In what could prove a highly consequential ruling, a federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to start turning over documents regarding potentially improper White House influence on diplomacy in Ukraine. The decision, part of a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act, represents the first judicial order mandating that the Trump administration comply with a request for communications between diplomats, White House officials and outside power brokers like Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was included in the original request, as were a number of his top deputies, indicating a widespread belief among Trump's detractors that American foreign policy has been hijacked by political operatives — and political considerations.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the destruction of South Korean-made hotels and other tourist facilities at the North's Diamond Mountain resort, apparently because Seoul won't defy international sanctions and resume South Korean tours at the site. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday that Kim had visited the resort and described its facilities as "shabby" and lacking national character. The report said Kim criticized North Korea's policies pushed under his late father as too dependent on the South and vowed that the North would redevelop the site on its own.
Last Oct. 27, millions across America and around the world gasped in horror at the news that a shooting during Shabbat services at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue had killed 11 Jews — the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in our nation's history. As we prepare to mark the first anniversary of that attack this weekend, my organization, the American Jewish Committee, is releasing the results of what we believe to be the largest and most comprehensive survey of American Jews ever conducted on the subject of anti-Semitism. Indeed, while two comprehensive surveys of European Jews on anti-Semitism have been conducted in the past decade alone, our research shows no such studies of American Jews have been done for at least half a century.
An Iranian beauty queen is seeking asylum in the Philippines, fearing for her life after Tehran demanded her extradition for a crime she claims she did not commit. Bahareh Zare Bahari, who represented Iran at the 2018 Miss Intercontinental pageant in Manila, and who has studied dental medicine in the Philippines since 2014, has been held for six days at the country's Ninoy Aquino airport after Iran slapped an Interpol Red Notice on her for alleged assault. In a series of messages, the distraught Ms Bahari told the Telegraph that the case was a “big lie,” adding that she believed she was being targeted for her political activism and outspoken support of women's rights.
The Sochi agreement defines the contours of the debacle for the Kurdish forces, who still controlled close to a third of Syria two weeks ago and have now lost almost everything. "For the Kurds, this is the end of Rojava, of their dreams of autonomy," is how Fabrice Balanche, a geographer specialised in Syrian affairs, summed it up. The fate of Rojava -- the name Kurds give to their region -- was sealed in a handshake Tuesday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
A Colorado mother who authorities said solicited donations, charitable services, and government aid for her purportedly terminally ill daughter who died in 2017 has been indicted on murder charges in the girl's death, court documents showed on Monday. Kelly Renee Turner, 41, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her seven-year-old daughter, Olivia Gant, and with forgery, theft, child abuse and bilking Medicaid out of nearly $538,000, according to the indictment handed down in Douglas County District Court. Colorado's Office of the Public Defender, which represents Turner, has a policy not to comment on its cases outside of court.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Whoopi Goldberg go toe to toe over Trump's “lynching” comments on Twitter.
A Honduran woman living in Connecticut has accused a US immigration agent of sexually assaulting her over a period of seven years under the threat of deportation, according to a federal lawsuit. The woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, sued the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice), and the former Ice agent Wilfredo Rodriguez on Saturday, seeking $10m in damages. “My only comment is that my client had a choice: cooperate with Ice or be deported with her family,” said George Kramer, the woman's lawyer.
The IDF's missile defense shield is composed of four layers: the iconic Iron Dome system for intercepting short-range rockets, David's Sling for medium-range rockets, Arrow-2 against intermediate-range ballistic missiles, and Arrow-3 against ICBM's and potentially satellites. Widely seen as a class-leading missile defense system when it was introduced in 2011, Iron Dome has since come under criticism by several revisionist defense commentators. MIT Professor Ted Postol authored a series of influential if not controversial articles arguing that Iron Dome's true interception rate -- that is, its ability to strike and destroy a rocket's warhead rather than its fuselage-- was under 50%.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, vowed on Wednesday to veto an abortion “heartbeat” bill touted by Republican lawmakers should the bill pass the state legislature. The bill, introduced by Republican state Senator Doug Mastriano and Representative Stephanie Borowicz, would ban abortions in cases where a physician can detect a fetal heartbeat. “When you hear a baby's heartbeat, everything changes,” said Borowicz during a Monday press conference at the state Capitol.
Residents of the northern Mexico city of Culiacan tried to get back to their routines Tuesday, five days after gunmen from the Sinaloa drug cartel sowed terror across the city. Restaurants caught in the midst of last week's shootings have repaired some of their plate-glass windows, but some outside walls are still scarred by bullet holes. Hundreds of cartel gunmen took to the streets with heavy weaponry Thursday to open fire on soldiers and police, seeking to force the release of a drug lord held by a military patrol.
A new study reveals that marine species weren't spared: Acid rain and fallout from the impact acidified the world's oceans in a "flash." That caused marine ecosystems to collapse. Within a minute of hitting the Earth, the Chicxulub asteroid had bored a hole nearly 100 miles wide into the sea floor, creating a bubbling pit of molten rock and super-hot gas. The contents of that fiery cauldron skyrocketed, creating a mountain-high plume that poured acid rain into the oceans.
The Virginia city of Norfolk has the right to move its "Johnny Reb" Confederate statue from a busy downtown intersection to a local cemetery, the state attorney general and a local prosecutor have determined. Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Gregory Underwood filed court papers late Tuesday saying his office and the office of Attorney General Mark Herring have determined the statue, dedicated in 1907, is technically exempt from a state law banning the removal of monuments to war veterans. Underwood says the city would only be governed by the law if the statue were built after 1997.
Joe Biden is leading by his widest-set margin among Democratic presidential contenders since his campaign's launch in April, according to a new poll from CNN. More than 35 per cent of Democrat and Democrat-leaning voters support the former vice president, compared to other frontrunners Elizabeth Warren, who polled at 19 per cent, and Bernie Sanders, who was on 16 per cent. SSRS surveyed 1,003 people over three days in October; 352 were called on a landline and 651 responded via mobile phone.
The new fourth-generation Fit hatchback is here, but its prospects for the U.S. are not looking good. From Car and Driver
Lev Parnas, a Soviet-born business associate with ties to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, raised the issue of executive privilege during a court proceeding Wednesday, arguing it could apply to some of the evidence gathered in his campaign-finance case in New York. The issue was raised during an arraignment for Parnas and Igor Furman, who pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges in a four-count indictment that accused them of funneling money through straw donors into U.S. elections in an effort to gain influence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebekah Donaleski, offered a glimpse into the “voluminous” evidence that prosecutors have recovered so far on the two men who have become figures in the Trump impeachment proceedings, through “dozens of search warrants,” property searches, and subpoenas.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December promising to reduce public spending to free up more resources for the poor. But his austerity drive has left media outlets reeling, and raised questions about whether Lopez Obrador is trying to influence coverage. Between January and August, Lopez Obrador's government spent 88 million pesos ($4.6 million) on advertising, just 3.6% of the sum spent in the same months of 2018 by his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto, Public Administration Ministry (SFP) data show.
It is a description of the conditions under which perhaps as many as a million Uighur Muslims live in China in 2019. China, in case you had forgotten, is the United States' largest trading partner, the country whose achievements in everything from infrastructure to STEM education we are supposed to be fawning over, the country our president is an idiot for wanting to tangle with, and prominent sports figures are officially not allowed to criticize. In the last six or so years they have created hell on Earth for the country's largest Turkic ethnic minority group in the ostensibly autonomous Xinjiang region.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will find out Tuesday evening whether he can muster a majority in the House of Commons to support his Brexit deal. Even if he does, it may not be enough to get the agreement through Parliament by his Oct. 31 deadline. Having twice been denied a vote on whether lawmakers support his deal, Johnson has introduced the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which would implement the deal in law, and plans to push it through Parliament at a breakneck pace.
Seattle's public-school district has proposed a new math curriculum that would teach its students all about how math has been “appropriated” — and how it “continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities. A draft of the curriculum, which was covered in an article in Education Week, would teach students how to “explain how math and technology and/or science are connected and how technology and/or science have (sic) been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,” as well as to “identify and teach others about mathematicians* of color in their various communities: schools, neighborhoods, places of worship, businesses, etc.” Educat...
California's governor has asked the attorney general to investigate why the state's gas prices are so high, pointing to a new report suggesting big oil companies are "misleading and overcharging customers" by as much as $1 per gallon. Name brand retailers — including 76, Chevron and Shell — often charge more because they say their gasoline is of higher quality. But a new analysis from the California Energy Commission could not explain the price difference, concluding "there is no apparent difference in the quality of gasoline at retail outlets in the state."
Accidentally eating meat may be upsetting, but it's unlikely to cause serious harm unless you have a rare allergy. Patrick Hukins, who has been vegan for four years, said he felt sick to his stomach and betrayed after the supposed mix-up.
Hillary Clinton has kept a relatively low profile since her embarrassing 2016 election defeat, popping up only occasionally to make out-of-touch elitist comments that confirm why she lost. Clinton accused the Hawaii congresswoman of being groomed by outside forces, saying: “I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate … She's the favorite of the Russians.” There is some dispute about whether Clinton meant it was the Russians or Republicans who were pushing a third-party Gabbard candidacy, but a Clinton spokesman asked about the comments replied “if the nesting doll fits”, clearly implying it was dastardly Russians. Related: It was gutsy of Hillary Clinton to stand by Bill.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who's still trying to settle a nearly week-old teacher's strike, proposed a combination of debt refinancing, tax and fee hikes and assistance from the state Legislature on Wednesday to close a massive $838 million budget deficit.
Two members of a US far-right group were each sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for brawling with anti-fascist demonstrators in New York, prosecutors said. The sentencing comes as tensions between white supremacists and leftists simmer in the United States. Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman, members of the Proud Boys group, were found guilty in August by a state court of several counts of attempted assault and rioting.