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Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

Democrat member of FEC to make early exit: NYT

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 11:05

A Democrat who sits on the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) is planning to resign before her term expires amid frustrations about partisan gridlock, the New York Times reported on Sunday. FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel told the Times in an interview she intended to submit her letter of resignation this week, a move that would open the door for President Donald Trump to make his own appointment to the panel. “The ability of the commission to perform its role has deteriorated significantly,” Ravel told the newspaper.


UAE signs $1.2 bn in deals as arms fair opens

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 10:31

Abu Dhabi (AFP) - The four-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) kicked off Sunday in Abu Dhabi with the United Arab Emirates announcing 21 deals worth more than $1.2 billion.


SpaceX launches rocket from historic NASA pad in Florida

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 10:20

A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off on Sunday from a Florida launch pad once used to send NASA astronauts to the moon, a step forward for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk and his company's goal of ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station. The 229-foot tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 soared off a seaside launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center at 9:39 a.m. EST (1439 GMT) carrying a Dragon cargo ship that holds supplies and science experiments for the station. Nine minutes after blastoff, the main section of the rocket flew back to a landing pad at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the eighth successful touchdown for Space Exploration Technologies Corp.


Syrian rebels say army attacks wrecking ceasefire efforts

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 09:44

Syrian rebel groups who have participated in peace talks said on Sunday that an upsurge in Syrian army shelling and bombing was wrecking the prospects of maintaining a ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey. The rebel groups, mostly backed by Turkey, have attended two rounds of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana. Mohammad Alloush, the head of the Astana talks delegation, said the rebel groups who signed a shaky ceasefire deal late last year that was meant to end bombing of civilians were ready to go back to "all out war".


Father and Son Killed In Head-On Collision With One Another

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 09:37

Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.


The United Arab Emirates wants to build a city on Mars

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 09:00

Elon Musk isn't the only person who wants to build a city on Mars. Now the United Arab Emirates has announced that it wants to establish a "mini-city" on the red planet by 2117.  UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum explained the monarchy's Mars plans in a series of tweets on Feb. 14. SEE ALSO: Dubai is bringing the world its first rotating skyscraper "The project, to be named 'Mars 2117,' integrates a vision to create a mini-city and community on Mars involving international cooperation," Sheikh Mohammed said. "Mars 2117" is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge. pic.twitter.com/IExtnpiO2B — HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017 "Mars 2117 includes a major space sciences focus in our universities. We're building a space pioneering passion among our young people."  It makes sense for officials to use this project to inspire young people: They're the ones who will probably do the vast majority of the work.  If the UAE wants to have a fully-functioning city on Mars in 100 years, it will have to be a multi-generational effort that will span many decades, given the incipient state of the nation's space program and current global capabilities as well.  The "Mars 2117" project will develop an Emirati and international team of scientists to push the human exploration of Mars in years to come. pic.twitter.com/5ujxvyC8As — HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017 In the time between now and 2117, the UAE, with an international partnership of researchers, will start trying to find a faster mode of transportation to the red planet, and figure out what food and shelter should be on the cold, dry world. "'Mars 2117' is a seed we are sowing today to reap the fruit of new generations led by a passion for science and advancing human knowledge," Sheikh Mohammed said. The UAE has already put the world on notice that the oil-rich nation has aspirations beyond our home planet, having previously announced its plan to send a robotic mission to Mars in 2015. That uncrewed spacecraft, called Hope, would fly to the red planet in 2020 and make it into orbit there in 2021.  The project, to be named "Mars 2117", integrates a vision to create a mini-city and community on Mars involving international cooperation. pic.twitter.com/v27jA3K3pS — HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017 Musk's SpaceX is also working toward creating a city on Mars, though the commercial space company's timeline isn't exactly clear.  Musk claims that SpaceX is working toward sending its first people to Mars by 2024, about a decade before NASA is expected to send their first crewed mission to the vicinity of Mars.  That said, the company's plans are still a bit murky when it comes to the timeline for actually creating its city, aiming for sometime in the 2060s. Musk thinks there will be plenty of people who want to leave Earth behind. We aspire in the coming century to develop science, technology and our youth's passion for knowledge. This project is driven by that vision. pic.twitter.com/4QibJjtiM2 — HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) February 14, 2017 "Not everyone will want to go. In fact, I think a relatively small number of people from Earth would want to go, but enough would want to go and who could afford the trip that it would happen," Musk said during a speech in September 2016. Neither SpaceX nor the UAE can get to Mars alone, however.   Both need to have international and private partners that will help make a city on Mars a reality within their timeframes.  It's unclear if the monarchy and the private company will team up on their Mars ambitions, but Musk did say that he's open to public and private partnerships for the mission. BONUS: Obama plans to send humans to Mars by 2030s


Police: Man in photos now 'main suspect' in 2 girls' deaths

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 08:58

DELPHI, Ind. (AP) — A man photographed walking along a northern Indiana trail system around the time two teenage girls later found slain were dropped off by a relative is now considered "the main suspect" in their killings, State Police said Sunday.


‘That’s how dictators get started’: McCain, critics blast Trump’s view of the media as ‘the enemy’

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 08:56

Critics on both sides of the aisle are blasting President Trump’s assertion that the media is “the enemy of the American people” — and comparing his escalated attack on the press to that of a dictator. “That’s how dictators get started,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in an interview that aired on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. McCain stopped short of calling Trump one.


Police Find 75-Year-Old Woman Molded to Chair After Sitting In Same Spot for Almost a Year

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 08:41

She is now recovering at a local hospital.


Libya's Seraj sees Russia as possible intermediary with eastern commander

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 08:03

By Shadia Nasralla and Andreas Rinke MUNICH (Reuters) - Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Seraj of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli said on Sunday he would like Russia to help overcome deadlock in the country, which is struggling with divisions among militias and an Islamist militant threat. In an interview with Reuters, Seraj expressed hope that Moscow might act as an intermediary between him and Khalifa Haftar, a military commander who is supported by factions based in the east of Libya. Seraj's Government of National Accord has been trying to formulate plans for unified Libyan security forces since arriving in Tripoli in March, but has made little progress.


Lewandowski and Mook weigh in on President Trump's relationship with media

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:38

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and former Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook discuss President Donald Trump's relationship with the media.


This Week Fast Forward 02.19.2017

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:37

Speed through the highlights from the latest "This Week."


Syria regime shelling 'bloody message" before talks: opposition

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:35

The leading Syrian opposition body on Sunday lambasted escalating attacks by government forces as a "bloody message" aimed at sabotaging peace talks that are due to open in Geneva next week. The High Negotiations Committee (HNC) said recent attacks near Damascus, Homs city, and elsewhere were "obstructing the efforts aimed at a political transition in Syria". "It is a bloody message from a criminal regime just a few days ahead of political negotiations in Geneva that demonstrates its rejection of any political solution," the HNC said in an online statement.


Aide says senators want materials saved for Russia probe

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:23

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Intelligence Committee has sent formal requests to more than a dozen organizations, agencies and individuals, asking them to preserve all materials related to the committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related issues, according to a congressional aide.


Hunters charged in Texas shooting had blamed immigrants

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:05

PRESIDIO, Texas (AP) — Two hunters accused in a shooting on a remote Texas ranch near the Mexican border had told authorities that they were attacked by immigrants who had entered the country illegally.


Car bomb blast in Somalia marketplace

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 07:02

A car bomb blast at a marketplace Somalia’s capital has killed at least 20 people and injured 50 others, said a local Somali official. The blast by a car bomb parked near a restaurant went off at a busy time when shoppers and traders were gathered inside the market, said district commissioner Ahmed Abdulle. Mohamed Haji, a butcher who suffered shrapnel wounds, pointed at a clothes shop devastated by the blast.


Pence says US to hold Russia accountable, stand with NATO

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 05:19

MUNICH (AP) — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday conveyed a message to jittery partners that the Trump administration will "hold Russia accountable" and maintain steadfast support for NATO, a military alliance the American commander in chief once dismissed as "obsolete."


ABC News' Jonathan Karl: Free press is a big part of what makes America great

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 05:05

Jonathan Karl reflects on White House press relations throughout history.


Zimbabwe's Mugabe says he is people's choice for 2018 election

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 05:02

By Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's people and the ruling ZANU-PF party see no viable alternative candidate to President Robert Mugabe for general elections in 2018, state media quoted him as saying on Sunday. "The people, you know, would want to judge everyone else on the basis of President Mugabe as the criteria," Mugabe, who is Africa's oldest leader, said. Mugabe has been in power in the southern African country since 1980 and in December his party confirmed him as its candidate for the next presidential election expected in mid-2018, when he will be 94.


Zimbabwe's Mugabe says he is people's choice for 2018 election

Sun, 02/19/2017 - 05:01

By Cris Chinaka HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's people and the ruling ZANU-PF party see no viable alternative candidate to President Robert Mugabe for general elections in 2018, state media quoted him as saying on Sunday. "The people, you know, would want to judge everyone else on the basis of President Mugabe as the criteria," Mugabe, who is Africa's oldest leader, said. Mugabe has been in power in the southern African country since 1980 and in December his party confirmed him as its candidate for the next presidential election expected in mid-2018, when he will be 94.


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