The second day of public hearings in the House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump concluded on Friday, with Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, describing her shock at the embrace by top U.S. officials of a smear campaign that ultimately led to her ouster. During her testimony, Trump attacked Yovanovitch in a tweet. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff read the missive to the former ambassador, and later accused Trump of “witness intimidation in real time.
A purported street-gang leader from suburban Chicago who became radicalized in prison faces federal charges accusing him of seeking to provide money to Islamic State militants in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Jason Brown, the 37-year-old leader of the AHK gang, could be heard on secret FBI recordings speaking admiringly about beheadings by the Islamic State group, the 27-page complaint says. AHK, which prosecutors say traffics drugs throughout the Chicago area, is comprised of former members of the Black P-Stone, Gangster Disciples and Four Corner Hustlers who converted to Islam, the court filings say.
Vietnam sentenced a music teacher to 11 years in prison on Friday for Facebook posts that allegedly undermined the one-party state, which has been accused of tightening the noose on online dissent. Communist Vietnam has long jailed its critics but has come under fire recently for targeting users on Facebook, a popular forum for activists in the country where all independent media is banned. Nguyen Nang Tinh is the latest activist jailed for his Facebook comments, including posts about police brutality, land rights, and a Taiwanese steel firm that dumped toxic sludge into the ocean, killing masses of fish off the coast of Vietnam.
An international investigation into the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on Thursday released a series of phone intercepts, including one between a top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin and pro-Russian rebels accused in the crash. Calls between officials in Moscow and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine mostly took place via secure telephones provided by the Russian security service, and intensified ahead of the disaster in the first half of July 2014, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said. "The indications for close ties between leaders of the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic) and Russian government officials raise questions about their possible involvement in the deployment of the (missile), which brought down flight MH17 on 17 July 2014," the JIT said.
Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast. The Conservatives are trying to put immigration at the center of their campaign on Thursday. Home Secretary Priti Patel published analysis -- which Labour rejects -- saying Jeremy Corbyn's “open borders” policy will push up net migration to 840,000 per year.
The number of mass shootings in the US this year has already reached 366, as of November 14, according to the Gun Violence Archive's tally. At least two people were killed and an additional three were injured in a mass shooting on Thursday afternoon at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. At least two people are dead and three injured after a mass shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.
Key point: China has aided its military modernization by stealing and reverse-engineering top-of-the-line military hardware. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services detected the cyber burglary, according to cybersecurity writer Brian Krebs. “Between Oct. 10, 2011 and Aug. 13, 2012, attackers thought to be operating out of China hacked into the corporate networks of three top Israeli defense technology companies, including Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems,” Krebs writes.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) seemed to admit on CNN Wednesday night that she is motivated to pursue impeachment because she believes in will unite the Democratic Party and make victory in the 2020 presidential election more likely. “At the end of the day, we have to be able to come together as a caucus, and if it is this Ukrainian allegation that is what brings the caucus together, then I think we have to run with however we unify the House,” Ocasio-Cortez told Wolf Blitzer, who asked the Congresswoman whether she hoped other potential violations by Trump would be considered in any articles of impeachment.
Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist in exile in Canada, said that Twitter is an important tool for many Saudi dissidents but comes with risks. Abdulaziz was friends with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The two of them were working to create an "army" of internet users to combat Saudi propaganda before Khashoggi was killed.
Appearing live on CNN Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to President Trump, was asked to respond to the assessment given by her husband, George, that testimony of career diplomats in the first public impeachment hearings was damning for her boss. George Conway, a conservative lawyer and outspoken Trump critic, appeared on MSNBC as a guest analyst during Thursday's hearings. While introducing a clip of George Conway, CNN's Wolf Blitzer told Kellyanne Conway he wanted to ask her a “sensitive” political question.
Police in Virginia say the Marine deserter wanted for questioning in a murder case was trying to reach out to a family member when he was spotted. Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones told a news conference that it's believed Michael Alexander Brown was trying to contact his grandmother when a neighbor saw him early Thursday. The Roanoke Times reports the U.S. Marshals Service learned Sunday night that Brown might be driving a recreational vehicle near Clarendon County, South Carolina, about four hours southwest of Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, where he had been stationed as a U.S. Marine until leaving his post last month.
The French army general charged with overseeing the rebuilding of Paris' fire-mangled Notre-Dame, has caused astonishment by publicly telling the cathedral's chief architect to "shut his mouth" in a sign of tension over the monument's future look. General Jean-Louis Georgelin and chief architect Philippe Villeneuve are at odds over whether to replace the cathedral's spire -- which was toppled in the April 15 blaze -- with an exact replica, or mix things up with a modern twist. President Emmanuel Macron, who appointed Georgelin to head the massive reconstruction project, has said he is in favour of adding a "contemporary" touch.
Angered by the testimony of ousted ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, California Rep. Jackie Speier upbraided a reporter for The Hill and ripped the outlet's publication of columns by John Solomon, the conservative journalist whose work is at the center of what Yovanovitch described as a “smear campaign” against her. “I just find it reprehensible that any newspaper would just be willing to put that kind of crap out that is not — has no veracity whatsoever, and not check to see if it had any veracity,” said Speier, a Democrat serving in her seventh term in the House, according to audio of the exchange reviewed by POLITICO. Speier launched into her critique of The Hill after fielding a question from its senior staff writer Scott Wong about who her dream witness would be at the impeachment proceedings.
United Airlines on Friday removed the grounded Boeing 737 Max from its flight schedule until early March, joining Southwest and American in taking another round of proactive steps to reduce last-minute flight cancellations if the plane's return continues to be delayed. American last week took it out of its schedule until March 5, Southwest until March 6. Southwest had 34 Max planes in its schedule at the time of the grounding, American, 24 and United, 14.
Key point: The Pentagon is at a crossroads. The U.S. Army is at a crossroads as the Pentagon is reorienting itself to fight a capable great power opponent after nearly two decades focused on counter-insurgency conflicts. Russia poses a traditional land-power challenge for the U.S. Army with its large mechanized formations threatening the Baltics, as well as formidable long-range ballistic missiles, artillery and surface-to-air missiles.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that makes public housing more energy efficient, at a cost of over $100 billion. The plan, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, will call for renovation of public housing units to install community gardens and organic grocery stores along with on-site childcare services, according to the Washington Post. “Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country,” Sanders said in a statement.
An American teacher's death in the Dominican Republic was being investigated Thursday as a murder. Police said they found Patricia Anton deceased in her apartment in Puerto Plata, on the country's northern coast, with her hands and feet bound.
House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday President Donald Trump already has admitted to bribery in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of a Democratic-led inquiry, accusing him of an impeachable offense under the U.S. Constitution. "The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That's bribery," Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, told a news conference the day after the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry she announced in September.
The meteoric political journey of Evo Morales came to an end – for now, at least – right where it started: in a steamy jungle region of central Bolivia. And it was here that he fled to last weekend, after resigning the presidency – at the prompting of Bolivia's top general – as deadly protests convulsed the country amid allegations of electoral fraud. Pictured lying atop a blanket on a safehouse floor, Morales fondly recalled his time as a local leader on Twitter.
A US citizen and military veteran suffering from a mental health condition will reportedly receive $190,000 (£147,988) from a Michigan city after local officials transferred him to ICE detention following an arrest last year. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a decorated Marine veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested while experiencing an episode in which he lost all recollection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Police found the veteran, who was born and raised in Michigan, on the helipad of a hospital after he started a small fire and pulled an alarm, according to reports.
Schools in India's capital are shut on Thursday and Friday after a thick gray haze of noxious air enveloped the city for the third consecutive day, and angry residents blamed authorities for holding an annual children's race. The air quality index exceeded 460, nine times the level recommended by the World Health Organization, according to the state-run Central Pollution Control Board. The event was organized to mark the birthday of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, which is celebrated as Children's Day in India.
Soaring high above Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, the focal point of a month of nationwide protests against decades of corrupt and sectarian rule in Lebanon, is a signboard of a clenched fist and the Arabic word for revolution. Here, like a shrine, protesters have collected the broken tent frames and smashed plastic chairs and tables left over after thugs armed with sticks and pipes – and chanting pro-Shiite slogans favoring the powerful Hezbollah and Amal parties – attacked the square in late October. “They attacked everyone; they were not behaving like Lebanese,” says Anita Mansour, a 30-something architect from Beirut, speaking beside the pile of revolutionary debris.
A Georgia inmate sentenced to death for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery 25 years ago was executed Wednesday night, authorities say. Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m after lethal injection at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the state's department of corrections said. Cromartie was convicted of the 1994 killing of Richard Slysz at a Thomasville convenience store, but his lawyers recently had appealed for DNA testing of evidence they say could have exonerated Cromartie after a new statement from one of the men involved in the robbery.
In 2017, the United States began supplying Javelin missile launchers and sniper systems to Ukraine. This equipment, in addition to nonlethal aid (since 2014), is intended to help fight off Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region. Yet the aid policy has a number of fundamental shortcomings: its effectiveness at the tactical level is limited; it will likely encourage, not deter, Russia's engagement in the conflict; and it fails to address the root causes of the Donetsk and Luhansk (collectively—Donbas) rebellions.