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After Sondland bombshell, Democrats look to expand Trump probe to Pompeo, othersHouse Democrats, emboldened after Ambassador Gordon Sondland provided stunning testimony Wednesday, are debating whether to expand the investigation to other Trump administration officials.

11/21/2019 3:12:24 PM

Exclusive: Acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf makes unannounced visit to privately funded border wallActing Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf made an unpublicized visit Wednesday to the site of a privately constructed border wall during his first official trip to the southern border, Yahoo News has confirmed.

11/21/2019 4:38:03 PM

Russia 'ruined' Ukrainian naval vessels before handing them back, says Ukrainian navyThree Ukrainian navy boats seized by Russia a year ago were vandalised before being handed back to Ukraine, the country's navy said.  The fast gunboats Nikopol and Berdyansk and the tugboat Tany Kapu were welcomed by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and onlookers waving national flags arrived in Ochakiv, a Ukrainian naval port on the Black Sea on Wednesday evening.  But Ukraine's navy said the vessels had been stripped bare and left so badly damaged that they had to be towed home by tug. "The Russians ruined them," said Admiral Ihor Voronchenko, the head of the Ukrainian Navy.   "They even took the ceiling lights, plug sockets, and lavatories," he said.  Mr Zelenskiy, who reviewed the vessels as they returned on Thursday morning, said: "I am very happy that our navy vessels are back where they belong. As promised, we have brought back our sailors and our ships.   "Some of the equipment is missing, as well as some weapons. There will be an investigation. We will see all of the details."   Russia blocked the Kerch strait with a tanker and deployed fighter jets to stop the three vessels entering the Azov Sea last year Credit: Pavel Rebrov/Reuters Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), which oversees the border service that seized the vessels, denied tampering with the ships and said they had been "handed over to the Ukrainian side in normal condition."   The three vessels were boarded by Russian forces after they tried to pass through the Strait of Kerch in November last year.  Russia says they illegally violated the Russian border, then impounded the vessels and jailed 24 crew members pending trial.  Ukraine described the move as an act of war and a flagrant breach of the treaty that gives the countries joint sovereignty of the only channel between the Black and Azov seas.  Mr Zelenskiy said the return of the boats as the latest in a series of small steps "towards peace" ahead of a key summit with Vladimir Putin next month.  Mr Zelenskiy inspects the artillery boat Nikopol Credit: Arkhip Vereshchagin/TASS The two presidents will meet in person for the first time in Paris on December 9, at talks brokered by France and Germany that are designed to end the conflict in east Ukraine, which has killed 13,000 people since 2014.     In September the ships' crews were released in a prisoner swap that also saw Russia free Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker and activist who had been held on trumped-up charges since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.    The sides have also agreed to pull back troops from key points on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine. The narrow sea way between Crimea and Russia's Taman peninsula is the only passage for ships sailing to and from Ukraine's industrial port of Mariupol, to which the flotilla was bound when it was seized.  Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and opened a bridge across the strait in 2017 in defiance of Ukrainian objections. Mariupol is a few miles from the frontline where Ukrainian and Russian-directed separatist forces have been fighting a static war for five years.

11/21/2019 9:41:28 AM

Alabama cop who chased, beat and shot black man after stop-and-frisk guilty of manslaughterProsecutors argued Aaron C. Smith escalated a consensual stop to deadly force, killing Greg Gunn feet away from the home he lived in with his mother.

11/22/2019 3:01:30 PM

California Supreme Court Rejects Catholic Group’s Challenge to Rule Deeming Voluntary Abortions ‘Medically Necessary’California's Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a Catholic women's organization's challenge to state health regulators' designation of voluntary abortions as "medically necessary" procedures that must be covered by state health care service plans.The California Department of Managed Health Care in 2014 sent letters to seven health care service plans directing them not to limit or exclude coverage for abortions, including those abortions that are not required to save the life of the mother. The letters ordered the state-licensed health care service plans to eliminate any language in their agreements that “may discriminate against women by limiting or excluding coverage for termination of pregnancies.”Since then, the Missionary Guadalupanas of the Holy Spirit have sought legal remedies to the rule, arguing that California flouted the Administrative Procedures Act by neglecting to give the rule a public hearing and comment period.A state appeals court in Sacramento in August upheld the state agency's designation of a pregnant woman's choice to have an abortion as “medically necessary.” The missionaries did not appeal that ruling but did request that California's Supreme Court withdraw it as a published decision binding in trial courts throughout the state. The high court unanimously rejected that request.Planned Parenthood, however, was allowed to comment on the rule. The nation's largest abortion provider met with state health regulators and urged adoption of the rule barring employer health plans that exclude abortion, as shown in emails between the agency and Planned Parenthood that were used as evidence in the missionaries' lawsuit.“California regulators appear to have deliberately ignored the deep moral and ethical objection to abortion held by so many in the state,” said Andrew Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference. “Debate is healthy and should never be suppressed in this manner or any issue in which so many citizens feel so passionate about.”

11/21/2019 12:42:43 PM

Meet America's New 'Assault Ship' Armed with F-35s (And Much More)Firing deck-mounted guns, intercepting enemy cruise missiles, launching F-35B Joint Strike Fighters and using Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to attack behind enemy lines -- are all mission possibilities envisioned for the Navy’s fast-progressing second big-deck America-class amphibious assault ship, the future USS Tripoli.

11/22/2019 4:49:00 AM

Ninth family member dies after Israeli strike: ministryA Palestinian wounded in an Israeli strike that killed eight members of his family has died, the health ministry in the Hamas-run strip said on Friday. Mohammed Abu Malhous al-Sawarka, 40, succumbed after being wounded in "the massacre in which eight members of a family died when they were targeted in their homes," ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said in a statement. It said he was the brother of Rasmi Abu Malhous who was killed when his home was hit by an air strike on November 14.

11/22/2019 8:23:38 AM

Teen in California high school shooting rampage used 'ghost gun' made from partsA 16-year-old boy who opened fire at his Southern California high school, killing two classmates and wounding three others before shooting himself in the head, used a "ghost gun" built from parts, the local sheriff said on Thursday. Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow pulled the .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol from his backpack on Nov. 14, his birthday, and shot students at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita seemingly at random before turning the gun on himself. The sheriff told KABC it was not yet clear if the teenage gunman put the weapon together himself.

11/21/2019 3:52:40 PM

Rep. Devin Nunes got help from indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas for 2018 Europe tripRep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) traveled to Europe with three aides from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018, on a $63,000 taxpayer-funded investigative trip, and Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani arrested last month on federal campaign finance and conspiracy charges, helped arrange meetings and calls for his trip, The Daily Beast reports, citing Parnas lawyer Ed MacMahaon and congressional records. Nunes aide Derek Harvey was involved in the Parnas meeting, and he accompanied Nunes to Europe along with fellow aides Scott Glabe and George Pappas.At the time of the trip, Nunes was outgoing chairman of the House Intelligence Committee -- he is now the committee's top Republican and lead voice in the public impeachment hearings. Nunes was visiting Europe as part of his investigation into the origins of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia and President Trump's campaign. During the period Nunes was in Europe, Giuliani was in the middle of his ultimately successful campaign to oust U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch, a plot Parnas and partner Igor Fruman were also involved in, according to the federal indictment.Parnas "believed that what he was doing was furtherance of the president's and thus our national interests," said Joseph Bondy, a member of Parnas' legal team. "President Trump's recent and regrettable disavowal of Mr. Parnas has caused him to rethink his involvement and the true reasons for his having been recruited to participate in the President's activities. Mr. Parnas is prepared to testify completely and accurately about his involvement in the President and Rudy Giuliani's quid pro quo demands of Ukraine." Read more at The Daily Beast.More stories from theweek.com Ivanka Trump tries to defend father with awkwardly fake Tocqueville impeachment quote Watch Kamala Harris learn from Stephen Colbert that Lindsey Graham is investigating Joe Biden and Ukraine Republicans are throwing Rudy Giuliani under the bus

11/21/2019 12:51:00 AM

Sondland pressed on why Trump has blocked witnesses: 'I wish I could answer'Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., took aim at the members of the Trump administration who have refused to testify in the impeachment inquiry.

11/20/2019 4:57:18 PM