(Augusta, GA-AP) — A former government contractor guilty of leaking U.S. secrets about Russia’s attempts to hack the 2016 presidential election will spend five years behind bars. Reality Winner was given the longest sentence ever for a federal crime involving leaks to the media.
Winner was contracted by the National Security Agency and copied a classified report detailing Russian efforts to penetrate a Florida voting software supplier. In her guilty plea, Winner says she committed the actions on her own free will.
(SL) – President Trump is admitting his son, Donald Trump Jr, met with a Russian attorney to get damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the campaign for the White House.
In a tweet yesterday, Trump wrote that his son’s meeting in June of 2016 was “to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics — and it went nowhere.” Trump ended with “I did not know about it!” Trump’s son-in-law and now White House adviser Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.
(New York, NY) – Protesters took to Times Square in what they’re calling a campaign to “confront corruption.” Organizers say the rally highlighted the “corruption of the American government by the President, his associates and many in his party.” People in Times Square were holding signs including “Traitor Trump” and “Dump Trump.”
The rally came after President Trump held a press conference with Russian President Vladamir Putin. Trump appeared to side with Putin’s claim that Russia didn’t try to influence the election. But he’s since walked back his remarks, saying he believes the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia is responsible.
(Moscow) — Burger King Russia is apologizing and pulling an ad offering around 50-thousand dollars and a lifetime of free burgers to women who get pregnant by World Cup soccer players. The global competition is in Russia this year.
The ad, posted on social media, said getting pregnant by star athletes would pass down the athletes’ genes and boost the success of Russia’s team in the future generations.
(Pyongyang) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is planning a trip to Pyongyang to meet with North Korean lead Kim Jong Un. North Korean state media Sunday reported the planned meeting, which comes after Assad received the credentials of the North Korean ambassador to Syria.
The U.N. has accused North Korea of working with Syria on chemical weapons, something both nations deny. Depending on when the meeting takes place, it could be the first time Kim publicly meets with a foreign head of state in Pyongyang since taking power in 2011. A planned summit between Kim and President Trump is set for June 12th in Singapore.
In related news, the White House is in the early stages of organizing a summit between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. “The Wall Street Journal” reported that the effort aims at resolving differences about nuclear weapons, Syria and Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has reportedly been working for months to make the meeting happen. The two leaders have met twice before during other international gatherings.
(Ukraine) – A Russian journalist showed up at a news conference today in Ukraine the day after he was reportedly assassinated. It appears to be all part of a plot on the part of the Ukrainian security service.
Arkady Babchenko, along with the police agency, faked his own death in an effort to catch the people who were making death threats against him. Police reported yesterday that the Kremlin critic and veteran Russian war correspondent had been shot three times and died on his way to the hospital.
The plot had reportedly been in the works for nearly two months and even Babchenko’s family didn’t know about it. Police did make one arrest in connection with the covert operation.
(Tehran) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will remain in the 2015 nuclear deal if it can protect its interests. The deal, originally made between the U.S., Iran and five other world powers, offered sanctions relief in exchange for checks on Iran’s nuclear program.
President Trump pulled out of the deal this month, after months of calling it broken.
Rouhani said that Tehran will stay in if the remaining five nations, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K., stick to the agreement.
(Washington, DC) – Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. is warning that there will be consequences for the U.S.-led military strikes on Syria. Ambassador Anatoly Antonov called the strikes an insult to Russian president Vladimir Putin, and said insulting the president of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible. Antonov said Friday that the U.S. has the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons and has no moral right to blame other countries. He said Russia is being threatened by the strikes, and that “such actions will not be left without consequences.”
On Saturday, Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov said Russia was likely to call for a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria. The lawmaker told Russian news, “the situation is being analyzed right now.”
(SL) – The U.S. is “locked and loaded” if Syria chooses to use chemical weapons again. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley delivered the promise from President Trump at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. The council met today over the joint airstrikes launched against targets in Syria last night. Haley insisted that the strikes were a justified and proportionate reaction to a chemical weapons attack attributed to Syria’s government. She also accused Russia of aiding and abetting the Syria regime, enabling it to use chemical weapons with impunity.
Russia’s ambassador blasted the U.S. and its allies for what he called a complete disregard for international law. He raised doubts on whether the reported chemical weapons attack that prompted the airstrikes actually took place. He added that the U.S. is pandering to terrorists who have kept Syria in the grip of chaos for years.
(Moscow) – A Russian woman is dead after doctors reportedly hooked her up to an embalming fluid drip instead of saline.
A report in the British tabloid “The Sun” says 27-year-old Ekaterina Fedyaeva was in the hospital for a minor surgery when the mistake was made. Doctors sent formalin into her body, which can be used to preserve corpses or as a disinfectant.
The woman went through two days of agony before going into a coma and eventually, to the other side. She was buried April 7th. An investigation is said to be underway.