More than 2,000 ex-employees of the Department of Justice have signed a letter calling on Attorney General William Barr to resign, writing that his handling of the Roger Stone case "openly and repeatedly flouted" the principle of equal justice under the rule of law. The letter, published Sunday, comes after a contentious week for the Justice Department, which already faces allegations of succumbing to political pressure from President Donald Trump. "Although there are times when political leadership appropriately weighs in on individual prosecutions, it is unheard of for the Department's top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case," the letter reads.
A mother and her adult daughter pleaded not guilty Tuesday to killing five of their close relatives, including three children, at an apartment outside Philadelphia. Forty-six-year-old Shana Decree and her 20-year-old daughter Dominique Decree sat side by side in court in suburban Bucks County and affirmed their pleas to charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy. The pair barely spoke, except to respond to the judge's questions about the charges and their pleas.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's new leftward-leaning financial regulation proposals are surprising analysts, who expected a more Wall Street-friendly campaign from the former New York mayor. The plans include a 0.1% transactions tax, merging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and regulating Wall Street in ways that ensure the financial system is “strong enough to weather crises without harming the broader economy or requiring taxpayer bailouts. Financial stocks underperformed the broader market Tuesday, with the S&P 500 Financials Index slipping as much as 1.4% and the KBW Bank Index falling as much as 2.1%, more than twice as much as the S&P 500.
Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP/Business Insider Fourteen US citizens were found to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as they were evacuated from a quarantined cruise ship to be brought home on Monday. Thousands of people had been quarantined in the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan for more than a week, and the US offered flights home for its citizens on Monday morning. But 14 people were tested positive for the coronavirus before they boarded the plane, so they were then put in a separate isolation box for the flight.
“Holidays will never be the same,” Jennifer told Dateline. Liz, as she is known by her family and friends, was four months pregnant with her third child. “She got in his truck and that's the last time I ever heard from her,” Amber said.
The Trump administration said on Tuesday said it will begin treating five major Chinese state-run media entities with U.S. operations the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and U.S. properties with the State Department. Two senior state department officials said the decision was made because China has been tightening state control over its media, and Chinese President Xi Jinping has made more aggressive use of them to spread pro-Beijing propaganda. The control over both the content and editorial control have only strengthened over the course of Xi Jinping's term in power,” said one official.
Authorities managing dams in Tennessee and Mississippi must make difficult decisions as floodwaters swell along the states' rivers; the surging water pressing against the dams has to be released at some point, and when it does, it often spells disaster for individuals living downstream from the dams. Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Jim Hopson told the Associated Press that the organisation was working to mitigate the damage caused when water is released from the dams.
A driver has been accused of drunkenly hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle in South Austin over the weekend, traveling at least a half-mile with the body before stopping at a beer garden, according to court documents. Witnesses told officers they saw a 2014 white Ford Focus hit a person walking near Slaughter Lane and then drive south on Menchaca Road, an arrest affidavit says. The body of the pedestrian, who has not been identified, went through the Ford's windshield and was found in the passenger seat of the vehicle a half-mile south from where the crash happened, the affidavit says.
The Greenspan Fed was struggling to get inflation to its 2% target and inflation expectations were falling. The Federal Open Market Committee slashed the fed funds rate to 1.25% to stave off a further contraction in economic activity or inflation. The economic hit from the 2019 escalation of the U.S.-China trade war and the combination of the Iraq War and popping of the tech bubble are noteworthy in the similarity.
Supporters of Reality Winner, a National Security Agency whistleblower who leaked classified information about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, petitioned Donald Trump on Monday for her early release from prison. Alison Grinter, an attorney representing the former US air force intelligence specialist, announced at a press conference in Dallas that she had submitted 4,500 letters of support to the federal office of the pardon attorney, the division of the Department of Justice that advises the US president on executive clemency decisions.
One of the jurors who convicted notorious crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger says she regrets her decision after learning that he was an unwitting participant in a covert CIA experiment with LSD. Bulger terrorized Boston from the 1970s into the 1990s with a campaign of murder, extortion, and drug trafficking, then spent 16 years on the lam after he was tipped to his pending arrest. In2013, Janet Uhlar was one of 12 jurors who found Bulger guilty in a massive racketeering case, including involvement in 11 murders, even after hearing evidence that the mobster was helped by corrupt agents in the Boston office of the FBI.
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Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon The Wuhan coronavirus has had a significant impact on the cruise industry. More than 200 people on Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess ship have tested positive for the virus, and passengers on other ships have had their trips canceled or altered. Cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean International have warned that the coronavirus could hurt their financial performance.
The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection. Facing mounting legal costs from defending itself against lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of boys, the venerable non-profit sought Chapter 11 protection in a court filing Tuesday. A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that the filing had "two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons failed on Monday after some of his fellow Democrats balked at the proposal.
Venezuela said on Monday it would suspend TAP Air Portugal flights into and out of the country for 90 days, accusing the carrier of allowing opposition leader Juan Guaido's uncle to bring explosives onto a flight to Caracas last week. Announcing the measure on Twitter, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez left open the possibility of applying fines and other measures in the future. "Venezuela must be respected," Rodriguez said.
The director of a Chinese hospital at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak became one of its victims Tuesday despite "all-out" efforts to save his life, Chinese health officials said. The death came the same day Chinese officials released data indicating the new virus could be 20 times more lethal than the flu. Liu Zhiming, president of Wuhan Wuchang Hospital in Hubei province, died of coronavirus-related pneumonia, China Daily reported.
Expect former President Barack Obama's radio silence on the 2020 Democratic primary to continue in the coming months. Obama has intentionally remained on the sidelines throughout the primary so far, not throwing his support behind any candidate, including former Vice President Joe Biden. Between now and then, Obama is "committed to not allowing his personal thoughts to dribble out" into the open, the report says, since this might make it more challenging for him to serve as an "honest broker." Apparently, this effort could be going better considering this very same report features a few of Obama's personal thoughts, including that he's supposedly "unimpressed" with Biden's campaign.
JERUSALEM–Two decades of expanding operations against what United States Special Operations Command called a “global insurgency of state and non-state actors” has led to fatigue at home and questions abroad about U.S. strategy. The latest Trump administration deal with the Taliban, challenges to the U.S. role in Syria and Iraq, and a potential reduction of forces in Africa point to a global trend in how the U.S. will deal with counter-insurgency in the future. What we're looking at is a global drawdown in U.S. forces committed to counter-terrorist operations at the same time President Donald Trump is demanding other countries, including NATO allies, do more.
The daughter of a Mississippi man on trial in the shooting deaths of eight people testified Monday that he was abusive and beat her frequently. My'Khyiah Godbolt took the stand at a courthouse in Magnolia, the Daily Leader newspaper reported, to testify against her father, Willie Cory Godbolt. Godbolt, 37, is charged with capital murder, accused of fatally shooting eight people, including the deputy who arrived at his in-laws' home over the Memorial Day in 2017.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter Plunging oil prices stemming from the coronavirus outbreak led the International Monetary Fund to cut its estimate for Nigerian economic growth, highlighting the difficulties Africa's top crude producer faces reviving and diversifying its economy. The forecast was lowered to 2% from 2.5%, the lender said in a statement Monday after concluding an Article IV consultation. Nigeria needs a major policy overhaul to reduce vulnerabilities including widening current-account and budget deficits that jeopardize the economy, it said.
The Justice Department informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) in a Tuesday letter that deputy attorney general Jeffrey Rosen had tasked the top prosecutors for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania to oversee the process of reviewing “unsolicited” information from Ukraine. The Deputy Attorney General implemented this policy to avoid duplication of efforts across Offices and components, to facilitate information sharing, to ensure there are no conflicts among potentially overlapping matters, and to efficiently marshal the resources of the Department,” Rosen wrote.
An Indiana professor who called the police after a student declined to change seats during class last month has been suspended, the school said. In a statement released Thursday, Ball State University in Muncie said marketing professor Shaheen Borna will not teach for the rest of the semester. "This decision is in the best interest of Dr. Borna and the University," the statement said, adding that Borna's departure will "eliminate any unnecessary distractions, and help our students complete the appropriate course expectations."
Submarine Cable Map Russian agents have been sent to Ireland to inspect its undersea cables, and it's sparking fears they could be tapped or cut in the future, according to The Sunday Times citing Irish police. Irish security services suspect that Russia's intelligence agency, the GRU, is using their country as a base to gather intelligence on targets in the EU and UK, The Sunday Times reported. The large number of tech companies that are based in Dublin could be another reason for Russia's suspected monitoring, an expert on transnational crime and Russian security told the newspaper.
Chinese authorities have arrested a prominent rights activist and legal scholar who had called on President Xi Jinping to step down over his handling of crises including the coronavirus outbreak, two fellow activists said on Monday.