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Updated: 1 hour 13 min ago

S. Africa budget throws light on fractured ANC

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 01:04

South Africa's Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers the annual budget in parliament Wednesday as he battles to revive the economy and head off loyalists of the president who seek to oust him. Gordhan, a popular figure in South Africa and among international investors, is widely seen as being at loggerheads with President Jacob Zuma, who has shrugged off a series of recent corruption scandals. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been engulfed by friction between Zuma's plans for funding "radical economic transformation" and Gordhan's stand against graft and uncontrolled expenditure.

Malaysia names North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning in murder case

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 00:44

By Rozanna Latiff KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian police on Wednesday named a North Korean diplomat along with a state airline official who are wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader. Kim Jong Nam, 46, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13, while preparing to board a flight to Macau, where he lived in exile with his family under the protection of Beijing. South Korean and U.S. officials believe the killing of the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was an assassination carried out by agents of the North.

Ex-Hong Kong leader jailed in fall from "such a height"

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 22:03

By Venus Wu HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Hong Kong leader Donald Tsang was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday for misconduct in public office, making him the most senior city official to serve time behind bars in a ruling some said reaffirmed the financial hub's vaunted rule of law. The sentence brings an ignominious end to what had been a long and stellar career for Tsang before and after the 1997 handover to Chinese control, service that saw him knighted by the outgoing British colonial rulers. "Never in my judicial career have I seen a man falling from such a height," said High Court justice Andrew Chan in passing sentence.

Top US envoys to meet Mexico president to calm tension

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 21:31

The US secretaries of state and homeland security meet with Mexico's president on Thursday, seeking to ease diplomatic tensions over President Donald Trump's trade and immigration policies. With the countries' relations at their most strained in years, President Enrique Pena Nieto will host US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security chief John Kelly.

Netanyahu blasts U.N. 'hypocrisy', Australian PM opposes 'one-sided resolutions'

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 21:08

By Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered a staunch defense of Israel on Wednesday, criticizing the United Nations and vowing never to support "one-sided resolutions" calling for an end to Israeli settlement building on occupied land. Turnbull welcomed Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday as the first Israeli prime minister to visit Australia and reiterated Australia's support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

China Nears Completion Of Missile-Housing Structures In South China Sea

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 20:29

The structures, capable of housing long range surface-to-air missiles, may be a political test for the Trump administration, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Ex-Hong Kong leader gets 20 months in jail for misconduct

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 20:06

HONG KONG (AP) — A former leader of Hong Kong was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months in prison for misconduct after failing to disclose plans to rent a luxury apartment for his retirement from a businessman applying for a broadcasting license.

Pilot radioed in 'Mayday' call before Australian plane crash

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 19:52

DALLAS (AP) — A pilot repeatedly yelled out "Mayday" but did not say what the emergency was before his light plane crashed into the roof of an Australian shopping mall, killing himself and four American tourists, an accident investigator said Wednesday.

US targets millions in sweeping deportation plan

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 19:10

The Trump administration issued tough new orders for a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants, putting nearly all of the country's 11 million undocumented foreigners in its crosshairs. The orders sent shivers through US immigrant communities, where millions of people who have spent years building families and livelihoods in the country, most of them from Mexico and Central America, were seriously threatened with deportation for the first time in decades. Rights groups labeled the move a "witch hunt," warning that mass deportations would damage families with deep roots in the United States and hurt the economy.

Austria detains Ukraine tycoon after extradition ruling

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 19:03

Austria arrested one of Ukraine's richest men, a fresh twist for the one-time ally of ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Gas magnate Dmytro Firtash was taken into custody over alleged links to organised crime in Spain, moments after a Vienna court ruled he could be extradited to the US on corruption charges. Firtash, 51, made money through connections with Russian gas giant Gazprom, and was at one time linked to a former campaign aide of US President Donald Trump.

Life expectancy to keep rising; S. Korean women could hit 91

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 18:30

LONDON (AP) — While most people born in rich countries will live longer by 2030 — with women in South Korea projected to reach nearly 91 — Americans will continue to have one of the lowest life expectancies of any developed country, a new study predicts.

Mexico apologizes to indigenous women wrongly jailed for kidnapping

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 18:10

Mexico's government on Tuesday took the rare step of apologizing to three indigenous women who spent more than three years in prison after being falsely accused by prosecutors of kidnapping seven police officers and carrying cocaine. The head of the attorney general's office, Raul Cervantes, said sorry to the women, who are from a small community in Queretaro, Central Mexico, and asked for their forgiveness, as part of damages ordered by a tribunal. The case of Alberta Alcantara, Jacinta Francisco and Teresa Gonzalez has shone a light on widespread human rights abuses by Mexico's authorities and problems in the justice system.

These Apple iCar concepts are completely awesome, and also ridiculous

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 18:05

Apple's top secret automotive aspirations are well documented, and yet nobody actually knows what the company is building or when we'll get to see it. That's fine, because these "iCar" concepts from ClickMechanic are so cool — and utterly insane — that no actual Apple car could possibly compete with them. Feast your eyes on five automotive designs that have no business in the real world, but are awesome all the same. Looking like an 80s version of a "futuristic" car, this beauty could have taken the place of the Back To The Future DeLorean and nobody would have complained. Probably the closest to an actual, road-worthy car, the iCar G3 almost looks like a modern smart car concept. Almost. The iCar Power is part jet fighter, part post-apocalyptic highway demon. I'd drive one. I'm not entirely sure how the rear end of the iCar Air works, but the vehicle as a whole looks like it would be completely obliterated in any kind of a collision. You know what? I'm pretty sure I saw one of these in Blade Runner. I wonder if it has a built-in headphone jack. Obviously, if Apple is actually working on a car that it intends to sell to the general public, there's no way it'll look even remotely like any one of these concepts. Still, it's fun to imagine an alternate universe where Apple is so tied to its own design language that it draws inspiration for a passenger vehicle from its own retro gadgets.

Immigration advocates denounce DHS plan to implement Trump executive orders

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:48

Immigration policy experts lashed out Tuesday at the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to implement President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. “In my many years of practicing immigration law, I have not seen a mass deportation blueprint like this one,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that advocates for the rights of low-income immigrant families, said in a conference call with reporters. In two memos issued Tuesday, DHS Secretary John Kelly laid out sweeping new guidance for officers tasked with carrying out the president’s immigration policies.

British IS bomber was ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee: report

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:29

A suicide bomber from the Islamic State group was a British citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, a family member told The Times newspaper on Wednesday. The British fighter who IS claimed detonated a suicide bomb against Iraqi forces outside Mosul was named in British media as Jamal al-Harith, who was detained at the United States base between 2002 and 2004.

Trump to spare U.S. 'dreamer' immigrants from crackdown

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:26

President Donald Trump's administration plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, but will leave protections in place for immigrants known as "dreamers" who entered the United States illegally as children, according to official guidelines released on Tuesday. The Department of Homeland Security guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that Republican Trump signed on Jan. 25. Former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, issued an executive order in 2012 that protected 750,000 immigrants who had been brought into the United States illegally by their parents.

Hillary Clinton Finally Stepped in to Advise President Trump

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 17:06

After months of passive tweets, Hillary Clinton finally called on POTUS speak out against anti-Semitic attacks. President Trump employed Breitbart News chairman, Steven Bannon, as chief Whitehouse strategist, leading some to believe he's encouraging anti-Semitic behavior.

Stranger Rescues 2 Little Girls From Dark Highway: 'We're Going to the Store!'

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 16:58

Two little girls, ages 5 and 6, were found on a busy highway late at night after they decided to go shopping.

Teens accused of plot to rob, kill girl found shot in ditch

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 15:57

LOGAN, Utah (AP) — Two teenage boys charged with shooting a 14-year-old girl in the back of the head and leaving her wounded in a ditch lured her to the spot in a small Utah town with a plan to rob and kill her, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Missouri man charged with trying to plan terrorist attack

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 15:46

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri native who said he wanted to participate in a terrorist attack that would cause many deaths and injuries is charged with helping plan a Presidents Day attack on buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City, federal officials said Tuesday.