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.
A poll released earlier this week showed Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential primary pack in Iowa for the first time. Buttigieg, an openly gay military veteran, was the top choice of 25 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers, outpacing long-standing frontrunners Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg has staked a position where he can be seen as a reasonable alternative for voters who have doubts about the three leading candidates.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Syracuse University suspended one fraternity and halted social activities at all the school's fraternities for the rest of the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted days of protests, the school president announced Sunday. "Last night, one of our African American students reported being subjected to a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. Syverud's action was the latest in a series of crackdowns on fraternities across the nation and comes less than a week after San Diego State University suspended all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations following the death of a freshman who had attended a fraternity event.
Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have each proposed an annual wealth tax on the richest Americans. The number of European countries with annual wealth taxes has fallen from 12 in 1990 to just 3 today. The Europeans found that wealth taxes induced avoidance, evasion, and capital flight, as I discuss here.
A month after their explosive confrontation over impeachment and Ukraine, Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) were back at it on Sunday when Todd pointedly told Johnson that he seemed to “blame this on everybody” but President Trump. Johnson, who has previously said it made him “wince” when U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland said President Trump would release military aid to Ukraine when Ukraine moved to “get to the bottom of what happened in 2016,” told Todd that he understood why Trump wanted an investigation.
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.
Former President Barack Obama on Friday warned the Democratic field of White House hopefuls not to veer too far to the left, a move he said would alienate many who would otherwise be open to voting for the party's nominee next year. Though Obama did not mention anyone by name, the message delivered before a room of Democratic donors in Washington was a clear word of caution about the candidacies of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Child abuse victims should be given new rights to sue paedophiles caught viewing or sharing indecent images of them, children charities have said. The Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the initiative arguing it would act as a deterrent for offenders, who now know they are unlikely to go do jail, as it could mean potentially losing their homes and pensions if caught with abuse material. The CCCIS, which represents charities such as the NSPCC and Barnardo's, said those convicted of indecent images should also face a new automatic surcharge to fund the treatment and therapy costs of victims of abuse.
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.
Hong Kong police threatened on Monday to use live bullets if "rioters" used lethal weapons and committed other acts of violence, after the latest flare up during five months of anti-government protests in the Chinese ruled city. The police statement followed fresh clashes outside a university in the centre of Hong Kong where protesters were hunkered down behind makeshift shields and hurled petrol bombs at police in a standoff blocking a vital tunnel link. Police had said on Sunday one officer had been treated in hospital after being hit in the leg by an arrow and another had his visor struck by a metal ball although he was not hurt.
The 16-year-old suspected of fatally shooting two students and wounding three others at their high school Thursday was an unlikely gunman, classmates and neighbors said. Following a 16-second burst of gunfire that ended with the suspect shooting himself in the head, the boy was is in critical condition at a local hospital, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Neighbors and classmates described the boy as pleasant but noted that he was changed by the death of his father two years ago.
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.
In the first week of public impeachment hearings, three witnesses, all veteran U.S. diplomats, added details of what they knew of President Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a plan whose unraveling threatens his presidency. While the fundamental partisan dynamics of the inquiry continue to hold — Democrats who control the House appear poised to impeach the president, while Republicans in the Senate are unlikely to convict him — this week's developments shed new light on the months-long effort by the Trump administration to procure investigations from a foreign government.
ROME–In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate system to combat the rising Adriatic Sea. It took nearly 20 years and a starting budget of $1.8 billion to come up with the so-called “Moses” plan.
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.
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.
The deaths of three separate families within ten days have shocked Turkey as the country struggles with mass unemployment and a financial crisis. On Friday, authorities confirmed that a family of three had been found dead in their home in the central Istanbul district of Bakırköy, poisoned by cyanide. Earlier in the month, police discovered the bodies of a family of four, including a nine year-old daughter and a five year-old son, in their home in the southern city of Antalya.
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.
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.