News Daypop Archives

President Trump’s Top Lawyer In Russia Investigation Resigns

The lead attorney representing President Donald Trump in the ongoing Russia investigation has resigned, according to reports Thursday. Attorney John Dowd’s exit comes as Trump appears to shift to a more combative strategy against Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, as well as potential obstruction of justice on the part of the president. According to the New York Times, Dowd tendered his resignation after finally concluding that Trump was “increasingly ignoring his advice.” Mr.Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia probe, describing it as a “witch hunt” and an “American disgrace.” He largely avoided directly calling out Mueller.... [Read Full Story]

‘Exotic’ Batteries And Surveillance Video Aided Police To Locate Austin Bomber

Austin authorities say the use of “exotic” batteries helped them track down the Austin bombing suspect, which resulted in his death early Wednesday morning. After working to track and find the suspect responsible for the various bombings around Austin, Texas, authorities are confident in identifying the man as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Conditt. Officials say Conditt used “exotic” batteries that one could not find in a regular convenience store or even an electronic store. Most likely these unusual batteries originated in Asia and had to be ordered online; however they became the signature property that allowed investigators to quickly connect the various explosions to the same suspect after they took surveillance footage from a FedEx store which showed Conditt dropping off packages containing the explosives. Conditt died in his vehicle after detonating a bomb on the side of Interstate 35, after SWAT forces began encircling him to bring him into custody.... [Read Full Story]

Congress Set To Unveil $1.3 Trillion Spending Package

Congress plans to unveil a massive bipartisan $1.3 trillion spending package Wednesday that will keep the government funded until the end of September. Lawmakers have agreed on funding levels for every corner of the government with $700 billion budgeted for defense and $591 billion slated for non-defense spending, but the legislation also is expected to include policy riders like a bill that incentivizes state and federal authorities to report more data to the country’s gun background check system. Lawmakers have until Friday at midnight to pass the bill before the government runs out of money. The House is expected to vote on the plan later this week, however the main obstacle will be whether the Senate can move quickly enough to avert a shutdown given its rules. If one lawmaker objects, it could force Senate leaders to run out the clock and even face a temporary shutdown into the weekend.... [Read Full Story]

FedEx Explosion In San Antonio Is Being Linked To Austin Blasts

A package that exploded at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio early Tuesday is being linked to four blasts in Austin this month, according to sources. Tuesday’s explosion occurred around 12:25 a.m. local time (1:25 a.m. ET) in the sorting area of a facility in Schertz, Texas, officials said. At a news conference Tuesday morning, authorities declined to make a connection between the FedEx explosion and the Austin incidents, but a source briefed on the investigation later said that the blasts are indeed linked. Schertz is located 50 miles away from Austin; the bomber is thought to have mailed two packages from a FedEx drop-off center on Brodie Lane in Austin. One of the packages made it to Schertz where it exploded before it was to be sorted and returned to Austin, while the other arrived at a FedEx facility near the Austin airport, according to the source. Both packages are believed to have contained nails, the source said. They were both thought to be bound for Austin.... [Read Full Story]

2 Injured, Gunman Dead In Maryland High School Shooting

A 17-year-old student shot and critically wounded two fellow students at a Maryland high school on Tuesday morning. The gunman was shot and killed after exchanging gunfire with a campus security officer, the county sheriff said.  The shooting occurred just before 8 a.m. at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, county Sheriff Timothy Cameron said. A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were wounded and taken to hospitals. The girl was in intensive care with life-threatening critical injuries, the sheriff said, while the boy was in good condition. The gunman was identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins. Sheriff Cameron said there was “an indication” of a prior relationship between him and the female student, though he said that was still under investigation. Rollins pulled out a Glock semiautomatic handgun around 7:55 a.m. in a hallway and shot the students, the sheriff said. The attack lasted less than a minute, ending after the school resource officer, Deputy 1st Class Sheriff Blaine Gaskill, ran inside the building and engaged with Rollins, with both firing a single round almost simultaneously. The officer was not harmed, however Rollins was confirmed deceased after being taken to a hospital.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump’s Opioid Addiction Plan To Include Harsher Penalties

President Donald Trump unveiled a plan to combat the opioid epidemic that will include increased funds for treatment and harsher sentences for drug traffickers. One of the major components of the plan will be to pursue the death penalty against drug traffickers. “The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it’s appropriate under current law,” Andrew Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council said on Sunday. Mr. Trump’s plan will also ask Congress to pass legislation that lowers the amount of illegal drugs needed to invoke federal mandatory minimum sentences for drug traffickers “who knowingly distribute certain illicit opioids that are lethal in trace amounts.”... [Read Full Story]

Austin Police Seek ‘Serial Bomber’ After Fourth Explosion

After the fourth explosion in less than three weeks in Austin, Texas, officials said on Monday that it appears to be the work of a serial bomber. Authorities warned that the devices appear to be getting more sophisticated. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said “we are clearly dealing with a serial bomber,” adding that he was unable to answer questions about whether the incidents should be considered domestic terrorism. “We will have to determine if we see a specific ideology behind this.” The most recent occurrence was on Sunday just after 8:30 p.m. local time, when two bicyclists received non-life-threatening injuries after apparently setting off a tripwire in the southwest of the city. “With this tripwire, this changes things,” said Christopher Combs, special agent in charge of the FBI’s San Antonio division. “It’s more sophisticated, it’s not targeted to individuals … a child could be walking down a sidewalk and hit something.”  The two latest victims, white men ages 22 and 23, set off the bomb that had been left next to a fence and were recovering in the hospital with “significant injuries,” Manley said. ... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Claims Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s Memos Are ‘Fake’

President Donald Trump on Sunday questioned special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and raised doubts about whether a fired top FBI official kept personal memos outlining his interactions with Mr. Trump. In a series of tweets, the President elevated his tension with Mueller, whose team is examining Trump campaign ties to Russia; former-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who was fired on  Friday by the attorney general; and former FBI Director James Comey, fired by the President last year.  Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said this past week that they had completed a draft report concluding, after a yearlong investigation, that there was no collusion or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia; committee Democrats vehemently disagreed.... [Read Full Story]

Vladimir Putin Overwhelmingly Wins Another 6 Years As Russian Leader

Vladimir Putin won in a crushing re-election victory Sunday for six more years as Russia’s president.  He told cheering supporters in a brief speech that “we are bound for success.” There was little doubt that Putin would win in his fourth electoral contest as he only faced seven minor candidates. Putin had amassed 76 percent of the vote with ballots from 80 percent of Russia’s precincts counted by early Monday in Russia.  Putin became President in Russia on New Year’s Eve 1999 after Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation.... [Read Full Story]

Fatalities Reported In Florida International University Bridge Collapse In Miami

Several fatalities were reported after a newly installed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University collapsed Thursday, leaving several vehicles trapped underneath the sprawling wreckage. Florida Highway Patrol said there were several fatalities after the structure, called the “Instant Bridge,” collapsed just before 2 p.m. at the Miami-area university. No official number was released at press time. Miami police confirmed that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue had recovered six people with injuries. The bridge, projected to be finished in early 2019, was set to link the university’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, where an estimated 4,000 students live. The bridge is a $9.3 million project and was just installed on Saturday, with many celebrating the new construction. ... [Read Full Story]

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley Tells U.N. That Russia Was Responsible For Chemical Attack

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the United States believes Russia is responsible for a chemical attack in Britain on a former Russia double agent and his daughter, and the U.N. Security Council should take action. “The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said before the UN Security Council on Wednesday.  “The United States stands in absolutely solidarity with Great Britain.”  The former agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were found collapsed on a bench in southern England on March 4. They were poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent, that was smeared on his car door.  The UK has already responded to the incident. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, who she said were Russian spies. May also said the UK would freeze the assets of Russians living in the UK under suspicion of undermining British interests.... [Read Full Story]

Dog Dies On United Flight After Flight Attendant Allegedly Told Passenger To Put Pet Carrier In Overhead Bin

The seven-year-old daughter of the woman whose French bulldog died after being told to put his carrier in overhead bin by a United Airlines flight attendant is speaking out. Sophia Ceballos, speaking on behalf of her mother, Catalina Robledo, said  “while we were flying, the dog started barking and barking and there was no flight attendants coming. We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed to.” Ceballos said that attempts to inform the flight attendant of the situation during the four-hour flight from Houston to New York was unsuccessful. Ceballos also said the United employee lied about what happened during the flight. United Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin gave the following statement: “This was a tragic accident that should never have occurred, as pets should never be placed in the overhead bin. We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again.”  The cause of death is not yet known, but, while the overhead compartments are not airtight, lack of oxygen may have been a factor.... [Read Full Story]

Students Demand Action On Gun Violence With Nationwide Walkout

One month after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, survivors joined tens of thousands of students across the U.S. by walking out of school on Wednesday morning. The mass protests were held at 10 a.m. local time in each time zone and lasted 17 minutes, one for each of the Parkland victims. Organizers said the purpose was to highlight “Congress’ inaction against the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.” An estimated 185,000 people in 50 states were expected to join the walkout, with around 3,100 schools planning to participate. At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the walkout lasted 30 minutes — 17 minutes for the Parkland victims, and 13 for each victim of the massacre at the high school in 1999. During the half-hour of silence, students released red, white or blue balloons, one at a time, in memory of those killed.  In Parkland, crowds that had gathered cheered as students exited the high school and gathered in the center of the football field.... [Read Full Story]

House Republicans Say Investigation Found No Evidence Of Russia-Trump Collusion

House Republicans who investigated foreign interference in the 2016 election say they have found no evidence that Russians colluded with any members of the Trump campaign.  This report disputes key findings from the intelligence community that Russia had developed a preference for the Republican nominee during the election. This was the initial statement made from the 150-page report from GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, who formally brought the panel’s lengthy investigation to an end over the objection of Democrats. Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas said the probe ultimately found no definitive proof that the Trump campaign actively cooperated with any Russians to influence the vote.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Replaces Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson With CIA Chief Mike Pompeo

President Donald Trump announced a major shakeup in his Cabinet on Tuesday, replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.  Mr. Trump made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning. “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” Trump tweeted.  White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Trump had asked Tillerson to step aside. Tillerson said his job would terminate at midnight March 31 and that he plans to effectively delegate duties to his deputy, John Sullivan.... [Read Full Story]

Pilot Says Passenger Bag May Have Hit Fuel Switch, Leading To New York City Helicopter Crash

According to a federal official, the pilot who survived a helicopter crash that killed five passengers told investigators he believes a passenger’s bag might have hit an emergency fuel shutoff switch in the moments before the chopper went down. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board also is scrutinizing why an emergency flotation device apparently didn’t deploy properly when the tour helicopter went down in the East River. The floats are supposed keep a helicopter upright; the Eurocopter AS350 that crashed Sunday overturned and submerged.  The National Transportation Safety Board investigators began working to find out what caused the crash, which killed a Texas firefighter, an Argentine woman, a young video journalist and two others who were on a charter flight to take photos. Pilot Richard Vance managed to free himself from the rapidly sinking chopper, and was the only survivor. The owner of the helicopter, Liberty Helicopters, has been involved in at least five incidents in the last 10 years, according to FAA data. An August 2009 collision over the Hudson River between a Liberty chopper and a small, private plane killed nine people, including a group of Italian tourists. ... [Read Full Story]

Third Austin Texas Package Explosion Now Linked To Two Deadly Incidents

Police in Austin say there are “similarities” between three package explosions in Texas’ capital city this month, two fatal, lead them to believe the incidents are related. The latest fatal incident was reported Monday morning, killing a 17-year-old boy and wounding a woman. The boy died at the scene and the woman in her 40s was taken to the hospital with potentially life threatening injuries after the explosion at the East Austin home before 7 a.m.  In an earlier incident on March 2, Anthony Stephan House, 39, was killed when a package exploded at his northeast Austin home. Police also responded Monday morning to a report of an explosion in southeast Austin in which a woman was badly injured. A 75-year-old woman and is listed in critical but stable condition; her injuries are considered life threatening.  A task force had been formed to investigate the incidents, and authorities are urging residents to be careful and not to open suspicious packages. If residents encounter any packages left at their homes they aren’t expecting they are urging them to call 911.... [Read Full Story]

Elon Musk Reveals That SpaceX Is Planning To Launch Rocket To Mars In 2019

The founder and CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, says the company is planning to launch a spacecraft to Mars and return it to Earth by 2019.  Musk said to the crowd during a surprise appearance at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on Sunday that “I think we’ll be able to do short flights, sort of up-and-down flights, probably some time in the first half of next year. I can tell you what I know currently is the case is that we are building the first ship, the first Mars interplanetary ship right now,”   A successful mission to Mars in 2019 would be a historic achievement for SpaceX, the private company founded by Musk in 2002 with the mission of enabling travel between planetary bodies. The firm successfully launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in February, catapulting Musk’s own Tesla Roadster toward the Red Planet to the tune of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  Musk said at SXSW that SpaceX’s Mars rocket would have twice the liftoff thrust of the Saturn V, the rocket NASA used to send astronauts to the Moon. He said the company is focused on ensuring the rocket’s boosters are reusable in subsequent launches, which dramatically reduces the cost of each flight.... [Read Full Story]

President Trump’s School Safety Proposal Calls for Arming Staff, Raising Gun-Buying Age

President Trump will propose arming school staff and raising the minimum age to purchase certain firearms to 21 in a school safety proposal the administration will release on Sunday, a White House spokesman said.  Sunday’s announcement came two days after the NRA filed a lawsuit against a measure signed into law by Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, that included raising the age limit on buying a gun from 18 to 21.  Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah said the President was also likely to back a bipartisan Senate bill that Republican John Cornyn and Democrat Chris Murphy introduced to improve federal compliance with criminal background checks. Shah did not say if Trump’s proposal to raise the minimum age for buying certain guns would involved supporting federal legislation or encouraging states to act, and also said there would be a provision that would involve having “trained individuals” in schools, including staff.... [Read Full Story]

Trump Orders New Tariffs With Exemptions For Mexico And Canada

On Thursday, President Donald Trump approved new steel and aluminum tariffs. Shortly before he signed proclamations imposing the tariffs, Trump said in the White House Roosevelt Room, flanked by steel and aluminum workers from Pennsylvania and Kentucky, that “Today, I’m defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel.  You don’t have steel, you don’t have a country.” The tariffs — 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum — will take effect March 23, a senior administration official told reporters.... [Read Full Story]

Mississippi Passes Law Banning Abortion After 15 Weeks

Mississippi lawmakers on Thursday passed what would be the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, making the procedure illegal in most cases after 15 weeks of pregnancy.  Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Legislature hope the issue will eventually make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The House voted 75-34 in favor of the measure, and Gov. Phil Bryant said again Thursday that he would sign it. The Senate passed the measure on Tuesday. There are two exceptions to House Bill 1510: if the fetus has a health problem that would prevent it from surviving outside the womb at full term, or if the pregnant woman’s life or a “major bodily function” is threatened by the pregnancy. Pregnancies as a result of rape and incest are not exempt.  The state’s only abortion provider pledged to sue, and the attorney general said he expected a tough legal battle ahead. “The Supreme Court has said and re-said again and again that states cannot prohibit women from obtaining abortions prior to viability, which is what a 15-week ban would do,” said Hillary Schneller, staff attorney for the national nonprofit Center for Reproductive Rights. The New York-based group, which advocates for free access to abortion, called the bill unconstitutional and “medically unsound.”... [Read Full Story]

Hope Hicks Told House Intelligence Committee Email Accounts Were Hacked

Former White House communications director Hope Hicks told the House Intelligence Committee last week that one of her email accounts was hacked, according to people who were present for her testimony in the panel’s Russia probe. According to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Hicks indicated that she could no longer access two accounts: one that she used as a member of President Donald Trump’s campaign team, and a personal account. Hicks told lawmakers that one of the accounts was hacked, according to two sources who were in the room.  Hicks’ correspondence has been a subject of interest for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is running a probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as possible obstruction of justice by Trump associates.... [Read Full Story]

Adult Film Star Stormy Daniels Sues President Trump

Adult film star Stormy Daniels sued President Donald Trump on Tuesday, alleging that he never signed a nondisclosure agreement that his lawyer had arranged with her.  The civil suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and alleges that the agreement not to disclose Stephanie Clifford’s (known professionally as Stormy Daniels) “intimate” relationship with Trump is invalid because while both Clifford and Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen signed it, Trump never did.  Clifford and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to declare that both the hush agreement and the side agreement “were never formed, and therefore do not exist, because, among other things, Mr. Trump never signed the agreements.” Avenatti said if the suit is a victory, it would allow his client to “tell her story.” “Ms. Clifford believes it’s important that the public learn the truth about what happened,” he said. “I think it’s time for her to tell her story and for the public to decide who is telling the truth.” The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.... [Read Full Story]

Washington First In Nation To Protect Net Neutrality

Washington became the first in the country to sign a bill specifically opposing the Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of net neutrality regulations. Net neutrality requires providers to treat all content in a similar fashion, without slowing down or speeding up users’ service. Washington’s bill prohibits companies that offer internet services from blocking legal content, applications, services or non-harmful devices. It also prevents providers from impairing internet traffic based on the content users are viewing. “Today we make history: Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “We’ve seen the power of an open internet. It allows a student in Washington to connect with researchers all around the world — or a small business to compete in the global marketplace.” The law was approved by the state Legislature last month and will take effect on June 6.... [Read Full Story]

White House Economic Adviser Gary Cohn To Step Down

The White House said on Tuesday that top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn, a Wall Street banker who became a key architect of the 2017 tax overhaul within the Trump administration, is resigning. “It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform. I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future,” Cohn said in a statement issued by the White House. Cohn’s resignation came after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Trump’s pledge to impose tariffs prompted speculation Cohn might leave the White House because of his opposition to the policy. Cohn was the former president and chief operating officer of investment bank Goldman Sachs, and was hired by Mr. Trump after the 2016 presidential election.... [Read Full Story]

Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran To Resign On April 1

Republican U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said on Monday he will resign on April 1st. The 80-year-old Cochran stayed home for a month last fall with urinary tract infections, returning to Washington in October to give Republicans the majority they needed to pass a budget plan. Cochran said in a statement, “I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge. I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate.”  Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978 after serving six years in the House.  Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint a temporary replacement, and a special election will be held to fill the rest of the term through January 2021.... [Read Full Story]

Despite Mueller Subpoena, Former Trump Aide Sam Nunberg Says He Will Not Testify

Sam Nunberg, a former aide to Donald Trump, has been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller to appear before a grand jury, but he says he’s not planning to testify.  The subpoena also asks that Nunberg hand over communications between him and a number of members of the Trump campaign, including the president himself. Nunberg told The Washington Post he won’t provide that information either.  Mr. Nunberg worked for Mr. Trump from 2011 to 2015; however he was fired from the Trump campaign after Business Insider published a story about racially charged Facebook posts he had made.... [Read Full Story]

Man Commits Suicide In Front Of The White House

The man who fatally shot himself in front of the White House has been identified as a 26-year-old from Maylene, Alabama. Officials say Cameron Ross Burgess removed a concealed handgun and began firing rounds in the vicinity of the North White House fence line just after 11:45 a.m. Saturday. Police do not believe any of those shots were being directed at the White House. President Donald Trump was in Florida during the shooting, but returned to Washington later in the day. No one else was injured.  After the incident the Secret Service released this statement, “The subject approached the vicinity of the North White House fence line and removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, none of which appear at this time to have been directed towards the White House.” The public was immediately alerted after the shots were fired and the White House was locked down.  ... [Read Full Story]

Florida Senate Rejects Ban On Assault Weapons

The Florida Senate rejected a proposal to ban assault weapons, and voted for a measure to arm some teachers.  This comes after 17 people were killed in the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history. An amendment that would have banned assault weapons attached to a wider bill failed on Saturday in a largely party-line vote, in response to the Feb. 14 killing of 14 students and three faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Parkland. The vote was 20-17 against the assault weapon ban, with two Republicans joining all of the senate’s 15 Democrats in support of the proposal.  ... [Read Full Story]

Russia’s Vladimir Putin Unveils ‘Invincible’ Nuclear Weapons

President Vladimir Putin announced an array of new nuclear weapons on Thursday, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield.   Putin said a nuclear attack on any of Moscow’s allies would be regarded as an attack on Russia itself and draw an immediate response. But in Washington, officials cast doubt on whether Russia has added any new capabilities to its nuclear arsenal beyond those already known to the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. The Trump administration also accused Moscow of violating a Cold War-era treaty which banned nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 300-3,400 miles. “President Putin has confirmed what the United States government has known all along, which Russia has denied: Russia has been developing destabilizing weapons systems for over a decade in direct violations of its treaty obligations,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.... [Read Full Story]