News Briefs: March 30


Sixty U.S. diplomats will be expelled from Russia, resulting in the closing of the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg. According to CNN, Russia declared these diplomats as “person non grata” for engaging in activities “incompatible with diplomatic status.” The expulsion is in retaliation to more than 20 nations expelling Russian diplomats following the poisoning of a former Russian spy, which the United Kingdom claims to have been orchestrated by the Kremlin.

An FBI informant continues to testify in the Garden City, Kansas, bomb plot case. The informant has detailed meetings with members of a militia based in southwest Kansas and their desires to blow up an apartment complex housing Somali Muslim refugees in Garden City. KWCH reports that Gavin Wright, Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen had been planning to bomb the apartment complex because of its high Muslim occupancy. Questioning in the case is expected to continue through Thursday.

Boeing computers were hit by cyberattack on Wednesday. “Our cybersecurity operations center detected a limited intrusion of malware that affected a small number of systems,” Boeing said in a statement. According to The New York Times, some Boeing executives have identified the malware as WannaCry, a ransomware that locks computers until demands are met, usually a payment of Bitcoin. WannaCry is suspected of being used by North Korea in the cyberattacks of last December.

A Kansas City area mother who accidentally served PCP to her children is under investigation. The Kansas City, Kan. Police Department stated that the mother believed she was adding vanilla extract to a recipe when she served it to her two children and a teenager. According to the Kansas City Star, the mother, two children and teenager were hospitalized Tuesday. They are now in stable condition. Police believe the bottle of PCP belongs to an ex-boyfriend who is suspected of drug use.

Human rights lawyers claim leaked documents link the Syrian government to war crimes. The Commission for International Justice and Accountability adviser, Stephen Rapp, said the Syrian government has kept detailed documents recording the treatment of detainees. Deputy director of the CIJA Chris Engels said the investigation has found a “paper trail of war crimes.” According to NBC News, the documents have led to accusations torture, rape and the use of chemical weapons on Syrian citizens.“We have stronger evidence than we had for any past conflicts, any past tribunals, any past international justice efforts,” Engels said.