WASHINGTON — Former FBI Director James Comey offered his support for the agency’s current leaders as Republican members of Congress criticize it for surveillance of Trump campaign officials during the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.


“All should appreciate the FBI speaking up,” Comey said Thursday in a tweet. “But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.”


Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump, appeared to be attacking plans to make public a memo written by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee that alleges anti-Trump bias within the FBI in its Russia probe. FBI Director Christopher Wray has urged Trump not to approve releasing the memo, which is based on classified material, and the agency issued an unusual public statement expressing “grave concerns” about its release.


Trump has decided to allow publication of the House Republican memo and will send it back to Congress for release by Friday, two White House officials said.


—Bloomberg News

Ex-Fox News anchor says Roger Ailes secretly filmed female workers getting undressed


A former Fox News anchor says ousted chairman Roger Ailes, who died months after he was fired from the network, secretly recorded female employees while they undressed.


Andrea Tantaros had already claimed in a lawsuit that she was sexually harassed at the network. In an amended complaint, Tantaros said Ailes had a closed circuit television system installed to watch women as they changed outfits.


Tantaros said on-air women were required to attend a bi-annual trunk show held by the network’s wardrobe department, and that Ailes used the event as an opportunity to secretly film female talent.


“The dresses were pre-selected for the women by the wardrobe department before their arrival; pants were not an option,” said the updated complaint. A Fox News representative told Variety magazine that the lawsuit was a “work of fiction.”


Roger Ailes, died in May 2017 at the age of 77.


Fox News released a statement regarding the allegations, writing “FOX News moved for sanctions against the lawyer who filed Andrea Tantaros’ original lawsuit and he has since withdrawn. None of the four lawyers currently representing Tantaros in the action signed her new complaint, which she purports to have written herself. Her outlandish claims lack any factual basis.”


—New York Daily News

Naked bank robber found not guilty by reason of insanity


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — When a naked bank robber was arrested as he ran along Las Olas Boulevard throwing stolen money in the air last July, many figured it was just another bizarre South Florida moment.


But after months of psychiatric testing by prison doctors, the experts concluded that Alexander Sperber, 26, was so severely mentally ill that he cannot be held criminally responsible for the bank robbery.


The evidence was so overwhelming that a federal judge found Sperber not guilty by reason of insanity on Wednesday after a trial that lasted 25 minutes.


It’s an extremely unusual outcome for federal defendants. Nationwide statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show just seven people were found not guilty by reason of insanity in the federal system in 2016, the most recent numbers available.


Sperber went into the downtown Fort Lauderdale Regions Bank branch shortly after 3 p.m. on July 25, told the teller he had a gun — though he didn’t — and took off with $4,700 in cash.


As he ran along Las Olas Boulevard, a dye pack in the stash of money exploded, covering him in red dye, prosecutors said. He began to shed his clothes and was promptly arrested and questioned by investigators.


—Sun Sentinel

29 women arrested for protesting Iran’s headscarf law


TEHRAN, Iran — Police in Iran arrested 29 women on Thursday who removed their headscarves to protest a law obliging women to wear the Islamic veil in public.


Police said the women were “tricked” into removing their hijabs by a propaganda campaign spread by Iranians living abroad, the Tasnim news agency reported.


Thursday’s arrests come after at least six women were reportedly taken into custody in Tehran this week.


Since late December, an increasing amount of Iranian women have called for the law to be scrapped, bringing attention to their cause by removing their head coverings in public and hoisting them in the air.


Women who choose to cover themselves, as well as older women, men and even several clerics, have joined the movement.


Women and girls older than age 9 have been required to wear a headscarf and long, wide coats to conceal their hair and body since Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979. Activists face jail sentences of several weeks for removing their headscarves.


—dpa

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