A Russian woman has admitted to acting as an agent for the Kremlin to get close to the Republican party in an effort to influence US policies. Maria Butina, 30, pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy in a court in Washington on Thursday, admitting to working under the direction of a top Russian official to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful gun rights group closely aligned with senior Republican politicians. She is the first Russian citizen to be convicted of working to shape US policy in the run up and through the 2016 election campaign, agreeing to co-operate with prosecutors for less prison time.
Three people who disappeared in a closed West Virginia mine last weekend have been rescued and taken to a hospital in what Gov. Jim Justice called a "Christmas miracle." Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31, and Cody Beverly, 21, were found Wednesday inside the Rock House Powellton Mine near Clear Creek, Justice announced. They emerged within hours, and video from the scene showed the group walking toward medical personnel to big applause.
At the close of a week of talks in Sweden, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a framework for political negotiations would be discussed at the next round of talks at the end of January between the Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Western nations, some of which supply arms and intelligence to the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015, had pressed the two sides to agree confidence-building steps to pave the way for a wider truce and a political process to end the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people. The conflict has pushed Yemen, the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula, to the verge of famine.
A middle school student in Delaware has been allowed to change his surname after enduring relentless bullying from his peers. Joshua Trump, who is not related to President Donald Trump, will now be known at school as Joshua Berto after dropping his mother’s surname for his father’s. The 11-year-old’s parents told ABC affiliate WPVI that the bullying of their son had been relentless and first started when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign.
A Georgia police officer and a suspect died Thursday night after a traffic stop led to a foot chase and shooting just east of Atlanta, authorities said. DeKalb County police Chief James Conroy said at a news conference that the unidentified officer and suspect died at an Atlanta hospital from injuries sustained during the Thursday evening shooting, according to news outlets. "Tonight, a DeKalb County Police officer died in the line of duty serving its citizens of DeKalb County," Conroy said.
The gunman who killed three people at a Christmas market in Strasbourg was shot dead by French police on Thursday as the Islamic State jihadist group claimed him as one of its “soldiers”. More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night — the latest in a string of jihadist attacks to rock France. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said three police tried to question Chekatt after spotting him on the street in the Neudorf area of the northeastern French city where he grew up, but he opened fire.
The automaker Porsche has presented a prototype charging station in Germany with an output of up to 450kW. Increasing the available charge capacity to up to 450kW considerably reduces the charging time, in turn increasing the number of vehicles able to use the technology in a given space of time. Two such charging stations are currently available to use, free of charge, as part of the test phase.
The former Canadian diplomat who has written about some of the touchiest geopolitical issues in the world, including China’s expanding military footprint in Africa and the North Korea nuclear crisis, is now at the center of a stand-off between two global super-powers. Kovrig was detained by China’s spy agency during a visit to Beijing on Monday, just nine days after Canadian authorities, acting on a U.S. request, arrested a top Huawei Technologies Co. executive in Vancouver. The Chinese government confirmed Kovrig has been detained, according to a Canadian government official briefing reporters Wednesday evening in Ottawa.
Former Venezuelan oil minister Nelson Martinez, imprisoned over corruption allegations, died Wednesday of health complications, the prosecutor's office said. Martinez, who also served as president of state oil firm PDVSA, was arrested on November 30 last year, four days after President Nicolas Maduro removed him from his position. "Nelson Martinez was suffering from a serious chronic illness whose progression aggravated his condition and led to his death.
To hear some outgoing senators tell it, the body they are leaving no longer deserves to be called “the world’s greatest deliberative body. The United States Senate is no longer the world’s greatest deliberative body, and everybody needs to quit saying it until we recover from this period of polarization and the fear of the political consequences of tough votes,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. said Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor.
A former Baylor University fraternity president accused of rape who will serve no jail time has been banned from the University of Texas at Dallas' campus and graduation activities. Jacob Anderson, 24, accepted a deal to plead no contest to a charge of unlawful restraint earlier this week. According to an arrest warrant, Anderson led a 19-year-old woman behind a house in 2016 where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her until she blacked out.
Brazil on Friday launched the first of five attack submarines built with French technology in a 35 billion-real ($8.9 billion) program planned to end in 2029 with delivery of a nuclear-powered submarine. President Michel Temer and his right-wing successor, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, both pressed the button that lowered into the sea the 1,700-ton submarine named Riachuelo at a Rio de Janeiro naval base. Temer's wife, Marcela, had christened the vessel, by smashing a champagne bottle against its hull.
A disgruntled employee at a Canadian Walmart decided that he wasn’t going to quit quietly. In a video posted to Facebook on Friday, a 17-year-old worker named Jackson Racicot grabbed the PA mic and told everyone in the store what he really thought about working there. Racicot then dove into individual grievances, starting with his manager who apparently had called him “a waste of time.” He goes on to say that promises had been made and not kept, and details the story of how he was given only benefits of a part-time employee even though he worked full-time.
Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was also sitting next to his wife on the overnight flight in January. Ramamoorthy had molested the victim while unbuttoning her blouse and unzipping her trousers as she slept. Prosecutors asked the court for a sentence of nearly 11 years but James Amberg, Ramamoorthy’s defence lawyer, had asked the court for a sentence of less than 10 years.
Abbas' office issued a statement on Thursday, shortly after a Palestinian gunman killed two Israelis near a West Bank settlement, accusing Israel of creating a "climate" conducive to violence through its frequent military operations in Palestinian cities. Abbas also accused Israel of incitement against him. His statement says that "the absence of the horizon of peace is what led to this series of violence, which we condemn and reject, and for which both sides pay a price."
Father Jim Sichko had a calling and it wasn't just to God. It was to, well, everybody. Pope Francis named the Kentucky-based priest to a newly created fleet of Papal Missionaries, ministers who travel the world offering acts of mercy.
The artists' first solo museum exhibition premiered during Miami Art Week.
A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl died in American custody after being detained by US border police in New Mexico, The Washington Post reported on Thursday. The girl who illegally crossed the border from Mexico along with her father and dozens of others died last week of "dehydration and shock," the newspaper reported, citing US Customs and Border Protection. She had "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days," the CBP told the Post, who said she began having seizures more than eight hours after being detained.
China blamed Canada for fanning public outrage by arresting Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou earlier this month, as Beijing continued to ramp up pressure on the U.S. ally. The Canadian government at the request of the U.S. side wrongly detained the Chinese citizen,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said. This action has aroused public anger in China.
Cash deposited in Robinhood's new checking and savings product that was rolled out this week by the fintech investing platform is not insured by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the nonprofit membership corporation said Friday. Robinhood made headlines on Thursday when it announced that the new products can earn 3 percent, much better than what traditional banks offer on checking and savings accounts. It's also the highest yield among online banks and other fintechs known to provide generous deposit rates.
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, made a rare television appearance on Fox News this week, where he spoke about the need to reform a criminal justice system that he characterized as “the best in the world. The problem with that statement is, of course, that the U.S. criminal justice system is not the best in the world. Not even close to it, really.
Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday. The claims, so far, fall short of the record $12 billion in wildfire-related insured losses sustained in California in 2017, most of that from more than a dozen blazes that swept a large swath of wine country north of San Francisco Bay, killing 46 people. This year, the Camp Fire that erupted on Nov. 8 has accounted for the bulk of the claims, just over $7 billion of the total.
Counterterrorism officials said a series of bomb threats reported across the country appeared to be a hoax after scammers targeted media outlets and major institutions demanding Bitcoin in exchange for their safety. The bomb threats came in the form of spam emails demanding recipients provide ransom payments in the form of the electronic currency, and targeted schools, media outlets, police precincts and other organisations, reportedly including at least 13 locations across New York City. “I write to inform you that my man has carried the bomb (Tetryl) into the building where your business is located,” read one of the emails posted to social media, which demanded $20,000 in Bitcoin.
From the Samsung Galaxy Watch to Tag Heuer's Connected Modular 41, these smartwatches shouldn't be on your radar—they should be on your wrist
The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday called on the United Nations, the leaders of Germany and France, the pope and other spiritual leaders to protect believers in Ukraine in the face of pressure on Moscow-affiliated clerics. Ukraine's Orthodox clerics will gather for a meeting Saturday that is expected to form a new, independent Ukrainian church, and Ukrainian authorities have ramped up pressure on priests to support the move. The Ukrainian church has been part of the Russian Church for centuries, while enjoying broad autonomy, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pushed for the creation of an independent church.