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Newly Discovered Blind, Burrowing Amphibian Named After Donald Trump Newly Discovered Blind, Burrowing Amphibian Named After Donald Trump
- December 20, 2018

EnviroBuild , a sustainable materials company, paid $US25,000 ($NZ36,400) at an auction for the right to officially name the creature. "The dermophis genus grows an extra layer of skin which their young use their teeth to peel off and eat, a behavior known as dermatrophy". (more...)
Global Geopolitical Series: Astana partners reach deal on Syrian Constitutional Committee Global Geopolitical Series: Astana partners reach deal on Syrian Constitutional Committee
- December 20, 2018

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, asked on arrival whether he expected to reach an agreement with counterparts Sergei Lavrov of Russian Federation and Mehmet Cavusoglu of Turkey , told reporters: "I hope so". The United States said on Monday it was no longer seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad , as Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said he hoped to reach an agreement on Tuesday with Russian Federation and Turkey on the composition of a new Constitutional Committee in ... (more...)
US charges 2 with China intelligence ties in hacking case US charges 2 with China intelligence ties in hacking case
- December 20, 2018

Britain has accused China of mounting a "widespread and significant" campaign of "cyber intrusions" against the United Kingdom and its allies. It targeted a range of global companies and sought to steal intellectual property and commercial secrets from Europe, Asia and the US. (more...)
Flynn sentencing abruptly postponed; judge expresses disgust Flynn sentencing abruptly postponed; judge expresses disgust
- December 20, 2018

District Judge Emmet Sullivan gave Flynn a blistering rebuke. Judge Sullivan told Flynn he would take into account his extensive co-operation with the government, which includes 19 meetings with investigators as well as a 33-year military career that included service in Iraq and Afghanistan . (more...)
Britain beefs up security for a no-deal Brexit possibility Britain beefs up security for a no-deal Brexit possibility
- December 20, 2018

Mrs May was accused by Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable of "psychological warfare" in a bid to persuade MPs to support her Brexit deal when it returns to Parliament in January. And he insisted that withdrawal under the PM's deal remains "the most likely scenario". "But if we let the ideal be the enemy of the good then we risk leaving the European Union with no deal", she told MPs, her speech punctuated by loud shouts of protest. (more...)
Nicola Sturgeon says new immigration policy is an ‘act of vandalism’ Nicola Sturgeon says new immigration policy is an ‘act of vandalism’
- December 20, 2018

The policy document includes scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers such as doctors or engineers from the European Union and elsewhere, but possibly a minimum salary requirement of £30,000 for skilled migrants. The target has never been met, with annual net migration standing at about 244,000. What will The White Paper say about immigration? Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), warned that seven in 10 small employers relied on mid- or ... (more...)
Korea: We Denuclearize When US Removes Its Threat Korea: We Denuclearize When US Removes Its Threat
- December 20, 2018

Special Envoy Stephen Biegun is scheduled to visit Seoul Wednesday to discuss upcoming inter-Korean projects created to strengthen relations on the peninsula. The statement could jeopardize a second Trump-Kim summit as the United States may have difficulty negotiating further if the North ties the future of its nukes to the US military presence in the South, analysts said. (more...)
Two Scandinavian women tourists found dead in Morocco Two Scandinavian women tourists found dead in Morocco
- December 20, 2018

Louisa Jespersen, 24, from Denmark and her friend Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway were allegedly decapitated by killers while backpacking in Morocco . According to Jespersen's Facebook page, she had studied in Norway to be a guide. A Norwegian policeman from the embassy in Rabat is travelling to Marrakesh to act as a liaison. "It's very bad for the region". Cops in Morocco scour the crime scene where two backpackers were murdered Monday. (more...)
Michelle Obama Thought ‘Bye, Felicia’ On Donald Trump Inauguration Day Michelle Obama Thought ‘Bye, Felicia’ On Donald Trump Inauguration Day
- December 20, 2018

Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon pulled off an epic surprise for Tuesday's episode of The Tonight Show . Obama recalled how her daughters' friends wanted a sleepover for their last day in the White House. And you could definitely say the days since then have been "a lot", too. " Becoming " has been a major best-seller and was recently reported to have sold over two million copies . (more...)
Vladimir Putin claims Russia's new weapons have no foreign equivalent Vladimir Putin claims Russia's new weapons have no foreign equivalent
- December 20, 2018

The bilateral agreement forbids ground-launched short- and intermediate-range missiles, but not those launched from the air or sea. "It probably won't be very hard to conduct appropriate research and development and put them on the ground if need be", he said. (more...)
Third Canadian detained in China as diplomatic feud escalates Third Canadian detained in China as diplomatic feud escalates
- December 20, 2018

Pressed by public broadcaster Radio-Canada why he had not personally intervened in the cases by calling China's President Xi Jinping, he said on Tuesday: "In global politics, it is always better to proceed by degrees". "Huawei has been working with Canadian operators on a number of pre-commercial trials in the lead up to 5G", said Scott Bradley, a spokesman for Huawei Canada. (more...)
Sudan's Bashir visits Damascus, meets Assad: Syrian presidency Sudan's Bashir visits Damascus, meets Assad: Syrian presidency
- December 20, 2018

It was the first visit of an Arab leader to Syria since the eruption of the Syrian war more than seven years ago. Earlier on Sunday, the Sudanese presidential press sent an urgent call to journalists and correspondents to come to the airport and informed them that Bashir would return from a "secret" visit. (more...)
DC Sues Facebook Over Data Scandal DC Sues Facebook Over Data Scandal
- December 20, 2018

The company had told users it vetted third-party apps, yet made few checks, Racine said . The lawsuit comes after an independent investigation conducted by the attorney general's office's which pinpointed, for the first time, the number of D.C. (more...)
Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel resigns over migration spat Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel resigns over migration spat
- December 19, 2018

Belgium is now bracing itself for a snap election as early as next month after Mr Michel said he was going to the king to offer his resignation amid demands for a motion of no confidence in his now minority government. Afterwards, King Philippe received Michel but will hold further consultations before deciding whether to accept his resignation, the palace said in a statement. (more...)
Netanyahu’s son banned from Facebook over anti-Muslim posts Netanyahu’s son banned from Facebook over anti-Muslim posts
- December 19, 2018

Facebook deleted Yair's posts in which he called for "avenging the deaths" of the two Israeli soldiers. In his Facebook posts last week, he also called for the expulsion of Palestinians and wrote that he'd prefer all Muslims leave Israel , The Guardian said. (more...)
Trump to announce U.S. will withdraw troops from Syria Trump to announce U.S. will withdraw troops from Syria
- December 19, 2018

Complete withdrawal would still leave a large U.S. military presence in the region, with 5,200 troops stationed in neighbouring Iraq . In this undated file image posted by the Raqqa Media Center on Monday, June 30, 2014, fighters from the ISIL ride tanks during a parade in Raqqa, Syria. (more...)
United Kingdom opposition leader denies calling PM May 'stupid woman' United Kingdom opposition leader denies calling PM May 'stupid woman'
- December 19, 2018

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom turned on the Speaker himself, reminding Mr Bercow of his failure to apologise to her for calling her a "stupid woman" during an incident earlier this year. After video footage was shared online, Mr Corbyn claimed he actually said " stupid people " - but lip readers told MailOnline they were 100 per cent sure he said "woman". (more...)
European Commission Triggers No-Deal Brexit Contingency Plans European Commission Triggers No-Deal Brexit Contingency Plans
- December 19, 2018

Businesses will be provided with a 100-plus page online preparation pack and emails will be sent to 80,000 of those most likely to be impacted over the next few days, according to Downing Street. Mrs May was accused by Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable of "psychological warfare" in a bid to persuade MPs to support her Brexit deal when it returns to Parliament in January. (more...)
A look at where the investigations related to Trump stand A look at where the investigations related to Trump stand
- December 19, 2018

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort faced sentencing for conspiracy and obstruction of justice in September, though he may now face more charges after violating the conditions of his plea deal . Incoming attorney general Letitia James told NBC News in an interview this month that she planned to launch sweeping investigations into Trump and "anyone" in his inner circle who may have broken the law. (more...)
Bahrain FM Defends Australia's Decision on Jerusalem Bahrain FM Defends Australia's Decision on Jerusalem
- December 19, 2018

In his speech to Channel 10, a senior official said that the Israeli occupation was disappointed that Australia didn't recognize the entire city as the capital of Israel. Mr Morrison has defended the new position, saying it was time to call out the "rancid stalemate" in progress towards a two-state solution. " Jerusalem should remain as it is now and not the capital of Israel", Mahathir said. (more...)
Turkey claims concessions from the United States on Syria Kurds, Gulen Turkey claims concessions from the United States on Syria Kurds, Gulen
- December 19, 2018

Last week, he said Turkish forces would launch a new cross-border operation against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, to the east of the Euphrates river in northern Syria . In a reference to the major powers involved, a U.S. official warned the groups that they should "not..." Turkey has already carried two operations in Syria , Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch. (more...)
U.S. weighs complete Syria withdrawal as Trump declares victory over ISIS U.S. weighs complete Syria withdrawal as Trump declares victory over ISIS
- December 19, 2018

USA forces are also in south-eastern Syria , supporting an alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters (the Syrian Democratic Forces) that is closing in on the last pocket of territory controlled by IS there, around the town of Hajin in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. (more...)
Trump revives US Space Command for military operations Trump revives US Space Command for military operations
- December 19, 2018

According to the Hill , " Trump's announcement will likely coincide with Vice President Pence visiting the Pentagon and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this week". Whatever the mission, experts tend to agree that a " space force " won't be something that will be patrolling the final frontier anytime during Trump's current presidential term. (more...)
China takes aim at Japan's plan to boost defence spending China takes aim at Japan's plan to boost defence spending
- December 19, 2018

Spending on defence has risen steadily since Abe took office in late 2012 vowing to expand Japan's military capabilities and turn it into what he has described as a "normal country". "We need to develop truly effective defense abilities, rather than simply expanding traditional ones", the government says in the policy, which covers a period from fiscal 2019 and is endorsed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet. (more...)
NPA issues arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe NPA issues arrest warrant for Grace Mugabe
- December 19, 2018

The arrest warrant was issued last Thursday, South African Police Services spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told CNN on Wednesday. The DA and AfriForum applied to have Mugabe's diplomatic immunity revoked after she allegedly assaulted South African model Gabriella Engels at a hotel in Johannesburg in 2017. (more...)
Yemeni mum granted visa to visit dying son in California Yemeni mum granted visa to visit dying son in California
- December 19, 2018

CAIR contacted the State Department and the U.S. embassy in Cairo asking that the government expedite the mother's request for a visa, or offer her humanitarian parole. Administration lawyers told the Supreme Court that Trump's travel ban was not a " Muslim ban" in large part because it grants waivers to those in hardship who don't pose a national-security threat - and Roberts fell for it. (more...)
Sachs Shares Plunge After Malaysia Files Criminal Charges in 1MDB Probe Sachs Shares Plunge After Malaysia Files Criminal Charges in 1MDB Probe
- December 19, 2018

The Wall Street Journal reports that Malaysian authorities earlier today released a statement confirming the prosecution for omitting material information and publishing untrue statements, which are offenses under Malaysia's securities laws. (more...)
Trump administration moves to ban bump stocks Trump administration moves to ban bump stocks
- December 19, 2018

A senior Justice Department official reportedly told The Associated Press Tuesday that bump stocks will be banned under the same federal law that makes machine guns illegal . We are disappointed that this final rule fails to address the thousands of law-abiding Americans who relied on prior ATF determinations when lawfully acquiring these devices. (more...)
Govt shutdown threat remains as US Democrats reject Trump bid Govt shutdown threat remains as US Democrats reject Trump bid
- December 19, 2018

Pelosi said the path forward remained unclear, and that a stopgap " continuing resolution ", or CR, might be required. While Trump said last week he would be "proud" to have a shutdown over the wall funding, Sanders on Tuesday said are "other ways" to secure the $5 billion that he wants. (more...)
US President Donald Trump's troubled charity foundation to shut down US President Donald Trump's troubled charity foundation to shut down
- December 18, 2018

The legal action will continue as Underwood seeks $2.8 million in restitution and she wants the court to ban the Trumps temporarily from serving on the boards of other NY charities. Among examples of improperly used funds is the allegation that the charity spent $10,000 on a giant painting of Trump himself. His then campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, wrote in an email included in the lawsuit: "Is there any way we can make some disbursements. (more...)

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