Donald Trump

Around the World: Jan. 25, 2016

Here's what's happening across the United States and around the world today.  

Icy roads, spotty transit service follow East Coast blizzard

NEW YORK (AP) — East Coast residents who made the most of a paralyzing weekend blizzard face fresh challenges as the workweek begins: slippery roads, spotty transit service and mounds of snow that buried cars and blocked sidewalk entrances.

U.S. & World

Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.

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For many, the weekend extends into Monday because of closed schools and government offices. Officials were cautioning against unnecessary driving even as they expected some commuter trains to be delayed or canceled.

The storm dropped snow from the Gulf Coast to New England, with near-record snowfalls tallied from Washington, D.C. to New York City. At least 30 deaths were blamed on the weather, with shoveling snow and breathing carbon monoxide together claiming almost as many lives as car crashes.

The snow began Friday, and the last flakes fell just before midnight Saturday. In its aftermath, crews raced all day Sunday to clear streets and sidewalks devoid of their usual bustle.

Sunday's brilliant sunshine and gently rising temperatures provided a respite from the blizzard that dropped a record 29.2 inches on Baltimore. The weekend timing could not have been better, enabling many to enjoy a gorgeous winter day.

Paris attackers were versed in atrocity, IS video shows

PARIS (AP) — A new video released by the Islamic State group purports to show the extremists who carried out the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris committing atrocities in IS-controlled territory while plotting the slaughter in the French capital that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. The group also threatens Britain.

The 17-minute video, released Sunday, shows the extent of the planning that went into the multiple attacks in Paris, which French authorities have said from the beginning were planned in Syria. It also is likely meant to serve as a recruitment tool to rally followers to the extremists' sinister cause.

All nine men seen in the video died in the Paris attacks or their aftermath. Seven of the attackers — four from Belgium and three from France — spoke fluent French. The two others — identified by their noms de guerre as Iraqis — spoke in Arabic.

Seven of the militants, including a 20-year-old who was the youngest of the group, were filmed standing behind bound captives, described as "apostates," who were either beheaded or shot.

"Soon on the Champs-Elysees," says Samy Amimour, who was raised in a Paris suburb near the French national stadium, as he holds a captive's head aloft.

AP INVESTIGATION: Feds' failures imperil migrant children

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As tens of thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America crossed the border in search of safe harbor, overwhelmed U.S. officials weakened child protection policies, placing some young migrants in homes where they were sexually assaulted, starved, or forced to work for little or no pay, an Associated Press investigation has found.

Without enough beds to house the record numbers of young arrivals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lowered its safety standards during border surges in the last three years to swiftly move children out of government shelters and into sponsors' homes. The procedures were increasingly relaxed as the number of young migrants rose in response to spiraling gang and drug violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, according to emails, agency memos and operations manuals obtained by AP, some under the Freedom of Information Act.

First, the government stopped fingerprinting most adults seeking to claim the children. In April 2014, the agency stopped requiring original copies of birth certificates to prove most sponsors' identities. The next month, it decided not to complete forms that request sponsors' personal and identifying information before sending many of the children to sponsors' homes. Then, it eliminated FBI criminal history checks for many sponsors.

Since the rule changes, the AP has identified more than two dozen children who were placed with sponsors who subjected them to sexual abuse, labor trafficking, or severe abuse and neglect.

"This is clearly the tip of the iceberg," said Jacqueline Bhabha, research director at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University. "We would never release domestic children to private settings with as little scrutiny."

Kerry dismisses posturing ahead of peace talks on Syria

VIENTIANE, Laos (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday dismissed Syrian government claims and opposition complaints as posturing ahead of U.N.-led peace talks that are supposed to begin this week.

Kerry, in Laos after discussing the negotiations with officials in Switzerland and Saudi Arabia last week, said he expected there would be clarity about when the talks would start within the next 72 hours. They had been due to start on Monday in Geneva, but have been delayed because of disagreements over which groups can represent the opposition at the table.

Since arriving in Laos on Sunday, Kerry said, he had spoken to the U.N. special envoy for Syria and the foreign ministers of Russia, Saudi Arabia, France and Turkey to try to reach consensus on how the talks will be run and a planned ceasefire would proceed.

"We're going to have the meeting and (the talks) are going to start," Kerry told reporters. "But what we are trying to do is to make absolutely certain that when they start everyone is clear about roles and what's happening so you don't go there and wind up with a question mark or a failure. You don't want to start Day One by not being able to make progress."

He said his conversations with colleagues were mainly about how the cease-fire and confidence-building measures, such as opening up areas for humanitarian access, would work. He declined to elaborate but said any disagreements arising in the Geneva talks would be addressed by another meeting of the 20-odd member International Syria Support Group that is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 11.

Trump's wife remains private despite prospect of presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — First lady Melania Trump.

If that prospect evokes no clear image, that's no accident. Donald Trump's wife has said little in the campaign about the type of first lady she'd like to be should her husband win the Republican nomination and the presidency. The distance, she's said, is intentional so she can focus on the couple's 9-year-old son, Barron.

But should he become the GOP candidate for the fall, the Slovenian-born model, mother and multilingual speaker would face big decisions about her family, her life and her potential position in American history. The presidential voting starts when Iowans caucus Feb. 1.

For now, Melania Trump is her husband's top supporter at events, a striking brunette swathed in couture, frequently seen but seldom heard. Her first campaign turn came in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in November, as the candidate called his family on stage during a rally. Turning to Melania, his third wife, Trump asked if she'd like to say something.

She stepped to the microphone and cocked a manicured thumb over an elegant shoulder.

Authorities struggling to piece together daring jail escape

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was a daring and elaborate escape: cutting through metal, crawling through plumbing tunnels, climbing a roof, rappelling four stories to freedom using ropes made from bedsheets.

But this wasn't a Hollywood movie; it was a real-life breakout that left authorities struggling to find three escapees — one an alleged killer — and put together the pieces of how they managed to thwart security at a Southern California maximum-security jail.

The priority was finding the men — whom are possibly armed and considered dangerous — but a probe also is underway to see whether the men had any help from inside or outside the Orange County Men's Central Jail, authorities said Sunday.

Jonathan Tieu, 20; Bac Duong, 43, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, were all awaiting trial for violent crimes but their cases were unconnected. They vanished from a dormitory they shared with around 65 other men on Friday shortly after the 5 a.m. inmate head count, county sheriff's officials said.

Somehow, the men obtained tools that allowed them to cut through the quarter-inch-thick grill on a dormitory wall, then got into plumbing tunnels. Cutting their way through additional half-inch-thick steel bars, the trio made their way to an unguarded area of the roof of the four-story building, where they apparently moved aside some razor wire and rappelled to the ground using elaborately braided ropes made from linens, authorities said.

Romania probes hundreds of books written by prisoners

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's crackdown on corruption and fraud in recent years has created a sudden and unexpected literary boom, as prisoners publish hundreds of non-fiction books on subjects as varied as soccer, real estate, God and gemstones.

It's quite a feat for inmates with no access to books or the Internet, often without tables in their cells. Reports that one book, of 212 pages, was written in seven hours, has only increased suspicions that the improbable treatises are often ghost-written or plagiarized.

Under Romanian law, prisoners can have their sentences reduced by 30 days for every "scientific work" they publish, subject to a judge's decision on whether the book merits it. Prisoners pay publishing houses to print their works — though they won't be found in any bookshop.

The law dates from the communist era and was aimed at imprisoned intellectuals who were not suitable for manual labor. Skilled manual workers are able to work to reduce their sentences.

Until recently only a handful of such books were published, but in 2014 that rose to 90 — and in 2015 it spiraled to 340.

Cold snap hits east Asia, blamed for more than 60 deaths

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Unusually cold weather in eastern Asia has been blamed for more than 60 deaths, disrupting transportation and bringing the first snow to a subtropical city in southern China in almost 50 years. Here is a look at the worst weather to hit the region in years:

TAIWAN

Temperatures in Taiwan's capital of Taipei plunged to a 16-year low of 4 degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit), killing 57 mostly elderly people.

Most homes in subtropical Taiwan lack central heating, and the cold caused heart trouble and shortness of breath for many of the victims, a city official said. Normally, temperatures in Taipei hover around 16 degrees C (60 degrees F) in January, according to Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau.

The cold snap was blamed in the deaths of 40 people in the capital, Taipei, while the neighboring New Taipei City attributed an additional 17 deaths to the cold weather. Strokes and hypothermia were among the causes of death in New Taipei City, officials said.

50th Super Bowl: Manning's Broncos face Newton's Panthers

Peyton Manning is the only five-time MVP in NFL history, one of the faces of the league and, at 39, the oldest starting quarterback to lead a team to the Super Bowl.

Slowed by age and injury, he is no longer the record-breaking passer he once was. Most folks figure Manning's fourth Super Sunday appearance will be his last game as a pro.

Cam Newton is at the opposite end of his career, just 26, making his debut in the big game. He also is expected to earn MVP honors for the first time, part of a new breed of dual-threat QBs as good at running as they are at throwing.

For the next two weeks, until Manning's AFC champion Denver Broncos (14-4) play Newton's NFC champion Carolina Panthers (17-1) for the Lombardi Trophy in Santa Clara, California, on Feb. 7, most of the focus will be on the two quarterbacks who were No. 1 overall draft picks 13 years apart.

"Oh, wow," said Newton, whose Panthers opened as 4-point favorites with most bookmakers. "Playing 'The Sheriff.'" 


That's what's happening. Read more stories to jump start your day in our special Breakfast Buzz section. 

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