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Mueller disputes accuracy of BuzzFeed report on Trump, Cohen

WASHINGTON (AP) — Particular counsel Robert Mueller’s workplace on Friday issued a uncommon public assertion disputing the accuracy of BuzzFeed News’ report that stated President Donald Trump’s former lawyer informed Mueller that the president directed him to mislead Congress.

BuzzFeed, citing two unidentified regulation enforcement officers, reported that Trump directed Michael Cohen to mislead Congress a few Moscow actual property undertaking and that Cohen advised Mueller the president personally instructed him to lie concerning the timing of the deal. The report stated Mueller’s investigators discovered about Trump’s directive “through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”

The report stated Cohen acknowledged Trump’s directions when he was interviewed by the Mueller workforce.

The assertion by Mueller’s workplace on Friday night time doesn’t cite any particular errors. In it, the particular counsel’s spokesman, Peter Carr, stated, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.”

BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal stated the publication stands by its reporting and urged readers to “stay tuned” as they labored to find out what Mueller was denying. Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, additionally stated the publication stands by its reporting and the sources who knowledgeable it.


Trump plans to make ‘major announcement’ on shutdown, border

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump stated he’ll be making a “major announcement” on the federal government shutdown and the southern border on Saturday afternoon because the standstill over his border wall continues into its fifth week.

The White Home declined to offer particulars late Friday about what the president can be saying. However Trump was not anticipated to signal the nationwide emergency declaration he’s been threatening as an choice to bypass Congress, in accordance with two individuals conversant in the planning.

As an alternative, Trump was anticipated to suggest the outlines of a brand new deal that the administration believes might probably pave the best way to an finish to the shutdown, in response to one of many individuals. They weren’t approved to debate the announcement and spoke on situation of anonymity.

The transfer — on Day 28 of a shutdown that has left lots of of hundreds of federal staff with out paychecks — represents the primary main overture by the president since Jan. eight, when he delivered an Oval Workplace tackle making the general public case for his border wall. The president and his aides have stated he won’t budge on his demand for $5.7 billion in funding. Democrats have panned the quantity and stated they won’t negotiate till the federal government reopens, elevating questions on how Trump may transfer the ball ahead.

In a video posted on his Twitter feed late Friday, Trump stated each side ought to “take the politics out of it” and “get to work” to “make a deal.” However he additionally repeated his warnings, saying: “We have to secure our southern border. If we don’t do that, we’re a very, very sad and foolish lot.”


Officer who shot black teen sentenced to just about 7 years

CHICAGO (AP) — The white Chicago officer who gunned down a black teenager in 2014 was sentenced Friday to just about seven years in jail, ending an explosive case that arose from one of many nation’s most graphic dashcam movies and added gasoline to debates about race and policing and regulation enforcement’s “code of silence.”

Jason Van Dyke was convicted final yr of second-degree homicide and 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for every bullet fired at Laquan McDonald. Attorneys on each side agreed that if he behaves in jail, the 40-year-old might be launched in lower than three and a half years.

McDonald’s household lamented that the penalty was too mild. His nice uncle stated the sentence decreased Laquan McDonald’s life to that of “a second-class citizen” and “suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a black man that a white man is bound to honor.”

Moments earlier, Van Dyke acknowledged the teenager’s dying, telling the decide that “as a God-fearing man and father, I will have to live with this the rest of my life.”

The sentence was lower than half of the penalty that had been sought by prosecutors, who requested for 18 to 20 years. Nevertheless it went far past the request of protection attorneys, who argued that Van Dyke could possibly be launched on probation. The jail time period was additionally a fraction of what Van Dyke might have confronted had he been convicted of first-degree homicide, which carried a compulsory minimal of 45 years in jail.


Trump guarantees March for Life crowd that he stands with them

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump sought to guarantee opponents of abortion rights on Friday that he stands with them and would veto any laws from a Democratic-controlled Home that “weakens the protection of human life.”

Trump spoke by way of video to individuals at this yr’s March for Life on the Nationwide Mall. Hundreds of individuals throughout the nation braved the chilly to attend the occasion.

“As president, I will always defend the first right in our Declaration of Independence, the right to life,” Trump stated.

Lawmakers on each side of the political aisle highlighted legislative efforts on the abortion challenge forward of Friday’s march.

Some Democratic lawmakers in the Home held a information convention final week to notice their help for ending a ban of Medicaid funding for abortion providers generally known as the Hyde Act. The Republican-led Senate did not advance a measure that may completely prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion. Trump stated he supported that effort.


Feds affirm jailed Iranian TV anchor not charged with crime

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officers confirmed Friday that a outstanding American-born anchorwoman on Iranian state tv was jailed in the U.S. as a cloth witness and has not been charged with any crime, based on courtroom papers.

Marzieh Hashemi has appeared twice earlier than a U.S. district decide in Washington and has been appointed an lawyer. U.S. authorities officers anticipate her to be launched instantly after her testimony earlier than a grand jury.

The order to unseal some elements of her case got here days after she was first detained. It didn’t embrace particulars on the felony case in which she was named a witness. Her son Hossein Hashemi didn’t touch upon particulars of the case outdoors courtroom on Friday.

It was not clear how lengthy her testimony would take.

“We’re hoping that it would be complete and she would be out this week. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” he stated. “So we’re just waiting to hear more.”


Moms of slain Nicaraguan college students unite to hunt justice

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The 2 moms walked shoulder-to-shoulder forward of a casket in the northern Nicaraguan metropolis of Esteli, wailing in shared grief at the killings of their sons throughout a wave of anti-government protests.

Francisca Machado was accompanying the casket holding her 24-year-old son Franco Valdivia Machado’s physique to the cemetery on that April day. Socorro Corrales had simply buried her personal son, 23-year-old Orlando Perez Corrales, the day earlier than.

From that picture of solidarity was born a motion that turned the Moms of April, shaped by kin of most of the 325 individuals killed in the federal government suppression of the student-led protests. Its members are demanding justice from President Daniel Ortega, who has tightened his grip on energy and focused voices of dissent, arresting lots of and shutting media retailers and human rights teams in the aftermath of the protests.

The group is getting ready for an extended wrestle for accountability for the killers of their youngsters from a authorities that has labeled the protesters criminals and coup-plotters. Three of its 9 leaders have fled Nicaragua, fearing for their very own security.

“We don’t want to think about many years passing, but part of our responsibility is to prepare for that scenario,” stated Francys Valdivia Machado, whose youthful brother was buried on April 22.


Merchandise product of threatened African wildlife bought at US expo

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Pictures and video taken by animal welfare activists at a current trophy searching conference present an array of merchandise crafted from the physique elements of threatened big-game animals, together with boots, chaps, belts and furnishings labeled as elephant leather-based.

Distributors at the Safari Membership Worldwide occasion held final week in Reno, Nevada, additionally have been recorded hawking African holidays to shoot captive-bred lions raised in pens. The membership has beforehand stated it wouldn’t permit the sale of so-called canned hunts at its occasions.

The hidden digital camera footage was launched Friday by the Humane Society of america. Each federal and state legal guidelines prohibit the business sale of hides from African elephants, that are protected underneath the Endangered Species Act.

Nevada’s chief recreation warden confirmed to The Related Press on Friday that an investigation is underway to find out if state regulation was violated.

Safari Membership spokesman Steve Comus stated Friday the group was additionally conducting an inner investigation after what he described as allegations based mostly on “what appears to be an unauthorized visit” by the Humane Society. The group didn’t reply to written questions from the AP about what steps it takes to make sure exhibitors at its occasions are following the regulation.


Complete lunar eclipse meets supermoon Sunday night time

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Right here comes a complete lunar eclipse and supermoon, all wrapped into one.

The moon, Earth and solar will line up this weekend for the one complete lunar eclipse this yr and subsequent. On the similar time, the moon will probably be ever so nearer to Earth and seem barely greater and brighter than standard — a supermoon.

“This one is particularly good,” stated Rice College astrophysicist Patrick Hartigan. “It not only is a supermoon and it’s a total eclipse, but the total eclipse also lasts pretty long. It’s about an hour.”

The entire eclipse begins Sunday night time or early Monday, relying on location , and can take about three hours.

It begins with the partial part round 10:34 p.m. EST Sunday. That’s when Earth’s shadow will start to nip at the moon. Totality — when Earth’s shadow utterly blankets the moon — will final 62 minutes, starting at 11:41 p.m. EST Sunday.


Researchers come nose to nose with big nice white shark

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — Two shark researchers who got here nose to nose with what might be one of many largest nice whites ever recorded are utilizing their encounter as a chance to push for laws that may shield sharks in Hawaii.

Ocean Ramsey, a shark researcher and conservationist, informed The Related Press that she encountered the 20-foot (6-meter) shark Tuesday close to a lifeless sperm whale off Oahu.

The occasion was documented and shared on social media by her fiancé and enterprise associate Juan Oliphant.

The Hawaii Division of Land and Pure Assets stated it was conscious of photographs of the good white and that tiger sharks even have been feeding on the whale.

Oliphant, who photographed the now-viral photographs, stated it’s unclear if the shark is the famed Deep Blue, believed to be the most important nice white ever recorded.


Colombia blames ELN for bomb, presses Cuba to arrest leaders

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia referred to as on Cuba to arrest 10 Nationwide Liberation Military commanders presently in Havana for stalled peace talks after a automotive bombing blamed on the leftist rebels killed 21 individuals and injured dozens at a police academy in Bogota.

President Ivan Duque stated late Friday that he had revoked a decree suspending arrest orders towards leaders of Colombia’s final remaining insurgent group who’ve been dwelling in Cuba.

Citing an inventory of 400 terrorist assaults attributed to the guerrillas since peace talks started in 2017, he stated “it’s clear to all of Colombia that the ELN has no true desire for peace.”

“We ask that (Cuba) capture the terrorists who are inside its territory and hand them over to Colombian police,” he stated.