Feb. 8, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal.

Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Friday he would decline to answer questions about his communications with President Donald Trump at a congressional hearing expected to focus on his oversight of a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

John Dingell, a gruff Michigan Democrat who entered the U.S. House of Representatives in 1955 to finish his late father's term and became a legislative heavyweight and longest-serving member of Congress, died on Thursday. Dingell served 59 years in the House before retiring in 2015. The former lawmaker's wife, Debbie Dingell, who was elected to succeed him. He was 92.

Florida earned a passing grade for the first time on an annual gun-safety report card compiled by a prominent advocacy group, after the state led all others in bolstering its firearms laws in the year since the deadly Parkland school shooting.

A travel ban and asset freeze imposed on Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido by the country's Supreme Court do not respect legal standards, a U.N. adviser on judicial independence said in on Friday.

Pakistan, long at odds with the United States over the war in Afghanistan, has begun to play a behind-the-scenes but central role in supporting U.S. peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, including by facilitating travel to negotiations, U.S. officials and Taliban sources tell Reuters.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday stopped a Louisiana law imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics from going into effect in its first major test on abortion since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last summer.

Nearly 85 percent of Germans have a negative or very negative view of U.S.-German relations, and most want to put more distance between the traditionally close transatlantic allies, a new poll showed on Friday.

Iranians will chant "Death to America" as long as Washington continues its hostile policies, but the slogan is directed at President Donald Trump and U.S. leaders, not the American nation, Iran's supreme leader said on Friday.

AP Top Stories

A Taliban official said Wednesday that the United States has promised to withdraw half of its troops from Afghanistan by the end of April, but the U.S. military said it has received no orders to begin packing up.

A young woman who as a teenager encouraged her boyfriend through dozens of text messages to kill himself is responsible for his suicide, Massachusetts highest court ruled Wednesday in upholding her involuntary manslaughter conviction.

The U.S. military is prepared to protect U.S. personnel and diplomatic facilities in Venezuela if needed, the U.S. admiral in charge of American forces in South America said on Thursday.

Pope Francis's public admission that priests have used nuns as "sexual slaves" -- and may still be doing so -- marks a new chapter in the abuse crisis rocking the Catholic Church.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pardoned a "large number" of prisoners in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, state TV reported Thursday. Previous reports suggested it would apply to some 50,000 people, the largest number ever covered in a single pardon.

The Islamic State group has not been defeated in Syria and continues to pose by far the most significant threat of any terror group, UN sanctions monitors said Wednesday, contradicting President Donald Trump's claims that IS is nearly wiped out.

Patience was wearing thin Thursday for some of the 1,600 Central American migrants spending their fourth day at an improvised shelter in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras, across from Eagle Pass, Texas.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards inaugurated a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 621 miles, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thursday, ignoring demands Western demands that Tehran halt its missile program.

BBC

Giving jobless people in Finland a basic income for two years did not lead them to find work, researchers said. Unemployed Finns got a monthly flat payment of $685. The aim was to see if a guaranteed safety net would help people find jobs, and support them if they had to take insecure gig economy work. While employment levels did not improve, participants said they felt happier and less stressed.

Australian police have arrested six people in Victoria and New South Wales after the biggest seizure of crystal methamphetamine in US history. Authorities say the 3,800lb stash - the largest ever intercepted drug shipment to Australia - was found in January at a port in California. The haul is said to be equivalent to 17 million doses and worth an estimated $910m.

A US teenager who discovered a security flaw in Apple's FaceTime video-calling system has been given a bug bounty. Apple has not revealed the exact amount it is giving 14-year-old Grant Thompson but it is believed to include money to help pay for his education.

The first trucks with US humanitarian aid for Venezuela have arrived in the Colombian border city of Cúcuta. President Nicolás Maduro, who has the support of the army, has rejected letting it into the country.

WND

San Francisco could soon become the first city to ban facial recognition technology under an ordinance proposed Tuesday by Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

Wells Fargo said Thursday that customers are unable to log in to mobile and online banking and it was investigating the cause of the outage.

An analysis of numerous studies by researchers at Dartmouth University found that children who play violent video games show an increased tendency toward physical, aggressive behavior.

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