Home prices rose again last year, and the housing market is starting off 2017 at a brisk clip. According to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data, which includes the 20 largest U.S. cities, home prices regained their 2007 peak late last year and increased 5.6 percent from November 2015 to November 2016 -- the latest figure available. Zillow's Home Value Index, which measures median home value nationwide, predicts its index will reach the 2007 level this spring.
US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly promised Thursday "no mass deportations" or military force against immigrants in the United States despite a crackdown on those in the country illegally. "There will be no, repeat no mass deportations", Kelly told a news conference in Mexico City after meeting with Mexican ministers. The meetings aimed to calm diplomatic tensions with Mexico, which has been targeted by President Donald Trump with a hard line on trade and immigration.
By Humeyra Pamuk and John Davison ISTANBUL/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkish-backed rebels have seized the center of al-Bab town from Islamic State, Turkish state media and rebels said on Thursday, in a boost to Ankara's drive to defeat the militant group in northern Syria. Turkey launched its "Operation Euphrates Shield" in August in an effort to push Islamic State from its border and stop the advance of a Syrian Kurdish militia. Taking control of al-Bab, an Islamic State stronghold 30 km (20 miles) from the Turkish border, would deepen Turkish influence in an area of Syria where it has effectively created a buffer zone and would allow the Ankara-backed forces to press on towards Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.
America's grassroots conservatives gathered Thursday for an annual confab near Washington in an ideological landscape up-ended by the election of President Donald Trump, a figure once snubbed by the movement and now hailed as its conquering hero. "It feels like a celebration here!" Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation, told a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where Trump will deliver the keynote address Friday. The event just south of Washington kicked off with an appearance by Kellyanne Conway, the Trump campaign director turned senior White House advisor.
A passenger plane skidded along a runway at Amsterdam's busy airport Thursday as its landing gear collapsed on hitting the ground during heavy winds, but no passengers were injured, officials told AFP. Video images of the Flybe plane carrying 59 passengers and crew from Edinburgh showed the plane struggling to stay on course as it came in to land at Schiphol airport, with The Netherlands buffeted by a strong winter storm. Airport officials said they were still investigating the cause of the incident.
Illinois could face a shutdown of its state government after its biggest labor union representing state workers said on Thursday its members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike. Just over 80 percent of members voted in favor of allowing the union's bargaining committee to call a strike if "no other path forward can be found" in reaching a new contract with the state, said Roberta Lynch, executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31. The union's 38,000 members, who include prison guards, healthcare providers for veterans and the disabled, child welfare investigators, state highway workers and others, have been without a contract since July 2015.
Fox News host Sean Hannity paid tribute to his longtime friend and colleague Alan Colmes on Thursday after the liberal commentator’s death at 66. According to a statement released by his family, Colmes passed away Thursday morning after a brief illness and leaves behind his wife Jocelyn Elise Crowley. Hannity and Colmes rose to national prominence as co-hosts of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes,” which ran from 1996 until 2009.
Nigeria on Thursday said it had summoned South Africa's top diplomat to register its fears about a fresh wave of violence against immigrants near Johannesburg and Pretoria. Junior foreign minister Bukar Ibrahim said the high commissioner would be "informed of (the) government's concerns on the situation" and asked to ensure action was taken. "The Federal Government of Nigeria strongly urges the South African Government to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and property of foreigners living and working in South Africa," he added in a statement.
An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for the highest-profile opponent of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly war on drugs, but she dodged police and sought refuge in the Senate. The planned arrest of Senator Leila de Lima outraged her supporters and human rights activists, who said the government had manufactured drug trafficking charges to silence her criticism of Duterte and intimidate others. The 57-year-old lawyer, who has spent nearly a decade trying to link Duterte to death squads that have allegedly killed thousands of people, could be jailed for life if she is found guilty of drug trafficking.