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Cuba denies military in Venezuela, charges U.S. readies interventionU.S. President Donald Trump and members of the administration have charged that Cuba’s security forces and military control Venezuela’s and that troops are also on the ground there. “Our government categorically and energetically rejects this slander,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said at a Havana press conference, adding all of the some 20,000 Cubans in Venezuela were civilians, most health professionals. Communist-run Cuba has been a key backer of the Venezuelan government since the Bolivarian Revolution that began under former leader Hugo Chavez in 1998.


2/19/2019 4:52:43 PM

An 11-Year-Old Student Was Arrested in Florida After Refusing to Stand for the Pledge of AllegianceThe 11-year-old was charged with disruption and resisting arrest


2/19/2019 1:03:12 AM

Southwest Airlines under FAA investigation for aircraft weight, balance calculationsThe investigation began in February 2018, and there have been no fines nor enforcement action from the investigation to date.


2/18/2019 3:51:34 PM

Dozens of civilians, fighters quit Syria jihadist holdout: SDFUS-backed forces said several jihadists and dozens of civilians quit the Islamic State group's last patch of territory in Syria Tuesday, and warned remaining fighters should surrender or face death. Backed by air strikes by the US-led coalition, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have trapped the jihadists in a segment of Baghhouz village that is less than half a square kilometre (a fifth of a square mile). "Dozens of civilians and some fighters have handed themselves over", SDF spokesman Adnan Afrin told reporters at the nearby Al-Omar oil field.


2/19/2019 12:55:07 PM

Group sees 'disconnect' between pope's words, actions on sex abuseA US-based group that compiles data on sexual abuse by Catholic clerics and bishops accused of covering it up fears that a bid by Pope Francis to tackle the scandals is a case of too little, too late. Speaking ahead of a Vatican summit of bishops this week to discuss the crisis, Anne Barret Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, complained of a "disconnect" between the pontiff's strong statements and his actions. The non-governmental organisation is taking part in a counter-summit of victims running alongside the Vatican event.


2/18/2019 9:18:47 PM

N Carolina elections head says ballots handled illegallyRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Republican operative conducted an illegal and well-funded ballot-harvesting operation, North Carolina's elections director said Monday, but the first session of a days-long hearing produced scant evidence that the GOP congressional candidate he worked for knew about it or even benefited.


2/18/2019 6:47:53 PM

Farrakhan Praises Omar’s Anti-Semitic Remarks: ‘Shake Up That Corrupt House’Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Sunday praised Representative Ilhan Omar's (D., Minn.) recent endorsement of an anti-Semitic trope and urged the freshman lawmaker not to bow to pressure from critics.“Ms. Omar from Somalia – she started talking about ‘the Benjamins' and they are trying to make her apologize. Sweetheart, don't do that. Pardon me for calling you sweetheart, but you do have a sweet heart. You sure are using it to shake the government up, but you have nothing to apologize for,” Farrakhan said during his annual Saviour's Day address in Chicago, in comments first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.“Israel and AIPAC pays off senators and congressmen to do their bidding, so you're not lying. So if you're not lying, stop laying down. You were sent there by the people to shake up that corrupt House,” he added.Farrakhan, who has long engaged in anti-Semitic conspiracy-mongering, went on to mock Omar's Democratic allies, who have defended her remarks as the result of inexperience and lack of knowledge regarding the historic plight of the Jewish people.“‘Oh she's just young. She just got here. Don't be so hard on her,’” he said, mocking Omar's defenders. “My beautiful sisters, you were sent there to shake that House up. Your people voted you in, but God is the overseer.”Omar argued in a series of tweets sent last week that the pro-Israel stance held by many of her colleagues can be attributed to the nefarious influence of jewish donors and organizations, such as the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). She subsequently apologized after being publicly urged to do so by Democratic leadership.Since being elected in November, Omar has been confronted with allegations of anti-Semitism by critics who cite both her past tweets, one of which accused Israel of "hypnotizing the world," and her more-recent statements and associations with noted anti-Semitic pro-Palestinian activists.Farrakhan has managed to maintain ties with a number of prominent Democratic lawmakers and activists despite his extensive record of bigotry. Women's March co-chair Tamikah Mallory was roundly criticized for praising Farrakhan as the "GOAT” or “greatest of all time" on social media following his 2018 Saviour's Day address, during which he labeled Jews “satanic.”“I didn’t call him the greatest of all time because of his rhetoric. I called him the greatest of all time because of what he’s done in black communities,” Mallory said during an appearance on ABC's The View last month when asked about the Instagram post.


2/18/2019 3:57:42 PM

Florida inmates use criminal skills to rescue baby from carA group of prisoners in Florida put their criminal skills to good use on Valentine’s Day – breaking into a car, to free a baby locked inside. The prisoners, on work-release, were repairing parking meters in Pasco County, north of Tampa, when they spotted the family in distress. The one-year-old child was trapped inside the car, with the keys inside. The family was unable to afford a locksmith and so, in the 56 degree Fahrenheit heat, the father was preparing to break the window. That is when the prisoners, in their black and white uniforms, offered to help, and worked in a team to pry open the front door just enough for one inmate to use a coat hanger to push a button that unlocked the 4x4’s door. In a video, which has gone viral, police are heard telling the father to "pop his head in the window" so "strange faces" would not scare the baby. Another person in the video, filmed by the baby’s mother Shadow Lantry, can be heard commenting on the "hilarious situation," with police watching the crew unlock the car. The whole endeavour took about two minutes, and ended with the group cheering.  Ms Lantry said the child was "just sitting there happy" throughout the ordeal. The parents thanked the crew, deputies and firefighters for their help.


2/18/2019 2:09:25 PM

Trump urges Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro or 'lose everything'Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants in Miami, Trump said if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, "you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You’ll lose everything.” Trump offered strong backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the United States, many of Venezuela's neighbors and most Western countries have recognized as interim president of Venezuela. Trump cautioned Venezuelan armed forces not to harm Guaido or other opposition politicians, urged them to accept the National Assembly leader's offer of amnesty and demanded that they allow in food, medicine and other supplies.


2/18/2019 5:52:58 PM

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