President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the closure of Venezuela’s border with Brazil “until further notice” amid a tense standoff with the US-backed opposition leader, Juan Guaido, over allowing in humanitarian aid. Calling the aid a “provocation” and a “child’s game”, Maduro suggested it was a precursor to a US military intervention in the oil-rich, but economically crippled Latin American country. Venezuela has already closed its maritime border with the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, after Curacao’s government said it would help store aid.
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers $3,500 to stage a violent attack on him, Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said. Police said Smollett, who is black and gay, lied to them last month when he claimed two masked white men shouting racist and homophobic slurs beat him up in the middle of the night near his apartment building. Smollett has been accused of faking a hate crime after his story of being attacked by racist assailants unraveled.
An Australian man who drove a car into dozens of pedestrians on a busy shopping street in central Melbourne in 2017, killing six, has been jailed for life with a minimum non-parole period of 46 years, the Victorian state Supreme Court said on Friday. James Gargasoulas, 29, was handed a life sentence for each of the murders, whose victims included a baby and a 10-year-old girl. The incident was one of Australia’s worst mass killings since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre on the southern island state of Tasmania, in which 35 people were gunned down.
AT&T and Hasbro have become the latest firms to pull adverts from YouTube over claims pedophiles are leaving offensive comments next to videos of children on the platform. The telecoms firm and toymaker follow food giant Nestle, which on Wednesday said it had also “paused” its ads. YouTube said it had taken “immediate action” by deleting offending accounts and reporting the illegal activity to authorities.
Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday dramatically restricted Roger Stone’s ability to speak publicly about his case after he published an Instagram post with what appeared to be the crosshairs of a gun drawn behind her head. The development will in effect silence one of the most outspoken and politicized former advisers of President Donald Trump, as Stone fights against special counsel Robert Mueller in a case related to his interactions in 2016 with Russians and the Trump campaign.