With preparations for the Senate impeachment trial underway, there are still several days before next week's opening arguments, leaving a vacuum Republicans and Democrats will fill with debate over whether witnesses will be allowed to testify. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been laying the groundwork for weeks to argue against witnesses in the Senate trial. McConnell's case against witnesses is built on a key premise that he has worked hard to establish: the idea that the House is a less serious, more partisan body whose members are more prone to take a short-term view.
Key point: America should be worried. A cybersecurity firm reports that Chinese hackers have stolen technical data for the Iron Dome rocket-defense system from Israeli computers. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services detected the cyber burglary, according to cybersecurity writer Brian Krebs.
Newly revealed surveillance video circulating on social media appears to show two missiles slamming into a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed, killing all 176 people aboard minutes after takeoff from Tehran a week ago. Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told USA TODAY it's possible the plane would have survived the first hit. "It's conceivable that if they hadn't fired the second shot, the outcome might have been different," Goelz said.
New York Daily News/Jefferson Siegal via Getty Images Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, has asked to be moved from a private jail to home confinement for the remainder of his 2-year prison sentence, according to a court filing reviewed by Insider. Hernandez was sentenced to 24 months in prison in December after pleading guilty to several crimes related to his involvement with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods gang. His lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, said in court papers that Hernandez is currently being housed with "various members of the Bloods" in a private jail.
The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.
Hajizadeh said that Iran denied the shoot-down "for the betterment of our country's security, because if we had said this, our air defense system would have become crippled and our guys would have had doubted everything." Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP He appears to have meant that Iranian missile defense would have been compromised by a lack of confidence in itself after making such a catastrophic error, rather than any technical fault to stop their equipment working. Hajizadeh is part of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, a powerful paramilitary force which answers directly to the country's supreme leader and is considered more hardline than its elected government.
Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet senior conservative lawmakers on Thursday to resolve a dispute in her own party over whether to bar China's Huawei [HWT.UL] from the country's 5G network rollout, party sources said. Merkel's conservatives are divided on whether to support a proposal by their Social Democrat junior coalition partners that, if approved, would effectively shut out the Chinese technology giant from the network. Handelsblatt business daily was first to report on Wednesday the planned meeting between Merkel and senior conservative lawmakers.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife shared the clip of an eight-point buck shedding its antlers in the middle of the night, captured by a resident of Northfield, Vermont. The wildlife agency posted the footage on Facebook, calling it “spectacular and unique.” It's been viewed more than 277,000 times and shared by over 3,000 users. The animal is called an eight-point buck for its eight antlers, according to the Noble Research Institute, an agriculture research organization.
An Iranian general defended his government's decision to lie for days about whether it shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing all 176 people onboard.
Two things happened simultaneously on Wednesday: (a) The House of Representatives transmitted to the Senate two articles of impeachment approved on straight partisan lines a month ago, and (b) the House's impeachment inquiry — yes, it's still very much alive — highlighted new, relevant evidence it has turned up about the activities in Ukraine of President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Giuliani's associates. The Democrats' strategy is coming clear. The House provided the Senate with two half-baked impeachment articles.
For all the righteous uproar it produced and the consequences still unfolding, in a way the killing of Iranian Major General Qassim Suleimani this month was business as usual. A longtime foe of America, Suleimani was killed by a Hellfire missile from a Reaper drone, like countless Al Qaeda terrorists, Taliban leaders, and other militants. Traveling to Iraq from Syria, Suleimani probably didn't even require the full exertions of America's vast intelligence and special operations manhunting machine.
A woman awaiting trial for allegedly killing a former Arkansas state senator was hit with new charges Tuesday after she promised fellow inmates she would give them “gold and silver” to murder the victim's ex-husband and his new wife, prosecutors said. Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, who pleaded not guilty to several charges in the June murder of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, was slapped with two counts of soliciting to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in connection with the elaborate plot she allegedly tried to orchestrate from prison. The former campaign staffer for Collins-Smith has been behind bars since June 14—10 days after the 57-year-old Republican was found fatally stabbed and wrapped in a blanket under a tarp at the end of her Pocahontas, Arkansas, driveway.
An erupting Philippine volcano remains life threatening despite weaker emissions and fewer tremors, an official said Friday and advised thousands of displaced villagers not to return to the danger zone. The Taal volcano emitted weaker ash and steam explosions Thursday and Friday, the sixth day of its eruption. But despite the seeming lull, continuing volcanic quakes, the drying of the crater lake and other signs indicate magma is moving beneath, said Maria Antonia Bornas, an official with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.
The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia's Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea. The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.
A Republican senator lashed out at a journalist who asked about Donald Trump's impeachment as she was walking into a hearing room, calling the reporter a “liberal hack” and refusing to answer his questions. Arizona Republican Martha McSally slammed CNN's Manu Raju on Thursday as he asked a seemingly straightforward question about the start of the US Senate's impeachment trial. “Senator McSally, should the Senate consider new evidence as a part of the impeachment trial?” Mr Raju asked the senator as she walked past him, flanked by her staff.
Few people on the streets of Moscow on Thursday had heard of Mikhail Mishustin, the former Federal Tax Service chief plucked from relative obscurity by President Vladimir Putin this week to serve as new prime minister. "Our authorities aren't completely stupid, they understand some changes are needed," said theater actor Artyom Dadyvov, 22. Dmitry Medvedev, the outgoing prime minister, has presided over the economy since 2012, a turbulent period that saw real wages start to fall after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014 and living standards eroded as prices rose.
Eoin Carrigan wrote on Twitter that his flight out of Chicago got cancelled and he was put up at the Comfort Inn O'Hare's "boardroom suite." He was surprised to find that it was an actual boardroom with a bed off to the side. He shared a photo on Twitter, where it went viral and prompted other travelers to share their hotel misadventures.
YouTube Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is raising concerns about the spread of facial recognition, arguing that the technology will quickly become dystopic without regulation. The New York Democrat even likened some of the abuses of facial recognition to something fit for an episode of "Black Mirror," the science-fiction TV show that explores the dangerous side of our fascination with technology. "This is some real life Black Mirror stuff that we're seeing here," Ocasio-Cortez said during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on facial recognition technology.
Rudy Giuliani is President Trump's personal Batman. On Thursday, Trump had nothing but high praise for Giuliani, his personal lawyer. He told reporters in the Oval Office that Giuliani is "one of the great crime fighters in the history of our country" and "having him on my side is a great honor for me."
Capt. Juha “Stallion” Jarvinen's landing was the first landing on an aircraft carrier by a Finnish air force pilot in history, according to the U.S. Navy. Jarvinen was flying a U.S. Marine F/A-18C Hornet with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 as part of a pilot exchange program — also a first between the U.S. Marines and the Finnish air force. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers — with two exceptions, the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — have four arresting wires, or cables.
A man is in custody while Florida authorities continue their investigation after finding four bodies inside a Celebration, Fla. home on Jan. 13. During a Wednesday press conference, Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said deputies with his office, along with federal agents from the Department of Health and Human Services, were on Monday serving an arrest warrant for Anthony Todt, 44, who lived at the home with his wife and three children. When authorities went to the home to arrest him, they found his wife Megan Todt, 42, his sons Alek, 13, and Tyler, 11, and daughter Zoe, 4 all deceased.
California is considering raising taxes on some of the country's largest companies, but the size of the tax increase would depend on how much its highest-paid executive makes compared to its employees. The bill by Democratic state Sen. Nancy Skinner passed out of its first committee hearing on Wednesday, keeping it alive a head of a Jan. 31 deadline to pass the Senate. The proposal would only apply to companies that post at least $10 million of taxable income from business conducted in California.
Bernie Sanders, a top competitor in the Democratic primaries, has attacked Joe Biden for bringing “just a lot of baggage” into the race. Go back over 40 years, to the start of Iran's long conflict with the United States. On April 1, 1979, the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran was proclaimed.