An emissary for two wealthy Arab princes boasted to unnamed officials of a Middle Eastern government about his direct access to Hillary and Bill Clinton while funneling more than $3.5 million in illegal campaign contributions to the former secretary of state's 2016 presidential campaign and Democratic fundraising committees, according to a federal indictment announced by the Justice Department this week. Wonderful meeting with Big Lady. Can't wait to tell you all about it,” George Nader allegedly wrote to an official of one of the foreign governments he advises in the Middle East after attending a political fundraiser with Hillary Clinton on April 16, 2016.
A convicted murderer set to become the first federal inmate to be executed in 16 years was granted a stay of execution on Thursday by a judge in Indiana. Daniel Lewis Lee, a white supremacist convicted in Arkansas of murdering a family of three, was granted the stay by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. Lee's execution had been set for Monday, but a separate ruling by a judge in Washington last month put his execution and that of three other federal inmates on hold.
An Iranian held in the US and an American held in Iran have been freed, the two sides said Saturday, in an apparent prisoner swap at a time of heightened tensions. Tehran announced the release of Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani from the United States shortly before Washington declared American researcher Xiyue Wang was returning home. "Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted.
A vehicle that appears to belong to U.S. Border Patrol then pulls up and officials emerge, prompting the other men to gather the ladder and slide back down the fence into Mexico. Video: ACLU Asks Judge to Block Border Wall Funding The 16-year-old Mexican citizen who ran into the U.S. was apprehended by Border Patrol, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Joshua Devack said in a video statement posted to Twitter. Trump sent park rangers to the border: National parks official says he wasn't informed "All too often, criminal organizations exploit juveniles in this regard," Devack said in the video, which was shot at the same location.
Reddit has said that leaked documents on US-UK trade deal discussions were likely posted on the site as part of a Russian influence campaign. The documents were cited by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK's opposition Labour party, as evidence that his opponent in the UK general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was poised to sell out the NHS in trade negotiations with the US. Researchers earlier in the week said that the accounts that posted the documents on Reddit indicated links to a vast Russian influence campaign uncovered on Facebook dubbed Secondary Infektion.
As Democrats champion anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community and Republicans counter with worries about safeguarding religious freedom, one congressional Republican is offering a proposal on Friday that aims to achieve both goals. The bill that Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart plans to unveil would shield LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other public services — while also carving out exemptions for religious organizations to act based on beliefs that may exclude those of different sexual orientations or gender identities. Stewart's bill counts support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but it has yet to win a backer among House Democrats who unanimously supported a more expansive LGBTQ rights measure in May.
Shootings a day apart at two high schools in Wisconsin have shaken the state and sparked a renewed debate over how to combat violence in American schools. An Oshkosh police department resource officer shot a 16-year-old student Tuesday after the boy stabbed him in the officer's office at Oshkosh West high school. A day earlier, a resource officer at Waukesha South high school helped clear students out of a classroom after a 17-year-old student pointed a pellet gun at another student's head.
Key point: The Pentagon may end up flying the B-52 for 100 years. Sixty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force received its last B-52 from Boeing, the flying branch finally has firmed up plans to fit the heavy bomber with new engines. Air Force magazine in its January 2019 issue took a deep dive into the re-engining effort.
A San Francisco judge ruled Friday that the criminal trial may move forward against the pro-life investigators who went undercover to record abortion industry executives talking about procuring fetal body parts. Judge Christopher Hite deemed the evidence sufficient to send to trial the case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress, who are charged with nine felony counts, one count of conspiracy and eight counts of illegal taping. Daleiden, 30, and Merritt, 64, several years ago surreptitiously recorded executives from Planned Parenthood and other organizations haggling about compensation for the procurement of fetal parts for researchers who request them.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he wants to become president to end "the nationwide madness" of U.S. gun violence, calling it evil and saying he would allow its victims to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
The White House said on Friday it would refuse to take part in hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives set for next week that will consider what articles of impeachment to bring against President Donald Trump. In a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone called the Democrats' impeachment inquiry "completely baseless" and said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had ordered Democrats to proceed with articles of impeachment "before your committee has heard a single shred of evidence." "We don't see any reason to participate because the process is unfair," said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The Trump Administration will reauthorize the use of so-called “cyanide bombs” to poison coyotes, foxes and feral dogs that could threaten private livestock. The decision comes four months after halting their authorization amid public backlash. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday it would include new safety requirements to protect humans and pets, such as additional signs and increased distances the distance the “cyanide bombs” must be from homes and roads.
Two retired judges have been given the gut-wrenching task of divvying up a roughly $800 million settlement among thousands of people who were injured or lost loved ones in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, USA Today reported Friday. Last month, MGM Resorts International, which owned the Mandalay Bay hotel where the shooting occurred, agreed to pay a settlement of up to $800 million to compensate victims and their families. Just over two years ago, the deadliest mass shooting in US history left 58 people dead after a gunman sprayed bullets into a music festival crowd as he stood on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel.
Tesla has changed the production timelines for the most and least expensive trims of its Cybertruck pickup truck. It said production for the three-motor, all-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $69,900, would begin in 2021, a year earlier than Tesla first announced. The single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck, which starts at $39,900, will enter production in late 2022, a year later than its original timeline, Tesla said.
A New Jersey man pleaded guilty Friday to a state charge stemming from a scheme that raked in more than $400,000 in online donations with a phony story about a homeless man helping a stranded woman. Mark D'Amico pleaded guilty in state Superior Court in Burlington County to misapplication of entrusted property stemming from the late 2017 scheme. D'Amico; his ex-girlfriend, Katelyn McClure; and homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt faced state and federal charges.
Fifteen Russian spies, including those accused of the Salisbury nerve agent attack, used the French Alps as a “base camp” to conduct covert operations around Europe over a five-year period, according to reports. The revelations came as Germany expelled two Russian diplomats after prosecutors said there was “sufficient factual evidence” linking Moscow to the killing of a former Chechen rebel commander in central Berlin. According to Le Monde, British, Swiss, French, and US intelligence have drawn up a list of 15 members of the 29155 unit of Russia's GRU military spy agency who all passed through France's Haute-Savoie mountains close to the Swiss and Italian borders.
A Virginia state commission released a report Thursday calling for the official repeal of “deeply troubling” state laws still on the books that contain “explicitly racist language and segregationist policies. The Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law published a lengthy report saying that the outdated laws should not “remain enshrined in law” despite no longer being in effect. The commission believes that such vestiges of Virginia's segregationist past should no longer have official status,” the report states.
Key point: The United States is beginning to lose its footing in East Asia. In October 2018, Chinese media announced that the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) would publicly unveil its new H-20 stealth bomber during a parade celebrating the air arm's seventieth anniversary in 2019. Prior news of the H-20's development had been teased using techniques pioneered by viral marketing campaigns for Hollywood movies.
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said on Thursday he wants to become president to end "the nationwide madness" of U.S. gun violence, calling it evil and saying he would allow its victims to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers. The billionaire media mogul, who jumped into the crowded field of Democratic White House candidates last month, unveiled a national gun control plan at a forum with survivors of gun violence in Aurora, Colorado, where 12 people were killed during a mass shooting inside a movie theater in 2012. Apart from allowing gun violence victims to sue manufacturers, the plan would force owners of assault weapons to register their weapons and require permits for all gun purchases.
In the same month that Greta Thunberg addressed a UN summit and millions of people took part in a global climate strike, lawmakers in America's leading oil- and gas-producing state of Texas made a statement of their own. Texas's Critical Infrastructure Protection Act went into effect on 1 September, stiffening civil and criminal penalties specifically for protesters who interrupt operations or damage oil and gas pipelines and other energy facilities. The new Texas law is emblematic of the unyielding loyalty of conservative lawmakers to the fossil fuel industry in a state stacked with influential climate science deniers or sceptics such as the US senator and former Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz and which named a pipeline tycoon to its parks and wildlife conservation commission.
Authorities say a postal worker has been shot at a northern Virginia post office by an agent for the Postal Service's Inspector General's office. News outlets report that it happened Wednesday morning at the parking lot of the Lovettsville post office in Loudoun County.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is working with the Federal Reserve to monitor bank reserves and decrease the chances of a rate crisis similar to September's, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Mnuchin told the House of Representatives on Thursday that he and Fed Chair Jerome Powell have met multiple times to discuss the September lending rate spike and liquidity concerns ahead of year-end reserve obligations. The Fed has been pumping billions of dollars into money markets through market repurchase agreement, or repo, operations and Treasury bill purchases after its overnight lending rate spiked in September.
Four people died in a shootout Thursday after jewelry robbers stole a UPS truck and led Florida police on a high-speed chase, the FBI said. The truck driver, a bystander and both suspects were killed in Miramar, about 20 miles from the site of the initial robbery, FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro said during a news conference. Police in Coral Gables responded to the robbery at a Regent Jewelers store shortly after 4 p.m., Chief Ed Hudak said, and were met with gunfire from two suspects.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff is urging Russia to support the investigation of a killing prosecutors say appears to have ordered by Russian or Chechen authorities, and says he has “no understanding" for outraged reactions from Moscow. Germany expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the brazen killing of a Georgian man on the streets of Berlin in August. German federal prosecutors said evidence suggested the slaying was ordered either by Moscow or authorities in Russia's republic of Chechnya.