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Mueller Charges 13 Russian Nationals in Elections Probe

By BRITAIN EAKIN

Bringing the first indictment directly related to Russian election meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russian individuals and three organizations with illegally plotting to sow political discord and sway the election for then-candidate Donald Trump.

White House Taps 5 for US Attorney Posts

By TIM RYAN

President Donald Trump on Friday announced the nominations of five new United States attorneys to positions in states across the country.

State Investigated School Shooting Suspect After Self-Harm

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Florida’s child welfare agency investigated the suspect in a school shooting that killed 17 people after he cut himself in a video but found him stable, according to state records.

Also: FBI Failed to Act on Tip About Accused Shooter

Huge Offshore Oil & Gas Lease Sale in March

By DAN MCCUE

The Interior Department announced Friday that the sale of leases on 77.3 million acres off the Southeast coast for oil and gas exploration will occur on March 21.

Big Oil Climate Case May Hinge on Authority

By NICHOLAS IOVINO

The fate of five lawsuits seeking to hold the world’s biggest oil companies liable for global climate change hinges on a murky jurisdictional question that could get some cases booted out of federal court.

File - In this June 2017 file photo, a black bear cub forages for food along a salmon stream below a bear viewing spot for tourists in the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area in Juneau, Alaska.  A study of bears and berries has determined that the big animals are the main dispersers of fruit seeds in southeast Alaska. The study by Oregon State University researchers says it's the first instance of a temperate plant being primarily dispersed by mammals through their excrement rather than by birds.(AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)

What Does a Bear Do in the Alaska Woods? Disperse Seeds

A study by Oregon State University researchers concludes that brown and black bears, and not birds, as commonly thought, are primary distributers of small fruit seeds in southeast Alaska, spreading the seeds through their excrement.

OPINION

What Would Barry Do?

By ROBERT KAHN

On Valentine’s Day in 1912 Arizona became a state, and a 3-year-old boy dressed as Cupid was ringbearer at the state’s first Jewish wedding. The little boy’s name was Barry Goldwater. Yes, that Barry Goldwater.

Earthlings Would Welcome News of Alien Life, Study Finds

By SEAN DUFFY

How would humans react if we made contact with aliens? Pretty well, researchers say.

Feds Add Charges in LA County Court Email Hack

By NATHAN SOLIS

A federal grand jury on Friday indicted a 32-year-old Texas man accused of carrying out a five-day, 2 million-email attack on the Los Angeles County Superior Courts computer system in July 2017.

Texas Says Foster Abuse Cases Were ‘Cherry-Picked’

By SABRINA CANFIELD

The Fifth Circuit heard Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office defend his state’s foster child care system Thursday by saying that counsel for the class of 12,000 foster kids “cherry-picked” a dozen tragic cases of abuse, rather than using a random sample.

Conservatives Face Tough Slog in University Free Speech Fight

By NICHOLAS IOVINO

Proving that officials intentionally sought to suppress conservative speech at the University of California Berkeley last year won’t be easy, despite a vague policy that gives college administrators broad power to restrict speaking events, a federal judge said Friday.

Read Friday's Nightly Brief Here

Facebook Faces $124M in Fines for Data Collection

By BARBARA LEONARD

A Brussels court warned Facebook to expect up to $124 million in fines if it does not comply with an order to stop collecting data about Belgians, media there reported Friday.

No Closer on Anonymity, Lotto Winner Can Cash In

By ZACK HUFFMAN

The lotto winner hoping to preserve her anonymity need not worry about lost interest on her half-billion-dollar jackpot after the New Hampshire Lottery Commission agreed Thursday to let her trust collect.

Ninth Circ. Asked to Quash Limits on Border Photos

By MATT REYNOLDS

A case touching on the freedom of the press to report at southern border ports crossed into the Ninth Circuit on Friday, as civil rights advocates argued border officials have placed unconstitutional burdens on photographers and videographers.

Watchdog Slaps Ex-Oregon Governor on Ethics Charges

By NICK MCCANN

A state ethics commission formally charged former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber with 10 counts of using his state contacts to benefit his fiancée’s consulting firm.

Glow-in-the-Dark Creatures Feature at New Exhibit

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The American Museum of Natural History gave a sneak peek Thursday of Fishnado, a display of hundreds of models of biofluorescent marine species that will feature in the museum’s new ocean exhibit.

More Top News

Briefings

LAW

The Eagle Creek Fire on the Columbia River near Portland, Oregon, has burned 50,000 acres since it started Labor Day weekend.

Probation for Teen Who Started Columbia River Wildfire

KARINA BROWN

Ex-New Mexico Senator Headed to Prison in Corruption Case

VICTORIA PRIESKOP

Former New Mexico state Senator Phil Griego will spend 18 months behind bars and pay more than $47,000 in fines for bribery, fraud, and misuse of his former position to earn commission in the sale of a state-owned building.

Wisconsin Lawmaker Sued Over Pricey Records Request

EMILY ZANTOW

A conservative legal group in Wisconsin brought a lawsuit against a Democratic state representative, claiming he violated the state’s open-records law by refusing to provide electronic records and insisting on printing them to charge more than $3,000 for one batch of emails.

CVS Hit with Class Action Lawsuits from HIV Patients

JON PARTON

A group of HIV-positive plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against pharmacy giant CVS and its subsidiaries in federal court Friday, claiming that the company’s pharmacy insurance plan violated their privacy by forcing them to purchase HIV/AIDS medication at CVS retail stores or have them mailed to their homes.

Shooting Survivors Advocate for Stronger Gun Laws

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Dead bodies were still inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when survivors of this week’s shooting began speaking out about gun violence. It seemed as if the teens had stepped straight from the bullet-scarred school into the nation’s gun debate.

Kelly Overhauls White House Clearance Procedure

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Under pressure over his handling of abuse allegations against a top aide, White House chief of staff John Kelly on Friday ordered sweeping changes in how the White House clears staff members to gain access to classified information, acknowledging that the administration “must do better” in how it handles security clearances.

Wynn Gets No Money in Termination Deal with Company

ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE - This March 15, 2016, file photo, shows casino mogul Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass. The University of Pennsylvania has announced plans to distance itself from casino mogul Wynn and comedian Bill Cosby in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against both men.  The college on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, said it will revoke Wynn’s honorary degree and remove his name from both an outdoor plaza and a scholarship fund. The school will also rescind Cosby’s honorary degree. The school says it has been a century since it took away an honorary degree but that “credible” allegations against the men warranted the action.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

A termination agreement released Friday between embattled casino mogul Steve Wynn and the company bearing his name leaves him without any severance or compensation and prohibits his involvement in any competing gambling business for two years.

NATIONAL

FILE- In this March 7, 2012 file photo, Illinois gun owners and supporters file out National Rifle Association applications while participating in an Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day convention before marching to the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield, Ill. The troubled teen authorities say killed several people at a Florida high school on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, excelled in an air-rifle marksmanship program supported by a grant from the National Rifle Association Foundation, part of a multimillion-dollar effort by the gun group to support youth shooting clubs. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

Suspect was a ‘Good Shot’ on NRA-Backed School Rifle Team

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Home Construction Surges Thanks to Jump In Northeast

DAN MCCUE

Housing starts, which track new residential construction, jumped by 9.7 percent in January to the highest level since October 2006, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Investor Blames GE Executives for Shocking Decline

By LORRAINE BAILEY

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, a General Electric investor seeks to hold former CEO Jeff Immelt and the company’s board of directors individually responsible for GE’s nearly 50 percent decline in value over the past year.

GOP Chief Takes Responsibility for Anonymous Website

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Maine Republican Party’s executive director says he alone was responsible for running an anonymous website that published articles Democrats say slandered their unsuccessful local candidate.

EPA Head Expenses Nearly $200K in Travel Over 6 Months

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Travel vouchers show the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and staffers billed taxpayers nearly $200,000 for trips over six months last year, including 10 trips to Pruitt’s home city of Tulsa.

Indictment: Social Media Firms got Played by Russian Agents

ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE In this May 29, 2017, file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File )

Friday’s election-interference indictment brought by Robert Mueller, the U.S. special counsel, underscores how thoroughly social-media companies like Facebook and Twitter were played by Russian propagandists.

Republican State Senator Charged with Video Voyeurism, Extortion

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Rhode Island state senator under investigation by state police since January was arrested Friday on charges of video voyeurism and extortion.

Miami-Dade County Sues Seeking Money from Sale of Marlins

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Miami-Dade County is suing former Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and the new ownership group led by Derek Jeter seeking money from the $1.2 billion sale of the team.

INTERNATIONAL

In this Friday, Jan. 7, 2016 file photo, conservationists of Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation hold a baby orangutan rescued along with its mother during a rescue and release operation for orangutans trapped in a swath of jungle destroyed by forest fires in Sungai Mangkutub, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The most comprehensive study of Borneo's orangutans estimates their numbers have plummeted by more than 100,000 since 1999, as the palm oil and paper industries shrink their jungle habitat and fatal conflicts with people increase. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)

Borneo’s Orangutan Population Plunged by 100,000 Since 1999

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Reporters Condemned to Life in Dark Day for Turkish Press

ADAM KLASFELD

In a turbulent morning for the Turkish press, one court in Istanbul condemned six journalists to life in prison Friday while another ordered the release of a reporter who has spent the past year jailed without a charge.

US, Turkey Return From Brink, Aim to ‘Normalize’ Ties

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Demonstrators chant anti-U.S. slogans during a rally near the building where Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Ankara, Turkey, on Feb. 16, 2018. The group protested U.S. support to Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, which is the top U.S. ally in the fight against the Islamic State. Turkey considers them a "terrorist" group linked to Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey. (AP Photo)

The United States and Turkey pulled back from the brink of a potentially disastrous crisis on Friday, agreeing to normalize badly strained relations over Syria and other issues that had threatened the NATO allies’ longstanding ties.

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda Set to Serve 2nd Term

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda answers questions during a financial committee meeting at the parliament's lower house in Tokyo Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. The government nominated Kuroda to serve a second five-year term as the head of the central bank on Friday. At bottom left is Finance Minister Taro Aso. (Hitoshi Takano/Kyodo News via AP)

Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda was nominated Friday to serve a second five-year term as the head of the central bank.

Afghans Submitted 1.17 Million War Crimes Claims to Court

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Since the International Criminal Court began collecting material three months ago for a possible war crimes case involving Afghanistan, it has gotten a staggering 1.17 million statements from Afghans who say they were victims.

Reports: Jewelers Summoned in India Bank Scam Probe

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Indian investigators on Friday ordered two wealthy jewelers to be questioned about an alleged $1.8 billion scam at a large state-owned bank, a news report said.

Putin Foe Khodorkovsky Doesn’t Want Russian Presidency

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Russian oligarch-turned-dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky says he’s not interested in replacing Vladimir Putin as president — but he might line up behind TV star Ksenia Sobchak in next month’s presidential election.

In Brief