Iraq Could Become An Arena For US-Iran Armed Conflict
2019-05-17 22:02:57 UTC
BAGHDAD (AP) — When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you’re not going to stand with us, stand aside.
The message, relayed to The Associated Press by two Iraqi government officials, underscores Iraq’s delicate position: Its government is allied with both sides of an increasingly contentious confrontation.
As tensions escalate, there are concerns that Baghdad could once again get caught in the middle, just as it is on the path to recovery. The country hosts more than 5,000 U.S. troops, and is home to po...
Trump Says Some Auto Imports Threaten National Security
2019-05-17 20:40:13 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US President Donald Trump declared that some imported vehicles and parts pose a national security threat but delayed a decision for as long as six months on whether to impose tariffs to allow for more time for trade talks with the European Union and Japan.
The unprecedented designation of foreign vehicles imported to the United States from some of its closest allies sparked anger from automakers, dealers and foreign governments after a White House document hinted it would seek voluntary export quotas on autos from U.S. trading partners.
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said on Twitter that “we com...
US Federal Appeals Court: Trump Administration Violated Federal Law
2019-05-17 20:13:17 UTC
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court ruled Friday the Trump administration acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it sought to end an Obama-era program that shields young immigrants from deportation.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that the Trump administration violated federal law when it tried to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program without adequately explaining why. The ruling overturns a lower court ruling a judge in Maryland made last year, which Trump had previously praised via Twitter.
Friday’s ruling will not have any immediate effect as other fed...
Dutchman Travels Across 33 Countries on Electric Car
2019-04-18 22:49:36 UTC
Dutchman Wiebe Wakker on Sunday ended a 95,000 kilometer (59,000 mile) electric car journey that he hoped would show the world the viability of such vehicles.
Wakker arrived in the eastern Australian city of Sydney after driving his retrofitted station wagon nicknamed "The Blue Bandit" across 33 countries including Turkey, Iran, India, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, with the route determined by the offers he received on his website.
The trip started in the Netherlands and took just over three years. It was funded by public donations from around the globe, including electricity to charge the "Bandit," food and accommodation.
Mueller Report Does Not Exonerate Trump
2019-04-18 22:20:34 UTC
By Sarah N. Lynch and Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election described in extensive and sometimes unflattering detail how President Donald Trump tried to impede the probe, raising questions about whether he committed the crime of obstruction of justice.
Thursday’s release of the 448-page report after a 22-month investigation was a watershed moment in Trump’s tumultuous presidency and inflamed partisan passions ahead of his 2020 re-election bid in a deeply divided country.
Democrats said the report contained disturbing evidence of wron...
Oil Prices Continue to Rise Amid OPEC-Led Supply Cuts
2019-04-02 21:38:57 UTC
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices on Tuesday hit their highest level so far in 2019, with Brent crude approaching $70 a barrel, on the prospect that more sanctions against Iran and further Venezuelan disruptions could deepen an OPEC-led supply cut.
Brent futures reached a session peak at $69.52 a barrel, the highest since Nov. 13. The global benchmark rose 36 cents, or 0.52 percent, to settle at $69.37 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 99 cents, or 1.61 percent, to settle at $62.58 a barrel, after touching $62.75, its highest level since Nov. 7.
The United States is considering more sanctions against Iran, the ...
US Attorney General will Mueller report by mid-April
2019-03-29 20:26:01 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General William Barr plans to issue a redacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly 400-page investigative report into Russian interference in the 2016 election by mid-April, he said in a letter to lawmakers on Friday.
“Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own,” Barr wrote in the letter to the top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Judiciary committees.
He said he is willing to appear before both committees to testify about Mueller’s report on May 1 and May 2.
Mueller completed his 22-month investigation probe into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign co...
U.S. Judge Approves Bankruptcy Loan for PG&E
2019-03-27 18:31:51 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Bankrupt California power provider PG&E Corp won court approval on Wednesday for a $5.5 billion loan to help maintain electricity and natural gas delivery and for investments to reduce the risk of wildfires as it reorganizes.
San Francisco-based PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January in the aftermath of devastating wildfires that struck California in recent years, some linked or suspected to be linked to the company’s equipment.
Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco approved the debtor-in-possession loan over objections of a committee representing victims of w...
May Promises to Resign if Brexit Deal Passes
2019-03-27 18:09:57 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she would quit if her twice-defeated EU divorce deal passes at the third attempt, making a last-ditch bid to persuade rebels in her Conservative party to back her.
May told a meeting of Conservative lawmakers she would stand down if her divorce plan finally got through a bitterly-divided parliament, to ensure a smooth path for a new leader to begin the next step of negotiating the future relationship with the European Union.
“I have heard very clearly the mood of the parliamentary party,” May said. “I know there is a desire for a new approach – and new leadership...
Chinese Company to Sell Popular Dating App Grindr
2019-03-27 17:54:06 UTC
(Reuters) - Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd is seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has informed Kunlun that its ownership of West Hollywood, California-based Grindr constitutes a national security risk, the two sources said.
CFIUS’ specific concerns and whether any attempt was made to mitigate them could not be learned. The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app deve...
Wall Street Bogged Down by Global Growth Worries
2019-03-27 17:53:13 UTC
(Reuters) - Fears of a global economic slowdown weighed on Wall Street’s main indexes on Wednesday, and along with a prolonged inversion in the U.S. yield curve kept investors at bay.
Apple Inc was a bright spot, rising 1.23 percent after three straight days of losses.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields slid on Wednesday, but came off 15-month lows reached overnight as investors remained focused on central bank dovishness globally. The inversion, if it persists, could indicate that a recession is likely in one to two years. [US/]
U.S. stocks have been hit by worries of slowing global economic growth since last week following do...
EU: Italy Poses A Threat to Other Euro Zone Countries
2019-02-27 20:27:14 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italy is facing excessive economic imbalances and the policies of its government are making matters worse, posing a threat to other euro zone countries, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
However, the EU executive arm, whose job is to analyze the economic performance of each of the EU’s 28 countries and warn of trouble ahead, said it would wait until it receives Italy’s reform program in April before taking action.
“Italy is experiencing excessive imbalances. High government debt and protracted weak productivity dynamics imply risks with cross-border relevance, in a context of still high level of non-perf...
Scientists' evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard'
2019-02-25 18:33:18 UTC
OSLO (Reuters) - Evidence for man-made global warming has reached a “gold standard” level of certainty, adding pressure for cuts in greenhouse gases to limit rising temperatures, scientists said on Monday.
“Humanity cannot afford to ignore such clear signals,” the U.S.-led team wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change of satellite measurements of rising temperatures over the past 40 years.
They said confidence that human activities were raising the heat at the Earth’s surface had reached a “five-sigma” level, a statistical gauge meaning there is only a one-in-a-million chance that the signal would appear if there was no warming.
Russian TV sends warning to US: We're able to hit you "in less than five minutes"
2019-02-25 18:18:17 UTC
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.
The targets included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.
The report, unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV, was broadcast on Sunday evening, days after President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was militarily ready for a “Cuban Missile”-style crisis if the United States wanted one.
With tensions rising over Russian fears that the ...
The segregation-era road-trip drama “Green Book” wins best picture at Oscars
2019-02-25 04:57:11 UTC
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The segregation-era road-trip drama “Green Book” was crowned best picture at the Academy Awards, handing Hollywood’s top award to a film seen as a feel-good throwback to some but ridiculed as an outdated inversion of “Driving Miss Daisy” by others.
In a year where Hollywood could have made history by bestowing best-picture on Netflix (“Roma”) or Marvel (“Black Panther”) for the first time, the motion picture academy instead threw its fullest support behind a traditional interracial buddy tale that proved as popular as it was divisive. But Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” weathered criticism that it was retrograde and ina...
Netanyahu faces backlash for far-right alliance
2019-02-24 17:22:42 UTC
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has touched off rare criticism from AIPAC, the largest U.S. pro-Israel lobby, over an election alliance with a far-right party loyal to the policies of the late anti-Arab rabbi, Meir Kahane.
Faced with a new merger of centrist parties that opinion polls show might defeat him, Netanyahu engineered the deal between Jewish Power and another <a
href="https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-how-netanyahu-rehabilitated-jewish-supremacism-1.6962310"><strong><I>ultranationalist faction</I></strong></a>, Jewish Home, on Wednesday.
Polls suggest that without the alliance one or both...
Pope Francis declares “all-out battle” against sexual abuse
2019-02-24 16:59:12 UTC
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis ended his conference on the sexual abuse of children by clergy on Sunday by calling for an “all-out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth”.
In his closing address to the almost 200 Church leaders he had summoned to Rome, Francis said national guidelines on preventing and punishing abuse would be strengthened and the Church’s definition of minors in cases of possession by clergy of pornography would be raised from the current age of 14.
At least two Vatican officials have been convicted in recent years of possessing child pornography.
Shortly after the confer...
Buffett rebukes Trump for taking credit for US economic growth
2019-02-23 19:58:52 UTC
(Reuters) - Warren Buffett on Saturday appeared to fault U.S. President Donald Trump for taking too much credit for the nation’s economic growth, while acknowledging that market conditions are making it tough for his Berkshire Hathaway Inc to find more big companies to buy.
Buffett lamented these states of affairs in his widely read annual letter to Berkshire shareholders.
Accompanying the letter was more bad news, that sinking stock prices and a big writedown for the company’s Kraft Heinz Co investment fueled a $25.39 billion fourth-quarter net loss, and caused Berkshire to post its lowest annual profit since 2001.
But many of ...
Democrats pursue subpoenas on US migrant family separation policy
2019-02-23 19:35:34 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In what is likely to be their first public use of subpoena power since taking over the U.S. House of Representatives in January, Democrats were set to vote on Tuesday on subpoenaing documents on the Trump administration’s migrant family separation policy.
If approved, the subpoenas by the House Oversight Committee would show Democrats beginning to invoke the investigative clout they obtained when voters in November handed them majority control of the House and took it away from Republicans.
Democrats are initiating a series of investigations of President Donald Trump, his personal finances and business interest...
North Carolina: New election in undecided US House race
2019-02-21 22:04:16 UTC
(Reuters) - North Carolina’s elections board on Thursday unanimously ordered a new election for a U.S. House seat after officials said corruption surrounding absentee ballots tainted the results of last November’s vote.
The bipartisan board’s 5-0 decision came after Republican candidate Mark Harris requested a new vote, telling the panel that evidence of possible ballot fraud had undermined confidence in the election.
In the televised hearing, board members said “corruption” and the “absolute mess with the absentee ballots” had cast doubt on the fairness of the contest and voters deserved a fresh election.
Harris’ request for a ne...
Putin says Russia ready to place new nuclear missile near US territory
2019-02-21 21:52:11 UTC
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States wanted one and threatened to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near U.S. territorial waters.
The Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in 1962 when Moscow responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
More than five decades on, tensions are rising again over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, as a landmark Cold ...
Tesla to buy battery tech maker Maxwell Technologies for $218 million
2019-02-04 17:12:26 UTC
(Reuters) - Tesla Inc has agreed to buy energy storage company Maxwell Technologies Inc for $218 million in an all-stock deal that could help the electric car maker produce batteries that hold more energy and last longer at a time when it needs to cut costs and faces growing competition.
Tesla is rapidly increasing production of its Model 3 sedan and needs to lower the price to reach a broader customer base than its pure luxury vehicles.
Maxwell executives told investors in January that it had developed and patented a “dry electrode” technology that could significantly increase the driving range and reduce the cost of electric vehicl...
Sanders to Ask Why Drug, Once Free, Now Costs $375k
2019-02-04 16:47:41 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on Monday asking it to justify its decision to charge $375,000 annually for a medication that for years has been available to patients for free.
The drug, Firdapse, is used to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder, according to the letter, made available to Reuters by the senator’s office. The disorder affects about one in 100,000 people in the United States.
The government is intensifying its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry and rising prescription drug prices, a top voter concern and a priority...
Venezuela President Maduro Breaks Diplomatic Relations with US
2019-01-23 20:40:45 UTC
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he was breaking diplomatic relations with the United States, after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s interim president.
Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.
Reporting by Caracas Newsroom, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien
U.S. President: 'I Never Worked For Russia'
2019-01-14 22:43:31 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he never worked for Russia, his first direct denial after a media report that the FBI in 2017 investigated whether he acted against U.S. interests.
Trump also disputed a Washington Post report that he had concealed details about his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and confiscated his interpreter’s notes. Congressional Democrats raised the possibility of subpoenaing the translator.
The New York Times reported on Friday that the FBI opened the investigation after Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey raised concerns that the president posed a threat t...