Associated Press

Page: 2

North Korea confirmed Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin in a summit that comes at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea has so far not gotten what it wants most from the recent flurry of high-level summitry between Kim and various world leaders — namely, relief from crushing international sanctions. There are fears that a recent North Korean weapon test and a series of jibes at Washington over deadlocked nuclear negotiations mean that Pyongyang may again return to the nuclear and long-range missile tests that had many in Asia fearing war in 2017.

The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency released a terse, two-sentence statement saying Kim “will soon pay a visit to the Russian Federation,” and that he and Putin “will have talks.” A date for the meeting was not released, and it wasn’t clear if Kim would fly or take his armored train. There are some indications the meeting will be held this week in the far-eastern port of Vladivostok, not too far from Russia’s border with the North.

The Kremlin said in a brief statement last week that Kim will visit Russia “in the second half of April,” but gave no further details.

It’s not clear how — or even if — Putin will push the stalled nuclear talks along, and the visit may have more to do with each nation’s economic interests. Russia is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang, for its part, covets Russia’s electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize its dilapidated industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

Kim and President Donald Trump have had two summits, but the latest, in Vietnam in February, collapsed because North Korea wanted more sanctions relief than Washington was willing to give for the amount of disarmament offered by Pyongyang.

For a leader often perceived by foreign media as isolated, Kim has had a remarkable string of summits, meeting with the leaders and other senior officials of South Korea, China, Vietnam and Singapore. He has also sent his deputies to Washington and received Trump’s lieutenants in Pyongyang as part of nuclear talks.

But Kim’s patience appears to be wearing thin. The North last week announced that it had tested what it called a new type of “tactical guided weapon.” While unlikely to be a prohibited test of a medium- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle the negotiations, the announcement signaled the North’s growing disappointment with the diplomatic breakdown.

The North also demanded that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the talks, and on Saturday criticized White House national security adviser John Bolton for calling on North Korea to show more evidence of its disarmament commitment before a possible third leaders’ summit.

Source: Fox News World

North Korea on Tuesday confirmed that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin. The summit would come at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal, following a recent North Korean weapons test that likely signals Kim’s growing frustration with deadlocked negotiations with Washington.

The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency released a terse, two-sentence statement that announced Kim “will soon pay a visit to the Russian Federation,” and that he and Putin “will have talks.” A date for the meeting was not immediately released, and it wasn’t clear if Kim would fly or take his armored train. There are some indications that the meeting will be held in the far-eastern port of Vladivostok, not too far from Russia’s border with the North.

The Kremlin said in a brief statement last week that Kim will visit Russia “in the second half of April,” but gave no further details.

Russia is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang covets Russia’s electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize its dilapidated industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump have had two summits, but the latest, in Vietnam in February, collapsed because North Korea wanted more sanctions relief than Washington was willing to give for the amount of disarmament offered by Pyongyang.

As the standoff continued, the North last week announced that it had tested what it called a new type of “tactical guided weapon.” While unlikely to be a prohibited test of a medium- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle the negotiations, the announcement signaled the North’s growing disappointment with the diplomatic breakdown — and its apparent willingness to turn back to the kinds of missile tests that in 2017 had many in Asia fearing war.

The North also demanded that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the talks, and on Saturday criticized White House national security adviser John Bolton for calling on North Korea to show more evidence of its disarmament commitment before a possible third leaders’ summit.

Source: Fox News National

A federal appeals court has ruled that a New Jersey condominium association violated women’s rights by setting separate swimming hours for male and female residents.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the schedule adopted by A Country Place’s condominium association was “plainly unequal in its allotment of favorable swimming times.”

The Lakewood condominium complex, which serves people 55 or older, restricts swimming by gender at certain times in accord with Jewish law that prohibits men and women from bathing together. Orthodox Jewish residents made up about two thirds of residents, but several non-Orthodox homeowners sued in 2016 after being fined $50 each after refusing to abide by the rules.

A judge ruled in January that the separate swim hours weren’t discriminatory because they applied to both sexes equally, but the appeals court overturned that decision Monday.

Under the rules, men and women were only allowed in the pool together for two hours on weekdays and all day Saturday, when, the court noted, “Orthodox residents would not go swimming on the Jewish Sabbath.”

The association said it allocated roughly the same number of hours for men and women, but the court said women were only able to swim for about 3½ hours on weeknight evenings compared to 16½ hours for men.

“Women with regular-hour jobs thus have little access to the pool during the work week, and the schedule appears to reflect particular assumptions about the roles of men and women,” Judge Thomas Ambro wrote for the court majority.

An attorney for the plaintiffs, Jose Roman, told the Asbury Park Press that his clients were “very happy that the court saw the case our way, that it was discriminatory based on gender.” An attorney for the condominium association didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Source: Fox News National

Sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina have filed multiple charges against the mother of a 21-month-old child after saying they found methamphetamine near a baby bottle.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office says its deputies were trying to serve a warrant at a home on Sunday when 27-year-old Kyle Elizabeth Hollingsworth allowed deputies inside to search for her live-in boyfriend. While searching, deputies found a bottle containing meth less than a foot (0.3 meter) from a half-full baby bottle.

Hollingsworth admitted that her child was drinking from the bottle in the same bed prior to the deputies’ arrival. She was arrested on several charges, including felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor child abuse.

Hollingsworth is jailed on a $25,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in court Monday.

___

Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com

Source: Fox News National

An attorney for JD.com founder Richard Liu said Monday that surveillance video showing the Chinese businessman in an elevator and walking arm-in-arm with a woman who has accused him of rape provides a different account of what happened that night.

Two edited videos of Liu and his accuser were posted Monday to a Chinese social media site. One video shows the pair leaving a group dinner in Minneapolis on Aug. 30, with the woman getting up to leave after Liu gets up, then following him out the door. The other video shows the woman holding onto Liu’s arm as they walk to her apartment, where she says he raped her as she begged him to stop.

Liu, founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was arrested Aug. 31 in Minneapolis on suspicion of felony rape, but prosecutors announced in December that he would face no criminal charges because the case had “profound evidentiary problems” and it was unlikely they could prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The woman, Jingyao Liu, a Chinese college student at the University of Minnesota, sued the businessman and his company last week. She alleged she was groped in Richard Liu’s limousine and raped in her apartment after a dinner at Origami, a Japanese restaurant in Minneapolis, in which she felt pressured to drink as Liu and other executives toasted her. At one point, Richard Liu said she would dishonor him if she did not join in, the lawsuit says.

Richard Liu and Jingyao Liu are not related.

It’s not clear who posted the videos, which were posted on Weibo under an account for Mingzhou Events. The clips are short and the content is edited, but Richard Liu’s attorneys in China confirmed their authenticity. The videos do not contain audio, and they do not show what happened in his limousine or in the woman’s apartment.

Jill Brisbois, Richard Liu’s attorney in Minnesota, said in a statement to The Associated Press that the clips “further dispel the misinformation and false claims that have been widely circulated and clearly support the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office decision not to file charges against our client.”

Brisbois said the videos speak for themselves and show events as they are happening. While the woman has alleged she was impaired and coerced to drink, she appears to be walking without assistance and linking her arm with the businessman.

The law firm of Florin Roebig, which is representing the woman, said the clips that have been posted online, as well as the full surveillance videos, are consistent with what the woman alleged in her lawsuit and with what she told law enforcement. The lawsuit says the woman went to her apartment building with Liu to be polite and respectful, and believed he was simply walking her to the door.

The clip in Jingyao Liu’s apartment complex shows Richard Liu and the woman walking through multiple lobbies and taking multiple elevators. Initially, Richard Liu’s female assistant is with them and the woman leads the way. At one point, the assistant does not get on an elevator with Richard Liu and the woman, and when they exit the elevator, she has her hand through his arm and he has his hands in his pockets.

She leads him up a short stairway, then through another set of doors and continues to link her hand through his arm. As they get off another elevator, she leads him down a hallway to an apartment. She opens the door and goes in, and Richard Liu follows.

The other clip features surveillance video from the end of the dinner at Origami. It shows Jingyao Liu seated at a table with other men, and Richard Liu is a few seats away, appearing to have an animated conversation with others at the table. One man at the dinner party is slumped over and appears to be passed out. The woman is seen talking to the man next to her, and when Liu gets up to leave, she gets up and appears to follow him. They walk out next to each other. Video from outside the restaurant shows her leaving with Richard Liu and his assistant.

Richard Liu walks ahead and it appears the woman and Liu’s assistant have a brief conversation, then she follows Liu.

Text messages previously reviewed by The Associated Press and portions of the woman’s interviews with police show the woman alleges Liu pulled her into a limousine and made advances and groped her despite her protests. The lawsuit says Liu forcibly raped her at her apartment, again over her protests and resistance. She texted a friend: “I begged him don’t. But he didn’t listen.”

The alleged attack happened while Richard Liu was in Minneapolis for a weeklong residency as part of the University of Minnesota’s doctor of business administration China program. The four-year program in the university’s management school is geared toward high-level executives in China and is a partnership with Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.

Jingyao Liu is a Chinese citizen studying at the university on a student visa and was a volunteer in the doctorate program while Richard Liu was there. The Associated Press does not generally name alleged victims of sexual assault without their consent, but the Florin Roebig law firm has said she agreed to be named. She was 21 at the time of the alleged attack.

Richard Liu, known in Chinese as Liu Qiangdong, is a prominent member of the Chinese tech elite, with a fortune of $7.5 billion. He is part of a generation of entrepreneurs who have created China’s internet, e-commerce, mobile phone and other technology industries since the late 1990s. The son of peasants, Liu built a Beijing electronics shop into JD.com, China’s biggest online direct retailer, selling everything from clothes to toys to fresh vegetables.

___

Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti

Source: Fox News National

Prosecutors are examining the actions of a Florida sheriff’s deputy who slammed a pepper-sprayed teen’s head into the ground.

Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz announced Monday that his staff will meet Tuesday with the 15-year-old student who had an altercation with two deputies.

The deputies had responded to a fight Thursday outside a suburban Fort Lauderdale McDonald’s where 200 students gathered. Sheriff’s office reports say the 15-year-old picked up a phone belonging to a student being detained.

Video shows Sgt. Greg LaCerra sprayed the teen after he stood up and appeared to say something to him. LaCerra then threw the teen to the ground, where Deputy Christopher Krickovich jumped on him, slammed his head twice and punched him.

Krickovich was placed on restricted duty. His union says his actions were in self-defense. The teen wasn’t seriously hurt.

Source: Fox News National

Viji Devadas hasn’t heard from her nephew in Sri Lanka on her family WhatsApp chat group since he reached out just after the Easter Sunday bomb blasts that tore apart churches and hotels and killed hundreds in the South Asian nation.

It’s unsettling, but she knows he’s ok, and the Sri Lankan government’s decision to block most social media, citing concern over “false news reports,” makes sense to her.

In “one way, it’s good because so many rumors and so many things, everybody gets scared,” said Devadas, whose family runs a restaurant named after the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, in a tiny strip of New York’s Staten Island borough known as “Little Sri Lanka.” At the same time, she hoped it wouldn’t be in place for long, since “people like to see what’s going on and happening.”

The block on social media including Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram services was announced by the Sri Lankan government’s official news portal, which cited the spread of misinformation online. The NetBlocks observatory said it detected an intentional blackout of the popular platforms, as well as YouTube, Snapchat and Viber. Twitter appeared unaffected.

Officials likely feared that the spread of inflammatory content could provoke more bloodshed in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist-majority island nation that has large Hindu, Muslim and Christian minorities and a long history of ethnic and sectarian conflict. At least 290 people were killed and 500 people injured in the bombings.

That made sense to Devadas. The government doesn’t “want to get new rumors, they don’t want to get riots,” she said.

James Moses agreed. “I think it’s a good thing, what they have done because … a lot of people give misinformation, and spread that which is not accurate,” said the Sri Lankan immigrant, who also lives on Staten Island. “I see sometimes hatred, violence … put up on social media. That’s not going to help anybody. That’s going to be really a mess.”

The decision by Sri Lankan authorities to flick the off switch on most social media after the attacks was a lightning fast reaction that also reflects accumulated distrust in the capability of American internet companies to control harmful content.

It wasn’t the first time Sri Lanka has blocked social media. The government imposed a weeklong ban in March 2018 because of concerns that WhatsApp and other platforms were being used to fan anti-Muslim violence in the country’s central region.

Ivan Sigal, head of the internet and journalism advocacy organization Global Voices, said the country’s rapid action after Sunday’s attack was a “telling moment.”

“A few years ago we’d be using these platforms to help each other and coordinating assistance. Now we view them as a threat,” he wrote on Twitter.

“If I were Facebook and WhatsApp I’d take a moment to ask myself where I’d gone wrong,” he added. “Cannot think of a clearer signal for lack of platform trust.”

In the past, blocking social media would have been seen as “outrageous censorship,” Sigal said, highlighting the shift in attitudes toward social media sites. “Now we think of it as essential duty of care, to protect ourselves from threat.”

Sri Lanka’s defense ministry said the shutdown would extend until the government wraps up its investigation into the bomb blasts. Sri Lanka’s U.N. ambassador, Amrith Rohan Perera, said in a statement Monday that the blocks aim “to prevent speculative and mischievous attempts to spread rumors.” He also cautioned expatriates to use social media responsibly to support one another but not to inadvertently spread “panic and mistrust.”

NetBlocks, however, said post-attack blackouts can be ineffective.

“What we’ve seen is that when social media is shut down, it creates a vacuum of information that’s readily exploited by other parties,” said Alp Toker, executive director of the London-based group. “It can add to the sense of fear and can cause panic.”

“That’s going to be a problem for people trying to communicate with friends and family,” Toker said.

Some internet users are circumventing the social media blocks by using a virtual private network, which masks the location of a computer, Toker said. An analysis by Sri Lankan researcher and author Yudhanjaya Wijeratne of thousands of Facebook posts made during last year’s ban found that many Sri Lankans simply found ways around it.

Others, like Staten Island resident Dhannitha Meemanage, turned to old-fashioned means of getting news about loved ones after Sunday’s attack — a landline phone.

“Everything is shut down because of this problem,” he said as he bagged cashews in his family’s grocery story in Little Sri Lanka.

__

Associated Press writers Matt O’Brien, Stephen Wright and Jennifer Peltz contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

Authorities in the northern Mexico state of Nuevo Leon are investigating five law enforcement officers for their alleged involvement in the death of a man who fell from the 14th floor of a building.

Deputy state prosecutor Luis Enrique Orozco says authorities are looking for one more person believed to have been involved.

The man fell to his death early Sunday in Monterrey. Prosecutors say police allegedly arrived at the building with a false arrest warrant and then the man fell from a window.

Prosecutors say two officers with the state investigative unit of the public safety agency are believed directly involved and the others allegedly helped in some way.

State security secretary Aldo Fasci Zuazua denies that any members of the state police were involved.

Source: Fox News World

A Los Angeles man charged with making a series of phone calls threatening to kill journalists at The Boston Globe will plead guilty.

Robert Chain’s lawyer said Monday that Chain plans to plead guilty to all counts against him and “take full responsibility for his actions.” Attorney William Weinreb said in an email that Chain is “anxious to make a full, public apology.”

Chain was arrested in August after authorities say he made the threats in retaliation for the Globe’s coordination of a series of editorials condemning President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press.

In some calls, authorities say Chain called Globe employees the “enemy of the people,” a characterization of journalists that Trump has used repeatedly.

A plea hearing has been scheduled for May 15.

Source: Fox News National

A St. Louis County judge has refused to lower bail for a former Catholic priest who was previously imprisoned and labeled sexually violent.

Fred Lenczycki of suburban Chicago was charged in February with two counts of sodomy for allegedly abusing two boys in the early 1990s at a north St. Louis County parish. He is jailed on $500,000 cash-only bond and sought an unspecified reduction.

Circuit Judge Gloria Glark Reno declined the request at a hearing Monday.

Lenczycki is 74. He was removed from the ministry in 2002, when he was charged with sexually abusing three boys in Hinsdale, Illinois, in the 1980s. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Court and church files say Lenczycki admitted abusing up to 30 boys in Illinois, Missouri and California over 25 years.

Source: Fox News National


Current track

Title

Artist