A Republican Kentucky state lawmaker accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 2012 died by probable suicide on Wednesday, authorities said.
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said state Rep. Dan Johnson, 57, shot himself on a bridge in Mount Washington, Kentucky, his body discovered on the bank of the Salt River. Johnson, pastor of the Heart of Fire church in Louisville, was elected to the state legislature in 2016, despite his fellow Republicans calling on him to drop out of the race after racist posts he made on Facebook about the Obamas were unearthed. On Monday, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published the account of a woman who said on New Year's Eve 2012, when she was 17 years old, Johnson assaulted her in an apartment underneath his church's fellowship hall, kissing and groping her despite her pleas to stop.
The woman said she went to the police and an investigation was opened, but no charges were filed; in a press conference Tuesday, Johnson called the allegations "totally false." Johnson posted a message on Facebook Wednesday evening in which he stated that PTSD "is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer," The Associated Press reports, and asked his friends to look after his wife. Catherine Garcia
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died Sunday after he was injured while on duty in Texas, the agency said in a statement.
Rogelio Martinez, a 36-year-old from El Paso, and his partner responded to activity in the Big Bend area when they were injured; a Border Patrol spokesman said he could not disclose what happened to the agents. Martinez died in the hospital, and his partner, whose name has not been released, remains in serious condition. Authorities are searching for suspects and witnesses to the incident, with the FBI taking over the investigation. Martinez became a border agent in August 2013. Catherine Garcia
Three U.S. Army special operations commandos were killed Wednesday after they were ambushed in southwest Niger, U.S. officials said.
Two others were wounded and are in stable condition. The officials told The Associated Press the commandos were Green Berets, and likely came under fire by militants from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. U.S. Africa Command said in a statement the commandos were near the Mali border, on a joint U.S.-Niger patrol, when they were attacked. The Green Berets are training the Nigerien Armed Forces and offering security assistance as they fight extremists. Catherine Garcia
The Catalan regional government announced early Monday that 90 percent of voters in Sunday's referendum on independence from Spain voted in favor of a split.
A spokesman said that there are 5.3 million voters in the region, with 2.26 million casting ballots. The Spanish central government views the vote as being illegal, and hundreds of people were injured when police raided polling stations and fired rubber bullets at voters. Catalonia is an autonomous region bordering France, and many of its residents believe that because it has its own culture and history and its tax revenues subsidize other areas of Spain, it must become independent. Catherine Garcia
A rockfall at El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Wednesday afternoon killed one person and injured another, park officials said.
The rockslide took place on the east buttress of the Waterfall climbing route, KCRA reports. Search and rescue officials are looking for anyone else who may have been hurt, as it's the height of climbing season and there were several climbers on El Capitan when the rockfall occurred. Officials have not released the name of the person who was killed in the incident, or the injuries sustained by the other climber. Catherine Garcia
Following dinner with President Trump at the White House Wednesday night, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a joint statement saying they had reached an agreement with Trump to protect unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.
"We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president," the leaders said. "The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that's acceptable to both sides. We also urged the president to make permanent the cost-sharing reduction payments, and those discussions will continue." White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly tweeted that "while DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to." (Schumer's spokesman responded to Sanders that Trump "made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement.")
There are almost 800,000 young immigrants who benefit from DACA, a program enacted by former President Barack Obama that provides temporary work permits and assurances they won't be deported. Earlier this month, Trump said the program was going to be terminated, and he was giving Congress six months to figure something out. This is the second time in two weeks that Trump has worked directly with Schumer and Pelosi, bypassing his fellow Republicans. Catherine Garcia
The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet said at least 10 sailors are missing and five others hurt after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and a tanker collided early Monday in the waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca.
The destroyer sustained damage on its left rear and port side aft. The ship is based in Yokosuka, Japan, and has 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers, and 291 enlisted sailors, The Associated Press reports. This is the second crash in the Pacific involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in two months, following June's collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship, which killed seven sailors. Catherine Garcia
Police in Spain announced early Friday that they shot and killed four people during a counter-terrorism raid in the coastal city of Cambrils.
One additional suspect was injured. The city is south of Barcelona, and it has not been confirmed if the suspects were linked to the van attack that killed at least 13 people Thursday in the Las Ramblas area. Two people were arrested Thursday in connection with the Barcelona attack, but police said neither detainee is suspected of being the van's driver. Catherine Garcia