Korean pop star found dead
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean pop star and actress Sulli was found dead at her home south of Seoul on Monday, police said. The 25-year-old was found after her manager went to her home in Seongnam because she didn’t answer phone calls for hours,. There were no signs of foul play and that police did not find a suicide note. “The investigation is ongoing and we won’t make presumptions about the cause of death,” said an officer, adding that security camera footage at Sulli’s home showed no signs of an intrusion. In a statement sent to reporters, SM Entertainment, Sulli’s agency, said her death was “very hard to believe and sorrowful.” Sulli’s legal name is Choi Jin-ri. She began her singing career in 2009 as a member of the girl band “f(x)” and also acted in numerous television dramas and movies. She was known for her feminist voice and outspokenness that was rare among female entertainers in deeply conservative South Korea. She recently appeared in a TV show and spoke out against online backlash she received over her lifestyle.
Collision course in Syria
AKCAKALE, Turkey — Syrian government troops moved into towns and villages in northeastern Syria on Monday, including the flashpoint region of Manbij, setting up a potential clash with Turkish-led forces advancing in the area as long-standing alliances in the region began to shift or crumble following the pullback of U.S. forces. The Syrian military’s deployment near the Turkish border came after Syrian Kurdish forces previously allied with the U.S. said they had reached a deal with President Bashar Assad’s government to help them fend off Turkey’s invasion, now in its sixth day. Assad’s return to the region his troops abandoned in 2012 at the height of the Syrian civil war is a turning point in Syria’s eight-year civil war, giving yet another major boost to his government and its Russian backers and is like to endanger, if not altogether crush, the brief experiment in self-rule set up by Syria’s Kurds since the conflict began. The rapidly changing situation was set in motion last week, when U.S. President Donald Trump ordered American troops in northern Syria to step aside, clearing the way for an attack by Turkey, which regards the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. Since 2014, the Kurds have fought alongside the U.S. in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, and Trump’s move was decried at home and abroad as a betrayal of an ally. Faced with unrelenting criticism, Trump said Monday he was putting new sanctions on Turkey, halting trade negotiations and raising steel tariffs in an effort to pressure Ankara to stop its offensive.
Trump orders Turkey sanctions
WASHINGTON — Targeting Turkey’s economy, President Donald Trump announced sanctions Monday aimed at restraining the Turks’ assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria — an assault Turkey began after Trump announced he was moving U.S. troops out of the way. Meanwhile, the Americans were scrambling for Syria’s exits, a move criticized at home and abroad as opening the door to a resurgence of the Islamic State group whose violent takeover of Syrian and Iraq lands five years ago was the reason American forces came in the first place. Trump said the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops who had been partnering with local Kurdish fighters to battle IS in northern Syria are leaving the country. They will remain in the Middle East, he said, to “monitor the situation” and to prevent a revival of IS — a goal that even Trump’s allies say has become much harder as a result of the U.S. pullout. The Turks began attacks in Syria last week against the Syrian Kurdish fighters, whom the Turks see as terrorists. On Monday, Syrian government troops moved north toward the border region, setting up a potential clash with Turkish-led forces. Trump said Turkey’s invasion is “precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes,” a reference to reports of Turkish-backed fighters executing Kurdish fighters on the battlefield.
White Fort Worth officer resigns
FORT WORTH, Texas — A white Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed a black woman in her home while responding to a call about an open front door acted without justification and resigned Monday before he could be fired, the police chief said. Police bodycam video showed that Aaron Dean did not identify himself as an officer and fired a split-second after shouting at Atatiana Jefferson to show her hands. Jefferson, 28, was killed in front of her 8-year-old nephew, cut down by a bullet fired through her window early Saturday. “Nobody looked at this video and said that there’s any doubt that this officer acted inappropriately,” Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said. Kraus said Dean would have been fired if he had not quit. He said that a criminal investigation is underway and that he expects an update by Tuesday on whether the 34-year-old former officer — a member of the force for 1¢ years — will be charged. Earlier in the day, Jefferson’s family had demanded that Dean be fired and arrested.
Mower slides, landscaper killed
CORNWALL, Pa. — The co-owner of a landscaping company died when his mower slid into a creek and overturned while he was working at a retirement community here. Ralph Schreiber, 66, was cutting grass with a zero-turn mower when the accident occurred Saturday at the Alden Place community. He apparently became trapped under the mower and was later found by an employee.
Catalan separatists convicted
BARCELONA, Spain — Riot police engaged in a running battle with protesters outside Barcelona’s airport Monday after Spain’s Supreme Court convicted 12 separatist leaders of illegally promoting the wealthy Catalonia region’s independence and sentenced nine of them to prison. Police fired foam bullets and used batons against the thousands of protesters who converged on Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport after a pro-independence grassroots group put out the call. Protesters fought back by throwing objects, spraying dark clouds with fire extinguishers, and breaking windows. Regional emergency service SEM said 53 people were treated for injuries at the airport. Spain’s airport operator, AENA, said at least 108 flights were canceled. Police also clashed with angry crowds late Monday night in downtown Barcelona. They used batons, and sounds similar to the firing projectiles were heard. Nine of the 12 Catalan politicians and activists were found guilty of sedition and given prison sentences of nine to 13 years. Four of them were additionally convicted of misuse of public funds.
Trump condemns violent parody
WASHINGTON — The White House says President Donald Trump has yet to watch a graphically violent parody video that depicts a likeness of him shooting and stabbing opponents and members of the news media, but based on what he’s heard, he “strongly condemns” it. The parody was shown at a meeting of Trump supporters at his Miami resort. The video portrays Trump’s critics and media members as parishioners in a church fleeing his gruesome rampage. The fake Trump strikes the late Sen. John McCain in the neck, hits and stabs TV personality Rosie O’Donnell in the face, lights Sen. Bernie Sanders’ head on fire and shoots or otherwise assaults people whose faces are replaced with news organization logos. Trump’s face is superimposed on a killer’s body. Among the targets: former President Barack Obama, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, Bill and Hillary Clinton and Rep. Adam Schiff, who as Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is leading the impeachment inquiry of Trump. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham says in a tweet that Trump will see the video shortly and that, “based upon everything he has heard, he strongly condemns this video.”
Girl, 10, fought off rapist
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A 10-year-old Alabama girl fought off a man trying to rape her by kicking him in the groin. Davin Turner Windham, 52, was charged Thursday with attempted rape and jailed. The affidavit says Windham tried pinning the girl down and pulling off her clothes while she and her sleeping brother were being watched by a family friend. The girl told authorities she fought Windham and escaped. It says Windham told the girl during the struggle that what happened was a secret and she needed to keep quiet. It says he fled and hid.
California utility sanctioned
SAN FRANCISCO — California’s top utility regulator blasted Pacific Gas and Electric on Monday for what she called “failures in execution” during the largest planned power outage in state history to avoid wildfires that she said, “created an unacceptable situation that should never be repeated.” The agency ordered a series of corrective actions, including a goal of restoring power within 12 hours, not the utility’s current 48-hour goal. “The scope, scale, complexity, and overall impact to people’s lives, businesses, and the economy of this action cannot be understated,” California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer wrote in a letter to PG&E CEO Bill Johnson. PG&E last week took the unprecedented step of cutting power to more than 700,000 customers, affecting nearly 2 million Californians. The company said it did it because of dangerous wind forecasts but acknowledged that its execution was poor. Its website frequently crashed, and many people said they did not receive enough warning that the power was going out.
Worker dangling in air saved
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Authorities say two workers on a construction platform in New Jersey were rescued after it failed and left one worker briefly dangling by his safety rope in midair. No injuries were reported Monday morning in Atlantic City. The platform holding the workers was about six floors up when it let go on one side. The two men had been doing masonry work and that the collapse occurred as they started to descend. Witnesses say the dangling worker was on the side that dropped, while the other remained on the scaffold. Both were pulled to safety through windows.
Court won’t surrender art
PARIS — A lawyer for a New York art dealer says his client is back in the United States after a French court ruled against surrendering him to Poland. Jean-Jacques Neuer said Monday that the Court of Appeals in Paris ruled against Poland’s request for the return of Alexander Khochinskiy. Khochinskiy was arrested in February at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport based on a European Union-wide warrant from Poland. Neur called the appeals court’s decision “extremely rare” within the EU. Poland accuses Khochinskiy of holding an 18th-century painting by French artist Antoine Pense that the Nazis stole from a Polish museum during World War II. The Russian-born American citizen says he inherited “Girl With a Dove” in 1991 and only learned Poland wanted it in 2010. The United States refused to extradite him in 2015.
Pumpkin sets California record
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — A Northern California pumpkin hobbyist has won first place at the 46th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off, setting a record for the largest in California. Leonardo Urena of Napa won $15,000 Monday when his pumpkin logged 2,175 pounds. Weigh-off spokesman Timothy Beeman says Urena’s pumpkin is the second largest in the contest’s history. A pumpkin from Washington state weighed nearly 2,400 pounds and won in Half Moon Bay in 2017. The 51-year-old says he took up the hobby in 2000 and says he enjoys the pumpkin growing community. He also won the Half Moon Bay contest in 2011. Urena always tells his pumpkins he’s proud of them and encourages them to keep growing.
One still missing in rubble
NEW ORLEANS — Rescue workers and search dogs moved gingerly through a dangerously unstable New Orleans hotel Monday in a risky search for the only person still missing after the structure partially collapsed. Two people are known to have died in Saturday’s disaster and more than 20 were hurt. Fire Chief Tim McConnell said rescue and stabilization efforts were complicated Monday when experts determined that the second of two cranes towering over the site is unstable. Authorities had known one crane could topple since Saturday. The discovery Monday that both could topple led to a slightly expanded evacuation area around the site, which sits at the edge of the French Quarter and the city’s business district. Further complicating the efforts: Rain was in the forecast for Monday night and Tuesday. Water gathering in parts of the wreckage would mean more weight on the structure, and it could make parts of the wreckage more slippery.
Guard acquitted in death
ANGLETON, Texas — A jury has acquitted a former Texas prison guard who slammed a handcuffed inmate to the ground so hard that the man’s liver ruptured and he died. Lou Joffrion was acquitted last month on aggravated assault charges in the 2017 death of David Witt, who had mental health issues. Authorities say Joffrion, who was a sergeant at the Darrington Unit in Brazoria County south of Houston, picked up the 128-pound Witt and slammed him to the ground after Witt refused orders to return to his cell from a common area. Joffrion’s lawyer, Connie Williams, defended the use of force, saying the question of whether it was excessive is “subjective.” Jennifer Erschabek of the Texas Inmate Families Association called the verdict “legalized brutality.”
Cop guilty of some charges
DECATUR, Ga. — A former Georgia police officer who fatally shot an unarmed, naked man was found not guilty of murder Monday but was convicted of aggravated assault and other charges that could send him to prison for more than 30 years. Robert “Chip” Olsen’s face turned red and he squeezed his eyes shut tightly as the verdict was read. His wife, Kathy Olsen, began sobbing and had to be led from the courtroom. DeKalb County Superior Court Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson set bond for Olsen at $80,000, ordered him to wear an ankle monitor and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in effect until his sentencing Nov. 1. Olsen, now 57, was a DeKalb County police officer in March 2015 when he responded to a call of a naked man behaving erratically outside an Atlanta-area apartment complex. Shortly after arriving, he fatally shot 26-year-old Anthony Hill, an Air Force veteran who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. A grand jury indicted Olsen nearly a year after the shooting. Olsen is white and Hill was black.
Tribes want dams removed
THE DALLES, Ore. — Two Pacific Northwest tribes on Monday demanded the removal of three major hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River to save migrating salmon and starving orcas and restore fishing sites that were guaranteed to the tribes in a treaty more than 150 years ago. The Yakama and Lummi nations made the demand of the U.S. government on Indigenous Peoples Day, a designation that’s part of a trend to move away from a holiday honoring Christopher Columbus. For decades, people have debated whether to remove four big dams on the Lower Snake River, a tributary of the Columbia, but breaching the Columbia dams, which are a much more significant source of power, has never been seriously discussed.