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Clock running out as Senate tries to avert government s…

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate raced to avert a government shutdown on Friday ahead of a midnight deadline with no agreement on funding in sight and both parties squabbling over who is to blame for the impasse. President Donald Trump postponed plans to leave Washington on Friday as a bill to fund the government through Feb. 16, approved on Thursday night by the House of Representatives, appeared on the verge of collapse in the Senate, where Democratic votes are needed to pass it. The Republican-controlled House planned to adjournRead More


6.3-magnitude earthquake shakes Mexico’s Gulf of Califo…

MEXICO CITY –  A 6.3-magnitude earthquake has struck offshore in Mexico’s Gulf of California. There are no immediate reports of damage. The U.S. Geological Survey says the Friday morning quake was centered about 48 miles (78 kilometers) north-northeast of Loreto, in the waters between the states of Baja California Sur and Sinaloa. The USGS reports that it struck at a depth of 6 miles (10 kilometers). The area is a desert coastline dotted with small towns and fishing villages popular with U.S. tourists who park their recreational vehicles at seasideRead More


Pentagon puts countering China, Russia at center of U.S…

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military has put countering China and Russia at the heart of a new national defense strategy unveiled on Friday, the latest sign of shifting American priorities after more than a decade and a half of focusing on the fight against Islamist militants. The strategy document, the first of its kind since at least 2014, sets priorities for the U.S. Defense Department that are expected to be reflected in future defense spending requests. The Pentagon released an unclassified, 11-page version of the document on Friday. TheRead More


Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman confronts Larry Nassar in c…

LANSING, Mich. — Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman faced her abuser in a Michigan courtroom on Friday. The Needham, Massachusetts native is one of more than 140 women who say former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused them under the guise of medical treatment. “I am here to face you, Larry, so you can see I have regained my strength. That I am no longer a victim, I am a survivor. I am no longer that little girl you met in Australia, where you first began grooming andRead More


Kodak Black held without bond after latest arrest

Rapper Kodak Black was arrested Thursday in Florida on several felony charges, including grand theft of a firearm and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, jail records show. The musician, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, remains in custody Friday at the Broward County Main Jail on seven felony charges. In addition to the firearm counts, Octave, 20, is also facing charges of marijuana possession, child neglect and violating his probation, according to jail records. A judge ordered Octave, who was on probation at the time of hisRead More


Baby killed, 17 injured after car hits crowd on Rio boa…

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian authorities say a baby was killed and 17 people were injured when a motorist drove into a crowded boardwalk along Copacabana beach. Rio de Janeiro’s municipal health department confirmed Friday that an Australian was among those injured in the Thursday night incident and that the 68-year-old is breathing with the help of a respirator. Eight others remain hospitalized, many with broken bones. The state health department confirmed the death of a baby girl.  People watch a car that has driven into the crowded seaside boardwalkRead More


Ewan McGregor’s daughter seemingly attacks dad’s new ro…

Actor Ewan McGregor and his wife Eve Mavrakis arrive at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California March 2, 2014.  (Reuters) Ewan McGregor’s 15-year-old daughter has slammed the Hollywood star in a song she wrote and posted online. Esther McGregor pours out her heart while singing “Seeing those pictures, they’re making me cry” — thought to be a reference to her dad’s kiss with new love Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The tune, titled “Made You A Man,” comes after the “Star Wars” and “Trainspotting” actor walked out on her mom Eve Mavrakis, 51. Reuters  (Ewan McGregorRead More


Hezbollah denies US drug trafficking accusations

BEIRUT –  The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group has categorically dismissed allegations that it is involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Friday’s statements by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah are in response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s announcement last week that the Justice Department is forming a team of prosecutors to investigate such activity linked to the Iranian-backed group. The move follows reports that Obama administration officials thwarted drug prosecutions related to Hezbollah for fear of jeopardizing a nuclear deal with Iran. Speaking at a party event, Nasrallah saidRead More


GOP reps demand release of ‘shocking’ surveillance memo

A growing number of Republicans are demanding the release of a classified report that they say reveals political bias at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) in the investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: ‘We should be like Canada’ in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: ‘Sheet metal and garbage’ everywhere in Haiti MORE’s alleged ties to Moscow.  Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) spearheaded the effort this week to allow lawmakers to view a top-secret report compiled by House Intelligence Committee chairman DevinRead More


Turkey shells Syria’s Afrin region, minister says opera…

SUGEDIGI, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkish artillery fired into Syria’s Afrin region on Friday in what Ankara said was the start of a military campaign against the Kurdish-controlled area. The cross-border bombardment took place after days of threats from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to crush the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin in response to growing Kurdish strength across a wide stretch of north Syria. “The operation has actually de facto started with cross-border shelling,” Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said, adding that no troops had crossed into Afrin. Direct militaryRead More