Hong Kong protests mark 6-month mark with massive rally

Hong Kong protests mark 6-month mark with massive rally

Almost hidden among the throngs of demonstrators who marched in Hong Kong on Sunday was one woman who crawled, literally on hands and knees on the rough road surface — an apt metaphor for the arduous path traveled by Hong Kong's protest movement in the past six months. Dragging bricks and empty soda cans on pieces of string behind her, the young woman elicited shouts of encouragement from fellow protesters. Chanting “Fight for freedom” and “Stand with Hong Kong,” the sea of protesters formed a huge human snake winding for blocks on Hong Kong Island, from the Causeway Bay shopping district to the Central business zone, a distance of more than 2 kilometers (1 1/4 miles

Cambodia to start opposition leader trial in January

Cambodia to start opposition leader trial in January

The trial of Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha on treason charges will begin on Jan. 15, a court said on Monday. Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 and his opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) banned ahead of an election last year that was condemned by Western countries, who have demanded his release by veteran authoritarian leader Hun Sen. Last week the court in Phnom Penh said investigators found enough evidence to proceed with the cas

Pearl Harbor veteran interred on sunken ship

Pearl Harbor veteran interred on sunken ship

With speeches and salutes, veterans and officials on Saturday commemorated the 78th anniversary of the 1941 sneak attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, which brought a previously reluctant United States into World War II. A ceremony in Hawaii honoring survivors was attended by US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Washington's ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris. It was held within sight of the sunken USS Arizona, which was bombed in the opening moments of the attack that killed more than 2,400 American

Pete Buttigieg asked if taking big money out of politics includes not taking money from billionaires, he responds: 'No'

Pete Buttigieg asked if taking big money out of politics includes not taking money from billionaires, he responds: 'No'

Pete Buttigieg implied that he would take money off billionaires and closed-door fundraisers during a terse exchange with a student activist, amid growing criticism of the Democratic candidate’s fundraising strategy.The 2020 presidential candidate has come under scrutiny for his decision to take money from wealthy donors after a number of Democrats have pledged to take “big money” out of politic

Boris Johnson Snatches Reporter’s Phone to Avoid Looking at Photo of Sick Child

Boris Johnson Snatches Reporter’s Phone to Avoid Looking at Photo of Sick Child

There are hundreds of ways Boris Johnson could have handled this interview—and he may well have picked the worst one.Days ahead of Thursday’s general election, when the Conservative prime minister is hoping to secure a majority to be able to force through his Brexit project at the start of next year, Johnson suffered a deeply uncomfortable campaign-trail gaffe under tough questioning from a reporter.The journalist, Joe Pike from ITV News, used his short time with the prime minister to show Johnson a photograph of a boy who, sick at a hospital with suspected pneumonia, was reportedly forced to lie on a pile of coats rather than a hospital bed due to shortages. Brexit aside, the future of the country’s National Health Service has been the key issue during the campaign.Instead of showing some sympathy for the child and promising to look into the situation, the prime minister looked deeply uncomfortable and repeatedly averted his gaze from Pike’s phone screen. After repeated requests from the reporter to comment specifically on the photo, Johnson snatched the phone away from Pike and slipped it into his pocket.“You’ve refused to look at the photo,” said Pike to Johnson. “You’ve taken my phone and put it in your pocket, Prime Minister. His mother says the NHS is in crisis, what’s your response to that?”Johnson, seemingly becoming aware of how dreadful the scene will look when it was shown on television, looked very flustered, removed the phone to look at the photo, and finally expressed some sympathy.“I’m sorry... It’s a terrible, terrible photo and I apologize, obviously, to the family and all those who have terrible experiences in the NHS. But what we are doing is supporting the NHS and, on the whole, I think patients in the NHS have a much better experience than this poor kid has had.”Johnson concluded the interview: “I’m sorry for taking your phone.”Johnson’s Conservative Party is widely expected to win Thursday’s election, although Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party has been closing the gap between them in most polling over recent weeks.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 mor

Nadler Says Without Impeachment, Trump May ‘Rig’ 2020 Vote

Nadler Says Without Impeachment, Trump May ‘Rig’ 2020 Vote

(Bloomberg) -- Democrats on Sunday began making their final arguments for the speedy impeachment of President Donald Trump with a simple refrain: Nothing less than the integrity of the upcoming 2020 presidential election -- and future elections in general -- is at stake.On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said it was a “matter of urgency” to deal with the president’s pattern of behavior ahead of the next election. On CNN’s State of the Union, Nadler said Trump may try to “rig” the 2020 vote.His counterpart on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that “we simply can’t wait for an election that the president is seeking to prejudice with foreign intervention.”Those arguments appear to be designed to address Republican complaints that the impeachment of the president is based on a slip-shod case being rushed out before Christmas for political reasons. Appearing on CNN, Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said the House hearings so far amounted to a highly partisan process based mainly on “hearsay.”No Wasting TimeAsked on CNN if Democrats shouldn’t wait for the courts to compel key witnesses to testify, Nadler’s response amounted to, “there is no time to waste.”Trump “sought foreign interference in our elections -- several times; he sought to cover it up -- several times,” the New York Democrat said. It appears, based on the president’s past behavior, that “he will do anything to rig the next election.”Judiciary Committee Democrats are working this weekend, and by Thursday could begin to draft the articles of impeachment that will shape debate in a Senate trial. On Monday, Nadler’s committee will hear a presentation of evidence compiled by the House Intelligence Committee, and only after that will the committee decide how broad to make any articles of impeachment, he said on CNN.Some Democrats have hinted for weeks that the articles may include evidence the president obstructed the Russia investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Nadler said on Sunday that the committee will make that decision based on multiple factors, including “the level of support in our caucus” for broadening the articles.Nadler said on NBC that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a role in that determination.Witnesses SilentRegardless, it’s now likely that an impeachment will happen without hearing from key witnesses, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer. Those participants and other important witnesses have refused to testify in the House inquiry, citing White House orders not to.Even some Republicans have expressed concerns with the White House’s approach. “It would inure to the president’s advantage to have people testify who can exculpate him,” Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, said on the ABC program, “This Week.”Those and other comments Sunday suggest there’s still plenty of drama to come as the impeachment process enters its final stage in the House. Democrats from moderate districts have called for sticking to the most direct evidence, and leaving the question about the president’s actions during the Mueller investigation for another day -- probably after Trump has left office.“We should proceed only on those items where we have direct evidence,” Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “And there’s a lot of direct evidence relative to the abuse of power and Ukraine and the Russians, relative to the Biden investigation.”“We’d be on firmest ground to move forward where we have direct evidence,” Lofgren said.‘Worst Nightmare’On Saturday, Nadler said that the current inquiry has raised “several issues of constitutional law” not considered during the cases of Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, respectively.“The framers worst nightmare is what we are facing in this very moment,” Nadler said in a statement attached to the 55-page majority staff report that reviewed the historical record on impeachment as envisaged by the U.S. Founders.(Updates with Schiff, Gaetz, Meadows quotes from third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Billy House and Steve Geimann.To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Riley in Washington at michaelriley@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.

Booker slams Democratic debate rules as he ends Iowa tour

Booker slams Democratic debate rules as he ends Iowa tour

Fighting to be in the next Democratic presidential debate, Cory Booker concluded a nearly 800-mile, 12-county tour of Iowa on Sunday by criticizing the Democratic party for allowing “elites" and “money" to control who gets on stage and urging voters to offer his name when pollsters call. “Iowa never lets elites decide," he told a crowd at his campaign office in Cedar Rapids on Sunday. Just six candidates are qualified for the Dec. 19 debate, and Booker is not one of the

Biden Says Son Hunter Will Not Engage in Foreign Business if He Wins in 2020

Biden Says Son Hunter Will Not Engage in Foreign Business if He Wins in 2020

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden said his son Hunter will not be engaged in any foreign business if the former vice president is elected in 2020.“They will not be engaged in any foreign business because of what's happened in this administration,” Biden told "Axios on HBO."Hunter Biden raised eyebrows when it came to light that he held a lucrative position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while his father was fighting corruption in Ukraine as vice president. The set-up prompted Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate the Bidens while temporarily withholding U.S. military aid, an alleged quid pro quo that became the basis for the impeachment inquiry against Trump.“I don't know what he was doing. I know he was on the board. I found out he was on the board after he was on the board and that was it,” Biden said.A photo from the summer of 2014 shows Biden, then vice president, and his son Hunter with Devon Archer, who, like the younger Biden, served on the board of Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian energy company."No. Because I trust my son," Biden responded when asked whether he wanted to get to the bottom of his son's business dealings.The former vice president added that he is not worried since there is "not one single bit of evidence" and "nothing on its face that was wrong."Biden cited the business conflicts of interest of members of President Trump's family for his decision to have his family eschew foreign business opportunities, saying, "if you want to talk about problems, let's talk about Trump's family."Trump has been criticized for allegedly encouraging government spending at his luxury resorts, including floating his Miami golf resort as an ideal spot to host the 2020 G-7 summi

Boston's trauma to be dissected as marathon bomber appeals death sentence

Boston's trauma to be dissected as marathon bomber appeals death sentence

This city's deepest wound - the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured hundreds more - will be re-examined Thursday when lawyers for bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seek to have his death sentence lifted because the jury pool was too traumatized to render a fair verdict. The then-19-year old Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan sparked five days of panic in Boston that began April 15, 2013, when they detonated a pair of homemade pressure cooker bombs at the race's packed finish line. The pair eluded capture for days, punctuated by a gunbattle with police in Watertown that killed Tamerlan and led to a daylong lockdown of Boston and most of its suburbs while heavily armed officers and troops conducted a house-to-house search for Dzhokha

American soldiers banned from Italian main street after vicious brawl

American soldiers banned from Italian main street after vicious brawl

Around 2,000 US Army soldiers have been banned from one of the main streets in the Italian city of Vicenza after a  brawl between soldiers and locals.  The temporary ban, which affects members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed in the city, involves the quaint via  Contra' Pescherie Vecchie, where two young Vicenza men say they were surrounded and beaten by several soldiers after a verbal exchange just outside a popular watering hole for off duty combat paratroopers.  “This is not my face. I was not like this before,” Riccardo Passaro, 21, told La Repubblica from the hospital where he is recovering from reconstructive facial surgery after his jaw was shattered.  City authorities are studying CCTV images to identify the culprits of the latest violent episode, which prompted Mayor Francesco Rucco to request special restrictive measures from the base commander.  Col. Kenneth Burgess issued a memo warning that personnel caught entering the restricted zone during the 45-day ban faced disciplinary sanctions. “It is a decree without precedent in Vicenza and for this we thank the American authorities," Mayor Rucco said. The US military presence in Vicenza has been expanding for the last decade, with construction of the large Del Din annex north of the historic Ederle garrison to help lodge US Africa Command and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, which conducts contingency response and NATO ally training in Europe.  Vicenza's 113,000 inhabitants now intermingle, mostly peacefully, with more than 12,000 Americans, including military family members and employees of the two bases bookending the city.  But an uptick in problems related to heavy drinking, violence and public disorder since the expansion has exasperated locals.   In 2014,  several rape investigations and a car crash in the city centre involving three pedestrians made headlines. In 2016 and 2017 there were bloody brawls involving injuries and property damage. And in 2018, police intervened 550 times in violent incidents involving Americans, prompting new joint night patrols this year by U.S. military police and Italian Carabinier

Jury would convict Trump 'in 3 minutes flat': Nadler

Jury would convict Trump 'in 3 minutes flat': Nadler

The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said Sunday that if the impeachment case against President Trump were put to a jury, there "would be a guilty verdict in three minutes flat.&quo

Plot Emerged to Fix Venezuela Without Maduro or Guaido

Plot Emerged to Fix Venezuela Without Maduro or Guaido

(Bloomberg) -- The standoff in Venezuela briefly took a new twist, according to a report from the Spanish newspaper ABC.People close to both President Nicolas Maduro and his rival Juan Guaido plotted to push both men aside and end the nation’s crisis with the rule of a temporary junta, the newspaper reported without citing where it got the information.The article didn’t cite sources by name, nor was it completely clear how deeply embedded the plan was before it was discovered and fell apart. But the story suggests a strong desire within the camps of both men to end the standoff between Maduro and Guaido almost a year old. Guaido, the National Assembly president, has been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the U.S., as Venezuela’s leader.Third WayThe ABC story suggested a third way, which the paper reported was born out of talks between emissaries of high-ranking Venezuelan officials with opposition leaders, in four countries between April and October this year, after huge rallies demanding Maduro’s exit.The key figure appears to be Humberto Calderon Berti, then the designated ambassador to Colombia who Guaido dismissed last month. He was the main Guaido negotiator in the talks with the emissaries for Venezuelan officials who defied Maduro.At some point in the talks, the paper said, Calderon Berti was approached to head a “transitional junta” -- a small group of powerful men who would lead the nation for 18 months. The paper said that an agreement was drafted by August, with the document outlining the political changes to oust Maduro, sideline Guaido and install the junta sent around to the key players.The Venezuelan officials who sent emissaries for the secret talks included president of the National Constituent Assembly Diosdado Cabello, one of Venezuela’s most powerful men with strong ties to the military, Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.The negotiations were complex, involving the reconciliation of various factions within the army and voiding the May 2018 presidential elections Maduro is widely seen as winning only by fraud.Temporary JuntaThe paper cites discussions in which a Cabello emissary, army captain Carlos Aguilera Borjas, suggests that Calderon Berti head the temporary junta. The paper says that Maduro’s regime discovered the talks, which then came to an end.Calderon Berti told ABC newspaper that he met with Aguilera Borjas and others. But these meetings were part of his diplomatic duties and had nothing to do with a plot to form a junta, Calderon Berti said.Guaido’s representatives declined to comment on the ABC report, while the Maduro government didn’t respond to requests to do so.To contact the reporter on this story: Jose Orozco in Mexico City at jorozco8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ney Hayashi at ncruz4@bloomberg.net, Ian Fisher, Matthew G. MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.

North Dakota county may become US's 1st to bar new refugees

North Dakota county may become US's 1st to bar new refugees

Reuben Panchol was forced to leave war-torn Sudan decades ago as a child, embarking on an odyssey that eventually brought him to the American Midwest and left him eternally grateful to the country that took him in. “I am an American citizen, a North Dakotan,” said Panchol, a 38-year-old father of four. If they vote to bar refugees, as expected, Burleigh County — home to about 95,000 people and the capital city of Bismarck — could become the first local government to do so since President Donald Trump issued an executive order making it possibl

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