What to Know
- A business partner of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen known as the Taxi King has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal
- Congo's health ministry announced six new confirmed Ebola cases and two new suspected cases as vaccinations entered a second day
- Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate has died at 85, his literary agent says
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Cohen Business Partner Agrees to Cooperate With Government, Source Says
A business partner of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen known as the Taxi King has agreed to cooperate with the government as part of a plea deal, a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings told NBC News. Evgeny Freidman, 47, pleaded guilty to a low-level felony in New York state court for stealing nearly $5 million in state taxes and has agreed to cooperate in state or federal investigations. The deal, in which he will pay the state $5 million but avoid jail time, was originally reported by The New York Times. For years, Freidman, a Russian immigrant, has managed Cohen's taxi medallions, which give owners the right to operate New York City yellow cabs. Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, referred an ongoing investigation of Michael Cohen to federal prosecutors in New York. Freidman's plea deal means he could potentially testify in any criminal case related to Cohen. Cohen has long served as a personal attorney to President Donald Trump. The New York attorney general's office, U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and an attorney for Freidman declined to comment.
Energy Wells Plugged as Hawaii's Volcano Sends Lava Nearby
Production wells at a geothermal plant under threat by lava flowing from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano have been plugged to prevent toxic gases from seeping out. Lava from a nearby, new volcanic vent entered, then stalled, on the 815-acre property where the Puna Geothermal Venture wells occupy around 40 acres. Residents have been concerned about hazards if the lava flowed over the plant's facilities, or if heat generated would interact with various chemicals used on-site. Ten wells were "quenched," which cools them with enough cold water to counter the pressure of volcanic steam coming from below, said Hawaii Gov. David Ige. The last well was plugged with mud, because it had remained hot despite the infusion of water. Metal plugs in the wells, which run as deep as 8,000 feet underground, are an additional stopgap measure. A spike in gas levels could prompt a mass evacuation, said Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno. Officials, however, have not discussed specific scenarios that would lead to such an emergency.
Congo Announces 6 New Confirmed Cases of Ebola Virus
Congo's health ministry announced six new confirmed Ebola cases and two new suspected cases as vaccinations entered a second day in an effort to contain the deadly virus in a city of more than 1 million. Dozens of health workers in the northwestern provincial capital, Mbandaka, have received vaccinations amid expectations that some will be deployed to the rural epicenter of the epidemic. Front-line workers are especially at risk of contracting the virus, which spreads in contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, including the dead. Congo's health ministry said there are now 28 confirmed Ebola cases, 21 probable ones and two suspected. The six new confirmed cases were in the rural Iboko health zone, it said. Of the confirmed Ebola cases, 14 are in Iboko, 10 are in Bikoro where the outbreak began and four are in the Wangata area of Mbandaka. The death toll from hemorrhagic fever stands at 27, with three of them confirmed as Ebola.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Philip Roth Dies at 85, His Literary Agent Says
Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, from the comic madness of "Portnoy's Complaint" to the elegiac lyricism of "American Pastoral," has died at age 85. Roth's literary agent, Andrew Wylie, said the author died in a New York City hospital of congestive heart failure. Author of more than 25 books, Roth was a fierce satirist and uncompromising realist, confronting readers in a bold, direct style that scorned false sentiment or hopes for heavenly reward. He was an atheist who swore allegiance to earthly imagination, whether devising pornographic functions for raw liver or indulging romantic fantasies about Anne Frank. In "The Plot Against America," published in 2004, he placed his own family under the anti-Semitic reign of President Charles Lindbergh. In 2010, in "Nemesis," he subjected his native New Jersey to a polio epidemic. He was among the greatest writers never to win the Nobel Prize. But he received virtually every other literary honor, including two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics Circle prizes and, in 1998, the Pulitzer for "American Pastoral."
And the Winner of “The Voice” Season 14 Is...
Fifteen-year-old Brynn Cartelli is the 14th winner of "The Voice." The singer, coached by Kelly Clarkson, beat out a pool of more seasoned competitors to come out on top. It came down to the two youngest finalists: 15-year-old Cartelli and Britton Buchanon, 18, coached by Alicia Keys. After months of fierce competition, only four contestants remained in the finals: Cartelli, Buchanon and Kyla Jade and Spensha Baker, both coached by Blake Shelton. Baker was the first of the final four eliminated, followed by second runner-up Jade.