President Trump on Tuesday exercised his pardon power, granting clemency to or commuting the sentences of nearly a dozen people convicted of crimes, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and junk bond pioneer Michael Milken. Trump also referred to himself as the nation's “chief law enforcement officer,” a title typically reserved for the attorney general. On Tuesday morning, the White House announced Trump's pardoning of former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. for his involvement in a 1998 corruption case against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.
At this point in the Democratic presidential primary, most Americans have probably seen a Mike Bloomberg ad on TV. “Seeing him up close, he could suffer from a little '[Joe] Biden syndrome,'” New York-based political consultant Neal Kwatra, who is unaffiliated in the Democratic presidential primary, recently told Politico. While Wednesday's Democratic gathering in Las Vegas may be Bloomberg's presidential debate debut (he qualified Tuesday after cracking double digits in four national polls), he has debated before.
A mother and her adult daughter pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing five of their close relatives, including three children, at an apartment outside Philadelphia. Forty-six-year-old Shana Decree and her 20-year-old daughter Dominique Decree sat side by side in court in suburban Bucks County and affirmed their pleas to charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy. The pair barely spoke, except to respond to the judge's questions about the charges and their pleas.
Andrew Yang's presidential bid failed, but it did land him a gig with CNN. The entrepreneur who made a run at the Oval Office before dropping out last week after a poor showing at the New Hampshire primary will be joining the network as a political analyst. He's doing so just in time for Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Las Vegas, as the remaining candidates take the stage before the Nevada caucuses Saturday.
A student activist group that took over a Syracuse University administration building to protest long-simmering charges of racism and bias on campus rejected an attempt by the school to end its three-day sit-in, the school said in a statement Wednesday. The black-led movement #NotAgainSU launched the sit-in at Crouse-Hinds Hall with more than 20 students Monday to protest the administration's handling of racial incidents at the university. The university's Department of Public Safety sealed off the building and hasn't allowed in food or medicine since Tuesday, according to The Daily Orange, the university's independent newspaper.
Moscow is to impose a blanket ban on Chinese visitors over coronavirus fears in a move that will hit its tourism industry as experts question the need for such "draconian" measures. Moscow will ban all Chinese citizens from entering its territory from Thursday. It has already halted visa-free tourism for Chinese nationals and stopped issuing them with work visas and suspended rail links and restricted air travel.
Fisher Island, a private, man-made island off the coast of Miami, is known for being the richest ZIP code in the US, where the average income of residents is $2.2 million and the median home value is roughly $2.9 million. Police recovered and identified the bodies as socialites Emma Afra and Viviane Brahms, according to The Miami Herald. A blue Mercedes-Benz inexplicably rolled off the Fisher Island Ferry on Tuesday at around 5 p.m., killing the two women sitting in the car, according to The Miami Herald.
Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the “top levels” of the Malaysian government long suspected that the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 almost six years ago was a mass murder-suicide by the pilot.
From Italy to Tasmania, a new book covers those farms with an eye on both sustainability and beautiful design Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
LONDON—A lawyer for Julian Assange has claimed in court that President Donald Trump offered to pardon Assange if the WikiLeaks founder agreed to help cover up Russia's involvement in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee. Assange's lawyers said on Wednesday that former Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher offered Assange the deal in 2017, a year after emails that damaged Hillary Clinton in the presidential race had been published. WikiLeaks posted the stolen DNC emails after they were hacked by Russian operatives.
In a video recorded last year, presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg refers to transgender women as “some guy in a dress.” This is the second time Mr Bloomberg has been recorded making such statements in recent years. The March 2019 video also has Mr Bloomberg referring to transgender people as “he, she or it” in comments aimed at warning 2020 Democratic candidates against emphasising transgender issues, arguing that they would not play well in parts of America. Mr Bloomberg joins the other Democrat candidates on stage tonight in his first debate of the primaries — the ninth for the other contenders.
A child's polka dot boot and a soup ladle with fresh dirt on it led police to the body of a 6-year-old kidnapping and homicide victim, South Carolina police said Tuesday. First grader Faye Marie Swetlik, who was found last week near her home in Cayce, a suburb of Columbia, died by asphyxiation at the hands of a neighbor, officials revealed. "Faye Swetlik's death did not occur at the location where her body was discovered," Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher told reporters.
Well-wishers at Pope Francis' weekly audience have thrust soccer T-shirts, flowers and many a wailing baby into his arms. On Wednesday, Francis seemed to thoroughly enjoy a surprise expression of affection: a long, tender kiss planted on his forehead by a man in one of the front-row seats reserved for ailing or disabled people at the end of his audience. Francis appeared to be smiling when the man, who stood up when the pontiff approached to greet him and others in the front row, pulled the pope's head toward him and gave a kiss lasting several seconds, pressing his nose against Francis' forehead in the process.
It took less than five minutes for Elizabeth Warren to set the tone for Wednesday's debate. Warren critiqued every other candidate's health care plan in a single answer, injecting a rush of new energy into her campaign. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar continued a running battle that has built over several debates, while Biden lit into Bloomberg over Obamacare and Sanders faced questions about his policy disagreements with a powerful Nevada labor union.
Customs & Border Protection Agency/Reuters The National Archives and Records Administration approved ICE's request to destroy years of detention records last year. The records included in the trove contain information related to deaths of detainees and allegations of sexual assault and abuse of detainees in December. On Tuesday, the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to retrieve the documents before they are erased.
Tony Eden says he narrowly escaped being taken hostage during the 1985 riots at the Tennessee State Prison in Nashville. Eden credits an inmate, named Nicholas Sutton, with saving his life that day. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee denied Sutton's clemency petition on Wednesday, saying after "careful" consideration of the request, he would not be intervening.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is condemning China for its decision to expel three reporters from The Wall Street Journal from the country. "Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions," Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday. This came after China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said three journalists from the Journal would have their credentials revoked over the paper's recent headline, "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," The New York Times reports.
An experienced hurricane hunting crew chasing a winter storm came across a far different discovery this past weekend. In what is know as St. Elmo's fire, footage of the forking electric discharge was captured on Saturday by pilots as the spectacle flashed throughout the cockpit. The video, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), was taken as pilots flew across the Atlantic Ocean amid thunderstorms.
Frustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petitioned to leave the state – by moving the border with Idaho westward. The movement secured initial approval from two counties and aims to get enough signatures to put the proposal on ballots in November, according to the group called Greater Idaho. If the group succeeds, voters in southeast Oregon may see a question on whether their county should become part of Idaho by redrawing the border.
Brian Snyder/Reuters Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign press secretary, Briahna Joy Gray, said on Thursday that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has "suffered heart attacks in the past," though there's no evidence to support her claims. Gray made the claim while defending Sanders' decision not to release additional information about his health about four months after his heart attack. Gray also compared questions about Sanders' health to the racist birtherism conspiracy concerning former President Barack Obama's birthplace.
Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was taken to prison Wednesday to begin a 17-year term for bribery and embezzlement after losing an appeal against a lighter sentence. Lee, in office from 2008 to 2013, was briefly jailed in 2018 after being sentenced to 15 years and fined 13 billion won ($11 million), but was granted bail while he appealed. He was found guilty of creating slush funds of tens of millions of dollars and accepting bribes from Samsung Electronics in return for a presidential pardon for its chairman, Lee Kun-hee, who was jailed for tax evasion.
A Florida woman who got clemency from President Donald Trump while serving prison time for a $205 million Medicare fraud scam said Wednesday her case was brought to Trump's attention by a woman who herself got clemency at the urging of reality TV star Kim Kardashian West. Judith Negron was eight years into a 35-year prison sentence that the FBI called one of the longest sentences ever imposed in a Medicare Fraud Strike Force case when Trump commuted her sentence Tuesday. “I had some guardian angels as I call them, such as Alice Johnson, who had been advocating for me behind the scenes," Negron told The Associated Press in an interview at her home shortly after her release.
Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday. From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department's International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.
Key point: The DIA estimated in 2017 that Russian air arms maintained just 1,000 tactical aircraft. The Russian air force deployed Su-57 stealth fighters to Syria a second time since first deploying them to the war-torn country in February 2018. But that doesn't mean the twin-engine Su-57 is any closer to being ready for mass production, to say nothing of its readiness for full-scale warfare against a high-tech foe.
Majed Jaber/Reuters Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told Deutsche Welle, a German state-owned broadcasting company, that reports of Jamal Khashoggi's assassination being "authorized" by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are "ridiculous." "If Saudi Arabia was so bad, nobody would come," Al-Jubeir said of foreign investors flocking to the Kingdom. The 59-year-old Washington Post journalist, who was frequently critical of the Saudi government, was killed in October 2018 upon entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain the documents necessary to marry his Turkish fiancée.