Jan. 9, 2020

REUTERS

Iran spurned the U.S. president's call for a new nuclear pact and its commanders threatened more attacks, after both sides backed off from intensified conflict following the U.S. killing of an Iranian general and Tehran's retaliatory missile strikes.

Trump administration officials failed to convince Democratic U.S. lawmakers, and some Republicans, on Wednesday that an imminent threat had justified the killing of a top Iranian military commander, and congressional Democrats scheduled a vote on legislation to rein in the president's ability to wage war.

The Trump administration on Wednesday said it was too late to renew the effort to push through a decades-old proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ensure American women have equal rights to men.

A U.S. congressional report called for sanctions against China over human rights abuses, and for U.S. officials to keep rights concerns in mind during dealings with Beijing, including trade negotiations.

China's foreign ministry said on Thursday that a U.S. Congressional report that called for sanctions against Beijing over human rights abuses was neither objective nor credible.

Grassroots donors gave about $1 billion to Democratic candidates and progressive groups in 2019 through the online fundraising organization ActBlue, the nonprofit said.

Australian authorities urged another mass evacuation across the heavily populated southeast on Thursday as a return of hot weather fanned huge bushfires threatening several towns and communities.

Technology companies transformed smartphones and televisions into continuous fountains of revenue. Now, big tech wants to work with automakers to do the same thing for your car. With the widespread rollout of autonomous vehicles still years away, the two industries have converged on the idea of cars providing services and features delivered "over the air" - that is, over the same wireless data networks used by smart phones.

The Trump administration on Thursday unveiled a plan to speed permitting for major infrastructure projects like oil pipelines, including by dropping consideration of their potential impact on climate change.

AP Top Stories

The Philippines will no longer require its citizens to leave Iran and Lebanon as worries of a broader conflict in the Middle East eased, but the mandatory evacuation order for workers in Iraq remains in force, officials said on Thursday.

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake on Wednesday rattled an area less than 30 miles from Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant near the country's Gulf coast.

Responding to a growing crisis on the streets of California's major cities, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday his state budget proposal would include more than $1 billion in funds directed at homelessness.

Keeping Lebanon without a government is "increasingly irresponsible", a senior U.N. official said on Wednesday, in tough criticism of Lebanese leaders as their country sinks deeper into crisis without a rescue plan.

Police chased and stuck protesting students with batons after they marched through India's capital Thursday to demand the resignation of a university official following an attack at their school by masked assailants.

President Donald Trump threatened to impose deep sanctions on Iraq if it moves to expel U.S. troops and said Sunday he would not withdraw entirely unless the military is compensated for the "extraordinarily expensive air base" there.

Thousands of people protested in Serbia's capital Wednesday against the alleged suppression of religious and other rights of Serb minorities in neighboring countries, answering a call to action by the Serbian Orthodox Church.

A nine-day Sino-Pakistani naval exercise commenced in Pakistan's port of Karachi on Monday with the arrival of a Chinese naval task group from its South Sea Fleet. Sea Guardians 2020 is the sixth in the bilateral series, which, according to the Pakistan Navy, will focus on "augmenting interoperability and strategic cooperation."

BBC

Two-thirds of Puerto Rico is still without power, and a quarter is without running water, after a series of earthquakes this week. At least one person died and 300 homes were destroyed in a 6.4-magnitude quake and 6.0 aftershock on Tuesday.

A judge in Brazil has ruled that a film depicting Jesus as gay must be removed from the TV streaming service Netflix. The film, The First Temptation of Christ, infuriated fervent Christians in the country.

Norway has offered to take in 500 migrants who were evacuated to Rwanda from Libyan detention centers. Sweden has already taken in seven migrants.

WND

A recent online survey of college students found that almost half - 49 percent - disapprove of the U.S. killing Qassem Soleimani.

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor recently called free speech racist and said he worries that if a Democratic presidential candidate wins the 2020 election it could spark another Civil War.

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