Feb. 5, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Tuesday was set to deliver a State of the Union speech challenging Democrats to approve funding for his long-sought border wall, but stopping short of declaring a national emergency over it, at least for now.

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea will meet with his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

The United States is sending food and medical supplies to Colombia's border with Venezuela where it will be stockpiled until it can be delivered to the economically shattered nation, U.S. officials with knowledge of the plan said on Tuesday.

France conducted a rare simulation of a nuclear deterrent mission, its armed forces ministry said on Tuesday, at a time when the United States plans to exit a nuclear arms control pact with Russia.

Tens of thousands of Catholics and several thousand Muslims attended an unprecedented public celebration of Mass on Tuesday by Pope Francis, the first pontiff in history to visit the Arabian Peninsula.

Russia will race to develop two new land-based missile launch systems before 2021 to respond to Washington's planned exit from a landmark nuclear arms control pact, it said on Tuesday.

A Colorado jogger fought off a mountain lion in the foothills of Horsetooth Mountain on Monday, suffering severe bites before he killed the wild animal in self-defense, authorities said.

AP Top Stories

North isn't quite where it used to be. Earth's north magnetic pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say that past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation. On Monday, they released an update of where magnetic north really was, nearly a year ahead of schedule.

The European Union said on Monday it was gravely concerned by Iran's ballistic missile launches and tests and called on Tehran to stop activity that deepened mistrust and destabilized the region.

As Iran prepares to mark the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, the question of who will succeed the ill and aging supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is resurfacing. No matter who that cleric might be, Iran is likely to be ruled by another religious figure who is far less powerful than Khamenei and more beholden to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

An Afghan official says a pre-dawn Taliban attack on an army base in northern Kunduz province has killed at least 26 members of the country's security forces.

Iraq's president hit back at Donald Trump Monday for saying U.S. troops should stay in Iraq to keep an eye on neighboring Iran, saying the U.S. leader did not ask for Iraq's permission to do so. Trump's comments added to concerns in Iraq about America's long-term intentions, particularly after it withdraws its troops from Syria.

The Republican-led U.S. Senate backed largely symbolic legislation on Monday that broke with President Donald Trump by opposing plans for any abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria and Afghanistan.

An eruption of one of Indonesia's most active volcanoes sent lava and searing gas clouds out the crater and made villagers leave the slopes, a volcanology official said Tuesday.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his deputy Luigi Di Maio, leader of the party that dreamed up the so-called citizens income plan to distribute cash to poor Italians, on Monday presented the first of the plastic cards that will entitle citizens below the poverty line to claim a monthly subsidy, provided they're looking for work.

Burkina Faso's armed forces have killed 146 jihadists in three counterterror operations in the northwest near the border with Mali, the army's commander general said.

The Russian Navy is installing new non-lethal weapons on several new frigates. The "visual optical interference" weapons are designed to disorient those looking at them, causing hallucinations, nausea and dizziness. The weapons are also designed to interfere with aiming devices and some weapons. The technology dates back to work done before World War II and, although clever, is not considered all that reliable as a weapon.

The U.S. State Department on Monday called on countries to take in foreign fighters captured by America's Kurdish allies in Syria, two days ahead of a meeting in Washington of dozens of coalition partners fighting Islamic State to discuss the way forward in Syria.

BBC

The government of Democratic Republic of Congo has defended the decrees that grant ministers lifetime salaries and other benefits. The two decrees, which grant former ministers benefits worth at least $2,000.. The outgoing government said the state was giving the ministers "a minimum to satisfy their basic needs, notably food, lodging and healthcare to stop them [ministers] from falling into destitution", the statement said.

Karl Marx's Grade I-listed memorial in Highgate Cemetery has been "mindlessly vandalized". The marble plaque on the imposing sculpture's base has been attacked, seemingly with a hammer.

Thieves in Belgium have used sewers to tunnel into a bank vault near Antwerp's diamond trading district. Police were alerted on Sunday to a possible burglary and when they arrived they found the bank door shut with about 30 deposit boxes emptied inside.

The head of Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning has urged the Middle East's Muslims to "embrace" local Christians. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of al-Azhar in Egypt, told an interfaith meeting in Abu Dhabi attended by Pope Francis that Christians were "our companions".

WND

A series of loud booms that rocked downtown Los Angeles on Monday night startled some people who complained on social media. But Los Angeles police said the noises were part of a U.S. Army training exercise involving aircraft and weapon simulations in urban settings. The training is set to run through Saturday in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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