The FBI recently sought to question the CIA whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Trump's July 25 Ukraine call — a move that came after a vigorous internal debate within the bureau over how to respond to some of the issues raised by the complaint's allegations and whether they needed to be more thoroughly investigated, according to sources familiar with the matter. An FBI agent in the Washington field office in October reached out to one of the lawyers representing the whistleblower and asked to question the CIA analyst who triggered the congressional inquiry into the president's conduct, one of the sources said. It is unclear what the intended scope of the interview would be or whether the whistleblower's lawyers will agree to it.
Alumni of the Obama administration reacted with disbelief and outrage to a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that incoming Trump administration officials found insulting notes left behind for them in their offices. “We came into the White House, I'll tell you something,” said Grisham during a local radio interview Tuesday morning, as reported by CNN's Abby Phillip. In the nearly three years since the presidential transition, no Trump administration officials have mentioned the notes or produced any photos that would support Grisham's charge.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Ilhan Omar asked that a federal judge show "compassion” when sentencing the man who threatened to kill her. Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., 55, pleaded guilty Monday for threatening to assault and murder a United States official, and for being in possession of firearms, a Department of Justice statement says. These charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
Arms covered in cling film and torches in hand as they drop into the sewers, clusters of pro-democracy protesters still inside a Hong Kong campus are plotting increasingly ingenious -- and desperate -- ways to escape a police siege. Among the detritus of a scorched and graffiti-sprayed concourse at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, several plastic covers -- some with torches placed above them -- betray extraordinary underground escape plans. Protesters have removed metal manholes, some making exploratory forays into the fetid tunnels, following rumours of successful exfiltrations from a campus ringed for three days by baton-wielding police determined to arrest them.
The son of former German president Richard von Weizsaecker was stabbed to death while he was giving a lecture at a hospital in Berlin where he worked as a head physician, police said Wednesday. A 57-year-old German man is in custody after he jumped up from the audience at the Schlosspark-Klinik and attacked Fritz von Weizsaecker with a knife on Tuesday evening. Von Weizsaecker died at the scene from a knife wound to the neck despite immediate attention from colleagues, said Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors.
LONDON, Nov 20 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Extinction Rebellion activists pressing for more rapid action on climate change threats on Wednesday entered a third day of a week-long hunger strikes in 27 countries. The strikes, which began Monday, have been in part spearheaded by 20-year-old Giovanni Tamacas, a University of San Diego student, who carried out a solo hunger strike last month in front of the White House. We are hunger striking because we have no choice, he said in a statement, arguing governments and corporations have criminally and catastrophically failed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency .
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has shared with three prominent Republicans that he wants to resign and run for Senate next year in Kansas, Time reports. The Republicans told Time that Pompeo's original plan was to stay at the State Department until next spring, but because of the House impeachment inquiry, he's thinking about making an early — and hopefully smooth — exit. Pompeo's concern is that the longer he stays in the Trump administration, the more he will be criticized for not defending the current and former diplomats who have testified in the impeachment inquiry, Time reports.
In her reelection video for Cook County State Attorney released Tuesday, Kim Foxx concedes that she mishandled the high-profile prosecution of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. The truth is, I didn't handle it well,” Foxx says in the video. I own that.
Russia's much-feared Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire is getting a new upgrade and is adding a new long-range supersonic missile called the Kh-32. The upgrade will allow the massive jet to once again hit allied targets across the North Atlantic region just as the Backfire once did during the Cold War. The bomber and its new weapon will be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces in October.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who began calling for President Trump to be impeached earlier this year, believes we have now reached “the point of no return” where it is inarguably clear that he has committed criminal acts. Ocasio-Cortez discussed the issue with Yahoo News on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as the third day of public hearings was being conducted in the Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry. “We're kind of knee-deep here in impeachment inquiry and so at this point, I think we're beyond the question as to whether Trump has committed a crime or whether he's violated the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Elstad Ranch/Flickr Syracuse University's fraternities had their social activities canceled for the rest of the semester after a black student said members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity called her the N-word. It was the latest in a series of reported racist and anti-Semitic incidents to sweep the upstate New York campus since November 7. Syracuse University has canceled all fraternity social activities for the rest of the semester after a black student reported a racist attack.
The former Louisiana State University student who was found guilty of negligent homicide for the hazing death of 18-year-old Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday. Jurors reportedly took just one hour to convict Matthew Naquin in July. The judge ordered Naquin to write a letter of apology to the Gruver family, and for every year he is on probation he must go to three separate high schools and give a one-hour talk about hazing, according to WVLA-TV.
Israel's air defences intercepted four rockets fired from neighbouring Syria on Tuesday, the army said, prompting reported retaliatory missile strikes against the source of the fire. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rockets were fired from positions around the capital held by groups loyal to the Damascus government. It did not elaborate on which group had launched the rockets or whether there had been any casualties in the retaliatory strikes.
Special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said during questioning that "others didn't see the distinction" between Burisma and investigating former Vice President Biden.
A North Carolina county removed a Confederate statue from a historic courthouse early Wednesday, joining the handful of places around the state where such monuments have come down in recent years despite a law protecting them. Preparations began Tuesday night to carefully dismantle the statue of a soldier outside the historic Chatham County courthouse, where it had stood since 1907, and continued for hours overnight, said county spokeswoman Kara Lusk Dudley. The removal comes months after Winston-Salem officials removed a Confederate statue from land there that had passed into private hands.
The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said. The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.
Very rarely do any of us on the outside world know with much clarity about what exactly is going on in the world of Iranian intelligence. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iranian military intelligence, and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security are notorious for their secrecy and efficiency. General Qassem Soleimani, the long-time director of the IRGC's Quds Force, is one of the most popular public figures in Iran today and has long been a household name (and a major irritant) for U.S. intelligence officers.
In his questioning of David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs, Ratcliffe reprised a now familiar defense of the president, that putting a hold on military aid to Ukraine was done out of concern about corruption in the country. The reasons for the hold in summer 2019, during Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia, were not communicated either publicly or within the diplomatic and national security bureaucracy. Citing other recent instances in which congressionally approved U.S. foreign aid had been withheld without explanation, Ratcliffe asked Hale, “So, having no explanation for why aid is being withheld is not uncommon?
As wildfires have scorched Australia and left thousands of koalas feared dead, Bear is looking for survivors. An "obsessive" rescue dog with "tireless energy," Bear the dog has been aiding wildlife rescuers as they search for koalas threatened by the bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland, a wildlife rescuer group says. Dubbed the "koala detection dog" by International Fund for Animal Welfare, Bear has been searching for koalas and other small animals that may have survived the flames.
A Catholic bishop in China is believed to be on the run from state security after refusing to bring his church under a government-sanctioned religious association. Guo Xijin, 61, has fled the custody of state agents and has gone into hiding, reported Catholic Asia News, a website, and cannot be immediately reached for comment. Mr Guo is part of a group of bishops that many religious and human rights experts feared would be persecuted after the Vatican inked a deal with Beijing last year on the ordaining bishops.
The US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the key Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday to show Washington's "commitment" to freedom of navigation, the Pentagon said, amid tensions with Tehran. The group's move through the strategic waterway separating Iran and the United Arab Emirates towards the Gulf was scheduled, and unfolded without incident, the US Navy said in a statement. It was the first time a US aircraft carrier group went through the strait since Iran downed a US drone in June in the same area.
The United States announced on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coast guard cutter for its growing fleet of ships, boosting Hanoi's ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with China. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper disclosed the decision during an address in Vietnam, which has emerged as the most vocal opponent in Asia of China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. In his speech, Esper took aim at China, which he accused of "bullying" neighbours, like Vietnam.
A Saudi princess and activist has been detained and placed under house arrest on suspicion of trying to flee to Europe, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported. Sources close to Princess Basmah told the publication she disappeared in December 2018 and was detained in March 2019 on suspicion of seeking to flee under the guise of urgent medical care in Switzerland. When Princess Basmah finally responded to Bennett's phone calls she was "sounding very much like a hostage," he told DW.