By Isabel Coles and Maher Chmaytelli SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S.-backed Iraqi forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul prepared on Tuesday to storm the airport and a nearby military base on its southern outskirts to create a bridgehead for a thrust into the city. Since ousting the militant group from eastern Mosul last month, Iraqi forces have advanced in sparsely populated outlying areas but fighting will intensify as they near the teeming inner city of western Mosul and the risk to roughly 750,000 civilians there will rise. The U.S. military commander in Iraq has said he believes U.S.-backed forces will retake both of IS's urban bastions - Mosul and Raqqa in neighboring Syria - within the next six months, which would end the jihadists' ambitions to territorial rule three years after they declared a "caliphate".
A retired Philippine police officer said Monday that President Rodrigo Duterte, when he was a mayor, ordered and paid him and other members of a so-called liquidation squad to kill criminals and opponents, including a kidnapping suspect, his family and a critical radio commentator. Human rights lawyers who presented Arthur Lascanas at a news conference said the allegations could be grounds for impeaching Duterte, adding that his alleged role in the killings may not be covered by his presidential immunity. Duterte's communications secretary, Martin Andanar, dismissed the claims as a "demolition job" by unspecified people affected by Duterte's reforms and aimed at forcing Duterte from power.
In just two weeks, I’ll be driving a 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 from Charlotte to the Daytona 500 race in Florida. The Camaro performed its max-velocity runs last spring at Automotive Testing Papenberg in Germany, where the ZL1 logged its official 198-mph average while running laps in both directions on the 7.6-mile high-speed oval. Al Oppenheiser, the Camaro’s chief engineer, says that Papenberg’s oval encompasses 2.5-mile-long straightaways with 49.7-degree banking on the top lane, which allowed Chevy test drivers to run flat out without lifting off throttle in turns.
Iraqis who aided the American military on the battlefield will be exempt in President Donald Trump’s revised immigration executive order, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday. Trump has vowed to issue a new executive order this week after his initial order banning travel from seven majority Muslim countries, including Iraq, was blocked by the courts. Mattis made an unannounced trip to the Iraqi capital Baghdad Monday, in an act of support for an operation to recapture the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants.
A first-grade teacher in Washington was placed on administrative leave after urging people on Facebook to report suspected undocumented residents, school district officials said. Cheriese Rhode, 29, allegedly posted a message last week encouraging citizens to inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents of those believed to be in the country without proper documentation. The reported missive was posted in connection with last Thursday’s “A Day Without Immigrants” boycott, during which businesses closed and children were kept home from school to show the importance of immigrants in the United States.
Pineapple on pizza: you love it, or you hate it so much you use your power as president of a small country to make it literally illegal. In what's being called a "political bombshell" by Iceland Magazine, President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson said he would ban pineapple as a topping on pizzas— if he were allowed to pass laws on his own.
The bodies of 74 migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe have washed up on a beach west of the Libyan capital, the Red Crescent said Tuesday. Residents of the village of Harcha, outside Zawiya, 45 kilometres (30 miles) from Tripoli, alerted the emergency services after finding a wrecked boat on the beach with bodies inside, the Red Crescent said. "We don't have an appropriate vehicle to transport the bodies or a cemetery for unidentified bodies to bury them in," the group said.
By Venus Wu HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday for misconduct in public office, making him the most senior city official to serve time behind bars in a ruling some said reaffirmed the financial hub's vaunted rule of law. The sentence brings an ignominious end to what had been a long and stellar career for Tsang before and after the 1997 handover to Chinese control, service that saw him knighted by the outgoing British colonial rulers. "Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height," said High Court justice Andrew Chan in passing sentence.
Los Angeles has topped the INRIX Global Congestion Ranking to be named the most gridlocked city in the world. Los Angeles took the number one spot after the results revealed that in 2016 drivers in the city spent 104 hours in congestion during peak time periods, followed by Moscow (91 hours), New York (89 hours), San Francisco (83 hours) and Bogota (80 hours). The US was also named the most congested developed country in the world, with the country accounting for 11 of the top 25 cities worldwide with the worst traffic congestion and with drivers on average spending 42 hours a year in traffic during peak times.
Hundreds of families were fleeing from both sides of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan Monday, officials said, as Islamabad continued a violent crackdown on extremists after multiple attacks last week raised fears of a militant resurgence. Pakistan has accused Afghanistan of harbouring the militants who carried out last week's attacks, which killed more than 100 people across the country. The Pakistani military said it used heavy artillery to fire at militant hideouts in Afghanistan Monday, after carrying out airstrikes on both sides of the border over the weekend.
Vandals have damaged or tipped over as many as 200 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in suburban St. Louis, leaving the region's Jewish community shaken and anxious. No arrests have been made in attacks that happened late Sunday or early Monday at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri. Investigators have not yet determined if it was a hate crime or vandalism, but the impact on the Jewish community is the same, said Karen Aroesty, St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.
The world’s first race on a professional track involving self-driving cars ended, not surprisingly, with a crash. As part of the Roborace competition held in Buenos Aires over the weekend, one of the two self-driving Devbot vehicles involved in the race
A trip along the refugee track within Serbia reveals that the old route through the Balkans is still being used despite strong border control, harsh conditions and frozen temperatures. Despite the existence of camps built by the Serbian state, the migrants are here trying to make their way into European Union countries illegally. More pressing than the freezing conditions, they face the reality that the old Balkan route, the same path as the 2015 refugee wave, is now closed, and that the surveillance and control is stronger than ever.
"We’ve got to keep our country safe," Trump said during a speech in Florida on Saturday. Because there were no widespread reports coming from Sweden in the previous 24 hours, many pundits wondered aloud: What exactly was the president referring to when he said "last night in Sweden"?
A 10-year-old Ohio girl took to heart the old adage, "if you need help, find a police officer," seeking out local cops to lend a hand in solving her tricky math homework. Lena Draper, 10, of Heritage Elementary School in Marion, was struggling with the order of operations unit in her math class late one night, when she decided to go online to look for help. “I saw [the Marion, Ohio Police Department] on YouTube, when a boy, a first grader, called the police with a problem,” Lena told InsideEdition.com.
The private company's newest rocket was sent with supplies to the International Space Station. Loaded with supplies for the International Space Station also a success blending the reusable booster made a perfect up right landing back on earth.
By MacDonald Dzirutwe HARARE (Reuters) - As he celebrated his 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe brushed aside persistent allegations of corruption against senior officials, saying rumour-mongers were merely targeting "big fish" in his administration. In comments to be aired on state media on Tuesday, the world's oldest leader said he would act if shown evidence - even though graft scandals involving ministers and even members of his own family are regular fare in local newspapers. People have not come out and actually said here is a case against a big fish," Mugabe said in the pre-recorded interview.
By Manolo Serapio Jr MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines' environment minister said on Monday she stands by her decision to shut more than half the country's operating mines and bar mining in watershed zones as an inter-agency panel began a review of her actions. Members of the government's Mining Industry Coordinating Council will scrutinize the affected mines to ensure due process was followed and consider the impact on jobs and the economy after an outcry by the mining industry in the world's top nickel ore supplier. The council cannot overturn her orders, but its findings could feed into a decision by President Rodrigo Duterte, who has said he will review the planned closures after initially throwing his support behind his environment minister.
Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, who for years fended off Western criticism and defended Moscow's actions in Ukraine and Syria, has died in New York. Churkin collapsed while at work at the Russian mission to the United Nations Monday morning and was rushed to a Manhattan hospital, apparently suffering from heart problems, diplomatic sources said. In a statement announcing his death, the foreign ministry in Moscow described him as an "outstanding diplomat." There was no information on the cause of death.
Gunmen attacked a Vietnamese cargo ship off the Philippines' southern tip, killing a Vietnamese crewman and abducting six others including the vessel's captain, the Philippine coast guard and the ship's owner said Monday. Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said the Vietnamese coast guard reported that the MV Giang Hai, with 17 crewmen on board, was attacked by pirates Sunday night about 20 miles (31 kilometers) north of Pearl Bank in Tawi-Tawi, the Philippines' southernmost province. Personnel of the Philippine coast guard, police and marines found the ship had drifted near the province's Baguan Island.
Finding out that the fiver in your wallet is worth thousands of pounds is a dream-come-true for some — but not everyone. The note is one of just four ultra-rare notes worth £50,000 in circulation in the UK.
With their festive, party-like ambiance and ability to travel on land and in water, duck boats have long been tourist attractions for sightseers around the U.S. But a string of deadly accidents has left the industry reeling, forced safety improvements and led some advocates to call for a total ban on the vehicles. In Seattle, after five college students were killed in a 2015 duck boat collision with a bus, the company pulled half its fleet out of service. In Philadelphia, a duck boat operator suspended its tours indefinitely after three people were killed in two separate crashes.
President Donald Trump was continuing his overhaul of the United States’ immigration practices and policies Tuesday, readying several new actions that will fundamentally transform how the nation processes undocumented immigrants and deportation cases. As the new White House prepared to radically increase immigrant detention rates along the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump has a plan for migrants and asylum-seekers from countless Latin American migrants will eventually be deported to, regardless of their nationality: Mexico. Department of Homeland Security memos, signed by Secretary John Kelly and obtained by ProPublica Sunday, revealed the administration plans to tackle Trump’s campaign promise of deporting up to three million undocumented immigrants after taking office by sending them back "to the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived," instead of their native-nations.
The ruling was handed down after the recent conviction of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who was found to have intentionally maimed patients for years, twice resulting in death. Caitlin Linduff's mother, Kellie Martin, bled to death during back surgery performed by Duntsch, who had billed himself as the finest neurosurgeon in Dallas in TV commercials.
There’s been a familiar script since the Greek debt crisis erupted seven years ago. Athens balks at austerity measures, but eventually caves to European demands to stay solvent. Europeans tire of Greece’s political leaders, but tolerate them to keep Europe whole.