Appearing live on CNN Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to President Trump, was asked to respond to the assessment given by her husband, George, that testimony of career diplomats in the first public impeachment hearings was damning for her boss. George Conway, a conservative lawyer and outspoken Trump critic, appeared on MSNBC as a guest analyst during Thursday's hearings. While introducing a clip of George Conway, CNN's Wolf Blitzer told Kellyanne Conway he wanted to ask her a “sensitive” political question.
A purported street-gang leader from suburban Chicago who became radicalized in prison faces federal charges accusing him of seeking to provide money to Islamic State militants in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Jason Brown, the 37-year-old leader of the AHK gang, could be heard on secret FBI recordings speaking admiringly about beheadings by the Islamic State group, the 27-page complaint says. AHK, which prosecutors say traffics drugs throughout the Chicago area, is comprised of former members of the Black P-Stone, Gangster Disciples and Four Corner Hustlers who converted to Islam, the court filings say.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston caught an airline passenger trying to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine in shampoo bottles into the country earlier this week, the agency said in a press release. The CBP said officers discovered the bottles containing cocaine valued at more than $400,000 in the checked luggage of a 26-year-old Colombian citizen Monday after observing him at baggage claim and conducting a bag search. “Our officers are the first line of defense at our ports of entry, so they are trained in the various smuggling methods people use to bring illicit goods into the U.S.,” CBP Port Director Shawn Polley said in the press release.
President Donald Trump has insisted dozens of times, most recently on Wednesday, that his dealings with Ukraine this summer were not a "quid pro quo." After the opening day of public testimony in the House impeachment hearings, does anyone really believe that anymore? Actually, the Latin phrase quid pro quo (something for something) was always too lofty an expression — and too feeble, frankly — to capture the import of Trump's actions. The "something" Trump wanted was a publicly announced foreign investigation into potential political rival Joe Biden and Ukraine's purported involvement in the 2016 election.
The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the 10 candidates who will participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate in Atlanta on Wednesday. They are: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. Julian Castro, who participated in previous debates, most recently in October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, didn't make the cut.
Japan's Defense Ministry is considering whether to deploy U.S-made Patriot missile defense interceptors to protect the games. To ensure the security of Tokyo, where the Summer Games will open on July 24, the ministry wants to equip the 1st Air Defense Missile Group with PAC-3 MSE interceptors to defend against possible threats such as ballistic missiles, drones and unidentified aircraft,” according to Kyodo News. The deployment of the improved ground-based batteries by units responsible for defending the capital's airspace is planned between April and July, earlier than in other parts of Japan.
American Airlines flight attendants are "begging" not to have to work on the Boeing 737 Max when it returns to service after its grounding, Lori Bassani, the head of the union representing them, said Thursday. "I hear from flight attendants every day, and they're begging me not to make them go back up in that plane," Bassani said, according to The Dallas Morning News. The 737 Max has been grounded around the world since March, which saw the second of two deadly crashes involving the aircraft.
Driven by anger at the authorities' response to massive protests - and guilt that the burden of defending democracy has fallen on the city's youth - a white collar rebellion is rippling out across Hong Kong. Every day this week thousands of office workers have downed tools for a few hours, responding to a call to strike in a cheekily named "Lunch With You" rally. Faces masked, hands held aloft, many in crisp shirts - some in suits - they chanted pro-democracy slogans and blocked roads in business districts normally characterised by a tunnel-vision for commerce, risking arrest in a rally not sanctioned by police.
Billionaire George Soros opened the new main campus of his Central European University in Vienna on Friday, saying it would not halt its struggle to defend academic freedom from Viktor Orban, the right wing leader he says hounded it from Hungary. Since it was founded by Soros in 1991, CEU has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from eastern Europe, offering U.S.-accredited graduate degree programmes in an academic climate that celebrates free thought. "CEU has steadfastly defended the principle of academic freedom against a concentrated attack by the corrupt government of Viktor Orban, who was hellbent to destroy it," Soros said at the inauguration of CEU's Vienna campus.
Donald Trump's tweets attacking Marie Yovanovitch during her powerful testimony before the House impeachment inquiry has turned into a lightning rod of the hearings — and even some prominent conservative sources have slammed the president's comments. The tweet was highlighted by House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff, who asked Ms Yovanovitch what she thought of him saying that “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad”, before attacking her decades of experience. “Very intimidating,” Ms Yovanovitch said of the tweet.
Police in Virginia say the Marine deserter wanted for questioning in a murder case was trying to reach out to a family member when he was spotted. Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones told a news conference that it's believed Michael Alexander Brown was trying to contact his grandmother when a neighbor saw him early Thursday. The Roanoke Times reports the U.S. Marshals Service learned Sunday night that Brown might be driving a recreational vehicle near Clarendon County, South Carolina, about four hours southwest of Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, where he had been stationed as a U.S. Marine until leaving his post last month.
At her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said what President Trump did with regard to Ukraine makes what President Nixon did during Watergate “look almost small.
Can we just get rid of the judges? Let's get rid of the f---ing judges,” Trump fumed one morning. There shouldn't be any at all, really.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that makes public housing more energy efficient, at a cost of over $100 billion. The plan, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, will call for renovation of public housing units to install community gardens and organic grocery stores along with on-site childcare services, according to the Washington Post. “Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country,” Sanders said in a statement.
The number of mass shootings in the US this year has already reached 366, as of November 14, according to the Gun Violence Archive's tally. At least two people were killed and an additional three were injured in a mass shooting on Thursday afternoon at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. At least two people are dead and three injured after a mass shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California.
Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist in exile in Canada, said that Twitter is an important tool for many Saudi dissidents but comes with risks. Abdulaziz was friends with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The two of them were working to create an "army" of internet users to combat Saudi propaganda before Khashoggi was killed.
Vietnam sentenced a music teacher to 11 years in prison on Friday for Facebook posts that allegedly undermined the one-party state, which has been accused of tightening the noose on online dissent. Communist Vietnam has long jailed its critics but has come under fire recently for targeting users on Facebook, a popular forum for activists in the country where all independent media is banned. Nguyen Nang Tinh is the latest activist jailed for his Facebook comments, including posts about police brutality, land rights, and a Taiwanese steel firm that dumped toxic sludge into the ocean, killing masses of fish off the coast of Vietnam.
Yovanovitch methodically outplayed a series of Republican efforts to cast her firing as normal, the president's behavior as unremarkable, and the harm she suffered as negligible–rather than the prelude to a shadow diplomatic effort to coerce Ukraine into aiding Trump's reelection. Instead, she made it clear that she would have been an obstacle to the president's pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had she remained in Kyiv. At one point, she told Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) that she would have opposed the summer 2019 suspension of $400 million in U.S. military aid and would never have asked Zelensky to pursue the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
A US citizen and military veteran suffering from a mental health condition will reportedly receive $190,000 (£147,988) from a Michigan city after local officials transferred him to ICE detention following an arrest last year. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a decorated Marine veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested while experiencing an episode in which he lost all recollection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Police found the veteran, who was born and raised in Michigan, on the helipad of a hospital after he started a small fire and pulled an alarm, according to reports.
A Georgia inmate sentenced to death for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery 25 years ago was executed Wednesday night, authorities say. Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m after lethal injection at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the state's department of corrections said. Cromartie was convicted of the 1994 killing of Richard Slysz at a Thomasville convenience store, but his lawyers recently had appealed for DNA testing of evidence they say could have exonerated Cromartie after a new statement from one of the men involved in the robbery.
Gov.-elect Andy Beshear says it's time for Kentuckians to come together now that his tough race against Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has concluded. Beshear thanked Bevin for his promise to ensure a smooth transition after the incumbent governor conceded to his archrival Thursday. Beshear said he's ready to help build the “next chapter” of Kentucky's future.
China threatened Sweden with unspecified "counter measures" if its culture minister attends a literary award ceremony on Friday for Gui Minhai, a Swedish citizen who was abducted in Thailand in 2015 and is now in detention in China. The case of Chinese-born Gui Minhai, who studied in Sweden in the 1980s and was based in Hong Kong when he published books critical of China's leaders, has soured relations between Sweden and China. Svenska PEN, a literary organization, has awarded Gui Minhai the 2019 Tucholsky Prize, praising his work in the service of free speech.
Currently the Marine Corps deploys infantry battalions to Okinawa, Japan on a rotational basis as part of the Unit Deployment Program. While in Japan, the battalions fall under 4th Marine Regiment, which has a permanent headquarters in Okinawa. The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, while not part of the Unit Deployment Program, contributes another infantry battalion to Okinawa for several months per year.