Jan. 20, 2020

REUTERS

After refusing to cooperate with the Democratic Party-led impeachment probe in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump will on Monday offer his first comprehensive defense, before his trial begins in earnest in the Senate.

Democrats locked in a tight race for their party's presidential nomination will mark the holiday that celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. by seeking the support of black voters.

The top Republican in Virginia's lower house said that any group planning to incite violence at a large gun rights rally on Monday in Richmond should stay home, while far-right leaders of militias planning to attend swore they were coming in peace.

A large caravan of Central Americans was preparing to cross the Guatemalan border into Mexico on Monday, posing a potential challenge to the Mexican government's pledge to help the United States contain mass movements of migrants.

Bulgaria's government faces a no-confidence motion next week after thousands of people have been left with water shortages over the past two months, leading to public protests.

Two Iraqi police officers were killed and dozens of protesters were wounded in Baghdad and other cities in clashes with security forces, as anti-government unrest resumed after a lull of several weeks.

Pope Francis on Monday condemned the "barbaric resurgence" of anti-Semitism around the world, linking it to the rise of populism.

Lebanon needs to quickly form a new government to stop a cycle of collapse and worsening economic and security conditions, caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Monday, after a weekend of violent confrontations shook the capital.

The world's richest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined in 2019, while unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the global economy each year than the technology industry, Oxfam said.

AP Top Stories

The number of reported cases of a pneumonia virus spreading through China jumped over the weekend, CNN reports, bringing the total to 201. On Friday, there were 62 reported cases of the illness in China. By Monday, another 139 cases had been reported, and three people had died. The virus, which originated in a wildlife market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has also spread to other countries, including South Korea, Thailand, and Japan.

Drinking in America has been rising for the last 20 years and has reached a point where Americans are drinking more than they were when Prohibition was enacted, according to federal health statistics.

Severe weather conditions gripped Australia on Sunday and Monday, with an enormous dust storm hitting New South Wales, and golf ball-sized hail stones battering cars and buildings in Canberra. The apocalyptic scenes took over southeastern Australia, the region most affected by the ongoing bushfires.

Panama - A religious sect whose members believed to be "anointed by God" forced a pregnant woman and five of her children to walk through fire as part of a cult ritual.

A prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was arrested by police, his organization said on Monday, after a protest he helped organize in the financial district a day earlier turned violent with officers firing tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday called for the U.S. government to cease detaining illegal immigrants.

Israel's military said it began construction of an underground defense system Sunday along its northern frontier with Lebanon to protect against cross-border tunnels.

A Ponce, Puerto Rico warehouse full of unused emergency supplies, including food, water, and cots leftover from Hurricane Maria in 2017 was discovered Saturday during an inspection following recent earthquakes in the region. Following the discovery of the unused emergency supplies, Puerto Ricans lined up outside the facility hoping to get some of the emergency supplies, including the food, water, and emergency radios.

BBC

China, one of the world's biggest users of plastic, has unveiled a major plan to reduce single-use plastics across the country. Non-degradable bags will be banned in major cities by the end of 2020 and in all cities and towns by 2022.

Brazil's culture minister has been sacked after using parts of a speech by Nazi Germany's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels in a video, sparking outrage.

A religious lobby group in South Africa has backed owners of a popular wedding venue after they refused to host the marriage celebration of a same-sex couple.

Malaysia is returning 42 shipping containers of illegally imported plastic waste to the UK, its environment minister has announced, Malaysia would take "steps to ensure" the country "does not become the garbage dump of the world".

WND

A New Hampshire bill, which has multiple sponsors, would withhold the state's popular vote totals until after the Electoral College vote. The state could release the percentage of statewide votes cast for each candidate. But with no vote count from New Hampshire, no correct national popular vote total could be established.

FEMA trailers could soon be put to use for a different disaster: California's homelessness crisis.

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