Mar. 14, 2019

REUTERS

The U.S. Treasury will try to shield President Donald Trump from a congressional request to see his tax returns but its efforts to protect his privacy will be the same given any taxpayer, the Treasury secretary said on Thursday.

Beto O'Rourke, the youthful Texan who gained a national following with his long-shot election battle against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz last year, on Thursday launched a bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The U.S. Senate was poised on Thursday to pass a proposal to terminate President Donald Trump's declaration of an emergency at the southern border, defying his threat to veto the measure and heavy lobbying of his fellow Republicans.

Congress plans to scrutinize why the United States waited so many days to ground all Boeing Co 737 MAX jets involved in Sunday's crash in Ethiopia as other countries and airlines acted more quickly.

India and Pakistan agreed on Thursday to go forward with a new border crossing and route for Sikh pilgrims to visit a holy temple in Pakistan, a rare glimmer of cooperation after tension flared over the neighbors' decades-old Kashmir dispute.

Russian oil company Rosneft spent a fortune on joint ventures in Venezuela even though it suspected it was losing out on millions of dollars. It continued investing because the Kremlin wanted to support its ally in South America.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, suggesting the labor market was slowing, but probably not to the extent implied by a near-stall in job growth in February. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 229,000 for the week ended March 9.

AP Top Stories

Citing poor media freedoms, racism and "ideological prejudice", China hit back on Thursday in unusually strong terms after the U.S. State Department slammed China's rights record, including equating abuses on its Muslim minorities with the 1930s.

A leading researcher on China's ethnic policies said on Wednesday that an estimated 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslims could be held in so-called re-education centers in Xinjiang region, up from his earlier figure of 1 million.

A new chemical weapons investigation team with the power to assign blame for attacks such as those in Syria will start work in weeks, the head of the world's toxic arms organisation said.

A senior Iranian security official on Wednesday accused regional powers of spending money on "suspicious nuclear projects", and warned that such threats would force Tehran to revise its defense strategy.

California's governor has signed a moratorium halting the use of the death penalty, saying he would be unable to sleep at night if he sent just one innocent person to their death. Citing a National Academy of Sciences report that estimated 1 out of every 25 people on death row was innocent, the governor said. "If that's the case, that means if we move forward executing 737 people in California, we will have executed roughly 30 people that are innocent."

International donors are gathering in Brussels hoping to drum up $9 billion to help Syrians uprooted by the country's bloody civil war, as European countries warn the money must not prop up President Bashar al-Assad.

India's biggest private oil refiner Reliance Industries has capped crude imports from sanction-hit Venezuela, the company said Thursday, following pressure from the United States.

Western-backed forces on Wednesday claimed Isil's caliphate was in its "final moments" after thunderous shelling on its last patch of territory in eastern Syria prompted a wave of jihadists to surrender. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) estimated around 3,000 had walked out of the shrinking Baghuz pocket in the last 48 hours, most of whom fighters, suggesting a coordinated surrender.

The Navy between 2020 and 2024 wants to spend around $4 billion buying 10 large unmanned surface vessels and nine unmanned submarines.

The United States aims to test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of about 620 miles in August, a Pentagon official said on Wednesday, after Washington announced last month it plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

BBC

Greta Thunberg, 16, the Swedish schoolgirl who has inspired an international movement to fight climate change, has been nominated as a candidate to receive this year's Nobel Peace Prize. If she were to win, she would be the youngest recipient since Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 when she received the prize.

The new Algerian prime minister, Noueddine Bedoui, has been setting out his objectives in response to mass protests that forced President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to withdraw from seeking a fifth term. In his first news conference since being appointed, Mr Bedoui said that he would form a technocratic government that would include young Algerians who led the demonstrations.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's newly elected President Félix Tshisekedi has pardoned 700 political prisoners, in what is seen as a major gesture of reconciliation since he took office in the troubled nation in January.

WND

A Bible said to have been signed by President Donald Trump sold this week on eBay for $325, according to the listing.

The video-hosting platform Vimeo canceled the account of a church that posted videos of a Bible conference that included teaching on homosexuality.

A new study finds that people who use e-cigarettes face a significantly higher risk of a heart attack, coronary artery disease, and depression compared to people who use no tobacco products. E-cigarettes, also known as "vapes" or "e-cigs," are battery-operated, handheld devices that many believe is a "healthier" alternative to smoking or chewing traditional tobacco.

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