Federal judges appointed by both Republican and Democratic presidents have struck down every Trump campaign allegation of widespread voter fraud.'The right thing' »
With an eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September set to expire at the end of the month, and Congress and the White House still unable to pass a new coronavirus relief bill, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has renewed her push for legislation that would cancel mortgage and rent payments through the duration of the pandemic. In April, Omar originally introduced legislation that would cancel all mortgage and rent payments during the pandemic, a position pushed by activists across the country. The plan includes a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses incurred from missed payments.
The US Department of Justice investigated an attorney for Jared Kushner in connection with an alleged bribery-for-pardon scheme, The New York Times reported. As Business Insider reported, a US judge released documents this week showing that federal investigators were concerned about an alleged "bribery conspiracy scheme" to obtain a presidential pardon. According to The Times' reporting, the suspected scheme involved a billionaire real estate developer, Sanford Diller, who sought to secure clemency for a man named Hugh Baras, who had been convicted of tax evasion.
President-elect Joe Biden said when it comes to the Department of Justice, he is "not going to be telling them what they have to do and don't have to do." Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday, and the discussion turned to reports that President Trump is contemplating preemptively pardoning his adult children, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Biden said this "concerns me in terms of what kind of precedent it sets and how the rest of the world looks [at] us as a nation of laws and justice."
Two years after Adolf Hitler took power in Germany, the Nazis achieved one of their cultural goals: the return of the Guelph Treasure, a collection of medieval Christian relics. Under pressure from Hitler's deputy Hermann Goering, a consortium of Jewish art dealers agreed to sell the collection to the Prussian State Museum. On June 14, 1935, Saemy Rosenberg signed the sale documents in Berlin on behalf of his partners, receiving about one-third of what they had paid for the items in 1929.
Philippine police on Friday threatened to cane people who violate social distancing protocols as the Southeast Asian nation fights the spread of the coronavirus during the festive season. The Philippines celebrates one of the world's longest Christmas seasons, starting as early as September, and crowds have started to flock to sprawling malls and shopping centres despite the pandemic. Police general Cesar Binag, commander of the coronavirus task force, told a news conference that police and soldiers would patrol in public areas in the capital Manila, the hotspot of COVID-19 cases, carrying 1 meter rattan sticks to measure distancing.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's chief infectious disease expert, says there was never a question that he would accept President-elect Joe Biden's offer to serve as his chief medical officer and adviser on the coronavirus pandemic. Fauci told NBC's “Today” show on Friday, “I said yes right on the spot” after Biden asked him to serve during a conversation on Thursday. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has served several presidents, Republican and Democratic.
Authorities in Bangladesh have begun relocating thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote island despite concerns about safety and consent. About 1,600 refugees were being transported on Friday towards Bhasan Char, a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal, Reuters reported. Bangladesh says all those being moved have given consent.
A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and former lawmaker who is visiting Denmark said Thursday he is going into exile and will soon move to Britain. “I hereby announce that I will go into exile and will withdraw my membership in the Democratic Party of Hong Kong to leave Hong Kong,” Ted Hui said in a statement to The Associated Press. It was not clear when he would travel to Britain which, in response to a crackdown on opposition in Hong Kong, has extended residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, allowing them to live and work there for five years.
A game of "cat-and-mouse" between the European Union and Turkey needs to come to an end, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday, in reference to a dispute over natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean. "The game of cat and mouse must end," Michel told a news conference, as Turkey again withdrew an exploration vessel from disputed waters ahead of an EU summit on Dec. 10 that is set to discuss possible sanctions on Turkey. "In October, we defined a positive agenda, we reached out our hand," said Michel, who chairs EU summits.
A White House liaison has reportedly gotten herself banned from the Justice Department building. Heidi Stirrup, President Trump's "eyes and ears" at the Justice Department, was "banned from the building" after top DOJ officials found out she was allegedly attempting to "pressure staffers to give up sensitive information about election fraud and other matters" that she could then provide to the White House, The Associated Press reported on Thursday. Officials discovered that Stirrup was trying to get insider information on cases, approaching staffers and "demanding" they provide it, and she was told to leave the building within the last two weeks, according to the report.
Georgia Democrat Raphael Warnock is leading Senator Kelly Loeffler in their run-off special election, according to a new poll. And the other Senate run-off in the state also sees Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly ahead of GOP Senator David Perdue. The crucial showdowns will be held in January and will decide control of the upper chamber.
A Supreme Court judge in Australia's Victoria state on Friday dismissed submissions from news media organizations and journalists that there is no case to answer on charges they breached a gag order on reporting about Cardinal George Pell's sex abuse convictions in 2018. More charges were tossed out in the case against Australian media outlets prosecuted over reporting of Pell's abuse convictions. But the judge refused to throw out the bulk of the 87 charges of contempt of court for stories published after the cardinal's guilty verdict.
Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci apologized on Thursday for casting doubt on the rigor of the British regulators who approved the Pfizer Inc vaccine against COVID-19, saying he had faith in the quality of their work. Britain announced the approval of the vaccine on Wednesday, with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) saying it had rigorously assessed the vaccine data and had cut no corners. It gave the UK the jump in the race to begin mass inoculation against a virus that has killed nearly 1.5 million people globally and hammered the world economy.
As a pair of critical Senate runoff races approach on Jan. 5, Georgia Republican leaders find themselves in a conundrum, trying to balance indulging President Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud with supporting state GOP election officials. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, is frustrated with the misinformation about the election process in his state. I'm actually embarrassed at the amount of misinformation that continues to show up on Twitter feeds and Facebook posts and blogs that takes literally 10 seconds to debunk,” Duncan told Yahoo News.
What in the world does Donald Trump think he's doing? The deranged 46-minute Facebook video in which the recently defeated president of the United States rants and raves like Alex Jones, spinning vast conspiracies about how the election was stolen from him and his supporters, is a good example. It's President-elect Joe Biden picking people to staff his administration, office holders of both parties discussing prospects for confirming specific nominees, and Biden's team talking about priorities for the opening days and weeks of his presidency.
Former Cutler Bay mayor Peggy Bell and former state senator Dwight Bullard threw their names into the contest for a vacant Miami-Dade commission seat on Thursday, joining the announced five candidates for an appointment battle to replace Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on the county commission. Bell and Bullard represented two of the three surprises revealed shortly after the commission's noon deadline passed for applications for the vacant District 8 seat that Levine Cava had held since 2014. The third surprise came from a missing name: Charles Press, the Key Biscayne police chief who said this week he planned to compete for the appointment.
A Chinese spacecraft lifted off from the moon Thursday night with a load of lunar rocks, the first stage of its return to Earth, the government space agency reported. Chang'e 5, the third Chinese spacecraft to land on the moon and the first to take off from it again, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for Beijing's space program, which also has a orbiter and rover headed to Mars. Its mission: collect about 2 kilograms (4 pounds) of lunar rocks and bring them back to Earth, the first return of samples since Soviet spacecraft did so in the 1970s.
Two coronavirus vaccine candidates developed by China's Clover Biopharmaceuticals triggered strong immune responses in an early-stage human trial and appeared to be safe, the company said on Friday. The vaccine candidates, one containing an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline and the other from Dynavax, induced strong immune responses including neutralizing antibodies and cell-mediated immunity in a Phase 1 clinical trial, Clover said. Adjuvants are ingredients that can boost immune responses.
President-elect Joe Biden is hopeful Donald Trump will attend his inauguration next month in order to demonstrate a peaceful transfer of power, while adding that his predecessor's presence would be of “no personal consequence” for him. Talking to CNN's Jake Tapper alongside vice president-elect Kamala Harris in their first joint interview since the election on Thursday, Mr Biden was asked whether he wanted Mr Trump to attend the 20 January event. Mr Biden said the outgoing president's presence would be “important in only one sense”.
Vietnam has agreed to allow some South Korean business people to travel between the two countries without having to complete mandatory 14-day anti-coronavirus quarantine, Seoul said on Friday. The agreement will go into effect on Jan. 1 and will allow visitors on short-term business trips to avoid the quarantines, South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ministry said South Korea already exempts similar short-term business visitors from all countries from having to complete the quarantine.
The Israeli government on Thursday urged its citizens to avoid travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, citing threats of Iranian attacks. Iran has been threatening to attack Israeli targets since its chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated last Friday near Tehran. It accuses Israel, which has been suspected in previous killings of Iranian nuclear scientists, of being behind the shooting.
Record-high Covid infections and hospitalisations have been reported in the US, with fears they will not slow in the run-up to Christmas. The number of people in hospital passed 100,000 for the first time, a figure that has doubled since November. New cases rose by a record 195,695 on Wednesday, and the daily death toll of 2,733 was close to a new high.
In a lengthy video posted to his Facebook page, President Trump offered more baseless allegations of voter fraud. Trump said his remarks, which ran some 46 minutes, “may be the most important speech I've ever made.
Pfizer's CEO said it's not clear if the company's coronavirus vaccine will no longer be able to spread the virus to other people. Independent researchers have already made it clear that the trials used to test the vaccine did not examine its effects on transmission. The US could approve Pfizer's vaccine on December 10.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”