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AP Explains: Turkey's 'Operation Olive Branch' in Afrin
Codenamed Operation Olive Branch, it's the latest chapter in a decades-long conflict between Turkey and Kurdish militants. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said Turkey wants to create a 30-kilometer (20-mile) deep secure zone in Afrin. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the military operation is essential for Turkey's security and Syria's territorial integrity. They control nearly 25 percent of Syrian territory dubbed Rojava that includes the three cantons of Afrin, Kobani and Jazira.
Police probe racist banners found outside Indiana church
Police are investigating after banners with racist and anti-gay messages were erected outside a northwest Indiana church known for its progressive stands on racial and social justice issues. West Lafayette police said the banners were found Sunday attached to a fence outside the Unitarian Universalist Church in the city about 70 miles northwest of Indianapolis. One banner included a slur for gays and lesbians and the second had slurs against both racial minorities and gays and lesbians.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg shocks Sundance crowd with her own #MeToo story
Before Ginsburg slipped on her iconic judicial robe, the 84-year-old feminist from Brooklyn confessed she had her own brush with sexual harassment and gender inequality. The teacher comforted her and told her he'd give her a practice exam to make her more comfortable with the material. Ginsburg recalled another example of gender inequality in 1972 when she was a professor at Columbia University. For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, Ginsburg said.
Alabama seeks approval for execution of 67-year-old inmate
Alabama is asking the US Supreme Court to let it proceed with this week's scheduled execution of a 67-year-old inmate whose lawyers say can no longer remember his crime. The Alabama attorney general's office told justices in a filing Monday that the state's high court last year ruled the execution could proceed and should do so again. Vernon Madison is scheduled to be put to death Thursday by lethal injection for the 1985 killing of Mobile Police Officer Julius Schulte.
Germany, France pass resolution for new friendship treaty
German and French lawmakers approved a joint resolution Monday stressing the need for closer cooperation as the two nations mark the 55th anniversary of the signing of the Elysee friendship treaty. The 1963 Elysee treaty marked the post-World War II reconciliation between France and Germany. Neither Germany nor France have a future without Europe, Schaeuble insisted in a speech delivered entirely in French.
Aziz Ansari defended by fellow comedian Joel McHale: 'it sounds like it was consensual'
Now, fellow comedian Joel McHale is sticking up for Ansari. TMZ caught up with the former The Soup star, who recently announced he's getting his own talk show on Netflix, at the Sundance Film Festival. When asked about the Ansari story, McHale took a distinct side arguing that the date, while bad, was consensual. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.
Man: Ex-Milwaukee sheriff's posts after run-in scared him
The sheriff was clad in Dallas gear without his trademark cowboy hat and Black said he didn't immediately recognize him because of that. I felt guilty, I felt scared, that I had a target on my back, Black testified, recalling one post in particular on the sheriff's official Facebook site. Black's federal lawsuit alleges Clarke retaliated with the posts because Black complained to his office about the plane incident.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle given 5-tier wedding cake made out of cheese
While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are rumored to want a banana-flavored cake for their upcoming wedding in May, the decision likely got a little more difficult after being given an unusual alternative made entirely of cheese. The royal couple were gifted the five-tier cake on their recent visit to Cardiff, Wales. The creation was made special for the duo by Snowdonia Cheese Company based in Rhyl, North Wales.
Mexican Uber driver in US illegally charged with four rapes
A California Uber driver living in the country illegally has been charged with raping, assaulting and robbing at least four young women. Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez, 39, faces 10 criminal charges, including forcible rape and first-degree burglary. After driving them home, investigators say he would assault the women and steal their property - including cell phones and jewelry. Authorities told KSBY that Alarcon-Nunez would collect payment for the rides through Venmo to disguise his identity and his Uber records.
Government shutdown: Top takeaways from Washington's lost weekend
CLOSE The Senate has advanced a bill reopening federal agencies through Feb 8 after Democrats relented and lifted their blockade against the legislation. Congress managed to pull off the least disruptive shutdown in recent memory - launched on a Friday night, ended by Monday afternoon. Beyond that, here are the top takeaways from the Lost Weekend. There is no reason to believe that the next spending deadline Feb 8 will arrive with any less acrimony than the last one.
Vermont becomes ninth U.S. state to legalize marijuana
Vermont became the ninth US state and third in the Northeast to legalize recreational marijuana use on Monday when Republican Governor Phil Scott signed a bill passed by the legislature earlier this month. Neighboring Massachusetts, nearby Maine and six other states have legalized marijuana use as a result of voter initiatives. New Hampshire's House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a similar bill to legalize recreational marijuana use.
Mom slams Twitter after abortion troll uses her disabled daughter's image
Disability advocate Natalie Weaver has slammed Twitter for not clamping down on an account that used an image of her severely disabled child in a pro-abortion tweet. I would like for them to remove the tweet that uses my daughter's image as the poster disabled child to abort. I would like twitter to also add 'hate towards people with disabilities' to their violation reporting categories, she said.
Megyn Kelly slams Jane Fonda's 'poor-me routine'
The war of words between Megyn Kelly and Jane Fonda escalated Monday after Kelly delivered a stern rebuke to the actress and attacked Fonda's anti-Vietnam War activism. In September, during an interview with Fonda during her hour of Today, Kelly brought up Fonda's plastic surgery, and Fonda seemed to take offense. Fonda has subsequently criticized how Kelly handled the interview, joking about it on another hour of Today earlier this month.
Dead, beaten and abused: Millions paid in secret settlements to keep bad cops on the street and the public in danger
In many cases, the cops kept their jobs, even got promoted - while tens of millions of your tax dollars kept the abuses quiet. The damage is concealed by government officials who use a veil of secret settlements and nondisclosure agreements to silence victims. Investigations of rogue cops are routinely hidden from the public by police, elected officials and even the courts. The secretive payouts that keep abuses quiet are a vital part of a system that enables bad cops to do their worst.
Satanic Temple challenges Missouri's abortion law on religious grounds
Not with Lucifer himself, but with a group called the Satanic Temple that is going to bat for a woman identified as Mary Doe. She contends the state's informed consent law, which required her to wait 72 hours before having an abortion in May 2015, violated her religious beliefs. Jex Blackmore, a spokeswoman for the Satanic Temple, said the woman's religious rights were ignored. The State has essentially established a religious indoctrination program intended to push a single ideological viewpoint, Blackmore said in a statement.
US to send team to Europe to discuss Iran deal
The United States would be sending a diplomatic team to Europe to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on Monday. We have a team travelling - actually, they're coming to Europe. I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal.
Senate votes to end US govt shutdown
The United States Senate voted on Monday to reopen the Government, ending a three-day standoff that left federal agencies and thousands of people affected. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to allow a new immigration bill to be passed by next month. McConnell attempted to schedule the vote late on Sunday night that would end the shutdown, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer objected to it since the Republicans and Democrats were yet to reach an agreement.
Michelin chef James Syhabout came to the U.S. as a refugee. Now, he's living the American Dream.
For the meal, Syhabout picked dishes that were important to him and that he thought would be unfamiliar. To represent laab, a Lao meat salad also eaten in Thailand, Syhabout served a raw shrimp paste with toasted rice powder. Syhabout then landed in the kitchen of Manresa, a restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area's South Bay and today the holder of three Michelin stars. Syhabout opened Commis in 2009, a fine-dining restaurant in Oakland, a city, he calls in his book, without one.

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