The second day of the impeachment inquiry's public hearings, on Friday, began the same way as the first: with an attempt by Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, to interrupt proceedings with a procedural objection. Stefanik accused House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of shutting down Republican questions, prompting Schiff to bang his gavel and declare her objection out of order. Stefanik again engaged in theatrics later in the hearing, forcing Schiff to gavel down her attempt to break the rules of the hearing and ask questions of the witness before it was her turn.
An influential House Democrat warns that, despite the impeachment inquiry, President Trump could still be reelected if her party's eventual nominee doesn't find better ways to address the pressing concerns of working-class voters. “I think, yes, people have dug in and they've made up their minds,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan in an interview on the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast, when asked what voters in her sprawling district west of Detroit think about the president. “But I do think Donald Trump could win reelection right now,” Dingell said, quickly adding, “I don't think it's a given,” since the outcome depends on whom Democrats select as their 2020 nominee.
A poll released earlier this week showed Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential primary pack in Iowa for the first time. Buttigieg, an openly gay military veteran, was the top choice of 25 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers, outpacing long-standing frontrunners Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg has staked a position where he can be seen as a reasonable alternative for voters who have doubts about the three leading candidates.
A Chinese aircraft carrier fleet passed near Taiwan on Sunday, prompting the self-governing island to scramble ships and jets to monitor the situation. Taiwan's defense ministry said the southbound Chinese fleet passed into the Taiwan Strait but stayed on China's side of the waterway that separates the island from China. The ministry said Taiwan scrambled ships and jets to monitor the fleet.
Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday. A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine. Ukraine has been pushing for their return as a good will gesture from Moscow ahead of a possible four-way peace summit on eastern Ukraine next month.
A rogue elephant named after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday. The male animal -- nicknamed "Laden" -- was tracked for days by forestry officers and tranquilised on Monday after a deadly October rampage killed five villagers in Goalpara, in the northeastern state of Assam. It was moved to Assam's Orang National Park where officials planned to teach it to patrol wildlife parks and sanctuaries in the state, but said it died early Sunday.
One local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate. The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force. The silo's owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he's “bored”.
A purported street gang leader from Chicago who allegedly became radicalized in prison faces federal charges accusing him of seeking to provide money to Islamic State militants in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Key point: Russia and NATO's military buildup in the Baltics is creating a tense situation. In the most recent illustration of ongoing Russia-NATO military tensions over Baltic airspace, recently released footage shows a Russian Su-27 fighter making a sharp turn into an American F-15C. It is unclear when the video was filmed, with some speculating that it occured during a prior NATO BAP (Baltic Air Policing) mission. When viewed in that light, this incident seems to fall into the trend of what US officials have previously described as “unsafe” Russian interceptions and “aggressive maneuvers” in high-tension airspace.
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.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner blamed "thugs" and "bullies" on Sunday for the violence that hit demonstrations the previous day marking marked the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" protests. "Yesterday, what we saw were few (legitimate) demonstrators but thugs, bullies and morons," Castaner told Europe 1 radio when asked about the violence in Paris on Saturday. Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon during the rallies to mark a year since the birth of the anti-government yellow vest movement.
Earlier this week, Pete Buttigieg traveled more than 100 miles through the Granite State on a bus emblazoned with his name and packed with over a dozen journalists. It's a spectacle that hasn't been seen in recent presidential races, but it's part of a freewheeling strategy that has helped bring Buttigieg from relative obscurity to the top of the Democratic primary field. As the bus headed toward Buttigieg's third event of the day in Rochester, N.H., on Monday, news broke that a Quinnipiac University poll was showing the South Bend, Ind., mayor in third place in the state, just 1 percentage point behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Four people were left dead in Iran following clashes between riot police and protesters in several Iranian cities after the government raised the price of petrol by up to 300 per cent. The deaths occurred in separate incidents in the southern cities of Sirjan, Behbahan and Shiraz, while video footage showed protestors had attacked a military barracks used by the regime's feared Bajis militias in Tehran, setting it on fire. Thousands of angry motorists parked their vehicles on major thoroughfares and highways in protest at the price hikes, urging others to stop and “join the national anti-regime movement” as they drove by.
Protesters have set fires on bridges leading to Hong Kong Polytechnic University as they try to keep police from advancing on their campus stronghold. Orange flames extend the length of a footbridge over the roadway entrance to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel. Police had shut down access to the area and massed earlier Sunday in an apparent attempt to surround protesters.
Australia's parliamentary intelligence committee head, who has previously criticised Beijing, said he had been blocked from entering China due to his "frankness about the Chinese Communist Party". Andrew Hastie warned several months ago that the world's approach to containing China's rise resembles the "catastrophic failure" to prevent the advance of Nazi Germany. Hastie, along with fellow government politician James Paterson, had planned to travel to China for a study tour next month but both have been banned from entering the country.
An eyewitness account by a Holocaust survivor—unearthed for a new exhibition in London—describes the conditions in the “gypsy” section of Auschwitz as even more inhumane than the rest of the appalling facility. “The conditions were worse than in the other camps,” wrote eyewitness Hermann Langbein in 1945. The gypsies were still wearing the clothes that they had been given upon arrival… footwear was missing… The latrines were built in such a way that they were practically unusable for the gypsy children.
On April 25, 2003 the crew of a Chinese fishing boat noticed a strange sight—a periscope drifting listlessly above the surface of the water. At the time, some commentators expressed surprise that Beijing acknowledged the incident at all, and speculated it was obliquely related to contemporaneous criticism of Beijing's attempts to downplay the SARS epidemic. Read the original article.
The Leonids meteor shower peaks this weekend and early next week, with about 15 meteors streaking across the night sky every hour. The waning gibbous moon will be bright, but you can still catch some green shooting stars. The Leonids have made spectacular meteor storms in the past, with up to 100,000 shooting stars each hour.
Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.
President Trump is reacting to news that his longtime friend and confidant Roger Stone has been convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
Regardless of the hurdles, however, I suspect that Michael Bloomberg would do the country a greater service by running as an independent rather than by seeking the Democratic nomination. Bloomberg is pawing the ground about entering the Democratic primaries. If Bloomberg opens his wallet, he can be a factor.
The deaths of three separate families within ten days have shocked Turkey as the country struggles with mass unemployment and a financial crisis. On Friday, authorities confirmed that a family of three had been found dead in their home in the central Istanbul district of Bakırköy, poisoned by cyanide. Earlier in the month, police discovered the bodies of a family of four, including a nine year-old daughter and a five year-old son, in their home in the southern city of Antalya.
Soldiers from the Chinese People's Liberation Army briefly left their Hong Kong barracks on Saturday to help the clean-up after a week of disruption caused by pro-democracy protests, a rare and highly symbolic troop movement unsolicited by the city's embattled government. The action saw scores of soldiers from the garrison, which is confined to the barracks under Hong Kong's mini-constitution, with crewcuts and identical gym kits conduct a lightning-quick removal of bricks and debris near their base. Confirming the brief deployment on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform, the PLA said it acted to open a debris-strewn road outside their Kowloon Tong barracks to traffic, winning "applause from residents" in the process.
A Minnesota man who shot and wounded a school bus driver on a Minneapolis freeway during a snowstorm has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Thirty-two-year-old Kenneth Lilly, of St. Paul, pleaded guilty in August to first-degree assault for the February attack that left Thomas Benson deaf in one ear and unable to continue working as a bus driver due to nerve damage in his hand. Lilly was sentenced Friday to 86 months.