WASHINGTON (AP) — An Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State group in Syria won't be allowed to return to the United States with her toddler son because she is not an American citizen, the U.S. said Wednesday. Her lawyer is challenging that claim.
A high stakes bid by the Venezuelan opposition to transport aid into the country turned deadly on Friday as government forces opened fire on a group of indigenous volunteers, killing at least one woman and injuring 12. Members of the indigenous community in the southern town of Kumarakapay, bordering Brazil, on Friday night took the commander of the Venezuelan national guard prisoner in retaliation. Jose Miguel Montoya Rodriguez was being detained by members of the Pemon tribe, following the death of Zoraida Rodriguez in the clashes. The violence cast an ominous shadow over the massive aid delivery planned for Saturday, with hundreds of tonnes of medical supplies destined to be brought across the border from Brazil and Colombia. Juan Guaido, the self-declared “interim president” who has marshalled the hugely symbolic aid delivery, condemned the killing of Rodriguez, and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. On Friday night, following a fundraising concert on the border organised by Sir Richard Branson, thousands of volunteers were preparing to bring the aid into Venezuela, in spite of the threats from President Nicolas Maduro that he would not allow it to pass. Organisers of the show, held on the Tienditas bridge, worked through the night to clear the bridge ahead of the aid caravan. Mr Maduro promised a rival concert on the other side of the bridge, and was reportedly offering $7 million to artists to perform, but by Friday night there was no sign of the show and musician after musician issued statements confirming they had been approached to perform, but turned it down. A caravan of trucks fanned out across Venezuela this week, destined for the border with the intention of loading the aid for distribution at the border points. Four processions will be met on the Venezuelan side by four people appointed by Mr Guaido, whose identity he has kept secret for their own safety. Mr Guaido himself set out from Caracas on Thursday in a procession of lorries towards the border, ready to collect the aid. Gaby Arellano, a 33-year-old opposition MP leading one of the convoys of aid was on Friday defiant about the risks of violence as she prepared to cross the border from the Colombian town of Cucuta. “You know what really frightens me?” she told The Telegraph,. “The fact that my children will continue to suffer. That’s far more terrifying a thought than anything that could happen on the bridge.” Russia, which along with Cuba and China continues to provide a crutch to Mr Maduro’s teetering regime, accused the United States on Friday of using the aid deliveries as a ploy to carry out military action against Mr Maduro's government. Maria Zakharova, spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, said Mr Guaido's plans to try to bring the aid across the border are aimed at provoking clashes to provide "a convenient pretext for conducting military action". Cucuta has four bridges crossing into Venezuela, and the volunteers, told to dress in white, will set out at 9am (2pm GMT) – “not smugglers in the night,” said Jose Manuel Olivares, a 33-year-old doctor-turned-politician, who will on Saturday lead one of the columns. “We will do it by the light of day, with full transparency, because we have nothing to hide.” Freddy Superlano, a deputy for the Chavez family state of Barinas, added: “We’ve thought it all through, with the aid. It’s much more than politics. It’s the survival of the nation.” Mr Guaido insisted that the aid must be allowed to pass, and issued another plea to the soldiers to allow its safe passage. “You must decide on which side you stand, at this decisive hour,” he tweeted on Friday night. “To the soldiers, between tonight and tomorrow you must decide how you want to be remembered. We know you stand with the people. Tomorrow you must show it.”
A foundation supporting victims of paedophile priests in Poland on Thursday released a report documenting nearly 400 cases of sex abuse by clergymen in the staunchly Catholic country. Images broadcast on Polish television showed Pope Francis kissing the hand of Marek Lisinski, head of the "Be Not Afraid" foundation, as he handed over the report to the pontiff. The document details the cases of 85 priests convicted of paedophilia, another 88 whose alleged abuse has been exposed by the media and 95 others accused by alleged victims.
The first tax filing season under the new federal tax law is proving to be surprising, confusing — and occasionally frightening — for some Americans, especially those accustomed to getting money back from the government. (Feb. 21)
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III set the date on Thursday, giving Manafort until March 1 to reply to Mueller’s recommendation that he serve between 19.6 and 24.4 years in prison. Manafort, 69, was convicted by jurors last August of bank fraud, tax fraud and failure to file a foreign bank account report. Manafort, who was President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016, also faces a March 13 sentencing in federal court in Washington.
Up to a third of the $6.7bn (£5.2bn) in Pentagon funds Donald Trump has identified to spend on a US-Mexico border wall has already been spent, officials have revealed. During his emergency powers declaration last month, the US president announced he would divert billions of dollars from other Department of Defense projects towards the wall, in order to circumvent Congress. It included $3.6bn (£2.8bn) in unspent military construction money, as well as $2.5bn (£1.9bn) in counterdrug funds and $600m (£462m) from an asset forfeiture account – the latter two not dependent on the emergency delaration.
Apple Inc has teamed up with Chinese payments giant Ant Financial Services Group and several local banks to offer interest-free financing, its first such move in the country as it looks to boost waning smartphone sales. The U.S. tech behemoth issued a rare revenue warning last month citing weaker iPhone sales in China, one of its most important markets, where consumer spending has taken a hit due to a slowdown in economic growth. On its China website, Apple is promoting the new scheme, under which customers can pay 271 yuan ($40.31) each month to purchase an iPhone XR, and 362 yuan each month for an iPhone XS.
A guest who appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show said African Americans “need to move on” from slavery because it was abolished “a century-and-a-half ago”. Mark Steyn, a cultural commentator, made the comments on Thursday during a segment discussing 2020 presidential candidates who are in favour of reparations for African Americans. During his rant, Steyn said: “Slavery was abolished a century and a half ago, nobody alive today has a grandparent who was a slave, and in that sense I think you reach a point where, you know, you need to move on.
A beloved, longtime Walmart greeter with cerebral palsy met with store management in Pennsylvania on Friday in a bid to keep his job but came away with no guarantees, and his family is girding for a fight.