West accuses Russian spy agency GRU of scores of attacks

BRUSSELS — The United States and other Western nations leveled a torrent of new allegations against Moscow’s secretive GRU military spy agency on Thursday, accusing its agents of hacking anti-doping agencies, plane crash investigations and a chemical weapons probe as well as launching cyberattacks that rocked America’s 2016 election and crippled Ukraine in 2017. The roll-call of GRU malfeasance began at midnight in Britain, when British and Australian authorities accused the Russian agency of being behind the catastrophic cyberattack that caused billions in losses to Ukraine in June 2017 and a host of other hacks, including the Democratic Party email leaks and online cyber propaganda that sowed havoc before Americans… Read More

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Suspect in shooting of 7 officers bragged about marksmanship

FLORENCE, S.C. — A Vietnam veteran who bragged online about maintaining his target-shooting skills was being held Thursday on charges that he shot seven law enforcement officers, killing one, when deputies tried to serve a search warrant at his home. Authorities said Frederick Hopkins opened fire on the deputies from inside the home and held children hostage while shooting long-range at other officers who rushed to the suburban neighborhood. The sheriff department’s armored personnel carrier was brought in to recover the wounded during Wednesday’s two-hour standoff in Florence, and the gunman finally released the children as he was taken into custody, authorities said. “Officers went there unknowing the firepower the… Read More

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GOP, Dems battle over secret FBI report on Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON — A high-stakes partisan row quickly broke out Thursday over a confidential FBI report about allegations that Brett Kavanaugh sexually abused women three decades ago, with Republicans claiming investigators found “no hint of misconduct” and Democrats accusing the White House of slapping crippling constraints on the probe. The verbal battling commenced as the conservative jurist’s prospects for winning Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court remained at the mercy of five wavering senators, with an initial, critical vote looming Friday. It followed the FBI’s early-morning release of its investigation, which President Donald Trump reluctantly ordered under pressure from a handful of wavering GOP senators. “There’s nothing in it that we… Read More

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Suspect in shooting of 7 officers is competitive rifleman

FLORENCE, S.C. — A Vietnam veteran who bragged online about maintaining his target-shooting skills was being held Thursday in the shooting of 7 law enforcement officers, one of whom died, after deputies tried to serve a search warrant at his home. Authorities said Frederick Hopkins opened fire on the deputies from inside the home and held children hostage while shooting long-range at other officers who rushed to the suburban neighborhood. The sheriff department’s armored personnel carrier was brought in to recover the wounded during Wednesday’s two-hour standoff, and the shooter finally released the children as he was taken into custody, authorities said. “Officers went there unknowing the firepower the suspect… Read More

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GOP senator: Secret FBI report shows no Kavanaugh misconduct

WASHINGTON — A top Senate Republican said Thursday the confidential FBI report on charges that Brett Kavanaugh sexually abused women three decades ago “found no hint of misconduct” by the Supreme Court nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, made his remarks — and urged his colleagues to confirm the conservative judge — in a written statement hours after the post-midnight delivery of the FBI document to Congress. With Kavanaugh’s uncertain prospects for approval depending in part on the decisions of five wavering senators, lawmakers began viewing the document in a secure room in the Capitol complex. “There’s nothing in it that we didn’t already know,” Grassley said, basing… Read More

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The Strange Case of the Dissident Saudi Journalist Who Disappeared

Jamal Khashoggi was under no illusion about what would happen to him if he returned to Saudi Arabia. In a piece last year in The Washington Post about a wave of detentions in the country, the self-exiled Saudi dissident said he too “could face arrest” if he returned home. Yet that’s essentially what he did when he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, with his fiancee; they were reportedly there to obtain paperwork they needed in order to get married. Khashoggi left his cell phone with his fiancee, and entered the building at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since then. “I have been waiting… Read More

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US charges 7 Russian intel officers as West condemns GRU

BRUSSELS — The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday charged seven Russian intelligence officers with hacking anti-doping agencies and other organizations hours after Western officials leveled new accusations against Moscow’s secretive GRU military spy agency. Hours before the U.S. indictment was announced, Western nations accused the GRU of new cybercrimes, with Dutch and British officials labeling the intelligence agency “brazen” for allegedly targeting the international chemical weapons watchdog and the investigation into the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine. The U.S. indictment said that the GRU targeted its victims because they had publicly supported a ban on Russian athletes in international sports competitions and because they had… Read More

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Mattis: Russia violation of missile treaty ‘untenable’

BRUSSELS — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday said Russia’s deployment of nuclear-capable missiles in violation of an arms treaty is “untenable” and unless Moscow changes, the U.S. will have to match that military capability. Speaking to reporters at the close of a NATO defense ministers meeting, Mattis said the U.S. is reviewing its diplomatic and military options because of Russia’s continued violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. “Russia must return to compliance with the INF Treaty or the U.S. will need to match its capabilities to protect U.S. and NATO interests,” Mattis said in prepared remarks. “Make no mistake: The current situation, with Russia in blatant violation… Read More

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Who sees it? Senators, staff to have access to FBI report

WASHINGTON — All 100 senators, and a handful of Senate staff, will be able to read the FBI’s new report on sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But it’s unclear if the public will see it. Background checks are a routine part of any nominee’s vetting process and are generally delivered to the Senate without much fanfare. This background check, requested by a trio of senators who are undecided on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, will be different. It’s expected that many senators will want to read or be briefed on the supplemental background check. The report will review allegations from California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually… Read More

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Poll: Young Americans say online bullying a serious problem

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — Teens and young adults say cyberbullying is a serious problem for people their age, but most don’t think they’ll be the ones targeted for digital abuse. That’s according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV, which also finds that about half of both young people and their parents view social media as having a mostly negative effect on the younger generation. Fifteen-year-old Matty Nev Luby said she’s learned to navigate Instagram and other social media apps by brushing aside the anonymous bullies. “When I see a really mean comment about my appearance or something I did, if someone said… Read More

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