Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday awarded the nation's highest medal, the Hero of Russia, to the pilot who managed to smoothly land his disabled passenger plane in a cornfield after a flock of birds hit both engines and knocked them out. The experienced captain, 41-year-old Damir Yusupov, said Friday that a quick landing was his only chance and he was not afraid of handling it. He said he had hoped to circle the airport and land normally when one engine shut down due to the bird strike moments after taking off from Moscow's Zhukovsky Airport.
A man put to death in the US state of Tennessee on Thursday for murdering a woman and her daughter chose in his final hours to be electrocuted rather than executed by lethal injection, prison officials said. Stephen West, who was convicted in the two killings more than 30 years ago, waited until Wednesday to choose his method of execution -- one day after Tennessee's Republican Governor Bill Lee refused his request for clemency. "After thorough consideration of Stephen West's request for clemency and a review of the case, the State of Tennessee's sentence will stand, and I will not be intervening," he said in a statement.
The city of Portland is braced for violence with anti-fascist groups expected to face down a right-wing rally that's expected to draw demonstrators from across America. Self-described anti-fascists — known as Antifa — say they will confront the rally in Oregon while leaders from the far-right urged their followers to turn out in large numbers to protest the arrests of six members of right-wing groups in the run-up to the event. Authorities have asked residents not to call 911 unless it's a life-threatening emergency and to stay away from the heart of the downtown area.
All eyes were on North Philadelphia last night after a gunman fired on police serving a narcotics warrant. At around 4:30 p.m., the suspect barricaded himself in a North Philadelphia home and began a standoff that would last for almost eight hours. Thankfully, the injuries to the police officers were not life-threatening and the two officers trapped inside were evacuated by a SWAT team several hours before the suspect, Maurice Hill, surrendered.
The U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar, a day after a judge in the British overseas territory ordered its release. The U.S. move late Friday deepens a weeks-long diplomatic dispute between Tehran and Washington. It also comes amid a standoff between the two countries after President Donald Trump withdrew from an international nuclear accord with Tehran and reimposed sanctions.
Sex offenders have rights, too, and in some cases the state has been violating those rights, the NC Supreme Court ruled on Friday. The ruling concerns people who have been ordered to submit to satellite-based monitoring for the rest of their lives, which forces them to wear a tracking device so law enforcement can track their location via GPS using an ankle bracelet. Nearly 500 North Carolina sex offenders could now be freed from lifetime surveillance by the GPS monitoring program.
A 72-year-old man was seriously injured after attempting to break up a fight between his pet dog and a giant Goanna lizard, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported. Attempting to save his pup, a long-haired Jack Russell named Lilly, the man sustained a laceration and possible fracture on his right arm. Goannas are a carnivorous monitor lizard found in Australia.
Mexican authorities arrested a U.S. citizen suspected of supporting militant Islamists in an example of Mexico's security cooperation with the United States even as the two neighbors grapple with sharp disagreements over trade and migration. The unidentified American man sought by Interpol was under investigation for supporting terrorist groups and will be deported to the United States later on Friday, the Mexico's attorney general's office said in a statement. The man was detained at a migrants office near Mexico's border with Guatemala in the town of Huehuetan with the help of officials from Mexico's National Migration Institute.
A gun-rights group sued Thursday to block California from enforcing its assault weapons ban, contending it violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The lawsuit was the latest among gun advocacy and lobbying groups to challenge California's firearms laws, which are among the strictest in the country, and comes after a recent series of deadly mass shootings nationwide involving military-style rifles. The lawsuit was filed in the same San Diego federal court district where a judge in April tossed out a nearly two-decade-old California ban on sales and purchases of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has suggested Israel should now decline the billions of dollars it receives in U.S. aid in the wake of its ban on Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.
A rights activist in Kazakhstan who faced seven years imprisonment over his outspoken opposition to neighbouring China was unexpectedly freed Friday as public and international pressure over his case mounted. Serikjan Bilash, whose activism in defence of Muslim and Turkic minorities in Xinjiang earned him global media attention, told AFP he struck a plea bargain with the court that allowed him freedom but will end his activism. "I had to end my activism against China.
Authorities arrested the leader of a right-wing group on the eve of a rally that's expected to draw people from around the U.S. to Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, prompting Patriot Prayer's Joey Gibson to urge his followers to "show up one hundred-fold" in response. Self-described anti-fascists have vowed to confront the right-wing groups at the downtown rally and the arrests of Gibson and five other right-wing supporters appeared to be intended to send a signal from police to organizers to remain peaceful or stay away. In a video he livestreamed on Facebook, Gibson accused the police of playing politics by arresting him and other right-wing members but not the masked demonstrators who beat up conservative blogger Andy Ngo at a June 29 rally.
The “missing” former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein and the woman accused of recruiting young women for him – claims she has strongly denied – has been spotted eating at a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles. In the days since the death of the disgraced financier, accused of sex trafficking young girls, much attention has focused on the whereabouts of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late press baron Robert Maxwell, and Epstein's longtime confidante. “Well, I guess this is the last time I'll be eating here,” the 57-year-old is said to have remarked after being snapped at an In-N-Out restaurant in Los Angeles, according to the New York Post.
In the past few weeks, Customs and Border Patrol officials have been spotted by commuters at Greyhound bus stations across Miami-Dade and Broward counties, asking riders on board, or in the process of boarding a bus, for proof of legal status. The U.S. Border Patrol confirmed the sightings in an email to the Miami Herald: “U.S. Border Patrol has been performing enforcement actions away from the immediate border in direct support of border enforcement efforts and as a means of preventing trafficking, smuggling and other criminal organizations from exploiting our public and private transportation infrastructure to travel to the interior of the United States.
Workers at a new Shell plant in Pennsylvania say were told they had to attend a speech by President Donald Trump in order to get paid, according to a report from the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. The president's rally-style speech, which a senior administration official described as "not a political event but an official event," included jabs at Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, calls for union leaders to support him in 2020, a warning that Democrats would take their jobs, and taking credit for the complex, which is still under construction and was first announced in 2012 when former president Barack Obama was still in office.
The boss of Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways quit on Friday, the highest-profile corporate casualty of unrest roiling the former British colony, after Beijing targeted the airline over staff involvement in mass protests. The corporate upheaval comes ahead of a weekend where further protests are planned, including what could be a large gathering on Sunday that could test whether a movement that has enjoyed broad support can retain it, even as violence escalates. Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement that has enshrined some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back from Britain in 1997.
In South Carolina, the first state with a predominantly African American electorate, part of the dialogue focuses on a conflict between a cultural openness for same-sex marriage and the deeply held religious convictions that could impede support for the 2020 race's only gay candidate — Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The historically diverse field of Democratic presidential hopefuls is overflowing with options. But it is also forcing conversations about the roles — if any — that gender, race and, for the first time, sexuality should play in voters' decisions.
While studying a Leonardo da Vinci painting in 2005, researchers found a hidden painting underneath. Researchers are still unsure why Da Vinci originally covered it up. Thanks to books and movies like The da Vinci Code, the name Leonardo da Vinci isn't just associated with being a polymath and a historically important genius, but also a mystery.
They have just days to finish a total renovation of the once-ruined Darulaman Palace, a hulking showpiece of Afghan architecture that came to symbolise the country's turmoils during decades of war. With questions looming over Afghanistan's future and a possible deal between the US and the Taliban imminent, the war-torn nation is this month hoping to briefly celebrate its past -- and Darulaman will be the centrepiece. Work at the famed palace must be completed by August 19, the date marking 100 years of Afghan independence from Britain, when President Ashraf Ghani will inaugurate the newly renovated structure.
Representative Rashida Tlaib said she will not visit Israel to visit her grandmother and other Palestinian relatives on the West Bank after being treated “like a criminal” by Israel, which announced Thursday that Tlaib and Representative Ilhan Omar would not be allowed into the country on a planned political visit. Israel's interior minister Aryeh Deri announced Friday that the country would sanction Tlaib's humanitarian request for a visit to her grandmother, who is 90, as long as the congresswoman pledges not to promote boycotts against Israel during such a visit. Israel on Thursday said the Tlaib and Omar would be barred from entering the country. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the decision at length, citing the lawmakers' support of the BDS movement as well as their decision not to request meetings with any Israeli officials and the fact that they listed their destination as “Palestine” rather than Israel.
A Missouri city is apologizing after posting a selfie of smiling police officers near the crime scene where a dead baby was found hours earlier. Columbia police posted the picture on Twitter on Thursday evening of smiling officers near where investigators sought clues in the unidentified baby's death, officials said. The infant, who was estimated to be less than one year old, was found near a wooded area shortly before noon Thursday, according to police.
Jeffrey Esptein's body was claimed from the New York City medical examiner's office by his brother Mark Epstein, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Daily Beast on Friday. The exclusive details come as Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson is preparing to issue a report on Epstein's autopsy and a final ruling on his cause of death. Epstein, 66, was found unconcious Aug. 10 in a cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he was being held while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges.
A woman cheated death when she fell nearly a mile to the ground after her parachute and emergency back-up apparently both failed to open. Denis Demers, who saw her fall, told Radio-Canada: "It's a miracle. Police told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that the 30-year-old parachutist, who has not yet been identified, was an experienced skydiver.