In the first week of public impeachment hearings, three witnesses, all veteran U.S. diplomats, added details of what they knew of President Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a plan whose unraveling threatens his presidency. While the fundamental partisan dynamics of the inquiry continue to hold — Democrats who control the House appear poised to impeach the president, while Republicans in the Senate are unlikely to convict him — this week's developments shed new light on the months-long effort by the Trump administration to procure investigations from a foreign government.
Pope Francis compared anti-gay comments made by politicians to speeches made by Adolf Hitler. He made the comment while speaking to an international penal law association on Friday, the Associated Press reported. He said: "These are actions that are typical of Nazism, that with its persecution of Jews, gypsies, people with homosexual orientation, represent an excellent model of the throwaway culture and culture of hatred."
Hong Kong police and pro-democracy protesters were fighting into the early hours of Monday morning, with police threatening to use live ammunition against protesters in the face of barrages of Molotov cocktails from demonstrators who have occupied a university campus. While three protesters have been shot during the 24 weeks of protests so far, this is the first time in the crisis the police have issued the stark warning. "If they (protesters) continue such dangerous actions, we would have no choice but to use minimum force, including live rounds," said police spokesman Louis Lau during a Facebook live broadcast.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These toys will do what your junior high chem teacher never could: make learning about science fun. From Popular Mechanics
A San Francisco Bay Area real estate heiress who was under house arrest on $35 million bail for more than two years plans to reconnect with her children and visit family in China after a jury acquitted her of killing the father of her kids, her attorney said Friday. After deliberating for 12 days, jurors found Tiffany Li not guilty on charges of murder and conspiring with her boyfriend to kill 27-year-old Keith Green in 2016 over a custody dispute. The case drew global attention when Li's family, who made a fortune in real estate construction in China, posted one of the highest bail amounts on record in the United States.
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.
President Trump is reacting to news that his longtime friend and confidant Roger Stone has been convicted of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
A month after their explosive confrontation over impeachment and Ukraine, Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) were back at it on Sunday when Todd pointedly told Johnson that he seemed to “blame this on everybody” but President Trump. Johnson, who has previously said it made him “wince” when U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland said President Trump would release military aid to Ukraine when Ukraine moved to “get to the bottom of what happened in 2016,” told Todd that he understood why Trump wanted an investigation.
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.
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 16-year-old suspected of fatally shooting two students and wounding three others at their high school Thursday was an unlikely gunman, classmates and neighbors said. Following a 16-second burst of gunfire that ended with the suspect shooting himself in the head, the boy was is in critical condition at a local hospital, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. Neighbors and classmates described the boy as pleasant but noted that he was changed by the death of his father two years ago.
Pete Buttigieg has surged into the lead in Iowa, surpassing Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren by a large margin in the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest, according to an influential poll released Saturday. Buttigieg has the support of 25% of likely participants in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, up 16 percentage points from September, the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll showed. Warren, Biden and Bernie Sanders were in a statistical tie for second place.
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.
Federal prosecutors offered a plea deal to two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein on the night of his death, but the officers have declined the offer, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The existence of the plea offer signals the Justice Department is considering criminal charges in connection with the wealthy financier's death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York in August. The city's medical examiner ruled Epstein's death a suicide.
South African police detained more than 180 foreign nationals for storming the UN refugee agency in Pretoria, where they had been staging a sit-in protest, police said Saturday. Hundreds of asylum-seekers started camping in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on October 8, asking to be relocated to another country after a spate of xenophobic violence in September. Protesters broke into the UNHCR premises on Thursday after they were informed of a court order giving them three days to vacate the site.
The first African-American FBI special agent, who was hired 100 years ago, is finally getting recognition. There are no known photographs of James Wormley Jones, but there is a record of his hiring. Inside FBI headquarters in Washington is an archive room filled with hundreds of thousands of documents and a lone application for the job of special agent.
Department of State Mina Chang, a 35-year-old State Department official, prompted a flurry of interest over her credentials this week after she was alleged to have embellished her work history and educational experience. In a statement from her previous nonprofit group, executive director Ian Dailey characterized the news reports as a "classic 'hit-job'" and said he was "disgusted with the unwarranted attack" against Chang. Here's what we know about Chang, who joined the Trump administration in April.
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.