The judge overseeing the trial of Roger Stone, the Republican campaign veteran and longtime Trump friend, said Tuesday that she will not delay the sentencing, scheduled for Thursday morning. In open court in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson spoke by phone with prosecutors and Stone's attorneys about a recently filed defense motion for a new trial based on a claim that one of the jurors was biased. One of Stone's attorneys, Seth Ginsberg, said the motion "goes to the heart of the case" and urged Jackson to delay sentencing until a hearing can be scheduled on the motion.
As the Syrian military backed by the Russian air force takes another strategic town in Idlib, thereby inching closer towards the Turkish border, the endgame for Turkey in Syria has begun. The Syrian government has also taken the key highway that links Damascus to Aleppo and secured Aleppo from the incoming Turkish backed rebel artillery. Diplomatically the first acknowledged meeting between the Turkish and Syrian intelligence chiefs in Moscow just over a week ago heralded the final act in Erdogan's quest to knock over President Bashar al-Assad.
Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government's response to natural disasters. The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said.
Confirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed. The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC.
Iran sentenced eight environmentalists to prison terms of between four and 10 years for spying for and collaborating with the U.S., the spokesman for the country's judiciary said on Tuesday. The sentences are final, Gholam Hossein Esmaili told reporters at a televised news conference. The eight people were arrested in January and February 2018 and several of them are dual citizens of the U.S. and the U.K. Esmaili also said that Iran and Germany had completed a prisoner exchange, semi-official Fars news reported.
China's authorities revoked the press credentials and ordered the expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters Wednesday in retaliation for a headline on a recent opinion column about coronavirus that Beijing said was racist. The Journal identified the journalists as Josh Chin, its deputy bureau chief in Beijing, and reporter Chao Deng, both U.S. nationals. Another reporter, Philip Wen, is an Australian citizen.
South Korea reported 20 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday -- increasing its total by nearly two-thirds -- including a cluster of at least 16 centred on the southern city of Daegu. The trade-dependent nation has been hit by the economic fallout from the virus outbreak in neighbouring China, but until Wednesday's jump, its own case numbers had hardly changed for several days. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement that 20 new coronavirus cases had been confirmed, raising its total from 31 to 51.
The people waiting to board the van have already crossed into the USA, but have been sent back under the Trump administration's so-called Migrant Protection Protocols - known as “Remain in Mexico” – whereby would be asylum seekers must await their appointed hearing south of the border. MPP was rolled out in January last year, since when an estimated 57,000 people now wait south of the border for their asylum hearing date. Tens of thousands more are waiting just for the initial application for asylum.
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.
President Trump granted a full pardon to former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik on Tuesday, clearing him of his eight counts of tax fraud, lying to federal investigators, and other crimes that accompanied his downfall. Kerik had already served his three years in prison for his crimes, but the pardon wipes out more than his criminal record, the New York Daily News reports. "The pardon cancels out $103,300 in restitution that Kerik still owed the Internal Revenue Service as part of his sentence, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan."
A Mexican man residing in Singapore was arrested in the U.S. on Tuesday, after he allegedly tracked a U.S. government source for Russia in order to obtain the source's license plate number. Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes has been charged with acting in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government without notifying the attorney general, and conspiracy to do the same. Court documents allege that a Russian government official recruited Fuentes in 2019 and tasked him with renting a specific property in Miami-Dade County, Florida, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
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. Australia, working on Malaysia's behalf, coordinated what became the largest search in aviation history, but it failed to find the plane before being ended in 2017. Speaking in a Sky News documentary to air on Wednesday and Thursday, Abbott said high-ranking Malaysian officials believed veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah deliberately downed the jet.
Conservative activist Kaitlin Bennett, also known as "Gun Girl," incited large-scale student protests Monday when she appeared on Ohio University's Athens campus to film a video. Bennett had arrived on campus to film a President's Day trivia video for the Liberty Hangout, which bills itself as a libertarian media outlet, according to both her and the site. Bennett has been a divisive figure since gaining notoriety in 2018 for posting controversial graduation photos of herself with an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University.
Only three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.
An Istanbul court acquitted prominent businessman Osman Kavala of charges of plotting to overthrow the government during mass protests that shook the country in 2013. Nine defendants were cleared, and arrest warrants for others living abroad have been rescinded. Others accused in the case include actor Mehmet Ali Alabora and journalist Can Dundar, who have both left the country.
Reuters/Pool China is expelling three Wall Street Journal reporters, accusing the newspaper of publishing a racist headline about the country's battle with coronavirus. On February 3, the Journal had published an op-ed by a foreign-affairs academic titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia." The "sick man of Asia" is a 19th-century term that referred to a time when China was internally divided and exploited by foreign powers — a period that still deeply humiliates the country's leadership.
Mike Bloomberg has been plunged into fresh controversy over his comments on race and transgender people, as scrutiny intensifies over the presidential candidate's past remarks ahead of his Democratic debate debut. On Tuesday, a 2011 PBS interview resurfaced in which Bloomberg stated that there was an “enormous cohort of black and Latino males” who “don't know how to behave in the workplace”. A NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll published on Tuesday shows Bloomberg with 19% support among Democrats for the presidential nomination, enough to join the debate stage alongside other leading contenders in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be testing for the coronavirus in people in five major cities who show up at clinics with flu-like symptoms but who test negative for the seasonal varieties. If that testing shows the virus has slipped into the country in places federal officials don't know about, "we've got a problem," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told USA TODAY's Editorial Board Monday. Short of that, Fauci says skip the masks unless you are contagious, don't worry about catching anything from Chinese products and certainly don't avoid Chinese people or restaurants.
Xi has rapidly consolidated power since he assumed leadership of China's ruling Communist Party in 2012. In 2016, Xi was hailed as the “core” of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership. In 2017, Xi Jinping thought was officially incorporated into the CCP constitution.
A security guard for an apartment complex with Airbnb rental units has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the 2018 murder of an American tourist. Carla Stefaniak, a Venezuelan-American who lived in Miami, was in San Jose, Costa Rica, celebrating her 36th birthday when she was brutally murdered. On Monday, Bismarck Espinoza Martinez, originally from Nicaragua, was found guilty of fatally stabbing Ms Stefaniak on the night of 28 November, 2018.
Tennessee inmate Nicholas Sutton was placed on a death watch early Tuesday ahead of his scheduled execution later this week for the decades-old killing of a fellow inmate. Meanwhile, Sutton's attorneys made two last ditch appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. Inmates on death watch are kept under 24-hour surveillance in a cell beside the execution chamber, the Tennessee Department of Correction said.
“Holidays will never be the same,” Jennifer told Dateline. Liz, as she is known by her family and friends, was four months pregnant with her third child. “She got in his truck and that's the last time I ever heard from her,” Amber said.
Washington has the right to block US federal agencies from buying products by Huawei on cybersecurity grounds, a judge has ruled, dismissing the Chinese telecom giant's legal challenge to a purchase ban. Huawei filed the suit nearly a year ago, claiming that Congress had failed to provide evidence to support a law that stopped government agencies from buying its equipment, services, or working with third parties that are Huawei customers. The dispute was one of several fronts in a bruising trade war between Beijing and Washington, which has accused the tech firm of stealing trade secrets from American companies and warned allies that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries.
Attorney General William Barr has let people close to President Trump know that he is contemplating stepping down in the wake of Trump's tweets about Justice Department criminal investigations, three administration officials told The Washington Post on Tuesday. Barr has spoken with people inside and out of the White House, and has privately and publicly asked Trump to stop commenting on Justice Department matters, the officials said; Trump has ignored him. Last week, Trump tweeted about his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
The coronavirus is expected to cost the US travel industry more than $10 billion over the next four years, with more than half of that loss coming in 2020. Although US airlines are working to minimize the impact, hotels, museums, retail and dining sectors, and other businesses that rely on tourist dollars are expected to face major economic fallout from the outbreak. If the coronavirus continues to spread, particularly in other countries, the impact could be significantly worse.