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Kim Foxx Admits Failures in Jussie Smollett Case: ‘I Didn’t Handle It Well. I Own That’

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:05

 ‘I Didn’t Handle It Well. I Own That’In her reelection video for Cook County State Attorney released Tuesday, Kim Foxx concedes that she mishandled the high-profile prosecution of Empire actor Jussie Smollett."The truth is, I didn't handle it well," Foxx says in the video. "I own that."“I’m making changes in my office to make sure we do better,” she adds. “That’s what reform is about.”In the video, Foxx goes on to say that “those attacks aren’t just about one case, they’re about stopping progress in Cook County . . . we’re on the right path to reforming criminal justice in Cook County, and making the system work for everyone.”> I ran for Cook County State’s Attorney four years ago because we needed to change criminal justice in our county. Today, I’m officially announcing that I’m running for re-election. We’ve gotten a lot done, and we can’t go back now. pic.twitter.com/0ECV7BRJGH> > -- Kim Foxx (@KimFoxxforSA) November 19, 2019Citing his record of community service and the technically victimless nature of his alleged crime, Foxx dropped all charges against Smollett in March after he was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly staging a bigoted and politically-motivated hate crime against himself with the help of two friends who were paid for their services.Following the news, an anonymous attorney in Foxx’s office slammed the decision in a letter provided to CWB Chicago.“This case was handled markedly different from any other case at 26th Street. No one knows why, and more importantly, no one can explain why our boss, the head prosecutor of all of Cook County, has decided to so demean and debase both our hard work, and our already tenuous relationship with the Chicago Police Department,” the attorney’s letter read.The state later appointed a special prosecutor to examine Foxx’s decision after text messages showed that Foxx continued weighing in on the case in conversations with her deputy after announcing that she had recused herself from the investigation due to public misperceptions that she had personal relationships with members of the Smollett family. Later, Foxx tried to explain that she had not recused herself “in the legal sense.”


MSNBC Host: GOP Hinting at Vindman Dual Loyalty ‘Perhaps Inspired’ by Fox News

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:04

 GOP Hinting at Vindman Dual Loyalty ‘Perhaps Inspired’ by Fox NewsMSNBC host Nicolle Wallace laced into Republicans for not-so-subtly implying during Tuesday’s impeachment hearings that National Security Council official Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman could have dual loyalty. The GOP’s line of questioning, the MSNBC host suggested, was inspired by pro-Trump hosts at Fox News.During a break in Tuesday's testimony, Wallace asked MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake about counsel Steve Castor questioning Vindman about a Ukrainian official asking him if he’d be interested in becoming Ukraine’s minister of defense. Vindman is a Ukrainian-born American citizen who emigrated to the United States when he was a child.After Haake said the Republicans were trying to portray Vindman—an Iraq War veteran who earned a Purple Heart—as “disgruntled and perhaps having dual loyalty,” Wallace said they needed to be more “blunt” about this.“It’s a reprehensible line of questioning,” she exclaimed, “but it is one that they were perhaps inspired by some of the president’s favorite programs.”Specifically pointing to a Fox News segment last month in which pro-Trump host Laura Ingraham and former Bush administration official John Yoo speculated that Vindman committed “espionage” and could be a double agent, Wallace added that since this is “out there” they “should out it.”“This is a smear campaign against Lieutenant Colonel Vindman,” Wallace said. “It is active. It is live, and today it spilled out in this public hearing.”MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley, meanwhile, agreed with Wallace while going even further in repudiating the implication that Vindman was disloyal to the United States.“What’s implied in all this that hasn’t been as explicit is he’s Jewish,” Wiley noted. “And at the time [his family] fled the Soviet Union, Jews had extreme discrimination against them.”“They were fleeing persecution,” she continued. “Synagogues all over the United States had signs that said free Soviet Jewry. That’s what he represents, and yet, and yet he has to signal publicly that his father did not make a mistake in bringing him to the U.S. when he was three years old.”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.


Key impeachment witness says Ukraine offered defense post

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 11:01

Key impeachment witness says Ukraine offered defense postA key witness in the impeachment investigation into US President Donald Trump's alleged arms-for-investigations Ukraine scandal testified Tuesday that a senior Kiev official offered him the job of defense minister. Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a Ukraine expert on the White House National Security Council, told a congressional impeachment hearing he did not take the offer seriously. Republicans brought up the offer from Oleksandr Danylyuk, the former secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, in an apparent bid to discredit Vindman's damning testimony against Trump.


UN 'alarmed' dozens may be dead in Iran protests

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:59

UN 'alarmed' dozens may be dead in Iran protestsThe United Nations voiced alarm Tuesday at reports dozens may have been killed in Iranian demonstrations, as the Islamic republic said it would unblock the internet only once calm has been restored. Amnesty International said more than 100 demonstrators were believed to have been killed across Iran in five days since security forces were ordered to "crush" the protests triggered by fuel price rises. Iran's economy has been battered since May last year when the United States unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions.


UPDATE 1-France regrets U.S. decision on Fordow, rebukes Iran

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:50

UPDATE 1-France regrets U.S. decision on Fordow, rebukes IranFrance lamented on Tuesday a U.S. decision to end a sanctions waiver related to Iran's Fordow nuclear facility, but also said it feared Tehran's latest violations of a 2015 deal could lead to serious nuclear proliferation. "We regret the decision of the United States, following Iran's resumption of enrichment on the Fordow site, to terminate an exemption that would facilitate the conduct of civilian projects on this site," foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll told reporters in an online briefing. The Trump administration, which last year pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, had until Monday let the work go forward at the Fordow fuel enrichment plant by issuing waivers to sanctions that bar non-U.S. firms from dealing with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).


Haiti mourns 5 people killed during ongoing protests

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:39

Haiti mourns 5 people killed during ongoing protestsPORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Wails filled a church in Haiti’s capital on Tuesday during funeral services for five people killed in anti-government protests that began more than two months ago. Among those killed was 15-year-old Jasmine Pierre, whose father told The Associated Press that she was hit inside their home by a stray bullet when police began firing at protesters. “This really hurts,” said her father, Macene Pierre.


Judge: Death row inmate hasn’t proven prejudice by juror

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:38

 Death row inmate hasn’t proven prejudice by jurorIn his ruling, Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Don Poole declined to reopen 53-year-old Lee Hall’s case, but also wrote that Hall wouldn’t be entitled to relief even if he could consider the claim of juror bias. Hall’s attorneys contend he was deprived of his constitutional rights because the juror acknowledged she had failed to disclose during jury selection nearly 26 years ago that she had been raped and abused by her ex-husband. For one, the jury selection questions may not have been reasonably calculated to get an answer in which the juror would disclose her past, Poole wrote.


AOC talks impeachment and white nationalism in the White House

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:11

AOC talks impeachment and white nationalism in the White HouseRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., tells Yahoo News White House Correspondent Hunter Walker her thoughts on the impeachment inquiry and discusses the specter of white nationalism in politics.


Meet Britain's Deadly Nuclear Missile Submarines

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:00

Meet Britain's Deadly Nuclear Missile SubmarinesA powerful deterrent.


Obama aides deny they left behind nasty notes when they departed White House — in 2017

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:50

Obama aides deny they left behind nasty notes when they departed White House — in 2017White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that Obama officials left Trump personnel messages after the presidential transition.


Trump rallies for Louisiana governor race, mocks diplomats in impeachment hearings

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:45

Trump rallies for Louisiana governor race, mocks diplomats in impeachment hearingsEscaping Washington amid a new, public phase of the impeachment inquiry, Donald Trump is returning to Louisiana to stump for Republican Eddie Rispone.


Giuliani Associate’s Creditors Seek Funds From Trump-Linked PAC

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:38

Giuliani Associate’s Creditors Seek Funds From Trump-Linked PAC(Bloomberg) -- A family trust that lent money to an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani is trying to get it back from a political action committee tied to President Donald Trump.The Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, borrowed $510,000 from the Pues Family Trust and never repaid it, court records show. The trust won a federal court judgment in New York in 2016 to enforce repayment and registered the judgment in a Florida court this year to pursue the matter there, where Parnas lives.Parnas and a co-defendant, Lev Fruman, have been indicted in New York on allegations that they hid the source of campaign donations, including a $325,000 contribution in 2018 to the America First political action committee, which campaigns for causes advocated by Trump. The filing begins to explain a question that has hovered over the case since Parnas and Fruman were arrested last month as they sought to leave the U.S. with one-way plane tickets: where they got the money they used for donations that opened the door to the president’s inner circle.The money “should have been used to satisfy the judgment, but was used for improper purposes,” the filing said. “The money apparently was used to curry favor with the country’s political elite in the GOP, a purely personal goal.”The documents filed in Florida allege that the money for the contribution came from a shell company called Aaron Investments that Parnas used to hide assets and avoid creditors. Lawyers for the trust asked a judge to enter a judgment against America First, Parnas and the shell companies. Aaron Investments received the money from a private lending transaction, according to prosecutors.When Parnas and Fruman were charged last month, America First said it had placed the money in a segregated account and left it untouched after questions were raised about it in a Federal Election Commission complaint and related litigation last year.A spokeswoman for America First didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The trust extended the funds to Parnas and a related holding company as a short-term loan and initiated a claim against Parnas in 2011 when the loan wasn’t repaid. The initial judgment was for $350,000 but has grown with interest.Parnas and Fruman have pleaded not guilty in the New York case and have been allowed to remain free on bail under house arrest pending trial.The case is Pues Family Trust vs. Parnas Holdings Inc., 19-mc-80024, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida (West Palm Beach).To contact the reporter on this story: Christian Berthelsen in New York at cberthelsen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter JeffreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Takeaways from Day 3 of House impeachment hearings

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:20

Takeaways from Day 3 of House impeachment hearingsBoth had a consistent message during Day 3 of the House impeachment inquiry, and each was troubled by the phone call between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine. Republicans have consistently criticized the House impeachment inquiry by saying witnesses didn’t have firsthand knowledge of President Donald Trump’s role in trying to persuade Ukraine to investigate a chief political rival. The two witnesses in Tuesday morning’s session each listened to the July 25 phone call in which Trump prodded his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.


Army officer on Trump phone call said it was his 'duty' to report president

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:16

Army officer on Trump phone call said it was his 'duty' to report presidentLt. Col. Alexander Vindman told Congress Tuesday that he listened to President Trump’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine and immediately knew it was his “duty” to report Trump’s “improper” behavior to White House lawyers.


Devin Nunes used all his time in the impeachment hearing to try to out the Ukraine whistleblower

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:06

Devin Nunes used all his time in the impeachment hearing to try to out the Ukraine whistleblowerRep. Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, shut down Nunes' line of questioning: "The whistleblower has the statutory right to anonymity."


Lieutenant Colonel Vindman refuses to answer question that could out whistleblower

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:00

Lieutenant Colonel Vindman refuses to answer question that could out whistleblowerDuring Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman's testimony at a public hearing in the House's impeachment inquiry, he declined to answer questions from Ranking Member Nunes about who he may have told about the July 25 phone call.


Why the Marines Want New Mini Amphibious Transports

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:00

Why the Marines Want New Mini Amphibious TransportsA good idea?


French court confirms sentence for Picasso's electrician over hoarded art

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 08:45

French court confirms sentence for Picasso's electrician over hoarded artA French court on Tuesday confirmed the two-year suspended jail terms given to Pablo Picasso's former electrician and his wife, who hoarded 271 of the great painter's works in a garage for four decades. The verdict by the Lyon court is the latest twist in a decade-long legal saga, which took the couple, who claim the works were a gift, all the way to France's top appeals court. Pierre and Danielle Le Guennec were first given two-year suspended terms in 2015 after being convicted of possession of stolen goods over the huge trove of works by Picasso, including nine rare Cubist collages and a work from his famous Blue Period.


Alexander Vindman ended his opening statement in Trump's impeachment hearing with a message to his father: 'Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.'

Yahoo News - Tue, 11/19/2019 - 08:45

 'Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.'"Dad, I'm sitting here today ... is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union," Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said.


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