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At impeachment trial, Democrats address Biden corruption allegations as Graham promises more developments

At impeachment trial, Democrats address Biden corruption allegations as Graham promises more developmentsSen. Lindsey Graham made it clear that he plans to make Hunter Biden a much bigger part of the impeachment debate in the coming days.




POSTED JANUARY 23, 2020 9:31 PM

Toll rises to 20 from New Zealand volcano eruption as two declared dead

Toll rises to 20 from New Zealand volcano eruption as two declared deadThe death toll rose to 20 on Thursday from a volcanic eruption on New Zealand's White Island last month, as two people still missing were officially confirmed dead. The two individuals were Hayden Marshall-Inman of New Zealand and Winona Langford of Australia, police said. "The chief coroner has ruled that both Winona and Hayden died on White Island," John Tims, a deputy police commissioner, said in a statement.




POSTED JANUARY 22, 2020 11:17 PM

A University of Minnesota student was arrested in China and sentenced to 6 months in prison for tweeting cartoons making fun of President Xi Jingping

A University of Minnesota student was arrested in China and sentenced to 6 months in prison for tweeting cartoons making fun of President Xi JingpingAccording to Chinese court documents obtained by Axios, 20-year-old Luo Daiqing was arrested after returning to Wuhan for summer break.




POSTED JANUARY 23, 2020 9:18 AM

Michelle Carter, who urged her boyfriend to kill himself in 2014, was released from a Massachusetts jail today after serving an 11-month sentence — victim's family said it brought closure

Michelle Carter, who urged her boyfriend to kill himself in 2014, was released from a Massachusetts jail today after serving an 11-month sentence — victim's family said it brought closureMichelle Carter, who urged a Massachusetts teenager to kill himself, was released from jail Thursday. She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter following the death of her boyfriend Conor Roy III in 2014.




POSTED JANUARY 23, 2020 10:03 AM

White Nationalists Arrested ahead of Richmond Rally Planned to Kill Gun-Rights Demonstrators to Spark Civil War

White Nationalists Arrested ahead of Richmond Rally Planned to Kill Gun-Rights Demonstrators to Spark Civil WarThree alleged members of a white supremacist group were plotting to murder demonstrators at Monday's gun rights rally at the Virginia Capitol before they were arrested by the FBI last week, according to court documents.The men were caught discussing their plans on a hidden camera set up in their Delaware apartment by FBI agents.“We can’t let Virginia go to waste, we just can’t,” said Patrik J. Mathews, one member of the hate group "the Base" that promotes violence against African-Americans and Jews.According to authorities, the 27-year-old former Canadian Armed Forces reservist also discussed creating "instability" in Virginia by killing people, derailing trains, poisoning water, and shutting down highways in order to "kick off the economic collapse" and possibly start a "full blown civil war."Mathews also discussed the possibility of "executing" police officers and stealing their belongings and remarked that, “We could essentially be like literally hunting people.”“Virginia will be our day,” said 33-year-old Brian M. Lemley Jr., adding, “I need to claim my first victim.”“Lemley discussed using a thermal imaging scope affixed to his rifle to conduct ambush attacks,” the court filings read.The two were arrested along with a third man, 19, last Thursday. They are charged with federal firearms violations and “transporting and harboring an alien,” referring to Mathews, who is a Canadian national. Four more members of The Base have also been arrested and charged in Georgia and Wisconsin.In a search of the apartment, prosecutors said that FBI agents found propaganda fliers for The Base, communications devices, empty rifle cases, "go bags" with "numerous Meals-Ready-to-Eat," knives, and materials for building an assault rifle.Tens of thousands of gun rights advocates rallied in Richmond on Monday to protest the state’s Democratic legislature's gun-control agenda. Critics raised fears beforehand that militant white supremacists could disrupt the rally, but the day ended peacefully with no violence.




POSTED JANUARY 22, 2020 2:04 PM

Putin to Meet Jailed Israeli’s Mother Amid Reports of Release

Putin to Meet Jailed Israeli’s Mother Amid Reports of Release(Bloomberg) -- President Vladimir Putin is to meet in Jerusalem with the mother of an Israeli woman imprisoned in Russia on drug-smuggling charges, the Kremlin said, amid reports Russian authorities are preparing to free her.Putin, who’ll be a guest of honor Thursday at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Red Army’s liberation of the Nazi Auschwitz death camp, spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone last week about 26-year-old Naama Issachar. Netanyahu said after the call that he was optimistic about securing her freedom.Issachar was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in a Russian prison in October for carrying a small amount of hashish on a transit flight via Moscow. Her mother, Yaffa, asked Putin in November to pardon her daughter in a letter handed to him by Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. The plight of the U.S.-born Israeli army veteran, who was detained in April, has become a cause celebre in Israel, where she’s widely regarded as a pawn in a political game.Putin will meet Yaffa Issachar together with Netanyahu and the patriarch, Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. While Ushakov wouldn’t confirm that a release is planned, he said the president’s right to pardon a convicted person is “an important prerogative.”Property DisputeIn another sign of a possible resolution, Ushakov said Russia and Israel are making progress in settling a dispute over the ownership of Russian Orthodox Church property in Jerusalem. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said resolving the issue could form part of a quid pro quo with Putin for the release of Issachar.Putin will speak at the anniversary ceremony, though there won’t be time for him to meet with other leaders attending the event, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to Ushakov.Issachar’s case for a time became entangled with that of a Russian national, Alexei Burkov, whom Israel extradited to the U.S. in November on charges including hacking and credit card fraud. Russia had offered to swap the two, according to Natan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and Israeli politician.Putin rebuffed repeated pleas to free her by Netanyahu, who’s fighting to maintain his 13-year-rule as he battles fraud and bribery charges, with new elections due in March.\--With assistance from Gwen Ackerman and Ivan Levingston.To contact the reporters on this story: Andrey Biryukov in Moscow at abiryukov5@bloomberg.net;Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory L. White at gwhite64@bloomberg.net, Tony HalpinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED JANUARY 22, 2020 8:30 AM

Canada's TSB says Iran has invited it to examine black boxes

Canada's TSB says Iran has invited it to examine black boxesCanada's Transportation Safety Board said Thursday it has been invited by Iran to participate in the download and analysis of the flight recorders from the downing of a Ukraine International Airlines jet “whenever and wherever” that takes place. Iran has acknowledged that its armed forces fired two Russian anti-aircraft missiles at the jetliner that crashed after taking off from Tehran's main airport earlier this month, killing all 176 people on board. Fifty-seven Canadians died and 138 of the passengers were headed to Canada.




POSTED JANUARY 23, 2020 4:29 PM

Family attorneys say cruise line's story of toddler's death is 'physically impossible'

Family attorneys say cruise line's story of toddler's death is 'physically impossible'Attorneys representing Chloe Wiegand's family say a ship visit proves it's "physically impossible" for her grandfather to hold her out of the window.




POSTED JANUARY 23, 2020 3:53 PM

Residents paint a picture of Epstein's life on "Pedophile Island"

Residents paint a picture of Epstein's life on "Pedophile Island"When Epstein was convicted and serving time for procuring an underage girl in Florida for sex, word of his 13 month sentence and his alleged crimes made their way to St. Thomas.




POSTED JANUARY 22, 2020 9:07 PM

Menendez and Graham Partner Up to Craft a New Iran Deal

Menendez and Graham Partner Up to Craft a New Iran DealSen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have teamed up to work on drafting potential contours for negotiations with Tehran over the country’s nuclear programming and a roadmap for a new deal, according to Graham and two other congressional aides familiar with the matter.“I’ve been working with Senator Menendez on this for some time,” Graham told The Daily Beast in an interview last week. “We need a new way forward. And I’ve been trying to think of alternatives.”Graham told The Daily Beast in an interview in August that he was working with senior Trump administration officials on an alternative to the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal. Part of that effort included fielding ideas from outside actors, including foreign officials. Since then, Graham has met with Menendez—although only a few times—on how to kickstart a bipartisan congressional effort to reform the administration’s Iran policy.According to sources individuals familiar with the Graham-Menendez partnership, the two senators have largely talked about constructing an actionable plan to present to other lawmakers and to the White House. But the two sides have yet to agree on exactly how to get the ball rolling, according to those sources. One individual said Menendez wanted to work with Graham because the South Carolina lawmaker had gained the president’s ear on Iran over the last year.Although the duo has spoken about teaming up for some time, sources say the lawmakers are focused now more than ever on crafting a new deal following the killing of Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani. Following the strike, Democrats in the Senate, including Menendez, called out senior officials in the Trump administration for not offering proper intelligence briefings to Congress on what led to the strike. Menendez told MSNBC earlier this month that the administration suggested in briefings there was an imminent threat to American interests but that there was “no clear definition of what they consider imminent.”The senator also called on the administration to declassify the official notification provided to Congress about the Soleimani strike.Graham, on the other hand, applauded President Trump and told The Daily Beast that the administration should continue to keep the military option on the table if Iran were to continue to threaten American interests in the Middle East. Graham suggested the U.S. strike Iranian oil assets in the country, pointing to refineries in particular. Menendez, on the other hand, has urged the administration to up its diplomatic outreach following the strike rather than continue to rely on its military might.Despite their division on Trump’s decision to strike Soleimani, both lawmakers opposed the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.“I have looked into my own soul, and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,” Menendez said in a 2015 speech. “It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto.”At the time of the deal’s proposal in 2015, Menendez advocated that the Obama administration continue to levy sanctions on Iran in order to change Tehran’s behavior and keep it from eventually obtaining a nuclear weapon. Although Graham’s and Menendez’s public statements on Iran have varied, both lawmakers seem to agree on one point: The Trump administration’s strategy isn’t working.Since Trump took office, Menendez has criticized the Trump administration’s Iran strategy as only emboldening Tehran. And while Graham tends to support Trump publicly, the South Carolina lawmaker has been openly critical of how the White House responds to Iran’s malign activities in the region.In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Graham said the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign—meant to cripple Iran’s economy with sanctions—was working but needed to be harsher and combined with military deterrence. Team Trump Thought It Could Contain Iran With ‘Maximum Pressure.’ The Attacks Got Worse.Before the Soleimani strike, Iran policy experts, some of whom worked with the Obama administration, said Tehran would not engage in talks about a revised nuclear deal unless the U.S. rolled back at least some of its sanctions on the country. Now those experts say Tehran, having rolled back its commitments under the former deal, is not likely to engage in any meaningful conversation with the U.S. on nuclear power, at least in the short term.Meanwhile, two officials in the Treasury Department say their unit is continuously drawing up additional sanctions for Iran on the chance Trump wants to hit the country with additional punishments in the near future.Read 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.




POSTED JANUARY 22, 2020 5:15 AM

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