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World News

    Amsterdam police have arrested an Icelandic fugitive suspected of masterminding the theft of hundreds of computers used to mine bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Police spokesman Rob van der Veen confirmed Monday that Sindri Thor Stefansson was arrested Sunday night in downtown Amsterdam. He declined to give further details, saying that prosecutors will now work on Stefansson's extradition. Stefansson fled a low-security prison last Tuesday and flew to Sweden. Icelandic officials said it was unlikely that Stefansson had to show a passport at the airport since he traveled within Europe's passport-free travel zone but the plane ticket he used was under someone else's name. Stefansson was among 11 people arrested for allegedly stealing the computers in a series of burglaries in December and January.
  • Syrian state media say government forces and their allies are pressing an offensive against members of the Islamic State group in southern Damascus. State-run al-Ikhbariya TV says the aim of Monday's government push is to isolate IS in the southern Damascus neighborhood of Hajar Aswad from nearby areas held by the extremists. Hundreds of IS militants hold parts of the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk and nearby Hajar al-Aswad in southern Damascus. The extremists agreed to give up their last pocket there on Friday but have yet to begin surrendering to government forces and relocating to IS-held areas elsewhere in the country. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, says 11 people have been killed in the offensive since the fighting began last Thursday.
  • A Belgian court on Monday found 2015 Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice guilty of attempted murder over shots fired at police as they sought to avoid arrest in Brussels. The court handed both Abdeslam, Europe's most wanted fugitive at the time, and Sofiane Ayari the maximum 20-year sentence. It said the 'terror character' was clearly established in the March 2016 shooting, four months after the Paris attacks that killed 130. Abdeslam was close to being arrested in a hideout when he and Ayari fled while another man sprayed gunfire at police and was killed. Three officers were wounded. His lawyer Sven Mary said it remains to be seen whether Abdeslam will seek to appeal his sentence. He has 30 days to decide. Mary insisted it is unclear whether Abdeslam himself had fired shots at officers trying to break into the hideout. 'If there is doubt, he should have been let go, it's that simple,' Mary said. Abdeslam attended the opening day of the trial in February but has refused to cooperate since. He is being held in a French prison. Ayari was also absent. It is unclear when Abdeslam will face trial over the Paris attacks but it is expected to take several years. The conclusion of the case at Brussels' ornate palace of justice took place amid tight security set up by the armed forces and police. 'As all our demands have been met we can be satisfied, said Maryse Alie, a lawyer for the police. 'The judgment says that firing at policemen on duty is a very serious crime.' Ayari is a Tunisian who fought with the Islamic State group for a year before heading to Europe. By the time he and Abdeslam began hiding in the upstairs apartment in central Brussels, police had raided more than a dozen locations in Belgium with little to show for it. On the afternoon of March 15, 2016, they battered down yet another door. This time, it was to the staccato of an assault rifle. An IS fighter opened fire on the officers, who had only service weapons, while Abdeslam and Ayari darted onto a rooftop, broke into a neighboring apartment and escaped, authorities said. The fugitives left behind a Kalashnikov, ammunition clips, a cellphone and a tunic — their DNA was everywhere, according to court testimony. Three days after the shooting spree, Abdeslam was captured in Brussels. Four days after that, extremists struck in the Belgian capital, killing 32 people in bomb attacks at the airport and on the subway system.
  • On the scorching edge of the Sahara Desert, the U.S. Air Force is building a base for armed drones, the newest front in America's battle against the growing extremist threat in Africa's vast Sahel region. Three hangars and the first layers of a runway command a sandy, barren field. Niger Air Base 201 is expected to be functional early next year. The base, a few miles outside Agadez and built at the request of Niger's government, will eventually house fighter jets and MQ-9 drones transferred from the capital Niamey. The drones, with surveillance and added striking capabilities, will have a range enabling them to reach a number of West and North African countries. Few knew of the American military's presence in this desperately poor, remote West African country until October, when an ambush by Islamic State group-linked extremists killed four U.S. soldiers and five Nigeriens. The $110 million project is the largest troop labor construction project in U.S. history, according to Air Force officials. It will cost $15 million annually to operate. Citing security reasons, no official will say how many drones will be housed at the base or whether more U.S. personnel will be brought to the region. Already the U.S. military presence here is the second largest in Africa behind the sole permanent U.S. base on the continent, in the tiny Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti. The drones at the base are expected to target several different al-Qaida and Islamic State group-affiliated fighters in countries throughout the Sahel, a sprawling region just south of the Sahara, including the area around Lake Chad, where the Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency has spread. As the U.S. puts drones at the forefront of the fight against extremists, some worry that civilians will be mistaken for fighters. 'We are afraid of falling back into the same situation as in Afghanistan, with many mistakes made by American soldiers who did not always know the difference between a wedding ceremony and a training of terrorist groups,' said Amadou Roufai, a Nigerien administration official. Civic leader Nouhou Mahamadou also expressed concerns. 'The presence of foreign bases in general and American in particular is a serious surrender of our sovereignty and a serious attack on the morale of the Nigerien military,' he said. The number of U.S. military personnel in Niger has risen over the past few years from 100 to 800, the second largest concentration in Africa after the 4,000 in Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. About 500 personnel are working on the new air and drone base and the base camp is marked with an American and Nigerien flag. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance are crucial in the fight against extremism, U.S. Africa Command spokeswoman Samantha Reho said. 'The location in Agadez will improve U.S. Africa Command's capability to facilitate intelligence-sharing that better supports Niger and other partner nations, such as Nigeria, Chad, Mali and other neighbors in the region and will improve our capability to respond to regional security issues,' Reho said. The intelligence gathered by the drones can be used by Niger and other U.S. partners for prosecuting extremists, said Commander Brad Harbaugh, who is in charge of the new base. Some in Niger welcome the growing U.S. military presence in the face of a growing extremist threat in the region. 'Northern Mali has become a no man's land, southern Libya is an incubator for terrorists and northeastern Nigeria is fertile ground for Boko Haram's activities ... Can Niger alone ensure its own security? I think not. No country in the world can today alone fight terrorism,' said Souleymane Abdourahmane, a restaurant promoter in the capital, Niamey. Threats include al-Qaida-linked fighters in Mali and Burkina Faso, Islamic State group-affiliated fighters in Niger, Mali and Nigeria and the Nigeria-based Boko Haram. They take advantage of the vast region's widespread poverty and countries' often poorly equipped security forces. Foreigners, including a German aid worker kidnapped this month in Niger, have been targeted as well. The U.S. military's use of armed drones comes as its special forces pull back from the front lines of the fight. The focus is changing to advising and assisting local partners higher up the chain of command, said U.S. Special Command Africa commander Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks. Ibrahim Maiga, a Mali-based researcher for the Institute for Security Studies, said more needs to be known about the U.S. military presence in the region. 'The U.S. military footprint in the Sahel is difficult to grasp, just as it is not easy to assess its effectiveness,' he said. 'There isn't nearly enough information in the public space on this presence.' Mud homes line the barbed wire fence at the edge of the main airport in Agadez. Residents watch the U.S. forces come and go with curiosity. Shebu Issa, an assistant at a Quranic school, stood in one doorway as goats and children roamed the sandy roads. 'It's no big deal to us, they come and they don't bother us. We appreciate they want to help in the fight,' he said. 'We live a hard life, and don't make much money, so we hope maybe this will help us get more.' ___ Associated Press writer Dalatou Mamane in Niamey, Niger contributed. ___ Follow Carley Petesch on Twitter at https://twitter.com/carleypetesch
  • The Latest on the trial of Salah Abdeslam and a suspected accomplice in Brussels (all times local): 10:50 a.m. A Brussels court has found Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice guilty of attempted murder over shots fired at police officers as they sought to flee arrest in March 2016, and sentenced them to 20 years in prison. The court said the 'terror character' of the shooting was clearly established in the incident when Abdeslam and Sofiane Ayari sought to escape after they were found in a hideout in a Brussels suburb. The incident occurred four months after the Paris attacks that killed 130. The two were captured three days later. Each was also fined 12,000 euros.  ___ 10:35 a.m. A Brussels court says the sole surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris attacks and an accomplice were clearly implicated in shooting at police officers as they sought to flee arrest in Belgium in March 2016, but has not said whether they are guilty yet. The court, reading its verdict in the men's attempted murder case, added that the danger emanating from Salah Abdeslam 'remains intact,' It said that in the case it is considering, the 'terror character of their action was established.' Abedeslam and Sofiane Ayari each faces up to 20 years in prison for the shooting incident. It came four months after the Paris attacks that killed 130.  ___ 8:45 a.m. The sole surviving suspect in the 2015 Paris extremist attacks, who was once Europe's most wanted fugitive, will hear his judgment in an attempted murder case on Monday. Salah Abdeslam is being tried in Belgium for his alleged involvement in a March 15, 2016, police shootout, four months after the Paris attacks that killed 130. Abdeslam was close to being arrested in a hideout when he and an accomplice fled while another man sprayed gunfire toward police and was killed. Three days later, Abdeslam and the accomplice were caught in Brussels. Federal prosecutors are seeking 20-year prison sentences for both men, citing a terrorist link in the shootout.
  • The Health Ministry in Gaza says two Palestinian youths have died of wounds they sustained in Israeli fire during protests near the Israel-Gaza border. Monday's deaths raise to 34 the numbers of Palestinians killed in mass protests along the border since March 30. The two were identified as an 18-year-old who was shot in the head earlier this month and a 20-year-old son of a senior Hamas commander killed in clashes with more radical extremists in 2009. The Islamic militant group Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and has organized the protests. The demonstrations are set to climax with a massive march to the border on May 15, when Palestinians mark the 'nakba,' or catastrophe, of their uprooting during the war over Israel's creation in 1948.
  • An airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition hit a wedding party in northern Yemen, killing at least 20 people, health officials said Monday, as harrowing images emerged on social media of the deadly bombing, the third to hit Yemeni civilians since the weekend. Khaled al-Nadhri, the top health official in the northern province of Hajja, told The Associated Press that most of the dead were women and children who were gathered in one of the tents set up for the wedding party in the district of Bani Qayis. He says the bride was also among the dead. Hospital chief Mohammed al-Sawmali said the groom and 45 of the wounded were brought to the local al-Jomhouri hospital. Health authorities appealed on people to donate blood. Ali Nasser al-Azib, deputy head of the hospital, said 30 children were among the wounded, some in critical condition with shrapnel wounds and severed limbs. Footage that emerged from the scene of the airstrike shows scattered body parts and a young boy in a green shirt hugging a man's lifeless body, screaming and crying. Health ministry spokesman Abdel-Hakim al-Kahlan said ambulances were initially unable to reach the site of the bombing for fear of subsequent airstrikes as the jets continued to fly overhead after the initial strike. This was the third deadly airstrike in Yemen since the weekend. Another airstrike on Sunday night hit a house elsewhere in Hajja, killing an entire family of five, according to al-Nadhri. On Saturday, at least 20 civilians were killed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition after fighter jets bombed a bus carrying commuters near the war-torn district of Mowza in western Yemen, near the city of Taiz which has been locked in fighting for three years. The Saudi-led coalition declined to comment on the strikes when reached by the AP. The coalition has been waging a war on Yemen's Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who control much of the north, and the capital, Sanaa, to restore the internationally recognized government to power. According to the independent monitor Yemen Data Project, a third of the 16,847 airstrikes since the war started have hit non-military targets. Over the past three years, more than 10,000 civilians have been killed and tens of thousands wounded while over 3 million people have been displaced because of the fighting. U.N. officials and rights groups accused the coalition of committing war crimes and of being responsible for most of the killings. Airstrikes have hit weddings, busy markets, hospitals, and schools. The Saudi-led coalition blames the Houthis, saying they are using civilians as human shields and hiding among the civilian population. The United States and European countries have also been criticized and accused of complicity in the coalition's attacks in Yemen because of their support for the alliance and for supplying it with weapons worth billions of dollars. Saudi Arabia meanwhile has faced a flurry of attacks by the Houthis, with the kingdom's defense forces saying they have intercepted missiles targeting the capital, Riyadh, and other cities.
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in London and is in the “early stages of labor,” Kensington Palace tweeted Monday. >> MORE ROYAL FAMILY COVERAGE: Photos: Royal baby watch: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in labor | Hospital begins preparations for Will, Kate and new baby | Photos: William, Kate and their growing family | Photos: Prince William through the years | Photos: Kate Middleton through the years | Photos: Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 92nd birthday | Royal Wedding: Everything to know before Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle | More trending news 
  • The Latest on a deadly traffic accident in North Korea (all times local): 3:40 p.m. China's foreign ministry says 32 Chinese citizens and four North Koreans have been killed in a traffic accident in southern North Korea. Spokesman Lu Kang confirmed an earlier report from the ministry that said the accident occurred Sunday night in North Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang, North Korea's capital. Footage on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed the mangled wreckage of a bus in the dark with rain falling. Rescue vehicles were on the scene, and injured were shown being treated in hospital. China and North Korea share a lengthy border. China is North Korea's largest trading partner, although commerce has dropped off by about 90 percent under United Nations sanctions. ___ 12:15 p.m. China's foreign ministry says a large number of Chinese tourists have been killed and injured in a 'major traffic accident' in North Korea. The ministry says the crash occurred Sunday night in North Hwanghae province, south of the capital Pyongyang. Details on numbers of victims were not immediately given and Chinese diplomats reached in Pyongyang said they would issue a statement later. Footage on Chinese state broadcaster CCTV showed the mangled wreckage of a bus in the dark with rain falling. Rescue vehicles were on the scene and injured were shown being treated in hospital. China and North Korea share a lengthy border and China is North Korea's largest trading partner. Chinese tourists are among the largest groups of visitors to the isolated, hard-line communist state.
  • The Duchess of Cambridge entered a London hospital Monday in labor, Britain's royal palace said. The baby will be a third child for her and husband Prince William and fifth in line to the throne. The 36-year-old duchess and her husband traveled by car from their Kensington Palace home to the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in central London. The palace said Kate was in 'the early stages of labor.' William and Kate married in 2011 and have two other children: Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next month. Both were born at the same hospital, as were William and his younger brother Prince Harry. The baby, whose gender has not been announced, will be Queen Elizabeth II's sixth great-grandchild and fifth in line to the throne, after grandfather Prince Charles, father Prince William and the two older siblings. The new arrival will bump Prince Harry to sixth place in the line of succession. The 36-year-old duchess, formerly Kate Middleton, carried out her last official engagement on March 22 before going on maternity leave. No exact due date has been given, with officials saying only that the baby was due in April. As in her previous pregnancies, Kate suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. Officials announced both her previous pregnancies before the traditional 12-week mark because she was too unwell to attend public engagements. Television crews, journalists and royal fans have set up camp outside the hospital for the 'royal baby watch' since early April in anticipation of the arrival. In a mix of royal tradition and modernity, the birth will be announced with a notice placed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace — and on royal social media accounts. Many are betting on a traditional royal name for the baby, with bookmakers saying Mary, Alice, Arthur and James are the most popular guesses. Monday is St. George's Day, England's national day, but the name is already taken by the baby's big brother. Like its older siblings, the baby's full title will be Her (or His) Royal Highness, Princess (or Prince), followed by several given names. Jill Lawless contributed to this story.
  • A 14-year-old girl was transported in serious condition on Saturday following a stabbing in Owasso. The scene happened near 103rd and 92nd Street North. Officers at the scene report the victim and another juvenile female were fighting.  During this time, a knife was introduced into the equation. The victim was stabbed multiple times.  Her name hasn’t been released.   KRMG's told the suspect fled the scene. No word if that person has been found and arrested.
  • A lot like Saturday, the forecast could ruin your outdoor plans in Tulsa today. National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad McGavick says conditions will be wet and cooler than normal. “We’re still expecting a pretty good chance of showers around during the day” McGavick said.  “The bigger story will probably be the continued cool conditions.” NWS is reporting the high will only reach around 60 degrees.  For reference, the normal high for this time of year in Tulsa is 73 degrees.   The rain is expected to stop Sunday night and we’ll mainly see cloudy skies.  Temperatures will drop to a low close to 51 degrees.  
  • It was a busy and emotional day on Friday in the courtroom during the Michael Bever trial. The 911 call was played and jurors heard from the surviving sister. Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says the sister was able to testify from a separate courtroom and the jurors heard the testimony through a television. “I was very grateful to the court for the arrangements she had made to try and it make it easier on this young lady,” Kunzweiler said.  “I’m just glad that she’s been able to get through it.” During her testimony, Michael was seen crying on several occasions and putting his hands over his face. KRMG will continue to update the story as more information comes into the newsroom.  
  • If you have outdoor plans for today, bring an umbrella and be prepared to get wet. National Weather Service Meteorologist Brad McGavick says we'll see plenty of rain in Tulsa. “We’re expecting widespread showers, isolated thunderstorms,” McGavick said.  “The chance of rain is 100 percent.” It’s also going to be cooler than normal.  NWS is reporting the high will only reach around 57 degrees.   For reference, the normal high for this time of year in Tulsa is closer to 73 degrees.   Keep that umbrella handy Saturday night as well.  There is an 80 percent chance for rain and the low will be near 49 degrees.