Jan. 6, 2020

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Friday said his Democratic opponents would tear down crosses and pledged to bring prayer to public schools at a re-election rally to shore up evangelical support.

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians thronged Tehran's streets for the funeral of military commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a U.S. drone strike, and his successor promised to drive U.S. forces out of the region in revenge.

Iran announced on Sunday it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium, taking a further step back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers, but it would continue to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will introduce and vote on a war powers resolution this week to limit U.S. President Donald Trump's military actions regarding Iran.

The U.S. Senate remained at a stalemate on Friday over how to proceed with the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, as the chamber's leaders wrangled over whether White House aides will be called as witnesses and the top Democrat appealed to a handful of Republicans who could help break the impasse.

U.S. senators, who had expected just weeks ago to be turning their attention to an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, will kick off the week focusing on "ordinary business," with lawmakers still at loggerheads over trial rules.

UNESCO said on Monday that the United States has signed treaties committing it not to harm cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.

Venezuela's socialist government installed a new head of Congress on Sunday after armed troops blocked opposition legislators from entering parliament, in a move condemned by dozens of nations as an assault on democracy.

Ten U.S. states, led by New York, California and Illinois, account for 56% of carbon emissions from buildings nationwide, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that needs to be tackled over the next decade to combat climate change, according to a report released on Monday.

AP Top Stories

The U.S. military presence in the Middle East was thrown into jeopardy Sunday, as Iraq's parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from their country while the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group said the U.S. military across the region "will pay the price" for killing a top Iranian general.

The head of Ukraine's independent Orthodox Church compared Russia's treatment of believers in annexed Crimea to "Stalin-era" repressions, after authorities ordered a church demolished.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has only managed to curb the supply of methamphetamines by less than 1% of annual consumption, proof that it has been a bloody failure, his main political rival, the vice president, said on Monday.

The U.S. Navy should acquire small, heavily-armed missile corvettes and deploy them like modern versions of World War II torpedo boats.

Scuffles erupted between police and protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, with dozens of arrests made, after thousands marched near the border, shouting pro-democracy slogans and venting their anger at mainland Chinese traders.

The Israeli army announced Sunday it would resume a pilot programme to train all-female tank crews, countering recent reports it had decided to shelve the plan.

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister hopes all actors involved in the recent Middle East flare-up take steps to avoid escalation.

Germans who live near wind turbines could be paid compensation by the government under a proposal to boost supplies of renewable energy. Matthias Miersch of Germany's Social Democrat party (SPD) said his scheme would encourage Germans to move near the controversial wind farms as well as rewarding those who already do.

Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers plunged into the icy waters of rivers and lakes across Bulgaria on Monday to retrieve crucifixes tossed by priests in Epiphany ceremonies commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ. By tradition, the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest sprinkles believers with water using a bunch of basil.

A student from Indonesia was identified as Britain's most prolific rapist on Monday after being convicted of more than 150 offences, including 136 rapes. In four separate trials, Reynhard Sinaga, 36, was found guilty of assaulting 48 men whom he drugged after taking them back to his apartment from outside bars and clubs in the city of Manchester.

BBC

One US military service member and two contractors were killed in an Islamist attack on a military base in Kenya.

A mysterious viral pneumonia that has infected dozens in central China is not Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars), health chiefs have said. They also discounted bird flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and said investigations were continuing.

WND

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, a former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and former CIA director, spoke with Foreign Policy this week about the implications of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, calling it "more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden."

China's attacks on freedom are legion, including ongoing repression of religion and a "social credit" system to enforce "correct behavior" and punish dissent. Now the government is demanding blood samples from children. The objective is to build databases for tracking and monitoring them in the name of "maintaining social stability." Some fear the DNA samples authorities are collecting could be used for harvesting organs.

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