Associated Press

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Jurors have resumed deliberating in the trial of a wealthy stock trader charged with murder in the fire death of a man who was helping him dig tunnels for a nuclear bunker beneath a Maryland home.

The 12 jurors deliberated for more than two hours Tuesday after hearing attorneys’ closing arguments in the case against 27-year-old Daniel Beckwitt. He’s charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the September 2017 death of 21-year-old Askia Khafra.

Defense attorney Robert Bonsib told jurors Khafra’s death was an accident, not a crime.

Montgomery County prosecutor Marybeth Ayres said Beckwitt sacrificed safety for secrecy and created the “death trap” conditions that prevented Khafra from escaping the trash-filled house in Bethesda, a Washington suburb.

Source: Fox News National

The European Union’s ambassador to Cuba says the Trump administration’s crackdown on business with the communist government is causing unprecedented concern among European companies doing business on the island.

Ambassador Alberto Navarro tells The Associated Press that “there’s enormous worry.”

He says: “There are businesspeople who’ve been here 20, 30 years, who’ve made bets on investing their financial resources in Cuba to stimulate commerce, tourism, international exchange, and many of them tell me that they haven’t lived through a similar situation.”

The Trump administration announced last week that it would allow Americans to sue foreign companies whose partnerships with the Cuban government make use of commercial and industrial properties confiscated from Americans in Cuba’s 1959 revolution.

Source: Fox News World

An Egyptian court has sentenced two monks to death for killing an abbot in a desert monastery north of Cairo last year.

The Damanhur Criminal Court, north of Cairo, announced the verdict Wednesday for two defrocked monks identified as Isaiah and Faltaous. They can appeal.

The two were convicted of killing of Bishop Epiphanius, an abbot at St. Macarius Monastery built in the 4th century, in July.

The abbot’s shocking death shook Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the oldest in the world and the one that gave monasticism to the faith.

Following Epiphanius’ death, the church took measures aimed at instilling discipline into monastic life. Among them was a halt in admitting novices to monasteries nationwide for a year.

Source: Fox News World

The story of a woman in the United Arab Emirates who woke up from a 27-year-long coma has grabbed international headlines.

The story of Munira Abdulla first ran in Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper on Monday.

The newspaper says in 1991, Abdulla was with her son when a school bus collided with their car. Her son, cradled by his mother before the crash, escaped with a bruise to the head.

Abdulla was 32 at the time. That same son, himself now 32, was quoted saying his mother regained consciousness in a German hospital last year.

A photo shows her in a wheelchair visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where she now resides.

During her time in hospitals, she was tube-fed and underwent physiotherapy to prevent her muscles deteriorating.

Source: Fox News World

A man who had allegedly been hiding out in the attic of his ex-girlfriend’s Pittsburgh home is facing burglary charges.

Authorities say the woman found 31-year-old Cary Cocuzzi in her bedroom Saturday. They say she had a protection from abuse order against him.

Cocuzzi allegedly grabbed the woman and put a hand over her mouth. But she pushed him away and ran outside screaming, spurring several neighbors to call 911.

Police searched the house and found Cocuzzi hiding. They say he told officers he was homeless and had been sneaking in and out of the house for about two weeks.

The woman told authorities she had noticed odd details around her home, such as finding a blanket on the floor where she had not left it.

It’s not known if Cocuzzi has retained an attorney.

Source: Fox News National

America’s 2019 National Teacher of the Year teaches students at a juvenile detention facility in Richmond, Virginia.

Rodney Robinson has been a teacher for 19 years, the last four at a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Detention Center.

His award was announced Wednesday by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

Robinson said he gives his students “empathy, not sympathy” and tries to teach them how to overcome the problems they’ve had in their young lives.

As Teacher of the Year, Robinson will spend the next year traveling the country advocating for students and teachers. He said he plans to focus on ensuring equity for all students and recruiting more black and Hispanic men as teachers.

Robinson said he’s looking forward to sharing the story of his students.

Source: Fox News National

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to expedite applications for Russian citizenship by Ukrainians living in separatist-held areas.

The decree published on the Kremlin’s website Wednesday says that people living in the parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions under separatist control will have their applications considered in under three months.

The move is likely to further exacerbate relations between Ukraine and Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and threw its weight behind separatist rebels in the east.

The decree comes just days after TV comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected as the new Ukrainian president; he will be sworn in next month. Zelenskiy has said his priority for the presidency is to end the war in the east that has claimed more than 15,000 lives.

Source: Fox News World

A white Louisiana man is charged with a hate crime after allegedly running down an interracial couple.

News outlets report Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputies say 50-year-old James Descant holds “disdain” for mixed couples.

Deputies say the black man and white woman were standing outside a business in Metairie when Descant swerved to hit them.

The man managed to jump out of the way but his girlfriend was struck by Descant’s car, suffering injuries to her hip, wrist and foot.

The man told deputies that Descant had used a racist slur to describe their relationship and threatened to kill him before the attack.

Descant was arrested April 17 on charges including a hate crime and aggravated assault. He’s also wanted by Kenner police. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.

Source: Fox News National

It’s a short hop from Pyongyang to Vladivostok by plane. There’s even a semi-regular flight.

But for his first summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has once again opted to go by train.

And while they aren’t quite as flashy as the “Beast,” which President Donald Trump famously showed Kim when they met for the first time, he also had a couple of fancy black Mercedes pre-delivered and waiting for him when he got into town.

Kim likes to travel in style. A look at how he rolls:

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RIDING THE RAILS

According to the North’s state media, Kim’s private train left for Vladivostok at dawn Wednesday “amid the warm send-off by the leading officials of the party, government and armed organs and the people.”

It didn’t provide any more details about the train, which arrived in the Pacific port city Wednesday evening. Russian officials had little to add other than that he was welcomed by a military orchestra before speeding off in his personal limousine.

Kim is reportedly traveling with a big entourage — possibly more than 200 people — and lots of supplies. His train, unmistakable with its dark green paint job and yellow piping, is perfect for that.

It’s built like a tank.

Its cars are equipped with advanced communications and flat-screen TVs so he can give orders and receive news and briefings while on the way.

It’s also believed to be capable of meeting other special needs.

For security reasons, officials reportedly make sure to collect Kim’s bodily waste and even his cigarette butts to prevent foreign intelligence agencies from collecting and analyzing them for clues into the leader’s health.

The Kim express is a familiar image to all North Koreans.

Kim’s father and grandfather used trains extensively. A mock-up on permanent display at the “Palace of the Sun” mausoleum on the outskirts of Pyongyang where the elder Kims lie in state makes the train look like it’s all business, with a desk and meeting-room decor.

But according to an account published in 2002 by Konstantin Pulikovsky, a Russian official who accompanied Kim’s late father, Kim Jong ll, on a three-week trip to Moscow in 2001, the train carried cases of Bordeaux and Beaujolais from Paris. Passengers could feast on live lobster and pork barbecue.

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THE STRETCH LIMOS

One of the things Kim most wanted to get rid of at his summit with Trump in Hanoi was a ban on the sale of luxury goods to his country. Trump ended up balking at that and Kim’s other demands and the talks failed.

But Kim isn’t hurting for a fancy ride.

According to South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, he had two limos waiting for him at Vladivostok station — a Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard and a Mercedes Maybach S62.

He is believed to have also used the Mercedes Maybach S600 Pullman Guard for his summits with Trump in Singapore in June last year and in Hanoi in February.

According to Daimler, the Mercedes-Benz Pullman limousines offer their passengers “a superbly appointed setting for discreet meetings.” It’s equipped with all the key communications and entertainment systems so its occupants can remain “fully in touch with the rest of the world while enjoying the luxury and comfort of their own very special place in it.”

The limo’s 12-cylinder biturbo engine affords a quick and safe getaway if needed. A “panic alarm system” can be activated from anywhere in the vehicle to lock the doors and “create a protected zone” while alerting the outside world through visual and audible alarm signals.

All for only about $1.5 million.

For sure, even that pales before the super-Cadillac that U.S. presidents ride in, which is protected against biological attack, can emit a smoke-screen and carries an emergency supply of blood in Trump’s type.

But Kim has another way of making an impression.

In several of his previous summits, including both meetings with Trump, he had an extra layer of protection — a contingent of 12 suit-clad bodyguards who trotted alongside his limo at key moments.

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AP writer Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report. Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @EricTalmadge.

Source: Fox News World

The Philippine president has threatened to ship truckloads of garbage back to Canada and dump some of it at Canada’s embassy in Manila if Canadian officials don’t take back the waste that Filipino officials say was illegally transported to the country years ago.

President Rodrigo Duterte said late Tuesday: “I want a boat prepared. I’ll give a warning to Canada maybe next week that they better pull that thing out or I will set sail to Canada and dump their garbage there.”

More than 100 containers of household trash, including plastic bottles and bags, newspapers and used adult diapers, were shipped in batches from Canada to the Philippines from 2013 to 2014. Officials say the shipments of waste were misdeclared by a private firm as recyclable plastic scraps.

Source: Fox News World


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