World Politics

Politics News from across the world.

White Army vet charged in shooting Black girl at Trump rally

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A white military veteran shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl when he fired his gun into a car carrying four Black teenagers during a tense confrontation at a Trump rally near the Iowa Capitol last month.Michael McKinney, 25, is charged with attempted murder in the Dec. 6 shooting in Des Moines. McKinney, who was heavily armed and wearing body armor, told police he fired the shot in self-defense. A resident of tiny St. Charles, Iowa, McKinney has posted on Facebook in support of the far-right Proud Boys and against Black Lives Matter.In a news release detailing McKinney’s arrest, the state police described an afternoon shooting at a parking lot and didn't mention the Trump car rally or the race of those involved. A city police spokesman said initial reports indicated the shooting was traffic-related. Division of Criminal Investigation spokesman Mitch Mortvedt said the agency released the immediate facts and circumstances as required.But a review by The Associated Press shows the shooting was sparked by a belligerent political clash between a large group of white Trump supporters and four unarmed Black girls all aged 16 and under.The teen driver’s mother said the girls argued with Trump supporters about politics and were subjected to racial slurs. Rallygoers blamed the teens for starting the confrontation, saying they were harassing and threatening the crowd.The girls’ car ended up surrounded by Trump supporters who were yelling and honking horns before the driver went in reverse and struck a pickup. It’s unclear whether the collision was accidental. McKinney told police he fired at that point to protect himself.An investigator says in court documents that McKinney does not appear to be among those rallygoers who exchanged words with the girls before the shooting. Bystander video obtained by police shows McKinney approaching the vehicle, pulling a handgun from his waistband and firing into the car from 15 feet (4.5 meters) away, according to court documents.The bullet hit the leg of a girl who had been arguing with members of the crowd through the vehicle's sunroof. The car sped off to take her to a hospital.The 73-year-old owner of the pickup, Bob Brekke Jr., told AP he was glad that McKinney shot into the car and scared the girls away, saying he worried that they might be armed.“I felt relieved,” said Brekke, whose truck was suffered minor scratches in the collision.Brekke said the girls had been yelling anti-Trump epithets at him and others as the rally progressed through the heavily Democratic city. He said their vehicle drove wildly, veering in and out of the caravan, and followed it to the parking lot where the route concluded.Fans of the president, who were gathering to support his attempts to subvert the November election, initially “were having fun” taunting the girls, Brekke said.Brekke, a retired airport security worker, said he asked whether they were on welfare and unemployed. He said they called him a white supremacist and threatened him and his wife.McKinney's attorney, Kent Balducci, said the Jan. 6 mob attack at the U.S. Capitol that included many ex-military members won't help his client's case, because the public will draw comparisons.But he argued that the “political factors are extraneous” and that McKinney’s actions should be viewed as self-defense. The teenage driver may have been using the vehicle as a weapon instead of merely trying to flee the angry crowd, he said.Balducci said McKinney wore body armor because he had been threatened during previous Trump rallies, and that he feared for his safety when the car reversed.Trump supporters have blasted authorities for charging McKinney, arguing that his shot protected rallygoers. They include an Iowa Department of Public Safety employee who organized the event and has fundraised for McKinney’s defense.McKinney, who left the Iowa National Guard in 2017 after a five-year military career, faces 25 years in prison if convicted. McKinney remains jailed after a judge last month rejected his request to reduce a $500,000 bond.Danielle Gross, the teen driver’s mother, said her daughter was so traumatized by the shooting that injured her cousin that she didn't leave the house for a week afterward. She said the girls made an ill-advised decision to confront rallygoers and that the situation escalated quickly.“They were saying some racist slurs and the girls argued with them and it went from there,” Gross said, adding that she hasn’t heard from the police since the day of the shooting and that she fears for her family’s safety.Authorities declined comment on whether the shooting might have been motivated by race. Polk County Attorney John Sarcone noted that the attempted murder charge against McKinney carries far more prison time than a state hate crime charge, with a maximum of five years.After the shooting, McKinney apparently tried to cover his tracks, putting the spent shell casing in the trunk of his car and not initially coming forward as the shooter, court records show.After others identified him, he admitted his role and surrendered his pistol. Police say he was carrying two loaded magazines in his pants and had another firearm in his vehicle, which was outfitted with Trump decals.

Unity has long been a theme, and anxiety, for new presidents

NEW YORK (AP) — When Joe Biden addresses the country for the first time as president, his inaugural speech is likely to echo calls for unity that predecessors have invoked since the first time George Washington was sworn in.Unity has since been a theme, and an anxiety, for many incoming presidents, who have faced economic and social crises and moments when the very future of the U.S. was in doubt. Historians mention the first inaugural speeches of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln as possible parallels for Biden, who has said his goal is to “restore the soul” of the country.Biden, who assumes office just two weeks after an armed seige of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, will preside over a nation in which millions believe Trump's baseless claims that the election was stolen. Few presidents have faced such questions about their own legitimacy. “Unity has always been an aspiration," says presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. “It seems like whenever we have foreign policy flare-ups, we use the word freedom. But when we have domestic turmoil we use the word unity.”The United States was forged through compromise among factions that disagreed profoundly on slavery, regional influence and the relative powers of state and federal government. When Washington assumed office in 1789 he cited the blessings of providence in noting that “the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established.” Jefferson was the third U.S. president, and the first whose rise was regarded by opponents as a kind of emergency. The 1800 election won by Jefferson marked the beginning of competing political parties — Jefferson was a leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, losing incumbent John Adams a Federalist — and critics regarded the new president as a dangerous atheist. "JEFFERSON — AND NO GOD!!!” was how one Federalist paper described Jefferson's candidacy. Adams did not attend the inauguration, a breach rarely repeated although Trump has vowed to do the same.“Let us then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind," Jefferson urged in his address. "We are all republicans: we are all federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it."Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, a Federalist who administered the oath of office to Jefferson, wrote later that the speech was “in the general well judged and conciliatory.” Lincoln's pleas were more dire, and tragically unmet, despite what historian Ted Widmer calls his “genius to combine urgency with literary grace.” Seven out of 11 future Confederate states had seceded from the U.S. before he spoke, in March 1861, over fears he would end slavery. The Civil War would begin a month later. “We are not enemies, but friends,” Lincoln had insisted, reminding fellow Americans of their “mystic chords of memory” while also warning that resistance to the will of voters would destroy democracy. "A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism,” he said. Historian David Greenberg, whose books include “Nixon's Shadow" and “Republic of Spin,” cites Richard Nixon's inaugural in 1969 as another speech given at a time of social turmoil. The U.S. was violently divided over the Vietnam War and civil rights, and Nixon himself had long been seen as an unprincipled politician exploiting fears and resentments — appealing to what he would call “the silent majority.” His speech at times was openly and awkwardly modeled on the 1961 inaugural of John F. Kennedy, who had defeated Nixon in 1960. “We are caught in war, wanting peace. We are torn by division, wanting unity,” Nixon stated. “We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another — until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices.”Some presidents asked for unity, others asserted it. Franklin Roosevelt, elected in a landslide in 1932 during the Great Depression, said in his first inaugural speech: “If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other.” Four years later, having won by an even greater landslide, he declared the country had “recognized” a need beyond financial help, a “deeper” need, “to find through government the instrument of our united purpose.” Unity can prove more imagined than real. When James Buchanan spoke in 1857, three years before the Civil War, he claimed that “all agree that under the Constitution slavery in the states is beyond the reach of any human power except that of the respective states themselves wherein it exists.” Rutherford B. Hayes, whose presidency was marked by the retrenchment of federal troops from the post-Civil War South and ongoing resistance from Southern whites to equal rights for Blacks, declared during his 1877 inaugural that true peace could be achieved through the “united and harmonious efforts of both races” and the honest work of local self-government. “A president often claims the country is ‘united’ behind a belief when it’s more wishful thinking than reality,” Widmer says. “I’m not sure how many Americans wanted to do something for their country after JFK asked them to — although there were impressive new kinds of volunteers, like the Peace Corps. And I think that many Americans still appreciated help from the government, even after Ronald Reagan declared that ‘government is the problem.’ That’s the problem with soundbites: They often oversimplify.”

Feds: Capitol mob aimed to 'assassinate' elected officials

PHOENIX (AP) — The pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” federal prosecutors said in court documents. The remarks came in a motion prosecutors filed late Thursday in the case against Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man who took part in the insurrection while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns. Prosecutors say that after Chansley climbed up to the dais where Vice President Mike Pence had been presiding moments earlier, Chansley wrote a threatening note to Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”Pence and other congressional leaders had been ushered out of the chamber by the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police before the rioters stormed into the room. “Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government,” prosecutors wrote in their memo urging the judge to keep Chansley behind bars. Gerald Williams, Chansley’s attorney, didn’t return a phone call and email Friday morning seeking comment. A detention hearing is scheduled in his case for later Friday. The FBI has been investigating whether any of the rioters had plots to kidnap members of Congress and hold them hostage, focusing particularly on the men seen carrying plastic zip tie handcuffs and pepper spray. Prosecutors raised a similar prospect on Friday in the case of a former Air Force officer who they alleged carried plastic zip-tie handcuffs because he intended “to take hostages.” But so far, the Justice Department has not publicly released any specific evidence on the plots or explained how the rioters planned to carry them out.Chansley, who calls himself the “QAnon Shaman” and has long been a fixture at Trump rallies, surrendered to the FBI field office in Phoenix on Saturday. News photos show him at the riot shirtless, with his face painted and wearing a fur hat with horns, carrying a U.S. flag attached to a wooden pole topped with a spear. QAnon is an apocalyptic and convoluted conspiracy theory spread largely through the internet and promoted by some right-wing extremists. Chansley told investigators he came to the Capitol “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021.”An indictment unsealed Tuesday in Washington him with civil disorder, obstruction of an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a restricted building, and demonstrating in a Capitol building.

Lottery players have chance at 2 giant jackpots

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It could be a profitable weekend for lucky lottery players as two of the largest jackpots in U.S. history will be on the line.Numbers will be drawn Friday night for the $750 million Mega Millions prize, the fifth-largest jackpot ever. On Saturday, players will have a chance at a $640 million Powerball prize, the eighth-largest jackpot.It's been nearly two years since a lottery jackpot has grown so large. No one has won either game's top prize in months.The listed jackpot amounts refer to winners who opt for an annuity, paid over 30 years. Winners nearly always choose cash prizes, which for Mega Millions would be an estimated $550.6 million and for Powerball would be $478.7 million.The odds of winning Mega Millions are one in 302.5 million. For Powerball, it's one in 292.2 million.Mega Millions and Powerball are both played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball also is offered in Puerto Rico.

The Latest: Calls to governors for more Guard troops for DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump's impeachment and the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack of the Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):10:25 a.m.Defense Department officials are scrambling to call governors and asking whether they have any more National Guard troops they can send to Washington to help protect the Capitol and the city.A defense official familiar with the discussions says law enforcement leaders and other authorities have now determined that they'll need about 25,000 National Guard troops. And they say that number could still grow.As of Friday morning, officials had commitments from states for close to 22,000 members of the Guard. That's according to the official, who wasn't authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.In recent days, defense and military leaders have said they understand that states are also facing their own looming protests and the first priority of the governors is to protect their own capitals. The number of Guard officials are seeking to help protect the District of Columbia in the run-up to Wednesday's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden has increased almost daily. Defense and law enforcement authorities have been revising the numbers as they go through rehearsals and other drills to determine how many and where they need the Guard reinforcements to help lock down Washington.—Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor___HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPEACHMENT AND THE FALLOUT FROM THE JAN. 6 RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL:President Donald Trump is facing an impeachment trial in the Senate that could begin on Jan. 20, the day Democrat Joe Biden is inaugurated as America's 46th president. Trump was impeached on Wednesday, one week after he encouraged a mob of loyalists to “fight like hell” against election results and the Capitol became the target of a deadly siege. The FBI is warning that armed protests by violent Trump supporters are being planned in all 50 state capitals as well as in Washington.Read more:Justice Department watchdog opens probe of response to riotCapitol rioters included highly trained ex-military and copsPelosi’s nine impeachment managers hope to ‘finish the job’Amid cacophony since Capitol siege, key officer stays silentGOP senators in spotlight as second impeachment trial loomsTrump impeachment trial to focus on his attacks on electionImpeachment complicates the early days of Biden’s presidency___HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:10 a.m.The Justice Department’s internal watchdog says it will investigate how the department and its agencies prepared for and responded to last week’s riots at the U.S. Capitol. The investigation by the inspector general’s office will examine whether information was appropriately shared by the Justice Department to other law enforcement agencies about the potential for violence. The inspector general said it “also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures” that hampered preparation and response to the events.The review is one of multiple ones launched by inspectors general, including at the departments of Homeland Security and Defense and at the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Police.The initiation of the review signals concern among the watchdogs that the preparations for, and response to, the breach of the Capitol by loyalists of President Donald Trump was lacking.

2 nuke plants, 1 bribery scandal, no answers: Towns on edge

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — For much of the past four years, the residents of a pair of villages along Lake Erie have been on edge over the fate of their nuclear plants, which generate enough tax money to pay for nicer schools than their neighbors. Like many U.S. nuclear plants struggling to compete with with natural gas and renewable energy, the owners of the Ohio plants turned to the government for help, persuading the state's lawmakers to give them a $1 billion bailout. But relief for the villages of Perry and Oak Harbor was short-lived after the financial rescue became entangled in a political bribery scandal that has brought calls to jettison the bailout.The uncertainty surrounding the future of both Ohio plants — Davis-Besse near Toledo and Perry near Cleveland — has created a new wave of anxiety that is stretching into another year after state lawmakers, at the end of December, put off deciding whether to repeal the bailout or come up with a new financial lifeline that would keep the plants open. It’s just the latest twist for the rural towns, which found themselves caught in the middle of the scandal-tainted bailout this summer when federal investigators said the plants’ former owner secretly funneled millions to secure the payout.“It’s like a big slap in the face,” said Perry Fire Chief James McDonald, whose department gets nearly half of its budget from taxes paid by the nuclear plant east of Cleveland. The nuclear plants are anchors for Perry and Oak Harbor, two working-class bedroom communities that are rooted in agriculture and have little other industry. The two plants employ about 1,400 workers and generate roughly $30 million in tax revenue for their home communities, with the biggest chunk going to schools — which are the communities' biggest draw. Closing the Davis-Besse plant would be “catastrophic,” said Guy Parmigian, superintendent of a school district that would lose millions from a closure. “It's not just us. It's our library, our county, the township.”Because his school gets about 40% of its revenue from the plant, the district would face deep budget cuts without it. “We don’t want to think about the possibilities, but they’re certainly there on the table,” Parmigian said.It's a familiar conundrum for towns anchored by nuclear plants.They often become too reliant on their tax revenue, as it’s hard to attract other businesses because of the fears associated with the industry. Plus, almost all nuclear plants — including the ones in Ohio — are in out-of-the-way places, and many closed sites can’t be redeveloped for new uses because they store radioactive waste.Losing the stream of revenue from the Perry plant could turn the area into a “ghost town” because taxes would likely soar to make up the difference, said Jack Thompson, superintendent of Perry Local schools, which has a pool and community fitness center, thanks to the plant, which opened in the late 1980s.Towns in Vermont, Illinois and Florida and other states where nuclear plants have closed over the years already have seen that kind of economic impact firsthand and now struggle with higher property taxes, cuts in services and less school funding.While nuclear power plants aren't designed to last forever, the closures in the U.S. are happening earlier than expected because plants are struggling to compete with cheaper natural gas-fired plants and renewable energy sources. Four plants have shut down since the beginning of 2018, and more are on the chopping block. A few states, including New York, Illinois and New Jersey, have saved their plants by approving bailouts funded by new charges on electricity customers. That's what Ohio did a year ago after FirstEnergy Solutions announced it planned to close its two nuclear operations by 2021. But now the FBI and others are investigating FirstEnergy Corp.'s role in the alleged bribery scheme to secure the bailout. State lawmakers haven't been able to agree for months whether to repeal the bailout, change it or keep it. Now they've postponed any decisions until later this year. The Ohio Supreme Court and a county judge issued decisions last month that temporarily block the state from collecting fees from electricity users that were added to pay for the bailout of the plants, which are now owned by Energy Harbor, a former subsidiary of FirstEnergy. What remains unknown is what lawmakers will do next and whether the two plants would close without the bailout or find another way to keep operating.Their new owners haven't said whether they must have the money to keep going. It all means that the future of the plants, their workers and their hometowns is unsettled. “These poor people,” said Jerry Cirino, who was elected to the state Senate in November to represent Lake County where the Perry plant operates. “They're telling me they can't take this anxiety much longer.”

Mexico president accuses DEA of fabricating general's case

MEXICO CITY (AP) — One day after Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office announced it was dropping the drug trafficking case against its former defense secretary, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had “fabricated” the accusations against retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos.López Obrador suggested that there could have been political motivations behind U.S. authorities' arrest of Cienfuegos at Los Angeles International Airport in October, noting that the investigation had been ongoing for years, but the arrest came shortly before U.S. presidential elections.The president said that Mexican prosecutors had dropped the case because the evidence shared by the United States had no value to prove he committed any crime.“Why did they do the investigation like that?” López Obrador said. “Without support, without proof?”The president said the evidence shared by the U.S. against Cienfuegos would be made public, because the people should see and it had been a strike against Mexico’s prestige. In a statement Thursday night, Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office went beyond just announcing they were closing the case. Its statement cleared the general entirely.“The conclusion was reached that General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda never had any meeting with the criminal organization investigated by American authorities, and that he also never had any communication with them, nor did he carry out acts to protect or help those individuals,” the office said in a statement.It said Cienfuegos had not been found to have any illicit or abnormal income, nor was any evidence found “that he had issued any order to favor the criminal group in question.”A seven-year investigation by the U.S. authorities was completely disproved by Cienfuegos within five days of having the U.S. evidence shown to him, the statement said.All charges were dropped and Cienfuegos, who was never placed under arrest after he was returned by U.S. officials, is no longer under investigation.Gladys McCormick, an associate professor in history at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, said the only surprise was that Mexico didn’t make a better show of looking into Cienfuegos.“One would think that they would have at least followed through on some semblance of an investigation, even if it was just to put some window dressing on the illusion that the rule of law exists,” McCormick said. “From the Mexican side, this signals the deep-seated control the military as an institution has on power. It also shows that the level of complicity at play in this case.”López Obrador has given the military more responsibility and power than any president in recent history, relying on them to build massive infrastructure projects and most recently to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to their expanded security responsibilities.Cienfuegos was arrested in Los Angeles in October, after he was secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in 2019. He was accused of conspiring with the H-2 cartel in Mexico to smuggle thousands of kilos of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana while he was defense secretary from 2012 to 2018.Prosecutors said intercepted messages showed that Cienfuegos accepted bribes in exchange for ensuring the military did not take action against the cartel and that operations were initiated against its rivals. He was also accused of introducing cartel leaders to other corrupt Mexican officials.Under the pressure of Mexico’s implicit threats to restrict or expel U.S. agents, U.S. prosecutors dropped their case so Cienfuegos could be returned to Mexico and investigated under Mexican law.Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme told a judge at the time, “The United States determined that the broader interest in maintaining that relationship in a cooperative way outweighed the department’s interest and the public’s interest in pursuing this particular case.” Even though the U.S. yielded on Cienfuegos, Mexico’s Congress a few weeks later passed a law that will restrict U.S. agents in Mexico and remove their diplomatic immunity. Mike Vigil, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s former chief of international operations, said clearing Cienfuegos “could be the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as U.S.-Mexico cooperation in counter-drug activities.”“It was preordained that Mexican justice would not move forward with prosecuting General Cienfuegos,” Vigil said. “It will greatly stain the integrity of its judicial system and despite the political rhetoric of wanting to eliminate corruption, such is obviously not the case. The rule of law has been significantly violated.”

Florida man sued for not paying up after betting on Trump

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A friendly $100 wager over the 2020 Presidential election has landed in a Florida small claims court.Before the election, Sean Hynes, a Trump supporter from St. Petersburg, reached out to Jeffrey Costa, an acquaintance who is a Biden supporter from Atlanta. The deal was sealed on Facebook Messenger: If Trump won, Costa would pay $100. If Biden won, Hynes would pay up.But once the votes were counted, Hynes refused to acknowledge the Democrat's victory, even after recounts, the Supreme Court’s rejection of court challenges and the Electoral College's confirmation, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Costa, 50, decided to sue. He's seeking the $100, plus $250 in court costs and $300 in interest on the unpaid bet. He's representing himself in the action, filed Dec. 28 in Pinellas County small claims court.“You should have the integrity in your principles to follow through with what you have proposed,” Costa told the newspaper.Costa first messaged Hynes on Nov. 7, the day after the election was called in Biden’s favor, to ask for the money.“Bro, the elections are determined by the courts, not the networks,” Hynes responded. The two continued arguing back and forth.“It’s not settled by law, Sean,” Costa said. “Trump is mathematically eliminated.pWhen Costa told Hynes in December than he planned to sue for the money, Hynes unfriended him on Facebook, the newspaper reported.Hynes didn't answer the newspaper's Facebook message.For Costa, the lawsuit is about more than the money.If Hynes had been willing to pay the bet, he’d be willing to drop the lawsuit. Hynes didn’t.“I also felt that if you’re going to live in a post-fact world, there are consequences to that,” he said.

Turkish leader defiant on Russian system but wants US jets

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president has criticized the United States for kicking his country out of the F-35 stealth jet program after Ankara purchased a Russian missile defense system, a move that also triggered U.S. sanctions.Speaking after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey paid “very serious money” for the F-35 fighters but hasn't received them.“This is a very serious mistake that America, as an allied country, has done to us,” Erdogan said.“I hope with Mr. Biden assuming office and with discussions, he will take more positive steps and we can straighten this out,” he added.Turkey was removed from the F-35 program even though it produced some parts for the jets. The U.S. said the Russian system could jeopardize the safety of the F-35s.The U.S. halted the training of Turkish pilots and said Turkey would not be allowed to take final possession of the four aircraft it bought.Erdogan remained defiant, saying the country was in continued dialogue with Russia about a “second package” of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system and would discuss details at the end of the month. Turkey received the first batch of the system in 2019 and tested it in the fall. Washington also sanctioned four Turkish defense officials last month under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a U.S. law aimed at thwarting Russian influence. The sanctions, which included a ban on issuing export licenses to Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries, were the first time the law was used to punish a NATO ally. “No country can decide on the steps we will take for our defense industry,” Erdogan said.

Justice Dept. watchdog opens probe of response to riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's internal watchdog said Friday that it will investigate how the department and its law enforcement agencies prepared for and responded to last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol.The investigation by the inspector general's office will examine whether information was shared by the Justice Department to other agencies, including the Capitol Police, about the potential for violence. The inspector general said it “also will assess whether there are any weaknesses in DOJ protocols, policies, or procedures that adversely affected the ability of DOJ or its components to prepare effectively for and respond to the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.”The review is one of multiple ones launched by inspectors general, including at the departments of homeland security and defense and at the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Police.The initiation of the review signals early concern within the watchdog community that the preparations for, and response to, the breach of the Capitol by loyalists of President Donald Trump was lacking. The Capitol Police said that it had prepared for only First Amendment activity at the Capitol on the day that lawmakers had assembled to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory over Trump, even though Trump himself had encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell.”The review is likely to also include an assessment of intelligence that the Justice Department — and particularly the FBI — had collected before and after the riot. It comes days after the FBI conceded that one of its field offices compiled an internal bulletin that warned of potential violence aimed at Congress. The Washington Post, which first reported the existence of the Jan. 5 report from the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, said the bulletin detailed threats from extremists to commit a “war.” Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said that once he received the Jan. 5 warning, the information was quickly shared with other law enforcement agencies through the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Washington, D.C.