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‘Just blabber’: Russia’s Lavrov dismisses FBI indictments

LONDON — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday dismissed as “just blabber” the indictment of 13 Russians by a federal grand jury on charges of interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Speaking at the same conference as Lavrov, meanwhile, National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster called evidence of Russian cyber-meddling “incontrovertible.” “I have no response,” Lavrov told participants at the annual Munich Security

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The charges Mueller could have brought but didn’t

Legal analysis Thirteen Russian nationals were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday, charged with conspiracy, fraud, identity theft and other crimes in connection with their alleged activity and involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign. For many, the lengthy and detailed indictment is conclusive proof of violation of federal law prohibiting contributions, expenditures, or activity by foreign nationals in any election in the U.S.

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Can private cash really rebuild America?

Four years ago, the pipes under Missoula, Montana, were leaking nearly 8,000 gallons of water a minute and, by the city’s tally, needed nearly $100 million in repairs. But Missoula couldn’t fix it: A private company owned the water system. Missoula took the owners to court, using eminent domain laws to bring its fully privatized water system back under public control. Around the same time, 1,170 miles south, Rialto, California, was looking to private companies to

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How U.S.-born ice dancers ended up competing for South Korea

GANGNEUNG, South Korea — American-born ice dancers Alex Gamelin and Yura Min grabbed headlines in their Olympic debut, but for a reason they never expected: The back of Min’s costume came unhooked about 20 seconds into their performance, forcing her to continue their routine while struggling to keep her top in place. “Despite the wardrobe malfunction, it was awesome,” Min said of their Olympic debut. While they ended up in ninth place in

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Crime New York 

Pulitzer-winning article on botched rape case is now a must-read book

Devoted “This American Life” listeners will recognize the story: Marie, an 18-year old in Lynnwood, Wash., claimed that a stranger broke into her house, tied her up with shoelaces, took pictures and raped her. Cops doubted the story. A complete stranger? Shoelaces? Marie didn’t help convince them. She didn’t cry, seemed to dodge questions and wasn’t deemed a reliable narrator given her rocky childhood in 20 foster homes, where she also claimed to be a victim of molestation. Her

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With railguns and robots, China’s military threatens U.S. dominance

BEIJING — The Chinese New Year began with the traditional lighting of firecrackers on Friday, but the country’s military has been working on incendiaries on an entirely different scale. Over the past year, the nation that invented gunpowder has been rolling out an array of high-tech weapons that some experts say could threaten the global superiority of the United States. “The U.S. no longer possesses clear military-technical dominance, and

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At schools near and far from Parkland, teachers face tough questions

At Ramblewood Middle School in Coral Springs, Florida — less than a 20-minute drive from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were shot to death on Wednesday — students have been asking: What if it happens here? Only half the class came in on Thursday and Friday, according to Ramblewood drama teacher Meagan Nagy. The rest are too scared to come to school. And those who have shown up are on edge.

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Comments by Nikolas Cruz’s attorney could impact his defense

Legal analysis Following accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz’s first appearance in court on Thursday, his attorney for the hearing, public defender Melisa McNeill told reporters that Cruz is sad, remorseful, and aware of the impact of the shooting on the community. These statements were empathetic and well-intentioned, but a prosecutor may try to use them against Cruz himself, whose defense options are diminishing as more information

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Meghan Markle makes her own mark, but in ways reminiscent of Diana

LONDON — With three months to go before she becomes an official member of Britain’s royal family, Meghan Markle is getting to know her adopted country and deciding on the charitable causes she’ll champion after marrying Prince Harry. The American actress recently quietly stopped by a mosque in the shadow of last year’s Grenfell Tower fire, which was Britain’s deadliest blaze since World War II. The fire killed 71 people and profoundly shocked the country. For many,

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Sheriff didn’t pursue sex case against Texas church gunman

HOUSTON — Sheriff’s deputies didn’t pursue a sexual assault investigation against the gunman in a mass shooting at a Texas church, even though the woman reporting it signed a complaint detailing the alleged attack, according to records released Friday. The records also contradict the reason previously given for why the case stalled against Devin Patrick Kelley, four years before the November 2017 massacre at a tiny church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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