If you want to understand how impeachment is being seen by actual Americans, there may be no better place to go than Grand Rapids, Mich. In part that's because the area around Grand Rapids, comprising Michigan's Third Congressional District, is one of only about two dozen districts in the nation to vote for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. In part it's because the Third Congressional District, with its urban core, suburban sprawl and outlying rural farmland, neatly encapsulates the broader political geography of the state Trump won by the slimmest margin in 2016: just 10,704 votes.
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Pennsylvania's prison agency agreed to improve death row conditions under a settlement announced Monday of a federal lawsuit that called the inmates' living standards degrading and inhumane. Lawyers for the inmates who sued said the agreement provides people on death row with at least 42½ hours a week out of their cell, daily access to phones and contact visits with their families, lawyers and religious advisers. “They now eat their meals on the unit with others from their housing units, and they are able to exercise with other inmates,” said Corrections Department spokeswoman Sue McNaughton.
As he eyes a potential bid for president, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized over the weekend for "stop-and-frisk," sparking a backlash from the current mayor, Bill de Blasio, who says the apology comes at a politically convenient time. Bloomberg made his apology on Sunday while speaking at a black church. "I can't change history, however, today I want you to know that I realize back then I was wrong, and I'm sorry," Bloomberg said of the controversial policy, which critics say has been shown to affect people of color at disproportionately high rates.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said on Monday the Houthis had seized a vessel towing a South Korean drilling rig at the southern end of the Red Sea. The vessel was seized late on Sunday by armed Houthis, Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a statement carried by Saudi state media. South Korea said two of its vessels were captured, a tug boat and a sand dredger, each of which had one South Korean national was on board.
Ukraine's former president Petro Poroshenko has been designated a witness in a criminal investigation related to the nomination of judges, the state investigation bureau said on Monday. Poroshenko has been embroiled in a number of investigations since leaving office in May. "His status is that of a witness," a spokeswoman for the state investigation bureau, which handles high-profile cases, told AFP.
China is developing not one but two new stealth bombers, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency claimed in a January 2019 report. While the People's Liberation Army has not been shy about discussing the H-20 strategic bomber that the Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation is developing for the PLA Air Force, there are many fewer public references to the other stealth bomber, which apparently carries the designation JH-XX. If the report is accurate and China completes development of the JH-XX, the Chinese air force could become the first air arm in the world to deploy a radar-evading fighter-bomber whose main mission is long-range ground-attack.
An eyewitness account by a Holocaust survivor—unearthed for a new exhibition in London—describes the conditions in the “gypsy” section of Auschwitz as even more inhumane than the rest of the appalling facility. “The conditions were worse than in the other camps,” wrote eyewitness Hermann Langbein in 1945. The gypsies were still wearing the clothes that they had been given upon arrival… footwear was missing… The latrines were built in such a way that they were practically unusable for the gypsy children.
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dared President Trump to testify in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, on Monday Trump floated the idea on Twitter that he might. Trump also submitted written responses in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who later testified that the president's sworn testimony was “generally” untruthful. In an interview that aired on CBS's “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Pelosi said that if Trump “has information that is exculpatory, that means, 'ex,' taking away, 'culpable,' blame, then we look forward to seeing it.” The House speaker made a similar offer on Thursday.
Dozens of Hong Kong protesters escaped a two-day police siege at a campus late Monday by shimmying down ropes from a bridge to awaiting motorbikes in a dramatic and perilous breakout that followed a renewed warning by Beijing of a possible intervention to end the crisis engulfing the city. Clashes rumbled throughout the day between protesters and police who had threatened to use deadly force to dislodge activists holed-up in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The university siege has become a battle of wills between Hong Kong's stretched police force and the constantly-innovating protest movement.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of South Carolina voters found South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg still at zero percent among black voters, despite the campaign's release of its comprehensive “Douglass Plan,” which details policies designed to address racial inequality. The poll showed former vice president Joe Biden in the lead with 44 percent of the African American vote — which accounts for two thirds of the primary vote — and 33 percent overall, followed by progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg rounded out the top four with six percent overall, and tied for third with 11 percent of white primary voters, but zero percent among black voters.
A 15-year-old girl and a truck driver died Monday when a road bridge collapsed in rural southwest France, dumping several vehicles into a river and prompting nationwide questions about bridge safety. Bystanders were able to rescue the girl's mother after her car fell into the Tarn River near the village of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, regional prosecutor Dominique Alzeari told reporters. Several hours later, Mirepoix-sur-Tarn Mayor Eric Oget said on BFM television that a truck driver whose vehicle fell into the river was also found dead, and rescuers were working to extract his body.
Syracuse University suspended one fraternity and halted social activities at all the school's fraternities for the rest of the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted days of protests, the school president announced Sunday. "Last night, one of our African American students reported being subjected to a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. Syverud's action was the latest in a series of crackdowns on fraternities across the nation and comes less than a week after San Diego State University suspended all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations following the death of a freshman who had attended a fraternity event.
Mexico, Uruguay and representatives of the Caribbean Community on Monday rejected the use of force and human rights violations in Venezuela, urging a peaceful and democratic solution to solve the crisis in the troubled South American nation. The group issued the statement after Venezuela's opposition staged nationwide protests against Nicolas Maduro on Saturday and called for a new wave of demonstrations to revive stalled efforts to topple the deeply unpopular ruling Socialist Party. "We call on all actors to take the path of a broad, credible and inclusive dialogue for that purpose," the group said.
ByteDance, the company which owns short-form video app TikTok, has come under some fire in the US because it is headquartered in China. The US is increasingly worried about Chinese tech firms passing on information about American citizens back to the Chinese government, and has blacklisted Chinese mobile firm Huawei earlier in 2019. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the company is trying to come up with ways to distance itself from these its Chinese roots.
Washington, D.C.) Armed Army robot vehicles conducted reconnaissance, called for indirect fire and then, when directed by human decision-makers, attacked and destroyed enemy targets in a recent experiment designed to assess the technical maturity and readiness of autonomous ground drones. We had four robot vehicles conduct a tactical mission while humans were safe in defilade. We built four robots that are refurbished M113 tracked vehicles and we've taken two Bradleys -- gutted them -- and turned them into two control vehicles with all kinds of sensors on them,” Jeff Langhout, Director, Ground Vehicle Systems Center, told reporters in October at the Association of the United States Army Annu...
An elephant named after Osama bin Laden, the late al-Qaida leader, has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday.
Rudy Giuliani's unflinching love for President Trump didn't come out of nowhere. Sure, Trump and his lawyer have a lot of shared history thanks to their reputations as some of most well-known and New Yorkiest New Yorkers of all time. The 31-year-old Andrew Giuliani has a White House job as an associate director in the Office of Public Liaison, with current and former White House officials telling The Atlantic he coordinates events with athletes.
Child abuse victims should be given new rights to sue paedophiles caught viewing or sharing indecent images of them, children charities have said. The Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the initiative arguing it would act as a deterrent for offenders, who now know they are unlikely to go do jail, as it could mean potentially losing their homes and pensions if caught with abuse material. The CCCIS, which represents charities such as the NSPCC and Barnardo's, said those convicted of indecent images should also face a new automatic surcharge to fund the treatment and therapy costs of victims of abuse.
Head of Iraqi military intelligence Lt. Gen. Saad al-Allaq said in a Monday interview with CNN that ISIS is regrouping and planning new attacks as well as prison breaks. According to al-Allaq, top ISIS leaders have fled north from Syria into Turkey, where they are currently trying to reestablish the organization. “Some of its important leadership fled north, I mean in the direction of neighboring countries and into border areas like Gazientep [in southern Turkey],” said al-Allaq.
Mexico's president on Monday defended a plan to provide pensions to indigenous people starting at age 65, compared with 68 for other Mexicans. Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was elected last year after campaigning to help marginalized people, said those who question the idea should visit poor indigenous communities to see how residents live. “It is painful that a senior in the city, age 65, is better preserved than an indigenous person of 65 because they work, they eat poorly, they have to walk for kilometers and they suffer greatly,” López Obrador said.
Australia-based airline Qantas is celebrating its 100th year with a sale: $100 flights to the land down under from four major U.S. airports. The one-way economy fares cost $100 each way (the price includes taxes and fees) and must be purchased as part of a round-trip itinerary from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth or Chicago. So if travelers play their cards right and snag one of the limited sale seats, they could get a $200 round-trip ticket.
The United States said on Monday it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran's Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. "The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world's largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters. The U.N. atomic watchdog and Iran itself said this month Tehran is again enriching uranium at the sensitive site, which Iran hid from U.N. non-proliferation inspectors until its exposure in 2009.
Christine Blasey Ford, who accused supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, made a rare public appearance on Sunday night. When I came forward last September,” she said, accepting an award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in Beverly Hills, “I did not feel courageous. I was simply doing my duty as a citizen.