Attorneys for President Trump opened their defense in his Senate impeachment trial Saturday morning by charging that the case presented by House Democrats was full of “bluster and innuendo,” and that “devastating evidence” would lead to the inevitable conclusion that the two articles of impeachment now being considered have no merit. “The president did absolutely nothing wrong,” said White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who is leading Trump's defense. The other key point, made by Cipollone and others, was that Trump acted “in our national interest” by withholding $250 million in military aid from Ukraine for several months in the spring and summer of 2019.
Basketball icon Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, California. Bryant was with eight others in his private helicopter, a Sikorsky S-76B, a model with a strong safety record and a reputation for serving as a reliable VIP and corporate transport. Bryant's use of the helicopter to avoid traffic between his Orange County home and Los Angeles was famous, with Bryant offering the helicopter to help teammates get to doctors' appointments.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who represent rival visions for the Democratic Party, are solidifying their status as frontrunners in the crowded presidential field, according to a Washington Post-ABC News national poll. Coming just a week before voters finally get to have their say in the Iowa caucuses, the polls show Biden with a solid 32% overall among registered voters who lean Democratic, while Sanders registered support from 23%. Both are doing slightly better than in the same poll in October.
Pope Francis met Iraq's president on Saturday and the two agreed that the country's sovereignty must be respected, following attacks on Iraqi territory this month by the United States and Iran. President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican's two top diplomats, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, its foreign minister. The talks "focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favor of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty," a Vatican statement said.
His eyes brimming with tears, a Uighur student in Saudi Arabia holds out his Chinese passport -- long past its expiry date and condemning him to an uncertain fate as the kingdom grows closer to Beijing. The Chinese mission in Saudi Arabia stopped renewing passports for the ethnic Muslim minority more than two years ago, in what campaigners call a pressure tactic exercised in many countries to force the Uighur diaspora to return home. Half a dozen Uighur families in Saudi Arabia who showed AFP their passports -- a few already expired and some approaching the date -- said they dread going back to China, where over a million Uighurs are believed to be held in internment camps.
For decades, the Indian Navy has been the dominant regional power in the Indian Ocean, and has even boasted a carrier aviation capability that was nearly unique in Asia. But as outlined in a report by the Center for New American Security (CNAS), the growth of Chinese military power in the last two decades has dramatically eclipsed India's own attempts to modernize and expand its forces—particularly in the maritime domain. This is problematic due to New Delhi's tense relations with Beijing since a 1962 border war.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's aunt made her first public appearance in about six years, state media reported Sunday, quelling years of rumors that she was purged or executed by her nephew after helping him inherit power from his father. According to a Korean Central News Agency dispatch, the name of Kim Kyong Hui was included in a list of top North Korean officials who watched a performance marking Lunar New Year's Day with Kim Jong Un at a Pyongyang theater on Saturday. North Korea's main newspaper also released a photo showing Kim Kyong Hui sitting near Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, at the Samjiyon Theater.
Several new cases of the deadly coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., bringing the total infections to five as the situation in China, where the bug originated, grows increasingly dire. Health officials revealed Sunday morning that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a person in Orange, County California, who had traveled from Wuhan, China, has the virus. Within hours, authorities revealed two more cases: a student at Arizona State University who is “not severely ill” and a patient who reported he was not feeling well when he got off a plane at Los Angeles International Airport.
The Navy is reportedly investigating videos found on the website Pornhub that it believes show unsuspecting Navy service members through a peephole in a bathroom.
Reuters President Donald Trump's defense team repeatedly argued on Saturday that there isn't enough evidence to impeach him because Congress hasn't heard from any witnesses who had "direct contact" with the president. Democratic lawmakers seized on those statements, saying they underscore the need to call more firsthand witnesses in Trump's trial. Moreover, while Trump's lawyers complain of not hearing testimony from direct witnesses, the defense could easily solve that problem by retracting Trump's sweeping directive barring all executive branch officials across six agencies from cooperating with Congress' impeachment inquiry.
A man who the authorities contend deliberately crashed his car into another one on a Southern California road last Sunday, killing three of the six teenagers inside, did so because the group had played a so-called doorbell ditch prank on him, prosecutors said this week. The man, Anurag Chandra, 42, faces several murder charges for his role in the Temescal Canyon Road crash, which the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said Thursday occurred after the boys played a doorbell ditch prank on him. In a doorbell ditch, also commonly known as a ding-dong-ditch, a person rings a doorbell and tries to run away before anyone opens the door.
The Human Rights Campaign is calling on Bernie Sanders to renounce an endorsement from radio host Joe Rogan, who has made derogatory comments about African Americans and LGBTQ people. Rogan, who hosts “The Joe Rogan Experience,” one of the most downloaded podcasts, said he would “probably vote for Bernie,” adding “I believe in him. I like him a lot.
One in two Australians have donated money to support bushfire relief efforts, a new survey showed over the weekend, with meteorologists warning more hot and dry weather is to return after a heavy rain respite dampened many of the blazes. With the fires also destroying thousands of homes and inflicting psychological and physical damage to many, Australians have been increasingly coming together to aid one another as the country looks to rebuilding. Some 53% of Australians have donated to a bushfire appeal during this season, a survey conducted by the fundraising and marketing consultancy More Strategic in partnership with the Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA) showed over the weekend.
Three people died Sunday as hundreds of people took to the streets demanding the resignation of Gambian President Adama Barrow who wants to extend his term. "I can confirm that there have been three dead," said Kebba Manneh, director of the Serrekunda hospital where victims were taken. Tension has been building in The Gambia, a tiny West African country surrounded by Senegal, over Barrow's decision to stay in office for five years after initially pledging to step down after three.
Key Point: Thankfully, Washington decided the weapon would not be necessary in the Cold War standoff. After days of speculation by Western analysts that a deadly accident on August 8 that briefly spiked radiation levels in northwestern Russia was tied to tests of an exotic nuclear-powered “Skyfall” nuclear-powered cruise missile, Russian sources confirmed to the New York Times the explosion of a “small nuclear reactor. While there's a tactical rationale behind Russia's development of a fast, surface-skimming cruise missile with an unlimited range as a means of bypassing American missile defenses, it strikes many analysts as an inordinately expensive, extremely technically challenging, and—ev...
A third woman in two weeks has publicly come forward with sexual harassment allegations against a Michigan state legislator, according to a published report Sunday. Melissa Osborn, who works as a regulatory affairs specialist for a trade group, told Crain's Detroit Business that Republican state Sen. Peter Lucido commented on her appearance and clothes while visually scanning her body and touching the region she described as “my lower back/upper butt.” Osborn, 40, said it happened at the Michigan Credit Union League's annual government affairs conference in May. Lucido declined to comment to Crain's.
Crowds gather in Ditan Park in Beijing, China. Thomas Peter/Reuters2020: Ditan Park is eerily empty as workers took down the lantern decorations after the Lunar New Year celebration was cancelled. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters2019: Signs with the Chinese character "Fu," which means "Good luck," hang in the Forbidden City.
A Mississippi postal worker who was shot while delivering mail last week has died. Sherry Ingold died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on Friday night, Postal Inspector Tony Robinson said. Ingold was shot on Mississippi Highway 35 in Attala County northeast of Jackson on Jan. 16.
Reuters Former national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump told him personally that he would withhold military aid from Ukraine until it acceded to his demands for politically motivated investigations, The New York Times reported, citing an unpublished manuscript of Bolton's upcoming book. According to the manuscript, Trump conveyed his decision to Bolton in August of last year. The president is currently on trial in the Senate after he was impeached last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to his efforts to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 election.
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Auschwitz I, the first camp to undergo construction, was initially created for three reasons: to imprison enemies, to use forced labor, and to kill certain groups of people. Markus Schreiber/AP Sources: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Auschwitz‑Birkenau Memorial and State Museum Construction of the largest camp, Auschwitz II, also called Auschwitz-Birkenau, began in October 1941. Electrified barbed wire divided it into 10 different sections.
Businessman and outsider Democratic candidate for president, Andrew Yang, has earned a spot in the upcoming eighth democratic debate in New Hampshire. In order to make the stage for the debate on Feb. 7, candidates have to receive at least 5% in four Democratic National Committee--approved polls or 7% in two early-state polls. Candidates also have to receive at least 225,000 individual contributions.
Israel on Sunday announced that it would permit Israeli citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia for the first time, under certain conditions that include Israeli entrepreneurs seeking investments, in a signal of warming ties. Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, after consulting the country's security establishment, issued a statement saying that Israelis would be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia under two circumstances: for religious reasons on pilgrimage on the haj, or for up to nine days for business reasons such as investment or meetings. Travelers would still need an invitation and permission from the Saudi authorities, the statement said.
The first indigenous transgender candidate to run for parliament in Peru says it's time to end the culture of machismo in the South American country. "I suffered, in my own flesh, the consequences of inequality, discrimination, violence and corruption," Gahela Cari, 27, said in an interview with AFP before Sunday's nationwide parliamentary ballot. "We have to stop educating future macho men," she said during a break from campaigning.
The Russian armed forces have committed to a wide range of expensive acquisitions programs, in particular new ships and planes. If America struggles to afford all these new weapons, surely Russia struggles more. “I think these systems will eventually be built and fielded,” Samuel Bendett, a researcher with the Center for Naval Analyses and a Russia studies fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, told The National Interest.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Three months after a set of anonymous, threatening, racist, antisemitic and homophobic emails sent a wave of fear through the sociology department at Wake Forest University, the department chairman says he's still waiting for university leaders to announce a meaningful response. Alarmed by what he deemed white supremacist terrorism, chairman Joseph Soares canceled sociology classes for a week. When they resumed, Wake Forest police officers were stationed outside classrooms and the building itself.