Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and his nearest rival, Sen. Ted Cruz clashed bitterly Thursday night. With Cruz surging in Iowa polls, Trump repeated his charge that the Texas senator might not be eligible for the White House because he was born in Canada. "Who the hell knows if you can even serve in office?" Trump said. Cruz mocked Trump for his "New York values." Other candidates focused their attacks on Hillary Clinton, criticizing the "Obama-Clinton" economy and foreign policy.
Trump and Cruz clash in latest debate
The Revenant leads Oscar nominees
The Revenant led this year's Academy Awards nominations, which were announced Thursday just four days after the frontier revenge thriller took several top prizes at the Golden Globes. Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for best actor for his role in the film, and Tom Hardy got a nod for best supporting actor. Director Alejandro Inarritu, who swept the best picture, director, and screenplay Oscars last year for Birdman, is up for rare back-to-back wins. George Miller's sequel Mad Max: Fury Road was close behind The Revenant with 10 nominations. Ridley Scott's The Martian got seven.
Planned Parenthood sues anti-abortion group behind controversial videos
Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday against the anti-abortion group that released secretly recorded videos suggesting that the women's health organization profited from selling fetal tissue from abortions. The videos, released in July, sparked attempts by conservative politicians to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood. A Planned Parenthood official said the video's makers committed fraud and conducted a "smear campaign" against Planned Parenthood. The anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, called the lawsuit "frivolous."
Chicago will release video of fatal police shooting
The city of Chicago on Thursday complied with a judge's order to release grainy security-camera video showing police officer Kevin Fry fatally shooting unarmed black teenager Cedrick Chatman three years ago. Chatman's mother, Linda, pushed for the video's release under a wrongful death lawsuit. Her attorney said the footage proves the teen was just trying to run away. The video was taken from a distance and does not definitively show whether Chatman turned to face the officers before Fry fired.
U.S. transfers 10 Yemeni Guantanamo prisoners to Oman
The U.S. on Thursday sent 10 men from Yemen who had been held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Oman. The transfer represented the largest number of prisoners to leave the facility at the U.S. naval base since President Obama took office in 2009. Their departure brought the number of prisoners at Guantanamo to under 100 as Obama starts his last year in office. Obama is renewing his push to close the prison for terror-war suspects before he leaves office in January 2017, but he faces stiff GOP opposition.
U.N. chief warns both sides in Syria that starving civilians a "war crime"
A second convoy of humanitarian aid trucks reached the rebel-held Syrian town of Madaya on Thursday. The town has been blockaded by government troops for months, and relief workers and U.N. staff say they have confirmed reports that dozens of people have died of starvation. Across the country, 400,000 people are living in areas that are under blockades. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned both warring sides that intentionally starving civilians was a "war crime."
Report says track officials blackmailed athletes accused of doping
Top track-and-field officials have blackmailed athletes who tested positive for doping in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the World Anti-Doping Agency. The report also found that officials failed to properly and swiftly discipline athletes caught doping. The first part of the investigation led to a November report accusing Russia of a state-sponsored doping program.
Fiorina, Santorum, and Huckabee jab Obama and Clinton in GOP undercard debate
Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee blasted President Obama and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton during Thursday's debate for low-polling Republican presidential candidates. Huckabee said Obama had "lost his credibility," and Fiorina said "the state of our economy is not strong." At one point Santorum, out of time for an answer to a question, got in a dig at Sen. Rand Paul, who boycotted the secondary debate after being denied a spot in the prime-time debate. "I'm going to take some of Rand Paul's time here for a second," Santorum said.
New Ebola case detected in Sierra Leone
Officials in Sierra Leone said Friday that the body of a woman who died earlier this month has tested positive for Ebola. The news came the day after the World Health Organization declared the West Africa's Ebola outbreak over when Liberia was declared Ebola-free. Sierra Leone had been declared Ebola-free in November, but officials have warned that flare-ups are still a danger. The outbreak emerged in late 2013 and killed more than 11,300 people.
Actor Alan Rickman dies at 69
Alan Rickman, the versatile British actor whose long list of roles included Prof. Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, died Thursday after a battle with cancer. He was 69. While perhaps best known for his portrayal of the scary but kindhearted Snape, Rickman was renowned as a stage and screen actor long before the Potter films. In 1988, he played a villain in Die Hard; he was Kate Winslet's admirer in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Emma Thompson's errant husband in Love Actually (2003). "He was the finest of actors and directors," Thompson said. "I couldn't wait to see what he was going to do with his face next."