U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday he believes U.S. forces will be in Iraq and in the fight against Islamic State militants for a while, despite some rocky times between the two nations. Speaking at the end of a day of meetings in Baghdad with military commanders and Iraqi political leaders, Mattis said he is open to any request from his military commanders to aid the battle to retake Mosul and launch a major battle to oust IS from the base of its so-called caliphate in Raqqa, Syria. Despite President Donald Trump's past threats to take Iraq's oil and his attempt to impose a travel ban that includes Iraqi citizens, Mattis said his meetings with Iraqi leaders underscored the partnership the U.S. has with the Iraqis.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ran a death squad that killed many people, including a journalist and a pregnant woman, when he was mayor of a southern city, a retired policeman who claimed to be part of the group said Monday. Arthur Lascanas, sitting alongside three prominent human rights lawyers, broke down in tears as he listed a series of murders in Davao city that he alleged Duterte ordered either to eliminate critics or fight crime. Lascanas said he even killed his two brothers, who were involved in drug trafficking, due to "blind loyalty" to Duterte as well as cash rewards.
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.
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.
By Pavel Polityuk AVDIYIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists appeared to be respecting a new ceasefire attempt on Monday after international powers called for shelling to stop and for the withdrawal of banned heavy weapons. In recent weeks, the area around the government-held town of Avdiyivka has seen some of the heaviest artillery fire of the past two years, refocusing global attention on a simmering conflict that has strained relations between Russia and the West. Violence has since lessened, but the close proximity of the opposing sides and continued use of heavy weapons prompted the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine to call on Sunday for renewed efforts to implement the terms of the much-violated Minsk peace agreement of 2015.
North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia denounced the country's investigation into the death of the exiled half brother of North Korea's ruler, calling it politically motivated and demanding a joint probe amid increasingly bitter exchanges between the once-friendly nations. Malaysia responded with its own accusations, with a foreign ministry statement saying the ambassador's comments were "culled from delusions, lies and half-truths." Earlier Monday, Malaysia said it was recalling its ambassador to Pyongyang. The diplomatic spat comes in the wake of the death last week of Kim Jong Nam, who died after apparently being poisoned in the Kuala Lumpur airport.
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 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
The next iteration of Samsung’s Gear VR headset might finally come with its own dedicated controller. The current iteration of the Samsung Gear VR comes with a touchpad on its right side. This is what allows users to navigate and control their smartphones while using the VR headset.
On Feb. 21, 2017, Milo Yiannopoulos announced his resignation as an editor at Breitbart News. The writer and commentator has been facing backlash since a video of him making controversial comments about pedophilia surfaced.
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.
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.
As the Trump administration readies a revised version of its executive order restricting immigration to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries, some of the reported changes in wording could address problems that caused the original order to be blocked by multiple federal courts. Although the full text of the order has not been released, the success of such lawsuits could still hinge on the question of whether statements from Trump and his surrogates during his presidential campaign could be used against him as evidence of an unconstitutional motive, even if the statements came before his election. According to news reports, the administration is working carefully to address some of the more glaring legal holes in its original order.
The commander of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group said Monday he expected its forces would be allowed to stay in Iraq after Mosul is recaptured. "I don't anticipate that we will be asked to leave by the government of Iraq immediately after Mosul," Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend said. The US commander was speaking at a press conference in Baghdad wrapping up a brief visit by the new Pentagon chief, Jim Mattis.
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 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.
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.
Five people were believed killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said. The five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said. The U.S. Embassy in Canberra would not comment on a report that the passengers were U.S. citizens, but said it was working with local authorities.
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.
It goes without saying that the spontaneous combustion of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was a big deal, but rarely do we get an opportunity to see the impact of tech gaffes on public sentiment quantified. A new Harris Poll ranking the “reputation quotient” of the 100 most recognizable brands in the United States provides just that, and the picture isn’t good one for Samsung. In last year’s reputation ratings, Samsung landed in the seventh position out of 100 companies, beaten only by Amazon, Apple, and Google on the tech side of things.
A Tennessee grandmother was arrested this week after police say her 3-year-old grandson accidentally shot his 4-year-old brother while in her care at a Memphis home. The Memphis Police Department first showed up to the home Sunday night after a report that someone had fired shots at the home at about 8 p.m. "At the time they were investigating you heard another pop," neighbor Chris Hill told WREG.
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.
Syrian government forces Monday escalated their bombing campaign around Damascus, raining shells down on rebel territory and sending out a "bloody message" just days before renewed peace talks in Geneva. Representatives from the opposition and of President Bashar al-Assad's regime are to head to Switzerland on Thursday for another attempt to end their country's brutal six-year war. "The toll in regime air strikes on (northern rebel district of Damascus) Barzeh has increased to seven people, including a woman and child," the Observatory said, adding that 12 more had been wounded.
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.
Mongolia has reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on a $5.5 billion bailout package, officials announced, as the debt-wracked country tries to stabilise its economy. Billions of dollars' worth of natural resources lie buried beneath Mongolia's sprawling steppes, but development has been delayed for years and slowing growth in its biggest customer China has hobbled the economy. Mongolia's economy grew 1.0 percent in 2016, while its budget deficit exploded to 3.7 trillion tugrik ($1.5 billion) according to its national statistics office.