If there is one thing Donald Trump fears, it's lousy ratings. Since being elected president, in fact, Trump has tweeted about “ratings” exactly 100 times, according to the Trump Twitter Archive, the most recent coming Friday, on the eve of his defense team's opening testimony in his impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave in to pressure from members of his own party to adjust the trial's timetable to give House Democrats three days to make their case for removing Trump from office, pushing the opening arguments by the president's lawyers to the weekend.
Prosecutors in Florida believe a 60-year-old man building a “dungeon” under his home is the so-called pillowcase rapist, who authorities say broke into women's houses and concealed his face with pillows and towels in as many as 40 assaults in the state since the 1980s. Robert Koehler was arrested on 18 January after authorities say they tied his DNA to samples collected from a 1983 case. Authorities were able to link Koehler to at least 25 cases, although they believe there are other matches to follow, as investigators begin to dive into Koehler's history in the state.
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani showed up on the president's favorite morning program on Friday—and apparently didn't want to leave. A day after Giuliani claimed on Twitter that he was about to go public with evidence that will reveal the “Biden Family Enterprise made millions by selling public office” when Joe Biden was vice president, the former New York City mayor sat down on Fox & Friends' curvy couch for what can generously be described as an unhinged, rambling, off-the-rails performance. Giuliani, whose involvement in the Ukraine scandal is at the heart of the president's impeachment, continually left the hosts of the Fox News slack-jawed as he prattled on and bulldozed right through their efforts to keep him from incriminating and implicating himself.
Justin Trudeau's second in command, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland, said Canada wants a “real, independent” analysis of the airplane's black box, along with transparency on what exactly happened. “I am confident we will get those answers because Canada is relentlessly focused on getting them and we will not stop until we get them,” Freeland said. Iran is under intense international pressure to provide full accountability over the circumstances that caused the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines plane on Jan. 8.
From the sand dunes of Namibia to South Africa's world-class Tiffindell resort, this is what makes skiing in Africa like no place on the planet Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
As experts tell people not to panic about the unfamiliar coronavirus, several governments are taking steps to limit its spread. A second case of the respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan, China, leaving more than 40 people dead and causing quarantines and transit closures throughout China, has been confirmed in the United States. The Chicago patient, who last week returned home from Wuhan, is reportedly isolated in the hospital, and officials say she's doing well and has had limited contact with others.
In the wake of Washington's assassination of former Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Arab Shi'a desires and interests across the Middle East are under a microscope. Have they shifted their protest slogans from opposing Iran to denouncing the United States? Americans should not assume that wide-angle television images of Shi'a protests in Iran calling for the downfall of the Great Satan reflect Shi'a sentiment across Arab societies.
Crowds gather in Ditan Park in Beijing, China. Thomas Peter/Reuters2020: Ditan Park is eerily empty as workers took down the lantern decorations after the Lunar New Year celebration was cancelled. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters2019: Signs with the Chinese character "Fu," which means "Good luck," hang in the Forbidden City.
Pope Francis met Iraq's president on Saturday and the two agreed that the country's sovereignty must be respected, following attacks on Iraqi territory this month by the United States and Iran. President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican's two top diplomats, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, its foreign minister. The talks "focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favor of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty," a Vatican statement said.
Attorneys for President Trump opened their defense in his Senate impeachment trial Saturday morning by charging that the case presented by House Democrats was full of “bluster and innuendo,” and that “devastating evidence” would lead to the inevitable conclusion that the two articles of impeachment now being considered have no merit. “The president did absolutely nothing wrong,” said White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who is leading Trump's defense. The other key point, made by Cipollone and others, was that Trump acted “in our national interest” by withholding $250 million in military aid from Ukraine for several months in the spring and summer of 2019.
The death toll from a strong earthquake that rocked eastern Turkey climbed to 29 on Saturday night as rescue crews searched for people who remained trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, officials said. Speaking at a televised news conference, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said earlier in the day that 18 people were killed in Elazig province, where Friday night's quake was centered, and four in neighboring Malatya. The national disaster agency later updated the total with seven more casualties.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the United States on Thursday he would repeal an agreement on deployment of troops and equipment for exercises if Washington did not reinstate the visa of a political ally.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly cursed and shouted at an NPR reporter after she repeatedly confronted him about his handling of the politically charged ouster of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. According to a transcript of the interview between NPR host Mary Louise Kelly and Pompeo, he repeatedly dodged questions on Ukraine and grew increasingly irate after Kelly asked, “Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology? You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran,” Pompeo said before going on to insist, “I just don't have anything else to say about that this morning.
His eyes brimming with tears, a Uighur student in Saudi Arabia holds out his Chinese passport -- long past its expiry date and condemning him to an uncertain fate as the kingdom grows closer to Beijing. The Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia stopped renewing passports for the ethnic Muslim minority more than two years ago, in what campaigners call a pressure tactic exercised in many countries to force the Uighur diaspora to return home. Half a dozen Uighur families in Saudi Arabia who showed AFP their passports -- a few already expired and some approaching the date -- said they dread going back to China, where over a million Uighurs are believed to be held in internment camps.
NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA is looking to fill an intriguing new role: The space agency needs someone to direct a mission to get the first rocks from Mars back to Earth. Formally, the job is director of the Mars Sample Return (MSR) program, which aims to bring scientists pristine samples of rocks and soil from the red planet to study up close. The first step in that effort is the launch of the soon-to-be-named Mars 2020 rover, which is scheduled for July 17.
For decades, the Indian Navy has been the dominant regional power in the Indian Ocean, and has even boasted a carrier aviation capability that was nearly unique in Asia. But as outlined in a report by the Center for New American Security (CNAS), the growth of Chinese military power in the last two decades has dramatically eclipsed India's own attempts to modernize and expand its forces—particularly in the maritime domain. This is problematic due to New Delhi's tense relations with Beijing since a 1962 border war.
Bulgaria said it may expel two Russian diplomats it accuses of espionage, demonstrating an unusually tough stance toward the Kremlin in the run-up to talks with the U.S. over energy and security. A European Union and NATO member, the Balkan country is trying to balance the priorities of its Western allies with religious, historical and cultural ties to neighboring Russia, which is also its main energy supplier. The pair -- a first secretary in the Russian embassy's consular department in Sofia and a diplomat in Russia's commercial representation office -- will “most likely” be declared persona non grata, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told reporters.
A female prisoner died after guards did not intervene while she was being beaten with a sock filled with bars of soap, it is claimed in a lawsuit set to be heard in the US. Nicole Rathmann was attacked by another inmate as she lay on her bunk at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. But prison wardens allegedly allowed the beating to happen without intervening.
Biden, who earlier this week said he would fire any ICE agent attempting to deport illegal immigrants who had not committed a felony, has been an outspoken defendant of former president Barack Obama's immigration record. In November, the U.N. revealed that Obama held over 100,000 illegal immigrant children in detention in 2015. DACA is currently facing a Supreme Court decision on its survival, after the Trump administration decided to end it in 2017.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's aunt made her first public appearance in about six years, state media reported Sunday, quelling years of rumors that she was purged or executed by her nephew after helping him inherit power from his father. According to a Korean Central News Agency dispatch, the name of Kim Kyong Hui was included in a list of top North Korean officials who watched a performance marking Lunar New Year's Day with Kim Jong Un at a Pyongyang theater on Saturday. North Korea's main newspaper also released a photo showing Kim Kyong Hui sitting near Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, at the Samjiyon Theater.
Canada has confirmed its first "presumptive" case of the Wuhan coronavirus in a patient in Toronto. Canadian public health officials announced Saturday they had been notified of the country's first "presumptive" case of coronavirus in a patient who recently flew to Toronto from Wuhan, China. The officials said at a press conference Saturday evening that the patient was a man in his 50s, who was in stable condition at a Toronto hospital.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo launched an extraordinary attack on a respected NPR journalist on Saturday, a day after reports emerged of him swearing at and trying to humiliate her by asking her to identify Ukraine on a map. In a sharply-worded statement issued by the state department, Pompeo accused the reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, of lying to him and being part of an “unhinged” media conspiracy “in a quest to hurt President Trump and this administration”. The bizarre final line of the brief statement – “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine” – appears to suggest that Pompeo believes Kelly identified a different country when he asked her to point out Ukraine on an unmarked map produced by aides.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Prosecutor General to investigate if a guilty verdict for Moscow protester Konstantin Kotov was lawful, the Kremlin said. A Moscow court sentenced Kotov, a 34-year-old programmer, to four years in prison in September for "repeated" participation in unauthorized rallies, under a widely criticized law that has made non-violent protests a criminal offence. The court said Kotov "disregarded basic constitutional principles" because he continued to take part in unauthorized protests after being found guilty of violating legislation on public gatherings.
The death toll from a virus in China has risen to 56 and the number of people infected across the country is nearing 2,000, authorities said Sunday. Fifteen more people have died and at least 688 new cases of the coronavirus have now been confirmed, according to the National Health Commission. Among the new deaths, 13 were in Hubei, the province at the heart of the outbreak, while Shanghai reported its first death.
The United States and China moved Dec. 12 to soothe the sting of their trade war, agreeing in principle to a so-called "phase one" trade deal that would ease the reciprocal tariffs that have reverberated through the world economy for almost two years. One crucial aspect of the deal is an agreement by the United States to suspend additional tariffs set to take effect Dec. 15 and, crucially, reduce some of the tariffs already in place on some $360 billion in Chinese goods. Although officials did not provide text of the agreement that was authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump, Washington has reportedly agreed to cancel a new round of 15 percent tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese products — mainly consumer goods.