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.
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.
The sunken battleship U.S.S. Arizona has lain in the “oily waters of Pearl Harbor” for decades now — a historic relic, a sacred open grave and an environmental dilemma. On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese unleashed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Of those, almost half died on the U.S.S. Arizona, the ship that, for many, has come to symbolize the entire event.
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.
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.
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.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican turned independent, said that Democrats "missed an opportunity" to "persuade people in the middle" of the case to impeach President Donald Trump during the hearing in the Judiciary Committee. Amash, who has been calling for the impeachment of Trump since May following the release of the Mueller Report, tweeted Thursday that "Democrats made a strategic error in not engaging more with" Jonathan Turley of George Washington University. Turley, who was the sole witness called before the committee by the Republicans, mainly argued he was against impeachment as it stood because the House was moving too quickly in the inquiry.
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.
Saudi Arabia sought to distance itself Saturday from a student who carried out a fatal shooting at an American naval base, as it seeks to repair its image of being an exporter of Islamic extremism. The Saudi military trainee reportedly condemned the US as a "nation of evil" before going on a rampage Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, killing three people and wounding eight. The shooting marks a setback in the kingdom's efforts to shrug off its longstanding reputation for promoting religious extremism after the September 11, 2001 attacks in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
China on Friday said it had taken "reciprocal" measures against US diplomats in the country, ordering them to notify the foreign ministry before meeting with local officials. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had notified the US embassy of the new measures on Wednesday, which she said were a "countermeasure" to Washington's decision in October to restrict Chinese diplomats. In October, the US ordered Chinese diplomats to notify the State Department in advance of any official meetings with US diplomats, local or municipal officials, and before any visits to colleges or research institutions.
Many Indians took to social media on Friday to applaud the police killings of four men accused in the gang rape and murder of a 27-year-old veterinarian in the southern city of Hyderabad. Police said the men tried to snatch the weapons of accompanying policemen when they were taken to the scene of the crime to reconstruct events. All four of the accused were killed and two policemen were injured.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is working with the Federal Reserve to monitor bank reserves and decrease the chances of a rate crisis similar to September's, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Mnuchin told the House of Representatives on Thursday that he and Fed Chair Jerome Powell have met multiple times to discuss the September lending rate spike and liquidity concerns ahead of year-end reserve obligations. The Fed has been pumping billions of dollars into money markets through market repurchase agreement, or repo, operations and Treasury bill purchases after its overnight lending rate spiked in September.
A woman is angry that one of her bridesmaids bowed out of her wedding after she decided to hold it at plantation. The friend, who has been identified as J, sent a message to the bride explicitly stating her personal and professional reasons for feeling uncomfortable being a part of a plantation wedding. The original Reddit post detailing the situation has since been deleted, but it has been reshared on Twitter, where it went viral.
Two teenagers allegedly attempted to carjack a man in Toronto on November 28, but neither could drive a car with a manual transmission, so they fled the scene without the car. A story on Canada's CP24 news website reports that a pair of teenagers attempted to carjack a man in Toronto on November 28, robbing him at gunpoint and taking his keys to get away in his car.