Russian diplomats hatched a secret plan last year to help Julian Assange flee the United Kingdom, The Guardian reports. The plan—abandoned because it was deemed too risky—would have seen the WikiLeaks founder smuggled out of Ecuador’s London embassy in a diplomatic vehicle and transported to Russia to avoid the risk of extradition to the States. Assange has been holed up in the embassy in London since 2012—he faces arrest from British police if he leaves, and fears extradition in the U.S. due to the ongoing criminal investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The bold plan to extract Assange was reportedly scheduled for Christmas Eve in 2017. The involvement of Russian officials raises fresh questions about Assange's relationship with Russia—four sources told The Guardian that the Kremlin was willing to offer support for the plan.
At least five people, including three infants, have been injured in a stabbing incident at a Queens overnight child-care facility, according to news reports early Friday. The exact ages of the victims are not yet clear, but one young girl is believed to be in serious condition. None of the injuries are currently believed to be life-threatening; local NBC News reports say the injured babies are two girls and one boy and that the attack was discovered at 3:45 a.m. The daycare is on 161st Street in Flushing. Videos posted on social media showed that the scene had been cordoned off by police. Cops confirmed a 52-year-old woman was found in the basement of the daycare center with her left wrist slashed—a wound that is believed to have been self-inflicted. She is in police custody at an area hospital.
Stephen Miller has once again proved himself to be one of the most dangerously effective officials in the Trump administration. A report from NBC News early Friday details how the president’s special adviser managed to outmaneuver his opponents to successfully bring in a 30,000 annual cap on incoming refugees—a record-low number since the program’s creation in 1980. Days before it was announced, Miller made his case for fewer refugees to a room of senior officials at the White House—but officials with a gentler refugee outlook, such as U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis, were said to be excluded from the meeting to prevent them putting forward their case. Miller’s previous “victories” include the Trump administration’s Muslim travel ban, limiting legal immigration, and separating migrant families at the border. The refugee cap was unveiled by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who previously opposed it. He gave no explanation as to why he had changed his position.
Abortions in Ireland will not cost women anything, officials have confirmed ahead of the procedure’s legalization. Irish voters repealed a decades-old abortion ban in their constitution in May and the country’s health minister, Simon Harris, confirmed Wednesday that the procedure will be available to women free of charge through the Irish health-care system. Harris said he hoped the move would prevent the creation of private clinics and stop women from traveling outside Ireland to seek abortions—as has happened for decades. Irish President Michael Higgins signed a bill removing the nation’s Eighth Amendment on Tuesday, which gave equal rights to a woman and an unborn child. The law to govern abortion could reportedly be enacted by January.
Do you need to be devout to one eyelash curler? Probably not. But when it comes to beauty products and tools I usually stick to what I like and buy in bulk, and after using the Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler, I'm never using another one. This the first time I have ever actively wanted to seek out an eyelash curler after losing my first one. It hugs your eye in a way that makes you feel like you’re not putting any effort to get a good curl. It’s sturdy, but not heavy. The also created the ProMaster, which features a flatter base that works for people with deep-set or almond shaped eyes, something that most other eyelash curlers don’t account for. At $22, it’s not the most penny-saving option for curling your lashes, but this thing won’t break on you or wear out too quickly, and in the year or more that I’ve had it, it’s never once caught my eyelashes and ripped them out. Plus, it comes with extra pads to swap out when you're get all gunked up. Yes, you should be doing that regularly.
The Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets 21-17 late Thursday, ending a nearly two-year losing streak. Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, was credited with leading the team to victory in his regular-season debut after quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion in the second quarter. The team was behind 14-0 when Mayfield hit the field and pulled out all the stops to turn things around, completing 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards. “Tonight was his night. It was his coming-out party,” Coach Hue Jackson said of Mayfield’s performance after the game. Mayfield described the win as a “building block” for future successes. “It’s not the only win we’re going to celebrate,” he said at a post-game news conference. The last time the team had won was in December 2016, when they beat the then-San Diego Chargers.
Wealthy Democratic donors are going all out to help their party win back the House and Senate in the midterms. And comedian Bill Maher has again flashed his cash, donating $2 million to super PACs affiliated to both House and Senate Dems. The comedian has occasionally written smaller checks to specific Dem candidates lately, but his two $1 million donations are his biggest since the 2012 Obama campaign. On Aug. 20, he donated $1 million each to House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC. Director Steven Spielberg also donated a total of $400,000 to the groups, according to the latest filings, while Newsweb Corp. Chairman Fred Eychaner donated a total of $8 million to House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC, making him the biggest single donor to the groups last month.
Five people, including an 8-year-old girl, were hurt in a shooting in upstate New York Thursday night. The shooting reportedly took place at a home in Syracuse, where, according to eyewitnesses, a family had gathered to celebrate the life of a relative who had recently died of cancer. Cops said the shots appeared to have been fired from across the street, hitting the lawn where between 20 and 30 people gathered for the service, but neither a suspect nor a motive have been identified. Officers said there was no evidence linking the shooting with the a nearby shooting of a 14-year-girl shortly afterward. Police Chief Frank Fowler said: “This is a very tragic event. This is something that cannot occur in our community.” Fowler said it appeared at least 10 shots were fired, the oldest victim was 35 years old, and that all of the injured are expected to survive.
A man who strangled and masturbated on a woman is now free in Alaska after having served no jail time. Justin Schneider served one year on house arrest but, due to a plea deal, is not slated to spend any time in prison. Schneider allegedly offered a woman a ride and then attacked her, strangled her with two hands until she was unconscious, and masturbated on her. She told police that Schneider “told her that he wasn’t really going to kill her, that he needed her to believe she was going to die so that he could be sexually fulfilled.” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Grannik, speaking Wednesday in court about the prospect of Schneider re-offending, said: “I hope it doesn’t happen.” Schneider thanked the court and said the past year has allowed him to “work on myself and become a better person, and a better husband, and a better father.”
At least 86 people were reported dead Thursday after a Tanzanian passenger ferry capsized on Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa. Authorities said the death toll is expected to rise, as hundreds of people were believed to have been on board when the ferry capsized near the area of Mwanza. “Right now our focus is on rescue,” Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella told the Associated Press, adding that he “cannot speculate” how many passengers were on board. At least 37 people were rescued as of Thursday afternoon, he said. Search and rescue operations resumed Friday morning.