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Two New York police officers recovering after stairwell shooting

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Two New York City police officers were recovering from gunshot wounds on Friday after a man opened fire on them inside a public housing project before fatally shooting himself, police said.

The shooting occurred at about 8 p.m. EST on Thursday in an apartment building in the Bronx while three officers were conducting routine patrols.

During the search, the officers encountered two men in a sixth-floor stairwell. One of the men abruptly pulled out a gun and shot at the officers, grazing one on the face and hitting another in the abdomen, police said.

The suspect, identified as Malik Chavis, 23, fled into an apartment on the seventh floor. When officers gained access to the apartment, they found Chavis dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A semiautomatic firearm and a shotgun were found in the unit.

Several people who where inside in the apartment at the time were being questioned by police. The second man who was in the stairwell when the gunfire erupted was taken into custody.

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The wounded officers, identified as Patrick Espeut, 29, and Diara Cruz, 24, were being treated at a local hospital and are in good condition, authorities said.

“(This) is another example of what our officers confront every single day, keeping us safe not only on the streets of New York City, but in the stairwells and the hallways of our public housing developments,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference.

The incident coincides with the trial of New York Officer Peter Liang, who was charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man named Akai Gurley in a stairwell in a Brooklyn public housing project in 2014.

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Liang, as well as Espeut and Cruz, are part of a city program that assigns officers, many of them rookies, to so-called “vertical patrols” of stairwells in high-crime public housing.

The practice has come under fire since Gurley’s death by critics who say it violates privacy and puts officers and residents at undue risk.

Liang is expected to take the stand on Monday at his manslaughter trial.

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(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Tom Brown)


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Trump: Iran claim to break up CIA network ‘totally false’

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US President Donald Trump on Monday denied Iran's claim that it dismantled a CIA spy ring and arrested 17 suspects with alleged links to the US intelligence agency.

"The report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth," Trump tweeted.

"Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do."

"Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!" Trump added.

Earlier Monday a top Iranian counter-intelligence official told local reporters that the 17 suspects were all Iranians working in "sensitive centers" and the private sector who had acted independently of each other.

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Trump’s Commerce Dept plagued by low morale and ‘disarray’ as chief Wilbur Ross falls asleep in meetings: report

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For months, there has been speculation in Washington, D.C. that Wilbur Ross, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for the Trump Administration, is on his way out. Reports that Ross falls asleep in meetings don’t exactly instill confidence in his leadership. And Politico’s Daniel Lippman, in a troubling report, describes the Commerce Department as being in a state of chaos and disorganization.

Lippman reports that according to his sources, the 81-year-old Ross “spends much of his time at the White House” in order to “retain President Donald Trump’s favor.” And the Commerce Department is suffering, Lippman observes, because of Ross’ “penchant for managing upward at the expense of his staff.”

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When radioactive wastes aren’t radioactive wastes

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The U.S. Department of Energy wants to redefine what constitutes high-level radioactive waste, cutting corners on the disposal of some of the most dangerous and long-lasting waste byproduct on earth—reprocessed spent fuel from the nuclear defense program.

The agency announced in October 2018 plans for its reinterpretation of high-level radioactive waste (HLW), as defined in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, with plans to classify waste by its hazard level and not its origin. By using the idea of a reinterpretation of a definition, the DOE may be able to circumvent Congressional oversight. And in its regulatory filing, the DOE, citing the NWPA and Atomic Energy Act of 1954, said it has the authority to “interpret” what materials are classified as high-level waste based on their radiological characteristics. That is not quite true, as Congress specifically defined high-level radioactive waste in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, and any reinterpretation of that definition should trigger a Congressional response.

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