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    Child neglect charges were filed against the parents of an Oklahoma toddler found wandering down a west Tulsa street earlier this year. >> Read more trending news A passerby found the 18-month-old child and called police. Investigators found the parents living in a nearby house and, during a welfare check, found urine and feces in every room. There was also no running water and open electrical wires. The toddler and her older sister reportedly had untreated bug bites and were poorly dressed. Officials said the home has bedbugs and roaches. Daniel Robertson and Elizabeth Nelson were charged with child neglect this week. Neither has been arrested yet. The children were placed into state custody in February.
  • An Illinois teenager accused of slashing the neck of a puppy could be charged as an adult, WQAD reported. >> Read more trending news The aggravated animal cruelty charge against the 17-year-old was filed in Juvenile Court, according to a statement from Henry County State’s Attorney Matt Schutte. Schutte is seeking to prosecute the teen as an adult, according to the statement. He said he has prepared the paperwork requesting the change. The judge assigned to the case will make that decision, WQAD reported. The Labrador retriever-pit bull, named “Thor,” was taken to the Kewannee Vet Clinic for treatment and is being taken care of by the Henry County Humane Society, WQAD reported.
  • A German official says the man who fatally stabbed one person and wounded several others in Hamburg was known to authorities as an Islamic radical but also was psychologically unstable. The suspect, a 26-year-old born in the United Arab Emirates, was quickly overwhelmed by passers-by and arrested after Friday's attack in Hamburg's Barmbek district. Hamburg's state interior minister, Andy Grote, said the man — whose asylum claim had been rejected — was known to have been radicalized but hadn't been considered dangerous. Grote said the man's motive remained unclear Saturday, but he is believed to have acted alone and not been linked to an extremist network. The man stabbed at least five people besides the one who was killed. Grote says none of the survivors' wounds are considered life-threatening.
  • The resounding Senate crash of the seven-year Republican drive to scrap the Obama health care law incited GOP finger-pointing Friday but left the party with wounded leaders and no evident pathway forward on an issue that won't go away. In an astonishing cliff-hanger, the GOP-run Senate voted 51-49 to reject Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's last ditch attempt to sustain their drive to dismantle President Barack Obama's health care overhaul with a starkly trimmed-down bill. The vote, which concluded shortly before 2 a.m. EDT, was a blistering defeat for President Donald Trump and McConnell, R-Ky., who've made uprooting the statute a top priority. 'They should have approved health care last night,' Trump said Friday during a speech in Brentwood, New York. 'But you can't have everything,' he added, seemingly shrugging off one of his biggest legislative setbacks. Trump reiterated his threat to 'let Obamacare implode,' an outcome he could hasten by steps like halting federal payments to help insurers reduce out-of-pocket costs for lower-earning consumers. Senate Democrats were joined in opposition by three Republicans — Maine's Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Arizona's John McCain. The 80-year-old McCain, just diagnosed with brain cancer, had returned to the Capitol three days earlier to provide a vote that temporarily kept the measure alive, only to deliver the coup de grace Friday. '3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down,' Trump tweeted Friday. He tweeted later that the Senate needed a rules change to 'immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60,' even though on the crucial vote a simple majority of 51 votes, including a tie-breaker by Vice President Mike Pence, was all that was needed. 'Hello, he only needed 51 in the health care bill and couldn't do it,' Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., helpfully reminded reporters. Earlier in the week, Republican defections sank two broad GOP efforts to scrap the 2010 law. One would have erased Obama's statute and replaced it with a more constricted government health care role, and the other would have annulled the law and given Congress two years to replace it. The measure that fell Friday was narrower and included a repeal of Obama's unpopular tax penalties on people who don't buy policies and on employers who don't offer coverage to workers. McConnell designed it as a legislative vehicle the Senate could approve and begin talks with the House on a compromise, final bill. But the week's setbacks highlighted how, despite years of trying, GOP leaders haven't resolved internal battles between conservatives seeking to erase Obama's law and moderates leery of tossing millions of voters off of coverage. 'It's time to move on,' McConnell said after the defeat. Friday morning, House leaders resorted to singer Gordon Lightfoot to point fingers. They opened a House GOP meeting by playing 'The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,' a ballad about the 1975 sinking of a freighter in Lake Superior. Lawmakers said leaders assured them it was meant as a reference to the Senate's flop. The House approved its health care measure in May, after its own tribulations. In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pointedly said 'the House delivered a bill.' He added, 'I encourage the Senate to continue working toward a real solution that keeps our promise.' Conservative Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., running for a Senate seat, faulted McConnell for not crafting a plan that could pass. He said if McConnell abandons the health care drive, 'he should resign from leadership.' One moderate Republican said Trump shared responsibility. 'One of the failures was the president never laid out a plan or his core principles and never sold them to the American people,' said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. 'Outsourced the whole issue to Congress.' In statements Friday, McCain said the Senate bill didn't lower costs or improve care and called the chamber's inability to craft wide-ranging legislation 'inexcusable.' He said Democrats and Republicans should write a bill together and 'stop the political gamesmanship.' Lawmakers spoke of two possible but difficult routes forward. In one, balking GOP senators could be won over by new proposals from leaders or cave under pressure from angry constituents demanding they fulfill the party's pledge to tear down Obama's law. But both of those dynamics have been in play all year without producing results. In the other, there would be a limited bipartisan effort to address the insurance market's short-term concerns. That would provide money to insurers to help them subsidize some customers and prevent companies from driving up premiums or abandoning regions. Schumer said he hoped the two parties could 'work together to make the system better' by stabilizing marketplaces. But many conservatives oppose such payments and consider them insurance industry bailouts, raising questions about whether Congress could approve such a package. McConnell said it was time for Democrats 'to tell us what they have in mind.' But saying he was backed by most Republicans, he added, 'Bailing out insurance companies, with no thought of any kind of reform, is not something I want to be part of.' ____ Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.
  • A Turkish court has released seven staff members of an opposition newspaper from jail pending the outcome of their trial on charges of allegedly aiding terror organizations. Cartoonist Musa Kart and six other Cumhuriyet staff members were released from a prison on the outskirts of Istanbul early Saturday. They had been in custody for the past nine months. Their families and supporters embraced them outside the prison. Kart told reporters the indictment linking Cumhuriyet, a newspaper staunchly opposed to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to outlawed organizations had collapsed. Kart says being let out didn't bring the released staff much happiness because four other Cumhuriyet journalists remain behind bars. The trial was adjourned until Sept. 11.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said Saturday the 82-year-old leader has been hospitalized for a routine checkup and will be discharged in a matter of hours. Nabil Abu Rdeneh said Abbas is undergoing regular examinations at a Ramallah hospital. Abbas has suffered heart problems in the past, but his doctors have said he is fine. A year ago, Abbas underwent an emergency heart procedure after suffering exhaustion and chest pains. He went through a number of tests, including a cardiac catheterization, a procedure that can detect and treat heart problems, but was given a clean bill of health. Last month, Abbas dispelled rumors he had suffered a stroke. Any health scare for Abbas heightens concerns over the uncertain leadership situation in the Palestinian territories — which are divided between two rival governments and where there is no succession plan for the aging leader. Abbas, who has no plans to step down, has ignored calls to appoint a successor, setting the stage for a bitter power struggle if he is incapacitated. Abbas was elected president in 2005 for what was supposed to be a four-year term. But in 2007 the rival Hamas militant group seized control of the Gaza Strip, and Abbas has remained in power. The Palestinians are now divided between two governments, Abbas' Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas government in Gaza. Attempts at reconciliation have repeatedly failed. Abbas, who is a heavy smoker and is overweight, was treated years ago with prostate cancer and has had a stent inserted to treat artery blockage.
  • The ruling party of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will choose his successor Saturday, a day after Pakistan's Supreme Court removed the premier from office after finding that he and his family concealed their assets, officials said. The move comes amid a serious political crisis that has gripped Pakistan, with constitutional experts and lawmakers wondering who is running the government after Sharif's disqualification. 'Unfortunately, we are without a prime minister. We are without a government,' Raja Zafarul Haq, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, told The Associated Press. The party was meeting Saturday to discuss a potential successor. Haq said although the court in Friday's ruling asked the figurehead President Mamnoon Hussain to 'ensure continuation of the democratic process,' the reality was that the country was facing a political crisis. Haq said there was no provision in the constitution about appointment of an acting prime minister. He said Sharif might have stayed in power until the appointment of a new prime minister if judges had not sacked him effective immediately. In that situation, Hussain could ask Sharif to remain in office until his successor is elected. Sharif resigned Friday, saying he had reservations about the court ruling on petitions filed by his political opponents. Haq said Sharif was the victim of a 'trivial allegation of concealing his assets.' Sharif has been banned by the court from taking part in politics for not being 'truthful and honest.' It angered his party leaders who note that their party enjoys a majority and will stay in power until general elections are held in June 2018. The 67-year-old Sharif, who has served three separate stints as prime minister, has a history of rocky relations with Pakistan's powerful military. He was first dismissed from power by the army's hand-picked president in 1993 about midway through his five-term term. In 1999, military dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf overthrew Sharif in a bloodless coup and exiled him to Saudi Arabia. Sharif's supporters suggested the military applauded the court decision because it viewed him as an upstart who sought to challenge its authority. The military has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70-year history and has been unwilling to see its influence challenged. Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz in a tweet said her father would 'return with greater force,' and she asked her party to 'stay strong.
  • Dismembered soldiers sucked into cesspools of mud. Shattered tree trunks and the waft of poison gas hovering around the wounded waiting for their fates on the scarred soil of Flanders Fields. The Third Battle of Ypres, fought in western Belgium a century ago, was as bad as World War I would get. Ask anyone remotely linked to the half a million soldiers estimated to have been killed or wounded during the 100-day battle and one name keeps coming back: Passchendaele, now as grim a symbol as any field of war ever remembered. Monday marks the centennial of the start of the Allied offensive campaign, which ended up barely moving the front line and thus became a metaphor for the folly of warfare as soldiers from Australia, Canada and New Zealand joined mostly British forces attempting to break Germany's hold on the Western Front. 'It is the largest massacre ever to have taken place on Belgian soil,' said curator Piet Chielens of the In Flanders Fields Museum, which has recorded over 150,000 dead — and still counting — in the months of fighting. Belgium's King Philippe and Queen Mathilde are expected to join Britain's Prince Charles, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge over two days of centenary ceremonies, starting with a Last Post at Ypres' Menin Gate on Sunday. When the Third Battle of Ypres started on July 31, 1917, World War I was entering its fourth year, bogged down in trench warfare. Both sides were desperate for a breakthrough following the hundreds of thousands of casualties the year before at Verdun and the Somme in northern France, two other battles that vie with Passchendaele as the most costly of the Great War. Britain's Sir Douglas Haig was convinced he could force a breakthrough at Ypres, even though two earlier battles there had failed. The goal was to shut down German submarine operations on the Belgian coast. Haig's plan to take the village of Passchendaele in a few days and move on to the coast turned out to be wildly ambitious. With rain turning the swampy terrain to mud and the Germans armed with mustard gas, it would take until November for the Allies to capture the village. They never got close to the ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend. British painter Paul Nash was at Passchendaele in November and used the depth of despair he witnessed as inspiration for his painting 'The Menin Road.' 'The rain drives on, the stinking mud becomes more evilly yellow, the shell holes fill up with green-white water, the roads and tracks are covered in inches of slime, the black dying trees ooze and sweat and the shells never cease,' Nash wrote to his wife. 'Annihilating, maiming, maddening, they plunge into the grave which is this land.' In the end, the British would argue that even though the advance stalled, the long and costly battle had weakened the German enemy. However, history has highlighted the futility of the exercise, Chielens said, pointing out that Passchendaele could not be held once it was taken. 'Passchendaele was ultimately a small and indefensible salient,' Chielens said.
  • Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard said Saturday a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier fired a warning shot in an 'unprofessional' confrontation with Iranian vessels, the official IRNA news agency reported. IRNA quoted a statement from the Guard as saying that the USS Nimitz and an accompanying ship came near an Iranian oil offshore platform in the Persian Gulf and a helicopter from the ship hovered near vessels manned by Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard. The report said the confrontation took place Friday afternoon and the U.S. navy ships left the area following the encounter. The U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet had no immediate comment. The incident comes after a U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots Tuesday near an Iranian vessel that American sailors said came dangerously close to them during a tense encounter. Iran and the U.S. frequently have run-ins in the Persian Gulf, nearly all involving the Revolutionary Guard, a separate force from Iran's military that answers only to the country's supreme leader. In January, near the end of then-President Barack Obama's term, the USS Mahan fired shots toward Iranian fast-attack boats as they neared the destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian forces view the American presence in the Gulf as a provocation. They have accused the U.S. Navy of unprofessional behavior, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil trade passes by sea.
  • From the early days of online stock scams to the increasingly sophisticated world of botnets, pseudonymous hacker Peter Severa spent nearly two decades at the forefront of Russian cybercrime. Now that a man alleged to be the pioneering spam lord, Pytor Levashov, is in Spanish custody awaiting extradition to the U.S., friends and foes alike are describing the 36-year-old as an ambitious operator who helped make the internet underground what it is today. 'Levashov is a pioneer who started his career when cybercrime as we know it today did not even exist,' Tillmann Werner, the head of technical analysis at U.S. cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, said. 'He has significantly contributed to the professionalization of cybercrime,' said Werner, who has tracked the alleged hacker for years. 'There are only very few known criminals that had a similar level of influence and reputation.' Born in 1980, Levashov studied at High School No. 30, one of the first schools in the Soviet Union to specialize in computer programming. Even at a competitive institution whose alumni went on to universities and Silicon Valley firms, Levashov stood out. 'He did have an entrepreneurial streak for sure,' former classmate Artem Gavrilov said. 'He was a leader in school, tried to prove to everyone that he was the best.' Levashov graduated in 1997, according to an entry published to an alumni website, listing his profession as 'websmith' and 'programmer.' Within a couple of years he had gravitated toward the burgeoning field of email spam, according to an ad attributed to him in U.S. court documents. With much of the world still just discovering the internet and few restrictions on the mass distribution of email, spammers more or less operated openly, blasting inboxes with pitches for Viagra knock-offs, online gambling and pornography in return for a flat fee or a cut of the proceeds. Internet registry records preserved by DomainTools suggest Levashov launched a bulk mailing website called e-mailpromo.com in August 2002 under his real name. Early marketing material for the site boasts of 'Bullet Proof Web Hosting,' a term used to describe providers that shrug off law enforcement requests. The service would come in handy as the spam business became increasingly criminalized. With laws tightening and digital blacklists getting better, spammers resorted to hacking to get their mail across, using malicious software to turn strangers' personal computers into 'proxies' — a euphemism for remote-controlled conduits for junk mail. Hackers herded the proxies into vast botnets, armies of compromised machines that silently churned out spam day and night. Court documents suggest that Levashov teamed up in 2005 with Alan Ralsky, a legendary bulk email baron once dubbed the 'King of Spam.' More than a decade later, Ralsky still raved about the fictitious Severa's skills. 'No doubt he was the best there ever was,' Ralsky said in a telephone interview. It was with Ralsky that Levashov is alleged to have plunged into the world of the 'pump-and-dump,' a scheme that worked by sending millions of emails talking up the value of thinly traded securities before selling them at a profit and leaving gullible investors to soak up the loss. Ralsky, Levashov and several associates were indicted for fraud in 2007; Ralsky went to prison while Levashov — safe in Russia — avoided arrest. By that point, Levashov was cybercrime nobility in his own right, allegedly running a forum for Russian spammers and the massive Storm botnet, whose sophistication drew global attention. 'There were spam botnets, certainly, before Storm, but it took things to a next level,' Joe Stewart, a security researcher with cyberdefense startup Cymmetria who grappled with Storm at its height, said. Clever use of peer-to-peer technology and a fast-shifting digital infrastructure meant Storm could be regenerated quickly if part of its network was blocked. Respected security expert Bruce Schneier marveled at its engineering, writing in 2007 that Storm was 'the future of malware.' Storm didn't go on forever, but two successor botnets — Waledec and Kelihos — have since been tied to Levashov. Indictments unsealed this year accuse the Russian of renting out Kelihos at $500 per million emails to send spam or to seed computers with ransom software or money-draining banking programs. One of the indictments, which cited a January ad posted to a Russian cybercrime forum, appeared to catch Levashov boasting of his distinguished record. 'I have been serving you since the distant year 1999,' the ad said. 'During these years there has not been a single day that I keep still.' That's likely to change. Levashov's Spanish lawyer, Margarita Repina, recently told The Associated Press that her client's extradition to the United States was all but certain. Levashov's wife, Maria, was more hopeful. She has forcefully proclaimed her husband's innocence, saying he was more of a businessman than a programmer and that whenever she caught him at the computer he was playing video games. 'I believe it will be found that this is all a mistake,' she said. Then again, in response to a question about Levashov's links to the Russian government, she said: 'I'm not a wife who knows everything about her husband.' ___ Satter reported from Paris. Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow and Diego Torres in Madrid contributed to this report.