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Wed, 22 Jan 2020 18:33
Yahoo News - Latest News &Headlines
Senate approves Trump impeachment trial plan, rejects Democrats on documents, witnessesThe Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted early on Wednesday on party lines to approve the rules for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, rejecting Democratic efforts to obtain evidence and ensure witnesses are heard. As the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history began in earnest, Trump's chief legal defender argued the Democratic case was a baseless effort to overturn the 2016 election but a top Democratic lawmaker said there was "overwhelming" evidence of wrongdoing. Trump was impeached last month by the House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.
Senate approves Trump impeachment trial plan, rejects Democrats on documents, witnesses
WWII-era ammunition found at Tesla factory site near BerlinAuthorities in Germany say 85 kilograms (187 pounds) of World War II ammunition have been found on the site where Tesla plans to build its first European factory. Local newspaper Maerkische Oderzeitung quoted officials in Brandenburg on Wednesday as saying they estimate about 25 unexploded bombs could be found at the partially wooded site on the outskirts of Berlin, the German capital. Thousands of unexploded bombs dropped over Nazi Germany by American, British and Russian forces remain undiscovered even 75 years after the end of the war.
WWII-era ammunition found at Tesla factory site near Berlin
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 tothe 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.
Putin to Meet Jailed Israeli’s Mother Amid Reports of Release
Police: Mom accused of killing her 3 kids said she smothered them while singingA probable cause document doesn’t provide a possible motive for the brutal killings that Rachel Henry is charged with.
Police: Mom accused of killing her 3 kids said she smothered them while singing
Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil warA hidden camera captured members of a white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.
Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil war
REI’s January Sale Offers 50% off Cold-Weather Outdoor Gear
REI’s January Sale Offers 50% off Cold-Weather Outdoor Gear
This map shows where China's mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread as death toll rises to 17As well as in mainland China, cases of the coronavirus has been reported in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
This map shows where China's mysterious, deadly Wuhan coronavirus has spread as death toll rises to 17
The brazen (and careless) Russian assassination team behind the Salisbury poisonings has been spotted in Europe, againThey keep failing to kill their targets. And they leave lots of evidence behind them.
The brazen (and careless) Russian assassination team behind the Salisbury poisonings has been spotted in Europe, again
Attorney: Due to a conflict of interest, William Barr must recuse himself from Lev Parnas' criminal caseAn attorney for Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Monday, requesting the he recuse himself from Parnas' criminal case.Parnas was arrested last October and charged with campaign finance violations. In the letter, which was also filed in New York federal court, attorney Joseph Bondy said Barr has a conflict of interest and asked that a special prosecutor from outside the Justice Department handle Parnas' case. "Federal ethics guidelines bar federal employees from participating in matters in which their impartiality could be questioned, including matters in which they were personally involved or about which they have personal knowledge," Bondy wrote.Bondy cited several reasons why Barr should recuse himself, noting that the reconstructed transcript released by the White House of President Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump telling Zelensky that Barr could help him facilitate an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. Last week, Parnas told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that Barr knew about efforts in the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, saying, "Attorney General Barr was basically on the team." Read Bondy's letter here.More stories from theweek.com After rejecting amendments, Senate adopts impeachment trial rules White House budget office releases heavily redacted Ukraine emails as Senate rejects OMB subpoenas Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow's odd impeachment rant about 'lawyer lawsuits' may stem from a misheard phrase
Attorney: Due to a conflict of interest, William Barr must recuse himself from Lev Parnas' criminal case
McConnell’s Brushback Is a Preview of the Impeachment Battle to ComeTechnically, arguments in the impeachment trial of President Trump haven’t even started. Democrats and Republicans spent Tuesday, the first full day of Senate proceedings, doing battle over the rules that will govern the trial that is set to unfold in the coming days.That rule package was ultimately approved, on party lines, early Wednesday morning after a marathon session of debate and votes on 11 amendments to the package proposed by Democrats. The day’s significance, however, extends beyond the realm of parliamentary minutiae and dry process detail. The way that senators crafted and passed the rules—and the way those rules were received by the House Democrats prosecuting the case against Trump and the lawyers defending him—revealed some fundamental truths about this historic trial that could hold up until the final vote to acquit or remove the president.The most unexpected thing that became clear on Tuesday—and possibly the most significant—was the emergence of some semblance of boundaries for the most powerful person in this process: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican, whose reputation for political maneuvering is almost mythical at this point, came into the trial phase of the impeachment process touting an extraordinary degree of unity within his conference of 53 senators. As the Senate prepared to receive articles of impeachment from the House last week, McConnell declared that he had within that group the 51 votes required to pass a rules package—giving him the ability to bypass Senate Democrats.On Monday night, McConnell released a rules framework. As expected, it stipulated a vote on subpoenaing additional witnesses and documents after each side’s arguments concluded. More controversially, it provided for up to 24 hours of argument to be used by each side—but those hours could only be usedover a period of two days for each side. Additionally, the rules did not automatically admit the evidence collected by the House during its impeachment inquiry.McConnell Impeach Plan: Run Like Hell, Pray for No SurprisesIn the ensuing hours, GOP senators raised concerns about the structure of the trial, forcing McConnell to back down. The resolution he ultimately introduced added an extra day for each side to use their time and admitted House evidence—changes that only became known when the text of the rules was read aloud on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.The usual suspects—like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)—pushed behind the scenes for these changes. But other Republicans who are hardly considered swing votes in the trial also indicated there was a wider backlash against the rules as proposed.Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) told reporters, “There was pretty broad agreement on the idea that when it came to any evidence that’s already been heard in the House, that just gets accepted into the record.”A close McConnell ally, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), echoed that point. “Easier to accept everything you already saw and we already saw than to have a fight about whether there was evidence or not, or whether there had already been a lot of witnesses,” he told reporters Tuesday night.Blunt also said he ultimately didn’t see a problem in giving each side an extra day to make its case. Indeed, that change privately came as a relief to members on both sides who would be spared the long nights in the Senate chamber they would have faced if they had kept to the breakneck trial pace initially laid out. “The issues of the day,” said Blunt, “were reflected in the changes to the rules.”Some in the Capitol wondered if the apparent balk from McConnell, ever the tactician, wasn’t part of some deeper strategy. But some Democrats urged a simpler explanation.“It tells me,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), “McConnell doesn’t have this completely nailed down in his caucus.” If the rules change illustrated possible limits to McConnell’s authority, the votes that took place immediately afterward were a bitter chaser to any lingering hopes that a bloc of Republicans might consistently push the GOP leader on other matters.As he has promised for weeks, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) used his power to force a lengthy series of votes on subpoenaing documentsand testimony withheld by the Trump administration. Several GOP senators have publicly said they are open to hearing new evidence in the trial—and others, like Collins and Sen. Mitt Romney (UT), have indicated they are likely to vote in favor of new evidence.But not a single Republican voted in favor of obtaining that new evidence at the onset of the trial. McConnell has made clear for weeks that he’d prefer to hold that vote after arguments in the case are heard—and on that point, all Republicans have been in lockstep with their leader.Even if they were all voted down on party lines, the content of the amendments Schumer offered to the rules package revealed important details about how the Democratic side will approach the trial. While much of the debate about new evidence has centered on witnesses like acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Senate Democrats charged into Tuesday with a renewed focus on the documents that could tell the story of Trump World’s scheme to pressure Ukraine for political favors.To that point, the first three amendments Schumer offered were all to issue subpoenas for documents withheld by the White House, the State Department, and the Office of Management and Budget. It wasn’t until the evening that an amendment was offered to subpoena Mulvaney. After that, Democrats returned to documents with an amendment to subpoena materials from the Pentagon.The tactic made for a late night on Capitol Hill. But Democrats considered it a sharp strategy. Republicans have dangled the idea of witness “reciprocity”—calling someone like Hunter Biden, for example, in exchange for Bolton—in order to complicate Democrats’ calls for evidence. But such a tactic will be harder to pull offfor documents, which Schumer and others believe could be as explosive as new witnesses in demonstrating Trump’s culpability.Republicans Aren’t Sure They Want to Hear From Hunter BidenThe lengthy rules debate also served as something of a mini-preview of the trial arguments, with each side—particularly the Democrats—using debate about amendments to explore the issues at the heart of the trial. The team of seven impeachment managers, led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), went through the factual timeline of the Ukraine allegations, referred to witness depositions, and played video clips of Trump’s own words to prove their points.That seemed to wear on some Republicans, who grumbled that Schiff and company were too eager to take advantage of initial interest in the trial to lay out their case.“They may very well think, with this case and this repetition, this is the last time that the general public will pay any attention and they’d better drive this home as dramatically as they can,” said Blunt.The public has seen plenty of the Democrats’ impeachment team—but Trump’s defense lawyers were basically an unknown quantity until the wall-to-wall TV coverage of Tuesday’s proceedings. Those lawyers burst into the public eye with the strident, combative approach embodied by their client. “The president has done absolutely nothing wrong,” said White House counsel Pat Cipollone. 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.
McConnell’s Brushback Is a Preview of the Impeachment Battle to Come
Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowdingThousands of twins packed two-by-two into a stadium in Sri Lanka's capital on Monday - so many that officials struggled to count them in time to prove they had organised a record-breaking gathering. Huge queues built up at the open-air venue in Colombo as sets of siblings waited to get their birth certificates checked. The last record was set in Taiwan in 1999, when 3,961 sets of twins, 37 sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets gathered outside Taipei City Hall.
Double trouble: Sri Lanka's twin gathering marred by overcrowding
China Sentences Ex-Interpol Chief Meng to 13.5 Years in Prison(Bloomberg) -- Sign up for Next China, a weekly email on where the nation stands now and where it's going next.A Chinese court sentenced former Interpol President Meng Hongwei to 13.5 years in prison, more than a year after he went missing during a visit to his home country.Meng previously pleaded guilty to charges that he accepted bribes of 14.5 million yuan ($2.1 million) between 2005 and 2017. China had earlier removed him from his government post as vice public security minister over violations that included taking bribes and abusing power, and expelled him from the Communist Party.Meng won’t appeal the verdict, a Tianjin municipal court said Tuesday in a social media post announcing the sentence.The disappearance and secretive investigation into the international law enforcement agency’s first Chinese president has shined a light on China’s opaque legal system and raised questions about its respect for international norms. Details about investigation into Meng’s finances have trickled out in Chinese state media since his disappearance in September 2018.Meng used his position to seek employment for his wife, Grace, and connived to use his authority for personal gain, China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in December 2018.Grace Meng said her husband worked at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, and was reported missing on Sept. 29, 2018. The Ministry of Public Security in Beijing said in October that he was being investigated on allegations including the acceptance of bribes and violation of other Chinese laws.Reuters reported in January that Grace Meng had applied for asylum in France because she feared for her life after being followed by strangers, receiving suspicious phone calls and having her car license plates photographed by mysterious people.\--With assistance from Lulu Shen.To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan Scott in Singapore at bscott66@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at dtenkate@bloomberg.net, Derek WallbankFor 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.
China Sentences Ex-Interpol Chief Meng to 13.5 Years in Prison
New charge filed against Michigan lawmaker who reportedly said boys could 'have a lot of fun' with reporterThe sexual harassment allegation, filed by a Michigan state senator, comes as Peter Lucido faces investigation over remarks to a reporter.
New charge filed against Michigan lawmaker who reportedly said boys could 'have a lot of fun' with reporter
Kristin Smart: FBI tells mother of woman missing since 1996 to 'be ready' for developmentsThe mother of a California teenager who has been missing for more than 20 years says the FBI told her to "be ready" for imminent news about her disappearance.Hoping that police would finally be able to bring some closure to a seemingly endless investigation, Kristin Smart's mother Denise told the Stockton Record that the FBI warned that the family "might want to get away for a while" and obtain a spokesperson
Kristin Smart: FBI tells mother of woman missing since 1996 to 'be ready' for developments
Fifth condemned Tennessee inmate opts for the electric chairA Tennessee inmate has chosen the electric chair for his scheduled execution next month, opting like four other inmates in little more than a year for electrocution over the state's preferred execution method of lethal injection. Nicholas Sutton, 58, is scheduled to be put to death Feb. 20 for the stabbing death of a fellow inmate decades ago while serving a life sentence for his grandmother's slaying. An affidavit signed on Tuesday said he waives the right to be executed by lethal injection and chooses electrocution.
Fifth condemned Tennessee inmate opts for the electric chair

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