On this Valentines, these are the stories making headlines.
Pentagon asks for major budget increase amid global threats
At the same time the Trump administration’s budget proposal included major cuts for international diplomacy and overseas aid. Touting the proposal on Monday, President Donald Trump said the US military would be the strongest it has ever been, including “increasing arsenals of virtually every weapon.”
South Africa waits for President Zuma’s fate to be revealed
The ANC’s executive committee met in Pretoria for 13 hours Monday in an attempt to end a standoff with Zuma, who is steadfastly resisting pressure to resign. In a statement, the ANC said it would provide an update on events at the party’s Johannesburg headquarters at 2 p.m.
Obama admin discussed how much of Russia probe to share with Trump team
President Barack Obama met in January 2017 with then-FBI Director James Comey and other top national security officials to discuss sharing information related to Russia with the incoming Trump administration, where Obama stated that the Trump-Russia investigation should be handled “by the book,” according to an email made public Monday and a source familiar with the matter.
Oxfam deputy CEO quits over sex crimes scandal
Penny Lawrence is the first executive at the organization to quit after the scandal and allegations of a coverup emerged last week. Oxfam announced the resignation after a meeting with UK government officials Monday, at which it had fought to keep millions of pounds in public funding.
Satellite observations show sea levels rising
Researchers, led by University of Colorado-Boulder professor of aerospace engineering sciencesSteve Nerem, used satellite data dating to 1993 to observe the levels of the world’s oceans. Using satellite data rather than tide-gauge data that is normally used to measure sea levels allows for more precise estimates of global sea level, since it provides measurements of the open ocean.
Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker’s unfortunate feud
Their latest exchange relates to a Cattrall family tragedy. Her brother had gone missing earlier this month and was later found dead on his rural property in Alberta, Canada, according to local officials. Soon after his death was announced, Cattrall took to Twitter to thank her followers and her former castmates for their support.
Amazon lays off hundreds of employees
The majority of the layoffs are affecting the company’s Seattle headquarters, but some global teams may be affected as well, according to the source. The process of notifying employees has already started, the source said. The affected departments are more mature areas of Amazon’s business, such as its online retail operations.
Facebook’s new slogan: ‘If you think we’re not good for your business, leave’
Facebook is famous for the mantra “move fast and break things.” But these days, the tech giant is all about time well spent, and with that comes a new tagline for everyone to follow: If you don’t like us, leave.
Neil Patrick Harris details incoming despair in ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ Season 2 trailer
The first full teaser trailer for A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2 is full of everything you might expect: villainy, treachery, fire, despair, and unwanted elective surgeries. The second season of A Series of Unfortunate Events is coming to Netflix on March 30 and will follow the orphans and Count Olaf in their horrible series of unfortunate life events that just seem to get progressively worse and worse.
Swiss Olympic skier casually rides up escalator with one arm on his day off
Competing at an Olympics is a serious affair, not that it seems to worry Fabian Bösch too much. The 20-year-old Swiss skier isn’t due to compete until next Sunday in the men’s Slopestyle event, so in the meantime he’s having a bit of fun – or you could call it a spot of training.
Malaysian newspaper criticised for its ‘how to spot a gay person’ list
LGBTQ discrimination is rife in Malaysia, but it doesn’t get more ridiculous than an article telling readers how to spot them. Malaysian newspaper Sinar Harian has been criticised by activists for publishing a list of pointers last Friday, warning that it could put lives at risk.
New ‘Game of Thrones’ info hints at the bleak fate of King’s Landing
Ah: the map room. Watching Cersei arrogantly tramping over the seven kingdoms of Westeros in the Red Keep’s courtyard was perhaps the most apt metaphor for her rise to power. We left Cersei in Season 7 with her armies in shambles, the imminent threat of a white walker marching closer to the city, and her golden right-handed man (pun intended) headed North.
This teen slept through his alarm because of Netflix and still won gold at the Olympics
Red Gerard may be an Olympic snowboarder, but he’s still a typical 17-year-old at heart. The teenager overslept after a late night of bingeing Brooklyn Nine-Nine, ignoring the alarm he had set because he was supposed to compete on Sunday morning. Gerard should have been awake at 6 a.m.
Kim Jong-un thanks S Korea for Olympics
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has praised South Korea for its “impressive” efforts in hosting a delegation from the North during the Winter Olympics. His comments came as the delegation, led by Mr Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong, returned home from Pyeongchang. State media outlet KCNA said Mr Kim had thanked the South for “prioritizing” their visit to the Games.
ANC ‘decides to remove S Africa’s Zuma’
South Africa’s ruling ANC party will formally request that President Jacob Zuma step down after he refused to resign, media reports say. The reported decision to “recall” Mr Zuma followed marathon talks by senior party officials that continued into the early hours of Tuesday.
Commonwealth in secret succession plans
The Commonwealth has secretly begun considering who might succeed the Queen as its head, the BBC has learned. The issue is hugely sensitive because the role is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to the Prince of Wales on the Queen’s death.
Lions eat suspected big cat poacher
A suspected big cat poacher has been eaten by lions near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police say. The animals left little behind, but some body parts were found over the weekend at a game park near Hoedspruit.
Kim’s sister and North Korea’s secret weapon
It turns out North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un doesn’t need to fire off a missile to get the world’s attention. He has a number of far more powerful weapons in his arsenal: his female envoys. And on this latest so-called charm offensive, he saved the best for last. His sister.
Trump Used Twitter To Defend Abusers, But Not To Congratulate U.S. Medal Winners
As of early Tuesday, Feb. 13, Team USA has won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. And it has received zero tweets from President Donald Trump in support of those victories. While not every world leader jumps on social media to congratulate athletes, several have.
Edward Snowden Boasts That He Got Security Clearance Faster Than ‘Half Of This White House’
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden quipped in a tweet Monday that he won government security clearance “faster than half of this White House.” Snowden, an NSA contractor who leaked thousands of documents exposing the agency’s global electronic eavesdropping, made the comment in a reply to a tweet by journalist Barton Gellman.
#InWakanda Hashtag Brings The Blackest Of Nations To Life
Since reports about Marvel’s “Black Panther” first came out, Black Twitter has been, for lack of a better word, hype. And this weekend, the community has expressed that excitement through the viral hashtag #InWakanda. The hashtag, created by Michael Harriot, a writer at The Root, imagined what Wakanda, the uncolonized black utopia and home to Black Panther, would look like in real life.
New Jersey Deputy Mayor Compares Undocumented Immigrants To ‘Rabid Raccoons’
A New Jersey deputy mayor compared undocumented immigrants to “rabid, messy raccoons” infesting basements – and President Donald Trump to an exterminator – in an inflammatory Facebook post on Sunday. Mendham Township Deputy Mayor Rick Blood apologized and removed the comment the night he posted it after receiving angry reactions from stunned locals – even though he had earlier defended the comments with additional posts.
Obama’s Official Portrait Is Already The Best New Meme Of The Year
The National Portrait Gallery unveiled its official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama on Monday, and already the paintings are being turned into even newer forms of art. Specifically, the portrait of the former president was transformed into a popular meme: Homer Simpson disappearing in #Obama’s Smithsonian portrait. pic.twitter.com/4fm5tCKIVH – Madie D.