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Watchdog: 'I Had Some Idea' About William Barr

Michael Horowitz testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

(Newser) - Michael Horowitz was calm and collected, but fired off a few zingers along the way. The Justice Department's internal watchdog appeared before senators Wednesday about his report on the FBI's Russia investigation—and made it clear that nobody was fully exonerated, the AP reports. "I think the... More »

Russia Can't Compete in the Next 2 Olympics

Nation banned from world competition for 4 years because of systematic doping

(Newser) - The official sports world is unanimous: Russia cheats. And as a result, the nation cannot compete in next year's summer Olympics in Japan. In fact, Russia is banned from international sporting events for the next four years, a span that includes the 2022 winter Olympics in Beijing and the... More »

Feds Indict 'Evil Corp'

No, this is not a Mike Myers movie

(Newser) - The Justice Department has just announced criminal charges and sanctions against a Russian hacking organization named—wait for it—Evil Corp. Yes, really. As NPR reports, Russian nationals are accused of running the group, which federal law enforcement officials say is responsible for the Dridex malware that stole banking information... More »

He Put Up Fake Border Signs. Then He Took Them to 'Finland'

Con man arrested for swindling migrants, dumping them in Russian forest instead of the EU

(Newser) - They thought they'd found a new life in Finland—but they were really just wandering in circles in a Russian forest. The BBC reports four men from South Asia forked over more than $11,000 each to a man they thought was going to provide them safe passage to... More »

Germany Makes Move Against Russia After August Murder

Chechen separatist Zelimkhan Khangoshvili shot in the back of the head in Berlin park

(Newser) - In a case likened to the attempted murder of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal, a former Chechen rebel commander was shot from behind in the head at a Berlin park in August and died. Now two Russian diplomats are being expelled from Germany. The country believes the murder of... More »

Caught on Video, a Polar Bear With a Message

'T-34' graffiti on bear in Russia could blow its camouflage, make it hard for it to hunt

(Newser) - A video showing a graffitied polar bear is making the rounds, and the outrage is about more than aesthetics. The clip of the bear, recorded somewhere in Russia, was first uploaded to Facebook Monday by Sergey Kavry, a World Wildlife Fund worker. The bear is seen trudging over the tundra... More »

19 Dead in Icy Bus Plunge

Bus lands upside down in Siberia

(Newser) - Russian emergency officials say 19 people were killed when their bus plunged off a bridge onto a frozen river in eastern Siberia, the AP reports. Another 22 people were injured in the Sunday accident, Russian news agencies cited the Emergencies Ministry as saying. Initial investigation indicates that a front wheel... More »

Apple to Russia: Don't Like Our Map? We'll Fix It

Apple agrees to label Crimea as part of Russia

(Newser) - Using the Russian edition of Apple's App Store? Your Apple Maps and Weather apps, when used in Russia, show Crimea as being part of Russia. This after Russian authorities persuaded Apple to alter its maps and make the hotly contested territory part of Russia, the BBC reports. Seems Apple... More »

Yes, This Is a Cow in a VR Headset

Russian initiative says VR headsets reduce bovine anxiety, may boost milk production

(Newser) - We imagine when cows dream, they must dream of lazily idling in sunny green pastures. On one Russian farm, a virtual reality experiment is being conducted in the hopes that such visions can help cows pump out more milk. The Moscow Times reports that a regional agricultural administration has fitted... More »

'I Want a Trial,' Says Trump. Here's What's Next

President expects Senate to clear him

(Newser) - "I want a trial." President Trump went on Fox & Friends Friday morning and said he looked forward to a Senate trial on impeachment to clear his name, reports Mediaite . After Trump made the statement, host Brian Kilmeade asked, "You want a trial?" And Trump doubled down:... More »

Airport Smuggler Used a Body Double for a Cat

And it worked, until cat owner bragged on social media

(Newser) - A Russian cat owner is out hundreds of thousands of air miles—the price for smuggling his fat feline aboard a flight in an elaborate scheme using a body double. Mikhail Galin might have gotten away with the ruse had he not bragged about it after the fact on Facebook,... More »

Professor Found Carrying Body Parts Charged With Murder

Authorities say Oleg Sokolov killed, dismembered his student-turned-lover

(Newser) - The renowned Russian historian who was found early Saturday drunk and allegedly carrying two severed human arms in his backpack has now been officially accused of murder. Police say that after rescuing 63-year-old professor Oleg Sokolov from St. Petersburg's Moika river, into which he had fallen while allegedly attempting... More »

Cops Find Famous Prof in River, Human Arms in His Backpack

Oleg Sokolov is being questioned in murder of his 24-year-old student

(Newser) - The police statement begins thusly: "A 63-year-old man was rescued from the River Moika" in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, reports the AP . It then descends promptly into the realm of the utterly inconceivable. Police say that 63-year-old man is renowned historian Oleg Sokolov, that he was carrying... More »

Screams as Circus Bear Attacks Its Trainer

Performance was taking place in Olonets, Russia

(Newser) - Spectators at a Russian circus performance got more than they bargained for this week when a bear abruptly attacked its trainer during the show. NBC News and the AP report the incident took place in Olonets on Wednesday, during what appeared to be a calm scene up until the moment... More »

New Figure Enters Ukraine Controversy

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban reportedly bad-mouthed Ukraine before call

(Newser) - New reports out Tuesday add more context to President Trump's view of Ukraine before he made his famous call to that nation's leader in July. The upshot is that Vladimir Putin and Hungary's Viktor Orban each bad-mouthed Ukraine as a corrupt nation to Trump, reinforcing what he... More »

At Least 15 Die After Dam Collapse at Gold Mine

A criminal investigation is now underway

(Newser) - At least 15 gold miners in a remote part of Siberia were killed Saturday when a dam collapsed on their encampment, per Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations. Bloomberg and Reuters report that 13 people are still said to be missing after the early-morning calamity in the Krasnoyarsk region, which... More »

Clinton-Gabbard Feud Is Now in Full Swing

Hawaii congresswoman calls Clinton 'queen of the warmongers' after Clinton insinuations

(Newser) - It's the presidential primary fight no one really expected: Hillary Clinton versus one of the lowest-polling Dems in the race. In a podcast appearance this week, the former secretary of state took a swing at who most people agree was Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, saying that the Russians had... More »

Hillary Clinton Joins Critics of Tulsi Gabbard

She implies congresswoman would have Russian backing as a third-party candidate

(Newser) - At this week's Democratic debate, Tulsi Gabbard called out "despicable" reports in the media suggesting that she's a favorite of the Russians. Now it appears that Hillary Clinton is joining the Gabbard critics. In an appearance on the David Plouffe podcast Campaign HQ, Clinton suggested that the... More »

Kremlin Comments on Trump's Letter to Turkey

'You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state'

(Newser) - Count the Kremlin among those puzzled by the personal letter President Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “You don’t often encounter such language in correspondence between heads of state," says spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "It's a highly unusual letter." Among other things, Trump... More »

Russian Troops Quickly Move to Fill US Void

Kremlin says units now patrolling in northern Syria

(Newser) - Russia isn't wasting much time getting troops on the ground in the part of Syria vacated by American forces. On Tuesday, the Kremlin announced that Russian troops were on patrol between Syrian and Turkish troops near the northern town of Manbij. The Washington Post and the New York Times ... More »

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