Feb. 17, 2020

REUTERS

President Donald Trump took a loop around the Daytona 500 racetrack on Sunday in his presidential limousine, drawing cheers from fans at NASCAR's most prestigious race not long after completing a dramatic flyby on Air Force One.

The Trump administration is deploying highly trained officers to boost arrests of unauthorized immigrants in a number of cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, the latest move in a battle against localities that adopt "sanctuary" policies to protect them from deportation.

More than 300 U.S. citizens, including 14 infected with the coronavirus, were in the United States and under quarantine on Monday after spending the previous two weeks stuck on a cruise ship with the largest cluster of cases outside China.

Control of the coronavirus epidemic in China is showing an active and improving trend, state television quoted a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang as saying on Monday.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that Donald Trump deserved to be re-elected, praising the U.S. president's reaction to his decision to end a decades-old military agreement with the United States.

Russia said on Monday that plans by the United States to deploy weapons in space would deal an irreversible blow to the current security balance in space.

The Syrian army said on Monday it had taken full control of dozens of towns in Aleppo's northwestern countryside and it would press on with its campaign to wipe out militant groups "wherever they are found".

At least 10 people were killed in a suicide blast that hit a police vehicle in southwestern Pakistan.

Libya's combatants are readying for a long conflict, as foreign weapons flood in, tribesmen close oil ports and rival alliances wrangle over revenues from Africa's largest petroleum reserves.

Gunmen killed twenty-four people, including a pastor, in an attack on a church during Sunday mass in northwestern Burkina Faso, four security sources told Reuters on Monday.

Hardliners are set to tighten control of Iran this week in a parliamentary election stacked in their favor, as the leadership closes ranks in a deepening confrontation with Washington.

GM said it would wind down its Australian and New Zealand operations and sell a Thai plant in the latest restructuring of its global business, costing the U.S. auto maker $1.1Billion.

AP Top Stories

A bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st U.S. state was approved by a Democratic-led House committee last week, setting the stage for a vote by the full chamber in the near future. If it passes, as expected, it will be the first time the campaign to bestow statehood on the nation's capital has been endorsed by one of the chambers of Congress.

A 6-year-old Florida girl was committed for two days to a mental health facility without her mother's consent after allegedly throwing a temper tantrum at school.

Bloomberg's group Everytown for Gun Safety is buying $250,000 in television ads in Iowa to pressure lawmakers into adopting a "red flag" measure - a dangerous gun control scheme that would leave law-abiding Iowans defenseless. Under House File 2367, a "red flag" measure, anyone could lose their Second Amendment rights as a result of baseless accusations and have no opportunity to defend themselves in court.

A recent cold front has brought an interesting phenomenon to Lake Michigan: first ice balls, now ice volcanoes.

Multiple rockets hit an Iraqi base hosting American troops near the US embassy early Sunday, the latest in a flurry of attacks against US assets in the country.

The Florida Attorney General's Office on Saturday approved a $2 million settlement claim for a man who was wrongfully convicted in 1976. The move comes a little over three weeks after the Department of Legal Affairs initially denied the request for compensation.

Thirty-one people were killed in air strikes on Yemen Saturday, the United Nations said, the victims of an apparent Saudi-led retaliation after Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed to have shot down one of its jets.

Police in Costa Rica have found almost 6 tons of cocaine in a shipping container, leading to the country's biggest ever drug seizure.

BBC

German chemical giant Bayer is to appeal against a Missouri court's award of $265m to a US peach grower who blamed a herbicide for crop damage.

Municipal elections in the Dominican Republic were suspended four hours after voting began due to a problem with the electronic voting system.

Fifteen children have died in Haiti after a fire swept through an orphanage on the outskirts of the capital. The orphanage, run by a US-based Christian group, was one of hundreds in Haiti operating without official authorization.

Armed robbers in Hong Kong made off with hundreds of toilet rolls worth more $130.

WND

A school in Michigan has decided to discipline students for what they do and say at home, and now is getting sued for overstepping its authority.

Activists with the non-profit group Our Santa Fe River are seeking to "establish an amendment to Alachua County's charter to provide rights to the river to protect it from harm."

A ruling from high court judges in Pakistan has allowed a Muslim to force a 14-year-old girl to marry him. And since the girl was Christian, the ruling also is allowing the Muslim to force the girl's "conversion" to Islam.

A state representative from Birmingham filed a bill Thursday that would require Alabama men to get a vasectomy once they reach 50 years old or father three children, "whichever comes first."

China is disinfecting and isolating used banknotes to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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