Throwing yet another wrench into the long-delayed legal proceedings regarding the September 11 attacks, the lawyers for the terror defendants have filed an emergency motion accusing the FBI of snooping on their work, according to the Miami Herald. The motion claims the FBI interrogated and turned a member of 9/11 defendant Ramzi bin al-Shibh's own defense team into a "confidential informant," and asks the judge to launch an investigation into whether that compromised the government's case.
"The implications of this intrusion into the defense camp are staggering," the motion reads, according to the Herald. "The most immediate implication, however, is that all defense teams have a potential conflict of interest between their loyalty to their clients and their interest in demonstrating their innocence to FBI investigators."
The motion came one day before a scheduled hearing to determine whether al-Shibh was fit to stand trial. The lead prosecutor in the case, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, said he had no prior knowledge of the FBI's alleged snooping, but called it a "significant" concern.
The Justice Department charged al-Shibh and four others, including alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in 2008 and planned to try them via military commission. After President Obama's election, Attorney General Eric Holder initially moved to have the defendants tried in civilian court, though he later announced they would face a military trial after all. Jon Terbush
Following the release of a video showing the fatal officer-involved shooting of a black teenager, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Chicago on Tuesday night. Some shouted "16 shots," referring to the number of bullets allegedly fired during the Oct. 20, 2014, shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. The protests continued Wednesday in Chicago's business district, The Loop, as demonstrators peacefully chanted and marched through the area.
New footage of the shooting was released Wednesday from the dashboard cameras of four additional police cars that responded to the incident, including Van Dyke's vehicle. That brings the total number of clips released to five, with footage from the three other squad cars that were at the scene during the shooting yet to be released.
The videos in question have little audio, something the Chicago Tribune notes should not be the case; while some videos include siren sounds from outside the vehicle, no sound of officers talking or any radio communication inside the vehicle can be heard. Only one of the videos shows the actual shooting of McDonald, while the others show the scene at various points. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday. Kimberly Alters
Tensions between Russia and Turkey continued to rise Thursday, with Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reporting that the country has deployed long-range air defense missiles to its base in Syria. The missiles will be just 30 miles from the Turkish border, Fox News reports, the latest escalation in the conflict stemming from Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane Tuesday.
While the Russian navigator aboard the plane has said there was no warning before the plane was shot down, audio recordings released by Turkey on Tuesday appear to indicate the plane was asked several times to change course because it was approaching Turkish airspace. Turkey has also told the United Nations that two Russian planes ignored its warnings and entered Turkish airspace. Russia, meanwhile, has insisted its plane flew only over Syria — a claim made murky by the fact that Turkey and Syria have a longstanding border dispute in the area over which the warplane was shot down, The New York Times notes.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to apologize for the downed plane, but the two countries promised Wednesday they would not go to war over Tuesday's incident. Turkey had previously warned Russia in October not to enter its airspace. Kimberly Alters
Without waiting for the end of the year, the World Meteorological Organization announced Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year on record. "I would call it certain. Something game-changing massive would have to happen for it not to be a record," Deke Arndt, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's chief climate officer, told The Associated Press. 2015 saw temperatures soar worldwide as a result of a strong El Nino and man-made global warming, with the planet likely having warmed by 1 degree Celsius, an alarming climate change milestone.
Here's a look back at some of the extreme weather across the globe, from heat waves in Pakistan and India to Hurricane Patricia to droughts, floods, and fires across the United States. Jeva Lange
A U.S.-led airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan in October was the result of "human error," according to findings released today. The military had accidently aimed at the hospital instead of at the intended target, a Taliban command center 450 yards away. Technical errors were also at fault.
At least 30 staff members and patients were killed in the attack, which continued even after the humanitarian organization made repeated distress calls to U.S. and Afghan officials during the strike. "U.S. forces would never intentionally [strike] a hospital," Gen. John Campbell, the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said. Jeva Lange
President Obama is a man who likes his pies. He's even joked that his former pastry chef, Bill Yosses, is so good at what he does that it's like the pies have crack in them (Obama and Michelle fondly called Yosses "the Crustmaster").
"Some people prefer cake. I like pie." —President Obama http://t.co/42tOiQ2ogf
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 4, 2014
The Obama Thanksgiving dinners famously have all kinds of pies as a result of the president's tastes; last year there were at least half a dozen varieties including huckleberry, pecan, peach, apple, chocolate cream, sweet potato, pumpkin, cherry, and coconut and banana cream.
But why stop at six? Here's how you can make all of the famous White House pies from over the years. Jeva Lange
An estimated 1 percent of the U.S. population is catching a flight for Thanksgiving — although if their destinations are any indication, quite a few of those 3.6 million travelers aren't going home for the holiday. According to numbers crunched by The New York Times, places like Nevada and Hawaii have a large influx of incoming travelers this Thanksgiving, indicating that perhaps plenty of people across the U.S. have been pining for a little sun or slots. More than anywhere else, however, flights to Miami and Orlando have seen the biggest swell of travelers, once adjusted for populations.
To be fair, that doesn't necessarily mean everyone is racing to the beach rather than home to their families; "home to family," the Times points out, could mean visiting parents who have moved elsewhere and retired. Although that's not to say you can't kill two birds with one stone — both Orlando and Miami are expecting 80-degree Thanksgivings.
Take a look at where everyone's flying today, below. Jeva Lange
Speaking at a campaign event in South Carolina on Tuesday, Donald Trump suggested that Americans should call the police on new people in their neighborhoods who look suspicious while moving in.
"People move into a house a block down the road, you know who's going in," Trump said. "You can see and you report them to the local police." He noted that "most likely" reports will be wrong, "but that's OK." In this manner, Trump added, everyone can be "their own cop in a way."