Appearing live on CNN Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to President Trump, was asked to respond to the assessment given by her husband, George, that testimony of career diplomats in the first public impeachment hearings was damning for her boss. George Conway, a conservative lawyer and outspoken Trump critic, appeared on MSNBC as a guest analyst during Thursday's hearings. While introducing a clip of George Conway, CNN's Wolf Blitzer told Kellyanne Conway he wanted to ask her a “sensitive” political question.
Fox has come under fire from Jewish organizations following a Wednesday night segment on Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs Tonight in which Trump-boosting lawyer Joe diGenova seemingly trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes by accusing Jewish financier George Soros of controlling “very large parts” of the U.S. Department of State. Speaking with host Lou Dobbs—who has a history of peddling Soros-based conspiracies—diGenova dismissed the impeachment testimony of senior diplomat George Kent by baselessly claiming he is part of an insidious Soros plot to take over Ukraine with the help of State and the FBI.
Hong Kong police warned protesters Thursday that they were moving “one step closer to terrorism” by sinking the city into chaos, as riot squads skirmished with militant students at major universities. China's leader said ending the violence and restoring order are Hong Kong's most pressing task, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. President Xi Jinping, who is attending the BRICS summit in Brazil, said his government would continue to firmly support Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, the police and the courts in “severely punishing the violent criminals.
A US citizen and military veteran suffering from a mental health condition will reportedly receive $190,000 (£147,988) from a Michigan city after local officials transferred him to ICE detention following an arrest last year. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a decorated Marine veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested while experiencing an episode in which he lost all recollection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Police found the veteran, who was born and raised in Michigan, on the helipad of a hospital after he started a small fire and pulled an alarm, according to reports.
Vietnam sentenced a music teacher to 11 years in prison on Friday for Facebook posts that allegedly undermined the one-party state, which has been accused of tightening the noose on online dissent. Communist Vietnam has long jailed its critics but has come under fire recently for targeting users on Facebook, a popular forum for activists in the country where all independent media is banned. Nguyen Nang Tinh is the latest activist jailed for his Facebook comments, including posts about police brutality, land rights, and a Taiwanese steel firm that dumped toxic sludge into the ocean, killing masses of fish off the coast of Vietnam.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that makes public housing more energy efficient, at a cost of over $100 billion. The plan, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, will call for renovation of public housing units to install community gardens and organic grocery stores along with on-site childcare services, according to the Washington Post. “Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country,” Sanders said in a statement.
An international investigation into the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on Thursday released a series of phone intercepts, including one between a top aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin and pro-Russian rebels accused in the crash. Calls between officials in Moscow and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine mostly took place via secure telephones provided by the Russian security service, and intensified ahead of the disaster in the first half of July 2014, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said. "The indications for close ties between leaders of the DPR (Donetsk People's Republic) and Russian government officials raise questions about their possible involvement in the deployment of the (missile), which brought down flight MH17 on 17 July 2014," the JIT said.
A Georgia inmate sentenced to death for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery 25 years ago was executed Wednesday night, authorities say. Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m after lethal injection at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the state's department of corrections said. Cromartie was convicted of the 1994 killing of Richard Slysz at a Thomasville convenience store, but his lawyers recently had appealed for DNA testing of evidence they say could have exonerated Cromartie after a new statement from one of the men involved in the robbery.
An American teacher's death in the Dominican Republic was being investigated Thursday as a murder. Police said they found Patricia Anton deceased in her apartment in Puerto Plata, on the country's northern coast, with her hands and feet bound.
Congressman Jamie Raskin is condemning the "moral degeneration" of Republicans in his assessment of their conduct during the impeachment inquiry of President Trump. The Maryland Democrat, a member of the Judiciary and Oversight Committees, has been sitting in on the closed hearings held by the committees conducting the impeachment inquiry. House Democrats are conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Trump regarding whether the administration deliberately withheld aid to Ukraine in an effort to get the Ukrainian president to announce investigations into a political rival of Mr. Trump.
Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast. The Conservatives are trying to put immigration at the center of their campaign on Thursday. Home Secretary Priti Patel published analysis -- which Labour rejects -- saying Jeremy Corbyn's “open borders” policy will push up net migration to 840,000 per year.
Protesters in Hong Kong have once again blocked a highway in an outlying area after the government did not meet their demand that it pledge to go ahead with local elections later this month. The protesters had allowed one lane of traffic to re-open in each direction and gave the government 24 hours to meet their demand. Constitutional Affairs Secretary Patrick Nip said the government hopes the election will be held on schedule but warned that it could be postponed if conditions are unsafe and roads and other transportation are blocked.
Key point: China has aided its military modernization by stealing and reverse-engineering top-of-the-line military hardware. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services detected the cyber burglary, according to cybersecurity writer Brian Krebs. “Between Oct. 10, 2011 and Aug. 13, 2012, attackers thought to be operating out of China hacked into the corporate networks of three top Israeli defense technology companies, including Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems,” Krebs writes.
The French army general charged with overseeing the rebuilding of Paris' fire-mangled Notre-Dame, has caused astonishment by publicly telling the cathedral's chief architect to "shut his mouth" in a sign of tension over the monument's future look. General Jean-Louis Georgelin and chief architect Philippe Villeneuve are at odds over whether to replace the cathedral's spire -- which was toppled in the April 15 blaze -- with an exact replica, or mix things up with a modern twist. President Emmanuel Macron, who appointed Georgelin to head the massive reconstruction project, has said he is in favour of adding a "contemporary" touch.
An off-duty sheriff's deputy and two off-duty police officers were the first to respond to the scene of a shooting at a Southern California high school — because they were dropping off their own family members for school. Two students were killed and three were left injured in the shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarity Valley, which is north of Los Angeles. The gunman was also left in grave condition after he attempted to take his own life after the shooting.
Turkey said on Thursday it would deport an American suspected Islamic State fighter to the United States after he was refused entry to Greece, and sent eight people with links to the group to Germany and Britain. NATO allies of Turkey in Europe have been worried that Turkey's offensive last month into a Syrian border area could lead to Islamic State suspects and their families escaping from prisons and camps run by Kurdish forces. Ankara has dismissed the concerns.
Hyundai announced that it will build a compact pickup truck called the Santa Cruz. Previewed as a concept model way back in 2015, the Santa Cruz will be assembled at Hyundai's factory in Alabama. The Santa Cruz will begin production in 2021, meaning it's likely to go on sale in the U.S. that year.
Yovanovitch methodically outplayed a series of Republican efforts to cast her firing as normal, the president's behavior as unremarkable, and the harm she suffered as negligible–rather than the prelude to a shadow diplomatic effort to coerce Ukraine into aiding Trump's reelection. Instead, she made it clear that she would have been an obstacle to the president's pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had she remained in Kyiv. At one point, she told Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) that she would have opposed the summer 2019 suspension of $400 million in U.S. military aid and would never have asked Zelensky to pursue the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the 10 candidates who will participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate in Atlanta on Wednesday. They are: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. Julian Castro, who participated in previous debates, most recently in October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, didn't make the cut.
Across the capital, Tehran, long lines of cars waited for hours at pumping stations following the changes in energy policy, which state media announced around midnight without any prior warning to the public. The U.S. withdrew from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers last year, and re-imposed crippling trade sanctions that have sent the Iranian economy into free-fall. Iranian officials say the proceeds from Friday's price hikes are earmarked to fund subsidies for low-income families.
Key point: The Pentagon is at a crossroads. The U.S. Army is at a crossroads as the Pentagon is reorienting itself to fight a capable great power opponent after nearly two decades focused on counter-insurgency conflicts. Russia poses a traditional land-power challenge for the U.S. Army with its large mechanized formations threatening the Baltics, as well as formidable long-range ballistic missiles, artillery and surface-to-air missiles.
Soaring high above Beirut's central Martyrs' Square, the focal point of a month of nationwide protests against decades of corrupt and sectarian rule in Lebanon, is a signboard of a clenched fist and the Arabic word for revolution. Here, like a shrine, protesters have collected the broken tent frames and smashed plastic chairs and tables left over after thugs armed with sticks and pipes – and chanting pro-Shiite slogans favoring the powerful Hezbollah and Amal parties – attacked the square in late October. “They attacked everyone; they were not behaving like Lebanese,” says Anita Mansour, a 30-something architect from Beirut, speaking beside the pile of revolutionary debris.
A shooting at a Southern California high school Thursday has left two students dead and four others wounded, including the gunman. A student at the school was taken into custody and was being treated at a hospital, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, adding that the 16-year-old male suspect was in "grave'' condition. Police officers swarmed Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, upon reports of a shooting around 7:30 a.m.
Kim Ji-mun, a 23-year-old South Korean university student, had just put up a banner on campus with his friends in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests when a group of Chinese students tried to take it down. The encounter at Hanyang University in Seoul led to a seven-hour confrontation, he said, with the Koreans trying to protect their hand-written poster bearing the message "We join the democracy movement in Hong Kong", and the other side jeering, throwing things and chanting "One China". Kim said the Chinese students mocked the South Koreans in the Wednesday altercation, suggesting they had been paid to back Hong Kong, and making that point by throwing coins at them.