Did he go quietly? The FBI and Oregon State Police detained the protest leader during a traffic stop outside of the federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon where he and several other individuals have been conducting an armed occupation since January 2. At least five individuals, including Ammon and his brother Ryan, were arrested. Gunshots were reportedly fired during the incident and authorities say one person is dead but it’s unclear if the police or Bundy’s party opened fire first.
The Presidential Daily Brief
He’s done negotiating. Donald Trump said it was “irrevocable” that he’d skip Thursday’s debate hosted by Fox News. The Republican frontrunner used a press conference in Iowa to criticize Fox anchor Megyn Kelly, with whom he has previously sparred and who is hosting the debate. The real estate mogul also cited a mocking press release from the network. Trump’s campaign manager confirmed the decision, saying it was not “under negotiation.” His absence could provide an opening for Ted Cruz or another opponent, though Trump promised to host a simultaneous event for the group Wounded Warriors.
Now they’re the ones in focus. The anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos alleging that the reproductive health organization sold fetal body parts for profit are now the ones facing charges. A Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of misconduct — the culmination of a scandal that prompted Republican investigations. But David Daleiden, CEO of the Center for Medical Progress, and associate Sandra Merritt are charged with tampering with government records, which could get them 20 years in prison. Daleiden also faces a misdemeanor count for attempting to purchase human organs.
In an emergency, they took to Facebook. Around 8 a.m. local time, the Naval Medical Center posted ”**!ATTENTION!** An active shooter has just been been reported in building #26 at Naval Medical Center San Diego. All occupants are advised to run, hide or fight.” A subsequent posted indicated that all children on the complex have been accounted for, and military police, who say they’ve found no evidence of a shooter, searched the complex as a precaution while civilians evacuated from the area.
They’re trying to stem the flood. Critics of the new legislation have decried it as inhumane, but Denmark’s parliament has voted that refugees can keep valuables and cash worth $1450 or less — and after that threshold their belongings can be seized to pay for their asylum. Wedding rings and other sentimental items will be exempt — though they weren’t in the original version of the bill, which also limited refugees to less than $500 in cash and valuables — but even so, this may deter refugees from trying to resettle in Denmark.
It wasn’t all barbs. The three Democratic presidential candidates appeared at a town hall forum yesterday, just one week before the Iowa caucuses. Bernie Sanders talked of “political revolution” while backing away from earlier criticism of Planned Parenthood after the group endorsed Hillary Clinton. Martin O’Malley continued to argue for relevancy. Clinton, meanwhile, praised Sanders for bringing “poetry” to the campaign and reiterated that she “did nothing wrong” in the Benghazi scandal. She may have some explaining to do at home, though, after naming Abraham Lincoln her favorite former president.
Are they gone? Residents in the towns of el-Ade and Badhadhe say Kenyan soldiers have left the area, and report sightings of al-Shabab fighters in the newly vacated territory. About 100 Kenyan soldiers died when al-Shabab attacked a base in Somalia on January 15, and since then Kenya’s air force has been conducting strikes against the militant group — but residents also report that several civilians have died in the attacks. An army spokesman says the Kenyan military isn’t leaving Somalia, and blamed the misinformation on a routine “operational maneuver.”
Don’t be so crude. The commodity slid today after Saudi Arabia signaled again that the market’s likely to remain saturated, pushing China’s Shanghai Composite down 6.4 percent. Investors instead snapped up gold, Treasuries and the yen after crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange and London’s ICE Futures both fell below $30 a barrel. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down in early trading after the FTSE Asia-Pacific index dropped 1.6 per cent, and U.S. index futures predict a 12-point fall for the S&P 500.
He’s in the clear. Najib Razak was accused of embezzling $681 million from a state development fund, a scandal that prompted widespread protests and demands for his resignation. But Malaysian Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali says the money was a legal donation from the Saudi royal family — and that Najib returned $620 million of it. Anti-corruption officials reportedly met with the donor, which led to Najib’s exoneration. But Malaysians may want to know why their leader needed such a large donation, and what he did with the other $61 million.
ISIS kills 24 in bomb attack on Homs. (Reuters)
Beijing deports Swedish human rights campaigner Peter Dahlin. (SCMP)
Syrian regime takes key southern city from opposition. (Al Jazeera)
U.S. Treasury: Putin is ‘picture of corruption.’ (IBT)
U.N. Security Council supports mission to monitor Colombia peace deal. (BBC)
This time it’s for real. The first time the legendary character actor was mistakenly reported dead was 1982, and it became a running gag with which Vigoda played along gamely. The actor, who earned three straight Emmy nominations for his work on Barney Miller in the 1970s, died of old age, according to his daughter. ”After all these years of disbelief that Abe Vigoda was still alive,” wrote one Twitter mourner, “Now I can’t believe he’s actually gone. ”
They’re everywhere. Even in Vietnam, known for its communism and conservatism, drip coffee is king and speakeasies abound. The capital’s Hoan Kiem neighborhood is a Southeast Asian Williamsburg — complete with vintage shops and vegan food. But for rebellious Vietnamese youth, the ability to self-define via counterculture is a revolution in itself, and a symbolic rejection of a thousand years of French and Chinese colonialism. The lakeside neighborhood — where political talk is still taboo, for fear of persecution — may become mainstream if the country modernizes along with its soaring GDP.
Is this the new normal? Apple’s sales figures aren’t promising: With sales of iPhones growing the slowest pace the company has ever seen. Analysts say demand is weak for the latest models, which don’t have many new features to differentiate them from previous iterations — and the company’s fastest-growing market, China, has been gripped by a economic slowdown. Shares dipped slightly today in anticipation — but Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says he’s confident that the company’s strong, despite its quarterly performance, as it leaps into anticipated stream TV and electric car projects.
She’ll hold you to it. Cortana, the computing giant’s virtual assistant, has a new feature that scans emails for keywords that signify time-based commitments. If someone promises to deliver a project by Wednesday, for example, Microsoft’s Siri-like assistant will send them a reminder that the deadline is approaching. Since debuting on Windows 10 last year, Cortana has begun offering a variety of alerts to help bail users out of everything from conflicting meetings to missed calls — signaling that things are bright for the future of Artificial Intelligence.
He was so close. The British explorer whose South Pole expedition was raising money for one of Prince William’s charities has died in a Chilean hospital of organ failure. Worsley was recreating a 100-year-old expedition by Ernest Shackleton — one of Worsley’s ancestors was on that trek — and was attempting to cross the Antarctic continent alone on foot. Worsley, referred to as “a source of inspiration” by William, raised more than $150,000 and traveled over 900 miles before collapsing just 30 miles short of his target.
He’s echoing “legitimate complaints.” The 76-year-old English actor and two-time Oscar nominee says he sympathizes with Black actors’ frustration over the lack of diversity in Academy Awards nods for two years running. The openly gay McKellen says LGBT actors suffer a similar fate, observing that no out gay man has taken home the Best Actor statuette — though several straight men have won for playing homosexual characters. And Gandalf thinks the predominantly white Academy may be using the “wrong yardstick” to judge Hispanic and Black actors.
They’re on the case. The university reached a $950,000 settlement with Erica Kinsman, a former student who filed a lawsuit alleging that FSU didn’t properly investigate her rape accusation against the former QB. The university did not admit to liability — its president said the settlement helped avoid millions in legal fees — but it did agree to create new sexual assault prevention programs. A Department of Education investigation launched in 2014 is unaffected by this settlement … as are the suits Kinsman and Winston have filed against one another.