The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine whose abrupt ouster in May has become a topic of interest for House impeachment investigators said Friday that her departure came as a direct result of pressure President Trump placed on the State Department to remove her, according to her prepared remarks before Congress obtained by The Washington Post.
Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she was forced to leave Kiev on “the next plane” this spring and subsequently removed from her post, with the State Department’s No. 2 official telling her that, though she had done nothing wrong, the president had lost confidence in her and the State Department had been under significant pressure to remove her since the summer of 2018.
“[The government] says this is ‘heartbreaking’ but doesn’t ask why. Youth is rising up. They know they’re fighting for their future against a dictatorial regime,” said Kong Tsung-gan, an author and well-known blogger, on Twitter. “Totalitarianism is going to destroy our next generation, resist!” wrote another person on Twitter...
President Donald Trump is dramatically slashing the number of refugees allowed into the United States to an all-time low, but the real number of refugees set to be admitted into the country could be far lower than the official limit, as the Trump White House has slowed down every step of the process and created a bottleneck that could last for years.
For example, 4,000 Iraqis are supposed to gain admission this year, but only 465 got in last year because their applications were delayed by heightened vetting and a lack of political will to speed up processing. Only 503 refugees from Central America were admitted last year even though the cap allowed for thousands. Beyond that, the administration has created a new system of limits for different types of refugees and has effectively stopped recruiting new refugees into the pipeline. Since resettlement usually takes years, the impact could last well beyond the Trump era...
The order, which President Trump signed Thursday, would apply to any agency actions not required by law, including new rules, guidance or program notices. If an agency head determines such action would affect mandatory spending on expenses such as Social Security they would have to submit a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget “to comparably reduce mandatory spending,” according to the order.
“This policy includes ensuring that agencies consider the costs of their administrative actions, take steps to offset those costs, and curtail costly administrative actions,” the White House said in its order.
The ruling by Judge Jerome Mnguni in the Pietermaritzburg High Court paves way for Zuma’s trial to start on Oct. 15. Zuma, who was in office from 2009-2018, had applied for a permanent stay of prosecution from 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a deal to buy 30 billion rand of European military hardware for South Africa’s armed forces in the late 1990s. The 77-year-old has denied any wrongdoing and has said he is the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt.
In a 2-1 ruling, judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said House Democrats can enforce a subpoena for the documents. The ruling upholds a lower court's decision, leaving the president's attorneys with few ways to block his accountants, Mazars LLP, from complying with the House Oversight Committee's demands. Trump could ask for a new decision from the full D.C. Circuit appeals court. That typical next step would leave him with only the U.S. Supreme Court as a last resort if he loses again. An administration official with knowledge of the case said Friday that Trump will 'in all likelihood be headed to the Supreme Court for [legal] relief.'
Tests carried out in space in September led to the production of beef, rabbit and fish tissue using a 3D printer. This new technology "could make long-term travel possible and renew space exploration," to Mars for example, said Didier Toubia, the head of the Israeli startup Aleph Farms, which provided cells for the tests. "But our goal is to sell meat on Earth," he told AFP.
Boise State University has rolled out a new “book circle” for faculty and staff focused on white privilege in an attempt to “dig deep into ourselves to explore the ways in which we all, as individuals, sometimes unknowingly, support racism and white supremacy,” the university’s website states... While the program is open to “folks of all racial identities,” the website states, “the primary audience of this book [is] people who are interested in unpacking white identity and how white folks distance themselves from conversations about race, as well as learning how to engage white folks in recognizing their privilege.”
“I’m so tired of hearing two white men tell us what systems of oppression are,” she said, slamming her fist on the dais. “For Christ’s sake, no! No! You don’t know what systems of oppression are. You’ve never been oppressed!”...
Clip of the Day: Oak Park, Ill. town trustee Susan Buchanan lambastes her colleagues for discussing updating the town’s diversity statement while being white. pic.twitter.com/CzBG2HqpYi
Burning trash dumped by a garbage truck caused a fire that by early Friday had destroyed dozens of homes in California’s Riverside County, fire officials said, as wildfires across the state led to power cuts for hundreds of thousands of people. Authorities ordered hundreds of people in the area to evacuate their homes and seek shelter as they worked through the night to contain the blaze. The Sandalwood Fire was one of about 275 wildfires that have broken out across California as hot, gusty winds signaled the start of its peak fire season, state officials said.
City Council member Fernando Cabrera said he believes a moderate Democrat such as himself could beat the socialist Ocasio-Cortez. He plans to target her far-left views and highlight his belief that she is a “no show” in the district.
A senior officer who has held a range of diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia and Peru, McKinley was serving as ambassador to Brazil last year when Pompeo recruited him as a policy adviser and a conduit between his office and the career service. Pompeo was expected to issue a statement Friday announcing the departure. McKinley declined to comment Thursday evening.
I’ve been very very clear with Jim that any SpaceX data should not be considered proprietary,” Musk said during the remarks. “It can be used by any of our competitors […] No charge.” Later on, he reiterated that what he meant was literally any of SpaceX’s IP is on the table for NASA to distribute freely as the agency sees fit...