In the first week of public impeachment hearings, three witnesses, all veteran U.S. diplomats, added details of what they knew of President Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a plan whose unraveling threatens his presidency. While the fundamental partisan dynamics of the inquiry continue to hold — Democrats who control the House appear poised to impeach the president, while Republicans in the Senate are unlikely to convict him — this week's developments shed new light on the months-long effort by the Trump administration to procure investigations from a foreign government.
WASHINGTON — On Oct. 30, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry delivered a rare warning to a Russian diplomat stationed in Sofia, the capital: Leave the country within 24 hours. The expelled diplomat, Vladimir Anatolyevich Rusyaev is affiliated with the Russian military intelligence service, or the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly known as the GRU, according to a Western intelligence source. The intelligence source provided Yahoo News with a document describing Rusyaev's career history, including a current photograph.
A father in Massachusetts is facing criminal charges after his 5-year-old son allegedly brought heroin to school and said tasting it made him feel like Spider-Man. Benny Garcia's son took a bag of heroin to kindergarten on Thursday, prosecutors said, and put some of the powder in his mouth. The boy told a teacher he got it from his living room, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported, and said eating the powder turns him into the superhero whose image was stamped on the plastic bag.
One local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate. The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force. The silo's owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he's “bored”.
Soldiers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army briefly left their Hong Kong barracks on Saturday to help the clean-up after a week of disruption caused by pro-democracy protests, a rare and highly symbolic troop movement unsolicited by the city's embattled government. The action saw scores of soldiers from the garrison, which is confined to the barracks under Hong Kong's mini-constitution, with crewcuts and identical gym kits conduct a lightning-quick removal of bricks and debris near their base. Confirming the brief deployment on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, the PLA said it acted to open a debris-strewn road outside their Kowloon Tong barracks to traffic, winning "applause from residents" in the process.
Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.
The Minneapolis Police Department announced Friday that a 2015 count of rape kits collected from survivors came up terribly short, missing more than 1,500 rape kits held in police storage facilities. Minnesota passed a law in 2015 that required law enforcement agencies to audit their backlogged kits. But after conducting a new review this year, the Minneapolis police said at a press conference on Friday, that 1,700 untested rape kits spanning over 30 years have been discovered — far more than the 194 kits found in 2015.
When British India became independent in 1947, the country was divided into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. The problem was that East Pakistan and West Pakistan were almost a thousand miles apart, and wedged in between them was archenemy India. Imagine if the United States only consisted of the East Coast and West Coast, and Russia controlled all of North America in between.
Hundreds of people in Cuba's capital stood in line to kiss, touch or walk around a towering silk floss tree Saturday in a nod to tradition as they celebrate Havana's 500th anniversary this weekend. The event comes as Cuba deals with an ailing economy and increasingly tense relations with the U.S., concerns that were briefly cast aside as residents prepared for a gala event Saturday night featuring fireworks, music and international dignitaries. “Havana grows, lives, sings, dances and dreams,” said Félix Julio Alfonso, a professor who spoke before granting the public access to the revered silk floss tree.
A poll released earlier this week showed Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential primary pack in Iowa for the first time. Buttigieg, an openly gay military veteran, was the top choice of 25 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers, outpacing long-standing frontrunners Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg has staked a position where he can be seen as a reasonable alternative for voters who have doubts about the three leading candidates.
A month after their explosive confrontation over impeachment and Ukraine, Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) were back at it on Sunday when Todd pointedly told Johnson that he seemed to “blame this on everybody” but President Trump. Johnson, who has previously said it made him “wince” when U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland said President Trump would release military aid to Ukraine when Ukraine moved to “get to the bottom of what happened in 2016,” told Todd that he understood why Trump wanted an investigation.
Syracuse University suspended one fraternity and halted social activities at all the school's fraternities for the rest of the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted days of protests, the school president announced Sunday. "Last night, one of our African American students reported being subjected to a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. Syverud's action was the latest in a series of crackdowns on fraternities across the nation and comes less than a week after San Diego State University suspended all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations following the death of a freshman who had attended a fraternity event.
Child abuse victims should be given new rights to sue paedophiles caught viewing or sharing indecent images of them, children charities have said. The Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the initiative arguing it would act as a deterrent for offenders, who now know they are unlikely to go do jail, as it could mean potentially losing their homes and pensions if caught with abuse material. The CCCIS, which represents charities such as the NSPCC and Barnardo's, said those convicted of indecent images should also face a new automatic surcharge to fund the treatment and therapy costs of victims of abuse.
Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates, has stepped up her assault on billionaires -- a rallying cry popular with her base, but one that could stymie her efforts to garner wider support among US voters. The 70-year-old US senator from Massachusetts on Thursday unveiled a new ad in an appearance on CNBC, a business news network that often criticizes her, in which she takes on the ultra-rich. The one-minute campaign ad shows clips of several leading businessmen criticizing her plans for a wealth tax and predicting economic ruin if she is elected to succeed Donald Trump, a billionaire himself.
An elephant named after Osama bin Laden, the late al-Qaida leader, has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner blamed "thugs" and "bullies" on Sunday for the violence that hit demonstrations the previous day marking marked the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" protests. "Yesterday, what we saw were few (legitimate) demonstrators but thugs, bullies and morons," Castaner told Europe 1 radio when asked about the violence in Paris on Saturday. Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon during the rallies to mark a year since the birth of the anti-government yellow vest movement.
Key point: Russia and NATO's military buildup in the Baltics is creating a tense situation. In the most recent illustration of ongoing Russia-NATO military tensions over Baltic airspace, recently released footage shows a Russian Su-27 fighter making a sharp turn into an American F-15C. It is unclear when the video was filmed, with some speculating that it occured during a prior NATO BAP (Baltic Air Policing) mission. When viewed in that light, this incident seems to fall into the trend of what US officials have previously described as “unsafe” Russian interceptions and “aggressive maneuvers” in high-tension airspace.
The first African-American FBI special agent, who was hired 100 years ago, is finally getting recognition. There are no known photographs of James Wormley Jones, but there is a record of his hiring. Inside FBI headquarters in Washington is an archive room filled with hundreds of thousands of documents and a lone application for the job of special agent.
The president of a university in Hong Kong says that police have agreed to suspend their use of force after an all-night effort to flush out protesters occupying the campus. It seems unlikely the protesters would accept the offer given that they would all likely be arrested. Hong Kong police have stormed into a university campus held by protesters after an all-night standoff.
Two House Intelligence Committee members on opposite sides of the aisle squared off Sunday over President Donald Trump's tweets aimed at discrediting former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her public testimony. It's obviously wrong,” Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York said Sunday on ABC's “This Week. The president is intimidating a witness in real time.
The 16-year-old suspected of fatally shooting two students and wounding three others at their high school Thursday was an unlikely gunman, classmates and neighbors said. Following a 16-second burst of gunfire that ended with the suspect shooting himself in the head, the boy was is in critical condition at a local hospital, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Neighbors and classmates described the boy as pleasant but noted that he was changed by the death of his father two years ago.
An eyewitness account by a Holocaust survivor—unearthed for a new exhibition in London—describes the conditions in the “gypsy” section of Auschwitz as even more inhumane than the rest of the appalling facility. “The conditions were worse than in the other camps,” wrote eyewitness Hermann Langbein in 1945. The gypsies were still wearing the clothes that they had been given upon arrival… footwear was missing… The latrines were built in such a way that they were practically unusable for the gypsy children.
A Louisiana police officer who crashed a speeding car while off duty in 2017 will face no criminal charges in the death of a child.
Two leading Muslim groups said Sunday they will file petitions in India's top court challenging its decision to award Hindus control of a bitterly disputed holy site that has sparked deadly inter-religious violence. The Supreme Court ruled on November 9 that the holy site in Ayodhya, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, must be managed by a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple. A separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to a Muslim group to build a "prominent" new mosque.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday threatened to pull out of signing an integration deal with Russia next month if Moscow failed to resolve their dispute over energy subsidies. Russia has propped up its traditional ally with loans and subsidies to keep Belarus in its political orbit but now plans to phase these out to lessen the burden on its economy. Belarus previously said that it stands to lose hundreds of millions of dollars a year from changes to Russian tax policy and has tried to negotiate compensation.