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Steve King faces increasing pressure to resign after 'white supremacy' remarksRep. Steve King’s base of support, including in his home state of Iowa, continues to erode after comments he made appearing to praise white supremacy were published in the New York Times. Des Moines is not located in King’s district.


1/16/2019 9:07:09 AM

Kenya attack: At least six killed in Nairobi hotel complex terror siegeIslamist terrorists detonated explosives and fired automatic weapons as they mounted a deadly attack on a hotel and business complex frequented by Westerners in Nairobi on Tuesday. Six people have been confirmed killed in the attack, while a Kenyan police officer told reporters 15 bodies had been taken to the mortuary. A mortuary worker added that identification papers indicated that 11 were Kenyan, one was American and one was British, while the other two did not have documents on them. Nationalities of the dead remain unconfirmed. Hundreds more remained trapped inside buildings  16 hours after the attack began. Local security forces freed scores of civilians as they fought their way into the grounds of 14 Riverside, a compound housing a hotel, restaurant, bars and office blocks in the city’s Westlands district.  But the reported six gunmen were still in control of parts of the five-star Dusit Hotel, part of a Thai-owned international chain that appeared to be the chief target of the attackers. The Somali militant group al-Shabaab, which has longstanding ties to al-Qaeda, claimed credit for the attack, revisiting the city in which they killed 67 people during an attack on the Westgate shopping mall in 2013. Cars are seen on fire at the scene of explosions and gunshots in Nairobi Credit: REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya Just as at Westgate, barely a mile way, this was a carefully chosen target designed to bring terror to one of the prosperous parts of an increasingly prosperous city and target Westerners and rich Kenyans alike. Several multinational firms, from America’s Colgate Palmolive to the German chemical giant BASF housed their local headquarters at 14 Riverside. Several British firms were also based there, the consultancy groups Control Risks and Adam Smith International among them. From the outset it was clear that this was a highly sophisticated attack. A suicide bomber blew himself up close to the entrance as two vehicles carrying the attackers breached a security barrier, regarded as one of the most efficient in Nairobi, at the entrance to the complex. Some of the attackers, lobbing grenades and firing automatic rifles, reportedly killed several people at the Secret Garden restaurant, a spot popular for business meetings close to the restaurant, before continuing on to the Dusit hotel.  “There was a big bang and then a lot of gunfire, up to 100 shots or more,” said Philip Coulson, a lawyer working in a nearby office block. “Later, I saw people fleeing and others being carried out with looks of pain or anguish on their face.” Terrified office workers in the complex’s five blocks, said to house more than 1,000 employees, hid under desks and barricaded doors. Others, caught in the open, ran frantically for cover.  “Run, run!” one man shouted from behind a low wall as colleagues stumbled on lawns and crawled along the ground in a desperate bid for safety as shots rang out. “Down! Down!” Extremists launched a deadly attack on a luxury hotel in Kenya's capital  Credit: AP Photo/Brian Inganga Kenya’s security forces earned an ignominious reputation during the Westgate attack, after army units were accused of opening fire on their police colleagues, killing the officer in charge and then embarking on a looting spree. But this time, the initial response appeared more professional and coordinated. Army and police units, assisted by emergency crews, were quick to seal off the perimeter and rescue people from the office blocks, at least some of which appeared to be ignored by the attackers. Many were rescued within hours, fleeing under armed guard with their hands in the air before streaming in their scores across a footbridge to the safety of a nearby university campus. Everywhere signs of extreme emotion were visible. Shaking and often weeping, some survivors — mostly Kenyan, but some Westerners too — embraced anxious relatives waiting outside the police cordon. Others sank to the ground and gave thanks to God. Security forces at the scene in Nairobi Credit: AP Photo/Ben Curtis “After the first blast, after we saw the restaurant had been blown up, we ran and hid under tables,” said Elizabeth Maina, an employee at AC Nielsen, an American global research firm housed in the Belgravia building close to the entrance. “There was shooting everywhere. We called and sent messages to the police. After an hour, we saw men in uniforms and plain clothes enter the room. They shouted ‘police, police’ and led us out.” Workers in office blocks, with plenty of hiding places and lockable doors, were always more likely to survive. Those in the hotel, whose foyer opens out onto a restaurant, bar and swimming pool, would have had much less of a chance — as their attackers surely knew. Just how high the death toll could be is unlikely to become clear until the attack is over, although witnesses said they saw at least five bodies and reported body parts strewn on the ground outside the hotel. “There was no time to count the dead but it is true that there are people who have died,” said one police officer involved in the operation. A woman is reunited with her family after her evacuation from DusitD2 compound Credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images Kenya has long been in al-Shabaab’s sights, even before it sent troops across the border into Somalia in 2011 in an attempt to root out the militants behind the abductions of Western tourists on the Kenyan coast, Britons among them.  In 1998, an al Qaeda attack, which involved a number of Somalis, on the American embassy in Nairobi killed more than 200 people. The number of attacks soared after 2011.  Westgate aside, 147 students were killed in an attack on a university in the northern town in Garissa in 2015 while scores more had previously died when suspected al Shabaab militants struck at villages on the northern Kenyan coast. Improved intelligence, aided by tactical and training support from Britain, has seen a halt to large-scale attacks since 2015, although often deadly ambushes on Kenyan forces near the Somali border remain frequent. Despite mounting domestic opposition and al-Shabaab attacks on their bases, Kenyan forces remain in Somalia. The attack on 14 Riverside came on the third anniversary of an al-Shabaab attack on a Kenyan military base in the Somali town of El Adde. Kenya has refused to release details of the death toll, but analysts say they believe more than 140 Kenyan soldiers were killed.


1/15/2019 10:29:21 PM

U.S. eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities growThe senior U.S. defense intelligence official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, did not predict that China's military, known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA), would take such a step but said such a possibility was the top worry as China expands and modernizes its military capabilities. "The biggest concern is that ... they are getting to a point where the PLA leadership may actually tell Xi Jinping that they are confident in their capabilities," the official said, referring to China's president. Pressed on whether the official was referring to Chinese confidence in its capabilities to be able to successfully win a battle with Taiwan, the official said, "Well, specifically that would be the most concerning to me." Taiwan is only one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, including a trade war between the countries, U.S. sanctions on the Chinese military, and China's increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea.


1/15/2019 11:26:22 PM

LAUSD teachers strike day 3: Everything you need to knowThe LAUSD and United Teachers Los Angeles have yet to reach a deal. Here's everything you need to know about the ongoing teachers strike.


1/16/2019 3:55:58 PM

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spotted fresh rainfall on Saturn’s moon TitanNASA's Cassini orbiter has been dead for well over a year now, but its incredible discoveries continue to trickle in as researchers pore over data and images it collected while it was active. Consequently, studies focused on the orbiter's findings continue to crop up on a regular basis, such as a recent study from University of Idaho in Moscow doctoral student Rajani Dhingra, who, along with her colleagues, found evidence of rainfall on the north pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in an image taken on June 7th, 2016. This indicates that summer had arrived on the moon's northern hemisphere later than climate models had predicted. "The whole Titan community has been looking forward to seeing clouds and rains on Titan's north pole, indicating the start of the northern summer, but despite what the climate models had predicted, we weren't even seeing any clouds," said Dhingra, lead author of the study. "People called it the curious case of missing clouds." Dhingra and her colleagues spotted a reflective feature near the north pole of Titan in the aforementioned image -- a feature which covered approximately 46,332 square miles -- which had never appeared before, and didn't appear when Cassini passed by again. Dhingra concluded that the reflective nature of the feature was due to sunlight reflecting off of a wet surface, which she believes was the result of a methane rainfall event. This is the first time summer rainfall has ever been observed on Titan. While Earth experiences four seasons over the course of a year, a single season on Titan lasts seven Earth years. When Cassini reached Titan, clouds and rainfall were observed in the southern hemisphere, signaling a southern summer. Climate models predicted the rain would move to the northern hemisphere "leading up to the northern summer solstice in 2017," but the clouds still hadn't appeared by 2016. The images above should help reseachers understand why this was the case. We want our model predictions to match our observations. This rainfall detection proves Cassini's climate follows the theoretical climate models we know of," Dhingra said. "Summer is happening. It was delayed, but it's happening. We will have to figure out what caused the delay, though."


1/17/2019 10:39:41 AM

Pelosi tells Trump to postpone State of the Union over record-long government shutdownThe speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has asked Donald Trump to postpone his annual State of the Union address amid a government shutdown now into its 26th day. The move could deny the president the grandeur of the annual platform, which he is likely to use to criticise Ms Pelosi and Democrats over the shutdown. Democrats have said they will not sanction $5.7bn (£4.4bn) funding for Mr Trump’s proposed border wall which the president has made a central demand for reopening the government.


1/16/2019 12:23:00 PM

Ocasio-Cortez Poised to Join Panel Overseeing Wall StreetThe New York lawmaker, who has become a sensation among progressives, will almost certainly join the House Financial Services Committee after a group of fellow Democrats on the party’s steering committee voted to recommend her for the panel on Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter. Two other recently elected progressive Democrats, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Katie Porter of California, are also likely to join the panel, said the people said, who requested anonymity because the names of the new members have not yet been announced. Tulsi Gabbard, a lawmaker from Hawaii who says she plans to run for president in 2020, is also poised to join, the people said.


1/15/2019 10:24:01 PM

Venus-Jupiter conjunction: Set your alarm for this celestial meet-up on Tuesday morningJupiter and Venus will shine bright together before dawn on Tuesday in an astronomical event known as a conjunction.


1/16/2019 12:15:24 PM

A Look at the 2020 BMW 7-series


1/16/2019 3:55:00 AM

Southwest Airlines flights canceled, delayed due to computer issue in BaltimoreA data connectivity issue with Southwest Airlines phones and computer systems Tuesday resulted in delayed flights to and from BWI.


1/16/2019 11:39:27 AM

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