Explosive detonated outside Alabama attorney general’s office on Saturday

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(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) — An investigation is underway after an explosive device was detonated outside the office of the Alabama attorney general this weekend, officials said.

No one was hurt in the Saturday morning incident in Montgomery, Alabama, Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement on Monday.

“The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will be leading the investigation, and we are urging anyone with information to contact them immediately,” Marshall said.

On Monday, at 8:19 a.m. local time, Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) received notification of a suspicious package near the intersection of Washington Avenue and South Bainbridge Street in Montgomery. It was determined that the suspicious package was an explosive device that was detonated in the early morning hours on Saturday, according to the ALEA.

While a motive has not been released, the incident came one day after Marshall said he won’t prosecute in vitro fertilization providers or families in the wake of a state Supreme Court ruling that embryos should be considered children.

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Judge rules Nathan Wade’s attorney must take the stand again in Trump election case: Sources

Witness Terrence Bradley looks on from the witness stand during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on Feb. 16, 2024 in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)

(ATLANTA) — A Fulton County judge has ruled that special prosecutor Nathan Wade’s former law partner and divorce attorney, Terrence Bradley, must retake the stand in former President Donald Trump’s Georgia election interference case to testify on topics not covered by attorney-client privilege, sources familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.

Following a meeting with Bradley on Monday, Judge Scott McAfee notified attorneys in the case via email that some communications between Wade and Bradley do not fall under attorney-client confidentiality, the sources said.

Michael Roman and several other co-defendants in Trump’s election case are seeking Willis’ disqualification from the case on the grounds that she benefited financially from a “personal, romantic relationship” with Wade, who she hired for the case.

Willis and Wade have admitted to the relationship but said it “does not amount to a disqualifying conflict of interest” and that the relationship “has never involved direct or indirect financial benefit to District Attorney Willis.”

The defense contends that Bradley has evidence that Wade and Willis’ relationship began before Wade was hired, which would contradict what Willis and Wade told the court. Bradley largely declined to answer questions from the defense during a Feb. 15 hearing on the matter, citing attorney-client privilege.

His return to the stand could potentially lead to significant revelations as the defense continues its effort to disqualify Willis from the election case and have the charges dismissed.

Bradley could be required to testify as early as Tuesday.

Trump and 18 others pleaded not guilty in August to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia. Four defendants subsequently took plea deals in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants.

The former president has blasted the district attorney’s investigation as being politically motivated.

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Ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro asks court to let him remain free while appealing his contempt conviction

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(WASHINGTON) — Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro has asked the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to allow him to remain out of prison while he appeals his contempt of Congress conviction.

The filing comes two weeks after U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta denied Navarro’s request to remain free during his appeal.

“Dr. Navarro respectfully requests expedited briefing and disposition of this matter because he expects imminent direction to report to the Bureau of Prisons to serve his four (4) month sentence,” Navarro’s attorney wrote to the Court of Appeals on Friday. “Should the Court desire additional time to consider the issue, Dr. Navarro respectfully requests a brief administrative stay of his reporting date pending this Court’s disposition of this motion.”

Judge Mehta, in his ruling two week ago, wrote that “Defendant’s request for release pending appeal is denied. Unless this Order is stayed or vacated by the D.C. Circuit, Defendant shall report to the designated Bureau of Prisons (‘BOP’) facility on the date ordered by the BOP.”

Navarro last month was sentenced to four months in jail and ordered to pay a $9,500 fine for defying a congressional subpoena to cooperate with the House Select Committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In testimony during Navarro’s trial, former Jan. 6 committee staff director David Buckley said the panel was seeking to question Navarro about efforts to delay Congress’ certification of the 2020 election, a plan Navarro dubbed the “Green Bay Sweep” in his book, “In Trump Time.”

Navarro unsuccessfully argued that former President Donald Trump had asserted executive privilege over his testimony and document production.

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Police open investigation after students report AI-generated nudes to school district

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(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) — The Beverly Hills Police Department said it is investigating after a Southern California middle school reported last week that students were allegedly involved in creating and sharing nude images generated using artificial intelligence that featured the faces of fellow students.

“The Beverly Hills Unified School District notified the Beverly Hills Police Department, and a police report was taken. The investigation is ongoing,” Beverly Hills Police Lt. Andrew Myers told ABC News in a statement.

Beverly Hills Unified School District confirmed to ABC News that it received reports from students last week “about the creation and dissemination by other students of Artificial Intelligence generated (AI) images that superimposed the faces of our students onto AI-generated nude bodies.”

The district didn’t specify the number of students impacted by the AI-generated imagery, the existence of which ABC News has not been able to confirm, but said in a statement that “more victims are being identified” and that they are “taking every measure to support those affected and to prevent any further incidents.”

“We want to make it unequivocally clear that this behavior is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of our school community,” the district said in its statement, which was co-signed by Beverly Vista Middle School Principal Dr. Kelly Skon, Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy, and Mark Mead, the executive director of school safety at the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

“Although we are aware of similar situations occurring all over the nation, we must act now,” the statement continued. “This behavior rises to a level that requires the entire community to work in partnership to ensure it stops immediately.”

The school district said that if “any criminal offenses are discovered, they will be addressed to the fullest extent possible” under the California Education Code, adding that “any student found to be creating, disseminating, or in possession of AI-generated images of this nature will face disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, a recommendation for expulsion.”

AI photography has been on the rise in the last couple of years, and explicit AI-generated images have been a growing concern in schools and among parents, teachers and administrators.

Last November, Francesca Mani, a 14-year-old New Jersey student, and her mother Dorota Mani spoke to “Good Morning America” after a student at Westfield High School, which Francesca attended, allegedly used artificial intelligence to create nude images of the teen and other girls.

AI-generated images of Taylor Swift even drew a White House response last month, and last October, police in Spain warned that young girls have increasingly become targets of fabricated AI-generated nude images as well.

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Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg asks for gag order in Trump hush money case after dozens of threats

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(NEW YORK) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Monday asked a judge to impose a limited gag order on former President Donald Trump, who is charged in New York with falsifying business records related to hush money he paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

In their request, prosecutors cited what they called Trump’s “longstanding and perhaps singular history” of attacking people he considers to be adversaries, including those associated with his other criminal and civil cases.

The trial in Trump’s hush money case is scheduled to get underway on March 25.

Trump is already under a limited gag order in his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., and prosecutors in Manhattan are seeking a similar “narrowly tailored order restricting certain prejudicial extrajudicial statements by defendant.”

The motion for a limited gag order on Trump’s public statements includes an affidavit from NYPD Sgt. Nicholas Pistilli, Bragg’s head of security, who noticed “an extraordinary surge” in threats against the DA after Trump began targeting him on social media.

The NYPD Threat Assessment and Protection Unit logged 89 threats against the district attorney, his family or employees of his office in 2023, the first of which occurred the same day Trump posted on social media to “protest, take our nation back!” according to the filing. In all of 2022, the same unit logged just one threat against Bragg, the filing said.

According to the filing, there were some 600 phone calls and emails that were forwarded to police for review in March 2023 alone.

The filing also included photos and screenshots of harassing messages, firearms and handwritten threats that prosecutors said demonstrate the impact of Trump’s social media posts and behavior.

The Manhattan DA’s office also asked the judge to allow the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” tape to be played for the jury. Prosecutors argued the tape is “highly relevant” to Trump’s motive for making the hush payment to Daniels to silence her accusations of a long-denied affair.

“The release of the tape — and the accompanying concerns about its possible impact on the election — are thus directly related to the Stormy Daniels payoff, which was executed just a few weeks later,” Assistant District Attorney Matthew Colangelo wrote.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts in the hush money case and has criticized Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan, as well as witnesses that include Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

“[Trump] has a long history of making public and inflammatory remarks about the participants in various judicial proceedings against him, including jurors, witnesses, lawyers and court staff,” prosecutors said in their filing, adding that Trump’s remarks “pose a significant and imminent threat to the orderly administration of this criminal proceeding.”

In a series of motions filed Monday, prosecutors also asked the judge to bar the defense from introducing evidence or argument about Cohen’s credibility. Cohen was accused of committing perjury when he testified in October in Trump’s civil fraud trial.

The judge in that trial also imposed a limited gag order on Trump that prohibited the former president from making comments about court staff.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office wants the judge to bar Trump from making public statements about witnesses, jurors, court staff and prosecutors other than Bragg.

“As other courts have found, these reasonable prophylactic measures are amply warranted by defendant’s past conduct and by the risk of prejudice to the pending proceeding if appropriate protective steps are not taken,” prosecutors wrote. “The relief requested here is narrowly tailored to protect the integrity of the upcoming trial while still affording defendant ample opportunity to engage in speech, including speech about this case.”

Prosecutors are also seeking a protective order that would prohibit disclosure of juror names to anyone other than Trump and his attorneys.

In a statement to ABC News, Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung pushed back on the order, saying that, if granted, it would “impose an unconstitutional infringement on President Trump’s First Amendment rights, including his ability to defend himself, and the rights of all Americans to hear from President Trump.”

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made to Daniels just days before the 2016 presidential election.

The former president has denied all wrongdoing.

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Ex-FBI informant Alexander Smirnov, accusing of lying about Bidens, remanded to custody after pleading not guilty

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(LOS ANGELES) — Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant charged with lying to the bureau about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, was remanded to custody Monday, pending trial.

Appearing in court Monday, Smirnov said very little except answering “yes” when asked if he understood the case against him. He entered a plea of not guilty to the counts against him.

Smirnov was arrested earlier this month on charges that he concocted “fabrications” about the president and his son accepting $5 million in bribes from the Ukrainian energy giant Burisma — which Republicans have repeatedly cited as a driving force in their efforts to impeach the president.

After being released by the court following his arrest, he was then rearrested last week and held in custody.

U.S. District Judge Otis Wright had ordered Smirnov to appear in court Monday as the judge considered keeping Smirnov detained. Special counsel David Weiss had asked the judge for Smirnov to be held until his trial date.

His attorneys made a plea Monday for his release, arguing that he has never committed a crime, that he worked for the U.S. government, and that he has never been accused of lying before.

Justice Department officials argued that he is a major flight risk.

The judge agreed with the DOJ.

“There is nothing garden variety about this case,” he said, ordering Smirnov held until trial.

In a filing last week, Weiss’ office alleged Smirnov had high-level contacts with Russian intelligence officials who they said were “involved in passing a story” to him about Hunter Biden.

“Smirnov’s efforts to spread misinformation about a candidate of one of the two major parties in the United States continues,” the filing stated. “What this shows is that the misinformation he is spreading is not confined to 2020. He is actively peddling new lies that could impact U.S. elections after meeting with Russian intelligence officials in November.”

Last July, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, took the unusual step of releasing the confidential FBI informant’s unverified claim that, years ago, the Biden family “pushed” a Ukrainian oligarch to pay them $10 million.

The claim — which Democrats and the White House immediately denied — has since been cited by congressional Republicans in part to justify their impeachment inquiry into the president.

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Alec Baldwin’s manslaughter trial in ‘Rust’ shooting scheduled for July

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(SANTA FE, N.M.) — The involuntary manslaughter trial for Alec Baldwin over the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in October 2021 has been set for July, according to New Mexico’s First Judicial District Court.

Jury selection is set to begin on July 9 with the trial expected to last from July 10 to 19.

Baldwin was indicted by a grand jury on Jan. 19 on an involuntary manslaughter charge after prosecutors dropped the original manslaughter charges last April.

Baldwin, 65, is accused of fatally shooting Hutchins, 42, on the New Mexico set of the Western in October 2021. The actor was practicing a cross-draw when the gun fired, striking the cinematographer and director Joel Souza, who suffered a non-life-threatening injury.

Baldwin pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter on Jan. 31.

Two others were charged in the on-set shooting, including armorer Hannah Gutierrez and first assistant director David Halls.

Halls pleaded no contest to a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon and was sentenced to six months unsupervised probation as part of a plea deal. Halls handed the Colt .45 revolver to Baldwin prior to the shooting.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg asks judge to impose gag order Trump in hush money case

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(NEW YORK) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Monday asked a judge to impose a gag order on former President Donald Trump, who is charged in New York with falsifying business records related to hush money he paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Trump is already under a limited gag order in his federal election interference case in Washington, D.C., and prosecutors in Manhattan sought a similarly “narrowly tailored order restricting certain prejudicial extrajudicial statements by defendant.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts in the hush money case and has criticized Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan, as well as witnesses that include Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Bronx medical school students to receive free tuition after $1 billion donation

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(NEW YORK) — A historic, billion-dollar donation to a medical school in New York City has provided students with free tuition moving forward.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx received a $1 billion donation from Dr. Ruth Gottesman, former professor and chair of the school’s board of trustees, the institution announced in a press release Monday.

The massive donation — a “transformational gift,” the school said — is among the largest ever made to a university in the United States and seemingly the largest made to an American medical school, according to the institution.

The $1 billion donation will ensure that no student at Einstein will have to pay tuition again, Dr. Philip Ozuah, president and CEO of Montefiore Einstein, the umbrella organization for Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, said in the announcement.

All current, fourth-year students will be reimbursed their spring 2024 semester tuition and, beginning at the start of the next term, all students moving forward will receive free tuition at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the school said.

Tuition and fees for one year at the medical school total over $63,000, and more than half the medical students owe upward of $200,000 in student debt after graduating, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine says on its website.

Almost half of students are New Yorkers and nearly 60% of students at the university are women, according to the institution.

“This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” Dr. Yaron Tomer, the Marilyn and Stanley Katz dean at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in the release.

“Additionally, it will free up and lift our students, enabling them to pursue projects and ideas that might otherwise be prohibitive. We will be reminded of the legacy this historic gift represents each spring as we send another diverse class of physicians out across the Bronx and around the world to provide compassionate care and transform their communities,” Tomer said.

The donation comes from Gottesman and her late husband, David “Sandy” Gottesman, who was the founder of First Manhattan Co. and an early investor in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, before he died in 2022 at 96 years old.

Ruth Gottesman, 93, began her work at Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center more than 55 years ago.

“I am very thankful to my late husband, Sandy, for leaving these funds in my care, and l feel blessed to be given the great privilege of making this gift to such a worthy cause,” Ruth Gottesman said in the press release.

“Each year, well over 100 students enter Albert Einstein College of Medicine in their quest for degrees in medicine and science. They leave as superbly trained scientists and compassionate and knowledgeable physicians, with the expertise to find new ways to prevent diseases and provide the finest health care to communities here in the Bronx and all over the world,” she said.

 

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Biden to make his 2nd visit to southern border on the same day as Trump

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(EAGLE PASS, TEXAS) — President Joe Biden will make his second visit to the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday to make another push for Congress to pass a bipartisan border deal, the White House announced Monday.

Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, will also deliver remarks at the border on Thursday, sources familiar with his trip told ABC News. Trump will visit Eagle Pass, Texas — a flashpoint for immigration confrontation.

Biden will visit Brownsville, Texas. He last visited the border in January 2023 when he stopped in El Paso. He faced immense criticism from Republicans for not going to the border as migrant encounters reached a record high in December.

In Brownsville, Biden will meet with Border Patrol agents, law enforcement and local leaders, according to a White House official.

“He will discuss the urgent need to pass the Senate bipartisan border security agreement, the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border in decades,” the official said. “He will reiterate his calls for congressional Republicans to stop playing politics and to provide the funding needed for additional U.S. Border Patrol agents, more asylum officers, fentanyl detection technology and more.”

Biden has been urging Congress to pass the bipartisan immigration deal, which includes changes to asylum protocols, funding to bolster immigration review and hire additional Border Patrol agents as well as new emergency powers for officials.

The deal was the result of months of negotiations after House Republicans demanded foreign aid to Ukraine and Israel be tied to immigration reform. However, Speaker Mike Johnson called the proposal “dead on arrival” and contends it doesn’t do enough to enhance border security.

Republicans remain under pressure from Trump to reject it as he looks to make immigration a key campaign issue.

Biden on Friday pressed Republicans to “show a little spine” and pass the bill even if they “reap the wrath” their colleagues to get this bill to his desk.

“Folks, doing nothing is not an option. Compromise is part of the process,” Biden said about the deal when speaking to governors at the White House. “I didn’t get everything I wanted in that deal. We didn’t deal with DREAMers. We didn’t do a number of things I think we should do. But you know it’s a positive step, a significant step.”

Amid the impasse on Capitol Hill, Biden is considering executive action to tighten asylum restrictions, an administration official told ABC News. Speaker Johnson criticized the potential action as “election year gimmicks.”

Biden is not expected to announce any new executive actions on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Biden faces headwinds on immigration, which has emerged as a top 2024 election concern for voters. An ABC News poll conducted earlier this year found Biden’s approval rating on his handling of the border stood at just 18%.

In a post on his social media platform on Monday, Trump — who has ramped up his anti-immigrant rhetoric this cycle — continued his claim that foreign countries are sending criminals to the U.S. and attacked the Biden administration as being unable to handle migrants.

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