MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Moscow has sentenced a close ally of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny to 1 1/2 years of parole-like restrictions. The court found Lyubov Sobol guilty of inciting people to violate coronavirus restrictions and barred her from leaving her home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., attend mass events or travel outside Moscow and its region. The case against Sobol and other Navalny allies was launched shortly after nationwide protests over the politician’s arrest rocked Russia on Jan. 23. Navalny, who is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, was arrested a week before that upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning. He was ordered to serve 2 1/2 years in prison.
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Atlanta’s mayor says the “monster” who stabbed a woman to death and also killed her dog in a popular Atlanta park must be taken off the streets. But Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Tuesday that rumors are not helping police to find the killer. In a slaying that has stoked intense interest and fear across the city, 40-year-old Katherine Janness was found just inside an entrance to Piedmont Park early on the morning of July 28. She’d been stabbed multiple times in what an Atlanta police official described as a gruesome scene.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials say a powerful explosion has rocked an upscale neighborhood of Afghanistan’s capital where several senior government officials live, including the defense minister. There were no immediate reports of casualties but several smaller explosions could also be heard as well as small arms fire. Interior Ministry Mirwais Stanekzai said the explosion Tuesday happened in the posh Sherpur neighborhood of Kabul. It was the first explosion in the capital in some time. It appears the target was the guesthouse of Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. His Jamiat-e-Islami party issued a statement saying the minister was not in the guesthouse and his family had been safely evacuated.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to award Medals of Honor to the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department for protecting Congress during the Jan. 6 insurrection, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden for his signature. The bill passed by voice vote with no objections. The four medals will be displayed at Capitol Police headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution. Hundreds of officers from the two police departments responded to the attack as the mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the building and interrupted the certification of Biden’s victory.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Prosecutors have filed charges againsttwo people accused of running over and killing an Arkansas police officer in June. Authorities allege that Shawna Cash struck Pea Ridge police Officer Kevin Apple with her car and dragged him after he approached the vehicle at a convenience store. She and her passenger, 18-year-old Elijah Andazola, were arrrested. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Tuesday that Cash is charged with capital murder and several other counts. Andazola is charged with being an accomplice to capital murder and escape. They are being held without bond in the Benton County Jail.
SEATTLE (AP) — In Seattle’s mayoral primary, voters will decide between candidates who represent the political divide between activist-left residents and more moderate progressives in one of the nation’s most liberal cities. The question is whether voters on Tuesday will back moderate candidates who reject pleas to reduce police budgets or candidates who support the agenda espoused so forcefully by protesters during last summer’s racial justice rallies. The election comes weeks after Democratic primary voters in New York’s mayoral race picked a former police officer and centrist who objected to calls from the left to “defund the police.” Seattle’s elections are nonpartisan. The top two vote-getters Aug. 3 will face off in November.
NEW YORK (AP) — An investigation into Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo found that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees, state Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday.
The nearly five-month investigation, conducted by two outside lawyers who spoke to 179 people, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” and that it was “rife with fear and intimidation.”
People interviewed included complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, State troopers, additional state employees and others who interacted regularly with the governor.
“These interviews and pieces of evidence revealed a deeply disturbing yet clear picture: Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of federal and state laws,” James said at a press conference on Tuesday.
On at least one occasion, the investigation found, Cuomo and his senior staff worked to retaliate against a former employee who accused him of wrongdoing. Cuomo was also found to have harassed women outside of government, the investigation found.
James said the investigation wouldn’t have been possible without the “heroic women who came forward.”
Cuomo faced multiple allegations last winter that he inappropriately touched and sexually harassed women who worked with him or who he met at public events. One aide in his office said he groped her breast.
Another, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo kissed her on the lips after a meeting in his office and “would go out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs.”
After Boylan first made her allegations public in December, the Cuomo administration undercut her story by releasing personnel memos to media outlets revealing that Boylan resigned after she was confronted about complaints she belittled and yelled at her staff.
Boylan has said those records “were leaked to the media in an effort to smear me.”
Other aides have said that the Democratic governor asked them unwelcome personal questions about sex and dating. One former aide, Charlotte Bennett, said Cuomo asked if she was open to sex with an older man.
“Some suffered through unwanted touching, and grabbing of their most intimate body parts. Others suffered through repeated offensive, sexually suggestive, or gender-based comments,” Joon Kim, one of the lawyers leading the investigation, said at the press conference. “A number of them endured both. None of them welcomed it. And all of them found it disturbing, humiliating, uncomfortable and inappropriate.”
Last winter there was a chorus of calls for Cuomo’s resignation from many top elected Democrats in New York, including two U.S. senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. But Cuomo refused to quit and has been raising money for a fourth term in office.
His position on the allegations has also hardened into one of defiance. Cuomo has always denied touching anyone inappropriately, but he initially said he was sorry if his behavior with women was “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.” In recent months, he’s taken a more combative tack, saying he did nothing wrong and questioning the motives of accusers and critics.
He has also questioned the neutrality of the lawyers hired by the attorney general to investigate the allegations. Kim, was involved in previous investigations of corruption by people in Cuomo’s administration when he was a federal prosecutor in Manhattan. Cuomo hasn’t expressly said why he believes that would make Kim biased.
In the hours leading into James’ announcement, Cuomo’s office issued numerous press releases including the completion of mixed-use housing in Buffalo plans to build a new $3.9 billion terminal at Kennedy Airport and JetBlue’s decision to keep its headquarters in New York. As James was speaking, Cuomo’s publicists sent out a release about reclaiming the sites of old power plants.
The attorney general’s report is expected to play an important role in an ongoing inquiry in the state Assembly into whether there are grounds for Cuomo to be impeached.
The Assembly hired its own legal team to investigate Cuomo’s conduct, plus other allegations of wrongdoing. The legislature is looking into the help Cuomo got from senior aides to write a book about the pandemic, special access that Cuomo relatives got to COVID-19 testing last year, and the administration’s decision to withhold some data on nursing home deaths from the public for several months.
Some members of the judiciary committee have said they expect James’ report to be “critical” for the impeachment investigation.
New York state regulations say sexual harassment includes unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature — from unwanted flirtation to sexual jokes — that creates an offensive work environment, regardless of a perpetrator’s intent.
The governor, in contrast, has repeatedly argued that he did not intend to harass anyone. His office has said he took the state’s mandated sexual harassment training, but has not provided any documentation proving he did.
Cuomo championed a landmark 2019 state law that made it easier for sexual harassment victims to prove their case in court. Alleged victims no longer have to meet the high bar of proving sexual harassment is “severe and pervasive.”