Multiple people killed when two planes collide over Watsonville

Police say both aircraft appeared to be coming in for a landing about 3 p.m. Thursday when they collided over the airport, which is about 16 miles east of Santa Cruz.

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’70-90%’ chance of disaster at Ukrainian power plant if shelling continues, ex-worker says

CNN’s Sam Kiley reports from Ukraine about mounting fears that Russian shelling could result in a nuclear disaster. …read more

Deshaun Watson suspended 11 games, fined $5 million after settling personal conduct case with NFL

Deshaun Watson will be eligible to return until the Browns’ Week 13 game against the Texans after settling his personal conduct case with the NFL.


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Suspect on e-bike accused of sexually assaulting at least 3 women in NYC since May

An unidentified e-biker rider is being sought in connection with at least three violent sexual assaults that took place in May and July, with two of the victims being forced to perform sex acts on their attacker. …read more

A level 3 of 4 threat for excessive rainfall in the desert Southwest

The desert Southwest, an area dealing with long-term megadrought, is bracing for a moderate risk of extreme rainfall which could lead to flash flooding as we head into the weekend. …read more

Thilo Kehrer’s Premier League move puts spotlight on Julian Draxler

Thilo Kehrer has moved to West Ham after being frozen out at Paris Saint-Germain. The defender has the World Cup in mind. But will his former PSG teammate, Julian Draxler, follow suit, or let his career drift? …read more

Florida Senate pauses review of state attorney’s suspension by Ron DeSantis

The Florida state Senate will pause its proceedings to remove state attorney Andrew Warren, who was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis for his pledge not to prosecute certain cases, according to a letter penned by Senate President Wilton Simpson on Wednesday. …read more

Top Trump executive pleads guilty to fraud in New York

NEW YORK — A former top executive at the Trump Organization directly implicated the company Thursday as he pleaded guilty in New York Supreme Court to a yearslong tax fraud scheme.

Allen Weisselberg, who was Chief Financial Officer at former President Donald Trump’s company, entered the guilty plea in a criminal case brought by the Manhattan district attorney.

Weisselberg confessed a 15-year scheme to avoid paying taxes on lavish perks received from the company. Last year, he was indicted on 15 felony counts, including grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, scheme to defraud and falsifying business records.

The Trump Organization itself was also charged in the case. The company did not plead guilty and will continue to face prosecution.

Weisselberg agreed to testify when the case goes to trial. But his plea deal did not include an agreement to cooperate in broader ongoing investigations against Trump.

“This plea agreement directly implicates the Trump Organization in a wide range of criminal activity and requires Weisselberg to provide invaluable testimony in the upcoming trial against the corporation,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement issued as Weisselberg was entering his plea. “We look forward to proving our case in court against the Trump Organization.”

Weisselberg admitted he conspired with other executives at the company to dodge taxes through off-the-books payments. He concealed some $1.7 million in compensation — including a Manhattan apartment, leases for two Mercedes-Benz, and private school tuition for his grandchildren.

Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan read off each of the allegations against him and asked if it was true that he committed the crimes. Weisselberg replied that he did — implicating the Trump Organization and its officials in his crimes.

The court delayed sentencing until after the trial to ensure that Weisselberg complies with the terms of the deal by providing truthful testimony. If he does, he will be sentenced to five months in jail on New York’s notorious Riker’s Island and five years probation. If he violates the deal by failing to testify truthfully at the trial, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

Weisselberg also agreed to pay nearly $2 million in taxes, including interest and penalties. He waived his right to an appeal.

“In one of the most difficult decisions of his life, Mr. Weisselberg decided to enter a plea of guilty today to put an end to this case and the yearslong legal and personal nightmares it has caused for him and his family,” his attorney Nicholas Gravante Jr. said in a statement. “Rather than risk the possibility of 15 years in prison, he has agreed to serve 100 days. We are glad to have this behind him.”

Weisselberg did not comment as he left the lower Manhattan courthouse with his wife.

The plea comes after Merchan rejected Weisselberg’s bid last week to dismiss the case.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization had asked him to toss the case, arguing prosecutors improperly “targeted Donald Trump’s associates and companies for investigation and prosecution based on …read more

Former FBI special agent reveals if DOJ or FBI was pushing to execute warrant for Trump raid

Former FBI special agent Maureen O’Connell explained why the Department of Justice was “trying to push” the FBI to execute the warrant for the Trump raid Thursday on the “Special Report” panel.


O’CONNELL: Sometimes I think it’s just a real good idea to sit back and let the chips fall where they may. But when I look at the totality of the situation here, I really think when we talk about spirited conversations going on for a couple of weeks, and DOJ – it seems to me the DOJ is the heavy in this situation. That they were trying to push the [FBI] to do this warrant. They were trying to push the Bureau to really, really hit this situation hard. And my guess would be that the Bureau was the one going against the DOJ in this particular situation, because when you consider which entity has more to lose – the FBI clearly has much more to lose from this situation. 


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Sex fiend who nearly killed NYC man with sucker punch freed without bail

“I hit someone and he’s in the hospital. I don’t know if he’s dead. The police are looking for me,” he told the officer, according to the complaint.  …read more