"Empire" actor Jussie Smollett orchestrated an attack on himself, in which he said two men beat him while shouting homophobic and racist slurs and putting a rope around his neck, because he was "dissatisfied" with his salary, police said Thursday.
Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said Smollett sent a threatening letter to himself and paid two men $3,500 to stage the attack against him.
"This announcement today recognizes that 'Empire' actor Jussie Smolett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," Johnson said.
Hussein Malla/AP (File)
The Trump administration, which abruptly announced in December that it was pulling out of Syria, said Thursday that it will keep 200 U.S. troops in the country for now.
"A small peace keeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for period of time," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a one-sentence statement.
House Democrats planned to push ahead Friday with a measure that seeks to terminate President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration, issued last week in order to circumvent Congress and build his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, NBC News reported.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, was set to file a joint resolution in the House that would repeal the president’s declaration. The measure was to be filed during the chamber’s pro forma session, since lawmakers are on recess and don’t return to Washington until Monday.
As of Wednesday, more than 90 House Democrats had signed onto the legislation as official co-sponsors. In a letter circulated to lawmakers of both parties, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged all members to back it, saying the president’s move “undermines the separation of powers and Congress’s power of the purse.”
Get More at NBC News
Andrew Harnik/AP, File
William Barr has been attorney general for just one week but is on the cusp of staring down what will almost certainly be the most consequential decision of his long career: how much of the special counsel's findings to make public.
The position catapults him from Justice Department outsider free to theorize and speculate on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to the man at the center of the legal and political firestorm that will accompany its looming conclusion.
With Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein preparing to exit after supervising the day-to-day investigation for nearly two years, and with Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker now replaced in the top job, Barr is in the hot seat.
Felipe Dana/AP, File
ISIS fighters facing defeat in Syria are slipping across the border into Iraq, where they are destabilizing the country's fragile security, U.S. and Iraqi officials say.
Hundreds — likely more than 1,000 — ISIS fighters have crossed the open, desert border in the past six months, defying a massive operation by U.S., Kurdish, and allied forces to stamp out the remnants of the jihadi group in eastern Syria, according to three Iraqi intelligence officials and a U.S. military official.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on intelligence matters. But indications of the extremist group's widening reach in Iraq are clear.
Actor Jussie Smollett was arrested and charged with filing a false police report in Chicago after he said he was the victim of a hate crime.
Mahmud Hossain Opu/AP, File
Bangladesh police said Friday that they were seeking up to a dozen suspects in connection with a fire in the oldest part of the capital and could charge them with negligence over the blaze that killed at least 67 people.
The case involves between 10 and 12 people wanted on suspicion of "causing death through negligence" in the Wednesday night fire in Dhaka's Chawkbazar district, said Ibrahim Khan, a deputy commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. He declined to give details.
"Upon investigation we will be able to disclose everything," he told reporters.
Shomari Stone/NBC Washington
Teachers at a Loudoun County, Virginia, elementary school instructed students to pretend to be slaves during a gym class activity for Black History Month, the president of a local NAACP chapter says.
Madison's Trust Elementary School students participated in an "insensitive" activity during their physical education classes, Principal David Stewart said in a letter sent on Feb. 12 apologizing to parents.
"The lesson was culturally insensitive to our students and families. I extend my sincerest apology to our students and school community," Stewart said in the letter.
Clay Bolt/Global Wildlife Conservation via AFP/Getty Images, File
The world’s largest bee, last seen by a scientist in 1981, is not extinct after all, NBC News reported.
A single female was found and documented earlier this year on an Indonesian island, an Australian university and other groups said Thursday.
The bee, Megachile pluto, also known as "Wallace's giant bee" — named after British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace who discovered it — was seen in January in Indonesia's North Moluccas island group by an international team of researchers looking for the rare species, the University of Sydney said.
"Amid such a well-documented global decline in insect diversity, it's wonderful to discover that this iconic species is still hanging on," team member Simon Robson, honorary professor of the university’s school of life and environmental sciences, said in a statement released by the educational institution.
Get More at NBC News
Jae C. Hong/AP, File
A federal judge in California ruled Thursday that a twin son of a gay married couple has been an American citizen since birth, handing a defeat to the U.S. government, which had only granted the status to his brother.
The State Department was wrong to deny citizenship to 2-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks because U.S. law does not require a child to show a biological relationship with their parents if their parents were married at the time of their birth, District Judge John F. Walter found.
A lawsuit filed by the boys' parents, Andrew and Elad Dvash-Banks, sought the same rights for Ethan that his brother, Aiden, has as a citizen.
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
Two sons of notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman have been indicted on drug conspiracy charges, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Joaquin Guzman Lopez, 34, and Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 28, are charged in a single-count indictment that was unsealed last week in Washington.
Prosecutors allege the two brothers conspired to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico and elsewhere in the world from 2008 to 2018. They are both believed to be living in Mexico and remain fugitives.
A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of being a white supremacist who stockpiled guns and compiled a target list of prominent Democrats will remain detained in federal custody after his arrest.
Federal Magistrate Judge Charles Day ordered 49-year-old Christopher Paul Hasson held Thursday but said he might be willing to reconsider later if the government hasn't charged him with more serious crimes in the next two weeks.
The U.S Attorney for Maryland, Robert Hur, told reporters outside the courthouse Thursday that the sheer number and force of the weapons recovered from Hasson's residence, coupled with the disturbing nature of his writings, "appear to reflect a very significant threat to the safety of our community," particularly given the position of trust that Hasson held with the U.S. government.
Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP, Pool
North Carolina's elections board Thursday ordered a new election in the nation's last undecided congressional race after the Republican candidate conceded his lead was tainted by evidence of ballot-tampering by political operatives working for him.
The State Board of Elections voted 5-0 in favor of a do-over in the mostly rural 9th Congressional District but did not immediately set a date.
In moving to order a new election, board chairman Bob Cordle cited "the corruption, the absolute mess with the absentee ballots."
Tax preparation is rarely easy, but this filing season comes with a unique set of complications.
It's the first year people are filing under the massive overhaul to tax law put in place by Congress in late 2017. Tax season also kicked off days after a partial government shutdown. Still, some taxpayers are feeling a bit confused.
The Associated Press enlisted executives from some of the biggest tax preparers to answer questions about this tax season.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, FIle
Federal prosecutors say an IRS investigator in California has admitted leaking confidential details of financial transactions by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen to Michael Avenatti, lawyer for Stormy Daniels, NBC News reported.
John C. Fry has been charged in federal court with searching for and disseminating Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), reports filed by banks when they note potentially suspicious transactions.
Get More at NBC News