WASHINGTON — On Oct. 30, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry delivered a rare warning to a Russian diplomat stationed in Sofia, the capital: Leave the country within 24 hours. The expelled diplomat, Vladimir Anatolyevich Rusyaev is affiliated with the Russian military intelligence service, or the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly known as the GRU, according to a Western intelligence source. The intelligence source provided Yahoo News with a document describing Rusyaev's career history, including a current photograph.
Israel said its aircraft hit military sites for Gaza's Hamas rulers Saturday after two rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave. This was Israel's first strike against Hamas since the start of this week's cross-border fighting with another Gaza militant group, the Iran-backed Islamic jihad. The shooting ended in a shaky cease-fire announced Thursday.
A San Fransisco district court on Friday found pro-life activists guilty in a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood after the activists surreptitiously filmed executives of the abortion group discussing the sale of fetal body parts. A ten person federal jury convicted activists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, breach of contract and trespass and violation of state and federal recording laws in Maryland, California and Florida. Planned Parenthood will be awarded $870,000 in punitive damages.
Australia's parliamentary intelligence committee head, who has previously criticised Beijing, said he had been blocked from entering China due to his "frankness about the Chinese Communist Party". Andrew Hastie warned several months ago that the world's approach to containing China's rise resembles the "catastrophic failure" to prevent the advance of Nazi Germany. Hastie, along with fellow government politician James Paterson, had planned to travel to China for a study tour next month but both have been banned from entering the country.
Pope Francis compared anti-gay comments made by politicians to speeches made by Adolf Hitler. He made the comment while speaking to an international penal law association on Friday, the Associated Press reported. He said: "These are actions that are typical of Nazism, that with its persecution of Jews, gypsies, people with homosexual orientation, represent an excellent model of the throwaway culture and culture of hatred."
One local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate. The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force. The silo's owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he's “bored”.
Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.
WASHINGTON–Attorney General William Barr said Friday that President Donald Trump's political opponents have pursued a "scorched earth, no-holds-barred resistance" meant to "sabotage" his presidency. "The pursuit of scores of investigations and an avalanche of subpoenas is meant to incapacitate" the administration, Barr said in a biting address to the conservative Federalist Society. The attorney general, in a full-throated defense of the president, said the political "harassment" contravenes the intent of the Constitution's framers who, he said, meant to provide the chief executive with sweeping authority.
The Minneapolis Police Department announced Friday that a 2015 count of rape kits collected from survivors came up terribly short, missing more than 1,500 rape kits held in police storage facilities. Minnesota passed a law in 2015 that required law enforcement agencies to audit their backlogged kits. But after conducting a new review this year, the Minneapolis police said at a press conference on Friday, that 1,700 untested rape kits spanning over 30 years have been discovered — far more than the 194 kits found in 2015.
An elephant named after Osama bin Laden, the late al-Qaida leader, has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday.
Key point: Russia and NATO's military buildup in the Baltics is creating a tense situation. In the most recent illustration of ongoing Russia-NATO military tensions over Baltic airspace, recently released footage shows a Russian Su-27 fighter making a sharp turn into an American F-15C. It is unclear when the video was filmed, with some speculating that it occured during a prior NATO BAP (Baltic Air Policing) mission. When viewed in that light, this incident seems to fall into the trend of what US officials have previously described as “unsafe” Russian interceptions and “aggressive maneuvers” in high-tension airspace.
Two leading Muslim groups said Sunday they will file petitions in India's top court challenging its decision to award Hindus control of a bitterly disputed holy site that has sparked deadly inter-religious violence. The Supreme Court ruled on November 9 that the holy site in Ayodhya, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, must be managed by a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple. A separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to a Muslim group to build a "prominent" new mosque.
Hundreds of people in Cuba's capital stood in line to kiss, touch or walk around a towering silk floss tree Saturday in a nod to tradition as they celebrate Havana's 500th anniversary this weekend. The event comes as Cuba deals with an ailing economy and increasingly tense relations with the U.S., concerns that were briefly cast aside as residents prepared for a gala event Saturday night featuring fireworks, music and international dignitaries. “Havana grows, lives, sings, dances and dreams,” said Félix Julio Alfonso, a professor who spoke before granting the public access to the revered silk floss tree.
An eyewitness account by a Holocaust survivor—unearthed for a new exhibition in London—describes the conditions in the “gypsy” section of Auschwitz as even more inhumane than the rest of the appalling facility. “The conditions were worse than in the other camps,” wrote eyewitness Hermann Langbein in 1945. The gypsies were still wearing the clothes that they had been given upon arrival… footwear was missing… The latrines were built in such a way that they were practically unusable for the gypsy children.
China's People's Liberation Army troops appeared on the streets of Hong Kong yesterday as part of a clean-up mission that risked a backlash from pro-democracy protesters who have brought the city to a standstill in recent months. The appearance of the PLA soldiers outside their barracks - even dressed in shorts and t-shirts - to help clear away barricades and debris from another night of protests could be seen as an incremental raising of the political stakes from Beijing. Demosistō, a pro-democracy organisation, said the clean-up operation could set a "grave precedent" if the city's government invites the military to deal with internal problems.
Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday. A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine. Ukraine has been pushing for their return as a good will gesture from Moscow ahead of a possible four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month.
President Donald Trump fired off a tweet Sunday attacking another witness in the impeachment inquiry being conducted against him, dismissing an aide to Vice President Mike Pence as a "Never Trumper." On Saturday, congressional investigators released the transcript from the closed-door deposition of Jennifer Williams, a foreign policy adviser to Pence who took notes during a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The call is a key aspect in the whistleblower complaint that alleged Trump was withholding military aid to Ukraine for political benefit.
Department of State Mina Chang, a 35-year-old State Department official, prompted a flurry of interest over her credentials this week after she was alleged to have embellished her work history and educational experience. In a statement from her previous nonprofit group, executive director Ian Dailey characterized the news reports as a "classic 'hit-job'" and said he was "disgusted with the unwarranted attack" against Chang. Here's what we know about Chang, who joined the Trump administration in April.
The first African-American FBI special agent, who was hired 100 years ago, is finally getting recognition. There are no known photographs of James Wormley Jones, but there is a record of his hiring. Inside FBI headquarters in Washington is an archive room filled with hundreds of thousands of documents and a lone application for the job of special agent.
Why did a Russian soldier gun down eight of his comrades at a remote Siberian military base? The reason was probably hazing by his fellow soldiers, including a threat of being raped, according to his father. On October 25, 2019, Private Ramil Shamsutdinov—a twenty-year-old conscript—shot eight soldiers at a base near the town of Gorny.
South African police detained more than 180 foreign nationals for storming the UN refugee agency in Pretoria, where they had been staging a sit-in protest, police said Saturday. Hundreds of asylum-seekers started camping in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on October 8, asking to be relocated to another country after a spate of xenophobic violence in September. Protesters broke into the UNHCR premises on Thursday after they were informed of a court order giving them three days to vacate the site.
The Middle East's biggest aviation event, the Dubai Airshow, opened Sunday without any major deals as flagship Gulf carriers rein back big-ticket purchases. In the only major announcement of the day, Boeing and Biman Bangladesh Airlines signed a deal for two 787-9s aircraft, which list at $292.5 million apiece. In contrast, there were $140 billion in new orders announced at the start of the 2013 airshow, but that was an era before global oil prices collapsed, sparking a slowdown in economic growth across the Gulf Arab region — home to the Middle East's largest carriers.
A Maryland man who may have been leading a double life has confessed to kidnapping his disabled girlfriend, luring her into the Nevada desert, tying her to a signpost and suffocating her with duct tape, police said Friday. He allegedly then pretended to be the victim on Facebook, sending her family messages to cover up her disappearance until friends reported her missing earlier this week. Jaime Rae Feden, 33, suffered from a rare congenital condition called VATER syndrome and stood just over 4 feet tall.
Soldiers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army briefly left their Hong Kong barracks on Saturday to help the clean-up after a week of disruption caused by pro-democracy protests, a rare and highly symbolic troop movement unsolicited by the city's embattled government. The action saw scores of soldiers from the garrison, which is confined to the barracks under Hong Kong's mini-constitution, with crewcuts and identical gym kits conduct a lightning-quick removal of bricks and debris near their base. Confirming the brief deployment on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, the PLA said it acted to open a debris-strewn road outside their Kowloon Tong barracks to traffic, winning "applause from residents" in the process.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner blamed "thugs" and "bullies" on Sunday for the violence that hit demonstrations the previous day marking marked the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" protests. "Yesterday, what we saw were few (legitimate) demonstrators but thugs, bullies and morons," Castaner told Europe 1 radio when asked about the violence in Paris on Saturday. Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon during the rallies to mark a year since the birth of the anti-government yellow vest movement.