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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Strikes Down State's Congressional Map, Saying It Illegally Benefits GOPThe Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the state’s congressional map went so far to benefit Republicans that it violated the state constitution.


Man charged with DUI after trying to order burrito at bank drive-through windowA Florida man was charged with driving under the influence after he tried to order a burrito at a Bank of America drive-through window.


Democrats Agree To Reopen Government Without Protections For DreamersWASHINGTON ― The Senate reached a deal Monday to fund the government and potentially provide a path forward for a larger immigration agreement.


Video Shows Captive California Siblings After Their Parents' ArrestThe oldest son's transcript from a local college shows he had a near-perfect grade point average.


Larry Nassar Was A Master Manipulator, But He Didn’t Act AloneThe first time I got a message from Larry Nassar, I felt honored.


Israeli scholars decipher Dead Sea ScrollIsraeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century since their discovery, an Israeli university has said. The more than 60 tiny fragments of parchment bearing encrypted Hebrew writing had previously been thought to come from a variety of different scrolls, a Haifa University spokesman told AFP on Sunday.


Kabul Hotel attackers 'went from room to room in search of foreigners to kill'Taliban militants who killed at least 22 people at a luxury Kabul hotel went from room to room searching for foreigners, according to survivors and a security source on  Monday as more details of the victims emerged. Insurgents armed with Kalashnikovs and suicide vests attacked the landmark Intercontinental Hotel overlooking the Afghan capital late Saturday in an assault that lasted more than 12 hours and prompted questions over how the attackers breached security. Guests hid behind pillars and in rooms as gunmen sprayed bullets and set fire to parts of the six-storey building. Some people climbed over balconies and used bed sheets in a desperate attempt to escape. "They were saying, 'Kill the foreigners!'," a 20-year-old hotel employee who gave his name as Hasibullah said from his hospital bed. He described hiding in a fifth-floor room and listening as the gunmen went from room to room, forcing doors open "with daggers" and killing those inside. A burned corridor of the Intercontinental Hotel a day after the attack in Kabul Credit: REUTERS Officials have said that at least 14 foreigners were killed. "They didn't want to kill the Afghans," a security source said. "The weapons and bullets they had were for the foreigners." One other witness claimed he had seen the militants beheading guests. The attack ended Sunday with all six militants killed by Afghan forces, aided by Norwegian troops. Health ministry spokesman Waheed Majroh said 22 bodies had now been taken to Kabul hospitals. "Some of the bodies (are) burned badly and need DNA tests to be identified," he said. The interior ministry gave a lower toll Monday, saying 19 people were dead. There were also conflicting accounts of the number of attackers, which the ministry had put at six. Authorities are known to understate death tolls in high-profile attacks, and much higher figures were circulating on local media. At least seven Ukrainian citizens were among the dead, the country's ambassador to Tajikistan and Afghanistan Viktor Nikitiuk told Ukrainian television 112. "A lot of Ukrainian aviation technicians work in Afghanistan. All the dead were working for the airline Kam Air and living at the Intercontinental Hotel," he said. Kam Air, an Afghan carrier, said a further two Venezuelan staff were also killed in the assault, bringing the airline's loss to at least nine of its personnel - five crew and four pilots. Captain Samad Usman Samadi, the airline's CEO, said his staff "has been shocked and they are not in normal conditions". "It will some time for them to recover," he said. Afghan security forces keep watch as smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday  Credit: OMAR SOBHANI/ REUTERS One German citizen and one Kazakh citizen were also killed, their foreign ministries said. Afghan officials told AFP that senior Afghan diplomat Abdullah Poyan died along with Mufti Ahmad Farzan, a member of the High Peace Council responsible for reconciliation efforts with militants. The employee Hasibullah said he saw two "fashionably dressed" gunmen in the hotel restaurant before the assault began. The security source confirmed investigators had seen CCTV footage showing the attackers in the restaurant prior to the attack. "It was around 8.30 pm... They were sitting in the corner of the hotel and they immediately started spraying bullets," Hasibullah said. He ran to the fifth floor room and locked himself inside, though not before seeing "many" bodies on the ground. But as the gunmen went from door to door he leapt from the window in terror. "I fell on people lying in blood... it was horrific." Knocked unconscious, he awoke in hospital with a broken leg and other wounds. Another survivor said the attackers "even beheaded the guests and people inside the hotel". Noorullah, 24, said he worked at the hotel checking its security cameras, but fled to the fourth floor as the power went off and the attack began. Also describing the militants as wearing civilian clothes, he said they killed "dozens" of people, opening every single room and "raining" bullets. He, too, jumped from a window to escape. Witnesses said the hotel's security staff fled the scene as the attack unfolded. Authorities warned they were still investigating how militants breached hotel security, which was taken over by a private company three weeks ago. It was too soon to say if the militants had inside help, an interior ministry spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi said. The militants were armed with suicide vests, pistols, hand grenades and Kalashnikovs, he said. The attack followed security warnings in recent days to avoid hotels and other locations frequented by foreigners in war-torn Kabul. Security has been ramped up in the city, but the resurgent Taliban and Islamic State are both scaling up their assaults.


25 Perfect Potato Soups


Service Dog Atlas Meets Pluto During Trip to Disney WorldAtlas, a golden retriever, even has a stuffed Pluto toy at home.


Hawaii Missile Alert Update Delayed Because Governor Didn’t Know His Twitter PasswordHawaiian Gov. David Ige (D) has made the embarrassing admission that his office did not immediately inform the public about the state’s missile alert false alarm partly because he had forgotten the password to his Twitter account.


The Latest: Mexican Uber driver in US illegally denies rapesSAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on an Uber driver accused of rape and other crimes against young women in California (all times local):


The #SchumerShutdown Hashtag Is Getting A Big Boost From Russian BotsWASHINGTON ― As lawmakers wage a messaging war over who caused the government shutdown, Republicans and the White House are getting a big boost in their efforts to blame Democrats for the mess ― from the Russians.


Why the flu can kill a healthy person so quicklyThe flu epidemic is three times worse than it was last year, and every part of the continental U.S. is under siege. NBC News’ Anne Thompson sits down with a doctor to find out what’s made the flu so severe.


WSJ Reporter: Trump May Have Reneged On Border Wall Deal To Hold On To Campaign IssueWall Street Journal White House reporter Eli Stokols has a possible theory about why Donald Trump reportedly accepted a border wall offering from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — then reneged.


Missing messages in Clinton probeKelly Wright reports from Washington, D.C.


Philippine volcano rains ash, violent eruption fearedA giant mushroom-shaped cloud shot up from the Philippines' most active volcano on Monday, turning day into night as it rained ash on communities where tens of thousands have fled after warnings of an impending eruption. "Hazardous eruption imminent," the state volcanology agency concluded in its latest bulletin, saying Mayon volcano could blow up within days after two weeks of activity. Fine ash and sand fell on Legazpi, a city of about 200,000 people, and nearby areas after the midday explosion turned the area into virtual nighttime, forcing motorists to switch on their lights and use windscreen wipers, an AFP video stringer said.


Harry Potter river cruise to set sail on River ThamesIt's no flying car, but Harry Potter fans are being courted in a new river cruise that makes stops at key filming locations like 4 Privet Drive, the real-world inspiration for Hogwarts, and the Warner Bros. Studio where the Harry Potter movies were made. 


Separate Carnival Cruise Line Accidents See One Passenger Dead and Another MissingOne passenger went missing overboard while another fell to her death on separate Carnival Cruise Line ships


UPDATE: 2 Flares Set Off At Florida Mall, Initially Thought To Be IEDsTwo devices found at a Florida mall originally thought to be improvised explosives were actually marine flares, authorities said on Monday.


15-Year-Old Airlifted To Dallas Hospital After High School ShootingA 16-year-old boy shot a 15-year-old girl in a Texas high school cafeteria Monday, officials said.


UN readies aid as Turkey attacks Kurdish enclave in SyriaDAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The United Nations is ready to help people who might flee from the Afrin enclave, where Turkish troops are on the offensive against Kurdish fighters, the top U.N. official in Syria said Monday.


Private company launches search for Malaysia's Flight MH370 in 'final effort'SYDNEY/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A U.S.-based company has begun searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Malaysia said on Tuesday, as it tries to solve one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries. Flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 people, mostly Chinese, on board. Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off MH370's transponder before diverting it over the Indian Ocean.


Democrats Dominate At The Ballot Box In The Age Of TrumpIn the year since Donald Trump became president, Democrats have had a string of successes at the ballot box ― making many Republicans nervous about a potential blue wave in November.


Bishop tells Russians not to vote for Putin in rare church dissentA Russian Orthodox bishop has advised the faithful not to vote for Vladimir Putin when he stands for re-election in March, a nearly unheard of occurrence in the loyal church. The angry statement marked the first time an acting bishop has spoken against supporting the current president, according to the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, but it was motivated by Mr Putin's perceived impiety rather than political differences.  Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin of the epiphany cathedral in the Siberian city of Ishim wrote on his page on VK, Russia's most popular social network, that he could no longer follow his “desire to vote for Putin” following “blasphemous” remarks by the president. “'If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is your darkness!' are the words of Christ,” Mr Kurochkin wrote. “And will I go against Christ to vote for darkness or advise anyone to do this? No, no and no!” Bishop Yevtikhy Kurochkin The bishop was angered by comments in a state television film about Valaam, an island of monasteries and churches in Lake Ladoga where the president has a holiday home. Mr Putin had argued that the Soviet regime had “adapted” Christian ideas for its communist ideology, including in its mummification of Vladimir Lenin, whose body remains on display on Red Square. “They put Lenin in the mausoleum. How does this differ from the relics of saints for Orthodox believers or Christians in general?” Mr Putin said. “When they tell me no, there is no such tradition in Christianity, how is there not? Go and look in Athens, there are the relics of saints there, and we have the relics of saints here too.” While the Russian Orthodox church has been growing increasingly influential in recent years, it has usually been supportive of the ruling regime. This goes back to a tradition of loyalty in tsarist times, when the official ideology was “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”. Mr Putin submerges himself in an icy lake as part of a popular Orthodox ritual on Thursday Credit: Alexei Druzhinin/AFP Photo/Sputnik Mr Putin has promoted conservative values during his 18 years in power and frequently appears at religious events. On Thursday, he was photographed taking a dip in an icy lake as part of an Orthodox ritual observed by many Russians.  Also on Monday, a court shut down the foundation of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has sought to challenge Mr Putin for the presidency but was barred from the race. He has called for protests around Russia on Sunday. Mr Navalny has used the foundation to pay campaign workers and organise rallies. The authorities “want to transform our finely tuned electoral machine into a chaos of volunteers” by banning the foundation, Mr Navalny told The Telegraph in an interview last week.  He said his campaign would devise other “partisan methods” to continue its work.


Report: Conflicting California mudslide warnings issuedSANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — In the days before mudslides devastated Southern California neighborhoods, officials released conflicting evacuation orders that left some hard-hit neighborhoods out of the warning zone, according to a newspaper report published Tuesday.


Oil slick off China coast trebles in size: officialThe spill from a sunken Iranian tanker off China's east coast has more than trebled in size, just over a week after the ship sank in a ball of flames. Authorities spotted three oil slicks with a total surface area of 332 square kilometres (128 square miles), compared to 101 square kilometres reported on Wednesday, the State Oceanic Administration said in a statement late Sunday. The Sanchi, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, collided with Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter the CF Crystal in early January, setting off a desperate race by authorities to search for survivors and stave off a massive environmental catastrophe.


Here Are The 10 Best Hotels In The World In 2018, According To TravelersJetsetters hoping to get a jump start on their 2018 travel plans will love this latest news.


At Least 30 Children Have Died From This Season's Flu. Some of Them Were Perfectly Healthy30 U.S. children have died from influenza-related causes so far this flu season, says the CDC, and some of them were perfectly healthy.


Vietnam oil exec 'kidnapped' from Germany jailed for lifeA Vietnamese former state oil executive who was allegedly kidnapped from Germany was jailed for life on Monday for embezzlement, in the highest-profile corruption trial to target the communist country's business and political elite. Vietnam has mirrored China in its massive corruption purge, but critics say the campaign is as much about targeting political foes as it is about tackling graft in one of Southeast Asia's most corrupt nations. The life sentence for Trinh Xuan Thanh, the former head of PetroVietnam Construction (PVC), capped a dramatic two-week trial -- closed to international media -- that included a tearful apology from the 51-year-old.


Immigration Authorities Detain Woman On A Greyhound Bus After Asking Everyone For IDA video reportedly showing Customs and Border Protection agents demanding proof of citizenship from Greyhound bus passengers in Florida last week has sparked fresh outrage over the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policies.


Afghan forces end Taliban siege at Kabul hotel; 18 deadKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Security forces said Sunday they had killed the last of six Taliban militants to end an overnight siege at Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel that left at least 18 people dead, including 14 foreigners. Some of the 150 guests fled the gunbattle and fire sparked by the assault by shimmying down bedsheets from the upper floors.


Mike Pence Defends His President's Racist 'Shithole' CommentsVice President Mike Pence argued on Monday that he knows President Donald Trump didn’t mean to be racist when referring to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries” because “I know what’s in the president’s heart.”


Pence delivers historic address to Israel's parliamentVice president gets a standing ovation after saying the U.S. embassy will open in Jerusalem next year.


3 USA Gymnastics Directors Resign In Larry Nassar Sex Abuse ScandalThree USA Gymnastics directors have resigned amid fierce criticism that the organization failed to protect its athletes from team doctor Larry Nassar, a serial predator whose sentencing hearing continues this week.


Elon Musk's Boring Company Prepares First Public Pitch for Its Tunnel PlansThe first step in Musk's newest project.


GOP Senator Throws 'Talking Stick' During Shutdown Meeting, Breaks Glass ElephantA Republican senator accidentally broke a glass elephant with a toss of a “talking stick” during government shutdown negotiations, and people on Twitter can’t get enough of the symbolism.


Private Investigators Say Several People Murdered Canadian Billionaire Couple Barry and Honey ShermanThe suggestion contradicts earlier theories that their deaths were a result of a murder-suicide


Kentucky school shooting leaves two students deadA teenage gunman opened fire in a Kentucky high school on Tuesday, leaving two students dead and more than a dozen people wounded, the US state's governor said. A 15-year-old student, now in custody, is alleged to have carried out the attack at the Marshall County High School in Benton, a small town in western Kentucky. Two students -- both also aged 15 -- died of gunshot wounds, while 12 other people were shot and five suffered other injuries in the shooting, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin told a news conference.


No, the Tax Bill Will Not Help RepublicansRepublicans passed a bill over the objections of the American people that, in many cases, was designed to hurt their own constituents. Last month, weeks before signing into law the most sweeping changes to corporate and individual tax rates in decades, President Trump promised the tax bill would help Republicans politically. “I think people see that and they’re seeing it more and more, and the more they learn about [the tax bill], the more popular it becomes,” he told reporters.


S. Koreans burn Kim's photo as N. Korean band leader passesSEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Conservative South Korean activists burned a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the head of the North's extremely popular girl band passed them Monday during a visit to Seoul amid a flurry of cooperation agreements between the rivals ahead of next month's Winter Olympics in the South.


U.S. attorney general orders probe of FBI agents' text messagesBy Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered an investigation into missing text messages exchanged between two Federal Bureau of Investigation staffers who are accused of expressing views against President Donald Trump, the Justice Department has confirmed. Texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanged between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, are among a broader batch of missing phone messages that the FBI's system failed to store due to a software upgrade glitch on many Samsung 5 cell phones.


Pope Francis Offers Partial Apology To Clergy Sex Abuse Victims After Demand For 'Proof'Pope Francis partially apologized for last week’s brusque attack on victims of clergy sex abuse ― but he continued supporting a controversial Chilean bishop accused of protecting a pedophile priest.


Judi Dench Was Up For 'Leading Roll' SAG Award, And Twitter Rolled With ItA half-baked SAG Awards graphic on Sunday showed that Judi Dench of “Victoria & Abdul” was among the nominees for outstanding female actor in a “leading roll.”


Amazon Go Officially Opens to the PublicWith the launch of its first Amazon Go retail location, the company is allowing customers to buy groceries without ever checking out


The 12th graders taking a stand against Israel’s armyIsrael’s defense force has long been a mandatory conscription army. Now, teenagers are beginning to resist the social order and stand up to the status quo.


James Franco Attends SAG Awards Amid Allegations Of Sexually Inappropriate BehaviorJames Franco attended the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday night despite having been accused earlier this month of sexually inappropriate behavior.


2 Students Dead, More Than a Dozen Injured After 15-Year-Old Opens Fire at Kentucky High School: CopsShots rang out at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., Tuesday morning.


US shutdown to end as Senate Republicans and Democrats reach a dealAmerica’s government is set to reopen on Monday afternoon after Democratic senators “blinked" first and agreed to end a three-day shutdown.  The country’s opposition party had been demanding an explicit pledge to protect young undocumented migrants but settled for a promise of new legislation instead.  The Senate voted 81 to 18 to fund the government until February 8, allowing hundreds of thousands of federal workers to get back to work on Tuesday.  However it is only a stop-gap measure, with Republicans and Democrats having 16 days to find an agreement on spending and immigration before another shutdown takes place. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, announced the party’s change of heart on the Congress floor moments before a vote on reopening the government.   Senate Minority Leader Charles 'Chuck' Schumer Credit: AFP “We will vote today to reopen the government,” Mr Schumer said, citing a promise that a bipartisan bill to protect “dreamer” migrants would the tabled in the coming weeks.  He added: “President Trump's unwillingness to compromise caused the Trump shutdown and brought us to this moment … The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer However the White House and senior Republicans suggested Mr Schumer had caved in, changing his stance on the shutdown despite being offered little in return. Mr Trump said: “I am pleased that Democrats in Congress have come to their senses and are now willing to fund our great military, border patrol, first responders, and insurance for vulnerable children. “As I have always said, once the Government is funded, my Administration will work toward solving the problem of very unfair illegal immigration. We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country.”   Raj Shah, the White House deputy press secretary, said: “The fact that they’re voting in favour of this proposal that they rejected a few days ago is evidence that they blinked.” The government shutdown, which comes when Congress fails to agree its spending, begun at midnight on Friday – the first time it has happened since 2013.  Then the Democrats voted against a measure that would have kept the government open for a month and extend a child health insurance programme by six years.  Senior figures had argued that Republicans needed to promise to protect the 700,000 “dreamer” migrants brought to the country illegally when young if they want their vote.  However on Monday, the Democratic leadership decided to support a similar measure. It would re-open government for less than three weeks while extending the same child health programme.   Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell  Credit: Drew Angerer Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, agreed to table immigration legislation on a bipartisan basis in the coming weeks – but made no promise about its contents.  One possible reason for the Democrat change of heart was that 10 of its senators face re-election later this year in states Mr Trump won, making opposition to the president politically difficult.  Staff members stand outside the Senate during the government shutdown on Capitol Hill  Credit: Andrew Harrer The work of a group of 25 moderate senators from both parties, who negotiated a deal between themselves, was also credited with solving the impasse.  All eyes will now be on Mr Trump to see if he will say where he stands on the so-called dreamer children after weeks of mixed signals.  The House of Representatives and Mr Trump were set to approve the re-opening of government after the Senate vote on Monday.  It means that Mr Trump’s visit to World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he is set to make a major speech later this week, will go ahead as planned. 


The Latest: France tells UN that Syria is at 'a crossroads'BEIRUT (AP) — The latest on developments in Syria and Turkey's offensive on the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin (all times local):


Pence in Jerusalem pledges embassy move by end of 2019, faces protestUS Vice President Mike Pence pledged to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by the end of 2019 on Monday in a speech to Israel's parliament that saw Arab lawmakers expelled after they shouted in protest. As Pence spoke, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas arrived to meet European Union foreign ministers in Brussels, urging them to "swiftly" recognise the state of Palestine. Pence's speech, filled with biblical references and praise of Israel, was greeted with loud applause by Israeli Jewish lawmakers, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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