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- Donald Trump On Potential Michael Flynn Pardon: 'We'll See What Happens'
- Former press secretary shares heartbreaking memory of how Obama broke down over Sandy Hook shooting
On the fifth anniversary of the deadly massacre that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School, former President Barack Obama's press secretary took to social media to remember the aftermath of the attack.
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- One of Kim Jong Un’s top generals has Vanished
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- "President Trump's Lies: The Definitive List"
The New York Times used a narrow definition of "lie" that discarded many of Trump's falsehoods and still found 103 in 10 months. Under the same rules, Obama had just 18. NYT's David Leonhardt explains why Trump has trouble with the truth.
- 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.
- 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.
- This Couple Lost 8 Family Members in the Texas Church Massacre. But They’re Still Finding Joy at Christmas
- GOP Sen. Kennedy: Trump's nominee should have been able to answer my questions
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy said that he has supported nearly every one of President Trump’s picks, but that he doesn’t support them blindly: “I ask questions that I expect them to be able to answer. In doing so, I’m just doing my job.”
- 2 Key Republican Holdouts Are Now Backing The Tax Bill
WASHINGTON ― After months of hemming and hawing ― over debt, over procedural concerns, and over who benefits most from certain provisions ― Senate Republicans appear to be headed toward easy passage of a compromise tax bill next week, with remaining GOP holdouts folding on Friday for hardly any reason at all.
- Prominent 9th Circuit judge faces sex misconduct inquiry
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Thursday that he has opened a misconduct inquiry into a judge accused of inappropriate sexual conduct and comments by six women.
- Trump Speaks At FBI Graduation After Trashing Bureau's 'Worst In History' Reputation
President Donald Trump on Friday told graduates of an FBI training program in Quantico, Virginia, he’s a “loyal champion” of police, days after he attacked the bureau and claimed its “reputation is in tatters.”
- 6 Parents Of Sandy Hook Shooting Victims On Moving Forward After Unspeakable Loss
- 2-Year-Old Steals Baby Jesus From Manger During Nativity Pageant
- 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.
- The Best Cars For 2018
- Grand Jury Slams Penn State for 'Rampant and Pervasive' Fraternity Hazing After Tim Piazza's Death
- Battle lines drawn for South Africa's ANC on eve of leadership vote
By Alexander Winning and Mfuneko Toyana JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's ruler since the end of apartheid, faces perhaps the most pivotal few days in its recent history when it meets over the weekend to choose a successor to Jacob Zuma as party leader. The ANC's electoral dominance means whoever wins the job is likely to become South Africa's next president. Economic growth in Africa's traditional powerhouse has been lethargic over the last six years and the jobless rate stands near record levels.
- Nikki Haley Slams Iran’s Role In Yemen War, Neglects To Mention U.S. Part In Humanitarian Crisis
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, stood before missile remnants that she claimed were covered in Iranian “fingerprints” on Thursday while laying out what she called “irrefutable evidence” that Tehran has violated its international obligations by militarily supporting rebels in Yemen.
- China Is Still Building on Disputed Islands in the South China Sea
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- Indian minister warns Bollywood heavyweights over sexual exploitation
In a rare rebuke, an Indian minister on Thursday warned the country’s Bollywood film industry to comply with strict measures to combat sexual harassment, following the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Maneka Gandhi, India’s federal Minister for Women and Child Development, took the unusual step of writing to 24 powerful Bollywood film producers, demanding they comply with Indian sexual harassment legislation to ensure a "safe, secure and inclusive work environment” for all employees. The letter was sent to major industry players, such as actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, as well as director Karan Johar. “The aim of this law is to ensure that no woman is sexually harassed at her workplace,” Ms Gandhi said in her letter. "It is to be followed in letter and spirit by all organisations in the country," she added. "Bollywood filmmakers are ethically and legally accountable for the safety of not only their direct employees but of all outsourced and temporary staff as well." Britain's Prince William shakes hands with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan Credit: REUTERS/Rafiq Maqbool/Pool It is understood that more letters will be sent to other film producers. Bollywood remains hugely male dominated, with men making up the vast majority of directors and veteran stars. The small handful of female directors are mostly confined to regional cinema. After the Weinstein allegations broke, people in the film business in India were unconvinced they would have a #MeToo moment. "What can we do?" Mukesh Bhatt, who co-heads production house Vishesh Films said. “We cannot keep moral cops outside every film office to see that no girl is being exploited.” Alankrita Shrivastava, director of critically acclaimed film Lipstick Under my Burkha said a women's protest movement was unlikely to happen in conservative Indian society. “The way men are being called out in Hollywood right now, I don’t know if it can happen in India.” “In terms of how our psychology is, how patriarchy functions, it is much more entrenched,” she added. However, Ms Gandhi's stark warning gives women in Bollywood hope that their concerns will be heard. Last month Bollywood actress Swara Bhaskar told a Mumbai tabloid she had been turned down for "several roles" as she did not give in to "unwanted advances" by producers and directors. Ms Bhaskar, 29, urged aspiring actresses to turn down roles rather than resort to the so-called "casting couch" to exchange sexual favours to advance their careers. Thousands of young Indian girls and boys gravitate to Bollywood every year with the aim of becoming actors. Swara Bhaskar complained of Bollywood's casting-couch culture Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images They are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, not only by unscrupulous agents promising them roles which they never get, but also by lesser known stars, producers and directors making similar promises. Hopefuls are fearful of reporting inappropriate behaviour in case it ruins their chances of breaking into Bollywood. “It is always very subtle,” Ms Bhaskar said this week. “People try to insinuate that there are 10,000 girls for one role – so what can you do?” In the wake of the #MeToo scandal, actresses including Kalki Koechlin and Richa Chadha called on Bollywood to improve its record in standing up for victims of sexual harassment and exploitation. Sexual harassment legislation was passed in India in 2013, in response to the fatal gang rape of a 23-year old medical student on a bus in Delhi in December 2012. In November Ms Gandhi launched the online Sexual Harassment electronic-Box (SHe-Box) to register sexual harassment complaints in the workplace and to ensure the implementation of the 2013 law. She also urged all company directors to report sexual harassment cases, but activists said many victims were hesitant to register their complaints, afraid their future careers would be curtailed. Women's rights activists maintain that only 10 per cent of rape and other sexual harassment cases ever get reported in India.
- Authorities Release Video Showing the Potential Hazards of Not Watering a Christmas Tree
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- Zimbabwe's Mnangagwa says elections must be credible
Zimbabwe's new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Friday the ruling ZANU-PF party should aim to always hold free and fair elections, a day after saying the polls could be held sooner than expected. The international community will be closely watching the next elections in 2018. Mnangagwa, who became leader of the southern African nation last month after the military and ruling ZANU-PF turned against Robert Mugabe who had ruled the country for 37 years, was addressing a special congress in downtown Harare.
- Trump Says Roy Moore Should Concede Senate Race To Doug Jones
President Donald Trump said Friday that Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore should concede this week’s election to Democrat Doug Jones. “He tried,” Trump, who had endorsed Moore, told reporters outside the White House. Trump says GOP candidate Roy Moore should concede the Alabama special election.
- Lebanon-Syria border crossing to reopen
Lebanon and Syria said Thursday they will reopen a border crossing closed five years ago, in another sign of the Syrian government's increasing control over its territory. The crossing, called Al-Qaa in Lebanon and Jussiyeh in Syria, was closed in 2012 as fighting raged between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebel fighters seeking his overthrow. Assad's regime has since reclaimed most of the territory once held by the rebels, thanks to a Russian military campaign in support of his forces and deep divisions among the rebels.
- 5 Years Ago, A Man With A Gun Slaughtered 20 Children. And We Have Done Little About It.
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- 14 years after he went missing in Africa, I think my brother is still alive
Christmas Charity Appeal banner 2017 It was when the letters stopped arriving that Christian Velten’s family knew something had gone terribly wrong. Armed with a video camera, the 27-year-old had embarked on a six-month expedition through West Africa, along the banks of the River Niger, retracing the steps of his hero, the 18th century Scottish explorer Mungo Park. He made his way alone on foot, by donkey, or in a canoe from Gambia, through Senegal, and Mali, stopping along the way to stay with villagers. Each time he moved on, Christian would give the children his address back in England, telling them to write. “Cards kept coming to the house from kids he’d met,” says his sister Hannah, who has spent the past 14 years tirelessly searching for her brother. “At some point the letters stopped.” Even though he was travelling through remote African countryside, Christian had still managed to keep in contact with his family. “When he phoned Mum and Dad for the last time, it was just before their birthdays,” Hannah tells me, as we talk in the living room of the East Sussex home she shares with her husband Grant and children Freya, 6, and Cameron, 9. “When he didn’t get on his plane home, we realised pretty quickly something had gone wrong.” Christian's sister Hannah believes he is alive and is waiting for him to come forward Credit: Christopher Pledger That final phone call came on March 23, 2003 and Christian has been missing ever since. In that time, the search to find him has taken innumerable twists and turns. The early years were fraught with fear and frustration, as Hannah’s parents, Pauline and Tim, frantically led the charge to find their son. Confronted with Foreign Office red tape, they took matters into their own hands, putting out appeals in the African and British press and sending a team, led by one of his friends, to search for Christian on the ground. At one point, they even enlisted the help of a Malian village chieftain. “Everything went against us,” says Hannah, cradling a mug of tea, as she takes me through the events which have shaped her adult life. “Nothing you try works and fear kicks in.” For years, the race to trace Christian led them to dead ends, each more painful than the last. It always went the same way: a renewed appeal would spark a sighting - a lone white male seen walking near the river, or a bedraggled figure who rode the bus every day. Moments of hope, cruelly shattered when the trail went quiet. Telegraph Christmas Appeal 2017 | What are the charities? “That desperate feeling is exhausting,” adds Hannah. “I realise, now I’m a mum myself, just how awful that first search was for my parents.” In 2015, on Christian’s 40th birthday, the family decided to throw a party. It was a way to celebrate the man who had been absent from their lives for more than a decade. “The thing is, you don’t have a funeral,” says Hannah. “You go through a grief process, but you’re in limbo.” As the years and milestones passed, the hope of finding him seemed more and more remote. Yet, on Boxing Day in 2015, as she trudged around the fields near her parents’ Sussex home, trying to walk off the sadness of another Christmas without her brother, Hannah suddenly felt strangely upbeat about finding him. Her dad was less so. “He told me: ‘I think if Christian isn’t found by next New Year then I’m going to give up hope. It’s just too painful.’” Then, three months later, there was a fresh sighting. One so clear that it would set into motion a new search, culminating in the realistion that Christian is almost certainly alive. Sightings of Chris have come in waves over the years, and Hannah has learnt how to work out when someone isn't being truthful Credit: Christopher Pledger In early 2016, Hannah had set up ‘Searching for Chris’ pages on social media, renewing interest in their story. A friend got in touch to say that a contact in Kenya had recognised Christian’s picture on Facebook. Raabia Hawa, a prominent conservationist, told how two years before, a man with that very same profile picture had sent her a friend request on Facebook, from a now defunct account. Hannah realised that the picture (an old one from her website), could have been downloaded by Christian, who may have found it when looking himself up online. Before he went missing, Christian had been a keen conservationist. Was it possible he had reached out to Raabia to ask for advice? With renewed energy, Hannah wrote about the connection on Facebook and sightings came in thick and fast from Nairobi. People had seen Christian as a homeless man in the city’s slums, as a white preacher on a bus, in a hotel. It would have been easy to take them as nothing more than fantasies or false hope from strangers. But instead, Hannah chose to treat each one as a possible lead, and a new picture began to form. “Your intuition kicks in. It was like I was an arrow locked on a target,” she says. The last sighting of Christian was in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015 Credit: Hannah Velten One woman said she had seen Christian begging in Accra, Ghana, in 2005, telling Hannah: “He spoke with a British accent. He said he was begging to raise money for a ticket back home. What makes me 80 per cent sure it’s your brother was what he said as he appealed for money: ‘Are you a Christian, missy? Can you help me please? My name is Christian.’” Hannah now believes that, while travelling, Christian was attacked - but that someone found and looked after him. Somehow, after all these years, she thinks, he has ended up in Kenya. “For some time, he may not have known who he was. He must have been ill for many years. But I think he is now aware that we are looking for him. “It wouldn’t have been his choice to go missing,” she adds. “Something terrible happened.” It raises the hardest question of all: is it possible that Christian doesn’t want to be found? It is a prospect Hannah has been forced to grapple with, and she has come to terms with the idea that her brother may have chosen not to get in touch. After all, she explains, 14 years is a long time - especially when you have been alone and confused. It is possible that the thought of simply walking back into his old life feels too overwhelming. “But I have faith that he will [be found]. That’s the bit that drives you insane, the idea that he could just ring any second now. He could turn up on the doorstep.” Read more | Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal As well as being a devoted sister, Hannah, 42, runs a publishing company with her husband. Through it all, she has kept the surname Velten, to make it easier for Christian to trace her. It is clear that this latest push to find her brother has been a terrible strain. “It’s almost the worst thing that you could think of in terms of a family,” she tells me, stroking the labrador curled beside her on the sofa, as she fights back tears. “It is a nightmare. If you just think how you feel when you lose your child in the supermarket, that sheer panic - we have felt that for nearly 15 years. “All that time, we thought he was dead…” she trails off, trying to compose herself. “You’d toast him at Christmas, we always talked about him, but the hope was flickering.” She desperately wants Christian to meet her children, who have heard so much about their uncle. “It’s my biggest sadness now, what my kids are missing, because he would be a fabulous uncle. I’m sad for mum and dad and I’m sad for Christian and the life he would have had.” For now, all she can do is wait. “When the phone rings now, I don’t expect it to be him. So when he does call, it will be out of the blue.” Is she fearful of all the complications that his sudden appearance could bring with it? “After 14 years he is going to have changed so much. But he’s my brother, I love him. It’s what I want.” If you would like to know more about Christian's story, or if you think you can help in any way, please visit the 'Searching for Chris Velten' Facebook page. Missing People is a beneficiary of this year’s Telegraph’s Christmas Charity Appeal. To make a donation to this or one of the other charities supported in our appeal, please call 0151 284 1927 or visit telegraph.co.uk/charity
- 7 Investment Tips to Supplement Social Security
Social Security is an integral part of American society. Furthermore, the most recent cost of living increase to Social Security is a mere 2 percent for 2018 -- and that's after benefits only increased 0.3 percent in 2017 and weren't raised at all in 2016. Invest in annuities.
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- Senator: Comey's remarks on Clinton probe heavily edited
WASHINGTON (AP) — A draft statement former FBI Director James Comey prepared in anticipation of concluding the Hillary Clinton email case without criminal charges was heavily edited to change the "tone and substance" of the remarks, a Republican senator said Thursday.
- More than 20 IS killed in southern Syria: coalition
Syrian opposition forces backed by a US-led coalition killed more than 20 Islamic State fighters and took several others prisoner, military officials said Thursday. According to the coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq, a vetted Syrian opposition group known as the Maghawir al-Thawra detected the fighters early Wednesday in an area controlled by pro-Syrian regime forces in southern Syria, in the Al-Tanf border region. Supported by coalition forces, the Maghawir al-Thawra "quickly and professionally conducted an operation," the coalition said in a statement.
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- After going missing for six years, our son will be with us this Christmas
Christmas Charity Appeal banner 2017 Only once in the six years that Matthew was missing did I fear the worst. A friend texted saying she was thinking of me, ‘after what the police have found’. I turned on the news: a body had been discovered near where we live in Kent. My heart nearly stopped when they estimated he’d been dead four years, exactly as long as Matthew had been gone. I called a reporter who, thankfully, confirmed it wasn’t him. Somehow I knew he was alive, and that my husband Jim and I would find him. Matt was a lovely child. He was into football, a popular lad. But at 24, out of the blue, he had a psychotic episode and ended up being sectioned. After a stay in hospital, he seemed better. He went back to work as a roofer. Then one Friday in 2010 he went to see a friend in London. I remember saying, ‘Have a good weekend, don’t forget work on Monday. Love you.’ And that was that. When he didn’t come home on Sunday we were concerned but assumed he’d had one too many beers. We left him a message and on Monday I went to my job at the prison service and Jim to his as a firefighter. By Wednesday I said to Jim, ‘I know it sounds silly but I’m going to report him missing.’ The relief at finding him alive was indescribable. But it was the start of a new journey… The police searched his bedroom and found his phone – the one we’d been messaging. His driving licence, passport and birth certificate were missing, plus £1,700 in cash that we thought was to fix his car. His friends hadn’t seen him, and one created a Facebook group seeking information; within hours it had 900 members. We’d look at it night and day and follow up every lead. We’d go anywhere he’d been spotted. The search dominated our lives. I don’t know what we’d have done without the Missing People charity. They supported us and helped keep Matt in the public eye, putting photos of him on billboards and in The Big Issue. Telegraph Christmas Appeal 2017 | What are the charities? Days turned into years. But we never lost hope. Each Christmas, I put presents for him under the tree. And we left his room exactly as it was when he left. Then, in May of last year, the police told us Matt might have been found. He’d been picked up by police in Spain, after behaving oddly. After an agonising two-week wait while police confirmed it was him, we learnt he was in a secure unit in a Madrid hospital. The flight was one of the worst journeys of our lives: the anticipation was unbearable. Our reunion wasn’t the joyful one we’d imagined: he didn’t want to see us. When he eventually agreed, we were shocked – he was emaciated with long hair and a beard. After 10 minutes, he wanted us to leave. Matt in 2010, before he went missing The relief at finding him alive was indescribable. But it was the start of a new journey, which is in some ways harder. It took us three weeks to get him back to the UK. At another secure unit he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and stabilised with medication. A year ago he moved to respite care. We see him weekly and there’s such an improvement in his appearance and well-being. I know he’s progressed, as I get a cuddle from him now when I see him. The first time that happened, I was a blubbering wreck. He’ll never be 100 per cent and I have to accept the man he’s become, but we count our blessings. He’s alive and well and I know exactly where he is. Matthew won’t be with us on Christmas Day – he prefers Boxing Day, as there are fewer people, but we’ll be making the most of it. Given that the Christmas before last we didn’t know if he was alive or dead, this is 100 per cent better. As told to: Victoria Young To donate to Missing People or any of the Telegraph’s Christmas charities, call 0151 284 1927 or visit telegraph.co.uk/charity
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans think Donald Trump did something illegal or at least unethical regarding ties between his presidential campaign and Russia — and they think he's trying to obstruct the investigation looking into those possible connections.
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Former President Obama now has a new title - and it’s Santa Claus. Showing off his holiday spirit on Thursday, Barack Obama proved he makes a pretty cool Father Christmas when he donned a leather jacket and a Santa hat during a visit to the Boys & Girls Club in Washington, DC. Visiting 50 middle school students at the Jelleff Club in Northeast Washington, the former president looked full of Christmas joy as he laughed and posed with the students.