China confirmed the imminent expulsion of a French journalist in the first such case since 2012, accusing her of "flagrantly championing" terrorist acts in a statement on its foreign ministry's website Saturday. Ursula Gauthier, a Beijing-based correspondent for French news magazine L'Obs, must issue a public apology for an article she wrote last month or China's foreign ministry will not renew her press credentials, officials told Gauthier on Christmas Day.
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Leaders of the church-based Sanctuary Movement vowed on Friday to offer their places of worship as refuge for immigrants facing deportation under an Obama administration crackdown on Central American families who entered the United States illegally. The statement came two days after The Washington Post first reported the U.S. government was planning a series of raids to remove hundreds of undocumented families as early as January in the first such large-scale effort targeting the recent flood of border crossers. The Department of Homeland Security preparations to intensify deportations of Central American migrants, confirmed by U.S. government sources, drew immediate fire from Democratic presidential candidates and human rights groups.
Much of the U.S. East Coast could see record high temperatures on Christmas Day and through the weekend even as a major winter storm looms for the southern Great Plains, forecasters said on Friday. Temperatures are forecast to be more than 20 degrees above normal for the East Coast on Christmas Day, the National Weather Service said. Above-average temperatures will linger for the eastern United States through the weekend, with rain across the area raising the possibility of flash floods.
Arson is suspected in a fire that broke out at former US president Bill Clinton's birthplace early Friday morning, damaging the historical site, police said. "It's pretty logical it was purposely set," J.R. Wilson, the police chief in Hope, Arkansas, told AFP. The blaze ran up an exterior back wall of the white frame house where Clinton spent the first few years of his life, but the damage was minor, Wilson said.
(Reuters) - Bristol Palin, a daughter of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has given birth to a second child out of wedlock. Palin, 25, who has been an advocate of sexual abstinence before marriage, tweeted on Thursday that she had given birth to a girl, Sailor Grace. Palin announced she was pregnant in June, a few weeks after her engagement to Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer was called off.
Russia is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, the environment ministry said Friday, sounding an alarm on the rise in floods and wildfires nationwide. A government report on environmental protection said temperatures in Russia had warmed by 0.42 degrees Celsius per decade since 1976, or 2.5 times higher than the global warming trend of 0.17 degrees. "Climate change leads to growth of dangerous meteorological phenomena," the ministry said in a comment to the report published Friday.
Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, also known as Decarus Thomas, was charged on Wednesday with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, in addition to his indictment earlier this year on conspiracy and weapons charges in connection with the failed attack on the event in the Dallas suburb of Garland, according to the court papers. The original indictment said Kareem supplied the two gunmen with arms and helped them prepare for the attack.
Pope Francis was expected to appeal for reconciliation of fractured communities in his Christmas Day blessing Friday, as the world takes stock of a year of violence and suffering that saw hundreds of thousands flee their homes. Francis was due to address his believers at Saint Peter's Basilica around 1100 GMT for the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message, traditionally an occasion to appeal for solutions to the world's problems. In many countries across the world, Christians were fearful for their future, and some were even prohibited from celebrating the holy day.
Recovery crews and utility workers began cleaning up widespread damage on Thursday left by severe storms that spawned tornadoes across six states in the U.S. South and Midwest, killing at least 14 people and destroying scores of homes. Emergency declarations were issued in Mississippi and Tennessee, the two states hardest hit by severe weather on Wednesday that also complicated getaway plans for travelers looking to make the most of the long holiday weekend. With about 100 million Americans expected to travel over the Christmas holiday, most of them by car, the National Weather Service forecast isolated severe thunderstorms from the mid-Atlantic region to the Gulf Coast and record warmth in New York.