While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 19

Elizabeth Holmes’ attorneys have asked that she receive 18 months of home confinement. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Prosecutor urges California federal judge to give Holmes 15-year sentence

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes should serve 15 years in prison, a prosecutor told a California federal judge on Friday as Holmes awaited sentencing on charges of defrauding investors in her now-defunct blood testing startup.

Holmes, wearing a black skirt and dark blouse, sat in court facing US District Judge Edward Davila, who will sentence her on three counts of investor fraud and one count of conspiracy. A jury convicted Holmes, 38, in January following a trial that spanned three months.

Assistant US Attorney Jeff Schenk told the judge that by handing down a 15-year sentence, he would be “making a statement that the ends don’t justify the means.”


US Justice Dept names war crimes expert as special counsel for Trump probes

US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday named Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor, to serve as special counsel to oversee Justice Department investigations tied to Donald Trump involving the former president’s handling of sensitive documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Garland’s announcement came three days after Trump, a Republican, announced he would run for president again in 2024. Garland said Trump’s candidacy, as well as Democratic President Biden’s stated intention to run for re-election, made the appointment of a special counsel necessary.

Special counsels are sometimes appointed to investigate politically sensitive cases and they do their jobs with a degree of independence from the Justice Department leadership.


Kyiv may face 'complete shutdown', nearly half Ukraine's energy system disabled

Kyiv city authorities warned on Friday that a “complete shutdown” of the capital’s power grid was possible and Ukraine’s prime minister said almost half the country’s energy system had been disabled by Russian attacks.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine in February, has stepped up attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities in recent weeks, and pounded power infrastructure across the country in heavy air strikes on Tuesday and Thursday.

“Unfortunately, Russia continues to carry out missile strikes on Ukraine’s civilian and critical infrastructure,” Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said after talks with European trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis. “Almost half of our energy system is disabled.”


Climate activists pour paint on Charles Ray sculpture in Paris

Environmental activists on Friday dumped orange paint over an outdoor sculpture by the American artist Charles Ray in central Paris, the latest in a string of artwork defacements aimed at spurring greater government efforts to fight climate change.

The lifesize Horse and Rider stands in front of the Bourse de Commerce contemporary art museum, which houses part of the collection of French fashion billionaire Francois Pinault.

The action was claimed by Derniere Renovation (Last Renewal), which showed two activists kneeling and holding hands in front of the doused sculpture on its website.


King Charles III bans foie gras at palaces: Peta

UK animal rights campaign group Peta said on Friday that King Charles III has banned foie gras at all royal residences.

There was no immediate comment from Buckingham Palace when contacted by AFP, which has seen a letter to the group from a royal official.

The letter states: “I can confirm that foie gras is not purchased by the Royal Household nor served in Royal Residences, and there are no plans for this policy to change.”


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