Thursday, 28 February 2019

Spike Lee dismisses Trump's 'racist hit' tweet

Spike Lee dismisses Trump's 'racist hit' tweetSpike Lee has responded to President Trump’s assertion that the director’s speech during the Academy Awards was a “racist hit.”




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Church sex abuse scandal: Vatican opens investigation into Cardinal George Pell

Church sex abuse scandal: Vatican opens investigation into Cardinal George PellCardinal George Pell, the Vatican's third-most powerful official, was remanded to prison in Australia for sexually abusing two choirboys.




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UK PM May proposes votes on no-deal exit and Brexit delay if her deal rejected: Telegraph

UK PM May proposes votes on no-deal exit and Brexit delay if her deal rejected: TelegraphLONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is proposing that parliament votes on whether to leave the European Union without a deal or delay Brexit if her exit deal fails to win parliamentary approval, a Daily Telegraph reporter said on Twitter. "The PM (Prime Minister) has said there will be a three line whip on an amendable motion tomorrow that will commit to two votes on March 12th in the event that her deal fails," Telegraph reporter Steven Swinford wrote, citing details of an ongoing cabinet meeting. ...




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Nuclear Nightmare: India and Pakistan are on the Brink

Nuclear Nightmare: India and Pakistan are on the BrinkWhatever happens next rests in the fates of political decisionmakers in India.




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Here's Why Kim Jong Un May Have Opted for an Arduous Train Journey to Reach Vietnam

Here's Why Kim Jong Un May Have Opted for an Arduous Train Journey to Reach VietnamKim Jong Un opted not to fly to Vietnam for his second summit with President Trump




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Nigeria's Buhari wins second term as president

Nigeria's Buhari wins second term as presidentBuhari secured 56 percent of votes, compared with 41 percent for Atiku, a candidate for the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Buhari faces a daunting to-do list, including reviving an economy still struggling to recover from a 2016 recession and quelling a decade-old Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of people in the northeast, many of them civilians. Addressing supporters at the campaign headquarters of his All Progressive Congress (APC) party in the capital Abuja, he promised to tackle these issues.




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Trump border wall prototypes torn down to make way for new barrier

Trump border wall prototypes torn down to make way for new barrierThe prototypes for President Donald Trump's contest for a border wall near San Diego, California, were torn down on Wednesday, to make way for a new section of actual border fencing. To the president's supporters, the eight 30-foot-high (9-meter) models were a symbol of his commitment to build a wall along the length of the U.S. Mexico border to enhance national security. To opponents, they were a waste of taxpayer money and an affront to Mexico and immigrants.




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Mirroring grandfather, Kim rides the rails to Trump summit

Mirroring grandfather, Kim rides the rails to Trump summitHANOI, Vietnam (AP) — For his second summit with President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un opted to go retro — riding the rails like his grandfather decades before.




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Porsche to make electric SUV: the Porsche Macan gets an overhaul

Porsche to make electric SUV: the Porsche Macan gets an overhaulThe Porsche Macan is getting an electric makeover. The Porsche SUV will be converted into a battery-powered model, the VW luxury brand announced.




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Nigeria's Buhari wins second term as president: electoral commission results

Nigeria's Buhari wins second term as president: electoral commission resultsBuhari faces a daunting to-do list, including reviving an economy still struggling to recover from a 2016 recession and quelling a decade-old Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands of people in the northeast, many of them civilians. Buhari of the All Progressive Congress party proved wrong those who doubted he could survive the blows of recession, militant attacks on oilfields, and Islamist insurgency that blighted his first term. The president won by 3.9 million votes, having garnered 15.2 million to Atiku's 11.3 million.




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Trump and Kim Are Meeting One-on-One at This Historic Hanoi Hotel

Trump and Kim Are Meeting One-on-One at This Historic Hanoi HotelThe $300 a night Metropole is redolent with colonial history




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Twitter bans Trump-supporting hoaxster after USA TODAY exposé

Twitter bans Trump-supporting hoaxster after USA TODAY exposéJacob Wohl left a career in finance amid fraud allegations to create deceitful schemes and spread false claims in support of President Trump




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Well-known Republicans steer clear of disputed US House race

Well-known Republicans steer clear of disputed US House raceRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Three well-known Republicans are staying out of a North Carolina congressional race that had to be re-run because suspicions of ballot fraud tainted the first try, leaving lesser-known candidates to try to maintain the GOP's 50-year hold on the seat.




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Ivanka Trump endorses working your way up through life

Ivanka Trump endorses working your way up through lifeIvanka Trump, elder daughter of a billionaire president, married to the son of a real estate mogul, thinks Americans want to make their own way up life’s ladder.




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House advances bill rejecting Trump's border wall emergency

House advances bill rejecting Trump's border wall emergencyBy a vote of 229-193, the House agreed to move to final debate and a vote later on Tuesday on passing the resolution. Passage, which is expected, would set up a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate where the resolution's chances were slimmer, but seemed to be improving. Republican Senator John Barrasso, a member of the Senate's leadership, told MSNBC in an interview that the legislation "may actually pass the Senate." Following a closed meeting of Republican senators and Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to predict the outcome, including whether senators ultimately could override a Trump veto.




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Buhari Triumphs in Nigeria Poll as Opposition Rejects Result

Buhari Triumphs in Nigeria Poll as Opposition Rejects Result(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari easily won a second term as president of Africa’s biggest oil producer with promises to revive an anemic economy and tackle security threats including a devastating insurgency by Islamic State. His main opponent rejected the results.




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Upland PD: Mother to face charges after daughter dies, son thrown off balcony

Upland PD: Mother to face charges after daughter dies, son thrown off balconyAn Upland mother is expected to face charges for killing her infant girl and throwing her son off a balcony, police say.




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Billy Porter speaks on Oscars gown and social media hate

Billy Porter speaks on Oscars gown and social media hateNEW YORK (AP) — Billy Porter, speaking to Vogue before he walked the Oscars red carpet, knew what he was in for among some social media users:




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Pakistan 'captures Indian pilot after shooting down two jets in dogfight over Kashmir'

Pakistan 'captures Indian pilot after shooting down two jets in dogfight over Kashmir'Two planes shot down over Kashmir border Pakistan claims to have two pilots held Sources: jets shot down in 'four-on-four' dogfight Both countries dispute each other's claims Analysis: Pakistan and India need help climbing down, or risk another war over Kashmir ​ Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two Indian jets and captured a pilot after a dogfight over Kashmir, igniting fears of an all-out conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours.  Tensions remain high on the Asian Subcontinent where tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani soldiers face off along the disputed Kashmir boundary. There are competing claims regarding the exact details of what has taken place, but Pakistan's Major General Asif Ghafoor said a pilot was in Army custody. Pakistan had earlier said it was holding two pilots. Ghafoor said the jets had been shot down after Pakistani planes earlier Wednesday flew across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir, to the Indian side in a show of strength, hitting non-military targets including supply depots. Although this version of events is disputed by India, the Pakistani official said: "The Pakistan Air Force was ready, they took them on, there was an engagement. As a result both the Indian planes were shot down and the wreckage of one fell on our side while the wreckage of the other fell on their side." Pulwama suicide attack - Map Initially, the Indian Air Force (IAF) denied Pakistani claims, despite videos of the two pilots in Pakistani captivity being broadcast by state media. The IAF is also decried claims that two Indian fighter aircraft had been shot down. But later on Wednesday a foreign ministry official told a press conference in Delhi that there was an "aerial engagement", conceding just one Indian jet was shot down.  IAF sources said that there were four Pakistani F-16 fighters against four IAF MiG-21 Bison combat aircraft and the dogfight happened in a chase. The four Pakistani fighters are believed to have tried attacking an ammunition dump at Nowshera near the Line of Control in Kashmir, when they were chased by four Indian planes. India claims it has also shot down one of the Pakistani fighter jets.  The incident is the latest in a dangerous sequence of events between the two countries, whose ties have been under intense strain since a February 14 suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir that killed 40 troops. Islamabad insisted the latest move was in self defence and officials said strikes had been taken at non-military targets avoiding civilian casualties. Ghafoor said: "We do not want escalation, we do not want to go towards war," at a press conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, calling for talks with New Delhi. Pakistan closed its airspace Wednesday, "until further notice", the civil aviation authority and the military said. A military spokesman said the decision had been taken "due to the environment". How did we get here? The claim came a little over 24 hours after Delhi said it had struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp near Balakot where it said militants were preparing for imminent terrorist attacks. Islamabad had denied any camp was struck, but on Tuesday warned India to prepare for a surprise and vowed a "befitting" response at a time and place of its choosing. In a statement headed "Pakistan strikes back", the foreign ministry said the action was not retaliation " to continued Indian belligerence". "Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence.  Pakistani soldiers stand next to what Pakistan says is the wreckage of an Indian fighter jet shot down in Pakistan controled Kashmir at Somani area in Bhimbar district Credit: AFP A spokesman for Pakistan's military said that Indian jets had then crossed the line of control and the Pakistan air forces had gone on to shoot two of them down inside Pakistani airspace. "One of the aircraft fell inside Azad Jammu and Kashmir, while other fell inside Indian Occupied Kashmir. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area," said Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor. There was no immediate response from Delhi, but Indian media did report an Indian air force jet crashed in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday morning. Delhi said on Tuesday it had said it had struck a pre-emptive blow against the Pakistan-based militant group it blames for a suicide bomb that killed at least 40 paramilitary police in Kashmir earlier this month. The force of jets destroyed a hilltop training camp near Balakot where Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) jihadists were preparing an imminent attack, the country's foreign minister said. But Pakistan dismissed that claim as “fictitious” and “self-serving”, saying its own jets had intercepted the raiding force and seen it off. Pakistan's military said the Indian jets dropped their payload of bombs “in haste” as they fled and they caused no damage after landing in deserted forest. Indian soldiers gesture near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district, outside Srinagar on February 27, 2019 Credit: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP Villagers near Balakot said they had been woken by jets and four blasts in an area close to a JeM madrassa. But they denied heavy casualties and said the damage was largely to trees. One person was wounded. "We saw trees fallen down and one house damaged and four craters where the bombs had fallen," said Mohammad Ajmal, a 25-year-old who visited the site told Reuters. Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said JeM ran a nearby Islamic school. An Indian attack had been widely predicted as Narendra Modi faced domestic outrage over the bomb attack in Pulwama blamed on JeM. A history of trouble Pakistan has long been accused of harbouring and supporting militant groups as tools of its foreign policy in India, Kashmir and Afghanistan. JeM is a primarily anti-India group that forged ties with al Qaeda and has been on a UN terrorist list since 2001. India says the JeM was also behind the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament and on an Indian air force base in 2016. Pakistan denies any involvement in the Pulwama attack and has challenged Delhi to deliver actionable intelligence on who carried out the attack. Indian and Pakistan: timeline of a testy relationship Western diplomats now fear any counter retaliation by Pakistan could dangerously escalate the stand-off and trigger an international crisis. One diplomat said both sides must try to carefully measure their action to satisfy domestic nationalist fervour, while not provoking all out war. However with an Indian general election only weeks away, Mr Modi had come under intense pressure to act. As news channels on both sides of the border became increasingly bellicose, a Pakistani military spokesman even alluded to its nuclear arsenal, highlighting the escalation in hostile rhetoric. Indian soldiers and Kashmiri onlookers stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district Credit: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP The spokesman said a command and control authority meeting, which decides over the use of nuclear weapons, had been convened for Wednesday, adding: "You all know what that means." The Indian strike 30 miles from the frontier was thought to be the first strike inside its neighbour's territory since their 1971 war. Indian military sources said 12 French Mirage 2000 fighters crossed the line of control dividing the adversaries in Kashmir on their raid into Pakistani territory at around 3.15am local time. Accompanied by an airborne early warning and control aircraft and a mid-air re-fueller, the Mirages reportedly employed 1,000kg precision guided munitions to hit their targets in a mission that lasted a few minutes. Kashmir: why the tension?  The Kashmir dispute dates from 1947. The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. However, there remained the problem of over 650 states, run by princes, existing within the two newly independent countries. In theory, these princely states had the option of deciding which country to join, or of remaining independent. In practice, the restive population of each province proved decisive. As a result, both India and Pakistan control parts of Kashmir, but claim it in its entirety and have fought two wars over Kashmir since Partition in 1947. Where do we go now? Pakistan have claimed the two pilots are being treated well, according to its state media.  One is in hospital and one has been arrested, but there are question marks over where this tit-for-tat will go next.  Islamabad has said it does not want to escalate the situation to a full-blown war - a sentiment echoed by those around the world.  China is renewing calls for Pakistan and India to take steps to avoid a further deterioration of ties following the latest flare-up. Indian army soldiers arrive near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area Credit: Mukhtar Khan/AP Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a daily briefing on Wednesday that "both Pakistan and India are important countries in the subcontinent of South Asia." He added that China hopes "they will keep in mind the regional peace and stability, exercise restraint, take effective measures to strengthen dialogue, and maintain two sides' fundamental interests and the regional peace and stability." Lu also said: "We hope they will avoid deterioration of the situation." China is longstanding close ally and arms supplier to Pakistan, but has also sought better ties with its southern neighbor and Asian rival India. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also urged the two countries to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost, and said in a statement he had spoken to foreign ministers from Indian and Pakistan to "encourage both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity."  Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.




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Trump's presidency at stake, Republicans cast Cohen as ‘fraudster’ as hearing begins

Trump's presidency at stake, Republicans cast Cohen as ‘fraudster’ as hearing beginsMembers of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sparred before Michael Cohen’s testimony, with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, accusing the committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., of using Cohen’s hearing to damage President Trump.




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UK PM May proposes votes on no-deal exit and Brexit delay if her deal rejected: Telegraph

UK PM May proposes votes on no-deal exit and Brexit delay if her deal rejected: TelegraphLONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is proposing that parliament votes on whether to leave the European Union without a deal or delay Brexit if her exit deal fails to win parliamentary approval, a Daily Telegraph reporter said on Twitter. "The PM (Prime Minister) has said there will be a three line whip on an amendable motion tomorrow that will commit to two votes on March 12th in the event that her deal fails," Telegraph reporter Steven Swinford wrote, citing details of an ongoing cabinet meeting. ...




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Tensions escalate as Indian airstrike hits inside Pakistan

Tensions escalate as Indian airstrike hits inside PakistanBALAKOT, Pakistan (AP) — Tensions escalated sharply on the Asian subcontinent Tuesday with nuclear-armed neighbors Pakistan and India trading accusations and warnings after a pre-dawn airstrike by India that New Delhi said targeted a terrorist training camp.




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Trump-Kim summit: North Korea leader arrives in Vietnam to red carpet reception ahead of talks

Trump-Kim summit: North Korea leader arrives in Vietnam to red carpet reception ahead of talksKim Jong-un has rolled into Hanoi in an armoured limousine ahead of talks with Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital. The North Korean leader had earlier received a red-carpet reception amid tight security following a 65-hour, 2,500-mile journey from Pyongyang in a bulletproof train. After disembarking at Dong Dang rail station, close to Vietnam’s border with China, he walked past a guard of honour before climbing into his personal Mercedes limousine on Tuesday morning.




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U.S. Seeks UN Security Council Vote on New Venezuela Resolution

U.S. Seeks UN Security Council Vote on New Venezuela ResolutionThe resolution, which would likely face a Russian veto, stresses “the need to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and to facilitate unhindered access and delivery of assistance to all in need,” according to a draft of the text obtained by Bloomberg. Violence has raged along Venezuela’s borders as National Assembly leader Juan Guaido and his supporters -- which include the U.S. and 50 other nations -- amassed supplies at entry points in Colombia and Brazil.




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Interstate 80 remains closed in the Sierra due to heavy snow

Interstate 80 remains closed in the Sierra due to heavy snowI-80 CLOSED: Heavy snow in the Sierra forces freeway closure




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Cohen, Jim Jordan Clash Repeatedly During Testimony: ‘Shame on You’

Cohen, Jim Jordan Clash Repeatedly During Testimony: ‘Shame on You’Michael Cohen's testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday saw several heated exchanges between Cohen and the Committee's ranking Republican, Jim Jordan, who called Cohen -- President Trump's former personal lawyer -- a "patsy" for Democrats."The Democrats don’t care," Jordan told Cohen. "They just want to use you. You are the patsy today. They want to find someone somewhere to say something so they can remove the president."Cohen, who worked for Trump as his personal lawyer for a decade, appeared before the Committee on Wednesday after months of criticizing his former boss and cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.He pled guilty to federal prosecutors in New York in December and was sentenced to three years in prison for financial crimes, campaign-finance violations, and lying to Congress about how deep into the 2016 campaign negotiations over a proposed deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow continued."His remorse is nonexistent. You just debated a member of Congress saying, 'I really didn't do anything wrong with the false bank things that I'm guilty of and going to prison for,'" Jordan said during one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing."Shame on you, Mr. Jordan," Cohen shot back. "That's not what I said and you know that that's not what I said. I pled guilty and I take responsibility for my actions. Shame on you.""I am remorseful and I am going to prison," Cohen said. "I will be away from my wife and family for years, so before you turn around and cast more aspersion, please understand, there are people watching you today that know me a whole lot better. I made mistakes. I own them."A number of Republicans echoed Jordan's comments during the course of the hearing, including Georgia representative Jody Hice, who called the hearing a "shameful mockery," and Tennessee representative Mark Green, who called Cohen a "fake witness."




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U.S. disrupted Russian trolls on day of November election: report

U.S. disrupted Russian trolls on day of November election: reportThe U.S. military disrupted the internet access of a Russian troll farm accused of trying to influence American voters on Nov. 6, 2018, the day of the congressional elections, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The U.S. Cyber Command strike targeted the Internet Research Agency in the Russian port city of St. Petersburg, the Post reported, citing unidentified U.S. officials. The group is a Kremlin-backed outfit whose employees had posed as Americans and spread disinformation online in an attempt to also influence the 2016 election, according to U.S. officials.




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Tesla's Musk must address SEC contempt bid as he calls agency 'broken'

Tesla's Musk must address SEC contempt bid as he calls agency 'broken'A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk to explain by March 11 why he should not be held in contempt for violating his fraud settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The order by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan came hours after the billionaire criticized SEC oversight as "broken," in the wake of the regulator's request on Monday night that he be held in contempt. Lawyers for Tesla and Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.




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US seeks vote on UN resolution to allow aid into Venezuela

US seeks vote on UN resolution to allow aid into VenezuelaUNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. envoy Elliott Abrams said Tuesday the Trump administration will seek a U.N. Security Council vote this week on a resolution calling for Venezuela's government to let in humanitarian aid and to hold free elections, and then sparred with Russia over possible U.S. military intervention in the politically divided country.




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Hollywood Madam: Want to stop human trafficking? Legalize consensual sex for money.

Hollywood Madam: Want to stop human trafficking? Legalize consensual sex for money.Why would a wealthy and powerful man like Robert Kraft allegedly pay for sex from women at a Florida strip-mall massage parlor? Don't overthink it.




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The Latest: 7 of 8 prototype border walls demolished

The Latest: 7 of 8 prototype border walls demolishedSAN DIEGO (AP) — The Latest on the demolition of eight prototypes of the president's prized border wall. (all times local):




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Green New Deal: What is it and what does it mean for climate change?

Green New Deal: What is it and what does it mean for climate change?Democrats are in the process of hammering out their climate change policy ahead of the 2020 elections. One proposal is called the Green New Deal.




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Commercial flights to and from Pakistan, India disrupted as tensions rise

Commercial flights to and from Pakistan, India disrupted as tensions riseSeveral airlines, including Emirates and Qatar Airways, suspended flights to Pakistan on Wednesday after the South Asian nation closed its air space following heightened tensions with neighbouring India. Etihad, flydubai, Gulf Air, SriLankan Airlines and Air Canada also suspended services to the country and flight tracking portals showed Singapore Airlines, British Airways and others were forced to reroute flights. Airlines flying over India and Pakistan to Europe, the Middle East and Asia were disrupted and some flights were routed through Mumbai on India's western coast, so they could head further south and avoid Pakistan air space, an Indian government official told Reuters.




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Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-un at Vietnam summit and praises North Korea's 'unlimited' potential

Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-un at Vietnam summit and praises North Korea's 'unlimited' potentialDonald Trump praised Kim Jong-un as a “great leader” on Wednesday and talked up North Korea’s “unlimited” economic potential as the pair begun their two-day summit in Vietnam.  The US and North Korean leaders shared a 10-second handshake, warm words and a laugh while posing for the camera as they met for only the second time in Hanoi, the Vietnam capital.  They talked alone at first, save only for interpreters, before enjoying a wider dinner with key members of their administrations at a luxury colonial-era hotel in the city.  Mr Trump, who earlier in the day had tweeted about “my friend Kim”, talked up North Korea’s economic prospects - the carrot with which he hopes to convince Kim to give up his nuclear weapons. “I think that your country has tremendous economic potential - unbelievable, unlimited," the US president told Kim at the beginning of their one-on-one chat.  "I think that you will have a tremendous future with your country - a great leader - and I look forward to watching it happen and helping it to happen."   Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un at dinner at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi Credit: Broadcast via AP   Kim said that North Korea had been “misunderstood” and viewed with “distrust” in the past but praised the steps Washington and Pyongyang have made to ease tensions.  “There have been efforts, whether out of hostility or not, to block the path that we intend to take," Kim said, before adding that those challenges had been “overcome”.  He said of the Vietnam summit: "I am confident that we can achieve great results that everyone welcomes." The civility of the exchanges underscored the remarkable thawing in relations between Mr Trump, 72, and Kim, 35, over the last 18 months.  Mr Trump’s first year in office was marked with threats of “fire and fury” and mockery of Kim as “Little Rocket Man” but from early 2018 tensions eased, culminating in a historic summit in Singapore last June.  There were no policy breakthroughs announced on Wednesday evening, with more substantial talks about implementing Kim’s loose pledge to denuclearise at the Singapore summit due to take place on Thursday.    A television screen shows a news broadcast of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un meeting with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, at a railway station in Seoul Credit: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images   Instead the leaders put on a display of mutual respect when they met at the Metropole, a luxury French colonial-era hotel that includes actor Charlie Chaplin and author Graham Greene among its famous past guests.  Striding out towards each other shortly before 7pm local time, Mr Trump and Kim shook hands against a backdrop of a dozen interwoven US and North Korean flags.  Mr Trump patted Kim on his back before they turned to pose for the cameras, with the pair sharing a laugh before heading off to their negotiations.  The US president was asked by one reporter whether the summit would result in a political declaration to end the Korean War. "We'll see,” he responded. A one-on-one chat was followed by dinner with an extended ground of aides around a small round table covered by a white tablecloth.    Kim Jong-un receives a bouquet of flowers as he arrives at the Melia hotel in Hanoi Credit: KCNA/AFP   Mr Trump was joined by Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff. Alongside Kim was Kim Yong Chol, a former military spy chief helping lead negotiations, and Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean foreign affairs minister. Two translators also attended.  "A lot of things are going to be solved I hope," Mr Trump said as dinner begun. "I think it will lead to a wonderful, really a wonderful situation long-term." The White House unexpectedly restricted access for the handful of reporters following the group, allowing just one print reporter into the dinner.  Two reporters who asked questions during the handshake were reportedly not allowed to attend, prompting outrage from Washington journalists over press restrictions.    A child wears a North Korean flag on her cheek outside the Vietnam-North Korea Friendship kindergarten in Hanoi Credit: Noel Celis/AFP    Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said of the incident that “due to the sensitive nature of the meeting” the group of reporters allowed in had to be “limited”. Mr Trump earlier in the day had met the Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong and prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.  The US president, who was greeted by scores of children waving Vietnam and US flags before the meetings, signed trade deals that confirmed the sale of more than 100 Boeing jets to Vietnamese businesses.  Mr Trump tweeted at the start of the day: “Vietnam is thriving like few places on earth. North Korea would be the same, and very quickly, if it would denuclearize.  “The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un. We will know fairly soon - Very Interesting!” But some local politicians played down the hope of the summit creating a major breakthrough.  Dr Ngo Quang Xuan, vice-chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Vietnam’s National Assembly, told The Telegraph: “It [denuclearisation] is a very sensitive and difficult objective to obtain, and that’s why it will take time – not one or two days, not one month – for the final settlement.”




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Trump's ex-fixer Cohen says he is keen to tell his story in public

Trump's ex-fixer Cohen says he is keen to tell his story in publicIn brief comments after a full day of closed-door testimony in the Senate, Cohen said he would make his public case on Wednesday for why Americans should believe him over Trump. Cohen is expected to provide details about hush-money payments made to two women who said they had sexual affairs with Trump, and about Trump's efforts to secure a real estate project in Moscow even as he was running for president in 2016, a source familiar with the matter said. Cohen will also offer first-hand anecdotes to illustrate Trump's "lies, racism and cheating" during the decade Cohen worked for the real estate mogul, and provide "evidence of criminal conduct" since Trump became president, the source said.




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Donald Trump has leverage going into Vietnam summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump has leverage going into Vietnam summit with North Korea's Kim Jong UnFull denuclearization is an implausible goal. US should pursue diplomacy, trade and normalcy with North Korea, and that seems to be Trump's plan.




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India launches air strike in Pakistan; Islamabad denies militant camp hit

India launches air strike in Pakistan; Islamabad denies militant camp hitPakistan said it would respond at a time and place of its choice, with a military spokesman even alluding to its nuclear arsenal, highlighting the escalation in hostile rhetoric from both two sides since a suicide bombing in Kashmir this month. The spokesman said a command and control authority meeting, which decides over the use of nuclear weapons, had been convened for Wednesday, adding: "You all know what that means." The air strike near Balakot, a town 50 km (30 miles) from the frontier, was the deepest cross-border raid launched by India since the last of its three wars with Pakistan in 1971 but there were competing claims about any damage caused. The Indian government, facing an election in the coming months, said the air strikes hit a training camp belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), the group that claimed a suicide car bomb attack that killed at least 40 Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on Feb. 14.




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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it is 'legitimate' for people to not want children because of climate change

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it is 'legitimate' for people to not want children because of climate changeDemocratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argues that it is a “legitimate question” to ask whether it’s moral for people to have children with the looming threat of climate change continues to exacerbate global conflicts. “There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said during an Instagram livestream. Ms Ocasio-Cortez, a co-sponsor of the progressive Green New Deal resolution, said the clock is ticking when it comes to reversing the effects of global warming within the estimated 12-year deadline the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported last fall.




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North Koreans endure sleepless nights and give up alcohol during Kim's trip to Hanoi

North Koreans endure sleepless nights and give up alcohol during Kim's trip to HanoiNorth Koreans are pining for their leader and enduring sleepless nights during his week-long trip to Vietnam, if the reclusive country’s state-controlled media is to be believed.  Pictures from Hanoi showing Kim’s red-carpet treatment and excited crowds lining the streets of the Vietnamese capital to wave North Korean flags at his passing convoy are playing out well in a state that already portrays its leader and his ancestors as a living deities.  North Korea’s flagship state newspaper Rodong Sinmun devoted its front and second pages on Wednesday to pictures of Kim surrounded by welcoming throngs, acting statesman-like with his chief aides, and greeting cheering children of North Korean embassy staff.  Meanwhile, in Pyongyang, gushing televised vox-pops with city residents have conveniently revealed a longing for their “great leader” to return and a renewed desire to serve him.  “We can’t survive even for a moment without our respected Marshal,” said Kim Song Suk, a public service worker on a crowded tram. “We miss him so much since we heard the news of him travelling to the far-off foreign country.” Pak Sol Hyui, a young woman at the Wonsan shoe-making factory, said she dreamed of the “bright image of the respected Marshal” while laboring at her sewing machine.  “How can I make the respected Marshal happier when he returns? This is the thought that filled my head all day,” she said.  Kim Jong-un's diplomatic skills have been praised by state media Credit: Leah Mills/Reuters According to NK News, some citizens have decided to give up alcohol for the duration of Kim’s trip, in order to demonstrate their loyalty.  Reuters reported that Kim Jong Un’s long trip to Vietnam for a second summit with Donald Trump, the US president is causing sleepless nights back home.  “Three days, three nights have passed since the news of the Dear Marshal’s overseas visit,” a commentary in the Rodong said on Wednesday.  “Sleepless thinking of the Dear Marshal since Sunday” was leading to increased production from workers in the eastern town of Samjiyon and other construction “battlefields”, it added.  Samjiyon is at the foot of Mount Paektu, a sacred mountain where the ruling dynasty claims its roots. Kim is building a massive tourism centre there, one of his largest construction initiatives as he seeks to make his sanctions-hit economy more self-reliant. Kim and Mr Trump are meeting on Wednesday and Thursday to attempt to break a stalemate over the future of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.  Since news broke on Sunday of his trip – an epic 2,500-mile journey across China in a luxury train – state media has dedicated much of its coverage to Kim’s “historic overseas trip” and his “extraordinary political and excellent diplomatic skills.” Sycophantic media reports lauding Kim’s great exploits is nothing new in a country gripped by his cult of personality.   However, this week’s coverage has been unusually extensive and current. During the first summit between Kim and Mr Trump in Singapore last June, North Korea’s state media maintained a blackout on the meeting until he arrived in the city-state.  State news agency KCNA confirmed on Wednesday that Kim will remain in Vietnam after the summit for a March 1-2 goodwill visit, making his trip at least a week, the longest known trip since he came to power in 2011.




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Why Did Senate Democrats Refuse to Protect Infants?

Why Did Senate Democrats Refuse to Protect Infants?A moral catastrophe unfolded on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Monday. Forty-four Democratic senators voted against legislation that would have required doctors to give the same care to infants who survive abortion procedures that they would give to any other infant.One after another, Democratic senators took to the floor to smear the bill as an attack on women’s health care, a baseless criticism that they failed to substantiate. In the process, they revealed their belief that allowing unwanted infants to perish after birth constitutes a form of women’s health care.Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) reintroduced his Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act in direct response to Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s endorsement of permitting mothers and doctors to let infants die of neglect. “The infant would be delivered,” Northam said, explaining a hypothetical case in which a woman in labor wanted an abortion. “The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”This “discussion” is what Democrats voted on Monday to preserve — a discussion not about health-care options for women but about whether or not to extend health care of any kind to newborn infants. With their votes and their speeches, 44 U.S. senators embraced Ralph Northam’s position, which, despite attempting to clarify, he has never retracted.“I want to ask each and every one of my colleagues whether or not we’re okay with infanticide,” Sasse said at the start of floor debate on Monday. “This language is blunt. I recognize that. It is too blunt for many people in this body. But frankly, that is what we’re talking about here today. Infanticide is what [the bill] is actually about.”Though Sasse’s bill failed to pass, it succeeded in forcing Democrats to take a stance on infanticide, and though they refused to do so explicitly, the reality of their disgraceful position was abundantly clear.During floor debate, Senator Tina Smith (D., Minn.) said that the bill “puts Congress in the middle of the important medical decisions that patients and doctors should make together without political interference.”Democratic senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said it represents the idea that “the moral judgment of right-wing politicians in Washington, D.C., should supersede a medical professional’s judgment and a woman’s decision.”“It makes no sense for Washington politicians who know nothing about these individual circumstances to say they know better than the doctors, patients, the family,” said Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.). “The bill is solely meant to intimidate doctors and restrict patients’ access to care and has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with protecting children.”“This is how our medical system is supposed to work,” Smith added later in her remarks. “Physicians and patients making decisions together based on patients’ individual needs.”Democratic senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois labeled the bill an effort to “bully doctors out of giving reproductive care.” And Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) said the legislation “would interfere with the doctor–patient relationship and impose new obstacles to a woman’s constitutionally protected right to make her own decisions about her reproductive health.”“Conservative politicians should not be telling doctors how they should care for their patients,” Hirono said. “Instead, women, in consultation with their families and doctors, are in the best position to determine their best course of care.”All of these statements take as their premise a fundamental lie about the legislation. No part of the born-alive bill limits abortion access or regulates abortion methods in any way. It involves abortions only to the extent that the infants in question survived them. Nor does the bill mandate any particular kind of care for these infants; it merely requires that these nearly aborted newborns be afforded “the same degree” of care that “any other child born alive at the same gestational age” would receive.But these statements from Democrats are more than mere falsehoods. They expose a sinister reality: There is no daylight between their argument and that of Ralph Northam. They have admitted that they believe that denying medical care to infants can constitute legitimate women’s health care, classified under the untouchable umbrella of “reproductive rights.”That was the ultimate triumph of the attempt to pass the born-alive bill. Though Democrats managed to block the legislation, it forced the moral equivocators of the Democratic party to step out from behind their smokescreens. It demanded that they put their name to a vote permitting doctors to turn a blind eye to dying babies. It compelled them to defend Ralph Northam’s indefensible comments.This — and not because it would impede women’s “reproductive rights” — is why Democrats were so afraid of Ben Sasse’s bill. They knew that nothing in the text restricts access to abortion. But they knew, too, that it would expose them.To support the bill would betray a logical and philosophical inconsistency — Democrats would affirm the dignity and rights of a newborn infant, even as they dehumanize that same life, at the same stage of development, inside its mother’s womb. To oppose the bill would reveal the ghastly, consistent principle of the abortion-rights movement — that a child’s rights depend not on her size or location, but on whether she is wanted by her mother.The Democrats chose consistency, and consistency means infanticide.




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Ivanka Trump endorses working your way up through life

Ivanka Trump endorses working your way up through lifeIvanka Trump, elder daughter of a billionaire president, married to the son of a real estate mogul, thinks Americans want to make their own way up life’s ladder.




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Australian Cardinal Pell convicted of molesting 2 choirboys

Australian Cardinal Pell convicted of molesting 2 choirboysMELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse has been convicted of molesting two choirboys moments after celebrating Mass, dealing a new blow to the Catholic hierarchy's credibility after a year of global revelations of abuse and cover-up.




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Nuclear Nightmare: Are India and Pakistan on the Brink of War?

Nuclear Nightmare: Are India and Pakistan on the Brink of War?As the world is focused on the summit in Hanoi trouble is brewing between two other nuclear states.




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Sen. Kamala Harris dismisses concerns about cost of the Green New Deal

Sen. Kamala Harris dismisses concerns about cost of the Green New DealNew report finds Green New Deal could cost as much as $93 trillion over 10 years; reaction from Fox News contributor Judy Miller and Dan Henninger.




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Key Asia-Europe Air Route Closed as India-Pakistan Tensions Rise

Key Asia-Europe Air Route Closed as India-Pakistan Tensions RiseA Singapore Airlines Ltd. flight to London was diverted to Dubai Wednesday to refuel before heading to its final destination, the carrier said in an email. Qantas Airways Ltd. had to change the flight path for its London-Singapore service, which is scheduled to arrive at the Asian city-state later Thursday, adding an extra 20 minutes to the journey. Thai Airways International Pcl scrapped all 10 flights from Europe to Bangkok as well as those to Pakistan that were due to depart late Wednesday and early Thursday, it said on its website.




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10 Things to Know for Today

10 Things to Know for TodayYour daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:




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Pakistan 'captures Indian pilot after shooting down two jets in dogfight over Kashmir'

Pakistan 'captures Indian pilot after shooting down two jets in dogfight over Kashmir'Two planes shot down over Kashmir border Pakistan claims to have two pilots held Sources: jets shot down in 'four-on-four' dogfight Both countries dispute each other's claims Analysis: Pakistan and India need help climbing down, or risk another war over Kashmir ​ Pakistan has claimed to have shot down two Indian jets and captured a pilot after a dogfight over Kashmir, igniting fears of an all-out conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours.  Tensions remain high on the Asian Subcontinent where tens of thousands of Indian and Pakistani soldiers face off along the disputed Kashmir boundary. There are competing claims regarding the exact details of what has taken place, but Pakistan's Major General Asif Ghafoor said a pilot was in Army custody. Pakistan had earlier said it was holding two pilots. Ghafoor said the jets had been shot down after Pakistani planes earlier Wednesday flew across the Line of Control, the de facto border in disputed Kashmir, to the Indian side in a show of strength, hitting non-military targets including supply depots. Although this version of events is disputed by India, the Pakistani official said: "The Pakistan Air Force was ready, they took them on, there was an engagement. As a result both the Indian planes were shot down and the wreckage of one fell on our side while the wreckage of the other fell on their side." Pulwama suicide attack - Map Initially, the Indian Air Force (IAF) denied Pakistani claims, despite videos of the two pilots in Pakistani captivity being broadcast by state media. The IAF is also decried claims that two Indian fighter aircraft had been shot down. But later on Wednesday a foreign ministry official told a press conference in Delhi that there was an "aerial engagement", conceding just one Indian jet was shot down.  IAF sources said that there were four Pakistani F-16 fighters against four IAF MiG-21 Bison combat aircraft and the dogfight happened in a chase. The four Pakistani fighters are believed to have tried attacking an ammunition dump at Nowshera near the Line of Control in Kashmir, when they were chased by four Indian planes. India claims it has also shot down one of the Pakistani fighter jets.  The incident is the latest in a dangerous sequence of events between the two countries, whose ties have been under intense strain since a February 14 suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir that killed 40 troops. Islamabad insisted the latest move was in self defence and officials said strikes had been taken at non-military targets avoiding civilian casualties. Ghafoor said: "We do not want escalation, we do not want to go towards war," at a press conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, calling for talks with New Delhi. Pakistan closed its airspace Wednesday, "until further notice", the civil aviation authority and the military said. A military spokesman said the decision had been taken "due to the environment". How did we get here? The claim came a little over 24 hours after Delhi said it had struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp near Balakot where it said militants were preparing for imminent terrorist attacks. Islamabad had denied any camp was struck, but on Tuesday warned India to prepare for a surprise and vowed a "befitting" response at a time and place of its choosing. In a statement headed "Pakistan strikes back", the foreign ministry said the action was not retaliation " to continued Indian belligerence". "Pakistan has therefore, taken strikes at non military target, avoiding human loss and collateral damage. Sole purpose being to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence.  Pakistani soldiers stand next to what Pakistan says is the wreckage of an Indian fighter jet shot down in Pakistan controled Kashmir at Somani area in Bhimbar district Credit: AFP A spokesman for Pakistan's military said that Indian jets had then crossed the line of control and the Pakistan air forces had gone on to shoot two of them down inside Pakistani airspace. "One of the aircraft fell inside Azad Jammu and Kashmir, while other fell inside Indian Occupied Kashmir. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area," said Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor. There was no immediate response from Delhi, but Indian media did report an Indian air force jet crashed in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday morning. Delhi said on Tuesday it had said it had struck a pre-emptive blow against the Pakistan-based militant group it blames for a suicide bomb that killed at least 40 paramilitary police in Kashmir earlier this month. The force of jets destroyed a hilltop training camp near Balakot where Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) jihadists were preparing an imminent attack, the country's foreign minister said. But Pakistan dismissed that claim as “fictitious” and “self-serving”, saying its own jets had intercepted the raiding force and seen it off. Pakistan's military said the Indian jets dropped their payload of bombs “in haste” as they fled and they caused no damage after landing in deserted forest. Indian soldiers gesture near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district, outside Srinagar on February 27, 2019 Credit: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP Villagers near Balakot said they had been woken by jets and four blasts in an area close to a JeM madrassa. But they denied heavy casualties and said the damage was largely to trees. One person was wounded. "We saw trees fallen down and one house damaged and four craters where the bombs had fallen," said Mohammad Ajmal, a 25-year-old who visited the site told Reuters. Another neighbour, who declined to be named, said JeM ran a nearby Islamic school. An Indian attack had been widely predicted as Narendra Modi faced domestic outrage over the bomb attack in Pulwama blamed on JeM. A history of trouble Pakistan has long been accused of harbouring and supporting militant groups as tools of its foreign policy in India, Kashmir and Afghanistan. JeM is a primarily anti-India group that forged ties with al Qaeda and has been on a UN terrorist list since 2001. India says the JeM was also behind the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament and on an Indian air force base in 2016. Pakistan denies any involvement in the Pulwama attack and has challenged Delhi to deliver actionable intelligence on who carried out the attack. Indian and Pakistan: timeline of a testy relationship Western diplomats now fear any counter retaliation by Pakistan could dangerously escalate the stand-off and trigger an international crisis. One diplomat said both sides must try to carefully measure their action to satisfy domestic nationalist fervour, while not provoking all out war. However with an Indian general election only weeks away, Mr Modi had come under intense pressure to act. As news channels on both sides of the border became increasingly bellicose, a Pakistani military spokesman even alluded to its nuclear arsenal, highlighting the escalation in hostile rhetoric. Indian soldiers and Kashmiri onlookers stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district Credit: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP The spokesman said a command and control authority meeting, which decides over the use of nuclear weapons, had been convened for Wednesday, adding: "You all know what that means." The Indian strike 30 miles from the frontier was thought to be the first strike inside its neighbour's territory since their 1971 war. Indian military sources said 12 French Mirage 2000 fighters crossed the line of control dividing the adversaries in Kashmir on their raid into Pakistani territory at around 3.15am local time. Accompanied by an airborne early warning and control aircraft and a mid-air re-fueller, the Mirages reportedly employed 1,000kg precision guided munitions to hit their targets in a mission that lasted a few minutes. Kashmir: why the tension?  The Kashmir dispute dates from 1947. The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. However, there remained the problem of over 650 states, run by princes, existing within the two newly independent countries. In theory, these princely states had the option of deciding which country to join, or of remaining independent. In practice, the restive population of each province proved decisive. As a result, both India and Pakistan control parts of Kashmir, but claim it in its entirety and have fought two wars over Kashmir since Partition in 1947. Where do we go now? Pakistan have claimed the two pilots are being treated well, according to its state media.  One is in hospital and one has been arrested, but there are question marks over where this tit-for-tat will go next.  Islamabad has said it does not want to escalate the situation to a full-blown war - a sentiment echoed by those around the world.  China is renewing calls for Pakistan and India to take steps to avoid a further deterioration of ties following the latest flare-up. Indian army soldiers arrive near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area Credit: Mukhtar Khan/AP Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters at a daily briefing on Wednesday that "both Pakistan and India are important countries in the subcontinent of South Asia." He added that China hopes "they will keep in mind the regional peace and stability, exercise restraint, take effective measures to strengthen dialogue, and maintain two sides' fundamental interests and the regional peace and stability." Lu also said: "We hope they will avoid deterioration of the situation." China is longstanding close ally and arms supplier to Pakistan, but has also sought better ties with its southern neighbor and Asian rival India. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also urged the two countries to exercise restraint and avoid escalation at any cost, and said in a statement he had spoken to foreign ministers from Indian and Pakistan to "encourage both ministers to prioritise direct communication and avoid further military activity."  Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.




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Pennsylvania teen found alive after five family members murdered

Pennsylvania teen found alive after five family members murderedA teen whose mother and twin 9-year-old sisters were among five family members killed in their Pennsylvania home was staying at a friend's house at the time of the murders and is safe, officials said on Tuesday. Joshua Campbell, 17, was not at home when his aunt Shana Decree, 45, and her daughter Dominique Decree, 19, are alleged to have murdered five relatives in their apartment in Morrisville, about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Philadelphia, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said. After police found the bodies on Monday, relatives of the victims said they had begged authorities for weeks to check on Shana Decree due to concerns she might have fallen under the influence of a fringe religious group.




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May gives lawmakers chance to delay Brexit

May gives lawmakers chance to delay BrexitPrime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday offered lawmakers the chance to vote in two weeks for a potentially disorderly no-deal Brexit or to delay Britain’s exit from the European Union if her attempt to ratify a divorce agreement fails. Edward Baran reports.




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Top strategists split from Bernie Sanders for his 2020 White House run

Top strategists split from Bernie Sanders for his 2020 White House runProminent consultants Tad Devine, Mark Longabaugh and Julian Mulvey, who played leading roles in Sanders' insurgent 2016 presidential campaign, said they would not work on the Vermont senator's 2020 bid for the Democratic nomination, which was launched last week. "We are leaving because we believe that Senator Sanders deserves to have media consultants who share his creative vision for the campaign," the three said in a joint statement. It also put together the video that Sanders used to launch his 2020 campaign, and advised Sanders on his announcement schedule and rollout, Longabaugh said.




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