Feb. 4, 2020


With the impeachment drive against him ebbing, U.S. President Donald Trump will face his Democratic accusers on Tuesday night at a State of the Union speech where he is expected to push his case for another four years in office.

The Democratic Party's effort to choose an election challenger to Donald Trump got off to a chaotic start in Iowa, with officials blaming "inconsistencies" for an indefinite delay in the state's caucus results and the president gloating over his rivals' misfortune.

Taiwan dramatically escalated its war of words with Beijing on Tuesday over the island's exclusion from the World Health Organization, saying "vile" China was preventing Taiwan from getting timely information about the coronavirus outbreak.

Hong Kong reported its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, the second outside mainland China from a fast-spreading outbreak that has killed 427 people and threatened the global economy.

Britain will ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, five years earlier than planned, in an attempt to reduce air pollution that could herald the end of over a century of reliance on the internal combustion engine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is having a teleconference this week with travel and tourism industry representatives to work on recommendations on protecting their crews so they can resume flights to China, a senior WHO official said.

New orders for U.S.-made goods increased by the most in nearly 1-1/2 years in December amid strong demand for defense aircraft, but weak business spending on equipment pointed to limited scope for a sharp rebound in manufacturing even as business confidence is improving.

Canada aims to evacuate some 300 of its citizens on Thursday from the quarantined Chinese city at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, a government source said, though the planned flight was still awaiting final Chinese approval.

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The Iowa Democratic Party announced that it found "inconsistencies" in the reporting of the results, causing a delay that drew sharp criticism from many, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

The Wuhan coronavirus spreading from China is now likely to become a pandemic that circles the globe, according to many of the world's leading infectious disease experts.

As China rushes to contain the rapidly-spreading Wuhan coronavirus, authorities are implementing strict measures that reportedly include a 1,000 yuan ($140) bounty to report anyone arriving from Wuhan, and even a potential death penalty on those found deliberately spreading the virus.

Iran will launch a satellite into orbit by the end of this week, a government minister said on Monday, as part of a fledging program that the United States says is a cover for ballistic missile development.

Iran said Tuesday that its top court confirmed a death sentence for an Iranian man convicted of spying for the CIA, with state media alleging that he had shared details of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program with the American spy agency.

Germany and Austria are at odds over plans for a new tax on financial transactions, raising more questions about the chances of the levy becoming reality after years of talks.

Nigeria is set to receive around $308 million seized from former military dictator Sani Abacha under a deal backed by the United States and the island of Jersey, US prosecutors said Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged Philippine citizens to stop stirring up anti-Chinese xenophobia related to the outbreak of a coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China, in December and has since killed more than 300 and infected more than 17,000.

A family from Hawaii says that they want to cancel their upcoming Asian cruise out of concern over coronavirus, but Norwegian Cruise Line won't refund the $32,000 they've already paid for their trip.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton suggested that Chinese officials misled the public on the origins of the novel coronavirus that has killed at least 362 people and infected more than 17,400 others, saying it may have originated in a "superlaboratory." At a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing with US military leaders on Thursday, Cotton described the coronavirus as the "biggest and most important story in the world" and "worse than Chernobyl."

Brazil has decided to repatriate Brazilians from Wuhan, China, and will declare a national health emergency, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said on Monday.


The number of homeless students in the US is the highest in over a decade according to a new study. Most of the 1.5 million homeless schoolchildren stayed with other families or friends after losing their homes. But 7% lived in abandoned buildings or cars.

A teenager has sparked a national debate about blasphemy in France after an Instagram post calling Islam a "religion of hate". Mila, 16, posted her comments online after receiving homophobic abuse from a Muslim commenter. She received death threats and has not attended school since. But Mila has refused to back down, saying in her first television interview that she "wanted to blaspheme". She has since deactivated her Instagram account.


The Iowa Democratic Party is under fire for a long delay in reporting results from the state's presidential caucus on Monday. This year was set to be the first that the party used a new app to report results.

For ten years, little boxes of Läderach pralines were given to some passengers flying on Swiss International Air Lines. From mid-April this will no longer be the case, following negative headlines about the Läderach CEO's opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will stand up for principles like free expression and encryption, even if it means facing a backlash.

Muslims are beheading Christians in the "killing field" of Nigeria, but the plights of endangered frogs in Australia, a pig forced to bungee jump in China and a gorilla at the Cincinnati zoo have drawn more attention in international media.

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