An emissary for two wealthy Arab princes boasted to unnamed officials of a Middle Eastern government about his direct access to Hillary and Bill Clinton while funneling more than $3.5 million in illegal campaign contributions to the former secretary of state's 2016 presidential campaign and Democratic fundraising committees, according to a federal indictment announced by the Justice Department this week. Wonderful meeting with Big Lady. Can't wait to tell you all about it,” George Nader allegedly wrote to an official of one of the foreign governments he advises in the Middle East after attending a political fundraiser with Hillary Clinton on April 16, 2016.
A convicted murderer set to become the first federal inmate to be executed in 16 years was granted a stay of execution on Thursday by a judge in Indiana. Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted in Arkansas of murdering a family of three, was granted the stay by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. Lee's execution had been set for Monday, but a separate ruling by a judge in Washington last month put his execution and that of three other federal inmates on hold.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is accusing the media of “bad judgment” in their coverage of progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, saying reporters and commentators have exaggerated her political rise as indicative of the direction of the overall party. “You guys got it all wrong about what happened,” Biden told Axios on HBO in Iowa. “I do,” Biden responded.
Reddit has said that leaked documents on US-UK trade deal discussions were likely posted on the site as part of a Russian influence campaign. The documents were cited by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's opposition Labour party, as evidence that his opponent in the UK general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was poised to sell out the NHS in trade negotiations with the US. Researchers earlier in the week said that the accounts that posted the documents on Reddit indicated links to a vast Russian influence campaign uncovered on Facebook dubbed Secondary Infektion.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a feeling of deep shame” during her first-ever visit on Friday to the hallowed grounds of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Adolf Hitler's regime murdered more than a million people. Merkel noted that her visit comes amid rising anti-Semitism and historical revisionism and vowed that Germany would not tolerate anti-Semitism. She said Germany remains committed to remembering the crimes that it committed against Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals and others.
Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools. An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer's office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student's head.
Key point: The Pentagon may end up flying the B-52 for 100 years. Sixty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force received its last B-52 from Boeing, the flying branch finally has firmed up plans to fit the heavy bomber with new engines. Air Force magazine in its January 2019 issue took a deep dive into the re-engining effort.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he wants to become president to end "the nationwide madness" of U.S. gun violence, calling it evil and saying he would allow its victims to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
WASHINGTON – Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University who was the sole witness called before the Judiciary Committee by the Republicans in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, claimed Thursday that his testimony against impeaching Trump led to threats against him. "Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record," he continued.
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter will resign from Congress following his guilty plea to a federal charge of conspiring to misuse campaign funds, he said on Friday. Hunter's announcement that he would step down came days after the leading California lawmaker, a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, entered his guilty plea in federal court in San Diego. "Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, 42, said in a written statement released by his communications director.
A Virginia state commission released a report Thursday calling for the official repeal of “deeply troubling” state laws still on the books that contain “explicitly racist language and segregationist policies. The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law published a lengthy report saying that the outdated laws should not “remain enshrined in law” despite no longer being in effect. The commission believes that such vestiges of Virginia's segregationist past should no longer have official status,” the report states.
Tesla has changed the production timelines for the most and least expensive trims of its Cybertruck pickup truck. It said production for the three-motor, all-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $69,900, would begin in 2021, a year earlier than Tesla first announced. The single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $39,900, will enter production in late 2022, a year later than its original timeline, Tesla said.
Fifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a “base camp” to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was “sufficient factual evidence” linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France's Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani led a memorial Saturday in the capital Kabul to bid final farewell to a Japanese physician killed earlier this week in a roadside shooting in eastern Afghanistan that also killed five Afghans, who were traveling with him. Dr. Tetsu Nakamura was affectionately known as “Uncle Murad by villagers in eastern Afghanistan, where he led the development of water and agricultural management projects since his arrival in Afghanistan in 2008. Ghani joined Afghan National Security soldiers in carrying Nakamura's coffin draped in an Afghan flag to an awaiting aircraft.
Key point: The United States is beginning to lose its footing in East Asia. In October 2018, Chinese media announced that the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would publicly unveil its new H-20 stealth bomber during a parade celebrating the air arm's seventieth anniversary in 2019. Prior news of the H-20's development had been teased using techniques pioneered by viral marketing campaigns for Hollywood movies.
The Trump Administration will reauthorize the use of so-called “cyanide bombs” to poison coyotes, foxes and feral dogs that could threaten private livestock. The decision comes four months after halting their authorization amid public backlash. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday it would include new safety requirements to protect humans and pets, such as additional signs and increased distances the distance the “cyanide bombs” must be from homes and roads.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter Nigeria's secret police rearrested publisher Omoyele Sowore, a prominent critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, in chaotic scenes at the country's Federal High Court. Scuffles broke out in the court room as armed Department of State Services operatives detained Sowore and co-defendant Olawale Bakare, his lawyer Femi Falana said. His arrest came less than a day after he was freed from state custody following a court ruling demanding his release.
Mike Bloomberg on Friday expressed regret for calling fellow Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker “well-spoken” earlier in the day, after the New Jersey senator said he was “taken aback” by the racially loaded remark from the former New York mayor. “I probably shouldn't have used the word,” Bloomberg told reporters at a campaign event in Georgia. Booker had charged that Bloomberg's descriptor, which generated significant criticism on social media, was representative of a failure by some of the party's leading White House hopefuls to energize black voters and communicate effectively on issues of race.
Indian police on Friday shot dead four gang-rape and murder suspects, prompting celebrations but also accusations that they were extrajudicial executions. The men, who had been in custody for a week over the latest rape case to shock India, were shot in the early hours during a re-enactment of the crime organised by police in Shadnagar, outside the southern city of Hyderabad. "The police brought the accused to the crime spot as part of the investigation.
President Donald Trump said on Friday he will temporarily hold off designating Mexican drug cartels as terrorist organizations at the request of Mexico's president. Trump said last week he would make the designation to disrupt the cartels' finances through sanctions such as asset freezes and travel bans. But Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador objected, saying he wanted U.S. cooperation on fighting drug gangs, not intervention.
A San Francisco judge ruled Friday that the criminal trial may move forward against the pro-life investigators who went undercover to record abortion industry executives talking about procuring fetal body parts. Judge Christopher Hite deemed the evidence sufficient to send to trial the case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, who are charged with nine felony counts, one count of conspiracy and eight counts of illegal taping. Daleiden, 30, and Merritt, 64, several years ago surreptitiously recorded executives from Planned Parenthood and other organizations haggling about compensation for the procurement of fetal parts for researchers who request them.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is working with the Federal Reserve to monitor bank reserves and decrease the chances of a rate crisis similar to September's, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Mnuchin told the House of Representatives on Thursday that he and Fed Chair Jerome Powell have met multiple times to discuss the September lending rate spike and liquidity concerns ahead of year-end reserve obligations. The Fed has been pumping billions of dollars into money markets through market repurchase agreement, or repo, operations and Treasury bill purchases after its overnight lending rate spiked in September.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff is urging Russia to support the investigation of a killing prosecutors say appears to have ordered by Russian or Chechen authorities, and says he has “no understanding" for outraged reactions from Moscow. Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian man on the streets of Berlin in August. German federal prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia's republic of Chechnya.
Key point: Issues of command and control remain important to keeping America's nuclear deterrent secure and reliable. A key component of the U.S. doctrine of mutually assured destruction — commonly and appropriately known as MAD — was that American troops would still be able to retaliate if the Soviet Union launched a nuclear attack. In 1968, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Scientific Advisory Committee found dangerous gaps in the communications network supporting the nation's so-called Fleet Ballistic Missile boats, or FBMs.