Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said President Trump's call with Ukraine's president was "inappropriate" — but it did not warrant his impeachment.
Swedish police said on Monday they would set up a special task force to deal with a wave of shootings and bombings linked to criminal gangs following the fatal shooting of a 15-year old in the city of Malmo at the weekend. Sweden has long held a reputation as being one of the safest countries in the world and while overall crime and murder rates remain low, gang wars in major cities have claimed an increasing number of victims in recent years. On Saturday, two 15-year-olds were shot outside a pizza restaurant in Malmo in what police said appeared to be a gang conflict over control of the drug trade in the area.
Chesa Boudin, the son of anti-war radicals sent to prison for murder when he was a toddler, has won San Francisco's tightly contested race for district attorney after campaigning to reform the criminal justice system. The former deputy public defender declared victory Saturday night after four days of ballot counting determined he was ahead of interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus. The latest results from the San Francisco Department of Elections gave Boudin a lead of 8,465 votes.
Ocasio-Cortez recently apologized for blocking a critic on Twitter and settled a lawsuit he filed alleging she violated the First Amendment.
Leah Millis/ReutersUnder Mick Mulvaney’s leadership, the Office of Management and Budget temporarily put a hold on the delivery of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine in 2017 because of concerns their arrival would upset Russia, according to former White House official Catherine Croft. She described OMB’s objection as “highly unusual.”Croft’s testimony indicates that concerns about the U.S. relationship with Russia had a direct—though short-lived—impact on U.S./Ukraine policy in the first year of Trump’s presidency.Croft told congressional impeachment investigators that after the Trump administration greenlit the delivery of Javelin missiles to Ukraine in late 2017—the first delivery of lethal aid to the country since Russian separatists seized territory in its Eastern region in 2014—Mulvaney’s office held it up. “Did you understand why?” asked the congressional staffer questioning her. “I understood the reason to be a policy one,” she replied. “What was the policy one?” “In a briefing with Mick Mulvaney, the question centered around the Russian reaction,” she continued. “What was the concern about the Russian reaction?” asked the staffer. “That Russia would react negatively to the provision of Javelins to Ukraine,” she said. The Daily Beast first reported last month that OMB held up the 2017 shipment of Javelins to Ukraine. Croft said the hold lasted “about a week or two,” and that “all of the policy agencies” wanted the aid to go to Ukraine. She said OMB’s interest in the decision about whether to send Javelins to Ukraine was abnormal. Key Impeachment Witnesses Finger Mulvaney In the Quid Pro Quo“[It] was rather unusual to have OMB expressing concerns that were purely policy-based and not budget-oriented,” she said. “At the beginning of the Ukrainian Javelin process, I had been told that OMB was taking a policy interest,” she continued. “And OMB began sending working level officials to attend meetings... which was very unusual at the time.” She noted that OMB staff also started attending meetings regarding aid to countries besides Ukraine and that the increase in their involvement was “quite taxing on a very small organization.”Mulvaney and several other OMB officials have refused to participate in the congressional impeachment inquiry. 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.
Mexico granted asylum to Bolivia's former President Evo Morales on Monday as unrest shook the South American nation, helping cement the Mexican government's emerging role as a bastion of diplomatic support for left-wing leaders in Latin America. Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Morales' life was in danger, and the decision to grant him asylum was in Mexico's long tradition of sheltering exiles. Morales' government collapsed on Sunday after ruling party allies quit and the army urged him to step down in the wake of a disputed election, adding to a sense of crisis in Latin America, which has been hit by weeks of protests and unrest. Looting and roadblocks convulsed Bolivia after Morales stepped down. He said "violent groups" attacked his house. His exact whereabouts were unknown, though it was believed he had left in the presidential plane for his stronghold of Chapare province. "His life and integrity is at risk," Ebrard told reporters. "We will immediately proceed to inform Bolivia's foreign ministry that under international law, it should offer safe conduct." Mexico has informed the Organization of American States, and will inform the United Nations, he added. The Washington-based OAS delivered a report on Sunday citing serious irregularities during Bolivia's October vote. The departure of Bolivia's first indigenous president, one of a wave of leftists who dominated Latin America's politics at the start of the century, comes amid a widespread rejection of incumbent leaders from either side of the political divide in the region, from Mexico to Brazil and Argentina. Mexico elected its first left-leaning government in decades last year, moving closer to like-minded governments and distancing itself from diplomatic initiatives aimed at pushing socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power in Venezuela. Argentina last month elected a left-leaning leader, as voters rejected economic policies aimed at stabilizing the economy but that deepened poverty and inflation. The resignation of Morales, who governed for 14 years, followed protests in Ecuador and Chile that forced their governments to step back from policies raising fuel and transport prices. Ebrard said earlier on Monday his government viewed Sunday's events in Bolivia as a "coup" because the military broke with the constitutional order by pressing Morales to resign. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador praised Morales saying he chose to resign rather than put the lives of Bolivia's citizens at risk
Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers unveiled a holiday tree in the state Capitol last week, and his predecessor did not respond well. Scott Walker and other Republicans in the state used the “holiday tree” to revive the old "War on Christmas" talking points common in right-wing circles.
China accused the US on Monday of using the United Nations to "meddle" in Tibet, as Washington intensifies its bid to prevent Beijing from handpicking the Dalai Lama's successor. Last week, Sam Brownback, the United States' ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, said the US wanted the UN to take up the succession issue of the Tibetan spiritual leader. The choice of the Dalai Lama's successor "belongs to the Tibetan Buddhists and not the Chinese government", Brownback told AFP.
Most Americans came to know Taylor on Oct. 3, when Democrats released text messages that showed him calling it “crazy to withhold security assistance [to Ukraine] for help with a political campaign.”