In a tense exchange at Wednesday's impeachment hearing of President Trump, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., grilled Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, over his changing testimony on what he understood about Trump's motivation in seeking an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. “Who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?” Maloney asked after an extended back-and-forth with Sondland on that point. “I assume President Trump would benefit —” Sondland said.
Bolivian President Evo Morales, who had led the country for 14 years, resigned last week amid heated protests and pressure to leave from the country's military. Morales was a transformational figure in the often tumultuous history of the poor South American nation. The son of llama herders, he first rose to prominence as an advocate for coca leaf farmers before being elected as president in 2006 on a far-left socialist platform of redistributing wealth, fighting poverty and empowering the country's indigenous population.
The former Louisiana State University student who was found guilty of negligent homicide for the hazing death of 18-year-old Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday. Jurors reportedly took just one hour to convict Matthew Naquin in July. The judge ordered Naquin to write a letter of apology to the Gruver family, and for every year he is on probation he must go to three separate high schools and give a one-hour talk about hazing, according to WVLA-TV.
Israel's air defences intercepted four rockets fired from neighbouring Syria on Tuesday, the army said, prompting reported retaliatory missile strikes against the source of the fire. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rockets were fired from positions around the capital held by groups loyal to the Damascus government. It did not elaborate on which group had launched the rockets or whether there had been any casualties in the retaliatory strikes.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom cracked down on oil producers Tuesday, halting approval of hundreds of fracking permits until independent scientists can review them and temporarily banning new wells using another drilling method that regulators believe is linked to one of the largest spills in state history. The state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources announced it will not approve new wells that use high-pressure steam to extract oil from underground. It's the type of process Chevron uses at an oil field in the Central Valley that leaked more than 1.3 million gallons (4.9 million liters) of oil and water this summer.
LONDON, Nov 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Extinction Rebellion activists pressing for more rapid action on climate change threats on Wednesday entered a third day of a week-long hunger strikes in 27 countries. The strikes, which began Monday, have been in part spearheaded by 20-year-old Giovanni Tamacas, a University of San Diego student, who carried out a solo hunger strike last month in front of the White House. We are hunger striking because we have no choice, he said in a statement, arguing governments and corporations have criminally and catastrophically failed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency .
Elstad Ranch/Flickr Syracuse University's fraternities had their social activities canceled for the rest of the semester after a black student said members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity called her the N-word. It was the latest in a series of reported racist and anti-Semitic incidents to sweep the upstate New York campus since November 7. Syracuse University has canceled all fraternity social activities for the rest of the semester after a black student reported a racist attack.
The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said. The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.
Washington D.C.) The Navy has laid the keel for its first new, Flight III DDG 51 surface warfare destroyer armed with improved weapons, advanced sensors and new radar 35-times more sensitive than most current systems, changing attack and defensive options for the surface fleet. Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships such as more on-board power to accommodate laser weapons, new engines, improved electronics, fast-upgradeable software and a much more powerful radar. The Flight III Destroyers will be able to see and destroy a much wider range of enemy targets at farther distances.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who began calling for President Trump to be impeached earlier this year, believes we have now reached “the point of no return” where it is inarguably clear that he has committed criminal acts. Ocasio-Cortez discussed the issue with Yahoo News on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as the third day of public hearings was being conducted in the Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry. “We're kind of knee-deep here in impeachment inquiry and so at this point, I think we're beyond the question as to whether Trump has committed a crime or whether he's violated the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is getting a little ahead of himself. Hours before the fifth Democratic debate was set to begin, Biden's campaign on Wednesday sent out a fundraising email obviously not intended for release until the debate ended. "I'm leaving the fifth Democratic debate now," read the very first sentence of this email, sent long before the debate even started.
Lee, who lives in Hansen, Idaho, testified that Frazee asked her to clean up the scene of the killing and that she watched him burn a plastic tote she believed contained Berreth's body. Lee acknowledged she took Berreth's cellphone with her to Idaho at Frazee's request to try to deceive investigators about Berreth's whereabouts. She reached a plea deal with prosecutors for tampering with evidence and faces up to three years in prison.
Two gay Saudi journalists who sought asylum in Australia after being threatened at home over their relationship have been held for weeks at an immigration detention centre, their lawyer said Wednesday. The couple arrived in Australia in mid-October on tourist visas but was singled out by airport customs officials -- then taken into detention -- when they admitted plans to seek asylum, lawyer Alison Battisson told AFP. "Australia being very well known for being... a safe place for LGBTI people, they were incredibly surprised and distressed," she said.
The FBI wished it had taken swifter action as Beijing recruited U.S.-based researchers to transfer intellectual property from American laboratories, a senior official at the agency said on Tuesday during Senate testimony. China has repeatedly insisted Washington has exaggerated the problem for political reasons, and asked for a response to the FBI's comments, a Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Wednesday that "Cold War mentalities" should be discarded. The admission by John Brown, assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at the FBI, backed up a Senate subcommittee report that found federal agencies had responded too slowly as China recruited the researchers, leaving U.S. taxpayers unwittingly funding the rise of China's economy and military.
Twenty-two farmers were arrested in northern India on Wednesday for setting fires to clear their fields and contributing to some of the worst air pollution in the country, a government official said. Those arrested in Uttar Pradesh state's Pilibhit district face charges of disobeying a ban on burning crop waste and making the atmosphere noxious, said state government spokesman Awanish Awasthi. India's Supreme court last week ordered a fine of up to 100,000 rupees ($1,420) for those polluting the air.
After an impeachment hearing that featured Republicans suggesting National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was insufficiently loyal to America on Tuesday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs and former Trump aide Christian Whiton openly mocked the Iraq War veteran for wearing his Army uniform to testify. During Tuesday night's broadcast of Lou Dobbs Tonight, Dobbs—who also serves as an informal adviser to the president—groused about Vindman requesting Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) properly refer to him by his military rank during the hearing. “This Colonel Vindman, who insisted for some reason on wanting to be called lieutenant colonel,” the Fox host grumbled.
The Trump administration is set to harden the rules this week on those allowed to seek asylum in the United States, as it attempts to stem a wave of migration on its southern border with Mexico.
President Trump lashed out at the media during a Tuesday afternoon Cabinet meeting over reporting about his sudden trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last weekend. The White House said the visit was part of a regular physical exam. Speculation arose on Saturday shortly after news of the president's visit broke, with CNN reporting that Trump's appointment was a break from protocol during past administrations.
The best of Iran's decrepit fighter aircraft fleet is the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The Imperial Iranian Air Force purchased 80 of the powerful fourth generation fighters before the 1979 Islamic revolution, but deliveries were halted at 79 aircraft. Additionally, Iran had purchased 714 Hughes (now Raytheon) AIM-54A Phoenix long-range semi-active/active radar guided air-to-air missiles, which have a range of roughly 100 nautical miles.
A former California nanny will serve 30 years in federal prison for filming child pornography with at least five victims under his care, authorities said Monday. Travis Elconin convinced families and friends to hire him as a caretaker, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California said in a press release, then sexually abused their children. The 35-year-old Burbank resident also advertised his nanny services online, according to court documents detailed in the release.
Two pro-democracy protesters were arrested Wednesday as they emerged from a manhole on a Hong Kong road outside a besieged campus, in a thwarted escape bid from inside the university. Two male protesters holed up in the campus for days were detained along with four people lowering ropes to help them out from the drainage system, police said. They apparently crawled through fetid sewers to a manhole outside a housing estate around half a kilometre from city centre grounds of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the scene of the dramatic siege by police.
An ammunition dealer who acknowledged selling hundreds of incendiary tracer rounds to the gunman who killed nearly 60 people at a Las Vegas music festival two years ago pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manufacturing bullets without a license. Douglas Haig, 57, of Mesa, Arizona, became the first and only person arrested and charged in connection with the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre, which ended when the gunman, Stephen Paddock, killed himself. Haig told reporters following his arrest last year that none of the surplus military ammunition he sold to Paddock in September 2017 was ever fired during the killing spree, which ranks as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
A Saudi princess and activist has been detained and placed under house arrest on suspicion of trying to flee to Europe, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported. Sources close to Princess Basmah told the publication she disappeared in December 2018 and was detained in March 2019 on suspicion of seeking to flee under the guise of urgent medical care in Switzerland. When Princess Basmah finally responded to Bennett's phone calls she was "sounding very much like a hostage," he told DW.