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?
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.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace laced into Republicans for not-so-subtly implying during Tuesday's impeachment hearings that National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman could have dual loyalty. The GOP's line of questioning, the MSNBC host suggested, was inspired by pro-Trump hosts at Fox News. During a break in Tuesday's testimony, Wallace asked MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake about counsel Steve Castor questioning Vindman about a Ukrainian official asking him if he'd be interested in becoming Ukraine's minister of defense.
France's armed forces minister criticized close ally Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for failing to honor commitments it made almost two years ago to provide millions of euros to a West African counter-terrorism force fighting Islamist militants. Saudi Arabia agreed in December 2017 to provide about 100 million euros ($110.7 million) to the G5 Sahel force, which is composed of the armies of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. Groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State have strengthened their foothold across the arid Sahel region, making large swathes of territory ungovernable and stoking ethnic violence, especially in Mali and Burkina Faso.
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.
Five American journalists sued the U.S. government Wednesday, alleging border authorities violated their First Amendment rights by inspecting their cameras and notebooks and questioning them extensively about their coverage of last year's migrant caravan. The lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union recounts the experiences of the freelance photographers and seeks to test the limits of U.S. officials' broad authority to question anyone, including journalists, entering the country. While KNSD, the NBC affiliate in San Diego, reported on the existence of the dossier in March, the journalists have never shared such detailed accounts of how they were treated by U.S. and Mexican officials.
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.
American Airlines admitted Tuesday the powerful fumes that knocked two flight attendants unconscious and forced a flight to make an emergency landing were not caused by spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed.
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.
Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site. The new 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime was introduced today at the 2019 LA Auto Show. The current RAV4 hybrid is among the most competitive compact SUVs in CR's ratings, delivering an outstanding 37 mpg overall, but this new plug-in version runs on electricity for longer and more often.
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.
Fixes typo) LONDON, Nov 21 (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 .
Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him. It would not repair the harm he has caused,” Omar wrote in the letter. It would only increase his anger and resentment.
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.
Mexico's government said Wednesday it has helped 10 Mexican citizens file lawsuits against Walmart over an August shooting at a store in El Paso, Texas, where a suspected white nationalist killed 22 people. "The objective of these suits, presented in El Paso county, is to hold the company responsible for not taking reasonable and necessary measures to protect its clients from the attack," the foreign ministry said in a statement. Eight Mexicans were killed and eight wounded in the August 3 attack in El Paso, a city on the US-Mexican border where 83 percent of the population is Latino.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Washington D.C.) The Navy has laid the keel for its first new, Flight III DDG 51 surface warfare destroyer armed with improved weapons, advanced sensors and new radar 35-times more sensitive than most current systems, changing attack and defensive options for the surface fleet. Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships such as more on-board power to accommodate laser weapons, new engines, improved electronics, fast-upgradeable software and a much more powerful radar. The Flight III Destroyers will be able to see and destroy a much wider range of enemy targets at farther distances.
An Arizona jury on Wednesday found a human rights activist not guilty of harboring two migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, after the U.S. government prosecuted him for giving them food, water and shelter in the desert. The Tucson jury took just over two hours to decide that Scott Warren, 37, a geography professor, provided the men with legal humanitarian aid in January 2018 and did not deliberately conceal them from U.S. Border Patrol. A previous jury was unable to decide whether he broke the law by letting the men stay in a building near Ajo, Arizona, to recover from a two-day trek.
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 security question from JetBlue is asking parents to do something they'd likely never do in public, or even on the semi-privacy of their browsing session: share the name of their favorite child. In a screenshot posted on Twitter Sunday, a user shared part of the account sign-up process on JetBlue's website — specifically, the security questions page. Naturally, the first response was a GIF of “baby Yoda” from the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a character that has recently become the internet's favorite child.
Nearly three-fourths of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans slain in the last three years were killed with a firearm, according to data published this month by the gun violence prevention advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. The data sheds grim new light on the role of guns in what's been called an epidemic of violence against transgender Americans, as advocates honor the victims with nationwide vigils Wednesday during the Transgender Day of Remembrance. The data is available for the first time publicly via EveryStat for Gun Safety, the group's database detailing gun deaths in America.