Supporters of Reality Winner, a National Security Agency whistleblower who leaked classified information about Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, petitioned Donald Trump on Monday for her early release from prison. Alison Grinter, an attorney representing the former US air force intelligence specialist, announced at a press conference in Dallas that she had submitted 4,500 letters of support to the federal office of the pardon attorney, the division of the Department of Justice that advises the US president on executive clemency decisions.
A 12-year-old boy was tortured and beaten to death by his grandparents and a teenage uncle at their home in Montana, authorities said. In multiple instances, the suspects recorded themselves torturing the boy on their cellphones, police said. James Alex Hurley had been living with his grandparents, James Sasser Jr., 47, and Patricia Batts, 48, for about two years after the death of his father, who Batts identified as her biological son, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The worst locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in 70 years has reached South Sudan, a country where roughly half the population already faces hunger after years of civil war, officials announced Tuesday. Around 2,000 locusts were spotted inside the country, Agriculture Minister Onyoti Adigo told reporters. The locusts have been seen in Eastern Equatoria state near the borders with Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
Authorities managing dams in Tennessee and Mississippi must make difficult decisions as floodwaters swell along the states' rivers; the surging water pressing against the dams has to be released at some point, and when it does, it often spells disaster for individuals living downstream from the dams. Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Jim Hopson told the Associated Press that the organisation was working to mitigate the damage caused when water is released from the dams.
The Cuban government has ordered a cement factory to burn old tires to power its operations and save on oil, amid a worsening fuel shortage brought on by US sanctions on the Communist island. On orders of President Miguel Diaz-Canel, the firm Cementos Cienfuegos, located in the center of the country, will receive an increasing supply of used tires to burn, the official daily Granma said Monday. Cuba has been suffering oil shortages since last September, when the administration of President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on ships carrying petroleum to the island from its main fuel supplier Venezuela.
South China Morning Post/YouTube On February 11, Shanghai, China, police recorded a woman trying to sneak into the city in the trunk of a car. Authorities said the woman had just visited Hubei Province, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, and was trying to avoid a mandatory quarantine. Both she and her friend who was driving the car were placed in quarantine after they were caught at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Shanghai.
This system is meant to ensure that Taiwan does not run out of masks and that the country will be ready in the event that the virus spreads further throughout Taiwan. Tsai announced that the government would exercise “centralized procurement, centralized distribution, and centralized pricing” while tracking production and inventories to ensure dependable domestic supplies. The government has emphasized that healthy people do not need to wear masks but photos across Taiwan show people wearing them as a precautionary measure, particularly on public transportation.
A "ghost ship" abandoned for over a year and drifting in the Atlantic finally washed ashore in Ireland amid Storm Dennis' choppy water, the country's coast guard says. The MV Alta was found on the coast near Ballycotton, a small town in southern Ireland's County Cork, with no crew on board, the Irish Coast Guard said Sunday. The county's local council asked the public to stay away from the vessel as crews work to determine whether it posses any environmental risk.
Hunter Biden, son of former vice president Joe Biden, was on the board of a trade group that lobbied the Obama administration for increased U.S. aid to Ukraine, according to a report Tuesday. From 2012 through 2018, the younger Biden served as a director for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and was connected as well with its affiliate, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Daily Caller reported. The two groups, which include about 400 larger corporations and non-government organizations, lobbied for increased spending abroad by the State Department's International Affairs Budget, including a special focus on Ukraine.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that he doesn't believe the U.S. will pursue war with his country because it will harm President Trump's 2020 reelection bid. Rouhani said Trump knows that war with Iran will “ruin his chances of winning the election.
The Federal Judges Association will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss concerns members have over President Trump and top Justice Department officials intervening in the case of longtime Trump friend and adviser Roger Stone. The association has more than 1,000 members, and says it supports a "fair, impartial, and independent judiciary." The group's president, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, told USA Today that members decided they "could not wait" until the organization's spring conference to address the matter. Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering, and last week, Trump complained about federal prosecutors recommending Stone receive a sentence of seven to nine years.
A Russian court on Monday ordered a woman who escaped from a virus quarantine to return back to the hospital she fled and stay under quarantine for at least two more days. The ruling underlined the chaotic public health approaches being taken to stop the spread of the new coronavirus from China. Alla llyina was admitted to the hospital in the northern Russian city of St. Petersburg on Feb. 6 with a sore throat and was tested for the new virus because she had returned from China five days earlier.
A Danish court sentenced a former public employee on Tuesday to 6-1/2 years in prison for embezzling $17 million in Danish government funds earmarked to support the most vulnerable in society. Britta Nielsen was arrested in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2018 with piles of cash and charged with diverting 117 million Danish crowns in state funds intended for the poor to her own accounts over a 25-year period until 2018. Nielsen, 65, who worked for the social affairs ministry for over 40 years until her arrest, admitted at her trial that the money, which among other things was spent on horses and a mansion in South Africa, became an addiction to her.
Members of a German extreme right group arrested last week were believed to have been plotting "shocking" large-scale attacks on mosques similar to the ones carried out in New Zealand last year, a government spokesman said Monday. Officials said that investigations into 12 men detained in police raids across Germany Friday had indicated they planned major attacks, following media reports over the weekend the group aimed to launch several simultaneous mass-casualty assaults on Muslims during prayers. "It's shocking what has been revealed here, that there are cells here that appear to have become radicalised in such a short space of time," interior ministry spokesman Bjoern Gruenewaelder told reporters at a Berlin press conference.
“Holidays will never be the same,” Jennifer told Dateline. Liz, as she is known by her family and friends, was four months pregnant with her third child. “She got in his truck and that's the last time I ever heard from her,” Amber said.
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters Elon Musk criticized OpenAI, one of the world's top AI research organizations, saying it lacks transparency and that his confidence in its technology's safety is "not high." OpenAI is racing to be the first to build a machine with the reasoning powers of a human mind. Musk himself is one of OpenAI's founders — he stepped away from the company last year, but is still a top donor.
Weeks of heavy rain have inundated a large portion of the southern U.S., bringing near-record flooding to portions of Mississippi and Tennessee. In Jackson, Mississippi, hundreds of residents either watched their homes flood over the weekend or worried their residence would soon be drenched as the Pearl River crested Monday at 36.8 feet, its third-highest level ever recorded – behind only 1979 and 1983. Reeves said at a news conference Monday that there were no reports of flood-related injuries and thanked the people of Mississippi for heeding evacuation orders.
There are shortages of food and other essentials throughout Yichang, the Hubei province city of more than 4 million where they have been in limbo for weeks. “The government of Taiwan surely will come to our rescue,” her husband, Calvin Fan, who is from Beijing, has reassured her. Taiwan and China each say the other is the reason that she and other Taiwan citizens are unable to leave Hubei, a province under lockdown, where hundreds have died from the coronavirus and tens of thousands have been infected.
Michael Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire businessman, philanthropist, and former New York City mayor, is one of those candidates who has no business running for president as a Democrat. That's at least the sentiment one hears from his competitors, all whom have either been loyal Democrats for decades or proudly represent the kinds of progressive policies and values that one typically associates with a Democratic officeholder. Bloomberg may be a progressive on certain issues; he has spent tens of millions of dollars on causes related to gun control and the environment.
More than 1,100 former Justice Department officials signed a letter released on Sunday urging Attorney General William Barr to resign in the wake of Barr's intervention in the sentencing of political operative Roger Stone. The Justice Department originally recommended Stone be sentenced to seven-to-nine years in prison for lying to investigators in the Mueller probe. A senior Justice Department official told NPR that other officials were “shocked” by the recommendation.
PG&E Corp. s biggest union is pushing back against Bernie Sanders' criticism of the embattled California power company, claiming the senator and presidential candidate supports a $100 billion state takeover of the utility. The campaign by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245 follows a new Sanders ad in California last week that blasted PG&E for sparking the deadly wildfires that pushed it into bankruptcy last year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday dismissed a veteran, once close adviser who until recently managed Moscow's relations with war-torn Ukraine. Putin fired Vladislav Surkov, seen as a hardliner by many in Kiev, in a terse two-line statement on the Kremlin website. The decree was issued a week after the Kremlin said a senior Ukrainian-born Russian official, Dmitry Kozak, was now in charge of managing Moscow's relations with Ukraine, effectively sidelining Surkov.
Dozens of women protested outside the presidential residence in Mexico City on Tuesday following the murder of a seven-year-old girl -- a crime that sparked an uproar in the violence-wracked country. Dressed in black and many with their faces covered, the protesters demanded an end to impunity and violence against women. "Femicide is a state crime," protesters shouted as they demanded that left-wing President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador take responsiblity to end violence against women.
The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection. Facing mounting legal costs from defending itself against lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of boys, the venerable non-profit sought Chapter 11 protection in a court filing Tuesday. A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that the filing had "two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come.
Associated Press/Heng Sinith Health officials on Saturday said they'd found a coronavirus case among the hundreds of passengers who disembarked a cruise ship in Cambodia, The New York Times reported. The Westerdam cruise ship spent weeks stranded at sea after five ports rejected it over coronavirus fears. Now, more than 1,000 passengers from the ship have proceeded to destinations around the world, and health officials are struggling to determine how to handle the situation.