An eyewitness is shedding some light on how the 10- to 12-foot metal beam of unknown origin was removed from the remote Utah desert last week.Similar object found 6,000 miles away »
In November 2019, on the campaign trail in South Carolina, then-candidate Joe Biden was asked a question by immigrant rights activist Carlos Rojas Rodriguez and an immigrant community member. A tense back-and-forth ensued, with Rodriguez and Silvia criticizing the Obama administration's record on deportations and calling for a moratorium on deportations if Biden was elected. Biden disagreed and told Rodriguez, "You should go vote for Trump."
A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist who is visiting Denmark urged European nations on Wednesday to allow protesters in Hong Kong "a safe haven from the terror” of China's Communist Party. “The situation in Hong Kong is getting worse by the day and it is important that the world knows that Hong Kong is no longer a free city,” Ted Hui said in an email to The Associated Press. Britain has extended residency rights for up to 3 million Hong Kongers eligible for British National Overseas passports, allowing them to live and work there for five years.
The European Union's Brexit negotiator told the 27 national envoys to Brussels on Wednesday that differences in UK trade talks persisted, according to a senior EU diplomat who was present at the closed-door briefing. "Differences still persist on the three main issues," the diplomat said, when asked for the overall thrust of Barnier's update to EU member states on the latest in Brexit trade talks. "A deal still hangs in the balance."
Attorney General William Barr revealed the Department of Justice has been investigating allegations of voter fraud but has not uncovered evidence of enough to have changed the results of the US presidential election. It comes as the campaign of Donald Trump filed its long-promised lawsuit in Wisconsin in an attempt to invalidate hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots in two Democrat-leaning counties. Trump himself, meanwhile, appeared at a White House Christmas event on Tuesday night in which he appeared to confirm, for the first time in public, that he will run again in 2024.
Republicans attempting to undo President-elect Joe Biden's victory in Pennsylvania asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to take up their lawsuit, three days after it was thrown out by the highest court in the battleground state. In the request to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden's victory. They maintain that Pennsylvania's expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions.
All day, Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe has been hyping the huge revelations the group would be releasing from their latest stunt. In a dramatic video posted Tuesday morning, the conservative activist could be seen unmuting himself and informing CNN chief Jeff Zucker, “We've been listening to your CNN calls for basically two months and recording everything. Just wanted to ask you some questions, if you have a minute.
President Vladimir Putin ordered a large-scale voluntary vaccination programme against COVID-19 to begin next week across Russia, saying teachers and doctors should be first in line to get the country's flagship Sputnik V vaccine. Putin gave the order during an online meeting with ministers on Wednesday, a day when Russia, which has the fourth highest number of recorded infections in the world, registered 589 new daily deaths from the coronavirus. Putin said Russia will have produced 2 million vaccine doses within the next few days.
President Trump is once again expressing his disappointment with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R). After saying over the weekend that he was "ashamed" he endorsed Kemp, Trump accused him of not doing enough to guarantee Georgia's 2020 election for Republicans in a Tuesday tweet. In response to an unfounded article insinuating Georgia's voting machines were tampered with, Trump called on Kemp to "do something" after he "allowed your state to be scammed."
The leadership of a broad coalition of Western Hemisphere nations on Wednesday accused the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor of failing to take swift action on allegations that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government committed crimes against humanity. The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States said in a report that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's failure to open a formal investigation into Venezuela is “stunning” and “inexplicable.” The leadership of the 35-member body said the slow pace of the ICC's review of Venezuela's situation has emboldened Maduro's government to commit more crimes believing that it can act with total impunity.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said Tuesday efforts to resolve Cyprus' ethnic division should start fresh and aim to achieve a two-state deal, because decades of negotiations for a federation-based agreement have got nowhere. Tatar said a regional “new state of affairs” that takes into account the discovery of significant gas deposits off Cyprus creates the need for a two-state accord, under which equally sovereign Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can live “side by side.” The Greek Cypriots reject the two-state idea.
A Congressman from Alabama plans to challenge the Electoral College votes when Congress moves to certify Joe Biden's victory on 6 January. Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican, is searching for a senator to join his challenge, though he said he might object to the election alone if he does not find a partner. Mr Brooks said he has had contact with some senators, but did not provide names.
Iran's Guardian Council watchdog body approved a law on Wednesday that obliges the government to halt U.N. inspections of its nuclear sites and step up uranium enrichment beyond the limit set under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal if sanctions are not eased in two months. In retaliation for the killing last week of Iran's top nuclear scientist, which Tehran has blamed on Israel, Iran's hardline-dominated parliament on Tuesday approved the bill with a strong majority that will harden Iran's nuclear stance. The Guardian Council is charged with ensuring draft laws do not contradict Shi'ite Islamic laws or Iran's constitution.
But on Sunday, Planet finally got a beautiful acquisition right over the tip of A68a's "ice finger" (the berg has the shape of a hand with its index finger outstretched, as if pointing). This movie from the high-orbiting American weather satellite Goes-16 was processed by Dr Simon Proud from Oxford University and the UK's National Centre for Earth Observation (Credit: NOAA/Simon Proud/NCEO) "The detail of some of the cracks running across the berg are really clear and will be the main controls of the larger bits that break off," explained the British Antarctic Survey's Dr Andrew Fleming, who's examined the new picture.
A Chinese spacecraft sent to return lunar rocks to Earth collected its first samples Wednesday after landing on the moon, the government announced, adding to a string of successes for Beijing's increasingly ambitious space program. The Chang'e 5 probe touched down shortly after 11 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Tuesday after descending from an orbiter, the China National Space Administration said. The probe, launched Nov. 24 from the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the latest venture by a Chinese space program that sent its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, has a spacecraft en route to Mars and aims eventually to land a human on the moon.
Some establishment Republicans are sounding alarms that President Trump's conspiratorial denials of his own defeat could threaten the party's ability to win a Senate majority and counter President-elect Joe Biden's administration.
Israel edged closer on Wednesday towards a fourth national election in two years after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's main governing partner, Benny Gantz, backed an opposition move to dissolve parliament. Parliament gave preliminary approval to a dissolution bill, but the legislation needs to pass three as yet unscheduled votes to become law, giving Netanyahu and Gantz, the defence minister, more time to work out differences over a national budget. The coalition crisis could plunge Israel into more political uncertainty as it prepares for a new U.S. administration led by Joe Biden, deals with the coronavirus pandemic and awaits Iran's next moves after the assassination of its top nuclear scientist last week, a killing that Tehran blamed on Israel.
As the spread of Covid-19 continues to accelerate across the United States, residents in Oklahoma have been asked to take part in a prayer day by the state's Republican governor, Kevin Stitt. In an announcement, Mr Stitt said Oklahomans should pray to God amid the pandemic, which has seen some 200,000 people in the state contract the coronavirus, and almost 2,000 lose their lives. The day of prayer has been planned for Thursday, with churches and other places of worship due to host those who take part.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday for the first time appeared to accept President-elect Joe Biden's win over President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. "I think we all know that after the first of the year, there's likely to be a discussion about some additional package of some size next year, depending upon what the new administration wants to pursue," McConnell said. McConnell had previously held off on acknowledging Biden's win, instead saying that Trump had a right to pursue legal challenges.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday expressed his opposition to a bill approved by parliament the previous day to suspend U.N. inspections and boost uranium enrichment, saying it would be “harmful” to diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal and easing U.S. sanctions. The tug-of-war over the bill, which gained momentum after the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last month, reflects the rivalry between Rouhani, a relative moderate, and hard-line lawmakers who dominate parliament and favor a more confrontational approach to the West. The bill would suspend U.N. inspections and require the government to resume enriching uranium to 20% if European nations fail to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions on the country's oil and banking sectors.
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged political forces in Belarus on Wednesday to try to resolve their differences through dialogue, and also said the ex-Soviet republic, a close Moscow ally, was facing unprecedented meddling by external forces. Belarus has been rocked by mass protests since an Aug. 9 presidential election which veteran incumbent Alexander Lukashenko said he won - an assertion contested by his opponents, who say the vote was rigged and want him to quit. Russia's backing is seen as vital for Lukashenko's chances of staying in power and its statements are closely scrutinised for changes in tone or any sign that Moscow could be pushing for some kind of managed power transition.
Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive overseeing the vaccine portion of the U.S. program, said he hopes 20 million people will have been vaccinated by the end of this year. "Within 24 hours, maybe at most 36 to 48 hours, from the approval, the vaccine can be in people's arms," Slaoui said at an event conducted by The Washington Post. Slaoui said practice shipping runs - without vaccines - have been conducted to prepare for initial distribution expected to begin in mid-December once Pfizer Inc receives an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine.
ECONOMIC TEAM: With unemployment still high and a new economic slump possible this winter, President-elect Joe Biden has announced a liberal team of economic advisers. Biden's nominee for treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, when she placed a greater emphasis than previous Fed chairs on maximizing employment and less focus on price inflation. EMANUEL WEIGHED: Biden is considering Rahm Emanuel to serve as his transportation secretary.
China has accused Australia of trying to "deflect public attention" from alleged war crimes by its soldiers in Afghanistan after Canberra expressed outrage over a "repugnant" tweet. Australia wants China to apologise for sharing a fake image of an Australian soldier killing an Afghan child. Beijing has now said that Australia was trying to "blame China for the worsening of bilateral ties".
The top U.N. official for Libya said Wednesday there are at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in the war-torn nation, and warned of a “serious crisis” as weapons continue pouring into the North African country. “That is a shocking violation of Libyan sovereignty ... a blatant violation of the arms embargo,” U.N. acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams told an online meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum. The 75-member forum is trying to get Libya's warring sides to agree on a mechanism that would establish a transitional administration to lead the country through presidential and parliamentary elections in December 2021.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”