The impeachment inquiry into President Trump resumed following the Thanksgiving recess and moved venues to the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. Four constitutional lawyers joined the hearing as expert (as distinguished from fact) witnesses, although much of the eight-hour hearing was taken up by monologues by various legislators using their five-minute allotments to maximize their television exposure. Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, said in his opening statement that the allegations against Trump clearly met the standard for impeachment. “If what we're talking about is not impeachable, then nothing is impeachable,” said Gerhardt.
An Indian guru facing rape and sexual abuse charges made headlines Wednesday after he emerged from hiding and announced the birth of a new cosmic country with its own cabinet and golden passports. Swami Nithyananda, a controversial self-styled godman with thousands of followers in southern India's Karnataka and Tamil Nadu states, posted a video on his YouTube channel announcing the special project to his followers. 41-year-old Nithyananda announced that his country is called Kailaasa, and is the biggest Hindu nation without boundaries.
Financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of girls and young women began as early as 1985 and targeted victims as young as 13 years old, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by nine accusers against his estate. The accusers, known as Jane Doe I through Jane Doe IX, are among more than 20 women so far to formally seek compensation from Epstein's $577 million estate, after he killed himself on Aug. 10 in a Manhattan jail cell. Epstein's death at age 66 was ruled a suicide, and came five weeks after his arrest on federal charges he trafficked dozens of underage girls from at least 2002 to 2005.
An activist group has apologized to Jewish organizations outraged over their use of purported Holocaust victims' remains in an installation outside Germany's parliament building meant to draw attention to the perils of far-right extremism. The Center for Political Beauty, a Germany-based activist group known for provocative stunts, installed an urn outside the Reichtstag building on Monday, saying it contained victims' remains that it had unearthed from 23 locations near Nazi death and concentration camps in Germany, Poland and Ukraine. “We want to apologize especially to Jewish institutions, associations and individuals who see our work as disturbing or touching the peace of the dead according to Jewish religious law,” the group said on its website in a post late Wednesday.
Border guards in Russia's north west last week arrested a man who had set up a bogus border outpost with Finland and taken thousands of euros from migrants for what they thought was a journey through the woods to the European Union. The man, who was only identified as a citizen of one of the former Soviet Union republics, put up border posts in the forest outside St Petersburg and charged four men from South Asia more than 10,000 euros (£8,400) for his services for smuggling them into neighbouring Finland, Russia's Border Guard Service said on Wednesday. Russia's 1,340-kilometer border with Finland mostly runs across sparsely populated areas in the forest, offering a relatively easy way for migrants to get into the European Union.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Slogging through snow showers and slush, hundreds of Harvard University graduate student workers picketed Tuesday at Harvard Yard, as thousands went on strike seeking higher pay and other demands. It marked the first strike of graduate students on the Ivy League campus since 1973, when teaching fellows and protested the university's financial aid program. The strike threatened some of the university's educational operations before final exams.
What if AI-enabled computer programs were able to instantly discern specifics regarding the threat such as location, weapons and affiliation by performing real-time analytics on drone feeds and other fast-moving sources of information, instantly sending crucial data to soldiers in combat? Operating in a matter of milliseconds, AI-empowered computer algorithms could bounce new information off vast databases of previously compiled data to make these distinctions--instantly informing soldiers caught in the crossfire. Much of this work centered upon near and far-term applications of AI is being done by the ARL's Cognition and Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliance.
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a letter to the university community that the ringleader of the college admissions scandal, William "Rick" Singer, approached seven coaches at the school about trading bribes for students' recruitments to the school at athletes. Tessier-Lavigne said an external review of the case revealed that only the school's former sailing coach, John Vandemoer, accepted Singer's deal. Vandemoer accepted $610,000 in bribes from Singer to facilitate the admission of students as sailing recruits.
Eight people, including major Hillary Clinton donors and a witness in the Mueller investigation, have been charged in a massive campaign-finance scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday. The individuals conspired to “make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions” valued around $3.5 million in the 2016 election campaign and beyond, according to the announcement. Although the indictment does not specifically name the recipient of the donations, it is clear that the contributions went to groups allied with Clinton's presidential campaign.
The impeachment hearing opening statements from House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and the panel's top-ranking Republican, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), were predictably quite different. In an attempt to highlight the seriousness of the events involving President Trump and Ukraine, Nadler, who is leading the charge for impeachment, invoked America's founding fathers' fears of foreign influence in U.S. elections. The congressman said we "will find ourselves in grave danger" if the president "opens the door" to foreign influence, which is what Trump is accused of doing.
The number of people killed by Typhoon Kammuri's pounding of the Philippines this week has hit 13, officials said Thursday, as authorities confirmed reports of storm-related deaths. Kammuri's fierce winds toppled trees and flattened flimsy homes across a swathe of the nation's north on Tuesday, and forced a rare 12-hour shutdown of Manila's international airport. Disaster officials did not offer details on how the other victims died, but local police reports indicated some may have drowned or been crushed by trees.
Russian state nuclear company Rosatom has suspended work on revamping a factory at Iran's Fordow nuclear complex due to an issue with uranium compatibility, Rosatom's nuclear fuel cycle unit TVEL said on Thursday. "Uranium enrichment and the production of stable isotopes cannot be carried out in the same room," TVEL said in a statement, adding that it was "technologically impossible" to implement the project at this time. In November, the United States said it would cease waiving punitive sanctions related to the Fordow plant from Dec. 15 - a move Russia condemned - after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site in contravention of a nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015.
Two customs agents and an information technology worker appeared in a court on Thursday charged with drug offenses over Australia's largest seizure of methamphetamine, which had been smuggled to Melbourne from Bangkok in stereo speakers. Police estimate the 1.6 metric tons (1.7 U.S. tons) of the drug also known as ice and crystal meth had a street value of AU$1.197 billion ($818 million). The 37 kilograms (82 pounds) of heroin also seized was the largest haul of that drug in Australia since 2017, police said.
Pakistan has declined to pursue a sprawling case against Chinese sex traffickers due to fears it would harm economic ties with Beijing, the AP reported on Wednesday. Pakistan has been seeking closer ties with China for years as Beijing continue to make major investments in the country's infrastructure.
Hermit crabs are mistaking plastic for shells and the problem has killed more than half a million of the crustaceans, a new study by the Natural History Museum has found. The creatures do not make their own shells but instead move from discarded shell to discarded shell as they grow. Once they crawl into a piece of plastic debris, the crabs frequently get stuck and starve to death.
Key point: Washington has wanted to expand NATO's anti-missile capabilities for a while now. A key NATO missile-defense site in Romania on Aug. 9, 2019 completed a three-month upgrade process that had forced operators to take the system offline. To fill the resulting gap in coverage, the U.S. Army in May 2019 deployed to Romania one of its seven Terminal High-Altitude Area-Defense missile-interceptor batteries.
Warren's staff recently circulated a proposal for sweeping anti-monopoly legislation, which would deliver on a presidential campaign promise to check the power of Big Tech and other industries. According to a draft of the bill reviewed by Bloomberg, the proposal would expand antitrust law beyond the so-called consumer welfare standard, an approach that has driven antitrust policy since the 1970s. Warren's bill, tentatively titled the Anti-Monopoly and Competition Restoration Act, would also ban non-compete and no-poaching agreements for workers and protect the rights of gig economy workers, such as drivers for Uber Technologies Inc., to organize.
The New York Times has released the results from a set of questions posed to each Democratic presidential candidate about his or her views on abortion. Thus far in the primary race, very few of the candidates have been pushed to account for their position on a variety of abortion policies, especially during the debates. The Times should be commended for this effort to get candidates on the record on specific policy questions.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered Congress to draw up articles of impeachment against Donald Trump over the Ukraine scandal. The facts are uncontested. The president abused power for his personal benefit at the expense of national security by withholding military aid and crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival,” she said at a short press conference on Capitol Hill.
A judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday by a nephew of 1930s gangster John Dillinger who wants to exhume the notorious criminal's Indianapolis gravesite to prove whether he's actually buried there, ruling that he must get the cemetery's permission.
A top Ukrainian presidential aide on Thursday said Ukraine would wall off the rest of the country from occupied territories if Russia failed to agree to a ceasefire and prisoner swap at a summit in Paris next week. If Russia doesn't want to agree to a deal "in this case we will be building a wall and life will go on," Andriy Yermak said at a forum in London. The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany will meet on Monday for the first time in more than three years to try to end a conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed forces and Ukrainian troops that has killed more than 13,000 people.
A man held in the abduction and slaying of an Alabama college student isn't fighting for bond in a separate kidnapping case, his attorney said Thursday. News outlets reported that Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, appeared in Montgomery County court on kidnapping, attempted murder and robbery charges linked to an incident in February. Defense attorney Preston Presley did not oppose a judge's decision to revoke his bond.
Syrian Kurdish mother Shara Sido says the news came to her via a messaging application. Sitting inside a modest house in the de-facto Syrian Kurdish capital of Qamishli, the displaced 65-year-old scrolls through her phone to find a picture. Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies have overrun a swathe of northern Syria since October, after a deadly military campaign against Kurdish forces that caused tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Tesla declined to help local authorities with an investigation into stolen copper wire at its factory in Sparks, Nevada, out of fear that it could make the electric-car maker look bad, the Reno Gazette Journal's Benjamin Spillman reported, citing a police report from June 2018. Tesla security employees reportedly told the Storey County Sheriff's Department that the contractor who first alerted authorities about the stolen copper wire was fired after making the report. Tesla declined to assist authorities on other occasions amid reports of "rampant crime" in 2018, according to the Reno Gazette Journal's report.
Tensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf region in the aftermath of U.S. president Donald Trump's decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the agreement limiting Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. military has implicated Iranian agents in several summer 2019 attacks on civilian ships sailing near Iran. The U.S. Air Force deployed B-52 bombers and F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.