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200,000 flee capital as Sri Lanka flood misery worsens

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 23:12

Sri Lankans clambered onto rubber dinghies and makeshift rafts Friday to flee their flooded capital as fresh downpours elsewhere hampered relief efforts. The heaviest rains in a quarter of a century have pounded the island since last weekend, sparking huge landslides that have buried victims in up to 50 feet (15 metres) of mud. Large parts of Colombo were evacuated overnight in an operation led by the military, involving boats and helicopters.

Israel defence minister resigns in spat with Netanyahu

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 22:47

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon announced his resignation on Friday, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered his post to hardliner Avigdor Lieberman to expand his governing coalition. Yaalon's surprise resignation comes two days after former foreign minister Lieberman said he would be open to bringing his far-right Yisrael Beitenu party into Netanyahu's coalition if a number of conditions were met, including being named defence minister.

Taiwan installs 1st woman president amid tension with China

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 19:10

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan inaugurated Tsai Ing-wen as its first female president on Friday, returning the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party to power amid new concerns over increasingly fractious relations with Beijing and a flagging economy.

Cosby spends millions as lawsuits, criminal case rage on

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 18:53

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In any given week, teams of high-priced lawyers fan out across the country to defend Bill Cosby amid a cascade of sexual assault allegations, defamation claims and insurance disputes.

San Francisco's police chief resigns amid racial issues

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 16:54

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco's police chief resigned Thursday at the request of the mayor hours after an officer fatally shot a young black woman driving a stolen car — the culmination of several racially charged incidents in the past year.

Wreckage of EgyptAir plane found in Mediterranean

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 16:51

Egypt's military found wreckage Friday from the EgyptAir plane that crashed in the Mediterranean as investigators tried to unravel the mystery of why it swerved suddenly and plummeted into the sea. Search teams spotted personal belongings of passengers and parts of the Airbus A320 about 290 kilometres (180 miles) north of Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria, a military spokesman said. Egypt's aviation minister said on Thursday that a "terrorist attack" was a more likely cause than technical failure for the plane's disappearance from radar screens on a flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 people on board.

Oklahoma lawmakers OK bill criminalizing performing abortion

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 16:16

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma lawmakers have moved to effectively ban abortion in their state by making it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure, an effort the bill's sponsor said Thursday is aimed at ultimately overturning the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Air-sea search intensifies for missing EgyptAir plane

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 14:44

A massive search was under way Thursday for the wreckage of an EgyptAir plane that plunged into the Mediterranean with 66 people on board, in what the Egyptian authorities said may have been an act of terrorism. Egypt's aviation minister said that while it was too soon to say why the Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo had vanished from radar screens, a "terrorist" attack would be a more likely scenario than a technical failure. The tragedy raised fears of a repeat of the bombing of a Russian passenger jet by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group over Egypt last October that killed all 224 people on board.

Former Sec. of Defense Bob Gates: I don’t trust Donald Trump with nukes

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 11:18

Robert Gates, the U.S. Secretary of State from 2006 to 2011, said Thursday that he would not be comfortable if Donald Trump had control over the launch codes for nuclear weapons. Gates sounded off on the presumptive Republican presidential candidate during a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric in New York. “Would you feel comfortable with his proverbial finger on the nuclear button?” Couric asked.

Hillary Clinton: ‘I will be the nominee’

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:58

Hillary Clinton said Thursday that the outcome of the Democratic presidential nomination is certain and that she will prevail. “I will be the nominee for my party,” she said during an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has pledged he will continue to challenge Clinton for the nomination, though the math requires him to secure increasingly improbable landslides in the remaining contests to overtake the former secretary of state among pledged delegates.

CBS newsman Morley Safer dead at age 84, retired days ago

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 09:28

(Reuters) - Television journalist Morley Safer, who made his reputation as a Vietnam War correspondent for CBS and then became a mainstay on the network’s “60 Minutes” show for 46 years, died at age 84 on Thursday, a few days after his retirement, the network announced. “60 Minutes” had paid tribute to his work on Sunday’s show. In a final posting on Twitter on Sunday Safer wrote, “It’s been a wonderful run, and I want to thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our @60Minutes broadcast.

The argument Clinton shouldn’t make

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 01:00

Hillary Clinton embraces her husband, Bill, on the night of the Pennsylvania primary. In case you were wondering what Bill Clinton’s pet cause might be in his wife’s administration — the way recent first spouses have spoken out against addiction, or read books to kids, or gone on TV to promote healthy eating — Hillary spelled it out while campaigning last weekend. In response to the uproar over this comment, Clinton’s campaign fired off an email to reporters detailing all the instances over the last several months when the candidate has made pretty much this same statement.

Aviation officials: EgyptAir plane carrying 66 has crashed

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 22:58

CAIRO (AP) — An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo with 66 passengers and crew on board crashed in the Mediterranean Sea early Thursday morning, Egyptian aviation officials said.

EgyptAir says flight from Paris to Cairo missing

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 19:56

“An official source at EgyptAir stated that Flight MS804, which departed Paris at 23:09 (CEST), heading to Cairo has disappeared from radar,” the airline said on its official Twitter account. Later Tweets by EgyptAir said the plane, which was traveling at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,280 meters), disappeared soon after entering Egyptian airspace.

After conservative meet, Zuckerberg says Facebook open to 'all ideas'

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 17:33

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says conservatives are an important part of the social network after a meeting aimed at defusing concerns it is politically biased. "We've built Facebook to be a platform for all ideas," Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page after a meeting at the company's California headquarters to discuss allegations in a news article that Facebook was suppressing conservative voices in its "trending" news stories. Zuckerberg called the meeting after technology news outlet Gizmodo last week reported allegations that Facebook was deliberately omitting articles with conservative viewpoints from a sidebar that lists popular stories.

Facebook's CEO meets with conservatives on reported bias

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 17:08

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday held a wide-ranging discussion with a group of conservative commentators who said afterward the Facebook CEO acknowledged the giant social network has a problem reaching conservatives.

Chinese jets conduct 'unsafe' intercept of US spy plane: Pentagon

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 17:01

Two Chinese fighters have conducted an "unsafe" intercept of a US spy plane in international air space over the South China Sea, the Pentagon said Wednesday. "The Department of Defense is reviewing a May 17 intercept of a US maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft by two tactical aircraft from the People's Republic of China," Pentagon spokesman Major Jamie Davis said in a statement. Tensions between China and the United States are high in the South China Sea, where Beijing has been building islets into military bases and is asserting sovereignty over large parts of the critical waterway.

Zimmerman closes gun auction, doesn't identify winning bid

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 15:51

MIAMI (AP) — George Zimmerman says he's vetting bids after closing an auction for the pistol he used to kill unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin during an altercation.

'Sleeping giant' glacier may lift seas two metres: study

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 15:17

A rapidly melting glacier atop East Antarctica is on track to lift oceans at least two metres, and could soon pass a "tipping point" of no return, researchers said Wednesday. To date, scientists have mostly worried about the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets as dangerous drivers of sea level rise. "I predict that before the end of the century the great global cities of our planet near the sea will have two- or three-metre (6.5 - 10 feet) high sea defences all around them," said Martin Siegert, co-director of the Grantham Institute and Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, and the study's senior author.

Unconventional #15: How Democrats — not Republicans — could wind up with this year’s most chaotic convention (and more!)

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 12:00
After the melee in Nevada, Philadelphia may not be so sunny for the Democratic convention; Romney's abiding disdain for Trump; Trump Veepwatch: Jan Brewer; more.