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.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson remained silent last week when President Donald Trump attacked the prosecutors, the jurors and her personally for their roles in the trial of his long-time friend and adviser Roger Stone. But the judge did not hold back on Thursday when she sentenced Stone to three years and four months in prison for lying to a congressional committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. Jackson said Stone showed "flagrant" disrespect for the proceedings.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has a pretty good tale to share — but it may be a little tall. Biden, who is running for president, has been spicing up his recent campaign stump speeches with a story of how he was arrested while in South Africa trying to see Nelson Mandela, The New York Times reports. During recent campaign speeches, Biden says he "had the great honor" of meeting Mandela and "of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto." As Miami Herald reporter Alex Daugherty points out, Soweto is a ways away from Robben Island, where Mandela's maximum security prison was located.
Amid the Mike Bloomberg pile-on and the Pete Buttigieg-Amy Klobuchar squabbling, there was a key point that slipped by almost unnoticed during Wednesday's tumultuous Democratic debate – one that could potentially prevent Bernie Sanders from becoming the nominee. Towards the end, each of the six candidates was asked if – at the Democratic national convention this summer in Milwaukee – they would support the person who has won the most delegates – even if that person hasn't achieved a majority. It might seem a wonky, opaque detail, but it raises the prospect that Sanders, who has a commanding lead in the polls and has emerged as the frontrunner, could win the most pledged delegates – those allocated on the basis of votes during the marathon Democratic primaries – but be swindled, at the last, by the Democratic party elite.
Former CIA Director John Brennan is very disturbed by a new report from the New York Times, which says last week, members of the House Intelligence Committee were warned by an aide to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire that Russia is actively meddling in the 2020 campaign in order to get President Trump reelected.
An Iowa professor has been charged for allegedly gagging and binding her husband to a chair with rope for hours before his death, authorities said on Wednesday evening. Gowun Park, a 41-year-old assistant economics professor at Simpson College, was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping in the death of her 41-year-old husband, Sung Nam, on Saturday, West Des Moines police told The Daily Beast. Authorities allege Park bound her husband's hands and feet with zip ties before tying him to a chair in their West Des Moines home on Saturday between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Park then allegedly stuffed “an item of clothing” into Nam's mouth to prevent him from yelling in protest before finally using duct tape to place a towel over his head to cover his eyes.
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.
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.
STR/AFP via Getty Images More than 100 wild animals were found dead in a Chinese megacity and tests show that they were poisoned by the disinfectant that's being used to combat the coronavirus. At least 17 species of animals, including wild boar, weasels, and blackbirds, were affected by the mass die-off. Nanchong Stray Animal Rescue claims that authorities are killing domesticated animals outright amid fears that they can spread the coronavirus.
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 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.
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 2,360 people and sickened 77,659 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.
Last night former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his first appearance on the 2020 Democratic debate stage to optically disastrous results (others disagree, see this). As predicted, Elizabeth Warren was on the offensive throughout the debate, launching direct verbal attacks on her opponents in an attempt to resuscitate her dwindling campaign ahead of Super Tuesday. “Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk.” She followed this statement by assuring viewers she would still support Bloomberg if he was the Democratic nominee.
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.
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.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan asked the French and German leaders to provide "concrete" support in ending a humanitarian crisis in northwest Syria's Idlib region, the Turkish presidency said on Friday, amid escalating tensions in the region. In a phone call, Erdogan said that attacks in Idlib, where a Russian-led Syrian government offensive has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and brought Ankara, Moscow and Damascus to the brink of confrontation, must be stopped. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express their concern about the humanitarian situation in Idlib, urging an end to the conflict there, a German spokesman said.
Former GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher says he actually did offer WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a presidential pardon — and that he told the Trump administration all about it. The Trump administration denied Wednesday that it had sent Rohrabacher to offer Assange a pardon, with White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham saying Trump "barely knows Dana Rohrabacher" and has "never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject." But Rohrabacher provided a different story in a Thursday interview with Yahoo News, saying he floated a pardon if Assange could prove Russia didn't hack the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
The FBI has ordered $40,000 of hand sanitiser and face masks “in case the coronavirus becomes a pandemic in the United States,” according to documents seen by CNBC. COVID-19, as the coronavirus is officially named, was declared a public health emergency by the government in January. In its purchase order, labelled as being for “pandemic preparedness”, the bureau said it needs those items in case the coronavirus spreads widely throughout the US.
AP Images / J. Scott Applewhite Apple has been granted a temporary restraining order against a man it says is harassing CEO Tim Cook. The filings state that Rakesh Sharma has been harassing Cook and has shown up at his house in Palo Alto, California, twice. Sharma has now been ordered by a judge to stay away from Cook, his home, and the company's Apple Park headquarters.
A northwestern Indiana couple allegedly used a car to force two teenage boys off a road, angered that the twin brothers were riding bicycles adorned with flags supporting President Donald Trump, before ripping one of the sibling's flag from his bike, police said Friday. Hobart police said Snapchat videos helped officers secure charges against Kyren Gregory Perry-Jones, 23, and Cailyn Marie Smith, 18, in connection with a July 22 incident. Police Capt. James Gonzales said the Hobart couple are accused of driving in their car, running the 14-year-old boys off of the road, and making threats toward them.