The FBI developed a backup plan to protect evidence in its Russia investigation soon after the firing of FBI Director James Comey in the event that other senior officials were dismissed as well, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. The plan was crafted in the chaotic days after Comey was fired, when the FBI began investigating whether President Donald Trump had obstructed justice and whether he might be, wittingly or not, in league with the Russians. The goal was to ensure that the information collected under the investigations, which included probes of Trump associates and possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, would survive the firings or reassignments of top law enforcement officials.
The Catholic Church is "nowhere close" to enacting the reforms needed to stop the "epidemic" of sex abuse by predatory priests and bishops against children, campaigners warned on Tuesday. Pope Francis is "in retreat" from any meaningful effort to bring abusers to justice, said Bishop Accountability, a leading pressure group. Nearly 200 archbishops, bishops and other senior officials are to join the Pope at the Vatican for an unprecedented, four-day conference on combating the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
Washington's ambassador to Warsaw on Wednesday called on Israel to apologize to Poland in a row between the two countries over the Holocaust, after Israel's acting foreign minister said "many Poles" had collaborated with the Nazis. The row, initially sparked by media reports suggesting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Poles of complicity in the Holocaust, deepened on Monday after the comment by his minister Israel Katz, who also labeled Poles anti-Semites. Katz's words led Poland to pull out of a planned summit of central European states in Israel.
A married lesbian couple in Indiana were turned away by a tax preparer when they attempted to file their taxes jointly last week, making them one of many victims of the state's anti-LGBTQ laws. Bailey and Samantha Brazzel got married last July and decided to file their taxes jointly for the first time. The couple went to Carter Tax Service in Russiaville to meet with Nancy Fivecoate, a tax preparer Ms Bailey used for the last four years.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said his nation would retaliate if attacked by India, following New Delhi's strongest accusations yet that its nuclear-armed neighbor was responsible for a major terrorist attack in Kashmir. Pakistan will not think of retaliation, Pakistan will retaliate,” Khan said in a televised speech on Tuesday. There will be no other option than retaliation.
Social Security faces a looming funding shortfall roughly 15 years down the road. Despite that dismal backdrop, several proposals continue to be circulated that would enhance benefits for the most vulnerable groups of beneficiaries. As discussed in a series of briefs by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, one proposal would provide enhanced benefits to the elderly at or around age 85, when financial vulnerability increases.
The biggest news from Buffett's filing is the disclosure that Berkshire sold shares of Apple in the fourth quarter. Buffett trimmed his stake in his largest holding from 253.4 million shares to 249.6 million shares, a 1.5 percent reduction. Apple investors knew the day would come at some point when Buffett would stop buying Apple, and it may have taken fears over a 2019 iPhone sales slowdown to finally reach that point.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the Supreme Court bench Tuesday to hear oral arguments for the first time since undergoing cancer surgery in December. According to Supreme Court reporters, Ginsburg smiled as she arrived with her fellow justices at court, taking her seat unassisted at 10 a.m. ET. Ginsburg's public appearance came four days after former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka questioned whether 85-year-old associate justice was still alive, advancing a conspiracy theory that has been circulating in fringe circles since news of her cancer surgery broke.
Cook County State's Attorney approves felony charges against 'Empire' star Jussie Smollett; Mike Tobin reports.
A 52-year-old Minneapolis man accused of beating and raping his mentally disabled twin daughters has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Hennepin County Judge Fred Karasov sentenced the man Wednesday for crimes committed against the women when they were teenagers, and for endangering his third daughter, who is a juvenile. One of the twins said in a victim impact statement that their father "hurt, used and abused the whole family."
Alec Baldwin is taking on another Trump. After clashing with President Donald Trump over his "Saturday Night Live" portrayal, Baldwin took to Twitter to address criticism from another member of the family – Donald Trump Jr. Trump's eldest son, 41, slammed Baldwin after the actor reprised his Emmy award-winning impression of Trump on the NBC show Saturday. During the opening sketch, Baldwin, 60, poked fun at the president's national emergency declaration from the Rose Garden on Friday.
Three pro-EU lawmakers from Britain's governing Conservative Party quit to join an independent group in parliament on Wednesday, in a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May's attempts to unite her party around her Brexit plans. May's Conservative Party does not have a majority in parliament and is only able to govern thanks to a deal with 10 lawmakers from the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party. There are now 313 active Conservative lawmakers in the 650-seat parliament.
Karl Lagerfeld will be cremated without ceremony and his ashes are likely to be scattered with those of his mother and lover, his label said Wednesday. "His wishes will be respected," a spokeswoman for his Karl Lagerfeld brand told AFP a day after the legendary designer died at the age of 85. Lagerfeld had previously said that his ashes would be mixed with those of his longtime lover, the French dandy Jacques de Bascher, who died of AIDS in 1989.
The current SL reminds us of Benzes bygone, so it's leaving the scene with exclusive colors and body trim. From Car and Driver
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has refused to endorse Bernie Sanders for the 2020 Democratic nomination, despite working on the senator's first presidential campaign. A spokesperson for Ms Ocasio-Cortez, like Mr Sanders a self-described democratic socialist, refused to comment directly on the 77-year-old's Tuesday announcement he is running for a second time. Any endorsement by Ms Ocasio-Cortez is likely to be influential on the outcome of the race, thanks to her massive support among the grassroots of the party.
Three former Chilean nuns who claim to have been sexually abused over two decades ago by priests in their religious order have hailed comments by Pope Francis earlier this month in which he recognized the abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church. The three nuns, who had been members of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan order in the Chilean city of Molina, 130 miles south of Santiago, told Reuters in an interview on Friday that they were embraced and fondled during the 1990s and 2000s by several priests who had since died. The three, Yolanda Tondreaux, Eliana Macias and Marcela Quitral, told Reuters TV they had reported the abuse to their mother superior but were told either that they were lying or had provoked the abuse and were threatened with being forced to leave the convent.
Officials in Alabama are calling for a small-town newspaper editor to resign because of an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize Washington, D.C. Goodloe Sutton, the editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Ala., wrote the editorial titled “Klan needs to ride again” that ran in the paper last week. “Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” read the Feb. 14 editorial.
Former President Barack Obama and Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry told a roomful of minority boys on Tuesday that they matter and urged them to make the world a better place. Obama was in Oakland, California, to mark the fifth anniversary of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative he launched after the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The initiative was a call to communities to close opportunity gaps for minority boys, especially African-American, Latino and Native American boys, Obama said to roughly 100 boys attending the alliance's first national gathering.
A man has been charged with a hate crime after allegedly attacking a Sikh employee of a California 7-Eleven convenience store. The man can allegedly be seen on surveillance footage punching the employee, and throwing coffee on him after he attempted to leave without paying for coffee. The man, identified by police as John Crain, was arrested by the Marysville Police Department.
A Tennessee man was arrested Tuesday for pulling a gun on a couple who were wearing the Make America Great Again hats popularized by Donald Trump's presidential campaign. James Phillips, 57, of Cottontown, Tenn. was charged with first-degree wanton endangerment after he reportedly pulled the gun in a Kentucky Sam's Club store amid an argument, according to his arrest citation.
A 45-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico died in Border Patrol custody Monday after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas, marking the third person to die in the agency's custody since December. The immigrant illegally crossed the border and was arrested by the Roma (Texas) Police Department on Feb. 2, requested medical attention and was taken to a local hospital, according to a statement released Monday night by Customs and Border Protection. The following day, after receiving a welfare check by CBP officials, the immigrant again requested medical attention and was taken to the McAllen Medical Center, where the immigrant was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and congestive heart failure, CBP said.
These are the most fuel-efficient SUVs you can buy, as rated by the EPA in 2019. From Car and Driver
A eurosceptic British lawmaker said the "Malthouse Compromise" - an attempt to redraft the contentious Irish backstop in the Brexit deal - was "alive and kicking" after a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday. Reports had said May's government would not pursue the proposal, which had been championed by some Conservative lawmakers, in talks with the European Union. Steve Baker, a member of a euroskeptic group in May's ruling Conservative Party, said: "The Malthouse Compromise is alive and kicking.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept partial payment of tax transfers owed by Israel, which decided to withhold reimbursements in retaliation for payments to prisoners jailed for attacks. "We shall not accept the (tax) money if it is not paid in full," Abbas told a central committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the Palestinian Authority's payments to prisoners jailed for attacks on Israelis.
A winter storm bore down on the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday, threatening to snarl New York City's evening commute after hindering air travel along the East Coast and prompting the shutdown of federal offices in Washington. Snow turning to sleet slickened roadways in the New York metropolitan area by the early afternoon and was blamed for a rash of fender benders and traffic jams. The widespread weather system piled as much as 6 inches (15 cm) of snow across the Washington area before turning to sleet, said meteorologist Bryan Jackson of the National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.