Briefs TRUMP SAYS PUTIN PRAISE NOT SERIOUS
President Donald Trump said he was not being serious when he thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for ordering a drastic reduction in the number of U.S. diplomatic employees and saving the U.S. significant cash.
“Absolutely, I think you know that,” Trump told reporters Friday when asked about the comments he made a day earlier.
Trump had said he “greatly” appreciated Putin’s help cutting down the State Department’s payroll. At the time, it was unclear whether he was joking.
Earlier Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump “was being sarcastic” when he made the remarks.
Trains collide in Egypt, 43 killed.
» Two passenger trains collided on Friday just outside Egypt’s Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, killing 43 people, according to authorities, the country’s deadliest rail accident in more than a decade.
Magdy Hegazy, a top health official in Alexandria, said that along with the 43 killed, the crash also injured 122 people.
The Egyptian Railways Authority said earlier that a train coming from Cairo, Egypt’s capital, crashed into the back of a train that was waiting at a small station in the district of Khorshid, just east of Alexandria.
The stationary train had just arrived from Port Said, a Mediterranean city on the northern tip of the Suez Canal, when it was hit.
Stolen painting recovered after 3 decades.
» More than three decades after thieves made off with a valuable painting from the University of Arizona Museum of Art, officials say they have recovered the long sought piece from an antique dealer in New Mexico.
Two people stole the Willem de Kooning “Woman-Ochre” painting the day after Thanksgiving in 1985.
Furniture and antique dealer David Van Auker bought the painting at an estate sale and later began researching it.
Chicago victim stabbed more than 40 times.
A hair stylist suffered more than 40 stab wounds to his upper body in a fatal attack last month in the high-rise Chicago condo of a Northwestern University professor, police said Friday.
The since-fired professor, Wyndham Lathem, and Oxford University financial officer Andrew Warren were arrested in the San Francisco area eight days after 26-yearold Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau was found dead last month.
Authorities have said the attack on Cornell-Duranleau, a Michigan native who moved to Chicago last year, was so brutal that the blade of the knife investigators believe was used in the stabbing was broken.
Marines to pause flights for safety check.
The Marine Corps commandant has ordered all of the Marine aviation units to stop flight operations for a 24-hour period at some point in the next two weeks to focus on safety and combat readiness.
Gen. Robert Neller’s order comes days after three Marines were killed when their MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed into the sea off the coast of Australia. The Osprey had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard, and 23 of 26 personnel on the aircraft were rescued.
The flying squadrons will review flight incidents and other crash investigations to make Marines better aware of procedures and best practices. The goal is to make sure units are capable, safe and ready.
Stray foot shocks mourners.
N.J.» Mourners BUTLER, at a New Jersey cemetery received a horrific shock when a corpse’s rotting foot from an adjoining grave was uncovered during a New York City man’s burial.
After Cleveland Butler died following a stroke at a Brooklyn nursing home, the 85-year-old man’s family gathered for his funeral last week at Mount Holiness Memorial Park in Butler. The Daily News reported the burial uncovered a moldering foot of a neighboring corpse that fell on top of Butler’s coffin during the eulogy.
Caretaker Bill Plog said he is surprised this hasn’t happened more often, given that wood caskets deteriorate over time. Plog said it’s unfortunate, “but this is a graveyard.”
Gun sign was prank, Walmart says.
Walmart says an internal investigation shows it was the victim of a prank when a photograph showed up on social media showing a sign reading “Own The School Year Like A Hero” atop a gun case in a store.
Company spokesman Charles Crowson told The Associated Press on Friday the company had definitely determined that the display was not genuine.