Feb. 7, 2019

REUTERS

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said its Russia investigation has found no proof that President Donald Trump's presidential campaign colluded with Moscow, an assertion that congressional sources said puts him at odds with Democrats on the largely bipartisan panel.

Rising Democratic star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Senator Ed Markey on Thursday laid out the goals of a Green New Deal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, setting a high bar for Democrats who plan to make climate change a central issue in the 2020 presidential race.

The U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday proposed exempting some light bulbs from federal efficiency standards that take effect next year, a move environmentalists said would boost pollution and power bills for consumers.

The U.S. House of Representatives began moving toward tighter gun regulations on Wednesday, holding the first congressional hearing in years on how to stem the epidemic of gun violence that claimed the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans in 2017.

The United Nations cleared almost 17,000 bombs, suicide belts and other explosive hazards in Iraq last year and the dangerous work of sifting through the debris of war - 7.6 million tonnes in Mosul alone - will take many years, U.N. experts said on Thursday.

Scotland's capital Edinburgh is to become the first British city to introduce a tourist tax to try to better manage the impact of swelling visitor numbers and booming hotel occupancy.

Rome's Ciampino airport, which is heavily used by budget airline Ryanair, was closed on Thursday after the discovery of three bombs dating back to World War Two.

Although China slapped retaliatory tariffs up to 70 percent on U.S. ethanol shipments, the fuel can still legally enter China tariff-free if it arrives blended with at least 40 percent Asian-produced fuel.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped from near a 1-1/2-year high last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should continue to underpin the economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits tumbled 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended Feb. 2.

Russia would be prepared to consider new proposals from the United States to replace a suspended Cold War-era nuclear pact with a broader treaty that includes more countries, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

AP Top Stories

The Taliban on Wednesday hailed unprecedented talks with Afghan politicians as "very successful", despite disagreements over women's rights and the group's demand for an Islamic constitution in the war-torn country.

At least 400,000 people in Nigeria will vote from displaced people's camps in parts of northeastern Borno state in elections this month.

The US House of Representatives on Wednesday saw its first committee hearings on climate change and gun control in eight years following Democrats' victory over Republicans in last year's Congressional elections.

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he expected a formal announcement as early as next week that the coalition fighting Islamic State militants has reclaimed all of the territory previously held by the extremist group.

More than 1,500 people have been treated for injuries from using battery-powered electric scooters in the United States since the craze began in late 2017, a survey showed.

The US Army said Wednesday it wants to purchase a pair of Iron Dome short-range air defense systems, an interceptor technology developed by Israel with US support.

Kuwait and Indonesia urged the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to call for protection of Palestinians following Israel's decision to suspend an international observer mission in Hebron, where hundreds of hardline Jewish settlers live alongside more than 200,000 Palestinians, but diplomats said the United States objected.

More than 16,000 migrants returned home from conflict-wracked Libya in 2018 under a "voluntary return" program run by the International Organization for Migration, the agency said Wednesday.

BBC

Dakshayani, thought to be the world's oldest elephant in captivity, has died at the age of 88 in India.

Germany's competition regulator has told Facebook to substantially restrict how it collects and combines data about its users unless they give it explicit consent.

Six people have been killed by a gas explosion in an abandoned coal mine in South Africa, the national broadcaster is reporting. About 20 others are still trapped at the Gloria coal mine in Middelburg, east of the capital, Pretoria.

A group of Canadian diplomats is suing the country's government $21.1m after they succumbed to a mysterious illness in Cuba.

The US military announced plans to buy and test out Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

Authorities in the Philippines have declared an outbreak of the highly contagious measles virus in several areas including the capital, Manila.

WND

Vermont lawmakers are pushing for a bill that would make abortion a constitutional right in the state, going way beyond the law that New York recently passed. Vermont's law, critics say, strips away any and all rights of the fetus and makes abortion-on-demand for any reason.

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