BALTIMORE (Reuters) -- Dozens of protesters gathered in downtown Baltimore on Thursday as President Donald Trump made his first visit to the city since he blasted it as "disgusting” and "rodent-infested” in hotly debated tweets in July.
Trump gave a speech to Republicans from the House of Representatives holding an annual retreat in the predominantly black city, after protesters greeted his motorcade with signs depicting Trump as a rat and telling him to return to the swamp.
The chilly reception came after Trump lashed out on Twitter at Elijah Cummings, a prominent African-American congressman from Baltimore, calling him a "brutal bully” who should concentrate on cleaning up his "disgusting, rat and rodent infested” district rather than criticizing the work of U.S. immigration officers on the Mexican border.
Cummings, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has led investigations into Trump and his administration, called him a racist and lashed out at the president’s hard-line immigration policies.
WASHINGTON (BBC) -- A U.S. congressional committee has voted to press ahead with an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
The Democratic-controlled House Committee on the Judiciary voted along strict party lines to designate certain hearings as impeachment sessions.
The panel says it hopes to decide whether to recommend impeachment to the full House by the end of the year.
However, the Republican majority in the Senate means any eventual trial of the president would be likely to fail.
The House panel voted 24-17 on Thursday on a procedural step to approve guidelines for its investigation of the president, including allowing lawyers to question witnesses publicly.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, the U.S. military said, a move likely to anger Beijing.
The busy waterway is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-Chinese relationship, which include an escalating trade war, American sanctions on China’s military and U.S. relations with Taiwan.
Commander Reann Mommsen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, told Reuters that the destroyer Wayne E. Meyer challenged territorial claims in the operation, including what she described as excessive Chinese claims around the Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
China and the United States have traded barbs in the past over what Washington has said is Beijing’s militarization of the South China Sea by building military installations on artificial islands and reefs in disputed waters.
Beijing says its construction is necessary for self-defense and that the United States is responsible for increasing tensions by sending warships and military planes close to islands that Beijing claims.
CARACAS (Dispatches) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he will skip this year's United Nations General Assembly in New York but two of his aides will be present at the event to condemn Washington's economic pressure against the South American country.
Maduro said Thursday that Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza were going to present UN Secretary General Antonio Guetrres with a petition signed by 12 million Venezuelans criticizing U.S. sanctions against the oil-rich country.
"Here is the immense majority of the Venezuelan people saying no more blockade, no more sanctions," Maduro said in a speech to the youth wing of the ruling Socialist Party.
"This year I will stay with you all working in Venezuela, safely and calmly."
As part of its effort to replace Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaido, the U.S. has imposed several rounds of sanctions against Maduro's government.
BEIJING (Dispatches) -- China's giant alien-hunting telescope has received more than 100 'mysterious signals' from a source three billion light years away.
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), captured the Fast Radio Bursts - small pulses of radio signals that originate from deep space – in August, it has been reported.
Scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences still don't know the source of the pulses, preciously dubbed "FRB121102".
The same signal was first picked up in 2012 at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and has been spotted several times since.
One possible theory is that high energy processes out in the universe could be responsible.
The satellite dish, located in Guizhou in the southwest of China, was purpose built to listen to the Milky Way for any signs of alien signals.
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -- At least 10 people died when a fire ripped through a hospital in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday evening, firefighters said.
The blaze, apparently caused by a short circuit, was the latest tragedy to hit one of Brazil’s most famous cities.
Staff wheeled patients out on beds as smoke spread through Badim Hospital in the north of the city. Nurses ran with medical equipment to reach their patients, as ambulances arrived at the scene to handle transfers.
"Many people wanted to jump (out of the hospital),” said Fatima Chavier, who lives near the medical center. "There was a lot of smoke, many people screaming. Nurses were there, doctors, trying to get everyone out of there to evacuate.”
Other witnesses said the fire spread rapidly inside the hospital, causing widespread panic.