Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
|British 'spy' accused of receiving USB stick with 'state secrets,' lawyer says
Investigators have accused a British citizen held on espionage charges in Russia of receiving a USB stick that contained state secrets, his lawyer has said. Paul Whelan, 48, believed the USB stick had photographs and other information about a church he had visited, lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov said. FSB security agents swooped in and seized him before he could see what was on the flash drive, he added. Russian media previously claimed he was grabbed at the Metropole Hotel near the Kremlin while receiving a USB stick with a list of employees of a state agency. In the first public appearance since he was detained on December 28, Moscow city court refused an appeal to grant bail to Mr Whelan, leaving him pre-trial confinement in Lefortovo jail until at least the end of February. He faces 10 to 20 years in prison. Mr Whelan, head of security for a Michigan auto parts company who holds American, British, Canadian and Irish passports, appeared calm and well-fed. Dressed in a blue shirt, dark trousers and rimless eyeglasses, the former Marine and police officer declined to answer shouted questions, instead whispering with his lawyers through an opening in the thick glass defendant's cage. A source told The Telegraph last week that Mr Whelan is accused of gathering information about “classified military structures”. During the hearing, which was closed until the judge returned with a decision, Mr Whelan “refuted in detail the prosecution's arguments,” Mr Zherebenkov said. “He didn't think these were state secrets, as he did indeed say, 'I'm a friend of Russia,'” the lawyer said. “He has a lot of acquaintances here. For him all these meetings, all these contacts were ordinary and connected with the culture of the country, nothing more.” The defence had offered a bond of up to 30 million roubles (£350,000) for his release. Lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov speaks to Mr Whelan in the defendant's cage Credit: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters Russian police have often been accused of faking evidence, and in September, two officers in Izhevsk were given prison sentences for planting a pistol and personal items from a supposed victim on an innocent man. Mr Whelan was detained by the powerful FSB, however, in a much more high-profile bust. Former CIA officers have said the United States wouldn't send an agent to Russia without diplomatic cover. Although Mr Whelan “feels good,” he has an illness that requires medical attention, and Mr Zherebenkov said he had agreed with investigators to have a doctor visit him with an interpreter, as he doesn't speak good Russian. He is reportedly suffering from a hernia as well as a shoulder problem. Prison monitors have said his cell is better than normal, with good heating, a television and a refrigerator. Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied that Mr Whelan had been detained as a “pawn in a diplomatic game,” but some including US officials have disputed this. There has been speculation Moscow could seek to swap him for a Russian prisoner in the United States. Mr Whelan's twin brother previously told The Telegraph that the family had doubts about the appointment of Mr Zherebenkov to represent him. While the lawyer has successfully defended well-known clients like former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, he is known to have close relationships with state investigators after working as one himself for two decades. Mr Zherebenkov speaks outside Moscow city court on Tuesday Credit: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters Mr Whelan came to Russia in December for a friend's wedding and showed other guests around the Kremlin grounds, relatives have said. Friends contacted the embassy when he failed to appear at the wedding. At least 20 friends on his page on a Russian social network had completed military education or service, while others worked in IT. His twin brother previously told The Telegraph that Mr Whelan had always enjoyed meeting foreign military and law enforcement personnel during his extensive travels. Mr Whelan first visited Russia while on leave after serving in Iraq in 2007, a trip he described afterward as a chance to “travel throughout the world wherever we want to go and experience the diversity of culture”. He came to Russia on several other occasions and, according to his lawyer, had in May visited Sergiyev Posad, a city near Moscow famous for its ancient monastery complex. He has also reportedly been to the imperial capital of St Petersburg as well as Volgograd, which is known for its Second World War history. Mr Whelan joined the US Marine Corps reserves in 1994 but was court-martialled over larceny allegations and discharged for bad conduct in 2008. He was employed at the temporary staffing firm Kelly Services, which operates in countries including Russia, as senior manager of global security and investigations. Most recently he was employed at auto parts supplier BorgWarner, which has said he wasn't in Russia for work. He also did stints in law enforcement and at one point started an online gun-selling business.
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 1:07 PM
|Huawei calls for swift end to case of executive arrested in Canada
China's Huawei Technologies wants a quick resolution of the case of its former finance chief Meng Wanzhou, who is accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran and has been detained in Canada, its chairman said on Tuesday. The United States has told Canada it will request Meng's extradition, but has not said when it will do so, David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the U.S., said in a Globe and Mail interview on Monday.
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 11:28 AM
|Polar plunge: Record low temperatures roll into Midwest, East behind snowstorm
High winds and brutal cold greeted brave souls armed with shovels digging out Monday from up to two feet of snow across a wide swath of the nation.
POSTED JANUARY 21, 2019 5:31 PM
|Covington Catholic Is the Terrible Sequel to the Kavanaugh Case
Over the last 72 hours, I’ve been asking myself a simple question: What would happen if a group of Black Israelites had spent an hour taunting my son’s high-school football team? How would they have reacted if a Native American elder had walked into their midst – apparently not saying anything intelligible to them, but rather banging a drum and chanting inches from one kid’s face. The boys wouldn’t have reacted all that differently from the kids at Covington Catholic.
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 2:44 PM
|Q&A: Impact of Supreme Court decision on transgender troops
WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to go ahead with its plan to restrict military service by transgender men and women while court challenges continue.
POSTED JANUARY 23, 2019 12:42 AM
|British pound recovers as May outlines Brexit 'Plan B'
The pound recovered ground Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she plans to return to Brussels to discuss changes to the Brexit deal she agreed with EU leaders last month despite an overwhelming rejection of the draft text by MPs last week. There was mixed news out of China, with official data showing the country's economic growth at its slowest pace in 28 years offsetting a report that the country has offered to eliminate its massive trade surplus with the United States -- easing trade war tensions between the world's two biggest economies. "Unless the British PM intends to commit political suicide, an extension request is the most likely scenario and the EU will most probably agree, which should be a positive development that will take the pound towards $1.30 again," predicted Konstantinos Anthis, Head of Research at ADSS.
POSTED JANUARY 21, 2019 12:02 PM
|Every Photo of the Heavy Duty 2020 GMC Sierra
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 7:10 PM
|See Niagara Falls Transform Into an Icy Wonderland Amid Bone-Chilling Cold
Images show trees and pathways coated in thick sheets of snow and ice
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 11:33 AM
|WaPo Issues Correction after Falsely Labeling Nathan Phillips a Vietnam Vet
The Washington Post issued a correction Tuesday after falsely describing the elderly Native American man whose confrontation with a group of high-school students went viral over the weekend as a veteran of the Vietnam War. “Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War.
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 4:31 PM
|Trump Presses Ahead on State of Union After Pelosi’s Suggestion to Delay
The request was made to House officials, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and is another escalation in his battle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The House sergeant-at-arms, one of the recipients of the White House request over the weekend, is awaiting a response from Pelosi’s office. Pelosi last week said Trump should postpone the address because of security concerns stemming from the shutdown and consider delivering it in writing instead of in-person.
POSTED JANUARY 22, 2019 12:30 PM