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The Latest: Putin: Syria must take over lands US leaves

The Latest: Putin: Syria must take over lands US leavesBEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments related to Syria (all times local):




POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 11:58 AM

UK PM May to continue seeking changes to Brexit deal: spokesman

UK PM May to continue seeking changes to Brexit deal: spokesmanBritish Prime Minister Theresa May will continue to seek changes to her Brexit deal, a spokesman for her office said, after she suffered a symbolic defeat in parliament on her strategy. "The government will continue to pursue this with the EU to ensure we leave on time on 29th March," the spokesman said. The spokesman said May believed her Conservative lawmakers still wanted her to renegotiate the deal, but had voted against her on Thursday because they were concerned about the prospect of taking a 'no deal' off the table at this stage.




POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 1:36 PM

Ilhan Omar confronts Elliott Abrams over human rights

Ilhan Omar confronts Elliott Abrams over human rightsOmar suggested Americans would have reason to doubt Abrams’ testimony about the United States role in Venezuela. “If I could respond to that,” said Abrams. “I’m not going to respond to that question, I’m sorry,” said Abrams. Omar continued.




POSTED FEBRUARY 13, 2019 4:02 PM

Texas Mom Arrested After Kids Found Locked in Dog Cage and Covered in Feces

Texas Mom Arrested After Kids Found Locked in Dog Cage and Covered in FecesThe two eldest children were found in a 3 by 3 foot dog cage and the two other children were discovered nearby, covered in urine and feces.




POSTED FEBRUARY 13, 2019 4:32 PM

Honda's pickup trucks recalled because they can catch fire from car wash soap

Honda's pickup trucks recalled because they can catch fire from car wash soapThe Honda pickup is subject to a new recall to fix faulty fuel pumps that can crack when exposed to acids in car-wash detergents.




POSTED FEBRUARY 15, 2019 12:56 PM

Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to Iran

Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to IranThe US Justice Department charged a former Air Force intelligence official Wednesday with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks. US officials said Monica Witt, 39, who worked a decade in Air Force counterintelligence, had an "ideological" turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US espionage operations against Tehran. "It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, announcing the indictment.




POSTED FEBRUARY 13, 2019 3:06 PM

A year after Parkland school shooting, should we be arming teachers already?

A year after Parkland school shooting, should we be arming teachers already?After Parkland shooting, school districts took 'giant steps' to boost security, but we're still not arming teachers.




POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 12:39 PM

Why Can't NASA's Curiosity Rover Rescue Opportunity?

Why Can't NASA's Curiosity Rover Rescue Opportunity?The Mars rover Opportunity has died, NASA announced yesterday (Feb. 13). A layer of dust likely coated its solar panels, preventing it from juicing itself up after a 2018 sky-blackening dust storm on the Red Planet.But why couldn't NASA launch a rescue mission to get it working again? After all, Opportunity wasn't the first rover to get to Mars, and it won't be the last. It's just been the hardiest. In its stunning 14-plus years of travel, enabled by Martian winds that periodically cleaned off its solar panels, it has covered an impressive 28 miles (40 kilometers) on the planet.The most obvious candidate to rescue Opportunity is the Curiosity rover, Opportunity's bigger, nuclear-powered younger sibling. Why not take some time out of Curiosity's work, and send it to see what's wrong with Opportunity and if it might be fixed? [Voyager to Mars Rover: NASA's 10 Greatest Innovations]NASA's Opportunity Mars rover took this image of its own tracks on the rim of Endeavour Crater in June 2017. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State UniversityThe first problem, unfortunately, is distance. According to NASA's Mars map, the Curiosity and Opportunity sites are about 5,200 miles (8,400 km) apart from one another. Curiosity's a bit swifter-footed than Opportunity, but even so, the young sprite would just take way too long to cover that terrain. To navigate the Martian terrain, these rovers require constant guidance from Earth Combined with the long delay between message transmission and receipt, even a trek of a few feet can take days.The second problem is that Curiosity is an explorer, not a repair bot. It would be a monumental challenge to repurpose its onboard instruments to even clear dust off of Opportunity's solar panels. And there's no guarantee that's all that's gone wrong with the rover sitting silently in the Martian cold and darkness.A selfie of the Mars Curiosity rover. Unfortunately, Opportunity's buddy can't come to its rescue. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSSThe final problem is time. Even if Curiosity could take some express train to Opportunity's location, Martian winter is setting in, and the conditions will likely compound any damage to Opportunity now that it's no longer able to keep itself warm.So Opportunity is toast. But who knows, maybe humans on Mars will find it someday and manage to switch it back on. * 5 Mars Myths and Misconceptions * Mars InSight Photos: A Timeline to Landing on the Red Planet * Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life (Photos)Originally published on Live Science.




POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 11:12 AM

New migrant caravan forming could be largest caravan yet

New migrant caravan forming could be largest caravan yetGuatemalan Intelligence Secretary Mario Duarte weighs in on the latest caravan and what Guatemala is doing to protect and control the movement of these migrants.




POSTED FEBRUARY 13, 2019 11:07 PM

British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home'

British schoolgirl Shamima Begum who joined Isil found in Syria and 'wants to come home'A British schoolgirl who fled to Syria to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has said she does not regret it, but wants to return to the UK to give birth. Shamima Begum, 19, vanished from her home in Bethnal Green in London four years ago, along with two other teenage girls, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase. A girl who identified herself as Shamima Begum, was found in a refugee camp in Syria as the Isil caliphate collapsed, the Times reported. In an interview with the newspaper she described how she had been living in the caliphate and had married an Isil fighter from the Netherlands called Yago Riedijk. She was heavily pregnant and due to give birth any day. Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, and Shamima Begum  Credit: PA The girl is living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria along with 39,000 other refugees. She described having seen a severed head in a bin during her time with Isil, and escaping bombs dropping, the Times reported. The teenager also said she had already given birth to two children, both of whom died in infancy. She told the Times: "I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago. And I don’t regret coming here." She added: "I am scared this baby is going to get sick in this camp, that's why I want to get back to Britain, because I know my baby will be looked after." The three girls had joined another London teenager, Sharmeena Begum, in Syria. All were married off to jihadists.  Shamima Begum said at least one of her friends, Kadiza Sultana, had been killed when a bomb hit a house in Raqqa. Renu, eldest sister of Shamima Begum, 15, holds her sister's photo while being interviewed by the media at New Scotland Yard, central London Credit: PA The other two girls reportedly stayed on to fight in Baghuz in eastern Syria, along with a few hundred Isil fighters, as the caliphate came to an end. Shamima Begum and her husband fled instead, and the husband surrendered to Kurdish forces. The girl told the Times she had spoken to her mother in the UK and asked for her support when she goes home. She had also read what had been written about her online by people back in the UK. "The caliphate is over," she told the Times. "There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me. But I just want to come home to have my child. All I want to do is come home to Britain." British teenagers Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum passing through security barriers at Gatwick Airport, en route to Syria in 2015 Credit: AFP The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, although anyone who returns to the UK after travelling to IS territory faces criminal investigation and stricter laws are now in place. Security Minister Ben Wallace said: "The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger. "Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security. "There are a range of terrorism offences where individuals can be convicted for crimes committed overseas and we can also use Temporary Exclusion Orders to control an individuals' return to the UK." A displaced Syrian woman and a child walk toward tents at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp of al-Hol in al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria Credit: AFP Tasnime Akunjee, a lawyer who was instructed by the Bethnal Green girls' families after they ran away, said he was "glad (Ms Begum) is alive and safe". He told the Press Association the authorities should be reminded of former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe's position at the time of their disappearance. "The position of the Metropolitan Police was that they should be treated as victims, so long as they hadn't committed any further offences while they are out there," he said. Mr Akunjee said he had spoken to the girls' families, who had "expressed the position that they want time and space to process what's happened". The Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are expected to announce the territorial defeat of Isil in the coming days. Around 2,000 US special forces are expected to be brought home by April. Giving evidence to MPs in the wake of the British schoolgirls's disappearance, in 2015, senior police officers said they would not be treated as criminals if they returned home. They said there was a "difference between the person running around with a Kalishnikov" and three schoolgirls who had been duped into travelling to Syria. The girls funded their travel to Syria by stealing jewellery from relatives, paying more than £1,000 in cash to a local travel agent for their flights to Turkey. Donald Trump has said Isil is "defeated"and that an announcement is imminent on "100 percent of the caliphate" having been retaken. The war to push Isil out of its so-called caliphate had lasted more than four-and-a-half years. The area once covered part of Syria and Iraq that was around the size of Britain. Pentagon officials have warned that Isil remains an "active insurgent group in both Iraq and Syria". Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.




POSTED FEBRUARY 14, 2019 3:18 AM

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