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13 Russians Indicted For Allegedly Interfering in Elections

Mueller'd grand jury indcts 13 Russians for election telegram

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said Friday that a grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential elections, during which they boosted the candidacy of Donald Trump.

The indictment says that the defendants by early to mid-2016 were "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ... and disparaging Hillary Clinton."

The indictment said "the organization," known as the Internet Research Agency LLC, "sought, in part, to conduct what it called 'information warfare against the United States of America' through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media."

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95 new exoplanets discovered during NASA's K2 mission

95 new exoplanets foundScientists have confirmed 95 additional exoplanets outside the solar system based on analysis of NASA's K2 mission data.

Since the first planet orbiting a star similar to the solar system's sun was detected in 1995, more than 3,300 exoplanets -- ranging from rocky Earth-sized planets to large gas giants like Jupiter -- have been found.

The first data from the K2 was released in 2014, with the latest findings released in a paper published in the Astronomical Journal.

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John Kelly orders changes to the White House security clearance process

John Kelly sens memo about clearancesWhite House chief of staff John Kelly has ordered sweeping changes to the White House's security clearance process, in light of circumstances surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, accused of being violent with his ex-wives.

In a five-page memo dated Friday, Kelly said he has called for a number of changes, including regular status reports on security clearance cases still in process, an end to top secret clearance statuses issued on an interim basis, briefings on any "significant derogatory information about senior staff" within 48 hours, and a timeframe for any new interim clearances.

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Blockbuster Exposé Claims to Show How Donald Trump Kept His Affairs Secret

Karen McDougal and the Plagirl coverupDonald Trump kept his alleged affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal secret through a complex web of legal arrangements, pay-offs, and secret meetings, according to an explosive new report by Ronan Farrow.

The report—published early Friday morning in The New Yorker—contains McDougal’s first on record comments about the complicated arrangements made to cover up alleged their affair, with the former model saying she now regrets selling the rights to her story to a publisher which never ran it as it's made her “afraid to even mention [Trump's] name.”

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VA secretary David Shulkin's chief of staff retiring amid travel report findings

Vivieca Simpson, Shulkin aide, resigns for travel fraudThe third most senior official at the Department of Veterans Affairs is stepping down amid findings she misled ethics officials to secure approval for VA Secretary David Shulkin’s wife to accompany him on taxpayer-funded trip to Europe.

Vivieca Wright Simpson, Shulkin’s chief of staff, told colleagues Friday morning that she is retiring after 32 years at the agency and more than two years as Shulkin's most senior aide.

The announcement came two days after the VA inspector general released recommendations that she be disciplined for doctoring an email to an ethics lawyer to show Shulkin was getting special recognition or an award during the trip to Denmark and London last year, the criteria for clearing his wife’s flights on the public’s dime.

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Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter: What Mueller is investigating is ‘almost a textbook definition of treason’

James Risen, Pulitzer winnerA Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist raised troubling question about President Donald Trump and his associations with Russia.

James Risen, a former New York Times and Los Angeles Times reporter now with The Intercept, wrote Friday that Americans can’t be sure “whether Trump has the best interests of the United States or those of Russia at heart.”

“One year after Trump took office, it is still unclear whether the president of the United States is an agent of a foreign power,” Risen wrote. “Just step back and think about that for a moment.”
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Turkey: Six journalists given life sentences over coup

6 Reporters get life sentences in TurkeyA Turkish court has sentenced six journalists to life in prison in relation to a failed coup attempt in 2016, state media reported.

The six journalists received aggravated life sentences for "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order", an unnamed judicial source told Anadolu news agency on Friday.

Turkey has accused the journalists of having links to a movement headed by exiled Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara alleges was behind a deadly failed putsch in July 2016. Gulen, who is based in the United States, denies the accusation.

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Rick Gates is reportedly close to becoming Mueller’s third cooperating ex-Trump aide

Rick Gates

Special counsel Robert Mueller may be close to flipping another former Trump staffer.

Rick Gates — Paul Manafort’s longtime junior business partner, and a 2016 Trump campaign staffer — is “finalizing” a plea deal in which he’d cooperate with the Mueller investigation, CNN’s Katelyn Polantz and Sara Murray report. Gates has been in negotiations with Mueller’s team about cooperating for over a month, their report says, citing sources familiar with the case.

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Jeffrey Tambor: Transparent star fired over sexual harassment claims

Transparent star fired for sexual harassmentJeffrey Tambor has been dropped from the Emmy-winning Amazon comedy-drama Transparent after sexual harassment allegations.

The decision was confirmed by Amazon on Thursday after an investigation. The actor, who played the transgender matriarch Maura Pfefferman in the show, was accused of misconduct by his co-star Trace Lysette in November.

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