tech

Twitter tests longer character limit

Twitter tests longer character limit

You may soon get to say a lot more on Twitter. The social media giant announced it is testing a longer character limit. The change will extend the current 140 characters to 280 for all languages except Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Users won’t see this change right away, though. Only a small percentage will be testing it at first, and according to the company, it is just a test and there is no guarantee this change will be available to everyone. Via Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider. ...

MIZUHO: Here's why Facebook has 'a realistic opportunity' to enter China in 2018

MIZUHO: Here's why Facebook has 'a realistic opportunity' to enter China in 2018

Facebook has a "realistic opportunity" to enter China in 2018, Mizuho analyst James Lee wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. Lee came to the conclusion after meeting "various industry contacts" in China during a recent trip. Facebook's recent appointment of an executive to manage relations with China will help the company "understand the regulatory requirement and negotiate Facebook's operating structure in China," said Lee in the note, a copy of which was obtained by Business Insider.

Fall games guide 2017: Your free time is history

Fall games guide 2017: Your free time is history

Hope you had a nice outdoorsy summer, because for the foreseeable future, you’re going to have a hard time leaving the living room. The fall video game season is just about underway, and the 2017 edition is keeping with tradition by slinging enough massive games your way to tax both your wallet and your eyesight. From Mario to Marvel, here’s what the next few months have in store. “Destiny 2”

Hate and violence around the globe? There’s an app for that.

Hate and violence around the globe? There’s an app for that.

The plague of “fake news” may be news to Facebook (FB), but it’s a familiar foe to a small non-profit in Washington that’s trying to use mobile apps, big data and social media to promote peace and accountability in places like Iraq, Kenya and Mexico where those technologies have often been abused to spread lies and hate. The PeaceTech Lab aims to develop “technology that can be applied to tackle the triggers of violence,” president and CEO Sheldon Himelfarb said in an interview at the lab’s Washington headquarters at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

The 5 best new features of this week's YouTube redesign

The 5 best new features of this week's YouTube redesign

This is a big week for YouTube. It’s getting a new design and new features—all of which have been in the works, carefully and methodically, for a very long time, and all of which, as far as I’m concerned, are welcome!

Fitbit's Ionic smartwatch is here to take on the Apple Watch

Fitbit's Ionic smartwatch is here to take on the Apple Watch

Fitbit’s all-new smartwatch is designed to do battle with the Apple Watch.It’s no secret that Fitbit (FIT) has been working on a smartwatch — Co-founder and CEO James Park said as much during the company’s Q2 2017 earnings call earlier this month. This is the Fitbit Ionic, the company’s first “true” smartwatch.

Google drops neo-Nazi site out of ‘immediate concern of inciting violence’

Google drops neo-Nazi site out of ‘immediate concern of inciting violence’

The Google logo is pictured atop an office building in Irvine, California, U.S., August 7, 2017. Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is cancelling the domain for the white supremacist site Daily Stormer due to a “specific, immediate concern about inciting violence,” a spokesperson told Yahoo Finance. The search-engine giant, which hosts website domains through its Google Domains service, made the decision to cut the cord to the hate site after GoDaddy (GDDY) told the Daily Stormer it had 24 hours to move to another domain hosting service.

Pogue's Basics: The secret Start menu in Windows 10

Pogue's Basics: The secret Start menu in Windows 10

Windows 10’s Start button harbors a secret: It can sprout a tiny utility menu. To see it, right-click the Start button in the lower-left corner of the screen, or (on a touchscreen) hold your finger down on it. There, in all its majesty, is the Start menu’s secret utility menu.

'Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle' might be the next big hit for Nintendo's Switch

'Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle' might be the next big hit for Nintendo's Switch

Nintendo’s Mario is teaming up with Ubisoft’s bizarre rabbids in a new game that might be your next favorite Switch title.Mario is coming to Nintendo’s (NTDOY) new Switch console, but he’s sharing the spotlight with some relative unknowns. Ubisoft’s “Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle” is a turn-based strategy-style game co-starring Ubisoft’s (UBSFF) own rabbids, cartoonish bugged-eyed rabbits.

Microsoft Surface Laptop review: A great notebook with one small flaw

Microsoft Surface Laptop review: A great notebook with one small flaw

The back-to-school shopping season is just around the corner, and Microsoft (MSFT) is hoping its new Surface Laptop will be the computer you or your child brings to the classroom. Starting at $999, the Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s attempt to fight back against the growing popularity of Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) low-cost Chromebooks and Apple’s (AAPL) own MacBook line. The Surface Laptop also marks the debut of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 S operating system, a more security- and performance-minded variant of Windows 10.

internet

Trump won’t discuss a pardon for Flynn – yet

Trump won’t discuss a pardon for Flynn – yet

With a single syllable in comments to reporters Friday morning, the president suggested he may have the last word in the matter of Michael Flynn. Trump also appeared to question the integrity of the FBI, even though he was on his way to a graduation at the bureau’s academy.

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

So, The FCC Repealed Net Neutrality. What Does That Mean For You?

So, The FCC Repealed Net Neutrality. What Does That Mean For You?

If you woke up with a chill in your bones and a faint sense of dread, it could be this: On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission decided to give internet service providers, like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, the power to meddle with your internet traffic.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Deadly California wildfire continues to grow

Deadly California wildfire continues to grow

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Calming winds Friday gave firefighters a chance to gain ground against a huge wildfire in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles but the blaze continued to surge west, endangering thousands of homes, as forecasts called for a renewal of gusty winds.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Doctor accused of killing girlfriend's unborn baby by spiking her drink with abortion pill

Doctor accused of killing girlfriend's unborn baby by spiking her drink with abortion pill

A doctor has been accused of spiking his girlfriend’s drink with an abortion pill to kill their unborn baby. Sikander Imran had moved from Rochester, New York, to Arlington, Virginia, for a new job when he discovered his on-off partner of three years, Brook Fiske, was pregnant. “He didn’t want to have a baby so he tried to talk me into having an abortion, which I didn’t want to do,” Ms Fiske told local Rochester TV station WROC.

Venezuela government, opposition hold new round of talks

Venezuela government, opposition hold new round of talks

Venezuela's government and opposition concluded a new round of talks Friday in an effort to bridge deep and entrenched differences to find a way to end the dire political and economic crisis tearing apart their country. After eight hours of discussions at the foreign ministry in Santo Domingo, the two sides agreed to resume negotiations on January 11, Dominican President Danilo Medina announced. It will be followed by a meeting of foreign ministers on January 12.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

German teenager says she was 'idiot' for joining Isil, in first interview since capture

German teenager says she was 'idiot' for joining Isil, in first interview since capture

A German teenage girl has said she was an “idiot” for joining Islamic State and the decision has wrecked her future, in her first interview since her arrest by Iraqi forces in Mosul.   Linda Wenzel, 17, claimed her escape was a “stupid idea” but showed little remorse in the first meeting with her family since she left her hometown of Pulsnitz in Saxony for Syria in July last year.  Linda was briefly reunited with her mother Katharina and sister Miriam, who were allowed to visit her at the Palace of Justice in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.  A video of the meeting shows Linda, who is currently being held in prison while she awaits trial, wearing a flowery headscarf sporting round cheeks. She appears hesitant at first and pauses for a few seconds before finally embracing her mother, who hands her a stuffed toy.  Linda embraces her mother in Baghdad Credit: Weltspeigel Extra She told her mother: “I do not know, how I came up with the stupid idea to go to the Islamic State. I have ruined my life.” Speaking about why she left home, she said there were problems with her family at that time. After deciding to convert to Islam she felt rejected by her parents and friends at school.  “You could have talked about it,” her mother told her daughter in the meeting. “I couldn’t talk to you,” Linda replied. “You said you didn’t accept that I had joined Islam." Linda's mother hands the teenager a stuffed toy Credit: Weltspiegel Extra  Linda said she then fell in love with a Chechen man online and he convinced her to travel to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s so-called caliphate in Syria.  She said she watched Isil videos, “which were so rosy – where men and their wives and children wandered together through parks … they baked bread together. It was like being in another world.” She travelled on her mother’s documents to Turkey. From there she says she was married to the man, whose full name she does not know. She called him Mohammed, but said: “I don’t know (his surname), something Chechen.” Linda Wenzel on the day she was capture in Mosul by Iraqi forces Credit: Social media The marriage was conducted in Turkey before Linda had even met her fiance. He was on the phone from Syria with a witness. She described the wedding as underwhelming: “There was so ceremony, no party,” she said.  She said she mostly cooked and cleaned the apartment for her new husband. “We didn’t talk much, he came home, then...yes, I cooked, always cooked, and cleaned the apartment,” she recalled.  She said spent most of the time with other women and helped look after their children, moving between the cities of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.  “Personally, I would not have been able to handle children,” she said. "I kept busy with myself. Trying not to go mad when you hear a bomb somewhere and the shrapnel falls on the roof. “Why did you come here, you idiot?” she asked herself.  Iraqi security forces film as they apprehend Linda Wenzel earlier this year in the Iraqi city of Mosul She lamented that none of the other women spoke German, which made it difficult to communicate.  Her husband was later killed in an air strike and she was left alone in a foreign land.  In January 2017 she sent a message to her mother saying: “My husband is dead because of you. Because you pay for the bombs here with your taxes.”  She called German intelligence “dogs” and praised the Berlin terror attacker Anis Amri, who carried out last year’s lorry attack on a Christmas market. Her case became known after she was photographed being dragged out of the ruins of Mosul by Iraqi security forces near the end of the battle to liberate the city in July. Iraqi security sources told the Telegraph Linda had been trained as a sniper and was found with a gun.  However, she claimed that while she was brainwashed by the jihadists, she never touched a weapon: “I don’t know how such a thing works”, she said.  Linda said she was an "idiot" for traveling to Syria to join Isil Credit: Weltspiegel Extra Next month, she will face trial in Baghdad, where she stands accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation. Iraqi authorities have so far refused to extradite her to Germany. “I've ruined my life with this. I can only recover from my physical injuries,” she said, referring to wounds caused by air strikes. “I’ve wrecked my future. In Germany everyone knows me, everyone knows what I look like, I can’t go anywhere without being recognised. I probably won’t even find a job and everyone will say, we will employ her anyway.” Now, she just wants to return with her family to Germany. “I'm done with Iraq,” she said. 

gadgets

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

The UN on Friday harshly criticised the mass-hanging of 38 men at a prison in southern Iraq this week, urging Baghdad to immediately halt all executions. Iraq on Thursday hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences at a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to provincial authorities. It was the largest number of executions in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump said Friday that he was not yet ruling out a pardon for his ousted National Security Adviser, instead saving his sharpest words for a speech at the FBI National Academy.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's senators approved legislation Friday that gives the government greater control of a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the move could put the country at risk of losing its EU voting rights.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight. After the launch, the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on land or on a floating ocean platform, as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer giant Unilever said Friday it had reached a 6.8-billion-euro ($8-billion) deal with US private equity giant KKR to sell its margarines business. Unilever "has received a binding offer from KKR to purchase its global spreads business for 6.825 billion euros on a cash-free, debt-free basis," the company said in a statement. After spurning a takeover by US rival Kraft Heinz earlier this year, Unilever announced in April it would spin-off its margarines, which include such brands as Flora, Blue Band and Rama, as part of a restructuring plan.

wireless

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

The UN on Friday harshly criticised the mass-hanging of 38 men at a prison in southern Iraq this week, urging Baghdad to immediately halt all executions. Iraq on Thursday hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences at a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to provincial authorities. It was the largest number of executions in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump said Friday that he was not yet ruling out a pardon for his ousted National Security Adviser, instead saving his sharpest words for a speech at the FBI National Academy.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's senators approved legislation Friday that gives the government greater control of a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the move could put the country at risk of losing its EU voting rights.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight. After the launch, the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on land or on a floating ocean platform, as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer giant Unilever said Friday it had reached a 6.8-billion-euro ($8-billion) deal with US private equity giant KKR to sell its margarines business. Unilever "has received a binding offer from KKR to purchase its global spreads business for 6.825 billion euros on a cash-free, debt-free basis," the company said in a statement. After spurning a takeover by US rival Kraft Heinz earlier this year, Unilever announced in April it would spin-off its margarines, which include such brands as Flora, Blue Band and Rama, as part of a restructuring plan.

apple-macintosh

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

The UN on Friday harshly criticised the mass-hanging of 38 men at a prison in southern Iraq this week, urging Baghdad to immediately halt all executions. Iraq on Thursday hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences at a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to provincial authorities. It was the largest number of executions in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump said Friday that he was not yet ruling out a pardon for his ousted National Security Adviser, instead saving his sharpest words for a speech at the FBI National Academy.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's senators approved legislation Friday that gives the government greater control of a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the move could put the country at risk of losing its EU voting rights.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight. After the launch, the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on land or on a floating ocean platform, as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer giant Unilever said Friday it had reached a 6.8-billion-euro ($8-billion) deal with US private equity giant KKR to sell its margarines business. Unilever "has received a binding offer from KKR to purchase its global spreads business for 6.825 billion euros on a cash-free, debt-free basis," the company said in a statement. After spurning a takeover by US rival Kraft Heinz earlier this year, Unilever announced in April it would spin-off its margarines, which include such brands as Flora, Blue Band and Rama, as part of a restructuring plan.

social-media

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

The UN on Friday harshly criticised the mass-hanging of 38 men at a prison in southern Iraq this week, urging Baghdad to immediately halt all executions. Iraq on Thursday hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences at a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to provincial authorities. It was the largest number of executions in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump said Friday that he was not yet ruling out a pardon for his ousted National Security Adviser, instead saving his sharpest words for a speech at the FBI National Academy.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's senators approved legislation Friday that gives the government greater control of a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the move could put the country at risk of losing its EU voting rights.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight. After the launch, the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on land or on a floating ocean platform, as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer giant Unilever said Friday it had reached a 6.8-billion-euro ($8-billion) deal with US private equity giant KKR to sell its margarines business. Unilever "has received a binding offer from KKR to purchase its global spreads business for 6.825 billion euros on a cash-free, debt-free basis," the company said in a statement. After spurning a takeover by US rival Kraft Heinz earlier this year, Unilever announced in April it would spin-off its margarines, which include such brands as Flora, Blue Band and Rama, as part of a restructuring plan.

security

Trump won’t discuss a pardon for Flynn – yet

Trump won’t discuss a pardon for Flynn – yet

With a single syllable in comments to reporters Friday morning, the president suggested he may have the last word in the matter of Michael Flynn. Trump also appeared to question the integrity of the FBI, even though he was on his way to a graduation at the bureau’s academy.

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

So, The FCC Repealed Net Neutrality. What Does That Mean For You?

So, The FCC Repealed Net Neutrality. What Does That Mean For You?

If you woke up with a chill in your bones and a faint sense of dread, it could be this: On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission decided to give internet service providers, like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, the power to meddle with your internet traffic.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Deadly California wildfire continues to grow

Deadly California wildfire continues to grow

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Calming winds Friday gave firefighters a chance to gain ground against a huge wildfire in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles but the blaze continued to surge west, endangering thousands of homes, as forecasts called for a renewal of gusty winds.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Doctor accused of killing girlfriend's unborn baby by spiking her drink with abortion pill

Doctor accused of killing girlfriend's unborn baby by spiking her drink with abortion pill

A doctor has been accused of spiking his girlfriend’s drink with an abortion pill to kill their unborn baby. Sikander Imran had moved from Rochester, New York, to Arlington, Virginia, for a new job when he discovered his on-off partner of three years, Brook Fiske, was pregnant. “He didn’t want to have a baby so he tried to talk me into having an abortion, which I didn’t want to do,” Ms Fiske told local Rochester TV station WROC.

Venezuela government, opposition hold new round of talks

Venezuela government, opposition hold new round of talks

Venezuela's government and opposition concluded a new round of talks Friday in an effort to bridge deep and entrenched differences to find a way to end the dire political and economic crisis tearing apart their country. After eight hours of discussions at the foreign ministry in Santo Domingo, the two sides agreed to resume negotiations on January 11, Dominican President Danilo Medina announced. It will be followed by a meeting of foreign ministers on January 12.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

German teenager says she was 'idiot' for joining Isil, in first interview since capture

German teenager says she was 'idiot' for joining Isil, in first interview since capture

A German teenage girl has said she was an “idiot” for joining Islamic State and the decision has wrecked her future, in her first interview since her arrest by Iraqi forces in Mosul.   Linda Wenzel, 17, claimed her escape was a “stupid idea” but showed little remorse in the first meeting with her family since she left her hometown of Pulsnitz in Saxony for Syria in July last year.  Linda was briefly reunited with her mother Katharina and sister Miriam, who were allowed to visit her at the Palace of Justice in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.  A video of the meeting shows Linda, who is currently being held in prison while she awaits trial, wearing a flowery headscarf sporting round cheeks. She appears hesitant at first and pauses for a few seconds before finally embracing her mother, who hands her a stuffed toy.  Linda embraces her mother in Baghdad Credit: Weltspeigel Extra She told her mother: “I do not know, how I came up with the stupid idea to go to the Islamic State. I have ruined my life.” Speaking about why she left home, she said there were problems with her family at that time. After deciding to convert to Islam she felt rejected by her parents and friends at school.  “You could have talked about it,” her mother told her daughter in the meeting. “I couldn’t talk to you,” Linda replied. “You said you didn’t accept that I had joined Islam." Linda's mother hands the teenager a stuffed toy Credit: Weltspiegel Extra  Linda said she then fell in love with a Chechen man online and he convinced her to travel to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s so-called caliphate in Syria.  She said she watched Isil videos, “which were so rosy – where men and their wives and children wandered together through parks … they baked bread together. It was like being in another world.” She travelled on her mother’s documents to Turkey. From there she says she was married to the man, whose full name she does not know. She called him Mohammed, but said: “I don’t know (his surname), something Chechen.” Linda Wenzel on the day she was capture in Mosul by Iraqi forces Credit: Social media The marriage was conducted in Turkey before Linda had even met her fiance. He was on the phone from Syria with a witness. She described the wedding as underwhelming: “There was so ceremony, no party,” she said.  She said she mostly cooked and cleaned the apartment for her new husband. “We didn’t talk much, he came home, then...yes, I cooked, always cooked, and cleaned the apartment,” she recalled.  She said spent most of the time with other women and helped look after their children, moving between the cities of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.  “Personally, I would not have been able to handle children,” she said. "I kept busy with myself. Trying not to go mad when you hear a bomb somewhere and the shrapnel falls on the roof. “Why did you come here, you idiot?” she asked herself.  Iraqi security forces film as they apprehend Linda Wenzel earlier this year in the Iraqi city of Mosul She lamented that none of the other women spoke German, which made it difficult to communicate.  Her husband was later killed in an air strike and she was left alone in a foreign land.  In January 2017 she sent a message to her mother saying: “My husband is dead because of you. Because you pay for the bombs here with your taxes.”  She called German intelligence “dogs” and praised the Berlin terror attacker Anis Amri, who carried out last year’s lorry attack on a Christmas market. Her case became known after she was photographed being dragged out of the ruins of Mosul by Iraqi security forces near the end of the battle to liberate the city in July. Iraqi security sources told the Telegraph Linda had been trained as a sniper and was found with a gun.  However, she claimed that while she was brainwashed by the jihadists, she never touched a weapon: “I don’t know how such a thing works”, she said.  Linda said she was an "idiot" for traveling to Syria to join Isil Credit: Weltspiegel Extra Next month, she will face trial in Baghdad, where she stands accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation. Iraqi authorities have so far refused to extradite her to Germany. “I've ruined my life with this. I can only recover from my physical injuries,” she said, referring to wounds caused by air strikes. “I’ve wrecked my future. In Germany everyone knows me, everyone knows what I look like, I can’t go anywhere without being recognised. I probably won’t even find a job and everyone will say, we will employ her anyway.” Now, she just wants to return with her family to Germany. “I'm done with Iraq,” she said. 

open-source

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

The UN on Friday harshly criticised the mass-hanging of 38 men at a prison in southern Iraq this week, urging Baghdad to immediately halt all executions. Iraq on Thursday hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences at a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to provincial authorities. It was the largest number of executions in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump said Friday that he was not yet ruling out a pardon for his ousted National Security Adviser, instead saving his sharpest words for a speech at the FBI National Academy.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's senators approved legislation Friday that gives the government greater control of a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the move could put the country at risk of losing its EU voting rights.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight. After the launch, the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on land or on a floating ocean platform, as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer giant Unilever said Friday it had reached a 6.8-billion-euro ($8-billion) deal with US private equity giant KKR to sell its margarines business. Unilever "has received a binding offer from KKR to purchase its global spreads business for 6.825 billion euros on a cash-free, debt-free basis," the company said in a statement. After spurning a takeover by US rival Kraft Heinz earlier this year, Unilever announced in April it would spin-off its margarines, which include such brands as Flora, Blue Band and Rama, as part of a restructuring plan.

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Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian billionaire couple found dead in their home

Canadian police are investigating the mysterious deaths of Barry Sherman, founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc, and his wife, Honey, one of the nation's wealthiest couples whose bodies were found in their mansion on Friday.

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

The best days to get Your Last-Minute Gifts

Consumer spending in November was more than double what was expected, but it was a tumultuous year in retail, so companies are tacking on last-minute deals to end the season on a high note.

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

UN 'shocked and appalled' at mass-execution in Iraq

The UN on Friday harshly criticised the mass-hanging of 38 men at a prison in southern Iraq this week, urging Baghdad to immediately halt all executions. Iraq on Thursday hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda for terrorism offences at a prison in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to provincial authorities. It was the largest number of executions in Iraq on a single day since September 25, when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Roy Moore has a Jewish lawyer, so...

Rachel Maddow shares video of an odd boast by Roy Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, that couple employs a Jewish lawyer, so accusations that they are anti-Semites could not be true.

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Tips on Tipping This Holiday Season

Who should you tip and how much should you give during the holidays? Those are questions consumers grapple with every year, and there’s no clear-cut answer. But there are guidelines, depending on...

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

Are the U.S. Marines Dying?

The U.S. Marine Corps is arguably the best amphibious-warfare force in the world. The issue is that relentless overseas commitments have strained marine resources so badly that it can’t conduct the other training that it needs to maintain its combat edge. A review of readiness data from 2014 to 2016 revealed that “Marine Corps units were unable to fully accomplish training for other amphibious operations priorities,” according to the GAO report.

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

South Africa's ANC aims to announce new leader on Sunday

By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) expects to announce Jacob Zuma's successor as party leader on Sunday, a spokesman said, concluding a bruising leadership battle that threatens to tear it apart before a 2019 election. The race between Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former cabinet minister and ex-wife of President Zuma, the two frontrunners to replace Zuma, is too close to call. The stakes are high because the ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the party's top job is likely to become the next president of South Africa after the next national election.

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

6.5 magnitude quake strikes Indonesia's Java island

A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's main island of Java late Friday, leaving at least one person dead and rattling nerves in the capital Jakarta. There was no immediate indication of a tsunami, but authorities said they had issued a warning following the tremor, which struck a coastal region some 300 kilometres (190 miles) from the capital. National disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a 62-year-old had died in the Ciamis region in West Java after becoming trapped in a collapsed house.

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

Trump doesn't rule out Pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump said Friday that he was not yet ruling out a pardon for his ousted National Security Adviser, instead saving his sharpest words for a speech at the FBI National Academy.

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Fox News Women Furious Over Rupert Murdoch Comments On Sexual Misconduct

Current and former female Fox News employees say they are stunned, disgusted and “hungry for justice” after media mogul Rupert Murdoch on Thursday dismissed allegations of sexual misconduct at the network as “nonsense” outside of a few “isolated incidents” with former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes.

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

Poland's senators defy EU warnings, approve judicial laws

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's senators approved legislation Friday that gives the government greater control of a top court and a key judicial body despite warnings from European Union leaders that the move could put the country at risk of losing its EU voting rights.

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX shares derail after CEO takes unexpected medical leave

CSX Corp shares skidded as much as 10 percent on Friday, wiping out $4 billion in market value, as the No. 3 U.S. railroad by revenue sought to assure investors its turnaround would progress despite the unexpected medical leave of its chief executive officer. CSX stock, which has soared nearly 60 percent this year, tumbled 7.3 percent to $53.11 in midafternoon trading after earlier falling as low as $51.63. Most of the gains came after Hunter Harrison, 73, who led turnarounds of two Canadian railroads, was hired as CEO in March in a push by activist investor Paul Hilal.

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

Islamic State: What happened to all the foreign fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014. How many have gone elsewhere to fight?" said Seth Jones, director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at the Rand Corporation. International counterterror groups are putting huge efforts into answering those questions, working hard to name, count and track IS foreign fighters.

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

Pentagon fears dangers of 'risky flying' by Russian pilots in Syria

  The Pentagon is voicing growing alarm that the risky flying of Russian pilots in Syria could lead to a mishap – or even the nightmare scenario of a US jet shooting down a Russian warplane. Defense officials this week highlighted several recent close calls with Russian planes, including one Wednesday, when a pair of US F-22s intercepted two Russian jets over a part of Syria in which the Pentagon says they are not meant to be operating. The uptick in incidents comes as remaining operations by the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria have shrunk down to an area of only about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) around Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, by the Iraq border. Coalition forces are giving air support to local Kurd and Syrian Arab partner troops on the ground as they root out remaining IS fighters east of the Euphrates River. Under a verbal agreement, the Russians, who support President Bashar al-Assad, are supposed to stay to the west. FAQ | Russian strikes in Syria Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, an Air Force spokesman in the Middle East, outlined a string of instances where Russian fighter jets flew east of the Euphrates without notifying the coalition. On November 15, two US A-10 Warthog ground-attack planes nearly collided head on with a Russian Su-24 Fencer that passed within only 300 feet (90 meters) of the American planes – a mere whisker in aviation terms. One A-10 pilot had to "aggressively execute a defensive maneuver to avoid a midair collision," Pickart said in an email to AFP. Then on November 17, two F-22s intercepted an armed Russian Su-24 that flew over coalition and partner forces three times and failed to respond to radio call. "The F-22s intercepted this pilot and were in a position to fire," Pickart said. "Luckily our pilots showed restraint, but given the actions of the Su-24 aircraft could have reasonably been interpreted as threatening to US forces, our pilots would have been well within our rights to engage." Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said it was not clear if the incidents were a mistake due to inexperience, or the product of boisterous young pilots "dangerously feeling their oats." Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Credit: Matthias Schrader /AP "I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t expect dangerous maneuvers either and so we’ll sort this out," Mattis told Pentagon reporters Friday. "Right now, I cannot tell you if it’s sloppy airmanship, rambunctious pilots or people who are trying to do something that is very unwise." Since Moscow entered the Syria war in late 2015, Russia and the United States have been using a special "deconfliction" hotline to communicate about operations occurring in similar locations. Officials use the line constantly. A shootdown of a Russian jet, or a midair collision, could suddenly and dramatically shift the stakes in the knotted Syria conflict and open the door to a retaliatory measures by the Russians. "The coalition’s greatest concern is that we could shoot down a Russian aircraft because its actions are seen as a threat to our air or ground forces," Pickart said. "We are not here to fight the Russians and Syrians – our focus remains on defeating ISIS. That said, if anyone threatens coalition or friendly partner forces in the air or on the ground, we will defend them." At one point during Wednesday’s incident, the US F-22 Raptor stealth fighters deployed chaff and flares to convince the Russian Su-25s to leave the area, and one US pilot had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon said. During and following the encounter, coalition leaders contacted Russian officers on a special hotline to try to calm the situation and avert a "strategic miscalculation," Pahon said. More than 340,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the Syrian war, and millions have been displaced.  

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

Australian probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian inquiry into child abuse recommended Friday that the Catholic Church lift its demand of celibacy from clergy and that priests be prosecuted for failing to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional.

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

Palestinian billionaire Masri detained in Saudi Arabia: sources

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Sabih al-Masri, Jordan's most influential businessman and the chairman of its largest lender Arab Bank, was detained in Saudi Arabia for questioning after a business trip to Riyadh, family sources and friends said on Saturday. Masri's detention, which follows the biggest purge of the Saudi kingdom's affluent elite in its modern history, has sent shockwaves through business circles in Jordan and the Palestinian territories, where the billionaire has major investments. A Saudi citizen of Palestinian origin, Masri was detained last Tuesday hours before he was planning to leave after he chaired meetings of companies he owns, according to the sources.

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

In first, SpaceX launches recycled rocket and spaceship

For the first time, SpaceX on Friday blasted off both a rocket and a cargo ship that have flown before, a step forward in the company's goal to lower the cost of spaceflight. After the launch, the California-based company headed by Internet tycoon Elon Musk landed its rocket booster upright on solid ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX has now managed to return 20 of its rocket boosters after launch, whether on land or on a floating ocean platform, as part of its effort to re-use instead of jettison costly components.

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

U.S. judge to lift house arrest for former Trump campaign manager Manafort

By Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court judge on Friday said she would release former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from house arrest once he meets certain conditions, expressing satisfaction that the $10 million he agreed to forfeit would be available if he ever failed to appear for court proceedings. In her order, Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to be released from home confinement, Manafort must execute documents agreeing to forfeit four properties, including two in New York, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and his Florida home. Manafort is charged with conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent working on behalf of the government of Ukraine's former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Unilever selling margarines for 6.8 bn euros to US giant KKR

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer giant Unilever said Friday it had reached a 6.8-billion-euro ($8-billion) deal with US private equity giant KKR to sell its margarines business. Unilever "has received a binding offer from KKR to purchase its global spreads business for 6.825 billion euros on a cash-free, debt-free basis," the company said in a statement. After spurning a takeover by US rival Kraft Heinz earlier this year, Unilever announced in April it would spin-off its margarines, which include such brands as Flora, Blue Band and Rama, as part of a restructuring plan.