An association of federal judges will convene for an urgent meeting Trump's interference in the Department of Justice's sentencing of Roger Stone, USA Today reported. The DOJ leadership overruled their prosecutors' sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years in prison for Stone, who was convicted in November on seven charges of witness tampering, false statements, and obstruction. The overrule came after Trump publicly complained about the sentencing recommendation for Stone, his long time ally, in a tweet, calling it "a horrible and very unfair situation."
A driver has been accused of drunkenly hitting a pedestrian with his vehicle in South Austin over the weekend, traveling at least a half-mile with the body before stopping at a beer garden, according to court documents. Witnesses told officers they saw a 2014 white Ford Focus hit a person walking near Slaughter Lane and then drive south on Menchaca Road, an arrest affidavit says. The body of the pedestrian, who has not been identified, went through the Ford's windshield and was found in the passenger seat of the vehicle a half-mile south from where the crash happened, the affidavit says.
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.
Mike Bloomberg's free-spending campaign rollout has rocketed him into contention for the Democratic nomination — but he now faces a challenge immune to his fortune. The multibillionaire qualified early Tuesday for the nationally televised debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night, clocking in at 19 percent in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll — good for second place behind only Sen. Bernie Sanders. The former New York mayor's irritability with questions he deems unwarranted and controversies he feels he has already put to bed could undermine his debut on the debate stage, where Americans will be introduced to the man behind the ubiquitous campaign ads.
A "ghost ship" drifting without a crew for more than a year washed ashore on Ireland's south coast in high seas caused by Storm Dennis, the Republic's coast guard said. The abandoned 77-metre (250-feet) cargo ship MV Alta ran aground on rocks outside the village of Ballycotton near Cork, Ireland's second city, bringing an end to her months-long voyage. The Alta's odyssey began in September 2018 when she became disabled in the mid-Atlantic en route from Greece to Haiti.
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.
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.
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 Washington woman and her 16-year-old daughter were arrested and accused of drugging a woman with a tainted cupcake in an attempt to kidnap her newborn child and raise it as her own. Juliette Parker, 38, allegedly used a number of aliases such as Juliette Noel and Juliette Gains, which may have been used to contact unsuspecting parents as a baby photographer. "She wanted (babies) five weeks and younger so she could raise it herself, take it out of state and pretend it was a newborn of her own,” Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer told CBS News.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons failed on Monday after some of his fellow Democrats balked at the proposal.
Mexico City officials said Tuesday they will tighten rules for children leaving government schools on their own after a 7-year-old girl was found murdered over the weekend. In Mexico City, even grade-school students often simply walk out of school after classes to meet parents waiting on the sidewalks, but there have been few controls to ensure someone is there to meet them. That is apparently what happened to Fatima, who was seen on video leaving her school on Feb. 11 with an unidentified woman.
Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP/Business Insider Fourteen US citizens were found to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as they were evacuated from a quarantined cruise ship to be brought home on Monday. Thousands of people had been quarantined in the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan for more than a week, and the US offered flights home for its citizens on Monday morning. But 14 people were tested positive for the coronavirus before they boarded the plane, so they were then put in a separate isolation box for the flight.
“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.
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.
The Greenspan Fed was struggling to get inflation to its 2% target and inflation expectations were falling. The Federal Open Market Committee slashed the fed funds rate to 1.25% to stave off a further contraction in economic activity or inflation. The economic hit from the 2019 escalation of the U.S.-China trade war and the combination of the Iraq War and popping of the tech bubble are noteworthy in the similarity.
Like the vast majority of Americans, I have been effectively disenfranchised in the last few presidential elections. In 2011, I moved to Washington, D.C., which is so heavily Democratic that any vote for president is totally meaningless — in 2016, Hillary Clinton won with 93 percent of the vote. But last year, I moved to famously swingy Pennsylvania, and suddenly I'm a full citizen again.
A national association of federal judges has called an emergency meeting to address growing concerns about the intervention of Donald Trump and justice department officials in politically sensitive cases, according to US media reports. Cynthia Rufe, a Philadelphia US district judge who heads the independent Federal Judges Association, which has more than 1,100 members, told USA Today the group “could not wait” until its spring conference to discuss the matter. The meeting comes after more than 2,000 former US justice department officials, including some of the top government lawyers in the country, called on the attorney general, William Barr, to resign in the wake of the Roger Stone scandal.
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.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday announced measures intended to counter Islamic extremism in France by giving the government more authority over the schooling of children, the financing of mosques and the training of imams. Macron, during a visit to the city of Mulhouse in eastern France, said the government sought to combat “foreign interference” in how Islam is practiced and the way its religious institutions are organized in the secular country. Macron said he plans to end a program created in 1977 that allowed nine countries to send teachers to France to provide foreign language and culture classes without any supervision from French authorities.
A French photographer visiting New York over Valentine's Day weekend to surprise his girlfriend has survived a random attack that left him with a slashed throat. As reported by the New York Post, 27-year-old Gabriel Bascou was visiting his girlfriend in Harlem, where she is working as an au pair, when a man cut his face and neck with a knife, then fled as the photographer's blood spilled on the sidewalk and his stunned girlfriend kneeled beside him. The couple were leaving an IHOP restaurant on Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard near West 132nd Street around 11am on Friday when the man surprised Mr Bascou and quickly slashed at his face.
Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon The Wuhan coronavirus has had a significant impact on the cruise industry. More than 200 people on Princess Cruises' Diamond Princess ship have tested positive for the virus, and passengers on other ships have had their trips canceled or altered. Cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean International have warned that the coronavirus could hurt their financial performance.
An Indiana professor who called the police after a student declined to change seats during class last month has been suspended, the school said. In a statement released Thursday, Ball State University in Muncie said marketing professor Shaheen Borna will not teach for the rest of the semester. "This decision is in the best interest of Dr. Borna and the University," the statement said, adding that Borna's departure will "eliminate any unnecessary distractions, and help our students complete the appropriate course expectations."
A Chinese company has pulled out of a $280 million project to build a logistics center in Kyrgyzstan after protests by hundreds of locals in a fresh display of anti-Beijing sentiment in Central Asia. The deal signed during Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to the former Soviet republic last year envisaged construction of warehouses, transport terminals, hotels and other facilities in a free-trade zone near Kyrgyzstan's border with China. However, hundreds of locals saw it as a land grab by Kyrgyzstan's giant neighbor and held a series of protests demanding that the project be canceled.