In his opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — who has been widely seen as the impeachment inquiry's most consequential witness — put President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at the center of the effort to pressure the president of Ukraine to carry out Trump's political agenda. His testimony supported the accounts by other witnesses that Trump sought to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.
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.
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.
A lawyer for Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman sent a letter to Fox News on Wednesday, requesting that the network either retract or correct a "deeply flawed and erroneous" segment that aired during the Oct. 28 episode of The Ingraham Angle. Vindman is the National Security Council's Ukraine expert, and the segment aired prior to his closed-door testimony as part of the House impeachment inquiry. In his letter, lawyer David Pressman wrote that Vindman "had never in his 20-year career of service to his country been accused of having dual loyalties or committing espionage," which is a felony punishable by death.
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.
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.
A Catholic bishop in China is believed to be on the run from state security after refusing to bring his church under a government-sanctioned religious association. Guo Xijin, 61, has fled the custody of state agents and has gone into hiding, reported Catholic Asia News, a website, and cannot be immediately reached for comment. Mr Guo is part of a group of bishops that many religious and human rights experts feared would be persecuted after the Vatican inked a deal with Beijing last year on the ordaining bishops.
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.
Russia's much-feared Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire is getting a new upgrade and is adding a new long-range supersonic missile called the Kh-32. The upgrade will allow the massive jet to once again hit allied targets across the North Atlantic region just as the Backfire once did during the Cold War. The bomber and its new weapon will be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces in October.
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.
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.
Fixes typo) LONDON, Nov 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Extinction Rebellion activists pressing for more rapid action on climate change threats on Wednesday entered a third day of a week-long hunger strikes in 27 countries. The strikes, which began Monday, have been in part spearheaded by 20-year-old Giovanni Tamacas, a University of San Diego student, who carried out a solo hunger strike last month in front of the White House. We are hunger striking because we have no choice, he said in a statement, arguing governments and corporations have criminally and catastrophically failed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency .
A few days ago, Biden set himself apart from the rest of the top 2020 Democrats by calling marijuana a "gateway drug" and saying "legalization is a mistake." Booker brought that comment up in Wednesday's Democratic primary debate, saying while he has "a lot of respect" for Biden, when he heard that remark, he "thought you might have been high when you said it." After his well-timed zing, Booker explained why he had a problem with Biden's remark.
During impeachment hearings on Tuesday morning, the lead Republican counsel pressed Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman on an offer he'd received to take the position of defense minister in Kiev. The line of questioning seemed designed to raise doubts about Vindman's allegiance to the U.S. right as he was testifying about his concerns over President Donald Trump's efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on his domestic political rivals. Oleksander Danylyuk, the former Chairman of the National Security and Defence Council in Ukraine, said he only remembers speaking with Vindman once about the defense minister position.
After nearly 12 hours of testimony, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff concluded Day 3 of public impeachment inquiry hearings with impassioned remarks.
A sketch of the young girl whose remains were found at a softball field in Delaware in September was released this week by authorities to help solve the mystery of her death. Smyrna Police Department investigators said they hope the facial reconstruction sketches prompt tipsters to come forward with either the girl's identity or possible suspect information. The department is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Delaware Division of Forensic Science on the case.
Washington D.C.) The Navy has laid the keel for its first new, Flight III DDG 51 surface warfare destroyer armed with improved weapons, advanced sensors and new radar 35-times more sensitive than most current systems, changing attack and defensive options for the surface fleet. Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships such as more on-board power to accommodate laser weapons, new engines, improved electronics, fast-upgradeable software and a much more powerful radar. The Flight III Destroyers will be able to see and destroy a much wider range of enemy targets at farther distances.
The phone call State Department official David Holmes overheard between President Donald Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland lasted just two minutes. But it won't be easily forgotten. I've never seen anything like this,” Holmes told Trump impeachment investigators, “someone calling the President from a mobile phone at a restaurant, and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language.
The US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the key Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday to show Washington's "commitment" to freedom of navigation, the Pentagon said, amid tensions with Tehran. The group's move through the strategic waterway separating Iran and the United Arab Emirates towards the Gulf was scheduled, and unfolded without incident, the US Navy said in a statement. It was the first time a US aircraft carrier group went through the strait since Iran downed a US drone in June in the same area.
An Arizona jury on Wednesday found a human rights activist not guilty of harboring two migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, after the U.S. government prosecuted him for giving them food, water and shelter in the desert. The Tucson jury took just over two hours to decide that Scott Warren, 37, a geography professor, provided the men with legal humanitarian aid in January 2018 and did not deliberately conceal them from U.S. Border Patrol. A previous jury was unable to decide whether he broke the law by letting the men stay in a building near Ajo, Arizona, to recover from a two-day trek.
In her reelection video for Cook County State Attorney released Tuesday, Kim Foxx concedes that she mishandled the high-profile prosecution of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. The truth is, I didn't handle it well,” Foxx says in the video. I own that.
A woman who spent two years in a nursing facility recovering from spinal injuries she suffered in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history has died. Kimberly Gervais could become the 59th fatality in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, depending upon the coroner's verdict. Police officers raided Paddock's high rise room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Vegas strip minutes after the gunfire stopped, where they found he had killed himself.
Special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said during questioning that "others didn't see the distinction" between Burisma and investigating former Vice President Biden.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney will become the first woman to lead the House Oversight Committee, vaulting into a high-stakes role as one of the Democrats' top voices in the caucus' impeachment probe. The New York Democrat was confirmed to the post in a caucus-wide secret ballot vote on Wednesday, where she defeated Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Maloney received 133 votes while Connolly received 86.