U.S. prosecutors have charged a Russian woman who works for an oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin with attempting to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, authorities said Friday.
The charges, filed Friday in the Eastern District of Virginia, accuse Elena A. Khusyaynova of St. Petersburg with using social media platforms to create thousands of social media and e-mail accounts — appearing to be from U.S. persons — to "create and amplify divisive social media and political content."
The content touched on divisive topics like gun control and the NFL anthem debate as well as events like the Las Vegas shooting. The posts adopted several viewpoints, according to the documents, and attacked politicians of both major political parties, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and former President Barack Obama.
The case is being brought separately from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which brought charges against Russians for attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Prosecutors said Khusyaynova is the chief accountant for a Russian umbrella effort called Project Lakhta, funded by a Russian oligarch whose Concord companies were named in the July indictment brought by Mueller involving attempted meddling in the 2016 election. Concord Management is owned by Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, also known as "Putin's chef," who is closely linked to the Russian president. It provides food services at the Kremlin.
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AP Photo/Oliver de Ros
Central Americans traveling in a mass caravan broke through a Guatemalan border fence and streamed by the thousands toward Mexican territory Friday, defying Mexican authorities' entreaties for an orderly migration and U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of retaliation.
Arriving on the Mexican side of a border bridge, they were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.
The gates were closed again, and a federal police officer used a loudspeaker to address the masses, saying, "We need you to stop the aggression."
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The Mega Millions jackpot jumped to an estimated $1 billion Friday, hitting the 10-figure mark for the first time in the game's history and the second time in U.S. lottery history.
Officials raised the estimated jackpot Friday for a third time due to strong sales hours ahead of the drawing.
The prize is the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history, behind only a $1.6 billion Powerball prize won in 2016.
In a video advertisement for his Florida gubernatorial campaign, Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis urged his toddler-aged daughter to "build the wall" with colorful toy blocks. DeSantis, who faced off against an establishment Republican, had already gotten President Donald Trump's endorsement the month before. DeSantis would go on to win his primary in a landslide, the race called within minutes of polls closing.
His path hasn't been so easy since. A late September NBC News/Marist poll has him trailing Democrat Andrew Gillum by 5 points.
Many Republicans pursuing the governor's mansion this cycle face a predicament in the general election: a tie to President Trump may have swayed a primary in their favor, but in closer races, it could impede chances of winning the seat.
Barron County Sheriff’s Department via AP
Authorities say a ground search has turned up nothing useful as investigators look for a 13-year-old girl who went missing after her parents were found dead in Wisconsin.
Deputies found Jayme Closs' parents shot to death in the family's home in rural Barron early Monday. The girl was nowhere to be found. Investigators say the girl is in danger and is not suspected in her parents' deaths.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says the ground search won't resume Friday. His office coordinated a ground search Thursday using 100 volunteers to comb fields and ditches, but he says the search turned up nothing of evidentiary value.
Neiman Marcus has released the 92nd edition of its Christmas Book and Fantasy Gifts. The 2018 edition features a solar yacht, a unique tennis experience and more.
A Turkish official said Friday that investigators are looking into the possibility that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's remains may have been taken to a forest outside Istanbul or to another city after his suspected killing at the consulate earlier this month.
Ankara's top diplomat, meanwhile, denied sharing any audio from the Saudi Consulate with U.S. officials. And President Donald Trump denied that his top diplomat was ever "given or shown a Transcript or Video of the Saudi Consulate event," adding that reports to the contrary were "FAKE NEWS!"
The official told The Associated Press that police have established that two vehicles belonging to the consulate left the building on Oct. 2 — the day Khashoggi had walked into the consulate and vanished.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort rolled into a Virginia federal court Friday in a wheelchair and wearing a green prison uniform instead of his signature tailored suit.
The judge scheduled Manafort to be sentenced Feb. 8 for eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud and dismissed the remaining charges against him, NBC News reported.
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Warner Workman has met his Virginia congresswoman several times at local events and says he's "always dumbfounded when she actually remembers my name."
Rep. Barbara Comstock's social media pages are filled with photos of her thanking local first responders at 9/11 memorials, posing with families at county fairs, attending Boy Scout events and opening new police stations in Virginia's 10th Congressional District.
The Republican congresswoman is "always out there … getting to know people," Workman said.
Think you have a chance at winning the Lottery? Well, you do! But its a very, very small chance. Here are some things that are more likely to happen to you.
Jönköping County Museum
A figure emerges from a glistening Swedish lake holding a mysterious sword, crusted over and worn by time.
No, this is not the opening scene from a new “Thor” movie. Nor is it an excerpt from a Nordic myth about a deity and their magical weapon.
The figure is an 8-year-old, blond-haired girl named Saga Vaneck who discovered an ancient sword while playing in Vidostern lake in southern Sweden in July. Vaneck reflected on her find in an Oct. 19 essay for The Guardian.
An outspoken former detainee in China's internment camps for Muslims said Thursday his application for a visa to visit the United States was rejected despite an invitation to speak at Congress about his ordeal.
Kazakh national Omir Bekali was asked to travel to Washington in September by the chairs of the Congressional-Executive Committee on China. He said his application was rejected by the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 after he was questioned about his employment status.
Bekali was one of the first people to speak out publicly about his experience in a camp in China's Xinjiang region, where an estimated 1 million Muslims, mostly from the Uighur and Kazakh ethnicities, are being detained.
Getty Images, File
Just 1 in 4 people thinks Brett Kavanaugh was completely honest when as a Supreme Court nominee he gave sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, with Republicans and Democrats holding starkly distinct opinions of his credibility, according to a poll released Friday.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey also found that the public holds tepid views of how major players handled the extraordinary battle, which culminated Oct. 6 in an exhausted Senate's near party line confirmation of Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump, Senate Republicans and Democrats and the FBI each earned approval from 32 percent or less of the poll's respondents.
Overall, 39 percent said they believe Kavanaugh was mostly honest but was hiding something when he testified last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the drama's most unforgettable day. Another 31 percent said he was largely lying, and 25 percent said he was totally truthful.
Democratic Senate hopeful Beto O'Rourke told a national television audience Thursday night that he'd vote to impeach President Donald Trump and believes Texas can lead the way to a national embracing of relaxed immigration policies and gun control — unapologetically liberal positions that may be hard for some in his deep-red state to stomach.
O'Rourke, an El Paso congressman giving up his seat to challenge Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, had previously suggested that he'd support impeaching the president over alleged collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. But he went further while appearing at a CNN town hall from the U.S.-Mexico border town of McAllen, saying that even as members of Congress wait for more evidence to emerge during federal investigations, "I do think there's enough there for impeachment."
A speeding train ran over a crowd watching fireworks during a religious festival in northern India on Friday, killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens more, a Congress party leader said.
The train failed to stop after the accident on the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in Punjab state, said the politician, Pratap Singh Bajwa.
Amrinder Singh, the state's top elected official, told reporters that he had reports of 50 to 60 people dead. Thirty bodies had been removed from the site by Friday evening.