In the hourlong question-and-answer session, Obama also defended the news media, which Trump likes to bash, and listed the political and social issues that would lead him to speak out after he leaves the White House to his successor. There were no questions about Syria, North Korea or the Iran nuclear deal.
Pressed by Democratic senators for his views on the causes of climate change, the Trump administration’s choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency insisted at his confirmation hearing Wednesday morning that his “personal opinion” was “immaterial” to how he would do his job. Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee questioned Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt closely on his history of suing the agency he has been nominated to lead, his statements questioning mainstream climate science and his close ties to the oil and gas industries. Republicans were much friendlier, mostly lamenting the impact of regulations on fossil-fuel industry jobs, something Pruitt promised to take into account.
Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. following a lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. Gray showed no emotion as he was walked into the execution chamber wearing blue jeans and handcuffs. Gray was condemned to death in 2006 for the murders of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and 4-year-old sister Ruby, and sentenced to life in prison for the slaying of their parents, Bryan and Kathryn Harvey.
A Virginia inmate was executed on Wednesday for murdering two young sisters during a 2006 killing spree, after the Supreme Court denied a stay request where he argued the use of compounded lethal drugs violated his constitutional rights. Ricky Gray, 39, died by lethal injection at 9:42 p.m. at the Greensville Correctional Center, Virginia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney said in an emailed statement. Gray's lawyers filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, saying that the three-drug combination could cause Gray unnecessary suffering and thereby violate constitutional guarantees against cruel and unusual punishment.
Alpine rescue teams are scrambling to find survivors of a huge avalanche that struck in Italy's Abruzzo region, burying a four star hotel on Wednesday. Authorities said Thursday that dozens might be buried under the snow as rescuers battled blizzard-like conditions in a bid to pull survivors from the Hotel Rigopiano. "Around 30 people are unaccounted for, between guests and workers at the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola," Fabrizio Curcio, the head of Italy's civil protection department, told reporters.
By Elaine Lies and Megumi Lim TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese hotelier's denial of a 1937 massacre by Japanese troops in the Chinese city of Nanjing has prompted Chinese social media calls for a boycott of travel to Japan, threatening tourist arrivals days before the Lunar New Year holidays. The furor erupted over books by Toshio Motoya, the president of Tokyo-based hotel and real estate developer APA Group, which contain his revisionist views and are placed in every room of the company's 400-plus APA Hotels. In one, printed in English and Japanese and entitled "The Real History of Japan", he says the "Nanking Massacre story" was "impossible", blaming looting and killings on members of a branch of the Chinese military who had shed their uniforms.
There's a Florida company specializing in used military aircraft sales, and boy have they got a deal for you: 20 jet airplanes for less than $250,000. The 20 Fouga Magister trainers are sitting in Israel just waiting for someone of modest means who wants to start his or her private air force. As reported by The Aviationist, Raptor Aviation of Port St. Lucie, FL, is handling the sale of the Magisters.
In separate lawsuits, US authorities targeted the nation's largest student loan company Wednesday, alleging it failed to help borrowers and illegally cheated some into making bigger loan payments than needed. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the state of Illinois sued Navient, a loan servicer that used to be a part of Sallie Mae. The company holds $300 billion of the nation's $1.4 trillion in student loan debt — accounting for 12 million borrowers.
A high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire collapsed on Thursday, killing at least 30 firefighters and injuring some 75 people, state media reported. The disaster struck the Plasco building, an iconic structure in central Tehran just north of the capital’s sprawling bazaar. Iran’s state-run Press TV announced the firefighters’ deaths, without giving a source for the information.
Every minute brings Donald Trump closer to putting his hand on the Lincoln Bible, and a group of 41 men closer to a lifetime of internment at the U.S. military detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. With less than 24-hours remaining before President-elect Trump becomes president, Foreign Policy has learned that the White House has made four more transfers, the last of Obama’s administration. The Pentagon announced their names and destinations — one to Saudi Arabia, and three to the United Arab Emirates — later on Thursday evening.
Just this week the New York Times documented precisely how a recent graduate of Davidson College made $22,000 off a single fake news story about ballots for Hillary Clinton being discovered in an Ohio warehouse. The most notable current fake news target in the developed world happens to be Germany.
The first direct freight train service from China to Britain arrived in London Wednesday, another leg in Beijing's plans for closer trade ties with Europe along a modern-day Silk Road. The 18-day trip saw dozens of containers packed mainly with clothes and household goods transported from the city of Yiwu in eastern China to a freight terminal in Barking in east London, via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland and western Europe. The train entered Britain from France through the Channel Tunnel, completing a journey of some 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers).
Two consecutive days of shooting attacks that left a total of nine dead have put two of the jewels of Mexico's Caribbean coast on edge and spurred a warning to tourists by the U.S. government. As investigators worked Tuesday at the scene of a shooting the previous day that caused five deaths in the nearby beach town of Playa del Carmen, the region was stunned when gunmen assaulted the Quintana Roo state prosecutors' offices in Cancun, and four people were killed. On Tuesday night, two women embraced and cried while looking at a pool of blood and a flickering candle just inside the gate of the state prosecutors' office.
By Philip Pullella ROME (Reuters) - A series of strong earthquakes hit snowbound central Italy on Wednesday, a region devastated by deadly tremors last year, killing one man and forcing schools and rail links to close. Much of the area had already been abandoned after last year's earthquakes. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said soldiers would help rescue teams get to the affected villages.
A Florida man wanted for the killings of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer was captured Tuesday night after a nine-day manhunt. Markeith Loyd, 41, was wearing body armor and carrying two handguns when police arrested him outside a Lescot Lane house, authorities said during a nighttime press conference Tuesday. "We've got him!" the Orlando Police Department declared on its Twitter account.
Woman arrested after accosting Bella Hadid with Palestinian flag, Nancy Sinatra destroys Trump for using ‘My Way’ at inauguration, Kanye apparently wasn’t invited to perform at the inauguration, and Gigi Hadid fuels engagement rumors after wearing a ring on *that* finger. Get all the details at MarieClaire.com!
The deep-sea sonar search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may not have found the plane but will reveal more about how land beneath the Indian Ocean formed over millions of years and where oil fields could lie. National geoscience agency Geoscience Australia will soon release detailed sonar mapping of 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) of seabed that was searched for the wreckage of the Boeing 777 that vanished with 239 passengers and crew on March 8, 2014. The unique information about plate tectonics would interest geoscientists as well as oil and gas explorers, said Australian National University marine geologist Neville Exon, who has advised Geoscience Australia on the sonar data.
Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow was to take power Thursday, capping weeks of tension over Yahya Jammeh's refusal to quit which has seen Senegalese and Nigerian troops massing at the border and tourists racing to leave. With Senegalese troops backed by Nigerian forces and fighter jets gathering, the country appeared on the brink of a military crisis although the army chief insisted his soldiers would not get involved in a "political dispute" nor prevent foreign forces from entering The Gambia. Despite a midnight (0000 GMT) deadline for the expiry of Jammeh's term, the situation remained calm in the city overnight, witnesses said following a last-minute mediation attempt by the Mauritanian president.
As Constitution Daily counts down to Inauguration Day, we look back at three presidential ceremonies from the 1800s that ended very badly. Mobs descend on Jackson’s White House. For example, there were constant rumors that Abraham Lincoln would be killed at his 1861 inauguration.
President Barack Obama said his teenage children were "disappointed" by the results of the November election, but he urged them not to take it personally or lose faith in democracy. Obama shared what Malia Obama and Sasha Obama thought of President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday during his final press conference. Obama said his daughters didn't mope about the election results after Democrat Hillary Clinton lost to Trump.
In a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing, education secretary pick Betsy DeVos pledged that she would not seek to dismantle public schools amid questions by Democrats about her qualifications, political donations and long-time work advocating for charter schools and school choice. DeVos said she would address "the needs of all parents and students" but that a one-size fits all model doesn't work in education. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont asked DeVos outright if she would have gotten the job had it not been for her family's political contributions.
Mark Zuckerberg, in addition to controlling this little website called Facebook, owns a massive compound in Hawaii. In Hawaii, which often sees people residing on or having a claim to land but having no paperwork, “quiet title” law is generally used to settle land disputes. Without this action, Zuckerberg would, in theory, have to let whoever owned the land onto his 700-acre estate.
The U.S. Labor Department has sued Oracle America Inc, alleging that the technology company systematically paid its white, male employees more than other workers and unlawfully favored Asian applicants in its recruiting and hiring efforts. The department in a complaint filed with an administrative judge in Washington said the company was prohibited from engaging in racial discrimination given the hundreds of millions of dollars it receives as a contractor with the federal government. Oracle America is a unit of Oracle Corp. Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger in a statement said the claims were baseless and "politically motivated," and that the company bases employment decisions on experience and merit.
A Pennsylvania woman has been arrested after she allegedly created a GoFundMe account to benefit a Florida mother who lost her 1-year-old son, but kept the money instead. Police said Nicole Leahy, of Lititz, started the campaign in December 2015 and raised $500, but the mother, who said she never authorized anyone to give out family information, said she never received any money. The mom reportedly knew Leahy through a Facebook group “Mothers of Twin Children” of which they were both members.
Late last year, UAW representative Bill Johnson said something he possibly shouldn't have-the Bronco and the Ranger are coming back. For Ford fans who want a midsize pickup or a competent off-roader, this was huge news. Americans can't get enough trucks and SUVs right now, making it a perfect time for Ford to expand its lineup.