The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have risen for nine of the past 11 months; insight from the Heritage Foundation's Steve Moore.
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.
A South Jersey man was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty Thursday to offenses related to an incident with an underage girl at his wedding in Northampton, Pennsylvania, in 2018. Matthew Aimers, 32, of Willingboro, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses, according to James O'Malley, spokesman for the Bucks County District Attorney's Office. Aimers pleaded guilty to simple assault stemming from a fight at the wedding and indecent exposure for an incident involving the teen.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a Friday sermon that Iran's missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq this month delivered a "slap on the face" to the United States, showing the Islamic Republic had divine support. During a spike in tension, Iran launched missiles at U.S. targets on Jan. 8 in response to a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed Qassem Soleimeni, a powerful Iranian general who was close to Khamenei. "The fact that Iran has the power to give such a slap to a world power shows the hand of God," Khamenei said, after referring to the launch of missiles against U.S. targets as a "day of God".
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.
House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI's reform of FISA applications. The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris's past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.
US Navy Lt. Jonny Kim, a Navy SEAL and Harvard-trained physician, graduated from NASA training and became an internet celebrity. Kim said none of his career decisions were prompted by chasing medals or to seek approval, and that he makes sure that he imparts that outlook to his children. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas joked that he felt "horribly, horribly inadequate" while speaking in front of a group of newly-graduated NASA astronauts on Friday.
A Republican lawmaker is facing calls for a sexual harassment investigation after he told a young female reporter that a group of high school boys “could have a lot of fun” with her. Peter Lucido, a Michigan state senator, has been accused of making inappropriate comments to local reporter Allison Donahue during a tour of the state Capitol. Ms Donahue said the senator told her he would speak with her after addressing a group of about 30 boys who were visiting from De La Salle Collegiate, a nearby all-boys Catholic school.
Yet, before U.S. leaders dismiss this warning into a heap of other global calamities, they should briefly peruse the words below from an unsigned Chinese editorial in the December 25, 2019 edition of Global Times: “The United States as a whole must understand that although Taiwan is the easiest place to provoke Mainland China, it is also the place where the U.S. is most at risk. It is precisely that China has the most real cards against the U.S. provocation in the Taiwan Strait region, and China has the strongest will and capability to defend the core interests of the country [美方作为整体必须了解，台湾虽是最容易挑衅、刺激中国大陆的地方，但也是对美方来说风险最大的地方。中国在台海地区反制美方挑衅的实牌恰恰也是最多的，而且中国在这里捍卫国家核心利益的意志和能力都是最强的].
Australia's fires this summer—unprecedented in the scale of their destruction—are the ferocious but inevitable reality of global warming. In most countries, asking people whether they believe in the science of climate change is like asking them whether they believe in gravity. Tragically, the climate-denying political right in Australia has turned what should be a practical question of how to respond to a real physical threat into a matter of values or belief.
Far from feeling the heat, President Donald Trump will be chilling in Davos, a fancy Swiss ski resort, when the Senate hears opening arguments in his impeachment trial next week. Trump is so confident that his Republican party majority will stay loyal that he sees no risk in jetting to Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum on Tuesday, right as lawmakers convene for the historic trial. In Washington, Democratic lawmakers will argue that Trump is a corrupt leader who abused his power by trying to strong-arm Ukraine into a fake investigation aimed at tarnishing a top election rival, Joe Biden.
LOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported “forthwith” to New York, where he will stand trial next week. The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody “for the foreseeable future,” according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
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.
Issei Kato/Reuters Japanese Environmental Minister Shinjiro Koizumi announced he is taking two weeks of paternity leave when his child is born in a few weeks. Koizumi said those two weeks would be spread across the first three months of his child's life, and that he would continue various public commitments like attending parliament, he said. Though Japan officially allows fathers to take up to 52 weeks of paternity leave, only 6% of them take it off, creating and continuing the country's toxic overwork culture.
Reuters/Kevin Lamarque The Trump administration threatened three European governments with 25% auto tariffs if they didn't play ball with Iran and call out its government for violating the 2015 nuclear deal, according to a report from the Washington Post. Officials in Britain, France, and Germany received the threat, and they were stunned at what one European official characterized to the Post as "extortion." Trump previously used the threat of tariffs on European cars to extract additional investment into the US from its automakers.
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.
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.
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.
The Philippines said Friday it was reimposing a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer, echoing a 2018 row between the two countries. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban as his government accused the emirate of covering up the killing of a maid, one of about 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Duterte's government briefly banned Filipinos deploying for work in Kuwait two years ago amid a diplomatic row that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers' freezer.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office charged Fredrick Hampton, 50, on Thursday with abuse of Paighton Houston's corpse. Hampton hasn't been charged with involvement in the 29-year-old's death, news outlets reported. Hampton was initially held in the Birmingham City Jail beginning Dec. 28 on suspicion of kidnapping, but he was released two days later after investigators failed to gather enough evidence to charge him with a crime, news outlets reported.
An actress who had a role in "Marriage Story" and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room on the Emerald Princess ship was infested with bedbugs and left them with bites all over their bodies. Connie and Alvin Flores allege in a lawsuit, filed in November 2019, that their stateroom aboard the cruise they took a year earlier was "infested with hundreds of bedbugs." The pair cruised from Nov. 28, 2018, through Dec. 4, 2018, out of Los Angeles. Connie Flores played an "arguing woman" in "Marriage Story," and is now speaking publicly about the suit.
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.
The European Union's trade chief said the race is on to avert an escalation in transatlantic commercial tensions as a result of U.S. objections to a French digital-services tax. European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said coming days could determine whether the EU succeeds in helping broker an international agreement on the taxation of digital businesses through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “Next week is a very important week to try and see, could we come to a positive outcome on this,” Hogan said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Thursday in Washington.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submitted his resignation on Friday after an audio recording suggested he had criticized the president, but then appeared to suggest in comments to Reuters that he might stay in his job.