Donald Trump's decision to grant clemency to “well-connected insiders” was met with swift backlash after the president commuted prison sentences and pardoned officials charged with tax fraud and lying to investigators, among other crimes. The president granted a total of seven pardons and four commutations on Tuesday for prominent figures like Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who was impeached and removed from office in 2009, and Bernard Kerik, the former New York police commissioner sentenced to federal prison on corruption charges. Blagojevich, 63, has been serving a 14-year sentence for reportedly attempting to “sell” a seat in the US Senate that opened up following Barack Obama's presidential election, while Mr Kerik pleaded guilty to eight felony counts, including tax fraud, and was sentenced to four years of prison in 2010.
A federal judge in Kansas who was publicly reprimanded for sexually harassing female employees and having an extramarital affair with an offender resigned on Tuesday, saying he could no longer effectively serve on the court. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia, who was based in Kansas City, Kansas, said in his letter that his resignation will be effective April 1. “In recent months, it has become clear that I can no longer effectively serve the Court in this capacity,” Murguia wrote.
A Turkish prosecutor issued a warrant to detain businessman Osman Kavala only hours after an Istanbul court unexpectedly acquitted him in another case of plotting to overthrow the government during mass protests that rocked the country in 2013. Kavala, who was released earlier on Tuesday after nearly 840 days in prison, will be questioned as a part of an investigation into the 2016 coup attempt against Turkey's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. The legal reversal caps a day that began with a surprise end to a trial that tested the limits of opposition to Erdogan.
A Mexican man residing in Singapore was arrested in the U.S. on Tuesday, after he allegedly tracked a U.S. government source for Russia in order to obtain the source's license plate number. Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes has been charged with acting in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government without notifying the attorney general, and conspiracy to do the same. Court documents allege that a Russian government official recruited Fuentes in 2019 and tasked him with renting a specific property in Miami-Dade County, Florida, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Reuters/Pool China is expelling three Wall Street Journal reporters, accusing the newspaper of publishing a racist headline about the country's battle with coronavirus. On February 3, the Journal had published an op-ed by a foreign-affairs academic titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia." The "sick man of Asia" is a 19th-century term that referred to a time when China was internally divided and exploited by foreign powers — a period that still deeply humiliates the country's leadership.
The New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."
Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday. From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department's International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday dismissed a veteran, once close adviser who until recently managed Moscow's relations with war-torn Ukraine. Putin fired Vladislav Surkov, seen as a hardliner by many in Kiev, in a terse two-line statement on the Kremlin website. The decree was issued a week after the Kremlin said a senior Ukrainian-born Russian official, Dmitry Kozak, was now in charge of managing Moscow's relations with Ukraine, effectively sidelining Surkov.
The people waiting to board the van have already crossed into the USA, but have been sent back under the Trump administration's so-called Migrant Protection Protocols - known as “Remain in Mexico” – whereby would be asylum seekers must await their appointed hearing south of the border. MPP was rolled out in January last year, since when an estimated 57,000 people now wait south of the border for their asylum hearing date. Tens of thousands more are waiting just for the initial application for asylum.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates. Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday's committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.
When a Chinese government mass detention campaign engulfed Memtimin Emer's native Xinjiang region three years ago, the elderly Uighur imam was swept up and locked away, along with three of his sons. The database profiles the internment of 311 individuals with relatives abroad in Karakax County, and lists information on more than 2,000 of their relatives, neighbors and friends. Taken as a whole, the database offers the fullest view yet into how Chinese officials decided who to put into and let out of detention camps, as part of a crackdown that has locked away more than a million ethnic minorities, most of them Muslims.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders continues to cement his position as the Democratic presidential front-runner, registering a sizable lead over rivals in a new national poll by The Washington Post/ABC News. Sanders garnered 32% support in the survey of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, a nine percentage-point boost from the outlets' January poll and after strong performances in state contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Competition was stronger for second place, with Joe Biden at 16%, Michael Bloomberg at 14% and Elizabeth Warren at 12% in the survey.
A 12-year-old boy was tortured and beaten to death by his grandparents and a teenage uncle at their home in Montana, authorities said. In multiple instances, the suspects recorded themselves torturing the boy on their cellphones, police said. James Alex Hurley had been living with his grandparents, James Sasser Jr., 47, and Patricia Batts, 48, for about two years after the death of his father, who Batts identified as her biological son, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Key point: Washington wants to sell more weapons to foreign countries. In order to win over customers, the United States is touting its superior (although more expensive) systems. The U.S. government has a message for those nations that would buy Russian and Chines weapons: buyer beware.
Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site. As high-priced competitors take aim at Tesla with new offerings, the electric car company recently announced upgrades to the expected range of its highly anticipated Model Y small SUV. It was a small specification change, but the expanded range highlighted a key advantage Tesla has compared with the rest of the electric-vehicle market—good batteries and higher energy efficiency.
An ice volcano is a cone-shaped mound of ice formed over a lake by the eruption of water and slush through an ice shelf. "Ice volcanoes occur in locations in which waves hit accumulated ice on the shoreline with some force," said Cort Spholten, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Grand Rapids. "We were cold enough to form ice on the shore of Lake Michigan, and water had broken the surface of that ice," Spholten said.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the main opposition party should be investigated for possible links to the U.S.-based cleric accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, amid a bout of finger-pointing between the two sides. Ankara blames Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, for masterminding the abortive putsch and has carried out a widespread crackdown on his alleged supporters. Thousands of people have been detained, arrested or sacked over links to Gulen's network.
A national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports. Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter. The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.
Former President Barack Obama celebrated Presidents' Day — or "President's Day," as President Trump tweeted Monday — by subtweeting his successor on the economy. Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history. Trump has been touting the economy in his pitch for re-election, often employing exaggeration, and he got Obama's message.
A Syrian passenger jet landed in Aleppo on Wednesday from Damascus, marking the resumption of domestic flights between Syria's two largest cities for the first time since 2012, while the government's onslaught continued nearby with airstrikes reported in several rebel-held towns and villages. The flight carrying Syrian officials and journalists was a symbolic message from President Bashar Assad's government, days after its forces consolidated control over the northwestern province of Aleppo and seized the last segments of the strategic M5 highway linking Aleppo to Damascus. The motorway is being repaired and is scheduled to reopen in coming days for the first time in eight years.
A campus protest against the “Kent State gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett was not “a riot,” according to Ohio University police. Ms Bennett, who helps run a conservative website called Liberty Hangout and who often appears on Alex Jones' InfoWars programs, was driven off the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on Monday by a student protest according to the Athens News. She said the students “started a riot” and claims the police “let it happen.
A missing Milwaukee woman and her two daughters were found dead Sunday, the victims of an apparent homicide, authorities said. Amarah J. Banks, 26, Zaniya R. Ivery, 5, and Camaria Banks, 4, were found in a Milwaukee garage Sunday afternoon, Milwaukee police Chief Alfonso Morales said at a news conference. "You have to also understand that foul play was not an initial piece of this investigation, it was a missing investigation that escalated," Morales said.
Key Point: London's Astute class submarines are powerful and very well-built. Since the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought in 1963, the Royal Navy has maintained a formidable force of nuclear attack submarines. The latest nuclear attack subs, the Astute class, have become a critical component of the future of the Royal Navy—but, given Russia's resurgence, are they enough?
Bernie Sanders's campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, has accused MSNBC of employing “double standard” in its coverage of the Vermont senator, claiming in an interview published Tuesday that Fox News is “more fair” in critiquing Sanders's progressive platform. That's saying something,” Shakir told Vanity Fair. Fox is often yelling about Bernie Sanders's socialism, but they're still giving our campaign the opportunity to make our case in a fair manner, unlike MSNBC, which has credibility with the left and is constantly undermining the Bernie Sanders campaign.
The coronavirus is expected to cost the US travel industry more than $10 billion over the next four years, with more than half of that loss coming in 2020. Although US airlines are working to minimize the impact, hotels, museums, retail and dining sectors, and other businesses that rely on tourist dollars are expected to face major economic fallout from the outbreak. If the coronavirus continues to spread, particularly in other countries, the impact could be significantly worse.