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Main suspect in Strasbourg attack killed in gun battle with police: officialsCherif Chekatt, 29, was killed in the Neudorf/Meinau area of the city shortly after a big police operation was launched around 2100 hrs (2000 GMT) on Thursday about 2 kilometers from where he launched his attack on Tuesday. Chekatt was killed after firing on police officers, who returned fire, one of the sources said. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters later three police officers came across a man they believed to be Chekatt and went to arrest him.


Seven-year-old Guatemalan girl dies in US custody: reportWashington (AFP) - A seven-year-old Guatemalan girl died in American custody after being detained by US border police in the state of New Mexico, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.


Chinese tech workers told not to travel to US 'unless it's essential' after Huawei exec arrestedTechnology researchers in China have been ordered to not travel to the US unless it is absolutely necessary, amid rising tensions between the two countries. Staff working in sensitive tech sectors were given the warning following the arrest of a Chinese tech executive in Canada, a source told the South China Morning Post. The warning comes after a similar order from US tech giant Cisco to some of its employees, which asked them the to any non-essential travel to China.


Stephen King Has Explicit Suggestion For What Donald Trump Can Do With His Border WallStephen King suggested Wednesday exactly what President Donald Trump should do


Porsche presents EV ‘FastCharge' solutionThe automaker Porsche has presented a prototype charging station in Germany with an output of up to 450kW. It can be used by electric models of all brands compatible with the European standard Type 2 variant of the widely used Combined Charging System (CCS). 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.


Former Baylor fraternity president accused of rape is banned from graduation, University of Texas campusJacob Anderson, accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old student, has been banned from University of Texas at Dallas, but will receive a degree.


Pope-appointed missionary travels US to do goodFather 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. (Dec. 14)


3 found alive inside West Virginia coal mineCLEAR CREEK, W.Va. (AP) — Three people missing since last weekend were found alive Wednesday in an underground coal mine in West Virginia, authorities said.


Yemen's warring parties agree to ceasefire in Hodeidah and U.N. roleAt 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.


Accused Russian agent Maria Butina pleads guilty to attempting to sway US policyA 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. Appearing before Judge Tanya Chutkan, she admitted to conspiring to work with Alexander Torshin, a former deputy governor of Russia's central bank, and two US citizens as a Russian agent from 2015 until her 2018 arrest.  Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington who publicly advocated for gun rights, was arrested in July and has been held in jail without bail ever since.  Maria Butina was said to be directed by Alexander Torshin, previously described as Vladimir Putin's "emissary" Credit: AP She initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against her but in the last week it was revealed she had reversed course and agreed to co-operate with prosecutors.   Her aim was to make contacts with officials at the NRA, conservative figures and 2016 presidential candidates in order to set up unofficial back channels with high-ranking American politicians. Butina is known to have met with the president's son, Donald Trump Jnr, during one of the NRA's conventions as well as reportedly hosting a party in Washington attended by Trump campaign aides in November 2016. Prosecutors told the court that Butina drafted a March 2015 "Diplomacy Project" that called for establishing unofficial channels of communication between high-ranking American politicians in order to help advance Russia's interests. In this courtroom sketch, Maria Butina, left, is shown next to her attorney Robert Driscoll Credit: AP To carry out the plan, Butina requested $125,000 (£98,000) from a Russian billionaire to attend conferences and set up "separate meetings with interested parties" such as other Russian businessmen or people with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they added. The prosecutors said Butina invited "powerful members" of the NRA for a visit to Moscow where they met with high-level Russian officials. Apparent photos of the NRA Moscow trip are posted on her social media accounts. After the visit, according to court records, she sent a Russian official a message apparently referencing the NRA saying, "We should let them express their gratitude now, we will put pressure on them quietly later." The alleged Russian agent was arrested in July Credit: Reuters Butina also hosted "friendship dinners" in the hope of establishing ties with people who "would have the ear of the next US presidential administration," prosecutors said. After the 2016 election, she proposed creating a dialogue with President Donald Trump's advisors, but the Russian official told her he did not think the foreign affairs ministry would "go for it," prosecutors said. The actions occurred during the same time period that US intelligence agencies have concluded Russia engaged in a campaign of propaganda and hacking to sow discord during the 2016 presidential race and boost Mr Trump's chances against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Butina was a gun rights activist Butina's lawyers previously identified the Russian official as Alexander Torshin, who was a deputy governor of Russia's central bank and was targeted with US Treasury Department sanctions in April.  One of the two Americans referenced in the prosecution's case was Paul Erickson, an conservative political activist who was romantically linked to Butina. His lawyer William Hurd said: "Paul Erickson is a good American. He has done nothing to harm our country and never would." Russian officials hit back at the case, calling it a "modern political inquisition" in comments quoted by the RIA state news agency. She faces a maximum of five years in prison and deportation. As part of her agreement prosecutors dropped a second charge of violating a law that requires foreigners working for their government to register with the US Justice Department. Her lawyer, Robert Driscoll, estimated that under sentencing guidelines for similar crimes Butina could face up to six months in prison.  Because of Butina's ongoing co-operation, the judge did not set a sentencing date but scheduled a hearing for February 12.  


Former Canadian Envoy Is Now at Center of Feud With ChinaThe 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.


Man who sexually assaulted woman on flight while she slept is jailed for nine yearsPrabhu 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. US attorney Matthew Schneider said: “Everyone has the right to be secure and safe when they travel on aeroplanes.


NY sues Walmart, Target for selling toys with high lead levelsNew York state authorities on Thursday announced a lawsuit against retail giants Walmart and Target for selling Chinese-made toys that had up to 10 times the legal limit of lead. The lawsuit seeks up to $6,000 in penalties for each of the thousands of Cra-Z-Jewelz jewelry kits the retailers and importer LaRose Industries sold from 2015 to 2016 before they were recalled. Authorities also are asking the three companies to take steps to prevent dangerous toys from reaching store shelves.


Brazil take first step in program to join nuclear-powered sub clubPresident 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. The submarines being built by the Brazilian Navy in partnership with France's defense company Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, are a modified version of the Scorpene class diesel-powered submarine.


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