Snow storms shut Ireland and force Britain to call in the army

1 / 4
A cyclist pushes his bicycle past a snow drift in Coleby, Britain March 1, 2018.(Reuters)
2 / 4
People walk along the street through the snow near Sterling Castle, Scotland, Britain, March 1, 2018. (Reuters)
3 / 4
Boys jump into the snow at Sterling Castle, Scotland, Britain, March 1, 2018. (Reuters)
4 / 4
A cyclist steers his way through the snow near Sterling Castle, Scotland, Britain, March 1, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 02 March 2018
0

Snow storms shut Ireland and force Britain to call in the army

LONDON: Snow storms shut most of Ireland on Friday and forced Britain to call in the army to battle some of the worst weather seen in nearly 30 years.
After a blast of Siberian weather dubbed “the beast from the east,” southern Britain and Ireland were battered by Storm Emma which blocked roads, grounded planes and stopped trains.
At least 24,000 homes and businesses in Ireland were left without power, the stock exchange was shut, all schools were closed and transport ground to a halt with all flights canceled from Dublin airport.
In Britain, a seven-year-old girl was killed in Cornwall after a car crashed into a house in icy conditions, the BBC reported. Dozens of passengers were stranded on trains overnight in southern England.
The army was called in to help rescue hundreds of drivers stuck in the snow and to transport National Health Service workers. Roads were closed, schools shut and flights canceled across Britain.
“The Armed Forces are assisting emergency services in ensuring essential NHS staff are able to get to work and carry out their work in local communities,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said.
The army is “standing by to help the Police and civil authorities across the UK following heavy snowfall. We are also aware of Armed Forces personnel volunteering in their own time with their own vehicles to help those in need.”


Accused Russian agent Butina poised to plead guilty -US court papers

In this April 21, 2013, file photo, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia. (AP)
Updated 47 min 37 sec ago
0

Accused Russian agent Butina poised to plead guilty -US court papers

  • In a Dec. 8, 2016, class project at American University, she gave a presentation titled “What Might President Trump’s Foreign Policy Be Toward Russia?” and listed several of Russia’s policy objectives

WASHINGTON: Accused Russian agent Maria Butina, suspected of trying to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and influence US policy toward Russia, is expected to plead guilty this week following a deal between her lawyers and US prosecutors, according to court filings on Monday.
Exactly how the deal will be structured for Butina was not immediately clear. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.
CNN reported on Monday that Butina had already begun to cooperate with prosecutors, citing one source familiar with the matter. A representative for the US Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case.
ABC News first reported that Butina would cooperate with prosecutors.
Butina, a former American University graduate student, had previously pleaded not guilty to US charges in July that she was acting as an agent of the Russian government and conspiring to take actions on Russia’s behalf.
Prosecutors have accused her of working with a Russian official and two US citizens to try to infiltrate the powerful NRA lobby group that has close ties to Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, and influence Washington’s policy toward Moscow.
Butina’s lawyers previously identified the Russian official as Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who was hit with US Treasury Department sanctions in April.
One of the two Americans mentioned in the prosecutors’ criminal complaint was Paul Erickson, a conservative US political activist who was dating Butina. Neither Erickson nor Torshin has been accused by prosecutors of wrongdoing.
Butina’s cooperation will mainly focus on telling investigators about the role of Erickson and her interactions with Russian officials, CNN reported.
The case against Butina is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office in Washington and the National Security Division, and not US Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election and any coordination between Moscow and Trump campaign members.
The government’s complaint against Butina did not explicitly mention Trump’s campaign. Trump has denied any collusion with Moscow occurred.
Reuters previously reported, however, that Butina was a Trump supporter who bragged at parties in Washington that she could use her political connections to help get people jobs in the Trump administration.
In a Dec. 8, 2016, class project at American University, she gave a presentation titled “What Might President Trump’s Foreign Policy Be Toward Russia?” and listed several of Russia’s policy objectives, according to a copy reviewed by Reuters.
Whether she could help shed any light on contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia is not known.
Moreover, the prosecutors in her case have previously made mistakes, including erroneously accusing Butina of offering sex in exchange for a position in a special interest group. The errors could possibly have helped give Butina more leverage in reaching a plea deal.