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Idris Elba's Daughter Named Golden Globe Ambassador

Idris Elba's daughter has been chosen as the Golden Globe Ambassador to assist with the glitzy awards ceremony.   The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Wednesday that 16-year-old Isan Elba will assume the ambassador title for the 76th annual Golden Globes Awards in January. Her 46-year-old father was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine last week.   An ambassador is traditionally the child of a celebrity and assists with award presentations, handing out trophies to winners… Read Full Article

Officials See Solutions to Deadly Wildfires

Creating fire buffers between housing and dry brush, burying spark-prone power lines and lighting more controlled burns to keep vegetation in check could give people a better chance of surviving wildfires, according to experts searching for ways to reduce growing death tolls from increasingly severe blazes in California and across the U.S. West. Western wildfires have grown ever more lethal, a grim reality that’s been driven by more housing developments sprawling into the most fire-prone… Read Full Article

Fiji PM on Track for Election Victory

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama appeared set for a comfortable election victory Thursday after only the second vote in the South Pacific island nation since a military takeover in 2006.  Preliminary results with almost three-quarters of the vote counted gave Bainimarama's FijiFirst Party an outright majority of 51.63 percent, well ahead of the rival SODELPA Party at 38.05 percent.  An election winner may not be known for several days as votes trickle in from polling stations on the… Read Full Article

Sotheby's: Marie-Antoinette Jewels Soar at ‘Once in a Lifetime' Sale 

A royal treasure trove including jewels that belonged to French Queen Marie-Antoinette fetched 53.5 million Swiss francs ($53.2 million) on Wednesday, as collectors snapped up rare historic gems fresh to the market, Sotheby's said. Held in private European collections for more than 200 years, 10 royal jewels that belonged to the ill-fated Marie Antoinette and were passed down through Italy's royal Bourbon Parma family, featured among 100 lots that all found new owners. "The Marie Antoinette… Read Full Article

Trump Ally McCarthy to Lead House Republicans

Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy easily won an internal party election Wednesday to take over the shrunken House GOP caucus, handing the seven-term Californian a familiar role of building the party back to a majority as well as protecting President Donald Trump's agenda.  With current speaker Paul Ryan retiring and the House majority gone, the race for minority leader was McCarthy's to lose. But rarely has a leader of a party that suffered a major defeat — Democrats wiped out Republicans in GOP… Read Full Article

US's Pompeo to Meet Incoming Mexican Foreign Minister on Thursday

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will hold talks with incoming Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard in Houston on Thursday, according to the U.S. State Department. The department did not say what the two would discuss, but last month when Pompeo met with the current Mexican foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, in Mexico City they discussed a caravan of Central American migrants moving toward the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump has called the migrants' effort to seek asylum in… Read Full Article

Report: China Appears to Ease North Korea Sanctions

A U.S. congressional commission said Wednesday that China appears to have relaxed enforcement of sanctions on North Korea and called on the Treasury Department to provide a report on Chinese compliance within 180 days. In its annual report, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said the Treasury report should include a classified list of Chinese financial institutions, businesses and officials involved in trading with North Korea that could be subject to future sanctions.… Read Full Article

Lawyer Avenatti Arrested in LA on Domestic Violence Charge 

Michael Avenatti, who skyrocketed to fame as a critic of President Donald Trump and the lawyer for porn actress Stormy Daniels, was arrested Wednesday and booked on a felony domestic violence charge, Los Angeles police said.  The victim in the case had visible injuries, according to Officer Tony Im, a police spokesman. But Avenatti slammed the allegation as “completely bogus” in a statement released by his law firm.  Avenatti, who has said he's mulling a 2020 presidential run, was being… Read Full Article

Rare Conservation Win: Mountain Gorilla Population Ticks Up

There are more gorillas in the mist — a rare conservation success story, scientists say.   After facing near-extinction, mountain gorillas are slowly rebounding. On Wednesday, the Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature updated mountain gorillas' status from "critically endangered" to "endangered," a more promising, if still precarious, designation. There are now just over 1,000 of the animals in the wild, up from an estimated population of 680 a decade ago.   "In… Read Full Article

Instant Forest? ‘Tree Hopping’ Takes Off in Parts of Kenya

The sun beat down on Samuel Rono’s farm in Kerita, a village in southern Kenya, as six young men struggled to load one of several large trees into a waiting truck. “They (the trees) are not for making timber,” Rono explained. “They are being moved to a new location to be planted there.” By removing a few trees from his 10-acre (4-hectare) farm, Rono can make more space for his livestock to graze and for him to grow more maize. But, instead of simply cutting down the 16-foot (5-meter)… Read Full Article