Jan. 30, 2020

REUTERS

A Democratic push to force Republicans to accept witnesses at President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate appeared to be flagging on Wednesday, raising the possibility he could be acquitted as early as Friday.

The U.S. Senate is expected to wrap up the initial phase of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial before turning on Friday to the explosive question of whether to call witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton.

U.S. House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled a proposed $760 billion infrastructure spending bill over five years that aims to rebuild sagging roads and bridges and reduce carbon pollution.

Infection from China's coronavirus spread to more than 8,100 people globally on Thursday, surpassing the total from the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic in a fast-spreading health crisis forecast to deal a heavy blow to the world's second-largest economy.

A humanitarian channel to bring food and medicine to Iran has started trial operations, the Swiss government said on Thursday, helping supply Swiss goods to the struggling population without tripping over U.S. sanctions.

With sorrow, some support for Brexit and even hope of a return, Europeans from across the EU's 27 remaining members bade farewell to the United Kingdom on the eve of its historic departure.

The economy grew 2.3% last year, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. That was the slowest since 2016 and followed the 2.9% growth notched in 2018. The U.S. economy missed the Trump administration's 3% growth target for a second straight year, posting its slowest annual growth in three years in 2019 as the slump in business investment deepened amid damaging trade tensions.

Airlines have started suspending flights to China in the wake of a new coronavirus outbreak which as of Thursday had killed 170 people and infected almost 8,000.

The United States will allow Russian, Chinese and European firms to continue work at Iranian nuclear sites to make it harder for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, but will impose sanctions on its nuclear entity and top official, sources said on Thursday.

AP Top Stories

The Supreme Court said Monday it will allow the Trump administration to begin enforcing a controversial new policy making it harder for low-income legal immigrants to obtain green cards or visas.

U.S. authorities on Wednesday announced the discovery of the longest smuggling tunnel ever found on the Southwest border, stretching more than three-quarters of a mile, more than 14 football fields, from an industrial site in Tijuana, Mexico, to the San Diego area. The tunnel featured an extensive rail cart system, forced air ventilation, high voltage electrical cables and panels, an elevator at the tunnel entrance and a drainage system.

Business is booming at Iran's largest flag factory which makes U.S., British and Israeli flags for Iranian protesters to burn. The factory produces about 2,000 U.S. and Israeli flags a month in its busiest periods, and more than 1.5 million square feet of flags a year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has pardoned an Israeli woman who had been jailed on drug charges, the Kremlin said Wednesday. A presidential decree ordering Naama Issachar's release on "humanitarian principles" was effective immediately.

Since a case of the coronavirus - which spread from Wuhan, China - was confirmed at Arizona State University, Asian students there have faced jokes, stares, and isolation on campus. "It's hysteria" said one freshman.

As hysteria around the Wuhan coronavirus escalates, nearly 60% of Americans say they aren't confident in Congress' ability to contain the virus, according to a new poll.

The U.S. Interior Department is grounding its fleet of about 800 Chinese-made drones but will allow their use for emergency situations, the department said on Wednesday.

Russia is closing its land border with China, similar to steps taken by Mongolia and North Korea, to guard against a new viral outbreak.

"More than half of millennials - 54 percent - believe it is likely that a nuclear attack will occur in the next decade," the Red Cross reported.

BBC

A new section of President Donald Trump's signature wall along the US-Mexico border has been blown over in high winds, US officials said.

Palestinians have dismissed US President Donald Trump's new Middle East peace plan as a "conspiracy".

WND

In a landslide vote, the Kentucky Senate approved legislation Monday making it illegal for medical professionals to deny care to newborns.

Billions of locusts, in swarms the size of cities, are eating "everything in sight" in East Africa, and experts fear the plague could get "500 times" worse.

Amid concern about high-profile shootings, most Protestant congregations have taken precautions to protect people who attend their services, but they are divided over members carrying weapons, according to a survey.

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