Federal judges appointed by both Republican and Democratic presidents have struck down every Trump campaign allegation of widespread voter fraud.'The right thing' »
With an eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in September set to expire at the end of the month, and Congress and the White House still unable to pass a new coronavirus relief bill, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has renewed her push for legislation that would cancel mortgage and rent payments through the duration of the pandemic. In April, Omar originally introduced legislation that would cancel all mortgage and rent payments during the pandemic, a position pushed by activists across the country. The plan includes a relief fund for landlords and mortgage holders to cover losses incurred from missed payments.
President-elect Joe Biden has settled on a team to lead the U.S. through its biggest ongoing crisis, two people familiar with the decision tell Politico. Jeff Zients, who headed the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama and is co-chair of Biden's transition team, will reportedly be named the White House's COVID-19 coordinator. Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general under Obama, will reportedly return to his role with more responsibilities, and Biden's coronavirus advisory board co-chair Marcella Nunez-Smith will get a special role focused on health disparities.
The US Department of Justice investigated an attorney for Jared Kushner in connection with an alleged bribery-for-pardon scheme, The New York Times reported. As Business Insider reported, a US judge released documents this week showing that federal investigators were concerned about an alleged "bribery conspiracy scheme" to obtain a presidential pardon. According to The Times' reporting, the suspected scheme involved a billionaire real estate developer, Sanford Diller, who sought to secure clemency for a man named Hugh Baras, who had been convicted of tax evasion.
Egypt executed 57 men and women in October and November, nearly double the 32 people reported in the whole of 2019, Amnesty International said on Wednesday. At least 15 of those executed had been sentenced to death in cases related to political violence following what Amnesty called unfair trials, the London-based human rights group said in a report. "The Egyptian authorities have embarked on a horrifying execution spree in recent months, putting scores of people to death, in some cases following grossly unfair mass trials," said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.
As a pair of critical Senate runoff races approach on Jan. 5, Georgia Republican leaders find themselves in a conundrum, trying to balance indulging President Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud with supporting state GOP election officials. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, is frustrated with the misinformation about the election process in his state. I'm actually embarrassed at the amount of misinformation that continues to show up on Twitter feeds and Facebook posts and blogs that takes literally 10 seconds to debunk,” Duncan told Yahoo News.
President-elect Joe Biden said when it comes to the Department of Justice, he is "not going to be telling them what they have to do and don't have to do." Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday, and the discussion turned to reports that President Trump is contemplating preemptively pardoning his adult children, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Biden said this "concerns me in terms of what kind of precedent it sets and how the rest of the world looks [at] us as a nation of laws and justice."
The Israeli government on Thursday urged its citizens to avoid travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, citing threats of Iranian attacks. Iran has been threatening to attack Israeli targets since its chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated last Friday near Tehran. It accuses Israel, which has been suspected in previous killings of Iranian nuclear scientists, of being behind the shooting.
A bilateral trade deal between Taiwan and the United States would reinforce U.S. support for the democratic island in the face of "unrelenting intimidation" from China, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday. Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has long angled for a trade deal with its most important diplomatic and military backer, and in August Tsai announced a relaxation on imports of U.S. pork and beef, removing a stumbling block. In a recorded message to the American Legislative Exchange Council, having received its International Pioneer Award for Leadership, Tsai said that with Taiwan's reliance on trade, the island had to strengthen economic ties with trading partners.
A coalition of 90 current and former law enforcement officials are calling on federal authorities to halt five executions scheduled during the final weeks of the Trump administration, claiming that the uncertain transition period and resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic risk undermining confidence in the criminal justice system. “When people believe the state is executing a person, or applying the death penalty unjustly ... their trust in our system of government and law enforcement is undermined,” the officials said in an open letter released by the group Fair and Just Prosecution. This year, the Trump administration has dramatically revived its use of the death penalty after a 17-year hiatus, executing more prisoners – eight – than any system in the country.
Farah, a former spokeswoman for the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was part of the Trump administration for more than three years, starting as press secretary under Vice President Mike Pence before moving over to the same role at the Defense Department. Farah, 31, submitted her resignation letter on Thursday, The Washington Post reports, and wrote that being able to work in the White House was "the honor of a lifetime."
A Supreme Court judge in Australia's Victoria state on Friday dismissed submissions from news media organizations and journalists that there is no case to answer on charges they breached a gag order on reporting about Cardinal George Pell's sex abuse convictions in 2018. More charges were tossed out in the case against Australian media outlets prosecuted over reporting of Pell's abuse convictions. But the judge refused to throw out the bulk of the 87 charges of contempt of court for stories published after the cardinal's guilty verdict.
Two years after Adolf Hitler took power in Germany, the Nazis achieved one of their cultural goals: the return of the Guelph Treasure, a collection of medieval Christian relics. Under pressure from Hitler's deputy Hermann Goering, a consortium of Jewish art dealers agreed to sell the collection to the Prussian State Museum. On June 14, 1935, Saemy Rosenberg signed the sale documents in Berlin on behalf of his partners, receiving about one-third of what they had paid for the items in 1929.
Philippine police on Friday threatened to cane people who violate social distancing protocols as the Southeast Asian nation fights the spread of the coronavirus during the festive season. The Philippines celebrates one of the world's longest Christmas seasons, starting as early as September, and crowds have started to flock to sprawling malls and shopping centres despite the pandemic. Police general Cesar Binag, commander of the coronavirus task force, told a news conference that police and soldiers would patrol in public areas in the capital Manila, the hotspot of COVID-19 cases, carrying 1 meter rattan sticks to measure distancing.
Authorities in Bangladesh have begun relocating thousands of Rohingya refugees to a remote island despite concerns about safety and consent. About 1,600 refugees were being transported on Friday towards Bhasan Char, a flood-prone island in the Bay of Bengal, Reuters reported. Bangladesh says all those being moved have given consent.
Dozens of militants aligned with the Islamic State group opened fire on a Philippine army detachment and burned a police patrol car in a southern town but withdrew after troops returned fire, officials said Friday. There were no immediate reports of injuries in Thursday night's brief attack by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in Datu Piang town. Nevertheless it sparked panic among residents and rekindled fears of a repeat of a 2017 militant siege of southern Marawi city that lasted for five months before being quelled by government forces.
Two coronavirus vaccine candidates developed by China's Clover Biopharmaceuticals triggered strong immune responses in an early-stage human trial and appeared to be safe, the company said on Friday. The vaccine candidates, one containing an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline and the other from Dynavax, induced strong immune responses including neutralizing antibodies and cell-mediated immunity in a Phase 1 clinical trial, Clover said. Adjuvants are ingredients that can boost immune responses.
As a member of the Senate's cybersecurity subcommittee, David Perdue has raised alarms that hackers from overseas pose a threat to U.S. computer networks. Citing a frightening report by a California-based company called FireEye, Perdue was among the senators who asked this spring that the National Guard prepare to protect against such data breaches. Not only was the issue important to Perdue, so was FireEye, a federal contractor that provides malware detection and threat-intelligence services.
What in the world does Donald Trump think he's doing? The deranged 46-minute Facebook video in which the recently defeated president of the United States rants and raves like Alex Jones, spinning vast conspiracies about how the election was stolen from him and his supporters, is a good example. It's President-elect Joe Biden picking people to staff his administration, office holders of both parties discussing prospects for confirming specific nominees, and Biden's team talking about priorities for the opening days and weeks of his presidency.
Record-high Covid infections and hospitalisations have been reported in the US, with fears they will not slow in the run-up to Christmas. The number of people in hospital passed 100,000 for the first time, a figure that has doubled since November. New cases rose by a record 195,695 on Wednesday, and the daily death toll of 2,733 was close to a new high.
Japanese space agency officials said Friday the Hayabusa2 spacecraft is on its intended trajectory as it approaches Earth to deliver a capsule containing samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth. The spacecraft left the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) away, a year ago. Hayabusa2 is flying smoothly according to plan, Yuichi Tsuda, project manager at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, said at a briefing ahead of the critical separation of the capsule from the spacecraft on Saturday.
In an editorial, the government-backed China Daily said it viewed as "worrisome signs" Washington's decision to limit visitor visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families and a ban on Xinjiang cotton imports. "Even if the incoming administration has any intention of easing the tensions that have been sown, and continue being sown, some damage is simply beyond repair, as the sitting U.S. president intends," the paper added. China's ambassador to the United States became the latest of the Asian nation's senior officials to signal a desire to reset the increasingly confrontational relationship as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office in January.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he hoped France would soon get rid of President Emmanuel Macron, describing him as a burden on France which was going through dangerous times. Ties between Turkey and France, both NATO members, have been particularly tense in recent months over policy differences on Syria and the publishing of caricatures about Prophet Mohammad in France. "Macron is a burden on France.
In a new set of unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, Roger Stone, a longtime friend and a former adviser to President Donald Trump on Thursday said that North Korea interfered in the US presidential elections. Appearing on far-right radio programme The Alex Jones Show, Mr Stones claimed that there was “incontrovertible evidence” that the votes were brought into the US through Maine. "I just learned of absolute incontrovertible evidence of North Korean boats delivering ballots through a harbour in Maine, the state of Maine," he said.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, has apologised for remarks that seemed to criticise the UK's vaccine approval process. "I have a great deal of confidence in what the UK does both scientifically and from a regulator standpoint," Dr Fauci told the BBC on Thursday. The UK on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer vaccine for the coronavirus.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”