Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who began calling for President Trump to be impeached earlier this year, believes we have now reached “the point of no return” where it is inarguably clear that he has committed criminal acts. Ocasio-Cortez discussed the issue with Yahoo News on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as the third day of public hearings was being conducted in the Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry. “We're kind of knee-deep here in impeachment inquiry and so at this point, I think we're beyond the question as to whether Trump has committed a crime or whether he's violated the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Alumni of the Obama administration reacted with disbelief and outrage to a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that incoming Trump administration officials found insulting notes left behind for them in their offices. “We came into the White House, I'll tell you something,” said Grisham during a local radio interview Tuesday morning, as reported by CNN's Abby Phillip. In the nearly three years since the presidential transition, no Trump administration officials have mentioned the notes or produced any photos that would support Grisham's charge.
Speaking on Fox News, Starr agreed with the hosts that things now do not "look good for the president substantively." Sondland's testimony, Starr said, confirmed that there was a quid pro quo between Trump's administration and the Ukrainian government — which would be "bribery," in the jargon of impeachment. Sondland also said that the orders to push Kyiv to open an investigation into Trump's political rivals had come directly from the Oval Office.
A white 16-year-old girl is accused of plotting to attack a mostly black church in a north Georgia city, where police say she planned to kill worshippers because of their race. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church has a predominantly black congregation, Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said in a statement Tuesday. “Our investigation indicated the church was targeted by the juvenile based on the racial demographic of the church members,” he said.
Special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said during questioning that "others didn't see the distinction" between Burisma and investigating former Vice President Biden.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace laced into Republicans for not-so-subtly implying during Tuesday's impeachment hearings that National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman could have dual loyalty. The GOP's line of questioning, the MSNBC host suggested, was inspired by pro-Trump hosts at Fox News. During a break in Tuesday's testimony, Wallace asked MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake about counsel Steve Castor questioning Vindman about a Ukrainian official asking him if he'd be interested in becoming Ukraine's minister of defense.
The United States announced on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coast guard cutter for its growing fleet of ships, boosting Hanoi's ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with China. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper disclosed the decision during an address in Vietnam, which has emerged as the most vocal opponent in Asia of China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In his speech, Esper took aim at China, which he accused of "bullying" neighbours, like Vietnam.
Two gay Saudi journalists who sought asylum in Australia after being threatened at home over their relationship have been held for weeks at an immigration detention centre, their lawyer said Wednesday. The couple arrived in Australia in mid-October on tourist visas but was singled out by airport customs officials -- then taken into detention -- when they admitted plans to seek asylum, lawyer Alison Battisson told AFP. "Australia being very well known for being... a safe place for LGBTI people, they were incredibly surprised and distressed," she said.
The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said. The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.
The FBI recently sought to question the CIA whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Trump's July 25 Ukraine call — a move that came after a vigorous internal debate within the bureau over how to respond to some of the issues raised by the complaint's allegations and whether they needed to be more thoroughly investigated, according to sources familiar with the matter. An FBI agent in the Washington field office in October reached out to one of the lawyers representing the whistleblower and asked to question the CIA analyst who triggered the congressional inquiry into the president's conduct, one of the sources said. It is unclear what the intended scope of the interview would be or whether the whistleblower's lawyers will agree to it.
Key point: Moscow is still working to rebuild capabilities that it lost after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the same time, an additional two boats -- the nuclear-powered Sierra-class attack submarines Pskov and Nizhny Novgorod -- sailed into roughly the same waters for tests and training. The eight vessels in the planned, 60-day Russian exercise are practicing protecting a “bastion” of open ocean in which Russian ballistic-missile submarines can hide.
On Monday, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation commended Chick-fil-A for its decision to halt donations to several Christian charities but demanded the fast-food chain do more to change its “anti-LGBTQ” brand. GLAAD said it “greet[s] today's announcement with cautious optimism” but warned that the Georgia-based company still has work to do to fix its tarnished image with the LGBTQ community. “In addition to refraining from financially supporting anti-LGBTQ organizations, Chick-fil-A still lacks policies to ensure safe workplaces for LGBTQ employees and should unequivocally speak out against the anti-LGBTQ reputation that their brand represents,” GLAAD director of campaigns Drew Anderson said in a statement to CNN.
A prosecutor who came under harsh criticism when her office suddenly dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett and is now the subject of a court-ordered investigation announced Tuesday she is running for reelection. In her news release saying she's seeking the position again, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx addressed the Smollett case and the furor over the handling of it. “Four years ago, I ran for State's Attorney to change criminal justice in Cook County,” said Foxx, who grew up in Chicago's crime-ridden Cabrini Green housing project.
Senior Islamic State members with access to “huge” amounts of money are in Turkey and plotting a comeback, an Iraqi spy chief has warned. Lieutenant General Saad al-Allaq, head of Iraq's Military Intelligence, claimed in an interview with CNN that Iraq has given Ankara dossiers on nine alleged leaders of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), including top financiers for the terror group. The general said senior Isil figures known as "emirs" have access to vast reserves of cash and were forming new cells in Turkey.
Russian investigators said on Thursday they had opened two criminal cases into the management of a company involved in building the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a space center in the country's Far East. The announcement came less than two weeks after President Vladimir Putin complained to government officials about corruption at the facility and called for further investigations. Construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome began in January 2011, part of a plan for Russia to reduce its dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which Russia leases from the former Soviet Republic for space operations.
A French court on Tuesday confirmed the two-year suspended jail terms given to Pablo Picasso's former electrician and his wife, who hoarded 271 of the great painter's works in a garage for four decades. The verdict by the Lyon court is the latest twist in a decade-long legal saga, which took the couple, who claim the works were a gift, all the way to France's top appeals court. Pierre and Danielle Le Guennec were first given two-year suspended terms in 2015 after being convicted of possession of stolen goods over the huge trove of works by Picasso, including nine rare Cubist collages and a work from his famous Blue Period.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said calls to oust Chinese companies from American stock indexes was contrary to the foundations of capitalism, as he warned against the dangers of decoupling the world's two largest economies. Paulson, who's now chairman of the Paulson Institute, told Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in Beijing that moves to reduce ties between the U.S. and China would weaken American leadership and New York's leading role in finance. “When the next crisis comes -- and a crisis will come, because financial crises are inevitable -- we will regret it if we lack mechanisms for the world's first and second-largest economies to coordinate,” Paulson told the forum on Thursday, according to a prepared version of his remarks.
Kurt Volker, the former US envoy to Ukraine, made a substantial change in his testimony during Tuesday's impeachment hearings before Congress. Volker has been accused of working with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents. During his previous closed-door testimony, Volker said there was no mention of the investigations Giuliani was pushing for during a July 10, meeting with Sondland and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday blasted leadership at Syracuse University for its handling of ongoing hate speech and racist harassment on campus, which escalated overnight when a white-supremacist manifesto was allegedly AirDropped to some students' cell phones. The university's Department of Public Safety announced in a campus-wide email early Tuesday morning that it was investigating reports that the hate manifesto, which students told The Daily Beast was the same one used by the Christchurch mosque shooter, was sent to student phones at Bird Library at around 1 a.m. It was also posted in an online discussion forum about Greek life just after 10 p.m., The Daily Orange, the student newspaper, reported. “The hateful activities at Syracuse University are most disturbing, not only to the Syracuse University community, but to the greater community of New York,” Cuomo said in a press release on Tuesday afternoon.
Nearly three-fourths of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans slain in the last three years were killed with a firearm, according to data published this month by the gun violence prevention advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The data sheds grim new light on the role of guns in what's been called an epidemic of violence against transgender Americans, as advocates honor the victims with nationwide vigils Wednesday during the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The data is available for the first time publicly via EveryStat for Gun Safety, the group's database detailing gun deaths in America.
The son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said Wednesday. A 57-year-old German man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Von Weizsaecker died at the scene from a knife wound to the neck despite immediate attention from colleagues, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors.
As historians continue to contemplate the various historic anniversaries around World War I through next year, the question of unexpected wars looms large. The United States and China are inextricably locked in the Pacific Rim's system of international trade. In this article I concentrate less on the operational and tactical details of a US-China war, and more on the strategic objectives of the major combatants before, during, and after the conflict.
More than 15,000 people were expected to flood downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday for what could be the largest Indiana Statehouse rally in more than 20 years. The Red for Ed Action Day, organized by the Indiana State Teachers Association and other labor groups, was expected to include educators from every corner of the state showing up as lawmakers return to kick off the 2020 legislative session. Keith Gambill, ISTA president, said teachers were there to demand bold action from lawmakers.
An ammunition dealer who acknowledged selling hundreds of incendiary tracer rounds to the gunman who killed nearly 60 people at a Las Vegas music festival two years ago pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manufacturing bullets without a license. Douglas Haig, 57, of Mesa, Arizona, became the first and only person arrested and charged in connection with the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre, which ended when the gunman, Stephen Paddock, killed himself. Haig told reporters following his arrest last year that none of the surplus military ammunition he sold to Paddock in September 2017 was ever fired during the killing spree, which ranks as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.