US (MSM)

Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush-money case

By Mary Wisniewski and Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a federal financial crime in a hush-money case stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct, marking the dramatic downfall of a once powerful politician. In exchange for the guilty plea, federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of zero to six months imprisonment, although the judge in the case could potentially sentence Hastert

Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in hush-money case

By Mary Wisniewski and Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) – Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a federal financial crime in a hush-money case stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct, marking the dramatic downfall of a once powerful politician. In exchange for the guilty plea, federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of zero to six months imprisonment, although the judge in the case could potentially sentence Hastert

Sheriff seeks probe after video of violent arrest of South Carolina student

The actions by officer Ben Fields, who is white, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia on Monday drew swift condemnation after video recordings of the incident involving a black student were picked up by media outlets and posted on social media. A spokesman for Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department on Tuesday to launch independent investigations of

White House, Congress reach tentative budget deal

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and congressional leaders reached a two-year budget deal overnight to lift mandatory spending caps on defense and domestic programs and raise the federal debt ceiling, in an attempt to avert yet another fiscal standoff. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner presented details of the pact to his rank-and-file in a closed-door meeting early on Tuesday with the hope of advancing

Sheriff seeks probe after video of violent arrest of South Carolina student

The actions by officer Ben Fields, who is white, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia on Monday drew swift condemnation after video recordings of the incident involving a black student were picked up by media outlets and posted on social media. A spokesman for Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said he had asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department on Tuesday to launch independent investigations of

White House, Congress reach tentative budget deal

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House and congressional leaders reached a two-year budget deal overnight to lift mandatory spending caps on defense and domestic programs and raise the federal debt ceiling, in an attempt to avert yet another fiscal standoff. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner presented details of the pact to his rank-and-file in a closed-door meeting early on Tuesday with the hope of advancing

Sharpton withdraws as eulogist at slain NYPD officer's funeral

The decision by the civil rights activist and long-time critic of the NYPD was announced in an open letter emailed to media, which cited reports criticizing his planned role at the funeral scheduled for Wednesday. It came hours after Holder’s fiancée was quoted in the New York Post as saying the officer detested Sharpton. In the Post story, Holder’s fiancée Mary Muhammad was quoted as saying on Monday, “He didn’t

Sharpton withdraws as eulogist at slain NYPD officer's funeral

The decision by the civil rights activist and long-time critic of the NYPD was announced in an open letter emailed to media, which cited reports criticizing his planned role at the funeral scheduled for Wednesday. It came hours after Holder’s fiancée was quoted in the New York Post as saying the officer detested Sharpton. In the Post story, Holder’s fiancée Mary Muhammad was quoted as saying on Monday, “He didn’t

WORLD (MSM)

Months of conflict sour Turkey's election in Kurdish southeast

By Daren Butler DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) – Five months ago thousands took to the streets in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast, dancing and setting off fireworks after a pro-Kurdish opposition party entered parliament for the first time. This time fear rather than joy prevails in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir and its surrounding province. “Instead of enthusiasm for the ballot box there is the silence of the coffins,” said Idris

Arch-rivals Saudi Arabia, Iran to discuss Syria face-to-face for first time

By Angus McDowall and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Iran announced they would attend international talks in Vienna on Friday on the war in Syria, in the first meeting between the regional adversaries aimed at ending the four-year-long war. Saudi Arabia said its participation in the talks aimed to gauge the willingness of Russia and Iran, the Syrian government’s main backers, for a peace deal, Foreign Minister

Arch-rivals Saudi Arabia, Iran to discuss Syria face-to-face for first time

By Angus McDowall and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Iran announced they would attend international talks in Vienna on Friday on the war in Syria, in the first meeting between the regional adversaries aimed at ending the four-year-long war. Saudi Arabia said its participation in the talks aimed to gauge the willingness of Russia and Iran, the Syrian government’s main backers, for a peace deal, Foreign Minister

No physical signs Russian soldier who died in Syria hanged himself: father

By Maria Tsvetkova GRECHANAYA BALKA, Russia (Reuters) – The family of the first Russian soldier confirmed dead in Syria buried their son in a village graveyard on Wednesday, with his father saying there were no signs on the body to support the official account he had hanged himself. Russian defense officials say Vadim Kostenko, 19, hanged himself at a base on the Syrian coast on Saturday because of problems in

Israeli forces kill Palestinian who tried to stab soldier, army says

By Ari Rabinovitch JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab them in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and an Israeli woman was wounded in a separate knife attack near a Jewish settlement, the military and police said. The latest assaults underscored what appeared to be a shift in weeks of bloodshed to the West Bank away from Jerusalem, where Israeli police have set

Saudi-led coalition drops weapons for allies in Yemen

Warplanes from a Saudi-led alliance bombed the Iran-allied Houthi movement throughout Yemen on Wednesday and dropped weapons for its allies battling the group in the southwestern city of Taiz. The sorties show the coalition is determined to use its air power to push back the Houthis, Yemen’s dominant group, a day after medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said coalition bombing destroyed one of its hospitals late on Monday

No physical signs Russian soldier who died in Syria hanged himself: father

By Maria Tsvetkova GRECHANAYA BALKA, Russia (Reuters) – The family of the first Russian soldier confirmed dead in Syria buried their son in a village graveyard on Wednesday, with his father saying there were no signs on the body to support the official account he had hanged himself. Russian defense officials say Vadim Kostenko, 19, hanged himself at a base on the Syrian coast on Saturday because of problems in

Months of conflict sour Turkey's election in Kurdish southeast

By Daren Butler DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) – Five months ago thousands took to the streets in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast, dancing and setting off fireworks after a pro-Kurdish opposition party entered parliament for the first time. This time fear rather than joy prevails in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir and its surrounding province. “Instead of enthusiasm for the ballot box there is the silence of the coffins,” said Idris

Taliban overrun district in quake-hit northern Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents overran a district in one of the northern Afghan provinces hit by a powerful earthquake this week, underlining the security problems that have hampered efforts to get emergency relief to remote mountainous regions. Officials said fighters seized control of the district capital of Darqand in Takhar province, on the border with Tajikistan in the early hours of Wednesday, continuing a campaign that has intensified across the country this

Israeli forces kill Palestinian who tried to stab soldier, army says

By Ari Rabinovitch JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian who tried to stab them in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and an Israeli woman was wounded in a separate knife attack near a Jewish settlement, the military and police said. The latest assaults underscored what appeared to be a shift in weeks of bloodshed to the West Bank away from Jerusalem, where Israeli police have set

Months of conflict sour Turkey's election in Kurdish southeast

By Daren Butler DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) – Five months ago thousands took to the streets in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast, dancing and setting off fireworks after a pro-Kurdish opposition party entered parliament for the first time. This time fear rather than joy prevails in the main southeastern city of Diyarbakir and its surrounding province. “Instead of enthusiasm for the ballot box there is the silence of the coffins,” said Idris

Saudi-led coalition drops weapons for allies in Yemen

Warplanes from a Saudi-led alliance bombed the Iran-allied Houthi movement throughout Yemen on Wednesday and dropped weapons for its allies battling the group in the southwestern city of Taiz. The sorties show the coalition is determined to use its air power to push back the Houthis, Yemen’s dominant group, a day after medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said coalition bombing destroyed one of its hospitals late on Monday

White House: All stakeholders needed for Syria talks

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – Upcoming Syrian peace talks will only be meaningful if all parties involved are invited to the discussions, the White House said on Wednesday, adding that Iran’s participation should not overshadow efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. Asked about Iran’s invitation to the talks, which are scheduled for Friday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters: “The United States is prepared to

Saudi-led coalition drops weapons for allies in Yemen

Warplanes from a Saudi-led alliance bombed the Iran-allied Houthi movement throughout Yemen on Wednesday and dropped weapons for its allies battling the group in the southwestern city of Taiz. The sorties show the coalition is determined to use its air power to push back the Houthis, Yemen’s dominant group, a day after medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said coalition bombing destroyed one of its hospitals late on Monday

Taliban overrun district in quake-hit northern Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents overran a district in one of the northern Afghan provinces hit by a powerful earthquake this week, underlining the security problems that have hampered efforts to get emergency relief to remote mountainous regions. Officials said fighters seized control of the district capital of Darqand in Takhar province, on the border with Tajikistan in the early hours of Wednesday, continuing a campaign that has intensified across the country this

Taliban overrun district in quake-hit northern Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents overran a district in one of the northern Afghan provinces hit by a powerful earthquake this week, underlining the security problems that have hampered efforts to get emergency relief to remote mountainous regions. Officials said fighters seized control of the district capital of Darqand in Takhar province, on the border with Tajikistan in the early hours of Wednesday, continuing a campaign that has intensified across the country this

White House: All stakeholders needed for Syria talks

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – Upcoming Syrian peace talks will only be meaningful if all parties involved are invited to the discussions, the White House said on Wednesday, adding that Iran’s participation should not overshadow efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. Asked about Iran’s invitation to the talks, which are scheduled for Friday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters: “The United States is prepared to

White House: All stakeholders needed for Syria talks

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – Upcoming Syrian peace talks will only be meaningful if all parties involved are invited to the discussions, the White House said on Wednesday, adding that Iran’s participation should not overshadow efforts to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. Asked about Iran’s invitation to the talks, which are scheduled for Friday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters: “The United States is prepared to

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