A leading Democrat on the House Oversight Committee asked an inspector general on Tuesday to investigate how a former deputy chief of staff to President Trump received a multimillion-dollar contract to deliver respirators to a Native American community hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The request by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., signals that Democrats intend to aggressively oversee how the Trump administration is disbursing the trillions of dollars allocated by Congress for coronavirus relief measures for individuals, corporations and small businesses. Connolly pressed Christi Grimm, principal deputy inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services and the sole witness at the briefing, to begin looking into how the former White House aide, Zachary Fuentes, came to receive a $3 million contract despite lacking expertise in medical device procurement.
The Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced that it will investigate if Tara Reade misrepresented her educational credentials after she served as an expert witness in court cases for a decade, Politico reported. Several California defense lawyers said they would be reviewing cases where Reade, then known as Alexandra McCabe, testified as an expert witness amid the concern that she "misrepresented her educational credentials in court." Reade claimed she had earned her bachelor's degree from Antioch University in Seattle under a "protected program."
A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Homes is scheduled to rule if the allegations against Meng in the U.S. would also be a crime in Canada if committed here.
When the U.S. government first rolled out forgivable loans to small businesses in April under the Paycheck Protection Program, loan officers at Bank of the West in Grapevine, Texas, worked nights and weekends to process a tsunami of applications.
With the recent call by Iran for a full prisoner exchange, here is a recap of prisoners currently known to be held by both sides: - Americans in Iran's prisons - - US Navy veteran Michael R. White was arrested in July 2018 and sentenced the following year to 10 years in prison after being convicted of insulting Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and posting on social media under a pseudonym. Iranian-American Siamak Namazi was convicted in October 2016 of spying for the United States and sentenced to 10 years, along with his father Baquer.
Thousands of children in the Philippines have suffered lasting physical, emotional and economic harm from the brutal drugs war instigated by Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, according to an investigation released by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday. The disturbing report, which documents the trauma of children whose parents or guardians have been violently killed, comes a few weeks before an expected decision the UN Human Rights Council to set up an independent international investigation into the Philippines' controversial counter-drugs operations. The spiraling death toll among alleged drug dealers and users since Mr Duterte rose to power in 2016 vowing to “feed the fish in Manila Bay” has caused international alarm.
Biden has vowed to choose a woman as his potential vice president. A number of advisers have pressed Biden's campaign to pick Harris, 55, because the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants could help excite black voters, a key Democratic constituency. Harris endorsed Biden after dropping out of the race, but her earlier criticism of him during a Democratic primary debate about his opposition to school busing rankled some people close to Biden.
Canadian troops deployed to long-term care homes overwhelmed by coronavirus outbreaks found neglected and malnourished residents, rotten food and insect infestations, and a blatant disregard for critical safety protocol, according to a bombshell report from the country's armed forces. Military medics were dispatched to long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario in April, with aim of blunting Covid-19 outbreaks among vulnerable populations. Soldiers deployed to five of Ontario's worst-hit care homes encountered rotten food, cockroaches and residents in soiled diapers, according to the report published on Tuesday.
U.S. officials are fighting in court to take the three children and deport them to El Salvador — to no one. The only way to avoid being separated from their parents, officials say, would be for their mother in Mexico to give up, too. Government lawyers said they'd put her on a plane with the kids if she agreed to return to El Salvador and never again try to join her husband in the U.S. This is the new family separation, two years after taking kids from their parents at the border blew up into a crisis for the Trump administration.
Yet under the "business records" provision of the Patriot Act enacted after 9/11, the government may obtain such sensitive information as part of a foreign intelligence or counter-terrorism investigation on the flimsiest of grounds: that the information is likely to be “relevant” to a national security investigation. The House of Representatives will soon vote on reauthorizing the "business records" provision and two other parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that expired on March 15. It can and should take an important step toward shoring up our privacy by adopting a reform that was introduced in the Senate but failed to pass.
It's a great time to stock up on the classic 501s. From Popular Mechanics
Vice President Mike Pence predicted on April 24 that the US would "have this coronavirus epidemic behind us" by Memorial Day weekend. US deaths from the virus neared the devastating milestone of 100,000 over the holiday weekend and US hospitalizations are ticking up again. A White House Coronavirus Task Force official told Insider that the nation's overall declining daily death toll, increased testing capacity, and declining infection rate are evidence the pandemic is largely over.
A Texas doctor who moved to New York temporarily to assist in the fight against coronavirus has had $11,000 worth of personal items stolen from her hotel room, according to a report. Police sources told The New York Post that a woman who was believed to be in her 20's reportedly broke into the unidentified doctor's room at the Brooklyn Hotel on Atlantic Avenue at around 9am on Saturday. According to the report, the suspect proceeded to steal around $11,000 worth of personal items from the room including jewelry and clothing.
An Israeli court Tuesday ruled that a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her students in Australia is fit to stand trial for extradition, capping a years-long battle that has strained relations between the two allies and angered Australia's pro-Israel Jewish community. The ruling was hailed by Malka Leifer's alleged victims, who have accused their one-time school principal and Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long. A July 20 extradition hearing was set by the court.
An Indian yogi whose claims he spent decades without food or water earned him a band of devotees and the scepticism of doctors died Tuesday, his neighbour told AFP. The long-haired and bearded Prahlad Jani -- who dressed in red and wore a nose ring in the fashion of Hindu goddesses -- hailed from Charada village in the western state of Gujarat, where he spent his life in a routine of yoga and mediation. "He died early Tuesday morning at his residence due to old age," Sheetal Chaudhary, who lived next door to Jani, told AFP.
The governor of Lombardy, the northern region at the epicentre of Italy's coronavirus outbreak, said on Wednesday that he had been given a police escort after growing criticism of his administration's handling of the crisis. Lombardy, Italy's richest and most populous region and the motor of its economy, is one of the worst affected areas of the world by the coronavirus, accounting for around half of the country's more than 32,000 dead. The regional government, controlled by opposition leader Matteo Salvini's anti-immigrant League party, has seen approval ratings plunge amid angry attacks on its response and on health sector reforms by previous League governments that many say left the region badly prepared to face the epidemic.
On Monday, the California Department of Public Health announced the statewide reopening of in-store retail shopping — but said it must be approved by county public health departments. On Tuesday, the LA County Board of Supervisors discussed both the plan and a motion to allow individual cities to move forward with easing safer-at-home restrictions if they have fewer of cases. After two months of being forced to shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, Kathleen Teague, owner of Maison on Main Boutique in Newhall, anxiously waited to hear when she would be able to welcome back customers for in-store shopping.
The air forces of Germany, France and Spain have agreed on a set of performance benchmarks to help their governments guide the development of a next-generation fighter jet set to fly in 2040, the German military announced Tuesday in a statement. The document, approved earlier this month, is meant to help officials identify what features from a collection of 10 possible system architectures are worth keeping when the time comes to settle on a path forward for the Next-Generation Weapon System, or NGWS.
The Iranian oil tanker Fortune slipped into Venezuelan waters in the pre-dawn dark of Monday morning, the first of five tankers from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) bringing vitally needed gasoline to a regime the Trump administration has, for years, tried and failed to bring down. Four days before the Fortune arrived in Venezuelan waters, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced that sanctions slapped on Iran's shipping lines last December will take effect on June 8. The message seemed to get through.
Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic: - South Korean quarantine breaker jailed - A South Korean man was jailed for four months on Tuesday for breaking coronavirus quarantine rules, authorities said, in the country's first such prison sentence. The man, 27, left home while under 14-day self-isolation and was then moved to a quarantine facility where he also left without permission. South Korea endured one of the worst early outbreaks of the virus, but appears to have largely brought the spread under control thanks to an extensive "trace, test and treat" programme.
Defense Department officials are planning to brief President Donald Trump on several options to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, according to multiple reports. One of the options includes a complete withdrawal before the 2020 US presidential election in November. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ardent supporter of the Trump administration, cautioned that an abrupt withdrawal would be "horrendous."
In February, I wrote about Asian families in California clashing with schools over whether their children should be allowed to wear masks in class. At that time, Asian people wearing masks were targets for verbal and physical abuse. Attackers saw masks on Asian faces as signs of disease and invasion; people were punched and kicked, harassed on public transit, bullied at school and worse.
Tony Giberson/Reuters Mark Lua, a former Florida teacher, pleaded guilty last year to charges related to the sexual abuse of students. Last week, during his sentencing hearing, Mark Lua asked for chemical castration instead of a prison sentence. The judge ignored his request and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
An intrepid Pakistani 'spy' pigeon is facing a life behind bars in India. The allegation was made after Geeta Devi, a resident of the Kathua district of Indian-administered Kashmir, reported a bird - painted pink and carrying a coded ring tagged to its foot - flew into her home on Sunday night. The Indian Border Security Force passed the pigeon on to the police, who launched an investigation and logged the animal as a 'Pak Suspected Spy.'
Greece will allow travellers from around two dozen countries including Germany, Cyprus and Israel to visit from mid-June without having to be quarantined, government officials said, part of a gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Tourism accounts for about 20% of the Greek economy and the government sees the sector as a major engine of its recovery from a lockdown that has brought business to a virtual standstill. "There will be some 20-25 countries whose nationals will be allowed to come," a government source said, adding that the list would include Cyprus, Israel and countries in central Europe and the Balkans.