An emissary for two wealthy Arab princes boasted to unnamed officials of a Middle Eastern government about his direct access to Hillary and Bill Clinton while funneling more than $3.5 million in illegal campaign contributions to the former secretary of state's 2016 presidential campaign and Democratic fundraising committees, according to a federal indictment announced by the Justice Department this week. Wonderful meeting with Big Lady. Can't wait to tell you all about it,” George Nader allegedly wrote to an official of one of the foreign governments he advises in the Middle East after attending a political fundraiser with Hillary Clinton on April 16, 2016.
A convicted murderer set to become the first federal inmate to be executed in 16 years was granted a stay of execution on Thursday by a judge in Indiana. Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted in Arkansas of murdering a family of three, was granted the stay by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. Lee's execution had been set for Monday, but a separate ruling by a judge in Washington last month put his execution and that of three other federal inmates on hold.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani led a memorial Saturday in the capital Kabul to bid final farewell to a Japanese physician killed earlier this week in a roadside shooting in eastern Afghanistan that also killed five Afghans, who were traveling with him. Dr. Tetsu Nakamura was affectionately known as “Uncle Murad by villagers in eastern Afghanistan, where he led the development of water and agricultural management projects since his arrival in Afghanistan in 2008. Ghani joined Afghan National Security soldiers in carrying Nakamura's coffin draped in an Afghan flag to an awaiting aircraft.
More than 50 polar bears have gathered on the edge of a village in Russia's far north, environmentalists and residents said, as weak Arctic ice leaves them unable to roam. The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund said climate change was to blame, as unusually warm temperatures prevented coastal ice from forming. The WWF said 56 polar bears had gathered in a one-square-kilometre (0.4-square-mile) area near the village of Ryrkaipy in Chukotka on the northeastern tip of Russia.
WASHINGTON – California Rep. Duncan Hunter announced he would be resigning from Congress "shortly after the holidays" after pleading guilty in federal court earlier this week to misusing campaign funds. Hunter and his wife were indicted on 60 counts of campaign finance violations by federal prosecutors in August 2018. Prosecutors alleged he and Margaret Hunter skirted federal campaign finance laws from 2009 to 2016 by using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal vacations, bills, and in Duncan Hunter's case, affairs with three lobbyists, a congressional aide, and one of his staffers.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he wants to become president to end "the nationwide madness" of U.S. gun violence, calling it evil and saying he would allow its victims to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
Reddit has said that leaked documents on US-UK trade deal discussions were likely posted on the site as part of a Russian influence campaign. The documents were cited by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's opposition Labour party, as evidence that his opponent in the UK general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was poised to sell out the NHS in trade negotiations with the US. Researchers earlier in the week said that the accounts that posted the documents on Reddit indicated links to a vast Russian influence campaign uncovered on Facebook dubbed Secondary Infektion.
A Virginia state commission released a report Thursday calling for the official repeal of “deeply troubling” state laws still on the books that contain “explicitly racist language and segregationist policies. The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law published a lengthy report saying that the outdated laws should not “remain enshrined in law” despite no longer being in effect. The commission believes that such vestiges of Virginia's segregationist past should no longer have official status,” the report states.
Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools. An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer's office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student's head.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that the House will move ahead with drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and top Republican Doug Collins have both mentioned a hearing next week focusing on the impeachment report's evidence and conclusions, but they didn't provide details. Here are the latest developments: GOP Senator Backs Whistle-Blower Testimony (1:53 p.m.
The group of Russian hackers allegedly behind one of the worst cyber bank frauds of the last decade was unmasked on Thursday, with its leader indicted in America and the full scale of purported crimes revealed in remarkable detail. The Moscow-based unit was identified as Evil Corp and dubbed “the world's most harmful cyber crime group” as British and American officials revealed the results of an investigation into the group and its activities that has lasted a decade. Maksim Yakubets, 32, was accused of being the group's leader and was indicted over two separate hacking schemes.
A female officer who was reportedly caught on video kissing then-Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a popular restaurant in October was transferred weeks later from his personal security detail to another role on the police force, a department spokesman said. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi confirmed to WBEZ that the officer, who was appointed to Johnson's security detail in 2016, was reassigned in November to the technical services bureau. He said he didn't know if the two had a romantic relationship and couldn't say if the officer's reassignment was connected to one, but that the move was neither a promotion nor a demotion and was not done for disciplinary reasons.
Key point: The United States is beginning to lose its footing in East Asia. In October 2018, Chinese media announced that the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would publicly unveil its new H-20 stealth bomber during a parade celebrating the air arm's seventieth anniversary in 2019. Prior news of the H-20's development had been teased using techniques pioneered by viral marketing campaigns for Hollywood movies.
The Imperial Japanese Army asked the government to provide one "comfort woman" for every 70 soldiers, Japan's Kyodo news agency said, citing wartime government documents it had reviewed, shedding a fresh light on Tokyo's involvement in the practice. "Comfort women" is a euphemism for the girls and women - many of them Korean - forced into prostitution at Japanese military brothels. The issue has plagued Japan's ties with South Korea for decades.
The Trump Administration will reauthorize the use of so-called “cyanide bombs” to poison coyotes, foxes and feral dogs that could threaten private livestock. The decision comes four months after halting their authorization amid public backlash. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday it would include new safety requirements to protect humans and pets, such as additional signs and increased distances the distance the “cyanide bombs” must be from homes and roads.
Tesla has changed the production timelines for the most and least expensive trims of its Cybertruck pickup truck. It said production for the three-motor, all-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $69,900, would begin in 2021, a year earlier than Tesla first announced. The single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $39,900, will enter production in late 2022, a year later than its original timeline, Tesla said.
Roughly 1,000 Belarusians joined an unauthorised demonstration on Saturday against the prospect of a closer union with Russia. Long-time ruler Alexander Lukashenko was meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Russia on Saturday to discuss "key issues in our bilateral relations, including the prospects for deepening integration", according to the Kremlin. Angered by the potential deal, crowds of mostly young Belarusians headed towards the government headquarters in the capital Minsk carrying signs that read "it's not integration, it's an occupation" and "the president is selling our country".
Authorities are investigating Friday morning's deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida as a possible act of terrorism perpetrated by a Saudi national who was in the U.S. for aviation training. The deceased suspect in the shooting was a member of the Saudi military training at the station, according to U.S. defense officials. The FBI said it has taken over the investigation.
U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter will resign from Congress following his guilty plea to a federal charge of conspiring to misuse campaign funds, he said on Friday. Hunter's announcement that he would step down came days after the leading California lawmaker, a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran, entered his guilty plea in federal court in San Diego. "Shortly after the Holidays I will resign from Congress," Hunter, 42, said in a written statement released by his communications director.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced a feeling of deep shame” during her first-ever visit on Friday to the hallowed grounds of the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Adolf Hitler's regime murdered more than a million people. Merkel noted that her visit comes amid rising anti-Semitism and historical revisionism and vowed that Germany would not tolerate anti-Semitism. She said Germany remains committed to remembering the crimes that it committed against Jews, Poles, Roma and Sinti, homosexuals and others.
Key point: The Pentagon may end up flying the B-52 for 100 years. Sixty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force received its last B-52 from Boeing, the flying branch finally has firmed up plans to fit the heavy bomber with new engines. Air Force magazine in its January 2019 issue took a deep dive into the re-engining effort.
Mike Bloomberg on Friday expressed regret for calling fellow Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker “well-spoken” earlier in the day, after the New Jersey senator said he was “taken aback” by the racially loaded remark from the former New York mayor. “I probably shouldn't have used the word,” Bloomberg told reporters at a campaign event in Georgia. Booker had charged that Bloomberg's descriptor, which generated significant criticism on social media, was representative of a failure by some of the party's leading White House hopefuls to energize black voters and communicate effectively on issues of race.
In the same month that Greta Thunberg addressed a UN summit and millions of people took part in a global climate strike, lawmakers in America's leading oil- and gas-producing state of Texas made a statement of their own. Texas's Critical Infrastructure Protection Act went into effect on 1 September, stiffening civil and criminal penalties specifically for protesters who interrupt operations or damage oil and gas pipelines and other energy facilities. The new Texas law is emblematic of the unyielding loyalty of conservative lawmakers to the fossil fuel industry in a state stacked with influential climate science deniers or sceptics such as the US senator and former Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz and which named a pipeline tycoon to its parks and wildlife conservation commission.
Authorities say a postal worker has been shot at a northern Virginia post office by an agent for the Postal Service's Inspector General's office. News outlets report that it happened Wednesday morning at the parking lot of the Lovettsville post office in Loudoun County.