What to Know
- The Justice Department named Julian Assange in a court filing, suggesting prosecutors have prepared charges against the WikiLeaks founder
- The FDA will restrict sales of most flavored e-cigs to age-restricted stores and pursue bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigarettes
- Kim Porter, Diddy's former longtime girlfriend and the mother of three of his children, has died at age 47, a representative says
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US Court Filing Hints at Charges for WikiLeaks Founder
The Justice Department inadvertently named Julian Assange in a court filing in an unrelated case, suggesting prosecutors have prepared charges against the WikiLeaks founder under seal. Assange's name appears twice in an August court filing from a federal prosecutor in Virginia, who was attempting to keep sealed a separate case involving a man accused of coercing a minor for sex. In one sentence, the prosecutor wrote that the charges and arrest warrant "would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter." In another sentence, the prosecutor said that "due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged." Any charges against Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. It would also suggest that, after years of internal wrangling within the Justice Department, prosecutors have decided to take a more aggressive tact against the secret-sharing website.
63 Dead, 631 Unaccounted for in Northern Calif. Wildfire
Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 63 people were killed and 631 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through. The nearly 220-square-mile blaze in Northern California was 40 percent contained, the state fire agency said, and firefighters succeeded in slowing the flames' advance toward populated areas. More than 450 searchers were assigned to look for remains in Paradise, which was all but destroyed Nov. 8, and in outlying areas such as Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000. Many of the missing were elderly and from Magalia. Police drove around town, searching for those still in their homes and checking if they needed food and water. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said Wednesday night that 130 people were missing. His office later released a list of 300 who were unaccounted for, though spokeswoman Miranda Bowersox said some of those may simply not have checked in with officials or family.
FDA Restricts Most Flavored E-Cig Sales to Fight Teen Vaping
The Food and Drug Administration will restrict sales of most flavored e-cigarettes to age-restricted stores and pursue bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigarettes as it tries to control what Commissioner Scott Gottlieb describes as an "astonishing" surge in teen e-cigarette use that is reversing years of progress in fighting youth tobacco addiction. Gottlieb in a statement outlined a slew of policies and essentially threatened to pull products from the market if manufacturers do not follow them. He cited data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention's National Youth Tobacco Survey, expected to be released in its entirety, showing that 3.6 million middle and high school students currently use e-cigarettes. The announcement comes just over two months since Gottlieb ordered manufacturers to fix what he called "epidemic" levels of teens using e-cigarettes and specifically instructed five brands — Juul, British American Tobacco's Vuse, Altria's MarkTen, Imperial Brands' Blu E-cigs and Japan Tobacco's Logic — to submit plans detailing how they will prevent teens from using their products. He gave them 60 days
Kim Porter, Diddy's Ex-Girlfriend and Mother to His Children, Dies
Kim Porter, Diddy's former longtime girlfriend and the mother of three of his children, has died at age 47. A representative for Sean "Diddy" Combs confirmed Porter's death, but no further details were immediately available. Diddy and Porter, a former model and occasional actress from Georgia, were a couple on-and-off from 1994 until they split for good in 2007. Their children are a 20-year-old son, Christian, and 11-year-old twin daughters, D'Lila Star and Jessie James. Combs also has three other children from other relationships. Porter also has a 27-year-old son who was largely raised with Diddy, Quincy Brown, from a previous relationship with singer Al B. Sure. Brown, an actor, appears on the Fox series "Star" and has had a handful of other TV and film roles.
David Hockney Painting Fetches Record $90M at NYC Auction
A painting by the British artist David Hockney has fetched $90.3 million at Christie's, easily breaking the record for a work by a living artist sold at auction. Among his famous "pool paintings," ''Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)" is considered one of his premier works. The previous record by a living artist was set by Jeff Koons' "Balloon Dog," which sold for $58.4 million in 2013. The 1972 painting by Hockney, now 81, is "the holy grail of his paintings, from both the historical and the market perspectives," Alex Rotter, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie's, said in September. He noted that it reflects both the European and the American perspectives of an artist who came to live in sunny California in the '60s, and saw himself as living on both continents. The painting, whose buyer was not immediately revealed, had been long held by a private collector.