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Western officials:

    Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said these sanctions “seriously damage the already deplorable relations” between Russia and the West, between persistent disagreements on major international issues, accusations of electoral interference, espionage and massive cyber attacks. “We consider such restrictions to be absolutely unacceptable,” Peskov continued, saying he was “puzzled” by “such absurd and unjustified decisions”. “They are nothing more than interference in the internal affairs of Russia,” “he added. Mr. Peskov also considered “scandalous” the accusations against the Russian security services (FSB), which Washington said was the source of the poisoning of Mr. Navalny last year. “We can only express our regret that our opponents resort to precisely such methods, which have a destructive effect on bilateral relations,” Peskov said again, adding that Russia will respond to sanctions “in the same way. which will best suit our own interests “. The United States announced on Tuesday the adoption of sanctions...
    Administration officials say President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau want to “closely align” their respective China policies, a pledge that will test their ability to confront Beijing’s human rights abuses while convincing the regime to help mitigate climate change. Climate change stands as a top foreign policy priority for both Biden and Trudeau, who agree that China looms large over any international effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, Beijing has threatened to withhold that desired cooperation on climate change if Western leaders attempt to “undermine China's interests,” putting those green initiatives on a collision course with intensifying anger over atrocious treatment of Uighur Muslims. “We believe that we can have those conversations,” a senior administration official told reporters ahead of a Tuesday virtual meeting between the two leaders. “The United States is not going to subsume its defense of democracy and human rights to pursue...
    IONIA, Mich. (AP) — Ninety cases of a COVID-19 variant believed to be more contagious have been found in inmates and staff at a western Michigan prison, and dozens of test results are pending, officials said. Daily testing began at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, in Ionia, after a prison employee was found to have the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom, officials said. RELATED: Winter Weather Blitz Causes Ford To Shutdown Plants Testing on 95 people found that 90 individuals — 88 of them inmates — had the variant, with the two other cases among prison employees, Michigan State Police announced Tuesday. Results are pending on more than 100 lab tests conducted on others at the prison. RELATED: Snow Removal Continues Following 7-Inch Accumulation Michigan has 67 other cases of the B.1.1.7. virus variant. The state’s 157 cases ranks it third nationally for the most cases...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities in western Wisconsin are asking for help locating a 22-year-old man. (credit; Barron County) The Barron County Sheriff’s Office says Benjamin Jacobson, of Cumberland, Wisconsin, was last seen Monday evening and did not show up for work on Tuesday. His family and friends have not been able to contact him. Jacobson was last seen in a green 2002 Ford F-150 pickup truck. Anyone with information on Jacobson’s whereabouts is asked to call 715-537-3106.   More On WCCO.com: Did The Timeline For Another Economic Relief Payment Just Get Shorter? Vaccine Recipients Report ‘COVID Arm’ And Other Side Effects, But Doctors Say Don’t Worry Minnesota ‘The Sound Of Music’ Star Makes Masks Out Of Iconic Movie Curtains ‘They’re Just Not Afraid’: Burglars Hitting St. Paul Restaurants, Prompting Owner’s Call For City To Do More
    MOSCOW (AP) — A fire at a nursing home in Siberia killed seven people in Siberia on Saturday, Russian authorities said. The fire took place at the private home for the elderly in the Tyumen region of western Siberia. The fire also injured a resident, according to the Investigative Committee, the nation’s top criminal investigation agency. Police detained the care home’s owner on charges of violating safety regulations. Related Articles US officials: Massive hack of US ‘likely originated in Russia’ Trump briefed that China sought to pay for attack on US forces Letters: Rail boondoggle | Raiders supporter | Vaccine line | COVID relief | Promoting Russia Letters: Giving’s hierarchy | Trump consequences | Numbers against win | Promoting Russia Russia to Navalny: Return or face jail time Local officials said the home in the town of Borovsky wasn’t...
    STEVENSVILLE, Mont. (AP) — A western Montana man was shot to death during a fight early Christmas morning, Ravalli County officials said. Deputies arrested a 33-year-old man for the shooting death early Friday of John Komitios, 39, a recent resident of Missoula, Flathead and Lake counties, officials said. The suspect has not yet appeared in court. Deputies responded to a reported shooting in Stevensville shortly after midnight. Komitios had been shot several times with a handgun and died at the scene, Sheriff Steve Holton said. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Montana, Associated Press
    AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - A blast at a gas pipeline in the western Indian state of Gujarat killed one person and injured two others early on Tuesday, authorities said. It was not immediately clear who ran the pipeline - state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) denied media reports that it was the operator. Local company Sabarmati Gas, partly-owned by Bharat Petroleum Corp, also said it was not involved. The massive explosion destroyed two houses in a residential area near ONGC’s Kalol field in Gandhinagar district, trapping people under the debris, officials said. Senior Gandhinagar official Kuldeep Arya told Reuters a gas leakage could have triggered the blast. "ONGC confirms that this pipeline, where the accident took place, does not belong to ONGC," its local office said. It was supporting rescue officials on the ground, it added. (Reporting by Sumit Khanna; Editing by Andrew Heavens) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags:...
    Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and former National Security Adviser John Bolton have slammed the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara in return for a normalization deal with Israel. They have called on President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the move. Morocco became the fourth Arab state to announce its intentions to normalize relations with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords, following in the footsteps of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. “Morocco’s autonomy plan is the only realistic option to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable solution to the dispute over Western Sahara,” a White House statement said last week. Most of the Western Sahara is controlled by Morocco after it invaded in 1975. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic controls a small portion of the area, which was formerly Spanish territory. The United Nations has called for self determination for the Sahrawi...
    OKLAHOMA CITY — The US Department of Justice has sued the affordable housing agency in the western Oklahoma town of Lone Wolf for allegedly denying housing to a Black mother and her 5-year-old daughter because of their race. The Justice Department’s civil rights division announced the lawsuit Tuesday against the Housing Authority of the Town of Lone Wolf and two of its former employees. Federal prosecutors allege authority officials told a white applicant they had units available, but changed their story for a black applicant. When officials with Legal Aid, a group helping the woman get housing, conducted a test, they say housing authority officials told a white woman there were multiple apartments available and showed her three vacant ones. The next day, the same officials told a Black woman there were no units available, according to prosecutors. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the mother and a court...
    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has sued the affordable housing agency in the western Oklahoma town of Lone Wolf for allegedly denying housing to a Black mother and her 5-year-old daughter because of their race. The Justice Department's civil rights division announced the lawsuit Tuesday against the Housing Authority of the Town of Lone Wolf and two of its former employees. Federal prosecutors allege authority officials told a white applicant they had units available, but changed their story for a black applicant. When officials with Legal Aid, a group helping the woman get housing, conducted a test, they say housing authority officials told a white woman there were multiple apartments available and showed her three vacant ones. The next day, the same officials told a Black woman there were no units available, according to prosecutors. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for the mother and a court...
    U.S. and allied governments are entering a “watershed moment” in international politics due to China’s attempt to achieve supremacy, according to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders. “Beijing’s infiltration of U.S. society has been deliberate and insidious as they use every instrument of influence available to accelerate their rise at America’s expense,” acting Chairman Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said in a joint statement with Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the panel. “Unfortunately, the United States’s challenge with China is not unique as Beijing seeks to infiltrate and subvert other nations around the world, including our allies.” That bipartisan statement attests to the congressional appetite for President-elect Joe Biden to maintain a hard line on Beijing. Chinese officials, for their part, insist that the rivalry has developed because Western politicians lack “respect” for the communist regime, which they hope might improve somewhat under the next administration. ...
    They are not going to destroy this republic. Even election losing, lame duck, impeached Donald Trump's pet Attorney General William Barr can't find an excuse to help him overthrow the results of this election. Sixteen assistant U.S. attorneys who were tapped specifically to monitor the 2020 election for malfeasance have written to Barr urging him to rescind his memo authorizing federal prosecutors to conduct probes of supposed election fraud in an attempt to stop certification of elections in certain cases. That memorandum led to the resignation of Election Crimes head Richard Pilger, who wrote in a memo announcing his resignation that he did so after "having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications." Prior to Barr’s memo, "overt" investigations into elections were barred until the the election had been concluded and certified. Barr was trying to get prosecutors involved while ballots were being counted. The Washington Post reports...
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities in a western Wisconsin county say they are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases and are asking infected individuals to help with their own contact tracing. Health officials in Pierce County released a statement Tuesday, saying that due to the surge of new infections they are having to make “gut-wrenching decisions” about which disease prevention activities to continue. “Despite preparing for an increase in cases by hiring and training additional contact tracing staff, we do not have the capacity to handle the large surge of cases we are currently seeing,” said AZ Snyder, the county’s public health director. “We are still contacting people who test positive, but we need their help in notifying their contacts and telling them to quarantine.” For those who test positive in the county, health officials want them to contact those close to them and tell them to quarantine for 14 days and...
    By MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The state’s top elections official said Thursday she wants federal postal authorities to help figure out why some ballots that were mailed out by a western Pennsylvania county have not been delivered to voters. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said there are problems in Butler County and some other parts of the state, five days before the general election. “I actually just traded voicemails with somebody in the United States Postal Service up at the higher levels to make sure that they’re … paying attention to this and finding out what’s going on,” Boockvar said during an election preparedness news conference in Harrisburg. Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer said the agency was unaware of the problems in Butler County. “Regarding mail sorting and delivery in Butler County, the Postal Service is unaware of any significant delays or issues and is in...
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Rioting at a prison in western Afghanistan has left at least eight inmates dead, provincial officials said Thursday. The violence erupted on Wednesday night at the prison in the city of Herat, the capital of western Herat province, according to Mohammad Rafiq Shirzai, a spokesman for the provincial health department. He said 12 others — eight inmates and four prison guards — were wounded in the outbreak at the facility, which holds around 2,000 prisoners. It wasn’t immediately known if there are any Taliban at the penitentiary. The rioting erupted after prison guards began clearing some partitions created by prisoners in the so-called Block 5 of the prison, said Jelani Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor. The police tried to collect “unnecessary items in the possession of the prisoners, which the prisoners resisted,” he said. One of the eight fatalities had...
    MACOMB, Ill. (WLS) -- A suspect is in custody after a student was injured in a shooting Tuesday at Western Illinois University-Macomb, according to a news release from the university.Western Illinois University freshman Kavion Poplous 18, of Chicago, is in custody and has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm, the release stated.The university said Poplous turned himself in at a Chicago Police Department precinct and was taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) at approximately 1:35 pm Wednesday.According to officials, around 10:38 pm Tuesday, the University's Office of Public Safety was notified of a student who had been shot in Thompson Hall. At the same time, a fire alarm pull station was activated in Thompson, and the building was evacuated.A resident in the hall was shot by a person known to him, who then fled the scene, police said.The...
    A Holyoke man is being accused of making bombs in his home garage. Gregory Bennett, of Pleasant Street in Holyoke, is being charged with four counts of possession of illegal incendiary devices, according to MassLive. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, a section of Pleasant Street was evacuated to allow law enforcement officials to investigate and clear Bennett’s home of alleged bomb-making material. Bennett is the son of a former Holyoke police seargent, Gary Bennett. Police were tipped off to the potential bomb threat by Bennett’s brother, Jason, according to the newspaper. Jason Bennett had stopped by the Pleasant Street home, which is owned by Gary Bennett, to fix his bike when he noticed a suspicious-looking bag in the garage. When he looked inside, Bennett allegedly saw what appeared to be black cylinders wrapped in electric tape and sporting wicks. During a search of the house, law enforcement officials allegedly found...
    A Holyoke man is being accused of making bombs in his home garage. Gregory Bennett, of Pleasant Street in Holyoke, is being charged with four counts of possession of illegal incendiary devices, according to MassLive. On Tuesday, Sept. 15, a section of Pleasant Street was evacuated to allow law enforcement officials to investigate and clear Bennett’s home of alleged bomb-making material. Bennett is the son of a former Holyoke police seargent, Gary Bennett. Police were tipped off to the potential bomb threat by Bennett’s brother, Jason, according to the newspaper. Jason Bennett had stopped by the Pleasant Street home, which is owned by Gary Bennett, to fix his bike when he noticed a suspicious-looking bag in the garage. When he looked inside, Bennett allegedly saw what appeared to be black cylinders wrapped in electric tape and sporting wicks. During a search of the house, law enforcement officials allegedly found...
    CHICAGO (CBS)– Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois will be closed Wednesday after a student was shot by his roommate Tuesday. According to university officials, the shooting took place in Thompson Hall just before 10:40 p.m. after an “incident related to a roommate dispute.” At the same time, officials said a fire alarm was pulled and the building was evacuated. The university has identified the shooting suspect as freshman Kavion Poplous, 18. Officials said he fled the scene and is considered armed and dangerous.   An emergency alert was issued earlier to the the university community. “All classes scheduled at Western Illinois University Wednesday, Sept. 16 have been canceled. This includes online and in-person classes at both the Macomb and Moline campuses, as well as extension classes,” University officials said. Police have not released information on the victim’s condition or identity. Police are searching for the suspect and ask...
    MACOMB, Ill. (WLS) -- A student was injured in a shooting Tuesday at Western Illinois University-Macomb, Macomb police and university officials confirm.According to a release from the university, around 10:38 p.m. the Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety was notified of a student who had been shot in Thompson Hall. At the same time, a fire alarm pull station was activated in Thompson, and the building was evacuated.A resident in the hall was shot by a person known to him, who then fled the scene, police said.The incident was related to a roommate dispute and is believe to be an isolated incident, police said.The victim was transported to McDonough District Hospital and then transferred to another hospital, police said. His condition is unknown.The shooter has been identified as 18-year-old Kavion Poplous, who is a freshman at the university, police said.A search for Poplous is currently underway, according to police.Police...
    With speeds topping 120 miles an hour, a motorist lead police on a chase into western Wisconsin Friday morning. The suspect was arrested after his vehicle became disabled and he fled into a cornfield just east of the Roberts exit on Interstate 94, according to St. Croix County authorities. His name has not been released. The entire incident remains under investigation. Wisconsin officials were notified at 4:48 a.m. about a Woodbury police chase involving a suspect in an attempted homicide in Bloomington headed east on the interstate. The suspect was a man who may be armed and had a history with improvised explosive devices, officials said. Once the vehicle crossed into Wisconsin, Hudson police and St. Croix County sheriff deputies joined the pursuit. The motorist topped 120 miles hour and attempted to ram squad cars in its vicinity before becoming disabled about 13 miles into Wisconsin, the sheriff’s said in...
    Russia still expects a tentative agreement with a multinational pharmaceutical company to manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine under development with Oxford University to move forward, despite accusations Russia has been trying to steal vaccine data, the head of Russia’s wealth fund said Friday in an interview with Reuters. Kirill Dmitriev denied the allegations and said Russia did not need to steal secrets because it already reached a preliminary deal with AstraZeneca to manufacture the British vaccine in Russia and that the agreement could be finalized Friday. “There’s nothing that needs to be stolen,” Dmitriev said. “It’s all going to be given to Russia.”  U.S., British and Canadian officials accused the Kremlin Thursday of being behind a massive and ongoing cyber hack aimed at stealing from Western pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions doing research into coronavirus vaccines and treatment therapies. Russia Accused of Stealing Western Coronavirus Research US, British and Canadian...
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