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.
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.
An Iranian held in the US and an American held in Iran have been freed, the two sides said Saturday, in an apparent prisoner swap at a time of heightened tensions. Tehran announced the release of Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani from the United States shortly before Washington declared American researcher Xiyue Wang was returning home. "Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.
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.
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.
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.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee executed death row inmate Lee Hall in the electric chair Thursday night, marking the fourth time the state has used the method since 2018. Hall, 53, was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. CST, according to the Tennessee Department of Correction. Media witnesses described what appeared to be a faint trail of white smoke rising from Hall's head as the lethal current coursed through his body.
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.
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.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman told U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday he has directed his security services to cooperate with U.S. authorities investigating the deadly shooting at a Florida military base and assured him the "perpetrator of this heinous crime" does not represent the Saudi people. King Salman expressed "his sorrow and grief" over the shooting, the Saudi embassy in Washington said in a statement after a phone call between the two leaders. "His Majesty affirmed that the perpetrator of this heinous crime does not represent the Saudi people, who count the American people as friends and allies," the statement said.
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.
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.
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.
As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals. The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other public services — while also carving out exemptions for religious organizations to act based on beliefs that may exclude those of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Stewart's bill counts support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it has yet to win a backer among House Democrats who unanimously supported a more expansive LGBTQ rights measure in May.
Fifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a “base camp” to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was “sufficient factual evidence” linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France's Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders.
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.
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.
Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter and follow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter Nigeria's secret police rearrested publisher Omoyele Sowore, a prominent critic of President Muhammadu Buhari, in chaotic scenes at the country's Federal High Court. Scuffles broke out in the court room as armed Department of State Services operatives detained Sowore and co-defendant Olawale Bakare, his lawyer Femi Falana said. His arrest came less than a day after he was freed from state custody following a court ruling demanding his release.
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.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who has repeatedly said recently that he's rooting for American adversary Russia against Ukraine, now says the United States shouldn't be sending any military aid to Ukraine. In the wake of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing that the House will proceed with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Carlson welcomed on former Mitch McConnell Chief of Staff Josh Holmes on Thursday night to discuss the Democrats' “rush” to impeachment and where this will end up. The ex-McConnell aide questioned the central charge behind the impeachment inquiry—that the president withheld congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine in an attempt to compel the Ukrainian president to publicly announce an investigation into Trump's domestic political rivals.
Iraq's anti-regime protesters gathered in the capital and south on Saturday, grieving but defiant after 17 were killed in an attack demonstrators described as "slaughter". The protest movement faced another worrying turn on Saturday after an armed drone targeted the home of Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr, an attack his office said could lead to "civil war." The dramatic developments have threatened to derail the anti-government rallies rocking Iraq since October, the largest and deadliest grassroots movement in decades.
A San Francisco judge ruled Friday that the criminal trial may move forward against the pro-life investigators who went undercover to record abortion industry executives talking about procuring fetal body parts. Judge Christopher Hite deemed the evidence sufficient to send to trial the case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, who are charged with nine felony counts, one count of conspiracy and eight counts of illegal taping. Daleiden, 30, and Merritt, 64, several years ago surreptitiously recorded executives from Planned Parenthood and other organizations haggling about compensation for the procurement of fetal parts for researchers who request them.
An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst's longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign.
Small trucking companies and owner-operators (truck drivers who work for themselves) have been hit hardest. After an uptick of 700 trucking payrolls in October, the industry slashed another 1,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report released by the federal government. The trucking industry slashed 1,000 payrolls in November, according to the most recent jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.