Top News Stories For Today – Jan 22, 2018
US Senate to vote on reopening Federal
With no deal made Sunday night, the Senate adjourned and will vote at noon Monday on a bill to reopen the government for at least three weeks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wanted to hold a vote at 10 p.m. Sunday, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) objected, saying there still wasn’t a plan in place that works for Democrats and Republicans.
The government shut down at midnight Friday after McConnell was unable to get the 60 votes necessary for a bill to keep the government open for a month. On Monday, only federal employees deemed essential will show up to work, and several services will be unavailable. BuzzFeed News
18 killed in Kabul Taliban hotel attack
Afghan security forces announced Sunday that all six Taliban militants who took over Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel Saturday night have been killed. At least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, were killed during the siege, and 10 injured. The militants were wearing suicide vests and exchanged gunfire with security forces, and witnesses said they went up and down the hallways of the luxury hotel, targeting foreigners and government officials.
Several of the victims were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline. A spokesman for the Taliban said originally they wanted to attack the hotel on Thursday, but postponed their plans due to a wedding on the premises and wanting to avoid civilian casualties. The Associated Press
German parties start formal coalition talks
German conservatives are preparing for formal coalition talks with Social Democrats (SPD) Monday shortly after the center-left party voted to break the months of political deadlock. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Union bloc (CDU) and SPD of Martin Schultz are expected to open formal negotiation this week on extending their coalition of the past four years.
Conservatives are warning, however, that they are not prepared to renegotiate preliminary agreements on such issues as migration. VOA
Women’s marches continue
A day after women commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March in the United States, thousands of people marched in solidarity Sunday throughout Europe and Australia. A rally touting the message “Power to the Polls” also began in Las Vegas, Nevada, Sunday morning, where activists and members of Congress are expected to speak, with a focus on voter registration.
Hours earlier, thousands of women marched in London, Paris, Sydney and other European and Australian cities in solidarity with rallies in the United States — many of them opposing US President Donald Trump’s administration. VOA
Turkey attacks US-backed Kurdish
A dangerous new front in the Syrian conflict may be opening up thanks to a key US ally: Turkey. The Turks hit US-backed Kurdish militia with airstrikes in northern Syria that killed at least eight people. Then, Turkish troops entered the area. This is sure to inflame tensions between the US and Turkey.
The US supports and arms the Kurdish militias, because they help fight ISIS. But Turkey has long fought the groups because it doesn’t want them to create a Kurdish state along its borders. CNN
24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Veep, and This Is Us were some of the big winners Sunday night at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell. Three Billboards won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, with stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell winning for best leading actress and best supporting actor.
This Is Us won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, while star Sterling K. Brown was named best male actor in a drama series. Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus won best female actor in a comedy series, and Veep took the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Morgan Freeman was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Variety
Amazon launches first automated grocery store
Amazon plans to open its first automated grocery store, Amazon Go, on Monday, after nearly a year’s delay. Amazon says the store will have “no lines, no checkouts, no registers.” It instead relies on automated “Just Walk Out” checkout technology, scanning a code on the shopper’s Amazon Go app, then tracking them using scanning and Artificial Intelligence technology, and charging them for whatever they take out of the store.
Some of the technology has been used in the development of driverless cars. The first 1,800-square-foot mini-market is located in Seattle. It has gone through testing in beta mode, open only to employees, after its original early 2017 launch date was postponed. CNBC, Quartz
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