Trump associate Roger Stone found guilty on all counts.


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    Stocks moved higher on Wall Street and headed for records on Friday after U.S. officials said they were making progress in the latest push for a trade agreement with China. The market has been sensitive to any developments on U.S.-China trade talks. Investors hope the world’s two biggest economies can make a deal before new and more damaging tariffs take effect next month. Technology stocks were the biggest winners. Companies in the sector are particularly sensitive to swings in trade sentiment because many of them rely on China for sales and supply chains. Applied Materials surged 10% on solid earnings. Health care and industrial companies were also making strong gains. Biogen rose 1.4% and Caterpillar rose 1.6%. Bond prices fell and pushed yields higher, signaling that investors were shifting away from safe-play holdings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 1.83% from 1.81% late Thursday. Real estate companies and utilities lagged the market. KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 0.6% as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 163 points, or 0.6%, to 27,943. The Nasdaq rose 0.6%. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 0.5%. Asian and European markets moved higher. SLOW AND STEADY: The S&P 500 is headed for a sixth straight weekly gain. The index has set records and extended its streak during a week of mostly listless trading. It’s on track to top its record close of 3,096.63 from Thursday. The Dow is on track for its fourth week of gains. It is poised to beat its record close of 27,783.59, which it set on Wednesday. The Nasdaq could also potentially beat its record of 8,486.09, which it set on Tuesday. BUFFETT BUMP: Luxury retailer RH rose 6.2% and energy company Occidental Petroleum gained 3% after Warren Buffett’s company disclosed that it had picked up shares of both companies. BIG FISH: Amarin jumped 6.4% after a government advisory panel recommended broader use of its fish oil-based heart disease drug Vascepa. Financial analysts predict that broader use of the drug could translate into billions in sales.
  • German automaker Audi says former BMW executive Markus Duesmann is to become its new chief executive. Audi said Friday that the 50-year-old succeeds current CEO Bram Schot on April 1. Herbert Diess, the head of Volkswagen, of which Audi is a part, called Duesmann an “excellent engineer.” Audi has struggled to keep up with rivals BMW and Daimler in recent years.
  • New rules from the Trump administration on Friday would require insurers and hospitals to disclose upfront the actual prices for common tests and procedures to promote competition and push down costs. The sweeping changes face stiff pushback from the health care industry and could be challenged in court. Even in an ideal world where information flows freely, patients and their families would have to deal with a learning curve to become comfortable with the intricacies of health care billing. “This shadowy system has to change,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said. “The patient has to be in control.” A final rule would apply to hospitals and a proposed regulation would apply to insurance plans. Disclosure requirements for hospitals would not take effect until 2021; for insurers, the timing is unclear. The requirements do not directly affect doctors. Officials say the rules would shine a spotlight on the confusing maze of health care prices, allowing informed patients to find quality services at the lowest cost. Prices for an MRI scan for example can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on where it’s done. Insurers would have to create individualized estimates of what patients would owe out-of-pocket due to deductibles and copayments. Insurance companies and hospitals say the push for disclosure goes too far. They say the government would force them to publicly disclose rates they negotiate as part of private contracts normally beyond the purview of authorities. Insurers also contend the plan could backfire, prompting providers that are accepting a bargain price to try to bid up what they charge if others are getting more. Azar called that “a canard,” saying transparency does not lead to higher prices in any other area of the economy. If the industry goes to court, it could be a long time before consumers see any major changes. For hospitals, the rule would require: —publication in a consumer-friendly manner of negotiated rates for the 300 most common services that can be scheduled in advance, such as a knee replacement, a Cesarean-section delivery or an MRI scan. Hospitals would have to disclose what they’d be willing to accept if the patient pays cash. The information would be updated every year. —publication of all their charges in a format that can be read on the internet by other computer systems. This would allow web developers and consumer groups to come up with tools that patients and their families can use. For insurers, the rule would require: —creating an online tool that policyholders can use to get a real-time personalized estimate of their out-of-pocket costs for all covered health care services and items, from hospitalization, to doctor visits, lab tests and medicines. —disclosure on a public website of negotiated rates for their in-network providers, as well as the maximum amounts they would pay to an out-of-network doctor or hospital. The disclosure requirements would carry out an executive order President Donald Trump signed this summer.
  • A strike at General Motors pushed U.S. manufacturing production lower in October, adding to the troubles confronting American industry. Manufacturing output tumbled 0.6% last month, the Federal Reserve said Friday, largely because production of cars and auto parts plunged 7.1% amid the GM strike. The drop in factory production was the biggest since April. The GM strike ended late in October. Overall industrial production -- which includes factories, utilities and mines -- fell 0.8%, the biggest drop since May 2018. Industrial output is down 1.1% from October 2018. The drops were bigger than economists had expected. American manufacturing is also contending with the fallout from President Donald Trump’s trade wars, which have raised costs for some factories and created uncertainty for business. Excluding auto output, industrial production still fell 0.5% and manufacturing output slipped 0.1%. Mining production slid 0.7%, as oil and gas drilling fell last month, but is up 2.7% over the past year. Utility production fell 2.6% as Americans used less electricity. U.S. factories were using 74.7% of their capacity in October, lowest since September 2017, and is down 4.1% since October 2018.
  • Americans stepped up their shopping last month, spending more online and buying more cars, evidence that consumers can still drive the economy’s growth. Still, the details of the report were weaker than expected, economists said, and several analysts reduced their forecasts for fourth-quarter growth. JPMorgan economists lowered their forecast to an annual rate of just 1.25% from 1.75%. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales rose 0.3% in October, rebounding from a 0.3% drop the previous month. Sales increased 3.1% compared with a year ago. The figures suggest higher tariffs on many consumer products imported from China, imposed in early September, as well as broader trade uncertainty, did not completely hold Americans back from spending. Consumers remain mostly optimistic and willing to make large purchases, such as autos, even as businesses cut back on investment and exports stall. The report also indicates that shopping during the upcoming Christmas holiday could be solid. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low and wages are rising, encouraging more shopping. But there were several weak spots in the report. Spending at restaurants and bars fell 0.3%, the biggest drop in almost a year. That category is seen as highly discretionary and a decent sign of consumers’ health. And clothing stores reported a sharp 1% drop in sales, while furniture, home and garden, and electronics and appliances stores all reported declines. “Consumers are neither fearful nor exuberant,” but “steady as she goes,” said Julia Coronado, an economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives. Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thornton, said that higher tariffs on furniture may have held back sales. With home purchases rising in the past year, furniture sales could be expected to have moved higher. But they fell a sharp 0.9% last month. E-commerce is still gaining steam. Sales in a category that mostly includes online and catalog shopping jumped 0.9% in October and 14.3% from a year earlier. Sales at auto dealers also rose, increasing 0.5%. Gas stations reported a 1.1% jump in sales, which mostly reflected higher prices. Grocery stores and general merchandise retailers, which includes stores such as Walmart and Target, also said that sales increased. Walmart reported a strong sales increase in its third quarter Thursday, boosted by a huge 41% increase in online sales. The economy has slowed since earlier this year, with growth clocking in at just 1.9% in the July-September quarter, down from 3.1% in the first three months of the year. Most analysts partly blame the weakening on uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade war, which has caused many companies to delay plans to invest and expand. That’s left consumers as the principal drivers of growth. So far, Americans have maintained their spending, quelling fears of a recession, which flared as recently as two months ago when trade tensions worsened. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that the U.S. economy is a “star performer” and expressed confidence that it would keep expanding at a moderate pace, with few signs of bubbles or other weaknesses appearing. Signs that the U.S. and China may soon reach the first stage of a trade deal has also helped soothe financial markets, pushing up stock prices and bond yields.
  • New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who is deciding whether to launch a Democratic presidential bid, is pouring $100 million into an online advertising campaign attacking President Donald Trump. The campaign, which targets voters in four general election battleground states — Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — begins running on Friday, according to Bloomberg spokesman Jason Schechter. News of the massive investment was first reported by The New York Times. The former New York City mayor has already filed paperwork in at least two states to appear on presidential primary ballots. Bloomberg himself is not featured in the ad campaign. One example of a new ad: An image of Trump’s Twitter account that says, “A TWEET SHOULDN’T THREATEN OUR COUNTRY’S SECURITY.”
  • The British Labour Party's latest plan for public ownership of big industries sent shivers through the telecoms sector Friday with an electoral promise to nationalize part of the former phone monopoly BT to provide free fiber optic broadband. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who outlined the plan during a speech ahead of next month's election, described broadband as being “at the heart of Labour's plans to transform the future of our economy and society.” The self-described socialist, who has already announced plans to renationalize water companies and some rail lines, described it as an effort to help all parts of society face the future. It would be more ambitious than other countries’ recent attempts to boost broadband availability, which have had varying degrees of success. 'What was once a luxury is now an essential utility,' Corbyn said. “That's why full-fiber broadband must be a public service, bringing communities together, with equal access, in an inclusive and connected society.” Labour plans to nationalize BT's digital infrastructure network, known as OpenReach, and the company's other broadband-related businesses. The value of the assets would be set by Parliament and shareholders compensated with government bonds. The project would be funded with a tax on tech giants including Amazon, Facebook and Google. The plans are part of a bitter election campaign in which both major parties are wooing promising to increase spending after a decade of budget austerity under Conservative-led governments. Britain is holding the Dec. 12 election because Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to secure a parliamentary majority so he can take the U.K. out of the European Union by Jan. 31. Johnson described Labour's broadband plan as a “crackpot scheme.’’ The telecommunications industry also greeted the plan with dismay. 'These proposals would be a disaster for the telecoms sector and the customers that it serves,’’ said Julian David, CEO of TechUK, which represents British technology companies. “Renationalization would immediately halt the investment being driven not just by BT but the growing number of new and innovative companies that compete with BT.” BT shares fell as much as 3.7% in London before recovering somewhat. One rival, TalkTalk, said Friday that the sale of its full-fiber optic broadband business was put on hold because of the Labour announcement. Shares in companies involved in the power network, water supply, main and rail are already trading at a discount because of concerns they will be nationalized, according to Michael Hewson, analyst at financial firm CMC Markets. Labour governments nationalized many industries after World War II and the Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sold off most of those assets in the 1980s to boost competition and provide better services for less. Britain’s has the world’s 15th fastest average broadband speeds, according to a 2017 ranking by network company Akamai. South Korea was ranked No. 1 and others in the top 10 included Asian and European countries such as Norway, Sweden and Singapore plus the U.S. Fiber accounts for 80% of South Korean broadband connections, according to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Britain, the figure is just under 2%. Corbyn and his deputies cited as a model a South Korean government project that built a countrywide fiber optic network, as well as a public broadband initiative Ireland has in the works. But the Labour plan is the only one promising free broadband access to all. Australia had a similarly ambitious plan, but how it was implemented may be a cautionary tale for Britain. In 2009, the Australian government unveiled a project to roll out broadband to everyone, with the vast majority getting high-speed fiber optic lines. But the long-term project fell victim to short-term politics when a new conservative coalition government took power. Promising to roll out the network faster and for cheaper, the government compromised: fiber lines would be extended only to neighborhood nodes, while existing copper lines would be used for the “last-mile” connection to homes. While the aim was to save money, replacing the copper connections as demand grows for bandwidth-hungry web services may end up leading to a bigger overall bill than the original plan. And despite tens of billions of dollars already spent on its broadband modernization efforts, Australia was only ranked 50th on Akamai’s broadband speed rankings. ___ For all of AP’s tech coverage, visit:
  • British police are unveiling new tactics to protect politicians amid the country’s fraught, even hostile political atmosphere, issuing safety recommendations for candidates running in the country’s Dec. 12 general election. All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the vote but more than 70 lawmakers have announced they are not running for re-election amid Britain's toxic political atmosphere. Politicians on both sides of the Brexit argument over Britain’s impending departure from the European Union have received abuse and threats — even death threats — both in person and online. Those leaving include many moderate pro-EU Conservatives, Labour legislators who say their party has not stamped out anti-Semitism and high-profile female legislators, who have received a disproportionate amount of the abuse. There also have been increasing concerns for British politicians’ personal safety since Labour Party legislator Jo Cox was stabbed to death during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign. The National Police Chiefs’ Council said Friday it is urging candidates not to campaign alone if possible and to contact local police in advance of campaigning in specific areas. It also advised candidates to check that any material they have posted online does not release “sensitive personal information,” data that could possibly aid stalkers or those with malign intentions. Chairman Martin Hewitt said all police forces will offer security briefings for candidates and will have a senior police officer responsible for handling safety issues. “We’re not going to tell anyone to limit their campaigning or enthusiasm in any way, but we are taking precautionary steps ourselves and providing sensible advice to candidates,” he said. The advice will be distributed to all candidates as part of an information package developed by police, the Electoral Commission and prosecutors. It also suggests that candidates “take active steps around personal safety to keep themselves and their campaign staff safe” and make sure that someone knows where they are canvassing voters for support. Police say candidates should keep a record of any intimidating behavior or abuse they encounter. The advice stops short of suggesting that candidates avoid knocking on doors after dark, given that the extremely rare December election is taking place during the darkest time of the year. Britain is holding a national election on Dec. 12, two years early, because Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a Conservative, wants to secure a majority so he can take the U.K. out of the EU by the next Brexit deadline of Jan. 31. In the latest policy announcement, the left-of-center opposition Labour Party published ambitious and costly plans to provide free, fast broadband internet to the entire country, paid for in part by taxing huge tech companies including Facebook, Amazon and Google. Yet Labour was also hit by more criticism over its allegedly lax stance toward anti-Semitism in party ranks. Twenty-four prominent British writers and entertainers, including author John Le Carre and actor Simon Callow, said Friday they won't vote for Labour candidates because of the party's failure to combat anti-Semitism. Their letter, published in The Guardian newspaper, says Labour is under investigation for institutional racism, that two Jewish lawmakers have been bullied out of the party and that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has a “long record of embracing anti-Semites.” The signatories say these concerns overshadow the argument that supporting Labour is the only way to stop Johnson’s Conservatives from taking the country out of the EU with or without a Brexit deal. They say to ignore anti-Semitism “because Brexit looms larger is to declare that anti-Jewish prejudice is a price worth paying for a Labour government. Which other community’s concerns are disposable in this way?” Such a rejection by traditional Labour supporters could hurt the party as it seeks to overthrow the ruling Conservatives. The Conservatives now have 298 seats in Parliament, which is short of a majority, to the Labour Party’s 243 seats. Analysts say the Conservatives need to flip Labour seats in central and northern England to win the majority needed to push Brexit through. Most polls see the Conservatives leading, but for many British voters this year, their feelings about Brexit could trump traditional party loyalties. Tactical alliances could play a part in the parties’ success. On the pro-Brexit front, the Brexit Party has said it won’t run candidates in 317 districts where Conservatives have been strong so as not to split the pro-Brexit vote. On the Remain side, three smaller parties — the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the Welsh-based Plaid Cymru — have announced a deal to increase the chances of electing lawmakers who support remaining in the EU. ___ Danica Kirka and Jill Lawless contributed to this report. ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and British politics at
  • The United States trade representative is hoping to broker a deal with the European Union to send more lobsters to Europe, but has received a chilly reception so far. The American lobster industry is in the midst of a challenging time in part because of tariffs with China and the EU. U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer has asked EU officials to consider reducing tariffs on lobster, which is a popular seafood item in many European nations, especially around Christmas. A letter from EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström dated Nov. 6 said the European Union could potentially be interested in a broader trade package. However, Malmström balked at the idea of quickly approving a limited package of tariff cuts. Such a deal should be “part of a wider agreement to liberalize tariffs bilaterally for industries products, including fisheries,” Malmström wrote. Neither Lighthizer nor Malmström responded to requests for comment. Lighthizer’s attempt to roll back tariffs is coming as American lobster exports to Europe are falling. Canada, which exports the same species of lobster to Europe, brokered a new trade deal with the EU in 2017 that puts the U.S. at a disadvantage. Exports to France, valued at nearly $36 million in 2013, fell to less than $13 million last year. U.S. exports to China have also cratered due to trade hostilities between the two countries. And the American lobster fishery, based in Maine, is currently in the midst of a slower season than it has been accustomed to this decade, leading to some anxiety in the industry. Three members of the Maine congressional delegation sent a letter to Lighthizer on Thursday encouraging him to keep pushing for the elimination of the lobster tariff, which is 8% on live lobsters. The members, Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King, wrote that “Maine lobster producers and dealers must find new customers for our state’s most iconic product.” Jeff Bennett, the senior trade specialist at Maine International Trade Center, said he’s not surprised the EU isn’t on board with a new tariff deal solely based on lobsters. “The EU has generally taken a broader approach than ‘one off’ or ‘stand-alone’ type agreements,” Bennett said.
  • China issued an outline Friday of policies aimed at promoting high-tech manufacturing after it stopped pushing a strategy that helped trigger a tariff war with Washington. A statement by the Cabinet’s planning agency called for the government to help manufacturers in autos, electronics and other fields. It gave few details about how to carry that out or whether it will involve diplomatically contentious market barriers or subsidies. A previous plan, “Made in China 2025,” called for government-led creation of global competitors in robotics, electric cars and other fields. The United States and other trading partners complained that violated Beijing’s market-opening obligations and was based on subsidizing and shielding Chinese companies from competition. American complaints helped to prompt President Donald Trump to hike tariffs on Chinese imports in mid-2018, setting off a tariff war that threatens global economic growth. Beijing has resisted U.S. pressure to roll back development plans seen by Communist leaders as a path to prosperity and global influence. Trump announced an interim agreement last month following talks in Washington and postponed a planned tariff hike on Chinese goods. The two sides are negotiating the details but appear to be disagreeing over Chinese demands for Washington to roll back some punitive tariffs and the size of possible Chinese purchases of soybeans and other farm goods. Chinese leaders have stopped talking about “Made in China 2025,” though the government never formally renounced the plan. The ruling Communist Party called again in December for “promoting high-quality development of manufacturing and deep integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries.” Friday’s statement calls for creation of flagship firms and pilot zones for advanced manufacturing to be in place by 2025. It calls for accelerating research and development and achieving advanced manufacturing and sets other broad goals but gives no details of what the government’s role will be. The report was jointly issued by the ministries of industry, finance and education, the central bank and other government agencies.


  • A jury found Roger Stone guilty Friday of obstruction, giving false statements to Congress and tampering with witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. >> Read more trending news  The verdict came on the second day of jury deliberations. Stone had denied any wrongdoing and framed the charges as politically motivated. Update 12:20 p.m. EST Nov. 15: Jurors found Stone guilty Friday of all seven counts against him, including one charge of obstruction, one charge of witness tampering and five charges of making false statements connected to his pursuit stolen emails damaging to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman set a February 6 sentencing date for Stone, Fox News reported. Until then, Berman allowed Stone to be released on his own recognizance. Stone, who did not take the stand during his trial, is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The president slammed the jury's verdict Friday, questioning in a tweet whether Stone fell victim to 'a double standard like never seen before in the history of our Country.' Original report: Jury deliberations in the case against Roger Stone, a political consultant and confidant of President Donald Trump, extended into a second day Friday after jurors failed to reach a verdict on whether he lied to Congress about his attempts to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election. Jurors asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson two questions Thursday during their six hours of deliberations, Reuters reported. The questions were about what was considered testimony in the case and a request for a clarification of the charges, according to the Courthouse News Service. Authorities arrested Stone in January on charges brought by then-special counsel Robert Mueller, who headed the Justice Department's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Stone was charged with obstruction, giving false statements and witness tampering. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Kravis said Stone lied to protect the Trump campaign from embarrassment and scrutiny in its quest for emails hacked by Russian officials and disseminated by WikiLeaks, according to The Washington Post. Attorneys for Stone claimed he never intentionally deceived Congress and that he was simply wrong in his testimony after committee members unexpectedly peppered him with WikiLeaks-related questions. 'There was nothing illegal about the campaign being interested in information that WikiLeaks was going to be putting out,' defense attorney Bruce S. Rogow said, according to the Post. 'This is what happens in a campaign. … It happens in every campaign.' In testimony, several witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about the more than 19,000 emails the U.S. says were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks. Former campaign CEO Steve Bannon reluctantly testified last week and told jurors Trump's campaign saw Stone as an 'access point' to WikiLeaks. He said Stone boasted about his ties to the anti-secrecy group and its founder, Julian Assange. Bannon said campaign officials tried to use Stone to get advanced word about hacked emails damaging to Trump's rival in the 2016 presidential election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Rick Gates, who served as a campaign aide for Trump, told jurors Stone asked him in June 2016 for the contact information of Trump's son-in-law and then-senior campaign adviser, Jared Kushner. Stone wanted to 'debrief' him on developments about the hacked emails, Gates said. Stone has proclaimed his innocence and accused Mueller's team of targeting him because of his politics. He could face up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A newborn’s body was found on a pile of rocks on the side of the road Tuesday night, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  The infant was found lying in the fetal position with the umbilical cord still attached in freezing temperatures, News12 reported. Investigators are interviewing the child’s mother. Charges have not been filed and there have been no arrests, WPVI reported. Her identity has not been released. 
  • Roger Stone was one of the key figures of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian election meddling, accused fo trying to contact WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential race, NBC News reported. Stone was found guilty of all charges he faced including making false statements to Congress and obstruction of justice. Stone's lawyers said that any misstatements their client made to lawmakers were unintentional, the Washington Post reported shortly after his arrest. Who is Roger Stone? Stone was born in 1952 and was raised in Lewisboro, New York. His mother was a newspaper writer and his father was a well digger. Stone started his conservative leanings when a neighbor gave him a book, “The Conscience of a Conservative,” written by Barry Goldwater. It was given to him before he turned 13. Shortly after, he started working on the mayoral campaign for William F. Buckley Jr. in New York on weekends in 1965, The New Yorker uncovered in an article published in 2008.  He attended George Washington University but didn’t graduate because he got into politics, working with Republican candidates for more than 40 years, according to The New Yorker. >> Read more trending news  He was only 19 when Watergate happened, and he, under the name Jason Rainier, made contributions to Pete McCloskey, who was challenging President Richard Nixon for the Republican nomination. Stone, as Rainier, made the contributions through the Young Socialist Alliance and then released the receipt to a newspaper to show that McCloskey was a left-wing candidate, according to The New Yorker. Stone also hired another person to work in  George McGovern’s Democratic presidential campaign. Both events were uncovered during the Watergate hearings in 1973. He lost a job on the staff of Republican Bob Dole because of the hearings and started the National Conservative Political Action Committee, which backed Republicans Chuck Grassley in Iowa and Dan Quayle in Indiana. Stone also worked twice on the Republican presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan -- once in 1976, when Reagan didn’t win, and again in 1980, when he did -- then as political director for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, The New Yorker reported. After Reagan took office, Stone stayed in the private sector, creating a political consulting and lobbying firm that went under different names, including Black, Manafort, Stone & Atwater.  The firm worked for corporations like Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to lobby former co-workers in the Reagan campaign who held jobs in the administration. It also served clients like Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, The New Yorker found. Focusing more on political campaigns as a solo entity instead of lobbying as part of a group, Stone worked as a senior consultant for the successful campaign of George H.W. Bush and worked three campaigns for Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. He also ran unsuccessful campaigns for Dole’s 1996 quest for president. He was brought in when the 2000 presidential recount started in Florida. He played the political game on radio stations in southern Florida, saying that the recount was Al Gore’s left-wing power grab, The New Yorker reported. His efforts, along with other Republican assets, empowered George W. Bush’s Republican supporters to protest the second recount. Stone wanted, and got, the recount in Miami shut down in what became the “Brooks Brothers riot,” The Washington Post and The New Yorker reported. Stone also worked on  the younger Bush’s re-election campaign. It is believed documents obtained by CBS News that showed that Bush got out of military service for Vietnam were actually fake and that Stone was the person who created the documents, The New Yorker reported. Stone was one of President Donald Trump’s panel of long-time advisors, The Washington Post reported. He was connected to Trump when the now-president floated the idea of running in 2000.  Then, Trump said, “Roger is a stone-cold loser,” who “always takes credit for things he never did,” according to The New Yorker. Despite the harsh words then-private sector member Trump had for Stone, he used Stone for his campaign not once, but twice, teaming up in 2011 when Trump toyed with, but eventually decided against a presidential run. They went their different ways in August 2015, the Times reported.  But who pulled the plug on Stone’s tenure on the Trump campaign? Stone said he resigned and Trump’s campaign officials said he had been fired, The New York Times reported. Trump said of the firing, “I hardly ever spoke to the guy; he was just there. He played no role of any kind,” the Times reported in 2015. But Stone was listed on Federal Election Commission filings as being on the campaign payroll and he used Twitter to defend Trump during the campaign, according to the Times. What is his connection to Trump? Stone has been scrutinized for having ties to WikiLeaks by using an associate as an intermediary between himself and people associated with WikiLeaks, CNN reported. Stone spoke about having “back channel communications” with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, during the campaign. Stone later said the “back channel” was really a New York radio host, Randy Credico, who allegedly shared only information gleaned from interviews with Assange, CNN reported. Stone also predicted releases of information by WikiLeaks in the final days of the campaign between Trump and his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton, CNN reported.  Stone said in a column for Breitbart, the website run by former Trump campaign adviser Steve Bannon, that it wasn’t the Russians who hacked the servers containing the emails leaked by WikiLeaks, but it was actually a hacker who went by the name Guccifer 2.0.  >>Read: Russian hackers indicted: Who is Guccifer 2.0? Here are 15 things to know Despite Stone’s assertions in the column, some have linked Guccifer 2.0 to Russian web services, Foreign Policy reported.  In July 2016, the Times reported that intelligence agencies had “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the email leaks and that Guccifer 2.0 was in reality an agent of the Russian military intelligence service, or GRU. Mueller’s team is investigating whether there were other connections between Stone and WikiLeaks. That connection could come in the form of Jerome Corsi, another associate of Stone’s who said this week that he expects to be indicted by Mueller for “giving false information to the special counsel or to one of the other grand jury,” CNN reported. If Corsi’s prediction comes true, he could face charges from perjury to making false claims and even obstruction of justice, all related to false statements he made about his alleged connection between WikiLeaks and Stone, CNN reported. Stone, however, said he was truthful in previous testimony before a congressional panel. >>Read: 12 Russians indicted: Here’s what the DOJ says happened “My attorneys have fully reviewed all my written communications with Dr. Corsi,” Stone wrote in a statement to CNN. “When those aren’t viewed out of context they prove everything I have said under oath regarding my interaction with Dr. Corsi is true.” Stone went on to write, “I stand by my statement to the House Intelligence Committee and can prove it is truthful if need be. I have passed two polygraph tests administered and analyzed by two of the nation's leading experts to prove I have (been) truthful.” >>Read: 12 Russians indicted: Military officials accused of hacking DNC, stealing voter info Corsi said Stone warned that there would be trouble for Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta after Corsi published an article for InfoWars. After Stone’s statement, WikiLeaks released thousands of hacked emails from Podesta, CNN reported.  >>Read: WikiLeaks emails: FBI investigates, Podesta claims he was targeted by Russian hackers Stone tweeted “it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel” six weeks before WikiLeaks published the emails, The Washington Post reported. >>Read: Julian Assange: WikiLeaks source was 'not the Russian government' Stone said he did not tell Trump that WikiLeaks was going to release the hacked emails and denied working with Russia, CNN reported. But Stone did say in a recent opinion piece for The Daily Caller, that he emailed Bannon during the campaign, CNN reported. Stone, in the column, clarified that the information he shared with Bannon was publicly available. Stone said the statements he made during the campaign were exaggerations or tips only and that he didn’t know details of WikiLeaks’ plans before the document drops, the Post reported.
  • The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is testifying Friday in the second public hearing in the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending news  Marie Yovanovitch will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to answers questions about her time as ambassador in Ukraine and how she believed she was driven out of that position by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer. The hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. ET, will be broadcast live on CSPAN, CNN, Fox News and other cable news channels. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, (D-California), and the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, (R-California), will question Yovanovitch in 45-minute segments each then committee members will have five minutes each to question Yovanovitch. Watch the live stream of Friday’s hearing here Live updates The hearing has resumed 12:22 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing has resumed and Republicans are asking questions. In a break 10:45 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing has been suspended for a short recess for House members to vote.  Trump tweets, Yovanovitch defends herself  10:30 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff read a tweet from Trump this morning disparaging Yovanovitch’s service. Trump said that “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” Schiff asks if she wants to address the tweet. Yovanovitch answered, “I don’t think I have such powers,” but went on to say that her work “demonstrably made things better, both for the US and for the countries I’ve served in.” Fearing a tweet 10:24 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Goldman asks Yovanovitch if she was given a vote of support from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. She said she was not. He asked if she knew why not. She said the department feared that the president would post a tweet contradicting any support. ‘Devastated' by Trump's Ukraine call 10:15 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch said she was “shocked” and “devastated” by the White House memo on Trump’s call with Zelensky. The transcript included the phrase that Yovanovitch is “bad news.” “A person who saw me actually reading the transcript said the color drained from my face,” Yovanovitch told Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor with the Southern District of New York who is the counsel for the Democrats. She said Trump’s comment that she was “going to go through some things,” in his call with Zelensky, “felt like a vague threat.” ‘Big hit for morale’ 10 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff asked Yovanovitch how her recall was received by colleagues in the State Department. Yovanovitch said, 'Well, it's been a big hit for morale, both at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and also more broadly in the State Department.' She also that it’s fair to say that her firing affected morale of other ambassadors. Yovanovitch's opening statement 9:33 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch is giving her opening statement, talking about the sometime dangers of foreign service. She opened her statement by recounting her family’s history. They fled the Soviet Union. She says she has served in several “hardship” posts as a diplomat.  She talked about her work in Ukraine. 'Not all Ukrainians embraced our anti-corruption work. Thus, perhaps, it was not surprising, that when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old, corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and, working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. Ambassador. How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government?' She says she never tried to work against Trump or for Clinton. She said she has never met Hunter Biden but did know former Vice President Joe Biden. Nunes’ turn 9:20 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Rep. Nunes is speaking now. He says five of the members of the Intelligence Committee voted to impeach Trump before he ever made the July 26 phone call. He complains that the Democrats met secretly with the whistleblower and that Republicans have been threatened if they try to find out the person’s name and release it. He also said Democrats went after nude photos of Trump. He is reading the just-released transcript into the record. The hearing has begun 9:10 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff is giving his opening statement. He is praising Yovanovitch’s qualifications and her anti-corruption work in Ukraine. He's asking why Trump wanted to recall Yovanovitch from her post. Phone call transcript released 9:05 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The White House has released the transcript of the first phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That phone call took place in April. This is not the phone call the whistleblower reported on. People are getting to their seats 9 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: House Intelligence Committee members, the press and spectators are coming into the room for the start of the hearing. $3 million in donations 8:55 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale announced on Thursday that the Trump campaign raised more than $3 million on Wednesday during the first public impeachment hearings. A case of bribery? 8:47 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, accused Trump of bribery. Pelosi pointed out at her weekly press conference that bribery is “in the Constitution” as a reason for impeaching a president. Yovanovitch has arrived 8:38 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch has arrived at Capitol Hill with her attorneys and is entering the building. One public hearing and two in private8:35 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: While Yovanovitch will testify in public Friday, David Holmes will appear before the committee afterward in a closed-door session. Holmes is a State Department employee who claims to have overheard a phone conversation about Ukraine between Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Trump. On Saturday, Mark Sandy, an office of Management and Budget official, will testify before the committee in private. Sandy will be the first OMB official to agree to testify before the committee. How the hearing will go 8:15 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing will be conducted in the same way as Wednesday’s hearing with William Taylor and George Kent was conducted. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, and the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-California, will question Taylor and Kent in 45-minute segments each. Those 45 minutes can be delegated to the staff lawyers or other committee members. After the extended 45-minute periods, the committee will go back to its usual format of five-minute rounds of questions for committee members. Let’s get started 8 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Good morning and welcome to live updates from the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry. The hearing begins in an hour, at 9 a.m. ET. Live updates coming 6 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Live updates of Marie Yovanovitch's testimony will begin at 8 a.m. ET. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. ET [Summary]
  • A brake fluid leak on certain Nissan cars and SUVs could lead to risk of fire prompting the automaker to recall about 394,000 vehicles in the United States. >> Read more trending news  An antilock brake actuator pump can leak onto a circuit board, causing electrical shorts and fires. Because of the risk, Nissan recommends owners park the vehicles outside and away from buildings if the antilock brake light is on for more than 10 seconds.  The recall covers 2015 to 2018 Nissan Murano SUVs, 2016 to 2018 Maxima sedans and 2017 to 2019 Infiniti QX60 and Nissan Pathfinder SUVs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the second recall for some of the same vehicles. In 2018, Nissan dealers inspected parts but did not replace the pumps if fluid wasn’t leaking. Dealers will now replace pumps on all of the vehicles. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 
  • An Arkansas paramedic is charged with felony theft after authorities allege she cut a 1.7-carat diamond ring off a dead patient’s finger last month and pawned it for $45. Lisa Darlene Glaze, 50, of Hot Springs Village, is charged with theft by receiving and misdemeanor transfer of stolen property to a pawn shop, according to Garland County court records. Arrested Monday, she has since been released on $4,500 bond. >> Read more trending news  The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs reported that Glaze, a paramedic at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs, was one of the paramedics who attended to Gloria Farrar Robinson on Oct. 16 when the 72-year-old Whie Hall woman suffered a medical emergency. A probable cause affidavit obtained by the newspaper stated Robinson was taken to CHI St. Vincent, where she later died. After Robinson died, her personal effects were given to her husband, identified in her obituary as Leonard Robinson, and her sister, Alesia Massey. Massey asked Glaze about three of Robinson’s rings that were missing. Glaze “did not answer her and walked away,” according to the affidavit. Robinson’s husband and sister went to Fuller Hale South Funeral Home in Pine Bluff two days later to make funeral arrangements, at which time they were given a bag with two of the missing rings, the Sentinel-Record reported. A 1.7-carat diamond, gold solitaire ring was still missing. The ring, which was adorned with a marquise-cut diamond, had been cut off Robinson’s finger, according to the affidavit. On Oct. 24, eight days after Robinson died, Glaze went to Hot Springs Classic Guns and Loan with a marquise-cut, solitaire diamond ring with a gold band. She sold the ring, which the pawnshop worker noted had a cut in the band, for $45, the court documents allege. Glaze used her driver’s license for identification during the transaction, the Sentinel-Record reported. Five days after the sale, a Montgomery County investigator went to the pawnshop and took photos of the ring, sending the images to Robinson’s husband and sister. Both identified the ring as belonging to the deceased woman, the affidavit said. The pawnshop employee who bought the ring identified Glaze in a photo as the woman who sold the piece of jewelry, the Sentinel-Record reported. Massey, Robinson’s sister, retrieved the ring from the pawnshop and had it appraised. The ring was determined to be worth nearly $8,000. Robinson’s son, Ben Ellis, castigated Glaze in a Facebook post Wednesday, calling her an expletive before questioning her care of his dying mother. “You stole my mother’s rings off her hands after she died?” Ellis wrote. “Did you let my mother die so you could steal her jewelry?” A woman named Diane McAlister offered Ellis her condolences. “Gloria was a wonderful, hardworking person. She respected everyone,” McAlister wrote. “I hope this person is prosecuted to the highest degree.” According to her obituary, Robinson worked as a payroll officer at Southeast Arkansas College for more than 20 years. Glaze has been placed on administrative leave with pay by the hospital, which issued a statement to the Sentinel-Record about the case. “CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs places a priority on the safety and well-being of our patients and our healing ministry is committed to their security while in our care,” the statement read. The hospital is continuing to cooperate with the investigation, officials said. If convicted, Glaze faces up to 10 years in prison on the felony theft charge and up to a year in county jail for the charge of selling stolen property to the pawnshop, the newspaper said.