News Briefs

News Briefs

Tribune News Service

Fox News contributors suspended after using profanity to refer to Obama

NEW YORK — Two Fox News contributors were yanked off the air Monday after some coarse discourse about President Barack Obama.

Stacey Dash, the actress best known for known for her role in the movie “Clueless,” used a profanity in discussing the president’s Sunday night Oval Office speech on the terrorism threat in the aftermath of the shooting rampage in San Bernardino, Calif.

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Dash made the remark during the Fox News panel show “Outnumbered,” where she sits in one week a month. She will not appear for the rest of the week.

Earlier on Fox Business Network, Lt. Ralph Peters used a profane term to describe Obama as being weak on the terrorism issue. Program host Stuart Varney told Peters his language was inappropriate and told him to apologize to the audience, which he did.

Peters is a frequent guest on national security issues on Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

Hillary Clinton to fundraise in Nebraska with Warren Buffett

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will fundraise with Hillary Clinton during the Democratic presidential hopeful’s visit to his hometown next week, according to an invitation obtained by Bloomberg.

Clinton is headed to Omaha, Neb., on Dec. 16 to share the stage with Buffett, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., for a grassroots rally aimed at firing up Nebraska Democrats ahead of the state’s March 5 caucus. Since late summer, Clinton has systematically been visiting states with March primaries and caucuses to lay groundwork ahead of that busy stretch of voting.

Tickets for the fundraiser with Buffett, scheduled for the morning of the 16th, start at $500 and go up to $2,700 for donors hoping for a photo with Clinton and Buffett. Those who raise $27,000 or more will have access to a reception with both.

Severed pig’s head left at Philadelphia mosque

PHILADELPHIA — Local and federal authorities were investigating reports Monday that someone left a severed pig’s head at a North Philadelphia mosque.

An employee at the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque found the bloodied head when he arrived around 6 a.m. Monday.

Surveillance video at the site captured a red pickup truck that drove twice past the mosque just before 11 p.m. Sunday. On its second pass, someone threw an item from the passenger window, the video shows.

Pigs are considered insulting to Muslims who observe halal dietary laws.

Philadelphia police were interviewing potential witnesses Monday.

Biden says ‘illegal’ Russian occupation of Crimea must end

KIEV, Ukraine — Vice President Joe Biden said that Russia’s occupation of Crimea was an “illegal invasion” that will never be recognized by the U.S., after a meeting with Ukraine’s president in Kiev on Monday.

“Moscow eventually has to end” its occupation of the peninsula, Biden said, calling it part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory. His remarks reaffirmed the administration’s position that the U.S. won’t bend on Ukraine even as its trying to win Russian cooperation in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Biden is on a two-day visit to Ukraine to show U.S. support for the country’s struggling government, elected after an uprising by democracy activists last year. Since then, the country has seen Russia invade and annex Crimea, while its military is in a standoff with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Biden announced $190 million in new aid for Ukraine contingent on the government continuing to make progress rooting out corruption.

The separatists, Ukraine and Russia must continue to respect a cease-fire signed earlier this year in Minsk, Belarus, Biden said. “Both sides need to hold up that bargain,” he said, echoing the position of U.S. allies in Europe.

US coalition investigating reports its airstrikes killed at least 36 Syrian civilians

ISTANBUL — The U.S.-led coalition says it’s reviewing reports that its airstrikes against Islamic State militants Monday killed at least 36 civilians, including 20 children, in a village in eastern Syria.

The attack occurred on the mud-brick village of Al Khan in Hasakah province, which has fewer than 100 residents and is at the front line of a U.S.-backed offensive conducted by mainly Kurdish forces. It’s near the town of Al Hawl, which fell to Kurdish forces Nov. 13.

Syrian media activists and a relative of one of the families told McClatchy that the villagers had an altercation with Islamic State militants and asked them to leave. The tension grew into an exchange of fire.

“The Islamic State sent reinforcements to the village … and coalition jets targeted the convoy,” said Khalil Khatouny, 27, who now lives in Germany. The airstrikes killed Islamic State members and civilians, mainly women and children, he said.

Five of his relatives were killed, he said: a cousin, Ali Suleiman Obaid, and Obaid’s three daughters, Suhair, Sidra and Tasneem, and a son, Mohammad.

The U.S. Central Command said its aircraft had been in the area, and it was looking into the report.