This week in news: February 12-18 rundown
TL;DR - TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK
- U.S. National Security Adviser resigns
- California dam problems prompt evacuation of almost 200,000 people
- Protests in Romania and France
- Operation begins to take western Mosul from ISIS
- Annual Amani Festival in Goma
- Suicide bombing in Nigeria
- Relative of North Korean leader is assassinated
- Bus crash in Taiwan kills 32
- Out-of-control bushfires damage homes in Australia
- India space agency launches 104 satellites from a single rocket
"National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has resigned.... President Trump has named retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as acting national security adviser. Kellogg previously served as Flynn’s chief of staff on the National Security Council." (TH) Flynn appeared to resign due to public pressure rather than actual wrongdoing.
AP News released a story claiming that Trump intended to use the National Guard to "round up unauthorized immigrants." The alleged 'breaking news' was shown to be completely false.
A strong winter storm dumped up to 30 inches of snow in the Northeastern United States.
"[California's] Oroville Dam operators prepared to reduce water releases over its main spillway Saturday as repairs continued on the troubled dam. Despite significant rainfall Friday, the water level at Lake Oroville continued to drop overnight. The lake was sitting at just above 855 feet Saturday morning. That represented a drop of 46 feet since last Sunday, when an emergency sparked the temporary evacuation of nearly 190,000 downstream residents." (SB)
"Marathon Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that it will temporarily halt the rollout of a drug to treat genetic muscle deterioration just hours after two members of Congress expressed outrage that the company planned to charge $89,000 a year for a drug that's widely available abroad for about $1,000 a year." (AP)
"Venezuela suspends CNN in Spanish, shutting off news channel after report on fake passports." (AP)
"The U.S. Department of State — under the directive of the Obama administration — helped stabilize Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s regime by blocking sanctions against government leaders involved in drug trafficking and promoting a process of dialogue that ended up weakening the opposition, according to Roger Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs under President George W. Bush." (MH)
"Thousands of Romanians protested in Bucharest and other cities on Sunday against the Social Democrat government that tried to weaken a crackdown on corruption earlier this month." (Reuters)
An allegation of police brutality sparked rioting in a Paris suburb, which later spread to other areas. At least 35 people were arrested in Seine-Saint-Denis.
"With military operations to retake western Mosul starting, United Nations humanitarian agencies in Iraq are rushing to prepare for the humanitarian impact of the fighting amid grave concerns that tens of thousands of families are at extreme risks." (UN)
"The commander of Kurdish fighters in Syria's Manbij city has told Al Jazeera that his forces will fight to defend any move by Turkey to take over the area." (AJ)
"Nearly 36,000 people gathered in Goma over the weekend for the three-day [Amani Festival] of music and dance aimed at promoting peace and boosting the eastern Congo's generally negative global image." (AP)
"Seven suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves [up] on the outskirts of a northeast Nigerian city on Friday, a local aid agency said, in an attack witnesses said targeted refugees preparing to return to their home villages." (Reuters)
"The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, telling medical workers before he died that he had been attacked with a chemical spray, a Malaysian official said Tuesday." (AP) Some sources said the assassins - two women who fled the scene in a taxi - used poisoned needles.
"Thirty-two people were killed and 13 injured after their tour bus overturned on a road near Taiwan's capital, Taipei.... Most of those on board were local elderly tourists returning from a cherry blossom tour in Taichung, local media said." (BBC)
"A bushfire has destroyed at least 15 homes near the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory border with police warning that figure will continue to rise. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) confirmed the losses near Carwoola on Friday evening and said the fire was still burning out of control." (TG)
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
"Yahoo is warning some of its users that their accounts might have been breached by intruders using forged cookies, allowing them to access private information without knowing users' passwords.... This latest warning to users stems from an ongoing investigation into previously disclosed hacking of at least 500 million user accounts in 2014." (NPR)
"India’s space agency on Wednesday launched a record 104 satellites from a single rocket as it crossed another milestone in its low-cost space-exploration program. The satellites from seven countries were carried by the Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle on its 38th consecutive successful flight." (WSJ)
"Rolls-Royce said it would step up efforts to boost performance after a bribery fine and a blow from [currency changes] pushed the aero-engine maker to a record annual loss of 4.6 billion pounds ($5.8 billion)." (Reuters)