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Aid deliveries suspended after rough seas damage US-built temporary pier in Gaza, 3 US officials say

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. built temporary pier that had been used to deliver additional humanitarian aid into Gaza was damaged by rough seas and has temporarily suspended operations, three U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The Joint Logistics Over The Shore, or JLOTS, pier only began operations last week and had provided an additional way to get critically needed food to Gaza.

The setback is the latest for the pier, which has already had three U.S. service member injuries and had four if its vessels beached due to heavy sea states.

The pier was fully functional as late as Saturday when heavy sea states unmoored four of the Army boats that were being used to ferry pallets of aid from commercial vessels to the pier, which was anchored into the beach and provided a long causeway to then drive that aid onto the shore.

Two of the vessels were beached on Gaza and two others on the coast of Israel near Ashkelon.


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Appeals court upholds retired NYPD officer’s 10-year prison sentence for Capitol riot attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a retired New York Police Department officer’s conviction and 10-year prison sentence for assaulting a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, siege at the U.S. Capitol.

A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected Thomas Webster’s claims that he was convicted by a biased jury.

Webster, a 20-year NYPD veteran, argued that the entire jury pool in Washington, D.C., was “presumptively prejudiced” against him. But the panel found no evidence that the jury pool had any preconceived notions about Webster, “or even knew who he was.”

Jurors rejected Webster’s claim that he was defending himself when he tackled Metropolitan Police Department officer Noah Rathbun and grabbed his gas mask. They convicted Webster of all six counts in his indictment, including a charge that he assaulted Rathbun with a dangerous weapon, a flagpole.

Webster drove to Washington from his home near Goshen, New York, to attend then-President Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on Jan. 6. Webster was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a Marine Corps flag on a metal pole when he joined the mob that stormed the Capitol.

Trump nominated two of the three judges who decided Webster’s appeal.

The appellate court panel said Webster hadn’t shown that the jury pool in Washington was “structurally incapable” of producing fair juries for Capitol riot defendants.

“Webster asserts that the District overwhelmingly voted for President (Joe) Biden and historically votes for Democratic candidates,” the ruling says. “That may be. But the political inclinations of a populace writ large say nothing about an individual’s ability to serve impartially in adjudicating the criminal conduct of an individual.”

Webster’s 10-year prison sentence is one of the longest among hundreds of Capitol riot cases. He was the first Jan. 6 defendant to be tried on an assault charge and the first to present a self-defense argument.

Over 850 people have been sentenced for Capitol riot convictions. Only 10 of them have received a longer prison sentence than Webster, according to an Associated Press review of court records.

The panel rejected his argument that the length of his sentence was “substantively unreasonable” compared to other Capitol riot defendants.


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Bette Nash, who was named the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, dies at 88

NEW YORK (AP) — Bette Nash, who was once named the world’s longest-serving flight attendant, has died. She was 88.

American Airlines, Nash’s employer, announced her passing on social media Saturday. The carrier noted that Nash spent nearly 70 years warmly caring for customers in the air.

“Bette was a legend at American and throughout the industry, inspiring generations of flight attendants,” American wrote on Facebook. “Fly high, Bette. We’ll miss you.”

According to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which also shared a tribute to Nash online, Nash began her flight attendant career with Eastern Airlines back in 1957. The union noted she was based out of the Washington, D.C. area.

Nash’s position at Eastern eventually brought her to American, which bought out many of Eastern’s routes in 1990.

The Associated Press reached out to American and APFA for further information about Nash’s death on Tuesday. ABC News reported that Nash died on May 17 while in hospice care following a recent breast cancer diagnosis. She never officially retired from American Airlines, the outlet added.

According to Guinness World Records, Nash was born on December 31, 1935 and began her flight attendant career at the age of 21. In 2022, Guinness named Nash the world’s longest-serving flight attendant — officially surpassing the previous record one year earlier, with 63 years and 61 days of service as of January 4, 2021.

“I wanted to be a flight attendant from the time I got on the first airplane — I was 16 years old, I was sitting with my mother on a green leather couch at Washington (Reagan National Airport),” Nash told CNN in a 2016 interview, recalling the awe she felt upon seeing a flight crew walk by.

Nash told CNN that she applied for the in-air job after graduating from college, “and the rest is history.”


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College in Detroit suspends in-person classes because of pro-Palestinian camp

DETROIT (AP) — Wayne State University in Detroit suspended in-person classes Tuesday and encouraged staff to work remotely to avoid any problems with a pro-Palestinian encampment that sprouted last week.

“All on-campus events are canceled until further notice. Critical infrastructure workers are expected to report to campus,” the school said in a statement around 5:30 a.m.

Wayne State spokesman Matt Lockwood said there have been “public safety concerns,” especially about access to certain areas.

There were two dozen tents on green space near the undergraduate library Tuesday. Participants milled around while police and private security watched nearby. Two portable toilets were full and not usable.

“Yes, we have told the organizers to remove the encampment several times and they have declined to do so,” Lockwood said.

Wayne State has 16,000 undergraduate students but fewer during the summer term.

Protest camps sprang up across the U.S. and in Europe as students demand their universities stop doing business with Israel or companies that support its war in Gaza. Organizers seek to amplify calls to end Israel’s war against Hamas, which they describe as a genocide against the Palestinians.

Wayne State President Kimberly Andrews Espy said senior officials had offered to meet Tuesday if the camp had been cleared by Monday night but the deal was turned down. The school posted a video of the offer on YouTube.

“That’s a joke, bro,” an unidentified man at the camp said.

Vice President Patrick Lindsey explained that Wayne State’s investment policy would be publicly discussed at a June 26 meeting of the university’s governing board.

The University of Michigan on May 21 broke up a similar encampment after 30 days.


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Trump makes endorsement for challenger in Virginia race and strikes blow to two-term Rep. Bob Good

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed the Republican opponent of a Virginia congressman who chairs a group of House conservatives called the House Freedom Caucus in what could be a defining moment in the GOP primary set for June 18.

The endorsement of John McGuire, a state senator, provides a jolt of momentum for the challenger and could be difficult for the incumbent, two-term Rep. Bob Good, to overcome. The primary is one of the most closely watched in the nation as millions of dollars pour into the race from various Republican-aligned groups.

Trump said that McGuire “has my Complete and Total Endorsement! MAGA 2024.” Meanwhile, he calls Good bad for Virginia and bad for the USA. In the endorsement, posted on Truth Social, Trump said Good was constantly attacking him until recently when he gave a “warm and ‘loving’ Endorsement – But really, it was too late. The damage has been done.”

The two candidates have sought to show their allegiance to Trump in the solidly Republican district, but Good initially backed Ron DeSantis in the GOP presidential primary, before endorsing Trump. The former president did not forget. McGuire has sought to underscore his loyalty to Trump throughout the campaign to mark a contrast between the two candidates, who have similar stances on many political issues.

“Thank you to President Donald J. Trump for endorsing my campaign for Congress!,” McGuire said in a statement. “I’ve been with Trump since he came down the escalator and when I’m in Congress, I’ll back his agenda and put America First!”

Good was among the parade of GOP lawmakers and allies who have appeared with Trump in court as a sign of support. Both he and McGuire accompanied Trump the same day.

McGuire said Trump was right about Good and that he cannot be trusted.

“Trump has recognized that I’m the 100% MAGA candidate in this race and I appreciate it,” McGuire said.

Good’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Good is a fiscal conservative who has pushed for deep spending cuts. He was one of eight Republican lawmakers who voted with Democrats to oust then-speaker Kevin McCarthy.


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He saw the horrors of Dachau. Now, this veteran warns against Holocaust denial

DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) — A profile of Hilbert Margol, of Dunwoody, Georgia, one of a dwindling number of veterans took part in the Allies’ European war effort that led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

PFC HILBERT MARGOL

BORN: Feb. 22, 1924, Jacksonville, Florida.

SERVICE: Army, Battery B, 392nd Field Artillery Battalion, 42nd Infantry Division. Was part of a unit, also including his twin brother, Howard Margol, that liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945.

“OUTLIVE THE OFFSPRING OF THE DENIERS”

Victory over Germany was in sight for the Allies on April 29, 1945, as the 42nd Infantry Division stormed toward Munich. Hilbert Margol and his twin brother Howard, now deceased, were part of an artillery convoy heading for the city on a two-lane road through the woods. As Margol remembers it, the convoy was stopped and the Howard brothers were permitted by their sergeant to investigate the source of a stench wafting over the area. After a short walk through the woods they spotted boxcars.

A human leg dangled from one of them.

“So we looked and inside the box car were all deceased bodies, just packed inside the box car,” Margol said.

The 42nd Infantry is among those credited with liberating the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. The Margol brothers were among the first Americans to discover the lingering horrors at the camp, which was established in 1933 and became a symbol of Nazi atrocities. More than 200,000 people from across Europe were held there and over 40,000 prisoners died there in horrendous conditions.

Hilbert Margol remembers seeing “stacks of dead bodies like cordwood” once they went in the gates. “We couldn’t understand what what was going on. It was almost like a Hollywood movie set.”

The brothers had entered military life together in 1942, joining an ROTC program at the University of Florida — figuring that after Pearl Harbor they would wind up in the military at some point. They joined an Army Reserve unit later, after being told that might enable them to finish college, but they were called to active duty in 1943, Margol said,

They were separated for a while, in training for different missions. But Howard eventually was able to transfer to where his brother was serving with an artillery unit in Oklahoma. Eventually, they deployed to Europe in the aftermath of D-Day.

After seeing combat, death and destruction, Margol came home to find success in business.

“One of the promises I made to myself in combat, that if I was fortunate enough to make it back home, I was going to buy every creature comfort that I could afford,” Margol told the AP.

But success and comfort weren’t the only things driving him. He has spoken at programs about the Holocaust, noting what was found at Dachau.

“I hope and pray that everyone who hears my voice, and their offspring, outlive the offspring of the deniers that say the Holocaust never happened.”


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Judge denies request to restrict Trump statements about law enforcement in classified records case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents case in Florida on Tuesday denied prosecutors’ request to bar the former president from making public statements that could endanger law enforcement agents participating in the prosecution.

Prosecutors had told U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that the restriction was necessary to protect law enforcement from potential threats and harassment after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee baselessly claimed that the Biden administration wanted to kill him during a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, nearly two years ago.

Cannon chided prosecutors in her order denying their request, saying they didn’t give defense lawyers adequate time to discuss the matter before it was filed Friday evening. The judge warned prosecutors that failing to comply with court requirements in the future may lead to sanctions. She denied the request without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could file it again.

A spokesperson for special counsel Jack Smith’s team declined to comment Tuesday.

The decision came as Trump’s lawyers were delivering their closing arguments at trial in another criminal case against Trump in New York stemming from a hush money payment to a porn actor during the 2016 presidential campaign.

It’s the latest example of bitterness between Cannon, who was nominated to the bench by Trump, and prosecutors who have accused the former president of illegally hoarding at his Mar-a-Lago estate classified documents that he took with him after he left the White House in 2021 and then obstructing the FBI’s efforts to get them back. Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing.

Cannon has repeatedly chided prosecutors both in hearings and in court papers over a number of matters, including telling Smith’s team during one hearing that they were “wasting the court’s time.” Prosecutors have also signaled their frustration with Cannon’s rulings, saying in one recent court filing that a request from the judge was based on a “fundamentally flawed legal premise.”

Prosecutors’ request followed a distorted claim by Trump earlier this week that the FBI agents who searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022 were “authorized to shoot me” and were “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee was referring to the disclosure in a court document that the FBI, during the search in Palm Beach, Florida, followed a standard use-of-force policy that prohibits the use of deadly force except when the officer conducting the search has a reasonable belief that the “subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

Prosecutors said in court papers late Friday that Trump’s false suggestion that federal agents “were complicit in a plot to assassinate him” expose law enforcement officers “to the risk of threats, violence, and harassment.” They had urged the judge to bar Trump from making any comments that “pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents” participating in the case.

Defense attorneys in a court filing late Monday called prosecutors’ proposed restriction on Trump’s speech “unconstitutional” and noted that the identities of law enforcement officers in the case are subject to a protective order preventing their public release. Defense attorneys said they asked Smith’s team on Friday if the two sides could meet on Monday before prosecutors submit their request to give the defense time to discuss it with Trump.

But prosecutor David Harbach said the situation needed to be addressed urgently, saying in an email to the defense that Trump created a situation that “necessitated a prompt request for relief that could not wait the weekend to file.” They told the judge in their filing late Friday while Trump’s lawyers didn’t believe there is any “imminent danger,” Trump had continued that day to make false statements “smearing and endangering the agents who executed the search.”

A spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, Steven Cheung, said in a statement Tuesday that “the entire documents case was a political sham from the very beginning and it should be thrown out entirely.”

It’s among four criminal cases Trump is confronting as he seeks to reclaim the White House, but outside of the ongoing New York hush money prosecution, it’s unclear that any of the other three will reach trial before the November election.

Trump has already had restrictions placed on his speech in two of the other cases over incendiary comments officials say threaten the integrity of the prosecutions.

In the New York case, Trump has been fined and threatened with jail time for repeatedly violating a gag order that bars him from making public statements about witnesses, jurors and some others connected to the matter.

He’s also subject to a gag order in his federal criminal election interference case in Washington. That order limits what he can say about witnesses, lawyers in the case and court staff, though an appeals court freed him to speak about special counsel Smith, who brought the case.


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Trump backs challenger to prominent US House Republican Bob Good

By Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump endorsed a primary election challenger to fellow Republican Representative Bob Good, the chair of an influential House caucus who had endorsed a Trump challenger in this year’s presidential primaries.

Trump endorsed Virginia state Senator John McGuire, a former Navy SEAL, in his challenge to Good in the party’s June 18 primary. Good, who has led the House Freedom Caucus since January, has had a rocky relationship with Trump since he endorsed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the primary.

The House Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline anti-institutionalist Republicans, has played an outsize role in the chamber since their party won a narrow majority in 2022.

Members of the group were instrumental in removing former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from office in October, a move that triggered weeks of bitter, highly public Republican infighting over a replacement.

Good has attempted to mend fences with Trump, even traveling to New York earlier this month to support the former president during his ongoing criminal trial.

“Bob Good is BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA,” Trump said in a social media post on Tuesday. “He was constantly attacking and fighting me until recently, when he gave a warm and ‘loving’ Endorsement – But really, it was too late.”

Good’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Good won his district, which runs along the state’s southern border with North Carolina east of the state capitol, Richmond, with 57% of the vote in 2022.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)


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Biden campaign sends allies De Niro and first responders to Trump’s NY trial to put focus on Jan. 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s campaign on Tuesday showed up outside former President Donald Trump’s New York City criminal hush money trial with actor Robert De Niro and a pair of former police officers in an effort to refocus the presidential race on the former president’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection.

It was a sharp about-face for Biden’s team, which had largely ignored the trial since it began six weeks ago and is now looking to capitalize on its drama-filled closing moments, sending the “Goodfellas” actor and the first responders who were at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Biden’s campaign had been wary about feeding into Trump’s argument that his criminal trials were the result of politically motivated prosecutions, but ultimately it decided to engage because its message about the stakes of the election was struggling to break through the intense focus on the trial.

A top Biden adviser said they weren’t there to talk about the trial — and De Niro and the officers didn’t reference the sordid criminal case directly — rather to exploit the large media focus on the legal proceedings. But Trump advisers argued in a dueling press conference that the Biden team’s presence validated the Republican former president’s claims that his prosecutions are being driven by politics.

“We’re not here today because of what’s going on over there,” Biden campaign communication director Michael Tyler told reporters, gesturing toward the courthouse. “We’re here today because you all are here.”

The back-to-back press conferences were a side show to the main event playing out inside the courthouse, where closing arguments were under way in the only Trump trial likely to surface before the November election. There are two others directly related to the Republican’s efforts to undo his 2020 loss to Biden, a Democrat: A federal case in Washington is related to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, and a state case in Georgia accuses him of election interference. He has pleaded not guilty in those cases.

The Biden campaign last week released a new ad that was narrated by De Niro sharply criticizing Trump’s presidency and plans if he’s reelected.

“I don’t mean to scare you. No, wait, maybe I do mean to scare you,” De Niro told reporters. “If Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all take for granted.”

The actor cast himself as the true New Yorker and mocked Trump’s history of sometimes-unsuccessful business ventures and self-promotion, saying Trump was looking to “destroy” the city.

“We New Yorkers used to tolerate him when he was just another crappy real estate hustler masquerading as a big shot,” De Niro said. “I love this city. I don’t want to destroy it. Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city but the country, and, eventually, he could destroy the world.”

Former Washington, D.C., police officer Michael Fanone and former Capitol police officer Harry Dunn spoke of their personal experiences on Jan. 6, with Fanone describing his injuries suffered at the hands of the mob of Trump supporters seeking to halt Congress’ certification of Biden’s 2020 presidential victory.

“I came here today to remind Americans of what Donald Trump is capable of and the violence that he unleashed on all of Americans on Jan. 6, 2021,” Fanone said.

The two former officers were also witnesses during a congressional investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot. Hundreds of law enforcement officers were beaten and bloodied in the attack by Trump supporters, who descended after a rally and smashed into the Capitol while Trump remained silent for hours.

“Americans need to wake up. This is not a drill,” said Harry Dunn, a former Capitol police officer who ran unsuccessfully for office in Maryland.

“We can’t count on these institutions to stop Donald Trump,” he added. “It’s going to take us Americans at the ballot box to defeat him once and for all.”

Trump’s campaign staffers held their own news conference at the same spot outside the courthouse to respond to De Niro, the Jan. 6 officers and the Biden campaign.

Trump’s senior campaign adviser, Jason Miller, called De Niro — who won Oscars for his roles in “The Godfather: Part II” and “Raging Bull” — “a washed-up actor” and said the Biden news conference proved Trump’s arguments that the trial, like the others the former president is facing, was motivated by politics.

“After months of saying politics had nothing to do with this trial, they showed up and made a campaign event out of a lower Manhattan trial day for President Trump,” Miller said.

Karoline Leavitt, the Trump campaign’s press secretary, called the Biden campaign “desperate and failing” and “pathetic” and said its event outside the trial was “a full-blown concession that this trial is a witch hunt that comes from the top.”


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Ex-FTX executive Salame sentenced to 7.5 years in prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Ryan Salame, the former co-CEO of FTX’s Bahamian subsidiary and a top lieutenant to the bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, was sentenced on Tuesday to 90 months in prison, U.S. federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Salame pleaded guilty in September to making tens of millions of dollars in unlawful campaign donations to boost causes supported by his boss.

Bankman-Fried himself was sentenced earlier this year to 25 years in prison for stealing $8 billion from FTX customers. A jury found him guilty in November on seven fraud and conspiracy counts stemming from FTX’s 2022 collapse, which prosecutors have called one of the biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.

Prosecutors say Salame, Bankman-Fried and former FTX engineering chief Nishad Singh used FTX customer funds to donate to political candidates supporting crypto-friendly legislation.

In addition to the prison term, Salame, 30, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $6 million in forfeiture and more than $5 million in restitution, prosecutors said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Salame’s involvement in two serious federal crimes undermined public trust in American elections and the integrity of the financial system,” said Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Salame, who could not immediately be reached for comment, gave more than $24 million to Republican candidates and causes in the 2022 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commision data, making him one of that year’s top donors.

He had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to make unlawful political contributions and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; editing by Rami Ayyub)


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