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Fuego volcano erupts in Guatemala, kills 25, injures hundreds

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An estimated 25 people, including at least three children, were killed and nearly 300 injured on Sunday in the most violent eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano in more than four decades, officials said.

Volcan de Fuego, whose name means “Volcano of Fire,” spewed an 8-kilometer (5-mile) stream of red hot lava and belched a thick plume of black smoke and ash that rained onto the capital and other regions.

The charred bodies of victims laid on the steaming, ashen remnants of a pyroclastic flow as rescuers attended to badly injured victims in the aftermath of the eruption.

It was the 3,763-meter (12,346-feet) volcano’s second eruption this year.

“It’s a river of lava that overflowed its banks and affected the El Rodeo village. There are injured, burned and dead people,” Sergio Cabanas, the general secretary of Guatemala’s CONRED national disaster management agency, said on radio.

CONRED said the number of dead had risen to 25, from an earlier estimate of seven, including a CONRED employee. Some 3,100 people have been evacuated from the area.

Officials said the dead were so far all concentrated in three towns: El Rodeo, Alotenango and San Miguel los Lotes.

Rescue operations were suspended until 5:00 A.M. (1100 GMT) due to dangerous conditions and inclement weather, said Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the municipal firefighters department.

Dozens of videos appeared on social media and Guatemalan TV showing the extent of the devastation.

One video published by news outlet Telediario, purportedly taken in the El Rodeo village, showed three bodies strewn atop the remnants of the flow as rescuers arrived to attend to an elderly man caked from head to toe in ash and mud.

“Unfortunately El Rodeo was buried and we haven’t been able to reach the La Libertad village because of the lava and maybe there are people that died there too,” said CONRED’s Cabanas.

In another video, a visibly exhausted woman, her face blackened from ash, said she had narrowly escaped as lava poured through corn fields.

“Not everyone escaped, I think they were buried,” Consuelo Hernandez told news outlet Diario de Centroamerica.

Steaming lava flowed down the streets of a village as emergency crews entered homes in search of trapped residents, another video on a different media outlet showed.

President Jimmy Morales said he had convened his ministers and was considering declaring a state of emergency in the departments of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez.

The eruption forced Guatemala City’s La Aurora international airport to shut down its only runway due to the presence of volcanic ash and to guarantee passenger and aircraft safety, Guatemala’s civil aviation authority said on Twitter.

The volcano is some 25 miles (40 km) southwest of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the colonial city of Antigua, which is popular with tourists and is known for its coffee plantations.

Workers and guests were evacuated from La Reunion golf club near Antigua as a black cloud of ash rose from just beyond the club’s limits. The lava river was running on the other side of the volcano.

Officials said the volcanic eruption still presented a danger and could cause more mud and pyroclastic flows.

“Temperatures in the pyroclastic flow can exceed 700 degrees (Celsius) and volcanic ash can rain down on a 15-km (9-mile) radius. That could cause more mud flows and nearby rivers to burst their banks,” said Eddy Sanchez, director of Guatemala’s seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute.

The huge plumes of smoke that could be seen from various parts of the country and the ash that fell in four of Guatemala’s departments caused alarm among residents.

David de Leon, a CONRED spokesman, said a change in wind was to blame for the volcanic ash falling on parts of the capital.

 

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Michael Cohen Says at Trump’s Direction He Paid Off Woman Who Claimed Affair with Trump

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Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former fixer, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to campaign finance and other charges. He made the extraordinary admission that he paid a pornographic actress “at the direction of the candidate,” referring to Mr. Trump, to secure her silence about an affair she said she had with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen told a judge in United States District Court in Manhattan that the payment was “for the principal purpose of influencing the election” for president in 2016.

Mr. Cohen also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of tax evasion and bank fraud, bringing to a close a months long investigation by Manhattan federal prosecutors who examined his personal business dealings and his role in helping to arrange financial deals with women connected to Mr. Trump.

Mr. Cohen, dressed in a dark suit and a yellow tie, entered the courtroom in United States District Court in Manhattan at about 4 p.m., nodded his head at reporters and smiled.

The plea agreement does not call for Mr. Cohen to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but it does not preclude him from providing information to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is examining the Trump campaign’s possible involvement in Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.

If Mr. Cohen were to substantially assist the special counsel’s investigation, Mr. Mueller could recommend a reduction in his sentence.

The guilty plea could represent a pivotal moment in the investigation into the president: a once-loyal aide acknowledging that he made payments to at least one woman who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, in violation of federal campaign finance law.

Mr. Cohen had been the president’s longtime fixer, handling his most sensitive business and personal matters. He once said he would take a bullet for Mr. Trump.

The investigation of Mr. Cohen had focused in part on his role helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump, including Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress better known as Stormy Daniels.

The charges against Mr. Cohen were not a surprise, but he had signaled recently he might be willing to cooperate with investigators who for months have been conducting an extensive investigation of his personal business dealings.

indeed, his guilty plea comes slightly more than a month after he gave an interview to George Stephanopoulos on ABC News and said he would put “his family and country first” if prosecutors offered him leniency in exchange for incriminating information on Mr. Trump.

In July, in what appeared to another public break with Mr. Trump, one of Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, Lanny J. Davis, released a secret audio recording that Mr. Cohen had made of the president in which it seems that Mr. Trump admits knowledge of a payment made to Karen McDougal, a model who said she had an affair with him.

As part of their investigation, prosecutors had been looking into whether Mr. Cohen violated any campaign-finance laws by making the $130,000 payment to Ms. Clifford in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Cohen’s plea culminates a long-running inquiry that became publicly known in April when F.B.I. agents armed with search warrants raided his office, apartment and hotel room, hauling away reams of documents, including pieces of paper salvaged from a shredder, and millions of electronic files contained on a series of cellphones, iPads and computers.

Lawyers for Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump spent the next four months working with a court-appointed special master to review the documents and data files to determine whether any of the materials were subject to attorney-client privilege and should not be made available to the government.

The special master, Barbara S. Jones, who completed her review last week, issued a series of reports in recent months, finding that only a fraction of the materials were privileged and the rest could be provided to prosecutors for their investigation.

On Monday, the judge overseeing the review, Kimba M. Wood of Federal District Court in Manhattan, issued an order adopting Ms. Jones’s findings and ending the review process.

It was unclear on Tuesday what role the materials that Ms. Jones reviewed, which were made available to prosecutors on a rolling basis during her review, may have had in the charges against Mr. Cohen.

One collateral effect of Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement is that it may allow Michael Avenatti, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, to proceed with a deposition of Mr. Trump in a lawsuit that Ms. Clifford filed accusing the president of breaking a nondisclosure agreement concerning their affair.

The lawsuit had been stayed by a judge pending the resolution of Mr. Cohen’s criminal case. Mr. Avenatti wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he would now seek to force Mr. Trump to testify “under oath about what he knew, when he knew it and what he did about it.”

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Multiple people shot at Capital Gazette Newspaper

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At least six people were injured in a shooting at the Capital Gazette building in Annapolis. One suspect is in custody.

Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and state police, along with officers from neighboring jurisdictions are at the scene in the 800 block of Bestgate Road, near the Annapolis Mall.

Four of those wounded suffered critical injuries. Two state police helicopters have been called the scene, and a triage has been set up, SkyTeam 11 Capt. Roy Taylor reports.

Suspicious packages were reported. SWAT officers will conduct a room-by-room search.

The Capital Gazette is owned by The Baltimore Sun. That paper reports police were at their building, as well.

Multiple casualties have been reported after a shooter opened fire in Annapolis, Maryland.

Police responded to the incident at the offices of local newspaper the Capital Gazette on Thursday afternoon at about 3pm local time. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles were seen rushing to the newsroom in eastern Maryland.

Anne Arundel Sheriff Ron Bateman told Fox News that there were multiple causalities, but that officers were still investigating the scene. Mr Bateman said that a suspect had been taken into custody.

Officer Marc Limansky with the Anne Arundel County police department confirmed multiple shots had been fired inside of the newsroom, but could not immediately say whether fatalities had occurred.

Mr Limansky described the situation as “active and ongoing.“

Annapolis Police Lt Timothy Seipp said that officers “are trying to clear the building” and make sure everyone was safe. “This is going to be a long investigation,” he said.

Local news reports showed people walking out of the building with their hands up and being escorted by police through the car park outside the building. Phil Davis, a reporter at the Gazette, told  the Baltimore Sun that multiple people had been shot.

A relocation checkpoint has been established for those separated during the incident at the nearby Lord & Taylor’s in the Annapolis Mall.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore said they were responding to the incident.

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates.

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Pennsylvania police officer charged in shooting death of 17 year old Antwon Rose

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A Pennsylvania police officer was charged with one count of criminal homicide in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy in East Pittsburgh who was fleeing a traffic stop, according to court records released Wednesday.

The charge against East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld is in connection to the June 19 shooting death of Antwon Rose Jr.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. where more details are expected to be released.

On Tuesday, police made an arrest in a drive-by shooting that started a chain of events that ended with Rose’s killing. The teenager under arrest was with Rose the night he was shot by police, authorities said.

Investigators say Rosfeld stopped a car carrying Rose and two other people because it matched the description of a car reported to be involved in a shooting about 15 minutes earlier in a nearby town.

As the officer took the driver into custody, video posted to Facebook by a bystander showed Rose and the other passenger running away.

The officer quickly fired three shots, all of which struck Rose, who later died at a hospital from his injuries. The medical examiner has not said where the teen was struck.

Rosfeld had been on duty in East Pittsburgh, Pa., for three weeks and was only sworn in fewer than two hours before the incident, although he has been an officer in the region for seven years, according to KDKA-TV.

Rosfeld had previously worked in Harmarville and for the University of Pittsburgh Police Department. He was placed on administrative leave as per protocol while county police conducted an independent investigation. Rosfeld’s attorney Pat Thomassey, told KDKA he turned himself in Wednesday morning and is out on $250,000 bond.

In the days since Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student, was fatally shot, marchers have demonstrated almost daily. They refrained from protest Monday, as Rose was laid to rest, out of respect for his family.

Investigators have not said whether they believe Rose had any involvement in the earlier violence that left one wounded. Authorities previously said two handguns were retrieved from the car, and an empty gun clip was found in Rose’s pocket, according to Zappala

In video of the fatal shooting taken from a nearby home, Rose, in a gray shirt, is the first to run from the vehicle.

The arrest of another suspect on Tuesday came as dozens of protesters returned to the streets of downtown Pittsburgh, blocking traffic with locked arms and raised fists, demanding justice in Rose’s death.

Chanting, “Who did this? The police did this!” and “Three shots to the back, how do you justify that?” marchers began walking several blocks shortly after 7:30 a.m., shutting down busy intersections for more than two hours, according to the Associated Press.

The family’s attorney, D. Lee Merritt, said in a statement last week that Rose was “a generous, hard-working and highly promising student.”

“Affirmations of his generosity of spirit and genuine good heartedness have begun pouring in from all corners of the East Pittsburgh community where he lives,” he said.

Merritt insisted that claims Rose was involved in the earlier shooting are unsubstantiated, noting that the officer had been on the force for just hours before the shooting.

“These facts, without more, simply leave very little room to justify the use of deadly force by this officer,” he said. “Additional information concerning the background of the offending officer and the facts available to him at the time of the shooting is needed as we determine the appropriate action in this matter.”

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