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  • Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks

    Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order SnacksA mischievous parrot who was booted from an animal sanctuary for his foul




  • Family of dead migrant girl says she was healthy before being detained at US border

    Family of dead migrant girl says she was healthy before being detained at US borderThe family of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in US Border Patrol custody is disputing an account from American officials who said she had not been given food or water for days. In a statement released by lawyers, the parents of Jakelin Caal said the girl had been given food and water and appeared to be in good health as she travelled through Mexico with her father, 29-year-old Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz. Border Patrol officials did not immediately respond to the family's comments. The family's statement was released on Saturday during a news conference in El Paso, Texas, at an immigrant shelter where Jakelin's father is staying. Her family did not attend and has asked for privacy. Jakelin and her father were seeking asylum in the US and were among a large group of migrants arrested on December 6 near a remote border crossing in New Mexico. Hours later they were placed on a bus to the nearest Border Patrol station, but Jakelin began vomiting and eventually stopped breathing. She later died at a Texas hospital. Border Patrol officials on Friday said agents did everything they could to save the girl but that she had not had food or water for days. They added that an initial screening showed no evidence of health problems, and that her father had signed a form indicating she was in good health. Claudia Maquin, 27, shows a photo of her daughter, Jakelin, at her home in Raxruha, Guatemala  Credit: Oliver de Ros/AP But the family took issue with that form, which was in English, a language her father doesn't speak or read. He communicated with border agents in Spanish but he primarily speaks the Mayan Q'eqchi' language. "It is unacceptable for any government agency to have persons in custody sign documents in a language that they clearly do not understand," the statement said. Jakelin's family is urging authorities to conduct an "objective and thorough" investigation into the death and to determine whether officials met standards for the arrest and custody of children. A cause of death has not yet been released. A private prayer service was held in Texas on Friday so her father could see Jakelin's body before it is taken to Guatemala, said Ruben Garcia, director of the Annunciation House shelter where her father is staying. "All of us were moved by the depth of his faith and his trust that God's hand is in all of this," Garcia said. Family members in Guatemala said Caal decided to migrate with his favorite child to earn money he could send back home. Jakelin's mother and three siblings remained in San Antonio Secortez, a village of about 420 inhabitants. 




  • Mick Mulvaney, new chief of staff, once called Trump 'terrible human being'

    Mick Mulvaney, new chief of staff, once called Trump 'terrible human being'Mick Mulvaney was tapped this week to replace Gen. John Kelly as acting chief of staff. As a congressman, he wasn't a fan of Donald Trump.




  • Rebels hail Yemen ceasefire accord a 'success', despite skirmishes

    Rebels hail Yemen ceasefire accord a 'success', despite skirmishesHuthi rebels on Saturday hailed a ceasefire accord for a vital Yemeni port agreed at UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden, although the deal's implementation remained fragile. The breakthrough agreement at the first round of negotiations since 2016 was a "success", said Daif Allah al-Shami, information minister for the rebels' unrecognised national salvation government. Reached Thursday between the Huthis and a delegation for the internationally recognised government, the accord called for an "immediate" ceasefire in Hodeida city and its lifeline port, a key gateway for aid and food imports in a country where 14 million people stand on the brink of famine.




  • Rep. Stefanik: We know the Affordable Care Act is failing

    Rep. Stefanik: We know the Affordable Care Act is failingNew York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik reacts to the Texas court ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional.




  • Egypt unearths tomb of ancient high priest 

    Egypt unearths tomb of ancient high priest Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest dating back more than 4,400 years in the pyramid complex of Saqqara south of the capital Cairo, authorities said Saturday. "Today we are announcing the last discovery of the year 2018, it's a new discovery, it's a private tomb," Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told an audience of invited guests including reporters. "It is exceptionally well preserved, coloured, with sculpture inside. It belongs to a high official priest... (and) is more than 4,400 years old," he said. The tomb belongs to "Wahtye", a high priest who served during the fifth dynasty reign of King Neferirkare, the antiquities ministry said. A view of the newly-discovered tomb of 'Wahtye' Credit: Reuters His tomb is decorated with scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family, the ministry said in a statement. It also contains more than a dozen niches and 24 colourful statues of the cleric and members of his family, it said. In November archaeology officials announced the discovery in Saqqara of seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, during excavation work started in April by the same archaeological mission. An external view of the site Credit: Anadolu Three of those tombs contained mummified cats and scarabs. The Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo is home to the famous Djoser pyramid, a more than 4,600-year-old construction which dominates the site and was Egypt's first stone monument. The tomb, built by the master architect Imhotep for the Pharoah Djoser, stood 62 metres tall originally and is considered the oldest building in the world built entirely of stone.




  • Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil

    Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating IsilOn one end of Qamishli’s main street flies the two-starred Syrian national flag. On the other, that of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. “One flag represents our past oppression, the other our freedom,” says Mahmoud, who owns a clothing shop which sits between the two.   Before the civil war, it would have been unthinkable for the Kurdish minority to openly pledge allegiance to anything other than the President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Republic. But seven years into Syria's interminable conflict the Kurds appear to have carved out something of a proto-state in this corner of northeastern Syria, thanks in part to their efforts to flush out Isil. While they have been crushing the Caliphate to a tiny sliver of territory - taking the last town held by the Islamist on Friday morning - their separatist ambitions have largely been overlooked. Until now. Kurdish-held northern Syria The city of Qamishli has become the centre of the Kurds’ ambitious self-administration project. While a few government buildings and statues of President Assad remain, Qamishli and the surrounding areas are now firmly under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Mahmoud is a proud supporter of the PYD, but still he declines to give his full name to the Telegraph for fear of reprisal should the regime one day return. Assad has repeatedly promised to retake every inch of Syria, including the third currently in Kurdish hands. The prospect looked more likely than at any other time in the war this week after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to ready for an assault on Syria’s Kurds. Turkey views the PYD’s military arm, the Popular Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist organisation because of its links to an insurgent group inside Turkey, and has watched with growing concern at Kurdish expansionism on the other side of its border. In recent years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria pushing the YPG out of territory west of the Euphrates river. But past offensives have stopped at its banks, partly to avoid direct confrontation with US troops that back the Kurds. "Turkey has lost enough time in terms of intervening to clean the terror swamp east of the Euphrates. We don't have the patience to wait one more day," Mr Erdogan warned on Friday. Men queue up to buy bread outside a bakery on the outskirts of Qamishli Credit: Sam Tarling The Kurds, who have so far relied on the US for support in their battles against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), have threatened to abandon the fight if they are left to fend for themselves in the face of a Turkish onslaught. But Washington has sent mixed signals on whether it would be behind them in any fight against Nato ally Turkey. “We don’t rely on any government, we just have strategic alliances,” Salih Muslim, a prominent political player in Rojava who until recently co-chaired the PYD, told the Sunday Telegraph. “The Kurds have expected a move from Turkey for a while now and will not easily back down.” Whatever they might say, it is clear is that the Kurds cannot stave off Turkish aggression alone. In the absence of a reliable ally in the US, they may soon be forced to decide whether to risk their chances, or eek out an unfavourable deal with Assad to secure long-term survival. “We have to take Assad at his word,” Khalaf Dahowd, head of the foreign committee of the Democratic Change Movement, told the Sunday Telegraph from his office in Qamishli, refering to the president's pledge to take back all Syria's territory. “If he gets the chance to take Rojava he will,” said Mr Dahowd, using the Kurdish name for the area of self-rule which covers some 15,000 square miles. A convoy of American Special Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces fighters makes a stop during a patrol near the Turkish border in northern Syria Credit:  Sam Tarling “Even when he was at his weakest point, before Russia intervened and it looked like he was going to lose everything, Assad refused to work with the Kurds,” he said. “Now he is winning, and as the saying goes - the winner takes all.” Kurdish officials who were part of the first delegation to Damascus over the summer say the Syrian government was not prepared to make a single concession. Despite this, the Kurds - who are just about the only side in the multi-faceted war not to have had a full-scale military conflict with the regime - still hold out hope for a political solution. The Kurds, who number more than two million in Syria, have made great sacrifices for their “democratic experiment”, as they call their pseudo-state in the north. Islamic State losing its grip on Syria The YPG has suffered considerable losses in the battles against Isil in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in the east. Officials estimate up to 8,000 fighters have been killed and 5,000 injured. Fierce battles are still ongoing for the last sliver of jihadist territory in Deir Ezzor. At least 5,000 IS fighters remain holed up in the pocket of territory, including some 2,000 foreign fighters, mostly Arabs and Europeans along with their families. The YPG has also made significant gains, including control of the country’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, its most lucrative oil fields and the freedom to once again speak their native language after decades of repression. “There are basic things we cannot give up; we need our democratic rights and our culture and language to be protected,” said Fawza al-Youssef, the co-chair of the executive body of the North Syria Federation. “But there are other things that are negotiable.” Mahmoud Mohammad Serhan, 59, a a retired trader who now keeps a farm, gets a cutthroat shave at a barber shop in Qamishli Credit:  Sam Tarling Relinquishing control of the borders and folding the YPG, into the national army, would be among the demands she says the self-administration would consider in return for a decentralisation of government. It would also be willing to do a deal on the oil fields in eastern Deir Ezzor province, which account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s pre-war production and currently lie within their control. “We aren’t saying all of this is rightfully ours, but the people here should benefit,” Ms Youssef said.  The next few days will prove pivotal for the Kurds as they face the greatest existential threat to their autonomy project since the war began. “We can’t go back to where were were before 2011, when we had nothing,” said Ms Youssef. “We have not fought this hard for it all to be destroyed.”




  • What the New Court Ruling Striking Down the ACA Means for Your Health Insurance

    What the New Court Ruling Striking Down the ACA Means for Your Health InsuranceJust as the sign-up window for individual health insurance for 2019 is closing, a legal ruling is creating new uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and could potentially ...




  • Michigan teenager who killed himself criticised by priest at his funeral

    Michigan teenager who killed himself criticised by priest at his funeralMaison Hullibarger, an 18-year-old athlete and honours student from Temperance, Michigan died on 4 December. Speaking to Detriot Free Press, his grieving parents said that Reverend Don LaCuesta would not stop referring to his cause of death and “called him a sinner” during the service held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance on 8 December. Maison’s father Jeff Hullibarger said it was as if Mr LaCuesta had decided it was the perfect opportunity to make his stance on suicide known.




  • Palestinians slam Australia's move on Jerusalem

    Palestinians slam Australia's move on JerusalemThe Palestinian leadership on Saturday described as "irresponsible" Australia's recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel's capital, saying it violated international law. The country became one of just a few to follow US President Donald Trump's lead and recognise the contested city as Israel's capital, saying. Australia said it would open a defence and trade office in the west of the holy city and Prime Minister Scott Morrison also committed to recognising a future state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital.




  • Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level

    Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis LevelThis is not a good look. Humans are using more oil-based plastic than ever,




  • China's Xi declares an 'overwhelming victory' over graft: state media

    China's Xi declares an 'overwhelming victory' over graft: state mediaChinese President Xi Jinping has declared an "overwhelming victory" in his fight against graft within the ruling Chinese Communist Party, while still vowing that the campaign to weed out deep-seated corruption will continue, state media reported. Xi has pledged to wage war on graft until corruption of all kinds has been expunged at all levels of the Communist Party, from high-level "tigers" to low-level "flies".




  • As sentencing looms, Flynn is upbeat, has adoring fans

    As sentencing looms, Flynn is upbeat, has adoring fansPROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Days away from being sentenced in the Russia probe, former national security adviser Michael Flynn is not exactly hiding his face in shame.




  • Budget head Mulvaney picked as Trump's next chief of staff

    Budget head Mulvaney picked as Trump's next chief of staffWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has picked budget director Mick Mulvaney to be his acting chief of staff, ending a chaotic search in which several top contenders took themselves out of the running for the job.




  • Florida tale of infidelity and homicide ends with conviction

    Florida tale of infidelity and homicide ends with convictionTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — After a spellbinding five-day trial that featured tales of infidelity and a multimillion dollar insurance payout, a jury on Friday convicted a Florida woman of helping mastermind the killing of her husband nearly two decades ago.




  • Pacific Life Yanks Ads After Tucker Carlson's Dig That Immigrants Make U.S. 'Dirtier'

    Pacific Life Yanks Ads After Tucker Carlson's Dig That Immigrants Make U.S. 'Dirtier'Prominent insurance company Pacific Life has pulled its commercials from




  • Indiana State University group to honor Jamal Khashoggi

    Indiana State University group to honor Jamal KhashoggiTERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A journalism group at Indiana State University is taking steps to honor alumnus and slain Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.




  • Exiting US governor signs laws limiting power of his successor

    Exiting US governor signs laws limiting power of his successorThe Republican governor of Wisconsin signed into law Friday a package of bills that limit the powers of his Democratic successor, who promised a court challenge. The measures were passed by Republicans during a lame-duck session of the Midwestern US state's legislature last week, in what they said was an effort to level the power balance with the Democrat who will take over the governor's office in January. Tony Evers defeated incumbent Governor Scott Walker in the November midterm elections -- a stinging loss for the GOP in a key swing state that helped Donald Trump win the presidency in 2016.




  • Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor identified

    Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor identifiedNEW ORLEANS (AP) — Full military honors will be given to a Louisiana sailor whose remains have been identified more than 75 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.




  • Obama-era rule leads to $150M in student loan forgiveness

    Obama-era rule leads to $150M in student loan forgivenessThe U.S. Education Department said it will forgive $150 million in federal student loans as part of a 2016 rule that Secretary Betsy DeVos previously tried to block.




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