Dec 20, 2019

REUTERS

Less than half of all Americans say President Donald Trump should be removed from office following his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Thursday, presenting a challenge for Democrats who will seek his ouster in a U.S. Senate trial.

Washington state Republican lawmakers urged one of their members to resign after a state report found that he took part in at least three armed conflicts against the U.S. government as part of the right-wing militia movement.

Indian police fired tear gas and clashed with crowds of stone-throwing Muslims who took to the streets after Friday prayers across the north of the country in anger at a citizenship law they say discriminates against the secular constitution.

President Xi Jinping said on Friday China would never allow foreign forces to interfere in its special regions, including Hong Kong, as he swore in a new pro-Beijing government for the gambling hub of Macau.

The U.S. military plans to stockpile rare earth magnets used in Javelin missiles and F-35 fighter jets, according to a government document seen by Reuters, a step that critics say does little to help create a domestic industry to build specialized magnets now made almost exclusively in Asia.

U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in November, pointing to moderate economic growth that could potentially support the Federal Reserve's desire to keep interest rates unchanged indefinitely, though inflation remained muted.

A last minute flurry of diplomacy aimed at engaging with North Korea ahead of its declared year-end deadline for talks has been met with stony silence from Pyongyang so far, with the looming crisis expected to top the agenda at summits in China next week.

A timer error prevented Boeing Co 's new astronaut capsule from reaching the desired orbit as it embarked on an unmanned debut journey to the International Space Station on Friday, U.S. space agency NASA said.

Hundreds of Hong Kong anti-government activists gathered outside a detention center on Friday, demanding the release of arrested activists and denouncing a police crackdown on a fund-raising platform supporting protesters in need.

AP Top Stories

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that the U.S. government should not finalize a trade deal with China unless the pact also secures the release of two Canadians detained by Beijing.

China has censored online all mentions and video clips of a rare protest at a university after the institution dropped the phrase, "freedom of thought," from its charter.

Amendments to the charters of three Chinese universities that will place absolute adherence to Communist Party rule over academic independence have provoked heated online debate and prompted some prominent academics to raise concerns.

Japan's cabinet approved a record defense budget of $48.5 billion, up about a percentage point from the previous year, amid renewed threats from neighboring North Korea.

A firearms buyback scheme launched in New Zealand after the Christchurch mosque shootings ends on Friday, with gun control groups hailing its success despite opposition from some firearms owners. The March 15 attacks in which 51 Muslim worshippers were killed shocked the normally peaceful South Pacific nation and prompted a swift ban on assault rifles and military-style semi-automatic weapons used by the lone shooter. Police said Friday that 56,350 firearms and 188,000 parts had been handed in and they were expecting a late rush before the final collection.

An Iowa man was sentenced to about 16 years in prison after he set fire to a church LGBTQ flag in June.

To offset a shrinking defense budget, the British military is considering whether to lease a carrier to the Americans, according to British media. The instigator of the scheme? The British Army, which considers carriers to be expensive floating targets.

BBC

A US government study suggests facial recognition algorithms are far less accurate at identifying African-American and Asian faces compared to Caucasian faces. African-American females were even more likely to be misidentified, it indicated.

Somalia is facing its worst invasion of locusts in 25 years, but some people are turning the desert insects into delicious meals. In central Somalia, frying the locusts and eating them with rice and pasta. One man said they are tastier than fish.

Medical student Taiwo Oyebola Agbona got unexpected news after the death of her father. "The chiefs consulted the oracle and they were told that I am the one, and worthy to be on the throne". The throne she was talking about is in the Aaye kingdom in Ondo State, south-west Nigeria. She eventually agreed, meaning that she will serve temporarily as king until a male monarch is named.

WND

79 percent of Virginia's counties have enacted some form of 2nd Amendment sanctuary laws, and that number is only expected to grow. It's safe to say opposition to proposed anti-gun laws is widespread.

The European Parliament has finally taken a stand against rising state-backed homophobia in Poland, where more than 80 towns have declared themselves "LGBTQ-free zones" amid a heated culture war over gay rights.

The records of hundreds of millions Facebook users was discovered in a online forum on the dark web. The unsecure database contained the IDs, phone numbers and full names of 267 million users, most of which reside in the US.

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