Thai navy boards cabin of fugitive ‘seasteaders’ facing death penalty

BANGKOK (Reuters) – The Thai navy on Saturday boarded the floating cabin of a fugitive U.S. bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend, both prominent members of the “seasteading” movement who possibly face the death sentence for setting up their offshore home. A floating home, lived in by an American man and his Thai partner, is pictured in the Andaman Sea, off Phuket island in Thailand, April 13, 2019. Picture taken April 13, 2019. Royal Thai Navy/Handout via REUTERS Thai authorities have revoked the visa of American citizen Chad Elwartowski and…

Northern Ireland police arrest two over murder of journalist

LONDONDERRY (Reuters) – Two men have been arrested in connection with the killing of Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKee during a riot in Londonderry on Thursday, police said, as politicians in the divided British region united to condemn the attack. Journalist Lyra McKee poses for a portrait outside the Sunflower Pub on Union Street in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 19, 2017. Jess Lowe Photography/Handout via REUTERS McKee, an award-winning 29-year-old journalist who was writing a book on the disappearance of young people during decades of violence in Northern Ireland, was…

U.S. intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

(Reuters) – U.S. intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West. A Huawei logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly SongThe CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source. Earlier…

Hundreds sign online petition supporting woman suing JD.com CEO in rape case

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Hundreds of people have added their names to an online petition in support of a University of Minnesota student who said she was raped last August by Richard Liu, the chief executive officer of China’s e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc. FILE PHOTO: JD.com founder Richard Liu attends a Reuters interview in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File PhotoThe student, Liu Jingyao, from China, filed a civil lawsuit against JD’s CEO in a Minneapolis court on Tuesday, nearly four months after prosecutors declined to press criminal charges…

U.S. arrests former Marine connected to North Korea embassy raid in Spain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities have arrested a former U.S. Marine who is a member of a group that allegedly raided the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February and stole electronics, two sources familiar with the arrest said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: A Spanish National Police car is seen outside the North Korea’s embassy in Madrid, Spain February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File PhotoChristopher Ahn was arrested on Thursday and appeared on Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, according to a law enforcement official and a source close to…

California couple sentenced to life in prison in severe child abuse case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Southern California couple was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Friday after the pair pleaded guilty to charges stemming from grim, headline-making accusations they beat, starved and shackled their 13 children in the family’s home, prosecutors said. David Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise Turpin, 50, had agreed to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison as part of an agreement with Riverside County prosecutors that saw them plead guilty in February to torture, child abuse and false imprisonment charges.…

Emma Thompson, weeping teenagers join peaceful climate protest in London

LONDON (Reuters) – Film star Emma Thompson joined climate change activists in a central London shopping district on Friday to read poetry praising Earth’s bounties, part of five days of protests which clogged the British capital with transport snarl-ups. Organizers Extinction Rebellion have called for non-violent civil disobedience to force the British government to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and stop what they call a global climate crisis. The protests did not cause major travel disruption on Friday during one of Britain’s biggest holiday weekends, but…

Trump approval drops 3 points to 2019 low after release of Mueller report: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of a special counsel report detailing Russian interference in the last U.S. presidential election, according to an exclusive Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll. U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to board Marine One en route to his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida following the release of the Mueller report at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos BarriaThe…

Pompeo says nothing’s changed on North Korea talks: ‘It’ll be my team’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said U.S. diplomatic efforts will continue toward the goal of denuclearization of North Korea, a day after a North Korean official said it no longer wanted to deal with him in talks. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo escorts Vice Chairman of the North Korean Workers’ Party Committee Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator in nuclear diplomacy with the United States, into talks aimed at clearing the way for a second U.S.-North Korea summit as they meet at a…

U.S. homebuilding near two-year low; permits extend decline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilding dropped to a near two-year low in March, pulled down by persistent weakness in the single-family unit segment, suggesting the housing market continued to struggle despite falling mortgage rates. FILE PHOTO: A construction worker builds a single family home in San Diego, California, U.S. February 15, 2017. Picture taken February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeThe second straight monthly decline in homebuilding reported by the Commerce Department on Friday probably reflected in part massive flooding in the Midwest, with housing starts in the region plunging to levels…

Off-duty journalist shot dead during Northern Ireland riot

BELFAST (Reuters) – An off-duty journalist was killed after shots were fired during rioting in the Northern Irish city of Londonderry overnight, an attack that shocked the province and police said was likely the work of nationalist militants. Journalist Lyra McKee poses for a portrait outside the Sunflower Pub on Union Street in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 19, 2017. Jess Lowe Photography/Handout via REUTERS Rioting erupted in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of the city late on Thursday following a raid by police, who said they were trying to prevent…

U.S. housing starts fall to near to two-year low; permits weak

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. homebuilding dropped to a near two-year low in March, pulled down by persistent weakness in the single-family housing segment, suggesting the housing market continued to struggle despite declining mortgage rates. FILE PHOTO: A construction worker builds a single family home in San Diego, California, U.S. February 15, 2017. Picture taken February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Mike BlakeHousing starts fell 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.139 million units last month, the lowest level since May 2017, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Data for February…

Mueller report gives Democrats political ammunition but they are split on how to use it

(Note graphic language in 13th paragraph) Official binders given to reporters with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are seen in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstBy Sarah N. Lynch and Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election provided extensive details on President Donald Trump’s efforts to thwart the probe, giving Democrats plenty of political ammunition against the Republican but no consensus on how to use it.…

Russia shrugs off Mueller report: agencies

Official binders given to reporters with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are seen in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstMOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s foreign ministry on Friday dismissed the findings of the long-awaited report by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and said it had failed to present any evidence of Russian meddling in U.S. elections, Russian news agencies reported. Mueller’s report, released on Thursday, details extensive contacts between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian operatives who, it said, sought to…

Rights group condemns U.S. ‘vigilante’ treatment of migrants on border

(Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico on Thursday called for state authorities to investigate a small group of armed U.S. citizens who they alleged are illegally detaining migrants entering the United States. FILE PHOTO: A child looks through the border wall during the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to Calexico, California, as seen in Mexicali, Mexico April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos JassoThe United Constitutional Patriots, who claim to be mainly military veterans, have been patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border near Sunland Park, New Mexico, since late February…

Mortar bombs land on Tripoli suburb as two-week battle rages on

AL-SUANI, Libya/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Mortar bombs crashed down on a suburb of Tripoli on Thursday, almost hitting a clinic and adding to people’s suffering after two weeks of an offensive by eastern troops on the Libyan capital, which is held by an internationally recognized government. Members of Libyan internationally recognised government forces react during the fighting with Eastern forces at Al-Swani area in Tripoli, Libya April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ahmed JadallahShelling could be also heard late at night in parts of Tripoli where a battle was raging in two southern suburbs,…

In unflattering detail, Mueller report reveals Trump actions to impede inquiry

(Advisory: Story includes language that might offend some readers.) By Sarah N. Lynch and Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election described in extensive and sometimes unflattering detail how President Donald Trump tried to impede the probe, raising questions about whether he committed the crime of obstruction of justice. The release of the 448-page report on Thursday after a 22-month investigation marked a milestone in Trump’s tumultuous presidency and inflamed partisan passions ahead of his 2020…

North Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; U.S. plays down weapons test

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down. North Korea’s state news agency said Kwon Jong Gun, in charge of U.S. affairs at the foreign ministry, had warned that no one could predict what would happen if Washington did not abandon the “root cause” that compelled Pyongyang to develop nuclear weapons. The…

U.S. launches four-state study to find ways to reduce opioid overdose deaths

(Reuters) – U.S. health officials on Thursday said they will spend $350 million in four states to study ways to best deal with the nation’s opioid crisis on the local level, with a goal of reducing opioid-related overdose deaths by 40 percent over three years in selected communities in those states. FILE PHOTO: HHS Secretary Alex Azar testifies before a Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Health and Human Services Department on…

Wall Street gains on positive earnings, upbeat data

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Industrials led Wall Street higher on Thursday in the wake of upbeat economic data and a string of healthy corporate earnings. A trader works on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidAll three major U.S. stock indexes nosed into positive territory in light trading heading into the three-day weekend. For the holiday-shortened week, the S&P was on track to snap its three-week winning streak, while the Dow and the Nasdaq were poised to end the…

Stocks mixed as strong U.S. retail sales offsets weak European manufacturing data

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global stocks fell on Thursday after underwhelming manufacturing surveys from Asia and Europe, though they pared losses as Wall Street edged higher on strong U.S. retail sales data and earnings from industrial companies. FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby MelvilleThe U.S. benchmark S&P 500 index inched forward as healthcare shares, which have been under pressure from Democratic proposals to extend Medicare coverage to more Americans, trimmed their declines. Strong…

In aftermath of Notre-Dame blaze, Macron says Pope will visit France

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis addresses reporters aboard the plane bringing him back following a two-day trip to Morocco March 31, 2019. Alberto Pizzoli/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoPARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that Pope Francis would at an undetermined time visit France, a country plunged into sorrow this week by a catastrophic fire at the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. “I spoke to the Pope yesterday by telephone. I obviously invited him to come over, and he will come at a time of his suiting,” Macron said. Earlier…

Time-lapse shots of Notre-Dame spire may yield clues on blaze

PARIS (Reuters) – A time lapse camera installed just hours before Monday’s devastating blaze at Notre-Dame de Paris may contain vital clues as to what caused the inferno, a French scaffolding company working at the cathedral said on Thursday. A view shows Notre-Dame Cathedral reflected on the River Seine after a massive fire devastated large parts of the gothic structure in Paris, France, April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe WojazerEurope Echafaudage was one of five companies contracted to restore Notre-Dame’s 90-metre (295-foot) spire, which collapsed in the blaze, crashing through the cathedral’s…

Release of long-awaited Mueller report on Russia a watershed moment for Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election will be released on Thursday, providing the first public look at the findings of an inquiry that has cast a shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency. FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller, as FBI director, testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington March 12, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File PhotoAttorney General William Barr’s planned release of the nearly 400-page report comes after Mueller wrapped up his 22-month investigation last month into the Trump…

Trump adviser visits Moscow for Kremlin talks

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Fiona Hill, an adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, visited Moscow this week and discussed bilateral relations with Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. Ties between Washington and Moscow are at post-Cold War lows and later on Thursday a long-awaited report on Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election is set to be released. Moscow denies any role. Hill is senior director for European and Russian affairs at the U.S. National Security Council. Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Andrey Kuzmin; Editing…

France asks: should Notre-Dame’s spire be rebuilt as it was?

PARIS (Reuters) – France will open the redesign of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral’s historic spire to international architects after Monday night’s catastrophic blaze that gutted the centuries-old roof and sent the towering spire crashing through the vaulted ceiling. The government’s announcement on Wednesday added to a question many are asking as France grieves for its national symbol – whether the familiar outline at the heart of the capital should be restored as it was or given a modern twist. President Emmanuel Macron pledged in a prime-time address to the nation…

White House, Justice Department officials discussed Mueller report ahead of release: NYT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – White House lawyers had talks with U.S. Justice Department officials in recent days about the conclusions in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, aiding them in preparing for its release, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. The release of the report on Thursday, albeit with passages blacked out, into the investigation of suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election will be a milestone in Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency. U.S. Attorney General William Barr has scheduled a news conference for 9:30 a.m. EDT to discuss the…

Young woman obsessed with Columbine found dead after frantic manhunt

DENVER (Reuters) – An 18-year-old Florida woman infatuated with the Columbine massacre was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Colorado on Wednesday after she touched off an extensive manhunt by making a “pilgrimage” to the state days before the 20th anniversary of the 1999 school shooting. The body of Sol Pais, a student from Surfside, Florida, was found by authorities about 40 miles (64 km) west of Columbine High School, at about 10:30 a.m. local time, said Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the Denver office…

Trump’s Cuba hawks try to squeeze Havana over Venezuela role

MIAMI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed new sanctions and other punitive measures on Cuba and Venezuela, seeking to ratchet up U.S. pressure on Havana to end its support for Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro. Speaking to a Cuban exile group in Miami, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the United States was targeting Cuba’s military and intelligence services, including a military-owned airline, for additional sanctions and was tightening travel and trade restrictions against the island. Bolton’s speech followed the State Department’s announcement on Wednesday that it…

Columbine-infatuated teen found dead in Colorado after hunt

DENVER (Reuters) – A Florida teenager who authorities said was armed, dangerous and “infatuated” with the Columbine massacre was found dead in Colorado after she traveled to the state days before the 20th anniversary of the school attack, officials said on Wednesday. After a daylong search, Sol Pais, an 18-year-old student from Surfside, Florida, was found about 40 miles (64 km) west of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where two teenaged male students shot and killed 12 classmates and a teacher on April 20, 1999, before committing suicide. Pais…