Ambassador Gordon Sondland's explosive testimony Wednesday that “everyone was in the loop” on President Trump's efforts to secure an investigation of a political rival prompted rank-and-file Democrats to discuss whether it was time to expand their probe. Sondland testified in minute detail — down to the names of staffers and code words used internally to identify officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — how Vice President Mike Pence, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, former national security advisor John Bolton and others knew the intimate details of Trump's plans. “Was there a quid pro quo?” Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified.
At the Democratic debate in Atlanta on Wednesday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Sen. Kamala Harris of California clashed over their differing visions for the party, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. Gabbard had criticized Hillary Clinton as the “personification of the left that has sickened the Democratic Party” after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee suggested in an interview last month that she believed Republicans were “grooming” Gabbard to be a spoiler as a third-party candidate. Clinton, who did not mention Gabbard by name, further suggested that the Hawaii Democrat is “the favorite of the Russians.
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.
United Auto Workers President Gary Jones abruptly resigned Wednesday, capping a tumultuous day that saw union leaders move to oust him, and General Motors accusing rival Fiat Chrysler in a lawsuit of bribing union officials to get more favorable contract terms from the UAW. Jones has notified the union that he would retire, his attorney, Bruce Maffeo of New York, said in an email. The news of Jones' resignation came shortly after the UAW's International Executive Board filed paperwork to expel him and Regional Director Vance Pearson from the union over allegations raised by a federal investigation into union corruption that has resulted in multiple arrests starting in 2017.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) traveled to Europe with three aides from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018, on a $63,000 taxpayer-funded investigative trip, and Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani arrested last month on federal campaign finance and conspiracy charges, helped arrange meetings and calls for his trip, The Daily Beast reports, citing Parnas lawyer Ed MacMahaon and congressional records. Nunes aide Derek Harvey was involved in the Parnas meeting, and he accompanied Nunes to Europe along with fellow aides Scott Glabe and George Pappas.
South Africa's government ruled out an intervention in the ongoing battle between the struggling state airline and unions leading a strike, with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan refusing to step in to fund wage demands. The state has already given South African Airways more than 20.5 billion rand ($1.4 billion) over the past three years, Gordhan said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Two labor unions representing more than 3,000 staff at SAA walked out Friday in protest at the airline's plan to cut jobs and refusal to meet demands for an 8% wage increase.
A 16-year-old boy allegedly tried to smuggle methamphetamine across the U.S.-Mexico border with a remote-controlled car. Border Patrol agents arrested the teen Sunday, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release Tuesday. This attempt comes two years after drug traffickers flew a remote-controlled drone to drop a 13-pound package of methamphetamine across the border, also resulting in an arrest.
Three Ukrainian navy boats seized by Russia a year ago were vandalised before being handed back to Ukraine, the country's navy said. The fast gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk and the tugboat Tany Kapu were welcomed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and onlookers waving national flags arrived in Ochakiv, a Ukrainian naval port on the Black Sea on Wednesday evening. But Ukraine's navy said the vessels had been stripped bare and left so badly damaged that they had to be towed home by tug.
The mother of Hunter Biden's previously unknown child outed him as the father because he stopped paying to support the child, her lawyers say. Attorneys for Lunden Alexis Roberts submitted a court filing on Wednesday declaring "with scientific certainty" that Biden was the father of the child, born in August 2018. Attorneys say the decision was made over Biden's "refusal to continue to support his child." They are seeking $11,058 in fees, and filed a petition for paternity and child support.
In his questioning of David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, Ratcliffe reprised a now familiar defense of the president, that putting a hold on military aid to Ukraine was done out of concern about corruption in the country. The reasons for the hold in summer 2019, during Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia, were not communicated either publicly or within the diplomatic and national security bureaucracy. Citing other recent instances in which congressionally approved U.S. foreign aid had been withheld without explanation, Ratcliffe asked Hale, “So, having no explanation for why aid is being withheld is not uncommon?
Israel said its warplanes carried out a "very intense" attack against Iranian forces and Syrian army targets in Syria Wednesday, in raids a monitoring group reported killed at least 23 people. In a rare confirmation of their operations in Syria, the Israeli army said they had carried out dozens of strikes against the Iranian elite Quds Force and the Syrian military, in response to four rockets fired at Israel a day before. Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said 23 people were killed in the strikes -- 21 fighters and two civilians.
American Airlines admitted Tuesday the powerful fumes that knocked two flight attendants unconscious and forced a flight to make an emergency landing were not caused by spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed.
A Utah woman charged with a crime after her stepchildren saw her topless in her own home is fighting the case that could force her to register as a sex offender, pointing to a court ruling that overturned a topless ban in Colorado and helped fuel a movement. Tilli Buchanan's attorneys argue that Utah's law on lewdness involving a child is unfair because it treats men and women differently for baring their chests. Prosecutors counter that nudity is commonly understood to include women's breasts in American society and that courts have upheld laws based on morality.
The Royal Navy may already have identified a possible replacement for its Type 45 destroyers. A version of the new Type 26 frigate, which should enter service with the U.K. fleet in the mid-2020s, ultimately could replace the air-defense-optimized Type 45s beginning in the 2030s. The prospect of developing an air-defense variant of the Type 26 offers some hope to the United Kingdom's beleaguered naval shipbuilders that they might be able to build a large number of ships of different classes without a long break in production.
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.
Designed by world-renowned architects such as Zaha Hadid and Santiago Calatrava, these bridges are travel destinations in their own right Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Russian investigators said on Thursday they had opened two criminal cases into the management of a company involved in building the Vostochny Cosmodrome, a space center in the country's Far East. The announcement came less than two weeks after President Vladimir Putin complained to government officials about corruption at the facility and called for further investigations. Construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome began in January 2011, part of a plan for Russia to reduce its dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, which Russia leases from the former Soviet Republic for space operations.
A speech by conservative commentator Ann Coulter at University of California, Berkeley drew hundreds of protesters Wednesday night. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, police in riot gear guarded the building's entrances and barricades were erected in anticipation of the protests. Coulter was invited to speak by the Berkeley College Republicans for a speech about immigration called “Adios, America,” the Chronicle reported.
In a tense exchange at Wednesday's impeachment hearing of President Trump, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., grilled Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, over his changing testimony on what he understood about Trump's motivation in seeking an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. “Who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?” Maloney asked after an extended back-and-forth with Sondland on that point. “I assume President Trump would benefit —” Sondland said.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken the next step to join the scrum to unseat Donald Trump, formally filing to run as a Democrat for the post of President of the United States. The billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Democrat-again declared his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission early on Thursday afternoon. Mike Bloomberg 2020 Inc., his campaign committee, also filed FEC paperwork.
The White House press secretary has backed down from her claim that Obama administration officials left behind notes for Trump staffers saying “You will fail” and “You aren't going to make it”, after a number of aides denied the allegation. In a radio interview on Tuesday, Stephanie Grisham said she and her colleagues had encountered the notes upon entering White House offices. “When we came into the White House, I'll tell you something, every office was filled with Obama books, and we had notes left behind that said 'You will fail', 'You aren't going to make it',” she said.
A decade after 58 people were killed in the Philippines' worst political massacre, none of the alleged masterminds have been convicted yet, leaving families fearful that justice may never come. Though a verdict is now due next month over the bloodshed that drew international outrage, there is no guarantee of a conviction and the painfully slow-moving trial could still be derailed by corruption or even violence. "We are afraid for the life of the prosecutor or even our judge," said Mary Grace Morales, whose sister and husband were among 32 journalists killed in the attack, making it one of world's deadliest on media workers.
Nov. was the fourth day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. What were the big takeaways?
Israeli officials announced Wednesday that dozens of world leaders will arrive in Jerusalem for the largest-ever gathering focused on combatting anti-Semitism amid a global spike in violence against Jews. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the fifth World Holocaust Forum in January will coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and the presidents of Germany, Italy and Austria are among the more than 30 heads of state who have already confirmed their participation.
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said calls to oust Chinese companies from American stock indexes was contrary to the foundations of capitalism, as he warned against the dangers of decoupling the world's two largest economies. Paulson, who's now chairman of the Paulson Institute, told Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in Beijing that moves to reduce ties between the U.S. and China would weaken American leadership and New York's leading role in finance. “When the next crisis comes -- and a crisis will come, because financial crises are inevitable -- we will regret it if we lack mechanisms for the world's first and second-largest economies to coordinate,” Paulson told the forum on Thursday, according to a prepared version of his remarks.