Apr. 4, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump is expected to announce a date for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident the world's biggest social network will do better in 2020 at stopping "bad actors" from manipulating the U.S. presidential election.

The Republican-led U.S. Senate on Wednesday changed its procedures to speed up the confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominees for some lower court judgeships and sub-Cabinet level positions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday called on NATO allies to adapt to confront a wide variety of emerging threats, including Russia's increased aggression, Chinese strategic competition and uncontrolled migration.

San Diego County has filed a federal lawsuit against the administration of President Trump, accusing it of leaving thousands of asylum seekers stranded without help and straining county resources, officials said on Wednesday.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has severed ties with Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp as U.S. authorities investigate the Chinese firms for alleged sanctions violations.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to a more than 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength despite slowing economic growth. U.S.-based companies announced fewer layoffs in March, but job cuts for the first quarter were the highest since 2015. The economy is losing momentum as the stimulus from a $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 202,000 for the week ended March 30.

Pope Francis named the first African-American to the Catholic Church's most senior U.S. position on Thursday, seeking to end a period of upheaval in a job whose previous two occupants were caught in sexual abuse scandals.

The presence of more than 200 Chinese fishing boats near an island occupied by Manila in the disputed South China Sea is illegal and a clear violation of Philippine sovereignty, the country's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

AP Top Stories

The Trump administration is intensifying measures to curb the flow of Central American asylum seekers crossing into the United States from Mexico, including sending more people back to Mexico to wait for their asylum claims to be heard by U.S. courts.

A humanitarian aid ship with 64 rescued migrants aboard was stuck at sea as Italy and Malta refused safe harbor, leaving migrants sleeping in cramped conditions on deck as a storm approached.

Three teenage migrants were charged in Malta with seizing control of a merchant ship and using force and intimidation against the crew, which is considered a terrorist crime under Maltese law.

The leadership of Sen. Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign held a press call with reporters on Tuesday where they touted figures showing the diversity of their staff and supporters. Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a co-chair of the Sanders campaign, said this was evidence the senator "is bringing the rainbow mosaic of humanity together all across this country."

Islamic State militants blew themselves up following clashes with the U.S.-backed Syrian forces in the Syrian city of Raqqa, which was liberated from the extremists nearly two years ago.

Tensions soared Wednesday between the United States and two of its NATO partners, Germany and Turkey, marring a 70th birthday celebration for the alliance aimed at showing a united front against a resurgent Russia.

Saudi Arabia plans to issue a multi-billion-dollar tender in 2020 to construct its first two nuclear power reactors and is discussing the project with U.S. and other potential suppliers.

Heavy bombardment by the Syrian army of the jihadist-controlled Idlib region has killed 22 civilians, a monitor said Thursday, the latest violence to threaten a seven-month-old truce.

Three of eight importers granted waivers by Washington to buy oil from Iran have now cut their shipments to zero, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, adding that improved global oil market conditions would help reduce Iranian crude exports further.

BBC

Most cannabis sold on the streets of Madrid is contaminated with dangerous levels of fecal matter, a study says. The samples that were wrapped up in plastic "acorns" were the worst offenders, reportedly because of the way they are smuggled into the country. Some 40% of these also had the aroma of feces.

US Vice-President Mike Pence has warned Turkey against buying a Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system that Washington sees as a threat to US jets. He said Turkey "must choose" between remaining a key NATO member or risk the security of that partnership "by making such reckless decisions". Turkey responded that the purchase of the advanced system was a done deal.

The number of new corals on Australia's Great Barrier Reef has plunged by 89% since unprecedented bleaching events in 2016 and 2017, scientists said.

After Brunei introduced strict Islamic laws that make gay sex punishable by flogging or stoning to death, celebrities are calling on the public to boycott Brunei-owned luxury hotels.

WND

The 2020 Democratic field is running hard to the left as the Democratic Party celebrates socialism. But several of the candidates can well afford taking down capitalism at this point, because they're already multimillionaires and have incomes in the top 1 percent.

A gun buyback event in Newark funded primarily by a lawyers' association brought in more than 300 weapons last weekend, from handguns that fit comfortably in a palm to assault rifles with high-tech accessories. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office displayed some of the weapons Wednesday. They said the event held Saturday yielded 332 firearms and paid out about $41,000.

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