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By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China appears to have largely completed major construction of military infrastructure on artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea and can now deploy combat planes and other military hardware there at any time, a U.S. think tank said on Monday. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the work on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands included naval, air, radar and defensive facilities. The think tank cited satellite images taken this month, which its director, Greg Poling, said showed new radar antennae on Fiery Cross and Subi.
South Africa's anti-apartheid icon Ahmed Kathrada, who was jailed alongside Nelson Mandela, was feted as a humble liberation hero who shunned the power and glory that came with freedom. Unlike many struggle veterans, Kathrada, who was imprisoned on Robben Island, never held public political office after the fall of apartheid and Mandela's election as president in 1994. When Mandela left office in 1999, after serving a single four-year term, Kathrada also stepped away from politics -- immersing himself in activism through his Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.
There's no shortage of theories about what Mars was like billions of years ago. The prevailing guess is that water was abundant, and there may have even been enough to form huge oceans. New research into an existing geographical feature on the red planet could provide new evidence of not only the existence of a massive body of water, but also an astroid impact that could have generated multiple devastating tsunamis.
Evidence that water existed on Mars is ample, and many researchers believe that telltale signs of tsunamis are also present. In an effort to explain how a tsunami might have been generated, scientists have been looking for the spot (or spots) on the Martian surface where an astroid or other celestial object could have come crashing down.
One particularly interesting spot on the planet, which NASA describes as "thumbprint-looking," was long thought to be the result of mud or other debris sliding downward after being pushed up by a glacier or other geographical shift. It's called the Lomonosov crater, and new research supports a very different theory as to how it got there.
Instead of being simply the result of gravity pulling dirt downhill, scientists now believe it could very well be the last remaining mark of an astroid that violently struck Mars billions of years ago. What's more, the characteristics of the crater support the idea that when the rock struck the planet, the spot it hit was actually an ocean, leading to multiple huge tidal waves as the displaced water was pushed from and pulled into resulting crater.
NASA has managed to capture some pretty stunning photos of all the cool stuff they've spotted over the years, and rarely does it fail to amaze. There's images of planet surfaces, the rings of Saturn, and even black holes flying through space totally unchecked. Rarely, however, does a photo look so unreal that at first glance you'd be likely to mistake it for a work of Earthling art. A new photo captured by NASA's Juno spacecraft falls into that category, and oh what a sight it is.
The image, originally taken by Juno's "JunoCam" camera, was taken in early February and shows Jupiter's ever-swirling mass of storm clouds from an altitude of roughly 9,000 miles. The storms which continually rock the planet take on a milky appearance when captured up close, and a citizen scientist named Roman Tkachenko took the liberty of enhancing the photo's colors to bring out even more of the defining lines and edges.
The Juno craft, packed with all kinds of fancy monitoring equipment, made its fifth flyby of the planet on Monday, which is also the fourth "science orbit," which is the name they give the flybys when all the instruments on board are up and running. The craft's next flyby won't happen until late May 2017, so it's a rare and exciting event when one of these close passes goes by without a hitch. The craft's data is currently being sent to Earth where researchers will continue to mine it for precious information about our solar system's most intimidating planet.
Choosing where to buy a new iPhone isn't as simple as it might seem. Third-party stores or carriers might give you a better monetary deal than buying an iPhone from the Apple Store, but you're also going to have to deal with yearly contracts, bill credits, or the hassle of unlocking the device if you switch networks.
But all the details aside, T-Mobile is hoping that its latest offering can make the decision much simpler. As of right now, if you buy an iPhone on T-Mobile and opt for extra device insurance, you'll also get AppleCare included in the price.
The AppleCare isn't free with all new iPhones from T-Mobile, but rather it's an additional service you get with T-Mobile's Premium Device Protection. That's just an insurance program that T-Mobile offers on devices. It runs $12 per month, and offers theft and loss protection on your phone. It's a good option if you're prone to losing your device altogether, but the deductibles are high, and it doesn't offer much help with common problems like a cracked screen or water damage (thanks to those high deductibles).
So T-Mobile's new offering bundles the normal insurance, offered by Assurant, with the Apple-provided AppleCare that you know and love. Assurant keeps covering theft and loss, while AppleCare gets you different benefits like live support, cheap screens, and battery repairs.
For anyone who was already on T-Mobile's insurance, or thinking about buying a phone protected by it, this is obviously good news. You're getting more coverage for the same amount of money, and knowing it's Apple-provided coverage means you're not going to have to spend weeks arguing with a weird third-party insurance company.
More than 100 countries on Monday launched the first UN talks aimed at achieving a legally binding ban on nuclear weapons, as Washington led an international boycott of a process it deems unrealistic. Before the conference had even begun, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, spoke out to reject the proposal in the light of current global security threats. "As a mom and a daughter there is nothing I want more for my family than a world with no nuclear weapons," Haley, who represents the world's largest nuclear power, said on the sidelines of the meeting.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Monday accused Israel of having killed one of the Palestinian Islamist group's officials after he was shot dead in the Gaza Strip. Mazen Faqha, 38, was shot dead by unknown gunmen Friday with four bullets from a pistol equipped with a silencer. "By killing Faqha, the enemy told us: 'I've scored a point against you and I can take away one of your heroes even in the heart of Gaza," Meshaal told supporters at a memorial in the Palestinian enclave.
By Tom Finn LONDON (Reuters) - Qatar Airways' chief executive said on Monday he did not believe the ban on carrying most electronics in the cabins of passenger flights to the United States from eight Muslim majority countries was designed to hurt Gulf airlines. The U.S. introduced new security measures on March 25 banning electronics larger than a mobile phone from passenger cabins on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, including Qatar.
A mild winter followed by a spate of cold weather in Washington, made its mark on the city’s cherry blossoms, but the annual festival delighted first-time visitors on Sunday. The cherry blossom trees were a gift from Japan to the United States in 1912. The cherry blossom trees currently grow in three National Park Service locations, including the Tidal Basin, Hains Point and on the Washington Monument grounds.
A shrine built over a cave that is revered as the tomb of Jesus is in danger of "catastrophic" collapse, according to a report by National Geographic. The shrine (or the "Edicule," as it is often called) is located within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. According to legend, Helena, the mother of emperor Constantine the Great (A.D. 272-337) visited Jerusalem in the fourth century and discovered the cave where Jesus was buried after being crucified.
Jeb Bush says President Trump’s evidence-free claims are kneecapping his first 100 days in the White House. “He should stop saying things that aren’t true, that are distractions from the task at hand,” Bush said in an interview that aired Sunday on Miami’s WFOR-TV. During the bruising campaign, Bush was a prominent critic of Trump — who in turn relentlessly mocked the former Florida governor.
South African President Jacob Zuma has ordered his finance minister to return from an overseas investment trip, the presidency said Monday, fuelling speculation that a cabinet reshuffle is imminent. Zuma's decision to recall Pravin Gordhan from Britain has led to media and opposition speculation that he could be sacked. Friction has soared between Zuma, who is seeking to fund a "radical economic transformation", and Gordhan who is taking a stand against graft and heavy spending.
The family of U.S. tourist Kurt Cochran who was killed in last week's assault on the British parliament said on Monday he would not have borne any ill feelings toward the attacker. Cochran, 54, and his wife, Melissa, were in Europe to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary when they were mowed down on Westminster Bridge by a car driven by British man, Khalid Masood, who went on to fatally stab an unarmed policeman at the parliament building. The couple from Utah had been due to return to the United States the day after the attack took place last Wednesday.
Microsoft has revolutionized laptop designs with the Surface and Surface Book, so why not smartphones? A 2015 patent (published Mar. 23) doesn't explicitly name the device as a smartphone, instead showing a technology that could take the form of a "hinged display device" (think futuristic flip-phone). The device would use a "support structure" to contain the displays, and the patent often mentions it as a hinge.
By Andrew Osborn MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday rejected calls by the United States and the European Union to release opposition protesters detained during what it said were illegal demonstrations the previous day and accused organizers of paying teenagers to attend. The protests, estimated to be the biggest since a wave of anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2011/2012, come a year before a presidential election that Vladimir Putin is expected to contest, running for what would be a fourth term.
Kenyan troops in Somalia killed 31 Islamist al Shabaab militants in a raid on two of their bases in the southern Somali region of Jubbaland, the Kenyan military said on Monday. The East African nation has thousands of its forces in the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to help curb al Shabaab and improve security as part of a reconstruction drive after two decades of civil war that shattered the country. "Ground troops were supported by attack helicopters and artillery fire," the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) said in a statement about Sunday's raid on al Shabaab bases in the Baadhade district of Jubbaland.
By Tom Westbrook SYDNEY (Reuters) - Thousands of Australians fled their homes on Monday as a powerful cyclone bore down on coastal towns in Queensland, where authorities urged 30,000 people to evacuate low lying areas most at risk from tidal surges and winds of up to 300 km per hour (185 mph). Cyclone Debbie is expected to gather strength before making landfall in the northeast state early on Tuesday, with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a category four storm, just one rung below the most dangerous wind speed level. The growing alarm persuaded the state government on Monday to warn some 25,000 people living in parts of Mackay, a city 950 kilometers (590 miles) north of the state capital Brisbane, to head south to higher ground.
Pakistan has begun building a fence on its disputed 2,500 km (1,500 mile) border with Afghanistan to prevent incursions by militants, Pakistan's army chief said, in a move likely to further strain relations between the two countries. Pakistan has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants it says are based on Afghan soil for a spate of attacks at home in recent months, urging Kabul to eradicate "sanctuaries" for militants. Citing the attacks, Islamabad earlier this month temporarily shut the main crossing points along the colonial-era Durand Line border, drawn up in 1893 and rejected by Afghanistan.
Donald Trump on Sunday squarely blamed his Republican party's ultra-conservative wing for the most stinging defeat of his young presidency, holding it responsible for the failed attempt to repeal Obamacare in a way that may signal bruising battles ahead over taxes and spending. In a Twitter message, the US president not only faulted the hardline Freedom Caucus and two other influential conservative groups for the stunning setback, he suggested they had weakened efforts to curb abortions, a touchstone conservative cause. "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!" he tweeted early Sunday, two days after he and Republican leaders canceled a House vote on repealing Obamacare that was headed for failure.
A man waves traditional daggers, or jambiyas, as he attends with supporters of the Houthi movement and Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, a rally to mark the two-year anniversary since the military intervention by a Saudi-led coalition, in Sanaa, Yemen; police officers detain an opposition supporter during a rally in Vladivostok, Russia; Balinese people carry giant effigies in the form of the devil, whose local name is “Ogoh-ogoh,” during a parade before Nyepi Day, the Balinese Day of Silence, marking the Balinese Hindu New Year in Gianyar, a regency in Bali, Indonesia. ...
Russia’s opposition, often written off by critics as a small and irrelevant coterie of privileged urbanites, put on an impressive nationwide show of strength Sunday with scores of protest rallies spanning the vast country. Hundreds were arrested, including Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption campaigner who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic.
Ted Koppel says Fox News host Sean Hannity is bad for America. On “CBS Sunday Morning,” the veteran newsman told Hannity that the audience he attracts is unable to distinguish between the divisive political rhetoric that marked the 2016 presidential campaign and the truth. “You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts,” Koppel told Hannity.
The sainted Mother Teresa herself was fond of quoting the verse to explain why she devoted her life to serving the poor. Matthew 25:40, it turns out, is a famously difficult and controversial passage, the subject of at least one book, numerous articles and contentious disagreements among biblical scholars.
Infowars owner and long-time conspiracy theorist Alex Jones admitted that his site falsely reported and commented on the debunked “Pizzagate” controversy, a theory that alleged that Comet Ping Pong, a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant, had played a role in a child-sex-trafficking ring that also involved Hillary Clinton. Apologizing to the restaurant’s owner, James Alefantis, Mr. Jones issued a statement Friday. “I want our viewers and listeners to know that we regret any negative impact our commentaries may have had on Mr. Alefantis, Comet Ping Pong, or its employees,” he said.