TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-THE LATEST The Latest: Coats says spy agencies to cooperate with Barr WASHINGTON (AP) — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says the nation’s spy agencies will provide the Justice Department all appropriate information…
TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-THE LATEST
The Latest: Coats says spy agencies to cooperate with Barr
WASHINGTON (AP) — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says the nation’s spy agencies will provide the Justice Department all appropriate information for its review of intelligence activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump claims his campaign was the victim of “spying” and has given Attorney General William Barr full authority to publicly disclose still-secret information collected during the investigation.
Some former intelligence officials and Democrats worry that Barr will cherry-pick intelligence to paint a misleading picture about the roots of the probe.
In a statement released Friday, Coats said he’s confident that Barr will work with “long-established standards to protect highly sensitive, classified information that, if publicly released,” would put U.S. national security at risk.
WISCONSIN KILLINGS-KIDNAPPING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Jayme Closs’ family satisfied with sentence
BARRON, Wis. (AP) — The family of Jayme Closs says they are satisfied that the man who kidnapped her and killed her parents will be spending the rest of his life in prison.
Jake Patterson was sentenced Friday to life in prison without release. He had previously pleaded guilty to the Oct. 15 killings of James and Denise Closs and to Jayme’s abduction.
Jayme’s aunt, Jennifer Smith, said after the sentencing that this was an important step in helping Jayme to move forward. She said the family believes the outcome will give Jayme some “much needed peace of mind.”
Smith said Jayme has made progress, but has much work left to do. She has spent time with her friends, is doing homework, and hanging out with her dog.
Prosecutor Brian Wright says the case has always been about the courage of a 13-year-old girl who overcame incredible odds to escape and return home.
The Latest: PM May resigns, won’t lead Britain out of EU
LONDON (AP) — Theresa May has ended her failed three-year quest to lead Britain out of the European Union, announcing that she will step down as Conservative Party leader June 7 and triggering a contest to choose a new prime minister who will try to complete Brexit.
May says Friday in a speech outside 10 Downing St. in London, that “I have done my best” before acknowledging that it was not good enough. She struggled to contain her emotions and her voice broke as she expressed “enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”
Then she turned and strode through the famous black door of No. 10.
May will stay on as a caretaker prime minister until the new leader is chosen, a process the Conservatives aim to complete by late July. The new party leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election.
The Latest: Judge halts plan to build parts of border wall
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge in California has blocked President Donald Trump from building sections of his long-sought border wall with money secured under his declaration of a national emergency.
U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. on Friday immediately halted the administration’s efforts to redirect military-designated funds to build sections of wall on the Mexican border. His order applies to two planned projects to add 51 miles of fence in two areas.
Gilliam issued the ruling after hearing arguments last week in two cases. California and 19 other states brought one lawsuit; the Sierra Club and a coalition of communities along the border brought the other.
At stake is billions of dollars that would allow Trump to make progress on a signature campaign promise heading into his campaign for a second term.
The Latest: Trump meets troops in Alaska en route to Japan
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has greeted U.S. troops in Alaska while on his way to a state visit in Japan.
Trump shook hands and signed caps for the service members on the tarmac at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
Air Force One stopped there to refuel before it continued on to Tokyo, where Trump is being welcomed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
As he walked across the tarmac, Trump said Alaska is a “nice stop” and commented about needing the fresh air.
REAL ESTATE DATA BREACH
Report: Real estate title firm exposes data in 885M flies
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A respected security blog is reporting that a flaw on the website of a major real estate title company exposed the bank account numbers and other sensitive information contained in 885 million files.
Krebs On Security says the data collected by First American Financial could have been viewed by anyone with a web browser until the company disabled the vulnerable site Friday. It’s unclear if any exposed information was scooped up by outsiders with criminal intentions.
First American didn’t respond to requests for comment. Krebs posted a statement from the Santa Ana, California, company saying it’s still evaluating how customers might be affected by the privacy lapse.
First American operates 800 offices in nine countries and generates $5.7 billion in annual revenue. Its stock slipped 2% in Friday’s extended trading.
UNITED STATES-IRAN-THE LATEST
The Latest: US blames Iran for tanker bombings, Iraq attack
WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Pentagon officer says the U.S. blames Iran and its proxies for the recent tanker bombings near United Arab Emirates and a rocket attack in Iraq.
Vice Admiral Michael Gilday says the U.S. has a high degree of confidence that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was responsible for the explosions on four tankers, and that Iranian proxies in Iraq fired rockets into Baghdad.
Gilday, the Joint Staff director, says the latest decision to send 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East will boost surveillance of Iranian forces and their proxies. The additional forces will include more manned and unmanned aircraft, a squadron of fighter jets, a Patriot missile battalion and military engineers.
He did not provide direct evidence to back up claims tying Iran to the attacks. He told reporters the conclusions were based on intelligence and evidence gathered in the region.
NOAH’S ARK PARK-LAWSUIT
Lawsuit: Flood damage at Noah’s Ark attraction in Kentucky
WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (AP) — In the Bible, the ark survived an epic flood. Yet the owners of Kentucky’s Noah’s ark attraction are demanding their insurance company bail them out after flooding caused nearly $1 million in property damage.
The Ark Encounter says in a federal lawsuit that heavy rains in 2017 and 2018 caused a landslide on its access road. The Courier Journal reports the attraction’s insurance carriers refused to cover the damage.
The 510-foot-long wooden ark has been a popular northern Kentucky attraction since its 2016 opening. The lawsuit says the road has been rebuilt. The ark was not damaged.
The suit names Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings of Switzerland, its use company and three other insurance carriers.
Ark Encounter seeks compensatory and punitive damages. The Swiss company hasn’t responded in court filings.
US judge temporarily blocks Mississippi 6-week abortion ban
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge is temporarily blocking a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Friday issued an order to stop the law from taking effect July 1.
He heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys for the state’s only abortion clinic, who said the law would effectively eliminate all abortions in the state because cardiac activity is often first detectable around six weeks, when many women may not know they are pregnant.
Mississippi is one of several states that have pushed to enact bans on early abortions this year. Abortion opponents are emboldened by new conservative Supreme Court justices and are looking for ways to challenge the court’s 1973 ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
HHS rolls back protections for transgender people
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Trump administration rule would roll back sex discrimination protection for transgender people in health services.
In the proposed rule issued Friday, the Health and Human Services Department says laws banning sex discrimination in health care don’t apply to people’s “gender identity.” LGBT groups have long warned such a move could lead to denial of needed medical care.
That rule reverses the policy of the Obama administration, which had found that sex discrimination laws do protect transgender people.
The rule faces a 60-day comment period and court challenges are expected.