Federal judges appointed by both Republican and Democratic presidents have struck down every Trump campaign allegation of widespread voter fraud.'The right thing' »
The US Department of Justice investigated an attorney for Jared Kushner in connection with an alleged bribery-for-pardon scheme, The New York Times reported. As Business Insider reported, a US judge released documents this week showing that federal investigators were concerned about an alleged "bribery conspiracy scheme" to obtain a presidential pardon. According to The Times' reporting, the suspected scheme involved a billionaire real estate developer, Sanford Diller, who sought to secure clemency for a man named Hugh Baras, who had been convicted of tax evasion.
The European Union's aviation safety agency has extended a ban imposed on Pakistan's state-run airline this year barring it from flying to Europe after a plane crash that killed 97 people in the port city of Karachi, a spokesman said Friday. At the time — and while the probe into the May 22 Airbus A320 crash was still underway — authorities acknowledged that nearly a third of Pakistani pilots, 260 out of 860, had cheated on their pilot's exams. Pakistan International Airlines subsequently grounded 150 of its pilots while a probe by the country's Civil Aviation Authority into the other pilots is still ongoing.
President-elect Joe Biden said when it comes to the Department of Justice, he is "not going to be telling them what they have to do and don't have to do." Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday, and the discussion turned to reports that President Trump is contemplating preemptively pardoning his adult children, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Biden said this "concerns me in terms of what kind of precedent it sets and how the rest of the world looks [at] us as a nation of laws and justice."
Israeli police said Friday they arrested a Jewish man after he poured out a “flammable liquid” inside a church near Jerusalem's Old City, in what they described as a “criminal” incident. The police did not provide further details about the motive, but past attacks on churches in the Holy Land have been blamed on Jewish extremists. Friday's incident took place at the Church of All Nations, a Catholic church built on the traditional site of the Garden of Gethsemane, where Christians believe Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of his followers, and arrested by the Romans before being crucified.
Philippine police on Friday threatened to cane people who violate social distancing protocols as the Southeast Asian nation fights the spread of the coronavirus during the festive season. The Philippines celebrates one of the world's longest Christmas seasons, starting as early as September, and crowds have started to flock to sprawling malls and shopping centres despite the pandemic. Police general Cesar Binag, commander of the coronavirus task force, told a news conference that police and soldiers would patrol in public areas in the capital Manila, the hotspot of COVID-19 cases, carrying 1 meter rattan sticks to measure distancing.
Former Hong Kong politician Ted Hui has announced he has chosen to go into exile as Beijing intensifies its crackdown on high-profile figures of the former British colony's pro-democracy movement. Mr Hui, 38, initially fled to Denmark this week where he was joined by his family, but he said he would make his way to the UK to continue his pro-democratic activities. He joins Nathan Law, a prominent Hong Kong human rights activist now based in London, and a growing diaspora of dissidents who are continuing to advocate for more international pressure on China to allow greater rights and freedoms in the Asian financial hub.
As a pair of critical Senate runoff races approach on Jan. 5, Georgia Republican leaders find themselves in a conundrum, trying to balance indulging President Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud with supporting state GOP election officials. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, is frustrated with the misinformation about the election process in his state. I'm actually embarrassed at the amount of misinformation that continues to show up on Twitter feeds and Facebook posts and blogs that takes literally 10 seconds to debunk,” Duncan told Yahoo News.
In a new set of unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, Roger Stone, a longtime friend and a former adviser to President Donald Trump on Thursday said that North Korea interfered in the US presidential elections. Appearing on far-right radio programme The Alex Jones Show, Mr Stones claimed that there was “incontrovertible evidence” that the votes were brought into the US through Maine. "I just learned of absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbour in Maine, the state of Maine," he said.
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the execution of death row inmate Byron Black. In a brief order issued on Thursday, the court wrote that Black's execution is stayed pending a further order by the court “because of the multiple issues caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Black was convicted by a Nashville court of murdering his girlfriend Angela Clay and her daughters Latoya, 9, and Lakesha, 6, at their home in 1988.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday he would not replace his outgoing chief-of-staff Alfonso Romo and will close down his office in order to save money. Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday that Romo, a longtime ally and millionaire entrepreneur known for his outreach to business groups, would step down after two years in the job. The leftist president said Romo would continue to act as a go-between for the government and the private sector, a role that has often been strained over Lopez Obrador's skepticism about private sector involvement in areas such as energy.
China has executed the next stage of its Chang'e-5 Moon mission, blasting into orbit samples gathered on the lunar surface. Right on cue, at 15:10 GMT, an ascent vehicle lit its engine to head up to a service module that will shepherd home the rock and dust materials. It's more than 40 years since lunar samples were last brought back to Earth.
Authorities in Bangladesh on Friday sent the first group of more than 1,500 Rohingya refugees to an isolated island despite calls by human rights groups for a halt to the process. The 1,642 refugees boarded seven Bangladeshi naval vessels in the port of Chittagong for the trip to Bhashan Char, according to an official who could not be named in accordance with local practice. After about a three-hour trip they arrived at the island, which was once regularly submerged by monsoon rains but now has flood protection embankments, houses, hospitals and mosques built at a cost of more than $112 million by the Bangladesh navy.
Two coronavirus vaccine candidates developed by China's Clover Biopharmaceuticals triggered strong immune responses in an early-stage human trial and appeared to be safe, the company said on Friday. The vaccine candidates, one containing an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline and the other from Dynavax, induced strong immune responses including neutralizing antibodies and cell-mediated immunity in a Phase 1 clinical trial, Clover said. Adjuvants are ingredients that can boost immune responses.
Ghislaine Maxwell's federal prison has been hit with a major Covid outbreak and her lawyers are expected to use it to reapply for bail for Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex trafficking accomplice. Cases at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, have reportedly spiked as the virus surges across the US. The federal prison had seen just 25 cases since March but as of Tuesday had a total of 80, said the Bureau of Prisons.
A Japanese court on Friday revoked the operating permits of two nuclear reactors for having inadequate earthquake safeguards, a ruling that challenges safety assessments conducted by the nuclear regulator and could influence the outcome of other court cases. The Osaka District Court revoked the permits of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui in western Japan. Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority had approved the restart of the two Ohi reactors, run by Kansai Electric Power Co., in 2017 and granted them operating permits.
A game of "cat-and-mouse" between the European Union and Turkey needs to come to an end, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday, in reference to a dispute over natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean. "The game of cat and mouse must end," Michel told a news conference, as Turkey again withdrew an exploration vessel from disputed waters ahead of an EU summit on Dec. 10 that is set to discuss possible sanctions on Turkey. "In October, we defined a positive agenda, we reached out our hand," said Michel, who chairs EU summits.
A Supreme Court judge in Australia's Victoria state on Friday dismissed submissions from news media organizations and journalists that there is no case to answer on charges they breached a gag order on reporting about Cardinal George Pell's sex abuse convictions in 2018. More charges were tossed out in the case against Australian media outlets prosecuted over reporting of Pell's abuse convictions. But the judge refused to throw out the bulk of the 87 charges of contempt of court for stories published after the cardinal's guilty verdict.
What the testing data reveals is that in both Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (and some other states) less than 50% of total tests use the PCR method - so cases are being missed. In Maharashtra, nearly 60% of tests have been PCR tests (although they are increasingly using rapid testing in the state capital, Mumbai. And Tamil Nadu state has relied totally on PCR testing, which means it is likely to have a far more accurate idea of the spread of the virus.
Dozens of militants aligned with the Islamic State group opened fire on a Philippine army detachment and burned a police patrol car in a southern town but withdrew after troops returned fire, officials said Friday. There were no immediate reports of injuries in Thursday night's brief attack by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Piang town. Nevertheless it sparked panic among residents and rekindled fears of a repeat of a 2017 militant siege of southern Marawi city that lasted for five months before being quelled by government forces.
President-elect Joe Biden is hopeful Donald Trump will attend his inauguration next month in order to demonstrate a peaceful transfer of power, while adding that his predecessor's presence would be of “no personal consequence” for him. Talking to CNN's Jake Tapper alongside vice president-elect Kamala Harris in their first joint interview since the election on Thursday, Mr Biden was asked whether he wanted Mr Trump to attend the 20 January event. Mr Biden said the outgoing president's presence would be “important in only one sense”.
In a lengthy video posted to his Facebook page, President Trump offered more baseless allegations of voter fraud. Trump said his remarks, which ran some 46 minutes, “may be the most important speech I've ever made.
Sweden has not needed face masks yet, a top health official said on Thursday, as deaths from the pandemic climbed above 7,000 and a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) expanded recommendations for when masks should be used. The WHO said on Wednesday that, where the epidemic was spreading, people - including children and students aged 12 or over - should always wear masks in shops, workplaces and schools that lack adequate ventilation, and when receiving visitors at home in poorly ventilated rooms.
Fire danger remained high Friday amid unpredictable wind gusts and dry conditions in Southern California, as crews made progress against blazes that burned several homes and injured two firefighters. The region's notorious Santa Ana winds decreased slightly but red flag warnings of extreme wildfire risk were in place into the weekend because of low humidity. After the weather calms in the southern part of the state, winds are expected to increase in Northern California starting Sunday, forecasters said.
Pfizer's CEO said it's not clear if the company's coronavirus vaccine will no longer be able to spread the virus to other people. Independent researchers have already made it clear that the trials used to test the vaccine did not examine its effects on transmission. The US could approve Pfizer's vaccine on December 10.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”