As the nation prepares for the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday amid a "dire" election year, the Atlanta center named for him will offer nonviolence training, voter registration and visits from politicians, entertainers and sports figures, King's daughter said Thursday.
The impeachment of President Donald Trump and a tumultuous climate in the United States make this year's commemorative event all the more crucial, Bernice King told reporters.
"This is an election year. For many people this is a dire election year," she said. "And I say that on both sides of the equation. Both sides of the aisle."
"We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now," she added, echoing a phrase her father employed in landmark 1967 sermon. Voter registration will take place at the series of events, as well as a demonstration of the workings of new voting machines, in hopes of encouraging voting and reducing wait times at voting sites.
The activities will be held at and around The King Center, from Jan. 10-20, in the neighborhood where the civil rights champion lived. Events include a two-day nonviolence workshop to educate and train others in the protest method that King employed, and a K-12 event focused on celebrating the differences in people.
The Atlanta events also include a "day of service" at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Jan. 18 in honor of King, who was pastor of the church until he was assassinated in 1968.
Politicians, entertainers and sports figures are expected to attend various events, Bernice King said. Visitors to The King Center will also be able to take part in a new "digital footsteps journey," she said. It's an interactive display where visitors walk on a path connected to software that reveals the energy they generated with each step, and shows the various devices that energy could power.
Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Friday lifted a ban imposed on drones within the island country, local media reports said.
The CAA in a statement said drones can now be operated in conformity of civil aviation regulations.
The CAA suspended the operation of all pilotless aircraft including drones last May, soon after the Easter Sunday terror attacks in April which killed over 250 people.
The CAA had said the ban had been imposed considering the volatile situation in the country after the blasts.
At least 14 people were killed by gunmen who invaded a village in Nigeria's northern state of Zamfara, a police spokesman said on Friday.
An unknown number of people were also wounded in the attack on Babban Rafi village in Gummi local government area of the state, said Mohammed Shehu, the spokesman for Zamfara state police.
The gunmen, whose motive was unknown, were suspected to have invaded the locality through neighboring Kebbi state, in northwest Nigeria, Shehu told Xinhua.
Local sources said the gunmen rode on more than 40 motorcycles, shooting everyone at sight. Livestock and some valuable items belonging to the villagers were also taken away by them.
Governor Jay Inslee of the U.S. state of Washington on Thursday complained that a state court ruling will negatively affect his government's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Inslee was responding to a ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court that voted 5-4 earlier in the day to reinstate a severely limited version of his plan to cap carbon pollution in the state.
The court partially invalidated the state's Department of Ecology's 2016 Clean Air Rule, saying that clean air standards cannot apply to "indirect emitters" that do not make their own emissions, such as fuel distributors and natural-gas companies.
The Department of Ecology only has the authority to regulate "actual emitters" who burn the fuel, the court said.
Inslee argued that the ruling would significantly affect the state's ability to cut emissions.
"This underscores the need for legislative action this year to combat climate change. I am optimistic we will see such legislation make it to my desk this session," he said in a statement.
"Our state will not give up on its commitment to the preservation of our environment, nor our message to the politicians in the other Washington: Action on climate change cannot wait," he said.
Washington has vowed to cut emissions by 20 million metric tons by 2035, but Inslee said Tuesday that the state is still 30 percent short of its 2035 statutory requirement of having emissions drop 25 percent below 1990 levels.
He urged the lawmakers to approve the Clean Fuel Standard to cut the emissions, nearly half of which come from transportation.
A recent survey by the Department of Ecology showed transportation emissions accounted for 45 percent of the state's total, with aviation fuels representing about 9.5 percent.
The commander of forces fighting the U.N.-supported government in war-torn Libya held meetings in Athens Friday in a bid to counter Turkey's support for his opponents.
Libyan Gen. Khalifa Hifter met with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. He will meet later with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis as well as with other senior Greek officials.
The surprise visit by Hifter takes place ahead of a weekend summit in Berlin aimed at halting the conflict in oil-rich Libya that is being fueled by competing international support for the warring sides.
Turkey, which has promised to send troops to back Libya's government against Hifter's offensive, is at odds with Greece over oil-and-gas drilling rights in the East Mediterranean.
In November, Turkey and Libya signed a controversial maritime boundary deal in the East Mediterranean in opposition to earlier agreements that include Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel.
Speaking after the meeting, Dendias said the Greek government had encouraged Hifter to work to achieve a cease-fire and restore security in Libya "by removing the mercenaries and by recognition of the non-validity of the illegal agreements between Turkey and the (Libyan) government."
He added: "l must tell you with great pleasure that the commander agreed to all of those remarks."
Dendias said Greece was willing to help police a European ban on arms shipments to Libya.
Late Thursday, Prime Minister Mitsotakis, who was not invited to the summit in Berlin, warned that Greece will use its veto powers as a European Union member to try to block a Libya agreement unless Turkey's maritime deal is canceled.
It was not immediately clear exactly what Greece could block, as the summit in Berlin is not being held by the EU and a Libyan deal does not need EU approval. A Greek official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the veto would be applied to "any decision concerning Libya on a European level if it doesn't include the annulment" of the maritime deal.
"Greece sought to participate in the Berlin meeting on Libya. The Greek government considers that Turkey's participation could hardly be productive, given that Turkey is part of the military conflict, as it is deploying troops to Libya," said George Pagoulatos, head of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.
Police maintained a heavy security presence outside the hotel next to parliament in central Athens where Hifter is staying.