5 BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group launched sophisticated attacks in Syria and Iraq, including an attempt to break into a prison where suspected extremists are being held by U.S.-backed fighters, officials said Friday. Dozens of detainees in Syria and 11 Iraqi troops were killed. The separate attacks are believed to be some of the largest since IS lost the final sliver of territory it held nearly three years ago. In recent months, IS sleeper cells have become more active in both countries, claiming attacks that have killed scores of Iraqis and Syrians. In Iraq, IS gunmen attacked an army barracks in a mountainous area north of Baghdad early Friday, killing 11 soldiers as they slept, the Iraqi military and security officials said. The officials said the attack occurred in the Al-Azim district, an open area north of the city of Baqouba in Diyala province. The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but two … [Read more...] about IS gunmen mount deadly attacks in Syria, Iraq; dozens killed
3 John Beck has always considered himself a "solid B-plus" when it comes to trivia, so he was absolutely thrilled when he won $117,099 over five consecutive games of "Jeopardy!" in 2003. The show had a five-win limit at the time, and it felt like the ultimate victory. But as he sat in the studio audience and watched the next trio of contestants play, he couldn't help but think: "I'm pretty sure I would have won that game, too." Of course, the concept was a non-starter. Until a few months later, when it suddenly wasn't. The show kicked off its 20th season by instituting a new "sky's the limit" rule - "a deliberate ploy by the show to beef up ratings," Claire McNear wrote in her "Jeopardy!" history book "Answers in the Form of Questions" - allowing contestants to win as many games as possible. Soon, a mild-mannered computer engineer named Ken Jennings arrived on the scene and stayed put, steamrolling contestants week after week after week, causing some to … [Read more...] about Amy Schneider rules the ‘Jeopardy!’ super-champ era. Some former 5-day winners are jealous they never got the chance.
20 SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — In Costa Rica, officials are encouraging those infected with the coronavirus to skip voting in upcoming national elections. On the other side of the world, Beijing is locking down residential communities as the country anxiously awaits the start of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4. In Latin America and Asia, where the omicron variant is making its latest appearance, some countries are imposing such restrictions while others are loath to place new limits on populations already exhausted by previous constraints. Omicron quickly swept through the places it first hit, such as South Africa, the U.K. and the United States, pushing daily cases far higher than at any time during the pandemic. The Americas reported nearly 7.2 million new COVID infections and more than 15,000 COVID-related deaths over the past week, the Pan … [Read more...] about Latin America, Asia, latest to get hit with omicron surge
For a decade, Atif Mahr mentored young people, preaching the virtues of anti-violence even as the streets of his north St. Louis neighborhood echoed ever more often with the crack of gunfire. Then one day last October, those bullets tore a jagged hole in Mahr's own family. His daughter Isis was dropping off a friend when a gunman unloaded on her car. The soccer standout, who had been saving money to pay her way through nursing school, was 19. "I always feared it," Mahr said. "I never imagined it." Isis's death filled him with hurt. The reaction from the community, however, gave him hope. The past two years have been dreadful for public safety in U.S. cities as homicide numbers soared - in some cases to record levels. Experts say a constellation of factors is to blame, including the pandemic's scars and a breakdown in trust between police and the communities they serve during the social unrest of 2020. But as 2022 kicks off, city leaders from coast to coast say the stars may … [Read more...] about Homicide rates have soared nationwide, but mayors see a chance for a turnaround in 2022
Over the past seven days, the Rockets split a pair of road games in Sacramento, and stunned the Jazz in Utah. Here's some video from those games where we break down what the Rockets offense looks like with the return of Alperen Sengun, the surprising clutch play from this young team and the struggles Jalen Green experienced against the Jazz. Rockets at Kings After missing two weeks, rookie center Alperen Sengun returned last Friday, checking in for Christian Wood at the 4:14 mark of the first quarter. On his very first possession, Sengun caught it on the right block, defended by Marvin Bagley. Garrison Mathews, Kevin Porter Jr., D.J. Augustin and K.J. Martin spread the floor on the perimeter ... and watched as Sengun backed down Bagley. As Sengun spun off of Bagley, he was called for the offensive foul. A few possessions later, at the 1:31 mark, Sengun received it again on the right block, going to work against the 7-foot-1 Alex Len. Sengun backed down Len, pivots, faking, then … [Read more...] about Rockets thoughts: Return of Alperen Sengun and this team’s play in the clutch
I’m relieved to say I’m not generally the kind of person who gets annoyed by attempts to increase diversity and inclusivity in media, no matter how transparent or poorly executed those attempts may be (and often are). I don’t care when a cartoon character comes out as gay or a TV show has the audacity to swap out one of its many white cast members for a single Black character mid-series. But the M&Ms — the M&Ms have gone too far. On Thursday, Mars announced that its M&M characters, the anthropomorphized versions of the chocolate candies that serve as the brand’s mascots, will be undergoing a makeover for a “progressive, modern world.” Of course, it’s always annoying when a brand treats diversity like a trend it has to capitalize on in order to separate more Gen-Zers from their money, but the way in which Mars is going about this plan also feels particularly ill-executed. According to Mars, this push for inclusivity hopes to foster a greater sense of belonging and … [Read more...] about The M&Ms Characters Are Getting the Progressive Rebrand Literally No One Asked For
Through hurricanes and flooding, Jerry Mohn has waited a long time for the federal government to build the kind of protective barrier that could shield Galveston’s coastline from devastating storm surges triggered by massive weather events. In 2008, Hurricane Ike devastated the island town with head-high floodwaters and 110-mile-per-hour winds that caused billions of dollars of damage and killed dozens of people. “Look what happened with Ike — the same thing could happen again,” said Mohn, a longtime Galveston resident and beach preservation advocate. “It devastated Galveston Island completely, the downtown flooded, all the beaches were destroyed — it was just really bad.” Protecting Galveston isn’t the only goal of a massive series of infrastructure projects meant to limit the devastation from extreme weather. Scientists have modeled worst-case scenario storms that also make clear the potential for devastation in nearby Houston . Given that the state’s largest city is … [Read more...] about Texas may get a coastal storm barrier, but will it be too late?
Jeep is further expanding its electrified range in Europe by adding mild-hybrid options for the Renegade and Compass . The new e-Hybrid powertrain is joining the already offered plug-in-hybrid 4xe system, the only one available for the Wrangler on the Old continent , which currently accounts for more than 25 percent of the brand’s total sales in the region. Order books for the two electrified crossovers are now open with first deliveries expected in March. Powering the Renegade e-Hybrid and Compass e-Hybrid is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine, delivering a peak output of 130 horsepower (95 kilowatts) and 177 pound-feet (240 Newton-meters) of torque. The unit is mated to a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and features a built-in 48-volt 20-hp (15-kW) electric motor adding 40 lb-ft (55 Nm) of torque to the system’s output, equivalent to 100 lb-ft (135 Nm) at the gearbox input level. Gallery: Jeep Renegade and Compass e-Hybrid … [Read more...] about 2022 Jeep Renegade, Compass Get Hybrid Option In Europe
Caught on several occasions and believed to be a new flagship SUV, this mysterious Audi Q model has been the subject of many speculations. Some say it's a Q9 positioned atop the Q7 and Q8 while others claim it’s destined to become a China-only offering. After browsing some of the forums and websites in the People's Republic, we believe this won't be a new range-topping SUV after all. Instead, the vehicle in question will be sold only in the world's most populous country through Volkswagen's joint venture with SAIC. Other recent models carrying the Four Rings to stem from this tie-up include the peculiar A7 L Sedan and the Q5 E-Tron. The latter – which is essentially a bigger, three-row Q4 E-Tron twinned with the VW ID.6 – can be seen in the adjacent spy shots of a test fleet caught in northern Europe. Gallery: Audi three-row SUV for China spied 27 Photos It is … [Read more...] about Three-Row Audi SUV Spied And We Think We Know What It Is, The Q6