In his questioning of David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, Ratcliffe reprised a now familiar defense of the president, that putting a hold on military aid to Ukraine was done out of concern about corruption in the country. The reasons for the hold in summer 2019, during Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia, were not communicated either publicly or within the diplomatic and national security bureaucracy. Citing other recent instances in which congressionally approved U.S. foreign aid had been withheld without explanation, Ratcliffe asked Hale, “So, having no explanation for why aid is being withheld is not uncommon?
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf made an unpublicized visit Wednesday to the site of a privately constructed border wall during his first official trip to the southern border, Yahoo News has confirmed. The stop at the half-mile stretch of crowdfunded steel bollard fencing, which was built without permits this spring on private land in Sunland Park, N.M., was not mentioned in a media advisory sent by the DHS press office ahead of Wolf's trip to El Paso, Texas, where he was slated to “participate in an operational tour of DHS facilities on the southwest border, meet with local DHS leadership, survey new border wall construction, and meet with state, local and community officials.
Three Ukrainian navy boats seized by Russia a year ago were vandalised before being handed back to Ukraine, the country's navy said. The fast gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk and the tugboat Tany Kapu were welcomed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and onlookers waving national flags arrived in Ochakiv, a Ukrainian naval port on the Black Sea on Wednesday evening. But Ukraine's navy said the vessels had been stripped bare and left so badly damaged that they had to be towed home by tug.
Attorney General William Barr will announce a nationwide plan on Friday to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous people as concerns mount over the level of violence they face. Barr will announce the plan, known as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative, during a visit with tribal leaders and law enforcement officials on the Flathead Reservation in Montana. Native American women experience some of the nation's highest rates of murder, sexual violence and domestic abuse.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) smoked former Vice President Joe Biden over marijuana legalization during Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate, and that was great. Biden snapped back at Booker to stake his progressive credentials, saying he's OK letting out of jail anyone with a marijuana conviction and expunging their criminal records.
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky — handcuffed and wearing a yellow prison jumpsuit — entered a Pennsylvania courtroom Friday for a resentencing hearing that was not expected to significantly alter his time in prison. Sandusky, 75, was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys through his youth charity, The Second Mile. Sandusky smiled as he was escorted into Centre County Court on Friday in Bellefonte, Pennsylvia.
Washington, D.C.) Firing deck-mounted guns, intercepting enemy cruise missiles, launching F-35B Joint Strike Fighters and using Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to attack behind enemy lines -- are all mission possibilities envisioned for the Navy's fast-progressing second big-deck America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli (LHA 7). The new ship just completed its acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico, a series of exercises intended to prepare the amphib for deployment by assessing its propulsion, communication, navigation, weapons systems and aviation platforms, a Navy statement said.
A Palestinian wounded in an Israeli strike that killed eight members of his family has died, the health ministry in the Hamas-run strip said on Friday. Mohammed Abu Malhous al-Sawarka, 40, succumbed after being wounded in "the massacre in which eight members of a family died when they were targeted in their homes," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement. It said he was the brother of Rasmi Abu Malhous who was killed when his home was hit by an air strike on November 14.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg filed paperwork on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission to run for U.S. president as a Democrat, the latest sign that the former New York City Mayor is joining the crowded nominating contest. The filing allows Bloomberg to raise money in a bid for the White House, but an aide said on Thursday that no final decision on whether he will run has been made. Bloomberg, 77, has signaled that he plans a late-entry in the Democratic primary, suggesting he feels the field of nearly 20 candidates is vulnerable.
During his testimony Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee, Gordon Sondland was pressed on why so many members of the Trump administration, including the president himself, were refusing to testify in the impeachment inquiry. I wish I could answer,” responded Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. His remark came at the end of an exchange with Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash.
Designed by world-renowned architects such as Zaha Hadid and Santiago Calatrava, these bridges are travel destinations in their own right Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Donald Trump has erupted over the ongoing impeachment inquiry in a series of false and misleading tweets in which he accused investigators of being “human scum”. “Corrupt politician Adam Schiff's lies are growing by the day,” the US president tweeted on Thursday morning. In fact there is no evidence Mr Schiff, the House intelligence committee chairman, has lied and the impeachment inquiry his committee is conducting does not deny the US president any rights granted to him by the Constitution.
An American woman could be forced to register as a sex offender after appearing topless in front of her step-children in her own home. Tilli Buchanan, from Utah, was charged with three counts of misdemeanour lewdness involving a child after appearing topless along with the children's father in their home last year. Ms Buchanan's lawyers are contesting the charge, arguing it is unfair to treat men and women differently for baring her chest.
The 81-year-old mayor of a St. Louis suburb was charged Thursday with submitting fraudulent absentee voter applications in what prosecutors say was an effort to illegally influence the city's municipal elections. Berkeley Mayor Theodore Hoskins is charged with four counts of committing an election offense and one forgery count. The charges were filed by Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who was assigned to the case as special prosecutor at the request of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.
Two airmen were killed Thursday in an accident involving two jets during the landing phase of a training exercise at a U.S. Air Force base in northwestern Oklahoma, a military official said.
Vice President Joe Biden was asked Wednesday night how he would address sexual violence. “So we have to just change the culture, period,” Biden said. Biden was one of 10 Democratic candidates to take the stage in Atlanta to debate a range of topics that included, health care, violence, impeachment and defeating President Trump.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday bestowed the country's top state honour on two pilots who safely landed a plane carrying more than 230 people in a corn field after a bird strike. At a ceremony in the Kremlin, Putin handed pilot Damir Yusupov and co-pilot Georgy Murzin the Hero of Russia awards, praising the crew's courage and professionalism. "They were able to land the plane literally in an empty field and saved dozens of lives," Putin said.
Ten Mexican citizens have sued Walmart over the shooting at a store in the U.S. border town of El Paso, Texas, that killed eight Mexicans and left eight more injured, saying that Walmart did not do enough to protect its customers, Mexico said on Wednesday. The suspected gunman told police he was targeting "Mexicans" in the August shooting, which killed 22 people in total. Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the lawsuit, which was filed in Texas state court in El Paso County, aimed to hold the retailer accountable "for not taking reasonable and necessary measures to protect its customers."
Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned that technology is creating a more splintered world, fueling the disparities among wealthy and poorer nations, and people within countries. The rise of extreme inequality both within nations and between nations that is being turbocharged by globalization and technology” is one of the biggest risks for young people, Obama said Thursday at Salesforce.com Inc. s annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.
State supreme courts in Washington and Oregon received a letter from Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Friday warning them to reconsider “dangerous and unlawful” directives that prohibit immigration officials from detaining illegal immigrants in and around state courthouses. Last week, Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters banned ICE from courthouse arrests “to maintain the integrity of our courts and provide access to justice,” unless the agency has a criminal judicial warrant. Washington is considering adopting a similar measure.
Things are just going swimmingly on The View. Following a week's worth of dramatic impeachment hearings, conservative co-host Meghan McCain lashed out at her View colleagues on Friday over Republican belief that President Trump did not commit an impeachable offense—specifically getting into a heated, personal clash with co-host Sunny Hostin. After McCain pointed out that retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) said that he has not heard evidence proving Trump committed bribery or extortion, liberal co-host and frequent sparring partner Joy Behar wondered aloud whether Hurd was “deaf” since “we all heard it.
Nearly three-fourths of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans slain in the last three years were killed with a firearm, according to data published this month by the gun violence prevention advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The data sheds grim new light on the role of guns in what's been called an epidemic of violence against transgender Americans, as advocates honor the victims with nationwide vigils Wednesday during the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The data is available for the first time publicly via EveryStat for Gun Safety, the group's database detailing gun deaths in America.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer made progress on but failed to seal a deal Thursday on the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, increasing the likelihood the deal won't get a vote in Congress this year.
Continuing a legal fight at the top of Kentucky's government, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton is appealing a ruling that concluded Gov. Matt Bevin's office acted within its authority when firing her top two assistants. Hampton's attorney, Joshua Harp, filed a notice that the lieutenant governor will appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The extraordinary legal fight revolves around whether the governor or the lieutenant governor has hiring and firing authority in the lieutenant governor's office.