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The Latest on the search for a missing 5-year-old Illinois boy (all times local):

3 p.m.

Police say the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy whose parents reported him missing last week was found buried in a shallow grave and wrapped in plastic in a rural area a few miles from the family’s home.

Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said during a news conference that investigators found what they believe to be the remains of Andrew “AJ” Freund early Wednesday in the neighboring city of Woodstock. Efforts are underway to confirm it is AJ’s body.

He says they were led to the body after interviewing AJ’s parents overnight and presenting them with cellphone evidence.

The parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, each face five counts of first-degree murder and other charges.

Authorities say they reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

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2 p.m.

Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy who went missing last week, and that his parents have been charged with murder in his death.

Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Andrew “AJ” Freund’s body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic.

He says AJ’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, face murder and other charges in the boy’s death.

Authorities say the boys’ parents reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

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12:30 p.m.

Officers have removed several items from the home of an Illinois couple whose 5-year-old son has been missing for nearly a week.

Photos and video show the officers leaving the Crystal Lake home of Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham on Wednesday with a shovel, mattress, brown paper bags and plastic storage tub.

Searchers have been scouring the area for the couple’s missing son, Andrew “AJ” Freund. Authorities say the boys’ parents reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

Police say Cunningham has been refusing to cooperate with detectives. They say they don’t believe the boy was abducted and that he didn’t leave the home on foot. State child welfare officials have taken custody of the couple’s 4-year-old son, Parker.

Authorities plan to give an update on the investigation at a 1 p.m. news conference.

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9:25 a.m.

The FBI and police in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake are planning a news conference as they search for a 5-year-old boy who has been missing for nearly a week.

The Crystal Lake Police Department says the news conference will take place at noon on Wednesday at City Hall. The agencies have been searching for Andrew “AJ” Freund since his parents reported him missing last Thursday. The couple said they saw him at bedtime the night before and couldn’t find him in the morning.

Police searched for AJ in a park on Tuesday and said they planned to use sonar to search ponds in the community, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Chicago.

Authorities say they don’t believe the boy was abducted or wandered away.

Source: Fox News National

A Bengal tiger has attacked a nonprofit animal rescue’s founder in northwestern Arizona and will not be put down after the man said it was his fault.

Keepers of the Wild said Wednesday on Facebook that founder Jonathan Kraft was working to protect animals from heavy rain, lightning and hail during a Monday storm when Bowie the tiger pushed a gate and attacked.

Kraft took the blame for what he called an “accident” and said “these situations occur when there is human error.”

Kraft was taken to a hospital with two broken bones and other wounds.

The sanctuary said the declawed tiger used his teeth to hold Kraft until staff intervened.

Kraft will be recovering for several months.

The group said Bowie is fine and will not be euthanized.

Source: Fox News National

The Latest on the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

2 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have shaken hands before heading to talks at a university in Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok.

TV coverage showed Kim arriving in a limousine before shaking hands with Putin. Putin smiled and gestured to Kim before they both walked inside the building.

Putin then introduced Kim to Russian officials who shook his hand.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

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12:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vladivostok for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.

Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.

Source: Fox News World

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vladivostok for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.

Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.

Source: Fox News World

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin gives an intriguing twist to the global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea, which appeared to hit a wall after a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump collapsed in February.

It also adds a chapter to the storied but often-strained friendship between Pyongyang and Moscow, which was forged in the blood of war and weathered by the Soviet collapse and tensions surrounding the North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

A look at relations between the two sides since the 1950-53 Korean War:

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KOREAN CONFLICT

The old Soviet Union was directly involved in the founding of North Korea after the end of World War II, which ended Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula but resulted in a division between the Soviet-backed North and U.S.-controlled South.

Soviet officers installed ambitious young nationalist Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of North Korea’s current ruler and an ex-guerrilla commander who fought Japanese forces from Manchuria in the 1930s, as the Korean leader of the emerging state on the northern half the peninsula. By early 1950, Kim Il Sung successfully persuaded an initially reluctant Joseph Stalin to allow him to unify the Koreas by force, guaranteeing a swift victory.

Kim Il Sung’s forces launched a surprise attack on the South in June, triggering a devastating war that drew massive interventions by the United States and China and left millions killed or injured before stopping with an armistice in 1953.

The Soviets supported North Korea during the war with weapons, military advisers and pilots but stayed out of land warfare, a decision that shaped Kim Il Sung’s postwar efforts to strengthen his personal power and autonomy. Moscow’s support became less important for Kim’s internal control when he could count on China to counter the influence of the Soviets, especially after the late 1950s when relations between the two major communist powers grew increasingly hostile.

While playing Moscow and Beijing against each other to win more political independence and aid, Kim Il Sung consolidated his domestic power by violently purging his pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese opponents.

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SOVIET COLLAPSE

Despite the ups and downs in bilateral relations, Soviet military, energy and food aid were crucial in keeping North Korea’s struggling economy afloat for decades. That all changed in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, which instantly deprived Pyongyang of its main economic and security benefactor.

The post-communist government in Moscow led by President Boris Yeltsin saw Russia as a partner of the U.S.-led West and had no enthusiasm to continue supporting North Korea with aid and subsidized trade. Moscow established formal diplomatic ties with Seoul in hopes of drawing massive South Korean investment and allowed its Soviet-era military alliance with North Korea to expire. There were widespread predictions that a collapse of the North Korean government was imminent.

Facing an existential crisis, North Korea reacted by accepting more help from China, which despite a level of mutual distrust remains Pyongyang’s only major ally and considers preventing a North Korean collapse critical to its security interests. The North also became more vocal in its pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, which forced the United States to the negotiation table.

In 1994, shortly after the death of Kim Il Sung, North Korea reached a major agreement with the United States to halt plutonium production in exchange for energy and food aid and security assurances. The deal broke down in 2002 after U.S. officials confronted Pyongyang over a clandestine nuclear program using enriched uranium.

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PUTIN IN PYONGYANG

Russia began to reconsider its Koreas policies in the late 1990s over what it saw as disappointing business activity with South Korea and concerns that Moscow’s heavy tilt toward Seoul diminished its influence in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The divergence between Moscow and the West over key security issues was also becoming clear.

After his first election in 2000, Putin actively sought to restore Russia’s ties with North Korea, visiting Pyongyang in July that year for a meeting with Kim Jong Il, the second-generation North Korean leader, where they issued criticism of U.S. missile defense plans. The trip was seen as Putin’s message to the West that Russia would seek to restore its traditional domains of influence. Putin hosted two return visits by Kim Jong Il in 2001 and 2002.

Russia was also a participant in the so-called six-party talks with North Korea that were aimed at persuading the North to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for security and economic benefits. The talks, which also involved the United States, China, South Korea and Japan, have stalled since December 2008.

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KIM’S NEW WAY

Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Putin is the first summit between the countries since his father traveled to eastern Siberia for a meeting with then-Russian President Dimitry Medvedev in August 2011.

Kim Jong Il died in December that year. Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea accelerated its weapons tests to turn a crude nuclear program into a viable arsenal that includes purported thermonuclear weapons and long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

The Trump-Kim meeting in Vietnam in February broke down after the North demanded the removal of most of the U.S.-led sanctions against the country in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear program. Kim had said he would seek a “new way” if the United States continued to test his patience with sanctions.

Kim’s outreach to Putin could be part of his plans to expand his options and secure allies who would apply pressure on Washington to ease its stance on sanctions. Russia currently seems better positioned to endorse Kim’s stance than China, which is locked in high-stakes trade negotiations with the U.S.

The summit with Kim could also serve Putin’s desire to increase Russia’s regional clout. Although Moscow has never supported a nuclear-armed North Korea, it may share a view with Pyongyang that a weakened U.S. influence in the region would benefit both.

Following three-way talks in Moscow last October, the deputy foreign ministers of North Korea, Russia and China called on the U.N. Security Council to “adjust” its sanctions regime on Pyongyang to facilitate progress in the nuclear negotiations. While Moscow and Beijing can’t lift the sanctions on their own, they can give Pyongyang more breathing room if Kim persuades them to loosen their enforcement of the measures.

Source: Fox News World

GOP strategist Colin Reed said Wednesday he thinks “the gloves will come off right away” if former Vice President Joe Biden joins the crowded 2020 field of Democrats as expected.

“I think Joe Biden has made a connection with voters,” Democratic strategist Michael Meehan, the president and CEO of Squared Communications, responded on “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” Wednesday.

“This will be his third time running and eight years as serving as vice president. But, he has the ability in the small caucus states of Iowa and New Hampshire, where you go into people’s living rooms in the very beginning to tell a story about his life and his faith and his vision for what government should be. And, any one of his opponents would be wrong to think that he’s not prepared to go into those small parts of those small states early on and show the kind of strength he has.”

BIDEN CAMPAIGN LAUNCH PUSHED TO THURSDAY

Meehan added, “He also has the advantage of name I.D. A third of the Democratic primary with 21 candidates, on the way to 30, is a huge advantage for him.”

Biden’s announcement would end months of speculation. Despite the recent #MeToo controversy complicating his would-be campaign, the former vice president has remained at the top of most public opinion polls.

Biden’s potential campaign hit a bump recently after several women publicly accused him of touching them inappropriately at events.

When asked how long it would be before the other Democrats start attacking Biden, Reed, who managed Scott Brown’s U.S. Senate campaign in New Hampshire in 2014, said he thought it would happen immediately, adding, “if they are smart, maybe they will do it in an understated way.”

SANDERS TOPS BIDEN IN NEW NH 2020 POLL, BUTTIGIEG SURGES TO THIRD

With Biden, 76, expected to announce his candidacy on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported he likely will rely heavily on big donors to get his campaign up and running.

Meehan said, “I think money’s important if you don’t have the kind of name I.D. that Joe Biden has. And so, it is a good measure for some of these candidates, the senators or the congressman who haven’t run on a national ticket before.”

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He added, “The money is a credible threshold but I don’t think it’s such a positive because what happens in a presidential (election) is that people get their information about these candidates from shows like yours and across the board. And, it’s not like a state senate race or governor’s race where people don’t have any name I.D. and you have to be able to pay these ads to get your name out there.”

When asked if he thought Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would go after Biden right away, Reed said, “I don’t think he goes after him right away because he’s the frontrunner, and in politics, you always punch up, not down.”

Source: Fox News Politics

A North Carolina police officer who fatally shot a black man in a parking lot after repeatedly ordering him to drop his gun said multiple times that she had no choice, according to a bodycam video released Wednesday.

An 11-minute bodycam video was released by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police after local media outlets went to a judge on Tuesday to get the police department to release the entire recording of the encounter. A 3-minute version of the shooting was released on April 15.

Both versions show the shooting of 27-year-old Danquirs Napoleon Franklin outside a Burger King on March 25. At about the 2-minute mark of the extended video, Officer Wende Kerl shoots Franklin, who was crouched next to the car on the passenger side. Right before Kerl fires, Franklin can be seen raising his right hand with an object in it, still facing the person in the passenger seat.

Civil rights activists in North Carolina have urged nonviolent response in the aftermath of Franklin’s death, pointing out that Franklin never aimed his weapon at authorities.

“Deep anger, hurt and, quite frankly, mistrust,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg NAACP president Corine Mack told WBTV. “There was no threat to her life.”

The extended video shows the aftermath of the shooting. Someone can be heard moaning, presumably Franklin. Kerl said she had to pick up the gun, and a man inside the car said, “This Is crazy, man.”

“He pulled a gun,” Kerl said. An officer off camera responded, “Yes, he did. I know, Wende.” An officer asks if Kerl is OK and she responds that she is.

About 6 minutes into the video, emergency workers arrived to treat Franklin. None of the officers appeared to give aid to Franklin. The Charlotte Observer reported that City Councilman Braxton Winston complained that officers didn’t provide aid right away. In a television interview, CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said officers could have given aid more quickly.

Just over 6 minutes into the video, another officer tells Kerl to go sit inside her patrol car.

“I didn’t have a choice,” she said, to which the officer replies, “You’re alright, you’re alright.”

At this point, the video shows Kerl’s perspective from behind the steering wheel of her patrol cruiser. She states again that she had no choice but to shoot Franklin.

“I had to. He wouldn’t drop the gun and he brought it out of his jacket,” she said. An officer out of view tries to comfort her.

“It’s alright. You’re alright. Look here. You’re sitting here talking, right? Got kids at home, right? You’re gonna see them this evening, right? That’s all that matters,” the officer said.

Kerl asks an officer close by if Franklin is alive, and the officer says he doesn’t know. Then, Kerl yells to a second officer and repeats the question.

“No, no,” the second officer responds. Kerl then tries to call her husband but gets no answer. Another officer then asks Kerl is she is OK and she again repeats her account of the shooting.

“He had a gun. He wouldn’t drop it,” she said. “And then he reached in his thing, pulled the gun out. We didn’t know. We thought it was in the hand and I shot him.”

A sergeant then arrives at her car and she tells him she shot Franklin. The sergeant tells Kerl to turn off her video and the recording ends.

Also Wednesday, CMPD said the department’s homicide unit turned over all of the evidence to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office for their review.

Source: Fox News National

Guatemala’s electoral court has annulled the candidacy of a presidential hopeful arrested in the U.S. last week and accused of ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel.

The tribunal says its decision is due to “the notorious deeds that were revealed” in the case of Mario Amilcar Estrada Orellana. It’s applying a constitutional article concerning the suitability of candidates for elected office.

Estrada and an alleged accomplice were detained April 17 in Miami on drugs and weapons charges, accused of plotting to assassinate political rivals and let traffickers use Guatemalan ports and airports.

Estrada’s party has sought to distance itself from the allegations while asking for his presumption of innocence to be respected. Yoni Avila of the Union of National Change party said Wednesday that it would not appeal the ruling.

Source: Fox News World

Former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile, a Fox News contributor, said she thinks former Vice President Joe Biden  “is a proven leader,” and has what it takes to “go the distance” in the 2020 presidential race.

Brazile made her comments on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday, the day before Biden is expected to declare his candidacy for president.

The announcement would end months of speculation as the 76-year-old Biden mulled making what would be a third White House bid. Despite the recent #MeToo controversy complicating his would-be campaign, the former vice president has remained at the top of most public opinion polls.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN LAUNCH PUSHED TO THURSDAY

Biden’s potential political campaign hit a bump recently after several women complained publicly about the prospective 2020 Democratic candidate, accusing him of touching them inappropriately at events.

“With 20 candidates I’m not sure that it’s time to pick number one. But he is number one in the polls. That’s because, of course, he was vice president for eight years. He’s been a public servant. He is a proven leader,” said Brazile.

She added, “The race to the White House is about delegates and the question is, will he have enough, what I like to say, enough miles to go the distance? I do believe he will go the distance and that’s because voters know him, they appreciate his leadership. But what’s his vision? That’s what this generation of Democrats will be asking him. Where do you want to take us?”

‘THE VIEW’ CO-HOST JOY BEHAR BLASTS TRUMP OVER MUELLER REPORT OMISSION: ‘THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE NAIL IN THE COFFIN’

Brazile also weighed in on congressional Democrats pushing to keep investigating President Trump despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapping up his Russia investigation with no new indictments.

When asked if it is a good strategy for Democrats to continue to push, Brazile answered, “Absolutely,” adding, “No one is above the law. In fact, Democrats will be running on protecting our democracy.”

She added, “Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time. You have Democrats out there talking about everything from jobs and the economy and infrastructure, they’re running for president, they’re running to replace Donald Trump in 2020. But you have Capitol Hill Democrats. That’s part of their responsibility in our system of government. So yes, we could do both.”

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“No one is above the law. I think the president should comply with the request from the United States House of Representatives,” said Brazile.

She added, “This is important for the health of our democracy and the future of the United States of America. This is not partisan.”

Source: Fox News Politics

The Latest on the search for a missing 5-year-old Illinois boy (all times local):

3 p.m.

Police say the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy whose parents reported him missing last week was found buried in a shallow grave and wrapped in plastic in a rural area a few miles from the family’s home.

Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said during a news conference that investigators found what they believe to be the remains of Andrew “AJ” Freund early Wednesday in the neighboring city of Woodstock. Efforts are underway to confirm it is AJ’s body.

He says they were led to the body after interviewing AJ’s parents overnight and presenting them with cellphone evidence.

The parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, each face five counts of first-degree murder and other charges.

Authorities say they reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

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2 p.m.

Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy who went missing last week, and that his parents have been charged with murder in his death.

Crystal Lake police Chief James Black said at a news conference Wednesday that police dug up what they believe is Andrew “AJ” Freund’s body in a field and that it was wrapped in plastic.

He says AJ’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, face murder and other charges in the boy’s death.

Authorities say the boys’ parents reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

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12:30 p.m.

Officers have removed several items from the home of an Illinois couple whose 5-year-old son has been missing for nearly a week.

Photos and video show the officers leaving the Crystal Lake home of Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham on Wednesday with a shovel, mattress, brown paper bags and plastic storage tub.

Searchers have been scouring the area for the couple’s missing son, Andrew “AJ” Freund. Authorities say the boys’ parents reported him missing last Thursday and told officers they last saw him at bedtime the night before.

Police say Cunningham has been refusing to cooperate with detectives. They say they don’t believe the boy was abducted and that he didn’t leave the home on foot. State child welfare officials have taken custody of the couple’s 4-year-old son, Parker.

Authorities plan to give an update on the investigation at a 1 p.m. news conference.

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9:25 a.m.

The FBI and police in the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake are planning a news conference as they search for a 5-year-old boy who has been missing for nearly a week.

The Crystal Lake Police Department says the news conference will take place at noon on Wednesday at City Hall. The agencies have been searching for Andrew “AJ” Freund since his parents reported him missing last Thursday. The couple said they saw him at bedtime the night before and couldn’t find him in the morning.

Police searched for AJ in a park on Tuesday and said they planned to use sonar to search ponds in the community, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Chicago.

Authorities say they don’t believe the boy was abducted or wandered away.

Source: Fox News National


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