Ambassador Gordon Sondland told House impeachment investigators Wednesday that he worked with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine at the “express direction” of President Donald Trump and pushed for a political “quid pro quo” with Kyiv because it was what Trump wanted.
"Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president,” Sondland testified of his dealings with Trump’s personal attorney.
He said Giuliani openly discussed how Trump wanted Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into the 2016 U.S. presidential election and into Burisma — the Ukraine gas company on whose board Biden’s son, Hunter, sat — as a prerequisite for a coveted White House visit for Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Sondland said he later came to believe military aid that Ukraine relied on to counter Russia was also being held up until the investigations were launched.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
Ten candidates were on stage Wednesday night for the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate, co-hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post from Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
A police officer was fatally shot and another was wounded while responding to a home invasion on Detroit's West Side, authorities announced late Wednesday.
The officers were searching the home for a suspect when they were shot, Police Chief James Craig said.
An 18-year veteran of Detroit Police was shot in the neck with a high-powered rifle, Craig said. The officer was taken to Sinai-Grace Hospital where he died from his wounds. The second officer, a three-year-veteran, was shot in the leg and was reported in serious condition. Neither officer was immediately identified.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
The top Democratic presidential candidates spent large chunks of prime-time television clashing over "Medicare for All" — again.
Like a string of previous debates, Wednesday's prominently featured squabbles over a program that could alienate general-election swing voters who may be wary of fully government-run, universal health care and that will be extraordinarily difficult to get through Congress — even if Democrats take the White House and make significant 2020 congressional gains.
Gordon Sondland, President Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union, was the most anticipated witness in the House impeachment inquiry and his testimony Wednesday showed why.
He made repeated references to a quid pro quo involving Ukraine and invoked the names of senior Trump administration officials who, he said, knew what was going on. He also confirmed the existence of a newly revealed telephone call with Trump one day after Trump had pressed Ukraine's leader for an investigation into a Trump political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images
Congress has approved two bills aimed at supporting human rights in Hong Kong following months of unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
The House overwhelmingly approved the bills Wednesday, a day after the Senate passed them on voice votes. The bills now go to the White House for President Donald Trump's signature, and the White House signaled that he would sign the human rights measure.
China has threatened to take unspecified, "strong countermeasures" if the bills are signed into law.
Duncan McGlynn/Getty Images, File
Known for dating models and actresses, Prince Andrew earned a nickname as the "party prince." But as charities and businesses sought distance from the scandal-tainted royal, some tabloids recently dubbed him the "pariah prince."
Queen Elizabeth II's second son announced Wednesday that he would step back from public duties because of his ties to American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, saying the relationship had become a "major disruption" to the royal family's charitable work.
It was another black mark against the prince, who was born without the responsibilities of his older brother, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne. Andrew instead carved out a comfortable role as a trade envoy and charity patron with freedom to travel the world in style.
NBC 7 San Diego
Navy officials on Wednesday notified a SEAL convicted of posing with a dead Islamic State militant and three of his superior officers during a 2017 deployment to Iraq that all four will face a review to determine if they should remain on the elite force.
Attorneys for Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher said the Navy is trying to remove his Trident pin, designating him as a SEAL, in retaliation for President Donald Trump's decision last week to restore his rank.
Gallagher was acquitted last summer of a murder charge in the stabbing death of the militant captive, but a military jury convicted him of posing with the corpse while in Iraq in 2017. He also was acquitted of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at civilians.
United Auto Workers President Gary Jones abruptly resigned Wednesday, capping a tumultuous day that saw union leaders move to oust him, and General Motors accusing rival Fiat Chrysler in a lawsuit of bribing union officials to get more favorable contract terms from the UAW.
Jones has notified the union that he would retire, his attorney, Bruce Maffeo of New York, said in an email.
The news of Jones' resignation came shortly after the UAW's International Executive Board filed paperwork to expel him and Regional Director Vance Pearson from the union over allegations raised by a federal investigation into union corruption that has resulted in multiple arrests starting in 2017. The move to oust the two leaders would have brought union trials for both.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Google is making it harder for political advertisers to target specific types of people.
The company said that as of January, advertisers will only be able to target U.S. political ads based on broad categories such as gender, age and postal code. Currently, ads can be tailored for more specific groups — for instance, using information gleaned from public voter logs, such as political affiliation.
The change will take effect in the UK in the next week, before the general election, and in the European Union before the end of 2019. It will apply everywhere else in early January.
In a blow to GOP defenses of President Donald Trump, a Defense Department official said Wednesday the Ukrainian government asked "what was going on" with U.S. military aid as early as July 25 — the very day that Trump asked Ukraine's president to investigate Democrats.
Testifying in an evening hearing, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper told lawmakers her staff recently showed her emails that she had not yet seen when she testified behind closed doors last month in the impeachment probe looking into Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
New safety standards aimed at limiting suicide risks have led to overhauls inside hospitals around the country, with psychiatric facilities and wards removing bathroom doors, stripping artwork from walls and requiring patients to wear paper gowns instead of their own clothes.
The changes have forced costly renovations and caused a backlash, with some critics contending they've made hospital rooms feel more like jail cells.
Regulators say the new guidelines leave room to protect patient dignity and privacy, but many hospital officials tasked with updating facilities and their procedures say they've gone too far.
A limited quantity of Cheese Nips (11 oz. boxes) are being yanked from United States grocery shelves because of the potential presence of small pieces of plastic, the FDA announced Wednesday.
The company that makes them, Mondelez Global LLC, issued the voluntary recall because small food-grade yellow plastic pieces from a dough scraper may have gotten into the production process of a limited amount of the favored snacks.
Mondelez learned of the issue when yellow plastic pieces were spotted on the manufacturing equipment.
Al Drago//Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Donald Trump will meet with medical experts, health advocates and industry representatives on the problem of underage vaping later this week, White House officials said Wednesday.
Electronic cigarette use by teenagers has surged, but federal authorities have not yet finalized a plan for regulating e-cigarettes.
At the White House meeting set for Friday, administration officials said Trump will hear from representatives from "all sides" of the vaping issue as he weighs "responsible guidelines."
A Naperville, Illinois high school student was charged with a hate crime after allegedly posting a racist Craigslist ad featuring another student, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The student, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was charged with two counts of felony hate crime and one count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, authorities said.
“The allegations against the juvenile in this case are beyond disturbing,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a statement. “Hate crimes have no place in our society and will not be tolerated in DuPage County. Anyone, regardless of age, accused of such disgraceful actions will be charged accordingly."