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.
WASHINGTON – Brett Kavanaugh waited more than 13 months to take a victory lap. On Thursday night, a hero's welcome greeted the associate justice who made it to the Supreme Court by the narrowest of margins last October after two contentious Senate confirmation hearings. The annual black-tie dinner of the Federalist Society – the nation's premier gathering of conservatives in the law – is dedicated to the memory of the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
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.
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.
Interim president Jeanine Anez moved Thursday to consolidate power in deeply polarized Bolivia, winning recognition from the United States and immediately shifting the country's foreign policy on erstwhile ally Venezuela. Anez was expected to complete her government line-up, having named new military chiefs and half of her proposed 20-member cabinet - including Defense Minister Fernando Lopez Julio - the night before. "We have come to pacify the country," Lopez Julio said in a speech at the military college in La Paz.
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 Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over his relationship with a top staffer, according to a Thursday press release from the Committee. “The Committee is aware of public allegations arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings' personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office,” read the statement. While the announcement does not name the staffer, it is almost certainly Patricia Williams, Hastings's district-office director and long-time partner, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Billionaire George Soros opened the new main campus of his Central European University in Vienna on Friday, saying it would not halt its struggle to defend academic freedom from Viktor Orban, the right wing leader he says hounded it from Hungary. Since it was founded by Soros in 1991, CEU has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from eastern Europe, offering U.S.-accredited graduate degree programmes in an academic climate that celebrates free thought. "CEU has steadfastly defended the principle of academic freedom against a concentrated attack by the corrupt government of Viktor Orban, who was hellbent to destroy it," Soros said at the inauguration of CEU's Vienna campus.
The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the 10 candidates who will participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate in Atlanta on Wednesday. They are: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. Julian Castro, who participated in previous debates, most recently in October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, didn't make the cut.
Yovanovitch methodically outplayed a series of Republican efforts to cast her firing as normal, the president's behavior as unremarkable, and the harm she suffered as negligible–rather than the prelude to a shadow diplomatic effort to coerce Ukraine into aiding Trump's reelection. Instead, she made it clear that she would have been an obstacle to the president's pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had she remained in Kyiv. At one point, she told Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) that she would have opposed the summer 2019 suspension of $400 million in U.S. military aid and would never have asked Zelensky to pursue the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
WASHINGTON — As guests filed into Union Station to hear a keynote speech by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Thursday evening, the scene outside included protesters dressed in "Handmaid's Tale" costumes and chanting their support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The protesters from the group Demand Justice sent the message to attendees that they "still believe" Blasey Ford, according to video and photos taken by journalists present. Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault last year.
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.
Protesters in Hong Kong have once again blocked a highway in an outlying area after the government did not meet their demand that it pledge to go ahead with local elections later this month. The protesters had allowed one lane of traffic to re-open in each direction and gave the government 24 hours to meet their demand. Constitutional Affairs Secretary Patrick Nip said the government hopes the election will be held on schedule but warned that it could be postponed if conditions are unsafe and roads and other transportation are blocked.
Iran imposed petrol rationing and raised pump prices by at least 50 percent Friday, saying the move aims to help the needy with cash handouts and is not due to a budget deficit. The Islamic republic provides some of the most heavily subsidised petrol in the world, with the pump price previously standing at just 10,000 rials (less than nine US cents) a litre. "Increasing petrol prices is to the people's benefit and also to help the society's strata under (economic) pressure," President Hassan Rouhani told a cabinet meeting, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
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.
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.
China threatened Sweden with unspecified "counter measures" if its culture minister attends a literary award ceremony on Friday for Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen who was abducted in Thailand in 2015 and is now in detention in China. The case of Chinese-born Gui Minhai, who studied in Sweden in the 1980s and was based in Hong Kong when he published books critical of China's leaders, has soured relations between Sweden and China. Svenska PEN, a literary organization, has awarded Gui Minhai the 2019 Tucholsky Prize, praising his work in the service of free speech.
The Trump administration is preparing to submit court filings as early as next week as a necessary step toward seizing private land in Texas for its wall on the border with Mexico, NBC reported Thursday. Administration officials still haven't said how much the government will compensate affected landowners. “I still think we're on track to get the land we need for 450 miles” of border wall, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan told reporters on Thursday.
The school shooting that killed two and injured at least three people at Saugus High School Thursday comes amid a national debate around how to prepare for and respond to active shooter situations, with some schools and policymakers advocating a range of tactics — from "bulletproof backpacks" to curved hallways. The debate gained traction following the Feb. 14, 2018, killing of 17 children and school staffers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after it came to light that the school safety officer on duty failed to confront the gunman. He now faces criminal charges.
Genealogy websites and a cheek swab enabled U.S. Marshals to arrest a man suspected of being the “Potomac River Rapist,” who terrorized the nation's capital in the 1990s. News outlets report 60-year-old Giles Daniel Warrick is now awaiting extradition from Horry County, South Carolina. Authorities said DNA evidence matched family profiles in genealogy services, enabling investigators to narrow their search after interviewing Warrick's relatives.
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.
Authorities are searching for a woman after finding her husband's corpse in a freezer in a bedroom inside her Missouri home, where it may have been stored for nearly a year. Barbara Watters of Joplin, Mo. was charged Wednesday with abandonment of a corpse, a felony that is punishable by up to four years in prison.
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.