WASHINGTON – Since his appointment nearly two years ago, Robert Mueller sought to answer one overriding question that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump's presidency: Did his campaign coordinate with the Kremlin to win the White House? A summary of the special counsel's investigation delivered to lawmakers Sunday said unequivocally that neither Trump nor his campaign conspired with Russian efforts to sway the election that put him in office. But the four-page summary fell short of giving the White House the complete and total exoneration” the president, his lawyers and political allies claimed after Attorney General William Barr released it to lawmakers and the public.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has returned home from Washington, heading straight into military consultations after a night of heavy fire as Israeli aircraft bombed Gaza targets and the strip's militants fired rockets into Israel. Schools in southern Israel were cancelled following the violence that erupted just two weeks ahead of Israeli elections. The region is quiet but tense on Tuesday, a day after a surprise rocket fired from Gaza slammed into a house in central Israel, wounding seven.
The new Ford Bronco SUV will come with either two or four removable doors and have a removable hardtop. The Bronco will go on sale in late 2020, according to Automotive News. According to Automotive News, which gleaned info from dealers who attended a Ford event last month where future products were shown, the Bronco will hit dealer lots in late 2020.
North Korea sent back its officials to an inter-Korean liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong on Monday, reversing a decision two days ago to withdraw the officials, South Korea's Unification Ministry said. A group of four to five officials showed up at the office earlier in the morning saying they came to work "as usual," the ministry said in a statement. Though the presence of the North's head of the office was not confirmed, the two sides held a consultation and will "continue to operate the office as usual," the ministry said.
Ethiopian Airlines "believes in" Boeing despite the crash of its 737 MAX 8 plane that killed all 157 people on board and led to the model's grounding, the carrier's CEO said on Monday. "Let me be clear: Ethiopian Airlines believes in Boeing. "We will work with investigators in Ethiopia, in the US and elsewhere to figure out what went wrong," he added.
Lu Wei was found guilty of taking bribes on Tuesday by the Ningbo People's Intermediate Court in the eastern province of Zhejiang, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. He was found to have accepted some 32 million yuan ($4.6 million) from companies and individuals seeking help with regulatory issues and promoting their businesses online, the report said. Lu was convicted after a one-day trial in October.
As all 1,373 passengers and crew members waited to be airlifted to safety off a heaving Norway cruise ship this past weekend, one California woman captured it all in a thread that went viral. The Viking Sky ship ran into engine trouble on Norway's frigid western coast as it traveled from the Scandinavian country's Arctic north to the southern city of Stavanger on Saturday before the mayday call that forced a major evacuation that took place through Saturday night into Sunday morning. Through all the turmoil aboard, passenger Alexus Sheppard was somehow able to pick up her phone and share live updates of the events as they unfolded from inside while the rocky vessel drifted off the churning coastal waters.
The "Fuller House" castmates say they're a family who "sticks together" just weeks after news broke of co-star Lori Loughlin's alleged involvement in a college bribery scandal. Loughlin, who plays Aunt Becky on the Netflix series, was arrested for allegedly paying $500,000 to guarantee her two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, admission to the University of Southern California as members of the crew team, though neither was an athlete. Though the cast did not mention Loughlin by name, they appeared to comment on the matter during their acceptance speech Saturday at the 2019 Kids' Choice Awards.
Did a Russian anti-aircraft missile hit one of Israel's new F-35 stealth fighters back in late 2017? Pro-Russian media are claiming that an Israeli F-35I was hit and damaged by a Russian-made S-200 surface-to-air missile during an Israeli air strike in Syria earlier this month. Israel says one of its F-35s was damaged—after colliding with a bird.
Based on the published statements, plus an estimate of what is to come in the fourth statement, it appears likely that the Mueller investigation itself will have cost around $17m. The special counsel's office also reported Department of Justice spending that supported its activities, stating that it wasn't legally required to do so and that those expenditures would have occurred regardless of whether or not the special counsel's office was conducting an investigation. If those additional expenditures are taken into account, the final estimate for the cost of the Mueller investigation reaches around $31m.
The two top parties began angling for the upper hand in forming a new government in Thailand on Monday after partial results showed no group won a majority of seats in the country's first national election since a 2014 military coup. The allegations highlight continuing deep divisions in Thailand, which has been wracked by political instability for nearly two decades. The junta-appointed Election Commission announced the results of 350 constituency races but said full vote counts, which are needed to allocate 150 other seats in the House of Representatives, won't be available until Friday after apparent counting problems.
Forced to evacuate hundreds of terrified passengers by helicopter in pitch dark. According to one of the crew members of the Viking Sky cruise ship, one of the newest ships of the vaunted luxury line, Viking Ocean Cruises, the last 48 hours on board will not soon be forgotten by any of the 1,373 passengers and crew. "Everything was broken: plates, glasses, furniture," the crew member said, describing scenes in the ship's restaurants and lounges.
On Monday, Yale University confirmed that one student's admission was rescinded in the wake of the Operation Varsity Blues scandal.
Iran said on Sunday it would expand its ties with Lebanon in spite of the "provocative and interventionist" call by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for Beirut to choose sides, Iranian state television reported. On a regional tour to drum up support for Washington's harder line against Tehran, Pompeo said on Friday that Lebanon faced a choice - "Bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation, or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future." Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi dismissed Pompeo's remarks.
Renderings give a tantalizing glimpse of the car with which Aston is celebrating its 100th anniversary. From Car and Driver
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday mooted the possibility of renaming Istanbul's Hagia Sofia museum as a mosque, in comments during a television interview. Erdogan, who is a former mayor of Istanbul, is campaigning for votes for his Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of municipal elections on March 31. The former church and mosque, now a museum, often sparks tensions between Christians and Muslims over Islamic activities held there including the reading of verses from the Koran or collective prayers.
Ford has announced the new Black Appearance Package available for the 2019 Ford Ranger lineup. Since the 2019 Ford Ranger pickup went on sale in January of this year, over half of the models have been outfitted in either the Sport Appearance Package or the Chrome Appearance Package. As of Monday, another option is now available: the Black Appearance Package.
Israeli forces and Hamas exchanged rocket fire on Monday night amid fears of a new conflict in Gaza. Israeli forces carried out strikes against what they called “Hamas terror targets” across the Gaza Strip, after an earlier rocket attack that destroyed a family home and wounded seven people in a neighbourhood north of Tel Aviv. The army also said it was reinforcing troops along the Gaza border and calling up reserves.
Last year was one of the most eventful for the Royal family, with the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank, and the birth of Prince Louis. And while 2019 won't be as jam-packed for the Windsors, there's a whole new reason to celebrate on the horizon - the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first child in the spring. As royal watchers in the UK and abroad wait for the latest arrival, speculation is mounting as to what he or she could be called - and whether the Queen will allow the child to become a Prince or Princess.
Two Russian air force planes landed at Venezuela's main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to media reports, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow. A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday. That comes three months after the two nations held military exercises on Venezuelan soil that President Nicolas Maduro called a sign of strengthening relations, but which Washington criticized as Russian encroachment in the region.
A cruise ship off Norway's western coast is evacuating 1,300 passengers and crew Saturday after engine problems forced the ship to send a mayday call. Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said the Viking Sky's evacuation was likely to be a slow and dangerous process, as passengers needed to be hoisted from the cruise ship to the five available helicopters one by one, according to The Associated Press. As of Sunday morning, 379 of the 1,373 passengers and crew had been airlifted to shore.
Dozens of Lyft and Uber drivers protested outside The Omni Hotel in San Francisco. Drivers are asking both Lyft and Uber to provide a living wage and greater transparency.
In a major political victory for Trump, who quickly hailed the announcement as "complete and total exoneration," Mueller's nearly two years of investigation ended with a finding that no one in Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated with the Russian government," according to a summary of Mueller's findings. The long-awaited report into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to help the Republican defeat his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, marked a major milestone of his presidency as he prepares for his 2020 re-election battle. Mueller himself did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump broke the law by interfering with the various probes into the 2016 election that have cast a pall over his presidency, but presented his evidence to Barr to make a determination.
New Zealanders are debating the limits of free speech after their chief censor banned the 74-page manifesto written and released by the man accused of slaughtering 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. At the same time, many local media organizations are debating whether to even name the Australian man charged with murder in the March 15 attacks, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed she would never mention him by name. In some ways, Tarrant's manifesto provides the greatest insight into his character and thinking, with neighbors and those he met in a gym in the sleepy seaside town of Dunedin recalling nothing particularly remarkable about him.