An explosive Sunday night leak on ex-Trump adviser John Bolton's forthcoming memoir—which reportedly reveals a first-hand account of the president's desire to withhold aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations of his political rivals—left Senate Republicans scrambling on Monday to keep their plans for a speedy acquittal of the president. The Bolton disclosure, which was reported by The New York Times, reportedly took them by surprise and forced Republicans to dig even deeper as swing votes like Sens. Mitt Romney (UT) and Susan Collins (ME) declared that they were even closer to supporting additional witness testimony.
The mother of an Israeli woman imprisoned on drug-smuggling charges in Russia said she's hopeful President Vladimir Putin will pardon her daughter. Naama Issachar, a 26-year-old U.S.-born Israeli army veteran, was sentenced in October to 7 1/2 years for carrying a small amount of hashish in her luggage on a transit flight via Moscow after a backpacking trip to India. Her plight has become a cause celebre in Israel, where it's widely seen as politically motivated.
Two people are dead and at least four are wounded following a shooting at a South Carolina bar on Sunday morning. The Darlington County Coroner's Office identified Dicaprio Collins, 21 and Bryan Robinson, 29 as the victims of the shooting at Mac's Lounge in Hartsville, South Carolina. Hartsville Police confirmed in a Monday morning Facebook post that they had two suspects in custody in connection with the shooting.
THE CENTRAL HOSPITAL OF WUHAN VIA WEIBO /via REUTERS As a coronavirus continues to spread around the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Sunday that it is contributing $10 million toward the fight to contain the outbreak. Of that total, the foundation is giving $5 million to support the response in China, while the other $5 million is going to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for screening and crisis preparedness there. The money will be spent on "emergency funds and corresponding technical support to help frontline responders in China and Africa accelerate their efforts to contain the global spread of 2019-nCoV," the foundation said in a press release.
The United Nations raised "serious concerns" on Tuesday about the trials of hundreds of alleged Islamic State members in Iraq, some of whom merely prepared meals, offered medical services or even acted as human shields for the jihadist group. Iraq has processed thousands of cases under its anti-terrorism law - including of detainees from outside the Middle East transferred from neighboring Syria - in the aftermath of a 2014-17 war against Islamic State militants.
Now's a better time than any to stock up on hiking boots, jackets, and more outdoor gear. From Popular Mechanics
An American military aircraft crashed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the U.S. military said, adding that there were no indications so far it'd been brought down by enemy fire. The spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Col. Sonny Leggett, said that the military plane, a Bombardier E-11A, crashed in the Ghazni province and an investigation of its causes was ongoing. Monday's plane crash is not expected to derail U.S.-Taliban peace talks if it turns out to have been an accident.
South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg was confronted by a pro-life Democratic voter over the party's position on abortion during a Fox News town hall event on Sunday. “I am a proud pro-life Democrat,” audience member Kristin Day said. “Would you support more moderate platform language [regarding abortion] in the Democratic Party to ensure that the party of diversity and inclusion really does include everybody?” Currently, the Democratic party platform supports abortion up to nine months into pregnancy.
Indonesia's president has issued a call for the public floggings to stop but he has little say over what happens in Aceh, a deeply conservative region on Sumatra island. Unlike the rest of the nation, Aceh follows religious law as part of a 2005 autonomy deal agreed with the central government that ended a decades-long separatist insurgency. Here, public whipping remains a common punishment for scores of offenders for a range of charges including gambling, adultery, drinking alcohol, and having gay or pre-marital sex.
A Fox News poll released Sunday has some good news for President Trump, but if you combine it with the poll's bad news, it's not at all clear where Trump stands with the American public or how voters are feeling about the state of the union. On the positive side, 55 percent of voters said the economy is good or excellent, the highest number since 59 percent said they felt positive about the economy in January 2001 (two months before the start of the ugly 2001 recession). A 42 percent plurality of voters credit Trump and the Republicans for the economy, and Trump's job approval rating on the economy is a record 56 percent.
The Taliban said it had shot down a U.S. military plane in the central Afghan province of Ghazni on Monday, killing all personnel onboard.
“We express our strong indignation and demand that Jyllands-Posten and [cartoonist] Niels Bo Bojesen reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologize to the Chinese people,” the embassy said in a statement posted on its website. When asked to comment, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen avoided any direct reference to Jyllands-Posten's cartoon. “I have nothing to say on the matter other than [to note that] we have a very strong tradition in Denmark not just for freedom of speech for also for freedom of satire, and we'll continue to have that in the future,” she said, according to multiple news media including Politiken.
The helicopter that crashed while carrying Kobe Bryant and eight others on Sunday did not have a black box, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced on Monday afternoon. The recording device was not required for the aircraft. NTSB board member Jennifer Homendy said the helicopter circled for 12 minutes while awaiting clearance from air traffic controllers.
Historians in Germany have released previously unseen photos of the Nazi Sobibor death camp, including what they believe are images of John Demjanjuk, who was sentenced in 2011 for his role in the killing of about 28,000 people there. Ukraine-born Demjanjuk, who had been No. 1 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of "Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals", was deported to Germany from the United States in 2009, where he had spent much of his life as a car worker, to face trial. The photos, described by historian Martin Cueppers as a representing a "quantum leap in the visual record on the Holocaust in occupied Poland", had belonged to Johann Niemann, once deputy commandant of Sobibor.
Officials in the UK have confirmed they are looking into reports that a British man has died while in the custody of US immigration authorities. Reports said a 39-year-old had been found dead while being held in Florida by the enforcement of arm of the nation's border agency, known as ICE. BuzzFeed News, which was the first to report the death, said ICE has expanded the number of people it detains to record levels under the presidency of Donald Trump.
The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Monday that it will retaliate against American and Israeli commanders if the U.S. continues to threaten top Iranian generals. The U.S. killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who headed the expeditionary Quds force, in a drone strike outside of Baghdad's airport in Iraq on Jan. 3. Five days later, Iran retaliated by launching ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American troops, causing injuries but no fatalities among soldiers there.
U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighters and supporting aircraft on both days peacefully intercepted the Russian planes. The Russian bombers and fighters remained in international airspace and at no time did the aircraft enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace,” North American Aerospace Defense Command reported. Two pairs of F-22s and an E-3 airborne early warning and control system from North American Aerospace Defense Command positively identified and intercepted a total of four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on May 20,” noted the command, which also is known by its Cold War acronym “NORAD.
Courtesy of the Rexburg Police Department After months of searching, police found a doomsday couple Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell vacationing at a resort in Kauai, Hawaii, on Sunday, news station KSAZ reported. The Rexburg Police Department in Idaho have been searching for Vallow and Daybell to question them about the disappearance of Vallow's children; Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan. After Vallow and Daybell were found vacationing at a Hawaii resort — without the children — a court has ordered Vallow to physically produce the two children to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Mexican migration authorities said they have deported 2,300 Hondurans who illegally crossed over from Guatemala with a caravan heading to the United States. The "assisted return" of the Central Americans took place between January 18 and Monday, according to the interior ministry and the National Migration Institute. A total of 1,064 Honduran migrants were deported on National Guard planes and charter aircraft, they said in a statement.
With Bernie Sanders gaining steam a week before the Iowa caucuses, tormented Democrats are second-guessing what they say was a hands-off strategy against the Vermont senator in the 2020 primary. They fear a repeat of 2016 is in the making — when mainstream Republicans scoffed at the idea that Donald Trump could ever win the nomination, until he became unstoppable — only this time from the left. The Republican money people were laughing at Trump when he came down the escalator and they kept laughing at him for way too long, until 'holy crap' he's winning primaries,” Matt Bennett, co-founder of Third Way told POLITICO.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter The Gambian government banned an activist group, made mass arrests and shut down two radio stations in the most severe crackdown on dissent since President Adama Barrow took office three years ago. Police arrested 137 members of the 'Three Years is Enough' movement at a protest Sunday in a town about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of the capital, Banjul. The group was calling for Barrow to step down this year in line with a deal he struck with coalition parties that helped end his predecessor's 22-year-rule.
Chinese villages are cutting themselves off from the world to try to prevent the deadly Wuhan coronavirus from taking hold in their communities. Sky News documented six villages about 600 miles from the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, in the Chinese province of Hubei who had taken defensive measures. Villages in central China are going to extreme measures to cut themselves off from the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.
A suspected small-scale homemade bomb exploded at a general hospital in Hong Kong on Monday, causing the temporary evacuation of some patients but no injuries, police said. The incident came after a group of protesters on Sunday set alight the lobby of a newly built residential building in Hong Kong that authorities had planned to use as a quarantine facility, as fears grow over a coronavirus outbreak in mainland China. Hong Kong has been convulsed with demonstrations over the past seven months centered on its relationship with mainland China, with anger fueled by what protesters see as growing interference from Beijing.
A British man has died while being held in US immigration detention in Florida, the Guardian has confirmed. The death was first reported by BuzzFeed News, which said the man was 39 years old and that the cause was initially attributed to asphyxiation due to hanging. “Our staff are in contact with the US authorities following the death of a British man in Florida,” said a spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London.
As hundreds of Americans prepare to evacuate Wuhan, the central Chinese city at the heart of a new virus outbreak that has killed over 100, San Francisco native Doug Perez is staying behind. Perez, 28, and his girlfriend have hunkered down in their apartment for the past five days. “A lot of foreigners are stuck here,” Perez said.