April 29, 2014

Doris Payne likes to take gems that aren't hers, and she's proud of it; she once listed "jewel thief" as her occupation in court papers. On Monday, the 83-year-old, who has a rap sheet that dates back to 1952, pleaded guilty to stealing a $22,500 diamond ring from a ritzy Palm Springs, California, jewelry store.

Payne was sentenced to four years in custody — two under mandatory supervision and two in county jail. She must also stay away from all jewelry stores. Payne's lawyer, Gretchen von Helms, says she thinks that was fair. "The judge tempered punishment with compassion about her age," she told the Los Angeles Times. "He took into account the taxpayers' pocketbook. And do we really need to incarcerate a nonviolent offender — yes, a repeated offender, that's true — who's ill, who has emphysema, who's elderly?"

Payne is known around the world for her exploits, and for being unapologetic about her crimes. She's been the subject of a documentary (watch the trailer below), and rumors are spreading that Halle Barry will portray her in a movie. In her latest caper, Payne visited El Paseo Jewelers twice last October, telling employees that she had a $42,000 insurance check to spend. She selected three items to purchase, and promised to return the next day with the money. That night, employees realized the ring was gone, and by that point Payne had already hocked it for $800 at a pawn shop.

Von Helms is hopeful that her octogenarian client has finally learned her lesson this time, since Payne did help authorities track down the ring and promised to pay the pawn shop back. "I think she has good intentions," the lawyer said. "I know we have to take that with a grain of salt, given her history. She can't just say those words; she has to prove it with actions." --Catherine Garcia

12:14 a.m. ET
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A mayor and nine others were killed early Friday in the Philippines after a gun battle broke out between the men and anti-narcotics officers, police say.

President Rodrigo Duterte has famously declared he would be "happy to slaughter" all drug addicts, and since taking office June 30, police estimate that more than 3,600 suspected drug dealers and addicts have been killed. Police say that Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of Datu Saudi Ampatuan and nine others were approaching a checkpoint in North Cotabato province when they opened fire from three cars. Superintendent Bernard Tayong told The Associated Press that Duterte had named Dimaukom as one of several politicians he suspected was involved in illegal drugs.

In other Duterte news, the profanity-loving president announced Thursday in his hometown that he'd made a promise to God that he would stop cursing. Duterte — who called Pope Francis a "son of a bitch" and told President Obama to "go to hell" — said he was flying home from a trip to Japan when he heard a voice say, "'If you don't stop epithets, I will bring this plane down now.' And I said, 'Who is this?' So, of course, it's God." Duterte said he's stopping the swearing cold turkey because a "promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people," but when the crowd began to applaud, he warned, "Don't clap too much or else this may get derailed." Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016
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He doesn't know it yet, but Vice President Joe Biden is Hillary Clinton's top pick for secretary of state should she win the election, Politico reports.

A person familiar with her transition team's planning says Biden is at the top of the campaign's internal short list, but hasn't been told yet by Clinton or any of her aides. "He'd be great, and they are spending a lot of time figuring out the best way to try to persuade him to do it if she wins," the person told Politico. (Guess the news is out now.) Biden already has experience with traveling abroad and smoothing things over — in August, he was dispatched to Latvia by President Obama to meet with NATO allies after Donald Trump questioned the necessity of the U.S-European alliance.

Clinton and Biden haven't always seen eye to eye — they have disagreed on bombing Libya, leaving troops in Iraq, and the surge in Afghanistan — but Clinton reportedly appreciates the relationships Biden already has with world leaders. Politico reports other names being bandied about include former undersecretary of state Wendy Sherman; former deputy secretary of state Bill Burns; former undersecretary of state of political affairs under George W. Bush Nick Burns; and retired Adm. James Stavridis. Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016

At a rally in Ohio on Thursday night, Donald Trump told supporters his running mate was "pretty close to grave, grave danger" after his airplane skidded off a runway in New York City.

Sources say Trump spoke with Pence not long after the incident at LaGuardia Airport, but Trump didn't bring up Pence's wellbeing until later in the event. "He's okay," Trump said. "He was in a big accident with a plane. The plane skidded off the runway and was pretty close to grave, grave danger.... He's fine, he got out, everybody's fine, everybody's fine." Pence had a calmer response, tweeting less than an hour after the incident: "So thankful everyone on our plane is safe. Grateful for our first responders and the concern and prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow!"

The Boeing 737 landed in rainy and windy weather at 7:41 p.m. ET, skidding down the runway before stopping at a perimeter fence, the FAA says. Two airport officials told ABC News the plane was stopped from heading onto the adjacent highway by a concrete "arrester bed," which was crushed. None of the 37 people on board were injured. Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016

While landing in stormy weather Thursday night in New York City, Mike Pence's airplane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport and came to a stop at the perimeter fence.

None of the 37 people on board — including members of Pence's staff, the press, and his wife and daughter, Charlotte — were injured. The Republican vice presidential nominee was flying in from Fort Dodge, Iowa, for a fundraiser at Trump Tower, which has since been canceled. The flight was delayed two hours due to rain in New York, and Vaugh Hillyard of NBC News, who was on the plane, called it a "tough landing.... we felt skidding, and the plane started to swerve to the right. There was some bumping, then the plane stopped." The airport is now closed, and an investigation is underway.

Update 8:58 p.m.: On Twitter, Mike Pence said he is "so thankful everyone on our plane is safe. Grateful for our first responders and the concern and prayers of so many. Back on the trail tomorrow!" Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016
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A jury on Thursday found brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the leaders of an armed group who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for nearly six weeks earlier this year, and five others not guilty of conspiracy to impede federal workers from their jobs.

Additionally, several of the defendants were charged with possessing a firearm at a federal facility, and they were also acquitted on that count. The standoff began on Jan 2., with the participants claiming it was to protest two local ranchers being sentenced to five years in prison for two counts of arson on federal land. The Bundy brothers still face charges in Nevada, where in 2014 they engaged in another standoff, this time with federal agents who attempted to take their father's cattle after they grazed on public land for years without a permit. Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016
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On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin shrugged off accusations that his country is meddling in the U.S. election, asking, "Does anyone really think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people in any way?"

"Is America some sort of banana republic? America is a great power. Please correct me if I'm wrong," Putin said during remarks at the Valdai Club, a gathering of world policy experts. Despite Putin denying Russia's involvement in the email hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the Obama administration is certain the country is behind it.

While Putin would not say if he would prefer to see Clinton or Donald Trump in the White House, he had good things to say about the Republican nominee's strategy. "Trump has chosen his own way of reaching the hearts of voters," he said. "He is acting extravagantly, but not so pointlessly. He represents the interests of the part of the society tired of the elites that have held power for decades. He is representing the common people, and he is acting like a common guy himself." Catherine Garcia

October 27, 2016

The EU's 2016 Sakharov Prize for human rights has been awarded to Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, two Yazidi women who escaped sexual slavery by the Islamic State.

The award is named after Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet dissident, and bestowed upon those who defend human rights. In December, Murad shared with the U.N. Security Council the terror she experienced, along with other Yazidi women and girls, when they were abducted in August 2014 after Sinjar, Iraq, fell to ISIS militants. She was raped repeatedly, and fled after three months. Bashar attempted to escape from ISIS four times, and was successful this March. With ISIS fighters following her, she was scarred and blinded in her right eye when a land mine exploded; the two people she was traveling with both died. ISIS views the Yazidi minority as being heretical, and hundreds of Yazidi women and girls who were kidnapped by ISIS are still in captivity in Syria and Iraq.

Murad and Bashar are "inspirational women who have shown incredible bravery and humanity in the face of despicable brutality," Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the European Parliament's ALDE group, said Thursday. Parliamentarian Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea said the women have fought "throughout their life. Both have impressively overcome the brutal sexual slavery that they were exposed to by jihadist terrorists and become an example for all of us." Catherine Garcia

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