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British 'spy' accused of receiving USB stick with 'state secrets,' lawyer says 100 forces shaping the NFL's future

British 'spy' accused of receiving USB stick with 'state secrets,' lawyer saysInvestigators have accused a British citizen held on espionage charges in Russia of receiving a USB stick that contained state secrets, his lawyer has said.  Paul Whelan, 48, believed the USB stick had photographs and other information about a church he had visited, lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov said. FSB security agents swooped in and seized him before he could see what was on the flash drive, he added. Russian media previously claimed he was grabbed at the Metropole Hotel near the Kremlin while receiving a USB stick with a list of employees of a state agency. In the first public appearance since he was detained on December 28, Moscow city court refused an appeal to grant bail to Mr Whelan, leaving him pre-trial confinement in Lefortovo jail until at least the end of February. He faces 10 to 20 years in prison. Mr Whelan, head of security for a Michigan auto parts company who holds American, British, Canadian and Irish passports, appeared calm and well-fed. Dressed in a blue shirt, dark trousers and rimless eyeglasses, the former Marine and police officer declined to answer shouted questions, instead whispering with his lawyers through an opening in the thick glass defendant's cage.  A source told The Telegraph last week that Mr Whelan is accused of gathering information about “classified military structures”. During the hearing, which was closed until the judge returned with a decision, Mr Whelan “refuted in detail the prosecution's arguments,” Mr Zherebenkov said.  “He didn't think these were state secrets, as he did indeed say, 'I'm a friend of Russia,'” the lawyer said. “He has a lot of acquaintances here. For him all these meetings, all these contacts were ordinary and connected with the culture of the country, nothing more.” The defence had offered a bond of up to 30 million roubles (£350,000) for his release. Lawyer Vladimir Zherebenkov speaks to Mr Whelan in the defendant's cage Credit: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters Russian police have often been accused of faking evidence, and in September, two officers in Izhevsk were given prison sentences for planting a pistol and personal items from a supposed victim on an innocent man. Mr Whelan was detained by the powerful FSB, however, in a much more high-profile bust. Former CIA officers have said the United States wouldn't send an agent to Russia without diplomatic cover. Although Mr Whelan “feels good,” he has an illness that requires medical attention, and Mr Zherebenkov said he had agreed with investigators to have a doctor visit him with an interpreter, as he doesn't speak good Russian. He is reportedly suffering from a hernia as well as a shoulder problem.  Prison monitors have said his cell is better than normal, with good heating, a television and a refrigerator. Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied that Mr Whelan had been detained as a “pawn in a diplomatic game,” but some including US officials have disputed this. There has been speculation Moscow could seek to swap him for a Russian prisoner in the United States. Mr Whelan's twin brother previously told The Telegraph that the family had doubts about the appointment of Mr Zherebenkov to represent him. While the lawyer has successfully defended well-known clients like former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, he is known to have close relationships with state investigators after working as one himself for two decades.  Mr Zherebenkov speaks outside Moscow city court on Tuesday Credit: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters Mr Whelan came to Russia in December for a friend's wedding and showed other guests around the Kremlin grounds, relatives have said. Friends contacted the embassy when he failed to appear at the wedding. At least 20 friends on his page on a Russian social network had completed military education or service, while others worked in IT. His twin brother previously told The Telegraph that Mr Whelan had always enjoyed meeting foreign military and law enforcement personnel during his extensive travels.  Mr Whelan first visited Russia while on leave after serving in Iraq in 2007, a trip he described afterward as a chance to “travel throughout the world wherever we want to go and experience the diversity of culture”. He came to Russia on several other occasions and, according to his lawyer, had in May visited Sergiyev Posad, a city near Moscow famous for its ancient monastery complex. He has also reportedly been to the imperial capital of St Petersburg as well as Volgograd, which is known for its Second World War history.  Mr Whelan joined the US Marine Corps reserves in 1994 but was court-martialled over larceny allegations and discharged for bad conduct in 2008.  He was employed at the temporary staffing firm Kelly Services, which operates in countries including Russia, as senior manager of global security and investigations. Most recently he was employed at auto parts supplier BorgWarner, which has said he wasn't in Russia for work.  He also did stints in law enforcement and at one point started an online gun-selling business.


As the NFL turns 100, we look ahead at the stars, coaches, decision-makers and issues that will drive the league forward.
WaPo Issues Correction after Falsely Labeling Nathan Phillips a Vietnam Vet Cards WR Fitzgerald to return for 16th season

WaPo Issues Correction after Falsely Labeling Nathan Phillips a Vietnam VetThe Washington Post issued a correction Tuesday after falsely describing the elderly Native American man whose confrontation with a group of high-school students went viral over the weekend as a veteran of the Vietnam War. “Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War.


Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has decided to return for a 16th NFL season.
Polar plunge: Record low temperatures roll into Midwest, East behind snowstorm Zion unfazed as Jay-Z takes in Duke's victory

Polar plunge: Record low temperatures roll into Midwest, East behind snowstormHigh winds and brutal cold greeted brave souls armed with shovels digging out Monday from up to two feet of snow across a wide swath of the nation.


With Jay-Z watching on, Zion Williamson started Tuesday night's game 10-for-10 from the floor as the Blue Devils rolled Pittsburgh 79-64.
Romania president: plan to invalidate graft cases not legal Beasley: Cowboys' brass 'pushes' who gets ball

Romania president: plan to invalidate graft cases not legalBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president said on Tuesday that a government decree that could invalidate hundreds of corruption cases involving senior officials is "crassly unconstitutional," a development that also prompted concern from the European Union.


WR Cole Beasley, responding to comments on Twitter about changes to the Cowboys' offense, said he'd want a larger role but "the front office pushes who they want to get the ball to."
Every Photo of the Heavy Duty 2020 GMC Sierra Sources: Spagnuolo the favorite to be Chiefs DC

Every Photo of the Heavy Duty 2020 GMC Sierra


A day after the Chiefs fired defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, former head coach Steve Spagnuolo has emerged as the favorite to replace Sutton in Kansas City, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.


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Savannah Views and Opinions
 
The Importance of Free Press in a Democracy

Before we can understand the importance of a free press in a democracy, we need to grasp what it means to have a free press. The Cambridge Dictionary tells us that a free press allows all media outlets to express whatever opinions they desire. That means, it says, that they are enabled to “criticize the government and other organizations.” So why would that be relevant in a democracy?

Unfair Questions or Democracy At Work ?

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” -- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Why U.S. Engagement Policy Is The Correct One

Invariably, when one thinks of the efficacy of a nation’s military, the mind’s eye is drawn to the ability of that country to deliver a \"warhead onto the forehead\" of their enemies. Indeed, owing to the Pentagon’s slick packaging of the First Gulf War, modern conflict, in the American mind, became synonymous with high-tech toys, grainy videos of successful missile shots, and a quick resolution of hostilities.

Capitalism and The Wealth Gap

When it comes to the efficient delivery of goods and services, capitalism is the proven economic model that puts people to work and products on the shelves. Whether those jobs end up paying enough money to purchase the items on those shelves is another matter, however.

Living Wages Are A Global Problem

The recent protests for an increased minimum wage are part of a larger global protest. The purpose is the same for low wage earners all over the world; increase wages to match the cost of living, and allow workers to form unions if desired and needed. The global protest has gained media attention all over the world, but critics claim that is the only accomplishment the movement will have.

Ukraine: Not What It Seems

After tense days of fighting this week, people in Ukraine are mourning the dead and celebrating the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power. The final struggle that began on February 18, was the bloodiest endured by the protesters of Euromaidan. By February 22 the fighting was over.

Religious Freedom Bill - Protecting The Faithful or Legalized Discrimination?

After a much heated national debate, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the controversial bill that would have allowed people and businesses in the state to refuse services to LBGT people based on their religious belief.

Coup Or Civil War In Egypt

The day after new protests erupted in Egypt the military in a show of support presented an ultimatum to Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Morsi was to step down from power and meet all of the demands of the Egyptian people, or face being removed by the military on Wednesday. As the ultimatum deadline draws closer in Egypt, Morsi refuses to leave, insisting that parliamentary elections are needed before he should be removed, and that he doesn't have permission from the United States to remove himself from power. Most recently he stated he will pay with his life to preserve the sanctity of the ballot box.

 

 
 
 
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