In a rare move, NATO ally Bulgaria has expelled an undercover spy affiliated with the Russian military intelligence service, according to a Western intelligence source.
A poll released earlier this week showed Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic presidential primary pack in Iowa for the first time. Can he really win the presidency?
Pope Francis compared anti-gay comments made by politicians to speeches made by Adolf Hitler in a speech on Friday in which he denounced homophobia.
Three young boys and two adults were fatally shot and another boy was wounded in a domestic dispute that escalated into a shooting on Saturday in southeastern San Diego, police said. Three other boys, ages 5, 9 and 11, were taken to a hospital where two of them died, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said during a news conference. "When the officers arrived on the scene, they were able to look into one of the windows and see a small child inside covered in blood," San Diego Police Lieutenant Matt Dobbs said.
Decommissioned nuclear silo accessed 40ft staircase leading underground was once home to US’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile ever deployedAll this can be yours for $395,000. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyOne local newspaper described the sales listing, with calculated understatement, as a “mid-century fixer-upper”: an underground bunker built to withstand a nuclear attack, and to house the fire power to retaliate.The decommissioned nuclear silo in southern Arizona was once home to the Titan II, the largest intercontinental ballistic missile deployed by the US Air Force.The inside of the decommissioned Titan nuclear missile silo in southern Arizona. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyThe silo’s owner, Rick Ellis, told the Arizona Daily Star newspaper that he was selling the property because he’s “bored”.Ellis said he originally bought the silo to turn into a commercial data storage center because it is shielded from electromagnetic pulses that can scramble electronics, but his plans were waylaid by the economic recession. So far, he said he has rejected serious offers from a buyer who wanted to turn it into a greenhouse for medical marijuana and another who planned to use it as a porn studio.The threshold to tour the property is much higher than for a typical open house. Interested buyers must prove they have the money to cover the $395,000 cost and sign a liability waiver before descending a 40ft staircase into the bunker to tour the property.An aerial view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty Photography“Private yet not too remote,” says the listing for the property, which includes more than 12 acres of desert.There are 18 decommissioned nuclear silos which surround Tucson and were operational from June 1963 into the 1980s. They were on alert to launch, or respond, to nuclear attacks with the Titan II missiles, which carried warheads with nine megatons of explosive power – the equivalent to a yield 600 times that of “Little Boy”, the bomb dropped over Hiroshima.When the bunkers were decommissioned, the government demolished them, filled them with rubble and sealed the entrances with concrete.Another view of the nuclear missile silo. Photograph: Casey James with Luxe Realty PhotographyEllis took on a major excavation after purchasing the property, which still includes some original equipment such as floor-to-ceiling springs which isolated each level of the basement from seismic shocks and signs revealing the bunker’s designated smoking area.Premier Media Group created a 3D tour of the bunker which showcases pools of stagnant water and the 6,000lb blast door which can be closed with one hand.For those who can’t provide the paperwork necessary to tour the property, realtors Grant Hampton and Kori Ward recommend a visit to the nearby Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Arizona, which is inside a decommissioned silo.
Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates, has stepped up her assault on billionaires -- a rallying cry popular with her base, but one that could stymie her efforts to garner wider support among US voters. The one-minute campaign ad shows clips of several leading businessmen criticizing her plans for a wealth tax and predicting economic ruin if she is elected to succeed Donald Trump, a billionaire himself. Then the viewer sees Warren at a campaign rally, challenging America's most wealthy to pay up to help reduce income inequality in America.
A smoke signal.
The number of foreign students coming to U.S. colleges and universities continued to fall last year, according to a new report, but the Trump administration says the drop should be blamed on high tuition costs and not students’ concerns over the nation’s political atmosphere. An annual report from the Institute of International Education found that the number of newly enrolled international students dipped by 1% in fall 2018 compared to the year before. The downturn is a worry for universities that have come to rely on tuition from foreign students, who are typically charged higher rates.
A senior White House official confirmed to Yahoo News that Trump screened the movie for guests including “family, friends, and some staff.”
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily BeastOverlooked as the nation was riveted by the opening days of the televised impeachment proceedings was an appeals court decision that started a clock ticking for the Supreme Court to finally pick a side in what Attorney General Bill Barr has called a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred war” between Congress and a president who has categorically refused to cooperate with its investigations into his misconduct.Unless the Supreme Court acts, Trump’s taxes—which he has fought furiously to keep hidden since beginning his campaign for the presidency— will be turned over to Congress as soon as Wednesday.Thus, the nation will soon begin to learn whether the Supreme Court’s conservative majority is, as Trump himself hopes, composed of “Trump judges” willing to side with the president in cases where lower courts have shrugged aside the president’s weak arguments for stonewalling investigations into his misconduct.SCOTUS’ Choice: Trump or the Rule of LawOn Wednesday, the full District of Columbia Court of Appeals refused to rehear an Oct. 11, 2019, decision ordering Trump’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars, to turn over his tax returns and other financial records to the House Oversight Committee. On Friday, Trump made an emergency stay application to Chief Justice Roberts, which he is likely to refer to the full Supreme Court. Therefore, unless five justices vote Trump’s way, the tax returns that Trump has hidden for years could be handed over to the Democratic-controlled House in a matter of days.Meantime, on Thursday, Trump filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a New York federal appeals court requiring Mazars to provide the same financial records to a Manhattan grand jury, although that proceeding will be stayed by agreement of the parties while the case remains pending before the court.Neither of these cases is expressly about Congress’ pending impeachment inquiry. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court’s response to Trump’s petitions could well signal if the court is willing to provide support and legitimacy for Trump’s sweeping declaration, yet to find acceptance in the lower courts, that the inquiry is “constitutionally illegitimate.” Indeed, the two cases are reaching the court at a linchpin moment. Trump continues to withhold the testimony of his closest aides from Congress even as he asserts that the evidence of other witnesses should be ignored as “hearsay.” If the Supreme Court fails to support Trump’s categorical stonewalling, his claim that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, and with it his rationale for withholding witnesses and evidence, could lose much of its already weakening political, as well as legal, force.The battle lines have been drawn sharply, both by recent Trump judicial appointees, as well as by Trump’s chief law enforcement officer, and assiduous protector, William Barr. Only three members of the D.C. Circuit dissented from the full appellate court’s refusal to rehear the Mazars decision. Two of them were Trump’s own appointees: Neomi Rao and Gregory Katsas. Katsas, a former Trump administration official, absurdly asserted that Congress’ subpoena for Trump’s wholly personal business records (many of which predate Trump’s presidency) presents a greater “threat to presidential autonomy and independence” than the subpoena for White House tapes the Supreme Court upheld in United States v. Nixon. Just how obtaining presidential tax returns could threaten the autonomy of the president went unexplained.In an extraordinary speech on Friday to the conservative Federalist Society, Barr offered a further explanation of what the president believes is at stake. The attorney general declared that the Democratic Party is now part and parcel of a “Resistance” force, engaged in a “war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.” According to Barr, the “Resistance” force that now controls the House (that is, duly elected representatives) is rallying “around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of [Trump’s] administration.” Barr’s message is clear: Because Trump is the putative victim of an “incendiary” “insurgency” that has declared war on his presidency, the president must be afforded wide latitude in his efforts to resist the “Resistance”—including by outright defying Congress.Neither of the cases now before the Supreme Court are squarely about the House impeachment investigation. The House issued its subpoena to Mazars before commencing the inquiry, and the lower court decisions addressed the power of Congress to obtain presidential records in connection with normal “legislative” oversight, not impeachment. Did Kavanaugh’s Replacement, Neomi Rao, Show the Supreme Court a Path to Justify Trump’s Defiance of Congress?Yet Judge Rao (also a former Trump administration official), who dissented from the initial D.C. Circuit panel decision, has made it extremely clear that the president’s battle against impeachment was at the forefront of her mind. Rao endorsed Trump’s wholly baseless claim that he has “due process” rights in connection with the House impeachment investigation. Rao’s “due process” rationale gives rise to an implication that courts could well back Trump’s efforts to stonewall what the White House has declared to be a “constitutionally illegitimate” impeachment inquiry by refusing to enforce impeachment subpoenas on the ground that Trump’s “rights” have been violated. In their Supreme Court stay petition, Trump’s lawyers echoed Rao’s logic, warning that, “[g]iven the temptation to dig up dirt on political rivals, intrusive subpoenas into the personal lives of Presidents” could “become our new normal in times of divided government.” It is particularly audacious for Trump—who faces impeachment for trying to extort a foreign country into manufacturing dirt on a political rival—to be warning the Supreme Court about the supposed dangers of Congress using formal, legal tools to obtain evidence regarding potential presidential misconduct. But to Trump’s partisans, such congressional intrusions simply cannot be tolerated, given that Congress is, in effect, a battlefield adversary.In his Federalist Society speech, Barr complained about an “encroaching judiciary” that he claimed has improperly taken it upon itself to resolve “turf disputes between the political branches.” But, as the current litigation before the Supreme Court demonstrates, Trump has no problem asking the federal courts to step in to wholly insulate him from congressional oversight, or from the prying eyes of state law enforcement agencies. In fact, Trump’s clear hope is that he can enlist the Supreme Court as his ally in a battle with the “insurgency,” as his attorney general now calls a duly elected house of Congress controlled by a different political party.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 more.