In what could prove a highly consequential ruling, a federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to start turning over documents regarding potentially improper White House influence on diplomacy in Ukraine. The decision, part of a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act, represents the first judicial order mandating that the Trump administration comply with a request for communications between diplomats, White House officials and outside power brokers like Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was included in the original request, as were a number of his top deputies, indicating a widespread belief among Trump's detractors that American foreign policy has been hijacked by political operatives — and political considerations.
An immigration agent threatened a Honduran woman living in Connecticut with deportation if she didn't have sex with him, then raped her as often as four times a week for seven years, impregnating her three times, the woman says in a federal lawsuit. The woman, identified in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe, sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and former ICE agent Wilfredo Rodriguez on Saturday. An ICE spokesman said he couldn't comment on litigation but confirmed Rodriguez no longer works for the agency.
Mexico's government isn't being truthful about the botched attempt to capture the son of the world's most notorious drug trafficker, according to a former head of international operations for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador hasn't revealed that while trying to bring Ovidio Guzman Lopez into custody, security forces had caught another son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mike Vigil, the former DEA official, said in an interview. Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar had also been detained and let go when gunmen overpowered police, Vigil said, citing unverified intelligence he received from top Mexico police sources.
Last Oct. 27, millions across America and around the world gasped in horror at the news that a shooting during Shabbat services at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue had killed 11 Jews — the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in our nation's history. As we prepare to mark the first anniversary of that attack this weekend, my organization, the American Jewish Committee, is releasing the results of what we believe to be the largest and most comprehensive survey of American Jews ever conducted on the subject of anti-Semitism. Indeed, while two comprehensive surveys of European Jews on anti-Semitism have been conducted in the past decade alone, our research shows no such studies of American Jews have been done for at least half a century.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump's “lynching” comments on Twitter.
An Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit. Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country's Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault. In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women's rights.
Two members of a US far-right group were each sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for brawling with anti-fascist demonstrators in New York, prosecutors said. The sentencing comes as tensions between white supremacists and leftists simmer in the United States. Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, members of the Proud Boys group, were found guilty in August by a state court of several counts of attempted assault and rioting.
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States had betrayed and abandoned the Syrian Kurds and advised the Kurds to withdraw from the Syrian border as per a deal between Moscow and Ankara or be mauled by the Turkish army. The comments by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to Russian news agencies followed a deal agreed on Tuesday between Russia and Turkey that will see Syrian and Russian forces deploy to northeast Syria to remove Kurdish YPG fighters and their weapons from the border with Turkey.
Hillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile since her embarrassing 2016 election defeat, popping up only occasionally to make out-of-touch elitist comments that confirm why she lost. Clinton accused the Hawaii congresswoman of being groomed by outside forces, saying: “I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate … She's the favorite of the Russians.” There is some dispute about whether Clinton meant it was the Russians or Republicans who were pushing a third-party Gabbard candidacy, but a Clinton spokesman asked about the comments replied “if the nesting doll fits”, clearly implying it was dastardly Russians. Related: It was gutsy of Hillary Clinton to stand by Bill.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and retired US Army Gen. Jack Keane reportedly tried convincing President Donald Trump to walk back his decision to completely withdraw US forces in Syria. The duo attempted to persuade him to keep a contingency force in the country to help defend oil fields from Iranian interests, NBC News reported. Graham has been outspoken in keeping US troops in Syria, claiming the abrupt withdrawal would abandon Kurdish allies and lead to a resurgence of ISIS.
Hundreds of pro-democracy protesters have formed a human chain at the British Consulate in Hong Kong to rally support for their cause from the city's former colonial ruler. The event was organized in support of a debate on Thursday in Britain's Parliament on whether to offer British citizenship to Hong Kongers in light of the unrest that has gripped the city since early June. People born in Hong Kong before July 1997, when China took back control of the city, were eligible for British National Overseas passports, which don't provide British citizenship.
The IDF's missile defense shield is composed of four layers: the iconic Iron Dome system for intercepting short-range rockets, David's Sling for medium-range rockets, Arrow-2 against intermediate-range ballistic missiles, and Arrow-3 against ICBM's and potentially satellites. Widely seen as a class-leading missile defense system when it was introduced in 2011, Iron Dome has since come under criticism by several revisionist defense commentators. MIT Professor Ted Postol authored a series of influential if not controversial articles arguing that Iron Dome's true interception rate -- that is, its ability to strike and destroy a rocket's warhead rather than its fuselage-- was under 50%.
Seattle's public-school district has proposed a new math curriculum that would teach its students all about how math has been “appropriated” — and how it “continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities. A draft of the curriculum, which was covered in an article in Education Week, would teach students how to “explain how math and technology and/or science are connected and how technology and/or science have (sic) been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,” as well as to “identify and teach others about mathematicians* of color in their various communities: schools, neighborhoods, places of worship, businesses, etc.” Educat...
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said efforts to revive the Indo-Pacific security grouping known as the Quad will help the Washington contain China's rise. “We've reconvened 'the Quad' -- the security talks between Japan, Australia, India and the United States that had been dormant for nine years,” Pompeo said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation research group on Tuesday.
The new fourth-generation Fit hatchback is here, but its prospects for the U.S. are not looking good. From Car and Driver
Zoroastrianism. Years of violence by the Islamic State jihadist group have left many disillusioned with Islam, while a much longer history of state oppression has pushed some in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to see the millennia-old religion as a way of reasserting their identity. "After Kurds witnessed the brutality of IS, many started to rethink their faith," said Asrawan Qadrok, the faith's top priest in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December promising to reduce public spending to free up more resources for the poor. But his austerity drive has left media outlets reeling, and raised questions about whether Lopez Obrador is trying to influence coverage. Between January and August, Lopez Obrador's government spent 88 million pesos ($4.6 million) on advertising, just 3.6% of the sum spent in the same months of 2018 by his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto, Public Administration Ministry (SFP) data show.
The Virginia city of Norfolk has the right to move its "Johnny Reb" Confederate statue from a busy downtown intersection to a local cemetery, the state attorney general and a local prosecutor have determined. Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Gregory Underwood filed court papers late Tuesday saying his office and the office of Attorney General Mark Herring have determined the statue, dedicated in 1907, is technically exempt from a state law banning the removal of monuments to war veterans. Underwood says the city would only be governed by the law if the statue were built after 1997.
President Donald Trump has claimed the US had saved the lives of “thousands” in Syria and took credit for the ceasefire, in a barnstorming speech declaring the end of American involvement in the war. “This is an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else,” he said, addressing reporters at the White House a day after Turkey and Russia brokered a deal for Kurdish-held north-east Syria without the US president. Mr Trump green-lit a Turkish-led offensive along the Syrian border two weeks ago, effectively abandoning Kurdish partners who had helped to defeat Islamic State.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who's still trying to settle a nearly week-old teacher's strike, proposed a combination of debt refinancing, tax and fee hikes and assistance from the state Legislature on Wednesday to close a massive $838 million budget deficit.
With pressure from the public and courts growing for Brazil's government to do more, Vice President Hamilton Mourão said Monday that 5,000 more troops will be dispatched to help clean up oil polluting the nation's northeastern coast. Mourão told reporters about 600 tons of crude had been recovered since the sludge began appearing at the start of September. "The most we can do today is have trained people to collect this oil that is reaching our beaches," Mourão said, adding that investigations into the source of the contamination continued.
A new study reveals that marine species weren't spared: Acid rain and fallout from the impact acidified the world's oceans in a "flash." That caused marine ecosystems to collapse. Within a minute of hitting the Earth, the Chicxulub asteroid had bored a hole nearly 100 miles wide into the sea floor, creating a bubbling pit of molten rock and super-hot gas. The contents of that fiery cauldron skyrocketed, creating a mountain-high plume that poured acid rain into the oceans.
It is a description of the conditions under which perhaps as many as a million Uighur Muslims live in China in 2019. China, in case you had forgotten, is the United States' largest trading partner, the country whose achievements in everything from infrastructure to STEM education we are supposed to be fawning over, the country our president is an idiot for wanting to tangle with, and prominent sports figures are officially not allowed to criticize. In the last six or so years they have created hell on Earth for the country's largest Turkic ethnic minority group in the ostensibly autonomous Xinjiang region.
A squadron of U.S. Marine Corps F-35B stealth fighters will embark on the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2021 when the vessel sails on her first operational deployment. Aboard the new, 65,000-ton-displacement flattop, the American F-35s will join F-35s flown by Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots. The mixing of American and British jets in a deployed carrier air wing is “unprecedented,” Royal Navy vice admiral Jerry Kyd told Break Defense reporter Paul McCleary.
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has ruled against Canadian transgender activist Jessica Yaniv in a case stemming from a complaint Yaniv filed against multiple female beauticians who refused to wax Yaniv's male genitalia. “Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” said Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented the beauticians. The Tribunal said in its decision that Yaniv had had filed the “complaints for improper purposes,” and had contradicted herself in “disingenuous” testimony.