By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Pathologists examining the body of ex-KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope nine years ago in London, carried out the world's most dangerous-ever autopsy on his body, an inquiry into his killing heard on Wednesday. British police say Kremlin critic Litvinenko died three weeks after drinking tea poisoned with polonium-210 at the plush Millennium hotel, which they believe was administered by two Russians Andrei Lugovoy and Dmitri Kovtun. At its opening at London's High Court on Tuesday, the inquiry was told Litvinenko had told police Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally ordered his death. Litvinenko's health deteriorated rapidly after his meeting with Lugovoy and Kovtun on Nov. 1, 2006 and he died later that month having suffered multiple organ failure.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has confirmed he will attend celebrations in Russia in May marking the Soviet victory over Germany in World War Two, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday, citing a Kremlin spokesman. The trip would be Kim's first foreign visit since taking power in the reclusive state in 2011, succeeding his father Kim Jong Il, who died suddenly, and is likely to come before he visits China, the North's main ally. "About 20 state leaders have confirmed their attendance, and the North Korean leader is among them," South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the office of Kremlin spokesman as saying in response to its question to President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.
(Reuters) - The parents of a Utah family found dead in a locked bedroom at their home last year often discussed religiously-held notions of the apocalypse and orchestrated a multi-drug familicide using methadone and over-the-counter cold medication, police said on Tuesday. The bodies of Benjamin and Kristi Strack and three of their children aged 11 to 14 were discovered by the Stracks' lone surviving child and his grandmother on Sept. 27 in Springville, about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. "It was a fairly common theme for the parents to talk about, the apocalypse, the end of days, final judgment," said Springville Police Department detective Greg Turnbow, the lead officer on the case. The children ages 11 and 12 were ruled homicides, and the 14-year-old son had a note in which he was aware of his "possible impending doom," Turnbow said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who disappeared from his base in Afghanistan in 2009 but was released last year in a prisoner swap with the Taliban, will be charged with desertion, according to NBC. The television network, citing senior defense officials, said the charges could come within a week. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)
(Reuters) - Defense attorneys for convicted killer Jodi Arias have rested their case in the penalty phase of her trial in Phoenix without calling her back to the witness stand, court officials said on Tuesday. Arias, 34, faces the death penalty for the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, who was found in the shower of his Phoenix-area home, stabbed 27 times, his throat slashed and shot in the face. As part of her sentencing retrial that began in October, Arias spent parts of two days in late October and early November testifying before jurors in Maricopa County Superior Court without the public or the media present for the proceedings. It was not clear if the order that Arias' testimony be public was a factor in the decision by defense lawyers not to put her back on the witness stand.
Archaeologists have discovered that the carved seat numbers in the Roman Colosseum had been painted red to make the seats easier to see, assuring orderly, trouble-free seating of the crowd--who then w...
Authorities on Wednesday unveiled what they said was a record haul of rare antiquities illegally looted from Italy and discovered during raids on Swiss warehouses belonging to an accused Sicilian art dealer.
By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - A lock of slain U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's hair and items connected to his assassin were top sellers on Saturday at an auction that fetched $803,889 in the sale of a top private collection of Lincoln memorabilia. Fetching $25,000 was the lock of hair removed by Surgeon General Joseph Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot by actor and Confederacy supporter John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. The lock of hair was among about 300 items that belonged to Fort Worth, Texas history buff Donald Dow and is considered one of the best private Lincoln memorabilia collections known to exist, according to Heritage Auction officials. Dow, a late Fort Worth art gallery owner, built the collection over five decades, beginning in 1963 with the purchase of a box of books, according to his son Greg Dow, who is selling the collection.
Federal agents on Monday arrested an alleged Russian spy in New York accused of trying to recruit sources and collect economic intelligence while working as a Manhattan banker, officials said. US prosecutors named the alleged covert intelligence agent as Evgeny Buryakov, 39. He appeared before Judge Sarah Netburn in a Manhattan federal court on Monday, a court official said. Prosecutors said he was assisted in covert espionage by Russian spies Igor Sporyshev, 40, and Victor Podobnyy, 27, who had been attached to the Russian trade and UN missions in New York.
Changes to a policy that permitted the distribution of Bibles and atheist materials to students - and then drew a request from a Satanist group - will be up for discussion Thursday at a School Board work session.
Russia sold more than $15 billion worth of arms in 2014, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, adding that new signed orders stood at nearly $14 billion. Russia is the world's second-largest arms exporter after the United States. Putin also said Russia exported military equipment to more than 60 countries last year, when its ties with the West hit a rocky bottom over the conflict in Ukraine. "Russia will expand its presence on such prospective markets and the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, Latin America and the Carribbean," Putin told a meeting at the Kremlin.
CHICAGO (AP) — Identical twin brothers who ran a drug-trafficking ring that spanned much of North America were sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison after a judge agreed to sharply reduce their penalty as a reward for becoming government informants and secretly recording Mexico's most notorious drug lord.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state woman accused of stabbing her three small children told detectives she cut the children's throats with a kitchen knife to keep them quiet for her soldier husband, a prosecutor said Monday.
By Peg McEntee SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - The Mormon church on Tuesday announced its support for U.S. laws protecting the rights of gay individuals - as long as religious freedoms are not compromised - a rare conciliatory move toward a community with whom it has long been at odds. Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said at a news conference in Salt Lake City they were taking a "fairness for all" approach that would balance religious freedom with safeguards for gays and lesbians in terms of housing, employment and other rights.
Defense attorneys for the former Vanderbilt University football players whose own cellphones show they participated in a dorm-room sex assault have placed blame on the elite Southern university, saying their clients' judgment was warped by a campus...
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said on Tuesday that it cannot afford to repair Gaza homes damaged in last year's war with Israel because donors have failed to pay. "The agency has exhausted all funding to support repairs and rental subsidies," the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement. "$5.4 billion was pledged at the Cairo (aid) conference last October and virtually none of it has reached Gaza. They made up the vast majority of the more than 100,000 homes that were hit during the 50-day conflict between Israel and Gaza's Islamist de facto rulers Hamas.
A 14-year-old Dallas girl was charged with capital murder for drowning a 2-month-old girl on Monday, police said. Investigators initially believed the infant and the teenager were related but later said the suspect is the daughter of a family friend, who had been caring for the baby while the baby's mother has been prison. Child Protective Services had placed the baby in the home of the family friend shortly after her birth at the request of her mother, according to police. Another teenager was home at the time and police said she is considered a witness.