Dec. 31, 2018

REUTERS

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren took the first step toward a 2020 presidential run on Monday, becoming the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to Republican President Donald Trump.

A senior Republican U.S. senator said he emerged from a White House meeting with President Donald Trump on Sunday reassured that Trump is committed to defeating Islamic State even as he plans to withdraw American troops from Syria.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday he was optimistic that Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump could reach a deal to end a government shutdown that includes border wall funding and legal status for some illegal immigrants.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a New Year letter on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a "wide-ranging agenda", the Kremlin said following a series of failed attempts to hold a new summit.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Monday they plan to upgrade their speed boats in the Gulf with radar-evading stealth technology and new missile launchers as tensions rise between Tehran and Washington in the vital oil shipping route.

Russia's FSB state security service said on Monday it had detained an American citizen suspected of spying in Moscow and had opened a criminal case against him.

Pollution levels spiked last week in New Delhi, India's teeming capital of more than 20 million people, climbing to nearly 12 times the recommended level and exacerbating a public health crisis.

U.S. companies have sent home over half a trillion dollars of cash they held overseas in 2018 to take advantage of tax changes, but data suggest the pace is slowing, potentially removing a key source of support for Wall Street.

A cyber-attack caused major printing and delivery disruptions on Saturday at the Los Angeles Times and other major U.S. newspapers, including ones owned by Tribune Publishing Co such as the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun.

AP Top Stories

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Saturday called on federal courts to enforce existing immigration laws to stem the tide of undocumented migrant families from entering the United States and Congress to fix a broken immigration system that has created "a humanitarian crisis" at the southern border.

Colombian authorities are investigating a possible plot involving Venezuelans to assassinate President Ivan Duque, a top official said Saturday night.

A U.S. healthcare worker who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while treating patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo arrived in the United States on Saturday and was put in quarantine in Nebraska.

At least 22 people died from a storm that swept through the central Philippine islands, authorities said Sunday, with rescue operations under way in flood-inundated communities.

Israel's ultimate weapon: killer f-35 stealth fighters on steroids. "The F-35I will also be certified to carry major Israeli-developed weapons systems in its internal weapons bay, notably including the Python-5 short-range heat-seeking air-to-air missile, and the Spice family of glide bombs..."

Indian navy divers on Sunday launched an operation to find 15 men trapped for more than two weeks in a flooded "rat-hole" coal mine in remote northeast India, police said.

Egypt said Saturday its security forces have killed 40 militants in raids on their hideouts in the Sinai Peninsula and the Greater Cairo area, just hours after a roadside bomb targeted a tourist bus in the capital, killing three Vietnamese tourists and their Egyptian guide.

A volcano on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali erupted Sunday, belching ash high into the air and over nearby villages as officials warned tourists to keep clear of the area.

Yemen's Shiite rebels on Saturday said they handed over control of the main port in the Red Sea city of Hodeida to the coast guard and local administrators, but the government denied that, calling it a ploy by the Iran-aligned rebels to maintain control of the strategic facility.

Dutch police on horseback broke up a "Yellow Vest" protest in The Hague on Saturday and arrested eight people after the demonstration turned violent, police said.

BBC

President Donald Trump has now said the abrupt withdrawal of US troops from Syria he announced earlier this month will be carried out "slowly".

A camera-equipped drone will watch over New Year's Eve celebrations in New York City, the NYPD has confirmed. It is the first time the force has used a surveillance drone to monitor the annual party in Times Square.

Brazil's incoming far-right president has said he will seek to issue a decree loosening the country's gun laws. Mr. Bolsonaro has said more guns would allow "good people" in Brazil help combat violent crime.

Music festival-goers across Australia have been warned about a "dangerous orange pill", after a young man died of a suspected drug overdose.

WND

Ten months after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 students and staff dead, the sheriff of Broward County where the incident took place says policy is being changed to require officers to try to confront active shooters, instead of leaving it optional.

"Selfie wrist" is a form of carpal tunnel syndrome. People who experience selfie wrist may feel a tingling or sharp pain, which comes from flexing your wrist inward or holding your phone too long without moving.

The first-ever multi-season TV series about Jesus' life, "The Chosen," has now become the most crowdfunded film projects ever, surpassing $5 million in investor pledges for the project.

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