Former President Jimmy Carter told the British Parliament on Wednesday that if he had to choose between Republican candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, he’d prefer to see Trump win the White House. “I think I would choose Trump,” the liberal former president said to the House of Lords, when asked about the U.S. presidential race, “which may surprise some of you, but the reason is Trump has proven already that he’s completely malleable. I don’t think he has any fixed opinions that he would really go to the White House and fight for.” CBS
Donald Trump is still clinging to first place nationally after his second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses Monday, but his lead has diminished significantly. The first post-Iowa national poll out Thursday by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling reveals that Trump dropped 9 points from the last poll released mid-December, from 34 percent to 25 percent. While Iowa hurt Trump’s numbers, it’s having the exact opposite effect on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s chances. The third-place finisher in the Iowa caucuses climbed 8 points from the last poll to tie with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for second place nationally, with 21 percent support each. Public Policy Polling
he U.S. State Department has determined that emails containing classified information were sent to the personal email accounts of former Secretary of State Colin Powell and aides to his successor, Condoleezza Rice.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server has dogged her presidential campaign, and news that her predecessors in a Republican administration might have received such information on nonsecure servers could help her blunt the criticism that Republicans have leveled at her, hoping to impede her presidential campaign.
The State Department inspector general has determined that two emails sent to Powell and 10 others sent to Rice’s staff also contained classified national security information. Those emails have now been classified as confidential or secret as part of a review process that has resulted in similar upgrades of information sent through the personal email server that Clinton used while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. VOA
On Wednesday United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura suspended his effort to carry out peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups after government forces advanced against rebels near Aleppo.
The Syrian army, supported by Russian airstrikes, cut off rebel supply lines from Turkey into the contested city. De Mistura has said a ceasefire is crucial for progress. “I won’t talk for the sake of talking,” he said. Reuters
Reports from Mali say unknown assailants have attacked a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Timbuktu.
The reports say the attack started early Friday. Witnesses heard at least one explosion followed by gunfire near the U.N. stabilization mission known as MINUSMA. Nigerian forces are stationed at the base.
There have been reports of casualties, but no official word yet. At last report, the fighting was ongoing.
A federal grand jury indicted 16 people for their involvement in the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, according to an indictment filed Wednesday in an Oregon district court and unsealed Thursday.
The remaining four anti-government activists, as well as leader Ammon Bundy and the 11 protesters who were previously arrested, were charged with conspiracy to impede officers of the United States and were said to have “prevented federal officials from performing their official duties by force, threats, and intimidation,” the indictment reads. The 16 protesters could each face up to six years in prison for the month-long armed standoff. The Washington Post
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