Donald Trump said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”, or simulated drowning, at the Republican debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Saturday.
His Republican rival Ted Cruz, asked whether the practice notoriously used under the Bush administration during the war on terror was torture, denied it was: “Under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. It is enhanced interrogation … It does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.”
But the Texas senator added: “I would not bring it back in any sort of widespread use. And indeed I’d join with Senator [John] McCain in prohibiting line officers from employing it.”
A female TV presenter has described how she was groped by an unknown assailant live on air during the Cologne carnival.
Esmeralda Labye, a reporter for Belgium’s RTBF, was doing a piece to camera when she was approached by two or three men, one of whom reached over her shoulder and grabbed her breast as she was broadcasting.
Labye wrote in a piece published on the station’s website that the “wretched and cowardly” men had been trying to get her attention as she was broadcasting, with one of them kissing her on the neck.
“Two or three men gathered behind me and attempted to make themselves the centre of my attention,” she said. “I was focusing on the broadcast, and then I felt a kiss on my neck.
“Almost immediately, a young German sings in my ear: ‘Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir? [Would you like to sleep with me tonight?]’. Then, I feel two hands rest on my shoulders. I see the person behind me mime an obscene gesture, a sexual practice that has no place on camera.”
As Labye tried to ignore the men, remaining in front of the camera as the presenter in the studio thanked her for the report, one of the group grabbed her. “It was at that moment that one of three men around me touched my chest. At that moment, I lost my temper. Knowing I had finished the broadcast, I turned around to tell them in English, ‘Do not touch me!’. The three didn’t seem to understand why I got angry, but they left without a word.”
Senator Marco Rubio, fresh off a third-place finish in Iowa, quickly became the target of an all-out assault from his rivals. One of the most highly-charged moments of the evening came early on when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie unleashed an attack on Rubio over the question of the junior senator’s experience.
“You have not been involved in a consequential decision where you had to be held accountable — you just simply haven’t,” Christie told Rubio.
Rubio struggled to respond to the onslaught from Christie. “Let’s dispel once and for all this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Rubio said, defending the question of his readiness to be president. “Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country and make this country more like the rest of the world.”
Christie hit back by calling out Rubio’s habit of missing votes in the Senate. “That’s not leadership. That’s truancy,” he said to cheers from the crowd.
Rubio then responded by repeating, nearly word for word, his previous talking points three more times. “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing,” he said. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is trying to change this country.”
“There it is!” Christie interrupted. “There it is — the memorized 25-second speech, there it is everybody!”
Over the weekend, four of Russia’s newest and most sophisticated military aircraft – the Su-35 “Flanker E” – arrived at the Russian airbase of Latakia in Syria.
This comes on the back of another alleged violation of Turkish airspace by a Russian Su-34 “Fullback” fighter-bomber on Friday.
Relations between Ankara and Moscow remain extremely tense since Turkish forces shot down a Russian Su-24 jet after allegedly violating Turkish airspace for under 20 seconds in November.
Although Turkey is within its legal rights to shoot down foreign military aircraft which violate its airspace and refuse to comply with warnings, Ankara deliberately took a very aggressive stand against repeated Russian violations by shooting down the plane.
This, in turn, seems to have prompted a dual response from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For his domestic audience – still the most important factor for the Russian leader – Putin has deployed the S-400 advanced air defence system and ordered jets taking part in operations near the Turkish border armed with live air-to-air missiles for self-protection.
As the oil price has dropped more than 70 percent since the summer of 2014, the oil industry is facing its deepest downturn in more than two decades.
The price of oil has decoupled from the actual cost of production; it is becoming unprofitable and the effects are being felt across the globe.
Nigeria and Angola, Africa’s two biggest oil producers, are both in talks with the World Bank about support for their strained state finances.
Budgets in Russia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Canada are in deficit, which means cuts in public spending.
Big oil is cutting jobs and capital spending, in fact BP just reported its worst annual loss in 20 years, and Shell reported an 80 percent slide in profits for 2015.
But there are winners too: China, India, Japan, and South Korea are among the largest importers of oil, so they are benefiting from the dropping oil price.