Nevada train derailment wrecks dozens of new cars, pickup trucks

Dozens of brand-new cars and pickup trucks were destroyed Wednesday in a stunning train derailment in Nevada.

The 33-car Union Pacific train was carrying mostly Jeeps and pickup trucks when it derailed just after 9 a.m. in Caliente, a town about 30 miles away from the Nevada-Utah border.

Dozens of cars and pickup trucks were damaged Wednesday when the train they were being transported in derailed in Nevada. 

Dozens of cars and pickup trucks were damaged Wednesday when the train they were being transported in derailed in Nevada.  (Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office)

Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee told Fox 13 said some train cars had been hauling hazardous material, but those cars weren’t affected in the crash.

County Road 4230 in Nevada from Elgin to Carp was expected to remain closed for seven to 10 days because of train cars, construction equipment and debris blocking the road, the station reported.

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Union Pacific was investigating the incident and was expected to turn over its results to the Federal Railroad Administration. The rail company did not immediately respond Wednesday to a Fox News request for comment.

Ex-Marine accused by Spain of North Korean embassy break-in freed on bail

A former U.S. Marine accused of breaking into North Korea’s embassy in Madrid and assaulting diplomatic personnel was freed on $1.3 million bond in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

As a condition of his release, Christopher Ahn must confine himself to his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Chino Hills ahead of his possible extradition to Spain and must wear an ankle monitor.

CALLS GROW TO DROP CASE AGAINST US MARINE AND ACTIVIST AND ACTIVISTS IN NORTH KOREA EMBASSY INTRUSION

“I spent a lot of time reading about you and I’m confident you’re going to do the right thing,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth told Ahn, who had several family members in attendance at the hearing.

Ahn can only leave his home for medical appointments and church. He is expected to be released in the coming days.

Spanish authorities have charged Ahn, 38, who spent six years in the Marines and served in Iraq, with breaking into the North Korean embassy with five others on February 22. They said the group beat some embassy staff and held them hostage for hours before fleeing.

The charges include breaking and entering, robbery with violence and causing injuries, according to U.S. court documents.

NORTH KOREAN REFUGEE: WE TOOK HUGE RISKS TO HELP OTHERS REACH FREEDOM. WHY ARE US, SPAIN PUNISHING US?

Ahn is said to be a member of Free Joseon, or the Cheollima Civil Defense, an activist group which supports North Korean defectors and seeks to overthrown North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Two people allegedly involved in the embassy incident are still at large, including Adrian Hong, a Mexican national and longtime U.S. resident who is the purported leader of the group.

Christopher Ahn (U.S. Marine Corps)

Christopher Ahn (U.S. Marine Corps)

Attorneys for Free Joseon said the allegations of violence are lies from Kim’s diplomats, who they say made up the story to save their own skins. They claim the group members were invited inside and that there were no problems.

“The extradition papers from Spain confirm that almost the entire case against Mr. Ahn is based on uncorroborated statements made by high-ranking North Korean officials,” Ahn’s attorney Naeun Rim told Fox News in a statement last week.

NORTH KOREANS WANT TO KILL EX-MARINE ACCUSED OF ENTERING PYONGYANG’S SPAIN EMBASSY, JUDGE SAYS

Video obtained by Fox News shows the activists walking into the embassy and chatting with a member of Kim’s diplomatic corps. One activist takes official photographs of Kim and his father Kim Jong II from a wall and smashes them on the floor.

Ahn was arrested by U.S. agents in April in Los Angeles. His actions have made him a target of the Kim regime, Rosenbluth said in an order conditionally granting him bail.

Ahn during his tour of duty as a Marine in Fallujah, Iraq (Provisional Government of Free Joseon)

Ahn during his tour of duty as a Marine in Fallujah, Iraq (Provisional Government of Free Joseon)

“The F.B.I. has confirmed that the North Korean government has threatened his life,” the judge wrote. “He is apparently the target of a dictatorship’s efforts to murder him.”

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Prosecutors objected to Ahn’s release, citing him as a flight risk.

“It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders knowing that he’s going to be home, he’s going to be with loved ones, we can visit with him now,” Juan Sanabria, a former Marine who served with Ahn, told Reuters.

Fox News anchor and senior correspondent Eric Shawn contributed to this report. 

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein arrested and charged with sex trafficking

Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with molesting dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida, Fox News has learned.

Epstein, who a decade ago received a lenient plea deal after being accused of paying girls for sexual massages in Florida, is expected to appear in court Monday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Music event canceled over security, fraud concerns; compared to Fyre fest fiasco

A three-day concert in Belgium that was slated to feature stars like Cardi B, Jason Derulo and Ja Rule abruptly ended before it began Friday over fraud concerns, leading to comparisons with the failed Fyre Festival, the 2017 music bash that left guests stranded with no food or accommodations in the Bahamas.

Thousands of people who bought tickets for the VestiVille festival in Lommel —  a city on the border with the Netherlands — were moved out of the campsite by police before festivities got underway. Organizers said the event was canceled because of security issues in consultation with rapper A$AP Rocky.

“It was decided that the safety of the artist and the public could not be guaranteed,” they said on the festival’s Facebook page.

MODELS INVOLVED WITH DISASTROUS FYRE FESTIVAL MAY HAVE TO REVEAL HOW MUCH THEY WERE PAID AFTER COURT SUBPOENA

On Friday, the rapper tweeted that he pulled out of the concert because of “security and infrastructure concerns.” The line-up also included Meek Mill, Nicky Jam, Trey Songz and Future, among others.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the event on suspicion of fraud over payments, according to Belgium’s RTBF network. Three festival organizers were questioned Friday night, the network said. Security issues were not included in the investigation.

The event Facebook page said organizers would consult with their partners about possible refunds.

An email query to the festival from Fox News was not immediately returned Saturday.

Fyre Festival co-founder Ja Rule was scheduled to perform at VestiVille on Saturday. He has denied any fraud related to the first fiasco and was not charged. That event was plagued with numerous problems, including a lack of funding, lodging, food and transportation.

JA RULE RESPONDS TO FYRE FESTIVAL CONTROVERSY FOLLOWING DOCUMENTARIES SAYING HE TOO WAS SCAMMED

Co-founder Billy McFarland, 26, was sentenced to six years in prison after admitting to defrauding investors of $26 million and $100,000 in a separate ticket-selling scam. The disaster spawned documentaries on Netflix and Hulu.

VestiVille billed itself as the “gateway to an Urban Oasis of Music, art and wonder.” It offered luxury VIP villas, a private beach and red carpet treatment.

Festival-goers compared both failed events on Twitter and posted videos of themselves giving impromptu music performances on an empty, elaborate stage.

“Coincidence? I think not ,” tweeted one user, accompanied with photos of tents at VestiVille and the Fyre Festival.

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“Did #Vestiville organisers watch the Fyre Festival documentary and thought: Challenge accepted, let’s make the European edition,” posted another.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill requiring felons pay off fines before regaining right to vote

Florida‘s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on a bill Friday requiring felons to pay off their financial obligations before regaining the right to vote, a tactic many critics argue amounts to voter suppression and a modern-day poll tax.

State Republicans introduced the bill after voters passed an amendment in November to give roughly 1.4 million people with felony convictions to right to cast ballots in elections. The measure allowed felons not convicted of murder or sexual offenses to vote once they “complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.”

The language also said felons must complete their sentences, which Republicans interpreted to include paying off fines and fees imposed at sentencing.

FLORIDA: VOTING RIGHTS OF MORE THAN 1 MILLION FELONS RESTORED

Former felons register to vote in Miami on Jan. 8, 2019. (ELINA SHIRAZI/Fox News)

Former felons register to vote in Miami on Jan. 8, 2019. (ELINA SHIRAZI/Fox News)

“Senate Bill 7066 enumerates a uniform list of crimes that fall into the excluded categories and confirms that the amendment does not apply to a felon who has failed to complete all the terms of his sentence,” DeSantis wrote in a memo to Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee.

Democrats argued the bill created unnecessary hurdles voters didn’t foresee when they passed the amendment and that the original intent of preventing felons from voting was to repress the minority vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the NAACP and other groups promptly filed a federal lawsuit over the new law Friday.

“Over a million Floridians were supposed to reclaim their place in the democratic process, but some politicians clearly feel threatened by greater voter participation,” Julie Ebenstein, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. “They cannot legally affix a price tag to someone’s right to vote.”

Experts said granting felons to right to vote could possibly tip the scales in a state where elections can be decided by a small percentage of votes.

Several groups and Democratic presidential hopefuls blasted new law over Twitter.

“Disgusting. My democracy plan would re-enfranchise those who have served their time and left prison—and prevent states like Florida from overriding their rights with Jim Crow-era nonsense,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted.

“The 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed to eliminate the poll tax. Today, FL Gov Ron DeSantis defied the will of people & signed a law depriving thousands of formerly incarcerated persons from voting unless they pay restitution, fines & fees. THIS is why we need to #RestoreTheVOTE,” the NAACP posted.

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When the bill advanced through the Florida House in April, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker called it a “poll tax,” a tool most notoriously used to disenfranchise black voters in the Jim Crow-era south.

Under the law, felons could petition a judge to forgive their outstanding fines and fees in favor of community service or have a victim forgo repayment of restitution.

Arkansas judge asks court to allow him to hear death penalty-related cases again

An Arkansas judge is petitioning the state Supreme Court to restore his power to preside over capital punishment-related cases after he was disqualified from those duties following his participation in an anti-death penalty protest two years ago.

In his Monday filing, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who is black, said no white member of the state judiciary has been banned from hearing and deciding an entire category of cases. The document cites the case of a white judge who pleaded guilty to a DWI in 2017 was barred from presiding over similar cases for eight months.

JUDGE VACATES ARKANSAS MAN’S DEATH SENTENCE IN 1994 KIDNAP, MURDER OF TEXAS GIRL

The state Supreme Court removed Griffen from hearing criminal and civil cases related to capital punishment after he was photographed at the April 2017 demonstration outside the Arkansas governor’s mansion. Griffen had blocked the state from using an execution drug the same day as the protest.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, lying on cot, takes part in an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the Governor's Mansion in Little Rock, Ark., in April 2017. (Cheryl Simon via AP)

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, lying on cot, takes part in an anti-death penalty demonstration outside the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock, Ark., in April 2017. (Cheryl Simon via AP) (The Associated Press)

The photo showed Griffen lying on a cot wearing a button opposing executions and surrounded by people holding signs. He said he was portraying Jesus and participating in a prayer vigil when he was laying on the cot.

“Petitioner has engaged in extrajudicial conduct, in his personal capacity and as a pastor in the religion of Jesus, that involves expression of his personal moral and religious opposition to capital punishment based on his personal and religious conviction that the death penalty is morally — not legally — unjustifiable,” the filing said. “At the same time, petitioner has never made any statement, pledge or promise that committed him to rule for or against any party in any case, including any civil or criminal case involving the death penalty or method of execution.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWMAKERS REPEAL DEATH PENALTY WITH OVERRIDE OF GOVERNOR’S VETO

Griffen’s petition notes that the state’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission panel dropped an ethics case against him on the grounds that too much time had passed between the time a complaint against Griffen was filed and when the commission took up the case. His attorneys argue the disqualification violates the state’s Hunt Decree, which requires that judges serving in majority black voter judicial subdistricts exercise the same powers as other judges, and deprives citizens of “their choice of an elected judge from hearing all the matters heard by Circuit Judges under the Arkansas Constitution.”

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Griffen has challenged his removal before. A lawsuit against the state Supreme Court over his disqualification was dismissed last year. A federal appeals court in August decided not to hear the lawsuit and the U.S. Supreme Court left the decision in place earlier this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Schumer asks for probe into delay of Harriet Tubman $20 bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., requested an investigation Wednesday into why the Trump administration postponed plans to redesign the $20 bill, which included replacing President Andrew Jackson with iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

In a Wednesday letter to the Treasury Department’s inspector general, Schumer asked officials to look into why the department pushed back the redesign and whether political considerations played a role in the decision.

TRUMP’S ADMIRATION FOR ‘SLAVEOWNER’ JACKSON HALTED TUBMAN $20 BILL, CNN HOST SUGGESTS

 Harriet Tubman, pictured sometime between 1860 and 1875.(Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

 Harriet Tubman, pictured sometime between 1860 and 1875.(Harvey B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP)

“Shortly after the Trump Administration took office … all mentions of the Tubman $20 bill were deleted without explanation from the Treasury Department’s website,” Schumer wrote. “We do not know the real reason for these decisions, but we do know that during his campaign, President Trump referred to efforts to replace President Jackson’s likeness on the front of the $20 note as ‘pure political correctness.’”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Congress in May that efforts to put Tubman on the $20 bill are being delayed until 2028 because of security concerns such as counterfeiting.

MSNBC ANALYST MAKES BIZARRE CLAIM THAT MNUCHIN ‘BASICALLY’ SAID ‘I HATE BLACK PEOPLE’ WITH HARRIET TUBMAN DECISION

“It is my responsibility now to focus on what is the issue of counterfeiting and the security features,” Mnuchin told lawmakers. “The ultimate decision on the redesign will most likely be another secretary’s down the road.”

On Friday, Mnuchin called suggestions that the process was being deliberately delayed “completely erroneous.”

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In his letter, Schumer called any unnecessary delay to honor Tubman on the $20 note “improper and unacceptable.”

“If the Empire State Building could be completed in 13 months almost 100 years ago, the 21st century Treasury Department ought to be able to get this job done in a reasonable period of time,” he wrote.

Tubman escaped from slavery in 1849 and played a key role in the Underground Railroad. She helped guide over 300 slaves to freedom and also served as a spy and a scout for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Fox News’ James Rogers contributed to this report. 

Man pleads guilty to throwing water balloons at pro-Trump crowd: ‘I did what I had to do’

A Michigan man who admitted to tossing water balloons into a crowd of Trump supporters outside the president’s recent rally in Grand Rapids said he does not feel remorse and may do it again.

“Actions are going to be louder than words these days,’’ Robert Dale Truax Jr., 20, said after his appearance in Grand Rapids District Court where he pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges. “Try to get three water balloons out this time. I only got out two.’’

Authorities say Truax threw the balloons into a crowd gathered outside the Van Andel Arena on March 28 as Trump addressed supporters inside. No one was hurt.

TRUMP SUPPORTER ACCOSTED JOURNALIST AT EL PASO RALLY IN ‘INCREDIBLY VIOLENT ATTACK’: REPORT

“Even though in this gentleman’s mind it might seem as if it was harmless, it certainly can get someone injured,’’ Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Cathy Williams told WZZM-TV. “And we’re not going to allow that to happen.’’

“Even though in this gentleman’s mind it might seem as if it was harmless, it certainly can get someone injured. And we’re not going to allow that to happen.’”

— Sgt. Cathy Williams, Grand Rapids Police

After spotting Williams on television, Truax tweeted video of the TV report, adding his reaction.

“ITS FUNNY TO THINK I CAN HARM PPL WITH WATER BALLONS,”  he wrote.

Truax said he attended the rally with the intention of getting arrested, according to the station. He recorded his actions and posted video online.

“Just got done buying some balloons at Dollar Tree because we’re gonna throw some water balloons at some Donald Trump supporters,’’ he says in the 6-½ minute video. “Like you can’t be coming to my block supporting some Donald Trump s—. So you about to get hit.’’

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He was charged with disturbance and faces 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

“I  was trying to stand up for the people who are just against the president,’’ Truax told the station. “In a way, his supporters are just like him. I did what I had to do.”

‘Daddy won,’ Alec Baldwin’s Trump boasts in first ‘SNL’ since end of Mueller probe

“Saturday Night Live” built the cold open of its newest episode around the report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller recently submitted following his two-year-long Russia investigation. Alec Baldwin returned to play President Trump alongside Robert De Niro as Mueller.

The sketch showed Mueller reading the almost 400-page report, Attorney General William Barr, played by Aidy Bryant, summarizing it and Trump live-tweeting his reactions.

“I am reading zero pages,” Baldwin’s Trump said. “But Sean Hannity has read it and he’s so excited, he texted me an eggplant.”

DONALD TRUMP SLAMS ‘SNL’ AFTER RERUN EPISODE, FLOATS THE IDEA OF AN FCC INVESTIGATION INTO THE SHOW

“On the charge of obstruction of justice, we have not drawn a definitive conclusion,” De Niro’s Mueller said, to which Bryant’s Barr replied, “But I have, and my conclusion is Trump clean as a whistle.”

“Free at last, free at last!” Baldwin as Trump said.

As for allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, De Nrio as Mueller said there were “several questionable instances involving the president’s team” and noted that 34 people were indicted during his investigation.

“The pardons are already in the mail,” Baldwin’s Trump replied. “Russia, if you’re watching, go to bed. Daddy won.”

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Later, Trump said, “If you shoot at the devil, you best not miss.”

“Did somebody say ‘devil’?,” Rudy Giuliani, played by Kate McKinnon, responded, suddenly emerging.

“I guess I was a legal genius the whole time,” Giuliani continued. “And all of my mind games worked. If you want to know what my mind games were, you have to ask the family of goblins who live in my head and holds open my eyes.”

“P.S., can’t wait to see what the Southern District of New York has in store for Trump,” Mueller said.

Proud father Dr. Dre brags after daughter gets into USC ‘on her own’

Hip hop legend Dr. Dre took a jab at high-profile celebrities and other wealthy parents caught up in a recent college admission scandal while boasting about his daughter’s acceptance into the University of Southern California.

“My daughter got accepted into USC all on her own,” he wrote in a Saturday Instagram post. “No jail time!!!”

Dre, 54, the former member of the rap group NWA whose real name is Andre Young, has an association with the Los Angeles university. In 2013, he made a $70 million donation to the school for the creation of the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.

Record producer Iovine, 66, known for his work with Bruce Springsteen, U2 and other artists, previously collaborated with Dre on Beats Electronics, the now-Apple subsidiary best known for Beats headphones.

Dre’s post comes after actress Lori Loughlin was linked in a massive college bribery scheme in which she and her husband allegedly paid $500,000 to have their daughters, Olivia Jade, 19, and Isabella Giannulli, 20, labeled as crew team recruits to get into the school.

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Around 40 people have been charged, including actress Felicity Huffman. In the wake of the scandal, Loughlin was dropped by the Hallmark Channel and Jade lost a sponsorship deal with makeup giant Sephora.