Apr. 25, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump touted progress in the fight against opioid abuse on Wednesday and promised to hold drug makers accountable for their part in the crisis, a day after his administration brought its first related criminal charges against a major drug distributor and company executives.

A merit-based immigration proposal being put together by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner could lead to an increase in U.S. visas for highly skilled workers, sources familiar with the effort said on Wednesday.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a moderate who has made his appeal to working-class voters who deserted the Democrats in 2016 a key part of his political identity, launched a bid for the White House on Thursday as the party's instant frontrunner.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a television interview on Wednesday there was "every indication" that Sunday's bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 359 people were inspired by Islamic State.

The U.S.-backed assault to drive Islamic State from its Syrian capital Raqqa in 2017 killed more than 1,600 civilians, 10 times the toll the coalition itself has acknowledged, Amnesty International and the monitoring group Airwars said on Thursday.

A French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month, U.S. officials told Reuters, a rare voyage by a vessel of a European country that is likely to be welcomed by Washington but increase tension with Beijing.

New orders for U.S.-made capital goods increased by the most in eight months in March, but a drop in shipments suggested business spending on equipment slowed down in the first quarter.

German hopes of creating a national banking champion able to challenge global competitors were dashed on Thursday when Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank ended merger talks due to the risks of doing a deal, restructuring costs and capital demands.

AP Top Stories

Russia, the United States and China will this week try to press Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents to hold talks with Afghan politicians and civilians, an important step in a process aimed at ending the Afghan war.

Saudi Arabia executed 37 citizens found guilty of various terrorism-related charges, the government said on Tuesday, including many Shiite Muslims arrested in connection with violence and unrest in the kingdom's Eastern Province.

The U.N. human rights chief on Wednesday condemned the beheadings of 37 Saudi nationals across the kingdom this week, saying most were minority Shi'ite Muslims who may not have had fair trials and at least three were minors when sentenced.

The train known as "The Beast" is once again rumbling through the night loaded with people headed toward the U.S. border after a raid on a migrant caravan threatened to end the practice of massive highway marches through Mexico. A long freight train loaded with about 300 to 400 migrants pulled out of the southern city of Ixtepec on Tuesday.

Their commander is in jail. The authorities are giving them until Friday to clear out and leave. But the United Constitutional Patriots, the right-wing militia under scrutiny over detaining migrant families at the border with Mexico, is digging in.

Iran's foreign minister publicly proposed a prisoner swap that would involve the U.S. agreeing to release Iranians awaiting extradition in exchange for Tehran freeing detainees like a British-Iranian dual national held on espionage charges. Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced he is ready to negotiate.

Deutsche Bank has begun to provide documents on financing for some of President Donald Trump's projects to New York State authorities, a source familiar with the matter told AFP on Wednesday.

Some top Democrats vying for the White House in 2020 are clamoring for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, but many of their congressional colleagues - who would have to manage such efforts - are far more wary.

The National Rifle Association sued Los Angeles on Wednesday over a new law requiring that contractors disclose their ties to the gun rights group as a condition of obtaining business from the second most-populous U.S. city.

Sen. Kamala Harris said Tuesday she likes the idea of a third gender option on federal identifications. Currently, 10 states, as a well as New York City and Washington, D.C., grant non-binary gender options on IDs as a result of legislative action or court orders

BBC

Three of the most controversial figures of Sudan's ruling Transitional Military Council have offered their resignations - one of the key demands of the protest movement.

Two former Coptic Christian monks have been sentenced to death in Egypt over the murder of a bishop last year, officials have confirmed.

Uber drivers in seven US cities are planning protests, for 12 hours, to highlight what they claim are poor working conditions and low wages at the ride-hailing firm.

WND

New York City has issued civil summonses to 12 people it said were not complying with a mandatory measles vaccination order as the number of recorded cases in the city's worst outbreak since 1991 rose to 390, according to data released on Wednesday.

The communist Cuban government, in what could be retaliation for new sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, has jailed a Christian pastor and his wife who were homeschooling their 13- and 9-year-old children.

Conservatives on college campuses are being increasingly attacked and harassed for holding dissenting points of view from the majority of students, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

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