President Trump issued a slew of pardons and commutations on Tuesday, granting clemency to 11 people convicted of federal crimes, including former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and ex-New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. Blagojevich was originally convicted on 18 counts related to corruption, including an attempt to sell Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat when he was elected president in 2008. Mr. Trump said he hasn't "given it any thought" when asked if he will pardon Roger Stone, his longtime confidant who was convicted on charges stemming from the Mueller investigation and faces sentencing this week.
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 California family in self-quarantine over the coronavirus after a visit to China have found themselves shunned, and even had the police called on them. Amy Deng and her eight-year-old daughter, Daisy, have no symptoms, but following a trip to visit family in Guangzhou over Chinese New Year, they are in self-quarantine monitored by local officials in Santa Rosa, The East Bay Times reports. Ms Deng has closed up her acupuncture and herbal medicine practice with a neighbouring tenant not even allowing her through the shared lobby to pick up client records for fear of the virus.
As the Syrian military backed by the Russian air force takes another strategic town in Idlib, thereby inching closer towards the Turkish border, the endgame for Turkey in Syria has begun. The Syrian government has also taken the key highway that links Damascus to Aleppo and secured Aleppo from the incoming Turkish backed rebel artillery. Diplomatically the first acknowledged meeting between the Turkish and Syrian intelligence chiefs in Moscow just over a week ago heralded the final act in Erdogan's quest to knock over President Bashar al-Assad.
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.
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.
Only three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.
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.
President Donald Trump announced a host of pardons and commutations on Tuesday, ranging from Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor jailed on corruption charges, to Bernie Kerik, the former New York police commissioner. The commutation was one of a flurry of legal actions Trump took Tuesday, including pardons for Kerik, financier Michael Milken and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. And they came days before the scheduled sentencing of Roger Stone in federal court in D.C., amid wide speculation that the president might pardon his former longtime adviser.
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.
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.
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?
South Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.
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“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.
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.
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.
The campaign team for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) believes the Democratic presidential candidate is surging after a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary last week, but they're also acknowledging they face an uphill battle because of a lack of resources. For example, per The Washington Post, the campaign had to drive the New Hampshire bus to Nevada because they didn't have one there, and Klobuchar's Iowa caucus specialist is handling the same task in the Silver State. "We're putting the airplane together as we're flying," an anonymous Klobuchar campaign adviser told the Post.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial will start on March 17, two weeks after Israel holds its third national election in less than a year, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday. Netanyahu, the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged with a crime, has denied any wrongdoing in the three corruption cases against him. In addition to his legal battle, Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, is fighting for his political life in a March 2 election, after inconclusive ballots in April and September.
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 Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.
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.
The U.S. designated five Chinese media companies as “foreign missions,” a decision that reflects the Trump administration's view that the communist party of Xi Jinping is imposing increasingly draconian government-control over news services, senior State Department officials said. The State Department's foreign mission designation includes Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corp. and Hai Tian Development USA, the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday.
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.