Hours after witnesses first described hearing explosions and gunfire in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, early Wednesday morning, Zimbabwe's army said in a televised statement that what is taking place is not "a military takeover of government" and that President Robert Mugabe is safe and under protection.
The army is targeting people who "were committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country," the statement said. "As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy." Armed vehicles were seen lining the streets outside of Harare, the BBC reports, and witnesses told Reuters that soldiers took control of the state-run broadcaster ZBC and manhandled some staffers.
Earlier this month, Mugabe, 93, ousted Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been viewed as Mugabe's likely successor; the new frontrunner is Mugabe's wife, Grace. On Monday, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga said if there are any more purges in the ruling Zanu-PF party, the army "will not hesitate to step in," and the government responded Tuesday by accusing him of "treasonable conduct." Catherine Garcia
When President Trump touched down in his native New York City on Thursday evening for his first visit since the inauguration, hundreds of protesters were waiting for him outside of the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, where he was slated to give a speech.
Many carried signs, with phrases like "Not my president" and "Dump Trump," and there were also demonstrators near Trump Tower and a banner that read #NoTrumpNYC unfurled on a Staten Island Ferry. "As a lifelong New Yorker, I think there's something particularly appalling about Trump coming from this environment and just not representing New Yorkers in any way whatsoever," protester Lauren Rothman told the New York Daily News. "New York is an immigrant town. New York is a melting pot, and the policies that he represents don't represent New Yorkers. I think he should know that we don't like him and that he has no home here." Catherine Garcia
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he had to express his "deep disappointment" in U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's earlier speech promoting a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, saying it was "almost as unbalanced as the anti-Israel resolution passed at the U.N. last week."
The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank a "flagrant violation" of international law, with the U.S. abstaining from the vote. A bitter Netanyahu said Kerry "paid lip service to the unremitting campaign of terrorism that has been waged by the Palestinians against the Jewish state for nearly a century. What he did was spend most of his speech blaming Israel for the lack of peace by passionately condemning a policy of enabling Jews to live in their historic homeland and in their eternal capital, Jerusalem."
Netanyahu said Israel has always "extended its hand in peace" to neighbors, and "thousands of Israeli families have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country and advance peace," adding, Israelis "do not need to be lectured on the importance of peace by foreign leaders." He said that Palestinian children are not being educated "for peace" like Israeli children, and the Palestinian Authority "teaches them to lionize terrorists and murder Israelis. My vision is that Israelis and Palestinians both have a future of mutual respect, coexistence, but the Palestinian Authority tells them they will never accept and should never accept the existence of a Jewish state."
Netanyahu also claimed he has evidence that the United States "organized and advanced" the U.N. Security Council resolution, but he is refusing to share it with anyone but the incoming Trump administration, saying some of the material is "sensitive." This allegation has already been denied by Kerry. Catherine Garcia
Security has been increased at transit stations across Los Angeles County after the FBI received an anonymous phone call on Monday threatening the Metro Red Line station in Universal City.
The threat was made through a public safety line, FBI Assistant Director in Charge Deirdre Fike said during a news conference Monday night. The person said something was going to happen at the station on Tuesday, and law enforcement is working to determine the threat's credibility. Mayor Eric Garcetti urged the public to be cautious, but go about their normal routines, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said there will be more uniformed and undercover deputies at stations and on trains. Catherine Garcia
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced early Monday that he will turn in his formal resignation to President Sergio Mattarella later in the day, following a heavy defeat in his referendum on constitutional reforms.
Renzi said he took "full responsibility" for the loss, adding, "We gave the Italians an opportunity to change, but we didn't succeed." Renzi took office two-and-a-half-years ago promising to be an anti-establishment "demolition man," and the referendum was designed to reduce the powers of the upper house Senate and regional authorities in order to quicken the legislative process.
Renzi was up against every major opposition party, and early projections showed him only having slightly more than 40 percent of the vote. Mattarella will select a new prime minister, Italy's fifth in as many years, with elections not scheduled until 2018. As Renzi made his resignation announcement, the euro fell to a 20-month low. Catherine Garcia
Within an hour of Donald Trump confirming he will nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as defense secretary, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) released a statement saying she will oppose a waiver necessary for Mattis to serve.
Mattis retired in 2013 after more than four decades of military service. Because he was recently in uniform, the law requires a waiver from Congress for him to become defense secretary. In her statement, Gillibrand, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Personnel, said that while she "deeply respects" Mattis' service, she will oppose the waiver because "civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule."
Authorities in Tennessee confirmed Wednesday that at least seven people have been killed in the wildfires that have swept through Sevier County.
More than 700 homes and businesses have been destroyed, and the fire has likely burned at least 15,000 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, The Tennessean reports. Investigators believe the fire was caused by embers from a wildfire in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park blowing into Gatlinburg on Monday night. High winds have helped fan the flames, and heavy rains have created "new challenges," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said. "There's no longer that foliage holding everything together, so we're experiencing small rockslides and mudslides as we have to go back into areas we previously thought were accessible." Catherine Garcia
Authorities in Tennessee announced Tuesday that at least three people have died in wildfires that are raging around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In the resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, dozens of homes and buildings have burned down, and thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate. At the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, there is some damage to cabins, but the park is not burning. "This is a fire for the history books," Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said. "The likes of this has never been seen here."
At least 14 people have been hospitalized, including three with severe burns, and firefighters are preparing for high winds and lightning overnight. Gov. Bill Haslam (R) is calling the fire the "largest in the last 100 years in the state of Tennessee. Catherine Garcia