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.
The police arrested a man at a Delhi airport Monday who they say dressed up as a pilot and tried to use his status to get preferential treatment like free upgrades. Officers say Rajan Mahbubani tried to pass himself off as a Lufthansa pilot while getting on an AirAsia flight from Delhi to Kolkata. The police said Mahbubani had also previously impersonated an army colonel.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has handed top state awards to the widows of five scientists killed in an accident while testing what he called an advanced weapons system without equal in the world. The five men died on Aug. 8 in what their employer, state nuclear agency Rosatom, said was an accident during a rocket test on a sea platform off northern Russia, an incident which caused radiation levels in the surrounding area to briefly spike. Thomas DiNanno, a senior U.S. State Department official, said last month that Washington had determined that the explosion was the result of a nuclear reaction which occurred during the recovery of a Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile after a failed test.
When dispatcher Tim Teneyck answered the 911 call, he was confused by the caller's request: a pizza order. The incident led to a domestic violence arrest, and authorities in Oregon, Ohio, praised Teneyck for his quick thinking, which helped a woman and her mother who needed a discreet way to call for police assistance. "This dispatcher did a great job," Oregon Police Chief Michael Navarre said.
Israeli settlers attacked five villages in the occupied West Bank overnight, torching vehicles and olive trees, and leaving graffiti on the walls of homes, Palestinian officials said Friday. Ghassan Daghlas, a spokesman for the Nablus governorate, said the Jewish settlers set fire to five cars and spray-painted graffiti on more than 20 others. Israeli police say they are investigating the reports and that police and military units will visit the area.
Anti-abortion politicians in Ohio want doctors to attempt to re-implant ectopic pregnancies – a procedure derided by one doctor as “pure science fiction”. Members of the state's Republican Party proposed a law this month that would force physicians to attempt an operation for which experts say technology does not currently exist. An ectopic pregnancy is one in which a fertilised egg implants somewhere other than a woman's uterus, which in most cases ends up being inside a fallopian tube.
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.
With less than three months left before the first vote is cast in the Democratic presidential primaries, the party's presidential hopefuls arrived onstage in Atlanta on Wednesday night knowing that elbows were going to be sharper than ever before. In a withering response to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's defense of characterizing former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's leadership as the “personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party,” Sen. Kamala Harris ran through a laundry list of Gabbard's perceived offenses against both party and country, characterizing the Hawaii congresswoman as an opportunist who has cozied up to white nationalists, dictators, and perhaps most damningly, President Donald Trump. “I think that it's unfortunate that we have someone on this stage that is attempting to be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, who during the Obama administration spent four years full time on Fox News criticizing President Obama,” Harris said, prompted to respond to Gabbard's remarks.
President Trump said Friday he had saved Hong Kong from being destroyed by persuading Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold off on sending in troops to crush the pro-democracy movement there.
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.
U.S. Navy warships twice sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea in the past few days, the U.S. military told Reuters on Thursday, at a time of heightened tension between the world's two largest economies. Earlier this week during high-level talks, China called on the U.S. military to stop flexing its muscles in the South China Sea and adding "new uncertainties" over democratic Taiwan, which is claimed by China as a wayward province. The U.S. Navy regularly angers China by conducting what it calls "freedom of navigation" operations by ships close to some of the islands China occupies, asserting freedom of access to international waterways.
A Colorado school district dealing with an "unprecedented spread of illness" has closed the doors to every one of its more than 40 schools. Mesa County Valley School District 51, the 14th-largest school district in Colorado, according to the district's website, announced on Wednesday that all of its schools will be closed until after Thanksgiving break is over on Dec. 2. "We have never before had to close all schools in the district due to illness," superintendent Diana Sirko said in a statement on the district's website.
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.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter South Africa's police have finally acted on President Cyril Ramaphosa's pledge to end the corruption that's stalled growth in Africa's biggest economy almost two years into his rule. Former State Security Minister Bongani Bongo was arrested in a case related to bribery and state-owned companies. Bongo appeared in a court in Cape Town Thursday to face a charge of corruption.
Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Friday for the second week in a row to repair a cosmic ray detector, this time actually cutting into the $2 billion instrument. The International Space Station's Luca Parmitano sliced through eight stainless steel tubes, using hardware store-type bolt cutters. Parmitano had to sever the tubes in a specific order and notified Mission Control each time before cutting.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) traveled to Europe with three aides from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018, on a $63,000 taxpayer-funded investigative trip, and Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani arrested last month on federal campaign finance and conspiracy charges, helped arrange meetings and calls for his trip, The Daily Beast reports, citing Parnas lawyer Ed MacMahaon and congressional records. Nunes aide Derek Harvey was involved in the Parnas meeting, and he accompanied Nunes to Europe along with fellow aides Scott Glabe and George Pappas. At the time of the trip, Nunes was outgoing chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — he is now the committee's top Republican and lead voice in the public impeachment hearings.
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.
The parents of former U.S. hostage Otto Warmbier, who died in 2017 after being released from North Korea in a coma, have announced they will attempt to seize North Korean business assets around the world to punish the country's government over its human-rights abuses. Otto Warmbier was convicted in a North Korean court after he tried to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel. He was released to the U.S. in a vegetative state a year later.
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.
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty on Thursday to tax evasion and other federal charges related to sales of a self-published children's book as part of an illegal scheme to fund her election campaign. Pugh entered the plea on two counts of tax evasion, and one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The charges stem from sales of the book, "Healthy Holly" to a charity where Pugh served on the board.
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
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Police Department has made an arrest after a series of new graffiti markings were discovered on school grounds, authorities said Thursday. The announcement came hours after Syracuse Chancellor Ken Syverud agreed to the demands of students protesting the university's handling of a two-week run of almost daily racist, anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted tension on the campus 250 miles north of New York City. Kym McGowan, 18, was arrested on charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief and marking graffiti, both misdemeanors, police said.