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National
7 things to know now: Comey investigating; missing teen left message; Ivanka’s new office
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7 things to know now: Comey investigating; missing teen left message; Ivanka’s new office

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
FBI Director James Comey, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

7 things to know now: Comey investigating; missing teen left message; Ivanka’s new office

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

  1.  No wiretapping: In a hearing on Capitol Hill Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is investigating whether President Donald Trump’s associates colluded with Russian officials to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Comey, along with National Security Agency head Admiral Mike Rogers, answered questions for more than five hours about the Russians, wiretaps, spies and Hillary Clinton. Comey said that there was no wiretapping of Trump Tower, that Russia "hates" Clinton and wanted her to lose, and that officials believe both political parties were hacked in 2016 but only Democratic emails have been released so far.
  2.  Gorsuch hearing: Senate Judiciary Committee members will take turns questioning U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch Tuesday on the second day of his confirmation hearing. On Monday, in addition to explaining why they did not want Gorsuch to be the next Supreme Court justice, Democrats attacked President Trump for comments about judges who issued rulings he did not like. Gorsuch, if confirmed, will take the seat made vacant with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last year.
  3.  Device ban: Passengers on flights from eight countries will no longer be allowed to bring most electronic devices – laptops, iPads and cameras included – in carry-on luggage starting Tuesday. According to officials, the ban applies to nonstop flights from Cairo in Egypt; Amman in Jordan; Kuwait City in Kuwait; Casablanca in Morocco; Doha in Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul in Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
  4.  Missing teen: The brother of a Tennessee teenager who went missing with her 50-year-old school teacher said just prior to her disappearance, his sister shared a bizarre post on Instagram about a character from the movie “Beauty and the Beast.” James Thomas said his sister Beth’s post read: “Every beauty needs her beast to protect her from everything but him.” Days before the two disappeared, a student caught Thomas and her teacher, Tad Cummings, kissing in a school classroom, authorities said. 
  5.  Ivanka’s new office: Ivanka Trump has been given an office in the West Wing of the White House, though she is not technically a government employee, nor will she receive a salary. She has been seen at various White House functions during the past two months, has participated in some meetings and accompanied her father to receive the body of a special operations serviceman who was killed during a mission. 

And one more

The jersey that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wore during the Super Bowl has been found in Mexico by the FBI. The jersey was found in the "possession of a credentialed member of the international media," according to a statement by the agency. Authorities also recovered a second Brady jersey and a helmet from another player.

In case you missed it

It’s from a couple of years ago, but it’s trending again.

 

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The Latest News Headlines

  • An Oklahoma City police officer fatally shot a deaf man Tuesday night as the man’s neighbors screamed warnings that the man could not hear them. Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was pronounced dead at the scene in his front yard, according to police officials. Sanchez, who authorities confirm had no criminal record, was a resident alien from Mexico who had lived in his home for about five years, a neighbor told the Oklahoman.  The neighbor, Julio Rayos, witnessed Sanchez’ death. He told the newspaper he does not believe the shooting was justified.  “I don’t think they had to shoot him,” Rayos said of the officers, both of whom are white.  Capt. Bo Mathews, a police department spokesman, confirmed witnesses’ statements that they tried to tell the officers that Sanchez could not hear them demanding he drop the metal pipe he held in his hand.  “The witnesses did hear the officers giving the verbal commands, but they were also yelling, ‘He can’t hear you,’” Mathews said.   Mathews said it is possible that the officers did not hear the witnesses’ screams.  “In those situations, very volatile situations, when you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision or you can really lock into just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you,” Mathews told reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning. “I don't know exactly what the officers were thinking at that point, because I was not there. But they very well could not have heard, you know, everybody yelling, everybody yelling around them.” Watch the entire news conference below. Mathews said that officers were working a hit-and-run accident just after 8 p.m. Tuesday when a witness told them they could find the green truck involved in the crash at a nearby house, which turned out to be Sanchez’s home. When Lt. Matthew Lindsey arrived at the scene, Sanchez was on the porch with what was first described as a large stick.  Mathews said the item turned out to be a two-foot-long metal pipe wrapped in material, with a leather loop at the end. “He had this in his right hand and he was holding it up,” Mathews said of Sanchez.  >> Read more trending news Mathews said when Sanchez advanced toward Lindsey, the officer, who had pulled his Taser, called for backup. That backup arrived in the form of Sgt. Christopher Barnes, who pulled his duty weapon. Both officers yelled commands for Sanchez to drop his weapon, Mathews said.  “The witnesses also were yelling that this person, Mr. Sanchez, was deaf and could not hear,” Mathews said. “The officers didn't know this at the time.” Lindsey deployed his Taser and Barnes simultaneously fired multiple shots at Sanchez, striking him as he stood about 15 feet from the officers, Mathews said. They provided medical attention until emergency medical personnel arrived, but Sanchez died in his yard. It was later determined that Sanchez’s father was the driver involved in the hit-and-run accident. Sanchez was not in the vehicle, Mathews said. Barnes was placed on paid administrative leave, though Lindsey remains on active duty, Mathews said. The shooting is being investigated by the department’s homicide unit, as all officer-involved slayings are.  The information from the investigation will be turned over to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office, where prosecutors will determine if the killing was justified, he said. Once that determination is made, the department will conduct an internal investigation into Barnes’ actions.  When asked if any of the officers involved were wearing body cameras, Mathews said that officers responding to the shooting wore cameras, but Lindsey and Barnes did not.  Rayos told the Oklahoman that besides being deaf, Sanchez also had developmental disabilities and was non-verbal. “The guy does movements,” Rayos told the newspaper. “He don’t speak, he don’t hear, mainly it is hand movements. That’s how he communicates.” Rayos said he believes Sanchez was frustrated as he tried to communicate with the officers.  NPR reported that another neighbor, Jolie Guebara, said Sanchez often carried the pipe when walking through his neighborhood. He used the pipe as protection from a number of stray dogs that roamed the area, she said. 
  • It's not the ending anyone in the community was hoping for. A sophomore at Fleming Island High School passed away Thursday, after collapsing earlier this week in the school's weight room, during school hours.  Wolfson Children's Hospital released the following statement from Ben Johnson's family, as they're asking for time to grieve privately:  “Ben went to be with his Lord and Savior today. While we mourn, we find peace knowing he is with Jesus. We also find hope in Ben’s selfless decision to donate his organs. Please pray for healing for our family. Our hearts are broken.” – The Johnson Family  Clay County Superintendent Addison Davis also released a statement, regarding Ben's death.  'In the last two weeks, Clay County has suffered a number of scenarios that have impacted our community. We are devastated to hear about the incident involving our student, Ben Johnson. He was known as a kind, caring friend and son, who was a leader inside and outside the classroom. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben's family,' says Davis.  According to Wolfson, Ben suffered cardiac arrest and irreversible brain damage. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause.
  • A California elementary school suspended a 5-year-old kindergartner after he joked that he had a bomb in his backpack, his family said. KCRA in Sacramento reported that Jackson Riley, of Modesto, was in his third week of school at Great Valley Academy, a public charter school, on Aug. 31 when he refused to take his backpack off. He told his teacher he couldn’t take his backpack off because a bomb inside the bag would explode if he did. When the teacher asked to look inside the bag, she found nothing dangerous, the news station reported. Jackson still received a one-day suspension, his father, Ian Riley, said. The letter his parents received stated the boy had “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation.”  “We said, ‘This doesn’t fit, and furthermore, we don’t really feel like our son was threatening you,” Riley told KCRA. “He’s got an imagination. In his mind, he’s being this hero that’s preventing you from being exploded from man imaginary bomb in his backpack.” The Modesto Bee reported that the school told the Rileys that the code violation best fit what Jackson had done. When the family pointed out that the code applied only to students in grades four through 12, they received a second letter. The new letter changed the violation Jackson was accused of to making “terroristic threats,” the Bee reported. “My son never made a threat, never wanted to blow up the school,” Riley told the newspaper.  Riley and his wife, Michelle, had a talk with their son about what is proper to say at school and what isn’t, and told him to follow his teacher’s rules -- including taking his backpack off when told to do so. The suspension didn’t phase Jackson, his parents said. The next day, he was outside picking flowers to bring to his teacher.  >> Read more trending news His parents remain upset, however, because they’ve been told that the suspension will remain on their son’s permanent record. They are meeting with school officials on Friday to see if it can be resolved. Great Valley Academy officials declined to comment on the incident, stating only that the school takes student safety and discipline seriously, the Bee reported. 
  • Hurricane Maria is bearing down on the Caribbean and is set to pass over much the same area devastated by Hurricane Irma nearly two weeks ago. >> Read more trending news 
  • Paul Manafort, the one-time chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, said in an email exchanged with a former employee that he was willing to meet with a Russian billionaire to give him “private briefings,” according to a story from The Associated Press. Manafort offered to meet with Oleg Deripaska, a close friend and financial backer of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The offer was made in July 2016 while Manafort was Trump’s campaign chair. According to a spokesman for Manafort, no briefings ever occurred. Who is Deripaska and what is his connection to Manafort? Here are some quick facts about Deripaska. Deripaska is one of Russia’s wealthiest men. He heads Basic Element, an aluminum firm.  His net worth is estimated at $6.6 billion. He is a friend of Putin. He has worked with Putin on many projects, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is one. Manafort did investment consulting work for Deripaska. Three years ago, Deripaska accused Manafort of failing to account for or return $19 million he paid him to invest, according to The Washington Post. In 2008, Deripaska met with Sen. John McCain. McCain was running for president at the time. The meeting was arranged by Manafort’s business partner, Rick Davis, according to the Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal reported that he may have ties to organized crime in Russia, making it difficult for him to travel in the United States. 

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