President Trump and his supporters are choosing a path much different than that taken by the redeemed Bill Clinton, and much more like that taken by the disgraced Richard Nixon, in refusing to acknowledge any wrongdoing in the Ukraine matter as a strategy to beat conviction and removal. Clinton ended up rising in popularity after admitting to his indiscretions with Monica Lewinsky. Once Clinton and his supporters were willing to confess error, the steam was largely taken out of the sails of independent counsel Kenneth Starr and the House impeachment managers seeking to remove the president.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office charged Fredrick Hampton, 50, on Thursday with abuse of Paighton Houston's corpse. Hampton hasn't been charged with involvement in the 29-year-old's death, news outlets reported. Hampton was initially held in the Birmingham City Jail beginning Dec. 28 on suspicion of kidnapping, but he was released two days later after investigators failed to gather enough evidence to charge him with a crime, news outlets reported.
Key point: China's downsizing of its carrier ambitions may leave it with more time to evaluate just what the carriers of the future will really look-like—and whether they're worth the cost. China's People's Liberation Army Navy takes many of its cues from the U.S. Navy as it develops its carrier aviation branch. It is seeking similar flat-deck carriers to its U.S. counterpart, and has developed airborne early warning planes and electronic attack jets comparable to American E-2D Hawkeyes and EA-18 Growlers.
Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down an airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and warned that the world is watching for its response. Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and Britain said Iran should hold a "thorough, independent and transparent international investigation open to grieving nations," in a statement issued after a meeting of officials in London. Iran admitted on Saturday it had shot down the Ukraine International Airlines plane in error, after initially denying it had a role in the incident.
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.
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.
US Navy Lt. Jonny Kim, a Navy SEAL and Harvard-trained physician, graduated from NASA training and became an internet celebrity. Kim said none of his career decisions were prompted by chasing medals or to seek approval, and that he makes sure that he imparts that outlook to his children. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas joked that he felt "horribly, horribly inadequate" while speaking in front of a group of newly-graduated NASA astronauts on Friday.
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.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday he wanted to give his prime minister a "second chance" and refused to accept his resignation after a recording emerged of the premier questioning the head of state's grasp of economics. Prime Minister Oleksiy Goncharuk had offered to quit after the leaked recording revealed him saying the president had a "primitive understanding" of the economy. "I have decided to give you and your government a second chance," Zelensky said during a meeting with Goncharuk in a video released by the presidency.
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.
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.
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn accused prosecutors of pressuring him to lie under oath and told a judge he wants to withdraw his guilty plea to the charge he lied to federal agents. Flynn “exercised his right to move to withdraw his plea of guilty because the government has engaged in bad faith and vindictive conduct,” breaching a plea deal made when Flynn first conceded the charge in late 2017, defense attorney Sidney Powell said in a statement Wednesday morning, calling her client “innocent.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a Friday sermon that Iran's missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq this month delivered a "slap on the face" to the United States, showing the Islamic Republic had divine support. During a spike in tension, Iran launched missiles at U.S. targets on Jan. 8 in response to a U.S. drone strike on Jan. 3 that killed Qassem Soleimeni, a powerful Iranian general who was close to Khamenei. "The fact that Iran has the power to give such a slap to a world power shows the hand of God," Khamenei said, after referring to the launch of missiles against U.S. targets as a "day of God".
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.
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.
“If you don't want to vote and you think you're going to have to vote against Hunter Biden, you should just vote against witnesses, period,” Paul said, adding that his “first preference” would be a trial with no witnesses. If they insist on having people like Bolton coming forward, my insistence will be not just one witness. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more!
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.
In a Thursday morning interview on "Fox & Friends," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said she doesn't want to hold televised press briefings because reporters "just want their moment to peddle their books."
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.
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.
Lev Parnas, an indicted ex-associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, accused President Donald Trump of lying about their relationship Wednesday night. And he said Giuliani told Ukrainian officials that Parnas spoke on behalf of the president. In an interview with Rachel Maddow for her MSNBC show, Parnas said that when he met with Ukrainian government officials, he would call Giuliani and put him on speaker.
All countries involved in the Ukrainian airliner crash in Iran should avoid turning it into a political issue, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday. "We request all sides not to make human issues, particularly this tragic accident, into an excuse for political gestures," Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency. Five countries whose citizens died when Iran shot down the airliner last week said on Thursday that Tehran should pay compensation to families of the victims, and that the world was watching for its response.
Royal Caribbean blames a "reckless and irresponsible" grandfather for the fall from a cruise ship window that killed 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand, reports the IndyStar, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network. "His actions, which no reasonable person could have foreseen, were reckless and irresponsible and the sole reason why Chloe is no longer with her parents," the cruise line said in a motion to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by Chloe's family, who live in South Bend. Chloe's family sued Royal Caribbean last month in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida.