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North Korea signaled interest last year in helping Russia rebuild occupied parts of eastern Ukraine. But as the war slogs on and its trajectory remains uncertain, North Korea delayed sending laborers. In September, North Korea's ambassador signaled interest in sending construction workers to Russian-occupied territories, The Associated Press reported. But with Russia's war against Ukraine trudging into its 12th month, North Korea has held off from sending construction aid in "danger zone[s]," a source in North Korea told Daily NK. Support for Putin's war — from his inner circle to some of his most powerful allies — has faltered since the invasion began last February.
U.S. opens embassy in Solomon Islands to counter China
  + stars: | 2023-02-02 | by ( ) www.cnbc.com   time to read: +2 min
An aerial view of ships and boats anchored at the harbour in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Gilmore Tana | iStock | Getty ImagesThe United States opened an embassy in the Solomon Islands on Thursday in its latest move to counter China's push into the Pacific. The embassy in the capital, Honiara, is starting small, with a chargé d'affaires, a couple of State Department staff and a handful of local employees. The U.S. State Department notified lawmakers early last year that China's growing influence in the region made reopening the Solomon Islands embassy a priority. The Solomon Islands switched allegiance from the self-ruled island of Taiwan to Beijing in 2019, threatening the close ties with the U.S. that date to World War II.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is cozying up with GOP leadership after two years of being an outsider. Two years later, under Republican leadership, she's angling herself into positions of power. It's clear she's learned valuable lessons from two of her GOP colleagues, Rep. Lauren Boebert and former Rep. Madison Cawthorn. In spite of this, Gingrich ultimately gained prominence among the GOP, becoming the Republican whip and later speaker of the House. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia takes a selfie with Kevin McCarthy after his election as speaker of the House.
Cindy Williams, who played the character Shirley opposite Penny Marshall’s Laverne on the popular television sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” has died, her family said Monday. Williams died in Los Angeles at age 75 on Wednesday after a brief illness, her children, Zak Hudson and Emily Hudson, said in a statement released through family spokeswoman Liza Cranis.
MEXICO CITY, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) is considering setting up an assembly plant near a new Mexico City airport, which would serve as an export hub for the firm, Mexican presidential spokesman Jesus Ramirez said. "Tesla will invest there ... in an assembly plant, to export directly by air," Ramirez told the newspaper. Separately, a Mexican official told Reuters that Tesla had been shown the site, but had given no indication of its plans. Ramirez told El Heraldo de Mexico that Tesla was aiming to invest in the T-MexPark, a major industrial park being built close to the Felipe Angeles airport. Reporting by Diego Ore; Editing by David Gregorio Additional reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez and Dave Graham in Mexico City, and Hyunjoo Jin in San FranciscoOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Croatia's president said that Russian-annexed Crimea will never rejoin Ukraine, breaking from NATO. "It is clear that Crimea will never again be part of Ukraine," Zoran Milanovic said, according to Reuters. Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in December that giving Ukraine better weaponry would help to end the war. In recent months Ukraine has pushed Russian forces back in the east, thwarting its efforts to conquer vast tracts of the country. Croatia's president has repeatedly criticized Western help for Ukraine, Reuters noted.
Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro applies for 6-month U.S. visitor visa
  + stars: | 2023-01-31 | by ( ) www.cnbc.com   time to read: +2 min
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has filed a request for a six-month visitor visa to stay in the U.S., indicating he may have no immediate intention of returning home, where legal issues await. The application was first reported by The Financial Times, citing Bolsonaro's immigration lawyer, Felipe Alexandre. Bolsonaro left Brazil for Florida on Dec. 30, two days before the inauguration of his leftist rival, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. It has been widely assumed — though not confirmed — that Bolsonaro entered the U.S. on an A-1 visa reserved for sitting heads of state. The processes will continue, but maybe he thinks he can at least avoid some sort of revenge punishment."
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan ruled in favor of several media outlets including Reuters that sought the names. The judge said that while the public had only a "weak" right to know who Bankman-Fried's guarantors were, it outweighed Bankman-Fried's arguments for confidentiality, including that the guarantors' safety could be imperiled. Kaplan disagreed, noting that long before bail was posted, the parents had faced "intense public scrutiny" over their relationship with their son, who was once worth an estimated $26 billion. They said there was less "stigma" from being associated with Bankman-Fried than from being associated with the late sex offender. Other media seeking to identify Bankman-Fried's guarantors included the Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, CoinDesk, Dow Jones, the Financial Times, Insider, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned that a Russian victory in Ukraine could have global consequences. If Putin wins, it would show countries like China that "brute force" works, he said. "If President Putin wins in Ukraine, this would send a message that authoritarian regimes can achieve their goals through brute force. And spreading disinformation about NATO and the war in Ukraine," he said. And Putin and Xi pledged in late December to deepen cooperation between their two countries.
Trump this week filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, alleging that when Woodward published audio of their interviews in his audiobook it breached his rights by constituting copyright violations. Most legal experts CNN contacted on Tuesday quickly dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against Woodward as meritless. But instead of major outlets pausing to gather this much-needed context after Trump filed his suit against Woodward, most newsrooms simply published stories echoing his complaint. Judge Donald Middlebrooks pointed to Trump’s “pattern of misusing the courts to serve political purposes” as he took note of several other failed lawsuits Trump has brought in recent years. It is also dismaying given the larger discussion among the press over the years about not succumbing hook, line, and sinker for Trump’s stunts.
SAN FRANCISCO — A farmworker charged with killing seven people at two Half Moon Bay mushroom farms reportedly told investigators he was spurred to carry out the shootings after his supervisor demanded he pay $100 to repair a forklift damaged at work. KNTV-TV, the NBC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area, was first to report the development. Zhao told KNTV-TV in a courthouse interview Thursday that he committed the shootings. He said he has a 40-year-old daughter in China and lived with his wife in Half Moon Bay. The coroner’s office has named six of the victims: Zhishen Liu, 73, of San Francisco; Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50, of Moss Beach, California; Aixiang Zhang, 74, of San Francisco; Qizhong Cheng, 66, of Half Moon Bay; Jingzhi Lu, 64, of Half Moon Bay; and Yetao Bing, 43, whose hometown was unknown.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A suicide bomber struck a crowded mosque inside a police compound in Pakistan on Monday, causing the roof to collapse and killing at least 59 people and wounding more than 150 others, officials said. He expressed his condolences to families of the victims, saying their pain “cannot be described in words.”Police said between 300 to 350 worshippers were inside the mosque when the bomber detonated his explosives. Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter. Pakistan, which is mostly Sunni Muslim, has seen a surge in militant attacks since November, when the Pakistani Taliban ended their cease-fire with government forces. Monday’s assault on a Sunni mosque was one of the deadliest attacks on security forces in recent years.
Now, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts will be the first Black QBs to face off in a Super Bowl. Hurts aims to become the fourth Black QB to win the Super Bowl, joining Williams, Mahomes and Russell Wilson. Steve McNair, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Wilson also started in the Super Bowl and lost. “I don’t think we have any cigars, but we’ll be ready to go at the Super Bowl,” Mahomes said, poking fun at Joe Burrow’s penchant for puffing those after big wins. Whether it’s Hurts or Mahomes, it’s another victory for the Black QBs who were overlooked throughout the years.
SALINAS, Puerto Rico — Shuttered windows are a permanent fixture in Salinas, an industrial town on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast that is considered one of the U.S. territory’s most contaminated regions. Salinas also has one of the highest incidence rates of cancer in Puerto Rico, with 140 cases reported in 2019, the newest figures available from the island’s Central Registry of Cancer. Those measures have a limited effect, however, and residents continue frustrated that their complaints about contamination have been ignored for years. That has been hailed by many in Puerto Rico, which has one of the highest asthma rates in a U.S. jurisdiction and whose power generation system is 97% based on fossil fuels. Although she has been the target of protests organized by frustrated residents, she said she is pushing for corrective measures.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israel and the Palestinians on Monday to exercise restraint and ease tensions amid a spike in violence that has put the region on edge. Speaking in Cairo, just hours ahead of a two-day visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank, Blinken said it is imperative for both sides to work to de-escalate tensions that have soared since last week in what he called “a new and horrifying surge in violence” and prompted severe responses from each. “We will be encouraging the parties to take steps to calm things down,” Blinken told reporters at a joint news conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. “There is no question that this is a very difficult moment.”He repeated U.S. condemnations of militant attacks against Israelis and noted that “we deplore overall the loss of innocent civilian life.”The latest spate of violence erupted last week with an Israeli military raid on a militant stronghold in the West Bank city of Jenin that killed 10 people, most of them militants, and a Palestinian shooting attack in an east Jerusalem Jewish settlement that killed seven Israelis. And, on Monday, shortly before Blinken’s arrival, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man in the flashpoint city of Hebron, bringing the toll of Palestinians killed in January to 35.
There are no shortage of storylines: Kansas City coach Andy Reid goes against his old team — which he led to Super Bowl 39 — in a game that’s also the first matchup of Black starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl with Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts. This was their fifth straight trip to the AFC title game and will be their third Super Bowl appearance in that span. The Eagles clobbered the Niners 31-7 in the NFC title game earlier Sunday. Philadelphia is back in the Super Bowl five years after beating the New England Patriots 41-33 on Feb. 4, 2018. Now a mostly new generation of Eagles — led by coach Nick Sirianni and Hurts — will come to Arizona to try and win another title.
On Monday, shares in some Adani companies recovered some lost ground. The flagship company, Adani Enterprises, gained 3.2% and Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Ltd. added 3.3%. Adani’s 400-page rebuttal issued late Sunday accused Hindenburg of attacking India and its institutions and of breaking securities and foreign exchange laws. “We believe India is a vibrant democracy and emerging superpower with an exciting future. We also believe India’s future is being held back by the Adani Group,” Hindenburg said in a statement.
SEOUL, South Korea — Russia’s embassy in North Korea says the country has eased stringent epidemic controls in the capital, Pyongyang, that were placed during the past five days to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses. North Korean state media in recent weeks have stressed vigilance against a possible re-emergence of Covid-19. From May to August, North Korea reported about 4.8 million “fever cases” across its population of 26 million but identified only a fraction of them as Covid-19. North Korea has dubiously insisted that rival South Korea was responsible for its Covid-19 outbreak, saying that the virus was transported by anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets and other materials flown across the border by balloons launched by South Korean civilian activists. South Korea has dismissed such claims as unscientific and “ridiculous.”
The US military is leading a team that is helping to repair Ukraine's military hardware over the phone. Ukrainian troops, meanwhile, are pushing artillery systems to the limits to keep Russia at bay. According to the report, Ukrainian troops have been firing their heavy artillery pieces past when they would typically be due for a repair, and at unprecedented rates to keep Russian forces at bay. Because of this, the support team is learning the limits of these systems and where they might have a breaking point. In finally securing the Western-made tanks, which were much-sought-after by Ukraine, the country has now set its ambitions on acquiring fighter jets.
Actor Annie Wersching, best known for playing FBI agent Renee Walker in the series “24” and providing the voice for Tess in the video game “The Last of Us,” has died. Wersching passed away Sunday morning in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer, her publicist told The Associated Press. Thoughts are with her loved ones.”Actor Abigail Spencer, who appeared with Wersching on the sci-fi series “Timeless,” tweeted, “We love you Annie Wersching. You will be deeply missed.”Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Wersching appeared on dozens of television shows over the course of her two-decade career. Her first credit was in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and she would go on to have recurring roles in the seventh and eighth seasons of “24,” “Bosch,” “The Vampire Diaries,” Marvel’s “Runaways,” “The Rookie” and, most recently, the second season of “Star Trek: Picard” as the Borg Queen.
BOULDER, Colo. — A man charged with killing 10 people at a Colorado supermarket nearly two years ago remains mentally incompetent to stand trial, a judge said Friday. Bakke said the latest report from the hospital finding Alissa incompetent also said he has a “reasonable likelihood” of reaching competency, an outlook also expressed in previous reports. Concerns about Alissa’s mental health were raised by his defense immediately after the March 2021 shooting. Competency is a different legal issue than a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, which involves whether someone’s mental health prevented them from understanding right from wrong when a crime was committed. They said Alissa passed a background check to legally buy a Ruger AR-556 pistol six days before the shooting.
MONTARA, Calif. — The driver of a car that plunged 250 feet off a treacherous cliff in northern California, injuring his two young children and his wife, was released from the hospital and jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and child abuse, authorities said Friday. The office didn’t indicate when he was released from the hospital. The Pasadena man was seriously injured when the Tesla sedan went over the cliff at Devils Slide, along the Pacific Coast Highway on Jan. 2. Firefighters were forced to cut the family, including Patel’s 41-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, out of the wreckage. Patel was later arrested after California Highway Patrol investigators “developed probable cause to believe this incident was an intentional act,” the agency said.
SALEM, Ore. — A man accused of torturing a woman he held captive in Oregon, and who was convicted in Nevada of keeping another woman in captivity, is using dating apps to find people who can help him avoid the police or to find new victims, authorities said Friday. Benjamin Obadiah Foster, 36, is the subject of an intensive, round-the-clock search by police after a woman was found unconscious, bound and near death in Grants Pass, Oregon, on Tuesday. Foster’s public defender in the Las Vegas case did not immediately respond to emails from The Associated Press seeking comment on Foster’s behalf. In 2019, before moving to Oregon, Foster held his then-girlfriend captive inside her Las Vegas apartment for two weeks. Hensman said he didn’t have time to think about how authorities in Nevada handled Foster’s crimes there.
Hospitals are charging patients for their emails and other correspondence with doctors. Some hospital officials say the strategy increases healthcare access, but advocates worry charges could deter patients who need care. Hospitals nationwide have begun to charge for emails and other correspondence with their doctors, the Associated Press reported. After Covid led patients to avoid crowded hospitals and waiting rooms, and condense what used to be in-person visits to emails and video calls, hospitals say doctors spent more time responding to health question emails and messages, the Associated Press reported. But advocates worry the strategy will lead patients to avoid seeking care when they need it, for fear of being charged.
A mining company lost a piece of radioactive material along the country's Great Northern Highway, the AP reported. Authorities are reportedly scanning radiation levels across a stretch of 870 miles of road to find the device. The device contains caesium-137, which is commonly used in radiation gauges and emits enough dangerous radiation to equal receiving 10 X-rays in one hour, according to the AP. The radiation can also cause skin burns and cancer after prolonged exposure, the outlet reported. "As well as fully supporting the relevant authorities, we have launched our own investigation to understand how the capsule was lost in transit."
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