At the heart of the impeachment drama gripping the nation's capital is the question of whether President Trump's attempts to solicit Ukrainian investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden for his role in the firing of a Kyiv prosecutor in 2016 and possible Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election were ethical. Both of those motives took major hits during Tuesday's impeachment hearings, as witnesses dismissed them as conspiracy theories and irrelevant — at best — to U.S. interests. The allegations against the [former] Vice President [Biden] are self-serving and not credible,” said Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine.
Alumni of the Obama administration reacted with disbelief and outrage to a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that incoming Trump administration officials found insulting notes left behind for them in their offices. “We came into the White House, I'll tell you something,” said Grisham during a local radio interview Tuesday morning, as reported by CNN's Abby Phillip. In the nearly three years since the presidential transition, no Trump administration officials have mentioned the notes or produced any photos that would support Grisham's charge.
In her first public appearance since being deported by U.S. authorities who had jailed her for being a Russian agent, Maria Butina was on Monday offered a job by Moscow to defend Russians imprisoned abroad. During an event for the media, Russia's human rights commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova, offered Butina, 31, a job working for her commission. Butina, who flew back to Russia on Oct. 26 after being deported, did not say whether she would accept the offer made at what she called her first public appearance since she was mobbed by wellwishers in front of the media at the airport on her arrival home.
Lee, who lives in Hansen, Idaho, testified that Frazee asked her to clean up the scene of the killing and that she watched him burn a plastic tote she believed contained Berreth's body. Lee acknowledged she took Berreth's cellphone with her to Idaho at Frazee's request to try to deceive investigators about Berreth's whereabouts. She reached a plea deal with prosecutors for tampering with evidence and faces up to three years in prison.
Elstad Ranch/Flickr Syracuse University's fraternities had their social activities canceled for the rest of the semester after a black student said members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity called her the N-word. It was the latest in a series of reported racist and anti-Semitic incidents to sweep the upstate New York campus since November 7. Syracuse University has canceled all fraternity social activities for the rest of the semester after a black student reported a racist attack.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom cracked down on oil producers Tuesday, halting approval of hundreds of fracking permits until independent scientists can review them and temporarily banning new wells using another drilling method that regulators believe is linked to one of the largest spills in state history. The state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources announced it will not approve new wells that use high-pressure steam to extract oil from underground. It's the type of process Chevron uses at an oil field in the Central Valley that leaked more than 1.3 million gallons (4.9 million liters) of oil and water this summer.
Prince Andrew is named in a cache of secret legal documents detailing explosive new allegations against Jeffrey Epstein that could be unsealed by a U.S. judge before the end of the year. The revelation is just one of many fresh blows to have landed on Andrew, leaving him reeling in the aftermath of his disastrous BBC interview. Andrew is facing growing calls to voluntarily co-operate with the FBI and is being dropped by sponsors and charities, fearful of damage-by-association after a BBC interview in which he said he didn't regret his friendship with the billionaire pedophile, suggested a notorious image of him with his arm around Virginia Giuffre Roberts was fake, and bizarrely claimed he doesn't sweat.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn defied his negative ratings to draw level with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a crucial television debate ahead of the U.K.'s general election. The YouGov/Sky News poll of 1,600 people gave Johnson a narrow victory, with 51% saying he won the ITV debate, against 49% saying Corbyn performed best. While Corbyn fared better than expected this time, his party remains stuck behind the Conservatives in the polls.
Key point: This is the latest Abrams version to enter production. The U.S. Army's newest tank in the summer of 2019 should enter service with the first large unit to use the type. The Army in late 2017 accepted the very first M-1A2C Abrams tanks.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who began calling for President Trump to be impeached earlier this year, believes we have now reached “the point of no return” where it is inarguably clear that he has committed criminal acts. Ocasio-Cortez discussed the issue with Yahoo News on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as the third day of public hearings was being conducted in the Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry. “We're kind of knee-deep here in impeachment inquiry and so at this point, I think we're beyond the question as to whether Trump has committed a crime or whether he's violated the Constitution,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
White House adviser Stephen Miller was in deep with Breitbart. Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center published emails sent from Miller to the right-wing publication during the 2016 race showing how he directed white nationalist viewpoints on the site, and how those views "became policy" in the Trump White House. A second batch of emails now shows there's more to Miller's back-door Breitbart publication, including how he fed the site attacks on then-presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
Dutch authorities found 25 migrants stowed away on a cargo ferry bound for Britain shortly after it left the Netherlands on Tuesday and the vessel quickly returned to the Dutch port of Vlaardingen, emergency services said. Two of the migrants were taken to hospital for treatment while the other 23 received a medical check-up in the port before being taken away by police for processing, according to a statement posted on the website of regional emergency services. The origins of the migrants is not known, and images of the stowaways being led to busses show mainly young men.
A Catholic bishop in China is believed to be on the run from state security after refusing to bring his church under a government-sanctioned religious association. Guo Xijin, 61, has fled the custody of state agents and has gone into hiding, reported Catholic Asia News, a website, and cannot be immediately reached for comment. Mr Guo is part of a group of bishops that many religious and human rights experts feared would be persecuted after the Vatican inked a deal with Beijing last year on the ordaining bishops.
A prosecutor who came under harsh criticism when her office suddenly dropped charges against actor Jussie Smollett and is now the subject of a court-ordered investigation announced Tuesday she is running for reelection. In her news release saying she's seeking the position again, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx addressed the Smollett case and the furor over the handling of it. “Four years ago, I ran for State's Attorney to change criminal justice in Cook County,” said Foxx, who grew up in Chicago's crime-ridden Cabrini Green housing project.
Australia-based airline Qantas is celebrating its 100th year with a sale: $100 flights to the land down under from four major U.S. airports. The one-way economy fares cost $100 each way (the price includes taxes and fees) and must be purchased as part of a round-trip itinerary from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas/Fort Worth or Chicago. So if travelers play their cards right and snag one of the limited sale seats, they could get a $200 round-trip ticket.
One of the most sought-after presidential endorsements in a key early voting state is from a woman who cannot vote.
The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said. The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to defend former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in light of Donald Trump's attacks on her during last week's impeachment hearings. During a press conference in which he announced a change in US policy towards Israeli settlements, Mr Pompeo said he would “defer” to the White House when it comes to statement about personnel – including the one made by the president attacking Ms Yovanovitch during her testimony. “I'll defer to the White House about particular statements and the like,” Mr Pompeo said, when asked if he would defend State Department employees like Ms Yovanovitch against public tirades by the president.
Two pro-democracy protesters were arrested Wednesday as they emerged from a manhole on a Hong Kong road outside a besieged campus, in a thwarted escape bid from inside the university. Two male protesters holed up in the campus for days were detained along with four people lowering ropes to help them out from the drainage system, police said. They apparently crawled through fetid sewers to a manhole outside a housing estate around half a kilometre from city centre grounds of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the scene of the dramatic siege by police.
The Trump administration is set to harden the rules this week on those allowed to seek asylum in the United States, as it attempts to stem a wave of migration on its southern border with Mexico.
France lamented on Tuesday a U.S. decision to end a sanctions waiver related to Iran's Fordow nuclear facility, but also said it feared Tehran's latest violations of a 2015 deal could lead to serious nuclear proliferation. "We regret the decision of the United States, following Iran's resumption of enrichment on the Fordow site, to terminate an exemption that would facilitate the conduct of civilian projects on this site," foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in an online briefing. The Trump administration, which last year pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, had until Monday let the work go forward at the Fordow fuel enrichment plant by issuing waivers to sanctions that bar non-U.S. firms from dealing with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).
A Tennessee death row inmate nearing execution has failed to prove a juror was prejudiced against him when she helped sentence him to death decades ago, a judge ruled Tuesday. In his ruling, Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole declined to reopen 53-year-old Lee Hall's case, but also wrote that Hall wouldn't be entitled to relief even if he could consider the claim of juror bias. Hall's attorneys contend he was deprived of his constitutional rights because the juror acknowledged she had failed to disclose during jury selection nearly 26 years ago that she had been raped and abused by her ex-husband.
Two American service members were killed in a helicopter crash Wednesday in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said without providing further details. The crash is under investigation but the military said preliminary reports indicated the incident was not caused by enemy fire, despite a claim from the Taliban that it shot down a helicopter in eastern Logar province, causing fatalities. The deaths of the service members brings the number of U.S. combat fatalities this year in Afghanistan to 19.