President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted clemency to 11 people, including several convicted felons who are either Fox News regulars or have been championed by the president's favorite cable-news network. Among those granted pardons or sentence commutations were former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempting to sell former President Barack Obama's Senate seat; former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was sentenced to four years in 2010 for tax fraud and lying to the feds; and Michael Milken, the “junk-bonds king” whose early-'90s insider-trading conviction made him a poster boy of white-collar crime. Unsurprisingly, a key influence that led to Trump's decision, particularly as it related to Blagojevich, was Fox News.
The Chinese government imprisoned Muslims for basic religious activity, such as going to a mosque, praying or having a long beard, a database obtained by The Associated Press shows. The newly released database shows that the Chinese government targeted Muslims based both on their religious beliefs and on their ties to family members, according to the AP. The database offers the most complete view yet as to how and why Chinese officials chose to detain people and imprison them in detention camps, examining the internment of 311 people who have relatives abroad and listing information on over 2,000 of their family, friends and relatives.
A Mexican man residing in Singapore was arrested in the U.S. on Tuesday, after he allegedly tracked a U.S. government source for Russia in order to obtain the source's license plate number. Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes has been charged with acting in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government without notifying the attorney general, and conspiracy to do the same. Court documents allege that a Russian government official recruited Fuentes in 2019 and tasked him with renting a specific property in Miami-Dade County, Florida, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
Bernie Sanders "has a lot of questions to answer" about how his supporters attacked members of a union online after they criticized his "Medicare for All" health care plan, Elizabeth Warren said Monday. "I've said before that we are all responsible for what our supporters do, and I think Bernie has a lot of questions to answer here," Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, said in an interview in which she offered rare criticism of her fellow progressive Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont. Members of Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents 60,000 workers in Nevada's gaming and hospitality industries, said this week that Sanders' supporters had "viciously attacked" its members after leadership warned about the risk to their negotiated health plans under a "Medicare for All" system.
Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government's response to natural disasters. The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said.
While the vast majority of coronavirus cases have been found in China and Asia, the US travel industry is also steeling itself to be ravaged by the rogue virus. A new report from consulting firm Tourism Economics has put some estimated numbers to that ravaging, saying it expects the US to lose about 1.6 million visitors from mainland China as a result of the coronavirus, translating to a 28% drop for 2020. The report tallied expected losses from Chinese visitor spending at $10.3 billion — more than half of which are expected occur this year.
Five-hundred forty-two people on the Diamond Princess have tested positive for COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. The vessel is the largest site of coronavirus cases outside mainland China. Nearly two weeks ago, the vessel began a 14-day quarantine in the port of Yokohama, Japan, near Tokyo.
Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday. From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department's International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.
Christian Stevens, 49, of Canton, Georgia, was transported to Sebastian River Medical Center just after 10 a.m., according to Police Department spokesman Timothy Wood. Professional jumping group Team Fastrax, which was training at Skydive Sebastian, decided to jump at the same time as Monday's scheduled SpaceX launch, according to an announcement of Stevens' death on the team's Facebook page Monday evening. Stevens named the jump "Falcon9" in honor of the launch.
Stacey Abrams, the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Georgia who called out alleged voter suppression during that election, said Monday that she “would be honored” to be the vice presidential candidate on the 2020 Democratic ticket.
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.
Key Point: London's Astute class submarines are powerful and very well-built. Since the commissioning of HMS Dreadnought in 1963, the Royal Navy has maintained a formidable force of nuclear attack submarines. The latest nuclear attack subs, the Astute class, have become a critical component of the future of the Royal Navy—but, given Russia's resurgence, are they enough?
Conservative activist Kaitlin Bennett, also known as "Gun Girl," incited large-scale student protests Monday when she appeared on Ohio University's Athens campus to film a video. Bennett had arrived on campus to film a President's Day trivia video for the Liberty Hangout, which bills itself as a libertarian media outlet, according to both her and the site. Bennett has been a divisive figure since gaining notoriety in 2018 for posting controversial graduation photos of herself with an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University.
A Washington woman has pleaded not guilty to drugging a mother after authorities say she posed as a photographer in an complex plot to kidnap the mother's newborn baby. Juliette Parker, 38, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to attempted kidnapping and assault in Pierce County Superior Court, The News Tribune reported. Parker moved to Washington last year after losing a mayoral election in Colorado Springs, Colorado, The Gazette reported.
BEIJING/SYDNEY Feb 19 (Reuters) - Foreign pilots at some Chinese airlines have returned to their home countries and are considering other jobs after being placed on unpaid leave as demand falls because of the coronavirus, affected flight crew told Reuters. Meanwhile, Chinese pilots with greater job security said their income has been sharply reduced because most of their pay is based on flying hours. Data firm OAG estimates about 80% of scheduled airline capacity to, from and within China has been cut this week because of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has killed more than 2,000 people.
Matthew Smith was feeling very good Monday about rejecting the U.S. government's offer to be evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan. Smith and his wife will remain in quarantine on the ship until the Japanese government agrees they can leave—likely this week. All the evacuees, meanwhile, will be in quarantine for at least two weeks at Air Force bases in Texas and California—many no doubt wondering whether they, too, might suddenly fall ill.
When a Northern California cab driver realized that his 92-year-old passenger was about to become the victim of a scam, he quickly devised a plan to save her. Two weeks ago, Roseville Cab owner Raj Singh picked the woman up from her home, and she directed him to drive her to the bank. While on the way, the woman told Singh that she received a call from someone who told her she owed the IRS $25,000, and she was on her way to withdraw the money.
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.
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.
We don't see a lot of young people accomplish a lot because they're afraid – and she's not afraid. We knew who she was when we sent her, that she'd make a noise, and making a noise was why we sent her Abdul Abbas That's not how all see it. The first-term congresswoman is facing eight Republican and five Democratic candidates aiming to unseat her.
Key point: Washington wants to sell more weapons to foreign countries. In order to win over customers, the United States is touting its superior (although more expensive) systems. The U.S. government has a message for those nations that would buy Russian and Chines weapons: buyer beware.
“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 judge overseeing the case of longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone said his sentencing hearing will move forward as planned on Thursday, amid intense scrutiny of the Justice Department's handling of the case. In a 12-minute conference call with the defense and prosecution teams on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she will still hand down Stone's sentence at Thursday's hearing, but indicated she plans to defer the execution of the sentence until the court addresses Stone's request for a new trial. "I'm willing to make sure that there are no consequences that flow from the announcement of what the sentencing will be," Jackson said on the call, which was broadcast in the courtroom.
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.
The worst locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in 70 years has reached South Sudan, a country where roughly half the population already faces hunger after years of civil war, officials announced Tuesday. Around 2,000 locusts were spotted inside the country, Agriculture Minister Onyoti Adigo told reporters. The locusts have been seen in Eastern Equatoria state near the borders with Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.