Mueller says Putin associate shouldn’t see evidence unless he comes to court

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller said a longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin should be barred from seeing evidence in a U.S. criminal case unless he appears in court to defend himself.

Mueller used a court filing Tuesday to claim Yevgeny Prigozhin is trying to evade prosecution even as he seeks access to pretrial evidence against his firm that’s also under indictment, Concord Management and Consulting LLC. Prigozhin, who provides food services to the Kremlin, is known as Putin’s chef.

If Prigozhin gains access to “sensitive” evidence in the case, he could use it to thwart U.S. efforts to “prevent his continuing criminal activity in Russia and elsewhere” outside the U.S., Mueller’s prosecutors said.

Concord and Prigozhin are among three firms and 13 people accused of producing propaganda, posing as U.S. activists and posting political content on social media as trolls to encourage strife in the U.S. before the 2016 election.

— Bloomberg News

Michael Bloomberg reportedly considering 2020 presidential bid

NEW YORK — Michael Bloomberg’s hindsight is 2020.

The former mayor of New York City is seriously considering running against President Donald Trump in the next general election, according to a report Tuesday.

A source close to the three-term mayor told New York’s WCBS-TV that Bloomberg is motivated in part by remorse over not putting up a fight against Trump in 2016, as he feels he could have beaten the president or at least hurt his chances.

Bloomberg, 76, mulled an independent run in 2016 but dropped those aspirations over fears his third-party bid could have taken votes away from the Democratic candidate. The source said Bloomberg will run as a Democrat if he launches a 2020 campaign.

A spokesman for Bloomberg’s namesake charity foundation did not return a request for comment.

— New York Daily News

She hit a black teen and told him to leave the pool — then she bit a cop, S.C. authorities say

A South Carolina woman is charged with assaulting a teenager at a neighborhood pool, then assaulting deputies when they went to arrest her.

Stephanie Sebby-Strempel, 38, of Summerville, allegedly told a 15-year-old and his friends “they did not belong and they had to leave” the Reminisce subdivision pool on Sunday, despite them being invited there by a friend, according to an incident report.

The teen said he and his friends were respectful and began leaving the pool, but said Sebby-Strempel called them “punks” and used racial slurs, the report said.

She then walked toward the 15-year-old and hit him in the chest, and followed him toward the exit and “hit him in the face at least twice,” according to the report.

“Sebby-Strempel is clearly the aggressor in the assault even going as far as to continue to assault the victim as he was walking away from her,” the incident report said.

Phinney said when deputies attempted to serve an arrest warrant for Sebby-Strempel on Monday, she physically resisted.

A supplemental incident report says she pushed one detective into a wall, causing knee injuries, and then bit another detective’s arm, breaking into the skin.

Sebby-Strempel was charged with third-degree assault related to the teen, and with two counts of assaulting a police officer while resisting arrest.

— The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Sudan teen’s death sentence for killing rapist husband cut to 5 years

KHARTOUM, Sudan — A teenager in Sudan who was given the death penalty for killing her husband, who she says raped her, has had the sentence reduced to five years on appeal, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

The court in Khartoum commuted Noura Hussein’s death penalty to five years as well as ordered her to pay blood money to the husband’s family, defense lawyer Abdullah Ibrahim told dpa.

According to human rights group Amnesty International, Hussein was forced against her will into marriage at the age of 16.

After the marriage, she was raped by her husband while three of his male relatives held her down. When he tried to rape her again, Hussein allegedly stabbed him in self-defense.

Now 19, she was sentenced to death by a court earlier this year in predominantly Muslim Sudan, where marital rape is not a crime.

“While the quashing of this death sentence is hugely welcome news, it must now lead to a legal review to ensure that Noura Hussein is the last person to go through this ordeal,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director in a statement.

“Noura Hussein was the victim of a brutal attack by her husband and five years’ imprisonment for acting in self-defense is a disproportionate punishment.”

There had been huge international pressure on Sudan to throw out Hussein’s sentence, with the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. Women and UNFPA all voicing their concern.

— dpa