Supporters of Reality Winner, a National Security Agency whistleblower who leaked classified information about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, petitioned Donald Trump on Monday for her early release from prison. Alison Grinter, an attorney representing the former US air force intelligence specialist, announced at a press conference in Dallas that she had submitted 4,500 letters of support to the federal office of the pardon attorney, the division of the Department of Justice that advises the US president on executive clemency decisions.
Weeks of heavy rain have inundated a large portion of the southern U.S., bringing near-record flooding to portions of Mississippi and Tennessee. In Jackson, Mississippi, hundreds of residents either watched their homes flood over the weekend or worried their residence would soon be drenched as the Pearl River crested Monday at 36.8 feet, its third-highest level ever recorded – behind only 1979 and 1983. Reeves said at a news conference Monday that there were no reports of flood-related injuries and thanked the people of Mississippi for heeding evacuation orders.
A hotel watchman has been convicted of killing a Florida tourist staying at an Airbnb lodging in Costa Rica and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. The court in Pavas found on Monday that Bismark Espinoza Martínez had taken advantage of his position at the Villa Le Mas hotel in Escazu to enter the rooms where Carla Sefaniak was staying and to kill her. Stefaniak, an insurance agent from Hallandale Beach, Florida, had come to Costa Rica to celebrate her 36th birthday.
An Istanbul court acquitted prominent businessman Osman Kavala of charges of plotting to overthrow the government during mass protests that shook the country in 2013. Nine defendants were cleared, and arrest warrants for others living abroad have been rescinded. Others accused in the case include actor Mehmet Ali Alabora and journalist Can Dundar, who have both left the country.
Daria Mastikasheva was one of scores of prisoners exchanged between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in December, but she says she is now being kept against her will in a hospital in eastern Ukraine by the same people who secured her release. A former taekwondo champion, Mastikasheva spent years in Ukrainian custody on what she says were trumped up treason charges in a case that was documented by rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. She was handed over to separatist fighters in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine in a mass prisoner exchange, one of a number of confidence-building measures agreed by Ukraine and Russia to end the simmering conflict.
Iranian media have broadcast the first-ever footage of an operational Sejjil medium-range rocket in its underground bunker. The same February 2020 broadcast includes what apparently is new or at least rarely-seen footage of trials involving the Sejjil. The 59-feet-tall Sejjil could be a leading candidate to carry atomic warheads, if and when Iran develops them.
A "ghost ship" drifting without a crew for more than a year washed ashore on Ireland's south coast in high seas caused by Storm Dennis, the Republic's coast guard said. The abandoned 77-metre (250-feet) cargo ship MV Alta ran aground on rocks outside the village of Ballycotton near Cork, Ireland's second city, bringing an end to her months-long voyage. The Alta's odyssey began in September 2018 when she became disabled in the mid-Atlantic en route from Greece to Haiti.
Mike Bloomberg's free-spending campaign rollout has rocketed him into contention for the Democratic nomination — but he now faces a challenge immune to his fortune. The multibillionaire qualified early Tuesday for the nationally televised debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night, clocking in at 19 percent in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll — good for second place behind only Sen. Bernie Sanders. The former New York mayor's irritability with questions he deems unwarranted and controversies he feels he has already put to bed could undermine his debut on the debate stage, where Americans will be introduced to the man behind the ubiquitous campaign ads.
“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.
White House Photo An interview between Univision's Jorge Ramos and former Vice President Joe Biden turned contentious over the topic of Obama-era immigration policy. In the interview, streamed live on the "Real America with Jorge Ramos" Facebook page, Biden rejected Ramos' comparisons between Trump and Obama's immigration policies. Still, Biden called some Obama policies "painful," adding that it took the administration "too long" to get its immigration policy correct.
Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines are working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Japanese health officials to trace the path of a couple from Nagoya, Japan, who were diagnosed with coronavirus after returning from Hawaii. Hawaiian state health officials say the couple, who are in their 60s, were in Hawaii from Jan. 28 to Feb. 7 and tested positive after being hospitalized in Japan. The man, who was diagnosed before his wife, flew on Hawaiian Airlines flight HA265 from Kahului, Hawaii, to Honolulu on Feb. 3, in addition to flying home on Delta flight 611 from Honolulu to Nagoya on Feb. 6 with his wife.
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.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter Plunging oil prices stemming from the coronavirus outbreak led the International Monetary Fund to cut its estimate for Nigerian economic growth, highlighting the difficulties Africa's top crude producer faces reviving and diversifying its economy. The forecast was lowered to 2% from 2.5%, the lender said in a statement Monday after concluding an Article IV consultation. Nigeria needs a major policy overhaul to reduce vulnerabilities including widening current-account and budget deficits that jeopardize the economy, it said.
Chinese authorities have arrested a prominent rights activist and legal scholar who had called on President Xi Jinping to step down over his handling of crises including the coronavirus outbreak, two fellow activists said on Monday. Xu Zhiyong had been on the run since December after attending a gathering in the southern city of Xiamen which focused on discussion of human rights in China, according to Hua Ze, an activist and friend of Xu's. Four others who had attended the gathering in December were arrested previously, Hua told Reuters. Xu was arrested on Saturday night by the Beijing police with assistance by police in Guangzhou, Hua said.
Any thoughts of an invulnerable missile shield evaporated when Hamas fired six-hundred-and-ninety rockets and mortar shells from Gaza into Israel earlier this month. Out of that six-hundred-and-ninety total, ninety never managed to cross into Israel, according to Israeli figures. Iron Dome intercepted two-hundred-and-forty, of which the Israel Defense Forces claim an 86 percent kill rate, with thirty-five rockets landing in populated areas.
The Cuban government has ordered a cement factory to burn old tires to power its operations and save on oil, amid a worsening fuel shortage brought on by US sanctions on the Communist island. On orders of President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the firm Cementos Cienfuegos, located in the center of the country, will receive an increasing supply of used tires to burn, the official daily Granma said Monday. Cuba has been suffering oil shortages since last September, when the administration of President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on ships carrying petroleum to the island from its main fuel supplier Venezuela.
Gunmen killed 24 people, including a pastor, in an attack on a church during Sunday Mass in northwestern Burkina Faso, four security sources told Reuters on Monday.
The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection. Facing mounting legal costs from defending itself against lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of boys, the venerable non-profit sought Chapter 11 protection in a court filing Tuesday. A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that the filing had "two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to file retaliatory lawsuits "all over the place" for damages he claims to have incurred as a result of former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. In a multi-post morning Twitter screed, the president fiercely criticized the 22-month-long probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and also appeared to weigh in once again on the federal criminal case against his longtime political adviser Roger Stone. "These were Mueller prosecutors, and the whole Mueller investigation was illegally set up based on a phony and now fully discredited Fake Dossier, lying and forging documents to the FISA Court, and many other things," Trump tweeted.
Iran sentenced eight environmental activists, including an Iranian who reportedly also has British and American citizenship, to prison sentences ranging from four to 10 years on charges of spying for the United States and acting against Iran's national security, the judiciary said Tuesday. According to the judiciary spokesman, Gholamhossein Esmaili, an appeals court issued the final verdicts. Two of the activists, Morad Tahbaz and Niloufar Bayani, got 10 years each and were ordered to return the money they allegedly received from the U.S. government for their services.
A scramble intensified on Monday to trace passengers from a cruise liner —with more than 600 Americans aboard — allowed to disembark in Cambodia Thursday despite at least one traveler later being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Sgt. First Class Evan Antley with the Cayce Department of Public Safety said during a Friday press conference that Taylor was not a relative or a friend. He was just a neighbor, living steps away from her. Antley would not reveal Friday exactly what that piece of evidence was.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data. Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December. North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
Despite China's incredible economic success as of late, it's important to remember that it is still fundamentally a communist country. Freedom can be messy, but it's nothing like the mess an authoritarian regime creates when it fears losing power. The disturbing outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China and the communist government's response to it should be a reminder of the consequence of a system based on state control, without rule by the people and a vibrant civil society.
Michael Bloomberg is proposing a financial transactions tax of 0.1% and merging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as part of proposal for regulating Wall Street for a financial system “strong enough to weather crises without harming the broader economy or requiring taxpayer bailouts. The former New York mayor said he would work with Congress to introduce the tax on all transactions, including stocks, bonds and payments on derivative contracts, and that it would be phased in gradually starting at 0.02%, according to the proposal released Tuesday. He would also support measures such as setting a speed limit to curb harmful types of trading.