President Trump on Tuesday exercised his pardon power, granting clemency to or commuting the sentences of nearly a dozen people convicted of crimes, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and junk bond pioneer Michael Milken. Trump also referred to himself as the nation's “chief law enforcement officer,” a title typically reserved for the attorney general. On Tuesday morning, the White House announced Trump's pardoning of former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. for his involvement in a 1998 corruption case against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.
A federal judge in Kansas who was publicly reprimanded for sexually harassing female employees and having an extramarital affair with an offender resigned on Tuesday, saying he could no longer effectively serve on the court. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia, who was based in Kansas City, Kansas, said in his letter that his resignation will be effective April 1. “In recent months, it has become clear that I can no longer effectively serve the Court in this capacity,” Murguia wrote.
Confirmed cases of the new, deadly coronavirus in the United States almost doubled over the holiday weekend thanks to the messy evacuation of Americans from a cruise ship in Japan, while fresh numbers from China suggested the disease might be deadlier than first believed. The U.S. government evacuated 328 American passengers from Tokyo early Monday on two chartered cargo jets, leaving dozens others behind who preferred to stay on the Diamond Princess cruise ship—despite a strong disembarkation recommendation from the federal government. All travelers from Japan were screened before boarding the aircraft “to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan,” according to the CDC.
A Turkish prosecutor issued a warrant to detain businessman Osman Kavala only hours after an Istanbul court unexpectedly acquitted him in another case of plotting to overthrow the government during mass protests that rocked the country in 2013. Kavala, who was released earlier on Tuesday after nearly 840 days in prison, will be questioned as a part of an investigation into the 2016 coup attempt against Turkey's leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to state-run Anadolu Agency. The legal reversal caps a day that began with a surprise end to a trial that tested the limits of opposition to Erdogan.
Frustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petitioned to leave the state – by moving the border with Idaho westward. The movement secured initial approval from two counties and aims to get enough signatures to put the proposal on ballots in November, according to the group called Greater Idaho. If the group succeeds, voters in southeast Oregon may see a question on whether their county should become part of Idaho by redrawing the border.
Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government's response to natural disasters. The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said.
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.
Only three candidates out of the more than half dozen vying for the White House have a viable path to the nomination, a senior official for the Mike Bloomberg campaign told reporters Tuesday.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg's new leftward-leaning financial regulation proposals are surprising analysts, who expected a more Wall Street-friendly campaign from the former New York mayor. The plans include a 0.1% transactions tax, merging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and regulating Wall Street in ways that ensure the financial system is “strong enough to weather crises without harming the broader economy or requiring taxpayer bailouts. Financial stocks underperformed the broader market Tuesday, with the S&P 500 Financials Index slipping as much as 1.4% and the KBW Bank Index falling as much as 2.1%, more than twice as much as the S&P 500.
Former national security adviser John Bolton criticized the White House on Monday for what he termed its efforts to censor his memoir on working in the Trump administration. “For all the focus on Ukraine and the impeachment trial and all that, to me, there are portions of the manuscript that deal with Ukraine, I view that like the sprinkles on the ice cream sundae in terms of what's in the book,” Bolton told an audience at Duke University. “I'm hoping ultimately I can get the book published,” Bolton said.
Claims that Yemeni rebels shot down a Saudi warplane have spotlighted the increasingly potent Huthi arsenal -- cause for alarm in Riyadh as fighting escalates amid faltering efforts to end the five-year conflict. The Iran-aligned Huthi rebels said they downed the Tornado aircraft on Friday over the volatile northern province of Al-Jawf, in a setback for the Riyadh-led military coalition that has always enjoyed air supremacy in the conflict. The rebels, once dismissed as a ragtag militia, said they hit the jet with an "advanced surface-to-air missile".
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.
Nearly a year after he was bailed out of jail while facing corruption charges, former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was taken back into custody on Wednesday after an appeals court sentenced him to a lengthier prison term of 17 year over bribery, embezzlement and other convictions. The Seoul High Court also ordered the 78-year-old to pay 13 billion won ($10.9 million) in fines and forfeit another 5.78 billion won ($4.6 million) over the alleged crimes that took place while he was president from 2008 to 2013 or when he was a candidate before winning the 2007 election. Lee's lawyers told reporters after the ruling that he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.
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.
Conservative activist Kaitlin Bennett, also known as "Gun Girl," incited large-scale student protests Monday when she appeared on Ohio University's Athens campus to film a video. Bennett had arrived on campus to film a President's Day trivia video for the Liberty Hangout, which bills itself as a libertarian media outlet, according to both her and the site. Bennett has been a divisive figure since gaining notoriety in 2018 for posting controversial graduation photos of herself with an AR-10 rifle at Kent State University.