A plane full of Americans and Canadians was stranded on a tarmac at an airport in Karachi, Pakistan, for several hours on Thursday after it was turned away from multiple countries due to fears of the coronavirus, according to a family member of two of the passengers. Kelly Chrjapin, whose parents were among those on the flight, said the plane contained more than 250 people, all of whom were American and Canadian nationals who had been traveling on the cruise ship MS Westerdam. One passenger from that boat tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.
Many Democratic presidential candidates launched their campaigns last year with bold pledges to reject help from super PACs and dark money groups. Elizabeth Warren, one of the fiercest critics of money in politics, was the latest White House hopeful this week to accept help from a big money organization that can raise and spend unlimited amounts on behalf of political candidates. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders have done much the same.
U.S. authorities arrested a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent on Friday on charges he conspired with Colombian drug traffickers to steal millions of dollars the U.S. government had seized from suspected dealers. In an indictment unsealed Friday, prosecutors said Jose Irizarry had been "enriching himself by secretly using his position and his special access to information." He used the money, they said, to fund a lavish lifestyle of expensive homes and cars and a $30,000 Tiffany ring. Federal prosecutors said Irizarry used his position with the drug agency to launder money with the help of what they described as a "Colombia-based drug trafficking and money laundering organization" that he was ostensibly investigating.
The U.S. Army and its closest allies have a problem. To deter Russia from attacking Poland and the Baltic States, the Army and its NATO allies should deploy heavy armored forces such as M-1 tanks, armored fighting vehicles and self-propelled artillery. RAND, a California think-tank with close ties to the U.S. military, in a February 2020 report underscored the importance of heavy ground forces.
A quadruple murderer was put to death in Tennessee on Thursday despite lawyers asking the US Supreme Court for a stay of execution. Nicholas Sutton, 58, was found guilty of stabbing a fellow inmate to death in 1985. Sutton's lawyers in January asked the state's Republican governor, Bill Lee, to grant clemency, citing expressions of support for Sutton from prison officials.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images With coronavirus cases soaring, the government in South Korea said on Friday that it had failed to keep the virus out of the country and must now focus on containment. South Korea is now the country with the most coronavirus infections outside China, with a total of 433 confirmed cases. The government has urged the 2.5 million people in Daegu to stay in their homes and has banned some public gatherings.
Health experts sounded the alarm Friday over the worldwide threat of the coronavirus, with officials warning of its "likely" community spread in the United States and the World Health Organization cautioning that "the window of opportunity is narrowing" for containing the outbreak worldwide. The COVID-19 coronavirus, which erupted in China in December, has killed at least 2,360 people and sickened at least 77,900 worldwide, the majority of cases in mainland China. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Friday that U.S. health officials are preparing for the coronavirus to become a pandemic.
On Wednesday, distraught Google product manager Sonam Saxena spoke to a local Hawaii newspaper, pleading for help in finding his missing wife. The couple from Washington state, who had two young daughters, were on their annual family vacation to Hawaii when Smriti Saxena disappeared at around 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Sonam said he'd left his wife on a secluded beach south of Anaehoomalu Bay to take a 20-minute walk back to their Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort room to retrieve Smriti's asthma inhaler.
A Virginia man piloted at least one plane without a license in 2018, in a dangerous journey that ended with a "bounced" landing, federal authorities said. Ryan Guy Parker "knowingly and willfully" flew above suburban Washington D.C., posing a "significant risk of injury and death" to himself and the public, according to an affidavit by U.S. Department of Transportation Special Agent Bret Stolle. In a Sept. 27, 2018 trip out of Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg, Parker nearly crashed on touch down, Stolle wrote.
A leader of one of the most notorious terrorist groups in the world just got a megaphone from The New York Times. On Thursday, the Times published an op-ed from Taliban deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani ominously titled "What we, the Taliban, want." It comes as the Taliban continues to work out a peace deal with the U.S., and in it, Haqqani insists "everyone is tired of war" on their side too. Haqqani paints a thoroughly positive picture of his terrorist organization, and apparently the Times just decided to roll with it.
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a racketeering lawsuit brought by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes against the political research firm that enlisted a former British spy to look into Donald Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. Nunes, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a vocal ally of Trump, had accused Fusion GPS in a lawsuit last year of harassing him and trying to impede his panel's investigation into Russian election interference. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, and also named a nonprofit advocacy group as a defendant, sought nearly $10 million in damages.
Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. Pakistan has the world's second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom. Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis charged with blasphemy, or sacrilegious speech, over the last three decades.
Archaeologists said on Friday they had discovered an ancient cenotaph that almost certainly commemorated the legendary founder of Rome, Romulus, buried in the heart of the Italian capital. The small chamber containing a simple sarcophagus and round stone block was originally found at the start of the last century beneath the Capitoline Hill inside the old Roman forum. Alfonsina Russo, the head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, said the site probably dated back to the sixth century BC, and was located in the most ancient part of the city which was directly linked in historical texts to Rome's first king.
Brand “People's Republic of China” is wobbling, as if the massive picture of Mao Zedong in Tiananmen Square was swaying with an earthquake tremor. But it can only actually fall if pushed from inside. The handling of the coronavirus epidemic is undoubtedly sapping confidence in the Communist party and its formerly all-conquering general secretary, Xi Jinping.
Former national security adviser John Bolton on Wednesday denounced the House's impeachment proceedings against President Trump as ”grossly partisan” and said his testimony would not have changed Trump's acquittal in the Senate, as he continued to stay quiet on the details of a yet-to-be-released book.
Associated Press/Charlie Niebergall Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg quipped he was more of a "Microsoft Word guy" during Wednesday's candidates' debate in Nevada. The remark came after rival Elizabeth Warren described Buttigieg's healthcare plan as "a PowerPoint" and "not a plan." Buttigieg's quip was mocked on social media, with some Twitter users likening him to Microsoft's now-defunct "Clippy" virtual assistant.
The president of Princess Cruises welcomed a coronavirus-quarantined ship by blowing kisses and making heart signs, captured on a video set to upbeat music and posted on social media the same day as reports of the deaths of two passengers had surfaced. In a video posted to the company's social media on Wednesday, Jan Swartz is seen wearing a surgical mask and forming heart hands over her head as the cruise ship finally begins to disembark after its passengers were forced to remain at a port in Yokohama, Japan for several weeks following a shipwide outbreak of the flu-like respiratory virus. On Wednesday, officials with the Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed the on-board deaths of an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, both stricken with the latest coronavirus that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and sickened thousands of others around the globe.
Authorities in northern Italy on Friday ordered the closure of schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 towns following a flurry of new coronavirus cases. Five doctors and 10 other people tested positive for the virus in Lombardy, after apparently frequenting the same bar and group of friends, with two other cases in Veneto, authorities said at a press conference. Over 50,000 people have been asked to stay at home in the areas concerned, while all public activities such as carnival celebrations, church masses and sporting events have been banned for up to a week.
Birdsall blamed Wilson for three years ago thwarting a plea agreement three years ago that would have dismissed the charges against Ortega and potentially saved her from deportation if she met conditions that included speaking to lawmakers about the dangers of election loopholes. Birdsall shared an email from January 2017 that suggests Assistant Attorney General Jonathan White, who represented Paxton's office, tentatively agreed to such a deal. "I think her story has the potential of coming across very well in the current climate and putting her in a positive light that might help secure her immigration status more than anything we can do on paper," White wrote.
The mayor of Berkeley, California, proposed a new housing policy Thursday aimed at giving renters first dibs when a property goes up for sale, as the state battles a severe housing shortage and homelessness that Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared his top priority. Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin announced a proposed ordinance to give renters "the first refusal and right to purchase" when their apartment buildings or rented homes are put on the market. Berkeley's city council will vote on the idea later this month.
Moments before Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down a 40-month prison sentence to longtime Trump ally Roger Stone amid speculation that President Donald Trump would issue a pardon to his former adviser, Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner argued that Trump shouldn't pay any “political price” if he gives the “dirty trickster” clemency because all presidents can do it. Discussing Stone's sentencing on Fox News mid-afternoon panel show Outnumbered, co-host Carley Shimkus noted that the news cycle moves so quickly that Trump could afford to make a “controversial decision” on Stone's pardon as the election is still months away.
Italian authorities have arrested the captain of a Lebanese-flagged cargo ship which was seized in the port of Genoa on suspicion of trafficking arms to Libya, including tanks and artillery, the city's chief prosecutor said on Friday. Any deliveries of weapons to Libya would be in violation of a United Nations embargo, although U.N. officials say the embargo has been subject to frequent violations. The vessel, the Bana, was blocked by police in Genoa harbor on Feb. 3.
Key point: The Su-35S was intended as an interim solution; as a modernized air superiority fighter to sustain the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) through the 2010's until the Su-57 fifth-generation stealth fighter enters serial production. “A unique machine, a deadly aerial fist,” is how the official television channel of the Russian Ministry of Defense introduced the Su-35S superiority fighter earlier this week. TV Zvezda's three-minute clip of a recent Su-35S training sortie over Syria provides close-up shots of the fighter jet being prepped for flight, taking off, cruising over the Syrian coast, and firing flares.
The CEO of California's public pension fund said Representative Jim Banks (R., Ind. had made “baseless accusations” about the fund's chief investment officer being involved in Chinese espionage — but did not deny that Yu Ben Meng had been recruited to the “Thousand Talents Program. Marcie Frost, the head of California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), also admitted that her organization — the largest public pension fund in the country with “approximately $400 billion in global assets — had increased its Chinese investments in 2019 after shifts in “well-established indexes.
REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko A crowd of Ukrainian protesters on Thursday attacked buses ferrying evacuees from Wuhan, China, to a quarantine hospital. The buses were transporting 45 Ukrainians and 27 foreign nationals through Novi Sanzhary in central Ukraine. Nobody on board has been confirmed to have the novel coronavirus.