Explainer: Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based militants, at heart of tension with India

Explainer: Jaish-e-Mohammad, the Pakistan-based militants, at heart of tension with IndiaIndia says the group and its leader, Masood Azhar, enjoy free rein in Pakistan, and demands that Pakistan acts to stop militant groups operating from its soil. Pakistan condemned the Thursday bomb attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen but denied any complicity. India has blamed Jaish for a series of attacks including a 2001 raid on its parliament in New Delhi that led to India mobilizing its military on the border, bringing the foes to the brink of a fourth war.



Gay couples in Japan join together on Valentine's Day to sue government over same-sex marriage ban

Gay couples in Japan join together on Valentine's Day to sue government over same-sex marriage banThirteen gay couples filed Japan's first lawsuit challenging the country's rejection of same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day, arguing the denial violates their constitutional right to equality. Six couples holding banners saying "Marriage For All Japan" walked into Tokyo District Court to file their cases against the government, with similar cases filed by three couples in Osaka, one couple in Nagoya and three couples in Sapporo. Plaintiff Kenji Aiba, standing next to his partner Ken Kozumi, told reporters he would "fight this war together with sexual minorities all around Japan." Mr Aiba and Mr Kozumi have held onto a marriage certificate they signed at their wedding party in 2013, anticipating Japan would emulate other advanced nations and legalise same-sex unions. That day has yet to come, and legally they are just friends even though they've lived as a married couple for more than five years. So they decided to act rather than waiting. "Right now we are both in good health and able to work, but what if either of us has an accident or becomes ill? We are not allowed to be each other's guarantors for medical treatment, or to be each other's heir," Mr Kozumi, a 45-year-old office worker, said in a recent interview with his partner Mr Aiba, 40. "Progress in Japan has been too slow." Politician Mizuho Fukushima has spoken out in favour of gay rights in Japan Credit: AP Photo/Mari Yamaguchi Ten Japanese municipalities have enacted "partnership" ordinances for same-sex couples to make it easier for them to rent apartments together, among other things, but they are not legally binding. Japanese laws are currently interpreted as allowing marriage only between a man and a woman. In a society where pressure for conformity is strong, many gay people hide their sexuality, fearing prejudice at home, school or work. The obstacles are even higher for transgender people in the highly gender-specific society. The Supreme Court last month upheld a law that effectively requires transgender people to be sterilized before they can have their gender changed on official documents. The LGBT equal rights movement has lagged behind in Japan because people who are silently not conforming to conventional notions of sexuality have been so marginalized that the issue hasn't been considered a human rights problem, experts say. "Many people don't even think of a possibility that their neighbors, colleagues or classmates may be sexual minorities," said Mizuho Fukushima, a lawyer-turned-politician and an expert on gender and human rights issues. "And the pressure to follow a conservative family model, in which heterosexual couples are supposed to marry and have children, is still strong." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ultra-conservative supporters have campaigned to restore a paternalistic society based on heterosexual marriages. The government has restarted moral education class at schools to teach children family values and good deeds. "Whether to allow same-sex marriage is an issue that affects the foundation of how families should be in Japan, which requires an extremely careful examination," Mr Abe said in a statement last year.



Family of IS teen appeals to UK to help bring her home

Family of IS teen appeals to UK to help bring her homeLONDON (AP) — The family of a pregnant British teenager who ran away to join the Islamic State group urged the government Friday to help bring her home.



Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra role

Elliott Abrams bristles at Rep. Ilhan Omar's 'attack' for his Iran-Contra roleElliott Abrams, who pleaded guilty in 1991 to withholding information from Congress, was appointed as U.S. envoy to Venezuela on Friday.



Honda & Acura Recall for Potential Stalling Issue

Honda & Acura Recall for Potential Stalling IssueHonda Recalls 437,000 Cars and SUVs Over Potential Stalling Issue Honda is recalling 437,000 Acura MDX SUVs, Acura TLX V6 cars, and Honda Accord V6 cars because the gasoline flow from fuel pumps...



Venezuela opens investigation into opposition-appointed PDVSA directors: prosecutor

Venezuela opens investigation into opposition-appointed PDVSA directors: prosecutorCARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's chief state prosecutor said on Thursday an investigation had been opened into directors of state-run oil firm PDVSA, and its U.S. refiner Citgo, that the opposition-controlled congress appointed on Wednesday. Prosecutor Tarek Saab, in comments broadcast on state television, announced "the opening of an investigation against people designated illegally as directors of PDVSA and Citgo." Saab also said they would investigate foreign ambassadors named by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who on Jan 23 invoked constitutional provisions to assume an interim presidency. ...



10 Things to Know for Today

10 Things to Know for TodayCongress is set to resolve its clattering brawl with President Donald Trump in uncommonly bipartisan fashion as lawmakers prepare to pass a border security compromise. European plane manufacturer Airbus says it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 for lack of customers.



Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protests

Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protestsAmazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world's most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $3 billion in state and city incentives -- which had riled some New Yorkers. "While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project," Amazon said in a statement.



Valentine’s Day Is Stupid, But Men Should Stop Complaining about It

Valentine’s Day Is Stupid, But Men Should Stop Complaining about ItA  new survey found that men plan to spend an average of $339 on their partners for Valentine’s Day, while women play to spend an average of $64 -- and some men think that this is unfair.First of all, let me say that I think spending $339 on Valentine’s Day is ridiculous. I mean, where are all of these men? I would really love to know, because no one has ever spent that much on me on Valentine’s Day. Maybe I’m a little jaded, but I guess I always assumed the only reason someone would spend $339 on their partner for Valentine’s Day would be that he feels bad because he’s actually cheating on her. Considering the kind of Valentine’s Day presents I’ve gotten -- I once had a man give me only an e-card that said “Happy Black History Month is almost over” (and then that was over) -- I really am having a hard time believing that this survey could be actually true.After all, Valentine’s Day is the worst. I mean, who cares? All it means is that all of your social-media platforms are going to be flooded with pictures of other people’s flowers, complete with captions about how they were gifted by BEST BOYFRIEND IN THE WORLD, while you watch your cat lick up the crumbs from the cookies that you’re eating alone in bed. (Just me?) Even when I’ve been in a relationship, I still haven’t cared about it much because I have a career and a life and other things to worry about besides showing off my relationship on Instagram to make the cat-crumbs people feel bad about themselves.That being said, I’d still have to say that the only thing more ridiculous than Valentine’s Day is probably the fact that men are complaining about having to spend a little cash to celebrate it.Yes, $339 is a lot of money. I’ve already said that, and really, really, I think that any woman who is not a treacherous, gold-digging sociopath would probably be happy with much less. But here’s the thing: Even if you are a man spending $339 while your partner spends only $64, you still should not be complaining about it. Why? Because you have already saved so much money by just not being a woman.I mean, seriously -- it is so much cheaper to be a man. How much do your haircuts cost, like $10? (I have to spend money on getting mine cut and colored, and then on buying someone else’s hair to strap to my head, just to be acceptable to society.) How much money do you spend getting your nails done? That’s right, none, and all of the time you save by not having to waste your life sitting under those little dryers like an idiot waiting for them to be done is probably being spent making more money.Think about it: If you’re a man, you don’t even need to buy lip gloss. Do you know how much lip gloss us women have had to purchase throughout our lives? That s*** starts in like the fifth grade! Factor in that we’re also expected to wear mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, concealer (only men can have visible zits!), and a bunch of other garbage that sucks up our money and our time, and you might start to feel a little ridiculous about the fact that you have to get some flowers and a card.Valentine’s Day is dumb, and I’ve always believed that the people who really care about it must be some really sad people with some really sad lives. But the only thing more pathetic than getting super jazzed for Valentine’s Day is getting super salty about it because you’re a man and you have to spend a couple of extra bucks. If you find yourself complaining, then stop it. Remember: You’ve saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars thanks to society allowing you to look just straight-up worse than we do.



Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave election

Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave electionOne year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.



FBI releases 16 drawings prolific serial killer Samuel Little made of his victims

FBI releases 16 drawings prolific serial killer Samuel Little made of his victimsThe Federal Bureau of Investigation has released more than a dozen drawingsmade by a prolific serial killer in hopes the public may be able to identifysome of his victims



U.K. Spy Warns Against Triumphalism Over Islamic State Collapse

U.K. Spy Warns Against Triumphalism Over Islamic State Collapse“We are not triumphant because I think from triumphant you get to hubris,” MI6 Chief Alex Younger told reporters in Munich on Friday. Younger said Islamic States’s so-called caliphate was now in its “end game,” with the extremist militants clinging to the last square mile of land they hold in the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria. Meanwhile the U.K. is debating the case of Shamima Begum, a 19-year-old from east London who wants to come home despite expressing no regrets over becoming a so-called jihadi bride with Islamic State in Syria at the age of 15.



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