President Trump went from berating former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for his lack of Harry Potter knowledge to commuting his prison sentence. In 2011, Blagojevich was convicted of wire fraud, attempted extortion, soliciting bribes, conspiracy to commit extortion, and conspiracy to solicit and accept bribes, and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Trump admonished him for sharing "inaccurate" facts about the boy wizard, and once Blagojevich began blathering about "Slithering and Hufflepuff and Ravencloth," it was all over.
A federal judge in Kansas who was publicly reprimanded for sexually harassing female employees and having an extramarital affair with an offender resigned on Tuesday, saying he could no longer effectively serve on the court. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia, who was based in Kansas City, Kansas, said in his letter that his resignation will be effective April 1. “In recent months, it has become clear that I can no longer effectively serve the Court in this capacity,” Murguia wrote.
Reuters/Pool China is expelling three Wall Street Journal reporters, accusing the newspaper of publishing a racist headline about the country's battle with coronavirus. On February 3, the Journal had published an op-ed by a foreign-affairs academic titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia." The "sick man of Asia" is a 19th-century term that referred to a time when China was internally divided and exploited by foreign powers — a period that still deeply humiliates the country's leadership.
A Mexican man residing in Singapore was arrested in the U.S. on Tuesday, after he allegedly tracked a U.S. government source for Russia in order to obtain the source's license plate number. Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes has been charged with acting in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government without notifying the attorney general, and conspiracy to do the same. Court documents allege that a Russian government official recruited Fuentes in 2019 and tasked him with renting a specific property in Miami-Dade County, Florida, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates. Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday's committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.
The director of a Chinese hospital at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak became one of its victims Tuesday despite "all-out" efforts to save his life, Chinese health officials said. The death came the same day Chinese officials released data indicating the new virus could be 20 times more lethal than the flu. Liu Zhiming, president of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital in Hubei province, died of coronavirus-related pneumonia, China Daily reported.
The people waiting to board the van have already crossed into the USA, but have been sent back under the Trump administration's so-called Migrant Protection Protocols - known as “Remain in Mexico” – whereby would be asylum seekers must await their appointed hearing south of the border. MPP was rolled out in January last year, since when an estimated 57,000 people now wait south of the border for their asylum hearing date. Tens of thousands more are waiting just for the initial application for asylum.
Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday. From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department's International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.
Russian intelligence recruited a Mexican citizen to track down the whereabouts of an FBI informant in Miami who previously provided the U.S. government with information on Russian operations “implicating national security interests of the United States. The Mexican man, Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, was arrested on Monday after being recruited by a Russian official last year, according to The Miami Herald and the Justice Department. After renting out a specific Miami property at the direction of the official, Fuentes allegedly traveled to Moscow earlier this month for more instructions.
More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials, current federal prosecutors, and federal judges are urgently concerned about Attorney General William Barr's evident politicization of the Justice Department. Even "Trump voters" should be afraid of "Bill Barr's America," a "banana republic where all are subject to the whims of a dictatorial president and his henchmen," Donald Ayer, a former colleague of Barr's and deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, wrote in The Atlantic on Monday. He elaborated on CNN Monday evening.
A Syrian passenger jet landed in Aleppo on Wednesday from Damascus, marking the resumption of domestic flights between Syria's two largest cities for the first time since 2012, while the government's onslaught continued nearby with airstrikes reported in several rebel-held towns and villages. The flight carrying Syrian officials and journalists was a symbolic message from President Bashar Assad's government, days after its forces consolidated control over the northwestern province of Aleppo and seized the last segments of the strategic M5 highway linking Aleppo to Damascus. The motorway is being repaired and is scheduled to reopen in coming days for the first time in eight years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday dismissed a veteran, once close adviser who until recently managed Moscow's relations with war-torn Ukraine. Putin fired Vladislav Surkov, seen as a hardliner by many in Kiev, in a terse two-line statement on the Kremlin website. The decree was issued a week after the Kremlin said a senior Ukrainian-born Russian official, Dmitry Kozak, was now in charge of managing Moscow's relations with Ukraine, effectively sidelining Surkov.
A 12-year-old boy was tortured and beaten to death by his grandparents and a teenage uncle at their home in Montana, authorities said. In multiple instances, the suspects recorded themselves torturing the boy on their cellphones, police said. James Alex Hurley had been living with his grandparents, James Sasser Jr., 47, and Patricia Batts, 48, for about two years after the death of his father, who Batts identified as her biological son, according to a probable cause affidavit.
“I hope it's not suppressed,” Bolton said Monday in a talk at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Bolton added later: “I say things in the manuscript about what he said to me,” referring to Trump. Bolton said he couldn't answer a question related to North Korea because it's also included in his book, which is undergoing pre-publication review by the government.
The New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."
Key point: Washington wants to sell more weapons to foreign countries. In order to win over customers, the United States is touting its superior (although more expensive) systems. The U.S. government has a message for those nations that would buy Russian and Chines weapons: buyer beware.
A campus protest against the “Kent State gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett was not “a riot,” according to Ohio University police. Ms Bennett, who helps run a conservative website called Liberty Hangout and who often appears on Alex Jones' InfoWars programs, was driven off the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on Monday by a student protest according to the Athens News. She said the students “started a riot” and claims the police “let it happen.
South Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.
WASHINGTON–Two federal prosecutors have been tapped to manage open investigations and other yet-to-be-substantiated allegations of wrongdoing involving Ukraine, the Justice Department told lawmakers Tuesday. Responding to recent inquiries from House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd defended the moves, including the appointment of a Pennsylvania prosecutor to review information supplied by President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has sought to tar Trump rival Joe Biden by attempting to link him to unsupported corruption claims.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned 78 years old last Friday. Yesterday, a voter told me he was interested in Bloomberg because "Biden & Bernie are too old."@JoeBiden is 77. Everybody is expected to pile on Bloomberg in Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Nevada, and Sanders tested out his salvos in a CNN town hall on Tuesday night.
When a Chinese government mass detention campaign engulfed Memtimin Emer's native Xinjiang region three years ago, the elderly Uighur imam was swept up and locked away, along with three of his sons. The database profiles the internment of 311 individuals with relatives abroad in Karakax County, and lists information on more than 2,000 of their relatives, neighbors and friends. Taken as a whole, the database offers the fullest view yet into how Chinese officials decided who to put into and let out of detention camps, as part of a crackdown that has locked away more than a million ethnic minorities, most of them Muslims.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial will start on March 17, two weeks after Israel holds its third national election in less than a year, the Justice Ministry said on Tuesday. Netanyahu, the first sitting Israeli prime minister to be charged with a crime, has denied any wrongdoing in the three corruption cases against him. In addition to his legal battle, Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, is fighting for his political life in a March 2 election, after inconclusive ballots in April and September.
The European Union agreed to deploy warships to enforce an arms embargo on Libya in a move that underscores the increasing importance the bloc places on geopolitics as it seeks to defuse the conflict ravaging a major African oil producer. EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to launch aerial, satellite and maritime assets in the Mediterranean Sea tasked with preventing the shipment of arms to Libya's warring factions. The breakthrough came after weeks of fraught negotiations sparked by fears that immigrants seeking to cross to the EU would get intentionally shipwrecked, forcing warships to save them and bring them to European ports.
“Holidays will never be the same,” Jennifer told Dateline. Liz, as she is known by her family and friends, was four months pregnant with her third child. “She got in his truck and that's the last time I ever heard from her,” Amber said.
Key Point: London's Astute class submarines are powerful and very well-built. Since the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought in 1963, the Royal Navy has maintained a formidable force of nuclear attack submarines. The latest nuclear attack subs, the Astute class, have become a critical component of the future of the Royal Navy—but, given Russia's resurgence, are they enough?