The tiny and extremely rich European nation of Liechtenstein is mourning the loss of a member of its royal family, Prince Constantin.
The cause of death was not shared for the 51-year-old, who passed away unexpectedly.
He was the youngest son of the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, and seventh in line to the throne.
The prince leaves behind his wife, Princess Marie, and their three children, Prince Moritz, 20, Princess Georgina, 18, and Prince Benedikt, 15.
After studying law in Salzburg, Prince Constantin took on management roles at Liechtenstein Group, the largest royal family-owned private banking and asset management group in the world.
He also ran the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation, which controls nearly all of the royal family's wealth, estimated at roughly $6 billion.
The family's property includes "one of the largest private art collections in the world, the LGT Group, a museum, the Vaduz Court Winery and various real estate," local newspaper Vaterland reported.
A minute's silence was observed in the state parliament in tribute to the departed prince.
Bishop Benno Elbs, the Apostolic Administrator of the capital Vaduz, sent his condolences to the royal family and urged the people of Liechtenstein to pray for the prince.
"This afternoon, at 15 p.m., the bells rang in all the parish churches of the archdiocese," Elbs said.
"I invite all the faithful of the Principality to join in praying for Prince Constantine and thus to express their attachment to the Princely House. I wish Prince Hans-Adam II, Princess Marie, the children and all those who mourn the deceased much strength and comfort in the hope of the resurrection."
"They may be supported by the many people who pray for the deceased throughout the Principality. May God grant Prince Constantine eternal rest."
Liechtenstein was formed in 1719 as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, eventually gaining independence in the 19th century after the wars of Napoleon.
The Princely House of Liechtenstein is one of the oldest royal families in Europe. Dating to the 12th century, the family takes its name from a castle near Vienna, Austria.
Liechtenstein is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, per capita.
The German-speaking, landlocked constitutional monarchy is situated between Austria and Switzerland and is one of the smallest countries in the world, with an area of just 62 square miles and a population of about 40,000.
The Justice Department announced first-of-its-kind war crimes charges against four Russians accused of torturing an American.
The charges were announced at a press briefing Wednesday where attorney general Merrick Garland shared some details.
The victim was living in a village in southern Ukraine when the Russian military took him into captivity for ten days and brutalized him.
The accused are two Russian officers, Suren Seiranovich Mkrtchyan and Dmitry Budnik, and two enlisted men known only as Valerii and Nazar.
This marks the first time ever that the DOJ has filed federal charges for war crimes.
"We allege that as they interrogated him, they tortured him. They beat him, again, with a gun. They punched him in his chest and stomach. They threatened to shoot him. They stripped off his clothes and took pictures. One of their conspirators threatened to sexually assault him," Garland said.
Attorney general Garland touted the charges as an "important step toward accountability for the Russian regime's illegal war in Ukraine."
"We will not forget the atrocities in Ukraine, and we will never stop working to bring those responsible to justice," he continued.
The Hague issued a largely symbolic arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, whom Biden has labeled a war criminal, earlier this year.
Just like Putin, it is not clear how these four Russian soldiers will be brought to the United States to face justice.
The charges could be seen as a face-saving maneuver by the Biden administration as it faces the possibility of having to negotiate with Russia to end the war in Ukraine.
After nearly two years of fighting, a sense of fatalism has begun to creep in as Ukraine continues to struggle to repel the Russian invasion.
Republicans in Congress rejected Biden's pleas for more aid to Ukraine this week, a sign of how skepticism of U.S. involvement in the war is rising in Washington and among the general public.
Biden warned, "This cannot wait," speaking with a sense of urgency that he has not shown towards the crisis at America's southern border.
Biden and Department of Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas have been under fire from Republicans for failing to secure the border.
In an ironic statement, Mayorkas said, "There is no higher responsibility of government than to safeguard its people" during Wednesday's photo-op with Garland.
A mother and son who helped steal Nancy Pelosi's (D-Ca.) laptop on January 6th have been sentenced to home incarceration.
Maryann Mooney-Rondon, of upstate New York, and her son Rafael Rondon were reprimanded by U.S. District Judge Jia Cobb for their "juvenile" actions.
They both spent about half an hour inside the Capitol. Neither was accused of any violence.
At one point, they entered a conference room where they helped an unidentified man steal Pelosi's laptop. They also stole a pair of respiratory devices meant for lawmakers and then left the Capitol.
Mooney-Rondon was convicted of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting theft of government property following a bench trial in March. Her son pled guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding last December.
The judge sentenced Maryann Mooney-Rondon to 12 months of home incarceration and Rafael Rondon to 18 months of home incarceration. Both were sentenced to five years' probation.
Judge Cobb described the punishment as "jail but at home."
In addition, Maryann Rondon must pay $3,657.51 in restitution, a fine of $7,500, and perform 350 hours of community service, and her son was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and perform 350 hours of community service.
The Biden Justice Department wanted more than 51 months in prison - more than 4 years - for Rafael Rondon and 46 months for Maryann Moony-Rondon.
But the judge resisted these steep punishments, distinguishing between their "juvenile" conduct and more dramatic crimes like espionage or theft of government secrets.
The judge did not find their conduct reflected any "master plot," a reporter who was present said.
While acknowledging their crimes were not particularly serious, the judge insisted she was letting them off easy.
"I just think that they were acting very stupidly,” Cobb said. “No offense.”
Moony-Rondon and Rondon have both apologized, saying they suffered a lapse in judgment.
“I was the adult in the room, and I failed,” Mooney-Rondon said. “I have brought embarrassment to my family.”
“If we had to do it all over, we would have just stayed home and watched from the safety of our living room,” she continued.
More than 1,000 people have been charged in the Justice Department's probe. Some have been accused of assaulting police, but most of the defendants are not accused of any violence.
Just how radical is the "Squad?" Only one member of the notorious left-wing group voted against a resolution affirming Israel's right to exist on Tuesday.
That member? None other than Rashida Tlaib, the notorious bomb-thrower from Michigan.
Even Ilhan Omar (D-MN), the notorious anti-Semite with a soft spot for Islamists, votes "yes" that Israel has a right to exist. The House voted 412-1-1 to send that message.
For years, the so-called "Squad" faced criticism of their anti-Israel, many say anti-Semitic, views. But it appears their agenda has been sidelined in a big way.
A lone Republican, libertarian Thomas Massie (KY), voted "no", while Tlaib voted present on the resolution backing Israel. Massie expressed concern that the resolution's language was too broad.
"Antisemitism is deplorable, but expanding it to include criticism of Israel is not helpful," he said.
The resolution says in part, "denying Israel’s right to exist is a form of antisemitism.”
While Massie had more abstract concerns about speech, Tlaib - the only Palestinian member of Congress - has not kept hidden her intense emotional connection to Palestine.
Her impassioned, many say extreme, rhetoric surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict has made her a black sheep in Congress, which supports Israel overwhelmingly.
The House took the rare step weeks ago to censure Tlaib for using a slogan seen by many as a call for Israel's destruction, "from the river to the sea."
But Tlaib called for "peaceful coexistence" in a lengthy post deploring the lopsided House vote. She claimed the "one-sided" resolution ignored Palestine's existence.
"Unfortunately, this resolution is a one-sided attempt to rewrite history, contributes to the ongoing erasure of Palestinians by not even acknowledging their existence," she said.
Tlaib called on Israel to release "arbitrarily detained" Palestinians, equating them with the innocent Israelis taken captive by Hamas.
“I support the release of Israeli civilians and ask my colleagues to demand the same for Palestinian civilians being held by Israeli forces without charge or trial," she said.
Hamas and Israel are currently in a cease-fire, and Hamas has begun releasing some hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
Tlaib voted "yes" on an unanimously passed resolution condemning Hamas' brutal October 7 attack.
Thousands of Palestinians have died in Israel's military effort to wipe out Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.
Investing guru Charlie Munger, the longtime close friend and business partner of Warren Buffett, has died. He was 99.
Known for his pithy financial wisdom, Munger spent decades as Buffett's right-hand man and vice chairman of their company Berkshire Hathaway.
He died at a hospital in California.
“Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett said in a statement.
Munger wasn't a believer in retirement. In an interview with CNBC taped ahead of what would have been his 100th birthday, he attributed his and Buffett's success to wise decisions and a desire to keep working.
“We got a little less crazy than most people and a little less stupid than most people and that really helped us,” he said.
Munger was born in Omaha, the same hometown as Buffett, and even worked in the grocery store owned by Buffett's grandfather. But Munger and Buffett did not meet until they were grown men - and became immediate friends.
Together, the pair transformed textile mill Berkshire Hathaway into a massive, multinational conglomerate. Munger served as vice chairman and Buffett as CEO.
"Charlie has taught me a lot about valuing businesses and about human nature,” Buffett said in 2008.
Investors would flock every year to Omaha to hear Buffet and Munger share their advice. Munger would let Buffett do most of the talking, often saying, "I have nothing more to add."
Before venturing into finance, Munger took a degree in law at Harvard and served in the Army during World War II.
Despite his great wealth, Munger was famously modest, and he was known for dispensing simple maxims: spend less than you earn, delay gratification, and always be learning more.
"The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the waiting," was one of his quotes.
As he put it, the secret to success isn't so secret.
“You don’t have a lot of envy, you don’t have a lot of resentment, you don’t overspend your income. You stay cheerful in spite of your troubles," he said.
"You deal with reliable people, and you do what you’re supposed to. All these simple rules work so well to make your life better, and they’re so trite."
Munger certainly led an admirable and prosperous life. RIP.
The former controller at the Trump Organization had an emotional breakdown on the witness stand during Donald Trump's civil fraud trial, as he described being driven from a job he loved by relentless investigations from Trump's rivals.
Jeffrey McConney said he "gave up" after years of being subpoenaed and harassed with questions about Trump's assets.
Despite being one of the most famous real estate icons in the world, Trump never came under legal scrutiny until he entered the political arena.
After years of investigating Trump and his business, Democratic Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump last year, alleging he defrauded lenders by inflating his assets.
During his testimony Tuesday, McConney said he was "proud" of the work he performed at the Trump Organization from 1987 until this February.
Asked by Trump's defense why he left, McConnell lost his composure.
“I just wanted to relax and stop being accused of misrepresenting assets for the company that I loved working for. I’m sorry,” he said.
The judge, Arthur Engoron, has already ruled against Trump, who says the judge is biased against him. Trump has argued that his financial statements undervalued his actual wealth and that they came with "buyer beware" disclaimers.
Trump's expert witnesses have criticized the state's attempts to peg an exact value on Trump's iconic properties, such as Mar-A-Lago and Trump Tower.
“I think everything was justified. Numbers don’t represent fully what these assets are worth,” McConney said.
“To be hit over the head every time with a negative comment over something is just really frustrating, and I gave up,” he said.
James wants to fine Trump $250 million and bar him from doing business in New York. McConney is a defendant in the case along with Trump, his two adult sons, and the Trump Organization.
Trump has made numerous appearances in court to disparage the case and James as politically motivated, including in combative testimony to Engoron.
Trump, who is under a frozen gag order, blasted "racist" James and called Engoron a "psycho" in a scathing Thanksgiving Day post.
Trump accused Engoron of "purposely Valuing my Assets at a ‘tiny’ Fraction of what they are really worth in order to convict me of Fraud before even a Trial."
The case is expected to wrap up in December.
Eugene Vindman, the lesser-known identical brother of Trump impeachment witness Alexander Vindman, is running for Congress in Virginia.
Vindman announced that he is running for the open seat being vacated by Rep. Abigail Spanberger, (D) a former CIA officer who is leaving to challenge Republican governor Glenn Youngkin.
Eugene Vindman is adopting the popular theme of defending "democracy" from President Trump, who was impeached a second time over an alleged "insurrection" at the Capitol.
"I'm no longer serving in uniform but now I have a new mission. To defend democracy, fight Trump and MAGA extremists, and serve the people of Virginia. I'm running for VA7!" Vindman wrote.
The 48-year-old retired Army Colonel was a top lawyer and ethics official at the National Security Council before he was fired from the NSC, along with his brother, for undermining the president.
Along with his brother, Eugene Vindman helped report (that is, leak) President Trump's private phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden's ties to Ukraine.
Trump was impeached over the phone call, and Alexander Vindman was a star witness during the made-for-TV trial led by Democrat Adam Schiff (Ca.).
While the Ukraine impeachment saga has largely been forgotten, the Vindman brothers are continuing to take advantage of their minor notoriety.
Eugene Vindman was promptly endorsed by Schiff as a champion of "democracy."
"We need more members of Congress committed to protecting our democracy," Schiff wrote.
Eugene Vindman also received an endorsement from actor Ben Stiller, who called him "extremely decent" and a good friend.
I don’t usually do this kind of posting but my friend is running for Congress. He’s incredibly qualified, experienced and extremely decent. We need people like him serving us and the country. https://t.co/lCzgbLLSET
— Ben Stiller (@BenStiller) November 16, 2023
Alexander Vindman got into hot water months ago over a report that he was profiting from the war in Ukraine with lucrative military contracts.
Both brothers, Ukrainian immigrants, are known for their criticism of Trump and equally vocal advocacy for Ukraine and "our democracy."
Eugene Vindman is likely to face competition from other Democrats in the primary, and the general election race in the purplish 7th district is sure to be competitive.