If you want to understand how impeachment is being seen by actual Americans, there may be no better place to go than Grand Rapids, Mich. In part that's because the area around Grand Rapids, comprising Michigan's Third Congressional District, is one of only about two dozen districts in the nation to vote for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. In part it's because the Third Congressional District, with its urban core, suburban sprawl and outlying rural farmland, neatly encapsulates the broader political geography of the state Trump won by the slimmest margin in 2016: just 10,704 votes.
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Pennsylvania's prison agency agreed to improve death row conditions under a settlement announced Monday of a federal lawsuit that called the inmates' living standards degrading and inhumane. Lawyers for the inmates who sued said the agreement provides people on death row with at least 42½ hours a week out of their cell, daily access to phones and contact visits with their families, lawyers and religious advisers. “They now eat their meals on the unit with others from their housing units, and they are able to exercise with other inmates,” said Corrections Department spokeswoman Sue McNaughton.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said on Monday the Houthis had seized a vessel towing a South Korean drilling rig at the southern end of the Red Sea. The vessel was seized late on Sunday by armed Houthis, Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a statement carried by Saudi state media. South Korea said two of its vessels were captured, a tug boat and a sand dredger, each of which had one South Korean national was on board.
Ukraine's former president Petro Poroshenko has been designated a witness in a criminal investigation related to the nomination of judges, the state investigation bureau said on Monday. Poroshenko has been embroiled in a number of investigations since leaving office in May. "His status is that of a witness," a spokeswoman for the state investigation bureau, which handles high-profile cases, told AFP.
An elephant named after Osama bin Laden, the late al-Qaida leader, has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday.
China is developing not one but two new stealth bombers, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency claimed in a January 2019 report. While the People's Liberation Army has not been shy about discussing the H-20 strategic bomber that the Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation is developing for the PLA Air Force, there are many fewer public references to the other stealth bomber, which apparently carries the designation JH-XX. If the report is accurate and China completes development of the JH-XX, the Chinese air force could become the first air arm in the world to deploy a radar-evading fighter-bomber whose main mission is long-range ground-attack.
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.
Trump indicated that he thinks his testimony -- possibly in writing -- would be a way to resolve the inquiry and get Congress focused on issues he'd like to advance before his 2020 re-election campaign, including a new North American trade deal and drug prices. The White House has refused to provide access to documents and witnesses, creating a stand-off between the two branches of government and leaving current members of the administration stuck in the middle. Some, including the National Security Council's top Ukraine expert, Alexander Vindman, have defied the order not to comply with congressional subpoenas.
Dozens of Hong Kong protesters escaped a two-day police siege at a campus late Monday by shimmying down ropes from a bridge to awaiting motorbikes in a dramatic and perilous breakout that followed a renewed warning by Beijing of a possible intervention to end the crisis engulfing the city. Clashes rumbled throughout the day between protesters and police who had threatened to use deadly force to dislodge activists holed-up in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The university siege has become a battle of wills between Hong Kong's stretched police force and the constantly-innovating protest movement.
Rodney Reed was granted an indefinite stay of execution over the weekend, days before he was scheduled to die. Reed was sentenced to death in 1998 for the 1996 murder of a 19-year-old woman named Stacey Stites. Reed's mother, Sandra Reed, spoke to CBS affiliate KEYE-TV about her son, saying: "the truth will set him free."
A Spanish National Court official confirmed Monday that a former Venezuelan spymaster accused of attempting to "flood" the United States with drugs remains missing since an order for his arrest pending extradition was issued this month. The official said the order for Maj. Gen. Hugo Carvajal's arrest in Madrid was issued Nov. 8, after the court reversed an earlier ruling that rejected the U.S. extradition request for allegedly being politically motivated. Carvajal was for over a decade the eyes and ears in the military of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
The Vatican said on Monday the head of its financial regulator would leave, weeks after unprecedented police raids on his organization and another key arm of the Catholic Church's bureaucracy. Rene Bruelhart, a 47-year-old Swiss lawyer, told Reuters he had resigned from the top job at the Financial Information Authority (AIF), but did not go into further detail. Vatican police entered the offices of the AIF and of the Secretariat of State - the administrative heart of the Catholic Church - on Oct. 1, as part of an investigation into an investment the Secretariat hade made in London real estate.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of South Carolina voters found South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg still at zero percent among black voters, despite the campaign's release of its comprehensive “Douglass Plan,” which details policies designed to address racial inequality. The poll showed former vice president Joe Biden in the lead with 44 percent of the African American vote — which accounts for two thirds of the primary vote — and 33 percent overall, followed by progressive senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg rounded out the top four with six percent overall, and tied for third with 11 percent of white primary voters, but zero percent among black voters.
The UN's nuclear watchdog said Monday that Iran's stock of heavy water for reactors has surpassed the limit set under its agreement with world powers. The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement that Iran's heavy water production plant was in operation and that its stock of heavy water reserves was 131.5 tonnes, above the 130-tonne limit. In Vienna, an IAEA spokesperson said: "On 17 November, the Agency verified that the Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP) was in operation and that Iran's stock of heavy water was 131.5 metric tonnes."
Washington, D.C.) Armed Army robot vehicles conducted reconnaissance, called for indirect fire and then, when directed by human decision-makers, attacked and destroyed enemy targets in a recent experiment designed to assess the technical maturity and readiness of autonomous ground drones. We had four robot vehicles conduct a tactical mission while humans were safe in defilade. We built four robots that are refurbished M113 tracked vehicles and we've taken two Bradleys -- gutted them -- and turned them into two control vehicles with all kinds of sensors on them,” Jeff Langhout, Director, Ground Vehicle Systems Center, told reporters in October at the Association of the United States Army Annu...
The Great Firewall may have been breached. Beijing doubled down Monday after The New York Times published a report on over 400 leaked documents that provided a look into China's mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang region, though the government didn't dispute the authenticity of the documents. "It is precisely because of a series of preventative counterterrorism and de-extremism measures taken in a timely manner that Xinjiang, which had been deeply plagued by terrorism, has not had a violent terrorist incident for three years," said Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fox News aired a rare bit of “Common Sense” on Monday afternoon when host Neil Cavuto ended his show with a strong defense of his colleague Chris Wallace, who earned the wrath of President Trump for daring to challenge House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA). Trump tweeted on Sunday that Scalise “blew the nasty & obnoxious Chris Wallace (will never be his father, Mike! away on Chris's lowest rated (unless I'm on) morning show,” adding, “This kind of dumb and unfair interview would never have happened in the @FoxNews past.
Running battles have occurred, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators who threw bricks and Molotov cocktails. Demonstrations seeking greater democracy in the Beijing-controlled territory have become increasingly violent in recent weeks, with protesters vandalizing transportation networks and China-friendly businesses as they push for demands including an independent probe into police violence and the ability to nominate and elect city leaders.
Syracuse University suspended one fraternity and halted social activities at all the school's fraternities for the rest of the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted days of protests, the school president announced Sunday. "Last night, one of our African American students reported being subjected to a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. Syverud's action was the latest in a series of crackdowns on fraternities across the nation and comes less than a week after San Diego State University suspended all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations following the death of a freshman who had attended a fraternity event.
A 15-year-old girl and a truck driver died Monday when a road bridge collapsed in rural southwest France, dumping several vehicles into a river and prompting nationwide questions about bridge safety. Bystanders were able to rescue the girl's mother after her car fell into the Tarn River near the village of Mirepoix-sur-Tarn, regional prosecutor Dominique Alzeari told reporters. Several hours later, Mirepoix-sur-Tarn Mayor Eric Oget said on BFM television that a truck driver whose vehicle fell into the river was also found dead, and rescuers were working to extract his body.
Police in the California city of Fresno were investigating a mass shooting at a football game party on Sunday in which at least nine people were shot, killing several, with others left in critical condition, a police spokesman said. A gunman started shooting after entering the backyard of a south Fresno home where a gathering of family and friends was watching a football game after 6 p.m. police said, and neighbors flooded 911 dispatchers with calls for help.
Child abuse victims should be given new rights to sue paedophiles caught viewing or sharing indecent images of them, children charities have said. The Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the initiative arguing it would act as a deterrent for offenders, who now know they are unlikely to go do jail, as it could mean potentially losing their homes and pensions if caught with abuse material. The CCCIS, which represents charities such as the NSPCC and Barnardo's, said those convicted of indecent images should also face a new automatic surcharge to fund the treatment and therapy costs of victims of abuse.
ByteDance, the company which owns short-form video app TikTok, has come under some fire in the US because it is headquartered in China. The US is increasingly worried about Chinese tech firms passing on information about American citizens back to the Chinese government, and has blacklisted Chinese mobile firm Huawei earlier in 2019. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the company is trying to come up with ways to distance itself from these its Chinese roots.