Connect with us

World

Takeaways from fourth day of Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot hearings

Published

on

3/3

© Reuters. An audio recording of a phone call between former U.S. President Donald Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is played during the fourth of eight planned public hearings of the U.S. House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 At

2/3

By Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fourth day of the hearings about the U.S. Congress on the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol by former President Donald Trump’s supporters featured testimony by election officials from the states of Arizona and Georgia.

Here are five takeaways from the fourth of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Jan. 6’s hearings this month:

TRUMP CLAIM REJECTED

About an hour before the hearing started, Trump in a statement attacked Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, a Republican who had been a Trump backer in the 2020 election. Trump lost Arizona to Biden.

Trump said that during a November phone call, Bowers “told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona.”

Bowers, speaking in forceful tones, rebutted Trump’s statement.

“I did have a conversation with the president. That certainly isn’t it,” Bowers told the committee. “Anyone, anywhere, anytime who said that I said the election was rigged, that would not be true.”

GIULIANI: THEORIES BUT NO EVIDENCE

Bowers also recounted attempts to get state legislators to hold public hearings into fraudulent voting.

Bowers said that during a meeting with officials in Phoenix after Biden was certified winning Arizona, Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani said, “We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence” to prove election fraud.

An attorney for Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I did not feel that the evidence, in its absence, merited a hearing and I didn’t want to be used as a pawn,” Bowers testified. He added, “You’re asking me to do something against my oath and I will not break my oath,” he said he told Giuliani.

At another point in the hearing, the committee played video of Giuliani saying Trump’s camp had proof of illegal immigrants and dead people casting ballots in Arizona.

Witnesses said they never received evidence backing up those allegations.

ELECTION WORKER TARGETED

Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker, told the committee she faced repeated threats after Trump and his associates accused her of participating in a cover-up of the “stolen” election.

“A lot of threats, wishing death upon me, telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother … Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920. … A lot of them (the threats) were racist. A lot of them were just hateful,” Moss said.

She said Trump used her name 18 times on a call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “I felt horrible. I felt like it was all my fault,” she said. She regretted having decided to be an elections worker.

TRUMP CRIMES?

One outstanding question is whether the select committee after the hearings will recommend criminal charges against Trump for his role in the events leading up to the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

In Tuesday’s hearing, the committee expanded its case about possible criminal activity, such as conspiracy to defraud.

It presented testimony from Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, who recounted a conversation with Trump.

McDaniel said Trump mostly turned the call over to John Eastman, a Trump adviser, who talked about the importance of the RNC helping the campaign gather “contingent electors” in states where Trump was challenging results. Committee members have characterized them as “fake” slates of electors.

“I think more just helping them reach out and assemble them, but my understanding is the campaign did take the lead and we just were helping them in that role,” McDaniel said in describing the RNC’s role on behalf of Trump.

Representative Adam Schiff, a Democratic member of the panel, quoted federal judge David Carter as saying Trump likely violated multiple federal laws, including conspiracy to defraud the United States.

DELIVERING FAKE ELECTORS?

The committee showed texts from an aide to Republican Senator Ron Johnson to an aide to then-Vice President Mike Pence saying that the senator wanted to hand-deliver a fake elector certificate to Pence.

Asked for a comment, Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning referred to a tweet she wrote:

“The senator had no involvement in the creation of an alternate slate of electors and had no foreknowledge that it was going to be delivered to our office,” Henning said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson, chairperson of the Jan. 6 committee, said “pressuring public servants into betraying their oath was a fundamental part of the playbook” to secure a Trump victory.

World

Rescuers dig for survivors of Russian missile strike on Ukrainian shopping mall

Published

on

5/5

© Reuters. Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kremenchuk, in Poltava region, Ukraine June 27, 2022. Picture taken June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Anna Voitenko

2/5

By Simon Lewis

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Firefighters and soldiers searched for survivors in the rubble of a shopping mall in central Ukraine on Tuesday after a Russian missile strike killed at least 16 people in an attack condemned by the United Nations and the West.

Family members of the missing lined up at a hotel across the street where rescue workers had set up a base after Monday’s strike on the busy mall in Kremenchuk, southeast of Kyiv.

More than a 1,000 people were inside when two Russian missiles slammed into the mall, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. At least 16 people were killed and 59 injured, Ukraine’s emergency services said.

“This is not an accidental hit, this is a calculated Russian strike exactly onto this shopping centre,” Zelenskiy said in an evening video address. He said the death count could rise.

More than 40 people had been reported missing, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said.

A survivor receiving treatment at Kremenchuk’s public hospital, Ludmyla Mykhailets, 43, said she was shopping with her husband when the blast threw her into the air.

“I flew head first and splinters hit my body. The whole place was collapsing,” she said.

“It was hell,” added her husband, Mykola, 45, blood seeping through a bandage wrapped around his head.

Russia has not commented on the strike but its deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, accused Ukraine of using the incident to gain sympathy ahead of a June 28-30 summit of the NATO military alliance.

“One should wait for what our Ministry of Defence will say, but there are too many striking discrepancies already,” Polyanskiy wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

The United Nations Security Council will meet Tuesday at Ukraine’s request following the attack. U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the missile strike was “deplorable”.

Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) major democracies, at a summit in Germany, said the attack was “abominable”.

“Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held to account,” they wrote in a joint statement tweeted by the German government spokesperson.

BATTLE FOR LYSYCHANSK

Elsewhere on the battlefield, Ukraine endured another difficult day following the loss of the now-ruined city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of bombardment and street fighting.

Russian artillery pounded Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk’s twin city across the Siverskyi Donets River.

Lysychansk is the last big city still held by Ukraine in eastern Luhansk province, a main target for the Kremlin after Russian troops failed to take the capital Kyiv early in the war.

A Russian missile strike killed eight and wounded 21 others in Lysychansk on Monday, the area’s regional governor Serhiy Gaidai said. There was no immediate Russian comment.

Ukraine’s military said Russia’s forces were trying to cut off Lysychansk from the south.

Rodion Miroshnik, ambassador to Moscow of the Luhansk People’s Republic, said Russian troops and their Luhansk Republic allies were advancing westward into Lysychansk and street battles had erupted around the city’s stadium.

Fighting was on in several villages around the city, and Russian and allied troops had entered the Lysychansk oil refinery where Ukrainian troops were concentrated, Miroshnik said on his Telegram channel.

Reuters could not confirm Russian reports that Moscow’s troops had already entered the city.

Russia also shelled the city of Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine on Monday, hitting apartment buildings and a primary school, the regional governor said.

The shelling killed five people and wounded 22. There were children among those wounded, the governor said.

‘AS LONG AS IT TAKES’

Moscow denies targeting civilians in what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, but Kyiv and the West have accused Russian forces of war crimes.

The war has killed thousands, sent millions fleeing, and triggered spikes in global food and energy prices.

During their summit in Germany, G7 leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, said they would keep sanctions on Russia for as long as necessary and intensify pressure on President Vladimir Putin’s government and its ally Belarus.

The United States also said it was finalising another weapons package for Ukraine that would include long-range air-defence systems.

Zelenskiy asked for more arms in a video address to the G7 leaders, U.S. and European officials said. He requested help to export grain from Ukraine and for more sanctions on Russia.

The G7 nations promised to squeeze Russia’s finances further – including a cap on the price of Russian oil that a U.S. official said was “close” – and pledged up to $29.5 billion more for Ukraine.

The White House said Russia had defaulted on its external debt for the first time in more than a century as sanctions have effectively cut the country off from global finance.

Russia rejected the claims, telling investors to go to Western financial agents for the cash which was sent but bondholders did not receive.

Continue Reading

World

Russian missile strike kills 16 in shopping mall, Ukraine says

Published

on

2/2

© Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 27, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

2/2

By Simon Lewis

KREMENCHUK, Ukraine (Reuters) -Two Russian missiles slammed into a crowded shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing at least 16 people and wounding 59, officials said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said more than 1,000 people were in the mall at the time of the attack, which witnesses said caused a huge fire and sent dark smoke billowing into the sky.

At least 16 people were killed and 59 injured, Ukraine’s emergency services said.

A Reuters reporter saw the charred husk of a shopping complex with a caved-in roof. Firefighters and soldiers were pulling out mangled pieces of metal as they searched for survivors.

The mall was engulfed in a wall of flame which turned to thick clouds of smoke as firefighters worked to contain the blaze. Aerial photos showed the structure reduced to twisted metal, with workers combing through growing piles of rubble.

“It is impossible to even imagine the number of victims … It’s useless to hope for decency and humanity from Russia,” Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Kremenchuk, an industrial city of 217,000 before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, lies on the Dnipro River in the region of Poltava and is the site of Ukraine’s biggest oil refinery.

Dmytro Lunin, governor of the central Poltava region, wrote on Telegram that it was too soon to talk of a final death toll as rescuers continued to trawl through the rubble.

“It’s an act of terrorism against civilians,” he said separately, suggesting there was no military target nearby that Russia could have been aiming at.

At one point, paramedics rushed into the building after rescuers called out “200” meaning they had found one or more bodies in the building. Reporters were later pushed away from the scene as air raid sirens wailed again.

UKRAINE WANTS MORE WEAPONS

As night began to fall, rescuers brought lights and generators to continue the search. Worried family members, some close to tears and with hands over their mouths, lined up at a hotel across the street from the mall where rescue workers had set up a base.

Kiril Zhebolovsky, 24, was looking for his friend, Ruslan, 22, who worked at an electronics store and hadn’t been heard from since the blast. “We sent him messages, called, but nothing,” he said. He left his name and phone number with the rescue workers in case his friend is found.

A mall worker who gave his name as Roman, 28, told Reuters that the mall’s management had only three days ago allowed shops to remain open during air raid sirens.

Ukraine’s air force command said the mall was hit by two long-range X-22 missiles fired from Tu-22M3 bombers that flew from Shaykovka airfield in Russia’s Kaluga region.

Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyanskiy, wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), without citing evidence, that the attack was a “Ukrainian provocation.”

“Exactly what Kiev regime needs to keep focus of attention on Ukraine before (the) NATO Summit,” he said, referring to the alliance’s Madrid gathering due to begin on Tuesday.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that the upcoming summit will agree a new assistance package for Ukraine in areas “like secure communications, anti-drone systems, and fuel.”

“We need more weapons to protect our people, we need missile defences,” Andriy Yermak, head of President Zelenskiy’s office, wrote on Twitter after the attack.

Vadym Denysenko, an interior ministry adviser, said Russia could have had three motives for the attack.

“The first, undoubtedly, is to sow panic, the second is to … destroy our infrastructure, and the third is to … raise the stakes to get the civilised West to sit down again at the table for talks,” he said.

Russia, which has captured the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk after a weeks-long assault, has stepped up missile strikes across Ukraine in recent days.

Missiles hit an apartment block and landed close to a kindergarten in the Ukrainian capital on Sunday, killing one person and wounding several more people.

Continue Reading

World

Biden pick for immigration enforcement withdraws after long delay

Published

on


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ed Gonzalez testifies on his nomination as director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ed Gonzalez, a Texas sheriff, said on Monday he had told President Joe Biden that he had withdrawn from consideration for the post of director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after a lengthy delay at getting confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

“More than a year has passed since the president nominated me for this important position, which has not had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration,” Gonzalez said in a tweet, referring to Barack Obama, a Democrat who was president from 2009 to 2017.

A copy of his withdrawal letter sent to Biden on Sunday and seen by Reuters on Monday said he needed to focus on an uptick in violent crime in his county and a court backlog driven by the pandemic that has led to a surge in the jail population.

“All this leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that in 2022, I must devote my full, undivided attention and energy toward fulfilling the duties that the people of Harris Country elected me to perform,” he wrote.

A veteran law enforcement officer and Democrat, Gonzalez has served since 2017 as sheriff of Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and home to Houston, the state’s biggest city. In that role, Gonzalez ended the county’s participation in a program that increased cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.

Gonzalez had criticized immigration raids during the presidency of Republican former President Donald Trump. Biden nominated Gonzalez as the head of ICE (NYSE:ICE) in April 2021, but his confirmation was stalled in the Senate.

Biden has pledged to move away from the hardline immigration policy of his predecessor. His administration has instructed agents to focus on deporting those people in the United States illegally who have committed dangerous crimes, as well as targeting employers exploiting migrants instead of raiding workplaces to look for people working illegally.

The delay in confirming Gonzalez came after Republican Senator James Lankford raised concerns over an allegation made last year that the sheriff had become “physical or violent” with his wife several years ago, which both the sheriff and his wife deny.

Staff at the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs looked into the domestic abuse charges against Gonzalez and found them without merit, according to a summary of their findings seen by Reuters.

A White House spokesperson responded to Gonzalez’s withdrawal.

“Sheriff Gonzalez has the qualifications and experience to do this important job and would have been a great leader of ICE. We thank Sheriff Gonzalez for his willingness to serve in the face of baseless allegations against his family and thank Homeland Security Chairman Peters for his diligent and hard work in support of the nomination,” the spokesperson said, referring to Senator Gary Peters.

Continue Reading

News

Commodities19 mins ago

U.S. hostage envoy visits Venezuela in bid to free jailed Americans-sources

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Stock Markets19 mins ago

China Evergrande says winding-up lawsuit won’t impact restructuring

© Reuters. The Evergrande Center of China Evergrande Group is seen amid other buildings in Shanghai, China, September 24, 2021....

Stock Markets19 mins ago

Toshiba board gains two directors from activist hedge funds

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Toshiba logos are pictured at Toshiba Corp’s annual general meeting with its shareholders in Tokyo, Japan,...

Sports & General49 mins ago

More than 40 migrants die in truck in San Antonio, others hospitalized

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Cryptocurrency49 mins ago

Institutional crypto asset products saw record weekly outflows of $423M

Institutional crypto asset products saw record weekly outflows of $423M Digital asset investment products saw record outflows totaling $423 million...

Economy1 hour ago

Asia stocks edge down after Wall Street falls; oil rises

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, walks past an electronic...

World1 hour ago

Rescuers dig for survivors of Russian missile strike on Ukrainian shopping mall

5/5 © Reuters. Rescuers work at a site of a shopping mall hit by a Russian missile strike, as Russia’s...

Sports & General1 hour ago

Dozens of migrants found dead in truck in San Antonio

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Economy1 hour ago

Japan says hard to confirm impact from Russia’s debt default

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s new Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki wearing a protective mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,...

World1 hour ago

Russian missile strike kills 16 in shopping mall, Ukraine says

2/2 © Reuters. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a working session of G7 leaders via video link, as Russia’s attack...

Stock Markets1 hour ago

Asian Stocks Down as Oil Rises on Tight Supply Concerns

© Reuters By Zhang Mengying Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Tuesday morning after Wall Street fell...

Commodities2 hours ago

U.S. hostage envoy visits Venezuela for talks about jailed Americans-official

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Sports & General2 hours ago

Mexican consul en route to Texas site where migrants found dead in trailer

© Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San...

Economy2 hours ago

Euro gains traction ahead of inflation data, dollar steadies

© Reuters. A shopper pays with a ten Euro bank note at a local market in Nice, France, June 7,...

Sports & General2 hours ago

At least 40 people found dead in truck in San Antonio – source

2/2 © Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in...

Commodities3 hours ago

Venezuelan officials meet US delegation, Maduro says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not pictured) after...

Sports & General3 hours ago

Twenty people found dead in truck in San Antonio, local media report

© Reuters (Reuters) – At least 20 people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, local...

Stock Markets3 hours ago

China Evergrande faces winding-up lawsuit for $110 million deal obligation

© Reuters. The Evergrande Center of China Evergrande Group is seen amid other buildings in Shanghai, China, September 24, 2021....

Stock Markets3 hours ago

Heineken to expand Mexico operations with $90 million plant

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Heineken beer bottles are seen at a bar in Monterrey, Mexico June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/File...

Cryptocurrency4 hours ago

‘Crypto is just like the end of the 90s with the internet bubble,’ says Hodl CEO Maurice Mureau

‘Crypto is just like the end of the 90s with the internet bubble,’ says Hodl CEO Maurice Mureau For Maurice...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

U.S. commerce secretary presses lawmakers to greenlight $52 billion for chipmaking

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 1, 2022. Andrew...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

JetBlue refuses to give up its quest for Spirit Airlines

© Reuters. Airplane model is placed on displayed Spirit Airlines and jetBlue Airways logos in this illustration taken, June 21,...

World4 hours ago

Biden pick for immigration enforcement withdraws after long delay

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ed Gonzalez testifies on his nomination as director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)...

Stock Markets4 hours ago

Four big U.S. banks raise dividends after stress tests

2/2 © Reuters. A person walks past a Bank of America sign in the Manhattan borough of New York City,...

Stock Markets5 hours ago

Blackstone, Carlyle, Apollo to cover U.S. abortion-related travel costs

2/2 © Reuters. Signage is seen outside The Blackstone Group headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew...

Stock Markets5 hours ago

Nike forecasts downbeat quarterly revenue on lingering China worries

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past a store of the sporting goods retailer Nike Inc at a shopping complex...

World5 hours ago

Trump’s election attorney John Eastman says FBI seized his phone

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: John Eastman, former attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump, is seen speaking in a video...

Sports & General5 hours ago

Three dead in Amtrak train crash and derailment in Missouri

(Reuters) -An Amtrak train carrying hundreds of passengers derailed in northern Missouri on Monday after hitting a dump truck at...

Stock Markets5 hours ago

Dow Futures Move Higher Following Negative Session

© Reuters. By Oliver Gray  Investing.com – U.S. stock futures were trading slightly higher in Monday’s evening deals after major...

Sports & General5 hours ago

New Mexico shields abortion clinics ahead of expected patient surge

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Democratic candidate for governor Michelle Lujan Grisham sits down for a meal at Barelas Coffee House...

Trending