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Belarus escort who claimed Trump secrets freed from Russian jail

Belarus escort who claimed Trump secrets freed from Russian jailA Belarusian escort who claimed she had proof of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s election campaign was freed from a Russian jail on Tuesday following her arrest last week, lawyers said. Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, was arrested alongside Alexander Kirillov, a self-styled sex guru, when the two arrived at Moscow’s main airport following their deportation from Thailand last Thursday. Vashukevich had been waiting to travel on to the Belarusian capital Minsk.



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Cyntoia Brown to be freed after being jailed for murder as a teen

Cyntoia Brown to be freed after being jailed for murder as a teenCyntoia Brown, a Tennessee woman serving a life sentence in prison for murder and robbery, was granted clemency on Monday after high-profile campaigners brought her case to the public's attention, sparking debate about life terms for children. The case garnered widespread attention in the US, despite being over a decade old, and the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown trended on Twitter after celebrities including reality TV-star Kim Kardashian West, singer Rihanna and comedian Amy Schumer advocated for her release.  Brown – now 30 – was charged in 2006 when she pleaded guilty to murdering Johnny Allen, a Nashville real estate agent, in 2004 when she was aged just 16. On the night she killed him, Allen picked up Brown outside a fast-food outlet, where he offered her $ 150 (£118) for sexual activity. Once at his home, Brown eventually got into Allen's bed. Brown told authorities she thought he was reaching for a gun, so she shot him with a handgun from her handbag and fled with his guns and money. The prosecution argued that the murder was a motivated by greed and not of self-defence, while the defence countered that she was a victim of sex trafficking who feared for her life and was afraid of coming back empty-handed to her pimp nicknamed "Cut Throat" with whom she was living at the time after running away from her adoptive family in 2004. Even though she was a juvenile at the time of the trial, a juvenile court found her competent to be tried as an adult. She was given a 51 years to life sentence, and placed in the Tennessee Prison for Women. Cyntoia Brown shown here in 2006 (left) and 2013 Credit: Tennessee Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS In an official statement on Monday, Bill Haslam, the Tennessee Governor, said that the "decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case. "Cyntoia Brown committed by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms Brown has taken to rebuild her life." Juveniles are safeguarded from life-without-parole sentences in the US by the ruling of the US Supreme Court. But the state of Tennessee argued that as Brown had the possibility for parole, the sentencing did not violate the federal law. Houston Gordon, one of Brown's attorneys, said "we need to see this as a national awakening to change the draconian laws that allow juveniles, children, to be placed in adult prisons when they're just children. They're not little adults." Criminal justice advocates called it a "great day for social justice and our city" and Raumesh Akbari, the Democratic member of the Tennessee House of Representatives who praised Mr Haslam's announcement by saying that it shows that Tennessee "can show love, compassion and mercy" for traumatised people, have also expressed support for Brown's release, despite the opposition by some law enforcement officials. In response to her planned release, Brown said that she was grateful for the decision and that she would do her best to turn her life around. "I am thankful for all the support, prayers, and encouragement I have received. We truly serve a God of second chances and new beginnings.  The Lord has held my hand this whole time and I would have never made it without him. Let today be a testament to his saving Grace." In prison, Brown completed high-school-level tests and took college classes. In 2015, she received an associate degree from Lipscomb University. She is currently working on completing her bachelor's degree from the same university. Brown will be released on August 7 this year under ten-year-long parole supervision with the condition of not violating any state or federal laws, holding a job and attending regular counseling sessions. She has so far served 15 years in prison. Ed Yarbrough, another attorney for Brown, thanked the state governor. "It will not be popular with everyone in Tennessee, but he did the right thing and we praise him for that," he said.



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Pair freed without charge in London airport drones probe

Pair freed without charge in London airport drones probeA man and a woman arrested over the drone disruption that brought Christmas getaway flights to a standstill at London’s Gatwick Airport were released without charge on Sunday, police said. A 47-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from the town of Crawley, near Britain’s second-busiest airport, were arrested on Saturday. “Both people have fully co-operated with our enquiries and I am satisfied that they are no longer suspects in the drone incidents at Gatwick,” Sussex Police detective chief superintendent Jason Tingley said in a statement.



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Japan: Man believed to be missing journalist in Syria freed

Japan: Man believed to be missing journalist in Syria freedTOKYO (AP) — A man believed to be a Japanese freelance journalist who disappeared three years ago in Syria has been released and is now in Turkey, a Japanese official said.



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Trump touts his dealmaking skills after meeting American pastor freed from Turkey

Trump touts his dealmaking skills after meeting American pastor freed from TurkeyPresident Trump, welcoming the Rev. Andrew Brunson on his return to the United States after a two-year imprisonment in Turkey, took credit for his release and blamed President Obama for not getting him out sooner.



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US pastor Andrew Brunson freed from from prison in Turkey after two years

US pastor Andrew Brunson freed from from prison in Turkey after two yearsUS pastor Andrew Brunson has been freed two years after he was imprisoned over allegations he was helping to plot a coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A Turkish court sentenced the preacher to three years and one month in prison on charges related to terrorism and espionage, but suspended the rest of his jail time based on his time already served. Mr Brunson was charged with links to Kurdish militants and supporters of Fethullah Gülen, the cleric blamed by Turkey for a failed coup attempt in 2016.



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Cambodia's ex-opposition leader freed awaiting treason trial

Cambodia's ex-opposition leader freed awaiting treason trialPHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The leader of Cambodia's now dissolved opposition party was freed on highly restrictive bail Monday after being jailed for a year on a treason charge, the latest government opponent to be released since Prime Minister Hun Sen's landslide election victory.



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Freed in Turkey before spy trial, Greek soldiers await flight home

Freed in Turkey before spy trial, Greek soldiers await flight homeTwo Greek soldiers facing espionage charges in Turkey are due to fly home early on Wednesday after a provincial court released them, in a ruling Athens said would help to improve strained ties between the two NATO allies. The soldiers crossed into Turkey in March, in what Greece said was an accident while they were following the trail of suspected illegal migrants. The same court ruled for their release on Tuesday after they said in a defense statement they had crossed the border by mistake, state news agency Anadolu said.



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Man tied to California blast victim freed, charge dropped

Man tied to California blast victim freed, charge droppedLONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man arrested on suspicion of having explosives after a blast killed his ex-girlfriend at her day spa has walked free after U.S. prosecutors said Tuesday that they had dropped the charge against him.



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Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to USWASHINGTON (AP) — Joshua Holt, who traveled to Venezuela from Utah in 2016 to marry a Spanish-speaking Mormon woman but soon found himself jailed and later branded the CIA's top spy in Latin America, was set free by the anti-American Maduro government on Saturday, saying he was "overwhelmed with gratitude."



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