Tennessee would be the first state in the nation to hold a presidential primary, freeing it from having to compete for attention on Super Tuesday, under a new bill. Democratic state lawmakers touted the need for the change on Tuesday, arguing that the Volunteer State has a more diverse voter base than Iowa and New Hampshire — the first two states to kick off the presidential primaries every four years. “We feel very strongly that Tennessee in many ways would better represent the nation as a whole demographically, and for other reasons would be an ideal place to hold the first primary in the country,” said state Rep. Jason Powell, a Democrat from Nashville.
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.
One of two hastily-constructed Wuhan hospitals meant to help handle the surging number of coronavirus patients was less than half full on Tuesday, according to official figures. Its sister hospital, Huoshenshan, is now operating at around its 1,000-bed capacity. The spectacle of the high-speed construction of two brand new hospitals in less than 12 days in Wuhan was a PR coup for the Chinese government.
A campus protest against the “Kent State gun girl” Kaitlin Bennett was not “a riot,” according to Ohio University police. Ms Bennett, who helps run a conservative website called Liberty Hangout and who often appears on Alex Jones' InfoWars programs, was driven off the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on Monday by a student protest according to the Athens News. She said the students “started a riot” and claims the police “let it happen.
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.
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.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that the main opposition party should be investigated for possible links to the U.S.-based cleric accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, amid a bout of finger-pointing between the two sides. Ankara blames Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, for masterminding the abortive putsch and has carried out a widespread crackdown on his alleged supporters. Thousands of people have been detained, arrested or sacked over links to Gulen's network.
The New York Magazine reports former president Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary is part of a "choreographed strategy" on the part of Obama, who is "increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer."
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Israel will provide hundreds of additional work permits for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli defense body said Tuesday, in a new step aimed at solidifying an informal cease-fire with the Hamas militant group. COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for civilian Palestinian affairs, said it was lifting certain restrictions on the territory starting Wednesday following days of “relative quiet” in the area surrounding Gaza. Israel blames the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, for ongoing fire emanating from the Gaza Strip, including a spate of explosive balloons launched from Gaza that have damaged Israeli properties.
WASHINGTON – The sentencing of Roger Stone, President Donald Trump's longtime ally and friend, will move forward this week despite a request from Stone's attorneys to delay the hearing pending a request for a new trial. Stone's attorneys asked for a new trial last week, after Trump accused one of the jurors of "significant bias." During a brief hearing Tuesday, Stone's attorneys urged U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to delay the sentencing, scheduled for Thursday, arguing that the motion for a new trial must first be resolved.
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.
“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.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned 78 years old last Friday. Yesterday, a voter told me he was interested in Bloomberg because "Biden & Bernie are too old."@JoeBiden is 77. Everybody is expected to pile on Bloomberg in Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Nevada, and Sanders tested out his salvos in a CNN town hall on Tuesday night.
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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday dismissed a veteran, once close adviser who until recently managed Moscow's relations with war-torn Ukraine. Putin fired Vladislav Surkov, seen as a hardliner by many in Kiev, in a terse two-line statement on the Kremlin website. The decree was issued a week after the Kremlin said a senior Ukrainian-born Russian official, Dmitry Kozak, was now in charge of managing Moscow's relations with Ukraine, effectively sidelining Surkov.
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.
Italy's government won initial approval for a law that makes it cheaper to strip companies of public concessions, a move that will give it more leverage in talks to resolve a clash over Autostrade per l'Italia SpA's license to operate highways. The new rules would significantly reduce the penalties Italy would have to pay in case of revocation. In Autostrade's case, potential compensation would fall to as little as 6 billion euros ($6.5 billion) from more than 20 billion euros.
Ashraf Ghani won a second term as president of Afghanistan, the country's independent election commission announced Tuesday, but his closest opponent refused to recognize the results, declaring himself winner and potentially endangering peace negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban also rejected Ghani's win, further putting into question a U.S. peace plan that calls for a reduction in violence followed by a more permanent agreement expected to be signed Feb. 29, between Washington and the Taliban. That agreement would pave the way for U.S. troops to return home, ending America's longest war, and trigger negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict.
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.
Key point: Washington wants to sell more weapons to foreign countries. In order to win over customers, the United States is touting its superior (although more expensive) systems. The U.S. government has a message for those nations that would buy Russian and Chines weapons: buyer beware.
An ice volcano is a cone-shaped mound of ice formed over a lake by the eruption of water and slush through an ice shelf. "Ice volcanoes occur in locations in which waves hit accumulated ice on the shoreline with some force," said Cort Spholten, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Grand Rapids. "We were cold enough to form ice on the shore of Lake Michigan, and water had broken the surface of that ice," Spholten said.
Roger Stone will be sentenced on Thursday and President Trump can do nothing about it. That's the message U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who's overseeing the criminal case against Trump's longtime adviser, sent Tuesday when she confirmed the date of Stone's sentencing hearing. Despite receiving threats from Trump to delay the sentencing for a second time, that "would not be a prudent thing to do under all the circumstances," Jackson said.
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has claimed "very top" level Malaysian officials believed vanished Flight MH370 was deliberately downed by the captain in a mass murder-suicide. No sign of the plane was found in a 120,000-square kilometre (46,000-square mile) Indian Ocean search zone and the Australian-led search, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January 2017. The disappearance of the plane has long been the subject of a host of theories -- ranging from the credible to outlandish -- including that veteran pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah had gone rogue.
Daria Mastikasheva was one of scores of prisoners exchanged between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in December, but she says she is now being kept against her will in a hospital in eastern Ukraine by the same people who secured her release. A former taekwondo champion, Mastikasheva spent years in Ukrainian custody on what she says were trumped up treason charges in a case that was documented by rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. She was handed over to separatist fighters in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine in a mass prisoner exchange, one of a number of confidence-building measures agreed by Ukraine and Russia to end the simmering conflict.