|'You embarrassed yourself': Kellyanne Conway blasts CNN's Wolf Blitzer for playing George Conway clip|
On CNN Thursday, Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to President Trump, was asked to respond to the assessment given by her husband, George, that testimony in the first public impeachment hearings was damning for her boss.
|Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings Faces House Ethics Investigation of Relationship with Top Staffer|
Representative Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over his relationship with a top staffer, according to a Thursday press release from the Committee."The Committee is aware of public allegations arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings' personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office," read the statement. "On May 14, 2019, the Committee . . . began an investigation regarding the allegations."While the announcement does not name the staffer, it is almost certainly Patricia Williams, Hastings's district-office director and long-time partner, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Williams is Hastings's highest-paid staffer and has worked in his office since 1993."As they continue to conduct their work, I stand ready to fully cooperate with their inquiry," Hastings said in a statement in response to the Committee's announcement.Hastings was indicted on bribery charges in 1981 stemming from actions he allegedly took while he served as a federal judge. During that case, he was represented by Williams. He was acquitted in court, but was impeached and convicted in Congress, marking the sixth time in history that the Senate authorized the removal of a federal judge.Williams has since been disbarred for numerous ethics violations.
|The Latest: Officer says Miranda failure was a mistake|
A police officer who obtained a confession from the suspect in the disappearance and death of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts says she made an honest mistake by initially failing to read him his legal rights. Officer Pamela Romero testified Wednesday that she tried to read Cristhian Bahena Rivera his Miranda warnings from memory during the Aug. 20, 2018, interrogation. After several more hours of questioning, Rivera led police officers to a cornfield where they discovered Tibbetts’ body underneath a stack of leaves and stalks.
|American war veteran who spent several days in ICE detention receives $190k settlement|
A US citizen and military veteran suffering from a mental health condition will reportedly receive $190,000 (£147,988) from a Michigan city after local officials transferred him to ICE detention following an arrest last year.Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a decorated Marine veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, was arrested while experiencing an episode in which he lost all recollection, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
|Tempers flare over rebuilding of Notre-Dame spire|
The French army general charged with overseeing the rebuilding of Paris' fire-mangled Notre-Dame, has caused astonishment by publicly telling the cathedral's chief architect to "shut his mouth" in a sign of tension over the monument's future look. General Jean-Louis Georgelin and chief architect Philippe Villeneuve are at odds over whether to replace the cathedral's spire -- which was toppled in the April 15 blaze -- with an exact replica, or mix things up with a modern twist.
|DNC Announces 10 Candidates in Atlanta Democratic Debate|
(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced the 10 candidates who will participate in the fifth Democratic primary debate in Atlanta on Wednesday.They are: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.Julian Castro, who participated in previous debates, most recently in October at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, didn’t make the cut. Another October participant, Beto O’Rourke, has dropped out of the race. Deval Patrick, a former governor of Massachusetts who announced his candidacy on Thursday, also won’t be on the stage at the Tyler Perry Studios.The forum will be co-hosted by the Washington Post and MSNBC. Candidates will be questioned by four female moderators: Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell and Kristen Welker from the network, and Ashley Parker from the Post.The two-hour event had a higher bar to qualify than previous debates. Candidates must have contributions from 165,000 donors, up from 135,000.And the donors must be geographically dispersed, with a minimum of 600 per state in at least 20 states. In addition, participants must either show 3% support in four qualifying national or single-state polls, or have at least 5% support in two qualifying single-state polls released between Sept. 13 and Nov. 13 in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.The sixth debate will take place next month in Los Angeles.To contact the reporter on this story: Max Berley in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
|Trump adviser Stephen Miller faces increasing pressure to resign after reports that he shared white-nationalist links with a Breitbart editor|
A trove of recently published emails showed Miller exchanging white-nationalist links and ideas with a former Breitbart editor in 2015.
|The U.S. Navy canceled a routine Black Sea operation after Trump complained that it was hostile to Russia|
Christopher Anderson, an aide to Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, testified that the White House canceled a Navy freedom-of-navigation operation in the Black Sea after President Trump complained to then-national security adviser John Bolton about a CNN report that framed the operation as a counter to Russia, Politico reported.
|Iran starts gasoline rationing, hikes prices - state TV|
Iran introduced gasoline rationing and price hikes on Friday with an official saying that the revenue would be used for subsidies for 18 million needy families, state television reported. Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the fall of its currency, has been fighting rampant fuel smuggling to neighbouring countries. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, head of the country's Plan and Budget Organization, told state TV that proceeds from the price hikes would be used to fund additional subsidies for 18 million families, or about 60 million people.
|Top Ukrainian Presidential Aide Spotted With Ex-Trump Adviser|
Sean Gallup/GettyAn aide to the Ukrainian president who has been swept up in President Trump’s impeachment scandal was seen meeting with a former Trump adviser in Kyiv on Wednesday night. Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian presidential aide whose name has featured heavily in impeachment depositions for his role at the receiving end of Trump’s alleged anti-Biden crusade in Ukraine, was spotted with Bryan Lanza at a restaurant in central Kyiv, according to the Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda. Photos and video of the evening meeting show the two joined by a woman identified as Yermak’s assistant. It was not immediately clear what the two discussed, and an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declined to comment on the meeting. But the mere sight of Zelensky’s top adviser meeting with a former Trump adviser-turned-lobbyist was enough to raise eyebrows. Yermak is a key figure in the impeachment probe against Trump, as he was the main intermediary for the Ukrainian president in efforts by top Trump officials and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to have the Ukrainian government pursue an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden and widely debunked claims of Ukrainian election interference in 2016. Lanza, a managing director at Mercury Public Affairs LLC, served as an adviser on Trump’s 2016 campaign and transition, and has described the impeachment proceedings against Trump as a “sham impeachment” and “partisan coup” on Twitter. Last year, he also worked on behalf of a Russian oligarch-owned aluminum company to have U.S. sanctions lifted. Lanza is said to have undertaken a lobbying campaign on behalf of the board of directors of EN+—the holding company that owns Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal—just a few weeks after sanctions were announced against the company last spring. The company was hit with sanctions as part of U.S. measures to punish the Kremlin for 2016 election interference and the occupation of Crimea. Lanza, who along with Mercury was hired by Greg Barker, a British lord and the chairman of EN+, helped with an aggressive lobbying campaign that saw him reach out to top officials at the State Department, Treasury, and reportedly the White House. The Trump administration lifted sanctions on Rusal after Deripaska agreed to surrender his controlling stake. Russia Gloats: ‘Trump Is Ours Again’Mercury LLC is also known for its ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who is currently serving a stint in federal prison on fraud and conspiracy charges, and the former Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian president whom Manafort helped bring to power before he was ousted in a bloody uprising. Lanza registered as a foreign agent with the Department of Justice in October 2018 for his work representing Hikvision, a Chinese camera company that sold surveillance equipment to the camps where millions of Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities are imprisoned. Despite Hikvision’s spending on lobbying, the Department of Commerce put the company on a government blacklist. —Michael Weiss contributed reportingRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
|A History of Modern American Architecture|
|Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur Files for Katie Hill’s Former Seat|
Progressive talk show host Cenk Uygur has filed to enter the race for disgraced former congresswoman Katie Hill’s congressional district, according to a Federal Election Commission database filing submitted on Wednesday.Uygur, host and creator of “The Young Turks,” a leftist online news outlet, tweeted “no comment” after news broke of the filing Wednesday night.> To all reporters: No comment.> > -- Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) November 13, 2019During a show on Wednesday in which he endorsed Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) for president, Uygur hinted at “dramatic news on Thursday” and told viewers to “stay tuned.”A former MSNBC commentator, Uygur has drifted further left in recent years, but in college he espoused conservative views, supporting pro-life causes and defending Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. A Turkish immigrant, he has also been the subject of controversy for his past denial of the Armenian genocide, for which he apologized in 2016.Hill left her seat on October 28, resigning after the House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into allegations that Hill engaged in inappropriate sexual relationships with multiple staffers.“I know that even a consensual relationship with a subordinate is inappropriate, but I still allowed it to happen despite my better judgment,” Hill wrote in a letter of resignation at the time.On Wednesday night, Hill appeared to distance herself from Uygur by reinforcing her support for state assemblywoman Christy Smith, saying “A local gal is the only one who can keep it blue and the only one the community deserves.”> A local gal flipped a decades-long Rep seat to win by 9 pts. A local gal is the only one who can keep it blue and the only one the community deserves. I called @ChristyforCA25 before I resigned to make sure she would run. Boys, please be gentlemen and step aside. She's got this. https://t.co/0HGzQY58Zr> > -- Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) November 13, 2019On October 29, former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos — a central figure in the 2016 Russiagate probe — announced his interest in running for Hill’s seat.In 2017, Papadopoulous pleaded guilty to lying to investigators regarding his contacts with Russia and subsequently spent twelve days in prison.> I care about one endorsement: the American people. The rest is white noise.> > -- George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) October 30, 2019
|Colorado officers who shot black teenager won’t be charged|
A grand jury found that two Colorado police officers were justified in killing a black teenager who was shot multiple times in the back during a foot chase, the district attorney said Wednesday. As a result, no criminal charges will be filed against the officers involved in the Aug. 3 death of De'Von Bailey in Colorado Springs, KRDO reported, citing El Paso County District Attorney Dan May. Bailey, 19, was shot three times in the back and once in the arm.
|Hong Kong leader condemns London protester 'attack' on minister|
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam on Friday condemned a "barbaric attack" on her justice minister, who fell while being surrounded by a crowd of jeering pro-democracy protesters in London. It was the most physical confrontation involving a member of Lam's cabinet since the protests, now in their sixth month, erupted in the international finance hub. Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong's deeply unpopular Secretary for Justice, was ambushed by around a dozen masked demonstrators as she prepared to attend a speaking event on Thursday night in London.
|The U.S. Marine Corps Is Making Big Changes (Thanks to Threats from Russia and China)|
It’s no secret that the U.S. Marine Corps is changing in order to better prepare for major warfare with China and Russia. Gen. David Berger, the Marine commandant, is overseeing several studies that could result in the Corps cutting some units and adding others and, in the process, radically changing how and why it functions.
|One of Jamal Khashoggi’s close friends said Twitter is the 'only free platform' for many Saudis, but it also may have led to Khashoggi’s brutal murder|
Omar Abdulaziz, a Saudi activist and close friend of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, wrote in an op-ed that Twitter is "crucial" for Saudi freedom.
|Bolivia interim leader recognises Guaido as legitimate Venezuelan leader as balance shifts|
Interim president Jeanine Anez moved Thursday to consolidate power in deeply polarized Bolivia, winning recognition from the United States and immediately shifting the country's foreign policy on erstwhile ally Venezuela. Anez was expected to complete her government line-up, having named new military chiefs and half of her proposed 20-member cabinet - including Defense Minister Fernando Lopez Julio - the night before. "We have come to pacify the country," Lopez Julio said in a speech at the military college in La Paz. "Above all, we will have to have faith in God," he said, highlighting the conservative Christian emphasis of the new government after Anez had set the tone by brandishing a bible when she assumed office on Tuesday. Anez swore herself in as president on Tuesday after Morales fled the country, fearing for his safety amid deadly protests. Evo Morales supporters march in La Paz on Thursday Credit: Natacha Pisarenko/AP Unrest erupted when he was accused of rigging the results of October 20 polls to gain re-election for a fourth term. Normal business resumed in the main cities after weeks of deadly protests, but schools and universities remained shut due to the continued threat of demonstrations. Many gas stations remained closed because of a lack of supplies. Nearly a month of protests have left 10 people dead and nearly 400 injured. Morales supporters launched fresh protests Thursday, marching toward government headquarters in La Paz. Riot police had clashed with hundreds of Morales supporters the night before during a demonstration against Anez, who Morales accused of carrying out a "coup." Morales has kept up attacks on the new government via Twitter from his exile in Mexico. Anez told reporters Thursday that new Foreign Minister Karen Longari would "make representations" to Mexico to insist that Morales be held to the terms of his political asylum. Morales's Movement for Socialism (MAS) party on Thursday accused her of "continuing to incite violence" in the country, which has been in turmoil since Morales's contested re-election. She wasn't helped by her Interior Minister Arturo Murillo, who announced the government would "hunt down" a former Morales minister, Juan Ramon Quintana, accused of masterminding opposition to Anez. Quintana "is an animal that feeds of blood," said Murillo, while Anez has publicly insisted there would be no persecution of Morales's inner circle. The 52-year-old interim leader gave the first indication of her government's foreign policy on Thursday, recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as his country's president, a key shift of alliance in the volatile region. The announcement removes one of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's main allies as he fends off efforts to oust him amid a deadly economic and political crisis. - Break with Maduro - Anez's decision signals a significant break from socialist leader Morales's position on Maduro. Her government decided to formally recognize Guaido "from this moment on," Communications Minister Roxana Lizarraga told reporters. In Venezuela, Maduro's opponents have branded him a dictator for clinging to office as the country's crisis has worsened over recent years. Guaido has declared himself Venezuela's rightful president. He has gained the recognition of 50 countries, including the United States, but has so far failed to dislodge Maduro.
|Russia blames fatal plane crash on pilots, including one who lied to get license|
A plane crash that killed all 50 people on board at Russia's Kazan Airport in 2013 was the result of errors made by two pilots, including one who got his license using falsified documents, Russian investigators said on Thursday. The Boeing 737-500 aircraft was operated by the now-defunct Tatarstan Airlines, which later had its license revoked by Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency, Rosaviatsiya. The plane from Moscow had been trying to abort its landing when it nose-dived into the runway and burst into flames.
|Transcript Shows WH Made Up Details of Trump’s Zelensky Call|
GENYA SAVILOVThe release of the transcript of President Donald Trump’s first call in April with Ukrainain president-elect Volodomyr Zelensky was meant to bolster the case that Trump had nothing but good intentions in his dealings with Ukraine—but it also showed a White House summary of the same call released to the public shortly after it occurred was largely fabricated. The White House readout, a summary of the call released hours after it occurred, claimed Trump “underscored the unwavering support of the United States for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity—within its internationally recognized borders—and expressed his commitment to work together with President-elect Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people to implement reforms that strengthen democracy, increase prosperity, and root out corruption.”Trump Boasted About ‘Great’ Ukrainians at Miss Universe Pageant on First Zelensky CallSuch statements are nowhere to be found in the transcript of the call released by the president on Friday. That transcript shows Trump congratulating Zelensky on his recent election win, promising to arrange a White House visit for the new Ukrainian president, and recounting the large number of Ukrainaian women who participated in Trump’s Miss Universe competitions.Nowhere does Trump mention efforts to address Ukrainian corruption, economic prosperity, or democratic institutions. Nor does he even allude to its efforts to beat back the Russian occupation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on those discrepancies.The White House released the transcript in an effort to undercut claims by congressional Democrats that Trump sought to leverage a Zelensky White House visit and delayed military aid to Ukraine to solicit an investigation by Ukrainian prospectors into the son of former Vice President Joe Biden and into conspiracy theories regarding a supposed Ukrainian role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.Trump and his allies have claimed that the president was simply seeking to root out corruption in Ukraine, a stated objective of U.S. foreign policy for years. The readout of Trump’s April call with Zelensky indicated that Trump had indeed pressed Zelensky on that issue in particular.But the transcript released on Friday, which notes that it is not a “verbatim” account of the conversation, doesn’t even mention the word “corruption.”The Trump White House has a checkered record of releasing summaries of his calls with foreign leaders, a practice viewed as standard in prior administrations. Many of those readouts have contained scant details of the conversations, even as foreign leaders put out far more detailed summaries, a practice that experts say allows foreign governments to put their own spin on highly consequential interactions with the president.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
|William Taylor laughs at GOP question if Giuliani channel was 'as outlandish as it could be'|
Republican counsel Steve Castor came to Wednesday's impeachment hearing with a curious line of questioning: could something extremely unusual have, theoretically, been even more unusual?Castor, the lawyer who questioned diplomat William Taylor on behalf of House Republicans during the public impeachment hearing, asked about what Taylor had previously described as a "confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine" in the Trump administration, with there being a secondary, "highly irregular" channel including Rudy Giuliani operating outside of formal diplomatic processes.But Castor's apparent defense of this irregular channel is that it could have, in theory, been more irregular."In fairness, this irregular channel of diplomacy, it's not as outlandish as it could be," Castor said to Taylor. "Is that correct?"Taylor laughed at this question while agreeing that, well, sure, it "could be" more outlandish. But the line of questioning didn't go quite as Castor likely planned. After Castor tried to get Taylor to say that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's involvement in the secondary channel also was "certainly not outlandish," Taylor didn't exactly agree, responding that it's "a little unusual for the U.S. ambassador to the EU to play a role in Ukraine policy.""Okay," Castor said, making one more attempt by asking, "It might be irregular, but it's certainly not outlandish." This time, a seemingly baffled but amused Taylor just smiled. > "This irregular channel of diplomacy is not as outlandish as it could be, is that correct?" GOP counsel asks William Taylor. > > Taylor agrees, but adds, "It's a little unusual for the US ambassador to EU to play a role in Ukraine policy." https://t.co/YHsiIaIXhs pic.twitter.com/Vp6mO6PhvF> > -- ABC News (@ABC) November 13, 2019More stories from theweek.com The coming death of just about every rock legend The president has already confessed to his crimes Why are 2020 Democrats so weird?
|Sanders, AOC to Introduce Over $100 Billion Plan to Make Public Housing Environmentally Friendly|
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) plan to introduce legislation on Thursday that makes public housing more energy efficient, at a cost of over $100 billion.The plan, dubbed the Green New Deal for Public Housing Act, will call for renovation of public housing units to install community gardens and organic grocery stores along with on-site childcare services, according to the Washington Post. Data for Progress, a progressive think tank, has estimated the cost of the program at between $119-$172 billion over the next decade."Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country," Sanders said in a statement. Ocasio-Cortez said the legislation will "train and mobilize the workforce to decarbonize the public housing stock."In February of this year, Ocasio-Cortez released with Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.) the "Green New Deal" plan to reduce carbon emissions across the U.S. to net zero within ten years and to eliminate completely the fossil fuel industry within the same time frame. The plan was widely pilloried by conservatives as well as many Democrats for being impractical."The green dream or whatever they call it," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at the time, "nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?""It is difficult to take this unrealistic manifesto seriously, but the economic and social devastation it would cause if it moves forward is serious and real," said Terry O’Sullivan, the president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, when the plan was released.
|Justice Dept. rolls out new program to combat gun violence|
Attorney General William Barr announced a new initiative Wednesday that would better enforce the U.S. gun background check system, coordinate state and federal gun cases and ensure prosecutors quickly update databases to show when a defendant can’t possess a firearm because of mental health issues. The push, known as Project Guardian, was unveiled at a news conference in Memphis, Tennessee, alongside officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, on the same day public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump began in Washington. “Gun crime remains a pervasive problem in too many communities across America,” Barr said in a statement.
|Pelosi: What Trump did makes what Nixon did during Watergate ‘look almost small’|
At her weekly press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said what President Trump did with regard to Ukraine makes what President Nixon did during Watergate “look almost small.”
|Vietnam jails music teacher for 'undermining' state|
Vietnam sentenced a music teacher to 11 years in prison on Friday for Facebook posts that allegedly undermined the one-party state, which has been accused of tightening the noose on online dissent. Communist Vietnam has long jailed its critics but has come under fire recently for targeting users on Facebook, a popular forum for activists in the country where all independent media is banned. Nguyen Nang Tinh is the latest activist jailed for his Facebook comments, including posts about police brutality, land rights, and a Taiwanese steel firm that dumped toxic sludge into the ocean, killing masses of fish off the coast of Vietnam.
|Pirates attacked an Italian ship off the coast of Mexico — the latest sign of a growing criminal industry|
There's big money in stealing fuel in Mexico, and the thieves are willing to go offshore in order to find new targets.
|How Baghdadi Used Religion to Sell the Islamic State's Twisted Tribe|
The Islamic State’s caliphate was never widely recognized among the global Muslim community and no longer has significant territory. But the Islamic State still uses the history of the caliphate to push their claims.
|4 frat deaths this month, 2 this week alone. What's going on with fraternity hazing?|
As a wave of young men nationally die in circumstances that appear to be related to fraternities, experts are unsure what to do next
|North Korea calls U.S. Democrat Biden a 'rabid dog' nearing death|
North Korea's state media on Friday stepped up a personal attack on former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden for slandering its leader, calling the Democratic presidential candidate "a rabid dog" that needed to be put down. The official KCNA news agency did not say how Biden had insulted the North's leader, Kim Jong Un, but the 2020 presidential hopeful has been critical of U.S. President Donald Trump's policy, saying he was coddling a murderous dictator.
|Ugandan Opposition Leader Bobi Wine Says He Worries About His Safety 'Every Day' at TIME 100 Next Event|
Wine has said he plans to run for president in Uganda in 2021.
|Ethics Probe into Rashida Tlaib Extended after Watchdog Finds Evidence of Misuse of Campaign Funds|
The House Ethics Committee released texts and emails on Thursday that show Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) repeatedly asking for campaign for funds to defray personal costs.The committee’s announcement comes after the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously voted in August to refer Tlaib for a potential violation of federal law.Tlaib was paid over $45,000 by her campaign between May and December 2018. While FEC regulations permit a campaign to pay a candidate, it must be for “work performed up through the date of the general election.” Checks, emails, and spreadsheets show that Tlaib was paid $17,500 after the November 6, 2018, election. A November 29 email from the campaign’s treasurer to Tlaib says that checks are “for the time period through December 31, 2018.”Tlaib and her staff refused to interview with the OCE over the payments. The board concludes by recommending that the Ethics Committee subpoena Tlaib to get to the bottom of the matter.“Based on the foregoing information, the Board finds that there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Tlaib converted campaign funds from Rashida Tlaib for Congress to personal use or Rep. Tlaib’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes,” the board’s recommendation concludes.Over the months of her campaign, Tlaib asked multiple times for campaign funds because she was “struggling financially” and “trying to get out of debt.”“So I was thinking the campaign could loan me money, but Ryan said that the committee could actually pay me. I was thinking a one time payment of $5k,” she emailed her campaign in April 2018.“The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics jointly decided on September 30, 2019, to extend the Committee’s review of the matter in order to gather additional information necessary to complete its review,” the Ethics Committee press release reads.Tlaib’s lawyers wrote to the Ethics Committee in August arguing that the matter should be dismissed and that “the investigation was unprecedented.”“In its findings OCE admits that the salary payments fell within the FEC limit, acknowledges that the timing of the final two payments did not in itself violate FEC rules, and disregards evidence of Representative Tlaib’s good faith compliance,” Tlaib’s letter reads.
|Virginia police say wanted Marine deserter sought family|
Police in Virginia say the Marine deserter wanted for questioning in a murder case was trying to reach out to a family member when he was spotted. Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones told a news conference that it’s believed Michael Alexander Brown was trying to contact his grandmother when a neighbor saw him early Thursday. The Roanoke Times reports the U.S. Marshals Service learned Sunday night that Brown might be driving a recreational vehicle near Clarendon County, South Carolina, about four hours southwest of Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, where he had been stationed as a U.S. Marine until leaving his post last month.
|View Photos of the 2020 Morgan Plus 4|
|After 50 years, it's past time to bring human LGBTQ+ characters to America's Sesame Street|
International versions of Sesame Street reflect local audiences. America is ready for gay characters but cancellation is a risk in some countries.
|The Latest: Hong Kong highway blocked after deadline passes|
Protesters in Hong Kong have once again blocked a highway in an outlying area after the government did not meet their demand that it pledge to go ahead with local elections later this month. Traffic was backed up Friday evening after the protesters placed barricades back on the roadway. The protesters had allowed one lane of traffic to re-open in each direction and gave the government 24 hours to meet their demand.
|This Is Why Russia Wanted A 1,000 Foot Long Aircraft Carrier (More Like Supercarrier)|
In the 1980s.
|Chicago teachers to vote on agreement that guarantees 16% raise, $35M to reduce classes|
Chicago teachers will begin voting on a tentative contract deal that ended an 11-day strike in the nation's third-largest school district last month.
|In Republican lawmaker’s impeachment tweets, a hidden message?|
The first letter of each of 23 of the Arizona Republican’s tweets combine to spell out “EPSTEIN DIDNT KILL HIMSELF” — a reference many observers aren’t willing to dismiss as a coincidence. The morbid acrostic, coincidental or not, reflects a repeated conspiracy theory-turned-meme over the death of the financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August, and a subsequent autopsy ruled his death a suicide.
|Drug trafficking up sharply under Venezuela's Maduro: US|
Drug trafficking to and from Venezuela has shot up 50 percent under President Nicolas Maduro, who is enriching himself by working with organized crime, the United States charged Thursday. Maduro, a leftist who has been in power since 2013, helps crime gangs and has given refuge to terror groups, said Admiral Craig Faller, commander of the US Southern Command based in Miami. "We're seeing an increase in drug trafficking placed out of Venezuela that is aided and abetted by the illegitimate Maduro regime," Faller told a Caribbean security conference.
|Bloomberg Responded ‘Kill It’ after Employee Disclosed Her Pregnancy, 1997 Lawsuit Alleges|
Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg allegedly told a female employee,"kill it!" when she told him she was pregnant, according to the former Bloomberg executive's 1997 lawsuit.The lawsuit filed in New York by Sekiko Sakai Garrison alleges Bloomberg followed up his first remark with another offensive comment, "Great! Number 16," apparently referring to the number of pregnant employees on his payroll.Sakai Garrison also claimed Bloomberg pointed out another woman to her and remarked, "If you looked like that, I would do you in a second.""Sexual harassment and sexual degredation of women at Bloomberg was pervasive," the lawsuit states.Sakai Garrison, who now lives in Seattle, achieved the number one ranking as regional sales manager at Bloomberg's company, where she worked from 1989 to 1995, when she was let go. She did not respond to a request for comment.The suit accused Bloomberg of making racist remarks as well, including calling Mexican clients "jumping beans" and telling a female employee who needed a nanny, "all you need is some black who doesn't even have to speak English to rescue it from a burning building."The billionaire businessman settled the lawsuit in 2000. Bloomberg claimed to have passed a lie detector test in 2001 denying he made the remark about Sakai Garrison's pregnancy. He said he submitted to the polygraph "because I expected that those allegations would surface in the news media as I began to explore the possibility of entering the mayor's race."Reports of the former New York City mayor's demeaning comments towards women and others have circulated for years, some documented in a book of one-liners gifted to him by work colleagues.“Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” said Bloomberg's spokesman, Stu Loeser. “He believes his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.”Bloomberg is currently battling lackluster poll numbers in the Democratic presidential primary after his late 2020 campaign announcement.
|The New Zealand man accused of murdering backpacker Grace Millane after a Tinder date said he arranged another date while she lay dead next to him|
Millane, 21, died after a Tinder date with a man in Auckland, New Zealand, last December. Her body was found a week later in woods outside the city.
|Ukraine’s Anti-Russia Azov Battalion: ‘Minutemen’ or Neo-Nazi Terrorists?|
KYIV, Ukraine—When Deputy Secretary of State George Kent spoke at the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment hearings this week, he painted a powerful picture of Ukrainian bravery in the face of Russian aggression. In 2014, when “Russia invaded Ukraine” and occupied 7 percent of its territory, Ukraine’s state institutions were “on the verge of collapse,” he said. But “Ukrainian civil society answered the challenge. They formed volunteer battalions of citizens, including technology professionals and medics. They crowd-sourced funding for their own weapons, body armor, and supplies. They were the 21st-century Ukrainian equivalent of our own Minutemen in 1776, buying time for the regular army to reconstitute.”But Kent most likely did not have in mind the most famous—and infamous—of those volunteer units, the Azov Battalion, which 40 members of Congress have asked the State Department to designate as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Some of its members are neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and avowed anti-Semites.Are the Azov fighters, in fact, “Minutemen” or monsters, freedom fighters or terrorists? Or in some cases both? The Frightening Far-Right Militia That’s Marching in Ukraine’s Streets, Promising to Bring ‘Order’Angry demonstrations here about those congressional efforts to get Azov declared an “FTO” suggest just how complicated and treacherous the political and military landscape has become in this nation fighting for survival. It is another factor—along with the extortionate, allegedly impeachable games played by the Trump administration—weakening the position of President Volodymyr Zelnsky as he struggles to achieve an equitable peace with Vladimir Putin.The congressional letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and pushed by freshman Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), portrays Azov as part of an ultra-right-wing “global terrorist network” analogous to al Qaeda or the so-called Islamic State, but one bent on attacking Muslims, Jews, and people of color. The letter notes that the man who carried out the mosque massacres in New Zealand last March, killing at least 50 worshippers, claimed he trained with the Azov. His livestreamed slaughter then inspired murderers in the United States who targeted a synagogue in Poway, California, and Hispanic shoppers in El Paso, Texas.The Oct. 16 letter quoted a tweet a week before by Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence and a Daily Beast contributor, after the synagogue attack in Halle, Germany, on Oct. 9. Katz noted “the similarity between this video” in Halle and the New Zealand attacker’s, concluding it was “another installment from a global terrorist network, linked together via online safe havens much like ISIS.” Symbolically, at least, Azov has become a rallying point for the neo-Nazi international community.The State Department response to the letter was non-committal, denying that its failure to designate various foreign groups as terrorist organizations had anything to do with “ideology or motives.”* * *In many ways Oleksandr Konibor, a self-professed admirer of far-right movements in Europe, is typical of the Ukrainians who heeded the call to fight for their country by joining the Azov Battalion in 2014. “It was a tragic time for our country and in some ways a wonderful time for us,” said Konibor, a 34-year-old teacher. To be sure, some members of Azov wore swastikas their uniforms and a patch associated with the unit looks like a variation on Nazi symbols. Other members were fringe Pagan worshipers, former convicts, unemployed men, or merely adventure-seekers. In those early “Minuteman” days, nobody was very picky about who picked up a gun to fight the Russians. The Azov fought shoulder-to-shoulder with a unit of Chechen Islamist fighters, who had their own reasons to come to the front. What united them, in fact, was not so much far-right ideology as a willingness to be in the trenches. Konibor said he joined not for reasons of ideology but to defend his country and because he liked spending time with men from the soccer clubs he belonged to. In Ukraine, in the years since the fighting began, the Azov has come to be viewed as a unit of misfits whose flaws, however obvious, were cleansed by the crucible of combat.After the congressional letter was reported here last month, Azov soldiers staged protests in Kyiv. Veterans with stern faces, their wives and girlfriends holding roses in their hands, gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They held signs saying, “Ukraine’s defenders are not terrorists.” Ukrainian officials and members of parliament pushed back against the initiative on Capitol Hill. They concede Azov includes marginal figures but it is now also formally part of Ukraine’s armed forces, having been incorporated into the National Guard, and should not be identified as a terrorist group. The letter to Pompeo was pretty unequivocal, however, and notes that Congress specifically prohibited the Azov from receiving arms, training, or other assistance from the United States in 2018.“I am sure that the congressmen who wrote the appeal had not seen a single Azov soldier,” Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Geraschenko told The Daily Beast, adding that some members of Congress have been invited to Ukraine. Geraschenko insisted that there was “no proven evidence” of any connection between Azov and the Christchurch shooter, even though the shooter had painted an Azov insignia on one of his rifles.The unit’s supporters here argue that accepting the letter’s characterization is bending to Russian propaganda, which casts all Ukrainian soldiers as neo-fascists. And Russian media rejoiced at the congressional letter: The American establishment is getting tired of Ukraine, reports said. The battalion’s founder, Adriy Biletskiy, has a two-decade history in far-right movements and has spent time in prison for murder—on trumped-up charges, he says. In the past, he played a leading role in the far-right Patriot of Ukraine and Social National Assembly. When the war began in 2014, as George Kent noted, Ukraine’s army was in miserable condition and authorities did not stop Azov from using banners and chevrons featuring Nazi symbols, including the wolfsangel insignia associated with the Nazi SS. This is a tragic reminder of Ukraine’s past. Some 1.5 million Jews were killed here during World War II. “Ukraine is where the Holocaust began,” Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy, wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece a week after President Zelensky’s inauguration. “The new government in Ukraine should also play a more expansive role in acknowledging the Holocaust as part of its national history.”For now, however, when Azov members publicly admire Hitler, authorities are reluctant to condemn them.* * *Last year , the Zaborona media group reported on the lives of Azov soldiers in eastern Ukraine. “One day we saw a flag of Nazi Germany in the window at the Azov military base in the city of Mariupol,” Zaborona founder Yekateryna Sergatskova told The Daily Beast. “Before the war, many of the Azov guys sympathized with Russia’s neo-Nazi groups; I still wonder why Azov is fascinated with Hitler, it could be that the worshipping of Nazi Germany’s ideology is their revolt against Stalinism, against the communist regime.” Last year, battalion founder Biletskiy personally took an oath from hundreds of Azov veterans and far-right activists joining his National Corps militia—a far-right political movement promising “to establish order in Ukraine.”Some Azov veterans see their mission in the most radical way. According to an investigative report by Bellingcat, Ukrainian supremacists translated the hate-filled manifesto by the Christchurch shooter into Ukrainian and sold the pamphlets for $4 a piece at Azov’s literature club.Is America Training Neonazis in Ukraine?“Several American and European citizens have served in Azov, and even more Russian citizens joined the battalion in 2014-2015,” Vyacheslav Likhachev, Ukraine’s leading expert on far-right movements, told The Daily Beast. “Yes, numerous Azov soldiers share neo-Nazi ideology but the U.S. congressmen cannot blacklist the entire regiment of the interior forces, it would be the same as to accuse the state of Ukraine of terrorism.” To make their point, Azov veterans and their supporters started “A Veteran Is Not a Terrorist” campaign, criticizing Rep. Max Rose for initiating the letter to Pompeo. Yelena, a slim, rather gloomy looking waitress waiting for her boyfriend, an Azov soldier, to come home from the war, told The Daily Beast, “I am sure Rep. Rose is sitting in his office, he has not smelled any gunpowder.” (In fact, Rose is a decorated combat veteran of the U.S. Army who served as a platoon leader and was wounded in Afghanistan.) “Right at this very moment, my husband and other Azov guys are defending Ukraine from Russian aggression," said Yelena. “They are heroes and not terrorists like ISIS.”Authorities in Kyiv say they will stand by veterans, and hope to talk the U.S. government out of any designation of Azov as a terrorist organization. Those opposed to this labeling think of soldiers as heroes, no matter how far right their ideology. Volunteer Natalia Voronokova and her team have been providing medicine, food, and ammunition for Azov soldiers since the early days of the war.“I have seen Azov on the battlefield,” she said. They endured hardships and losses. “And as for their subculture, that is their choice.”—Anna Nemtsova reported from Kyiv. Christopher Dickey reported from Paris.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
|Global Debt Surges Above $250 Trillion as U.S., China Lead Way|
(Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.Global debt hit a fresh record above $250 trillion in the first half of 2019, with China and the U.S. accounting for more than 60% of new borrowing, the Institute of International Finance said.Borrowing by governments, households and non-financial business now accounts for more than 240% of the world’s gross domestic product, and it’s growing faster than the global economy, the Washington-based IIF said in a report published Thursday.In developed countries, it’s governments that account for the bulk of borrowing over the past decade, the IIF said. In emerging markets, companies have taken the lead -- but more than half of corporate debt in those countries is likely held by state-owned businesses.The report cited limits and risks attached to debt-fueled economic growth. It said that emerging markets that have increasingly relied on foreign-currency borrowing -- including Turkey, Mexico and Chile -- may be exposed to risks if growth slows further.And it said that “high-debt countries that also have high exposure to climate risk” -- like Japan, Singapore, Korea and the U.S. -- may struggle with the rapid increase in funding that the fight against climate change will require.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Holland in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at email@example.com, Jeff KearnsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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