WASHINGTON ― Before President Donald Trump forced former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, the Justice Department’s quasi-judicial Office of Legal Counsel told him he could appoint an official who had not been confirmed by the Senate, like acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, to take Sessions’ place. The OLC opinion acknowledged that it’s rare for the acting attorney general to be an individual not confirmed by the Senate.
A Wisconsin family-owned company decided to forgo traditional cash bonuses this holiday season and, instead, opted to reward their employees' good performance with firearms. Ben Wolfgram, a co-owner of BenShot LLC, a glass manufacturer known for using bullets in their designs, told WISN his company gave each of its employees a gift card with which to purchase a gun rather than hand them the weapon. In doing so, Wolfgram says he made sure the unconventional gift complied with state law.
With Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives, Trevor Noah noted on Wednesday’s “Daily Show” that they were ready to investigate President Donald Trump on a slew of matters. “Wow,” Noah said, “Mitch McConnell is brilliant. For that reason, he said, he had a video that Democrats would be required to watch, much like the sexual harassment videos that employers show to their employees.
The president of Fox News said on Wednesday that the cable news network is joining more than a dozen other media outlets in supporting rival CNN in its lawsuit against President Trump over the White House’s decision to revoke access for correspondent Jim Acosta. “Fox News supports CNN in its legal effort to regain its White House reporter’s press credential,” Fox News President Jay Wallace said in a statement. “Secret Service passes for working White House journalists should never be weaponized.
The Vatican halted a plan by U.S. bishops to address the age-old sexual abuse issues plaguing the Roman Catholic Church. “At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items in our documentation regarding the abuse crisis,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. America’s Catholic leaders hoped to vote on the first code of conduct for bishops.
After Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke visited Northern California communities hit by the Camp fire, the deadliest in state history, he acknowledged that wildfires are getting worse in the Golden State ― but managed to not say the words “climate change” once. “[Fire] season is getting longer, the temperatures are getting hotter,” Zinke said at a press conference Wednesday with California Gov. Jerry Brown. Noting that this was his fourth visit in a year to California in response to wildfires, Zinke said, “Each trip, I say this is the worst fire I’ve seen.
Brexit supporters and opponents rallied near Prime Minister Theresa May's Downing Street office on Wednesday as her cabinet debated the draft divorce deal inside. Pro-Brexit campaigners urged her to scrap the tentative agreement and make a clean break with European Union without paying a penny more into the EU budget.
As search crews found another body Wednesday in a house burned by a massive Southern California wildfire, officials fear many more deaths in the destructive blazes at both ends of the state that have now claimed 59 lives. It was a historic night for James as he passed Wilt Chamberlain for fifth on the all-time NBA scoring list midway through last night's game in the fourth quarter with 39 points. Singer Pink‘s husband Carey Hart‘s post — warning looters in Malibu, the location of the Woolsey Fire, that they “will be shot on” sight — has gone viral.
This unique collection of photographs shows the concentrated faces of dogs just before catching their beloved treats. Professional photographer Christian Vieler, from Germany, shot the latest series of his “Dogs Catching Treats in Trouble” collection with hilarious results. Some of the 48-year-old’s images show the happy faces of successful catches, whereas others illustrate pooches’ shocked reactions on seeing such large amounts of treats thrown at them at once.
A prominent Palestinian human rights group says dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed in Israel's two-day offensive in the Gaza Strip this week. The Israeli military says it hit 160 targets, saying they were militant facilities like training camps, weapons facilities or military command centers. Dozens of other homes near Israeli targets were damaged.
Local giraffe survives Woolsey fire.
Let me start by saying Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As our family continues to grow, there’s always a new face at the Thanksgiving table with new nutritional preferences. As much as I plan and obsess, without fail every year there always seems to be someone who exclaims they are dairy-free or gluten-free or vegan or vegetarian, and I’m left scrambling to find something for them to eat.
WASHINGTON ― With less than two months left at the helm of the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday won his first vote since the midterm elections ― on behalf of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Almost all Republicans and a handful of Democrats voted with Ryan to strip privilege from a bill endorsed by top Democrats that would have ended U.S. support for the Saudis and their allies in the four-year civil war in Yemen. In other words, it’s now almost certain that the House won’t deal with the legislation ― and, more broadly, the conflict itself ― until Democrats take charge next year.
The 15-strong Saudi kill team responsible for the murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi carried luggage containing scissors, syringes and a stun gun, a pro-government Turkish paper has claimed. The bags were loaded onto two private jets but police were not able to open them due to diplomatic immunity, according to the report. The paper, which is close to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is one of a number of outlets that has published a steady stream of leaks providing lurid details of Khashoggi’s death, a tactic seemingly designed to keep pressure on Riyadh and its allies.
Northern California’s Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has once again found itself at the center of both a legal and literal firestorm as customers affected by the region’s latest deadly blaze seek to hold the utility accountable. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco County Superior Court, attorneys representing two dozen victims of Butte County’s Camp fire ― the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history ― say that PG&E is responsible for the blaze’s destruction because it did not sufficiently maintain its infrastructure or properly inspect power lines. “The Camp Fire was the result of PG&E’s continued practice of prioritizing profits over safety, wherein they failed to properly maintain and inspect their power lines knowing that the likely result was a fire that would pose risk of serious injury and/or death, and damage to property,” the lawsuit says.
An organisation of physicians fear radioactive waste could become a major issue after southern California’s huge wildfire burned near a former nuclear test site. The organisation of Physicians for Social Responsibility said it was likely that smoke and ash from the fire spread radiological and chemical contamination that was in soil and vegetation near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. Regulators in California said initial testing found no elevated levels of radiation of hazardous compounds after the blaze near the site.
The United States is facing a national security and military crisis and could lose in a war against Russia or China, a bipartisan congressional panel warned in a report Wednesday. Congress had tasked the National Defense Strategy Commission to look at President Donald Trump's sweeping National Defense Strategy (NDS), which highlights a new era of "Great Power competition" with Moscow and Beijing.
The much-anticipated announcement will mean that only tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarette flavors can be sold at most traditional retail outlets such as convenience stores. The FDA also plans to seek a ban on menthol cigarettes, a longtime goal of public health advocates, as well as flavored cigars. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the moves are meant to prevent young people from continuing to use e-cigarettes, potentially leading to traditional cigarette smoking.
A failed apartment-rehabilitation project by acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker was a missed opportunity to preserve affordable housing in a rapidly gentrifying Des Moines neighborhood, a city official said Wednesday. Whitaker abandoned the project in 2016 after 3 ½ years of cost overruns, delays and other problems, said Chris Johansen, the city's community development director. The developer who took over the project from Whitaker ultimately pulled out of the affordable housing agreement and fully refunded the city for its $165,000 loan.
“After due consideration, the court agrees with plaintiffs,” U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones said in a ruling Wednesday in federal court in Atlanta. Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, the former secretary of state, currently leads with 50.2 percent of the vote to 48.8 percent for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who needs a net gain of about 17,000 votes out of more than 3.9 million cast to force a runoff next month. In that case, U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in Atlanta required the state to take extra steps to protect voters who used provisional ballots on Nov. 6 because Kemp may have failed to properly maintain the voter registration database when he served as secretary of state.
Michelle Obama opened up about the struggles the two have been through in their relationship, considering the all-encompassing nature of being in politics and trying to have a family. “You go because you think the counselor is going to help you make your case against the other person,” she revealed in an OWN special with Oprah Winfrey tied to Michelle Obama’s new memoir, Becoming. It was about me exploring my sense of happiness and my voice ― the notion that you come to a relationship whole and that I couldn’t look to Barack and he couldn’t look to me to be everything,” she said.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis defended the use of active duty troops on the U.S.-Mexican border, saying that in some ways it provides good training for war. The Pentagon chief said that within a week to 10 days the 5,800 troops currently deployed for the border mission will have accomplished all the tasks initially requested by Customs and Border Protection, although additional tasks are now being worked out between the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to the 5,800 active duty troops in the border area, about 2,100 National Guard troops have been providing border support since April.
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents adult film star Stormy Daniels, was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday on allegations of domestic violence, according to several media outlets. The LAPD confirmed the arrest in an email to HuffPost, but said he had not been booked. The Associated Press notes that police had taken a report related to a domestic violence incident on Tuesday but did not bring Avenatti in until the following day, according to an anonymous law enforcement official.
At least 56 people have been killed in the devastating Camp fire in Northern California and 130 people are still missing, authorities said on Wednesday evening. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters that search and rescue officials had discovered eight additional bodies on Wednesday, adding to a rising death toll in what has become the state’s deadliest fire in history. “This is the most difficult part of my job,” Honea said.
The Camp Fire in Northern California is the deadliest wildfire in the United States in a century, according to wildfire historians. The Camp Fire already became the deadliest fire in California history earlier this week – surpassing the 1933 Griffith Park Fire in Los Angeles, which killed 29. It also surpassed the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire, which killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting crew.