An emissary for two wealthy Arab princes boasted to unnamed officials of a Middle Eastern government about his direct access to Hillary and Bill Clinton while funneling more than $3.5 million in illegal campaign contributions to the former secretary of state's 2016 presidential campaign and Democratic fundraising committees, according to a federal indictment announced by the Justice Department this week. Wonderful meeting with Big Lady. Can't wait to tell you all about it,” George Nader allegedly wrote to an official of one of the foreign governments he advises in the Middle East after attending a political fundraiser with Hillary Clinton on April 16, 2016.
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter will resign from Congress following his guilty plea to a federal charge of conspiring to misuse campaign funds, he said on Friday. Hunter's announcement that he would step down came days after the leading California lawmaker, a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, entered his guilty plea in federal court in San Diego. "Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, 42, said in a written statement released by his communications director.
Lebanese journalists are facing threats and wide-ranging harassment in their work — including verbal insults and physical attacks, even death threats — while reporting on nearly 50 days of anti-government protests, despite Lebanon's reputation as a haven for free speech in a troubled region. Local media outlets — some of which represent the sectarian interests protesters are looking to overthrow — are now largely seen as pro- or anti-protests, with some journalists feeling pressured to leave their workplaces over disagreements about media coverage. The deteriorating situation for journalists in Lebanon comes despite its decades-old reputation for being an island of free press in the Arab world.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee executed death row inmate Lee Hall in the electric chair Thursday night, marking the fourth time the state has used the method since 2018. Hall, 53, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. CST, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction. Media witnesses described what appeared to be a faint trail of white smoke rising from Hall's head as the lethal current coursed through his body.
At 7:45 AM on the morning of December 7, 1941 Commander Mitsuo Fuchida gazed exultantly from the rear seat of his B5N bomber at the serene vision of Pearl Harbor below him, it's defenses unprepared for the onslaught about to befall them. Upon returning safely to the deck of the carrier Akagi, he and classmate Commander Minoru Genda—the raid's mastermind—then urged Admiral Chuichi Nagumo to authorize a third wave to finish off the already crippled defenses.
Tesla has changed the production timelines for the most and least expensive trims of its Cybertruck pickup truck. It said production for the three-motor, all-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $69,900, would begin in 2021, a year earlier than Tesla first announced. The single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $39,900, will enter production in late 2022, a year later than its original timeline, Tesla said.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he wants to become president to end "the nationwide madness" of U.S. gun violence, calling it evil and saying he would allow its victims to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
A Virginia state commission released a report Thursday calling for the official repeal of “deeply troubling” state laws still on the books that contain “explicitly racist language and segregationist policies. The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law published a lengthy report saying that the outdated laws should not “remain enshrined in law” despite no longer being in effect. The commission believes that such vestiges of Virginia's segregationist past should no longer have official status,” the report states.
Roughly 1,000 Belarusians joined an unauthorised demonstration on Saturday against the prospect of a closer union with Russia. Long-time ruler Alexander Lukashenko was meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Russia on Saturday to discuss "key issues in our bilateral relations, including the prospects for deepening integration", according to the Kremlin. Angered by the potential deal, crowds of mostly young Belarusians headed towards the government headquarters in the capital Minsk carrying signs that read "it's not integration, it's an occupation" and "the president is selling our country".
After taking the day off on Thursday, Meghan McCain returned to The View on Friday and immediately set about doing Meghan McCain things. During a discussion on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's altercation with a Sinclair reporter after he asked her whether she “hated” President Donald Trump, McCain sulked and pouted after frequent sparring partner Joy Behar used an audience-pleasing one-liner against McCain's argument Democrats are too focused on making a meme out of Pelosi's moment. After co-host Sunny Hostin felt Pelosi was “triggered” by the notion that Democrats only want to impeach Trump because they hate him and that it has nothing to do with the Constitution, McCain jumped in to note that Pelosi's campaign is now raising money off the incident.
The Thai authorities have detained the wife and children of a top commander of Arakan Army, an insurgent group who are fighting for greater autonomy in neighboring Myanmar's Rakhine State, Thai officials told Reuters on Friday. Hnin Zar Phyu, 38, the wife of Major General Tun Myat Naing, 41, and their daughter Saw Pyae Shun, 11, and 11-month-old son, Myat Lin Zan, were arrested on Wednesday in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand that has long been sanctuary for dissidents from Myanmar, and charged with illegal entry.
The Justice Department unsealed charges Thursday against the alleged leader and an administrator of a Russian cyber-criminal gang that U.S. officials say developed and distributed malware used to steal at least $100 million from banks and other financial institutions in more than 40 countries over the past decade. Separately, the Treasury Department said that in collaboration with Britain's National Crime Agency it was freezing all assets of the two Russian men along with 15 other associates and seven Russian-based organizations including Evil Corp., their alleged umbrella group. Charged in a 10-count indictment filed in federal court in Pittsburgh were Evil Corp.'s alleged leader, Maksim V. Yakubets, 32, of Moscow and Igor Turashev, 38, from Yoshkar-Ola, Russia.
Key point: The United States is beginning to lose its footing in East Asia. In October 2018, Chinese media announced that the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would publicly unveil its new H-20 stealth bomber during a parade celebrating the air arm's seventieth anniversary in 2019. Prior news of the H-20's development had been teased using techniques pioneered by viral marketing campaigns for Hollywood movies.
Former Vice President Joe Biden argued that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's politics are far to the left of the Democratic Party's average voter in an interview with Axios. Biden added that the media falsely reported that the Democratic Party "moved extremely to the left" following Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss. "You all thought that what happened was the party moved extremely to the left after Hillary," Biden said.
China's leaders vowed to avoid systemic financial risks next year and keep growth in a “reasonable range,” state-run Xinhua News Agency reported, citing a Poliburo meeting in Beijing on Friday, as the economy stutters with its slowest growth in decades. The monthly gathering of the 25-member Politburo, chaired by President Xi Jinping, came ahead of a key planning meeting known as the Central Economic Work Conference, which will decide targets for 2020, including how much the government should spend and what the growth rate should be. Risks and challenges at home and abroad have risen significantly,” Xinhua reported, citing a statement from the meeting.
A San Francisco judge ruled Friday that the criminal trial may move forward against the pro-life investigators who went undercover to record abortion industry executives talking about procuring fetal body parts. Judge Christopher Hite deemed the evidence sufficient to send to trial the case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, who are charged with nine felony counts, one count of conspiracy and eight counts of illegal taping. Daleiden, 30, and Merritt, 64, several years ago surreptitiously recorded executives from Planned Parenthood and other organizations haggling about compensation for the procurement of fetal parts for researchers who request them.
Mike Bloomberg on Friday expressed regret for calling fellow Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker “well-spoken” earlier in the day, after the New Jersey senator said he was “taken aback” by the racially loaded remark from the former New York mayor. “I probably shouldn't have used the word,” Bloomberg told reporters at a campaign event in Georgia. Booker had charged that Bloomberg's descriptor, which generated significant criticism on social media, was representative of a failure by some of the party's leading White House hopefuls to energize black voters and communicate effectively on issues of race.
In the same month that Greta Thunberg addressed a UN summit and millions of people took part in a global climate strike, lawmakers in America's leading oil- and gas-producing state of Texas made a statement of their own. Texas's Critical Infrastructure Protection Act went into effect on 1 September, stiffening civil and criminal penalties specifically for protesters who interrupt operations or damage oil and gas pipelines and other energy facilities. The new Texas law is emblematic of the unyielding loyalty of conservative lawmakers to the fossil fuel industry in a state stacked with influential climate science deniers or sceptics such as the US senator and former Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz and which named a pipeline tycoon to its parks and wildlife conservation commission.
Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank said on Friday that it will use all its legal rights to challenge a U.S. Federal Court ruling that it must enter a formal plea to charges that it helped Iran evade sanctions. Halkbank said it requests the right to defend its position that the U.S. court lacks jurisdiction over claims made against the bank as Halkbank does not have any branch or physical operation in the United States. The bank has so far declined to make a formal appearance in the case.
A woman is angry that one of her bridesmaids bowed out of her wedding after she decided to hold it at plantation. The friend, who has been identified as J, sent a message to the bride explicitly stating her personal and professional reasons for feeling uncomfortable being a part of a plantation wedding. The original Reddit post detailing the situation has since been deleted, but it has been reshared on Twitter, where it went viral.
As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals. The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other public services — while also carving out exemptions for religious organizations to act based on beliefs that may exclude those of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Stewart's bill counts support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it has yet to win a backer among House Democrats who unanimously supported a more expansive LGBTQ rights measure in May.
Key point: The Pentagon may end up flying the B-52 for 100 years. Sixty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force received its last B-52 from Boeing, the flying branch finally has firmed up plans to fit the heavy bomber with new engines. Air Force magazine in its January 2019 issue took a deep dive into the re-engining effort.
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House is moving forward with drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, but he could still be re-elected in 2020 even if Congress removes him from office. If a simple majority of the House votes to impeach Trump on one or more articles of impeachment, they go to the US Senate, which holds a trial. Two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Trump to remove him from office.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter Nigeria's secret police rearrested publisher Omoyele Sowore, a prominent critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, in chaotic scenes at the country's Federal High Court. Scuffles broke out in the court room as armed Department of State Services operatives detained Sowore and co-defendant Olawale Bakare, his lawyer Femi Falana said. His arrest came less than a day after he was freed from state custody following a court ruling demanding his release.