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A California woman who warned a judge last year about the danger posed by the Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter says the deaths could have been prevented if earlier charges against the suspect weren’t dismissed. Jeanie Streltzoff, who is related to suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, urged Colorado Judge Robin Chittum in a letter last November to incarcerate Aldrich. She told The Associated Press on Friday that Aldrich should have been in prison and prevented from obtaining weapons after the suspect's 2021 arrest uncovered a stockpile of more than 100 pounds of explosive materials, firearms and ammunition.

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The U.S. Air Force pilot who held the record for the highest parachute jump for more than 50 years has died. Retired Col. Joseph Kittinger died Friday in Florida at age 94. Kittinger gained worldwide fame in 1960 when he jumped from a balloon-lifted gondola that took him nearly 20 miles above the New Mexico desert. Dressed in a pressure suit, he hit speeds of over 600 miles per hour before the thickening air and then his parachute slowed him down. Kittinger also served as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down in 1972 and spent 11 months in a Hanoi prisoner of war camp.

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Jurors at the Los Angeles rape and sexual misconduct trial of Harvey Weinstein have been deliberating for a week without reaching a verdict. The jury of eight men and four women went home Friday afternoon and will resume deliberations Monday. They have had no questions for the court that might provide insight into the status of their work. The 70-year-old former movie mogul has pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and seven other counts of sexual assault. He is already serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction in New York.

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Embattled Los Angeles Councilman Kevin de León has attended his first City Council meeting in nearly two months since a scandal broke over racist remarks by elected officials. Three other council members walked out after De Leon showed up. After a chaotic few minutes, a 45-minute recess was called. De Leon then left before the session resumed. The Los Angeles Times reports that dozens of people showed up to support de León while others yelled at him to leave. It’s the first time he has appeared at a meeting since a recording surfaced in October of a 2021 meeting during which racist language was used to mock colleagues. De León has apologized but said he has no plans to resign.

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A lawsuit says racism motivated Oregon’s largest city to destroy Black residents’ homes and force them out of their neighborhood decades ago. The lawsuit filed Thursday by 26 Black people with ties to the neighborhood targets Portland, the city’s economic and urban development agency and a hospital. The case is another example of urban improvement projects or construction of the nation’s highways often coming at the cost of neighborhoods that aren't predominantly white. Between 1971 and 1973, the Portland Development Commission demolished an estimated 188 properties, purportedly to make way for a hospital expansion that never happened. Of the forcibly displaced households, 74% were Black.

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A month into the nation’s largest strike involving higher education, the work stoppage by University of California academic workers at 10 campuses is causing stress for many undergraduate students. They are facing canceled classes, no one to answer their questions and uncertainty about how they will be graded. Some 48,000 student employees walked off the job on Nov. 14 to demand higher wages and better benefits. Colleges and universities increasingly rely on graduate student employees to do teaching, grade papers and conduct research that had previously been handled by tenured faculty. Many University of California students fear a prolonged strike will disrupt their plans to declare a major or apply to degree programs.

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Illinois Sen. Scott Bennett, a key legislative negotiator in clarifying the landmark SAFE-T Act criminal justice overhaul, has died. He was 45. Stacy Bennett said her husband died Thursday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign from complications of a large brain tumor. She said the family is shocked by the suddenness of his death. She said Bennett worked “to find solutions to society’s most pressing issues by finding common ground and compromise.” Bennett was an assistant Champaign County state's attorney when he was appointed to the state Senate in 2015, replacing the current state treasurer. Bennett was elected to the seat three times.

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A vice president of the European Union’s parliament was suspended by her party group after Belgian police carried out several raids linked to an investigation into suspected influence peddling by a Gulf state. The Socialists and Democrats in the EU assembly say they suspended Eva Kaili’s membership "with immediate effect, in response to the ongoing investigations.” It came after Belgian police staged 16 raids across Brussels as part of a probe into corruption and money laundering involving the parliament and an unidentified Gulf country. Prosecutors say four people were detained for questioning, one of them a former EU lawmaker. Police suspect the unspecified Gulf state of trying “to influence the economic and political decisions of the European Parliament.”

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Lawyers for Donald Trump are in federal court in Washington for sealed arguments as part of the ongoing investigation into the presence of classified information at the former president’s Florida estate. The proceedings were taking place before U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the federal court in the District of Columbia. Defense lawyers were seen entering the courtroom around 2 p.m. and left over an hour later. A lawyer for The Associated Press and other news organizations had submitted a letter earlier Friday requesting media access to the hearing, but despite that, lawyers spoke behind closed doors.

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The former Minneapolis police officer who held down George Floyd’s back as one of his colleagues kneeled on the Black man’s neck has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison. J. Alexander Kueng pleaded guilty in October to aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. He is already serving a federal sentence for violating Floyd’s civil rights, and the state and federal sentence will be served at the same time. Kueng appeared at his sentencing via a video feed from a federal prison in Ohio. When given the chance to address the court, he declined.

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Over the last year, to free Americans held abroad, the U.S. has swapped a Taliban drug lord, a Russian pilot imprisoned for a scheme to distribute cocaine, and a Russian arms dealer. The succession of swaps has made clear the Biden administration’s willingness to free a convicted criminal once seen as a threat to society if that’s what it takes to bring a U.S. citizen home The latest swap sent Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout home in exchange for American Brittney Griner, who was detained for a minor drug offense. Jon Franks, who’s long advised families of American hostages and detainees, said it's not true that the U.S. can throw its might around and get people released.

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