Russia failed to alert US of Brittney Griner transfer to penal colony, State Department says
Russia did not inform the U.S. of Brittney Griner's transfer to a penal colony ahead of time and has yet to engage in talks about her release "with the seriousness of purpose," the State Department said Thursday.foxnews.com
US Embassy officials visit Brittney Griner in Russia prison
Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow visited jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner on Thursday, just weeks after a Russian court rejected her appeal of her nine-year sentence for drug possession. State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a tweet that the American representatives “saw firsthand her tenacity and perseverance despite her present circumstances." Price said the Biden administration is continuing to press for the immediate release of Griner and Paul Whelan, who was sentenced in 2020 to 16 years in prison in Russia on espionage-related charges that he and his family say are bogus, and "fair treatment for every detained American.”news.yahoo.com
Venezuela swaps 7 jailed Americans for Maduro relatives
Venezuela’s government has freed seven Americans imprisoned in the South American country in exchange for the release of two nephews of President Nicolás Maduro’s wife who had been jailed for years by the United States on drug smuggling convictions.
Griner, Whelan families to meet Biden amid U.S.-Russia talks
Senior administration officials say President Joe Biden plans to meet at the White House on Friday with the families of WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, both of whom remain jailed in Russia.cbsnews.com
Veteran emissary Richardson hopeful for Griner, Whelan swap
Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a frequent emissary in hostage negotiations, says he's hopeful about the chances of a two-for-two prisoner swap that could result in the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan.
In rare contact, US offers Russia deal for Griner, Whelan
The U.S. has offered a deal to Russia aimed at bringing home WNBA star Brittney Griner and another jailed American, Paul Whelan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday. In a sharp reversal of previous policy, Blinken also said he expects to speak with his Kremlin counterpart for the first time since before Russia invaded Ukraine. The statement marked the first time the U.S. government has publicly revealed any concrete action it has taken to secure the release of Griner, who was arrested on drug-related charges at a Moscow airport in February and testified Wednesday at her trial.news.yahoo.com
Biden Administration Offers Convicted Russian Arms Dealer In Exchange For Paul Whelan, Brittney Griner
After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year U.S. prison sentence, as part of a potential deal to secure the release of two Americans...detroit.cbslocal.com
WNBA's Griner tells drug trial: 'My career is my whole life'
WNBA star Brittney Griner testified at her drug possession trial in Russia that an interpreter translated only a fraction of what was said during questioning when she was detained at Moscow’s airport in February and officials told her to sign documents without giving an explanation.
WNBA's Griner gets support at trial from character witnesses
The drug possession trial of WNBA star Brittney Griner has resumed, with the head of the Russian club she plays for in the offseason and a teammate from that squad testifying in support of her character and what she has meant for women’s basketball in the country.
New hope for Paul Whelan to return home as government officials step in
Ambassador Bill Richardson, who has a reputation for helping bring Americans home from difficult abroad situations, is getting involved in helping free Whelan and hopefully escape some of the turmoil he may have encountered while being held hostage.
White House: Biden has read Griner letter pleading for help
Brittney Griner’s appeal to President Joe Biden in a handwritten letter continued to garner reaction Tuesday after the WNBA All-Star acknowledged she feared never returning home and asked Biden not “forget about me and the other American Detainees.”.
Why WNBA star Brittney Griner’s fate in Russia is linked to a Michigan prisoner
By ERIC TUCKER, The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Brittney Griner is easily the most prominent American locked up by a foreign country. But the WNBA star’s case is tangled up with that of a lesser-known American also imprisoned in Russia. He was left out of a prisoner exchange in April that brought home yet another detainee, Marine veteran Trevor Reed. For Griner and Whelan, the other’s case injects something of a wild card into their own, for better or worse. FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner is shown during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky, Oct. 13, 2021, in Phoenix.mlive.com
UAE dismantles plane of gunrunner Russia wants for Americans
UMM AL-QUWAIN, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The hulking, Soviet-era cargo plane has sat for decades under the blazing sun in a remote corner of the United Arab Emirates, its four jet engines silent after years in the employ of a Russian gunrunner known as the “Merchant of Death.” The emirate of Umm al-Quwain plans a $675 million development on a island just across a lagoon from the deactivated airport where Bout's plane sits.news.yahoo.com
Brittney Griner’s wife tells ABC she wants WNBA star home
By DOUG FEINBERGBrittney Griner’s wife Cherelle wants President Joe Biden to secure her partner’s release, doing whatever is necessary to get the WNBA star home from Russia where she has been detained for more than three months. Cherelle has talked with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Griner’s case, but not the president. “Even though they’re separate people, separate roles, no connection besides what they’re going through in Russia, you know, I obviously want him back too,” Cherelle said. It let’s her know she’s not forgotten and ... when you’re sitting over there, your country ... they haven’t come ... to your rescue yet. “It lets her know she’s not forgotten.mlive.com
Former USSR soldier displays charred medals after house is shelled
Serhyi Malyshenkon displays medals awarded to him by the USSR for his military service – all now charred after his house in Yasnohorodka, Ukraine, was destroyed by Russian shelling. "This house never did anything wrong to anyone."news.yahoo.com
St. Clair Shores Teacher Charged With Making False Threat Against School
A suburban Detroit teacher was charged Monday with making a false threat against her school, the latest in a string of alleged threats in the region, mostly by students, since four teenagers were killed in November at a different school.detroit.cbslocal.com