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  • Letter from U.S. attorney general to lawmakers on Mueller report

    Letter from U.S. attorney general to lawmakers on Mueller reportIn addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with "a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General" or acting Attorney General "concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued." 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel's investigation.


  • Factbox: A scorecard of key players in U.S. special counsel Russia probe

    Factbox: A scorecard of key players in U.S. special counsel Russia probeU.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the presidential election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sow discord in the United States and damage the Republican Trump's Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Russia denies it. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction of justice.


  • Timeline: Big moments in Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 U.S. election

    Timeline: Big moments in Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 U.S. electionHere is a timeline of significant developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether President Donald Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow. 2017 May 17 - U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and to look into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and people associated with Republican Trump's campaign.


  • Factbox: Smoke or fire? Contacts between Trump campaign and Russia

    Factbox: Smoke or fire? Contacts between Trump campaign and RussiaTrump and Moscow have denied any collusion. Mueller handed in the keenly awaited report on his probe, the Justice Department said on Friday. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the presidential election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sow discord in the United States and damage the Republican Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.


  • Under heavy fire from Trump, Mueller soldiered on in Russia probe

    Under heavy fire from Trump, Mueller soldiered on in Russia probeIn this rare public appearance in May 2017, Mueller did not bring up President Donald Trump or the investigation, but offered a clear message stressing the importance of honesty and integrity. "You could be smart, aggressive, articulate, indeed persuasive, but if you are not honest, your reputation will suffer," Mueller said. The saying goes: If you have integrity, nothing else matters, and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters." On Friday, Mueller handed in the long-awaited report on his investigation.


  • Explainer: How much of the Mueller report must U.S. attorney general disclose?

    Explainer: How much of the Mueller report must U.S. attorney general disclose?Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has submitted the report on his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election, Attorney General William Barr must decide how much of the document - if any - to make public. Justice Department regulations governing special counsels adopted in 1999 give Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, broad discretion in deciding how much to release to Congress and the public. Barr, in his January Senate confirmation hearings after being nominated by Trump, promised to "provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law" - a pledge that still gives him a lot of wiggle room.


  • Explainer: Why Trump's legal woes go beyond the Mueller report

    Explainer: Why Trump's legal woes go beyond the Mueller reportThe closure of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election does not mark the end of legal worries for President Donald Trump and people close to him. Other ongoing investigations and litigation are focusing on issues including his businesses and financial dealings, personal conduct, charitable foundation and inaugural committee. The special counsel on Friday submitted his confidential report on the investigation to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who must decide on how much of it to make public.


  • Factbox: Who did not face charges in Mueller's probe?

    Factbox: Who did not face charges in Mueller's probe?Mueller handed in a confidential report on his investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who will decide how much of it to make public. Trump has repeatedly called Mueller’s investigation a "witch hunt" and denies any collusion with Russia.


  • Trump-Russia report handed in, U.S. lawmakers seek rapid release

    Trump-Russia report handed in, U.S. lawmakers seek rapid releaseAttorney General William Barr, who received the report from the former FBI director on Friday, told U.S. lawmakers he may be able to inform them of Mueller's "principal conclusions as soon as this weekend." Under Justice Department regulations, Barr is empowered to decide how much to disclose publicly. The big question is whether the report contains allegations of wrongdoing by Trump or exonerates him. Mueller investigated whether Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow to try to influence the election and whether the Republican president later unlawfully tried to obstruct his investigation.


  • Factbox: Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probe

    Factbox: Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probeSpecial Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election has ensnared dozens of people, including several advisers to President Donald Trump and a series of Russian nationals and companies. Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 U.S. Justice Department official, in May 2017 appointed Mueller to look into Russian interference, whether members of Trump's campaign coordinated with Moscow officials and whether the Republican president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Mueller has charged 34 people and three companies.


  • Missouri River flooding forces evacuation of 7,500 from waterfront city

    Missouri River flooding forces evacuation of 7,500 from waterfront cityRecord floodwaters that submerged vast stretches of Nebraska and Iowa farmland along America's longest river reached a new crest on Friday at the waterfront city of St. Joseph, Missouri, forcing chaotic evacuations of thousands from low-lying areas. With emergency sirens blaring as the Missouri River rose to the top of the three-story-high levee wall in St. Joseph, about 55 miles (88 km) north of Kansas City, Missouri, sheriff's deputies rushed door-to-door urging residents to flee to higher ground. About 1,500 residents and 6,000 employees of neighboring businesses were ushered out of the southern end of town, a city official said.


  • Jury clears Pennsylvania police officer of murder in Antwon Rose shooting

    Jury clears Pennsylvania police officer of murder in Antwon Rose shootingA Pittsburgh jury on Friday unanimously found that a white police officer did not commit murder when he fatally shot black teenager Antwon Rose, an incident that sparked protests and fueled a debate about racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system. East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld, 30, shot Rose, 17, as he fled from a car along with an 18-year-old associate who has since pleaded guilty to carrying out a drive-by shooting from the vehicle. "This case had nothing to do with race," Patrick Thomassey, Rosfeld's lawyer, told reporters outside the courtroom.


  • High times in Beverly Hills, with pot delivery and a Gucci ashtray

    High times in Beverly Hills, with pot delivery and a Gucci ashtrayHigh-end department store Barneys New York has given the marijuana lifestyle the luxury treatment, launching a range of pot-themed products this week in the latest sign a drug once associated with bohemians and deadbeats is moving up the social ladder. Customers at the upscale retailer's Beverly Hills store on Friday perused a new section with hand-blown glass bongs, Gucci ashtrays, jewelry inscribed with the words "Lighten Up" and cosmetics labeled as containing cannabidiol, a non-high inducing part of the cannabis plant. Marijuana remains banned by federal law, although California is one of 10 U.S. states that has legalized the drug for recreational use.


  • Mueller submits Trump-Russia report, lawmakers urge quick release

    Mueller submits Trump-Russia report, lawmakers urge quick releaseMarking the end of his nearly two-year investigation that ensnared former Trump aides and Russian intelligence officers and cast a cloud over the Republican businessman's presidency, Mueller submitted the report to Attorney General William Barr, the Justice Department said. Mueller did not recommend any further indictments, a senior Justice Department official said, in a sign that there might be no more criminal charges against Trump associates arising from the investigation.


  • U.S. agency error exposes 2.3 million disaster survivors to fraud: watchdog

    U.S. agency error exposes 2.3 million disaster survivors to fraud: watchdogThe U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) exposed 2.3 million disaster survivors to possible identity theft and fraud by improperly sharing sensitive personal information with an outside company, according to an internal government watchdog. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said FEMA had shared financial records and other sensitive information of people who had participated in an emergency shelter program after being displaced by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017. The Inspector General's office said FEMA had shared participants' home addresses and bank account information with the contractor, along with necessary information like their names and birthdates.


  • Texas petrochemical fire prompts hundreds to visit health clinic

    Texas petrochemical fire prompts hundreds to visit health clinicHundreds of neighborhood residents of a petrochemical plant that burned for three days and briefly emitted cancer-causing benzene into the air brought their coughs, headaches and other symptoms to a mobile clinic on Friday set up by local health officials. While some of the symptoms people complained of are consistent with exposure to chemicals, health officials said they treated a wide variety of ailments, including the anxiety that comes with living near an industrial accident. "The community is literally right next door to the plant," said Les Becker, director of operations for Harris County Public Health, at the clinic which was set up near the site of the blaze.


  • Houston petrochemical fire put out after it re-ignites, had added to shipping woes

    Houston petrochemical fire put out after it re-ignites, had added to shipping woesA petrochemical fire was quickly put out after it had re-ignited Friday at a fuel storage facility outside Houston, which had compounded the danger from a containment wall breach earlier in the day that spilled chemicals and halted ship traffic in the nation's busiest oil port. The fire in multiple giant tanks of fuel at Mitsui & Co.'s Intercontinental Terminals facility in Deer Park, Texas, was put out by emergency workers at the scene about an hour after it began. Hundreds of people showed up Friday to be checked at a medical clinic in Deer Park after air monitors a day earlier showed a spike in benzene, a cancer-causing chemical contained in the tanks of gasoline.


  • Mueller submits Trump-Russia report, clamor grows for its quick release

    Mueller submits Trump-Russia report, clamor grows for its quick releaseMarking the end of his nearly two-year investigation that ensnared former Trump aides and Russian intelligence officers and cast a cloud over the Republican businessman's presidency, Mueller submitted the report to Attorney General William Barr, the Justice Department said. It was not known if Mueller found criminal conduct by Trump or his campaign, beyond the charges already leveled against several aides. In all, Mueller brought charges against 34 people and three companies.


  • Main Mueller report findings to be made public when Congress receives them: official

    Main Mueller report findings to be made public when Congress receives them: officialWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The main conclusions of the report written by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be made public when they are delivered to Congress, a senior Justice Department official told reporters. The Justice Department will deliver a summary of the report's findings to lawmakers as soon as this weekend, the official said. (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Makini Brice)


  • FEMA error exposes 2.3 million disaster survivors to fraud: watchdog

    FEMA error exposes 2.3 million disaster survivors to fraud: watchdogThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said FEMA had shared financial records and other sensitive information of people who had participated in an emergency shelter program after being displaced by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the California wildfires in 2017. The Inspector General's office said FEMA had shared participants' home addresses and bank account information with the contractor, along with necessary information like their names and birthdates. In a statement released on Friday, FEMA spokeswoman Lizzie Litzow said the agency had found no indication to suggest survivor data had been "compromised." She said the agency has removed unnecessary information from the contractor's computer systems.


  • Explainer: Why Trump's legal woes go beyond the Mueller report

    Explainer: Why Trump's legal woes go beyond the Mueller reportOther ongoing investigations and litigation are focusing on issues including his businesses and financial dealings, personal conduct, charitable foundation and inaugural committee. The special counsel on Friday submitted his confidential report on the investigation to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who must decide on how much of it to make public. The U.S. Justice Department has a decades-old policy that a sitting president cannot face criminal charges, so such a case against Trump would be unlikely while he is in office even if there were evidence of wrongdoing.


  • Missouri River flooding forces evacuation of 7,500 from waterfront city

    Missouri River flooding forces evacuation of 7,500 from waterfront cityRecord floodwaters that submerged vast stretches of Nebraska and Iowa farmland along America's longest river reached a new crest on Friday at the waterfront city of St. Joseph, Missouri, forcing chaotic evacuations of thousands from low-lying areas. With emergency sirens blaring as the Missouri River rose to the top of the three-story-high levee wall in St. Joseph, about 55 miles (88 km) north of Kansas City, Missouri, sheriff's deputies rushed door-to-door urging residents to flee to higher ground.


  • Houston petrochemical fire put out after it re-ignites, had added to shipping woes

    Houston petrochemical fire put out after it re-ignites, had added to shipping woesA petrochemical fire was quickly put out after it had re-ignited Friday at a fuel storage facility outside Houston, which had compounded the danger from a containment wall breach earlier in the day that spilled chemicals and halted ship traffic in the nation's busiest oil port. The fire in multiple giant tanks of fuel at Mitsui & Co.'s Intercontinental Terminals facility in Deer Park, Texas, was put out by emergency workers at the scene about an hour after it began. Hundreds of people showed up Friday to be checked at a medical clinic in Deer Park after air monitors a day earlier showed a spike in benzene, a cancer-causing chemical contained in the tanks of gasoline.


  • Under heavy fire from Trump, Mueller soldiered on in Russia probe

    Under heavy fire from Trump, Mueller soldiered on in Russia probeIn this rare public appearance in May 2017, Mueller did not bring up President Donald Trump or the investigation, but offered a clear message stressing the importance of honesty and integrity. "You could be smart, aggressive, articulate, indeed persuasive, but if you are not honest, your reputation will suffer," Mueller said. The saying goes: If you have integrity, nothing else matters, and if you do not have integrity, nothing else matters." On Friday, Mueller handed in the long-awaited report on his investigation.


  • Timeline: Big moments in Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 U.S. election

    Timeline: Big moments in Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in 2016 U.S. electionHere is a timeline of significant developments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and whether President Donald Trump's campaign conspired with Moscow. 2017 May 17 - U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and to look into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and people associated with Republican Trump's campaign.


  • Factbox: Smoke or fire? Contacts between Trump campaign and Russia

    Factbox: Smoke or fire? Contacts between Trump campaign and RussiaTrump and Moscow have denied any collusion. Mueller handed in the keenly awaited report on his probe, the Justice Department said on Friday. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia interfered in the presidential election with a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sow discord in the United States and damage the Republican Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.


  • Letter from U.S. attorney general to lawmakers on Mueller report

    Letter from U.S. attorney general to lawmakers on Mueller reportThe following is the text of the letter United States Attorney General William Barr sent to the heads of the Senate and House of Representatives Judiciary committees after Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in a report on his investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election: Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins: I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with "a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General" or acting Attorney General "concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued." 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3).


  • U.S. asylum seekers returned to Mexico despite fear claims under policy challenged in court

    U.S. asylum seekers returned to Mexico despite fear claims under policy challenged in courtSAN FRANCISCO/TIJUANA (Reuters) - Two people from Central America seeking asylum in the United States were sent back across the border to Mexico on Thursday, despite their claims that a return to Mexico was too dangerous, as part of the first test of a controversial new Trump administration policy. The returns came as a U.S. federal judge in San Francisco on Friday heard legal arguments on whether or not to halt the policy, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which was rolled out in late January. The major policy shift is based on a decades-old law that says migrants who enter from a contiguous country can be returned there to wait as their deportation cases move forward.


  • Citizenship question on U.S. Census would cause Hispanic undercount by millions: study

    Citizenship question on U.S. Census would cause Hispanic undercount by millions: studyThe study by the Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy is the first to assess the impact of the proposed question since U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced plans last year to reinstate it for the first time in more than half a century. The study found the question could lead to census-takers missing between 3.9 million and 4.6 million Hispanics nationwide - or between 7.7 percent and 9.1 percent of the Hispanic population recorded in the last U.S. census, in 2010. Demographers, data experts and even Census Bureau officials have said the question risks frightening immigrants into abstaining from the count in a climate of stepped-up immigration enforcement.


  • Petrochemical fire reignites at fuels storage facility outside Houston

    Petrochemical fire reignites at fuels storage facility outside Houston(Reuters) - A petrochemical fire flared anew on Friday at a massive fuel storage facility on the Houston Ship Channel, compounding efforts to halt a chemicals leak at the Mitsui & Co.'s Intercontinental Terminals facility outside Houston.


  • U.S. judge recommends Manafort serve sentence in Maryland prison

    U.S. judge recommends Manafort serve sentence in Maryland prisonThe U.S. judge overseeing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's trial in Washington recommended on Friday that his sentence be served at a prison in Cumberland, Maryland. Earlier this month, Manafort was sentenced to a total of 7-1/2 years behind bars for witness tampering, tax and bank fraud, and other crimes. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will ultimately decide where Manafort will spend his sentence and the agency does not have to follow Judge Amy Berman Jackson's recommendation.


  • Ex-Chinese construction exec found guilty in U.S. of forced labor charges

    Ex-Chinese construction exec found guilty in U.S. of forced labor chargesA former executive for a Chinese construction company was found guilty on Friday of U.S. charges that he forced Chinese laborers to work in the New York area under a form of debt bondage. Dan Zhong, 49, was convicted by a jury in Brooklyn federal court after a nearly three-week trial. Zhong had served as the president of U.S. Rilin Corp, a unit of privately held Chinese construction conglomerate China Rilin Construction Group, which is headed by Zhong's billionaire uncle Wang Wenliang.


  • U.S. adds criminal charges against ex-Autonomy CEO Lynch

    U.S. adds criminal charges against ex-Autonomy CEO LynchLynch faces a new charge of securities fraud, which carries a maximum prison term of 25 years, as well as additional charges of wire fraud and conspiracy in the 17-count indictment filed with the federal court in San Francisco. The charges were revealed ahead of Monday's scheduled start of a $5 billion civil fraud trial in London's High Court, where HP is accusing Lynch and former Autonomy Chief Financial Officer Sushovan Hussain of involvement in accounting irregularities that caused it to overpay for the company. The wire fraud and conspiracy charges were also added against Lynch's co-defendant Stephen Chamberlain, a former Autonomy vice president of finance.


  • Trump: 'I know nothing' about Kushner's WhatsApp messaging

    Trump: 'I know nothing' about Kushner's WhatsApp messagingU.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he knew nothing about son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's use of the WhatsApp encrypted messaging tool, a day after a top Democratic congressman pressed the White House for information on the issue. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, on Thursday asked the White House about Kushner's use of the Facebook Inc-owned messaging application as part of his government work. In a letter to the White House, seen by Reuters, Cummings said Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell had told lawmakers that Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties, a move that would violate current law prohibiting White House officials from using non-official electronic messaging accounts.


  • New Jersey sues company over illegal 'ghost gun' sales

    New Jersey sues company over illegal 'ghost gun' salesThe civil lawsuit against U.S. Patriot Armory and its founder James Tromblee Jr was filed three days after Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced the arrests of four men for conspiring to sell six homemade AR-15 assault rifles. Such weapons are known as ghost guns because they cannot readily be traced. Ghost guns include firearms assembled from kits or made with 3D printers, and are sold with parts to make them operational.


  • Teen arrested over racist threat that closed Charlottesville schools

    Teen arrested over racist threat that closed Charlottesville schoolsCity leaders have worked to ease racial tensions in the city since a white nationalist rally in August 2017 descended into violence, with a white nationalist killing a counter-protester and injuring others after he drove into a crowd. The threat against Charlottesville High School was reported to the police on Wednesday afternoon, according to the police department. According to U.S Census Bureau data, African Americans make up around 19 percent of Charlottesville's population of nearly 50,000 people.


  • UCLA soccer coach charged in admissions fraud scandal resigns

    UCLA soccer coach charged in admissions fraud scandal resignsThe University of California, Los Angeles' men's soccer coach, Jorge Salcedo, who is among those charged in the biggest college admissions fraud scheme ever uncovered in the United States, resigned his post on Thursday, school officials said. Salcedo was one of nine current or former college coaches, as well as an associate athletic director, who were charged by federal prosecutors in Boston on March 12 in connection with the fraud scheme that has captured national attention. University officials confirmed Salcedo's resignation to Reuters on Friday, and said that they had no additional comment.


  • GM confirms plans to build new EV, invest $300 million in Michigan plant

    GM confirms plans to build new EV, invest $300 million in Michigan plantThe largest U.S. automaker has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump in recent days over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant earlier this month. GM officials said the announcement was planned well before Trump's series of angry GM tweets that started on Saturday. Trump called GM CEO Mary Barra on Sunday to urge her to reverse the decision to end production at the Ohio plant, which is in a crucial state for the 2020 presidential election.


  • Tyson recalls tons of chicken strips for possible metal contamination

    Tyson recalls tons of chicken strips for possible metal contaminationTyson Foods is recalling some 69,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strips that may have been contaminated with metal, the top U.S. meat processor said on Friday, marking its second recall this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said https://bit.ly/2UPFfIC late Thursday it had received two consumer complaints of extraneous material in Tyson's chicken strips and that there were no reports of illnesses. Tyson is recalling all its fully cooked buffalo-style chicken strip fritters, crispy chicken strips and chicken breast strip fritters, which have a use-before date of Nov. 30, 2019.


  • Engineering elections? U.S. top court examines electoral map manipulation

    Engineering elections? U.S. top court examines electoral map manipulationThanks to partisan gerrymandering - a practice the Supreme Court will examine on Tuesday in two cases that could impact American politics for decades - that is no longer the case. A U.S. House of Representatives district that once covered heavily Democratic Greensboro was reconfigured in 2016, with the voters in the city of 290,000 people inserted into two other districts spanning rural areas with reliable Republican majorities. In adopting the electoral map, the legislature partitioned the campus of North Carolina A&T State University, the nation's largest historically black public college, into two separate districts.


  • Democrats push financial inclusion as 2020 election race heats up

    Democrats push financial inclusion as 2020 election race heats upFollowing the 2008 financial crisis, many banks pulled back from their poorest customers. The shift has had lasting costs for millions of Americans now struggling to access mainstream financial services such as checking accounts and credit cards. The three Democrats, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have advocated for the U.S. Postal Service to provide banking services.


  • Climate change's fingerprints are on U.S. Midwest floods: scientists

    Climate change's fingerprints are on U.S. Midwest floods: scientistsThe "bomb cyclone" that dumped rain on Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri and killed at least four people now threatens a wider region downstream of swollen rivers and smashed levees. "The atmosphere is pretty close to fully saturated, it's got all the water it can take," said Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Big storms like the bomb cyclone and Hurricane Harvey, which smacked Houston in 2017 with record downpours, are where the impact of climate change can most clearly be seen, he said, adding that climate change's fingerprints were all over the recent storm.


  • Amid U.S. Midwest flooding, residents in Missouri, Kansas rush to fill sandbags

    Amid U.S. Midwest flooding, residents in Missouri, Kansas rush to fill sandbagsFlooding of the Missouri River triggered by last week's so-called "bomb cyclone" storm has already inflicted damage estimated at nearly $1.5 billion in Nebraska, killed at least four people in Nebraska and Iowa and left a man missing below Nebraska's collapsed Spencer Dam. Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency for his state as high water forced evacuations of several small farm communities. Larger towns from St. Joseph to Kansas City braced for additional flooding forecast through the weekend.


  • New Mexico compound suspects plead not guilty, targeted as Muslims: lawyers

    New Mexico compound suspects plead not guilty, targeted as Muslims: lawyersThe three women and two men faced charges last week of conspiring to support planned attacks on U.S. law enforcement officers, military members and government employees while living in their makeshift home in Taos County, New Mexico. The case gained significant attention after Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said the group were "extremist of the Muslim belief" and prosecutors accused them of training two teenage sons to carry out school shootings. Defendants Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41, are all related as siblings or by marriage.


  • Man charged with sending bombs to Trump critics pleads guilty

    Man charged with sending bombs to Trump critics pleads guiltyA Florida man pleaded guilty on Thursday to using weapons of mass destruction and other crimes in connection with mailing explosives to prominent Democrats and other critics of U.S. President Donald Trump. Cesar Sayoc, 57, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan federal court, speaking in a halting, shaky voice that often dropped to a whisper. Sayoc listed the intended recipients of his packages, including former President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, billionaire investor and Democratic donor George Soros, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, actor Robert DeNiro and CNN.


  • Trump signs executive 'free speech' order for U.S. colleges

    Trump signs executive 'free speech' order for U.S. collegesU.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order linking "free speech" efforts at public universities to federal grants in an effort to combat what he considers a clamp down on conservative students' abilities to share their views. Under the order, the schools will themselves certify whether they are protecting students' free speech rights, which are already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. Trump administration officials have suggested that the rights of speakers on college campuses have been trampled by student protesters, and that conservatives have been unfairly targeted.


  • Climate change's fingerprints are on U.S. Midwest floods: scientists

    Climate change's fingerprints are on U.S. Midwest floods: scientistsThe "bomb cyclone" that dumped rain on Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri and killed at least four people now threatens a wider region downstream of swollen rivers and smashed levees. "The atmosphere is pretty close to fully saturated, it's got all the water it can take," said Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Big storms like the bomb cyclone and Hurricane Harvey, which smacked Houston in 2017 with record downpours, are where the impact of climate change can most clearly be seen, he said, adding that climate change's fingerprints were all over the recent storm.


  • Missouri governor declares state of emergency amid rising floodwaters in Midwestern U.S.

    Missouri governor declares state of emergency amid rising floodwaters in Midwestern U.S.Flooding triggered by last week's so-called "bomb cyclone" storm has already inflicted damage estimated at nearly $1.5 billion in Nebraska, killed at least four people in Nebraska and Iowa and left a man missing below Nebraska's collapsed Spencer Dam. "The rising floodwaters are affecting more Missouri communities and farms, closing more roads and threatening levees, water treatment plants and other critical infrastructure," Governor Mike Parson said in issuing his emergency declaration. "We will continue to work closely with our local partners to assess needs and provide resources to help as Missourians continue this flood fight and as we work to assist one another," Parson said.


  • Houston suburbs lift travel restrictions imposed after petrochemical fire

    Houston suburbs lift travel restrictions imposed after petrochemical fireTwo Houston-area cities told residents to stay indoors and closed schools on Thursday due to air pollution from a petrochemical plant fire, then lifted the travel restrictions after airborne levels of the chemicals abated. The three-day blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas, was extinguished on Wednesday after sending a plume of smoke over the area from 11 burning fuel tanks. No injuries were reported, but air monitors detected high levels of benzene, a toxic chemical linked to cancer.


  • Pastor convicted of hacking, insider trading gets five years prison: NY judge

    Pastor convicted of hacking, insider trading gets five years prison: NY judgeA former hedge fund manager who also worked as a pastor was sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison after being convicted of insider trading on non-public corporate press releases stolen by computer hackers. Vitaly Korchevsky, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie in Brooklyn after being convicted by a jury last July on two securities fraud counts and three conspiracy counts. Korchevsky was among 10 people, including seven traders and three Ukraine-based hackers, criminally charged in Brooklyn and New Jersey over the theft of more than 150,000 press releases from Business Wire, Marketwired and PR Newswire that had yet to be made public from February 2010 to August 2015.


 

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