President Obama will fail to keep one of his most high-profile promises — closing the detention facility for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — the White House acknowledged on Tuesday. “At this point, I don’t anticipate that we will succeed in that goal of closing the prison, but it’s not for a lack of trying,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his final media briefing. “The only reason it didn’t happen is because of the politics that members of Congress of both parties, frankly, played with this issue,” Earnest said with just two full days left in Obama’s term.
Pressed by Democratic senators for his views on the causes of climate change, the Trump administration’s choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency insisted at his confirmation hearing Wednesday morning that his “personal opinion” was “immaterial” to how he would do his job. Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee questioned Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt closely on his history of suing the agency he has been nominated to lead, his statements questioning mainstream climate science and his close ties to the oil and gas industries. Republicans were much friendlier, mostly lamenting the impact of regulations on fossil-fuel industry jobs, something Pruitt promised to take into account.
Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. following a lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. Gray showed no emotion as he was walked into the execution chamber wearing blue jeans and handcuffs. Gray was condemned to death in 2006 for the murders of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and 4-year-old sister Ruby, and sentenced to life in prison for the slaying of their parents, Bryan and Kathryn Harvey.
As real estate billionaire Donald Trump prepares to take the highest office in the U.S., another former corporate executive-turned-politician will be missing his inauguration ceremony Friday, and, unlike a growing list of Congress members, he won’t be protesting the president-elect. Former President George H. W. Bush, the second wealthiest living president—and soon to be the third-wealthiest—was hospitalized, along with his wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and later admitted to an intensive care unit Wednesday, a spokesperson said. Bush, like Trump, started his career in business.
Kyrgyzstan was observing a national day of mourning on Tuesday as rescuers searched for more bodies in the wreckage of a cargo plane that crashed into a village outside the capital. Authorities in the ex-Soviet Central Asian country have blamed pilot error for Monday's crash of a plane operated by ACT Airlines, a Turkish cargo carrier, as it was attempting to land in fog at Manas airport in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. The death toll climbed to 38 on Tuesday after the discovery of the body of the plane's fourth pilot at the crash site in the village of Dacha Suu, Deputy Prime Minister Mukhammetkaly Abulgaziev said on state television.
Startling surveillance video posted to Twitter this week shows a woman in New York being hit by a school bus, which then runs her over. The victim was crossing a Brooklyn intersection when she was struck by a yellow mini-bus. She suffered non-life-threatening
Rescue workers were met with an eerie silence Thursday when they reached a four-star spa hotel struck by an avalanche in a mountainous earthquake-stricken region of central Italy. Guests at the three-story Hotel Rigopiano in the central Abruzzo region alerted emergency workers of the disaster on Wednesday, following a series of quakes in the region. “Help, we’re dying of cold,” one couple wrote rescuers, according to the ANSA news agency.
From billowing dresses and maternity corsets intended to conceal a woman's baby bump to the bodycon trend seen on expectant mothers today, see how pregnancy fashion has changed over the years.
A U.S. military strikes in Libya on Wednesday night have killed more than 80 fighters from the Islamic State, some of whom were believed to be actively plotting attacks in Europe, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday. A Pentagon spokesman said an initial assessment indicated the U.S. military strikes destroyed two camps southwest of Sirte, Libya.
As Constitution Daily counts down to Inauguration Day, we look back at three presidential ceremonies from the 1800s that ended very badly. Mobs descend on Jackson’s White House. For example, there were constant rumors that Abraham Lincoln would be killed at his 1861 inauguration.
In a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing, education secretary pick Betsy DeVos pledged that she would not seek to dismantle public schools amid questions by Democrats about her qualifications, political donations and long-time work advocating for charter schools and school choice. DeVos said she would address "the needs of all parents and students" but that a one-size fits all model doesn't work in education. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont asked DeVos outright if she would have gotten the job had it not been for her family's political contributions.
The woman charged with kidnapping a baby 18 years ago and raising the child as her own daughter, appeared briefly in court and was ordered to be held without bail. Gloria Williams, who appeared in a Jacksonville courtroom Wednesday, is charged with kidnapping and other counts related to the 1998 abduction of Kamiyah Mobley, who was just eight hours old. No attorney has been listed for Williams.
President-elect Donald Trump is known to have an itchy Twitter finger, and says he plans to continue his use of the social media platform after he takes the oath of office. The survey, conducted Jan. 12 to 15, found a vast majority of Democrats (89 percent) have a negative view of Trump’s use of Twitter. In November, Trump said he would be “very restrained” in his use of Twitter as commander in chief, but will reserve the right to use it as a “method” to combat what he perceives as negative stories about him.
Animal rights activists Wednesday demanded the closure of an Indonesian zoo after skeletal sun bears were pictured begging for food from visitors and eating their own dung. The bears at the zoo in the city of Bandung were shown waving their arms in the air inside their enclosure -- with their ribs visible through their fur -- as people hurled food at them. Bandung zoo came under fire last year after the death of a critically endangered Sumatran elephant.
The deep-sea sonar search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may not have found the plane but will reveal more about how land beneath the Indian Ocean formed over millions of years and where oil fields could lie. National geoscience agency Geoscience Australia will soon release detailed sonar mapping of 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) of seabed that was searched for the wreckage of the Boeing 777 that vanished with 239 passengers and crew on March 8, 2014. The unique information about plate tectonics would interest geoscientists as well as oil and gas explorers, said Australian National University marine geologist Neville Exon, who has advised Geoscience Australia on the sonar data.
Orlando police on Tuesday caught murder suspect Markeith Loyd, wanted for allegedly killing a police officer and a pregnant woman, after a manhunt that lasted over a month, authorities said. Loyd was located by authorities at an abandoned home around 7 p.m., Orlando Police Chief John Mina reportedly said during a press conference. The 41-year-old was being sought in connection with the Dec. 13 shooting death of his girlfriend Sade Dixon — a 24-year-old mother of two who was three months pregnant at the time of shooting — and the Jan. 9 shooting of Orlando Police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton during a confrontation.
Logan Braatz, 6, was killed in the attack by what appeared to be pit bulls while 5-year-old Syari Sanders was taken to a hospital, according to CBS46. The attack reportedly occurred when the kids were walking to their school bus stop. Shamonta Clayton, who lives in the neighborhood, told 11Alive he was awoken by the sound of screams.
Bush, who at 92 is the nation's oldest living ex-president, has been at Houston Methodist Hospital since Saturday after experiencing shortness of breath, family spokesman Jim McGrath said on Wednesday. Since then, Bush experienced an "acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia" and was sedated for the unspecified procedure, his office said.
Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright. President Obama gave a full pardon Tuesday to retired Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, who was convicted of lying to the FBI during an investigation into a leak about American efforts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program. The pardon followed an intense lobbying campaign on behalf of Cartwright that included expressions of support, relayed by Cartwright’s lawyer, from former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, according to sources familiar with the effort.
The first direct freight train service from China to Britain arrived in London Wednesday, another leg in Beijing's plans for closer trade ties with Europe along a modern-day Silk Road. The 18-day trip saw dozens of containers packed mainly with clothes and household goods transported from the city of Yiwu in eastern China to a freight terminal in Barking in east London, via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and western Europe. The train entered Britain from France through the Channel Tunnel, completing a journey of some 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers).
There's a Florida company specializing in used military aircraft sales, and boy have they got a deal for you: 20 jet airplanes for less than $250,000. The 20 Fouga Magister trainers are sitting in Israel just waiting for someone of modest means who wants to start his or her private air force. As reported by The Aviationist, Raptor Aviation of Port St. Lucie, FL, is handling the sale of the Magisters.
Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow was to take power Thursday, capping weeks of tension over Yahya Jammeh's refusal to quit which has seen Senegalese and Nigerian troops massing at the border and tourists racing to leave. With Senegalese troops backed by Nigerian forces and fighter jets gathering, the country appeared on the brink of a military crisis although the army chief insisted his soldiers would not get involved in a "political dispute" nor prevent foreign forces from entering The Gambia. Despite a midnight (0000 GMT) deadline for the expiry of Jammeh's term, the situation remained calm in the city overnight, witnesses said following a last-minute mediation attempt by the Mauritanian president.
Former House speaker weighs in on 'Fox & Friends'
At least 82 of the dolphins, known as false killer whales for their resemblance to killer whales, died, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. Thirteen dolphins remain unaccounted for since the initial sighting Saturday afternoon by a bystander in Hog Key, a remote island on the western side of the park, NOAA spokeswoman Blair Mase said. The dolphins were scattered along the hard-to-reach shoreline and deeply embedded in some of the mangroves, making it hard to retrieve them, said Mase, coordinator of NOAA's Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Network.