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?
At the Democratic debate in Atlanta on Wednesday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Sen. Kamala Harris of California clashed over their differing visions for the party, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. Gabbard had criticized Hillary Clinton as the “personification of the left that has sickened the Democratic Party” after the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee suggested in an interview last month that she believed Republicans were “grooming” Gabbard to be a spoiler as a third-party candidate. Clinton, who did not mention Gabbard by name, further suggested that the Hawaii Democrat is “the favorite of the Russians.
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.
British-born Fiona Hill was asked about the incident while giving evidence to members of the House Intelligence Committee after it was raised by Democrat Jackie Speier. Referring to a profile of Dr Hill in the New York Times, Ms Speier said: "I want to verify this story: I understand that when you were 11 years old there was a schoolboy who set your pigtails on fire. "And you were taking a test, turned around and with your hands snuffed out the fire and then proceeded to finish your test.
The son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said Wednesday. A 57-year-old German man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Von Weizsaecker died at the scene from a knife wound to the neck despite immediate attention from colleagues, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors.
A decade after 58 people were killed in the Philippines' worst political massacre, none of the alleged masterminds have been convicted yet, leaving families fearful that justice may never come. Though a verdict is now due next month over the bloodshed that drew international outrage, there is no guarantee of a conviction and the painfully slow-moving trial could still be derailed by corruption or even violence. "We are afraid for the life of the prosecutor or even our judge," said Mary Grace Morales, whose sister and husband were among 32 journalists killed in the attack, making it one of world's deadliest on media workers.
Flickr/Oliver Holzbauer American Airlines admitted Tuesday that whatever knocked out two flight attendants and forced an emergency landing in October was not spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed. On October 21, American Airlines flight 729 was flying from London Heathrow to Philadelphia, but was forced to land in Dublin, Ireland, when two staff members passed out. American Airlines said at the time that the incident was caused by "an odor caused by a spilled cleaning solution in the galley."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly told three prominent Republicans that he is planning to resign from the White House to run for a Senate seat.
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.
In a tense exchange at Wednesday's impeachment hearing of President Trump, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., grilled Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, over his changing testimony on what he understood about Trump's motivation in seeking an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. “Who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?” Maloney asked after an extended back-and-forth with Sondland on that point. “I assume President Trump would benefit —” Sondland said.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg filed paperwork on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission to run for U.S. president as a Democrat, the latest sign that the former New York City Mayor is joining the crowded nominating contest. The filing allows Bloomberg to raise money in a bid for the White House, but an aide said on Thursday that no final decision on whether he will run has been made. Bloomberg, 77, has signaled that he plans a late-entry in the Democratic primary, suggesting he feels the field of nearly 20 candidates is vulnerable.
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.
The eight submarines, including six nuclear-powered ships, sailed from their bases in northern Russia into the cold waters of the Barents and Norwegian Seas. At the same time, an additional two boats -- the nuclear-powered Sierra-class attack submarines Pskov and Nizhny Novgorod -- sailed into roughly the same waters for tests and training. The 10 vessels represent around 20 percent of the Russian submarine force.
As a cold rain fell on a suburb of Iran's capital on Wednesday, women swallowed by black chadors and men in green military-style jackets walked alongside the flag-draped coffin of a Revolutionary Guard member, one of over 100 people reported to be killed in protests across the country. The mourners did not blame the Guard member's death on Iran's government, which increased gasoline prices amid widespread economic woes as Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers collapses. From allegations of foreigners in demonstrations to claims of outside forces being involved, Iran's government has been blaming everyone else for the violence unleashed after it raised the minimum price for gasoline by 50%.
A lawyer says video showing a northern Indiana grandfather at the moment he dropped his granddaughter from the 11th floor of a cruise ship appears to support the man's statement that he thought the window was closed, reports the IndyStar, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network. "What I saw with the video, it's pretty consistent with what my client has told me," said José G. Pérez Ortiz, who represents Anello in the criminal case. Chloe Wiegand was in a play area on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship Freedom of the Seas as it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on July 8 when she fell 115 feet to the ground.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday was indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges in three corruption cases. Netanyahu is accused of receiving gifts and positive news coverage in exchange for regulatory benefits from the government. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday was indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges in three corruption cases, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced.
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
A judge has blocked the scheduled executions of four federal death row inmates, effectively freezing the Trump administration's effort to resume imposing the death penalty in a federal system that saw its last execution more than a decade and a half ago. The order issued Wednesday night by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan halts four executions that U.S. officials planned to carry out starting next month. The only other execution that officials had put on the calendar, also for December, was blocked last month by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
The morning began badly for President Trump, as his ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, delivered an opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee that raised and answered the question of whether there was a quid pro quo in the administration's demands for the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation that would benefit the president politically. The answer is yes,” Sondland declared. But even if that damning opening statement set the tone on cable news and social media, much of the rest of Sondland's testimony was ambiguous with respect to the points Democrats have been hammering relentlessly in the investigation.
Ten Mexican citizens have sued Walmart over the shooting at a store in the U.S. border town of El Paso, Texas, that killed eight Mexicans and left eight more injured, saying that Walmart did not do enough to protect its customers, Mexico said on Wednesday. The suspected gunman told police he was targeting "Mexicans" in the August shooting, which killed 22 people in total. Mexico's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the lawsuit, which was filed in Texas state court in El Paso County, aimed to hold the retailer accountable "for not taking reasonable and necessary measures to protect its customers."
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said calls to oust Chinese companies from American stock indexes was contrary to the foundations of capitalism, as he warned against the dangers of decoupling the world's two largest economies. Paulson, who's now chairman of the Paulson Institute, told Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in Beijing that moves to reduce ties between the U.S. and China would weaken American leadership and New York's leading role in finance. “When the next crisis comes -- and a crisis will come, because financial crises are inevitable -- we will regret it if we lack mechanisms for the world's first and second-largest economies to coordinate,” Paulson told the forum on Thursday, according to a prepared version of his remarks.
Andrew Yang didn't get much speaking time at Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta, but he made memorable use of the time he got. Near the end of the debate, Yang was asked what he would say, if elected, in his first call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "Well, first I'd say I'm sorry I beat your guy," he said.
A Utah woman charged with a crime after her stepchildren saw her topless in her own home is fighting the case that could force her to register as a sex offender, pointing to a court ruling that overturned a topless ban in Colorado and helped fuel a movement. Tilli Buchanan's attorneys argue that Utah's law on lewdness involving a child is unfair because it treats men and women differently for baring their chests. Prosecutors counter that nudity is commonly understood to include women's breasts in American society and that courts have upheld laws based on morality.
In recent weeks, the so-called ancient hatreds of Iraq – between people of different faiths – have largely gone missing in a 14-story abandoned building in downtown Baghdad. It is there in central Tahrir Square that tens of thousands of young Iraqis have not only organized nationwide protests against the government, but also created a model “ministate” for a new Iraq – and perhaps much of the Middle East. According to journalist Pesha Magid, protest organizers in the building are working across faiths, a sharp contrast from Iraq's sectarian power structure and its inherently corrupt system of patronage that has led to mass joblessness.