US Agencies To Testify On Russia-Trump Links

President Trump Proposes Massive Aid CutsThe heads of top U.S. spy agencies are to testify before Congress about possible links between Russia and President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

They would also address Mr Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by Barack Obama.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director, James Comey, and the National Security Agency (NSA) Admiral, Mike Rogers, would speak at a rare open hearing of the Congressional Intelligence Committee.

Earlier, Russia had denied trying to influence the election, while Mr Trump denounced the investigation as a “total witch hunt”.

In January, U.S Intelligence Agencies said they believed Kremlin-backed hackers had broken into the email accounts of the senior Democrats and released embarrassing information in order to help Mr Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Three New York Residents Deny Aiding IS Plot

IS-New-YorkThree foreign New York residents have denied charges that they tried to aid Islamic State (IS) militants.

The trio, Abdurasul Juraboev, Abror Habibov and Akhror Saidakhmetov aged between 19 and 30, were arrested last month by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

They caught the attention of the authorities, after they posted to Uzbek-language website in recent months.

The FBI said a suspect had pledged to kill U.S. President, Barack Obama.

Another allegedly tried to travel to Syria via Turkey in order to join IS, while the third was accused of helping to fund efforts to join the Syrian jihadist.

The three men appeared in New York’s Federal court on Friday, where they pleaded not guilty of the charges against them. After the session, the Judge had set their next court hearing for June 19.

The US has charged about 20 people with plans to join militant groups abroad, many who intend to go to Syria to fight for IS.

Figures suggest more than 20,000 foreigners have joined the fights in Iraq and Syria in the past three years.

U.S. Soldier Kills Three, Wounds 16 Before Taking Own Life

Lt. Gen. Milley addresses the media during a news conference at the entrance to Fort Hood Army Post in TexasA U.S. soldier with mental health issues shot dead three people and injured at least 16 on Wednesday before taking his own life at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, the site of another deadly rampage in 2009, U.S. military officials said.

The soldier, who was being treated for depression and anxiety, went to two buildings on the base and opened fire before he was confronted by military police, Fort Hood commanding officer Mark Milley said.

The gunman, whose motive remains unknown, then shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber pistol, he added.

“At this time there is no indication that this incident is related to terrorism,” Milley told a news conference.

The rampage is the third shooting at a military base in the United States in about six months. It comes amid a broader national debate over the extent of gun control regulations after a series of shootings in public places, such as schools and malls.

Security officials said preliminary information identified the gunman as Ivan Lopez but Milley declined to identify the shooter, who is married, until his family was notified.

The suspect’s wife was cooperating with law enforcement, a Federal Bureau of Investigation official said, according to CNN.
The shooter had served for four months in Iraq in 2011, Milley said, and was also undergoing evaluation for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, where some of the wounded were taken, said nine patients were in intensive care, three in critical condition. Other victims were taken to Fort Hood’s Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, nearby where the shooting occurred.

U.S. President Barack Obama said he was “heartbroken” that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base.
“We are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” Obama said. “We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.”

The latest shooting at Fort Hood is throwing a spotlight on the U.S. military’s so-far frustrated efforts to secure its bases from potential shooters, who increasingly appear to see the facilities as attractive targets.

The shooting started at about 4 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) and put Fort Hood on immediate lockdown.

Milley said the shooter walked into one of the unit buildings, opened fire, then got into a vehicle and fired from there.
He then went into another building and opened fire again, until he was engaged by Fort Hood law enforcement.

When confronted by a female military police officer, he killed himself with his semi-automatic weapon in the parking lot.

“He was approaching her at about 20 feet. He put his hands up, then reached under his jacket, pulled out the (.45) and she pulled out her weapon and then she engaged, and he then he put the weapon to his head,” Milley said.

One of the buildings housed medical brigade day-to-day operations and the other, nearby, served the administration of the transportation battalion. All the killed and wounded were military personnel.

As soon as the shooting broke out, police secured the base perimeter, emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, helicopters circled Fort Hood and officers went from building to building searching for the shooter.

“We’re camping out. …The only guidance we’ve been given is to hunker down,” a Fort Hood soldier who answered the phone at a building near the shooting told the Austin American-Statesman.

Central Texas College ordered an immediate evacuation of all students and staff and canceled classes at its Fort Hood campus.

“It’s a terrible tragedy. We know that. We know there are casualties, both people killed and injured,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.