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|Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra role
Elliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress, was appointed as U.S. envoy to Venezuela on Friday.
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 11:02 AM
|Court filing: Manafort faces more than 19 years in prison
WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, could spend more than 19 years in prison on tax and bank fraud charges, prosecutors said Friday.
POSTED FEBRUARY 15, 2019 8:54 PM
|British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home'
A British schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has said she does not regret it, but wants to return to the UK to give birth. Shamima Begum, 19, vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago, along with two other teenage girls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. A girl who identified herself as Shamima Begum, was found in a refugee camp in Syria as the Isil caliphate collapsed, the Times reported. In an interview with the newspaper she described how she had been living in the caliphate and had married an Isil fighter from the Netherlands called Yago Riedijk. She was heavily pregnant and due to give birth any day. Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, and Shamima Begum Credit: PA The girl is living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria along with 39,000 other refugees. She described having seen a severed head in a bin during her time with Isil, and escaping bombs dropping, the Times reported. The teenager also said she had already given birth to two children, both of whom died in infancy. She told the Times: "I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here." She added: "I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that's why I want to get back to Britain, because I know my baby will be looked after." The three girls had joined another London teenager, Sharmeena Begum, in Syria. All were married off to jihadists. Shamima Begum said at least one of her friends, Kadiza Sultana, had been killed when a bomb hit a house in Raqqa. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo while being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London Credit: PA The other two girls reportedly stayed on to fight in Baghuz in eastern Syria, along with a few hundred Isil fighters, as the caliphate came to an end. Shamima Begum and her husband fled instead, and the husband surrendered to Kurdish forces. The girl told the Times she had spoken to her mother in the UK and asked for her support when she goes home. She had also read what had been written about her online by people back in the UK. "The caliphate is over," she told the Times. "There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me. But I just want to come home to have my child. All I want to do is come home to Britain." British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum passing through security barriers at Gatwick Airport, en route to Syria in 2015 Credit: AFP The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, although anyone who returns to the UK after travelling to IS territory faces criminal investigation and stricter laws are now in place. Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger. "Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security. "There are a range of terrorism offences where individuals can be convicted for crimes committed overseas and we can also use Temporary Exclusion Orders to control an individuals' return to the UK." A displaced Syrian woman and a child walk toward tents at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of al-Hol in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria Credit: AFP Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer who was instructed by the Bethnal Green girls' families after they ran away, said he was "glad (Ms Begum) is alive and safe". He told the Press Association the authorities should be reminded of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe's position at the time of their disappearance. "The position of the Metropolitan Police was that they should be treated as victims, so long as they hadn't committed any further offences while they are out there," he said. Mr Akunjee said he had spoken to the girls' families, who had "expressed the position that they want time and space to process what's happened". The Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are expected to announce the territorial defeat of Isil in the coming days. Around 2,000 US special forces are expected to be brought home by April. Giving evidence to MPs in the wake of the British schoolgirls's disappearance, in 2015, senior police officers said they would not be treated as criminals if they returned home. They said there was a "difference between the person running around with a Kalishnikov" and three schoolgirls who had been duped into travelling to Syria. The girls funded their travel to Syria by stealing jewellery from relatives, paying more than £1,000 in cash to a local travel agent for their flights to Turkey. Donald Trump has said Isil is "defeated"and that an announcement is imminent on "100 percent of the caliphate" having been retaken. The war to push Isil out of its so-called caliphate had lasted more than four-and-a-half years. The area once covered part of Syria and Iraq that was around the size of Britain. Pentagon officials have warned that Isil remains an "active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria". Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 3:18 AM
|Kashmir car bomb kills 44; India demands Pakistan act against militants
The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan. The explosion targeting a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was heard from several miles away, according to witnesses.
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 1:21 PM
|Why This 'Atmospheric River' Could Cause Mudslides and 'Roofalanches' in California
Californians are experiencing some unusually nasty winter weather this week as an "atmospheric river" passes through most of the state, bringing howling winds and heavy rain.The storm arrived on Tuesday night (Feb. 12) in Northern California and continued into Wednesday (Feb. 13), leading the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue warnings of flash flooding, mudslides and high winds in the region. It is forecast to bring "excessive rainfall" to Southern California on Thursday (Feb. 14), according to the NWS.[Weirdo Weather: 7 Rare Weather Events]Atmospheric rivers are huge "rivers in the sky" that cause moisture from the tropics to flow north, from California to Canada. These huge weather systems can carry many times the freshwater that flows through the mighty Mississippi River, local news outlet KQED reported."They're the biggest freshwater rivers on Earth," F. Martin Ralph, the director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes in La Jolla, California, told KQED.These atmospheric rivers of condensed water vapor can easily be 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) long and 300 miles (482 km) wide, Ralph said. When an atmospheric river brings moisture from Hawaii to the Western U.S. -- as is the case with the current storm -- it's known as the Pineapple Express.Atmospheric rivers can bring much-needed rain -- or wreak havoc by dumping heavy rain or snow when they make landfall, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). California has recently experienced storms, meaning the current downpour is falling on waterlogged soil. Summer wildfires also scorched the earth in several areas of California, and burn scars can be more prone to flash flooding and debris as well, according to the NWS.On Wednesday morning, 24-hour rainfall totals were as high as 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in some parts of the Northern Bay Area, with San Francisco receiving about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) of rain, according to the NWS. Residents along the Bay Area coast and hills may face high winds from 25 to 35 mph (40 to 56 km/h) with gusts up to 60 mph (97 km/h), according to the NWS. Social media was abuzz with reports of downed trees and flash flooding. In the Sierras, the NWS warned that the atmospheric river could cause "roofalanches," or the sudden release of snow from already snow-packed roofs, which can pose a serious hazard.Earlier this month, Ralph and his colleagues developed a new scale to describe the strength of atmospheric rivers. The scale, which was described in the February issue of the journal Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, ranks these weather events using categories "1 to 5," with Category 1 indicating a "weak" storm and Category 5 indicating an "exceptional" one. The ranking is based on the amount of water vapor the storm carries, and how long it dumps moisture on a given area, according to a statement. The scale also indicates the extent to which the storm is likely to be beneficial -- by bringing much-needed rain to replenish reservoirs after a drought, for example -- or hazardous, leading to flooding and mudslides. The current storm is a "Category 3," according to local news outlet CBS San Francisco.Tia Ghose contributed reporting. * 9 Tips for Exercising in Winter Weather * Fishy Rain to Fire Whirlwinds: The World's Weirdest Weather * 10 Surprising Ways Weather Has Changed HistoryOriginally published on Live Science.
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 11:13 AM
|Airbus A380, the Concorde: technical feats, commercial flops
The scratching of the superjumbo jet Airbus A380 echoes the sad fate of the supersonic Concorde, another feat of aviation technology that turned out to be a commercial flop. The inaugural commercial flight on January 21, 1976 of Concorde, the world's first supersonic passenger plane, promised a revolution in aviation. It was the first computer-controlled commercial aircraft in history and also innovated with a weight-saving aluminium body and triangular delta wings.
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 5:45 AM
|Ocasio-Cortez takes a victory lap after Amazon scraps plans to build in New York
The Democratic phenom scores a victory over the "richest man in the world."
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 3:12 PM
|Amazon HQ2 Pulling Out of Queens Hits New Yorkers Hard
Social media reacts to the tech giant's decision not to move to Long Island City after all
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 5:48 PM
|Alaska Airlines is selling BOGO flights for one day only
On February 14 only, the airline is rolling out a ‘Fly One, Get One’ promotionbetween select destinations around the country
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 4:28 PM
|Jussie Smollett recounts violent attack on 'GMA': I saw the rope 'and I started screaming'
Jussie Smollett, the 'Empire' star who was attacked in a "possible hate crime" Jan. 29 in Chicago, talked to "GMA" about the incident.
POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 9:49 AM