Bill Lee will introduce legislation this year that would amend a law requiring Tennessee to honour Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The law encourages the governor to invite the public to observe each day in schools and churches. With this in mind, I will be working to change this law.”As of Saturday, Tennessee’s secretary of state’s website did not show that Lee had signed the Robert E. Lee Day proclamation. His office also did not respond to questions if the governor wanted to change that day celebrating the Confederate general, which falls the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. London Lamar, also from Memphis, is sponsoring a bill this year to remove the Forrest Day designation.
January 18, 2020 19:07 UTC
WASHINGTON - Thousands gathered in cities across the country Saturday as part of the nationwide Women’s March rallies focused on issues such as climate change, pay equity, reproductive rights and immigration. Hundreds showed up in New York City and thousands in Washington, D.C. for the rallies, which aim to harness the political power of women, although crowds were noticeably smaller than in previous years. The first marches in 2017 drew hundreds of thousands of people to rallies in cities across the country on the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. Her daughter, 19-year-old University of Cincinnati student Elizabeth McCullough, chimed in to say that most women’s issues are human issues, and they talked about the need to protect immigrants. Organizers of the Washington march faced criticism from some local African American activists for failing to focus on local issues and damaging the ability of local activists to organize.
January 18, 2020 18:43 UTC
President Donald Trump gave a new justification for killing Qassem Soleimani, telling a gathering of Republican donors that the top Iranian general was “saying bad things about our country.”“How much are we going to listen to?” Trump said Friday, according to remarks from a fundraiser obtained by CNN. The drone strike in Baghdad that killed Soleimani came days after a violent protest by Iranian-backed protesters at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and a rocket attack that killed an American contractor at a facility in Iraq. Two days later, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS News that he “didn’t see” intelligence suggesting the specific threat Trump described. The president also erroneously claimed that Soleimani was meeting 'the head of Hezbollah' while in Baghdad. Soleimani was met at the airport by Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah.
January 18, 2020 18:22 UTC
HELSINKI - Sweden’s government summoned the Chinese ambassador in Stockholm to discuss his comments Saturday that compared Swedish media coverage of China to a lightweight boxer who “provokes a feud” with a heavyweight. Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou used the boxing metaphor while speaking with Swedish public broadcaster SVT. “Freedom of speech prevails” in Sweden, and “what China’s ambassador now does is very serious,” she said. In his remarks to SVT, Gui said he believes Swedish journalists have interfered in China’s internal affairs with their reporting. “It’s like a 48-kilogram lightweight boxer who provokes a feud with an 86-kilogram heavyweight boxer, who out of kindness and goodwill urges the (smaller) boxer to take care of himself,” Gui said.
January 18, 2020 17:48 UTC
CHICAGO - A winter storm that brought snow and sleet to the Midwest and Plains was creating travel headaches Saturday after airlines cancelled flights and officials shut down major roads. The storm system began moving through the Plains and Midwest on Friday, leading to trouble at airports in Chicago in Kansas City. Blizzard conditions with powerful winds were reported in some areas, and officials in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa were urging people to stay inside if possible on Saturday. Officials closed hundreds of miles of Interstate 29 from Grand Forks, North Dakota, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A stretch of Interstate 94 from Fargo, North Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota.
January 18, 2020 17:17 UTC
JERUSALEM - A Palestinian attacker stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli man Saturday near the West Bank flashpoint city of Hebron, police said. The 22-year-old Israeli was evacuated to a hospital for treatment, according to the rescue agency Magen David Adom. Earlier on Saturday, Israeli police arrested a 50-year-old Palestinian woman after she tried to stab police outside Jerusalem’s Old City quarter. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in 1967. Hebron is a tense city where hundreds of Jewish settlers live in fortified enclaves amid nearly 200,000 Palestinians and the city is a scene of frequent violence.
January 18, 2020 16:52 UTC
Money raised at more than a dozen United Church of Christ congregations and a donation from the St. Louis-based Deaconess Foundation wiped away nearly $13 million in medical debt for 11,108 families in St. Louis city and county. Rebecca Turner, a pastor in Maplewood, Missouri, said that for many families, medical debt is “often so enormous that there is no way to repay it. “We pray it gives them hope.”It is believed that more than 43 million Americans owe $75 billion in past-due medical debt. The St. Louis-area congregations worked with RIP Medical Debt, a New York state-based non-profit that buys medical debt and works with churches and charitable groups to pay it off. RIP Medical Debt spokesman Daniel Lempert said a $10 donation can buy and eliminate as much as $1,000 in delinquent debt.
January 18, 2020 16:30 UTC
Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces called on all peaceful protesters to “immediately leave the area of riots for their own safety.” It added that some policemen who were taken for treatment at hospitals were attacked by protesters inside the medical centres. The bells of nearby St. George Cathedral began to toll in an apparent call for calm, while loudspeakers at the adjacent blue-domed Muhammad Al-Amin mosque called for night prayers. “We call on the security forces to be merciful with women and children inside the mosque,” a statement blared through the mosque’s loudspeakers. He called those behind the riots “outlaws” and called on police and armed forces to protect Beirut. Earlier this week, protesters carried out acts of vandalism in a main commercial area in Beirut targeting mostly private banks.
January 18, 2020 16:16 UTC
IGLS, AUSTRIA—Kaillie Humphries of the U.S. extended her lead atop the women’s bobsled World Cup standings Saturday, teaming up with Sylvia Hoffman to pick up a bronze medal at this weekend’s stop at historic Innsbruck. Olympic champion Mariama Jamanka and Annika Drazek of Germany won the race in 1 minute, 47.34 seconds. Laura Nolte and Erline Nolte of Germany were second in 1:47.53, barely holding off Humphries and Hoffman — third in 1:47.56. Humphries, who did not race last season and transferred to the U.S. team from her native Canada this past September, now has a 23-point lead over Germany’s Stephanie Schneider in the season standings. “It was very close racing today,” Humphries said after her third medal in five races this season — and the 51st of her career.
January 18, 2020 15:56 UTC
That’s where my head will be,” says Thevenot, who will skip Saskatchewan’s entry at the Canadian junior women’s championship starting Saturday in Langley, B.C. Thevenot has curled with the Engel sisters throughout her junior career. Kara Thevenot, whose husband is Ashley’s cousin, curled at last season’s Scotties with Robyn Silvernagle and has proved a helpful resource. “Knowing Rachel has that (Canadian junior) experience is a big help, and our coach (James Malainey) has been to quite a few nationals,” says Thevenot. I’m sure we’ll lean on them a little bit.”Rylan Kleiter — who plays with Trevor Johnson, Joshua Mattern and Matthieu Taillon — is skipping Team Saskatchewan at Canadian junior men’s for a fourth time, so his trajectory differs from the one carved out by Thevenot.
January 18, 2020 15:00 UTC
BENGHAZI, Libya - A move by Libya’s east-based forces to choke off oil exports from its territory threatens to throttle much of the country’s oil production, the national oil corporation said Saturday, escalating tensions ahead of an international peace summit to end the civil war. It marked a major challenge to the rival U.N.-backed government based in Tripoli, which collects revenues from oil production. Libya’s critical oil industry is dominated by the National Oil Corporation, which declared that the suspension of exports would prevent the company from fulfilling contracts with international oil companies. Hifter’s self-styled Libyan Arab Armed Forces and oil field guards have ordered five subsidiaries of the national oil company to halt exports from over50 key oil fields and multiple port terminals surrounding the coastal city of Sirte. The National Oil Corporation says it has repeatedly asked the bank for greater transparency, but did not comment on the allegations of corruption.
January 18, 2020 14:15 UTC
EL HATILLO, Venezuela - Venezuelan opposition lawmakers are expected in the coming days to make their third attempt to get inside the legislative chamber in downtown Caracas, after twice this month being blocked by forces loyal to President Nicolás Maduro. “They were elected by the people,” said Martínez, accusing the government of sending armed motorcycle groups called “colectivos” to intimidate the lawmakers. They instead met in El Hatillo. Jose Miguel Angel, who manages a pizzeria in El Hatillo, said he welcomed the National Assembly to the community where he was born and works every day. He said the theatre where the National Assembly met normally spills music from concerts and dance shows into the rest of the community.
January 18, 2020 14:03 UTC
Montana is among 37 states that have provisions in their state constitutions that bar religious schools from receiving state aid. The scholarships can be used at both secular and religious schools, but almost all the recipients attend religious schools. When the Montana Supreme Court considered the scholarship program, it found that allowing public money to flow to religious schools, even indirectly, ran afoul of the state constitution. The state court ruling has been put on hold pending a Supreme Court decision. The state told the justices that the Montana court decision did not single out students at religious schools because the state court ruling struck down the entire program.
January 18, 2020 13:18 UTC
On Jan. 13, action was escalated with elementary school educators no longer participating in field trips or supervising extracurricular activities unless scheduled within the school day. On Monday, members in Toronto, York Region and Ottawa-Carleton school boards will strike for the day so those boards will close elementary schools. On Wednesday, members at Thames Valley, Rainbow and Rainy River school boards will strike for the day, prompting those boards to close elementary schools. On Thursday, members will launch a one-day strike in Avon Maitland, Halton, Niagara and Lakehead school boards resulting in school closures. KEY ISSUES: The government’s proposal of mandatory e-learning for high school students, increased class sizes and decreased course options.
January 18, 2020 12:00 UTC
From cannabis edibles to Tibetan sound baths, we’ve selected some of the best long reads of the week from across the Star’s newsrooms. Sign up for the Weekend Long Reads newsletter to get them delivered straight to your inbox every Saturday morning. I was looking to release what I was holding onto emotionally, and to move forward feeling refreshed and renewed. Get more stories like this one in your inbox Take your time with the Star's biggest and best features with our Weekend Long Reads email newsletter. Sign Up NowA TRCA report makes clear that if humans have helped sustain High Park, they have also degraded it.
January 18, 2020 12:00 UTC