President Trump on Tuesday exercised his pardon power, granting clemency to or commuting the sentences of nearly a dozen people convicted of crimes, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and junk bond pioneer Michael Milken. Trump also referred to himself as the nation's “chief law enforcement officer,” a title typically reserved for the attorney general. On Tuesday morning, the White House announced Trump's pardoning of former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. for his involvement in a 1998 corruption case against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.
A group of human rights activists delivered their final statements in their own defense on Wednesday before a court in Istanbul hands down a verdict in their closely-watched trial on charges of belonging to or aiding terror groups. The case against Amnesty International's former Turkey chairman and 10 other activists heightened concerns about Turkey's treatment of human rights defenders and helped sour Turkey's relations with European nations, notably with Germany.
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.
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 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.
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.
President Trump granted a full pardon to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on Tuesday, clearing him of his eight counts of tax fraud, lying to federal investigators, and other crimes that accompanied his downfall. Kerik had already served his three years in prison for his crimes, but the pardon wipes out more than his criminal record, the New York Daily News reports. "The pardon cancels out $103,300 in restitution that Kerik still owed the Internal Revenue Service as part of his sentence, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan."
Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government's response to natural disasters. The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials 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?
One of two hastily-constructed Wuhan hospitals meant to help handle the surging number of coronavirus patients was less than half full on Tuesday, according to official figures. Its sister hospital, Huoshenshan, is now operating at around its 1,000-bed capacity. The spectacle of the high-speed construction of two brand new hospitals in less than 12 days in Wuhan was a PR coup for the Chinese government.
An Istanbul court acquitted prominent businessman Osman Kavala of charges of plotting to overthrow the government during mass protests that shook the country in 2013. Nine defendants were cleared, and arrest warrants for others living abroad have been rescinded. Others accused in the case include actor Mehmet Ali Alabora and journalist Can Dundar, who have both left the country.
Conservative activist Kaitlin Bennett, also known as "Gun Girl," incited large-scale student protests Monday when she appeared on Ohio University's Athens campus to film a video. Bennett had arrived on campus to film a President's Day trivia video for the Liberty Hangout, which bills itself as a libertarian media outlet, according to both her and the site. Bennett has been a divisive figure since gaining notoriety in 2018 for posting controversial graduation photos of herself with an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University.
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."
Daria Mastikasheva was one of scores of prisoners exchanged between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in December, but she says she is now being kept against her will in a hospital in eastern Ukraine by the same people who secured her release. A former taekwondo champion, Mastikasheva spent years in Ukrainian custody on what she says were trumped up treason charges in a case that was documented by rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. She was handed over to separatist fighters in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine in a mass prisoner exchange, one of a number of confidence-building measures agreed by Ukraine and Russia to end the simmering conflict.
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.
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.
Israel will provide hundreds of additional work permits for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli defense body said Tuesday, in a new step aimed at solidifying an informal cease-fire with the Hamas militant group. COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for civilian Palestinian affairs, said it was lifting certain restrictions on the territory starting Wednesday following days of “relative quiet” in the area surrounding Gaza. Israel blames the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, for ongoing fire emanating from the Gaza Strip, including a spate of explosive balloons launched from Gaza that have damaged Israeli properties.
A security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist. Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered. On Monday, Bismarck Espinoza Martinez, originally from Nicaragua, was found guilty of fatally stabbing Ms Stefaniak on the night of 28 November, 2018.
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.
Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia who called out alleged voter suppression during that election, said Monday that she “would be honored” to be the vice presidential candidate on the 2020 Democratic ticket.
Bernie Sanders has taken a commanding lead over the rest of the Democratic field as Joe Biden has fallen into a tie for distant second place, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Sanders leads the pack with 27% of Democratic primary voters, unchanged from a month ago. But Biden's support is down 11 percentage points to 15%.
“Holidays will never be the same,” Jennifer told Dateline. Liz, as she is known by her family and friends, was four months pregnant with her third child. “She got in his truck and that's the last time I ever heard from her,” Amber said.