Jan. 3, 2019

REUTERS

In their first action in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats plan to adopt a bill on Thursday to end a federal shutdown without funding a Mexican border wall, trying to firmly fasten blame for the 13-day-old closure on President Donald Trump and his Republicans.

U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday the Senate will not consider bills Democrats plan to vote on in the House on Thursday that would end the government shutdown but not include President Donald Trump's demand for $5 billion for a border wall.

Conservative Hindu groups paralyzed India's southern state of Kerala on Thursday protesting against the state government for allowing two women to defy an ancient ban and enter a Hindu temple.

Thirty-nine bodies have been pulled from under the rubble of a Russian apartment building that partially collapsed this week after an apparent gas explosion.

The United States issued a pre-emptive warning to Iran on Thursday against pursuing three planned space rocket launches, which it said would violate a U.N. Security Council resolution related to its ballistic missile activity.

President Jair Bolsonaro's far-right government launched a barrage of measures on its first day in office on Wednesday to crack down on crime and shrink the size of the state, sending Brazilian markets higher.

A North Korean diplomat who was until recently acting ambassador to Italy has gone missing, a South Korean member of parliament said on Thursday, after a South Korean newspaper reported he was seeking asylum in the West.

GM on Thursday reported that U.S. new vehicle sales fell 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, with declines across most of its brands as American auto sales appear set to weaken in 2019.

Arm teachers, spend more on school security and mental health and train police to be more aggressive when responding to school shootings -- those are some of the recommendations in a report into the deadliest U.S. high school shooting released Wednesday.

Drugmakers kicked off 2019 with price increases in the United States on more than 250 prescription drugs, including the world's top-selling medicine, Humira, although the pace of price hikes was slower than last year.

AP Top Stories

Three of North America's biggest cruise lines - Carnival, Norwegian and Princess - will unveil new vessels in 2019. But while the ships will be new, they'll look strikingly familiar. All three will be sisters to existing vessels.

Two victims of sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic Church priest in Chile launched a fresh attack on the country's bishops on Wednesday, accusing them of failing to reform or learn from the crisis.

After gaining 88 percent in 2018, the stock added as much as 30 percent to 5.25 reais in Sao Paulo on Wednesday, on the back of President Jair Bolsonaro's plans to make it easier for Brazilians to own guns. It was the biggest intraday gain for the stock since Nov. 1.

The Vatican has long been aware of nuns sexually abused by priests and bishops in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, but it has done very little to stop it, The Associated Press reported last year. Now, the AP has investigated the situation in a single country - India - and uncovered a decades-long history of nuns enduring sexual abuse from within the church.

Three migrant fishermen received Greek citizenship Wednesday for helping rescue dozens of people who were forced into the sea by flames from a summer wildfire that caused 100 deaths.

Turkish authorities detained 12 suspects over alleged links to the Islamic State group including two French women sought by Interpol, state media reported on Wednesday.

Two militants in Tunisia blew themselves up on Thursday after they exchanged fire with security forces who stormed their hideout and encircled them, the interior ministry said.

On Tuesday millions of women in Kerala, India, joined hands, creating what they called a "women's wall" to protest the Sabarimala Temple's ban on women of menstruating age. The temple is one of India's holiest sites, and the practice of banning women from entering dates back hundreds of years. For 15 minutes, women formed a nearly 385-mile-long human chain to support the end of the practice.

Thousands of demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday to demand full democracy, fundamental rights, and even independence from China in the face of what many see as a marked clampdown by the Communist Party on local freedoms.

BBC

Archaeologists in Mexico say they have made an important discovery, uncovering a temple to Xipe Totec - the pre-Hispanic "Flayed lord". Historically, throughout the region, priests paid tribute to the deity by wearing the skin of human sacrifices.

Scientists have found the most likely source of Yemen's cholera epidemic, which is the worst in recorded history. Using genomic sequencing, researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Institut Pasteur concluded the strain of cholera originated in eastern Africa and was carried to Yemen by migrants.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he is "deeply concerned" about the increased production of coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, in Colombia.

WND

A hacking organization known as the Dark Overlord obtained some 18,000 documents from insurers involved in the many cases that arose from the Muslim terror attack on the United States, including Hiscox and Lloyd's of London. "The Dark Overlord said it would sell the documents for bitcoin, inviting Isis, al-Qaida and nation states to bid for them online."

A recent survey found that nearly two out of three millennials said they didn't feel they belonged in the communities they lived in.

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