelan staff were also killed in the assault, bringing the airline's loss to at least nine of its personnel - five crew and four pilots. Captain Samad Usman Samadi, the airline's CEO, said his staff "has been shocked and they are not in normal conditions". "It will some time for them to recover," he said. Afghan security forces keep watch as smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday  Credit: OMAR SOBHANI/ REUTERS One German citizen and one Kazakh citizen were also killed, their foreign ministries said. Afghan officials told AFP that senior Afghan diplomat Abdullah Poyan died along with Mufti Ahmad Farzan, a member of the High Peace Council responsible for reconciliation efforts with militants. The employee Hasibullah said he saw two "fashionably dressed" gunmen in the hotel restaurant before the assault began. The security source confirmed investigators had seen CCTV footage showing the attackers in the restaurant prior to the attack. "It was around 8.30 pm... They were sitting in the corner of the hotel and they immediately started spraying bullets," Hasibullah said. He ran to the fifth floor room and locked himself inside, though not before seeing "many" bodies on the ground. But as the gunmen went from door to door he leapt from the window in terror. "I fell on people lying in blood... it was horrific." Knocked unconscious, he awoke in hospital with a broken leg and other wounds. Another survivor said the attackers "even beheaded the guests and people inside the hotel". Noorullah, 24, said he worked at the hotel checking its security cameras, but fled to the fourth floor as the power went off and the attack began. Also describing the militants as wearing civilian clothes, he said they killed "dozens" of people, opening every single room and "raining" bullets. He, too, jumped from a window to escape. Witnesses said the hotel's security staff fled the scene as the attack unfolded. Authorities warned they were still investigating how militants breached hotel security, which was taken over by a private company three weeks ago. It was too soon to say if the militants had inside help, an interior ministry spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi said. The militants were armed with suicide vests, pistols, hand grenades and Kalashnikovs, he said. The attack followed security warnings in recent days to avoid hotels and other locations frequented by foreigners in war-torn Kabul. Security has been ramped up in the city, but the resurgent Taliban and Islamic State are both scaling up their assaults.


    Bishop tells Russians not to vote for Putin in rare church dissent

    Bishop tells Russians not to vote for Putin in rare church dissent


    A Russian Orthodox bishop has advised the faithful not to vote for Vladimir Putin when he stands for re-election in March, a nearly unheard of occurrence in the loyal church. The angry statement marked the first time an acting bishop has spoken against...

    A Russian Orthodox bishop has advised the faithful not to vote for Vladimir Putin when he stands for re-election in March, a nearly unheard of occurrence in the loyal church. The angry statement marked the first time an acting bishop has spoken against supporting the current president, according to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, but it was motivated by Mr Putin's perceived impiety rather than political differences.  Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin of the epiphany cathedral in the Siberian city of Ishim wrote on his page on VK, Russia's most popular social network, that he could no longer follow his “desire to vote for Putin” following “blasphemous” remarks by the president. “'If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is your darkness!' are the words of Christ,” Mr Kurochkin wrote. “And will I go against Christ to vote for darkness or advise anyone to do this? No, no and no!” Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin The bishop was angered by comments in a state television film about Valaam, an island of monasteries and churches in Lake Ladoga where the president has a holiday home. Mr Putin had argued that the Soviet regime had “adapted” Christian ideas for its communist ideology, including in its mummification of Vladimir Lenin, whose body remains on display on Red Square. “They put Lenin in the mausoleum. How does this differ from the relics of saints for Orthodox believers or Christians in general?” Mr Putin said. “When they tell me no, there is no such tradition in Christianity, how is there not? Go and look in Athens, there are the relics of saints there, and we have the relics of saints here too.” While the Russian Orthodox church has been growing increasingly influential in recent years, it has usually been supportive of the ruling regime. This goes back to a tradition of loyalty in tsarist times, when the official ideology was “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”. Mr Putin submerges himself in an icy lake as part of a popular Orthodox ritual on Thursday Credit: Alexei Druzhinin/AFP Photo/Sputnik Mr Putin has promoted conservative values during his 18 years in power and frequently appears at religious events. On Thursday, he was photographed taking a dip in an icy lake as part of an Orthodox ritual observed by many Russians.  Also on Monday, a court shut down the foundation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has sought to challenge Mr Putin for the presidency but was barred from the race. He has called for protests around Russia on Sunday. Mr Navalny has used the foundation to pay campaign workers and organise rallies. The authorities “want to transform our finely tuned electoral machine into a chaos of volunteers” by banning the foundation, Mr Navalny told The Telegraph in an interview last week.  He said his campaign would devise other “partisan methods” to continue its work.


    Israeli scholars decipher Dead Sea Scroll

    Israeli scholars decipher Dead Sea Scroll


    Israeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century since their discovery, an Israeli university has said. The more than 60 tiny fragments of parchment bearing...

    Israeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century since their discovery, an Israeli university has said. The more than 60 tiny fragments of parchment bearing encrypted Hebrew writing had previously been thought to come from a variety of different scrolls, a Haifa University spokesman told AFP on Sunday.


    Philippine volcano rains ash, violent eruption feared

    Philippine volcano rains ash, violent eruption feared


    A giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on Monday, turning day into night as it rained ash on communities where tens of thousands have fled after warnings of an impending eruption. "Hazardous eruption imminent,"...

    A giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on Monday, turning day into night as it rained ash on communities where tens of thousands have fled after warnings of an impending eruption. "Hazardous eruption imminent," the state volcanology agency concluded in its latest bulletin, saying Mayon volcano could blow up within days after two weeks of activity. Fine ash and sand fell on Legazpi, a city of about 200,000 people, and nearby areas after the midday explosion turned the area into virtual nighttime, forcing motorists to switch on their lights and use windscreen wipers, an AFP video stringer said.


    The #SchumerShutdown Hashtag Is Getting A Big Boost From Russian Bots

    The #SchumerShutdown Hashtag Is Getting A Big Boost From Russian Bots


    WASHINGTON ― As lawmakers wage a messaging war over who caused the government shutdown, Republicans and the White House are getting a big boost in their efforts to blame Democrats for the mess ― from the...

    WASHINGTON ― As lawmakers wage a messaging war over who caused the government shutdown, Republicans and the White House are getting a big boost in their efforts to blame Democrats for the mess ― from the Russians.


    Afghan forces end Taliban siege at Kabul hotel; 18 dead

    Afghan forces end Taliban siege at Kabul hotel; 18 dead


    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Security forces said Sunday they had killed the last of six Taliban militants to end an overnight siege at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel that left at least 18 people dead, including 14 foreigners. Some of the 150 guests fled...

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Security forces said Sunday they had killed the last of six Taliban militants to end an overnight siege at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel that left at least 18 people dead, including 14 foreigners. Some of the 150 guests fled the gunbattle and fire sparked by the assault by shimmying down bedsheets from the upper floors.


    No, the Tax Bill Will Not Help Republicans

    No, the Tax Bill Will Not Help Republicans


    Republicans passed a bill over the objections of the American people that, in many cases, was designed to hurt their own constituents. Last month, weeks before signing into law the most sweeping changes to corporate and individual tax rates in decades,...

    Republicans passed a bill over the objections of the American people that, in many cases, was designed to hurt their own constituents. Last month, weeks before signing into law the most sweeping changes to corporate and individual tax rates in decades, President Trump promised the tax bill would help Republicans politically. “I think people see that and they’re seeing it more and more, and the more they learn about [the tax bill], the more popular it becomes,” he told reporters.