The FBI recently sought to question the CIA whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Trump's July 25 Ukraine call — a move that came after a vigorous internal debate within the bureau over how to respond to some of the issues raised by the complaint's allegations and whether they needed to be more thoroughly investigated, according to sources familiar with the matter. An FBI agent in the Washington field office in October reached out to one of the lawyers representing the whistleblower and asked to question the CIA analyst who triggered the congressional inquiry into the president's conduct, one of the sources said. It is unclear what the intended scope of the interview would be or whether the whistleblower's lawyers will agree to it.
Alumni of the Obama administration reacted with disbelief and outrage to a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that incoming Trump administration officials found insulting notes left behind for them in their offices. “We came into the White House, I'll tell you something,” said Grisham during a local radio interview Tuesday morning, as reported by CNN's Abby Phillip. In the nearly three years since the presidential transition, no Trump administration officials have mentioned the notes or produced any photos that would support Grisham's charge.
The son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said Wednesday. A 57-year-old German man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Von Weizsaecker died at the scene from a knife wound to the neck despite immediate attention from colleagues, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors.
A former employee of Britain's consulate in Hong Kong said Chinese secret police beat him, deprived him of sleep and shackled him in an attempt to force him to give information about activists leading pro-democracy protests. Hong Kong, which was returned to China by Britain in 1997, has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests and mass demonstrations, the biggest political crisis for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the British government for almost two years, said he was tortured while detained for 15 days as he returned from a trip to mainland China in August.
Many cities across California this year announced sharp increases in homelessness. For years, city governments have measured homelessness by sending out volunteers on a single night to count, as best they could, the number of homeless people they found on the streets or in shelters. Over the course of a full year, the city counted twice as many homeless people — 17,595 people, a 30% jump from the previous year.
Elstad Ranch/Flickr Syracuse University's fraternities had their social activities canceled for the rest of the semester after a black student said members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity called her the N-word. It was the latest in a series of reported racist and anti-Semitic incidents to sweep the upstate New York campus since November 7. Syracuse University has canceled all fraternity social activities for the rest of the semester after a black student reported a racist attack.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace laced into Republicans for not-so-subtly implying during Tuesday's impeachment hearings that National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman could have dual loyalty. The GOP's line of questioning, the MSNBC host suggested, was inspired by pro-Trump hosts at Fox News. During a break in Tuesday's testimony, Wallace asked MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake about counsel Steve Castor questioning Vindman about a Ukrainian official asking him if he'd be interested in becoming Ukraine's minister of defense.
Mexico's government said Wednesday it has helped 10 Mexican citizens file lawsuits against Walmart over an August shooting at a store in El Paso, Texas, where a suspected white nationalist killed 22 people. "The objective of these suits, presented in El Paso county, is to hold the company responsible for not taking reasonable and necessary measures to protect its clients from the attack," the foreign ministry said in a statement. Eight Mexicans were killed and eight wounded in the August 3 attack in El Paso, a city on the US-Mexican border where 83 percent of the population is Latino.
Kurt Volker, the former US envoy to Ukraine, made a substantial change in his testimony during Tuesday's impeachment hearings before Congress. Volker has been accused of working with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents. During his previous closed-door testimony, Volker said there was no mention of the investigations Giuliani was pushing for during a July 10, meeting with Sondland and former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Former military chief Benny Gantz failed to muster enough support in parliament to form a government and dislodge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, bringing Israel closer to its third election in a year and prolonging its drawn-out political gridlock. Four weeks after Netanyahu fell short in that same task, political newcomer Gantz -- the only politician to present a serious challenge to the prime minister over the past decade -- informed Israeli President Reuven Rivlin that he couldn't cobble together a governing coalition.
Russia's much-feared Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire is getting a new upgrade and is adding a new long-range supersonic missile called the Kh-32. The upgrade will allow the massive jet to once again hit allied targets across the North Atlantic region just as the Backfire once did during the Cold War. The bomber and its new weapon will be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces in October.
American Airlines admitted Tuesday the powerful fumes that knocked two flight attendants unconscious and forced a flight to make an emergency landing were not caused by spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed.
LONDON, Nov 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Extinction Rebellion activists pressing for more rapid action on climate change threats on Wednesday entered a third day of a week-long hunger strikes in 27 countries. The strikes, which began Monday, have been in part spearheaded by 20-year-old Giovanni Tamacas, a University of San Diego student, who carried out a solo hunger strike last month in front of the White House. We are hunger striking because we have no choice, he said in a statement, arguing governments and corporations have criminally and catastrophically failed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency .
A 16-year-old boy allegedly tried to smuggle methamphetamine across the U.S.-Mexico border with a remote-controlled car. Border Patrol agents arrested the teen Sunday, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release Tuesday. This attempt comes two years after drug traffickers flew a remote-controlled drone to drop a 13-pound package of methamphetamine across the border, also resulting in an arrest.
During impeachment hearings on Tuesday morning, the lead Republican counsel pressed Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman on an offer he'd received to take the position of defense minister in Kiev. The line of questioning seemed designed to raise doubts about Vindman's allegiance to the U.S. right as he was testifying about his concerns over President Donald Trump's efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on his domestic political rivals. Oleksander Danylyuk, the former Chairman of the National Security and Defence Council in Ukraine, said he only remembers speaking with Vindman once about the defense minister position.
Pope Francis is committing the Catholic Church to working more with Thailand's majority Buddhists to launch projects to care for the poor and the environment. Francis made the pledge during a meeting Thursday with the supreme Buddhist patriarch at the Wat Ratchabophit temple. It was the second time a pope has called on the spiritual leader of Thailand's Buddhists, after St. John Paul II visited the temple in 1984.
The US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the key Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday to show Washington's "commitment" to freedom of navigation, the Pentagon said, amid tensions with Tehran. The group's move through the strategic waterway separating Iran and the United Arab Emirates towards the Gulf was scheduled, and unfolded without incident, the US Navy said in a statement. It was the first time a US aircraft carrier group went through the strait since Iran downed a US drone in June in the same area.
Ambassador Gordon Sondland's explosive testimony Wednesday that “everyone was in the loop” on President Trump's efforts to secure an investigation of a political rival prompted rank-and-file Democrats to discuss whether it was time to expand their probe. Sondland testified in minute detail — down to the names of staffers and code words used internally to identify officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — how Vice President Mike Pence, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, former national security advisor John Bolton and others knew the intimate details of Trump's plans. “Was there a quid pro quo?” Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified.
The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said. The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.
Very rarely do any of us on the outside world know with much clarity about what exactly is going on in the world of Iranian intelligence. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iranian military intelligence, and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security are notorious for their secrecy and efficiency. General Qassem Soleimani, the long-time director of the IRGC's Quds Force, is one of the most popular public figures in Iran today and has long been a household name (and a major irritant) for U.S. intelligence officers.
A security question from JetBlue is asking parents to do something they'd likely never do in public, or even on the semi-privacy of their browsing session: share the name of their favorite child. In a screenshot posted on Twitter Sunday, a user shared part of the account sign-up process on JetBlue's website — specifically, the security questions page. Naturally, the first response was a GIF of “baby Yoda” from the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a character that has recently become the internet's favorite child.
There is no guarantee that such an event will unfold, but Lyytinen and Jenniskens said there is a "good chance" to see the first Alpha Monocerotids meteor storm since 1995, when there were about 400 meteors per hour, AccuWeather reported. The meteor shower is known as the Alpha Monocerotids because the meteors radiate from Monoceros (Greek for "unicorn"), a faint constellation to the left of Orion, according to AccuWeather. "Unlike most meteor outbursts, which last for several hours, strong activity from the Alpha Monocerotids is over within an hour and easily missed," the American Meteor Society said.
The United States announced on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coast guard cutter for its growing fleet of ships, boosting Hanoi's ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with China. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper disclosed the decision during an address in Vietnam, which has emerged as the most vocal opponent in Asia of China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In his speech, Esper took aim at China, which he accused of "bullying" neighbours, like Vietnam.