Thirteen children freed after being held captive by their parents
According to BBC News, 13 siblings from ages two to 29 were found in their home in Perris, California after police got a 911 call from one of the victims, saying her parents were holding her 12 siblings’ captive at home. When police arrived at the house, they found “several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in dark and foul-smelling surroundings.” Police were shocked when they realized seven of the children were adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29. The victims’ parents were arrested and charged with multiple charges of torture and child endangerment. The parents have plead not guilty and face up to life in prison if convicted.
Bannon to interview with special counsel regarding the Russia investigation
According to CNN, Steve Bannon made a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and he will be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before a grand jury. He is expected to cooperate. The date for the interview has not been released. Bannon’s attorney told the house intelligence committee that Bannon would answer questions the special counsel makes since executive privilege wouldn’t apply. The FBI tried to serve Bannon with a subpoena to appear before the grand jury last week regarding the Russian probe.
North and South Korea to march under one flag at Winter Olympics
On Jan. 17, South Korea ministry officials announced plans for North and South Korean athletes to march together under one flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics. According to CNN, the statement was made following diplomatic conversations between the two nations over the days prior. Additionally, the countries have agreed to create a joint women’s ice hockey team for the 2018 Olympic games in Pyeongchang.
Britain appoints first minister for loneliness
Prime minister Theresa May announced in a statement that Tracy Crouch will be the first minister to combat loneliness, according to USA Today. May said, “For far too many, loneliness is a sad reality of modern life,” adding, “I want us all to confront this and take action to address loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, those who have lost loved ones — those with no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.” According to the British government, more than 9 million people in the county are always or often affected by isolation and loneliness. Crouch said that a multimillion-dollar fund is going to help her create a framework for the future. She also stated she is going to look into funding cuts that have caused the closures of libraries and day centers.
Facebook to investigate a possible Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit vote
According to The New York Times, Facebook announced it was reopening and broadening an internal investigation under the possibility that Russia used the platform as a way to influence the British to vote in favor of leaving the European Union, which Russia sees as a threat. The reopening of the investigation comes after several reports that the Kremlin had used Facebook and social media platforms to try and influence electors in the US, France and other countries. The possibility of a Russian interference in the already untrusted referendum could further complicate the negotiations of Britain’s departure, known as Brexit.