The Pentagon is preparing to dispatch a hospital ship to Colombia and possibly other parts of South America to help relieve strain on health care systems overloaded by an influx of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. An estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-torn country as of June, mainly to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
Thomas Markle, father of the Duchess of Sussex, has claimed that the Royal Family are like Scientologists because of their secrecy. The 74-year-old, who has never met Prince Harry, also said the Royals are "cult-like" and may have secret handshakes. Mr Markle, who did not attend the wedding of his daughter after the furore caused by staging paparazzi photos, has previously said that during a phone call with Prince Harry, he hung up the phone and told the Duke of Sussex: "Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead... then you could pretend to be sad." Speaking to the Sun, from his home in Rosarito, Mexico, Mr Markle said: “They are either like Scientologists or the Stepford family. "If they hear anybody say anything they just lock the doors. They need to speak up! “They are cult-like — like Scientology — because they are secretive. Thomas Markle Snr and his daughter Meghan Markle, in pictures "They close the door, pull the shades down and put their fingers in their ears so they don’t have to hear. “Maybe they have a secret handshake too! You cannot ask a question of them — as they won’t answer.” The former award-winning lighting director has previously said that he has been met with a wall of silence by Buckingham Palace, and reportedly last spoke with his daughter the day after her wedding. The Church of Scientology is controversial for its secretive practices and claims of brainwashing its members, which the church denies. Celebrity followers include Tom Cruise, who has donated heavily to the Church set up by American author Ron Hubbard in 1952. On May 19 this year, at St George's chapel, Windsor Castle, Meghan Markle arrived for her wedding with her mother Doria Ragland, who divorced Thomas Markle in 1988. Both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace declined to comment on Mr Markle's claims.
Rescuers in helicopters and boats fought through renewed torrential rain Saturday to reach stranded villages in India's Kerala state as the toll from the worst monsoon floods in a century rose above 320 dead. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the crisis as "devastating" after visiting Kerala. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced late Friday that the monsoon death toll had dramatically risen to 324.
Before a joint session of Congress and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Tsai said, "At a time of great political pressure against Taiwan's international space, you have spoken for the rights and obligations of Taiwan as a member of the international community." Belize is one of 18 countries that still recognize Taiwan. Belize receives financial aid from Taiwan for scholarships, agriculture and healthcare.
In remarks to reporters at the White House, Trump again called Mueller's investigation, which had cast a cloud over his presidency, a "rigged witch hunt," but sidestepped a question about whether he would issue a presidential pardon for Manafort. The jurors met for about seven hours on Thursday without reaching a verdict on 18 criminal counts with which Manafort is charged. As president, Trump has the power to pardon Manafort on the federal charges.
President Donald Trump said Friday he had asked stock market regulators to look into ending the requirement for businesses to issue quarterly earnings reports. Asking the Securities and Exchange Commission -- an independent agency -- to move to twice-yearly reporting could help create jobs, Trump said on Twitter.
President Trump on Friday suggested that he is close to revoking the security clearance of a current Justice Department employee who had been in contact with author of the controversial dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia.
In the wide-ranging interview, Musk acknowledged that his tweet last week about having "funding secured" to take Tesla private was not cleared by anyone else, including Tesla's board. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the tweet, which bumped up Tesla's stock price, to determine whether it constitutes stock manipulation. Musk's admission that it was not vetted by board members may give ammunition to investigators, but it also points out the burden of running such a large, prominent public company, and the potential consequences of haste, pressure, and naivete from a CEO.
A young Yazidi woman who fled to Germany but returned home to northern Iraq says she cannot escape her Islamic State group captor who held her as a sex slave for three months. Ashwaq Haji, 19, says she ran into the man in a German supermarket in February. Traumatised by the encounter, she returned to Iraq the following month.
The Italian government has issued an ultimatum to the company in charge of the motorway bridge that collapsed with the loss of nearly 40 lives, giving it 15 days to demonstrate that it maintained the structure properly. The transport ministry demanded that Autostrade per l’Italia show that it had previously met all its contractual obligations to ensure the proper functioning of the Morandi bridge. Should the company’s response prove inadequate, the government will judge it to be in breach of the terms of its concession to run the toll-road. The lucrative concession would then be withdrawn from Autostrade, part of the holding company Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton fashion empire. The coalition government has adopted an aggressive stance towards the company, blaming it for the collapse of the bridge, which has so far claimed the lives of 38 people and injured 15 others, nine of them critically. The bridge gave way during an intense thunderstorm on Tuesday, plunging around 50 vehicles to the ground, where they were crushed by giant slabs of concrete and steel girders. Between 10 and 20 people are still missing. The transport ministry is demanding that the company commit to rebuilding the bridge at its own expense and within a set period of time. It also called on the company to pay to rebuild apartment blocks that will have to be demolished and to repair damaged buildings beneath the 51-year-old bridge. Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, said he expects Atlantia to donate up to €500 million to help families and local government Credit: PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, said he expects Atlantia to donate up to €500 million to help families and local government deal with the aftermath of the disaster. “I will listen to the directors of Autostrade per l’Italia but I expect to see concrete gestures (from the company) immediately,” Mr Salvini said. “Genoa cannot wait and the injured cannot wait. While the lawyers and the investigators do their job, we are doing all we can to obtain from Autostrade all that is possible for the relatives of victims, the injured, the people made homeless and the city of Genoa. “As for concessions and penalties, we can talk about those from next week onwards.” Luigi Di Maio, the head of the Five Star Movement and Mr Salvini’s partner in the populist coalition, said he was determined that the company’s right to manage the toll road would be revoked. “Not only will we use the law to revoke the concession, but we’ll also apply a fine of €150 million. If they want to fight it, we’ll see them in court,” he said. The Italian state might have to step in and run the motorway, along with others managed by Autostrade per l’Italia, he said.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A plane from China veered off a runway at Manila's airport while landing in a downpour near midnight then got stuck in a muddy field with one engine and wheel ripped off before the 165 people on board scrambled out through an emergency slide, officials said Friday.
On the American battleships, the young sailors marveled that despite a night of sound and fury their battleships had suffered nothing. They were all alive to greet the new day. The loudspeakers blared, “Now hear this. Secure from general quarters. Set torpedo defense watch.”
China has sacked a senior provincial official and is probing a former top drug regulator after a safety scandal at vaccine maker Changsheng Biotechnology Co Ltd, which again warned it could be delisted over the scandal. The company was accused in July of falsifying data for a rabies vaccine and manufacturing an ineffective vaccine for babies, sparking widespread consumer anger. While there were no known reports of people being harmed by the vaccines, regulators ordered Changsheng to halt their production and recall the rabies vaccine.
An online guide accompanying a pronouncement from the church president also asked people to stop referring to followers of the religion as Mormons and not to use the name "LDS" as a shorthand way of describing the faith. "The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He has revealed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," church President Russell Nelson said in a statement. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have long proclaimed their faith as Christian and fought any association with polygamy, which was practiced by early members of the church before they abandoned it more than 100 years ago.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for some immigrant children who are abused or abandoned by a parent to seek a U.S. visa to avoid deportation in a ruling that advocates said would help thousands of children.
By Felipe Iturrieta and Aislinn Laing SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Four planes were forced to make emergency landings in Chile and Peru on Thursday due to bomb threats issued to the Chilean Civil Aviation Authority, it said in a statement. Two of the planes were operated by LATAM Airlines and two by Sky, a low-cost Chilean airline, the aviation authority said. The planes were undergoing checks of passengers, baggage, and their cabins and holds by police and airport security, it said. (Reporting by Aislinn Laing and Felipe Iturrieta, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
LA PORTE CITY, Iowa (AP) — Human remains recovered from a creek this week are believed to be those of a 16-year-old autistic boy who vanished from his small Iowa hometown in April, authorities said Thursday.
The Vatican, in its first response to a damning report by a U.S. grand jury on sexual abuse of children by priests in Pennsylvania, on Thursday expressed "shame and sorrow". The grand jury on Tuesday released the findings of the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years. In a statement, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke also said the Catholic Church "must learn hard lessons from its past", and that the Vatican vowed to hold abusers and enablers accountable.