National & International News

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On a cold, bright Sunday afternoon during New York Fashion Week, nearly six hundred people packed into an old building in Manhattan's Lower East Side for an unusual lingerie show.

When Ryan Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, left his post as U.S. Interior Department secretary on Jan. 2, he was under fire on multiple fronts.

Tom and Tamara Conry were dead set on returning to Paradise after the deadly Camp Fire destroyed the town last November. The couple's home was barely touched by the fire, and most other survivors had a much steeper climb to recovery.

But when their property insurer, American Reliable, notified them in December that it wasn't renewing the couple's homeowner's coverage, they realized that returning home would be even harder than expected.

College sophomore Jake Schwartz looks up at the red Solo cup teetering dangerously close to the 15-foot ledge above him.

The cup is full of water, and it's attached to him arm by a string. One wrong move and it will dump on his head.

Schwartz tries to be still, but it's hard not to move. The cup inches forward.

Then it happens: about 10 minutes in, his arm jerks and the cup drops, soaking him and his leather jacket – in 30-degree weather.

Just a few blocks past a college bookstore, modern restaurants with beer flights and big-screen TVs, and gift shops selling the same trinkets you'd find in any tourist town in America, you might wander onto a cobblestone street.

A rooster crows. The smell and sound of horses drifts in the breeze. Women go about their business dressed in caps and petticoats; men wear breeches, perhaps a cravat.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration on Saturday for the nomination of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations," she said, according to a statement released by the State Department. "However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration."

The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is cutting its payouts in half for some and by as much as 70 percent for others, as the fund faces a surge in claims ahead of its expiration date in December 2020.

The fund, which was opened in 2011, compensates for deaths and illnesses due to exposure to toxins at the sites of the Sept. 11 attacks. The $7.3 billion fund has already paid out about $5 billion to 21,000 claimants. But it still has about 19,000 additional unpaid claims to address.

Actor Bruno Ganz, whose long career and signature roles as an angel in the film Wings of Desire and Adolf Hitler in Downfall made him one of the most recognized actors of German-language cinema, died on Friday. He was 77.

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The gunman who killed five people in Aurora, Ill., and wounded five police officers started shooting after learning he was being fired, police said on Saturday.

The U.S.-led liberal world order is falling apart, according to the organizers of a gathering of world leaders and defense chiefs in Germany that has met annually since the Cold War.

The Munich Security Conference report said the Trump administration displays an "irritating enthusiasm for strongmen across the globe" and "disdain for international institutions and agreements."

Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET

The Vatican has defrocked former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, it said Saturday, making him the highest-ranking church official to date to be expelled from the priesthood for sex abuse.

The U.S. effort to distribute tons of food and medicine to needy Venezuelans is more than just a humanitarian mission. The operation is also designed to foment regime change in Venezuela — which is why much of the international aid community wants nothing to do with it.

Humanitarian operations are supposed to be neutral. That's why the International Committee of the Red Cross, United Nations agencies and other relief organizations have refused to collaborate with the U.S. and its allies in the Venezuelan opposition who are trying to force President Nicolás Maduro from power.

Most American automobiles are powered by internal combustion engines: Gas or diesel goes in, tiny explosions power pistons and turn a crankshaft, the car moves forward, and carbon dioxide goes out.

But a growing chorus environmental activists, business analysts and auto executives are predicting a sea change as battery-powered electric vehicles grow in popularity.

Before President Trump even uttered the words "national emergency" on Friday, there was already a lot of talk about legal challenges.

Here's the central question: Is it constitutional for the president to ignore Congress' decision not to give him all the money he wants for a Southern border wall — and, instead, get it through a declaration of a national emergency?

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An end to the Denver teacher strike

Denver teachers returned to the classroom this week after the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public Schools reached a tentative labor agreement Thursday morning. Teachers in Denver had been on strike since Monday.

When you talk to Virginia Democrats these days, you hear a lot of words like "disappointing" and "frustrating."

That's because the men at the top of state government — and at the center of these scandals — have been well-liked by a lot of people who worked hard to help elect them.

"It really is kind of a hard thing to reckon with — some of your heroes either causing embarrassment or shame or disappointment or anger," said Alexsis Rodgers, president of Virginia Young Democrats.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that its February 24 live broadcast of the Oscars will include four cinematography awards, reversing a decision to present them during commercial breaks.

Television viewers of the 91st Academy Awards will see presenters open the envelopes, and winners make their way to the stage and give speeches for best cinematography, film editing, live action short, and makeup and hairstyling.

Journalists at the Hartford Courant have won the right to organize, just four days after they asked parent company Tribune Publishing to recognize the union. Organizers at the Connecticut newspaper had also filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced new guidelines to track child marriages among immigrants in the United States.

While debates on immigration have focused on national security, and President Trump's determination to build a wall along the southern border has resulted in a national emergency declaration, the new rules address a far lesser known immigration issue.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, there is no minimum age requirement for a person to request or benefit from visa applications in which spouses or fiancées are minors.

The Senate Finance Committee is launching a bipartisan investigation into how a conservative think tank aided Maria Butina, the admitted Russian agent who sought political influence through her ties with the National Rifle Association.

Butina pleaded guilty to acting as a foreign agent in the United States in December, and her alleged Russian government handler, Alexander Torshin, was sanctioned by the U.S. in April 2018.

A federal judge imposed a gag order on Friday in the case of Republican political consultant Roger Stone.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered that lawyers and others in the case must not talk about it publicly in ways that "pose a substantial likelihood of material prejudice" and specifically they must not use the area outside court in Washington, D.C., as a venue for those kinds of statements.

Updated at 11:53 p.m. ET

A man armed with a handgun entered the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Ill., on Friday afternoon and killed five civilians, officials announced at a news conference. Five police officers were also wounded.

In declaring a national emergency Friday, President Trump tried to underscore the urgency of what he calls a national security crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico, while at the same time downplaying the gravity of his response.

In a desolate stretch of desert outside Yuma, Ariz., there's a spot where more than 350 migrants, including children, burrowed under the steel border fence a few weeks ago.

"This only goes down just about probably another foot, this steel," said Anthony Porvaznik, chief patrol agent for the Yuma sector of the Border Patrol. He says smugglers tried digging in more than a dozen spots, looking for places where the ground was soft enough.

"This is very sandy," Porvaznik said. "It's like that all the way down, and so it was easy to dig."

A mayor from another city that tried to land big tech companies might be starting to look pretty smart after Amazon canceled its plans for a New York City headquarters. Activists and local politicians said New York had given up too much for too little.

But it doesn't have to be that way, says San Jose, Calif., Mayor Sam Liccardo, who refused to offer Amazon and another tech giant, Google, any incentives to locate in his city.

Two women who were detained and asked to show identification after speaking Spanish in a convenience store in Montana are suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, saying the CBP agent violated their constitutional rights when he detained them and asked to see their identification.

Rape and sexual violence in Sierra Leone are now a national emergency.

Last week President Julius Maada Bio declared it so, and outlined ambitious plans — like free hospital care to rape victims, creating special police and court divisions devoted to sexual violence and a national phone hotline — to address the problem.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the NFL have reached an agreement to settle his allegations that league teams colluded to deny him a contract after his controversial protests in which he took a knee during the national anthem.

The league has also reached a deal with Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid over similar collusion allegations.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the Trump administration can add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The decision grants the administration's request for an immediate review of a lower court's ruling that stopped plans for the question. A hearing is expected to be held in April.

Updated at 9:55 p.m. ET

Nigerians who were due to cast ballots Saturday to choose a new leader from a field of some 70 candidates will now have to wait until Feb. 23. Election officials blame the delay simply on "challenges."

The Associated Press cites reports that "voting materials had not been delivered to all parts of the country."

Two men have emerged as the clear front-runners. Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to hold on to his position, and opposition leader Atiku Abubakar is his fiercest challenger.

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