New York attack: Second man no longer wanted in connection with terror act that killed eight

The FBI has announced it is no longer looking for a second Uzbek man in connection with the truck attack in New York that killed eight people.

As prosecutors charged Sayfullo Saipov with federal terrorism indictments, the FBI had announced they were seeking information about a 32-year-old man.

The bureau said it was seeking the public help’s in tracking down information about the man.

But at a press conference on Wednesday evening, officials said they were no longer seeking information about the man.

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Fallon's resignation means May's government risks being tainted by 'sleaze'

Michael Fallon had a reputation as a safe pair of hands – which now seems as if the gods were mocking him. His hands wandered unsafely some time ago onto the knee of Julia Hartley-Brewer, a journalist. She told him to keep them to himself and says she was not upset by the experience, but his resignation suggests more serious allegations may become public. 

The surprise is that he gave an impression of solidity in defending the government on TV and radio, which meant that the person in the street would have had him low down on the list of of those likely to engage in sexual misconduct. The assumption would have been that it would have been the more flamboyant characters, such as Boris Johnson, who were more likely. 

Yet the history of sex scandals in politics ought to warn us against such assumptions. For every apparent charmer such as Cecil Parkinson there is always David Mellor, Robin Cook or John Prescott to even the score. 

Still, we shouldn’t confuse our surprise at Fallon’s fallibility with the opposite assumption that they are all at it and everyone in the Cabinet is on the verge of resignation. Just because one minister has accepted that his past conduct has “fallen below the high standards” required and resigned does not mean that another will. Damian Green, the First Secretary of State, has denied claims by Kate Maltby, a Conservative activist, of sexual advances, and if there are no further allegations against him might be able to survive. 

It did feel, however, after Mark Garnier, the junior international trade minister, admitted he had sent his PA to buy sex toys, as if the Prime Minister was just waiting to see how many other ministers she would have to sack. She might as well do them all at once and use it as an excuse to promote some of the young talent who think that her survival in No 10 proves that none of the rest of the Cabinet is up to much. 

If it does go beyond Fallon, however, it would be bad for the Government’s image. “Sleaze” proved utterly destructive of the reputation of John Major’s administration, and it could easily infect this lot too. It would be no use Theresa May insisting, as she did at Prime Minister’s Questions today, that this is a problem that goes across parties. It does – as the awful allegation by Bex Bailey, the Labour activist, of rape by a senior party official demonstrates – but it will be the governing party that bears the brunt. 

If she loses Green, who is in effect her deputy, that would be bad for her. I doubt if Boris Johnson would have to resign unless something worse than infidelity came to light – his complicated private life is a known quantity. But to lose two ministers from the experienced centre of her Cabinet would look terrible. 

Even so, the buttresses holding up her Government are still in place. The Democratic Unionist Party will do nothing to make a Jeremy Corbyn government more likely. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act makes it harder to bring a government down, because a vote of confidence has to be separated from questions of policy. 

But thoughtful Conservatives must worry about the analogy with the Major years: a government that seemed morally tainted, politically exhausted and divided on Europe struggled on for five years, losing ground day by day until its eventual destruction at the hands of the voters. 

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Student faces criminal charges after 'rubbing used tampons on black roommate's bag'

A white university student bullied her black roommate by rubbing used tampons on her belongings, spitting in her coconut oil, and sticking her toothbrush “where the sun doesn’t shine,” according to court records.

The University of Hartford student, Brianna Brochu, was banned from campus by a local community court judge after allegedly bragging about her bullying tactics online.

“After 1½ month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons oh [sic] her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine, and so much more, I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie,” Ms Brochu wrote on Instagram, according to court records.

Ms Brochu has been charged with criminal mischief and breach of peace, as well as  intimidation based on bigotry or bias.

She has admitted to licking her former roommate’s plate, fork, and spoon and smearing her own bodily fluid on the victim’s backpack, but denied the other accusations she posted on Instagram, according to the Hartford Courant.

The target of her alleged abuse – former roommate Chenelle Rowe – reported the behaviour to the school and local police after being notified of the Instagram post by a fellow student, Fox61 reports. Ms Rowe recounted the ordeal in a Facebook Live video that has been viewed more than 600,000 times.

“As a young African American woman I don’t want to become another statistic,” Ms Rowe wrote in a separate Facebook post. “When it comes to college incidents/crimes and racial cases justice needs to be served.”

University President Greg Woodward sent a letter to Hartford faculty and students on Tuesday, calling Ms Brochu’s alleged behaviour “reprehensible”.

“Acts of racism, bias, bullying, or other abusive behaviours will not be tolerated on this campus,” Mr Woodward said. “I pledge to do everything in my power to work with our community to address related concerns together.”

He added that Ms Rowe had been quickly relocated after she reported the allegations, and that Ms Brochu had subsequently been arrested by the West Hartford Police Department.

Still, Ms Rowe said she believes the case would have played out differently if the roles had been reversed, because of her race.

“I probably would’ve been locked up,” she told Fox61. “A whole of a bunch of stuff would’ve been done quickly.”

The case has been transferred to Hartford Superior Court, and is scheduled to be heard on 15 November.

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Michael Fallon's resignation is ridiculous, says female journalist at centre of 'kneegate'

Julia Hartley-Brewer, the journalist who was touched on the knee by Sir Michael Fallon has called his resignation “ridiculous” but said she doubts that the incident was the reason for him quitting. 

“If this is over kneegate, him touching my knee 15 years ago and me not having any issue with it today, this is the most insane, absurd and ridiculous resignation of a cabinet minister ever,” she told Sky News

“However I don’t think that is the reason.”

Sir Michael has previously apologised for the incident at a Conservative Party conference dinner in 2002. He said he had “overstepped the mark”. 

Taking to Twitter after news of his resignation broke, Ms Hartley Brewer said: “Bloody Hell”. 

The talkRADIO host added: “I doubt my knee was the reason”. 

In the subsequent interview with Sky News, she said: “I doubt very much if one of the standards they require in the armed forces means that no man in the military has ever touched the knee of a younger woman.

“I think he has been a very good Defence Secretary and I’m sad that a leading member of this Government has fallen at a time when this Government is on very shaky ground. I want a Government that can run the country and push through Brexit.”

Accusations of sexual misconduct have surrounded Sir Michael in recent days after he admitted to feeling a female journalist’s knee in 2002. 

In a letter to Number 10, Sir Michael said: “A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days including some about my previous conduct. 

“Many of these have been false but I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent. 

“I have reflected on my position and I am therefore resigning as Defence Secretary.” 

In her reply to Sir Michael’s resignation letter, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I appreciate the characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position, and the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others.”

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Theresa May responds to Michael Fallon's resignation: Read her statement in full

Theresa May praised Sir Michael Fallon for the “characteristically serious manner” which he showed in the role of Defence Secretary after his shock resignation from the role. 

Accusations of sexual misconduct have surrounded Sir Michael in recent days after he admitted to feeling a female journalist’s knee in 2002. 

The former Defence Secretary wrote to the Prime Minister explaining his decision.

Here is her response in full: 

Dear Michael

Thank you for your letter of this evening.

I appreciate the characteristically serious manner in which you have considered your position, and the particular example you wish to set to servicemen and women and others.

As Secretary of State for Defence since July 2014, you have championed our brave armed forces and made sure that the Government has been able to fulfil its most fundamental responsibility: the defence of the realm.

You should take particular pride in the way the United Kingdom has risen to the challenge of tackling the barbaric threat of Daesh.

Thanks to the bravery of our armed forces, Daesh is being defeated, and three million people have been freed from its murderous rule.

This follows a long and impressive Ministerial career – serving in four departments of state under four prime ministers – as well as your distinguished contribution on the Conservative front bench in Opposition, your membership of the Treasury Select Committee, and your role as deputy chairman of the Conservative Party.

You have combined these roles with diligent service to the public in two constituencies – first in Darlington, and then in Sevenoaks – and I know you will continue to represent your constituents in that manner.

On behalf of all those you have helped throughout your time in Government, I thank you for your service.

Yours sincerely Theresa

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Wall Street keeps modest gains as Fed leaves interest rates unchanged

Wall Street held onto modest gains after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged, as major equity indexes hovered around record-high levels.

The US central bank pointed to solid US economic growth and a strengthening labour market while downplaying the impact of recent hurricanes, a sign it is on track to lift borrowing costs again in December.

The Fed has raised rates twice this year and currently forecasts one more hike by the end of 2017 as part of a tightening cycle that began in late 2015.

“I don’t think there is anything real surprising out of this,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin.

“The comments on the economy were pretty good, talking about solid growth, strong labour market despite the hurricanes. I think those are all good things,” Frederick said. “I would say it pretty close to seals a December rate hike.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 58.23 points, or 0.25 percent, to 23,435.47, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 5.28 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,580.54 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 14.24 points, or 0.21 percent, to 6,713.43.

Energy .SPNY was the best-performing sector, rising 0.8 percent while telecoms .SPLRCL lagged the most.

Investors had all but ruled out a move at the US central bank’s policy meeting this week with attention focused on who will be in charge of monetary policy at the end of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s first term in February 2018.

President Donald Trump is set to announce his nomination on Thursday. Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who has supported Yellen’s gradual approach to raising rates, is viewed as relatively stock-market friendly and the likely choice.

“The pending announcement regarding the new chair seems to be overshadowing most everything,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

Developments at the Fed come as corporate earnings, which have supported the stock market’s run to record highs, are coming in generally above expectations for the third quarter.

With about two-thirds having reported, S&P 500 companies are on track to have earnings growth of 7 percent for the third quarter, up from 5.9 percent growth expected at the start of October, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.


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Michael Fallon resigns: Read the Defence Secretary's resignation letter in full

Sir Michael Fallon, has resigned as Defence Secretary, saying his behaviour in the past may have “fallen short” in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May

It comes as harassment allegations continue to swirl around Westminster.

Accusations of sexual misconduct have surrounded Sir Michael in recent days after he admitted to feeling a journalist Julia Hartley Brewer’s knee in 2002. 

Here is his resignation letter in full:

Dear Prime Minister,

A number of allegations have surfaced about MPs in recent days, including some about my previous conduct.

Many of these have been false but I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the armed forces that I have the honour to represent.

I have reflected on my position and I am therefore resigning as Defence Secretary.

It has been a privilege to have led defence over the past three and a half years.

We are close to defeating Daesh terrorism in Iraq and Syria; we have taken a leadership role in Nato; and we have secured a defence budget that will grow ahead of inflation each year.

I have the utmost admiration for the professionalism, bravery, and service of the men and women who keep us safe.

I have been fortunate in the opportunity to serve in the governments of four prime ministers, and to have played a part in education reform, including setting up Ofsted, the reduction of red tape for business, and the attraction of new investment into energy generation.

I shall continue to support the Government and to work hard for my Sevenoaks constituents.

The Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP

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5 things we learned as Tottenham stunned Real Madrid to blow the Champions League wide open

Tottenham beat Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley to take control of Champions League group H and record one of their most famous victories. 

Dele Alli’s first-half goal gave Spurs a deserved lead, though replays showed that Kieran Trippier was offside before putting in the cross that Alli would stab home. 

But there was no question about his second-half strike, which deflected home off Sergio Ramos.

And Christian Eriksen’s third – the culmination of blistering counter-attack play – sealed a remarkable Wembley night.

But what did we learn? 

1. Kane makes welcome return


The forward’s return made for a welcome sight after the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United over the weekend. Tottenham’s front line had lacked its usual urgency and directness in that loss, with Kane consigned to the sidelines. For all his talent, Son Heung-min struggled to fill the void and failed to provide Spurs with a reliable target man through which Tottenham’s forward play could be channelled.

But, back in the starting XI tonight, Kane showed what the north Londoners have been missing. After just 10 minutes he made his presence felt, darting into the Real box to meet a weighted Eriksen cross. Had his touch been better Spurs would have taken the lead there and then, but Ramos capitalised on Kane’s poor control to deny the Englishman a shot on goal.

In front of goal, that pretty much summed up his night. But elsewhere, he was sensational. Kane’s willingness to run the channels helped Spurs break the lines repeatedly. His mere presence in attack occupied the Real Madrid centre-backs and his intelligent running distracted them enough to allow Dele Alli to ghost into spaces. 

Kane’s performance was everything a striker wants from a lone forward except a goal. And Mauricio Pochettino will absolutely make sure he knows that.

2. Pochettino selection raises eyebrows


While Kane’s inclusion made for a pleasant surprise, the exclusion of numerous Spurs first-team starters certainly raised a few eyebrows. Against the power and precision of Real Madrid (albeit not of lately), the expectation was that Pochettino would look to utilise his squad’s quicker players to catch the visitors on the break. Yet, the likes of Danny Rose, Son Heung-min, Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko all found themselves on the bench, while youngster Harry Winks once again returned to the fray.

But in the end – as ever – Poch got it right. 

Kieran Trippier got the nod at right-back and got behind Marcelo in key moments. His first-time cross, though clearly offside, was brilliant for Dele Alli’s opener and justified his inclusion on its own. 

Though Spurs could have had more speed in the side to catch out Madrid, in the end the most important thing to their success was speed of thought. Those little moments like Eriksen’s leave to Alli, then subsequent decoy sprint that held the defender just long enough to allow Alli to shoot and make it 2-0. 

Pochettino already had Real Madrid’s attention but tonight might have been the night he really made them fall in love. 

3. Pride comes before a fall


As back-to-back European champions, a certain degree of arrogance is to be expected from Real Madrid – but such a trait has seemingly served to undermine Zinedine Zidane’s men, who failed to show the necessary respect to their English hosts tonight at Wembley. Indeed, Alli’s opener came as a direct result of such complacency.

It was Achraf who failed to clear with a long ball in behind, with Kane fiercely pressurising the Real Madrid defender to force a Tottenham throw-in. From there, the ball was recycled and played out wide to Trippier before being squared to the incoming Alli to tap in from two yards out. As a whole, Real looked lax in defence and generally half-hearted in possession, while passes further afield were being misplaced and played without any general purpose.

It was their season in microcosm and bodes ominously for their title defence. It was more sloppiness and a feeling that they made no efforts to step forward in the summer – which, when football is changing so fast around you, often means you’re getting left behind. 

4. Casemiro victimised by Spurs


Casemiro has had a peculiar career with Real Madrid.

He has, at different times, been a sellable commodity, political chesspiece, key man and now a midfield problem, targeted by opponents. 

At Wembley we saw Spurs repeatedly try and run at the Brazilian, the man who is supposed to be in there as the back four’s safety blanket and the man who liberates Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Isco.

But increasingly the way that teams force him to make difficult passes and expose his lack of speed is becoming an issue. Indeed, Tottenham danced around him as part of a sensational and historic win over Real Madrid. Casemiro is now one more problem for Zinedine Zidane to try and solve. 

The problems are many, solutions appear to be few and time is undoubtedly dwindling. 

5. Ronaldo makes it interesting


Real Madrid had made some chances and, eventually, managed to breach Spurs’ defence with the second goalmouth scramble of the game. 

This time, instead of getting in the way of the ball, Ronaldo found the net and gave his side ten minutes of hope. 

But once again Spurs tightened up, they barely gave up another good chance and they held on for a famous result that not only guarantees their passage to the next round – the knockout phase – but also makes them big favourites to secure an easier route through the competition as group winners

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New York attack victims include Freedom Tower worker and mother to newborn baby

Two US victims in the Halloween terror attack in New York have been identified among the eight dead, which include visitors from Argentina and Belgium.

Darren Drake, 33, of New Jersey worked at Moody’s Investors Service in the Freedom Tower, the former location of the World Trade Centre, and was riding his bike in between meetings along the West Side Highway path where suspect Sayfullo Saipov had allegedly driven a pickup truck south approximately 20 blocks.

His father James Drake told that he and wife Barbara were “still in shock” over the death of their only child.

The young man was also pursuing a second Masters degree at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, said his father. “Life was perfect for him,” Mr Drake said of his son, adding that he was “the most innocent, delicate kid in the world”.

Mr Drake believes his son was one of the six victims declared dead at the scene.

Nicholas Cleves was also among the victims.

Mother Monica Missio was too distraught to comment publicly.

Mr Cleves, a West Village resident, was thought of fondly by those in his neighbourhood.

“He’s absolutely lovely, he was a sweetheart, warm and friendly. He would come in every day,” a deli worker Dianne told the New York Post.

Mr Cleves had just completed his bachelor’s degree in computer science and physics from Skidmore College in Pennsylvania.

Dianne noted: “There are some people who are just good, and he was.”

Six of the victims were visitors to the city.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Six of them came from other nations here because they saw New York is a special place to be. And we now, and forever, will consider them New Yorkers.”

A Belgian mother of two, Ann-Laure Decadt, was also identified as one of the victims.

Ms Decadt is from Staden, a town of just 11,400 people.

She was visiting New York with her mother and sisters when she was run over by the rented Home Depot pickup truck while riding a bicycle.

Husband Alexander Naessens told a Belgian newspaper, in a statement translated from Flemish, that his wife’s death was “unbearable” and that she was “the most beautiful mom of our three-month- and three-year-old sons.”

Her mother and sisters were unharmed.

Staden Mayor Francesco Vanderjeugd told the New York Post his small town is in shock.

“Everybody knows each other. It’s unbelievable because she was a young mother and she was so committed to the community,” he said.

Mr Vanderjegud echoed many US politicians when he said: “It’s an attack not only in New York but also an attack on our community – on our way of life.”

The mayor mentioned Mr Naessens is holding up but struggling with how to tell his older son about Ms Decadt’s death.

Rosario, in Argentina, was particularly hard hit with the loss of five residents: Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi.

The victims were among eight friends celebrating marking their 1987 graduation from the Polytechnic School of Rosario with a US trip to New York and Boston, near where one of their classmates lives.

In Rosario, a minute of silence was observed at the high school, the Argentina flag was flown at half-mast, and a candlelight vigil has been scheduled.

Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri said the men’s deaths has “hit all Argentines hard”, adding that “there’s no place for gray areas” – the fight against terrorism must be committed to from “head to toe”.

According to one Argentine official, four of the men died at the scene while one died after being taken to the hospital.

Mr Erlij, the chief executive at Argentine steel products manufacturing company Ivanar, had treated his friends to the trip.

The surviving friend who is recovering from injuries in the hospital, Martin Ludovico Marro, is a Boston-area resident working for a division of pharmaceutical giant Novartis.

Twelve victims remain in hospital, four in critical but stable condition and at least one undergoing an amputation, said New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill.

Sayfullo Saipov, from Tampa, Florida, remains in stable condition after being shot in the stomach by a police officer after he reportedly crashed the truck into a school bus containing two adults and two children.

The FBI has been searching his home and neighbourhood in Paterson, New Jersey, where he has been living with his wife and children for less than a year.

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Osama bin Laden file release: The most bizarre discoveries, from 'Charlie bit my finger' to 9/11 clipart

Osama bin Laden had the Charlie Bit My Finger video on his computer when he was shot and killed during a covert operation carried out by the US government in 2011.

The majority of materials released by the CIA were related to Bin Laden’s terror operations, such as clipart appearing to depict the 9/11 terror attacks. But some of the files were benign in nature and included children’s programmes such as Tom and Jerry and instructions for crocheting butterflies, socks and baskets.   

The government seized the al-Qaeda founder’s computer in May 2011 during a raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The package of 470,000 files the intelligence agency released this week is the fourth tranche of materials to be made public by the government since May 2015.

“Today’€™s release of recovered al-Qaeda letters, videos, audio files and other materials provides the opportunity for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organization,” said CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

“CIA will continue to seek opportunities to share information with the American people consistent with our obligation to protect national security.” 

The copyright-protected materials include more than two dozen videos such as Antz, Cars and other animated films, the role-playing game Final Fantasy VII and Where in the World is Osama bin Laden and two other documentaries about the former al-Qaeda leader, the CIA said.

The al-Qaeda founder may have had a plethora of children’s content on his computer because he was living with his family in the walled compound where he was killed by US Navy Seal Team 6. 

Materials that still have not been released are being withheld because they could harm national security, are blank, corrupted or duplicate files, are pornographic or are protected by copyright, the CIA said in a statement. 

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