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News

    The Kremlin says the arrest of three senior officers of Russia's top spy agency reflects a no-holds-barred fight against corruption. Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday when asked about the arrests that the Kremlin has coordinated anti-corruption efforts that targeted 'all agencies and officials of any rank without exclusion.' Col. Kirill Cherkalin, a section chief in the economic security department of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, was arrested last month along with two other senior FSB officers on suspicion of taking bribes. Russian media have reported that the suspects were found in possession of 12 billion rubles (about $186 million) in cash. The FSB, the main KGB successor, has wielded a growing clout, and the officers' arrest has sent shockwaves across Russia's political scene.
  • A man opened fire on police responding to a call about a domestic disturbance in an Alabama mobile home park, killing one officer and wounding two others, authorities said Monday. An intense manhunt led to his arrest hours later, not far from the Arrow Head Trailer Park, which is only a few miles from the campus of Auburn University, where students had been warned to be on alert. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency described 29-year-old Grady Wayne Wilkes as armed and extremely dangerous, wearing camouflage body armor and a helmet. The officers were met with gunfire when they responded late Sunday night to the disturbance call. The chief says there is no indication that the 911 call was fake. Police did say that no one else was harmed. The Lee County coroner Bill Harris said one officer died in an emergency room. Two other officers were wounded and are expected to recover. 'This is probably the worst day of my time here,' Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said. 'Words cannot express the loss for this family, our family and this community.' Authorities didn't immediately release the officers' identities.
  • Pro-Brexit British politician Nigel Farage has been hit with a milkshake while campaigning in the European Parliament election. Farage was left with milkshake dripping down his lapels during a walkabout in Newcastle, northeast England, on Monday. Police said a 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault. Paul Crowther said he threw the banana-and-salted caramel shake to protest Farage's 'bile and racism.' Farage's Brexit Party is leading opinion polls in the contest for 73 U.K. seats in the 751-seat European Parliament. The sticky beverages have become an unlikely political weapon in Britain. Other right-wing candidates have also been pelted with milkshakes during the election campaign. Last week a McDonald's in Scotland said it had been told by police not to sell milkshakes during a Brexit Party rally.
  • The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local): 9:35 a.m. A sell-off in shares of chipmakers is pushing U.S. stocks lower as Wall Street begins trading Monday. Companies are taking steps to comply with the Trump administration's decision to restrict technology sales to Chinese telecom giant Huawei. About one-third of Huawei's suppliers are American chipmakers, including Qualcomm and Broadcom. Shares of both companies are down more than 4% in early trading. Sprint shares spiked 25.6% after the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said he will approve its merger with T-Mobile. Shares of T-Mobile gained 5.8% The S&P 500 index fell 18 points, or 0.6%, to 2,841. The Dow slid 134 points, or 0.5%, to 25,629. The Nasdaq dropped 108 points, or 1.4%, to 7,708. The yield on the 10 year Treasury was flat at 2.39%.
  • Ford is cutting about 7,000 white-collar jobs, which would make up 10% of its global workforce. The company has said it was undertaking a major restructuring, and on Monday said that it will have trimmed thousands of jobs by August. The company said that the plan will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager. In the U.S. about 2,300 jobs will be cut through buyouts and layoffs. About 1,500 already have happened. About 500 workers will be let go this week. In a memo to employees, Monday, CEO Jim Hackett said the fourth wave of the restructuring will start on Tuesday, with the majority of cuts being finished by May 24. 'To succeed in our competitive industry, and position Ford to win in a fast-charging future, we must reduce bureaucracy, empower managers, speed decision making and focus on the most valuable work, and cost cuts,' Hackett's wrote. In the U.S. about 1,500 white-collar employees left the company voluntarily since the restructuring began last year, some taking buyouts. About 300 have been laid off already, with another 500 layoffs starting this week. Most of Ford's white-collar workers are in and around the company's Dearborn, Michigan, headquarters. Hackett said in the memo that the company is departing from past practices and letting laid-off employees stay a few days to wrap up their jobs and say good-bye to colleagues. In the past, laid-off workers would have had to pack up and leave immediately. 'Ford is a family company and saying goodbye to colleagues is difficult and emotional,' Hackett wrote.
  • The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission says he plans to recommend the agency approve the $26.5 billion merger of wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, saying it'll speed up 5G deployment in the U.S. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai also said Monday that the combination will help bring faster mobile broadband to rural Americans. 'Two of the FCC's top priorities are closing the digital divide in rural America and advancing United States leadership in 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity. The commitments made today by T-Mobile and Sprint would substantially advance each of these critical objectives,' he said in a statement. Pai said the companies have committed to deploying a 5G network that would cover 97% of the U.S. population within three years of the closing of the merger and 99% of Americans within six years. In addition, 85% of rural Americans would be covered within three years and 90% covered within six years. T-Mobile and Sprint also guaranteed that 90% of Americans would have access to mobile broadband service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps and 99% would have access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps. Pai said T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. would suffer 'serious consequences' if they don't meet their FCC commitments, including the possibility of having to pay billions to the Treasury Department. Both the FCC and Justice Department must approve the deal. The companies argue that the combination will lead to better '5G' service, the next generation of wireless. They've also promised to create U.S. jobs and say they will compete with cable companies as well as Verizon and AT&T. Public-interest and labor groups have raised concerns about wireless price increases and job cuts. The Obama administration rebuffed the companies' earlier effort to merge, as well as an attempted deal between AT&T and T-Mobile, on concerns that such deals would hurt competition in the wireless industry. Shares of T-Mobile jumped nearly 7 percent in early trading, while Sprint's stock soared 27 percent.
  • A Texas man sitting on train tracks in San Antonio was struck and killed by a freight train early Monday, KSAT reported. >> Read more trending news  According to police, at 1:53 a.m,. a train conductor saw a man sitting on the tracks and blew his horn, Spectrum News reported. The conductor tried to stop the train but was unable to do so in time, according to the website. Authorities said the man, whose name and age have not been released, was killed instantly, KSAT reported. Police said the man was pronounced dead at the scene, Spectrum News reported.
  • A South Carolina man is accused of concealing more than $200,000 in stolen goods in a “sophisticated network” of underground tunnels on a four-acre property in Greenville County, The State reported. >> Read more trending news  Timothy Glenn Painter, 26, was arrested Friday and charged with eight counts of receiving stolen goods and one count of grand larceny, the Greensville County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators discovered the stolen goods Friday in tunnels on property in Piedmont, the Greenville Journal reported. Some of the stolen property included heavy construction equipment, transport trailers, vehicles, power tools and construction material, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Investigators believe Painter used some of the equipment to dig the tunnels, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Ryan Flood told the Greenville News. Painter’s sister, Breanna Painter, told WSPA her brother had an addiction problem, but the family knew nothing about the tunnels. ”He’s not always been this person. He has worked his butt off for what he’s owned,” Breanna Painter told the television station. “I mean, drugs completely take a toll in life and makes you a completely different person.”
  • The European Union is rejecting claims that Europe's car exports pose a threat to the United States after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross ruled that imported vehicles and parts imperil national security. European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that 'the EU and the U.S. are security partners (so) neither U.S. nor European products can represent a security threat to the other side.' U.S. President Donald Trump is delaying for six months any decision to slap tariffs on foreign cars, a move that would have hit Japan and Europe especially hard. Trump still hopes to use the threat of auto tariffs to pressure them into making concessions in ongoing trade talks. Schinas says that 'neither the U.S. nor the EU can have an interest to enter a trade conflict.
  • Germany's central bank says it expects the country's economy, Europe's biggest, to turn in a feeble performance in the current quarter after returning to growth in the winter. Solid consumer spending and a construction boom helped the economy grow by 0.4% in the January-March period after contracting slightly in last year's third quarter and stagnating in the fourth quarter. In its monthly report published Monday, the Bundesbank said the overall tendency remains weak. It said that 'against this background, German economic output in the spring of 2019 will likely barely exceed the level it reached in the winter, which was supported by various special effects.' The German government's full-year growth forecast currently stands at 0.5%, compared with 1.8% late last year. It sees growth accelerating to 1.5% in 2020.