Putin wants to strengthen Russia’s military nuclear potential

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonMoscow (AFP) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for reinforcing the country's military nuclear potential and making sure its missiles can penetrate any missile-defence systems. "We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defence … [Read more...]

The evacuation of Aleppo is expected to end today

REUTERS/Ammar AbdullahAleppo (Syria) (AFP) - Evacuations from rebel-held parts of Aleppo continued overnight with dozens of vehicles leaving the city and the operation likely to end on Thursday, aid workers said. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which is assisting in the evacuation, said dozens more buses and smaller vehicles were expected to carry rebel fighters and civilians out of … [Read more...]

Turkey has released 6 close relatives of the Russian ambassador’s assassin after nearly 3 days of questioning

Burhan Ozbilici/APIstanbul (AFP) - Turkish authorities on Thursday released six close relatives of the assassin of the Russian ambassador to Ankara after holding them for almost three days for questioning in the wake of the killing, state media said on Thursday. Investigators are looking for links of the killer, Turkish policeman Mevlut Mert Altintas, to the group of the US-based Islamic cleric … [Read more...]

Uber launched a fleet of electric cars in Madrid

REUTERS/Danish SiddiquiMADRID (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies launched in Madrid on Thursday its first fleet of electric cars. In Spain's capital city, as elsewhere, Uber's service of matching private car owners with passengers has prompted anger among the heavily-regulated taxi sector. The company hopes the introduction of cleaner cars will help improve its image in a city … [Read more...]

Four arrests made as Berlin attack manhunt intensifies

© AFP Tobias SCHWARZBERLIN (AFP) — German authorities were criticised on Thursday after it emerged that the prime suspect in Berlin's deadly truck attack, a rejected Tunisian asylum seeker, was known as a potentially dangerous jihadist. German prosecutors have issued a Europe-wide wanted notice for 24-year-old Anis Amri, offering a €100,000 ($104,000) reward for information leading to … [Read more...]

China foreign minister: US-China relations face ‘uncertain factors’, but ‘can’t be altered by an individual’s will’

Reuters/ Greg Baker BEIJING (Reuters) - China-U.S. relations face new uncertainties but with mutual respect for core interests they will remain stable, China's foreign minister said, adding one individual will not impede ties, a likely reference to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. President Xi Jinping spoke with Trump soon after he won last month's election, but Beijing has been unsettled by … [Read more...]

How free college transformed this Rust Belt town in Michigan

AP/Mark Bialek DECEMBER 17, 2016  KALAMAZOO, MICH.—Tracy Zarei has wanted to teach children ever since she was in the second grade. She knew she would have to go to college to become a teacher. “She was a straight-A student,” says her mother, Sheri, who was working double shifts in a nursing home to pay rent on their mobile home. “She cried when she got her first … [Read more...]

Study shows fewer people skip the doctor because of cost concerns after Obamacare was passed

A new report published by the Commonwealth Fund this week highlighted a variety of aspects of the insurance coverage gains made after Obamacare was passed, including a sizable decrease in the number of people who say they skipped going to the doctor because of cost concerns. In 2013, before the law had gone fully into effect, 20 percent of adults said they had forgone seeking medical treatment … [Read more...]

The NYPD has been tracking hate crimes for decades, but their count is utterly incomplete

REUTERS/Bria WebbAs of Dec. 18, 2016, there had been 373 hate crimes reported to the New York Police Department. Crimes against Muslims were up 50 percent from the same time last year, rising to 33 from 22. Crimes involving sexual orientation were also up 2014 to 101 from last year's 74. Whites have been victims, too, the source of 16 reported crimes. The numbers reflect a distinctive effort by a … [Read more...]

America’s largest police union wants Trump to give military gear to cops again

Win McNamee/Getty ImagesThe Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the U.S., gave candidate Donald J. Trump one of his highest-profile endorsements in September. Now, the group wants to call in its chits with the president-elect, issuing a list of recommended actions for his first 100 days in office. The organization’s wish list ranges from curtailing police reform … [Read more...]

A big private prison operator may have illegally funded a Trump super PAC

APFew organizations stand to benefit from Donald Trump’s presidency as much as the GEO Group. It’s one of the largest private prison operators in the United States — and it’s accused of breaking the law to help put Trump in the White House. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) received new information on Tuesday from the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign … [Read more...]

Activist investors are pushing Shell to act on Climate Change before it’s too late

Thomson Reuters Oil major Royal Dutch Shell is facing rising pressure from shareholders to shield its business from climate change threats and to play a bigger role in lowering global carbon emissions. Activist shareholder group Follow This, representing some of Shell's retail shareholders, will put forward a resolution at next year's annual shareholder meeting requesting Shell to set targets for … [Read more...]

How the assassination of Russia’s Turkish ambassador could derail Turkey’s hopes for Syria

Burhan Ozbilici/AP The latest victim of Turkey’s climate of insecurity is Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey.  Karlov was assassinated Dec. 19 by a 22-year-old police officer. Disguised as a security guard in a black suit, the gunman stood behind Karlov as the ambassador was speaking in an art gallery just yards from the U.S. embassy.  “Don’t … [Read more...]

Berlin attack was a blow to the key part of German cultural life

AP Photo/Markus SchreiberI’ve been going to Christmas markets since I was a child in Hannover in the 1970s – I love the stalls, the smells, the twinkly lights and the kitschy music. I own many knitted hats, carved wooden animals and artisanal candles. And now I take my own children to a traditional German Christmas market in Leeds, England. In December 2014, I was invited to Berlin for … [Read more...]

Suspect in ‘Vote Trump’ vandalism and burning of black Mississippi church reportedly a member of the congregation

Thomson ReutersMississippi authorities arrested a man Wednesday in the burning of an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the words, "Vote Trump." Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, was charged with first degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. McClinton is African-American. McClinton was arrested … [Read more...]

Poll: The most annoying word or phrase in America is ‘whatever’

YouTube / MovieClipsPOUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — A poll has found that the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation in America is "whatever." The Marist College poll released Wednesday indicates the word irritates 38 percent of Americans. The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and … [Read more...]

How to pack your suit so it doesn’t wrinkle

Dan Trepanier/Articles Of Style Following up on yesterday’s “flight suit” article, here’s a quick guide on how to fold a suit and shirt to avoid wrinkling in your suitcase. The suit First, lay the jacket flat: Dan Trepanier/Articles Of Style The key is that all four panels are laying perfectly flat (front and back, including the vents). The pin is optional (I … [Read more...]

A Danish MP suggested shooting at boats carrying migrants to keep them away from Europe

AFPCOPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Security forces should shoot at the boats of migrants trying to reach the European Union illegally, a member of parliament for the Danish government's main political ally, the Danish People's Party, suggested on national television. "The only efficient way is to turn the boats and say: 'You cannot sail within this national border and if you do, you will either be shot at … [Read more...]