It’s Tuesday June 13, 2017

13Jun

00:0000:00

A possible North Korean drone took numerous photos of a new U.S. missile defense site located in South Korea before crashing near the demilitarized zone between the two countries. The drone, according to the report, was found last week just days after North Korea test-fired a salvo of anti-ship missiles. A South Korean Defense Ministry official, said that the drone was found in a South Korean Border town and that it taken 10 photos of a U.S. Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) site located in Seongju. According to the report, the Sony digital camera aboard the drone had hundreds of photos stored, though most of the images were of various agricultural areas in South Korea. The twin engine drone crashed because it ran out of fuel, but that it had flown farther than other North Korean drones recovered in years past. North Korea is believed to have 300 drones in its arsenal. This news comes as South Korea reports that a North Korean soldier defected on Tuesday across the heavily mined Demilitarized Zone border to South Korea. The South Korean military said it is questioning the soldier.

 

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, that North Korea has released Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts. Tillerson said in a statement, "at the direction of the President, the Department of State has secured the release of Otto Warmbier from North Korea,"and, "Mr. Warmbier is en route to the U.S. where he will be reunited with his family." The Washington Post, citing Warmbier's parents, reported that he had been medically evacuated from North Korea in a coma, and was due to arrive home in Cincinnati on Tuesday evening. The report said he had been a coma for more than a year, since shortly after his last public appearance at his trial in Pyongyang in March 2016. Tillerson said the department would have no further comment on Warmbier and his condition, citing privacy concerns. But he noted that the State Department is continuing "to have discussions" with North Korea about the release of other three American citizens who are jailed there.

 

 

The U.S. announcement came as former NBA player Dennis Rodman was paying a return visit to Pyongyang, his fifth trip to the Hermit Kingdom, and his first since President Trump took office. The visit comes at a time of rising tensions over Pyongyang's missile and nuclear weapons programs. Rodman, who has been received warmly by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in past trips, said he was "pretty sure" Trump would be happy about his trip, because he is "trying to accomplish something that we both need." Rodman said he was "just trying to open a door" and did not plan to bring up the other Americans being detained in North Korea. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of Rodman's trip, noting that he was traveling as a private citizen. U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon said, "We wish him well, but we have issued travel warnings to Americans and suggested they not travel to North Korea for their own safety."

 

 

Georgia police were searching on Tuesday for two armed inmates who escaped from a prison transport after overpowering and disarming their guards, both of whom were shot dead. The guards were transporting prisoners early Tuesday morning in Putnam County, about 70 miles southeast of Atlanta, when the inmates 43 year old Donnie Rowe, 43, and 24 year old Ricky Dubose disarmed them. Police said one of the inmates shot and killed both officers. Rowe and Dubose - both white males - are believed to be armed with the officers' .40 caliber Glock pistols, and escaped in a dark green Honda Civic. The Georgia Department of Corrections said both slain officers worked at Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville. It named them as Curtis Billue, who joined the department in 2007, and Christopher Monica, who was hired in 2009. The incident came a day after a decorated, 15-year veteran Arkansas police officer was shot while assisting another officer in a traffic stop in a town about 90 miles northeast of Little Rock. That officer, 41 year old Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford, who was named the 2016 Jackson County Outstanding Officer of the Year, died on Monday night in a hospital.

 

 

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris later for talks about anti-terror measures. The two leaders have agreed proposals under which social media companies could be fined if they fail to remove extremist material. It is May's first foreign trip since losing her majority in a snap general election. It comes as UK officials gear up for the start of Brexit talks on June 19. May and Macron will have a working dinner and then attend the England vs France football friendly at the Stade de France, where there will be a minute's silence before kick-off to honour those killed in the Manchester and London attacks. Speaking ahead of the visit, May said the two leaders were determined that the internet could not be used as a "safe space" for terrorists. They are expected to agree ways that France and the UK can develop tools with tech companies such as Google and Facebook to stop online extremism. Google says it already invests heavily in combating abuse on its platforms and is working on an "international forum to accelerate and strengthen our existing work in this area". Facebook has also insisted it works "aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it". Twitter says "terrorist content has no place on" its platform.

 

 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify Tuesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open hearing on matters related to Russia's alleged meddling in last year's presidential election. Lawmakers are expected to follow up on last week's testimony by former FBI Director James Comey, whom President Trump fired last month, by questioning Sessions on his involvement in Comey's dismissal, despite his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation because of his own contacts with Russian officials. Comey said last week that the FBI had information on Sessions that would have made it "problematic" for him to be involved in the inquiry into Russia's attempts to interfere with the election, and the possible collusion of Trump associates.

 

 

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia filed a federal lawsuit accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution's anti-corruption emoluments clause by profiting from payments from foreign government sources. Trump has retained ownership of his real estate empire but transferred day-to-day control to his sons, although he continues to get information on the Trump Organization's operations and profit reports. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, who like Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is a Democrat said,"the suit alleges that President Trump is flagrantly violating the Constitution." The lawsuit, the first of its kind filed by government entities, also seeks Trump's tax returns, which he has declined to release, through the discovery process. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reiterated the administration's argument that Trump has not violated the emoluments clause, saying the lawsuit appeared to be motivated by "partisan politics."

 

 

A second federal appeals court upheld a freeze on President Trump's revised travel ban, saying many parts of the executive order targeting six majority-Muslim countries violated the Constitution's prohibition against a government establishment of religion. The unanimous decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, followed a flurry of court rulings against Trump's order to temporarily block travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen so that vetting procedures could be tightened to keep out terrorists. The Trump administration has requested that the Supreme Court review a similar ruling by the Fourth Circuit appeals court in Richmond, Virginia.

 

 

Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte was sentenced Monday to a $385 fine, 20 hours of anger management counseling, and community service for assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs the night before his election. Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. Judge Rick West asked Gianforte whether he believed he had injured Jacobs after the reporter tried to ask him about the Republican bill aiming to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Gianforte said, "although it was not my intention to hurt him, I understand Ben was injured." IN a statement read to the court, Jacobs said that Gianforte slammed him to the floor and punched him. The men reached a settlement in which Gianforte, a tech multimillionaire, apologized and said he was contributing $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

 

 

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 on Monday to win their second NBA title in three years. The Warriors entered the game on their home court with a 3-1 game lead, the same advantage they had last year when the Cavaliers staged a stunning comeback to win the championship. This time, Kevin Durant led the Warriors to victory, finishing a stellar first year with the Warriors by scoring 39 points and earning unanimous selection as the most valuable player in the NBA Finals. Stephen Curry added 34 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Cavaliers star LeBron James piled up 41 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists in the effort to keep his team alive, and Kyrie Irving contributed 26 points. It was the first time in 43 years that a sports team from the San Francisco Bay area won a championship title at home. While the Bay area has had 19 other pro championships since that time, the last home win celebration by a local team was when the Oakland As beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1974 World Series title four games to one.

 

 

Verizon Communications said on Tuesday it has officially closed its $4.48 billion acquisition of Yahoo Inc's core business and that Marissa Mayer, chief executive of the internet company, had resigned. The No. 1 U.S. wireless operator is rebranding AOL and Yahoo as part of a new venture called Oath, led by AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong. Oath's more than 50 brands include HuffPost, TechCrunch and Tumblr. The closing of the deal, announced in July, had been delayed as the companies assessed the fallout from two data breaches that Yahoo disclosed last year. On June 16, Yahoo will be renamed as Altaba Inc, a holding company whose primary assets will be its 15.5 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and a 35.5 percent holding in Yahoo Japan Corp. Thomas McInerney, a Yahoo board member, will become Altaba's chief executive officer.