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Vladimir Putin's team doesn't like Robert Mueller's report on election interference, Trump
Kremlin seeks to downplay the findings of the special counsel on Russia's election activity in the United States.
FBI Arrests New Mexico Border Militia Leader Larry Mitchell Hopkins
PAUL RATJE/GettyThe FBI arrested a 69-year-old New Mexico man who allegedly illegally detained immigrants crossing the border under the guise of working for the United States Border Patrol.Larry Mitchell Hopkins, who runs The United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), an armed border militia group that spreads far-right conspiracies and rounds up asylum seekers on the border, was arrested by FBI in New Mexico Saturday on charges of possessing firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon. Recent video footage released by UCP shows two members holding what appear to be semi-automatic rifles near immigrants, many of them children. The group also peddles conspiracy theories and produces a radio show where members spread information about QAnon, and accuse migrants of associating with ISIS. Hopkins has also claimed that president Trump has personally asked him about ‘Muslim immigration.’UCP and Hopkins claim to work with Border Patrol, which has publicly denied doing so. Border Patrol agents sometimes appear in the periphery of the groups videos, which show camo-clad UCP members interacting with migrants at the southern border.“There’s no question about whether or not we work with Border Patrol,” said Jim, a UCP spokesperson who declined to give his last name. “That’s all documented, and not just once. It’s documented hundreds and hundreds of times over in the videos that I post.”“U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands,” a Border Patrol official told The Daily Beast.Border Patrol is not supposed to interact with border vigilantes, but has been documented doing so. A Mother Jones reporter who embedded with a border militia in 2016 witnessed the group getting information from Border Patrol agents.UCP is only one of several vigilante groups patrolling the southern border with guns.New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a statement on Saturday, praising the FBI over Hopkins' arrest. “This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas wrote in a statement. “Today's arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”Hopkins, of Flora Vista, N.M., is expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Monday. Federal authorities said they would not released additional details about Hopkins’ arrest until after the appearance.The arrest was the latest fallout for the group. On Friday, the UCP Facebook group announced to its members that they no longer accept donations through PayPal, as the service has suspended their account. “TO ALL PATRIOTS, I wish to thank all of you that has donated to the Border Ops mission up till now. We can no longer accept payments thru PAYPAL, they have permanently suspended our account,” the post read. “... And is hold $1300.00 in donations for 180 days. I am looking for another outfit that we can go thru.”PayPal and GoFundMe announced Friday that they would no longer allow UCP to raise funds on their platforms.A PayPal spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in a statement that UCP had been banned from their platform following a video that shows the group rounding up nearly 200 migrants.“The account associated with United Constitutional Patriots has been closed due to a violation of our Acceptable Use Policy,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “We do not allow PayPal services to be used to promote hate, violence, or other forms of intolerance that is discriminatory.”Read more at The Daily Beast.
Macron's polls rise to highest level since yellow vest revolt as French approve his handling of Notre-Dame fire
Emmanuel Macron’s approval ratings have risen to levels not seen since before the “yellow vest” revolt erupted last autumn with most French feeling he “rose to the occasion” over the Notre-Dame fire, a poll out on Friday suggests. President Macron's popularity plummeted last September following a tax rise on pensioners and a backlash over plans to raise fuel taxes. According to BVA, Mr Macron has clawed back three points in the past month and is now on 32 per cent with six out of ten French feeling he did a good job handling the Notre-Dame inferno. Mr Macron had been due to broadcast a key televised address on Monday night to address ”yellow vest” concerns in the wake two months of debates around the country. Leaked details of the speech suggest he was going to announce tax cuts for poor households and a boost to small pensions, among other measures. Instead, he rushed to the famed Gothic building in central Paris and later promised to rebuild the cathedral within five years. A poll out yesterday suggested most of the measures Mr Macron was due to announce “answered” yellow vest demands, although the vast majority were angry at his refusal to instantly reinstate a wealth tax. Mr Macron is expected to detail the measures in person next week. The poll also found that 54 per cent of French think “yellow vest” protests should be put on hold in the name of national unity over Notre-Dame. Due to the fragility of the building and the risk of violence, police are to impose a protest ban on the area around the fire-stricken for Saturday's 23rd consecutive “gilets jaunes” protest. Despite this, police fear fresh protests in the French capital on Saturday with the interior minister warning “some people literally want to trash Paris”. A number of high-profile gilets jaunes figures have called for action with some outraged that almost €1billion (£865 million) was donated to rebuilding Notre-Dame while there was no such gesture for the poor. Yesterday the last artworks inside the cathedral were removed with art conservationists confirming none suffered major damage in the fire. In more good news, the 180,000 bees kept in hives on the monument that were thought to have perished in this week's fire were discovered alive.
Officials: South Carolina school girl died of natural causes
WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina authorities said Friday that the death of a fifth grade girl at school last month was due to natural causes and not a fight with another student, which they described as lasting only seconds. But the family of the girl disagreed, saying she was repeatedly antagonized by the other student.
Suicide bombers in deadly attack on Afghan ministry
Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the communications ministry in central Kabul on Saturday, officials said, in a deadly, hours-long assault that destroyed weeks of relative calm in the capital. The Taliban said it had "nothing to do" with the attack, which left some 2,000 people stranded in the tall office building for hours at the start of the Afghan work week. "As a result of today's explosion/attack in Kabul city, two people have been martyred (killed) and 6 others are wounded," the health ministry spokesman wrote in a tweet, adding 3 of the injured were women.
8 Things We Learned Driving the Roush Ford F-150 SC, a Pickup Truck on Steroids
Three world-class climbers presumed dead in Canadian avalanche
Three renowned professional alpinists are missing and presumed dead after an avalanche in the Rocky Mountains.
In Notre-Dame's shadow, a 'village' faces uncertain future
The owners of restaurants and souvenir stores, flower stalls and gourmet food markets in an area known to residents simply as the "village", they have all been forced to close since Monday's devastating fire at the UNESCO World Heritage landmark. Few at the gathering Thursday morning in the Quasimodo cafe -- named after the hunchback in Victor Hugo's celebrated novel set at the cathedral -- seemed optimistic about the chances of re-opening in the near future. Police are letting only residents and business owners onto the River Seine island known as the Ile de la Cite where the cathedral stands, choking off the tourist traffic that is their lifeblood.
FAA sets multi-nation review of Boeing's troubled Max planes
The US Federal Aviation Administration is planning what it calls a comprehensive multi-nation review of the control systems of the Boeing 737 Max airliner to include experts from nine civil aviation authorities. The review will "evaluate aspects of the 737 Max automated flight-control system, including its design and pilots' interaction with the system, to determine its compliance with all applicable regulations and to identify future enhancements that might be needed," the agency said. Boeing Max planes -- the aerospace firm's all-time best-seller -- have been grounded worldwide since then, while engineers and investigators seek the exact causes of the crashes.
Trump's 'total and complete exoneration' turns out to be fake news
The president returned to his portrayal of Robert Mueller's report as "fabricated & totally untrue."
Church apologizes after video shows cleric inviting kids to spit, slap and cut him for Easter lesson
An associate pastor at Impact City Church in Pataskala, Ohio, invited abuse from youths, including spitting, slapping, and allegedly cutting.
The Quick Read About… Ukraine’s Run-Off Presidential Elections
Here's what you need to know about the Ukrainian presidential election run-off between insider candidate and a popular comedian.
Relatives of German bus crash victims arrive in Madeira
FUNCHAL, Portugal (AP) — Relatives of some of the 29 German tourists who died in a bus crash in Madeira arrived on the Portuguese island on Friday as investigators pushed on with the task of finding out why the bus veered off the road and plunged down a slope.
Israel destroys family apartments of accused Palestinian killer
Israeli forces destroyed two apartments in the occupied West Bank on Friday that housed the family of a Palestinian accused of killing an Israeli woman in February, the army said. Some clashes broke out between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces during the operation, AFP journalists reported.
Driver with STAYUMBL license plate, notorious for cutting people off around Durham, charged in incident with bus
The STAYUMBL license plate is notorious on the road and social media. Folks say the driver behind the wheel will speed up, cut people off and then slam on her brakes, sometimes causing a crash.
UPDATE 1-Doves, heartbreak and hope on 20th anniversary of Columbine High massacre
Addressing hundreds of people gathered at Saturday's service in a park next to the school, Dawn Anna, mother of slain student Lauren Townsend, spoke on behalf of all the families of the victims about their sense of loss. Patrick Ireland, whose fall out of a school library window into the arms of firefighters, which became one of the iconic images of the massacre, spoke of his long physical and emotional recovery. Betty Shoels, the aunt of murdered student Isaiah Shoels, said her 18-year-old nephew was a fun-loving athlete who was always smiling, despite feeling out of place as one of the school's few African-American students.
The Army Passed on This Glock Gun (And It Could Be Your Gain)
The ultimate Glock? The Army may have chosen Sig Sauer’s P320 for its Modular Handgun System program over Glock’s offerings, but that doesn’t mean you have to: Glock plans on releasing a civilian variant of its 9mm Glock 19 pistol to civilian buyers this month, the company announced today.(This article by Jared Keller originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2018.)Glock’s commercial pistol, dubbed the 19X, is the company’s first stab at a crossover model, combining the Glock 17 frame with a Glock 19 barrel. With a “marksman barrel” and ambidextrous slide-stop levers, the pistol is designed to be as versatile as it is powerful, “almost like a  Commander-style situation where you’ve got the shorter barrel with the full-sized grip frame,” as national sales manager Bob Radecki told Army Times on Jan. 2.The new 9mm Glock 19X from Glock
Assad urges progress on Idlib deal ahead of Syria talks
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday called for progress on a stalled buffer zone deal around jihadist-dominated Idlib region ahead of fresh talks aimed at ending his country's eight-year war. Assad met envoy Alexander Lavrentiev from key ally Russia in Damascus to discuss the negotiations due April 25-26 in Kazakhstan. Iran and Russia are the major supporters of the Syrian regime, and along with rebel backer Turkey have sponsored repeated rounds of talks in the Central Asian nation.
A call for impeachment exposes Democratic divisions
A growing number of Democrats are calling President Trump to be impeached, but House leadership and some of the 2020 presidential candidates oppose the push.
Children of California 'house of horrors' parents beg judge for more lenient sentence
The children of a California couple sentenced to life in prison for torturing them in a case that has shocked the US said they "forgive" their parents as they begged the judge for a more lenient sentence. David and Louise Turpin's 13 children were discovered malnourished, shackled to their beds and living in filthy conditions when their 17-year-old daughter escaped the home and raised the alarm last January. "I love both of my parents so much," said one of the daughters, in a statement read by her brother at a sentencing hearing on Friday. The comments were echoed by some of the other children, with one asking for a lighter sentence because "they believed everything they did was to protect us". The couple, who pleaded guilty to 14 charges including child abuse and torture in February, have been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years. Investigators said all but one of the children - the baby - was abused Credit: UPI / Barcroft Images The California "house of horrors" case, as it came to be known, shocked the US after the scale of the abuse was laid bare last year. When police entered the property in Perris, California they said it was covered in filth and the stench of human waste was overwhelming. The Turpins' offspring, who ranged from 2 - 29 years old at the time, were so severely malnourished they required urgent treatment for severe muscle wastage and neurological conditions. At least two girls have been left unable to bear children. The deeply religious couple told the court they believed God had called on them to have so many children. Louise Turpin, left, listens to her attorney, Jeff Moore, during a sentencing hearing Friday Credit: AP Mrs Turpin, 50, wept as the first public statements from some of the children, who alternately spoke of love for their parents and what they had suffered. None of the children were publicly identified. One of the girls pleaded for a lenient sentence, saying her parents believed "God put it into their hearts" to home school the 13 children but were unable to cope. Another said: "Life may have been bad but it made me strong. I fought to become the person that I am. I saw my dad change my mom. They almost changed me, but I realised what was happening. ... I'm a fighter, I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket." David Turpin, left, listens to his attorney during a sentencing hearing Friday Credit: AP Ahead of his sentence, Mr Turpin, 57, told the judge he never intended to harm his children, saying: "My homeschooling and discipline had good intentions". "I'm sorry for everything I've done to hurt my children. I love my children so much," Ms Turpin said. Judge Bernard Schwartz told the couple they had delayed their children's "emotional, mental and physical development" as he jailed them on Friday. "You have severed the ability to interact and raise the children that you created and brought into this world," he said. The court had previously heard how the children were only allowed to shower once a year and were mainly kept in their rooms except for meals, which had been reduced from three to one per day. Other than an occasional family trip to Las Vegas or Disneyland, they rarely left the home. They slept during the day and were active a few hours at night. Although the couple filed paperwork with the state to home school their children, learning was limited. "We don't really do school. I haven't finished first grade," the 17-year-old said, according to Deputy Manuel Campos. Investigators found that the toddler had not been abused, but all of the children were hospitalised after they were discovered. The seven adult children were living together and attending university in February when their parents pleaded guilty.