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April 17, 2019

The armed woman who threatened Colorado schools and who authorities described as being "infatuated" with the Columbine school shooting has been found dead.

18-year-old Sol Pais, who authorities said threatened more than 20 schools, including Columbine High School, was found dead on Wednesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader said.

Authorities had previously identified Pais as being "extremely dangerous," and schools in the Denver area closed on Wednesday amid a manhunt. They also said she traveled to Colorado from Miami and purchased a shotgun upon arriving. Her threats came days before the shooting's 20th anniversary, which she seemed to reference in a journal entry, NBC News reports.

Shrader said that Pais was found "not too terribly far from Columbine" and that the FBI is currently processing the scene. Brendan Morrow

April 11, 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was charged Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice after being arrested by police at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The case concerns "one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States," the Justice Department alleged in a press release. He faces up to five years in prison on a charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

At issue is an alleged incident from March 2010 when Assange, along with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, "engaged in conspiracy" to unlock classified information stored on Department of Defense computers, the DOJ release details. Assange "assist[ed] Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers" and "actively encourag[ed]" her to transfer confidential information to WikiLeaks, the allegations continue.

Manning was previously sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending the documents to WikiLeaks, but former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence on his way out of the White House. She has since been jailed again after refusing to testify about WikiLeaks, but has reportedly been released from solitary confinement.

Read the full set of charges on the Department of Justice website, or see CNN's footage of a shockingly bearded and bald Assange being arrested here. Kathryn Krawczyk

April 8, 2019

The United States is officially designating Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organization, President Trump announced on Monday.

This move caps a month of escalating rhetoric against Iran and its backing of militia groups in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, and it's the first time that the U.S. has branded an entire foreign government entity as a terrorist entity, The Associated Press reports.

Iran has said it will retaliate, and Iranian lawmakers have reportedly prepared legislation to label the U.S. military a terrorist group, per NPR.

Trump in a statement said that this "unprecedented" step "recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft." He also said that this "underscores the fact that Iran's actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments."

This move had faced opposition from top officials at the Pentagon and C.I.A., as they feared it would "allow hard-line Iranian officials to justify deadly operations against Americans overseas," The New York Times reports. Sanctions will be imposed on the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a result of this designation, and those who do business with them can face criminal charges. "If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terroristm," Trump said. Brendan Morrow

April 2, 2019

Police have arrested a man suspected of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle

Earlier on Tuesday, police announced they were seeking to arrest a man named Eric Holder for Hussle's Sunday murder. Police in the southeast Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower say Holder was the man they arrested Tuesday, but a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department would "only say a possible suspect has been detained," The Washington Post reports.

Hussle, a 33-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper, was shot multiple times outside his clothing store in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon. Police later said they believed the shooting stemmed from a "personal matter" between Hussle and the suspect. Hussle was a former gang member who had been actively speaking against gang violence, and the suspect was believed to have gang ties. The LAPD later identified the suspect as 29-year-old Holder and asked him to surrender. Police did not detail how the Tuesday arrest happened.

At a memorial for Hussle on Monday, at least 10 people were injured in a stampede after attendees seemingly believed they heard gunshots. An LAPD spokesperson later said no shots were fired. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 27, 2019

The man who drove his car into counterprotesters at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes, The Washington Post reports.

James Fields was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison last year after killing Heather Heyer, a counterprotester at the Unite the Right rally in August 2017. He pleaded guilty to 29 out of 30 counts Wednesday in a federal court in Charlottesville. The deal was approved by Attorney General William Barr and spares Fields from a possible death sentence, the Post says.

Fields is a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi and hit dozens of counterprotesters at the 2017 rally. He was convicted of first degree murder and nine other charges last December. A jury quickly sentenced the 21-year-old to 419 years in prison and ordered him to pay $480,000 in fines. Heyer's mother has gone on to lead a campaign against racism in her honor. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 25, 2019

Federal prosecutors have just announced charges against Michael Avenatti.

Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, has been arrested and charged over an alleged attempt to extort millions of dollars from Nike. Southern District of New York prosecutors allege he demanded Nike pay him and a client millions of dollars or he would hold a press conference revealing damaging information about the company, CBS News reports. Prosecutors say he said he would not hold a press conference if Nike retained him and paid him and a co-conspirator "at a minimum, between $15 and $25 million." He allegedly said that if Nike didn't agree to his demands, he would "go take ten billion dollars off your client's market cap."

CNBC reports Avenatti has been arrested and is being charged with wire and bank fraud. He had tweeted earlier on Monday that he would hold a press conference "to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike that we have uncovered." Brendan Morrow

March 21, 2019

The Florida man accused of sending bombs to CNN and opponents of President Trump pleaded guilty on Thursday.

Cesar Sayoc appeared before a federal judge in New York and was expected to plead guilty to mailing the 16 packages in October. In an earlier trial, Sayoc pleaded not guilty, but his original pretrial conference scheduled for today was changed to a plea hearing, hinting at a deal, per The Washington Post.

Sayoc was originally indicted on 30 charges, including making threats against former presidents, and the illegal mailing of explosives. It's unclear which of those charges he pleaded guilty to on Thursday.

The first of 16 devices was sent to Democratic megadonor George Soros last year, and more bombs were directed at Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro, and others who had criticized Trump. They also went to the CNN newsroom in New York City. None of the devices detonated. Sayoc was found in Florida a few days after the panic, and was living in a van covered in pro-Trump stickers. Kathryn Krawczyk

March 21, 2019

At least 55 people are dead after a ferry sank in Iraq's Tigris river, officials tell Al Jazeera.

The ferry was carrying more than 80 people celebrating the Kurdish new year when it sank due to a technical problem near Mosul on Thursday, a civil defense official tells The Associated Press. Those dead include 33 women, 12 children, and 10 men, an Iraqi health ministry spokesman added. At least 30 people had been rescued but search operations are ongoing.

The river had seen high, fast-moving waters recently after the nearby Mosul dam was opened, BBC notes. Water authorities told boat operators to stay off the river, meaning there weren't many boats around to aid the sinking vessel. Many of those onboard were women and children who could not swim, the civil defense official told AP.

Some sources have said there could've been up to 200 people onboard the ferry as it traveled to a tourist island, per Al Jazeera. Photos and videos showing people floating in the water appeared on social media following the incident. Kathryn Krawczyk

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