Appearing live on CNN Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to President Trump, was asked to respond to the assessment given by her husband, George, that testimony of career diplomats in the first public impeachment hearings was damning for her boss. George Conway, a conservative lawyer and outspoken Trump critic, appeared on MSNBC as a guest analyst during Thursday's hearings. While introducing a clip of George Conway, CNN's Wolf Blitzer told Kellyanne Conway he wanted to ask her a “sensitive” political question.
Turkey sent a U.S. citizen suspected of fighting for Islamic State to the United States by plane on Friday, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said, after the man was refused entry to Greece earlier this week. Turkish authorities started deporting captured Islamic State suspects to their home countries on Monday. Ankara says it has captured 287 militants in northeast Syria, where Turkish troops launched an assault against the Kurdish YPG militia last month, and has hundreds more jihadist suspects in detention.
Genealogy websites and a cheek swab enabled U.S. Marshals to arrest a man suspected of being the “Potomac River Rapist,” who terrorized the nation's capital in the 1990s. News outlets report 60-year-old Giles Daniel Warrick is now awaiting extradition from Horry County, South Carolina. Authorities said DNA evidence matched family profiles in genealogy services, enabling investigators to narrow their search after interviewing Warrick's relatives.
Angered by the testimony of ousted ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, California Rep. Jackie Speier upbraided a reporter for The Hill and ripped the outlet's publication of columns by John Solomon, the conservative journalist whose work is at the center of what Yovanovitch described as a “smear campaign” against her. “I just find it reprehensible that any newspaper would just be willing to put that kind of crap out that is not — has no veracity whatsoever, and not check to see if it had any veracity,” said Speier, a Democrat serving in her seventh term in the House, according to audio of the exchange reviewed by POLITICO. Speier launched into her critique of The Hill after fielding a question from its senior staff writer Scott Wong about who her dream witness would be at the impeachment proceedings.
An American teacher's death in the Dominican Republic was being investigated Thursday as a murder. Police said they found Patricia Anton deceased in her apartment in Puerto Plata, on the country's northern coast, with her hands and feet bound.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston caught an airline passenger trying to smuggle 35 pounds of liquid cocaine in shampoo bottles into the country earlier this week, the agency said in a press release. The CBP said officers discovered the bottles containing cocaine valued at more than $400,000 in the checked luggage of a 26-year-old Colombian citizen Monday after observing him at baggage claim and conducting a bag search. “Our officers are the first line of defense at our ports of entry, so they are trained in the various smuggling methods people use to bring illicit goods into the U.S.,” CBP Port Director Shawn Polley said in the press release.
The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the 10 candidates who will participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate in Atlanta on Wednesday. They are: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. Julian Castro, who participated in previous debates, most recently in October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, didn't make the cut.
Iran's supreme leader said Friday that calls for the abolition of Israel which have sparked outrage in the West target the "imposed state" not the Jewish people. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the future of the land should be decided by Palestinians of all faiths, Jewish as well as Christian and Muslim. "The 'abolition of the Israeli regime' ... does not mean the abolition of Jewish people; we have no problem with them," Khamenei told a meeting of Islamic countries in Tehran, according to his official website.
Japan's Defense Ministry is considering whether to deploy U.S-made Patriot missile defense interceptors to protect the games. To ensure the security of Tokyo, where the Summer Games will open on July 24, the ministry wants to equip the 1st Air Defense Missile Group with PAC-3 MSE interceptors to defend against possible threats such as ballistic missiles, drones and unidentified aircraft,” according to Kyodo News. The deployment of the improved ground-based batteries by units responsible for defending the capital's airspace is planned between April and July, earlier than in other parts of Japan.
The Trump administration is preparing to submit court filings as early as next week as a necessary step toward seizing private land in Texas for its wall on the border with Mexico, NBC reported Thursday. Administration officials still haven't said how much the government will compensate affected landowners. “I still think we're on track to get the land we need for 450 miles” of border wall, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan told reporters on Thursday.
A purported street-gang leader from suburban Chicago who 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. Jason Brown, the 37-year-old leader of the AHK gang, could be heard on secret FBI recordings speaking admiringly about beheadings by the Islamic State group, the 27-page complaint says. AHK, which prosecutors say traffics drugs throughout the Chicago area, is comprised of former members of the Black P-Stone, Gangster Disciples and Four Corner Hustlers who converted to Islam, the court filings say.
A gunman opened fire at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, on Thursday morning, killing two people and injuring at least three others before injuring himself with a self-inflicted gunshot, authorities said. Melissa Santillan, a 15-year-old sophomore, and Tyler Nilson, a 17-year-old senior who's the student government vice president, spoke with Insider about what happened during the shooting. Nilson described watching students run from the school after the gunman opened fire, saying band students were still carrying their instruments.
Billionaire George Soros opened the new main campus of his Central European University in Vienna on Friday, saying it would not halt its struggle to defend academic freedom from Viktor Orban, the right wing leader he says hounded it from Hungary. Since it was founded by Soros in 1991, CEU has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from eastern Europe, offering U.S.-accredited graduate degree programmes in an academic climate that celebrates free thought. "CEU has steadfastly defended the principle of academic freedom against a concentrated attack by the corrupt government of Viktor Orban, who was hellbent to destroy it," Soros said at the inauguration of CEU's Vienna campus.
WASHINGTON – Brett Kavanaugh waited more than 13 months to take a victory lap. On Thursday night, a hero's welcome greeted the associate justice who made it to the Supreme Court by the narrowest of margins last October after two contentious Senate confirmation hearings. The annual black-tie dinner of the Federalist Society – the nation's premier gathering of conservatives in the law – is dedicated to the memory of the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist in exile in Canada, said that Twitter is an important tool for many Saudi dissidents but comes with risks. Abdulaziz was friends with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The two of them were working to create an "army" of internet users to combat Saudi propaganda before Khashoggi was killed.
Interim president Jeanine Anez moved Thursday to consolidate power in deeply polarized Bolivia, winning recognition from the United States and immediately shifting the country's foreign policy on erstwhile ally Venezuela. Anez was expected to complete her government line-up, having named new military chiefs and half of her proposed 20-member cabinet - including Defense Minister Fernando Lopez Julio - the night before. "We have come to pacify the country," Lopez Julio said in a speech at the military college in La Paz.
Vietnam sentenced a music teacher to 11 years in prison on Friday for Facebook posts that allegedly undermined the one-party state, which has been accused of tightening the noose on online dissent. Communist Vietnam has long jailed its critics but has come under fire recently for targeting users on Facebook, a popular forum for activists in the country where all independent media is banned. Nguyen Nang Tinh is the latest activist jailed for his Facebook comments, including posts about police brutality, land rights, and a Taiwanese steel firm that dumped toxic sludge into the ocean, killing masses of fish off the coast of Vietnam.
Is that enough pizzazz for you? Ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch had barely been in the Capitol for an hour when President Trump "committed a crime while we're watching," journalist Marcy Wheeler tweeted Friday. That's because as Yovanovitch gave her public impeachment testimony, Trump attacked her in a tweet — something Wheeler is joining The New York Times' Michael Schmidt and Fox News' Bret Baier in suggesting amounts to witness tampering.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that makes public housing more energy efficient, at a cost of over $100 billion. The plan, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, will call for renovation of public housing units to install community gardens and organic grocery stores along with on-site childcare services, according to the Washington Post. “Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country,” Sanders said in a statement.
A US citizen and military veteran suffering from a mental health condition will reportedly receive $190,000 (£147,988) from a Michigan city after local officials transferred him to ICE detention following an arrest last year. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a decorated Marine veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested while experiencing an episode in which he lost all recollection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Police found the veteran, who was born and raised in Michigan, on the helipad of a hospital after he started a small fire and pulled an alarm, according to reports.
Currently the Marine Corps deploys infantry battalions to Okinawa, Japan on a rotational basis as part of the Unit Deployment Program. While in Japan, the battalions fall under 4th Marine Regiment, which has a permanent headquarters in Okinawa. The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, while not part of the Unit Deployment Program, contributes another infantry battalion to Okinawa for several months per year.
Iran is not calling for the elimination of the Jewish people, but believes people of all religions should decide Israel's future, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday. Since its Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has refused to recognize Israel and has backed militant Palestinian groups. Israel has long accused Iran of seeking its destruction and regards Tehran as its main enemy in the Middle East.
A Georgia inmate sentenced to death for fatally shooting a convenience store clerk during a robbery 25 years ago was executed Wednesday night, authorities say. Ray Jefferson Cromartie, 52, was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m after lethal injection at Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, the state's department of corrections said. Cromartie was convicted of the 1994 killing of Richard Slysz at a Thomasville convenience store, but his lawyers recently had appealed for DNA testing of evidence they say could have exonerated Cromartie after a new statement from one of the men involved in the robbery.
Two recent studies came to opposite conclusions about the same evidence of life in a caustic pool in Ethiopia. Extreme environments on Earth may model habitats on other planets, like the moon Titan. The evidence of life found in Ethiopia is DNA from archaea, an organism similar to bacteria.