Weeks before President Trump is due to leave office, workers are racing to build the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border that was a centerpiece of his presidency.Biden expected to halt project »
While Kyle Rittenhouse awaits trial for killing two people at a Kenosha, Wisconsin, Black Lives Matter protest this summer, his lawyers are in prosecutors' crosshairs. From the start of the high-profile case, Rittenhouse's lawyers have attracted nearly as much attention as he has. Now, the 17-year-old's main lawyer, John Pierce, is off the case, after prosecutors argued that fundraisers for Rittenhouse could act as a “slush fund” for the embattled attorney.
Violence in Afghanistan is "unacceptably high" as delayed peace negotiations get underway, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday, adding that Washington has asked the warring parties to "stand back and indeed stand down." Pompeo's comments, made in a virtual address to the IISS Manama Dialogue, an annual security conference, came two days after Kabul-backed and Taliban negotiators reached a deal in Doha to proceed with talks on a political settlement to decades of strife. Pompeo noted that he met with the negotiating teams during a Nov. 21 visit to Doha and he said he told both sides that the strife must be reduced.
The Tennessee Supreme Court on Thursday indefinitely postponed the execution of death row inmate Byron Black. In a brief order issued on Thursday, the court wrote that Black's execution is stayed pending a further order by the court “because of the multiple issues caused by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Black was convicted by a Nashville court of murdering his girlfriend Angela Clay and her daughters Latoya, 9, and Lakesha, 6, at their home in 1988.
Disavowed Trump lawyer Sidney Powell is back with another confusing allegation of voter fraud that makes even less sense than usual. Powell has spent the past few weeks claiming, with no proof, that fraud in the 2020 election stole votes from President Trump and gave Biden the win. In a filing as part of her voter fraud lawsuit in Georgia, Powell writes that "machine-controlled algorithms deliberately run by Dominion Voting Systems ... took more than 2.5 percent of the votes from Mr. Biden and flipped them to Mr. Trump, for a more than 5 percent fraudulent vote increase for Mr. Biden."
Philippine police on Friday threatened to cane people who violate social distancing protocols as the Southeast Asian nation fights the spread of the coronavirus during the festive season. The Philippines celebrates one of the world's longest Christmas seasons, starting as early as September, and crowds have started to flock to sprawling malls and shopping centres despite the pandemic. Police general Cesar Binag, commander of the coronavirus task force, told a news conference that police and soldiers would patrol in public areas in the capital Manila, the hotspot of COVID-19 cases, carrying 1 meter rattan sticks to measure distancing.
China is conducting "human testing" to create "biologically enhanced soldiers," the head of US intelligence has claimed as he warned that Beijing poses the biggest threat to America's national security. In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, warned that the US must be prepared for an "open-ended" confrontation with China which he likened to the Cold War. Mr Ratcliffe, who oversees America's intelligence agencies, said he believed China's intention was to "dominate" the planet in every sense: economically, militarily and technologically.
And President Donald Trump has complicated the contest by claiming baselessly that the November election in Georgia was beset by fraud. Also at stake: whether Georgia, long a Republican stronghold, may be on the road to swing-state status, particularly after Biden became the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1992 to carry the state. Partisans on both sides are spending big to find out.
A capsule containing the material was released by Japan's Hayabusa-2 spacecraft on Saturday morning (GMT), as it approached our planet. Hayabusa-2 grabbed the cosmic treasure trove from Ryugu, one of the primitive building blocks of our Solar System. Scientists say that studying the material from Ryugu could provide insights into how life itself began.
Israeli police on Friday arrested a man for trying to set fire to an east Jerusalem church by the Garden of Gethsemane, the site revered by Christians as the place where Jesus prayed before he was crucified. The 49-year-old Israeli suspect poured flammable liquid inside the Church of All Nations, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. The man then set it alight, a separate police statement said, before the church guard detained him.
Joe Biden said Thursday that he will ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days as one of his first acts as president, stopping short of the nationwide mandate he's promoted before to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Labour will be putting "two fingers up to voters" if it refuses to back a Brexit trade deal, Sir Keir Starmer has been warned, as a prominent Remainer MP said they would vote for it. Amid splits at the top of the party on whether to withhold support for an agreement, shadow business minister Lucy Powell suggested Labour would struggle to win back voters in “Red Wall” seats if it attempted to abstain. Arguing that a “skinny deal” could be “built on” in future, Ms Powell added that it was better than no deal - which she said would be a “catastrophe” - and was therefore “quite hard for us to oppose”.
Surveillance footage of ballot processing on election night in Atlanta is fueling a false social media narrative of “suitcases filled with ballots” hidden under a cloth-covered table and tallied without supervision, even as top state officials confirm election workers followed standard procedure. The video showed regular ballot containers on wheels — not suitcases — and both a state investigator and an independent monitor observed counting until it was done for the night, finding no evidence of improper ballots, state and county officials said on Friday.
China has executed the next stage of its Chang'e-5 Moon mission, blasting into orbit samples gathered on the lunar surface. Right on cue, at 15:10 GMT, an ascent vehicle lit its engine to head up to a service module that will shepherd home the rock and dust materials. It's more than 40 years since lunar samples were last brought back to Earth.
Italy approved new restrictions on Thursday to avoid a surge in novel coronavirus infections over Christmas and the New Year, banning midnight mass and halting movement between towns, as the country posted its highest daily death toll of the pandemic. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that from Dec. 21 to Jan. 6 movement between Italy's 20 regions will only be allowed for work, medical reasons or emergencies. On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, Italians cannot even leave their towns.
The last jobs report to be released this year has arrived, and it's a major disappointment. The Labor Department on Friday said the U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, which was down from the 440,000 jobs economists were expecting, CNBC reports. It was also "by far the lowest monthly total since the economy started its halting recovery," NBC News reports.
Much of California is on the brink of sweeping new restrictions on businesses and activities, a desperate attempt to slow the frighteningly rapid escalation of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm hospitals. Five San Francisco Bay Area counties imposed a new stay-at-home order for their residents that will take effect Sunday. Southern California and a large swath of the central portion of the state could join this weekend.
The president on Friday blamed the “Democrat stronghold” US Postal Service for his election loss, even though he appointed a GOP mega-donor to lead it and spent months undermining the agency ahead of the election. Whistleblowers reveal that the USPS is responsible for tampering with hundreds of thousands of ballots,” Mr Trump tweeted on Friday morning, referencing a report to that effect from the far-right One America News Network. This long time Democrat stronghold got rid of massive numbers, especially in swing states, during and before delivery of the ballots.
Mexicans should cancel celebrations and even avoid exchanging Christmas presents to beat the coronavirus, the president said on Friday, pitching a frugal festive season to one of the world's largest capital cities as infections scaled new heights. "Let's leave Christmas presents for another time," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said, urging people to scale down or forego traditional family gatherings over Christmas and New Year. Lopez Obrador said people should stay at home unless they had something "truly important to do" as he announced hospitals would increase patient capacity, equipment and staff.
Scots who are not at a high risk of dying from Covid-19 have been urged to be patient in waiting to be vaccinated, after they were warned they may not be offered inoculations until the second half of 2021. In an attempt to clear up confusion around when all 4.4 million adult Scots will receive a vaccination, John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister, confirmed on Friday that a spring target date applied only to priority groups, such as the elderly and frontline healthcare workers. Jeane Freeman, the health secretary, had told parliament last month that the entire vaccination programme could be finished by the spring while Nicola Sturgeon said on Thursday that she “very much hoped” all eligible people would have received it within the timeframe.
Japan's Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully released a small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on our planet, the country's space agency said. The capsule successfully detached from 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) away in a challenging operation that required precision control, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The capsule — just 40 centimeters (15 inches) in diameter — is now descending and is expected to land Sunday in a remote, sparsely populated area of Woomera, Australia.
President Donald Trump has raised $207.5 million since Election Day while seeking to overturn the results, according to a new report, while actually spending just a small fraction of that on efforts to challenge the vote count in key states. The president broke somewhat of an unusual record in the days since his electoral defeat, failing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden despite his own Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security discrediting his allegations of widespread voter fraud. The recount was the campaign's most costly expense at $3 million, while other funds went to Mr Trump's legal advisers like Jenna Ellis, who has reportedly taken in $30,000 since Election Day.
China has used strict measures to succeed in controlling COVID-19 It's true that China appears to have succeeded in its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 within its borders, per statistics from the World Health Organization. Though it has a population of 1.4 billion, China has reported fewer than 100,000 coronavirus cases and fewer than 5,000 deaths. In contrast, the United States — which has a population of 330 million — has had over 13.5 million cases and 271,000 deaths.
Sometimes Latin American dance tunes on the radio — salsa, cumbia, ranchera — bring a little cheer into the emergency room of Mexico City's Ajusco Medio hospital, which is operating well over normal capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Marta Patricia Mancilla, head of the emergency unit, says the upbeat soundtrack is a distraction from the routine at the packed hospital, where some people have kneeled at the doors of the emergency room, praying for relatives suffering from the disease. It has been eight months since the city-run Ajusco Medio hospital was named as one of the few exclusively COVID-19 hospitals in the city of almost nine million, and empty beds are rare.
In a rebuke to President Donald Trump's administration, a judge on Friday ordered the U.S. government to reopen to first-time applicants a program that protects from deportation and grants work permits to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who live in the United States unlawfully after arriving as children. The action by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn centered on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama in 2012. The Supreme Court in June blocked Trump's 2017 bid to end DACA.
Sidney Powell, the attorney who was distanced from the US president's legal team because she pushed election-related conspiracies, was said to have submitted a lawsuit that “breathed more lies” than most cases seen in court, after she challenged Michigan's election results. Issuing a response to Ms Powell's lawsuit on Thursday, judges for the City of Detroit said the lawsuit contained “warped logic”, and dismissed claims that vote machines had been tampered with, among other conspiracy theories. “Few lawsuits breathe more lies than this one,” said the 45-page court document, which was shared online.
“This metastasizing debt crisis has had tremendous social costs. An entire generation has been set back.”
“It is not the government’s job to step in and rescue those who took on more debt than their future incomes would support.”
“Many student-borrowers need relief, but well-off borrowers who are thriving — thanks to their college degrees — do not.”
“It will stimulate the lagging economy. And though not everyone will directly benefit, the country as a whole will improve.”
“Canceling student debt would cost billions of dollars each year and would exacerbate, not lessen, economic inequalities.”