Monday, March 30, 2015

Islamic fighters led by al-Qaida in Syria seize major city

BEIRUT — Islamic fighters led by al-Qaida’s branch in Syria seized almost full control of the northwestern city of Idlib on Saturday, taking over major roundabouts and government buildings in a powerful blow to President Bashar Assad whose forces rapidly collapsed after four days of heavy fighting, opposition activists and the extremist group said. Idlib, a […]

America’s sky police should be asked to stand down

American aviation’s last line of defense is quickly evaporating. Disgruntled federal air marshals, according to National Review, are leaving the service at an alarming clip – in 2014, an average of 10 agents were reported to have left the service’s Washington, D.C. office every month. It seems only a matter of time until the U.S. […]

Clinton banks on trust

It was Hillary Clinton at her worst. First, she began her news conference by tooting her own horn about working for women. Then she slammed Republicans for sending a letter making clear that, for an Iran deal to be binding, it must have approval from Congress. Then she got to the emails. That’s when things […]

It’s musical chairs in LA County

Remember the old parlor game of musical chairs? Players would march to music around a group of chairs, and when it stopped, all would try to sit down, but there was always one fewer chair than players. The standing player would drop out, a chair would be removed and the game would continue until someone […]

Kurdish, Christian forces gain on IS in NE Syria battles

BEIRUT — Kurdish fighters and Christian militiamen are making gains against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, with intense clashes amid airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, an activist group and a Kurdish official said Saturday. Nasser Haj Mansour, a defense official in Syria’s Kurdish region, said the fighters captured the Christian village of Tal […]

Iraqi Kurds claim Islamic State group used chemical weapons

BAGHDAD — Kurdish authorities in Iraq said Saturday they have evidence that the Islamic State group used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against peshmerga fighters, the latest alleged atrocity carried out by the extremist organization now under attack in Tikrit. The allegation by the Kurdistan Region Security Council, stemming from a Jan. 23 suicide […]

Iraq seizes town on outskirts of Islamic State-held Tikrit

BAGHDAD — Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militiamen captured a town Tuesday on the outskirts of the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit, sealing off Saddam Hussein’s hometown in preparation to confront the extremists in one of their biggest strongholds, officials said. Seizing Alam puts the offensive on course to attempt to liberate Tikrit in the coming […]

34 killed in explosion at market in northeastern Nigeria

BAUCHI, Nigeria — At least 34 persons were killed by a teenage girl suicide bomber on Tuesday at a crowded market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, said witnesses. The blast by a female teenager occurred in the market near the Old Elkanemi Cinema in the late afternoon, said Musa Danbaba, a member of […]

Officials say bombings across Afghanistan kill at least 13

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A series of bombings across Afghanistan, including one targeting a police checkpoint in the country’s south, killed at least 13 people Tuesday, authorities said. The day’s deadliest attack targeted the checkpoint on the outskirts of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, killing eight people and wounding 23, said Omar Zwak, the […]

Russia opts out of European arms control treaty

MOSCOW — Russia says it will no longer attend consultations related to a key European arms control treaty, accusing the West of stonewalling its demands. The move comes as Russia-West relations have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War times over the Ukrainian crisis. The 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty limits the […]

Street drugs ‘legalized’ in Ireland by surprise court ruling

DUBLIN — A top Irish court has ruled a key plank of the country’s anti-narcotics laws illegal, temporarily legalizing the possession of many street stimulants and hallucinogens. The government scrambled to close the surprise loophole Tuesday with an emergency late-night bill. Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the government hoped its patchwork bill would be signed […]

As race for UN chief begins, new campaigns demand a woman

UNITED NATIONS — At a private working lunch for the five most powerful members of the United Nations Security Council, the conversation turned to the question of the next U.N. secretary-general. A European ambassador reminded colleagues of a General Assembly resolution nearly as old as the 70-year organization itself, a guiding document for a selection […]

Bodies of French Olympians recovered in Argentina air crash

VILLA CASTELLI, Argentina — Argentine Investigators plucked cellphones, bits of paper and other mostly charred and unrecognizable items on Tuesday from the ruins of two helicopters that collided while carrying prominent French athletes, an accident that left the European nation in mourning and had Argentine experts struggling to understand how two experienced pilots lost control. […]

72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash

SAN FRANCISCO — More than 70 passengers aboard an Asiana Airlines flight that crashed in San Francisco two years ago have reached a settlement in their lawsuits against the airline, attorneys for the passengers and airline said in a court filing Tuesday. The settlement with 72 passengers who filed personal injury claims also includes Boeing […]

Netanyahu warns US ‘bad deal’ would put Iran on nuclear path

WASHINGTON — In a direct challenge to the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood before Congress on Tuesday and bluntly warned the U.S. that an emerging nuclear agreement with Iran “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.” President Barack Obama pushed back sternly, saying the U.S. would never sign such a deal and Netanyahu […]

Congress sends Homeland bill to Obama without conditions

WASHINGTON— Bitterly admitting defeat, the Republican-controlled Congress sent legislation to President Barack Obama on Tuesday that funds the Department of Homeland Security without any of the immigration-related concessions they demanded for months. “Sanity is prevailing,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a former chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, before the House voted 257-167 in favor […]

Mines, bombs slow Iraqi advance on Islamic State-held Tikrit

BAGHDAD — Iraqi troops and Shiite militias battled the Islamic State group on Tuesday on the outskirts of militant-held Tikrit, unable to advance further on Saddam Hussein’s hometown as roadside mines and suicide attacks slowed their progress. Soldiers found some 100 mines and bombs scattered along an 8-kilometer (5-mile) stretch of road on the way […]

India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform

NEW DELHI — Indian authorities ordered television stations Tuesday not to broadcast a documentary about a gang rape on a New Delhi bus in which one of the attackers blames the victim and says she could have avoided being killed if she had not fought back, a government official said. The order followed an outcry […]

Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

NEW YORK — Certain that they are right, struggling to find ways to get their message across, public health officials are exasperated by their inability to persuade more U.S. parents to vaccinate their children. “I think we’re all kind of frustrated,” said Stephen Morse, a Columbia University infectious disease expert. “As scientists, we’re probably the […]

Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

WASHINGTON — Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is returning to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to help kick-start a longshot campaign to expand criminal background checks to all commercial firearms sales. Similar legislation that sought to expand background checks failed to get a hearing in the House last session. With the GOP expanding its majority and winning […]

California lawmakers show wide discrepancy in missed votes

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the best attendance record among the members of the California delegation in the last session of Congress. He missed only one vote out of 1,204 cast. A trio of California representatives who opted not to seek re-election — John Campbell, Gary Miller and Gloria Negrete McLeod — […]

Agents target industry helping Chinese women have US babies

IRVINE — Federal agents searched three dozen homes Tuesday in California during a crackdown on so-called maternity tourism operators who arrange for pregnant Chinese women to give birth in the U.S., where their babies automatically become American citizens. The investigation of three alleged birth tourism rings may be the biggest yet by federal homeland security […]

Family of girl declared brain-dead sues Oakland hospital

SAN FRANCISCO — The family of a 13-year-old girl who was declared brain-dead after her sleep apnea operation went awry filed a medical malpractice lawsuit on Tuesday detailing the emotional, chaotic hospital drama that included a court battle over ending life support. Jahi McMath’s family is seeking unspecified damages from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in […]

US marshals say man killed by Los Angeles police was wanted

LOS ANGELES — A homeless ex-convict who was killed by Los Angeles police was wanted for violating probation in a bank robbery case, a U.S. marshal said Tuesday. The federal warrant was issued Jan. 9 for Charley Saturmin Robinet after he didn’t provide monthly reports to a probation officer in November, December and January, Deputy […]

Enrollment of non-residents to be capped at some UC campuses

SAN FRANCISCO — Non-resident enrollment will be capped at the University of California’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses next year to address concerns that California students are being displaced, but the system also does not plan to admit more residents to any of its campuses unless it gets more state funding, university President Janet Napolitano […]

Officers shoot man who allegedly tried to run them down

FAIRFIELD — Two police officers are on administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting late Sunday in a Vallejo neighborhood that left one man injured. The situation that led to the shooting started at approximately 11:20 p.m. in the area of Mayfair and Lassen streets when patrol officers tried to stop a vehicle that police said […]

February 25, 2015 | Posted in Crime-courts | Tagged ,

High voltage accident at Carnival kills 16 in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti  — At least 16 people were killed early Tuesday in the Haitian capital after a man on top of a musical group’s Carnival float was shocked by high-voltage wires above the street, setting off a panic in which dozens of people were trampled, officials said. The accident occurred as thousands of people filled […]

February 18, 2015 | Posted in U.S./World | Tagged ,

Mississippi, West Virginia toughest on school immunizations

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With rampant diabetes and obesity, Mississippi and West Virginia have struggled with health crises. Yet when it comes to getting children vaccinated, these states don’t mess around. The states, among the poorest in the country, are the only ones that refuse to exempt school children from mandatory vaccinations based on their parents’ […]

February 11, 2015 | Posted in U.S./World | Tagged ,

Publishers Weekly best-sellers

Publishers Weekly best-sellers for week ending Feb. 1: HARDCOVER FICTION 1. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead) 2. “Private Vegas” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Little, Brown) 3. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr (Scribner) 4. “Saint Odd” by Dean Koontz (Bantam) 5. “Gray Mountain” by John Grisham […]

February 08, 2015 | Posted in Entertainment | Tagged ,

Police: Parents who killed selves, kids feared apocalypse

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — A Utah couple and their three children who were found dead in their home last fall overdosed on drugs after the parents told friends they were concerned about a pending apocalypse, authorities said Tuesday. Police also found old letters from the mother to a Utah man in prison for killing family members […]

January 28, 2015 | Posted in U.S./World | Tagged ,