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.
A convicted murderer set to become the first federal inmate to be executed in 16 years was granted a stay of execution on Thursday by a judge in Indiana. Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted in Arkansas of murdering a family of three, was granted the stay by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. Lee's execution had been set for Monday, but a separate ruling by a judge in Washington last month put his execution and that of three other federal inmates on hold.
WASHINGTON – California Rep. Duncan Hunter announced he would be resigning from Congress "shortly after the holidays" after pleading guilty in federal court earlier this week to misusing campaign funds. Hunter and his wife were indicted on 60 counts of campaign finance violations by federal prosecutors in August 2018. Prosecutors alleged he and Margaret Hunter skirted federal campaign finance laws from 2009 to 2016 by using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal vacations, bills, and in Duncan Hunter's case, affairs with three lobbyists, a congressional aide, and one of his staffers.
Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg on Friday defended the policy implemented by his news agency to steer clear of investigating him, saying doing so would not be credible. Bloomberg told CBS News he "hired somebody outside" to run the Bloomberg News organization and establish policies for ethics. When asked about complaints from Bloomberg journalists that the policy to avoid investigating him or other Democratic candidates, he replied, that they "have to live with some things" about the job.
Reddit has said that leaked documents on US-UK trade deal discussions were likely posted on the site as part of a Russian influence campaign. The documents were cited by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's opposition Labour party, as evidence that his opponent in the UK general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was poised to sell out the NHS in trade negotiations with the US. Researchers earlier in the week said that the accounts that posted the documents on Reddit indicated links to a vast Russian influence campaign uncovered on Facebook dubbed Secondary Infektion.
Vernon Unsworth, who participated in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for weeks in a Thailand cave last year, had sought $190 million in damages for the shame and humiliation caused by the man his lawyer called a “billionaire bully." It took less than an hour for an eight-person jury in Los Angeles federal court to reject Unsworth's claim after a four-day trial. Musk said the verdict restored his faith in humanity as he quickly left the court with his security detail.
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.
Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools. An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer's office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student's head.
Of particular interest to me in last week's House impeachment hearing was a moment when the chief counsel for the Republicans read aloud a quote about the dangers of a purely partisan, policy-based impeachment of a sitting president. After weeks of House impeachment hearings that resume Monday, Republican defenders of President Donald Trump have contented themselves with pointless, time-wasting calls for roll call votes; baseless complaints about the process, which was the most protective of a sitting president in the nation's history; and deliberate distortions of what others had written or said. A president who uses the powers unique to his office to solicit what by any plausible definition is a bribe, commits one of the cardinal sins the Constitution identifies as requiring that president's removal from office upon conviction by the Senate.
A 23-year-old rape victim is in critical condition after being set on fire by a group of men, including two of her alleged rapists, as she made her way to court in northern India on Thursday. It came after thousands took to the streets of several cities on Monday to protest the brutal rape and murder of a 27-year-old vet in Hyderabad and called for the rape cases to be fast-tracked and for rapists to be given tougher punishments. A June 2018 survey of 550 experts on women's issues by the Thomson Reuters Foundation found India was the worst country in the world for sexual violence against women.
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.
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.
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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff is urging Russia to support the investigation of a killing prosecutors say appears to have ordered by Russian or Chechen authorities, and says he has “no understanding" for outraged reactions from Moscow. Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian man on the streets of Berlin in August. German federal prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia's republic of Chechnya.
One of the key characters in Brexit's next season is already cast. With just a week to go until the U.K. votes in a crucial general election, Bloomberg reporters have taken a close look at two of the very biggest — in all senses of the word. As Tim Ross reports today, one of the key concerns for Prime Minister Boris Johnson's handlers and strategists is keeping their man on the straight and narrow during the electoral run-in.
The Imperial Japanese Army asked the government to provide one "comfort woman" for every 70 soldiers, Japan's Kyodo news agency said, citing wartime government documents it had reviewed, shedding a fresh light on Tokyo's involvement in the practice. "Comfort women" is a euphemism for the girls and women - many of them Korean - forced into prostitution at Japanese military brothels. The issue has plagued Japan's ties with South Korea for decades.
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.
Rudy Giuliani's decision to travel to multiple European countries this week, during the height of an impeachment probe involving his client President Trump, was so startling to senior administration officials and national security brass that they began tracking his movements in an effort to get a read on his objectives abroad. Other officials in the West Wing and numerous Trump associates learned about his latest foreign adventure, which included a stop in Ukraine, by reading the news. Many of them expressed exasperation at the thought of Giuliani—himself reportedly in the crosshairs of federal investigators—continuing to cause headaches for the White House.
A top Indian rights group on Saturday launched an investigation into the police shooting of four rape-murder suspects after accusations they were gunned down in cold blood to assuage public anger. But in a country where violence against women is rife and an overburdened criminal justice system means attackers often escape punishment, many Indians also celebrated the suspects' deaths. The launch of the investigation by the National Human Rights Commission comes as India also reeled from the death of another woman on Friday, set on fire on her way to a sexual assault court hearing in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
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.
The Trump Administration will reauthorize the use of so-called “cyanide bombs” to poison coyotes, foxes and feral dogs that could threaten private livestock. The decision comes four months after halting their authorization amid public backlash. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday it would include new safety requirements to protect humans and pets, such as additional signs and increased distances the distance the “cyanide bombs” must be from homes and roads.
Despite being one of the first to enter the race, Gabbard is still polling at 1% in Morning Consult and is considered a less viable opponent to President Donald Trump in the general election than most other candidates. But we gave Gabbard another boost on November 1, moving her up two spots from 12th to 10th place following her very public and nasty feud with 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who Gabbrard called "the embodiment of corruption" and the "personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party." The bump in media attention clearly worked in Gabbard's favor when it comes to polling.
Fifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a “base camp” to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was “sufficient factual evidence” linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France's Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a feeling of deep shame” during her first-ever visit on Friday to the hallowed grounds of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Adolf Hitler's regime murdered more than a million people. Merkel noted that her visit comes amid rising anti-Semitism and historical revisionism and vowed that Germany would not tolerate anti-Semitism. She said Germany remains committed to remembering the crimes that it committed against Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals and others.