US sanctions 2 Trinis for funding ISIS

The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated and sanctioned two T&T nationals  - an Emraan Ali and one Eddie Aleong - as financiers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror network.

In a release, the US Department of the Treasury revealed, "As of January 2017, a Trinidadian ISIS supporter possibly planned to work with Eddie Aleong, to transfer funds to Emraan Ali, who would then provide the funds to Trinidadian ISIS fighters in Syria."

International: EU to recommend end of daylight saving time

The European Union is to propose ending twice-yearly clock changes after a large-scale public survey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday.

According to Juncker, more than 80% of EU citizens want to abolish daylight saving time and instead remain on the time used during summer instead.

At the moment, each EU member state puts clocks forward one hour on the last Sunday of March and back again on the last Sunday in October.

"This debate about summertime, wintertime has been around for many years here," Juncker told German broadcaster ZDF.

International: Thousands gather to say goodbye to Senator McCain

Thousands have gathered along the streets of Arizona to bid farewell to late US Senator John McCain.

A hearse carrying McCain's casket has left the Arizona State Capitol and is taking the body of the longtime lawmaker, two-time presidential candidate and former POW to a Phoenix church for a public memorial service.

People carrying campaign style placards with the word "McCain" and holding U.S. flags lined part of the part of the 8-mile (13-kilometer) route the motorcade was taking Thursday to the North Phoenix Baptist Church.

New US Ambassador coming 'fairly soon'

Newly-selected US Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph Mondello, who was confirmed at the end of June, expects to finally take up his duties in the Caribbean islands this month.

“Fairly soon,” he said in an interview with the Long Island Newsday.

“I don’t have a date certain yet.”

Mondello, who served 35 years as the county’s GOP leader, said he received his diplomatic passports and visas last week and was awaiting final documentation from Washington before departing Long Island.

International: Puerto Rico increases Hurricane Maria death toll to 2,975

Officials in Puerto Rico now say 2,975 people died following Hurricane Maria - a devastating storm that struck the US island territory in September 2017.

The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64.

Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings in a long-awaited independent investigation.

The mayor of the capital, San Juan, accused the US government of deliberately downplaying the impact of the storm.

International: Hundreds pay respect to late Aretha Franklin

Hundreds of fans queued on Tuesday to pay their respects to legendary "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, whose body lay in a golden casket dressed in Detroit on Tuesday.

The 76-year-old icon, beloved by millions around the world, died of cancer on August 16, bringing down the curtain on a spectacular six-decade career that made her one of America's most celebrated artists.

International: Trump not attending McCain's funeral

US President Donald Trump will not attend the funeral of his political antagonist John McCain, a spokesman for the late senator has said.

"The president will not be, as far as we know, attending the funeral," said McCain family friend Rick Davis. "That's just a fact."

Davis read out a posthumous message from McCain that appeared to take a thinly veiled dig at Mr Trump.

In the message, McCain urged Americans not to "hide behind walls".The Arizona Republican died on Saturday of brain cancer.

Around the World: Hawaii pounded with rain as Hurricane Lane approaches

Hurricane Lane soaked Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday, dumping 30 centimetres of rain in 12 hours as residents stocked up on supplies and tried to protect their homes ahead of the state's first hurricane since 1992.

The National Weather Service warned that some areas could see up to 76 centimetres of rain before the system passes. Bands of rain extended over 560 kilometres from the hurricane's centre.

Around the World - Trump: Impeach me & damage the economy

US President Donald Trump has responded to speculation that he might be impeached by warning that any such move would damage the economy.

In an interview with Fox & Friends, he said the market would crash and "everybody would be very poor".

He was speaking after Michael Cohen, his ex-lawyer, pleaded guilty to violating election laws and said he had been directed to do so by Mr Trump.

Mr Trump has rarely spoken about the prospect of being impeached.

International: Pope condemns child sex abuse

Pope Francis has condemned the "atrocities" of child sex abuse and clerical cover-ups in a letter to the world's 1.2bn Roman Catholics.

The letter to "the People of God" calls for an end to the "culture of death" in the Church, addresses failures to deal with abuse and asks for forgiveness.

Last week a grand jury report detailed seven decades of abuse in Pennsylvania.

The landmark investigation found more than 1,000 identifiable minors had been abused by 300 priests in the US state.