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Public anger grows over coronavirus in Thailand, with eight cases of the illnessThe health minister in Thailand, the country with the most confirmed cases outside China of the new coronavirus, called an emergency meeting on Sunday with the transport and tourism ministries amid rising public discontent over the government's handling of the illness. "We can control the situation and are confident in our ability to handle the crisis," Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters. The number of cases of the disease in Thailand rose on Sunday to eight.


India police decommission historic British-era riflesPolice in northern India on Sunday bid goodbye to the historic British-era bolt-action rifles after using them for one last salute during the annual Republic Day parade. The Lee-Enfield .303 rifle was the main firearm of British colonial military forces and, despite being designated "obsolete" around 25 years ago, it has been the main weapon used by police in Uttar Pradesh state over seven decades. "They have been in use since independence (from the British in 1947) and now they'll be replaced by INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) and SLRs (Self-Loading Rifles)," said police superintendent Amit Verma.


Death Toll Rises in Turkey Quake as Erdogan Slams Social Media(Bloomberg) - A magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Turkey’s eastern Elazig province on Friday evening killed at least 31 people and injured hundreds. By Sunday, 45 people had been rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings.A total of 76 buildings were destroyed and 645 heavily damaged, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, said in a statement. As many as 20 of the 640 aftershocks since the first temblor had a magnitude greater than 4 on the Richter scale, according to the agency.Speaking on Sunday in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan targeted “provocative” social media posts about the earthquake. “Some messages are terrible, depraved,” he said, according to the Anadolu Agency. “For example, some question what the government has done about earthquakes in the past two decades.”The earthquake occurred at 8:55 p.m. local time on Friday at a depth of 6.75 kilometers (4.2 miles) on the East Anatolia Fault Line. Tremors were felt in many cities across the region.Prosecutors have launched an investigation into social media posts found to be “provocative,” Anadolu reported. Two people in Gaziantep province have been detained.Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Environment & Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum and Health Minister Fahrettin Koca were in Elazig as of early Sunday to coordinate rescue efforts.Turkey is situated in a seismically active area and is among countries, including China and Iran, that can experience catastrophic earthquakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1999, a 7.5-magnitude quake shook the western Marmara region killing thousands of people and damaging more than 300,000 buildings. The nation’s economy contracted 3.4% that year.To contact the reporters on this story: Cagan Koc in Istanbul at ckoc2@bloomberg.net;Taylan Bilgic in Istanbul at tbilgic2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at oant@bloomberg.net, Lars Paulsson, Michael GunnFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


Seven months detained: seven-year-old is longest-held child migrant in USMaddie Hernandez and her father, Emerson, fled crime in Guatemala. After months, her parents says she has changedEmerson Hernandez and his daughter Maddie have withstood hunger and thirst.They’ve been dumped in a threatening border city in Mexico, a foreign country with nowhere to shelter. And, for seven months, they’ve been locked up at what critics call a “baby jail”.The father and daughter have weathered all of this just for a chance at asylum in the United States after they fled a home in Guatemala that’s now overrun with crime.“I don’t want my daughter to grow up in that environment of delinquency. I really am afraid that something could happen to her,” Emerson told the Guardian.Maddie has been detained the longest of any child currently held in family immigration detention across the country, her attorneys say. On 17 January, she turned seven years old at Berks county residential center, a controversial detention facility in Pennsylvania where she has spent roughly 8% of her life.Despite her lawyers exhausting the legal avenues that could get her out, the government won’t release her and Emerson together.A spokesperson for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), the agency detaining them, said, “ICE’s custodial determinations for Mr. Hernandez and Maddie have been based on the merits and factors of their individual cases and are in conformity with the law and current agency priorities, guidelines and legal mandates.”Emerson said Maddie has always been strong, but being confined for such a long time has changed her. She’s gone from an easy, smiley little girl to someone who has become violent and throws explosive temper tantrums, according to her parents and an attorney.“Her change was sudden,” Emerson said. “And she says to me, ‘When are we going to leave this place?’”The truth is no one knows. The Flores settlement, a landmark 1997 federal agreement that regulates child and family detention, made it the longstanding rule that kids and families should be released within 20 days. But there have been huge exceptions: Bridget Cambria, a lawyer representing Maddie, said the longest she was aware of a child being held through family detention was 707 days.Emerson and Maddie are desperate to see the rest of their family, Maddie’s mother, Madelin, and her newborn baby, who still hasn’t met his dad. Madelin traveled to the US with a visa and lives in New Jersey, but Maddie’s visa application was denied. She and Emerson made a more perilous journey north last spring, when they went a full day without stopping.“That day was hard for me,” Emerson remembered. “To see that my daughter said to me, ‘Papi, I’m thirsty, Papi, I want to eat,’ and I had nothing to give her.”Madelin said she came to the US because she thought her family would be reunited soon after. But Maddie and Emerson were swept into the Trump administration’s increasingly hardline immigration policies, and Madelin hasn’t seen them since.Last April, Emerson and Maddie finally made it to the US only to be turned back to Tijuana, Mexico, through the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a Trump-era program that returns people across the border while they await US immigration court hearings.Suddenly, they were homeless in one of the world’s most dangerous cities.Emerson called Madelin to say there was no space for them at the local shelter. “I remember that he started to cry, and I did, too, because we didn’t know what to do,” she said.A US Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said around 57,000 people had been subject to MPP, and in October, Reuters found that 16,000 migrants under 18 had been sent to Mexico.At least 816 violent attacks against migrants under MPP have been reported, including 201 cases of children who were kidnapped or almost kidnapped, according to the not-for-profit Human Rights First.On days when Emerson and Maddie found housing with good Samaritans, she rarely went outside because the city was so dangerous.“Tijuana is not a very pretty place, it’s not a safe place,” Emerson said.After two months in Mexico, they got their opportunity to go in front of a US immigration judge in June. Emerson made the mistake of following advice he said an immigration official gave him. He told the judge that he had come to the US to give his daughter a better life, a line that completely discredited his case.There are immigration laws that protect asylum seekers. There aren’t immigration laws that protect devoted parents.The judge gave him two options: he could return to Mexico and, against all odds, continue to fight for the right to come to the US. Or – after all Emerson and Maddie had endured –they could return to Guatemala.Faced with an impossible choice, Emerson opted for the latter because at least if something happened to him at home, his family could look after his daughter and wife. But when he and Maddie boarded a plane, it didn’t land in Guatemala. Instead, they took a long trip deep into the country’s interior, to Berks county residential center in Leesport, Pennsylvania.The family immigration detention facility garnered national notoriety a few years ago after an employee admitted to sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman who was being held there. Critics have advocated for its closure, and reports of poor medical care and racism from employees have hamstrung the facility’s reputation.But it continues to operate, as it has since 2001.After Emerson and Maddie arrived at Berks, they met Cambria, the attorney who has helped to revive their asylum bid. When the government flew them to San Diego in July and tried to return them to Mexico again, Cambria quickly filed a federal lawsuit to bring them back to Berks, where they’ve remained ever since.That lawsuit could eventually set a major precedent as to whether children can legally be placed under MPP. A ruling in Maddie’s favor would mean other kids like her could sue the government, arguing they shouldn’t be sent to Mexico. (Ice’s spokesperson said the agency did not comment on pending litigation.)But Maddie didn’t come to the US to challenge immigration policy. She’s a kid who celebrated a Christmas and a birthday in detention, without her mom and little brother.“This little girl is not doing well psychologically, we’ll put it that way,” said Cambria. “She’s saying things that are scary. She’s very sad.”Ice has offered for Maddie to leave Berks, but without Emerson. This family separation is legally dubious, and Cambria said it was unprecedented in her experience representing immigrant families.Amy Maldonado, another of Maddie’s lawyers, said Ice could release both Maddie and Emerson at any time, and has done so for families in similar situations.Cambria said she doesn’t know why Ice is treating Emerson and Maddie differently from any other family at Berks. But the detention center is only for parents with children. If Maddie leaves and Emerson doesn’t, he’ll be sent away to another facility for adults or returned to Mexico.Maddie is so young that she thinks of everything she’s gone through as a vacation, and she keeps telling her parents she’s ready for the vacation to be over.“When I speak to her, she sometimes cries and says, ‘Mami, I want to leave already,’” Madelin said.“‘I want to leave already.’”


In Peru, 'they teach you to be ashamed,' indigenous trans candidate saysThe first indigenous transgender candidate to run for parliament in Peru says it's time to end the culture of machismo in the South American country. "I suffered, in my own flesh, the consequences of inequality, discrimination, violence and corruption," Gahela Cari, 27, said in an interview with AFP before Sunday's nationwide parliamentary ballot. "I'm an animal-rights advocate, an ecologist and a student leader," Cari told AFP.


China scrambles to contain 'strengthening' virusBEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The ability of the new coronavirus to spread is strengthening and infections could continue to rise, China's National Health Commission said on Sunday, with nearly 2,000 people in China infected and 56 killed by the disease. Health authorities around the world are racing to prevent a pandemic after a handful of cases of infection were reported outside China, including in Thailand, Australia, the United States and France. The newly-identified coronavirus has created alarm because much about it is still unknown, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.


Chinese Uighurs in Saudi face impossible choiceHis eyes brimming with tears, a Uighur student in Saudi Arabia holds out his Chinese passport - long past its expiry date and condemning him to an uncertain fate as the kingdom grows closer to Beijing. The Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia stopped renewing passports for the ethnic Muslim minority more than two years ago, in what campaigners call a pressure tactic exercised in many countries to force the Uighur diaspora to return home. Half a dozen Uighur families in Saudi Arabia who showed AFP their passports - a few already expired and some approaching the date - said they dread going back to China, where over a million Uighurs are believed to be held in internment camps.


Family of five and their dog found dead in NC homeA family of five and their dog were found dead Friday in their Vanceboro, North Carolina home, authorities said.


Italy Regions Vote in Test of Salvini Surge: Election Day Guide(Bloomberg) - Investors are viewing a Sunday regional vote in Italy as a key test on how long the rocky ruling coalition of the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement can survive.The opposition League party led by Matteo Salvini is looking to snatch control of the center-left stronghold of Emilia Romagna, one of two regions voting over the weekend.A victory there would bolster Salvini’s case for snap national elections he’d likely win. It is a popularity contest that’s become even more significant following the resignation of the leader of Five Star, the biggest party in the government.While Salvini’s party continues to ride high in the polls, opinion surveys show support for Five Star has cratered. Here’s what you need to know.Who is voting?About 3.5 million people in Emilia Romagna and more than 1.5 million in the southern region of Calabria will elect governors and regional assemblies.Who will win?In prosperous Emilia Romagna - a region historically dominated by the left - polls have shown a virtual tie between the League and the center-left, with the latter holding the narrowest of leads in final surveys conducted before an electoral blackout period.Pre-blackout polls have pointed to a clear lead for a center-right coalition in Calabria.Though less symbolic than the leftist bastion in Emilia Romagna, a center-right win in Calabria would still be notable for Salvini, who fronts a party that once denigrated the south and called for northern Italy to secede.Will the government collapse if Salvini wins?Probably not, at least not right away. The parties backing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte insist that regional votes don’t have any impact on national politics. But a defeat in Emilia Romagna would be particularly hard to swallow for the Democrats, who might then begin rethinking whether their governing alliance with Five Star is really worth it.Brace for more turbulence in case of a League triumph but keep in mind that the government may actually grow stronger if the coalition parties become weaker. The glue holding them together is, after all, their shared desire to avoid snap elections that would put Salvini in power.What do markets say?Most analysts share the sanguine assessment that, in the short term, the government won’t be directly affected by the outcome of this vote. However, they also highlight the concern that a weakened Conte will be even less capable of carrying out reforms that Italy’s stagnant economy desperately needs.When to tune in?Voting is on Sunday, Jan. 26, between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Italian time.Once polls close, Italy’s state-run Rai television will publish exit polls, though it’s possible they won’t immediately point to a clear winner. After midnight, projections based on actual vote counts should start giving a clearer picture.The winner will likely be declared in the early hours of Monday morning and full results will come that day.Must readsItaly Coalition Girds for Succession Battle as Di Maio QuitsItaly Prepares for Prime Minister Salvini: Ferdinando Giugliano\--With assistance from Samuel Dodge.To contact the reporter on this story: Alessandro Speciale in Rome at aspeciale@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Jerrold Colten, Caroline AlexanderFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


China says virus situation 'grave' as Lunar New Year curtailedPresident Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a virus that has killed 41 people and caused a drastic scale-back of Lunar New Year celebrations. The world's most populous country, which is scrambling to contain the disease that has infected nearly 1,300 people and overwhelmed health facilities, is building a second field hospital and closing more travel routes. After more countries reported cases, Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on the disease that China was "faced with the grave situation of an accelerating spread of the new coronavirus" but that the country will "definitely be able to win the battle," according to state media.


 
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