BC-SYRIA-THE LATEST The Latest: Suicide bombing in Syria’s Idlib kills 7 OUTSIDE BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — Syrian activists and a war monitor say at least seven people have been killed in a suicide bombing inside…
The Latest: Suicide bombing in Syria’s Idlib kills 7
OUTSIDE BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — Syrian activists and a war monitor say at least seven people have been killed in a suicide bombing inside a restaurant in the northwestern city of Idlib.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a city restaurant after opening fire on those inside, killing eight people, including six jihadists. The Idlib Media Center said the explosion killed seven people.
Thursday’s explosion is the latest in a string of bombings in Idlib where lawlessness is rampant. Idlib is the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, controlled by the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or Levant Liberation Committee.
The city has been hit with blasts over the past months that have killed and wounded scores of people.
Eyeing 2020, White House steps up ‘socialism’ attack on Dems
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the White House gears up for the 2020 campaign, it’s pressing the case that Democrats are rallying behind what it’s calling the policies of “socialism.”
Vice President Mike Pence is using an appearance before the Conservative Political Action Conference to charge that Democratic priorities of “Medicare for all” and the Green New Deal show that Democrats “are embracing the same tired economic theories that have impoverished nations and stifled the liberties of million over the past century.”
Pence, in his prepared remarks, adds: “That system is socialism.”
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the conference on Thursday that Americans should “put socialism on trial and then convict it.”
Trump will speak to activists on Saturday. He’s expected to deliver a similar message.
The Latest: Pakistan hands over captured pilot to India
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan has handed over an Indian pilot captured after his plane was shot down by the Pakistani military this week amid a dramatic confrontation between the two nuclear-armed rivals over the disputed Kashmir region.
Pakistani officials brought the pilot, identified as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, to the border crossing with India at Wagah and handed him back to India on Friday.
On the Indian side of the border, Indian officials greeted the pilot who was in a dark blue suit, accompanied by a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Islamabad has said that the handover was a gesture of peace that could defuse tensions and avoid another war between India and Pakistan.
Varthaman was shot down on Wednesday in Pakistani-held Kashmir.
Oakland teachers strike ends with tentative contract deal
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — School leaders and teachers in Oakland, California, have reached a tentative deal to end a week-long strike.
The school district said Friday that teachers will receive an 11 percent salary increase plus a one-time 3 percent bonus.
Oakland’s 3,000 teachers walked off the job Feb. 21 to demand higher pay, smaller class sizes and more school resources.
The city’s 86 schools stayed open, staffed by a skeleton crew of substitutes and administrators but most students stayed away in support for their striking teachers.
The walkout affected 36,000 students in 86 schools.
NORTH KOREA-DETAINEE DEATH-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump tweets about Otto Warmbier, but not Kim
CINCINNATI (AP) — President Donald Trump says his view on North Korea’s role in an American college student’s death is being misinterpreted, while steering clear of citing that country’s leader.
Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon after a statement by the late Otto Warmbier’s (warm-BEER’) parents contradicting him by blaming Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) “and his evil regime.” A Trump tweet says: “Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto’s mistreatment and death.”
Trump praised the Warmbiers as “a tremendous symbol of strong passion and strength.”
Trump didn’t walk back his earlier comments that he took Un “at his word” that he wasn’t aware of how the Ohio young man was being treated during 17 months in captivity. Warmbier died soon after his 2017 release.
ELECTION 2020-BERNIE SANDERS
Bernie 2.0: More professional and more personal
NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Sanders is out to prove he’s learned from the mistakes of his first White House bid.
Welcome to Bernie 2.0, a more professionalized campaign based in Washington, D.C., where Sanders’ team is embracing a more personal message, a more diverse staff and a more organized nationwide architecture. It’s backed by the strongest fundraising operation in the 2020 Democratic field.
His new campaign manager says this time the campaign is “built to win” and planning to win from the very beginning.
The new approach has risks. A professionalized campaign backed by a more personal message could threaten to alienate voters who were drawn last time to Sanders’ aggressive policies and no-frills authenticity.
The Latest: Chaos erupts, 2 arrested during Texas execution
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Chaos erupted near Texas’ death chamber when the son of the inmate being executed pounded on the chamber windows, shouted obscenities and threw fists after his father spoke his last words.
Billie Wayne Coble was sentenced to death for the 1989 killings of his estranged wife’s parents and brother. The Vietnam War veteran was executed Thursday night.
Before the lethal drug was administered, he told five people in the witness room that he loved them. As he finished speaking, his son, a friend and a daughter-in-law became emotional.
Officers stepped in and eventually moved them to a courtyard, where the two men were handcuffed and arrested on charges of resisting an officer.
The 70-year-old Coble was the oldest inmate executed by Texas since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.
DAY CARE-CHILD INJURED
2 day care workers charged after video shows child thrown
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Charges have been filed against two Missouri day care center workers after surveillance video showing a 3-year-old girl being thrown against a cabinet went viral.
St. Louis County prosecutors filed felony child abuse charges Thursday against the woman who allegedly threw the child into the cabinet, 27-year-old Wilma Brown.
The child sustained a head gash requiring seven stitches following the Feb. 1 incident at Brighter Day Care and Preschool. A warrant has been issued for Brown’s arrest.
Prosecutors also charged 22-year-old Ariana Silver for an incident on Feb. 27 also allegedly captured by surveillance video.
Charging documents say Silver squeezed a 4-year-old girl’s arm and punctured her skin, and then carried the girl by her foot. Silver is jailed on $50,000 bond.
The center’s attorney says both women have been fired and the center has an “exemplary” record.
PEOPLE-JERRY LEE LEWIS
Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis suffers stroke, expected to recover
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis is recovering after a minor stroke, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
A statement from his publicist says the 83-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer had a stroke Thursday night and is recuperating in Memphis. His publicist, Zach Farnum, said no scheduled shows have been affected.
Nicknamed “The Killer,” Lewis is known for his outrageous energy and piano skills on songs like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’.”
He is scheduled to perform at the 50th anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April and his publicist said he has plans to record a gospel album soon.
CANADA US CHINA HUAWEI
Canada allows extradition case against Wanzhou to proceed
TORONTO (AP) — Canada says it will allow the U.S. extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to proceed.
Canadian Department of Justice officials issued a statement Friday saying the case will begin after the completion of a diligent review of the evidence.
Meng is due in court on March 6, at which time a date for her extradition hearing will be set.
Canada arrested the daughter of Huawei’s founder at the request of the U.S. on Dec. 1.
Meng is wanted on fraud charges that she misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
The case has severely damaged Beijing’s relations with Ottawa. China detained two Canadians and sentenced another to death in an apparent to pressure Canada to release Meng.