News

Officials: Afghan IS Leader Killed in Drone Strike

Ayaz Gul ISLAMABAD—Officials in eastern Afghanistan say a drone strike Thursday killed Islamic State’s top commander in the area, which the militants call Khorasan, along with at least 11 other insurgents. The missile attack by the unmanned aircraft occurred in Achin, a volatile district in a remote part of Nangarhar province, where IS is believed to have set up its headquarters. military officials in Kabul confirmed an airstrike was launched in that area Thursday, but said they were unable to determine whether Islamic State's local commander, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was among the casualties. A spokesman (Attaullah Khogyani) for the Nangarhar…
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US News

Venezuelan Businessman to Be Transferred to US in Corruption Case

Reuters MIAMI —A judge in Miami on Thursday ordered the transfer to Texas of a Venezuelan businessman accused by prosecutors of taking part in a $1 billionconspiracy to pay bribes to obtain contracts from Venezuela's state oil company. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton deferred to a federal judge in Houston on whether Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas, who has been charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspiring to launder money, should be released on bail. "It would be the Texas judge who would make that decision," she said. A lawyer for Shiera, Daniel Fetterman, declined comment. The lawyer has…
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Politics

US Republican Governor’s Comments Incite Firestorm — Within Her Part

  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley this week called for more civility in the conduct of her party's raucous Republican presidential nomination contest, but her plea so far has only served to inflame tensions among the party's warring factions. Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was selected by leading Republican lawmakers in Washington to deliver the party's rebuttal to Democratic President Barack Obama's seventh and final State of the Union address Tuesday. In part, Obama chided — although not by name — the leading Republican presidential contender, billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump, for his calls to keep Muslims from…
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World News

Israeli Left-, Right-Wing at War Over NGO Transparency Bill

Cecily Hilleary WASHINGTON—Israeli political factions are engaged in a heated battle over a pending bill which, if enacted, would require NGOs that receive at least half of their funds from foreign governments to publicly identify themselves and their majority donors in all communications with public or elected officials. NGO’s are non-government organizations that operate on a nonprofit basis. They may be funded by governments, foundations, businesses or private individuals.  “The Israeli government view is whoever seeks to influence the policy of its members of parliament in the name of a foreign country’s money is no better and no worse than…
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World News

Turkey: 200 IS Fighters Killed in Retaliation for Istanbul Attack

Ken Bredemeier Turkey claimed Thursday that it has killed 200 Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq in retaliation for the suicide bomb attack that killed 10 German tourists in Istanbul two days ago. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkish forces hit 500 Islamic State targets with artillery and tank fire along its border with Syria and near a Turkish camp in northern Iraq.  He said the attacks had been carried out within the last 48 hours. Davutoglu told a conference of Turkish ambassadors in Ankara that if necessary, Turkey would also launch air attacks against the insurgents and maintain…
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World News

Italian Police Arrest Suspect in Murder of Florida Woman

VOA News Italian police in Florence arrested a Senegalese immigrant on suspicion of the murder of an American woman found dead in her apartment last week. Speaking to reporters Thursday in Florence, Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Creazzo said that “decisive” DNA analysis of a condom and cigarette butt led Italian authorities to arrest Cheik Tidiane Diaw, 27, Wednesday in the death of Florida-born Ashley Olsen, 35. Creazzo said that the autopsy revealed that Olsen was killed by strangulation, but also had two scull fractures that would have been sufficient to cause her death. FILE - Ashley Olsen is seen in an…
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US News

3 Powerball Winners to Split $1.6 Billion US Lottery Jackpot

The western state of California and the southeastern states of Tennessee and Florida all have winners who will split the record-breaking Powerball lottery with a jackpot of $ billion. A spokesman for the California lottery, Alex Traverso, said late Wednesday a winning ticket had been purchased in Chino Hills, a modest suburb of Los Angeles.  Winning tickets were also sold in Munford, Tennessee and in Melbourne Beach, Florida.  No winners have stepped forward yet. The winning numbers were 4, 8, 19, 27 and 34, with 10 as the Powerball.  The odds of a winning ticket were estimated at one in…
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Entertainment

Inarritu: ‘The Revenant’ an ‘Homage to Great Filmmaking

Reuters LONDON—With its savage landscapes and tough filming conditions, survival drama "The Revenant" is an "homage to great filmmaking", Academy Award-winning Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu by real events, "The Revenant" tells the story of fur trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), who on an expedition in the 1820s was mauled by a bear and left for dead by his team. He survives and sets out to exact revenge on those who abandoned him. To give the film an authentic feel, Inarritu, who last year won the best director and best picture Oscars for "Birdman", cut back on special effects, using…
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Entertainment

Top 5 Songs for Week Ending Jan. 16

Ray McDonald We’re counting down the five most popular songs in theBillboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart, for the week ending January 16, 2016. If we wanted to, we could just recycle last week’s story, because absolutely nothing changes in the Top Five. Number 5: Justin Bieber "What Do You Mean?" In fifth place, Justin Bieber holds with “What Do You Mean?” When he’s not making hits, clubbing, or vacationing with models, what does he do for fun? Well, last week he was photographed taking tennis lessons in Los Angeles, concentrating on his forehand. Bieber’s a good athlete: he plays…
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Entertainment

‘The Revenant’, ‘The Martian’, Among Top Oscar Nominees

Mike O'Sullivan LOS ANGELES—The survival epic The Revenant  and the science fiction tale The Martian are among the top nominees for this year's Academy Awards, or Oscars, announced early Thursday in Beverly Hills, California. The two films are among the eight nominated for best motion picture, which also include Mad Max: Fury Road, the latest installment of the Australian post-apocalyptic drama, and Bridge of Spies, based on a true tale of Cold War espionage. Contenders for best actor include Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, Matt Damon for The Martian, Bryan Cranston for the Hollywood drama Trumbo, and Eddie Redmayne, who…
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