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Mueller's rush to sentence Trump associates - an unusual way to treat cooperating witnesses - suggests Russia investigation is ending

Mueller's rush to sentence Trump associates - an unusual way to treat cooperating witnesses - suggests Russia investigation is ending Amid the whirlwind of hearings, guilty pleas and sentencing memos that has been Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe in the last few weeks, an unusual pattern has emerged. One of Mueller’s biggest successes as his team investigate 2016 election meddling and possible collusion between Moscow and Donald Trump’s campaign team, has been his ability to get former associates of the president to “flip” and cooperate with him. Among the more high-profile are Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn, and former campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos.


Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks

Rocco The Cheeky Parrot Keeps Using Amazon's Alexa To Order Snacks A mischievous parrot who was booted from an animal sanctuary for his foul


Rebels hail Yemen ceasefire accord a 'success', despite skirmishes

Rebels hail Yemen ceasefire accord a 'success', despite skirmishes Huthi rebels on Saturday hailed a ceasefire accord for a vital Yemeni port agreed at UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden, although the deal's implementation remained fragile. The breakthrough agreement at the first round of negotiations since 2016 was a "success", said Daif Allah al-Shami, information minister for the rebels' unrecognised national salvation government. Reached Thursday between the Huthis and a delegation for the internationally recognised government, the accord called for an "immediate" ceasefire in Hodeida city and its lifeline port, a key gateway for aid and food imports in a country where 14 million people stand on the brink of famine.


Egypt unearths tomb of ancient high priest 

Egypt unearths tomb of ancient high priest  Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest dating back more than 4,400 years in the pyramid complex of Saqqara south of the capital Cairo, authorities said Saturday. "Today we are announcing the last discovery of the year 2018, it's a new discovery, it's a private tomb," Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told an audience of invited guests including reporters. "It is exceptionally well preserved, coloured, with sculpture inside. It belongs to a high official priest... (and) is more than 4,400 years old," he said. The tomb belongs to "Wahtye", a high priest who served during the fifth dynasty reign of King Neferirkare, the antiquities ministry said. A view of the newly-discovered tomb of 'Wahtye' Credit: Reuters His tomb is decorated with scenes showing the royal priest alongside his mother, wife and other members of his family, the ministry said in a statement. It also contains more than a dozen niches and 24 colourful statues of the cleric and members of his family, it said. In November archaeology officials announced the discovery in Saqqara of seven sarcophagi, some dating back more than 6,000 years, during excavation work started in April by the same archaeological mission. An external view of the site Credit: Anadolu Three of those tombs contained mummified cats and scarabs. The Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo is home to the famous Djoser pyramid, a more than 4,600-year-old construction which dominates the site and was Egypt's first stone monument. The tomb, built by the master architect Imhotep for the Pharoah Djoser, stood 62 metres tall originally and is considered the oldest building in the world built entirely of stone.


Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil

Inside the threatened Kurdish proto-state that holds the keys to defeating Isil On one end of Qamishli’s main street flies the two-starred Syrian national flag. On the other, that of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party. “One flag represents our past oppression, the other our freedom,” says Mahmoud, who owns a clothing shop which sits between the two.   Before the civil war, it would have been unthinkable for the Kurdish minority to openly pledge allegiance to anything other than the President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Republic. But seven years into Syria's interminable conflict the Kurds appear to have carved out something of a proto-state in this corner of northeastern Syria, thanks in part to their efforts to flush out Isil. While they have been crushing the Caliphate to a tiny sliver of territory - taking the last town held by the Islamist on Friday morning - their separatist ambitions have largely been overlooked. Until now. Kurdish-held northern Syria The city of Qamishli has become the centre of the Kurds’ ambitious self-administration project. While a few government buildings and statues of President Assad remain, Qamishli and the surrounding areas are now firmly under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Mahmoud is a proud supporter of the PYD, but still he declines to give his full name to the Telegraph for fear of reprisal should the regime one day return. Assad has repeatedly promised to retake every inch of Syria, including the third currently in Kurdish hands. The prospect looked more likely than at any other time in the war this week after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered Turkish troops and Ankara-backed Syrian rebels to ready for an assault on Syria’s Kurds. Turkey views the PYD’s military arm, the Popular Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist organisation because of its links to an insurgent group inside Turkey, and has watched with growing concern at Kurdish expansionism on the other side of its border. In recent years, Turkish forces have already swept into Syria pushing the YPG out of territory west of the Euphrates river. But past offensives have stopped at its banks, partly to avoid direct confrontation with US troops that back the Kurds. "Turkey has lost enough time in terms of intervening to clean the terror swamp east of the Euphrates. We don't have the patience to wait one more day," Mr Erdogan warned on Friday. Men queue up to buy bread outside a bakery on the outskirts of Qamishli Credit: Sam Tarling The Kurds, who have so far relied on the US for support in their battles against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), have threatened to abandon the fight if they are left to fend for themselves in the face of a Turkish onslaught. But Washington has sent mixed signals on whether it would be behind them in any fight against Nato ally Turkey. “We don’t rely on any government, we just have strategic alliances,” Salih Muslim, a prominent political player in Rojava who until recently co-chaired the PYD, told the Sunday Telegraph. “The Kurds have expected a move from Turkey for a while now and will not easily back down.” Whatever they might say, it is clear is that the Kurds cannot stave off Turkish aggression alone. In the absence of a reliable ally in the US, they may soon be forced to decide whether to risk their chances, or eek out an unfavourable deal with Assad to secure long-term survival. “We have to take Assad at his word,” Khalaf Dahowd, head of the foreign committee of the Democratic Change Movement, told the Sunday Telegraph from his office in Qamishli, refering to the president's pledge to take back all Syria's territory. “If he gets the chance to take Rojava he will,” said Mr Dahowd, using the Kurdish name for the area of self-rule which covers some 15,000 square miles. A convoy of American Special Forces and Syrian Democratic Forces fighters makes a stop during a patrol near the Turkish border in northern Syria Credit:  Sam Tarling “Even when he was at his weakest point, before Russia intervened and it looked like he was going to lose everything, Assad refused to work with the Kurds,” he said. “Now he is winning, and as the saying goes - the winner takes all.” Kurdish officials who were part of the first delegation to Damascus over the summer say the Syrian government was not prepared to make a single concession. Despite this, the Kurds - who are just about the only side in the multi-faceted war not to have had a full-scale military conflict with the regime - still hold out hope for a political solution. The Kurds, who number more than two million in Syria, have made great sacrifices for their “democratic experiment”, as they call their pseudo-state in the north. Islamic State losing its grip on Syria The YPG has suffered considerable losses in the battles against Isil in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in the east. Officials estimate up to 8,000 fighters have been killed and 5,000 injured. Fierce battles are still ongoing for the last sliver of jihadist territory in Deir Ezzor. At least 5,000 IS fighters remain holed up in the pocket of territory, including some 2,000 foreign fighters, mostly Arabs and Europeans along with their families. The YPG has also made significant gains, including control of the country’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, its most lucrative oil fields and the freedom to once again speak their native language after decades of repression. “There are basic things we cannot give up; we need our democratic rights and our culture and language to be protected,” said Fawza al-Youssef, the co-chair of the executive body of the North Syria Federation. “But there are other things that are negotiable.” Mahmoud Mohammad Serhan, 59, a a retired trader who now keeps a farm, gets a cutthroat shave at a barber shop in Qamishli Credit:  Sam Tarling Relinquishing control of the borders and folding the YPG, into the national army, would be among the demands she says the self-administration would consider in return for a decentralisation of government. It would also be willing to do a deal on the oil fields in eastern Deir Ezzor province, which account for more than 80 per cent of the country’s pre-war production and currently lie within their control. “We aren’t saying all of this is rightfully ours, but the people here should benefit,” Ms Youssef said.  The next few days will prove pivotal for the Kurds as they face the greatest existential threat to their autonomy project since the war began. “We can’t go back to where were were before 2011, when we had nothing,” said Ms Youssef. “We have not fought this hard for it all to be destroyed.”


Michigan teenager who killed himself criticised by priest at his funeral

Michigan teenager who killed himself criticised by priest at his funeral Maison Hullibarger, an 18-year-old athlete and honours student from Temperance, Michigan died on 4 December. Speaking to Detriot Free Press, his grieving parents said that Reverend Don LaCuesta would not stop referring to his cause of death and “called him a sinner” during the service held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Temperance on 8 December. Maison’s father Jeff Hullibarger said it was as if Mr LaCuesta had decided it was the perfect opportunity to make his stance on suicide known.


Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level

Our Plastic Addiction Has Reached A New Crisis Level This is not a good look. Humans are using more oil-based plastic than ever,


US judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional, Democrats vow to appeal

US judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional, Democrats vow to appeal A federal judge in Texas ruled late Friday that the US health care law known as Obamacare is unconstitutional -- a ruling that opposition Democrats vowed to appeal. US District Judge Reed O'Connor's 55-page ruling came in a lawsuit filed by several Republican state attorneys general opposed to the federal government health plan, known officially as the Affordable Care Act. Conservative Republicans have long opposed the plan, signed into law by president Barack Obama in 2010.


Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Australia recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel's capital Australia formally recognized West Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing decades of Middle East policy on Saturday. Michelle Hennessy reports.


Warren seeks to solidify backing of African Americans

Warren seeks to solidify backing of African Americans WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is seeking to solidify her connection with African-American voters as she prepares to launch a potential presidential campaign amid criticism of her approach to race and identity.


Sign-up deadline is Saturday for ACA health law coverage

Sign-up deadline is Saturday for ACA health law coverage WASHINGTON (AP) — Saturday is the last day to sign up for health insurance next year under the Affordable Care Act in most of the country.


Florida tale of infidelity and homicide ends with conviction

Florida tale of infidelity and homicide ends with conviction TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — After a spellbinding five-day trial that featured tales of infidelity and a multimillion dollar insurance payout, a jury on Friday convicted a Florida woman of helping mastermind the killing of her husband nearly two decades ago.


Pacific Life Yanks Ads After Tucker Carlson's Dig That Immigrants Make U.S. 'Dirtier'

Pacific Life Yanks Ads After Tucker Carlson's Dig That Immigrants Make U.S. 'Dirtier' Prominent insurance company Pacific Life has pulled its commercials from


Trump picks Mulvaney as chief of staff - for now

Trump picks Mulvaney as chief of staff - for now Mulvaney, a hard-charging conservative and former congressman, will be the third person in two years to try to bring order to what has often been a chaotic White House. Trump named him after two other prominent candidates withdrew from consideration in the space of a week. "For the record, there were MANY people who wanted to be the White House Chief of Staff," Trump said on Twitter.


Indiana State University group to honor Jamal Khashoggi

Indiana State University group to honor Jamal Khashoggi TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A journalism group at Indiana State University is taking steps to honor alumnus and slain Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.


Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor identified

Remains of sailor killed at Pearl Harbor identified NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Full military honors will be given to a Louisiana sailor whose remains have been identified more than 75 years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


CBS Pledges $20M From Les Moonves' Severance To Combat Sexual Harassment

CBS Pledges $20M From Les Moonves' Severance To Combat Sexual Harassment Scandal-ridden CBS is shelling out $20 million to more than a dozen


Obama-era rule leads to $150M in student loan forgiveness

Obama-era rule leads to $150M in student loan forgiveness The U.S. Education Department said it will forgive $150 million in federal student loans as part of a 2016 rule that Secretary Betsy DeVos previously tried to block.


Gun Deaths in the U.S. Are at Their Highest Rates in Decades, CDC Says

Gun Deaths in the U.S. Are at Their Highest Rates in Decades, CDC Says The problem is driven in part by suicides


Montana man pleads guilty to killing 2, putting them in acid

Montana man pleads guilty to killing 2, putting them in acid MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man pleaded guilty Friday to stabbing two people to death, including a teenage girl, dismembering their bodies and then trying to dissolve them in tubs filled with acid in the basement of a home.


The easiest way to keep your dog’s paws safe in cold winter weather

The easiest way to keep your dog’s paws safe in cold winter weather Winter weather can be so, so dangerous for your pupper's paws. When it gets very cold out, the snow or even the cold pavement can give your dog frostbite on its paws in a matter of minutes. Your dog's paws absolutely need protection, but not all pups are willing to leave those little booties on their feet. There's another option called Musher's Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax, and we can't recommend it highly enough. Here's what you need to know from the Amazon page: * Protects paws from sand, hot pavement, ice and salt with all natural 100-percent wax-based cream * Perfect for mushing, hunting, walking or before any outdoor activity * Easy-to-apply formula contains vitamin E to moisturize and help heal wounds and keep paws healthy * Available in pack of 7-ounces * Measures 3-4/5-inch length by 3-4/5-inch width 3-4/5 height


7 Incredible Suites at Europe’s Top Ski Resorts

Markets Right Now: S&P 500 sinks to lowest level since April

Markets Right Now: S&P 500 sinks to lowest level since April NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):


The Gifts AD's Market Department Is Giving This Year

Shamir Shah Creates a Serene Model Unit With Global References at the Kent

What Is The Deadline for Christmas Shipping? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

What Is The Deadline for Christmas Shipping? Here’s Everything You Need to Know Deadlines for USPS, UPS, FedEX and Amazon


You Can Now Build Your Own 2020 Jeep Gladiator without Any Regard to Price

You Can Now Build Your Own 2020 Jeep Gladiator without Any Regard to Price We don't know how much the new Jeep pickup costs, which makes the online configurator even more fun to play with.


U.S. Investigating Death of 7-Year-Old Migrant Girl in Custody

U.S. Investigating Death of 7-Year-Old Migrant Girl in Custody The account of the girl’s illness and care after she was apprehended Dec. 6 crossing the U.S. border in New Mexico conflicts with that of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who said on Fox News earlier Friday that the young migrant received “immediate care” from authorities. Nielsen called the death of the unidentified girl “a very sad example of the dangers of this journey” as she defended her department’s response to the incident. The office also said it would continue an “ongoing program of unannounced inspections” of CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, and report those results publicly as well.


Buy a gift card, get a freebie at these restaurants, businesses

Buy a gift card, get a freebie at these restaurants, businesses This holiday season, when you purchase gift cards at many popular restaurant chains including Applebee's and the Cheesecake Factory, get a bonus.


Fresno Police Chief Dyer says injuries Arambula caused to daughter were beyond spanking

Fresno Police Chief Dyer says injuries Arambula caused to daughter were beyond spanking Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is publicly contradicting Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula's version of events that led to the lawmaker's recent child abuse arrest.


The Hyundai Kona Electric Has a Longer Range than the Chevy Bolt and Costs the Same

The Hyundai Kona Electric Has a Longer Range than the Chevy Bolt and Costs the Same Hyundai's little crossover scores a big win with its mileage rating and value equation.


NASA's InSight lander snaps first selfie from Mars

NASA's InSight lander snaps first selfie from Mars Want more proof of NASA's InSight lander arriving safely on Mars? The spacecraft captured a selfie while on the Red Planet.


Starbucks' Happy Hour brings three days of buy-one-get-one free espresso drinks

Starbucks' Happy Hour brings three days of buy-one-get-one free espresso drinks There's a buy-one-get-one free deal on hot chocolate and espresso drinks from Dec. 14-16 for Starbucks' Happy Hour event.


Scott Walker Signs Wisconsin GOP's Massive Power Grab Into Law

Scott Walker Signs Wisconsin GOP's Massive Power Grab Into Law Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed legislation Friday that strips power


Brazil take first step in program to join nuclear-powered sub club

Brazil take first step in program to join nuclear-powered sub club President Michel Temer and his right-wing successor, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, both pressed the button that lowered into the sea the 1,700-ton submarine named Riachuelo at a Rio de Janeiro naval base. Temer's wife, Marcela, had christened the vessel, by smashing a champagne bottle against its hull. The submarines being built by the Brazilian Navy in partnership with France's defense company Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, are a modified version of the Scorpene class diesel-powered submarine.


Brazil take first step in program to join nuclear-powered sub club

Brazil take first step in program to join nuclear-powered sub club President Michel Temer and his right-wing successor, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, both pressed the button that lowered into the sea the 1,700-ton submarine named Riachuelo at a Rio de Janeiro naval base. Temer's wife, Marcela, had christened the vessel, by smashing a champagne bottle against its hull. The submarines being built by the Brazilian Navy in partnership with France's defense company Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, are a modified version of the Scorpene class diesel-powered submarine.


Investigators search home of missing Colorado mom's fiance

Investigators search home of missing Colorado mom's fiance FBI investigators search the home of the fiance of missing Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth.


The best Free Shipping Day deals on the internet: Amazon, Nordstrom, Walmart and more

The best Free Shipping Day deals on the internet: Amazon, Nordstrom, Walmart and more Score great deals and don't pay for shipping? Sign us up!


The 2019 BMW X5 Is the Brand's Most Accomplished SUV Yet

The 2019 BMW X5 Is the Brand's Most Accomplished SUV Yet Its G05 codename may never rank with E46 or E39, but the latest X5 is still plenty good.


Israeli army kills Palestinian in West Bank clashes

Israeli army kills Palestinian in West Bank clashes RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israel arrested dozens of Hamas activists in the West Bank, and a Palestinian was killed in clashes with troops, as the Israeli military pressed ahead on Friday with a crackdown following a pair of deadly shootings blamed on Hamas militants.