Moscow now accused of US election meddling, in indictment
WASHINGTON (AP) - Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic Party, releasing tens of thousands of stolen and politically damaging communications, in a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, according to a grand jury indictment announced days before President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The indictment stands as special counsel Robert Mueller's first allegation implicating the Russian government directly in criminal behavior meant to sway the presidential election.
U.S. intelligence agencies have said the meddling was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming the election bid of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The effort also included bogus Facebook ads and social media postings that prosecutors say were aimed at influencing public opinion and sowing discord on hot-button social issues.
The indictment lays out a broad, coordinated effort starting in March 2016 to break into key Democratic email accounts, such as those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Among those targeted was John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman.
The Kremlin denied anew that it tried to sway the election. "The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the U.S. elections," Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Friday.
___Protests, diplomatic backflips mark Trump's visit to England
LONDON (AP) - President Donald Trump closed out a turbulent 30-hour visit to England on Friday that featured massive protests, moments of pageantry and startling diplomatic backflips as the U.S. leader tried to smooth over controversies on trade, Brexit and his critical assessment of British Prime Minister Theresa May.
After a breach of protocol in bashing his hosts, Trump was on his best behavior as he wrapped up the visit, insisting the U.S.-U.K. relationship is at "the highest level of special" before dropping by Windsor Castle for tea with the queen and heading off for a weekend at one of his golf courses in Scotland. He left a trail of double-talk and chaos that has become a pattern in the U.S. president's recent overseas travels.
Even Trump's reception by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle became a dramatic split-screen event, as the Justice Department in Washington simultaneously announced indictments against 12 Russian military intelligence officers for 2016 election interference, charges issued just days before Trump's summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin on Monday.
Trump's pomp-filled visit to the U.K. was overshadowed by an explosive interview in The Sun newspaper in which he blasted May, blamed London's mayor for terrorist attacks against the city and argued that Europe was "losing its culture" because of immigration.
The president who prides himself on not apologizing did his own version of backpedaling at a news conference with May on Friday, seeking to blame his favorite foil for any perceived friction with May, whom he lavished with praise after having questioned her leadership.
___Pence family's failed gas stations cost taxpayers $20M+
GARDEN CITY, Ind. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence turns nostalgic when he talks about growing up in small-town Columbus, Indiana, where his father helped build a Midwestern empire of more than 200 gas stations that provided an upbringing on the "front row of the American dream."
The collapse of Kiel Bros. Oil Co. in 2004 was widely publicized. Less known is that the state of Indiana - and, to a smaller extent, Kentucky and Illinois - are still on the hook for millions of dollars to clean up more than 85 contaminated sites across the three states, including underground tanks that leaked toxic chemicals into soil, streams and wells.
Indiana alone has spent at least $21 million on the cleanup thus far, or an average of about $500,000 per site, according an analysis of records by The Associated Press. And the work is nowhere near complete.
The federal government, meanwhile, plans to clean up a plume of cancer-causing solvent discovered beneath a former Kiel Bros. station that threatens drinking water near the Pence family's hometown.
To assess the pollution costs, the AP reviewed thousands of pages of court documents, tax statements, business filings and federal financial disclosures, as well as federal and state environmental records for Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. The total financial impact isn't clear because Indiana officials have yet to release cost figures for 12 contaminated areas. Other records are incomplete, redacted or missing.
___Long hidden hackers unmasked by US special counselPARIS (AP) - On the morning of March 19, 2016, Den Katenberg ran a little test with big stakes.
The previous week, Katenberg's hacking crew had been bombarding the Hillary Clinton campaign's email accounts with fake Google warnings, trying to get her Brooklyn-based staff to panic, enter their passwords and open their digital lives to Russia's intelligence services.
But the going was tough. Even when Clinton staffers clicked the malicious links Katenberg crafted, two-factor authentication - a second, failsafe password test - still kept him out of their accounts.
After a day of testing on March 18, he took a different tack, striking the Clinton's campaign staff at their personal - and generally less secure - Gmail addresses. At 10:30 the next morning he carried out one last experiment, targeting himself at his own Gmail address to make sure his messages weren't being blocked.
An hour later he sent out a barrage of new malicious messages to more than 70 people, including one to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. By the end of the day, he'd won access to one of the most important inboxes in American politics.
___Scarlett Johansson pulls out of trans drama after backlash
NEW YORK (AP) - Scarlett Johansson has pulled out of the film "Rub & Tug" after her plans to portray a transgender man prompted a backlash.
In a statement to Out.com on Friday, Johansson says she's withdrawing from the project "in light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting." Last week, Johansson said she would star as Pittsburgh 1970s and '80s prostitution ring leader Dante "Tex" Gill, who was born Lois Jean Gill but identified as a man.
When transgender actors and advocates questioned the casting, Johansson initially responded with a statement that criticism "can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto and Felicity Huffman's reps." All are actors who won acclaim for playing transgender characters.
"Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I've learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive," said Johansson, who added that she had "great admiration and love for the trans community."
"While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante's story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film," the actress added.
___132 die in Pakistan election violence ahead of Sharif return
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) - The deadliest attacks in Pakistan's troubled election campaign killed at least 132 people, including a candidate, on Friday just before the arrest of disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif upon his return to the country.
In the southwestern province of Baluchistan, a suicide bomber killed 128 people, including a politician running for a provincial legislature. Four others died in a strike in Pakistan's northwest, spreading panic in the country.
The attacks came hours before Sharif returned from London along with his daughter Maryam to face a 10-year prison sentence on corruption charges, anti-corruption officials said. Maryam Sharif faces seven years in jail.
He was taken into custody to serve his sentence however he is expected to appeal and seek bail. It wasn't clear when his appeal would be filed but he has until Monday.
In the southern town of Mastung, candidate Siraj Raisani and 127 others died when a suicide bomber blew himself up amid scores of supporters who had gathered at a rally.
___Pompeo visits Mexico, is urged to reunite migrant families
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday urged a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to quickly reunite migrant families separated at the border.
Pena Nieto called for "a permanent alternative that prioritizes the well-being and rights of minors" and expressed concern over a recent attack on a 92-year-old Mexican man legally residing in California, a statement from the presidency said. The man was reportedly beaten by a woman with a brick and told, "Go back to your country."Pena Nieto said such incidents "encourage a climate of hate and racism that we must avoid."
Pompeo was visiting Mexico with Cabinet-level officials to meet with both Pena Nieto and president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador after a sea-change election that could offer a chance for the neighbors to repair strained relations.
If you have any issues regarding wherever and how to use free potno (https://www.goldtantriclondon.com
), you can call us at our own website. Discussions were expected to address ways to combat transnational criminal organizations, the U.S. opioid epidemic and trade tensions. But irregular migration across Mexico's northern border into the United States also loomed large.
___UK police confirm source of Novichok poisoning
LONDON (AP) - British detectives investigating the poisoning of two people by the nerve agent Novichok in southwestern England said Friday that a small bottle found in the home of one of the victims tested positive for the deadly substance.
Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, were sickened on June 30 in a town not far from Salisbury, where British authorities say a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with Novichok in March. Sturgess died in a hospital on Sunday. Her partner, Charlie Rowley, initially was in critical condition, but has regained consciousness.
The Metropolitan Police said the small bottle was found during searches of Rowley's house Wednesday and scientists confirmed the substance in the bottle was Novichok. Police have interviewed Rowley in recent days since he recovered consciousness.
Police are still looking into where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Rowley's house. Further tests will be carried out to establish whether it is from the same batch that was used to poison Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in March.
Assistant Police Commissioner Neil Basu said no more details would be provided about the bottle. More than 100 police officers had been searching for the source of Rowley and Sturgess' exposure in the towns of Amesbury, where they lived, and Salisbury, where the Skripals were poisoned.
___Papa John's starts pulling founder's image from marketing
NEW YORK (AP) - Papa John's, which has featured founder John Schnatter as a spokesman in logos and TV ads, has begun pulling his image from its marketing and pledged to assess its diversity practices in response to his use of a racial slur.
Schnatter's face was off some materials by Friday, though the pizza chain said there are no plans to change its name. Schnatter is freepoorn
still on the board and is the company's largest shareholder - meaning he remains a key presence.
CEO Steve Ritchie said Friday the company will retain an outside expert to audit its processes related to diversity and inclusion. And he said senior managers will hold "listening sessions" to give employees a platform for any concerns.
"Papa John's is not an individual. Papa John's is a pizza company with 120,000 corporate and franchise team members around the world," he said in a statement.
Schnatter came under fire this week after a Forbes report that he used the N-word during a media training conference call in May. When asked how he would distance himself from racist groups, Schnatter reportedly complained that Colonel Sanders never faced a backlash for using the word.
___Anderson tops Isner 26-24 in 5th in epic Wimbledon semifinal
LONDON (AP) - To say that Kevin Anderson won this interminable Wimbledon semifinal, and that John Isner lost it, didn't really seem fair. To Anderson, anyway.
They had played on and on, through 6½ hours of ho-hum hold after ho-hum hold, during the second-longest match in the history of a tournament that began in 1877, all the way until the never-ending serving marathon did, finally, end at 26-24 in the fifth set Friday, with Anderson claiming the most important of the 569 points - the last.
So when Anderson left Centre Court, well aware that his 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 victory earned him the chance to win his first Grand Slam title at age 32, the South African said: "At the end, you feel like this is a draw between the two of us."
He continued: "John's such a great guy, and I really feel for him, because if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming up short."
Only one match at Wimbledon lasted longer: Isner's 2010 first-round victory over Nicolas Mahut, the longest match in tennis history. It went more than 11 hours over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth on Court 18, which now bears a plaque commemorating it.