Jan. 31, 2020

REUTERS

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial faces a climactic vote on Friday, when senators are due to decide whether to call witnesses and prolong the historic proceeding or instead bring them to the swift conclusion that Trump wants.

The United Kingdom leaves the European Union at 2300 GMT on Friday, ending its 47-year membership of the world's biggest trading bloc.

The United States and other countries tightened travel curbs on Friday and businesses said they were facing supply problems because of the coronavirus in China, a day after the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency.

Russia said on Friday it would begin moving its citizens out of China via its Far Eastern region on Feb. 1, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, regional authorities said.

Kenya's high court said the government could go ahead with a new digital ID scheme, as long as it brought in stronger regulations and did not use it to collect citizens' DNA and geo-location data.

Frustrated by one of the world's highest rates of sexual assault, poor law enforcement and tribal taboos that keep people quiet about gender violence, some Nigerian women are breaking with tradition to take self-defense classes.

U.S. consumer spending rose steadily in December, but tepid income gains pointed to moderate consumption growth this year, which together with slumping business investment likely set the economy on a slower growth path this year.

AP Top Stories

The coronavirus, a pneumonia like virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 9,700 people and killed 213. So far, the virus does not seem to be as deadly as SARS, which killed 774 people from 2002 to 2003. SARS had a mortality rate of 9.6%, whereas about 2% of people infected with the new coronavirus have died. But the number of people infected after one month has already surpassed the SARS outbreak's eight-month total. Many patients with coronavirus have already made full recoveries. According to Chinese officials, most of those who've died were elderly or had other ailments that compromised their immune systems.

The House on Thursday moved to block President Donald Trump from taking military action against Iran without the approval of Congress, voting to repeal a 2002 war authorization and to bar him from using federal funds to mount an unauthorized strike against the country.

Mexico will not tolerate the presence of Central American migrants who intend to enter the country violently or with an aim to cause trouble, the foreign minister warned Thursday.

A chartered plane carrying a total of 368 South Korean citizens arrived on Friday in the South from Wuhan, Eighteen South Koreans evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan have been hospitalized after showing symptoms while 350 others are in quarantine, Seoul's health authorities said Friday, as concerns mount about a wider outbreak of the SARS-like virus.

The Trump administration said that it will continue - at least for now - its policy of not sanctioning foreign companies that work with Iran's civilian nuclear program. But to signal that its pressure campaign against Tehran continues, Treasury announced new sanctions targeting the head of Iran's nuclear program and the agency he directs.

European plane maker Airbus will pay $4 billion to settle corruption probes by U.S., British and French authorities into contract dealings, lifting a legal cloud that has hung over the world's largest aircraft maker for years.

Radioactive water from the stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima should be released into the ocean or vaporized into the air, an expert panel advised the Japanese government on Friday. The proposal is non-binding and sets no deadline for the government to decide or carry out procedures to deal with the water.

BBC

US life expectancy rose in 2018 for the first time in four years, a welcome reversal for health officials combating a drug epidemic gripping the country. Deaths from drug overdoses declined for the first time in over 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Overall life expectancy improved by 0.1 years from 2017, to 78 years and seven month, the agency said.

Facebook has settled a long-running legal dispute about the way it scans and tags people's photos. It will pay $550m to a group of users in Illinois, who argued that its facial recognition tool was in violation of the state's privacy laws.

Australia has defended its plan to send citizens evacuated from the coronavirus outbreak in China to an immigration detention center on Christmas Island for two weeks.

WND

A convicted child rapist is reportedly to be released from prison in Iowa because he is no longer deemed a threat since he began transgender hormone treatments and is considering gender reassignment surgery.

A university professor just learned that differences between the two genders matter as she has been assigned two male security guards to protect her from threats coming from transgender-rights activists.

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