US ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick defrocked over abuse claims

A former Roman Catholic cardinal has been defrocked after historical sexual abuse allegations. Theodore McCarrick is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times. US Church officials said allegations he had sexually assaulted a teenager five decades ago were credible. Mr McCarrick, 88, had previously resigned but said he had « no recollection » of the alleged abuse. The alleged abuses may have taken place too long ago for criminal charges to be filed because of the statute of limitations. Mr McCarrick was the…

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s visit to China not going ahead

A visit to China by Chancellor Phillip Hammond has been called off amid reports a speech by the UK’s defence secretary angered Beijing. There were plans for trade talks between Mr Hammond and senior Chinese government figures during the brief visit next week. But a Treasury spokesperson said: « No trip was ever announced or confirmed. » Earlier this week, Gavin Williamson had indicated the UK’s intention to send an aircraft carrier to the Pacific. Unconfirmed newspaper reports claimed the Chinese government was unhappy about Mr Williamson’s speech on Monday.…

Swiss actor Bruno Ganz who played Hitler in ‘Downfall’ dies aged 77

ZURICH (Reuters) – Bruno Ganz, the Swiss actor who portrayed Adolf Hitler in Oscar-nominated film “Downfall” and the kindly grandfather in “Heidi”, died of cancer at his home in Zurich on Saturday, aged 77, his agent said. FILE PHOTO: Actor Bruno Ganz acknowledges the audience after he was awarded in the category « Lebenswerk » (Lifetime Achievement) during the ‘Goldene Kamera’ (Golden Camera) awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Britta Pedersen/Pool/File PhotoGanz had been active in German language theater, film and television for more than 50 years and…

U.S.-backed SDF nears victory over Islamic State in east Syria

Jiya Furat, commander of the assault on the last jihadist enclave in eastern Syria, talks during a press conference near Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 16, 2019. REUTERS/Rodi SaidNEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) – The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will capture Islamic State’s last tiny enclave in eastern Syria “in a very short time”, the battle commander said on Saturday. Jiya Furat said the SDF had cornered the remaining Islamic State militants in one tiny neighborhood of Baghouz village, under its fire from all sides. With the help…

U.S.-backed SDF nearing victory over IS in east Syria: battle commander

FILE PHOTO – Turkish military use water cannon to stop Syrian refugees as they wait behind the border fences to cross into Turkey on the Turkish-Syrian border, near the southeastern town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, June 5, 2015. REUTERS/Osman Orsal/File PhotoNEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) will defeat Islamic State “in a very short time”, the commander of the assault on the last jihadist enclave in eastern Syria said on Saturday. Jiya Furat told reporters the U.S.-backed SDF had cornered the remaining Islamic State…

Dismissed employee kills five co-workers in Illinois factory shooting

AURORA, Ill. (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire at an Illinois factory just after receiving notice of termination from his job there on Friday, killing five fellow workers and wounding five policemen before he was slain by police, authorities said. The assailant, identified as Gary Martin, 45, had worked at the Henry Pratt Company for 15 years before Friday’s violence unfolded at the firm’s sprawling facility in Aurora, 40 miles (65 km) west of Chicago, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said. At a late-night news conference, Ziman said it was…

Gunman in Aurora, Illinois, shooting described as ‘loner’

(Reuters) – When Gary Martin came to work at the Henry Pratt valve manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday, he was told he was being terminated from his job. Shortly thereafter, Martin pulled out his Smith & Wesson revolver and opened fire. Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said Martin shot six fellow employees, five of them fatally, at the sprawling warehouse where he had worked for 15 years, and wounded five police officers before he was slain by police 90 minutes later. She said police had yet to determine…

Five killed as gunman opens fire at Illinois warehouse

AURORA, Ill. (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire on Friday at an Illinois manufacturing warehouse, apparently as he was being terminated from his job there, killing five fellow workers and wounding five police officers before he was slain by police, authorities said. Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said the assailant, identified as 45-year-old Gary Martin, had worked at the Henry Pratt Company for 15 years before Friday’s violence unfolded at the firm’s sprawling warehouse in Aurora, 40 miles (65 km) west of Chicago. At a late-night news conference, Ziman said…

U.S.-China trade talks to resume next week, Trump hints at extension

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and China will resume trade talks next week in Washington with time running short to ease their bruising trade war, but U.S. President Donald Trump repeated on Friday that he may extend a March 1 deadline for a deal and keep tariffs on Chinese goods from rising. Both the United States and China reported progress in five days of negotiations in Beijing this week. Trump, speaking at a White House news conference, said the United States was closer than ever before to “having a…

Suspects in alleged attack on ‘Empire’ actor released

(Reuters) – Suspects arrested in connection with an alleged racist and homophobic assault on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago were released on Friday, police said. FILE PHOTO: Jussie Smollett performs a tribute to President’s Award recipient John Legend at the 47th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni“Due to new evidence as a result of today’s interrogations, the individuals questioned by police in the Empire case have now been released without charging and detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” the Chicago Police Department said…

Shamima Begum: Family of pregnant IS teen plead for return

The family of Shamima Begum – the teenager who went to Syria to join the Islamic State group – have called on the UK to bring her back « urgently ». Her family, from east London, said the 19-year-old’s unborn baby is « a total innocent » and had the right to grow up in the « peace and security » of the UK. Ms Begum told the Times she feared her child would be taken from her if she came back to the UK. Home Secretary Sajid Javid has…

Electronic GPS tags to track thousands of criminals in England and Wales

Thousands of criminals in England and Wales will be tagged with GPS trackers to allow authorities to trace them 24 hours a day. Currently, electronic tags are linked to a box at a fixed address, such as an offender’s home, with alerts generated if they are not there at certain hours. But the new location tags will track a person’s movements wherever they go. Justice Secretary David Gauke said the tags will better protect victims of domestic abuse or stalking. The new GPS tags are already being used in some…

Is there a suicide crisis for British veterans?

Military charities say they are not coping with the increased demand for mental health support. Campaigners estimate that last year, at least 58 veterans took their own lives. The Ministry of Defence spends £22 million pounds a year on mental health for veterans, while the NHS has dedicated around £6m annually since 2016. Reporter: Jonathan Beale, Production, filming, editing: Claire Read. If you’re affected by emotional distress, click here for help and support, or wider information is available via the BBC Action Line. Source: BBC

‘Killer car seats’ sold online for £8

Children’s car seats, dubbed « killers » by trading standards officers, have repeatedly appeared for sale on online marketplaces, Which? has warned. The consumer group said the fabric seats, which can cost as little as £8, offered almost no protection in a crash and were illegal to use in the UK. The online sites – Amazon, eBay and AliExpress – all said they had removed the seats from sale. But Which? said the listings should have been deleted quicker. Crash tests Which? said the seats had been described online as…

Mexican actor apologizes for racial slur against ‘Roma’ actress

Mexican actor Yalitza Aparicio, who is nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for « Roma, » poses for a portrait in West Hollywood, California, U.S., February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican soap opera star apologized on Friday for using a racial slur to describe actress Yalitza Aparicio, whose performance in the critically acclaimed film “Roma” made her the first indigenous woman to be nominated for a best actress Oscar. Video footage surfaced on Twitter on Friday in which actor Sergio Goyri, 60, can be heard…

Mexico to inject $3.9 billion in Pemex, seeks to prevent credit downgrade

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will inject $3.9 billion into ailing state oil company Pemex, officials said on Friday, promising to strengthen its finances and prevent a further credit downgrade, although investors saw the plan as only a short-term fix. FILE PHOTO: A digital LED price sign of state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) shows their gasoline prices at a gas station in Monterrey, Mexico, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File PhotoFalling oil output, corruption and high labor costs have contributed to the decline of the company that was once a symbol…

Analyst View: Investors divided over Mexico’s bailout of state oil company

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Mexican government promised on Friday to do what it takes to strengthen the finances of ailing state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos with an injection of at least $3.6 billion to prevent a further credit downgrade. FILE PHOTO: Clients get fuel at a gas station of state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Luis GonzalezInvestors were divided over whether the plan, which includes previously announced measures as well as tax cuts and refinancing some of the firm’s roughly $106 billion…

Aurora shooting: Five dead in Illinois workplace attack

Media playback is unsupported on your device Five people have been killed and several others injured after a gunman opened fire at an industrial park in Illinois, police say. The gunman was also killed, a police spokeswoman said. She added that the five officers had been hit by gunfire. The attack on Friday took place in Aurora, a suburb about 40 miles (65km) west of Chicago. It comes a day after the first anniversary of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead. Police reported an « active…

Cramer: Why investors can trust that Nvidia’s stock is bottoming

Investors can trust that Nvidia’s stock has bottomed following its upbeat earnings report for a few key reasons, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Friday after the chipmaker’s shares gained 1.82 percent. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The first is CEO Jensen Huang’s own outlook for his industry, which he put quite simply on the post-earnings conference call: « The world needs more computing. » « That simple statement is the main reason why I believe Nvidia can ultimately turn things around, » Cramer said on « Mad Money. » Following…

Oscar organizers scrap plan to award four Oscars in commercial breaks

An Oscar statue is seen during a media preview of this year’s Academy’s Governors Ball in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniLOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The organizers of the Oscars ceremony on Friday scrapped a plan to award four Academy Awards during commercial breaks in the Feb. 24 telecast, following an uproar by Hollywood filmmakers, actors and others. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said in a statement that it had “heard the feedback” from members and that all 24 Academy awards “will be presented without…

New York’s image is ‘a bit tarnished’ after Amazon exit, says business group CEO

When it comes to luring business to New York, the city may take a hit after Amazon announced it was ditching its plans to build half of its East Coast headquarters there, the head of a local business group told CNBC on Friday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « New York’s image as a place to do business is a bit tarnished and there’s uncertainty in the minds of business, which they don’t like, about whether or not they will locate here, » said Kathryn Wylde, CEO of Partnership…

Gunman opens fire at Illinois plant, at least one killed

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A gunman opened fire in an industrial building in Aurora, Illinois, on Friday, city and law enforcement officials said, killing at least one person and wounding several others before he was taken into custody. “We have an active shooter incident at 641 Archer Av. This is an active scene. Please avoid the area,” the Aurora Police Department said in a tweet shortly after 2 p.m. CST, adding that additional details would be forthcoming. The city of Aurora, which is roughly 50 miles (80.5 km) west of Chicago,…

Trump declares emergency for border wall, House panel launches probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval, an action Democrats vowed to challenge as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The Republican president’s move to circumvent Congress represented an escalation in his efforts to make good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge to build a wall to halt the flow into the country of illegal immigrants, who Trump says bring crime and drugs. Hours after Trump’s announcement, the Democratic-controlled House…

Apple buys AI voice startup that helps companies build Alexa and Google Assistant apps

Apple has acquired a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence startup called PullString that specializes in helping companies build conversational voice apps, according to a report from Axios. Pullstring was founded back in 2011 by former Pixar employees — its CEO, Oren Jacob, is Pixar’s former chief technology officer. Up until now, PullString was most well known within the tech industry as the software backbone behind voice systems for popular toys, like Mattell’s talking Hello Barbie doll. It’s not clear what Apple will be getting out of the deal, which is said…

Uber sues New York City over ruled that capped ride-hailing driver licenses

Uber sued New York City on Friday over the City Council’s vote last August to impose a year-long cap on new licenses for ride-hailing vehicles. Uber’s lawsuit seeks to reverse the cap and allow new licenses again. div > div.group > p:first-child »> New York’s cap was designed to limit the number of vehicles on the road, reducing congestion and helping taxi drivers, who say their livelihoods were hurt by the influx of ride-haling drivers in the city. It also allowed the state of New York to set a minimum…

Police arrest ‘potential suspects’ in alleged attack on ‘Empire’ actor

(Reuters) – Two Nigerian brothers have been arrested in connection with an alleged racist and homophobic assault on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago, the city’s police department said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Jussie Smollett performs a tribute to President’s Award recipient John Legend at the 47th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Mario AnzuoniAuthorities had previously said only that the pair, whose names have not been released, were persons of interest after they were recognized from surveillance camera footage taken in the area where Smollett said…

After strong 2019 start for U.S. stocks, trade verdict looms

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Optimism about a U.S.-China trade agreement has helped drive U.S. stocks to more than two-month highs, creating a make-or-break moment for Wall Street as a year-long clash between the world’s two largest economies comes to a head. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidInvestors are increasingly hopeful about a positive resolution as a March 1 deadline for trade talks nears. And if the United States and China reach a deal,…

After Auschwitz visit, Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism

MUNICH/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism on Friday, maintaining his harsh rhetoric against Tehran just a day he attacked European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic. After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, Pence said the Nazi death camp had made him more determined to confront Tehran, saying it was “breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe.” Iran’s ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000 to…

Epic CEO Judy Faulkner: We would never sell to Apple

Most CEOs would not balk at the idea of Apple buying their company. div > div.group > p:first-child »> But Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner is not like most CEOs. In January, CNBC’s Jim Cramer suggested that Apple should consider buying Epic, one of the largest private health IT companies in the world. The move would help Apple convince customers and investors that it’s serious about health care, as Epic sells its medical record software to many of the largest hospitals in America. But a buyer needs a seller, and…

Portrait of Brazilian revolutionary is a salvo in fight over history

BERLIN (Reuters) – The makers of “Marighella”, a film about a left-wing revolutionary murdered by Brazil’s 1960s military dictatorship, hope their film will help counter a version of the country’s history that they see far-right President Jair Bolsonaro as propagating. Director and screenwriter Wagner Moura and actors Bella Camero, Seu Jorge and Bruno Gagliasso arrive for the screening of the movie « Marighella » at the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal HanschkeThe drama was shot before last year’s presidential election, but director Wagner…