India Celebrates 70th Constitutional Anniversary with Republic Day Parade

(NEW DELHI) — Thousands of Indians converged on a ceremonial boulevard in the capital amid tight security to celebrate the Republic Day on Sunday, which marks the 1950 anniversary of the country’s democratic constitution.

During the celebrations, schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through New Delhi’s parade route, followed by a military hardware display.

Beyond the show of military power, the parade also included ornate floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity as men, women and children in colorful dresses performed traditional dances, drawing applause from the spectators.

The 90-minute event, broadcast live, was watched by millions of Indians on their television sets across the country.

Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro was the chief guest for this year’s celebrations.

He was accorded the ceremonial Guard of Honor by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the sprawling presidential pal..

Turkish Rescue Teams Pull Survivors From Rubble as Earthquake Death Toll Reaches 38 People

(ANKARA, Turkey) — Working against the clock in freezing temperatures, Turkish rescue teams pulled more survivors from collapsed buildings Sunday, days after a powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit the country’s east. Rescued survivors wept with gratitude for their efforts.

Turkish authorities said the death toll rose to at least 38 people from the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck Friday night.

Turkish television showed Ayse Yildiz, 35, and her 2-year-old daughter Yusra being dragged out of the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in the city of Elazig. They had been trapped for 28 hours.

The quake also injured over 1,600 people but at least 45 survivors have been pulled alive from the rubble so far, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference Sunday in Istanbul.

More than 780 aftershocks rocked the region as over 3,500 rescue experts scrambled through wrecked buildings to reach survivors, working around the clock. Rescue teams concentrated their efforts i..

Dutch Prime Minister Issues Historic Apology at Holocaust Memorial

(AMSTERDAM) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologized Sunday for the failure of officials in the Nazi-occupied country during World War II to do more to prevent the deportation and murder of just over 100,000 Jews.

Rutte made the historic apology at the country’s annual Holocaust commemoration in Amsterdam that came on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

While he praised resistance fighters, citizens who helped Jews to hide from the Nazi occupiers and workers who went on strike in support of Jews, Rutte said it was collectively not enough.

“Too little protection. Too little help. Too little recognition,” the premier said.

“Now the last survivors are still among us, I apologize today on behalf of the government for the authorities’ actions at the time,” Rutte added.

Holocaust survivor Zoni Weisz told Dutch national broadcaster NOS that it was an emotional moment.

“It was beautiful,” he said, before adding: “It’s a shame it had to ..

President Trump Asks How Long Ukraine Can Resist Russian Aggression in Newly Surfaced Recording

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump inquired how long Ukraine would be able to resist Russian aggression without U.S. assistance during a 2018 meeting with donors that included the indicted associates of his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

“How long would they last in a fight with Russia?” Trump is heard asking in the audio portion of a video recording, moments before he calls for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. She was removed a year later after a campaign to discredit her by Giuliani and others, an action that is part of Democrats’ case arguing for the removal of the president in his Senate impeachment trial.

A video recording of the entire 80-minute dinner at the Trump Hotel in Washington was obtained Saturday by The Associated Press. Excerpts were first published Friday by ABC News. People can be seen in only some portions of the recording.

The recording contradicts the president’s statements that he did not know the Giuliani associates Lev Parnas ..

Trump Envoy Hails Deal to Resume Serbia-Kosovo Railway Service

(BELGRADE, Serbia) — U.S. President Donald Trump’s special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo said Saturday that an agreement to resume railway service between the two Balkan rivals is important for both nations.

Richard Grenell, who is the U.S. ambassador to Germany, said establishing train links became a priority after U.S. officials brokered another deal earlier this week to restore air traffic between the countries after 21 years.

Grenell visited Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, and Serbia’s capital of Belgrade this week. He said Friday at a press conference in Belgrade that details of an agreement to restore rail service would be discussed at a meeting in Berlin on Monday.

“President Trump’s vision is now happening. The business community and the focus on job creation is leading the way,” Grenell said in a written statement to The Associated Press.

Grenell was appointed by Trump in October as the special envoy to talks to normalize relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The European Un..

‘This Is Huge’: Worst Locust Swarm in Decades Destroy Crops in East Africa

(KATITIKA, Kenya) — The hum of millions of locusts on the move is broken by the screams of farmers and the clanging of pots and pans. But their noise-making does little to stop the voracious insects from feasting on their crops in this rural community.

The worst outbreak of desert locusts in Kenya in 70 years has seen hundreds of millions of the bugs swarm into the East African nation from Somalia and Ethiopia. Those two countries have not had an infestation like this in a quarter-century, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region with devastating hunger.

“Even cows are wondering what is happening,” said Ndunda Makanga, who spent hours Friday trying to chase the locusts from his farm. “Corn, sorghum, cowpeas, they have eaten everything.”

When rains arrive in March and bring new vegetation across much of the region, the numbers of the fast-breeding locusts could grow 500 times before drier weather in June curbs their spread, the United Nations says.

“We must a..

Xi Jinping Calls Situation Grave as China Scrambles to Contain Coronavirus

(BEIJING) — China’s leader on Saturday called the accelerating spread of a new virus a grave situation, as cities from the outbreak’s epicenter in central China to Hong Kong scrambled to contain an illness that has infected more than 1,200 people and killed 41.

President Xi Jinping’s remarks, reported by state broadcaster CCTV, came at a meeting of Communist Party leaders convened on Lunar New Year — the country’s biggest holiday whose celebrations have been muted — and underlined the government’s urgent, expanding efforts to control the outbreak.

Travel agencies have been told to halt all group tours, the state-owned English-language China Daily newspaper reported, citing the China Association of Travel Services.

Millions of people traveling during the holiday have fueled the spread of the outbreak nationwide and overseas after it began in the city of Wuhan in central China. The vast majority of the infections and all the deaths have been in mainland China, but fresh cases are popp..

22 Dead, Over 1,100 Hurt From Earthquake in Eastern Turkey

(ANKARA, Turkey) — The death toll from a strong earthquake that rocked eastern Turkey climbed to 22 on Saturday as rescue crews searched for people who remained trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, officials said.

Speaking at a televised news conference near the epicenter of the quake in Elazig province, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 18 people were killed in Elazig and four in neighboring Malatya.

Some 1,103 people were injured, with 34 of them in intensive care but not in critical condition, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the funeral of a mother and son killed in the quake while visiting the hardest-hit areas. He warned people against repeating “negative” hearsay about the country being unprepared for earthquakes.

“Do not listen to rumors, do not listen to anyone’s negative, contrary propaganda, and know that we are your servants,” Erdogan said.

Various earthquake monitoring centers gave magnitudes ranging ..

As India’s Constitution Turns 70, Opposing Sides Fight to Claim Its Author as One of Their Own

On Jan. 14, protesters gathered in the northern Indian city of Allahabad and lit candles at the base of a tree trunk, beside portraits of two fathers of the Indian nation.

One, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi—better known by his honorific, Mahatma (great soul)—is recognizable as the Indian independence activist and icon to peaceful protesters around the world.

The other, however, remains lesser known outside India. He is Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, the primary author of the Indian constitution, which came into effect 70 years ago on Sunday. Since December, his image has been held aloft by crowds of demonstrators, who say the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempts to reform citizenship laws undermine that constitution.

Ambedkar did more than draft the constitution: he was also a revered civil rights leader. Born a Dalit (a social classification formerly called “untouchable,” the lowest position in the Hindu caste system,) he suffered discrimination throughout his life. In 1936, he wrote th..

London Police to Deploy Facial Recognition Cameras Despite Privacy Concerns and Evidence of High Failure Rate

Police in London are moving ahead with a deploying a facial recognition camera system despite privacy concerns and evidence that the technology is riddled with false positives.

The Metropolitan Police, the U.K.’s biggest police department with jurisdiction over most of London, announced Friday it would begin rolling out new “live facial recognition” cameras in London, making the capital one of the largest cities in the West to adopt the controversial technology.

The “Met,” as the police department is known in London, said in a statement the facial recognition technology, which is meant to identify people on a watch list and alert police to their real-time location, would be “intelligence-led” and deployed to only specific locations. It’s expected to be rolled out as soon as next month.

However, privacy activists immediately raised concerns, noting that independent reviews of trials of the technology showed a failure rate of 81%. “The police have decided against a backdrop of serious..

U.S. Refuses to Extradite Wife of Diplomat Charged With Killing British Teenager Harry Dunn

Citing diplomatic immunity, the U.S. formally refused a request from the British government Thursday to extradite Anne Sacoolas, an American citizen and wife of a U.S. diplomat, who is accused of causing the death of British teenager Harry Dunn by dangerous driving in August, 2019.

Dunn was killed when the car Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road struck his motorbike near a base used by the U.S. Air Force in Croughton, U.K.

Sacoolas left the U.K. after being questioned by police, citing diplomatic immunity. Dunn’s family has since mounted a campaign to have her extradited to face charges.

Announcing that Sacoolas would not be extradited, the State Department said granting the request “would render the invocation of diplomatic immunity a practical nullity and would set an extraordinarily troubling precedent.”

“The United States has a history of close law enforcement cooperation with the United Kingdom, and we value that relationship,” a State Department spokesperson sa..

6 Killed, Several Injured in Germany Shooting

(BERLIN) — Six people have been killed and several were injured in a shooting in the southwestern German town of Rot am See, police said Friday.

A suspect was arrested shortly after the shooting, which took place at 12:45 p.m. (1145 GMT) Friday near the town’s train station, police said. They said no other suspects are believed to be at large.

“According to my information, there were six dead and several injured,” Aalen police spokesman Rudolf Biehlmaier told German broadcaster n-tv.

“We are working on the assumption that this was a single attacker,” he said.

Biehlmaier said the initial information suggested the suspect, a German citizen, and one or more of the victims knew each other.

Some of the victims belonged to the same family, he added.

In a statement, police said further information would be released at a news conference with prosecutors and local officials at 4:30 p.m. (1530 GMT.)

Rot am See is located about 170 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of Munich.

Australia’s Bushfires May Create the Nation’s First Climate Refugees

Australian wildfires that have razed thousands of homes and blackened an area about the size of England may also create the nation’s first climate refugees.

That’s the view of Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, who said insurance companies are no longer covering homes in fire-prone areas as the continent becomes drier and hotter. That’s the first step to an area becoming uninhabitable, he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Friday.

“We’re seeing the beginning stages of monumental, catastrophic climate changes that will ultimately drive people away from large inhabited regions of this continent,” Mann said.

The nation is beginning to question the cost of rebuilding more than 3,000 homes that have been damaged or destroyed by the months-long wildfires that have claimed at least 31 lives.

While the government has acknowledged that climate change has played a role in the severity of the crisis, it has rejected demands to take..

The West Blames the Wuhan Coronavirus on China’s Love of Eating Wild Animals. The Truth Is More Complex

It was no secret to anyone in Wuhan that Huanan Seafood Market sold a lot more than its name suggested. While one side of the low-slung warren of stalls did primarily stock fish and shellfish, the other offered a cornucopia of spices, sundries and, if you knew where to look, beavers, porcupines and snakes.

“It was well-known for selling lots of weird, live animals,” says James, an English teacher who for five years lived a few hundred feet from the market, and who asks TIME to only use one name due to the sensitively of the situation. “So nobody was surprised at all when it emerged that the virus might have come from an unusual animal.”

Scientists have confirmed that the pneumonia-like disease, like around 70% of new human pathogens, was zoonotic or transmitted from an animal. But they are still investigating exactly what creature might be the source of the “novel coronavirus”—dubbed 2019-nCoV and belonging to the same family as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eas..

Virus Panic Causes Face Mask Supplies to Run Out Across Asia

Face masks and hand sanitizers are becoming must-have accessories from Hong Kong to Japan as a deadly virus spreads across Asia. The only problem is getting hold of them.

Pharmacies across Hong Kong sold out of masks aimed at preventing viral infection, prompting authorities to say more will arrive next week. Taiwan banned the export of masks for the next month to ensure sufficient domestic supply. In Macau, authorities said sales would be restricted to a maximum of 10 face masks to residents or authorized guest workers who can present a valid ID card.

Regular hand-washing, face covering and avoiding crowds are becoming the main line of defense as Asian residents seek to avoid catching the new coronavirus, which in China alone has killed at 25 people and infected more than 800. The rapid spread of the disease has prompted Chinese officials to restrict travel for at least 30 million people and limit Lunar New Year celebrations.

Patients with the infection have been found across Asia,..

North Korea Names Retired Army Officer as Its New Foreign Minister

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea has named as its new foreign minster a former senior army officer with little experience in dealings with the United States, in a possible indication it will take a harder line with Washington in stalled nuclear negotiations.

The new post for Ri Son Gwon was disclosed Friday in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch that said he attended a reception for foreign diplomats in Pyongyang on Thursday. South Korean and other outside media previously reported North Korea had recently informed foreign diplomats in Pyongyang of Ri’s job.

In his speech at the banquet, “Comrade Ri Son Gwon said that the Korean people have turned out in the general offensive to break through head-on the barriers to the advance of socialist construction by dint of self-reliance … and made public the foreign policy stand of the (North Korean) government,” KCNA said.

Ri, an outspoken retired army colonel who recently headed a government body responsible for relations with South Ko..