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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An armed drone targeted the home of Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr on Saturday, hours after his supporters deployed in Baghdad in response to an attack that left 17 protesters dead. The developments marked a worrying turn for the anti-government protests rocking Iraq since October, the country's largest and deadliest grassroots movement in decades. The mostly young protesters in the capital's iconic Tahrir Square had long feared a spiral into chaos, and on Friday it appeared their apprehensions were well-placed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At a Friday meeting at the White House, President Donald Trump spoke at length about water and energy conservation in bathrooms. He said, "We're looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms" because, among other reasons, "people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times." Earlier in the meeting, Trump also jokingly complained that energy-saving lightbulbs made him look bad, saying, "Of course, being a vain person, that's very important to me."
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.
A top Indian rights group on Saturday launched an investigation into the police shooting of four rape-murder suspects after accusations they were gunned down in cold blood to assuage public anger. But in a country where violence against women is rife and an overburdened criminal justice system means attackers often escape punishment, many Indians also celebrated the suspects' deaths. The launch of the investigation by the National Human Rights Commission comes as India also reeled from the death of another woman on Friday, set on fire on her way to a sexual assault court hearing in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff is urging Russia to support the investigation of a killing prosecutors say appears to have ordered by Russian or Chechen authorities, and says he has “no understanding" for outraged reactions from Moscow. Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian man on the streets of Berlin in August. German federal prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia's republic of Chechnya.
Key point: Issues of command and control remain important to keeping America's nuclear deterrent secure and reliable. A key component of the U.S. doctrine of mutually assured destruction — commonly and appropriately known as MAD — was that American troops would still be able to retaliate if the Soviet Union launched a nuclear attack. In 1968, the Defense Intelligence Agency's Scientific Advisory Committee found dangerous gaps in the communications network supporting the nation's so-called Fleet Ballistic Missile boats, or FBMs.