Yahoo Political News
A French farmer who faces up to five years in prison for helping African migrants slip into the country and find shelter told his trial Wednesday he merely wanted to relieve their suffering. Cedric Herrou, 37, has become something of a folk hero around the French-Italian border for driving migrants across the frontier, under the noses of the French police, and then putting them up. Public prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre called for Herrou to be given an eight-month suspended term, for his vehicle to be confiscated and for his driving licence to be restricted to driving only for professional use.
President-elect Donald Trump sparked a fresh furor Wednesday by again casting doubt over the government's conclusion that Russia meddled in the US election via cyber-attacks, citing the claims of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers are due to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.
DR Congo President Joseph Kabila gave the green light Wednesday for the Catholic Church to pursue mediation to end the crisis sparked by his refusal to step down, sources said. The country's influential bishops brokered a New Year's Eve deal to sketch a timetable under which Kabila will stay in office before new elections are held in late 2017, in a bid to prevent more bloodshed in a crisis that has already claimed dozens of lives. A close aide to the president confirmed that Kabila had met with the bishops but declined to give details of their discussions.
The number of murders and shootings in New York continued to fall last year to hit their lowest levels since the early 1990s, new figures showed Wednesday. The good news for New York, the largest US metropolis with a population of 8.5 million, comes as other American cities like Chicago struggle with an explosion in murder and other violent crimes. New York notched 335 murders in 2016, a 4.8 percent decrease from 2015, according to the latest police statistics.
Egyptian prosecutors ordered Wednesday that 12 people held during a protest against the controversial transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia be detained for four days, officials said. The 12 are accused of staging a protest without informing the interior ministry beforehand, said judiciary and security officials and lawyer Ahmed Othman, who is defending one of those held. Under a 2013 law, demonstrators are required to tell the ministry they are planning a protest, and the ministry is then able to grant or refuse permission.
A California congressman’s use of campaign funds to transport a pet rabbit aboard a commercial flight is one of the more eye-catching expenses that, for many, underscore the need for strong congressional oversight. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., wound up reimbursing his campaign for $62,000 in personal or incorrectly documented expenses — including $600 for “cabin rabbit transport fees” — after the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) investigated his spending habits last year, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper told Yahoo News that it was irritating to see media reports suggesting that Hunter was “caught” doing something wrong because he self-reported a list of questionable expenditures to the Federal Election Commission, which regulates campaign finance, in February 2016.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence says that the first priority of President-elect Donald Trump is to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. “Obamacare has failed,” Pence said after a meeting with House Republicans on Wednesday. Pence said Trump will sign executive orders related to repealing President Obama’s signature health care law on his first day in office Jan. 20.