'He would come in' - Aunt of 13 kids held captive in California house says brother-in-law watched her in shower

The aunt of the group of malnourished siblings who were allegedly held captive in dirty conditions by their parents in Southern California has said she would "beg" her sister to let her Skype the children. 

Aunt Elizabeth Jane Flores told ABC News' Good Morning America that she tried hard to get in touch with her sister, Louise Turpin, but Turpin would always shut her out. 

"I want to reach out to the kids, I want them to know that for years we begged to Skype, we begged to see them, the whole family," she said, "for years".

Ms Flores said through tears that she and Turpin did not have a relationship for two decades apart from an occasional phone call. 

She said she was shocked by her sister's arrest. 

She also told Good Morning America her brother-in-law David Allen Turpin would "come in" and watch her shower when she stayed with the family in Texas prior to their move to Perris.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49. Source: Riverside County Sheriff's Department

"If I went to get in the shower, he would come in while I was in there and watch me – it was like a joke," she said.

"He never touched me or anything… I was young, I was scared. I was in Texas where I knew nobody."

Louise Turpin, 49, along with her husband, 57-year-old David Allen Turpin, are being held on $12.3 million NZD bail each.

Palestinian girl accused of slapping Israeli soldiers denied bail

An Israeli military court denied bail Wednesday to a 16-year-old Palestinian girl, ordering her held until her trial for slapping two Israeli soldiers in a West Bank scuffle that was captured on video and brought her to international attention.

The ruling in the high-profile case of Ahed Tamimi drew condemnation from Israeli rights activists and her father.

"This is a political trial meant to appease public opinion in Israel," said Bassem Tamimi.

Both Ahed and her mother Nariman were arrested December 19, four days after the incident outside their home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Nariman Tamimi was also remanded Wednesday until the end of legal proceedings.

The case has come to embody rival, grievance-filled Palestinian and Israeli narratives at a time of overwhelming mutual distrust and skepticism about the chances of ending the long-running conflict.

Many Palestinians have embraced the teen as a symbol of a new generation standing up to Israeli rule. In Israel, she is seen either as a naive youth manipulated by her elders or a threat to Israel's image and military deterrence.

In the December 15 video, Ahed Tamimi is seen approaching an Israeli captain and a first sergeant, yelling at them to leave.

She starts pushing and kicking the soldiers, who casually fend off the blows.

Then she hits both in the face, according to a 12-count indictment that also lists previous alleged incidents and carries maximum jail time of 14 years.

Her family says Israeli troops had seriously wounded a 15-year-old cousin in clashes in the village earlier that day, and that word of the incident had set her off.

The village, which has lost lands and a spring to a nearby Israeli settlement, has been the scene of regular protests against Israeli military rule.

Ahed Tamimi's next court hearing is set for January 31, the day she turns 17.

On Tuesday, James Heeran, head of the local office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed "deep concern" over her continued pre-trial detention.

Depriving children of liberty should only be used as a last resort, if they pose an imminent threat to themselves or others, he said.


Republican senator says Trump's 'fake news' attacks on press are similar to Stalin

A Republican senator is denouncing President Donald Trump's use of the terms "fake news" and "enemy of the people" to describe the news media and stories he doesn't like.

Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said Trump's attacks were reminiscent of words infamously used by Russian dictator Josef Stalin to describe his enemies.

In a speech on the Senate floor this morning, Flake called Trump's repeated attacks on the media "shameful" and "repulsive" and said Trump "has it precisely backward."

Flake said despotism is the enemy of the people, while a free press is the despot's enemy and a guardian of democracy.

Flake, a frequent Trump critic who is retiring this year, said when Trump calls stories he doesn't like "fake news," he "should be the figure of suspicion, not the press."