Democrat Claire McCaskill had stern words for her soon-to-be former colleagues in the Senate in a farewell speech on Thursday, saying that polarization and fear of political consequences have rendered the body ineffective and unwilling to take on difficult issues. The two-term senator lost to Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley in her re-election bid in November. In an emotional speech from the Senate floor, McCaskill said she was proud of her 34-year public service career that included stints as Jackson County prosecutor, state representative, state auditor and senator.
A former Baylor University fraternity president accused of rape who will serve no jail time has been banned from the University of Texas at Dallas' campus and graduation activities. Jacob Anderson, 24, accepted a deal to plead no contest to a charge of unlawful restraint earlier this week. According to an arrest warrant, Anderson led a 19-year-old woman behind a house in 2016 where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her until she blacked out.
Technology researchers in China have been ordered to not travel to the US unless it is absolutely necessary, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Staff working in sensitive tech sectors were given the warning following the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada, a source told the South China Morning Post. Workers at a research agency were also told to remove any sensitive data from laptops, mobile phones and other devices if travel to the US was essential.
Toyota gets hip to the beauty of all-wheel drive-and also of beauty. From Car and Driver
Insurance claims from the recent devastating California wildfires that killed at least 89 people and destroyed 19,000 homes and businesses have reached at least $9 billion, the state's insurance commissioner said Wednesday. "The devastating wildfires of 2018 were the deadliest and costliest wildfire catastrophes in California's history," said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Most of the insurance payouts -- some $7 billion -- concern the Camp Fire in Northern California, which wiped out the town of Paradise and killed 86 people, making it the deadliest wildfire in recent California history.
Three people missing since last weekend were found alive Wednesday in an underground coal mine in West Virginia, authorities said. The three were located Wednesday inside Elk Run Coal's Rock House Powellton mine near Clear Creek, the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training said in a statement. The mine was described as nonoperational.
Iran welcomed on Friday initial agreements reached at talks in Sweden by the opposing sides in Yemen's war, which include the Iran-aligned Houthi group, were a step toward a final peace accord, Iranian state TV reported on Friday. The war in Yemen is seen as a proxy war between Iran and its key regional rival Saudi Arabia. U.N.-backed talks in Sweden ended on Thursday with an agreement between the Houthis and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to cease fighting for the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah and withdraw their troops.
Luxury retailer appears to be first casualty as calls for a boycott spread on social media Weibo and echoed on state-run media Growing tensions between Beijing and Ottawa over the arrest of a senior Huawei executive have inflicted damage on the luxury clothing retailer Canada Goose, as Chinese consumers call for a boycott of the brand. Shares in the company have plunged nearly 20% since the arrest last week of Huawei’s chief financial officers Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. A Canadian judge granted bail to Meng on Tuesday evening.
Kurdish-led forces seized the Isil's main hub of Hajin Friday, a milestone in a massive and costly US-backed operation to eradicate the jihadists from eastern Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces secured Hajin, the largest settlement in what is the last pocket of territory controlled by Isil, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. "After a week of heavy fighting and air strikes, the SDF were able to kick IS out of Hajin," Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Britain-based monitoring organisation, said.
A Florida man testified this week about fatally shooting his best friend ― who was long suspected of falling victim to alligators ― because he was having an affair with the friend’s wife. Brian Winchester told a courtroom in Tallahassee that he killed his best friend, Mike Williams, in 2000 and hid his body because he was having an extramarital relationship with Denise Williams, who is now on trial for first-degree murder, the Tallahassee Democrat reported. Winchester’s remarks came as the prosecution presented its case against Williams on Wednesday, the second day of testimony.
The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks late at night on Thursday into the wee hours of the morning Friday, could bring more than 100 meteors per hour to light pollution-free skies in dark areas around the world, according to NASA. "If you can see the familiar winter constellations Orion and Gemini in the sky, you'll see some Geminids," NASA explained in a skywatching video. Perhaps the best thing about a meteor shower is you don't need any special gear to see it.
NEW YORK – The sentencing of President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer might mark the end of a wrenching chapter for Michael Cohen, but the political and legal implications of Cohen’s capitulation have only darkened the shadow that looms over the Trump White House. The worst of what New York federal prosecutors and Russia special counsel Robert Mueller revealed in court papers last week – Trump’s alleged implication in hush money payments to mistresses and Cohen’s early campaign contacts with Russians – probably represents only a fraction of what they have gathered in multiple probes that have reached deep into Trump’s inner circle. Trump sought to brush away the hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him as "civil" matters, but the detailed description of Cohen's conduct outlined Wednesday by a federal judge and prosecutor will be difficult for the White House to dismiss.
Japan is planning to tighten regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook after an expert panel called for better oversight on competition and privacy, an official said Thursday. Japan has followed in the footsteps of other countries in scrutinising the dominant role played by the world's largest information technology companies, including Big Four tech firms Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Despite bringing benefits, tech giants "tend to monopolise the market through their features such as... low costs and economies of scale," the report said.
Nelson Martinez, the jailed former head of Venezuela's state-run oil giant PDVSA who was arrested last year as part of anti-corruption purge, died in state custody Wednesday, authorities said. The chief prosecutor's office said Martinez suffered from a serious and chronic illness that led to his death at a medical facility where he was undergoing treatment. The death is likely to focus attention on the conditions in which authorities are holding key opponents and former government officials.
Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday. The claims, so far, fall short of the record $12 billion in wildfire-related insured losses sustained in California in 2017, most of that from more than a dozen blazes that swept a large swath of wine country north of San Francisco Bay, killing 46 people. This year, the Camp Fire that erupted on Nov. 8 has accounted for the bulk of the claims, just over $7 billion of the total.
A disgruntled employee at a Canadian Walmart decided that he wasn’t going to quit quietly. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, a 17-year-old worker named Jackson Racicot grabbed the PA mic and told everyone in the store what he really thought about working there. Racicot then dove into individual grievances, starting with his manager who apparently had called him “a waste of time.” He goes on to say that promises had been made and not kept, and details the story of how he was given only benefits of a part-time employee even though he worked full-time.
Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to save her Brexit deal and the danger of the U.K. crashing out of the European Union is on the rise. How hard would it be to delay Britain’s departure date? From the U.K. side, it would require little more than a short debate and the approval of Parliament, which would be fairly straightforward as the one thing there is a majority for in both houses is to stop a no-deal Brexit.
Talks in Sweden between Yemen's warring parties on Thursday led to a major breakthrough in blunting a devastating war that has killed thousands and driven the country to famine, with both sides agreeing on a ceasefire in a key port that acts as a lifeline for millions. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that the Iran-linked Houthi rebels, who control Hodeidah port, had reached a ceasefire there with the Saudi-led coalition that was massing troops in the Red Sea city ahead of a final push into the port.
The artists' first solo museum exhibition premiered during Miami Art Week.
Kelsey Berreth was last seen on Thanksgiving Day, captured on surveillance video entering a grocery store with what appears to be her 1-year-old daughter in a baby carrier. Weeks later, investigators don't know what happened to the 29-year-old Colorado mother. Her fiance has told police the couple, who did not live together, met sometime on the holiday to exchange their child.
A middle school student in Delaware has been allowed to change his surname after enduring relentless bullying from his peers. Joshua Trump, who is not related to President Donald Trump, will now be known at school as Joshua Berto after dropping his mother’s surname for his father’s. The 11-year-old’s parents told ABC affiliate WPVI that the bullying of their son had been relentless and first started when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday urged the United Nations to tighten restrictions on Iran's missiles, which he warned could strike US allies, but other powers called instead for dialogue. Pompeo headed to New York for a Security Council meeting on Iran, which recently confirmed a medium-range ballistic missile test, arguing it is legal and necessary for its defense. "We risk the security of our people if Iran continues stocking up on ballistic missiles," Pompeo told the Security Council.
UPDATE 12/13/18: The embattled former leader of Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, still in jail in Japan over financial irregularity charges from Nissan, is retaining his status as chairman and CEO at Renault. The French automaker's board of directors met today and made that announcement, stating that it finds Ghosn's compensation reports were "in compliance with applicable law" in France. Japanese prosecutors have formally charged Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn for making "false disclosures" about his income with Nissan, the automaker said on Monday.
A man was caught at New York's JFK airport last weekend trying to smuggle dozens of South American finches into the country, a bird that Guyanese immigrants covet for chirping but officials fear could spread disease, officials said on Thursday. About 70 finches were found hidden inside a shipment of hair rollers at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday when a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist inspected the unidentified male passenger's luggage. The birds may have been destined for sale to Guyanese immigrants for a game that involves betting on how often the finches chirp per minute, said Customs spokesman Anthony Bucci.