Scientists downgrade alert level for Hawaii volcano

HONOLULU (AP) — Slowing activity at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has prompted scientists on Friday to downgrade their alert level for ...
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Avon fisherman reels in 2nd hammerhead shark in 2 days

A hammerhead shark was reeled in by a fisherman in Avon Thursday afternoon.
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U.S. secures $300 million from coalition partners to help stabilize Syria

At the same time an official said the U.S. would not contribute to Syria's full reconstruction until there was a ...
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Caught between debts and the street, a soccer team gives hope to Jerusalem’s homeless

Some of them used to own businesses until their worlds collapsed. After practice they go sleep in a hostel, or ...
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Foreign workers in Israel have their money stolen – and cops are the suspects

‘The police in Nepal may steal money from people, but here in Israel?’ a complainant asks. The two officers deny ...
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Taiwan's president lauds Belize amid dwindling support

Before a joint session of Congress and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Tsai said, "At a time of great political pressure ...
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Raul Castro acts like he's retiring though future unclear

Raul Castro acts like he's retiring though future unclearHAVANA (AP) — Raul Castro was relaxed as he gave a 90-minute speech handing over the presidency to his hand-picked successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel. The 86-year-old revolutionary departed from his prepared remarks, making jokes and reminiscing about the past. He talked about his great-grandchildren.


EPA staff see hurdles in Pruitt science revamp, internal emails show

EPA staff see hurdles in Pruitt science revamp, internal emails showBy Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials are concerned that companies may be required to publicly disclose confidential data used in crafting government regulations, under an initiative by the agency’s chief to eliminate “secret science,” internal emails showed. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is spearheading a push to relax or undo Obama-era environmental rules, said in March he would no longer allow the agency to use studies with nonpublic scientific data to develop rules on public health and pollution. Pruitt had instructed staff to complete the guidelines by the end of February, according to the emails obtained by scientific advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists and shared with Reuters.


Michael Cohen may have to declare Stormy Daniels case could affect criminal probe

Michael Cohen may have to declare Stormy Daniels case could affect criminal probeDonald Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen must formally declare that his right to avoid self-incrimination would suffer if adult actress Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit is not delayed, a federal judge said. Attorneys for Mr Cohen were in court seeking a stay of Ms Daniels’ lawsuit seeking to release her from a confidentiality agreement. FBI agents were said to have sought information on a payout allegedly made to prevent Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, from speaking publicly about an alleged affair with Mr Trump (the White House has denied an affair occurred).


Trucker in deadly Texas migrant case given life sentences

Trucker in deadly Texas migrant case given life sentencesThe driver of a truck packed with migrants, 10 of whom died due to sweltering Texas heat in July, was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty in October to federal human smuggling charges. James Bradley, 61, could have faced the death penalty in the case, considered one of the deadliest human smuggling incidents in modern U.S. history. “This was the equivalent of torture,” U.S. District Judge David Ezra told Bradley when he handed out two concurrent life sentences at a court in San Antonio.


Smallville actress Allison Mack arrested in New York sex cult case

Smallville actress Allison Mack arrested in New York sex cult caseAllison Mack, the actress best known for appearing in the Superman TV show Smallville, was arrested on Friday and charged with helping run a secret society that enslaved women and branded them with the founder’s initials, according to prosecutors. It follows the arrest last month of Keith Raniere, a self-help guru who ran a network of workshops known as Nxivm. Mack, 35, has been charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy, and was due to appear in Brooklyn federal court on Friday afternoon. Richard Donoghue, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said: “As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labour, to the defendants’ benefit.” Actress Allison Mack attends the WB Network's 2002 Summer Party at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel on July 13, 2002 Credit:  Robert Mora/Getty The criminal complaint, alleges that Raniere – who gave himself the title “Vanguard” – set up a series of self-help workshops with five-day courses costing as much as $5000. Women were told that the best way to advance was within a secret group of “slaves” and “masters”. The complaint says Raniere stood at the top of the pyramid and women were expected to have sex with him. Inductees were allegedly required to provide “collateral” such as damaging information about family and friends, nude photographs or rights to assets, which they feared they would lose if they did not go along with the rules. He fled the US last year after The New York Times exposed the organisation. However, he was arrested after being tracked down to a Mexican resort. Keith Raniere was arrested in March Credit: Youtube Mack helped force the women to have sex with Raniere and received financial and other benefits from Raniere in return, prosecutors said. Her lawyers could not be reached immediately for comment. William Sweeney, who is leading the FBI investigation, said: “As this pyramid scheme continues to unravel, we ask anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation.” Raniere denied the allegations when they were first reported. “Over the past months, there have been extensive independent investigations performed, by highly qualified individuals, and they have firmly concluded that there is no merit to the allegations that we are abusing, coercing or harming individuals,” he wrote on the group’s website.