As President Trump's Republican allies began to make noise Thursday about former Vice President Joe Biden's role in pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire a corrupt prosecutor, Democrats spent part of their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial knocking down the idea that Biden did anything wrong. “The allegations [against Biden] are groundless,” Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, said during her presentation in the afternoon session. Garcia, who is one of the seven House impeachment managers, spent several minutes going over the facts of what did and did not happen in 2015 when Biden visited Ukraine in his capacity as vice president to former President Barack Obama.
President Xi Jinping warned Saturday that China faced a "grave situation" as authorities raced to contain a virus that has killed 41 people and caused a drastic scale-back of Lunar New Year celebrations. The world's most populous country, which is scrambling to contain the disease that has infected nearly 1,300 people and overwhelmed health facilities, is building a second field hospital and closing more travel routes. After more countries reported cases, Xi said at a Communist Party leadership meeting on the disease that China was "faced with the grave situation of an accelerating spread of the new coronavirus" but that the country will "definitely be able to win the battle," according to state media.
The Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan closed on January 1 after it was found to be the most likely starting point for the outbreak of this coronavirus, also called 2019-nCov. NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images A 61-year-old man was the first person to die from the virus. According to Bloomberg, he was a regular shopper at the Huanan wet market, which sold more than seafood.
In the wake of Washington's assassination of former Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Arab Shi'a desires and interests across the Middle East are under a microscope. Have they shifted their protest slogans from opposing Iran to denouncing the United States? Americans should not assume that wide-angle television images of Shi'a protests in Iran calling for the downfall of the Great Satan reflect Shi'a sentiment across Arab societies.
A female prisoner died after guards did not intervene while she was being beaten with a sock filled with bars of soap, it is claimed in a lawsuit set to be heard in the US. Nicole Rathmann was attacked by another inmate as she lay on her bunk at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. But prison wardens allegedly allowed the beating to happen without intervening.
Expect travel delays, heavy rain and possible flooding in the Northeast over the weekend as a slow-moving storm moves eastward from the Midwest. Rainfall up to 2 inches was expected Saturday for the northern Mid-Atlantic and southern New England, with possible flooding in portions of northern Virginia and central Maryland, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS office in Portland, Maine, issued a flood watch through Saturday night for the "messy winter storm," the office said on Twitter.
Organizers in the youth climate movement plan an avalanche of activities beginning next week, determined to make the future of the climate the major issue of the 2020 election. Capitalizing on turnout in the September climate strikes, when 6 million people worldwide turned out to demand urgent action to address the escalating ecological emergency, young US organizers are making the leap from mobilization to demands. “The headline message of the strikes in 2020 is: the kids are taking to the streets to strike for climate and they're asking you to vote,” said Katie Eder, the executive director of Future Coalition, a communications and training hub for youth climate groups.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Three months after a set of anonymous, threatening, racist, antisemitic and homophobic emails sent a wave of fear through the sociology department at Wake Forest University, the department chairman says he's still waiting for university leaders to announce a meaningful response. Alarmed by what he deemed white supremacist terrorism, chairman Joseph Soares canceled sociology classes for a week. When they resumed, Wake Forest police officers were stationed outside classrooms and the building itself.
The husband-and-wife owners of DC Solar, a California solar company that caused Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc to take a $377 million charge last year, pleaded guilty on Friday to involvement in an estimated $912 million Ponzi scheme. Jeff Carpoff, 49, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while Paulette Carpoff, 46, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. They entered their pleas in federal court in Sacramento, California.
A member of President Trump's defense team says that former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden have “relevant evidence” and could be summoned to testify if the Senate votes next week to permit witnesses in the impeachment trial. “If your big contention here is that there was an improper motive by President Trump in pursuing this conversation with President Zelensky relative to the investigation of the Bidens, it seems to me your views about that are colored or affected by whether or not you think there was merit to such an investigation,” Ray continued.
Crowds gather in Ditan Park in Beijing, China. Thomas Peter/Reuters2020: Ditan Park is eerily empty as workers took down the lantern decorations after the Lunar New Year celebration was cancelled. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters2019: Signs with the Chinese character "Fu," which means "Good luck," hang in the Forbidden City.
Since Thursday, Chinese authorities have shut down transit going in and out of Wuhan to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Other than emergencies, people cannot leave Wuhan using its buses, subways, or ferries. Chinese authorities are shutting down almost all transit going in and out of Wuhan to contain the coronavirus and keep it from spreading further.
For decades, the Indian Navy has been the dominant regional power in the Indian Ocean, and has even boasted a carrier aviation capability that was nearly unique in Asia. But as outlined in a report by the Center for New American Security (CNAS), the growth of Chinese military power in the last two decades has dramatically eclipsed India's own attempts to modernize and expand its forces—particularly in the maritime domain. This is problematic due to New Delhi's tense relations with Beijing since a 1962 border war.
Prosecutors in Florida believe a 60-year-old man building a “dungeon” under his home is the so-called pillowcase rapist, who authorities say broke into women's houses and concealed his face with pillows and towels in as many as 40 assaults in the state since the 1980s. Robert Koehler was arrested on 18 January after authorities say they tied his DNA to samples collected from a 1983 case. Authorities were able to link Koehler to at least 25 cases, although they believe there are other matches to follow, as investigators begin to dive into Koehler's history in the state.
China's bid to contain a deadly new virus by placing cities of millions under quarantine is an unprecedented undertaking, but it is unlikely to stop the disease spreading, experts warn. The contagious virus has already reached elsewhere in China and abroad, and even an authoritarian government has only a small time frame in which trapped residents will submit to such a lockdown, they say.
Your guide to the moon—and its many phases. From Popular Mechanics
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday said calls to the corporate elite meeting in Davos to immediately disinvest in fossil fuels had been ignored. Of course these demands have been completely ignored. Thunberg was a highlight of the 50th edition of the conference, drawing massive attention including barbs by US Secretary Steven Mnuchin who on Thursday told the teen to go "study economics".
The president of Belarus on Friday accused Moscow of pressuring his country to merge with Russia and vowed not to let it happen. Talking to workers of a paper plant in eastern Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko lambasted Russia, the country's main provider of cheap oil and gas, for halting oil supplies in order "to dissolve Belarus ... in the brotherly Russia.
If there is one thing Donald Trump fears, it's lousy ratings. Since being elected president, in fact, Trump has tweeted about “ratings” exactly 100 times, according to the Trump Twitter Archive, the most recent coming Friday, on the eve of his defense team's opening testimony in his impeachment trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave in to pressure from members of his own party to adjust the trial's timetable to give House Democrats three days to make their case for removing Trump from office, pushing the opening arguments by the president's lawyers to the weekend.
President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani showed up on the president's favorite morning program on Friday—and apparently didn't want to leave. A day after Giuliani claimed on Twitter that he was about to go public with evidence that will reveal the “Biden Family Enterprise made millions by selling public office” when Joe Biden was vice president, the former New York City mayor sat down on Fox & Friends' curvy couch for what can generously be described as an unhinged, rambling, off-the-rails performance. Giuliani, whose involvement in the Ukraine scandal is at the heart of the president's impeachment, continually left the hosts of the Fox News slack-jawed as he prattled on and bulldozed right through their efforts to keep him from incriminating and implicating himself.
The plane, with around 230 people, will carry diplomats from the U.S. consulate as well as U.S. citizens and their families, the Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the operation. Washington was given approval for the operation from China's Foreign Ministry and other government agencies following negotiations in recent days, the newspaper said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said that on Thursday, the State Department had ordered the departure of family members and all U.S. government employees at its Wuhan consulate, but declined to comment on the report that other U.S. citizens would be evacuated from the city.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the United States on Thursday he would repeal an agreement on deployment of troops and equipment for exercises if Washington did not reinstate the visa of a political ally.
PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Australia is looking for volunteers to feed local wildlife injured by the bushfires on Kangaroo Island. Nearly half of the island, located in the country's south, was burned in bushfires earlier this month, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Up to 30,000 out of an estimated 60,000 koalas are believed to have been killed.
The once-formidable Iranian Air Force, starved of spare parts for its 1970s-era American-built fighters, is unlikely to effectively challenge U.S. air superiority. Instead, Iran has doubled down on a diverse array of surface-to-air missile (SAMs) systems in its Air Defense Force (IRIADF) as well as the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Together, these form an integrated air defense system that can tackle threats approaching at different ranges, speeds and altitudes, aided by powerful over-the-horizon surveillance radar described in this article.
THE CENTRAL HOSPITAL OF WUHAN VIA WEIBO /via REUTERS Friday and Saturday are meant to be the most festive days of China's year. Instead they are stalked by fear and anxiety. As the coronavirus outbreak centered in Wuhan has spread, ordinary Chinese people are increasingly turning of local officials — a rare step in the authoritarian nation.