Don Blankenship, the coal executive recently released from federal prison and now running for US Senate in West Virginia, this week accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of having conflicts of interest in foreign relations because his father-in-law is "a wealthy Chinaperson." Blankenship, one of three GOP leading candidates in the May 8 primary to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in this year's midterm elections, brought up McConnell's marriage to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a radio interview Monday. read more
R. Lee Ermey, an actor whose barking, foulmouthed drill instructor in "Full Metal Jacket" highlighted a decades-long career in which he frequently portrayed authority figures, died on Sunday morning. He was 74. Ermey, who was nicknamed the Gunny, earned a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor with his performance as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket," Stanley Kubrick's 1987 film.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Donald Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen killed a story Us Weekly was preparing about an affair Donald Trump Jr. allegedly had with a "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant. Us Weekly is owned by American Media Inc., which also owns The National Enquirer. That publication has been accused of paying $150,000 to buy all the rights from former Playboy model Karen McDougal about an alleged affair with Donald Trump that the Enquirer never planned to publish. read more
Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo encouraging federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty for certain drug trafficking offenses. Federal law allows for capital punishment in drug trafficking cases involving murder or homicide. But the attorney general also specifically called out one provision that allows for capital punishment in cases involving "extremely large quantities of drugs." That provision, 18 U.S.C. § 3591(b)(1), lays out quantities of drugs that could trigger capital punishment even in the absence of any accompanying violent crime. Experts say that no cases have ever been tried under this provision, and that it's almost certain that it would be declared unconstitutional if any such case were to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Linda Brown, 75, who as a little girl was at the center of the Brown v. Board of Education case that ended segregation in American schools, died Sunday afternoon in Topeka, Kansas. read more