President Donald Trump is skimming over the facts when it comes to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea for lying in the Russia investigation. In remarks Thursday at a meeting with governors-elect, Trump suggests the FBI never accused Flynn of lying in its probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Flynn will next week become the first White House official punished as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.
Maria Butina pleaded guilty to acting as an undeclared Russian agent in the U.S. and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, advancing an inquiry into Russia’s efforts to build back-channels to politically connected Americans. The 30-year-old gun enthusiast operated as a Kremlin agent as she befriended National Rifle Association leaders and influential U.S. conservatives, she admitted Thursday in federal court in Washington. Butina sought to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics,” prosecutor Erik Kenerson said at the hearing, reading from the government’s statement of facts.
Technology researchers in China have been ordered to not travel to the US unless it is absolutely necessary, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Staff working in sensitive tech sectors were given the warning following the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada, a source told the South China Morning Post. Workers at a research agency were also told to remove any sensitive data from laptops, mobile phones and other devices if travel to the US was essential.
SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Canada should distance itself from U.S. "hegemonism" and grant unconditional freedom to Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of China's Huawei detained in Vancouver on Washington's request, state-owned tabloid Global Times said in a Thursday editorial. Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating sanctions. The United States needs to make a formal extradition request within 60 days of her arrest, which a Canadian judge will weigh to determine whether the case against Meng is strong enough.
The artists' first solo museum exhibition premiered during Miami Art Week.
In a story Dec. 11 about California wildfires, The Associated Press reported erroneously that insurance carriers paid $11.8 billion to 2017 Northern California wine country wildfire victims. Insurance companies paid $10 billion. A corrected version of the story is below: California wildfires cleanup to cost at least $3 billion Authorities estimate it will cost at least $3 billion to clear debris of 19,000 homes destroyed by California wildfires last month By PAUL ELIAS Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — State and federal authorities estimated Tuesday that it will cost at least $3 billion to clear debris from 19,000 homes and businesses destroyed by three California wildfires last month.
Japan is planning to tighten regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook after an expert panel called for better oversight on competition and privacy, an official said Thursday. Japan has followed in the footsteps of other countries in scrutinising the dominant role played by the world's largest information technology companies, including Big Four tech firms Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Despite bringing benefits, tech giants "tend to monopolise the market through their features such as... low costs and economies of scale," the report said.
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, made a rare television appearance on Fox News this week, where he spoke about the need to reform a criminal justice system that he characterized as “the best in the world. The problem with that statement is, of course, that the U.S. criminal justice system is not the best in the world. Not even close to it, really.
The gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg was shot dead by French police on Thursday as the Islamic State jihadist group claimed him as one of its “soldiers”. More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night — the latest in a string of jihadist attacks to rock France. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said three police tried to question Chekatt after spotting him on the street in the Neudorf area of the northeastern French city where he grew up, but he opened fire.
A middle school student in Delaware has been allowed to change his surname after enduring relentless bullying from his peers. Joshua Trump, who is not related to President Donald Trump, will now be known at school as Joshua Berto after dropping his mother’s surname for his father’s. The 11-year-old’s parents told ABC affiliate WPVI that the bullying of their son had been relentless and first started when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign.
WASHINGTON – After two decades of decline, the death penalty in America has reached a holding pattern. The numbers of prisoners on death row, new death sentences and executions remained low by historical standards in 2018, according to data released Friday by the Death Penalty Information Center. At the same time, the report shows slight upticks in death sentences and executions for the second consecutive year.
Instead of a friendly Santa Claus, children in Iceland enjoy favors from the brothers, who come down from their mountain cave 13 days before Christmas according to folklore. The brothers are loud, reckless, and have names like Door-Slammer, Window-Peeper, Meat-Hook, Candle-Stealer — reflecting their preferred method of pranks or criminal behavior. But they claim to be mostly rehabilitated, and Sausage-Swiper is now keen to host barbecues.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that members of congress from her party will seek to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns when they take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January - a move the White House is likely to strongly resist. The House Ways and Means Committee will "take the first steps" toward obtaining the documents, said Pelosi, who has the backing of her members to become speaker of the House next month. As it is likely to be a challenging process, it will be up to the committee to figure out how to proceed, she said.
Talks in Sweden between Yemen's warring parties on Thursday led to a major breakthrough in blunting a devastating war that has killed thousands and driven the country to famine, with both sides agreeing on a ceasefire in a key port that acts as a lifeline for millions. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the Iran-linked Houthi rebels, who control Hodeidah port, had reached a ceasefire there with the Saudi-led coalition that was massing troops in the Red Sea city ahead of a final push into the port.
Stocks are staggering Friday after weak economic data from China has investors worrying about the global economy again. China's government said industrial output and retail sales both slowed in November. Johnson & Johnson plunged after Reuters reported that the company has known since the 1970s that its talc baby powder sometimes contained carcinogenic asbestos, a claim the company denied.
Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday. The claims, so far, fall short of the record $12 billion in wildfire-related insured losses sustained in California in 2017, most of that from more than a dozen blazes that swept a large swath of wine country north of San Francisco Bay, killing 46 people. This year, the Camp Fire that erupted on Nov. 8 has accounted for the bulk of the claims, just over $7 billion of the total.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was also sitting next to his wife on the overnight flight in January. Ramamoorthy had molested the victim while unbuttoning her blouse and unzipping her trousers as she slept. Prosecutors asked the court for a sentence of nearly 11 years but James Amberg, Ramamoorthy’s defence lawyer, had asked the court for a sentence of less than 10 years.
A disgruntled employee at a Canadian Walmart decided that he wasn’t going to quit quietly. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, a 17-year-old worker named Jackson Racicot grabbed the PA mic and told everyone in the store what he really thought about working there. Racicot then dove into individual grievances, starting with his manager who apparently had called him “a waste of time.” He goes on to say that promises had been made and not kept, and details the story of how he was given only benefits of a part-time employee even though he worked full-time.
The First Step Act intends to address the concerns of Lee and Kerik by reforming both the length of prison sentences and conditions under which those sentences are served. Some of the bill’s proposals are intended as specific fixes: It will no longer be permissible to place juvenile prisoners in solitary confinement; female prisoners will have access to free tampons; inmates will have greater access to opioid addiction treatment programs. Prisoners will also be incarcerated no more than 500 miles from their homes.
A former Baylor University fraternity president accused of rape who will serve no jail time has been banned from the University of Texas at Dallas' campus and graduation activities. Jacob Anderson, 24, accepted a deal to plead no contest to a charge of unlawful restraint earlier this week. According to an arrest warrant, Anderson led a 19-year-old woman behind a house in 2016 where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her until she blacked out.
The automaker Porsche has presented a prototype charging station in Germany with an output of up to 450kW. Increasing the available charge capacity to up to 450kW considerably reduces the charging time, in turn increasing the number of vehicles able to use the technology in a given space of time. Two such charging stations are currently available to use, free of charge, as part of the test phase.
Theresa May staggers on to Brussels on Thursday to plead for a lifeline after her much-loathed Brexit plans provoked a revolt from her Conservative Party. In a little over three months time, the U.K. will be leaving the European Union with or without an agreement to cushion the blow and so far there are precious few signs that May will be able to persuade Parliament to back the divorce terms she’s negotiated with the EU. The risk of a no-deal Brexit and the economic and political chaos it would bring are growing.
Nelson Martinez, the jailed former head of Venezuela's state-run oil giant PDVSA who was arrested last year as part of anti-corruption purge, died in state custody Wednesday, authorities said. The chief prosecutor's office said Martinez suffered from a serious and chronic illness that led to his death at a medical facility where he was undergoing treatment. The death is likely to focus attention on the conditions in which authorities are holding key opponents and former government officials.
Brazil on Friday launched the first of five attack submarines built with French technology in a 35 billion-real ($8.9 billion) program planned to end in 2029 with delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine. President Michel Temer and his right-wing successor, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, both pressed the button that lowered into the sea the 1,700-ton submarine named Riachuelo at a Rio de Janeiro naval base. Temer's wife, Marcela, had christened the vessel, by smashing a champagne bottle against its hull.