May 16, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump will outline on Thursday a plan to harden border security and overhaul the legal immigration system to favor applicants who speak English, are well-educated and have job offers, senior administration officials said.

Talks are underway in Norway between Venezuela's government and "democratic" opponents, an envoy said on Thursday, in a possible search for a mediated solution following a failed uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio entered the crowded 2020 presidential race on Thursday, arguing that his record of progressive accomplishments in the country's biggest city positioned him as the perfect foil to President Donald Trump.

Missouri's Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill early on Thursday that would ban abortions after the eighth week of pregnancy except in medical emergencies.

Islamic State claimed responsibility on Thursday for an attack on Niger soldiers near the Mali border, the group's Amaq news agency said, without providing evidence.

Growing U.S. pressure on Iran has weakened pragmatic President Hassan Rouhani and made his hardline rivals more assertive at home and abroad, recent developments show.

A tanker carrying Iranian fuel oil in violation of U.S. sanctions has unloaded the cargo into storage tanks near the Chinese city of Zhoushan, according to ship tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon.

Walmart said on Thursday that prices for shoppers will go up due to higher tariffs on imports from China as the world's largest retailer reported its best comparable sales growth for the first quarter in nine years.

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should underpin the economy as growth slows. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 212,000 for the week ended May 11.

AP Top Stories

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday after the Iranian-aligned movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks on Saudi oil installations. The Sanaa strikes targeted nine military sites in and around the city, residents said.

Impoverished North Korea is suffering its worst drought in decades and food supplies are reportedly running low, but South Korea's push to provide aid is bogged down in the growing tension marked by missile tests and sanctions crackdowns.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami vowed Wednesday to inflict the "bitter taste of defeat" on the United States in its "economic war" on the Islamic republic.

Israeli troops wounded nearly 50 Palestinians at the Gaza border on Wednesday during protests to mark the 71st anniversary of the "Nakba", or catastrophe, when many Palestinians lost their homes in the fighting around Israel's creation, Gaza officials said.

Poland's prime minister on Tuesday vowed tougher punishments for those who sexually abuse minors after a new film spurred the country into grappling with the problem of abuse by priests.

Mozambique will need about $3.2 billion in aid to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by two recent cyclones, government officials were quoted by local media as saying.

More than 5,000 Cubans have visited Nicaragua so far this year, a 900% increase over the total for all of 2018, Nicaraguan officials said Wednesday.

Helicopters ferried U.S. staff from the American embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran, which U.S. sources believe encouraged Sunday's attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf.

BBC

An international crime gang which used malware to steal $100m from more than 40,000 victims has been dismantled. A complex police operation conducted investigations in the US, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The gang infected computers with GozNym malware, which captured online banking details to access bank accounts.

A US middle school has closed for the remainder of the school year after authorities found it was contaminated with radioactive chemicals. A nearby air monitor detected enriched uranium and neptunium-237 at Zahn's Corner Middle School in Piketon, southern Ohio.

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from "foreign adversaries". He signed an executive order which effectively bars US companies from using foreign telecoms believed to pose national security risks.

A sculpture by US pop artist Jeff Koons has sold for $91.1m, breaking the record price for a work by a living artist. Christie's in New York sold Rabbit, a 41in steel cast of an inflatable created in 1986, for more than $20m over its estimated price.

WND

The "blue light" in LED lighting can damage the eye's retina and disturb natural sleep rhythms, France's government-run health watchdog said this week.

Arizona State University recently commissioned an investigation into allegations made by former economics professor Brian Goegan, who claimed that some professors at the school were failing students on purpose and effectively charging students to turn in homework, all as part of a scheme with an educational corporation. Goegan was dismissed from his position after making the claims, though the school said he was let go for reasons other than the accusations.

America's baby bust isn't over. The nation's birth rates last year reached record lows for women in their teens and 20s, a government report shows, leading to the fewest babies in 32 years. It was the fourth year the number of births has fallen, the lowest since 1986 and a surprise to some experts given the improving economy.

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