1. "Get out of Venezuela!": Maduro announces breaking relations with the US
Jan 23: The Venezuelan head of state, Nicolás Maduro, announced the breakdown of diplomatic and political relations with the US, following the self-proclamation of Venezuelan deputy Juan Guaidó as "president in charge" of the country during an opposition march in Caracas and the support he received from Washington.
2. SAS PAYBACK: Special forces WIPEOUT 20 ISIS fighters in revenge strike
SAS soldiers have killed more than 20 jihadists in a "revenge" strike, after ISIS jihadists injured two British commandos.
The terrorists struck two SAS soldiers in a missile attack, while the troops were stationed alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces in the ISIS strong-hold in al-Shaafa. In a missile attack, more than 30 British commandos - including two sniper teams - hit back at the jihadists. The troops killed eight gunmen, who attempted to flee the strike in range rovers. The Special Forces unit are currently working alongside with Kurdish fighters to eliminate ISIS terrorists in the war-torn region of al-Shaafa in Syria.
3. Polish legislator invites “wrongfully accused” MAGA boys to address parliament
A Polish lawmaker has issued an invitation to students from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky to address the Polish Parliament after they were falsely accused of mocking Native Americans following the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“Dear Covington Catholic students, I’d like to invite you to the Polish Parliament. After watching this video, I am now standing up for these wrongfully accused young men and all of you!,” wrote Dominik Tarczyński, Conservative member of the Polish Parliament, and newly elected Vice President of the European Conservatives in Council of Europe, in a Jan. 20 Twitter post.
“You are very welcome to come and speak out what You believe in,” he added.
4. Oxford grooming gang who plied lonely, friendless 14-year-old girl with drink and drugs before raping her when she was comatose are all jailed for life
A gang of three men who groomed and raped a vulnerable schoolgirl in a horrific campaign of child sex abuse have been jailed for life.
Mohammed Karrar, Bassam Karrar and Anjum Dogar befriended the ”lonely, friendless” 14-year-old girl and began grooming their victim by taking her to parties and giving her alcohol and drugs before making demands for sexual acts.
The victim was so vulnerable - and so deceived that the men were her friends - she felt unable to refuse their demands.
She did not recognise their treatment as abusive, as a result of their insidious and long-running grooming campaign.
Police said their predatory behaviour in Oxford came to an horrific head when the men put the victim in a state of being comatose, using a cocktail of drugs and drink at a party.
5. Memorial for murdered police officer Yvonne Fletcher is among five vandalised with white paint as police hunt continues
Thugs vandalised five memorials across central London with white paint in the space of just hours, police revealed today.
On Sunday morning, criminal damage to the RAF Bomber Command memorial was reported to police and yesterday it emerged that the statue of Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in New Bond Street had also been targeted.
Scotland Yard has now said that reports of criminal damage to five memorials and statues were reported to officers during Sunday and Monday as it stepped up its search for the culprits.
A spokesman for the force said: “At 08.43am on Sunday January 20, police received a report of criminal damage to the Bomber Command memorial in Green Park, Piccadilly.”
6. Migrant smuggling vessel intercepted off Florida, Coast Guard says
MIAMI — The U.S. Coast Guard says its crews intercepted a boat in the Atlantic Ocean with six people trying to enter Florida illegally by sea.
The 20-foot (6-meter) boat was stopped Saturday afternoon about 30 miles (45 kilometers) east of Sunny Isles Beach. In a statement Tuesday, the Coast Guard said two Jamaican men, a Dominican man and a Bahamian man were aboard the vessel, along with two U.S. citizens.
The statement says one migrant had previous drug convictions, and another had previous convictions for drug trafficking, kidnapping and aggravated assault.
7. 1.6 million Canadian banking records shared with IRS
CRA now transferring 600,000 banking records per year under controversial information sharing agreement.
The Canadian government has shared more than 1.6 million Canadian banking records with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service since the start of a controversial information-sharing agreement in 2014, CBC News has learned.
In 2016 and again in 2017, the Canada Revenue Agency provided the IRS with information on 600,000 Canadian bank accounts each year. That's a sharp increase from the 300,000 records shared in 2015 and the 150,000 records shared in 2014, the year the sharing began.
However, that doesn't necessarily correspond to the number of people affected. Some people may have more than one bank account, while some joint accounts could have more than one account holder — including people who don't hold U.S. citizenship.
8. Court in Italy rules Matteo Salvini should be tried for kidnapping
Italy’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, Matteo Salvini, is one step away from facing trial after a surprise court ruling determined that he be tried for kidnapping.
In August, prosecutors in Agrigento, Sicily, placed Salvini, who is leader of the far-right party the League, under investigation for the alleged kidnapping and detention of 177 migrants whom he prevented from disembarking the Italian coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti.
The ship had been docked for six days at the Sicilian port of Catania as Salvini maintained a standoff with the EU in an attempt to push other member states to take in the migrants. The Catholic church, Ireland and Albania, which is not an EU state, eventually agreed to host the mostly Eritrean migrants.
“I could face up to 15 years of jail because I have stopped the disembarking of illegals in Italy,” Salvini wrote on Facebook in response. “I’m speechless. Am I afraid? Not at all. I’m not going to give up on this. Now the decision will pass through the Senate. We’ll see how it goes …”
VIDEO: Salvini responds to the charges: “I will not change my position one centimetre… I want to save lives, I want to protect the borders and I want to defend my country”
9. Italian Secret Service: People-smugglers may arrange mass drowning for public sympathy
The Italian secret service has warned that people-smugglers in the Mediterranean may seek to engineer a mass drowning in order to garner Western sympathy and resume the flow of migration.
According to Italian newspaper Il Giornale, the Italian secret services, referred to by the publication as “our 007”, are warning of the possibility of people-smugglers purposely causing a disaster at sea in order to garner sympathy from the West and resume their illegal trade, which has been declining over the last year.
Such a move could be a repeat of other major humanitarian disasters such as a shipwreck which killed around 700 migrants on April 18th, 2015, and led to the commencement of Operation Sophia and an outpouring of support for migrant ferry NGOs operating in the Mediterranean Sea.
10. CBSA charges woman with taking money to help refugees into Canada
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has laid charges against Olayinka Celestina Opaleye for allegedly organizing illegal entry into Canada for refugee protection claimants in exchange for compensation.
The charges come under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
“She is charged pursuant to section 1.17.3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,” CBSA spokesperson Dominique McNeely told Global News.
“That means more than 10 people were involved.”
Border agents claim Opaleye brought several people into Canada illegally via Roxham Road in Quebec.