Reuters/Kevin Lamarque The Trump administration threatened three European governments with 25% auto tariffs if they didn't play ball with Iran and call out its government for violating the 2015 nuclear deal, according to a report from the Washington Post. Officials in Britain, France, and Germany received the threat, and they were stunned at what one European official characterized to the Post as "extortion." Trump previously used the threat of tariffs on European cars to extract additional investment into the US from its automakers.
A South Jersey man was sentenced to six years of probation after pleading guilty Thursday to offenses related to an incident with an underage girl at his wedding in Northampton, Pennsylvania, in 2018. Matthew Aimers, 32, of Willingboro, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor offenses, according to James O'Malley, spokesman for the Bucks County District Attorney's Office. Aimers pleaded guilty to simple assault stemming from a fight at the wedding and indecent exposure for an incident involving the teen.
The Washington-based Syria Justice and Accountability Center said Thursday that the evidence — documents produced by IS itself — could help identify individuals responsible for atrocities during the militants' four-year reign of terror and lead to criminal prosecutions. The 24-page report, called “Judge, Jury and Executioner,” is based on dozens of documents obtained by SJAC from inside Syria and collected by a local activist from abandoned IS offices in Raqqa province, where the militants also had their self-declared capital in a city that carries the same name.
House Oversight Committee Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows issued nine demands to FISA Court presiding judge James Boasberg in a Thursday letter in response to the appointment of Obama Department of Justice lawyer David Kris to help oversee the FBI's reform of FISA applications. The letter, obtained by National Review, asked Boasberg to identify who else besides Kris was considered, whether Kris's past defense of the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page was taken into account, and whether “the FISC bears any responsibility for the illegal surveillance of Carter Page,” among other concerns.
A Republican lawmaker is facing calls for a sexual harassment investigation after he told a young female reporter that a group of high school boys “could have a lot of fun” with her. Peter Lucido, a Michigan state senator, has been accused of making inappropriate comments to local reporter Allison Donahue during a tour of the state Capitol. Ms Donahue said the senator told her he would speak with her after addressing a group of about 30 boys who were visiting from De La Salle Collegiate, a nearby all-boys Catholic school.
Yet, before U.S. leaders dismiss this warning into a heap of other global calamities, they should briefly peruse the words below from an unsigned Chinese editorial in the December 25, 2019 edition of Global Times: “The United States as a whole must understand that although Taiwan is the easiest place to provoke Mainland China, it is also the place where the U.S. is most at risk. It is precisely that China has the most real cards against the U.S. provocation in the Taiwan Strait region, and China has the strongest will and capability to defend the core interests of the country [美方作为整体必须了解，台湾虽是最容易挑衅、刺激中国大陆的地方，但也是对美方来说风险最大的地方。中国在台海地区反制美方挑衅的实牌恰恰也是最多的，而且中国在这里捍卫国家核心利益的意志和能力都是最强的].
Issei Kato/Reuters Japanese Environmental Minister Shinjiro Koizumi announced he is taking two weeks of paternity leave when his child is born in a few weeks. Koizumi said those two weeks would be spread across the first three months of his child's life, and that he would continue various public commitments like attending parliament, he said. Though Japan officially allows fathers to take up to 52 weeks of paternity leave, only 6% of them take it off, creating and continuing the country's toxic overwork culture.
The Philippines said Friday it was reimposing a ban on its citizens going to work in Kuwait after a Filipina was allegedly killed by her employer, echoing a 2018 row between the two countries. President Rodrigo Duterte approved the ban as his government accused the emirate of covering up the killing of a maid, one of about 240,000 Filipinos working in the Gulf state. Duterte's government briefly banned Filipinos deploying for work in Kuwait two years ago amid a diplomatic row that began with the discovery of the remains of a murdered Filipina maid in her employers' freezer.
During an address on the floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "The House's hour is over. The Senate's time is at hand."
GOP Sen. Martha McSally on Thursday called a CNN reporter a "liberal hack" when asked whether she'd support allowing new evidence into President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The Fox News host Laura Ingraham invited McSally on her prime-time show Thursday, where the two laughed about the incident. The Fox News opinion host Laura Ingraham was thrilled to see Republican Sen. Martha McSally publicly slam a CNN reporter on Thursday.
LOS ANGELES—United States District Court Judge James V. Selna ordered today that Stormy Daniels' ex-attorney Michael Avenatti remain in federal custody for possible violation of his conditions of pretrial release and be transported “forthwith” to New York, where he will stand trial next week. The judge found there was probable cause Avenatti had committed crimes in violation of the terms of his bond and ordered the embattled celebrity attorney detained without bond. Avenatti will continue to be held in an Orange County jail pending transfer to New York and will remain in custody “for the foreseeable future,” according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
A federal judge on Thursday postponed the sentencing of former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, two days after Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan did not immediately rule on Flynn's request. In his bid to withdraw his plea, Flynn said the Justice Department had reneged on its deal with him by recommending that he be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison for lying to the FBI.
Newly revealed surveillance video circulating on social media appears to show two missiles slamming into a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed, killing all 176 people aboard minutes after takeoff from Tehran a week ago. Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told USA TODAY it's possible the plane would have survived the first hit. "It's conceivable that if they hadn't fired the second shot, the outcome might have been different," Goelz said.
Key point: America should be worried. A cybersecurity firm reports that Chinese hackers have stolen technical data for the Iron Dome rocket-defense system from Israeli computers. Maryland-based Cyber Engineering Services detected the cyber burglary, according to cybersecurity writer Brian Krebs.
The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia's Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea. The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife shared the clip of an eight-point buck shedding its antlers in the middle of the night, captured by a resident of Northfield, Vermont. The wildlife agency posted the footage on Facebook, calling it “spectacular and unique.” It's been viewed more than 277,000 times and shared by over 3,000 users. The animal is called an eight-point buck for its eight antlers, according to the Noble Research Institute, an agriculture research organization.
Germany wants to deepen trade ties with London and continue close cooperation on security and defence projects after Britain's divorce from the European Union, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Thursday. Britain is set to leave the EU on Jan. 31 after agreeing a deal late last year. "Brexit is not the end of cooperation between Britain and Europe and not at all the end of cooperation between Britain and Germany,” she said in the text of a speech she delivered in London, stressing common interests bound them together.
Hajizadeh said that Iran denied the shoot-down "for the betterment of our country's security, because if we had said this, our air defense system would have become crippled and our guys would have had doubted everything." Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP He appears to have meant that Iranian missile defense would have been compromised by a lack of confidence in itself after making such a catastrophic error, rather than any technical fault to stop their equipment working. Hajizadeh is part of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, a powerful paramilitary force which answers directly to the country's supreme leader and is considered more hardline than its elected government.
If you really want to know what former National Security Adviser John Bolton though of President Trump's actions regarding Ukraine, you may not have to rely on the Senate to call him as a witness in the president's upcoming impeachment trial. That's because Bolton is going to reveal some of what he saw in his upcoming book, people familiar with the matter told The New York Times. The book, which is almost finished, is reportedly going to detail Bolton's time in the White House, events related to Russia and Venezuela, and his interactions with other administration officials, some of whom reportedly don't come across very well, including former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley...
A woman awaiting trial for allegedly killing a former Arkansas state senator was hit with new charges Tuesday after she promised fellow inmates she would give them “gold and silver” to murder the victim's ex-husband and his new wife, prosecutors said. Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, who pleaded not guilty to several charges in the June murder of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, was slapped with two counts of soliciting to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in connection with the elaborate plot she allegedly tried to orchestrate from prison. The former campaign staffer for Collins-Smith has been behind bars since June 14—10 days after the 57-year-old Republican was found fatally stabbed and wrapped in a blanket under a tarp at the end of her Pocahontas, Arkansas, driveway.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk submitted his resignation on Friday after an audio recording suggested he had criticized the president, but then appeared to suggest in comments to Reuters that he might stay in his job.
An actress who had a role in "Marriage Story" and her husband are suing Princess Cruises, alleging their room on the Emerald Princess ship was infested with bedbugs and left them with bites all over their bodies. Connie and Alvin Flores allege in a lawsuit, filed in November 2019, that their stateroom aboard the cruise they took a year earlier was "infested with hundreds of bedbugs." The pair cruised from Nov. 28, 2018, through Dec. 4, 2018, out of Los Angeles. Connie Flores played an "arguing woman" in "Marriage Story," and is now speaking publicly about the suit.
Israeli authorities demolished homes in Palestinian areas of east Jerusalem at a significantly higher rate in 2019 than the previous year, according to an Israeli advocacy group. In a new report, Ir Amim said 104 housing units were demolished in 2019, compared() to 72 units in 2018. Aviv Tatarsky, the Ir Amim researcher who wrote the report released Wednesday, said the group found that only 7% of housing units advanced by city planners last year were for Palestinian neighborhoods.