A poll released earlier this week showed Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential primary pack in Iowa for the first time. Buttigieg, an openly gay military veteran, was the top choice of 25 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers, outpacing long-standing frontrunners Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg has staked a position where he can be seen as a reasonable alternative for voters who have doubts about the three leading candidates.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner blamed "thugs" and "bullies" on Sunday for the violence that hit demonstrations the previous day marking marked the first anniversary of the anti-government "yellow vest" protests. "Yesterday, what we saw were few (legitimate) demonstrators but thugs, bullies and morons," Castaner told Europe 1 radio when asked about the violence in Paris on Saturday. Demonstrators torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon during the rallies to mark a year since the birth of the anti-government yellow vest movement.
A supervillain was inside the White House Saturday night. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz reported that President Trump hosted a showing of “Joker,” which tells the origin story of Batman's archnemesis. “Joker,” which was released in theaters in October, stars Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, a disturbed young comedian who descends into a world of crime.
A Chinese aircraft carrier fleet passed near Taiwan on Sunday, prompting the self-governing island to scramble ships and jets to monitor the situation. Taiwan's defense ministry said the southbound Chinese fleet passed into the Taiwan Strait but stayed on China's side of the waterway that separates the island from China. The ministry said Taiwan scrambled ships and jets to monitor the fleet.
Two leading Muslim groups said Sunday they will file petitions in India's top court challenging its decision to award Hindus control of a bitterly disputed holy site that has sparked deadly inter-religious violence. The Supreme Court ruled on November 9 that the holy site in Ayodhya, where Hindu mobs destroyed a 460-year-old mosque in 1992, must be managed by a trust to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple. A separate piece of land in Ayodhya would be given over to a Muslim group to build a "prominent" new mosque.
One local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate. The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force. The silo's owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he's “bored”.
An elephant named after Osama bin Laden, the late al-Qaida leader, has died in captivity after he was captured following a massive hunt in northeastern India, officials said Sunday.
A father in Massachusetts is facing criminal charges after his 5-year-old son allegedly brought heroin to school and said tasting it made him feel like Spider-Man. Benny Garcia's son took a bag of heroin to kindergarten on Thursday, prosecutors said, and put some of the powder in his mouth. The boy told a teacher he got it from his living room, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported, and said eating the powder turns him into the superhero whose image was stamped on the plastic bag.
For most sailors who served on the Admiral Kuznetzov, Mazut is the stuff of legends. Why exactly is the Kuznetsov so smoky? Of all the large ships the current Russian Navy operates, only the Sovremenny-class destroyers and the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier run on Mazut.
BEIRUT—He has fought Israel since the 1990s and killed many fighters in Syria's civil war, but the increasing difficulty of working-class life in Lebanon and a popular revolt against the country's leaders has forced Abu Hussein to reevaluate his decades-long service to Hezbollah. Backed by Iran, it is more powerful than Lebanon's military and holds a political veto on state policies. The Trump White House has made Hezbollah a prime target in its “Maximum Pressure” campaign against Iran, which seeks to squeeze the Islamic Republic economically until it signs a new, Trump-approved deal covering not only nukes, but ending Iran's support for militias like Hezbollah.
Hong Kong police laid siege to a university on Monday, firing rubber bullets and tear gas to pin back anti-government protesters armed with petrol bombs and other weapons and stop them from fleeing amid fears of a bloody crackdown. Dozens, choking on the tear gas, tried to leave the Polytechnic University by breaking through police lines after a night of mayhem in the Chinese-ruled city in which roads were blocked, a bridge set on fire and a police officer was shot by a bow and arrow. Many protesters, dressed in regular clothes and without gas masks, made runs for it, dodging tear gas canisters and sponge grenades, only to be forced back inside.
There were fireworks aplenty, but the most important development during former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's testimony at Friday's House impeachment hearing was an undetonated bomb. Ambassador Yovanovitch came across as a compelling witness: heroic in serving the United States in the world's badlands, dedicated to the cause of advancing American policy under administrations of both parties, and suddenly ousted by President Trump — not just in the absence of a sensible explanation, but as the victim of a whispering campaign that maligned her character and undermined her reputation for nonpartisan service. The president's camp is the unapologetic source of the whispering campaign.
Kamala Harris is framing an upcoming campaign swing through early voting South Carolina around the voting demographic most sought after in the state's Democratic primary: black women. On Saturday, Harris' campaign is teaming up with black female organizers and volunteers to canvass and hold a “woman to woman” phone bank for the California senator in South Carolina, officials said. They're working with Higher Heights, the country's largest online political organization aimed at electing black women, which endorsed Harris this month and provided significant support during the 2018 midterms to candidates who helped usher in the most diverse Congress in history.
South African police detained more than 180 foreign nationals for storming the UN refugee agency in Pretoria, where they had been staging a sit-in protest, police said Saturday. Hundreds of asylum-seekers started camping in front of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on October 8, asking to be relocated to another country after a spate of xenophobic violence in September. Protesters broke into the UNHCR premises on Thursday after they were informed of a court order giving them three days to vacate the site.
Japan's trade curbs on South Korea have so far been a case of “the bark was worse than the bite,” with only limited fallout for South Korea's economy, according to Citigroup Inc. Japan's tighter scrutiny of exports of three key materials used in the chip industry and Tokyo's removal of its neighbor from a list of trusted trading partners have had little impact on South Korea's imports of industrial and capital goods, Citigroup economists Marie Kim and Jeeho Yoon wrote in a report Friday. The moves have, however, spurred South Korean efforts to reduce economic reliance on Japan, the analysts wrote.
The deaths of three separate families within ten days have shocked Turkey as the country struggles with mass unemployment and a financial crisis. On Friday, authorities confirmed that a family of three had been found dead in their home in the central Istanbul district of Bakırköy, poisoned by cyanide. Earlier in the month, police discovered the bodies of a family of four, including a nine year-old daughter and a five year-old son, in their home in the southern city of Antalya.
Syracuse University suspended one fraternity and halted social activities at all the school's fraternities for the rest of the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents that have prompted days of protests, the school president announced Sunday. "Last night, one of our African American students reported being subjected to a verbal racial epithet from a group of students and visitors to our campus," Chancellor Kent Syverud said in a statement. Syverud's action was the latest in a series of crackdowns on fraternities across the nation and comes less than a week after San Diego State University suspended all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations following the death of a freshman who had attended a fraternity event.
Key point: Russia and NATO's military buildup in the Baltics is creating a tense situation. In the most recent illustration of ongoing Russia-NATO military tensions over Baltic airspace, recently released footage shows a Russian Su-27 fighter making a sharp turn into an American F-15C. It is unclear when the video was filmed, with some speculating that it occured during a prior NATO BAP (Baltic Air Policing) mission. When viewed in that light, this incident seems to fall into the trend of what US officials have previously described as “unsafe” Russian interceptions and “aggressive maneuvers” in high-tension airspace.
Prince Andrew says he is prepared to give evidence about his friendship with late accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein under oath, and claimed to have no recollection of the notorious photograph of him with his arm around the waist of alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre being taken. To support his latter claim, Andrew told the BBC's Newsnight program on Saturday that the “traveling clothes” he was wearing in the picture were not clothes he would wear in London. Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her on three occasions when she was being trafficked by Epstein, an allegation he has denied.
A purported street gang leader from Chicago who allegedly became radicalized in prison faces federal charges accusing him of seeking to provide money to Islamic State militants in Syria, according to a complaint unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
A handful of Republicans went on the Sunday talk shows to defend President Trump after a rough first week of public impeachment hearings. On Fox News, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) argued that Democrats shouldn't impeach Trump for a scheme to withhold military aid from Ukraine until its president publicly announced investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden and the Democratic National Committee, because "it didn't happen" and "Ukraine got the money." Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) told CNN that "it is not okay" for a U.S. president to even "raise his political opponent" in a phone call with a foreign leader, but it's also not "scandalous" because Trump acknowledged doing it when he released the partial transcript of his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.
Chile's independent human rights watchdog said on Saturday it would file a formal complaint for murder against police officers who allegedly prevented paramedics from attending a heart attack victim amid a protest Friday. Security forces firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons made it impossible for rescue workers to properly treat the victim, Chile's publicly-funded National Institute for Human Rights said. Twenty-nine year old Abel Acuna died shortly after at a nearby Santiago hospital.
But the ruling Georgian Dream party general secretary and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze flatly ruled out the possibility of early polls on Monday. Speaking during a news conference, he accused the opposition of "destabilising political processes with cheap and destructive performances." In a joint statement earlier Monday, the US and EU embassies said they "recognise the deep disappointment of a wide segment of Georgian society at the failure of parliament to pass the constitutional amendments required to move to fully proportional parliamentary elections in 2020."
The number of foreign students coming to U.S. colleges and universities continued to fall last year, according to a new report, but the Trump administration says the drop should be blamed on high tuition costs and not students' concerns over the nation's political atmosphere. An annual report from the Institute of International Education found that the number of newly enrolled international students dipped by 1% in fall 2018 compared to the year before. The downturn is a worry for universities that have come to rely on tuition from foreign students, who are typically charged higher rates.
Department of State Mina Chang, a 35-year-old State Department official, prompted a flurry of interest over her credentials this week after she was alleged to have embellished her work history and educational experience. In a statement from her previous nonprofit group, executive director Ian Dailey characterized the news reports as a "classic 'hit-job'" and said he was "disgusted with the unwarranted attack" against Chang. Here's what we know about Chang, who joined the Trump administration in April.