The Trump administration on Monday said it no longer considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be a violation of international law, reversing four decades of American policy and further undermining the Palestinians’ effort to gain statehood.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. is repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that held that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.” Israeli leaders welcomed the decision while Palestinians and other nations warned that it undercut any chance of a broader peace deal.
A woman identified as Jane Doe 15 is suing the estate of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, alleging he preyed upon, trafficked and sexually abused her when she was 15.
The woman, now 31, who spoke at a news conference Tuesday with her attorney Gloria Allred said she grew up in a poor family in the Midwest.
According to the lawsuit, filed in District Court for the Southern District of New York, the woman met Epstein in 2004 during a trip to New York City with her high school drama group. She spent a day of the trip with her sister, who lived in New York and already knew Epstein, the lawsuit states.
"During that trip, Jane Doe 15 was invited to visit Epstein’s townhouse in Manhattan," the lawsuit says.
Epstein’s secretary allegedly began grooming Jane Doe 15 "to be used as Epstein’s sexual object," took photos of her, gave her an iPod, and told her that Epstein really wanted to meet her, the lawsuit states.
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J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Democrats examining whether President Donald Trump abused the power of the presidency by pushing Ukraine to scrutinize his chief political rival held a series of closed-door depositions in a secure hearing room in the Capitol basement they described as hot, crowed and smelly. Members of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees and their staff heard testimony that could form the basis of articles of impeachment and have since released to the public thousands of pages of transcripts.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified before lawmakers on Tuesday that he had turned down repeated offers from Ukraine to work as the country’s Defense Minister, saying that “the whole notion is rather comical.”
Department of State
Senior Trump administration official Mina Chang resigned from her job at the State Department two and a half hours after NBC News went to her spokesperson to ask about newly discovered false claims she had made about her charity work.
NBC News had previously reported that Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, had embellished her resume with misleading claims about her educational achievements and the scope of her non-profit's work — even posting a fake cover of Time magazine with her face on it.
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A close-knit Hmong community was in shock after gunmen burst into a California backyard gathering and shot 10 men, killing four.
“We are right now just trying to figure out what to do, what are the next steps. How do we heal, how do we know what's going on,” said Bobby Bliatout, a community leader.
Sunday evening’s attack killed Xy Lee, a Hmong singer and musician whose videos on YouTube have been viewed millions of times.
Patrick Frazee was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his fiancée, Kelsey Berreth, who was last seen near her Colorado home with their daughter last Thanksgiving.
The jury of six men and six women deliberated for less than four hours before reaching a verdict, NBC News reported.
Frazee, 33, was found guilty on all charges: two counts of murder, three counts of solicitation to commit murder and tampering with a deceased human body. He had denied killing Berreth, 29, and pleaded not guilty.
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Fort Worth Police Department
A video showing the dramatic moment a kidnapped 8-year-old Texas girl was rescued by police was released Monday.
The suspect, Michael Webb, was convicted and sentenced to life in federal prison last Thursday. Now that his federal trial has ended, federal prosecutors released the body camera footage when officers found and rescued her from a Forest Hill hotel room and arrested Webb.
The video shows officers racing up a staircase, converging outside the suspect's room and banging on the door. Police used a ram to force open the door.
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
The re-election victory by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards over the weekend has assured Democrats of an all-important place at the table when political maps are redrawn after the 2020 census for future elections to Congress and the state Legislature.
Edwards’ narrow triumph on Saturday marked the third significant win in a Southern state in two weeks for Democrats, following their takeover of both legislative houses in Virginia and the defeat in Kentucky of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.
The recent Southern state elections provided a preview of the battle over redistricting power that is to come next year in many states. Although about one-quarter of the states use independent commissions or nonpartisan staff in their redistricting procedures, state lawmakers, governors and other elected officials have key roles in redistricting in most other states.
New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP
Two correctional officers responsible for guarding Jeffrey Epstein when he took his own life are expected to face criminal charges this week for falsifying prison records, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
The federal charges could come as soon as Tuesday and are the first in connection with Epstein’s death. The wealthy financier died at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York while awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.
The officers on Epstein's unit at the federal jail in New York City are suspected of failing to check on him every half-hour, as required, and of fabricating log entries to claim they had. Federal prosecutors offered the guards a plea bargain, but the AP reported Friday that the officers declined the deal.
Todd Anderson/Disney Parks via Getty Images
A little girl experienced the magic of Walt Disney World and now her story is going viral.
In a Facebook post that has been liked more than 4,000 times, Belle Geiselman, 4, is seen clutching a Mickey Mouse ring that was given to her by grieving parents after a chance encounter.
Belle’s dad, Kyle Geiselman, who watched the scene unfold at Hollywood Studios, said his daughter was chasing after him when she nearly ran into the couple.
“I apologized and they responded by asking if they could give Belle something,” Geiselman, 41, told TODAY Parents. “Then, the man pulls a gold ring out from his bag.”
Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images (File)
President Donald Trump is backing away from the idea of banning most flavored e-cigarettes.
Trump announced a proposed ban in September, saying he wanted parents to be aware of what a problem vaping had become among teens. He made the announcement in the presence of first lady Melania Trump, who does not believe e-cigarettes should be available to children.
Flagler County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff’s deputies seized a duffel bag filled with cocaine that washed up on a northeast Florida beach.
The Florida Times-Union reports an anonymous called tipped investigators off to the barnacle-covered bag on Friday night.
Flagler County Sheriff’s officials said in a news release on Sunday that the bag contained 15 kilos of water-logged cocaine bundles.
Lisa Cavazuti / NBC News
A mineral used in electronics, automotive and even in cosmetics to add sparkle to makeup is being mined in Madagascar by an underground army of child laborers, NBC News reports.
Mica is mined by hand in a cluster of sites in Madagascar, an island nation of 25.5 million people located off the southeast coast of Africa.
NBC News traveled more than 400 miles through Madagascar’s remote south with the Dutch child protection group Terre des Hommes and witnessed scores of children working in unregulated and poorly-ventilated mica pits, as well as processing centers, alongside other family members.
Interviews with executives in Madagascar’s mica industry showed that the prevalence of child labor is well known but largely dismissed as a byproduct of extreme poverty. Children as young as 4 years old perform long hours of labor-intensive work in often dangerous conditions to collect a mineral whose price will be inflated nearly 500 times by the time it leaves Madagascar’s shores on route to China, where more than 91% was shipped in 2018.
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Chick-fil-A announced it will take a different approach to its charitable giving in 2020 following years of protests from LGBTQ groups that have taken issue with the Atlanta-based food chain’s donations to organizations that do not support gay rights.
“Staying true to its mission of nourishing the potential in every child, the Chick-fil-A Foundation will deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger,” the organization announced Monday.
Chick-fil-A has committed $9 million to Junior Achievement USA, which offers educational programs to K-12 students; Covenant House International, a shelter and supportive services organization for homeless youth; and more than 120 local food banks across the country. This more focused approach is a significant shift from the company's previous strategy of donating to an array of organizations, some of which have a history of anti-LGBTQ views.
Monday's announcement, however, is reportedly not the first time Chick-fil-A has claimed it would cut ties with groups that have anti-gay views or policies. In 2016, the company reportedly told the progressive news site Think Progress that it was winding down contributions to such groups, but a report published earlier this year by the site found Chick-fil-A donated $1.8 million to discriminatory groups in 2017.
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