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The Latest Headlines From Around the World

    Chaos swept into Macedonia's parliament Thursday night when protesters stormed the building and attacked lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker despite a months-old deadlock in efforts to form a new government. Violence also swirled outside, with police firing stun grenades and clashing with demonstrators massed in front of the parliament building, and several people were injured. Authorities did not immediately confirm local television reports that up to 48 people had been hurt, including protesters and police officers. Many of the protesters were supporters of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, whose conservative party won elections in December but didn't get enough votes to form a government on its own. He has been struggling to put together a coalition government and his supporters have been holding nightly street rallies for two months across the country to protest the political situation. Dozens of protesters, some of them masked, initially broke through a police cordon after the opposition Social Democrats and parties representing Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority voted to name a new parliament speaker. Shouting, hurling chairs and grabbing camera tripods abandoned by startled journalists, the protesters attacked lawmakers, including opposition leader Zoran Zaev, who was seen bleeding from the forehead. TV footage showed a bloodied Zaev and other Social Democrat lawmakers surrounded by protesters waving national flags, shouting 'traitors' and refusing to allow them to leave. A spokesman for one of the ethnic Albanian parties, the Democratic Union for Integration, told Telma TV that three other lawmakers were also injured. 'This is a sad day for Macedonia,' the spokesman, Artan Grubi, said. Police said lawmaker Ziadin Sela, who heads another ethnic Albanian party, was the most seriously injured and was taken to the emergency room of a Skopje clinic. Police said that about 10 officers were injured during the melee and that reinforcements had been sent to assist those inside the parliament building. After several hours of a tense standoff, with hundreds of protesters swarming through the parliament building, police said 30 lawmakers and a number of journalists who had been trapped inside had been safely evacuated. Television station Alsat M.TV in Albania broadcast a picture of Zaev leaving the building, his head heavily bandaged. Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov went on television to appeal for calm and 'for reasonable and responsible behavior.' Speaking in a brief address to the nation, Ivanov said he had summoned the leaders of the country's main political parties for a meeting Friday. 'Lawmakers are primarily responsible for restoring the situation in accordance to the constitution and laws, which were violated today,' he said. Macedonia has been without a government since the elections. Coalition talks broke down over ethnic Albanian demands that Albanian be recognized as an official second language. One-fourth of Macedonia's population is ethnic Albanian. Amid the coalition negotiations, the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, as the Balkan nation's parliament is known, has been deadlocked for three weeks over electing a new speaker. Zaev, the opposition leader injured in the melee, suggested earlier in the day that a speaker could be elected outside normal procedures, an idea immediately rejected by the prime minister's party as an attempted coup. Zaev went ahead with the vote, and a majority in parliament elected Talat Xhaferi, a former defense minister and member of the Democratic Union for Integration. Protesters exploded in anger and fought their way into the building. Both the European Union and the United States condemned the violence and said they would work with the newly elected speaker. EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn issued a joint statement with European Commission Vice President Federica Mogherini calling the violence 'wholly unacceptable' and urging calm and restraint. 'Democracy must run its course. We take positive note of the election of Talat Xhaferi as Speaker of the Parliament, as reported,' they said. The U.S. Embassy condemned the violence 'in the strongest terms,' saying in a statement that the assault 'is not consistent with democracy and is not an acceptable way to resolve differences.' The embassy noted that Xhaferi was elected by a majority of lawmakers. 'We will work with him to support democracy and to advance the interests of Macedonia,' it said. ___ Associated Press writers Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, and Derek Gatopoulos and Elena Becatoros in Athens, Greece, contributed to this report.
  • No bones? No problem! Scientists say they've figured out a way to extract tiny traces of ancient human DNA from dirt in caves that lack skeletal remains. The technique could be valuable for reconstructing human evolutionary history, according to the study published Thursday in the journal Science. That's because fossilized bones, currently the main source of ancient DNA, are scarce even at sites where circumstantial evidence points to a prehistoric human presence. 'There are many caves where stone tools are found but no bones,' said Matthias Meyer, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who co-authored the study. The researchers collected 85 sediment samples from seven caves in Europe and Russia that humans are known to have entered or even lived in between 14,000 and 550,000 years ago. By refining a method previously used to find plant and animal DNA, they were able to search specifically for genetic material belonging to ancient humans and other mammals. Scientists focused on mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down the maternal line, because it is particularly suited to telling apart closely related species. And by analyzing damaged molecules they were able to separate ancient genetic material from any contamination left behind by modern visitors The researchers found evidence of 12 mammal families including extinct species such as woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave bear and cave hyena. By further enriching the samples for human-like DNA, however, the scientists were able to detect genetic traces of Denisovans — a mysterious lineage of ancient humans first discovered in a cave in Siberia — and Neanderthals from samples taken at four sites. Crucially, one of the sites where they discovered Neanderthal DNA was a cave in Belgium, known as Trou Al'Wesse, where no human bones had ever been found, though stone artefacts and animal bones with cut marks strongly suggested people had visited it. Eske Willerslev, who helped pioneer the search for DNA in sediment but wasn't involved in the latest research, said the new study was an interesting step, but cautioned that it's difficult to determine how old sediment samples found in caves are. 'In general (it) is very disturbed and unless you can show that's not the case you have no idea of the date of the findings,' said Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Meyer said the new method greatly increases the number of sites where archaeologists will be able to find genetic evidence to help fill gaps in the history of human evolution and migration, such as how widespread Neanderthal populations were and which stone tools they were able to make. Scientists may also be able to greatly expand their limited knowledge of the Denisovans, whose DNA can still be found in Melanesians and Aboriginal Australians today, by using the new procedure. 'In principle, every cave where there's evidence of human activity now offers this possibility,' Meyer told The Associated Press. ___ Follow Frank Jordans on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/wirereporter
  • The Israeli military deployed its missile defense system Thursday to intercept a drone fired from Syria, officials said. According to The Associated Press, the incident came after Syria accused Israel of attacking a military installation near Damascus International Airport early Thursday. While Israel has several defense systems, military officials used the country’s aging Patriot Missile Defense System in Thursday’s incident. What does the latest Patriot Missile Defense System do? Here’s a quick look. What was it designed for?According to the U.S. Army, the latest version of the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System is designed to detect, track and destroy unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), cruise missiles and short-range or tactical ballistic missiles. What weapon is used in the system?The U.S. Army's Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missile, the newest weapon in the Patriot arsenal, is used in the system.  How does it work?The system, guided by computers, launches Patriot missiles that seek out and destroy targets by slamming into them and exploding. What does the missile contain?The PAC-3 Missile has a solid propellant rocket motor, 180 small-attitude control motors, a radar seeker, aerodynamic controls and an inertial guidance system, according to Aeroweb.com. What makes them “mobile?”The missiles are transported by and launched from the M901 launching station, which is mounted on a semitrailer and towed by a tractor. The tractor can carry up to 16 PAC-3 missiles.  Who operates it?A crew of three operators analyzes incoming threats and responds by launching missiles if necessary. How does the missile find its target?The PAC-3 missile is directed by a computer to an intercept point. Motors guide the missile directly into the incoming target. Which countries have the systems?The Patriot Missile Defense System is in service (or on order) in the Republic of China (Taiwan), Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Spain. Poland will soon be getting the system. South Korea purchased a secondhand system from Germany. Is it the main weapons system in Israel?The county has come to rely on its “Iron Dome” system, which is designed to shoot down short-range rockets, and its “Arrow” system, which was built to intercept ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere. The new “David’s Sling” missile defense system was introduced earlier this month. It is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and medium- to long-range rockets. Has Israel used the Patriot system before?Yes, it has. Israel’s system is an older version of the Patriot missile defense system. The last time the country used it was in July 2016, when missiles were fired at a drone believed to have been launched from Syria. Both missiles missed the drone. What does it cost?Each MIM-104F Patriot PAC-3 missile costs around $3.4 million. The launcher costs $3.8 million. (Sources: U.S. Army; Aeroweb.com; The Associated Press)
  • Turkey's electoral authority on Thursday released the official tally of the country's referendum, saying President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'yes' camp won narrowly in the vote that will greatly boost the powers of his office. The referendum, disputed by the opposition, approved a series of constitutional amendments transforming Turkey's parliamentary government system into a presidential one, abolishing the office of the prime minister and granting the president executive powers. Sadi Guven, the head of the High Electoral Board, told reporters that the 'yes' side received 51.41 percent of the votes in the April 16 referendum, while the 'no' votes garnered 48. 59 percent. He said turnout was 87.45 percent. The board 'declares on behalf of the Turkish nation that the constitutional amendments have been accepted,' Guven said. The changes constitute the most radical transformation to Turkey's political system since the republic was formed in 1923. The 'no' camp fears the changes will lead to a one-man authoritarian rule with too few checks and balances. Erdogan has argued that a strong presidency will lead to greater stability and prosperity. Most of the changes will come into effect after the next elections currently set for 2019. However, with the official tally announced, Erdogan is expected in the coming days to re-join the ruling Justice and Development Party — which he founded but was forced to leave because of a previous constitutional requirement for the president to be neutral and non-partisan. Erdogan resigned from the party when he became president in 2014. Media reports said the party is expected to hold an extraordinary congress on May 21 to re-elect Erdogan as its chairman — a move critics say will allow Erdogan to control the legislative where the AKP holds a majority before the changes come into force. The main opposition party, the pro-secular Republican People's Party, or CHP, has objected to the outcome of the referendum, citing a series of irregularities. In particular, the CHP has contested a controversial decision by the High Electoral Board to accept mid-voting ballot papers that lacked official stamps. International observers also noted irregularities and criticized the decision. The CHP's appeals to the High Electoral Board and the country's high administrative court were unsuccessful, prompting the party to announce this week that it would take its appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Earlier on Thursday, the High Electoral Board justified its decision to validate the unstamped ballots cast during the referendum, saying the decision was taken to ensure that voters' ballots were not invalidated due to polling clerks' mistakes and rejecting claims that the decision was 'completely illegal.' It said it was protecting the citizens' right to vote, adding that there was no evidence of fraud during the voting.
  • A French court on Thursday refused to extradite a former Kosovo prime minister to Serbia to face war crimes charges, prompting anger in Serbia and joy in Kosovo in a case that has aggravated tensions between the rival neighbors. The court in the northeastern town of Colmar released Ramush Haradinaj immediately after Thursday's decision. Parties to the case have five days to appeal. Haradinaj's lawyer, Rachel Lindon, said the court ruled against the extradition because he would not have had a fair and balanced trial if sent to Serbia. 'He lost three and half months' of his life waiting for this decision, Lindon told The Associated Press, 'but happily it's over.' Serbia's government decided on Thursday to recall its ambassador in France to Belgrade for consultations and lodge a protest note to France, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said after an emergency government session convened over Haradinaj's release. 'The Republic of Serbia, the government of the Republic of Serbia, believes that the decision is shameful, scandalous, unlawful, absolutely unjust and above all political,' Vucic said. Serbia has said in the past that it could abolish an extradition treaty with France if Haradinaj is not handed over. Thousands of people welcomed and accompanied Haradinaj from the airport, gathering at the main square, Zahir Pajaziti, in the capital, Pristina. Patriotic songs and firecrackers accompanied the celebrating people. Haradinaj gave a speech stressing that 'Albanians are peaceful people but they cannot be subdued.' 'Those who have lived with Albanians have never suffered anything. Albanians are an old people, a very respected one. But if someone attacks us, we unite to defend ourselves,' he said expressing thanks to the support he has had since his detention in January in France. Kosovo President Hashim Thaci told the AP: 'This is good news for Kosovo. ... It is Serbia that has committed war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and genocide against Kosovo's citizens.' Haradinaj, a guerrilla fighter in Kosovo's 1998-1999 war for independence from Serbia, was previously cleared of war crimes charges by a U.N. tribunal. Serbia's government requested his extradition after French police arrested Haradinaj in January on a Serbian arrest warrant, including new accusations. The arrest raised tensions between Kosovo and Serbia, and Kosovo lawmakers called on the European Union to intervene to secure his release. Haradinaj told Albanian journalists in Colmar that he would head to Kosovo later Thursday, and his supporters were expected to gather Thursday night in Pristina to welcome him home. Kosovo's government also hailed Haradinaj's release, calling the French court decision 'a confirmation that ... Serb arrest warrants against him and other KLA fighters are political.' Kosovo ally Albania also reacted to the news. The Foreign Ministry accused Serbia of 'using arrest warrants as a form of pressure on Kosovo.' Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade has not recognized. ___ Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, Sylejman Kllokoqi in Pristina, Kosovo, and Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Serbia, contributed to this report.
  • The Latest on Turkey's referendum on boosting presidential powers (all times local): 9 p.m. Turkey's electoral authority has released the official tally of the referendum on expanding presidential powers, confirming a narrow win for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'yes' camp. Sadi Guven, the head of the High Electoral Board, told reporters that the 'yes' side received 51.41 percent of the votes in the April 16 referendum, while the 'no' votes garnered 48. 59 percent. Guven said: 'our board declares that the constitutional amendments have been accepted.' The opposition contested the April 16 referendum on the grounds that the decision to count ballots without the official stamps was illegal and allowed for fraud. ___ 8:45 p.m. Turkey's electoral authority has justified its decision to validate unstamped ballots cast during the country's referendum on boosting presidential powers, citing a duty to protect citizens' right to vote. The opposition contested the April 16 referendum which gave President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 'yes' camp a narrow victory, on grounds that the decision to count ballots without the official stamps was illegal and allowed for fraud. The High Electoral Board rejected the opposition appeal last week. In its formal justification released Thursday, it said the decision was taken to ensure that voters' ballots were not invalidated due to polling clerks' mistakes. It said there was no evidence of fraud and rejected claims that the decision was illegal. Turkey's main opposition party will take its appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. ___ 2:10 p.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Germany is closely watching to see how Turkey will respond to reports from international election monitors who noted a series of irregularities in a referendum to increase powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitors found many votes could have been manipulated in the close vote that went in Erdogan's favor, and Merkel told Parliament the Turkish government 'must answer the questions' raised. Merkel says that 'we will follow very closely how Turkey deals with the reports.' She also accused Turkey of holding journalists without grounds, including German-Turkish reporter Deniz Yucel, who was detained earlier this year. Merkel says that Germany will talk with EU partners about 'which precise consequences are appropriate and at what time.
  • The 27 European Union nations heading into two years of divorce negotiations with Britain stressed unity Thursday, saying there's a large consensus on the tough guidelines for their Brexit negotiators which are to be approved at a weekend summit. Often divided on key issues from refugees to the financial crisis, the EU nations said no major questions were left for the leaders during Saturday's summit as the negotiations with Britain draw closer. The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that 'we are united' as he left the meeting of EU foreign and Europe ministers in Luxembourg. 'It was an unprecedented signal of trust, unity and consensus of the 27,' said Maltese Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech, who chaired the meeting. Also Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the strongest voice in the EU, said Britain should not assume its departure will be an easy ride. Speaking to German lawmakers in Berlin, Merkel said to applause that she had 'the feeling that some in Britain still have illusions, and that is a waste of time.' British Prime Minister Theresa May said that Merkel's comments show 'how tough those negotiations are going to be.' She said that as '27 other European countries line up to oppose us,' British voters should strengthen the U.K.'s hand by giving her a big majority in Parliament in an election next month. Britain has spent lots of time trying to bounce back from the shock referendum result in June. It had to form a new government and now faces a snap election on June 8, making sure that negotiations on Brexit will not start until nearly a year after the referendum. Once the EU's guidelines are approved on Saturday, the European Commission will pour them into a tight negotiating mandate for Barnier which should be ready May 22. Talks are expected to start sometime after the British elections, when a new government is formed. The EU said pressing issues like the treatment of citizens living in each other's nations, the bill of remaining costs to be paid by Britain and border issues in Ireland need to be dealt with before a future relationship can be discussed. 'Without progress on the many open questions of the exit, including the financial questions, it makes no sense to have parallel negotiations over the future relationship,' Merkel said. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson immediately saw problems ahead. 'If you're saying that they want the money before they get any substantive talks, then that is obviously not going to happen,' he told the BBC. Estimates for the British divorce bill go as high as 60 billion euros ($65 billion). ____ David Rising in Berlin, and Jill Lawless in London, contributed to this report.
  • The Latest on the arrest of a man with knives near Britain's Parliament (all times local): 6:30 p.m. A witness to the arrest by counterterror police of a man near Britain's Parliament says that he saw several knives on the ground. Chris Kacyk says that he had just arrived to the area when he saw the suspect 'standing with his back toward the public and his face against the wall.' Kacyk says that the man was 'tightly cornered by three heavily armed police officers with machine guns and two undercover detectives.' He says that he saw several knives — including one very large one — on the ground next to the suspect's knapsack. Security has been increased around Parliament after an attacker drove an SUV into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge on March 22, killing four people, before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. ____ 3:50 p.m. Police carrying out a counterterrorism investigation swooped in on a man they said was carrying knives in a bag near Britain's Parliament and arrested him on suspicion of planning terrorist acts. London's Metropolitan Police said the 27-year-old man was stopped and detained Thursday 'as part of an ongoing operation' by the department's counterterrorism unit. The department says knives were recovered during the operation. It said the man was being held at a London police station on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of acts of terrorism. Police said that as a result of the arrest, there is 'no immediate known threat' to the public. ___ 3:35 p.m. British police say a man with knives has been arrested near Parliament on suspicion of terrorism. London's Metropolitan Police said the man in his late 20s was arrested Thursday 'as part of an ongoing operation.' Knives have been recovered. Police said the man is being detained under the Terrorism Act and held at a London police station. They say there is 'no immediate known threat' to the public. ___ 3:10 p.m. London police arrested a man for possession of weapons Thursday near Britain's Houses of Parliament. The Metropolitan Police force said no one was injured in the incident, which brought armed police flooding into the area around Parliament. Witnesses reported seeing armed police blocking off Whitehall, a street lined with government buildings, and a man on the ground. A photo showed a forensic officer looking at a black bag and what appeared to be two knives on the ground. Security has been increased around Parliament after an attacker drove an SUV into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge on March 22, killing four people, before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. The attacker, Khalid Masood, was shot dead by police. Thursday is Parliament's last sitting day before Britain's June 8 election. ___ 2:55 p.m. London police say they have arrested a man for possession of weapons near Britain's Houses of Parliament. The Metropolitan Police force said the incident that unfolded Thursday is over and no one has been injured. Witnesses reported seeing armed police blocking off Whitehall, a street lined with government buildings, and a man on the ground. Security has been increased around Parliament after an attacker drove an SUV into pedestrians on nearby Westminster Bridge on March 22 before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. The attacker was shot dead by police. Thursday is Parliament's last sitting day before Britain's June 8 election.
  • A German man was shot in the leg by police after threatening an officer outside a hospital in Berlin, authorities said Thursday. Police were responding to a different incident at the Urban Hospital in the city's Kreuzberg district shortly after 4 p.m. (1400 GMT; 10 a.m. EDT) when the 27-year-old man ran up and pointed a firearm at them, an official said. 'The officers fired one shot at the man,' police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told reporters. 'He was injured in the leg and immediately taken into the hospital and operated on.' Neuendorf said the man's injuries weren't life-threatening and the officers weren't injured. The man, whose identity wasn't released, didn't say anything to police and his motives were still unclear, Neuendorf said. The man was known to police in connection with a previous weapons offense. A small area outside the hospital was cordoned off by police, but the hospital itself remained open.
  • Two baby penguins are the latest additions to the penguin colony at London Zoo. One hatched on April 17, followed two days later by the other. The tiny Humboldt penguin chicks are being looked after by keepers because their parents were unable to care for them. They have a big stuffed penguin to cuddle up to. They're weighed every morning and hand-fed three times a day. The baby penguins will be moved to the zoo's penguin nursery, which has a shallow pool for swimming lessons, when they are 10 weeks old. Later, they'll be introduced to the other 70 penguins in the colony.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • As if traffic on I-4 near the attractions isn't enough on it's own, a depression opened up in the median near World Drive Thursday, causing additional slow downs.   As emergency personnel arrived to investigated the incident, drivers slowed down to get a better look as well.   The depression, which is about 15 feet wide and 10 feet deep, was reported just before 5 p.m. rush.   The Florida Department of Transportation was evaluating the situation and had not released any information on what would be done to mitigate the depression.   No other details were immediately released.
  • Prosecutors are building a money trail of deposits, withdrawals, and lavish spending allegedly benefiting former Congresswoman Corrine Brown, through the testimony of an FBI Special Agent. But Brown’s defense says, at no time, did she have control of the account in question. Deputy Chief of the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section Criminal Division Eric Olshan’s questioning of FBI Special Agent Vanessa Stelly has spanned two days of Brown’s federal fraud trial. Stelly was assigned to this investigation as part of her work in the white collar crime division. She told the court she had worked through bank and business records for Brown, as well as the alleged sham charity One Door For Education, which Brown and a few others are accused of funneling money through. Stelly confirmed that at no time was One Door registered in either Virginia- where it was incorporated as a business- or Florida to solicit charitable donations as a 501(c)(3) organization. One Door’s President, Carla Wiley, opened a bank account for the organization in 2011, but it closed about a year later because of a negative balance. Wiley opened another account with a $250 initial deposit, and there was no activity until August 2012, when Stelly says there was a $25,000 check deposited by a Political Action Committee based in Virginia. That PAC is backed by a lobbying firm where Brown’s daughter, Shantrel Brown, works. Corrine and Shantrel Brown share a home in Virginia. One of the points that prosecutors are trying to hammer in is that there was a habit of using One Door donations for the personal expenses of Brown and a few others. To do that, Olshan first walked Stelly through repeated instances where bank records show hundreds of dollars at a time being taken from the One Door account at an ATM near the home of Brown’s Chief of Staff Ronnie Simmons, with a like sum soon after deposited in one of Brown’s accounts- also in Laurel, Maryland, where Simmons lived. Prosecutors further showed surveillance of Simmons making at least one withdrawal and deposit. Prosecutors alleged Simmons would sometimes withdraw the cash and give it directly to Brown, and there was a surveillance photo of Brown herself making one deposit. Another focus is a trip by Brown and her daughter to the Bahamas, and later Los Angeles. A July 2013 check for $3,000 from the One Door account made out to a specific Bank of America bank account said in the memo line that it was for children’s summer camps. Stelly says bank records show $3,000 being deposited around the same time in to Shantrel Brown’s bank account, and $1,000 being transferred from Shantrel Brown’s account to that of her mother. At the same time, Stelly says bank records show several cash withdrawals from One Door’s account in Simmons’ city of residence amounting to $3,000, the same sum which was then deposited in to Brown’s account as well. This all happened as Brown and her daughter first spent time at a resort in the Bahamas and then traveled to the Los Angeles-area, where they did a significant amount of shopping, according to Stelly’s analysis. When Stelly’s testimony resumed Thursday, the focus turned to more than $330,000 in One Door funds that the US Attorney’s Office says funded events hosted by Brown or in Brown’s honor which didn’t actually result in any kind of scholarship fundraising. There were several events Stelly says were represented as being paid for by another group, like Friends of Corrine Brown, but actually had at least some One Door dollars. Still other events were almost entirely funded by One Door, but raised no scholarship dollars. Brown’s attorney, James Smith III, led questioning where Stelly admitted that at no time did One Door apparently solicit donations claiming it would only be for scholarships. He added that some of those events, including an annual reception held in DC, could provide for good networking opportunities with lawmakers and other important parties. Additionally, Stelly confirmed that Brown herself did not have control over the One Door accounts and was not ever formally affiliated with the organization. This is a developing story that will be updated as testimony continued in to the afternoon. WOKV is inside of the federal courtroom and will bring you new information as it comes in.
  • A pair of protective hawks has residents in one central Florida neighborhood ducking and running for cover this week. The birds are attacking people who get too near their nests in Oviedo in suburban Orlando, local news outlets reported. >> Read more trending news It hits me on the side of the head, not just hit, but grabbed, knocked me to the ground. I had to kind of shake my head loose,' resident Beverly Bonadonna told WPLG-TV.  'At that point, I started screaming for my husband ... then it flew away, it finally let go. >> Related: Man allegedly stuffed puppies into pillow cases, left them in drain Bonadonna had to go to the hospital for treatment of puncture wounds and a tetanus shot, but she said more than anything she was terrified during the attack. 'I have never been attacked by one; never even considered that I could be. I have never, I mean, they swoop real low over our head but never considered it was really a possibility,' she told WPLG. Bonadonna isn’t the only victim. Another resident in the same neighborhood, Don Cochran, has a hawk nest in tree next to his house and has been attacked twice. 'He scratched me right in the back of the head, but if you weren't thinking about him, he could have knocked you down because he weighs about 5, 6 pounds,' Cochran said.' >> Related: Florida Fish and Wildlife searches for monkey on the loose Cochran says he now uses an umbrella to go to the mailbox and hasn’t been attacked since. Hawks and their nests are protected under Florida law and can’t be moved or harmed.  Sarah Elsesser contributed to this story.
  • A wildfire has grown to 250 acres this afternoon in Volusia County, crossing State Road 44 after the wind shifted. Called the Damascus Fire, it forced the Florida Highway Patrol to close a section of the road between DeLand and Samsula, so fire plows could safely work in the area. Julie Allen with the Florida Forest Service said 14 tractor plows are trying to keep the flames from spreading further, with assistance from local fire departments. Federal personnel are also on the scene. “We had a sudden wind shift in the midst of the battle, and it caused a little bit of an issue with spotting over,” she explained. Cause of the fire is not known, but gusty winds help it to spread in the mostly rural area.
  • Its not clear why he went up there, but a naked man spent hours on a 140-foot utility tower in New Orleans East. Firefighters were able to raise a ladder and rescue him about 3 p.m. He was seen being placed in ambulance. Power was cut off to prevent him being electrocuted during the rescue.  The tower is near a Luzianne plant, but on Entergy property.